Disclaimer: I don't own Chuck or any name brand listed below.
And just like that, there he was.
It had been two long, agonizing, terrible years, but there he was. Seated on an ornate bench outside a café, arms spread across the top and head dangling backwards, a pair of beaten Aviators on his face. His foot tapped on the sidewalk to a rhythm only he could hear.
The woman known by those she held dearest in her heart as Sarah Walker sat in the driver's seat of a rented sedan. She was doing what she did best - spying.
Sunglasses also shielded her eyes, and a wig of wavy black hair hid her blonde locks. Parked two hundred feet away and beneath the shade of trees, she waited and observed.
He looked different, but still so very much the same. Still the same beanpole, with those long, long legs. That messy head of hair with its funny animal shapes was no more though, replaced with a tidier look, but still thick and full. She approved. Her fingers twitched, wrapping themselves around the steering wheel. How she longed to run them through that hair.
That wasn't the only change, as the lanky nerd of her memories had visibly toned in their time apart, a layer of lean muscle covering his bones. Not so much a beanpole anymore, she conceded. Knuckles turning white, her grip on the steering wheel intensified. His hair was no longer the only part of him she ached to touch now.
Sarah Walker wasn't afraid to admit it - everything she had seen and done in her life paled to how beautiful Chuck Bartowski looked to her right now.
You should go talk to him, she chided herself. You waited so long for this...why do you insist on waiting longer?
Then a third voice in the back of her mind spoke up, the voice she worked hard to bury under everything else. She was afraid. Afraid he'd reject her because he moved on to someone else. Afraid he'd reject her because she left without saying goodbye. Afraid he'd placed her in the same group as all the others who had hurt him; his mother, his father, Bryce, and Jill.
Was he angry she never called? Never wrote a letter? Morse code? Carrier pigeon? Smoke signal? What did he tell Ellie about why she'd left? Oh God.
What if her replacement wasn't broken the way she was. What if she was prettier and not messed up, and capable of communicating and caring and they were able to figure out how to make it work despite the system not allowing it?
Sarah groaned and thumped her forehead against the steering wheel.
Go, you idiot. Did you forget what Casey said? He hasn't forgotten you.
Emboldened, she had a hand on the door handle before stopping herself. The door to the café swung open and Captain Awesome himself stepped out, hands occupied with drinks. He said something to Chuck, judging from the latter's perking up and turning to face him. Chuck smiled that big, dazzling smile of his, the one that made Sarah tingle all the way down to her toes, and accepted a cup from his...brother-in-law? Surely they'd had the wedding by now. Oh God, and Ellie had asked to be a bridesmaid. As if she needed a further reason to hate her.
Devon took a seat next to Chuck and they sat, chatting and sipping. It was a picturesque moment, one that made Sarah flash back to being a part of that life with them. Family meals and beach days, nights curled up with Chuck watching a movie. Even if it was built on a foundation of deceit, it was great having a family.
Warm memories were the only bulwark she had protecting her heart during the empty, draining times since she'd left. Especially in the time before her reunion with Casey in Switzerland, when hope was the only thing she had to cling to that Chuck was okay.
Sarah let herself relax back into the seat, smiling, her hands dropping from the steering wheel. Without realizing it, her left hand began to idly toy with the silver bracelet around her right wrist. For the first time in a long time she found herself feeling contented, watching Chuck, even if from afar.
Time passed in a euphoric haze for Sarah when suddenly Devon stood up. He took the cup from Chuck's hand and walked towards a trash can a few feet away. Alone again for the moment, Chuck tugged up the right leg of his jeans, and to Sarah's absolute bafflement, pulled out a baton he had tucked into his sock.
Devon walked back over to Chuck and stood in front of him, speaking but with his back to Sarah, she hadn't a hope of ascertaining his words. Chuck reached out a hand and Awesome clasped it, pulling his (probably) brother-in-law upright. They turned and began walking down the sidewalk in Sarah's direction and that's when she saw it.
The strange baton had expanded and was now a long, thin white cane, looped around Chuck's wrist. It danced about erratically over the concrete as he and Devon moved along side-by-side at a decent clip.
The pieces, terrifying and gigantic, suddenly snapped into place for Sarah. The sunglasses. The cane. His 'retirement.'
He was blind.
The contingency plan Sarah had concocted for avoiding detection from them went out the window. She slumped forward into the steering wheel again, burying her face in her hands. She did the only thing she could do.
Author's Note: Always I start by thanking Zerectica for another stellar job of making sure this isn't too much of a disaster. Z, you da best.
A short chapter, this one, but one I'm very happy with. I hope you enjoy it as well. Thanks to all who read and review!