A/N: Ok a couple of things before hand. First off, English is not my native language, in fact my native language is Dutch, so there could be some rather foolish mistakes that have crept in.
Secondly, this is the first fan fic I've written, I've written stories before, but the last time I actually wrote something substantial was about eight years ago.
Finally, if you are looking for fluffy Charah this will probably not be a story for you. I was inspired to write this after re-watching the disaster that was season 3. I was pissed with the way they pretended to resolve the whole Charah relationship, so I've decided to change it. That also means there will be some Sham in this story, don't worry I will resolve it a few chapters in(that's my current plan anyway), I promise, and I will resolve it in a way that will satisfy most people, atleast I hope. I've already outlined a lot in my mind, and no this will not be one of those stories that unites Charah after three chapters and then has them fall into each others arms and declare their undying love, and yes before you ask I am a massive shipper, but I found the whole them getting together forced on the show. So if I will put Charah together, that will be quite a long way down the road. Note that doesn't mean I won't mention Charah..
Disclaimer: I do not own Chuck, nor do I own any characters from the Chuck universe. This will contain some spoilers up to episode 3x12 Chuck vs The American Hero.
Chuck Versus The Rome Assignment
Chapter 1: Leaving Burbank
As Chuck was making his way to Buy More plaza in Burbank he still couldn't wrap his head around what General Beckman had told him the previous day. He had a hard enough time coming to terms with all the things that had happened with him since that e-mail that Bryce Larkin sent him on his 27th birthday, but the last year has been crazy, with what happened in the fight against Fulcrum, finding his father, removing and then downloading the intersect, then the mistake he made in Prague, his training that failed, the entrance of Shaw and the new enemies of the Ring, the meeting with Beckman was just another thing that added to all of that.
Beckman wanted him to go to Rome, where he would be staying at some luxurious Villa, and the thought of being sent there alone, without the people that had guided him through this world he was still uncomfortable with, scared him more than anything. It was why he tried the squirm himself out of it, it wasn't until Beckman told him he got to pick his own team that he eased into the idea. Still even as his mind is now getting used to the idea of heading up his own operation in Rome, it still felt weird that he would have to leave behind Burbank, and his friends and his sister, and possibly the woman he still considered to be the greatest thing that ever happened to him, even though nothing ever actually happened between them other then them both hurting each other.
As he pulled up between the Orange Orange and the Buy More, and parked his car, he took it all in. He realised that this was one of the last times he would be here. There was after all little chance that even if he made it through his assignment, that he would be allowed to return to Burbank after it was all done, Sarah had told him that much a long time ago.
As he looked from a distance at the Buy More he felt odd in realising he would miss the place and it's crazy antics, even that off Jeffster. As crazy as those two were, they really have had an impact on his life, some intentional some unintentional. Those two really were the kind of crazy people you would tell your grandchildren about. Not that it seemed like he would ever have grandchildren at the rate of things, but still a valid thought nonetheless.
There were however more important things on his mind, there was a more important reason for him to be here. The reason being Sarah Walker. When the General told him he could take any person he wanted to Rome, he knew who he wanted. Of course there could only be three people he could ever dream of taking with him, and those people just happened to be in Burbank. There were however complicating situations. He was sure he could get the other two resolved, but the situation with Sarah was something different, after all he really screwed the pooch on that one, they both did. There was so much that was pushing them apart right now, and it wasn't even really about their job anymore.
There was so much pain and anguish between them, so much history that threatened to separate them for the rest of their life, he couldn't even think of how he could fix this. So much has happened since the day of Ellie's wedding. Sarah telling him she was leaving with Bryce, him downloading the intersect, the catastrophe of Prague, regardless if that plan was completely asinine or not, he didn't handle it as he should have, he had hoped that they could have worked through that, but even his confession of how he felt and why he did what he did hadn't come close to somewhat softening her, she kept insisting on pushing him away, and his own behaviour didn't help. She was right he had changed and not for the better over the last few months, the lying, the deceiving, it was beginning to leave a mark on his soul, and he managed to pull the brakes, he had managed to turn it back around, but it could be to late. He had already hurt her, maybe not as much as she had hurt him the years before but still, not to mention how he had crushed Hannah. Of course she wasn't doing much better these last few years, constantly manipulating him with his own feelings, kissing him and yelling at him afterwards, constantly giving him some hope and then crushing it mercilessly, then after Prague, and the arrival of Shaw the things that had hurt him the most, the ease in which she started dating him, and the ease with which she told him her real name. It was probably the most painful thing he experienced in the years he had known her. All those years of telling him I can't talk about my past, it's too hard for me, it seemed like it was all a matter of trust, and perhaps even of love.
So this was it for him, for them, the time was up, he knew Beckman had given him a week to get his act straightened out, but he wasn't going to hassle her after this. The pain had to stop for the both of them, and that meant that whatever she decides today, is the decision they both will have to live with, he just hoped that if she picked Shaw, she would be happy, she deserved that.
After a few deep breaths he walked up to the Orange Orange for what would be a life defining conversation for both of them. This just couldn't go well, not with their track record. He quickly entered the Orange Orange and noticed that at least she wasn't upstairs so she had to be in Castle, he momentarily checked on the upstairs monitor if Shaw was around but he was pleased to see he wasn't, he didn't need distractions and interruptions for once he and Sarah needed to talk honestly, if he can just keep himself composed.
Nervously he entered his access codes and entered Castle, this was it.
"Hey, um." He began nervously
"You're back." She answered him, flat and cold, he instantly knew this was Agent Walker he was dealing with rather than Sarah the girl.
"I've been calling you for-for a couple days now, you know, there's a lot we need to talk about"
"I know, I'm sorry…been a little..." she kept walking around, fumbling with papers, clearly she was trying to avoid looking at him.
"Crazy, yeah, I-I know.. Beckman flew me to D.C., I got my badge, it's official now, I'm an agent." Some enthusiasm was creeping into his voice, yet he was still nervous, this wasn't going like it should.
"Congratulations, you earned it." Still no emotion, what the hell is going on he thought to himself. They seemed to be getting closer before the night on the train tracks, and now this. He had to keep trying though
"You know the CIA, they're sending me to Italy, you wouldn't believe the villa they're putting me up in, I'm suppose to be some rich young playboy, but who cares about that, the-the point is Sarah, I want you to go with me."
"Chuck, I can't."
"No, Beckman said I get to choose my own team, cream of the crop, that's you!" He said, pleading almost begging her.
"I'm going to Washington okay, and I'm going with Shaw." It seemed to him like she added the last part to hurt him.
"Wai-Wha-Wait a minute, wasn't this the plan? There's nothing stopping us from being together, I passed my spy test." He pleaded to her again.
"That's why I can't be with you okay, you're not, you're not the same guy I fell for." Pain was slightly audible in her voice, but she tried and succeeded in keeping her Agent Mask up.
"How, why, because I'm an agent now, How am I not the same guy?" he asked her with confusion clear in his voice.
"You killed somebody Chuck, I saw you kill the mole!" she exclaimed, he was almost relieved there was still some emotion there, even if it was disappointment and pain.
"Sarah, I know what you think you saw on the train tracks, but it's not that simple, it's more complicated than that, it's not what you think, and I need you to believe me." His voice dripping with despair.
"I don't." her voice was now clearly filled with pain, remorse, disappointment.
They just stood there for a while, both unsure what to say, both with thoughts racing through their heads. Both realising that this could very well be the end of what fragile bit had remained between them that resembled a relationship. Even friendship seemed to drift out of their reach now.
"Are you even listening to yourself right now Sarah?" Chuck asked, with pain, confusion and anger in his voice. "Do you even understand how hypocritical everything you say is? Do you even realise that all the reasons you claim for me being changed, and for being someone unworthy of your love are things Shaw has done, and things that Bryce has done, and Cole, and you. You really have gone to pathetic lengths to prevent us from ever being together. All these years of excuses and saying oh Chuck it's because you are an asset, when I was just a civilian you were leaving, so all that was left for any hope for us was to become an agent, well you knew what it meant to become an Agent what it would mean I had to do. Quite the Catch 22 I'd say." He said angrily.
He knew he was saying things he might regret when he would think about it later but he couldn't find the power to stop himself, not that he really wanted to anyway.
"You know I finally am starting to understand everything from the last three years, you never cared about me, let alone have romantic feelings, all those times you held it in front of me, like some bone for a dog, all you were doing was handling your asset. Well Agent Walker," he said adding venom to the word Agent, "I applaud you for a job well done", he said while cynically applauding her.
She couldn't believe what she was hearing, after everything she had done, after everything she had done to keep him safe and to keep him out of a bunker, and after her wanting to sacrifice everything in Prague, he still questioned if she even cared about him. Worst of all, he was talking as if she was just another agent in his mind now. Doesn't the idiot understand that it isn't about him changing, it is about her responsibility for tainting his soul forever, and how on earth is he so unfazed by it anyway. There was only one thing she could do and that was to try and talk some sense into him, meanwhile hoping that he would bother even listening to her, as he seemed to talk from pain rather than his head.
"Chuck, you rea-," She started, but he interrupted her.
"NO, ENOUGH!" He yelled, he sounded angrier than she had ever heard him before, and even Chuck himself didn't realise he could get this angry, not with her anyway.
"I'm done listening to your lies Agent Walker, I just have had enough of it. All these years and all I got to show for it are emotional and physical scars. All these years and you still can't trust me, not in my abilities as a spy, and not in me as a person." He didn't sound angry anymore, he just sounded defeated and tired of all that has happened between them over the years.
"You say you can't get past me killing someone, that that would mean I've changed, and all I ask is for you to trust me that there is more to that story, and you can't even do that. You can't even trust me the only time, in all the time that we've spent together, that I ask you to trust me. I needed you to trust ME, Sarah, not agent Bartowski or Carmichael or whatever, I needed you to trust Chuck, the man that hates guns, the man that despises himself for constantly lying, the man that is in this rotten spy world to actually make a difference for the people he loves, the man that loved everything about you Sarah Walker" Tears were starting to form in his eyes, he knew he had to leave if he wanted to keep his composure in front of her.
"You know what, just forget it, I've got to go."
He started walking up the stairs towards the exit of Castle, while she just stood there. Baffled by all that he said, was there really more to him killing the mole than what she had seen? There couldn't be could there? But there was so much emotion, there seemed to be so much truth and genuine pain in his statements, what on earth was going on? Her thoughts were quickly interrupted by his voice.
"Goodbye Agent Walker" he said his voice as flat as he could get it with all the emotions that were racing through his mind.
"Goodbye Chuck" She whispered, as the Castle doors closed.
Chuck quickly made his way out of the Orange Orange, his shoulders slumped with disappointment, and his thoughts racing about what just happened he felt in no condition to be dealing with the people at the Buy More. The annoying customers who didn't even have the decency to treat anyone working there as a human being, the crazy antics of Jeff and Lester which always ended up as his responsibility to solve or prevent, or Morgan's crazy ramblings.
Yes he loved Morgan as a brother but he had to admit that Morgan could even annoy him at times, though granted he had matured a lot over the last few months. Now however he needed time for himself, time away from all those things. He remembered the incidents at the Buy More after the Ring took Devon, he realised that it's not just important for him to take that distance but for the Buy Morons as well. So he pulled out his iPhone and quickly dialled Morgan.
"Hey Chuck, what's up?" Morgan said in his typical cheery way.
"Hey Morgan, I need you to do me a favour" Chuck could hear the pain was audible in his voice but he didn't care to camouflage it, this was Morgan no show was needed there, Morgan was the last person he could be completely honest to, but he wasn't going to tell him everything just yet.
"Sure thing man, what you need"
"I need you to cover for me with Big Mike, I need some time to figure some stuff out, I'll tell you about it later buddy"
"You got it man, no problem"
"Thanks Morgan, I'll see you back at the apartment"
As Chuck made his way to the herder to leave, Morgan was staring out of the Buy More and could see what was probably going on. It was clear where Chuck was coming from, and you didn't need to be some doctor to figure out what had happened.
Before Chuck had any idea what he was doing he was at his favourite place on the beach. The same spot where he had ended up after his first fake date with Sarah. Just like then he had some important decisions to make, just like then he was at a crossroads, just like then the decision had already been made for him. Back then it was Bryce who had forced him into this world when he had sent him the Intersect, now it was Sarah who had apparently decided she had moved on. All that was left for Chuck was to move on aswell, but doing that wasn't as easy. All he knew was that he needed to get the hell out of Burbank, away from all the memories, so it meant he had to go to Rome. He pulled his legs up to his chest as tears were starting glistening in his eyes, and he couldn't help but wonder what would have happened if he had just gone with her in Prague. He sighed as tears starting running down his face.
She pulled upto the beach, she knew she would find him here, it was his spot, it had been their spot, though she wasn't sure if there was a them anymore. Actually she was quite sure that there wasn't. Morgan had called her an hour before, telling her he was worried about Chuck, saying he had called Morgan a few hours earlier clearly distraught about something. She just had to finish her shift before she could go look for him. She was tired of seeing him hurt, but she also knew that he needed someone now. As she walked up to him she could see him quietly sobbing, legs still pulled up to his chest. "Oh Chuck" She sighed quietly as she started making her way over to him. He didn't acknowledge her, as she sat down next to him, and they both just stared at the rolling waves in silence.
As she sat down next to him, he wiped the tears from his face, and tried to compose himself enough to stop crying, even if it was just for a few minutes. He quickly glanced at the woman now sitting next to him who was apparently looking at the water, but he knew she was dying to say something, he was thankful that she didn't. He was thankful that she let him decide when he was ready. She was clearly there just to show she was there for him, he loved her for it, but he knew he wanted to talk about it as well, so after a few minutes he decided to speak up.
"I just can't do this anymore El" he began softly, she didn't respond but just looked at him questioningly, silently motioning him to elaborate.
He took a couple of deep breaths to prevent himself from tearing up again before continuing.
"I can't keep doing this dance between me and Sarah" he continued his voice slightly cracking. "You and I both know how special Sarah is sis, and I think everybody knows how I feel about her, but I have to stop letting her push me around like she has done for the past years, I have to find a way to get past this. I thought that her pushing me away had some reasons from her past, and that she just wasn't capable of certain things, but she was El, she has known this new guy for weeks and she has already shared more with him than she ever did with me." Tears were starting to form in his eyes again, but this time he made no attempt to stop them from rolling down his face. "All these years I just wanted to know who she was, and I just wanted some form of commitment, and all I heard was, I can't Chuck, now this new guy knows everything about her and I just can't be around to see that anymore."
Tears were now streaming down his face again, he knew he couldn't tell her the entire story, of how Sarah had handled him all those years, what her true motives had been, how he was an idiot for playing this along, but he needed to tell her something, he couldn't keep this from her, not from her. Such a long time of lying to her, he really wanted to tell her everything but he knew he couldn't.
Ellie couldn't take seeing her brother this hurt. Even after all that had happened at Stanford, the fiasco with Jill, and the betrayal by Bryce, she had never seen him this hurt. Part of her wanted to go to the Orange Orange and hurt Sarah, or atleast give her a piece of her mind, but for now all she could do was comfort her little brother so she wrapped her arms around her as he was quietly sobbing on her shoulder.
After sitting there for a while, Chuck spoke again, his voice still a bit shaky. "I have to leave town for a while El. I'm sure Devon told you about Washington, at first I wasn't sure what I was going to do but I just have to leave this all behind, and honestly I don't know for how long." Ellie just nodded understandingly, she would hate seeing her brother leave, but then again she was going to Africa, she could understand his desires, so she just asked "When are you leaving" she asked almost whispering. "I was planning to leave at the end of the week, but now I'm thinking the day after tomorrow" he responded hesitantly. "I just want to say goodbye to everyone tomorrow, also I need you to do one thing for me sis"
"Sure Chuck what is it?"
"Please don't go talk to Sarah, I know you want to, but please don't"
Reluctantly she agreed "Okay Chuck, but tomorrow we are going to have a dinner just us, and Morgan, and perhaps John"
Chuck turned to her and gave her a small smile, he loved his sister for taking care of him like this, he owed her so much, yet he couldn't even give her the simple truth, though granted it was probably not that simple of a truth "That would be nice, thank you sis. I love you."
"I love you to little brother"
After sitting there just talking a little about the past they decided it was time to go. The talk with Ellie had cleared Chuck's mind a little, at least enough to get his head back in the game so he could start planning for Rome. He knew the two members he wanted, the last member he would have to decide in Rome. The task at hand for now would be to convince Beckman to let him bring the people he wanted. He was sure she was going to object, so he decided to take a nights rest before going to talk to Beckman.
They finally made it back to Echo Park, and both Ellie and Chuck made their way to their own apartment. As Chuck opened the door he saw that Morgan had ordered them some of the famous Sizzling Shrimp, yet the little bearded man was no where to be seen.
"Hey Morgan, you home?" Chuck yelled through the bachelor pad.
"Hey Chuck, good to see you're back." Morgan answered with relief apparent in his voice as he walked into the room, and handed his best friend some Sizzling Shrimp.
"You were the one that called Ellie weren't you?" Chuck asked, clearly noting that there was some relief in his friends voice.
"Yeah well you know, you sounded depressed, and I saw you walking away from the Orange Orange, so I thought you could use someone to be there, and we both know how great Ellie is at that kind of stuff."
"Thanks buddy, Ellie really was a huge help" he said with a grateful smile on his face.
Morgan just nodded as they sat down to eat their favourite Sizzling Shrimp. For a while they were just sitting there, talking about random things, like Jeff and Lester's crazy antics of that day, both realised that Chuck didn't want to talk about Sarah. After a while though Chuck had to ask Morgan something important.
"I need to ask you something important" Chuck began steering the conversation to where he needed to take it.
"Okay" Morgan answered hesitantly clearly not sure what to make of this.
"General Beckman wants me to go to Rome, and I was thinking of asking her if you could come with me. As an analyst of sorts. But of course only if you want to, and I'm not sure what she would say, but you know it would be awesome if you could come with" Chuck started rambling.
Morgan just sat there dumbfounded by what his best friend was asking him, it was afterall everything they ever dreamed about when they were kids, spies together that would be a pretty sweet deal. Excitement was slowly starting to take over, and a huge grin was forming on his face.
"Of course I would love to go with you man, but are you sure you want that Chuck?" Morgan said trying not to jump his friend straight away.
"Of course I do buddy, I need someone that can keep me sane between all those spies, and without Sarah and Ellie, the only one that can do that is you. I just hope I can convince Beckman of that" saying the last part contemplatively. "I will have to talk to her tomorrow, so don't quit the Buy More just yet, but I want to take you and Casey, and when we get to Rome we are going to have to pick a replacement for Sarah. I'm thinking a brunette" he said smirking at the part about the brunette.
"But for now, I think we should have another old fashioned game night, bit of Duck Hunt, couple of beers, and luckily we already have the Sizzling Shrimp"
Morgan just smiled at him before saying "That sounds awesome"
The next morning Chuck was woken up rather early by his alarm clock. It had been a long night with Morgan. They had talked about a lot, mostly about the crazy things they had done in the past, but Sarah had inadvertently come up as a part of the conversation, and Morgan had convinced him he needed to either give her a proper goodbye, or at the very least leave her a letter. He knew Morgan was right, but that wasn't the reason for waking up early. He wanted to get to Castle to prevent running into Sarah or Shaw, when going to talk to Beckman. He was just hoping Beckman would be in a good mood. He would have to deal with Sarah later.
He quickly showered, not wasting time as he might have done normally in waking up while being under the relaxing streams of water, and got dressed. He decided he'd get some breakfast after talking to Beckman, so he grabbed a bottle of water, and made his way to the herder.
He drove up to the Orange Orange, and much like the day before he made his way inside nervously. Much like the day before it was an important visit, yet he felt different, more confident that things would work out on this visit, then he had the day before. He realised that as much of an annoyance Beckman was, she had become easier to talk to than Sarah.
As he made his way into Castle he sighed in relief, no Shaw, that was a good thing. Shaw was not his favourite person in the world right now. Besides he needed a private talk with Beckman, no intrusions. There was a time where Sarah's help would have been instrumental in him dealing with Beckman but now, she would be more of a nuisance, probably saying wanting to take Casey and Morgan would be unprofessional. Then again, Chuck wasn't your average professional spy. Chuck moved forward, and made the connection to Beckman's office, hoping to find her in a good mood. That would be a first, he smiled to himself.
"What is it Agent Bartowski?" Beckman said, clearly sounding annoyed, perhaps she was still bothered by their conversation a few days earlier, when Chuck got his new assignment.
"General I've been thinking about who I want on my team"
"Well out with it Bartowski"
"Ma'am, I'm not sure if you are going to like this" he started hesitantly, before continuing he took a deep breath. "but I want to take Casey and Morgan Grimes"
The General looked at him strangely, before letting out a sigh, "Let me get this straight Agent Bartowski, we are sending you on a high level assignment, while still being a high level intelligence asset, and you want to take a known traitor and a civilian with you?"
"That is correct Ma'am, but if you allow me to elaborate, I'm certain I could explain my position to a satisfying extent" he said with confidence matching that of his Carmichael persona.
"Very well agent Bartowski"
"Thank you ma'am. General, whatever the nature of the mission is, I need, well actually we need people around me that guarantee not only that the operation is successful, but also guarantee that the Intersect is functioning, and it's identity is protected, that means we need people on this assignment that I trust, and that I can rely on."
The General nodded motioning him to continue.
"Well General, Casey and Morgan are exactly that. Now I know Morgan is not an operative, and I'm not planning to use him in the field, I do however think he has potential as an analyst, and he would help keep the intersect under control. We both know general, the importance that agent Walker had, in keeping my emotions and conscience and with that the intersect in check, with her moving on to a new assignment with her boyfriend" the word boyfriend received a frown from Beckman "special agent Shaw, we need someone to step in, as to make sure my emotions won't mess with the intersect. Morgan has already proven, when we were held captive in Castle, that he can do exactly that, and keep his head cool in trouble. Besides he's the most loyal person I know, ensuring the safety of my identity as the intersect"
Beckman just looked at him contemplatively for a while before answering "You present some very good points regarding Mister Grimes, Agent Bartowski, you are free to bring him as an analyst, but you are responsible for his training, and his functioning. If he fails that comes back to you. Understood?"
"Yes ma'am" Chuck said relief clear in his voice, and face.
"Now what about John Casey, Agent Bartowski?"
"Well General, I know what he did, but there are mitigating circumstances. Now I'm not asking you to forget about what he has done, for he took the wrong way of handling things, but I belief that given the circumstances, a demotion back to Major or perhaps even captain would suffice as ampel punishment. After all he was doing what he did, to protect his daughter, and his former fiancée."
"General, the ring had capture his daughter and his former fiancée, they left him no choice but to help them. We only arrived just in time to save them, after reacquiring the Laudenol. Besides ma'am, as said, we need someone that helps with the functioning of the intersect, we need someone I can trust and rely on, and someone that will protect the identity of the intersect at all cost, and will terminate it if the needs there, seeing there are only three trained field agents that have worked with the intersect, and I only trust one of them. That person is John Casey. The man that has given his life for his country, but didn't want to take that decision for his family." He looked confidently at the General, it was out of his hands now.
"Very well Agent Bartowski, you can bring Major Casey with you to Rome, but the same deal as with Mister Grimes goes with the Major, if he fails it is on your head, and you will be glad if I don't send you to some bunker in Alaska."
"Thank you Ma'am. As for the final member of the team, I would like the files of the 10 best female field agents, after Agent Walker of course, to be made available to me upon arriving in Rome. I'd advise a trial period spanning about a month, before we consider briefing her about the full extent on the mission, including the most important details. I'd like to leave for Rome tomorrow."
"Very well Agent Bartowski, I will be arranging your flight." And with that Beckman's face disappeared from the screen. Chuck couldn't help but sigh in relief, this had gone better than expected.
Back in Washington, Beckman was glad that the intersect had finally gotten his head back into the game. She had wondered why he had gone to Burbank, clearly it had to do with agent Walker, who has compromised herself yet again, this time with Agent Shaw. Perhaps she would have to have a word with Walker.
Chuck entered the Buy More, looking for John Casey, the store had just opened up, and he knew that there was a good chance Casey was here. After a few seconds he heard someone grunting to Jeff, and he knew he had found him. He quickly made his way over.
"Hey Casey" Chuck said somewhat cheerily
"Bartowski" Casey grunted
"Casey we need to talk for a minute"
Casey just answered with an affirming grunt
"Casey I've got some news, first tonight dinner at Casa Woodcomb"
Casey nodded, he always loved Ellie's cooking, not to mention that the older Bartowski was a good person, perhaps a bit talkative for his taste, but he had to respect her for what she had made of herself with her history.
"Secondly Major" Chuck said grinning "You are going with me to Rome"
Casey just looked at him eyes widening
"That's right John, I've convinced Beckman to reinstate you, albeit at the cost of a demotion, but you are done with the Buy More, we are going to be doing what we do best in Rome my friend."
If Casey was anyone else, he would have hugged Chuck, but instead he put out his hand, which Chuck quickly grasped smiling as Casey spoke "Thanks Chuck, I owe you one"
"Well funny that you mention it, because one of the other members is Morgan"
"Grimes" he grunted "why take the moron?"
"We need people we can trust Casey, especially with our secrets, him I can trust, but we need to train him as an analyst"
Casey just nodded, he was in no place to argue right now, the kid just got him his life back. Then he had another realisation, they needed a female agent, unless of course Bartowski wanted to go all Brokeback mountain on him.
"How about Walker?" Casey asked hesitantly, he knew his two partners weren't on the best of terms right now, and he knew she was with Shaw. Yet he would really have liked her to come with them, she was probably the best partner he has had, not to mention their results were great. And Casey loved getting great results.
"I talked to her Casey," Chuck started "but she apparently wants to leave with Shaw, because she can't handle being around a killer like me" Chuck smirked.
Casey just shook his head as Chuck walked away, how on earth can Walker even think that a softie like Chuck can kill someone. He was certain even Beckman was shocked he had done it, and now Walker is doubting the kid. Perhaps it would be a good thing to leave her behind.
After talking to Morgan, they just had to talk to Big Mike to tell him he would lose the three most important people in the store. This wouldn't be a good day for the Buy More, actually this wouldn't be a good day for the Buy More customers either. Now there was no one left to stop the onslaught of Jeff and Lester. It would almost be enough to have them reconsider their resignation, but they marched on to the big man's office. Oddly Big Mike didn't protest one bit, in fact he seemed proud, especially of Morgan who he was considering somewhat a son. Chuck just shrugged, thinking Big Mike must realise that the Buy More is not quite the dream job.
Later that day, Ellie was preparing their farewell dinner. It would be the last of the famous Bartowski dinners, atleast for some time, so they were all a bit in a strange mood. There was a sadness that an era was coming to an end. Though Ellie was glad her little brother was finally making something of himself. She still didn't understand how he could have worked at the buy more for such a long time. Though hearing that Morgan and John Casey were leaving aswell was somewhat of a surprise. She had to admit that she was happy her brothers friends were going with him. She knew her brother, and she knew she didn't want him to be alone, not after what had happened with Sarah anyway.
"Sis, I have to go out for a short while, but I'll be back in time for dinner" Chuck suddenly said from behind her.
"Sure Chuck, where are you going?" She had a hunch, but she wanted him to tell her.
"Nowhere in particular just out" he said avoiding eye contact with her.
"You know Chuck, I can tell when you are hiding something from me."
"Fine, I'm going to say goodbye to Sarah" he sighed "a proper goodbye, I need the closure"
"That's a good idea Chuck" Ellie said smiling at him "just be careful not to let her hurt you again okay?"
An hour later the door opened again, and a tall lanky form appeared in it. She hadn't expected her brother to be back this soon, and she could see in his eyes he had been crying. So she walked over to him and hugged him.
"You okay?" she whispered in his ear
"Yeah I'm fine, she wasn't there so I left her a letter" he answered her softly.
Ellie nodded, "Good, then you can set the table for dinner" A letter might not have been ideal, but atleast he took the time to tell her what he felt, and that's exactly what he needed, she thought to herself.
He smiled at her "You got it El"
They enjoyed a wonderful evening together, just talking about old times, and about their future. The Woodcombs in Africa, and TeamB in their cover lives in Washington. It somehow felt like the end of one life, and the beginning of the other.
She pulled back from the kiss, looking at the man in front of her. Looking at the man, the world thought she was in love with, or atleast crazy about, and in truth she had fooled herself that whatever it was she had once felt for Chuck, was the same thing she was starting to feel for this man. She knew full well that it was a lie, this man wasn't Chuck, and she certainly had no romantic feelings for him, hell she had had more feelings for Bryce. Gosh she thought, another man I've lost. What bonded them was their shared loss, he had lost his wife, the love of his life, she had lost Chuck the love of hers. And after yesterday, she was quite sure that ship had sailed. She had burned her bridges, and she had to live with that. Yet somehow it didn't feel completely right what she was doing now. Sure she had done this with Shaw before, but somehow that conversation with Chuck had made an impact. Somehow it had spurred something back to live, she had to get herself out of this situation, at the very least for the time being.
"I'm sorry Daniel, dinner tonight was amazing, but I can't do this right now" she said apologetically. She had told him about what had happened with Chuck, both the impact his red test had on her, and their conversation. So now she hoped he would understand. This wasn't about them, this was about her having trouble handling things. Once again she berated herself for compromising herself like this, Damnit Walker what have you done here the last years!
Shaw's face fell a little, yet he knew it all had to be difficult for her with what had happened the last few months so he agreed "I understand Sam, I'll see you tomorrow" at least he had been able to enjoy a nice quiet dinner with her.
After Shaw left, Sarah sighed out of relief. She really didn't want to do this to him, but it was such a difficult situation she had gotten herself in, if only things would have been different with Chuck. Damn it Bryce why did you have to die so Chuck went on to download the 2.0…
She composed herself, and went into the bathroom. She needed a shower, so she stripped naked, and turned on the shower. She stepped under the hot streams of water, which masked the tears that were now streaming down her face. There was just so much confusion and pain in her head and heart, she couldn't bother to fight it anymore. She placed her head on the cold wall as she quietly sobbed, for what seemed like hours.
After she turned off the shower, she quickly put on some comfy pyjamas and made her way to her bed, she found a letter on her pillow, with only her name on it, her cover name that is. Oh the hell with it, it was her name it had been that since she met him. The writing was clearly his. How long has this been here? She wondered to herself, she picked it up, opened it, and began to read.
I came by to say a proper goodbye earlier, but you weren't home. I suppose you were out with Shaw, so I decided to write you this letter. I'm sorry to do it like this, it's just, I'm leaving shortly, and I wanted to give you a proper goodbye, one without yelling and screaming, one without either of us saying things we would regret later. Since you weren't home a letter was my only other option. I suppose all in all perhaps it's for the best, afterall seeing you would just be a very painful experience for me. Knowing that you are with Shaw has been excruciating from the start, knowing you are now his and never will be mine is something I'm going to have to learn to live with, perhaps one day I'll be able to bury my feelings deep inside. Like a spy is supposed to do. In all honesty Sarah, just between us, I'm not sure I'll ever be a real spy in that regard, but I'll have to try, I know that now.
This was exactly what she was scared off, she didn't want him to bury his feelings, and she would be responsible for it. She didn't want him to change, yet she knew he was right, if he was to survive he was going to have to forget about her.
I wanted to apologize to you Sarah. I know I wasn't completely fair to you when we last spoke. I know that it probably hurt you hearing me say those things, so I wanted to say I'm sorry, and I wanted to say that I'll be eternally grateful for what you have done for me. I can't be certain of your motives, and I'm going to be honest I still doubt them, I'm still not convinced you did it for me rather than the asset, but I still owe you. You kept me out of a bunker, you kept me alive, and you helped me find my father, and helped me save him. That is a lot to be grateful for. Perhaps that's part of why we didn't work, you did so much for me and my family, and all I did in return was try to bring you to talk about things you didn't want to talk about. Though seeing you tell Shaw things you never told me hurts more than I could have imagined. Maybe seeing you tell him things like your name is what caused me to snap at you earlier.
There is something else I need to apologize for Sarah, I need to apologize for what happened in Prague. You see, I loved you then, and I love you now, but what you asked of me then was something that was just impossible for me to do. And it was something that couldn't have ended well for either of us. Sarah, I have to ask did you really expect Beckman to just let us go? To let my skills, and yours, just walk off into the sunset because of love? Did you really expect me to give up, while I know this thing could keep a lot of people safe, including you? It's that what lead me to download it in the first place. I couldn't let this important weapon get lost, when so much is at stake Sarah. But I'm so sorry to have hurt you like I did. Though I still think I did the right thing. But again Sarah I didn't stay because I don't love you, I stayed because I do. I just wish we would have discussed things in Prague, or would have tried to fix things between us after I got back, we never did try to keep that promise. I know it's too late now, but know I don't blame you.
"I just wanted you to stay the same Chuck" she quietly whispered
I know you think I've changed over the last year, but I want you to know a few things. I can't explain all of it, and I know you never really trusted me enough for me to rely on that you will believe me right now, but I wanted it out in the open. I wanted to talk about a few things that you perceived as my change, some things I've overheard you talk about, and a few things you mentioned to me. I promise you it's the truth, as is everything I write in this letter.
First off there is the lying. I know you think I've gotten good at the whole lying thing, and honestly I probably have gotten a lot better than I'm comfortable with myself. But being good at the lying doesn't mean I'm liking it. I hate the lying, that hasn't changed. I hate that it's part of what has been forced upon me. Yes I know the 2.0 was a choice, but it wasn't much of one. Download it, or lose the war, the country, and the woman you love. Quite the Catch 22 if you ask me. The lying is part of why I don't mind leaving Burbank that much, no more lying to Ellie, no more lying to my friends. Devon chastised me for coldly lying to Ellie at one point, but Sarah it wasn't cold, I felt like I was dying on the inside. I still hate it, and I'm never going to like it, but you were right I need to protect them from the truth. That doesn't change that I'm not proud of a lot of the things I've done over the last few months. Lying to Hannah was another thing that I wish I could take back. The pain I must have inflicted her is something that's going to be on my conscience for the rest of my life I fear.
That's why I didn't want you to be a spy Chuck, you shouldn't be dying on the inside, she thought to herself, while tears were pricking in her eyes.
Then there was the whole Rafe Gruber thing, I didn't have much choice there either. I could lie, I could pull out Casey's tooth, or we could lose the intel and Casey and me would die. Not much of a choice there either. I was disappointed to hear you berate me for it. I had hoped you would understand. I suppose I don't understand how you can berate me for something you, your boyfriend, and your ex-boyfriends have done yourselves. I suppose it's another reason we could never be together.
Last thing I need you to know is, I'm not a killer Sarah. I can't explain it, and I won't ask you to trust me on this, because I already know you don't, but I am telling you that it's the truth. I just wished I could have gained your trust somewhere down the line Sarah. I just wished you'd have put some faith in me as a person. Of all the things that happened between us, I think that is the one thing that hurt me the most.
How can I trust you when my eyes saw you do something different then what you said Chuck? How can I then not conclude you have become everything I feared you would? Is there really more to it? And why can't you trust me enough to tell me the truth if there is? She wondered as tears were now slowly dropping down her face.
Now there are a few things I need you to promise me Sarah. First things first, make sure you are happy. You deserve to be happy Sarah, I know you put yourself down about a lot, but you do. So promise me, promise yourself that you are going to work on being happy Sarah. Promise yourself happiness, with Shaw or another guy for that matter. But find it somewhere when you get to Washington.
I can't promise that Chuck, only you could make me happy. But you wanted to change. Without that love, all I can aim for is contentment, if I can reach that.
Promise me that you give me a chance to be happy aswell. I know what your new job entrails, and I know that we might have to meet or have briefings, but please Sarah, let Shaw do them for my team if you can. I need to get over you, and seeing you every time we get a mission isn't going to help. I really need you to do this for me. Also something for yourself, stay clear of Ellie. I know she was your only friend, but she doesn't quite think the world of you right now. I suppose me breaking down in front of her didn't do her opinion of you much good. If only we could explain things to her, perhaps it would salvage your friendship.
"I promise Chuck" she quietly sobbed.
Finally stay safe. Stay safe, and stay alive. The world needs you Sarah Walker, so it better damn well get you.
I've got to finish this up I wouldn't want you to walk in on me writing this letter, I'm probably looking a bit like a mess right now, besides I still got to take care of some things, like pack my bags with both summer and winter wear.
Goodbye Agent Walker,
"Goodbye Agent Bartowski" She quietly whispered much like earlier in Castle.
PS. I'm taking Morgan and Casey to Rome, Casey's back to Major, Morgan is kind of like my Alfred(you know Batman, yes that makes it better). What can I say Beckman will go far to have the thing functioning properly. Finally the damned thing is working to my advantage.
After reading the letter, tears were still streaming down her face. She refolded the letter and placed it on her night stand, before putting her head on her pillow, her tears almost instantly soaking the pillow. That night, she cried herself to sleep, for the first time since her red test. As she dozed off, she knew Chuck was right, they needed to stay clear of each other.
A/N: Ok so the chapter is a bit on the long side, a bit on the very long side even, it was even longer at one point, but I cut some stuff out, like the conversation with Big Mike. I contemplated on cutting it in two, or perhaps even in three, but I've decided against it. I don't know, in my mind I just wanted this as a whole, so there you go. Anyway, next chapter has Chuck arriving in Rome, Sarah will get insights in how much she has changed in the last three years, and the Awesomes will be making some important decisions.
Anyway reviews would be great, good or bad, just be honest.