|Chuck VS His Heart
Author: EMMSM2765 PM
Post series finale. After a devastated Chuck is left with an overbearing ultimatum of forgetting his lost love or death; the tables begin to turn as she returns and he is left, hopelessly trying to remember her...Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance - Chuck B. & Sarah W. - Chapters: 12 - Words: 68,687 - Reviews: 92 - Favs: 26 - Follows: 59 - Updated: 04-02-13 - Published: 07-18-12 - id: 8333178
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter 9: Hello Chuck
Marriage – what is that innate burning inside of people that draws a couple towards the altar, where they express their undying love for the other in front of a crowd of judging or accepting eyes? Why do people feel the need to prove to the other that they truly love them? Why do they need to be reassured by that promise of 'forever'?
Views on marriage can sometimes be extremely cynical. Certain people speculate whether it is worth getting married at all. They believe in disbelieving – that just dating would suffice. They conclude that you don't need to make that level of commitment – if things are good now, why change that?
Other people just aren't fond of marriage entirely. They don't fancy the idea of being tied down by another. Nor the fact that they have to express their passionate love for the other in front of a crowd whom only half of which they recognise. There are also those who foresee marriage as a beautiful promise – a contract of love. They only optimise marriage and don't feel burdened by that level of commitment.
Nevertheless, people are seemingly under the impression that marriage is a necessity – that if you refuse to join hands in holy matrimony, you are basically telling your partner that you don't 'love' them, nor believe that your relationship will last 'forever'.
But whatever your views dictate, whether you perceive marriage to be a punishment or a blessing; it still remains an enigma. That ultimate bonding; that final promise between two different people who claim to love each other – that love remains inexplicable. What makes a person 'fall' for a specific other? Why are two people so destined to be together that not getting married would become a sin? Why is there a spark; that radiant chemistry between two particular people whom remain entirely original? And why does that binding force only reside with that specific person and not with anyone else? Regardless of skin, gender, appearance and personality; people are drawn to someone for an unexplainable reason; and that is the conundrum – why them?
Chuck and Sarah's relationship contained that radiant chemistry from the start. They were immediately drawn to each other, touched by the other's presence. Their entire relationship – although sparked with fire and flames – remained as more of a comforting and loving union. There was something special – something unique between them that no one could entirely understand. They were so drawn to each other that it made everyone else around them drawn to them as well. It was original, it was viable – it was an enigma. Although obstacles were placed along their path to happiness, something always seemed to bring them back together. They couldn't stay away, they couldn't move on and they couldn't entirely forget. Life was absolute when they were a couple. And when they weren't, hurricanes barred any soul from reaching the chamber of effervescent light.
Even now, when the continual relationship between them seemed unwoven, they still managed to cross paths. It seemed that for a while, the murky water in which they sank drew them further apart. But as days sped on, the countdown to their encounter drew near…
The spark between Kayla and Chuck – or Kayluck – wasn't as vibrant as Chuck and Sarah's was. Yes, they fancied each other, and the initial attraction was there; but Chuck and Sarah – or Charah – seemed right. Everything appeared to fit when they were together. They were best friends, lovers, companions and soul mates. And although, stereotypically, they didn't appear as the others' most likely candidate (him being the nerd, her being the gorgeous spy), they did defy all initial opinions.
Chuck's relationship with Kayla was…different. Although it was the normal, typical relationship that most people had, it entirely differed from the relationship he shared with Sarah. Chuck wasn't in love with Kayla. Yes, they had only been dating for a few weeks; but that ambitious sense of longing wasn't truly felt by him. He really liked her and was extremely fond of her, but not in love with her, like the love he unknowingly had before. Yet, he saw Kayla as a symbol of promise – a promise that he would not be left alone for the rest of his life. To him, she was like the Statue of Liberty, giving him a chance to free himself from the claws of solitude.
Chuck and Kayla made their way through the crowd of people. They stood, dressed to impress the queen at Terrance Baines business party. Chuck went by the alias of Charles Carmichael, where he was hoping to score a few 'business' deals at the party. This would surely bring him closer to the inner circle of Baines Corporation where he could take it down – from the inside.
"Thank you, Mr Bailey; we will be in touch," Chuck stated, as he made contacts with a few businessmen. Kayla stood by his side, drawing a lot more men towards him due to her stunning features and toying attitude.
"Okay, Chuck; over there." He glanced in the direction where Kayla was pointing, catching a glimpse of a slightly short, half-bald man. Clearly this fellow was familiar as he flashed on him. A constipated expression covered his face, as his mind filled with information about the peculiar-looking man. "That is-"
"I know, Mr Vaughn – the middle man of Baines Corporation, setting us business deals and transactions. He sells a lot of Baines Corporation's products to the public. He is also a very close friend of Terrance," Chuck proceeded.
"Yeah…how did you know that?"
He tapped the side of his head, "The Intersect."
Kayla still looked stunned, but continued to explain the plan. "Yeah…so if you become friends with him, you become friends with Baines himself."
They glanced over to where Mr Vaughn was situated. He was in a crowd, talking with a bunch of influential people. They decided to wait for the crowd that surrounded him to disperse before they went to 'chat him up'. In the meantime, they sat by the bar where they ordered a few drinks.
"Do you believe in magic?" Chuck abruptly asked her.
Her eyes kept glancing at Mr Vaughn, trying to keep focus on the mission. "Uh, what like…fairies and mer-"
"You believe in fairies?" Chuck excitedly asked, hoping that her answer would be yes.
"Huh? No. Why? Do you?"
"What? No…that's preposterous…" he quickly lied, covering up his childhood fantasies. "What I mean is magical items, like medallions or…rings. You know…that can do crazy things to you…like mess with your mind and make you hallucinate. Or, make you foresee the future…or past. Which I wouldn't really see the point in, because obviously you already know what has happened in the past…"
"Your point, Chuck," she sternly replied, her eyes still on Mr Vaughn.
"Do you believe in those sort of supernatural things?"
"Do I believe in the unexplainable? No, I don't Chuck. Magicians have tricks, ghosts don't exist and Big Foot is a myth. They are just fantasies, Chuck; concocted by people high on drugs."
It took a while before her cynical attitude sank in. "…I can't believe you just said Big Foot isn't real…"
She began to ignore his ramblings, "Focus on the mission, Chuck."
This cranky attitude of hers on missions stirred from her lack of fondness when it came to messing up. She knew that if someone distracted her, the chances of her making a mistake would increase. He continued to order another martini, as he analysed what Kayla had said. He knew he wasn't able to talk to her and bear his feelings as she might just judge him, and he didn't want his opinions to be trampled on. But he so wanted to talk. He wanted to analyse and explain what those flashbacks were and what they meant. He wanted to know why it only occurred whenever he would slip on his wedding ring. He wanted to understand, but was resistant to talk to her about it. He was so confused – who was this person that kept re-appearing in his mind? He never knew her name, yet she seemed so familiar to him. And why did his emotions seem to flood like a waterfall whenever he would see her face? She sparked depth inside of him that he couldn't understand.
"Okay, the crowd is gone. Let's go talk to him. You remember your cover story?" she asked. He nodded whilst smiling at her half-heartedly. It was time to do business. He straightened up, and made himself appear presentable and formal.
"Mr Vaughn, hi. My name is Charles Carmichael," he introduced, whilst shaking the wealthy businessman's hand.
"Mr Carmichael? You sound so familiar. Have we met before?" he replied, his British accent clearly accentuated.
"I used to work with Andrew Baines," Chuck lied, following through with his cover story.
"Oh, I see."
"Are you enjoyin-"
"Mr Vaughn!" A British voice shouted from across the room, interrupting their conversation. The man walked to where they were.
"Good day, Terrance. A very pleasing party, I might add." They shook hands.
"Well I do aim to please."
"Congratulations on becoming chairperson of Baines Corporation. Your brother mustn't be too content with the news. Though, where is Andrew? I haven't seen him around lately," Vaughn replied.
"He has been held up…elsewhere," Terrance remarked. This caused Kayla to smirk as Chuck began to chuckle. He definitely had been held up. And they knew where.
Chuck's snicker drew Terrance's attention towards them. Looking through the lens of formal, rectangular eyeglasses, his green eyes stared directly at Bartowski. He appeared like a professional businessman who played the role of 'nerd' in his high school drama; though rising from the toilet where many a nerd's face was dunked, he grew up to become a respectable, wealthy CEO of a bad corporation. Chuck felt bewildered by their presence, seeing as he never knew them. "Uh, hello. And who might you two be?" he asked.
Chuck didn't hesitate in reply, "Hello, Mr Baines. The name is Charles Carmichael. This here is my lovely wife." Terrance eyed her, admiring her exquisite features.
"Married but no wedding ring, Mr Carmichael? That's a tinge bold," he exclaimed, noticing the lack of ring round Chuck's finger. Chuck glanced down, realising that he hadn't put the ring back on. He took it off earlier to avoid having to deal with the constant headache that he would experience after every flashback he encountered. Yet, the lack of wedding attire made Kayla slightly annoyed. He was blowing their cover.
"Uh, did I say married? I meant engaged. I apologise, I just cannot wait for our big day! Isn't that right, honey?" he replied. She plastered her face with a false smile, keeping up appearances.
"Well, congratulations. But I do believe that we have never met before, and I am not too fond of party-crashers. So if-"
"No, hush now, Terrance. They aren't crashing the party. Carmichael here used to work with your brother," Vaughn interrupted.
"You worked with Andrew?"
"Yes. And I was hoping that I could speak to you, seeing as Andrew is no longer head of Baines Corp," Chuck replied.
"You want to talk business? Well, Carmichael, this is a party. You don't discuss business at a party."
"But this is a business party, is it not?" Kayla interjected.
"That's a quick tongue you have there…" Terrance remarked. He was quite bewildered in their presence. He had never seen them before in his life. Yet here they were, supposedly having worked with his brother.
After mentally debating what to do, he extracted his business card form his blazer pocket and handed it to Chuck. "Here. You can call me tomorrow. I will arrange a meeting for you – is 12 o' clock suitable?" Chuck took the card that was handed to him, happy that the plan was going well so far.
"Uh, yes. I do believe that will be fine," he replied.
"You know what is funny? You say you worked with my brother, but I have never seen you before…"
"Uh, private contractor…" Chuck stuttered.
"Hmmm… Well I will inform my assistant about our meet. 12 o'clock – do not be late."
Chuck nodded in acceptance as Baines went off, gesturing Vaughn to follow.
He smiled at Kayla, feeling victorious so far. "Well, there, see. That wasn't so bad. Not to mention, I make a pretty good businessman."
"Yes you do." she smiled. "Just remember the ring next time."
"Hey, I think I covered up quite nicely." She rolled her eyes. He continued, "Maybe I should have added a British accent. That would have been fun. 'Boy George, I cried. That mate a right ol' punter like them tossers on the telly.'"
"A'ryt, blimey. Don' get ya knickers in a twist."
"Twas a fortnight whence–" Kayla walked off. "Crikey, she blinkered. Cherry along now dear-"
"All right, all right. Blimey, ye say one thin' wrong and the misses bite your arm off!"
Baines continued to walk with Vaughn, appearing as though they were having a private chat. "Did that man seem oddly suspicious to you?"
"Yes I believe he did," Vaughn replied.
"Keep an eye on him, close friend. I don't want him anywhere near our secrets."
"Will do, Terrance, will do."
She slammed the door shut. Just like the motion of waves bashing against the rocks of the shore, her heart felt battered. Her watery eyes began to fill with tears as she flung her luggage onto the bed of her green hotel room. She stood, motionless in thought as she pressed her rear against the edge of her bed, wiping away her streaming tears. He doesn't remember me? She couldn't believe it – Chuck Bartowski had forgotten Sarah Walker. He doesn't remember me? She didn't know what to feel, what emotions were appropriate in a situation such as this. She felt the tables turn as she found herself stuck in the predicament Chuck had been in before – his wife had forgotten him; now her husband had no memory of her. Her heart flooded with grief, anger and misunderstandings. All this work to get him back when there was no chance of that in the first place! But she knew that she had done the right thing. She couldn't live in a world of forgotten memory. She made the right choice in getting her life back. But only if the plan was successful sooner! Her fingers dug into the mattress of her hotel bed as her heart filled with angst. Her jaw clenched as tears continually streamed down her face. What happens now?
Her head jolted up. A knock on the door? Who? She didn't want to be disturbed now during her whimpering state. The knocks were heard again. "Hello? Sarah?" The echoing voice from outside seemed familiar and she knew she had to let the person in.
Upon opening the door, she abruptly cleaned away her trying tears. Nevertheless, the red colour and raw texture of her face remained prominent.
"Sarah. Hi. Wow, you're back… you are really back."
"Hi, Morgan," she replied, sniffing as a result of her vulnerable state.
"What's wrong? Are you all right?" he asked with concern, still bewildered to find her in Burbank. She placed her fingers over her face as she compressed her eyes shut, trying not to cry anymore. "Oh… Sarah, is everything okay?"
She shook her head. No awkwardness was felt between them, besides for the fact that they hadn't seen each other in over a year. He stroked her arm, trying to comfort her. Her inevitable tears malignantly reappeared as she tried to wipe them away. But they kept coming. "Hey, hey, hey – what's wrong Sarah? What happened?"
The bedroom mattress of her hotel room sunk in as she propped herself among it, continually sniffing away her tears. "Is it true?" she eventually replied. Her eyes gazed upon his, so red and filled with pain. Morgan crumbled as feelings of sorrow encompassed him. He knew. He just knew she was talking about the information Ellie didn't want her to know. Regardless, his instinctive fear had been spot on – she did know. He moved his eyes away from her lamenting gaze.
"Sarah, you – you don't understand. The situation…"
"I know, Morgan. I know why. I know how. I just feel…" her malignant tears began to reappear once again, "...lost," she exclaimed, jamming her eyes shut. "I came back for a reason and now…Morgan, I sto-"
"Ellie told me."
Her jaw clenched as the seeping pain overshadowed her bright sky once again. He didn't really know what to do. He hadn't seen her in over a year. Then all of a sudden she had returned in the hopes of rekindling her forgotten love, unaware that her 'forgotten love' forgot her.
"I didn't know – we didn't know you were planning on coming back," he muttered.
Silence lingered for a while before she decided to respond. "Neither did I."
This statement prompted a response from him. He felt concerned, but also found her state to be rather confusing. "Sarah," he exclaimed as she looked up to face him, "Sarah… why did you do it? Why did you come back if you had decided to leave Burbank; to leave Chuck?"
She began to look even more dumbfounded. "Morgan, what are you talking about?"
"The divorce papers – why come back if you decided to leave…for good?" Her eyes bolted open with shock.
"I just don't understand, Sarah."
"Morgan, what are you talking about?" she repeated, her pace speeding up. "What divorce papers? I never sent any divorce papers…"
"Sarah, your signature was on the page."
"I would never ever do that. Not to Chuck. I could never – I would never divorce Chuck."
The pale expression among Morgan's face displayed his fear prominently as his body started to compulsively shake. The entire situation seemed to morph into a giant sea urchin that slowly began to swallow them all whole. He gulped as his mouth stood slightly open. She started to pull her gaze away from him as she sat, deep in thought. Out of all the emotions that enveloped her, rage and confusion seemed to sprout out the most. Someone sent Chuck divorce papers; someone wanted them apart; someone – some outsider was behind it all. And it was looking more and more like a conspiracy to her. "Morgan, are Chuck and I divorced?"
Shock consumed him, preventing him from releasing an immediate response. The lack of reply made Sarah realise that her marriage with her 'forgotten love' was over.
That news, above all else, hurt her the most. Like a seed, anger and frustration began to grow and grow and ferment, sprouting weeds inside her heart. "Morgan, who would sabotage my marriage?''
"I don't know, Sarah. I don't know…" He then smirked, muttering to himself, "Humph, Kayla perhaps."
Her name hadn't been mentioned to Sarah. No one wanted to break her heart further by mentioning that not only had her husband forgotten and divorced her, but he had also started seeing someone else.
"Kayla? Who is Kayla?"
A sudden beeping noise erupted from Sarah's phone, preventing Morgan from spilling the beans. "It's from Beckman," she stated. "She wants me in Castle. Morgan, this conversation isn't over. I am going to get down to the bottom of this. My relationship with Chuck isn't over, no matter who tries to come between us."
"At a girl," he cheerfully replied. But she had left already, leaving him alone in her apartment.
"General, I know that you have something to discuss with me, but there is something that I really need to tell you," she frantically stated, as she made her way down the steps of Castle.
"Yes, Sarah. We can get to that in a moment. First, Casey and I have devised a plan. Now this will only buy you some time as we don't have enough substantial evidence."
"We have pinned Andrew Baines as the sole suspect to have stolen the Intersect glasses from the CIA. We have stated that he had hired a team to steal it for him," Casey continued. Sarah stared at both of them, trying to absorb the information that they provided. Yet her mind still burned with desire to tell them her news.
"This will allow you to meet with him, giving us a chance to extract further information that will help us take down Baines Corporation," stated Beckman. "So far he has done a good job at keeping his mouth shut, but seeing as you brought him in, perhaps you can persuade him to do otherwise."
"Yes, General," Sarah quickly responded. Her constant fidgeting and the biting of her lower lip told them she desperately had something to get off her chest.
"The meet will occur in Castle later today."
A lingering silence followed Beckman's statement. Sarah anxiously waited till it was appropriate to speak.
"Oh heavens, Sarah, just say it."
"Morgan just told me that Chuck and I are divorced. Someone forged my signature."
Confusion clouded their eyes. "Forged your signa – Sarah, you were the one that divorced him?"
"I would never do that. Not to Chuck. And you both, of all people, should not have sat back and accepted that."
"Sarah, your memory –"
"This has nothing to do with my memory, General! If I was so ready to divorce Chuck don't you think I would have done so immediately instead of wait? General, this has to be a set up. Some big conspiracy."
"What do you mean?"
"I think someone is purposefully trying to keep Chuck and I apart. A forged divorce? Oh please, come on. And what logical reason is there for the government to force Chuck to forget about me? 'Emotional liability' is bullshit. General, they threatened to kill him! If he didn't choose to forget me, I would have returned to a grave site."
"Agent Walker, am I to believe that you are accusing the CIA of a federal crime? Are you not aware that this is treason?"
Sarah's glaring eyes loitered upon the General's on the screen. Fumes blared through her nostrils. "How many times has someone in the CIA gone rogue? Fulcrum, the Ring, Quinn, Decker, even Volkoff. You cannot sit back, General, and tell me that there is not something going on here!"
"Sarah, relax. We will-"
"Relax? How can I relax? They have now forced me to call Chuck my ex-husband! How can I ever feel relaxed by that?"
Her feet paced around the room as frustration and anger burned within her. She so desperately wanted to find out who was responsible. Like a Grand Prix race, Sarah's mind charged with thought, constantly circling around the track, desperately trying to reach the finish line. She wanted to come to a conclusion and tie all the pieces together before it was too late, before she would lose the race.
"So you think someone in the CIA is purposely trying to keep you and Chuck apart? Why?" Casey questioned.
"I don't know. I don't know who and I don't know why. But I am definitely going to find out."
"Sounds like Major General Lee's involved," Casey retorted.
"Major General Lee? I've heard of him. What's his involvement?"
Beckman sighed. "We now all work for him."
"Yeah. He authorised Chuck's Intersect memory erase," Casey explained. "If there's anyone you ought to have a little chat with it's him."
"Let's first have a talk with Baines. Casey, you know this means that Sarah can't do the meet. If the CIA are conspiring, then knowing that Sa-"
"No General, let me do it. Just tell them that Casey will. That way they will agree to the plan."
Beckman looked nervous as she puckered her lips. "Sarah, how sure are you about this theory?"
"I – I don't have facts. I just know that someone is taking Chuck away from me and the CIA is involved."
"You do understand that if we are incorrect we could all end up with life imprisonment for treason?"
"I don't care, General. I just want Chuck back."
"Okay. Set up the meet."
Laughter and conversation spewed from the table where the Grimes/Tucker family sat; although Big Mike appeared forlorn. "Ha-ha, so mom acted all surprised when he said he was Rain in Earth, Wind, Fire and Rain. She didn't believe it one bit," Morgan laughed.
"How could I? I could never believe my man was a celebrity," Bologna giggled.
"And how did you react, Big Mike, when she stared at you with disbelief?" Alex smiled, intrigued by the story.
"Oh, naturally he was hurt. He wouldn't talk to me for a week after that."
"Yeah, ha-ha, I remember – that week was torturous for us employees. Hey Big Mike, tell Alex what you did to us."
Big Mike glanced up and faced the staring eyes from his family at the table. "Oh, I'd rather not."
Everyone gestured for him to tell the story. The more he refused, the more they wanted to hear. "Come on, Michael. Tell her your story," Bologna nudged. Eventually the blood boiling from within him sprung to the surface. "I said NO!" he yelled, as he pushed his seat from the table. He got up and left the room, leaving everyone else slightly jarred by his outburst.
"I better go see what's with him."
"No, mom, I will. Maybe it is work related," Morgan replied. He assumed it had something to do with Sub More, seeing as his dad now worked there. But Morgan offered to console his stepdad, seeing as he was the one everyone lately expressed their internal issues to. He felt he had always played that role, and now he thought it was only logical that he would assist his stepdad in lifting that internal burden.
Big Mike remained in the kitchen, scuffling through the cupboards. A large racket could be heard from his rumblings. "Hey, what's bothering you?" Morgan asked. There was no reply. "What are you doing?"
"I am looking for some Danish! Is there something wrong with that, son? Can't a man eat some Danish?" he replied with a fluster. Morgan shut his mouth. He knew something was bothering his stepdad and he didn't want to say anything that could make the situation worse.
After the failed attempt at searching for his comfort food, Big Mike quietened down. A large sigh was emitted from him as he finally spoke solemnly. "Jeffster was going to be here tonight."
"Jeffster? Jeff and Lester? You were going to invite them?"
"No, son. They wanted to throw a party in Sub More but I ain't the manager there no more. So I told them they can't. They then threatened to have it here."
"And…now you are regretting that choice because secretly you wanted to party with the Jeffsters?" Morgan quipped.
"No. They had already told the whole store about the party. I had to think rash so they would not ruin our lovely night."
"So you killed them?"
"Boy, what is the matter with you? I am being serious here." Morgan's attempt to cheer up his stepfather failed, so he apologised. "I spoke to your father," Big Mike continued, "asked him if they could rather play there, at Sub More. After all your father is the manager."
"Oh, you spoke to him…" Morgan was hesitant in hearing Big Mike's reply. He knew something bad was on the horizon and he didn't want to hear it.
"He said sure, as long I make an agreement." The conversation began to slow down. Morgan remained silent. "He wanted me to invite him to dinner tonight."
"What? You didn't, did you?"
"Well Jeffster ain't here are they?" Big Mike retorted. Sweat was secreted from Morgan's palms as he once again got extremely nervous. A chilly breeze shot up his spine as his nerves went hay-wire. His dad was coming; he was going to see his dad – tonight! Big Mike began to whine, "I know Bologna is going to kill me. She does not want to see him. But he was adamant, ya know. He then threatened my job and there no way I would leave Buy - Sub More."
Morgan remained oblivious. He was consumed in his own thoughts and shock. He didn't want to see his dad either. He was even more resistant than his mom was. He couldn't, he wouldn't, he didn't want to at all.
"That's why I have been walking on egg shells all night. I have been anxiously waiting for your dad to arrive." Morgan's jaw hung low. One of his biggest fears, one of his biggest nightmares was about to come true and he couldn't take it. He stood in disbelief, just like his mother did when she found out Big Mike used to be Rain. He didn't want to have to deal with this – not now, not ever.
"Morgan," Alex spoke, appearing from the dining room. "Is everything all right?"
"Uh…yeah…Alex, you know, it is getting quite late. Perhaps we should-"
"Son, you ain't going nowhere. He came to see you!"
That statement jolted him. Now his dad wanted to see him. Now his dad decided to talk to him. So when his dad was ready to meet, that's when it was final? An entire month had passed and only now was his dad ready to talk to his son.
"No. You know what; I am sick and tired of everyone controlling my life. He can't just decide when to see me. He doesn't control me, he isn't my father! The moment he left, he stopped having that privilege. When I decide I am ready to see him that is when we will meet." Morgan's uproar startled Bologna and she suddenly made her appearance in the kitchen, trying to catch a glimpse of what the racket was all about. "Come Alex, we are leaving." She look flustered, not clearly understanding what Morgan was going on about. But she figured it had to do with his dad and understood that was a touchy subject. So she followed him, not questioning his decision to leave.
"Meho, why are you going so early in the night?" asked his mom.
"Ask my stepdad!" he fiercely interjected.
Alex took her bag and Morgan took his things as they walked with great pace to the front door. He frequently shook his head as he took one last glance back at his mom and Big Mike and swiped the door open. A shadow overburdened him and Alex as he swiftly jolted his head round, facing the darkened creature. "Morgan, my boy," the shadow spoke.
The chair from the interrogation room in Castle started to creak as Andrew Baines began to rock back and forth. He was getting impatient. No one had shown their face. Supposedly he was meant to meet with Casey; the big, scary spy he was rumoured to be. But Andrew's snarky attitude wasn't frightened by the big bad wolf.
"Come on in, Casey. I don't bite," Andrew prompted. Still silence. "Don't be afraid – I am more scared of you than you are of me," he teased, using the classic spider remark that parents give their kids. Still silence. He began to whistle, droning the room in a sound of off-tuned music. Finally – the door slammed open. A grin clouded the clown's face, "Took you a while."
It wasn't long before he was startled by the new presence in the room. "Ms Walker. What a lovely surprise." She remained quiet. "You know, I heard a funny story recently. I think you will like it. The government told me – now listen carefully – that I was being tried for breaking into the CIA and stealing very special glasses from their safe. And when I heard that, I couldn't help but laugh," his voice began to get softer, "because we both know who really stole that unique equipment. Don't we, Ms Walker?" She remained tolerant and stern. She couldn't show emotion with him. She had been through his toying and annoying behaviour before and she knew how to handle it. The only problem was enduring it again – he really was a pain.
"That's not what I came to talk to you about," she replied.
"You have been very tight nipped with regard to Baines Corporation. We would like to know about your brother, about the company itself, and how we can take it down." Her voice remained emotionless in tone.
"Really? Is that what you wanted to talk about?"
"Why has your brother only surfaced now?"
"Those really aren't the questions you should be aski-"
"Why has your brother only surfaced now?"
"You should be asking more personal quest-"
"Why has your brother only surfaced now?"
"Questions that are more related to y-"
"Why has your brother only surfaced now?"
"The answers you are dying for – I have them. All you have to do is ask the righ-"
"Dammit Baines, could you just answer the damn question?"
"What is it with you yelling at me? Seriously, I have sensitive ears."
His grin was more prominent now among his face. "Why don't you ask me what you really want to ask me and then afterwards we can discuss other matters," he continued. She grinded her teeth as his attitude started to get under her skin. She never responded, so he decided to continue his pestering tease. "Did it work? Your plan?" They both knew what he was referring to. "Did you get what…you wanted?" he winked. "What is it that you wanted exactly?"
"Baines, you can avoid my questions for as long as you like, but the more you do, the more torturous this interrogation is going to get. You got that?" She was expecting that remark to cause him to retaliate. But he remained as sly as a snake, continuing to slither, not quaked by her threats.
"They set me up, you know."
"Who did, Baines? Your brother?"
"You know that usually 'they' refers to more than one person," he tittered. "But he isn't who I was referring to."
"Maybe they set you up because you were unreliable. Never answered a question when asked one…"
"Nah, that wasn't it. Your bosses – the CIA – they are who I was referring to."
She froze. Her entire body halted in motion, stunned by his statement. Her reaction made him feel victorious. That was exactly the response he desired.
"Oh, didn't you know?" he continued. "I would have told you. If you had asked…"
"What do you mean?" she jittered, every word released slowly and separately.
"Ooh, do I have a story to tell you. You are going to love this one. Get the popcorn!" She remained stunned, anxious for his response. The smirk on his face made her uncertain whether to trust what he was saying or not, so she listened with caution. "Once upon a time, in a land far, far away –"
"I don't want a fairy-tale, Baines. Just tell me the damn story."
"Fine. Be anal." He proceeded to explain, "You remember Fulcrum and the Ring, right? Good, just checking. Well –"
"What about them?"
"I am getting there. Just sit back and listen. They have been working with Baines Corporation –"
"That's impossible. We took them down."
"Seriously, Ms Walker, do you ever let a man finish his story? Gee. Yes, you and your team took down the Ring and Fulcrum. You took down their centre and their 'elders', but you didn't take down every single member of their evil society, did you? All of Fulcrum and the Ring that weren't caught remained hidden in the CIA. Now that I have explained myself, let me carry on with my story. Anyway… you know that Baines Corporation is notorious for our technological attributes…"
"I don't know what you mean."
"…We are a technical company." She still looked confused. "We build things? So Fulcrum and the Ring – let's call them…Fulring – joined hands and decided to make a 'business deal' with us. They wanted us to build them a good Intersect."
"Are you guys able to do that?"
"Yeah, all we needed were a few blueprints and a rough idea. The men in our company are extremely talented, Ms Walker," he winked. "So we made it. But before we could sell it –"
"They bought it –"
"Shut up! No. I, being my nosy self, found out about their 'ulterior motives'. I found out their whole plan, their big idea. They never really needed us to make a simple Intersect for them. They were after power, domination and revenge."
"Revenge? Revenge against who?" she interrupted again. Andrew's smirk widened. He had all the information that he knew Sarah longed for. All he had to do was tell her, but he wasn't going to let it be that easy.
"Let me continue with my story. The Intersect was irrelevant in comparison to what they were really after. They were going to turn on Baines Corp; just using us to get closer to one of our secrets. So what did I do? I turned on them! I went and sold the Intersect glasses on the Black Market so that someone else could get their hands on it. I thought why not make them suffer."
"Then why sell it back to the CIA?" she asked with confusion.
"What? No. Are you that slow? Bloody hell. Fulring tricked me. We didn't know it was a CIA agent when we sold it to them. But apparently, some of Fulring's members are quite high up in the CIA, as they then persuaded the CIA to come after us. Me selling our Intersect on the Black Market gave them a good enough reason to pin us as a bad corporation."
"But Baines Corp. already sells products on the Black Market. You launder and you kill and you make weaponry. Your company is already a bad corporation."
"Yeah, but our hearts are good," he joshed. She didn't seem pleased with his response. Her main focus was on finding out what she needed to know. She wanted to find the people responsible for messing with her relationship with Chuck and she knew that Andrew Baines had that information. "So, they assigned you to take me in to custody, thinking that will take down Baines Corporation and bring them closer to our…secret. But they didn't know that my brother was the real mastermind behind Baines Corp. Always in the background, not the forefront of our company. So when I got taken in, my brother was forced to show his face. Besides, it was going to be a lot harder to take down Baines Corp. than just arresting the heads of it."
"Thank you for finally answering my question from earlier," she snared. He smiled in response, not taken aback by her attitude.
"I know more," he grinned.
His sly behaviour left her uncertain as to whether she could trust him. But she anxiously wanted to know; wanted to know everything he knew. Her lack of reply made him continue, "So your husband – oh apologies. I am so sorry – ex-husband, Charles Carmichael…"
Her blood ran cold. "What do you know about Chuck?"
Now things were beginning to unravel.
Did he know about the divorce and who was behind it?
There was so much that she still was unaware of, and she hated being in the dark.
"So I heard about the divorce. Tough luck. Ag, well there are plenty of other nerds in the sea. You should visit Baines Corporation. Engineers galore!"
She couldn't take his attitude and remarks anymore, especially when it regarded Chuck. She immediately jolted up from her seat and pressed her hands on the table that lay between them. She began to lean over it, creating a menacing appearance. Her gentle facial features suddenly morphed into a somewhat unappealing beast as her face filled with glaring rage. His remark hit too close to home. "Don't you dare say anything about Chuck, Baines. If you make another remark about my husband, you will wish that Fulring had asked me to kill you rather than just arrest you, you got that? Now what do you know about Chuck?" she threatened.
Her demure seemed to only slightly startle him, but her threat sank in. "A lot of things. When I found out Fulring's entire plan, I found out a lot of extra information as well."
"Do you know who was behind Chuck and my divorce?"
The pale expression among his face received more colour as he started to grin again. "Of course, Ms Walker. I know everything."
She burst out of the interrogation room, her pace faster with every step. "Sarah, what did he say?" Casey asked.
"I have to go."
"Go? Go where?" asked Beckman.
"Go to London to warn Chuck. I have to tell him everything; be with him."
"Sarah, what happened in there? What did Baines tell you?"
She never responded, ignoring them as she continued to pack guns into a bag. They remained startled by her darting movements as she quickly paced up the stairs of Castle, about to leave.
"Sarah, you can't tell Chuck. You don't know what the government will do to you if you do!" Beckman shouted, trying to get her to stop. She would be going against the CIA's plan if she told him. Who knows what repercussions could occur. But Sarah didn't care.
"The government? The CIA?" She replied. "Screw the government, General. I want Chuck!"
With that bursting statement, she darted through Castle's door, leaving for London.
The blaring noise from the television could be heard as Chuck shifted through TV channels, trying to find something useful to watch. He wasn't entirely paying attention to the television as his mind still remained elsewhere. He felt so desperate to talk to someone about his flashbacks, about what they meant and why he never remembered them. He thought about the mission, about the meeting with Terrance Baines and contemplated phoning Morgan and discussing what was on his mind. He knew that he should also ask his buddy about the situation with his father. But the whole time difference between USA and California slightly confused him. He also didn't want to burden his friend or talk about something that Morgan preferred to avoid discussing. Ellie was another person that he thought about calling. He hadn't spoken to her in a while and missed his sister immensely. But whenever he tried calling her home phone number or cell, there was no answer. Unbeknownst to him was that she was on a plane on her way to Burbank. So she wouldn't be receiving calls for a while. The only person he could currently talk to was Kayla. And he wasn't sure if her ears were willing to listen.
"Hey. What are you watching?" she asked, as she seated herself next to him on the couch.
"Nothing in particular." He smiled at her, his welcoming expression warming her heart. But she knew that there was something that had been bothering him.
"What's wrong, Chuck?" she asked. He faced her again, acting slightly confused by her query. "I know something has been on your mind lately. And earlier during the mission you wanted to talk to me about something, and I disregarded it, trying to keep focus on the mission. I am sorry for that. I know that something has been bothering you. You can tell me, Chuck." She was trying to bond emotionally with him – to connect – and he sensed that.
"It's just that," he sat up, feeling a lot more open and happy now that she was willing to listen to his feelings. His once despondent and crestfallen feelings began to slightly lift off his burdened chest. "I have been experiencing these flashbacks, or flashes or something, lately and I can't explain them. I had asked Morgan and he said they were memories from a mission…or I don't know. But they seem different each time and I don't remember any of them."
"That is weird. Hah, maybe you can see into the future! And they aren't flashbacks but flashforwards." He smiled, acknowledging her attempt at trying to cheer him up. To an extent he was, but he still remained confused. "Chuck, I forget stuff all the time. And suddenly out of nowhere I will remember something that has slipped my mind before. It happens. You aren't going insane," she joked.
"I know. But I feel stuff. These memories–"
"–Flashforwards make me feel certain emotions that I can't explain. I don't know why. It is like I am watching a movie and feeling so involved in this character's life that I feel what they feel. But that character is me, only I don't remember why I feel that way," he continued to explain. Kayla listened intently, trying to act as the considerate girlfriend. "And then, there is this person that constantly reappears in my flashbacks – flashforwards."
As he looked towards Kayla, he realised that he shouldn't go into further detail about the main character of his forgotten memories. The blonde-haired, blue eyed, attractive woman caused him to experience emotions that not even Kayla could evoke within him. That left him bewildered. But he didn't want to tell Kayla that. He couldn't tell Kayla that. So he explained the minimum. "And I don't recognise this person, but they seem so familiar; as though I should know them. I feel so emotionally tied with this person, but I have no idea why."
After her considerate listening she decided to put a word in. "Maybe it is a memory that your brain never wanted to remember. Sometimes people experience something so traumatic that they shut that experience out of their lives in order to prevent feeling that deepened sorrow again. Maybe these memories are from a time in your life that traumatised you, so you forced yourself to forget these moments in order to move on." Her words of wisdom shot through him, blazing his heart. He never knew if what she said was true – if he really did shut these moments out of his mind. Yet he felt so loved in the fact that she was willing to listen to his problems; be there for him and try and find a solution. He felt closer to her, as though he could now talk to her about his emotional entanglements and feelings without the constant fear of being judged. She smiled at him, trying to comfort him with accepting warmth.
Just as they both leaned in for a kiss, there was a sudden knock on the door, interrupting their embrace. "I will get that," Kayla offered.
"No, don't worry. I got this one."
As he started to feel more content in his emotions; less confused and forlorn, he swiftly opened the front door of his hotel room. In a single glance, feelings of sorrow, love, regret, worry, comfort, joy and longing all began to seep through the cracks of his lost memory. It was her. Her!
"Hello Chuck," Sarah greeted.