This story grew out of suggestions for action figure Booths: GI Booth, Fatigues Booth, Army Ranger Booth, boxer Booth, lifeguard Booth, surfer Booth, hockey player Booth and so on. One of the action figure Booths was biker Booth. So here we will see a leather-clad, stubbly, long-haired Booth. Fanning self wildly. ;-)
Andrew Hacker, Deputy Director of the FBI, looked away from the file on his desk. He thought Booth and Brennan would be perfect for this case, but since their returns from Afghanistan and the Muluku Islands respectively, he wasn't sure what was going on with them. Booth had once denied that there was anything going on between him and Temperance, but watching the two together, he'd come to doubt that. He'd heard that a beautiful war correspondent had followed Booth to DC from Afghanistan, so he'd thought that Temperance might be more receptive to him. They'd had dinner once right after she got back, and he'd thought it went well. Since then she had refused numerous invitations. He hadn't heard she was dating anyone else, so he had concluded that the beautiful scientist just wasn't that into him.
Something caught Hacker's eye. He looked up to see Special Agent Seeley Booth at his door. He stood and walked to the door.
"Come in, Agent Booth. Good to have you back. How are you re-adjusting to civilian life?"
The two men shook hands. Hacker returned to his desk and Booth took one of the chairs in front of it.
"It's good to be back. I really missed Parker and it's good be back tracking killers with … uh … rather than terrorists." He didn't want to bring up Bones with Hacker.
"How is Temperance re-adjusting?"
Of course Hacker would bring her up. "I thought you two were dating, sir."
"We had one date right after she got back, but she hasn't accepted any of my invitations since."
"You know Bones, sir, she doesn't do anything she doesn't want to."
"I know, I know. Anyway, we really missed you two tracking killers. The case closure stats dropped dramatically while you were gone."
"Thanks for that, but you didn't call me in just to say how much you missed Bones and me."
"You're right about that. I have a case here that I thought would be perfect for you and Temperance."
"Well, it's an undercover assignment in a biker gang. We think a couple would raise less suspicion than two guys, and perhaps Temperance could draw out the women."
"Yeah, I know Booth, Temperance connecting with a bunch of biker babes seems preposterous. But, I think she'd figure it out," Hacker chuckled.
"Yeah, that big brain of hers seems to be able to learn anything." The rest Booth kept in his head, "except loving me and letting me love her."
"It could be a lengthy operation, but the agents who have been working the case for the last few years have concluded that the only way to catch these guys is by infiltrating the gang."
"Yeah, they've really been expanding recently. It's not just trafficking drugs now. There's evidence they're moving into prostitution, loan sharking, and, what really disturbs me, is that they appear to be moving into kidnapping for sale into sex slavery. They've begun establishing a base in Phoenix. From there it would be easy to go Mexico. Not only do we not want this gang expanding beyond our borders, there would also be a problem if they can get out of the country too easily."
"It's the perfect location for trafficking women to Mexico."
"Yes, too perfect. So, Booth, would you and Temperance be willing to take this case?"
"Well, sir, I will have to discuss it with her. And, I need to think about it myself. I don't want to leave Parker for an extended time after just getting back from Afghanistan. This also sounds like a much more dangerous undercover assignment than Bones and I have undertaken in the past. I have to consider whether she's really ready for it."
"And, whether she's ready for a gun?" Hacker grinned.
"Yeah," Booth chuckled, "give her a gun and she won't think twice."
"That's our Temperance, right Booth?"
"Right, sir." Booth continued to himself "my Temperance, not yours."
Hacker started talking again, but Booth was lost in his own thoughts. "My Temperance? I've got to stop thinking like that. She's not mine. She doesn't want to be mine. What about Hannah? She's beautiful, smart, fearless and she wants to be mine. And, she understands people, including me." He had forgotten how much fun conversation could be when he didn't have to provide simultaneous translation between human-speak and squint-speak.
Hacker had stopped talking. Booth realized he was expecting a response.
"Sorry, sir, I…."
Hacker cut him off, "I know. It's easy to get lost in thoughts of Temperance Brennan."
Wistful looks passed over both men's faces, but they looked away from each other, embarrassed for the other man to see the effect thoughts about the beautiful anthropologist had on him.
Booth nodded in agreement. This was a discussion he did not want to have with Hacker of all people.
"Booth, talk to Temperance and let me know. No hurry, but I'd like to know tomorrow," Hacker smirked.
"Sure, sir. I'll talk to you tomorrow." With that, Booth left Hacker's office and was lost in thought again. This was an extremely dangerous assignment where he would be posing as the husband of the woman he still loved, but who had rejected him, while leaving his new love behind. It would mean an indeterminate separation from his son to whom he had just returned after seven months in a war zone.
He could just decide he didn't want to do it, but he'd never made a decision like that without consulting Bones. What if she volunteered to go undercover with some other agent? That truly terrified him. No one could protect her as well as he could. No one could learn to work well with her fast enough. Despite years of 18-hour days, "couples" therapy and constant input from friends and family, he still wasn't sure he understood her. Maybe if he did, then… Forget it, Booth. She just didn't love you. But he knew that he would have to ask her and if she wanted to do it, he would have to go too.