This one is rather different for me, kind of emotional to things that have happened in my life as well as a few of my friends and we have leaned that the best way to be a friend in a difficult situation is to be silent and to just be there for them.
Chuck and Ellie Bartowski may have different careers but the common denominator is that they want to help people. The same with Sarah and Casey but their versions are slightly different.
Ellie walked into Chuck's room and woke him up reminding him about "that thing" he said he was going to do today and he just groaned his confirmation before fully waking up.
Today was a special day for them, a chance for remembrance and healing, this day held about just as much importance as mothers day.
Chuck showered and shaved and got dressed in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. He stepped into the kitchen and drank the awaiting cup of coffee Ellie poured for him.
"Ellie...you ready? We're going to be late!" Chuck yelled at his sister who was taking way to long to get ready.
"Almost...just give me 5 more minutes." she responded.
Chuck grunted, he knew that meant at least 15. Just as he went to sit and wait in the living room there was a knock on the front door.
"SARAH!?" he said complete caught off guard. He was not expecting to see her today.
"Morning Chuck. Are you ready to go?"
"Go?...Go where? Look I can't do anything today...I am going somewhere with my sister and Awesome."
"Relax Chuck, I know what your plans are today." She said.
"Yes, I do. Ellie invited me and said that maybe you could use the extra company."
"Ellie invited you to come with us? Did she explain what today is about and what we are doing?"
"Yes Chuck, she told me all about it and said it is a tradition that you do every year and I think it's very admirable"
Chuck turns a little red from her compliment. "You know you don't have to come. I know this really isn't your thing and Ellie knows we are just friends so you can bail if you want. It's not like our cover depends on it and I think I will be covered security wise."
Sarah was a little hurt by that comment.
"Chuck if I didn't want to be here I wouldn't be." she snaps back a little too harshly then intended.
Chucks grunts and starts to say something when Ellie enters the living room.
"Sarah! I am so glad you decided to join us today."
Sarah puts on a happy smile and hugs the doctor.
"Of coarse, I can see why it means so much to you and Chuck and I want to be there as well.."
"Ok let's go we're going to be late and Devon is already up there."
Ellie walks out of the apartment taking Sarah's hand pulling her towards the car. Chuck shuts the door and locks it letting out a sigh. He wasn't expecting Sarah, he really didn't want her around at the end of the day when reality hits him like always, but thanks to Ellie that wasn't going to happen.
The drive up the coast was quiet and the tension that filled the car was unbelievable. Sarah tried to make small talk with the siblings to clear the air.
"So. Your family isn't that far away from you guys?"
"No, our mom's side of the family is from Santa Barbara. It was the...(Ellie felt like she had a frog in her throat.) It was the one place she truly loved."
Sarah could see the sadness in her and Chuck's eyes and decided to never bring anything relating to their family up again.
They arrive at a special care clinic not to far from the ocean, and as Chuck gets out of the car and stretches he has a slight smile but sad face as the 3 walk into the large building. Chuck and Ellie freeze as they step inside, a sense of nostalgia flows into their nostrils and furthers their melancholy state.
"I have to use the bathroom...Sarah will you-" Ellie asks hesitantly.
"Yeah, I have to go as well." she replied.
"I'm going to go on up then and meet up with the captain." Chuck responds rather unusually.
Sarah gives him a look that is confusing but as her eyes soften he can't help but smile.
Sarah returns the smile till he disappears in the elevator; she then feels the sharp tug of Ellie into the ladies room.
"Ok this is going to be harder than I thought." Ellie confesses.
"What are you talking about Ellie?" replies Sarah
"Chuck and I do this every year and every time we do I just can't bare the fact that he hides his emotions about this. I mean our mom died when we were young, Chuck really wasn't old enough to understand but he has the memory of an elephant and remembers everything. (Sarah grunts unintentionally) Sarah I was kind of hoping that since you were here he might open up to you. I know you're not dating anymore but he doesn't talk to me or Devon or Morgan for that matter and I was wondering if you would try?"
"I will do my best." Sarah replies knowing that it was going to be hard and very uncomfortable.
Ellie smiles and hugs Sarah as she says "Thank you" and the two women make their way up to the 3rd floor.
"Hey Babe...Sarah your just in time. Ole Chuckter is already in there and taking a beating." Awesome explains to the women.
Sarah and Ellie look though a large window into a room with about 10 kids climbing and crawling all over Chuck. They are all laughing and playing while Chuck carefully picks them up and spins them around heightening their excitement.
Sarah watches Chuck and the kids though the window and an endearing smile and laugh escape her. Ellie watches on as the beautiful woman admire her brother, before her smile turns into a frown.
"Most of these kids won't make it to be teenagers." Ellie explained to Sarah.
"They all have some form of cancer from leukemia to lung cancer. Some were diagnosed so young but their bodies fight it as much as they can. Our mother spent a lot of time here when she was diagnosed with breast cancer." Ellie had tears forming in her eyes thinking back to the memory of her mother.
"Excuse me, I think I am going to join my brother." she excused herself and went in the room chasing around one of the younger boys laughing as he fled from her.
"Chuck and Ellie's mother left them when they were young to come up here and receive treatment for her cancer. Their dad wanted to just move up her but when the treatments failed their mom didn't want them to watch her die but in the end she couldn't bare being away from them." Awesome finish explaining watching tears form in Sarah's eyes.
"Is that why they have mother's day?"
"Yes it is, Chuck was 10 and Ellie was 12 and their dad sat them down and explained what was going on with their mother and that soon she was going to leave them for good. I think that's why Ellie decided to become a doctor so she could…"
Awesome trailed off as he saw his future wife laughing and playing thought the window.
"You know what…this is rather depressing why don't we join them?" he asks.
Sarah smiles and they enter the room and it turns into a huge romper room. The kids…the older ones as well were having a great time until a nurse came in and said that their visiting hours have expired and the children needed to rest now.
All the kids simultaneously went. "Aaaawww" but there was no denying the head nurse, Ellie and Devon walked out followed by Sarah and as Chuck was leaving a little girl came up to him and gave him a hug, she may have only been 11 or 12 but with the cancer she looked about 7 or 8.
"Thank you Mr. Chuck for coming here and making me laugh." She said.
Chuck didn't know what to say he just smiled and that was enough to get the young girl to laugh and smile again as she was lead away by the nurse. Chuck rose to his feet and turned to a very emotional Sarah. She didn't say anything she just held out her hand for him to take and he took it without hesitation.
Walking down the hallway hand in hand there were no words that needed to be spoken. Sarah knows why he does this whenever he gets the chance, that's just who he is and in a way it a way to be close to his mother.
They continue walking and get in the elevator to go to the 8th floor. When the doors close Chuck lets out a long breath and squeezes Sarah's hand.
"This is going to be the hard part." He informed her.
Sarah doesn't really know why but something just told her that it was the right thing to do. She pulled Chuck over to her and touched her forehead to his as her arms wrapped around his neck, Chucks arms went around her waist and held her tight. They stay like this for a minute or two before Chuck realizes something.
"We're not moving"
"The elevator isn't moving…did you hit the button?"
"No…sorry." She laughed and pressed the button for the 8th floor then returned her attention to the emotionally conflicted man before her. These feelings hit her a little harder than she would have liked but she knew that was because she cared so much for him.
She touched his cheek and leaned forward brushing her lips softly against his. When she pulled away she heard the soft exhale of air escape his lungs as his eyes reopened to reality.
"What was that for?" he questioned.
"Uuhh…for being you." She smiled
Chuck didn't need her to explain anymore, he got the full meaning of it.
"I thought that was one mistake you were never going to make again?" he teased.
"Yeah well…I lied." She said leaning forward and kissing him a little bit more eagerly this time. She pulled away when the ding of the elevator went off and the door opened. Chuck just smiled and took her hand as they walked down to meet up with Ellie and Devon.
"How is she doing?" Chuck asked as he reached Ellie.
Ellie turned and saw him holding on tightly to Sarah's hand and Sarah comforting his arm, she smiled then turned back to the room in front of them.
"Not good…The doctor said that the cancer has spread from her breast to her ribs and sternum. They say it's aggressive…huh I guess it's just like she is." Ellie tried to joke as a tear escaped her eye. "Devon and I are going to go in then you and Sarah can if you want?"
"Yeah…yeah that sounds good." Chuck replied watching his sister try to compose herself before entering the room.
Chuck squeezes Sarah's hand again and she turns her attention to him.
"May was here when our mom started to get worse she became friends with mom and would hang out with us whenever we were here. She was in remission but about 2 years ago it came back and the kemo and radiation treatments aren't working. So…so were kind of here to say our goodbye's." he explained.
Sarah wrapped her arms around him and embraced him as tight as she could, she was never really good with emotional situations like this but figured that it was better to keep quiet and comfort him. Especially when she saw the eldest Bartowski exit the room with a waterfall pouring out of her eyes.
"Guy's I'm going to take Ellie home in my car, I don't think she can take anymore today." Said the concerned fiancé.
"Yes take her home, I have my car here and we will see yawl in a few hours." Chuck said as he went and hugged his sister.
As Ellie and Devon left Chuck took both of Sarah's hands in his and let out another long breath.
"Want to come in with me?" he asked.
"Chuck…I don't know. This is such a delicate moment. I-"
"Please Sarah…I just…I need you." He admitted
Sarah couldn't make herself say no, not that she wanted to but he needed saving and it wasn't the life or death situation that she is suppose to protect him from. This was an emotionally hard situation that only a friend could save him from.
She took his hand as they entered the room and there on the other side facing the window looking out over the ocean was May.
"Chuck, look at you, your to skinny. Is your sister not feeding you anymore?" joked the woman.
Chuck moved over to the bed and kissed May on the cheek and took her hand and squeezed it.
"How are you doing May?" he asked.
"I'm dying…and you?"
"That's not funny May." Chuck replied rather harshly.
"yes it is, you just have to have a different perspective. Laughter is a cure for so many things Chucky and even though it doesn't cure cancer it does take your mind off of it for a little while."
Chuck grunts at May's words as May looks at the person standing behind Chuck.
"Who is this lovely lady?" She asked
"This is my friend Sarah, she is…well let's just say she is really special to me."
Sarah blushed slightly then introduced herself to the woman lying in bed.
"Good lord child, you are stunning. Chuck I can see by the way she looks at you that you are special to her as well. Hold on to her."
"I'll do my best May."
"You better or I will come back and haunt you for the rest of your life!"
"I'm just kidding, but your face was funny though. I sure am going to miss it."
Chuck couldn't take it anymore and neither could May, their eyes began to water and Chuck bent down and gave her a hug. "say hi to mom for me." He said before kissing her cheek.
"I will but you have to do something for me."
"Anything for you May."
"Live you life with risk and chance. It may seem stupid but I can guarantee that you will never have any regrets when you are older and in this position. Live, laugh, love as often as you can and I hope that you and this young lady will do that, even if it's not together you can never say you didn't try."
Chuck nods his head and tells May goodbye as Sarah takes his hand and they leave the hospital.
Chuck and Sarah got in the car and as they were driving away Sarah looks over at Chuck.
"Talk to me Chuck."
Chuck looked at Sarah but didn't say anything, he drove down the 1 and came to a secluded area on the beach and got out of the car. Sarah followed him all the way down to the water and sat next to him looking at him with worry.
"This is where we scattered her ashes. It was her favorite spot of beach on the entire west coast. My dad purposed to her here and I actually think Ellie was conceived here."
Chuck looked down at the sand trying to hold back tears. Sarah just held on to his arm and waited for him to speak.
"I was only 10 years old, I didn't know what Cancer was or that you could die from it. I remember asking mom why she was so tired all the time and why did she have to start wearing a wig. I just…I didn't know anything."
He couldn't take it anymore and the tears came on in full force. Sarah repositioned herself so she was hugging Chuck, pulling him into her and lightly stroking his hair.
"It was almost Christmas, Ellie and I really didn't notice because mom was really sick. Dad had paid for a hospital bed to be put in the house and a nurse came by everyday to check on mom. She was so weak she couldn't get up and walk, she was confined to bed and she was confused a lot of the time but she did not want to stay at the hospital, she wanted to be home with us.
One night dad took me in the room to see her while Ellie was asleep and I can remember everything, the way she looked and… (He trails off) She was really tired and I came in and gave her a hug before she grabbed my hand and squeezed it so hard it took me by surprise. She just smiled at me and said "I love you Chucky boy, you could always make me smile, you are my hopes and dreams and I love you very much."
Sarah was crying uncontrollably as Chuck just sobbed in her arms. He surprised her with the strength in his arms as he held her tight that her breath hitched. He had never expressed this to anyone and has kept it all inside until now.
"She passed away that night in her sleep, she just…she just stopped breathing and dad said she had gone to heaven and would always be with us. It took us a long time to move on from that, Ellie decided to become a doctor and try to keep people from experiencing the same amount of pain and I …well…I always try to make people smile."
He laughed a little and Sarah brought her hand to his face and he melted into it. Chuck had just given a part of himself to her that no one else had.
"You…you are amazing you know that. All you ever want to do is help people. I see the satisfaction you get in your eyes when you can make someone smile. I saw it earlier when you were playing with those kids, even though their life here might be short, they are feel better because you made them smile.
In my world, helping means taking a life to save many, all I see is bad but when I am with you especially today, I see things in a totally different perspective. Just like May said it's all in how you see things." Sarah finally says trying to comfort him with her words.
Chuck laughed and nodded his head. "May is a very smart woman; maybe I will take her advice and start taking more risks and chances no matter how stupid they are."
Sarah gives him a look. "Just as long as it won't get you killed…and just as long as I can be there next to you when we do them." She said smiling.
"We…why Agent Walker are you finally going to take a chance on us?" He says as he bumps her shoulder.
"I don't know? I won't be as closed off to it as I was before, maybe after a few real dates we can see how things go." She replied bumping him back.
Chuck takes her hand and intertwines their fingers.
"I knew today was going to be hard. I really didn't want you to see me break down like that-"
"Chuck." She said turning his red face towards her. "I may not be the best with talking about things but I am a good listener and the fact that you opened up to me in a way you have never been able to do with your sister or best friend means a lot to me." She says brushing her fingers across his cheek.
"No matter how all of this turns out, I am thankful to have you in my life, you saved me today and I don't know how to thank you." He said.
"I didn't do anything really." She said modestly.
"You did more than you think, just you presence keeps me calm, knowing you are here gives me a feeling of security, emotionally as well as physically."
"See you can always make me smile Chuck and I will always be here when you need me that's what friends are for." She said as she cuddled up next to him.
Chuck smiled and wrapped his arm around her as they just sit there staring out into the horizon.
Given that today was a sad one, he felt a huge weight had disappeared from his life and was replaced with a feeling of hope and happiness in what the future would bring to him, and the fact that Sarah would be right by his side for it made him that much happier.
Life may be one damn thing after another, but there is nothing we like to see so much as the gleam of pleasure in a person's eye when they feel that we have sympathized with them, and understood them. At these moments something fine and spiritual passes between two friends. These are the moments worth living.