CHUCK VS. THE BEGUILING BEHAVIOR

DISCLAIMER: I don't own "Chuck."

SUMMARY: After Chuck breaks up with Sarah (in the second season episode "Chuck Vs. The Breakup"), she fights to win him back. But Chuck's mysterious behavior worries both Sarah and Ellie. Has he found a new girl friend or is something else going on?

NOTE: This was the first fan fiction I ever did. I wrote it after seeing the "Chuck" second season episode "Chuck Vs. The Breakup" and after I finished it, I decided I didn't like it, tossed it aside, and wrote other Chuck fan fiction. Recently, while taking a break from trying to finish another Chuck story, I took a second look at this one. I'm still not sure about it but I decided to go ahead and post it and let all of you be the judge.

Part One – Sarah Fights Back

Sarah Walker parked her car in front of Chuck's apartment, got out and marched up to the front door. She pondered the wisdom of her actions, wondering what would be Chuck's reaction. It would probably surprise him, she thought. Last week, he had broken off and ended any actions or feelings to their having a real relationship, that everything would now be fake, pretend, part of the cover that they maintained to protect the intersect in his head.

His actions had hurt Sarah terribly. She still felt hurt and recalled how she had to turn away from him and struggle to maintain control after he had told her. She very nearly burst into tears on the spot but managed not to.

If only I spoken first, before he broke up with me, Sarah thought angrily. What also irked her is that she had no idea why Chuck had done that. Before, he seemed to want a real relationship with her. He had asked her out on a real date, he had gotten jealous about Bryce, he had brought her flowers while she was in the hospital. What had happened? What had gone wrong? Why had he done that?

At first Sarah accepted Chuck's wishes. But the hurt was too much. She decided to try to win him back. She started out by making excuses for them to get together and do the pretend couple stuff. Chuck was hesitant and tried to get out of it but Sarah fortunately had Ellie as an ally in this. Sarah suggested that getting together more often to plan and prepare for Ellie and Devon's wedding and Ellie enthusiastically agreed.

And during those get-togethers, Sarah took every opportunity to touch Chuck, brush up against him, lean against him, loop her arm through his, touch and rub his hair, and kiss him – just like they were a real couple. When Ellie pulled out bridal magazines for the wedding or travel brochures for the honeymoon, Sarah always suggested they take them to the couch instead of sitting at the dining room table. That way, she could maneuver Chuck next to her and sit close to him and even lay her head on his shoulder.

It had seemed to be going well, she thought. But then last week, things had taken a different turn. During one of those get-togethers for wedding plans, all four of them were sitting on the couch, talking, looking through travel brochures and debating what would make the best honeymoon.

Throughout the whole evening, Sarah had leaned against Chuck, pressed her thigh and knee against him, leaned her head on his shoulder and kissed him every chance she got. This had been going on for about an hour and then Chuck suddenly stood up and announced that he needed to be going.

"I promised Morgan that we'd get together. We're going to enter a video game contest and we wanted to practice tonight," he said.

"Chuck, I asked you about doing this earlier today and you agreed to it," Ellie scolded.

"We were supposed to practice earlier this week and I put Morgan off because of the wedding plans. Come on, one night off from wedding stuff can't hurt. The wedding isn't for a while yet," he said.

Ellie started to say something and then Awesome interrupted. "Babe, he has a point. We have been doing this a lot and we all have other things to do every now and then."

"Well, is Sarah OK with this?" Ellie asked.

"Of course she is," Chuck blurted out. "I talked about it to her this afternoon and she understood."

Sarah fumed inwardly. He had NOT done any such thing. But she also did not want to start a fight and make things worse. So she smiled and nodded.

Chuck started to dash off but then Sarah stopped him. "Sweetie, aren't you forgetting something?"

Chuck stared back her blankly.

"Well?" she said and smiled brightly at him.

Chuck seemed clueless. He stared at her with a puzzled look.

"Chuck, your best beloved wants her good night kiss!" Awesome noted.

Chuck looked at Sarah, who smiled at him and nodded. She stood up and walked to him. He leaned toward her and tried to give her a quick chaste kiss on her lips. But Sarah wouldn't have it. She quickly wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him in. She gave the kiss everything she had and kept it up for a good, long time. And when she finally stopped, for added effect, she nibbled on his ear a little as she whispered sexily "You go have a good time now!"

She was pleased to note that he shook a little and seemed a little glassy eyed as she let him go and he walked off. She had to admit that she felt a little dizzy from the kiss.

Then Chuck started working double shifts at the BuyMore and got out of the family get-togethers that way. This had been going on for the past few days and Sarah hadn't been able to see or be with him at all. He basically worked, went home, slept and then got back up and worked.

And last night, they had a mission that Sarah had hoped would have given her the opportunity to talk with Chuck alone.

She, Casey and Chuck had been told to be in the Orange Orange Castle for a meeting at noon yesterday. Sarah waited for the two to arrive from the BuyMore. She was surprised when Casey walked in alone a few minutes before noon.

"Where's Chuck?" she asked.

"Couldn't be helped. He got stopped on our way out and had to help a customer. I tried to get him free but it was turning sticky. So the easiest thing to do was just let him help the customer and get here when he could. He should be along soon," Casey replied.

And he was right. A few minutes later, Chuck rushed in and sat down, barely making it into a chair before the monitor came on. Sarah couldn't help notice that he sat next to Casey, not her. He also avoided looking at her.

Beckman informed them that they wanted Chuck to be set up for observation of guests coming in for some big event at a local museum that evening and see if he flashed on any of them. The operation sounded simple enough. Cameras would be set up and then the video would be fed into a van where Sarah and Chuck would sit and watch. Sarah would take note of any IDs from Chuck's flashes. Casey would observe from outside, on the grounds, and "improvise" in case anything unexpected happen.

Perfect, Sarah thought, we'll be alone and I can have a chance to talk with him, REALLY talk with him.

But then Chuck spoke. "If it's OK, I'd prefer to do the observation with Casey."

Sarah's jaw dropped. Casey looked surprised. Even Beckman on the monitor seemed to be stunned.

"Mr. Bartowski, is there a problem that I need to be made aware of?" she asked.

"No problem. I would just prefer to work with Casey on this mission."

Beckman was silent for a moment. Then she spoke. "As long as you can observe the subjects and make your flashes, you can work with Casey or Walker. It's your choice. Any questions?"

There were none and she signed off.

Sarah was still stunned. She looked inquiringly at Chuck but he wouldn't look in her direction. "If we're done here, I need to get back to work," he said and dashed up the stairs without a goodbye or look back.

Sarah couldn't help but feel hurt by the whole thing. Beckman was right in that Chuck had the right to choose whoever he worked with on something like this. But in the past, he always wanted to be with her. She was able to suppress any emotions about what had just happened. But Casey knew something was going on.

"Trouble in paradise?" he asked.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

When it came time to do the mission, they all rode together in the same car – Casey driving, Sarah up front in the passenger side and Chuck in back. Chuck had said only a short greeting to her when they got together for the trip to the museum and again wouldn't look her way. She stared at him, hoping that he would just LOOK at her. She was really getting fed up with him avoiding her and had almost gotten in the back seat with him when it came time to leave. But she decided against it to avoid any sort of scene. So she sat up front.

Along the way, Chuck still didn't look her way. He kept gazing out the window and stayed silent. Casey did his usual ribbing and riding of Chuck, who surprisingly said nothing in return. Usually he had verbal comebacks for Casey and sometimes even put the NSA agent in his place with a quip or comment. But Chuck kept quiet.

Casey noticed the silent treatment and seemed frustrated that Chuck wasn't fighting back. "Bartowski, are you listening? I don't want you screwing this up!" he snapped.

"I know my role Casey. Shut up, sit down, flash, report and let the real agents do the real spy work," Chuck said with particular emphasis on the two times he used the word "real."

The retort surprised both Casey and Sarah. Casey took a quick glance at Chuck in the rearview mirror and asked "Are you OK Bartowski?" For a moment, Sarah thought that Casey actually did sound concerned. Chuck didn't reply. No one said anything further on the drive there.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Chuck went straight to the back of the van and sat in there waiting for the video feed. After things had been checked and Casey and Sarah conferred with the other agents there who had set up the video feeds, it was show time. Casey started to get into the van. Sarah stopped him.

"Do me a favor. Switch. Let me do that. Let me sit with Chuck," she said.

"No dice Walker. He's acting weird – even for Bartowski. Let's not upset him further." He must have noticed something on Sarah's face or he might have recalled how Chuck had been acting, because before getting into the van, he added, "Look, I know you want to talk to him about things. Let's get this mission over and done with. When we're through, I'll try to keep him in the van until you can get here. When you come in, I'll get lost and grab a ride home with one of the other agents. That way you can talk to him in the van and he'll have to get a ride home with you. That will give you another opportunity for talking. OK?"

"Thanks," she said.

"OK, let's roll," he said as he got into the van.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

For once, they had a mission go down perfectly. Nothing went wrong. Chuck could see everything on the video and he flashed several times and identified enemy agents. Everything happened the way it was supposed to happen. It was one of the easiest and smoothest missions in a long time.

The flow of guests walking into the museum eventually slowed down to nothing about an hour after the event had started. They waited about 15 minutes more and then the order was given to pack it up and go home.

Sarah rushed over to the van. She flung open the door. But no Chuck. She glared at Casey. He shrugged his shoulders. "I tried, but he got a ride with one of the other agents and skedaddled."

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

It had gotten even worse today as Chuck seemed to go out of his way to avoid her. She could remember the days when he made any excuse to visit her at the Orange Orange during his work days at the BuyMore. But today, not once did he come over for a visit. He didn't even come over for a snack during his lunch break.

Sarah even tried several times after lunch to find him in the BuyMore. She went looking for him and every time when she couldn't find him was told he was out or no one knew where he was. And Casey was no help. All she got was a smirk and shake of his head when she asked him where Chuck was.

She also called his phone repeatedly but Chuck never picked up nor called her back in spite of all of the voice mails she had left him.

Now, here it was, early evening, and still no Chuck. She had enough and had come to his home to see him. She was determined to have a talk. If he wasn't here, she would wait until he returned. She rang the doorbell and a couple of seconds later, the door opened to reveal Ellie. She saw Sarah and looked puzzled.

"Sarah! Did Chuck forget something?"

"Hi Ellie. I just came by to see Chuck," Sarah replied.

Ellie still looked puzzled. Then she looked worried. She looked over Sarah's shoulder and said "Isn't Chuck with you?"

"No. I stopped by to see him."

Ellie looked strange. For a moment, Sarah thought she could see flashes of anger and embarrassment in Ellie's eyes. After a few seconds of silence, Ellie finally said "Chuck went out."

"Out? Out where?"

Ellie hesitated again before speaking. Finally, she said "He said he was going out with you."

End Part One