Disclaimer: 'Chuck' and all it's affiliated characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. This fiction is written for entertainment only.
No profit was made. Just FYI.
A/N: I've used a certain name in this chapter as an homage to the writer Notorious JMG. I love his work, and I fully recommend you check it out.
"What's up, guys?" Chuck asked as Casey and Sarah looked nervously at one another. Casey muttered something over the rim of his drink, and gestured to Sarah.
She shot the man a glare, but her expression softened looking at Chuck. "We reported what happened tonight to our superiors, including all the possible implications... and..."
She looked down at her hand, still linked with Chuck's. "Chuck, we've... received our orders, regarding the situation with the Intersect."
"And?" He said, willing her to say anything but the truth.
"We've been ordered to..." A sudden, chocked sob burst from her throat. "...to termin...to kill you. Tonight. I'm so sorry."
She started to cry in earnest, and to everyone's surprise - even his own - Chuck wrapped his arms around her and began stroking her back gently. "Shh... It's okay. It's gonna be okay."
Casey shook his head in disbelief. "Bartowski, do you understand what we're telling you? We've been ordered to kill you, and you're telling us it gonna be okay?"
"You think I didn't see this coming?" Chuck fired back at Casey. "It was only a matter of time before someone up the ladder decided it was too dangerous to keep me alive."
Casey gaped at him. "You aren't going to ask us not to do it? Or try to run?"
"Would it do any good?"
"No." Casey conceded, looking away shamefully.
"Then I'm not gonna waste what little time I have left demeaning myself."
The hardened NSA agent stared at Chuck for a long moment, and nodded slowly. "You're as good a man as I've ever known, Bartowski, and better than most."
Casey raised his glass in salute, and proceeded to drain it dry.
A long silence followed, broken only by Sarah's soft sniffles, and the sound of Chuck's hand making slow circles on her back. After a few quiet moments, Sarah reluctantly pulled herself away from Chuck's embrace, wiping her eyes.
Looking between his two handlers as he cleared his throat awkwardly. "So, how do we...y'know...do...this thing."
The two agents shared a look as Casey pulled a small bottle from his pocket, placing it on the table between them. "Vicodin. Take them all. It'll be just like falling asleep."
Chuck reached over and picked the pill bottle up. "So that's the story? An overdose?"
"Yeah, that's the story." Casey confirmed uncomfortably, having obvious trouble getting the words out. "We're thinking it'd be the best choice. You can...er...you can write a note, if you like. Nothing classified, but if you want to say goodbye..."
"A suicide note." Chuck stated flatly. "That my sister would read when she found me."
Sarah and Casey both looked away. Casey lowered his head into his hands, looking ill.
"...I guess it's for the best." Chuck said finally.
A blend of relief and despair washed over Sarah's face as her eyes seemed to focus anywhere other than the young man sitting in front of her.
"Y'know, guys," He continued, as an incredibly weary expression fell across Casey's features. "It's been a blast. I'm gonna miss you both, but I guess things were always going to end up this way."
Sarah looked at him serenely. "We'll miss you, too."
"But before we... you know," Chuck added, as Casey's eyes began to droop in earnest. "There's one more thing I want you guys to know."
Sarah, seemingly unaware of her partner's rapidly deteriorating state, smiled numbly. "What's that, Chuck?"
"I dosed your drinks with enough sedative to knock out a horse. Stole it from the hospital." Chuck smiled crookedly. "Sweet dreams."
As if on cue, Casey slumped forward in his seat, out cold. His empty glass fell from his limp fingers, shattering on the floor.
Sarah gazed dumbly the unconscious man for a second, as if she were trying to figure out what was going on. Chuck took advantage of her distracted state and tried to make for the door.
He was halfway out of his seat when he felt a hand grip the back of his shirt, and haul him back down to the couch. As he fell, Sarah leaped up and twisted wildly, pulling her sidearm and aiming unsteadily at Chuck's chest.
He froze in his seat, as his plans for escape evaporated. Passing his eyes over the table, he saw that Sarah had barely touched her drink. Less than a quarter was gone.
Stupid, he thought. He should've been sure, but there was nothing for it now.
He locked eyes with Sarah over the sights of her pistol. Even through the semi-drugged haze, he could see her sharp mind at work.
This was it. The end. Game over. She'd pull the trigger, and in a few hours Ellie would come home to find his corpse on the couch. Sarah Walker would never be seen again. He closed his eyes, and waited for the last sound he'd ever hear.
His eyes opened slowly, looking up at the woman before him. "...yeah?"
A single tear trailed down her face. "It's hard to say goodbye."
Before he could respond, she reached down and picked up her drink, draining the entire thing. Dropping the empty glass, she lowered her gun and met his eyes once more. "Run, Chuck. Run fast and far, and don't look back."
With that, her gun fell from her grasp and her knees buckled. She was much smaller than Casey was, and the powerful sedative acted quickly. She'd just begun to collapse when Chuck leaped up and caught her. He lowered her gently onto the couch.
"Thank you, Sarah." He whispered as her eyes began to lose focus. Gripped by the sudden knowledge that this would be the last time he ever saw her, he leaned forward a kissed her softly. She weakly grabbed the back of his neck and pulled him to her.
The kiss was simple, saying everything but promising nothing. When it ended, she smiled sleepily up at him, moving her hand to cup his cheek.
"I love you, Sarah." He spoke the words before he even realized he wanted to.
Her eyes lit up, and he watched her force herself to stay awake. Her voice was soft, her words slurred by the sedative coursing through her system. "Lov...yo...too."
He grinned like all his birthdays had come at once. "Goodbye. I'll miss you."
But she was already out, the last of her strength gone. He stood slowly, smiling sadly, and headed for his room, pausing only to collect Sarah's handgun from the floor. He packed a few mementos and necessities in a small bag, and headed for the door.
Turning, he gave the apartment one last glance. He tucked the pistol in his belt, and flipped his shirt over it, and walked out the door for the last time.
He passed through the courtyard, and out onto the street. He followed the sidewalk to the corner, where he turned left, leaving the range of the last of Casey's surveillance cameras.
It would be the last official image of Charles Irving Bartowski, the human Intersect, in the CIA archives.
End Part One