Author's Note: I think this is probably the worst thing I've ever written, but it was also one of the most enjoyable. This is probably the closest I will ever come to crack fic or a comedy piece. This isn't really part of my Chuck/Casey friendship series, kind of a branching off of that, but I guess you could say it was sorta related. Anyway, this was inspired by a four hour argument I had with some friends of mine about how to survive the zombie apocalypse.
If you are a fan of Chuck, then you've probably had a conversation like this at one point of time in your life. Maybe not zombies, but probably something else (one of my personal faves is the famous Death Star discussion from Clerks). I hope you enjoy!
"I think the first thing we need to do is establish just what kind of zombies we're talking about here."
The three nodded their heads at once.
"That's right, because each different kind of zombie is going to mean a different kind of zombie apocalypse. We'll have to tailor our plans accordingly."
Chuck really wished that Jeff, Lester, and Morgan were having this debate anywhere else but in front of the Nerd Herd Counter. He was actually trying to get some work done, stuff he hadn't had a chance to do because his other life was keeping him so busy. Despite his repeated entreaties for them to move somewhere else and leave him in peace, they insisted in trying to engage him in their conversation. Under most circumstances he'd be touched by their desire to include him, but at the moment, he just wanted some peace.
"Are we talking original recipe zombies or extra crispy?"
"What's the difference?"
"You know, original Romero zombies or," Jeff paused and stage whispered, "those zombies from that cinematic abortion by the guy who made that gay movie with all the guys in diapers."
Chuck chuckled quietly despite himself at Jeff's comment. He quickly composed himself before they noticed that he was actually paying attention to their arguing.
Lester beamed and said proudly, "Jeffrey is a real connoisseur of the zombie genre."
"Makes sense, Jeff and zombies have very similar personalities," Morgan quipped.
Chuck sighed and tried to concentrate on the computer screen in front of him. He did his best to tune out the voices around him but it was hard. He wanted to work, he really did, but he was also more than little bored. This job just didn't do it for him anymore (not that working at the Buy More had ever been exciting, but before the Intersect, he at least hadn't known just how interesting his life could be). He still had an hour before he could go on his lunch break and see Sarah. He was processing invoices, while simultaneously boning up on some of the latest software and antiviral news. Occasionally he would let his eyes drift over to the arguing trio and stare at them. He wondered if they could actually feel his eyes knifing into them or if they were just woefully oblivious.
It wasn't that Chuck didn't appreciate a good nerd debate every once in a while; his 'what sandwich would you bring to a deserted island' talk attested to that. This was just not really the best time. If he didn't actually get some work done, Emmet was going to get even more suspicious than he already was. And while his job at the Buy More had long ago lost any real importance in his life, that didn't mean he enjoyed slacking off his responsibilities if it could be helped. Unfortunately, it was becoming harder to suppress his inner nerd from breaking free with each word.
"I've always preferred fast zombies myself. They add a little more intensity and suspense to the genre."
"Yeah, but slow, shuffling, stupid zombies are more traditional."
"I like the hot zombies."
Everyone, Chuck included, stared at Jeff. Jeff shrugged. "What? Just because they're dead doesn't mean they're not still…viable. They're just like strippers, except, you know, more obviously dead inside."
Morgan looked slightly sick and Chuck groaned loudly in disgust. "Okay, okay, hot zombie strippers aside, I think it's safe to assume that we're dealing with the worst case scenario here. So probably more like 28 Days Later zombies," Morgan said.
Before Chuck realized just what he was doing, he was opening his mouth. "Actually, they're not really zombies."
Jeff, his face red and his eyes bulging, blurted out at the same time Chuck opened his mouth, "They're not zombies!"
Lester and Morgan turned their heads back and forth between looking at Chuck and looking at Jeff. Eventually they both settled on Chuck. "Enlighten us, oh fearless leader," Lester said, with a healthy dose of sarcasm.
Chuck sighed and realized he'd opened up this can of worms, he only had himself to blame for inserting himself into the conversation. There was probably no chance of him getting any work done now. Clearing his throat, he said, "I'm just saying, they weren't actually zombies. They were infected with a virus. It is totally not the same thing."
"Exactly! They were NOT the walking undead," Jeff said vehemently. "I mean, how many times did you actually see them eating brains? Huh?" Jeff nodded his head; he didn't wait for an answer. "That's what I thought."
Chuck nodded in affirmation. "Definitely." He sat up a little straighter in his chair and faced the trio in front of him square on. "Technically they don't even belong in the same genre. They're," Chuck made air quotes, "the Infected."
Jeff latched onto what Chuck was saying and added, "It's a commonly made misconception, but anyone that actually knows anything about zombies knows that they fall on a spectrum completely outside the accepted depiction of proper, realistic zombies."
Everybody stared at Jeff silently as they realized that he had actually spoken mostly intelligently.
Chuck blinked carefully and shook himself free from his shock. "Jeff's right. They were just normal humans, humans that happened to be really, really angry and liked to bite people's heads off for getting in their way." Chuck paused and said mostly to himself, "Kinda like Casey every single minute of every single day."
Morgan looked suddenly contemplative. "Wait, so what's the difference then between," Morgan added air quotes in emulation of his best friend, "the Infected and say the zombies from something like Resident Evil?"
"Aaaah, those are more like hybrid zombies."
"You can have hybrid zombies?"
"Oh yeah, you can have all kinds of zombies. Zombie cows, zombie fish, zombie gazelles, zombie people, smart zombies, stupid zombies, immortal zombies, the list goes on."
"Immortal zombies? Isn't that kind of redundant?"
Jeff nodded his head and lectured. "Well, ROTLD zombies were kinda immortal. Not even shooting them in the head would necessarily kill them."
"Guys, guys, we're losing sight of the objective here." Lester paused and waited impatiently until everybody was focused on him. "We are trying to come up with a realistic evacuation plan here. You never know when the zombie apocalypse might happen. We've gotta be prepared!" Lester slammed his hand down onto the Nerd Herd Counter sending a booming snap throughout the Buy More. More than a few heads of passing customers turned in their direction to see what was going on. The herd of nerds barely noticed.
"Riiiiiight." Morgan stopped and raised a hand to calm down Lester. "Okay, so we've decided on the worst zombies possible. Now, Lester's right, just what kind of evacuation plan are we going to come up with?"
"Raid the Largemart," Jeff said.
"Find as many beautiful women as possible and have them join our new society," Lester said. Lester shrugged like he was a great humanitarian. "I mean, humanity's not gonna repopulate itself." He grinned at Jeff who grinned back, eyes partly glazed over.
"Save the beer!" Jeff added.
"Whoa guys, we need to be methodical about this. You can't go half-assed into a zombie outbreak. That's just a quick way to end up like Jeff after a 24-hour bender."
Despite all his attempts to resist the siren call of a nerd debate, Chuck found himself completely getting sucked into their conversation. Reading about computer viruses really was kind of boring. "Morgan's right. We've gotta think about this logically. What would be the best location to run to? What weapons would we use? How would we get food, gas, water, supplies? How would we get to our families?"
Lester nodded his head enthusiastically and pointed at Chuck. "Yeah, yeah, that. We need to do that."
"Bennie's!" Jeff exclaimed, mostly out of the blue.
Chuck shook his head and Morgan rolled his eyes. "No. Jeff, you can't outlast a zombie apocalypse in a bar. This isn't Shaun of the Dead, this is real life. I thought you were the expert here."
Jeff grumbled and muttered to himself under his breath.
"I actually think the Largemart would be a good place to fort up in." Morgan began counting off fingers. "It's got enough food to last us years, for one thing."
Chuck jumped in before Morgan could go any further, "Ah, but little buddy, we should go someplace where other people aren't going to think of hiding out in too."
"But, Chuck, the Largemart's got everything you could possibly need to ride out a zombie outbreak."
"Yeah, Chuckster, all those guns and chainsaws and hoes." Jeff grinned stupidly at Lester and he quickly clarified, "The gardening tool, Jeff."
"Everybody knows that the best weapon for zombies is a shotgun," Jeff said.
"Machine gun," Morgan countered.
"Shotgun!" Jeff was getting in Morgan's face.
"I was always kinda partial to the lightsaber myself," Lester said wistfully. "It can cut through anything, automatically cauterizes the wound so no chance of infection by flying blood, and never runs out of ammo." Lester quickly clarified when both Jeff and Morgan stared at him. "I mean, if I could have any weapon."
"No, no, Ash had it right. All you need is your boomstick and a chainsaw attached to your arm," Chuck said.
A low, growling voice interjected into the roundtable discussion. "I don't know what you idiots are worried about. It's not like you have anything the zombies would be interested in eating anyway."
All four of them jumped in surprise and spun around to look at Casey, who was glaring at them with disdain clearly on his face. "Casey!" Chuck yelped, reddening slightly at being caught in the middle of the back-and-forth discussion by his hulking NSA protector.
Casey scoffed in disgust. "Hell, if anything, you four have the perfect defense." He paused and then showcased a feral grin. "You're all too stupid to snack on."
Lester scoffed. "And what would you know about anything like that, huh, Frankenstein? Your entire vocabulary consists of," Lester proceeded to make a series of grunts in various pitches.
Casey instantly bristled, his face reddening and he reached out for Lester, who yelped pathetically and dove behind Jeff for protection. Chuck jumped in front of Casey, putting his hands on the big man's chest in an attempt to keep him at bay. He knew that if he let Casey get a hold of Lester, he'd be down one Nerd Herder. "Easy, big guy. Take deep breaths."
Grunting, Casey pulled up short and knocked Chuck's hands away from his body harshly. "Don't ever touch me again, Bartowski."
Chuck nodded and scrambled backwards. "Right, no, of course not, big guy. Never again."
Casey folded his large arms across his chest, holding a price gun in one hand. He stared hard at the four. "You morons wouldn't know the first thing about developing a proper operational plan for a mission like this. You're going about it all wrong."
Lester scoffed again, apparently already forgetting that Casey had just tried to hurt him only seconds ago. "And you would?" Casey stepped forward threateningly and Lester nodded his head enthusiastically, still hiding behind Jeff. Jeff just kind of swayed back and forth, like he couldn't get his equilibrium right. "Right, right, of course you would. You big, strong, scary, zombie destroying man. Sorry I ever doubted you!"
Casey just grunted and relaxed back into his normally rigid posture. "The first thing you need to do is secure a proper vehicle. One that's big, sturdy, has off-road capabilities, and can carry a lot of people or materiel."
Chuck, more than a little surprised at Casey's participation in the discussion, asked, "What would you suggest?"
"Obviously the Herders are out so if we were making our breakout from the Buy More we'd have to secure a vehicle in the parking lot. And anything short of an SUV is just not going to cut it." Casey hummed contemplatively. "Any serious military or government vehicle would probably do if you could get your hands on one."
"Hell yeah! That's what we need, a tank!"
Casey raised an eyebrow and said scornfully, "And how would you fuel this tank?" He looked at each of the four assembled around him. "And would one of you morons even know how to drive it?"
"Um, well, no, but, I mean, how hard could it be?" Morgan asked.
Casey grunted and stared at Morgan. Morgan fidgeted until he looked away. "Right. So no on the tank."
"Look, as much as it pains me to admit it, Bartowski was right. The last place you want to be in a situation like this is surrounded by people. When the zombie invasion begins you want to haul ass to the most isolated, defensible place possible." Casey placed the price gun on the Nerd Herd Counter and leaned forward slightly. The other four leaned closer to, so that it looked like they were having a big secret conversation. "You want to go to some place like the Black Hills in South Dakota, Moab, Utah, or if you absolutely have to go to some kind of government installation, Nellis AFB in Nevada is a personal favorite."
Jeff, Lester, and Morgan instantly burst into excited chatter at the knowledge that Casey had just gifted them with. Chuck leaned closer to whisper to Casey, "Sounds like you've given this some serious thought, Casey."
Casey growled and bumped Chuck away from him with his shoulder. "Don't be stupid, Bartowski. Like I don't have better things to do than sit around arguing with a bunch of nerds about the proper way of surviving an attack by zombies."
Chuck just smirked and chuckled quietly. "Oh please, you might think that discussing what kind of sandwich to take to a deserted island is stupid, but I know you." Chuck stood up a little straighter, knowing that he was definitely pushing against Casey's limits, but unable to stop from needling him just a little. "Gunplay is the equivalent to your nerd Mecca. Don't tell me you haven't thought of it at least once. That you haven't thought about what it would be like to be able to blow up anything you want, gun down a rampaging horde of mindless enemies, using any gun you can get your hands on, you against the world, trying to save humanity." Then Chuck decided to go for broke. "Don't lie, Casey, you're totally an Evil Dead fan."
Casey averted his eyes, looking at the nearest display case instead of at Chuck. "I don't know what you're talking about, Bartowski."
Chuck grinned and took Casey's avoiding him as an affirmation that the big man had, in fact, spent at least some time thinking about the inevitable zombie apocalypse. "We should have a zombie movie marathon, Casey. You should have told me you were such a fan."
Casey spun around to face him, angrily poking him in the chest with a finger. "Listen, Bartowksi, I would rather let a zombie gnaw on my brain for the rest of time than spend even one hour with you watching you nerdgasm all over your stupid, pointless, completely unrealistic movies!"
Chuck simply grinned at Casey, which seemed to infuriate the man even more. "Ah-ha! I knew it!" Chuck exclaimed, inordinately pleased.
Casey scowled at his inability to get a reaction from Chuck and said, "You knew what?"
"That you have watched them before!"
"I have not."
"You so have."
"Bartowski…" Casey growled in warning.
"You just don't like them because they're 'unrealistic'. I never knew you were such a zombie purist, Casey."
Casey groaned and used the price gun to lightly whack himself on the side of his head. "Should have never opened my mouth; how could I be so stupid? What was I thinking?"
Chuck ignored Casey's muttering to himself and asked, "So, Casey, what's your own plan for evading the rampaging zombie hordes?"
"My plan? First thing I do is bleed you and use you as bait to draw the zombies away, giving me time to pack everything I need and get the hell out of this god forsaken shit hole."
Chuck shuddered a bit at the image of him being used as chum, and shook his head back and forth. "Uh-uh, you can't do that. I'm the," Chuck stopped, looked around carefully to see if Morgan and the others were in earshot, and then said quietly, "I'm the Intersect. You gotta protect me," Chuck said smugly.
Casey just rolled his eyes. "Don't remind me." Casey sighed loudly, folding his arms in front of his chest. "All right, since I have to," it was Chuck's turn to roll his eyes at the emphasis Casey put on have, "I'd grab you and Walker and head for the hills as soon as possible. Probably using those idiots," Casey pointed at Morgan, Jeff, and Lester, who were still arguing amongst themselves, "as a distraction to help us get away."
"Casey, you can't do that. They're my friends. Well, at least Morgan is anyway."
"Don't really care. It's a zombie apocalypse, every man for himself."
"But if it were really every man for himself, then why would you save me?"
"Because that's my job," Casey said so matter of fact that Chuck believed Casey would do whatever it took to keep him safe even if he knew the world was going to end only ten minutes later.
"And not because you like me?"
Casey growled and turned around to walk away. "Don't push your luck, Bartowski."
Chuck, of course, was not deterred by Casey trying to run away. His morning was finally starting to lighten up and he was having too much fun annoying Casey. "I bet you wanna save Sarah because you like her too. It's okay, big guy, you can admit it. You liiiike us. You really liiiiike us," Chuck sing-songed.
Casey looked over his shoulder at Chuck trailing behind him. Casey looked on the verge of homicide and Chuck worried if maybe he had finally pushed Casey too far. No. There were too many witnesses around at the moment. Chuck figured he should be safe.
"No, Bartowski, I'd take Walker with us because she's my partner, but mostly because I know you and I know that you'd be your normal, uncooperative, stubborn, foolishly heroic self if I tried to leave her behind." Casey reached back with a big hand and grabbed a hold of Chuck's shirt. He yanked Chuck forward until they were walking side-by-side. Casey turned toward the back of the Buy More and Chuck started to get a sinking feeling in his stomach. This was not good. They were starting to head away from the people.
"Plus, I think that if it were just the two of us on the run, at the end of the first day, either one of two things would have happened: I would have killed you because you don't know when to shut up or I would have turned myself over to the zombies just so that I could get away from you." They were definitely heading toward the employee only part of the store and Chuck could feel himself start to sweat. "For some reason that I have yet to understand, Walker seems to not only tolerate you, but actually enjoys spending time with you too. For the sake of my sanity and your continued existence, I would need her as my buffer."
"That might be the nicest thing you've ever said about me."
"Can the sarcasm, Bartowski."
Chuck dug his heels in, pulling both of them to an abrupt standstill. With a lot of effort he was able to pry himself free from Casey's grasp and scrambled to put some distance between them. "Hey, wait a minute, what about Ellie? And Devon? What about Morgan?"
"What about them?"
"We can't just leave them behind!"
"Not my job to save them."
"Oh come on!" Chuck glared at Casey and said stubbornly, "If you think that I wouldn't let you leave Sarah behind, what makes you think I wouldn't do the same thing for my sister?"
Casey smirked and looked pleased. Chuck didn't know what he was so happy about. "For once, Walker's damn lady feelings will finally pay off for me. Yet another reason to secure her before we run."
"What is that supposed to mean?"
"Because, Chuck," Casey said like he was talking to a small child or a really big idiot, "she'll back me up on anything that keeps you safe above all else. If it's a choice between you or the furry gnome or your sister or anyone, she'll do her job, keep you alive, and not let you screw everything up by forcing us to stay behind."
"Aaaaaah, I get it. This is about your toe, isn't it?"
Casey scowled and said just a bit petulantly, "You got my toe shot off, Chuck! That's not something you just forget!"
"I said I was sorry!"
Casey growled in frustration, lashing out at a row of DVDs and knocking them to the floor. Chuck figured better the DVDs than his head; still it was probably a good idea not to antagonize Casey quite as much at the moment. "See how you like it when I shoot off one of your toes and feed it to the zombies."
Chuck immediately assumed a modified form of The Morgan, doing his best to protect all of his extremities, not just the most important one. Casey sighed and started walking again toward the back of the store. "Relax, Bartowski, you're safe for now. The only zombie around here is Jeff."
"Then why are we headed toward the back? You know, away from all the potential witnesses?"
Casey smirked and stretched his neck, causing a loud popping sound that made Chuck wince. "There's something I want to show you."
"What could you possibly have in the back of the Buy More that has to do with zombies?"
"A flamethrower," Casey said completely straight-faced and serious.
Chuck could feel his eyes widening and he said, "Really?"
Casey reached over and smacked Chuck in the back of the head. "No, you idiot. Why the hell would I have a flamethrower in the Buy More?"
Chuck mouthed Ow and rubbed the back of his head. "Okay, I probably deserved that."
Casey rolled his eyes but he was smiling. "First intelligent thing you've said all day."
Chuck was still massaging the back of his head. "Okay, so if it's not a weapon, which is like the only thing that ever makes you this pleased with yourself, then what do you want to show me?"
Casey pushed through two big doors with Employees Only stenciled on them, and walked into the storage area. Rows and rows of TVs, washers, dryers, DVDs, and many other appliances lined shelves upon shelves all around them. Chuck had been through this part of the store so many times he could have navigated its maze blindfolded. They deftly moved through the junk until they reached the very back wall. There Casey walked along it until they came upon a red emergency box about chest height on the wall. Casey pulled out a key and inserted it into the padlock and unlocked it.
"I wanted to show you this."
"An emergency box?"
Casey didn't answer, he just opened the box and waited for Chuck's reaction.
"I don't get it."
Chuck peered into the box and only saw a thick file folder. He tentatively reached out to grab the folder, but hesitated. He wondered if this was a trick. It would just be like Casey to play a trick of some kind on him, a way of humiliating him and getting back at him for all the teasing he had done earlier. But then Chuck considered the fact that the box had obviously not been opened in some time; it was covered in dust and the padlock didn't look new. It seemed unlikely that this was some devious plan by Casey to screw him over.
"We put this here when Operation Moron started."
Chuck finally made the decision to grab the folder and pulled it out of the box. He placed it on the palm of his left hand and very carefully lifted the top of the file open, wincing and closing his eyes in anticipation of it exploding in his face. When nothing happened, Chuck opened his eyes halfway.
"You can't be serious." His eyes were wide open now and he was staring at the folder in his hand in disbelief.
Casey didn't say anything, just smirked and waited as Chuck read.
Printed on the first page of the report in his hand were the words:
United States Department of Defense
White Paper on Case Zulu
A preparatory guide for dealing with the outbreak of the zombie apocalypse
"We're the military, Chuck, we plan for everything." Casey reached out and took the folder from Chuck's hands. "There's even an operations plan for when the aliens invade."
"What, really?" Chuck reached out for the folder and tried to take it from Casey's hands. He really wanted to see that.
Again, Casey slapped Chuck upside the back of his head. "No, moron, aliens aren't real." Casey muttered under his breath about how annoying Chuck was.
Chuck barely flinched this time at getting slapped. "But you just said – "
"Well, there was this one time when I was attached to USSSPACECOM, that I participated in a war game about an alien invasion during the Fourth of July, but everybody knew that it was a purely hypothetical exercise that would never amount to anything."
Chuck looked at Casey in surprise. "Seriously?" Chuck winced in anticipation, but when the blow to the head didn't come, he relaxed slightly. "You're not just going to smack me in the head again?"
"Seriously." Casey didn't say anything for several seconds, just letting his words sink in. He sighed reluctantly. "I won't smack you again. Can't risk damaging the Intersect."
"Okay, good. Just remember you said that." Chuck darted forward and snatched the folder out of Casey's hands before Casey could react. "I can't wait to show this to Morgan." Chuck then ran.
Casey bellowed, "Bartowski!" and started to chase after Chuck.
Chuck laughed as he weaved through the shelves of junk, the folder containing the proper way of living through the inevitable zombie apocalypse grasped firmly in his hand.