Well, we've reached the end of the road for this story, folks. I can't thank you all enough—this story is now my most reviewed story ever, and the positive feedback has been nothing short of amazing. Have I ever told you how Awesome you all are? No? Well, you most definitely are Awesome. I hope you enjoyed this crazy ride as much as I have.
Thanks need to go out to a couple of people. To mxpw, as always, for being there to listen to me ramble and whine, as well as wholeheartedly offering his services as the most awesome beta ever. And to Frea O'Scanlin, who is one of my favorite readers and a total out-of-the-closet Gleek. If not for her, this chapter probably wouldn't have been updated until I finished school (which is in a month). She was very insistent and went so far as to guilt-trip me into writing by giving me a shoutout in her story, "What Fates Impose". If you haven't read that yet, you need to get your butt over to her page and do so immediately. Seriously, you won't regret it, it's freakin' brilliant.
And now, without further ado, I bring you the final chapter of Closet Gleek. ;)
Disclaimer: I don't own Chuck or Glee.
Chuck Versus the Closet Gleek
Sarah studied her computer screen for a moment longer before switching her attention to Castle's staircase. Casey clambered down in his Buy More attire, a disapproving frown etched into his expression as he took in her cross-legged position on the chair next to Chuck's makeshift bed.
"Aren't you supposed to be working right now?" He cocked an eyebrow and jerked a thumb towards the Orange Orange entrance into Castle. "As in, your cover job up top? The one that has a huge 'closed' sign above the door?"
Sarah fixed him with a pointed look. "I think Chuck's recovery is a little more important than a cover job at a yogurt shop that, mind you, gets about 5 customers on a good day."
Casey snorted. "Must be the service."
Sarah glared at him. "What do you want, Casey?"
"My point is that you could be spending time doing more important things instead of spending every second hovering over your unconscious nerdboy. Or catching up on an episode of your favorite dorky television obsession," he added with a smirk.
Sarah shut her laptop with a guilty flush. "For your information, I've already completed last night's mission report," she said, pulling out the folder and slapping it into Casey's waiting hands. "What have you done today? Sold a toaster to a happy couple?"
Casey gave an amused grunt. "Looks like someone's got their panties in a bunch. Not enough beauty sleep for the CIA agent? How long have you been here, anyway?"
Sarah stiffened and looked away. Casey's grin faded.
"Walker," he repeated, the humor gone from his voice, "how long have you been here?"
Sarah gave a halfhearted shrug and folded her arms across her chest, avoiding his penetrating gaze.
Casey stared at her for a few more seconds. She looked exhausted. The bags under her eyes spoke volumes, and her entire body seemed to slump in her chair. He glanced around the room and saw a coffee maker sitting off to the side, the glass carafe slowly filling up with dark liquid. How much coffee she'd drank to stay awake this long, he'd never be sure. Casey suppressed a sigh.
"Go home and get some rest, Walker." At her questioning gaze, he grunted. "Look, if I know you, you completely ignored the fact that we've been closely monitoring Chuck's recovery through surveillance and haven't left his side since he conked out this morning. Which also means that you haven't slept in two days. I know you're worried about him, but you gotta take care of yourself, too."
Sarah blinked in surprise. "Casey…"
"Hell, since I know it'll make you feel better, I'll even stay here and watch over the nerd myself," he continued gruffly, dropping the mission report onto the table. "If anything happens I'll let you know, but for now, you get some sleep. Understood?"
Sarah stared at him. For a moment, Casey feared that she might actually stand up and try to hug him. After a long pause, she gathered her things together and stood.
She flashed him a brilliant smile. "Thank you."
His expression softened for the briefest of seconds before he caught himself. With a grunt, he turned and walked over to the computers, bringing up the usual surveillance cues.
"Least I could do. Besides, I doubt Bartowski would want to wake up with you looking like that." He glanced back at her. "No offense, but you look like crap."
Sarah's smile quickly faded into a scowl. "Really, Casey? You couldn't have just let me relish the moment?"
Casey snorted. "Never. I get enough of the lady feelings from Numb-nuts when he's actually conscious. There's only so much a guy can handle." He jerked his head towards the entrance. "Now hurry up and get outta here before I change my mind, Gleek."
Sarah muttered something that sounded suspiciously like "hard-assed Sugar Bear" under her breath before clambering up the stairs. Before she could get any further, however:
Sarah looked down just in time to catch the small USB flash drive that Casey tossed her way. Her expression changed from annoyed to curious as she observed the device.
"Something to watch after your little power nap," he said, a neutral expression carefully set in place. "I thought you might appreciate it if last night's episode wasn't kept on record."
Her irritation drained away almost immediately. With a heartfelt smile, Sarah pocketed the flash drive and strode out of Castle.
The first thing Chuck noticed was lavender. Before he was even half-awake, it was the scent of lavender that overloaded his senses. Which was strange, really, because the only time he ever remembered smelling this particular aroma so strongly was when he woke up next to the girl of his dreams in a motel that was…well, decidedly not so dreamy.
A soft, melodious hum broke through his thoughts before they could wander off into steamy fantasyland. Chuck's eyes flew open with a start. Bad idea. The sun's glare hit him like a cosmic punch to the face; blinded, he rolled over and groaned into the pillow.
"Hey, you're awake."
Chuck shot up in bed, eyes wide. He hadn't been dreaming after all—sure enough, Sarah sat several feet away, curled up in her green chair with her laptop resting on her legs. She plucked the earphones from her ears and offered him a soft smile.
"How are you feeling?"
Chuck fell back against the headboard. "Sarah? What…how did…" He glanced around the sunlit room, thoroughly confused. "Am I—"
"In my hotel room? Mhmm."
He meant to ask why. Instead, what came out was, "Were you just humming?"
"Oh…you heard that?" Despite the tinge of red on her cheeks, Sarah managed to keep a straight face. "Sorry, I was watching an episode of Glee."
Chuck stared at her. Did she just openly admit to watching Glee? Hadn't she gone primal on him for trying to find that out just the night before? Speaking of which, how had he ended up here, in Sarah's hotel room, in Sarah's bed?
Oh, man, his brain felt like it was dissolving into mush. To top it off, his arm was on fire; it felt like someone had jammed a needle into his—
Chuck glanced down and nearly had a heart attack at the sight of the IV attached to his forearm. "Gah! Needle. Very large needle!" He thrust his arm as far away from his body as possible. "Sarah, what the hell is going on?"
The last thing he expected to see was Sarah fighting back a grin. But that's exactly what she did: she bit her bottom lip and closed her laptop, clearly amused. "Don't worry, Chuck, you're fine. You've been out for a couple of days, so we've been trying to flush the phencyclidine out of your system through IV."
She cocked her head and fixed him with a curious stare. "You don't remember?" Off his puzzled look— "You got hit with the drug. PCP. At the warehouse?"
"A drug?" His voice cracked as it hit an octave, and Chuck quickly cleared his throat. "You're kidding, right? What did it do to me?" He ran both hands through his hair just to make sure it wouldn't fall out. The IV tugged on his arm and he cringed.
"Careful," Sarah said. She sat on the edge of the bed and pulled Chuck's arm into her lap. "Here, let me take that out for you."
Chuck waited until she'd pulled out the needle before rambling off into another wave of questions. "I got drugged? By PCP? Why can't I remember any of this?" He paled. "Oh God, I'm not gonna be like that guy from Psycho for the rest of my life, am I?"
"Relax, Chuck, we've got everything under control. You had an episode, Casey tranqued you, and we gave you the antidote." Sarah frowned a bit. "Unfortunately, we can't get all of the phencyclidine out of your system, so you might be experiencing some minor symptoms for a couple of weeks. We've got the medication to deal with it, though, so you should be perfectly fine."
"Casey tranqued me?"
Sarah gave him an incredulous look. "That's really what you're going to focus on?"
"Well, I'd say it's pretty damn important. What the heck did I do to make Casey shoot me with a tranq gun?"
Nothing short of a flash could have stopped him from seeing Sarah's reaction to that question: a flicker of sheer mortification among other expressions too quick for him to decipher, then a purse of the lips and a blank look that was way too unnerving, even for a CIA agent like her. It was only a split second, but it was all Chuck needed for the dread to set in.
"Sarah," he said slowly, "what did I do?"
Too late—the carefully constructed mask was back in place. Sarah gave him a nonchalant shrug and stood up. "Nothing…damaging, I promise. Let's just say that you're better off not remembering."
"Sarah, you know you can't just leave me hanging like that. You have to tell me something."
She pondered that for a moment. "Well, you were singing a lot." A grimace. "Sorry to say, Chuck, but I'm pretty sure you're tone deaf."
Chuck balked at her. "You can't be serious."
"Completely serious. I actually needed earplugs."
"No. No way." He thrust a thumb towards his chest. "Chuck Bartowski? He doesn't sing. In fact, Chuck Bartowski hasn't sung since his senior year in high school, when Morgan decided that a two-person acapella performance in the cafeteria was the greatest idea since Zelda's crossover to N64." His brow furrowed at the memory. "Come to think of it, I'm not exactly sure how I got duped into doing that."
Sarah looked as though she was deciding on an expression between amusement and sheer confusion. She opened her mouth to reply then seemed to think better of it; instead, she ambled over to the table and picked up her laptop. Without a word, she sat down on the bed, opened the screen in front of Chuck and pulled up the surveillance records from two nights before. A few clicks to max out the volume, then:
"I COME FROM A LAND DOWN UNDERRRRR! WHERE BEER DOES FLOW AND MEN CHUNDERRRR!"
Sarah closed the window just as the Chuck on-screen began dragging himself across the floor on his stomach towards a very disgruntled-looking Casey. She browsed through the records and pulled up another one; this had Chuck hugging one of the computer monitors, his voice all-too melodramatic as he belted out the lyrics:
"Don't wanna cloooose my eyes! Don't wanna faaaaaall asleep, 'cuz I miss you, baby! And I don't wanna miss a thiiiiing!"
And another one, this time with Chuck doing some sort of hyperactive jiggy around Castle as he attempted to rap MC Hammer-style:
"Fresh new kicks, advance! You gotta like that, now you know you wanna dance! So mooove, outta your seat, and get a fly girl and catch this beat—"
Chuck reached for the laptop and fast forwarded several seconds. On screen, an aggravated Sarah and Casey were now trying to drag Chuck out from under the table to no avail; he slapped their hands away, still singing to his own music.
"Na na na na, na na, na na, CAN'T TOUCH THIS!"
Chuck finally snapped the screen shut and shoved the laptop away from him. The two sat in silence for several long moments as they digested the footage before Chuck decided to speak.
"I…have no words for that."
"I'm sure." Sarah crinkled her nose. "Although you were lamenting over something called 'parachute pants' at the time, whatever those are."
"Oh, wow. Yeah, I'm surprised you weren't the one to shoot me first."
Sarah gave him a wry smile. "Trust me, I considered it a few times."
"Well, I could always ask Casey for lessons."
The wiggling eyebrow dance sent her into laughter just as Chuck knew it would. His own smile faded, however, and his expression became serious. Since they were on the topic…
"Sarah, I need to apologize."
She blinked at him. "What for?"
"I saw the episode of Glee on your laptop right before we went to meet Casey for the mission," he said, glancing down at his hands. "I'm sorry, I know you hate it when I try to pry into your personal life all the time, I don't know what I was thinking—"
"I mean, seriously, fighting over the laptop? What am I, twelve? You obviously didn't want me to see it, and I—"
"—made a huge deal out of it anyway, which was completely immature of me—"
Sarah slapped a hand over his mouth. "You know," she said, a smile tugging at the corners of her lips, "as adorable as it is to listen to you ramble, sometimes you need to let a girl talk."
Chuck grinned beneath her palm. "You think it's adorable?"
"Oh, zip it. My turn, remember?" She lowered her hand and placed it on his arm. "Look, Chuck, it's not your fault. I overreacted. I guess I was just embarrassed; I'm pretty sure a show like Glee is the last thing anyone would expect me to enjoy watching."
"Well…yeah." Chuck hesitated, studying her face for any dangerous reactions before he continued. "No offense, Sarah, but it is kind of…unrealistic."
To his surprise, Sarah laughed. "Yeah, I know. We've actually had this conversation before."
What? Chuck narrowed his eyes in confusion, trying to remember—oh. Oh. He dropped his head into his hands and groaned.
"Oh God, what did I say?"
"I believe your exact words were 'some cheap rip-off of High School Musical.'" Her voice was deadpan, but he looked up and saw her expression; she had one eyebrow cocked, a smirk barely visible on her lips. He offered a sheepish shrug in return.
"It was the PCP talking, I swear."
"Right." She rolled her eyes and stood up. "Speaking of which, you should eat something. After two days of liquid food—" she gestured toward the IV, which Chuck cringed at—"you're probably starving. You'll need to take the antipsychotics, too."
"Sounds great," Chuck said, swinging his feet over the side of the mattress. "You go ahead and call for takeout or something. Meanwhile, I reeeally need to use the little boy's room." He rushed past Sarah, who leaned over to open her nightstand drawer.
"How about room service?" She flashed the menu as he strode into the bathroom.
"Sure, anything's fine. As long as it's not Escargot or something."
"I really don't think they'd put snails on this menu, Chuck."
"It's still disgusting." He visibly shuddered before closing the door behind him.
An eternity later—seriously, he didn't even want to think about if and how they'd relieved his bladder the two days he'd been unconscious—Chuck flushed the toilet and strode over to the sink. He listened as Sarah ordered two Filet Mignons on what he could only hope was the government's dime. Honestly, he would've settled for takeout pizza. Not that he was complaining.
He cringed when he looked into the mirror. The whole drug episode had definitely done a number on him; that or the fact that a two-day stubble had decided to take over the better half of his face. Bloodshot eyes and wild bed hair didn't exactly add up to a pretty picture. He turned off the water and ran his fingers through his curls in a desperate attempt to look decent. No such luck.
With a sigh, Chuck toweled off his hands and opened the door. "Sarah, I—"
The room exploded into a psychedelic myriad of colors. A gigantic disco ball hung from the ceiling, showering every inch of the room with glittery lights. The chairs had transformed into feathery, midget-sized trees and were marching around the room like they'd stepped right out of a Lord of the Rings film. The curtains ripped away from the windows and repositioned around Sarah's bed, flittering through a number of hues before settling on a deep, theater-style red. The table sprouted wings and flew over to Chuck. Like marching ants, words materialized on the tabletop in neon lights:
Casey's butt looks like elephant skin!
The table hovered for a good two seconds in front of him before dropping to the ground and rolling away. Then, with an extravagant flourish and a trumpet fanfare, the curtains surrounding the bed fell away to reveal—
Chuck nearly went into seizure at the sight. Sarah, on the other hand, just laughed; she slid to the edge of the bed, a cup of yogurt in hand.
"Hungry, Chuck?" She sang, and background music blasted from the walls in Dolby Digital Surround Sound to accompany her. "It's a new flavor, you know: Sexytime Strawberry."
Chuck made a guttural sound in the back of his throat. After a few failed attempts to get his voicebox working again, he finally croaked out, "W-whipped…"
Sarah's face brightened. "I know, isn't it great?" She gestured to the rest of her body, which was covered from the neck down in whipped cream and various yogurt toppings. "Makes it so much easier to serve the customers. Here, why don't you try some—"
Chuck squeaked and slapped both hands over his eyes. Immediately the music and flashing lights faded; only Sarah's voice remained, repeating his name over and over again as it gradually transitioned from sing-song to normal.
"—Chuck. Hey, are you okay?"
Her hands gently pried his away from his face, but he kept his eyes shut, so tightly that he was beginning to see little black and white checkers behind his eyelids.
"Chuck." Her voice was anxious. "Talk to me, Chuck, you're starting to scare me."
"Side effects," he blurted. "By any chance, do they include hallucinations?"
A pause. "Um…probably."
"What does Casey's butt look like?"
"Just checking. And there's no whipped cream—" Realizing his mistake, Chuck clapped a hand over his mouth and forced his eyes open.
Sarah Walker stood less than two feet away, fully dressed and eyebrows nearly shooting off her forehead. They stared at each other for three of the most awkward seconds of his life before Sarah's eyes slid downward…then right back up. Her cheeks flared bright red.
Chuck closed his eyes and said goodbye to the last of his dignity. He backed into the bathroom again, acutely aware of Sarah's struggle to keep a straight face.
"And that's my cue. If you'll excuse me—"
Her muffled laugh was unmistakable even through the closed door.
Ding ding ding…
"Sorry, we're closed."
Chuck paused halfway through the doorway, an eyebrow raised. "Because this particular task of yours is much more important than serving a hungry customer, I'm sure."
Sarah didn't even bother looking up. "I'll have you know, I'm about to break a record. I'm up to fourteen layers."
"Really? How many at the bottom?"
"No idea. This is the third package, though." She held up a half-empty bag of mini-marshmallows for him to see before grabbing another handful.
Chuck eyed the massive puffball mountain in front of her and whistled. "Wow. The government really knows where to put its dough."
"For your information," Sarah said, shooting him a dry look from the corner of her eye, "these were stale when I found them in the back. I don't think you realize just how boring it is to work here."
He watched as she carefully added another marshmallow to the top layer. "Well, apparently enough to make marshmallow mountains." He flashed a smirk. "Then again, you've done crazier things. Don't think I didn't see all those holes in the wall, missy. The gummi bears were mourning that day."
Sarah rolled her eyes, the corners of her lips quirking upwards.
"Anyway," Chuck said, walking towards the counter, "when you're not too busy entertaining yourself with stale marshmallows, maybe you could drop by the apartment tonight around 7:30?" At her questioning look, he shrugged. "Ellie's making lasagna for dinner, and I figured you might want to join us since it's your favorite."
Sarah straightened, her face splitting into a smile. "Sounds like a plan. I'd love to."
"Cool." Chuck glanced down at his watch. "Break's almost over, I gotta head back. Yogurt on the go?"
"Sure. What flavor?"
"Whatever's fine. What's the flavor of the week?"
"Strawberry. The government doesn't get too creative when it comes to…" Sarah trailed off and crinkled her brow. "Chuck, are you okay?"
The color had completely drained from Chuck's face. He stared at her with the oddest look on his face for a long moment before blurting out, "Orange!"
He pointed at the yogurt machine and jerked his head in a half-nod. "Orange, please."
"O-kay," Sarah said, looking at him for a moment longer before turning to grab a cup. "You sure you're alright?"
"Me? Yeah, I'm totally fine. Strawberries just make me a little—it's just so triangular and seedy—I mean, the seeds are, well—it's red and sour—" Chuck ran a hand down his face. "Y'know, I'm just feeling orange-y today. Come on, who doesn't love orange at the Orange Orange?"
Sarah placed the cup in his outstretched hand, a wary look in her eyes. "Right."
"Alrighty then. I'm gonna head back to the Buy More, and you can stay here and break a new marshmallow mountain record." He mock saluted as he backed towards the door. "See you at 7:30?"
"See you at 7:30."
Sarah watched him leave, raising an eyebrow when he actually began power walking across the parking lot. She turned to the yogurt machine with a bewildered look.
"What's wrong with strawberry…?"
Sarah tinkered with the charm bracelet on her wrist as she stood at the front door of Casa Bartowski. Every single time she came here she went through the same routine: walk up to the door, hesitate for approximately ten seconds, take a deep breath, and knock. It was ridiculous, she knew, but it never changed. There was just something strangely nerve-wracking about entering a place that, for once in her life, actually felt like home. Well, that and the fact that she never truly knew how to act around Ellie. Despite being completely oblivious to the spy world around her, the elder Bartowski sure knew how to guilt trip with something as simple as a heartfelt "hello".
Sarah took her deep breath and raised a fist. The door opened before she could even knock; Ellie and Devon appeared in the threshold, surprised looks on both their faces.
"Sarah, hi!" Ellie's face lit up, and she moved forward to embrace her. "We didn't realize you were at the door, sorry about that. Chuck's in the kitchen."
Kitchen? Sarah pulled back and offered a confused smile. "Thanks. Um…where are you guys going?" She gestured at their noticeably less-than-casual clothes.
Devon grinned. "Thought I'd treat Ellie to some fine dining tonight. We've both been working extra hours the past few weeks, so we figured we could afford to splurge a few dollars."
"You should be proud of my little brother, though," Ellie said, as Sarah stepped aside to let the couple pass. "He actually did a pretty decent job with dinner." She lowered her voice to a conspiratorial whisper. "He only asked me for help five times."
Sarah gave her a blank look. Ellie winked and linked her arm with Devon's.
"Thanks, sis," Chuck deadpanned, and Sarah whirled around to see him leaning against the doorframe, hands behind his back. He offered her a sheepish shrug and his trademark goofy grin.
"Well," he said, backing into the living room to let her in, "it was supposed to be a surprise, so, uh…surprise?"
The lights in the room were dimmed. The dining table was set for two, a single candle burning alongside a bowl of lasagna and a platter of garlic bread. Sarah walked towards the table in awe, then stopped and turned to face Chuck again, absolutely speechless.
"Sorry about covering with a cover date," he said. "I thought it'd be nice to treat you to something nice after you had to put up with my little PCP episode." He frowned a bit. "Casey's been getting a kick out of not telling me what happened, but from what I could tell, seems like you got the brunt of it. So I figured we could start off with your favorite home-cooked lasagna, and…well…"
Chuck pulled his hand from behind his back. Sarah's breath caught in her throat. In his hand was the Season One, Volume One DVD of Glee – Road to Sectionals.
"Last one on the racks at Buy More," he said, grinning. "I don't know if you already have it, but I thought maybe you'd enjoy watching it on the plasma. I could give it a shot, too, since you really seem to love the show—"
Sarah was in front of him in three strides. Without so much as a second thought, she reached up and pulled his face to hers.
The kiss didn't last long, but like all the others they shared, it packed one hell of a punch. After a few seconds, Sarah pulled away and flashed one of her most brilliant smiles.
Chuck kept his eyes locked on hers, a ridiculous goofy grin plastered on his face. Then his brow furrowed. He cleared his throat.
"So, uh…was that a real kiss or a cover kiss? Or am I having another one of those hallucinations? Because that would seriously suck."
Sarah laughed and pulled him towards the table.
That's all, folks! First reviewer gets a virtual cookie, because you'll be my 100th reviewer. Have I mentioned how awesome you all are?