A/N: Hi. This is not your typical ChuckQuinn fare. Today he wants to go deep, and introduce an actual plot. This is very unlike any ChuckQuinn chapter ever, but this story needs this. I hope I do it justice.
A/N2: If you've sent me a message, emailed me, written a story, and I haven't responded or read and reviewed, please do not take in personally. In the wonderful year that is 2021 my wife has been hospitalized, I MAY have a screwed up retina (I see fine but there are these things that are just outside my field of vision that could mess with me, this is being monitored) and America…well, she's going through some things. Also, Zettel, if you happen to read this, we love ya, we're thinking and praying for you, get well soon. Okay, what you're here for, a ChuckQuinn insanity laden tale…that a plot sneaked into. I hope you enjoy it.
Disclaimer: I don't own Chuck
"You okay?" came a voice behind her. She turned and saw him standing there, concern coloring his features. Chuck was wearing pajama pants, barefoot with no shirt, and she couldn't help but stare. His curls were out of control and his eyes weren't quite focused from his being tired.
"Go back to bed, I'll be there in a minute," Sarah told him. He didn't move… of course he didn't move. "Wait, how did you find me out here, anyway?" She was standing outside, on her deck. The surrounding bushes around the yard hid the deck, backyard, and most importantly, her. She was standing there in only underwear and a t-shirt.
Chuck shrugged. "I was thinking the other day that this would be the perfect place to come and think."
"How did you know I needed to think?"
"Sarah," Chuck said giving her a look. "Please. First off, it's me. Second, you've come back to your home town, your high school bully was involved in illegal stuff, and you're living in-slash-own your grandmother's old house."
She turned her entire body so she was facing him and crossed her arms, the beginning of a smirk playing on her face. "I feel there's another reason."
"Oh, there is, the most important one," he told her. He stepped forward, putting his arms around her, and pulling her in close.
"And what, pray tell, is that?"
"My girl likes to sleep," Chuck began.
"Throwing that my girl around pretty loosely there aren't you, Chuck?"
"Deal with it," Chuck replied. She smiled, sighed, and pulled him closer. "What?"
"I am, Chuck, trust me, I am dealing with it, and I'm enjoying being your girl." He was silent. She could feel the huge smile radiating from his face. "There was more," she urged.
"Oh, yeah… My girl likes to sleep, and I am her snuggy pillow," Chuck finished.
She pulled back so she could look him in the eye. "Snuggy pillow?"
"Snuggy pillow," he confirmed.
"I mean," she poked his chest, making him wince. "Kinda lean there, fluffmeister."
"So I should go eat some dessert?" She shook her head. "So, you like your snuggy pillow lean."
"Apparently," Sarah replied with a shrug. "Listen… I'm… processing so much right now-"
"Hey," Chuck said softly, ducking a bit so he could look her straight in the eye. "I get it. Remember Stanford, when I went all…well…"
"Whiney?" Sarah offered.
"Wow," he mouthed. "Whiney?" Sarah shrugged. "Fine, I was whiney, but you know what you did. You stayed with me, and helped me. You know why?"
"Because I'm amazing," Sarah answered like it was the obvious answer. They both were quiet for a second, and then her control broke, and she began to laugh.
"I give up," he said, turning and walking off.
"Come back," she said, chasing after him. "I need my whiney lean snuggy pillow."
"You laugh, but you said you needed me, so I'm taking the win," Chuck told her, wrapping his arm around her, the two walking to the bedroom.
"You are too easy," Sarah said.
"I thought you liked that about me?"
The next morning found Sarah being awakened by the aroma of coffee. She sat up, her eyes only half-opened at best, sniffing. She saw a cup moving slowly in front of her, and she grabbed the wrist that was moving it.
"I hope that's you, Chuck, because I'm about to kiss someone for that coffee."
"It is," he said gently. "I hated to wake you, but before you feel asleep… kinda." She looked at him. She had tossed and turned all night, bothered by things. "You asked me to get you up so you could work on some stuff."
"I did," she said, taking the cup from his hand and taking a sip. She knew caffeine couldn't be that instantaneous, but God did it feel like life flowing through her veins. "I need to talk to Beckman."
Chuck studied her for a second, nodded, and left the room. She furrowed her brow, and sighed, realizing what she had done. She had gone into super-secret agent mode, and that mode meant she had to take care of things by herself. He walked back in, handed her the phone, turned, and headed for the door.
"Chuck," she said. He turned and his face was a mask. "Do you think we can use that TV to get Beckman on it? I really need to see her face when I talk to her."
He stared at her for a second, turned to the TV, and peered behind it, shaking his head. "I mean, it would take a lot," he admitted.
"So, we probably need to go to Castle," Sarah replied.
"Or the apartment," Chuck added.
"No, I don't want to do that in our home." She felt him turn and look at her. She swallowed. "I know we have some time we could stay here, but I feel like there's something going on, and that time could be used trying to figure out what."
Chuck nodded. "Okay, well, we'll get us home and you can talk to Beckman." With that, he left the room before she could say anything more.
"God," she muttered.
"Car's packed," Chuck told her. She had been taking one last look at the house, her house, and made a decision. She spun, smiling at him, walked over, and pressed a key into his hand. Chuck looked at it, then back at her.
"I am shit at communicating, we know that, but I'm hoping this tells you what I can't seem to find the words to say. I love you. This is the key to this house, and I know it's in my name, but it is ours,Chuck." Chuck just stared at her, his mouth unable to move. "You aren't my boyfriend, you're my everything." His eyes widened. "Now, I have a lot I need to talk to you about. But I think we need to get home, get settled, get a game plan, and then we need to figure out what to do."
"May I point out how much I like all the we references in that sentence?" he asked her. She cupped his face in her hands, and kissed him. "As far as I'm concerned it's always going to be we going forward." Chuck pulled back, a speculative look on her face. "What?"
"I'm not that person that wants to talk to you in the bathroom when the other is on the toilet."
She shuddered. "Okay, we aren't that close."
"Nope," Chuck replied. "I mean, a medical issue, sure."
"Right," Sarah agreed. "But the other." They both shuddered. "Nope." He smiled at her, walked over, opened the door for her. She walked through, and paused. "Did you do that so you could look at my ass?"
"Sarah," he said, holding his hand against his chest in mock shock. "No!" She shook her head and continued out.
"That's just a fortunate consequence."
"So that's why men have been holding doors for women," Sarah said, as she shut the door and made sure it was locked. Chuck shrugged as he widened his eyes, pressed his lips together and blew out his cheeks.
They got back to their apartment sometime later, and as Chuck began to unpack the car, Sarah stopped him. "Hey, are you okay if I go have a quick talk with Ellie? And, please, wait and let me help you."
"Listen: You know I can never comply with anything, when it has to do with the car," Chuck told her. Sarah shook her head at him, smirking. "Go on." Sarah walked over to Ellie's apartment, and knocked on the door.
"Sarah!" Ellie said, giving her a hug. "How are you?"
"I'm not sure," Sarah said, honestly. Ellie stepped back to look at her. "Can we… talk?" Ellie's eyes widened as she moved out of the way to let her inside. "Devon here?"
"No," Ellie said, crossing her arms. "Are you okay?"
"I don't know," Sarah admitted. "I found out something, and I need to tell Chuck, but… ugh!" Ellie watched, a little amused. "He's giving me space, but I need him to not give me so much space, but I'm glad he's giving me space… I don't know what to do!"
"Have you tried, oh, I don't know… telling him?" Ellie asked. Sarah gave Ellie a flat look. "I mean, it's a start."
"Ellie, I love him, I love your brother and…" she trailed off, shaking her head. "I don't want to lose him."
"Oh. My. God." Sarah looked at Ellie. "You're scared."
"Scared? Scared? Hell, we left scared twenty miles back. I'm terrified!" Sarah told her.
"Sarah… how serious is this?" Ellie watched as Sarah set her jaw, and then looked away, a tear falling down her cheek. "Oh, Sarah," she said, coming over and wrapping her arms around her. "So the badass spy has fallen so hard in love it has shook her." Sarah gave her a look. "Honey, we both know Devon can't keep anything from me."
"That checks," Sarah muttered. She leaned her head against Ellie. "Do I scare him?" Ellie gave her a look, and Sarah pulled away and looked at Ellie. "Every time he starts to ask something, he stops and changes the subject."
"Okay," Ellie said. "Come on." She led Sarah down the hallway to her bedroom. She had Sarah stand in front of a full-length mirror. Ellie stood in front of the mirror, blocking Sarah's view. "Now what is something he would say or ask?"
"Something about my past," Sarah told her.
"So, where's your family?" Ellie asked, then quickly stepped to the side. Sarah's eyes widened. Just seconds before, as she'd talked to Ellie, her arms had been at her side. Now, they were in crossed in front of her, and the mask had slid over her face.
"Do I always do that?" Sarah asked, looking at Ellie in horror. "I mean…" She blew out a breath. "My father… he wasn't a good man and…"
"And you get defensive," Ellie replied gently. "You protect yourself, and your family, so you don't get hurt."
"More like protect myself from my family," Sarah corrected. "What do I do?"
"Realize what you are actually doing," Ellie told her. "You can't change learned behavior overnight, especially something that's been going on for years. But what you can do is recognize what you are doing, and the vibe it is giving off."
"Back off before I cut you seems to be the vibe," Sarah muttered.
"I was thinking murder, but cut works," Ellie said. Sarah looked at her. "What?"
Sarah sighed, and reached over and hugged Ellie, surprising her. "Thank you."
"Hey, that's what sisters are for," Ellie told her. Sarah's eyes widened, again. "Don't worry, I won't tell that fool. I get what you're doing." A shy smile formed on Sarah's face. "Want to know a secret?" Sarah nodded. "That stuff that Devon drinks that he keeps saying is good for his wang," and Sarah began to laugh. "It's just a protein drink."
"Wait, what?" Sarah asked.
"Sarah, it's what brothers do to each other," Ellie told her. "You know, how sisters do this stuff for each other?" Sarah pulled her top lip between her teeth, tears in her eyes. "You have a family here, sweetie. Please know that." Sarah nodded. Ellie squeezed her tight. "You two are in so far over your head about each other, it's almost comical."
Sarah snorted a laugh, as Ellie laughed with her.
Sarah opened the door to the apartment, seeing Chuck look up as she came in. "So, I sorted the clothes, started the colors in the washing machine, and was looking though the menus to see what sounded good, but I have no idea…" He stopped, as she cupped his face and kissed him. "Is that for laundry?" She shook her head. "Take out?"
"For being you," she told him. "Do me a favor, have a seat. I need to say some things, and no… we aren't breaking up."
"I don't know why you went there," Chuck began. Sarah gave him an amused smile. He cleared his throat and turned his head away. "Okay, maybe I do get it, a little."
Sarah took a deep breath and spoke.
"A modern-day warrior
Mean, mean stride
Today's Tom Sawyer
Mean, mean pride"
Chuck's eyes went wide. "It was one of my dad's favorite songs," Sarah said, looking at her hands. "It was… well, he thought a telling of an adult coming to grips with everything he had done." She swallowed, her eyes on her hands, clasped together in front of her. "You know he was a con man, and he appreciated everything Tom Sawyer did, the fictional character, that is." She lifted her chin and saw Chuck sitting there, nodding, following along. No judgment, just listening.
"We would sometimes sit in outdoor shopping malls and he'd watch people," Sarah said softly. "He'd say, 'That guy, you could Tom Sawyer him.'" Chuck gave her a confused look. "You know, like in the book, get them to do your work, and pay you to do it."
"The whole time, I was the one getting Tom Sawyered." She looked back down at her hands. "First by my father, then by Graham."
"I was doing it to help my father. Then I was doing it for the greater good, it was a privilege."
"And now?" Chuck asked.
"And now, I'm doing it eyes wide open to protect the man I love," Sarah said, looking him right in the eye. "One day I won't have to anymore, because we'll have him out of that life."
"Then you can walk away," Chuck told her. "In fact, our new mission is to get this thing out of my head."
"Chuck, baby," she said, cutting him off and giving him a smile. "It's okay. Diane… she's not going to do me like Graham, I know that. But there are things she needs to know, things… things she doesn't know."
"Like your file," Chuck told her. Sarah nodded. "So there are things in the Intersect Graham put in there?"
"I don't know," Sarah admitted. "But, can we table that, and talk about something you just said?"
"All I've ever been is a con woman, a thief, a spy… Chuck, I love you, and you love me… but… is that enough?"
Worry that had been on his face dissipated and a smile bloomed in its stead. "Sarah Walker, what else do we need?"
"Chuck, this isn't some fairy tale. I don't know how to-"
"Stop," Chuck said. "You're overthinking and spiraling, and that is my territory, Missy."
"Missy?" she said, pulling back her chin.
Chuck rose and walked over to her. "Missy," he said. "So, you owe me royalties on that."
"Fine, I'm willing to pay," she replied, smirking. "What do I owe you?"
"That can be negotiated later. Right now, I just need you to understand that all I need from you is you to be open and honest with me, and love me. Everything else, we'll deal with."
She stared at him. "Okay, I'm a little concerned about those negotiations, but that's a conversation for a later time." She only partially suppressed the grin. "Right now, I need to know… what do you want?" A slow, sensual smile grew across her face as she watched him try to control his features.
"You, for the rest of my life," he blurted out.
"Chuck, are you sure that's what you want? Or is it what you think you need?" Sarah asked.
He was silent for a moment. "Hmm, seems you've hit on a minute point, but a good one." Sarah swallowed, accepting his decision in her chest. "I don't think I need you, I know I need you." She was stunned. "Sarah Walker, I've lived… existed, without you. I do not want to go back to that, ever." She swallowed. "Listen, you've seemed awful nervous the past little bit. Is it about your past? Is that it?"
She shook her head. "It's about my future," she told him. "With you," she said softly. "I want it to be with you."
"Okay," Chuck told her.
"Okay?" she looked a little dumbstruck. "That's it? Okay?"
"Do I need to get down on a knee, and propose?"
"Well, then, what the hell do you want?" Chuck asked. "I'm serious, I'm here."
"Okay," Sarah said.
"Okay?" Chuck asked. Sarah nodded. Chuck stuck out his hand. "Shake on it?" Sarah smirked and glanced past him. He turned and followed her gaze. "What about the bed… room…" he trailed off as she walked past him.
"I have another idea instead of shaking on it… well, shaking hands on it," Sarah said from the bedroom. She heard nothing, and stuck her head back out the door. He was standing there.
"Did I break you?"
"Not yet," he replied, starting towards her. She gave a squeal as he chased after her.
The two stood in front of the monitor at the bottom of Castle as Beckman appeared on the screen in front of them. "You two do know you have a week off?"
"Something has happened, General, something you really need to know about," Sarah began.
"Go on," Beckman encouraged.
"My file is in the Intersect," Sarah told Beckman.
"Of course it is, just like your file is right here in front of me," Beckman said, opening a drawer and pulling it out.
"General, what is my listed name on my file?" Sarah asked. Beckman looked at Sarah and then over at Chuck. "General… one, he gets to know everything, two, he's already flashed on it."
"Jenny Burton," Beckman said. Chuck shook his head. "That's what's in the file."
"That was the name Sarah was going by when her father was captured by the CIA and forced to work for them," Chuck informed her. Beckman blinked. "What?"
"Graham… Graham falsified Sarah's records?" Beckman asked.
"That appears to be the case. Why?" Sarah asked.
Beckman looked at Chuck, and then back to Sarah. "What do you need from me?"
"Someone put my actual file in the Intersect. Do you have any idea who it might have been?" For the first time since this mission began, Sarah saw Beckman look nervous.
"I want you two to take the rest of this week for yourselves," Beckman began.
"Chuck, Sarah… I need to research something," Beckman began. "Before he was Director of the CIA, he was a handler for an agent, one we all thought had gone rogue. I need to see if there is a possibility he falsified information."
"General… are you okay?" Chuck asked.
"No, I am not, Chuck," Beckman replied. "I may have done a friend, and her family, a huge disservice." With that, she clicked off.
"What was that all about?" Chuck asked.
"I suspect Graham had his own agenda, and we have just found the tip of the iceberg," Sarah told him. "Come on, let's go home." Chuck nodded, and followed her.
Tom Sawyer by Rush was playing in the background as she walked through the shop. She opened the door, and there he was, playing the video game.
"I'm almost there," he replied. Mary walked up beside Stephen. "You know, you may have made a tactical error." Mary gave Stephen a look. "It is possible."
"Technically it is," Mary agreed. Stephen smiled. He knew what she had just done: Technically it was possible. Actually, it was not. "He will figure it out."
"How?" Stephen asked.
"Because he's our son, and Chuck always figures things out," Mary told him. "You did it!" she said, kissing the side of his cheek. She entered the info. "There, that will take care of that."
"Now what?" Stephen asked.
"We wait until Diane figures it out," Mary said.
"Will she accept it, and help us? Or bury it?" Stephen asked her.
Mary shrugged. "If she does, Chuck will just do what he always does."
"He will," Stephen groused.
"Speaking of which…" Mary stared at him.
"I did not do it," Stephen told her. Mary started to glare at him, making him continue. "She did."
Mary smiled. "I knew it," she said softly. "I knew it."
"Listen, we're not even close to out of this, so how about we don't celebrate just yet?" Mary nodded, and didn't say anything. Stephen just shook his head at her, knowing she was proud. "They do remind me of two people."
"They do, don't they," Mary said, wrapping her arms around Stephen's neck, giving him a kiss on the cheek.
"Hey, I have something for you," Sarah said softly. "You've been helping me deal with my past, so I thought it was high time I did something to help you with yours." She handed him a large envelope.
Chuck opened the envelope, read it, and then pulled out the paper with it. "Did you photoshop this?"
"Nope, it's your degree from Stanford, the one you deserve," Sarah told him. "I reminded the CIA how much you have helped, and how the CIA caused you to get kicked out. If you'll look in there, there is also a check for pay differential between what you should have made and did make over that time." Chuck's eyes nearly bugged out of his head.
"How… what… I…"
"Do you know how much you saved the US government, Chuck?" Sarah asked. Chuck just looked at her. "That's just money. They can't pay you back for the hell you've been through over that mess. But they can pay you back the actual money they owe you."
"Can I say I like it when you get all fierce and protectory," Chuck told her. She kissed him. "I'm just glad you'll never meet Jill."
"Jill should be glad I never meet Jill," Sarah told him. "Come on, let's celebrate," she said, pulling him to the bedroom.
A/N: Wait… isn't next ep…. Jill? I know this wasn't normal CQ but again, I thought this really needed to be done. What ever will this Sarah do to her? CQ hasn't even told me yet! Come on back next time, and take of yourself, okay?