Chuck vrs The Unknown

Chuck n' Sarah

Chapter 1 - 4 seconds that changed one man's life

Chuck's life literally flashed before his eyes as he watched the bomb's timer count down. In the distance he heard Sarah trying to convince him to leave the warehouse but when he focused on her face again he knew he couldn't do it even if she did have her gun pointed in his face. He had no idea where his courage was coming from, he just knew that he couldn't leave Sarah on her own with the bomb.

Sarah knew that any attempt to have a relationship with her asset was against CIA protocol. She'd promised herself over and over again that she wouldn't let her guard down or allow herself to have feelings again for someone she worked with. Love and relationships had never been her strong suit. Her whole life had been one of broken relationships; first with her mother then her father and finally with Bryce but being assigned as Chuck's handler had changed everything. He'd shown her what it was like to have a normal life with people who cared about you. His affectionate caring ways had broken through her barriers and she needed to know if what she felt for him was real. She needed to feel him for the very last time even it was the first time then she could die happy.

Chuck took one last look at his future or rather at the woman he'd hoped would be his future then drew his last breathe, closed his eyes and prepared to meet his maker.

Sarah leaned in and placed her lips on Chuck's infusing all the passion that she felt for him into the kiss.

Surprised, Chuck's eyes flew open. He didn't have time to think about what was happening and eagerly returned Sarah's kiss.

Sarah placed her left hand around his head and pulled him closer refusing to give in to the doubts that immediately surfaced telling her that this wasn't a good idea. She didn't care. If she was going to die then she wanted to at least know what it was like to kiss Chuck.

Chuck placed his left arm around her back and brought her closer, he too needed to feel her all of her. They kissed passionately holding each other close then Chuck swooped in for one last taste of Sarah's lips.

Sarah grabbed his shirt collar and returned his kiss with fervour then quickly as the kiss started it ended.

Chuck's lips lingered on Sarah's as she released her grip on his shirt trying to wrap his mind around what had just happened.

Sarah stepped back shocked and confused as to why the bomb hadn't exploded then came the realization that she would have to explain to Chuck why she'd kissed him.

Chuck looked at the bomb then at Sarah more confused than ever despite that he didn't regret what had just happened between them.

The silence in the warehouse turned into chaos as an army of soldiers rushed into the room followed closely by Casey. Sarah and Chuck looked at each other not sure how to react then the moment was over.

Casey stopped in front of them. "Walker, Bartowski you guys okay?"

Sarah looked up at Casey, paused then gave Chuck a look of apology. "Yeah, we're fine."

"We're good," Chuck said trying to act casual.

"Man, you're lucky," Casey said, oblivious to the undercurrent between Chuck and Sarah. "You guys and bombs seem to becoming a common theme but it looks like nothing can come between you."

"Thanks Casey." Sarah glanced at Chuck, swallowed hard then before he could say anything she headed toward the exit and left the warehouse.

Chuck just stood there staring after Sarah trying to wrap his mind around what had just happened.

Casey finished gathering Intel from the army personnel then drove Chuck back to Castle.

Castle, Burbank

Sarah, Casey and Chuck stood in front of the screen for the debrief with General Beckman. Sarah had just wrapped up her report and wondered how much Chuck would tell the General about what had happened in the warehouse.

Chuck's palms started to sweat and he wiped them on his pants. He gave the General his version of the events that led up to the discovery of the bomb in the warehouse.

"What what happened when you couldn't defuse the bomb?" General Beckman inquired.

Chuck looked at Sarah then back at Beckman. He knew he was purposely wasting time and fumbled on his words.

"Well Chuck?"

"After the timer started counting down and I couldn't defuse the bomb, Sarah, I mean ..." Chuck took one last look at Sarah. She had the same lost lonely sorry look he'd seen in the warehouse and his heart melted. "Agent Walker shielded me from the bomb when she thought it was going to explode. She was just doing her job and protecting the intersect." He closed his eyes hating that he'd directly lied to his boss.

'She was doing her job' burned through Sarah's heart like lemon juice on a cut. She knew that Chuck wouldn't tell Beckman the truth because he didn't want her to lose her job. If what really happened at the warehouse ever came out they both would lose more than what that one kiss had ignited between them.

"All right team, very well then. Until we have more Intel you're dismissed. Report back to Castle at 08:00 hours. Hopefully by then we'll have more to report and you can start your mission from there. Good night team!"

"Good night General," all three chided.

Casey grabbed Chuck's shoulder. "Okay moron, are you ready to go or do you want Walker to drive you home?"

Chuck looked at Casey then back to Sarah who casually looked down to avoid Chuck's eyes. "My place is out of Sarah's way so it's probably easier if I go with you." He glanced at her. "Good night Agent Walker." As he headed for the stairs he felt Sarah's arm lightly brush against his and it sent shockwaves through his system. He was already on an emotional high from the kiss in the warehouse so any skin on skin contact just added fuel to the slow fire that was already burning in his body.

"Good night Chuck," Sarah said softly then let her arm fall to her side.

Casey grunted and knew something was up but he couldn't put his finger on it. Chuck never used Walker's full title unless there was something going on or in this case something brewing between them. Maybe it was the fact that they almost died tonight and being the night it was Chuck was just addressing formalities of the job.

Sarah's Hotel room

04:00

Sarah had only just gotten to sleep when she heard her phone vibrating. She rolled over, grabbed it off the nightstand and read the message.

'Reporttothewarehouseimmediately.Donotbringtheasset.'

Sarah jumped out of bed, grabbed some clothes, her gun, keys and her phone and headed out to her car.

Sergeant Murphy from the CIA's bomb squad turned to Sarah when she entered the warehouse. "Agent Walker, thanks for coming."

"No problem but why the call sir?" Sarah walked over to stand beside Casey.

"We've determined that the capsule isn't a bomb. It has an oxygen-triggered sensor that was counting down. We don't believe it's a threat to anyone. I thought you'd like to be present when we open it to find out what's inside."

"Thank you," Sarah replied. Whydon'ttheyneedtheintersect?

Casey leaned over to her and whispered the exact same question in her ear. She looked at him and shrugged.

"It's a go Sergeant." A young computer whiz soldier got up from his chair and exited the area. Soldiers pulled and unhinged the crate that encased the capsule. The soldier pressed a control on his keyboard and the capsule opened. Once the oxygen gases escaped and subsided they were all able to take a better look at what was inside. It was not what anyone expected especially Sarah and Casey. There laid Bryce Larkin, the man whom Casey had supposedly shot dead and Sarah's ex-lover/partner.

Sarah took a step back and her hand flew to her mouth. She didn't need this now. Not after what had happened with Chuck. Instantly her walls enclosed around her once again.

Castle, Burbank

Chuck arrived at Castle to an empty room. He looked at his watch and saw that it was 7:58 a.m. He checked his cell which confirmed that the time on his watch was indeed correct so where were Sarah and Casey? WashesupposedtodriveCasey? He sat down with his coffee and waited. As he took a sip of his coffee he noticed the door of Orange Orange open and he watched as Sarah and Casey, worse for wear, walked towards him. "Where! What happened to you guys? It looks like you've been up all night."

"That's right Chuck," Casey interjected.

Chuck stood up from where he was sitting.

"How come I wasn't called? Did you guys forget to let me know you had a mission?"

Sarah looked at Chuck. "We were asked not to include you till we had enough information - it wasn't intentional."

"Is that supposed to make me feel better?" Chuck asked, his voice laced with suspicion as he stood up. "Lately you two seem to be making a habit of not including me in your missions. You're always telling me to stay in the car, which by the way is not always the safest or the best call to make to…."

"Chuck stop!" Sarah interjected. "Bryce is alive!"

"W-h-a-t?"

General Beckman appeared on the screen. "That's right Chuck, Agent Larkin is alive however, he hasn't regained consciousness since they removed him from the capsule."

Chuck sat down and ran his hand through his hair hardly able to believe what he was hearing.

Beckman regarded them with a stern look. "Team please sit down."

Casey and Sarah grabbed a chair. Chuck glanced at Sarah still dumbfounded and speechless.

"I know that you're all shocked, as was I when I got the word from Major Casey an hour ago. We believed that Agent Larkin was dead. The CIA agents who obtained Bryce's spy will after his death assured us that they had acted in accordance with his last wishes and cremated him."

Sarah hadn't known about Bryce's spy will and it surprised her that she hadn't been the one to receive that information after all she had been his partner. She realized now that she and Bryce hadn't been as close as she'd thought they were and it reaffirmed the decision she'd made to end their personal relationship over a year and half ago. She had been sad when she'd heard that Bryce was dead but she was more worried and scared now that she knew he was alive.

"We've ascertained that Agent Larkin was captured during transportation to our CIA morgue. Major Casey believes that when he signed Agent Larkin's body over to the morgue, he was signing it over to the right people. The people involved in last night's shoot out at the warehouse were hired by a man named Tommy. Agent Walker, Major Casey I want you to head over to the unit where they have Agent Larkin in custody."

Sarah's eyebrows shot up. "Custody?"

Chuck glanced at her then back at Beckman. "Why would Bryce be in custody?"

"We believe that Agent Larkin is a rogue agent. Protocol dictates that we take precautions to detain him until he can prove his innocence."

"But General this is Bryce Larkin, Bryce Larkin from Connecticut, my roommate in college, my best friend."

"Sorry Chuck but those are the rules. I will report back in a few hours." Beckman disconnected the call and the screen went blank.

Chuck stared at the screen with an equally blank look on his face.

Sarah slid her chair closer to Chuck's wanting more than anything to hold him but she knew she couldn't risk allowing her own feelings for him to show.

Chuck put in head in hands.

Sarah's heart went out to him and she glanced around the room to make sure Casey wasn't around then she placed her hand on Chuck's shoulder, caressing and rubbing his back at the same time. She leaned in and rested her head on his shoulder.

Chuck reached up to touch Sarah's face to acknowledge that he appreciated the gesture but as he held her cheek in the palm of his hand a noise in the background startled them both and as quickly as the moment appeared it was gone again.

Sarah quickly removed her hand and stood up. "Chuck we better get to work if we want any resolution to what's happened in the last 24 hours."

What was Sarah saying? Did she mean to say what she said? Did she want to forget what happened or did she want to move on and continue what happened between them in the warehouse? Who was he fooling except himself and his thoughts? There was no way that she wanted to pursue 'this', what ever 'this' was.

Bartowski Residence, Burbank

Chuck was getting good at 'faking it' or following a script as he'd once said to Casey when they had talked about Sarah and their 'fake relationship'. He knew the drill, he knew what role to play and he knew his place. He knew what lines to say and delivered them on cue every time. His life was like a scripted play 24 hours a day and for all intents and purposes he and Sarah were just simply actors playing their parts in the movie 'Bartowski vs the Intersect'.

Chuck strolled into his kitchen and grabbed his morning coffee. He started to pour himself a cup then noticed Sarah sitting at his table although he had no idea how long she'd been there. He put his cup down. "You know I may be dreaming here because lately I've been having very vivid dreams and I swear that this could be one of them."

Sarah stood up and walked over to where Chuck was standing. "Sorry to burst your bubble but you're not dreaming, this is very real."

Sarah's face was a far more welcoming sight than Casey's first thing in the morning but Chuck could tell that this wasn't a social visit. "So Agent Walker, what warrants a visit so early in the morning? Don't you sleep?" he asked in a slightly harsh tone.

"Chuck, you don't need to sound so harsh."

Chuck reached for his coffee. "Oh sorry S –A, Agent Walker if my tone portrays that to you."

"You don't need to call me Agent Walker either so why are you?"

Chuck walked over the table not wanting to answer Sarah's question so he asked one of his own.

"What brings you here Sarah?"

Sarah grabbed the chair across from Chuck to put some space between them. "I want to talk to you about last night."

"Yes last night. You know there was a lot going on and we didn't …."

"Chuck, Bryce is alive remember!"

He tried not to look disappointed. "Oh you want to talk about Bryce."

"Now that Bryce is alive we have lot of questions and we hope that he has the answers."

Chuck couldn't help asking, "But what about the other stuff?"

She frowned. "What other stuff?"

Chuck shrugged and gave Sarah a defeated look. "Nothing, forget I mentioned it."

"Our main concern is finding out why Bryce was kept alive and why he sent the intersect to you. The quicker we find out why he sent it to you, the sooner you can get the intersect out of your head and go back to a normal life. Isn't that what you want?"

Before last night Chuck had dreamed of getting rid of the intersect but after what happened with Sarah he was starting to have doubts. "A lot has changed since Bryce sent me the email. We've evolved and I'd like to pursue those …."

Sarah knew where Chuck was going with his explanation. "Chuck, we need to focus on what's important here and that is you and the safety of the intersect. This is not the time to get distracted. We need to focus on the mission at hand. Do you understand Chuck?"

Chuck took one last gulp of his coffee and let out a huge sigh. "Yeah, I am getting good at following my lines and acting like I'm supposed to." He stood up. "Is there anything more Sarah? If not then I'm going to get ready for work. Or perhaps you'd like to discuss the other thing that we're not supposed to talk about?

She didn't reply.

"Yeah, that's what I thought," Chuck said. "Nothing else matters except the mission and Bryce."

Sarah got up and walked over to the door. "Chuck!"

He turned around.

She gave him a smile in an effort to break the tension between them. "We'll talk later?"

Chuck was starting to recognize her expressions but he was also aware that she guarded her real feelings very closely so he knew that whatever he saw wasn't the whole story. She was a good actress which was probably why Langston Graham had taken her under his wing. She could fool anyone where as he struggled to keep his emotions under wraps at the best of times and especially where Sarah was concerned. Chuck smiled at her. "If you want to talk you know where to find me."

The warm look in his eyes pulled at Sarah's heartstrings. He was slowly chipping away at her walls. She felt safe with him and knew that she could talk to him about anything but she refused to acknowledge those feelings because she was scared and because she knew it would take them down a road neither of them were ready or able to go. Chuck wanted to talk about the kiss but she couldn't allow herself to get distracted with personal matters now that Bryce was back. She needed to stay focused on her job and protecting Chuck.

CIA Medical Base, Los Angeles "I told you a million times I don't know why Tommy took me other than because of what I told him."

"Which was?" Langston Graham inquired.

"After I left DNI and bumped into John Casey I thought that was it. All I felt was a bullet hitting my chest and the next thing I remember is being shocked by some doctor in a room that wasn't very well lit. People were standing around me talking very fast but not in English ... I think they were speaking German. Tommy leaned in and yelled 'Where 's the intersect Bryce?' I tried to fight it but I finally gave in and told him the intersect with in me. The last thing I heard was Tommy telling them to keep me alive at all costs then I woke up here talking to you."

"Sounds like you're not telling me the truth."

Bryce tried to sit up in his hospital bed but the restraints restricted his movements.

Graham gave him a wry smile. "Did you think that we wouldn't take the necessary precautions to detain you now that we have you in our custody? You may have fooled us when you took the cipher, downloaded the information and sent it to Mr. Bartowski but I can assure you it won't happen again. We have a situation where Tommy knows we have you in our custody and he still thinks that you're the intersect. Mr. Bartowski wants to get the intersect out of his head and until we decide how to proceed you will remain in detention. I would imagine that your friend would very much like to know why you chose to send the intersect to him and I know we're all very curious." Graham placed his hand on Bryce's shoulder giving it a tight squeeze. "Don't think that you're getting out of here too soon so rest up Agent Larkin."

Bryce looked up at Graham. "I need to speak to Chuck."

"Chuck!" Graham chuckled. "How fitting. You ruin your friend's future and now you want to talk him. This ought to be good. I'll see what I can do."

Castle, Burbank

The team sat around the conference table waiting for General Beckman to report back to them. Suddenly the screen chirped and Beckman via Langston Graham appeared on the screen. "Good morning team, I just finished debriefing with Director Graham. He has spoke to Agent Larkin so I'll let him fill you in on the details."

Graham appeared at Beckman's side. "Major Casey, Agent Walker, Mr. Bartowski good to see you."

The team acknowledged the Director with a nod.

"We have Agent Larkin in custody at our CIA medical facility in LA. All we know is this…." He explained what Bryce told him. "Also Larkin has asked to see Mr. Bartowski."

Chuck straightened in his seat suddenly very interested in the conversation.

Sarah leaned forward resting her hands on the table. "Is this a good idea sir?"

"I know that it's asking a lot of you," Graham said directing his gaze to Chuck.

"No it's not!"

Sarah glanced at him. "Chuck!"

"Sarah, it's ok. Maybe I can get some questions answered. How hard can it be?"

She shook her head. "He's a trained CIA agent known for anything. He can h-u."

Chuck stood up. "When can I see him?"

Graham nodded. "Very well Mr. Bartowski, I'll set something up for this afternoon."

General Beckman looked at Chuck. "Mr. Bartowski ... Chuck ... Are you sure you want to do this?"

"Yes General unless there's something you're not telling me."

"Whoever put Bryce in that capsule will be coming after him and when they discover that he's not the intersect they won't stop until they find out the truth. Agent Walker will accompany you to see Agent Larkin this afternoon then I'm ordering 24 hour protective detail. I am not taking any chances with Mr. Larkin, whether he's in custody or not. Your mission is to find out who kept him alive." She turned to look at Casey. "Major, I need you to follow up on who took Larkin after you signed his body over."

Casey nodded. "I'll report to you when I know something." He turned and headed for the stairs.

Beckman directed her gaze back to Sarah. "Agent Walker I need you to stay by Chuck's side twenty four hours a day. Whatever arises you need to be agent-ready. Nothing can come between you and the asset. We have to play this by the book, follow protocol and hopefully ascertain why Agent Larkin sent Chuck the intersect. If we don't get this right Chuck will be stuck with the intersect in his head forever. Do I make myself clear?"

"Yes General." Sarah slumped into her chair.

"Good luck Chuck."

"Thanks General."

"You're dismissed."

Sarah didn't like following protocol when it came to Bryce. He didn't play by the rules so the only way to get to him was to beat him at his own game.

CIA Medical Facility, LA

Graham sent a car to collect Chuck and Sarah and they sat in silence as they drove to the CIA medical facility.

Sarah could tell that Chuck was nervous because he kept running his hands through his hair then wiping them on his pants. She grabbed his hand and held it in hers.

Nothing was said nothing needed to be said but what was happening now in the backseat of the car just added to the complicated mess that was building up between them.

When they reached the facility Chuck and Sarah signed in and walked with armed guards down a long hallway to a secure wing of the unit. The security guard buzzed the two of them in.

"Wow, I've never been in a place like this. You see these places on TV ... it's like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest with Jack Nicholson. Oh look there's a Nurse Ratchet but better looking. Sarah did you see that movie?"

She shook her head. "Chuck focus, will you."

"Oh! Yes the job," he said clamping his mouth shut.

Sarah disliked it when he said things like that but she didn't help when Chuck started to ramble. She knew why he rambled. She knew every time that Chuck was put into a predicament and unsure of things he would ramble (mostly about pop culture, travel, history, and nonsense tidbits) and she would shoot him down. When they reached Bryce's room Sarah walked into the attached double paned room that had ample view into Bryce's room.

Chuck looked at Sarah as she stared at Bryce. She just stared at her ex-partner/ ex-lover and he could tell by the look that she gave Bryce that there was more to it. The expression on her face was one she had given Chuck and disappointed he looked away. Why would Bryce get that look when it was meant for him? Unless Bryce meant something more to Sarah than was letting on.

Sarah could see that her staring at Bryce was making Chuck very uncomfortable. "So!" she said trying to break the tension in the room. "Are you ready?"

Chuck didn't reply and continued to stare at Bryce through the one-way glass.

She touched his arm. "Chuck, I'll be right here."

"I'll be ok ... better get this over with …" Chuck pressed the button, the door slid open and he walked towards Bryce's bed.

"Who's there?" Bryce muttered trying to focus on the person walking toward him.

"Hey Buddy, it's Chuck. You wanted to talk to me?"

"Prove it!"

"Prove it?" Chuck looked confused for a moment then he said. "You've got the nerve to ask me that after what you did to me."

Bryce looked up and focussed again, this time he gave Chuck a slight smile. "I know it's you. I was going to test you by asking you to speak Klingon but the way you attested that you were in fact the right Chuck I'll save you from that particular embarrassment."

"Oh thank you for being so caring, I didn't think you had it in you." Chuck replied, sarcasm lacing his tone. "So, why now Bryce? Why do you want to talk to me? You could have talked to me many times before this so why now? Why did you send me the email?"

"It's complicated."

"Complicated! No kidding!" Chuck sighed. "I'm not in the mood for anymore of your jokes Bryce so just tell me the truth. Why did you do it?"

Bryce ignored his questions. "You doing ok with it? Is it working? How does it work?"

"I'm here to ask you questions not the other way around."

"Come on Chuck, do you think it's an accident that you're here? Far from it."

Sarah burst into the room. "What are you talking about?"

Bryce did a double-take. "Sarah what are you doing here?"

"She's here for me Bryce. She was assigned to protect me after you sent me the intersect."

"Sarah, how? Why you?"

"That's not important. We need to know why you sent Chuck the intersect and why this guy Tommy is after you?"

"It's complicated."

"If it's so complicated then maybe telling us something useful will make it less complicated," Sarah replied.

"I don't know what to say. I was working on a project called SANDSTORM."

Chuck instantly flashed on the words Sandstorm. Tommy and several other bad men were linked to an organization called Fulcrum.

"Fulcrum!" Chuck yelled.

Sarah looked at him. "Did you just flash?"

"Yeah!"

Bryce's eyes darted to Chuck. "Does it always work that fast?"

Chuck nodded.

"Wow man, that must be cool!"

Sarah knew that it wasn't a blessing and tried not to make it worse for Chuck. "Bryce, what is Fulcrum and why do they want the intersect?"

"When I was leaving the DNI I got word that a small group of CIA agents weren't happy with how the CIA were handling the organization. They wanted to build their own intersect to change how things were done and how agents operated.

When I heard that government had ordered the CIA/NSA to share their Intel after 9-11 I found out that this small group of agents wanted to use it for other less noble purposes. I knew that the only way to stop them was to get rid of the intersect in order to keep the secrets safe. The only person I knew who could keep it safe and who I could trust was …."

"Me?" Chuck interjected. "That was very thoughtful of you."

"I was told that if I gave you the intersect all of our secrets would be safe and that the right CIA would send the right agents to protect you and they did."

"That still doesn't explain why Chuck has to be burden with this," Sarah replied.

Chuck's brow furrowed. "Who is this other person?"

Bryce looked confused for a moment. "What other person?"

"You said that this person told you to send me the Intel. Do they have a name?"

"It doesn't matter now. All that's important is capturing Tommy so that this branch of CIA agents don't get their hands on the secrets. We can't let them find out that you're the intersect."

Sarah took a step closer to Bryce. "You need to tell Director Graham what you told us."

"I can't and won't," Bryce said shaking his head. "I've told him enough as it is. I don't trust him. I only trust the two of you."

"I'm happy for you that you trust us," Sarah replied. "But what about Tommy? It won't take him long to figure out that you're still alive and the CIA have you in custody."

No sooner than Sarah took a breath when they heard a ruckus outside. She didn't have her weapon with her so she grabbed a syringe from the tray next to Bryce, slowly walked toward the door and opened it. The hall was empty which in itself wasn't strange considering that patients were strapped in their rooms but there was an eerie feeling in the start white corridor and Sarah's sixth sense kicked in big time. She grabbed Chuck's arm. "We need to get you out of here. Let's go."

"Sarah, we can't leave Bryce here."

"Why not?"

Bryce chuckled. "That's a little harsh even for you Agent Walker."

"I don't care!" she replied. "What you did to Chuck is a far cry from having you sit here and weasel your way out of Tommy knowing that you lied the whole time. You'd wished Casey actually finished the job."

Chuck walked over to Bryce and ripped opened the Velcro straps that bound his wrists to the bed.

Bryce smiled and headed to the door.

Sarah looked from Bryce to Chuck then said, "I'm in charge!" She led them out of the room.

Chuck walked closely behind her. He wasn't taking any chances with Bryce until he was sure that his story was legit. He trusted him but after what had happened with the intersect he no longer trusted him with his life.

Sarah and Bryce quickly picked up where they left off at partners a year and half ago. Their instincts and training kicked in, they located two security guards, snuck up behind them and knocked them out. They grabbed their guns and headed north out of the unit. They approached the doors where Chuck and Sarah had signed in earlier only to find the area deserted. They hopped the desk and headed towards the exit but as they approached the door a voice caught both Chuck and Bryce's attention. The voice was familiar to Bryce and Chuck flashed on voice recognition revealing the owner of the voice to him. All three looked up and saw Tommy standing near the staircase. Sarah motioned for Chuck to stand back and get ready to run on her signal.

"Bryce!" Tommy called. "Were you just going to leave without saying goodbye? You haven't even introduced me to your friends."

Sarah started heading towards the door with Chuck leading the way.

Bryce held his gun tightly in hand. "There's no one here that concerns you so if you don't mind we are going to leave now."

"Why would you want to do that Bryce? We have some unfinished business to attend to."

Bryce's gun never wavered from its target. "Do we?"

"I am shocked Bryce," Tommy replied. "After everything I did to save your life, this is how you repay me."

"I guess so…"

"You're going to run aren't you?"

Bryce gave Sarah the signal.

"RUN!" Sarah yelled to Chuck.

Chuck didn't have to be asked twice. He ran to the parking lot with Sarah and Bryce hot on his heels.

They ran until Sarah figured that they were safe. She grabbed her phone while catching her breath. "We need an extraction from this GPS co-ordinate ... three people on foot." She walked over to where Chuck was crouched down behind a mini mall parking lot garbage dump. "You ok?"

"Yeah, you?"

Sarah smiled at him. Of course still amazed that he always thought about her even when his own life was in danger.

Chuck gave her a weak smile. "Stupid question to ask huh?"

She sat down next to Chuck on the curb. "Not always."

"So I'm assuming that the guy following us is Tommy?" Chuck asked Bryce.

"Yes."

"So what now?" Chuck glanced at Sarah then directed his gaze to Bryce.

"We wait for the extraction team," Sarah replied. "We'll meet with General Beckman and tell her what we know and take it from there."

Bryce looked at Sarah as he nodded his agreement. "So how did you end up protecting Chuck? I mean Chuck isn't that important that he needs the best CIA agent in history, does he?"

She frowned at him. "You tell me Bryce."

"How long have you two been together?"

Sarah knew that Bryce was trying to bait her and she hated him for it. He knew how to push her buttons and wouldn't stop until he got the answer he was looking for. "My relationship with Chuck is strictly that of handler and asset. Nothing more."

Bryce smirked at Chuck. "I bet you're tired of hearing that one."

WhatwasBrycedoing?SheandChuckwerehavingatoughtimeasitwasandBrycewasn'thelping.Sarah knew that having Bryce around wasn't a good idea. It was never a good idea when your past, present and hopefully one day your future were thrown into an unpredictable situation where no one knows who is going take the next step, who's going to talk and who's not.