*Disclaimer: I own nothing but my original characters and ideas….and the plot bunnies in the corner. Please don't sue, I'm a poor college student that has no life and way too many video games.*
"The trouble with life is that there's no background music."
It was dark and there was hardly any light. Sarah could only make out vague shapes in the darkness. She was standing on a hard ground, cold metal against her back. Suddenly the ground was gone and she couldn't breathe. Something was choking her, cutting off her air way.
Panic set in, Sarah kicked and clawed at the thing holding her neck. Her hands met hot skin, hotter than she ever knew was possible, and she dug her nails in. But the grip was like iron and she couldn't remove the constricting force around her throat.
Desperately, her vision blurring, she tried to find the face of the thing that had trapped her. She saw only darkness and then gold eyes in the black. Her lungs burned as the fight left her and she could feel death creeping closer and closer. Just before the Reaper claimed her, she gazed back into those pale gold eyes full of hate and saw Chuck's face.
Sarah Walker awoke from her nightmare, gasping as her lungs burned with the phantom pain. Sweat soaked her night shirt and her hand lightly grabbed her neck where the dream Chuck had choked her. It was tender and still bruised from when the real Chuck had strangled her. Tears burned her eyes as she gazed out into the dark night. She didn't get any more sleep that night.
Chuck pulled his feet off of the cold cement floor, curling them in instead to sit indian style on the equally cold chair. He had another pair of washed out grey sweats on but still chose to go shirtless. His muscles ached like he had participated in a grueling work out that he didn't remember doing. Bare forearms rested on the metal table, a cup of what could be considered hot chocolate cradled in his hands. It comforted him more with its heat then its taste.
He could see Casey pacing back and forth from the corner of his eye, limping slightly and a fresh bandage wrapped around his bicep. The side of his face was bruised and lip cut but was no longer bleeding. Chuck briefly thought upon the fight that had caused those injuries but that only brought upon flashes of disjointed images and impressions.
A frown crossed his features as he shivered from the cold. He remembered Casey and General Beckman talking, feeling fear as he imagined what they had done to Sarah. Then there was running, hiding, and then anger…at something/someone. His next clear memory was of waking up in the small containment room, door closed but not locked, clothes folded on the end of the bed, and being once again naked.
He had dressed slowly, quicker than the time before, but still it took him a while to get the pants on. A crisp white t-shirt was present, but Chuck didn't even bother with it. He had wandered down to the command center and found Casey sitting at the table, attempting to wrap his arm in gauze. Chuck had been swept in vertigo as his eyes narrowed upon the injury and he could actually smell the blood as it leaked sluggishly through the bandage. It took Casey's blunt question to get him to snap out of it. He hadn't even been aware that he had crossed the room and was standing almost within touching distance of the big man. A distance that Chuck was more than happy to expand.
It took several more minutes of Casey struggling one handed with the bandages before Chuck could muck up the courage to assist him. Casey would never say it out loud but he was thankful. Deft hands had quickly finished wrapping the wound and then Chuck all but scrambled out of the man's personal space. That was nearly an hour ago.
Casey continued to pace, occasional glancing at Chuck who looked tired, but was still surprisingly awake. Sighing loudly, John shook off the trepidation that he felt and decided to just get it over with. Beckman wanted the Asset in the dark about the whole wolf thing, but they needed to build trust and lying to him was not going to do that. The General could yell at him later.
Grabbing the chair across from the nerd, Casey sat down heavily, resting his leg that had gotten banged up, thigh burning from where the wolf had got him. Thankfully that wound had been cleaned and wrapped and his pants were back on long before Chuck came to investigate.
He needed to start off gentle if he wanted to avoid a repeat of last night. Chuck's brown eyes glanced up nervously before he started to pick at his trousers with avid interest. Shaking his head in annoyance and amusement, Casey grunted to get his attention. "How'd you get out of the cell?"
Chuck glanced back up at him when his voice snapped the question. He seemed anxious and embarrassed. Casey watched as Bartowski tried to form an answer that wouldn't get him into trouble. "Don't fucking lie to me, Bartowski."
The nerd swallowed nervously before mumbling something along the lines of a master code. Casey sighed softly, scrubbing his hand down his face in exhaustion and annoyance. He should have remembered the master override. He just couldn't believe that Bartowski actually knew it. In any case, after their discussion, Casey was going to erase the code from the system. John didn't even want to imagine what would have happened if Chuck had made it to the exit before the change had been upon him.
"Casey?" A hesitant voice asked, pulling the Major from his thoughts. Casey glanced at the Asset, but didn't make direct eye contact; giving silent permission for Chuck to continue. After years of working with him, Chuck was able to puzzle out a lot of his non-speak. Like now, for instance, if Casey had ignored him that would say that he would tolerate the question but might not directly listen to it. If he had held eye contact that would have meant leave him alone. The flicker of a gaze in the general direction of his person meant that he was willing to listen.
The Marine took a moment to gather his thoughts before he answered. "What do you remember?"
Chuck's face screwed up in thought. "I remember you telling me to stay in the car—"
He was cut off as Casey growled at him. "You remember disobeying me?" Swallowing thickly, Chuck's gaze was riveted on the metal table as he nodded his head in confirmation. "Anything else," at his negative gesture Casey sighed again. "Walker and I left you in the truck, and entered the warehouse containing the illegal documents of the drug lord, De la Vega at nineteen hundred hours and twenty seven minutes." When Chuck nodded his head in understanding, Casey continued. "We had been inside for no more than twenty minutes when De la Vega discovered us."
Casey paused here, uncertain. "He was a werewolf, Chuck."
And then Chuck remembered the discussion before, Casey giving them the Lycan 101 speech. He remembered his fascination with the fact that werewolves did indeed exist, and was enamored with the idea of a Bonding. Chuck remembered feeling apprehensive as Sarah and Casey didn't return in the allotted time. And then he remembered yellow teeth, beady eyes, fear, and then pain.
"Casey…" his voice shook.
"You were bitten," Casey replied to the unasked question. "Fucker nearly tore off your arm at the shoulder." He watched as Chuck reached up to the wound, unbound and still swollen, but scabbed and no longer bleeding. "That was five days ago."
Chuck's world seemed to halt as the words processed. His shoulder was sore from where the werewolf had decided to take a bite out of him, but the wound was at least several weeks old, not five days. Clearly Casey was wrong in his estimation of time, maybe he had been injured too.
But then Chuck recalled what he had been told. Lycanthropes had excelled healing, and suddenly that feeling in the back of his mind made sense. His mind started to put the connections together quicker than he was willing to process them. His ability to smell Casey's scent and his blood, the constant rumble in his mind, the other emotions not his. Oh, God!
Casey watched closely as Chuck put the pieces together, his face losing color as it finally clicked. "No," Chuck whispered, and then Casey was there, holding him as he came to the reality of his situation.
"Bartowski, listen to me," Casey began, but Chuck wasn't hearing him. He was shaking and trembling with great sobs and the Major could feel his shirt getting wet as Chuck cried into it.
"No, please," the broken plea begged, and Casey could do nothing but hold the smaller man to him as hands fisted into his shirt. "Casey, please!"
"I'm sorry, Chuck," John whispered as the man broke apart in his arms. Chuck pleaded with Casey, begging for him to make it untrue, take it back, to cure him. But there was no cure; there was nothing he could do for him except hold the smaller male as his world crumbled around him.