Chuck Bartowski (the_intersect) wrote,
Chuck Bartowski
the_intersect

Continued from here

Slowly she nodded, though it took her a moment to pull back enough to start moving anywhere, half-afraid she'd start overthinking it the second she let go of him.

"Yeah, that's... probably a good idea," she agreed. "We can, um... my hut's right over here. It'll be quieter." His might actually have been closer, but she wasn't entirely sure of the specifics of Casey's surveillance beyond a certainty that it was too limited to waste on her place. The last thing she wanted to be thinking about now was Casey.

Starting toward her hut, she kept tight hold of his hand, as if not touching him would send them both straight back to reality.




Her hut was a really good idea, considering every time Chuck thought he'd found the last of Casey's bugs, there were new ones there to replace them. Casey was probably just using the same ones over and over or something, but Chuck couldn't help but think that somewhere, Casey had a stash of millions.

...it was more than a little creepy.

"Okay. Okay, yeah," Chuck said, following close behind. He was sure that he sounded like an idiot, but it was kind of hard to think straight at the moment.
Tags: sarah
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Even in the brief while it took to walk to her hut, it occurred to her that, of course, thinking was exactly what she ought to do. Already she was distracted, and... and what? If someone attacked now, would she have been any less capable of protecting both of them?

Stealing a glance his way, she pushed open the door to her hut and stepped inside. It was tempting just to kiss him again the moment the door had closed behind them. They'd come here to talk, though, and she needed a moment to see clearly, whether or not she liked it. "Alright," she said. "Now that we don't have an audience, we should... I don't know what we should."
He smiled a little nervously, then looked down at their hands again. At some point, they were going to have to talk about what all of this meant. About whether this was just another one of those moments that Sarah thought shouldn't have happened-- like right before Chuck had ended up on the island.

Chuck really wasn't looking forward to that conversation.

"Yeah, I don't know either. I-- I really didn't think that far ahead," Chuck said, then paused for a moment, trying to gather his thoughts. "I really just want to kiss you again right now."
There was no use in pretending right then that she didn't want the same thing, no point in not just letting herself go into free fall. Later she'd pick herself up and think it through, analyze and plan and adjust. This wasn't later, this was now.

It wasn't usually in her to carry on, bereft of strategy or certainty, but Chuck was different, made her different. She couldn't really find it in her to say no, to insist they think this over, when it wasn't what she wanted at all. Instead, facing him, she stepped closer. Pushing up onto her toes and leaned in to kiss him, small and sweet and soft, her stomach twisting pleasantly. Just this once, just for this moment, she wanted to get what she wanted, consequences be damned.
To be honest, Chuck hadn't really been expecting it. Even after she hadn't let go of his hand, he'd expected the 'this can't happen' talk to start. So, when Sarah closed the space between them, he was more than a little relieved.

He leaned down to return the kiss in kind: just as small, just as soft. The hand that wasn't in Sarah's found itself around her waist again, and then at her jaw to cradle her face as he realized he didn't know quite where to put it.

God, she was a good kisser.
Resting her forehead against his, Sarah drew back a little, eyes still closed. Her hand clutching his shoulder, she focused on breathing, trying to slow the way her heart raced and her mind tried to outrun it.

She hated lying to him, always had, and there was no reasonable way to do it now, no way to rationalize her behavior that would appease him. It didn't help that she didn't want to, already so tired of pretending. And that was the thing, she thought, tracing a finger down the line of his jaw - it wasn't like she hadn't been feeling all this for months, even years. What changed if she denied it? What was made better by pretending?

It was hardly the first time she'd had this conversation with herself, though. This time, she needed to include someone else in the dialogue. "We do have to talk," she murmured. "I can't just..." She sighed, looking at him as she shook her head. "Stumble blindly forward."
And there it was.

"Okay. Yeah, you're right." Chuck said, though there was this bad feeling in the pit of his stomach now that he just couldn't shake. Like that was it. All there would ever be between them.

Chuck knew what he wanted; he knew how he felt every time he was around Sarah. How, even with the intersect and every other crappy thing that had happened in his life since Bryce had sent him that email, he felt...well...lucky.

He sighed and loosed his grip on her hand, finally letting go.

"So what do we do now?"
Sarah knew what they were supposed to do, what they ought to have done. She'd spent the majority of her life pretending to be something or someone else, and as difficult as it would have been, there was no reason she couldn't have kept up the charade here and now.

"I don't know, Chuck." She shook her head, letting out a sigh. As little sense as it made, she'd half-hoped that stepping away from him would at least help restore some semblance of clarity. "I'm not... allowed to... It's against the rules, for a handler and an asset, and there's - there's good reason for that."

It was one thing, to handle the punishment that might come if an illicit relationship somehow made it back to Beckman, that she could do; she couldn't take it if she somehow got Chuck hurt through her carelessness. Looking up at him, though, she blinked rapidly to clear the faint prickling behind her eyes, her breath hitching. She had to duck her head, her chest aching with the senselessness of willfully pushing away what she wanted.
"So what?" Chuck said, "I mean, it's not like this scenario's in any kind of CIA handbook-- I mean, I'm guessing, but something tells me that nobody made up any rules about assets and handlers on islands in dimensions that shouldn't exist in the first place."

Back home, Chuck had gotten it. Sarah was loyal to her job, and that was important to her. But on the island, as Sarah maybe didn't want to admit it, things had changed. There weren't missions every week, he wasn't constantly running for his life..

...unless there were giant squids or tiny asian girls with guns, but for once that wasn't specific to him.

It wasn't fair. In a fight, in an undercover situation, Sarah could more than hold her own, but somehow he left her utterly helpless. "It's not about national security, it's about you," she said. "If - if something happens, if I make the wrong choice, if I let my judgment get clouded by emotions and - and you get hurt..."

She stopped, shrugging as she shook her head. "I'm supposed to protect you." And maybe part of her wanted him to convince her otherwise anyway, but on that, she wouldn't ever budge. She loved him too much ever to stop.
"And who says you still can't do that?" Chuck asked. He didn't get why tomorrow would be different from any other day if things changed. Okay, so maybe it sounded a little crazy, but they'd still be the same people tomorrow. The same people with the same feelings.

And Chuck was still going to be in love with her tomorrow. It wasn't just something he could turn off. A year and a half on the island had shown him that.

Lips pressed tightly together, Chuck took a deep breath before he spoke again. "Look, Sarah...you're-- you're amazing, okay?" He paused for a moment, chuckling a little nervously, "And I don't doubt-- not even for a second-- that if something crazy happens...if some Chechnyan assassin who can kill people with his shoelaces shows up looking for for the Intersect...that he won't even get a chance at it whether we're....well, whether we are or not."
Sarah couldn't help a small smile at that. She'd been on the island for some time now with minimal damage, and while that could change at any moment, who was to say it would? For a long time, she'd wondered if it was possible. Adam had set her thinking about it, telling her he'd been a spy, talking of the life he had now. Why couldn't she do the same? It didn't have to mean letting go of what she'd been and there was no one to see. Well, there was Casey, but that was a given wherever they were, unfortunately.

"You'd better be right or I'll never forgive myself," she said, and if it was a warning, it was something else, too - a sign of, if not weakening, then starting to let go. She took a deep breath, her shoulders dropping as she shook her head slowly. "Because... you're the one who's amazing, Chuck. And sweet and wonderful and..." She laughed, the sound catching in her throat. "And you make it really hard to follow orders." Someday maybe it'd be the death of them, but for a moment, she honestly didn't care.
Chuck let out a breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding, and a big grin settled on his face. "Yeah-- yeah, you too." He said, "Except for the part where my only order's usually 'stay in the car', but you-- you get what I mean."

Okay, so he probably sounded like the biggest idiot in the world, but it was kind of hard to be all that coherent, considering the circumstances.

He couldn't promise Sarah that everything was going to be perfect, but he was going to do everything he could to get as close to that as possible. And if he wasn't right...well, Chuck wouldn't forgive himself either.
"I do," Sarah said, nodding, barely suppressing a smile, "since you never actually stay in the car."

Suddenly, strangely, she was more nervous than she'd been before, skin buzzing with the new uncertainty of just giving in. It was what she'd wanted for so long, but now she found she didn't know what she was supposed to do or what came next. "I..." She laughed, a short, breathy sound, equal parts relief and confusion. "Okay. Okay. What happens now?"
"Well, first I-- I think we actually have to go back out there at some point or people are gonna talk even more than they already are." With how much Ellie had freaked out at just the idea that he'd gone to the wedding with Sarah, Chuck was a little scared that his sister was going to spontaneously combust from excitement.

"But after that...how about a date?" He asked, "A real date? I'll make dinner." Maybe Chuck really only knew how to make that one chicken dish that his dad had taught him years ago, but he'd figure something out.
"A real date sounds perfect." Sarah didn't actually have a word for just how good it sounded right then, but the way she smiled might have said enough for her.

There was something so wonderfully normal in the idea, a kind of ordinariness she'd never had before, and yet she didn't think anything to do with Chuck could fail to be incredible. "So we're really doing this," she murmured. She lowered her gaze, lips hitching up higher on one side in a look almost of wonder. Shaking her head, reaching out to take his hand, she couldn't stop smiling. "You're right, we should head back out."
"Yeah," Chuck said, and though the words were coming out of his own mouth, they were still a little unbelievable. He took Sarah's hand, lacing his fingers with hers. "We're really doing this."

Her smile was contagious, and Chuck grinned wider, if at all possible.