The Men from the Gate
Disclaimer: Neither Bones or its characters nor SG1 nor its characters belong to me. I'm just taking them on a lovely cross-over trip.
Disclaimer 2: This is my first Bones case fic and maybe first story where I try to do more than just get a couple together. So, I'm taking this opportunity to humbly ask you to suspend your disbelief and forgive any erronous scientific explanation I might make. If anything I say wouldn't be true in the real world, just remember that I need it to be true in my little world for the story to work. I know next to nothing about forensic anthropology, theoretic astrophisicists, anatomy, physics or chemestry - high school was a while ago and in college I took Astronomy and Cosmology - no help at all. I could try to do research, but the truth is any sort of scientific explanation gives me a headache and I end up more confused than I began (that's why I always skipped the scientific explanation in all the scifi books I read). Second, while I truly respect and admire the men and women of the armed forces for their dedication, I've never been in the military -therefore, if my explanations don't make sense, again forgive my artistic license. Lastly, forgive the long diclaimer, it's the lawyer in me. While I might not get scientific jargon, I definitely get legal jargon and I tend to be rather verbose.
A/N: I love the fact that Booth is an ex-Ranger but I think that with the exception a a few episodes, the show hasn't really explored that aspect of his character. So, I wanted to explore that area a little more and I thougth what better way to do that than having the Bones people meet the SG1 people. I think that Booth/Brennan have a lot in common with Jack/Sam and having them interact should be interesting. This chapter is all BB, but I'll be bringing JS shortly and a few chapters later the squint squad will meet SG1 - which will be fun. For those that haven't watched SG1, everything you need to know about the show and the gate will be explained when BB and the squints learn the secret. For those that know SG1 and have read my stories, this comes after Te Amare (which I will finish) and before SG1 in Atlantis. As for Bones, it comes after I know. Well, that's all. I hope you like it and please review!!
Chapter 1: The Invitation
"Arg," FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth exclaimed as he threw his pen down on top of dozens of folders and papers scattered across his desk. "How did all of these case files accumulated together again?"
"How? Need I remind you that we've had quite a few back to back cases and not much time to keep up with all the paperwork?" His partner Dr. Temperance 'Bones' Brennan answered without looking up from the table where she was working on her on bunch of files.
"Um," Booth said as he leaned back on his chair. "We really shouldn't let these mount up like this again."
"We?!" Bones asked incredulous, still without looking up from her work. "Who was it that when we had the only night off between cases instead of working on the paperwork like the other partner wanted insisted there'll be time later on so that we ended having dinner and a drink?" she asked.
"Ok, ok, that was me," Booth admitted. "I better not do that again, do I?" He asked sheepishly.
"Don't worry," Bones assured him. "I won't let you. Now, start working and stop procrastinating." She ordered and he made a face at her, wondering how she could know he wasn't working when she hadn't once look up from the paperwork in front of her.
Less than an hour later, Booth once again threw his pen on his desk and leaned back on his chair, complaining, "I'm bored. What do you say we go out and get a snack?" He proposed as he looked over at Bones, wearing his charm smile.
That smile, however, was lost on his partner as she once again didn't look up as she answered, "No, Booth. We're never going to finish all this paperwork if we keep stopping every time you get bored."
"Ah, Bones," he started to wheedled when a movement by his office door made him take his eyes from Bones and towards it just as a knock sounded.
"Major Booth?" An Army Sergeant stood at the threshold looking at Booth.
At the call, Bones finally looked up from her work to see who was calling Booth by his Army rank as Booth slowly pushed back from his desk and stood next to it.
"Yes, that's me," he said.
The Sgt. clicked his heels together, came to attention and said, "Sir," as he sharply saluted.
Deeply ingrained military reflexes meant that he automatically returned the salute, "Sgt."
"Sir, Colonel Saunders sent me to give this to you personally." The Sgt. said as he entered the office in measured steps, holding what looked like an invitation.
At the sight of the envelop, Booth relaxed slightly and stepped forward to meet the young Sgt. "Thank you," he said with a small nod as he received the envelope.
The Sgt. returned the nod and said, "Colonel Saunders requests that you RSVP by email, sir."
Booth smiled slightly and said, "I bet he did." Seeing the look on the Sgt.'s face, he added, "Don't worry, Sgt. I'll let the Colonel know you delivered the message."
"Thank you, sir. Good bye, Sir," he said with another salute before he turned to Bones and with another nod said, "Ma'am." He then gave a have a sharp turnabout and left the office, leaving Booth staring after him and tapping the envelope on the fingers of his left hand.
"Major Booth?" Bones asked, breaking Booth from his reverie.
"Oh?" he asked as he turned to look at her. "Ah, that's my military rank, Bones. You know that." He answered as he started to open the invitation, though he was pretty certain he knew what it was for.
"I know," Bones conceded as she saw him reading the invitation. "It's just that I rarely hear you being call that. It took me by surprise, that's all."
"Yeah, well, it happens." Booth said distractedly as he finished reading. "And he is an Army Sgt. – he really wouldn't call me anything else." He pointed out.
"I guess," Bones said but she too was distracted by the contents of the invitations. Finally, her curiosity won out, "So, what does it say?"
Booth looked up, leaned against the edge of his desk and crossing his feet, said, "It's an invitation to the annual Armed Forces Fundraiser Dinner."
"Fundraiser?" Bones asked. "What are they collecting funds for? The war?" The last was said with a slight smirk.
"Funny, Bones. Very funny," Booth said with a fake smile. "No, it so happens that the proceeds from this dinner go into a fund that helps the families of soldiers that have fallen in action. You know for the stuff that their regular pensions don't cover: college tuition, house repairs, unexpected medical expenses – things like that." Booth explained.
"Sound like a worthy cause," she commented.
"It is. It's very worthy," Booth agreed.
"So, you going?" she asked.
"Nah, I don't think so," he answered as he straightened and walked back to his chair.
"Let me see," she asked for the envelope and invitation when he passed her by. "Why aren't you going? You just said it's a worthy cause," she asked, going back to the original conversation.
"And I will be making my donation like every year," Booth told her. "But this gala is just not my thing, you know. A bunch of big wig military officers, mingling with a bunch of politicians – no, not my thing." He repeated, shaking his head.
"Well, I think you should go," she insisted. "It'd be good for you."
Booth smiled a bit incredulous as he sat down and asked, "How is going to a boring gala dinner good for me?"
She just shrugged as she studied the invitation, "Hey, this says that the dinner is this Saturday."
"Yep. That's when it is," Booth confirmed as he picked up his pen and looked at all the paperwork, thinking that it might be a good idea to get back to work.
"That's just four days away!" she exclaimed. "Isn't this very short notice?"
"It would be," Booth agreed without looking up from the case file he'd just picked up. "If that was the first invitation I received."
"You mean that it isn't?" Bones asked for clarification.
"Oh, no. I've received the first invitation a couple of months ago and the second a few weeks ago." He explained.
"And are all third invitations hand delivered?" she asked, curiously.
"What?" He looked up at the question and with a half laugh said, "No, of course not. It's just that I talked to Colonel Saunders . . ."
"Who's Col. Saunders?" she interrupted him to ask.
"My old CO," he answered before going on. "Anyway, I talked to him a few days ago and he asked me why I hadn't RSVP. I told him that I haven't received any invitations and that they must have gotten lost in the mail." He smiled and shook his head. "I don't think he believed me and I guess he decided to take away that excuse by having it hand delivered this time."
"I guess he really wants you to go," Bones commented.
"I guess so," Booth agreed, turning back to the case file.
"Booth, I really think you should go," Bones insisted.
Booth stopped reading the file and turned to look at her as he leaned back on his chair, "You're not going to let this go, are you?" But he already knew she wouldn't, she was like a dog with a bone sometimes.
"No," she agreed with a smile. "I'm not."
"Ok," Booth said as he put his hands behind his head. "I'll make you a deal. I'll go to this thing if you go with me." He proposed with a smirk.
Bones looked at him as she thought about it. This thing that was between them had been slowly but steadily growing since Sully sailed away all those months ago. They had began to spend more and more time together, to the point that now most of their down time was spent in each other's company. In fact, it had been months since either of them had gone in a date with anyone else. The last one to have a date had been Booth about four months ago and he had come back saying that it was absolutely the most boring evening he remembered spending – ever. Since then, neither one had even bothered to pretend that they were on the market.
To Bones's considerable relief and surprise Angela, who had always been after her to go out, meet men and date, had not even once pushed her to date in all those months. When Bones, a few weeks ago, got curious enough to ask about the absence of Angela's nagging, Angela had said, "Sweetie, I don't need to bug you about dating because you're already dating." At Bones' incredulous look, she had added, "Honey, you're dating Booth. And no, don't tell me you're not, because you are. You may not be sleeping together or even making out, but you two are doing everything else a couple that's dating does. Ergo, you're dating. You're just dating platonically – you know, sort of like our grand-parents probably did." She finished with a shrug, leaving a stunned forensic anthropologist behind as she left Bones's office and went back to work.
Bones had not been convinced by Angela's reasoning, but it had made her think about it and she had come to the conclusion that Angela hadn't been altogether wrong. The most surprising thing about the whole thing, however, was that she had not panicked at that realization. She wasn't sure what she wanted to do about the situation with Booth but she did know that she wasn't scared and she wasn't going to run from it.
From the look in Booth's eyes, Bones could see that he half-expected her to turn him down. She could understand why he wasn't sure of her answer; though, they had accompanied each other in every other social obligation either one had in the past few months, this occasion was different. All the other times had been functions that were somehow related to work and had thus really being obligations. This function was not an obligation but something to which they would voluntarily go – a real social event. Going together would be another step down the relationship road they were on. And since she had already decided not to run from it, the only thing to do was to go forth.
"Alright, I'll go with you," she told him and had the rare pleasure of seeing she had surprised him with her easy acquiesce. "You better e-mail the Colonel and RSVP."
He smiled and said, "Alright, you're on. Aren't you going to complain about how little time you'll have to find something to wear?" He asked her with another smirk.
Bones looked at him with that frown that said she didn't know what he was talking about and said, "No, why would I? I'm sure I have something in my closet that'd work just fine."
Booth just smiled and shook his head at her atypical feminine response.
"Are you worried about what to wear?" She asked as she took a closer look at the invitation.
"Me?" Booth asked as he sent his electronic RSVP to the Colonel. "Nah, I'll just wear my dress uniform." He answered.
The thought of Booth in a uniform distracted her for a minute. She was sure that he'll fill his uniform very, very nicely. As she was contemplating what Booth's physique would do to an Army uniform, she idly turned over the envelope in which the invitation had come. The form of address on it cleared her head of any visions of Booth in uniform.
"Booth?" she called him, still staring at the envelope.
"Yeah?" he answered vaguely, finishing the email to his former CO.
"This envelope is addressed to Major Booth," she told him.
"Yeah, Bones, we just established not five minutes ago that that's my rank." Booth answered as he hit send on his computer.
"I know," she replied in a tight voice, which made him look at her. "And I understand that the Sgt. would greet you like that. But, and I don't know much about military protocol, but isn't it usual to address correspondence to retired personal with the word retired before the rank?" She asked, looking directly into his eyes.
"Yeah, that's how it's done," he answered, not liking where this conversation was heading.
"Then, why is this envelope," and she waved the envelope, "addressed to Major Booth and not Ret. Major Booth?" When he didn't immediately answer, she pressed, "I mean you are retired, aren't you Booth?"
"Well," he started answered as he rubbed the back of his neck. "Not exactly."
"Not exactly?" She repeated, in a very tight voice. "How can you not exactly be retired? That's like saying you're a little bit pregnant – it's not possible. You either are or you aren't." She told him as she dropped the envelope on the table and crossed her arms.
"It's not that simple, Bones," he tried to explained. "I'm not retired but I'm not in active duty either."
"Then what are you?"
With a shrug, he said, "I'm in inactive status, which is basically the same thing as being retired."
"Basically?" she repeated. "That means that it's not the same thing. What's the difference?"
Booth sighed and played with the pen in his hand, he really wish they could avoid this conversation. "It just means that for all intent and purposes I'm a civilian; I hold a civilian job and have the same duties and privileges as a civilian." He said with anther shrug.
But Bones knew him too well, "Except?"
He sighed again and decided the hell with it, "Except that they could recall me to active duty at any moment and I have to be ready for it. It's like being in the reserves except I wouldn't be attached to a reserves unit but to an active unit, I'd have little to no notice if I was to be recalled and I have to meet all the requirements every few weeks to show them I'm still fit for duty."
"How?" At his questioning look, she clarified. "How do you meet the requirements and show them you're fit for duty?"
"I report for five days of training every six weeks," he told her, looking at her closely.
"All those training sessions you're always going on . . .?" After he nodded, she said, "I thought they were FBI training sessions."
"No," he shook his head. "Army training."
"And you never thought that this was something you should mention? You know, in case one day I wake up and find out that my partner had been shipped out to God knows where?" She asked him in a cold voice and he could see in his eyes that she was not taking the news well at all. He knew that this conversation was probably bringing back all sort of unpleasant memories and fears for her.
He sighed yet again and leaned forward on his desk and tried to conveyed how serious he was by the look in his eyes, "Bones, this is not something that we talk about," and she knew that by that 'we' he didn't mean the two of them but rather military personnel. "You know I was Ranger, right?" He waited for her nod before going on. "Well, you know that's Special Forces and most of my missions are classified." He shrugged and went on, "I don't talk about the fact that I'm not retired because I'm . . . well, I'm not allowed to talk about it."
Bones looked at him more closely and asked, "Why? Because you're what? Like a spy or something?"
Booth chuckled at the question, "No, not a spy. Those are civilians." He answered. "I'm still an Army Major with the 75th Ranger Regiment. It's just that me and those in my unit, we're," he shrugged again; "I guess you could say that we're the Army's ace in the hole; a sort of hidden weapon that they'll use as a last resort."
"Bones," he continued trying to make her understand he hadn't kept this from her by choice. "I would have told you all about this sooner, but I was . . . I am under orders not to talk about it with anyone. In fact, except for my superiors in the Army, the only other person that knows about it it's Cullen and that's only because he's my supervisor and he has to know about it."
She nodded her head at the explanation; she still didn't like the fact that he'd kept this from her for so long but she understood what it was to be under orders not to talk about something. "Aren't you going to get in trouble for telling me now?" She asked him with a slight smile to show him she understood, even if she didn't like it.
He returned the smile and said, "What're they going to do? Kick me out?" His smiled widened when she grinned at that response but then he sobered up and in his earnest tone, told her, "I wouldn't have volunteer the information, Bones, but I'm not going to lie to you. I've never lied to you and I won't start now."
She nodded her head again and with small but sincere smile, told him, "I know that and it means a lot. Thank you."
"No problem. And Temperance," he added and had her looking at him closely at him, surprised at his use of her first name. "You would never wake up to find that I've gone. I would never leave without talking to you and telling good-bye first – orders be damn. I would never do that to you. I may be forced to leave you, Temperance, but I wouldn't leave by choice and I wouldn't leave without you knowing about it."
At the sincerity in his voice and eyes, Temperance felt her eyes fill with tears and was forced to close them to stop them from falling. She then had to take deep breaths to calm down. She knew he would never leave her if he could help it – that he would never hurt her that way. But she still appreciated the fact that he took the time to reassure her yet again; that he knew her enough to do it. And she chose not to dwell on the fact that he could be order to leave at any moment, because then she would really break down.
"So, you could be recalled at any moment?" she asked after she calmed down.
Booth relaxed when he saw that she was once again in control and that the news, though upsetting, had not been the disaster that he had feared they'd be if she ever found out. "Technically, I guess so," he answered as he leaned back on his chair again. But he must have relaxed a little bit too much, that was the only explanation for the words that came out of his mouth next, "But Cullen assured after the last time that the chances that a recall order actually go through were slim to none."
But Bones only heard two words out of that explanation, "Last time?" she asked him. "You've already been recalled?"
'Crap! Damn, shit,' he thought when he realized what he'd let slip. He had had no intention of ever letting her know about that. Well, too late now. "Um, yeah. A couple of times." He answered truthfully because as he had already told he had never lied to her and he wasn't about to start now – he might have kept some things from her but he had never lied to her.
"A couple of times?" she repeated. "When exactly?" she asked him with narrowed eyes as she crossed her arms again.
"Well, the first time was right after our first case and the second was right after Deputy Director Kerby was killed." He answered. "And before you asked why I didn't mention it, one: I couldn't. Two: the first time we weren't really close enough that I would have mentioned it; I mean we were just beginning to know each other. And the second time, well, your father and Russ had left again; you had enough on your plate and I wasn't about to add more to it – especially when I really wasn't supposed to talk about it, you wouldn't have been able to do anything about it and at the end it came to nothing."
"Um," she said as she leaned back on her chair and studied him with her still narrowed eyes. Knowing Booth and his alpha male protective tendencies, it did make sense that he wouldn't have wanted to tell her about him possibly having to leave when she was still reeling from the fact that her bother and father had left her again. "You know, Booth, you don't always have to protect."
"Maybe not," he agreed. "But, hey, that's what I do."
She nodded her head, knowing it was useless to argue with him about it when his instincts wouldn't let him do anything else and at the end of the day, she wouldn't want him to be anything less than what he was.
Booth saw the nod and smiling asked her, "So, are we ok?"
"Yeah, we're ok," she answered him. And they were ok; she might not have liked what she'd just learned but she couldn't really hold it against him. There was no point in being mad at him when he'd done what he had to do – what she would have done in his place and what she knew if he had to, he would do again. She had a lot of thinking to do to really assimilate everything she'd learned but she'd do it when she was alone. "We are ok," she repeated to let him know she meant.
"Great," he said with a grin and clapping his hands together leaned towards his desk and asked her, "How's about we finish this paperwork so we could go out and have dinner, huh?"
"That sounds fine," she agreed and with sharing a last smile, she turned back to her paperwork but just as she picked up her pen, she remembered something. "How can be sure?" She asked, turning to look at Booth again.
"How can who be sure of what?" Booth asked her, looking up.
"Cullen," she answered him. "How can Cullen be sure that you won't be recalled again?"
"Oh, that," Booth answered as he started playing with his pen again. "Well, I don't know all the details but apparently the Attorney General agreed with Cullen that I'm more valuable as an FBI agent than as an Army Ranger and since I had just helped uncovered a cover up and freed an innocent man, the Attorney General was able to convinced the Joint Chiefs that it would not be a good idea if I were to suddenly disappeared in some secret mission. It might look like a punishment or worse: another cover up. And since you're my partner, I tend to be on the spotlight on and off, so the Chiefs agreed that it would probably be for the best if I was only recalled if there was no other alternative."
"Then why don't you just really retired?" she wanted to know.
"Because they reserved the right to recall me at a moment's notice and I have to be ready and able to go if and when they do. But if that happens, it'd probably mean that everything's gone to hell so . . ."
She nodded her head, understanding that if that were to happen, he'd want to go and do what he could. "I guess it's a good thing that we're partners, huh?" She joked.
"Definitely," he answered seriously.
"Well, I'm glad that you're not going anywhere," she told him simply and sincerely.
"Me too," he responded just as sincerely.
"Ok, well, let's finish this paperwork. I'm getting kind of hungry," she exclaimed and turned back to the paperwork, effectively ending the moment before it got too awkward.
Booth agreed and both turned their attention to their work, glad that the evening's revelations had not damaged their relationship but that instead they've proven once again how strong their bond was.