A/N: I let my epilogues try to serve as my endings, problem is my Abomination Epilogue in Chuck vs Ellie gave me too much to think about and trying to balance out three stories at the same time is a pain. Especially as one is something I'm not even sure how I'm going to present it. Anyways, here goes… as always do not own Chuck and I hope you enjoy. If you have not read Chuck vs Ellie I would say it is a must in order to understand what is going on.
Ellie's Path to Redemption
Chapter 1: Parents
As Ellie walked up to the tiny church she just looked at it and marveled at its simplicity compared to the elaborate behemoths that are constructed today. Coming to an iron gate she looked down at the cornerstone with the number 1852 imprinted on it. She shook her head with a smile wishing things would get simple again, but having grown to despise the word 'complicated' yet have it be the only word fitting to describe her existence, a small part of the karmic retribution she was owed. This was baby steps she knew, but it was the place to start, if she wanted to be forgiven by others she needed to forgive as well.
Finding the area was not difficult, although she was surprised by how big the tree was that now provided shade to the resting place of her parents. She tried to chuckle to hold back the emotion, but remembered the significance of the tree. Less than a week after her dad's funeral she had come back from a double shift completely worn, but too tired to sleep so she sat on the couch staring at nothing in particular, but out of the corner of her eye watching the sun rise. She didn't notice anything until she felt something large fall on her lap that was… denim. Looking up Ellie saw Sarah looking down at her with empathy. Sarah's expression changed as Ellie took in Sarah's attire: overalls and gave a slight snort. 'Don't laugh, I need your help so go change.' Ellie looked at Sarah with bewilderment, but followed her 'order' and soon came out wearing a t-shirt and the overalls. Sarah gave a snort as well and gestured for Ellie to follow; grabbing two pairs of garden gloves and two shovels that were by the door.
"Sarah… we aren't burying a body are we?"
"No, we don't do those types of things."
"So, we're digging one up?"
Sarah let out a full laugh at that and just shook her head and walked to the Nerdherder; opened its trunk and placed the shovels and gloves inside, "What I'm not going to take my baby, besides Chuck said when Jeff and Lester have a long call they just roll the windows down and send it through the car wash and it's fine after it dries."
Ellie nervously stepped inside having no idea where they were headed off to. Soon on the road Sarah took out her phone and made a call, "So is everything set, good and is it there yet… it had better be… ok goodbye." Sarah looked at Ellie with a sweet smile, "Everything should be set up for us." Ellie quirked an eyebrow and said nothing as they drove to this church.
Getting out Sarah acted more demurely as she went to open the trunk; it eased as Ellie grabbed a pair of gloves, put them on and grabbed a shovel, but she still held a trepidatious look in her eyes. The walk to the gravesite was silent and arriving there Ellie looked over at Sarah completely surprised as there was a wheelbarrow with a tiny tree inside and beside it a fairly large bag and a few gallons of water.
"It came to me the night of the funeral, that there should be something more than a marker… something living." Sarah soon struggled to breathe under the tightest hug she'd ever encountered, beating Mr. Colt's, "Ellie… breathing… hard."
Ellie retracted apologizing with tear-filled eyes, "This is wonderful… Why aren't you doing this with Chuck?"
"You needed this more. When you think nobody is looking your eyes kind of glaze over…"
"And that is why you two have this lovely tree… and that is when Sarah went from beyond even a best friend into pure family. She was my sister… I don't know why we didn't tell anybody we planted the tree, I always assumed it was because she wanted something that was just her and me. Look at me I come out here to talk to you and I talk about something else. The most important thing you both need to know is that I miss you everyday and wish that I could have one more day, not even that; an hour or two would probably suffice. I know I've screwed so many things up, and I waited too long to start, but I am trying now to make amends and that starts with you two. I'll just fill you in on what has truly happened to me. I'm sorry I lied to you Dad. I just wasn't ready." With a deep breath Ellie told the true story of the past sixteen years since moving to Chicago.
As Casey walked up the cobblestone drive he allowed his mind to wander if things had been different would being a delivery man have been satisfying. This was a quirk he had picked up from his Buy More days; if he had been stuck in a civilian life what could he possibly tolerate. The answer his brain fired back showed how soft he had become; with Gertrude waiting he'd tolerate almost any job. Not realizing he had rung the doorbell he was startled when the door opened and there was a slight squeal before he felt arms wrap around his midsection.
"Hey tough guy, what brings you here?"
"Well squirt, I've heard they've lowered the requirements for graduation enough to let you skip by."
A quick jab to his arm brought out Casey's smile, "What's this I already got your present the other day? Although I have never been accused of not accepting as many gifts as possible."
"That is the truth, but this is a present from somebody else. I had just wrapped up my last mission; do not give me those Bartowski eyes and no last missions, things can't go wrong, blah, blah, blah. I'm sorry I missed your party squirt, but I hope this makes up for it. "
Clara takes the box and cautiously lifts the lid, "Hooray, a bunch of envelopes?" At Casey's solemn look she looks down at them again and pulls out the one closest to her in the left column. It was addressed to her with a postmark of fourteen years ago along with a stamped finger marked: Return to Sender. Looking at who the sender was brought her brown eyes as wide as possible, "You found her?"
Casey shook his head, "No it was more like she found me, I…"
He stopped as he could see the shift from happiness to doubt as she stepped back inside with the box and was about to close the door, "Kid, after you take a few breaths and want to hear what happened call me, ok."
The large door closed and Casey muttered, "Give her a chance, squirt." Unbeknownst to him Clara was propped against the other side of the door and could hear his plea clearly.
"Oh… I'm sorry am I disturbing other people?"
"No, not at all. It's just that I'm set to leave and I have to lock the gate before I go."
"What time is it?"
"Twenty past ten, I usually leave at ten, but you seemed to need to get things off your chest. Are you going to be ok? If you need to stay a little longer…"
"No, thank you though. It had been far too long and I just… no it's fine." Ellie got up thanked the caretaker once again and started walking the pathway back to her car.
A/N: So despite the title I didn't delve into the Ellie/Steven & Mary issues. I think they are pretty obvious and I enjoyed the tree story more as it gave a little more depth to Ellie and Sarah's relationship. Planning on three more chapters: Clara, Devon, and Charah. Anyhow, let me know what you think.