Hello, FF fans, here is the newest chapter of my new story. This story is entitled 'Don't let go.' The title has several meanings as I will explore as much of them as I can in this story. There is no specific order or timeline with this one. I am writing this based on what I felt were my favourite scenes, situations or lines from all 5 seasons. So before you all complain lol that I am all over the place, there is a logical explanation to my madness. Please read and review – I LIKE TO READ WHAT YOU ALL ARE THINKING. I don't own Chuck…..ENJOY!
Thanks to Ms Romance Writer for her suggestions to change the direction with this first chapter and giving it a run through. Thanks Buddy!
Everything has a beginning…
Echo Park /Los Angeles National Cemetery
Chuck debated on what he should wear. He tossed several suits of his dads onto his bed finally deciding a blue one. His sister Ellie passed by his room still angry with him that he was still going despite the fact that the man whose funeral it was, was the man who was solely responsible for having her little brother kicked out of Stanford and sleeping with his girlfriend. But Ellie wasn't nothing like her brother in regards to treating people the same even when they treated you the way they did. That was one thing she loved about her brother, his selfless attitude and his good heart.
Ellie walked in as Chuck struggled with his tie – he usually pulled his Buy More tie over his head so he wouldn't have to deal with the thing. Ellie stepped up behind him pushing down on his shoulders so that he was the same height as she was. Hand over hand she tied her little brothers tie. As Chuck reached for his suit jacket, she grabbed his hand.
"Take a deep breath, you'll do fine."
Chuck smiled and fixed his collar. Walking out of his bedroom he saw Devon standing at the door. Tossing his car keys Chuck fumbled a bit but grabbed them. "What are these for?"
"Well we can't have you drive up to the cemetery in a Nerd Herder car can we?"
Chuck found a seat. He looked around and the amount of people could have filled his apartment. He was shocked to see that none of Bryce's family was there; well honestly he wasn't shocked because Bryce never talked about his family. He turned in his seat looking at a few he suspected were coworkers from the bank. Reaching into his suit jacket he grabbed his speech and laid in on the chair beside him. He grabbed the bulletin and read through it. The priest stood up at the front of the small crowd and started talking. As the priest spoke a young lady with blonde hair and a dark suit slipped in the back. Chuck noticed the woman as his name was being called to speak; he turned to face the small crowd. Fixing his suit he unfolded his little speech.
"Good morning, friends and acquaintances of our dear friend Bryce Larkin." A few nervous coughs clouded the already somber space. Chuck cleared his throat and began to speak.
"My name is Charles Bartowski, Chuck for short. I was surprised to be asked to speak. When I got a call from Bryce's lawyer stating that I was asked to speak upon his death I wasn't sure what to say. We were close once."
The blonde stranger sat up. She was now intrigued by this tall and quite handsome man who now was talking about her old partner.
"But as things happened between us we went our separate ways. I could be angry at the man but this is neither the place nor time. Yes some would say that Bryce was a good man, a trust worthy man and a good friend others would say that he was sinister, a liar and even a coward. But whatever our opinions are of the man and what he did in the past has nothing to do with what he had gone through. I bet his last days were like his life mysterious but probably exactly what he wanted them to be like. I don't know how exciting an accountant job can be but I bet Bryce made it fun and adventurous. So as we say our goodbyes to Bryce we must remember the good in the man and may he rest in peace."
Chuck folded up his speech and started walking towards the main building for the luncheon. Chuck opened the doors and went straight for the wine. He guzzled down the first glass; mostly to calm his nerves. As he reached for the second glass his hand grazed another as they both of them reached for the same glass. "Oh sorry, here you take this one I'll grab another?"
The blonde smiled and nodded. She took a sip and brought her glass down. Chuck balanced on his balls of his feet trying to look casual. He wasn't use to standing so close to a beautiful woman.
"Hi my name is Sarah?"
"Uh Charles, Chuck for short."
"Well nice to meet you Chuck, I didn't know that people still named their children Chuck."
"Yeah well my parents were Sadist and well a little weird."
As Sarah laughed Chuck took another sip.
"Thank you for your speech."
"My pleasure. You a friend or did you worked with Bryce?"
Sarah knew that she couldn't tell him who she was exactly but she was good at stretching the truth.
"Yes we worked together in DC. He was in upper management and we shared a few contracts together."
"So you're here to represent the company?"
"Yes you can say that?"
Sarah was surprised that Chuck was so easy to talk to. Despite what she got out of their conversation, Bryce wasn't all to kind to him but he spoke of him out of respect. As the crowd dissipated Chuck and Sarah finished off a few more glasses of wine. Sarah looked at her watch. She had to get back to the airport and head back to DC. Bryce's funeral wasn't what she had in mind when she came back to the US. A few days ago she was in Belarus picking up the pieces of her last mission with the now deceased Bryce Larkin. She was told to head to LA no questions asked. Chuck noticed Sarah playing with her watch. Sarah saw that he was staring at her.
"Oh sorry but I have to head back to DC, I have a lot of paper work to do and this."
"Wasn't what you had in mind?"
Again Sarah was taken aback by Chuck's forwardness and attentive attitude.
"Ya this wasn't a totally a personal visit."
Chuck got up and pulled Sarah's chair away so she could get up. Sarah couldn't get her footings and leaned into Chuck. She couldn't help get a whiff of his cologne. 'A musky woodsy smell'. She tried to stay where she was longer but Chuck being the gentleman, stopped that. Helping her they walked out to the parking lot as a limo was there from the airport. Chuck opened the door as Sarah reached for the door she turned around.
"Bryce was lucky to have had a friend like you. In our line of work friends are far and few, despite what they can sometimes do to us."
They said their goodbyes as Chuck closed the door sharing a few more glances as the limo drove out of sight.
CIA OFFICE WASHINGTON DC
Sarah threw her bags down as she entered her cubicle, longing for a few minutes to catch her breath. It wasn't your run of the mill, everyday welcome she was use to when she came back from a mission even after the funeral of her partner Bryce. And not every day you're escorted back to Langley by two CIA officers in their CIA attire. Sarah couldn't shake the last mission no matter how hard she tried to forget it; and the sour taste in her mouth wouldn't leave her. She knew that her escort was probably the result of that. As she looked down the hall she had hoped that this time she would get that corner office she desperately wanted, but with her record lately she knew it was a long shot.
She didn't know that General Beckman had conversed with Langston Graham while she was away and word spread quickly that the infamous Agent Walker might be on the chopping block. She was told to sit tight till 'they' whoever 'they' were, where ready for her. Flashes of the last mission popped into her mind, how stupid was she to be swept in by her emotions. She knew that working with Bryce would not end well but she was committed to the partnership but after he left with the Intel and left her, just left her there she screwed up and now he was dead.
Agents passed her cubicle with mournful stares as other onlookers raised their heads over their own cubicle to see what could be the last few glimpses of a decorative Agent.
Sarah sat down and went to her drawer. Maybe a glass she pulled the drawer open as her eye caught the neck of the bottle. As she reached for it a deep voice startled her current mission.
"Agent Walker, they're ready for you?"
They Sarah thought, there's more than one? Sarah closed the drawer eyeing the bottle one more time. Wearing the same suit since LA she fixed her skirt and pulled down her blazer. Raising her head high she walked out and down the hall for what felt like the longest walk to Langston Graham's office. The officer motioned her to the door. Knocking confidently, she waited for her opportunity to enter. Sarah opened the door as Langston Graham was walking towards her. She noticed General Beckman sitting to her right. Langston shook Sarah's hand as he escorted her to the empty chair. Sarah sat down greeting the General with a hand shake and a nod.
Langston resumed his place behind the desk. "Welcome back Agent Walker."
"I guess you're wondering why you were escorted from the airport and why you're here with us right now."
"More than you know."
"Well." As Langston looked at the General. "We know that the last mission didn't go as…."
"About that, I am so sorry for how the mission ended. There is no excuse for how it was handled."
"Agent Walker." The General interrupting the younger Agent.
"We know more than you think we know about the mission. We know that Bryce betrayed you but what is more important is what transpired from that mission. After he left you in Belarus he snuck back into the US and broke into the DNI. The Intel that you recovered in Belarus wasn't lost as you first reported it. We believe that Bryce left you knowing exactly that what you recovered wasn't going to make its way back to us."
"What do mean?" This mission was planned?"
"We're not sure but what we can put together is Bryce knew what he was doing whether he let you in on it or not the Intel helped him break into the DNI."
"You're telling me that I helped him?"
"No we are not saying that but we can't shake the feeling that it's seem very coincidental that this Intel goes missing on your watch then the next thing the DNI is broken into."
"I did no such thing?"
"Sarah!" Langston trying to keep her calm. "The General is trying to answer some questions."
Sarah sat back in her chair. She hated being blamed for Bryce's choices and this one broke the camel's back.
"Sarah, we used the DNI to hide and store all our Governmental secrets. Since 9-11 we joined forces with the NSA to safe guard all our Government secrets in case of another attack. As a joint agreement we thought that the DNI would be the safest place to hold what we felt was important for National Security. All data, files, codes, you name it was stored in a complex piece of technology called the Intersect. The Intersect was created by a man who was known only as Orion. Orion was a head of his time when it came to technology and the CIA. But we lost contact with him several years ago and all his files, our files were downloaded into it. The problem is that files were still being downloaded as of recent and we were unsure if this was part of the Intersects original plan or someone else's doing. The Intersect was downloaded to a portable drive by Bryce. As Bryce tried to escape NSA agent John Casey shot him dead."
Sarah sat up. "Why are you telling me this now and not as soon as it happened?"
She personally wanted the man dead many times but to actually hear the words and to be at his funeral she knew that it was not just a wishful dream but real all too real.
Langston looked at Sarah. "I know that you two were close."
"We were partners and nothing else."
'Who was she fooling; everyone knew that they were more than partners…..'
"You should know that were not judging you or care what you did beyond the walls of this agency but that doesn't matter now. What matters is that Bryce sent the files to someone in Los Angeles. We have ID this person as we need you to."
"Take him out?"
"Not exactly." Beckman interjected. "We need you to do what you do best."
"And if I don't accept?"
"You have no choice, take this assignment."
"Or what?" As Sarah stood up hearing enough.
"Be reassigned and you might not like where I put you." Sarah staring down the little but ferocious red headed General.
Langston walked up to Sarah walking her towards the wide office window overlooking the city scape.
"Please take this job as a favour to me. And in a few months if you're not happy I'll see what I can do."
Sarah knew that it couldn't get worse but she knew that assignment like these go to agents like her who have burned many bridges. This time thanks to Bryce Larkin. But she knew that Langston Graham had her back. He had backed her up many times, almost like her own personal fire extinguisher but this time his hands were tied. But she trusted the man, he saved her life after her dad was arrested, made her into the spy she was today.
(When Beckman called everyone jumped. Beckman had her in mind for this assignment when she heard of who was behind the heist at the DNI and as soon as the proof came back it was indeed Bryce Larkin and all the Government secrets were sent to someone in LA she needed immediate action and only the best would do.)
Sarah closed the door behind her as Langston waved goodbye. The General sat back in her seat and waited. "So do you think she'll take it?"
Langston nodded. "Walker is always up for challenge especially when she is going in blind. She wants to earn hers stripes back after what Larkin did."
"What do we know about this Chuck Bartowski?"
"Not much except that he attended Stanford with Bryce so I am guessing he is well informed about this."
"And if he isn't?"
"Well that is why we are sending in Agent Walker. Who can resist someone like her? She is good at her job."
"Well that's why worries me. Maybe what Bryce did to her can't be fixed. Bryce should have never been allowed to leave her like he did. We don't know what they did to her?"
"I will have her debrief like we always have our agents do. And we will go from there. I expect her to be at the airport by 6 am tomorrow."
"You can monitor the on goings once she is there. I have purchased a small warehouse building near where Mr. Bartowski works. I had the basement turned into a CIA/NSA sub station where the both parties can monitor Agents Walkers actions."
"You're not having her go in alone are you?"
"Oh no I have also recruited Major John Casey to join her. He'll meet us at the airport, I trust Walker but she can be a hot head putting it lightly and loose cannon thanks to her years with Larkin. I am hoping that her true self will come through and she'll be that spy that she once was and could be again."
Beckman finished her drink and headed to the door. Turning around she looked at Langston.
"Do you think that we will ever find Orion?"
"Your guess is as good as mine, but right now we need to protect what he has created and take care of Mr. Bartowski."
DEBREIFING ROOM FOUR/SARAH'S APARTMENT
Sarah sat in cold faintly lit debriefing room. She knew it was mandatory but she dredged bringing back the memories of the last few months. She pondered on how much she should say knowing that every detail was being analyzed and picked apart to see if she was fit to go back into the field. She also knew that her intimate relationship with Bryce wasn't a secret, but now she could say that it was nonexistent. She remembered the last time a year ago when her defences were down and the combination of several glasses of Jack and the charming lies of Bryce led to her waking up naked and alone. Bryce got what he wanted but she didn't. She knew that their relationship was just act to fill a need. It wasn't love or even a slight definition of it.
Hours later after the suits picked apart every detail of the last few months she got the go ahead to leave. Heading back to her cubicle she grabbed her bags and hailed a cab. Tossing her bags on the floor of her vacant apartment she went to the fridge to grab a bottle of water as it was the only items she had in there. She thumbed through her mail and debated whether to order take out or go to bed. She opted for both. After a long hot shower in her own shower she waited for her order to arrive. The front desk knew to not bother her so when the order arrived, they quietly brought it up stairs and knocked gently on the door.
Sarah crawled into bed with her favourite Chinese food. Curling up in her own sheets she ate a little and opened the file that Langston left on her desk. She read the file but the file was limited with Intel. 'Maybe that is why I need to go there's nothing on the person in question' As Sarah read on her own tiredness overtook her, flipping off the light she settled for a long overdue sleep. But her thoughts were on a young man named Chuck. Sarah rolled over as an annoying buzz awakened her slumber. She stared at her phone and knew that if she rolled over they would be calling, he would be calling. Langston's words echoing her inner conscience. She knew that this was and could be temporary till the heat was off and they had forgotten the last mission. Now that Bryce was dead they had no reason to bring up the last mission expect for the fact that he had stolen something important and had given it to a civilian.
Walking towards her closet she went to the back to grab her summer wear; as DC was warm but LA was warmer. She grabbed a few bikini's and matching wraps and tossed them into her suitcase, a few pairs of black jeans and t shirts to match and a grey skirt and pink blouse, and her favourite brown leather jacket and her favourite tight blue jeans. Topping the suitcase with personal items she closed it and zipped it up. Rolling it to the front door she went and grabbed her lap top and other spy related items she stored in her apartment. Cramming the last items into her carry on she again wondered when she would be back home. This was her house but it never felt like a home just a place that she rested her head. She hoped that one day there would be a place she could call home.
CIA HANGER – JOHN F KENNEDY AIRPORT 06:00 HRS
Arriving at the airport she reminded herself that it was only a temporary thing, it would be an in and out type situation, it would be that easy. The driver pulled up alongside an accustomed CIA jet. As her in view came into focus there stood two gentlemen. One she knew but the other she wasn't sure. Langston opened her door and helped her out. Sarah stood facing the taller burly man. She took her sunglass off and hung them on the outside of her tank top and pulled her leather jacket down.
"Agent Walker I would like to introduce Major John Casey NSA."
Sarah's heart skipped a slight beat as this was the man that had shot Bryce. The Major stood stoic and didn't wait for the younger Agent to respond. He grabbed his gear and headed to the jet. Sarah turned to face Langston Graham. "Seriously! You want me to fly across the country with the man who just killed my partner."
"Don't see it as the guy who killed your partner but think it as getting to know your new partner."
Sarah wondered if it wasn't too late to back out. "Please trust me, I know in time you two will be great together. You're the best and so is he."
"I have a few questions about this, the man that you have your eyes on…"
"Save it till you're in the air."
"Sarah just get on the plane, everything will work out?"
Sarah shook her head and boarded the plane. As she turned around she reminded Langston of his words.
"Yes in a few months,"
Langston back away as the jet moved onto the runway and headed west.
LAX LOCAL TIME 10:00
Sarah kept to herself as the flight dragged on. The major sipped his several cups of dark roast while reading the new Intel they had on Mr. Bartowski. Little words were spoken at first and Sarah appreciated that. She sensed that they were a lot like; they liked to keep to themselves, do the job and move on. They both didn't like being emotionally attached to their subjects or if they were given an asset they knew where to draw the line. As he read the file what he found interesting he passed onto Sarah to read. The Intel was new to her and she had over 5 hours to learn as much as she could about who they believed was the recipient of Bryce's email. As she opened the file her eyes were drawn to a picture of the man she had just met hours before. She didn't want to believe that this guy could be working with Bryce. She knew that she should disclose that she had already met the man in question. She was sure that he had nothing to do with Bryce. But her spy side and non-spy side were like a game of tug ol war with what she knew was right. As the plane came to a stop the door opened and both the Major and the Agent exited the jet. A tall female agent with long reddish brown hair awaited their arrival. Sarah recognized the agent from her photo and clocked her as a by the book kind of agent. As Sarah placed her carry on down the on ground, the agent spoke.
"Welcome Major Casey and Agent Walker my name is Agent Forester and I will be your contact here in LA. I will also report to Langley on the direction this mission is taking. If I feel that it is not going as planned I will let you know and report."
Major Casey grunted as Sarah tried not to respond. She disliked being watched when she was on a mission. Bryce was bad enough of a partner to do that and it drove her nuts. The Major eyed the reddish brown haired agent, he didn't take orders well either. Agent Forester walked to the black SUV and they all took a ride into the city. Sarah stared outside as she hadn't see LA like this before. Most of her trips here were in and out or flying over. She rarely took in the sites of her destinations, but seeing all if this less than 48 hours ago was a new record. The Major rolled down the window and inhaled the sea breeze. He felt a little pastey and hoped that the coastal sun would change that.
The SUV pulled up behind a small warehouse type building that house an orange orange yogurt shop and weinerlicious combo with a big sign opening soon spread across the front window. Across the parking lot Sarah saw the big BUY MORE sign along with other big box type stores. Agent Forester opened the door to the yogurt weinerlicious shop as the Major and Sarah followed.
"If this mission does go anywhere we have made arrangements for covers to be put in place at one of these local businesses." Sarah wasn't impressed and Casey just grunted.
As the older agent led them behind the counter to the back freezer each looked at each other and wondered where this was leading to. Forester pulled down a message board that hid an eye scanner. The scanner scanned her eyes and the one of the freezers doors opened up to a dark stairwell. As they approached the landing a set of the stairs came to display an underground CIA substation. Casey walked ahead of the ladies and admired the new digs as he called them. Sarah on the other hand knew that this wasn't what she signed up for. Agent Forester gave the newbies a tour then had them sit down. As Sarah rolled her chair up to the table a subtle beep sounded and instantly up on the screen where the faces of General Beckman and Langston Graham staring at them.
"Welcome Agent Forester and Walker and Major Casey. We hope that your flight was okay."
Both nodded then looked at each other.
"I hope that Agent Forester has shown you what we call Castle. This will be your home away from home." As Langston continued talking to the three.
"Major you will be the eyes and ears till we know what we are dealing with. Walker I need to make contact with Mr. Bartowski, see how he acts, and make an excuse to get him alone. Once we know where the Intersect is we can decide what to do with Mr. Bartowski. Agent Forester I thank you for your time in getting this team prepared. I will keep you in mind if we need an extra hand down here in Castle."
Agent Forester bowed and headed up the stairs.
Sarah turned around in her chair as she followed the older Agent up the stairs and out of view. Turning back she watched as Beckman opened the file on her desk. "Agent Walker you will enter the Buy More and seek out Mr. Bartowski. Once we have an idea what type of person we are dealing with you will report back to me for further instructions? Major I will have you set up visual and auditory surveillance in and around the Buy More. If Bryce has sent the Intersect to Mr. Bartowski, others will be watching him as well. We need to have all ours eyes and ears on him at all times. Once you have set up that I will get you to set up surveillance at his residence. Do I make myself clear?"
Sarah hated this part of her job. She knew that they were looking at the wrong man. Well she hoped that she was right in how she felt. She was one of the best, and being the best wasn't something that was handed to her it was a gift and it was earned. She just hoped that Chuck wasn't the next man to be buried.
Both the Major and Sarah nodded. As quick as the General appeared she disappeared. Sarah leaned back in her chair as the Major got up to survey his new home. Walking to the back of where Sarah was sitting, Sarah sat up. "An armory! Now we are getting somewhere." Sarah leaned back scanning the underground digs.
BUY MORE 09:00
Sarah didn't sleep like she would have in her own bed. Castle's bunk are not what you say comfortable. The major had been up for hours, and Castle smelled like a coffee shop. He had slipped out to buy some breakfast which he said didn't mean that they were friends, just buying them what was needed. Sarah hugged her cup between her cold hands and took a sip. So far LA was not a high point but at least the coffee was good. She grabbed her bag and headed to the back of the large area. She noticed the change rooms and bathrooms and dujo for training. Everything you would need to train an asset or protect someone big. She headed to the change room and entered the shower stall. At least she didn't have to share with the older Major. She chose to wear her dark blue jeans, white blouse and brown jacket, make it casual. Walking out the Major had his gear waiting on the table.
"Remember Walker in and out I don't expect to stay in LA forever."
"I'll try to remember that and thanks for the coffee, but your guess is as good as mine on where this will end up. You might be right we could be done today of this could last for months." Sarah shook slightly in her own skin. She didn't want to be here even more now that she knew the man and now she may have jinxed it by saying what she just said. Grabbing her purse she headed up stairs. Forrester left a black SUV for surveillance as Sarah chose to walk across the parking.
Play the part she reminded herself.