Note: This is the last in the White Picket Fence Future series and I think I've managed to work through my issues regarding Season 3. I haven't started watching Season 4 yet: goodness knows what that'll throw up! Anyway, this one gets quite explicit, so again with the warning: if you don't like m/m sex, if it's illegal where you are, if you're underage, please don't read this because life really is too short to get upset over things you read on the internet. That said, I hope you like it!

Casey finds himself shanghaied into having dinner with Chuck. A romantic dinner, with candles and wine and a little note in Ellie's handwriting tucked under his plate that says 'Supplies are in the bag by the couch. Be safe, have fun!'

Chuck is silent, his usual mile-a-minute mouth working only to chew and swallow Ellie's delicious food. At least, both of them assume it's delicious: for all the attention they're paying, it might as well be from the nearest Taco Bell.

The quiet lasts until they finish the first bottle of wine. As Casey uncorks the bottle he brought, and spots the other two bottles that Ellie's left out for them, Chuck clears his throat. 'Ellie thinks we're in love.'

'Yeah, I got that,' Casey says and refills their glasses.

'Why would she think that?' Chuck looks at John and it's as though he hasn't truly seen him before, but now all his attention is on the colonel, all that intellect, insight, intuition. 'Tell me, John,' and Chuck draws his name out into something approaching a curse. 'Why would my sister think we're in love when I've been going out with Sarah all this time?'

Casey fights down the urge to squirm, ruthlessly squashes memories of Chuck writhing underneath him, of Morgan saying, 'Fix it,' and Devon asking, 'Why does he look like you broke his heart?'; instead, he casually picks up his fork and says, 'She's your sister, you tell me.'

He realises he's made a tactical error when Chuck narrows his eyes, a shark-like grin ghosting across his face. 'Okay, I will. I think Ellie thinks that we're in love because we are.'

'I'm in love with you.' Casey does his best to scoff, but it isn't anywhere near good enough.

'Yes. You are. And I'm pretty sure I'm in love with you too. In fact,' Chuck continues, taking a sip of his wine, 'I'm pretty sure these past few months with Sarah have been down to you.'

'To me,' Casey repeats woodenly.

'To whatever you did to make me forget I was in love with you,' Chuck agrees. 'Although… Not forget, not really, just… skip over it. These aren't the droids you're looking for. This isn't the partner you're looking for.'

Because he's looking so closely, Casey knows Chuck's caught the wince he couldn't quite suppress, so he goes on the attack. 'Why the hell would I be in love with a nerd like you? You're way too young and annoying. Oh, and let's not forget male shall we?'

Chuck's mouth twists, settling after a moment into something resembling a smirk, if a smirk could possibly attempt to hide a soul-deep hurt. 'Why indeed? It's a question that poets and philosophers have spent thousands of years trying to answer, so don't expect me to have the answer. A better question would be why are you trying to pretend you aren't in love with me? I mean, I get the whole being a colonel thing, although DADT's on its way out, thank god, and you're NSA and I'm not even the first guy you've ever slept with on assignment. No, you're in love with me and you managed to use some weird black ops mind control mojo to make me ignore the fact that I'm in love with you and I was going to tell Sarah and Ellie and Morgan so I could be with you.'

Casey does his best to scowl and look forbidding, but it isn't working, because Chuck rattles on.

'It isn't as though I want us to walk front and center in the next Gay Pride march, although Morgan will probably demand to go, just for the costumes. I just wanted a chance to be with the person I love. That's all. How about you, big guy? What did you want?' Chuck regards the spy with a level gaze that says he isn't getting out of the room without giving some answers, not without using a tranq dart, and damn it, Casey left those back at Castle.

Casey looks down at the remains of the meal on his plate. 'I wanted you to have what I couldn't,' he admits, feeling relief sing through him at the same time as a part of his brain is screaming at him to shut up, get the hell out of there, no weaknesses, no vulnerabilities, no exposure. 'I wanted you to have the whole wife and kids thing. You and Sarah…'

'Work better as friends,' Chuck says softly, covering Casey's hand with his own. 'You could have asked me what I want. I'd rather be a good uncle to Ellie and Devon's kids than a lousy dad to my own.'

'You'd be a great-' Casey starts, but Chuck's shaking his head.

'No, don't. I wouldn't. Not as long as I have the Intersect in my head. Not as long as I'm working for the government as a spy. Spies make terrible parents.'

Casey sighs. 'Yeah.'

'Hey, you didn't even know you were a parent,' Chuck chides. 'You don't get to beat yourself up over having a daughter you never knew about. And you don't get to decide what's best for me, not like that.' He pushes away his plate and stands up. 'So since you suck at making personal decisions, I'm making one. Take me to bed and make it up to me.'

'What?' Casey stares at Chuck in shock.

'You heard me. I have months of not sleeping well that you are directly responsible for. So you owe it to me to make it up to me by showing me just how much you've missed me and incidentally tire me out so that I can have the first decent night's sleep in god knows how long.' Chuck rattles that off at high speed and at the end, he's still standing there, hand outstretched.

'What about Walker?' Casey asks.

'I'll talk with Sarah in the morning. John…'

'You aren't mad at me?' Casey asks, taking Chuck's hand and standing up.

'I think I'm probably madder at you than I've ever been at anyone in my entire life, but that can wait. This can't.' Chuck looks Casey in the eye and very deliberately takes a step forwards.

Casey's breath catches in his throat and the hand Chuck's holding twitches as though his very muscles are rebelling, as though now they've made contact with Chuck, they aren't about to let go. Ever. To his chagrin, Casey finds the room blurring around him and his eyes sting with what he will never admit are unshed tears.

'Chuck…' Casey's voice breaks, but his feet carry him the single step it takes to close the gap between them. As gently as breathing, he brushes a dry kiss across Chuck's lips, then his eyes close of their own accord, his free hand buries itself in Chuck's thick curls and he's devouring that lush mouth as though he's starving, as though he hasn't a belly full of Ellie's amazing cooking. And then Chuck's kissing him back.

Casey's brain shuts down while his mouth, his hands, his chest, his thighs, everywhere he's touching Chuck, everywhere Chuck's touching him, is doing a dance of triumph, a hell yeah! and it feels like coming home. He doesn't realize they've stumbled over to the couch until his knees hit the arm and he sits down, pulling Chuck with him.

Chuck breaks the kiss, groaning against the older man's neck. 'I love you, but I'm not having sex with you on my sister's couch,' he complains. 'Your place or mine, but not here.'

Casey clears his throat. 'You're going to have to back off, then,' he rasps. Chuck looks at him, uncomprehending. 'Unless you want me to throw you over my shoulder?'

Chuck blinks, then smiles the first genuine smile Casey's seen out of him in months. 'Maybe some other time,' he says, backing off so that Casey can stand up, grabbing the bag as he goes.

'What's that?'

'Something your sister left for us,' Casey grins. 'It'd be rude not to take it.'

'Wha- Oh!' Chuck flushes. 'I suppose it would be.' He grins again. 'You think Ellie will mind if we leave the washing up?'

Casey growls. 'I'll send her flowers. Tomorrow. Come on.'

Together they leave casa Woodcombe and make a dash for Casey's place. Inside, they head straight upstairs. Even though they've done this dance more times than Casey can count, it feels like tonight's the very first night they've ever stripped in a hurry, too eager to lay hands on bare skin to bother with the tease of undressing each other. It's the first time they've fallen together on Casey's wide bed, arms locked around each other, long legs tangled, mouths sliding slick across each other. It's the first time Casey's rolled Chuck under him, settled in the cradle of his thighs, sucked bruises into the young man's neck. It's the first time they've come with Chuck's hands gripping Casey's ass as they hump gracelessly together, too worked up to wait for lube, too keyed up to last.

Later, when they've spent themselves enough for patience, Casey relearns the shape of Chuck's collarbone, the curve of his nape, the way his breath stutters and his mouth falls open as Casey sucks him down, hot mouth swallowing him so obscenely that it's probably still banned in states across the South. They move in concert, Chuck displaying such a depth of knowledge of just where and how to touch to drive Casey out of his mind that he'd suspect Chuck of having flashed on Seduction School training, but the truth is Chuck learned it all with his ferocious determination to please, treating every hard-won secret of Casey's body like a prized jewel, something to be hoarded and treasured. In return, Casey does his very best to show Chuck just how much he's missed the man, just how sorry he is that he ever tried to duck out of Chuck's life, his heart.

At last they lie in a heap together, unsure where one starts and the other leaves off, sweat cooling on overheated skin, heartbeats slowing. Chuck nuzzles Casey's ear, then nips it sharply.


'That was a shitty thing to do,' Chuck says.

'I kinda thought it was hot myself,' Casey snickers and for a minute Chuck joins in. Then Casey sighs, tightens his arm around the young man's waist. 'I shouldn't have done it. You deserve better than that.'

'Do you think I deserve better than you?' Chuck asks, raising his head enough to see the emotions that skitter through the depths of his lover's eyes.

'Maybe,' Casey says. 'Probably, yes. I still don't know what the hell you see in me.'

'Then it's lucky for you that I do, isn't it?' Chuck says, laying his head back down. 'I love you, stupid. I want us to grow old together, stopping the bad guys and saving the world. And at the end of the day, I want to come home to you. I want to climb into bed with you and have you remind me that there's something worth fighting for. I want to find new and exciting ways to annoy you and drive you crazy. I want a life, a future, with you.'

Casey sighs and closes his eyes. 'You just won't give up, will you?' He swallows hard and feeling like he's stepping off a cliff, he says, 'I surrender. I'm yours. My future is yours. Goddamn crazy nerds.' He huffs, presses a kiss to Chuck's temple. 'I love you too. Even though the Intersect's clearly compromised your judgement.'

'Don't care,' Chuck says sleepily. 'This is the only picket fence I want. Paint it rainbow. Set it on fire. It's my fence and I've given it to you.'

'Gay Pride march?' Casey groans, tugging the comforter over them.

'Mm. You bet.'

Casey can feel Chuck's grin against his shoulder and he thinks it'd be worth having to turn up to every single Gay Pride march dressed like something out of Dune just to have the right to make Chuck smile every night.

In the morning, they both know they'll have to talk with Sarah and Casey's got apologies to make. He owes thanks, too, to Morgan, Devon and Ellie for making him see that even after everything he's done, he still has a future with Chuck. As Casey slides towards sleep, he breathes in the scent of his beloved and silently raises a toast to not-so-young love, forgiveness, and rainbow picket fences.