Disclaimer – The television show 'Chuck' and all associated properties belong to way richer people than me.
A/N: I wanna play, too! In the thread of so many authors before me, I've decided to do 15 Random Song Drabbles. Some are funny, some are serious, and some are just a little out there. I've even tossed a little romance in there for kicks.
In case you're unfamiliar, here are the rules:
- Set your computer/phone/iPod/whatever to play 15 random iTunes songs.
- Write a short story inspired by each song
- You can clean up the spelling/grammar afterward, but you can only write for as long as the song is playing.
Just go with it.
1) Under The Bridge – Red Hot Chili Peppers (Morgan)
There was a time when Morgan Grimes understood exactly where he stood in life. He understood his job, his friends, his home life, and his undisputed title of King Of The Mystery Crisper. More than that, he was happy with that life.
Now, though, he felt like someone had taken his life and tossed it in a blender. His best friend was usually AWOL, his boss was having...relations...with his Mom, and his girlfriend (and deep down, he was still in shock over having one at all) wanted them to move in together. Some days he felt like he was drowning in someone else's life.
But as he rode his bike to work every morning, following the familiar streets of Los Angeles, and watched the city wake itself up every morning, he felt just a little comforted that some things never change.
That'd have to be enough for now.
2) Want You Bad – The Offspring (Sarah)
She was certain that to anyone watching, she looked every inch the dedicated agent. Looking up to the main screen in Castle, she pretended to pay attention to whatever post-mission details were scrolling by. Looking down at her notes, she pretended to be doing something other that doodling little hearts in the margins like a schoolgirl. Slowly, though, her gaze drifted to the man across the table from her.
As subtly, as she could manage, she trailed her eyes over his deliciously sexy body, indulging her mind in a few naughty ideas as to how they could be better using the conference table between them. Unconsciously, she began to idly play with the top button of her blouse as she silently wished he could glimpse the thoughts skimming over her brain. A faint blush crept up her neck as she pictured him rising to his feet, sweeping all the paperwork before them to the ground, throwing her down on the table, and...
"Ahem!" Casey cleared his throat loudly, causing her to jump. Turning to glare at him, she was met with a raised eyebrow and a faint smirk. Deliberately, he tapped his pen on the documents before him, before returning to his work.
Sarah's eyes narrowed to tiny slits as she glared at the NSA agent. "Shut up, Casey."
Across the table, Chuck looked back and forth between them, bewildered.
3) Southern Belles In London Sing – The Faint (Carina)
Sitting in the departures terminal of Heathrow Airport, the young DEA agent known to some as Carina Hansen gazed up at the flight board, nursing a tall cup of coffee. Dreading another twelve hours in the air, she let out a soft sigh before going to find a seat.
A week ago, she'd been sitting in her apartment in Miami, enjoying her first time off in too damn long along with a season's worth of TiVo'd sitcoms. Then she'd gotten the call, and the next seven days had seen her bouncing from one European city to another on the tail of a front man of a major Columbian cartel, who apparently only she could identify. Interpol was determined to flip this guy, and had called in a favor with her superiors to pull her off leave.
She'd approached the job with her usual style and flair, but after seven days of constant trains, flights, and cars, she was done. Late the night before, they'd received intel that the front man had hopped a flight to China, and her services were no longer required. She was handed a ticket for the next red-eye back to the US and promptly told to fuck off.
So here she sat, with a three-hour delay ahead of her. She'd come into Europe looking like a badass supermodel, a fiery mix of leather and silk, sensuality and determination. She was leaving in yoga pants and a hoodie, baseball cap pulled over unwashed hair and sunglasses hiding the bags under her eyes.
She really needed a vacation.
4) Boys Of The Old Brigade – The Town Pants (Casey)
"Grandpa?" A tiny voice stirred him from his thoughts. "What's wrong?"
Looking down, his old eyes came to rest on one of the greatest joys in his life, his granddaughter Carrie. The six-year-old stood at his side, a slightly care-worn teddy bear in one hand, wide eyes full of curiosity over her grandfather's grim mood.
The whole family had gathered together for his birthday this year, but despite all the celebration around him, he felt his thought inexorably pulled into the past. There were a lot of things in his past that he still dwelt upon, some more that others.
"Just thinking about some old friends, sweetheart." He answered, gently patting the little girl on the shoulder. "From a long time ago."
"Who, Grandpa?" The child asked innocently. "Are they coming to your birthday?"
For a moment, he considered telling her to go find her mother, that he might remain alone with his thoughts. But instead, with a strength that belied his 76 years, John Casey reached down and lifted the girl on his lap. "Their names were Chuck and Sarah, sweetie, and they were two of the bravest people Grandpa ever met..."
5) I Can't Decide – Scissor Sisters (Jill)
Jill Roberts was generally considered to be pretty smart. A Stanford degree in Biosciences, a Masters degree from MIT, and her once rising star in the ranks of Fulcrum were a perfect testament to this fact. To this end, it's easy to believe that Jill was not generally accustomed to feeling confused.
But confused she was, and as she sat on her tiny cot, staring at the wall of her tiny cell in some unnamed CIA holding facility, she once more ran through the pros and cons of killing Chuck when she escaped.
Pro, he got her thrown in here. Con, that CIA bitch he was so hot for would probably hunt her down. Pro, he betrayed her. Con, she betrayed him first, a lot.
'Stupid karma.' She mused internally, munching thoughtfully on whatever they'd brought her for dinner.
Pro, she'd have the last word. She liked having the last word. Con, her superiors probably wanted him alive. That was probably important. Pro, she could probably sell his head for a mint. Con, she was pretty sure she still loved him.
Pro, with the Intersect gone, it'd be so much easier to disappear forever.
Con, the purple weasel that lived in her toilet really liked Chuck.
'Wait... what?' She thought. Looking suddenly down at her meal, she let out a long-suffering sigh.
'Super.' She silently griped as the plate slipped from her finger, clattering to the floor.'It's interrogation time again.'
6) Basket Case – Green Day (Jeff & Lester)
Staggering into the Buy More, Jeff was struggling to remember what had happened to him the night before. Jeffster had had a gig the night before at the Willis Memorial Nursing Home, and they'd partied pretty hard in the aftermath. He'd woken up this morning in a particularly nice dumpster, and was at a loss to recall what had occurred after he and Lester tried to crash a bachelorette party at the Olive Garden.
If he really focused, like he hadn't focused in a good many years, he could conjure up flashes of imagery. A bottle of gin, a really big bouncer...somewhere, and a clown on fire.
All in all, not the best pictures to retrace your steps with.
Thankfully, he kept a spare set of work clothes in his office at the Buy More, so he didn't have to go all the way home. Muttering softly, he wandered over to the Nerd Herd desk, where Lester stood, apparently deep in thought, and not a little worried looking.
"What's up, man?" Jeff asked, his trademark vacant expression in place.
Startled, Lester turned to face him. "Jeffery! Hey, man. Thought I'd lost you there."
"Good. Good." Lester nodded. "Hey, do you remember what happened last night?"
"Nope." Jeff repeated, feeling no particular inclination to elaborate any further.
"Hmm." The young Indian nodded. "Well, I don't want to alarm you, buddy, but I have a faint recollection of being hunted by members of the Russian mafia...or possibly the Triads. It's admittedly a little blurry."
"Dunno." Lester shrugged enigmatically. "The clown, perhaps?"
Jeff thought about this for a moment, and then mirrored his best friend's shrug. "It happens."
"Yeah, I guess." Lester agreed. "C'mon. Let's go videotape hot housewives trying to pick up heavy things."
7) Superman's Dead – Our Lady Peace (Casey)
Cringing in pain, Casey pulled himself into a sitting position. With a grunt, he tore his shirt open to reveal his tattered Kevlar vest. Probing the holes with his fingers, he figured that of the nine or ten rounds he took, only one or two penetrated. He was lucky, he supposed, but regardless of luck he could still feel blood seeping out from under the armor.
This was the worst of the worst-case scenarios they'd every dreamed up. From what he'd seen when the shooting started, Walker was down, and very probably dead. Bartowski was in Fulcrum's hands, and likely being moved out of the city even as he lay here.
Peeling the ruined vest from his body, John hauled himself to his feet, ignoring the pain that blossomed from his injuries. Staggering over to where Walker lay, he quickly confirmed his suspicions. Pausing a moment to silently pay his respects, he stood once more and made his way to his Crown Vic, parked just around the corner.
Popping the trunk, he pulled out his first aid kit and saw to his injuries. Once he was finished, he reached into the truck again and retrieved a far more heavy-duty ballistic vest. Strapping it on, he also pulled out a veritable armory of assault weapons, placing them one after another in the front seat. As soon as he was done, he climbed into the driver's seat, and called up Bartowski's GPS trackers. Most had stopped transmitting, as he had expected, but the most recent, a micro-transmitter embedded in his femur, was coming through loud and clear.
Putting the old police cruiser in drive, Casey aimed in the direction Chuck was transmitting from.
Ordinarily, John Casey was an exemplary agent.
But ordinary just wouldn't be good enough today.
8) No Reason – Sum 41 (Bryce)
As machine gun fire stitched the wall inches above his head, Bryce found himself once more wondering why he did what he did for a living, even as he dove behind a pile of bricks.
It would've been easy for him, all those years ago, to tell Professor Fleming to take his CIA job offer and shove it. But deep down, the idea of serving his country stirred something inside of him.
As he changed rifle mags, he reflected on a life of willing ignorance. Could he really have turned his back once the world's problems were laid at his feet? It seemed almost unreal to think of going to work in some office day after day, coming home to the same white picket fenced house.
Popping off a few rounds in the rough direction of the enemy, he leaped out from behind his cover and sprinted to a nearby jeep. For once, he was pleasantly surprised to find the keys in the ignition. Jumping into the driver's seat, he gunned the engine and tore off down the street. After a few minutes, when he was reasonable certain they weren't following him, he let himself relax a little.
No, he could never live any life but this one. He just wasn't the type to turn his back on responsibility.
9) Our Song – Taylor Swift (Chuck, Sarah, & Casey)
"Hey, Chuck." Sarah turned from the computer she was working at. "I was talking with Ellie the other day, and I realized that we don't have a song."
Chuck, who'd been going over yet another pile of intelligence documents from the CIA, looked up and stared at her blankly for a long moment. "Huh?"
"A song. For our cover, I mean." She continued, quirking a small smile. "Those little sounds that define us as a couple?"
He blinked, and broke into a smirk. "You mean other than gunfire and explosions?"
"Don't forget girlish screams, Bartowski." Casey added from the next room.
10) Are You Happy Now? – Michelle Branch (Chuck & Jill)
To: jillroberts stanfordu
From: bartowski-c buymoreburbank
Subject: TO HELL WITH YOU! 17/4/2002 14:23:55
You know what, Jill? Fuck you. I loved you and you couldn't show me the tiniest bit of confidence. Instead, you go and fuck my BEST FRIEND! We could've been something amazing, but you ruined that. I hope you're pleased with yourself. Go to Hell!
To: jillroberts stanfordu
From: bartowski-c buymoreburbank
Subject: I'm Sorry 17/4/2002 14:32:04
I'm sorry, Jill. I'm just having a crappy day. Hell, I'm having a crappy year. I didn't mean what I wrote before.
Please call me. I know we can work this out.
11) Love Song – Sara Bareilles (Morgan)
Morgan was sick and tired of playing these constant games to prove his love for Anna. She meant the world to him, so why was it he had to endure her constant tests? He loved her. If that wasn't enough, what was?
Now, of all things, she wanted him to write her a love song! A love song, for Pete's sake!
He knew she meant well, that she was just trying to cement their relationship, but enough was enough.
"Anna," He said firmly. "I'm not gonna do it. I'm not writing this song."
Taking a deep breath, he continued. "You may not realize it, but I'm not too good at this relationship thing. But the fact is, I love you. I love everything about you. But if the only way I can stay with you is to keep jumping through hoops, then I think it's pretty obvious that this is a seriously one-sided relationship.
"So, if you wanna be with me, be with me. Otherwise, I think it'd be best if we both walked away, before things get even more complicated."
His piece spoken, he raised his eyes to look at the person before him. Unfortunately, his reflection in the employee bathroom mirror didn't have any helpful input for him.
12) I've Been Everywhere – Johnny Cash (Jack Burton)
For almost twenty-five years, Jack Burton (aka. Sam Willis, Owen Cooper, Dr. Patrick Tanner, Cliff 'The Riff' Ingersol, and a host of others) had been wandering the United States, and even a few parts of Canada, running dozens of cons and scams. Maybe even hundreds.
He'd stayed in the slums of Newark, and the mansions of New Hampshire. He'd sipped coffee in Seattle and shot Tequila in Miami. He'd seen the sun rise in the Rockies, seen it glide through the desert sky, and seen it set on the ocean.
He, and for a time his daughter, Jenny, had lived in every state in the Continental US. And as a consequence of his lifestyle, he'd done time in at least half of the prisons in the country. He'd missed so much of her growing up. While he'd been locked up, she'd grown from an awkward teenager to a beautiful woman. And to top it all off, she was some kind of cop.
Now he stood, hidden behind a hedge as his cop daughter directed other cops in the search for him. He'd just sent her boyfriend over to see her, so he 'd have to be on his way soon. But the important thing was that he didn't blame her. After all, if she was so determined to catch him, why did she let him leave her hotel room? With a sad little smile, Jack took off down the street, careful to keep out of sight.
Yes, Jack had seen and done some amazing things in his life.
But for all the places he'd seen, there was nowhere he wanted to be more than with his little girl.
13) I Feel Good – James Brown (Big Mike)
He was on top of the world today. Yes sir, he was the man. As 'Big' Mike Tucker strutted into the Buy More that morning, a box of jelly donut in hand and a self-satisfied smirk on his face, he felt ready to take on anything.
That thing Mamma Grimes had done this morning with the feathers still had him walking on air, despite the fact that when he'd come down for breakfast, he'd found young Morgan clutching a cup of coffee and gazing out the window with what could only be described as the Thousand Yard Stare.
Shaking off his lover's son's condition as the result of too many damn video games, Big Mike unlocked his office and as usual, took a moment to gaze appreciatively at the enormous Marlin mounted on the wall. Now that had been a momentous battle. By the end of the online auction, it'd been down to him and his arch nemesis, bedridden42. But a last second bump on his part had won the day, and the fish.
Tossing the donuts on his desk, he opened the box, grabbed one, and shoveled it down. Then he turned, headed back into the store, and bellowed at the top of his lungs.
"Alright you pack of degenerates! Line up!"
Time to get down to business.
14) Stumbling In – Great Big Sea (Chuck & Sarah)
Sometimes Chuck wondered how he'd have managed without Sarah. His clumsiness and awkward behavior was constantly messing things up, but she was always ready to keep things from exploding... much. Every week, it seemed, some new villain came flying at them, threatening everything he knew and loved, but no matter how insane things got, she was always there to keep him from falling.
He had been constantly amazed that she was here with him, and not off overturning some foreign government with a pair of chopsticks and a smile. It what upside-down world would a woman like her choose a job like this.
But all of that paled in comparison to the shock he'd received a moment ago, when Sarah had confided a truth that had rocked the very foundations of his world.
They'd been walking home after yet another cover date, and the conversation had danced comfortably from topic to topic. At some point, though, he'd said something to make her laugh, then something else, and before he knew it, she was in stitches, clutching her stomach as peals of laughter poured out.
Finally, leaning against a nearby mailbox, she managed to catch her breath and get a hold of herself. Looking up at him, eyes sparkling beautifully, she said, "Chuck, I love you, but if you do that again I might just pass out."
A half second later, her eyes went wide as she realized what she'd said. Her stunned expression was mirrored on Chuck's face, as the two of them searched for the right words.
Before she could say anything, Chuck quickly stepped forward and kissed her. Any protests she might have had died in her throat as she returned the kiss with all the passion she could muster. Finally, they broke apart, panting for breath once more.
"Well," Chuck whispered, leaning his forehead against hers. "An angel in love with a fool. Isn't that something?"
15) Lucky Man – The Verve (Chuck)
Chuck hadn't slept in almost two days, but despite the fatigue that crept through him, he knew for a fact that he couldn't sleep now if he tried. Unable to wipe the beaming smile off his face at the sight before him, he let his mind drift back over the things that'd brought him here.
Four years ago, he'd been at work, beat-boxing the name 'Vicky Vale', when he'd been blindsided by an angel. From that moment on, in a thousand different ways, his life was never the same again.
"Am I interrupting something?" She'd asked, amused at his antics.
Three years ago, he'd been sitting across from her in a little Chinese restaurant, astounded by the affection he saw reflected in her eyes. After dozens of questions and rejections, he finally knew, once and for all, that this gorgeous and amazing woman felt the same way.
She'd look back at his a little shyly, and said. "You're not so bad yourself, Chuck."
Two years ago, in the wake of a series of events that almost tore them apart once and for all, he woke up next to her after making love to her for the first time. They both knew that day that they could never be apart again.
He'd just barely heard her whisper the words into his chest. "I love you."
And a little over a year ago (had it really been that long?) he had married her. He was told that it's been a beautiful ceremony, but all he could remember from that day was her smile.
"This is the happiest day of my life, Chuck." She'd told him as they danced. "I love you so much."
This time the night before, though, he'd been getting ready for bed when the biggest event yet came to pass. Gazing lovingly at the two most important people in his life, sleeping quietly in the hospital bed, he recalled Sarah's words, the words that had once more changed his life forever.
"Chuck," She'd said, eyes wide and hands pressed to her substantial belly. "I think it's time."
And I'm spent. Hope you enjoyed.