I guess you could call this the sequel to "Chuck vs the Premium Drunk," seeing as I got quite a few requests to see what would happen if Chuck had a few too many.
This doesn't really take place in any specific timeline. Oh, and if I owned Chuck, I'd figure out a way to have Tina Fey make a guest appearance. But I don't. So I can't.
It had all started innocently enough.
After a particularly difficult and frustrating mission, tensions had been running high between Chuck and Casey. Their passive/aggressive banter had escalated into a full-fledged argument during the ride home, until finally Sarah had to intercede and tell them both to knock it off. A brooding silence between the two ensued.
Finally Sarah couldn't take it anymore. She pulled the Suburban into the parking lot of a bar on the outskirts of town and informed the two that they were all going in to have a drink and cool off. Chuck and Casey grudgingly agreed.
As soon as they entered the bar, Chuck tensed up. This definitely wasn't one of the upscale places he had grown used to from the various missions they'd been on. Surly looking patrons peppered the cheap bar stools, and a ratty pool table stood crooked in the corner. A lone, world-weary waitress drifted listlessly among the customers, and the guy tending bar looked shiftier that most of the people who triggered Chuck's flashes.
"Um… guys? Maybe we should--"
Chuck was interrupted by Casey noisily dragging a chair out and dropping himself into it, propping it back on two legs and leaning back.
"Okay, then," Chuck sighed, and pulled a chair of his own out, next to Casey. Sarah was a bit surprised, until she saw Casey's annoyed expression and the grin Chuck couldn't suppress. Trying to get under his skin, Chuck? Sarah thought. Brave and a little less than smart.
Sarah sat down as Chuck pulled out his iPhone and began texting. "Who's that?" she asked.
"Morgan," Chuck replied. "We were supposed to hang out tonight; I'm telling him to borrow Anna's car and head out to meet us."
"Oh, grand," Casey said sarcastically, shaking his head. "Drinks with Harry Potter and the Hobbit."
Chuck snapped his head around toward Casey. "Okay, first of all, those are characters from two completely separate universes. Second, am I Harry Potter or the Hobbit?"
"Whichever one you find more offensive."
"Then you should have called me Casey."
"Will you two knock it off?" Sarah snapped.
"What can I get you folks?"
The group all turned and saw the waitress standing next to them, notepad in hand.
"A Dewar's for me, a Mojito for the lady, and a Shirley Temple for our adorable young daughter here."
"You're a riot, Casey. I'll have a Corona with lime."
"You're not in the frat house, Bartowski; have a drink."
"Fine… uh… gin and tonic."
"Another Dewar's, a gin and tonic, and… What's the matter Walker, you turning into a lightweight?"
"I'm going to keep it down to just one. Someone has to drive us home."
"Top shelf, Walker. Oh, great, here comes the Hobbit."
"Ha! I knew I was Harry Potter!"
Casey and Sarah stared at Chuck.
"Well, if I had to pick one of the two…"
"Guys, what are you doing in this dump? I think I saw the guy in the corner on Dateline last week."
"Classic Galaga game at the end of the bar, little buddy."
"You know where to find me."
"Dewar's for the missing link here, anything involving grape flavoring for my diminutive friend by the arcade game, and I'll have another gin and tonic."
"You think you're insulting me, but I enjoy embracing my primal side from time to time."
"If that involves grooming in any way, I'd just as soon you kept it to yourself."
"Dewar's for me, and a gin and tonic for the geeky… geek… right there."
"Thinking you're funny and being funny are two different things, Casey."
"Chuck, can I have some more quarters?"
"Sure little buddy. Here ya go."
"Dewar's, gin and tonic, and… Sarah? Another Mojito?"
"I'm good, thanks."
"You know, that's surprisingly fun to say. Moe-heee-toe."
"Why does that sound familiar?"
"Dewar's. Gin and tonic."
"I'm just saying, James Bond had cool stuff. Laser watches, submarine cars… when do we get the x-ray specs?"
"Aw, you ruined the surprise. Walker and I were gonna give you your very own flamethrower belt buckle tonight."
"Oh. See, now that was kind of funny."
"The usual, my fair lady, and another Purple Avalanche for the Galaga champ."
"You know, I didn't think I'd ever tell you this, but you're a surprisingly good kisser."
A long pause. A very, very long pause. Finally, Chuck cleared his throat.
"Thank you, Casey."
"It's obvious. 'Bear,' because I'm strong and gruff on the outside. 'Sugar' because I'm sweet on the inside."
"I get the first part…"
"Chuck, maybe you should just take his word for it."
"Are you guys gonna order, or not?"
"Feeliiiings… nothing more than feeliiiings…"
"Seriously?" Sarah asked. "This is the song you two agreed on? Why was it even in the jukebox?"
Chuck and Casey crooned the next line, tilting their heads together and harmonizing surprisingly well. "Trying to forget my… feelings of loooove…"
Sarah sighed and held her glass up to the waitress. "I'm going to need four more of these, and the number of a reputable taxi service, please."
"Feeeeeelings… whoa whoa whoa feeeeeelings…"
A voice rang out from across the bar: "Hey!"
Chuck and Casey stopped singing and slowly turned towards the source of the interruption: a thick-necked bald man wearing biker leather, playing pool with his two friends. "You two Marys want to shut the hell up? That stupid song is stinking up the place." His friends chuckled behind him.
Chuck's eyebrows rose. He turned to Casey. "How does a song stink up a place? Those two senses have nothing to do with each other."
"Must have failed Health class," Casey replied.
"It's a sad complimentary on the American edgu-- edgum-- educari-- learning system," Chuck said. Casey nodded sadly.
"Guys," Sarah warned.
Biker Guy took a few steps forward. "You calling us stupid?" he asked.
"Jus' you so far," Chuck replied. "Haven't heard from your twin brother or the other four guys yet."
Casey squinted. "There's three of 'em."
Chuck shrugged. "Didn't think we'd be doing math tonight."
Biker Guy and his friends approached the table as Chuck and Casey stood up. He took a long look at Chuck and Casey, and a longer one at Sarah. Finally he smiled.
"Tell me something, angel," he said. "What's a beautiful woman like you doing with a skinny little nothing like him?"
Casey leaned over to Chuck. "Bartwoski," he said. "Hit him."
"Why?" Chuck asked. "I wonder the same thing all the time."
Casey lowered his voice. "He's hitting on your girlfriend in a bar. If you don't want to blow your cover, you're going to have to hit him."
"Won't he hit me back after that?"
"That's usually the way it goes, yeah."
"Well, who wants that to happen? Couldn't we just settle this with a fierce game of rock, paper, scissors?"
"Relax, Bartowski," Casey said, straightening up and smiling. "I got your back."
"But I'm not really a violent--" Chuck stopped talking when he saw Biker Guy run his finger up Sarah's arm. "Then again…"
Chuck punched Biker Guy, connecting straight across his jaw. Casey lunged, tackling the other two. As Biker Guy recovered and went to attack Chuck, Sarah leapt to her feet, ready to protect him. She moved forward, then felt someone grabbing her from behind.
"Sarah!" Morgan yelled. "Get behind me! I'll protect you!"
Sarah froze for a moment, watching Biker Guy punch Chuck in the stomach. Save Chuck, blow the cover. Let Morgan protect me, keep up appearances. She sighed unhappily.
"Thank you, Morgan," she said flatly. "I'm so scared of getting hurt. Because I am a girl."
"Just stay back, doll," Morgan said. "Anyone wants a piece of you, they'll have to go through me." Morgan stood protectively in front of Sarah, his arms out wide. Sarah rolled her eyes.
Chuck recovered and managed to spin Biker Guy by the arm, throwing him across a table. "That's right! No one touches my girlfriend! We are in a real relationship that is in no way fictional!" He looked at Sarah and gave her a smile and a thumbs up. Sarah waved unhappily back as Biker Guy got up and tackled Chuck.
Casey looked like he was having the time of his life, gleefully switching his attention between the other two bikers. Bottles and glasses shattered, chairs and tables splintered into kindling, and patrons scrambled out of the way as the fight escalated into a free-for-all.
Suddenly, a thunderous gun blast sounded out. As everyone else froze, Sarah and Casey instinctively reached for their weapons. They both relaxed when they saw the bartender, holding a smoking shotgun aimed at the ceiling.
"How many times do I have to tell you knuckleheads?" he hollered. "No brawls on designated non-brawling nights!"
Biker Guy pointed at Chuck. "He started it," he whined.
"What did I tell you about pointing, Stewart?" the bartender lectured. Biker guy looked down at his hand.
"When you point, there's three fingers pointing back at you," he replied sadly.
"That's right. Now, what do you say?"
Biker Guy and his friends hung their heads. "Sorry," they all mumbled. Chuck and Casey shared an incredulous look.
"Like you mean it," the bartender sang out.
"Sorry!" they enunciated.
Biker Guy turned to Chuck. "I don't mean to express myself with violence," he said. "I have some deep seated anger management issues, and things have been stressful with my aromatherapy shop." He sighed. "I heard trimming bonsai trees helps. Maybe I should try that." The three men left the bar and climbed into a Toyota Prius.
"That…" Chuck said, "was unespected."
"I shoulda got a bisniss card or somethin'," Casey lamented. "I like aromatherapy." Chuck stared at Casey as he shuffled towards the door. Morgan followed him, calling over his shoulder to Chuck.
"I'm good to drive, I'll give him a lift. You okay, buddy?" Chuck gave a wobbly salute in response. Morgan nodded at Sarah, who smiled and nodded back.
"Thank you, Morgan."
Sarah smiled as Morgan struggled between the need to guide Casey through the door and the need to avoid physical injury. She came up to Chuck and touched a spot on his temple that looked like it would blossom into a nasty bruise the next day.
"Are you okay?" he asked.
"Me?" Sarah laughed. "I'm not the one who just got into a fight with a sensitive biker gang."
"I thought his fists smelled like lavender," Chuck said.
Sarah laughed and slid an arm around Chuck's back, while she lifted one of his arms over her shoulder. "I'm going to take you home." She paused for a moment. "Actually, we came in the Suburban, which is going to be tough to explain to Ellie and Awesome, so I'm going to take you to my hotel."
"I only understood roughly twelve percent of that statement," Chuck slurred as they made their way towards the door. "But I trust you."
Sarah looked to the ground, hiding the grin on her face.
"Come back anytime," the waitress called out as she duct-taped a chair back together.
Sarah opened her hotel room door and maneuvered Chuck through. "You know, for a skinny guy, you sure are heavy."
"You're gonna make me self- cosh… self-clonch… sad," Chuck said, as Sarah helped him towards the bed. She positioned him with his back to the bed, and then shoved him down. Chuck dropped onto the mattress with a groan, and bounced twice.
"That was more movement than I was especting."
Sarah lifted Chuck's legs and pulled them onto the bed, swiveling him into the right position. "Are you going to be sick?" she asked.
"Please. I haven't thrown up since I was nineteen."
"Wow. You really know how to sweet talk a girl."
Sarah took Chuck's shoes off, and started unbuttoning his shirt. Suddenly she felt his hands on hers, warm and gentle.
"I don't… I can't…" Chuck looked up at her with soulful eyes. "It's too much."
Sarah nodded. "I'll, uh… I'll go into the bathroom and change. Is that okay?" Chuck patted her hands in response, and started unbuttoning his shirt. Sarah grabbed a set of pajamas from her dresser and walked into the bathroom, glancing back to see Chuck sitting up to wriggle out of his shirt. She resisted the temptation to keep watching, and shut the door behind her.
Sarah changed quickly into a camisole and pajama pants, and paused before walking out of the bathroom. She looked at herself in the mirror, and smoothed out her hair, stopping a second later. Why was she worried about how she looked?
She leaned closer to the mirror, and whispered to her reflection. "You're the rational one, here. Be rational." Convinced that had helped, she opened the door and stepped out.
Chuck was under the sheets, and looked to be asleep already. Good, she thought. Less chance of trouble that way. She turned out the light and climbed into bed next to him, careful not to make too much movement. She settled in next to him, resisting the temptation to put her head on his chest and hold him tight. Instead she stared at the ceiling, trying to slow her heart down.
There was a slow movement from Chuck, almost undetectable. She turned her head to see him looking at her, the faint beginnings of a sad smile on his face. She reflected the smile back at him as he moved his hand to her cheek.
He brushed his reddened knuckles up to her temple, then ran his thumb across her eyebrow. Sarah closed her eyes as he slowly traced the line, and opened them when he paused at the end. He was staring at her intently, longingly, and for the first time without a trace of fear. It shook her, made her realize the gravity of the moment.
"Chuck," she whispered. "Don't."
If he'd heard her, he wasn't listening. His hand resumed movement, drifting down her cheek to her jaw line, pressing lightly as it traveled to her chin. Once there, it stopped, and he spread his hand out until his fingers reached around to the back of her neck. She felt him leaning into her, pulling her towards him, and although every instinct screamed at her to resist, she found herself closing her eyes and slowly touching her lips to his.
The kiss was like nothing she'd ever experienced. From the first gentle contact, she felt a connection to him, as though she could sense every inch of him through the tiny areas of skin that were touching. She tensed her lips, and felt him do the same, as she tilted her head to press herself closer against him. Her hands curled and flexed, and she fought with every fiber of her being the desire to reach out, to pull him tightly against her, to hold him close and release every bound up emotion from years of repression into him.
After a length of time she couldn't determine, Sarah finally broke the kiss. She opened her eyes to see him looking back at her, that same fearless look present. She inhaled deeply, and tried to steady herself, as he leaned in once more.
Sarah closed her eyes again, struggling with the desire to give in to him and the knowledge that it had to, that she had to stop. This was bad, this was wrong; she had to be the rational one.
"Chuck," she said again, this time with a fraction more force. "Please. I can't. It's…" The corner of her mouth crooked up the smallest bit. "It's too much."
Chuck smiled just as much. "Then let's stop fighting it."
"I want to," Sarah said. "I want to so much. I wish I knew how to tell you how much. But sooner or later it'd have to end. Sooner or later I'd have to leave, and I feel like that would break your heart."
Chuck's face went completely serious. "Break it."
Sarah blinked. "What?"
"Break it. Smash it into a million pieces. I'd rather have temporary happiness with you and a lifetime of pain than this permanent longing." Chuck looked at her for another moment, then closed his eyes.
Sarah stared at him, dumbstruck. She opened her mouth to reply, but no sound came out. Finally, after a long moment, she saw Chuck's rhythmic breathing. He was asleep.
Sarah traced a finger down the side of his face, and closed her eyes as well.
"But it'd break my heart, too," she whispered, and drifted off to sleep.
Chuck woke up the next morning to a splitting headache and the sensation that he was definitely not where he was expecting to be. He opened his eyes to sunlight piercing the thin drapes of Sarah's hotel room, and an empty bed. He sat up slowly, and groaned as a throbbing pain announced itself on his face and in his ribs.
There were a few flashes of the night before. Gin. Hobbits. Pleasant smelling bikers? He touched his face and the pain flared up. That'll be an interesting story, he thought.
"Sarah?" he called out. There was no response. He looked at the bedside clock: 11:35 am. She was probably working her shift at the Orange Orange. He panicked for a moment before realizing he had an afternoon start at the Buy More. Plenty of time to go home and change.
He slowly worked himself into a sitting position on the bed, and saw a note next to the clock. There was a set of keys to the Suburban on top of it. Chuck picked up the keys and the note.
Never thought I'd tell you this, but you're a surprisingly good kisser.
Chuck smiled and put the note down. Then he frowned.
Why did that sound familiar?
With Ellie and Awesome both at the hospital, it was easy for Chuck to park the Suburban in the lot behind the apartment complex and go home without any explanations. He showered, dressed in fresh clothes, and took the Herder to work.
As he made his way to the break room lockers, he was intercepted by Lester, who took stock of the bruises on Chuck's face. After an uncomfortable long period of examination, Lester finally spoke.
"Chuck. Level with me."
Chuck sighed. "In what way, Lester?"
"You and Casey. You're in some kind of Fight Club, aren't you?"
Lester leaned in and whispered conspiratorially. "I won't tell anybody. But listen-- I want in."
Chuck shook his head, and continued to the break room. Lester called out after him.
"I'm tougher than I look! Chuck!"
Chuck turned back to face Lester. "Lester, what's the first rule?"
Lester looked puzzled for a moment, then recognition spread across his face. "Don't talk about Fight Club," he said proudly.
"Await my instructions," Chuck said, glancing around him. "It may be a very long time. Be patient."
Lester stood at attention. "I won't let you down, sir."
Chuck nodded uncomfortably, then turned back to the break room.
He found Casey sitting inside, peacefully eating his lunch alone, his own set of bruises and cuts evident on his face. He hadn't looked up at Chuck entering, but Chuck could tell he knew he was there. Casey popped the last corner of his sandwich into his mouth and crumpled the remnants of his lunch into a brown paper bag.
"Casey," Chuck said. Casey didn't look up, but grunted in response. "Listen. I just wanted to tell you that I'm sorry if I'm a pain on the missions. It's just-- I know we have our differences, but the truth is I like you. You can say that it's just my 'interest' in Sarah all you want, but the fact of the matter is that I don't want anything to happen to you, either. So I get out of the car. I do what I can to help. And I can't promise that I'll stop. But I just wanted you to know why. You can be mean to me, and make fun of me, and try to scare me all you want. But you're my friend, John Casey. And as long as I'm breathing, if there's something I can do to help you, I'm going to do it."
If Casey had heard Chuck, he didn't give any indication. He sat at the break room table, looking at his brown paper bag. Finally, he stood up and threw the bag out. He turned and looked at Chuck for the first time. They faced each other in silence for a moment. Finally, Chuck spoke again.
"And as far as last night goes--"
Chuck stopped speaking when Casey walked towards him. He stopped when they were face to face, and after a long moment cracked a wry smile. He patted Chuck on the shoulder, and stepped towards the break room door.
"Best time I've had in months," he called over his shoulder as he walked out.
Chuck smiled and opened his locker.
Sarah walked out of the Orange Orange, looking longingly over at the Buy More. It was a mistake to go over there now. It was stupid. It was unprofessional. It was an enormous risk.
It was amazing, the way his lips felt on hers. It was like nothing she'd ever felt before. It was a moment of pure good, of innocence, of redemption. It was something she wanted to feel every day for the rest of her--
Sarah tensed and spun around, ready to attack. She froze when she saw Chuck standing there, smiling at her. He hadn't even flinched at her movement. She relaxed and smacked him on the shoulder.
"What is wrong with you? Are you trying to make me hurt you?"
Chuck opened his mouth to respond, but a quizzical look crossed his face. Sarah remembered their conversation from the night before, and knew what he must have been remembering. She breathed in and steadied herself, putting on her professional face.
"How are you feeling?" she asked.
Chuck snapped out of his funk and smiled. "Like a punching bag. Did I fight with a biker gang last night?"
"I don't know if they qualified as a gang, Chuck. I'm fairly certain they all had manicures."
"Still. Not my usual m.o."
"I can't argue with that. Did you get home okay this morning?"
Chuck nodded. "Yeah, thanks for taking care of me. I guess I was kind of a mess, huh?"
"Nothing I couldn't handle."
Chuck kept nodding, then stopped. "Well."
"Yeah, I should--"
"I'll see you--"
"Later, I guess."
"Right. Later." Sarah paused for a moment, then turned to walk towards her Porsche.
"Oh, I forgot to tell you," Chuck called out. She turned to face him again.
Chuck held up his wrist, to show Sarah his watch. The crystal had a spiderweb crack. "Damaged my watch last night."
"Oh," Sarah said. "Well, we can get you a new--"
"Actually, I don't know if 'damaged' is a strong enough word. It's definitely broke."
Sarah cocked her head. Chuck took a step towards her, looking down at the watch.
"Yup. It's broke, all right." He looked up at her intently. "Smashed into a million pieces."
Sarah's mouth dropped open. She froze as Chuck stepped even closer. Turn around, her brain screamed. Walk away. Now! She didn't move.
Chuck took another step. "Funny thing is," he said, standing right in front of her, and leaning in close. "I don't mind at all."
Sarah opened her mouth to respond, but once again couldn't make the words come out. Chuck moved in against her, and barely touched his nose to hers. She closed her eyes and felt herself shudder at the contact. "You see," he whispered, as Sarah felt his breath dance across her mouth, "it's worth the risk."
Chuck straightened up, and when Sarah opened her eyes she saw him smiling at her. "I mean, if Beckman is going to get upset that I've damaged government property, it's worth it for the fun Casey and I had last night. Know what I mean?"
Sarah nodded vacantly.
Chuck breathed in deep. "Well, I'd better get back. Lunch break's almost over. See you soon?"
Sarah blinked. "Uh… what?"
"Will I see you soon?"
Sarah shook her head a bit, and looked back at Chuck. "Yeah. Yeah, I'll see you soon."
Chuck smiled, waved, and walked jauntily back to the Buy More. Sarah watched him go, as a smile broke out on her face. She touched her flushed cheek.
"I'll see you soon," she said.