This is my first Chuck fan fiction story, so be gentle. DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of the characters from CHUCK, but they do randomly visit my dreams and whisper random things in my ear. Thanks to Morgan for the reminder to buy more Oreos. I appreciate it.

It was an incredibly slow day at the Burbank Buy More and the rare thunderstorm outside made the occasion even gloomier. But that wasn't what was making Lester Patel so melancholy. It was the activity taking place near the front of the store that was making him feel uneasy. Chuck Bartowski, head of the Nerd Herd, was helping a female customer. Lester and his best friend Jeff Barnes had tried to access her first, but the store's wretched assistant manager, Emmett Milbarge quickly blocked them off. Lester couldn't help but to stare at her, as Jeff did the same. She was wearing a camo green Gorillaz tank top, tight black jeans, with purple and black Nike shoes. But it wasn't her clothes that caught his attention. It was her tall, willowy frame, her light brown hair in its playful ponytail, her tan skin and her pouty bubblegum lips.

"What does Bartowski have that we don't?" Jeff snarled, reading Lester's thoughts perfectly.

"I often wonder the same thing, my friend. We have our good looks, our eloquent and seductive charm, amazing hair-" he stopped and glanced at Jeff's somewhat bald head. "Well, two out of three for you."

Suddenly, Chuck walked over to the Nerd Herd area, the beautiful specimen right beside him. "Jeff, Lester? This is Gloria Tipton. She's going to be working here at the Buy More."

That was all Lester needed. Smiling sexily, he looked her up and down. "Let's see some credentials."

"I'll show you mine if you show me yours," Jeff chimed in.

"Guys, easy. Gloria and I went to high school together for a while. She just moved back here and I'd appreciate it if you didn't thoroughly creep her out before she even gets her uniform and locker," Chuck explained before turning to her. "If these guys give you any trouble-"

"Don't worry, Chuck. I can handle my own," she smiled and Lester's jaw dropped. Her voice was like nothing he had ever heard. Low and sexy, smooth as silk, her words slow and enunciated. It did not match her physical features at all, which aroused him even more.

"I know you can. I'm so glad you're here," Chuck replied, hugging her. "I'll get your stuff out of Big Mike's office."

"Did it hurt when you fell from Sexual Heaven?" Jeff asked.

Gloria wrinkled her nose. "You are a creepy version of Larry from the Three Stooges. And I have never been fond of the Three Stooges."

For a moment, Jeff looked injured, but he quickly recovered. "So, Gloria; wanna see our high-definition room in the back? I can show you Where the Wild Things Are."

Lester rolled his eyes. "Don't mind Jeffrey. He's been hitting the sauce after lunchtime again. So, where exactly are you from and why have you chosen the Burbank Buy More as your...calling?"

Gloria opened her mouth to reply but Chuck reappeared, Nerd Herd uniform and badge in tow. "Here you go, Gloria. If you need anything, just ask myself or Morgan."

"And I have restraining orders for these two bozos for you to fill out anytime. In fact, they have their own file cabinet," a low, growling voice belonging to none other than John Casey retorted.

Gloria smiled. "I don't think that will be necessary but thank you for the suggestion. I'll be back in a bit."

And with that, she walked away, that gorgeous body all but blowing a proverbial raspberry at Lester. As he eyed Jeff and Casey, however, he could tell there might be some competition for her affections. And Lester loved competition.

What have I gotten myself into? Gloria asked herself as she buttoned the last button on her white blouse and adjusted her amethyst necklace. Oh, yeah; you came back to Burbank to reunite with your friend from high school, only to get kidnapped because you are an idiot. All she wanted to do was hang out with one of her few true friends from high school. She recalled how she and Chuck just connected. Not on a romantic plane, but more like family. She loved Chuck and his sister Ellie so much that she would pretend they were her real family. But somehow, she ended up at the wrong place at the wrong time last week and nearly gotten herself killed. She was surprised that Chuck's girlfriend Sarah Walker and fellow Buy More employee John Casey showed up to save her ass, but when she saw Chuck Bartowski himself with them? She thought she was going insane. Turns out, her old chum was a spy, working with the CIA and the NSA. To keep her safe, Chuck had talked her into staying in plain sight, where they would be able to get to her quickly if she got into trouble. But working at the Buy More with this Jeff and Lester character was not what she had in mind. "I think I'd rather chance being kidnapped again," she told her reflection in the bathroom mirror before she exited the bathroom.

"I was wondering when the new estrogen would show up."

Gloria looked up to see a bespectacled and balding man in a manager's vest, sneering at her. Looking at his name tag, she read the name Emmett. "Excuse me," she quickly tried to walk past him, but he cut her off at the pass.

"I believe that would be, 'excuse me, sir'."

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw John Casey walking towards her and she held back a sigh. She was tired of being saved. She could handle this douchebag herself. "I'll let you know when I find someone worthy of being called 'sir'. But for now, I think Ass Man suits you perfectly," she smiled, venom spewing with each syllable before she stomped her foot down hard on his. "Toodles," she waved, enjoying seeing the look on Emmett's face as he hobbled around in immense pain.

As she walked away, she could have sworn she saw John Casey's permanent scowl turn up into a half smile.

"That idiot almost makes Jeff and Lester seem bearable. Almost," she whispered to herself as she prepared to face her new position at the Nerd Herd counter. She wasn't sure how she was going to handle being in an enclosed space with those two goons, but she would sure she could find some way to muddle through. She promised Chuck, after all. And she never broke a promise to her 'real' family.

"I can't believe you let her get away!"

"I was outnumbered, man; what the hell was I supposed to do?"

"I want that microchip, Faison! Now you don't stop until you have it and her!"

Faison ran a hand through his wavy auburn hair. "Yeah; okay. But she's being protected by the CIA, for cryin' out loud. It's not gonna be easy."

As soon as the last word left his mouth, he felt a rough hand around his neck, pinnng him to the wall. "Then I suggest you find a way," the man growled. "Because if you fail again, you won't like what I do to you."

Faison gasped for air and tried not to collapse as the man let go of his throat. "I'll get her," he wheezed. "Whatever it takes."

"Good man. You have chosen wisely."

As the man chuckled and left Faison's apartment, Faison quickly splashed water over his face. He wasn't sure what was on that microchip, but he knew for sure he wanted to live to see his thirty-fifth birthday next month. "Better enjoy your victory now, sweetheart," he whispered as he walked across the room and turned on his laptop's monitor. "Next time, you won't get away so easily."

He smiled as the monitor's image came into focus and the girl's face appeared in front of him, decked out in a white blouse, black pants and a Buy More name badge.