Into the Wild
Rating: Oh this story will definitely reach an M.
Summary: A standard FBI expedition into the forest turns into something else.
Disclaimer: I keep them in a cell and bring them out when I want to play with them.
A/N: I think up new stories all the time, and this one just came into my head this afternoon. This chapter is short, to introduce the idea. Let me know what you all think.
Oh, and I would once again like to than everyone who has given me the kindest encouragement. I am so grateful!
"I can't go alone," Booth said, stirring cream into his coffee and licking the spoon. "For one, the FBI don't allow it. Too dangerous. Secondly, it's a partnership, thing. Team work, friendship building –"
"You mean the waste of time stuff?" Hodgins asked from the corner where he leaned over a petrie dish of slug slime or something Booth didn't know.
"Well, yes, actually," he agreed, nodding his head. "It's a waste of time. But unfortunately, Bones, if I don't do it, I am automatically disqualified for it."
Temperance Brennan pulled a stool across the lab, positioning herself next to a sterile table of multiple remains. It was her task to match the bones to the correct bodies. She did not have time to waste – not now, and not at some stupid FBI expedition.
"I'm not a federal agent," she tried, pulling a magnifying glass across the table, squinting at the bone fragment through the glass. "So you see, I should be excluded from your little list. Move on, Booth." He shook his head, an expression of glee written across his handsome features. Some might have called it glee, at least. Brennan called it being sanctimonious.
"Well you see, Bones, that's were you might be surprised. There are no rules about federal agents. Isn't it great? Agent Sandrell is taking Dr Jensen from the County Coroners Office. Isn't that cool?" Brennan glanced up at him, her expression impassive yet infuriated at the same time. "And I've already cleared it." Booth added.
Angela stepped into the lab. "Cleared what?" She asked, hefting herself unto the work bench behind Brennan, swinging her long bare legs.
"Get this," Hodgins said, momentarily distracted from his slime. "Brennan is going on a trekking expedition with Booth. Into the deep, dark forest." Angela's eyes widened, twinkling with excitement, like a teenage girl being fed new and juicy gossip.
"Whoa, really?" Brennan snapped her head round.
"No! Not really! I haven't got time to go on some pointless FBI picnic." When Hodgins cleared his throat, they all lifted their heads, swinging their gazes towards the door, where Dr Goodman stood, arms behind his back, surveying the scene with his usual all seeing knowledge. After a few long seconds he smiled.
"Well actually," he said, "you have all the time required, Dr Brennan. You have accumulated annual leave that you haven't taken, once again, and in a few short weeks the tax year begins again, as you well know. If you don't take your remaining fourteen days…" Booth clapped his hands, showing teeth when he smiled.
Brennan dropped her head to her hands, groaning into her palms. "I don't want to go," she whined. "I don't like the forest. There's… bugs." Hodgins huffed.
"There is nothing wrong with bugs. They're fascinating." Booth frowned.
"You people are crazy, you know that? Crazy." Angela giggled. "C'mon Bones, I'll be fun. It'll be better than fun. We can even play twenty questions." He bent his head, smiling into her eyes.
"Yeah… well, I don't know what that means. Is it educational? Like I ask you a question and you see if you know the answer?" Booth cast a fleeting glance at Goodman, who turned his head and snickered at nothing.
"Hmm, yes. Kind of. I'll explain the rules when we get there, okay? We'll have a briefing at the FBI headquarters tonight before we go to the motel. Meet me there at six." He practically skipped out of the office, tossing his keys into the air and catching them with a chuckle. Brennan watched him go, a frown passing across her face.
"Why do I think I won't like this game that Booth has got planned?" She asked, pushing the magnifying glass away. Angela slipped off the counter, grinning like a Cheshire cat.
"Oh sweetie, twenty questions with Booth? I wish I was going."
"It's a three day trek," Agent Harris was saying, moving to the ink board mounted on the wall behind him. "You'll be given a map and a compass," he pointed with a red ink pen to a point on the roughly sketched diagram of the area. "Your hunting equipment will include a small net for fresh-water fishing, a hunting knife for the gutting of fish," he glanced around the room, "and-"
"A gun?" Brennan asked hopefully. "Do I get a gun?" Booth elbowed her side, gritting his teeth. Agent Harris capped his pen, slipping his hands into his pockets.
"You must be Dr Brennan. I've heard about your preoccupation with firearms," he said. "No, there will be no guns. For anyone. That would be too easy." Brennan slumped, her cheeks tined rose with mild embarrassment at the glances that passed between the other agents in the room. She saw the 'what a nut' expressions on their faces and noticed how Booth stiffened beside her.
Agent Harris was talking again. His voice taking on a monotone as he explained the mountainous terrain, the importance of waterproof clothing and make a sexist joke about suitable shoes and no heels. A muffled chorus of laughter drifted through the room, and even some of the women snickered. "Although the trek officially lasts three days, we're adding a little rivalry into the expedition. We would like everyone to move as swiftly as possible. There will be tasks to complete along the way-"
"What kind of tasks?" Brennan asked, squaring her shoulders.
"That would be telling," Agent Harris said, taking a pile of neatly folded maps into his arms. "Since the trek doesn't start until tomorrow, may I suggest you take some time to study these? I am assuming you will all be familiar with ordinance survey maps?" Everyone grunted. "Excellent. There are four teams of two bodies. I am now giving you an envelope with information about your tasks. You may open them tonight – it can't do any harm to prepare yourself, right?"
"I believe there is a sect which has a motto similar to this. Am I right?" Brennan whispered, leaning across to Booth. He grunted.
"Boy Scouts, Bones, not exactly the Illuminati. Pipe down, please?" She pursed her lips, taking the envelope offered to her.
"Cell phones, not that you will get a signal, are strictly forbidden. The same goes for GPS." Booth gaped.
"No GPS? Er, Agent Harris-"
"Is there some kind of argumentative class you people have been taking down at the Jeffersonian? Can't either of you be quiet?" Brennan clenched her jaw, her eyes narrowing instinctively. "Right guys! That's everything. Good luck." As the agents filed out of the room, Brennan looked down at the envelope in her hand. She wondered what kind of puzzles would lie within and she worried whether or not she'd be able to solve them. Harris said it was a race, as such, and the knowledge aroused her competitive nature.
What if she couldn't maintain the pace? She wasn't a government agent. She identified bones and worked in a lab. Sometimes she plodded through fields with Booth, but trekking? Doing puzzles? Hunting?
"Time to go, Bones. You'll need as rest for tomorrow." Her thumb nail flicked against the edge of the envelope as she wondered what horrors might lie within. "Do you want me to take that?" Booth asked, and she shook her head, tucking it into bag.
"No. You study the maps and I'll get started on these. Lets go."
Anyone interested in some Brennan and Booth action in the wilderness? I promise topless descriptions of Booth. Come on… let me know.