AN: This is a prequel of sorts to my story Snow Dragons about how Booth got involved with the Agency. It will make more sense if you read that before you read this, but I don't think it is necessary. There is a crossover with NCIS, and it is set a few months prior to the pilot episode of Bones.
FBI Agent Seeley Booth checked the rearview mirror again as he pulled out into traffic. He swore softly as he narrowly avoided a collision with a Jag, and swore again as the dark sedan started its engine and started to follow.
"Okay, that's the fourth time this week. I'm so not in the mood."
Booth pulled into his parking lot a few minutes later, determined to find out who had a vendetta against him this month. "Have I really pissed off that many people?"
He loitered in the entrance for a few minutes until the sedan had parked a few buildings down, then walked through the lobby and out the back door. He sprinted down the alley until he was level with car and cut through another apartment building. He could only see one person in the car, sitting in the driver's seat, but he kept watch for a full ten minutes to make sure no one was waiting in the immediate vicinity.
When he was sure they were as alone as they were going to get, he approached from behind the passenger's side, weapon drawn but pointed down at the ground. He tapped on the window and flashed his badge. The driver didn't react except to roll down the window.
"I was wondering how long it would take you to approach. Tell you the truth, I was expecting it two days ago."
Booth frowned. "Mind telling me why you're following an FBI agent?"
"Just wanted to talk."
"I have an office."
"Off the record." The driver raised his hands slightly. "I'm going to reach for something in my coat pocket. I promise you, it's not a gun."
Booth kept his weapon close at hand as he watched the man. Sure enough, the driver pulled out a wallet and flipped it open. "Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo, NCIS. Would you mind putting the gun away now?"
"What the hell does NCIS want to talk to me about off the record?" Booth holstered his gun, but kept back a bit from the car, still watching the (alleged) NCIS agent closely.
"I don't suppose there's a more comfortable place we can talk."
"Inside. There are chairs in the lobby."
"This isn't your building."
"Nope." Booth didn't say anything else until they were situated in the corner of the lobby. He still didn't trust this guy, and he had serious doubts about his claims to be a federal agent. For one thing, he was young, younger than Booth, and he didn't dress like a government employee. "Who are you, seriously?"
DiNozzo rolled his eyes (another un-agenty action) and slouched in the chair. "I told you, Anthony DiNozzo, NCIS. I need to speak with you regarding your time in the service."
"I wasn't in the Navy."
"No, you weren't. Rangers all the way, isn't that right?"
"What the hell do you want?"
DiNozzo's relaxed posture took on a more studied look and Booth realized that there was a little more to the man than he'd first suspected.
"I'm actually not here on NCIS business. I represent an interested party."
"Interested in what?"
Booth raised an eyebrow. "This sounds an awful lot like a job offer."
"Of a sort." DiNozzo didn't deny it.
"I have a job." Booth had a sudden thought, and his hand hovered unconsciously near his gun. "I'm not going to betray my country."
DiNozzo actually laughed a little before he realized that Booth was serious. "Oh, no, it's nothing like that. We're a legitimate American organization, honestly."
"Okay, I can see you need some convincing. You met Kyle Davis last year, right?"
"The former Head of the Narcotics Division of the FBI? Yeah, I met him. He was killed two months ago." An expression of pain crossed DiNozzo's face so quickly Booth almost missed it, and it made him curious. "What does he have to do with this?"
"He was a founding member, like myself, of the organization I represent. I believe he introduced you to a Mr. Black?"
An image of an older gentleman with non-descript features and sharp eyes rose in Booth's memory. "He was introduced as a former consultant."
"He's our leader. Kyle introduced you because he wanted to recommend you as a new member."
"Member of what?"
"Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you didn't know who to trust? I know you have, we all do at one point. That's what MJ tries to prevent for its members."
"MJ? Did someone have a fixation with the red-headed girl-next-door as a child?"
"I'm a big fan of Kirsten Dunst, but MJ actually stands for Modus Justi. We keep an eye on threats to the United States through a superior method of interagency cooperation."
"Why is it superior?"
"We actually cooperate."
Booth snorted in disbelief, but DiNozzo just looked at him with an open expression. "You're serious. Which agencies?"
"All the important ones – NCIS obviously, NSA, CIA, Secret Service. We have ties to overseas agencies as well – MI-6, FSB, DGSE, GIP…I could go on, but that's a lot of initials to remember. The only one we're missing now is the FBI."
"I'm nowhere near Davis' security clearance."
"We can fill in the blanks. Besides, you can offer more than just the FBI. You have contacts with the Jeffersonian and their lab."
"I worked with them once. They hate me."
"You solved the case, and I doubt they all hate you. Wouldn't matter anyway, it's one more connection, and we need every one we can get. And who knows, you might get to work with them again."
Booth just nodded, in a daze as he pondered all the information he'd just been given. Contrary to all the popular television sitcoms, things like this really didn't happen every day. He wanted to know more before he committed to anything. And he definitely wanted to run a background check on this DiNozzo character.
"How long have you been in?"
"A few years. Since before I started at NCIS. And no, my boss doesn' t know."
"That doesn't bother you?"
"Sure it does, but what MJ does is important. And it's not compulsory. If I'm not comfortable giving a piece of information, I don't have to."
"Has that happened?"
"Not yet. Interagency cooperation doesn't really work unless all parties are cooperating. MJ is one of my best contacts when I need information. Makes my boss happy, which keeps me in a job."
"I don't know. This is a lot to take in all at once."
"Well, I'm not asking you to take the job right now. Think about it." He pulled out a card with a phone number printed on it. "If you're interested, give this number a call. You'll get an answering machine, just leave a message for Mr. Black and tell him that Mr. Green sends his compliments."
"Colors? Really? That's the best you could come up with?"
"In retrospect, yeah, probably a bad idea. We're already running out of the normal ones."
"So does that mean I would get something like puce?"
"Nah, we're not that far yet. You can be Purple."
Booth glared at the grinning man. "Does interagency cooperation mean I can't shoot you?"
"Sorry." DiNozzo winced slightly, but waved off Booth's questioning look. "Just remembering something my boss told me. Anyway, it was nice to meet you, and let me be the first to welcome you to the MJ Agency."
Booth frowned. "I haven't accepted yet."
DiNozzo just laughed. "You will."
The NCIS agent winked and then left. Booth sat back, holding up the card to study the phone number. He frowned darkly.
"I refuse to be purple."
AN: And the rest is history! The title of course refers to the fact that Booth gets to be Mr. Orange, and is affectionately given the nickname Agent Orange. Purple might have been better.
Ah, the start of a beautiful friendship. And at some point I promise I'll get to that sequel to Snow Dragons with the Bones and NCIS crews finally getting to meet. Oh, I can just see the look on Hodgins' face when he meets Abby and Ziva for the first time.
Anyway, ideas, questions, comments, hit the button.
FSB – former KGB, Cheka, NKVD; Russian intelligence service
DGSE – French intelligence service, one of many, Directorate-General for External Security
GIP – General Intelligence Presidency, intelligence agency for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
MI-6 – British intelligence service which deals with threats originating outside the United Kingdom