Oddly enough, one of Chuck's best Christmases start off with Chuck in desperate need of help.
"I don't know what to get Casey for Christmas," Chuck tells Sarah, propped up on the counter at Orange Orange with free frozen yoghurt while Sarah cleans tables to close up for the day. "Other than a gun. Except I think whatever gun I buy him, he already has. How weird is it that I know someone I can say that about now?" Sarah stops cleaning to look at him. "I also don't know anything about guns."
"Don't get Casey a gun for Christmas."
"Then what? Honestly, I've been racking my brains for days and I can't think of anything." Chuck pokes at his frozen yoghurt sadly.
Sarah places a hand on her hip and stares at him for a moment. Chuck stares back, fidgeting only slightly, because Sarah knows about Chuck's crush on Casey, sure, but Chuck's always felt like she hates talking about it. "Okay. I'll help you, Chuck, but only because as your fake-girlfriend I expect my present to outshine everyone else's."
Chuck's present for Sarah is a pair of earrings that Ellie had helped him choose. They're expensive enough that if the government hadn't surprisingly decided to pay Chuck for some of the work Chuck's done, he'd be cringing every time he thought of them. "Only the best for you."
Sarah smiles and goes back to her tables. "A present for Casey...well, what do you want it to say?"
"Just that out of all the NSA agents that could've been assigned to my case, I'm really sort of glad it's him, and I appreciate the fact that he hasn't let anyone kill me yet." Chuck decides after a moment and Sarah gives him a smile that convinces him she heard everything he wasn't even saying in his head.
"Well, you do still owe him a Crown Victoria." When Chuck just looks at her, she shrugs. "My suggestion is either that or sexy lingerie. Nothing says appreciation like sexy lingerie, Chuck."
"Yeah, and he'll use it to strangle me," Chuck sighs.
"Look, why don't you just ask Casey what he wants for Christmas?" Sarah shouts after Chuck has sighed dramatically some more.
"I did," Chuck admits, "It was either the Intersect out of my head and on a real computer or a signed agreement that he could stop me talking to him about things that aren't work related."
"At least that last one would be cheap," Sarah offers after the moment stretches a little awkwardly. "And hey, who knows, maybe it's enough to make Casey realize anything he might be feeling towards you too."
"Hm," Chuck says, a plan suddenly forming. Purely for effect, he says it again. "Hm."
There are five days left until Christmas and the Buy More is kind of crazy, so Chuck's plan doesn't get used as often as it otherwise would have been. Casey has customers who need help, Chuck has frantic calls from people whose computers have crashed during their online shopping and people lining up in need with broken electronics. There really isn't any time for Chuck and Casey to interact about anything that isn't work, which yeah okay, it fits Chuck's plan perfectly but Chuck can't help but feel that it doesn't count if Casey can't realize that Chuck is doing it purposefully.
Chuck plan is really easy. It's simply this: he won't speak to Casey about anything that doesn't have to do with work. He supposes that if Casey were the kind of person to ask him how it's going during the morning, Chuck might make an exception, but Casey isn't and Chuck stops asking.
It's surprising how difficult he finds it to not search Casey out for some small detail or observation or question, even with all these clueless customers demanding his attention every second. Chuck hadn't realizes he spoke to Casey that much, he's actually kind of surprised, because Chuck might have this really tiny and totally insignificant crush on Casey, sure, but that doesn't stop him from being kind of frightened whenever Casey decides to growl in annoyance like he's seconds away from ripping Chuck's head from his body.
"Bartowski," Casey says as he approaches the Nerd Herders and Morgan during a rare lull. They're all kind of slumped over the nearest flat or soft surface in exhaustion because Big Mike is a slave driver come Christmas, and Chuck's resting his head on Lester's back. There is luckily enough only three more days left of this.
"What, Casey?" Chuck asks, not lifting his head. "Are we running out of something?"
"No." Casey stares at him in confusion. "Listen, that movie you mentioned last week--"
"Oh hey," Chuck interrupts, getting to his feet. "I just remembered I have a home call. Thanks for being a pillow, Lester."
Lester flaps his hand at him before stilling again, and as Chuck walks away, Casey asks, "What was that all about?"
"I don't know, man," Morgan answers, "But from where I'm sitting, it kind of looked like disinterest."
The last thing Chuck hears before he's out of earshot is a confused grunt from Casey.
Hah, Chuck thinks, after two days, it's a single moment that finally makes him take notice of how I'm not speaking to him about things that aren't work-related.
Chuck keeps at it once he gets back and the next day. Casey definitely seems to notice now, seeing as how Chuck keeps catching Casey giving him weird, calculating looks. Casey's a spy, so for Chuck to catch him looking must really be an indication of how much it's thrown him.
If Chuck had known not talking to Casey would get him to look at Chuck this much before, he would have done it earlier.
Especially considering how Casey suddenly shows up in Chuck's bedroom after work with only one day left to go until Christmas.
"Spill it, Bartowski. What is it you're trying to accomplish?" Casey asks, when Chuck's gotten over the shock of finding Casey sitting on his bed to close the door.
"What's what trying to accomplish?" Chuck asks innocently and he settles into his computer chair. "I'm just doing what you asked me to."
"That'd be a first," Casey responds with narrowed eyes. "You never do what I say."
"It's Christmas," Chuck shrugs, "I thought maybe I'd give it a go. And I totally do what you say."
Casey lifts an eyebrow at him. "You really don't, Bartowski."
"I try though. I think I should be given points for trying, at least."
"Right." Casey says, and then, "I can't believe I'm saying this, but I take back my Christmas wish."
"You don't want there to be an Intersect that's actually on a computer and not, you know, in my head?" Chuck asks, because this is kind of fun, trying to get Casey to open up and say it. Casey growls at him.
"No, you idiot. I take back the part about wishing you wouldn't talk to me about stuff that wasn't work related. I - fine, okay, I miss your gibberish."
"Well, now I might just not talk to you because you're insulting me," Chuck tells him, and Casey growls again. It's entirely possible that Chuck is grinning like a huge idiot, but he really can't bring himself to care. "Okay, I'm talking again. So, tell me Casey, what made you take back your wish?"
"You're the asset, Chuck," Casey says after a moment, and something in his voice makes Chuck look up to meet his gaze only to find that Casey isn't looking at him. "I'm assigned as protection. Don't push this unless you're sure of what you're doing."
Chuck stays silent until Casey looks at him, and then he quietly says, "If I want to push this?"
"Then," Casey says slowly, licking his lips. "You should come and push it."