Chuck vs. His Destiny
EPILOGUE – "When I Come Around"
CAST (in order of appearance):
Sarah Walker/Karen Faust – Yvonne Strahovski
Rachel Faust Mercer – Reese Witherspoon
Jeremiah Faust – David Anders
Ellie Bartowski Woodcomb – Sarah Lancaster
Carina Hansen – Mini Anden
Kenneth Faust – Pierce Brosnan
General D. Louisa Beckman – Bonita Fredericy
Director Roan Montgomery – John Larroquette
Morgan Grimes – Joshua Gomez
Devin Woodcomb – Ryan McPartlin
John Casey – Adam Baldwin
Chuck Bartowski – Zachary Levi
Mystery Man – Jason Dohring
"Karen, STOP FIDGETING!"
Sarah Walker bit her lip and swallowed a feral growl. "I'm SORRY," she spat. "It's just a little uncomfortable to be crouched down like this!"
"Whatever," her sister Rachel grumped. "You know, it's not my fault you and Jerry turned out to be freakishly tall."
"Oh, is THAT how it is," Sarah shot back. "I'm pretty sure that if two out of three siblings have similar builds, it's generally the third that's the circus freak."
Rachel Faust Mercer stopped adjusting Sarah's hair and stepped in front of her, looking into her sister's eyes. "Well, Karen, if that's the way you want to play it, I'm sure you can walk down the aisle with half your hair still in curlers."
Sarah's jaw dropped. "You WOULDN'T."
Rachel smiled evilly. "This is what happens when the baby messes with the firstborn."
Sarah stuck out her tongue at her sister, seven years her senior. "Isn't the baby supposed to get whatever she wants, you twerp?"
"The BABY is twenty-eight years old, chucklebutt!" Rachel replied with a laugh.
Sarah grinned. "Which makes YOU how old again?"
Rachel's eyes narrowed. "Shut up."
There was a knock at the door, and then it popped open. Their brother Jeremiah – born almost exactly halfway between the two – looked in. "Are you two having fun in here?"
Rachel and Sarah both looked at their brother and simultaneously stuck out their tongues. Jeremiah rolled his eyes and shook his head. "I think they're just about done!" he called out into the foyer.
With that, Ellie Woodcomb came barging into the room, Carina Hansen closely on her tail. "They're getting anxious out there, Sarah," Ellie warned her.
"Oh, PLEASE," Sarah groaned. "We're running, what? Two minutes late?"
Ellie smiled. "Yeah, but you know my brother. Punctuality is key with him."
"There's a habit I'll have to break him of," Sarah muttered beneath her breath, prompting a smile from her older sister. Rachel slowly pulled the last curler from Sarah's hair, letting it spring back.
"You look good, Walker," Carina said.
Sarah shook her head. "I ask you to be a bridesmaid and still you call me by my last name?"
"Good Lord," Carina replied with a wince. "You sound like my mother."
"Can we go now?" Jeremiah asked impatiently.
Sarah shook her head and laughed. "Isn't this supposed to be the day when the universe revolves around the bride?"
Ellie rolled her eyes. "Sarah, my dear, were you not present for my wedding?"
"Fair enough," Sarah admitted, remembering the micro-planning that Devin Woodcomb had exacted on Ellie eight months before. "Still, though…"
Ellie smiled. "Sarah, you're going to be the center of my brother's universe for the rest of his life. I think you'll be okay."
"Yeah," Sarah replied, biting her lip and trying to keep her smile from getting too big. "Yeah, I think I will be."
She stood and was subjected to one last check by Rachel, Ellie, and Carina, prompting a groan from Jeremiah. "Shut UP, Jerry!" Rachel snapped at him.
Ellie shook her head and handed Sarah her bouquet. "When it comes time to throw this, just remember – you've only got one unmarried bridesmaid," Ellie said, inclining her head toward Carina.
"Oh, God, no," Carina protested. "I'd rather spend the rest of my life working for the GSA."
"ALRIGHT," Jeremiah Faust interrupted. "That's ENOUGH. Let's go get you married, Karen!"
Grabbing his baby sister by the hand, Jeremiah practically dragged her out into the foyer of the church. He was himself a little nervous – he was set to give his sister away.
Sarah moved quickly to keep up with her brother as they headed toward the entrance to the sanctuary of Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church of Vancouver – but she stopped dead in her tracks when she looked toward the doors to the outside.
"Oh my God," she whispered, prompting Jeremiah to follow her gaze.
"Jesus Christ," he uttered. "DAD?!"
"Hi, kids," Kenneth Faust said, crossing the foyer. "Didn't think I'd miss my baby girl getting married, did you?"
Ellie Woodcomb came up behind Sarah. "Sarah, who is that?"
Kenneth looked from Sarah to Ellie and back again. "Karen, why is this woman calling you Sarah?"
"Well, Dad, maybe if you'd been around, you'd know the answer to that," Jeremiah answered sarcastically before Sarah could answer.
"Yeah, DAD… couldn't even be at Mom's funeral," Rachel added bitterly. "You have no IDEA what's gone on the last few years."
"Hey, guys," Sarah said, but her siblings ignored her.
"Who do you think you are, just showing up here?" Jeremiah asked angrily. "All those years you spent beating up on Mom, treating us like shit, then you disappeared, and now you think you can just DROP IN?"
"You didn't come to MY wedding, Dad," Rachel snapped. "Why now?"
Kenneth Faust's face fell. "I'm sorry," he said quietly. "I didn't mean to disappoint you or hurt you. I'm not the man now that I was twenty years ago."
Before either of her siblings could say another word, Sarah stepped toward her father. "I believe you, Dad," she said quietly. "But how did you get out?"
What neither of Sarah's siblings knew was that Kenneth Faust had spent the last ten years in a prison in California, arrested on fraud charges. Sarah knew only because of her government connections. "Well, my dear, it would seem your fiancée has friends in high places," Kenneth replied.
Sarah cocked her head, giving her father a curious look, and then looked over his shoulder to see General Beckman and Director Montgomery standing in the doorway of the church. "Ah, I see," she said. "Well, Dad, then you should know that the reason this woman – who, by the way, is Ellie Woodcomb, one of my bridesmaids and the sister of my fiancée – called me Sarah is because that's who she and her brother know me as. It was a cover for a government job, which is all I can say. They know who I really am now – but that's not who they know ME as."
Kenneth Faust raised an eyebrow. "How thoroughly confusing," he replied, his New Zealand accent coloring his speech. "But nevertheless… I believe there's a wedding to attend to."
Sarah smiled. "I think you're correct."
As they approached the open doors into the sanctuary, Sarah felt her heart rate increase. Never before – not when she was in Tehran, not working with Project Omaha, not going on Intersect-related missions with Chuck, not even when the StratoPig crashed – never had she felt quite like she did now.
Carina disappeared through the doors, and Sarah realized, This is real. This is actually happening. And that particular realization was almost enough to put a permanent smile on her face.
Ellie was next through the doors, followed by Rachel and Jeremiah. Sarah linked arms with her father and squeezed his hand. "I forgive you, Daddy," she said softly. She looked over at her father.
He looked back at her, tears in his eyes. "I'm so sorry I was such a failure," he replied quietly. "But I love you, Karen."
"You're not a failure, Daddy," Sarah answered, doing her best to keep her own eyes from filling with tears. "You're my father, and I love you."
Kenneth Faust smiled at his daughter, and then looked forward, his head perking up with a little bit of pride. The organist began playing Bach's Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, and that was their cue.
They rounded the corner and started down the aisle, the wedding parties coming into Sarah's view for the first time. On the floor, in front of the altar, was Carina Hansen, clad in the same light blue gown as the other two women. Opposite her, also on the floor, was John Casey, wearing his Class A Air Force uniform, adorned with all his medals and decorations.
On the first step up was Ellie Woodcomb, her dress slightly modified to accommodate the growing bump in her midsection. She was four months along, and had made it quite clear that she expected Sarah to waste no time in joining her.
Sarah wasn't sure she was QUITE ready to be a mother yet.
Opposite Ellie was the man responsible for her condition, Devin Woodcomb. He too was in his Class A uniform, though he didn't have nearly as many medals as Casey.
Rachel stood on the second step up. Sarah had always thought her sister was beautiful, and today was no exception. It never failed to amaze Sarah that at 35, her sister still looked like she was 20. Standing opposite Rachel was, conveniently, the only member of the men's party to be close to Rachel in height – Morgan Grimes. He was wearing a tuxedo, and was actually clean-shaven, which was something Sarah was quite certain she had never seen before.
But even as Sarah's spy's mind processed all that information, she had eyes for only one person.
Standing on the top step of the chancel, no one standing opposite him – yet – wearing his Air Force dress blue uniform, the gold oak leaves signifying Major's rank still new and shiny, was Chuck Bartowski. Sarah knew that there were plenty in the crowd who would notice the Purple Heart or the Bronze Star on Chuck's chest, but she noticed only one thing.
His deep brown eyes, staring directly at her, full of excitement, love, hope, joy, and a look that Sarah could only compare to a three year-old on Christmas morning. Sarah stared right back, matching Chuck smile for smile.
The wedding service itself seemed like a blur, although there were parts that would stand out in Sarah's mind, such as when Chuck mentioned during his vows that he still owed Sarah a ride in an F-16. That drew a chuckle from John Casey, although the majority of the audience had no idea what Chuck was talking about.
The moment that Sarah would remember most, though, was when the pastor had said, "It is my pleasure to introduce to you Mr. and Mrs. Charles Bartowski!" As a matter of fact, Sarah was still thinking about it during the reception when Chuck walked up to her.
"Take a look at this," he said, placing a card in front of her. Sarah picked up the card, raising an eyebrow as she took in the embossed seal of the President of the United States on the front.
"Wow," she said quietly, opening the card. The inside said, "Congratulations Major Bartowski, Agent Walker. Enjoy your honeymoon – it's gonna be right back to work afterwards. I'm interested in resurrecting Omaha and the StratoPig. – B.O."
"Not too many people get a personal congratulations from the President," Chuck noted quietly.
"That one's going in the scrapbook," Sarah agreed. "But I think we've got other things to take care of first."
Chuck smiled. "We're stuck here for a while yet."
Sarah nodded and smiled. "That's okay," she said. "I waited for several years to finally get you – I think I can wait a couple more hours to celebrate being Mrs. Bartowski."
Chuck smiled. "You'd have to be a sadist to want to call yourself that."
Sarah's smile turned into a full-blown grin. "Nah," she replied. "Carnival freaks found me in a dumpster and raised me as one of their own."
Chuck laughed as he remembered saying something similar to Sarah on their first "date", nearly six years before. "Touché, Agent Walker, touché."
From across the room, the man watched Chuck and Sarah talk to each other at the main table. It was evident that they were in love.
It had been a struggle for the man to make it to this point. Emergency surgery, months in a hospital, more months of rehabilitation, plastic surgery to disguise his appearance – even the installation of a computer chip to change the modulation of his voice. Dropping completely off the face of the planet had been his only choice.
Coming here had been a risk. However, it was something he had HAD to do – just to prove to himself that Chuck had turned out alright.
And as he walked out the door into the cool Vancouver evening, the man formerly known as Bryce Larkin smiled as he realized that Chuck Bartowski had done exactly that.