Disclaimers: I do not own Chuck, WB or NBC. I'm not making any profit from this story and I can hear Ferengi everywhere grinding their teeth at this blatant disrespect for various 'Rules of Acquisition'. Nor do I own any of the other characters or the World As Myth notion. Y'all know the drill...
A/N: The following story is a companion of sorts to 'Sarah vs The Intervention'… I'm not certain if that should be considered a warning...
The extremely annoying sound finally filtered into Chuck Bartowski's sleeping brain that it was an alarm clock beeping incessantly, and he became aware. He slid his hand under his pillow after deciding to just shoot the damned thing.
Well that was interesting. No gun... Crap!
As he was just barely sorta kinda awake and as the damned alarm clock wasn't going to silence itself any time soon... A crafty thought crossed his brain. If he gave it just a few more seconds, Sam might skewer the damned beeping thing with one of her throwing knives.
" Sam? " he croaked. Damn! Was that his voice?
Bartowski cracked an eye open to find the other side of the bed was empty. Double crap!
He tried to remember if there was an early morning Team meeting scheduled or if she had the morning shift at the Orange Orange. Bartowski groaned as he sat up, cracked the other eye open and gave the alarm clock setting on the head board a nasty look. That didn't stop the incessant noise so he flopped an hand over and hit the shut off button.
Aaahhhh... peace! It was for the best that he hadn't shot Sam's alarm clock by mistake...
Bartowski blinked as he looked about. What the hell had happened to their bedroom? It looked like his nerd cave as Morgan or maybe Ellie had called his old bedroom.
He was still in his mission uniform too. Damn! Had someone spiked the punch again? He hadn't even taken his weapons out of their various holsters and sheaths. No wonder he hurt in some interesting places and ached in others.
Maybe Jeff had made his infamous jail juice. That might explain a few things. Well as long as there were no embarrassing pics or videos that might show up on You Tube...
Bartowski stagger walked into the bathroom, scratching itches and rubbing aches and pains. It must have been one hell of a night. A lack of memories might be a good thing...
He began shedding clothing and weapons as he shut the door, then paused. Bartowski realized that the bathroom too looked like he had stepped into some strange time warp. He glanced about and didn't see any of the hair or body care products Sam usually left out and about the sink and shower.
As soon as he had a pot of coffee consumed along with an aspirin or dozen he would give the present mysteries greater attention and consideration. Right now he just felt like shit.
" Sorry Sam! " She'd been nagging at him lately to watch his language. And she had very good reasons, it wasn't very professional and the rewards were awesome. What that woman could do with her mouth!
After a fairly quick shit, shower and shave, Bartowski returned to the bedroom and found yet another troubling puzzle. What in hell had been done to his closet? There were a few variations on the Nerd Herd uniform theme that had him breaking out in hives just looking at them. There were a couple BDU type mission uniforms in basic black.
Where were his Wranglers jeans and Cinch shirts? His boots? His favorite rugby shirt that Sam had given him their first Christmas, when she had been his 'cover' girlfriend.
He decided to wear one of the BDU mission uniforms until he got to the bottom of things. Feeling marginally better, Bartowski began tucking his weapons in the various holsters and sheaths as he walked out into the living room...
Bartowski pondered briefly whether he was in a Twilight Zone episode or a really weird nightmare. Maybe was there something seriously fubared about the Intersect itself? It did occasionally go off on a tangent and do some strange things on it's own, but he couldn't recall any dreams like this...
He gazed about at the space age bachelor pad decorating motif. Ugh! What had happened to all of their furniture, and Sam's knick-knacks and stuff?
He sniffed... fresh coffee! An anchor to reality... he hoped.
Bartowski glanced at a Mickey Mouse wall clock and decided he had enough time to grab a cup. Of course the damned kitchen was all wrong too! He grunted in a passable imitation of his NSA partner. Who ever had spiked the punch was a dead man even if it was Alex.
He grabbed an insulated travel mug with the Buy More Logo on the side and filled it up with the fragrant, hot coffee. He noticed a post it note at about eye level on a cabinet; in Morgan's horrible hand writing.
' Dude! I was wondering if you were dead or something when you didn't want to shut off the alarm. I tried banging on the door but you were like really dead to the world. I heard you in the shower just now so I figure you were up... see you at work... '
As he gazed at the strange apartment furnishings, it hit him. It was exactly like something the twisted mind of his bearded buddy would create. This was turning into the weirdest day in the history of Intersect upload, thank you so very much Rat Bastard Larkin, weirdness.
Sipping on the steaming coffee, Bartowski grabbed up his keys and exited the apartment. Everything else looked normal until he found a Nerd Herd Toyota parked in his parking space.
What the fu... sorry Sam! The penalties for not watching his language were a pain, literally.
Some days were diamonds and some days were stone. Bartowski manfully chose to ignore an overwhelming urge to run in circles scream and shout. He would try to just go with the flow instead. However if the day insisted on this level of mind warping insanity, he was going to try clicking his heels whether he was wearing ruby slippers or not.
The Buy More parking lot was filling rapidly with early morning shoppers. Bartowski pulled the Nerd Herd Toyota into a parking spot beside a familiar looking Porsche beside the Orange Orange. Interesting and probably wise, very wise. Changing his truck out for the car was one thing but messing with Sam's Porsche was tantamount to a very slow, very painful and bloody form of suicide.
Bartowski let himself into the closed soft serve frozen yogurt store. He expected to hear Sam's assistant, Cherri, bustling about prepping the store for another day of business. But the place was quiet and empty.
Curiouser and curiouser! This day had gone way past even jail juice enhanced weirdness!
Oh Hell! It was April first! Was this all an elaborate prank? If Kuckner... Kucinak... the dumb ass on tv jumped out screaming he'd been punked he'd shoot the bastard...
He allowed the bio metrics scanner to read his eye and entered his security code into the keypad. The Castle entrance sighed open, Bartowski stepped through and headed down the metal stairs. The Castle hummed with quiet electronic life in a manner he suddenly found very soothing. It was also strangely empty for this time of the day. Where was Alpha Shift?
Sam was seated at the mission table, looking as beautiful as the day she waltzed into the Buy More with a broken cell phone. She had her Orange Orange uniform on and was chewing on a plastic stir stick as she glared at her laptop monitor. Well that was different.
Bartowski stopped beside her and caressed her shoulder. " Hey honey! "
" Chuck? " Sarah looked up with a puzzled frown.
" Is it April Fools Day or what? " he asked as he gave her the old Bartowski eyebrow dance.
But she didn't smile or grin. Instead, her frown grew more intense. " I guess it is. Why? Morgan get you with a prank? "
Chuck shrugged casually. " I'm starting to wonder if it wasn't the CIA or somebody... "
He leaned down and planted a light kiss on that awesome and tempting mouth. Arctic blue eyes gazed up at him with astonishment as her mouth dropped open.
" Chuck? "
He upped the wattage on the Bartowski grin Sam had mentioned she found irresistible, more than once. " Not good enough? "
Before she could respond, Bartowski swept his wife up and proceeded to kiss her with the passionate intention of making sure she couldn't remember her name; any of them. He felt her arms wrap about his neck as she made every attempt to fit her body even closer to his.
A low, masculine growl was answered by a feminine moan as Bartowski slid a hand down and cupped her fanny. Panting lightly, he finally drew his head back and gazed lovingly into dazed blue eyes. Her mouth was lightly swollen and her lip gloss smeared.
" Hey Sammy... "
Sarah shivered at the husky timbre in Chuck's voice. Wait a moment, did he just call her... Sammy?
" Do you mind taking your hands off my girlfriend Mr. Bartowski! "
Bartowski started. Shit! Bad situational awareness... so not good!
He glanced over as a tall, powerfully built man with dark eyes and dark hair stalked into the operations room radiating a chilly hostility. He quickly stepped between Sam and the stranger and drew his favorite SIG 1911, another gift from his lady love. He subscribed to the notion of why have a handgun if the caliber didn't start with a 4...
" Who the hell are you? " he snarled. " And what are you doing in the Castle? "
The stranger paused with a supercilious sneer, dark eyes narrowing dangerously.
" Chuck? " Sarah laid her hand on his shoulder.
Bartowski eased to the side, to where he could keep a watchful eye on the stranger, yet also see Sam. He expected to see her raising the alarm and she wasn't. She appeared to be uncertain of her actions, another interesting bit of weirdness in a day already overloaded with weirdness. " What? Where is everyone? "
" Who? " she asked with a puzzled shake of her head.
" Hello! The Team? "
" What team Chuck? " the stranger asked.
" Alpha Shift! " Bartowski shot the stranger a quelling glare. He took a deep breath and noticed that Sam didn't smell right. She had a pleasant, tropical floral scent rather than the familiar vanilla scent he loved.
He stepped diagonally away before the others could blink or respond and had another black SIG 1911 pointed right at Sam's throat. His eyes darted back and forth as he kept the handguns locked on both potential targets.
" Let me rephrase my initial question. Who the hell are you? Both of you? "
Sam, or who ever she was, spoke up. " I'm Sarah Walker and this is CIA Special Agent Daniel Shaw. Who did you think I was? "
" I thought you were my wife... Sam Bartowski aka Sarah Walker, retired CIA agent, but you don't smell right... "
" Your wife? " Sarah looked stunned. " Retired? "
" Your wife! " Shaw snapped. He took a step forward, trying to appear intimidating, and mostly failing. " Now see here Chuck... "
The SIG 1911 moved to center on the Shaw's forehead. " That's Mr. Bartowski if you please.
" Bub... I don't know who you are so I don't trust you any further than I can throw you. And since you seem to be under the mistaken idea that my wife is your girl friend, I don't like you either. I'd recommend you practice your freeze skill set before I blow your damned head off... "
" What the hell! " A familiar voice growled behind Bartowski.
" Hey Alex! " Bartowski said with a sigh of relief. " It's about time you got in here... "
" Alex? " Casey's expression went from intrigued to menacing in a moment. His weapon draw was almost as fast as Bartowski's Intersect enhanced motion had been. The .40 S&W SIG P226 was aimed at Chuck's back.
" Oh crap, " Bartowski mumbled as he took in this latest turn of events. " Now would be a good time for the Intersect to help me grow a third hand... "
" Casey! " Sarah tended not to react very well when ever her NSA partner had a loaded weapon trained on Chuck.
" Who's Casey? " Bartowski snapped as he tried to keep at least a modicum of attention on all three of his... opponents. He eased around to lighten the itch between his shoulders caused by the SIG pointed there.
" I am numb nuts, " Casey said harshly. His pale, blue eyes glittered dangerously.
Bartowski's eyes flickered. " Ah! Major John Casey, your original NSA cover. "
" I'm a Colonel now, " Casey added.
" Sorry Colonel... Casey? " Bartowski shrugged with a slightly sheepish grin. " Look, I don't know what's going on, but it's been a really strange morning since I woke up. Everything in my apartment was just... wrong. Then I get here only to be told by some strange doofus that I'm kissing his girlfriend... "
Casey frowned, easily. " Strange doofus? Chuck, Shaw is the current lead agent on the Intersect team... "
Bartowski snorted a sarcastic laugh. " The hell he is... I'm Team Leader! "
" Really... " Casey's sarcasm had far more bite from greater practice.
" Gentlemen, " Shaw interrupted.
Bartowski glanced at Sarah and Casey, felt they were the lesser threat, then turned his entire attention on the stranger. His brown eyes were cold with the promise of death. " Would a good pistol whipping help your short term memory problems 'cause I sure as hell don't recall tell you that you could say a damned thing... "
" Bartowski? " There was both a surprised and impressed tone in Casey's voice.
" Chuck! " Sarah growled. This was the latest incident that nailed it in her mind that this was not her Chuck Bartowski. But she expected him to act like Chuck... Maybe not one of her most rational notions, but there it was.
" Sammi? "
" Sarah! My name is Sarah... "
" What ever... "
" … maybe we could stand down, talk and try to figure out what is going on, " Sarah spoke with her voice of reason.
" Suits, " Bartowski grumbled. Crap ! She just had to use the tone of voice on him that rather successfully made him feel like a petulant child. Again. Not that he was claiming that he'd acted like a petulant child...
" I like your style Bartowski, " Casey muttered.
" Casey! " Shaw snarled. " You aren't helping any... "
Bartowski laid one of the SIG 1911 onto the mission table, pivoted explosively and managed to get plenty of momentum and weight behind the fist that smashed into Shaw's nose.
Shaw screamed as pain exploded across his face. The cartilage collapsed with a sickening crunch and he hit the floor with a spray of blood following his trajectory. As he blinked his eyes clear of pain and tears, Shaw found the lethal ends of two SIG 1911 mere inches away. " What the fu... "
" Chuck? " Sarah managed to sound both surprised and extremely unhappy.
Bartowski's attention never wavered from the fallen agent. " So tell me Shaw? Are you really that stupid or forgetful or just that arrogant? "
Before he could respond, Shaw noticed that Casey had moved into a better line of fire. Casey's SIG was pointed directly at him and not Bartowski.
" Think of it as a rhetorical question and just nod your head, " Bartowski recommended. He turned an icy glare towards Sam... Sarah. He'd heard something in her voice... " Don't tell me you have feelings for this putz... "
" Is there a problem here? "
The new voice caught everyone by surprise; not a good thing for spies or agents. They hastily turned to see a petite yet long legged red head bounce down the Castle steps. She was wearing a white blouse with a red, black and yellow rep tie that matched the Buchanan tartan colors of the pleasantly short mini kilt, and she was bare footed. She appeared to have chosen to go commando for the day according to the jaunty swing of the kilt.
Sarah rolled her eyes, remembering Chuck's stuttering response to her Nerd Herd uniform last year.
Casey turned with his SIG leveled at the newcomer. " Who are you and how did you get past our security? "
" Stand down Johnny Boy, " the red head girl replied with a cheeky grin. " I'm Cap'n Lorelei Lee of the privateer Dora, and Chuck let me in... "
" I did no such thing, " Bartowski replied hotly.
" Not you, " Cap'n Lor returned. " The other Chuck... "
" Other Chuck? " Sarah asked hopefully. She might get her Chuck back?
Cap'n Lor glanced at Shaw who was trying to stem the blood flow from a broken nose as he continued to stay on the floor. Her look was deeply contemptuous of the fallen CIA agent. " That's a good look for you Agent Peckerwood... "
Casey gazed down at the petite red head with a typically mirthless smile.. " Peckerwood? "
She shrugged, which did some very interesting things to the front of her rather flimsy blouse. " Would Dickhead work better? "
" … Mycroft and Athene were able to alert the Time Corps that there had been a disturbance... "
" In the Force? " Newcomer Chuck appeared to be in full gleeful nerd mode.
Everyone except for the Cap'n turned to see the tall, lanky Nerd shamble into the room. He was clad in the typical Nerd Herd uniform, shirt tails out and classic black Chucks. The twin red head of Cap'n Lor accompanied him, skipping to keep up. She too was a real honest to goodness red head according to the bounce of her kilt.
" … in these two universe time lines, " the red head twin finished.
Chuck glanced up to see Casey scowling at him over a SIG, and an equally unhappy Sarah Walker glaring over folded arms. The nerd glee vanished and was replaced with a weak smile. " Uh... hey guys! "
" Chuck? "
" Bartowski? "
" Holy shit! Sorry Sammi... "
" Sarah... "
" What ever... This is wild! Are we in a Twilight Zone episode or what? " Bartowski gazed at his doppelganger with a huge, cheesy grin.
The other Chuck returned the grin with an equally cheesy one of his own. " I don't think it's a Twilight Zone episode. If it was the girls would have underwear on... "
Casey grunted his laughter. Sarah's frown turned into a smile of fond exasperation with her Chuck.
Sarah's Chuck saw the CIA agent lying on the floor with a bloody nose. " Ah... guys... what happened to Shaw? "
" I hit him, " Bartowski answered. " Dumb ass is too stupid to keep his mouth shut even after multiple requests... "
" Oh... " Chuck gave Bartowski a quizzical look.
" So can someone please explain what is going on? " Sarah had decided that drawing Bartowski's attention away from Shaw was a good idea. She also noted a satisfied smirk of approval on Chuck's face.
The second red head stepped up beside her sister. " Hey all! I'm First Mate Lapis Lazuli and I'm glad to meet you, even under these rather exceptional circumstances. Have any of you heard of n-dimensional non-euclidean geometry? "
Chuck shyly raised his hand.
" Or pantheistic multiperson solipsism? "
" Known in a variety of universes as the World As Myth? "
Sarah glared at the red head twins. " Could just one of you speak and save us the confusion? "
Cap'n Lor shook her head. " We did try once... "
" As Commodore Hilda asked us quite nicely... " First Mate Laz said helpfully.
" … but it made us tongue tied. We know you know Chuck...
" ... and since none of the others seem to know... "
" … we'll let you explains things to your Team after we are gone. "
" In the mean time Gay Deceiver is bitching about the fact that we are wasting time... "
" … burning daylight so to speak and we need to get Mr. Bartowski home... "
" … before any further damage is done to these two universe time lines, " First Mate Laz finished.
Bartowski had folded his arms across his chest and was looking rather mulish. He had a couple questions of his own he wanted answers for right now... " Well can I at least ask if this has been some sort of elaborate April Fools Day prank? "
" Actually it is, " Chuck replied.
" It would seem that there is a mythologist with a particularly weird sense of humor, " Cap'n Lor added. " We don't know why he chose the two of you for this elaborate prank... "
" … but we intend to find out and explain nicely with a minimum of force the error of his ways... " First Mate Laz added.
" Are you ready to go Mr. Bartowski? " Cap'n Lor asked. " I believe that Mrs. Bartowski is waiting for you to get home. "
The attitudinal change in Bartowski was immediate. " Yep! You betcha... I'm ready to go... "
Cap'n Lor sidled up to Sarah. " Can I speak with you for a moment? "
Sarah eyed the petite red head warily. " I suppose so. What's up? "
" Uh... you aren't the Intersect are you? " First Mate Laz muttered, trying to keep her words from being over heard.
Sarah shook her head with a questioning frown. " No... of course not! Why do you ask? And how do you know about the Intersect? "
Cap'n Lor glanced about, making sure none of the others were listening. " Well we know some Sarahs who are still wanting to have an intervention for you about Agent Peckerwood, and they would like to make sure they have the right one this time... "