the Shirley Temple
by Creedog VanDrey
Spoilers: None. This occurs before 108.
A/N: So, I hope you like it. It's my first Chuck fic, so I really haven't gotten a really good feel for it, yet. Hopefully, this will be the first of many.
Chuck vs. the Shirley Temple
It's called a Shirley Temple. No, not the drink. It's a spy procedure. I don't know who named it, but they had a strange sense of humor. I can't find any correlation besides something really perverse. And it's not exactly antithetical enough to be ironic.
Graham says it's necessary. Chuck is a loose cannon unless I can get him to trust me, really trust me, implicitly. He's going to get people killed, or worse, himself.
My plan takes almost no time to devise.
Gathering the nerve to go through with it is the hardest part. I hate deceiving Chuck, so I make myself belief that it's for his own good. And that it's at least partially genuine. That's very easy. Too easy for comfort.
Ellie greets me at the door with as big of a smile as I've ever seen from her. "You're early," she comments.
I grin and play the part, "Yeah, Scooter let me off early. Business was slow. I guess all the 13-year-old boys in L.A. have finally seen up my Wienerlicious skirt and have moved on to new thrills."
Ellie can't help but laugh at that. She's told me that the scrubs that do little to flatter her body still don't prevent young male patients from hitting on her. It would help if the boyfriend she brings up each time wouldn't exchange enthusiastic high-fives with them.
"I'd love to chat, but I've got some paperwork to catch up on," she apologizes.
"Thanks." I need the time anyway.
A knock on his door produces Chuck with his hair in disarray and his shirt only half-buttoned up. A comment of "You're early," accompanies a perplexed look.
I can hold a straight face while watching a man having his fingernails ripped off with a pair of rusty pliers. I can do the same while kissing the man who did it to him. But the image of my disheveled fake boyfriend makes me break into a smile. I'm trained to deal with the most secretive, hardened of people in the world, but I have a tragic lack of experience dealing with the most earnest.
"Can I come in?" I ask sweetly. It's a guise, I know, but I need him off guard for a little while.
"Yeah. So, what are doing tonight?" he asks me as he finishes buttoning up his shirt.
I reply with the put-on innocence that he's come to recognize, "I thought we were going to the movies."
"Yeah, I figured that was a cover for something. Foiling some nefarious plot or something." He runs his fingers through his hair, alerting him to the current state of his hair.
I explain, "Well, we are going to the theater, just not for your typical movie. Call it data mining. We've got a lot of intel pictures and we need your brain to put the pieces together."
Chuck nods as he moves the mirror to fix his hair. "Okay, but can they throw in the turtle picture again? It's my favorite." Even though I'm trying to remain in control of the situation, I giggle naturally. Chuck falls into that personality type that is easily manipulated but rarely needs to be.
"Chuck," I say with a measured mix of seriousness and sympathy, "we need to work on something. Your friends are starting to think you're pulling away from me and that I'm doing nothing about it. You know I need to remain an active part of your life."
Chuck, looking wounded, replies, "Well, what do you want me to do?"
I can easily recognize what's lacing his voice, so I shift my demeanor to a very approachable one. "Kiss me," I say with an upbeat tone that's far too easy to produce.
As expected, his eyebrows flair up. Since I caught him off guard in the middle of his styling, I move to fix his still untamed hair as I explain, "We need to run some kissing drills."
This leaves him in a perfectly ripe state for the next step.
"Uh…" is all his manages as I lick my thumb to adjust my favorite curl, the one that circles his right temple. It's so inviting. Focus, Walker!
"Show me your 'Hello, I'm home,' kiss."
"I think I left that one in my other utility belt," he comments as he pats down his waist.
With a seemingly-sincere half-grin, I reproach, "Chuck."
He sighs and awkwardly leans down. I immediately catch him with my hand and push him back. "Try again, but this time, relax." After a deep breath, he leans down. My quick reflexes sense his diversion to my cheek so a quick finger on his cheek leads him to my lips, though the peck is so short, it's over almost before it starts.
"Something wrong with my breath?" I chide, even as I continue to taste the mint of the Altoid I had on the ride over here.
He emits a weak "Sorry" before trying again. I push him away after two seconds of lip lock.
"That's more than a 'Hello' kiss, cowboy." My sarcasm is lost on him, as he's still a tad dazed.
He comes at me again, only this time, he remains in constant motion, pushing some pressure on my lips, but pulling away before the moment goes sour.
It's my pleasure to inform him that the kiss was perfect, which wipes away the worried-schoolboy look on his face.
I feel almost teacherish as I explain, "That's was good for 'arriving home' content. Show me a kiss for when you've had an especially good day at work."
"You just had a good day at work. Tang was out sick. No completely clueless customers using their CD-ROM drives as cup holders. Your girlfriend came by and gave you the first hot dog she hadn't burnt in three days. Now, welcome me home with a good-mood kiss." Sensing the need for more enticement, I link my hands behind my back and wiggle my shoulders. Chuck immediately is less tense and gives me a slightly deeper kiss, even tentatively laying a hand on my waist. It's so good, I even crane my neck when he pulls away.
"Awesome," I say, regretting the word before it even leaves my now-tingling lips. We share a couple of big grins before I remember what I'm trying to accomplish. "Alright, Casanova, moving on. I want an anniversary kiss."
Confidently, he approaches me and reaches for my shoulders, but I abruptly cut him off, matter-of-factly dictating "No, putting your hands on my shoulders is for consolation. You would do that if I were in a bad mood. On top of the shoulders if I were angry and the sides if I were sad," I recite.
"Did you take a class on this or something?"
"Yes," I reply honestly. He's lost his confidence against, so I change tactics. I grasp his hand, and lay it on the small of my back, which brings him within inches of me. I lay his other hand on my face. "Try again," I whisper. When he's only centimeters away, I add, "Tilt your head more." He follows directions well and soon we're deeply kissing. I pull back but lay my forehead against his. He predictably doesn't pull away but remains close. "Now try it with tongue." A second into the new kiss, I pull back and add, mock-chastising, "Only the tip."
I realize I'm getting too emotionally invested in this, so I refocus my mind. So far, I'm doing well. He's a quick learner, putty in my hands. But this thought causes an uncomfortable lurch in my stomach. Instead, I focus on the fact that this exercise will make Chuck happy while keeping him safe. And I enjoy the experience more. Except now I'm back to emotional investment.
We've been making out a long time, so I pull away. Chuck fumbles around. I comment, "That was more than an anniversary kiss, but there'll be time for that type of kissing, too."
"As part of the cover," he says distantly.
"As part of the cover," I echo.
It's the now-or-never moment for moving to Stage 2, so I plop down on his bed. "You're a quicker learner than I anticipated. We've still got some time before we need to head out."
He studies me. I hate when men study me, but I don't flinch. "You thought I'd be bad at kissing?"
"I didn't know. It's been a while since you've dated. I had to err on the side of caution." I give him an apologetic look.
"I get it. Like allocating space for a buffer?"
I don't understand the reference, of course, so I assume it's some computer technical jargon. His embarrassed response to his comment confirms my suspicions.
"It's okay," I cut him off. I need him at a certain level on confidence and letting him babble would lower it below the threshold. I extend my hand invitingly. "Let's just talk."
Okay, how best to direct him toward Stage 2? "Anything but work," I answer, "Now would be a good time to ask me about myself."
"You won't lie?" he asks, almost surprised.
I reply frankly, "Chuck, if I have to, I will. But the stuff I have to lie about, it's just to protect my identity. There's no database of people's favorite ice cream flavors that will give me away. So, as long as we're on the subject, I hate rocky road and I love anything with caramel or mint." It's a fairly small peace offering, but for him, it's huge.
Chuck sits down on the bed, leaving a generous gap between us. "Um," he begins uncertainly, "do you have any brothers or sisters?"
"Can't reveal that," I respond stoically, "it could help identify me." Dammit, too harsh. Why can't you keep your head in the game?
He turns away, and I read the body language immediately. "Fine, are you a cat or a dog person?" The question is laced with some hostility, but I know how to respond.
I turn so that I'm sitting cross-legged facing him, decreasing the distance between us by about eight inches. "Dog person, definitely. Nothing too big, thought. Maybe a golden retriever. I like most terriers. You know, something… earnest and friendly."
The comparison hits me after I say it. Makes me wonder why I ever went for the German Shepherd type.
Chuck turns back to face me, and leans toward me slightly, supporting himself with his arm. "Favorite author?"
"Ever heard of George R. R. Martin?"
His eyes light up. "Ellie's a huge fan. She'd read the Fire and Ice series while I'd read The Lord of the Rings."
I'd never peg Ellie as a Martin fan. "No way," I scoot forward, hoping it doesn't seem deliberate.
"C'mon, I can quote Tolkien in my sleep."
"Well, that doesn't surprise me." I brush my hand against his. He shifts and I pretend not to notice. "Is this a two-way street?" I ask, directly the conversation.
"Of course. My life's an open book. I thought you were C.I.A."
I'm dying to ask a question on the topic I dare not broach. No need to risk it. "We don't knoweverything about you. Why don't you like to dance?"
Chuck pauses for a second, just a second, before answering, "Jill loved to. As you may remember, I'm horrible at it."
This was not the territory I was shooting for, but it's good enough to start. I comment, "I was kinda distracted at the moment. Fending off NSA agents and all."
"Huh. Anyway, she took one look at my style and we suddenly stopped going out dancing."
"Chuck, dancing is about 75 percent confidence. If you think you suck, you usually do. She probably assumed you didn't like it."
"It's not like I don't like dancing. I actually did like five years of cotillion."
"I was wondering how you learned to tango in one afternoon." Hoping to veer the conversation away from Jill, I asked further, "Anyway, on our first date, we went out for margaritas. Who turned you on to them?"
"Ellie," he replies, not even flinching as I tactlessly mention our first date. That's good. "Loves to make them. Captain Awesome, too. They're awesome, of course."
"Of course. Favorite type?"
"Lime. They're no fun when they're too sweet. Got to a have a little tang to them." I should be pleased that he's looking fairly intently as he says this. It works right into the plan. My stomach turns again as I call it "the plan" mentally.
After talking myself out of my guilt, I'm ready to proceed. I reposition myself so that I'm on my knees on his bed, which brings me within a foot of Chuck. Lowering my voice, I ask, "Assuming there was no getting kicked out of Stanford, what would you have done with your life?" Realizing the openness of the question, I tack on, "Job-wise."
"I dunno. I kind of missed that first senior career fair." I was hoping the question wouldn't bog him down emotionally, so I'm glad when he continues. "I would have looked into video game designing maybe. Though, I really hadn't taken all the right classes for that. I mean, there was the whole becoming a millionaire off my own software company dream, but I couldn't tell you the first thing about what kind of software I would have built. We all think we could program the next OS that would…" He suddenly drops off, "I'm boring you, aren't you?"
I lay my hand on his arm, "No," but add, "Okay, a little, but I'm more watching your expression than listening to what you're saying." I hadn't intended to be so frank—sound so frank, I mean—but I'm able to work it in when I accompany it with some gazing.
I've given him the look. My face is within inches of his. He leans in… and…
"Sarah," he whispers.
Dammit, can't you take a hint?
I lay my head against his. "Yeah?" I reply, knowing he's got nothing to say.
Rule #1 is the other person has to make the first move. Screw that.
I press my lips against his.
It's a short kiss, giving him the opportunity to ask in a very low voice, "More kissing drills?"
"Sure." I intended to sound insincere on purpose, but there appeared to be no need to lie.
And we're kissing again.
And then we're lying down kissing. Looks like the plan is…
Dammit, I cannot do this while I think of it as a plan! You've started this, sister; just play it to the end! You're doing the right thing!
So, kissing is just making out until more than the lips are employed. Then it's petting. We're petting now.
I have to keep Chuck's mind otherwise occupied; thought is the enemy. I begin to kiss his neck. This gives him implicit permission to do the same to me when I'm done. Now I just need the opportunity to…
And there it is. He kisses me on that spot on my neck that I like, so I hum in appreciation, making the threading of my fingers in his hair seem natural. Now, I can subtly control his head with the slightest pressure of my fingers.
The next order of business is the removal of clothing. However, you can never go straight for the undressing. It's too obvious. Skin has to be accidental before it's on purpose. So, I rub my body up against his and when his shirt rides up, it gives me the opportunity to touch the strip of skin of his stomach. And once skin-to-skin contact has been made, the barrier is broken. So, when the shoulder of my sweater falls down, he can kiss my shoulder, and thanks to my leading hands, he does. And suddenly, he realizes he has the right to run his hands under my shirt. And when he does, I make sure to show just the right amount of approval: at first, I don't acknowledge that he's doing it, but, after a few moments, I twist, making a happy noise, and it's all the permission he needs.
Despite what you see in the movies, ripping open a shirt is not a good idea. Buttons tend to break off, and it's usually more distracting than erotic. But if a trained hand like mine were to skim his chest like so, the top button might "accidentally" become undone. More floodgates open, and soon, all the buttons are being undone. One the outer shirt is off, the law of equality dictates mine is next. Together, his shaky hands and my agile ones get it off.
The next part is the crux of the… procedure. Once the bra's off, only a catastrophe could cause a derailment. But since Chuck's definitely not an expert, it's in my best interest to lend a hand. Luckily, twisting my arm around my back and popping the clasp never ceases to amaze.
He stares, of course, but since I'm giving him a smile when he jerks his head back up in embarrassment, his shame melts away. I press my lips against his again, knowing I have to keep him right-brained throughout. A stray hand moves up his chest and gives a little pinch on his nipple, and…
He jerks away. Dammit, that always works! I move to the next erogenous zone on the list: the earlobe; and I'm successful in averting a catastrophe.
But a little insurance doesn't hurt. My fingers, still having a good excuse to be laced in his curls, slowly pull him down to my newly exposed chest. Moving my hand to the sides of his face, I let my thumbs rest on the hinge of his jaw. If he lips are too lax, I press behind the jaw to tense up his mouth. When he gets too forceful, I push at the hinge to loosen his grip. And when the suction's too mild, a nice stroke to the throat activates his swallowing reflex, which turns out too be a more pleasurable trick that I remembered.
The rules are less specific from here, but I'm making sure things still go according to plan.
His hands graze my hips, which I really wish he wouldn't do. It's personal. I know I'm attractive. Part of it is good genes; a lot of it tireless work. So, I'm really in no position to complain about my body, but… I hate my hips. They're just not curvy enough. It's why I wear boy shorts all the time; they're the only kind of panties that flatter my figure. Say what you want about my Wienerlicious uniform, but a pleated A-line skirt is a godsend.
Sarah, you're not paying attention.
When the time comes, it's a gamble taking a position on top, but it works out. Chuck seems sufficiently enthralled and doesn't feel the need to assert his masculinity. Hey, you never know.
Being on top gives me control. I can move in a way that gives me the maximum pleasure while keeping Chuck on edge. Let's just say that's a good idea for what I'm trying to accomplish. His hands are resting on my waist, which makes my job more difficult, so I take them and give them something more productive to do further up on my body. A little bit of directing my hands, not to mention the fairly sincere verbal encouragement and he's making my job almost too easy. This frees my hands to rest on his hips, where I can better control his reactions.
So, it turns out that Chuck takes direction very well, and before I know it, it's time to enact the final step of this particular stage. I hold down his hands and give him a forceful kiss, which doesn't last nearly as long as I want it to, before I press my forehead to his and for once completely unbridle my reactions. I allow him to follow his own instincts. Congratulations, another satisfied customer. And saleswoman.
This is a particularly tiring stage, so I allow myself the small pleasure of catching my breath as I lay on his sweaty chest.
Now, it's time for Stage 3. I'm actually kind of sad that I have to return to controlling myself, but Stage 3 is the most important. I sit up, not bothering to cover myself up.
His reaction to my regretful face truly breaks my heart. "Chuck," I whisper, my voice strained by atypical feelings in my gut, "this was a mistake."
He immediately begins to distance himself from me, as much as he can, emotionally and physically. Good, I need that at this moment.
"No, Chuck, it's not you, or us, it's me. We can't…" I let that simmer. "If we keep… doing this," I pretend to finally manage to say. "Then it compromises everything."
He's still not coming back to me, so I continue, trying my best to either keep my voice from cracking or pretending to, "Chuck, if this goes on, I can't remain objective. I'm already…" I rethink this. "I was already walking a very narrow line here. We live very dangerous lives, Chuck." I feel like I'm saying his name a lot, but I realize that it's not a bad idea. I start to add panic to my voice, without paying attention to where it's coming from, "What happens if we get caught in a bad situation? What if some enemy spy pulls a gun on you and I freeze up? I put your life and my life in danger." As I expect, he immediately understands the mutual concern aspect of what I'm saying. "Not to mention Casey's. And what happens if we're on a double-date with Ellie and Captain Awesome?" I can see his heart drop. "Or hanging out with Morgan? What if it happens at the Buy More? I'm putting all your colleagues and possibly customers in danger." By now, Chuck's look of dread matches mine. "Do you understand?"
"Yeah," he replies, sitting up too to wrap his hands around my shoulders. "Yeah, I do."
In near desperation that's about half real, I continue, "I'm just trying to protect—"
As I hoped, he hugs me tightly, "Yeah, I know. You're… you're trying to protect me."
And he's mine. I could lead him around on a leash if I wanted to.
But I don't dare. I couldn't live with myself if I weren't protecting him.
And I can't tell if that excuse rings hollow or all too solid.
Our "date" goes fairly well. Chuck seems distracted most of the time, though Casey doesn't complain, as I'm sure he's figured out what happened.
"A Shirley Temple?" his gruff voice asks, doing nothing to hide the amusement there.
I can only nod.
When I get back to my apartment, I can't shake the heaviness of my stomach.
And I can't figure out which I want first: a scalding hot shower or a pint of freezing cold ice cream.
A/N: This was a hard fic to write. Let me know what you think.
©2007 Godeerc VanDrey Enterprises, Inc. Created Saturday, October 27, 2007. Finished Friday, November 16, 2007.