Characters/Pairing: Devon (Captain Awesome)/Ellie, Chuck/Sarah
Word Count: 1,661 words
Spoilers: Set after 2.22 "Chuck vs. The Ring"
Betas: saavikam77, ndnickerson
Disclaimer: I don't own any of this. Josh Schwartz does. And apparently Subway now, too. ;)
Summary: The more Devon learns about Chuck, the more, well, awesome he seems.
"Oh, my God, Ellie... that was amazing."
Ellie beamed at Sarah's praise. "You're so sweet, Sarah." she blushed as she stood to collect the plates.
"No, she's just telling the truth, hon," Devon said, getting up to give her a peck on the cheek. "It was awesome, as always."
Chuck leaned back in his chair with a satisfied smile. "No one tops my sister's lasagna." He wiped at the corners of his mouth with a cloth napkin.
"Oh, stop," Ellie said, swiping at the top of Chuck's wavy head of hair as she headed for the kitchen. "It's just the recipe in the Betty Crocker Cookbook."
"I can't even do that," Sarah put in. "There's a reason you've never been over to my place for a home-cooked meal."
"Plus, you don't have a kitchen," Chuck teased.
Devon was glad Ellie had invited Chuck and Sarah over for dinner. It was nice to see the two of them relaxing and taking a night off... from whatever it was that spies did. Today was his and Ellie's one month wedding anniversary. Devon had booked a reservation at a swanky Italian restaurant, but Ellie had surprised him by suggesting a family get-together. “Chuck saved our wedding,” she'd said. “I think it's time I repay him for that.”
Of course, that wasn't exactly what Devon remembered from that day. He mostly remembered a lot of insanity set into motion by Chuck himself. Devon had never asked what exactly had caused the delay, or the mess left afterward. He knew it had something to do with Chuck's spy life -- and information was probably on a need-to-know basis.
But somehow, Ellie had gotten her dream wedding out of the deal in the end, so Devon was grateful. And he'd gotten a happy bride... which was all he wanted, anyway.
The sound of dishes clinking into the sink took him out of his reverie. He looked over the bar to see Ellie starting up the hot water. "Wait a minute, hon. You did the cooking, we men can do the cleaning."
"Oh, you don't have to do that, Devon..."
"Of course we do." He started to walk into the kitchen, but stopped and turned to give Chuck a significant look. "C'mon, bro. Let the ladies chat."
"Oh!" Chuck said with a little jump, and stumbled up out of the chair. "Coming!" Sarah smiled fondly at his inelegance.
As Ellie passed by him with an affectionate squeeze, Devon wondered just how much of Chuck's behavior was an act. After all, Chuck had managed to keep everyone in the dark for two years. If Devon hadn't stumbled into John Casey's surveillance setup (he still felt pretty creeped out by what he had seen), Devon would still be in the dark. Still, it was awesome that Chuck trusted him enough to tell him the truth.
And Chuck and Sarah... they acted like they were in love, like they were starting to get pretty serious... but were they really just partners? Was their relationship a cover for being out together at all hours? If it was, Devon couldn't believe how good an actor Ellie's little brother was. Those longing looks, the way his hand would linger on Sarah's bare arm... He would have sworn up and down that Chuck would die for Sarah, and not just in the line of duty, either.
But those questions could wait for another time. He didn't want Chuck to be distracted by what Devon knew and didn't know. Spies had enough to deal with, juggling double lives. "You wanna wash or dry, little bro?"
"I'll dry. I don't think I've got the upper body strength to get the baked-on mozzarella off the dish," he joked.
Devon laughed and dunked the glass casserole dish into the sudsy water. Before, he would have made an encouraging comment about how Chuck was too hard on himself. But now he figured Chuck was kidding -- spies had to keep in top shape for their missions.
All these thoughts about what spies did and didn't do were taking Devon's concentration again. What did he know about the life of a spy? Other than what he saw on TV or the movies, that was. And he'd bet that being a spy was as much like the way they portrayed it on TV as being a surgeon was like the way they showed it on Grey's Anatomy.
While the dish was soaking, Devon started on the wine glasses. "So how are things going these days, Chuck? Now that you're in your own place, we hardly get to see you."
Chuck glanced into the living room before he answered. The girls were laughing over something Sarah was saying, and were probably out of earshot. But it was hard to tell. "Oh, pretty good."
"Not great?" Devon handed Chuck a glass to dry.
"Eh..." Chuck shrugged and rubbed his towel over the glass.
"Can't talk about it, right?"
"Not really. But..." Chuck lowered his voice and put his back to the girls. "...I'm getting busier. You know, spy-wise."
Devon's eyebrows rose. "Oh?"
"Yeah..." He started to place the glass on the highest shelf with the others. "I sorta got... promoted."
"Promoted?" Devon said with a toothy smile. "That's awesome." He patted Chuck firmly on the shoulder with a wet, soapy hand.
Chuck flinched away to avoid getting wet just as he was setting the glass on the shelf -- the glass overbalanced, and tumbled toward the counter...
Chuck's hand shot out and caught it by the stem in mid-air. He set it back on the shelf with unusual grace.
Devon's mouth dropped open. Where did Chuck get reflexes like that?
Chuck didn't seem to notice anything odd. "Hey, watch it, buddy! I'm supposed to be drying the dishes, not getting a bath..." He shiver-shook like a dog.
"Uh... sorry," Devon finished lamely. He started to scrub the lasagna dish to cover his shock. "It's too bad you still have to work at the Buy More, though. I guess it's part of the... cover?"
"Yeah, I know how disappointed Ellie is... again..." Chuck shrugged sadly and started drying another glass.
"Yeah..." There was no need for Devon to say out loud how proud Ellie would be of Chuck if she knew the truth. Well, proud... and terrified for him... maybe it was a good thing she didn't know.
Devon finished the lasagna dish and set it on the counter, away from Chuck. He began to turn toward the dinner table to get it cleared off completely, but a thought struck him. He had to see if the wine glass catch was a fluke or not. Ellie might be upset that Devon broke one of her casserole dishes, but he could easily replace it. Feigning clumsiness while Chuck was placing the next glass on the shelf, Devon swept his elbow across the countertop and the dish went flying...
Chuck was suddenly there, crouched on the floor with the dish in his hands.
"Whoa!" Devon exclaimed softly. "Good catch!"
Chuck blinked, seeming to realize only at that moment what he had done. "I, ah, I... I saw it start to fall just in time."
"You saved my life, dude. Ellie would have killed me if I broke that..."
Chuck smiled wanly and looked toward the girls again. "Any time."
As Devon went out to the table to get the rest of the leftovers, he fought to keep his face calm. Chuck had some sort of... super spy powers! He'd never seen an actual human being move that fast before. Was this why the CIA recruited Chuck? Or was this something he'd learned to do in spy training? Devon was extremely impressed. He wondered how far it extended... did Chuck have some sort of sixth sense? He picked up a leftover dinner roll, and tossed it thoughtfully in his hand...
Then he spun and pitched it straight at Chuck's head.
It bounced off and landed on the kitchen island. "Hey!" Chuck cried out. He picked up the roll and turned toward Devon with a puzzled expression. "Did you do that... on purpose?"
Devon knew how weird his behavior must seem. He opened his mouth to make an excuse...
"What's going on over there, boys?" Ellie's voice was infused with her best 'responsible adult' tone. "Are you having a food fight?"
"Without us?" Sarah joked, but her attempt to lighten the situation was ignored.
Ellie’s disapproving gaze settled on her brother. "Chuck..."
"He started it," Chuck whined.
Ellie turned her wrath on Devon instead. "Devon..."
Sarah's cell phone went off just then, breaking the tension. Devon had never heard a more beautiful sound. "Excuse me," Sarah said, and stepped around the corner into the hall.
Devon put down the basket in his hands and came over to wrap his wife in a hug. "Just a little goofing off with my new little bro. Sorry, babe." He leaned into her hair and murmured softly, "I'd rather be goofing off with you, though."
Ellie giggled throatily and turned into his embrace. "Forgiven." She kissed him lightly, but her eyes held a promise of more that night.
Sarah appeared back in the room and shared a look with Chuck. His eyes darted back and forth between Ellie and Devon and his partner/girlfriend. "Whoa..." Chuck almost scrambled into the living room, his earlier grace gone. "I think that's our cue to go! You two lovebirds should celebrate this anniversary the right way, that is, I mean, all alone..." He took Sarah by the hand and pulled her toward the door.
Sarah barely had time to grab her handbag. "Thanks so much for dinner! It was wonderful..." The door shut behind them with a loud click.
"What was...?" Ellie asked the closed door. Then she sighed. "Ladies and gentlemen, my brother."
"He did have an awesome idea, though..." He pulled Ellie closer and nuzzled her neck. The rest of the clean up could wait.
Next: Part 2