Disclaimer: I don't own Chuck.
A/N: This will definitely be a Charah Story. The concept of this story is, all character histories, pre-9.11 will be as consistent with the show as I could make it. However, Chuck made a commitment to duty as a reaction to the 9.11 attack, this story will describe how everyone's life changed because of his decision.
I highly respect to all those who serve their country. As I am British, I do not have a full understanding on how everything works in the US military, so please let me know if you spot any mistakes in my military knowledge, I meant no disrespect, and would like to learn more about it. I would be very grateful for any corrections. The same goes with my grammar, spelling and punctuations, any mistakes, please let me know.
I try to do as much relevant research about what I am writing as possible, for e.g. I only realised half way through my first chapter, that Stanford have quarter terms, and September 11 is not actually during term time. I managed to see this mistake before I published my first chapter, however, I may not be so lucky when the next mistake of the sorts came along, so please correct me if I got anything wrong.
Despite that, please bear in mind this is a fiction.
Finally let me know what you think about the story, I welcome any suggestions and ideas.
Cheers for reading, hope you enjoy the story.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything.
Chuck vs the National Tragedy
September 11, 2001
Chuck Bartowski was working in the cage of Burbank Buy More, this was his vacation job, he would be starting junior year at Stanford in less than 2 weeks. Chuck Bartowski double majored in Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, he started taking applied sciences classes a year ago when he realised, he would be completing the degree requirement for both Electrical and Mechanical Engineering before he finishes his junior year, and he would like to graduate with all of his classmates. But even with the third major added, he was still ahead of schedule.
Chuck had been assigned to repair all the parts built up in the cage, so he headed straight for the cage when he came in to the store in the morning, not minding anything else. With his skills, not surprisingly, he had finished before 4pm, all the repairs built up since he last left for the summer quarter of his sophomore year. For the last 5 hours, he was working on a robotic arm he designed. Chuck could literally see the potential market for a robotic arm with this kind of precision control and rapid feedback, if it ever works. Tonight, he finally finished debugging his code, and got it working, so he was pretty happy with himself; in fact, he was ecstatic, his sister would be so proud of him. However, Chuck Bartowski kept on feeling something else on the back of his mind, something significant he missed. Then it came to him, no one had bothered him all day, this is highly unusual with Jeff, Lester and his childhood friend Morgan around. Chuck asked himself. Where was everyone today?
Chuck decided that was a mystery he didn't care to solve, it was now time to get home, he didn't want Ellie to worry, plus he was pretty hungry, as he only had two sandwiches he brought from home, for the whole day.
As he finally locked up Buy More, he couldn't help but notice the quietness of the whole town. This quietness was suddenly interrupted by a fast approaching car, Chuck squinted, and realised it was Bryce's car.
Bryce Larkin was Chuck's best friend since he started college. Back in freshman year, when he befriended Chuck, he didn't realise not only Chuck would become his best friend, but he had just gained a family. His own family never really cared about him, Chuck was the first person who genuinely cared for him, never judged him, and pushed him wanting to be better. Then came Ellie. Bryce ended up spending more time with Chuck's family in the past 2 years than he did with his own family. And again for this summer vacation, he was staying with the Bartowski siblings and Ellie's boyfriend, Captain Awesome. Bryce knew he would do anything for the Bartowski siblings.
Chuck looked at Bryce, and noticed an expression never seen on his friend's face. Gone was the cheerful, confident and almost smug look, Bryce looked, panicked and vacant as he approached Chuck. Chuck was worried, his friend was never like this, he asked, "What's going on, buddy? Are you okay?"
Bryce almost chuckled at this, he was supposed to check up on Chuck for Ellie, not the other way round. "Yeah, I'm fine, buddy. Ellie was worried, you didn't answer your phone for the whole day."
Chuck checked his phone immediately, there it is, he got 34 missed calls from his sister. Chuck immediately called back, and Ellie answered on the first ring.
"Chuck!" exclaimed a very anxious Ellie.
"Hey sis, are you okay? Sorry, I didn't answer your call earlier. I just saw your 34 missed calls when Bryce prompted me. What's going on Ellie…" …" Chuck started to babble from his own anxiety.
"You are babbling again, Chuck." Said Ellie, sounding much more relaxed. "I am fine, just come home, okay?"
"Sure, I am heading back now, I'll see you soon sis."
September 11, 2001,
Bryce drove Chuck back to Echo park in silence, Chuck wasn't able to get Bryce to tell him what's going on, except a "You'll see when you get home." Seeing the solemn expression on his best friend's face, Chuck decided to leave it alone, until he can get back to Ellie's apartment.
The moment they stepped into the apartment complex, a brunette woman run out of her apartment, and enveloped Chuck in a bone crushing hug. Chuck returned the gesture, albeit not as strongly, as he was trying to breathe.
"Thank God, you are okay, Chuck." Muffled a sobbing Ellie.
By now, Chuck became somewhat frustrated, he still didn't know where all these angst come from, and nobody was telling him anything. "What's going on, sis?"
Ellie let go of his brother, and could tell he was still oblivious to the tragedy taken place today. She didn't know where to start, "let's get back into the apartment, you will understand once you watched the news."
Bryce and Chuck followed Ellie back into the apartment, first thing Chuck noticed was Captain Awesome, hopefully his future brother-in-law, sitting on the sofa with a vacant expression, eyes locked on to the television set. Only then, Chuck directed his attention towards the TV, needless to say, he was shocked by what he was seeing.
For the first time, Chuck saw the footage of the attack, the footage of smoke coming out of the Twin Towers, the footage of the collapsing Twin Towers and the footage of the wrecked Pentagon. He collapsed on to the bed, next to Awesome. Like Devon "Awesome" Woodcomb, his eyes were transfixed on the television.
"Oh God." That was the only sound came out of Chuck's lips for the next hour.
Nobody said a word for the next hour. Chuck finally broke the silence by asking if Devon and Bryce's families are alright. Bryce smiled at this, it seemed like nothing could stop his best friend from worrying about the others. After getting confirmations from both Devon and Bryce, Chuck went off to call his girlfriend Jill Roberts.
10 minutes later, Chuck came back, and explained Jill was with her family, they were all fine, and she wanted to be alone for now. Chuck complied with her wishes after some protest.
The four family members then chatted for hours with each other, about nothing and everything, till everyone fell asleep.
September 12, 2001
Buy More was closed for the rest of the week. Bryce and Chuck were playing video games, trying to not think about what happened the day before, with no success. Chuck suddenly stopped the game and turned to Bryce.
"What the hell, Chuck? I was winning!"
"I am joining the Navy, Bryce." Chuck said rapidly, he didn't get much sleep, and had been thinking hard since 4 am in the morning.
Bryce was taken aback by Chuck's statement. He let go of the controller, and turned his full attention to Chuck. "Chuck, are you sure about this? What about your dream of becoming a software billionaire."
"The world doesn't need another software billionaire, being a software billionaire won't help me to prevent all those death taken place yesterday. All those lives, there were parents, sons, daughters, sisters…" Chuck paused for a moment to compose himself, and with a more determined voice, said, "My sister is becoming a doctor, she would be helping people for the rest of her life. When all I am doing is helping myself, I can't be that selfish. By joining the Navy, however little, I would be able to do my part to help preventing the next attack."
Bryce was moved by Chuck's speech, he and his sister were the only two people able to do this to him, so of course would support his friend. "Chuck, the last thing you are is selfish. If you are sure about this, of course I will support you. But make sure you think this through, have you talked to Ellie and Jill yet?"
"No, I haven't, I am going to tell Jill when we get back to Stanford, I hope she can understand." Chuck looked down, clearly unsure of how that conversation was going to go, then he looked up again with determination. "If I haven't changed my mind by the evening, I will tell Ellie then." Despite saying that, Bryce could tell from his eyes that, he already had his mind set on it. And when Chuck Bartowski set his mind on something, he would not be dissuaded, and he would do it to the best of his abilities. The best of one's abilities, when it comes to the Bartowski's, it was rather scary.
"Sure, would you like me to be there for you when you talk to Ellie?" Bryce asked his best friend sincerely.
"If you could, that would be great, buddy. Thank you! Besides, it's a family discussion, and you are part of the family." Chuck replied with a small but a genuine smile. Bryce didn't know how Chuck does it, he always seemed able to touch his soul, the way even his parents couldn't.
The idea of having Chuck react to the 9.11 attack came from the story 'Chuck vs the Day that Changed Everything' by supsfan18, which was an absolute brilliant story, if he/she ever get to finish it.