"So. This is what a real spy does, huh?"
Chuck looks up to see Devon standing at the doorway. "Actually, I was just reading some comics," Chuck says. Devon looks under a stack of books. "Uh...Devon?"
"So....are there hidden secrets in here?" Devon asks. "Like, top secret government stuff?"
"Yeah, those are just gaming manuals. Um..." Chuck looks up at Devon expectantly. "Listen, Devon, I don't mean to be rude, but this sort of thing, we like to keep it on the down low, you know? Top secret and everything."
"Oh yeah." Devon scratches his head. "Well, I'm going for a bike ride. You wanna come? I got an extra pair of bike shorts with your name on it."
"Yeah, me and tight shorts. We don't mix too well," Chuck says. Devon shrugs.
"Well suit yourself. Later dude," Devon says.
Of all the people to find out, Chuck is secretly glad it was Devon. Ellie would have a panic attack and a heart attack at the same time; Morgan would demand he be a spy too and compromise all sorts of things. And Lester and Jeffrey....well Chuck doesn't even want to think about that. But mostly, it's nice to finally have someone to talk spy stuff with. Especially someone who'd think it was awesome.
Chuck is in the kitchen, pouring himself a bowl of lucky charms, when Devon wanders in wearing nothing but track pants and a towel slung over his shoulder. "Hey bro," Devon says. He opens the fridge. "Dude we got any OJ?"
"In the back," Chuck says. He spoons his lucky charms, picking out the marshmallows. He watches as Devon pours himself a glass of orange juice, and then cracks two eggs. "Protein," Devon says. "Good for muscle building." Chuck resists the urge to hurl as Devon tosses the raw egg and OJ combo back like a shot of tequila.
"You going to work?" Devon asks.
"Yeah," Chuck says. "You know. Saving the world one nerd herd at a time."
Devon grins and nods his head. He glances behind his shoulder, then hits Chuck on the arm. "I was thinking, maybe you can show me some spy moves? You know, like self-defense stuff. Dude I saw this guy, he did akido and karate, and he was ripped dude, like completely built. Maybe you can show me some hot spy work-outs or something."
Chuck glances at the security camera Casey had mounted behind Ellie's Chinese ceramic vase. Sarah and Casey both warned Chuck about sharing too much info ("No mentioning the intersect, Chuck" Sarah said. "As far as Devon's concerned, you're just the computer guy."
"Computer guy?" Chuck said. "I was thinking with the new Intersect, I'd qualify for something a little more badass. Like....assassin. Or, ooh, what about 'kung-fu master'?"
Casey grunted. "Stick to your strengths, Bartowski," Casey said.)
"I'm not really that kind of spy," Chuck says, slowly. "I'm an analyst. I do mostly intel work," Chuck says.
"Oooh. So that's why you got Sarah and John helping you out," Devon says.
"Exactly," Chuck says.
"Cool," Devon says. "Maybe I'll ask John to show me some stuff."
"Yeah, you don't want to do that," Chuck says. "Casey's a little, uh, unbalanced. He tends to get a little trigger happy when he's irritated."
"We'll see." Devon winks.
"Bro you better get going before you're late for work," Devon says.
Devon waves. "Bye, Chuck."
Chuck glances up at the camera hidden behind the ceramic vase in the corner and hurries out before Casey comes and slaps him upside the head.
"So bro. When are you gonna show me kung-fu?"
Devon is standing at the doorway. It's evening now, and several hours since their last conversation; Chuck had rather hoped Devon forgot about it.
"Yeah, about that," Chuck says.
"C'mon, dude, spill," Devon says. He pushes through the door and sits on the bed. "Dude, you can trust me. I got your back. I've been keeping secrets--keeping them from Ellie, man!--and the least you can do is show me some moves."
(If his life were a blog, Chuck wonders how many hits it would generate: Awesome asked me to teach him kung-fu. I was like, "wtf?")
"I don't have any moves--and shouldn't we not be talking about this?" Chuck says. He stands and heads toward the living room.
"Dude come on," Devon says. "You gotta show me some moves. The crouching tiger! The white crane double attack--"
"Kung-fu bro!" Devon beats his chest. "I mean, they gotta train you for self-defense, right? Like, what if I were to rush you....like this!"
Devon lunges. Chuck reels backwards. Images, eyes rolling back...
BLOOD. KATAS. GRIP. FOOTBALL. KUNG-FU. YOI NO KISIN TAI NO SHINSHUKU!!
Chuck spins, grabbing Devon by the arm and throwing him over the shoulder. Devon flies forward, slamming against the wall.
"Oh my God, Devon!" Chuck rushes toward him. "Oh my God, Devon, Jesus, I'm so sorry--"
"Owww..." Devon curls against the wall.
"Devon Devon you okay?" Chuck kneels next to him. "Oh my God, Ellie's gonna kill me....Devon. Devon! Hey, hey, don't pass out, now..."
Devon slowly raises his head.
"Dude you flipped me." Devon struggles to sit up. "Whoa," Devon says.
Chuck is pale. "Devon I am so sorry," Chuck says. "I didn't know you were gonna rush me, I just reacted--"
"Dude!" Devon is grinning, stupidly. "You flipped me! That was sick, bro! Seriously!"
"You....you're not mad at me?" Chuck says.
"Mad? Dude. Why would I be mad?" Devon moves, then winces. "Aah," Devin says. "My head."
"Yeah, maybe we should take a look at that," Chuck says.
"My man," Devon says. "You totally schooled me, bro. That was friggin awesome!"
"Yeah I think we need to revisit the definition of 'awesome' there, buddy," Chuck says.
"Ow," Devon says.
Chuck helps him to Casey's apartment.
"Moron! What the hell were you doing, flipping your brother-in-law like that?" Casey glares at both of them. "And you!" Casey says. "Just because you've somehow bungled into a nest of government secrets does not mean you get to pester the asset."
"Look, Casey, I already said I was sorry," Chuck says.
They're sitting in Casey's living room, Devon and Chuck sharing the makeshift examining table with Casey sewing stitches in Devon's forehead. Devon didn't have sterile sutures in his apartment, but they both knew Casey had ample enough supplies to spare. They could have gone to the emergency room, but they would have had to explain the cut on Devon's temple, and neither of them were looking forward to lying. "Ow!" Devon says. "Dude, easy!"
"What? You don't like my technique, Doctor?" Case jabs the needle into Devon's skin.
"Ow!" Devon says.
"Guys. Let's try and let go of the negative energy. Okay? Let's just concentrate on getting Devon all sewn up before Ellie gets home," Chuck says.
"Hey you better not make him mad," Devon says. "Chuck's a madman, bro. He will take you down in fifty seconds, flat."
"Oh really?" Casey stands, pushing up his shirtsleeves.
"Uh, guys..." Chuck's eyes dart. "Um, let's just back up a second, here..."
"You really think this little twerp can take me?" Casey's eyes flash.
"Hell yeah Chuck can take you!" Devon says. He squares his chest, then claps Chuck on the shoulder. "Yo man, just because you're NSA doesn't mean you can't get served a healthy can of whoopass."
"Dude, I am sick of how you're always bossing us around!" Devon says. "Always marching back and forth, glaring at everybody like you're some sort of badass super spy--"
"Well, technically, he kinda is," Chuck says.
"And we're sick of it!" Devon says. "Chuck's sick of it too! And don't blame us if you haven't gotten laid in eternity, bro," Devon says. "That Reagan paperweight there? Yeah, that's not exactly hot."
Oh no. Chuck looks up and sees Casey's temple start to throb.
"Did you just insult Mr. Reagan?" Casey asks. Chuck can see his neck veins start to pop. "One of the greatest presidents ever to lead this country?"
Devon stands up and meets Casey, face to face. "What if I did?" Devon asks.
"Guys, guys wait!" Chuck jumps up, pushing between them. "I think we can all agree that Ronald Reagan was a great president, a really cool president, just...guys just don't kill each other, okay?"
Devon glares. "I think you have a serious problem, bro," Devon says.
"Yeah?" Casey says. He steps closer. "And what are you gonna do about it?" Casey takes another step. "Bro?"
Devon's nostrils flare. "Oh no," Chuck says. He can see the whites of Casey's eyes. "Oh no, no..."
Devon swings. Casey deflects the blow.
"Oh no, oh no!" Chuck says. He jumps and yelps. "Guys, guys please!"
"ARRRRRRRRRRRRR!" Devon charges forward, head-butting Casey in the stomach.
"Ow," Chuck says. He winces. The two men tumble on the ground. "Ow, ouch. That can't be good...."
They slam against the front door, which spills open into the courtyard. Devon and Casey tumble out onto the lawn, a tangle of limbs and legs. "ARRRRRRRRRRR! ARRRRRR!"
"Guys!" Chuck runs after them. "Guys, really--"
A fist slams into Chuck's face. Chuck staggers backward.
His eyes roll in the back of his head. Images coming into focus.....
KUNG-FU. YOI NO KISIN TAI NO SHINSHUKU!!
"YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR!" Chuck says, and he headbutts both Casey and Devon and slams them into the tree. "YAAAAAAAAAAAR!" Chuck says, and an elbow smashes into Casey's face. "YARRR!"
Ten minutes later, Chuck is wringing his hands. "Oh man. Oh God. Casey don't kill me."
Casey growls, an ice pack over his eye.
"Dude, that was awesome!" Devon says. "You took both of us at once! That's so friggin cool!"
"Idiot," Casey says. He presses his forehead with a bag of ice. "Ouch."
Ellie rounds the corner, hefting a bag of groceries against her hip. Fumbling for her house keys, she steps into the courtyard and sees Devon and John sitting on the fountain with Chuck babbling incoherently.
"Oh my God!" Ellie says. She sets down the groceries and rushes toward the three men, who are in various states of injury and are huddled together like broken dolls. "Jesus, what happened? Are you all right?" Ellie asks.
"Ellie! Ellie!" Chuck rushes toward her. "I tried to stop them, honestly I did, but they were going at it and--"
"We fell down a flight of stairs," John says.
Ellie blinks. "What?"
"They were helping me move," John says. "But your brother here lost his footing. Took the rest of us down with him."
"Oh, Chuck." Ellie's shoulders slump. "What did I tell you about overexerting yourself?"
"I know, I know, proper body mechanics," Chuck says.
Devon twitches. Ellie glances back at him. "Honey, what's wrong?"
"Chuck didn't fall," Devon says. John and Chuck's eyes widen. "No dude, it was John who friggin fell, man. Blame him."
"Hey!" John says.
"Look, it doesn't matter who fell, all that matters is that you're all right," Ellie says. She touches Devon's forehead. "Nice stitches," she says. She picks up her groceries and heads toward the door. "Oh, and I'm cooking pot roast, so we can invite Sarah over to dinner. John you're more than welcome to stay. I might even have an extra steak for that eye."
John grunts. "Thanks," he says.
Ellie smiles. "C'mon," she says. "You can help me with the salad."
"Awesome!" Devon says. He jumps up and trots after her, like a kid at Christmas.
After what Chuck secretly called "The Great Casey Ass-Whoopage of 2009," things seem to settle back into a normal routine. Days pass without Devon so much as even mentioning spy stuff. "I got your back, bro," Devon said, and he winked as Ellie busied herself making the salad. It's not until two weeks later that Chuck comes back from a fake date with Sarah and sees Casey and Devon sparring in the back. "Uh, hey Casey. What are you doing here?" Chuck asks.
"Numb-nuts here wouldn't shut the hell up, so I figured I'd show him some things so he'd leave me alone," Casey says. Devon grins.
"Dude's showing me some moves!" Devon says. Casey grunts in approval.
Casey crouches, putting his arms up. "When you go to attack, you have to keep your center of gravity low, otherwise your enemies can knock you off your feet. Like this."
Casey throws a punch, left, right, then roundhouse kick in the air. Chuck and Devon stare, mouths open.
"See," Casey says. "Gravity."
"Dude," Devon says. He's too awestruck to actually say "awesome."
Casey sniffs. "Yeah," Casey says. "And if you morons plan on playing spy all day, the least you can do is use the proper technique."
"Yeah, uh, Casey, about that." Chuck takes Casey by the arm. "I don't think you want to be teaching Devon proper--"
"So!" Devon says. "When are we gonna spar?
If his life were a blog, Chuck would make a note to facepalm right now.