"I think." Chuck muttered, "We had better find some place more secure to talk about this."
"The Library." Chuck nodded. The private study rooms were sound proofed.
Once they had found an empty one checked the place over, and locked the door, Chuck turned to Bryce.
"By the way it's way too late to protect me. If Orion wanted me uninvolved he shouldn't of left me to be raised by a Marine. I should be the one protecting you at this point."
"Raised by a Marine? What are you talking about Chuck, you live with your Uncle and your sister."
"Right, Uncle. Let me start from the beginning." It took the better part of an hour for Chuck to give a highly edited version of what had happened to him since his Dad left him and his sister.
"So, In conclusion, I'm Analyst Carmichael, to be Lieutenant Carmichael at graduation, your technical superior on the Intersect Project. Let's get to work."
A day before Chuck's twenty-sixth birthday everything in Chuck's life decided to go bat-shit crazy once again. Bryce had been agitated for weeks, and then suddenly out of the blue that agitation turned into stealing the intersect and sending it to Chuck?
Now Chuck was sitting in General Beckmahn's office once again, a place he tried to avoid like the plague outside of his quarterly reports, and trying to prove he wasn't a traitor, fishing desperately for some explanation as to why Bryce would abandon his partner in the middle of a mission, break into the most secure facility practically on the planet, send Chuck the intersect, which Chuck already had complete access to, trick Chuck into downloading the intersect, and then promptly die. None of it made any sense, and all Chuck could do was wait, in his day old crumpled uniform, mourning one of his best friends, head in hands for General Beckmahn to get off the phone, and decide his fate.
Chuck looked up sharply as the phone clicked in its cradle.
"It seems Bryce's partner confirms your story. Bryce has been acting oddly for days. You're off the hook Lieutenant Carmichael." Chuck breathed a sigh of relief. "However, we've been ordered to help the CIA clean house. You're booked on a flight to California in the morning."
"Bryce sent several encrypted communicates out there just before he started acting strangely. You'll be debriefed on the plane by Major Casey, you've worked with him before I believe, and meet your CIA liaison in Los Angeles."
"Yes, Ma'am." Chuck saluted and turned to go.
"And Chuck?" Chuck turned back to the general. "This is the first field test of the Intersect, as unorthodox as the circumstances are. If you screw this up you won't see the light of day for a very long time. I'd hate to lose my best analyst."
"Understood, Ma'am." And with that Chuck left to go pack, giving up on the hope of sleep for the next several days.
Casey was the same as he remembered, from the last time he had seen him several months ago at some meeting or another. He merely grunted at Chuck after the formal salutes were over, and they had boarded the plane. Although it felt odd to be in uniform. Normally when it was just the two of them they wore civies, and no matter what uniform Chuck wore, to Casey, he was still that skinny ass kid from Burbank, and they fell back into old patterns quickly. Not a hint of military bearing or protocol between them, despite the difference in ranks, getting right down to work.
They land at the LA Air Force Base around noon. After changing into fresh uniforms they head out to Burbank where the CIA base is located, and their contact, Bryce's old partner is waiting.
The CIA base is what looks like a normal office building, under the banner of a tech company, mixed in with the hundreds of other normal office buildings, and they find the CIA agent in what looks like a perfectly normal conference room, except that Chuck knows it's sound and bug proof, and the lack of windows is rather telling.
The Agent is blond and leggy and slim, and Chuck can see the outline of no less then 6 separate weapons on her body. On the defensive then, Chuck will be careful. Then she turns.
Chuck manages to keep himself from dropping his coffee just barely, and his face only does an impression of a fish for half a second before he composes it. The Agent is Sarah. His Sarah. He can see her face briefly flicker in surprise too, before she sticks out one elegant hand in greeting, giving him the professional once over. Taking in the uniform, and the shoulder and ankle holster.
"You must be Lieutenant Carmichael." The smooth voice is fake, but the smile she gives Chuck is real.
"And you must be, Agent Walker. It's a pleasure to meet you. Finally."
"Yes, If only it were under better circumstances."
Then they just stand there, smiling slightly at each other. They've come a long way since high school. They're barely recognizable now, but yet…
Casey grunts, interrupting, "Enough with the flirting you two. I'm Major Casey. Just Casey to you Agent Walker. Let's get to work. We have a traitor to find."
Chuck and Sarah jump apart as if scorched, realizing that they had still been holding hands. Finding the recipients of Bryce's mysterious coded emails is going to take some hard work, and they have a hard journey ahead of them, but Chuck feels infinitely better knowing Sarah is by his side.
...And You all Know What Happens From Here
That's all folks! We're up to the beginning of the TV Show. If you have any questions, suggestions and or comments shoot me a review. If one of you has a good idea or wants something expanded I'm down for some re-writing. If you find any grammar or other obvious mistakes shoot me a PM. I loved developing Chuck from nerd to duty driven bad ass like he does in the show but in a different time line. I was also happy to give Casey a kid, because he misses out with so much of Alex. Finally I managed to write out the Buy More characters who I found for the most part blatantly sexist and annoying. I realize they're in the show as both relate characters and wish fulfillment for a lot of people who have to work those shitty dead end jobs, but I mostly just found them creepy and kind of sad. Send me your thoughts if you disagree, but in the mean time TTFN :)