Chuck sighed dejectedly as he looked himself over in the mirror. He had lost more weight and he could count his ribs. He was sickly looking and pale. Ellie was going to lecture him again and he didn't want to have to sit through another lectured session again.
Looked away from the mirror and slammed his closet door shut with more force than necessary. A twisted smirk played across his lips as he heard the mirror crack and shatter. He didn't even care that he's now damned himself to seven years of bad luck or whatever that damned superstition claimed would happen. He already had a lifetime of bad luck it seemed, so what was another seven more years?
You shouldn't think like that, Charles. The voice of his therapist sounded in Chuck's mind. You'll never recover at this rate if you continue to keep your mind shrouded in negativity.
God, Chuck hated that woman. Always the same educated bullshit. He knew that she was a decent, nice woman but she didn't know jack shit. Chuck sighed once more and scrubbed a hand over his face. He was getting increasingly frustrated. Everything seemed to piss him off nowadays and he knew that Ellie, Devon and Morgan were worried about his complete one-eighty. Things had pissed him off before but never to the extent or as quickly as they did now, after the accident.
It had only been six months – six measly months – since Chuck's entire life had changed. He didn't know how it had happened; hell he really didn't know anything. All he did know was that re remembered waking up and there was a man – one with strong arms that felt like home – cradling him close and murmuring his name over and over. But when he'd woken up later, the man was gone and Chuck was left looking at three very worried people and not a clue as to who they were.
The doctor had explained that there had been an accident but no matter how much Chuck asked, he wouldn't go into details about that had happened. It hadn't taken long for Chuck to work out that the doctor didn't actually know the details. All the guy seemed to know was that Chuck had lost his memories, and another thing he didn't know was whether or not it was permanent.
Chuck had not been impressed in the least but when the doctor had had asked Chuck what his name was and he'd replied correctly. When asked how he knew what his name is and not anything else, Chuck had simply said, "That's what he kept saying as he held me so I figured that had to be my name."
After that Chuck didn't speak about the man he'd seen when he awoke the first time since no one believed him about the man. It was now six months since then and he still hadn't remembered much about anything. He knew that he knew Morgan, Ellie and Devon but didn't remember anything about them. It was all too much to deal with some days and he just wished that he could escape from it all.
Chuck's mind drifted back to the present and he found himself standing in front of the Tron poster in his room. There was just something about it that called out to him but he didn't know what it was. There was something secret about it, something that no one else knew about it. Only he knew what it was but whatever it was that he knew was locked away in the recesses of his mind. Locked away, just like everything else.
Chuck reached out a tentative hand to touch the poster – something compelling him to do so – but just as his fingers had brushed the glossy surface; Ellie came into the room with a bowl of soup, some crackers, and a glass of milk as well as his meds.
"Chuck?" She asked as she set down the tray of food. She looked at her brother wearily, judging to see what kind of mood he was in.
Forcing a smile, Chuck turned to stare at the young and beautiful woman that was his sister – or so he'd been told once he'd woken up that that's who she was. "Hi, Ellie."
"How are you feeling?" She stepped into his personal space, something he wasn't completely comfortable with, and placed a hand on his forehead, brushing aside some of his wayward curls.
"The same." It was his usual answer.
Ellie sighed and removed her hand. She wouldn't look him in the eyes, hadn't for a long time and Chuck knew why. She was afraid that if she looked into his eyes, that it would finally become real and official that her brother was really gone. He felt for her but there wasn't anything that he could do or say to ease any of her pain.
"I brought you some food. Chicken and vegetable stew, you're favourite," Ellie said sweetly as she gestured to the food.
Chuck could see it in her eyes that she wanted to say something about how he was wasting away but knew that it would just upset him. He felt her eyes rake over his torso and blushed, grabbing the closest shirt he could find and throwing it on. Cursing himself mentally for forgetting to put on a shirt after looking himself over in the mirror.
"Th-thanks... for the food," Chuck stammered as he wrapped his arms around his torso.
It had become a habit ever since his accident, wrapping his arms around himself. No one understood why he did it except for Chuck. When he needed to feel safe, he tried to recreate how it felt to be wrapped in those arms of the man who had cradled him close and protectively. It never was quite the same but it helped calm him down.
"You're welcome," Ellie said softly. She noticed Chuck's stance and didn't want to spook or upset him. "Make sure you eat as much as you can, alright. You're becoming just skin and bone."
Skin and bone. Those three harmless words shook Chuck to his very core. The images they invoked scared him. All he could see was fire and smoke. Skeletal hands clawed at his mind. Destroying and groping for muted fragments of his distorted memory. Unearthing phantom cries of burning screams.
The whole thing shook Chuck deeply. The same though moved quickly through his mind. Not safe, not safe... Compromised, get out! Got to get out!
Cool fingers wrapped around his biceps and Chuck could faintly hear Ellie calling his name. He shoved her off him in a panic and ran. Running as fast as he could, Chuck tore out of the courtyard and off down the unfamiliar streets of Burbank. He had no clue where to go; he just had to get away.
Chuck shoved his way through the crowds of midday shoppers, completely ignoring their cries of outrage. They didn't matter. All that mattered was running away from the skin and bones. Turning down a side alley, he sprinted as fast as he could without shoes through the vacant alley.
Chuck was halfway down the seemingly endless alley when, out of nowhere someone stepped directly into his path. Without time to divert around the person who blocked his path, Chuck collided with them. He braced himself, placing trembling hands on strong, well defined biceps.
"Sorry... sorry," Chuck gasped, breathless as his adrenaline wore off.
"It's alright, Chuck."
Chuck froze. That voice, the way it said his name. Cautiously he looked up at the man he ran into. Bright, piercingly blue eyes smiled down at him from a strong, handsome face.
As he looked into those eyes, thousands of memories flittered through his mind, almost like a flash... or something. Thousands of memories, all of them centered around himself and this man. Fights, teasing, punches, shoves, cars exploding, quiet moments at the Buy More. It was all too much.
Along with snippets of memories were feelings. Feelings of fear, happiness, anger, concern, longing, lust, hurt, betrayal and love. It swarmed and crashed into Chuck's mind. Purely overwhelmed and terrified, he broke away from the man and ran once more.
He didn't stop, couldn't stop. All the vague memories and powerful memories were ripping him apart. What terrified Chuck the most though was the fact that he could feel that man in his veins, pulsing and singing just below the surface. He ran faster but could hear the man behind him, catching up.
Chuck ran out of the alley at full speed. He could feel shards of broken glass tearing into his bare feet as he ran but tried not to focus on the pain. He dodged and weaved through the crowds, not daring to look over his shoulder to see where the man was. He could sense him and Chuck knew he was going to catch up to him and quick. Chuck took a sharp left and kept on running.
"Chuck! Watch out!"
Startled by the man's cry of warning, Chuck stopped abruptly. Looking around, he couldn't spot anything to be watchful of. Then he heard the blaring horn of an approaching bus, staring at it in horror, Chuck couldn't bring himself to move. His fear was too great.
The bus came barrelling down towards him and Chuck couldn't take his eyes off the route information. It was the number seven – how ironic. It looked like his seven years of bad luck was coming in the form of a three ton bus, all at once instead of dishing out over the next seven years.
Before he knew what was happening, strong arms had wrapped themselves around his waist and Chuck was being dragged forcefully out of the way. The bus sped past as Chuck stumbled into someone's firm chest. His heart was pounding in his ears and he couldn't stop shaking.
"Chuck... you okay?" An out of breath but concerned voice rumbled in his ear.
"Y-yeah... God..." Chuck gasped out.
The man's arms tightened around Chuck, holding him close. For the first time in six months, he felt safe... He felt at home. Realization struck Chuck and he turned in the man's arms.
"Y-you... You're the one who was there when I woke up..." Chuck said.
The man looked at Chuck and smiled. "Yeah... What else do you remember?"
Chuck looked at the man carefully and more memories flashed to life in front of his eyes. Touches and kisses shared in the courtyard late at night, gunfights, danger, secrets, and love. As soon as the memories came to him everything finally clicked back into place.
Chuck felt whole again.
"There you are," Casey said with a small smile. He stroked a hand through Chuck's curly hair.
"C-Casey..." Chuck tried to say more but the overload of memories and feelings were too much for him and he passed out.
Casey gathered Chuck up into his arms, carefully. It was only then, with the younger man gathered close and safe, that the older man noticed the crowd that was staring at them. Saving someone from being hit by a bus does have the tendency to draw a crowd. He glared at the people surrounding them and then carried Chuck away as the crowd of onlookers scattered.
Chuck fought to stay asleep. He was so comfortable and felt safe, basically better than he's felt in months. The thought of being safe brought Chuck back to reality. Sitting up abruptly, he looked frantically around the darkened room he was in.
"Casey..." he called out worriedly. Had it all been a dream?
"'m right here, Chuck," a sleepy voice replied and a strong arm pulled him back down.
Chuck fell back beside Casey with a grunt as his back connected with the soft mattress. As soon as he was on his back, Casey wrapped his arms around Chuck's waist and pulled him into a tight embrace, his head pillowed on the older man's chest.
Gentle fingers slid up Chuck's back before starting to card through his hair. "How're you feeling?" Casey's voice rumbled in Chuck's ear.
Chuck thought it over for a minute. He'd gotten his memory back, lost consciousness, and was now somewhere he didn't know. But Casey was with him. "I'm good."
"Good," Casey mumbled. "God, I missed you..." A soft, feather light kiss was brushed across Chuck's temple.
"You passed out. Memory overload or at least that's what the doc said."
"No... I meant..." Even with his memories back, Chuck still couldn't remember.
"Six months ago? You sure you want to know?" Casey asked in concern.
"No... I don't but I need to know..." Chuck whispered.
Casey let out a sigh. "Okay... We were on a mission. You, Sarah and I decided to infiltrate a Fulcrum base, remember?"
"No... I don't."
"S'okay. I wish I didn't remember most days. We got in and while we searched for the Intell, the building exploded. Sarah... she didn't make it. She was too close to the blast."
Casey gathered Chuck even closer and took a shaky breath before continuing. "As soon as I came too, I searched for you. When I found you... God, I thought you were dead. There was just so much blood and you were so still..."
Chuck pressed a finger to Casey's lips, halting any further words. Seeing Casey starting to break apart just from taking about it hurt Chuck much more deeply than not knowing all the details. He soon replaced his finger with his lips in a slow but deep kiss. They kissed for a while, just slow, relearning each other.
"No more," Chuck whispered as they broke apart. "I don't need to know anymore. Just as long as you're here."
"I'm here... Don't worry, Chuck. I won't leave again," Casey declared honestly.
"Where were you while I was...?"
"Resigning from the NSA. After what happened... I couldn't do it anymore. No more Intersect, no more Fulcrum or NSA. It's just us now."
"No more intersect? How?"
"Since you lost your memories and apparently all the Intell from the Intersect, the NSA and CIA built a new one. There was no chance of you regaining your memories of the Intersect after what happened. That's the only good thing that seemed to have come out of the whole accident."
Chuck smiled widely and snuggled deeper into Casey's chest. He was finally getting his normal life with Casey. He just wished that Sarah was still alive...
"What would you have done if I hadn't remembered you or anything at all for that matter?" Chuck asked seriously.
"I would have made you remember me, my touch, my kiss... everything, Chuck. I would have made your remember everything I've ever done with you – to you," Casey said seriously.
"You know what? I don't think I remember everything you've done to me," Chuck said teasingly.
"Oh is that right? Well then let me help you remember then."
The former NSA agent rolled on top of Chuck, pressing him into the mattress and kissed him fiercely. Chuck made no protest and the two of them worked on getting reacquainted with each other's bodies. There was no way in hell that Chuck was ever going to forget Casey ever again.
Casey was home and Chuck never wanted to forget that.