This is my final chapter for this story! Thanks everybody for following along and reading. I've had an absolute blast with this story, though it's a bit more angsty than I wanted it to be…is that even a word…oh well I still love it. Again, thank you for reading and ENJOY!!
Sarah and Casey stood outside of the hospital room, watching their friend intently through the wide window. Chuck was lying still in his bed, his chest raising and falling slow and evenly. He hadn't woken up since he had passed out in the warehouse a few hours ago. Beside him was his older sister, her puffy, tear-worried eyes never leaving her brother's bruised face. Morgan and Captain Awesome had been there earlier, both leaving to get something to eat for themselves and Ellie.
"Do you think it was okay, lying to them like that?" Sarah asked her eyes focused on the same thing as the other woman's.
Casey nodded. "Well, it wasn't a complete lie. We just left out a few details. It's not like we could have came up with anything else. I don't think Bartowski could handle telling another lie…not in the state he'll be in when he wakes up."
"Still, that's not a story that people want to hear..."
Casey agreed, looking at the two siblings inside the room. When they called and told Ellie and the others about Chuck being sent to the hospital, they had rushed down as fast as they could.
Even though the doctor told Ellie Chuck was about to go into surgery and couldn't go back there; she push the older man roughly aside and sped to her brother as fast as she could, actually impressing Casey with her reflexes.
As the doctors were rolling Chuck into the emergency room, Ellie caught sight of them and Chuck's beaten form, letting out a horror filled scream and nearly collapsed as they rushed past her.
"What happened to him?" she asked in a shaking breath, the doctor she pushed away helping her up, knowing that she must be in pain.
"He was severely beaten." He said, Ellie's face going white; her body trembling. "Apart from the multiple bruises on his face and neck, Mr. Bartowski had severe bruising on his back and stomach, suffering from two broken ribs and one cracked. His left hand bone was broken in three places. The thing that worries us the most though was the bullet imbedded in his right hip bone. He's lost a lot of blood."
Ellie felt her heart plummet into her stomach. "What?" he voice was a small whisper.
The doctor shook his head. "You need to go back into the waiting room, there's nothing you can do for him."
She nodded her head numbly, tears falling silently onto her face. The man put his hand gently on her shoulder. "We'll do everything in our power to help him. I swear it to you."
"Thank you." She said so low that the doctor barley heard her as he lead her back down the halls and to Devon, who wrapped his arm around her and guided her to the others. When Devon got her back into the lobby, Ellie's eyes locked on to Sarah. Overcome with worry and grief, she shook off her boyfriend's arm and marched towards Sarah; latching onto her arms.
"What the hell happened to my brother!!" she screamed at the female, her face converted into rage and sadness. Sarah could barely look at her.
"You and John were with him, weren't you!!? How did he get like that!!
"Ellie, sweetie it was her fault-" Devon tried to intervene, grabbing her by the shoulders.
"HOW COULD YOU LET THIS HAPPEN?!!"
Sarah felt a stab out guilt hit her heart at Ellie's words. The young brunette finally broke down, her sobs covering up her words. Devon took her in his arms, giving both of them an apologetic look. Morgan finally looked up at Sarah, giving her a small, sad smile. He then turned to Casey, a serious expression etched across his face.
"Seriously dude," his voice cracked, "What happened to Chuck?"
Casey glanced sideways at Sarah, her eyes cast downwards. He sighed in annoyance.
"Do you remember the guy that….approached Chuck aggressively in the Buy More earlier this week?" Sarah and Morgan's eyes both widen at his question; for two different reasons.
"Apparently," Casey continued, keeping his eyes on Morgan's face, "that guy was some kind of psychotic terrorist; I wasn't told what he had done; only that he was in the top 50 most wanted list. He thought Chuck noticed who he was. That's why he tried to get him in the store."
"Whoa…" Morgan gasped, his skin going paler than usual. Sarah listened along to Casey's story, wondering what her partner was up to.
"So earlier today, the guy spotted Chuck again, with us. Out of desperation I guess, he grabbed chuck from right in front of us, and sped off. Sarah caught the plate number and we called the police. They tracked him down an hour later and found him….like that. A officer killed the man before he could finish him off."
Morgan was now looking at the floor, his hand covering his eyes. Devon was looking at Casey, his tan face going pale. Ellie was still crying, hearing the horrible story and filling her with more dread.
"Jesus Christ." Morgan gasped, filling nauseated. "That guy beat the crap out of him because of that?" He looked at Sarah, and then to Casey, "Do you guys know if…he is going to be…okay?"
"I hope so." Casey sighed, everyone falling into an uncomfortable silence afterwards. About an hour later, the doctor from earlier walked towards them, his face visible with relief.
"Mrs. Bartowski, I'm happy to inform you that your brother is going to pull threw. We retrieved the bullet from his hip successfully, though he won't be able to walk for a few months. His hand has also been cast and ribs had been taped up. He is asleep now, but you are welcome to sit with him until he wakes up."
And that's where the group has been since then, watching chuck sleeping peacefully. Sarah pinched the brim of her nose, filling a headache coming on.
"You know she doesn't blame you right?" Casey said to his partner. She just nodded.
"It doesn't matter. I blame myself."
The first thing Chuck's noticed as he came back into consciousness was the sound of a faint beep beside him. He was lying on something soft; the coldness of his body was covered by something warm. His pain was dulled to small aches and breathing was easier. Chuck also noticed something warm and familiar was holding onto his hand. A moment later he felt a small wet drop hit his skin, a soft sobbing sound echoing around him.
"Please wake up soon Chuck..."
He opened his eyes slowly and saw his sister sitting beside him, grasping his hand into hers. Ellie's eyes were shut tight, tears spilling from the side. He turned his head towards her slightly, squeezing her hand.
"Hey Elle…" his said with a smile, his voice dry and raspy. Her eye popped opened and looked at him, searching his face. In an instant she was on top of him, holding him close to her and crying into his shoulder.
"Oh my god Chuck," she sobbed happily, "You're alive!"
She pushed away immediately, hearing the pain in his voice. "Sorry."
He smiled at her, taking his hand into his. They sat in silence for a moment, both happy to be with each other again.
Sarah smiled as she saw the scene before her, immediately heading for the door. Casey stopped her.
"Hold on." He said, noticing her eyes narrowing. Morgan and Devon were rounding the corner at the moment; Casey looking up at them.
"Bartowski's awake." Morgan and Devon dropped what they were holding and sprinted towards them, nearly knocking down the door to get into the room. Casey looked back at Sarah. "Let's let his family talk to him first."
Ellie and Chuck's head snapped around as the two males barreled into the room, both smiling at Chuck.
"Hey buddy…" Morgan said taking in Chuck's battered face. He sat on the opposite end of his friend. "You look like crap."
"Morgan!!" Ellie yelled.
"Hey don't be jealous because I have to take a beating to look as bad as you do on a regular basis."
"That cuts me deeply Chuck." He said in a hurt voice, making chuck laugh. He winced slightly though as pain shot threw his chest.
"You okay Chuckles?" Devon asked noticing the younger man's face.
Chuck nodded, letting his eyes close. "Yeah, I'm not in too much pain. I'm just really tired."
"Well you're on a lot of painkillers so you're going to fill like that for awhile."
Chuck looked around, finally noticing something missing. "Where's Sarah…and Casey…"
Morgan looked behind them, seeing the two staring intently at them. "There outside."
Chuck looked sideways, catching both of the agents' stares. He smiled at them, raising his cast hand slightly.
"Would…it be okay if I could talk to them for a minute. Privately?"
Ellie looked at him puzzled, but not wanting to ask anything further, nodded and stood up.
"All right, I'm hungry anyways. Let's go downstairs and get something."
"But we were already down there." Morgan whined, not wanting to leave his best friend. Ellie gave him a cold stare. "But you know I'm always up for seconds. I'll catch you later Chuck. And hey later I want to sign your cast before anyone else. Even Sarah, Deal?"
Chuck rolled his eyes. "Deal."
"Bye bud." Devon said, patting his shoulder. Ellie gave him a kiss on the cheek and walked out, the others trailing behind.
"He wants to see you two privately." Ellie said as she walked out, looking at Sarah. Ellie looked down shamefully. "Sarah, listen…I'm-"
"Don't worry about it." She said smiling. The brunette smiled back and started down the hall, and then turned back.
"Sarah. I'm really glad Chuck has someone like you."
She blushed. "Well, I am really glad to have Chuck."
Ellie's smiled widened at her statement and turned back to catch up with Morgan and Devon, both racing each other to the elevator.
Casey entered the room first, a hard glare on his face. Chuck noticed this and his smile immediately faltered.
"You're going to chew me out aren't you?" he asked, Casey towering over him.
"Your damn right I am. What the hell were you thinking going with that maniac! Now look at you! You were beaten an inch from your life."
"Casey this is a hospital. Must you yell?" Sarah said closing the door. He gave her a cut look.
"Yes I must! This kid scarred the crap out of me! I should be able to yell as loud as I want to!!"
Chuck looked up at Casey, letting a large smile appear on his face. "That proves it! You do actually like me!"
"Of course I like you! You think I would have gone to all that trouble for some one I didn't like?!"
Chuck and Sarah looked at him; dumbfounded. Casey was not one to open up or tell his feelings. He looked at them both and rolled his eyes in exasperation.
"For god sakes it's not like I want to plan tea parties with the kid now. And I have not gone soft." He pointed at Sarah, who was biting back a smile.
"Come on Casey, we don't have to call it that. How about we call it a social gathering of tea drinkers?"
"Wise ass." Casey said, though a smile was tugging at his lips. He noticed Sarah looking at Chuck nervously, biting her lip as though she wanted to say something. He rolled his eyes again.
"I better call Graham and Beckman back and update them." He ruffled Chuck's hair and started for the door. "Get to feeling better." And closed the door.
"Well that was different." Chuck yawned, feeling sleep starting to take over. He looked at Sarah for a moment, noticing her keeping her distance.
"Nothing..." She lied, stepping towards him and then taking a seat down beside him. They sat in silence for a minute, neither looking at each other. Chuck finally broke the tension, putting his hand lightly on hers.
"I thought you were dead."
She looked up at him, noticing the pain in his voice. He continued, his eyes never leaving her face. "When Hampton shot you…. I thought… I thought I had lost you forever. I couldn't stand it. When he knocked me out the first time I thought maybe dying would be a good thing… because I would see you again."
"If I would have died, and then you did too for me, I would have kicked your ass." Sarah said. Chuck smiled.
"That's why I'm still alive."
Again the room was developed into a comfortable silence, Sarah giving Chuck's hand a small squeeze.
"I blame myself," Sarah said, her voice cracking. "I feel like you got hurt because wasn't there when you needed me. If I would have been less emotional-"
"Sarah," Chuck stopped her. "You were there. Every time I thought I was going to die your face and voice would always bring me back. Don't ever blame yourself." He let out a small laugh, "It's not your fault that I'm a danger magnet."
Sarah laughed too. "That's for sure."
Chuck smiled back at her, trying to suppress another yawn. Sarah still caught it.
"Go to sleep. You need to rest. I'll stay with you."
"You don't have to." Chuck said, his eyes drooping.
"I don't want to leave your side. Because I care about you…not the intersect."
Chuck's smile widened and his face turned red under the bruises. Seconds later his eyes fell, drifting off into another deep sleep.
Sarah smiled warmly down at him, leaning towards him. "Chuck?" she whispered. She bent down further to his face, her lips brushing against his softly. "I love you too."
TA DA!!! That's the end my friends! I hope you enjoyed it! I know I did!! And please review. I love getting your thoughts on this story and now that it's over I'd like to know how you like the whole kit and caboodle! Again thanks for reading everyone!!