Disclaimer: I don't own Chuck
The overwhelming thunder of the spinning helicopter blades drowned out all other sound. It was a sound Casey was quite familiar with, and usually, it calmed him before duty. Tonight, however, it did nothing to distract him from his building sense of anxiety.
His mind had been focused on one goal, with a mix of anxiety and rage thrown in for the heck of it - that was the extent of the emotions he would entertain in his brain.
The helicopter tossed, shaking him from his head. He tried to refocus on his goal, discarding his psyche of his cursed emotions. A growl escaped his lips at the thought of the word.
"SIR?" The pilot yelled, questioningly.
"NOTHING. HOW FAR OUT ARE WE?"
"NOT LONG NOW. YOU'LL HAVE TO POINT THE HOUSE OUT TO ME SOON."
Casey replied in a grunt. A crushing sense of urgency throbbed in his muscles, and threatened to break his focus. The phone call he had received from Alex had torn his heart in half, and it wouldn't be whole until he saw his child and grandchildren.
Alex's call had shaken him to his core, and he couldn't help but replay it in his mind, like he had been doing since receiving it. She had told him in terrified whispers that she was in the Bartowski house, and was trying to protect the children from armed intruders; she told him to hurry with help, and the phone call was dropped.
He shivered at the recollection. Gertrude ran a hand across his back in an effort to comfort him. He remembered her face when he told her what had happened and how quickly she had round up the helicopter and men. What would he have done without her? Probably hop in his Crown Vic and drive until he got there. Not the fastest way.
The pilot shouted over his shoulder. "SIR, I'M OVER THEIR STREET. WHICH HOUSE?"
"JUST A LITTLE FURTHUR AHEAD." Casey rechecked his jumping gear and placed his hand on the door release.
"THAT ONE! RIGHT THERE! WITH THE RED DOOR!"
The helicopter came to a hover, several metres above the ground. A gush of wind hit Casey's body as he threw open the door. The force of the wind made him stagger slightly and he tightened his grip on the hand hold.
3. 2. 1… He jumped.
The grey hair whipped away from his head, and buffeted the goatee Gertrude had convinced him to grow a few years ago. The wind was making his eyes sting and they began to water. His grip tightened on the M1911 handgun in his hand, as the ground came close. His descent started to slow until he felt the hard ground under his feet. After bending his knees to absorb the shock, he quickly detached the wire from his back.
His mind was one-track now. Kill the attackers. Save the victims.
He took in the site of the outside of the house. Both Chuck and Sarah's cars were missing, the driveway empty and the red door ominously ajar. Gertrude and two other men dropped onto the ground behind him with a soft thud.
The group of four moved towards the house, weapons aimed at the doorway.
His heart started to beat faster and sweat was beading on his forehead. The house was dark inside, beyond the red door, hidden from the moonlight illuminating the lawn. He desperately wanted to run in and find Alex, but knew he had to play it by the book, and treat this scenario like he would if someone else's daughter was in the house.
With his gun in front he pushed the door open and the moonlight suddenly brightened the entryway, and his eyes desperately started searching for friend and foe alike.
Gertrude quietly directed her mercenaries to search the side rooms. He heard the click of their guns and they soon disappeared from his sight.
Casey continued to search the main floor, shining his flashlight behind furniture and into shadowy corners. The house was underwhelmingly normal. No overturned furniture, no broken glass, no signs of a struggle. It disturbed Casey.
"Casey," Gertrude crackled through the earpiece. "I found a body."
His stomach lurched and his hand shot out to steady himself on a doorframe. He beat the feelings of horror down and cleared his throat to speak.
"Adult male. Two gunshot wounds. No one I know."
Casey sucked in a breath, and mentally shook himself for losing his control.
"Main floor is clear. The other two are in the basement. I'll come find you."
He quickly located the stairs, and, in a hurry to find Gertrude, almost missed the droplets of blood that were sprinkled on the landing.
He grunted in disgust, and continued forward, only to stop as the crunch of broken glass underfoot greeted his ears. After searching for the source of the noise, he spotted a shattered picture frame. Casey tried to avoid looking at the bullet shredded picture of Chuck and his children at some happy event in another world. He feared it was causing him emotions. He put the picture down on the floor.
His gun leading the way, he turned the hall and saw Gertrude crouching over a prone figure. She stood up as he approached.
"He has no I.D."
"Did you find anything else?"
"Well you probably saw the blood and glass?" She asked with a raised eyebrow.
Casey grunted in affirmation.
"There was an upturned chair in the bathroom… That's about it." Gertrude placed a hand on his arm. "John, the house is empty. No one's here."
He had failed his mission. He couldn't get here in time to save his daughter, his grandchildren. Here. Chuck and Sarah's house. Where the hell were Chuck and Sarah? What about Morgan? Why wasn't he here to protect his family? What the hell was going on? His emotions overpowered his ability to control them. Fortunately, it was an emotion he was familiar with.
Casey roared loudly and slammed his fist into the wall, breaking through the drywall.
"I'M GONNA KILL 'EM! I'M GOING TO FIND EM AND PUT BULLETS IN THEIR BRAINS! I'M GOING TO CRUSH THEIR DAMN SKULLS-
"WHAT?" Casey flung his arms wide, blood dribbling from his hand splattering onto the floor.
"Did you hear that?"
He strained his ears. The house was silent, save for his heavy breathing. After several seconds, he grew impatient.
Then he heard the barely audible sound she must have.
The muffled sounds of sobbing. He tried to locate the source. Apprehensively, he approached the bedroom to their right. It had, spelled out in wooden letters, the words: Sam's Room. There was a taped sign to the door with hand written, italicized words that read: Stephen and Emma, KEEP OUT.
"Did you clear this room?"
"It was empty, I thought."
Casey slowly pushed the door open. The lights were on, displaying a messy teenage girl's room in all its
He heard another sob resonate, this time louder and coming from the closet. His swung his gun around to land pointing at the closet.
The cries abruptly stopped. Casey waited for the door to open. It didn't.
"COME OUT WITH YOUR HANDS ABOVE YOUR HEAD!"
Muffled whispers followed his statement. Then he heard something that melted his heart, and made his resolve shatter.
"Grandad? Is that you?"
Ellie sighed with exhaustion, and rubbed her tired eyes. It had been a terrible day. Of all the scenarios she had imagined seeing her brother in a hospital, cardiac arrest wasn't one of them. It made no sense to her, and being a logical person, she found it incredibly distressing that they didn't know why he had had the attack.
After a trip home to see her daughter, and getting a change of clothes, she was on her way to Chuck and Sarah's to check on how Alex was managing five kids. She knew the real question was, how was she managing the Bartowski twins.
She was slightly anxious about what she would find at Casa Bartowski. Alex hadn't picked up any of her calls or texts and had ignored the landline as well. Had she picked, Ellie wouldn't be driving there, and instead, would be driving back to the hospital to see Chuck.
She bit her lip nervously as she turned onto their street.
A few metres from the house, she started getting an uneasy feeling and her gut told her something was amiss. For one, Alex's car was missing from the driveway, and, to her horror, she saw a bulky, tall man dressed all in black, standing on the lawn, smoking a cigar. He made a wild gesture with his cigar hand, and she realized he was on the phone as his other hand clutched at something by his ear.
She didn't know what to do. Who was this imposing figure? Where was Alex? What about the kids? She couldn't just pull into their driveway with this mystery man standing there. She decided to stop at the side of the curb, hoping desperately that he took no notice of her.
Unfortunately, it's hard to be discreet with a mini-van, and its bright headlights. The man stared at the car for several seconds, then… waved?
He started approaching the car, while continuing his phone conversation. She rolled down her window an inch, straining to see his face. He stepped into her head beams, lighting himself up, his grey hair standing out brightly from his dark attire. And then she knew. It had been several years, and he had only just begun to get grey in his brown hair at the time of his wedding. But one could never forget John Casey's trademark grimace, it had some extra lines, but it was the same.
As he got closer, she caught some of his conversation. His loud conversation.
"-HOW WOULD I KNOW! I GOT HERE 10 MINUTES AGO! I HAVE NO IDEA! AND WHERE'S THE FORENSICS TEAM?"
Ellie felt her stomach jump into her throat. "Forensics?-" Casey held up a finger to silence her.
"WELL GET ON IT!" He hung up with as much force as one could on a phone with a touchscreen. He leaned his head against her car window. "Ellie, what the hell is going on?"
"Why are you asking me? You're the one talking about a forensics team!"
"YEAH BECAUSE THERE'S A DEAD GUY IN THE HOUSE!"
"NEVERMIND!" He took a breath. "Why was Alex alone with five kids at Chuck and Sarah's? Where the hell are they? John and Melissa are petrified, and all they can tell us is that Alex was with them and Sam, Stephen, and Emily. Then there were intruders! They're gone Ellie! They took Alex and the Bartowski kids!" He ended his sentence with a thick voice.
Ellie had never heard Casey say so much at one time. And she had definitely never seen him lose control of his mask of steel. But she paid little attention to him, her mind was reeling and her pulse was racing. She didn't think she understood what he was saying.
"…Gone?" She said in a hushed tone, her voice shaking with dread.
"TAKEN! NOW I'LL ASK YOU ONE MORE TIME." He had returned to his previous volume. "DO YOU KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON? WHERE ARE CHUCK, SARAH AND MORGAN?"
Ellie's world started to spin, and she felt like she had cotton balls in her ears. Taken? She felt the tears start to well up in her eyes, and her hand flew to her chest as she started to hyperventilate. A few of her thoughts flew to Sarah and Chuck, and how she would tell them after what they had been through today.
'Ellie!" Casey grabbed her shoulder and shook her. She regained some of her composure and looked at Casey. She realized he was coming apart at the seams too.
"Chuck… Chuck's in hospital. Had a heart attack after a car accident. Sarah and Morgan are there too."
There was a first for everything, and this was a first for Casey clearly. Shock.
Hauf switched the hand he had applying pressure to his gunshot wound with a torn piece of fabric from his shirt. He dug into his jacket pocket and took out his phone. The car hit a bump in the road and he released a groan of pain.
"Coulds you be making zis car rides more uncom-fortable?" He hollered at his lackey.
"Y'know you're not the only one who got shot!"
Hauf grunted, tried to ignore him. He put his phone under his chin and went back to digging in his pocket, searching for the scrap of paper with the phone number his employer had given him. After successfully extracting it, he dropped his phone into his lap and dialed the number. He put it on speakerphone as it rang.
"Ve got the three kids, and a bonus sitting baby-er." He said with an air of confidence, while looking at the group tied up and gagged in the back seat.
"You know, a.. uh a baby-er who, uh, sits in on them."
"…Who…what are the babies sitting on?"
His driver burst into laughter, and the car swerved dangerously.
"Shut it, and vatch vhere you are going, idgiot!"
The henchman leaned over and shouted at the phone, "he means a babysitter!"
"Vhatever! We got the three kids andsza woman!"
"Good, we have control. I hope you were discreet?"
"Well… ve might 'ave left a dead body behinds."
"WHAT? WHO DID YOU KILL?"
"No! She killed him! But don't worry. Zhere's nothing on him to links him back to us or you. Never been caught before, no crim-inal background. I chooze my men carefully, I like them clean."
His lackey snickered at his last comment.
Hauf growled at him, and turned back to the conversation.
"So vhere are we taking thems?" His employer gave him address, and Hauf wrote it down on the other side of the scrap of paper.
"I'll be there when you arrive." He hung up.
Morgan was awakened by a loud snore. It was so tremendously loud.
"Ohmigodwhosnoringlikatha?" A mumbled mess of a question fell out of his loose lips. He blinked the sleep out of his eyes, and refocused his blurry vision. He then tried, in vain, rubbing his hands over his face, in an effort to wake himself up. Suddenly, he noticed his back ached like hell, and that he had been sleeping in a hospital chair. Funny, the last thing he remembered was entering Chuck's room, after that, nothing.
Chuck. He cast a quick glance at his friend, who looked like was slumbering peacefully. How had he known him this long, and not known he snored liked that. He felt the urge to talk to him.
"Hey Chuck," Morgan started, know very well he couldn't hear him. "So when did you start snoring like an old man?"
"That was you, Morgan."
"JESUS!" Morgan's bum literally lifted off the chair for half a second when he jumped in surprise. Sarah was sitting in the corner of the room, looking at her phone. "You scared me!"
"I'm just sitting here."
"Yeah, but you were all creepy about it. About, y'know, the sitting there!"
"And it couldn't have been me! You can't wake you self with your own snore!"
"You just did."
"No! It's not possible."
"Then you just did the impossible."
"No- … You mean like Tom Cruise?" Sarah looked up from her phone, and studied him with a raised eyebrow. "Y'know like Mission Impossible?"
"Yeah, I get it." Sarah continued to give him an odd look. "So, you're comparing waking yourself up with a loud snore… to Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible?"
Morgan shrugged his shoulders. "Well when you say it like that, you make me sound stupid. You said it first anyways." Silence befell the room as Sarah stared at him.
"Okay then." She returned to her phone.
Morgan let out a sigh and started tapping his fingers on the chair arm. After some minutes had passed, he broke the silence. "How did I fall asleep?"
A funny look came over Sarah's face. "Um… well, after you came in, you just dropped… with um exhaustion… into that chair, and fell asleep."
"Oh." He ruminated on that. He had been wickedly tired. "Makes sense, I guess." Sarah nodded, then fell silent again. He took a moment to look at her. She looked tired, but other than that, calm, although he was certain she was simply masking her emotions. He always had a hard time reading her, unlike Chuck who seemed to have a gift for knowing when she was anxious or upset, or just needed a hug. He always knew the right words to say to her. Good thing she fell in love with Chuck, not me.
"So how's Chuck?" He asked hesitantly.
She took a moment to answer. "Devon thinks his heart will recover." She clasped her hands in front of her and looked at the ground. "Chuck says he flashed before the attack… Devon thinks that's what caused it."
"He zoomed? How long has it been sine he's done that?"
"Not sure… I told him he should call the CIA doctors."
She sat back in her chair, frustrated. "Because flashes shouldn't cause his heart to stop, Morgan! There's something wrong with the intersect!"
"Even if there is, you know he's not going to agree to see them!" She eyed him with a stare that perturbed him. Chuck would probably know what she was thinking, but he sure as hell didn't. "Sarah?"
"That's why you're going to convince him to go see them."
Morgan didn't like that one bit. "No. No. No. If he doesn't want to go, why should he, he knows more about the intersect than they do."
"How is he supposed to fix his own head?"
"He'll figure it out, he's brilliant, just give him time-"
Sarah stood up with such force, her chair hit the wall. "I DON'T THINK HE HAS TIME!" Morgan cowered slightly as she glowered at him.
"YOU HAVEN'T NOTICED! But I have! He's sick! He's tired all the time, he's lost weight, he's anxious and stressed about everything! He can't keep up with me on our jogs! I told him to tell Ellie or see a doctor if he didn't want her to know. He said he was just old! It's been knawing at my head for months, and then this! The intersect isn't just hurting his heart, it's destroying him!" The tears were streaming hard and fast down Sarah's face as she crumpled back in the chair. "Pleas Morgan. I can't lose him."
Morgan brain was reeling with the information she had just dumped on him and he struggled to form a response.
He felt a buzz on his belt and the Spiderman tune started to play. Oh what now?
Cringing, he read the caller I.D. and saw the big man's scowling face from a photo snapped of him by surprise.
I love writing Casey and Morgan. I also love your feedback. And just to clarify, his name is Hauf, not Rauf, which I might have accidentally called him in chapter 8, which has now been corrected. Oops.