"Chuck vs the Aussie"
AN1: Hi everyone, I am back with my second story, which will be a lighter and romantic fun story– overall this should be between 6 and 15 chapters (Update2: change in plans - it will be 24 chapters). This will see Chuck and Sarah as Olympic swimmers and their meeting and what comes next (and yes Sarah is the Aussie in this story). Keep an eye on the locations, dates and times - it does jump 4 times in this chapter.
This will be a pure Chuck and Sarah story, so no worries of odd pairs and that kind of relationship angst (that is not my thing). The first chapter is Chuck's back story, Chapter 2 is Sarah's back story and Chapter 3 is the Chuck and Sarah meeting in London, so be patient – Charah will come. OK Disclaimers – I still do not own Chuck (sadly) and I definitely don't own the Olympics – this is all for fun, no profits, so no suing!
My next project will be a more dramatic Chuck story – I have a poll on my profile with overviews – if you see anything that catches your eyes let me know! As of right now my next story will be Chuck: Brothers in Arms unless the poll really changes. After vs the Aussie is done I will start another light romantic story, while I continue Brother's (I will only tackle 2 stories at a time).
Thanks for all the support for my first story – it is a series finale re-write for those who have not taken a look – if you give it a chance I think it will put a smile on your face (at the end – no promises during the meat of the story).
Italics are character thoughts.
So, I present… Chuck vs the Aussie!
Chapter 1: Backgrounds - Chuck
Forest near Twin Pines and Pyramid Lake
Los Padres National Forest, California
July 6, 1995
14:40 hrs PST
A small boy runs carelessly through the lush green forest of towering pines, jumping from a tree stump over a small bush and ferns onto a dirt trail as he evades his pursuer. The eight year old boy giggles and smiles widely as his sister chases him red faced and ready for revenge.
"Chuck, I am going to get you and when I do you will pay for destroying my hair dryer. YOU. ARE. DEAD. NERD!" The preteen screamed, while huffing slightly from the chase.
"Come on Ellie," the boy responds through labored breaths and huffs of oxygen as he ran away from his distraught big sister.
"I just wanted to see… huff… how it works, besides you should have seen… your… face… when you caught me trying to put it back together – priceless, hahah." Chuck cheekily responds with a large grin through labored breaths.
"ERRRGGG! Dead you hear me Chuck Bartowski! You. Are. Dead!" Ellie yelled
As they cut through the forest, little Chuck turns towards the lake, "Must get… to… lake," Chuck says breathing heavily and thinking, maybe I can swim away, Ellie might give up.
As he reaches the edge of the lake he looks back at his red faced sister's angry face rapidly approaching, before diving head long into the cool lake water.
As soon as he hits the water he takes in a shuttering gasp due to the shock of the cold lake water, before taking off with manic strokes in order to get away from his angry pursuer. He glides effortlessly through the water as he powers himself further and further from shore.
Ellie stops at the edge of the lake. Chuck was less than 20 feet ahead of her on land, yet as she reaches the water, Chuck is well off shore over 50 yards away still gliding further and further from her reach.
"Wow… he's fast, really fast… I didn't know he could swim like that…" Ellie says with a contorted expression on her face, puzzled at her little brother's undiscovered skill. There is no way I am catching him in the water - I'll get him at dinner, she thinks to herself as a Cheshire grin graces her young face.
With a large huff at her inability to catch Chuck, Ellie begins her trek back to their family's cabin, looking forward to Chuck's eventual punishment for his crime against her beauty products.
Twin Pines Cabin
Los Padres National Forest, California
July 6, 1995
17:40 hrs PST
Chuck quietly entered at the back of the cabin, weary of his big sister and her expected response to his "experimenting" with her stuff. He was glad he escaped her earlier attack, the swim really had worked. He had swum for a mile before he realized she was no longer chasing him. As Chuck begins to relax and let out a deep breath, he is suddenly grabbed by his sister as she popped out from her hiding place.
Chuck yelped as Ellie reaches aggressively to pummel Chuck for his transgression against her hair accessory.
Their mother, Mary, hearing the commotion rose from the living room and rushed towards the racket. Mary found her children and steps between them in order to avoid bloodshed as Ellie chases Chuck around the cabin.
In an authoritative tone Mary calls out, "What is going on? What are you two doing?"
Chuck looks at Mary with an innocent smile.
Mary puts her one hand on her forehead and uses the other to pinch the bridge of her nose as she closes her eyes and scrunches her face, sighing in frustration.
"Oh Charles, what did you do this time?" She asks her young precocious child.
"Nothing I swear," Chuck responds emphatically adding an innocent look on his face, before a small, sly smile breaks slightly onto his face, that he is unable to hide from his mother's and sister's scrutinizing gazes.
"He murdered my hair dryer!" Ellie yells as she angrily scowls at her little brother. She pulls the sad, disassembled remains of the little appliance from her room to show Mary the terrible crime committed against her hair dryer.
"See Mom – he MUST be punished!" Ellie emphatically states.
"Charles, what do you have to say for yourself?" Mary asks in an authoritative, motherly tone.
"And what do you have to say to your sister?" Mary responds.
Chuck looks at his sister with big, brown puppy dog eyes before saying, "Sorry Ellie, I just wanted to see how it works – I was sure I could put it back together before you needed it… Maybe Dad can help and we can fix it?"
Ellie sighs, "Apology accepted, but no more taking apart my stuff, understand!"
"Got it" Chuck responds with a smile, while exhaling a breath thinking he had gotten off light with an apology.
"OK then," Mary says before adding, "Charles, I am going to give you a choice… of punishments…"
Chuck's head drops, dejected that he in fact did not avoid punishment, thinking to himself – Aw man, I thought for sure the wide, puppy eyes would work, not cool.
"So your choices Charles are either: grounded for one month – No electronics… or you start participating in a sport, you can choose which one, but I have to approve it." Mary states.
Chuck begins to open his mouth, but Mary cuts him off, "And no Charles, card games, pool and other games do not count."
Chuck's mouth snaps shut, his question dying on his lips and his face dropping as he comes to terms with his harsh sentence.
"Can I appeal my sentence, I have rights?" Chuck asks cautiously.
Mary smirks amused at Chuck's attempts to avoid punishment, "Fine, appeal DENIED… and Charles… you have no rights… oh and don't even think of trying to go to your dad, you will be sorry if you try that – understand?"
Chuck's head drops again, "Yes Mom, I understand," well - this is going to suck Chuck thought to himself.
Ellie looks at her baby brother, rather amused.
Meanwhile, Mary smiles – she had a secret reason for choosing the punishment. Mary thought to herself, there is no way he is giving up electronics, so that leaves him with only one choice: sports. He is so like Stephen, they both are computer nerds and I love them both for it, but Charles needs to get exercise. It just so happens I am an athlete and this punishment means we will be able to spend a lot more time together doing things I'm good at. She chuckles internally, oh and it will be good for him… healthy – ya that sounds good. I'm not a frost queen after all or a spy who abandons her family, I want to spend more time with my kids and it is hard enough to peel Charles from the computer. Now I have a reason… ya this is going to be good!
Stephen Bartowski enters the room in a frilly apron and a ridiculous chef's hat and proclaims to his family, "Dinner is ready," completely oblivious to the recent events and Chuck's coming punishment.
As the family moves toward the dinner table, Chuck thought over his options as he sat down at the table. OK, I can't do a month with no gaming… I'll go through withdrawal, he shutters visibly as he remembers Morgan's most recent grounding from gaming for the great jungle gym fire of 1994… Morgan had the shakes after only a week. No, No Way! But that means I have to do a sport and nerds should not have to be athletic, I think it's a rule… I should look that up…
Chuck continues to think, Ok running... so not a fan, so that takes out a lot of sports. Hum, far too lanky of build for contact sports, plus Dad would probably veto that – and I really don't want to be a squished nerd. Um… what does that leave? As he contemplates his options a crease forms in his brow and a deep look of concentration graces his young face as he is oblivious of his family's conversations around the dinner table.
Finally, Chuck has a flash of inspiration.
…That swim today was fun… maybe that's it, Chuck thought to himself.
As the family ate their dinner, Chuck finally decided to announce his decision and see what his Mom had to say.
"Mom, are you sure I can't talk you out of this crazy punishment?" Chuck asks adding a pout to his puppy dog eyes.
Mary almost folds… almost.
"No Charles, what have you decided?"
"I take punishment # 2," Chuck says rather unenthusiastically.
"Perfect, I mean good that you decided… what sport did you want to try?" Mary says, recovering from her almost slip.
"Hmmm… how about swimming?" Chuck responds.
"Charles that is great, I was more of a track and field star, but for years I did triathlons so we can swim together and I can train you! This is going to be so much fun!" Mary almost squealed, but she contained herself, Mary Bartowski is far too reserved to squeal… but she could not stop the smile that invaded her face. This going to be great she thought.
The next day Mary planned to take Chuck swimming on the lake, the first of many mother-son swimming expeditions.
Los Padres National Forest, California
July 7, 1995
08:40 hrs PST
A groggy and unimpressed Chuck protested the early awakening and let out a drawn out, "Mom, why are we up? It's summer time for heaven's sakes!"
"Charles, I want you to take this seriously – it will be fun I promise, give it a chance." Mary told her sullen son to hopefully avoid any further whining.
After stretching they took to the chilly lake water and began their swim. After a few minutes they decided to head towards a small island a few miles off shore in the middle of this section of the lake.
After swimming for a while, Mary stopped looking back in order to check on Chuck every few minutes and began to concentrate on her own strokes as she tuned out the outside world. Midway through the swim Mary looked back to check on Chuck and began to panic when he was nowhere to be found. She splashed as she spun in all directions, craning her head to search for her young boy.
"Oh god, CHUCK, WHERE ARE YOU!" Mary yelled.
"Mom?" Chuck called from a ways away from his mother.
Mary's head snapped around and there, over 150 yards ahead of her she saw Chuck treading water and looking perplexed as he squinted at his Mom trying to figure out her freak out.
"You Ok Mom?" He asks Mary who is finally starting to breath normally, though still a little distraught over the scare she had just had.
Mary swam to Chuck closing the distance before telling Chuck, "Ya… I'm fine. I thought you were behind me and when I looked back and you were gone I got really worried that you might have drowned," Mary tells Chuck, pausing to collect herself fully from her worry.
"Chuck, how did you get so far ahead of me? I have trained for years swimming and running."
"Um, I don't know, I guess I'm good at this… it's… it's fun, I really like it. Can we keep going?" Chuck asks his Mom who has finally fully recovered from her freak out.
Mary looks at her son slightly perplexed and slightly in awe of his apparent talent. She finally smiled at his youthful exuberance, and his lack of understanding of what she had just gone through, but she couldn't say no to him.
"Sure, let's go a bit further toward the island before we head back to the cabin." Mary replied
And the rest as they say is history…
Burbank High School
June 17, 2005
16:00 hrs PST
Chuck walks through the halls of Burbank High School towards the gym and pool. A lot had changed since that fateful day at the Twin Pines Cabin over nine years ago. Oh, Chuck was still a giant nerd, but with his disarming personality and the little fact that he was the star of the High School swim team meant his fellow seniors, and well the entire school, overlooked his nerdy tendencies.
Chuck is highly driven and very popular despite being slightly shy and introverted, while still being kind to all of his fellow students, which is an A-typical combination for a super-star High School athlete. He even remained friends with his long-time childhood best buddy Morgan who even began helping Chuck train. Morgan had decided that he needed to put aside his mad work avoidance skills if he was going to have any "Chuck-time," since his best buddies swimming obsession took up a lot of his time. Morgan commented that it seriously cut into quality gaming time and tried to get Chuck to rethink his new favorite pastime, but to no avail. Thus, Morgan got on board in order to spend time and help out his best buddy, Chuck – his hereto-life mate, though Chuck was really trying to get him to stop using that term as friends is a perfectly good descriptor of their relationship… and a less… odd way to put it. They did in fact still game, just a lot less than they had before as Chuck's favorite sport took clear precedents. This was hard for Morgan at first, but Morgan was nothing if not a good and supportive friend to one Charles Irving Bartowski.
Despite some of the changes Chuck had gone through he was still the same guy underneath. He was particularly shy with the schools female body. Most of the young ladies at school, and well in general, had a crush on Chuck to varying degrees. Who would have thought a nice, quiet nerd was in fact the most popular kid in school. And yet was still humble and despite all the attention he never became conceited or changed who he was. He was always kept honest and down to earth by his family – Stephen, Mary and Ellie all made sure Chuck stayed who he was – a good person.
He did in fact date a little, but he was still shy and never really felt a strong connection, so nothing serious developed on the relationship front and he always did his best to spare his admirer's feelings from being hurt.
As Chuck completed his walk down the long school hallway, he entered the gym and pool area and began to meticulously prepare for the Regional Swim Meet.
Today was an important day, a Stanford scout was in going to be in attendance and Chuck badly wants to perform in order to get a full ride scholarship to his dream school and his father's Alma Mater.
"OK Chuck – You can do this," Morgan said as he snuck up on Chuck.
"Gah," Chuck yelped and jumped slightly in surprise.
"Morgan, don't do that!" Chuck admonished Morgan for sneaking up on him.
"Sorry buddy," Morgan replied plaintively.
Chuck began stretching and doing breathing exercises to control his breathing and clearing his mind. His Mom had taught him a number of techniques in order to prepare for extreme physical exertion. Chuck thought to himself, she's like a Ninja… my own Mr. Miyagi with all her training and meditation skills. When we started training I was shocked to find that Mom was a very, very skilled athlete – ya, I guess I have a Kick-Ass Mom.
He smiles to himself as he thinks about how close he and his mother had become once he discovered his love of swimming. She had always been a little closed off emotionally, but their little hobby had helped them both open up and now their relationship was stronger than ever.
Pushing down any fear Chuck took his mark at the end of the pool along with the other young athletes. With one final breath he looked up to his family and his friends in the stands before smiling.
He said quietly to himself, "Let's do this," before the race began and he plunged into the pool.
Stanford (Palo Alto), California
August 10, 2008
15:00 hrs PST
Chuck won his final High School Regional Swim Meet in record time and Stanford fell all over itself offering Chuck a full ride athletic scholarship, as did more than twenty other prestigious universities. But Stanford was Chuck's choice - it was always his first choice.
He made the Stanford swim team and in his three years at Stanford he had excelled, becoming the team captain and standout star on the team.
Mary came up to Stanford for all of Chuck's competitions and she also travelled across the U.S. when she could in order to support her son. His leaving home was particularly hard on Mary as the two had grown so close through their mutual love of sports, particularly swimming. Nevertheless, she was so very proud of her children, both succeeding as they grew up - Chuck at Stanford, while Ellie continued her studies at UCLA in medicine with minors in advanced nutrition and kinesiology.
Chuck was again popular, however, like in High School he had yet to find the right girl. He had had a few relationships, but again nothing overly serious… he was always holding out for the right one as he concentrated on being the best in his sport and getting a degree in computer science and electrical engineering.
As Chuck finished his training and workout for the day he began moving towards the gym door. As he was about to exit the gym he was rudely bumped into (on purpose) by his nemesis – Bryce Larkin. Bryce was the pretty boy on campus, an athlete and fellow swimmer who used his Irish brogue to lure unsuspecting women into his bed before breaking their hearts. Chuck, being a good guy tried to befriend Bryce when he first started at Stanford. But Bryce's need to be number one meant he acted in a superior and arrogant manner when Chuck attempted to be kind and befriend the Irishman. Beyond that, Bryce's personal antics disgusted Chuck and despite his best efforts to be civil, Chuck and Bryce quickly became mortal enemies on and off the water.
"Excuse me Larkin," Chuck said with a scowl.
"Ah Chuck my boy, you keep training but there ain't no point, you will never beat me no matter how hard you try!" Bryce goaded in a petulant tone.
"Whatever you say Bryce," Chuck replied smoothly before continuing to the door.
Bryce grabbed his arm, "you see you're a spineless Yank, which is why I, the pride of Ireland get all the pretty lasses like Jill, while you go home alone every night."
"Ha, at one point I may have considered Jill Roberts, but seeing as she is as cruel as you are, I am so glad I passed - you two deserve each other," Chuck stated before smiling sarcastically and walking away from a flustered Bryce Larkin. Bryce never was the brightest tool on his emerald Island, but he was in fact a tool, Chuck thought, while chuckling to himself as he walked away.
As Chuck walked to the parking lot he thought to himself, ugh – I think I need a shower after dealing with that slime ball… at least the rest of the team are good guys. But man, that Larkin gives all of us such a bad name. Chuck looks pensively as he thinks of all those the pretty-boy has hurt and reaffirms his vow that no matter how much popularity, wealth or fame I gain – I will never turn into that jackass… it's too bad but one day he will get what's coming to him and he will have deserved every bit of the humiliation. But in the end he is not my problem, just another jerk to ignore along the way, no different than during high school when I had to keep the bullies in line from picking on Morgan and the other nerds. And I have something he will never have - real friends and a family that will support me through everything – ya life is good, Chuck thought to himself as he banished Bryce and his antics from his mind as he made his way back home.
After his unpleasant conversation he decided to return to his off-campus apartment. After entering his apartment, Chuck flipped on the TV and flopped on his well loved couch.
He sat for hours watching the coverage of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games; quickly putting his unpleasant and honestly unfortunate teammate out of his mind. He watched in awe as the swimmers competed for gold and recognition as the best in the sport.
As he watched a young American swimmer being awarded the gold medal, a fiery glint appeared in Chuck's eye. He declared to the empty room, "someday that will be me," he said before smiling. Half a world away, a beautiful blonde young woman about Chuck's age said the same thing and had the exact same thoughts.
"I've got a lot of work to do," he said as he got up to plan his training to ensure his place in London... better call Mom and Ellie to start planning.
2012 U.S. Olympic Team Qualifying - Swimming
June 25, 2012
18:45 hrs CDT
As Chuck prepared for his all important qualifying race he was suddenly grabbed from behind, shocked he looked back replying, "what the…?"
"What no time for your old friend Bartowki?" came the young women's reply
Chuck spins out of the backwards hug to face the girl before smiling widely, "Well, well Zondra – I didn't think they were letting you into the qualifications after your little, um… episode at the Worlds, ha-ha you and that crazy Swede Carina really know how to live it up. You know Carina propositioned me at least 12 times… she's intimidating," as Chuck's smile turns into a mock shutter.
"Ya that was fun and no I did not get banned thank you very much. Ha, you think that party was wild, we were missing the final member of the 'Double S' so that was tame," Zondra said with a saucy smile and a playful wink.
"Oh and Carina is still pouting over your rejection, you better watch out. It was too bad Sarah couldn't make it – she's our little Aussie that I keep telling you about, I think you'd like her," Zondra finished.
"Ah the famous final member of the famous 'Double S' from Sydney University… why are you 'all called that again?" Chuck asked with a furrowed brow.
"Well at Uni the three of us were inseparable, well four but there was a falling out… not important, and the very clever student body deemed us the Swim Squad… lame I know but it stuck so we started calling our little the group 'Double S' – it's less lame that way, don't you agree?" Zondra asked expectantly.
"Oh of course, I would never dream of mocking the great Zondra… besides I am fairly certain you can kick my ass, I've seen your training – martial arts and swimming – a deadly combination for nerdy swimmers like me," Chuck says with a laugh, while mock cowering in fear.
"Oh you are just trouble you know that?" Zondra replied with a light slap to his arm.
Chuck then got serious, "How did your qualifying go?"
Zondra smiled brightly, "I'm in, going to the big show – I can't wait!"
"Congratulations," Chuck yells as he engulfs Zondra in a big hug.
"Now it's your turn Chuck, nock 'em dead!"
"Thanks Zondra, well that is my race... wish me luck!" Chuck replies as his race is called out on the loud speakers.
"Good luck buddy! And just think if you win you get to see Carina again and she really loves to see you in your Speedo," Zondra adds with a wry, teasing smile. "But more importantly, you would get to meet my pretty, little Aussie friend and trust me you don't want to miss out," Zondra finished smiling at Chuck.
"Well, I better win then – I wouldn't want to miss out on any awkward social encounters. Thanks Zondra, see you later," Chuck says before heading off smiling and shaking his head.
As Chuck walked toward the pool he smiled to himself thinking of Zondra's antics. They had met at College competitions and a few international events and had become fast friends. She kept him on his toes and he was always a charming gentlemen. They had always been platonic and supported each other like a brother and a sister in the sport they both love… it was comforting having someone who knew the pressure and could help with training. He also smiled at Zondra's "threat" to set him up. She had mentioned her Aussie friend a number of times, but strange scheduling issues always kept Chuck from meeting Zondra's mysterious BFF. Well if I want to finally meet the elusive Sarah Walker that Zondra has talked so much about, I better win, oh and it's not like it's my dream or anything, Chuck thought sarcastically, chuckling to himself as he reached the starting mark
He took one final steadying breath before he opened his eyes and adjusted his swim gear. The starting gun fired and Chuck leaped into the pool to chase his dreams.
Chuck breathed hard as he reached the end of the pool, he looked up to his family and the crowd before looking at the large score board.
Bartowski – 1St – Time: 3:40.07 *record (400m Freestyle)
Chuck let out a cheer as he slapped the water – Chuck Bartowki was going to the Olympics.
AN2: So I hope you all liked this so far – hopefully the characterizations are well done. Next up we learn Sarah's back story – you can see this is very AU so I wanted to build the characters first. I was hoping that any Aussie folks might have slang (and definitions) that are common in Australia (I plan to research this but any advice helps) – you can PM me – I really want to be as accurate as possible and I don't want any Aussie readers rolling their eyes at my stupidity if at all possible. And if any Australians are brave and really like Chapter one I can send over Chapter 2 early for an Australian fact check (I doubt there would be any takers but figure I would put it out there). Chapter 2 is basically written (still some detail work) – so if there is a good reception to this story I will get Chapter 2 out quickly, otherwise it will come later next week.
So next up Sarah and then onto Charah! Thanks again for reading and I really appreciate any feedback.