Disclaimer update: I don't own 'Chuck', 'NCIS' or 'JAG'. No latinuim has changed hands, no profit has or is being made and a variety of 'Rules of Acquisition' have been bent or broken as rules tend to be...
Colonel John Casey, Marine, NSA agent and member of the Intersect Team, leaned against the right front fender of his prized Crown Vic. He shifted slightly, to be reminded by aching knees and other pains that he was no longer a young Marine. And hanging out at the beach most of the night had not helped. 'Pain is just weakness leaving the body' was a favorite motto, however ibuprofen and Tiger Balm helped.
The breeze off the ocean was pleasant, but with dawn a fading memory, Casey could tell it was going to be another hot and humid day in southern California. He crossed his arms and scowled at the morning crowd; the joggers and walkers, the wanna be surfers and tourist gawkers. Treasure hunters swept the sand with their beeping scanners.
A lone nerd sat on the beach in what had become his usual spot; his lanky form hunched over with long arms wrapped about long legs. Bartowski was still dressed in his Buy More uniform and classic 'Chucks' as he stared out over the booming surf; possibly thinking or remembering; probably mourning.
A pair of young, feminine joggers went by and cast appreciative looks at Bartowski. As he seemed oblivious to their attractive appearance and presence, they kept on jogging. An older, blond woman strolled by in something brief and tight and cast her appreciative gaze at Casey. He appreciated in return as she walked away. However he was on duty...
He heard Alex's car pull into the parking lot and come to a stop behind the Crown Vic. The brakes sounded like they were grabbing a bit. He'd have to get her to bring her car by the apartment on a day off and he'd fix the brakes while they engaged in some father / daughter bonding.
" Good morning, Daddy! " Alex held a steaming cup of coffee in his direction.
Casey accepted the cup with a slight nod and even slighter smile. He took a sip and yep, she'd prepped the coffee just as like he liked. Damn, she was doing a good job of spoiling him...
" You weren't at the apartment, so Morgan figured you might be here and I thought you'd need an early morning or late night pick me up. "
" Both. " Casey looked over at the car to see the bearded troll clamber out of the passenger seat. Aw hell! " Are you taking babbling lessons from Bartowski? "
Alex shook her head and grinned at him. He was doomed. Her smile was just as effective as Kathleen's had been. Not that he'd ever share that bit of intel with Alex, however she did seem to be doing a great job figuring it out on her own.
" Out of curiosity, what the hell are you doing up and about so early? "
" I don't have any early classes and it's also my day off, so Morgan and I were at a flea market just up the road, " Alex rattled off. " One of the vendors has been coveting Morgan's extensive collection of Yvonne Strzechowski 'Bionic Woman' memorabilia. Morgan is going to keep the signed poster where she forgave him for the whole Comic Con stalking debacle, thanks to Chuck's putting in a good word... "
" Are you sure you aren't taking babbling lessons? " Casey scowled at the bearded moron as he scuttled by, headed for the beach.
Grimes looked even more anxious as he caught sight of the ferocious expression and picked up his pace.
" Daddy, you really need to stop terrorizing Morgan. "
Casey glanced down and saw the expression on his daughter's face as she watched Grimes stumble across the sand. Oh hell, she was serious about the moron. Casey was aware that not even Anna Wu had been able to curb Grimes fascination with the Aussie actress. That meant Grimes was probably serious about Alex...
Alex continued. " I told Morgan a while back, if he wants to impress any young ladies, he might not want to mention the 'Strzechowski Shrine' in his bedroom... "
Casey calmly considered the gun and caliber with which he would shoot... " How did you know that Grimes has a 'Strzechowski Shrine' in his bedroom? "
" Ah, he showed me... " Alex stopped as she heard a rumbling parental growl.
A young lady, strolling towards the beach, pulled an ear bud free and looked around for signs of the impending thunder storm not mentioned in the morning's weather forecast. When she realized the sound was coming from the hulking menace, she hurried away.
His cell phone toned the Marine Corps Hymn. Alex took the opportunity to wave and jog towards the beach herself.
" Yeah? " Casey growled.
" And a good morning to you, " Gibbs replied cheerfully. " What's up? "
" I think my daughter just told me that her new boyfriend is the bearded pipsqueak, " Casey said with deep disgust.
" Bartowski's friend, Grimes? "
" Yeah, Grimes... " Casey sighed deeply. " If he hurts her, I'll tear him limb from limb from limb... "
Gibbs chuckled. " Too many limbs, John. "
" Leave my fantasy alone, Gunny... "
" Fair enough, " Gibbs agreed. " Are you at the beach? "
Alex and Grimes were now seated in the sand beside Bartowski. " Yeah, it's becoming a nightly ritual when we aren't on a mission. "
" How is Chuck doing? "
Casey considered the question. " Professionally he's fine. He's doing very good work, staying focused on missions, but personally, not so good. Lou's left him and has sued for divorce. Bartowski needs Walker, but... "
" So what happened? " Gibbs asked. " I've heard only sketchy details... "
" When Walker was in the CAT Squad, they thought there was a mole feeding Gaez intel. Walker suspected Zondra after she found a transmitter in one of Zee's boot heels. Their constant friction and the lack of team success were leading factors to the CIA breaking up the squad.
" Zee decided a while back to investigate Gaez, to try and unmask the mole and clear her name. The mole turned out to be the fourth member of the squad, Amy. We think that when she discovered Zee was looking for the mole, Amy decided to cover her ass. She put Zee in a hospital, then went after Walker. "
Casey heard another car pull into the parking lot and glanced over to see a black Dodge Charger ease into a parking space. " Walker's Porsche blew up and almost took Carina out. A sniper got to Walker in the apartment courtyard trying to protect Chuck and Lou as the team protection detail converged on the Bartowskis and the apartment. Shaw showed up with some CIA EMS personnel and got Walker and Carina out of there.
" Bartowski had seen Walker fall and in the confusion, grabbed her Beretta and with a couple of the team, went hunting. They found Amy with some of Gaez thugs before she got too far. By the time I caught up with them, Gaez thugs were down along with Amy and I saw Bartowski deliver the kill shot... "
" Chuck killed Amy? "
Casey jolted. " Sarah? "
Gibbs sighed. " Incoming... "
Casey heard a car door slam shut and turned to see Walker limping across the parking lot from the black Charger. At that moment, she may well have been the most beautiful sight Casey had ever seen. Sarah Walker was alive...
" Go ahead and hang up, " Gibbs said with exasperated amusement in his voice. " And Casey, shut your mouth before... "
Casey closed his mouth and hit the end button as Walker barreled into him. She was a strong woman and had his ribs creaking from the hug she gave him.
" Damn, Walker... " Casey patted her shoulder, awkwardly, as hugging was way outside his comfort zone.
" It's good to see you too, John. " Walker gave him a brilliant smile, then took a step back and eased into agent mode. Her blue eyes flickered constantly towards Bartowski on the beach. " So, Chuck did the shooting? "
Casey nodded his head. " Yeah, when he had to, Chuck manned up... "
Walker's eyes were bleak. " Damn it, Casey, I've never wanted him to have to kill... "
" I've told you before what I thought about your lady feelings and that damn red test Graham had his field agents go through. That son of a bitch really screwed you up with that shit. " Casey leaned back against his car and crossed his arms. " Despite Graham and Larkin, you still became a damned good field agent and the best partner I've ever had. "
" Thanks, Casey, " Walker murmured with a stunned yet pleased look.
" Bartowski is not a killer. He'd still rather use a tranq gun." As he spoke, Casey pulled a Cohiba churchill from a pocket and lighted it up. " You couldn't prove it from the way Lou and Ellie whined and bitched, though. It took Stephen and Mary to finally get Ellie to shut up by explaining some of the harsh facts of life.
" And we both know Lou never approved of the whole Intersect thing, based on just how bitter their fights were getting. She's always felt Bartowski was changing and not for the better. Plus she was jealous as hell of you. She took off with the kid... "
" Damn, " Walker growled. " I liked Lou, but I'm not sure I can forgive her for hurting Chuck... "
" Sarah, Bartowski's been dealing with the divorce drama really well. Chegwidden, Rabb and Associates are handling the divorce for him. Sarah Rabb is a Marine and ex JAG lawyer, so she's qualified to handle the unique national security and secrecy aspects of the case. "
" Then why is he spending so much time here? " Walker glanced over at the trio sitting on the beach, then seemed to consider the surroundings. " Wait, I know this place... John? "
Casey spoke quietly. " Sarah, Chuck thinks you're dead... "
" What? " The word cracked out like a gun shot. Walker turned and headed towards the beach, snarling, " Shaw's ass is mine, Casey... "
Casey let her go with a satisfied smile. His team... his friends... hell, they were his family... they would be okay... the wounds would heal.
He saw the trio on the beach turn at Walker's voice and scramble to their feet.
" Sarah! " Alex squealed with a happily surprised smile.
Grimes glanced quickly from Chuck to Sarah and wisely hauled his girlfriend out of the way. Now was not a good time to get between the CIA agent and her asset.
A wealth of complex emotions flickered across Bartowski's face as he took a few hesitant steps towards Walker. Shock... disbelief... joy... Anyone watching knew exactly how Chuck Bartowski felt about Sarah Walker in those moments.
Casey nodded, it was about damned time.
" Sarah? "
" Hey, nerd! " There was something hesitant yet hopeful about Walker as she came to a halt before him. " This may not be the best timing as I just came back from the dead, so to speak, but may I ask you something? "
Chuck shrugged, " I think you are babbling Sarah but... "
" Do you love me? "
Chuck nodded with a huge smile on his face and his heart in his eyes. " Yeah... "
Sarah reached out, grabbed his face and kissed him.
Alex and Grimes smirked at each other as they wandered away. They would have their chance to marvel at Walker's return some other time.
Puffing complacently on his cigar, Casey strolled over to the black Dodge Charger. " What the hell, Gunny? Shaw told us Sarah was dead. "
" I don't know how or why Shaw did what he did, but it's being looked into, " Gibbs returned. " McGee ran across some interesting intel during his search through the CIA computers on Shaw a while back. Did you know that the red test Graham sent Sarah on was Shaw's wife, Eve?... "
Casey shook his head. " We had no clue. "
" It seems neither did Beckman or the CIA and that is being investigated even as we speak, too, " Gibbs said. " Clayton Webb happened to run across Sarah convalescing in a DC clinic. Webb thought he recognized her and had heard she was dead. He's a friend of Sarah Rabb, who's been read into the Intersect Project since she is Chuck's lawyer.
" They got Sarah out of the clinic while Shaw was back out here, supposedly wrapping up the CIA investigation part of things. I have a meeting with Hettie and NCIS LA on schedule for tomorrow and was asked to accompany Sarah to Burbank.
" Casey, Sarah had absolutely no clue what was going on out here. Shaw kept her in the dark as he did the CIA That's one reason I asked you about things on the phone. She'd been asking for intel I didn't have, so... "
" Thanks Gunny... " Casey's phone toned the Marine Corps Hymn. " Yeah? "
" Where the hell is Walker, Casey? " Shaw snarled.
" Morning, Shaw. " Casey looked back at the beach and his partners. " Sarah is home. "
" I don't know how you bastards... I'm still the Special Agent in Charge of the Intersect project and when I take this up with General Beckman... "
" Feel free, Shaw, " Casey interrupted with a nasty chuckle. " However, between General Beckman, Harm and Sarah Rabb, Admiral A J Chegwidden, Leroy Jethro Gibbs and myself... Are you starting to get my drift? "
Shaw continued to threaten and squawk.
" Shaw, you really don't want to fuck with a bunch of lawyers, Marines, a SEAL... " Casey squinted out over the ocean in thought for a moment. " And several spies and assassins who think a lot of Sarah and Chuck. In the mean time, have a nice day... "
He hit the end button and dropped the phone back into a pocket.
Gibbs nodded thoughtfully. " Well said, Casey. "
" Thanks, Gunny. "
" Did you mean the nice day part? "
" Hell no, " Casey growled.
" I didn't think so. The Spy and the Nerd huh? "
" Uh huh, " Casey grunted as he watched his team.
" Cool... "
" Uh huh... "
and that's a wrap