This story will be kinda fast paced. It'll take me a bit longer to post chapters too (breedrs cups races next weekend) plus i'm actually reading them. Which drives me nuts cause I don't like reading my own stories, all I hear is my own voice.I promise there WILL be Charah
Picture With A Twist.
Im Going To Draw A Picture, A Picture With A Twist, I'll Draw It With A Razor Blade,
I'll Draw It On My Wrist, And As I Draw This Picture, A Fountain Will Appear,
And With This Flowing Fountain, My Problems Disappear.
Written by BethanyLeeDawson
Chuck was depressed. He knew it. He didn't need to be a professional psychiatrist to figure it out. He'd been this way off and on practically his whole life. He couldn't help it, and he didn't know what to do about it. He felt exhausted and worn all the time. He just wanted to curl up on his bed on his side and just stare at the wall, but he knew that would cause more alarm bells then his melancholies right now.
He sighed and looked around the Buy More from behind the Nerd Herd desk where he sat. That wasn't true he knew how to change some of it, but his current predicament of being an asset of the US government made some of the changes he could have done a little more difficult than it should be. While he worked at the Buy More for years before all this happened he knew that by changing jobs in the least would have helped a little bit. But now he literally was stuck in this job for who knows how long.
He could tell how bad he was right now by how hard his friend Morgan tried to cheer him up, as he was trying to do at the moment across the room. Chuck tried to get the energy to smile at his friend for his effort but he couldn't bring himself too, especially since he didn't find making faces and dance moves around a customer all that funny to begin with.
Chuck closed his eyes for a moment and emptied everything from his mind, not allowing his brain to think. His fingers on his right hand twirled lightly around the watch that was on his left, which was placed there over a year ago by Sarah Walker, Agent of the CIA and his current fake girlfriend.
Pain shot through him thinking of that.
He truly liked Sarah a lot. He believed he could possibly be falling in love with her. However it was for naught as Agent Sarah Walker had turned down every advancement he's ever tried, and frequently pushed him away. However she was not above using his interest to rein him in, sending him mixed signals. He stopped fighting months ago, stopped worrying about it, stopped caring.
His fingers slid under the watch for a second feeling the scar that was there. He mentally told himself to stop, to not do that again, to ignore the scar and not focus on it. It was a reminder of his last failure to kill himself three years ago. Things had gotten extremely bad and he couldn't take it anymore and gave in to the anguish that coursed through him.
He had come home from work to an empty apartment after a hard day's work, after a hard week's work, after everything piling up on him. He wanted nothing more than to crawl back into bed and stay there, maybe even call in sick the next day. But instead he had gone to the bathroom.
He stared at his reflection for what felt like hours before the dark images and thoughts of his mind took over and reached into the cabin ate and took out one of his razor blades. The special ones he kept for the purpose of releasing all the pain he felt inside. And without blinking he lifted the razor his wrist and sliced down unflinchingly.
Luckily, or not so luckily Devon, his sisters Awesome boyfriend found him not to long after and he was saved.
Chuck closed his eyes tight at the memory, at the look on Ellies face when she found out. How she hovered over him and cried for a long time begging him to not leave her. He had never felt so guilty in his life. He didn't like seeing his sister in so much pain, so he decided that he would make a promise to her that if things ever got that bad again, he will talk to her first, tell her if the thoughts even popped up in his head or felt any way towards it.
And he had kept to that promise for over a year. It was great, he communicated with his sister, and he was closer to his best friend. Ellie insisted they seek counselling and he reluctantly agreed. It was hard at first but then he started having the sessions with Ellie and he'd never felt closer to his sister then at that time.
Chuck opened his eyes and glanced over to home electronics to see Casey, a Major for the NSA talking to a couple who were interested in one of the washer dryer unit.
That all fell apart about two years ago when Bryce Larkin, his former best friend from college sent him an email containing all the secrets in the government. Since then his life has been nothing but secrets again. Something that alarms his sister to no end. He honestly believed that the only reason his sister wasn't even more concerned was the fact that he had a girlfriend.
"Don't look so down Chuck, talk to me." Chuck jumped high as Morgan came up to the counter. His heart raced as his arms flailed out to keep seated and not fall out of the chair.
"Geez Morgan don't sneak up on a guy." He panted slightly trying to get his heart rate to normal. Morgan just gave him another concerned look.
"I've been calling your name from across the store but you weren't here apparently." He pointed out. Chuck thought for a moment and didn't remember hearing his friend so he took him at his word. He knew he'd been out of it a bit lately.
"What do you need Morgan?" He said attempting to get his heart rate back to normal. He stood up from his chair and began arranging the papers that littered the counter with work orders. They had gotten several in the past hour and he knew he should go out on one but he didn't really feel like dealing with people and their hovering, believing they know what to do.
He could feel Morgan's eyes on him but continued with his cleaning task to try and avoid asking what he was thinking, and he was grateful that his friend allowed him that. Done with his task however he wasn't quite sure what to do with himself, and debated going on one of the service calls. But to do that he would have to go to the Orange Orange first to check in with his handler/girlfriend and he wasn't in the mood to have his heart smashed at the moment.
"We should do something tonight." Morgan finally said breaking the silence between them. Chuck looked down at his watch, four minutes passed, a record perhaps for Morgan.
"I'm not really in the mood to-"
"You're never in the mood. We need to do something. We haven't in a long time. Even Ellie says-"
"Ellie? You guys were talking about me behind my back?" Chuck asked angrily. He knew they would and he shouldn't be surprised but he felt annoyance that they would talk about him and not to him. Morgan gave him a placating look before continuing.
"Well it's not like you're talking to us so we have to try and figure something out." Morgan protested back. Chuck looked away from his friend and gave a quick glance at Casey's direction. One of the reasons he couldn't and didn't talk to them anymore. Lack of privacy courtesy of the NSA.
"I know Morgan, I…look I have to go. We can talk about it later." Chuck responded distracted. He felt the air around him start to thicken and he needed to just leave the store. He grabbed the nearest install order and his tool bag and walked out feeling Morgan's eyes on him the whole way.
Chuck didn't bother checking in with Sarah. He knew he'd get crap for it later but he didn't feel like dealing with her and the drama that always surrounded them whenever they got together for anything. He walked to the back of the store since he existed the front and grabbed the nearest Nerd mobile.
He looked down at the sheet he had grabbed and placed it on his clipboard to enter its address into the GPS. Once done he placed the car in reverse and was on his way.
He tried to quail the annoyance at his friend and sister for talking about him. He knew that they were just concerned, as well they should be. He hadn't felt this low since before his suicide attempt and it scared him. He frequently felt the urge to release the pain and anxiety that built up in him so often. To release the fear he was frequently in. He was desperate to feel the cool blade dance on his skin once more.
But he had stopped that, for the most part. Occasionally if he already had a would he would pick at it, or break the skin causing it to bleed more. But he fought the urge to take a razor again, or anything else. He was sure to keep his promise and he had spoken to Ellie whenever the urge became too great, and she would hold him, and talk to him until it ended. But that didn't mean he didn't give in every now and then. Once a cutter always a cutter his therapist and said, which in turn pissed his sister off enough to seek a new therapist.
But again the lack of privacy in the past two years has made it exceptionally difficult for him to partake in that particular activity anyways. Though he did know deep down at least it was good for something. But then again he wouldn't need that protection from himself if they had just left him alone. If Bryce hadn't once again fucked up his life.
Taking a deep breath Chuck turned onto the street where his install order was. He parked the car relatively easily in the apartment complex's parking garage and sat there for a moment. He didn't really want to be there but at this point he didn't have a choice since he was already there.
Exiting the car he looked at the clipboard once more checking the unit number of the apartment and went up the stairs. It wasn't the best of places to live he deducted. He could hear screaming children and arguing parents; he heard TV's too loud and music shaking the floor.
Finally he arrived in front of the correct door, or what he hoped was the correct door not wanting to have to actually deal with one of the inhabitants of this place if he were not expected, and he knocked loudly and waited.
A few minutes later the door finally opened and Chuck was prepared for the worst until he finally saw her. His eyes widened slightly and his breath stilled.
There in front of her standing at 5'7 was a girl with amazing blue eyes and brown hair. He stuttered a few times at her, trying to get his mouth to work and his brain to jumpstart.
"You from the Buy More?" She asked him abruptly. He could only nod at her. She rolled her eyes at him obviously annoyed and impatient. "I called like four hours ago. I can't get my TV to work correctly." With that introduction she moved aside and let him into the apartment.
He stepped inside and she closed the door behind him. The first thing he noticed was how dark it was. All the curtains in the place were shut tightly not letting any natural light in. The second he noticed was how small it was. The kitchen and dining room were the same and were right next to the living room. She had large furniture making it feel cramped and the ceiling was low causing him to hunch.
Chuck watched her walk a few feet away and curls her feet under her as she sat down cross legged on the couch. She pulled a cigarettes from a pack on the table in front and looked at him expectantly as she watched him.
"Are you gonna fix it or what." She asked him holding the smoke in. He stared at her for a few seconds more intrigued before placing his tools on the table and kneeling down in front of the TV. He went to work without saying a word.
It took Chuck only twenty minutes to figure out the problem and get it fixed. He had to replace a cable in the TV but it was good as new. He began packing up his tools and filling out the form on his clip board, trying not to glance at the girl on the couch who continued to smoke nonstop.
"You don't talk much do you?" The girl asked him. He glanced up and stared at her for a moment.
"Most people tell me to shut up." He said honestly, not knowing why he would say that. They sat in silence for a few minutes staring at each other. Chuck wasn't sure what intrigued him about this girl but he couldn't help but be.
"I can't see that. They must be assholes then." With that she lifted part of her sleeve an took the cig out of her mouth with her other hand. Slowly she placed the lit end on her skin and took a deep breath as pain must have coursed through her.
Chuck was shocked, not sure what to do next as he watched her breath come out ragged as she worked through the pain, finally lifting the cigarettes from her arm. She opened her eyes a moment later to look directly into his, not saying a word.
He knew he should leave. He knew he should just get the signature needed and go back to the Buy More. There were more work orders to do, not to mention he didn't check in with his handlers. But he couldn't tear his eyes away from her arm where the burn lay open for his viewing.
"You like the show?" She asked in a whisper Chuck almost didn't hear. The room was musty and smoky and his throat was burning from the smell, but he couldn't move.
"Why did you do that?" He asked her simply, wanting to know why she would do something so intimate in front of him, a complete stranger. She shrugged her shoulders.
"I don't know." She said simply lighting the cigarette again. "You just look like one of them. "
Chuck watched her confused as she took a long drag of her cigarettes.
"One of them?" He asked her. She blew out the smoke she was holding in.
"Yeah. Someone who, you know…" She said without really saying the words. He knew what she was talking about.
"How do they look?" He asked her curious, wondering if perhaps he really did have a mark on him broadcasting to the world that he was a cutter. That he kept his pain inside and then let it out physically on himself. The girl took another puff.
"There are many kinds of looks. You, you look forlorn, sad. You look good. Clean appearance, you speak well. But I bet if I saw more skin there would be scars everywhere." She told him.
Chuck almost was offended by that. He took great lengths to make sure he looked as normal as possible. Especially knowing his faults. It was something his sister had taught him in elementary school after their mother left and she took care of him.
"Just because you're a nerd doesn't mean you have to dress like a stereotypical one." She had told him, and with their fathers blessing and credit card she had taken her brother shopping that summer for school clothes. He looked like a normal everyday student, which saved him a lot of asskickings he believed.
"And you? What are your signs?" He asked her curiously looking her over once more. She wore black sweats and a long sleeved shirt. Her hair was a mess and she didn't have any makeup on. She looked like a crazy person in his opinion but she still looked beautiful to him.
"You're joking right? I'm the classical 'mess'." She told him with a laugh. Chuck didn't know exactly what to say, she was right she was a mess. But she still intrigued him.
Just then Chuck's phone rang, giving the ring tone he assigned to her long ago. He flinched for a second before digging out his phone.
"Ah, you have a ball and chain." The girl stated lightly.
"Hello?" He answered as lightly as he could, trying not to cough at the smoke entering his lungs.
"Where are you?" Sarah's voice cut through, he could hear the slight panic in her voice as she asked.
"I'm on a service call I should be done soon." He replied to her. He heard her sigh in relief on the other end and he wondered what it was all about.
"Alright, be careful though you're not in the best part of town. How long till you leave?" She inquired. Chuck held back the sigh of annoyance that wanted to come out. Sometimes his handlers seem to wrap him up in a bubble expecting him to hurt himself on every little corner.
"I don't know Sarah, soon. I have to finish here ok. I'll see you later." With that he disconnected the call, knowing in his gut that he'll probably pay for it later.
"Ball and chain upset? Sorry to hear that." The girl said. Chuck just stared back at her for a few moments before handing her the forms to sign. She took it and filled out the remaining portion of it before handing it back.
"If there's nothing else-"
"Natalie." She said simply, standing up as he did. He looked over to her.
"I'm sorry?" He asked confused. She gave him a wicked smile.
"My name is Natalie. This whole time you didn't bother to ask my name, it's Natalie." She repeated.
"It was nice to meet you Natalie." He said politely holding out his hand to shake her.
Her hand shot out to shake his and he could feel the roughness of her palms, imagining what damage she caused herself to make that way. He was caught off guard in his thoughts as she pulled him closer and grabbed him behind his neck pulling him down. She placed her lips upon his kissing him fiercely. Chuck could taste the cigarettes on her mouth and was slightly repulsed but at the same time the kiss felt so good. It had been a long time since he'd felt this passion and it felt wonderful as she wrapped her arms tightly around him.
He slowly broke the kiss, giving a few pecks before finally pulling away and to an upright position, covering his mouth in horror with his hand at what he did.
"I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to, I don't – "
"It's fine. I started it, and I liked it." Natalie said, gleaming up at her.
"Chuck." He said suddenly, realizing she probably didn't know his name.
"Yes Chuck. I look forward to seeing you around." With that he turned around and began opening the door. "Fridays, I like to hang out at a bar on Lincoln St. It's called the Wet Noodle. It has great music and fabulous beer. "
Chuck looked at her with a slight smile. It wasn't exactly asking a date but he appreciated the thought.
"I uh - have a girlfriend, kinda." He said, though he knew she already was aware of it. She just gave him another wicked smile.
"It'll just be two people hanging out. I'll be good." She promised, though he doubted she would be. He gave her a slight nod and said a quiet goodbye before finally leaving.
Chuck stood outside the door after closing it with his eyes shut taking a few deep breaths. The clearer air of the outside burned his lungs after being inside a smoke filled apartment for so long. He wasn't sure what to do now. Natalie had invited him to the club, unofficially but he did have a girlfriend, in some sense. He would have to decide later.
"Where have you been Chuck?" Sarah said annoyed as he checked into the Orange Orange when he came back. She was very angry looking and he knew he should be slightly afraid. She was a deadly assassin after all.
"I told you a service call." He stated, going with the truth despite her glare.
"For over two hours? Casey called me saying you left, why didn't you check in first? You know the rules!" She said causing anger to rise in Chuck.
"Rules? What am I five? I'm an adult Sarah or did you forget?" He spat out angrily. "It's not enough you track my every move through my watch and phone, you bug my house and cars. I was only working!" Immediately he regretted it, seeing the shocked look on her face. He felt exhausted suddenly as the small burst of emotion, though in a way it felt good after not really feeling much in the past few weeks.
"I'm sorry Sarah." He said softly. Sarah gave him a look of concern and he knew she was going to start asking questions. Questions he didn't have answers to.
"What is wrong Chuck?" She asked almost desperately. He couldn't reply he just turned around to head towards the door. "Chuck, wait." And he did.
He felt Sarah walk up to him and stand behind him. He felt her arm reach out to his back and lightly touch it sending shivers to run through his body. He closed his eyes at the sensation of goose bumps crossing his skin.
"Please don't." He begged quietly not able to handle her touching him. He knew it was another way she used to manipulate him. Something that hurt him greatly to know. He wishes desperately she was doing it because she cared but he knew better. She was an Agent first and always. Her job was to protect him and keep him in line no matter what.
"Something's wrong Chuck. Has been. Please let me help" She begged. Chuck took a step away from her toward the door but didn't turn around.
"You want to help then let me have my life back." He said coldly before exiting the door to head back to the Buy More with Sarah staring after him sadly.
A/N: Next chapter hopefully Sunday if not then Weds.