CHUCK VS. THE MISSING MEMORIES

DISCLAIMER: I don't own "Chuck."

SUMMARY: It's 10 years in the future and when Chuck wakes up after an accident, he doesn't remember any of the past 10 years including the intersect and all of the changes that have occurred in his life.

NOTE: In case you're wondering, this story does NOT end with everything being a dream. Thanks again to all who reviewed this story!

PART 9 - REMEMBERING

"Maybe I should wear or hold up a sign that says 'Come and get me!'" Chuck joked to Sarah as they walked around the neighborhood with Sallie.

It was early evening, Halloween evening, and they were escorting Sallie for trick-or-treating. They had been out for about a half-an-hour and their daughter's trick-or-treat bag was already half full of candy.

It had been two days since Chuck agreed to go along with the plan to get kidnapped and so far nothing had happened. "How do you go about arranging to get kidnapped by the right people?" Chuck asked when he agreed to the plan.

"Good question," Sarah answered and sarcastically posed it to Casey. Since attempts had been made to kidnap Chuck when they went grocery shopping and costume shopping, it had been thought that more attempts would be made if the Bartowskis just went about their normal lives and gone out to places.

They had done just that, going out to eat, taking Sallie to the park, going to the mall and other little trips. And so far, nothing, no attempts.

Now, on Halloween, here they were, with Sallie out for trick-or-treating. When Chuck had once lagged behind on purpose to stop and tie his shoelace. Sarah had to force herself to not yell at him to watch out or to rush back to him and protect him.

But once again nothing happened. They continued on with the trick-or-treating.

About 45 minutes later, it was dark, Sallie was tiring, and Sarah decided that they should head back home. They went that way. Halfway there, Sallie asked to be carried.

"You carry the bag of treats. I'll carry her," Chuck said. He leaned down, took Sallie's bag, and held it back behind him to Sarah. Then he heard footsteps, a thud, Sarah shouting, more thuds, Sallie screaming, Sarah yelling his name, hands grabbing him, struggling, and then darkness.

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Chuck opened his eyes to find Batman and the Joker watching him. It took him a moment before he remembered that it was Halloween. "If you're looking for a treat, I don't have any candy with me unless you got my daughter's trick-or-treat bag. But there are easier ways to get candy," he said.

The Joker snorted. He pulled the mask off to reveal a man, in his 40s, dark hair, and grim face. Upon seeing the face, images filled Chuck's mind: the man's name Ivan Hammermill on a file folder, Hammermill counting money, Hammermill holding a gun to a bound and gagged man, Hammermill shooting a bazooka.

"I was told about your humor Mr. Bartowski," Hammermill said.

Batman also pulled off his mask and Chuck saw a sandy-haired man in his late 20s and his mind flashed again. He saw Max Brimer and his photo on a wanted poster, Brimer shooting a machine gun, Brimer working on some machine, Brimer executing people.

Chuck glanced around. He was on his back in a parking lot of some office building with Hammermill and Brimer watching him and three men near two cars. One car was empty while the other had several other men in it. Further down the parking lot, he could see a couple of other men standing around.

"Now then, Mr. Bartowski, shall we discuss the intersect?" Hammermill said.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

John Casey's cell phone rang. He was sitting in the front passenger seat as one agent drove and two other agents sat in the back seat of a speeding car. He didn't need to check the readout to see who was calling.

He pulled out his phone. "What is it Sarah?"

Casey held back the phone away from his ear to prevent Sarah's screaming and shouting from deafening him. The driver and the two agents in the back seat glanced at Casey. When Sarah's yelling finally slackened, Casey interjected. "Look, we're doing everything we can. You're not the only one who doesn't want Chuck hurt, OK? We'll find him! And you're not helping by calling me every few minutes. I'll let you know the second I find out anything, OK?" He hung up before Sarah started shouting again.

He didn't blame her. So far, the whole thing had not gone well. The Fulcrum agents had gotten Chuck, made a clean getaway and had managed to elude the agents tailing him. They had also managed to disable the trackers they had planted on him. And now, Casey and every available agent were searching and looking for any sign, any clue, anything that would help them find Chuck.

A cell phone in the back seat rang. One of those agents answered. He talked into his phone for a moment and then hung up. "We may have something," he said.

Thank goodness, Casey thought, it's about time something went right. He knew very well that Sarah would carry out her threat to hunt him down if anything happened to Chuck!

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

It looked like any other office building in a city block of office buildings. They walked in through the doors and got on the elevator. Brimer punched in some codes on the elevator panel and the elevator went down. It appeared to travel for some distance even though the panel had only a "B1" listed.

The doors opened.

"After you Mr. Bartowski," Hammermill motioned with his gun.

They walked down a hallway and Chuck could see holes and burn marks in the walls. They came upon a door with a keycode panel. Brimer punched in a code and the door opened.

Hammermill motioned again with his gun for Chuck go first. Chuck entered. The room was a mess. Something had happened here, some sort of battle. Desks were overturned, equipment and papers were scattered all over.

They motioned him on and they moved forward to the end of the room. Another door and another keypad. Once again Brimer punched in a code to get the door open and they entered. This went on several more times and as they entered each room, Chuck could see more evidence and signs of some sort of battle that had taken place.

They came onto another door with another keypad and once again Brimer punched in a code and the door opened.

"We've arrived Mr. Bartowski!" Welcome back to your domain," Hammermill said and he motioned Chuck through.

They entered into an immense room of screens, computers and network servers and other electrical equipment. Chuck recognized it. It was the intersect, his work, his responsibility, his baby. And then he remembered.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Yelling. Explosions. Screaming. Gunfire. It was all getting nearer and Chuck rapidly typed on a computer keyboard. "BARTOWSKI!" It was Casey yelling at him.

"Bartowski! You've got to get out of here," Casey shouted, carrying a gun, as he ran up to the desk Chuck was at.

"I've almost got it!" Chuck yelled.

"Bartowski! In case the sound of that gunfire and grenades doesn't clue you in, let me bring you up to speed -- we are under attack. Fulcrum agents have busted in here and they're coming. They want the intersect and they're coming! Pull the detonation switch, destroy it and let's get out of here!" Casey shouted. He looked back the way he came.

"They're not getting it! It's done!" Chuck replied and stood up to go with Casey.

"What do you mean? What did you do?"

Then there was an explosion and everything went black.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Things had gone so well with their lives and now this amnesia had to happen, Sarah thought as she hung up the phone after her tirade at Casey.

She recalled how it had been with Chuck when he first got the intersect in his head and she had been assigned to protect him under the pretense of a boy friend-girl friend cover. At least it started out as a cover, she thought. But there proved to be a lot more to Chuck than what you saw on the surface and her feelings for him quickly grew into something far stronger than asset-handler and friend.

She fought those feelings plus things kept happening that seemed to always prevent them from getting closer and going forward with a relationship. Like when he broke up with her to protect her, thinking her feelings for him could get her killed. Or when Jill, his ex from college, came back into his life.

They never seemed to get a break or have something go right to help them get together. How many times had Chuck just tried to arrange a real date with her without something interfering? Sarah wondered. She recalled one date where some Fulcrum agents tried to nab him. Shots were exchanged and those agents even lobbed a few grenades, one of which had knocked a table and other debris into her and rendered her unconscious.

The next thing she knew, she heard Chuck's voice telling her to hold on. She opened her eyes and she was in an EMS with him holding her hand. Her last thoughts before she had gotten knocked unconscious had been that she had failed Chuck, that he would be killed. She was so relieved that he was all right, that he was there beside her that she begged him not to leave her side.

They made it to the hospital just fine, Chuck stayed with her the whole way and she recovered nicely. It wasn't until the next day, when she woke up in a hospital bed with Chuck asleep in a chair beside her and holding her hand that she wondered how they had gotten out of that fight alive. Four Fulcrum agents had attacked. She had taken care of two of them before she had gotten knocked out. What happened to prevent the other two from killing her and Chuck? Had Casey arrived in the nick of time and rescued them?

No, Casey told her. "It was Bartowski who took care of them after you got slammed into dream land."

"Chuck?" she exclaimed.

Casey nodded. "Fulcrum didn't even consider Bartowski a threat or any problem. When you went down, those two agents thought it was all over and stepped up to kill you and take him. According to witnesses, Bartowski went nuts after he saw you injured. He grabbed your gun and blew them away. Got 'em both with four shots. I wish I could have seen their faces when he did that. I'll bet they never knew what hit them. I sure didn't know the little geek had it in him," Casey said as he looked at Chuck, still sleeping, not hearing the discussion.

"Chuck!" Sarah said again, also looking at him.

"Yep!" Casey continued. "Then he took charge of the situation, announced to everyone in the restaurant that he was CIA special agent Charles Carmicheal and for everyone to calm down and listen. He told the manager to dial 911 immediately and say 'Agent down!' He instructed some waiters to get some clean cloths, napkins, anything that he could apply to your wounds. He had other waiters check on everyone in the room to see if anyone else was injured. He ordered everyone to remain where they were as the police and others might have questions. And when the EMS arrived and they took you away, he started to get in the ambulance with you. They said he couldn't come along, but he pulled the gun on them, said that CIA special agent Charles Carmichael was going along on the ride with his injured partner and nobody was telling him otherwise. And I guess, the rest you know."

Casey shook his head as he stared at Chuck, with one hand extended out and holding on to Sarah's hand while he still slept. "Maybe we should stop telling him to wait in the car," he added.

Sarah looked at Chuck with wonderment and adoration and gripped his hand tightly. She couldn't believe it. But as she learned long ago, there was definitely a lot more to Chuck than what you saw on the surface. And once again, another one of their dates had not turned out the way they hoped.

It wasn't long after that she finally had enough and decided to take matters into her own hands. They were on another mission and this time Chuck got injured. The two of them and Casey had been in an abandoned building pursuing some Fulcrum agents and an explosion occurred. Chuck had been hit with some debris or shrapnel. He went down. Sarah grabbed him and got him out of the building. Once outside, she looked him over while he lay on the ground groaning in pain. It looked bad. He was bleeding.

She did what she could to stop the bleeding and stayed with him on the street waiting for the paramedics to arrive. Then things turned scary. He started talking about dying in her arms. The way he sounded – so calm, so accepting, so factual -- chilled and terrified Sarah. She yelled and screamed at him not to die, to stay with her. The paramedics arrived, did what they could, and rushed him to the hospital. She stayed with him the whole way, talking to him, pleading with him to hold on. The paramedics kept assuring Sarah that Chuck would be all right but the way he had talked had horribly frightened her.

It turned out that Chuck's injury had not been nearly as bad as feared. He would be all right and his talk about dying had been delirious rambling. Later, after some quick surgery to remove the shrapnel and sew up the wound, when she sat on the side of his bed in recovery, looking at him and stroking his hair and head as he lay there still asleep from the anesthesia, she started crying. And she couldn't stop.

Then she felt a hand on her shoulder. She looked up. It was Ellie. She stared at Sarah with concern. "He's OK! It looked a lot worse than it actually was. He's going to be fine," she said.

"I know, I know," Sarah sobbed. "I don't know why I'm crying."

"I do," Ellie replied softly.

Sarah didn't say anything. Ellie then leaned down and looked directly into Sarah's tear-filled eyes. "It's because you're in love with my baby brother; that's it, isn't it," she said. It was not a question.

Sarah nodded. "Well, he's in love with you too, you know," Ellie said as she put an arm around Sarah and rubbed her shoulder. Again, it was not a question.

And right then and there Sarah decided – enough! Enough with fighting her feelings for Chuck! She was going to fight to have him! Enough with waiting for something to happen! She was going to make it happen!

And it all turned out to be surprisingly easy as far as the CIA and the NSA were concerned. Since Chuck was mainly in charge of the intersect and spent most of his time now at a CIA headquarters, Sarah was technically not his handler, at least not full-time. They worked together on the field only occasionally now, so the higher ups had no objections or fraternization rules to cite. One privately told her that any relationship in the past between her and Chuck would probably have been overlooked as they wouldn't have considered breaking apart one of the most effective teams. And Sarah swore that she even heard this official mumble "About time!" when she told him of her intentions to date Chuck.

Then it was time to work on Chuck. Ready and determined to talk to him about starting a relationship for real, she went to his office to pick him up for a dinner that Ellie had invited them to. But when she walked into the intersect office, she nearly panicked that she was too late.

Chuck was lying on the floor, halfway into a hatch leading into a server and there, practically on top of him, also leaning into the hatch, was that attractive female co-worker of his, Cindy. Every time Sarah visited Chuck at the intersect room, Cindy always seemed to be alongside of him touching him, leaning against him, and acting flirtatious. And now she was all but entwined with Chuck on the floor!

Sarah nearly blew up but she managed to keep her temper in check and just noted to Chuck that it was time to leave for Ellie's dinner. Brunettes! It's always brunettes, she internally raged as the pair got up from the floor. He seemed clueless about Sarah's fury as he explained that he and Cindy were working on the intersect server and that more than two hands were needed at the same time to fix the problem. Sarah remained tight lipped and angry as they walked to the car and during the entire drive to Ellie's.

By the time they arrived, Chuck finally realized that something was wrong but didn't know exactly what. Which made Sarah angrier. During dinner, Ellie picked up on the tension and made them talk. And that talk turned the corner for us, Sarah recalled. Both she and Chuck cleared the air, expressed their feelings, ended up making out on the couch and then going into his room where they made love for the first time.

And after that, they were completely, totally, head-over-in-heels in love and a couple. Nothing could keep them apart. So happy and so good together, Sarah thought. They soon moved in together and months later were engaged.

Sarah never forgot how Cindy, who Sarah had gotten so jealous about, reacted upon finding out about the engagement. A day or so after Chuck popped the question, Cindy spotted Sarah, with the engagement ring on her finger, at the intersect office and rushed over for a congratulatory hug. "I was wondering when you two would wake up and see what was in front of you all along!" she squealed. Sarah was stunned. Here she thought of Cindy as a rival for Chuck's affections and all along she was actually an ally.

Everything went well from there on – she transferred to a different job in the CIA, they got married, had a wonderful honeymoon, bought and moved into a house, they went on vacations, did a lot of things together, they had Sallie, became a family. Sarah couldn't recall when she had ever been happier. And then this amnesia ….

Chuck had been through so much -- the intersect, fights, bullets, explosions, falls, poisons, knives, car crashes, wayward helicopters, assassins, injuries, traitors, all of those brunettes, including that bitch Jill, twice, Sarah raged. After all that, all they had been through, and how much they loved each other, she couldn't lose him to some stupid amnesia, she fumed. She pressed her hand against her eyes as tears started. I can't lose him, I just can't, she thought.

"Mommy?" Sallie said.

Sarah looked at where their daughter sat on the couch. Halloween had ended badly for her. When the Fulcrum agents had attacked, Sallie had gotten knocked to the ground, her trick-or-treat bag went flying and all of the candy had spilled out. She cried about not having any candy from Halloween. Now, back home, Sarah could tell that Sallie was concerned but not about the lost candy. Her father had been gone, in the hospital and then came home. Now he was gone again.

"Mommy, is daddy coming back?" Sallie asked.

Sarah crouched down by the couch and drew her into a hug. "I hope so, Sallie! I hope so!" she said. But Sallie still seemed scared. Sarah was scared too.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

The explosion that he heard inside his head during that flashback hit Chuck like a revelation. Then he was back in the intersect room with those two Fulcrum agents. They looked at him.

"We want the intersect Mr. Bartowski. Where is it?"

"I thought you guys had it," Chuck replied. "At least you acted like you did! Every time you contacted me or tried to take me, you kept asking if I wanted it back, remember?"

"That got everybody's attention, didn't it? It enabled us to get you, didn't it? No, we don't have it. But we want it and you're going to give it to us," Hammermill said.

"I don't have it," Chuck said.

Both Hammermill and Brimer looked angry, frustrated.

Then Chuck added. "But I know where it is. I hid in here when you attacked. I'll get it." And then he walked over to the left wall, toward a door. He reached toward the door knob and was stopped.

"If you don't mind Mr. Bartowski, we'll open that door."

Chuck stepped aside as they went to the door. They opened it.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Casey and his team went through the building as quickly, quietly and carefully as they could. Every step and every pace was by the book. They checked perimeters and corners, secured each room as they went through.

Casey urged his men to move quicker. He had promised Sarah that Chuck would be OK, that he would be watched every step of the way, and that they wouldn't lose him. But they did lose him for a while. It was exactly what Sarah feared. But some activity had been seen at the building that had secretly housed the intersect. It had been abandoned by personnel since the Fulcrum attack. Casey got the teams there and the Fulcrum agents outside the building had been captured efficiently and quickly. Then Casey took some teams inside hoping to find and rescue Chuck.

They had finally arrived at the intersect entrance. Had they gotten here in time? They checked the door. It was ajar. They stuck in a camera scope to check out what was going on in there. The portable monitor showed only one person. He/she was sitting at a desk working on a computer.

"Go!" Casey ordered.

The team crashed into the room with guns drawn and ready for a fight that … that was already over.

Chuck sat calmly at a desk working at a computer. "Hey Casey! About time you got here!" he said.

Casey marched up to the desk, looked at Chuck, who was acting like it was just another day at the office.

"What the hell are you doing Bartowski?" he demanded.

"Just checking on the intersect," he replied matter of factly.

"You have it? You have the intersect?" Casey said.

"Yep. When we were attacked, I told you that they weren't going to get it and I took care of it. Now should I get it back up and working or should I keep it where it's safe for now?"

Casey was speechless for a moment. Then he finally told Chuck to keep it where it was safe for now. He was pretty sure that the headquarters would be moved to a new location since this one had been attacked and compromised. But when and where was to be determined. He had a feeling that things would go quicker now that Bartowski was back and the intersect had been recovered.

He glared at Chuck. "Bartowski, do you know how many people, both us and Fulcrum, have been looking for that thing and you mean to tell me that it was safe all along? That you hid it?"

"Yep!"

"And where the hell was it?"

"Casey, if I told you that, I'd have to kill you!" Chuck joked.

Casey shook his head. "And here we thought you needed help!"

"Well, actually I do," Chuck replied. He pointed over toward the wall. Casey looked and saw two Fulcrum agents, bound and helpless on the floor. "I need you to take out the garbage," Chuck said.

"How…?" Casey stammered.

"They opened that closet door and that gave me the distraction I needed to take them down," Chuck explained.

"Closet?"

"Yeah. I got them to think that I had it in there and I started to open the door. But of course, they wouldn't let me, they insisted on opening it. And they had no idea how we had stacked and stuffed things in there. If you don't open that door carefully, an avalanche will start. They didn't and one did. We had been meaning to clean out that closet for some time. But we forgot. I guess that turned out to be a good thing," Chuck said.

Casey just shook his head. Bartowski was definitely back!

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

By the time Chuck stepped out the car that had delivered him back home, the front door to the house opened and Sarah rushed out. She ran to Chuck and wrapped her arms around him. After a long, hard hug, she stepped back and looked him over carefully.

"I'm fine," Chuck said. "Are you and Alley Oop OK?"

A surprised look appeared on Sarah's face only to be quickly replaced with joy and delight. "One of your nicknames for Sallie! You remember! You got your memory back!" she squealed as she hugged Chuck again.

Chuck returned the hug. After a while, they walked back into the house, side-by-side and holding each other.

"You didn't answer me," Chuck said once they were inside the house. "Are you two OK?"

"We're fine. I've been worried, she's been worried. You were in the hospital for several days and were gone. You came back and tonight you were gone again. And to top that off, all of her Halloween candy got spilled and lost when they took you," Sarah replied.

"Oh no! And after all of her trick-or-treating," he groaned.

He walked up to the couch where Sallie was stretched out and snoozing. He leaned down and stroked her hair. Sallie's eyes opened. "Daddy?"

"Hey Sallie!" Chuck said and pulled her into a hug.

"I lost all of my candy!" she wailed.

Chuck stroked Sallie's hair, assured her that it was OK and that they would get her some more candy as he carried their daughter to her bedroom. He set her down in her bed, tucked her in, and then sang some songs until she drifted off to sleep. He could now remember the songs he sometimes sang to her at bedtime. As he got up and turned to leave the room, Sarah stood in the doorway watching and smiling.

"My turn!" she said.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

After Sarah lay down on their bed, Chuck walked in with two wash cloths. He sat on the end of the bed, took off her shoes and socks and set her bare feet in his lap. Then with a wash cloth soaked in warm water, he rubbed her feet. He dried them with the other cloth and then massaged them.

Ohhhhhh, that felt soooooo good! Sarah thought. She had definitely missed his foot massages!

"You're smiling," Chuck noted. "Does that mean you like this?"

"Mmmm hmmmm," she purred. He always asked if he was massaging her feet OK. No matter how many times he had done it, he always asked to make sure that she liked it.

After a while, Chuck finished the foot massage and then moved up to the head of the bed. He turned her over and massaged her back. Ohhhhh, I've missed that too, Sarah thought. All the frustrations, tensions and annoyances of the past few days faded away as Chuck's fingers massaged her back, shoulders, and neck. He sure knew what she liked!

And that reminded her of something else that she liked, something that she had definitely missed.

She lifted her head up toward his, reached up with one arm and pulled his face down for a kiss. As the kiss deepened, Chuck pulled her around so that they faced each other. Their kissing got more passionate. Then Chuck pressed closer and tighter against her. They continued kissing and she wrapped one of her legs around him and then moved her hands to his back, grabbed the tail of his shirt and pulled.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

They lay in bed in each other's arms after, content, happy, and comfortable. "I'm sorry!" Chuck said to Sarah quietly.

"For what?"

"For putting you and Sallie through all of this, for everything that you've gone through and had to put up because of me. I'm so sorry. I can't believe that I forgot you and couldn't remember you and our life together and our daughter," he said.

She touched his cheek with one hand. "It wasn't your fault. You were injured in that explosion. Do you remember everything now?"

"Everything!"

She kissed him long and hard and then she hugged him. "I love you!" she said.

"And I love you! Always!"

"Always!"

It was all finally all right and back to normal, back to their wonderful, happy normal life, Sarah thought gratefully. She had Chuck back – HER Chuck – her husband, her lover, her friend, her confidante, her buddy, her partner, her mate – HER Chuck. He was back, he was himself. They were a family again.

She snuggled closer against him and he hugged her tighter.

THE END