Chuck vs Lockdown
– AKA –
My Two Weeks Living With Sarah
A dark tale of gothic horror by ne71 and Doc In Oz – (not necessarily in that order)
Summary – Set during season two, General Beckman orders Sarah to move in with Chuck, and ensure 24 protection of the asset. How hard could that be?
Caution, this tale involves 'ladyfeelings' and should not be read by anyone at all. Seriously, look away now.
Sadly, it turns out neither of us own Chuck, et al.
"What was the name of this country again? Transburbanklyvania?"
"Chuck? Quiet. You'll upset the hosts."
"Well, with the set of ears that the count has, he should be used to it by now. I've seen less Vulcan ears at Comic-Con. And, have you ever seen a better Widow's Peak? Seriously, if we search the basement, I'm sure we'll find his coffin."
"Chuck, a lot of people from central European countries have a certain look…"
"Dracula. Vlad, the Impaler. Nosferatu….."
"..that seems to be stereotypica ... aaand you're not helping."
"Well, I'm used to more details when I flash. The data I've got on these guys is like, the last time anything important happened, it was back when Tintin landed on the moon."
"Who the hell is Tinnnn…..evermind, I guess they stopped being noteworthy after the Warsaw Pact bloc fell apart."
"Will the pair of you can it? We have a job to do!"
"Casey, the only trouble the trade mission is facing is the risk that the bribe might not be big enough, and seeing as how this is federally funded, I think it should be safe. No one is at risk of being shot, tonight," he then leaned over, to whisper, "Except for us, from him," he kept his hand over the microphone.
A quick glance at Casey's expression led Chuck to worry that he (Casey) had heard him (Chuck). Or he (back to Casey again) could lip read.
The speech dragged on in Transburbanklyvainian, or whatever the hell he was speaking. There seemed to be a lot of 'Kchrrrrqsh' sounds involved.
Chuck, Sarah and Casey spent the evening as wallflowers at the world's dullest party. And the party was held in some language even Sarah had difficulties following.
Brig. General D. Beckman (USAF) was the reason that team Bartowski were wallflowers at the Los Angeles entry in this years 'World's dullest party' competition. Well, technically Orion (whoever he was) and Fulcrum were the real reason. And Chuck had had a hand in his own demotion too. As soon as he'd discovered that this Orion was one of the creators of the best and worst thing that'd happened to him, keeping in mind that that was up against the whole Stanford situation, Chuck had searched for him.
He'd also foolishly promised her that one day, he'd get this out of his head, and then proceeded to stick his foot so far into his mouth, he tasted knee. He'd told her he would live with the woman he loved. Her shy smile and shoulder bump let him know she got it.
He couldn't help it though. It had been one of those rare moments where she looked at him, and he was sure it was real. All of it. Real. That, or he was reading way too much into a shy smile, and a shoulder bump. But as shoulder bumps go, that was one of the most romantic shoulder bumps since the shoulder bump had been invented. Certainly it was in the top five.
And then he did a little digging on Orion. Well, that went well. There was the impact of something nasty into the rotating helical blades. Because, if Fulcrum and been inconveniently nosy around Burbank before, now they were downright actively investigating Burbank.
A situation, Casey pointed out, that somewhat negated the covert part of covert affairs.
When General Beckman gave the order, Chuck thought she had a tiny twitch of silent glee. It was as if she was doing this just to tick off Casey. And then the words she said sunk in…..
"Agent Walker, using your existing cover as that of girlfriend, you will move in with the asset and provide twenty four hour protection until such time as we determine that Fulcrum is either actively searching for the ass… Chuck, as a means to locate Orion, or, if the recent Fulcrum activity around this team is coincidental." The way she said 'coincidental' made her look as if she'd just sucked on a really sour, sour gummy bear, "If the activity is not coincidental, then we will have a different discussion. So, until that determination, you are all on light duties, effective immediately. You will receive a briefing later today. Good afternoon, team."
She must have had her finger already on the button to cut them off.
Chuck stood not moving, definitely not looking at Sarah, as he assimilated the news. He'd just been ordered to live with Sarah. A general of the US military had ordered Chuck to live with the woman he loved. Sarah had just been ordered….
Well, you get the idea. Eventually, so did Chuck. Although, a teeny, tiny part of him recognized that this could either go, really good, or really, really, hippopotamiclly, titanically bad. The kind of bad, that bad poetry or bad fanfiction gets written about.
Sarah Walker stood there, also noticeably, definitely not looking at the man beside her, the man she'd just been ordered to move in with. She wore a similar expression to that of a person who's just had that first hint of a suspicion that the potential exists that maybe, just maybe, those lottery numbers on the TV are the same as those on the slip of paper in their suddenly sweaty fingers.
It was either that look, or the one people get when they figure out why the light at the end of the tunnel sounds like it is diesel powered. They're both a surprisingly similar expression.
Casey turned and stomped out of the main ops area. He knew that with his recent luck, this was going to end bad enough that if some idiot were foolish enough to write about it, they could write a lovey crappy doving family friendly sitcom about it. Casey wanted out of there before he got dragged into helping make sure that the bunting didn't clash with the bridesmaids dresses or something. 'Cause that was the only place that this train wreck was headed.
And how come he was involved in this 'light duties' crap? That sounded suspiciously like there was no shooting involved.
'Great. Terrific,' Casey thought. 'I hate this assignment.'
"Sarah, I'm sorry."
"Chuck, it's okay."
He didn't look satisfied with that effort, and tried again, "Sarah, I'm sorry."
"Chuck, it's okay."
She knew he'd never let it alone. They walked in thoughtful silence back up to the frozen yoghurt department this particular super secret CIA base featured.
He opened his mouth. He got as far as: "Sarah…." before she repeated her: "Chuck, it's okay." This time, with feeling. He closed his mouth, but didn't look happy about it. He wasn't the only one. Sarah wasn't looking forward to it, but she could totally do this. She could move in, and live with an asset.
'I'm a spy, this was what I do, right? Its not like I'm in love with him,' she thought. 'Oh god, please, please, please don't let me ruin anything with him….'
"Keys!" he suddenly blurted. "We need to get you some spare…. You already have a set, don't you? Well, technically not a set of keys, but you can get…Right. Well, we need to tell Ellie, I guess. And hanging space." He cast his mind back over the past few missions. He wondered just how big her closet actually was, because unless she had the Warner Brothers studio wardrobe department on standby, it had to be pretty big.
He paced back and forth in the Orange Orange. This was a pretty major step in any relationship. And it was a first for him. He'd never lived with… well, technically he did live with his sister. And Devon. But that was different. This was…. everything, and at the same time a horrible parody of everything he wanted. And then he realized, "Oh sweet lord….. Ellie….. she, she's gonna plotz."
Sarah went back to that 'light at the end of the tunnel' expression she'd perfected earlier and realized with growing horror, he was right. Keep the asset calm, "Chuck, it'll be okay. We can…"
"Sarah, you don't know El like I do. Oh god, this'll be ten times worse than Stanf…" he paused in his restless pacing, and stared at her. And then something clicked, and he was suddenly calm.
After a moment, he said with a genuinely peaceful expression, "She loves you, you know." He smiled a little, "She thinks you're the best thing that ever happened to me." He flicked his gaze at his sneakers and then back to her and continued, "She's right, you know. You are the best thing to ever happen to me."
Sarah fought the urge to take a step back and place a hand over her heart. She also found that if she breathed, the tunnel vision and roaring sound went away. She forced her hand back to where it belonged.
He gave a small shrug, the one that is mostly head tilt, and continued, "Not in the way she thinks…."
"… but she's right. …. I'll take care of Ellie. Now, what do we need to organize when a super spy comes to stay?"
She blinked. What just happened? How did he go from agitated to calm, just like that? And he was the asset, she was supposed to calm him, not the other way 'round. "Chuck, I ah….. We swing past the hotel, grab my suitcase, and we're done."
"Yeah, closet, I'll have to move some stuff, make space for you."
"Chuck, no, suitcase. That's all," again, he tilted his head at her, this time just like an adorably puzzled lab puppy. "Spy, remember?" she tapped her chest.
"Like I'm ever gonna forget that. But you'll still need to hang something in my closet."
"That's gotta be the worst name for a country music song."
"No, I mean….." he stopped and stared at her, suddenly and completely shocked. "Did you….?" He smiled hugely for her and clarified, "I should know better by now, but you never cease to amaze me Agent Sarah Lisa Walker. You just made a joke."
She smiled a little at the chopping board on the counter in front of her and then said, "I believe that it is supposed to work better when someone," a gummy bear kamikazed with sublime accuracy into Chuck's forehead, "doesn't point that out, all the time…..."
"Got it, right. Ow. Don't point out how amazed I am when my amazing fake girlfriend is amazing."
"Um, right, so, why do I need to hang something in your closet?"
"Besides fulfilling my lifelong ambition to live out a country music song?" Chuck dodged the incoming gummy, but he was pretty sure that this time, the thrower had taken it easy on the throwee, "Because Ellie would notice that you've moved in, and are still packed ready to leave in a heartbeat."
"Chuck, that shouldn….. Wait, your sister comes into your room?"
He grinned, "I'm nearly thirty, a little bit nerdy," she made a strangled noise that sounded suspiciously like braying laughter, but he struggled on manfully, ignoring her rude interruption, "and I live with my sister. At what point did that surprise you? She's my sister. She might," he paused to think frantically of something, "dust….. sometimes….."
Sarah smirked at him, "Oh my god, she still does your laundry, doesn't she?"
"Chuck, real men know how to open the bottle of Tide."
"Says the woman with access to twenty four hour housekeeping."
"I…I…I use the Laundromat," she said, in a tone of voice that lead Chuck to suspect that she might have driven past one, once, and doing seventy eight at the time.
The trio of spies, well, duo of spies and one nerd who's a little harder to explain, stood, for the most part, heavily armed, protecting their trade mission who were in more danger of death by bored friendly fire from their own protection detail than from the ambassador who was eagerly looking forward to the 'development and infrastructure investment' he'd get from the American businessmen.
The door opened wider than needed, and there stood an all-too-familiar figure in the door frame. One hand held a martini glass. By the stem, Chuck noticed. He held the martini glass aloft, and nodded to the room.
It was a simple move. One that would only take a moment to learn, but would need a lifetime to perfect. Most of the room nodded back.
"Philippe!" the newcomer addressed the host.
The count greeted the man in the doorway like they were old friends. "Roan, my dear fellow, where have you been?"
Casey did not sigh, and muttered, "We're dead."
"A better question would be where haven't I been?" Agent Montgomery uttered as he maneuvered forward like a Roman fighting ship, slowly, and with an enormous turning circle. "And how is that charming young bride of yours? I seem to recall she was looking forward to your being sent to head the Los Angeles mission."
"Yes, sadly she has discovered Rodeo Drive. She will be sorry she missed you."
"A boring business dinner is not the first ….position…. I would think of when I think about your charming countess."
"These guys don't have nukes, do they?" Chuck wanted to know, "Because if Count The Count finds out that Roan and Countess The Count used to…."
"Chuck…" she whispered through gritted teeth.
"Noo-ooo, I think it's pronounced…..."
"Chuck!" she didn't whisper.
"Charles! Sarah! And….. Um….. Frank!" Agent Montgomery suddenly recognized the wallflowers. "Philippe, Dianne must think very highly of you indeed," he indicated the agents standing backs to the wall, all wishing desperately to be elsewhere, "These are the best of the best!"
Count Philippe looked a little disconcerted at this, "Is there a change in status? You assured me that all of this was routine."
"It is, it is. Just let me have a moment to confer with my…. people."
Montgomery whipped around to face Sarah, she being the prettier of the available spies. Unfortunately, 'whipping around' after that seventh martini stopped being nimble about five martinis ago.
"Oh, dear, um…"
"Perhaps you should have a seat, Roan." She signaled to Chuck, and together they helped Roan sit down.
He was still looking a little unsteady on his feet, despite the obvious fact he was no longer actually on his feet.
"Thank you, my dear." He burped gently and continued, "Philippe is correct, what, why would Dianne assign you lot to something even the Girlscouts would have trouble messing up."
"Good question," growled Casey, glaring at the person he thought was to share a large portion of the blame. He was right too. Casey moved off to cover the east side of the room. Casey also suggested that Chuck work the north side. Casey suggested this silently, and with a single angry nod of the head.
Chuck reluctantly left his spy fake girlfriend with the former legend.
She said to Roan, "Um, there's been some activity, so we need to work a lower profile than normal, that's all,"
Roan looked around, wondering what had happened to his drink, and his cigarette. He said, "Its funny, for us, a lower profile means either deep, deep cover, or working puff pieces like this. Speaking of puff pieces, have you …."
"We're indoors now, Roan. You can't smoke inside…."
"No, no. Heavens, even I know that. No, what I was about to ask is, how is the cavorting proceeding?"
"I'm not cavorting….."
"Well, how did he go with the Montgomery?"
"The Montgomery," Roan enunciated, humbly, "I told him to turn up in a white dinner jacket, with a bottle of semi-reasonable red and a single…."
She goggled, if goggled is the right word to use when spy ninjas are involved. "Oh, god. It was a ….."
"….Disaster, yes. Why does that not surprise me?"
"Roan, I'm not in love…."
"Agent Walk… Sarah. May I tell you a story?" he interrupted her, and continued assuming her permission, "Shortly before the Second World War, and this has a slightly anti-Semitic theme to it, but please, indulge me. Before the war, the German populous had a saying, that the more a business advertised itself as being proudly Cher-man, the less German the owners actually were." He paused to study her, "There is an element of truth to that. Tell me again, of your feelings towards our young Charles over there…."
Roan smiled to himself. The lady doth protest even more.
After Roan reassured Philippe that all was normal, and to not cancel the deal, the rest of the evening went boringly well.
Chuck had had a bad night.
Not a single wink of sleep. There was an extremely good reason for that.
Her name was Sarah. And she had slept, evidently very soundly by the way, at a distance that ranged between two inches to a foot away from him, since they got home from the Buttphraqistan, or wherever, embassy.
When she said, "Good morning, Chuck," in her slightly raspy morning voice, he looked at her as she got up out of bed, and realized that her morning greeting felt like it was the most natural thing in the world. And it looked like she'd had a decent night's sleep, too.
It was bad enough that she was dressed, and just quietly, 'dressed' barely covers the way she was dressed, or to express the reaction that her ensemble created. There was some sort of bright pink, lacy, hot pant type of underpant, and a tank top that was, well, there were a couple of pointers that indicated it was skin tight. So her ensemble was really, only just a little bit more revealing than, that painted on 'outfit' that that hideously expensive coconut water company paints on the pretty girls they use in their advertising. And expensive coconut water people would be lucky to have a girl as pretty as Sarah.
Last night, Chuck had had that moment where he distinctly felt his eyeballs pop out and then roll across the floorboards when she walked into the bedroom after her bathroom visit to get changed. After that, he then he had that moment where he offered vital parts of his anatomy if this moment could be done for real every night, despite the consideration that if he truly wanted this moment to be done for real every night, he might want to keep a hold of a couple of those vital anatomy portion(s).
As the morning sun haloed her golden hair, she gazed down at him for a few moments, while he still white knuckled the sheet up near his neck, and then she asked him if he was getting up for breakfast. She seemed to find his predicament mildly amusing.
Chuck eventually decided he did have to get up at some stage. Go out into the world, fight evil or solve computer related problems for the current plethora of middle aged housewives, who should never, ever, be allowed near a computer, who have believed that e-mail about the evil menace of the 'grey teddy bear,' thus enabling the do-it-yourself Polish Virus.
Honestly, there were days when Chuck believed that joke about the broken cup holder, or the one about how the customer couldn't see the back of the computer, because it was so dark.
Chuck stumbled to the breakfast table, sadly now located in a room on loan from some alternate universe, one that seemed to be inhabited by freakishly good looking and disgustingly happy people. Everyone in the room, save himself, showed more exposed skin than should be allowed before that first cup of coffee. His sister hugged him, still bubbling with joy. Sarah even smiled at him in that way that he normally only saw fleetingly, and usually only after he'd done something spectacular, or as Casey usually described it – stupid, she smiled at him happily.
Devon took one look at the exhausted and distinctly blurry 'round the edges looking Chuck, and compared him to the practically radiant Sarah, and then whispered, "Awesome!" loud enough for everyone to hear, along with the surreptitious 'thumbs-up' that everyone could see. Devon then insisted that, "Here, drink this, dude. Doctors orders. It'll replace the zinc and," he winked at Chuck, "other things you used up last night."
Chuck suspiciously eyed the very tall, very large glass of 'green and gloppy' that Devon handed him.
His stomach gave him fair warning.
And then his sister nudged the woman he loved, and the pair of them shared a smile, before returning their attention to this morning's entertainment – that of Chuck attempting a standing chug-a-lug of cold 'green and gloppy' while displaying the outward signs of the dry heaves.
Chuck drank. Not quite in Olympic time. But, he downed it. And just like yucky cough syrup, he needed to get it down in one go. If he stopped, there was no way he'd ever be able to start again.
After a nervous few minutes, it stayed down, but it was a near thing.
Sarah theatrically silently applauded his manly effort, with a huge smile for him. "My hero," she said.
After the family turned to attend the regular breakfast, Sarah began frantically thinking to herself, "You are not in love with Chuck Bartowski. You cannot fall in love with the asset. Do not allow his smile to do that to your knees. You can do this, control of the asset is easy. Piece of cake, remember? Oh, god, please, please don't let me ruin anything with him…..'
She and Chuck helped Ellie and Devon with breakfast.
Deep Voiced Man: Chuck vs Lockdown will return after these messages. This episode was brought to you by, well, me.
Nick? Tag, you're It.