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Title: Someone To Lean On
Author: htbthomas
Fandom: Chuck, set early in Season 1
Pairing: John Casey/Sarah Walker
Rating: PG
Word Count: 1,194 words
Summary: “There’s something about Casey – his strength, the surety of his movements – that is the exact opposite of Bryce. Casey divides the world between patriot and traitor, threat and victim, black and white. Sarah’s gone through too much to see the world that way herself, but sometimes she’d like to lean on someone rock solid, rather than Bryce’s ocean of gray.”

Notes: Written for nnaylime for Write for Relief. Her prompt: “If you ever pull a gun on me again…” Thanks to myr_soleil and lapacifidora for advice and beta help!

~o~o~o~o~o~


If there’s one thing about the spy life Sarah hates, it’s the waiting. A series of endless missions, in nameless hotel rooms, in characterless sedans and bleak, featureless buildings – in cities that seem just as nameless, just as characterless, just as featureless. Now she’s tasked to protect the Intersect, the stretches of time between the action-filled parts drag even more slowly. 

At least there’s Casey.  Without her partner, it would be just handler and asset, and she’s too much a professional to let herself get involved with an asset just to help the time pass. She has a reputation, even on the deep cover missions, of getting in, getting out, getting it over with quickly and cleanly.

Or had.  Until Bryce.

Bryce was the reason she was involved with the Intersect in the first place.  Even though she knew she shouldn’t, she felt responsible for cleaning up Bryce’s mess. Sarah is still angry Bryce would involve a civilian in the first place.

She looks over at Casey, who is double-checking his weapons, while they wait outside one of those featureless buildings. When he’s done, they’re in for another long wait. She doesn’t have anything else to do, so she watches him work.

There’s something about Casey – his strength, the surety of his movements – that is the exact opposite of Bryce. Casey divides the world between patriot and traitor, threat and victim, black and white.  Sarah’s gone through too much to see the world that way herself, but sometimes she’d like to lean on someone rock solid, rather than Bryce’s ocean of gray.

And there have been moments. Maybe Casey could use someone to lean on as well…

~o~o~o~


1.

She pivots on her heel, acting purely on instinct. “Stop right there,” she warns in a low voice as she turns. The butt of her gun connects with the target’s back. 

“Walker,” he hisses, and then he slowly turns his head to look over his shoulder at her.  “It’s me.”

She doesn’t drop her gun immediately. Instead, she frowns. “Casey.  What are you doing here?”

“Thought you could use a little backup.” One eyebrow rises and he cuts his eyes downward.  “You mind?”

With an exhalation of breath, she holsters her gun. “You could have let me know you were coming.”

“And have to listen to Bartowski babble all the way here? No thanks.”

She smiles. She’d tuned out most of Chuck’s diatribe on Dune in the car earlier.

He starts off down the hallway, motioning for her to follow. “Walker?”

“What?”

“If you ever pull a gun on me again...” His light attitude disappears.  “…you’d better be prepared to use it.” He never turns again, expecting her to have his back – she does.

2.

They’re pressed so close, Sarah almost has to hold her breath. And though Chuck is tied to the chair and struggling, Sarah finds herself more focused on Casey. 

He’s immovable as a statue, his chest muscles rock hard and tense. She knows he can spring into action at a moment’s notice, and will, when the time is right.

Sarah shuts her eyes briefly, to try to focus, but the loss of sight only heightens the sense of touch. They’re standing so close she can feel his fingers tighten on the handle of his weapon in readiness. And she can feel something else, too.

Before she can draw a shallow breath, there’s movement in the room. She and Casey spring from their hiding place. The combination of Casey’s close quarters combat training and Sarah’s martial arts lets the two of them work in concert to take Chuck’s captors down.

Chuck, still bound, looks at the unconscious thugs and huffs in surprise.  “You two been practicing? You should take that act on the road.”

Casey grunts, indignant, ignoring Chuck’s barrage of questions while untying him.  Sarah smirks – just another day on Intersect detail.

3.

Sarah gets a lock on him from behind, and he strains to flip her to the mat. She’s careful not to graze him with her exposed blade.  Neither of them felt like using the practice weapons today, and the adrenaline is running high.

He gets enough leverage to clock her in the chin with an elbow, and she jumps back before he can knock her knife away. They circle each other a few rotations of the room, and then she lunges forward to throw him off balance.  He’s faster though, and his dodge sends her rolling to the mat.

She hears the click of his gun’s safety, and she freezes. He’s got her – this time. “I give,” she says, dropping her weapon. She’ll let him have it; she’s already ahead three out of five.

He grunts in victory. He opens his mouth, maybe to suggest another match – but their cell phones buzz in unison.  It’s Beckman.  The Intersect is needed somewhere in Eastern Europe, their flight leaves in two hours.

“We’ll pick this up again when we get back.” And because she’s feeling high on endorphins she steps close to him, resting her hands lightly on his chest. “But if you ever pull that gun on me again...” She lets the rest go unsaid.

He barely reacts.  To the untrained eye, Casey would seem unmoved.  But Sarah knows her partner now.  That brief flicker tells her everything.

~o~o~o~


“We’ve just received word that the target has slipped our net. He’s already in the air.” Beckman sounds frustrated, even overheard on Casey’s cell.

“Should we give chase, General?” Casey asks, holstering his weapon.

“Not yet. Our team in Riga will try to intercept. Best to sit tight tonight in case his co-conspirators in Bratislava show their faces.  Await my orders in the morning.” Beckman signs off.

“So…” Sarah says with a sigh. “What is there to do in Bratislava on a Tuesday night?”

Casey glances toward the street, where they both know Chuck waits in a nondescript sedan.  “I could think of a few things… if we didn’t have to babysit Bartowski.” The look in his eyes, though unexpected, is unmistakable.

She gives Casey a long, searching look. “There’s not much trouble he can get into here now – and his tracker is working…”

Casey nods ever so slightly. He subvocalizes into the comm, “Bartowski.”

“Um, yes?” Chuck asks, sounding both nervous and excited at once.

“You still in the car?”

“Uh huh.” She can almost picture him bouncing up and down in his seat like a hyperactive kindergartener. “Like you told me.”

“Good.  Stay there.  Walker and I are going to check out the local bar the next block over for the target. We’ll be back within the hour.”  He clicks off without waiting for a response.

Sarah smirks.  “So how long do we give him?”

Casey’s eyes twinkle but he doesn’t laugh.  “Five minutes. Tops.”

It’s actually only three. Sarah slides into the back seat, which is, as expected, empty. Casey, silent as a cat, is beside her a moment later, closing the door with a quiet click. He settles against her, mouth covering hers with a confidence she finds reassuring.

She allows herself to lean on him, for a little while at least.

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
alamo_girl80
Apr. 15th, 2011 02:27 am (UTC)
Love this, Barb. Back when I watched CHUCK, I always had a thing for Casey/Sara. And this is wonderfully paced and worded, as usual.

Bravo!
htbthomas
Apr. 15th, 2011 02:42 am (UTC)
Oh, I didn't know you liked Casey/Sarah - that's awesome! And thanks so much, I was pretty worried about this one. ♥
blithers
Apr. 15th, 2011 05:17 am (UTC)
Oh, Casey and Sarah. :) I really loved their early partnership, and I totally buy the something more that you've presented here, especially early on. And season one era Chuck is so adorable, with the staying in the car (I kind of miss that joke these days) and bouncing around like a hyperactive kindergartener! Aww. :)

htbthomas
Apr. 15th, 2011 02:34 pm (UTC)
Oo, that's really great to hear! I was a little nervous because I've always written canon pairings in this universe. I miss naive joke-y Chuck, too, so I had to put him in. :)
thrace_adams
Apr. 15th, 2011 09:54 am (UTC)
LJ ate my comment :( I enjoyed this a great deal. I always really liked their partnership. Good job.
htbthomas
Apr. 15th, 2011 02:33 pm (UTC)
Aw! But thank you for retrying to leave this nice note! ♥
lisahoo
Apr. 16th, 2011 06:04 pm (UTC)
I still watch Chuck, and while I like Chuck/Sarah, you make Casey/Sarah just totally delicious.

That's the beauty of fanfic, you can a tiny thread from canon and unravel it and weave it into something totally new and intriguing on it's own merits.

(Sorry, I've only got one Chuck icon -- I clearly need a Casey icon!)

Nicely done ;o)
htbthomas
Apr. 16th, 2011 10:56 pm (UTC)
I clearly need a Casey icon, too - I've written two with him, so I should! :D

Thanks so much for the review; I ship Chuck/ Sarah normally, too but I could completely have gone for a Casey/Sarah thing in S1. Really glad you liked it!
siricerasi
Apr. 16th, 2011 06:14 pm (UTC)
ah, this is so nicely written. I ship Sarah/Chuck, but I love the Casey/Sarah partnership.
htbthomas
Apr. 16th, 2011 10:59 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I, too, usually ship Chuck/Sarah, but I really enjoyed writing these two. I can really see the way they were kinda perfect for each other back then. :)
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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