Chuck vs The Benjamin Franklin Parkway
A Knight, An Angel, and Spies
A/N: To the readers who have favorited me: Don't worry, I'm still working on my other big stories, and they both should have updates very soon. This is just a fun, romantic little holiday story, 3 or 4 chapters at most. For this 4th of July I decided to bring Team B to my hometown of Philadelphia for the fireworks.
Enjoy! And don't forget to review!
30th Street Station
His name was Carmichael. It was his first assignment and he'd been on it for six months. His mission was to protect the young lady who now quivered in fear as she beheld the intimidating apparition in front of her.
The presumed monster was gigantic and had wings. It stood almost forty feet tall and dominated the very large room it was in. Its dark color gave it a sinister air as the creature hoisted up its lifeless victim. Clara was not at all interested in becoming its next.
Fortunately, it hadn't seemed to notice them, and that was the only thing that kept three year old Clara Woodcomb from an outright panic as she beheld in fear what was easily the most terrifying thing she'd seen in her young life. She clutched her bodyguard/protector close to her, who never took his shoe button eyes off the threat, and who defended her as he always head with ready plastic shield and mighty Styrofoam and fabric sword.
In the just-over six months since Christmas, Sir Carmichael BarWood the Fuzzy Wuzzy had very quickly become Clara's favorite stuffed animal. Armored as a medieval knight, the twelve inch tall Sir Carmichael was a teddy bear to be reckoned with. A Christmas present from her Uncle Chuck and Aunt Sarah, Sir Carmichael had shiny sequins everywhere to depict a chain mail shirt, and a fabric battle helmet with the visor always up, the better for the teddy bear to lookout for threats. His shield and tunic bore the same coat of arms -a green, white and red pattern of flowers, seashells and a unicorn. He wore an empty scabbard about his waist, as his weapon was always unsheathed and at the ready.
Sir Carmichael was sworn to fealty and the protection of his Lady Clara. When scary thunderstorms racked the Chicago area, Sir Carmichael was there. When the next door neighbor's frightening doggie barked at her from across the fence, Sir Carmichael was there. And every time she slept or took a nap, Sir Carmichael steadfastly guarded her dreams, ordering all nightmares to stay away, all Under Bed Monsters to cease and desist, and the Closet Demon to behave himself for the night, lest they taste Bear Knight's broadsword.
Still, a the 40 food winged … thing that was here at Philadelphia's 30th Street Station could be an intimidating foe, even for someone under the protection of a bear as heroic as Sir Carmichael.
"Scawy" Clara whimpered, and hid her face by burying it in her daddy's hair. Devon Woodcomb, carrying Clara on his shoulders, took an appraising glance at the large statue, and … had to admit that his daughter kind of had a point. It was a war memorial of some kind, and consisted of an angel carrying the body of a fallen solider. Both figures were larger than life, and the angel's mighty wings pointed straight up. The sculpture was bronze, and had a heavy dark hue, so that it was dignified … but also brutally powerful, and not gently welcoming.
"Don't worry, sweetie, that's an angel, and he's a good guy, not a bad guy" reassured Clara's mother, Ellie Woodcomb. "But we don't have to hang out near him if you don't want too."
"Taxis are"… Devon tried to navigate. "Where are they?"
"Um, actually – out that door" spoke up the fourth member of the … fivesome. Alex McHugh had her smart phone at the ready, and sure enough, the trip to the taxi stand took the little party across the cavernous concourse of the train station and out the opposite side.
Cheerily, the fifth and final voice piped up. Morgan Grimes had his own smart phone out and open. "Actually, the scary statute is a good Stop Number Two on our Seeing Hollywood Stuff By Accident While We're In Philadelphia Tour. And it's actually a double header. It's called the Pennsylvania Rail Road WWII Memorial, and it's for the Rail Road Workers who died in World War Two. Now here's the Hollywood Stuff – the statue was seen in the movie Witness, and the statue was sculpted by Walker Hancock … who was …." Morgan paused as he swiped on his phone "… ha! Get this, one of the Monuments Men! One of the guys they just made that movie about! So it was in a movie, and the guy that made it was one of the guys they made another movie about!"
"That's great, Morgan." Ellie said politely, but disinterestedly. Against her better judgment however, she asked "Wait you said Stop Number Two. What was Number One?"
"The … uhhh, bathroom. It's where Danny Glover killed that guy in Witness." Morgan admitted.
Alex had to grin at her long term boyfriend's relishing the role of playing tour guide on their friend's trip to Philadelphia. Morgan might not be an expert at fine art, but the guy did like movies, and could become quite knowledgeable of anything that intersected the classics.
"Morgan Grimes, tell me right now that you did not take us on the train from the airport just so that you could see the bathroom at the train station. We could have gotten a taxi from the airport! We didn't have to come here!" Ellie growled.
It was Devon that sprang to the bearded one's defense. "No, Babe It's cool. We're much closer to the hotel now, and according to mom, in Philly they have this road called the Schuylkill Expressway that makes the 405 look tame and well planned. We'd have had to take that from the airport and we didn't want to take a taxi for all of that. Now we're just across the river from the Ben Franklin Parkway and our hotel room."
Ellie switched glances. First she shot one to her husband, one which informed him that he'd better be right about this. The second one she sent to Morgan, as if their fuzzy tour guide had received a stay of execution of some sort. Both men had a history of worshiping Eleanor Fay Bartowski's eyes to the point where they got their respective messages, loud and clear.
Devon's parents, Honey and Woodrow had just retired, and Woodrow had picked up a new hobby – real estate. Specifically, house flipping … which was a hobby that was a lot safer for people who had a lot of money, like the family Woodcomb – then it would be for most amateurs. Predictably enough their first forays into the field were awesome successes. Woody and Honey flipped a few run down houses near the University of Pennsylvania, and were now leasing most of them to students … with the exception of one property that the University was now interested in buying outright. The University had already excellent relations with the Woodcombs, as it was where Honey had received her M.D. and where Woody and Honey and met on fellowship long ago.
Any other reasons why the Woodcombs were in love with Philadelphia were mysteries to Ellie. About the city, so far she knew the summers were punishingly hot – without the cooling sea breezes that could be found in Southern California, or the Lake Michigan breezes to be found in Chicago. The airport was far from the city, and like every east coast city, the streets were ridiculously narrow, since they'd been designed three hundred years ago by people who had been taking horses, not cars into account. Even from the train, she could see streets labeled as "streets" that in Los Angeles, would have been known by their proper name – "alleys". It was an historical city … which was interesting if you liked history, and not if not.
Still, to celebrate their successes, Honey and Woody invited Ellie, Devon Clara and Chuck and Sarah to their apartment in Philly's Rittenhouse Square – one of the several upper scale residences and time-shares that two retired doctors could afford throughout the country. Ellie, Devon, Chuck and Sarah, all wealthy enough in their own right, accepted the invitation to the party, but the women flatly refused to stay with elder Woodcombs overnight … although Ellie was looking forward to testing the waters to see if they'd be interested in babysitting Clara for a night or two.
"So, taxies. This way." Alex pointed to the west colonnade of the building. The … fivesome ….proceeded out past the train information desk, and it's clacking train status updates.
Morgan and Alex, while not invited to the party, did hear about the trip from Chuck and Sarah, and Morgan, ever the movie buff invited himself and his girlfriend along to check out the various places in various Philadelphia based movies, even going as far as to bring The Sixth Sense, Rocky I,II,III,IV, and Rocky Balboa,('to hell with Rocky V', Morgan always said) Witness, and National Treasure on flight from Chicago to Philly. Morgan and Alex even decided to make a week of it and visited Chicago right before the trip.
Two taxis were quickly procured, one for Ellie, Devon, Clara and Carmichael, the other for Alex and Morgan.
"Four Seasons Hotel" Alex told the driver. "Huh. Never thought I'd say that to cab driver."" She beamed.
"Yeah," Morgan said innocently "Sure was nice of Chuck and Sarah to put us up for the weekend here. On Fourth of July weekend no less! And …" Morgan came in for a kiss "They got us a slightly cheaper room on a lower floor, which means we have a bit of privacy from the Woodcombs and the Bartowskis"
In his right pants pocket his cell phone vibrated.
"Morgan …" Alex cooed seductively "Are Chuck and Sarah being this nice to us for no reason at all, or is there something you want to tell me?"
"Chuck and Sarah are being nice to us for no reason at all, and the only thing that I want to tell you is that I love you" Morgan lied.
Alex regarded his face unconvinced as the taxi pulled out of the taxi stand. Her eyes were inquisitive, but they were also happy and content.
Morgan finally checked his cell phone, and looked at the coded text message. For this special weekend, he'd finagled with the contacts list on his iPhone, so that the incoming message came from "RedShirtCB"
RedShirtCB: Away Team has landed on Ceti Alpha Five. (Very cute, it's on 5th street). Standing by to seek out Botany Bay and acquire Ceti Eel. Must break away from hostile escort first.
Morgan grinned at the note from his oldest friend. If all went well, soon the Ceti Eel would be in his possession. Success was practically guaranteed. He had two of the best ex-spies in the business on the job, if only they could shake another really good spy.
"Who's that?" Alex asked.
"Oh nothing," Morgan lied once more. "The Dodgers are looking to make a trade with the Angels."
"Morgan … you don't follow baseball."
"I do now" he lied once more.