So this morning I woke up and saw a debate raging amongst the trenches of Castle Inanity. Apparently, her majesty was displeased this morning that everybody was giving her flak over the slow pace of What Fates Impose. Well, you know what? Those other people are right! The story is moving at a snail’s pace. At least it is in regard to the Chuck and Sarah relationship. And believe me, as the beta, I know how frustrating it is better than most. You see Chuck and Sarah together, you see their amazing chemistry, which I must acknowledge is rendered deftly by her highness, you see the ease with which they can relate to each other, and their closeness and rapport, and you think to yourself, “Why are they not making like Westley and Buttercup already?” Or Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy? Why are they not embracing the obvious attraction and just going wild with it?
I’ll tell you why: Because unlike me, the romance doesn’t speak to Frea. It’s not in her soul. She’s all tease, no happy ending. So really, what you see is what you get in Fates. No passion. No physical intimacy. Just a lot of angsting over whether or not Chuck is “ready” or “psychologically stable enough to where he doesn’t have a psychotic episode” or “capable of loving Sarah back.” It’s all nonsense! What about the love of a good woman, your worshipfulness? What about that? Did you consider that as a possible method of healing Chuck? I don’t think you did.
It seems to me, the barely informed reader that I am, that it should be easy to put Chuck and Sarah together and just let them embrace the horniness that resides in both of them. Especially Sarah. I mean, two years and you still haven’t let her make a move yet? What’s up with that? Sarah Walker is not one to show reticence or restraint in pursuing what she wants. She’s Sarah Frakkin’ Walker!
Oh and don’t even get me started on Chuck. Most of the time it barely seems like he’s even worthy of Sarah. Sarah is practically walking around with a big sign that says in enormous neon letters, “I want you. Please do me now.” And what does he do? He worries about his “feelings.” It’s just another method the queen of the universe employs to delay what quite obviously seems like the inevitable. I don’t know what she’s worried about, it’s clear Chuck and Sarah belong together and love each other, why not just put them together already? If only she would stop following the Chris Fedak Path to Relationship Enlightenment, we’d all be so much happier for it.
So that brings me to the point of this rant against the static relationship dynamic in What Fates Impose (and seriously, Shakespeare? Somebody has a high opinion of themselves). I say, don’t bother. You can sit back in your office chairs, thinking about when Chuck and Sarah are going to finally kiss (the answer: Chapter 797. Yes, it’s going to take that long, what do you expect with her most beneficent as writer and ringmaster?) or you can read some other stories by authors who actually know what they’re doing. Their romance to sexytimes ratio is much higher than anything you will find in Fates.
So without further ado, I present to you a “D’awww”-worthy gallery of fanfics. Ones with great romance and great passion and great Chuck and Sarah. Basically, what I’m saying, is if you want to see things done right, read these people and forget about Fates. Besides, everybody knows Fates is a Sallie story anyway.
Walker’s Eleven – I’m highlighting this story first because, in my extremely humble and modest opinion, it’s the best Charah story going right now. It’s an AU story, much like Fates, but unlike Fates, it isn’t romantically challenged. Both Chuck and Sarah are extremely dynamic characters. Chuck isn’t an agoraphobic nerd with enough insecurity issues to get his shrink a five-book book deal; instead, he’s a kind, compassionate, confident, assertive nerd that Sarah literally can’t keep her hands off of. And speaking of Sarah, unlike in Fates, where she might as well be in a straightjacket for all the touching she does, here, she’s a con artist on the run, betrayed by her crew, and turning to the one person she knows she can trust, Chuck Bartowski, the guy she fell hard for after one date. It’s enough to make a guy swoon.
Moonlight Pilot, the fantastic author of W11, isn’t afraid to let Chuck and Sarah express their feelings for each other. He isn’t afraid to put them in compromising positions or let them almost have sex after the first date. Seriously, think about that in comparison to Fates. If Chuck and Sarah have sex before either of them are 40 in Fates, it’ll be a banner day worthy of song. The chemistry is just as good in W11, maybe even better, the story is light, fun, and a damn entertaining read. If you want to see Chuck and Sarah in a relationship done right, read Walker’s Eleven. Plus, it has some of the best flantering around.
Chuck and Sarah vs. Themselves – Here is another story by an author that actually seems to know what they’re doing. There is no doubt in this story that Chuck and Sarah is a couple. They tell each other they’re in love. They’ve actually kissed. Hell, they’ve done a lot more than that. And sure, ninjaVanish seems to be drawing out the actual sexytimes much longer than is necessary or logical, but there’s no ambiguity. This is a story that tells you straight up what’s going on with Chuck and Sarah. It’s funny, sweet, sexy (talk about a Chuck and Sarah that can’t keep their hands off of each other, they can barely go five minutes without Sarah practically dry humping Chuck), and entertaining. No worries there about what’s going to happen in that story.
Chuck vs. the Mini Skirt – I’m only going to say three things about this story:
1) This story is funny and incredibly sexy for a story rated T. The Chuck and Sarah dynamic is one of the best in the fandom.
2) Shirtless Chuck (I threw this in for Frea since I’ve been so honest today).
3) Sarah in the Nerd Herd uniform. Honestly, this last point is really all you need to know to want to read this story.
All the Roads that Lead to you are Winding – Here, we have a story that is so overwhelmingly sweet at times that it makes you go “D’aww” and “Ow, my teeth!” at the same time. A few people have attempted to write a Chuck and Sarah that met long before the Pilot. Some have even attempted to show them as kids or growing up together. But none of those people have captured the adolescent awkwardness, sweetness, and pain of experiencing your first love like this story has. The flashbacks in the first chapter are some of the best and most engaging Chuck and Sarah scenes I’ve yet read. They’re so perfectly rendered that you can’t help but smile when you read them. And once the story moves into the “present day,” TakeItTo22 adroitly juggles a complex plot full of action, spy intrigue, and thrills, with a constantly evolving Chuck and Sarah romance. Chuck and Sarah may not be as far along as the Chuck and Sarah in the previous three stories, but they’re certainly farther along than in Fates. I mean, at least they’ve kissed. You could learn something from her, Frea!
Come Away with Me – And just to show you all that I’m not looking at these other stories through the hindsight of Season Three’s consummation of the Chuck and Sarah romance, I present you this story written all the way back when Season One was still on. Come Away with Me is the story of five times Chuck and Sarah share a bed for their cover (and one time they just do). And hot damn! It has everything essential for a fic to be good: a drunk Sarah, almost wedding sex (in a broom closet, no less!), snow in SoCal (and no, it’s not even a Christmas episode of a cult TV show), oh, and Chuck’s a high school cliché. Like any good romantic story, we start with some drunken cuddling, some ill-advised hooking up (this author isn’t afraid to let Chuck and Sarah get physical like Frea is), loss of clothing in a supply closet, interruptions, mayhem, madness, the CIA, and Morgan Grimes. What Fates Impose doesn’t even hold a candle to this. They’ve barely even touched each other, let alone stripped each other and pretended to have coitus to fool a weapons runner!
There you have it, folks. A list of stories you should be reading if you want actual Charah. And not just actual Charah, but good Charah at that. Unlikely you’ll ever see that in Fates. So why bother reading if that’s what you’re looking for?