DISCLAIMER: I do not own Chuck or any of the wonderful Characters.
A/N: This is my first story on this site, and I would really appreciate feedback! Enjoy :)
"Goodbye Sarah…" he says in a devilish tone.
"Noooooooo," I yell, fearful of what will happen next.
Just as I leap forward to protect Sarah from Nicholas Quinn's line of fire, I am knocked to the floor by the impact of a single bullet penetrating my skin. I cannot yet comprehend what is happening, as every last bit of oxygen flowing through my body is sucked dry in a single instant.
I find myself lying on the floor, struggling for every breath, when it hits me…I've been shot. The man who has taken my wife, our love, and our future, has now taken me. Everything I hoped to accomplish here is gone, stripped away like my wife's memories. I feel defeated, lost, and numb.
I can hear Quinn making a fast escape through the back door, leaving unscathed once again. Sarah kneels to the floor beside me, a panicked expression filling her face.
"Oh my God! Are you okay?" she asks, wrapping her hand around mine in a comforting gesture.
In this moment, I feel closer to Sarah than I have at any point in the last twenty-four hours since this nightmare began. Not only is she comforting me, but she is looking at me the way my wife would, as she has done countless times before. I want to be selfish and feel her warmth and comfort, but I know what is coming, and I have a decision to make. I can ask her to stay with me and hope that we can survive this together, or I can let her go and allow her to the opportunity to start over, on her own terms.
"I'm wearing a vest," I lie, whispering between ragged breaths. "They're…coming for you, Sarah."
Her safety is most important, and will not compromise it for my own selfish benefit. She has to go, one final time. My hand and my heart don't want to let go, but I hold on to the hope that one day she'll come back to me.
"Run," I tell her.
Our eyes meet, and I sense her looking to me for a bit of reassurance. She is conflicted, as she, too, must decide whether to stay or go. Instead, I make the decision for her.
With one final glance, I feel her hand slowly pull away from my own, as if in slow motion. There remains no physical connection between as, as she is out the door in a matter of seconds, possibly never to be seen again.
Finally, I allow myself to release every bit of strength I have been holding in for Sarah.
My heart sinks, and I am left alone with nothing but my thoughts, my pain, and my lost dreams. Never in a million years did I imagine myself experiencing the things I have today. Yet here I am, lying on the floor of our dream home, exhausted, alone, and scared. My head is pounding and my chest is on fire, among other things. As I drop my right hand to the floor, I feel a slippery substance against my fingers. Blood. It is everywhere. I feel myself choking on it as it begins to fill my throat and mouth. It is also escaping through my backside, creating a sizeable puddle beneath me. I can feel each breath growing more shallow, my eyes blinking rapidly in a sense of panic. I can only hope that someone will soon find me, as I'm not sure how long I can hold on.
Although it seems like an eternity, not even sixty seconds pass before deafening sirens fill the air and luminous blue and red lights reflect against the front windows. I can hear combat boots bustling through the front door, Casey's voice not far behind. A sense of relief washes over me. As I look to the ceiling above, he comes into my line of vision, gun in hand.
"He's here!" Casey shouts, searching the room for any possible threats. Finding none, he lowers his gun to the floor and moves in next to me. Trailing him are Ellie and Morgan, both with anguished expressions, now looking over me.
"Chuck!" Ellie calls to me in a panicked tone.
I look to her, then to Morgan, then to her once more.
"Hi," I muster out in a raspy, shallow voice.
She steps forward to look me over when her foot slips, nearly sending her to the floor. She catches herself, and her eyes are immediately drawn to the floor below, where she notices the growing pool of crimson red blood.
"Oh my God…Chuck! You're bleeding!" she shouts, looking to me for some sort of response.
My body has all but given up, and I can't seem focus on her, let alone get the words out. Morgan and Casey are now focused completely on me, worried looks on their faces, waiting for answers.
"Chuck!" Ellie yells once again, trying to get my attention. She takes my bloody hand in hers. "Look at me."
Finally, my eyes zoom in on hers.
"I need you to tell me what happened," she probes. "Where are you hurt? Why are you bleeding?"
"Shh…shot," I mumble, as it's the only word I can get out.
"We need a medic and an ambulance!" she shouts before I can say anything more.
"We've got an agent down!" Casey adds.
Ellie seems relatively calm, despite the tears falling from her eyes. I can't help but feel guilty that she has to see me like this.
"Did Quinn shoot you," she asks.
I answer her with a nod, as I hear a loud grunt coming from Casey.
"Okay, where were you shot, Chuck?" she continues. "I need to know so that I can check the wound."
"My b…back," I manage to whisper, still trying to breathe through the pain.
"Okay, Chuck," she says, a look of sheer terror on her face. "I need you to keep talking to me so that you can stay awake. Do you think you can do that?"
"Good," she says with a forced smile, gently squeezing my hand. "Now, can you tell me what else hurts?"
"H…head hurts," I admit. "C…can't br…breathe." I decide to leave out any other possible injuries that aren't necessarily life threatening, as not to worry her any further.
"Alright, Chuck. You probably have a concussion. I can also see you're having trouble breathing, and the bullet might have punctured a lung. I want you to try to relax and take deep breaths through your nose, not through your mouth. Okay?"
I slowly nod.
I try to do as Ellie asks, but the blood in my throat becomes too much, and nearly forces its way out through my mouth. Before I know it, I'm coughing up my own blood, unable to contain it any longer.
"Oh, God!" I hear Morgan yell out.
"He's aspirating!" Ellie shouts. "Help me turn him on his side!" she demands, looking to Casey and Morgan for help.
I feel myself being pushed onto my left side as I continue to cough violently, blood draining from my mouth. As I lay on my side, I feel Ellie's hands lift my jacket and shirt to examine the wound.
"Oh my God," she says under her breath. "Morgan, I need you to put pressure on the wound. Hold your hang against his back with as much pressure as you can."
With the coughing comes unbearable pain. I feel Morgan's hand press against my back, touching every nerve with extreme force.
"Aaahhhhhh," I scream between coughs, unable to contain my agony.
"Sorry, buddy," Morgan tells me. "I know it hurts."
Finally, the coughing subsides, though I'm still fighting my lungs to get even a single breath. The three of them gently lay me back down against the floor, Morgan's hand still holding the wound, and Ellie taking a look under my shirt.
"There's no exit wound," she says aloud, in a panic. "Where is that damn ambulance?" she yells in frustration.
Realizing that I haven't spoken, Ellie looks to me for reassurance, taking hold of my hand once again.
"Are you still with me, Chuck?" she asks, trying to fight back the tears.
I simply nod.
"Good," she smiles. "You're gonna be okay, you hear me? You're gonna get through this."
Again, I nod.
"I need you to be okay…because I need my little brother, Clara needs her uncle, and whether she knows it or not, Sarah needs you, too."
Sarah. God, how I wish she were here right now, assuring me that everything would be okay, that we would find our back to each other. At even the thought of her, I get emotional, and a tear falls from my eye. The tears continue to flow, one after another, and Ellie, Morgan, and Casey take note of my suddenly emotional state.
Casey is the first to interject. "Where's Sarah?" he questions.
"She's gone," I concede. "Sarah's gone."
My own words hit me like a ton of bricks, and it's a moment of realization. I'm on my own now.
"Did Quinn take her?" he asks again.
I shake my head.
"Sarah left you here like this?" Ellie exclaims furiously.
"I h…had…to…l…let…her…go," I choke out.
"Oh, Chuck," she says, wiping my tears with her thumb as she begins to understand what happened.
Before Ellie can respond further, unknown voices fill the room in a chaotic manner.
"What do we have here?" shouts a strong male voice from behind.
"This is my brother, Chuck," Ellie jumps in as the paramedics come into view. "He has a GSW to the back, no exit wound. He may also have a punctured lung as well as a concussion."
Suddenly, that strong male voice is hovering over me.
"Excuse me, miss," he says, gently pushing Ellie aside. He makes eye contact with me before continuing. "Can you tell me your name?" he asks me.
"Chuck," I say, a bit confused given the fact that Ellie just told him my name.
"Good. Okay Chuck, I'm Steve and I'm going to be helping you out so that we can get you to the hospital. Now, I know you're having trouble breathing, so I'm going to have my friend Jenna here, put a mask on you, alright? It should help a little bit until we can get you to the hospital."
As I nod, I am face to face with a young woman slipping a mask over my nose and mouth, providing me with much-needed supplemental oxygen. The mask helps almost immediately, yet the pain enveloping my body is ever present.
"He was aspirating a couple of minutes ago," Ellie tells him.
"Are you a doctor?" I hear him ask her.
"Yes," she states confidently. He gives her a nod before continuing.
As I feel an unfamiliar hand grab my own left one, Steve looks to me. "Chuck, I want you to squeeze my hand, as hard as you can."
In all of the confusion, I attempt to squeeze his hand as hard as I can despite all the strength I have lost.
"Nice job, Chuck," he says with a smile, now placing his hand in my right one. "Now, I want you to squeeze my right hand."
I attempt to squeeze his hand once again, but the strength in my right hand seems nonexistent. I do my best to give him a gentle squeeze, hoping it's enough.
"Okay, good," he says timidly. I then hear him speak to his partner, "strength is decreased on the right side, looks like a possible pneumothorax. We need to get him to the hospital."
He looks into my eyes once more.
"Just try to concentrate on breathing, Chuck. We'll take care of the rest. Just relax," Steve tells me.
For the next few minutes, I am poked and prodded incessantly, completely overwhelmed. Before I know it, my neck is stabilized and I am strapped to a backboard, unable to move. I am scared, and as I look to Ellie for consolation, she is nowhere to be found.
"Ellie?" I ask in a frenzy, my voice muffled by the mask.
After a few moments, she appears above me, right in my line of vision. "I'm right here, Chuck, and I'm not going anywhere," she tells me, giving my hand a gentle squeeze. "We're not going anywhere," she says, pointing herself, Casey, and Morgan.
"That's right buddy, we're with you all the way," Morgan says with sincerity.
"You're gonna be fine, Bartowski," Casey chimes in. "You believe that."
I simply nod, thankful for the presence and support of my friends.
"Alright everyone, we've got to get going," Jenna, the other paramedic, interrupts. "You can follow us to the hospital."
I feel myself being rolled out of the house and into a waiting ambulance. The pain intensifies with each movement, but all I can do is concentrate on my breathing…and Sarah.
"Are you going to Westside Medical? I hear Ellie ask Jenna.
"Yes, they've got a team waiting for us."
"Good, my husband and I work there" Ellie tells her. "I'm riding with him."
Jenna can only nod in agreement.
Ellie slides in the back of the ambulance, the doors close, and the sirens come alive.
Ellie runs her fingers through my hair and gives me an unconvincing smile.
"I…l….love….y…you," I tell her, as a single tear falls from her eye.
"T…tell…S…Sar…ah…I'm…sor…ry," I continue.
She looks at me with conviction. "You have nothing to be sorry for…she'll come back to you. Aces, Charles. You're Aces."
A/N: Thanks for reading! Review :)