Anything can happen at Comic-Con.
Seriously, it's a magical place. The convention holds countless wonders and thrills, anything from authentic series merchandise to the famous actors that star in the best comics-turned-movie roles. Chuck had worked very hard for his ticket to this event, searching endless websites and entering dozens of radio contests. After months and months of effort, he finally managed to get himself a ticket to the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con. He'd borrowed Awesome's car, asked off for work, and said goodbye to his loved ones for a week of nerdy goodness.
And oh, what nerdy goodness awaited him. From the moment he'd walked into the grand convention he was immersed in every kind of paraphernalia, comic books, special novelty items, and of course the live action reenactments by those who felt the calling to dress up as their favorite characters. Chuck had effectively died and gone to his own personal version of heaven.
He had arrived excited on Wednesday, reveling in the preview and pumped for the experience. On the second day he had met up with a group of like-minded fellows that he instantly befriended, all prattling on and on about the same video games and movies he loved. He'd melted into the group instantly, happy to be surrounded by kindred spirits.
On the last night of the convention the group decided to meet up at a local bar, one that was already brimming with people who had traveled from all over to attend this convention. This was there last hurrah before everyone returned to their own homes, and Chuck had to admit that he was already feeling bummed. He really liked these guys.
One thing he didn't like about these guys, however, was their apparent awkwardness with women. Now, Chuck would honestly admit that he is no ladies man, but compared to the others in this group he seemed like a twenty first century Casanova. Chuck almost felt embarrassed by how they talked at the bar, their words drunken and slurred as they gaped at women.
"Wo-ho-ho, look at that piece!" one of the chubby nerds cackled from his barstool. All of his little friends turned to look, only to dissolve into nervous blubbering and immature catcalls. Chuck just sighed, his stare locked on his drink. He really wasn't in the mood to gawk at whatever girl they saw and he almost regretted coming here tonight.
"Come on Charlie, Look at'er."
Sighing once again, Chuck finally bent to the pressure and glanced up, subtly getting a peek at the girl.
His jaw dropped.
Across the bar alone at the counter sat the most beautiful woman Chuck had ever seen in his life. She stuck out like a sore thumb in this nerd infested bar, her sensual sundress contrasting greatly with the Star Wars t-shirts and cosplay costumes that surrounded her. The goddess had dark brown hair that flowed in loose curls down her neck and over the open back of her sundress, the dress' material clinging to her curves in all the right places.
Her lips bore a faint pout that curled up into the faintest of smiles and her bright eyes held a knowing glint, both suggesting that she was more than aware that every single eye in the room was on her. She twirled her finger slowly along the rim of her glass, her eyes locked on her movements. She seemed to radiate an almost palpable energy that all but made Chuck's heart dissolve into mush. Never in his life had he wanted someone as badly as he wanted her right now.
"That's what you call Grade A meat, man," one of Chuck's companions all but croaked. "Grade A."
"Man, I'm gonna go over there. I'm… I'm gonna buy her a drink, you know? A little wine and dine. Man, if I try some of my special moves she'll be all over me," a fellow named Zachariah announced in an overtly cocky tone. Of all the guys at the bar with Chuck tonight, this one was the closest to being attractive. All the others were tubby with bad cases of adult acne. This one, however, had a stylish nerdiness to him and he seemed like he would have more experience with women than any of these guys, Chuck excluded.
His only downside, Chuck observed, was that he talked far too much trash. Zachariah had spent the entire night going on and on about past girlfriends and encounters, airing out dirty laundry to impress the crowd. That did not sit well with Chuck, for even after all the terrible things certain girls whom he would not name (Jill) had done to him in the past, he knew in his heart that he would never blather on and demean her like that. He was just a bit too classy for that sort of behavior.
"Man, you couldn't handle her!"
"Oh yeah? Let me tell you, one time I was with this girl—"
Chuck quit listening as the dweebs prattled on amongst themselves. He couldn't stop himself from glancing at the mysterious brunette over and over again. There was just something about her that kept her on his mind; he needed to talk to her.
She shifted slightly in her seat under the weight of his gaze, a slight blush just barely visible on her cheeks and neck. She'd been doing that a lot these last few minutes, ever since he'd started glancing at her. It wasn't like he was the only one staring, but ever since he had first took a peek in her direction she had seemed uncomfortable. Perhaps it was his eyes that were making her shift like that.
No, don't be ridiculous, Chuck.
As though his gaze could affect a girl that looked like that.
Slowly, as if in tune to his thoughts, her eyes lifted from her glass to meet his. He froze at once, unsure of what to do now that he had been caught staring, but she just smiled softly and winked, her eyes glinting mischievously.
Oh man, he had to talk to that girl.
"I'll try," he announced suddenly, standing up from the bar. All the guys around him stopped talking at once; instead looking at him like his head was on fire.
"What?" they asked in shock. Sure, they talked about talking to girls, but come on! They didn't actually talk to them.
"I said I'm going to go talk to her," Chuck clarified, grabbing his jacket and drink. "Why not? She looks nice." He tried to sound more confident than he was as he stepped away from the group, slowly making his way to the girl. She watched him out of the corner of her eye, all too aware of his destination, a secretive smile on her face.
He fought to compose himself as he walked, mentally reviewing conversation starters and all the tips he'd learned from Roan Montgomery. Because really, if there were ever an ideal moment to use those skills it would certainly be this one. The girl glanced up at him as he approached, a small, knowing smile on her face.
"Hello," he said with his patented Bartowski smile, before taking a seat next to her at the bar. He could hear the whispered chatter of his group as they sat a few feet away, and he knew every word he and the woman said would be heard by them.
"I'm Charles. Charles Carmichael." He tried to keep his voice steady as he introduced himself with his alter ego's name, desperate to act like the gorgeous creature before him wasn't shaking him to the core. Of course, Chuck had never been a very good actor.
"Nice to meet you, Charles," she responded with a small smile, taking his hand. Chuck smiled back, staring for a second too long, before murmuring,
"Um, can I buy you a drink?" She smirked slightly before lifting up her still full glass and shaking it.
"Oh, yeah, of course. You're still drinking that one right there, I see," he rambled, earning himself a soft giggle from her that sent a chill down his spine. How is it possible that her giggle alone could have this affect on him?
"So, hey, I didn't catch your name…" he tried to say casually. Her head dropped slightly, her eyes gazing up at him playfully through her eyelashes.
"I didn't give it," she replied with a level of smoothness he could never reach. Again, his heart did a little jumping dance in his chest. She turned away from him for a moment, facing the bartender, and he ran through his mental database quickly, searching for something to say.
What would Roan Montgomery say?
"So, beautiful, what do you do?"
He cringed the moment the words left his mouth, feeling like an idiot. Roan might be able to pull off a line like that, but Chuck certainly couldn't. She just smirked at his attempt and he worried she'd tell him to step off right there, but instead she murmured softly,
"I'm in… security." He couldn't help the surprised look that crossed his face.
"Really? A girl like you?" Her eyes narrowed and he once more cringed at his words. Smooth, Bartowski. Smooth.
"What exactly do you mean by a girl like me?" she asked slowly, dangerously.
"N-n-nothing! I just… I mean, look at you! I just…"
"Relax," she chimed in, a warm, teasing smile forming on her face, "I'm kidding. I usually get that reaction when I tell people what I do. It's ok."
He sighed in relief, glad to be excused for his slip, and he couldn't help but smile back. That look on her face, that smile, was just too much. Chuck would gladly make an idiot of himself if it meant seeing that smile on her again.
"How about you, Charles? What do you do?"
He contemplated a response for a moment, mulling the words over in his mind before leaning over closely, conspiratorially.
"Would you believe me if I told you I was a spy?" He stared at her seriously and she quirked her eyebrow before bursting into a fit of laughter.
"No, Charles, I can't say that I would."
Chuck smiled, chuckling lightly as well.
"Ah well, it was worth a shot. If you really want to know, I work at a Buy More." Now it was her turn to widen her eyes in mild surprise.
"Really?" He only nodded, holding his breath. This was the make-or-break moment, after all.
"Yep. At the Nerd Herd, actually. So how about that? Are you totally disgusted by me now?" he asked with a hint of forced humor in his voice, praying she'd say no. His response was a soft, adorable chuckle from her, and her hand slowly drifting to his thigh.
"Are you kidding? I love the Buy More. Besides," her hand squeezed his leg softly and he had to keep himself from jumping at the contact, "I think the little shirts and ties are adorable."
Her eyes were locked on his now and he just smiled, taking a sip of his drink. The woman smirked slightly when she shifted her hand an inch higher on his leg, causing his hand to start shaking while bringing the glass to his lips, inadvertently spilling a bit on his shirt.
Somehow, he managed to maintain decent small talk with her for a good ten minutes, delving into all the topics he supposed she would like. The brunette seemed to play along, smiling knowingly whenever he would go on some nerdy rant about food or technology. He would always catch himself and backtrack, and she would always let him without any comment. Judging by her expression, she thought his attempts to be cool were endearing. All the while his group of new friends watched and listened with stupefied expressions.
Gradually, he became aware of how her leg ghosted its way from the foot rest beneath the counter to his own leg, her bare skin brushing against him on a path up his shin. He had to fight for control whenever she did that, had to fight to stay focused. Chuck needed to maintain the calm, cool persona of Charles Carmichael.
This persona, however, was almost shattered immediately by what she said next.
"So tell me Charles, what took you so long?" she asked, leaning towards him and eliminating what small personal space there was still between them.
"What do you mean?" he asked slowly, all too aware of her breath on his cheek, her hand on his thigh, and her leg on his leg.
"Well, you had been making eyes at me for the last half-hour and… honestly I was starting to think you would never come over. So, what finally convinced you to come talk to me?"
Her eyes twinkled mischievously and he all but gulped at the sight. Focus, Charles, a little voice that sounded very much like Roan Montgomery chimed in his mind.
"Well…," he murmured, glancing back over his shoulder.
"Do you see those guys I was with?" She nodded, turning her eyes to the huddled mass of dorks at the end of the bar who all sat gaping at the two, looks of pure disbelief and resentment written on all their faces.
"They've been talking about you for, oh, the last two hours," she smiled at his words. Obviously she had been well aware of that, "and one of them was getting really close to working up the nerve to come talk to you."
"And I couldn't risk him charming you before I got the chance."
Chuck gave himself an internal high five as he watched her smile brighten, all but melting at his words. Finally, after a night of fumbling and failing, he got a line right. He made a mental note to do a happy dance the next chance he got. His happy dance plans grew to a full on dance party, however, as she continued this verbal repartee.
"Oh, I don't think you'd have had anything to worry about," her voice was flirty now and he knew he was finally getting control.
"Really? And why is that?"
Subconsciously, her tongue flickered across her lips in an effort to moisten them, and Chuck's eyes dropped to them instantaneously. Alright, so maybe she was the one in control, but Chuck found himself not minding that at all.
"Well, let's just say I only have eyes for one geek in this bar." His eyes flickered back to hers and before he could stop himself he said,
Why did he say that?
He sighed softly, his natural instincts kicking in and making him say,
"I prefer the term nerd."
Chuck waited for her to roll her eyes in annoyance or get up and leave, but instead she just giggled softly and leaned in even closer, whispering,
"Oh, well what makes you think it's you?"
Slowly, his smile returned. Yet again, this wonderful girl has excused his odd little slip up. Back in the game, he quickly murmured,
"How could it not be me? I mean, come on. Look at me." He held his head up dramatically, posing, and she giggled.
"You've got a point there," she whispered before reaching out and running a hand through his curls.
He could feel it now, at this moment. This was it. Her eyes were inviting, her gestures were flirty, and the alcohol in his system was feeding him courage.
This was the moment where he either made an idiot out of himself, or became the envied hero of every man in this room.
"Do you want to get out of here?" Oh man, his voice cracked. Of course, after he had been doing so well all night, his voice would crack the moment he said that. His life was truly perfect. Chuck's eyes met hers then, expecting to see rejection only to find acceptance and laughter.
"I'd love to."
And the girl couldn't help but watch in amusement as every one of his friends' jaws dropped. Chuck, a rush of confidence flowing through him, stood up and offered her his hand. After helping her up, he reached into his pocket and quickly pulled out a few bills, leaving them for the bartender.
As he led the girl out of the bar, her hand clasped in his, he could feel every Star Wars clad, cosplay-make-up-wearing eye on him, all wondering how on earth a guy like him had gotten a girl like that.
The moment they got outside they froze, looking around, and suddenly his confidence faded now that he didn't have an audience. The brunette looked up at him with amusement before murmuring,
"Okay, now what?"
Chuck, trying to act like he knew what to do, started leading her down a side street and towards a field. She followed silently, that small, ever present smirk still on her face. It was nice, actually, walking with her. The silence wasn't awkward, and the feel of her hand in his was perfect. Everything felt perfect.
Or it did, at least, until the grassy field they had ended up on suddenly started spraying water, the sprinkler system clicking on just as they reached the center.
Letting out sudden yelps of surprise, they started running through the torrent of water, laughing as they took off hand-in-hand before finally escaping the cascade. Chuck turned to his companion, wondering how she would react to his leading her into a deluge, but she just stood by him laughing, her soaking face lit up in the street lights. After a moment of standing there, dripping wet, Chuck suddenly shouted,
"Come on!" and took off running.
There didn't seem to be a destination as they went, they just ran as hard and as fast as they could. Chuck felt like he was finally free, running away from everything in his life that troubled him. He was here with this beautiful girl, and he was laughing and he was happy. That's all he wanted.
After awhile, their legs demanded they stop and the pair fell down in a heap right in the midst of what seemed to be a park, stretching out comfortably on the soft grass. The silence of the air was filled with their heavy breathing and gentle chuckling as they stared up at the stars, their smiles still beaming and their hands still connected. As her breath finally calmed down, the girl broke the silence.
"So, do you think you impressed them enough?" Chuck glanced at her, but she didn't meet his eyes.
"Impressed who?" he asked, all but forgetting for a moment where they'd been or what had happened. He was just too caught up in this moment; too caught up with her.
"Those guys at the bar, Chuck," she said as though it were the most obvious thing in the world. He smiled at her, turning to face her.
"Oh yeah, Sarah. I have no doubt that they'll be talking about this for weeks. I mean, they're probably not used to seeing a geek like me with a girl like you."
Sarah just smiled at him, suddenly feeling very happy that she had volunteered to watch Chuck while he was at this convention instead of Casey. She had been trailing him all week around San Diego, always striving to stay just out of sight. She had even changed her hair color, just for the sake of giving him the illusion of independence. Even the Intersect needed a vacation, after all.
Tonight, though, she had decided that she really needed a drink, and she opted to follow him into the bar. It was the last night, after all. She had planned on just sitting there inconspicuously, though that plan had all but failed. She thought Chuck might be upset with her being there, but then he had come over and introduced himself as Carmichael, and she had known instantly what he was pulling. Sarah had been more than happy to play along and let him impress his Comic-Con friends.
"Nerd, Chuck. The term is nerd."
Chuck smiled at her lovingly before rolling back over, staring at the stars.
"So, you went with brunette this time," he murmured, breaking the stillness. She remained silent for a few moments and he wondered if perhaps she wasn't going to respond, but then he heard her whisper,
"You've always liked brunettes." The soft, whispered way she said it made him think that perhaps she was talking more to herself than to him. A mood seemed to fall over them in that moment and Chuck, desperate to break the tension, turned to her and said with a smile,
"Yeah, well, I'm kind of in a blonde phase right now, actually."
She wouldn't turn to face him, but he could see the faint outline of a smile on her face.
"Good thing this hair dye is temporary."
They stayed out there for what seemed like hours, lying together in the grass and staring at the stars. Conversation sparked up occasionally, but both parties were more than willing to just sit in the silence, their heads barely touching and their fingers laced. Out here in the night, there was no cover, no intersect. They weren't asset and agent.
They were just Chuck and Sarah.
Later that night as Chuck walked Sarah to her hotel room, a few questions swam through his mind. Why had she let him hit on her like that? Why did she flirt back with him? Could it really have all been for the show of the guys watching them? Chuck wasn't sure, but he needed to find out.
"Sarah, back in the bar…" he started awkwardly. Sarah smiled.
"I'm sorry if I scared you, Chuck. I was just… getting into it, I guess." He laughed nervously, shaking his head.
"What? Scared? Me? No, no don't be ridiculous, Sarah, I wasn't scared, I was just… surprised. I guess." They moved on in silence, but Chuck could see the stifled laughter and the massive smirk on Sarah's face. She continued like this, silently laughing as they marched down the hall, and Chuck felt himself getting more and more self-conscious.
As they reached her hotel door Chuck decided that he needed to know what she found to be so hilarious.
"Alright what? What is so funny?" Given the opening, Sarah couldn't help but let out a sudden burst of giggles, literally having to steady herself on the wall from the sheer force of it. Chuck just stood there with patient annoyance, waiting for her to gather enough breath to speak.
"It's just… Chuck… you were practically shaking with nerves," she spoke slowly, but her giggles started dying down when she saw his horrified face. She regretted it instantly as he started murmuring defensively,
"I wasn't shaking! It was cold in there and I was just feeling awkward. It wasn't like-"
He kept rambling on in a continuous stream of discomfort and Sarah just stood there, feeling guilty.
"-and it's not like I don't know how to talk to girls, Sarah, because I do and-"
"-I just don't see why everyone makes a big deal out of-"
Finally fed up with his never ending nervous monologue, Sarah did the only thing she could do.
She kissed him.
It wasn't a long kiss and, in reality, it wasn't even particularly romantic. It was a quick touch of the lips, just a way for her to calm him down enough to let her talk. It worked, sort of, considering the moment she pulled away his rambling dissolved into a stream of nervous gurgling that went along the lines of, "Gah hehenahawah…." before finally dissolving into silence as he stared. She smiled at his antics before calmly saying,
"I wasn't laughing at you, Chuck. I was giggling because of how adorable that was."
He stared down at her in shock, completely thrown off. Chuck had been anticipating a list of all the stupid things he did that turned her off, not that she actually liked his fumbling and mumbling. She smiled up at him affectionately and, as if caught up in the moment, she reached out to tug gently at one of his curls.
"All of that stuff you did was so cute, Chuck. Seriously, I was laughing because it was just too cute not to." She looked at him earnestly, trying to make him understand. And in that moment he did understand, which is why he acted on his sudden desire and leaned down, pulling her into a kiss.
Sarah was far too stunned to respond at first, her body language stiff as he kissed her, his tongue desperately trying to gain entrance through her lips. Chuck was more than aware of how easily she could kill him if she didn't like this, but he also noted that she didn't resist him as he walked her backwards until her back hit the door and that she even let out a soft whimper when he ground against her, testing the waters.
A fresh wave of pure ecstasy coursed through him the moment her mouth opened and she started kissing back, wrapping her arms around his neck and pulling him close. After a few more precious moments of joy, however, Sarah suddenly pushed him away, leaving him open mouthed and bewildered.
She turned away from him quickly, fumbling with her key in an effort to get the door open, and Chuck felt dread wash over him. What did you do, you idiot! Because now suddenly she was the one who was shaking as her hotel keypad turned green and the knob turned, as she was obviously desperate to put distance between them. He anticipated her running in there and blocking him out forever, her emotional walls rising up once more to lock him out, and so he tried one last ditch effort to regain her favor.
"Sarah, I think that-" he tried to say, but was cut off by her lips attacking his.
"Shut up, Chuck," she breathed.
He couldn't help but smile as she dragged him into her hotel room and practically slammed him up against the wall. In any other reality, this would be impossible: he would never have Sarah Walker's hands on his belt, her lips at his neck or her moan in his ear. Things like that just didn't happen in the regular, boring world of Chuck Bartowski. But then again, it sort of made sense that this would happen here and now.
After all, anything can happen at Comic-Con.
Just a little one-shot that popped into my head while listening to the song "The Geeks get the Girls" by American Hi-Fi
The song just seemed very Chuck-like.
SO yes, this is my first Chuck fic (but it will certainly not be my last!)
If you like it, please review (: If you hate it, review and tell me why!