Full description: This story contains short snip-its of my take (well, another) on Booth and Brennan's year apart and a bit of their reunion. It does contain MAJOR SPOILERS so if you do not want to know what is going to happen next season, I'd steer clear of this story. Please read, if you'd like, and drop me a line to let me know what you think. It's short at first but more will come out as time goes on. Things will fall into place and start making sense.


"Sarge! There's someone in the restricted zone! Sarge! Wake up!"

"Collins, I swear on my life…what is going on?"

The young private had woken the commanding officer from a deep sleep in barracks that housed the entire unit.

"Strauss and I were on patrol and we found someone in the restricted zone. Strauss is following but we need orders. What do we do?"

Booth sat up and got off of his cot. "How many?"

"Two."

"'Kay, get my gun, I'll meet you out by the storage unit. Who's on armory duty tonight?"

"McGrath and Elmer. Want me to take the long way around and give them a heads up?"

"Nah, it'll take too long. You and Strauss go up behind them, I'll go around the humvee garage. Keep an eye out for me and my signal."

"You got it, Sarge," Collins tossed him his gun and took off. Booth moved quickly and swiftly into position and saw the intruders. They were nearing the armory, the restricted zone for any person outside of Booth's unit and a few people on the lower end of the food chain. He approached the intruders and noted one was a woman.

"Stop right there!" he called. The intruders froze and held up their hands.

"We're Americans!" the woman called out. Booth faltered a bit and wanted to lower his weapon, but he held steady.

"You're trespassing on US government property. You're under arrest," Collins shouted from behind them. Collins and Strauss moved in and placed handcuffs on the two.

"Who are you?" Booth asked, moving closer to them.

"Hannah Mortonson. Washington Times. That's Oliver Jackson, my photographer."

She was tall, only an inch or two shorter than Booth. The fierce look in her eyes while she was being placed in the handcuffs never wavered.

"Journalist?"

"You're a Sergeant…" she muttered, looking at the tabs on his shoulders.

"Sergeant Major Booth. Take them to holding. We'll deal with things in the morning when Nells is awake for paperwork. No sense in waking up the entire camp."

As Strauss and Collins were dragging off the intruders to the holding cells, Hannah muttered, "hard-ass."

Booth chuckled a bit, knowing this chick was not only going to give him hell, but knock his world on its ass.


The next morning, Booth went to the holding cell to see Hannah and Oliver. As he approached, he could tell, she wasn't just pissed, she was annoyed. Annoyed by the detour. Oliver on the other hand looked scared.

"Sergeant Major Booth! Can we go now?" Oliver asked, the first one to see him.

"No. I need to know what you were doing in the restricted zone of my camp last night."

"It was on accident!"

"Ollie, shut up!"

"Ms. Mortonson, are you going to tell me what's going on or am I'm going to have to ship you back to Kabul and have you taken care of there?"

"She thought it was an insurgent camp!" Oliver offered, not wanting to face any further setbacks or trouble.

"Ollie! God, when I say shut up…"

"Why did you think we were an insurgent camp?"

"I…I got a little…excited. I haven't found very good topics for my stories and I still have another ten months over here."

Booth nodded.

"How quick are you?"

"Faster than lightning."

"No, I mean, how fast do you think?"

"Well…I finished my SAT first and I still got a high score, high enough to get into NYU. So, is that fast enough?"

"If I'm going to let you stay around here, you gotta put up with the boys. You'd be the only girl. Can you hang?"

"Please…" she said as a dismissal, waving him off.

"Fine. Tell you what. Get a hold of your bosses back in Washington and tell them you've found a unit that's willing to be shadowed for the remainder of their deployment. We're here for another ten months too. If you get the okay, you can stay. If not, I'm afraid you'll have to move on."

"Don't you have to get permission from your bosses?"

"I am the boss around here. I don't blame you for thinking we were insurgents. There's not another camp around here for about a day. I'll call my bosses on the satellite phone as soon as you call your bosses. What were you doing all the way out here anyway?"

"Got lost," Hannah answered simply, "How do you know you can trust me? How do you know Ollie and I aren't some sort of spies or something?"

That same intensity in her eyes shone brighter than it did last night and Booth couldn't look away. The last time he had seen that kind of fire in a woman, he had gotten burned, over and over again.

"Call it my gut instinct."