Disclaimer: I do not own the characters in Chuck. NBC and the producers have them.

A/N: This is my take on Chuck starting out in the spy world with a little twist.

The Other Agency

Chapter 1: Prologue

Jill was looking at him in disbelief. He was sitting on the edge of her bed, head in hands, face pale, and an aura of panic and despair settling around him.

"I didn't cheat. I don't know why he's doing this. I don't understand. Please Jill, you have to believe me." He was looking at her now, a look of utter pleading directed at her.

She believed him. Jill didn't know what Bryce's game was, but she, him, and everyone else knew that Chuck was not a cheater. Unfortunately, the administration had another view. He was supposed to leave tomorrow, and she didn't know what to do.

"I believe you." Jill crossed the room and took her boyfriend's hands in her own. His palms were sweaty with his nervousness. She just squeezed his hands and settled herself on his lap. They wrapped their arms around each other and held on tightly.

Even thought Jill's superiors wanted her to break up with him, she felt that she couldn't do it. Not when he was in trouble. Not when he needed her. Not when she still loved him. She tried to think through the swirl of emotions that were buffeting her.

"This is the end, Jill. My life is over. I'm walking out of here in utter shame and humiliation. I know I have still have so much to offer, but that's going to waste. Not when I'm getting kicked out of Stanford for cheating." Chuck was still in a state of numb shock and underlying desperation.

"I know, Chuck. You're one of the most brilliant guys I know," she whispered in his ear. A flash of inspiration struck her. She felt her spirits lift a little in hope. "Actually, I don't think this is the end quite yet. I know someone who might be able to use your special talents."

"He is really brilliant. And there's the added bonus that he's getting screwed out of a prestigious university. He is embarrassed and depressed about his future prospects. His current mental state will make it easy to turn him to our cause. By giving him a position in R&D or as an analyst, he will be extremely grateful for a job suited to his talents."

Jill was looking hopefully at her Uncle Bernie. She was trying her best to sell Chuck to her family friend/recruiter so that he can be happy. It would be an added bonus if they could still stay together by working together.

Bernie took in all of the points that Jill had told him about Chuck. His grades, side projects, and other ways that he showcased his ingenuity in daily life were illustrated quite well by his favorite recruit. He definitely sounded like an attractive candidate for Fulcrum. But he had to be sure.

"Jill, are you sure you're not doing this because he is your boyfriend?"

She was a bit taken aback, but quickly recovered. She decided to be honest. "Chuck is the smartest guy I know when it comes to computers and engineering in general. And I really think that he'll take well to the organization. And I wouldn't know about him if I wasn't dating him. The fact that he is my boyfriend is just a small part of why I'm trying to bring him into the fold." Jill decided to go in for a bit more of a sinister clincher. "All I really did was see an opportunity and exploit it."

"Will he be loyal?"

"Yes. He is everybody's friend and tries his best to please people." Jill took a quick moment to fit Chuck's recruitment into what secret spy organizations want. "He is really vulnerable right now. He can barely look at anyone without feeling unfairly judged. The fact that he is getting kicked out of a prestigious university for cheating is going to put a red flag on him for any future employers. As he sees it right now, there is nowhere left for him to go. But I can vouch for him that he has gotten everything in his life on his own merits. Fulcrum can rescue him from a fate of working as a second rate computer repairman. He will be grateful and will feel forever indebted to us."

Bernie leaned back and took in all that Jill had said. She was quite passionate and convincing about the guy. He trusted her judgment and could sense the truth in what she said.

"Alright, Jill. Bring him in. I would like to evaluate him and see what he can offer the company. In the meantime, we're going to do a little background check."

Tension eased out of Jill and relief made itself clear in her smile and the sag of her shoulders. "Thank you. I'll bring him in right away."

Vincent looked over Chuck's files. From what he could see, the kid was good. Also, an interesting video showing a chat between some other college kid and Professor Fleming proved to be quite enlightening.

The reasons why the CIA wanted Charles Bartowski merit thorough investigation. In the meantime, Fulcrum can swoop in and take Chuck as its own. Vincent thought he felt in his gut that Chuck would prove to be an incredible force in advancing Fulcrum's interests. And through that, the Ring would prove to be truly unstoppable.

Vincent decided to indulge himself for once took out some brandy. Chuck would be an enjoyable diversion from the search for Orion. Hell, he might prove to trump Orion if things work out as they should.

Chuck was feeling a lot of things. Anxiety, excitement, nervousness, fear, giddiness, and nausea proclaimed war in Chuck. He still was a bit apprehensive about what he might have just gotten himself into, but it couldn't be any worse than anything else he might've had to do after leaving Stanford in disgrace.

Ellie was disappointed, but it was softened when he told her about the job at Roark Industries. He might not have gotten his diploma, but he was still pursuing a life goal. She didn't need to tell her about the whole Fulcrum thing. That might have been complicated.

As he contemplated, he walked up to the reception desk in the Roark Industries lobby.

"Hey. I'm new here, so I just wanted to know where I can find Mr. Varnes? It's my first day and this place is really big and I'm really excited to have the chance to work here-"

"Go to the elevators to Level 5. Take a left at the first hallway and keep going until you reach his office. Have a nice day." The dismissal was not lost on Chuck, so he took the directions and soon found himself in a rather messy office.

Mr. Varnes stood up from behind his desk and made his way around to shake Chuck's hand. "Ah, you must be Chuck! I've read your files and I'm excited to get started with you. We are working on a computer database that will revolutionize the world."

As he continued talking, he yanked Chuck with him out of the door and into another elevator. Chuck couldn't seem to get a word in, so he just took in everything his companion was saying. They got out of some basement level into a rather large and white room. Chuck's eyes widened in shock and glee when he was face to face with Ted Roark himself.

The computer mogul smirked at him and held his hand out for a shake, that Chuck was eager to do. "Welcome to Roark Industries, Chuck." He leaned in a bit closer and said, "And more importantly, welcome to Fulcrum."

"Thank you, sir. You can't believe how excited and grateful I am to be here. You are one of my heroes, and I just wish that I can make a difference in your company."

Ted beamed at the enthusiasm his new hire was displaying. "And we're glad that you can join us. We are working on a new computer that will help push our agenda on the world stage. However, it still needs some work. Let me introduce you to the Intersect Computer. I'm sure that with your skill, it will be everything that we desire."