When Things Don't go According to Plan
Allison checked in easily, paying with several crumpled twenties. The young man at the front desk offered to help her carry her things to her room, but Allison declined softly in an exotic accent and the man respected her wishes. She made her way to the room, got Saira settled, and then made a quick phone call to Casey.
"Go around to the back door and I'll let you in."
A single grunt was his reply, and Allison expected nothing more. With the baby cradled easily in one arm, she slid her room key into one pocket and went to open the door for Casey. He was waiting there already when she arrived, though she'd only hung up a minute ago. Pulling the door open for him, she treated him with a smile. He didn't return the smile, but rather grunted,
"They buy it?"
"Looked like it. My spidey senses are tingling though. Keep an eye out."
Casey grunted and they went back to the room. As Allison fixed Saira a bottle, Casey looked over at her.
"What'd you want to eat?"
Allison shrugged, "Anything's good for me. No room service or you don't get anything, but otherwise, fine. Actually, I'll go pick something up. I'll go out the back door and let myself back in with the key card."
Casey didn't appear to be thrilled with this idea, but Allison put Saira in his arms, and let him hold the bottle for her.
"Put on a game, and I'll be back in fifteen minutes." Sliding the keys from his front pocket, she planted a kiss on the baby's head and turned on the TV. Trotting down the back stairs, she barely resisted giving a long whoop of relief. Not being cooped up in a car or hotel room was sheer ecstasy. She was going to roll the windows down, let the wind blow through her hair, and enjoy her fifteen minutes of freedom. Spy she was, but she was also human. And everyone needed a little freedom now and again.
She pulled off the hijab, but the night air was cool so she left the long sleeved shirt on. The van started with a low purr and she flipped on the headlights, turned on the radio, and put it in gear.
Chuck woke up to Sarah's lips on his ear, whispering something. It wasn't an unpleasant way to wake up, and he opened his eyes, and then listened to what she was saying.
"…still asleep. How about you go out and get some pancakes or something and then we can eat when he wakes up?"
"Mmm?" Chuck mumbled in reply.
"I don't know how or why, but Konate is still asleep. Do you want to get some pancakes so when he wakes us we can all have breakfast?"
Chuck nodded, then looked to see if he could find some clean pants. He had gone to bed in PJs, and wasn't sure if the Waffle Hut of California would allow him to order if he wasn't wearing normal clothes. Then again, it was California. He slid on some shoes and grabbed his wallet and Sarah's keys.
"Be back in fifteen minutes, okay?"
Chuck went downstairs, climbed into the car, and adjusted the mirrors. He hadn't driven a car since…Well he had his license but he hadn't driven in at least a year. He just didn't own a car. So with great hesitation, he started the car. It growled low and Chuck almost laughed at how much the sound resembled Casey. He drove fairly easily to the Waffle Hut of California and got some waffles, eggs, bacon, and juice. He got some coffee for Sarah and several packages of butter and syrup for the waffles. On his way back, he got a phone call from Sarah.
"I think Konate's sick. We need to get him to a doctor."
"He just threw up all over the floor and he's burning up."
"Okay, I'm calling Ellie right now. I'll be there in five minutes."
Ellie sounded groggy when she picked up the phone and Chuck remembered that she had taken the midnight to 5-AM shift.
"Ell, I'm so sorry to wake you up, but Konate's sick. Can you come up to Sarah's please?"
"Yes. Chuck I'll be right there. Just hang on. What's wrong with him?"
"He just threw up and Sarah says he feels really hot."
"Okay. Get him some water and I'll be there as soon as I can."
Chuck called Sarah back and relayed the information. As soon as he got there, he found Konate in the bathtub, his face red and puffy from crying. He was sipping water from a cup and a pile of soiled pajamas sat on the rug next to him. Sarah was in the other room, cleaning vomit off of the carpet and looking fairly sick herself.
"Ellie'll be here in a minute. What can I do?"
"Go sit with Konate. I'll finish cleaning this up." She looked positively green and Chuck noted that Sarah didn't do well with barf. Another real thing about her to add to his list.
Allison picked up barbecue and fries from a local place and called Casey as she was parking.
"I'll up in about two minutes, okay?"
Casey grunted a response and Allison chuckled, hung up the phone, and got out of the car, locking it as she did. As she walked across the parking lot, something felt wrong. She flipped open her phone and dialed Casey's number again, then clipped it to her belt, rested one hand loosely on her concealed weapon. She casually looked around the parking lot and saw the gleam of a gun barrel in the window of a car. Drawing her Norinco, she dove and rolled behind a car as the first shot was fired. Very little sound so it was silenced. Allison peeked out from behind the car and pulled a silencer out from her holster. It never killed anyone to be prepared. Screwing it on, she leaned over and fired several shots, then pulled the phone off of her belt.
"We've got company. Armed company."
"Yeah. I heard."
"Get the baby. You have some sort of escape plan?"
"Yeah. Shoot them."
"Very helpful." Allison fired a few more shots and the gunfire stopped. She peeked out suspiciously, trying to figure out if she had hit them, or if they were playing dead. She slid off the long sleeved shirt she was wearing over the spaghetti strap top and tossed it out to one side of the car. It was immediately riddled with bullet holes. She dragged it back in by one sleeve, examining the bullet holes. Hollow-points, judging by the holes, and the shells.
"You got it under control?"
"Yeah." A lucky shot skimmed under the car, skimming her thigh. She hissed several Japanese swear words, then a handful in English.
"Flesh wound. Just skimmed me." She gave another hiss of pain and swore again as the examined it. In a pained, slightly sarcastic tone she asked, "Oh yeah, did you want mild or spicy wings?"
Casey made a noise that would have been a snort of laughter from anyone else. Allison smiled.
"I'll be up in…oh I'll call you. If I don't call back in half an hour, call in reinforcements."
"Walters—" Casey began, but Allison hung up, slid her phone into her pocket, and then pulled out another clip from her bag. Three bullets in her clip right now. Two extra clips in her bag. Darting out from behind her car, she took one good shot and took out the gunman, but there was more than likely someone else to deal with. She crept around the car, and darted up behind another car, and moved from car to car, taking cover. The shooter's car was still. Four doors. No tinted windows. White. This was meant to look like an amateur, but this wasn't. She crawled up to the car, then popped up, gun drawn. It was empty, but for a body. Red lights flickered on a box on the back seat.
Allison began to run as fast as she could towards the car. She started it and pulled around to the back of the hotel at a reckless speed. She dialed Casey's number.
"The car was—" and then the bomb exploded. "Get the baby. I'm coming up. We have to go now."
Allison rushed inside, swiping her room key at the back door. She rushed upstairs and buckled Saira into her car seat, grabbed a bag, and tossed the key card on the bed. Casey had the other bag. He scanned the room quickly, insuring they had left nothing behind, snatched Saira's bottle from the bed, and tossed his card on the bed as well. They rushed down the stairwell and out the door. Bags were tossed into the back, Saira was buckled in, and police sirens blared as they drove onto the highway and on into the night.
Ellie was at Sarah's apartment within ten minutes. Chuck was trying to coax liquids into Konate, who was sobbing for his mama and kept spitting out nastily colored saliva. Sarah has managed to get most of the vomit off the carpet and was looking both ill and worried.
Ellie was like a miracle. She somehow managed to get Konate to rinse out his mouth, then got him to sip a sports drink. She also got him dressed, snuggled up nicely in a makeshift bed on Sarah's sofa, and the rest of the carpet cleaned up. Then she drank Sarah's coffee and had some waffles.
"You're super-sister," Chuck told her, a little in awe. "Awesome should give you his title."
"Thanks so much, Ellie. I couldn't have done this without you," Sarah gushed. She looked flustered and kept glancing over at Konate, who was watching cartoons and sipping his drink.
"Listen I don't have another shift today. But it just looks like a 24-hour bug. He probably caught it from someone on the street, a cough or sneeze is all it would take. Keep him on the BRAT diet and give him water or watery fruit juice. No milk, no orange juice."
"Banana, rice, applesauce, toast. Four foods he can eat. Your generic plain cracker will do all right as well. If he needs to throw up, get him a bucket or a plastic trash can, or if he's near the bathroom, the toilet. He'll probably be hot, then cold all through today. Cool washcloth on his head when he's hot and you can wipe off his face and neck. When he's cold, just get him blankets. Have him nap a little after one and just keep him happy. If you need anything, just call okay?"
Sarah nodded tersely. Chuck had the morning shift again, but Sarah was looking so desperate, that he called in sick and after assuring Big Mike that his sister said it was only a 24-hour bug, he returned to Sarah. She was badly concealing her gratefulness, which Chuck ignored. He knew if he pointed it out, it would make her feel either uncomfortable of defensive.
They spent the afternoon taking care of Konate. He threw up twice more, but in a bucket. During his nap, Chuck and Sarah just lay on her bed, within earshot of Konate, and played "Marry, Screw, Cliff," and "Would you rather?" for two hours.
"Okay, I got another one. Princess Leia, Troi from The Next Generation, or Starbuck from the new Battlestar Galactica?"
"Hmmm. I can't believe I never compared these three. And all of them have romantic pairs on the shows. How can I possibly marry any of them knowing I'm cheating their mates out of a lifetime relationship?"
"Chuck, it's hypothetical."
"Well hypothetically, I'd be breaking someone's heart."
"Chuck, come on."
"All right, all right. Marry Leia, screw Troi, cliff Starbuck. You…Han Solo, Will Riker, or Apollo?"
"Who's Apollo again?"
"When this is over, you're watching a Battlestar Galactica marathon with me. Apollo is the brunette. Son of the old guy who's a captain. Played by Jamie Bamber."
"Okay…I'll marry Riker, screw Apollo, cliff Solo."
"He will be missed. Eating three spiders or cleaning up barf three times?"
"Wow. You're pretty hardcore."
"Chuck, I'm a spy. They don't exactly select pansies for this job. Okay, never watch Star Wars again or be forced to spend a year only associating with Jeff and Lester."
"I'm thinking suicide might be better than making me choose."
"Come on, Chuck. Which one?" Sarah teased.
"Jeff and Lester. My loyalty to Star Wars is too great to sacrifice it…then again; they do have books…okay no Star Wars. But only if I can read the books."
Sarah laughed and Chuck gave her a sort of half-smile.
"Okay, I got one for you, spy girl. Having to take on twelve ninjas while totally unarmed, or be a pole dancer exclusively for Jeff and Lester."
"Ninjas. Ninjas one hundred percent."
They drove on for an hour, and then Allison told Casey to take an exit. She pulled out her phone.
"Jack? You still owe me a favor." There was a sort of muttering on the other end.
"No way. I saved you in three different cities. I need a car." More muttering followed.
"Van. Tinted windows. Storage for weapons in the back. And I need you to get the car I'm in back to the NSA."
A soft but definite, "To the NSA? Those idiots?" was clearly audible through the phone.
"Yes. I'm working with one of their people right now. I'm ten miles out from you."
"Ten miles?" was practically shouted through the phone.
"Yes. I know you have it, so don't act like you don't. I'll be there shortly. And if you're not, you know the sort of trouble I can make for you. Easy. The Stairmen don't like you as it is. Would you like to make it worse?"
There was a pause.
"Yes. And coffee if you please. Goodbye." She snapped the phone shut, then smiled at Casey, looking very much like the cat whom had caught the canary.
"Friend of yours?"
"Business associate." Allison climbed from the passenger seat and made her way to the back of the van. From the floor storage compartments, she pulled out two Kevlar vests and pulled one on, adjusting the straps. She climbed back up to the front of the car.
Casey raised an eyebrow, but obeyed. Allison handed him the vest, then climbed back into the back. She pulled out a suitcase. Inside it was a mess of harnesses and rigging. She lifted Saira's car seat from the seat and placed it in the suitcase, easily buckling and tightening and knotting all the straps. The baby didn't stir, used to the constant motion. Allison zipped up the suitcase.
"What are you doing?"
"It's bulletproof, has excellent ventilation, and muffles nearly all sound. I don't want my associate knowing what our mission is. My company has a few agents with questionable morals. This man is one of them."
"And we're getting a car from him?"
"He's reliable and he owes me. Not to mention I have a device in my bag that will short out any trackers, listening devices, or any other tech he puts on the car. It'll be an older model with little computer software in it."
Casey put on his vest, then slid a jacket over it. Allison pulled on a coat, nodded to Casey, and he drove.
They pulled up in front of an auto repair shop with two of the letters in the sign out. It's red, flickering sign said, 'open' and the whole place was covered in a thin layer of California dust.
"Stay in the car," Allison said and she hopped out. Sticking two fingers in her mouth, she let out a sharp, piercing whistle.
"Jack! Get out here!"
A tall man build like a wrestler stalked out of the front door.
"No, I'm the CIA here to arrest you. Who do you think it is you great lump?"
Jack chuckled low in his throat and waved one arm.
"Come on. I'll show you your new ride."
Allison followed him to a very plain-looking van. It had several rows of seats and was painted a flaky beige. Windows with cheap curtains lines the sides.
"Product of the sixties?"
"You should have seen the paint on this thing when I bought it."
"How many does it seat?"
"Lemme see. Driver, passenger, then three rows with three seats each. That'd be…eleven."
"Help me take out the two back rows. I only need the one for a nap couch."
"Storage is hidden under the last two rows."
"I'll cover it with the carpeting you've got in the shed."
"I sold that, some three years ago."
"Liar. Now help me get these seats out."
They took out the seats, and Jack fetched the roll of carpeting from the shed. Allison got Jack to go get coffee while she and Casey loaded the van. Saira's 'suitcase' was placed in behind the driver's seat. Two suitcases were tossed onto the expanse of back covered by brown shag carpeting. Jack was back around when they were putting the carpet back on.
He handed them each a Styrofoam cup of coffee and nodded at Allison.
Jack snorted. "I'll get the idiots back their van."
"Leave it in the parking lot of the Easy-Stop at the next exit. They'll pick it up."
Allison nodded at him and climbed into the van. Casey did the same, started the van, and then drove back for the highway. As soon as they were out of sight, Allison pulled a device resembling a remote control from her pocket. She swept the entire van.
"Clean. I expected something…" She was about to turn off the device when it blipped next to her coffee cup. "Not even coffee is sacred anymore." She took her cup and Casey's and tossed them out the window.
"Walters, there are laws—"
"Which I gladly follow when someone's life is not in danger." She unzipped Saira's 'suitcase' and buckled the baby's car seat into the row of seats behind them.
"You still got the barbecue?"
"Yeah, right here." Allison turned to fetch the now-lukewarm wings and fries and hissed in pain. Her wound from earlier was on fire as the adrenaline rush faded. It was bleeding too.
"What?" Casey saw the foot-long line of blood-soaked fabric along her left pant leg.
"I'll get the first aid kit from my bag."
I KNOW it's been forever and a day, but I've been really busy. Trying to get into college is hard work. Plus school, work, and family stuff. So don't hate me please. And review me!!! I loves me some reviews! Thanks to dots, as usual, and yay for the new season of Chuck!