Author's Note: Hello to any readers who may check this out. I hope this lives up to our expectations, I hope the ride will be as fun as planned. If any of you would care to beta a new author, shoot me a private message!I hope you all enjoy. If so, please drop a review! It'd mean the world to me and help promote the story! Thanks for all your warm welcomes. -Jenny
*note 2 at bottom*
CHAPTER ONE: THIN ICE
WASHINGTON D.C: 2:30 AM
"What do you mean you 'messed up'?" Sarah Walker mumbled, reading the small scribbled writing on the crumpled note by her bedside. The lighting was dim; her eyes couldn't afford any more at such an early our. Her beautiful blonde hair was slightly unkempt, as she'd just woken up. She's just rose, apparently missing her partner's visit. Her apartment was still dark, which, in her book, was not a good sign.
"Dammit Bryce!" She snapped as her eyes widened, taking the letter in. It read:
I messed up big time. I was at gunpoint...you would know, you saved me. The intersect- I sent it to the wrong asset guy. The wrong guy. His name is Chuck Bartowksi, and he's in Burbank. I think I'm too late. I'll be in touch.
Sarah's eyes widened. "Shit!" Throwing herself out of bed, she pratically launched herself to her suitcase, yanking out a pair of jeans and a sweater. She threw them on, regretting the fact that she hadn't really unpacked. Her mind remained on her partner. He couldn't have gotten far. He wouldn't have used a jet, not a government issued one, either. It had to be- "Shit!" She called out again, to no one. He was going to call in a favor from Josh, their friend in the business. She had to get to him.
She found her boots first, the comfortable ones. She grunted as she yanked them on with one hand, simultaneously struggling to get her hair in an approachable fashion with the other, the hair tie slipping around her deft fingers. Sure, it wasn't a knife, but she was damn good with just about anything.
She rocketed out her door, dashing down the steps, and suddenly slamming into a man. Glancing up, her eyes locked with his. Pools of blue meeting even deeper seas. His stubble was the only thing out of character, but his smile soon blocked it anyway.
"I figured you'd find me."
"You're such an ass!" Sarah rolled her eyes.
"You look great." Bryce grinned, his chiseled features failing to charm her.
"I could look and feel a lot greater with your head under my boot." she snapped venemously, though the glint in his eyes foreshadowed his response.
"I needed you to get up faster." He replied surely, his hand in his pockets. Sarah took a moment to see his sweater and jeans as well. He was rushing too.
"A call would've sufficed." She replied indignantly, as the two rushed to her porsche in the apartment's parking complex.
"Now that you're up, I've called in a favor with Josh." Bryce began, turning down the next set of stairs.
"Of course. Can't have Beckman on your ass for this mistake." Sarah agreed, taunting him as well.
Bryce held his snarky remark; she was absolutely right. "It's that damn John Casey's fault...him and his stupid NSA goons."
Several clicks were heard as Sarah and Bryce froze, finding 9mm barrels at each of their heads.
"Goons?" A gruff voice in the shadows sounded, demanding attention. A tall, thick and muscled man stepped out. Major John Casey of the NSA. "How thoughtful, pretty boy." he smirked, enjoying this.
"Guns down, Major." Sarah turned upon hearing the shrill old voice of none other than the short, red headed general, Diane Beckman.
"Yeah, wouldn't want to end up with a knife in your crotch." Bryce smirked upon remembering the hidden blade in Sarah's boot.
"What's going on?" Sarah demanded impatiently.
"You tell me, Agent Larkin." And to complete what was already a full house, Director Langston Graham stepped up, hands folded across his chest in an elegant and demanding manner. Sarah noticed that they were all polished and in their uniforms, making her feel especially uncomfortable.
"Treason is death in my book." Casey smirked, playing with the safety on his gun.
"Enough." Beckman snapped, causing Casey to step off like a reluctant Rottweiler or Doberman, still standing it's guard.
"I sent the files to the wrong recipient." Bryce sighed, impatiently meeting the eyes of his superiors.
"Yet you filed a complete success in your report..." Graham rose a brow. "How interesting."
"I was meaning to fix this on my own..."
"Without ever letting me know?" Graham snapped suddenly. "Do you take me for an idiot, Larkin?"
"No sir." Bryce stood straight. Sarah almost felt bad.
"I noticed the minute you sent off the device; it set out a beacon." Graham informed. "Charles Irving Bartowski." He added.
Suddenly, Sarah remembered. Bryce's college friend. The cuter innocent looking one with curly hair...the stanford geek. Why him of all people?
"Sir, I, I didn't mean to...It just-"
"I understand." Graham shook his head firmly. "But we here at the CIA-" Beckman fed him an intense stare. "-and the NSA do not tolerate this kind of error."
"What are my orders, sir?" Bryce sighed.
"That's better. Sit, boy." Casey muttered, urging Bryce to give him a upright hook.
"You are to simply burn him. Put him in a bunker...he's a target. An asset. And furthermore, a liability. And that's simply somthing we can't afford. Foreign agencies would KILL to have him in their hands, Larkin...supposing the Intersect didn't kill him already."
"Sir, this is an honest working man!" Bryce objected. "He's done nothing wrong! We can't simply imprison him for my mistake!"
"Are you defying me?" Graham rose a brow.
"No sir." Sarah snapped to attention, filling in for Bryce. "Consider it done."
"Ah, my wildcard." Graham smiled. "Always reliable...if that makes any sense"
Bryce bit his tongue. Sarah always had a plan. Now wasd no different, he was sure.
"Walker, you're running point. We will be in contact. Take the CIA jet at Portley station and I expect a feed when the deed is complete. You have the numbers, utilize nearby CIA resources if you need to."
"Yes sir." They nodded, Casey smirking.
"Oh, and-" Graham began.
"Yes? Bryce asked.
"DON'T, screw this up." Graham replied, stepping away and out the door. His "goons", both CIA and NSA followed suit, Casey shouldering Larkin as he left.
Once the door shut, Sarah turned to Bryce. "This is bad." She bit her lip. "Bunker the nerd?"
"He'll never make it, Sarah." and immediately, she could tell he was speaking with heart. It almost made her feel...jealous. "He needs us."
"We've got no choice in this, Bryce." Her eyes full of sympathy, she led him down the next flight of stairs and into the darkness of the dimly lit garage.
The jet was in the air shortly, carrying Bryce and Sarah towards their newest mission, in Burbank, California. Bryce was sitting back in his seat, a drink in hand as he took a breath. Sarah looked nothing short of pissed. The tension, the silence...it all seemed palpable. Sarah ran a hand along the interior of the leather chair, leaning back.
Inhaling sharply, she began. "Brief me."
Bryce glanced up. "You know about Chuck...he was my best friend...back in Stanford."
"Tell me all I need to know..." Sarah nodded.
"He's a great guy, Sarah. He's smart, crazy smart...come to think of it, he's the only guy I know who could even be near capable of holding the intersect as a host."
"Then why not recruit him in the first place? Why'd you get him kicked out?" Sarah saw Bryce wince. The words were harsh, but they were true.
"He's not...wired, like us. He's gifted, god knows how much, but not for our game. They'd eat him alive."
"He couldn't harm a fly."
"Oh..." Sarah bit her lip. She'd never met a guy...let alone anyone who was really like that before. "What's become of him now...do you know?"
"I check up on him to make sure he's alright." Bryce shrugged, though concern was in his eyes. "You know the Buymore?"
"The retail chain?" Sarah rose a brow.
"He's a nerd herder there."
"You're kidding." Sarah rose a brow once more. "A STANFORD graduate at the BUYMORE?"
"Better there than dead." Bryce tried.
"I guess..." Sarah nodded. "Weaknesses?"
"Social contact." Bryce also nodded. "Remember the whole Jill bit I told you about oh so long ago?"
"I'd be messed up too, Bryce." Sarah recalled how he'd used Jill, Chuck's girlfriend at the time, to break his heart, luring him away from the spy game.
"Well...he'll cause a scene if he sees me..." Bryce began.
"So, you want me to go in and drop a few jaws?" Sarah guessed, rolling her eyes.
"That's the plan. I wonder what Chuck's doing now..." He mused thoughtfully, leaning back once more, drink in hand.
"Good morning Awesome." Chuck's curly hair had a fresh scent from his morning shower, one that was soon covered by the smell of fresh hot coffee. The Bartowski-Woodcomb house was finally alive again.
"Chuckster!" Devon Woodcomb took in the sight of Chuck. Tall, dressed, and smiling. The kid was a trooper. "How's it going, bro?"
"Well...can't complain." Chuck shrugged with a grin, pouring some coffee for himself. He always admire his soon to be brother in law. He was the stereotypical frat boy; tall, blonde, muscular, and of course, a cardiologist. How fitting.
"Gaming up all night with Morgan seems to work with your morning attitude." Turning, Chuck hugged his sister Ellie. A little bit shorter than him, and still plenty tall, Ellie was a mix of their parents, and resembled Chuck a good amount. She of course, was beautiful, like her fiancee and his entire family.
"You know...those call of duty moments are worth the struggle." Chuck teased, straightening his always crooked tie.
"You seem pretty happy, gaming aside, Chuck..." Ellie smiled.
"I don't know..." Chuck shrugged, smiling back. "It just...It finally feels like a good day, El."
"Well, I hope so. Dark Chuck was getting old. Time to put Stanford...everything behind you, Chuck."
"I know..." He nodded, kissing her cheek. "I gotta go to work, I'll see you guys by five!" He waved quickly, stepping out of the door and into his 'inconspicuous' herder, the official vehicle of the BuyMore NerdHerd.
***END OF CHAPTER ONE***
Author's Note Number Two:
I'm aware I left several questions unanswered, and I apologize, as I aim to hit those in the next chapter. Why were Bryce and Casey in a bad position, is Bryce good or bad, what will Chuck's reaction be, and why didn't he react if he got the intersect; all very good questions I'll have answered!
So, hopefully you guys enjoyed the intro? The characters will change, so try not to judge them too quickly. Things will all become very fast paced soon enough! So, let me know how you liked it and please drop a review for the first chapter! Thanks everyone for reading, and message me for a possible beta position! -Jenny