Back with the old team. On the way to Waziristan. Casey loved the "stans". Felt like going home.
The men. His men. Kazinsky. Barber. O'Toole. Shapiro. Miles. All trained. All eager. All loyal.
Well, as it turns out, maybe not every one of them was so loyal after all.
But let's rewind just a bit first.
It felt good to be flying towards a real mission with real soldiers around him, and Casey sighed a sigh full of anticipation and self-satisfaction as he strapped himself into the carrier's seat.
The best part? No more Bartowski. Not only no more Bartowski but no more Bartowski family members, friends, co-workers, lame retail job, middle-class existence. Let's see, what else? No more Walker.
That part wasn't necessarily so great. Casey imagined what it would be like having Walker on his black ops team. He sure could use her skills. And it would be entertaining watching her interact with the young men in the forward cabin. Maybe not so entertaining for them at times, however. Until they learned.
Casey chuckled to himself as he remembered the first time he underestimated Walker and tried to hit her. Not "hit on her", just hit her, thank goodness. He couldn't even imagine what these bantam roosters in black tactical gear would have to survive for the audacity of not being Charles Irving Bartowski.
And that was it in a nutshell: There really was nobody just like the Intersect, at least nobody Casey could remember ever meeting. A genius who did incredibly stupid things. A problem-solver who seemed to cause more problems than he solved. A man with a heart of gold and feet of clay. And don't forget stubborn to a fault.
It was this trait that Casey turned his mind to now as he shifted in the carrier's barely comfortable seat. Not once since Casey had climbed the metal staircase to that helipad rooftop and aimed his laser sights at the incredible brain that was part human, part computer database had Chuck ever given up on the NSA agent. Even when Casey had been at his snarkiest, his meanest, his most insulting, Chuck hadn't been deterred one bit in his caring concern for Casey's emotional and physical welfare. And Casey even figured now that their partnership – well, yes, and their friendship – was starting to function on a different, a higher, level, that even the knowledge of General Beckman's previous kill order wouldn't put the younger man off in the slightest.
Casey paused in his musings for a moment and shuddered. Thank goodness and the late Ronald Reagan the new Intersect had been destroyed and Sarah arrived with the news when she did. Otherwise, Casey would have terminated the one man in the world who cared enough to try and see past his gruff exterior and all the emotional barriers that Casey had built up over the years.
So maybe he would miss the nerd after all. That felt strange.
Also strange was the buzzing vibration coming from his pants pocket under the lower edge of his flak jacket. Tickled a bit!
Twisting around so he could retrieve his cell phone, Casey wondered who it could be. Must be General Beckman with additional intel for this mission. After all, Chuck and Walker were busy with Ellie's and Devon's wedding, and what could happen at a simple wedding that they would be bothering him about now?
Bunting and begonias. Well, at least the spy game was never boring.
How could he have been so wrong about Miles? Not only on the not being a traitor thing but also not being part of Fulcrum but involved with The Ring. And, third, wrong about the man's personal loyalty. That part worked out okay, though. Better to be cold cocked than iced. Unfortunately for Miles, Casey wasn't inclined to return the favor.
Team Bartowski, together again, even temporarily, just to get Bryce Larkin and the Intersect cube out of this trap and back to the good guys in the government. Hmmm… Felt kinda good. Pay attention, now. There are bad guys about.
So Bartowski downloaded the Intersect 2.0. Looks like the team really is back together. Maybe ten more years of living in Burbank. Working at the Buy More. Listening to the nerd's crazy nerdiness. Watching Walker realize that she was really falling in love with him.
Ten more years of getting things done for the good side. Interesting missions that really made a difference. Getting to know these people who had touched Casey on an emotional level and believed that he was one of them, not a loner and an outsider. Not just a hired killer.
Ten more years of Charles Irving Bartowski, the Intersect.