Author's Note: Yup, another series of mostly-unrelated vignettes featuring B&B. And yup, another series with a secret theme. Once again, it's a set with a clearly-defined number and order, but I won't say what it is until I get to the end or someone guesses it. I plan on keeping it rated "T" or milder, but who knows what might happen?
"Booth, this is quite possibly the most ridiculous idea you've ever had. And that includes your beer hat."
"What, Bones? It makes perfect sense."
"Only in a world totally dominated by testosterone and devoid of anything resembling actual thought. You're part of a couple now, with one son and a daughter on the way. You live in a city, and have a Bureau-issued SUV. Why on earth would you need a pickup truck?"
"We're looking at houses in the suburbs, and suburban people always need to haul stuff home. I'm getting a four-door model, so there'll be room for both Parker and the girl. And there's a limit to the personal use I can put on the SUV."
Bones sighed. How often, really, will you need to haul things? It would be far, far more practical to get a smaller, less expensive vehicle for yourself, then either pay for delivery or rent a vehicle."
Bones shook his head. "It's not the same. It's just not the same. It's been years since I've owned a vehicle of my own, and I miss the freedom. Besides, look at these brochures."
Bones looked down at the brochures and burst out laughing.
"What's so funny?"
As she caught her breath, she finally answered. "Apart from the sheer excessive phallic symbolism of the styling, only you would pick out such an oxymoronic vehicle."
Booth started to get angry. "Look, there is nothing moronic about pickup trucks. They're practical, versatile, and safe."
Bones was almost gasping. "Not moronic, oxymoronic. As in, self-contradictory. Could you have picked a more stupidly-named vehicle?"
"Huh? The name? They've been calling their trucks that for... geez, decades at least."
"Booth, think about it for a minute. You're driving straight at a suspect's car. Are you going to 'Dodge' him or 'Ram' him?"
Booth sat back on the couch. "You know... I never thought about that. It is kind of funny, isn't it?"
"It's one of the funniest things I've seen in ages, Booth. And if, as you say, they've been using that name for decades, it's even funnier."
"So... if I went for a different truck, would that be better?"
Bones considered the matter. "No, if you're going to get one of these behemoths, it might as well be one that will give me something to appreciate."
Booth sighed. "Good. I've always had a fondness for Dodges. My first car was one of those K-Cars from the '80s. Terrible car - cheap, ugly, utterly gutless, but a lot of good memories and she never let me down. I ran that heap into the ground."
Bones smiled softly, then resumed her serious expression. "But if you want my support for this, there are going to be a few conditions."
Booth was wary. Wins like this almost never came without a hefty price. "Conditions like what?"
"First, I will have input into the options you get. If you're going to rationalize this as a family vehicle, then I will have my say in how it is equipped. This will not be a rolling man-cave."
Booth thought about that. "OK, that makes sense. What did you have in mind?"
"Just off the top of my head, it will be equipped with all available safety features, and the rear will be made fully child-safe - including stainproofing of the fabric in the seats. Next, it will have a minimum of purely cosmetic features - I find them tacky and they convey the wrong message to our children."
Booth nodded. "I can see that. So far, I don't have any issues."
"Most importantly, there will be no artificial scrota attached to the rear bumper."
Booth had never even considered getting "Truck Nuts," but he saw a chance to win a concession or two. "What? Come on, Bones, they're funny! They're like my beer hat!"
She leveled a deathly serious gaze at him. "Seeley Joseph Booth, if I ever catch a set of those on our family's vehicle, I will remove it - and replace it with yours."
Booth shuddered - he knew she was fully capable of carrying out that threat. The only reason she'd not do it was if she wanted more children by him. "Fine, OK, no Truck Nuts. But I'm getting the top of the line entertainment system."
"Only if it comes with GPS."
"I think that's part of the package."
"Finally, - and this one is the most important - you will not keep me from driving it on occasion." She saw the protest start in his eyes, and kept talking. "You've used the rationale of federal regulations from keeping me from driving your Bureau SUV, but those won't apply here. And, as you said, this will be a 'family' vehicle - and as the other half of the adult members of the family, I fully intend to assert my rights when it comes to access to the 'family' vehicle."
Booth realized he wasn't winning this one. "OK. That's only fair."
"Then I think we're tentatively agreed. We'll pick out the model and options, figure out the fair price, then go negotiate with the dealer."
Booth put his arm around her shoulder and pulled her close. "Bones, you're the greatest. I promise you, you won't regret this."
Bones sighed to herself as she leaned into the embrace. Somehow, she irrationally knew, she would end up regretting it.