Author's Note: Okay. Here we go: This is the first story I've published, although technically it's the second I've written. I just got a little stuck on the first, and since this one is finished, I thought I'd throw it out there. I didn't know exactly when I would put this up (or even if I really would) because it's a big step for me to put anything out where people can actually read it. Then I saw that louzeyre put up the last chapter of Chuck versus the Do Over, and Frea O'Scanlin put up a new snippet of Romeo and Juliet but without teenagers or death and decided now was as good a time as any. If it doesn't go well, I can cheer myself up with those.
I wouldn't call this "fluff" because I don't think I can capture the feel-good vibe that calls for, but I hope I at least get across some semblance of a romance going on. I didn't have any inclination to write about their relationship, but I thought I'd go in the opposite direction with my second story. Ironically, this one was easier to write. So we'll see how well I did.
Summary: Chuck and Sarah meet in a D.C. bar a few days before his 26th birthday. Sparks fly and things heat up. They have a limited amount of time together, and they try to make the most of it. Although, being who they are, there are some bumps in the road.
Oh, yeah: Don't own Chuck, 'cause if I did, that whole Season 3 nonsense? Well, let's just say it wouldn't be burned into my mind forever in a file marked WTF? Just sayin'...
Chapter 1: Twenty-Four
September 15, 2007
Chuck Bartowski sighed and entered the half-filled bar, it was still early but it would become crowded soon enough. He didn't really want to be here; he wasn't a big drinker, nor was he really all that interested in talking to anyone. But, he was in Washington, D.C. and he was alone, so it wasn't like he could call up Morgan for a marathon session of Halo. When he had first found out that he was going to the capitol, he was excited. Chuck had never been there, and he was caught up in the idea of visiting the sites. The customer Chuck had helped the previous weekend was so impressed with the work in his L.A. home, he had asked Chuck to do the same to his D.C. place. Apparently he was some sort of big shot and he was heading out there that Wednesday, so he asked Chuck to come along and do the job then. Big Mike had almost had a coronary when Chuck brought up being away from the Buy More for practically a whole week. Who was going to do any actual work around the place? But then, the generous compensation that had been offered for Chuck's time seemed to be enough for his boss to send him home early to pack for his trip.
Chuck wasn't going to see any of that money, but the chance to see some of the nation's most famous landmarks made up for it. He thought he'd work fast and do the job on Thursday and Friday, then have Saturday and Sunday to do some sightseeing before heading back to Echo Park on Monday. However, here he was on Saturday evening and he had already been done with the job since Thursday afternoon. The costumer had greatly overestimated the scope of the job. He'd seen the sights in the interim: the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument; hell, he'd been over every inch of the National Mall and a few other places locals suggested. Now he was just bored out of his mind. So much so, that he'd finally had enough and decided to head out and wander about for a while, maybe something exciting would happen.
Knowing his luck, though, he thought that highly unlikely. The fact that his birthday was coming up in a few days didn't do anything to lift his spirits either. In fact, all it did was make him feel worse. He was about to turn 26 and he was still working as a Nerd Herder at a Buy More, not where he pictured himself at this point in his five year plan. Of course, that led him to reflect on why it was that he found himself so far off target. Damn you, Bryce. Damn you, Jill.
He walked over and took a seat at the bar, it was mostly empty. Everyone there was either in groups sitting at a table or at the opposite end from where Chuck was, playing on the two pool tables stationed there. He ordered a rum and Coke and started looking around the room, finally settling on the flat screen mounted on the wall just in front of him displaying some baseball game. Chuck had no idea what was going on, but it was something to do while he finished his drink.
20 minutes later, he heard a yell and a crash right behind him; he quickly swiveled around in his stool.
In front of him stood a beautiful blonde, wearing knee-high black boots, dark denim pants, a white top, and a black jacket. Her gaze fixed on a man sprawled out on the floor, there was a table skewed to the side and a broken stool on the ground. The woman's clearly irate voice exclaimed, "I warned youto leave me alone!" Chuck shifted his eyes between the two, waiting for his brain to catch up with what his eyes were telling him...
September 15, 2007
Sarah Walker was not in a good mood. The past couple of months had not been going her way. First, her supposed boyfriend and partner, disappears without a word. Then she gets benched pending a review of his little vanishing act. Now, she's told that the rumors were true: Bryce Larkin had gone rogue. As an agent, you were always told to trust no one, but he was her partner of two years, and significant other for a little under that. If there was anyone she could have trusted, surely it would have been him. How wrong she had been... now she was left holding the bag; and undue suspicion, in her opinion, had fallen on her. After faithful service to her country for the past seven years, Graham had the nerve to question her loyalty? That's what she got, she supposed, for being the perceived girlfriend of a traitor. Damn you, Bryce.
Now, here she sat, in some bar, at the beginning of her three day suspension just wanting to get as drunk as she possibly could, go back to her apartment and maybe not wake up for the remainder.
She had walked into the first bar she spotted after wondering around for an hour, and headed straight for a table near the bar, not paying attention to anyone else around her. Not the greatest move for a spy, granted, but she was pissed and not in the right frame of mind. The walk hadn't calmed her down any; it had just given her more time to think. Sarah Walker did not like to think; now she was more riled up than before. Half-way through her second drink, some drunken loser walked over to her table and sat down across from her.
"Heeey... bee-uti-ful, saw you sitin' by yerself aaand deci-ded to come keep you com-pa-ny," slurred out the drunken mess across from her.
Without looking up from her drink, Sarah responded, "Not interested. Leave."
"Aw... c'mon, you know you want thisss..." he protested, as his head started to lurch forward, seemingly of its own accord.
Sarah harshly responded, "You'd better get yourself as far away from me as you can."
She felt a hand grip her right wrist and heard, "Don't be a bitch... I'm jus' tryin' to talk t' you!"
That was it. Everything she had been holding in came roaring out. Normally, Sarah had a lot more self control than that, but today had worn it down bit by bit. In a flash, she grabbed the hand gripping her wrist with her left and twisted it until she heard a pop. A pain-filled yell came from across the table, and Sarah responded by standing and swiftly sending a kick to the side of the irritant's head. Moments later, he was on the floor, lost to the world. Sarah looked down at him, eyes full of anger, "I warned you to leave me alone!"
Sarah was so focused on the drunk on the floor and getting herself under control, she didn't notice a fist coming from in front of her. She looked up just in time to see it fly right past her right eye and a loud crunch reached her ear, followed by a muffled, "AH! MY NOSE!"
Her eyes widened, and she turned her head to see a brown mop of unruly hair attached to a tall man bouncing around next to her.
"Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!" Chuck was shaking his right hand in mid-air, while he semi-jumped around. "Holy crap, that hurt!" He said to no one in particular. He had seen that the guy on the ground apparently had a friend; and he was making a beeline for the blonde. He was behind her, and she hadn't noticed. Before he knew what he was doing, Chuck launched himself from the stool and, like something akin to an out of body experience, saw his right hand lift from his side and glide through the air making its way to the would be attacker's face. In a matter of a second, he saw and felt the impact, then nothing, then the pain that shot through his bloody knuckles.
Chuck looked at Sarah, now nursing his right hand with his left, "You know, they make it look so easy in the movies. They never tell you about the pain." Of course, it could've just been that Chuck wasn't a fighter. The only fights he had been in were in defense of Morgan back in school, and he'd never actually thrown a shot then. For the first time, he clearly saw her bright blue eyes staring straight back at him... and he remembered he didn't know how to talk to women. "Uh... I mean..."
Fortunately for Chuck, the manager of the bar came to his rescue. "So, who's going to pay for the damage?" He said as a bouncer came to join him.
Sarah looked around and spotted a couple of broken glasses, a broken stool, and the dumbfounded looks on the other bar patrons' faces. She pulled out a couple of bills, and handed them to the manager, "Here, this should cover it." Hopefully that should take care of any more questions, she thought.
Seeing $200 in his hand for no more than $50 worth of damage, he looked up and said, "Both of you, out."
"What? Call the cops! He broke my nose!" Came the still muffled cries of the man Chuck punched. "She knocked my friend unconscious! We want to press charges!"
"Go." As Chuck and Sarah turned to go, they heard the manager speak to his security guard, "Please escort these two out, and make sure they understand it's in everyone's best interests that the cops not get involved." Sarah smiled; she really did not need any more headaches to deal with.
Author's Note: I tried to catch any mistakes, sorry if some got through. This chapter got away from me. So Part II, coming up. Hopefully, it'll be worth a read. My spacing got all messed up. This manager thing doesn't want to cooperate.