This is a follow on from Where Do We Go To, some have said that they would like to see what would happen with the Douchebags of the past, so we'll see what we can do.
In case the idiom isn't as well known as I thought, "turning up like a bad penny" is a reference to "people" that you can't get rid of, no matter how much you want to, sort of like a case of herpes.
Usual disclaimer for the Land of Litigation, no rights to any characters referred to...
Chuck called upstairs for the fourth time for Yvonne to get moving, she had to have breakfast before they took her and Zack to school. His eldest daughter drove him around the bend much of the time, she was beautiful, wilful, stubborn and had miles of attitude, a perfect little copy of her mother, which was probably why he loved her so much. Sarah was trying to hide her laughter behind her coffee mug at the other end of the table, she knew that Chuck adored all their children, but Yvonne was his obvious favourite because she was a mini me of her mother (not that she remembered having this much attitude when she was her age), so she pushed his buttons all the time. Before things could get to melt down stage she schooled her expression and got up, went to the bottom of the stairs and called to tell her that she had 30 seconds to be sitting at the table eating breakfast, or else. Less than 10 seconds later she heard her running for the stairs, she muttered "Sorry Mommy" as she passed her and hugged Chuck as she told him "Love you Daddy" and sat down for breakfast. As Sarah came back to the table, Chuck gave her a look of reproach, so she smiled and kissed him on the cheek, whispering "Don't blame me for you being a pushover for your daughter" in his ear, which made him grin and wrap his arm around her to give her a quick hug. Once Yvonne and Zack had had breakfast, they grabbed their school bags, there was a whirlwind of kisses around the table and they piled into the back seat of their mother's Shooting Brake to go to school.
When she dropped them off at school, there were the usual round of stares of lust and jealousy at the "supermodel" mother dropping off her beautiful children in her rare and unobtainable (without serious connections anyway) supercar, but she felt something else, as though there was someone else watching her who was different from the normal crowd. After she'd hugged and kissed her eldest twins and watched them walk into the school grounds, she quickly scanned the area again but couldn't see anyone out of the ordinary and put it down to being overly cautious as she hopped back into the Shooting Brake and left, not noticing the car that pulled out to follow her 20 seconds after she'd passed it.
Sarah went into the office to put in a couple of hours of work after dropping the twins off at school and then headed home. This time she did notice the car as she passed it, as she recognised it from when she'd scanned the area around the school when she dropped the twins off. She sent a text to Carina with the license plate to get her to check it out, knowing that support would be coming after them straight away, in the meantime she reached down to get the pistol from its holster under the driver's seat as she drove. As expected, she saw Carina's Lotus turn up in her mirrors less than 10 minutes after she'd sent the text, and Casey's Crown Vic showed up behind the Lotus just after that.
Zondra called her as soon as they had her in sight, telling her that she, Carina, and Casey were back there, and filling her in on the details they found on the car. It had been bought two weeks ago by a woman, but it was doubtful that an 80 year old woman would be driving a tricked out Charger like that (going by the details of the car in the ad that they called up), so they had to expect that another woman had stolen her identity and faked licences, credit cards and whatever else they needed with their own photos etc.
Unfortunately that didn't reduce the possible pool of who'd be after her that much, as she'd taken down a lot of women, as well as men, when she was in the game. When Zondra started to ask whether they should tell Chuck she cut her off with a curt "No!", she wanted to find out what they were up against before they worried him. She headed towards home by a roundabout route, stopping to pick up a few things on the way. At this point she was wishing that she was wearing a vest, and that she was driving Chuck's Odyssey, perhaps it was time to think about giving up this gorgeous car he got for her and replace it with something sensible and safe like he'd done when Jaqui and Piotr were born. She did truly love this car, but just as he'd accepted that they needed to be safe for the kids, she should as well, maybe his and her Odysseys wouldn't be too bad? He'd designed that machine perfectly, it had the performance and handling to pretty much match her Shooting Brake, with the styling changes he'd had made it looked pretty good, it could take everyone with room to spare, and it could take on LAVs and get the occupants, their family, away safe, she could live with that.
Sarah shook her head and told herself to concentrate, checking to make sure she could still see all three cars in her mirrors, about that time Zondra called again and told her to drive to her in-laws' house, Mary was ready and waiting, and they'd box the other car in and take them once she was out of the line of fire, Sarah confirmed and got her head in the game, it looked like it would be show time soon. It all went as planned, the garage door opened as she drove up and closed as soon as she was inside, Mary had a set of tactical gear, armour and weapons waiting for her and she quickly changed in the garage before they ducked down through the bunker to come up in Casey's house, hopping out the window to sneak out behind the shrubs to the street and call Carina and Casey to move in on the parked car. In seconds the car was boxed in and the driver was in the sights of the five figures surrounding the car in full tactical gear, Sarah was the first (only) one to lower her weapon as she looked at the woman and asked "What are you doing here Jill?".
They quickly pulled her out of the car, zip tied her hands and pushed her into the back seat before they all hopped into the cars and got them off the street, hoping that the neighbours hadn't seen anything, or not much anyway. As they dragged Jill down to the bunker, Casey reminded Sarah that they'd have to tell Chuck what was going on soon, and she snapped at him that she knew that, then apologised and said that she just wanted to find out what the hell that woman was doing here before they brought Chuck into it, her eyes imploring him to give her that much. Casey nodded, but reminded her that Chuck never chose Jill over her, as soon as it came to a choice he immediately went for her safety over anything for Jill, so she didn't need to bring the old jealousy issues into any discussions they had, looking her in the eye until she nodded and said that she knew that. It wasn't much but that took her away from the edge, so she was less likely to do something drastic to the bitch, not that Casey would leave her alone with her anyway, she could trust him to stop her from doing anything too stupid.
Sarah gave Jill a while to stew as she tried to calm herself down before she went in, that of course all went to shit with Jill's first response. Sarah opened with the same question she'd asked at the car "What are you doing here Jill?", Jill just looked at her and smugly said that she thought Chuck would want to see his son, his first born son that is. Sarah stared at her for about 30 seconds before she launched herself at Jill, Casey literally had to snatch her out of mid air to stop her getting to Jill, carrying her kicking and screaming out of the interrogation room and off to a holding cell. Carina was waiting with her finger on the door controls so as soon as Casey tossed Sarah across the cell onto the cot, she hit the door mechanism to prevent Sarah getting out. They were both glad the holding cell was soundproof as what she was obviously screaming at them when she got to the door and started banging on it wasn't what anything they wanted to hear. They didn't know what affected them more, Sarah's current state, or the statement that had got her to that state. Casey put his palm on the glass door, looked Sarah in the eye and told her that he'd get the truth out of Jill, she stared at him for a minute or so and crumpled, nodding with tears in her eyes. They wanted to let her out, but until they had the real story it wasn't safe to do so, she could recognise that. Carina put her palm to the door as well, and told her that they'd get the answers before she turned and went back into the interrogation room with Casey.
Carina opened the questioning this time, standing in front of the table and asking Jill why she thought that they'd believe anything from a lying slut like her. Jill just smirked and said that they cold get all the DNA tests they wanted, the tests would just prove that Charles was Chuck's son. Casey pushed in and said that she'd been examined and tested thoroughly when she went to prison, and she definitely wasn't pregnant then, so how did she have Chuck's child? She sure as hell didn't sleep with him when they got her out to help look into Fulcrum to find Chuck's father. Jill's smug look faltered a little at this point, and she told them that she'd taken the condom after they made love and stored it. Carina jumped back in there, asking how she happened to have a mechanism for storing sperm to keep it viable with her at the time. Jill looked down and said that they were fairly certain that Chuck was the Intersect, so she'd been ordered to get his sperm for the purpose of creating viable Intersect hosts, and was given the equipment that she'd need to do so.
Carina looked sick at that (and considering what she'd been through in her career it took a LOT to shock her), but then Casey asked how she came to be impregnated with Chuck's sperm after he let her go the second time? Jill hadn't looked up in about 5 minutes and she kept her head down as she told them that she'd stashed the storage container in a safe place before she was imprisoned, and she retrieved it when she went on the run. She was running from everyone, including the government and Fulcrum, so she thought if she was carrying the only viable progeny of the Intersect, Fulcrum would have to take her back. They both looked at her in disgust and Carina responded "So you screwed Chuck to steal his sperm, and then after he risked being charged with treason to let you go with a ring that you could sell for the money to get away, you impregnated yourself with his sperm to buy your way back into the very organisation that you were running away from? You take the meaning of pathetic whore to a whole new low!". Casey was old school and a gentleman at heart (though he'd fight anyone who called him that), so he normally found Carina's language and crudity rather offensive, but at this time he couldn't do anything but wholeheartedly agree with her.
They both left the interrogation room and shut the door as they couldn't stand being anywhere near her. They went back to the conference room and sat down at the table, not talking, just trying to get their heads around what they'd been told. After a while they looked at each other and Casey said that they still had to find out what she was after. Carina looked like the idea turned her stomach but she nodded and stood up with a resigned expression, waiting for Casey before they headed back. Neither if them wanted to be alone with the room with her as they needed each other to prevent them killing her, this foul creature could destroy Chuck and Sarah, and ultimately the Clan Carmichael, as the Clan couldn't survive without Chuck and Sarah.
When they went back in, Jill had recovered her bravado as she thought that having Chuck's son was a big enough bargaining chip to hold over them to get what she wanted. Casey just asked her what she wanted, and she replied that by the time she could get back to Fulcrum, you people had taken them down, so she'd been on the run with Charles for the last eight years and she didn't have any money. Chuck obviously had plenty of money from the way his whore and her little bastards were flaunting it, so she'd come to get her share of the money. Carina and Casey just stared at her for about 30 seconds and then Casey lashed out with an open handed slap that sent her flying, well as far as she could before the tether that locked her zip tied hands to the table pulled her up. Carina looked at Casey in reproach and pointed out to him that she was supposed to be the psycho bitch here, as she helped Jill up off the floor, and then smashed her face into the table. Grinding her face into the table she kept asking Jill where the boy was until she told them. With that piece of information they made sure she was breathing OK and then sealed her in, setting the code so only they could open the room before they went to let Sarah out of her cell and break the news to her.
Considering the affect the news would probably have on Sarah, and all their lives, Casey asked Kathleen to go and look after Jaqui and Piotr so that Chuck could come down to the bunker, and called Ellie and Mary down at the same time. Casey quietly took Ellie in to check over Jill before re-locking the room and going back to the conference room. Stefan was told that something was going on and he'd be filled in afterwards, but it was too dangerous for him to be in the bunker for the discussions, in case the prisoner heard anything which may give his identity away. When they were all there Carina gave Casey a look to ask whether he wanted her to take it but he shook his head and started in.
Casey explained about the fact that Sarah had made a tail on her earlier that day, they'd let them follow Sarah back until she was out of the line of fire, then took the person who was following her. He looked at Chuck and said "It was Jill Roberts". Chuck went to speak but Casey held up his hand and told him that it got worse and continued, saying that when they started to question her she made certain claims that set Sarah off, so he and Carina took her out of the interrogation and continued it without her. Sarah interjected at that point that she'd gone psycho and they locked her in a holding cell, to which Chuck's shocked look was alternating between her and Casey. Now Casey was at the point where he really didn't want to continue, Carina said "John" in a quiet, restrained voice, but he shook his head and said that he'd do it, drawing a breath before telling them everything that Jill had told them about what she did and why, without repeating her comments about Sarah or the twins.
When Casey finished talking there was a stunned silence in the room, no-one said a thing for 5-10 minutes as they tried to digest what they'd just been told. Mary asked if they were sure that the child was Chuck's, and Carina replied that they'd have to do DNA tests, of course, but Jill's confidence that he'd pass any and all DNA tests made it fairly certain. Mary next asked if they knew where the child was, and Carina replied again that she'd convinced her to tell them where he was. Throughout this, Chuck and Sarah said nothing, just sat there clenching each other's hands. Ellie looked across the table at them and asked what they wanted to do about this. Chuck looked up and shared a look with Sarah before saying that Jill would have to be dealt with, but the boy hadn't done anything and he shouldn't have have to pay for what his mother had done (at that Sarah quietly said that his mother's sins are her's, and not his, Chuck looked at her and she smiled and nodded to show that she agreed with him and leaned in to give him a quick kiss), so he would like to work out a way to look after the boy if they could.
Carina spoke up at that point to say that there was one possibility if they could get the approvals they needed and everyone was OK with it. She was far more reserved and vulnerable than any of them had ever seen her at that point as she went on to explain that Sarah was the only one who knew this, but due to things that had happened to her on missions, she couldn't have children. When she was an operative that had never been an issue, as she never had any wish to have them, and the fact that she couldn't get pregnant from what she did was an advantage. Now that she was out of that world, however, and seeing Chuck and Sarah's children, and Clara, she was missing the fact that she couldn't have that. She stopped to wipe tears away and Sarah went around the table to hold her as she continued, saying that if it was possible, it wouldn't upset anyone and the boy was happy with the idea, she'd like to adopt him and give him a home and a new life. Sarah and Chuck shared a look and a smile across the table and Sarah lifted Carina's chin to make her look at Chuck, to see that he was happy with the idea, she smiled back at Chuck and then buried her face in Sarah's shoulder.
The others were a little stunned with the idea of Carina adopting Chuck's bastard son conceived using stolen sperm by his psycho, traitorous ex-girlfriend, but they could accept that it was, indeed, the "right" thing to do for the boy, and they shuddered to think about what sort of life that he'd had so far, as some of them had an inclining of what Jill would have been doing to make ends meet over the past 8 years.
With that, Casey, Carina and Zondra went to collect Charles from the dive that his mother left him in, after Carina turned to Ellie and told her that the damage to Jill was from them (pointing to herself and Casey), not Sarah, and giving Mary the entry code for the interrogation room so Ellie could tend to her if she wished to. Mary took Ellie in to clean up Jill and tend to her injures (which weren't serious) while Casey and the others were picking up the boy, and Chuck and Sarah went off to a private room to talk.
Chuck was a bit put out that Sarah hadn't let him know what was going on, she accepted that it wasn't totally in keeping with their agreement, but pointed out that she'd immediately contacted Carina to get support, and the team had had her back the whole time. She also pointed out that she'd intended to let him know as soon as she found out what Jill was after, but Casey and Carina had locked her away to prevent her doing anything stupid after Jill dropped her bombshell, so she couldn't contact him until they let her out, and he was brought into the loop then.
To get both their minds off what was in front of them at the moment, she brought up what she'd been thinking of as she was heading back to the house, that she should replace the Shooting Brake with something safe like he had, and asked how long he thought it'd take to get another Odyssey like his built. Chuck laughed at that, which prompted a look from her which choked the laugh off very quickly as he explained that he'd had two pretty much identical ones built at the same time, but he hadn't suggested it to her because, well, she could hurt him for making a suggestion like that. That got a laugh from Sarah and lifted the mood quite a bit, as did his other suggestion that she keep the Shooting Brake, they both loved that car and it was irreplaceable, so they could just move the SUV somewhere else, if no-one else wanted it they could just leave it in the CI parking garage for use when necessary, after all the Odysseys were as good as the SUV except for off-road. School finished around that time, so they hopped in Chuck's Odyssey and went to pick up Yvonne and Zack, leaving them with Kathleen when they got back.
When Casey and the girls got back with Charles, they sat down with him and explained what was going on, as well as they could with an eight year old, but the harsh life he'd had to live with his mother had made him grow up all too fast, so he understood what they were saying far better than a boy his age should. Sarah could relate to him better than the others could, she hadn't had the same life as he had, but she'd been dragged into the adults' world all too soon as well, so she could communicate with him better than the others could. When they'd talked it over with him and he seemed OK with things, he went up to sit with Kathleen, Zondra (as he was an unknown so they wanted to make sure that Kathleen and the kids were safe), and the kids while the others set up a teleconference with the General to determine the fate of Jill and Charles.
The General was just as shocked as they were about what Jill had done, and promptly set plans in motion to get her transferred to a supermax black site where she would remain for the rest of her life. She was concerned about Carina's wish to adopt Charles, mainly because she didn't think that Carina had had a chance to think it through properly yet. She compromised by starting on getting the approval process done, but insisting that Carina talk to a counsellor about it, and also talk to Jeff, as it would affect his life as well, given that they were a couple nowadays. Carina had talked to Jeff a little already and he said that he was fine with the idea, but she agreed to both conditions.
When the agents came to take Jill away, she wanted to talk to Charles, but they were worried that she'd say to him so her request was denied. She was told that she could write him a letter. The thing was, in all that she said about him, she didn't give any indication that she thought of him as her child, her attitude seemed more that he was tool to be used for her purposes. On that basis, they thought it was best for Charles to keep her away from him.
Carina had asked Charles what he thought about being adopted by her (and Jeff possibly), and he was happy with the idea as it looked like he'd have a lot nicer and more caring life with her than he'd had to date. After he'd spent time with his half brothers and half sisters (though he didn't know that's what they were yet) and Carina showed him around their house and what his room would be, he was ecstatic. He'd be living in luxury, especially compared to the way he'd loved up until now and what his mother's "boyfriends" had been like. So, when the General came back to get confirmation that they wanted to adopt Charles she got a whole hearted agreement that Charles would be adopted by Carina Miller and Jeffrey Barnes.
There were still lots of details to be sorted out out yet, and Charles would have to go through batteries of aptitude tests to determine his placement in school (he'd be going to the same school as Yvonne, Zack and Clara), but with his parents' intelligence they had no doubts that he'd do well once he settled in, and he now had a caring home and the chances in the world that he deserved, so at least one good thing had come of this.