"Sarah!?" With acceleration, he darted towards her, extending his arms around her as he held her tight. "I was so worried. You just vanished. I am so happy you are back. Thank you universe! Thank you–"
Feelings of slight incertitude seeped between the walls of his mind as he recalled Sarah's void memory of their close relationship. And to vindicate his susceptibility, he also couldn't stand to blatantly presume that the kiss magically worked. In response, he pulled back, freeing her from his loveable grasp.
"Sorry, I know you probably aren't ready for that."
"No, it's fine. How did I get here?"
"More like 'where did you come from?'" Morgan uttered, making his way towards them.
Having not really taken her surroundings into consideration, Yvonne finally opened her mind to reveal to herself that she, in fact, was in the world of make-believe. She was in the world of Chuck.
"Wait. You're Chuck. And Morgan," she pointed, her finger facing the direction of the character she mentioned. "This is…This is...how is this happening right now?"
A frenetic cloud of worry cast a gloom over Chuck's complexion. "Sarah, what's wrong? Are you all right?"
"Sorry Chuck. But I am not your Sarah."
Misunderstanding her reply, his eyes reflected the sorrow that pierced his wounded heart, making him feel as though Cupid stabbed him with a poisoned arrow. A forced smile hid his forlorn expression beneath. "No, uh, I know. You don't feel it. I was just worried –"
"No, no, Chuck. Don't think – I don't mean like that."
"Then what do you mean, Sarah – sorry, not Sarah?" Morgan questioned.
"I am someone else. My name is Yvonne."
Chuck's false look of understanding soon became replaced with an honest look of comprehension. "Oh – oh I see." He drew closer to her, lowering his voice to a whisper. "Don't worry, Sarah. We won't blow your cover."
"What?" Furrowed eyebrows soon followed her bewilder-filled question.
"Trust us, Sarah. You can trust me."
"No. No, Chuck, Morgan, listen to me. I am not Sarah. My name is Yvonne Strahovski. Sarah must still be stuck on the other side."
A muted hush of silence succeeded her baffling statement. If ever tumbleweed was scheduled to appear, this was the perfect time. Through lacking tacit knowledge in how to deal with Yvonne's bizarre exclamation, their mouths remained shut whilst their brains tried to rationalise what she meant.
"Really? Really?" Morgan exclaimed. Through the tone of his speech, he revealed conceited thoughts of superior arrogant knowledge. "Well Sarah, how can you be on the other side of the beach if you are standing in front of us right now?"
"Beach? I never said beach?"
"Then what do you mean 'the other side'?" Chuck asked with rabid dread. "Oh. No! You don't mean death, do you?" His top lip began to tremble as he felt the pulsating horror of his wife's demise dilate through his body like a tumour.
"Don't freak out, buddy," Morgan consoled. "Clearly she means the other side of the city or like, the other side of a sports team. You know, like she is on the other side of the game."
Taken aback by their ludicrous comments, Yvonne's piercing eyes continually darted from man to man.
Morgan continued, digging himself an even deeper nonsensical grave. "No, no, I know what she means. What she actually is saying is that Sarah is on the other side, like the dark side of the force. She's referencing Star Wars. See, I told you. The kiss must have worked. There is no ways she watched Star Wars before she met you!"
Yvonne's mouth widened, promising the sound of words to pass through her lips, though none seemed to escape. Both Chuck and Morgan stood before her, befuddled by what she vocalised. Their dubious, yet bemused countenance expressed the clouds that overshadowed their understanding, leading Yvonne to concede that she hadn't fully explained to them the peculiar predicament that they all found themselves in. Feeling heartbroken in having to elaborate to them the false reality that remains their existence, she felt resistant, yet still saw it necessary to proceed.
"Okay, listen to me. Both of you." Their ears adhered tentatively to the sound of her feminine voice, awaiting the continuation of her explanation. "Apparently it would seem that there are two worlds – my world and your world. In my world, this world, which is your world, was created through the process of a TV show. That is why I look like Sarah – not that I am her, just that I look like her – because I played her character on the show. The TV show."
"Ah…that makes sense…" Morgan responded, maintaining a puzzled tone.
Chuck's eyes remained ablaze, widened and full of shock. In response to the gobsmacking information that his ears just absorbed, chemical reactions began to occur within his body, accentuating his confounded expression. "So what might be the name of this show?" Morgan continued.
"Chuck," she responded.
"No, not you. The show."
"That is its name, Chuck."
"What's its name?"
His eyebrows creased, trying to grasp the concept that Yvonne explicitly failed to elucidate.
"So Sarah, that story is great and all, but that still doesn't explain how you magically just disappeared and reappeared?" Morgan continued.
As though a volcano erupted from within her, Yvonne's blood began to boil. "You are not listening! I am not Sarah–"
"Right, sorry. Yvonne."
Her hand cupped her forehead, expressing her annoyance with their ignorance. "Everything that I have explained to you is the truth. You have got to understand. Sarah is on the other side – not a Star Wars reference, Morgan – on the other side of the universe. She is in my world. I have no idea how she got there and I have no idea how I ended up over here. But that is the honest truth. I am not undercover, I am not making up some story. I am genuinely not Sarah Walker."
Chuck's hazel eyes glared into her soul, analysing the woman that stood before him. For the first time, he took notice of her, assessing who she was rather than who she appeared to be. It seemed too supernatural for his rational mind to comprehend that she could be anyone other than Sarah Walker. But he could feel it – through actually glancing at her, analysing her expressions, movement, speech – even the fact that she was wearing entirely different clothing compared to Sarah's attire the moment she disappeared – he now understood. It wasn't Sarah that stood before him. It couldn't be.
"It's not her," he blurted.
"Really? How can you tell?"
"She's not Sarah, Morgan. I can feel it."
A glimmer of relief enwrapped her features. "Finally. So you believe me?"
"I think so. Just let me understand though. What you are saying, is basically that you are actually some actor called Yvonne and Sarah – my Sarah – is stuck in some alternative reality?"
"Yes. Well, the reality."
"What does that mean?"
"Um, well," her resistance augmented, "my world… that is reality…"
"But if your world is the real deal, where does that leave Chuck and my world? Who are we? Just characters on a TV show?" Morgan inquired.
She gulped. "…I believe so."
"What are you saying? We don't exist?"
"No. That's not what I am saying!"
"Then what do you mean?"
The lowering of her eyes expressed her dissatisfaction in elaborating. "…You are make-believe."
Sarah's effervescent blue eyes stared upon the monitor of Yvonne's laptop. The reflection of its light glimmered across her stilled face as she frenetically typed on the keyboard.
Come on, Yvonne. Show me where I can find Zachary Levi.
She searched her e-mails, hoping to find one from him. She also searched the internet, looking for his contact information. Unfortunately, Yvonne seemed to lack any social contact with her co-worker.
"Sorry, Yvonne." She knew to some extent it was an invasion of her clone's privacy. But she was doing this for non-selfish purposes. Both twins were trapped in the wrong dimension and Sarah needed to make contact with the one person who supposedly had the ability to solve the dilemma.
Her eyes glanced upon Yvonne's Web History and came across her most commonly used websites. "Twitter? She has Twitter?" She clicked on the site, entering into her profile. "Please say Zachary Levi has Twitter too."
Before typing Zachary's name in the search bar, her eyes took notice of the comments fans posted about the finale. 'Thank you so much for these five years,' one of the comments read.
"Oh my word. What a lovely thing to say."
More fans' reviews followed, repeating phrases such as, 'This finale has brought tears to my eyes. #goodbyechuck' and 'Never going to forget Chuck'.
Her heart suddenly fluttered, acknowledging the fact that it was her life that drew people to tears. It was through her predicament that millions of people around the world felt an aching pain inside their hearts. She never grasped that knowledge before but now had a clear understanding. There wasn't only a group of people back home who promised to be there for her whenever she needed a helping hand, who loved her unconditionally. Through reading the thousands of comments present on Yvonne's Twitter page, it became clear to her that there were millions of people across the world that loved her, and she hadn't even met them. That feeling of security warmed her entire body, providing her hope out of the secluded shell that she felt lost in.
A minute din abruptly caught her incisive ears. In the door lock of the front door, the sound of a key turning drew her attention. She seized a pencil from the desk in her hand. The door creaked open. Her footsteps neared the 'intruder'. The audible sound of keys clattered upon a table. The sound of footsteps increased. Closer. Footsteps neared her. Her eyes pierced the room with their attentive gaze. Closer. Their faces – just about to meet – with her, just about to turn the corner…
"Yvonne, I am sorry I stormed out earlier."
She stopped. There was no threat. It was only Tim.
Releasing a tranquil sigh, she lowered her weapon and turned the corner, exhibiting her presence to him. Startled, his body jarred, capturing his heart in a sudden momentary lapse.
"Sorry. Yvonne's not here."
"You're the other one aren't you?" She nodded. "What happened? What did you do to her?"
Her face expressed a look of perplexity. "Why would you assume I did something?"
"Did you kill her?"
Removing its perplexity, her face gleamed with dissatisfaction, glaring at him with pristine tyranny. "No." She retreated from his presence towards the laptop. "She disappeared."
"Wh – what makes you say that?" His dazed feet followed her with uncertainty.
"She is not in the house. I have searched everywhere."
"Maybe she left like I did!"
"She didn't leave."
"Yeah? How do you know?"
As she turned to face him, her eyes caught his, capturing him in her overbearing gaze. "I'm a spy. I would have heard the door open and close. Not to mention, she had a headache. She wouldn't just walk out without taking any medication first. Lastly, the television screen froze. No one paused it, I've checked. The screen won't change or turn off or anything. It's stuck."
"I think she went through to my world just like I went through to hers."
"Oh really? And why do you think that?"
"Because it's frozen on the beach scene where Chuck and I kiss, which in that exact same moment I was brought here."
He failed to answer. With buffering eyes, he still remained dazed by her unbeknownst presence. Though, due to the short time he had to reflect, he now appeared a lot more relaxed by the odd occurrence. As she rotated towards the direction of the laptop, his feet followed her footsteps. "Wait – how do we get her back?"
"That is what I am trying to find out," she murmured, underpinning herself upon a chair in front of Yvonne's portable microcomputer.
"Hey, hey, hey! Get off of that," Tim ordered.
Ignoring his demand, she continued, "Does Yvonne by any chance have Zachary Levi's number?"
"I don't know. Possibly. I don't have or know it though. Now get away from her stuff." Disregarding him once more, she began typing 'Zachary Levi' in the search bar. "What are you doing?" he beckoned on. "Twitter? You're on her Twitter account? Get off!"
"I'm searching for Zachary Levi. You can send private messages on Twitter can't you?"
"That'll take forever."
Many different accounts came into view on the laptop screen, leaving Sarah uncertain as to which one to make contact with. "What does the little blue, white tick thing mean?"
"It means that account is the official one."
"Okay right. So this must be Zachary Levi then," she muttered, clicking on his name.
"Why are you searching for Zac anyway? What good is he going to do?"
Zachary's Twitter profile came into view. Her eyes failed to leave the screen in search of the private message button. "Yvonne said he would know what to do in this sort of situation. Where is the option for a private message? All I can do is 'tweet', 'block' or 'report' him."
"It's probably because they don't follow each other on Twitter."
"They don't follow each other on Twitter? How can they not follow each other on Twitter?"
"I don't know. Now please get away from Yvonne's stuff."
"Tim, I am not snooping through any of her private information! I just need to make contact with Zachary Levi. Now is there any other way I could possibly accomplish that?"
Her persistence induced boiling lava to ascend from inside his bones. Sarah accounted for his frustration and resistance in wanting to assist her. She knew she had to persuade him somehow.
"You want Yvonne back, don't you?"
Prominently, his eyes beheld a glint of desperation. "Yes, of course I do."
"So is there any other way of making contact with Zachary Levi?" she repeated.
Through the slight of his nose, he released an irritated huff. "Skype. She uses Skype a lot. Maybe you can get hold of him through that."
As she searched for the Skype icon, ready to video call Zac, the phone rang. Tim went to answer it.
"Hello? Oh. Speak of the devil," he exclaimed, extending the phone for Sarah to take.
"Hello?" The speaker's voice alarmed her ears. "Chuck? Is that you?"
"Ha-ha, can't get over the finale either, I see?" The oration of his speech held a flicker of sorrow, and sniffles could be heard behind the jovial expression of his voice.
"Oh. Zachary Levi…" she stated with disappointment, until she recalled her need to find him. "Wait – Zachary Levi?" Tim nodded.
"Good guess. I was beginning to wonder if I sounded too feminine on the phone. Did you watch it? I am crying like a baby over here. I have been calling everyone and no one can stop crying!"
"–Zachary, I need your help."
"Oh, yeah? Sure. What's wrong, Yvonne?"
"No. This isn't Yvonne."
"Oh… Tim? You still on the phone? Ha-ha, sorry dude. You sounded just like Yvonne."
"This is Sarah Walker. I know that doesn't make sense right now, but I can explain it all to you later."
"I need you to come over as soon as possible."
"I can't explain over the phone. How long will it take for you to get here?"
"Uh, I don't – I don't know. Why?"
"Because you are my only hope in getting back to Chuck."
"…Are you drunk?"
With a persistent stare, Morgan's tenacious eyes failed to depart from the TV, analysing the movie on screen.
"Are you real too, Star Wars?" he queried, loud enough for Chuck and Yvonne to hear. "Please come to life. Please come to life."
"Morgan, buddy concentrate," Chuck exclaimed.
Seated inside his apartment, he and Yvonne sat by the dining table, contemplating ways in which they could solve the mysterious dilemma.
"Maybe we could try calling Sarah? Her number might work."
"I don't know, Yvonne. I mean, it wouldn't really help if she left her phone behind and I guess, even if it is with her, then I doubt we will be able to make contact with a whole other universe."
"Yeah. But just imagine the phone bill if we did!" Morgan yelled from the couch in front of the TV. "If it costs a lot to phone internationally imagine what it would cost to phone universally."
They both chose to ignore his comment. "Hmm…why don't we call Beckman?" Yvonne suggested.
"Beckman? Why? Do you think she can help?"
"Perhaps. Isn't it likely for the CIA to have a top secret teleportation device that could send me back and bring Sarah back here?"
They stared at her, astounded by her notion. "Ha-ha, Yvonne, you watch too many movies," Chuck remarked.
Affronted, she chuckled with genuine amazement. "This coming from the biggest nerd I know."
He smiled, amused by her ease with confronting the obvious. After every slight glance or so, he would catch her eye and be reminded of Sarah. Her entire appearance admonished him of Sarah. In some way it calmed him, lighting the fireplace of his heart. But in a negative sense, she acted as a constant reminder that Sarah wasn't there, and that stabbed him internally, blowing out the fireplace of his heart and leaving behind nothing but ash.
Morgan removed himself from the couch leaving a sunken rear mark on the surface where he sat. "Yvonne, how did you manage to get here? I mean, something must have happened. Maybe we could use that in order to take you back."
"Oh. Well…um, I was watching the finale…of the show. Then my headache started to worsen–"
"Maybe your headache had something to do with it?" Chuck exclaimed with excitement, "That always happens on TV. The person gets a throbbing headache and then something goes wrong."
"Look who's watching too many movies now," Yvonne amicably japed. "I vanished from my world the moment you and Sarah kissed at the beach. Maybe that means something?"
Chuck's eyes abruptly jounced open. "That's the same moment she disappeared…" A thought struck his head, transfixing his nerves with a sense of hope. "Guys, I have an idea."
"Wait, wait, wait – so you are telling me that you – Sarah Walker – disappeared from your world and came here, whereas Yvonne disappeared from this world into yours? And now you are stuck in each other's world, hopelessly trying to find a way back?" Zach questioned. Standing in Yvonne's living room, his darting eyes perforated those that stood before him – Tim and Sarah.
"It's pretty creepy, isn't it?" Yvonne's boyfriend stated.
"Creepy? The word creepy doesn't even begin to describe it."
Sarah faced down, her distressed eyes arbitrarily staring at the ground below. She couldn't help but wonder whether he would be able to help her at all, or whether his resistance and cynicism would permit him not to.
"No, creepy is not the word I am looking for," Zac continued. "No, this is…this is more like 'awesome'!" Tim and Sarah shook their heads in sudden confusion – What?
"How cool is this? You know, besides for the whole issue of returning everyone to their rightful place and all, this is freaking amazing! I – well you too, Tim. Can't leave you out of this – are actually standing in front of Sarah Walker right now. Sarah Walker! There is so much that I have always wanted to ask you and Chuck. So much."
She smiled with relief. "So I am guessing you believe me?"
"Well it seems less plausible not to. Just one question though."
"You said you needed me. Why me?"
"Oh, well Yvonne said you would know what to do in this sort of situation–"
"Well of course. This sort of thing happens to me all the time," he teased.
"So that explains why you handled it so well," Tim remarked.
"Why would she assume you would know what to do?" Sarah inquired.
"Probably because I'm a nerd for videogames and Sci-Fi movies. They use teleportation in films like Star Trek."
"Oh yes, the Transporter platform on the USS Enterprise," she informed.
Zac's hazel eyes lit up with stunned amazement as they stared into hers, bewildered by her response. "Yeah…how did you know that?"
She simpered with delight. "Chuck forced me to watch it."
"Yeah, no doubt about that. But you said that the kiss never worked…How did you remember?"
Cottoning on to what Zac was implying, her face expressed the bewilderment that clouded her passing thoughts. "I – I don't know…"
Through examining her occasional regression of forgotten memories, Zac acknowledged the relevance of its return. He understood that colouring in the void spaces of her forgotten life would be just as important as reverting her back to the world of Chuck. He just prayed that he would figure out how to do just that.
Chuck jolted up, applying excess pressure onto his feet. "Yvonne, you said that our whole life is a TV show. If that is so, then possibly we can make contact with Sarah on the other side."
"Okay…not really following…" she remarked with confusion.
"Think about it. All we have to do is re-enact an episode or a scene from the TV series – well, our life. Sometime, somewhere in your world, someone must be watching an episode of the show. If we can perform a scene the exact same time that someone from you world watches it, then possibly we will have full control over what happens next, blurring the line that separates fiction from reality."
Confounded expressions blankly stared back at him. "Still not following…"
"Maybe we can make up the story. Pretend that the CIA really does have a teleportation device. You can use it to return to your world and then – ya, okay never mind, this isn't really working…"
Their frustrated, downtrodden faces vacantly stared into the distance. Yvonne bit her inner gums, thinking deeply for a solution out of this predicament. Fear, being the weeds of their mind, began to sprout rapidly, planting doubt inside their thoughts – what if they don't figure something out? What if Yvonne is stuck there…forever? What if Sarah never returns? What if –
"Anyone up for pizza?" Morgan offered.
"Pizza? Yes please, buddy."
"Ooh, make believe pizza. Sounds better than the real deal."
"All right Sarah, Tim, we know that right now, Yvonne is probably working with Chuck on a plan to get them out of this situation. And we know that they won't stop for nothing in order to succeed," Zac stated.
"So your plan is…to wait?" Sarah remarked with derogatory slight.
Tim grunted. "Sounds like a plan…"
"No, listen. My plan is to beat them to it. Sarah, earlier you mentioned that both you and Yvonne disappeared when the final, magical kiss occurred."
"So if she disappeared because of the kiss just like you did, then maybe all you have to do is watch the kiss again. That might take you back and return Yvonne as well."
"But that's not what happened last time. Last time Yvonne was the only one that teleported. How are we supposed to ensure that we both get transported back?"
"Eh – I don't know. But maybe seeing as you both were in the same universe, only one person could teleport at a time." Her face beheld a glint of disbelief. "Look, there is no proof that this will work. But it is worth a shot, Sarah."
"So you are saying that is all I have to do? Watch the finale again?"
"Yes, I think so. Everything seems to revolve around the kiss. It has to be the kiss! Maybe it is magical."
"Well then let's stop dawdling and watch that episode." An eager sense of determination radiated through her voice. Though, Zac wasn't ready to let her leave just yet.
"Wait," he blurted. "This may work and you may return home, but that's not good enough." Her eyebrows furrowed, perplexed and worried by what he was about to say next. "If I am anything like Chuck – and I am – then I would know that there is nothing more important to him than getting you back."
"Well right now there is nothing more important to me either."
"I know." His concerned eyes focussed on hers as she emitted a look of mistrust upon her face. "You are going to return home, Sarah. But first, you are not going back broken."
"In this world, your life has been recorded. Do you know what that means? It means that we have your memories…on video."
The weary glare of perplexity shrouding her complexion soon faded the moment she acknowledged Zac's notion. He wasn't threatening her chances of reverting back to her world. He was encouraging her chances of remembering, of witnessing all the stories Chuck told her, of obtaining the five years that she lost and of recalling her feelings and love for Chuck. He was providing her with an opportunity of receiving a bountiful life, not endangering her chances of returning to an empty one.
"What are you saying?" she inquired. Her thoughts never validated the meaning behind his conception and she needed substantial proof. She required his word.
"Sarah, I am saying we are going to help you remember."