A/N: I've been having a rough day and was looking around the internet at OTP (one true pairing) prompts. So this is going to be one shots, when I want to, at different periods, mostly AUs. I hope you like it, but to be honest this is for me.
Disclaimer: I don't own Chuck
Setting: high school age Chuck and Sarah (Jenny) who have never met
"Bartowski!" Big Mike yelled. Chuck came running up to the counter. "That action movie is over, go clean up theater ten."
"Uh, Big Mike, isn't it Jeff's turn?" Chuck asked. Chuck had been working at the Great Facade Theater for 2 years now, since he was a sophomore in high school.
"Bartowski, that theater was full, I don't dare send him in there," Big Mike explained.
"But if he can't do the job why is he still here?" Chuck asked, perplexed.
"Bartowski," Big Mike said in a fatherly tone. "This is all that idiot has, if I fire him, there's no telling where he'd go to work. Now go in there and clean that theater."
"Yes, sir," Chuck said, heading toward the theater. He opened the doors to theater ten and walked inside. He began to clean when he heard a sound in the back. "Hello?" he said, shining his flashlight toward the back. He saw a form in the back of the theater, shielding her face. "I'm sorry, I thought everyone had left. The movie is over."
There was no answer, and he figured out what the sound was. She was crying, at least he thought it was a she. He had heard this type of crying before, this soul deep anguish. It was the same type of crying he had done himself several times after his mom and dad had abandoned him and Ellie.
"Are you okay?" he asked. "I'm sorry, of course you're not, you wouldn't be crying in the theater if you were," he more muttered than said. He saw her start to get up. "You don't have to go. It's okay. I get it." She stopped, and he got a look at her. Blond hair, braces, and her eyes and cheeks red. Ellie had referred to it as ugly crying. Chuck didn't think that was the right term because it was the type of crying that barred your soul for everyone to see. It left you raw, vulnerable, and transparent to anyone that saw you. Chuck thought it was a chance to see a person's true self.
He walked up to the row she was in and sat down. Ten seats separated them. "I won't watch this movie, Armageddon." He felt her look at him, but he kept looking forward. "I know the dad sacrifices himself for his daughter, for her boyfriend to come home, but that gets to me. My dad left me. My mom too." He felt her eyes boring into him. "I don't have the guts to watch it. I'm not brave enough to face it."
"You think watching this is brave?" he heard her ask, sniffling.
"If you've had some similar circumstances, yeah," Chuck admitted. "I'm Chuck."
"Jenny," she replied.
He glanced over at her, but she had tucked her head again. "Nice to meet you Jenny. Is there anything I can do?" She shook her head. He made a big production of looking around, opened his vest, and pulled out a box of popcorn and a container of milk duds. He sprinkled the milk duds over the popcorn and took a bite. He sighed contently. "Don't tell anyone, but I like doing this, being all alone in the theater."
"I don't have to pretend I'm okay in here," Chuck said with a shrug. "I don't have to act like everything is okay, and I just get to be me."
There was silence for a bit, and then he felt her get up. She studied him for a second, and sat closer so that one seat was between them. He slowly handed her the box of popcorn. She took it from him and took a quick few bites.
"Eat as much as you want," he said. "I can get more."
"Thanks," she said softly. "My dad was arrested." Chuck didn't say anything. "Today."
"I'm sorry," he replied.
"He never did anything for me…I mean he left me some money, but he never let me be a kid, he involved me in things, he didn't make sacrifices for me." Tears started to flow down her face.
"Where will you go?" Chuck asked.
She shook her head. "I have no idea," she admitted. "I have no one."
Chuck sat there a second and thought about all the times Ellie had complained about how there had been no one there for them, about how they had to make it on their own. He made a decision, one he knew he'd have to explain to Ellie, but she'd accept it. She would.
"My sister and I have been pretty much on our own for a few years. I'm sure we can help you if you want," Chuck offered.
"What's the catch?" she blurted out. "What do you want?"
"Nothing," Chuck replied, a look of horror on his face. "It's just…I've been in a similar situation. I've been in the pain I heard in your crying, and it's awful, and I wish someone had been there for me. I know you don't know me, and I know you have no reason to trust me, but I don't want anything from you, I just want to help. That requires you to trust me."
"I don't trust anyone," she said softly. "Trust, love, all of that…it's for fools."
"Who told you that?" Chuck asked, looking at her.
"My dad," she admitted. She sat there, not saying anything.
He stood up and she started to rise. "No, you don't have to leave, I'm just gonna clean," he said. As he began to do his job, he began to tell her stories of his coworkers, Jeff and Lester and the crazy things they did. He told her stories of Morgan and how he stayed in trouble at school. Jenny found herself laughing and by the time he was done she felt better. "I'm sorry, but I have to close up."
She nodded, stood, and walked down to the entranceway. She stopped and turned toward him. "I need you to know I have a knife on me and know how to use it." His eyes grew wide and he saw her grin for the first time in an hour. He could get used to that. "If you try anything…"
"Fine," Chuck replied, hands up. "But for my safety, if you need a hug you'll have to initiate it." She raised an eyebrow, making him grin. He could see her wheels turning and he could get used to goading her and her messing with him. "Friends do hug you know."
"Friends, Chuck?" she asked. Chuck nodded. Her eyes got a little misty. "I could use a friend, she said, stepping toward him.
"Chuck Bartowski, Jenny's friend," Chuck said, hugging her.
"Jenny Burton, Chuck's friend," Jenny replied. "Do you think it will be okay with Ellie?"
They separated and Chuck looked her in the eye. "If it's not then she is a hypocrite and Ellie isn't a hypocrite." He grabbed his stuff. "Come on, let's get out of here." He held his hand out and she took it, nodding to him.
"Thank you, Chuck."
"Anytime, Jenny, anytime."
A/N: Obviously in this scenario the CIA never caught Jenny. Reviews and PMs always welcomed.