Chuck vs. One Obnoxious Leprechaun
Just for old time's sake, I thought I'd set this one-shot in the "Bright Side" AU, since I haven't written anything there in seven months. This story takes place, obviously, on March 17th, 2009, which, in the Bright Side AU, is the day after Chuck and Sarah return from their honeymoon in Utah.
As a reminder, the Bright Side AU was created LONG before we learned that Sarah went to high school in San Diego. As such, the reference to "Boston blood coursing through her veins" is a reference to the fact that, on the Bright Side, Sarah was Boston-born-and-raised.
In addition, in this AU, the Orange Orange and the Castle don't exist. Thus, briefings are still conducted in the Buy More home theatre lounge.
March 17th, 2009
The prior ten days of Chuck Bartowski's life had been glorious. March 7th, he had gotten married. March 8th to 16th, he had been on his honeymoon in Moab, Utah, with his wife – the incomparable Sarah Walker.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. And so it was that on St. Patrick's Day, Chuck kissed his wife good-bye and headed off to work for the first time since getting married.
Back to the Buy More.
"I have got to find a new job," he grumbled as he trudged across the parking lot toward the big electronics store.
Halfway across the lot, he was intercepted by John Casey. "Morning, Bartowski," Casey grumbled.
"Good morning to you, too, Casey," Chuck replied.
"Nothing 'good' about it," Casey grunted. "You do realize that I've been scarred for life by you and Walker's little episode in the car yesterday, right?"
Chuck grinned. Casey had been foolish enough to pick him and Sarah up from the airport in a limo the day before, and the two newlyweds had made full use of the large back seat and the privacy screen. Unfortunately for the NSA agent, the privacy screen only blocked visuals – not sound.
"And yet, I do believe you'll survive," Chuck replied as they got closer to the store.
That's when Chuck's ears pricked up. "What the hell?" he said, frowning. "Is somebody singing 'Danny Boy'?"
Casey narrowed his eyes and pointed. "I think we have a drunk leprechaun outside the store."
Sure enough, there was a man, dressed entirely in kelly green, a green and gold bowler hat perched on his head, staggering up and down in front of the Buy More, singing "Danny Boy". He looked scruffy, and as Chuck and Casey got closer, they were able to smell that he had been drinking for several hours already.
"Top of the mornin' to ye, and happy Saint Patrick's Day!" he called drunkenly as the two men passed. Casey shook his head in disgust, but Chuck looked at the man –
And was surprised to see him looking straight back at him with a pair of very alert, completely unimpaired eyes. Chuck looked back at the man, trying not to let the surprise he felt reach his face, and then turned and continued into the store.
As soon as they were inside, he turned to Casey. "Casey, I think there's something up with that guy outside."
Casey snorted. "Yeah, he's crazy and drunk."
"I don't think so," Chuck replied, shaking his head. "I made eye contact with him. He's not drunk, and he's not crazy. I think he's sober and perfectly sane – and probably up to something."
Casey raised an eyebrow. "You didn't flash on him, though?"
"No," Chuck said. "But I think we ought to be careful, nonetheless."
"Roger that," Casey replied, heading toward the back room. As he went, he pulled out his phone.
"Walker, secure," he heard a moment later.
"Hey, Walker, your dear husband and I just saw a suspicious individual outside the Buy More. Chuck didn't flash, but I'm going to send you a photo. Run it through the databases, see if you get a match of any sort."
Ten minutes later, Sarah called Casey back. The man's face didn't match anything in any of the federal databases. "Was Chuck sure about this?"
"Sure as he could be without a flash." Casey shrugged. "And much as I hate to say it, I have come to trust his intuition."
"Alright," Sarah replied. "I'll be there in a little bit and keep an eye on the guy."
Twenty minutes later, Sarah's Porsche pulled up in front of the Buy More. She drove past the "leprechaun" – not too fast, not too slow. He definitely looked like a vagrant.
She pulled around the parking lot and parked in the shade of a tree, just in front of the Wienerlicious. A smile crossed her face as she realized she never, ever had to go back there again.
Reaching over to the passenger seat, she grabbed her binoculars. Bringing them to her face, she focused on the vagrant outside the Buy More.
At first, nothing seemed to be unusual – but the more Sarah watched him, the more she started to think that Chuck was right. He was watching his surroundings very closely, and Sarah realized that his movements were actually very carefully choreographed – she was dealing with a true professional here.
"Alright, buddy, who might you be?" she muttered to herself.
Sarah watched the "leprechaun" for another fifteen minutes – and then something very strange happened. A black Chrysler 300 limousine pulled up to the curb, and the leprechaun opened the back door and got in.
Sarah grabbed her phone and dialed Casey. "Casey, secure."
"Casey, our 'leprechaun' just got in a limo," Sarah reported. "I think Chuck was very much right about this guy."
"So… what exactly are you planning?"
Sarah smiled. "Why, I'm going to follow him to his pot of gold, of course."
"If I'm good, I might even just get his lucky charms."
There was silence on the other end, and Sarah cringed. "That sounded bad, didn't it?"
"Walker, for the record, the only man's lucky charms you should be going after right now…" Casey stopped. "Nope, I'm not even gonna finish that thought."
"Do me a favor – keep Chuck in the store," Sarah said. "I don't want him trying to play the hero."
"That's two of us."
Twenty minutes later, the limousine rolled to a stop outside a warehouse in Sun Valley. This was far from Sarah's favorite part of Los Angeles – in fact, she felt rather nervous in what was rapidly becoming the crime capital of the San Fernando Valley.
The leprechaun exited the limo and went inside the warehouse. As the limo rolled away, Sarah pulled up next to the warehouse and exited the Porsche – just in time to hear gunshots inside. Ducking down behind her car, Sarah drew her sidearm – her Marine Corps issue Colt 1911.
Moving quickly, Sarah scuttled around the back end of her Porsche and through the door, entering the warehouse. When she reached the interior, she saw the leprechaun standing in front of a laptop – and four bodies lying on the floor.
Sarah drew herself up to her full five feet, ten inches, aimed her gun at the leprechaun, and hollered, "FREEZE!"
His head whipped around, and his hands flew up in the air. "And who might ye be?"
"Just shut up," Sarah said. She quickly closed the distance between herself and the leprechaun, and removed a tiny snub-nosed .38 from his waistband. "Out the door," she ordered him. "Move."
"I don't know who ye are, but ye'r makin' a huge mistake," he protested.
"I said, be quiet," Sarah growled. She folded the laptop closed and stuck it under her arm. Then, pushing the leprechaun ahead of her, she guided him out the door. She got him into the Porsche, and she had just closed the shotgun door, when two large Dodge pickup trucks came roaring up to the warehouse from either direction. Four men with guns jumped out of each, taking cover behind their doors.
"DROP YOUR WEAPON AND RELEASE YOUR PRISONER!" a British accented voice called. "THIS IS BRITISH INTELLIGENCE!"
Sarah's jaw dropped, and a grin of disbelief formed on her face. "Oh, bullSHIT!" she yelled back. "You drop your weapons! Central Intelligence Agency, assholes!"
And just like that, she heard the sounds of eight guns being disengaged, and the men stepped out from behind their doors. Slowly, Sarah brought her gun down. "Ma'am, I believe you're making a mistake," the man who had originally spoken said as he approached her.
"Really," Sarah replied dryly. "Does this man have authorization to be operating on American soil?" She cocked her head. "For that matter, do you?"
"That's what I thought," Sarah snapped. "Now get back in your truck and run away. This agent will be debriefed by the CIA, and when we're done with him, we'll release him."
The British agent narrowed his eyes and his face turned red with anger, but he nonetheless turned away. "Bloody Yank wanker," he muttered as he stalked off.
"So's your mother," Sarah shot back, feeling the Boston blood course through her veins.
Sarah rounded the front end of the Porsche. She could feel the leprechaun staring at her as she opened the car door and got in.
As she drove off, he remained silent, but continued staring at her. Finally, she slammed on the brakes, turned to him, and snapped, "What?!"
"Oh, it's just that you don't often see a beautiful woman with such a badass car and an incredibly lethal gun," he replied. The Irish brogue was gone, replaced by a far more cultured English accent.
"I'm one-of-a-kind," Sarah muttered.
"Indeed you are," he said. "I'm Cole Barker, Secret Intelligence Service. And may I ask who I have the pleasure of having been kidnapped by?"
Sarah sighed and rolled her eyes. Holding up her left hand so that the rings on her ring finger were QUITE visible, she said, "You have been apprehended by MRS. Sarah Walker Bartowski."
"Ah, a married woman," Barker replied, a note of disappointment in his voice. "No matter – it's a challenge I've overcome more than once."
Sarah gritted her teeth and gripped the steering wheel. "Please don't make me shoot you."
The doors slid open, and the store fell silent. Chuck, curious at the sudden silence, turned around from the computer he was working on –
To see his EXTREMELY angry wife frog-marching the leprechaun from outside the store toward the home theatre lounge, a laptop under her arm. Chuck looked over at Casey, who shook his head and shrugged.
Chuck sighed, and headed toward the home theatre lounge, Casey behind him. "Thank God," Sarah grumbled as the two entered the showroom.
"What's the matter?" Chuck asked. "Why do you have the leprechaun with you?"
"Because I am the inimitable Cole Barker, SIS," the leprechaun replied with a grin, extending a hand.
"Incorrigible's more like it," Sarah muttered as Chuck shook the SIS agent's hand.
"I'm Chuck Bartowski, CIA," Chuck replied, casting a confused look toward Sarah.
Barker smiled. "Ah, so you're the lucky bastard who's got Agent Bartowski here under lockdown," he said. "She's quite a remarkable woman."
"Yeah, she is," Chuck said, drawing out his words slowly, and suddenly understanding why Sarah seemed to have a strong dislike for Barker. "There's a reason why I married her." Sarah cast a dirty look in Chuck's direction. "Well, a few reasons," Chuck hastily added. "A lot, really. More than I can count."
The video screen flickered on, the images of a rather unhappy General Beckman and Director Graham appearing. "Cole Barker," Beckman said angrily.
"Hello, General," Barker replied with a jaunty grin. "Nice to see you again."
"Let's dispense with the pleasantries, shall we?" Graham asked. "Agent Barker, you have authorization to operate in Washington and New York. That's it. What the hell are you doing in Los Angeles?"
Barker's smile disappeared. "Uh, I was following up a lead on Fulcrum –"
"And you know DAMN well that any such leads are supposed to be reported to ME, and you MUST wait to receive authorization to follow them!" Beckman interrupted him. "Agent Barker, I've really had it up to here with you. Miami, Dallas, Denver – now this. You're done."
Barker's eyes widened. "What – you're not kicking me out of the States, are you?!"
Beckman grinned nastily. "That's exactly what I'm doing."
Barker grunted unhappily. "Bloody colonial bastards," he muttered.
"I'm just going to pretend I didn't hear that," Graham said. "You're to be on the next flight from Los Angeles that will get you to London. Agent Walker can drive you to the airport."
The smile returned to Barker's face. "Oh, well, then it's not a total loss, is it?"
Chuck didn't like the sounds of that. "Actually, why don't we have Major Casey drive him to the airport?"
"Not possible, Bartowski," General Beckman said. "Father O'Halloran's out of town, so Major Casey has to remain in your perimeter."
"Yeah, I think I'll be fine without him for an hour," Chuck shot back. "You know, given that I'm married to a trained assassin and all that?"
"Bartowski, Agent Walker is driving him to the airport," Graham snapped. "That is final."
Chuck's eyes narrowed. "No, it's not, and no, SHE's not!" he growled, his voice getting louder.
"Chuck, I'll be okay," Sarah said softly, laying a hand on his shoulder.
He turned to look at her. "I know you will," he replied quietly. "I trust you. But it's the principle of the matter here."
Chuck turned back toward the screen. "My wife is not driving this douchebag anywhere," he informed Graham. "And THAT is final." He stopped and smiled. "If you have a problem with that, SIR, I have a little story about a bunker in Utah that I'm sure the New York Times would LOVE."
Then Chuck's grin got even bigger. "Better yet, how about I find a way to inform the President? I'm pretty sure you'd be in the unemployment line by this time tomorrow." Chuck paused, a thoughtful look on his face. "Either that, or at the bottom of Rahm Emanuel's swimming pool."
Graham glared at Chuck. "Blackmailing a government official is a federal crime," Graham growled.
"As is kidnapping, but that's neither here nor there," Chuck shot back. "All I'm asking is for you to not subject Sarah to this jackass any longer."
Graham and Beckman were both silent for a long moment. Finally, Beckman said, "Fine. But we won't forget about this any time soon, Bartowski."
"Good for you," Chuck shot back as the video feed cut.
Barker looked at Chuck. "Bunker? Utah? Kidnapping? Rahm Emanuel's swimming pool?" He grinned. "That must be one hell of a story."
"Oh, it is," Chuck replied. "Too bad you'll never hear it."
As Casey guided Cole Barker out of the home theatre room, Sarah turned to Chuck, a perplexed look on her face. "What the hell got into you just now?"
Chuck shrugged. "I just don't like it when people push my wife around. I ESPECIALLY don't like it when they try to subject her to the attentions of a lecherous douchenozzle."
Sarah smiled slightly. "No, I understand," she replied. "And I will admit to being just the slightest bit turned on by your new found confidence."
"Oh, yeah?" Chuck asked.
Sarah grinned as she reached out to pull the door shut. "Oh, yeah."