A/N: This idea popped into my head while I was at home sick over the last week, and watching movies like, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Dark Knight, and Kick-Ass. Basically, this story is an AU (duh) where Chuck and Sarah were friends since they were toddlers. But due to unforeseeable circumstances, they were split apart. In this story, the CIA/NSA still share secrets with each other, but they never built an Intersect. That means that Chuck was never recruited by the CIA or kicked out of Stanford. But Sarah was recruited before she graduated high school.
A few months before this story's main timeline, a masked man who calls himself "Osiris" broke into a bunch of CIA, NSA, Fulcrum, and Ring facilities and stole a lot of important intel. Director Graham and General Beckman send their best agents (Sarah and Casey) to Burbank to investigate and capture/kill Osiris, as they believe that Osiris will strike Fulcrum's headquarters in LA.
While there, Sarah runs into her old friend Chuck, and…well…you know…the sparks fly?
Did you know that Liquid Armor is real? Google it sometime.
Another thing I should tell you is that this chapter is extremely long. It's over 12,200 words. I was going to split it, but I decided against it. I hope this doesn't scare you away.
As usual, reviews are greatly appreciated!
Disclaimer: I don't own Chuck! Or the lyrics to 'Wonderwall' for that matter. Or Forbes…
September 29, 2007
Sarah Walker stood in line at the local grocery store, waiting for the elderly man in front of her to finish counting his damn quarters and pay for his groceries. She impatiently brushed a strand of blonde hair away from her bright blue eyes. From the corner of her eye, on the magazine rack, she saw him. Sarah grabbed a copy of Forbes, and stared at the cover. A handsome man with the richest brown eyes that Sarah had ever seen grinned shyly up at her from the magazine cover. But his hair was shorter than she'd ever seen in…she really used to like the wavy curls. In a large, white font, the cover of the magazine read:
Charles Bartowski—Inside the Head of the CEO of Legend Enterprises
"Oh, he sure is handsome," an elderly woman's voice called from behind Sarah.
Sarah smiled down at the cover. "Yeah," she said, "He really is…"
Sarah tossed the magazine onto the counter, and paid for it and her groceries. She walked out to the parking lot. When she got to her black Porsche 911 Turbo, Sarah began to unload the grocery bags into the back. Her phone began to ring.
"Walker, secure," she answered.
"Graham, secure," the CIA director's deep voice replied, "Agent Walker, report to my office in an hour's time. We have some things to discuss."
"Yes, sir," replied Sarah, flipping her phone down. As she stepped into her car, she saw the magazine lying on the passenger seat; Chuck's face grinning timidly up at her. "It's good to see you again, Chuck," she said to no one in particular as she drove out of the parking lot.
December, 1983 (Age Three)
A woman with dark brown hair, hazel eyes, and a kind face chuckled as she bounced her curly brown haired toddler on her lap. The child cheered gleefully, as if he was having the time of his life. After a few moments, the boy's eyes were locked on the sandbox, a few yards away.
"Momma, sandbox!" the boy cried, his chubby hands outstretched toward the sandbox. "I wanna play sandbox!"
"What's the magic word, Charles?" Mary smiled, and stood Chuck up on her lap.
"Pwease?" Chuck pleaded, his big brown eyes sparkling.
"Alright," said the mother, placing him down on the pavement. She dug through her knack sack and brandished out a shovel and pail. "Play nice with the other kids, okay?"
"Okay!" Chuck cried happily. Taking the shovel and pail from his mother's hand, Chuck ran over to the large sandbox as fast as his chubby little legs could carry him. Mary, chuckling to herself, settled back into the wooden park bench, and took in her surroundings.
She pulled out a copy of A Tale of Two Cities, aka, her mission debriefing disguised as a novel. As Mary opened the cover, a blonde woman took a seat at the other end of the bench, placing her daughter on her lap. The little girl appeared to be around Chuck's age, and Mary had to admit, she was adorable. The girl had bright blue eyes, and short blonde hair that was pulled into pigtails.
"Sit still, Sarah!" the woman giggled, pulling the girl's jacket off. Sarah bounced excitedly in her mother's lap, squealing in joy.
"Sandbox! Sandbox! Sandbox!" Sarah cried rapidly. Sarah's mother was finally successful in pulling off the girl's jacket. Mary smiled to herself as she saw that the little toddler's blue dress brought out her bright blue eyes. She always wanted to have a child with blue eyes…not that there was anything wrong with Chuck's or Ellie's eyes—both were rich and warm—but there was something about blue eyes…
"Okay, kiddo! Off you go!"
The little girl quickly jumped off her mother's lap. Mary caught herself lunging forward, motherly (and spy training) instinct, ready to catch the child in case she fell. However, Sarah landed as gracefully as she could for being only about three years old, and ran over to the sandbox. Mary watched as Sarah, halfway to the sandbox, turned and ran back to her mother.
"Mommy! I fo-got…I fo-got…" the girl stuttered, bouncing in excitement. "I fo-got my ball!"
"Oh, that was Mommy's fault," said the child's mother, handing her daughter a red ball. "There you go, darlin'!"
"Tanks!" cried Sarah, running back over to the sandbox. Mary watched as Sarah plopped down next to Chuck (who had a deep look of concentration on his face as he scooped sand into his pail) and asked him, "Whatchu doin'?"
"Your daughter sure is a firecracker," Mary commented to the woman sitting next to her. The woman laughed.
"Tell me about it!" she exclaimed, giggling, "I brought her here with hopes that she'd want to play on the playground equipment so she'd release some of her energy, but she wanted to play in the sandbox! I'll never be able to get her to take a nap when we get home…"
"Oh, my daughter was the same way when she was her age," Mary smiled, nodding over at Sarah.
"Is that your daughter over by the swings?" asked the woman, pointing to a girl standing by the swing set.
"Oh, no…" Mary chuckled. "My daughter's with my husband at the moment…I believe they're at the zoo. I'm here with my son, Chuck." Mary pointed at the boy sitting next to Sarah. It was clear that Chuck was too busy with his shovel and pail to pay attention to the blonde girl who was trying to talk to him.
"Oh! He is just adorable!"
"Thank you! Your daughter is adorable as well," said Mary, smiling politely. "She's going to a heartbreaker, that one…"
The blonde woman gave a playful scoffed, and waved off Mary's comment. Mary held her hand out.
"Mary Bartowski," she introduced.
"Dana Walker," said the blonde woman, shaking Mary's hand. "And that little piston over there is Sarah."
"What a pretty name. As for the quiet, shy boy, his name is Chuck," said Mary, looking over at Chuck who was dumping sand out of his pail and giggling. Sarah was still seated next to Chuck, watching him with a curious expression. Mary scrunched her eyebrows. "He's usually very good at sharing…" she muttered to Dana. "Chuck?"
The boy looked up at his mother, his shovel in mid-dig. Excitedly, Chuck waved to his mother, sending sand all over.
"Share your toys with Sarah, sweetie! Mary called, gesturing her hands toward Sarah. Chuck looked down sadly at his shovel, and then to Sarah.
"He doesn't have to do that…" Dana mumbled.
"It's fine," said Mary, laughing as Chuck reluctantly handed Sarah his shovel. Sarah smiled happily, and held up her ball.
"You want ball?" she asked. Chuck stared at the ball. It was as if he were contemplating whether a ball is worth the price of a plastic shovel. A few seconds later, Chuck gave the blonde toddler a grin.
"Okay!" he cried, his hands outstretched. Sarah giggled shrilly as she held the ball over her head.
"Ah you weddy?" she asked, her tiny arms shaking. Chuck nodded enthusiastically, and that's when Sarah flung the ball as hard as she could. Mary winced as she saw the ball bouncing off Chuck's face. The boy looked momentarily stunned, and then his bottom lip began to quiver. Less than a second after the quiver, Chuck began to wail loudly. At the sound of his wails, Sarah gave him a frightened, yet apologetic look, and crawled over to him, placing a hand on his face.
"No!" Chuck cried, trying to back away. He fell onto his back, and continued crying.
The two women quickly got up off the bench, and ran over to their children. However, before they were able to do or say anything, little Sarah crawled over to Chuck, and leaned her face down. She gave him a kiss on the forehead.
"A kiss make evewyting betta!" she declared happily. Once again, Chuck looked stunned. Mary had come to the conclusion that Chuck was okay, and that he was just surprised by the ball hitting his head. Chuck was quick to prove her wrong. This time, he sobbed even harder.
Sarah looked down sadly and confusedly at him, and soon, her lips began to quiver as well. "But kiss uh-posed to make you feel betta!" she pouted, and she too began to cry.
Mary and Dana turned to each other, both their faces red. Once they made eye contact, the two women burst out laughing.
Since their fateful meeting at the playground sandbox, Chuck and Sarah had been nearly inseparable. Because Mary Bartowski went on about five business trips a year, and Stephen Bartowski was always busy with work, Dana Walker would always invite Chuck and his older sister Ellie over to her house. The three children got along perfectly, but as Ellie was four years older than Chuck and Sarah, she usually spent her time at the Walker residence alone doing her homework or learning how to bake with Mrs. Walker. It worked out quite nicely since the Bartowski's and the Walker's only lived a block from each other.
As the years went on, Chuck and Sarah began to become interested in different things. Chuck, for example, had grown quite fond of comic books and Nintendo. Whereas Sarah became interested in playing soccer for the local parks and recreation team. But despite their different interests, the two of them would always spend time together, usually after Sarah's soccer practice. Whenever Sarah's team played a game, Chuck would always be there, and he would cheer louder than even Mr. and Mrs. Walker whenever Sarah scored a goal. Sarah, who everyone knew hated any form of videogame, would even go over to the Bartowski's to cheer on Chuck whenever he played Legend of Zelda.
When the children entered the third grade, Chuck would help Sarah with her multiplication table while Sarah would help Chuck with his cursive. After their homework, Chuck and Sarah would watch the afternoon cartoons, or they would try to sneak some treats before dinner. On weekends, they would watch a VHS copy of The Goonies so many times that the tape began to wear.
Chuck and Sarah were inseparable.
September 29, 2007
"Good afternoon, Agent Walker," Graham's assistant, Cheryl, greeted, "Director Graham is in a meeting at the moment. Please take a seat, and he'll be with you shortly." Cheryl gestured over to a row of chairs.
"Thank you, Cheryl," said Sarah. When she turned to the chairs, she saw a stern faced man frowning at her. She smiled sweetly. "Hey, Casey…it's been awhile."
Major John Casey, NSA agent, grunted. "Your whore partner isn't coming in today, is she?"
"Who? Carina?" Sarah laughed, and took a seat next to her old friend. "Nope. She's off on a solo mission."
"Still sore over Prague, eh?"
Casey growled. "I don't know what you're talking about, Walker."
Sarah chuckled, and rolled her eyes. "So," she said, leaning back in her chair to cross one of her legs over the other. "Looks like we're going to be working together again."
"It looks that way," said Casey, nodding to Graham's. "Beckman's in there right now. Whatever's going on, it must be big."
"Agent Walker? Major Casey?" Cheryl called over to them, holding a telephone receiver. "Director Graham and General Beckman are ready to see you now. You can just go in."
"Thanks," said the two agents, as they walked into Graham's office.
"Hello, agents Walker and Casey," said Graham. "Have a seat."
Sarah nodded to the middle aged, African-American man who had recruited her into the CIA just before she had graduated high school. Graham had also had her father arrested, but Sarah didn't hold a grudge. After all, the man saved her father's life. Next to Graham, a stern faced, red-headed woman nodded to Sarah. Diane Beckman…although she stood at five foot nothing, she still gave Sarah the creeps. Sarah never really knew why, though…
"I take it that we're on another CIA/NSA joint mission?" asked Casey, taking a seat next to Sarah.
"Correct, Major," said Beckman. Graham handed both Sarah and Casey folders.
"The two of you are going to LA to look for that man." Graham gestured to the folders in the two agents' hands. Sarah opened up her folder, and stifled a laugh when she saw the picture of the man. He had on a black balaclava, and over it, he had a black phantom mask. To top it off, he also wore a grey fedora and a long, high collared raincoat. Underneath the coat, he seemed to be wearing a finely tailored suit as well.
"At least this psycho's fashionable," Casey muttered, chuckling.
"Seriously?" asked Sarah. "We're going after a vigilante, superhero wannabe?"
She turned to Casey and they both shared a laugh.
"Can't the local authorities take care of this clown?" asked Casey, wiping a tear from his eye.
"That would be the case if this were a normal situation," replied Beckman. The general turned the computer monitor so that Sarah and Casey could see. "The man calls himself Osiris. This was taken last night at the CIA/NSA compound."
Sarah turned to the screen to watch the surveillance video. At first she saw nothing except for a group of guards, fifteen men—maybe more, standing at their posts. And then she saw Osiris dropping from the ceiling, landing gracefully into a roll. In an instant, Osiris took out about five guards with blindingly fast kicks and punches. He then held his arms out and front of him, and out of the sleeves of his coat, two tranque pistols sprang out, and he quickly shot the rest of the guards. The video then faded to black.
Sarah exchanged a glance with Casey. That guy is good…she thought to herself.
"He's been breaking into CIA and NSA facilities for the past six months," said Graham. "No one's been able to catch him. Luckily, as you were able to see, he doesn't kill any of the agents."
"We've been told that he may be wearing liquid armor," continued Beckman. "For years, military scientists have been working on lightweight body armor for soldiers. So far, the liquid armor that they've developed was only able to stop knives. However, if you watch this video, you can see that Osiris's armor is able to stop bullets."
Sarah turned back to the monitor, and watched Osiris getting shot in the leg. He fell forward, but he quickly recovered, and delivered a roundhouse kick to the shooter. There was no blood on the ground.
Okay, apparently, this guy is also a genius…or maybe a robot.
"When he broke into the compound last night," said Graham, "He was able to hack into the network. He broke past the firewalls, and he was successful in stealing all of the data in less than five minutes. We never thought it could be possible…"
"So what makes you think that Osiris is in LA?" asked Sarah.
"Because we've had reports that Fulcrum and the Ring have had break-ins at their facilities as well," replied Beckman. "Apparently, Osiris has also been stealing their intel. We believe that Fulcrum's headquarters is located in LA." As Sarah opened her mouth to comment, Beckman held up a hand to silence her. "I know what you're thinking. Osiris is Fulcrum and the Ring's problem now. But the truth is, this man needs to be stopped. And as you two are the best agents in our companies, we want you two to take care of him."
"Osiris may be selling these secrets to terrorist groups, but to be honest, we don't know what he's doing with all of that data," said Graham. "But, as you both can see, this man is dangerous, and we need him captured. Dead or alive."
"Understood, sir," said Sarah and Casey.
"We set up two penthouses for you two," said Beckman, "There's also a CIA base posing as an electronic security company. The two of you will work from there. Agent Walker, your cover is that of the office manager, and Major Casey—"
"Let me guess," Casey grunted. "Head of security?"
"You are correct," Beckman said with a hint of a smile. Graham handed them each another folder.
"Your flight and mission dossiers," he said. "Your flight leaves in two hours. Take what you need. We'll send you more information when you land in LA. Good luck, agents."
"Thank you, Director. General," they said, leaving Graham's office.
Casey chuckled. "Can't believe there's some asshole dressed up like Batman stealing our crap," he said. "But you gotta admit, this guy's good…"
"Yeah," Sarah agreed. Then she remembered watching The Green Hornet with Chuck when she was younger. "The Green Hornet…"
"This Osiris guy…he's dressed up more like the Green Hornet than Batman," she said. Casey scoffed.
October, 1990 (Age Ten)
"Sarah, honey?" called Dana.
"Yes, mom?" Sarah's voice rang from the living room, as she bounced a soccer ball in the air.
"You're not playing ball in the house, are you?"
The blonde girl snatched the ball from the air, and rolled it down the hallway. "No!" she lied. She knew her mother was rolling her eyes from the kitchen.
"Okay, then…" said Dana skeptically, "Can you do me a favor, hon?"
"I don't want to do the laundry…" Sarah warned, walking into the kitchen. Dana chuckled, as she scooped fresh baked chocolate chip cookies into a plastic container.
"Don't worry, sweetie, you don't have to do the laundry," the woman smiled, handing Sarah a cookie. "Would you like to bring some of these cookies over to Chuck's house?"
"I could…" Sarah began deviously, "But only if I get an extra scoop of rocky road after dinner!"
Dana gave her a daughter a stern look, to which Sarah played off with a grin.
"Kidding!" she offered, taking the container of cookies. "I had to go to Chuck's anyway," said Sarah. "We're learning division in school, and he's going to help me. Fourth grade is tough!"
"Okay, Sarah," said Dana, pushing a stray strand of Sarah's hair back in place, "Just be home before 7:00."
"Okay!" Excitedly, Sarah ran out of the kitchen, and grabbed her book bag that was propped against the kitchen table. With a quick wave to her mother, Sarah ran out the door. She happily skipped down the sidewalk (unknowingly crumbling the cookies in the plastic container), and onto Chuck's block.
She loved spending time with Chuck. Out of everyone at their school, Chuck was clearly the coolest kid there. He was funny, and he was always trying to help everyone out. Sarah thought back to the one time in their PE class when Chuck was made captain of one of the dodge ball teams, and he picked Billy Weir first. Billy Weir was a boy in their class who smelled bad, and he was always the last kid picked whenever they had to play dodge ball in PE. But when Chuck picked him first, Sarah remembered how happy Billy was. Although, at the time, Sarah was angry with Chuck for not picking her first, she thought it was "super cool" of him to pick Billy.
Sarah skipped up the front porch of the Bartowski's house, and rang the doorbell. A couple of seconds later, she was greeted by Chuck's older sister, Ellie.
"Hey, Elle!" Sarah cried happily. She held up the container filled with crumbled up chocolate chip cookies. "My mom just baked these, and she wanted me to give these to you."
The older girl smiled, and took the container. "Thank you, Sarah. Do you want to come in?" Ellie stepped aside as Sarah nodded. Sarah walked into the familiar living room of the old-fashioned, ranch style house. She smiled as she saw a newly framed picture of herself and Chuck, both with their arms wrapped over each other's shoulders and grinning happily as they celebrated Sarah's soccer team having an undefeated season, up on the mantle. "Chuck's in his room," said Ellie. "He's been acting weird today…"
Sarah grinned over at Ellie. "I'll see what's wrong with him."
Ellie chuckled kindly. "I'm sure you will. If he doesn't tell you what's wrong—"
"Just tickle the bottom of his feet," Sarah finished. "Got it!"
"That's right! Well, I have to go to the library, but if you need anything, my dad's in his office," said Ellie, placing the cookies on the kitchen counter. "Be sure to thank your mom for the cookies."
"I will. Bye, Ellie!"
"Bye, Sarah." Ellie gave Sarah one last smile, and walked out of the house.
As quietly as she could, Sarah tip-toed up the stairs to where Chuck's room was. When she reached his door, she softly clutched onto the doorknob, and turned it as quietly as possible. Once the doorknob turned as far as it was able, Sarah pushed open the door, causing it to swing open against the wall. She giggled as Chuck let out a high pitched scream in surprise. Her giggling ceased when she saw that she had caused Chuck to tip over his bottle of glue. She watched in horror as the glue spilled over across his desk.
"Oh my gosh! I'm sorry!" Sarah ran over to Chuck's desk, and tried scooping up the spilled glue with her hands. The only thing that accomplished was spreading glue further across the desk.
"It's okay," said Chuck, sounding miserable. "C'mon, let's get a wet towel to wipe that," he pointed to the puddle, "and you can wash your hands…"
She followed, trying to keep the glue from dripping down onto the carpet, as Chuck led the way to the bathroom. He turned the knobs on the sink for her. Then he grabbed a towel off of the rack.
"What were you doing with all that glue?" asked Sarah, scrubbing her hands underneath the water, "Are you working on your Halloween costume?" She remembered Chuck telling her that he was going to be Hawkman for Halloween this year.
Chuck shook his head, and handed Sarah the towel. Once she dried her hands, he took the towel, and wet it underneath the sink.
"Then what were you doing?" Sarah repeated, following Chuck out of the bathroom. Chuck's head dropped.
"I broke my mom's favorite necklace…" he mumbled, holding up a chain. Sarah took it, and she noticed that the boy in the family shaped pendant had been snapped off.
"Oh, no…" she murmured.
"Yeah, I have to fix it before my mom comes home!" the boy cried, sounding desperate. "But I don't know how…"
"It's okay, Chuck. I'll help you…"
Chuck gave Sarah a grateful smile, but it quickly faded when they heard the front door swinging open. Mary came bustling into the house, and the children watched as the brunette woman sprinted quickly up the stairs with a hurried, desperate expression on her face. She skidded to a halt when she saw Chuck and Sarah standing in the middle of the hallway, with Sarah holding the broken necklace.
"Mom!" Chuck cried, taking the necklace from Sarah. "I'm sorry! I accidentally broke your necklace. I'm so, so sorry!"
Mary took the necklace from her son's hand, and sadly said, "Not now, Charles."
The children watched, confused, as Mary ran into the master bedroom, and seconds later, she ran out carrying a metal briefcase. Without a word, she hurried down the staircase. Before she reached the door, she stopped and looked up at Chuck who was still standing at the top of the stairs, looking frightened and confused.
"Goodbye, son." With that, she turned back to the door, and ran out of the house.
Sarah looked over at Chuck, and saw he had a tear rolling down his cheek. She placed her hand on his shoulder. "Chuck…"
The little boy shrugged off her hand, and walked pitifully to his bedroom. Sarah didn't know what to do, so she just stood there, abashed. Seeing that Chuck hadn't shut his bedroom door closed, she slowly walked toward it.
When she got to the door, she saw Chuck huddled into a corner with more tears streaming down his face. Sarah walked over and sat down next to him. She bumped her shoulder gently into his.
"I think she went to go get the necklace fixed…" said Sarah. "Don't be sad, Chuck…"
"What if she doesn't come back?" Chuck sniffed.
"She'll come back," Sarah promised. "I know she will."
The children sat in silence for the next two hours, which made Sarah uncomfortable. She wasn't used to sitting still for so long, but she knew that she had to be there for her friend. After all, that's what friends are supposed to do: to be there for each other. When it eventually came time for Sarah to go home for dinner, she slowly wrapped her arm around Chuck's shoulder. Not knowing what came over her, she gave the boy a peck on the cheek.
"You're going to be okay, Chuck," she promised.
Millennium Airlines Flight 815
Sarah sat next to a snoozing Casey on their flight to LA. She had no idea how Casey was always able to sleep on plane rides. No matter how far and how long she flew, Sarah was never able to sleep on planes. So she unbuckled her seatbelt, and reached down to grab her purse. Pulling out the copy of Forbes she had purchased earlier, she flipped through the pages until she reached the article on Chuck. She chuckled to herself when she saw a picture of Chuck, holding out a cell phone as if he was brandishing a sword, and she began to read the article.
Charles Bartowski—Living Legend
At the young age of 26, Charles Bartowski appears to be your typical, everyday guy. He stands at around six feet, four inches, and he enjoys spending much of his free time with friends and family or playing Call of Duty on X-Box Live. If you were to see him walking down the street, you'd probably just see a normal man, wearing a casual buttoned up shirt, a pair of blue jeans, and a pair of black and white Converse Chuck Taylors.
However, Bartowski is far from a normal man. He is the CEO of Legend Enterprises. Only being around for four years, the company is already worth an estimated 31.7 billion dollars.
When asked how Legend began, Charles Bartowski gave a timid smile and replied, "Well, it started off when I was in college. I've always been a nerd. Ever since I was a little kid. Although I was in a fraternity, I never really partied. Too much, anyway!" (Laughs) "But yeah, I was into programming, and I started writing a new operating system for fun. I installed it on my computer, and yeah…about six months after graduation, it was published."
LEOS, Legend's operating system, was released in the fall of 2003, and sold over 3.2 million copies in the first year. By word of mouth, the fastest working operating system ever created spread like rapid fire. By the summer of 2005, LEOS was the lead operating system, outselling Windows Vista and MacOS by over 5 million copies.
In the fall of 2005, Bartowski met up with some of his old engineering buddies from Stanford, and they began to create the Intel Cell cellular phones. The cell phones operate out of the satellites that Legend built, and they are widely known as the only cell phone carrier to always have full signal wherever they are. By the winter of 2005, Legend signed a government contract, and they now provide phones for the US military and other branches of the government.
Now, in 2007, Legend Enterprises has over a hundred campuses across the country, and they now specialize in anything from video games (Charles Bartowski's favorite department), to military technologies.
In just four years, Legend Enterprises truly is…legendary.
When asked how he feels about his sudden rise to success, Charles Bartowski flushed. "To be honest, I never expected any of it," he told us. "I know a lot of people say these kinds of things, and I don't know if they mean it or if they're just…being modest or whatever, but I just like living a normal life. I still live with my sister, which I don't know why I'm even telling you, and I still keep in touch with my old friends, and we all hang out on weekends."
Smiling to herself, Sarah closed the magazine. Of course Chuck was still living with Ellie. The two of them relied on each other so much ever since their mother left. Sarah had to admit, she was genuinely happy for her old friend…she felt her cheeks blush as she wondered if Chuck was married…
April, 1993 (Age Twelve)
As per usual, Sarah grinned as she walked out of basketball practice to see Chuck waiting for her in front of the gym. Over the last year, Sarah had grown a good six inches, and she now stood at 5'4", whereas Chuck didn't grow at all—he was short for his age. Sarah was the star center of their middle school basketball team, and Chuck was the president of the AV club, so every day, they stayed after school and waited for one another to be done with their activities.
"Hey, Chuck!" Sarah waved, jogging over to her friend. Immediately, she wrapped an arm around his shoulders. "How was AV club?"
"It was fun; we watched Terminator 2 today, but…I'm not supposed to tell you that," smiled Chuck.
"No way! You guys watched an R-rated movie?"
Chuck shushed her. "Jeez, Sarah…tell the whole world, why don't you…"
Sarah giggled. "I'm sorry. How was it? My parents won't let me see it…"
"Well, we only saw half of the movie, but it was incredible!" said Chuck enthusiastically. As they walked out of the school, Sarah listened as Chuck excitedly explained to her about the movie.
"Wow…" Sarah breathed. "That sounds so cool!"
"It is," Chuck agreed.
"I don't have practice tomorrow," said Sarah, smiling coyly at her friend. "Do you think you could…sneak me into AV club so I could watch the movie?"
Chuck made a psh-ing sound, and laughed. "Of course I can! All the guys would be excited if you were there! I mean…a pretty girl in the AV room? The janitor's going to need an extra mop to wipe off all the nerd drool!"
"I'm not pretty…" said Sarah, blushing. For the last couple of months, she had built a slight crush on her friend. Of course, she never told him that because there's no way Chuck would ever feel the same way about her. After all, he always insisted that they were like brother and sister.
"Yeah, you are," Chuck insisted softly.
Sarah rolled her bright blue eyes. "Whatever you say, Chucky. If I'm so pretty, how come no one's asked me to the dance yet?"
"Because," Chuck huffed, rolling his eyes as well, "all the guys are scared of you since you're like the best basketball player in the world, and you're funny, and you're super cool, and you're the prettiest girl at school, and...because…"
Sarah looked over at Chuck whose face was a deep shade of red. "Because…what, Chuck?"
"Because…I've been giving my lunch money to the guys' basketball team for the last two months so they wouldn't ask you to the dance," said Chuck quickly, wincing and shutting his eyes in case Sarah wanted to hit him.
"What?" Sarah cried angrily, rounding up on Chuck. "Why would you do that?"
Chuck cowered. "Because…I wanted to ask you…"
She felt the muscles in her face relaxing, causing her angry glare to fade. Did I hear him right? He wants to ask me to the dance? But Sarah played it cool…just in case she misheard Chuck. She asked softly, "You…what?"
"I know, it's stupid!" Chuck cried, his arms crashing down at his sides. "But I just thought…I thought we could go to the dance together because it's the last dance of the year, and…"
"I maybe…I kind of…sort of…" Chuck took a deep breath. "Like you…okay, that was probably the stupidest thing in the world to say. I mean, we're friends. We're great friends, and Ellie made me watch this movie where they said relationships can ruin friendships, and it was stupid. I'm sorry. Forget I said anything!"
Chuck quickly walked away from her, his shoulder hanging low in shame. For a moment, Sarah couldn't move. There were a million things that she wanted to do! One of them consisted of her dancing in joy and screaming happily at the top of her lungs. Chuck…her best friend, Chuck, likes her? He thinks she's pretty? And super cool? This may be the best day of her life!
By the time Sarah had come to her senses, Chuck was already more than halfway down the block. Letting out a happy sigh, Sarah jogged over to him.
"Chuck!" she called after him. But he continued to walk away, not even glancing back. "Chuck, wait! Please!"
Finally, Chuck stopped, and began to blabber. "I know! I'm stupid…that was a stupid thing to do. I mean, you're Sarah Walker, captain of the girls' basketball team. And I'm Chuck…the loser, president of the AV club who likes to read comic books, and draw pictures of robots, and—"
He stopped as Sarah wrapped her arms tightly around him, and whispered, "Chuck? Sometimes you talk way too much…"
"I'm sorry…it's because I get nervous, and—"
"Shhh…" She pulled away from the hug, and looked into Chuck's brown eyes. "I would love to go to the dance with you, and…Chuck? I've had a crush on you too…"
Chuck's mouth dropped in an O shape, and Sarah giggled.
"That's…wow…" he breathed. "Really? This isn't an April's Fool's joke, right?"
Sarah shook her head. "No…I like you. Like…like, like you."
At that, Chuck grinned widely, and for some odd reason, Sarah felt…warm inside. It was strange how whenever Chuck would grin at her, she always got the feeling of something fluttering in her stomach. Maybe this is what people meant when they said they have butterflies in their stomachs…
Minutes went by, and the two of them just stood there. While they were both beyond ecstatic, neither had any idea what to say or do next. Timidly, Sarah held her hand out to Chuck. As he laced his fingers around hers, Sarah felt herself blushing for the thousandth time.
"So…" Sarah began, wracking her brain for something to break the silence. "Uh…there's another Terminator in the second movie?"
"What?" asked Chuck, looking up at Sarah in confusion. Then a look of realization spread across his face. "Oh, yeah…like…he's liquid metal, and it's super crazy! He looks small, but he's really mean! There was this part where he threw the original Terminator out of the window! I don't know how they're going to stop him, because he's indestructible!"
Sarah smiled as Chuck continued talking about the liquid metal Terminator. She found him to be really cute whenever he babbled—especially when he babbled about things that he was passionate about. She stepped as close as she could next to him, and when she could get any closer, she released his hand, and wrapped her arm around his shoulders. She had once seen a couple walking into her parents' store one day, and the girl was walking around with her head resting on her boyfriend's shoulder. Sarah tried this, but since Chuck was shorter than her, she just rested her head on top of his.
When they reached Sarah's street, Chuck began to turn, only to be pulled away be Sarah.
"I have to help my mom stock golf clubs today," she told him. "I'll just walk you home, and maybe…if you want…um…you can come over for dinner tonight?"
Chuck smiled bashfully. "Okay. Do you want me to bring over The Goonies?"
"Duh!" Sarah giggled.
After she walked Chuck to his house, Sarah happily skipped (something she hasn't done in years) to her parents' sporting goods store. For the last twenty minutes, Sarah just couldn't wipe the grin off her face! She was certain that nothing could put a damper on her good mood.
She stepped up to the door of her parents' store, and beamed. "Mrs. Sarah Bartowski…" she whispered to herself. "I like it!"
As she was about to pull open the door to her parents' sporting goods store, it flung open wildly. Sarah stumbled backwards and fell on her back.
"Ow…" she murmured, slowly getting up. She saw a man sprinting down the street as if he were being chased by ghosts. "That's weird…"
Wiping the dirt off of her backside, Sarah pulled open the door and stepped inside.
"Hey, Mom!" she called. "Guess what? Chuck asked me to the dance today!" Silence. Sarah walked over by the checkout counter. "Mom…?"
When Sarah heard a whimper from the floor, she looked down, and immediately her whole body shook in shock. Dana Walker was leaning against the counter; blood pouring from her chest.
September 29, 2007
Sarah stood, leaning against the black Porsche that the CIA had provided for her. She was waiting for Casey, who was provided with a black, 1985 Crown Victoria. About three minutes after she had arrived, Sarah saw the black car squealing into the parking lot, parking next to her Porsche.
"I just smoked your ass, Casey," Sarah gloated, "The 80's are over, man. You should really think about trading the Vic in for something new. Maybe you can go for something made in the 90's?"
Casey grunted. "If we were under fire while driving our vehicles, I would make it out of that situation alive. You want to know why?" Casey pointed to his car. "Because this baby is one of America's best creations. A German panzer tank can fire at this masterpiece, and Vic wouldn't even get a scratch."
"Oohh-kay," she laughed, rolling her eyes. "So did you bring Ronald with ya?"
Casey grunted. Sarah knew that wherever Casey went, he always brought a statue of Ronald Reagan with him.
"Graham called while I was out on the road," Casey said, taking his bags out of the trunk. "He said for you to check your phone. It's shut off."
Sarah dug through her purse, and pulled out an older Intel Cell model phone. It was indeed off.
"Damn it," she groaned. "This piece of shit always shuts off randomly…"
"I saw a BuyMore a couple miles east from here," said Casey. "I'll drop your stuff off at your penthouse, and you can go get that thing fixed."
"Aw, Casey…I always knew you were a softy…" Sarah reached up and pinched Casey's cheek.
"Shut up," he said, taking Sarah's bags out of her car. "Call me when you get your phone fixed."
"Yes, sir," replied Sarah, getting into her car. She peeled out of the parking lot, and head east toward the BuyMore Plaza. Reaching over to the radio, Sarah grabbed a cord, and hooked it up to her iPod. Sarah bobbed her head to the music, and in about ten minutes, she pulled up into the BuyMore parking lot.
Sarah stepped into the store, and at the center, she found what she was looking for: the Nerd Herd help desk. Unfortunately, when she reached the desk, there was no Nerd Herder to be found. Sighing to herself, she leaned against the desk, her eyes wandering over to the CD aisles. Hm…I haven't bought any music for awhile…
As her eyes scanned around the store, she did a double take when she saw a tall man, with short brown hair dressed in a red t-shirt talking to a short, bearded BuyMore employee next to the videogames. She watched as the man laughed, and she could recognize that smile anywhere. It was Chuck Bartowski…
In that moment, Sarah forgot that she was a bad ass spy for the CIA. Without thinking, Sarah walked over to where Chuck was standing, and tapped him on the shoulder.
"Chuck Bartowski?" she asked nervously.
"Yes?" Chuck asked, turning around. When the two of them made eye contact, Chuck's mouth dropped. "Sarah Walker?"
"The one and only!" Sarah said happily, grinning like she's never grinned before.
"Wow…talk about a blast from the past," he chuckled, turning to his bearded friend. "Morgan, remember Sarah Walker?"
"No way!" Morgan cried, looking wide eyed up at Sarah.
"Morgan Grimes?" Sarah cried, remembering Chuck's friend from AV club. "Wow! I see that you finally grew your beard…"
"Indeed I did," said Morgan, running his hands through his fur. "Had this baby for about six years now…I'm never shaving it off."
"Oh, man…Big Mike's calling for me," said Morgan. Sarah turned to see a large, round black man waving Morgan over. "And that's my cue to leave. Well, buddy…Call of Duty tonight?"
"You betcha," Chuck smiled. "Later, Morgan."
"Later, Chuck," said Morgan, running toward his boss. He turned back to Sarah. "Sarah, it was awesome seeing you!"
"You too!" Sarah called, waving to Morgan.
"Wow…" Chuck breathed, grinning widely at Sarah. She felt her knees shake slightly. Ever since the magical CIA makeover that Sarah had gotten, she usually felt uneasy and creeped out whenever guys would look at her like she was a fine slab of rib-eye. But the way that Chuck was smiling at her just made her feel warm…comfortable. "Sarah freaking Walker…"
"Chuck freaking Bartowski," she mimicked, a giggle escaping from her throat. "This is so crazy!"
"No, look," Sarah dug through her purse and pulled out the magazine, and held it out to Chuck. "I was at the store early this morning, and I saw this!"
"Ah!" Chuck mimed screaming, and held his fingers out in a cross. "Away with that beast!"
"No, but seriously…" said Chuck, blushing, and pushing the magazine down. "That…that stuff embarrasses me…"
"Yep," he said. Sarah studied him, and she could tell that he was telling the truth. He seriously looked uncomfortable at the fact that he was on a magazine cover.
"Oh, I'm sorry…"
"It's cool. I mean…we haven't spoken in like, what? Ten years?"
"Yeah, sorry about that." A rush of guilt washed over her. "I wanted to call…"
"Yeah, but 'witness protection,' right?" Chuck smiled, using air quotes. Sarah laughed at the old inside joke.
"Totally," she smiled.
"Is it safe to assume that you're no longer under 'witness protection?' Or should I be calling you Ms. Burton right now?"
"Nope, no longer under 'witness protection,'" Sarah replied, using air quotes as well.
"Well, that's good…"
"Yeah, so…what have you been up to? How long have you been in Burbank?"
"I just flew in about," Sarah checked her watch, "thirty minutes ago. I got a new job…"
"Oh, wow!" Chuck laughed. "That's awesome!"
Sarah shrugged. "It's just a boring old office job. I'm an office manager at…" Sarah scrunched her eyebrows together. She couldn't remember if the CIA had provided a name for the fake company she was working for. "To be honest, I can't even remember." Sarah laughed. "But yeah. Other than that, um…graduated from Harvard…"
"East coast rival," Chuck mumbled, pretending to glare.
"So you went to Stanford? You got the scholarship?"
"Indeed, I did, ma'am," Chuck smiled.
"That's just…wow," Sarah just could not stop grinning, "I'm so happy for you!"
"For me? You're the one that went to Harvard!" Chuck cried, laughing. "Way more prestigious than Stanford…"
"Meh," she shrugged. "So can I ask what you're doing here at the BuyMore?"
"Just came by to talk to Morgan," he replied. "What about you?"
"There's something wrong with my phone," she replied, taking her phone out of her purse. "Damn thing keeps turning off…"
She held in a gasp as Chuck's fingers brushed hers as he reached for her phone. "May I?"
"Um…yeah," she choked out. Chuck took the phone and studied it.
"Oh, it's the first model of the Intel Cell," he said, shaking his head.
"Oh yeah…I forgot that you made these," said Sarah, remembering the article that she had read.
"I don't make them," Chuck laughed. "An old buddy from Stanford pitched the idea…I couldn't say no. But…it worked out okay in the end."
"Anyway, this model has a screw that pops out." Chuck slid off the battery cover, and looked up. "Hey, Lester! Toss me the Phillip's head screwdriver please!"
Sarah looked back in time to duck under a flying screwdriver. Chuck caught it from the air with ease, and he began turning the driver on her phone.
"A couple of quick turns, and…good as new." Chuck smiled, and handed her phone back to her.
"Wow…you really are still a geek…"
Chuck gave Sarah a mock hurt expression. "It's nerd, Sarah…gosh!"
"I know…I just remembered how you always hated being called a geek, and you preferred to be called nerd," Sarah teased. "But I have to get going. I just got here, and I have to meet up with a real estate agent…"
"Oh, yeah…of course," said Chuck.
"Um…" Sarah began sheepishly, "Do you want to get coffee sometime? Maybe tomorrow?"
Sarah winced as Chuck began to have a coughing fit. Smooth, Walker…why the hell would he want to get coffee with you? He probably has a bunch of girls lining up outside of his house…
"Yeah, I'd love to," Chuck gasped. "Yikes…sorry about that."
"Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine…I guess it all just hit me…" Chuck laughed nervously. Wow, he really hasn't changed… "But coffee sounds great!"
"Okay, then," said Sarah, taking a pen from her purse. She pointed to Chuck's hand. "May I?"
Chuck looked momentarily confused. Then a look of realization spread across his face. He grinned and held out his hand. Sarah scribbled her number on his arm, and gave it a tap. "Call me and let me know when you're available," she said, trying to put her best seductress face on.
"You bet," smiled Chuck. "I'll definitely see you tomorrow."
"I'm looking forward to it." With that, Sarah stepped up, and gave Chuck a hug. "I've missed you…"
"I've missed you too," he breathed, giving Sarah a case of déjà vu.
"Okay," Sarah stepped back from the hug reluctantly. She could hold on to Chuck forever… "Bye for now…"
"Yep…bye, Sarah…" She gave him a smile, and turned to walk away. She stopped when she heard Chuck's voice again. "You're not going to ditch me again are you?"
Sarah's heart shattered at the memory, but when she turned back to Chuck, she saw he was wearing his goofy smile.
"Nope!" Sarah called. "I'll be there!"
March, 1998 (Age 17)
San Francisco, CA
After the robbery, and the death of Dana Walker, Sarah's father, Gerald Walker, became a broken man. He packed up all their belongings, and moved away, telling Sarah that he couldn't stand to live in Encino anymore. As the years went by, Gerald discovered a hidden talent: he was quite the conman. And so, he became a conman, and somehow, Sarah had become his partner…his accomplice.
At first, she was reluctant in joining her father for the jobs, but the more cons they pulled, the bigger the rush became for the both of them. She had to admit, it was fun, but deep down, she knew what they were doing was wrong. Deep down, she longed to just be a normal family again…
Sarah…er…Jenny Burton didn't even want to come on this stupid trip to Davies Symphony Hall. In fact, she didn't even know why she decided to join the school orchestra. Okay, she did…she was tired of being alone…tired of being friendless, and although she wanted to play sports for the school, her father told her that she shouldn't. If she wanted to join a school sports team, she would be required to take a physical, and they weren't sure if their fake identification papers, and their fake Social Security numbers would pass in a doctor's office. So, she decided to play the viola for James Buchannan High School's orchestra. Unfortunately, it was pretty hard to make friends in the orchestra. Who knew there were so many cliques?
She had played when she was younger…her mother taught her when she was a little girl. And that is why she was at the symphony hall. Her school orchestra was one of the five other high schools to make it to the state competition. As a treat, a generous music lover treated all five of those high schools to hotel rooms so that the students could spend their spring breaks in San Francisco and to listen and see the San Francisco Symphony…
Sometime in the last four years, Jenny (Sarah), had, er…blossomed into a woman. She grew about another five inches, and had developed. Unfortunately, Jack Burton (Gerald Walker), knew nothing about hair products and make up, so Jenny was left with stringy blonde hair and awkward braces. She just looked awkward.
Jenny sat apart from the other members of the orchestra while their teacher was talking to the woman behind the front desk. She stood up off her cushioned chair, and began to dig through her bag to look for her Discman. When she finally found it, Jenny plugged in her headphones, and powered the CD player on. As she turned back to sit in her chair, a tall, curly haired boy accidentally knocked her with his guitar case, causing her to drop her Discman. Jenny watched as the lid popped open, and her CD popped out.
"Oh my God, I am so sorry!" the boy said, quickly kneeling down to grab the CD player off the floor. When he went to grab the CD off the floor, his hand stopped. "Pablo Honey by Radiohead?" He grabbed the CD off of the ground, and popped it back into the Discman. "This is one of the greatest albums ever made!" he declared, handing the Discman back to Jenny.
Jenny was about to thank the boy, but as she looked up into the boy's rich, brown eyes, she clenched her jaw. The boy stared curiously at her.
"Sarah?" he breathed, squinting at her. "Sarah Walker?"
"What? No!" She cried, shaking her head fiercely. "My name…my name…" damn it, what's my name again? "My name…is Jenny. Jenny Burton."
"Oh," said the boy, looking slightly disappointed. Confused as well. "You just look like this girl I used to know…Sarah Walker," The boy scrunched his eyebrows together, and looked thoughtful. Then he shrugged to himself. "Anyway…sorry about bumping into you. I grew about a foot last year, and gosh…I keep tripping over my feet!" he chuckled nervously, and held out a hand. "I'm Chuck. Chuck Bartowski. I play bass for the Burbank High School jazz band. "
Jenny swallowed. "Okay," she squeaked, shaking Chuck's hand.
That's when Chuck flashed her his trademark grin. The same grin that reached all the way up to his warm, brown eyes, and caused his nose to slightly crinkle. The same grin that used to give her butterflies in her stomach. She felt that familiar sensation once more and she shook her head as she tried to get those damn butterflies out.
Chuck began to blabber about how awesome Radiohead is and how they were one of his most favorite bands in the world, but Jenny didn't listen. Instead, she studied him. It seems that Chuck had probably grown over a foot since the last time she saw him. He was just so…tall. And awkwardly skinny…but his face was still the kind, caring face she remembered from her childhood. His curly hair still made those "funny animal shapes" as well. For the most part, Jenny had to admit, Chuck kind of got hot…
"…and that is why I think Pablo Honey is one of the greatest albums of all time," Chuck finished.
Jenny looked up at him in confusion. She desperately wanted to ask Chuck what he's been up to in the last four years. She wanted to know how he, Ellie, and Stephen were. But if she did that, she would blow her cover.
"Uh-oh…" said Chuck, bending down so that he was at eye-level with her. "I think I put you to sleep…I never met anyone who slept with their eyes open before. Actually, my older sister, Ellie sometimes sleeps with her eyes open…"
"What?" Jenny asked, blinking her eyes, trying to snap back to reality. "Yeah…Pablo Honey…awesome album. Sorry about that. I was just spacing out…"
"I see," smiled Chuck. "Yeah, I have this horrible tendency of babbling when I'm nervous."
"Why would you be nervous?"
Chuck blushed, and in turn, Jenny felt her face becoming warm. "I don't know," he said. "You just look like someone I know…it's bringing back a lot of memories…"
"Oh, well…" Jenny searched for the right words. "Um…I'm sorry to disappoint?"
Chuck laughed, and shook his head. "No, you have nothing to be sorry for."
Oh, but I do have something to be sorry for, Jenny thought to herself, I'm sorry for never being able to say goodbye to you…
She felt like a lunatic. For the last five hours (give or take), she discretely walked around the hotel, trying to find Chuck. She went up and down all of the floors, and she may or may not have checked all of the men's restrooms (a girl's entitled to her secrets). But just when she was about to give up hope on the tenth floor, she heard a door creaking open, and saw a tall boy stepping out of his hotel room.
Holding in a gasp, Jenny moved as quickly as she could back to the elevator while Chuck turned back toward his room to yell something at his friend. Her breath was shaky as she pressed the DOWN button on the elevator.
She sucked in a breath, as she turned to face Chuck, who was giving her a curious look.
"Hi. Um…I thought the James Buchannan kids were on the twelfth floor?"
"Yeah," Jenny laughed nervously. "I must have gotten off at the wrong floor. I do that sometimes…"
Chuck smiled kindly. God, he must think I'm an idiot.
"Right, well," he said, holding up an ice bucket. "I just went out to get some ice…"
"Cool," she said lamely, wanting to slam her head into the wall.
"Yeah, uh…I'll see you around, I guess." Chuck gave her another smile, and turned to make his way to the ice machine.
You know what? Screw covers! She thought to herself. I deserve to know how my old friend has been doing over the years!
"Chuck!" she called, running down the hall to catch up to him. When she did, he gave her curious look. Okay, so how am I going to do this…?
"Oh…um…" Jenny, no, Sarah, took a deep breath. "It's me."
Chuck raised an eyebrow. "Yeah…you. As in, Jenny…"
"No, me…" Sarah huffed. "It's Sarah Walker."
Sarah held her breath as Chuck looked down at her in shock. Slowly, he scowled at her. "I don't think that's funny, Jenny. I mean, I like jokes as much as the next guy, but Sarah was my best friend, and I haven't seen her in years. If you were pretending to be anyone else, it might be funny, but…no offense, this joke sucks."
"Chuck, I swear to you, I am Sarah!" she cried desperately. "We used to watch The Goonies every weekend, and you were president of the AV club at school…and…my mom always used to bake extra cookies for you and Ellie…you cried for five hours after Optimus Prime died in the Transformers movie."
Chuck's scowl began to fade as he studied her. Sarah wished that she took care of her damn hair…she could have at least stolen Heather Chandler's make up kit. No, that would have been a mistake. If she wore make up with this hideous hair, then she would just look silly…and with her luck, there would be chunks of lipstick stuck on her damn braces…
"Oh my God…" Chuck breathed. "It is you! Dude! Where did you and your dad go? Why are you going by Jenny Burton now?"
Sarah smiled in relief. "It's a long story, Chuck…" she replied. Suddenly, she felt a wave of emotion sweeping over her, and hot tears began to form in her eyes. She let out a shaky sob, and rushed over to Chuck, wrapping her arms around his skinny body. "I've missed you…"
"I've missed you too," Chuck whispered. She felt him tightening his arms around her. "But…where did you go?"
Sarah looked up at him, tears still running down her face. "I don't have time to explain…the chaperones will be here soon…"
"Oh, right…" It broke her heart to see Chuck's face falling like that. But she was right. The chaperones will be out to patrol the halls soon…if they caught them…
Sudden inspiration struck Sarah. "How tired are you?"
"I mean…are you sleepy at all?"
"Uh…not really. Why?"
"Listen," she began. "There's a rec-room down in the basement. Do you think you could meet me there in…" Sarah grabbed Chuck's wrist and read his watch. "two hours?"
For the next hour and a half, Sarah had begged her roommate, cellist, Emily, to teach her how to properly apply hair product. It was actually kind of easy, which made Sarah hate herself a bit about the fact that she could have just gone out and either buy or steal some, and figure it easily out on her own. But the eyeliner? Sarah had many problems with that. After poking herself in the eye with the eyeliner pencil about forty times, Sarah was finally able to move onto mascara.
She studied herself in the mirror, and smiled.
"I knew there was a beautiful swan hidden somewhere in there…" Emily commented.
"Quiet," Sarah giggled, looking over at the digital clock. She had five minutes to sneak down to the basement to see Chuck. Sarah turned to Emily. "Okay, Emily…if you tell anyone that I left, I'll cut you."
Emily let out a horrified gasp.
"I'm kidding," said Sarah. "But seriously…please don't tell anyone I left."
"I won't," Emily promised.
"Thank you." Sarah crept over to the door, and cracked it open just a smidgen. As far as she could tell, she couldn't see any chaperones. As quickly and quietly as she could, she ran to the staircase, and down the stairs.
When Sarah reached the basement, slightly out of breath, she hoped that Chuck had been able to sneak out okay. Oh, no…what if Chuck was just playing her? What if he thought she was some…psycho, and he decided to get rid of her by humoring her into believing that he believed that she really was Sarah?
The thoughts soon diminished as she saw Chuck nervously stumbling into the basement.
"Oh, thank god!" Chuck cried. "I didn't know if you were coming…to be honest, I thought you might be some…"
Please don't say stalker.
"—Stalker or something."
"But then, I…remembered your eyes…"
"Well, yeah…" said Chuck, shuffling his feet. Sarah smiled when she saw that he still wore Chuck Taylors… "You had the bluest eyes that I've ever seen…and wow! You look…great…"
Trying with all her might not to swoon, Sarah smiled sheepishly up at Chuck.
"Thank you," she said softly. "You don't look so bad yourself. But wow! You grew like ten feet! Remember how I was always taller than you?"
Chuckling, Chuck said, "Yeah…but I seriously grew overnight. Scared the crap out of Ellie one morning…"
Sarah laughed. "How is Ellie? What's she up to?"
"Ellie and I live in Burbank now," said Chuck. "She's going to UCLA."
"Oh, wow! Does she still want to be a doctor?" Sarah remembered being Ellie's nurse while the older girl pretended to be a doctor...
"Of course," Chuck replied, smiling widely.
"That's so cool!" cried Sarah happily. "What about you? What school are you planning on going to?"
"Oh…" said Chuck, suddenly looking somewhat disappointed. "I uh…I got accepted into Stanford…"
"That's a good thing, isn't it?"
"Yeah, but I can't afford it," he said. "I've applied for scholarships and grants, but, so far, nothing…"
Sarah scowled a bit. "Couldn't your dad help you? Stanford's an extremely good school, and I'd imagine he would be proud…"
"My dad left Ellie and me about a year after you and your dad left…" said Chuck. With that comment, Sarah felt her heart sinking into her stomach. Poor Chuck…almost everyone in his life had left him. Practically everyone…it seemed that he only had Ellie now.
"I'm so sorry, Chuck…" Sarah mumbled. Chuck smiled and shook his head.
"It's not your fault," he said. "Unless you're the one that told my dad to leave…"
She glanced up at Chuck and saw that he had a goofy smile plastered on his face. "Oh, totally!" she laughed. "You caught me…"
"I knew it!" Chuck snapped his fingers, and chuckled. He opened his mouth to say something, but stopped when they both heard footsteps coming down the stairs. Sarah grabbed Chuck's wrist, and pulled him into the rec-room. Quickly, she slammed him against the wall behind the door. "Sarah…?"
"Shhh!" she put a finger to her lips. Chuck nodded, and together, they waited in silence. After a long, silent minute, Sarah chanced a peek out of the door. "Sorry," she said, turning back to Chuck. "It could have been a chaperone…"
"Yeah…wow! I never saw anyone move so fast!" Chuck cried, letting out a deep breath.
"Er…thanks?" Sarah offered. She didn't know if it was a compliment or not, but one thing she did know was that if she wanted to spend time with Chuck, they were going to have to leave the hotel. "Do you want to get out of here?"
"Well…" she began nervously. C'mon, Sarah! Just ask him if he wants to go for a drive! You haven't seen each other in years! He's not going to say no… "There are chaperones everywhere, and I don't want you to get in trouble if we get caught…but I also want…I mean, if you want to…to spend more time together? We could talk without having to worry about getting caught for sneaking out…maybe?"
"Uh…yeah, but…where would we go? I don't have my car, and I don't think the buses are running this late at night…"
"I have my car," said Sarah. "So…do you want to go?"
Her heart beat rapidly as she watched Chuck nervously shuffling his feet. After what seemed like hours, he gave her a half grin.
"Okay," he replied. "Let's go."
As Sarah peeled her old Volkswagen Cabriolet out of the hotel parking lot, she and Chuck burst into fits of laughter. She felt a rush coming over her…something that she hadn't felt in a long time. Sure, every time she and her father pulled a con, there was always that…rush…but this was a different kind of rush. It was like a wave of happiness. She hadn't felt like this since she was a little girl, and she was going to enjoy every second of it.
"Wow!" Chuck laughed loudly. Sarah glanced over at him to see he was wide-eyed and grinning wildly. "This is…crazy!"
Sarah just flashed him a smile. God…he was so adorable…
She leaned over to turn on the radio. Chumbawumba's "Tubthumping" blared out, causing her and Chuck to start laughing again.
"This is the most annoying song ever," Chuck laughed. "But it's so darn catchy…"
"I know, right?" Sarah giggled. "It's probably going to be stuck in my head for hours now…"
"Yeah…" Chuck grinned. "So where are we going?"
Crap…she didn't think that far ahead. "How about the Bay? It's probably about a five minute drive to get there…"
"That sounds great," said Chuck enthusiastically, bouncing slightly in his seat. "Um…Sarah? Can I ask you a question?"
Sarah shifted in the driver's seat. "Yeah…"
"Where did you and your dad go after…you know…um…your mom died?" he asked reluctantly. "And why did you change your name to Jenny Burton?"
Sarah swallowed. "Chuck…I wish I could tell you, but…"
"I can't?" Sarah offered. She noticed his shoulders slumping in disappointment. "I'm sorry, Chuck, but I don't want to lie to you."
"Oh…" he frowned. But then, he offered her a half-smile. "Well, I'm just going to pretend that you and your dad were witnesses of some crazy mafia murder, and the two of you are now under witness protection."
Sarah laughed. Oh, if only…she thought bitterly, It's better than being the daughter of a conman. "Sure, let's go with that." Sarah grinned over at Chuck.
Over the next five days, every night, Sarah and Chuck would sneak out of their hotel rooms to meet up with each other. Sure, during the day time, the two of them would fall asleep whenever their bands had to practice, and they both received dirty looks from their band members, but neither cared. What mattered to them was their night meetings. That's all that mattered.
Every night, Sarah would drive to the beach, and together, she and Chuck would just talk. They would reminisce over old memories, share their hopes and dreams, but mostly, they would bond over their similar tastes in music and humor. Whenever Sarah would drive them to sneak back into their hotel rooms, she realized that these were the best nights of her life.
Their third night out together, Chuck had given Sarah a mixtape that he made. It consisted of songs by Radiohead, The Flaming Lips, Sonic Youth, The Cure, The Smiths, Oasis, and more. That night, when Sarah had popped the tape into the deck, and she heard the song, "No Surprises" by Radiohead, she leaned over to Chuck and planted a kiss on his cheek. That led to a few awkward moments of silence…
On their last night out, the two of them didn't have much to say. Sarah didn't want to even think about the fact that this could be the last time she would see Chuck, but the harder she tried to push that thought back, the more it stood out. They sat on the seashore, watching the waves crashing into the sand in silence.
"So…after tonight…" Chuck began, breaking the silence. "Will this be last time we see each other?"
"I don't know," Sarah lied. She knew that it would be…it would only be a matter of time before her father pulls off the "Lichtenstein" on the unknowing Frenchman, and they'd be off to Wisconsin or Idaho... "Maybe…"
Chuck looked down at his watch. "And we have to leave soon."
"I wish we didn't have to," Sarah admitted sadly.
"Me too," Chuck looked disappointed. Sarah bumped her shoulder into him. He turned to her and gave her a sad smile. "So…what do we do?"
She lifted herself off the sand, and held her hands out to Chuck. "We enjoy it," she smiled sadly, pulling Chuck up to his feet.
As they walked along the shore, Sarah felt Chuck's hand brushing hers. Smiling, she took his hand, and linked her fingers around his. When she leaned her head into his shoulder, a giggle escaped her throat.
"What?" Chuck asked, looking amused.
"I just remembered something," she replied. Chuck remained silent, waiting for her to continue. "Okay…so do you remember back when we were in middle school, and…uh…you asked me to that dance?"
"Oh…yeah…" Even in the dark, Sarah could see Chuck's cheeks flushing red.
"Well, I was just remembering how I was taller than you back then," Sarah continued. "Remember when we were walking home, and…we were holding hands, and how I rested my head on top of yours while we were walking?"
Chuck let out a laugh. "God…that was so embarrassing…"
"I thought it was cute," Sarah shrugged. "And Chuck?"
"You still owe me a dance," she said softly, just above a whisper.
"What?" Chuck's eyebrows shot up. "Here?"
"Never mind," she said quickly. God! What a stupid thing to say…'you owe me a dance?' Really? Why would Chuck want to dance with her…stupid. Just…stupid.
"No," he said, obviously sensing her discomfort. He tightened his fingers around her hand. "I mean…there's just no music, you know? I was just confused. But yeah, I'd love to dance with you. Here's the thing…I've never…really danced…" he mumbled the last statement.
"Really?" His statement really took her by surprise. What kind of stupid girls went to Chuck's school? Seriously, he's like…the sweetest guy ever! And he's not bad to look at either. Sure, she's never been invited to a dance either, but she had a legitimate excuse! She was…a loser, but Chuck? Come on! Sarah pulled on Chuck's hand to get his attention. She had an idea.
She grasped onto his hand tightly, and ran back over to where she had parked her car.
"Sarah? Why are we running?" Chuck asked, his voice shaking. "You didn't see anyone, did you?"
"Nope," Sarah grinned mischievously. "I have an idea." When they got to her car, she released his hand. "Wait right here…"
Sarah opened both the driver and passenger doors, and put the key into to the ignition. After that, she turned the dial on her tape deck as loud as it would go. The song "Wonderwall" by Oasis blared from the speakers, and when she walked back over to Chuck, she gave him a shy smile.
Holding out a hand, Sarah asked, "May I have this dance, good sir?"
Grinning widely, Chuck took her hand. "Yes, you may, milady…"
As she wrapped her arms around the back of his neck, Sarah giggled. "We're such dorks…"
Chuck shrugged. "It's okay. It's only us tonight…"
"Yeah," Sarah agreed. She winced as a sharp pain shot through her toes. "Ouch…"
"I'm sorry!" Chuck cried. "It's these big feet of mine…I'm still getting used to them."
"It's fine," Sarah smiled, ignoring her aching toes.
"Um…here." Chuck pulled Sarah in closer to him, causing her breath to catch slightly. "That's better…"
Sarah smiled to herself as she leaned her cheek against Chuck's chest. The two of them swayed to the music, neither of them saying a word—neither of them wanting to ruin the moment. But it was almost time to go…
She bit down hard on her bottom lip, trying desperately to hold back the tears that were forming in her eyes. But she couldn't. The harder she tried to hold the tears in, the harder her body began to shake. Before she knew it, the tears streamed freely down her face, forming a puddle into Chuck's shirt. She felt Chuck's hand gently stroking her hair.
"It's okay," he breathed soothingly. Sarah shook her head.
No, it's not okay. It's not fair, she wanted to say, but she didn't. She wasn't going to ruin the moment. Instead, she was just going to hold on tightly to Chuck, and sway.
I don't believe that anybody feels the way I do about you now
And all the roads that lead to you are winding
And all the lights that lead us there are blinding
There are many things that I would like to say to you, but I don't know how
Sarah drove them back to the hotel, one hand on the steering wheel, the other holding Chuck's. Neither of them said a word as they snuck back into the hotel lobby, and went up on the elevator. However, Sarah wished that the elevator would stall or something, so that she'd have more time. But when the elevator bell rang when they got to Chuck's floor, she felt more tears brimming in her eyes. She looked sadly up at Chuck to see that he had tears in his eyes too.
"At least…" he began, wiping his eyes with the back of his hand, "we get to say goodbye this time…"
"Yeah," Sarah agreed sadly. Chuck dug a folded note from out of his pocket.
"Here," he said, handing her the note. "It's my phone number, and…other stuff. Um…I know you might not be able to call me, but it's worth a shot, you know? And if you can't call, I'd understand." Sarah's heart tugged when Chuck let go of her hand. "Well, um…goodbye, Sarah…"
She couldn't bring herself to say goodbye. If she said it aloud, then…it would just be real. But this is real…they both had to go back home soon. Without thinking, Sarah grabbed Chuck's wrist, and pulled him into her. She looked fiercely into his eyes, and stood up on her toes, while grabbing the sides of his face to pull him down. Their lips met somewhere in the middle. As if they were acting on their own accord, Sarah's fingers tangled into Chuck's curly hair.
The kiss could have lasted seconds. It could have lasted minutes—hell, even hours. Sarah didn't know. Nor did she care. All she knew was that she didn't want to pull away. You're a conman's daughter, Sarah! What are you doing? He's too good for you! He's just an innocent guy, and you're…you! You don't deserve him!
The voice in her head hit her in the gut. Sarah backed away from Chuck, staring down at his black and white Converse shoes.
"Goodbye, Chuck," she said, hurrying back into the elevator, and pushing the button to close the door.
The door closed. The last image that she saw of him was the confused, hurt look on his face.
Burbank BuyMore Parking Lot
Chuck stepped into his white BMW M5, and slammed the door shut. He pulled his phone from his pocket, and hit the send button to call his father.
"Osiris, secure," said Chuck into the receiver. "Listen, I just ran into Agent Walker. I didn't flash on her, but double check for me to see if she's part of the Omega Initiative."
A/N: I'm pretty sure you guys guessed that Chuck is Osiris from the beginning. Well, if you read this far, thank you. Let me know if I should continue this story! Thanks again for reading! If you guys want me to, the next chapter will deal a little more with Chuck's back story. Will there be Charah? Who knows? But there will be a Sarah/Osiris confrontation.
Oh, did you notice that Sarah talks and acts more…girly in this story than she does on the show? I did that on purpose because if you noticed, Sarah was only a con girl for four years. Before that, she had her mom and Chuck in her life. So I decided to make Sarah more open with herself and her feelings in this story, but while out on missions, she's a pure bad ass.