I still don't own Chuck. I'm not sure who does at this point.

I'm not sure why this popped into my head. In the show, for the first couple of seasons anyway, Sarah always had the upper hand in the relationship. She determined how far it could go. And she sometimes acted incredibly unfairly. She would get jealous, send him mixed signals, and then push him away when he tried to act on those signals. She punished Chuck for her own fears and insecurities. And we know why, right? It was classic television WT/WT. Well, Bill isn't bound by television WT/WT rules, lol.

What would happen if Chuck gained the upper hand?

This story is set in the middle of S1. Chuck's not a spy. He doesn't want to be a spy. But there is something that he does want.

I would still appreciate your comments. The worst thing for an author is silence. You can't tell if you're connecting with your readers, if they're getting where you think the story is going or not. And those comments don't have to be praise. Of course, I'd be lying if I tried to say that I don't enjoy the praise. But I actually learn more from the critical comments. Just as long as you're respectful and allow me to respond, you can say anything.

Compromised

x-x-x-x-x

Agent Walker sat in front of the monitor watching intently. Surveillance of a mark was a common part of any Agent's job. She had done this a million times. The truth was she never looked forward to this type of assignment. It was boring and tedious. She was far more into action than watching. She'd normally gladly trade a gunfight for this huge yawn any day.

But not this day.

She watched as the mark paused his activity for a moment and rolled down the window of the car. That was a good thing. The audio that Agent Walker had been straining to hear was now crystal clear.

Wow. Its… its been a while since I've done that.

Me too. I think I tweaked my neck.

Well, it… it wouldn't be an official Chuck Bartowski date if the woman didn't leave injured in some way.

Sarah watched sadly as they resumed their heavy necking. She had to admit, it was hot. Chuck was clearly very good at this… maybe even better in person than all of those times in her imagination. It was something she found herself imagining about more and more often lately. It was getting to be an issue. The only problem was that in her all too frequent fantasies she was the girl… and giving as good as she got.

When Sarah heard Lou invite him inside, her heart sank. She would lose her surveillance feed once they were inside of the Deli. The sad truth was that she probably didn't need surveillance. It was pretty obvious what was going to happen in there. Lou was clearly going to use her professional deli skills to teach him how to play 'hide the salami.' But it was also sort of like a train wreck. Sarah couldn't tear her eyes away from the monitor. She found herself strangely torn. She definitely didn't want to watch her seduce him. But she also didn't want to walk away and be forced to allow her vivid imagination to assume the worst.

It was frustrating. And in Sarah Walker's mind frustration pretty much always quickly turned to rage. She knew herself well enough to figure that out. But who was there to be angry at? Chuck? He'd made it clear that he wanted more. She was the one who had pushed him away.

The worst part was that there simply wasn't a path forward. Chuck wanted a real girlfriend. And even if she was to admit to herself how much she wanted it too… it just couldn't happen. Beckman would make sure of that. Casey was watching their every move, just itching to report that she was compromised. That would mean an immediate, non-negotiable reassignment.

Even Sarah recognized that the panic that was setting in at the thought of being reassigned was far more than the protectiveness of a handler for her asset. She couldn't be separated from him. She just couldn't. That particular ship had already sailed. And the realization of what that really meant made the panic even worse.

Sarah watched helplessly as Lou took him by the hand and led him into the building. And suddenly the resolve overwhelmed her. She really didn't know what. She certainly didn't know how. But she most definitely knew one thing.

Something had to change.

x-x-x-x-x

Chuck took a deep breath before he knocked on the door. For some reason he always felt more than a little intimidated being in Sarah's hotel room.

It was quite the surprise that she asked him here anyway. Things had been pretty tense for the last couple of weeks, what with the Lou thing, the kiss in front of the bomb, finding out that Sarah and Bryce were once an item, and then her accusing him of fake flashing to get her out of getting intimate with that Lon Kirk dude.

But they had made up, right? Just a few minutes ago they were dancing at the Buy More Christmas party. She even rather shyly asked him to stop dating Lou and go back to their cover. She looked relaxed. Then again Chuck would be the first to admit… Sarah Walker was a hard person to read. Talk about ridiculous understatement. She clearly still had to yelling to do. At least she was being merciful and taking him someplace private to scream at him. You had to appreciate that.

So you can probably imagine Chuck's surprise when the door opened. Sarah looked like she was getting ready for bed. Well, bed maybe but certainly not to sleep. She had clearly taken the time to make sure that her hair and makeup were extra perfect. She was wearing a robe. But Chuck could plainly see she was wearing the same purple negligee that she wore in his room a couple of weeks ago. She looked like an angel. He gazed past her to see the candles burning. There was a bottle of champagne chilling on the end table. Something was obviously up. "I'm so sorry," he quickly said. "I must have misunderstood you. Are you expecting Bryce?"

Chuck winced at the words before they were totally out of his mouth. It was a stupid thing to say. Of course she was expecting Bryce. Why else would she be half naked with a dozen candles painting such a romantic mood? But saying it out loud just made him sound jealous. Of course it was absolutely true. He was beyond jealous. But this wasn't the time or place. He'd have to start putting that aside.

Chuck turned to leave. But he found his retreat hampered by her hold on his wrist. And one thing was for sure. If Sarah Walker had a solid hold of you and didn't want you to leave… you weren't leaving.

Sarah's smile was definitely of the sad variety… but it was a smile. "I'm not expecting Bryce," she said. "Why would you think that? I'm expecting you."

Chuck found himself gently but firmly being pulled inside until he was sitting on the sofa with Sarah next to him. "What's going on?" he asked warily as he looked around the room.

Now Sarah's smile was more natural. "Please relax," she said. "This is my private residence. There is no surveillance in here. This is personal. I… Chuck I just wanted to talk to you in private for once. It's plain that we're both a little jealous. I want to make you understand, there is no reason for you to be jealous of Bryce."

Chuck was beyond stunned. Why was she dressed like this? Or more accurately, why was she not dressed like this? She was so breathtaking that it was hard to think. All he could do was nod.

For her part, Sarah was also plainly uncomfortable. "This is hard for me," she finally admitted, her voice no more than a whisper. "I have a confession. But first I want to apologize. I've been such a bitch to you ever since the incident. This isn't an excuse but I was scared and jealous. I didn't know what to do. That always frustrates me. So I took my frustration out on you. You don't deserve that."

"Sarah," Chuck sighed. "It's okay. I understand. You…"

"I'm not really finished," Sarah interrupted, probably a little more harshly than she intended. "It's not okay, not even a little bit. Something has to change. But that's not the confession. I've been trained to withstand Sodium Pentothal."

Chuck paused for a long moment to try and figure out what she was telling him. Finally it hit him and a huge grin took over. "You lied to me," he said. "When I asked if we were ever going anywhere and you said 'no', you were lying."

Sarah was looking anywhere except at Chuck. "I'm sorry," was all she could say. "I thought that I was doing the right thing."

Chuck found it hard to not gloat. "So," he reasoned. "If you were lying, that means you think that we ARE going somewhere."

Sarah was clearly a big fan of binary logic because suddenly they were kissing. Sure, they had kissed before, several times. This was different than any of the others. It wasn't one of those short pecks in front of Ellie designed to protect their cover. It wasn't even like the hard desperate kiss on that dock that she called 'the incident.' This was simply electric. It was tender, reaching, and affectionate. Okay, so there was more than a little passion mixed in. However you would describe it, it was head and shoulders the highlight of Chuck's life.

They hadn't necked for very long at all before Sarah pulled Chuck to his feet. She had somehow lost her robe and was pulling him toward her bed.

Chuck was in love with Sarah Walker. He knew that he was. She was everything that he could ever ask for in a woman, so far out of his league that it was ridiculous. Any denial would be pointless. The honest truth was that he had been in love with her for a while.

So that meant he currently had the woman he was in love with, not to mention arguably the most beautiful woman in the world, clearly attempting to seduce him. In retrospect, maybe he should have waited until she was finished before attempting to over-analyze the current situation. But that really wouldn't be Chuck, would it? "So," he said. "We're going to be together for real? How is that going to work?"

Sarah was herself plainly over the edge. She shook her head between increasingly hot kisses. "We can't be together," she mumbled. "But I owe you this much. It will have to be enough."

Talk about throwing cold water on something. Chuck stopped in his tracks. "What will have to be enough?" he asked. "Sex? Is that supposed to be enough?"

Sarah was still in seduction mode. "In all fairness," she said between kisses as she fumbled with his belt. "You haven't witnessed the sex yet. I'm thinking it's going to be somewhere in the magical realm."

"You owe me?" Chuck asked incredulously. "That's what this is? You owe me?"

Sarah openly groaned as the seduction she had so meticulously planned for the past two days and fantasized about even longer was now officially on hold. "I'm sorry that I said it like that," she said. "It's not like I'm paying you off. I want this, probably far more than you do. But, Chuck, be reasonable. We can't be together. I wish that we could. But we can't."

"Why?"

Sarah sighed as she released her hold on his now mostly unbuckled belt and took a step back. "Come on, Chuck," she said. "I'm a CIA Agent. I have a duty to honor. You are my asset, maybe the most valuable intelligence asset in the world. I simply can't allow myself to become compromised."

Chuck suddenly found himself angry… very, very angry. "That's bullshit," he snapped. "We both know it."

Sarah was clearly taken aback by Chuck's reaction. The argument seemed so very logical to her, maybe because she repeated it to herself so often. "Why is it bullshit?" she asked softly.

Chuck didn't answer her question… not directly anyway. "Let me ask you something," he said. "What is this about really? Do you love me? Because I sure as hell love you."

Sarah fought down the tingle in her gut. This wasn't the time to get all emotional. She maybe knew, but that was the first time he ever had said it. "What kind of question is that?" she demanded. "It's my job to protect you. I'm doing my best." It was a deflection, sure. Hopefully he wouldn't call her on it. But she sure as hell wasn't close to being emotionally ready to tell him what he wanted to hear… even if it was true.

But Chuck didn't back down. "Of course you are," he said. "Nobody questions that. Now answer my question."

Sarah was plainly getting frustrated. "I don't know what you want me to say," she said, clearly on the edge of rage.

Chuck still didn't back down. "It's a yes or no question," he snapped. "Damn it, Sarah. Answer the question."

Sarah stomped to the other side of the room before rounding angrily. "Yes," she shouted. "I love you, okay? Is that what you wanted to hear? Are you happy now? What's your point?"

Chuck looked at his beautiful yet lethal killing machine handler standing there, nostrils flaring. He had probably never been closer to death than at that moment. Yet he couldn't help the grin from spreading over his face. "Yes," he said. "I'm very happy. Not to be critical, but maybe we can work on your delivery a little. I trust that the next time you tell me, I won't feel like you're about ready to throw a knife into my kidney. You wanted to know my point. Here it is. Compromised means that your feelings might make you make bad decisions, decisions that might endanger me, right?"

Sarah already knew where this was going. But she was now trapped in a losing argument. So she just nodded.

"That's already happened," Chuck insisted. "You've already admitted that you love me. You're already compromised. If we're together or not has nothing to do with it."

Sarah was stunned. The argument she had been hearing her whole career and now accepted as a given was so easily stood on its head. "Maybe," she finally said. "But that's not good news. It means I'm ineffective as your bodyguard. I should ask for a reassignment to protect you. How can I claim to love you and intentionally put you at risk?"

Chuck knew that he shouldn't laugh at her. She was already pissed. He simply couldn't help it. "Wow," he said. "You really haven't thought this through at all, have you?"

Sarah just glared at him.

"There is a huge factor that you're not considering," Chuck insisted. "You'll fight twice as hard for someone you love. I'm much safer with a compromised bodyguard who is in love with me than one who sees me as her job. You honestly don't see that?"

This was getting ridiculous. Two sacred CIA arguments in a row so easily stood on their heads. "Maybe," she said softly. "But there are also other reasons."

Chuck stood and stared at her for a long time. "Not reasons," he finally said as he turned for the door. "Complications maybe, but not reasons. That's why I think I should go."

In a heartbeat, Sarah was in his arms. "Don't go," she said. "I want you to spend the night."

Of course Chuck was torn. This was something that he had dreamed about since the day he met her. But by some instinct he also knew it would be a mistake. If he allowed her to seduce him tonight, then sex would define their relationship. They would never grow beyond it. He needed more from her. And the plain truth was that she needed more from him. He just needed to help her get through those impressive walls.

"There will be other nights," Chuck said softly as he rubbed her back affectionately. "Let's figure out what we honestly are to each other, what our priorities are, and how that fits in with our circumstance. Once we've done that, then I'll spend the night… any night you want."

"Chuck," Sarah pleaded. "Please don't go. Don't you want this?"

Chuck was forced to grin at the utter ridiculousness of the situation. "Sarah," he said. "You'll never know… never, ever know how much I want this. But this isn't some search for a conquest for me. I love you. I want more. Let's figure that out first. It won't take long."

Suddenly Sarah found herself alone. Sure she was frustrated. She had never, ever, ever wanted anything in her whole life as much as she wanted him right now. But she also couldn't help the grin. He loved her, was willing to pass up the night of wild sex she had planned to have something more. That was certainly a first for Sarah Walker. How could it not make you feel great?

But there was also another side. Chuck was clearly going to press her for commitments, demand things she wasn't emotionally ready for. That honestly scared her. She would have to trust him for this to work. Trust wasn't her strength. There had never been a man in her life that she would have even considered trusting like she was considering trusting Chuck, not even close. And their circumstance would make any real relationship complicated. She still had to do anything it took to keep him safe. That was a deal breaker. Whatever they did, Casey and Beckman could never find out. But there was one thing that had to be admitted. In a very real way, it excited her.

Chuck now had the upper hand.

x-x-x-x-x

A/N: I had planned on this being a one shot. But now I find myself interested to see what Chuck will do with the upper hand. So that means at least one more chapter.

x-x-x-x-x