Seeley Booth hadn't even made it three steps into the Jeffersonian lab before feeling a sharp pain in his left bicep. He granted himself a mental wince, and then turned around with a hesitant smile.
"Bones! Hey. How's it going?"
The petite brunette had her arms crossed, and was notably not smiling. "Where have you been? And don't call me Bones."
"Look…Temperance. I can't tell you where I was."
"We're partners, Booth. You can't just leave me with some random asshole and expect me to work with him."
Booth narrowed his eyes. "Why? Did you get a case?"
"No. But that's not the point. You did, and you wouldn't take me with you."
"Bones, I wasn't on a case."
Brennan pursed her lips. "You weren't?"
"Then what, exactly, were you doing?"
"Helping out a friend."
"We call him the Green Fairy."
"Isn't that a euphemism for Absinthe?"
"Booth, if you're telling me that you have been reveling for the past week with members of a fraternal organization, I will hurt you."
"You already got a punch in, and no, I have not been getting drunk with old frat brothers. I had legitimate business of the classified nature. More Jason Bourne, less Ferris Bueller."
"I don't know what that means."
"I figured. Come on, Bones. I'll take you to dinner and then we're watching all three Bourne movies." Booth grabbed Brennan's hand, pulling her along behind him. "So, tell me about this asshole you've been working with. Did Hodgins give him a proper welcome?"
"Cam let him and Zach skin a pig and then do different acid tests on it. Harriman made it through three of them before turning an unnatural shade of green. Angela made a simulation for you."
Booth grinned as he followed his partner out of the building. As much as he enjoyed secret organizations and getting shot at by terrorists, there was something to be said for being home.
Somewhere in St. Louis – 0430 – Immediately following the take-down
Sgt. Robert Brown of the US Army smiled in satisfaction at the sight before him. Five bad guys down for the count, one bad boomer being picked at by the explosives expert from Charlie Team, and two of his fellow Unit members cooling their heels as they waited for a clean-up crew.
It really had been spectacularly easy. He'd met Hector Williams, Matt Fuentes and Sam Darling at the airport, filled them in on the situation, and then they'd hunkered down outside the warehouse they'd been assigned to clear out. Three hours of waiting followed by a two-minute gunfight – if you could even call it that; he didn't think the bad guys had squeezed off even one round.
Reports were still coming in from the other two teams, but preliminaries suggested complete success. He wasn't sure about casualties, but he'd get all of that later from White.
Bob sighed as he turned his attention to Hector Williams. It wasn't his favorite nickname, which, naturally, meant that his teammates used it every chance they had.
"You never did tell us how you got involved with this outfit. I'm assuming you told Top, of course, but I'd like to know who I'm working for."
"Got involved when I was in the Rangers. First tour in Iraq, had a buddy in another outfit who approached me about it."
"You do realize you're a member of three covert organizations."
"Gee, really? I'm so glad you're here to keep track of these things for me."
They were interrupted by chirping, which was coming from Bob's phone. "Boss is calling." He flipped it open. "Brown."
"Alpha Team has a lead on your rogue Iranians. Get back to base."
Brown gave a sharp whistle as he hung up. "Colonel Ryan has some paper for us to push. Let's get a move on."
He eased into a quick jog back to the car as he radioed the details to White, who assured him the local police were inbound to take care of the scene. As he got in the car, he noticed a thoughtful look on Hector's face.
"Just wondering…what happens when one of your covert organizations is sent up against the others? You're gonna have to choose a side."
It was the nightmare scenario that Brown hadn't really wanted to think about before. He knew it was possible. More than likely, considering the nature of the three organizations.
Just where did his loyalties lie?
"That, my friend, will be an interesting day."