Title: Agent Chuck Bartowski
Disclaimers: All characters are property of NBC and others who are not me... unfortunately.
Chuck was exhausted. He got home around two am after sitting in Castle all day flashing on files that the CIA and NSA sent over. Now he was glaring at the alarm clock that went off at seven because he had to open the Buy More. He was so not in the mood. Ignoring the pounding in his head, he shut off the alarm and went to take a shower.
He must have fallen asleep in there because once he was in the kitchen he realized that if he didn't leave now he was going to be late. Forgoing breakfast or coffee, Chuck grabbed his bag and went out the door.
This morning Casey said he was on his own to get to work and Chuck was perfectly fine with that. Some days he liked to pretend that Bryce never sent him that damn e-mail. He just got into the car when his phone rang.
"Morning, Awesome! Making sure I'm awake as usual?"
"Ellie's been taken hostage."
The smile was wiped from his face within two seconds. "Wh-what did you say?"
"I don't know what happened, Chuck, but she was heading down to the cafeteria and some guy came out of nowhere and grabbed her. He's going on about some government computer and if it didn't show up he was going to kill her."
Chuck tried to wrap his brain around what he was hearing. "Shit," he whispered.
"You know what he's talking about? Chuck, does this have anything to do with your spy crap? I swear, if it does..."
"I know, Devon, I know. I'm coming over there now." Once Chuck disconnected, he tried calling Sarah but it went straight to voicemail. "Sarah, I need your help! Someone is holding Ellie hostage at the hospital. He knows about the Intersect and he must know I have it because he said if it doesn't show up he's going to kill her! I'm on my way there. Hurry please!"
Chuck was majorly distressed when he arrived at the hospital with no return call from Sarah. He tried Casey but was greeted with his voicemail as well. "Why is it you guys pop up when I don't need you but when Ellie's in danger I can't find either one of you?"
He ran to the entrance to see police cars everywhere. Chuck had no idea how he was going to get inside. He sent a quick text to Devon and a few minutes later he came outside and spoke with one of the officers. He was then waved inside.
"Chuck, this guy is nuts but he won't talk to anyone unless they know about this computer."
"I-I... know what it is but I'm just an analyst. Sarah and Casey know more about it but I can't get a hold of either of them."
Devon frowned. "Well you need to figure out something fast because this guy is off his rocker."
"Let me try one more option before I go in." Chuck stepped aside and dialed General Beckman's number. "My name is Chuck Bartowski and I need to speak with General Beckman."
"I'm sorry, sir, the General is in a very important meeting right now and cannot be disturbed," the woman replied as she hung up.
Chuck wanted to scream but that wouldn't help the situation. He was just going to have to deal with this on his own... somehow. It was a good thing he had a fake CIA badge in the trunk of his car. He tucked in his white shirt and took a deep breath. He could do this!
"Where's the detective in charge, Devon?"
"Over here. I'll take you to him," Devon replied leading Chuck to a man about his age. "Detective Franklin, this is Ellie's brother and an agent with the CIA. He's the one I told you about."
Franklin shook Chuck's hand. "Glad your here, Agent Bartowski. It seems this guy is hell bent on finding this computer or he's going to kill your sister. Any idea what he's talking about?"
"That's classified," Chuck replied pulling his best Casey face. It may have looked like he was constipated but Franklin just nodded as he followed the Detective where he was keeping Ellie.
Chuck realized that she was going to find out everything but it seemed he didn't really have a choice in the matter. Not if he wanted to Ellie to live. He had no intention of surrendering himself to this guy or admit he was the Intersect but at least he could save her.
"Mr. Daniels, this is Agent Bartowski with the CIA."
Chuck felt the familiar pull of a flash but tried to hide it as well as he could. A rogue CIA agent but he has no ties to Fulcrum. Thank God for small favors. Daniels looked up at him and grinned. While Chuck had his eye on the man he could see Ellie out of the corner of his eye staring at him in shock.
"Leave us Detective."
Franklin looked unsure until Chuck nodded. "It's just us now. Why don't you let Ellie go?"
"Interesting that your backup is nowhere to be found," Daniels said, ignoring Chuck's request. "I guess that happens when they're sent on a wild goose chase."
Chuck didn't like the sound of that. "What did you do?"
Daniels chuckled. "Oh, I'm sure they'll be fine, but Ellie won't be if you don't hand over the computer I want."
"I know where it is so why don't you just let her go and I'll take you to it?" Chuck replied. He was absolutely freaking out. With Sarah and Casey on that wild goose chase he was pretty much on his own.
"Well, I think I have my own idea for this," Daniels said as he stood up. He stepped closer to Ellie, pointing the gun at Chuck the entire time.
Daniels shoved Ellie hard into the wall and she fell to the floor unconscious. "Ellie!" Chuck cried, trying to get to his sister, but Daniels grabbed his arm instead. The guy was pretty strong and yanked him further away from her.
"Please, let me go!"
"I'm sorry, Mr. Bartowski but you're never going to see your sister again."
Chuck kept trying to pull himself from Daniels' grasp but the man was just too strong. He mustered up all adrenaline he could because he had to get to Ellie. This was all his fault! He had to make sure she was okay.
"Let him go!" He knew that voice and it was the most beautiful voice he had ever known. "You heard me, Daniels!"
"No way! He knows where it is and he's going to give it to me!"
Chuck was pretty sure this guy was crazy and he could tell the security in the room thought the same. He looked at Sarah, eyes wide, and he nodded. If she could get a clean shot off she should do it and he would move away as fast as he could. Chuck could tell she was ready and he braced himself but unfortunately Daniels must have realized it too and twisted in such a way that when Sarah fired the bullet hit him instead.
He felt a sharp pain his right shoulder and tumbled backward knocking the other man to the floor. Chuck didn't even realize the man lost his gun until he was being swarmed. Someone pulled him out of the way and into Sarah's arms.
"Oh my God, Chuck, I'm so sorry!"
That's when Chuck remembered he'd been shot and the pain kicked up a notch. "Don't worry," he gasped out. "I've had worse. Okay maybe not, but it wasn't your fault!"
"Agent Bartowski, thank you for diffusing what could have been a really bad situation."
Chuck stared at him because that was a really bad situation. It was his sister's life on the line. The room suddenly felt really hot and it was getting harder to breathe. He almost lost Ellie and it would have been his fault.
"I'm right here, Chuck. The doctors want to take a look at your shoulder, okay?"
"What about Ellie?"
"I'll be sure to check on her for you, I promise," she replied as they had him lie on a gurney. "You did good today."
Chuck frowned as he was wheeled away. "Not really."
Sarah couldn't believe that she and Casey had fallen for a wild goose chase. Beckman said there was chatter about a rogue agent who knew of the Intersect. At least he hadn't known who it was. The two had been holed up in Casey's apartment checking all the leads. They just figured Chuck was going to be at the Buy More and there were plenty of camera feeds there.
She felt horrible that she missed his call. They didn't know anything was wrong until Chuck tried to get a hold of Beckman, who had been talking to them! Beckman was beyond pissed at the young woman who just hung up on Chuck as he tried to explain what was going on.
The voicemail he gave her was worse and then arriving at the hospital with Daniels holding a gun on him... Sarah never knew she could feel so much fear with losing someone. It was exactly how Chuck felt, no doubt.
"Walker." She turned to see Casey. "Seems like the kid did a good job on his own. He was getting high praise from Detective Franklin."
Sarah nodded. "I think Chuck surprises even himself sometimes."
"Ellie's going to be fine. She just has a slight concussion," Devon said as he joined them. "Where's Chuck?"
"I..." Sarah began.
"Crazy guy was holding Chuck hostage and Walker went to take a shot at him but the guy turned and Chuck was shot in the shoulder. They said it didn't look serious."
Devon ran a hand through his hair. "Damn. I don't know how you guys do it!"
There was more chaos down the hall and soon one of the nurses ran up to them. "Dr. Woodcomb, Dr. Bartowski's brother is gone!"
"What?" Sarah was the first to exclaim.
The young woman shook her head. "The guy who held Dr. Bartowski hostage escaped. The man took him before we could even stabilize the wound. He threatened to hurt Chuck even more if we didn't let him go."
"Did you see which way he was taking him?" Casey asked.
"He took him down past the ER towards the closed off section that's under construction," the nurse replied, pointing down the hall.
"Walker!" Sarah nodded and the two ran after them.
"Let's move, Chuck!" Daniels said, shoving him down the corridor.
Chuck did what he was told despite the fact that he was feeling lightheaded from all the blood loss and his shoulder felt like it was on fire. "I'm going as fast as I can here, I..." he trailed off as a wave of nausea hit him and he had to stop moving.
"You have to be the worst CIA agent I've ever seen!"
He swallowed nervously and before he could stop himself he said, "I'm just an analyst."
"What did you say?"
Chuck shook his head. "Nothing... I'm just..."
He couldn't stand straight anymore and dropped to his knees. Daniels grabbed his wounded arm and yanked Chuck to his feet. "So you lied about knowing where the computer is, didn't you?"
"Yeah. To-to save my sister!"
"Well no one is going to save you," Daniels exclaimed as he began choking him.
Chuck's vision started to gray and just as his eyes slipped shut he saw Sarah coming around the corner.
When he woke up he was lying in a hospital bed. He didn't see anyone in there with him and frowned, wondering if had been brought to a bunker without his knowledge.
Everything hurt a lot. His head, his throat, his neck, his shoulder. Chuck tried to think back to what happened but the whole thing was fuzzy. He did remember saving Ellie's life but after that he wasn't sure. After a few minutes of thinking it all came back to him.
Chuck was so lost in thought that he didn't hear anyone come into the room. "Mr. Bartowski?"
He blinked when he felt a hand on his uninjured shoulder. "Sorry," he said with a rasp. Chuck looked up at her with an apologetic look.
"It's okay. I'm your nurse, Susan. Your voice is going to be strained for a while after what happened and it's going to be sore," the nurse said. "I have some ice chips here that will help soothe your throat. I'm just going to get your vitals. I've paged your doctor so he should be here shortly."
Susan could tell something was bothering him. "Are you in a lot of pain?"
"No," he whispered. "I mean, yes, but is my sister okay?"
"I'll check on Dr. Bartowski for you," Susan said.
Once she was gone Chuck closed his eyes. He wondered where Sarah and Casey were. He had a sinking feeling that Beckman was going to want to put him in a bunker ASAP. There was a knock at the door and the doctor entered. It was Devon.
"Bro, you had us worried sick!"
"Is El okay?" he asked, wincing as he tried to sit up.
Devon nodded as he ran to his side. "She's fine and is in the process of being discharged, but you need to relax, okay? Not only were you shot, but you stopped breathing for a couple of minutes. Now, the real question, on the scale of one to ten, what's your pain level?"
"Definitely an eight. Especially my shoulder."
"I figured as much. And to keep your throat from hurting too much Susan is going to bring in a dry erase board. Try not to talk too much if you can help it."
After writing something in Chuck's chart, Devon replied, "I haven't seen her since she and Casey dealt with that Daniels guy. She said she would be back, though. And just so you know, Ellie is aware that you work for the CIA."
Chuck frowned then shrugged. There wasn't much he could do about it now. "Thanks, Devon."
"Sure thing. I'll have Susan bring you those pain meds. Just get some rest, okay? We'll worry about everything else later."
Ellie was still trying to wrap her brain around what happened. It was difficult when you had a headache and a concussion to go along with it. Luckily it wasn't too severe. Once she was discharged she headed to Chuck's room.
She wasn't sure what she was going to say to her younger brother. Especially after Devon told her she hadn't been dreaming when she found out Chuck worked the CIA she thought about it. It actually made a lot of sense. All those times he missed important dinners or just being around, he'd been on missions.
Ellie completely understood that he had to lie but that didn't mean she had to like it. And he'd gotten shot today. How many other times has Chuck been hurt that she didn't know about? What about Sarah and Casey?
"Oh my God," Ellie whispered.
They arrived just when Chuck started acting all weird and lying to her all the time. That had to be it! The Buy More was obviously a cover story. Was Sarah's relationship with Chuck one as well? It might be but Ellie could tell they were in love even if they never admitted it.
She sighed as she headed to Chuck's room. He'd been through a lot so she wouldn't ask him any questions just now. If Ellie saw Sarah or Casey, though, she would take them aside and force them to tell her as much as they could.
Ellie paused when she saw Sarah about to enter Chuck's room. "Sarah, wait!"
The younger woman paused and turned to face her. "Oh, Ellie! I'm so glad you're okay! I was so worried about you and Chuck!"
"Just cut the crap, Sarah, I know that Chuck works for the CIA as do you and Casey."
Sarah frowned but after a moment she nodded. "Yes. Chuck is an analyst and I'm his handler. He really wasn't supposed to be in the position he was in today. It's my fault and I take full responsibility. Chuck is a very important asset that Casey and I need to protect from people like Daniels. It's also why he couldn't tell you what he was doing."
All the fight left Ellie and she listened to Sarah's speech. One thing stuck out though. "How did he get into this position today if you and Casey are supposed to be protecting him?"
"The man who held you hostage distracted us to get Chuck here. He must have know he was the one we were protecting."
"What about the computer he kept asking about?"
Sarah shook her head. "I don't know anything about a computer, Ellie. The man was disturbed."
"Tell me about it!" Ellie muttered. "Look, Sarah, this is a lot to take in and right now I don't want to worry Chuck about what I know. I am not going to say anything until he's feeling better so I would appreciate the same for you."
Ellie nodded. "Good. If you don't mind, though, I would like to visit with my brother alone. After all he did save my life!"
"Oh, yeah, definitely. Tell him I'll stop by tomorrow?"
"I will," she replied then went into the room. Chuck's eyes were closed as he lay there looking so small. He was very pale and tears started to fall.
"Don't cry, El," he whispered.
Ellie chuckled as walked to his side and took his hand. "That was usually my line to you. And use the dry erase board, please. I don't want you to strain your voice anymore than it is."
She realized he was too medicated to write. "It's okay, honey. We can talk more when you're feeling better."
Chuck took the marker and wrote two words 'You know'.
"I do," Ellie replied with a nod. "I understand why you kept it from me."
'Talk soon?' he wrote.
"I love you too, little brother."
It had been almost a week since Chuck was released from the hospital and he still hadn't talked to Ellie about what happened. He was surprised that General Beckman didn't ship all of them to the nearest bunker. Sarah said if the receptionist had transferred the call things would have gone down differently and Ellie never would have known about Chuck or the CIA.
Because of that, and Chuck's quick thinking, she was going to allow him to tell Ellie the bare minimum like Devon. Of course they decided to keep the fact that Devon had worked on a few missions before since they were classified.
So now he sat on the couch nervously as Ellie and Devon stared at him. He just finished telling him about his job as an analyst and how sometimes they have to bring him out in the field. Finally he couldn't take the silent stares anymore.
"Guys, say something!"
"That's awesome, Chuck!" Devon replied. His brother in law had been impressed before but hearing more about what Chuck had been doing apparently colored him more impressed.
Ellie smacked Devon in the arm. "This is not awesome, Devon! Chuck is risking his life when he goes out there! Remember what happened not even a month ago? He was shot! By his own handler!"
"Sarah didn't shoot me on purpose!"
"I know she didn't, Chuck, but don't know that it could happen? Don't you know that if something goes wrong and you're about to fall into the wrong hands she'll shoot you to prevent you from revealing government secrets?"
Chuck frowned. Of course he knew that. In fact Casey almost killed him before just for that reason. Ellie just didn't realize that he didn't really have a choice in the matter. He took a deep breath before replying. "El, please hear me out. I have a choice here. I can have them lock me away in the bunker and let them use me when they need me. I would be safe but I would never get to be outside again and I would never get to see you again.
"Or I can stay here with Sarah and Casey to protect me and try to stop the bad guys. And you know what, I'll give you that choice instead, El. If you want me to go into a bunker and hide, I will. You just need to let me know soon so I can tell General Beckman."
Chuck stood and went out into the courtyard. He took several deep breaths as he paced around the fountain. Finally, after what seemed like forever, Ellie came outside. "I'm sorry, Chuck. I keep forgetting you're not a little kid anymore. I just want to protect you."
"I know you do, El, and I love you even more for that," Chuck said pulling her into a hug.
"I love you too, Chuck. Just be safe out there, okay?"
He smiled at her. "I will, sis, I promise."