Trick or Treat

Doing this a little bit earlier this year...

In honor of All Hallow’s Eve, I’m inviting trick-or-treaters to my ‘door.’ Comment “trick-or-treat” to this post and…well, you know the drill. Treats can be anything that strikes my fancy (pics of fave actors or pairings, one sentence fics, graphics, a few words why I’m glad to have you on my flist, etc. etc.). The more “houses” to visit the more fun it’ll be, so go ahead, open your journal and help spread the fun!

tabula rasa gif

I've enabled anonymous commenting. If you could let me know who you are, I can tailor your treat—or your trick!—just for you (aka sign your comments if you can! Or just tell me what you like if you don't feel comfortable leaving your name).


  1. Trick-or-treat!

    1. Lest you find yourself ignored, this is the link to your treat on my blog: http://freaoscanlin.tumblr.com/tagged/i-got-this-for-yooooou

  2. Anonymous23.10.13

    -Steampunk.Chuckster ;) ;)

    1. “You know we’re going to have to tell her.”

      “I know.” Sarah’s jaw was tight, a muscle twitching at the edge of it that bespoke volumes. “I just…not tonight, okay?”

      Normally, he might not have argued, but… “It’s killing you to keep this from her. And the sooner you tell her, the better it’ll go over.”

      “Chuck, I—”

      “Keep what from who?” The sound of Carina Miller’s voice made both Chuck and Sarah startle and look up. Sarah’s teammate and best friend stood over them, silhouetted by the sun so that it glowed around her auburn hair like an evil halo. She had a pair of sneakers dangling from one hand, and her skin glistened with sweat—obviously she’d been mid-run, and the sand had muffled her footsteps.

      So much for having this conversation in private on the beach, Chuck thought.

      “Fancy meeting you two here,” Carina said, bending over at the waist to regain some of her breath. “Though I thought you were the ‘early to bed, early to rise’ do-gooder type, Speedo.”

      “It’s only like eight o’clock,” Chuck said, blinking at her. He didn’t try to bother to correct the nickname; he was always going to be Speedo, and he’d accepted that.

      “Carina,” Sarah said, looking stricken.

      Carina looked from Sarah’s face to Chuck’s. “Pretty easy to tell who the ‘her’ is in this case, huh. Wait, wait, don’t tell me. You’re getting married and running off to run a pineapple farm in Hawaii. I mean, I’ve heard worse harebrained schemes, but hey, you gotta Dole what you gotta Dole.”

      Sarah put her face in her hands and groaned. “Really, Carina?” When Chuck felt a traitorous chuckle bubble up, she elbowed him in the stomach. “Don’t encourage this.”

      “’Least one of you’s got a sense of humor. What’s going on? What’s with the frown-y faces? You really aren’t moving to Hawaii, right? You know I just bought my condo, I can’t just up and move.”

      “No, we’re not moving to Hawaii,” Sarah said.

      “Then what is it? Rickets?”


      “Sudden amnesia?”


      “Chuck here secretly likes to wear women’s lingerie to bed?”

      “Hey,” Chuck said.

      Carina’s eyebrow shot up. “I don’t judge.”

      “Well, that’s nice, but I do not wear—”

      “I’m pregnant,” Sarah said.

    2. “I mean, I could see you liking a little bit of the lace and—you said what now?” Abruptly—and it was kind of neat to watch—the blood drained out of Carina’s face. Sarah’s reflexes were faster than Chuck’s: in an instant, she was on her feet, bracing Carina and helping her sit down. “Pregnant? How—actually don’t tell me that, I have a feeling I know—”

      “Comforting,” Sarah said, but she still looked really pale. Chuck didn’t dare move because as much as he’d grown used to Carina and Sarah’s partnership in the five months he’d been dating Sarah, he could sense that this was a gulf he was not close enough to them to cross with them yet.

      Indeed, Sarah and Carina were staring at each other, hard.

      Carina broke first. “You realize you’ve only been with this weirdo for five months?”

      “I’ve always been better at math than you,” Sarah said. “I know. Give me something here, Miller. Some kind of reaction. I could really use my best friend right now.”

      Another intensely long moment passed and then, finally the corner of Carina’s mouth tilted up—the only warning Chuck had before Carina tackled her partner with a giant hug, startling a surprised laugh out of Sarah. In less than a twenty-second skirmish, Sarah had her friend in a headlock, which didn’t at all prevent Carina from reaching out and hugging Chuck, too.

      “Oh, my god,” she said when she bounced back from them. “You two, with a kid. This is going to be so great. Carina Walker-Bartowski’s going to be the greatest kid ever, you realize that?”

      Chuck looked at Sarah, his grin threatening to break beyond the edges of his face. All of the joy he’d been feeling since the news had come in, he was finally able to express that. And from the look on Sarah’s face, it seemed she felt the same.

      “Yes,” Sarah said. “But really? Naming our kid Carina?”

      “Yeah, what are we going to do if it’s a girl?” Chuck asked, and laughingly dodged the sand Carina kicked at him.

    3. Anonymous23.10.13

      Okaaaaaaaaaaay I passed out of happy. My trick-or-treat paid off so hard that I can feel it. In my chest.

    4. Michael K24.10.13

      That was fantastic Frea! I loved it.

  3. Trick or treat. (Wait. You're not passing out kale, are you?)




      “What is that?”

      It really was amazing how much somebody under the age of six could put into three words, Sarah reflected: utter curiosity, uncertain derision, and mild fear, all packed into the space of a breath. Violet’s face was even more of a wonder to behold, for she was eyeing the plate in front of Sarah with all of the aforementioned emotion and even more.

      Sarah wisely stifled a laugh. “It’s kale,” she said.

      “It looks like…”

      “Like what?”

      “Like yu-uuck.”

      Thankfully, she was getting better at this. Sarah scooped up a forkful of salad. “Why yuck?”

      “Because it looks gross.”

      “How so?”

      “It’s green.”

      “So’s…” Sarah searched her memories for things she’d noticed Violet watching. She was getting better at this. “Yoda. Is Yoda gross?”

      Violet’s eyes immediately widened to the size of silver dollars, and Sarah hear the JAWS music—thanks, Chuck, for that bit of cultural knowledge—play in the back of her mind. Indeed, the five-year-old didn’t disappoint. “You’re eating Yoda?”

      Six months before, that panicked tone would have caused corresponding panic in the spy. Now Sarah merely raised an eyebrow at the macaroni and cheese on the plate in front of her charge. “By that logic, you’re eating Big Bird.”

      Scandal joined the gamut of emotion on Violet’s face. “Nuh-uh!”

      Sarah took a bite of salad to hide her smile. “It’s not Yoda. It’s salad.”

      “Can I try some?”

      “I thought you said it looked gross.”

      “It does, but if you like it, it must be good, right?”

      “Oh, you’re good,” Sarah said, not bothering to hide her laugh this time.

      Violet tilted her head. “What’d I say?’

      “Never mind. Here, try a small bite.” Sarah had to figure that the girl wasn’t going to like the kale—she’d never been a fan of bitter or sour, and Sarah had used lime in the vinaigrette she’d made—so she only forked a small bit and held it out for Violet, who immediately levered herself up to chomp on the bite.

      She didn’t disappoint: after a second of chewing, Violet’s face immediately scrunched and she made a “Blech!” noise. Sarah wisely bit her lip as the girl clutched her throat, making exaggerated gagging noises. With a noise like a storm drain being wrenched open, the girl grabbed her milk and downed half the glass.

      “You liked it that much, huh?” Sarah asked.

      Violet wrinkled her nose. Carefully, she looked around the kitchen and then leaned forward, one hand cupped around her mouth. Sarah knew the drill well enough to lean forward, too, like Violet was imparting some great secret. “I think Yoda would taste better,” Violet whispered.

      Sarah laughed. “More for me, then,” she said.

      “Deal,” Violet said, cheerful now, and she dove back into her plate of noodles and cheese.

    2. This is tremendous! I can picture this entire exchange and Violet's reaction is exactly what I'd expect. And I'm right there with you, Violet. Blech.

      I wonder what Chicken Fried Yoda would taste like. Or Big Bird Kabobs. Oh, the endless possibilities.

      Thank you for this wonderful treat.

  4. Michael K23.10.13

    Trick or Treat

    1. Here's the first part of the second chapter of That Which is Greater: The Birthday Story. Happy Halloween!


      The ninja acted first. He leapt across the room and over the coffee table. Sarah dodged the uppercut by instinct, dodging back a step. When the ninja followed with a knee to the chest, it caught Sarah’s side at the center of her ribcage. Pain sprouted like a wildflower in her side, knocking her out of whatever momentary shock she’d suffered. Even worse, it made her angry.

      Sarah saw the third swing coming and hit her opponent in the hollow of his shoulder with a sharp, hard jab from her left fist, blocking the hit. The ninja stumbled back; Sarah didn’t relent. She crowded his space, smacking him in the side of the head with her right elbow. It was a jarring blow, meant to disorient and incapacitate.

      Her opponent, however, must have been trained to take a hit, for there was only a stagger rather than a fall. Dammit, she’d just gotten the hang of babysitting. How dare this person put Violet in danger? What kind of nerve did they have to ruin her night?

      Fear and anger drove Sarah even farther forward. The first punch caught the ninja on the shoulder, the second below the ribs. She kept swinging, pummeling the ninja, who was trying to hit back. But obviously, he didn’t have Sarah’s anger on his side. “How many of there are you?” Sarah asked, lashing out and narrowly missing the ninja. “What do you want? Why are you here?”

      The ninja flipped over the back of the couch and threw the remote at Sarah. Sarah caught it two inches from her face and vaulted over the couch.

    2. Michael K29.10.13

      Thank you Frea! Great start, Really looking forward to the story.

  5. Replies
    1. Hopefully you're watching Agents of SHIELD or I just gave this treat to the wrong person.

      “So what foreign and likely terrifying place are we landing in this time?” Skye asked from the entrance to the cockpit. She’d spent so much time hanging out with Melinda in the cockpit that Melinda had learned it was smarter just to teach the girl to fly the damned plane. It meant the questions might actually have a chance of stopping, or at least pausing for a little while.

      Melinda flicked a couple of switches. “Los Angeles.”

      “You’re kidding.”

      Melinda raised an eyebrow. “Does this look like my ‘joking’ face?”


      Melinda had to concede the point; she was rather a fan of the deadpan school of humor. “Be that as it may, we’re going to Burbank. An old pupil called in an audible.”

      “Wait, it’s not an oh-eight-four?”

      “You want practice landing or not?”

      It had the desired effect: Skye immediately stopped asking questions and instead eagerly strapped herself into the copilot’s seat, eyes huge behind the aviator sunglasses she always wore in the cockpit. Melinda flicked the light that let the rest of the gang know they were landing and the next half hour was passed in safely landing the bus in Burbank’s airport. After months of questionable airports and runways that were meant for things that were decidedly not planes, it was a breeze. Melinda barely had to stretch out the kinks in her neck.

      “Agent Ward and I’ll corral the science kids,” Coulson told her after she’d maneuvered the bus into the hangar. “I’ll leave the greeting to the locals to the two of you. Your op, May.”

      Skye gave him a sarcastic salute. Melinda just shrugged and headed down the cargo ramp, positive that her contacts would be waiting for them in the hangar. It was too early in the mission for them to get kidnapped, after all. That usually came later.

      Sure enough, there they were: the tall, rangy man in jeans and canvas sneakers, the ex-military grump with pleats in his khakis, and her old student. Sarah Walker’s face broke out into a grin as she spotted Melinda. She looked, Melinda thought, much, much happier than the last time Melinda had seen her, but then, the last time Melinda had seen her, Walker had been covered in sweat, bruises, and the blood of the other trainees she’d bested at the Farm.

      “Long time, no see,” Walker said, and her face was solemn as she bowed respectfully.

      Melinda bowed back, and finally allowed a small smile to break free. “Too long, I think.” And it was completely worth it to see Skye’s jaw drop when Melinda laughed and hugged Walker. “So, a little bird told me you needed some help from a shadowy government agency.”

      “Is there any other kind?” Even Walker’s grin seemed less reserved. “Come meet my husband and my partner, and I’ll tell you all about it.”

      “Can’t wait,” Melinda said.

  6. Trick or Treat!

    1. Chuck shifted the bottles of Two Buck Chuck to the crook of his arm so that he could knock. “No,” he said, looking over at Sarah. “I have no idea what it’s about, either. I just know the Shai-Hulud was mentioned, so I’m guessing Halloween costumes.”

      “I’m glad you explained that. I was about to say ‘Gesundheit,’” Sarah said.

      Chuck grinned. “Sandworm.”

      “Yeah, I got that from ‘Halloween costumes.’ It’s a memorable one.”

      “Do we need to retire it?” Chuck looked worried for a second. “I mean, are we ready to accept our fate as one of those couples that dresses in corresponding costumes? Are you the Leia to my Han? Am I the Romeo to your Juliet?”

      “Isn’t that the play about the horrifying teenage suicides?”

      “Okay, maybe I’m not the Romeo to your Juliet. Geez, where is he? Usually, he’s answered by now.” Chuck knocked on Morgan’s door again, this time a little louder. After a few incidents that Sarah and Alex had scolded them about in great detail—it seemed neither woman was willing to let the bromance spill out into the other parties in the relationship—there was a strong ‘Knock First!’ policy in place between the two apartments. “We’ll have to break it to him gently. I’m afraid a lot of his emotional well-being is wrapped up in that costume.”

      “I don’t mind going it alone if you want to keep being the ass of the sandworm, Chuck,” Sarah said. “You know, to protect Morgan’s fragile emotional state.”

      Chuck knocked again. “It’s actually okay. That costume hasn’t smelled the same since the Chili Incident last year. And I can hear you trying not to laugh at me, for the record.”

      “Uh-huh,” Sarah said.

      Finally, there was the sound of rushing footsteps on the other side of the door and then Morgan answered, wearing one of Alex’s shirts. Sarah’s eyebrows shot up and she bit her lips and it took everything Chuck had not to laugh, too. “We can come back,” he said.

      Morgan looked down, cursed, and vanished, leaving the door open. “Come in! Just need a minute!”

      “It’s really okay, we can come back,” Sarah said.

      “No, no, things to discuss, business to go over, all that. Just be a sec!”

      Alex appeared first, definitely more put together than Morgan had been, though Morgan wasn’t far behind. Once it was decided what type of food they’d call out for—always a lengthy debate because it turned out Alex was just as specific a cheap gourmand as her boyfriend—Morgan cleared his throat. “Chuck, I have some bad news,” he said.

      “Yeah?” Chuck felt his stomach twist.

      “I think…Chuck, buddy, you know you’re the light of my life. The yin to my yang. The best thing—”

      “Ahem,” Alex said.

      “—not named Alex in my life,” Morgan said, giving his girlfriend a sheepish smile. “And we’ve had some really great times together, the best times, really, but…I think it’s time to retire the Great Maker.”

      Chuck blinked. “Morgan,” he started to say.

      “And I love you, man, and we’ve had some great times, but it’s just that Alex wants to be Katniss and I can’t leave Katniss without her Peeta, Chuck. It’s just cruel. You understand, don’t you? I hope I haven’t hurt you—”

      “Morgan,” Chuck said, louder now. He laughed at the worried look and clapped his hand on his friend’s shoulder. “Morgan, it’s fine. I was going to suggest we go as separate costumes this year myself. You just beat me to the punch.”

      “You’re not hurt?” Morgan asked, eyes wide.

      “Never.” Chuck offered his hand for a fist-bump, which Morgan gratefully returned. “Sarah and I were thinking of doing a couples costume, too, actually. What do you say, honey?”

      Sarah nodded sagely. “He’s going to make an excellent Leia to my Han,” she said, and had Chuck and Morgan spitting out wine in surprise.

    2. You're awesome Frea!!

      Cheers, MC

  7. I'll be different and sing for you. *clears throat*

    Trick or treat! Smell my feet, give me something good to eat!

    1. “At what point do we really lose our souls?” Carina asked, breaking the silence that had fallen over the room for the past half hour. Sarah had known better than to think her roommate was actually asleep—despite drinking the entire fifth of vodka and the fact that it was two a.m., nights were really Carina’s time—but she’d been enjoying the quiet, as it meant there was nothing but her and the surveillance equipment. She was stretched out over at a bed at the Del Rio Grand Hotel, one eye pressed to the scope of the sniper rifle, which was of course aimed at the back door to the club belonging to one Augusto Gaez.

      She had a feeling that Gaez wasn’t even in town, but it was soothing to do nothing for a little while. They’d had a rough couple of weeks.

      “Our souls?” she asked. “Really?”

      “It’s a serious question.”

      “You’re drunk.”

      “Nuh-uh, just buzzed.” Rustling indicated Carina had moved on the other bed, likely to find a more comfortable spot. “And I want to know. When do we really lose our souls?”

      “I don’t put much stock in things like souls,” Sarah said.

      “That’s ’cos robots like you don’t have them, Walker.”

      Without looking back, Sarah grabbed a pen from the nearby bedside table and threw it at her teammate. There was an annoyed “Ow!” as it hit. “Bitch.”

      “Go to sleep, you’re drunk.”

      “I am not drunk. I am perfectly fine. I could take down an entire unit of Navy SEALS right now.”

      Sarah considered. It was likely true, but… “You know I don’t really want to hear about your sex life, Carina.”

      “Ha! I could do that, too.” Carina hummed, sounding proud of herself for a minute. “You know, I think it’s when we stop trick-or-treating.”


      “Keep up. That’s when we lose our souls, duh. We stop going to people for free candy and our souls, just like that, gone.”

      “Why are you such a chatty drunk?” Sarah asked, though she could feel her lips curving up at the corners.

      “It’s Halloween. We should be putting on our sexiest costumes—you can be the sexy pill bottle or whatever, Z can be the sexy Jolly Rancher, Amy can be the sexy cowgirl, and I’ll be the sexy Frankenstein—and hitting the town and getting free treats, but instead we’re here. Yet again. Dealing with Augusto Lame-ez.”

      “I’m sorry, you lost me at ‘sexy pill bottle.’”

      The rustling made Sarah look away from the scope. Carina had crawled free of the bed and had stripped out of her sleepwear. As Sarah blinked at her, the redhead yanked the sheet off of the bed and easily fashioned it about her like a toga. “Something tells me you’ve done that before,” Sarah said. “What are you doing?”

      “I’m a sexy Greek goddess and I’m going trick-or-treating. What do you think?” Carina finger-combed her hair.

      “It’s two in the morning. You’re not going to get anything.”

      “Sure I am. I haven’t lost my soul yet. Don’t wait up, Walker.” Carina winked at her and sashayed toward the door, wrapped in nothing but the sheet. It made Sarah shake her head. She might have worried about her teammate, but even drunk, Carina was just as deadly as the team of Navy SEALS she claimed she could take down. Sarah just hoped HQ didn’t get wind of the complaints that would surely arise.

      She kept her surveillance up for another hour, until it was obvious that Gaez wasn’t going to show. Disappointment rose, but she swallowed it back, packed away the gear, and took a shower. They had a flight out in the morning. By the time she collapsed face-first onto the mattress, Carina still hadn’t returned. Sarah shook her head and fell asleep.

      When she woke up, there was a small orange bag on the bedside table, with a note taped to the side. Got some treats for you so you wouldn’t entirely lose your soul either. Now get downstairs and come eat breakfast. XOXO Carina. Sarah looked inside: four Tootsie Rolls, a candy bar, three crumpled post-it notes with phone numbers written on them (she threw these away), some pillow mints, and two condoms in orange and black wrappers.

      Sarah had to laugh. “Happy Halloween,” she said to the empty bed, and went to get ready for the day.

  8. Anonymous24.10.13

    Trick or Treat? Those two excerpts were a TREAT!!!! I loved it! Thank you! And trick or treat!

    1. I have no idea who you are, so I'm going to give you one of my favorite Chuck videos! Happy Halloween!

  9. Trick or treat from the Big Apple!

    1. The morning of Halloween, Sarah opened her door to go pick up the paper and instead found Chuck on the stoop with a panicked look on his face. This was, she realized, becoming a habit. “You know stuff about make-up, right?” he asked right away. “Lots of stuff?”

      “It’s the first thing you learn as a spy. That, and how to cover up bruises,” Sarah said, blinking at him. He was wearing his pajamas—blue flannel pants, a faded UCLA T-shirt, and crazy hair—and it was early morning, but she knew that Ellie and Awesome were already at work, so to see him without Violet was more than a little surprising. “Why?”

      “Oh, that’s good news. Stay there.” He jumped off the front porch and sprinted away.

      “Uh,” Sarah said to the empty air he’d left behind. She’d already been for her daily run, through her Tai Chi routine, showered, and dressed for the day. Warily, she stepped outside and bent to pick up the paper. Since she didn’t have anything else to do, she sat on the top step of her front porch and carefully removed Casey’s favorite sections to throw away.

      A minute later, Chuck came running back, though this time he had Violet clinging to his back. Sarah had only a few seconds to take in how the girl was dressed: white pants, a white shirt, black vest, a little ruffle down the front of her shirt, and black rain boots. She had a ridiculous wig with blond tufts coming out of the top that kind of looked like a mullet.

      “Sarah!” Violet bounced, her heels kicking against Chuck’s thighs. She needed no prompting to slither down and launch herself at Sarah. “Daddy says you can do make-up!”

      “I can,” Sarah said, blinking at the girl’s costume. She and Casey had discussed Halloween and the situational dangers in detail the night before, so she at least remembered the day, but she had no idea what Violet was dressed as. And she felt like she might look stupid if she asked. “What do you need?”

      “This! This, this, this.” Violet dug in a pocket for a folded piece of paper, which she meticulously unfolded and handed to Sarah. It was a printout of a man Sarah didn’t recognize, though he was wearing eyeliner and white eyeshadow on a very angular face. The wig was actually a pretty decent homage, too. “Daddy says he’s not good at makeup.”

      “Yeah, they don’t mention you need to add hairdresser and makeup artist skills when you have daughters,” Chuck said. “That’s David Bowie in Labyrinth, by the way.”

      “Thank you,” Sarah said under her breath. She looked from the picture to Violet’s beaming face. “And you want to look like this?” It seemed very ’80s.

      “Yes, please.”

      “I think we can do that. I’ve got some stuff inside. Why don’t you go have a seat at the table with your dad? I’ll go get the makeup.”

      Thank you,” Chuck said. “Ellie was supposed to help, but we got a late start and I don’t want to poke her in the eye and I also don’t want to touch Ellie’s stash because the last time I did that, I was seven and I got grounded for a week and—”

      Sarah patted his arm. “It’s okay,” she said. “I got this. Go get some coffee. Or, actually, on second thought, maybe some juice or something without caffeine.”

      “Yes, ma’am,” Chuck said. Sarah tossed the newspaper sections in the trash on the way up to her room to grab the necessary makeup kit. She’d never actually put makeup on a five-year-old before. This was, she thought, going to be a learning experience for all of them.

    2. Ha! Loved it. Brings back so many memories of our daughters dressing up for Halloween - although Bowie would be a snap compared to Beetlejuice - but that's another story entirely. Thanks you for this and all the other wonderful treats! Aces, Frea. You.Are.Aces.

    3. Anonymous1.11.13

      All the treats were fun to read, but I admit my favorite moment is Sarah carefully trashing all the parts of the paper that Casey likes.


  10. Trick or Treat! (And hoping this goes through this time lol :) )

    1. Hey, Lindsay! Will get your treat up soon. :)

  11. Hope I'm not too late to the party. Trick or treat!

    1. Hank! at some point in November, you will get your treat! I promise!


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