Chuck vs. The Demon
Disclaimer: I neither own nor make any claim to the characters contained herein. Merely a fun time for me to write this as a fan.
Time frame: Sometime during season 2 before Christmas.
Rating: Mostly T, but I expect it will be a little angsty at times. I will try and warn before specific chapters should there be cause.
Chapter 1: Sarah looks over the edge
'At least I feel I can be out in public now. The Wienerlicious uniform was not exactly understated.' Agent Walker calmly crosses the parking lot and lets her eyes sweep the area. In the back of her mind, possible threats are noted and quickly discarded. All seems well again today. Passing through the doors of the Buy More, it takes a moment for her eyes to pick him out, tall, dark haired and smiling bright as sunshine.
Morgan is practically dieing with laughter, Chuck was always a funny guy. Her mind wanders. They often talk about a woman's ability to light up a room as she enters. Personally, Walker had never put much stock in the concept. Guys will say anything if they think there is a chance to get with you. That is, until she experienced her own magical moment, and many more since. No matter how the day was; burned hot dogs; rude customers; Casey and his comments. It could all be washed away with a smile from Chuck.
After a couple of steps down the main aisle, Sarah sees that Chuck is getting up to greet her. 'Perfect', she thinks to herself. He walks around the Nerd Herd desk and grins. With a smooth draw, her gun is on target and one shot rings out. It is a clean kill. Chuck barely has time to register his surprise before falling bonelessly to the floor. Sarah relaxes her stance as balloons start to fall from the ceiling. With a little blush, she accepts applause from the Buy More customers and staff.
"Excellent shot Agent Walker, I am honored to have witnessed it." Casey says as he approaches. He stands to attention at her side. They both turn and face General Beckman and Director Graham.
"Very good work today Major Casey, Agent Walker. The threat of our secrets being exposed is at an end." the General addresses them both and then goes on to expound on the wonderful successes of the entire operation.
Sarah watches it all with a slight frown. 'Does it matter what I wanted?'
The Director makes a motion for Sarah to join him and she walks to his side. "I must say, there were people questioning your resolve to see things through. But I never doubted your training would serve you well."
"Our training you mean. I think I deserve some credit for helping her become your perfect little soldier." Sarah is shocked as her dad joins them. "I would like to believe I laid the groundwork for you." They shake hands and congratulate each other on a job well done. Both wearing the smile of a proud parent as they discuss her skills.
All but forgotten, Sarah stands there while the room tilts. The customers of the Buy More are all looking at her now. They seem so familiar. 'Oh my god, I killed him on a mission in Columbia.' Each new face brings a memory of her dealing out death. 'Is this all I am?'
A small shiver runs through her, 'Is it time? I think this is about when it happens.' Glancing right to left she scans the milling throng. 'There! Yes, there she is! Or, there I am.'
Dashing from the among the shoppers, Sarah makes her way to Chuck's body. She cradles his head in her lap, giving no mind to the blood that covers her hands. She strokes his hair, his cheeks, a finger idly traces his lips. Sarah begins rocking him in her lap and asking him to wake up, to just open his eyes.. Silence fills the Buy More, everyone turned to regard the scene. The new Sarah tosses her head back and howls with pain and loss. After, shining blue eyes lock onto Agent Walker. One word is all she can say, "Why?"
Chucks eyes pop open as his head flops to face her. She tries to ignore his damaged forehead as he speaks, "Yes Agent Walker, I would love to know, too. Why? Is this what my trust gets me?"
Returning her gun to it's holster, Walker replies in a monotone, "Orders. I had my orders." The same answer, the only answer, every time. Her next thought barely forms, 'Please, not tonight. Not again.' In an instant, she is viewing the scene from a new vantage point. Staring across the room at a coldly calm Agent Walker while cradling Chuck's still form. The worst part soon follows as she is flooded with all the pain and anguish of the moment. Tremors shake her and she folds under the weight of grief. Leaning over Chuck, she gives in to it all. Body wracked by sobs that tear from her throat, she wants it to end. Her last thoughts are a mantra, 'I will stop you. You can't have him. It is my job to protect Chuck from everything, even myself.'
4:00am present day
Kicking at the sheets that have curled around and captured her legs, Sarah rockets awake. Breathing out of control as her heart pounds, she untangles herself. 'Calm, calm, slow down Walker, it was only a dream.' The sounds of the room start to enter her awareness and she grabs hold like a drowning woman. An effort of will brings her breathing down, matching the other occupant of the room. His slow and steady breaths becoming her lifeline. Needing more in order to be sure, she moves to rest her hand on Chuck's chest and feel the rise and fall. Reassured by the thump, thump of his heart under her fingertips, she releases the last of her tension. He doesn't stir with the light contact.
"Shh, back to sleep Sarah, it was only a dream." She imagines they are Chuck's words while taking a last look at his peaceful expression. After straightening the blanket and sheets, she soon returns to an uneasy slumber.
7:30am present day
Sarah awoke slowly, turning one way and then the other in a comprehensive stretch. A nearly futile attempt to remove the pain in her back that has been a constant companion. "This bed is going to be the death of me." She groans a little before opening her eyes.
Realization comes like a slap to the face. "Oh my god. I am so sorry Ellie." Gazing across the small hospital room, she takes in the scene that haunts her days. Chuck in a hospital bed, sprouting more tubes than would seem possible. The click and hiss of his respirator is counterpointed by the beep, beep of a heart monitor. A host of other machines each add their voice. Truly a symphony only the devil could love.
"It's all right Sarah, this has been hard on all of us." Ellie gets the words out with almost no quaver. Her despair visible as shining tracks of tears while she checks all the equipment.
"Any change?" Sarah asks with hope in her voice. She has been asking every morning and this morning produces the same response.
Ellie shaking her head and fighting to get out the "No. The tests have come back with the same results, negative. They still don't know what is wrong." All while not breaking down into a fresh round of tears.
Sarah can hear Ellie as she struggles to force her breathing back under control. Subconsciously matching the tempo of her brother's respirator. In 2 short strides, Sarah has her arms around Ellie and they share a hug of support.
"Don't worry Ellie. Chuck will beat this."
'He better be all right.'
"I know one thing about him, he can do anything."
'Fight this Chuck, come back to us......me.'
"We will be trying not to laugh at his jokes in no time."
'If I keep saying it, I can keep believing it.'Sarah holds the hug for a moment longer, just until the tremors leave her legs. 'It's the uncomfortable bed causing that.'
"Of course he will be fine Sarah. He promised to give me away at my wedding. He wouldn't miss that for the world. Plus, he was going on and on about all the pictures he was going to get. Pictures of you in an awful peach colored bridesmaid dress." Smiling at the memory then looking into Sarah's eyes, pleading almost. "They really aren't horrible are they?"
"No, no, they are lovely. Anyhow, I had plans to sabotage his camera" Joining in with a small laugh.
For Ellie, the moment is quickly gone as memories fade and Chuck becomes too real in front of her once again. A few more tears start to fall as she turns to leave the room, her morning visit finished.
Watching her leave, Sarah's heart aches for Ellie. This has to be killing her, the last member of her family and all she can do is watch him die a little more every day. These thoughts bring her eyes back to Chuck, traveling the contours of his face, missing the smile that was always there for her. 'Open your eyes Chuck, let me see them, see the life in them again. How long has it been, 2 weeks, 3? The days and nights all bleed together.'
With a mournful sigh, she turns back to her foldout bed. Slides into slippers as she grabs up her towel and heads to the bathroom. Time to make myself presentable for the day. 'Just in case.' echoes like a whisper through her mind.
Morgan pushes open the door and enters. He likes Sarah a lot, but who wouldn't. She is totally hot. Chuck scored majorly when she walked in the door of the Buy More and practically picked him up on the spot. Normally, any situation can be made better with a little Morgan. This time, a maturity that few see kept him from taking her moment. "Hey buddy. You won't believe it, I finally got it." Pulling out a flash drive and waving it around in front of Chuck.
"Right here we have the trailer for the new Star Trek movie." Morgan says with a flourish of his hand. "Can you believe it, a whole new presentation of the storied franchise." He keeps up his usual Morgan banter, seemingly unaffected by his friends unresponsiveness. A trained eye would see the intensity in his gaze, longing for anything that would let him know Chuck is listening.
After filling his friend in on the the latest and greatest escapade in Call of Duty history, Morgan takes his leave. "Okay, I have to go and save the Buy More from boredom. You know they can't get along without you....uh...me." The slip gives Morgan pause. "I can't wait till you are back there, Jeff and Lester have been seriously taking advantage of the two to one odds."
Morgan sets the flash drive on a shelf and says, "I will leave it right here so we can get our first look as soon as you are ready." After a last glance, he is gone.
Sarah notes the arrival and departure of Morgan mechanically. After all, she is here to ensure the safety of the Intersect. 'That's right Walker, duty and all that. And you have done so well up till now. Did I miss something in the last mission? Something that would have prevented all this?' Standing under a too hot spray of water, time rolls backwards.