Hi! I'm Natalie (Natty for short!). This is my 2nd Chuck fic, 4th all together and my first song based fic and I'm really excited. Kinda. Anyways, I hope you enjoy it. For now it's just a 1-timer, but if some random swarm of people want more than one chapter, I may be able to pull it off. I might need help finding a song, but I'll worry about that when I get to it!

Pairing: Chuck and Sarah.

Song: I Bruise Easily by Natasha Bedingfield.

Summary/Theme: Sarah comes to the realization of what she really wants and acts on it. In the process, she has to take some big jumps and put her trust into someone else's hands.

I think that's it! My computer does (!) have a spell check, but it's really bad and does just about nothing, so excuse the mess-ups. I tried my best to correct them, but I'm not sure if I did so well!

Read and Review?

Enjoy!

My skin is like a map

Of where my heart has been

And I can't hide the marks

But it's not a negative thing

Sarah Walker was and always had been a woman who took relationships hard. Through high school, she always seemed to be able to get whatever guy she wanted, but from those relationships, all she received was pain. All her boyfriends dumped her in cruel ways. That, or she dumped them for horrible reasons. Even now, being only a few years shy of 30, Sarah could only remember all the boyfriends that had hurt her.

John and "Sarah" had been going out for 5 months when he decided that he was going to take the relationship to the next level. It was their Junior Prom night. Sarah had really been enjoying herself, dancing with Josh and her friends. As the night came to an end, Josh told her that he had a present for her. He led Sarah by the hand over to the table, where they sat down and Josh pulled out a deep blue box. It wasn't small and plump like a ring, and it wasn't long and skinny for a necklace. As Josh handed Sarah the box, she flashed him a big and beautiful smile and opened it. As her eyes landed on something not shiny and gold or diamond filled, but a small piece of worthless plastic, Sarah was a bit disappointed, but who wouldn't be? Sarah looked back up at a smiling Josh, with a look of confusion.

"It's the key to our room." he explained.

"Room." Sarah stated with a hint of irritation.

"Yeah. I figured, ya know. We've been dating almost 6 months now, it's proms, why not?"

"Because-"

"Shhh..." Without letting Sarah speak any longer, he took her up a few floors up to the room. When Sarah tried to protest, Josh took it the wrong way and pressed into her harder and harder. When he pushed her onto the bed, beginning to strip her of her dress, she finally got the upper hand and pushed him off her.

She tried to explain that she wasn't ready, she tried really hard. But he wouldn't understand. She quickly gathered her stuff and ran out of the door with her stuff and the marks that he left.

So I let down my guard

Drop my defenses down by my clothes

I'm learning to fall without a safety net to cushion the blow

Being around Chuck Bartowski, the witting, charming nerd, Sarah began to let him get through to her. The closer and closer she became to Chuck, she found herself letting down her defenses. She was still mostly aware of her surroundings, and fairly professional, but even those strengths were evaporating.

The more and more she hung out with Chuck and started to really trust him, the more she started feeling guilty. Whenever she's lounging on the couch in the Bartowski living room, just her and Chuck, she longs to tell him about her past. Sarah always feels the constant need to tell him the outlining occurrences that make her the way she is.

With Chuck, she's realized that she's safe. She feels safest around him, in his arms. When she does decide to make the leap into telling him about her past, she knows that she doesn't have to worry about the fall; he's going to be there to catch her.

I bruise easily

So be gentle when you handle me

There's a mark you leave like a love heart carved on a tree

I bruise easily

Can't scratch the surface without moving me

Underneath I bruise easily, I bruise easily

Chuck never knew how to handle her. Her outer shell always seemed impenetrable, bullet proof. But as Chuck saw her iron shell begin to crumble, he noticed the emotional wounds. Chuck knew, no matter how much he longed to know, he'd never be able to share her pain. Some of the wounds didn't need explaining. Chuck noticed them anyways. Whenever Chuck mentioned high school, She'd get this look of devastation in her eyes. After many people talked about their high school days, Chuck realized that it was a touchy subject and avoided it.

There were times when the feelings they had towards the other were hard to push out of the way, but then there were the moments where all they could do was deny them and hurt the other.

"How many times do we have to tell you this?" Sarah cursed in a harsh, whispered tone. It was late, Ellie and Devon were sleeping while Sarah and Chuck were sneaking into his bedroom via window. Chuck had a flash, which led to a mission, which led to Chuck tapping into his stupidity. "You need to listen to us. To trust us."

"You would've been killed!"

"But you got injured! He slashed you with a knife on the shoulder. It's my jobto protect you.Not the other way around." Sarah loosing control of the situation disabled her. Chuck had pulled his typical super hero stunt, trying to save Sarah, and ended up hurting himself. It wasn't the biggest deal in the world, it was only a small cut on Chuck's shoulder, but even something so small could affect her.

Fighting with him made nothing better. Every time they threw verbal daggers, like the word 'job', at each other, Sarah hurt more and more on the inside, as did Chuck. He seemed to have a positive affect on her when she let her guard down, but when battling him, the negative effects came in. He'd left wonderful memories and moments etched into her, but he'd also left the battle wounds where his words stung.

Sarah had the unfortunate talent of being able to build her walls up quicker than Chuck could take them down.

I've found your finger prints on a glass of wine

Do you know you're leaving them all over this heart of mine too

But if I never take this leap of faith

I'll never know

So I'm learning to fall with no safety net to cushion the blow

Chuck apologized for disobeying orders and insisted that Sarah stay the night. Sarah, being defiant, insisted that she was fine, she just needed some time to think. The whole drive home, Sarah's mind wandered back to all the memories of her and Chuck. She thought of the time when they had gone on a picnic. Chuck had told her all these funny stories about his life and the different paths it'd taken him on. The only thing that she could share was how she had kept a frog as a pet and that she was a terrible speller. The small facts about her had earned her a large, 100-watt smile that would now and forever be etched into her heart.

His smile was something she'd never be able to erase from her memory, as well as her experience in high school. She wanted so badly to tell Chuck, to take the leap of faith, but she knew she couldn't. But one day, that would all change.

I bruise easily

So be gentle when you handle me

There's a mark you leave like a love heart carved on a tree

I bruise easily

Can't scratch the surface without moving me

Underneath I bruise easily, I bruise easily

It was the day after their fight when Sarah realized what she had to do. By 9 PM, the decision was final, set in stone (and paper). Sarah prayed that Chuck would take her. That he'd handle her with care. That he wouldn't let her down. She wanted him to be who she fell back on. She wanted him to be the one who got to know about Josh.

Sarah was delicate like glass. If not handled well, she could scratch or break without it taking all that much.

Ellie greeted Sarah at the door, surprised to see her. Ellie, being a wise older sister, realized that Chuck was in the dumps and had little doubt that Sarah was involved.

"He's in his room." Sarah smiled and walked to Chuck's room with nothing else but a delicate white handkerchief with something wrapped inside. She didn't know what to say as she entered the room. Chuck was laying on his bed, staring at the celling.

He didn't acknowledge her presence other than saying "What." in a Casey fashioned voice.

"I-I need to talk to you." The words stumbled out of her lost mouth as she clutched her precious item in her hand.

Anyone who can touch you, can hurt you or heal you

Chuck stayed in his stoic position and Sarah mirrored his stillness. It came out in almost a whisper. "I quit the CIA." CHuck was silent for seconds which felt like years.

"You what?" Incredulous. There was no waySarah Walker quit the CIA.

"I quit."

"Why?" This time, Chuck's voice leaving.

"There's so many reasons. I couldn't keep fighting with you. It kills me inside. Another, I can't tell you anything about myself without being put into immediate danger. I want to share all my childhood memories with you."

"What happens now?"

"I give you this." Sarah sat close to him on the bed and looked him in the eye.

Anyone who can reach you, can love you or leave you

Sarah softly released the handkerchief from her hands and placed it in his cupped ones. He stared at it for a moment, contemplating what to do next. As he silently unfolded it and removed all the cloth, a small, clear diamond heart shone in the light from the lamp. Chuck looked up at her, asking with his eyes what it was. What it meant for them.

So be gentle

So be gentle

So be gentle

"My... My mom gave this to me when I was 12. She told me to be careful with my heart, it's a sacred thing that can be easily bruised and broken. Then, she handed me the handkerchief and told me to carefully take the cloth off of what was inside.

"Once I did, I saw this and she said 'When you find the man you love with your whole heart, give this to him. But only if you trust him to take care of you.' I've never given it to anyone. I've been afraid that they'll think it's stupid. Or that they'll break me. But I'm giving this to you because... I trust you to be gentle with me. To be there when I fall. To help me take this leap and start living life."

Sarah took a deep breath, trying to hold back the tears and released the main purpose for her being here. "I...I love you Chuck."

I bruise easily

So be gentle

I bruise easily

I bruise easily