A/N: I said I wasn't going to, damn it! But here I am, doing it anyway. The epilogue to the Good Samaritan. You'll notice a change in perspective as well. Whereas in the normal chapters, I was more than content with exploring just Sarah, for the sake of this chapter actually working, I'm forced to switch. So yay for switching. Also, there are a few expletives throughout the chapter. Mostly because I do love a well placed expletive, but if this offends you in any way, shape or form, I am sorry.
Also, uh, yeah, this is kind of like the motherload of Charah chapters, at least ones I've written. So feast while you can people, and I hope that people who enjoy Charah, enjoy this chapter. Please take note of the dates, otherwise things just get confusing.
Disclaimer: Don't own Chuck. This is the actual last time I'll be able to say that. No more! I promise.
The Good Samaritan, Chapter 12
Tuesday, January 4th, 2005
The awkwardness that Sarah had suspected would come into play, hadn't actually materialized. When the inevitable panic set in after the goodbyes to the rest of his family, he had taken her request for him to not move in just yet with grace and found a hotel. They'd hung out every day and she'd taken him through the city, introduced him to Paul—who gave his silent approval when Chuck wasn't looking—and showed him her favorite restaurants.
It was terrifying.
The feelings of never really belonging anywhere settled over her like a blanket, her past consisting of nothing more than trekking from one place to another, never settling down anywhere. Roots were scary. Roots meant that people knew you. Roots meant that you had to let people in.
And she did let him in. Sort of. She shared quite a lot with him, but preferred to keep a few things close to the vest. She never spoke about her family, not wanting him to know what a major mess it was. The only relationship she still somewhat had was with her mother and she rarely spoke to her, except when she was feeling homesick. But she lived all the way in Los Angeles and Sarah, well, she was from DC. Of course Sam was from Los Angeles, but Sam had stopped existing. And there was the fact that Sarah hadn't so much as told Chuck she loved him yet. She probably did, but she wasn't sure. She had loved Matt, even told him so. But that one ended soon enough when she found him in bed with Jordana, her at the time somewhat close friend. So she was hesitant at best to make another leap like that.
And now here she was, in a relationship where she couldn't even pinpoint the moment it began and loving every minute of it. Which was probably the reason why she had figured that two dates were more than enough—besides, she counted the trip through DC with Ellie and Devon as one as well, which technically made it three—for her to smash him against the door to her apartment and being about three seconds away from simply letting him take her against it. Chuck, being the somewhat saner of the two, got her to see reason and she fumbled her keys in her haste.
They entered the apartment, still relatively clothed, but if it was up to Sarah, that wouldn't be the case much longer.
"Thanks for dinner," she mumbled as she slammed him against the other side of the door.
"Least I could do," he replied from the side of his mouth while she clawed at his jacket. He helped her speed the process along and before she knew it, she jumped and locked her ankles behind his back while he carried her to her bedroom, all the while alternating between laughing and kissing her to within an inch of her life.
Afterwards, they lay on bed, laughing and joking, things naturally progressing towards a second, slightly more sedate round. And as she fell asleep, her entire body wrapped around him, Sarah could think but one thing.
Yup, I'm definitely loving this.
Roark Industries, Washington
Monday, November 30th, 2004
"Sir," Lonny shouted as he sprinted through the hallways. "Sir!"
"What, what, what is it? What do you want? What does somebody want now?" Roark—Teddy to his friends, sneered.
"We've found him," the young ginger haired man gasped.
"You've found Stephen Bartowski?"
"Well... not quite sir... We've found his son."
"How can you still not have found him?"
"He's disappeared sir, but this is good news, right? Surely, he'd contact his own son."
Roark stroked his chin thoughtfully. "You know what Lonny? I just got a great idea. We can keep tabs on the son. Surely, Stephen would contact his own son, right?"
Lonny sighed. "You're right sir. That is brilliant."
"That's how I got in my position, kid. By being brilliant. Never forget that. Maybe you can be the next me."
Lonny simply nodded. Sure, Theodore Roark was a great boss to have. You didn't even have to give a reason for a leave of absence. He'd accept it anyway. But if you'd ever have a good idea, he would claim it as one of his own. Although the rise in salary you'd get for a good invention was pretty great as well. He'd heard of several people who could retire after three months with their increase in salary. "Sir, is the plan still the same?"
"Kid, I told you before. Just call me Teddy."
"I'd much prefer sir… sir."
"Whatever. I don't care either way. But yes, the plan is still the same. We find him and then we kill him."
"Sir, why exactly do you want to kill him?"
"Because," Roark sighed, his inflection reminiscent of a man instructing a child. "the man can ruin me if he so chooses. He's probably still got the original blueprints of almost everything that Roark Industries has ever produced. Therefore, if he comes forward, he can ruin the entire company. And as such, he has to die." He smiled a friendly smile, before adding, "Now, I have an idea as to how we might find our friend."
Wednesday, January 12th, 2005
"You are absolutely right," Chuck sighed.
"See, I told you," she replied with a triumphant smirk. Sarah sat on the couch, her feet lounging on the coffee table. Chuck lay splayed over the couch, his head finding a comfortable spot in her lap. They were watching what had to be the most God awful thing in the world. Daytime television.
"How did you ever suffer through this?"
"The CIA taught us relaxation techniques. It's like an out of body experience and time loses its meaning. I think it was founded in the Buddhist religion as a way to achieve nirvana. It's actually pretty cool."
"Whoa, that sounds amazing. Do you think you could teach me?" he asked, a hopeful look in his face.
She held his gaze while stroking his hair for a few seconds, before bursting out in laughter. "Oh, I'm sorry, but you should've seen your face. There actually is no such thing, Chuck. Most of the time I simply zone out."
He actually pouted and Sarah laughed before giving him a quick smooch. "Better now?"
"A little," he admitted.
She laughed again; a rich, heartfelt laugh, and she resumed stroking his hair, her fingers losing their way in the unkempt curls that she was so fond of. And that's when it hit Sarah, that strange feeling of bliss she had been feeling at the utter normalcy of her life. "I love you," she said, and her eyes widened. Okay, so she knew it to be a fact, but this was scarier than she had ever imagined anything being. Even when she had jumped out of a plane with a parachute that had a fifty/fifty chance of not deploying, it had seemed safer than this.
Chuck's reaction was somewhat what she expected, which caused her to curse her timing. He did a double take before launching up from her lap, his skull connecting with her chin. She yelped and cradled the affected area. The man had a remarkably firm head.
"Oh crap, I'm so sorry," he cried, his tone frantic. "Are you okay?"
"Mfine," she nodded.
"Good. Oh, and by the way." He cupped her face, gazing into her eyes. His piercing stare caused her to feel a wave of shyness blanketing over her, enveloping her and causing a small blush to color her cheeks. Still, her ears yearned to hear the words he was undoubtedly going to say. "I love you too."
Roark Industries, Washington
Friday, December 3rd, 2004
The murmurs vanished the moment that Theodore Roark strode through the giant chrome doors, flanked by two burly security guards. He walked up to the head of the table and sat himself behind the laptop that had been set up for him. "Ladies and gentleman, I thank you all for coming. It has come to our attention that this man…" A picture of Charles Irving Bartowski was displayed on the giant monitor behind Roark. "…Chuck Bartowski, is the son of one of my closest friends at university. Stephen Bartowski. Now, why is this important? Because Stephen Bartowski has to die."
He bellowed a laugh and several people chimed in, although it sounded rather forced. "Now, here's what's going to happen. We will rig one of our newer laptops with a two way webcam as well as a GPS and facial recognition features. Furthermore, we will install vocal recognition software. Then, we'll be hosting a massive event, we'll dub it the launch party for the Roark 6, and give young Chuck here a new free laptop. Then, whenever anyone that comes within fifty feet of the laptop utters the words Stephen, Bartowski, Dad or any other affiliated names, we will be notified immediately. It is absolutely vital that this is completed."
A woman in her mid-thirties, her auburn hair in a bun and wearing stylish glasses, raised her hand. "When exactly do you want this laptop to be ready?"
"Laptops, plural, my dear. We'll be handing them out to a 'select few', thus making sure that our friend here will never give it away. The only difference for Chuck here will be the 'extra' features that we will have added on there."
Teatro Goldoni, Washington D.C.
Wednesday, January 19th, 2005
"Oh God, that's amazing," he said while he munched on the fish, as she retracted her fork. "Here, try this." He skillfully twirled the pasta around his fork—she knew from firsthand experience how dexterous those fingers really were—before depositing them on his spoon. Sarah's taste-buds melted when they touched the rich tomato sauce and noodles and she let out a moan in appreciation. "And here I was, thinking that I was the only one able to entice that sound out of you," he chuckled. She glared at him, albeit with a smile, but the move lost its effect as her lips were covered in sauce. "Has anyone ever told you how cute you are when you've got sauce all over your face?" he asked.
Sarah shrugged, still retaining the small grin. "Pasta is messy. It's bound to happen."
He chuckled. "True, but not when you're in a fine dining establishment. Oh, and by the way, I'm paying tonight, I will have no argument with you on this. It's just not right for a woman to pay on a date."
"And from what source did you suddenly conjure up money? You're no longer the supervisor like you were in L.A., Chuck. You're just a herder now. I still have a cushy government job with a decent pay-rate. And besides, you know how you can make it up to me."
"Sarah, look. I love that you're so full of... vitality for a lack of a more appropriate term, but seriously..." He bent forward and whispered, "...we've been going at it like rabbits. Lord knows I'm not complaining, but we've barely used your bed for sleeping."
"Three times a week is hardly 'going at it like rabbits'," she said, when a particular part of his previous sentence strode to the forefront of her mind and wouldn't let go. Your bed. "Chuck, you're absolutely right."
"Huh, what? Didn't you just disagree with me? What am I right about?"
"Well, you said your bed. How would you feel about making it our bed? That way, whenever we do get there, it won't be about sex. Well, not every time."
"Sarah," he hissed. "Please keep it down when you use the s-word. And could we please switch to the term 'making love'? I feel like we've passed the stage of just sex quite a while ago. Also, I'd like to inform you that the amount of times we've made love is all up to you. Because really, you just have to snap your fingers and I'd climb the Himalayas for you, in my underpants and without any oxygen, just because you want some ice for your beverage, because that's how much I love you, and holy crap you just asked me to move in with you." He finally took a (long overdue) breath of air, his face having turned red somewhere around the time of talking about making love being up to her. Sarah's smile was beaming.
"That I did."
He nodded vigorously as Sarah fished for her keys and dropped them on the table in front of him. "We'll get doubles made tomorrow," she promised as she took another bite of her fish. Somehow, it tasted even better.
Roark Industries, Washington
Tuesday, December 14th, 2004
"Is everything ready people?" Roark asked as his staff was buzzing around the bowels of the building, making sure that everything was up to par. He wrung his hands in anticipation. In a few short hours, he would've had the spawn of one of his biggest rivals—could he really be called a rival if he was missing in action, Roark idly wondered—lo-jacked for all intents and purposes. And the moment that Stephen would get in touch with him would be the moment that Roark could finally release all the tension that had inhibited his shoulders ever since starting Roark Industries using the method of creating LCDs the way Stephen had thought it up. He would take care of his demon once and for all.
"Everything is set up, Mr. Roark," Lonny called back.
"Excellent my boy. You've done well."
"Thank you, Mr. Roark."
Lonny never had any true values or any patriotic feelings. Sure, he enjoyed living in America but for all he cared, it could've been Azerbaijan. But that changed when he met Roark and his vision on how America was supposed to have been shaped. The way the man spoke of the future, it was simply breathtaking. This was a man with a vision. So when he got the invitation to join Roark Industries, and his pet project FULCRUM, he didn't hesitate in accepting. He was ready and willing to do whatever it took to make sure that Roark would be at the top when the dust had settled. Did that make him a mindless drone? Perhaps. But he was more than happy to fulfill that role. He was even willing to die for the cause. If future generations of Americans could live under the leadership of Roark, who was he to deny them that opportunity? So killing someone? If it had to be done? Sure. He wouldn't lose any sleep over it. All that mattered was the future.
And he would make sure that Roark would attain it.
Chuck and Sarah's apartment, Washington D.C.
Friday, May 6th, 2005
"What do you mean, I shouldn't be so petty? The guy was undressing you with his eyes damn it. What do you want me to do? Stand idly by while you flirt with just about every guy that's ever had the good fortune to be born and who happens to walk through the streets of Washington?" he shouted.
"I'm saying you're being jealous and irrational! How dare you accuse me of flirting? If you weren't so petulant, you might've noticed that the only one I give a damn about is you!" she retorted.
"Really? So why won't you tell me where you were last week, huh? Were you bored with me, was that it? Did you figure that, 'oh, if Jill could fuck around behind his back, so can I?'"
"You have no right to compare me to that bitch! How dare you even suggest that we are the same. Have I earned so little trust from you?"
"Oh, I don't know, you tell me, Miss 'I used to be a spy, keeping secrets is my job'. You tell me whether you have earned that trust."
"I told you so much about everything, and I want one little secret all to myself, something that I have very good reason to keep to myself might I add, and that's suddenly proof I'm cheating on you? You know what, Chuck? Screw you, okay? And if you want to know, I was meeting with my dad. My lying, conning, two-bit crook that I call a father and whom I still love despite his shitty past and his miserable life. And you know what? When I was there, I couldn't stop talking about you. But if you want to go ahead and suggest that I'm fucking anything with a pulse behind your back, you go right ahead."
Chuck deflated and he sighed. "I... I've got to go."
"Fine," she huffed.
He grabbed his coat and headed to the door. "Don't wait up for me. I don't want to say something else which I might regret later so... I'm going to crash at a hotel or something. I'll see you tomorrow. And Sarah... I do love you... I really do. So... I..." He walked out of the door without finishing his sentence and the soft click the door made when it closed reverberated not only through the room, but through Sarah's entire being.
Roark Industries, Washington
Tuesday, December 14th, 2004
"Excellent work people, you all did great," Roark bellowed as the staff milled around cleaning up after the huge convention of nerds had stormed through. Lonny was sat behind a computer, his ears covered with a headset listening intently to proceedings of the laptop. He'd know when the damn thing would be turned on, turned off, just about everything. All he needed to do was wait.
A trace signal pinged on the map and Lonny noticed that it was at one of the hotels in the direct area. So far so good. The laptop was turned on and Lonny decided that it would be a good idea to check the webcam. After all, you couldn't be careful enough.
He gasped. "Sir!" he shouted. "Sir, Bartowski doesn't have the correct laptop!"
"What?" Roark shouted as he ran—it was more like waggled, but Lonny would never tell Roark that—over to the laptop. He saw the face of the Asian reporter, Leslie Chang, and his eye twitched. "Please tell me," he grunted. "that this is some kind of practical joke, or that Bartowski suddenly turned Asian and had a change of name while I was in the can."
"Then who is responsible for this?" he shouted. "I want answers damn it! And trust me on this, someone will pay for this."
"It was me, sir," the woman with the auburn hair, Lonny thought her name was Jessica, said.
Roark shook his head. "What an amazing waste of talent. Well, I guess there's nothing left for me but to fire you for your insolence."
Her eyes went wide. "Please sir, please don't. I have children to feed. It was a onetime mistake, I'm sorry!"
Roark stroked his chin. "If you can devise a way to get the correct laptop to our young friend in the next thirty seconds, I'll let you stay," he said, his tone friendly but his eyes glaring death and decay.
"We could... stage a robbery," she offered in a meek voice. "It's a given he'll want to avoid leaking that he lost one of the only Roark 6s that are currently around. So he'll probably inform you of the robbery and you can send him a new one, with the features installed again. We can just clear the data for the current setup out of the system so we won't receive any notifications for them. That way, we'll have eyes on the target."
"My dear... that's brilliant. I knew I hired you for a reason," he laughed. "You heard her people, let's get a move on. Get me John, Jeffrey and Dennis on the double!"
Dulles International Airport, Washington D.C.
Sunday, August 14th, 2005
"Please tell me," he begged for the tenth time since arriving at the airport.
"Nope," she replied with a dazzling smile. She knew he loved surprises and this was one hell of a surprise. He hadn't complained once about being away from his sister, even though she noticed how it was eating at him. So what better way to repay the man she loved by taking him on a trip to see someone who he was missing terribly? She couldn't think of one, so that's why they were stood at Dulles, having just put the bags on the carriage. She had taken the liberty of packing clothes for him, considering the fact she was keeping their destination a surprise.
They walked through the airport, Sarah scanning the different gates for the one that had their destination on it. Finally she found the one she was looking for and she sat down on one of the seats. She saw Chuck read the destination and his mouth dropped open. "You didn't," he whispered.
God, she loved surprising him.
"I did," she said with her biggest grin.
He strode to her and kneeled in front of her, grasping her hands. "Has anyone ever told you how truly amazing and wonderful you are?"
"No one that mattered, until now."
"Well, it bears repeating. You, Sarah Walker, are amazing. And wonderful. And I'm the luckiest guy in the world."
He sat down next to her, content with simply holding her hand and tracing small circles with his thumb and Sarah was almost positive that this was what heaven had to be like. She relaxed in his grasp and simply enjoyed being held by one of the few men that had exclusive rights to doing just that.
She could see the joy in Chuck's eyes as the boarding call went out and he rushed to find his seat, enthusiastically dragging her along. After all, he was going home.
Roark Industries, Washington
Tuesday, December 14th, 2004
"Slow down, slow down. Take a few deep breaths. Good. Now, I want you to tell me, in excruciating detail, what exactly happened and how you managed to almost murder the person you were supposed to simply rob of his possessions."
Roark listened to the answer on his phone, a vein in his forehead throbbing and being close to bursting. When the buzzing died down, he took a few deep breaths. "Let me get this straight. Dennis decided that he would go off script, stab the poor kid and then rob his possessions. Is that what happened?"
The man on the other line, Lonny thought his name was Jeffrey, a lanky guy with long blond hair, replied to the question. "Oh well, that's great that you were going to help him and bring him to a hospital. If you hadn't stabbed him, this wouldn't have happened in the first place!" he shouted, his voice loud enough to silence all of the people that had shown up in the little conference room. "I 'm not even going to bother bailing those two idiots out. They brought this on themselves. Good riddance, I say."
He listened for a couple of seconds, before barking, "I don't care. All I care about is that the laptop finds its way in that kid's hands and that we take out Stephen Bartowski. Losing a couple of men over this is a risk we'll have to take. For what it's worth Jeffrey, you've done well."
He slammed the phone shut and dragged a hand over his face.
Sunday, December 31st, 2006
"Can you believe we've been seeing each other for two years already?"
"Hmm, I can. Because as cheesy as it may sound, I've committed just about every moment I've had with you to memory."
"You're right," she laughed. "That was cheesy. But the good kind of cheese."
They were walking back from an early lunch and Sarah had looped her arm through his, resting her head on his shoulder as his arm had encircled her waist. An easy silence passed over them, and the sounds of the busy streets of Washington were drowned out, leaving them in a bubble of serenity.
Until he stumbled over the pavement and fell down. Sarah immediately bent over to help him. "Chuck, are you okay?" she asked. And then she gasped in shock. He had swiveled around and was kneeling in front of her, a small velvet box perched atop his hand, with a beautiful ring with a brilliant diamond sticking out of it.
"Sarah. A long time ago, I thought that this pavement here was where my life would end. And in a way, I suppose it did. But in its place, a new one began. One that I've gotten to share with the most amazing woman I'd ever have the good fortune of meeting. We've had our ups and we've had our downs, but above all, we've had each other. And I want to keep you, and cherish you and love you until the day that I die. Sarah Walker, will you marry me?"
What was he doing? Wasn't this too soon? Was two years long enough to consider marriage? She was too young to be married, right? Should she say no? But that would ruin their relationship. And if she had to be honest, the thought wasn't unappealing in the least. If anything, the moment she saw him kneel and her mind screamed at her what was happening, an instant flood of relief coursed through her. She was where she wanted to be, with the man she wanted to be with. Answering this was the easiest thing she'd ever get to do.
She steeled her nerves and blew out a sigh. "Yes."
"Yes, yes I'll marry you," she replied, one of the biggest grins of her life plastered on her face. Onlookers started applauding as Chuck smiled, and reverently pushed the ring on her waiting ring finger, before leaping up and kissing her to within an inch of her life. She wouldn't want to have it any other way.
Roark Industries, Washington D.C.
Friday, December 17th, 2004
"Mr. Roark, there's a phone call for you. A miss Walker, calling on behalf of Chuck Bartowski."
"Excellent," he crooned. He punched a button and the room went silent as the intercom piped up. "This is Ted Roark of Roark Industries speaking, how may I help you?"
"Ah... hi. Yeah, this is Sarah Walker. I'm calling because my... friend, Chuck, he was at your convention a few days ago."
"Ah yes, Chuck Bartowski if I recall correctly. He's certainly made an impression. May I ask why you're calling though?"
"He's had an... accident of sorts. He's been mugged and they stole your laptop. He's been freaking out about it happening ever since remembering it happened. And he wanted to... Chuck, I'm telling him right now... He wanted you to know how deeply sorry he is and that he had no intention of mistreating such a valuable piece and that he meant no disrespect and that he hopes that you can forgive him... happy now, Chuck?"
The entire room could hear the woman's eyes roll.
"How very unfortunate to hear, Miss Walker. However, let me assure you that we don't hold anything against Mr. Bartowski. In fact, if you could give us your address, we'd be more than happy to send a replacement."
After she had passed on the information, they said their goodbyes and she closed the line. Roark threw his hands in the air. "Oh yeah! That's how you do it!" he shouted. "Score 1 for Teddy, baby! Suck it!"
"Sir," Lonny said. "We don't even know if this is going to work.
"True," he replied. "But we're one step closer. And that has to count for something."
Chuck and Sarah's apartment, Echo Park, Los Angeles
Tuesday, September 18th, 2007
The trip they had taken had proved her undoing and after smoothing it over with her bosses, they had reached an agreement. Sarah was allowed to transfer to L.A. and work from there. And that was how they had found their way to the apartment across from the Bartowski residence.
Sarah ran back and forth between the two apartments, sorting out the last minute details for Chuck's birthday party. It was his first birthday party as an engaged man, and that meant that Ellie wouldn't have to host a 'Hi, have you met Chuck' type party. Sarah fondly remembered when they had shown up in front of Ellie's apartment jiggling the keys to the apartment across from them in the same hand that held her engagement ring. The squeal had caused them to spend the next five minutes apologizing to various neighbors for causing their dogs to go berserk.
Whenever they weren't in wedding-planning mode, they went around planning Chuck's birthday party. Sarah figured she'd get a head-start on the whole married thing and made it her life goal to simply make him happy. And since she knew how much he loved parties—or well, parties that didn't involve him getting set up with random women or ones that forced him to dance anyway—she figured that was the one thing she could certainly do.
"Chuck, remember, we're expected to be there around eight, as that's when the party will kick off. I'm going over now and I'll see you in an hour or so, okay?"
"Definitely," he replied. "I'm quickly going to check on my email. I'll see you there. Love you." He pulled her close for their parting kiss and Sarah almost lost herself in his ardent touch. She pushed him back and laughed.
"Down boy, we'll get to that tonight."
"Can't wait," he replied, shooting her a wink. "Best birthday ever." He retreated back into their study room as she turned around.
"Whoa," she heard as she walked out the door to go check up on the food. "Zork! I haven't played that in ages."
A/N2: If you enjoyed this story, do leave a review. Thank you very much for reading and I hope you enjoyed.