A/N Found this in an old file. Don't own Chuck.

Sarah vs. The Truth

Early morning.

Sarah rearranged the cups on the Weinerlicious counter.

She sighed, up from the soles of her feet, all the way up, and out of her mouth. She could not rid herself of the sadness that settled on her last night.

Ignoring the sigh and attempting not to feel the sadness, she grabbed the rag she was going to use to wipe down the counter and tabletops. Unbidden, an image of Chuck, seated at the counter, chatting with her during one of his lunch hours came to mind. She smiled, lingering on the memory.

She frowned, annoyed by her lingering on the memory.

Yesterday, while he thought they were both under the influence of truth serum, he had asked her if there was anything real between them. He had put it in his weirdly articulate way — asking if there was anything under their undercover relationship. Sarah had lied — she could resist truth serum although Chuck did not know that.

But that moment was a moment of unexpected clarity for Sarah, because she knew, as she was lying, that she was lying. Damn.

She felt herself resisting the effects of the serum. But that proved her denial false.

That was news to her — at least as much news as self-deception allowed it to be. She had been lying to herself for a long time. The truth serum had forced her to self-knowledge the fact: of course, there is something real between us.

It was so real that the truth serum had not just made her want to tell him when he asked, it made her want to kiss him for all she was worth, for all he was worth, for all the world was worth. In fact, she had been imagining that kiss — its depth, its hunger, its power — as she lied. It had taken not just her training in resisting the effects of the drug, but all her skill at lying, to keep from declaring herself, "Yes!", and then kissing him as she imagined kissing him.

She could still really taste that imaginary kiss this morning.

She licked her lips and began to wipe the counter down.

Sarah didn't want to face the truth. The person Sarah lied to most regularly and most successfully was Sarah. She knew that but it didn't stop her. The truth serum made that clear where Chuck was concerned. She felt…something real…for him. But she denied it over and over — denied it by simply not allowing herself to feel what she felt. God, I am so screwed up. But 'something real' was itself another lie, an attempt to cloak in vagueness what was clear, and would be clear to her, if she were willing to face it. Name it. She wasn't. She wasn't willing.

Sarah had perfected a strange inner life, one in which she experienced her emotions with her back turned to them—to the extent that that could be called experiencing them. The feelings were there and she had all the words she needed — all the words and more — to name them. She just refused to do so. She kept her back to them so that they would not provoke her to name them, wring their names from her.

She went to the sink and wrung out her rag and then re-wet it. She started wiping down the tables. She was having a hard time seeing them clearly. Her vision was damp.

She wanted that kiss so much, she wanted to re-live that moment so much. But she would not acknowledge it. How could a person know that they were not acknowledging something? How could you know you were in pain and still deny you were in pain? Sarah did not have any theoretical answer to such questions, but she was proof that what seemed theoretically impossible was practically possible. She lived her life knowing to be true what she denied to be true.

She heard the door open. It was Chuck. She could taste that imaginary kiss again. He was walking toward her—on a mission. Oh, no. Oh, yes. He is going to make that kiss real.

If he did, it would finish her in Burbank. It would end her time with him. She did not want to leave him. Ever. She ignored that added word. But she was so goddamned sick of denying what she knew was true. Maybe it would be enough. One bright, diamond-like flash of truth in her darkness. Maybe it would be enough to light her way even if she had to leave, to go back to her old life. Maybe this sadness would lift.

Chuck was explaining something to her. She heard it but didn't hear it. She was looking at him, at his lips. And she was bizarrely conscious of her own, as if her entire consciousness had taken up residence in her lips, as if her soul had collected there, dewy. Kiss me! Give me a moment of wholeness, of bliss. Free me from this endless self-denial, even for a moment.

Kiss me, Chuck!

She leaned toward him. His nearness now was a truth serum she could not resist. The Weinerlicious was not officially open, though she had unlocked the door. She could let the kiss take them to the supply closet. She could unbutton her top truthfully, uncovering herself for him and not for the cover.

And then Chuck broke up with her. Spoke words to that effect.

Cover broke up. Broke up. Breaking. Something broke.

And then he was out the door and she was left deserted in her lips, unkissed. Dazed, she made her way out the door and saw Chuck go into the sandwich shop. He sat down with her—with Lou. Sarah stood there for a moment. Behind her back, she heard sobs. But she did not acknowledge the sobs. She felt nothing.

Thank God there was nothing under the undercover thing. She turned around and went back inside.