Chuck vs. the Hair Dye
by Creedog VanDrey

Category: Chuck
Genre: Drama
Rating: T
Language: English
Summery: Takes place after "Chuck vs. the First Kill". This will probably go in a much different direction than the show will.
Spoilers: Chuck vs. the First Kill

A/N: The end of "First Kill" opened up the opportunity for a great storyline. I'm sure the show will not be going in this direction, but it's something I thought was worth exploring.

Let me be upfront, though. I don't know where this is going yet. I don't know if it's even going to go beyond this chapter. If this powerfully piques your interest, leaving you thirsting for more, you'll have to rein in your excitement, at least for a little while. Read at your own risk. My first priority right now is finishing my Heroes series The World Entire within the month. I may neglect this story for a while. I may never continue it. I'll let you know, though. Leaving dead stories is a cardinal sin for fanfiction writers, and one I've committed before. Which is why I'm devoting my energy to finishing The World Entire.

: : :

Chuck vs. the Hair Dye

He heard the whining, buzzing sound before he felt the vibrations against his scalp. The plastic comb roamed the curve of his head repeatedly in a series of long, slow rows. His head felt notably lighter when the buzzing noise finally ceased. He opened his eyes to notice Sarah's sorrowfully smiling face surveying his hair.

"Do I want to see?" he asked apprehensively.

"It was the lowest setting, Chuck; you've still got plenty of hair." She stepped back to allow him to look in the mirror. He saw a field of inch-long hair. He frowned.

"I know," she said, threading her fingers through his new hairdo, "I'm gonna miss your curly locks, too."

Chuck swallowed uncomfortably. Sarah had been disconcertingly open and honest since their flight from Los Angeles earlier that day. They arrived in a west Arizona hotel well past midnight.

"Ready for Step 2?" she asked, holding up the small cardboard box. He nodded.

She sat him down in a chair and laid his head back against the sink, his neck cushioned by a towel. Wetting his hair, she inquired about the temperature. It was a little cold for Chuck's tastes, but he replied that it was fine. She spread the dye mixture across his head.

"Alright," she told him, again breaking the silence, "Leave that there for twenty minutes. In the meantime…" Sarah pulled off her blouse, leaving the top half of her body clad only in a white bra. Chuck's eyes bugged out, but he made no comment.

She grinned at his reaction. She scooted his chair over, away from the sink and mirror, and put the other chair in its place, pulled out a pair of barber scissors and started to snip away her own hair, shortening it to shoulder length.

"Chuck, you're oddly quiet. It's making me uncomfortable with you just staring."

"Sorry. Sarah," he replied awkwardly, "it's just the first time in my life I've been on the run from the government." After a moment, he added, "To this extent."

"I couldn't let them—"

"I know," Chuck cut her off, "Don't think for a moment I blame you. You're my savior, Sarah. As always."

"I swore to protect you…" she began, the words hollow. She restarted, "You don't belong in the same place we throw all those villains we take down. You don't deserve to have the government repay you for saving thousands of lives by abandoning a rescue attempt for your father. We've ruined your life…"

"No," Chuck stopped her. "None of this is your fault."

"I appreciate that, Chuck, but I'm just as complicit as any of us."

"Then why are you here? Why'd you save me?"

"Because I'm getting bad at my job, Chuck. I let my feelings for you get in the way. Chuck, they want to put you in lockdown to protect you. The only reason I'm doing that is because I want you to be happy."

"Well, shouldn't your job be to protect the happiness of people?"

"It's not that easy."

"I am happy, you know," he noted softly.


"I'm happy. You said you wanted me to be happy, and I am. I get to go to work every day and see my friends. I get to stay with my sister and Awesome. I get to save the world on a weekly basis. And I get to spend time with you, Sarah. I think that's my favorite part of being a spy." He reached out to grasp her hand.

Chuck's watch beeping on the sink ledge halted the conversation. Sarah took the opportunity to move Chuck's chair back to the sink, where she rinsed off his hair, leaving it a golden brown.

"Whoa," he remarked when she showed it off. "I barely recognize myself."

"That's what we're going for. Hair and clothes are the first things people notice. Your turn," she remarked, handing him a second hair dye box.

After finding the right temperature of water—Sarah was pickier than he was—Chuck did his best to apply the dye mixture while following the instructions on the box.

"Think I'll look good as a redhead?" Sarah asked midway through the application.

"I can't imagine you ever not looking good," Chuck replied.

Setting the timer on her own watch, Sarah directed Chuck back to the hotel bedroom. "Your clothes are in the shopping bag."

He called back, "I don't think this sundress is in my size."

Giggling, Sarah shot back, "C'mon, Chuck, I need to make sure the outfit disguises you well enough."

He returned sporting khaki cargo pants, a white tank top, and a tropical-colored over-shirt.

"Turn around."

"I'm not modeling for you," he protested.

"I need to see how you look from the back," she explained.

Chuck dutifully spun around, giving Sarah opportunity to admire him. The outfit was flattering. The shirt's cut made Chuck's shoulder's look broader and his waist narrower.

"Looks good. I'd never recognize you." Chuck turned to face her. "Now you've just ruined it," she joked, "no one else has that smile."

"We're not doing anything about that, are we? Knocking out my dentist-approved teeth?"

"As long as you can maintain a serious face in public."

Grinning, he noted, "I thought you said you weren't funny."

"I must be spending too much time with you."

"I'm sorry."

"I'm not."

Sarah's watch beeped and Chuck helped her rinse out her now coppery red hair, which she preceded to towel dry and put in curlers. "Bring me my clothes, please," she requested.

Chuck returned carrying in her sundress. In his other hand held a white sports bra. "This too?" he asked, holding it gingerly.

"Yes," she answered plainly, "A pretty prominent part of my figure is my…" she didn't finish, seeing Chuck turning bright red. "It'll reshape them…" she tried again. "If you'd be more comfortable in the bedroom…"

"Just so I don't hyperventilate."

Chuck neglected to close the door on his way out, and he noticed that Sarah hadn't closed it by the time he heard the rustling of her clothes. From his position on the bed, he couldn't see her, but if he leaned a little to the left…

Chuck sat straight up the moment Sarah came out in her sundress. Chuck noticed that there was little she could do to disguise her bust, though she lacked her normal cleavage. Not that this make her any less beautiful.

"Have you called your cousins in Las Cruces?" Sarah asked.

"No. I didn't. You want me to?"

"No. Especially not at two in the morning. The NSA has a hundred and one ways to track us. It should be a total surprise when arrive tomorrow. Remember, you cannot let them call Ellie."

"She gonna be worried sick."

"She'll be eternally worried sick if you drop off the face of the planet forever without an explanation. It's doubtful they'll let me be the one to explain your absense. They'll send two agents with some half-baked story. Casey's probably there right now, pretending to be a good neighbor, asking her to let him know the moment she hears from you. If he's not monitoring her phone..."

"I get it, Sarah!" Chuck cried out angrily. Sarah took a step back, and Chuck immediately apologized, "It's not you. Look, Sarah, I know you know what you're doing. Doesn't mean I like it. But I do owe you my life." He stood very close to Sarah. He leaned forward, and Sarah froze, but he just hugged her, which she gladly reciprocated.

"What's the plan for tomorrow?" he asked.

"We get to your cousins; then we head north."

"What about the whole 'radius' thing?"

"The further we get away, the larger area they have to cover…"

"I get the math. It's the strategy that's your expertise."

"They know we'll be putting a lot of distance between us and L.A. The fastest way to do that is head due east. Once we're far enough out, it doesn't matter which direction we go. They know how a spy thinks: be unpredictable. And they'll expect I'm heading to D.C. Familiar territory."

His eyes turned upward in thought, he reasoned, "Won't they expect that you'd know that, too, and not go there?"

"It's even money I head to familiar territory or to places unknown. D.C.'s a lot less ground to cover. The longer we can elude them, the larger their search area will be."

"Then what?"

"We get new identities."

Chuck grinned. "You know a guy?"

"No one near where we're going. We'll just track down the local high school fake ID source."

"And, what? Spend the rest of our lives on the run?"

Sarah calmed his fears by taking hold of his hands, "No, just until we can find a way to redeem you."

"Redeem us," Chuck corrected. "How do you propose we do that? We've failed to retrieve my father, the creator of the Intersect containing all of the government's secrets, from the hands of Fulcrum, who are currently forcing him to build them one. A former Fulcrum agent who knows all our secrets is free. And the entire U.S. government is after us and we're without resources."

"We'll just have to bring down Fulcrum."

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A/N: Well, darn. Now even I'm excited. All I can say is I'd better get that Heroes story finished because this one is probably not going to stop bothering me.

Started 4/16/2009. Finished 4/19/2009.