“No CJ you can’t have the cereal with the marshmallows”
“Maybe next time, hey watch where you are going”
He ran right into the leg of a man looking at the mini wheats.
Chuck looked up at the man and dropped the box of Cheerios he was holding “Oh my god John?”
“Hey Bartowski, let the little one get the marshmallow cereal, you used to eat that crap all the time”
“Cal please say you are sorry for running into him” Chuck picked up the box of cereal and put it back on the shelf before grabbing the smallest box of marshmallow cereal they had.
“It’s okay little Bartowski”
“His name is Calvin” Chuck picked him up and put him in the cart seat and gave him a bag of fruit snacks from his backpack. “Or Cal or CJ, how did you know he was mine?”
“He looks just like you, curly mop on his head, big brown eyes and a goofy smile, even though I can’t believe you have a kid it's obvious he is yours”
“Well you disappeared for five years, a lot has happened” Chuck didn't mean for that to come out with as harsh as it did. “Does Alex know you are back in town? Do you even know her and Morgan had a baby a few months ago? A little girl”
“Yes I know about Clover, I talk with Alex often, I’m not a complete asshole”
“Hey please don’t cuss in front of the kid”
“So is his mom here?”
“No, uh” Chuck looked over at his son “I don’t want to talk about it in front of him, if you are staying in town maybe we can catch up”
“I moved back a few days ago”
“Friday is Calvin’s birthday, everyone is coming over for pizza and cake, you are more than welcome to come, I can text you the information”
“I’d like that” Casey gave Chuck his phone number “How old will he be?”
"What does he want for his birthday?"
"He really likes books, Batman and anything Disney"
“See you Friday then”
“See ya Casey”
After the party, Casey stayed behind to help Chuck clean up the mess so they could catch up. “The little Bartowski is asleep in the middle of the floor with a cat on his back”
“Oh that’s Bruce, he showed up about a year ago and hasn't left Cal’s side since. He was probably hiding during the party. I’ll carry them up to bed and we can have a beer and catch up”
“No, I got it” Chuck moved Bruce then picked up Calvin who started crying
“Case, Case,” the toddler reached towards Casey, who grabbed him from Chuck’s arms.
“Guess you can help” Seeing Casey’s big arms holding his son was so adorable Chuck couldn't help but smile. “We need to brush all the cake from your teeth and get changed for bed”
“Woofy” he screamed making Chuck and Casey both jump.
“What the fuuu-dge was that”
“Woofy is his stuffed wolf, he has had it since his first birthday, he takes it everywhere” Chuck looked around the living room “We lost it once at the grocery store a few months ago and we didn't realize until we were halfway home. Thankfully someone turned it in before his world ended.”
“I had a stuffed elephant that my grandma crocheted, I carried it everywhere until it fell apart and was patched up so many times it didn't look like an elephant anymore. I called him Ted”
“I’m totally picturing that”
Casey rubbed Calvin’s back as he cried into his shoulder. “Want me to install a tracker in him?”
“Oh my god, why have I not thought of that” Chuck was bent over looking under the couch. “I found Bruce’s hiding spot for all the socks he steals, no wolf though. Calvin where did you have him last?”
“He eat cake and Ellwee tooked him” he pouted.
“I’ll be right back” Chuck went into the laundry room to search for the stuffed animal, when he came back in Casey had his eyes closed, swaying back and forth as he hummed a song to calm the crying kid down. Chuck got a rush of feelings he hadn’t had in a very long time.
“Found him” He waved the wolf at Calvin “And he smells so good, and he is nice and warm from being in the dryer” Cal grabbed the plushie squeezing it tight as he rubbed his face on him.
“Love woofy, love dada, love Case”
“Well that was absolutely adorable, but it’s way past your bedtime birthday boy”
Casey helped Chuck get Calvin’s teeth brushed and put his pajamas on, then Casey read him a story and Chuck’s heart exploded with happiness seeing Casey do different voices as he read.
After he was fast asleep they went downstairs to sit on the couch and have a beer.
“Thank you for staying”
“Yeah, no problem. I really enjoyed that”
“You were so good with him, can’t believe you have never been around kids, big scary assassin is a natural with kids.”
“I can’t believe Alex kept in contact with you but never told you anything”
“I asked her yesterday, she said it wasn't her story to tell. She always just told me you were doing well”
“Sarah is his mother” he blurted out
“Walker? I thought she left Burbank when I did”
“I convinced her to stay, for a few months at least, she never fully got her memory back, then one day she just disappeared leaving behind divorce papers and I never heard from her again. Well until four years ago today” Chuck took a drink of his beer “It was like a movie, there was a knock at my door and I opened it and there was a baby in a car seat sitting on the front porch. There was a bag with him, it included all his information and a video from her explaining everything. Beckman helped me verify it and it’s been me and him ever since”
“I don’t even know what to say”
“Most people don’t, it's okay. I mean I’ve always wanted kids, just never thought I’d be doing it alone”
“Does he ever ask about his mom?”
“Right now we just tell him that some people only have one parent. When he gets older I plan to tell him everything”
“What does the J stand for?”
“Uh, well” Chuck fidget with the label on his beer bottle “It’s John”
“Are you serious?”
“Yeah, you were a big part of my life, you made me the person I am, I’m sorry if that’s weird but I wanted him to have a strong name and you were the first one that came to mind. and Calvin is my grandfather's name”
“So what have you been doing for five years? What brought you back?” Chuck needed the subject to change before he said anything else.
“After sixish months with Gertrude I left, just wasn't into it anymore. I did some traveling for fun for the first time in my life. Spent a few months in Colorado where i grew up, my parents are buried there. Then I got a call from an old Marine buddy and I’ve been moving around the states doing military and tactical training with him. When Alex called and said she was having a baby I knew I needed to be here, I wasn't there for her when she was growing up but I want to be in Clover’s life. So I retired from the Marines and moved back”
“What are your plans now that you are home?”
“Maybe I’ll get my job back at the Buy More” He laughed. “My retirement package is enough for me to get by, but I’ll probably need something to keep me busy”
“Well, since I still own the Buy More, I’ll gladly give you a job, or if you are in the mood to kick some ass Carmichael Industries is still up and running, Beckman’s replacement after her retirement, General Flynn, he contracts us out for random jobs. Morgan goes out on the missions, I stay in the office, and flash or work on cyber threats”
“Who knew he would be such a great spy”
“Literally no one” they both laughed
“I’m glad you are doing well”
“I’ve missed you a lot, Casey”
“You too kid” He squeezed Chuck’s thigh “I should get going, I’ll call you sometime next week, maybe we can have lunch and talk about my future employment”
“I’d like that”
“Hey Casey, can I ask you a huge favor”
“Go for it”
“Can you come to Castle and get my Jeep and go pick up Cal?”
“Want me to get food too?”
“That would be amazing, I’m so close to getting this hacker and I'm worried if I stop I’ll lose it”
“Be there in ten” Casey ended the call.
“My fingerprints still work”
“Geez you scared me”
“What’s up with the little Bartowski?”
“He is having a bad day at daycare and he is refusing to eat lunch or snack and keeps crying”
Chuck handed Casey his keys, “The password is Pineapple, you need it to pick him up. and as far as food, he isn't too picky, just no condiments. and just don't forget the password or they will call the cops, just ask Morgan” Chuck handed him some cash and gave him the address of the daycare. “Hopefully I’ll have this finished by the time you get back. I owe you thank you so much”
“Daddy” Calvin was crying as he ran up to him.
“Oh no, what happened?” He pulled him into his lap, but he couldn’t understand what he was saying through his cries, so he looked over at Casey. “Well we are going to have to perform surgery and I may have pissed off a mom and I’m not invited to the park event next week”
“I have so many questions”
“A little boy with a weird ass name pulled Woofy’s tail off, so I nicely talked to the teachers and the mom just happened to also be there picking up her kid and I gave her a piece of my mind”
“I’m sorry buddy” Chuck gave him a hug “But I happen to know that Uncle Case can patch him up real good, way better than what daddy did” He looked over at Casey “I’ve already put the tail back on once, he shut it in the car door and didn’t realize and pulled”
“I promise I’ll make it better, how about we eat some lunch then you can watch me repair it”
“What did you get?”
“You don’t get anything unless you got that hacker” Casey smirked
“I did, there is a team on the way to his location now, just waiting for an update”
“In that case, I got us some sub sandwiches and since CJ had a bad day I got him a happy meal with chocolate milk and bonus points for whatever the hell a pokemon is, because he was so excited he forgot he was sad for a moment”
“I owe you so much”
“It’s fine, I like being with LB” Casey sat out the food on the table “Cheeseburger no condiments, extra pickles”
“I LB” Calvin raised his hand
“No, you’re CJ”
“Case call me LB, I want to be LB no CJ”
“But what does LB mean?”
“Little Bartowski” Casey smirked.
“That’s so cute, I accept this change”
After they ate their lunch Chuck watched Casey get out the first aid kit and put some rubber gloves on Calvin them himself.
“I’m going to put this special little thing inside Woofy’s tail so you will never lose him” Casey showed him the small tracking chip before he shoved it into the tail before he started to stitch it up. Then he helped Cal wrap it in gauze and they gave him some fake medicine and Casey gave him strict instructions to give Woofy cuddles and make sure he gets some sleep.
“Shouldn't you be working Bartowski?”
“I tried but the cuteness that just happened was very distracting”
“Should I take him back to your place for a nap?”
“What used to be interrogation room two is now a playroom, and there is a toddler bed in there” He pressed a button on his computer and live feed of the room came up on the big screen on the wall.
“So LB who do you want to put you and Woofy down for a nap?”
“Doctor Uncle Case”
“I’m shocked” Casey smirked picking him up and carried him into the room. Chuck should not have watched Casey tuck his son into bed, and read him two stories, then kiss both CJ and Woofy on the head before leaving the room. Because that is the moment he fell back in love with John Casey.
“Are you going to get any work done or just spy on us?” Casey leaned against Chuck’s desk.
“I couldn't help it, it’s weird seeing you with him. I mean that in a good way, it’s usually hard for him to warm up to people. I was the only one who could hold him for the first year of his life, then he warmed up to Alex then a few months later Ellie, he is usually okay with Morgan but still has difficulty with Devon and my mom. But he liked you from the first time you met and seeing you with him it uh, nevermind”
“Probably because I told you to get him that shitty cereal”
“That's a strong possibility” he laughed
“He asked me where I lived and I told him I was staying with Alex, Morgan, and Clover while I tried to find a place to live and he asked me to move in with you, he said I could sleep in his room”
“If you want, but no offense I think his batmobile bed is a bit too small for you”
“What were you going to say, when you said nevermind?”
“Don’t worry about it, we need to talk about your employment”
They talked for close to an hour, more about what they have both been up to in the last five years but they did draw up a contract for Casey to start working for Carmicheal Industries.
It’s been almost a month since Casey came back to town, he has been going on missions with Morgan, and he has taken a few shifts a week at the Buy More because why not. He now picks up Calvin up from daycare every Tuesday afternoon and take him to the park and out for ice cream. He has dinner with him and Chuck at least three times a week, but usually more.
Casey came down into Castle during one of his shifts at the Buy More “Is your phone off?”
Chuck was typing away at his computer with his headphones on. Casey came up behind him and pulled the headphones off.
“Why must you scare me all the time”
“I asked if your phone was off”
“No, it’s always on” He grabbed his phone off the desk. “Oh my god I’ve missed six calls from the daycare”
“LB has a fever and has been getting sick, thankfully he still had the card I gave him with my number on in his backpack I told him to give to people during emergencies. So they called me when you didn't answer"
“Oh my god I’m a horrible parent”
“You're not, you're a single parent with a job, shit happens. Give me your keys, you can take the truck when you’re done working” He handed him his truck keys.
“No John I can’t ask you to do that”
“You didn't ask, I’m offering. plus your work is more important than anything I was doing at the Buy More”
When Chuck came home a few hours later Casey was laying on his back on the couch with Calvin, Woofy, and Bruce all laying on top of him. Chuck snuck over and took a few pictures.
“What are you doing Bartowski?”
“Capturing the cutest thing I've ever seen”
“Me or the kid?”
“The wolf” he teased. “How is he doing?”
“I think his fever broke, he doesn't feel like a furnace anymore, and he has kept down the soup I made him”
“He doesn't like soup”
“He ate two bowls of chicken and noodles, with vegetables”
“Casey, I don’t even know how to thank you, the last month has been so great, seeing you with him and all the help you have given me, I can’t even begin to think about a way to repay you”
“You letting me be here with you two means a lot to me, no need to repay me for anything”
“I just don’t understand I guess”
Casey wrapped his arms around Cal holding him to his chest as he sat up. He laid Cal back down on the couch and Bruce instantly laid down next to him. “Let’s go talk in the other room”
Chuck followed Casey into the kitchen, where Casey turned on the stove to start reheating the soup.
“That smells amazing”
“I can tell you have a lot on your mind” Casey leaned up against the counter
“Don’t lie to me”
Chuck nervously chewed at his bottom lip “Seeing you with him brought back some old feelings, but just forget it, it’s stupid”
“I’m actually asking you to talk for once and you don’t want to?”
“Fine, not long after you came to Burbank all those years ago I got feelings for you okay, and the more we worked together and more I got to know the real you, I ended up falling in love with you. I knew it was ridiculous to ever think anything could happen between us so I moved on, pushed those feelings away. All those feelings came back when I saw you with Cal and I had this insane idea that maybe we could be together and I won't be a single parent forever”
“It’s not an insane idea”
“You being the cool uncle who helps out isn't the same thing”
“That’s not what I’m saying moron” He wrapped an arm around Chuck’s lower back pulling him closer “I love you too Bartowski” He pressed his lips to Chuck’s.
“I’ve changed a lot in the last five years but this is the first time in my life I’ve ever but this sure about anything. I love you and Calvin and I want to be a bigger part of both of your lives”
“When he gets better I’m calling Alex and asking if she will babysit so I can take you on a date”
Casey laughed, “How about tonight when we put him to bed we order Thai food and watch a movie”
Chuck pressed closer to him “I’d like to keep kissing you now”
“Daddy, I got sick on the couch and it got on Bruce”
“Oh god” Chuck pressed his face into Casey’s chest “You still have time to run”
“You find the cat, I’ll fill up the tub, then you can wash them while I clean up the living room”
“You can turn the stove off, I have a feeling we won't be able to eat the soup after we see the mess”
Luckily Bruce didn’t have too much on him so Chuck didn't have to attempt to give him a bath.
“I sorry daddy”
“It’s okay, it happens, you're not in trouble”
“Why were you kissing Case?”
“Well Casey is my boyfriend now”
“What’s a boyfriend?”
“It means we love each other”
“I love Case is he, my boyfriend?”
Chuck laughed. “No, that’s a different kind of love, like I love you and you love me”
“So is Case, my dad, too?”
“Maybe one day he will be, but nothing has changed, we just kiss and hold hands now”
“Can he live here?”
“Maybe one day”
Two months later Casey moved in, and even though Calvin was sad that he wasn't going to share a room with him, he was still really happy that Casey was going to be living there.
Chuck was completely naked and Casey was about to take his own pants off when their bedroom door opened.
“Remember when I told you to lock the door” Chuck whispered to Casey as he tried to find his pants. “What’s wrong Cal?”
“Woofy is scared, the nightlight turn off”
“Woofy or Calvin?” Chuck managed to get his pants on under the blankets
“Woofy, I promise”
“Okay I’ll go turn it on and read you two another story”
“No, I want daddy Case to do it”
Chuck froze waiting for Casey’s reaction, that was the first time Cal had ever called him that.
“Okay LB, let’s go figure out what’s wrong with that nightlight so Woofy won’t be scared anymore” Casey was smiling bigger than he ever had before and Chuck had never been happier.
“We need to get a new bulb, I took the desk lamp from the office and put it in his room for now, and had to read 101 Dalmatians, twice. But they are both asleep”
“Have I told you recently how amazing you are?”
“No but you can show me, I locked the door this time” He smirked.
“Are you sure you’re okay with him calling you dad?”
“More than okay”
“Want me to call you daddy?”
“I’ll punch you”
Chuck was laughing “I’d never”
Chuck was sitting on a blanket getting out all the food from the picnic basket he had packed, Casey was on his way after he picked up Cal early from daycare so they could enjoy a nice day at the park for Cal’s fifth birthday. It was a few days early but they were surprising him with a trip to Disneyland this weekend.
“Daddy” Cal ran up to him, almost tripping over the edge of the blanket.
“Hey buddy" He hugged his son "It’s way to warm to have a coat on”
“Dada told me I have to wear it”
Chuck looked up at him confused. “John it’s like ninety degrees are you trying to give him heat stroke?”
Casey rolled his eyes. “Come here LB” Casey kneeled down on the blanket in front of Chuck, he turned LB around so his back was to Chuck and unzipped his jacket and pulled it off. “Ok, let Daddy see your new shirt”
Calvin turned around so Chuck could see ‘Daddy, will you marry dada?’ in bold letters on the front of his shirt.
Chuck had to read it a few times before it registered “are you serious?”
"A year ago I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, then I ran into you and LB at the grocery store and I instantly knew I needed to have you both in my life forever. Charles Bartowski, will you marry me?"
“Look at the pretty ring we got you” CJ pointed to the ring Casey was holding up “Dada said you guys are going to have a wedding and kiss and that means we will all have the same name and live together forever and maybe I can have a brother or sister. But you have to say yes, so please say yes daddy”
“Yes, of course, one hundred times yes” He held his left hand out so Casey could slip the ring onto Chuck’s shaking hand. “I love you John”
“Love you nerd”
Cal laughed as they smashed him between them as they hugged. “Now daddy we get to go pick a pretty ring for dada”
“How about when we get back from Disney?”
“Disney” his eye lit up.
“We are going in a few days for your birthday, Ellie, Devon, Clara, Stephen, Morgan, Alex, and Clover will all be going too”
“This is the best day ever” Cal did a little dance while the adults laughed.
“You should probably take a picture of LB in his shirt and your ring and send it to your sister, she has been driving me nuts for the past month ever since I told her about it”
Chuck had CJ stand between him and Casey, he put his left hand on his stomach next to the words and Casey took a picture of all three of them smiling. “Wait, what last name are we going to take or are we going to hyphen it?”
“I think Casey-Bartowski and Bartowski-Casey both sounds okay”
“I like Casey-Bartowski”
“then that’s what it’ll be”
Chuck sent their family all the picture then posted it on his facebook.
Casey collapsed on the bed next to his fiance “Disney was fucking exhausting”
“Why did we think that was a good idea”
“Because we love Cal and he loves Disney” Chuck rolled over to face Casey “There is something I want to talk to you about”
“Does it involve us being naked?”
“Not yes” He gave him a quick kiss “Earlier today I got an email from my lawyer, I guess Sarah found out we are getting married and she has given up all rights to Calvin, i mean she has never been in his life but she was legally still his parent, but she signed over her rights so if you want, you can now legally adopt him after we get married”
Casey was crying for the first time in many many years. “I already concider him to be my son, but having it offical means so much”
Chuck wiped the tear from Casey’s cheek “I love you”
"I love you"