A/N: WOW! The response from my last update was awesome! Although, I was a little disappointed that no one commented on the Mojito Easter egg. That story is still one of the funniest on FF! In fact Mh60rused Mojito in his story "Chuck Vs Semper Fi", which is a good read if you haven't read it yet.
I'm sorry for the delay but I struggled with finding the appropriate ending. I think I finally got it where I want it. I also combined the last chapter and epilogue shins both were short.
There is some clarification on how things occur in the 'real' world in this chapter but I am hamstrung by canon with regards to how the NSA really operates.
The next morning after the dinner party at Ellie's, a Porsche squealed into the Buy More plaza parking lot and pulled into a parking space in front of the double 'O' frozen yogurt shop. As the vehicle came to a stop, the two occupants exited, appearing quite disheveled. The blonde made her way to the entrance and unlocked the door, she then entered the shop and turned off the security system.
"Wow, we're the first ones here. I can't believe we did it that quickly, it actually took my breath away!" the brunette said a little out of breath.
"See? I told you fast could be exciting. I knew we could do it in the time allotted," the blonde smirked.
"My heart is pounding so hard right now! Is it always that exhilarating?" the brunette asked flabbergasted.
"It's my favorite way. What can I say? I love it fast and furious," the blonde said with a twinkle in her eye.
"I think it's my favorite way now. Did you learn that technique in spy school?" asked the laughing brunette.
"Yeah, plus a lot of other techniques. The training is pretty thorough. I usually do it by myself, but it's always better with someone who appreciates it as much as I do," said the blonde.
"Oh, I absolutely love it! Seeing the absolute joy on your face was the best part! You really know how to get the most out of a short, but very intense, ride," said the brunette.
"It's all in how you handle the stick," said the blonde with a sultry look as she slid her sunglasses halfway down her nose peering over the top of them.
"Sarah, that's sounds so dirty! Do you kiss my brother with that mouth?" Ellie laughed. "Seriously you have got to teach me to drive like that!"
"Actually, evasive driving will be part of your training. It was my favorite part during of training. It's why I saved enough money to but the Porsche," Sarah said.
"Wait, the Porsche is really yours? It's not the CIA's?" Ellie asked.
"No, it's mine. I was in California on a personal matter when I got the mission to find out who Bryce sent the Intersect to so I didn't have time to get the normal support package from the CIA. We don't have many resources in the States. Our mandate is only for overseas operations. Technically, I shouldn't be operating on US soil but since most of the people we're dealing with are rogue or double agents, it's a legal gray area so we can get away with it. I'm sort of acting like a police department's internal affairs division," Sarah explained.
"Wow, being a spy must pay well if you can afford a car like that," Ellie joked.
"Well to be honest, when I'm on a mission my expenses are paid so I don't spend a lot. I've worked pretty much nonstop since joining the agency so I had quite a bit saved. Plus, I didn't buy it new; I bought from a government auction. I was lucky that the drug dealer got caught a month after buying it. It only had a few thousand miles on it. I have a friend in the DEA who clued me in about it. She owed me for helping her on a mission in Pakistan and I think this was her way of trying to even the score. I ended up paying about half of what it was worth," Sarah said.
'I still don't know what, or more accurately 'who', Carina did to keep the announcement for the auction from getting posted. Ugh, with Carina I'm pretty sure I don't want to know. I do love the car, but it'll take a lot more than a good deal on a car to settle up what happened in Pakistan,' Sarah thought.
"Sarah, why are we at the Orange Orange? I thought you were taking me to your secret base," Ellie asked.
Just as she asked the question Chuck entered the shop, followed by Devon and Casey.
"Oh Man! Let me, let me! Can I show her? Pleeeaaase!" Chuck asked Sarah excitedly while giving her his famous puppy dog eyes.
"Okay, Okay, you can show them," Sarah said laughing at Chuck's antics.
"Oh for God's sake Bartowski, asking your girlfriend for permission? Can you at least pretend to be the man once in a while?" Casey said disgustedly.
"Oh, trust me Casey, he's DEFINITELY the man!" Sarah said sending a sultry look at Chuck. "Why just last he did this amazing thing with his…"
"Oh God! I can know that!" exclaimed Ellie.
"I could stand to hear a little more," deadpanned Devon.
"Okay, Serenity references aside, and by the way, and well played Devon," Chuck said as he high fived the blonde Doctor. "But please don't torment my sister by talking about our private sexy times. I know you were teasing Casey but let's try to minimize the collateral damage,"
"Sorry, Ellie," Sarah said with a slight blush.
"Yeah, don't make me yak up breakfast Walker. Now, if we're done with the lady feelings jibber jabber, you think we can on with what we're here for?" Casey said gruffly.
"Absolutely! Follow me guys!" Chuck said as headed to the back to the shop. Once there he opened the freezer door and went inside.
"This is the cool part," he turned to look at Ellie and Devon's face after he accessed the hidden control panel. "Really? Nothing? C'mon! Freezer, cool? Wow, still nothing. Anyway, check this out."
He entered his PIN on the keypad and leaned down for the retina scan. The door slid open revealing a staircase leading down. He entered and stood to the side and motioned for Ellie and Devon to follow him.
"Awesome! Dude, you have a secret spy base under the double 'O'! This is right out of a movie!" Devon said, completely amazed.
Ellie looked around a stunned look on her face. She looked at Chuck and said. "Chuck, was all of this was built for you?"
"Well, sort of. After the Beta Intersect blew up, long story I'll tell you about it later, they realized that I was going to be the only Intersect for a while, which is also around the time they rescinded the termination order, so they decided to provide more support for the team and built this. So, it isn't solely for me but I was in a large part the reason a base was needed," he explained.
"How about Chuck gives you a tour while Casey and I get the necessary paperwork together. It'll take a few hours to go over everything. Then afterward we'll have lunch down here and answer any other questions you may have. We should be done before your shifts start at the hospital this afternoon," Sarah said.
"Sounds good. If you'll follow me. And, we're walking," Chuck said with a smirk as he lead his sister and future brother in law deeper into Castle.
"And we're back to the conference room. This ladies and gentlemen concludes the Castle tour and if there aren't any questions, please remember to tip your tour guide. I'll turn you over to our new boss, the lovely Station Chief Walker," Chuck said smiling at Sarah.
"You are such a goof sometimes," Sarah laughed.
"Sometimes? More like since he was born, but we love him anyway," Ellie joked.
"So what did you think of the infirmary?" Sarah asked.
"It's well stocked but not laid out in the most optimal way. But that's an easy fix. There are a few items I'd like to add if possible," Ellie said.
"I agree with Ellie, but I'd also like to run the three of you through some training so that if we're not immediately available that you guys could perform basic triage," Devon added.
"That should be no problem, both Walker and I have had some training. Mine was with the Marines. Mainly stabilizing battlefield injuries for medevac," Casey stated.
"I was run through an abbreviated Special Operations Combat Medic Course. I can run IV's, clean and stitch wounds and if push came to shove even deliver a baby," Sarah added.
"Don't look at me. My CPR certification has lapsed but I think I could manage if needed," Chuck said sheepishly.
"Awesome! Then most of the training will be a refresher for Casey and Sarah. Don't worry Chuck, we'll get you up to speed. I know I'll feel better knowing the three of you have some medical training," Devon said as he gave Chuck's shoulder a squeeze.
"Alright, let me know what the infirmary needs and when you need us for the training. Now comes the most difficult aspect of Government Service, the paperwork. There are a lot of forms to fill out, so let's get to it," Sarah said.
The morning had gone as expected with Ellie and Devon filled out the multitude of forms, including; NSA employment, security clearance and USAF Reserve Officer Applications. Sarah and Casey answered the Doctors many questions as best as they could.
"So will we get to go on any covert clandestine operations?" Ellie asked a little excitedly.
"Actually Ellie, those are two completely different types of operations. A covert operation is planned and executed in a way to conceal our identity or permit plausible denial by our government. Basically the target is aware that they have been hit, they just don't know by whom. There are many types of covert Ops; sabotage, assassinations, subversion, provide support for a coups d'état. They usually involve pinning the blame to another government or group. We refer to it a false flag. Other times a front group is used, like Air America was during the Viet Nam war. A clandestine operation is more focused on the gathering of intelligence, either by people, what we call HUMINT or by hidden sensors. Things like microphones, cameras, keyboard loggers, and other devices. A successful clandestine operation is when the target has no idea that an operation was carried out against them. Those are my specialty, due to his military background Casey is more of the covert side of the house. Don't get me wrong, we both have training to do either one but because our backgrounds and the different missions of our respective agencies we are more specialized in one over the other," Sarah explained.
"Will we go on Missions?" Ellie asked.
"As of now, no that isn't in our plans. You are to be our medical support should we need it. Frankly, we really don't get injured all that often. Bringing you guys on board is more of a precaution if the worst happens. But if I've learned nothing else from being a spy, it's that plans are the first casualty in any operation. This is why we are going to give both of you training. This training will be for basic tradecraft only so you won't be spies but you will know what to do in an emergency," Sarah explained.
"What does basic tradecraft include?" Ellie asked.
"Things like how to spot a tail, defensive driving, how to sweep for bugs, self-defense, weapons handling-" Sarah said before Ellie interrupted.
"WEAPONS? As in guns? I don't think I can do that, I hate guns, they're too dangerous. I could never shoot someone," Ellie said excitedly.
"Ellie, yes weapons are dangerous but, if handled correctly, only to your enemy. In your case they're tools only to be used to protect you and your loved ones from harm. You need to become proficient in their use, otherwise you'll be as dangerous to the person you're trying to protect as the bad guy is. Trust us, we don't want you, Devon or Chuck to ever be in that situation. That's what Walker and I are here for. I said this to Devon last night, but now that you're a part of this, you both will need to be armed. We have pistols that fire fast acting tranquilizer darts. I think that would best be the best fit for the three of you. But make no mistake, there could come a time where the only weapon available to you is a bullet firing gun and knowing how to use it will mean life or death. Taking the life of a bad guy is better than having them taking the life of one of the good guys," Casey explained.
"I don't like it, but I guess I can see your point," Ellie said.
"Ellie, the last thing I want is for you guys to be in that position. This training is precautionary, we want you guys to be safe should the worst happen," Sarah said reassuringly.
At that time to door to Castle opened and Chuck entered carrying several bags containing lunch for the group.
"Okay, get it while it's hot. Well sort of hot, traffic was a little worse than I thought it would be," Chuck said as he walked down the stairs.
"Great, you're just in time, we just finished with the applications. After lunch we'll work on the security clearance forms," Sarah said.
"They're just a formality since you've both been vetted since Chuck started helping us. Devon was a real concern, people thought he had to be an enemy sleeper agent. Nobody's record is that squeaky clean or so they thought until they checked out the rest of his family. Turns out the Woodcomb clan could give the Flanders family a lesson in clean living," Casey said.
"Wow, a Simpson's reference?" Chuck asked with a shocked look on his face.
"What? I wasn't hatched," Casey replied.
Devon and Ellie left once they finished their paperwork leaving the three original members of the team in Castle. They had just finished reviewing the proposal to Chuck's requests given to them by the General. They discussed the team's future and their recommendations for upcoming changes. Sarah really didn't think they needed a mini-gun but relented when Chuck pointed out that Casey got the least of them all in the new team construct.
"Well, I think that's enough for today. We can sleep on it tonight and review it one last time tomorrow before I send it off. Tomorrow we'll send Ellie and Devon paperwork and our requests to the General." Sarah said as she logged off her computer.
"I think it's a solid plan. Best of all I won't have to deal with the Buymorons anymore," Casey with the tiniest hint of a smile.
"No more frozen yogurt," Sarah laughed.
"I don't know, can we at least keep one of the machines? That frozen goodness makes for an awesome snack," Chuck asked.
"Or a makeshift ice pack," Casey grunted.
"We'll see, for now let's get out of here," Sarah said smiling.
"Good night Chief," Casey said to Sarah.
Sarah smiled at him and said "Try not to piss me off on my first day Casey."
"No promises, oh and Chuck, enjoy the peanut butter!" Casey smirked as he started to walk away.
Sarah looked questioningly at Chuck with a raised eyebrow.
"Trust me you REALLY don't want to know" said a blushing Chuck.
"I've always preferred chocolate myself," She said as she winked at Chuck and started walking up the stairs swaying her hips more than usual. She looked back over her shoulder and looked back at Casey.
"Oh Casey, just one more thing; I want to step up the training program, so tomorrow you and I are going to spar so I can get an idea of the areas for improvement," Sarah said.
"What the hell Walker, you've seen me fight plenty of times in fact we even fought each other last year why do we need to spar?" Casey grumbled.
"I'm concerned about your spatial recognition abilities. Chuck is anything but extra-extra small and we'll discuss that at length tomorrow in the dojo. You may want to get stock up on pain relievers tonight; I have the feeling you're going to need them after our 'sparring' match. Don't be late, or you'll make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I angry. Well, angrier than I already am," she said with a look on her face reminiscent of a teacher giving a student detention.
There have only been a few times in John Casey's life where he was truly afraid. This time went to the top of the list.
Sarah then smiled at Chuck before speaking "Ready for something sweet?"
Chuck was still standing there not moving.
"Chuck? Are you . . . coming?" she said her best sultry voice.
"Oh, that is so not cool! You are a devil woman!" he said suddenly breaking for his stupor as he raced up the steps.
730 PM PST
The food had been put away and Ellie had put together Morgan's doggie bag. The dishes were washed and the five adults were lounging in the living room quietly chatting.
"Wow, Ellie I still can't get over that you and the Captain will actually be Captains, that is so cool!" Morgan gushed.
"Actually Morgan, we'll be Majors," Awesome stated.
"That's okay, I'm sure you'll make Captain in no time," Morgan replied.
"Un, Morg, in the Air Force Majors outrank Captains," Chuck interjected.
"Trust me Chuck, a major does not outrank Captain Kirk. So we you guys to go to Top Gun?" Morgan asked.
"Morgan, that's the navy, and no we aren't becoming pilots. We're going to do what we do at the hospital, be doctors," Ellie said.
"Anyway, it's still pretty cool. So Chuck up for a Halo marathon?" Morgan asked.
"Sorry, I can't tonight. I have to be up early tomorrow," Chuck answered.
"What are you talking about? Dude, we both have tomorrow off," Morgan said disgustedly.
Chuck glanced over at Sarah and she looked back at Chuck and nodded. Chuck shook his head slightly. Sarah glared at him and raised an eyebrow.
Chuck gulped and spoke as he turned to look at Morgan. "Yeah, I guess this is as good a time as any. Look I don't know how to say this but, I'm quitting the Buy More buddy."
"Looks like someone's had a little too much happy juice tonight, seriously Dude you can do better than that. I mean don't get me wrong as pranks go that's not bad but you should gone with something way over the top. Like say, you and Sarah are moving in together or gone with Jeff's crazy idea and told me you were a spy. Leaving the Buy More, yeah right," Morgan laughed.
"Morgan, Chuck is leaving the Buy More and we are moving in together," Sarah said.
"See! That's what I'm talking about! Your girl Chuck just swung for the fence by combining two things. That's how you pull a prank. Well done, milady," Morgan said excitedly.
"Morgan, buddy, look at me. On my Han Solo collectable figure, I swear that I'm telling you the truth. I've been offered a once in a lifetime opportunity and I'm leaving the Buy More. Plus, Sarah and I are moving in together," Chuck said solemnly.
"Dude, you're serious? What am I saying, of course you are. You'd never swear on Han if you weren't. How can you do this to me? I can't believe you're breaking up the band. Where will you be working?" Morgan said frantically.
"A new IT security company is starting up and the owner wants me to head it up. They even made me a partner," Chuck explained.
"Chuck, man be careful dude. I mean those disgusting corporate fat cats are pure evil. They'll screw you man, I mean they'll ride you and ride and keep on riding you all day and into the night until you're exhausted and then they'll just suck you dry. It's not pretty dude. So, what's this soul sucking scumbag's name?" Morgan asked worriedly.
"Morgan, I like you to meet my new boss, Sarah Walker. But you know her better as the soul sucking scumbag," Chuck said smiling as Sarah glared at Morgan.
"WHAT! How can Sarah be your new boss? I mean she works at a frozen yogurt shop. No offense intended, I mean you of all people no how much I love the fro-yo but seriously how will she be able to pay you?" Morgan asked incredulously.
"Actually Morgan, I own the Orange Orange. As for how I can afford to start this business, I'm actually pretty well off financially, how else could I afford to drive a Porsche?" Sarah asked.
"Well they are a few theories floating around like-" Morgan was cut off mid-sentence by Sarah.
"So help me Morgan if you finish that sentence with any word synonymous with hooker, I'll shave your Wookie doll!" Sarah snarled.
"What? No, no I wasn't going to say that! That's Lester's theory! Mine was outlaw street racer. I mean I've seen the way you drive," Morgan said nervously.
"Good, and no I'm not a street racer. I just like to drive fast. Anyway, before I moved out here I was a junior partner in a small but very prestigious and successful PR firm back east. We were bought out by an international conglomerate for an obscene amount of money. Shortly after that, my boyfriend, who also work for the same company, betrayed me. So, I sold my partnership and moved as far as I could from DC," Sarah explained.
"So wait, if you're rich, why work in fast food?" Morgan asked.
"I met Chuck and I was afraid that if he knew I was rich he'd feel intimidated and wouldn't want to date me, and I really liked him so I took the Weinerlicious job to be close. Plus, it was a nice change of pace from my other job. But now that Chuck has his diploma from Stanford I want to help him achieve his dream of owning his own company," Sarah answered.
"But if Chuck owns the company why are you the boss?" Morgan asked.
"Casey is retired military and can help us get a government contract. The government gives preferences to minority and woman owned businesses so Sarah owns 51% which means she's the Chief Executive Officer. I own 49% and will be the Chief of Operations Officer and Casey will run the sales department," Chuck answered.
"Great! So we resign tomorrow and go into business together! So what's my title? Let me guess. Vice Prez in charge of morale! This is so great! The three of us living together and working together! This is epic!" Morgan said excitedly.
"Ah, um Morgan. I'm sorry but I can't hire you. We're just starting out and we're barely going to have enough cash to pay rent for the office let alone pay you. We've borrowed money for the company startup expenses and we're using Sarah's savings to live off of. And Sarah and I want an apartment for just the two of us. Sorry, but you can still come over and hang out. Just not live with us. You understand, right?" Chuck said.
"What? This is too much. I gotta get some air. You're abandoning me again. This is Stanford all over again. I'll see you tomorrow," the bearded one said sadly as he headed for the door.
"Morgan, this isn't like Stanford because Chuck's not moving away. The apartment across from Casey's is available and Devon and I are moving there. Chuck and Sarah keeping this one. Plus Sarah is closing the Orange Orange and their office is going to open in that space. So you'll still see Chuck almost as much as you do now. And hey, if their business takes off they might need to hire someone with your skill set later," Ellie said reassuringly.
"Really?" Morgan asked hopefully.
"Yeah buddy, really," Chuck answered.
"Okay. Sarah, if I had to lose my man Chuck to anybody, I'm glad it was you. Take care of our boy," he said as opened the door to leave.
"I promise, I'll take care of him," Sarah said sincerely.
Two weeks later
1030 am PST
Chuck sat at the nerd herd desk thinking about all that had happened in the last few weeks. He still couldn't believe that today was his last day at the Buy More. It took Morgan a few days to deal with the news but his mood improved. He smiled when thought about Casey after his 'sparring' session with Sarah. Big Mike complained that the store smelled like a Bengay factory for days afterward.
Devon, Ellie and Chuck moved out of the apartment a few days after Beckman's visit to allow the new security measures to be installed. Chuck moved into Sarah's hotel room during the renovations. Chuck smiled when he thought about all that happened in that room. Sure it wasn't as romantic as a train ride through Europe but as least they had room service. The four of them moved into their newly renovated apartments this past weekend.
He and Sarah were still getting used to the idea that that could be openly affectionate with each other as well as learning each other's likes and dislikes. Things normal couple's go through when they start living together. But Chuck still couldn't believe how lucky he was to have Sarah. She was still hesitant to open up to him but she was making an effort. Learning her real name was huge, but paled in comparison to when she asked him to keep calling her Sarah because that's who she was when she fell in love him. He was also impressed with her breakfast cooking skills. She insisted on cooking for him since she was no longer working a cover job. He was okay with it as long as she agreed that once the business was up and running that they'd share that duty equally. Yeah, after that discussion they ate cold pancakes and he was late to work. He even found syrup behind his ear later that day.
He is listening to his iPod when a song comes on that reminds him of the last time he saw Jill. He thought about all that has happened since then and realized that in retrospect, all that happened at Stanford lead him to this point in his life. Without all of that pain and suffering he wouldn't be as happy as he is now. When he was with Jill he thought it couldn't get any better, but boy was he wrong. Jill dumped him at the lowest point of his life. Sarah found him there and fell in love with him anyway. That's the kind of person you need in your life. Someone who sees more than the sum of all your flaws but looks deeper and sees your potential and then loves you anyway. Jill didn't do that, she left him when he needed her the most. She wasn't the ONE. Sarah is.
Chuck's epiphany was disrupted when a bell broke him out of his thoughts. Looking up he saw the new Assistant Manager standing in front of him holding a box of donuts. Chuck pulled the earbuds out and waited for him to speak.
"Boy, I hate to disturb you on your last day I'm going to need you to get down to the Sheraton conference center for a tech support call. Pronto!" Emmitt said using an Italian accent for the last word.
"Sure thing Emmitt. Any Boston crème in there?" Chuck replied.
"Oh yes!" Emmitt said as he walked away.
Chuck watched in disgust as Emmitt walked away with a smug look on his face. Chuck printed out the work order and started gathering the tools he'd need for the service call.
"Bioscience conference, sounds pretty wild. Last service call, what could go wrong?" Chuck said softly to himself.
A/N: Well, there you have it! I learned a lot during the past year. It surprised me at how hard it got after the first two to three Chapters. They just came so naturally at first but later it started getting harder to find where I wanted the story to go. I originally thought it'd be over fairly quickly. I realize now that I didn't really have a roadmap of what I where I wanted the story to go. I should have taken the time to do a rough outline. It may have helped keep me on course a little better. There is sooo much more I could have done with certain chapters. Who knows maybe someday I'll expand this story like I've seen other writers do. If nothing else it'll let me correct all the mistakes, lol!
Also at one point I considered having Chuck and Sarah go off grid for a few weeks to get Beckman to see the light and agree to Chuck's requests. But then I realized at that point Chuck would essentially not only be blackmailing the Government, he wouldn't be able to help take down the bad guys and innocent people would get hurt. This doesn't fit my view of the selfless person that he is. I also accelerated their romance and Beckman's acceptance of it.
I have several ideas for more stories and even have started an outline for one of them. I need to write more chapters for my other story Ellie vs The World, even though it gets very little traffic, lol! If I decide to move forward, I think I'll try write several chapters ahead and then try to stick to an update schedule to prevent the long delays between updates.
I want thank all who've read this and especially those who left reviews. It seriously made the effort worthwhile. Take care and hopefully people will continue writing Chuck stories maybe even you!