Hey guys! I promise I'm not dead nor am I giving up on this story. I've just had some stuff that I had to deal with for med school. I've been writing... Just for applications. :/ BUT! No worries! Because I've started writing this story once more! Updates will still come a little slow but I've kinda gotten over my writer's block so it's better than just staring at the screen with no idea what I'm doing. Anyways, on with the story!
Disclaimer: I do not own Chuck. I wish I did, but alas. It is not written.
Chuck Versus the Wedding Singer
"You've got to be kidding me!" Ellie groaned as she hung up the phone. She and Sarah had spent the day making last minute adjustments and decisions for the upcoming wedding, which was only a couple days away.
"What's up?" the blonde asked, looking up from the long shopping list in front of her. The two were currently at said store, picking up some extra supplies that they needed.
"The reception hall just canceled."
"What?! Why?" Sarah felt as panicked as Ellie looked.
"They double booked the night and because the other party put in a bigger down deposit, they dropped us." Sarah frowned. That's stupid. That was the reception hall's fault, not theirs. "Sarah, I don't know what to do! The wedding is in two days." Sarah took a deep breath and thought everything through, going over every option she could come up with.
"Okay, the first thing we need to do is calm down," she said even though she knew that that probably wasn't what the soon-to-be bride wanted to hear. "This is why you chose me as your bridesmaid. To help problem-solve these things." She thought for a minute before the answer hit her like a ton of bricks. "The restaurant," she blurted without really thinking.
"The restaurant. My restaurant. Il Castello can host your wedding reception," Sarah said, a smile growing on her face.
"What?" Ellie had a far-off, dazed look as though she couldn't believe what was happening.
"Yeah! It's perfect!" Sarah said, buying the idea more and more as she thought about it. "Your wedding is on a Sunday so the restaurant will be closed anyway. I can ask the wait staff to come in and work. I'd have to pay them of course, but that's not an issue. We can clear the middle of the house to put down a dance floor and your band can set up on the stage. It'll work." Ellie looked at Sarah with wide eyes.
"Are you sure? What about the food? The hall was also supposed to cater."
"I'm absolutely sure," Sarah confirmed. "And don't worry about food. I've got that covered, too. Send me a list of what the reception hall was going to cater and I'll talk to my kitchen staff." Luckily, Sarah's staff was trained in all kinds of cuisine so no matter what the kind of food they were supposed to offer to the guests, her staff could deliver. And, they'd probably deliver way better than the reception hall. Sarah was immediately pulled into a bear hug by the older Bartowski sibling.
"You are the absolute best. Thank you so much." Ellie looked about ready to burst into tears by Sarah's offer. The entire reception was on the verge to being a complete disaster but Sarah had literally averted the crisis in less than five minutes.
"It's no problem, really. And, this way, you save more money."
"What? No, I can pay you. They offered a full refund of our down payment, thankfully," Ellie insisted. Sarah shook her head adamantly.
"No, Ellie. I've got it covered. Don't worry about it."
"Sarah," the older woman said sternly as though she were admonishing a child. "I'm not arguing with you on this. I'm paying you."
Not wanting to argue either, Sarah acquiesced. "Fine… But only whatever you paid that original down payment. Nothing more," she offered as a compromise.
"That works for me."
"The reception is being moved to Il Castello?" Chuck frowned in confusion from his spot on the couch. Ellie and Sarah had just gotten home from their day out. Devon and Chuck had stayed home, taking care of wedding things on the groom's end. The four of them had reconvened in Ellie and Devon's apartment since it was practically 'wedding central' over there.
"Yeah. It's perfect," Sarah said, taking a seat beside her boyfriend. Chuck's arm instinctively found its way around her shoulders. "I'm going to need your help with setting everything up, though."
"Like…?" Chuck asked hesitantly. His skills didn't exactly go beyond tinkering with programming or hard drives.
"I need you to call a rental place and get a dance floor," Sarah told Chuck getting straight to business. They had a lot of things to do with not a lot of time to do it. "We just need one that we can have assembled. While you do that, I'll call the wait staff and see if any of them are interested in working overtime."
"I can do that," Chuck smiled. Sunday morning was going to be a whirlwind, Sarah already knew.
While they did that, Ellie and Devon were on the computer, changing the address for the reception on the wedding programs. They were going to print them out the next day and it was a good thing, too, that they waited.
It wasn't long before everything was once again squared away. Sarah was able to get a good number of servers and kitchen staff to come in. Chuck found a dance floor for rent, the programs were updated, and Sarah had also started on the menu. She and Zondra wouldn't be able to be in the kitchen the whole night, but she trusted her staff; and, her and Zondra could alternate checking in on them occasionally throughout the night.
Sarah and Ellie fine-tuned the details for the reception now that it was at the restaurant. Sarah drew a quick layout of the space on a sheet of paper and the two women worked on redesigning the layout and seating chart while Chuck and Devon went out to grab them some food. "Thanks again for doing this Sarah," Ellie said as they mapped out the new seating chart.
"Like I said, it's no problem. I'm glad that Il Castello could be of use," Sarah said as she wrote in guest names. "What, uh, did you tell Honey?" she asked tentatively.
Honey Woodcomb was a force to be reckoned with. Being a doctor, married to a doctor, with three doctor sons, Ellie's soon-to-be mother-in-law had all but taken control over the Bartowski-Woodcomb wedding the moment she found out her eldest son was getting married. It was both a blessing and a curse to Ellie – but mostly a curse.
She was grateful to have a mother figure help her through wedding preparations. She'd already been without a mother's guidance going through her teenaged years. So she was thankful that Honey had stepped up to help her with finding good contacts for wedding stuff, but her and Honey hardly ever agreed on anything. Ellie wanted Calla Lilies, Honey wanted pink roses; Ellie wanted a small beach wedding, Honey wanted the big church wedding. It was difficult to decide on anything and compromises were rare as both women were stubborn and did not want to give in even a little. After some mediation by Devon, they'd managed to agree upon a mix of the calla lilies and the pink roses and a beach wedding like Ellie wanted, but Honey got to pick the caterers and the reception hall.
Remembering her fiancé's mother, Ellie groaned and dropped her head on the table. "I haven't told her yet." Sarah grimaced, she'd met the woman twice: once when they were picking bridesmaids dresses, and another when they were at a food tasting. Already, Sarah felt bad for Ellie.
"When does she get in?" she asked.
"Tomorrow morning. I'm thinking we hold off telling her until then," Ellie suggested. Sarah nodded.
"Who's up for some Bamboo Dragon?" Chuck's voice called as the front door opened. He and Devon came in with bags of food hanging from their hands. Ellie and Sarah stood immediately to clear the table of wedding plans and set the table for dinner.
Later that night, Sarah and Chuck collapsed on their bed, after they'd stripped down and dressed in their pajamas, of course. With the wedding so close, everything had been full speed ahead and the couple, Chuck being the best man and Sarah being one of the bridesmaids, was essentially the bride and groom's right hands in terms running errands – especially since Ellie's maid of honor was also a doctor and was currently working a triple in order to get Sunday off. Sarah moaned in exhaustion as she rolled over to cuddle with Chuck. He placed a kiss on the top of her head. "Chuck?" she asked, her voice slightly muffled by the fabric of his shirt.
"What were your parents like?" she asked. They never really talked about Chuck's parents even after nearly six months of dating. Sure enough, Sarah felt Chuck tense slightly at the question.
"W-Why do you ask?" There was uncertainty and a slight tremble to his voice and all Sarah wanted to do was take it away.
"Ellie and I were talking about Devon's parents and I could just tell that she wished that your mom was here helping her through this," Sarah explained.
Chuck sighed and pulled Sarah's body closer to him. "They were great, I guess," he started. "I don't really have any memories of them that are bad. Things were great, actually. That's why it was so strange when my mom went to work one day and just never came back. My dad… He took her leaving the hardest, I think. Drowned himself in his work, always locked up in his office, playing on his computers and machines. Then… when Ellie was eighteen, he told her, one day, that he was going to make pancakes for dinner to celebrate her getting into UCLA. But… when he left for the store to buy ingredients… he just didn't come back." Chuck was absentmindedly rubbing a hand up and down Sarah's back in a way that probably gave him more assurance than her.
"Chuck…" she managed, sympathy etching her tone.
"Nah, it's okay, Sarah. You don't need to apologize or anything," he insisted. "Ellie and I had to grow up at young ages, but, I mean, here we are now, right? It took us a while to get solid footing. Ellie was balancing checkbooks and bank accounts at the age of twelve. I worked two jobs in high school while Ellie worked another while in college. We sold the house and bought this apartment instead to get some cushion cash. It helped that we both had full scholarships for school so that wasn't ever an issue. It was rough, but it was manageable. And, we had each other to lean on for anything so it wasn't ever as bad as it could have been."
Sarah shifted so that she could look Chuck in the eyes. "I love you," she said. There was nothing else she could say. He didn't want an apology or pity or anything like that. Sarah knew in that moment, that all Chuck wanted, needed, was her. To be there. To support, not only him, but his sister as well. To love them. And she would do that. In anyway that she could, so long as they would have her.
Chuck didn't respond verbally. He didn't need to. The look in his eyes showed Sarah the level of love and adoration he had for her. Reciprocating the soft smile he had on his face, Sarah leant up and placed a kiss on his lips. It was slow and inviting. One that was full of promise and hope for the future. Their future.
Despite their exhaustion and the fact that they had to be up early the next day to continue with wedding preparations, Chuck and Sarah found themselves getting buried in the covers, their already minimal amount of clothing getting stripped and tossed haphazardly to the floor, as they expressed the depth of their love to each other. The slow tempo added a new depth to the intimacy that they shared with one another and they continued on until they were both spent and fell asleep in each others arms.
Sarah walked into the kitchen of Il Castello. The kitchen staff had been there all day prepping and cooking for the wedding reception that was set to take place in less than an hour.
The wedding ceremony was a beautiful affair. They stood on the beach in the late afternoon, the sea breeze strong enough to keep the temperature cool, but not strong enough to blow the entire setup away. She could clearly see the joy in Chuck's eyes as he gave away his sister to Devon and as the couple shared the beginning of their lives together in front of their closest family and friends. Throughout the ceremony, Sarah found herself shooting glances at Chuck and on multiple occasions caught him shooting similar glances at her as well.
Right after the ceremony, there was a short photo shoot for the wedding party and the families of the bride and groom. Once Sarah and Zondra got the clear, the two left the beach to head toward the restaurant to make sure everything was set up. The band that Ellie and Devon had hired were all set up on the stage, the dance floor was placed over the carpet of the main floor. Her wait staff was finishing the place settings and the centerpieces. Her and Zondra decided to split up so that Zondra would check in with the wait staff and Sarah went into the kitchen to see how the prep was going.
"Verbanski," she called out to her sous chef. The older woman turned in attention.
"What's the sit-rep?"
"The bread rolls are in the oven, the appetizers are plated and in the holding cabinets, and the sea bass, steak, and chicken plates are prepped and ready," Verbanski informed her.
"Perfect." Sarah smiled. "The guests are on the way so go ahead and start cooking and plating, and place them in the holding cabinets to keep them warm. Once the guests start to arrive, tell the wait staff to grab the trays of hors d'oeuvres and start serving those. Dinner begins after Devon and Ellie's first dance."
"Zondra and I will be in every now and then to check on things but for the most part, you and Ilsa will be in charge."
"Yes, Chef," the sous chef replied. Sarah gave a dismissive nod and Verbanski turned to get back to her station.
Sarah knew that the rest of the wedding party and the guests would be arriving shortly so she went back into the front of the house to speak to the band to tell them to go ahead and start their first set whenever they were ready.
The guests started to trickle in slowly and Sarah disappeared into the back of the house, as there would be an introduction of the wedding party before the introduction of the bride and groom. Zondra stayed out in the front of the room to keep an eye on things. The back door opened revealing Chuck, followed by the rest of the wedding party. "Hey," he greeted her with a quick peck.
"Hey, how're Ellie and Devon?"
"Oh, they're fantastic. They'll be here in a bit. The photographer wanted some last minute photos of them in front of the sunset. Very romantic."
"Alright, everyone, find your partners!" Honey's voice commanded as the short woman walked in.
"See you in a bit?" Chuck asked.
"Yeah." They kissed quickly once more before Chuck went off to find Abigail, Ellie's best friend and maid of honor. Sarah found her partner, Michael, one of Devon's two brothers. They lined up in the same order as they did during the procession for the wedding ceremony.
"ETA of the bride and groom is five minutes!" Honey announced. "All of the guests are here! Let's go!" The group filed out, following Honey Woodcomb out the back door, toward the front of the restaurant.
Sarah remembered when Ellie first told Honey about the change in venue. The woman just about blew a gasket at how unprofessional and how earth shattering the issue was. That, of course, was when Sarah stepped in and informed Devon's mother that the issue was taken care of. Honey wasn't happy, but she was satisfied with a high rated restaurant as the venue of her son's "biggest day of his life." Sarah slightly annoyed at the bare tolerance Honey had for her restaurant. Her critically acclaimed restaurant. But whether or not Honey agreed or disagreed, there was nothing she could do with only a day before the actual wedding.
As they made it to the front door, Ellie and Devon's car pulled up the driveway and parked right up against the sidewalk. The valet team ran up to open the door for the newlyweds. "It's show time!" Honey yelled, signaling to the wait staff by the door to open it up.
The procession began, with a quick introduction of each of the bridesmaids and groomsmen. The wedding party moved toward their assigned tables and remained standing as the rest of the guests joined them to welcome "for the first time, Mr. and Mrs. Devon Woodcomb." Applause ensued as Ellie and Devon walked in, heading straight for the dance floor. The song changed and the couple shared their first dance together as husband and wife.
As they danced, everyone took their seats and chatted softly, some taking pictures of the happy couple, others clinking their water glasses to elicit a kiss from the couple. Sarah signaled to Mei Ling to go ahead and start serving the appetizers.
Everything was running smoothly, each course was distributed in a timely manner and Sarah could hear the praise each guest had for the dishes. At one point, she caught Zondra's eye and the two shared a knowing smirk.
Chuck leaned over as he took a bite of his tiramisu. "You have outdone yourself once again, love." He leaned over and brushed his lips against hers. His praise was misplaced, however; she hadn't even been in the kitchen since dinner started. But, she wasn't going to turn down the opportunity to kiss her boyfriend. When they pulled away, she smirked at him.
"Don't you have to go and give a speech or something?" she reminded him. He paled slightly.
"It's that time?"
"It's that time." Taking one last bite of his tiramisu and a gulp of his water, Chuck wiped his mouth, and stood up, making his way over to the stage to meet up with the maid of honor. The maid of honor spoke first, talking about how long she'd known Ellie, the change she'd seen in her friend after she'd met Devon, how happy he makes her and vice versa. It was a beautiful speech and Sarah swore she saw tears threatening the bride's eyes. Next, Chuck stepped up and cleared his throat.
"Uh… Hi," he greeted awkwardly. "You guys may know me as Ellie's little brother. And I just wanted to say a few quick words to my sister and my new brother." Chuck paused as he wiped a clammy hand on his pant leg and adjusting his tie. "Ellie and I… We haven't had the easiest childhood. She was pretty much the head of the house at the age of 12. And… I wasn't exactly the easiest kid brother to deal with." There were slight chuckles at that. "But Ellie… she took care of me. She made sure that I had a home, food to eat, clothes to wear. She's spent her whole life taking care of me. But then, one day, she brought home this guy. Devon. And, I saw that he made her happy. That he took care of her. That he enjoyed taking care of her and making her happy. Devon was… awesome. And, I knew, even then, that he would give my sister what she deserved: a life of love, happiness, and adventure. The two are perfect for each other. The head and the heart. And I wish them all the best and many nieces and nephews." The crowd chuckled again. "To Ellie and Devon."
"Cheers!" Everyone took a sip from their champagne flutes but Chuck still hadn't left the stage. Sarah frowned in confusion.
"Before I leave the stage, there's something else that I need to do," he said. Ellie looked back at Sarah in confusion, but the blonde could only shrug in response. She had no idea what her boyfriend was doing. "I promised Ellie, once, when we were in high school, that I would sing at her wedding." Sarah's eyes widened. She knew that Chuck could hold a tune, but to perform with a live band? He hadn't even told her that he was planning this. "And, well, after this, you all are free to hit the dance floor. So… Ellie, Devon. This one's for you." The band started playing a slow song started and Chuck loosened his tie slightly.
"Wise men say
Only fools rush in.
But I can't help falling in love with you."
Sarah gasped slightly. Chuck had… a beautiful voice. She wondered why he never shared that with her. Chuck locked eyes with Sarah briefly and he shot her a wink. There was a key change and a shift in tempo, making the song move from a soulful ballad to an upbeat jazz song meant to get people to dance. It worked.
"Shall I stay?
Would it be a sin
If I can't help falling in love with you?"
As Chuck continued the song, more and more guests stood up out of their seat to move toward the dance floor. Sarah herself remained standing at the edge of the dance floor, her eyes trained on her boyfriend. Even though he was singing it as a dedication for his sister and her new brother, Sarah couldn't help but feel like there was a underlying message in there for her as well.
"Like a river flows
Surely to the sea
Darling, so it goes
Some things are meant to be.
"Take my hand,
Take my whole life, too.
For I can't help falling in love with you.
For I can't help falling in love with you."
Right as Chuck's song ended, the band transitioned straight into a song that Sarah recognized, "Crazy Little Thing Called Love." The band's singer stood up, taking Chuck's place.
The tall nerd made his way through the dance floor toward his girlfriend. When he reached her, he was surprised to see that her arms were crossed over her chest. He stopped, wondering why she looked mad… or was it annoyed? Both? "You never told me you could sing," was the only thing she said. He chuckled and moved closer to her, deeming it safe. He pulled her into his arms and pressed a kiss to her forehead.
"I don't normally advertise that particular talent," he told her sheepishly. He always hated it when Ellie dragged him to karaoke bars and forced him to sing something.
"Why not? You have a great voice," Sarah said. Chuck shrugged, not really sure of his reason.
"I'm not really one for attention," he offered. It wasn't a lie. He hated being the center of attention, preferring to work in the background. Sarah smiled.
"I know," she said. "But I want you to know something. You'll always have my attention." They shared a smile.
"May I have this dance?"
The two joined the rest of the party on the dance floor, even switching dance partners with Ellie and Devon at one point. When it came time for the father/daughter and mother/son dance, Chuck stepped up and danced in lieu of his father. He'd also been the one to give Ellie away at the altar and Ellie wouldn't have had it any other way. Chuck was the one constant in her life. Now, they were both grown up, but she knew that Chuck would always remain as her constant, even if she was married now, or even if they both had their own families. She knew that they would always be there for one another.
The night ended with Ellie and Devon cutting the cake and the guests enjoying dessert before saying their goodbyes. Ellie and Devon had their official send off and were on their way to the airport to start their honeymoon. With everyone gone, it was just Sarah, Chuck, Zondra, and the staff left in the restaurant. Zondra had offered to stay back and close up the restaurant and help clean up so that Sarah could go back and spend time with Chuck, but then Chuck walked by the two women with a tray of dirty dishes balanced on his shoulder.
It was near ten at night when they finally finished cleaning everything. Sarah thanked her staff as they all left. Zondra left with the other staff members, letting Sarah have some time alone with Chuck. Once Sarah locked everything up, she met up with Chuck in his office. "You ready to go?" he asked, looking up from his computer screen, when she entered the room.
"When you are," she replied. He stood from his chair and walked over to her, pulling her into a long, slow kiss.
"This was a great day," he said when they separated. Sarah hummed in agreement, placing her head on his chest. "Thank you."
Sarah pulled away slightly and looked up at him in confusion. "For what?"
"For letting Il Castello be the reception venue and getting the staff to come in and work. For sticking around, helping us get this wedding planned, for… everything that you do for our family," Chuck replied.
"Chuck, it's no big deal," Sarah assured. "Like you said. This is our family. You, Ellie, Devon, even Morgan are my family. Family does stuff like this for each other." Chuck gave her a soft smile and Sarah swore she could see the love he had for her in his chocolate eyes.
"I love you."
"I love you, too." Sarah pressed another kiss on Chuck's lips. "Come on, let's go home."
And there you have it! Another chapter done! We're reaching the final stretch so hold on tight!
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