Chuck vs. Family Matters
It was another typical day at the Buy More. Major John Casey spent his time restocking shelves with products he really didn't care about, doing a job that he despised. Even before he started working for the government he never had such a boring job as the Buy More. Growing up, he always knew what profession he would do, even if it was pushed onto him. He didn't mind, though, as he knew he was very good at his job. He never realized how much he would enjoy it when his father made him enlist in the Air Force.
He stood up from his crouched position to stretch his legs. He kicked out each leg to get the feeling back into them. Letting out a disdainful grunt, he grabbed the now empty crate to take to the back. The delivery trucks should be coming soon with the new inventory and he always looked forward to the manual labor.
As he made his way up the main aisle of the store, a female voice shouted for his attention behind him. "Uncle Casey!" she said as she launched toward him.
Casey turned just in time to catch the young woman with a genuine smile on his face, probably the first one anyone here has ever seen him give. "Evelyn Jane!" He twirled around in a circle and gently allowed her to get her footing on the ground. Pulling away from their embrace he looked her in the face, "I didn't think you guys would get here until tomorrow."
Another woman approached the pair as she responded, "Well, this one couldn't contain her excitement to come so we thought we'd surprise you."
"Yeah," Evelyn agreed, "Did it work?"
"Yes. I am surprised." Casey walked up to the other woman and gave her a hug, "Trisha. Long time no see. How have you been?"
Trisha returned the hug with a smile as she said, "Oh, you know, as well as can be expected. And you?"
"I've had my ups and downs but overall things are pretty good." Casey indicated the crate in his hands and said, "Let me put this away and I'll talk to Big Mike about getting out of here early. We can go get some dinner."
Trisha said, "Okay but then we have to go get a room-"
"Nonsense," Casey interrupted, "I have room for the both of you for tonight and then you're welcome to stay with me after, Trisha."
"John, that's really sweet but you don't have to go out of your way for us."
"I know, but I want to. Everything has already been arranged for it anyway."
"So the General knows?"
"Yes. You are important to her, you know."
"Alright," Eve said, "Lets stop talking about this. You guys are getting more depressing by the minute. Come on, Mom. Uncle Casey wouldn't have offered if he didn't know it was approved. He's all about regulations and orders. And we didn't come here early so I could watch you guys mope."
Casey smiled at his niece. Even with everything she is going through, she has always remained positive and optimistic. "I'll be right back." He jogged to the back of the store and entered the employee only area, throwing the crate in. On his way back to the front, he stopped by Big Mike's office to tell him he is heading off for the day but Big Mike wasn't there. "Figures," he muttered. Looking around the store, he spotted Morgan talking to Jeff and Lester. He let out a grunt as he walked to the trio. "Morgan!" he bellowed grabbing him by the shoulder, "Come with me."
"Oh, hi there, John. Are you sure it's me you're looking for? I mean Chuck-" Morgan tried to shake John's hold on his shoulder looking desperately back at Jeff and Lester for help.
"No, Morgan. I don't wanna talk to Bartowski. And if you ever tell him about this, I will kill you," he said dragging Morgan down a different aisle. He stopped only once he was out of earshot of everyone and whispered, "I need a favor."
Morgan leaned in carefully to hear, "What's that, big guy?"
Casey grunted and rolled his eyes, "I need to leave. Can you cover for me?"
"Sure thing," Morgan said relieved that it wasn't anything else. He started gesturing wildly between the two of them, "So what is this? Are we- are we bonding now? Am I part of your inner circle?"
Casey grunted and shook his head. "Don't forget to clock me out."
"Okay, have fun, Big Guy," Morgan said watching as he departed.
Jeff and Lester walked over to Morgan and watched as John walked out of the store with the two women. "That is one scary dude," Jeff stated.
Sarah Walker looked up from wiping down the counter at the Orange Orange for what seemed like the millionth time that day. Chuck normally took the time to come over on his lunch break to see how she was doing that day. Even if it was just to keep up appearances, she had come to rely on that. He was never one to let her down but today she was actually quite nervous that he wouldn't show. Last night was another time that she let him down, again. She just wished he could see that it wasn't anything about him that made it so they couldn't be together. If it were a different place or a different time then they may have actually had a shot but she wasn't going to give up the one thing in her whole life that made her who she was. The CIA has become like a surrogate family for her. Granted, the Bartowski's are trying to change that and little by little it seems to be working.
As she gazed out the window, she saw John Casey walking towards his Crown Victoria with two women in tow. He was actually laughing and smiling with the younger one and she could hardly believe her eyes. John never smiled or even laughed for that matter. What was even more bewildering is that he actually held open the front and back passenger doors for them. Who knew chivalry wasn't dead, or that he even had it in him.
"Agent Walker," came Beckman's voice over the register. "Come to Castle immediately. We need to talk."
Sarah was jolted out of her reverie at the commanding voice. "Yes, General Beckman. I'm on my way." Beckman's image shut off the monitor. Sarah walked to the front door of the store to lock it and change the sign from open to closed so no customers would show. Not that there would ever be a problem with that. Hardly anyone ever came into the yogurt shop. She took one last look at the retreating Crown Vic and then made her way to the freezer.
She typed in her password to unlock the heavy door and made her way deeper into Castle. General Beckman's image was already on screen waiting for her as she went down the stairs. "Agent Walker," Beckman began before she ever made it to the ground floor, "I need you to keep a closer eye on the asset for the time being. Major Casey will be detained for an indefinite period of time."
"Is Casey in some sort of trouble, General?"
"Not at all. He will be tending to personal matters. Team Bartowski isn't going to be going on missions until he returns. We will need the asset for remote surveillance on missions for other teams to see if he flashes on anything though no one will be made aware of his identity. Perhaps now would be a good time for you and Bartowski to move in together."
Sarah took in a deep breath as she replied, "General, is there something going on that I should know about? It seems rather unusual to go to such lengths-"
"Agent Walker, if myself or Major Casey wanted you to know what was going on, we would tell you. All you need to know is that he will be unavailable for the majority of time starting now and the asset needs to be kept safe which will fall directly on your shoulders for now. Is that understood?"
"Yes, Ma'am," Sarah said with a curt nod.
"Good. Enjoy the down time." And with that, Beckman's image was gone. Sarah was a bit perturbed with the new development. She and Chuck were pretty much on the rocks and now they would have to move in together. As it was her feelings towards Chuck were already progressing to dangerous proportions and to have to be around him twenty-four seven was going to make them even more impossible to ignore. She just hoped this wouldn't end up getting her reassigned. As much as she wanted to deny it, Chuck is a big part of her happiness these days and to go from seeing him everyday to not seeing him at all would be difficult to say the least.
With heavy feet, Sarah walked upstairs to get back to her more than boring day job. She went to the front door and flipped over the sign once again and unlocked the door just in time as Chuck was walking through the parking lot towards the store. She gave him a brief smile through the window, glad that he was still keeping up with tradition. She opened the door and waited for him to come in. "Hi, Chuck."
He smiled back but not as bright as normal and replied, "Hey, Sarah. So anything new on the espionage front?" Chuck was well aware that if she was unlocking the door, she just had a meeting with the General. Maybe there would be a mission tonight. Just what he needs, another reason to lie to Ellie to get out of dinner. Ever since this damn intersect came into his life, all he has done is lie. Lie to Ellie, lie to Morgan, even lie to himself, which was almost the worst thing. He really missed being able to spend time with his sister.
Sarah allowed the door to close and walked behind the counter. With her back turned to him, she grabbed two cups and filled them with yogurt to distract herself as she responded, "Actually, General Beckman ordered us to move in together." Sarah turned around and handed him a cup of his favorite flavor. "I guess Casey has something going on that will make him unavailable and it will be up to me to keep you safe."
Chuck took the offered yogurt. "Really?" he said with a less than enthusiastic expression. "What is the G-man going to be up to?"
Sarah hopped up on the counter and dug into her yogurt. "I really don't know. She just said it was personal and that we also won't be going on missions until he is done. You might have to help with surveillance and stuff for other missions but nothing too harsh. I guess you can sort of look at this like a vacation."
Chuck leaned against the counter looking into his frozen desert. "Well, I guess there are worse ways to end up with a vacation. So when is this moving thing supposed to happen?"
"As soon as the CIA finds a place, I assume. She didn't give me much details."
"Okay. So are we telling people or should we wait? What do you want to do?"
Sarah stirred her yogurt before spooning some into her mouth. "Well, I think it will happen pretty soon. It sounds like Casey's thing has already started. Maybe we could tell Ellie at dinner tonight? Give you some time to pack?"
Chuck nods. "Great. They like to do everything on short notice."
Sarah smiled at his annoyance. "You get used to it."
"Yeah, well, it's not something I ever thought I would have to get used to." He threw the empty yogurt cup into the trash bin. "I guess its back to the Buy More for me. Meet you here after my shift?"
"Okay. I can give you a ride home. I saw Casey leave earlier. I just have to stop at the hotel and grab an overnight bag on our way."
"Awesome. Bye, Sarah." Chuck exited the store before she replied and walked to the Buy More. This wasn't good. He just laid everything out on the line and she denied him, again, and now he was going to have to live with her. Damn Bryce Larkin and his stupid meddling. Sometimes he wishes he never went to Stanford. His life would be so different if he had just gone to UCLA like Ellie wanted him to or even Juilliard like he really wanted. And now, not only that, he gets time off which means that he and Sarah will actually have to spend time together without missions and they get to be normal . . . which might not be so bad. He can show her that normal isn't always a horrible thing. That brought a big smile to his face. Things could work out in his favor after all.
"Hey, Chuck, what's that smile all about, buddy?" Morgan asked and Chuck walked in.
"You know, little buddy, I just had the best visit with Sarah today."
"Dude, that is so awesome that you guys worked things out. You did work things out right? You didn't break up with her again?"
"No, no. Nothing like that. We decided to move in together."
"What? That's a horrible idea!" Morgan says.
Chuck's face became crestfallen. "What is wrong with that idea, Morgan? Aren't you the one who is moving in with Anna? It was actually you guys that inspired us. Once you decided to move in with Anna over me, I still felt it was time for me to move on from Ellie's and get my own place. What better way to do that than with your girlfriend?"
"But, Chuck, I know Sarah is hot and everything but you guys like to take everything slow. Like so slow a tortoise moves more quickly. In your world, that is way too fast for you guys."
Chuck laughed. If only Morgan knew how fast things really went in his world. "There is a time to finally hit the accelerator, buddy, otherwise you just fade into being friends and I don't want that to happen. It's time. We can make this work. I actually feel really, really good about this choice. Just be happy for me please?"
"Okay, fine. But if it doesn't work out I get to say I told you so."