A/N: This concept has been used before in romantic comedies and other short stories but I thought it would be interesting to see how Chuck and Sarah react to the situation.
I will also get back to Chuck and Sarah vs Therapy when I can fix the mess I've made of it.
Sarah vs Two Weeks Notice
I lay in bed waiting for the fifth and last snooze alarm to go off on my alarm clock. I was awake before the first alarm. I have being doing this for three years now and do not see an end in sight. At first it was the new beta version of the intersect and then after three failed attempts they gave up trying to replace me.
I am tired. I'm tired of everything about my life. What was once new and exciting is now just another reason to lie to my friends and family. I am so use to it that sometimes I don't even know I am doing it. I hate the fact that I have become very good at it. I've even helped Sarah out of a jam once or twice.
Then there's Sarah, my girlfriend. I have to laugh to myself when I say those words. Our relationship is so complicated I don't even know how to describe it. Do I love her? Without a doubt, for me and for Sarah. I have been open and honest with her for over two years now. What do I get in return? A glimpse of how she feels if I am quick enough to see it. And I have become very good at reading Sarah Walker.
But I am tired.
As I stand in the shower feeling the hot water slowly rouse my senses, I think this is her week to pick me up. I know she hates her job at the Wienerliscious and would like to get a different cover job. But I don't want to leave the Buy More. For her at this point it is almost the same as a real job. She has to listen to her boss. Has to work the stupid hours she is sometimes assigned. And she has to work our real jobs into our off hours.
We spend all of our free time together with few exceptions. But on those rare exceptions I can't help wonder what she is doing…And who she is doing it with. She always has the same answer. Its work related and she can't talk about it. And I'm tired of being the third man out. Sometimes Sarah and Casey are in the middle of a discussion and when I walk up to them they clam up.
It was as I was thinking of the two of them talking together that something just snapped. Hell I was a part of the CIA now. Sarah saw to it that I was put on the payroll with benefits. But I would never be allowed in. Into that secret place that only agents are allowed. I hated her for that. If that made any sense at all.
I was putting on my shoes when I came to a decision. I even startled myself to think about what I was thinking about. Even though I loved her and the thought of living without her was incomprehensible, I knew that I could not go on living this way. It was as if my body had developed an allergy to the very air I need to breathe. I need the air but if I continue to breathe it, it will kill me. That's how it felt to love Sarah Walker.
What future do we have? If I thought that one day we would lay aside this cover life and take up a new life that was real, I would not hesitate to stay the course. But the way things were going I did not see that happening. I saw, one way or the other, our team would get split up or one of us would be killed or that one of us would decide they needed a change. I was surprised to learn that that someone was me.
When I leave my apartment I see her black Porsche waiting out front. I know she will not like having to wait. At least she has not started honking her horn yet. Why am I worrying about what she thinks about my punctuality with the bomb I am going to drop on her?
I open the passenger side door and get in. "Hi Sarah."
"Trouble getting out of bed today?"
I just look at her with what I imagine is an unreadable expression on my face. I must have been right since I saw her puzzled frown. "Before we go I want to talk with you about something." I watch her turn off the car and give me her full attention. I have always liked that about her. She has always cared about what I thought. At least up to a point.
"What's up Chuck?" she says.
I haven't rehearsed it. I only have a general idea what I am going to say. "Sarah, I love you. You know that. But I don't think I can go on with this life of spending time with you. Loving you the way I do and not getting anything in return. It has just become unbearable." I continue to look in her eyes. I saw the minute I told her that I loved her that she knew this was going to be one of those conversations that makes her very uncomfortable. But then I saw that she realized that this might be something altogether different.
"Chuck, we've been over this so many times I don't know why you continue to bring it up."
"No, you don't understand Sarah. This is not me asking you to let me know how you feel and you telling me you can't because of your job. No…what I'm saying is I don't want to do this anymore. Like I said, I love you and would like nothing better than to spend the rest of my days being with you. Really being with you and not just as a cover for our real jobs." I look to see if she is following me. I can see that she is by the concerned look on her face. I take a deep breath to gather my courage.
"Sarah…I want us to be together for real or I am going to request a new handler." I continue to study her expression. I am pained to see the anguish on her face.
"Chuck, you know that I have feelings…feelings that I shouldn't have but I am your handler. We can never have anything more than this. It's enough for me."
"It is not enough for me. I am in love with a beautiful woman who I suspects loves me too. But I can't really do all the things I would like to do because for us that's somehow stepping over the line. This is torture for me. I want to kiss you…right now. And that's not all I want to do." I watch her eyes tear up and the look she fixes on me is imploring. She makes no offer of a kiss. But if I wasn't at the end of my rope I would cave in.
"Chuck, don't do this. I don't want to leave you…or Ellie and Devon. This is the best assignment I've ever had."
I explode with rage. "Assignment…assignment, that's all this is? That's all I am? You've told me that before but I always thought you really were playing your part. I guess I was wrong."
"Please Chuck. Don't do this. I didn't mean that the way it sounded. Can you at least take a little time to make sure this is what you want to do? There is no turning back from this."
With the word assignment still accusing me of being a fool I turn away from her for the first time. "Set up a conference call with Beckman and Graham. I need to talk with them today."
If I wasn't so hurt by her earlier words, I would not have been able to tolerate her sob of anguish as she started the car. She cried silently all the way to the Buy More Plaza. As far as I could tell she drove without looking at me once. I would have felt like a heal if not for realizing that something had to change. It was not fair to her or to me to keep going the way we were.
"What's this about Mr. Bartowski?" General Beckman said looking at the CIA Director beside her, a concerned look on her face. They both knew that it was unusual for me to request a meeting. It was hard enough for me to hide my disdain for either of them.
I look over at Sarah before I begin. I would like to give her a chance, one last chance to stop this but she is looking straight ahead with that poker face that I have come to learn means she is very uncomfortable. Please Sarah please just touch my hand or clear your throat anything just do anything to stop this. I take a deep breathe and steal one more look her way. She is clearly not going to interrupt me. As I realize that she is allowing me to end our relationship without even the slightest protest it once again tells me that in the long run I am doing the right thing. But I am starting to understand that the here and now is going to be full of pain.
With my heart starting to weep bitter tears, I begin. "Director Graham, General Beckman the reason why I wanted to speak with you is that I have a request to make." I look at Sarah one last time…nothing. "I would like to request a new handler." At that, John Casey looked at me then to Sarah. To my surprise he looked angry. I am sure I will get an ear full from him when the conference call is over.
"A new handler? Who are you referring to, Casey or Walker?"
"Agent Walker sir." I've done it now I think.
"Agent Walker, why do you think Mr. Bartowski wants to replace you?"
"I can answer that," I say. "I'm in love with Sarah. I have tried and tried to take our cover relationship to a real relationship with no success. It has become very difficult for me to continue the charade." I look at Sarah one more time. For a second I think I see tears.
"Agent Walker, you are to be commended for your professionalism. Both the General and I had thought on many occasions that you might have compromised yourself with him. Clearly you had us fooled."
I watch the Director and General exchange a look.
"Agent Walker we will need a couple of weeks to prepare a new agent to take over here. Ideally we would like for you to work with her for a couple of days before we reassign you. Is that acceptable?"
"Then start getting yourself ready to leave Los Angeles. I'll consider where your next assignment will be over the next couple of weeks. Once your done here see me in my office and we'll discuss your next job."
I watch the screen go blank.