6 Month Anniversary What What?

So, funny story:
Six months ago today, I posted the first chapter of What Fates Impose on fanfiction.net.  I had actually tried to post on February 16 vs. February 18, but I ran into issues with the site not wanting people to spam and a 48-hour waiting period.  At the time, I had six chapters done, well on my way to finishing either the seventh or eighth.  I had put three weeks of solid writing in, and had devoted hours of research to figuring out things like "how do Sarah and Chuck get from Siberia to St. Petersburg" and "if Sarah has this much fuel in this type of plane, how far will she make it before she has to land and ditch the plane?"  Decisions had to be made like how to format the scene headings, how much detail, will people like a Chuck who is essentially broken, and all of this.  And oh man was I nervous when I put that first chapter out there.  I wasn't even sure if I liked the name What Fates Impose since it was picked extremely last minute. 

Hard to believe that was six months and over nine hundred reviews ago.  Did I expect Fates to take off like it did?  Hell no.  I didn't even expect it to be this long.  But it's like the story that keeps on giving back, really.  I can plot and plot until I'm blue in the face and somebody (COUGHSarahCOUGH) will do something that completely startles me and makes me go, "Hmm.  Okay, that works."  And people still continue to amaze me with the amount of support and faith they have that Fates will continue to be a story that they can enjoy, even though they haven't the first clue where I'm going with it.

Anyway, when I imagine stories for the first time, I usually see them a lot like a movie in my head, with the major scenes giving me glimpses of what's to come.  I had no idea when I started Fates what lay in store for the characters save that they were in a Frea Vehicle, and that usually means bad things to come for them.  Anyway, the following section was one of those major scenes that played in "What Fates Impose: The Trailer."  It's what starts off the next chapter, which unfortunately won't be ready for the big six-month anniversary.  I could post it on its own on ff.net, but I'm very particular about how my chapters begin and end, and that they tell a story.  So we'll be celebrating the six month anniversary of Fates on the blog instead.

So now I present to you, a scene that both excited and terrified me, and which has been on my mind since I started writing What Fates Impose*:
The Canyon Is Not Enough

26 NOVEMBER 2007
07:02 MST

Over the past hour, the edges of the sky had slowly, subtly taken on various shades of first a lighter purple, blending easily into pinks and blushes that signaled the oncoming sunrise. It was almost like watching the sun melt from the sky, but in reverse. After the snowstorm the day before, a snowstorm that had ripped briefly through Colorado, lost steam through Utah, and finally peppered down across northern Arizona, Chuck hadn’t been sure he would actually see the sun rise this morning. Clearly, he wasn’t the only one that had wondered, as there was not another soul at the outlook to watch the world light up. Everybody else was still in bed, he figured, probably snuggled up warm, while he sat in the couple of inches of snow at the outlook and watched the sun rise.

He didn’t mind the solitude. People made things tricky.

In some corner of his mind, he could hear Ellie’s voice, nagging at him to get inside, to go get out of the cold before he caught his death of fever or the flu or various other ailments. The coat that had luckily been stashed in the back of the FBI SUV he’d taken from the Heartbrake Hotel wasn’t nearly warm enough to hold off the elements, especially not with the biting wind.

He’d spent five years in Siberia, always frozen. In a way, feeling that again, after the warmth of Burbank and southern California, was comforting. He kept his hands tucked in the jacket pockets since he didn’t want to lose fingers to frostbite. Toes were a little less important, and he’d stopped feeling them ten minutes after stepping from the stolen—borrowed, he reminded himself. He was going to return it—so it wasn’t like they mattered much to him one way or the other.

What was he doing? He was agoraphobic, and he had a life and people that loved him, so why the hell was he out here, all alone, with all of this space all around him, and nobody to protect him?

Chuck pushed the questions away and climbed to his feet. Yavapai Point Outlook, one of the few he could park by and hike to without worrying about a shuttle bus, faced the east, but he would still get to see the sun’s virgin rays strike the canyon that spread out majestically below him.

He had never been to the Grand Canyon before. He and Ellie had tried to talk their dad into taking them as kids, but he had always been so busy, so wrapped up with his work. He’d said, “Next year” until they had learned to stop asking, that “Next year” would never come.

One more thing to cross off his list, Chuck thought. Sarah and Casey were going to murder him. Casey would do so overtly, possibly choking him to death, while Sarah…after her first angry outburst, she would say something encouraging and supportive, but her eyes would clearly broadcast her unhappiness and distress.

He wasn’t looking forward to either reaction. Neither of them, he knew, would quite understand that he had needed to get away, to think and do nothing but think and evaluate and compare and contrast, all of those things he had forcibly stopped himself from doing ever since he entered that line of Zork text and Sarah had shown up in the bunker.

And now, here he was, at the Grand Canyon, of all places. He wished Ellie were there, even while he dreaded seeing her again, knowing that she would well and truly flip her lid. Hurricane Ellie left very few survivors. But still, Ellie would have liked to see sunrise at the Grand Canyon.

He didn’t even have a camera to take pictures and show her later, once her wrath burned down to embers. All he had was a borrowed laptop that had run out of juice after he’d sent a short email, the jacket on his back, a borrowed car with its emergency food-stash, and a five dollar bill, all that was left of the money Sarah had handed him to go get change at the Heartbrake Hotel. It was almost peaceful, being without a cell phone, even while it was terrifying.

Chuck wasn’t sure why he heard the rustling on the trail behind him, given that he was fairly positive most of his hearing hadn’t returned, but he turned his head nonetheless, curious as to who else would be out on this windswept outlook in the bitter dawn cold. Certainly somebody better prepared than he was, given that his jacket provided very little warmth in the overall scheme of things.

When the gun came down the path before the person holding it, he yelped and immediately threw his hands in the air. “Federal agent! Don’t shoot!”

The gun lowered. Belatedly, he realized it was a very familiar Smith & Wesson 5906, instants before the white face behind said gun confirmed the identity of his visitor. He froze. He hadn’t expected Sarah and Casey to show up for at least a couple of more hours, but now it was clearly time to face the firing squad.

Sarah, still on the path down from the Rim Walk, didn’t move, save to lower the gun limply to her side. She seemed absolutely stunned to see him. “Chuck?” she asked, and her voice sounded strange, like she hadn’t used it in a while.

Chuck winced. “Um, hi.”

Now, he thought, was the part where she tried to kill him for directly disobeying orders and vanishing off the face of the earth and stalking his ex-girlfriend and nearly getting them killed several times and lifting a stranger’s cell phone, and about a million other misdeeds. She would remember the gun in her hand at any second and simply shoot him, making her life ten thousand times easier, so she could jet-set off to go murder prime ministers with eating utensils and…

Sarah dropped the gun. Like, actually let it go. Chuck watched it fall in absurdly slow motion, watched the silver catch glints of the early morning sun as it tumbled the couple of feet between Sarah’s limp hand and the snow.

It hit the snow without a sound. Chuck only had time to blink before Sarah herself seemed to collapse just like the gun had, only this time it wasn’t in slow-motion. Sarah’s knees hit the ground and she crumpled forward, her shoulders already beginning to shake. If Chuck moved, he didn’t remember. One second, he was up against the rails, the next he had vaulted over the rise that split the middle of the lookout point into two tiers. “Sarah! Oh crap, are you okay? Oh, crap, crap.” Had she been hit? Was she shot? Injured? Dying? What the hell had happened after he’d left? He tried to grab her shoulder, to see where she had been shot.

Sarah’s hand, ice-cold, grabbed his wrist, and he half-expected to go flying. Instead, she yanked, and he went forward onto his knees. Before he could react, she had burrowed against him, wrapped her arms around his middle, and just clung.

It took Chuck’s foggy brain a second to catch up. Sarah Walker wasn’t injured.

She was crying.

Oh, hell.

*mxpw: Wait...you're doing the wall sex?


  1. Anonymous18.8.10

    Frea, 8/23 seems so long. Will you really make us wait for 5 more days after this sneak peak? :(

    And just because I'm sure I haven't told you this yet, I think you're wonderful. Thank you for sharing with us your talent. I can't even begin to put into words how much I love your story.

  2. Ayefah18.8.10


    Okay, okay, I know that he had his reasons for running off, but it's not about whether he was right or wrong, it's about the fact that HE MADE SARAH CRY. :(

    Of course, it's never hard to get an apology out of Chuck - he'll apologize for things that aren't even his fault. But still. Oh, oh, how messed up these two are.

    Does Casey know how personal Chuck's protection has become for Sarah? Because I'm not sure he's ready to overlook that level of mental compromise in his partner. Then again, maybe I'm wrong. Or maybe I need to calm down and wait until the whole chapter comes out to see how Casey feels. :)

    As for the anniversary...wow. Has it really been that long? I would have said that 'Fates' started four months ago, tops. I remember that very first chapter, too, the way it instantly painted a world so different from canon and pulled me right in. I had to know what Chuck was doing in that bunker. And here I am, half a year later, still wondering. Heh.

  3. Anonymous18.8.10

    Thank you for posting this. This story is so amazing.

  4. Wow. I love your Sarah soooo much more than the TV Sarah. And now I am very impatient for the 23rd.

  5. OldDarth18.8.10

    Another beautiful scene Frea.

    It is so awesome for you to have finally arrived at the scene you have been waiting to write since the beginning of the story! WooT!

    Chuck's thoughts are what I imagined. I was projecting it may even go to a point where he feels the only safe option is for him to request bunkerization to protect his loved ones. Which Sarah would talk him out of.

    Sarah' reaction to seeing Chuck alive shows she must have thought of a much more tragic outcome on finding Chuck.

    Sarah is shocked to find Chuck alive! No doubt she feared the worse; that Chuck was so traumatized that he went off to kill himself! I am prepared to be surprised by you again though if there is another explanation. :)

    Congrats on the 6 month anniversary of the story. Here's to the next 6! ;)


  6. Wow! Sarah's crying?! :( Ever since they got to that Heartbrake Hotel I was worried about how she was, well I guess Chuck's disappearance was the last straw.

    I haven't made my review from the last chapter yet, but my feeling at the end of 35 was: "I'm a little mad at Chuck". How can he do that to Sarah? Wasn't all the mess that brought them there enough?

    Well that feeling is even more there after that sneak peak.

    But, I do understand his reasoning and that he needed to clear his head. I just wish he would have find a way to do it without leaving Sarah behind wondering how he was.

    How did Sarah found him? What did they think happened to him? And what's next for Team Bartowski? Are they going to DC? Will they remain a team, despite Chuck's actions, Sarah's compromised state and that Fulcrum may be after them? And also what's up with Ellie and Awesome?

    Thank you for that sneak peak! And Happy 6 Months Anniversary! I wasn't there from the beginning, it's only been 4 months for me, and I actually read "Wind" first... well the beginning of "Wind" first. But that story is awesome and your work is impressive. I hope that you still enjoy writing it as much as we enjoy reading it!

    By the way the poll is going crazy! The bungalow is behind though. So I will remind everybody that you said there were interesting things about Randy that you'd like to say! :)

  7. OldDarth18.8.10

    Chuck is feeling big time guilt that he brings chaos and ruin to everyone's life. His actions led to his killing a man. The final straw was seeing the pain he caused Sarah.

    Wanting to get away from everyone to process what he has caused to happen is a completely understandable and totally plausible reaction.

    Chuck is having a very internal moment and to be concerned about other people's feelings in such a crisis mind set is a god like attribute that does not yet exist in mankind.

    And unbelievable in my opinion.

  8. alladinsgenie4u18.8.10

    First off, congratulations on the half yearly anniversary. And before long, we will be celebrating the 12 month anniversary along with you,I am sure of that (umm.. please tell me that my optimism is not misplaced)

    Second,thanks for the sneak peek. To say that it is amazing is an understatement. Is it 8/23 yet? So, Sarah has at last reached a breaking point.All the death defying situations over the past few chapters and what it took for her to break down and cry was fear for Chuck and relief at finding him okay.I am so in love with your version of Sarah.

  9. I know I'm probably asking Chuck too much. That's one of my problem with Chuck in general, I expect too much from him. He's only human after all!

    I understands his need to get away and everything you said about how he felt. It's just you said "The final straw was seeing the pain he caused Sarah." Why causing her even more pain then?

    Honestly that was my reaction, but it doesn't mean I disagree with what's happening or anything. What he did make complete sense. Like everything Frea writes.

    I think I can explain my reaction though. Chuck sees Sarah as a goddess of some sort. He knows what she's done for him. What's she's done to keep him safe. I know he is grateful and everything.
    But, sometimes it seems like he doesn't do anything about it. Sometimes it seems like it does stuff not because he doesn't want to hurt her but because he's afraid she'll kill him.
    I don't think I'm clear. I guess what I'm saying is: I know he's grateful but sometimes his actions don't look like it to me. And that bother me a little, because Sarah didn't have things easier than Chuck ever since Bryce sent him the Intersect. She's been dealing with the mess as much as Chuck, except she's got to deal with Chuck as well.

    Anyway, like I said I expect a lot from Chuck in general, and I'm probably being unfair to him!

  10. OldDarth18.8.10

    "Why causing her even more pain then?"

    Several reasons:
    1) It is unintentional because Chuck is so internally directed in that moment.
    2) His pain clouds his judgment.
    3) On some level he is of the belief that his removal from everyone's life, not just Sarah's, is a lessor pain than his staying.
    4) He may even be contemplating suicide. Which is the vibe I got from his thought processes and location. And which Sarah seemed so afraid of that when she found Chuck alive, she could no longer retain her control.
    5) Chuck is human.
    6) Even worse. Chuck is a guy! And guys can be really dumb at times. Or so I am told. ;)
    7) It makes Chuck more real as a character to have flaws.

    Course only the author has the real answer and she may want to leave that up to the interpretation of the readers.

  11. You're right OD. I know. I guess I just can't help but feel bad for Sarah.

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. There is nothing wrong with feeling sorry for Sarah, you should. The pressure on her is ENORMOUS, Not only is she doing the whole spy thing.

    On top of that, with Chucks illness she cant really show her feelings, with her job she cant show her feelings.

    Oh yeah, as a person who's entire makeup screams FIX CHUCK, she knows, that would be the worst thing for her personally.

    Plus, she gets to see the man she really cares for, falling to pieces.

    Feel sorry for Sarah
    Feel sorry for Chuck

    I just know, for no reason whats so ever, that the 2 of them will ride off into the sunset.

    The journey to that place has been, and will continue to be fantastic.
    Thanks Frea.

    I had to repost this because i forgot to get my post checked by my beta.

  14. OldDarth18.8.10

    Agree with BDaddyDL

    Feel sad for both of them!

  15. Yes what I should say is that I shouldn't take on Chuck the fact that I feel bad for Sarah.

  16. So I wanted to thank you for posting this today Frea! I knew you'd know what I wanted most on my birthday, MORE FATES! Ok, ok, I guess there's a chance that's not why it was posted, but a guy can have his delusions right? Anyway, thanks for making my day without even intending to do so. Can't wait for the 23rd.

  17. Anonymous18.8.10

    That was a great establishing scene, Frea! In cinematic terms, you basically started with a shot of the sky and panned down to Chuck sitting in the snow. At least, it played that way in my head. :)

    I really felt the sense of chilled solitude at the outlook and Chuck's attunement with it. It seemed perfectly appropriate for him to seek the comfort of a place uncomplicated by others. After the chaos of the last several chapters, I felt a need for it as well.

    I think one of the reasons that 'Fates' is so popular is that unlike others (cough) TPTB (cough) your characters have stayed true to themselves and each other. We believe whatever happens to them, however surprising, because their actions are credible. They extend naturally from what we know about them, or inform us of things we can readily accept about them. These characters act in some semblance of how we'd expect them to act, given their situations.

    But this little scene made me think of something else, something that might be the intangible that elevates 'Fates' into the realm of the very special:

    It had to be Sarah that found Chuck. You knew it, we all knew it. And that's what happened. What I'm suggesting is that your storytelling instinct is sharply tuned to the very same frequency as your audience's. Here, like all through 'Fates' you give readers a "yeah" moment where what they want converges with what you deliver and gratification ensues.

    Put more simply, you know how to tell a story that pushes our buttons. :)

    And you do it so very well.

  18. Isabella18.8.10

    I think I'm in love with you.

    ... Oh, and your writing skills.

    ;D (Joking! I don't swing that way. But I do really admire your talent.)

  19. All right! Epic comment reply time! Awesome!

    So I was sleeping all day and I woke up to find that the blog had exploded, but in a good way (yes, I'm nocturnal, it's a bad thing), and my jaw just continued to drop farther with every comment that it's lucky I'm half-snake and can unhinge the stupid thing.

    So here we go:

    zapeej - yes, I'm going to be evil and make you wait until August 23rd to read the whole next chapter. I CAN tell you that I call Chapter 36, the longest one of Fates so far, by the way, "3 o'clock Plot Break," with good reason. :) Glad you're enjoying Fates! Sorry about the wait.

    Ayefah - Yep. He made Sarah Walker cry. That bastard. I think people will be really surprised by how things go in Chapter 36. Does Chuck apologize to Sarah? Ehhh, that would be telling. Does Casey chew out the CIA part of his team? That would also be telling. Geez. I'm so cold-hearted and mean. I'm sorry. I will say this, though: the team dynamics in Fates are way different than in canon, mostly because Chuck IS an agent rather than an asset, and Casey has quite a bit more respect for him, I think. So we'll see how that unfolds throughout what I'm calling "The DC Arc." And aren't you excited that I'm going to answer bunker questions in Part IV? :)

    Anonymous - You're welcome. I'm glad you're liking the story so far!

    Alana - Hee, it makes my head swell to hear you say that. I still love canon Sarah, and I'm really excited for the fourth season, but I'm so glad people are liking Fates Sarah. The story really does hinge around her!

    Lou - Gonna be honest, this scene and the fact that I've been imagining it? It gave me some nervous writer's block, and it ended up being nothing like the original idea (it was supposed to be more like the beach scene from the Pilot, but it won't be because Chuck and Sarah have come too far together for that, in all honesty). I have to admit, the bit about Chuck being suicidal...that made me scratch my head. Mostly because I never considered it, and neither did he. Ellie would reanimate him just to kill him if he thought about pulling a stunt like that, and like me, Chuck fears the Ellie.

    And let’s not even mention what Sarah would do.

    (to be continued...)

  20. Part II of III:

    I'll answer the Crumby/OD battle here with where I stand on the issue:

    Chuck did not choose to leave the Heartbrake Hotel. He had a break with reality, he went into a fugue state, and now he's come out of it. Yes, he's going to realize just how much his actions hurt Sarah and how deeply she cares for him, and that's going to be part of his burden to bear for Part IV, and something that Chuck and Sarah will need to figure out together. They'll have stumbling blocks because, hey, this is me writing it, but the initial leaving of the motel was something Chuck really had no control over. We do crazy things in shock, and I had just put him through complete and total hell.

    So I don’t think there’s really a party “at fault” here. Yes, Chuck made Sarah cry, and for that, he will feel miserable, and to be honest, frightened. As a fandom, we’re insanely protective of Sarah. She’s vulnerable and yet kick-ass, so the things that frighten her are made that much scarier in perspective and if there’s one thing this fandom should have taught Schwedak, it’s that you do not f*** with Sarah Walker. And reading these comments here, I’m kind of discovering the same thing for myself.

    I WILL point out that there are few more protective than mxpw about Sarah Walker and he doesn’t have a problem with 36. Granted, he’s read the whole thing so he has an unfair advantage…he also said to say something about accepting all forms of cash, money orders, and bribes. No idea what he’s talking about.

    Alladinsgenie – thank you for the congrats! And I hope that, if Fates hasn’t finished by then, we’ll celebrate the year anniversary together, too! That would be EPIC. And yeah, that was all it took to break Sarah Walker and make her cry: take Chuck away from her. Well, theoretically. That sort of happened in Season Three and…why am I talking about this? Anyway, I’m glad you’re liking Sarah, but if you want a shot at her, you’ll have to get in line. mxpw has already made jokes that Fates is going to turn into Ellie, Carina, and Casey all trying to kill Chuck just to get some Sarah lovin’. Whether or not this will actually happen, I can’t say (it won’t) without certainty (as in, never), but mxpw has high hopes for it (and he’ll be disappointed).

    Crumby – I don’t really see Chuck as taking advantage of Sarah the way you do, but there have been times he has, yes. He was pretty much an outright coward by letting her deal with Ellie by herself, and yes, he didn’t put Sarah first when he left the Heartbrake Hotel, or when he didn’t tell her about the stolen Fulcrum phone. Sarah really does need to put his head through the wall a few times, but…yeah, she might just be so relieved that he’s okay that he may get a pass for awhile. Casey? Probably a completely different story. Chuck WILL face consequences for his recent actions, don’t worry. But, like you said, he is human. We expect a lot of him because he’s our hero, but heroes have to fall, too.

    BDaddyDL – Riding off into the sunset, really? *scribbles that down* And you make a lot of excellent points. Sarah’s got such a hard road to walk because she wants Chuck to get better (and yes, some of it is selfish because, hey, she wants sexytimes!), but the last thing that is going to help him is to force him (unless it’s the aforementioned sexytimes because I’m pretty sure she could just jump on top of him and he would get the message).

  21. Final part!

    MC – Happy birthday!! Yeah, I totally knew all about it and that’s why I posted this scene today, mm-hmm. Glad you’re liking Fates!

    Aardie – Oh, Aardie, Aardie, Aardie, will you ever stop making me blush? Hee, in cinematic terms, the scene plays for me with the camera sitting behind Chuck, low-angle, watching the sky lighten with his head and shoulders silhouetted in the foreground, and then it moves to in front of him and…Sorry, film nerd.

    I have an unfair advantage over the powers that be: I don’t have to listen to network demands and I’m a lot closer to my fanbase because I am one of them. Also, I don’t have to worry about budget, really. And, you know, it’s just me instead of writers, producers, directors, and actors, and you know what they say about too many cooks in the kitchen or stirring the sauce (they’d probably still do a better job than me at cooking).

    And yes. It had to be Sarah that found Chuck, I completely agree. Otherwise my plot just goes to hell in a handbasket because I’ve stopped listening to my outline. :) But on the serious, I don’t always buy into fan gratification or fan-service, or whatever, but I like to think that, having read fanfic for over ten years now, I know what people want and, when the plot allows, I can give that to them. But really, that’s me being horribly vain.

    Isabella – Aw, just kidding, really? I was going to show that message to my mother and say, “See! Look! I don’t have to die alone!” And wow, that joke came out waaaay more morbid than I thought. :) But I’m happy that you’re liking the story so far! Thanks!

    Whew. That was a lot of writing. Now to go write Fates 37!

  22. OldDarth19.8.10

    Chuck breaking from reality. A succinct way of putting it. HeartBrake Hotel indeed.

    Interesting Frea it was immediately obvious from his thoughts at YAVAPAI POINT that he was not contemplating suicide but Sarah's reaction upon seeing him led me to project that possibility onto him.

    Aardie marked a good point, which I took as a given, about Sarah finding him. Moments like that are very important and is really what sets your story apart from canon. Every time we instinctively expect something to happen, you deliver. Most awesome.

    What about Sarah's reaction on seeing Chuck? What thoughts was she harboring that makes her break down so upon seeing him? You say just taking Chuck away from her was enough to create the reaction? I hope there is more to it than that. She just went through her Mauser moment and then to find Chuck missing, well that is a big kick in the gut.

  23. First of all, thank you for answering us.

    I'm even more excited about Part IV now! You'll tell more about the bunker, really? :) This all "figuring things out together" thing: Awesome! And Casey not letting Chuck of the hook: I sure hope so.

    About that I just want to make a last comment on my crazy whining period about Chuck. You said: "yeah, she might just be so relieved that he’s okay that he may get a pass for awhile." And I think that's part of my problem, you know. Like every time I feel like Chuck's not thinking of Sarah, something happens that make it go away: either she's glad he's ok, or his luck strikes again and something worse happens, or something else. So I often feel crazy, because of how I’ve been feeling towards Chuck’s actions in those moments, and because this is practically never address. Like “wth I’ve you been worried about, what Chuck did was fine, in fact nobody as reproached him anything, see?”

    But then I realized that my comments have been victim of how I feel towards Chuck in the show, and that I’ve been completely unfair to you and your work. I only had that specific “problem” about Chuck in Fates two times: when he didn’t tell Sarah about Lawrence and what he was doing with the phone, and when he left at the end of 35. For the first one, I understood Chuck’s motivations while he was doing it even if I was hoping he’d tell Sarah, and his actions have had huge consequences and still have. You haven’t let it be unaddressed at all. For the second one, from what you said about Part IV I’m not worried about it. Plus like you said Chuck had some kind of break with reality and can we blame him? The guy has been going through hell…

    So I apologize because I’ve been influenced by the history of the show, which is completely unfair considering you’ve addressed Chuck’s actions very well. And reading what you said on the subject, it seems like I see things the way you do. I really liked what you said. That’s one more thing I love about Fates: I love your “vision” on it and the characters.

    Which bring me to my final point about this: “And reading these comments here, I’m kind of discovering the same thing for myself.” I hope I haven’t sound like: “Frea, what are you doing with Chuck!” I love what you wrote, I only react because Fates is amazing and you make us care so much about your Fates characters. But I would never want that my comments seem like I “disapprove” of what you’re doing or writing or whatever. Disapprove isn’t the good word but I hope you understand what I mean. Not that my “disapproval” would mean anything anyway. I may have been the only one doing that kind of comments. But more importantly, this is your story, and I have no creating skills at all, and even less writing skills. We’re lucky you’re sharing your talent with us, so really I hope my comments doesn’t come as “bad comments” or something.

    But maybe you were just talking about those crazy reviewers of the “Secret Internet Chat Room On Frea” you’ve talked about at the GG. LOL. That made me laugh.

  24. OD – Ahhh, okay. I see what you mean about the suicide thing, and how she might have been thinking that. Totally understood now. I love it when people point out things about my own writing I never even considered. It’s humbling.

    About Sarah’s reaction -- there's one thing to remember here: Chuck is the Intersect. He can't just vanish like that or else they'll start to think he's been taken somewhere and tortured for the information in his head. So yeah, part of Sarah breaking down is I took him away from her when she knows he's emotionally in a terrible spot and they are co-dependent to start off, but for the past 36 hours, she's just been a state of constant fear for his safety and security, and probably getting flak from her bosses for losing the Intersect, as well as having to deal with an Ellie that's freaking out, and you have to figure this is on top of several near-death experiences in the course of a day where she probably hadn't gotten much sleep anyway the night before anyway....

    It adds up. I guess I need to not boil it down to the lowest common denominator sometimes for the purpose of being glib, as there's a loooot going through Sarah's mind when she comes down the trail...with her gun out...

    Crumby - Yep, Part IV is definitely eye-opening on many levels. Remember, that's not always a good thing with me. :)

    And you don't need to worry -- I didn't take any offense from your observations about Chuck getting away with a lot of stuff and I never sensed the slightest bit of disapproval. Characters screw up, the fact that we get annoyed at them for doing so means they’re got depth and definition, and it’s really kind of awe-inspiring to see people react this strongly to Fates. The fact that you've leveled some of your frustrations from canon Chuck onto Fates Chuck is also actually flattering, in a way. It means I've gotten something about his character right. :)

    In addition, your comments made me sit back and think about this chapter. Sarah makes it hard, sometimes, to let us realize that Chuck is screwing up because she's so understanding about everything, but oh man has he majorly screwed the pooch with this Fulcrum cell phone thing. I'm gonna request a favor from all of you and ask for some patience on the subject because it may not necessarily come up in 36, but I'm going to address it, I swear. And as much as we want to see Sarah tear into Chuck, our hero may need somebody in his corner throughout all of the fallout.

    Ah, yes, the secret internet chat room on Frea. It exists. I shall find it someday. Mark my words.

    Thanks for the responses, guys!

  25. OldDarth19.8.10

    Thanks again Frea. These dialogues are as almost as fun as the actual story.

    I was figuring you were being glib with your Sarah take away Chuck answer but just wanted to be sure. ;)

    BTW, I am curious as to how many chapters you are ahead of the published story. You said,IIRC, you had a 3 week buffer at the start. Where do you sit now?

    Thanks again for your time.

  26. 36 is finished, and 37 is in production. Buffer? We don't need no stinkin' buffer.

  27. OldDarth19.8.10


    Living on the Edge!

  28. I can be patient! ;) What you’ve said on the subject is really exciting because I'm sure I will love what's coming next. In fact, I'm pretty sure you'll write things I would have want to see in the show but never happened. Your characterization is awesome, there are differences because of the changes in the story, but most importantly because of your take on them, which is really interesting and close to what I wish TPTB would do. It’s like you took the characters we know and wrote them right.

    I’ll second OD’s comment that those dialogues are fun! Thanks!

  29. There's a line from W&T that tells you exactly what a big plotline in Part IV is going to be.

  30. OldDarth19.8.10

    'Once a conman's daughter, always a conman's daughter.' Perhaps?

    I was thinking Part IV would be about trust as Sarah discussed with Ellie when Ellie accepted the offer to join the team.

    The same theme in other words.

  31. Ayefah19.8.10

    And aren't you excited that I'm going to answer bunker questions in Part IV? :)

    You're mocking me, aren't you. *goes to fiddle with 'Fates' conspiracy wall*

  32. Nope. I wouldn't dream of it.

    Okay, maybe I would, a little. But I *am* going to reveal all of the bunker secrets...right after I do something really, really horrible to a member of Operation Prometheus.

    How's that conspiracy wall doing? Figured out how the grassy knoll ended up with Chuck in Siberia?

  33. coffeegirl20.8.10

    awesome. just awesome. have you considered writing for a living? well i hope not since you might leave us hanging in fates if you become a successful writer.

  34. mxpw said..."There's a line from W&T that tells you exactly what a big plotline in Part IV is going to be."
    Hmm... how about:
    "Oh, my God, Sarah thought before the sane part of her could chime in, I broke Chuck Bartowski."

    No, no - probably not. How about:
    "Once he escaped this tiny Siberian prison, Chuck Bartowski was meant for great things, and Sarah was meant for whatever the government wanted next. And never, she thought a bit sadly as she watched him shuffle the deck to deal out Hold 'Em, the twain shall meet."

  35. Good guesses both, PeterO, but the first line has more to do with Part III and the second line is Sarah telling herself one of my favorite quotes from The Princess Bride: "Get used to disappointment."

    Anybody else wanna try? I'll give you a hint: the line isn't in Chapter 4. :)

  36. Or in Chapter 1.

  37. Damn, sooo many great lines in chapter two alone! From Sarah's dream alone! I could just keep guessing and post line after line. But I won't. Instead I'll ponder what a scary place Sarah's head really is. Or that she isn't anyone's hero.
    Will it become obvious quickly?

  38. So it's not "She was going to kill Bryce Larkin." Damn! ;)

  39. Oh, find it!

    "Naked pictures?"

  40. Haha, "Naked Pictures?" another inspired guess, but nope. And no, Sarah and Chuck don't almost have sex in the icy waters around DC. For one thing, it's November.

    And if I had to give it an estimate, I'd say the plotline will kick off by Chapter 40.

  41. Who said Sarah was the one who said the line?

    I don't believe I made that stipulation.

  42. We should definitely pace ourselves then... I'm already hating myself for asking about the Bank Job! lol

  43. OldDarth20.8.10

    "Maybe your head is a scary place."




    It had been that moment when Sarah Walker had started hating guns.

  44. I'm going with "Maybe your head is a scary place."

    Which means, of course, that Fates is actually Inception.


  45. Okay, guys, I'll give you another hint: The line does not involve animal, vegetable, or mineral.

    ...or does it?

    PS. The line also doesn't involve violence of any kind.

  46. It probably says something about my story to date that every single suggestion made so far has had to do with "Mind-frak" properties of Fates rather than the happy ones.

    OD - Nope, nada, nyet. :) Good guesses, though.

    Chris - HOW DID YOU KNO--oh, wait, sorry, you said Inception. I thought you meant Madea Goes to Jail. My bad.

  47. Well Frea, first you insinuate that Sarah might be a little crazy and there is a Sarah reveal that might not too pleasant for her (or was it us~can't remember), then you tell us that you're going to do something really, really horrible to a member of Operation Prometheus - and you want us to think happy thoughts?
    Ya think?

  48. "What's your secret, Chuck?"

  49. Oh, Sarah's certifiable. And the reveal...hm. I'm not actually going to say who it affects. And sure, I do something atrocious to one of the team members of Operation Prometheus, but Fates has happy moments, too!

    Like, uh...wait, I've got this one, I know this. The time when...or how about when...


    IV is both the darkest and lightest part in Fates, FYI.

  50. OldDarth20.8.10

    Heh, at this rate the whole chapter will end up being posted in this thread. Is that the true intent? Nah. :D

    Ok, let's do a full 180.

    God, Samantha, you utter sap.

  51. Not a single happy moment to be found, nope. Also: stupid goat!

    Well, okay, there's ONE awesome happy moment. And maybe a few smaller ones spread out.

  52. "God, Samantha, you utter sap."

    ...That's Fates in its entirety, OD. Doesn't count.

  53. OldDarth20.8.10


  54. "Well, get over here and let me play nurse."

  55. OldDarth20.8.10

    It excited her that there was still so much to learn.

  56. Okay how about Chuck saying to Sarah:
    "I'm going to have to watch you like a hawk all the time, aren't I?"
    You did say the tables do turn, didn't you?

  57. One of you has gotten warmer.

    If the price is right, I may even tell you which one.

  58. OldDarth20.8.10

    Pete, whether it is the one or not, I love that choice! High time Chuck started repaying Sarah in kind for what she has done for him.

  59. Anonymous20.8.10

    "You're a stronger person than me, then," she said, meaning it.

  60. OldDarth20.8.10

    "Who says I can't save us both if you try to drown us?"

  61. Wow. After I post this, I'll be the 61st comment. Heeee.

    I'mma gonna go search for that one-liner, now. :)

  62. OldDarth20.8.10

    Please save us Crystal! :D

  63. Anonymous20.8.10

    "The Smithsonian?"

  64. Anonymous20.8.10

    After going through the chapters looking the first three chapters at one-liners, while I'm sure they aren't the line in question, they would be funny for prompting fanfic:

    "So, she wondered, what the hell did Dungeons and Dragons have to do with sex?"

    "Here's the confession, Sarah thought. Chuck really was a mass murderer, but too brilliant of an analyst to let go, so they'd stashed him where he couldn't do any damage." (Adorable psycho in reverse?)

    "Did I tell you about the time Chuck and I built a robot that could…" (Skynet? ;)

    "Maybe next year she could call up Carina, and if Carina wasn't too busy with DEA and other alphabet soup issues, they could have a girls' week in Aruba or something."

    "I still don't see how that's physically possible," Chuck argued.

    "It's Sheila Rowanson, isn't it?"

  65. Anonymous1 - Well, they ARE going to be in DC...it's not that much of a stretch... :)

    Hee, Anonymous2, I had mixed fan reactions to the D&D in Chapter 3 of W&T, so I don't know if that first fic would go over as well as you'd think. However, I will happily read anybody's contributions on that, as well as what happens when Sarah rolls five d20s in a row.

    I believe the counterpart to the Adorable Psycho would be the Adorkable Psycho.

    *buzz* Incorrect. Everybody else knows Skynet is Facebook.

    Part V, Anonymous2. Part V.

    Oh, man, I really need to introduce Sheila Rowanson in person to the Fatesverse. I can imagine Sarah would have quite a bit of fun with that. They'd probably be BFFs simply to mess with Bryce's head.

  66. "It's a date," Chuck said.

  67. Ding ding ding ding ding!


  68. coffeegirl24.8.10

    i think i'm kinda breaking some rules on 'commenting on a post' etiquette but i don't have an ff.net account (i'm one of those who only loves to read but not to write) so sorry. anyhoo, i just wanted to say that i totally enjoyed the 36th chapter of fates. i just have some questions though, 1) are they officially together now? (i'm kinda slow on these things. 2) will sarah ever ravish chuck? thanks and again, you absolutely rock!

  69. Coffeegirl:

    1) No, they're not officially together. In fact, neither of them is sure where they stand or what the official term is. When Chuck referred to himself as Sarah's boyfriend in the chapter, he was deliberately lashing out at her because he was tired, and cold, and scared, and she's there/safe for him to lash out at, since she's proven multiple times she's not going anywhere.

    2) Will Sarah ravish Chuck? It may happen. I can tell you, it won't happen as quickly as everybody likes because all we see is, "36 chapters and no kiss?" but it's been two months in story-time, he's emotionally damaged, and she recognizes that. The last thing Sarah wants to do is undo all of the progress they've made, and Chuck particularly has made, by completely breaking what she and Chuck have to together. Chuck's psyche is an insanely precarious place, so on top of the scary "should we enter a relationship if we're friends?" question, there's also, "What happens to him if this goes horribly wrong?" He's transferred his agoraphobic need of a "safe place" to mean "where Sarah is," and that's something they have to consider--is it worth it in the long run to risk that on a relationship? On the show, they know each other is The One, but that's there and this is Fates. Neither of them has any clue if that's the case here. They have to operate off of what they know and how they feel because I didn't give Sarah oracle powers and Chuck sure as heck can't see the future either.

    Glad you're enjoying the story, though!

  70. coffeegirl24.8.10

    thanks for the answers

  71. Sorry to be a burden Frea, but what "Ding ding ding ding ding!" meant? :$

  72. Oh, sorry. That's the noise the game shows make for the correct answer on Family Feud.

  73. Well now I know what is the original name of that game! :) (They translated it in France where I live) I definitely can hear the sound! lol

    This is good news! And I'm kinda proud of myself then! ;)

  74. Isabella25.8.10

    Woops! Sorry, this took so long, but...

    Haha, nice joke. And I don't think I'm kidding anymore when I say I'm in love with you. Haha, I've reread the thirty-sixth chapter at LEAST six times now.

    I love you. SO much.



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