A Chopper Pilot Named Chuck Chapter 8

Changing of the Guard

Chuck sat in his jeep and just breathed, he had held his tongue in the meeting but the new base Commanding Officer was a real prize. He had ordered Chuck to choose whether it's the Coast Guard he wanted or the NSA, but he had to make a choice. As soon as he walked in, Chuck knew something was up.

"Lieutenant Commander, the Captain will see you now."

Chuck stood at attention and saluted, Captain Lenard Dukes just regarded him without returning his salute, leaving Chuck no choice but to stand there waiting for the Base Commander. It seemed like forever before Captain Dukes returned the salute. 'What the hell is this guy's problem,' thought Chuck.

Chuck had to stand at attention as the Captain had not told him, 'At ease.'

From his peripheral vision Chuck could tell they were not alone.

"I have been reading you file Lieutenant Commander and frankly I must say I do not know why the Coast Guard has allowed this type of shenanigans to go on."

"You placing your crew in danger seem to be a consistent pattern. Now your last little stunt caused the death of THREE CREWMAN! He quickly got up and gritted his teeth. "YOU DO NOT BELONG IN THE AIR!"

Captain Duke paced up and down very agitated. "Your days of being a fly boy for the NSA are over! If you ever wish to fly another Coast Guard Helicopter then you will disassociate yourself from the NSA. Other wise you can resign your commission now!"

"Well Commander no snappy come backs."

"Sir who is this gentleman sitting here."

"That is none of your business!"

"I am sorry sir but since he is in this meeting I feel it is my business."

"It is alright Captain; I am special Agent Lynch, I work for the CIA."

"What is the CIA doing here?"

"Did I give you permission to address this man Lieutenant Commander?"

"No sir."

Captain Dukes took a deep breath, "I just want to know why in the hell your clearance is higher than mine?"

"Sorry Sir it's a need to know and Sir you don't have the need."

Captain Duke was livid. "Until further notice you are grounded." He growled

"I will not allow you any more opportunities to kill innocent unsuspecting crewmen."

He then got real close to Chuck, "I bet you actually ran and that is how Cooper got killed. You have gotten all your glory on the backs of the men that you should have been protecting. You are nothing but a coward!"

"Get out of my sight!"

Chuck salutes and after a while Dukes salutes back and Chuck leaves.

Chuck now knew where the rumors had started to fly about if you flew with him you would be killed. It had been two weeks since the command changed of the base Captain had occurred. Hester got promoted to a regional position over seeing the Florida and Gulf Coast. Chuck was happy for him though he wished he could have stayed, the pain in the ass of a man who replaced him even questioned his Security Clearance. Chuck shook his head reached into his pocket and turned off the small camera that had recorded everything. He smiled to himself, 'Thanks Mike.' Chuck had barrowed the NSA camera on a hunch and it had paid off much better than he thought it would.

Tough Times

Chuck had a strong suspicion of what was going on with the base commander and this CIA guy but he wanted to be sure. Of course he was having problems too. The nightmares started rolling in at night, sometimes he was holding Cooper, comforting him and he would look down and realize it was Sarah.

Other times it was the helicopter attack but instead of Russians it was his buddies getting all mangled up and dying. He would relive these events with some family members or love ones replacing an enemy soldier. It got so bad that he took naps now he didn't get a full night sleep, but hey that's what kept the screams in his head away. If he got 3 hours of sleep at night that was a lot.

Of course Sarah was completely new to this and she did not know how to handle it at all. It was a complete roll reversal; she had been the one with the nightmares and had dealt with them the best way she could, which meant badly. She gave Chuck space which was the wrong thing to do. Of course Chuck totally misunderstood what she was doing and thought she did not want to be bothered. They stopped talking about it and it just festered.

Chuck was on his way home, he had become accustomed to Sarah being home. She had not unpacked her bags yet which was another point of contention. She was giving his bachelor pad a feminine touch. He was on restricted duty; basically he was grounded until further notice. Chuck was waiting on the judicial review being that he was in command of the men had been lost. The rules where clear and he was supposed to go and see a counselor for his PSTD. Something he had ignored, he was too stubborn, too prideful.

Casey noticing the stress in Chuck's eyes and had ordered him to keep up his proficiency and his fighting skills. He was being worked harder by Blue with the training, Chuck was hardcore now, he was getting better but he still lost his temper on occasion. Several of his NSA buddies found that out the hard way.

Blue had decided to take the training wheels off and give Chuck a dose of reality. Chuck took on two on one, three on one and finally four on one attack. There were many nights that Chuck would come home bruised and battered. However, what shocked the group was that they went home the same way. This was definitely not the Buymore nerd who used to scream like a little girl.

One thing that Chuck refused to do was spar with Sarah, it simply was not going to happen. Sarah was very frustrated over this, she would spar with everyone else but Chuck just walked away. He was very afraid of hurting her.

That did not sit well with Sarah who was insulted by the whole thing. However, she found that poking the bear was the wrong thing to do.

"Come on Chuck."

"I said no Sarah!"

"You afraid I am going to kick your ass?"

"Whatever Sarah."

Sarah grabbed a KATA Stick and struck Chuck in the arm. "Wow that was easy!" She said smirking.

Chuck ignored her and kept walking. Jim and Mike being the sneaky bastards that they always were immediately started recording the incident.

Sarah then moved in and swept Chucks' legs from under him, but to her surprise he quickly grabbed a hold of the end of the stick sprang unto his feet and in one quick motion broke the stick in half.

He then charged Sarah and before she knew it she was pinned to the mat. Chuck had fire in his eyes, "Don't do that again!"

Chuck should have known better, Sarah was not intimidated at all, quite the opposite in fact, she was extremely turned on.

"Now that you got me what are you going to do with me?" She said in a sultry and very seductive voice.

And just like that Chuck's anger popped like a balloon. He smiled wickedly at her, "I should make you beg."

"Oh you know I will," She whispered in his ear.

Chuck got up from the mat with Sarah firmly warped around him. He barely was able to wave to the guys who were either chuckling or outright laughing. Chuck had a hard time opening the jeep with Sarah devouring him and grinding into Chuck the way she was doing.

Chuck was only wearing a smile by the time he pulled into the garage and no one was able to reach them for the rest of the day.

Back at the hanger they were looking at each other snickering. "What would you call that?" Asked Dickerson.

"The mating rituals of a CIA assassin." Chuckled Mike.

Later on that day someone by the name of Decker order the CIA to send Chuck there top psyche warfare person to try to help purge the guilt. Of course that was the one and only Agent Lynch leading Chuck to wonder what was going on in Washington.

Two days Later

Chuck was lying on the couch while MAX was crunching the Stock Exchange numbers. He closed his eyes enjoying the soft jazz music, Nina Simone was singing in the back ground. He was waiting for Sarah to come from the bedroom with some tiger balm. She had promised him one of her special messages.

Sarah was learning slowly to be a cook, she was up to cooking three nights a week and she was learning very quickly that she was no Martha Stewart. Of course Sarah kept Chuck busy with other activities which had him quite exhausted. Sarah somehow had come to an understanding with MAX when it was Sarah's time with Chuck. The only two people who were allowed to get past his message center was God and the President. In reality Chuck had more than his fair share on his plate, he was trying hard to find that hidden base after all. The distraction of Sarah Walker was very welcomed, god how he loved her.

If Sarah didn't have him so relaxed he'd break down and cry every time he thought about the dead crewmen. He was about 60 seconds from collapsing into a dreamless nap when MAX came on line, "Miss W there is a man working on the dead bolt on the back door, he has had two attempts but he seems very determined to get into the house."

'What the hell?' She grabbed her 45 and chambered it.

"Miss W he is in the kitchen and he's approaching Mr. B." MAX warned.

He was just about to do his preliminary test on Lieutenant Commander's reflexes …

"FREEZES DON'T MOVE!" Said Sarah.

The Agent was impressed and he was going to commend Agent Walker when his fine thought out plan went horribly sideways. He was told that this was an analysis not a combat situation by Decker. He was about to surrender to Agent Walker just before Chuck grabbed him and dropped him from 6 feet and then with faster than lightening reflexes was put into the neither world.

Chuck went from snoozing to game mode. It was like a light switch had been thrown, he levitated off the couch and before he knew it he had swept the guy's feet out and picked him up and threw him into the glass coffee table that Chuck had bought at Wal-Mart. Of course the table shattered into a bazillion bitts he then without thinking did a nerve strike that rendered the intruder unconscious.

Sarah had watched in awe of her Chuck. It was over in less than 6 seconds before the Agent could respond to her command. Sarah could honestly say she had never seen anyone move so fast. She had lowered her pistol and stood there mouth agape.

Chuck was crouched over the intruder's body he was scanning for more threats and saw Sarah there with her gun. 'Sarah…'

"Sarah are you okay did he hurt you? Because if he did…. "

"Sir Should I text the Colonel?" MAX Asked.

"Yes MAX, Text Casey, have him come over." Said Sarah, she then turned to Chuck. "You alright Chuck?" She noted his shaking.

"What if… what if that had been you…" He realized that he might have hurt Sarah.

"Chuck if it was me I would have tranqed you. Whomever this is walked into the wrong house dressed for Halloween and he doesn't know about MAX nor was he told about your abilities… now go out to the back porch that you just finished, grab one of the lawn chairs and a role of duck tape." After Sarah spoke and looked at Chuck closely she mischievously thought, 'And you may want to get a shirt on or I will have my way with you.'

"His name is Lynch."

"Who?"

"The asshole CIA Agent that was in the new Base Commander's office."

There was a knock on the door just as Chuck was finishing taping up Agent Lynch.

"Sir the Colonel has arrived and I ran the Agent's mug shot through all known databases …."

"MAX who is he?"

"Sir he's a CIA psyche warfare operations officer…."

"MAX take a picture and send a copy to the General …CASEY GET IN HERE! NOW!"

"Hey Max, what happened to the coffee table Chuck? Lose to a video game zombie?"

"No Casey he did what you trained him to do picked up the dumb bastard there and put his ass through the table." Sarah states.

"Wow, wish I could have watched." Casey smirks.

"Sir the video has been uploaded to the teams sever for later analysis." Max states.

Chuck was pissed, "Casey you said no Agent was to enter my home unless they asked or had clearance who the hell is this guy, I saw him at the base commander's office, Max ID him as CIA. WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON!?"

Casey looked at Chuck and at the Agent. "I don't know what's going on Chuck but I will find out."

Chuck walks around the spacious garage; he runs his hands through his hair. 'What if … what if I wasn't home and Ellie was here, what if Sarah was by herself …. Damn It!'

Chuck begins to work the heavy bag in the corner he just starts pummeling the bag.

Sarah taps Casey on the shoulder and motions him into the kitchen, she makes them some coffee and they talk about Chuck.

"He isn't sleeping much Casey; he averages 3 hours of sleep a night. When he does close his eyes he just lays there. He doesn't go into REM sleep; he just wakes up smiles and carries on like he should be alright. He is acting like what happened out there didn't happen, like it was just another day. I love him but he won't open up to me. He comes home from work checks his messages and checks the outcome on his portfolio between him and MAX. He should clear a 5 million in the next 2 years. He sometimes plays Call of Duty but most of the time he is obsessed about finding Shaw. Tonight was the first time in weeks that I got him to relax enough to have a moment with him."

"I still care for Chuck and I will do anything he asks, however; I am still adjusting to this new Chuck he has grown so much he has changed..."Sarah's words trail off as a crestfallen Chuck who only heard the last half of the sentence looks at her, his eyes betray his rigid movements. Chuck goes to the closet and grabs his flight jacket being its October. It's chilly now and he checks his Jeep keys and walks to the Rubicon jeep and peels out of the drive way leaving thick black tire marks on the asphalt and smoke.

Casey just watches the smoke clear. "Well partner you put your foot into it this time, he only heard the last sentence and I don't know where he's gone to. You could ask MAX, but if I were you I would ask Blue. Just tell him that you need to find Chuck's beach spot. He will understand that you screwed up. "

"I have always known there was a connection between you two, he needs your support Walker. Remember all those chats you guys had at the fountain, or that first night on the beach? Yea I was there, I didn't listen but I observed. Now go call Blue and I will find out about your guest. As you said he has changed, he is now soiled like both of us. When we are held for our deeds in the last days Chuck will be in our line. He shed blood in defense of our nation, but he still took several lives. I know that Dr. Dryfus could help if Chuck ever went. Both of you should go. You still love the nerd, so say it, show it, maybe make this place your home. He sees your commitment not the lack there of."

"Casey that is not true I am totally committed to Chuck."

"If that is true then why have you not unpacked? Sarah don't you get it? Chuck hears your words but your actions are totally contrary. He only has a year and half left here until he is done. He needs you Walker; he's just too stubborn to admit it."

"Ms. W." Max says. "Mr. B just made a purchase of Johnny Walker Black from the Safeway liquor store. He is headed down Mill Bay Road towards Fort Abercrombie."

Max posts a picture, "This is where he'll be its about a quarter mile into the park and I recommend your gun, there have been several grizzlies feeding on a whale carcass that washed up a couple of weeks ago. I would hate for you to bump into one in the dark."

"You can drive there just announce yourself to him. You have seen how on edge Mr. B. is."

"C'mon Walker, I will drive you. After you talk to the moron you can drive him back, because the command here has a zero tolerance for DUI, and that's the last thing he needs is to be kicked out for driving home drunk."

Sarah heads over to the closest and grabs her jacket and remembers to grab her gun and a surefire light.

Clearing the air

Chuck leaned back looking up at the sky. 'What did he expect?'

He shook his head, 'Yeah Sarah claimed it did not matter, but she was still stuck on the Buymore Chuck.' "I guess Sarah really meant it when she said she loved the sweet innocent nerd."

Chuck took a deep breath, 'I am sure she never expected to be dealing with a version of her.'

Chuck knew he had been closed off to her, however; he now knew what Sarah felt like all those years ago. When he saw her kill that Fulcrum Agent in cold blood he could not believe it. Sarah had explained that she had done it for him. Of course the old Chuck, the one that had his head stuck in the sand was horrified. 'What a naive fool I was back then.'

'However, is Sarah willing to deal with a man, a man who understood where she was coming from? Who was willing to ignore that this Chuck would be willing to do the same thing for her without hesitation?' Chuck was not sure, by what he heard her say it sure looked like that was not the case.

Not for the first time did he start thinking that maybe it would be good for all concerned if he just disappeared. Maybe his father was right after all. 'Oh my god, I sound just like one of them, what has happened to me?'

Casey was getting near where Chuck was they got a text from MAX saying that Chuck's Rubicon plates were just called in by the State Troopers at Miller Point. That was the WW2 museum that was in a bunker and whale observation point.

Casey stops at the camp grounds parking lot, they say their goodbyes and Sarah makes it the rest of the way on foot, they had passed the state trooper on the way in.

Sarah watches Chuck from the shadows. She realizes the kind of person she been as of late. As soon as she sees him reach for the bottle of whiskey Sarah hits call button on her phone. Chuck looks at his phone ringing he decides to answer it.

"Hey Sarah what do you need?"

"I need you Chuck I always have… I am sorry about the way I have been acting; can I come over and talk to you?

"How did you find me? MAX?"

"Yes MAX, for a computer it is very concerned about you. I didn't know he had a backdoor into the state troopers. "

"Eh, he's data mining for Shaw just like I told him to."

Sarah came over and sat down next to Chuck. "Beautiful night tonight."

Chuck nodded and waited for her. He knew she was stalling.

She took a deep breath. "I am still used to the Buymore Chuck, not super Chuck who is the hero. I look at you at night and see this beautiful man with a fantastic physique and it scares me."

Chuck turns to her and gives her a quizzical look. "Why in the world would you be scared Sarah?"

"Because unlike the Buymore Chuck you are unpredictable, capable, uncontrollable."

"You are kidding right? You think that I have turned into Bryce or maybe Cole am I correct?"

"As usual I suck at explaining myself. I want you to listen to me; you are nothing like Bryce or Cole. What you are is a caring, lovable man, with extremely righteous convictions. You are not about the mission first; you are about your men first while still completing the mission. Just how wonderful is that?"

"You still have not told me why you are scared."

"Chuck my sweet love you think that you have to do this thing alone. You are carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders and you have stopped talking to me. You are not sleeping at night, something is going on with this new commander and you obviously knew who our guest was tonight. Together we can beat anything, however; if you do not let me in we are doomed. Believe me Chuck I have been there and have done that. Before I met you I was going nowhere. If you had not come into my life I would probably have ended up in some deep hole as a prisoner or dead. Either way it would have been the end of me."

She then grabbed Chuck's hands and squeezed them. "If I lose you it will be the end of me."

Chuck's eyes welled up at hearing Sarah's emotional explanation. 'What a fool he was, she only wanted to help and everything she said was true.'

"Well, I had a one sided conversation with the newly minted captain. He yelled and accused me of letting my men get killed. He basically called me a coward, questioned my clearance. He told me I had to choose between the Guard or the NSA; he can't have a man serving two masters. That was before he grounded me indefinitely."

Sarah was horrified with what she was hearing. How dare did that prick call her man a coward! "That is where I met our guest tonight, he was at that meeting."

"I wish we would have some proof Chuck that Base Commander should never act like that."

"I totally agree, but there is more, as I was leaving Agent Lynch threatened to out me as the intersect Agent Carmichael. Sarah now that I know that Lynch is a CIA psyche warfare operations officer it all makes sense. I think that the Base Commander and Lynch were trying to run a psyche Opps on me. The way I have been feeling lately it was starting to have an effect on me."

Chuck then took out a USB stick and handed it to Sarah. "This is the proof you were talking about, I asked Mike to hook me up with one of those special NSA cameras, and it was on a hunch, I was right I guess."

"Chuck if these guys are enemy Agents then we need to take this to Casey."

Chuck was not listening to what Sarah was saying; instead he had his head down. When he looked at her again Sarah was surprised that Chuck had tears streaking down his face. "I...I am having horrible nightmares. I am comforting Cooper and look down and...It's you. The helicopters are blowing up and it's the guys there not the Russians. Ellie is the one impaled in that tree," He grabbed Sarah like his life was depending on it.

"Sarah help me please I am losing it." He tightly hugged her as he sobbed, "I need you Sarah, I need you." As he placed his head into her chest and sobbed.

Sarah hugged him just as tightly and cried with Chuck, "I will never leave you, I will always be there for you. "She whispered in his ear. Secretly Sarah was overjoyed. 'That was her man, he was not gone as she feared, he wanted her help, he needed her, her Chuck needed her!'

It was a cathartic moment for Chuck, who had been holding all this in for what seemed like forever. He realized that one of the major things that had happened to him was that he did not want to appear weak in front of Sarah's eyes. Now that he knew it would be alright, he opened up like he always had before.

"Sarah?" Chuck asked almost in a child like voice,

"Yes Chuck?"

"Could you...could you go with me when I go see Doctor Dryfus?"

Sarah had the biggest smile on her face. "Yes baby, I would like that very much." As she wiped the tears from his eyes.

"I am sorry Sarah."

"For what Chuck?"

"For ever doubting you."

With the biggest smile on her face she grabbed the bottle of whiskey and said, "Let's go home."

The Sacrifice

It had taken Shaw nearly a week to get to Volkoff's lair. The ride from the submarine had been particularly harrowing as they had been spotted and tracked until they had reached Russian waters.

Shaw thought for sure that they were going to be destroyed; of course being claustrophobic did not help his cause. He had caused such a racket that the crew had no choice but to tranq him.

Shaw made his grand entrance into Volkoff's mansion completely knocked out. Volkoff's mistress Agent Frost snickered, "Is that the best you can do Alexei?"

"My dear sweet Frost, before everything is said and done, Shaw will be most helpful."

Shaw had been tranqed by a potent sedative. Even with the antidote he felt nauseous as he walked into the meeting with Volkoff. Shaw was stunned when he also saw a very annoyed Ring Director.

"What is he doing here?"

"Now Shaw we are here to resolve a serious problem you are currently having, while eliminating the threat that you should have handled."

"Wait a minute are you trying to blame me for what is occurring now?"

The Ring Director finally spoke. He had great contempt for Shaw and would personally love to shot him in the head. "If it was not for your men, Carmichael would have already been dead."

"How do you figure that?" Shaw bit back.

"Because you idiot we had a Rogue pilot in their group. He was already to kill Carmichael and his team when your men shot them down!"

"And how the hell was I supposed to know that you had a Rogue Pilot you moron! Apparently your lack of communication speaks highly of your success."

"While I love hearing you two insult each other, the plain fact is that we have come up with a plan that will benefit all of us."

"Who is we?" Shaw asked skeptically.

"Why Frost and I of course."

"What plan?"

"It involves you and your base. The fact is that you have been compromised and from what we have seen your plans are no longer salvageable." Said Volkoff.

Frost jumped in, "There is no way that you could possibly move forward with your plans. However, as long as they are looking for your base, there is no way that we could move forward with our plans."

Shaw looked at everyone in the room and it finally dawned on him what they were trying to tell him. "You have got to be kidding me! That is insanity!"

"Listen to me Shaw," said the Ring director, "The only way to get to Agent Carmichael is if everyone thinks that you are no longer a threat. In order to accomplish this, you will have to sacrifice your base."

"Volkoff these are your men we are talking about, nearly 900 men! Then there are those 2 nukes that I worked so hard to obtain. How am I going to be able to accomplish my mission?"

Volkoff said, "I am willing to replace the two nukes that you will be losing. I can give you plenty more men. Believe me there are no shortage of those."

"The Base commander has been replaced. We also have other CIA assets working with us. Carmichael has been a thorn to our side for a long time, but as long as your base exists we will not be able to move forward with our plan."

"The best part of all is that you will be able to torture Carmichael while NSA looks on helplessly. Once we have the information we need from Carmichael you can kill him." Frost smiled evilly.

"It is still a huge sacrifice, to capture one man." Said a skeptical Shaw.

"Shaw, take a look at this, it is a picture of Carmichael and his lover." The Ring Director handed Shaw a picture. As Shaw viewed the picture his jaws tighten, his breathing became ragged and his eyes showed an intense hatred.

The Director was smirking, as he knew that Shaw seeing a picture of Agent Carmichael and his lover Agent Walker laughing and having a good time would tear him apart. He knew this picture would turn the tide in their favor.

At that moment Shaw stopped fighting them and said, "When do you want this done?"

Frost took the picture Shaw was holding and swallowed hard. She traced her fingers through Chuck's face hoping that no one noticed. She was so proud of her son, but she knew that she would have to be careful if she was going to save him.

Commitments and truths

When Chuck and Sarah got home she immediately called Casey. Sarah wanted to relay what Chuck told her about the New Base Commander and Agent Lynch.

Sarah inserted the flash drive in the USB port and asked MAX to email the information to Casey.

"John, I think you should send this information to General Beckman. There is something going on here. I do not want Chuck to have to deal with that Base Commander again. Now I am regretting not letting Chuck finish off Lynch, it looks to me and to Chuck that these two are enemy agents."

"Sarah let me view the videos and I will call you back."

Ten minutes later Casey called back. "Sarah I totally agree with you. I just send these videos to the General. It looked like these guys were doing a psyche Opps on our boy."

"Yeah Casey that is what Chuck thought too, let me know what the General intends to do about this."

"Will do Sarah, by the way everything Ok in the home front?"

"We needed to have that conversation John; it really helped our understanding of each other. Chuck even asked me if I would join him when he went to see Dr. Dryfus."

"That is great Sarah; you do not know how glad I am that he is doing that. Like I said you two share a connection."

"Good night John."

"Good night Sarah."

Just then Chuck walks into the living room with only a towel around his waist still drying off his hair. Sarah looks at Chuck and just marvels at him. She remembers him from those couple of occasions she saw Chuck without a shirt in his early days. There just was no comparison. Of course Sarah would never admit this to Chuck but he was so hot now that she really had a hard time controlling herself around him.

She smirked lasciviously, 'Hmm…M&M's melts in your mouth…Ok if I do not stop right now I just might have to find out how delicious this Chuck is.' Sarah inadvertently kept looking at Chuck like a tiger would look at wounded prey.

Chuck looked at Sarah and then started to look around, "What's wrong, do I have something stuck to me?"

Sarah walked over to Chuck with a devious look in her face. "Yes honey you definitely have something stuck to you."

She grabbed his towel and in one quick motion pulled it off him. "Much better." She smiled as her eyes raked his body up and down. She bit her bottom lip. "I am thinking of eating desert first, I hope you don't mind."

Chuck smile wickedly, "I love your eating …"He never finished as Sarah smashed her lips to his making a good interpretation of a lioness eating her prey. After two very exhausting rounds on the couch Sarah snuggled contently with Chuck. It was a good thing that the couch was long and made out of microfiber. It fit them both easily and was very comfortable.

Sarah signed; she was content and happy as she absentmindedly played with his chest hairs. For his part Chuck was totally relaxed and before he knew it, he was fast asleep.

It was the first time she had seen him like this in weeks. She got up carefully so as not to disturb him and went to take a shower. When she came back, Sarah stood in the doorway and smiled, she knew she was home. Sarah turned around and headed to the bedroom. She picked up her suitcase opened it and started unpacking.

When Chuck woke up he started to look for Sarah, he finally stuck his in head in the door of their bedroom. He saw the love of his life looking adorably and she was trying to figure out how to share the underwear drawer.

Chuck chuckled, "Here babe let me help you." He flipped the drawer and all of his tee shirts and underwear went on top of the bed. He packed everything in a bag and said, "Tomorrow we are getting new drawers."

"Chuck I do not want to intrude like this."

"Sarah it is ok you deserve to have your own drawer."

"But Chuuukkk?" She said with a childlike pout.

"No woman, your incredibly handsome and dashing Charles Carmichael has spoken!" Chuck said this as he crossed his arms and struck a pose.

Sarah started laughing, "handsome and dashing huh?"

Chuck looked at her and did the Bartowski eye brow dance.

Sarah pushed him onto the bed and straddled him and then got serious. "Chuck thank you."

"For what babe?"

"For saving me, for loving me, for being there for me. I just do not know what I would do without you. You are my home Chuck, all I know is that wherever you go I want to be there."

Chuck had been planning this elaborate and perfect proposal for the last two weeks. He had all sorts of ideas of a picnic, moonlight walk, helicopter ride. Hell he even thought about taking a couple of days off going to 'their beach' in Burbank and proposing there. He had asked both Casey and Blue for their opinion and while they all thought his ideas were good one theme had come through loud and clear.

"Chuck," Said Casey, "All you need is the girl."

As he looked into those beautiful blue eyes of the woman he loved, Chuck realized that he did not need any elaborate plan all he needed was her. With that in mind Chuck reached up and kissed Sarah passionately and then flipped her over and smirked at her. 'So many struggles but no more waiting.'

He reached back and pulled the night table drawer out. He flipped the contents out. Sarah joked, "Is this an underwear drawer too?"

Chuck just looked at her and gave Sarah his brightest smile as he removed the tape that held a blue velvet box that had been strategically placed there.

"I guess this is where I go down on one knee."

Sarah shot from the bed in an upright position as her eyes widen.

"Sarah you just do not realize how special you are. You are wonderful you know that? Without you I am nothing. You are my soul mate, my reason for being. The last thing I want to do at night is see you beautiful face and the first thing I want to see is that beautiful face smiling at me in the morning. Would you be my better half for the rest of my life and marry me?"

Chuck opened the box to reveal a beautiful 2 carat diamond ring. Sarah extended her hand, "marry me Chuck."

Chuck knew the significance of the meaning that Sarah was tying to convey to him. For her once Chuck had placed the ring on her finger in her eyes they were married. They held each other tenderly and as they looked into each other's eyes they were expressing so much to each other without saying anything. Finally Sarah broke her silence.

"You do not know how I have been looking forward to this moment. I have wanted to become Sarah Bartowski for so long."

"What kind of wedding do you want?"

"Frankly Chuck I don't care as long as we do it soon."

"How soon?"

"No more than three months."

"Ok that means involving Ellie. You two have been talking up a storm lately, just do me a favor and let me be out of the room when you tell her; I want to save my ear drums."

"This is going to be some wedding Chuck. I can just imagine the guys dropping from the Black Hawks representing your side."

"Yeah I can imagine Mike, Jim, Watson and Dickerson throwing smoke canisters at the crowd." Chuck and Sarah were howling with laughter until Chuck realized that was a real possibility with those pranksters.

"Let's make sure that we keep the smoke grenades away from them."

Sarah smirked, "I know how to keep them in line."

"How?" replied a skeptical Chuck.

"We'll invite the General."

"Wow beautiful and smart, that just does not seem fair."

"Hey you cannot have all the brains in this house."

"Oh believe me Sarah I can be pretty dumb sometimes."

"No honey you are pretty smart, you are marrying me after all."

They both start laughing again holding each other tenderly; Sarah brings her head to his, takes a deep breath and holding his face in both hands.

"My birth name is Samantha Lisa Burton. I was born in San Diego California on July 30th 1982. My parents got a divorce when I was six. The courts gave custody to my mother. We were staying with my grandmother. I was in my room playing with my dolls when my father appeared at my window. He knocked and I opened it and he told me that he was taking me for some ice cream."

"Don't tell me Rocky Road."

That gave Sarah the brief respite that she needed to gather herself before she continued.

"Needles to say that I did not return my father had kidnapped me. As you are well aware he was and continues to be a con man. I started to help him of course and he trained me in every aspect of the con game. My dad was heartless Chuck, there was no place sacred to him. He even went after the charities that were helping people during Christmas."

"Oh baby that is why you never cared about Christmas."

"Well Chuck when your Christmas consisted of ripping off the Salvation Army it just did not hold many fond memories." She looked down at the floor ashamed of what she had helped her father do, her eyes welled up.

"Hey, hey Sarah don't blame yourself for the sins of your father, your were just being manipulated by him." Chuck held her tenderly while rubbing circles in her back. That seemed to give her the courage to continue.

"We moved around a lot never staying in one place longer then three months. Our luck ran out when I was attending James Buchanan High School. "

Chuck smiles sheepishly at her. "Yeah I remember you were not too happy with me during that high school reunion."

"I was terrified about you finding out anything about me."

"Why Sarah?"

"Because if Graham found out about the way I felt about you I would be reassigned. Knowing anything personal about me was another way that he could tell that I was hopelessly compromised."

"He was the one that was pushing hard to have me killed Sarah."

"What!"

"Right after we got that defective cipher back from Mr. Colt, I was deemed no longer useful. If the Cipher had worked I would have been dead the next day."

"How do you know that Chuck?"

"When Diane Beckman gave me clearance with her files it also gave me clearance to their mainframe. You will be amazed at the things that you can learn from those files." Chuck was smirking but did not see Sarah's look of terror when he said that.

"Did...did you see my files Chuck?"

"No honey I made a promise to you that I will keep until the day that I die, I will see what you want me to see and no more. What you told me tonight must have been difficult for you. Thank you for sharing it with me."

Sarah was in a fog, there was so much information flowing that she was just stunned. However, she shook her head and finally talked to Chuck.

"You know that Diane Beckman was in on your sanction right? Graham would not have acted alone."

"I had a long talk with the General and she admitted to me that she first agreed to send Casey to handle the job. She also told me that she knew it was wrong and she had deep reservations about this action and called Casey to withhold the sanction. Beckman said that she later heard that Graham was furious with her and was sending another agent to finish me off."

"And you believed her?"

"Sarah I am a very good judge of character and I could tell that the General was not lying."

"That is why I stayed working for her even when my father was vehemently against it."

"Your father?"

"Damn, I have not told you about that."

"What Chuck, what have you not told me?"

"Ok baby I want you to let me finish and promise me that you will not attempt to assassinate my father, I need him to at least finish up the upgrades to MAX and then he is all yours."

Sarah leaned forward as she had a feeling she was not about to like this confession one bit. Chuck tells her what his father did to drive a wedge between them. He then told her of his real down period of doubt he had about their relationship when he saw the video of Bryce and her. He told her he felt crushed by that video and it caused him to go out with a woman he had just saved. Sarah had a lump in her throat all along fearing the worse. Then he went to his wallet and showed her the picture of them together and the fact that he just could not do it. He finally ended it by saying that Casey backed her up nicely and he than he had a nasty confrontation with his father. Their relationship had been strained ever since.

Sarah got up smiled sweetly at Chuck. "I will be right back honey. Oh Chuck could you please hold my beautiful ring for me?"

Chuck took it looking confused, "I will be right back baby." Sarah than went into the garage, screamed like a banshee and for the next ten minutes beat the hell out of the punching bag.

"Thank you baby," as she held out her left hand.

Chuck visibly gulped. 'Holy crap, well I am sure not pissing her off.'

"Now Chuck where were we?"

"Well honey we were some where in between you wanting to kill my father and Graham reassigning you to the dark side of the moon."

"Ah Graham how could I forget that jerk. My so called mentor and benefactor was a piece of work. He went under the radar and recruited many kids like me. My father and I had a deal, if he got in trouble he would hide a box full of money somewhere predetermined. It was just an emergency fund that would allow me to get through the tough times. When I saw him get arrested, I immediate went to our secret location to retrieve the money. Langston Graham was there waiting for me. He claimed that the CIA could improve on my training, but it really was not a request. I was going whether I wanted to or not."

"Hold it. Just a minute, you mean to tell me that right out of high school you were recruited?"

"Yes."

"But you must have been..."

"Two months shy of my seventieth birthday." Sarah finished the sentence for Chuck.

"Was that not illegal?"

"Oh sweetheart illegal and Graham went hand in hand. Oh at first they do aptitude tests look to improve your features, posture and level of education. I found myself and 22 other 'recruits' in the same boat."

"They found that I was smart enough to attended Harvard as a business student. Many of the other students were set else where. However, if you did not cut the mustard you were not discarded, they used you for other things."

Chuck was totally captivated. "Like what?"

"If you were into ripping cars off, then your training would intensify in that area. If the CIA needed a car for an operation anywhere in the country they would send someone young to breaking and get a car. If they got caught they were young enough and Graham had enough pull to get them out or an accident would happen."

"Whoa. I never really understood that, how in the world did the CIA setup shop in Burbank and ran operations there when that is supposedly against the law."

"Simple Chuck, after 911 many things changed in order to keep the country safe. The intersect was one of those things. It was all the information of the CIA and NSA combined with all other intelligence services. Project Omaha was created for human testing. Your father convinced the government that a human with enough retention capacity could download all this data and be an effective field agent. They needed recruits..."

"Professor Fleming." Chuck said.

"What?"

"In Stanford, Sarah you remember when we went back to Stanford to retrieve Dr. Fleming?"

"Yes I do."

"Well when I told you that due to my high retention rate I would be drafted not recruited, I then also saw that Bryce had taken the subliminal test as well. That disk revealed to me that Larkin was not a good candidate for Omaha. He was below standard yet he is the one that ended there instead of me. Do you realize that if I had been there you would have been my partner and not Bryce?"

"But Chuck you told me he got you kicked out to protect you."

"Yeah Sarah that was the problem with the old Chuck, the one that wanted to see the good in everyone. The one that hid for almost five years and refused to face life as a man. I played video games with my man child friend and ate cheese balls. I had a five year plan that went no where." Chuck made that statement as a man who was becoming keenly aware of the mistakes he had made back then.

"It is ok Chuck we all made mistakes."

"No Sarah it is not alright, Bryce Larkin was not a friend. If he was so concerned about me than why not change the scores of the damn test? Supposedly he and Fleming were conspiring together. Why go to the extraordinary lengths that he did and get me kicked out. He never gave me a chance to decide for myself. All my life people have always underestimated me. However, in this case I don't think he underestimated me at all. I think he eliminated the threat so he could get what he wanted."

"Chuck I saw that disk and he said that you would not survive out there."

"Well my love I am out here and I have faced situations a lot worse than I imagine Bryce ever did and I was able to handle it well."

"Do you think you could have handled being a field agent?"

"If I told you yes I would be lying. However, I would have had a great motivator." Chuck said with a broad smile, "You would have been my partner and together we would have found a way."

Sarah smiled back, "Pretty sure of yourself eh Mr. Dashing?"

"Just remember one thing baby, Larkin sent me the damn thing even when he claimed I could not handle field work. He decides to throw me in the deep end of the pool, hell the download could have killed me for all he knew. I had no protection, no training, I was totally at the mercy of the CIA and NSA. So the question that I have had for some time now was, who was he protecting, or was he again eliminating a threat?"

"By the way you never told me what happened with that prick and those two years you were with him."

"It was awful Chuck the worst time of my life." Sarah's reaction was immediate and her eyes got glassy. Chuck rushed over to her to hold her.

"Sarah please do not be upset, if this subject is too painful we can talk about it another time."

"No Chuck just give me a minute, this is the best talk we have ever had and this is a subject that you need to know about."

Chuck allow Sarah to gather her thoughts, she finally took a deep breath and began to talk.

"Chuck when I left with Bryce it was only because he had convinced me that I needed to protect you."

Chuck started to protest but Sarah cut him off. "Let me finish."

"I know now that the SOB was lying to me but I was not aware of it at that time. I was a coward and wrote you a letter instead. Because I was afraid to face you it caused us two years of misery for both of us. He stole that letter you read Chuck and was a nightmare in the field."

"What happened Sarah?"

"You are absolutely right that he could not handle the intersect. He went down hill fast. His personality changed, he was an arrogant bastard before, but with the intersect he was a danger to anyone around him. He caused the death of 3 agents." Sarah went over to her purse and took out a letter she had been holding for a while.

"What is that Sarah?"

"This was a young agent that Bryce pushed on purpose to get shot. He...he gave me this to give to his finance."

"Sarah what do you mean Bryce pushed him?"

"Bryce was going through one of his demented periods; he thought Jason and I had something going."

"Jason told Bryce he was getting married but it was like he was talking to a wall. I told Bryce to stick it in his ear that I was in love with you. Honey it was amazing he simply did not care. There were several more incidents before he abandon us and took off with the information."

"What?! Where is that bastard I have a bullet with his name on it!" Chuck was so furious he was ready to go find Bryce and end him right there and then.

Sarah grabbed Chuck, "Bryce is dead Chuck."

"Huh?"

"Bryce is dead."

Chuck's mouth was hanging open, wanting to say something but nothing was coming out.

"Chuck are you Ok?"

'I...umm...how?"

"He was executed."

Chuck's face just showed a stunned expression. "He just became a liability for them, just like you did. The only difference was that they called the sanctions off just in time on you."

Chuck just sat down heavily on the couch. "Bryce is dead?"

Sarah was not as forgiving, "Chuck if you have to feel sorry for anyone feel sorry for that young agent who got killed because of Bryce's petty jealousies."

"I...Chuck his fiancé lives in Gary Indiana. I would like umm...I would like."

Chuck cut her off, "Of course I will go with you Sarah, that poor young woman needs closure."

"What is the name of his fiancé?"

"Gloria…Gloria Nichols."

"That poor woman needs closure Sarah, of course I will be there right by your side when you hand her that letter."

"Thank you Chuck."

"No need to thank me my love, it is the least we could do for her." Chuck shook his head one more time he still could not believe that Bryce had been executed. However, hearing Sarah explain what had happen, he really could not blame them. That was another thing that had changed in him. The old Chuck would have been horrified and want to hide from the truth, this version could handle these situations just fine.

"Chuck?"

"Hmm."

"There is one more thing that I want to discuss tonight and that is of a mission I had in Budapest. It was shortly after Bryce went rouge; I was given an assignment with a handler."

"Wait. What? You had a handler?"

"Yes, after the Bryce debacle Graham did not trust me like he used to. He thought I was involved somehow with Bryce. Therefore, for one mission he decided to give me a handler by the name of Kieran Ryker."

That struck a chord with Chuck. 'Where had he heard of that name before?'

"We were supposed to rescue a baby, she was being held by some very unsavory characters. However, what I did not realize was that Ryker wanted that baby for his personal gain. She was the key to a lot of money. Ryker sent me in to get the baby and take care of the opposition which I did. However, when I learned of his plans I was able to escape with the baby."

"So what happened to the baby Sarah?"

"I…um, I left her with my mother."

"You have seen your mother since your dad took you?"

"Yes Chuck I have kept in touch with her."

"Wow you are full of surprises today."

"You are the only person ever to hear any of this. You mean everything to me Chuck and soon we will legally belong to each other, we already do spiritually. No more secrets, no more lies. I will tell you everything, just please let me do it at my own pace, this is really difficult for me."

"Ok Sarah I totally understand, just one more question, why leave the baby with your mother?"

"Graham did not want the child or the any evidence that was associated with that mission. Therefore, it was either take the child to my mother or an orphanage."

Chuck smiled at Sarah walked up to her and held her tightly, "And my girl did the right thing and took care of the baby when someone else would have abandoned it, god I am proud of you." He whispered.

For Chuck this was a big deal, he had dealt with abandonment issues for most of his life. The fact that Sarah had gone out of her way for this baby said a lot of who she was and how lucky he felt to have her. This talk was confirming what he had thought all along about her. She would be a great wife and mother.

"What is her name," he whispers in her ear.

Sarah lifts her head from his chest, "Her name is Molly, she is almost 6 and my mother's name is Emma."

"Emma and Molly, those are nice names Sarah, let's get together with them soon."

As she lays her head back in his chest, Sarah realizes what a great choice of a man she has made. Chuck will be a great father and husband.

Three Days Later Shaw's Base

Justin Sullivan had returned to Shaw's base as he had been ordered to do. His mission was simple; he was to transmit a signal from the front of the base to make sure it was picked up by the military sweeping the area. The satellite passing over head would pin point the target and the rest would be history.

He was asked many questions upon his return and of course being a spy and close associate of one Daniel Shaw, Justin could lie with the best of them.

Colonel Glasov the now defacto leader of the base was very worried.

"Agent Sullivan what are the orders, has Volkoff and Shaw made any decisions?"

"Sir all I know is that they are planning to evacuate the base."

"I do not want to lose any more men Sullivan, and I want to speak to Volkoff as soon as possible."

"I will do my best, give me an hour."

Volkoff, Shaw and the Ring Director had anticipated this, after all if they were in Colonel Glasov's position they would be asking the same questions.

"Colonel, Volkoff on the phone for you sir."

While the Colonel talked on the phone to Volkoff, Justin took the time to setup the transmitters. Two other Agents were compromising the heavy door. Once the remote was set correctly the door would open slightly at 2:00 AM. No one would notice, however, the homing signal would easily give away their position. They all knew that the military would react quickly and it would not be long before the base was attacked.

Continuing to play his role to perfection, "Sir what did Volkoff say?"

"We should be out of here before the weekend."

"That is good sir, I am returning to Shaw's new base of operations. We should be in touch with each other within the next few days before your men are deployed at the new base."

"Thank you Agent Sullivan we will see you soon."

As Justin left with his men he shook his head, 'Poor bastards will not see it coming.'

Justin and his men left, however, one stayed behind in the forest. "Miller do you understand what you must do?"

"Yes sir at approximately 0200 hours I am to barely open the metal doors through remote control and then send the signal through the transmitter. I will then turn off the transmitter and close the door at 0215 hours."

"Immediately report back to me when you have accomplished your task."

Just like clock work the Agent did as he was instructed to do. The military that had been scanning to area immediately caught the transmission; over head the satellite pinpointed the exact location and informed the top brass.

The planning

At 0630 Colonel Casey was informed that there would be a briefing with the General. Everyone was to come especially Lieutenant Commander Bartowski.

At 0645 Casey buzzed Chuck who was none too happy about being awake at that hour. "Hello, god Casey this better be good."

"Good morning sleeping beauty did I wake you?"

"I...no, dammit yes!"

"Briefing with the General at 1100, don't be late and bring your other half with you."

"Ok fine we will be there."

Chuck looked over and smiled, draped around him naked was Sarah. Her golden hair tickling his face.

He kissed her lightly in the shoulder, "Did you hear that?"

"Yep," a groggy Sarah said. "Set the alarm to 9 am and get over here, it's cuddling time, I'm sleepy."

Everyone was at the briefing. There seemed to be more military around than usual.

When Chuck walked in he saw Major Smith and another Major with him he had not met before. Sarah was stuck to him like glue. When Major Smith saw him, Chuck was greeted with a big smile and waved him over.

Chuck extended warm greetings with the Major. "I am glad to see you up and about Lieutenant Commander."

"Sir I am very happy to see you again."

"Agent Walker."

"Major Smith." Sarah shook his hand.

"I like to introduce you to Major Kelly. Major Kelly, Charles Carmichael."

The Major had been checking out Sarah until he heard the name. "The Carmichael?"

"The one and only," Chimed in Sarah.

"Well glad to have you with us."

"Thank you sir."

"Hey Lieutenant the Colonel would like a word."

"If you will excuse us."

They could hear from behind them Major Kelly commenting; "Now I feel much better concerning this operation."

Blue and the rest of the group were waiting, "Damn Chuck we have not seen you for a week. What are you doing to him Sarah?" Chuckled Jim.

"I am taking good care of him," She then flashed her ring and everybody started hugging and congratulating the couple.

"We knew you could do it Chuck." Smiled Blue.

"Did it hurt Lieutenant Commander?" Spoke Casey sarcastically.

"What the hell are you talking about Casey?"

"To have grown a pair!"

Sarah narrowed her eyes at him and the group started laughing. "I have to admit John, your jokes do not get old, however, I cannot say the same for you." Chuck shot back.

"Say that to me again next time we spar." Then he came over and hugged the both of them and whispered, "I am happy for both of you."

Sarah was floored she had never seen this much emotion from Casey.

All of a sudden someone yelled attention. In came General Beckman, followed Army Major General Stilwell and Rear Admiral McAdams representing the Coast Guard.

"At ease," everyone sat down.

"For those you who do not know me, my Name is General Beckman, I am the director of the NSA. Next to me is Major General Stilwell."

"I am in charge of the 4th Brigade Combat Team Airborne; the 25th Infantry Division is an airborne infantry brigade combat team of the United States Army. The unit is stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska and is the only airborne brigade combat team in the Pacific Theater. It is also the newest airborne brigade combat team and one of only six in the United States Army."

"My Name is Rear Admiral McAdams. I am in charge of this entire region. We are currently involved with the NSA and are in a joint venture with them concerning the use of this base and the Lieutenant Commander who seems to be all decked out in his NSA gear. The Coast Guard will be providing both naval and air rescue support for the forthcoming engagement."

General Beckman nodded her head and a screen dropped and the room went dark.

The picture came on. At 0200 hours we received a signal from this place. It is an island across from Mt Trident which is a dormant volcano. We were able to determine that this signal came from at least 200 feet underground. Satellite imagery indicates that there is usual activity in this island. The current owners are called the 'Ring of Fire Drilling Plant.' We have been looking into this company who claims to be producing drill bits and can find nothing on them."

"By the view of these pictures, they are in a perfect spot. This mountain range makes it difficult for us not to be seen. We have no idea what to expect when we land. Lieutenant Commander I have taken the liberty to download all the information to MAX. You are well aware of this terrain am I correct."

"Yes ma'am."

"Good, I intend to leave this in your capable hands and expect a plan of action by 0800 tomorrow."

"Yes ma'am."

"Once the Lieutenant Commander comes up with a plan we will meet again. I expect that we will meet at 1300 hours to discuss how we will approach this base."

"Lieutenant Commander a word with you and your team."

For the first time Sarah saw first hand that her man was held in very high esteem. He was like a rock star walking around the other officers. Chuck always made sure to introduce her to all the other officers which made her heart swell. Sarah was again reminded of the change that had occurred with Chuck. No awkward moments or stuttering. He was smooth and confident; Sarah loved what she saw, but a part of her still longed for the nerdy Chuck. It was something within her that was born out of fear. Sarah knew she should not be feeling this way. However, her greatest fear was that this confident beautiful man would wake up one day take a good look at the damaged person next to him and leave her. Then he would do little things that would drive those negative thoughts right out of her head. The little squeezes, hugs, neck messages, gently drawing circles on her leg, her back. Finally, the way he looked at her those sparkling brown eyes that smile, her smile. Yes she was very lucky indeed.

When they walked in only Casey, Beckman and Rear Admiral Macadam's were there. "Chuck, we have been looking into Captain Duke's activities. Right now Agent Lynch is being interrogated aggressively. We found out he has been working closely with Agent Decker for some time. Agent Decker is being watched, we want to know where the trail leads. The CIA Director has been very cooperative."

The Rear Admiral jumped in, "Until further notice you will only take direct orders from me concerning any Coast Guard assignments. Of course while this operation is taking place you will be working exclusively for General Beckman. On behalf of the Coast Guard I want to apologize to you for Captain Duke's behavior."

"Sir I knew there was something wrong with that Officer. I have never been treated with anything but respect from the commanding Officers since I have been stationed here."

"Well I intend of make Captain Duke an ex-commanding officer even if there is nothing wrong and one that rots in jail if he turns out to be a traitor."

"I will leave you to the NSA side of your job."

Chuck stood at attention, "Thank you for your support sir."

"No Lieutenant Commander, thank you for representing us so well."

"When MacAdams left Chuck turned his full attention to Beckman."General in order to develop a correct plan of attack I need to take a closer look at that island. I suggest flying over first and then taking an up close and personal look with a night drop."

That got Sarah's attention. "Chu.."

He looked at Sarah and shook his head.

General Beckman and Casey noticed. Beckman smirked a little. "What do you suggest first Chuck?"

"Well ma'am the first one will be fairly easy we fly over the area. I mean all three teams, they need to get used to the terrain. We should also take Major Smith and Major Kelly's Apache squadron with us."

"Might that not provoke them?"

"That is exactly what I want to do. If they fire on us then all of our questions will be answered. However, I believe we will not get any reaction from them. That base might be pretty big; I need to check out something first to make sure that the attack is effective as possible."

"That is one hell of a force for a sight seeing tour Chuck."

"I know John, but once they get used to us flying around it will make it easier for a night drop. They will not be looking too hard."

"Alright Lieutenant Commander you have a go. Colonel makes sure to inform the other two Majors. Agent Walker I am sure you want to ride along?"

"Yes ma'am."

"Alright Agent just please do me the favor of going to Washington and officially resigning when this is over. I do not want this hanging over our heads."

"I will make it my top priority."

When they left the meeting, Sarah turned to Chuck. "Hey what is the big idea of you going in on the night drop?"

"Babe there are too many variables, besides you are going to be with me. I know that island Sarah, there is a reason it was chosen, if my hunch is right, this is going to be a tough one to crack. I just want our guys to come home safe."

"Ok honey let's get ready."

Chuck asked Casey to gather all pilots together.

"Gentlemen we will be flying into an island that looks to be one big mountain, the object of this exercise is to provoke the enemy into action. That is why both Apache squadrons are coming. Major Smith will be Blue leader, Major Kelly Green and we will be Red. Chuck then smirked on this next comment, "We will even play them a little music to shake them up a bit. I do want to emphasize this; we intend to do this approach to other near by islands. That way we will not tip off the enemy that we are on to them. Fly low we will have your backs in case something happens. Questions?"

Major Kelly responded, "You were commenting on flying low, what do you suspect we are facing?"

"Frankly Major this bunch seems to be well armed with Stinger Missiles. Also, last time we faced them they had Apaches. That is why it is important we have each other's back. If they attack we will have very little warning and even less reaction time."

"Alright gentleman we are wheels up in 20 minutes."

Sarah had been seeing this interaction and if she was not there witnessing the whole thing she just would not believe it. Chuck totally took over, he was in his element. It thrilled her and scared her a little, and if they were alone right now he would not have any clothes on.

" Casey what have you guys done to Chuck?"

"He grew up Sarah, you left him and he had to learn to swim in the deep end of the pool. When you wonder what happen to him, take a good look in the mirror."

It may have been a harsh statement but no truer words were ever spoken to her.

Day Mission

"Sarah sweet heart I am about to say something to you that you might not particularly like but you will be required to do."

Sarah narrowed her eyes and took a big breath, "What is it Chuck?"

"If we get into a fire fight out there I want you to repel down with the rest of the team."

"Na...ah no way Chuck."

"Baby please listen to me, you are at your best on the ground, there is nothing for you to do up there with me."

"But Chuck..."

"Sarah please."

"Damn you Chuck, if I lose you it will end me."

"And the best way to keep me alive is to ensure that I can do my job and not have to worry about my soon to be wife." Chuck then put the full court press on Sarah and started kissing her around the jaw as she had her arms folded around her chest and was visibly pouting.

When he started nibbling her ear and she started moaning he knew that he had avoided a crisis. "Oh Chuck you are so going to pay."

"Can't wait." He whispered.

Sarah was starting to realize just how addicting it was to be around this version of Chuck.

As the Pilots were breaking many of them were wishing each other luck.

The sound of the engines beginning to whirl indicated that this mission was about to commence. "Ready?"

Chuck said to his co-pilot Masterson.

"Born ready Chuck."

Chuckling Chuck ran a com check, "Red leader do you copy red 2."

"Copy red leader."

"Red Leader to red 3."

"Copy leader."

Chuck repeated the same com check with Blue and Green leaders. As they all took off it was an impressive sight, it almost seemed like the sky was full of attack helicopters.

"Red leader to Blue and Green leaders we are three miles out. Blue leader take the right side of the island Green left, we will be with you all the way."

Both acknowledged.

Chuck then turned to Mike, "Hey Mikey what do you have for us today."

Mike smirked, "I was watching that movie the other day."

"Oh no not Apocalypse Now." Said Blue.

"And what is wrong with that?" Said Mike.

Chuck knowing the movie well smiled and said, "Charlie Foxtrot shall we sing,"

Mike hit the play button and all of a suddenly "Die Walküre" started playing.

"Come-on Red two and three let her rip."

All three were playing the music and Sarah's eyes were as big as saucers. This was a totally different atmosphere than she was used to. However, watching Chuck and the way he was leading had a calming effect on her. They were one mile out when Chuck was on the air again.

"Red two and three lock and load. Red two break left, Red three break right, take plenty of pictures boys I need a good view of the terrain."

"Copy Red leader," They both replied in unison.

On the ground, the Russians were in a panic, they wanted to go out and start shooting.

Colonel Glasov had to get on the speaker system to control his men.

Не снимать! Не пожар на американцев!

(No shooting! Do not fire on the Americans!)

The Colonel knew what the Americans were up to.

For their part everyone concerned performed flawlessly.

Chuck called out to Hinkle, "If you even think you see anyone aiming at us blow them to kingdom come."

"Red 2 how is it coming?"

"No one in sight Red Leader, but I can feel them."

"Red 3 report."

"Same as Red 2 leader, they are keeping their heads down."

"Copy that 3"

"Green Leader to Red Leader."

"Go ahead Green Leader."

"We have spotted movement in the forest. Green 4 is right over the area"

Apparently, they were not the only ones to spot movement.

"Green 8 to Red Leader, I have also spotted movement and saw them climbing down some kind of hole."

"Copy Green 8. Stay right there and wait for Red 2."

"Oh Chuck?"

"What Masterson?"

"Do my eyes deceive me or is that a bunch of Russian troops?"

"Yep look at them disappear inside that silver silo."

"Wow that is really poor evasion skills on their part."

"These guys are combat soldiers Chuck; they must be going crazy inside that bunker."

"Well we found where the entrance to the base is."

"How is it coming Masterson?"

"That front camera is capturing everything."

"Hey Bartowski, you think you could pry Sarah off you so you could look at me?" Smirked Casey.

Sarah shot Casey a bird and Blue began to laugh.

"Chuck look left, that blue building next to the silo, it looks like it may have something to do with the entrance to the base."

"Yeah, I see it are you sure?"

Casey was looking through high powered binoculars, "Yep they are targeting us now. Do not make any sudden moves."

"Well we have seen enough; let us go back to base."

"Red leader to all birds, we got what we came for. Form up and let's go home."

Back at Base (The Planning)

They unloaded all of the footage and the information was sent to MAX.

"Alright Chuck everything has been loaded to MAX, I expect that plan tomorrow morning."

"You will have it General."

"Are you sure you will not need to go there again tonight."

"No General from our mission today they were not only crawling all over the area, but some of them were obviously disobeying orders and hiding in plain sight. No sense getting into a fire fight when we really have all that is needed to make this work."

Casa Bartowski

Sarah wrapped her arms around Chuck and looked on as Chuck kept asking MAX questions. "What are you up to Chuck?"

"Well from what I have seen, these boys will not surrender and with Shaw leading them that is definitely not going to happen."

"So what are you going to suggest?"

"To open the front door you need something powerful, I am thinking Bunker busters. Also an overwhelming force to subdue them while they are trying to recover."

Later Sarah was taking a nice warm bubble bath when a very naked Chuck with a nice bottle of wine and two glasses came in to the bathroom. "May I join you?" Chuck said seductively.

"How can I turn that down?" Sarah responded.

Chuck got in and soon everything was forgotten including the wine. Afterwards Sarah was lying on Chuck's back as he gently rubbed her. She had been extremely turned on over the fact that Chuck had initiated this round of love making. It had been one of the most magical and erotic moments of her life.

"Chuck that was one of the best baths I had ever had. However, honey are you not supposed to be working on your plan for the General?"

Chuck smiled devilishly. "I have figured it out."

The Briefing

Everyone was again there highly anticipating what Chuck had come up with.

They all stood at attention as the three Generals came in and sat in the front tables. Chuck followed his stoic face giving nothing away. General Beckman addresses the group in front of her. "Lieutenant Commander Bartowski will be on charge of this briefing."

Chuck stepped up, the screen came down and a picture of the island came up. "From Satellite imagery and our own surveillance yesterday we have determined that the front door to this base is this silver silo and the blue building serves as some kind of hanger."

"Yesterday's surveillance video also showed that the island is honey combed with exists. They did not fire upon us but we were targeted. The fact that they were so easily observed gives me pause as to their command structure. Their leader is this man Daniel Shaw, he is ex-CIA and from my brief encounters with him not very stable. However, the opposition seems mostly ex-Russian Special Forces. This means that one of the biggest arms dealers Alexei Volkoff will be involved as well."

"I have read the report of the interrogation of Colonel Bashmakov, he reported at least 3 colonels and over 1000 men were at that base. This is not going to be an easy assignment by any means. Our number one priority has to be the recovery of those nukes. We know for sure they have at least two. We have to make rushing those tunnels and getting to them the most important element of this mission. If we fail and they go off, we will all have a very bad day."

"The attack will proceed as follows, at approximately 0700 two B2 bombers will drop two guided bomb unit-28's, often known as a 'bunker busters'. The 5,000lb laser-guided, conventionally-armed bomb fitted with a 4,400lb penetrating warhead will punch a hole through their front here and here. He pointed at the screen. "That should leave enough of an opening to have the F-15's coming behind them to drop their Non leathal gas bombs."

"Immediately after that 4 CH-47 Chinooks land here and here. Chuck was pointing to the clearings on either side of the buildings by the docks. They will be wearing chemical suits and will have the technicians necessary to defuse the nukes. Our NSA strike teams will be dropped in unison to main buildings controlling the docks. They will be tasks in apprehending their leaders if possible."

"Major General Stilwell will land a Battalion of men on the two islands north east of our target area tonight. General how many Zodiac SRMN Boats were you able to secure?"

"Twenty six."

"That means it will take at least two trips to land all the men at your disposal. We are hoping that the bunker busters and the gas will eliminate enough of the enemy to give us the upper hand quickly. Major Smith and Kelly's Apache squadrons will be the in support and I hear that we were able to secure 3 AC-130 gunships, is that correct General Stilwell?"

"Yes it is Lieutenant Commander."

"Admiral MacAdams?"

"There will be two Coast Guard Cutters, the USCGC Munro and the Alex Haley that will be available and will come in close when the attack is initiated. There will also be 12 HH-60J Jayhawk Helicopters rescue Choppers that will be available to transport the wounded from the battle field."

Chuck finally spoke with an air of gravity that dictated the moment. "We will take prisoners when ever possible, however; the mere fact we cannot demand their surrender first should speak volumes about who they are and who is commanding them. These soldiers will fight and have stinger missiles and will have nothing to lose. If they surrender of course you will take prisoners however, first and foremost you protect yourselves and come home alive. God willing this plan of attack will work flawlessly, our leaders, our nation, but most importantly our families are depending on us. We must not fail, we WILL NOT FAIL!"

Sarah's heart was so full of pride that it was about to burst. The commanding officer's were all extremely please with the presentation, General Beckman and MacAdams were both thinking the same thing and that was how lucky they were to have Chuck working for them.

On the way out Chuck was repeatedly thanked and was congratulated by the other Officers. Through it all Sarah was right there with him being as Chuck would call it, 'his better half.'

"Nice job little brother."

"Thanks Blue but a plan is only that unless it is actually executed in the field."

Just then Mike showed up. "Well you could certainly make some money as a motivational speaker."

Chuck smiled at his friend then very seriously looked at both of them. "I need a favor from both of you?"

"Anything Chuck you know that."

"Look I know Sarah can take care of herself, but you must know she is the most precious thing for me. Please...please watch her back."

"That is a thing that you did not even have to ask Chuck." Replied Blue.

The Attack

Chuck was having a hard time sleeping. Never before had he been nervous when it concerned Sarah. She was the best CIA agent ever, the wildcard enforcer, the person everyone else feared. So why was he so worried? Because she was going into a combat zone and in the fog of war anything could happen.

What was worse was that he was he would not be there with her, Chuck was going to have to depend on other people to have her back and it was killing him. He was sitting on the couch thinking about everything, when he felt the soothing hands of Sarah giving him a gentle message in the neck.

"Can't sleep." Sarah said softly.

"No."

"What is it, excited about tomorrow?"

"No more like scared to death."

"Chuck don't worry you will do fine out there, everyone has confidence in you."

Chuck wanted to laugh out loud or was it more scream, she was so off base. Taking a couple of breaths to compose himself he shook his head and coup her face.

"I am not scared about me Sarah."

"If not you..."it finally dawn on her."You are worried about me?"

"I will not be there to protect you."

"Chuck are you kidding, how many times have I been in this position?"

"And every time I was scared to death for you. Why do you think I never stayed in the car Sarah?"

"Honey I will be alright, I have my soon to be husband hovering over me and Casey protecting me as well."

"A lot more than that," Chuck said softly.

"What was that Chuck?"

"Nothing."

"Chuuuk?"

He chuckled, "I forgot you have Vulcan hearing."

"What were you saying under your breath?" She said this as she started to squeeze his neck.

"Hey no breaking the neck here. Ok fine, I have several people looking out for you."

"Chuck I am not a rookie!"

"No you are not a rookie; you are the most precious person in the world to me. You are my future wife and hopefully the mother of my children, the person I intend to grow old with. You are right I maybe over protective but without you I am nothing, do you understand."

Sarah's smile was brighter than the sun. "Let's go to bed and cuddle."

He took her hand and as he held her tenderly Chuck prayed to god that nothing happened to the most wonderful person in the world for him.

At 0600 hours everyone was finishing the final briefings. Major General Stilwell had informed them that the troops that were stationed in the islands northeast of their target would get in their boats and start to come over at 0630.

Everyone wished each other luck. Casey was carrying 'Betsy' around like it was a little baby.

"Alright wheels up in 5."

As he was walking to his helicopter with his crew and Sarah, he saw Beckman, he stopped and gave the General a salute, she returned it, and whispered to herself, "Come home alive."

They all took off again like they had two days prior the skies were filled with helicopters this time they were joined by the CH-47 Chinooks.

"There they are," Said Lieutenant White who was piloting Red2.

They all looked and saw the B2 bombers followed by the F-15's.

"Looks like all hell is about to brake loose." Said Mike

Precisely at 0630 the first of two bunker busters was dropped on the silo. The huge explosion was closely followed by the second bunker buster aimed at the blue building. Like clockwork the F-15's dropped their laser guided payload right into the hole that had been created. The CH-47 Chinooks took their place in line as they started landing in the clearings as they were being covered by the Apaches. The NSA strike teams started to repel into the main building by the docks.

The first wave of General Stilwell's battalion was swiftly approaching the island. The Zodiac SRMN Boatswere originally built for Military use so their hulls are reinforced to take the maximum G forces that are applied when fully laden and powered at maximum speed.

These Sea Ribs are simple, functional and tough. The collar is a heavy-duty neoprene hypalon with Zodiac's special intercommunicating valves. The total deck area is open and reinforced allowing installation anywhere of our wide range of steering consoles, bolsters and other equipment. This particular model had the capacity of 16 men per boat.

Although capable of much greater speed they were going at 26 knots an hour because there were so many zodiacs coming in at once.

The enemy was in complete disarray. The first bunker buster had killed over 160 of them. The gas had incapacitated another hundred. However, there were many seal tight compartments that allowed the Russians to head up to the openings on the side of the mountain.

They were in shock but also willing to fight. Several dozen decided to defend the inside of the base and there was a huge firefight going on. The soldiers that were landing nearly ran right into 200 hundred Russian soldiers who put up a brave fight but were cut to pieces by an eager bunch of army troops. Back in the docks the first strike team had breach the main building and flash bangs were going off all over the building. The Russian troops that managed to step out side were cut to pieces by the three black hawks that were hovering where they had dropped the strike teams. Hinkle and Diaz opened up with the twin 50 calibers. "It is like a turkey shoot." Said Hinkle.

"Don't get cocky." Said Chuck.

Just then Green team started to get into trouble on the side of the mountain.

"I am hit I am hit, I am losing control!"

"Red leader to Green leader do you copy?"

"This is Green Leader?"

"Talk to me Major, what is happening."

"We just lost Green 6 Sting..." Another loud explosion interrupted the conversation.

"What the hell?" Major...Major Kelly, Green leader respond."

"This is Green 2, Major Kelly is dead sir."

"Green two get all your birds out of that area now."

"But sir...?"

"Do it now, Green 2!"

"Copy Red Leader."

"Red Leader to Able 6 over."

"Copy Red Leader."

"I need your gun ships at the north side of the mountain. They are about 200 feet up. Watch out the enemy has stingers; we have already lost two Apaches."

"Copy Red leader we will lay it on thick."

"Bartowski!"

"Yes Colonel."

"We are receiving sniper fire from the small house to the right; it is next to the red water tanks."

"Hinkle, Diaz, let them have it." The twin 50 Calibers opened up from both Black Hawks tearing the building to shreds. Lieutenant Thomas had swung around to the back and picks off the three soldier that tried to escape in the back.

"Nice work Thomas."

"Thanks Chuck!"

The C-130 gunships where flying overhead and soon the Vulcan cannons and the 105 mm M102 cannon from all three gunships were raining death to anyone foolish enough that was on that side of the mountain.

With the second landing of General Stilwell's troops enemy resistance was waning quickly. "Umm...Casey is everything alright?"

"That is not the question you wanted to ask."

"Ok is Sarah alright?"

"She's fine."

"Thanks.

"Red Leader we are getting word that they found the nukes."

"Good what about the leadership?"

"There is a dead Colonel however; we have not spotted anyone else."

"Copy that keep us informed."

When the battalion started to go up the mountain the enemy lost it's will to fight and started to surrender.

Chuck then reported back to the Rear Admiral MacAdams. "Sir we need those helicopters to fly out the severely wounded and the cutters to take in the prisoners."

"You can expect the rescue helicopters in ten minutes and the cutters should be there within the hour."

"Thank you sir."

"No thank you Lieutenant Commander for the fine job that you did"

"There is not much more you or your team can do Lieutenant Commander Come on home and let us do the cleanup."

"Red leader to General Beckman."

"General, I just wanted to make sure we could disengage and return home."

"Yes you have my permission Lieutenant Commander, get your teams home."

"Red leader to red 2 and 3 let's get down there and pick up our people, we are going home."

When every one was back inside Chuck had to fight very instinct not to unbuckle his seat and make sure that Sarah was ok. For her part Sarah was on adrenalin high. As soon as she got in the helicopter she went right for Chuck and gave him a searing kiss. The guys around them were giving them catcalls. They put their foreheads together.

"Wow."

Sarah chuckled, "Let go home Chuck."

Never let your guard down

Over the next two days everyone was congratulating each other. That base had been a huge find. The fact that they had been able to recover the nukes made General Beckman ecstatic. Of course the down side was that they had not found Shaw. Also Volkoff was still out there.

Sarah had finally taken the opportunity to fly back with the General and finish her paper work. Chuck had stayed because he wanted to wrap up Shaw and possibly get new leads of where he may be.

He was helping Sarah pack. "God I am going to miss you."

"Chuck come with me to Washington."

"I can't baby, there are a few loose ends that I need to tie up concerning Shaw. However, when you get back I have a surprise for you."

"You know how much I hate surprises."

"You will love this one. Come on let me drive you to the General's plane"

When he got there he did not want to let Sarah go. Chuck whispered in Sarah's ear, "Too bad I am not going with you, I would ask you to join me in the mile high club."

Sarah growled, "That is not fair Chuck."

Chuck smiled evilly, "I hope this holds you for a couple of days" He poured everything into the passionate kiss he gave her. The surprising thing was they were doing this in full view of General Beckman. When Chuck broke the kiss Sarah felt that her legs were like noodles.

He gave her a peck on the nose and said,"I love you Sarah, have a nice trip."

He turned to leave when Sarah said, "Hey Chuck." Chuck turned and was tackled by the missile known as Sarah Walker. She had him pinned to the ground and was kissing him senseless. Once she was satisfied that her job was done she whispered in his ear, 'That should hold you until I get back."

Chuck should have known better, Sarah was competitive and hated to lose.

The house was so quite but he needed to keep busy. Sarah had been gone for six hours and it felt like six days. He once again started to look at Shaw's file until he ran into a file that simply stated Sarah's red test.

There was a video file attached and when he clicked on it he would get an eye full.

Chuck had missed Sarah like crazy. They would talk on the phone for hours. "Hey tomorrow I will be there around 2:00 pm."

"Can't wait, I hope I can make it home without tearing your clothes off."

"What makes you so confident that I will let you keep your clothes on Chuck?"

"Oh do I hear a challenge Sarah?"

"Pick me up from the airport and find out."

Taken

Chuck was driving to the airport to pick up his fiancée. He was happy that she was back. Chuck could not wait to see her so he intended to get there about thirty minutes before she landed. He heard his rear tire explode and he took control of the Rubicon. He thanked his coast guard training yet again with the training by his NSA family. Chuck should have been paying attention, instead all he was thinking was about Sarah.

He was able to take the Rubicon to the shoulder and pulled over. He looked around and found he had a blow out. Just as he got the jeep jacked up, a truck pulled up behind him two guys got out and they walked over to him.

The younger of the two said, "Can we help you Mr. Carmichael?"

Chuck was immediately on guard. A Third guy popped out of the trucks bed, the bald big man looked like he could be a pro wrestler. Chuck took immediate action and gave Justin a palm strike. He quickly turns and kicked Hugo Panzer in the knee and followed it up with a powerful right cross to the jaw sending Panzer down to the ground.

Rafe Gruber took his tranq gun and fired twice, barely missing Chuck. He wheeled kicked the gun from Gruber's hand and assaulted him with kicks and punches to the face. Gruber always thought of himself as a very good martial arts expert but Chuck was going through him like he was an armature. Chuck quickly had Gruber reeling with a swollen eye and broken nose.

Justin had recovered enough to try to take on Chuck who was in a grove. Chuck flipped Justin over and when he tried to get up he send a powerful kick to Justin's face sending him flying under the Rubicon and taking the jack with him. Unfortunately for Justin once that happens nothing was holding the Jeep up. The rear axel fell on Justin crushing his chest.

There was a loud yell as Panzer grabbed Chuck from behind intending of dropping him on his head.

When Panzer pickup Chuck up in a reverse bear hug, he left himself open for a counter. Chuck threw his head back with enough force to break Panzer's nose. He then whipped around and kneed him in the groin and was about to smack him in the face again when someone else shot Chuck with a tranquilizer. Chuck was struggling however; he was so angry that he made a lung for this new comer. He never made it as he was hit twice more and his world went black.

Gruber and Panzer were slowly picking themselves up. "You did not have to get involved we had this."

Ryker started to laugh, "Sure you did."

"What are you doing here anyway?"

"That bitch Carmichael is involved with owes me a kid."

Sarah had been waiting for Chuck for nearly an hour. It was unlike him to be late. She decided to call Casey.

"Casey secure."

"John it is Sarah is Chuck there?"

"No he left an hour ago to pick you up."

"Well he is not here can you come and get me?"

Casey was worried there was no way Chuck would have been late unless something had happened to him.

As Casey was walking to his Crown Vic he noted that Captain Duke had an unnatural spring in his step he tipped his hat toward Casey and smiled. Casey narrowed his eyes and thought that was an odd behavior from someone considered an enemy.

On the way home Sarah was a nervous mess, she kept looking out the window when a flash of silver caught her eye.

"Casey stop the car!"

"That's Chucks Rubicon!"

They saw Chucks Rubicon with a blown out tire. It was late; twilight was descending on the Island Casey pulled his surefire out and caught something. Sarah's heart caught in her throat when there was a body underneath the Rubicon!

"Chuck!" Sarah screamed.

"Relax Sarah it is not Chuck." he then saw something on the ground.

"What's this?" He picked it up. As he looked at Sarah holding the round object?

'It's a tranq dart."

"Casey we have a problem." Her eyes were welling up with tears.

"Yes Sarah the reason Chuck did go and pick you up is that he has been taken."

Somewhere in the Bering Straits

Chuck was slowly waking up. His mouth tasted like sand paper his head was swimming and his shoulders hurt. His arms were securely holding his body weight and they were on fire.

"Mmm..." was all he said. His vision was still blurry however; it was becoming more and more focused by the minute. He realized someone was staring at him.

"Welcome Agent Carmichael."

As Chuck's vision became more focused the unmistakable figure of Daniel Shaw was smiling back at him.

Just as Shaw Slugged him Darkness over took chuck yet again.