Posted July 23, 2022

A/N: A lot of WT/WT in TV shows is extended by having the worst possible timing. In Chuck, the chemistry between Chuck and Sarah was obvious before their first date. Combine that with the fact they were supposed to "pretend" to be in love, of course it didn't take long before something like the kiss at the docks happened. How did they not end up engaged before Devon and Ellie and not live happily ever after? "Crap communication" and bad timing.

In "Chuck vs the Nemesis," Chuck looked into his bedroom on Thanksgiving exactly when Bryce and Sarah kissed, and he didn't see her break away. In "Chuck vs the Marlin," LIzzy shot at them on the roof before Sarah said she would go on a date with Chuck. At the end of "Chuck vs the Seduction," Bryce got to Sarah's room before Chuck "deployed" the Montgomery.

In an episode before that last example, in "Chuck vs the First Date" (or as Sarah called it, their "second first date"), Chuck flashed on the bad guys right as they were going to kiss. If Colt had interrupted their dinner before the compliments, there would have been less WT/WT angst for the fans. If the bad guys waited, Chuck and Sarah, they would have had a kiss that wasn't for the cover or when they were about to die.

This two-shot story is about bad timing near the end of the episode. Sarah found out about the Cipher being a Trojan horse after it was too late to call-off the "third first date" and inform the NSA security before she knocked on Chuck's door. Casey was already in the apartment to kill Chuck when Sarah arrived, but no one saw him except the viewers. Chuck was planning to ask Sarah to Europe, so he was making it clear he wanted to take their relationship to the next level. The Beta Intersect test with the Cipher was run at exactly the most inconvenient time, even though it was on the East Coast when it was late at night. Its destruction allowed exactly enough time to learn to inform a CIA operative that her boss was dead before the date.

What if the test wasn't run at a time to keep Chuck and Sarah apart?


Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Echo Park Apartment
Los Angeles, CA

Sarah prepared herself to knock on the door to Chuck's apartment by taking a deep breath in and out. She couldn't explain what she felt, because she had never felt it before. She had never been on a "real date" with a person who knew her for more than a day.

She had been on "fake dates" for missions. In college, she had been to many bars near campus. Good Will Hunting came out the year before she went to Harvard, and everyone was always going to bars to find their guy. Because of the "How 'bout them apples?" line in the movie, guys thought an apple was a good way to try to pick up a co-ed. It made her feel like she was going to be a teacher, not a spy.

No one she met at the Farm was as smart as Will Hunting. Considering how she liked the movie, she should have known she was into geniuses, like Chuck. Maybe that wasn't it. Only "like" Chuck wasn't the important thing.

As Jenny Burton, she didn't date in high school, and as Mrs. Anderson… Wherever you wanted to call what Bryce and she had, they didn't "date." They went on "mission dates" as the Andersons. They had room service and take-out as they prepped for missions. There was their time after the mission, but burning off post-mission adrenaline could never be called a "date."

It was different with Chuck. They simply wanted to be near each other.

Their first date started as a mission, but in the middle of it, she realized Chuck was no threat, so she started to enjoy herself. It was ruined first by Casey and then by a flash. For the second first date, Chuck promised one last night of fun, and oh was he delivering. The night was perfect…until it wasn't. It was ruined by multiple flashes. At least that time, Casey saved them instead of trying to kill them. This third first date was just going to be her and Chuck—no mission, no flash interruptions, and no Casey. Only Chuck. That sounded like a night that would end perfectly.

Sarah breathed in and out deeply again before knocking on the door. She couldn't tell what she heard inside, but she heard a lot of racket. Then she heard an "Ow!" before the door opened. Looking at Chuck, her heart leapt.

He was even more out of breath then she felt. "Sarah!"

"I know I'm early, but I couldn't wait for our third first date."

Chuck gave her a lopsided smile and rubbed his shin. "I wasn't quite ready to get the door and with my great coordination, I nailed my shin on—"

No more delays. Sarah didn't let him finish. She didn't want another date to be ruined before she got to kiss Chuck. Not wanting another missed opportunity, she seized what she wanted. She dropped her purse, put both hands on the side of his face, and kissed him for all it's worth.

Chuck took a half a second to react, but when he did, everything was right. Their lips didn't separate as they made their way into the room. Sometime in there, Chuck kicked the door shut, which was probably a good thing, considering what she was certain was going to happen next. They deepened the kiss even further than she thought possible, and they fell on the sofa.

She hadn't imagined it would go this far this fast, though. The only time they had kissed like they had to was at the docks, and that time, they thought they were going to die. When they realized they weren't, a TAC team was about to find them. Then Bryce showed up.

The difference this time was Chuck and Sarah were alone. Also, there were several flat surfaces conveniently nearby. It was the most wonderful thing she had ever felt…and they were still dressed.

That was a problem she could solve. Since she was on top and in charge, she broke them apart to divest Chuck of his shirt. She took off her own top to leave him naked from the waist up and her in a bra. She couldn't keep her lips away from him any longer, so she drove it for another "hit" of Chuck.

Unfortunately, he turned his head. "Sarah. As much as I love doing what we are doing, the timer's going to go off, and the oven's on."

Sarah didn't feel like eating food at the moment. She had something more important to occupy her mouth with. She could eat anytime, but she could be reassigned away from Chuck any minute. "Can you reheat?"

"I don't want to burn the apartment complex down."

"We might do that in the bedroom—no oven necessary."

Chuck gulped at the insinuation. "I don't want your dinner to be ruined. You'll think I can't cook."

"Chuck," she placed a solid kiss square on his lips, then stated, "I don't care. I'm sure you're a better cook than I am."

"You made that soufflé."

"Which you drowned and never ate. The CIA made it anyway. In a pinch, I can 'cook' explosives, but you don't want to eat those. I wouldn't let you. It's my job to protect you."

"As long as you are here, with me."

She didn't want to think about any time after Chuck. It might be true, but she changed what he said about her job to protect him. "As long as I can."

They fell into another deep kiss, but after only a few seconds, Sarah's phone rang in her purse, which was still where she dropped it by the door. No one had that number except Wienerlicous and Maison23 managements (neither of which would call this time of night) Ellie for emergencies, Casey, Chuck (of course), and Graham. The download from the Beta Intersect into the new agents was going to be any minute. It might have already happened. She wanted to ignore the ringer and get back to what Chuck and she were doing, but she couldn't.

She exhaled in frustration and pushed herself up off Chuck's bare chest. "Stay right there. Make yourself comfortable. We are definitely getting back to what we were doing."

"Staying on the couch."

The way Chuck was acting was cute, so Sarah quickly kissed him. She didn't dare kiss him longer or they might not stop while her phone was still ringing. She got up and quickly answered it. Turning to look at Chuck, she got a great view. He wasn't the type of muscle-bound guy she went for in the past, but now she knew what she had been missing her entire life. Chuck was exactly the type that made her body hum.

The screen on the phone said it was a blocked number. That meant it was work. "Walker."

"There has been an accident."

It wasn't Graham. She didn't recognize the voice, so someone else at the CIA got her number. "What do you mean 'an accident?'"

"The Cipher was a Trojan horse. The Beta Intersect computer was destroyed."

"What do you mean 'destroyed'? Who are you? Why am I talking to you instead of the Director?"

"I'm Assistant Director Johansen. The Director and all of the potential Intersect agents were killed in the explosion. I don't know what your mission is right now. I only know you were one of the agents who retrieved the Cipher after it was stolen. The new Intersect that was going online tonight. As acting Director of Special Projects, my duty is to inform all of the late Director's direct reports about the disruption in the command structure and tell them to continue doing what they were doing until we know more."

"Understood." They both hung up. Sarah's mind raced as she tried to figure out what this meant for her assignment in LA.

Chuck said, "That look on your face… What's wrong?"

"I'm not going anywhere."

"Oh." Chuck didn't like the news. Sarah could tell Chuck took that the wrong way. The problem was not that she was staying.

"No, that's not the problem. The Cipher was a Trojan horse—a sabotage device. The moment it came online, it exploded. That means... You're still the only Intersect. I'm sorry."

"So you're not leaving?" Chuck started to put on his shirt. She didn't want Chuck upset, but she didn't want him dressed, either. This situation is what she should have expected, though. She always finished any mission for what someone else wanted and never got what she wanted. She thought—she wished—that she could pretend one night, but she couldn't. What she wanted was to go back to what she and Chuck were doing a second before the phone rang. A minute ago, she was well on the path to no longer only be Chuck's cover-girlfriend. Now, she had to go back to protecting Chuck.

She put her hand over Chuck's to stop him from putting a shirt on. She thought maybe she could pretend for another couple minutes. Sarah and Chuck sat there, both shirtless, with her hand over his, staring deep into each other's eyes. It wouldn't take much to lean forward a couple inches. It would feel perfect. He was so close, but it couldn't happen. She had to protect him.

She was disturbed from basking in Chuck by a noise from back by his bedroom. "What was that?" she asked.

"I didn't hear anything."

"Ellie and Awesome are gone right?"

"Yeah."

"I heard something from your room."

"I don't know," Chuck said in almost a daze. "I really can't process anything right now."

Sarah could, though, because she had to. Chuck's safety was her responsibility, and she would not let anything happen to him. Graham and the potential Intersect agents were killed in a strike, most likely from Fulcrum. Colt knew who Chuck was, which might mean Fulcrum did, too. They knew where Casey lived when they intercepted the Cipher. Chuck's home would be easy to find. That thought sobered her completely. She had to protect Chuck from whatever made that noise.

Sarah got up from the couch, went back to her purse, and pulled out a gun. She had a gun on the first first date, and she used it to save Chuck. She didn't have a gun on the second first date, when it would have been useful. It didn't matter that this third first date was a real date. After the second first date failure, she was always going to be armed around Chuck, for his protection.

Chuck gasped when he saw Sarah holding the pistol. She said, "I'm going to check this out. You can check the oven, like you wanted. Stay in the kitchen." Chuck nodded that he understood. They stared at each other for a few seconds. No. She had to stop thinking about that.

With her silenced weapon pointed in front of her, she carefully walked barefooted towards Chuck's room. He scurried off to the kitchen. Chuck's door was mostly shut so she couldn't see inside completely, but she saw a shadow move through the angled crack. Someone's in Chuck's room!

Later, she would realize it might have been Morgan, but that didn't matter. If it was him, it would have been his own fault for coming in through the Morgan Door when Chuck had a date. Thinking no one had a legitimate reason to be in Chuck's room, she kicked the door open and fired.

The intruder was armed. Instinctively she shot the man's gun out of his hand. Her disbelief stopped her from putting the man down with a second shot. It was Casey!

Casey cried out in pain and pulled his injured hand close to his chest. He no longer held a weapon, but that didn't mean that he wasn't a threat. "Don't move!" she ordered. Stunned that Casey was going to kill Chuck, she hesitated again. Casey didn't follow her orders and fled out the window.

What was Casey doing with a gun, acting like he was about to kill Chuck? Sarah shook off her surprise and went after Casey. If he made it to his apartment, he'd have an arsenal.

Looking into the courtyard, Sarah saw it was too late to catch him. She could never get through his reinforced front door. Colt's fake delivery man got in by knocking, but Casey wasn't expecting anything, or maybe he was working with him. Since Sarah didn't have the element of surprise, she needed to make another advantage. She put her gun in the back of her waistband, quickly scaled using the corner, and spun to grab the railing around his upstairs window.

Casey's upstairs window had locks and a security alarm. It's not like the window was a hundred feet off the ground, so even without a harness, the lock was no problem for her. She didn't have time to neutralize the alarm, but that wouldn't matter. By the time her opponent knew where she was inside, it would be too late. One way or another, it would be over in less than ten seconds.

Inside Casey's, there was no alarm siren, just a flashing light. In two seconds, Sarah was crouched at the top of the stairs, her gun at the ready. Flanking Casey with such speed worked, since he was still at the front door, checking the security panel for the reason for the alarm. His back was turned, so he couldn't see her; she had him dead-to-rights. She harshly said, "If you do anything but drop your gun, the next shot will be at your head instead of your hand."

The man who was going to kill Chuck dropped the gun from his unwounded left hand to the floor. Sarah smoothly went down the stairs, never deviating her aim. Resigned, the NSA agent turned and said, "Walker, we have no way of removing the Intersect. We can't have a security risk like him walking around LA." Casey looked with disgust at Sarah in her bra and jeans. "I see you didn't waste any time to mix your peanut butter with Bartowski's chocolate."

With Sarah's gun pointed level at him, he walked into his living room like it was no big deal. He knew he couldn't take her before she killed him, but he didn't fear a preemptive shot. He said, "You know what we have to do. I told you that you made your choice to serve something greater. With the Intersect in real agents, leaving Chuck without protection is a security threat to this country."

Casey trying to justify killing Chuck infuriated her. "None of that matters. You were the last person with the Cipher. Now it has destroyed the Beta Intersect. The explosion killed Graham and the potentials. Right after hearing that, I find you about to kill the only Intersect. You're Fulcrum."

He held his injured right hand close to his body. Sarah's shot earlier had probably broken his hand. He said, "I would never betray my country. I have orders."

"Fulcrum thinks they are patriots too, but they have their own agenda to do what they think is best for this country—not what is right. I have orders to protect Chuck. You seem to have forgotten you have those orders, too." There was no point of arguing with the possible traitor. Absolutists could never be reasoned with, so she silenced him by quickly swinging her foot up to kick the side of his head. Casey fell and crashed through his glass coffee table, unconscious.

She knew his security system, so Sarah canceled the flashing alarm. Then she was startled by pounding at the door. Who would be doing that to Casey's door? Stupid question. She knew better than that. Maintaining her gun aimed at Casey in case he stirred, she went to the door to open it for Chuck.

"What's—" Sarah didn't wait for Chuck to finish his question before she threw her arms around Chuck naked chest and pulled him inside, away from the open courtyard. With Chuck safely out of harm's way, she released him and shut the door behind him. He asked his entire question this time: "What's going on?"

Sarah was relieved more than she could say that Chuck was with her, but she was still furious with him. "You didn't stay in the kitchen. I know what you think about the car, but the kitchen is safer."

"Most accidents happen in the kitchen. You told Scooter as much. I heard a huge crash, so I came to see if you were ok."

"That wasn't me."

"I figured."

Sarah fixed Chuck with a hard look. "If it wasn't me, you should have stayed in the kitchen. If it was me, you still should have stayed in the kitchen. I told you to stay in the kitchen."

Chuck looked a little contrite. "Ok. Maybe I should have stayed there, but I didn't. I'm sorry. When I'm worried about you, I can't help myself." Sarah's heart melted a little. She knew she shouldn't be thinking like that about her asset, but she couldn't help herself either. Chuck continued, "I still don't know what happened. When I went into my room to see if you were ok, all I found was an open window and this." Upside down by the handle, he held up the gun she had shot out of Casey's hand.

He babbled what happened next. "I looked out the window and heard the glass crash from Casey's. I thought maybe you were in trouble, he might know something, and he could tell me what to do." Chuck looked past her to where Casey was sprawled out on the floor. "Oh no! Casey's been shot! We should call 9-1-1."

"I know he's been shot. I shot him."

Chuck wrinkled his brow and looked at her. "Why would you shoot him?"

"He had come through the Morgan Door to kill you. I'm not going to let anyone do that. We're not calling 9-1-1 and involving local police. The contents of this apartment, everything about why he lives here, and why he would want to kill you are all classified. I need to call this in, though."

Sarah pulled out her phone from her back pocket. When she was about to place a secure call, she noticed the look Chuck was giving her. "What?"

"You look cold."

"I'm not cold. I'm furious at the man who I considered my partner. This is the second time in a year I was betrayed by my partner. Why would you think I'm cold?"

"Well… Um…" Chuck pointed his finger at Sarah's chest and his face turned red. "Maybe I should get your shirt."

Oh. That. Sarah had forgotten that she had taken down Casey while half-dressed. "With everything going on…the Intersect being destroyed again…Casey being ordered to kill you…I don't want you leaving my sight." She didn't really want him covering up either, but she couldn't tell him that. She shouldn't think about that anymore.

"It's just across the courtyard. I'll be fine. It's where I was a minute ago. It's where you wanted me to stay."

After a long, stern stare, Sarah relented. "Hurry back. If you are one second more than two minutes, then I am coming after you and shooting anything that moves, even if it's short and has a beard."

Chuck turned and ran out the door. Sarah told herself he'd be safe. He had to be.


A/N: Chuck better hurry, for Sarah's sake. She might get cold. If she does, Chuck should hurry back so he can warm her up.

The third first date was interrupted, but it's technically never started, so it's technically not over.