Author's Note: Thank you toxcait geekxfor pointing out that not everyone knows what the game 'Force Field' entails. If you've never seen the movie Stripes, then here's the overview: The object of the game is to pretend that there's an invisible force field surrounding your bodies and you need to get as close as possible without breaking the force field (touching). Typically this is a battle of wills between the two participants, but Chuck and company have modified the game into a couple's competition. I hope that helps.
Disclaimer: I own nothing regarding the Chuckverse, I'm just playing with the other kids toys and I promise to return them in pristine condition...though perhaps a little bit smutty:-)
Excerpt from Chapter 2:
Chuck smiles at his sister, basking in the reflective glow of her happiness, "The bar has been raised, but I think we're up to the challenge." He turns to Sarah with a sly smile, "Ready?"
"Ready." It's a bold faced lie. She feels nothing of the sort. Her palms are sweating and her heart is pounding because his eyes are focused on her with absolute trust and warmth. They take their positions opposite one another kneeling on the rug. When the timer beeps, Sarah wonders just how much of herself she'll lose tonight in order to win.
Chuck & Sarah vs. The Force Field – Chapter 3
He's always been good with his hands…game control pads, circuit repairs, fabrication, and various other tasks that require a deft touch, all come easy to him. The rest of his body is traitorous and awkward, but his hands are the one thing Chuck can count on. He stares at the negative space between his outstretched fingers, focusing on Sarah, who's mirroring his stance. Because of the professional boundaries they've established, it's rare for Chuck to initiate physical advances, but for some reason, knowing that they won't actually touch lends him the confidence to take the lead tonight. He lowers his hands to the ground and she follows suit, until their pinkies are only a few inches apart on the carpet. He leans his whole upper body closer to her and Sarah goes stock still; the key to this game is having one person move at a time. It's when you both start to move in tandem that you're most likely to make mistakes and break the 'force field'.
Sarah is concentrating extremely hard on not making eye contact with Chuck, but he's lowering his head down to her neck and it's deliciously distracting. She closes her eyes as his breath dances across the hollow of her throat and up along the opposite column of her neck finally stopping at the shell of her ear. He blows softly, following the curved pattern of her ear lobe. They come perilously close to losing the game right then when Sarah reflexively tucks her head to her shoulder, but Chuck's lips are now hovering over her temple. She tramps down her anxiety and riles up a little indignation at the stunt he just pulled, snapping her head up swiftly and pinning him with a hot glare. Her mouth falls open in shock when she's met with a grinning Chuck Bartowski. He doesn't need to say the word because it's written across his face…Gotcha! There's mirth etched into his brown eyes and she forgets to be mad at him, forgets that making eye contact is what caused Ellie and Devon to fail, and she forgets to be Agent Walker. She's only Sarah now, and Sarah is out for payback.
No one else probably notices the shift, but perhaps that's because no one else is staring into those soulful blue eyes. The demure and conservative façade that Sarah was wearing moments ago has been replaced with a predatory gleam. She breaks the cardinal rule, pushing so close to his personal space that they're forced to move at the same time.
It's when Sarah makes that abrupt, aggressive maneuver that Ellie thinks her and Devon may actually win. But what should have been their competitor's downfall instead, morphs into a gorgeously choreographed dance. Chuck and Sarah's movements are mesmerizing, and she knows that they'll easily surpass the 20 second threshold they need to win. Frankly, they're so intent on each other, that Ellie doubts that they're aware of their surroundings at all. As the timer rushes past into the three minute range, Ellie smiles at her baby brother and his girlfriend…it's the best loss she's ever suffered.
Sarah expertly wields the tide of power, bringing them back to that first kneeling position. Her hands are off the floor, languidly ghosting up across Chuck's stomach, chest, and finally halting just above his shoulders as if to cradle his neck and cheek. She has him on the run now, fear creeping up but never eclipsing his joy. His eyes never leave hers, and yet she can feel heat radiating along her skin as he traces the air below her outstretched arms. The amount of control Chuck is exercising is both impressive and sinful. She sketches the outline of his lips with her thumb and when his breath licks the tips of her fingers, she shivers openly. The mood radically shifts between them and their playful competition is abruptly left smoldering in ashes.
Her eyes widen when she realizes her mistake and Chuck cannot think of anything sexier than watching the conflict in Sarah Walker's eyes. It's the tiniest quiver in her lower lip that spurs him into action. He raises his arm to push aside her still hovering hand and she complies with his prompting while releasing a ragged sigh. Whether that stuttered breathe is a sign of defeat or release he can't be sure. He 'cups her face' and guides her lips to his. He momentarily becomes spellbound as her eyes flutter closed entrusting him with absolute control. As much as Chuck wants to taste the sweetness of her mouth, the moment it happens this charade will end and the gaping distance of Intersect and Agent will consume them again. He shrinks back from her impending kiss, struggling with his desire, determined to build just one more memory of having her close and wanting.
Her visions feels blurry as she reopens her eyes, confused by the lack of Chuck kissing her senseless. Instead he's bent back at, what must be, an awkward angle, gazing up at her with a mixture of adoration and desperate sadness. For all the missions they've run, Sarah can't help but think that this is the most dangerous thing they've ever done. And honestly, she doesn't want it to end. Since the rules prohibit her telling him that, Sarah smiles broadly resolving to show him instead.
Without moving her upper body, Sarah somehow rises up from her knees into a wide footed crouch in one fluid, instantaneous motion. Chuck's eyebrow is not the only one to lift in appreciation of this move. He's pretty sure he heard Devon whisper an awe-struck 'awesome' and Morgan's mouth is definitely hanging open in his peripheral vision. For her part Sarah is wearing her most innocent, 'What?' look.
She gestures for him to lean back further and Chuck smiles in acknowledgement; her new elevated position allows him to straighten his legs out beneath her. Sarah uses her hands to crawl further out of her crouch, up along Chuck's torso until she's hovering over the length of his body in the yoga position known as plank. She's on her toes, one foot between Chuck's legs, the other to the right side, and her forearms are stabilizing the rest of her weight, planted on both sides of Chuck's head. Most people can't hold this position for more than a minute or two, but years of core strength training allow Sarah to maintain this stance for ten minutes. However, the key to keeping your body tight and focused in yoga is breathing…and most unfortunately, Chuck is having a detrimental effect on that bodily function. He's draped his arms around her back, disrupting the air along her spine with haunting currents of warmth just out of reach. Sarah bites back a moan and feels her abdominals begin to shake from the strain of keeping them apart.
They're exchanging panting breathes, eyes still engaged and hopelessly teeming with chaos. It's all going to collapse any second now, and Chuck braces himself for the inevitable physical and emotional fall out. He keeps one hand stationed over the small of her back and the other draws up to her golden tresses, but he doesn't break the force field. He waits. He waits for her to decide. It's the longest second of his life.
She wonders if this is what it's like for Chuck when he flashes. She's drowning in sensory overload, assaulted with the imagery of what could be, to the point that she's barely aware of herself or her surroundings. Sarah Walker is beyond compromised…she's exposed. And as suddenly as it all began, the world stops spinning with possibility and distills into the distance between their lips. She closes it, but because he's Chuck, he meets her halfway.
The kiss is like knocking over that first domino…it sprawls out, making your breath catch at the intricacy born of such humble, unassuming origins. A beautiful girl and a shy boy are burned away, forging an amalgamation of passion.
Chuck welcomes gravity into his circle of friendship when he feels Sarah's body fuse into his…it's the most sublime relief. Two years of pent up frustrations were concentrated and replayed in the span of this game, but the decadence of her kiss is worth all that torture and more. The frenzy to devour each others lips eventually dwindles into soft lazy kisses. Time, which was such an important facet of this game, is strangely irrelevant now. He swallows the gasp that escapes from her when he tucks her against him and rolls them over.
Control is not something Sarah Walker ever concedes without a fight; it's a personality trait that has kept her alive this long. But it's also the one that's kept her alone. As Chuck's tongue sweeps tentatively across her own, her heart races with abject fear…her faith in her solitude is crumbling under his gentle coaxing. She should push him away, end this before it goes any further, but her hands at his shoulders will only comply with the command to pull him closer.
Kissing Sarah is like wrapping himself up into his favorite childhood blanket…the one that Chuck swears still smells like his mother's perfume. Comfort, security, and warmth envelop them like, well, a force field…keeping the bleak cold of reality at bay. But that mental reminder of the game spells the beginning of the end. It would seem that fate agrees, because the timer suddenly buzzes loudly, ripping them apart. Her face is flushed and he knows that his is too. In fact now that he's reacquainting himself with the world outside of Sarah Walker, Chuck can feel a rush of blood surging to his face because that was the mother of all PDA's and both this sister and best friend were sitting in the front row. "Ahemm." Chuck clears his throat and watches as Sarah struggles to catch her breath. She looks dazed and a little of his embarrassment ebbs away when she peeks up at him shyly. Her discomfort is oddly comforting.
Sarah adjusts her top, which had somehow risen to expose her midriff, and dabs along the edges of her mouth to correct the lipstick she's certain is smeared out of place.
"Whoa!" Anna turns to Morgan and promptly swats him upside the head, "That's what I'm talking about Morgan…real intimacy."
"Hey," Morgan raises his hands in self defense, "But sweetie…" his plea falls on deaf ears as Anna stands, grabbing her purse and heading for the door. "Wait, Anna!" Morgan stops at the door turns to his best friend and points in the direction of his retreating lover, "I've gotta go bro!" A half-step over the threshold Morgan turns back, "Oh and…10's across the board you guys."
Sarah smiles at that, or maybe it's because one of Chuck's hands is still stationed at the small of her back, painting aimless circles. Chuck is sporting a goofy little 'Oops' grin and when he catches her eye he gives her a quick peck on the lips, as if that timid gesture would erase the memory of the past...she halts, curiosity outstripping her discomfort, "Ellie, how many minutes was that?"
"Which part?" Devon gets an elbow to the ribs for that little remark. "Ow, babe. It was a valid question. And by the way, I agree with the little bearded man, top marks you two."
"To answer your question Sarah," she squeezes her fiancés hand in apology for her prior assault, "you guys broke the force field somewhere around the twelve minute mark."
Chuck turns to his sister "Wait, then why did the timer buzz?"
Devon inspects the time piece and smiles broadly, "Awesome. It's only a 30 minute timer dude."
Chuck didn't ace his engineering courses at Stanford without basic math abilities, which means either the timer is faulty, or he and Sarah just made out in front of an audience for eighteen minutes. The red tinge to Sarah's ears and cheeks makes him suspect it's the later.
Sarah tucks her head into the crook of Chucks neck and whispers a truly mortified, "Oh my God!"
Ellie's inner domestic goddess simply won't let her tease them further, though the big sister within is dying to rag on her normally conservative sibling. "Well I think we're going to call it a night. Congratulations you guys." Devon helps her to her feet, "Good night."
Sarah watches the happy couple walk down the hall and she waits until she hears their bedroom door close before pulling back from Chuck's embrace. "So…" she has no idea what to say and it's clear from Chuck's expression that he's not about to offer her an easy way out. "Okay, look we both know that we should not have done that, even though it was probably really good for our cover, it's bound to be confusing."
"Confusing for who?" Chuck runs a finger up the inside of her forearm, causing goose-bumps to break out across her pale skin. He lifts her chin up, forcing her hesitant eyes to meet his, "Sarah… it's up to you." Chuck exhales slowly, "It's always been up to you."
Sarah casts back in her memory for anything in her life as spectacular as the past thirty minutes she's spent with Chuck. Nothing compares. Honestly she didn't expect it to. She knows that this is career suicide and completely insane, but her feelings are the real issue between them…whether or not they act on them is irrelevant. She can't ignore the way he makes her feel and she doesn't trust anyone else to protect him as she would. There's really only one answer she can give.
Her eyes are a little unfocused and he can tell that she's working through the problem. Suddenly there's a sharp and deadly focus to her gaze, Chuck recognizes it as her resolve face. It usually precedes his heart being broken and he steels himself for the inevitable rejection. What he should have done was brace for impact because Sarah launches at him with the speed and agility of a puma. After the initial shock wears off, the euphoria settles in and he can't help the giddy laugh that bubbles from his lips.
His chest rumbling beneath her fingers and his smile kissing hers reaffirms her choice. "What's so funny?" She nibbles along his jaw, the light stubble driving her mad.
He tries to keep the question light and jocular, "Isn't this against the rules? Assets and agents, and never the twain shall meet?" Chuck's tone turns more serious, "You could lose your job."
She holds his gaze and kisses him…not for cover, not for a game, but for them. When they break for air she reflects on the journey they've taken this evening and reminds him, "The real loss would be letting some invisible barrier stand between us."
A wide smile spreads across his face, not just because of her implied admission, but also because…"Did you just quote Morgan??"
Sarah tosses her head back and laughs; of course Chuck would pick up that detail. "Every once in a while, a nugget of wisdom will turn up in the most unexpected of places."
Chuck whispers conspiratorially, "He carries secrets in his beard you know?"
"And you carry them in your head," he smiles cheekily at that, "No wonder you two are such good friends."
"Hey now, Morgan has many fine talents. Such as picking fun group activities like the one we engaged in tonight." He kisses her neck and whispers in her ear, "Wanna play again? One-on-one?"
"No!" The force of her refusal causes Chuck to draw back a pace in concern. Sarah lets him sweat for moment before capturing him in a hot kiss that leaves her panting in explanation, "Nothing is coming between us tonight Chuck." She slips her fingers under the hem his shirt, caressing the smooth muscles of his abdomen. His eyes flare black and she feels him groan in agreement amidst the resulting kiss, "Nothing."
Author's Note: Sorry it took so long to update, but real life has been a bit crazy of late. I hope you enjoyed this little ditty. This chapter took a while to craft because it's the kind of scene that would be much better translated on screen rather than on a page. I'm especially interested on you thoughts on the balance between emotional introspection and physical descriptions (action). I'd appreciate any reviews or comments…good or bad, doesn't matter…they both help me grow as a writer. Plus it helps to know you're still alive out there!
I'm off to get cracking on Chapter 6 of the Morgan Door…really need to update that :-) Cheers!