|Sarah vs the Mystery Agent
Author: MyNameIsJeffNImLost PM
Chuck is no longer in the CIA, so Sarah and Casey must adjust to missions without him as they run into a new rival. Meanwhile, what is Chuck to do with his free time? Set post 3.19.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Humor - Sarah W. & Chuck B. - Chapters: 7 - Words: 16,571 - Reviews: 68 - Favs: 29 - Follows: 42 - Updated: 08-11-10 - Published: 08-02-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6200451
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: Since my first story was almost exclusively dialogue, I thought I'd try something more normal.
Summary: Sarah and Casey try to adjust to missions without Chuck
Disclaimer: Nobody else owns anything here, so why would I?
Disclaimer 2: No beta. Why would I sucker/obligate/subject anyone into reading this when they didn't want to?
02 Aug 2010
Set after 3.19, Chuck vs. the Ring, Part II
Undisclosed office building
Twenty-eight, now, if she was lucky.
Sarah sprinted down the empty hallway to the stairwell. Once inside, she raced down the stairs to the basement.
The second door on the left was her first target. She pulled out the electronic scanner that Chuck built for the security door in the subway. While Chuck could not be on this mission, at least she would bring something he created. With Chuck out of the CIA, the team was down to two—not an ideal situation. This mission would have been easier with a third…with Chuck. The door clicked and Sarah was inside.
Twelve seconds. There was not enough time.
Sarah opened the security panel and pulled out the bypass device. Digging through the wires, her ear bud clicked. Damn! That was not thirty seconds. She was out of time. Casey had finished his food delivery at the main desk. Now the guards would be watching the monitors again. They might notice a disruption in the feeds. She could still try to loop them, but there would be a risk. Of course part of being a spy required risk.
She found the master line and prepared to splice the line, when she saw the next problem. A black device was attached to the main line for the security feed. The feed was already on a loop. Someone else was already here. At least the existing bypass meant she could wander the halls freely. Putting away her device and pulling out her gun, she returned the hallway and up the stairwell. She had hoped she wouldn't have to sprint up the twenty flights, but with another player in the game, speed was critical. She thought about informing Casey, but there was not much he could do. He had to man the getaway vehicle. She really wished Chuck was with her now. Stop thinking about Chuck! Remembering the building plans, there should be two stairwells. There was no guarantee she could cut off the competition by herself. She could only hope to get lucky. If she wasn't, they still had a chance. If he were going use the front, he would have killed or tranq'ed the guards on the way in. That left the back loading dock door, where Casey was waiting.
Floor Ten, nine to go. At that point a rope dropped next to her, through the middle shaft of the stair well. Sarah looked up for the source of the rope. That was a mistake. A black streak was right on top of her. She was knocked back by a boot to the shoulder. He was sliding very fast down the rope, and she had walked right into it. Quickly recovering, she looked for her gun. After reclaiming in on the ninth floor landing, she lined up her shot. Too late. He was gone. Only an empty rope swung loosely in the stair well.
"Casey, another man it here. He already has the intel. He got past me and is coming your way!"
Grunt. (Good, I get some gunplay.)
"Just get ready. I have five flights before we can pin him in."
Grunt. (Hurry up.)
Sarah was back where she started. Normally, a spy would remove the security override to remove all trace of ever being there. In a hostile situation, however, that wasn't an option. She had to get to the back door.
Bursting out the door, she came face-to-face with Casey.
"Did you get him?" Sarah gasped. The stair sprints covered her cardio workout for the day.
"No. You?" Casey questioned.
"If I got him, why would I ask you?" Sarah sarcastically fired back.
Suddenly, there was a crash. After a brief scan for the cause, Sarah raced around to the side of the building, and Casey jumped in the van.
She was too late again. The crash was caused by a broken third story window with a busted office chair on the ground. This guy was good! He anticipated the rear exit being blocked and created an alternative exit. She fired two feeble shots at the fleeing vehicle, but any hit at this range would have been pure luck with a hand gun.
Casey pulled up. "Walker, get in!"
"Forget it, Casey. We aren't going to catch him in that thing. The van is not designed for high speed pursuit."
"It's just a family sedan."
"He left some equipment behind. The security feed is still on a loop."
Casey was frustrated. No gun play and no car chase. Sarah was right, though. "Fine. Go back in to see if he left any clues behind before some rent-a-cop finds the broken window."
"What do you think I'm doing?" Sarah glared before she reentered the building.
Two hours later
"So the mission was a failure." Beckman looked perturbed. Of course, that was normal for her.
"Yes, ma'am," Casey responded, even though it wasn't a question.
"It appears, Agents, that this team is not nearly effective as it was with Agent Bartowski."
"We were just minutes too late. The mystery agent was still on the premises and barely escaped. Upon returning, we found the hard drive. He must have made a copy. We took the drive, however the instant we hooked up the drive at Castle, it fried. Looks like the mystery agent left behind a virus." Sarah hoped her excuse did not sound as bad to Beckman as it did to herself.
Beckman didn't seem to care. "What do we know about this person?"
"The rope used to flee down the stairwell was orange, not black like normally used by covert ops. The fact that he used the rope suggests he knew we were there. Otherwise, he would have just walked down the stairs. The getaway vehicle, a silver Toyota, was not at the extraction point when we entered, so there was at least one accomplice. So far we have not been able to find the vehicle on local traffic cameras, but we will keep looking. The security bypass device does not appear to be government issue. It may be hand constructed. I'm going to leave it out at home to see if Chuck flashes on it. Maybe something similar has been used in other jobs."
"I've been leaving a position open on your team in case Agent Bartowski changes his mind. However this failed mission is starting to make me reconsider my decision. Continue your efforts to ID the car. I hope your mission tomorrow is more successful or I may have to send out a new leader for your team." With that parting threat, the screen was off.
Sometimes Beckman could be such a bitch. Sarah looked over to Casey. Only he could smirk and look angry at the same time.
"Bartowski still isn't cooperating? Just bring him here and ask him to flash on it."
"Our agreement is he will report any flashes to me, so our team can follow through. But Chuck will remain out of the operation and will not report to Castle. Leaving intel around the apartment is our agreed upon way of asking for help, without actually asking for help."
"That is one of the most ridiculous schemes I have heard of. When are you going to straighten that boy's head out and get him to come back? Surely you have ways of doing that."
"Chuck gave his word to his sister that he would leave the CIA. He takes that type of promise very seriously, just like his promise to keep the last three years of his life a secret. I'm not going to manipulate him into breaking his promise to Ellie." She may someday be my…
"Please, no lady feelings! What about Grimes? He is going to see this intel you casually leave around and stick his furry face where it doesn't belong."
"Morgan knows what Chuck and I are doing and has promised to stay out of my stuff if he knows what is good for him."
Casey snickered at that. "Just make sure when he slips up I get a shot at him." Now Casey looked intrigued by the possibilities.
"Casey, you are just looking for an excuse to get to Morgan, aren't you?" Casey shrugged, as Sarah continued, "Let me guess. Alex said to lay off him about the two of them, so you want another excuse."
The lack of any kind of grunt response was the only confirmation Sarah needed.
"If Ellie and Chuck come around on their own, Chuck will rejoin our team. Until then, I'm not pressuring him."
"You better rethink that Walker. If he doesn't get back soon, we might get stuck with another CIA Idiot in Charge, like we did a few months ago. We all know how well that worked."
He didn't just say that, did he? "For that comment, you get to review the traffic cameras again. I'm going home." Sarah abruptly got up to leave.
"Good. Maybe you could start some convincing. Just don't tell me the details." With another snicker, Casey walked over to the main terminal bringing up the traffic recordings again.
Sarah stormed up the stairs back to the Orange Orange. For some reason, she and Casey got along a lot better when Chuck and Morgan were around. Maybe it was because Casey would make fun of one of them instead of her. She didn't like that either, but the truth was the two of them had thicker skins from years of practice. Sarah, on the other hand, would just flash back to Jenny Burton, the introverted girl who was made fun of because her dad was in prison. She shook it off. Casey was probably just acting this way because he missed Chuck being part of the team, although he would never admit it. Her problem was she missed Chuck, period. One brief mission and she already missed working with him—just being near him. Fortunately, the last part of that problem was soon to be fixed. Sarah sighed as she started up her Porsche.
The Walkertowski-Grimes Place
Twenty minutes later
It was late. Sarah quietly opened the front door to leave the other occupants undisturbed. Chuck has left the light on for her. He was always so considerate. After the butt chewing and threats from Beckman, she just wanted to curl up next to her sleeping boyfriend and forget her problems.
"Hi honey!" Chuck turned his head from the sink where he was doing dishes.
"Chuck, what are you doing up?" Sarah whispered.
"It's ok. Morgan is not here." Chuck toweled off his hands.
Hmmm. A late date with Alex. "You didn't answer my question." Sarah was dumping her gear by the sofa as Chuck dashed over to give her a quick peck on the cheek.
"I was waiting up for you."
"Chuck, I realize we are both going to always worry about each other, but you didn't have to do that."
"I'm not the CIA agent doing who knows what on missions. I'm just a temporarily unemployed nerd herder. I have nothing better to do than wait up for my beautiful girlfriend."
"And I know how you get into trouble without even trying." Sarah pulled out the homemade device and placed in on the dining room table.
"I didn't flash on any bad guys tonight."
"Good." Sarah didn't look like it was good.
Chuck concern increased, "What's wrong? Were you hurt?"
"No. No gunshot wounds, stab wounds or other major injuries. Maybe one bruise, because I was knocked over."
Chuck's eyes opened wide.
"It was no big deal. It was my own fault really. I walked into it."
"Then what's wrong?" Chuck was obviously still concerned as his eyes had not recovered.
"The mission was a bust. Beckman chewed us out and threatened to bring another agent in to lead the team."
"No, it's an empty threat. She knows she is partly to blame for letting Shaw get away with so many mistakes. She never should have let him on our team. The three of us took out Fulcrum. We didn't need a new team leader. I missed you, though."
"I know. I want you safe, just like Ellie does. I just missed you."
Chuck really liked that Sarah could really open up to him now. "I think you could use some quality cuddling in bed." Chuck raised his eyebrows a few times.
"Sounds perfect," Sarah smiled.
"First, let me look at this." Chuck reached over and picked up the device from the table. "Real subtle, by the way."
"Hey, I didn't say anything." Sarah tried the most obviously fake innocent expression possible.
Chuck just laughed in response. He flipped the black box over and flicked a switch to open it. The insides included various wires, a tiny circuit board and retractable antenna.
While Chuck was intently examining the device, Sarah poured herself a water. After about a minute Chuck looked up. "Sorry, no flashes. It's pretty cool, though. It looks like it can loop a security feed while simultaneously broadcasting the real video on an encrypted channel. Most of the parts are available at the Buy More Plaza spy shop. The rest someone could get from a cell phone."
"That's my nerd." Sarah smiled and gave Chuck a quick kiss. "Just a second, while I call Casey."
"New plan. Before the cuddling, I'm going to start you a bath," Chuck offered as he headed out of the room. "Then you get a massage. Your shoulder must be sore."
Now Sarah was outright grinning. "You are so wonderful, I don't deserve you."
"I've told you before Walker. Not interested."
"Casey, I wasn't talking to you."
"Really." Casey laughed. "So Walker, what did your boy find out?"
"No flashes, but he figured it out anyway. The device could be home built from a cell phone and parts from the local spy store."
"The rope looked like it could be purchased at the local sporting goods store."
"These weren't amateurs, though. The device was sending out an encrypted feed of the real security signal. They knew exactly where I was while I was breaking in. The guy also jumped out of a third story window, got up and ran away."
"That corresponds with what I've discovered. Our van was not on the traffic records either. The traffic cameras were on loop."
"They have a top-notch tech guy to be able to break into LA traffic control and an extreme sports nut."
"Exactly. I'm out of leads."
"Get some rest for tomorrow's mission. We need to be on the top of our game. I'm heading home now. Casey out."
"Walker out." Sarah sighed. Tomorrow night had to be a success. Beckman did not have a lot of patience. The truth was a third person on the team might have changed the outcome of the night's mission. It's just neither Casey nor Sarah trusted a new person on the team right now. They had to figure out how to design and execute better two-person missions. She didn't know why it should be that hard. They both used to work alone. Sarah used to work with Bryce, but Casey and she were not working those types of missions. A few successes as a two-person team would get Beckman off their backs. They just needed to get used to missions without Chuck in or out of the van. Without Chuck…
Sarah's introspective was interrupted by the door. Morgan was home.
"Hey Sarah, how was the mission?"
Sarah rolled her eyes. "You know I can't talk about it. How was the date?"
Morgan took a step back. "Date? What? No. I wasn't on a date."
"Then what were you doing? Wait, I don't want to know. Chuck and I are talking a bath so the door will be locked. Don't bother knocking." Sarah's eyes narrowed.
Morgan's eyes did the opposite. "I can't use the bathroom in my own home?"
"Not until we are done. Who is still employed and is covering the rent?"
"I see how it is going to be. Don't mess with the kiss-ass ninja spy girl. Got it."
Sarah smiled in satisfaction. "I knew you were trainable. Good night Morgan." After a nice two person bath, she would take that massage offer. Chuck must have noticed her favoring her shoulder. He always noticed her. Sarah left the room looking for the wonderful man she thought she didn't deserve.
A/N: Coming next: Not Again