Chapter 1: Kryptonite
Hi all….I did a little bit of re-write here on Sarah's POV. I think it gives a little better insight into Sarah.
Sarah was at yet another Bartowski celebration. It was just one of a countless number that she had participated in since taking this assignment.
She always felt like a kid outside a candy store when she watched the group of friends interact. She was always looking in, but never quite apart of the group. Not that she couldn't be, Chuck made her painfully aware of how easy it would be to become apart of the group; if she would only succumb to temptation. She hadn't so far.
She absently sipped her glass of white wine as she watched Chuck interact with Ellie, Awesome, Morgan, Anna and a host of other friends from the hospital.
When she first met Chuck, she had been touched by his sincerity and amused by his awkwardness. She had liked him as a person; which was something she had not felt towards another person in a very long time.
The last five months had confirmed her assessment of his character. He really was a good guy and it colored her interaction with him at all levels. He was full of love and hope and goodness. These were foreign concepts to Sarah, but it made her see Chuck as more than the Intersect. He had become what she wanted in the quiet moments of her life. But she knew it was dangerous. Because knowing your dream and losing it, was also much more painful than never dreaming at all. Whether she wanted it or not; he had become, as she smirked to herself, her very own personal kryptonite.
She knew she was a good agent. She had proved that she was unflinching in her pursuit of a mission. Even John Casey, in his own steely eyed manner, had acknowledged her abilities. That had been a hard admission for him, since she was with the dreaded CIA.
However, none of her spy training or her iron will, had prepared her for this. She could handle risking her own life, but never his. She knew that admitting her own feelings could jeopardize him, in his already precarious world. So she wouldn't. It was torture fighting her inner feelings; fighting her need to tell him how she felt. But his safety came first.
She was enough of an agent to recognize that her 'professional detachment' was gone. Her every instinct told her that she should ask for a re-assignment. But she knew she wouldn't. He was her weakness; her undoing. And of course, he needed her.
She was proud that Chuck was doing well as the Intersect. General Beckman and Director Graham had recently been referring to Chuck by his given name, instead of The Intersect. It was a small change, but one that her agent's skill of observation had discerned.
However, the skills that allowed her to make critical assessments in the most trying field conditions, also allowed her to make an unflinching assessment of their current situation. Professionally, these skills had saved her life countless times. However in this case, it made her want to howl at the moon.
Her unflinching assessment was…. that Chuck was on borrowed time.
She was lost in these thoughts at the dinner table and did not see Chuck approach her and fill her plate with Ellie's mouth watering enchiladas. She looked up at him and saw his questioning eye. He knew that she rarely allowed herself the luxury of drifting off. Sarah gave him a reassuring half smile. He moved behind her chair to take his place beside her.
Suddenly her phone rang. Looking at the face of the iphone, she saw that it was Casey. Chuck looked over at her and they exchanged looks. She excused herself from the table and went into Chuck's room to take the phone call.
"What is it?" asked Sarah, allowing annoyance to show in her tone. Honestly, Casey knew she was here; he was probably calling to harass her.
"Briefing in ten minutes. My place."
"I'm in the middle of dinner. I can't leave without hurting my cover."
"Figure it out."
Sarah returned to the dining room; where the festivities were in full gear. Chuck gave her a pointed look when she returned.
She announced to the group that Scooter had locked himself out of The Wienerlicious and she needed to go let him back into the store. She explained that she would be right back.
The look on Chuck's face indicated that he didn't believe her story, but he gave her a reassuring smile. He knew better than to ask questions.
The briefing had already started when she arrived. Damn Casey. She was at his apartment in less than two minutes. He had deliberately made her late.
General Beckman was reviewing logistics. Casey looked up stonily. His eyes were slightly bulged. Sarah knew that Casey was not happy and she felt a bit of joy at his discomfort. He deserved whatever ire that General Beckman had delivered.
"Thank you Agent Walker for attending. I was just explaining to Agent Casey that we have scheduled a series of tests for the Intersect."
"Tests?" asked Sarah. This was good. Perhaps they had found a way to cure Chuck. Perhaps the situation wasn't as dire as she thought.
"Yes. We are interested in what other type of capabilities that the Intersect may have."
Sarah tried to school her expression. This was definitely not what she expected. She was unsure exactly what 'other capabilities' meant. However, she knew better than to ask. If the government was interested in his other capabilities, it also indicated that his fate wasn't quite sealed. She willed herself to believe that this was a positive.
"Bring the Intersect to the Behavioral Science Center. Agent Walker, the first set of tests may take a few days depending on how well the Intersect reacts to the new stimulus. We may need to keep the Intersect away from his family. We do not want to alarm the family in case he reacts badly. Agent Walker, you may need to establish a cover story for his absence."
Sarah struggled to hold her tongue. The 'tests' alarmed her, especially regarding Chuck's possible bad reaction. She needed to talk to Director Graham. She glanced at Casey who looked murderous. He definitely was not responding well to their newest assignment.
The briefing ended and the screen went dark. Both agents looked at each other.
"This is bad," remarked Casey quietly. Those three little words struck terror into Sarah's heart.
"Not necessarily. You said yourself that Chuck won't be able to stay here forever. Maybe these tests might lead to something more optimal… than an underground holding facility," remarked Sarah. She didn't want to think of the other less optimal possibilities.
Casey just shrugged. Clearly he couldn't or wouldn't share any additional information.
Sarah returned to the Bartowski household and let herself in. She watched Chuck interact with his friends. Watching him calmed her. She stopped chiding herself for not asking for a re-assignment. She silenced the voice in her head that kept saying that this assignment was going to end badly. She just banished all negative thoughts from her brain.
Instead, she just stared at him and let her heart melt. She had to believe that there was hope. After all, he was her personal kryptonite.