AN: I was looking through some old stories and found this, and as I hadn't posted it here, here you go! Plus, I am from Canada, so this story is pretty representational, though skewed with some stereotypes, because I'm Canadian, so I can! *wink*
"So, where are we going again?" Brennan asked, dropping her suitcase down beside Booth's duffel bag on the airport floor.
He was studying his phone, texting someone.
She nudged him, and his head shot up. "Oh, there you are Bones. About time." He checked his watch. "We've got about five minutes before our flight boards." He glanced down at her suitcase and groaned. "What do you have in there? Everything?"
She narrowed her eyes. "Well, you didn't tell me where we're going, so I had to pack for all weather conditions."
His phone beeped at him, and he read the text with a smile. "We're going to Canada, Bones."
"Canada? What on earth are we going to do there? It's not FBI jurisdiction!"
Booth was busy texting, his tongue poking out of his mouth as he concentrated.
"And who are you talking to anyways?"
"Parker has a cell phone?"
"He got ahold of Rebecca's and she doesn't know it yet. He's hiding under his bed."
Brennan read the text and smiled. "He's gonna be in trouble."
"Tell me about it," Booth grinned, "Rebecca's plan doesn't cover texting."
"You shouldn't look so happy." Brennan cautioned.
"Since he's texting YOU she might try and make you pay."
Booth's grin got wider. "She can't, it's a federal phone. I'll sic Caroline on her."
Brennan grinned. "Can I watch?"
"I think I'll sell tickets. How many people can we fit into the observation room?"
"Why are we going to Canada?" Brennan asked again.
"They found some dead people."
"ID says they are American. And since you are lisensed to work in Canada as well..."
The bording call for their flight came over the PA, and everyone around them stood up and started bustling around.
"That explains me." Brennan said. "What about you?"
"As a valuable asset to the FBI crime fighting organization, you have been alloted a personal bodyguard." Booth said, picking up his bag and joining the line.
"You?" Brennan guessed.
"Am I in danger?"
She blinked at him. "Why do I need a bodyguard?"
"To keep the Canadians from trying to steal you." Booth deadpanned.
Her face lit up. "Really?"
"No." Booth shook his head. "But it sounds good doesn't it?"
She pinched his arm roughly and he jumped.
"Why are you here Booth?"
He rubbed his arm where she had pinched him. "I begged. I need a vacation and I have no vacation time left. I managed to convince the powers that be that you need me there to be liasion with the Canadian officials and to protect you. This is as much of a holiday as I'm gonna get."
Brennan thought for a minute. "So you're my entourage."
"My people." She looked pleased at the thought.
He rolled his eyes. "You make it sound like I'm a groupie."
She smiled. "That too."
"Just so long as I get to see a hockey game." he groused, shaking his head. "Are you going to be a pain in the butt about this?"
She grinned. "Definately."
Booth sighed and stared out the window. Nothing but snow, as far as the eye could see. The road was lined on both sides by windrows of snow, pushed there by the plow trucks, and the wind kept gusting shimmers of snow off the top and into the road.
"Get a lot of snow this year?" He asked the man driving the big white SUV.
"Nope." Was the reply. "Almost never have good driving conditions like this either."
"You call this good?" Booth asked in alarm. Because of the blowing snow he couldn't see more than a mile up the road ahead.
"Yeah, if it's snowing bad then you can't see your own headlights. If it's sunny you can't see anything period."
"Snow blindness." Brennan chipped in front the back seat where she was looking at a map of the area.
"Yeah." The Mountie looked in the rearview mirror at her and smiled. "You've been here before?"
"Well, not here, but Canada yes."
"Where exactly are we going?" Booth asked.
The Mountie pointed up the road. "Right there on the left."
Booth leaned forward and squinted. He could just make out a slash in the windrow. "Is that a driveway?"
The Mountie looked at him funny. "What else would it be?"
"I don't know. It looks like a rabbit tunnel."
The Mountie smiled. "Don't worry, I've got four wheel drive. Old Amos doesn't plow his driveway out much, maybe once every couple days."
They turned up the driveway and suddenly there was a clearing in front of them, with a large garage and a ranch style house. A big black and white dog appeared in the middle of the yard, barking happily.
A man in a plaid shirt came out of the house and stood on the steps, his arms crossed, watching them as they parked and got out of the SUV.
"Johnny. Who've you got here?" He asked.
"This is Dr. Brennan, she's going to look at those bodies, and her partner Agent Booth." The Mountie replied. He turned to them. "This is Amos O'Conner, he owns this property."
Amos was staring at Booth's gun. "What's that?"
"Obviously dumbss. A useless one."
The Mountie rolled his eyes. "Amos..."
"It is." Amos grinned. "Any one of my guns is better than that lil' peashooter."
"It's not the size of the gun that matters." Booth said through his teeth.
"Up here it is. You gonna use that to shoot down a moose, or an elk? Not likely. A grizzly bear? Not unless he's got his teeth in your neck. Range on that thing is pitiful."
"I don't use it to shoot wildlife. I leave that gun at home." Booth smiled suddenly, and the farmer's eyes lit up.
"Yeah? Whatcha got? 30-06?"
"Tac-Ops Alpha 66."
The farmer smiled. "Nice. Good range on that."
Brennan cleared her throat. "I'd like to see the remains please."
"They arn't going anywhere." Amos replied. "But sure. I put them in the garage."
"You moved the remains?" Brennan squeaked.
"I didn't touch them if thats what you're worried about." He stepped off the porch and started walking towards the garage. "High strung, isn't she?"
Booth bit his lip to keep from laughing at Brennan's outraged look.
He felt more relaxed already...
Amos pushed the garage door open and flicked on the lights. An orangish glow filled the room, accompanied by a faint buzzing noise.
"What's that noise?" Booth asked, looking around.
"Florescent lights." Amos grumbled. "They'll settle down in a minute. I've had the heat turned off in here to keep the dead from defrosting, thats a smell that clings."
John nodded in agreement. "Worse than skunk."
Brennan just stared. The garage was a large one, made for housing a 18 wheeler, with a high ceiling and cement floors. Shelves lined both sides, filled with tools and grease tubes, jugs of oil and hydrolic fluid, and dirty rags. An old 18 wheeler sat on one side, and a four-door Jeep Wrangler sat on the other, with it's hood crumpled and engine showing.
"Where are the remains?" She asked.
Amos and John pointed at the Jeep.
"That ain't my vehicle." Amos declared. "I only buy Chevy's."
Booth walked over and peered in the frosted windows. "I don't see them."
"In the back."
Booth frowned and tryed to open the cargo door. "Locked?"
"Frozen." John answered.
"Why are they in the back?" Brennan asked, feeling they were all being very unprofessional.
"They were there when I found them." Amos replied with a sigh. "We had a blizzard go through on the weekend, and when I was plowing out I found the vehicle."
"Up here, in bad weather, sometimes vehicles skid or drive into the snowbank and get stuck. We try to check the roads every couple hours, cause we don't want people freezing to death when there is a house just up the road, you know?"
Brennan nodded. "Why am I here if they froze to death?"
"They didn't." Amos said. "I'm not sure what happened to the driver of this thing, but the two in the back were dead a lot longer than this weekend chicky." He shrugged and reached in his pocket for a ciggarette. "I figure he crashed into the snow bank and got out and started walkin. Probably only crashed because he couldn't handle the smell anymore. It wasn't that cold out."
"How cold?" Booth questioned.
"Minus 20, maybe minus 25." Amos said through a cloud of blue smoke.
"Windchill though, maybe minus 30 with that." John added. "We've questioned all the residents in the area, but nothing's turned up so far."
Brennan glared at Amos. "You are contaminating my remains. Put that out."
He sighed and crushed the ciggarette to his heel, carefully putting it back in his pocket to finish later.
"You got a crowbar in this mess somewhere?" John asked Amos, who pointed at a set hanging above the shelf.
John grabbed one for himself and handed one to Booth. "Let's pop this baby open!"
Booth tested the weight of the crowbar in his hand and smiled. He hadn't got to pry open a vehicle door in a long time.
They jammed the ends in the sides of the cargo door and with an agonizing groan, the door popped open, revealing the decomposed remains of two men.
Brennan smiled and snapped on her gloves. "Now this I can work with!"
"After you're done you're preliminary investigation, we'll transfer the bodies and the truck to the old Cheveron." John said, stepping away from the vehicle to give her room.
"A gas station?" Booth sent him an odd look.
"It was a restaurant too, it's got a car bay AND a large freezer."
Booth blinked and then shrugged. "Ok."
"Booth, can you bring me my kit please?" Brennan called out.
He handed it to her and sighed silently. She was in her element, and it would be at least two hours before she was ready to have the Jeep and it's gruesume contents relocated.
"So." Amos chirped, pulling a blanket off an old TV set, and opening the door to the mini fridge beneath it. "How about that beer? The hockey game is just starting."
John and Booth looked at each other and shrugged.
"One wouldn't hurt." John said, grabbing a stool from the corner.
"I'm in." Booth grinned.
In Canada for less than twenty four hours and he was already in a garage drinking beer, watching the hockey game.
Booth stared out the windshield at the scene in front of him. The tow truck hauling the wrecked Jeep was winching it down in front of the closed down gas station and a bunch of people were milling around watching.
"What's going on?"
John put the vehicle in park and got out. "Word gets around in a small town. Probably they're checking to see if it's Uncle Fred."
"Uncle Fred?" Brennan asked, making sure the body bags in the back were firmly zipped.
"Yeah, he disappears every couple of years."
"Every couple years?" Booth raised his eyebrows.
"Yeah, we usually go out looking for him, make sure he's not dead in the men's room if you know what I mean. He finally had to get indoor plumbing after Jesse's boy bombed the outhouse. Took off before the bill came though. Wily old fart."
"Are these people going to be hysterical?" Brennan asked, shutting her door.
"Hell no. He's been gone for five years this time, they're all hoping he's really dead so they can sell off the house."
"Nice." Booth murmered.
"Can't blame them really, they actually found him once, in an old trappers cabin, he tore strips off them something bad."
Brennan paused. "Not... Literally?"
John gave her a weird look. "No."
"Oh, ok. So he gave them a verbal chastisement?"
"Thats a tender way of putting it."
"So why don't they just have him declared dead?" Booth questioned, taking another glance at the people gathered by the old gas pumps sharing coffee out of thermos's and the odd beer.
"They've tried, he always shows up to the court hearing, laughing like a maniac. Judge says they have to wait ten years this time, or have proof of death."
A burly guy holding a coffee ambled over, a smile on his face. "Any luck this time John?"
John shook his head. "Don't know yet. This is Doctor Brennan. She'll be the one to tell us."
He stuck his hand out. "Nice to meet you. Jake Stafford." He turned to Booth. "And you are?"
"Agent Seeley Booth. FBI."
"FBI doesn't have any jurisdiction here, so whats the deal?"
Jake nodded. "Yeah, I jsut got back from one of those. Hauled a cat down to the border. Nice drive. Real relaxing."
"I shouldn't think a cat would require hauling?" Brennan said.
"Not a kitty cat Ma'am. A Dozer. You're a scientist?"
"Good at your job?"
"Good to know. Need any help getting these popsicles inside?" He motioned to the back of the SUV.
"Is the freezer turned on?" John asked, opening the cargo door.
"Yeah, Ritchie came in and flipped it on this morning."
"Ritchie use a key?"
"Ritchie ever use a key?" Jake replied with a shake of his head. "Kid's gonna make a darn fine locksmith one day." He smiled.
"Well, we might as well get these two inside." John shook his head. "I already told Ritchie about not using the key."
"He had the key, he just didn't use it. Mary gave it to him, said you'd be wanting to use this place." Jake reassured him, taking an end of a body bag and testing the weight. "Doc, you'll be wanting to talk to the blonde with the thermos about whatever tools you'll need. Darlene is the best meat cutter in town, and she's also the owner of the Home Hardware, so she'll be able to sort you out."
Brennan smiled and headed in the direction pointed out. "Thanks."
"What about me?" Booth called after her.
John laughed. "Grab an end Booth, this is how an undertaker feels."
Brennan snapped her gloves on and gave the corpse a tentative poke. "This one has quite a lot of flesh on it still."
Darlene looked up from laying out the weapons of bodily destruction that she'd acumulated over the years. "You don't like flesh?"
"I deal with bone."
"I'm excellent with flesh, do you mind if I help?"
Booth sucked in a breath. "Here we go." He muttered, rolling his eyes skyward.
"I hear you're the new coroner Darlene, congratulations." John said casually.
Brennan lifted her head and looked at Darlene carefully. "Are you qualified?"
"Sure." Darlene said. "I've got a doctorate in Biology and Medical Science."
There was a moment of silence in the old fashioned restaurant style kitchen.
"Really?" Jake blurted out.
"What did you think I was doing in school for ten years?" Darlene looked at him quizzicaly.
"Party'n. And then there was that Playboy thing too. Your dad was right excited about that."
John grinned and chimed in, "So excited he broke into the gas station, stole all the copies of that issue and burned them all in a big bonfire in the parking lot. I remember that."
Booth stared at her wide eyed for a second. "I thought you looked familiar."
There was a strange sound and everyone looked over at Brennan, who was glaring at Booth. "Could we focus please? I have remains to identify, and they're starting to stink. Darlene, take the fleshy one. I'll dismember the other and begin the de-fleshing process."
"Sure." Darlene picked up a small circular saw like the one Cam had in her autopsy room and started it up with a grin. "Ready, set, go!"
Jake and John left in a hurry, heading for the shop garage.
"You shouldn't have mentioned that about her old man." One said. "He'll blow a hole in your rear if he hears you mention it."
"Yeah I know. Billy got popped last year cause he bought an issue off the internet."
"You can do that?"
"Hell ya. You didn't know that?"
"Hey, out at the farm we still only got dial-up, and thats only if it's clear out."
Their voices faded off until they were blocked entirely by the bang of the big steel door closing.
"I... uh...I'm gonna go find some kind of accomodation." Booth muttered, but over the whine of the power tools, nobody heard him, and he left, shaking his head.
They didn't have to look so happy about cutting up the remains.
Brennan poked at the contents of the pot burbling away on the stove.
"Did you really pose for playboy?"
Darlene looked up, carefully sliding the heart into a mason jar before replying. "Yeah. I had a scholarship to a University in California, and in my last year it ran out. I needed the money."
Brennan nodded. "That's logical enough."
"Yeah that's what I thought too. Daddy wasn't so impressed."
"What does he do?"
"He's the Police Chief."
Brennan stared. "Did he get in trouble for breaking into the gas station and stealing all the magazines?"
"Nobody reported him." Darlene shrugged. "I think he paid for them after. He's actually a big softy. And I signed an issue for the guy who owned the store."
Brennan tilted her head to the side thoughfully. "My dad is kind of like that too."
"Kind of makes it hard to get a boyfriend doesn't it?"
"No. Booth makes it hard to get a boyfriend." Brennan muttered.
Darlene squinted at her. "I thought Booth was your boyfriend."
"Are you sure? Because he looks at you like he's your boyfriend."
"We're just partners." Brennan said softly.
Darlene reached for another organ. "Maybe you should ask him what his definition of partners is. Cause if I was you? I'd be hitting that."
Darlene gave her a look.
"Oh... THAT. I get it now." Brennan smiled, pleased with herself. "I'll think about it."