Disclaimer: Chuck was created by Chris Fedak and Josh Schwartz, and belongs to NBC, Warner Brothers and College Hill Pictures. All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.

Summary: After apprehending the Fulcrum agent in Chuck v. The Gravitron, Casey settles down for Thanksgiving. Chuck has other plans.

Chuck v. The Scotch

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Casey sat alone in his apartment, slowly sipping from his glass of scotch on the rocks. He was worn out and tired and stressed. This last caper had been too close. He'd – THEY'D almost lost Chuck. And all because Chuck was a good guy who trusted way too easily.

Sometimes he was just tempted to plant a tracking device under Chuck's skin by force and use THAT to track Chuck the next time the nerd decided to be stupid, go against orders, and go off-grid. And maybe it'd be able to give the twerp a shock as well. The kid could use some inducement to not be a moron.

He was getting too old for this kind of thing. And he was starting to care entirely too much.

He didn't want Chuck to get hurt. When he looked up and saw that Jill was a member of Fulcrum, it was like he'd taken a hard blow to the gut. Chuck didn't deserve that kind of betrayal and pain. Chuck deserved better; he deserved more.

And sometimes Casey wished he could give Chuck more. But he shouldn't think that. Thinking that could lead to being compromised. Being compromised led to being retracted and reassigned. Being retracted and reassigned led to Chuck getting a new handler who wouldn't be able to understand Chuck, protect Chuck. And Casey wasn't going to let that happen.

He was thrown out of his thoughts by a knock on his door. A nerd knock. That Pee-Wee Herman knock, Chuck had said once.

Casey sighed and got up to answer. He really didn't want to deal with Chuck right now.

He opened the door.

"What?"

"Hey, there, Casey." There Chuck stood, in one of his stupid t-shirts, with the phrase "reboot me" on it. He was carrying a large bag, and Casey looked down to see about six or seven Tupperware containers in it.

"What did you need, Bartowski?" Casey wanted to drink the rest of his scotch.

"Can I come in, please?" He looked so earnest that Casey couldn't help but step back and let him in.

Chuck turned to him, looking anxious.

"Okay, here's the thing. I know that things aren't right between us, and that I've done some stupid, stupid things lately. Whatever trust you had for me is probably gone and beyond all hope of being repaired. I know that you're angry with me and probably want to throw me in a little glass cell so that you won't ever have to worry about where I'll be or maybe you just want to end my miserable existence so you can go back to normal things, like flying stealth bombers and sniping off foreign officials affiliated with terrorist groups or something. But it's Thanksgiving and I didn't want you to be alone. You deserve better than that. So," he gestured to the bag at his feet. "I brought over some of Ellie's cooking and thought I might reheat it for you so you're not stuck eating Easy-Mac and drinking scotch." He noticed the scotch glass on the table. "I see I'm too late about the scotch, but hopefully you want my sisters homemade mac and cheese and not the powdered kind."

"Anything else, Bartowski?" Casey was willing himself not to crack and to stay stone cold and detached.

"Um…thank you, for saving my life again. Sometimes I wonder why you even bother, with how stupid I get occasionally. But thanks. You always seem to catch me when I fall." Chuck gave that helpless little smile of his.

"How sweet." Stay detached, John. Stay detached.

"Yeah. I'm going to head back over, I guess. Um, enjoy the food. Ellie spent a lot of time cooking it and we'd hate to see it go to waste." Chuck gave a smile so awkwardly sad that it was pitiful and turned to go. He was almost opening the door before

"Go ahead and stay a bit, Chuck. Might as well let your sister and her boyfriend have some alone time." Way to man-up there, John. Fine job.

Chuck turned around.

"You really mean that? You want me to stay? You're sure?"

"I said it, didn't I?" Casey picked up the bag and walked over to the kitchen.

"Yeah, Casey, you did."

"Bring me my scotch, will you?" Casey called over his shoulder.

"Of course."

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I hope you enjoy! Questions, comments, and constructive criticism are greatly appreciated!