The Detective and the Tech Guy
Authors: Steampunk . Chuckster & dettiot
Rating: T
Summary: A case of mistaken identity and murder brings Sarah Walker, Pinkerton agent, to sunny California. Protecting the heir to the Bartowski Electronics Corporation should be just business-but Chuck Bartowski fills out a suit nicely and makes a mean martini. Chuck lobbied to hire the Pinkerton Agency, but had no idea that the detective they'd send would be as alluring, intelligent and fascinating as Sarah Walker. Will the detective and the tech guy solve the mystery, distracted by the riddle in their own hearts? An homage to The Thin Man movies, co-written by Steampunk . Chuckster and dettiot.
Disclaimer: Neither of us own Chuck. If we did, there would have been a 1940s flashback episode. And a musical episode. And . . . you get the idea.
Author's Note 1: Interesting how seeing a graphic on tumblr can turn into a big, whopping story idea. And then you share the big, whopping story idea with your friend and writing buddy. And then writing buddy becomes writing PARTNER. Between the two of us, ideas started sprouting into a legitimate plot, and we began chatting in caps we were so excited. It's always scary, deciding to cowrite a fic with another writer whose writing style is so different from yours. One thing I know we share for sure: a deep and impenetrable love for these characters. This has been a BLAST. Couldn't ask for a better cowriter. Our constant brain meld throughout this process was actually a little creepy, to be honest. I can't even begin to express how much fun I had working on this with dettiot. So it is my hope that you lovelies enjoy the story as well!
Author's Note 2: dettiot here! I was so so so thrilled when Steampunk . Chuckster told me about her idea to recreate The Thin Man as a crossover with Chuck. Because it was such an awesome idea, and I was even more thrilled when she let me come play in the sandbox, too. Writing this story together has been a blast and we're so excited to bring it off Tumblr and into the big wide Chuck fanfic world! I've had so many great moments with Steampunk . Chuckster along the way, times when we started reading each other's minds and everything clicked into place. No one does comedy with heart better than Steampunk . Chuckster, and I think you're all in for a great ride, if I do say so myself. And I do, because I know what happens next. :-) So settle in with a martini, put on some jazz and enjoy The Detective and the Tech Guy!

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TRANSCRIPT OF FIRST CLIENT MEETING

PARTICIPANTS: Sarah Walker (SW), Pinkerton Detective; Stephen Bartowski (SB), client; Charles Bartowski (CB), client.

SW: Sarah Walker, meeting with Stephen and Charles Bartowski on May 20. This first client meeting is recorded according to Pinkerton policy. Both clients have been advised of this recording.

(pause)

SW: Good afternoon, gentlemen. The Pinkerton Agency is very intrigued by this case and I'm glad to be here, to help in any way I can.

CB: (haltingly) Thank you for coming on such short notice…Miss Walker? Agent Walker?

SW: Detective Walker when we're discussing the case in private, Sarah when in public. It would be for the best if my affiliation with Pinkerton is kept quiet.

CB: Yes, of course. That makes sense. (pauses) Uh…

SB: So what's the protocol here, Detective? What do we do? Tell you what happened or…?

SW: (briskly) Prior to accepting this case, we researched this situation thoroughly. Due to the murder of Robert Gerheart and Charles Bartowski's request for Pinkerton assistance, we evaluated the case constructed by the LAPD and found it … lacking.

(sound of something hitting the table)

SW: We've compiled dossiers on both of you as well as Bartowski Electronics Corporation, although I would like to ask you each a few questions to clear up some questions I have.

CB: (sound of clothing rustling) Yes. Yes, of course. Ask away, Detective.

SW: Okay. As I understand it, LAPD feels that Mr. Gerheart was the victim of mistaken identity. That the killer thought he was killing Stephen Bartowski. I've seen the pictures and there is a resemblance. The police has identified a disgruntled ex-employee of Bartowski Electronics as the killer. So why call in Pinkerton, Stephen? And please excuse my informality; we would be here all day if I called you both Mr. Bartowski.

SB: I'm afraid you'll have to ask my son here that question. I was perfectly satisfied with the LAPD's conclusion.

CB: Frankly, if you don't mind me jumping in here, I thought the LAPD was pretty quick to accept the solution Andrew Sallis' suicide note gave them. They didn't ask questions or look into the guy's situation. They found him dead, found the note, and that was it. Case closed. I'm not satisfied my father's life isn't still in danger—

SB: Charles, the man was nuts. I know. He worked for me. He confessed to killing Bob in his suicide note.

CB: Have you watched television, Dad? It's so easy to fake a suicide. Scribble a confession on a piece of paper in the guy's handwriting and you're done.

(sound of a heavy sigh)

SW: Gentlemen. It is the opinion of the Pinkerton Agency that Charles is correct—that the convenient confession and quote-unquote suicide of your former employee is something that should be investigated further. Especially in light of the death threat received last week by you, Stephen.

CB: See?

SB: That was nothing. I receive letters with threats all the time. They're screened by my assistant and thrown away.

CB: Dad, this was different. They called you on the phone. On your personal cell. And then Mr. Gerheart ended up dead on our doorstep.

SW: The change in communication method is concerning. Thus why I'm here. I have three assistants who will be coordinating with me on improving the security within your offices and homes; we will also be guarding Stephen as you go about your daily business.

SB: Are the bodyguards really necessary, Detective—

CB: (interrupts) Thank you, Detective Walker. But the threat was only meant for my dad. I mean, I really don't think I'm in any danger…

SW: You are widely considered your father's heir, Charles. Someday, you will be the CEO of Bartowski Electronics Corporation. We must ensure your safety as well, although of course you won't be under bodyguard protection since no threats have been directed towards you personally. And Stephen, I'm afraid that yes, the bodyguards are necessary. We won't interfere with your life. If you'd rather hire private guards instead of use my people, or rely on whatever security you have here, that's your choice. But I'm afraid I must insist on the bodyguards for you.

(sound of silence except for a soft rustle of clothing)

SB: If you insist.

CB: He'll use your people, if that's alright.

SB: Charles… (sigh)

SW: (quietly) I know this is a difficult situation. A scary one. But if we don't act proactively, this could become very dangerous for you, Stephen. A situation that could leave your family wishing they had gotten more time with you.

SB: I understand my son's concern, don't get me wrong. And I will comply with his wishes. I just want to state for the record that I think this will turn out to be a complete overreaction.

CB: And I want to state for the record that I don't care if I'm overreacting. Like Detective Walker said, I'd rather err on the side of you living to enjoy your retirement. I think Mom and Ellie would agree.

SW: Believe me, we'd rather that it does turn out to be an overreaction. But until we know who really killed Robert Gerheart, you're under the protection of the Pinkerton Detective Agency.

SB: Of course. Thank you, Detective. Let's hope you clear this mess up soon.

CB: Yes. Thank you, Detective Walker.

SW: To start with, my assistants will begin working with your security people here to beef up your procedures. They're waiting in your office, Stephen.

SB: Right. Of course. I'll go meet with them now then…If that's all, Detective?

SW: Yes, Mr. Bartowski. (sound of a chair moving) I hope we'll be out of your hair soon.

(Another chair moves)

SB: I hope so, too. Thank you.

(Sound of footsteps and the opening and closing of a door)

(Sound of chairs moving)

SW: Thank you for helping me convince your father. He seems quite stubborn.

CB: (snorts) You should meet my mother. (pause) On second thought, you probably shouldn't.

SW: (soft chuckle) I'll keep that in mind if we need to expand protection.

CB: Do. And-And my dad? He doesn't mean to be, er, less than polite. I think he assumes what happened to Mr. Gerheart won't happen to him. But it can, and if he isn't careful, it will. He'll get used to it… (unsure) I'm sure.

SW: I take my job very seriously. More seriously than most of my clients. And I'm very good at it, if I do say so. Your father is in good hands.

CB: I don't doubt it at all, Detective Walker. And you should know that I'm grateful to Pinkerton for sending one of their best and most serious. I mean…their best. I'm sure you're one of the best. Because you're so…serious. (voice fizzles out)

SW: (amused) Now I know why you're living in a bachelor pad, if this is an example of your technique.

CB: (aghast) Hey! Is insulting your clientele part of the Pinkerton protocol? Because I feel like I should file a complaint, maybe. 'Detective did not display satisfactory level of sensitivity towards client's social inadequacies and general awkwardness'.

SW: You consider yourself inadequate and awkward? Funny, there's no evidence of that in your dossier. You're a good actor, Mr. Bartowski.

CB: Well, I was a hell of a Perchik in Fiddler on the Roof in high school. So they said. At the time.

(sound of papers rustling)

SW: Yes, your high school paper's review of the production was quite complimentary towards your performance.

(sound of a chair squeaking)

CB: Y-You have—That's in there? Really? Wow, that's pretty impressive. It doesn't have my first crush in there or anything, does it? Because Kindergarten was kind of an embarrassing time for me.

SW: Wouldn't you like to know. (pause) (sound of a throat being cleared) We should discuss when I can visit your residence and evaluate its security. Is tomorrow morning good for you?

CB: Uh, sure. Yeah. Well, uh—I work. I mean, I'll be heading in to work tomorrow. I leave in the morning.

SW: (crisply) What time?

CB: I like to get in by nine, usually.

SW: I'll meet you at your apartment at eight a.m.

CB: Oh. Okay.

(sounds of papers rustling)

SW: Until tomorrow, Mr. Bartowski. You should probably go to your office; my assistants will be visiting you there once they're done in your father's office.

CB: Right. I'll go straight there. (sound of a chair moving) Detective Walker. (pause) I-It's been a pleasure.

(sound of another chair moving)

SW: Good afternoon, Mr. Bartowski.

CB: Good afternoon. (pause) Uh, Detective?

SW: Yes, Mr. Bartowski?

CB: Thank you. Very much.

(pause)

SW: You're welcome.

(sound of a throat clearing)

CB: 'Til tomorrow, then.

(sound of a door opening and closing)

SW: End recording.