Hi everyone! This fic needs a bit of an introduction, so I hope you guys see this before you start reading or you'll probably find yourself wondering where in the world this came from.
I have a bit of an obsession with what my friend and I like to refer to as "Changled." Basically, I think Zac's Tangled movie that just came out is the role-reversed, Disney version of Chuck (with less guns, of course.) The characters, their relationships to one another, even some of the storylines…all of it can be compared to Chuck. So, as an outlet for this obsession, I wrote this. That being said, this story probably does require a little bit of Tangled knowledge. It probably won't make much sense if you haven't seen the movie.
Oh, and Chuck's nickname for his daughter is supposed to be pronounced like "Shar-ley" instead of "Charlie"
I hope you all enjoy the story! I had a lot of fun with this one :) Chuck and Tangled are, of course, not mine, and don't forget to review!
Sarah Bartowski stood in front of her kitchen counter, putting the finishing touches on her freshly made and almost decorated chocolate chip cookie cake. Just as she finished drawing the last blue-icing flower onto the cookie, the brown-eyed, blonde-haired whirlwind that was her seven-year-old daughter came running through the front door. Her husband followed a few seconds after, carrying the little girl's backpack and lunchbox in his arms.
"Honey, we're home!" Chuck called in a teasing tone, just as he did every time it was his turn to pick up their daughter from school. Sarah's face brightened into a smile as she put the icing down onto the counter.
"Mommy!" Charlotte Bartowski called, running over to wrap her mother in a hug. Sarah leaned down to kiss her pale cheek.
"Hi, baby," Sarah said. "Did you have a good day?"
"Look!" Charlotte said, holding up her first second-grade report card. "All A's."
"That's great," Sarah said, taking the piece of paper from her hands to look it over.
"I told you she takes after me," Chuck said in a mockingly haughty tone.
His statement earned almost identical looks from both of his girls. He took a minute to marvel at the striking likeness between Sarah and their daughter before his smile faded and he took a seat at the kitchen counter, dropping Charlotte's school things to the floor.
"We're both very proud of you, Charlotte," Sarah said.
"I know," Charlotte shrugged, a 'why-wouldn't-you-be' tone to her voice. Sarah grinned. Maybe she did take after Chuck, after all. Charlotte continued, "And all A's means I get…"
"One step ahead of you," Sarah said, showing her the cookie cake.
The little girl's face brightened when she saw not only the giant cookie but the way in which the cookie had been decorated. Sarah, who was insistent upon not rewarding good grades with cash like most of Charlotte's classmates' parents did, always made something sweet to celebrate a good report card. Luckily for her, Charlotte was still at an age where giant cookie cakes or double scoops of Rocky Road ice cream were more than a little bit exciting. Charlotte was finding this one particularly thrilling, as Sarah had covered the top of the cookie with icing-created pictures from Charlotte's favorite movie.
"But how did you know?" Charlotte asked. "Report cards didn't come out until today."
Sarah cutely shrugged and placed the cookie back on the counter. "I guess I just had a hunch," she said. "Call it mother's intuition."
Charlotte hugged Sarah again. "You're the best, Mommy. Can I have my report card back? I want to go show it to Max."
Sarah handed the paper to her, and the little girl ran off to share her success with her favorite stuffed horse. Chuck walked around the counter once their daughter had left and wrapped his arms around his wife from behind, pressing her back into his chest.
"You had a hunch?" Chuck disbelievingly asked.
"I know my kid," Sarah asserted. "She's brilliant."
Chuck eyed her suspiciously. "You hacked into the school computer database to check her grades again, didn't you?"
"Maybe," Sarah said.
"Did you run background checks on all the school employees again, too?" Chuck asked.
"I regret nothing," Sarah said. "Every good mother would do that if they had the proper resources or knew how, and it just so happens, I do."
"Okay, we're going to come back to that later," Chuck said. "Charley has requested a movie night with us tonight."
Sarah groaned, stepped out of Chuck's arms, and began cleaning up the icing and ingredients she had used to make the cookie. Chuck frowned at her response.
"Sarah, your daughter wants to hang out with us. You should be happy about that!" Chuck said.
"Oh, it's not that," Sarah said. "Come on, Chuck, you know I love Friday nights with Charlotte! It's just…what do you think our chances are of getting her to pick a different movie this time?"
Chuck grinned and slid his arms around his wife again. She stopped what she was doing and leaned back into his embrace. He rested his head against hers.
"I'm thinking somewhere between slim and none," he answered.
"I guess I just don't understand why she's so obsessed with it," Sarah said.
"What? Not a Tangled fan?" Chuck asked.
"I wouldn't say that, exactly. It's a good movie, and I enjoyed it the first dozen times, but she's probably seen it forty times by now," Sarah said.
"You think forty times is a lot?" Chuck asked.
"You don't?" Sarah replied. "For the same movie?"
"Please, after Morgan and I discovered Star Wars, we must've watched it at least that many times within the first…" Chuck began. Sarah slowly turned in his arms to face him and shoot him a look. Chuck, upon noticing her expression, switched gears and quickly finished with, "You know what? I think I'm going to shield you from that one."
"Probably a good idea," Sarah chuckled. She stepped away again to continue cleaning up. Chuck slightly frowned as she left his arms again.
"And for someone who doesn't want to encourage her daughter's obsession, that is a very Tangled cookie cake you made."
Sarah, who had utilized her cake decorating skills on a much more frequent basis since becoming a mother, had covered the cookie in flowers, with an icing drawing of Rapunzel's sun symbol in the middle and different colored Pascals in each corner. Chuck reached out a finger to swipe at a pink flower, and Sarah hit his hand away.
"What else was I going to put on it?" Sarah asked. "The child lives and breathes Tangled."
"Think you're up to watching it one more time?" Chuck asked, holding her in his arms again, facing her this time. She placed her hands on Chuck's upper arms.
Sarah rolled her eyes. "You and I both know it won't be anywhere near just one more time," she said. Her face softened, she smiled slightly, and, eyes glimmering with love, added, "But for Charlotte…"
Chuck grinned and placed a tender kiss on Sarah's mouth. The hands on his arms slid up around his neck, and he pulled away as a slight moan escaped her lips. Sarah opened her eyes, thinking the kiss was over, but she was met with the sight of her husband bringing his hands up to grip her face and lean in for another kiss. She slipped her eyes shut for another sweet kiss and hugged him once they were finished.
"Who's making dinner tonight?" Sarah asked, knowing neither of them particularly liked doing that.
Chuck pointed to dessert. "You made that. I'll take care of it."
Sarah smiled. "Thanks, sweetie."
Once Sarah had settled onto the couch to relax, Chuck grabbed the phone, dialing a familiar number. When someone finally picked up, he said, "Yes, I'd like to order a pizza…" Upon hearing exactly how Chuck would be providing dinner for the family that night, Sarah laughed, shook her head slightly, and fell to her side, resting her head on a pillow.
After an early dinner of pizza and cookie cake, Chuck sat on top of the covers on his bed, leaning back against the headboard. He was dressed in a gray tee and flannel pajama pants, though the clock had not yet struck nine. Chuck Bartowski was waiting for his girls. Family Movie Night always took place in Chuck and Sarah's bedroom. Charlotte loved snuggling with her parents in their big bed, and their room, without a doubt, had the best television after Chuck had sprung for an oversized flat screen once the already-bored Sarah had been put on bed rest for the last three months of her pregnancy.
His wife joined him first, strutting into the room in tiny blue plaid sleep shorts and a matching blue tank top with a bowl of popcorn in her arms. Her long hair, still slightly damp from her shower, hung loose around her shoulders. Sarah swallowed her mouthful of popcorn before handing the bowl to Chuck and gently kissing his lips. She wordlessly walked around the bed, flopping down onto her side. Chuck leaned over and stole one more kiss.
Their daughter ran into the bedroom as the happy couple pulled out of their kiss. She was dressed in a purple Tangled nightgown from the Disney Store. A large picture of Rapunzel covered the front, while multi-colored flowers covered every inch of the back. Charlotte held the DVD in her right hand and carried her green Pascal plush, a gift from Uncle Morgan, in her left. Her feet were bare, her hair loose, with a toothy grin gracing her face. Chuck pressed a button on the remote in his hands, and the DVD player popped open.
"Stick it in, Charley," Chuck said.
Charlotte gingerly placed her favorite DVD into the player and slid the door shut. While the movie was loading, she hopped onto the foot of the bed and crawled up between her parents. She placed Pascal next to Chuck and sat facing Sarah. The little girl smiled.
"Are we going to do my hair first or yours?" she asked.
Sarah always let her daughter braid her hair when they watched Tangled. Her golden hair fell just below her breasts, so Charlotte would wrap it into the best braid she could before plopping down into Sarah's lap so her golden tresses could be braided, too. Sarah sat up, grabbed a couple hair ties from her bedside table, and tossed them to Charlotte.
"Mine," Sarah said. "And I expect cuddling afterwards."
"Of course, Mommy," Charlotte giggled.
Sarah straightened her back as Charlotte walked around behind her. Chuck started the movie as the little girl separated her mother's hair into three sections. Sarah, out of the corner of her eye, noticed Chuck staring at them.
"What?" Sarah asked.
"Nothing," he grinned as Charlotte began braiding. Chuck always missed the beginning of the movie because he loved watching his girls give each other Rapunzel-inspired hairdos. "I'm just smiling."
"This is the story of how I died…" Charlotte recited along with Flynn Rider, the movie's narrator.
"You know the words?" Sarah asked, attempting to turn her head to look at Charlotte.
"Don't move!" Charlotte ordered. "And duh, it's only, like, the best movie ever!" She quietly braided Sarah's hair for a few moments before saying, "Mommy, you look just like Rapunzel."
"Oh, well, I think you look like Rapunzel," Sarah said, thinking Charlotte would like that.
"That's not true," Charlotte said.
"Well, you look like me," Sarah said, turning her head to look back at her daughter again. "So if I look like Rapunzel, you do, too."
"But Rapunzel has light eyes. See?" Charlotte said, pointing to her nightgown. "You have light eyes, too, but I have Daddy's eyes."
"That's right," Sarah smiled. She had always loved that Charlotte had gotten Chuck's chocolate eyes. "You do."
Charlotte tied a purple band around the end of Sarah's long braid. "All done!" she declared. "What do you think, Daddy?"
"I think your mother looks beautiful," Chuck said. "You're a good hairdresser, Charley."
"Thanks," Charlotte smiled, satisfied with her work. She sat down on top of Sarah's crossed legs and said, "My turn!"
Sarah braided her daughter's hair as Charlotte sang along to Rapunzel's first song and Chuck snacked on popcorn. When she finished the braid, she wrapped her arms around Charlotte and leaned back against her pillows, taking her daughter with her. Charlotte settled into Sarah's arms, eyes widening when Flynn's first action sequence began.
"Guys," Flynn said to his partners-in-crime. "I want a castle."
"It's under the Buy More," Charlotte giggled.
Chuck and Sarah immediately shared a bewildered and amused look. Charlotte was no stranger to Castle, often spending her afternoons either there or upstairs in the Buy More after she finished school for the day. Her comment, however, was unexpected. They attempted to hide their snickers but failed miserably as both parents burst out laughing. Charlotte paused the movie, not happy about clearly being let out of the joke.
"What's so funny?" she asked.
"The castle is under the Buy More," Chuck repeated, mid-laughter. "That was really funny, Charlotte."
"Why is it funny if it's true?" she asked.
"We just didn't expect you to say something like that, sweetheart," Sarah said. "Our castle is nothing like Rapunzel's."
"Oh," Charlotte said. She shrugged. "Everything about this movie reminds me of you."
"It does?" Chuck asked.
"Why do you think I love it so much?" Charlotte asked.
"What exactly do you mean?" Sarah asked.
"All the characters remind me of my family," Charlotte said. "You guys are, like, exactly alike."
"We are?" Sarah asked.
"It's like an animated version of you and Daddy and all your friends," Charlotte nodded.
Chuck and Sarah glanced at the screen; the movie was paused on Flynn Rider running away from the palace guards and just narrowly avoiding their slew of arrows. They took a minute to ponder Charlotte's statement. Charlotte wiggled out of Sarah's embrace and clutched her Pascal plush, waiting patiently for the reality of her favorite movie to catch up to her parents. Chuck and Sarah shared another look. Chuck's face softened.
"I guess I could fancy myself as a Flynn Rider type," Chuck said, doing his best smolder impression. He began his Bartowski eyebrow dance, which, in conjunction with the goofy smolder face, elicited girlish giggles from his wife. He looked at Charlotte. "What do you think, Charley?"
Charlotte laughed and said, "No, Daddy! You're Rapunzel!"
Chuck's face instantly fell. "Oh," he said rather indignantly.
Sarah laughed and asked, "So…wait…does that make me Flynn?"
"That's right!" Charlotte squealed in delight.
Chuck frowned a little bit harder as Sarah, now thoroughly entertained, started laughing. Charlotte smiled, happy about finally getting to share her theory with her parents. Sarah looked at the paused action sequence on screen again, trying to think of herself as Flynn. Deciding that maybe wasn't so far off, she grinned.
"You know, Chuck," Sarah said. "You were right earlier. Maybe I judged this movie a little too soon."
"Oh really?" Chuck asked.
"Yes," Sarah said. "I think I love this movie."
"Oh, well, isn't that convenient?" Chuck mumbled.
"You don't agree?" she teased.
Chuck crossed his arms across his chest in a pout and said, "You know, Charlotte, I really think your mom is more Rapunzel than I am. You said yourself she looks just like her!" Sarah shot him a look, pinching her eyes together slightly. Chuck continued, "I mean, look, she's the one with the long blonde hair!"
"Rapunzel is a lot more than just her hair, Daddy," Charlotte said. Sarah smiled in satisfaction, while Chuck looked a bit taken aback by hearing such a comment come from his seven-year-old's mouth. "Being Rapunzel is a good thing. I promise. Besides, you have to be Rapunzel. It just doesn't work with Mommy."
"Why's that, sweetie?" Sarah asked.
"Because Rapunzel has the special magic hair, right?" Charlotte asked. "Daddy has the special magic brain!"
Chuck and Sarah had been forced to tell their young daughter about the Intersect two years earlier, after Charlotte had witnessed a flash and ran to Sarah in hysterical tears, thinking something terrible was happening to her father. They had given her a watered-down version of the tale, of course, but Charlotte was officially in on the secret.
"That's right," Sarah said. "He does."
"And they're both a secret!" Charlotte continued. "Rapunzel is told bad people will hurt her to steal her special powers, and you told me there are bad people who want Daddy's powers. That's why I can't tell anyone, and that's why we spent that one weekend camping out in Mommy's castle."
"Which is also a secret," Sarah chuckled nervously.
"I know," Charlotte said. "Plus, Daddy, you're always saying that Mommy saved you from the Buy More."
"What does that matter?" Chuck asked.
"Flynn saved Rapunzel from Gothel's tower," Charlotte said in a 'that's-so-obvious' tone of voice. "Mommy got you out of the Buy More, and Flynn got Rapunzel out of the tower."
"He saved me, too," Sarah smiled shyly, not wanting to get all the credit.
"That's what you always say, and that happens in Tangled, too, but that part of the story doesn't happen until after you guys fall in love," Charlotte said. She turned back to Chuck. "But that's why Mommy's Flynn, and you're Rapunzel."
Chuck, having finally accepted their roles, said, "Well, I guess your mother does have a bit of smolder to her."
Chuck winked at her, Sarah playfully threw a piece of popcorn at him, and the flirting went completely over Charlotte's head as she turned the movie back on. Just a few minutes later, Chuck interrupted again.
"Oh!" Chuck exclaimed and started wildly laughing again. "Oh my god!"
Sarah paused the movie again. "What?" she asked.
"If I'm Rapunzel, and you're Flynn, I'm pretty sure that makes Casey Maximus," Chuck laughed, pointing to the seething palace horse on the screen. Sarah smiled in realization.
"Oh yeah, I can see that," Sarah said immediately before she, too, started laughing.
"That's right, right?" Chuck asked Charlotte. She nodded.
"Maximus is so Uncle Casey!" she grinned.
"I'll give you ten bucks if you tell him that the next time you see him," Chuck offered. Chuck knew Casey would shoot him for even suggesting something like that, but Charlotte had had the NSA officer wrapped around her little finger since she was born.
Sarah, still laughing, said, "Now I think I really love this movie."
"Yay!" Charlotte exclaimed.
"Hey, what about Morgan?" Chuck asked. "Is he in it?"
Charlotte nodded and held up her Pascal plush. Chuck and Sarah laughed again.
"That's pretty cool, considering Morgan was the one to get you that," Sarah said.
"We'll need to tell him about this, too," Chuck said.
"Oh, he already knows," Charlotte said. "He got me Pascal because he knew that was his character!"
"You told Morgan about this before you told us?" Sarah asked, slightly offended.
"Not really," Charlotte clarified. "I told him when he asked why Tangled is my favorite movie, and then he got all excited and said he had known that for years, from the very first time he watched it with Aunt Alex when it came out. We talk about it all the time."
"You do?" Chuck asked, even more baffled by that than by the theory itself.
"Yeah, he was really excited that I saw it, too," Charlotte said. She laughed. "We can't believe you've never noticed it's the Disney version of you."
"You're just too smart for us, baby," Chuck sighed, shaking his head and holding his arms out.
Charlotte took the hint and launched herself into Chuck's arms, giving her dad a turn to snuggle with her. Sarah started the movie again. They made it about half an hour before the next big interruption. Rapunzel and Flynn had just stepped in to the Snuggly Duckling pub when Charlotte paused the movie again.
"You know who they are, right?" Charlotte asked, still wrapped in Chuck's arms.
"The thugs?" Sarah asked. "Who?"
"Jeffster!" Charlotte squealed.
Sarah closed her eyes and placed a hand over her mouth as she fell into another fit of giggles. Sarah got the joke that Chuck, who looked kind of confused, obviously missed. Chuck shifted Charlotte in his arms so he could look at her.
"What?" he asked.
"They seem creepy and scary, but Daddy, they just have dreams!" Charlotte said.
Sarah laughed harder while Chuck tried desperately to look disturbed instead of amused and said, "Okay, no more Buy More for you."
They made their way through the rest of the movie, pausing whenever Chuck or Sarah started laughing too hard to continue. Both were watching the film in a whole new light, realizing that Charlotte and Morgan were right about the uncanny similarities between their story and Rapunzel and Flynn's. Charlotte fell asleep in Sarah's arms before the movie ended, and Chuck turned to Sarah as the credits rolled.
"Leave her here tonight?" he whispered.
Sarah nodded. Family Movie Night often ended with Charlotte sleeping between her parents, cuddled up to one or the other. Chuck helped Sarah delicately maneuver mother and daughter underneath the covers, not wanting to wake their sleeping little girl in the process. Once they were settled, Chuck turned off the TV and the bedside lamp. A nightlight they always turned on when Charlotte was with them bathed the room in a soft glow, and Chuck crawled in bed next to them, wrapping his arm around his pillow.
"That was an eye-opening movie night," Chuck laughed, speaking in a hushed tone. "And you thought it would be boring."
"That was quite perceptive for a seven-year-old," Sarah agreed.
"Yeah," Chuck laughed. "What do you think?"
"Well, it all fits, doesn't it? Everything she said about you and Rapunzel is true," Sarah said. With a smile, she added, "Plus you're both charming and caring and…eager to please."
"Yeah, well, what about you and Flynn? Crafty, fond of going rogue, living under assumed identities…" Chuck said. His voice softened and he added, "Charismatic, sweet…way more normal than you care to admit."
"Plus Casey and Morgan and Jeffster…" Sarah said, chuckling slightly at that last one. "Flynn and Maximus are definitely Casey and I."
"Yeah?" Chuck grinned.
"Well, I never would've expected the man I physically fought with in the Wienerlicious and held at gunpoint on numerous occasions to be the same man to walk me down the aisle at my wedding," Sarah said. "They spent the entire movie teasing and beating each other up before becoming friends and allies."
"The movie definitely got one thing about us right," Chuck said.
"What's that?" Sarah asked.
Chuck affectionately curled his hand around Sarah's cheek, looking at the woman he had been happy with for over a decade now. "You were my dream," he said lovingly. "Both of you. This…you and our baby…you were my dream."
Sarah brought one of her hands up to tenderly caress his hand and arm. She kissed Charlotte's head, looked Chuck in the eye, smiled, and softly replied, "And you were mine."
I've seen lots of comments about Flynn Rider being just a suave Chuck (probably because Zachary Levi plays both characters so there are, of course, a few similarities there,) but basically, noooo…Chuck is Rapunzel, haha. Funnily enough, *everyone* immediately knows that Casey is Maximus! I'd be happy to further discuss this Chuck/Tangled obsession of mine if anyone should be so interested.
Also, as a bit of shameless promotion, if any of you are on Tumblr, I've added a link to my Tumblr page to my profile here. It's mostly filled with Chuck things, so check it out!
Thanks for reading! Let me know what you thought!