Epilogue: Scenes From the Morning After
"So for a boy, I'm thinking Brock, or Apollo."
"Apollo?" Ellie looked up at her husband, who had found a convenient ledge in the hotel room, and was now in the middle of his ninth pull-up. "Do you want our child to grow up to become a fictional boxer?"
"I just want our baby to have a name that jumps out there, that tells the world 'I am awesome.'"
"Devon, honey, our child is going to be awesome no matter what name we give him or her. We're going to give it all of the love in the world. That's what really matters. Giving it a name like Thor, Granite, or Uranium isn't going to change anything, it's just going to lead to a lot of schoolyard teasing."
"Maybe you're right." Devon finished his pull-ups and headed over to the bed to kiss his wife. "You are going to be a great mother."
"I know. And you're going to be a great father. Assuming you hold off on those rock climbing bonding trips until our child can tie its shoes. And needs to shave."
"And if it's a girl?"
"Then you still wait till she needs to shave."
"Hmm." Devon flipped through the overnight bag until he found a shirt he liked. "You know, a girl would be awesome too. I'm thinking Magnolia or Aphrodite."
Ellie sighed. It was going to be a long nine months.
Carina felt the warmth of the sun wake her up, and stretched her legs under the covers. She was about to stretch out her arms as well, when she felt something keeping her from moving. Through he sleep-blurred eyes, she saw a handcuff on one wrist. "What the…"
She whirled around, but saw no sign of her previous evening's companion. "Casey!"
"What?" John Casey emerged from the bathroom, his face all innocence.
"You have got to be kidding me. Unlock me!"
"What, you've never heard the phrase 'turnabout is fair play?'"
Casey had heard the phrases Carina offered in return many times, but it still didn't keep him from wincing slightly when he heard her say them.
"Unlock me!" she repeated after she'd finished with her litany of curses.
"Well I would, Carina, but I've got a fugitive I have to catch up to. It's a matter of national security. You understand."
"John Casey, if you don't let me free right now, I swear to God it will take every last agent in the NSA to find all of the pieces of you!"
Casey looked amused for a moment, before he finally relented. "The keys are on top of the headboard."
Carina looked up and saw the keys at the other end of the headboard, out of the reach of her free arm. She flipped herself over so that the back her head was on the pillow and her legs were pointed towards the wall. With one foot, she managed to pick up the keys and drop them close to her other hand. She flipped back around, grabbed the keys, and unlocked herself.
All of this gave Casey quite a show, especially considering what she'd been wearing when she had gone to sleep the prior night. Which was absolutely nothing. "Damn," he said appreciatively.
"Uh huh, I hope you've had your fun now." Carina got up and went to gather up her underwear.
"Please. Like you didn't enjoy that."
"Don't you have a fugitive to catch?" Carina asked, rather than respond. She looked around the room, but didn't see the bridesmaid's dress. Finally, she heard the gruff sound of Casey clearing his throat, and looked up to see him pointing up at the ceiling fan. She sighed, and reached up to grab the dress as it rotated by.
"So, how long are you going to be off chasing this fugitive?" Carina asked as she put on the dress.
"Shouldn't be long. But after that, I've got a mission in Chile." He answered this from behind Carina, and she felt a hand pull her dress's zipper back up. "You?"
"Sierra Leone in a week. Probably for three months or so. After that, I should be in Los Angeles for a few days."
Casey smiled briefly, recognizing the unspoken question. Then the smile quickly disappeared. "Once I'm done in Chile I'm supposed to return to DC. I'm not going to be stationed here anymore." After a quiet moment, he added, "I'm sure you'll have to check in at headquarters there at some point."
"I don't know. The DEA doesn't really see me as 'Congressional Testimony material,' so they usually keep me away from DC. Who knows where they'll send me."
"Well I'm sure we'll run into each other at some point."
Carina looked at him with a slightly sad look, before it quickly vanished and was replaced with a predatory smile. "Be careful what you wish for, Agent. As you said, turnabout is fair play."
Skip stared at the pale light of his laptop, the blinking cursor mocking him. Here he was, on a rare day off from the Buy More, the perfect chance to work on his screenplay. And yet, nothing was coming.
He thought back to the events of the previous night. All the screenwriting guides and websites suggested he should write about what he knew. Unfortunately, what he knew about globetrotting aliens bent on taking over the world came from other screenplays.
He needed a hero. Somebody who could talk his way out of tense situations, who could outsmart people when he needed to, but wouldn't be afraid to fight when necessary. The perfect person to stop the impending doom of an alien invasion. Someone who had seen it all, but still had a quip ready for every occasion.
The mental image came to him quickly. He began typing.
James Barton is running down a dark street. He looks back to see if the thugs are still pursuing him. Hearing the sound of footsteps, he turns into a driveway and soon approaches a lavish party. Several expensive cars line the path, and he sees a valet station up ahead.
Barton: Excuse me, is this the party of Chief Justice Bernard?
Valet: Yes, but it's a private party.
Barton: That's ok. I just need a moment of your time.
Skip smiled. He could practically picture himself at the premiere night, with a starlet on each arm. Briefly, he considered who would play Barton, and wondered if Bruce Willis would be available. Either him, or the guy who played the boss in 'Office Space.'
"Morgan, wake up!"
"Hmm, what?" Morgan groggily muttered before looking up at Anna. "Morning, sweetie."
"Morgan, you have to work today, right?" Anna had clearly been up for a while, as she was fully dressed. The stern look on her face once again reminded Morgan that she was not a morning person.
"Well, I guess, but there's no way Big Mike could expect me to work after last night's festivities."
Anna sighed. "Morgan, I got back together with you because I thought you were ready to become a more responsible person. A person who goes to work when he's supposed to."
"I thought you got back together with me because Jeff hooked up?"
Anna waved this aside. "So how about showing me I made the right choice and getting up. I hear there's a new Assistant Manager position open."
"Anna. Anna Banana, I've been thinking about this." Morgan sat up. "What's an Assistant Manager's position, anyway?"
"It's a paycheck, and I don't make enough with the self defense studio to support both of us."
"Right, that's why I'm thinking about something that will make us a ton of money." Ignoring Anna's skeptical look, he said, "'Morgan Grimes' Guide to Being a Best Man.' I promise you, it will be a best-seller!"
Anna wasn't impressed. "And exactly how many times have you been a best man?"
"Well, once. But I was great yesterday. Didn't you hear my speech?"
"It's still hardly enough to write a book about." Anna protested, her arms folded in front of her.
"Right, that's why I'm going to have to do a lot of research. I figure, crash a few weddings each month, see what people do. Oh, and bachelor parties! I'll have to devote at least one chapter for that. So I'm going to have to go to a lot of those. I guess I should probably go to the strip clubs and wait for the parties to show up. Oh, it's going to be great!"
Morgan looked up, and blanched slightly at Anna's cold expression. "You're about to break up with me again, aren't you?"
Anna didn't respond, but just kept staring at him.
"Maybe I should head off to the Buy More. You know, I'd bet I'd look good in a green vest."
Jeff woke up to find himself lying on the floor. For a moment, the less than ample supply of functioning brain cells struggled with the vague memories of the previous night. Finally, the sight of two wine glasses, including one with lipstick smeared on it, clued him in.
"Diane!" he called out, getting to his feet. He checked the bathroom, but it was empty. Next he checked the balcony, the closet, and underneath his bed. It was obvious that she was gone, which he realized five minutes later.
Pushing his hand into his hair, he let out a sigh. As he did so, he felt a bump at the top of his forehead. "She hit me," he said as the realization hit.
"She hit me," he repeated again, with more enthusiasm. A smile hit his face, and he fell back on the bed, hugging the pillow.
"I think I'm in love."
"Good morning, Mrs. Bartowski."
"Mmm, morning, Mr. Bartowski." Sarah's lips met those of her husband, and the good morning kiss threatened to deepen before he pulled away.
"Should I call room service?"
"Not hungry. Come back here," she protested as he stepped out of the covers.
"We don't want to miss our flight," Chuck explained. "Hawaii awaits. Sun. Sand. Goofy drinks inside hollowed-out coconuts. Hula dancing." Chuck did his best to imitate a hula dancer, which wasn't very good. Sarah giggled, though she still refused to leave the bed.
"C'mon. You told me you wanted to do some non-mission related travel."
"Sure, tomorrow. Today, stay here. It's safer. I can protect you."
"From what? What kind of dangers are you expecting in Hawaii?"
"Hurricanes. Sunburn. Homicidal…toucans."
"Ok, sleepy head." Chuck stepped into the bathroom for a moment. After he returned, he asked, "Aren't you forgetting? You don't need to protect me any more."
"Of course I do. I'm your protector, remember? You said so in your vows. Somewhere. I think."
Chuck gave her a look of concern. "You aren't having second thoughts about the CIA, are you?"
"No. You having second thoughts about leaving this bed?"
"I'm trying to fight them off. So you're sure you won't miss it?"
Sarah shrugged. "Maybe some times. How about you?"
"I dunno. It's not like I could do much without an Intersect. Unless they want me to use the one they made from you." Chuck considered the possibilities of this for a moment, before finally shaking his head. "Nah. Too weird."
"You and I both know that you were more than the Intersect, Chuck. And the CIA will eventually appreciate what the two of us meant to them. Some day."
"Maybe so. But today, we go to Hawaii."
Chuck walked over to the nightstand to retrieve his watch. In doing so he inched a bit too close to the bed, and a strong hand grabbed him and pulled him back on the bed. One glance at the smoldering look on Sarah's face was all it took to convince him.
"We can take a later flight."
And there it is, the finale of 'Scenes from a Wedding.' I've really had fun writing this story, even though I didn't originally plan for it to be more than a goofy one-shot about General Beckman. With a story like this, one definitely feels more fond of some parts than others (personally, my favorites are the Casey and Morgan chapters, and my least favorite are the Carina and Jack Burton chapters).
After a while, I realized that with all of the intercutting story lines, shifts in time and point-of-view that this story was actually kind of influenced by 'Lost.' Of course, that show was devoted to solving mysteries about the meaning of life. This was about solving the mystery of "Who requested Wang Chung?"
I hope everybody enjoyed this story, and weren't too frustrated by the long gaps between chapter updates. Please, review away, and tell me what you did like, and what you didn't.