Disclaimer: Not mine.

Set mid season 2

A/N: This has the potential to be more but I'm not sure. This is my first time posting anything in years even though I've been reading here for a lot longer than that.


This was how it ended, in the Buy More. Somehow Chuck wasn't surprised. He never could get away. His employment at Buy More had always been the shadow hunting him. It was the constant reminder that he hadn't amounted to anything, that he never became anything better, and now he supposed he never would.

There had been moments though, moments where he thought he might break the chains of mediocrity that held him. The Intersect, while in many ways a curse, had given him a purpose. He mattered to someone more than Morgan, his best friend, or Ellie, his sister.

Ellie. This would kill her. The anguish he felt at realizing what his own death would do to her caused a strangled cry to escape from his lips. Their last conversation played in his mind. Captain Awesome's parents stopped by last week and she had been counting on Chuck to be there for her. He wasn't. He missed picking them up at the airport, he missed dinner, and all because of some Intersect mission where he sat in the car the entire night. He apologized, but he had no excuse that he could tell her for letting her down. She just looked at him with such sadness and disappointment when he finally crawled through the door hours too late.

"I was counting you, Chuck" was all she said. She turned away.

At least he wouldn't disappoint her again. He could at least hold onto that in his last moments. For once, the situation was not entirely his fault. It had nothing to do with the Intersect, nothing to do with national security, and nothing to do with Sarah and Casey who would not be swooping in to save him. It was completely unimportant.

He was closing up shop with Morgan and Anna. Chuck had offered to take care of it on his own so Morgan and Anna could head out together earlier.

"Really, buddy? You're the best, man. Call me this weekend," Morgan had hugged him and headed out the door with Anna in tow.

So it was just Chuck. He was working at the register behind the Nerd Herd. The stupid thing had jammed again. He didn't even hear him enter the store.

"Empty the register," a voice demanded.

Chuck looked up to see a very real gun, very much pointed at him by a very scared kid. He could have hardly been more than a teenager. He was shaking so much Chuck knew it had to be more than nerves. The twitchiness told him this kid hadn't had is fix for a while now.

"Okay. Okay," Chuck answered, instinctively putting his hands up.

"Look, give me the money and you won't get hurt."

Chuck nodded, "Alright. I'll give you what you want. You don't need the gun. Just put it down."

"Open it." The kid demanded again pointing to the register.

Chuck nodded and went back to the jammed machine.

"What's taking so long? Just do it!" The kid yelled now. Chuck could see his blood shot eyes darting across the room. The gun started to shake wildly.

The register popped upon suddenly. The sound was startling not only to Chuck, who could hear his heart beating loudly in his hears, but to the kid as well. The gun went off.

Chuck felt something slam into his chest. He saw the kid's look of fear and thought he heard him say something completely inadequate like sorry. He fell backwards, hitting the hard linoleum tiles with a thud. Above him, Chuck heard the kid scrambling with the register, shoving money into his pockets and sprinting out the door.

So that was how he got here bleeding on the floor. It wasn't Fulcrum that got him in the end. It wasn't his own country eliminating him for knowing too much. It was just a scared kid and a robbery gone wrong.

The pain was all encompassing. He tried to breathe, but every breath brought on more high definition pain. Chuck's white Nerd Herd shirt was sticky and wet against his skin. He was cold and alone.

A part of him wished that he was at least dying outside. That way he could be looking at the night's sky rather than ceiling of the Buy More. Maybe that way his last few moments could have been spent looking at something beautiful rather than suffocating.

Speaking of suffocating, Chuck coughed. He gasped for breathe and felt something wet trickle down the side of his face. Blood. This was so very not good. He didn't want to die. Chuck just wanted the intersect out of his head. The last year had given him a glimpse of a life with purpose and a life with someone he cared about. He wanted a second chance more than anything; to get his life back and make it into something more.

Now he just wished Sarah was here. He wanted to tell her just how much she meant to him. How even though the last year had been on many occasions Hell, it was worth it since it had meant she had entered his life.

But she wasn't here. Chuck was alone, bleeding to death on the floor of the Buy More. He heard the buzzing of the florescent lights overhead and the dial tone of the phone he had knocked off the hook when he fell. He felt the cold floor beneath his body. Looking up, blinking slowly, Chuck saw the ceiling of the Buy More and thought how depressing it was that it would be the last thing he ever saw.

He didn't hear the doors open or the slapping of shoes as someone sprinted across the store.

When Sarah's face came swimming into his view, he blinked again. She wasn't here. The lights above, made a halo around her blond hair.

"Chuck, an ambulance is on its way. Just hold on," his vision spoke to him.

When she pressed her sweatshirt hard into wound in his chest, Chuck groaned. Hallucinations didn't hurt you like this.

"Sarah," he breathed out barely above a whisper. "How?"

"I was in Castle. I didn't see what was happening at first. I'm sorry I took so long. I'm not going anywhere and you don't go anywhere either."

Chuck noticed the wetness in her eyes and the way her usually steady voice had a slight quaver. "Not going anywhere, now that you're here." He coughed again. It hurt, a lot. Sarah's free hand was on his face in an instant, steadying him.

"Tell Ellie-"He started.

She cut him off, "No, Chuck. You tell her yourself." This time Chuck was certain he saw tears falling from her eyes. He hadn't meant to hurt her like this.

He shook his head, he needed to finish. "Please tell her, I'm sorry. I don't mean to be such a disappointment."

"Chuck, you are not a disappointment. Not to anyone." She insisted.

"Sarah," he struggled for air again. "It was worth it. All of it. Just to know you."

She would be the last thing he saw. Chuck smiled. She was infinitely better than the ceiling of the Buy More. She was everything that could have been. Sarah was here and just for this moment, he could pretend that she was his. He closed his eyes and didn't hear the scream of sirens in the distance.