A/N and disclaimer: So this is the start of a series of drabbles starting in the second season of Chuck. It's basically Chuck-verse told through the eyes of my OC, Beth. My friend AC and I started these at the end of summer this year because we were a little anxious for Chuck to start up again. We didn't realize it'd go on so long, or have such a life of its own. Anyway, I don' t own Chuck the show, or its characters-so don't sue me; however, I do own Beth, and AJ (who isn't mentioned in this chapter, but will be in the next one I think) is purely lifeislikeaboxofbertiebeans (aka, AC's). So please don't steal.

Anyway, onwards to the chapter! Please review; reviews are like chocolate; I can never get enough.

"You want me to what?" I stared at Beckman through the computer, stunned. "But…I'm on vacation." Way to go Beth—state the obvious and talk back to your supervisor.

"Vacation or not, your country needs you. Operation Bartowski has fallen under complication since the new intersect was destroyed. Making sure Bartowski survives has become increasingly difficult; your job is to act as an extra set of eyes during missions and to ensure he doesn't take any unnecessary risks.

I sighed in frustration and annoyance. It was way too early for this. "But I'm sure the other two agents on the operation are more than capable of protecting Bartowski. Plus, I'm sure that he's familiar with the agents; my being there would cause"

"—this is not a choice for you, Daniels. This is an assignment," Her voice softened. "We all have faced suffering; you cannot throw the rest of your career away because of one mishap," She paused, and when she spoke again, her voice retained its cool edge. "You are expected in Burbank Monday morning."

I simply nodded. Conversation over, I headed back to my little kitchen, certain that the general's call caused my breakfast to burn. Grits ruined, I put the pot to soak and grabbed a chocolate muffin. Looking around the room, loneliness settled over me. I had grown accustomed this rented house, the town and its occupants. The town was small enough that people knew each other by their first name; peopled honked and waved whether they knew you or not. I could have gotten used to living in obscurity here. Certain going to Burbank was the stupidest idea Beckman could come up with, I packed everything I had and threw it in my truck and trailer. I left for Burbank CA in the middle of the night, knowing I'd lose my resolve if I faced the friendly townspeople of Sugarland, TX.

Two days later found me standing inside what Sarah Walker had called Castle, waiting for her partner and Mr. Bartowski to show up. I was rather impressed with the layout and secretive nature of the CIA base hidden underneath an electronics store and frozen yogurt shop. Curiosity piqued, I couldn't help but nose around with the technology. I hadn't seen such advanced material since…well, probably since training. I let out a gasp as I caught sight of something from across the room.

"Is that really a jet pack?"

Sarah glanced over to see what I was looking at. "To an extent. It's still in development, but has been passed for use."

"Sweet merciful Jesus that's awesome! How is it powered? Carbon-based fuel or battery pack? I guess it could be typical gasoline too, but they'd probably branch away from those models as it creates more of a hazard to the user."

"I'm not really sure. They didn't release the details when it was assigned." Her words weren't exactly mean, but they were rather frank in nature. I got the feeling she wasn't exactly pleased with my being here. Well that was alright, I wasn't exactly pleased with my being here either. Like I wanted to be picked up and relocated during vacation? I tried to make some small talk with her.

"Well that's depressing. So, um, Sarah…or would you prefer Agent Walker? I can do either…I don't mean any disrespect by dropping the 'agent' bit. I just figured that it'd be easier to drop formalities if we're going to be working together. Anyways, that wasn't what I started talking for...that rambling made me sound like an idiot, didn't it? Oh well, in any case, I was going to ask when the rest of your, our team…the team was going to get here."

"I think we should stick with"

"What is it Walker? This had better be good."

She never finished telling me which name she'd prefer, as we were interrupted when two men descended into Castle. I assumed these two were the rest of the group. The first man walked with a tense nature; he seemed more poised for battle, ready to strike down any enemy that might appear, while the second seemed more relaxed and at ease with life, albeit with perhaps a hint of naivety. I guess the latter to be Mr. Bartowski himself, while the former then had to be Sarah's partner.

Catching me standing in the corner, he started making his way down the steps more quickly. I wasn't sure if that was a good thing or not. I gave a bright smile in his direction, only to have the look returned the same intense stare. Okay…so he's tenser than I thought.

"Who's the girl, Walker? And why's she here?"

His question wasn't answered by Walker; rather, the screen in the middle of the wall turned on, and it was Beckman who spoke."

"That is Agent Daniels, she's going to join your team to take over the technical side of your missions, as well as act as an extra set of eyes, since it has become top priority to keep the Intersect, and thereby Mr. Bartowski ,safe from danger."

Sarah spoke up. "General, do you really think it's a good idea to add another member of the team, if our top priority is secrecy. Couldn't she compromise our position?"

"Agent Daniels will not jeopardize security—her cover is your coworker in Orange Orange. Besides, this decision is non-negotiable. It had been discussed already and decided to be the best course of action by all involved."

She left no more room for argument, for as soon as she finished her sentence, she disconnected. Man, I had to learn how to end a conversation like that. I glanced around the room at my new team, feeling a bit shy. I had known my last partner for five years; we had gone through training together up until…I stopped my mind from traveling there again, and quickly focused back. All three were staring at me, so I tried to think of something to say.

"So…hi guys. This'll be interesting. I understand y'all have been working together for awhile now, and having a new person involved will be a bit odd to say the least. As Beckman stated, I'm here to help. But, you don't have to call me Agent Daniels, it's just Beth."

There was a pause of silence, then Mr. Bartowski spoke up. "Hi Beth, I'm Chuck! And this is Casey and Sarah. So this'll be fun, having someone else involved in the spy stuff, going undercover on missions…."

"No!" I accidently spoke with more vehemence than intended, causing all three to look at me. "Sorry, what I mean is that I'm not a field agent. Well I was, but I'm not anymore. I'm here strictly as an Intel specialist; I help with the ins and outs of the operation, as well as keeping in touch during missions to make sure everything's going smoothly."

"Why aren't you a field agent anymore?"

I fought the urge to hit my head against whatever was nearest…the metal wall was looking inviting enough for that. Why did I add that tidbit in there? Stupid, blabbermouth self. I gave a half-shrug and turned to answer Chuck. "Eh, you know, just one of those things. I'm more suited for inside work. All the techie bits make my heart smile." That was mostly true. I did like most techie things. I was thankful I didn't have to flounder around for an answer, as Sarah (mercifully) changed the subject.

"You'll be working at Orange Orange then?"

"Yep. Though I'm not sure I'm altogether excited. I understand it's all about oranges but…their uniform matches my hair."

She smiled at me. Granted, it wasn't a 'hey let's be besties' type of smile, but it was the warmest regards she had sent my way. I had a feeling that, maybe in a week or two, we'd be getting along. Maybe working here wouldn't be so bad after all. I looked up when I heard my name. Oh shit, they were speaking, and I wasn't listening.

"Umm….sorry…I spaced for a minute. What are we talking about?"

"I asked if you had a place to stay. You did just move here, correct?"

"Oh! No. I mean yes. I mean no, I don't have a place to stay, and yes, I did just move here. Everything I own is packed in the Duke or on the trailer."

Two reactions happened at once: Chuck and Sarah both asked something akin to 'what is the Duke?' but the reaction I heard clearly was from Casey. "You own that piece of junk?"

I ignored Sarah and Chuck, and went to stand in front of Casey, trying to be imposing (which is pretty difficult when you're about a foot shorter than the person you're supposed to be intimidating). "Duke is NOT a piece of junk! I don't wanna ever hear you talk about my baby that way again. Sure, he may have a few scrapes and scratches, and he's covered in dust because I traveled through a freakin' desert to be here," I paused in my tirade and chanced a glance to see if he was intimidated yet. Apparently not…he looked faintly amused. Well I'd show him. I poked a finger into his chest and he growled at me. "Now, now, growling at me does nothing, ya big bear. We're not gonna have any trouble as long as you cease insulting poor ole' Duke. He's done nothin' to you. That truck has been my faithful steed for quite a number of years, and hasn't failed me yet. He deserves respect."

My argument had run out of steam, as I had inwardly lost it at the fact I had been growled at by a grown man. But I mustn't laugh. That'd make a bad impression. I settled for a smile, knowing my eyes were already showing my laughter. Taking a step back, I explained.

"The Duke is my truck. I've had him for about seven or eight years now. I could get a newer model but…truth is...me an' Duke have been through a lot together. I'm kinda fond of him. I don't have too much to haul, but things like my bed and dresser wouldn't fit in a truck alone, so I brought along my trailer. I still don't have a place to stay but…I guess I'll find one eventually."

"Why don't you live with Casey? He has an extra room. Plus, it's a little hard to believe that Casey could afford where he lives on only a green shirt salary."

I looked at Chuck in disbelief. The man had growled at me, whatever made Chuck think that he'd willingly share his apartment with me?

Sarah chimed in. "Chuck's right, Casey. It would make your cover more believable. Not to mention, it would explain how Beth knows both of us."

I personally thought they both were nuts, but…I didn't have much of a say in things. I needed a place to stay. And quick. I couldn't leave all my goods out in the open forever. I looked hopefully at Casey, biting my tongue so I didn't speak and ruin any chance I could have at getting a home. Or a piece of one at least.

"C'mon Casey, she needs a place to stay. And she's part of the team!"

"You know it'd be easier for all of us."

Casey growled, or maybe he grunted. Somebody should really number these, so I know what he's trying to say. After a moment, he finally nodded. "Fine. Not like I have a choice anyway, but you'd better not own anything pink."

Trying not to smile like a maniac, I laughed. "You've no worries about anything pink from me…but how are you with western memorabilia?"

He shot a glance heavenward, and I had a feeling that he was praying to the Almighty what this was a dream. I laughed. I had a home! Well, a piece of one anyway. Sure, my roommate spoke in code—and he wasn't exactly the most personable person on the planet, but I could deal with that. He wasn't really that bad…just a little rough around the edges.