Disclaimer: I don't own Chuck
Authors Note: Thanks for Foxmac for betaing this story and catching my grammar mistakes.
This one shot has been stuck in my head for the last two weeks. I've always wanted to make a fic in which Chuck is killed in action and the repercussions that that follow.
On the other news chapter three of vs. the appointment should be out by next week.
Summary: Chuck Bartowski has always been lucky, escaping from every single mission and assignment unharmed and well. But this time his luck runs out.
"Honey, don't you think this is an awesome day?" Eleanor Woodcomb asked her husband as the two watched the television cuddled together on the couch.
"You know it gives me shivers every time you say that word," her husband, Devon, told her.
"Well, it is an awesome day, honey. It's Labor Day, we don't have work today, and Chuck and Sarah are gone on some sort of trip together, leaving us all alone and…"
"That you and me are all alone together for the first time in a long while," she told him as she snuggled closer.
"I like the way you're thinking," Devon said as he leaned forward for a kiss.
However, before their lips could connect, the TV blared to life.
"We are sorry to interrupt this regularly scheduled program with breaking news." A grim looking Brian Williams appeared on the screen.
"Just minutes ago, an assassination attempt was made on the President of the United States. Luckily, the assassins were unsuccessful in their attempts. The White House has announced that the President and his family are safe and sound and are currently under heavy guard as we speak.
"However, on a sadder note, the White House has confirmed that an Agent was killed protecting the President. The identity of said Agent was not disclosed at this time pending disclosure to the Agent's family. Regardless, our hearts here at NBC go out to the Agent's family.
"As the situation is still developing, we at NBC will do our utmost to provide you with updates as this situation develops.
"And now back to your regularly scheduled programming."
"Oh, my God," Ellie gasped. "Someone just tried to kill the President."
"Relax, honey. He's safe now. I'm more concerned about the family of that Agent who just died," Devon reassured her.
"You're right, honey. I do feel sorry for that Agent's family."
Devon's face turned white.
"What's a matter?" Ellie asked, noticing Devon's pale face.
"Nothing, honey," he said, as he dismissed her concerns. "Just got a bit chilly in here, that's all."
Ellie leered at him. "How about we warm it up a little bit then?"
The Next Day
"Honey!" Ellie called out. "Your ginseng shake or whatever is in that nasty concoction is ready!"
"Thanks, babe. I'll be right there," Devon called out from the shower.
Ellie sighed. Labor Day weekend had passed by way too fast. Now it was back to the rat race known as work. Speaking about work, she thought. She hadn't seen Chuck or even John Casey, their mutual neighbor, at all this morning.
That was odd, she thought. Chuck had told her that he was supposed to come back last night. Oh, well. He and Sarah were probably distracted with one another. Besides, it wasn't as if she and Devon hadn't done the same.
The ring of the doorbell going off brought her back to reality.
"I'll get it," she called. She opened the front door, revealing two men in dressed in black suits.
"Are you Eleanor Woodcomb?" one of them asked.
"Ma'am, I'm Agent John Summers and this is my colleague Agent Frank Richardson. May we come in?"
"Uh, sure. Come in."
"Mrs. Woodcomb," Agent Summers began. "You might want to take a seat."
"Please call me Ellie," she said after she sat down on the sofa.
"I'm afraid that it wouldn't be proper in this situation Mrs. Woodcomb."
"What's this all about?" she asked, getting concerned.
Agent Summers sighed. "There's no easy way to say this, Mrs. Woodcomb. I regret to inform you that your brother, Special Agent Charles Bartowski, was killed in action yesterday. We, on behalf of the Central Intelligence Agency, would like to extend to you our regrets and dearest sympathies to your family at this tragic time."
"WHAT?" Ellie exclaimed. "You're joking, right? April Fool's was four months ago."
"Mrs. Woodcomb, I assure you, this isn't a joke," Agent Richardson said calmly. "Charles Bartowski was an Intelligence Agent for the CIA."
"Chuck isn't a CIA Agent! He makes eleven dollars an hour as a Nerd Herd Supervisor at the local Buy More. This has to be some sort of sick joke."
"What's going on?" Devon asked, towel around his waist, fresh out of the shower having heard Ellie's raised voice. Seeing the two Agents, his shoulders slumped in resignation. "It was Chuck, wasn't it?"
"I'm afraid so, Mr. and Mrs. Woodcomb. Once again, you have my utmost sympathies."
"What do you mean it was Chuck? This isn't making any sense!"
"Ellie," Devon said gently. "Chuck was an Agent for the CIA."
"Chuck in the CIA?" Ellie stated on disbelief. "Give me a break, Devon. He couldn't spy his way out of a paper bag if his life depended on it."
"It's true, Ellie," he said as he turned to address the two Agents. "How are Agents Casey and Walker?"
"Thankfully, both Agents Casey and Walker escaped unharmed," Agent Richardson replied.
"Wait," Ellie interjected. "Agents Casey and Walker? As in John Casey and Sarah Walker?"
Devon sighed. "I didn't know much about it but he did tell me that they were for his protection."
"Well, it looks like they did a great fucking job," Ellie said bitterly.
"Doctors Woodcomb," Agent Summers began. "We'd like to you to come to Washington with us to coordinate the funeral."
"Coordinate the funeral?" Ellie asked, looking more shocked and confused than ever.
"A plot in Arlington National Cemetery is being made available for Agent Bartowski's remains," he answered.
"Why is Chuck getting buried in the East Coast? If anything Chuck should be buried here in Burbank near his family not some distant cemetery thousands of miles away from anyone he loves!" Ellie protested.
"Doctor Woodcomb, as a gesture of appreciation for Agent Bartowski's service and deeds, the United States Congress has unanimously approved a Bill allowing his remains to lie in state at the Capitol Rotunda for a day. Following that, Agent Bartowski will be interred in Arlington in a formal ceremony with full honors."
"They're granting him a state funeral?" Devon asked, in awe.
"It's the least this country can do for such a great man."
"Doctors Woodcomb, thank you for coming at such short notice. I'm glad to meet the family and friends of the man who saved my life," the former Junior Senator from Illinois greeted Ellie and Devon before offering his hand of Devon. "Although, I do wish we could have met under much happier circumstances."
"Thank you, Mr. President," Devon said taking the President's hand.
The President turned to Ellie embracing her in a hug. "Mrs. Woodcomb, I can't imagine what you're going through at the moment and I am sorry for you loss. Although, I only knew him for such a short while, I could tell that Agent Bartowski was a great man. We lost one of our best and brightest this country had to offer that day. He will be missed."
"Th-thank you," Ellie managed reply, her eyes filling up with tears.
"Please follow me," the President gestured leading them to a table, four of the chairs currently occupied.
Ellie glanced at the occupants. Two of whom she didn't know: a middle-aged woman in uniform and a man in a nondescript suit, but the other two--
"What are they doing here?" she demanded.
After what they had done, they had no right--
"Doctor Woodcomb," the President replied. "Agent Bartowski insisted that Agents Casey and Walker be present during this time.
"Since you've already been acquainted with Agents Casey and Walker, let me introduce to you to General Diane Beckman of the NSA and Director Robert Harrison, Director of the CIA."
"Doctor Woodcomb, Agent Bartowski was one of our best Agents," General Beckman said softly. "It was a pleasure to work with him and I too mourn his loss."
"Now that you're all here, let us begin with the proceedings." The President grabbed a small clam-like metallic disk.
"This, Doctors Woodcomb . . . " Director Harrison began. " . . . Is a standard issue storage compartment given to all Intelligence Agents containing their personal effects, last wishes, and other vital items. Upon an Agent's death, the compartment is opened and the information and items given to their respective parties."
Ellie and Awesome watched silently as Director Harrison opened the device containing a small slip of paper and what appeared to be a DVD with the word WILL written on the top in sharpie.
"Typical Bartowski," Casey muttered. "Always had to do things the geek way."
"And what does that mean?" Ellie demanded angrily.
"Ellie, most Agents tend to write down their will on paper," Sarah spoke for the first time, trying to keep the two parties apart. " differently."
"Luckily for us, this office does come equipped with a DVD player," the President said as he popped the disc in while a large flat screen TV mounted on the walls came to life.
A somber looking Chuck appeared on screen. "Hello," he said. "My name is Chuck Bartowski and if you are watching this it means that I am already dead. I don't know what will end up killing me but I have chosen to become a spy and there are consequences to that.
"It may be my emotions that end up doing me in, or a slip up trying to protect my friends or my family who never wanted me to be a part of this, or it could be the thing that I never saw coming but I know it's coming.
"While I wish that this message is never heard, the life of a spy is a perilous one. Death can come at any moment especially when you least expect it. I only hope that when it is my time that I die honorably in the service of my country and protecting the ones I love from those who would do them harm.
"In light of this, I, like many of my fellow Agents, have taken a life insurance policy against myself to provide for my loved ones in the event of my passing.
"Upon my death, I wish my assets to be divided up in the following way:
"Fifty percent of my policy is to be allocated to my wife, Sarah Walker, the primary beneficiary of my policy. Furthermore, all accrued back and combat pay is to be given to her to use as she sees fit."
"Wife?" Ellie exclaimed in surprise.
"Yes," Sarah said tearfully. "The life expectancy of an Agent is very low. Chuck and I…" Her eyes began to water. " . . . Wanted to live to the fullest. In case that one of us died, we wouldn't have any regrets."
"How long were you married for?" Devon asked, curiously.
"Three weeks. It was supposed to be our one month anniversary today."
"Please," Ellie snorted. "Am I to believe those tears? They could be fake for all I know."
Sarah's eyes narrowed. "Listen here--"
"Ellie," Devon quickly interrupted. "Let's be civil." He paused. "For Chuck's sake."
"Fine," she said in a huff.
"May we get on with the will?" asked Director Harrison, having paused the will upon the confrontation between the two women. Seeing nods of agreement, he pushed play once more.
"To John Casey, I leave him with five percent."
Casey grunted in surprise. He didn't expect to be in anyone's will, let alone receive something.
"And finally to Devon and Ellie Woodcomb, I leave them with the remaining forty-five percent. Furthermore, I grant them custody of the bank account listed within my personal effects.
"Now that I've divided up my assets, I'd like to speak to each of you personally.
"Sarah . . . " Chuck's voice began to waver. " . . . I'm sorry, honey. I'm sorry that we never got to buy that house with the white picket fence. I'm sorry that we never had the opportunity to have a son with my hair and your eyes or a daughter who would be every bit as beautiful as her mother. But I'm not sorry about the time we spent together even with all of our trials and tribulations. If I had the chance to do it all over again, I'd do it in a second. Alive or not, Sarah Walker, you'll always have my heart.
"Sarah, if I'm dead, I want you to move on with your life. We'll meet again someday in the big place up in the sky. But I don't want to see you waste your life because of me. Live your life to the fullest, have no regrets, and do what you love. You only get one shot, make it your best. I love you Sarah."
Sarah's reserve broke, and tears began to flow freely. The CIA Agent with the heart of ice had melted, leaving a grieving wife mourning for her lost husband.
"John Casey, if you're listening to this, it means that I'm dead. I just hope that my death was worthwhile and not because of some moronic decision on my part. You've been a mentor and a friend. Use the money to buy some more guns for your collection or a lifetime's supply of Johnnie Walker. I don't care as long as it's for a good cause.
"I do, however, have one request for you. If safety permits, I want you to see Kathleen and Alex. Kathleen has the right to know what happened to Lieutenant Alexander Coburn twenty years ago and Alex McHugh deserves to know her father. If you can't do it for yourself, do it for me."
Casey grunted softly stoic as usual.
"And finally, Devon and Ellie. Ellie, if you're watching this right now, you're probably in shock or should be, providing that Devon has done his job.
"Yes, Ellie. Devon knew. He wasn't supposed to know but he found out anyways. He happened to stumble upon us during a mission. If you're going to blame anyone, blame me. I told him to keep it a secret to keep the two of you safe from harm.
"Ellie, I have a confession to make. I'm a spy and have been ever since my twenty-sixth birthday. Working at the Buy More was just a cover.
"Right now you're probably asking why? Why be a spy instead of something safe like an engineer or even a Nerd Herd Supervisor at the Buy More? Why do this? Why risk my life?
"Ellie, I'm doing this because of many reasons. The most important reason is to protect the people I love. As a spy I'm standing guard over this country and preventing the bad guys from destroying everything that I hold dear. I'm doing this for you, Devon, and all the other Ellies and Devons out there who might never know what I did for them but are able to sleep safe at night because of actions taken by not just myself but other Agents just like me.
"I was born to do this. I've always felt that I had always been given a higher calling, that I was destined to do something important, that I could make my mark on this world. This is my calling. I'm a spy and if that means my death, I hope by doing so I made a difference. Besides it's in my blood.
"Do you remember Grandpa Paul, Ellie? Dad's dad before he passed away. I looked up his file. Turns out he was more than he said he was. He wasn't just a simple soldier during World War II, like he told us in his war stories. No, he was an OSS Agent, one of Wild Bill Donovan's best Agents. I always wondered why he always insisted I was just like him when we were kids. At the time I thought he was crazy. Now I know why.
"Ellie, in the event of my death, I've made preparations to ensure that everyone that I care about will be taken care of. That insurance policy I mentioned? It's worth roughly about half a million dollars. While I did have to cover the premiums myself, the CIA did get me a good discount. This means that you're going to be getting over two hundred thousand dollars from my policy.
"However, that amount pales in comparison to what's inside the bank account I just gave to you," Chuck said calmly.
"Ellie, I was contracted to provide some unique services for the government and they compensated me very generously for it. That's all I can and will tell you without violating a number of Non-Disclosure Agreements and laws. I've put it in a high yield money market account and while I don't know how much is in the account as of this moment, last time I checked the balance was upwards of thirty million dollars."
Unbeknownst to Ellie and Devon, the money had come from the result of a settlement between the US Government and Chuck Bartowski. In exchange for Chuck agreeing not to sue the government over his treatment as the Human Intersect during his early days as an Asset, the government would compensate him generously for his troubles. It worked out perfectly for both parties; the government would be shielded from an embarrassing situation while Chuck had the financial security that he had always wanted for his family.
"Ellie and Devon, you're now millionaires. I know how the two of you were always concerned about making ends meet on rent and student loans. Now you'll never have to worry about money again. Hell, if you want you'll never have to work again for the rest of your lives.
"Devon, you'll finally be able to get that house that you've been looking at for the last five months, the one whose listing you've been hiding from Ellie. How do I know that? I'm a spy, Devon. That's what I do.
"Buy that house for Ellie and have a wonderful family and life. If you're feeling generous name a kid after their Uncle Chuck. Be Awesome for your children and Ellie as I can't and love them for the rest of your life.
"Everyone, I'm sorry to have to leave you all, but as the Big Guy in the Sky says, when it's your time to go, it's your time to go. I just hope that I did something meaningful before I left you all."
Chuck's face hardened. "Agent Bartowski out."
Everyone was silent as their minds tried to process the words that had just been spoken.
General Beckman broke the silence. "Agent Bartowski's last wishes will be carried out as fast as humanly possible. You have my word."
"Furthermore, we'd like to give you this," the President added as he handed Ellie a small box. "Normally, we would present it to the surviving spouse but Agent Walker insisted that you have it."
Ellie opened it, revealing a small medal in the shape of a cross, which was suspended by a ribbon with varying shades of blue.
"That medal is the Distinguished Intelligence Cross," Director Harrison explained. "It's given to Intelligence Agents for extraordinary valor and service way beyond the call of duty. It's the highest award that an Agent can receive and is one of the rarest awards for valor issued by the United States of America."
"If you wish," the President continued. "We'd like to make a formal presentation tonight in the Oval Office in honor of Agent Bartowski's service and sacrifice."
Ellie nodded unable to speak.
Three Days Later
Arlington National Cemetery
It was a perfect day for a funeral, Ellie thought as she stood behind the podium. The sky was sunny and the blue sky was a little overcast mixing the two. Currently, it was raining lightly as if the Almighty himself was crying at the loss of her brother. Ellie wasn't religiously observant despite going through Confirmation as a Lutheran, but even she thought the day was divinely inspired.
Ellie stared at the oak coffin holding the mortal remains of her brother, the centerpiece of the solemn ceremony with the Stars and Stripes draped over it, having just arrived from the Capitol Rotunda hours ago. Near it, an honor guard stood over the remains impassive, solemnly watching over her brother.
"I can't believe he's gone," Morgan said looking out of place in a black mourning suit and for once clean-shaven with the rest of the Buy More staff in Burbank looking on.
Originally, the White House Social Office, who had been placed in charge of the funeral preparations, had wanted to exclude Chuck's friends from the ceremony, focusing solely as his service to his country as an Intelligence Agent.
Ellie had disagreed, arguing that despite Chuck being a spy, he was also a brother and a Nerd Herder. Both sides of his life, not just his spy life, should be honored at the ceremony and had fought tooth and nail to include the Buy More staff at the funeral.
Surprisingly, Ellie had gained an important ally in her endeavor. The Buy More had come to her side, declaring that although Chuck Bartowski was an undercover Agent, he was still a Nerd Herder, CIA Agent or not. Seeing an excellent public relations opportunity, Buy More Corporate had paid for all of the travel expenses for the entire Burbank staff and had provided clothing expenses for those who needed it.
Furthermore, after asking for her blessing, the CEO of Buy More and unveiled the Charles Bartowski Public Service Scholarship, providing funds to those teens that wished to pursue a career in public service.
"I know," she said softly, embracing Morgan as she waited for her turn to speak.
Over the last couple of days, Ellie's world had been rocked by countless revelations about her brother. Just as she thought that nothing could surprise her anymore about Chuck or the life he led or the people his life had touched, there was always another secret that would raise her eyebrow.
Seeing as it was her time to go up, Ellie slowly made her way to the podium with Devon supporting her all the way. Taking a short glance at her speech, she steeled herself by looking directly at the audience and the cameras recording the event.
"As all of you are now well aware," she began. "Chuck Bartowski was a CIA Agent who died valiantly protecting our country from those who would do it harm. He was honorable, selfless, and possessed a sense of duty matched only by his courage and bravery.
"But before joining the CIA, before becoming an agent, and before sacrificing his life for his country, Chuck was my brother.
"Chuck, up until know I never knew about the life you led or the people you touched. I still don't know why you chose to become an Agent in the first place. But I do know one thing: You were taken from us too soon.
"As your sister, I watched you grow up from the annoying but lovable little brother to the man that you would become today. I always knew that you would be destined to do great things. That's why I always berated you about never living up to your potential, never knowing that you were secretly surpassing the expectations of not only myself but those of everyone around me. It hurts to know that only in death was I able to discover what you have accomplished in your short but spectacular life.
"I always thought that we'd grow old together. It was my dream that the two of us would always be there by each other's side, raising our families together and watching as our children grew into adults and experienced the same memories that we went through as children. Unfortunately, this was not to be. None of my future children will ever get to know the man that would have been their Uncle Chuck."
Ellie sighed, wiping off the tears that had formed across her eyes.
"Chuck, I just want say: I miss you and good-bye." Ellie began sobbing, loosing all composure as she was supported by Devon and they slowly walked away from the podium.
Overhead, a flight of F-22 Raptors flew over the ceremony in perfect formation. Suddenly the lead pilot split off from the rest, flying up towards the sky executing a textbook perfect missing man formation. It was one last honor from a country that owed so much to a man who had died to keep it safe.
Five Years Later
"Mommy, why are we here?" three year old Charlotte Woodcomb asked her mother as she held her hand. It was hot and stuffy, yet her mommy had made on her wear all of these uncomfortable clothes.
"Charlie," her mother said. "We're here because I want you to meet someone very special to Mommy and Daddy."
"Who is it?" she asked.
"You'll see," her father told her as he looked at the map. He turned to his wife and said, "Babe, looks like we're in the right area."
Slowly the young family made their way to their way through the cemetery, passing by grave after grave, each containing a fallen warrior. After several minutes they arrived at their destination.
Atop the simple limestone tombstone inscribed in gold lettering were the following words:
In Memory of
Charles Irving Bartowski
Distinguished Intelligence Cross
Special Agent Central Intelligence Agency
April 15th 1981 - September 6th 2010
All that is necessary for evil to triumph
Is for good men to do nothing
Ellie clutched her chest as she read the words engraved on her brother's tombstone. Even though it had been five years since Chuck passed, every time she saw that tombstone, it brought her all the way back to that dreadful day.
"Charlie," she said softly. "I want you to meet your Uncle Chuck."
"Uncle Chuck?" Charlie asked, looking confused. "But you said he was in heaven with the angels."
"He is pumpkin," Devon said embracing his daughter. "His spirit is in heaven but this is where his body is buried."
"Oh," she said, not sure what her father meant but she took his word for it. She looked at the grave, her face full of confusion. "Why is Uncle Chuck's grave different from the others? His grave is all shiny!"
"That's because your Uncle Chuck was special," Ellie explained. "Your Uncle Chuck was a very special man."
"Oh," she said. "Why did he have to die? Everyone else in my class has an uncle and they're not dead," she asked, not knowing how badly her words affected her mother.
Ellie's heart wrenched as she tried to make an explanation that her daughter could understand. "There were some very bad men who wanted to hurt everyone. Your Uncle Chuck died stopping those bad men from hurting everybody."
"Everybody? You mean you, Daddy, Kayla, and everyone in my class?"
Ellie smiled weakly. "Not just everyone in your class, Charlie. But also everyone in this entire country."
"Did he know that he was going to die?"
"Yes, he did, Charlie. But he still did it anyways."
"Because your uncle was a brave man. He knew that if he didn't do it that a lot of people would get hurt. So he decided to give his life to protect everybody, especially the ones that he loved."
"Even though he was going to die?"
"Even though he was going to die," Ellie confirmed.
"Wow," Charlie said in awe. "He must have been very brave."
"He was," Devon told his daughter. "He was the bravest man I ever met."
"Mommy, Daddy look! There are more people coming to see Uncle Chuck!"
Ellie's eyebrows rose as she recognized the woman standing in front of her brother's grave. She hadn't seen her ever since the funeral. However, she didn't recognize the child accompanying her.
"Sarah," she said neutrally as Devon did his best to move between the two women in case things got violent.
"Ellie," she replied in the same tone. "I'm sorry. I can come back later. I'll leave you and your family in peace." She turned to the child and said in a gentle tone, "Chuckie, it's time to go. We can go see Daddy later."
"But you said we could go see daddy today!" the child protested.
"Chuckie?" Ellie asked confused.
"His full name is Charles Irving Bartowski II," Sarah explained. "But he's a bit young to be called Chuck and Charles is a bit too much of a mouthful. He was Chuck's last gift to me."
"You were…?" Ellie left the question unasked.
"Pregnant? Yes. I didn't even know until a week after the funeral. I wish Chuck would have known. He always wanted to be a father one day."
Ellie's tone softened. "Yes, he did. What have you been up lately, are you still…?"
Sarah shook her head. "I'm no longer with the Agency. I retired shortly after I found out that I was carrying Chuck's child. I live in Arlington now just a short drive away from here."
"Are you able to get by?" Ellie asked. Being a mother was hard enough but being a single mother though…
"The Agency takes care of its own. I have my pension and my portion of Chuck's life insurance benefits. Look, if you want us to leave…"
"Please stay," Ellie insisted. "Sarah," she continued. "This is way overdue and it's something that I should have said long ago. I'm sorry for the way I treated you at the funeral. I shouldn't have lashed out the way that I did. I was distraught with grief that I didn't realize that you were hurting as well."
Her eyes watered. "Sarah, I might have known him longer but you knew Chuck better that I could have ever known. You were there for him when I wasn't. You were there to provide a shoulder to cry on and an ear to talk to. You were his love and his wife. You should have given his eulogy not me," she said as she embraced Sarah in a tight hug.
"It's okay, Ellie. You did a great job. Better than what I would have done."
"Mommy?" the little boy asked. "Who are they?"
"Chuckie," she told her son pointing to Ellie and Devon. "This is your Aunt Ellie and your Uncle Devon but he likes to be called Uncle Awesome." She gestured to the little girl. "And that is your cousin...?"
"Charlotte. But she likes to be called Charlie," Ellie added.
"Hi," Chuckie said shyly as he hid behind his mother.
"He's just like his father," Ellie remarked. Chuck had been the same way as a child.
"He is," Sarah agreed. "He reminds me every day of Chuck." She paused. "What are you doing later on today?"
"Not much. We're going to taking a tour of the Capitol tomorrow."
"Want to grab a bite to eat? I can show you around town if you want," Sarah offered hesitantly.
"I'd love that," Ellie replied.
Peering down from the heavens Chuck Bartowski smiled. Everything was just as it should be.
Thoughts? Please review.