Instant Karma's gonna get you
Gonna knock you right on the head
You better get yourself together
Pretty soon you're gonna be dead
This is my first attempt, so it'll probably bomb, all the more so as I expect some won't like my take on Mortard the Despicable ;^) IMHO two characters never really paid for what they did in the series, Shaw got a small dose of what he deserved, but the other one never did, so here goes.
The bulk of this is about the path to Charah proper, but Morgan gets his comeuppance.
This is set a little bit after the finale, Chuck and Sarah are back living together in the apartment but he's giving her the space she needs while he tries to help her recover what she's lost. Sarah's trying to make sense of the shards of memories and feelings she has swirling around inside herself.
As per the usual disclaimers, I have no rights to any of the characters portrayed.
They sat at either end of the sofa, in a companionable silence. Sarah looked up from the photo albums she was paging through to Chuck, working away at something on his tablet and knew that they'd done this often, knew the comfort that came from just being there together, it felt right, and safe, but she just wished she could remember it. It seemed that the memories that were coming back in bits here and there were only of significant events that left had their mark and arose when something triggered them, but the every day routines that made up their life together, nothing. She often found herself going through the motions of what they did, but not knowing exactly why until the end result showed, frustrating.
She knew she could ask Chuck about it, but it felt so damn stupid "what do we do when we're sitting at home?", really? Besides which, she knew that what he (both of them) was desperate for her to remember was what they had together, everyone, including Chuck and herself in the mission log videos that Casey gave her, was telling her about the love that they had for each other and how long they'd loved each other. She could even feel it inside of her, the warmth and need she had for the man who was in reach if she wanted to reach out (and who put aside everything to make sure he was there for anything she wanted), but aside from those fragments of memory that rose to the surface when something triggered them, she didn't have the memories to make sense of those feelings.
This was just pissing her off, she wanted her life back! She decided to try a new tack and put the album she was holding down to turn to Chuck. "Chuck?"
He saved what he was working on and put the tablet down to give her his attention.
"I was thinking, maybe I'll have better luck getting things back if I understand how we got to where we were before... well, before Quinn. One thing I've been having trouble with is why it took so long for us to be together, you've told me how you fell for me, and when you were with that little girl yesterday I actually remembered coming into the Buy More to engage you, how everything was going to plan until that stupid man barged in and interrupted us because the camera wouldn't play back the recording of his daughter's ballet recital (because he didn't put a tape in the camera), I was sure I could get it back on track until you looked down at the little girl trying not to cry because her father had screwed up filming her recital, and I was surprised when you blew me off to go and save the day for her, but the way you told her the "secret" that real ballerinas ARE tall to give her confidence AND managed to recreate the video of that moment for her was adorable, my heart melted and I was in over my head, which was why I took the chance to bolt when Harry Tang intercepted you, as I was too flustered to play the engagement the way I was supposed to, anyway" she smiled at the dopey grin on his face, apparently she'd never told him the detail of that, just "I fell for you sometime after you fixed my phone and before you started diffusing bombs with computer viruses", "anyway, as we obviously fell for each other right away, why did it take us 3 years to be together?"
Chuck sat back, working out how to explain it to her "For a start, do you remember the rules against handlers being involved with their assets? I hope you do, because I got my face rubbed in it for years. Whenever we got close (except that time that we both thought we were going to die and you kissed me, when we thought that I was going to be released when the new intersect came up, so you agreed to go on a date with me, and when we ran away to save my dad), you'd pull back and repeat the rules about handlers not being allowed to get involved, which was confirmed when Beckman invoked the 49B and you got dismissed, just before I got taken and you came back to save me, so we got you re-assigned."
"Also, you did a good job of hiding your feelings for me (from me, anyway, other people could see it, apparently, but I took what you said as the truth, especially after you told me that we had no future while we were under the effects of the truth serum). There were a few times when I "broke up" with you because I couldn't handle being with you all the time, but not be WITH you."
"On top of that, I had other people like Bryce presenting what seemed to be good arguments that your feelings for me were endangering you, as well as me, so I "broke up" with you for that reason as well."
"I was seeing other people a few times when I was trying for a "normal" relationship because I couldn't be with you, Lou, Jill and Hannah, and basically turned my back on you, thinking that that was what you wanted, or what was best, I don't know. You were involved with a few others as well, Bryce, Cole, and Shaw, I thought that they were better for you, could make you happy, and tried to get out of your way, mostly."
As Chuck was talking about their deviations from the path to each other, Sarah had memories come back, more recollections than flashes, she remembered how he'd arrested Jill and broken up with Hannah for her, and she asked him whether they'd discussed that both Cole and Bryce had left knowing that she'd chosen him over them? "Cole asked me to go with him when he left, but he could tell how much I cared about you, and understood why I said no to him, he WAS a bit surprised about losing the girl to you, though. I was going to tell you that night, but you were intent on telling me why you couldn't move in with me, so I didn't get a chance to tell you then, and Bryce called me on the earpiece when we were in Ellie's wedding to ask, "you're not coming with me, are you?", already knowing what I would say."
Chuck replied "Bryce told me that you weren't going with him in the Intersect Room, but he died before he could tell me more, I didn't know about Cole, I thought he was telling me that he wasn't giving up trying to win you over." A look of remorse passed over his face as he thought of Bryce, and the missed chances, but his heart lifted to hear that she'd chosen him over the "real" spy, twice. After a pause to think about those missed chances, Chuck went on.
"We almost made it a couple of times, the closest was when we ran away to save my dad (I never did get around to killing Morgan for stealing the condom from my wallet so I had to go out to try and get more and got caught by Casey), but we came back and got caught up in the system again. Then, when I was getting to the point where I was about to be an agent, you thought you'd lost the person that you'd met and fell for, and turned away from me (especially after you thought I'd actually completed my Red Test), and Shaw was there to take you away. That is until Casey told you the truth about my Red Test and you came over to find Morgan tied up with game controllers and me drunk, in my underwear, with a bottle of scotch and a plastic guitar, and you told me that you loved me, well I asked if you did and you said yes, 4 times actually." That memory brought a smile to his face.
"Actually, considering how many times we went AWOL and were accused of treason for what we did to save each other, it's amazing that we aren't both buried in some black site for the rest of our lives."
Sarah had to talk about Shaw, and what happened "About Shaw, you're right about me being worried that the guy that I fell for was disappearing, but that was only part of the problem, I didn't know who I was any more, I was conflicted about my feelings for you, I was jealous of you and Hannah, I couldn't look at you or talk to you without melting and I was totally unhinged, so I actually fell for Shaw's seduction technique, and didn't realise it until later. I couldn't believe that I fell for it but I did, he came in, knowing that I was in love with you, gave me a sob story about also falling in love with a spy who got killed, and then proceeded to come onto me with the textbook moves and I STILL fell for it, wait, what was that about the condom?"
Chuck stopped to think about the Shaw thing and held her hand for a bit, but then said "Oh, the condom, do you remember when I told you to stay there that morning in Barstow, I went to my wallet to get the condom I had there and found an IOU note from Morgan, who'd taken it, so I went out to try and buy more and Casey caught me. I guess I really shouldn't listen to Morgan, anyway, that has made me go crazy and sent me down the wrong rabbit hole more than a few times", she looked at him, waiting for him to continue, and when he didn't asked "What do you mean?" with her eyes narrowing.
Slightly freaked out by the look she was giving him, he "um"ed and "ah"ed a little and then tried to put it into words, as he did so the words came as a torrent "Well he's always seen "us" as taking things away from HIM, so he's always made comments and interruptions, like when he called in the middle of our first "date" (when we were trying to diffuse the bomb, actually), wanting me to tell him details of what we were doing, and when we were going on our first mission he was trying to tell me that things were going too fast because he thought it was another date, then the next night when he turned up for our dinner with Ellie and Awesome and said "I thought you we had plans tonight" and asked what you were doing there."
"Then when he said "If you can get Sarah, that means anything is possible", as if there was no way that there could be something real and special between US, when we were planning the "Night of Morgan" at the time of the Mei-Ling incident he told me "She has to prove to ME that she has something to bring to this relationship", and later said to Ellie that they should force me to break up with you, he tried to pretend it was a joke but Ellie thought he sounded serious."
"I think what got me the most was the time you were on Lon Kirk's boat, after we'd kissed when we thought we were going to die with the bomb that wasn't a bomb, and Bryce came back so things were awkward, he called me to tell me that Kirk was ALL over you, really greasing you up, working up a lather and creating quite a scene, then just hung up because his lobster had arrived, so I rushed down there and we had all that with you and the General and everyone else thinking that I'd faked a flash to stop you completing your mission with Kirk, but what was worse was that he told me later that he didn't know if it was you because he wasn't really looking at your face, yeah, I really lost it that time, maybe things wouldn't have gone as bad as they did if I hadn't over-reacted then."
"Oh, and when we had the thing where Fulcrum bugged the Buy More and Awesome was going to propose to Ellie, so he gave me his Grandmother's ring to hold for him, he found the ring in my locker and thought I was going to propose to you, so he took the ring to try and stop me proposing and going off to have a life with you."
"When we thought that I was going to be free and not your asset any more because the new intersect was supposed to go live, so we were going out on a real date, he turned up when I was about to leave to get you and said that he knew I had to go see you, but insisted that we spend 5 to 45 minutes talking about his Call of duty strategy, mind you that came in handy later to convince Colt that we had them surrounded with a full strike team when they had me, as I called him and got him to re-iterate what the Call of Duty strike team was over the phone."
"When you were on that date with Shaw, he was going on about "he can fill out a pair of slacks, a real stallion", I had to point out that you were the woman that I love to stop him talking."
"When you and Shaw were heading off to Paris, he was telling me "Shaw's going to get Sarah, you're going to go all willie nillie, tie me up again and drink yourself into oblivion" and "You know what else he is, a stud, and 99% of the time that guy gets the girl" and complaining that I'd stuffed up his life because he wasn't getting to go to Rome with me."
"Just before you moved in, he was making cracks like "You're dating a leggy valkyrie who has an aversion to clothing" and kept going on about us having sex and making cracks about how inconsiderate it was to him, because he wasn't getting any."
"When I was having those nightmares, he was making digs about you not believing me about the dreams and thinking that I was crazy."
"When I was looking for my mother, and you and Casey were off on missions, he was sending all those sexting messages on my phone from home and especially when we were in Volkoff in Moscow, and asking you to show things."
"When we were doing the mission in Milan, he was making cracks about your not unpacking, and talking about it being the Achilles heel that could destroy our relationship and how you'd bolt if I tried to talk about it."
"After the accidental proposal incident in the Castle, he kept pushing me to go through the "101 Conversations before I DO", which came close to breaking us, until we talked Premier Goya and Hortensia through their relationship crisis, by talking about our own."
"When you arrested my mother to protect me, he kept telling me that I needed to cool down before I talked to you, which of course made things worse when you found out that I'd talked to him and other people, but not you."
"At that first proposal attempt in the restaurant, you told me about how your parents' proposal in a similar restaurant was such a disaster, so I told him that we had to call it off, but instead of helping me get rid of everything, he just said it couldn't be done and hung onto the balloons, carriage, and everything, which was why we had to duck out the side entrance to avoid all of that."
"When you were suggesting that we elope to avoid all the stress that my family was putting on us for the big wedding, he actually said "You giving Sarah what she wants and me not getting what I want is not, necessarily, compromise, the point is and I'm sorry to say this to you as you've never been able to do this, but you have to put your foot down, just say no" when I told him that you wanted us to elope." I know that I wanted the wedding, too, but HIS view was that what you wanted for our wedding was less important than what HE wanted."
"When I was trying to find you the perfect house quietly, so I could surprise you with it, he steamrollered over any attempts to keep the house hunt quiet, letting you know that we were up to something, which caused friction between us."
"On that mission when he went in with you and Casey, he was going on about the guy getting handsie "with my girl", he amended it to "our" and then "your" later, but that was obviously what he thought at the time."
"When we all agreed that he needed a handler to get his overblown ego in check, he came out with a lot of crap about you pulling the wool over my eyes and handling me by telling me to be his handler, then basically forced me to follow him when he ran into Schneider's making us spend nearly all the money we had on a bail out mission."
As Chuck was talking, he didn't notice Sarah's reaction, as the more he brought up, the more stunned he was by the realisation of how much Morgan had tried to undermine things with Sarah, but she was flashing on the related incidents that she remembered as he told her and it was all running through her head in a flood, like the time that they were talking as he was walking her out about how they'd be expected to kiss at that point if they were "really dating" and they almost did, but she saw Morgan walking up to them out of the corner of her eye, so she broke off and left, the way that he was trying to dive a wedge between us in that game of Know Ya!, and afterwards as they were talking about sharing personal details, and Bryce, and where they were going, he just walked up and interrupted them with a flimsy excuse, on the "Night of Morgan" he made sure he was between them to keep them apart, and he kept touching her, he always did! Chuck never did that more than was necessary or appropriate, even when he thought they were on that first real date, he didn't do more than touch her on the arm, and generally would only hold her hand or put his arm around her, but Morgan thought he had some right to put his hands on her. Then the time at the Halloween party when they said that they needed a bit of time alone to talk and went to Chuck's room and he barged in straight away with a supposedly urgent need, then sat down to casually chat to Chuck once he'd interrupted them.
Yeah, the Valkyrie comment, that was when he was ogling my chest and making references to Vitamin Ds, Vitamin Cs and jugs. What I was getting from Chuck's phone in those sexting messages from Morgan was disgusting. He told me Chuck and I were in a relationship crisis over his mother, tried to convince me that I needed to give him space rather than talk it out and put his hand on my chest! Even when he was terrified that Shaw was alive, he was staring at my chest when we talked, he was always ogling me like those other perverts. So all the Nos and arguments about eloping were because Morgan wanted to make sure he got what he wanted in MY wedding? Telling me smugly that we had a lot to talk about after he convinced Chuck that OUR wedding invites had to be changed because they didn't suit HIM?
Yeah, he was going on about that guy being handsie because he was staring at my butt and the guy's hand was getting in the way. And then he stole the big contract we got from Beckman and ran off to Verbanski with it, that almost ruined us until we recovered the info. And the final straw was that what he did while he had the intersect set in motion the issues with Quinn that resulted in me having my memories of of my time with Chuck erased and my trying to kill Chuck and the others, which came very close to taking our life together, the only one that was worth living for, away.
Each memory flash hit her harder than before and her head was splitting, while a rage she couldn't control was building in her. The flashes kept hitting her as Chuck was talking, and the rage kept building inside her until she spat "Bastard!" and turned to run out the front door and across the courtyard, shouting "Morgan!" as she kicked in the front door of Morgan and Alex's apartment. Morgan jumped up with a guilty look on his face and was backing away from her, trying to make placating gestures and sounds as she stalked him around the living room. "Sarah, what's wrong?" "Sarah, I wouldn't do that!" "Sarah, I'm your friend!" Alex sat where she was on the couch with a stunned look on her face as she listened. Sarah's voice was deceptively controlled as she asked him why he had been trying to destroy her relationship with Chuck for the past 5 years, why he had been making such an effort to undermine her and them with interruptions and snide comments to Chuck, to her, and anyone else that he thought could further his malicious agenda the entire time they'd been together, but the shattered front door argued against that control. Morgan plastered a fake smile on his face as he tried to scurry away from her and squeaked when she grabbed him by the throat and slammed him against the wall. Alex rushed at her to try and get her off Morgan but she was knocked out and sent flying with a fist to the face. Sarah looked back at Morgan and started going through the things that she now knew he'd done over the past 5 years, many of the things he'd been doing in the early days she hadn't recognised at the time as she'd just put them down as him being infantile, and all the little things that she'd ignored as being "normal" with Morgan, but now, looking at them after 5 years of a real if rocky relationship with Chuck, she could put them into perspective and she was NOT happy with what she saw.
She realised after a while that Chuck had came in and put his hand on her arm, asking her gently to stop, she looked at him and tried to make him understand that she couldn't until she had answers to curb her rage, but she gave in when he said that he needed those answers too, but killing Morgan wouldn't give them the answers, and she threw Morgan onto the couch, looking distastefully down at the puddle of urine that was on the floor beneath where she'd been holding him against the wall.
Chuck went to check on Alex, knowing that Sarah would be devastated if she'd really hurt her when she came down from this rage, once he'd ascertained that she was OK, just knocked out, he came back to stand beside Sarah in front of Morgan and held her hand as they began questioning him. At first he just tried to pretend that he didn't know what they were talking about, but changed his tune when Chuck had to restrain Sarah from attacking him again, and he started whining his petty attempts to justify himself at them.
They questioned him for a couple of hours, stopping only to see to Alex when she came to, she waved them off when they wanted to get her to the hospital as she wanted to hear what was going on. All they got from Morgan in that time was proof that he was prepared to do whatever it took to protect what he believed was his right to expect, and that he had absolutely no remorse about trying to destroy Chuck, Sarah, Ellie and Devon, Alex's, or anyone's, happiness (Chuck also brought up what he'd done to Ellie and Devon, Alex and others in the course of the questioning), as long as he got what he wanted. Alex was conscious when they talked about the Lon Kirk incident and how much he'd exaggerated what was going on, about a woman who he wasn't even sure was Sarah, to turn Chuck away from her, and how he'd stolen the ring that he thought that Chuck was planning to give to her when he asked her to marry him, to prevent that happening, and as the excuses went on, her expression was turning to disgust as well. The final straw was when Chuck asked him how he could do this when he knew how much Chuck loved and needed Sarah, and he just whined "Chuck, she was taking you away from me man, you were just dumping everything we'd had since we were kids to be with her, I couldn't let you do that."
All three of them just looked at him after that for a while, and then Chuck said "You need to look for a new job, I'll have someone drop your things off to you and remove any Carmichael equipment from the apartment, and I'd suggest that you find somewhere else to live, where we can't see you, I won't try to stop Sarah if she decides that she needs to do something to you for what you've done." With that, he put his arm around Sarah and they left.
Back in their apartment, Chuck held Sarah as she cried out her anguish at what had been done to her, to them, by someone they thought they could trust and who cared about them, the heartache was all the more rending as it brought up what her father had done to her most of her life, what everyone but Chuck, basically, had done to her. It took a long time to release 30 years on anguish, and she felt empty when it was finally done, but it was cathartic, and looking up into his brown eyes she saw the same all consuming love that she felt for him, so she went to sleep in his arms knowing that things would be all right, they could have their future together.
The next day, they sat to discuss the issues around what happened with Morgan, neither of them had any question that the outcome with him was appropriate, but the incident had wider repercussions. Chuck asked whether they were likely to have a similar incident with Casey, given that he had made similar comments in the early years and had caused as many roadblocks and doubts for them in that time, she thought about it and said no, she knew that he'd constantly heckled both of them in the early days, but once they'd committed to each other he'd pretty much stopped that, mostly. Also, he wasn't ogling her and touching her all the time, at first he'd treated her as a partner and a professional, and afterwards as a friend, and more importantly, he wasn't supposedly a lifelong best friend, he was there in sufferance to do a job at the start, and he was just like her when they arrived, believing that emotions were something that had to be stamped out, she turned to Chuck with a smile at that point, saying "You know that he came to my room after you let me get away at the house, don't you? He brought me the DVD of my mission logs so I could see me telling my story myself, and told me that you'd made us both a bit soft, that being together as a team had changed him as well as me, and that we'd become friends." Chuck hadn't known that, but wasn't too surprised, as he'd known that Casey had changed a lot too.
Then Chuck brought up the bigger issue, the Intersect, obviously the version she had wasn't totally suppressed as she was getting the flashes that triggered her last night. Given that they knew how much damage that that version of the Intersect could do, it wasn't safe for her to leave it in there, so they had to get it out. They set up a teleconference with General Beckman, but her initial joy at seeing them together faded when they told her what had happened. She promised to make arrangements to get a proper suppression device to them ASAP, and then asked if they knew where things were going from there. They looked at each other and it was Sarah who spoke "We ARE together, where we are supposed to be, I still don't have most of my memories but the more I'm with Chuck, the more that are coming back, I have the feelings inside for Chuck, but I can't put the feelings together with memories at this point. I'm hoping that all the memories will come back in time, if not soon, but I don't need the memories to know that I do love him, and want to be with him." She looked at him with the unspoken question of whether that was enough, and what he wanted, and he just gave the classic Chuck smile and kissed her, forgetting or uncaring that the General was sitting there looking at them. After a while the General cleared her throat and they looked back at the screen, she was trying to look serious but her happiness that things were working out showed through as she said that she'd let them know when to expect the suppression device, and told them to let her know when they were ready to discuss their professional future, cancelling the call in her usual manner.
They had a bit of discussion about what the General had said about professional future, but agreed that they had to get THEM sorted before they worried about work, especially when Chuck noted that the General had their funds unfrozen, so they didn't need to worry about that for now.
Alex came to tell them that she was leaving and would be staying with her mother until she worked out what she was going to do. Sarah apologised for hitting her in the middle of everything and told her to come to them if she needed anything, as she, with her father, were still a very big part of their family, but she told her not to worry, she understood everything now and just needed time to think, and she asked them to tell Casey where she'd be if he contacted them.
They watched Alex head out with heavy hearts and knew that she'd be doing it tough, but they also knew that she'd come to them if she needed anything while her father was off looking for Gertrude. As they closed the door Sarah felt lighter, somehow, for all the trauma, she and Chuck once again had a direction that they'd be heading together, Sarah didn't imagine that it would be an easy journey, but she knew that they were both committed to doing it together, and together, well, they could do anything.