A/N - Thank you for the reviews so far. Please keep them coming. There is nothing better for a writer than hearing from readers.

"She should be waking soon."

"When? It's been so long already."

Booth, is that you?

"These things take time, Mr. Booth."

"So I keep hearing."

Why do you sound so defeated? So angry? So…sad?

An awkward chuckle. "You know Temperance…always has to do things her own way."


She was floating again back in that deep void of dark space. The voices drifted off far and away. She was too tired and too listless to reach for them.

Booth took up residence in the chair next to her bed. The nurses had been kind enough to replace the lumpy chair that had been there before with something more comfortable. Although he was grateful for the gesture, it was a small amenity that meant little in the grand scheme of things.

All he really wanted was for Bones to wake up. Nothing else meant much to him if that didn't happen…well nothing much with the exception of the little girl sleeping a few floors below them. Not even revenge on Kenton mattered...as much. And at this point, it was revenge that drove him; not the justice he usually preserved…the justice that had previously been one of the cornerstones of his foundation. Until now.

Though no one said anything outright, the all knew the tenure of his thoughts. It read loud and clear through the desperate determination that was set in his eyes. Secretly, they were relieved he was pulled from the case, if only to save his career.

He soothed her forehead with the pad of his thumb and traced his fingers down her cool cheek.

So pale, he thought. Still wrapped up in the embrace of the grim reaper; who was so ready to take her from him. He had already tried and nearly succeeded.

You can't have her. Not yet, he vowed silently. God willing, not for a very long time.

Hail Mary full of Grace

The Lord is with thee

He recited the prayer in a fervent whisper, his head bowed as he gripped her hand, willing for some kind of a response. He'd take anything at this point.

Blessed art thou amongst women

and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Was her color getting better? Or was he imagining things born from intense desolation? Booth continued with the mantra hoping it was making a difference. I can believe for the both of us, Bones.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.

The feeling of weightlessness was beginning to drift away no matter how hard she tried to hold on to it. She felt metaphorically heavy now as if large anchors were holding her down in the darkness. She struggled to move…to let the voice know she could hear him…assure him in some way.

Pain. There was so much pain.

The memories came then, not in gentle waves lapping to the shore but in the form of an avalanche, clogging her throat, suffocating her.

Eyes sprang open as her body jackknifed upward, her hands clawing at the tubing in her throat. In an instant, Booth was there, his hands grasping her wrists with one hand while the other pulled her into an embrace.

"It's okay, baby. It's the intubation, you feel, Bones" He whispered in her ear knowing it was the tubes down her throat that reason for her reaction. "Just relax." He soothed circular motions just below the back of her neck with one had while his other hand reached over for the call button.

Her eyes were deep blue pools of panic, watching him. He knew she would have many questions that needed to be answered but all he wanted to do right now was shower her with comforting phrases until the look of terror left her face.

"I know it's scary, baby." He choked out, unable to stem the flow of tears that leaked from his eyes. "But it's going to be okay now. As long as you're here, everything is going to be okay."

He leaned her head back down on the pillow. She shook her head back and forth in panic, weakly grabbing at his shoulders, trying to resist him.

"Bones, please." He begged. "I don't want you to hurt yourself."

With an angry grunt, she pushed him back with surprising force and pointed to her abdomen as she tried unsuccessfully to swing her legs over the side of the bed. She emitted a strained gasp when the movement proved too painful.

Booth scrambled to get her to lie back down again. She was lucky none of the IV's pulled out of her arm.

God, he was so stupid., he thought as he finally realized what she was trying to ask.

"No Bones, Lauren is fine. She is fine…wonderful and healthy and all the good things that a newborn should be…she's just a little small that's all."

Booth knew her facial expressions well enough to know that she was still questioning.

"I promise, Bones. She's in NICU but she's good and probably missing her mommy, like I have been."

Her eyes closed briefly as her body slumped in relief.

Booth hovered in the corner of the room, his hands fisting and unfisting as the doctor examined his wife, explaining what had happened to her and the surgeries they performed. Despite the doctor's protests, he had refused to leave the room, partially in fear that she would be unconscious again when he came back and partially because he wanted to see and hear exactly what the doctor was doing and saying even if he didn't understand half of it.

She took it like the trooper she was though. Here he was worried about her being stressed out by the long convoluted dissertation the doctor was giving her about her procedures but his own anxiety started to spike at hearing it over again.

"Things look like they are progressing well, Dr. Brennan." The doctor commented breaking Booth from the dark place he was falling into. "I'm going to schedule you for more tests for confirmation, however."

Brennan looked at Booth, asking him with her eyes to speak for her.

"Uh, Doc, the intubation?" He pointed to his own throat. "When can that be removed?"

"Not until after I see those results, I'm afraid." He said apologetically.

Brennan frowned. How was she supposed to communicate freely if she couldn't speak. She made a writing motion with her hand and blinked her eyes in relief when the doctor nodded his head in understanding.

"I'll see if one of the nurses can supply you with a pad and pen." He added before leaving. "But don't over exert yourself." The doctor gave Booth a pointed look.

Brennan wanted so badly to talk. There was much she wanted to say and so many questions she wanted to ask.

What happened?

The last thing she remembered was Hacker's tense face as he yelled at her?

Did she kill Carson at his hunting domicile?

She shot him. She could almost still fell the kick pack of the pistol as the bullet burned a hole in her pocket.

He had shot her too. She had felt the impact the bullet made, remembered collapsing to the ground, hearing the sirens.

Had she prayed? She might have, she thought with a twinge of amusement. This bore further investigation when she had a moment to reflect.

She took a moment to study Booth regardless of the haze of pain she felt emanating from her whole body. The only injury she could assess was covered by a small white bandage by his hairline over his left eye. She pointed at it.

"Just a little bump on the head, Bones. It's fine. I got a thick skull, remember?" He joked, hitting his head with his knuckles.

She rolled her eyes at his attempt at humor. It was quite an experience only being to communicate with her eyes but Booth knew her so well after all these years, he had become adept at reading her facial expressions. Still she wanted that pen and paper.

Her fingers reached for the morphine drip but the movement caused her to hiss in pain over the tube in her mouth.

"I got it." He said easing her arm back down and pressed the drip for her.

She met his eyes with relief as she felt the narcotic enter her bloodstream. She hated the way it would make her feel; her mind wasn't as sharp, her movements would slur but right now it was a necessary evil.

A cheerful nurse came in the room. She placed the writing materials on the tray and wheeled it over to Brennan.

"Would you like me to put the mattress forward so you can sit up?" The nurse asked.

Brennan nodded slightly and tried to keep the pained expression off her face as the mattress crept up slowly but her finger tips gripping into the side of the bed told a different story.

She barely waited a moment after the nurse was out of the room before her fingers slid the notebook closer to her and with a tentative, unsteady grip on the pen, she began to write.

You look tired.

Booth didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Her scribbled words were not at all what he expected. It was true though, he hadn't had a decent sleep since Cam had told him Brennan had been shot.

She glared at him when let out a small chuckle and shook his head.

What's so funny?

"Nothing Bones. I'll try and get some rest soon, when I know what's going on with you, okay?"

She felt guilty. She wanted to tell him to get some sleep but part of her...a selfish part of her needed him here.

I love you. I feel the need to say that. It's been so long since I said it out loud, I think?

Booth nodded, biting his bottom lip trying to keep a broken sob from breaking through.

"It felt like it, baby. It certainly felt like it." He gripped her hand in his and kissed the backs of her knuckles before resting it on his cheek. "God, Bones. I love you so much. I don't think I've ever been more terrified in my entire life."

She caressed his cheek briefly, an overwhelming sadness coming into her eyes, before reaching for the pad again.

What happened?

With brows furrowed, she thought for a second than added a few more words.

What happened? To Carson?

Booth hesitated after he read the scrawl. Should he tell her? How much could he tell her?

With a frustrated huff and a roll of the eyes, she grabbed the pad back from him and wrote furiously across the page.

Telling me will not "over exert" me. Not telling me, will cause my stress levels to escalate thereby causing my blood pressure to raise and that will "over exert" me!

She double underlined the words for emphasis and pushed the pad back to him

"Not fair Bones." He shook his head. Only she would demand information on the case when she was recovering from a gunshot wound that nearly killed her.

Brennan raised one eyebrow.

"In a nutshell? We got him. He'll be going away and won't see freedom until he's carried out of prison in a body bag."

Angela was able to restore the drive?

Booth clenched his jaw thinking of what that information had revealed…the sick plot of Jamie Kenton. He knew Sully was probably questioning Carson at this very moment about it.

"Yeah, she was able to restore it."

Brennan sensed he was holding something back. Something in his tone and his tense expression sent warning bells through her.

What aren't you telling me? She wrote.

She knew him so well, he thought.

"No Bones." He shook his head emphatically. "I have to draw the line somewhere. You need to think of your health for once. This is not the way to do it."

Her eyes started to glisten with unshed tears.

You're angry. At me.

Was he? He had been so worried sick over her he hadn't had time to feel anything else but now she was awake he could examine his emotions with more scrutiny. And he realized he was.

"Did you even think…?" Booth blew out a vicious breath and raked his hand through his hair trying to calm down. "No." He said more to himself than to her. "We will have this conversation, just not…just not now."

Her intense blue gaze held his...questioning him.

"You died!" Booth nearly shouted in answer to her silent communication. "Literally flatlined before my eyes."

He pressed his palms against his eyes, rubbing them...trying to rub away the memory of him begging and shouting and her...lying there so still...a continuous high pitched beeping. Booth heard the pen flow over the paper again.

When he was able to get a grip on himself and finally looked back at her, she signaled toward the paper and at the two words she wrote on it.

I know

"Know what Bones, what do you know."

I know I died