Chuck vs. the Resistance, Chapter 5: "Meet 'n' Greet"
CAST (in order of appearance):
Chuck Bartowski – Zachary Levi
Dr. Jill Roberts – Jordana Brewster
CPO Angus Muldoon – David Tennant
Lieutenant Cole Barker – Jonathan Cake
Captain Jackson Carlyle – John Barrowman
Major John Casey – Adam Baldwin
Sarah Walker – Yvonne Strahovski
Author's note: A brief recap, since it's been nine and a half months since I last updated this bad boy:
Chuck Bartowski – RKO film producer, received the Intersect in the form of a film reel.
Sarah Walker – born Genevieve Burton, French/German mix, undercover operative for the US State Department.
Major John Casey – US Army intelligence operative with the Office of Strategic Services (forerunner to the CIA and NSA).
Corinne "Carina" de Montgalliard – French intelligence operative; John Casey's partner with the OSS.
Hauptmann Bryce von Larkin – liaison between Fulcrum and the Waffen SS.
Dr. Jill Roberts – born Gillian Rodebrecht; SS agent working undercover at Aberdeen Station.
Captain Jackson Carlyle – Royal Navy commander of Aberdeen Station.
CPO Angus Muldoon – Captain Carylye's aide-de-camp.
Major Rick Lorenz – US Army Air Corps pilot assigned to Aberdeen Station.
Captain Mike Tweedum – US Army Air Corps pilot assigned to Aberdeen Station.
Chuck Bartowski was bored. He was currently in his quarters, under strict orders not to move his right arm too much (fortuitously enough, he was left-handed), and not to move too much. Despite just being a minor flesh wound, the piece of shrapnel that had cut open his arm had caused a surprisingly disproportionate amount of blood loss.
And so, while Ms. Walker from the State Department was out with Captain Carlyle, showing Major Casey and Agent de Montgalliard around the base, Chuck was stuck in his assigned quarters. Oh well, they were nice – surprisingly enough, nicer than his cottage at RKO.
At that particular moment, Chuck was doodling, as he usually did when he got bored. His doodles were always far-fetched technological inventions that were utter flights of fantasy. The first one he had drawn had been when he was in first grade – an airplane that could fly in outer space.
His teacher had ended up speaking to his parents about his lack of attentiveness in class. Chuck's mother was disappointed, but his father had made sure to let Chuck know that it was "Aces."
The doodle on the page in front of Chuck just then was something that he wasn't even entirely sure how it would work. He just knew that it was one hell of a concept – and the model of it looked cool to him.
A knock on Chuck's door brought him back to the present. "It's open!" he called.
The door swung open, to reveal Dr. Jill Roberts standing there. "Dr. Roberts!" Chuck exclaimed, standing. "What brings you down here?"
She smiled and shook her head. "It's Jill, Chuck, remember?"
Chuck sighed. "I know," he replied. "It's just, my parents raised me not to address a woman I don't know by her first name. It's a difficult habit to break."
Jill's smile got a little bigger. "I'm sure it is," she said. "As to what brings me down here, I grew bored of Captain Carlyle pointing out every single defensive position on the coast, so I thought I'd come see how you're doing."
"I'm fine," Chuck answered. "My arm's fine. I shouldn't be stuck in here."
"And I disagree," Jill retorted. "Now, which one of us has a medical degree again?"
Chuck grinned. "Touché." Then he turned and indicated the chair at his desk. "Would you care to come in, take a seat?"
Jill raised an eyebrow in amusement. "Your sensibilities aren't going to be offended by having a woman in your quarters, unsupervised."
"Very funny," Chuck shot back, his grin growing wider. "I'm a Hollywood producer, remember? There have been… well. A gentleman doesn't kiss and tell."
"Oh, right," Jill scoffed, moving past him toward the chair at his desk. "I think that's just your way of skirting the issue."
"It is not!" Chuck protested. "I'm, uh, I'm experienced!"
Jill perched on the edge of the desk and turned to look at Chuck. "Then name one."
Chuck cocked his head to the side and sighed. "Would you believe Jean Harlow?"
Jill's eyes widened and her jaw dropped. "You're KIDDING."
"Less than a month before she died," Chuck replied. "I was working as a grip on Saratoga. She was only three years older than me, and one night, I offered to drive her home, because she had gotten fairly drunk.
"When we got back to the house she lived in with William Powell, he went off on her. He was furious that she was drunk, and even angrier that she had allowed another man to drive her home. He pretty much insisted that she should have called him."
Chuck shook his head and smiled sadly. "That was a mistake. If there was one thing that nobody was allowed to do, it was tell Jean what to do with herself. As soon as Powell started in on that particular line, she walked right out the door, and told me to take her someplace and make her feel like a woman again."
He shrugged. "The rest… well, I'm sure you can draw your own mental picture."
Jill shook her head. "Unbelievable," she said quietly. "I'm pretty sure every man in America would've given up a testicle to swap places with you for that night."
"I doubt it," Chuck sighed. "Given how soon after that she passed, I've always felt a little guilty about it all. I felt like I used her, and then, she was gone."
"That's not your fault, Chuck," Jill insisted. "Everything I've heard says that her mother refused to allow her medical care. If Louis Mayer couldn't even get her to the hospital, then what could you have done?"
"I know," Chuck said. "It's just… it's me. That's how my mind works."
Jill nodded. "I understand," she replied. "So… what's this thing you're drawing here?"
Chuck looked over at the desk, nodding appreciatively at the change of topic. "It's a pocket-sized music player," he said. "Small enough to carry around with you and still listen to music in high fidelity."
"An interesting idea," Jill said. "So… this circular thing here looks like a really tiny record, but what's the rectangle above it?"
"Not a record," Chuck replied, smiling. "That's actually a dial that would allow you to select the song, play, stop, go backward or forward – even change the volume. And the rectangle above it would actually show you what song you were listening to, who it was by, what record it was on – all that."
Jill's brow wrinkled as she took in that information. "But… you said it would be pocket-sized. Records are enormous, Chuck, and you can only fit one song on each side."
"Yes, I know," Chuck answered. "This wouldn't play 78 RPM records, though. It would be able to hold hundreds, even thousands of songs at once – the collected works of Sousa, Gershwin, Ellington, and Goodman, with room for more."
Jill looked taken aback. "How?"
Chuck sighed, and his face fell. "Yeah, that's the part I haven't figured out yet. It would have to be electronic, somehow – some sort of circuit board. I can't figure it out."
Jill set the drawing down on the desk and stood. "It's still extraordinarily impressive that you could think of something like that, Chuck," she said, approaching him. "In fact, you seem like an extraordinary individual."
And as Jill approached, Chuck Bartowski – Chuck Bartowski who had spent the night with Jean Harlow and not a few other Hollywood starlets – began to get nervous. "Uh, absolutely," he replied, his voice shaking. "But Jill – I know so little about you…"
"There'll be time to learn about me later," Jill said softly, as she reached a hand up to the side of Chuck's face. "For now, why don't you… make me feel like a woman."
Angus Muldoon stood at the end of the runway, a pair of beacon flashlights in his hands. It was the most secure way to guide aircraft in for a landing – no radios to intercept.
Unfortunately, on an overcast day such as this one, it was rather challenging. Nonetheless, he was determined to do his best.
The sound of an American-built P-39 Airacobra reached Angus' ears long before he ever saw the airplane. "That'll be our hot shot pilot, then," he muttered, lighting the beacon torches and holding them in the air.
A moment later, the stubby fighter broke through the clouds, and Angus began waving the torches back and forth. The fighter's pilot wagged his wings briefly to indicate that he saw Angus, and began his descent.
Less than a minute later, the P-39 swept over Angus' head and touched down on the runway with a puff of smoke. As Angus jogged to his Ford truck, he saw the airplane roll to a stop down near Captain Carlyle's Morris. A few cranks of the ignition later, and the Ford's mighty V-8 engine turned over.
Angus reached the group near the Morris just as the cockpit opened. Grabbing a rope ladder from the cab of his truck, Angus jumped out and jogged over to the P-39. "Ladder's comin' up, laddie!" he called, tossing one end of the ladder up to the pilot.
"Much obliged," the pilot replied, as he hooked the ladder on the edge of the cockpit and climbed down. When he reached the ground, he reached for and shook Angus' hand. "Lieutenant Cole Barker, Royal Air Force," he said.
"CPO Angus Muldoon, Royal Navy," Angus replied. "This is Captain Carylye, my commander –"
"A pleasure," Carlyle said, a mischievous grin appearing on his face as he shook Barker's hand.
"Knock it off, sir," Muldoon muttered, rolling his eyes and shaking his head. "Major John Casey, US Army, and this wee lass is Sarah Walker, from the US State Department."
"A lass indeed," Barker murmured, looking Sarah up and down appreciatively. "Not so sure about the wee part, though, Chief Muldoon."
Sarah smiled and extended her hand. "A pleasure to meet you, Lieutenant Barker."
"Oh, no, the pleasure's all mine," Barker replied, taking Sarah's hand and bringing it gently to his lips. "Not often we see creatures of your beauty on military installations."
Behind Cole Barker, Angus Muldoon turned and looked at Captain Carlyle, a look on his face that seemed to say, Can you believe this guy? Carlyle, on the other hand, was clearly doing his best not to laugh.
"Uh, Lieutenant Barker," Major Casey interrupted, "if you could wait until I'm not around to do things sure to induce nausea, I'd appreciate it. As it is, we're on a fairly tight timeline here. We need to get you squared away in quarters – Captain Carlyle's scheduled a full staff briefing for 1630 hours, and it's already 1600."
"Of course, of course, Major Casey," Barker said, turning to the US Army officer. "My apologies – I'd be more than happy to head to my quarters."
"If you'll come with me," Angus said shortly.
Barker turned and grinned at Sarah. "Till we meet again, Miss Walker," he proclaimed as he climbed into the truck. "Till we meet again."
As the truck pulled away, the three standing on the tarmac stared after it in silence. "He WAS kind of cute," Sarah finally said, breaking the silence.
"He's a waste of time," Casey grunted. "For God's sake, don't get your panties in a bunch because of a British accent, Walker."
"Major Casey, don't be such a cynic," Captain Carlyle said, clapping Casey on the back. "Besides, it's scientific fact – British accents tend to cause panty-bunching."
Casey shook his head. "I'm going to go bleach my brain."
"You'll be bunkin' with one o' the other Americans here," Angus explained to Barker as they walked along the corridor. "Name o' Bartowski – he's some Hollywood type who happens to be a spy or something along those lines."
"Hollywood, you say?" Barker asked. "Hmmm, I think I can get along with a man of that type."
"This is you," Angus said as they reached the quarters. "Likely it's unlocked – why don't you head on in and get to know your bunkmate. You'll be livin' together for a while here."
"Right," Barker replied, reaching for the doorknob and pushing open the door. He walked in and closed the door behind him –
And almost immediately re-emerged. "Sorry!" he called into the room as he pulled the door shut behind him.
"Uh…" The RAF pilot's face had taken on a mortified look. "Uh, perhaps we should find me a different bunk?"
"What?" Angus asked, confused. "Why would we do th-"
But before he could finish the sentence, the door opened again. Dr. Jill Roberts strode out, her hair mussed, her blouse askew, her glasses in her hand – and a wholly satisfied look on her face. "Good afternoon, gentlemen," she said as she passed them.
Angus followed Jill as she walked away, and then finally turned his attention back to Cole Barker. "Why don't we see abou' gettin' you a different room."