This is not an original story. In fact it is one of my first. It was written at the beginning of season 2. The story was inspired by a series of discussions between BrickRoad and me talking through different storyline ideas. She wanted me to go in a totally different direction. The more she tried to talk me out of it, the more ideas she unwittingly gave me. Did I mention that she is as bad at talking me into things as I am her? Anyway if you like the story, thank her for the inspiration.

Anyway, I really liked this storyline (if I do say so myself, lol) but I was still a fairly new author. That meant that technically, I stunk. Thanks to people like Poa, Lucky47, and yes BrickRoad, hopefully I've improved. The idea that I would digitally re-master and re-release something old… much like an aging rock group would their one hit, was so well received with Therapy that I decided, what the hell.

So if you ever read the original, most of this will be really familiar. There will be some new content and a lot more details but the story is basically going to be the same.

If you didn't read the original, first off, what the hell? A bit of fair warning, this starts off a little on the angsty side. In fact the first few chapters contain probably the most genuine angst of any of my stories. But never fear. I only write happy endings. Hang in there and you'll get some major sappy fluff. In fact if you're diabetic make sure to have a doze of insulin at the ready before trying to read the last couple of chapters.

I don't own Chuck, Sarah, or any of the characters portrayed here

Warning: There is some adult content in this, probably more than the original (thanks to my meeting Poa, lol). Nothing major but please use discretion. I still don't own Chuck.

If you enjoyed this or any of the stories on this site, please take a second and send the author a review. It only takes a second – and it really, really makes a difference. That's probably more important than ever now that the series has ended. If you want to keep the Chuck fandom alive and continue to read about these characters, you really need to think about rewarding the people whose hard work make that possible.

The Break Up

x-x-x-x-x

"I'm not happy about this at all," General Beckman said harshly. "We need to treat this as a crisis. I shouldn't have to remind you that we need to protect the intersect at all costs."

Casey and Sarah were at Casey's place, having been hastily summoned to a conference to discuss the recent developments.

Sarah knew that Beckman was furious. And with Graham dead she was now firmly in charge. She had the power to quickly make things miserable for everybody. So she tried to calm her down. "Yes, ma'am," she replied quickly. "But we have the situation under control. Agent Casey and I arrived before Colt could harm Chuc, um, I mean the intersect. He and his team are in custody."

But Beckman wasn't in a mood to be talked out of being furious. Maybe it was time to remind these two who their unquestioned boss now was. "Yes, Agent Walker," she said sarcastically. "At least we didn't lose him this time. But the fact of the matter is that he was lured into a trap, all by himself, while you and Agent Casey were running off tracking some dead end lead."

"Yes, ma'am," said Casey. "We had intelligence that led us to believe that we knew the location of the cipher."

"But your intelligence was wrong," replied Beckman coldly. "In fact you were both fooled fairly easily. We can't have the intersect being alone to fend for himself."

Casey was playing a bad hand, and he knew it. It would be foolish to try to defend the current situation. So he didn't. "Yes, ma'am," was all he replied sadly.

"And I'm getting tired of the intersect being exposed to these kind of risks," Beckman continued. "So I've decided to make some changes. I'm assigning an additional agent to your team. Agent Becky Ivan will be starting at the Buy More tomorrow. I want her to get close to the intersect."

Sarah had never heard of Becky Ivan. But she instantly knew what 'close' meant in that context. Hopefully Beckman just misspoke. "Get close, ma'am?" she questioned hesitantly. "Close in what way?"

No such luck.

"She is going to do what you refused to do, Agent Walker," Beckman said firmly. "She is going to form a relationship with Bartowski, by any means necessary. She is going to use that relationship to keep him controlled."

"With all due respect, ma'am," Casey said. "How is she going to do that? Bartowski is not really a good candidate to be a seduction target right now. It's pretty obvious that he is in love with Agent Walker here. There's no way he is going to look at another woman."

"Is this true, Agent Walker?" Beckman said as she narrowed her eyes.

Sarah tried to keep the smile from forming. That would be the worst thing. If Beckman suspected she was compromised, she'd be immediately reassigned. She just couldn't quite pull it off. "Well, ma'am," she said softly. "He's never actually said those words, but it's very possible."

"Well, Agent Walker," said Beckman firmly. "What can you do to make Agent Ivan's job easier."

Sarah tried to keep her voice as calm and professional as possible. That would be the only way to convince a hard ass like Beckman. But she was shaking inside. "Ma'am," she said. "Maybe it would be best if I increased the intensity of our relationship. It would be easy. I can control him."

Beckman just shook her head. "You've had your shot," she said firmly. "I've seen how you control him. Besides, I want someone inside the Buy More. What can we do to make Agent Ivan successful?"

"I know," Casey said excitedly. "Agent Walker can tell Bartowski that she is still in love with Bryce Larkin. That will end any hope that he had in his mind for a relationship with her. He will be ripe for a rebound."

Casey wasn't trying to hurt Sarah. And he certainly wasn't trying to piss her off. He just got excited at solving the problem and blurted it out. And Sarah really couldn't react. Beckman was looking directly at her. But Casey could tell by her body language alone that Sarah was not happy. It fact she was throwing invisible hate bombs in his direction.

"Excellent," Beckman said. "That works,"

"But, ma'am," Sarah interrupted. "Please, there has to be another way. That would crush him."

"Is there a problem, Agent Walker?" Beckman asked pointedly. Then she leaned forward to add additional emphasis to her next words. "Are you compromised to the point that you can't do your duty here?"

Sarah knew that her current assignment was hanging by a thread. And that would mean losing any contact with him. "No ma'am," she replied sadly. "I'm only thinking of the team. He has a history with Agent Larkin, feels like he always loses to him. This will hit him harder than anything we could possibly do to him. If I, umm, we crush his spirit, how will he be effective?"

"Maybe this isn't the best idea," said Casey chimed in trying to repair the damage. "Agent Walker is right. It would crush him. I'm afraid that his mood might impact his usefulness for some time."

But Beckman wouldn't be swayed. "No," she said firmly. "I like this approach. Agent Walker, I want you to tell him tonight. I'm not worried about Bartowski. He'll be fine. Agent Ivan will get him back in the saddle quickly. Seduction is her specialty. As a matter of fact, we'll probably have to get used to a permanent smile on his face for a while. After a few nights in bed with Agent Ivan, he'll forget all about his puppy dog crush on Agent Walker."

"In bed," asked Sarah sadly, much more to herself than anybody.

"Come on, Agent Walker," Beckman said with a snide laugh. "How long have you been an agent? You know exactly what Agent Ivan is going to do. It's what you should have done a year ago. We both know it. And another thing, we're not going to tell Agent Ivan about the intersect for the time being. She just thinks that Bartowski is a high value asset."

"Yes, ma'am," Sarah said with a sigh.

"Well, you have your orders." Beckman said with her typical growl. "You're dismissed."

As soon as the screen went blank, Sarah quickly turned and began to stomp towards the door without glancing at Casey.

"Walker," Casey called.

Sarah continued walking without responding as if she hadn't heard him.

"Sarah," Casey called softly. "Please wait."

Sarah stopped walking but continued to stand facing the door.

"I'm sorry," Casey said sadly. "I wasn't thinking. I know this was my idea. I didn't think of how hard this is going to be for the two of you."

When Sarah finally turned to look at Casey he could see her blinking the tears away.

"This is why agents don't get involved with assets," Casey said softly. "I'm really sorry, Sarah."

"I know," Sarah said softly. "Trust me, I know. It's just… it's just hard."

"How bad is this?" Casey asked.

Sarah stood and debated how much to say. She wasn't fooling Casey anyway. He knew the way they looked at each other. But a flat out admission probably wasn't best either. "It's bad," she finally said. "Now not only do I have to destroy him, crush his spirit, I have to stand by and watch another woman seduce him."

"I know," Casey said softly. "What are you going to do?"

"What choice do I have?" Sarah asked sarcastically. "I follow orders. You know that."

She opened the door and left the apartment.

x-x-x-x-x

Chuck was sitting in his normal spot at the Nerd Herd desk. Since it was a Tuesday afternoon, not much was happening. And that was totally fine with Chuck. After all, he had a lot on his mind. Of course, the main thing was that he was still the intersect. He had so been looking forward to getting his life back. That would be great. But there was a fly in the ointment. What would that mean for him and Sarah? Would she really stay after it was no longer an assignment? She had agreed to the real date. That was more than hopeful. And it had gone amazingly well. In fact they were oh so close to their first real, romantic kiss. Until Colt and his crew ruined it, that is.

"Hey buddy," Morgan said, startling Chuck out of his deep thoughts. "What's the matter?"

"Nothing," replied Chuck with a deep sigh. "Just daydreaming a little. What's wrong with that?"

"You were thinking about Sarah," Morgan said with a short laugh. "Admit it."

"And why would you say that?" Chuck said as he turned his attention to his short friend.

"Come on, Chuck," Morgan said slapping him on the back. "Who do you think you're talking to? I've seen that look before. And why not? I mean, she's the hottest thing I've ever seen."

"Okay, Morgan," Chuck said with a laugh. "Yes, I was thinking about Sarah. And I'd like to get back to it if you don't mind."

"Say no more," Morgan said as he walked away. "Tell the truth. In your daydream she's naked, isn't she?"

Chuck playfully shooed Morgan away and went back to his thoughts. But now, what? Would Sarah agree to continue dating him when she was still assigned to protect him? Chuck knew that would be a hard sell. But he was determined to give it his best shot. Sarah had agreed to come over tonight and talk about it. Even that was a huge step in the right direction. Sarah never wanted to talk about that personal stuff. Chuck knew that this was his only shot and he was determined to take it. He promised himself that he would make every effort to convince her. He'd beg if he had too. He needed her. And he knew that she felt the same way. He knew it. It was time for her to come clean.

x-x-x-x-x

The moment that Sarah walked into the apartment her eyes told Chuck that something was seriously wrong. The sparkle that Chuck had grown so accustomed to seeing just wasn't there. For one thing, she wouldn't look him in the eye. For another she looked around the room, her gaze darting nervously from spot to spot.

"Hi," Chuck said with a smile. He could tell that she was very nervous. She never felt comfortable talking about her feelings. He tried to calm her down by making small talk. "How was your day?"

"Chuck," said Sarah with a deep sigh. "You wanted to talk. No offense, but can we just get this over with?"

"Sure," Chuck said softly. "I know that this is hard for you."

Sarah decided there was no way to say this gently. "I can't date you," she blurted out as she looked at the floor.

"Sarah, please," Chuck whispered urgently. "I know that you have a job to do. I think that we can work it out. I'll do whatever it takes. Please let us try. I love …"

"I just realized something last night," Sarah interrupted softly. "I'm still in love with Bryce. I'm sorry."

It took a long moment for Chuck to process what she had just said. He felt like he had just gotten punched in the gut. Of all of the things that he expected her to say in his planning for this chat, that was one he hadn't anticipated. But surely he should have realized it was a possibility. Bryce was her type. Bryce was everything that he wasn't. Of course he always got the great girls. Finally he composed himself enough to speak.

"Are you sure?" he asked so softly that Sarah could barely hear him as she had to turn away from the pain on his face.

Sarah knew that she couldn't answer him believably. He'd see right through her. So she simply nodded.

"I thought… I umm thought…" Chuck stammered as he tried unsuccessfully to fight back the tears. "Wow, I didn't see that coming. I was going to beg you to try and work it out with the job. I guess I never considered that you didn't feel the same way. I feel really foolish. I really thought that we had something. I guess it was just that you're very good at your job."

Sarah knew that she had only a scant few seconds to get out of that apartment or break down in front of him. And that would almost assuredly mean spending tonight in his bed. It would be glorious… but it would also mean immediate reassignment and losing him forever. "I'm sorry, Chuck," she said. "The last thing I wanted to do was to hurt you. But given the circumstances; I think that it would be best if we ended our cover relationship. It would be too awkward, don't you think?"

"If that's what you want," was all Chuck could finally choke out after a long pause. "Is that really what you want?"

Sarah called upon ever fiber of her training to look him in the eye without crying. "Yes, Chuck," she said as she opened the door to leave. "It is. I'll work it out with Washington."

"Then I guess there's nothing left for me to say," Chuck said as the tears in his eyes began to overflow. "Please tell Bryce how lucky I think he is."

Sarah knew that she just couldn't leave him rejected like this, whatever happened. This was the worst thing she could tell him. He always felt inferior to Bryce. He shouldn't but he did. This was just going to reinforce that. "Chuck," she said softly as she walked out the door. "Please don't feel badly. This isn't about you. I can't tell you how great I think you are. And in another place and time, who knows? I'm so, so sorry."

"I'm sorry too," Chuck whispered to the now closed door as tears streamed down his face. "I'm really sorry too."

x-x-x-x-x

Sarah quickly walked to her car and drove away. As soon as she was out of sight, she pulled into a deserted parking lot. She picked up her cell phone and dialed the number.

"Walker, secure."

"Yes, ma'am, I told him."

"Yes, ma'am, he's pretty broken up."

"At least it's over, ma'am."

It took every bit of will power that Sarah could muster as she fought to stay composed while she talked. As soon as the call ended she put her head on the steering wheel and sobbed uncontrollably at the look of utter devastation on his face. It was well over an hour before she could compose herself enough to drive home.

x-x-x-x-x