Charles vs. His Destiny is over. But the story of Chuck, Sarah, Ellie, Awesome, Casey and the others continues, as do all stories. I could (in theory) write a whole series of books based on this AU. So this epilogue contains theoretical excerpts, summaries, and partial scene lists from those subsequent novels. As the series progresses, the ideas are significantly less well-formed, because of the ever-changing nature of a story. Book 5, in particular, would need a lot of work to flesh out.
Each section starts with a book title. Then comes a summary, like I would put in the field on this site – it's a teaser of what the story is about. Then an "Excerpt" – a part of a single scene from the story written out long-form. Finally, I provide a partial scene list. I used a scene list (somewhat like this) to write Charles vs. His Destiny (with much revision, of course). The scenes provide a much more comprehensive overview of the plot arcs. Scenes in the list are very brief descriptions of what might happen and have admittedly poor English and consistency. A scene can be as short as a single section or it might take several chapters to resolve fully. It's sort of like an outline combined with notes to the author.
Yes, I know this is hardly the typical format for an epilogue. Then again, I've rarely been accused of being 'typical' or 'normal'. I hope you enjoy!
If you are curious why I am not writing these novels, check my profile. It doesn't belong in-story.
Book 2: Chuck vs. the Proposal
Chuck is growing as the Intersect and in his relationship with Sarah. But as they get closer, the government wants to pull them apart. A mysterious operative proposes an attractive counteroffer which would allow them to be together.
Westminster Presbyterian Church
May 29, 2008
Chuck's palms were sweaty, even this far into the semi-familiar rite of passage. Everything added to his nervousness: the uncomfortable but well-fitted tuxedo, the crowd of on-lookers, the woman holding his hands, the mini speaker/microphone lodged in his ear. Instinctively, he looked for comfort in crystal blue eyes.
He found more than comfort in Sarah's eyes. They were intense and focused, boring into him in a powerful and reassuring way. It felt as if the two of them were the only people in the universe, even in the middle of the crowded church. "I do." She spoke the words with such passion that Chuck could barely catch his breath and his knees felt weak. For a moment, he thought he might faint.
He almost didn't catch the preacher's question to him. "And do you, Curt Symborski take Chanelle Lloyd to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, from this day forth?"
Hoping his eyes held the same overwhelming commitment that hers had, Chuck replied through a thick tongue, "I do."
They hadn't covered the actual ceremony in their pre-mission briefing. Both had worked reasonably hard to ignore it, in fact. Now that it was upon them, Chuck could think of nothing else. What if it wasn't just pretend? Why couldn't it be real? No, they weren't ready, but everything happened incredibly quickly in his new world as the Intersect; it almost seemed to be now or never.
"Then by the powers vested in me by the state of California, I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride."
At least Chuck felt comfortable with that aspect. Though opportunities were distressingly rare in their hectic lives, he and Sarah had stolen a few moments of bliss. This kiss, like all of those, left his mind reeling and his heart thundering so loudly in his ears that he was surprised no one complained.
- Fake wedding scene with Chuck and Sarah as part of a mission. Later in the mission Chuck's flash and their communication leads to great success.
- Chuck tells Sarah "I love you." She can't respond – both are a bit broken up about it.
- Mission goes slightly awry because of the disconnect.
- Briefing with Beckman and Graham -- Sarah and Chuck ordered to cool it -- costing efficiency
- Text from Sarah to Chuck. "143". Text back: "Do you mean that?" Sarah: "I really do but it's hard … I can't say it. I can't even write it. Not yet." Chuck: "OK – the thought matters more than the words."
- Awesome's proposal to Ellie. Chuck involved. Balancing work and personal life is difficult. Chuck steps up to ask if Sarah can come. He makes up a story on the spot – comforting each other after Bryce's death. They like Sarah so agree.
- Mission to stop North Korean plot to assassinate California's governor. They are surprised to find another team on the same mission. They work together very successfully (with S. Korean air force? Lim Yo-Hwan reference?). Then Chuck flashes – team that they worked with was Fulcrum.
- Discussion with the Fulcrum team – some things are a threat to us all. They knew about it and had to act – just like Team Bartowski did.
- Ultimatum from CIA/NSA – no more Chuck/Sarah romance or bunker for him and jail for her.
- Proposal to Chuck and Sarah from Fulcrum team-- defect and join them. They can be together forever. They consider it. Chuck finally tells Sarah they're Fulcrum. Shocked reaction but they still consider it.
- Chuck proposes to Sarah for real. She doesn't answer right away.
- Casey intervenes with Beckman and Graham – works to set things right.
- Chuck and Sarah agree (on surface) to work with Fulcrum – it's their only option.
- Details still sketchy, but Chuck and Sarah (and Casey) all working together to use their leverage to get inside Fulcrum and major climax is them revealing no loyalty to Fulcrum and destroying much of the leadership.
- Sarah tells Chuck "Yes". Celebrate!
Book 3: Chuck vs. the Past
As Chuck and Sarah prepare for their wedding, their respective pasts come back to haunt them, even as Fulcrum wages its last battle.
Below BarLar, Inc.
May 25, 2010
Chuck followed Sarah into the secure facility which now served as the basement below the BarLar offices. He knew she was dreading this conversation, but he had been insistent. Bloodshed was still possible after the conversation, but it was essentially a foregone conclusion without talking things through. The lone occupant of the Spartan environs was Casey, who was cleaning a pistol as if it had insulted his mother.
"Casey," Sarah said, clearly embarrassed. "I … there's someone you need to meet."
"Oh, god," he replied, "I'm not sure I can survive another encounter today. I had the most awful experience this morning. Some hippie lady reeking of marijuana came by the reception hall when I was securing it." If Casey took any notice of Chuck's wild gestures to stop, he didn't show it. He ploughed on. "She wanted me to join in some god-forsaken rally about repealing the second amendment. I swear, if it wasn't for the new administration's distaste for violence against civilians, I would have given her an up-close-and-personal demonstration of why weapons are necessary for self-defense."
Sarah sagged into a seat at the table and Chuck moved in to massage her shoulders. Casey continued to rant, but Chuck tuned him out as he listened to his fiancé moan "Oh no, no, no. This isn't good."
After a moment, Chuck interrupted them both. "Casey, what did she look like?"
"What? Oh, she wore tie-dyed clothes that were probably made out of hippy garbage. Long, obviously-dyed, unwashed hair down past her butt. Blue eyes that could be pretty but a vacant expression ruined that. Why?"
Sarah finally regained control of herself. "That's who I wanted you to meet, John." She took a deep breath before continuing in a shaky voice, "She's my mother."
- Sarah's dad – lots of reference to vs. the DeLorean (essentially get his blessing)
- Chuck's dad – not as involved with the Intersect but did have some govt. issues relating to computer development (some supercomputer). Again, NSA/CIA friction (they want him brought in, but Chuck and Sarah help him get away)
- Sarah's mom – flower child (so many possibilities with Casey). She doesn't approve of any of them, but Chuck eventually wins her over (with Ellie's help). She gives Sarah her wedding dress.
- Chuck's mom – ex-KGB. Fell in love with dad while on a mission. Been hunted by the USSR ever since. End up faking her death (recurring theme? Joke about that?) She's leaving by bus from airport (harder to track). Chuck and Sarah are there, too. Ch: Do you have any regrets? Mom: Can't live to be 60 without some. *thinks* Things I wish were different, yes. Way to stay safe with you and Ellie. Missions are where hindsight is helpful. But regrets? Not really. If you're wondering about your father, though, no! Best decision I ever made. Sa: Even with everything else? Mom: No doubt about it. She would be worse than dead or on the run then. *gets mushy about how happy seeing Chuck and Ellie happy makes her happy*
- Other groups Sarah fought (some real danger here – reaffirm how Chuck and Sarah save each other). Sarah saves Chuck physically and Chuck stops her from doing something horrible (she's in a machine gun nest having killed the leaders and children coming – Sarah preparing to shoot). He gives her humanity. The timing of this needs to be all mixed in with dealing with parents.
- Fulcrum -- going down in the "background" – just a couple minor scenes with finishing off last few bastions of resistance. Somehow, get clues leading to central hide-out which is in Hollywood (ideally Josh Schwartz or Chris Fedak's address).
- Final showdown with Fulcrum the morning before the wedding.
- Chuck and Sarah wedding scene (who is there and who isn't – their introspection on many of them).
Book 4: Sarah vs. the Future
With the threat of Fulcrum over, the government wants to try a physical Intersect again. What will Sarah do while Chuck is buried in work?
June 15, 2011
Chuck stretched lazily as Sarah exited the bathroom after a morning shower. "Mm … what are you doing up so early?" he asked languidly.
Her return look was sharp. "Getting ready for our 10:00 call. Did you forget already?"
"But they promised us two weeks off," he whined. "We just got here. Surely we don't have to worry about that yet."
"Uh … Chuck, honey? Our two weeks are up. Haven't you paid any attention to the calendar?"
Chuck tried to remember fourteen days. He could certainly pull to mind a few exciting times and even a few meals, but there was simply no way two entire weeks had passed since they'd left for their honeymoon. "But what about all the things we were going to do? Kayaking? Swimming with the fishes? Air-conditioned bus tours of the hiking trails?"
She laughed lightly. "I suggested some of those over the last few days." She bent to kiss him but broke it off when he tried to distract her with more than kissing. "You have been rather insistent about not leaving the room."
It was all coming back to him: the delirious joy, the easy agreements, the escape from everything that had haunted them. Mornings never had been his clearest time of day. But how could it be fourteen days already? He still couldn't get over that fact.
Grumbling, he climbed unconcernedly out of bed despite his nakedness and started looking for some clothes. Nearly everything he'd brought was still in place in the dresser where they'd unpacked to get suitcases out of the way. It seemed ridiculous that so much time could have passed, but he pulled on enough clothes to be presentable. Running his finger through his air served in lieu of a comb. Shortly, he was as ready as he was going to be.
In the meantime, Sarah had set up a few pieces of equipment that he recognized as a radio transmitter and a simple web camera. The sight of the small black box between them, more than anything else, signaled the end of paradise. It was a secure connector, reserved for use in communicating with high-level security operatives.
Sure enough, Beckman and Graham appeared shortly, dressed in their typical military precision. "Play time is over." Beckman spoke first, as usual. "We have information that an opium cartel may be staying at Fjell House. They appear to be looking to expand their trafficking operations to include fully automatic weapons. Before you return home, see what you can find out. Tickets to tonight's sponsored beach barbeque will be arriving soon. We expect a report in fourteen hours."
Chuck shared a look with Sarah. It was official. Their alone time together was now officially over. It was time to get back to work.
- Chuck and Sarah consummate their wedding.
- Govt. wants physical Intersects and orders Chuck to build them.
- The whole BuyMoron gang returns. Anna from Microsoft (or the organization from Chuck vs. the Dream Job), rest all still at BuyMore.
- Chuck works ridiculous hours while Sarah misses him.
- Sarah accepts a mysterious mission from Graham (without Beckman)
- Lots of Sarah introspection about what she's doing now, what choices she's made, about the difficulty in staying in shape, about aging, about whatever
- Sarah and Casey testing hardware Intersect on a mission without Chuck – everything feels off for Sarah. Casey ribs her about it. His teasing hurts her for the first time.
- Chuck and Sarah at home. Distance between them. Sarah initiates telling him about some past trust issues (Graham's mission). Some of the stories associated with places named in chapter 16 of Charles vs. His Destiny.
- Chuck apologizes and promises to get his priorities straight. Sarah wonders if that's all that's wrong. Should trust but it's hard to.
- BuyMore scene with disaster in progress. It's getting late. Chuck tells Morgan to take over and he leaves.
- What does Sarah want? It's a hard question for her to even ask, even harder to answer.
- Sarah/Ellie scene(s)
- Sarah refusing a mission which involves seduction of a mark. Threats from Graham/Beckman but she is adamant.
- Chuck asks her why. She's still discovering who she is, but she's not the same as she was. She likes her new self better even though she's off-kilter in many ways.
- Sarah injured on some assignment. She goes to Ellie for treatment, who has become aware, peripherally, that they are spies.
- Ends with Ellie telling Sarah that she is pregnant. Sarah stunned and excited!
Book 5: Chuck vs. the Unlimited Possibilities
Chuck and Sarah work their way out of spy life as automatic Intersects take over Chuck's burdens.
The Walker/Bartowski House
July 17, 2016
"Well, that pretty much does it." Chuck looked up from the box he had finished packing. Inside it were the last few pieces of government-owned electronics they had been using. "I think that's everything."
"Uh-huh," Sarah replied, looking up distractedly from the floor where she was playing Settlers of Catan Jr. with Jenna. She noted with satisfaction how Chuck's body had firmed and hardened over the years. He was still the same geek she had fallen in love with, still the first to help out someone in need, but he had grown and matured – not only physically but also in terms of self-control and determination.
They had all served him well as they had struggled to disentangle themselves from their government's clutches. Sarah hadn't considered leaving, or much of anything, honestly, when she had first signed on with Graham. It turned out escaping was a lot more complicated than either of them expected, but the process was now virtually complete.
Sarah felt Chuck's eyes on her. He still affected her in a way that no one else ever could. "What?" she asked.
"Just thinking about something Casey said."
"About something Casey said? Why would you do that?" Dwelling on Casey's words was rarely wise. It might explain the air of melancholy in his voice.
"He wished us the best of luck in our 'normal' life. I gave up on normal long ago. I don't want to go back to it."
Sarah stood up as Jenna streaked out of the room shrieking, completely oblivious to her parents' mood. "Chuck," she said seriously, running a hand over his cheek, "I can think of many words to describe you, but 'normal' is definitely not one of them."
That smile that always touched her heart blossomed across his face. "I know, but … is this going to be enough for you?"
"I like being here. I look forward to coming home to you and Jenna and …." She trailed off, gazing unfocusedly at the wall.
"And what?" he prodded.
"And be quiet, I think I'm having an epiphany here." She was. Suddenly, so many things that she'd never understood were starting to make sense. It all stemmed from the seemingly-innocuous phrase 'coming home'. Chuck knew her well enough not interrupt her reverie while she processed the new information.
It took a bit, but she finally decided how to approach it. She started, "I get it now."
"The end of The Lord of the Rings. Why Merry and Pippin and Sam were so excited to be back in the Shire. The whole concept of 'home'. I've never understood it before. A place of calm and refuge and recharge and love." She smiled in amazement. "I've never had a home before, not really. I've lived places, but …. For the first time in my life, I think I'm home."
Chuck smiled at her broadly. "You never cease to amaze me, Sarah Bartowski."
She relaxed into his embrace basked in her new understanding. Home. It was a wonderful feeling.
- Human candidates for hosting an Intersect are essentially non-existent. The Intersect project has been so successful that it needs to grow, regardless of any difficulties. (98% success with human Intersect, 87% with local Intersect, 80% with no Intersect)
- Machines are slower than Chuck, but they seem to be able to build more of them.
- Casey gets promoted to head of NSA.
- Major earthquake hits California. Jenna (Chuck and Sarah's daughter) is in danger. Simultaneous mission. No discussion. Jenna comes first for both.
- Sarah offered a more senior position in CIA. She turns it down.
- Casey offers them a nice retirement package. One condition = build portable Intersect. After some discussion, they accept.
- Chuck works on shrinking Intersect. Sarah works on securing it and gives advice on what "portable" might really mean.
- They discuss what's next. Lots of idle talk about possible careers or permanent vacations or missions to help Africa and whatnot.
- Chuck and Sarah pack to move out of destroyed area to new house. While packing Chuck flashes on an old item of hers, giving him a view into an incident from Sarah's coincidentally providing key breakthrough to make portable Intersect.
- Plans passed off to Casey. He commends them on a job well done and wishes them all the best in their "normal" life.
- Chuck de-Intersects. Fear of danger for both.
- All goes very well. Only brief convalescence period. No mental problems.
- What next? "Normal" life? Not if Sarah can help it – she continues to want extraordinary. When it comes down to it, every end is really just a new beginning.
The Tale goes ever on and on
On from the scene where it began.
Now far ahead the Tale has gone,
Let others write of it, who can!
Let them a story new commence,
But I at last with weary mind
Must turn from writing of suspense,
At least this particular kind.