The Dojo

Chapter 1
Love, Anger, Frustration, Fear

Here's a story for anybody …

Who thought that Sarah let Chuck off way too easily in the aftermath of Chuck vs Phase Three.

Who hated that bo fight scene in "Chuck vs The Three Words" and wished that it could have taken a … ah… different turn.

Anyone who really loves those scenes in "Cougars" and "Cubic Zirconium" where Sarah's working out.

Who sometimes got a little frustrated with the constantly changing attitudes that our favorite spy couple have towards the Intersect and spy life in general. Sometimes they seem to love it, sometimes they seem to hate it.

Who wondered why after Chuck was perfectly okay with not being a spy in "Anniversary", he, after few months (by "First Fight/Fear Of Death/PhaseThree") is so back in love with the idea of being an Intersected spy that he's a) desperate to get the intersect back that he's b) insecure about proposing to Sarah without it. I came up with a theory.

This takes place in between "Chuck Vs The Leftovers" and "Chuck vs The Balcony" of Season 4

Rated M for a fairly strong sex scene…. But even if I cut it, there's a long sexual discussion afterwards that would have kicked it above a T rating anyway.

Sarah Walker stormed through the corridor of Castle in a violent, angry mood. She was eager to get to the dojo, deploy the heavy bag and focus her hitherto unfocused wrath.

Tonight's mission had been a success. A violent bloody success. No friendly casualties- not even a scratch for Team Bartowski. Two young women, and an underage girl who had been kidnapped were now free. Of their tormentors, loosely affiliated with Alexi Volkoff, two were taken prisoner, and the other two had already met their most deserved fates. Chuck's Intersect, which had been restored after he had absorbed a program from his late father's laptop computer, seemed to be working admirably.

Chuck. The Intersect. Sarah snarled inwardly. One day soon Chuck Bartowski would propose to her, she had learned. One day sometime later, they'd be married, and would be starting their family together… assuming she didn't kill him herself first.

Casey's complementing Chuck's tactical awareness and combat skills, while factually accurate, was not helping her mood even in the slightest. While the boys finished up their paperwork, and tended to other chores around Castle, Sarah was determined to work out the majority of her anger and rage. She stomped through the empty dojo, past the racks of swords, sabers, katana, bo staffs, nunchaku and shuriken, and into the locker room, where she always kept a fresh kit of workout clothes.

Five minutes later, clad in her workout pants and athletic brassiere, her blond hair bound in a ponytail, she emerged from the locker room and flipped a switch upon the wall. Whereas most of the cabinets in this dojo housed weaponry, one of them contained an automatic arm that slid eight feet into the room, deploying a red heavy punching bag with the word EVERLAST emblazoned across the top of it. Before the bag had even stopped swaying from its deployment, Sarah had already donned a boxing glove on her left hand, and was using her mouth to secure the Velcro binding on her right glove.

She had just been getting used to the notion of Chuck without a useful Intersect- it had become the new normal – for her, anyway. The failed mission to Switzerland with Agent Rye and Chuck's capture by Aldebert DeSmet had – in the most terrifying way possible- taught everyone including Chuck that he was not fit for deployment in dangerous areas against 5 to 1 odds without the Intersect. Chuck was learning this … he was getting used to this. He was respecting the dangers of the spy life more. Then had come the weekend after Thanksgiving, and the discovery of the late Stephen Bartowski's computer that Ellie had been working on. The computer contained a program that either downloaded a fresh Intersect into Chuck, or had restored the old one. Nobody knew which, and Sarah didn't much care – but it meant that Chuck had a new injection of confidence … and that her always dynamic, frequently violent, and often abused cauldron of emotions was now again boiling at high flame. Inside her was a confusing brew of love, frustration, anger … and most of all fear.

Sarah was relatively new to love. She was finding that it usually brought out the best in her, but sometimes bought out the worst. She was by no means the master of it.

Anger was an emotion that was practically her partner, a comrade in deeds of violence.

Frustration was no friend of hers … but an often present creature in the room ever since the day she met Chuck Bartowski. And fear ….

Fear came riding on the coattails of love. It was practically the other side of the coin of love. She had thought she had known what fear was – any agent who didn't have a death wish grasped fear. Any agent knew that their next mission could be their last … and Sarah had thought that when one could perform despite the fear of death or torture, they had effectively conquered fear.

Such was what the life of a spy was supposed to be, anyway. It was one of the many reasons why spies weren't supposed to fall in love. Things had been so much simpler back in the days when all she had to lose was her life. Now she had so much more in her life. So much more to lose. So much more to fear losing.

She stared at the bag with the EVERLAST logo, calculating that her first punch, a right jab, was going to hit the second E in the word.

She wasn't getting used to this. Losing Chuck had been a constant terrifying fear for her almost since the very beginning. Even in that first year she had cried at the notion of Chuck being forcibly separated from Ellie and Awesome. It had been the first time she'd cried in years. She'd watch Chuck get thrown off the roof by Mr. Colt… She'd felt the chill up her spine when Frank Mauser gloated (very unwisely) that he'd divulge Chuck's secret that he was the Intersect … She watched Chuck endure a Fulcrum Intersect test that had eradicated the brains of all test subjects before it… She'd watched his Nerd Herder erupt in a dazzling ball of fire outside Jason Wang's auto shop…She'd watched the warehouse into which Chuck had disappeared to rescue Daniel Shaw blow up, convincing her that it'd taken him with it … She'd gleefully nearly wrecked her career in blazing a trail across Thailand when DeSmet had captured him… She'd seen too many guns pointed at him to count… and tonight. Tonight she'd again been confronted with the idea of a world with No More Chuck.

It had been a little thing. Chuck really didn't think he'd done anything wrong. Indeed … he hadn't. That's what Casey was telling him back at the conference room. He'd done well … the Intersect was working as well as ever.

And he was pleased!... Happy! Sarah choked back offended rage. Her annoyingly heroic, selfishly selfless lover was oh-so-happy to be back in the game and off the bench.

Sarah, The Intersect works perfectly now! Isn't it great?

"Rrauuuuhhhh!" She gave roaring grunt, letting fly with a right jab that would have broken the nose of a human opponent. Months of pent up love-fueled fear and resentment were finding their violent voice, and the heavy bag was now about to pay for the sins of people named Mueller, DeSmet, Rye, Beckman… and Bartowski.