Chuck vs Guns, On The Run and Big Blast-y Explosions.
Summary: When a mission goes pair-shape, Sarah Walker requires the assistance of a lanky curly haired nerd to help her put as much distance between her and Echo Park as quickly as possible. If only things were ever that simple.
A/N: Hi, my first official Chuck fanfic after months of perusing this site, I hope I do the show justice. I' m so happy Chuck got renewed for a 5th season - SAY IT WITH ME NOW: ! and thats thanks to the hard work and dedication of some of the most hardcore and awesome fans in the world, so thank you.
All my mistakes are my own, I apologise also for any blunders, or general discrepancies.
I hope you like my story
Disclaimer: Don't Own Chuck - Bummer.
24th September 2007
MADISON MERCY HOSPITAL CAR PARK
The needle tilted as she examined it critically.
It certainly looked lethal enough, she reflected, imposing, even without the presence of the swirling, ominous, green liquid contained inside.
Slanting the point, so it would better enter the skin, it caught the glare of the ubiquitous hospital strobe light overhead, stilling the hand administrating the lethal dose of adrenalin for a moment. The moment passed quickly. A hasty breathe to salvage what was left of her composure and loosening the tension in the muscles of her hand, she tried to remind herself of the ruthless deeds the man lying unconscious next to her had committed. Had carried out on his behalf under his hellish reign as a deadly upper-level fulcrum operative. Had overseen with a remorseless eye.
The needle broke the skin, the plunger depressed, one last swirl of green and the monitor flat-lined. She turned it off, the cold click echoing.
Her eyes never once strayed away from his sleep-slackened face of Tommy Delgado hurt in an ambush planned by the C.I.A.
Another one burned into her conscious.
After a scarily long moment of self-contempt rooted her to the spot, air finally filled her lungs and she was free to move. After all she had just saved countless lives, Congratulation, she thought drily. A cursory glance over her surroundings confirmed nothing out of place. Administrating the final touch ups, she gave a self-satisfactory nod and advanced to the exit. Fingertips brushing against the metal handle, she paused, smoothed down her nurses uniform, specially acquired for the mission and pulled the door open. Quickly she adopted a haughty air that discouraged eye contact from the passing nurses and swiftly headed in the direction of the nearest egress point.
She needed to get this moment off of her.
Of course she noticed right away the thuggish figures that broke away from the shadows immediately upon exiting the room. Her issues would just have to wait for a later date. Figures.
She picked up the pace as she headed down the East Wing, a hand slowly dropped to her thigh.
24th September 2007
MADISON MERCY HOSPITAL
Slamming the door of the nerdherder with a swift boot of his foot, Chuck maneuvered deftly around the lineup of parked cars with practiced ease and immediately made a beeline towards the side entrance of Madison Mercy Hospital. The fluorescent green sign, complete with the running stick man, flickered overhead with its usual thrum.
Arms bursting with an assortment of food and a shopping bag swinging from his clamped teeth, Chuck Bartowski's long legs ate up the distance towards the nurse's station quickly. He hefted an arm, as he glided down the east wing, and glanced down at his watch. Five minutes late. He muffled a curse. Though realistically it wasn't like he could help the fact that there was a long line at Lou's. Still a nice dagger of guilt slid into back and settled into his gut. Damn
It was a long established tradition from way back in Ellie and Devon's intense intern years that had transcended into there no less hectic resident years that Chuck would come like geek in shining armour, after his shift at the Buymore, bearing food and his sparkling personality to feed them during a mean double shift that had left them all but swaying on their feet. Hospital food was gross. And he would rather not subject his sister and future brother in law to that, unless he had to.
Feet, familiarized with the layout of the hospital having passed through so many times, treaded down the last stretch of corridor when the nurse's station thankfully came into view. He recognized Ellie instantly. Her long lithe frame hunched and obscured by curtains of brown hair was a dead giveaway. Slumped agaisnt the wall Chuck could, even from a distant, discern the tension knotting his sisters shoulders and the weariness wearing away the edges of her being. He picked up the pace, the shopping bag swinging madly from between his teeth.
Like a bloodhound, much to Chuck's amusement, Ellie perked up, spotting him through the clumps of slow-moving sick people easily. Her eyes immediately lost its glazed quality.
"—Baby brother" She surged to her feet, grinning a little madly. From hunger, Chuck concluded. "I thought you weren't coming!"
And she ran to envelope him in what he first suspected to be a hug, but at the last second she angled away and snatched the plastic bag from between his teeth with a sudden possessiveness that creeped him out.
He choked back a laugh.
"Ellie, sorry – there was line a Lou's..." He trailed off and watched with mild fascination as she began to tear into the packaging, half listening to his apology.
"I had all but given up hope" she briefly rested the back of her hand agaisnt her forehead to complete the illusion of damsel in distress, pitching her voice more higher and womanly, before returning back to her unwrapping with a renewed vengeance.
Chuck rolled his eyes good-naturedly in response.
She finally succeeded in tearing of the packaging and her eyes when cross-eyed with delight "Oooh the Chuck —mmm— how is Lou theses days" the last part she said innocently around a mouthful of sandwich, eyes sparkling with a newly acquired playfulness.
Chuck inwardly groaned. Honestly not even ten seconds in.
"Oh erm...she's err—" Chuck's eyes darted around the busy hospital desperately soughing out a new subject.
The truth was, he liked Lou a lot, she was a sweet, charismatic deli owner with a talent for the art of sandwich making and a glaringly obvious soft spot for the gangly nerd. But it was just that the wounds were still so fresh even after five years, and he couldn't bring himself to step into another relationship, serious or not. But he would rather cook himself on a spit and serve himself to a horde of cannibals then ever admit that to Ellie, especially after the quote – progress - unquote he had been making with the mess that was his life.
He wouldn't be responsible for extinguishing that little flickering flame of hope burgeoning inside her
"—Where's Devon" Chuck managed finally, switching subjects with the subtly of a sledgehammer.
Ellie rolled her eyes at her brother's laughable attempt of deflection, but didn't comment because her cheeks currently resembled a squirrel. She instead waved her free not-sandwich-holding hand in the general direction of the hospital but on cue the door to the on-call room opened and Devon exited. His patrician features abruptly split into a lustrous grin when he caught sight of Chuck, or more specifically, when he caught sight of the food.
"Bro, finally! –" He tackled Chuck into a friendly bear hug, relieving him of the sizzling shrimp takeout. "Me and El have been dying here"
"Good thing your in a hospital then" one of Chuck's shoulders jerked. A smirk quirking into the beginnings of a famous Bartowski grin that had been slaying women for generations. "Speaking of hospitals, save any lives today?"
And Devon launched in an enthusiastic spiel about staring death into the eyeball only a few short hours ago.
24th September 2007
MADISON MERCY HOSPITAL CAR PARK
Forgetting to feel creeped out when he re-entered the deserted multi-storey car park less then an hour later, Chuck fumbled for his car keys one handed, leftover shrimp tucked under his arm and the sandwich bag once again swinging from between his clamped teeth.
Impromptu lunch in the hospital corridor had been fun and he had listened with rapt attention as Devon regaled him with the tale of how he had saved some John Does life with some quick thinking and electric paddles. Ellie had watched, amused by the lively retelling and had interjected in between mouthfuls of sandwich to give her two cents worth and also to not so subtly introduce Chuck to a few passing nurses. Their lunch however was short-lived, as Devon was cut of mid-stream by a persistent beep, snapping everyone's attention to his waist. Hurriedly swallowing their bites, the two doctors traded troubled glances, fired a quick apology at Chuck with promises to finish up at home and had taken off down the corridor every bit as dramatic as the doctors on TV. With a proud smile, Chuck had begun to pack away the food, his mind already on home where he would catch up on sleep and play a couple of games of Call of Duty with Morgan.
As he sidled up to his car, he piled the cartons of food on top of the nerdherder roof; head bobbing in time to a tune that had sprung to the forefront of his mind as his fingers zipped up and down pant pockets. Where on earth had he put his ke—Actively patting him self down for his keys now, they weren't in his back pocket nor the front, a glint from his breast pocket redirected his fingers, two things happened at once
The car park exploded with noise.
He dropped his keys.
Torn between reaching out to grab his keys and to instinctively duck at the loud sound that had all but destroyed his eardrums, Chuck compromised and dropped to all fours. He regretted it almost instantly as his kneecaps exploded in pain and threw him forward with a yelp. He crumpled to the floor with a strangled groan. Breathing raggedly he rolled heavily onto his back and tried to keep his whimpers to a minimum.
He prayed no one had just witnessed that.
Jarred by the concrete, Chuck blinked back the haze forming in front of his eyes. God, what the hell had just happened? And how pathetic did he look lying spread-eagled between two parked cars, whimpering like a baby and a hand steadying his cantering heartbeat.
The answer was very, but whimpers were the mark of a real man, he reminded himself as he recalled Ellie's sisterly words from childhood.
Out of the corner of his eyes he registered movement. It successfully derailed his train of self-deprecating thought as he shifted his weight to his side. Thanks to the feeble lighting the car park provided, he had to squint in order to see the pair of heels through the slit underneath the car. A wince shook his gangly frame. So much for no witnesses. And from the thin ankles attached it was a woman.
Life, he mused darkly, was cruel. At least the sizzling shrimp was safe. That was a silver lining at least.
Unable to find a suitable excuse that would allow him to remain on the floor with his dignity attached, he decided there was no point in delaying the obvious. He had a questionable track record with women at best and there was no reason why this would be any different. Keys fisted, pride swallowed, Chuck gingerly levered himself to his feet. He didn't meet the woman's eyes right away, preferring to brush away at the dirt on his clothes before he outright humiliated himself. When it was too cowardly not to, he automatically wished he hadn't.
His throat constricted and his capability for higher thought ground to a screeching halt.
She was the devastatingly beautiful type, with too blue eyes that locked onto him the instant he had straightened up with such intensity, a shiver shot down his spine. Her hair, tied up and movie windswept beautiful, flew around her shoulders, the sunniest shade of blonde he had ever seen that it almost hurt his eyes to look. She also did great things to the nurse's uniform she currently wore, the soft white material hugging every curve. And hands so dainty that the monstrourous gun currently pointing at his chest looked almost comical in her hands.
He was cut off by a second great echoing bang as the door to the hospital entrance all but flew of it hinges. Doubled over, as the sound tore through his ears, rattled his bones, Chuck cursed the blasted architect who designed such a ridiculously echo-y car park that carried the slightest elevated noise with the impact of a freight train.
Eyes squeezed shut, he jerked up from between his hiding place and slit one open. A thick stream of six thuggish men with no necks and no nonsense expressions twisting their brutish faces, poured into the car park with – oh god were they guns! Chuck lurched forward, hands slamming down on the hood of the neighboring Subaru, his mouth ready to yell a warning, what – he had no earthly clue, at the woman.
But she was already in motion.
A flash of something silvery leapt from her hand and she fell one hulking giant in his tracks. Chuck watched in awe as she twisted around in absurdly slow motion, her arm snapping twice and another two thugs dropped to ground twitching. Morbid fascination was the only thing between him and running away screaming like a little girl.
She hardly moved in her rather cavalier effort to take down the men, just a barely perceptible twitch of the hand, blink and you miss it, and another silvery blur, knives Chuck realized with a gulp, blossomed in the chest of another unlucky thug who had rather foolishly attempted to wrangle her in a headlock. He dropped to his knees with an awful groan, the hilt glittering dangerously in his chest and prompting his shirtfront to darken. A swift kick to the head put an end to that terrible sound.
Chuck mentally ticked four men off in his head.
In his mind the whole ordeal had lasted only several seconds at most, she had moved so impossibly fast, but in reality it had given the last two remaining thugs time enough to pin the strange woman on either side, their guns aloft and trained on her head and chest respectively. Chuck quit breathing.
What the hell was going on?
Attention anchored on the beautiful woman, Chuck noted the great deep sucking breaths of air she took that caused her chest to rise and fall in a steady rhythm as she merely stood glancing to and fro from one man to another. She was too calm, how? He mentally demanded, as if she was assessing her chances of survival if she was to fly into motion right then and there.
Knife flinging here X and here X.
One hulking giant seemed to be thinking on the same lines as Chuck as his beady gaze swept over his fallen companions and then fastened maliciously on her.
Chuck's insides turned to ice.
"Don't even think about it dye-job" smugness gnarled one edge of the thug's mouth. The hammers drew back on their guns in tandem with an ominous click. "You made a big mistake offing Delg– "
What side of the bed had he got up on? Chuck had no clue, but the next thing he knew his hands seized the carton that contained the sizzling shrimp and uttered a quick lament for his favorite oriental cuisine. Not knowing much about the situation but knowing that he couldn't let the beautiful kick-ass woman die in a hail of gunfire, he hurled the food in the air.
Shrimp rained down in a way Chuck had once dreamed about, even making comical THAWP-ing sounds on the concrete.
It was all the distraction she needed. In the instant the shrimps had made their presence known, the thugs' gun's instinctively snapped to the source, turning Chuck's extremities to goo – he had definitely not thought his plan through – and both her arms whipped out on either side.
Guttural moans, then the sickening thuds of flesh on concrete –
"...I'm a natural blond actually" the words were bit off and too overtly casual for the situation.
Then ringing silence.
For a moment, Chuck merely stared in to space, his legs splayed out on the cold concrete in front of him. But then his eyes traveled upwards, chin rising and his eyes widened with comprehension. Yep that was definitely coming out of his Buy More salary.
Two bullet holes, several inches apart had penetrated the door of the nerdherder where he had stood only seconds ago, puckering the metal like soft cheese.
Now was not the time to freak out. But his body rarely listened to him these days it seemed.
His blood ran cold. All the air in his lungs left in one great whoosh and a jumble of words fought to claw their way out of his throat. Miniature packets of horror and confusion exploded in his chest. What the hell had he just walked into?
Before he could ponder that, a shadow fell across his crumpled trousers and his heart rate shot up. Gingerly he inclined his head and automatically cut to the gun gripped in her hands.
The moisture rapidly vacated his mouth.
Forcefully he hauled his gaze to her face in a vain attempt to distract himself and again wished he hadn't. Once he got over the initial brain shut down, she looked even better close up, he offered up a weak smile. As always he said the first thing that sprung to mind.
"Hi, I'm Chuck"
Then he promptly hurled up his breakfast.
She recoiled away in disgust, her gun slackening for a split second before snapping back up, shuttering her surprise. Chuck didn't blame her and coughed a couple of moments later, a grimace sweeping his face. He felt as though his lungs were on fire and every breath he took raked up and down his throat like sandpaper. He regretted consuming such a big breakfast this morning, but living with his sister did have its perks and her pancakes were the stuff of legend.
In the periphery of his vision he watched the woman tense up like a ripcord, her unease thickening the air around them. It was strange she hadn't even batted an eye over slaughtering half a dozen men like walking targets, but encountering him seemed to stop her in her tracks. He coughed one more time and thumped his chest.
"This is were you introduce yourself" he stated in a matter of factly tone that was somewhat marred by the rust of his words. "...Sans gun?" he added hopefully.
She didn't move, if she had heard what he had said she showed no indication of it, her expression remained unreadable.
With one hand lifted into the air to convey his submission, he heaved himself heavily into poor imitation of a standing despite the leaden quality of his legs. The vice like grip squeezing his intestines tightened further still when he noticed her gun tracked his movements doggedly.
His mind reeled over the countless possibilities; nightmare, hallucination, he had been playing an awful lot of call of duty lately maybe his overactive imagination had taken over—
His fingers brushed against his car door, something biting into the tips and as the cold dread of realization doused him, he snapped away with a short scream. A look of horror screwed his features up before he caught sight of the woman staring at him strangely and he covered it up quickly.
A new layer of sweat that had nothing to do with the suddenly sweltering heat – and everything to do with the strange woman and her big gun –sprang unwelcoming and greasy on his forehead and the base of his neck.
And like a dam breaking, so did the words that had been steadily queuing against his teeth.
"—Sorry the bullet holes, they—erm... they caught me off guard" his nervous laugh increased "Big Mike probably won't be too happy about that, he's a stickler for – should I stop speaking, I'm not sure how to act in a hostage situation you see, if this is actually a hostage situation – is it? I mean a hostage situation because you just murdered those guys and you probably need me to negotiate your freedo – or is it a car-jacking because I' m pretty sure from my extensive viewing of the classics your meant to say a wisecrack of some sort and – I'm sorry am not normally this talkative – well I' am but only when am nervous..."
And he gave her gun a pointed stare.
She blinked and stared at him hard for a long time. He shook of the feeling that he was being x-rayed and instead focused his efforts on deciphering the swirling emotion in her icy bright blue eyes as his mouth opened to spew more incoherent babble when—
Chuck froze at the singular word, and waited for her to elaborate, when no words were forthcoming, he prompted "No-o" echoing the syllable and drawing it out with a mixture of uncertainty and nervousness.
"No" she repeated evenly then she grew conflicted for a brief second "It's more like I need a lift situation"
"A-a lift" Chuck suddenly whirled, a hand fumbling for something. The gun, which had relaxed slightly, wrenched back up at the unexpected movement. The big uncertain grin he wore faltered but didn't fall and he continued on determinedly "That I can help with – a lift, yeah of course"
She couldn't be sure but she thought he added 'anything for the lady currently pointing the gun at me' under his breath. She snorted quietly.
Chuck hurriedly inserted the keys into the herder, and pulled open the passenger door. "Ladies first" he added the charming grin out of instinct.
Her eyebrow rose at his outdated display of chivalry. The cold mask that had instinctively hardened her features waned a little.
Gun still aloft, the woman took a cautious step forward and still aiming with a deadly accuracy that made Chuck certain this was definitely not the first time she had handled a gun, slid into the passenger seat.
Peering over to see if her legs were tucked in, Chuck shut the door and raced over to his side. His own door clicked open a second later and his genial face materialized, his long six-foot frame stooped and one arm draped casually over the car door and the other on nerdherder roof.
"Um—I'm sorry I didn't catch your name"
The woman's face blanched.
"We don't have time for names" She delivered in exasperation. And surprised Chuck by lurching forward and snatching the material of his shirt that had drifted forward and pulled him down and into the car. "—We need to get out of here now, there could be more"
She didn't have to say who.
He crashed into his car seat in a tangle of limbs, his face briefly registering the pain as a strangled noise escaped his lips and she cringed regretfully, but there was no time to lose.
When he finally righted himself, his face more noticeably flushed he stabbed the key in ignition and twisted wordlessly.
They peeled out of the parking spot with the squeal of tires, the car lurching into action clumsily. He doubted the pill coloured car had ever surpassed thirty-three miles on the road, even in a nerd herd emergency.
But the nice lady with the gun needed a lift and how could he deny her that, especially if it meant he could put as much distance between him and the mound of dea-Oh god dead bodies in the car park.
Chuck winced when the remains of his lunch slopped on to the windscreen, his half eaten Chuck sandwich from Lou's decorating the glass with its delectable innards. He manfully covered up the whimper and instead crushed the gas pedal, speeding away as fast as he dared.
The daylight was a welcome relief from the perpetual gloom of the car park as Chuck skidded out of the entrance– was it really only 4:32 – alleviating the fear that had settled like lead in his stomach slightly.
The source of most of that fear was sitting remarkably still in the passenger seat, her gun idling misleadingly on her lap, the muzzle aimed at him, ready to be fired at a moments notice. She hadn't spoken since she had bundled Chuck into the car with unsurprising strength– he had just watched her literally cut down six thugs only minutes before after all. Had it finally caught up to her? Was she reeling from what had just happened, Chuck certainly was, was it finally hitting her how close to death she had come or the implications of what she had done settled on her like a thick suffocating blanket, because it was definitely hitting him, definitely suffocating him. He was instrument in the death of two men, sure it had been to save the woman currently doing her best to imitate a statue besides him, and they were shooting to kill, but it still gnawed at his conscious, still tortured his mind by playing Ellie's reaction again and again.
His knuckles whitened on the steering wheel and he took measured gulps of air.
It didn't help that his throat still felt raw from before and the new bile rising in his throat threatened to inch up further with each additional horrific thought that entered his mind, such as the fact he was sharing a car with a mass murderer. Or that technically he was an accesor—
"Turn left down here" She ordered suddenly cutting through his frantically forming thoughts, her jaw firming in tandem with her stiffening spine. Her icy blue eyes cut back and forth along the street, her body coiled tight like spring.
The car gave an answering screech as knives blurring in and out of focus flickered beneath the lids of his eyes like a film projector.
He drove flat out for twenty very intense minutes, the nerves vibrating through his limbs and translating into his driving. If this bothered her she didn't give voice to any opinions, she only spoke when he needed to make the next exit or the next right. Her mouth was otherwise pressed into a thin stubborn line.
Chuck was talkative by nature, the insatiable desire to engage in lively conversation with everyone and anyone from the weather to which sandwich would accompany them to a desert island was becoming more and more increasingly difficult to resist with each passing second. He had to repeatedly remind himself however he was in the presence of a deadly hot killer who put ninja assassins to shame. Even though the desire to talk about what had just occurred moments ago, for her to explain, to fill in the blanks burned in him like an actual physical injury.
He would just have to wait her out. Unfortunately for him she seemed like the silent type.
He cleared traffic easily, and took the next exit when she gave a slight nod of her head to his unanswered question. They were heading out of the city. Chuck was unsure how he felt about that but happily complied if it meant he could help this woman out. She didn't seem like the bad type even though she had put on quite a deadly knife show before. Those guys had started it after all.
He wondered how he had gone from delivering lunch to delivering mute assassins in less then an hour. What would the repercussions be? How would he even begin to explain to Big Mike about the bullet holes now decorating the side of his car, much less the herder's extra-curricula drive to the desert? Who the hell would believe him when he had finally managed to string the words together? What would Ellie say? What would Morgan say? What did this woman do him after he'd dropped her off? What if those bullets had actually hit hi—
He shook loose the negative thoughts clouding his brain.
And pushed all trivial thoughts of work, home, Ellie's reaction when she didn't find him lounging on the couch playing call of duty and all others items related to his monotonous life down and tried to focus on the bigger picture. He needed to keep his head in the game.
She was relying on him.
Which brought him to the 'she' in question.
He caught her several times sneaking glances at the rear view mirror and it was only after the third time when the realization struck. She was watching for tails. He suddenly became very conscious of how big and hulking the men, now a not so distant memory, were in the car park and picked up speed.
Sometimes, he thought, he took the nice guy act a little to far.
The silence began to build like a tangible thing in the too small space of the car, until it became unbearable. And as a result his mind began to drift, unable to help himself now that he was confronted with nothing else to occupy his mind other then driving and sneaking glances at the prettiest women who had ever been the nerd mobile. Questions that had been steadily pounding at the wall Chuck had temporarily constructed to relegate all of the burning questions which had sprung up from the moment he had laid eyes on the woman next to him, broke free and began to swirl and rush to the forefront of his mind with no sign of fading or falling away until answered.
Who the hell was this woman? What the hell had she done to piss those guys off so badly? Why was she carrying a gun? Why was she wearing a nurse's outfit? Where did she learn to throw a knife like that?
Was she a good gu—
"My names Sarah" the answer came so unexpectedly Chuck almost crashed the nerdherder into the car ahead. Her expression took on an apologetic glint. "Sarah Walker"
Chuck took his eyes off the road.
"—And I work for the C.I.A"
"Oh" was all he managed.
What the hell had he walked himself into?
A/N: Hope you liked the first chapter enough to feel free and drop me a review - hint, hint.
See you soon.