I don't own "Chuck." But, I am investigating in the new "Chuck" cartoon, which will feature Chuck, Morgan, Casey, Sarah, and Anna driving around in the 'Mystery Crown Vic' catching crime-committing ghosts (with occasional appearances by the Harlem Globetrotters, who I also do not own).
Scenes From a Wedding
1. The Aunt of the Bride
"A beautiful ceremony, wasn't it?"
General Beckman turned away from the bar, and gave the speaker a baleful look. The woman looked to be in her mid-thirties, wearing a pink dress. She smiled at the General, but didn't seem concerned when it wasn't returned.
"I'm Kelly. I'm a nurse at the hospital where the maid of honor works. How do you know the couple?"
For a moment, Beckman imagined what would happen if she answered truthfully. She could imagine the Tootsie Pop in front of her would faint in shock if she learned the real story behind the bride and groom. But, in the end, she opted for national security concerns over her own amusement.
"I'm the bride's aunt." She felt ridiculous as she said this. She couldn't believe she'd agreed to the story, but it had been plausible, and it was true that the bride needed some relatives to show up to remove any suspicion.
"No kidding?" the younger woman responded. She studied Beckman for a moment. "No offense, but I don't see any resemblance."
"I'm her aunt by marriage." Beckman wasn't offended. At least, she wasn't offended by the comment. This whole ordeal offended her somewhat. She hadn't wanted to come out here. She'd always hated California.
Unfortunately for her, the couple had been insistent. Annoyingly so. Especially the groom. Beckman could only take so many phone calls, messages, and doily-laced invitations, and finally relented. So here she was, at a wedding reception. In California. She felt like she was being retaliated against for all of the tortures she'd authorized.
"You must be so proud."
The General was surprised that the other woman was still there. She took a sip from her scotch, then looked out in the crowd. Recognizing somebody, she said, "Excuse me," and walked away.
The reception hall was fairly tastefully decorated, Beckman reluctantly admitted. The late afternoon sun shone through ceiling-high windows, and the arrangements on the tables weren't too garish. The balloons she could have done without, though. The General had thought she'd heard the sound of gunfire earlier, only to disappointedly discover that it was only a small girl popping one of them.
Beckman weaved her way through the crowd, brushing aside the various wedding guests without a second thought. Everybody was milling about in different directions, a far cry from the precision she had come to expect from trained soldiers in the field. She winced at the cacophonous sound emanating from the set of speakers at the other end of the room. She wanted no part of 'Wang Chung'ing, whatever that was.
Finally, she reached her target standing at the other end of the hall. "Hello, Orion."
"Stephen," the man corrected her in an urgent whisper. Rather than his usual nebbishy appearance, Stephen Bartowski was now smartly dressed in a tuxedo. He was also glowing with happiness, which was something Beckman had never seen him do before.
"So I see you're taking advantage of the open bar," he continued with a raised eyebrow.
"Well, I'll have to make do one way or another."
"Yeah, I guess this isn't your idea of fun. No violence or anything."
"Well, it's still early." She looked over at the dance floor. "Anything's better than this chaos."
Orion chuckled. "Well, I hear they're doing something called 'The Electric Slide' later. You'd like that. I hear it's very regimented." He gave the General a furtive glance. "To be honest, I'm surprise you showed at all."
"I was curious to see if this thing would actually happen."
"This thing?" Orion shook his head. "You really are taking this personally. I'll bet you can't even think of them by name. They're just two agents to you."
"One agent," the General corrected.
The General expected an angry retort from Orion, but instead he just laughed. "One would think you'd at least give him credit for bringing me back under your clutches. Isn't one agent a small price to pay for that?"
Rather than respond, Beckman took a sip of her scotch. Eventually, Orion asked, "So you don't think they've earned the chance to be happy?"
"Happy?" Beckman turned her head to examine the couple. The bride looked resplendent, of course. This didn't surprise her, as the young woman's appearance had been an asset on many of her missions. The look of utter happiness on her face was something the General had never seen before, however. When Beckman had first met her, the bride seemed like somebody who derived her happiness from the satisfaction of a job well done, and in knowing she was serving her country. Beckman never would have suspected she would now wind up looking for her happiness in the arms of a computer geek.
Her eyes shifted to the groom. When she'd first seen him, he'd looked like to her like someone that should be delivering pizzas, rather than somebody to entrust with national secrets. That had been four years ago. Now, she thought, he looked like a much more confident pizza guy. Hardly somebody who could take away one of the country's finest agents.
She considered saying this to Orion, but decided against it. Instead she said, "Do you think all of these revelers know this event is making them a little less safe?"
"You don't seem to have a lot of faith in your latest recruits. Surely there will be plenty of new agents to pick up the slack?"
"Not like her."
Bartowski raised on eyebrow. "I'm surprised you feel that way. She wasn't even one of yours."
"I always thought of her as one of mine." She shrugged.
"But he was never one of yours?"
Beckman chuckled. "Thankfully, no. I'm glad you finally got that damn thing out of his head."
Orion studied her for a moment, before responding. "Did it bother you more that he exceeded your every expectation, or that he did it by doing things his own way?" Before she was able to reply, he said, "Never mind. This is one of the happiest days of my life, and I'd rather not spend it talking to you." He looked back for a moment, and then said, "You know I'm going to be a grandfather?"
"So that's why…"
"No," Orion corrected. "My daughter." After a pause, he smiled and said, "Well, one of my daughters now. So if you'll excuse me, I'd like to spend some more time with my family." He walked away, leaving Beckman looking down at her empty glass.
The General maneuvered her way back to the bar, elbowing aside a couple of overly exuberant well wishers. Finally, as she approached her destination, she recognized the man seated there.
"Another scotch," the General ordered, then turned briefly to the man beside her. "Hello, Colonel."
"General," Casey responded.
Beckman pointed to Casey's glass. "Single malt?"
"Good to see that not everything has gone to hell out here."
Casey grunted. "So how's the cover holding up?"
"Oh, great." Beckman wrinkled her nose and flashed a jagged grin. "I'm just so proud of my darling niece."
"Nice. Better than back before the ceremony. When somebody asks you what side you're on at a wedding, you're supposed to say the bride's or the groom's, not 'I'm on the side of the USA.' It tends to attract attention."
Beckman frowned. In the last four years, she had observed Casey go from the quintessential soldier to somebody who would let his own opinions interfere with his orders and apparently mock his superior officer. She had hoped that the end of his prior mission would change that, but the difference had been barely noticeable. Still, there had been results. "How's the pursuit?"
Casey looked around to make sure no one was in earshot. Fortunately, the bartender was still pouring the General's drink at the other end of the bar. "We've just about penetrated another Ring cell. We should be finished within the week. "Casey took a sip of his scotch. "I think we're going to get some names out of this one. Big names."
"Excellent." The bartender approached them, and handed her a glass. She carelessly tossed a twenty in his direction. "The new Intersect still working ok?"
Casey shrugged. "We get the information we need."
"The computer works fine, but something seems to be missing. It's as if there's something…instinctual that's not there."
"And the last one had that?"
Casey looked back at the wedding party. "For better or for worse. He had his moments."
Beckman thought back to the ceremony earlier that afternoon. Casey had looked ridiculous standing up there with the midget, the frat boy, and somebody who looked like Ronald McDonald. What had surprised the General was that he had seemed more proud than embarrassed to be up there. She hoped that it was his years of experience in cover assignments that she was witnessing.
"And the new partner?"
Casey shrugged again. "Forrest does ok."
"Not as good as…" Beckman nodded to the other end of the hall.
Casey smiled briefly. "Your 'darling niece'?"
Beckman rolled her eyes. "Whatever." She took another sip of her scotch before saying, "So you don't like losing her to all of this either. Losing a gifted agent to…domestic bliss."
Casey thought for a moment before replying. "I think it's like anything else that happens. There's a good part to it, but if you look closely enough, you'll see something bad come out of it."
"So you think this has a good part?" The General motioned her arm towards the hall.
"I think they deserve it. Not everybody can be a lifelong soldier like us."
Beckman agreed with that, though she was starting to doubt the 'us' part.
"I think we can figure out how to make do. This country thrived for 200 years without them, after all." Beckman noticed that Casey's eyes were looking past her as he said this.
"And just how do we do that?"
Casey's eyes were still focused behind Beckman. After a moment, he responded, "Well, normally I'd find some convenient suspect I could interrogate." He stressed the last word. "I suppose in this case, I'll have to find another way to work it out of me."
Beckman finally looked back, and saw a red-haired bridesmaid seated at a table a few feet away. He hadn't recognized her name on the program, but as she studied her, the face became familiar to the General.
"Isn't that that DEA agent, uh…Carina?"
Casey finally turned back to the General. "Hmm? Oh, right. Uh, if you'd excuse me for a bit?" The Colonel stood up, and headed off towards the other woman.
Beckman sighed, and stared down at her drink. Finally, she looked around. She hated these social gatherings. She always felt awkward standing around and talking with strangers. At work, people would only speak with her if their rank permitted it. Now she was expected to speak with any jerk that came up to her.
Between sips, she recognized Roan Montgomery standing off to one side. She was slightly surprised, but pleased, to see him there. She was about to go speak with him when she saw that he was deep in conversation with the nurse that had accosted her earlier. She was laughing, and flipped her hair to the side. Beckman shook his head. Apparently, he still had it.
The General headed back to the bar, and ordered another drink. It seemed to be the only way she could survive the chaos. It was California, after all.
If the hint of daylight peaking through the hotel curtain was enough to wake the General up the next morning, the jackhammering in her brain certainly was. She groaned, and managed to sit up. She probably shouldn't have drunk so much at the reception, but she hadn't seen any more appealing options. Now, she would have a miserable flight back to DC. But at least she would be out of this godforsaken state.
Another groan coming from the bed stopped her dead in her tracks. She quietly reached for her firearm tucked under the bed, prepared to dispatch the intruder. Another look at the bed, however, caused the memory of the previous night to rush back to her. "Oh God," she muttered.
"Hey there, sexy." The man pushed aside the covers, and pushed away the few tufts of hair from his face.
"Oh God," the General said again.
"Don't tell me you're running off," the man pulled the covers aside, and stood up. Clearly, none of his clothes had made the trip to bed with him.
"Oh, c'mon, it's a little late for hard to get. Don't you want a little rematch?"
"Look, Jeff. I don't know what happened last night…"
"Amazing things. Unspeakable things."
"Oh God. Look, I have a plane to catch."
"We've got time. Come on…" he leaned forward, and the General turned away. She wished the man was a little less comfortable with his nudity.
"I'm afraid the answer is no."
"Not what you said last night." Beckman noticed that he was slurring the words, and she guessed that he was still slightly drunk. "We can make magic again. You know how I find that Opie look sexy."
The General sighed. She didn't seem to have many choices. "Really?" she asked, trying her best to sound seductive.
"Ooh, Baby." Jeff grinned as Beckman sidled up to him. Thankfully, his reflexes were slow, and he never saw the butt-end of the gun until it hit him on the back of his head.
Five minutes later, the General was dressed, packed and ready to leave. She knew her uniform looked unusually wrinkled, but she didn't have the time to fix that. She dared a quick look at the man snoring on the hotel bed, and immediately regretted it. She definitely didn't have time.
At least her trip was just about over. Fortunately, there wasn't anybody important at the reception that could have seen her actions. She would probably have to deal with Colonel Casey's newfound flippancy, but she could always demote him. As far as she knew, nobody else at the reception could be a threat to her career.
The General sighed as she shut the hotel room door behind her. She couldn't get back to her office fast enough. She really, really hated California.
Awright, two things:
1) I just know this will start a boatload of "Jeckman" fanfics, right? They are the real Ross and Rachel of the show, after all.
2) This will probably be a short series, with further chapters showing the wedding from the viewpoint of various guests and members of the wedding party.
Whaddya think, does this have any hope?. Or should I leave well enough alone?