At the end of season 3, all of the important characters know Chuck is a spy.
A big problem with reveal scenes on TV is they are usually way too short. After all, why does the audience need a rehash? It bugs me though, because the viewers don't know how much everyone really knows. Has is all been laid out, or are there still secrets that can be used as feeble plot devices later?
This story is about laying it all out there.
Another problem is exposition scenes on most shows are boring. Of course that's only when the show's characters do not have great chemistry, like they do on Chuck. The reveal scenes in Colonel, Beard, and Subway are probably my favorite non-Charah, non-wedding destruction scenes of the whole series.
One problem with reveal scenes on paper is too much dialog with no action. A bigger problem is capturing the characters. It is virtually impossible to capture the hand gestures, excitability, rapid tempo, and dynamics of Chuck and Morgan's banter on paper. It's also impossible to describe the relative bulge in everyone's eyes as they react to each and every surprise. There is almost no way to do Sarah's awkwardness when alone with Ellie its proper justice (well maybe in Truth, Lies, and the CIA, but we don't all write that well).
At least by getting this story down, I was able to get these wished for conversations out of my head.
Disclaimer: Nobody else owns anything here, so why would I?
Disclaimer 2: No beta. Why would I sucker/obligate/subject anyone into reading this when they didn't want to?
Disclaimer 3: I'm sorry about the style. I started with this unorthodox style trying to capture the pace of Chuck/Morgan banter. After a few chapters, I figured I was stuck with it.
Chuck vs. Morgan
Set after 3.10, Chuck vs. the Tic Tac
The Bartowski-Grimes Pad
Maybe Casey will talk to Kathleen someday. He's just not ready yet. I'll bug him about it some more tomorrow. Maybe I can get Sarah to help when she gets back from DC. For now, I need some Call of Duty to clear my head.
"Hey, Morgan. Mind if I join in? Wait. Why are you shutting down?"
"Not now Chuck. Call of Duty can wait. We have important things to discuss."
"Well super-secret spy stuff, of course."
"No Chuck. You agreed. One Planet of the Apes DVD for full disclosure. You owe me answers to all my questions about your spy missions."
"But Morgan, that stuff is classified."
"Classified smashified. You've already told me about the computer in your brain and your Bruce Lee skills. I know about the CIA, NSA, and your top secret base, Mr. Carmichael. Isn't that stuff classified? What's so different now?"
"At the time I wasn't flashing. Oh, and I don't know, I thought we were going to die."
"Give me a break, Seagal. They weren't stopping you under any kind of siege. Now that I'm on the inside, you need to brief me or debrief me, or whatever, so I can be a more valuable member of the team."
"But you're not a member of the team. Remember you need to crawl before you walk or run."
"That's what I talking about. Teach me to crawl, Jedi Master Bartowski. Teach me about the light side so I do not accidentally stray. Yes, I've reinstated you as my best friend, but maybe I should have made that probationary."
"Ok, we both know I wouldn't really put you on probation. But you know me, Chuck. I need the full scoop of Butter Pecan so I don't stick my foot in my mouth. Remember what happened with you and Jill last time. Emmett and Ellie found out because I did not know the full double dip with nuts. Once I know all of the ice creamy goodness, it will never leave the beard."
"Well we wouldn't want ice cream all over your beard." I might as well get this over with. With Sarah and Shaw in DC and Casey fired, this is as much privacy as I will ever get. "I'll let you ask your questions. However, I might have to hold some details back-for your safety."
"Great. So let's go out and get some Sizzling Shrimp so we can have a proper discussion about this."
"No Morgan. We have to stay here. Please realize-everything we discuss tonight is top secret classified. We cannot risk anyone at the Bamboo Dragon overhearing-especially with their connections. Sarah cannot know we've talked about this because she would not be happy with me, and I'm already having enough trouble with her. Casey cannot know because, well, I'll explain that later. Shaw cannot because he would fail me from my spy training. General Beckman cannot know because I would probably be arrested and thrown in an underground bunker."
"Eh, eh. We cannot discuss this information anywhere after tonight-not here, not in the Herder, not at the Buy More, and not in Castle-unless I say it is safe, because we never know who might be monitoring."
"But I just wanted to know what we are going to eat. One mention of Sizzling Shrimp and now I need my fix."
"Sorry, buddy. Not tonight. I think we have some leftover pizza in the fridge and of course we have some Grape Soda. That will have to hold you for now."
"Ok. I guess so. Can I at least start with my first question?"
"What 'connections' does the Bamboo Dragon have? Is it safe to eat there? 'Cause I don't know if I could get by without my shrimp fix."
"Nothing serious to worry about. The shrimp is safe. It's just..." I guess this is as good as place as any to start. "Do you remember the first 'Evening with Morgan' with Sarah?"
"Yeah. I remember it was a big failure. No fireworks. No Enter the Dragon. The shrimp was carry-out. It wasn't fresh. And then you and Sarah bailed for her spastic colon. After about 15 minutes, Ellie kicked me out so I didn't get my shrimp fully on. You know I was really questioning if Sarah was good for you after that. If she weren't so, well you know, hot, I would have insisted you dump her right then and there."
"First, I need to say Sarah does not have a spastic colon. It was just an excuse."
"That beautiful, and no spastic colon?"
"Yeah..." Sigh. "I know. Aaanywaay, here's what really happened that night... In the Bamboo's kitchen, I flashed on one of the staff as a Chinese spy. Sarah and I took off to report the flash to Casey. They stuck me reviewing files to figure out what the spy was up to."
"So while I was with Ellie, you were hunting an enemy agent? Wow!"
"She wasn't really an 'enemy'. The next night, on a stake-out, we figured out she was hunting a leader of Triad, who used to be part owner of the Bamboo Dragon, because he had kidnapped her brother."
"She. So you were staking out some spy chick like Wai Lin from Tomorrow Never Dies?"
"I guess you could say that. The Chinese government had left her brother out to dry. And then in one of my many early mission screw ups, I let the Triad boss get away. After that I had to help her get her brother back. In return, she did a White Nights."
"Ah, she defected."
"Right. So that is why I couldn't help you with that sales competition and why I missed Mother's Day that year. Sorry pal."
"Oh, that's ok. The sales competition was bogus anyway-just one of Big Mike's schemes. And that Mother's Day is when I bonded with Ellie. I know she stayed with Awesome, but after that night she has not been as quick to throw me out. But back to the important issue... Is Bamboo Dragon safe, what with the Chinese spies and Triad running around?"
"Yes it is safe. After the change in management, I insisted that Sarah do a full background check on the new people so we could go there on cover dates. She found no direct ties to the Chinese government or Triad. Maybe some indirect ones, but nothing to worry about. And I have not flashed there since. My original point is stories about the Intersect and Chinese defectors are not for public discussion."
"Got it. Wait. You said you flashed on the spy and have not flashed on the new Dragon owners. Does that mean one of your Intersect superpowers is evil detection? And if so, did you flash on Emmitt Milbarge and Harry Tang leading to their incarcerations?"
"First, I do not have superpowers."
"Second, Emmitt was not arrested."
"I know Big Mike said he is managing a LargeMart in Nevada. But nobody is really buying it. Lester started a pool for the real story. I would have put my money on prison, but as Assistant Manager, I was not allowed to participate by Silent Lester."
"Casey told me he is managing a LargeMart in Alaska, not Nevada. However funny story about Tang..."
"Wait, you know about the Lady Tang? Did Big Mike tell you too?"
"What, no, what about Tang's wife? Wait, never mind. I don't want to know."
"Good, because I'm sworn to secrecy about Big Mike and Lady Tang. I would not want to spill the beans."
Ewww. "My information is about why Harry Tang left the Buy More."
"I thought it was to manage a pineapple farm in Hawaii. I considered looking him up to see if I could get some free fruit for old time's sake. Then I thought better of it and realized there were no good old times with the Tang."
"Well what you don't know is where the pineapple farm offer came from."
"I'm not following."
"Remember that 'special project' that Big Mike gave about that time. Helping pick out the b-day gift for Harry?"
"Well, something made Harry think you were up to something. I don't know what... maybe a movie night and grape soda bender. Anyway, Harry came busting into the home theater room trying to catch you. Instead of finding you, he ran into Sarah, Casey, and me being debriefed by the General Beckman and Director of the CIA. Sarah and Casey were ready to shoot him for 'infiltrating' the home theatre room. After I intervened, Casey got him relocated. I wish we thought of it earlier."
"Why didn't you do that to Emmitt?"
"Beckman vetoed the idea when Casey proposed it."
"Back to your previous question, the flashes do not 'detect evil.' The flashes help me identify some people, but the Intersect does not always figure out if they are good or bad. I've flashed on a high school classmate of Sarah's that who wasn't evil. He was just being blackmailed into selling fighter jet plans. I've also flashed on a ring and an alias of Sarah's that caused me to see surveillance footage of Sarah a couple of times."
"Surveillance footage, eh? What was she doing?"
"Oh, just taking out an armed gang with her fists and poisoning a group of French assassins."
"Poisoning? I remember her corn dog. I can believe that."
"That's why I took out her soufflé at the first dinner here. Actually, Sarah can cook really well. Wienerlicous' corn dogs are just that bad. Remember the chicken pepperoni leftovers from a couple weeks ago? Sarah and Shaw made that to cover for me during an undercover mission I was on."
"If you say so. I guess the chicken pepperoni wasn't too bad. Not like Ellie's cooking, but passable. Wait, you took out the soufflé? I just remember your magic trick and then the fire."
"That wasn't magic. Casey told me her alias. I flashed on the poisoning. I kinda freaked out. So I tried to ruin dinner. You know it was really Casey's fault."
"I should have know that man does not appreciate a good soufflé."
"The other problem with flashes is the information is based on what was in the Intersect database when I loaded it. That means I have to get regular updates or can't flash on the new baddies. The Intersect computers have been destroyed twice, so there is currently no way to get updates. I got sunglasses with an update once, but I don't know where they came from. Not flashing can be a big problem. Last year when Sarah and I moved to the suburbs, I couldn't identify the whole cabal that was living around us."
"Huh? You moved in with Sarah last year?"
"It was a mission right after Valentine's Day. It was a total flop too. Ok, yes, we caught a bunch of Fulcrum bad guys. But not before they captured Sarah, Casey and me, and they loaded a test Intersect's programming into my brain. It was a flop on the Sarah front too. Separate bedrooms... fake rings... fake couple pictures. It really hit home how Sarah and my relationship was not real. It led to me breaking up with Sarah again."
"Oh, I remember that now. Ellie said you were out of town and unreachable, which did not make sense because you were at work. Wait a second. Is that why you agreed to move in with me?"
"Yeah. No offense buddy, but I was on a Sarah low."
"So your spy mission caused all of those problems with Anna after she found the apartment lease?"
"Yep, you can blame the CIA for your problems with Anna... at least that time. You just can't tell anyone about it."
"Earlier you mentioned Fulcrum. Who are they?"
"Ah, Fulcrum. Fulcrum was the original source of most of my problems."
"Fulcrum is no mas. Fulcrum was an evil group with double agents inside the CIA. They were one of those 'America first and consequences be damned' groups. They tried to trick Bryce into stealing the first Intersect. But super-spy Bryce Larkin figured it out, blew up the Intersect and emailed it to me. Later they brought Bryce back from the dead. We extracted him. For the next year and a half, they hunted Bryce, thinking he was the Intersect. Unfortunately, to get to Bryce, they always came after me because of my connection to Bryce-not a really good plan when you think about it. The Christmas Eve hostage crisis-Fulcrum. My job at Roark Instruments-Ted Roark was the leader of Fulcrum. That's why I didn't tell you about the job. It was a mission. By the way, don't use RIOS 2.0 computers without the latest security patches. They have a backdoor that lets Fulcrum steal your private information. My dad worked on the security patches to close the hole. Oh, and the distraction at the first Ellie/Awesome wedding-Roark and his Fulcrum goons were threatening Ellie. Your distraction provided time for Bryce, Sarah, Casey and his Special Forces team to show up and save the day. Of course they destroyed the reception hall at the same time."
"Wow. Your life is so cool. It needs to be a comic book. So Ellie's reception was the final showdown between Team Chuck and big bad Fulcrum?"
"I guess you could say that. The problem was Fulcrum was a splinter group of the Ring. Fulcrum we understood. They wanted the Intersect to create an army of human Intersects like me. Then they would rule the spy game. After the wedding, the Ring cleared house and took out the rest of Fulcrum. The Ring seems to deal with weapons and poisons, but we really don't know what their overarching goals are."
"Well it's obvious, Chuck. World domination."
"But from what I've seen-my vast experience and what you've told me so far it really doesn't matter."
"Cut off the head and the body will die."
"Seriously Chuck, do you want me to take this plan to your boss?"
"No, I don't think that's a good idea. It took over two years for the General to listen to me. She still doesn't most of the time. You'll need to put in your time first."
"If you say so. But in video games, it's always fastest to blow by the grunts and kill the big creature at the end of the level."
"This is not a video game, Morgan."
"I know it's not a video game. In a video game, a movie, or a classic fantasy series for that matter, the Ring would just be thrown in the fires of Mount Doom."
"Ha Ha. I'll keep your plan in mind, and I promise to suggest it at a key point in our Ring-destruction planning sessions."
"Planning sessions? When do I get to come?"
"Ahhh, they are normally really boring. Trust me. You do not want to be there. I wish I didn't have to go.
"You know, Morgan, seeing that we are now talking about the top secret details of my life, I have a couple of things I should apologize for."
"Apologize? Best friends do not need to apologize."
"Yeah, well there've been a few times that I have not been the best of friends the last three years. It was always for national security reasons."
"Say no more Chuck. Say no more. I understand. National security. Fate of the world. Who am I in the grand scheme of things?"
"You're my best friend, and you deserve to hear the real excuses. Maybe these aren't apologies, per se. It's just over the last few years, I've had some missions that really cause problems in our friendship. I always wanted to tell you the truth. So here it is. Situation 1. Remember when you were locked in the cage?"
"Yeah I still have flashbacks."
"Well I would have been there an hour sooner but we were identifying an arms dealer. I flashed on her and she captured and tortured me."
"Tied me to a chair, threw a knife at me, and threatened to throw me off the balcony. Fortunately, Sarah and Casey rescued me, and Sarah took her out the next day."
"I don't know. I think the cage was worse torture."
"You know I tried to capture one of her thugs in the cage, but someone had fixed the lock."
"Hey, I scared Big Mike by threatening a lawsuit. He must have done something for a change."
"That's ok. Casey took him out with a microwave."
"Mission number 2... Halloween... Remember when I missed the AM interview and your bike was stolen. I requisitioned it to prevent the Santa Monica pier from being blown up."
"So you returned it just like you did in Jr. High."
"Well, in Jr. High. You forgot it at the arcade. On Halloween I borrowed it to save the arcade. Thanks for the transport and for taking my interview for me."
"Don't mention it. So why didn't you take the herder?"
"The herder was the bomb."
"You know how I'm really protective of Herder #3?"
"Yeah, but who cares. I just figured you wanted to keep Jeff out of it."
"That too. But the real reason is Herder #3 is special. Actually, the last two have been special."
"Well the first one was destroyed by Casey on my first date with Sarah. That's back when he was trying to kill me. It has been replaced twice. Anyway, it has special feature packages."
"Like what? Oil slick, flame thrower, rocket launcher, ejection seat, cloaking device?"
"Oil slick, no. Flame thrower, no. Rocket launcher, not a bad idea, but no. Ejection seat, yes but sideways, not vertical like Bond. Cloaking device, no way. And you know I think Die Another Day is not realistic."
"But you said it has a bomb."
"It's more of a self destruct."
"What else does it have? So far it doesn't sound that useful."
"Well it has tracking, satellite uplink, passenger-side steering, prisoner containment, and a really cool remote control."
"Remote control, like Tomorrow Never Dies. Ok that sounds good. However, I might need to give your Q some ideas."
"I don't think so. The Santa Monica Pier bomber who stole the Header was the designer the 'special features'"
"Q was an evil mad bomber. That is so cool. Well, not cool. But a really good plot twist."
"Here's a twist. You've met him."
"That guy who didn't pay up for your video guitar challenge before Halloween. That was 'Q'."
"That douche. No way. He wasn't even British."
"He was a kid genius who was locked in an underground bunker for years and then escaped by killing his guards. I told you he was dangerous."
"Ah ha! Your evil detection super power detected him!"
"It's not a superpower, but yes I flashed on him."
"You know that really sounds like something you could get arrested for doing in public. So why don't they give you a cool car, like an Aston Martin, or like Sarah's Porsche?"
"I really don't have a good track record with cars. I blew up Casey's Crown Vic preventing a rocket from hitting a ship with you, Anna, and her parents. I blew up the second herder while using the remote control to get the bomb a safe distance from you and the Taiwanese Ambassador."
"I say again. What?! I've never met the Taiwanese Ambassador."
"You haven't met him, but you have been in his trunk."
"Ok. Remember when I went with Sarah to that Car show with Anna and her boyfriend."
"When you saved me by betraying me. I still have the scars."
"Again. Sorry about that. However now I can set the record straight. The party was a mission. I only went to that party under protest and due to some mind games from Casey. The primary mission was to plant a bug to find out what Anna's boyfriend's Triad buddies were up to. The second mission, which I insisted on, was for Sarah and me to try to get you and Anna back together. It worked, just not right away. You were caught so I pulled out the stalker comment to save you from the Triad goons. They must have found the bug. So when they showed up at the Buy More, I knocked you out with breath spray. They found you anyway and threw you in the trunk of the Ambassador's new car which contained a Triad bomb. Casey and I tracked you down, I threw the bomb in the second herder, and remote controlled it to a safe distance away. So yes I betrayed you, but it was only because of orders and then I saved you later."
"Wow. The scars are... just... gone. I should have known you would never willingly betray me. Wow."
"Remember that dinner with Anna and her parents? You thought you saw Sarah sunbathing?"
"Yes, and you said it wasn't the future Mrs. Bartowski."
"Well I don't know about Mrs. Bartowski," I can hope, "but it was Sarah. She was undercover. I discovered some counterfeit bills on the 'mark's' boat while doing a Nerd Herd install. Later, he tried to destroy the boat you were on with the counterfeit plates hidden in some medic aid crates. Fortunately, you had sent me a pic with the crates in the background. Sarah, Casey and I rushed to the docks, but the bad guy got off a shot first. I used the control panel to redirect the rocket to Casey's car."
"Sweeeet! That fireworks show was Casey's car! One of your superpowers is rocket control. I guess it makes sense, since you are the World Champion Missile Commander."
"It's not a superpower. That was just a Nerd Herder skill. Although I did flash on the Missile Command game, it's still not a superpower. Mr. Morimoto from Atari, who designed Missile Commander, gave me a hint that Rush's Tom Sawyer was the secret to the algorithm at the end of Missile Command. So you could say I used 'cheat codes.'"
"You cheated at Missile Command, just like Duck Hunt. I can't play any games with you anymore, can I? This really hurts."
"Hey now. I told you I didn't cheat at Duck Hunt. I have been trained to fire many handguns in case I don't flash for some reason. I'm sure Sarah and Casey are better than I am at Duck Hunt."
"I need some of that training."
"Well you can take it up with Sarah and Shaw." Like they are going to let that happen. "As for Missile Command, the kill screen contained codes to take control of a Japanese weapons satellite, which come to think of it should be illegal by Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, before the satellite destroyed most of southern California. So I think 'cheating' was allowed. Anyway, that's why I was buddying up with Jeff. The terrorists were after him to get to the kill screen."
"But Jeff just passed out."
"They got the codes from Morimoto before they killed him. We were trying to get them back, which we did, thanks to your setup."
"I said your life should be a comic book! And I could be your loyal sidekick."
This is not going well. "Buddy, don't you get it. You almost died both of those times. This spy business is not safe. I only survived the first two years because of Casey, Sarah, and luck. Since then I've had the revamped Intersect to help, but that does not make it less dangerous. The fact that you know now means you need to be more careful."
"You act like there are spies everywhere."
"Sometimes, it seems like there are. Remember that badass who crushed your grape soda can during the Employee of the Month contest?"
"Yeah, that guy was cool!"
"He was Casey old Sensei and, oh yeah, had turned evil. He could have crushed your head with his bare hand. Remember Ned who crashed into the Buy More on Christmas Eve?"
"Yeah, he was crazy."
"Actually, that was an act. He and the LAPD negotiator were both Fulcrum. That's why he shot Casey's toe off. That's why I didn't want Casey and Sarah to leave. That's why I left with the negotiator-to save all of you."
"I took out a Fulcrum agent? See I should be part of the team."
"What? I thought Awesome and Big Mike took him out after Lester and Jeff's diversion."
"Maaaan. Nobody saw my snow machine diversion. Lester had his ass-kicked and Jeff was scared. I came out of nowhere and blinded the guy. It was the key to the whole plan."
"Sounds cool. Sorry I missed it. I was kidnapped waiting for Sarah to rescue me at the time. My point is that was very dangerous. I only survived because Sarah shot and killed the negotiator. I had a team dedicated to protecting me."
"They could protect me too, and I could still help. I could start with surveillance and work my way up."
"The team is not like that anymore. I can't protect you because I am still technically in training. I think Sarah is more concerned about Shaw now than me. Shaw doesn't want you around. Sarah and I had to convince him to not throw you in a hole. And Casey is not on the team anymore."
"Not on the team?"
"Well you know that video you helped me with? The other guy in that video recruited Casey to be spy a long time ago. They faked his death and changed his name. Then his mentor went evil (like a lot of Casey's old mentors seem to do). I turns out the pre-spy Casey had a fiancée. The bad guy blackmailed Casey into stealing something for the Ring. Sarah and I helped save Casey and his ex-fiancée. However Casey was fired."
"So Casey is no longer a spy. Then what is he?"
"Right now, he's just John Casey, Buy Moran green-shirt and Lieutenant Assistant Manager. He's not talking the discharge well. His ex-fiancée still doesn't know he is alive and he found out... some other news that he still hasn't had time to process. I still think Sarah and I can get him reinstated, but she is off in DC and hasn't returned my calls to help formulate the plan. So please go easy on him, Buddy."
"Will do. About the Buy More. Why do you still work there? You've got a real job as a spy?"
"Spies need cover jobs. That way nobody knows you are a spy."
"As I've said before, all of this is really cool. Like 3D movie cool. The good kind of 3D, not that lame kind. However it's time for the important questions. We know your superpowers include Kung Fu, sword fighting, evil detection, and rocket control. What other superpowers do you have? Flying? Spidey sense? Super speed? Telekinesis? Mind control?"
Sigh. "No to all of those. And they are not superpowers. It's more information and skills."
"Ok. Then what other super skills do you have?"
"I don't know everything. The old Intersect was simpler. I flashed on names, pictures, scars, jewelry, bomb parts, stuff like that. When I flashed, the Intersect would correlate data and give background information. It also had some voice recognition and security code hacking features. The new intersect is more complicated. It has a lot of fighting skills: Kung Fu, fencing, nunchucks, shooting, discus throwing. It also has a bunch of other skills: Spanish guitar playing, bullet removal surgery, ballroom dancing, zip line traversal, languages. Those aren't superpowers. Regular people can do all of those things."
"Who do you know that do all of those things?"
"Sarah. Maybe not the guitar playing, but everything else. Plus she can fly jets. I don't know if that is in the Intersect yet. I wouldn't be surprised."
"But Sarah is not a regular person. She is more an angelic goddess."
"Yeahhhh. You're right about that. Casey can do most of that too. Maybe not the guitar playing, and I don't know about the ballroom dancing. But he plans a good wedding."
"He can also brainwash Lester. But Casey's not a regular person either. He's like a super robot or something."
"Don't let him hear you say that either."
"Of course not. Do I look suicidal?"
"No. Anyway. One of the problems is these skills only come up when they are needed, so I don't know about them ahead of time. They also don't work when I'm emotional."
"You mentioned that when we were held captive. Like emotions are your kryptonite. I'm not buying it. I think emotions are not the problem. The problem is conflicts in your emotions. Lying to your best friend. No flash. Making moves on Hannah instead of Sarah. No flash. Honesty with your hetero male life partner. Super flash. Admitting you love Sarah. Super flash."
"Ok Yoda. So you think the problem is conflicts in my emotions?"
"Exactly. Channel and focus your emotions."
"Morgan. You, are really telling me, to focus."
"Hey do as I say, not as I do."
"You know the Intersect is not Jedi powers."
"That would be so cool if you had Jedi powers. Not that the Intersect is not cool. But a lightsaber. That would be..."
"Awesome. Except that lightsabers are technological. They do not require the force. Han used one to cut open a Tauntaun and Luke used his father's before he was trained. Plus lightsabers don't exist."
"Are you sure? Maybe you need to flash on one."
"Maybe so. Too bad they don't exist to flash on, Morgan."
"Hmmm. I see the problem. Maybe that's something they could add to the next Intersect."
"The ability to flash on technology that doesn't exist yet. Sounds really useful."
"So what super power, I mean skill, do you wish was in the Intersect? I'm for X-Ray vision."
"No real people have X-Ray vision, so that's not possible."
"But wouldn't it be cool?"
"No Morgan. You know my standing objection to seeing you walk around naked."
"Ok. So what skill do you want?"
"I don't know. Maybe somewhat to win Sarah back."
"You're kidding. You already have the mad girl-winning skills. Wait. That must be in the Intersect. Because that really is a superpower."
"Exhibit 1: Lou. AKA Licorice-hair. And she made sandwiches. Professionally."
"I don't know how that happened. I was just being nice about her phone. And Sarah had just told me we didn't have a future, which was true. Lou and I never had a chance anyway. The spy life got in the way. Her ex was an arms smuggler. Even without the spy life, she was too much of a firecracker for me. We only had coffee and two dates. And we broke up twice in two days. I really don't think she counts."
"Exhibit 2: Jill. She might have left you for Bryce the first time. But she came back after you had the Intersect."
"That's not what happened. I ran into Jill by accident at a convention. I flashed on her boss. So I was ordered to ask her out. The 'date' was staged, and it was still a disaster. She only got back with me after her boss was killed, a virus was stolen, and I helped stop a virus outbreak at the the lecture she was supposed to give. At least I thought we were getting back together. It turns out she was seducing me."
"Getting seduced by Jill. What's wrong with that? Well I guess Sarah might be a problem. But still."
"The problem was she was Fulcrum."
"What?! This is like an evil villain twist."
"Yep. Jill was recruited into Fulcrum out of Stanford. She helped them develop bio-weapons and the cures. First she seduced me to steal back a list of Fulcrum names. The plan worked-trade a 'kidnapped' Jill for the list. Except they didn't know I used your game copier to make a copy."
"That's where that went."
"Yes. Thanks by the by the way. It's probably in Castle storage somewhere. In the list, we discovered Jill was Fulcrum. I should have just stayed with Sarah." Sigh. "So after that revelation, they ordered me to stay with Jill and discover their plan. Their plan was a devious double cross to find Bryce, who they thought was the Intersect. That led to the infiltration of Castle and the capture of Sarah, Casey, and me. Fortunately I was able to hack into the Castle computers, call the cavalry, and free Sarah and Casey."
"It sounds like a lot of people came after you to get to Bryce, thinking he was the Intersect, when you were really the Intersect. Sounds like a bad plan to me."
"Tell me about it. Beats an underground bunker, though. So when I told you Jill had left and was in a 'big house' and 'up the river', I meant she was in jail. See I didn't always lie to you."
"So Jill was really evil."
"Jill wasn't really evil. She was trapped. Fulcrum recruited her out of college. They controlled her whole life. She was never really with Bryce. They made her dump me in college, and she used Bryce as an excuse. A few months later, she helped us infiltrate a Fulcrum stronghold and found information that helped us rescue my father. I let her go after that."
"So Jill, a Fulcrum agent, knows where Castle is and is on the loose?"
"Yeah, but she's been on the run for a year and hasn't tried anything. Most of Fulcrum was purged by the Ring. So she's hiding from the government and the Ring. She won't be around anything soon."
"I don't know Chuck. Seems like a classic superhero mistake to me. Thinking Jill is 'misunderstood evil'. I'll give you that it has nothing to do with Intersect skills. Too bad I wasted my Thanksgiving miracle wish on you and Sarah instead of the Swedish bikini team."
Swedish bikini team?
"Exhibit 3: Carina. The Swedish goddess"
"Carina? No. That never happened."
"Really? You and Sarah were kind of on the outs, and she was always asking me about you. So I kinda assumed."
"Well she was really aggressive."
"Yes. She was intimidating. However she was only interested in me her first visit because of some kind of rivalry with Sarah. I was still trying to figure Sarah and me out, so I stayed away. The second visit I was tripping over myself trying to get Sarah back, so she stayed away. Plus she was technically undercover, engaged to that guy you stood up against at the jail juice party."
"Wait. Undercover? Carina is a spy?!"
"Yep. Carina is undercover DEA. That guy with her at the party was her mark. The other guys were the hired goons. Fortunately, you drank the booze that Carina drugged before the goons had a chance to kill you. Although Casey could have killed you when you pulled out the briefcase we thought contained a weapon. We got it back after Casey scared the party goers away. You got lucky that night."
"In more ways than one. I, Morgan Guillermo Grimes, had sex with a spy."
"No offense buddy, but I think a lot of people have had sex with that particular spy. You're just the only person at the Buy More who has. Speaking of which, I would not mention you and Carina to Casey."
"They had a thing. Oh no. I didn't know she was Casey's girl."
"His girl, no. And by 'thing', I believe it was more of a thing with handcuffs, clover boxer shorts, and Casey being left behind. No sex. However Sarah does have a really good blackmail picture on her cell phone from the second time. You should check it out sometime. Just under no circumstances, if you value your life, let Casey know you know.
"Good advice. Ok, new exhibit 3: Hannah. The French Vixen. You stole her right from under me."
"She wasn't French. She just had a place in France. And I didn't know you were into Hannah, Morgan. I'm sorry."
"You're kidding. I never had a chance-even with Jeff and Lester's stalker information. I didn't know she traveled halfway around the world to work at the Buy More with you."
"That was kind of stalkerish of her. Yeah. Hannah went too fast. She kind of threw herself at me."
"Lucky guy. And that wasn't the Intersect?"
"No. I really can't explain it. Maybe she was reacting from getting fired from her last job. I was definitely reacting from Sarah and Shaw."
"Sarah is with Shaw?! Really?"
"She's with him in DC right now."
"I'm not buying it. The guy is like a wooden sculpture. Maybe he is good to look at, but he has no personality. And I didn't get any vibe of anything between Sarah and Shaw."
"Because you detect 'vibes'"
"It's my finely tuned skill. Developed after years of getting beaten up from hitting on girls in front of their boyfriends. When you went to Stanford, I had to develop the skill quickly. It helped me make me move on Anna before she knew what was coming. It kept me from making my move with Hannah when she was into you. Ok I was a little slow on the up take with that one. However it was obvious that Sarah and you had vibes. Sarah and Shaw. No way."
"If it were but true, Morgan."
"Well, how do we make it true again?"
"I don't know."
"How did you win her to begin with?"
"I don't know buddy. Maybe a government enforced cover relationship, combined with government rules about not having a real relationship created just enough tension over two years to create something. I always thought we had, I don't know, a thing under the undercover thing. She's wasn't allowed to say it though. She once denied it under truth serum, which is why I went to Lou. I guess Sarah can withstand truth serum, because we had our first real, amazing kiss just a couple days later, which is why I gave up on Lou."
"Ok. Ok. So you and Sarah couldn't be together, but Shaw and Sarah can?"
"Until I got the 2.0 Intersect, I was an 'asset', not an agent, like now. Actually, I'm not an agent now either. I'm more of an agent-in-training. But when I was an asset, Sarah was my handler. The CIA has rules against asset/handler relationships. Shaw is an agent, just like Bryce was, so they are not off limits. Although Shaw is technically our boss, so I don't know why that is allowed."
"Wait. Did you say Bryce? Sarah and Bryce?! When did that happen?"
"Hmmm. I guess I should have mentioned that. Small world. Bryce was Sarah's partner and boyfriend before he blew up the first Intersect and mailed it to me. That's why she came out here originally. She was cleaning up her partner's 'treason'. It was no fun when he came back from the dead for Thanksgiving. Remember my dark Thanksgiving wish? 'I'm thankful that Bryce Larkin is dead and is not currently in my bedroom making out with my new girlfriend.' He was at the time."
"Ouch. Weren't you and Sarah together at the time?"
"Remember it was just a cover. Anyway, my message tipped off Casey, which is why we all left suddenly. Sarah and I found Bryce over at Casey's. Casey shot Bryce-again-this time in a bullet proof vest. I used to Intersect to figure out Bryce was not rouge..."
"We handed Bryce over to the good guys at the Buy More. Fulcrum showed up. Pineapple. Bryce and Sarah returned. Bryce shot me in a bullet proof vest-which really hurts by the way. Fulcrum is captured. All in another holiday in the spy biz."
"So Sarah and Bryce were really a couple while she was pretending to be your girlfriend?"
"I don't think so. I don't know. He just kept showing up to mess with our relationship. Our first real kiss was outside what we thought was a bomb that was about to kill us. It was really a pod that was keeping Bryce alive for transport. After he came back, it took us a while to get back to normal, with are thing under the undercover thing. He asked Sarah to leave with him. She didn't, but she was mad at me for it. Then after our aborted second first date and another amazing kiss, he shows up again. He used some stupid 'protect Sarah' logic to confuse me into going back to a cover-only relationship with Sarah. Then he showed up before the wedding, when I finally had the first Intersect out of my head, to take Sarah away from me again. This time with orders. Right when I thought Sarah and I were figuring things out."
"What do you mean by figuring things out?"
"Right after Jill escaped, the General decided to throw me in a bunker. Sarah took me and ran-defying orders. That was treason. Not only it was it treason, it was Sarah Walker committing treason, for me. We went looking for my dad. I forgot, he designed the original Intersect and was being held captive by Fulcrum at the time."
"Your dad designed the Intersect?"
"Well, just the really cool parts."
"No wonder your dad liked Tron. He's Flynn!"
"I guess you could say that."
"That makes you Tron!"
"Ahhhh, no. Anyway. My lead didn't pan out so we got a hotel room in Bartow. The next morning, one thing led to another, and then... Well let's just say that morning it is a testament to how much you are my best friend that I am still speaking to you after the IOU."
"IOU One Condom. Ring a bell?"
"Oh. OOOOOH. I am so sorry. In my defense, I thought you and Sarah's 'activities' were always at your residences so you did not need one in your wallet. With Anna, I had to be prepared everywhere."
"Well Sarah and I did not have any 'activities'"
"See, this is why you should have let me in on this sooner."
"Ha. You're right. I never thought telling you would have actually helped my love life. Or lack thereof. Unfortunately, national security trumps my love life, and every other part of my life."
"So what happened?"
"Casey captured me. Sarah took him out. Fulcrum showed up. Casey and Sarah took out Fulcrum. Casey captured us. We escaped because Awesome had broken into Casey's place looking for me. We rescued Awesome."
"That's how Awesome found out? I thought you told him. He won Ellie. He learned your secrets. He-"
"Actually, I never did find out how he found out. He was getting close for a while. He saw an end conference call messages from Beckman on my TV. He could have been fired because the stripper at his bachelor's party (who was CIA) and Casey stole his hospital key card and then Casey forgot to return it right away. My guess is Ellie scared him into looking for me, and somehow he found out about Casey."
"So Awesome has been part of your team for almost a year and goes on your missions now. If he can go, why not me?"
"He hasn't been on our missions. What-"
"He said he's been on-"
"I don't know what he told you. In fact he shouldn't have told you he knows anything. And you should not have told him either. By even talking about it without Sarah, Casey, Shaw or me present, you were breaking several federal laws. You never know who might be listening. Where were you when you talked to Devon?"
"When was it?"
"Yesterday. Awesome and Ellie came by to talk to you about Africa."
"No no no. Awesome and I talked privately."
"Ok good. I'll still need an exact time to ensure the security bugs were off during your conversation."
"Yeah. This place is filled with bugs and cameras. When I was an asset, this place was monitored 24/7. The bugs are off most of the time now because I'm no longer an asset. However Casey is from the 'No Secrets Agency' so I wouldn't be surprised if he turns them on sometimes, just for kicks."
"Well he was just fired today, so he probably would not have had a chance to report anything. So what did Awesome tell you he did?"
"Just he goes on missions all the time."
"He doesn't. Devon has one primary mission: protect my cover with Ellie and make sure she doesn't know about my other job. That mission is now yours too, Morgan. Ellie can't know anything. It's not safe for her."
"Why? It's not like she's going to blow your cover."
"You know, you might be right. I don't know. I guess Sarah told me to tell no one to keep them safe. But now Devon knows I'm a spy, and you know almost everything, and a bunch of bad guys know I'm Charles Carmichael, and almost all the bad guys know about the Buy More. Hmmm. Well I trust Sarah, so for now, Ellie can't know."
"Don't tell Ellie. Check. That mission seems easy though. Awesome said he's gone on missions with you."
"Devon has been on exactly three missions with me. Two were over my strong objection. First he was the attending physician for the leader of Costa Gravis. Devon was invited to a consulate ball, so he was our ticket in. Get invited to a ball hosted by a friendly foreign leader targeted for assassination, Morgan, and you can go on a mission. I spent half the night trying to keep him out of trouble. Then he decided to be a hero and accidently got Casey captured. The second mission was an unsanctioned mission to rescue Casey. Again, Devon was our ticket in. His only job was to save the life of the Generalissimo. Which, oh yeah, is his day job. If we need a Buy More Assistant Manager for a mission, you're our guy. The third mission was because he was kidnapped and his life was threatened. They thought he was me. Trust me. You did not want any part of that mission. "
"If you say so."
"Morgan, while all of this sounds great, he really got involved by accident and was only used as needed, for his specific skills. We have never pulled him in when there has been another choice. He's really bad at providing cover stories to Ellie. It's a miracle she hasn't found out."
"Maybe she already knows."
"I hope not. Back to last year. After rescuing Devon from Colonel Casey, Sarah and I went back to rescue Dad. Casey joined us this time. We rescued Dad, took out a Fulcrum base, took the Intersect 2.0 cube, and Dad got the Intersect out of my head. Then we went the rehearsal dinner. Another successful mission. With the Intersect gone, I thought Sarah and I had a chance. Then Bryce returns and Sarah got orders to partner up with him and leave me behind. Then Bryce died, I downloaded Intersect 2.0 instead of him, and Sarah and I never recovered."
"Something else must have happened."
"Yeah. She wanted to run off together. Then I did something really stupid. I didn't go with her."
"Why, in the world, not?"
"The same reasons I downloaded the Intersect 2.0. Sarah had been telling me I was a hero. Really important people were telling me I could make a difference. And I wanted to help protect Ellie and you and everyone else."
"With great power, comes great responsibility."
"I know. Stan Lee and Uncle Ben ruined my chances with Sarah."
"Tell me about it."
"So you probably don't want to win Sarah back by getting the government to threaten to throw you in a bunker again, right?"
"You need another plan. You two had something all along. I know you did."
"It seemed like it. Even on our first date, she really seemed into me. That was really a mission, though. Also, Casey and his goons tried to kill us and later I diffused a bomb with the Demova virus, so I don't think that counts. We've only really had one real date. It was going really well. We went to one of your haunts. Great food. Great conversation. And oh yeah, we were surrounded by a bunch of baddies and a really imposing guy. Think Mitt with a bunch of armed mercenaries. Casey busted the middle of that date too, by driving his Vic through the restaurant to rescue us. That reminds me. Thanks, by the way."
"The next day, that imposing guy and his team captured me by making a Nerd Herder call. You helped me escape, at least until Casey, Sarah, and their team found me."
"I don't remember that."
"It was when I asked you to finish the AM interviews."
"Right. I had the bungee swing showdown between Jeff and Lester."
"You what? Never mind. I don't want to know. Anyway, I called you to confirm your Compound specs for taking on LargeMart."
"Twenty-three infantry troopers, sixteen snipers, seven heavy gunners, four demolitions experts and enough ammunition to orbit Arnold Schwarzenegger. It worked too. LargeMart never had a chance."
"Exactly. You were actually on speaker phone scaring the imposing guy and his team. It was the best bluff ever."
"See! That's what I'm talking about! That's how I can help you guys out."
"Morgan. It's dangerous. There's a lot of really scary people out there trying to kill us. Trust me. Torture is not something you want any part of. Just be happy Beckman didn't throw you into WitSec."
"Fine. I'll table it for now. But as I prove my worth in the future, please remember I can be more effective if I'm officially on Team Chuck. So back to Sarah. It sounds like you just need to get Sarah on a date without bad guys showing up."
"First, that's a lot harder than one would think and second, I don't think she would go on a date with me when she is with Shaw."
"So we need a more complete plan. I got it! I have a plan and it comes in four parts. One, finish your agent training. Then there are no government rules in the way. Two, get Sarah alone and surprise her with a date. Three, remind Sarah what it was like when you two were just starting out by being the Chuck Bartowski we all know and love. Use your special skills we talked about earlier. And four, make sure evil doers and Casey do not show up."
"Wow. I don't know what to say, Morgan. I might need to give that a try. It might actually work."
"No Chuck, do or do not, there is no try."
"My bad. You're right."
"So the pizza is gone. If we hurry, we can still make it to Bamboo Dragon before the kitchen closes. Let's lock and load. I'll get the keys for the company car, and you get the weapons."
"I'm not bringing weapons."
"But what about Triad?"
"I told you they aren't there anymore. But if you are worried, I can always pull out the Kung Fu, if necessary."
"You're right, Chuck. It's better to travel light. We can get in and out faster."
Sigh. Maybe this was a bad idea. Then again… Reduce conflict in my emotions. A plan for Sarah. 'There is no try.' It's good to have my best friend back.
A/N: Coming next, Chuck vs. Beckman (post 3.15)