CHUCK VS. THE BAD & ABNORMAL & HORRIBLE LIFE
SUMMARY: Once again, Chuck wakes up into that normal life he craves so much and it includes a loving wife and daughter and a home. But that life is anything but normal. Sequel to "Chuck Vs. The Good & Normal & Wonderful Life."
DISCLAIMER: I don't own "Chuck."
NOTE: You should read my other story "Chuck Vs. The Good & Normal & Wonderful Life" before reading this story. WHY? Because this story is a sequel and some things won't make any sense unless you read the other story first!
ANOTHER NOTE: Yes, it has been a long time since I've written and posted a new Chuck story. Sorry about that. But real life and other things have kept me so busy that I had little time for Chuck fiction writing. Also, I have a rule about fan fiction writing – I do NOT post any chapters until I have at least a first draft of the entire story completed. Doing that practically guarantees that the complete story will be posted and you won't be left hanging there without an ending. I do hate it when writers don't finish their stories. So I have vowed to NEVER do that.
AND STILL ANOTHER NOTE: After I finished the story "Chuck Vs. The Good & Normal & Wonderful Life," malamoo asked if I planned to do a sequel. A sequel? No way! I thought. Then an idea came to me. Then all of these scenes came to me. And guess what? A sequel was in the works! So my thanks to malamoo! And if you haven't read any of her Chuck stories, DO SO! My favorite of her stories is the "Chuck vs. the Then and Now" series.
CHAPTER 1 – WELCOME BACK CHUCK!
"Must be hell," Chuck muttered.
And it DID feel like hell. More precisely, he felt like hell. He felt pain, pain and more pain. It seemed as if pain was the only thing that existed for him right now. Pain throbbed in his head and seemed to flow through his entire body, from the ends of hair right down to the tips of his toes. Along with the pain he felt all sorts of other things at once – dizziness, nausea, weakness, hot, cold, paralysis, fatigue and anything else that he just couldn't think of to list right now because of all of the pain he felt.
When the pain receded just a little, he considered opening his eyes. Just the thought of that made him ill. But he needed to open his eyes. He needed to know where he was and what was going on. He was lying down on a bed. At least he assumed he was lying on a bed. Since awakening, he had yet to open his eyes. So he could have been lying on a cloud for all he knew.
He willed his eyelids to open and after just a slight flutter, terrible pain shot through his entire body again. He quickly clamped his eyelids shut and tried to stay still, to keep away the pain.
Stay still, stay absolutely still, Chuck silently commanded himself.
He still wondered where he was. Was he in a hospital? Was he home?
He listened. No familiar or telltale noises. In fact, it was quiet. Too quiet for a hospital. And too quiet for home. Unless he was alone at home.
Chuck kept listening but didn't hear anything. Only one way to find out, he decided. He had to open his eyes and look. He dreaded the pain that was sure to follow. But right now, it was the only option to finding out where he was.
Slowly and hesitantly, Chuck tried opening his eyelids just a crack. Pain once again shot through his head but he willed himself to endure and to open his eyelids just a fraction more. He could see a light, some sort of ceiling light fixture. It didn't look familiar. It didn't look like the light fixture on the ceiling at home.
He willed his eyes to move slightly to the left, to get a look at something else in the room. The pain flared up again. By some strength and effort that he didn't know he possessed, he kept his eyes open and kept looking, trying to see some sort of clue as to where he was.
He saw a wall, some sort of wooden wall. And on it was a painting, a painting of a forest. The painting wasn't familiar. At least he couldn't remember ever owning a painting like that. Or any painting for that matter.
Chuck looked a little more to the left and saw a small table with a lamp on it right next to the head of his bed. The table, a classic wooden design, looked old fashioned or antique or…what was the term? Classic? Rustic? Old world? Classic American? Woodsy? Chuck thought. Then he wondered why he was bothering to think of the correct term for the furniture.
He glanced around the room more. The bed he was lying on was large, a queen size. The frame was old, classic looking like the table with the lamp. The quilt on the bed, on which he lay, was decorated with colored squares. He saw a cushiony chair in one corner. The room seem to be like a lodge or cabin.
This couldn't be any room of his. He sure didn't remember having a room like this. OK, so I'm in some strange room that I've never been in before, Chuck thought. He didn't know what house or building this strange room was in. If he wanted to know more, he'd have to get up. He shuddered at the pain such an action would cause. But he had to know where he was. He took a breath, braced himself for the pain that was sure to come, then pushed onto the bed's mattress with his hands and attempted to sit up.
He moved just a few inches off of the mattress until the pain took over. The pain reached higher levels this time and staggered him. It was too much, he couldn't do it as he groaned and plopped back down on the bed.
His breathing elevated into frantic gasps as he lay on the bed and silently prayed for the pain to stop. Then soft hands grasp his head. The hands held him still and gently stroked his head and his hair. And then, he heard a soft, calming voice.
"Easy, easy Chuck. Stay still, still. Just stay still and it will pass."
The voice was kind and loving. It soothed and relaxed him. The hands continued stroking and touching and the voice kept urging him to relax and calm down. And as the pain receded, he could hear the voice more clearly. It sounded familiar, very familiar.
Chuck tried to think of who the voice and the hands belonged to. He knew that voice. He knew that it was someone close to him, someone important to him. Someone I love? he thought.
The pain was all gone. And now he could easily and clearly hear the voice, hear the concern and the love in it. The voice was definitely familiar. I know who that is, Chuck thought. He was sure of that, yet the identity of the voice evaded him for a moment. Then it hit him. Of course, he knew that voice -- his wife.
He slowly opened his eyes and stared into the loving face of the women seated beside him on the bed. Upon seeing that his eyes were open, his wife leaned over until her face was just a few inches from his.
"Hi," she said smiling. "Welcome back Chuck!'
"Hi," he answered and tried to smile but the pain started to well up.
"Easy, easy," she said again as she gently and softly stroked his head. "Try to stay as still as you can. It will pass soon, I promise. I've already given you the pain killers. Just hang in there until they take effect."
"Yes. They'll help you. I promise."
"Did something happen? Was I in an accident or something?" Chuck asked.
"The two of you had a little fall while you were out exploring that gulley."
"Two of us?"
She indicated to her right with a slight motion of her head. Chuck looked – slowly so to lessen any pain. Standing by the bed was a little girl with dark hair and a band-aid on her forehead. For a brief moment, he didn't recognize her. But then he realized that it was their daughter. What happen? Where are we? he wondered.
His wife softly stroked his head again. "I'm sorry," she said.
"I shouldn't have let the two of you go off on your own. You've been weak and not in the best of shape since the accident. But I thought you were OK enough for a walk and—"
"The fall in the gulley?" Chuck asked.
"No, no, no. The car accident that you were in a couple of weeks ago."
Chuck stared at her blankly. She sighed. "You don't remember, do you?"
He shook his head.
She sighed again. "You were in a pretty bad auto accident a couple of weeks ago. You had to stay in the hospital for a few days. And you've been recovering ever since. We decided to come here for some rest and relaxation. You're still pretty weak, but you and I talked and we decided that some time away and some peace and quiet would be good for you. Things have been going well so far on this trip. But you had that fall and…."
Evidently I hit my head in a fall and now I've got one hell of headache, Chuck thought. I hope I haven't ruined things, he thought as he looked at both his wife and daughter who smiled at him. Well, maybe things are now looking up, he added as he attempted to smile back.
Sarah Walker's head hurt. It hurt badly. But at the moment she didn't care about the pain and whether or not the pain would ever go away. She didn't care because, at the moment, she was with Chuck and he was taking care of her.
Her head rested in his lap and one of his hands lay on her head as if to hold it and try to stave off the pain. His other hand stroked her hair and her cheek gently and slowly. She looked up into his eyes and she saw concern, care, worry, admiration, and love, most of all love. And all of that was for her.
She looked at him and smiled. Chuck said nothing but smiled back and continued to hold her.
Wonderful, Sarah thought, so wonderful because it's…what was the word that she wanted to use? She tried to think of it. It's…it's…it was a word that Chuck used frequently about his life. Well, not about his life but what he wanted his life to be. What was that word? Normal! Normal, that was it. This is so wonderful because it's normal. Right now they were a normal, loving couple just enjoying life.
I could get used to this, Sarah thought as she felt comfortable and loved. No wonder Chuck wanted normal so badly. She reached up with one hand, gripped the back of his neck and pulled him down for a kiss. Sarah didn't care about the pain in her head or anything else. She wanted to kiss Chuck, her lover, her boy friend, her best friend, her everything. He leaned down and their lips got closer and….
Chuck pulled back, turned his head and looked off in a distance, to where the voice came from. He looked back down at Sarah and with a motion of his head indicated the direction of the voice.
"Just ignore it," Sarah said as she reached up to the back of his head again and tried to pull him back down to her lips.
Chuck didn't lean down. He smiled and shook his head.
"They'll go away. Just ignore it," Sarah insisted. Once again, she tried to pull him down for a kiss but Chuck wouldn't move. He smiled again but his eyes looked sad. He shook his head again.
"No Chuck. I don't want that. I want this, I want you, I want us. I don't want that," she said rapidly as a feeling of futility started to come over her.
The voice was louder and stronger now. Sarah turned her head, looking for the source. But she couldn't see it. She turned back to Chuck. But he wasn't there. He was gone. And she was alone.
"Chuck?" she whispered. He was not there. "Chuck?" she called again, but louder. Nothing. No one. She started to panic. Where was Chuck? What happened to him? Where was he? "Chuck! Chuck! CHUCK!"
Sarah Walker's eyes flashed open and she lunged upward.
"CHUCK!" she screamed.
Her CIA training and instincts quickly kicked in. Her eyes rapidly scanned what was around her, assessing, thinking, planning. She was in a bed of a hospital room. One arm had an IV in it. She reached for the IV, intending to pull it out, as she swung her legs over to the side of the bed. But then strong hands gripped her and stilled her. With a snarl, she fought back.
"Walker! Calm down! It's me!"
She looked. John Casey. "Let me go!" she screamed. "I have to get to Chuck."
"And where exactly are you going to go to get to him?" he responded while trying to keep her still. "Do you know where he is? Do you?"
Sarah stopped. It took a moment for his words to sink in. He was right. She didn't know where Chuck was.
"Now calm down, lie back down and let's figure this out. Racing off to who knows where isn't going to get Chuck back. OK?" Casey said.
She nodded and lay back down in the bed. "How long have I been out? Where am I?" she asked.
"Slow down! One question at a time!" Casey said. He looked at her, as if to make sure that she would stay still. "All right. Do you know what happen? What's the last thing you remember?"
Sarah thought. She and Chuck had gone out on a date. It had been a real date not a cover date. But if Casey or anyone else in the government had asked, they would have said it was a cover date. The dinner had been good. They had a great time sitting around and talking. It was one of the most enjoyable dates she had ever had, Sarah thought. They had finished eating but stayed in the restaurant talking. Then they left and headed back to Chuck's apartment. When they arrived, the evening was cool and pleasant. They strolled around the apartment complex, taking their time, talking, enjoying each other's company, and then….
And what happened then? Sarah thought. She couldn't remember anything after that. She tried again to replay the events in her mind. She and Chuck walked around the complex, she had her arm linked with his. They talked, joked and teased each other, and then….
What happened next? Sarah asked herself again. Why couldn't she remember what they did or said next?
She willed herself to concentrate harder, to dig deeper. They walked around the courtyard. Chuck told her all about some old movie, repeating some of the funny lines, she laughed at the jokes and his imitations, he tried to get her to do some imitations and she kept insisting that she couldn't. But then he smiled, leaned closer, stared right into her eyes, and said "Surely you won't deny me an opportunity to see your comedic side, will you Miss Walker?"
She was about to protest that she wasn't funny, but then she became so aware and so affected by the closeness of his face to hers. And she suddenly wanted to kiss him. She shut her eyes and leaned forward. She felt his lips starting to press against hers and then…. And then, Sarah asked herself. What happened then? We were kissing and then … what happen?
"I was attacked. I was attacked from behind. Somebody knocked me out," she said.
Casey nodded. "With a metal rod. Got you right on the head with a really good whack."
She questioned his remark. "You saw what happened?" she asked.
"The surveillance cameras I have out there, the attack was recorded. We got the whole thing, including a very clear image of your attacker," he answered.
Casey pulled out his iPhone and pressed some buttons. "I have the image here." He paused before handing the phone to Sarah for a look. "Try not to freak out too much, OK?" he said. And then he gave her the iPhone.
Puzzled by that warning, Sarah looked. In spite of what Casey said, Sarah instantly felt enraged at what she saw.
"JILL!" she spat.
"All right, you look better and you've actually moved your head without groaning in pain. I think the pain killers have done their job. So let's try sitting up, OK?" Jill said to Chuck with a smile.
Chuck smiled back at his wife. She was right. He did feel better. He sat up and was surprised when the effort was painless.
"Yes, you moved and you kept smiling," Jill remarked with a look of satisfaction. "You definitely are feeling better."
"Sure am," Chuck replied. He swung his legs over to the side of the bed and then stood up while holding out his arms and proclaiming, "Look, no hands!"
"Chuck! Don't overdo it!" Jill cautioned.
"I think I'm fine. It's OK. Don't worry."
He felt a little weak but at least the pain was gone. He looked down at their daughter who had remained quiet while she stood beside the bed, watching her parents. Dark-haired and green-eyed, Victoria had been born three years ago, four years after he and Jill had gotten married. Chuck crouched down and examined the small bandage on Victoria's forehead.
"Does it hurt Vicky?" he asked.
"Chuck! It's Victoria! You know I don't like her being called Vicky," Jill said.
"Sorry. I keep forgetting," Chuck said with a glance at his wife. He turned back to their daughter. "Does it hurt Victoria?" She shook her head no. She still hadn't said a word. Concerned, Chuck leaned a little closer to her and put his hands on her shoulders.
"Are you OK? Is something wrong?" he asked softly, looking into her eyes.
Her face stayed impassive for just a few seconds. Then her whole expression seemed to crumble and she burst into tears, wrapped her arms around Chuck's neck and hugged him fiercely.
"YOU SCARED ME!" she wailed.
Chuck held her tightly and picked her up. He rubbed and patted her back and tried to comfort her. "It's OK! It's OK!" he said. "I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" He let her cry it out and then when she seemed to settle down a little, he lifted her head up so that they could look at each other.
"What happened? What scared you?" he asked.
She looked for a moment like she was going to start crying again. But she didn't. With a sniffle or two, she whispered "I thought you were dead." Her eyes got big with fright and she looked like she was going to start crying again.
"Hey, hey, hey," Chuck said while stroking her hair. "I'm not dead. I'm right here." He gripped her chin with one hand and looked right into her eyes. "I'm right here. OK?" Victoria nodded.
Chuck then felt arms wrap around him. He turned his head and saw Jill leaning into the two of them and smiling. "Daddy is right here sweetheart. And mommy is right here too. Everything is just fine. It's all just fine. You don't need to be scared. It's all just fine," she said. She stroked Victoria's hair with her right hand. Her left hand rubbed Chuck's back. Then it moved upward to his head and hair and stroked. She looked lovingly in Chuck's eyes and smiled.
Chuck smiled back and gazed back at his wife, looking into her eyes. Jill was right. It was all just fine. And then for just a second, he suddenly saw something in Jill's eyes. He wasn't sure what, but it just didn't seem right. And then, Chuck felt cold.
"JILL! IT WAS JILL!" Sarah raged.
"Calm down!" Casey warned.
"Jill has Chuck and you want me to calm down?" Sarah complained.
"Keep your voice down."
Sarah tried to check her anger and concern. Jill; Jill, the ex-girl friend of Chuck, the ex who betrayed and hurt Chuck; Jill, the Fulcrum agent who had tried to kill her; Jill had Chuck. She has MY Chuck and I'm supposed to stay calm, Sarah seethed silently.
"Get me up to speed," Sarah commanded. "What's going on? What's being done? Do we have any leads on where she might have gone?"
"Nothing so far. We've alerted every police station, every FBI agency, every CIA and NSA sub command post across the state and onward about the kidnapping. Everyone's on full alert and we're hoping something will pop up soon.
"How long have I been out of it? How long has it been since she took Chuck?"
"About 36 hours. You got conked and Chuck got taken the night before last, Tuesday night. You were unconscious and possibly in a coma for the rest of that night and all day yesterday. It's now Thursday morning," Casey explained.
"I've got to get out of here. We have to find Chuck," Sarah said.
"Calm down!" Casey said again. "I don't think Ellie is going to allow you to be checked out. You got a pretty good knock on the head. You were lucky that your skull wasn't fractured. And –"
"Ellie! Oh my God! Does she know that Chuck was kidnapped? Does she know it was Jill?"
"She knows about the attack. Walker, it happened right outside the apartment. She heard Chuck yelling after you got hit. Jill took Bartowski out of there and got clean away. Ellie was the one who found you. But she doesn't know it was Jill—"
"JILL!" a voice from behind the pair screamed. Sarah and Casey turned their heads toward the doorway. There stood Ellie with a look of horror on her face.
"Jill? What about Jill? Did Jill have anything to do with my brother's disappearance?" Ellie demanded.
END CHAPTER 1