Outtake #8: From "Just Say the Word, Trouble"

I've talked a time or two that Chapter 33 kicked my butt while writing it.  Maybe I'll talk about why at some other point, but I've got to hand it to mxpw here.  The poor guy.  He's in the middle of a major move, and every time he gets online, it's to a message from me with the gist being, "I think I'm going to change what happens in 33."

In fact, mxpw is STILL probably suffering from whiplash, days later, and that'll be my fault, too.  Well, to be fair, he usually suffers from whiplash.  Having a conversation online with me is a little like dumping sugar and a cut up thesaurus into a barrel of monkeys and watching the carnage unfold (while it travels along a roller coaster - mxpw).  This chapter was just worse than usual because I swear, every day was a new change for him to hear about.

I'm including the original first scene from 33 because I still like it, even if it didn't fit.

Outtake #8: "Just Say the Word Trouble"
Takes place in the motel room

“Heh,” he said without meaning to.

“What is it?”

“Apparently they do have housekeeping here. Guess it might not be a bad thing to jump into bed with these sheets.”

“Just say the word, Chuck.”

“Wha-huh?” Chuck, the sheets halfway off an oddly-clean mattress, whirled.

Sarah tossed one single, searing look over her shoulder. “The sheets,” she said, nodding at them. “She’s waking up, and I want to tie her up before she’s too coherent. Chuck. Chuck! Hey, focus.”

The sharp tone brought him crashing back to earth. Belatedly, Chuck hurried to finish the job, tugging the last corner of the bundle off of the mattress, tripping over his feet the whole time. Had that really—had she really…Was his ex-girlfriend really Fulcrum? Had Sarah just announced that she would like to…

He dropped to his knees beside Sarah and Jill, the bundle in hand. “Um, got them, now what?”

“Tear me off long strips, about six inches wide.” On the ground, Jill stirred, moving her head back and forth and groaning. Sarah, in a display of strength that had Chuck pausing in his ministrations with the sheets, levered an arm under Jill and pulled the other woman to her feet. She hauled the other woman over to the desk chair and dropped her there. Jill’s head lolled back against the back of the seat.

Sarah snapped her fingers and Chuck tossed the first strip her way. She caught it without looking.

Chuck’s hands shook as he tore the next few strips. His mind whirled, ten thousand rotations per minute and still revving. Jill worked for the enemy. Jill was the enemy, and she’d had him fooled this entire time. He’d sat outside her apartment for countless hours, and he hadn’t had the first clue that she was evidently employed by the devil. Sarah had spent less than four hours in her company and had picked up on that.

Sarah wanted to have sex with him. Just say the word.

Oh, God. Was that why…

A thousand things filtered through his brain. Jill was Fulcrum. Sarah always seemed to be touching his arm, running her hand over his shoulder. Ruffling his hair. Jill worked for the same people that wanted to torture him for the computer in his brain. Sarah had pressed against him, their bodies centered perfectly, in the security console outside of Sergei Ezersky’s estate.

Had that been a dare?

How long had Jill been Fulcrum? Had everything been a lie?

How did Sarah know?

“Chuck.” His name, said softly, returned him to the present. He blinked sluggishly to see Sarah kneeling in front of him, looking concerned. “I think you got it.”


Gently, Sarah reached down and pulled his hands away from the ground. He had decimated the last strip of the sheets into shreds and his fingers were still busily tearing. Behind Sarah, Jill had been bound to the desk chair by long strips of off-white material. Chuck had apparently torn all of the sheets up, though he had no memory of doing so.

He looked down at Sarah’s hands. They were resting on his own. Ten minutes before, it would have been an innocent gesture, just Sarah being Sarah, but now…

Either move, or don’t.

Oh, God, it all made sense.

Sarah must have caught his expression. She slowly withdrew her hands and took a deep breath. “Why don’t you go get some ice?”


“Jill’s jaw is going to be killing her when she comes round. You should go get some ice out of the machine by the office, and hurry. I don’t like you out there alone for too long.”

Chuck gave her a puzzled look. “Because you want to sleep with me?”

He didn’t expect Sarah to smile, but she did, and she shook her head. “Because you’re a magnet for trouble.”

“Oh. That. Right. Yeah, I can see how that would be…problematic.” Chuck pushed to his feet and shook his head a little to shake loose some of the cobwebs making thinking difficult. He stared at Jill, studying the way her head lolled as she fought consciousness, just how pale, and delicate, and tiny she seemed tied to the chair. “How long do you think she’s been Fulcrum?”

“Long enough to have a good cover story in place.” Sarah went over to Jill. Ruthlessly, she pried up one of the woman’s eyelids and shone the penlight from the stolen Fulcrum car keys into Jill’s eye. She nodded to herself when Jill, half-conscious, automatically tried to pull her head from Sarah’s grip. “Chuck, you should get that ice.”

“Right,” Chuck said again, and opened the door. He reared back at the daylight, as Sarah had kept the hotel room curtains drawn, pitching the room into darkness.

“Chuck?” Sarah’s voice stopped him in the doorway, and he turned. With his eyes possibly destroyed by sunlight and in need of regeneration, he couldn’t make out more than her shape, standing over the lump in the chair that was Jill. She shuffled her feet. “Take your time, okay?”

“You just said—”

“No, not about the ice. About…” Another shuffle of the feet, bringing Sarah closer to him and back away. “Look, you’re not responsible for my feelings at all, and I shouldn’t have brought it up right now, so don’t feel…obligated or anything.”

“Okay,” Chuck said, and shut the door behind him.

The ice machine was by the office, Sarah had told him. Keeping an eye out for dust flumes in the distance that would signal the approach of Casey, bad guys, or just a hooker and a john looking for a nondescript, dirty hotel, he headed toward the office. Sarah had made him paranoid enough to keep checking over his shoulder.

She had also confused the hell out of him. She was Sarah freaking Walker. He’d seen her do about ten million epic things in their short time together, and not just when he’d been monitoring and doctoring surveillance for the Walker-Larkin Wonder Team. She flew planes through Eastern Europe, she knocked him unconscious in the middle of one of the busiest sites in Athens and she got away with it, she baked meringue pies, she could single-handedly take on the entire cast of Mortal Kombat.

Chuck grabbed the ice scoop and dumped ice into one of the plastic bags available on the side of the ice machine.

And that Sarah Walker, the same one that could do everything he’d thought about and more, wanted him.

That was funny. She hadn’t seemed crazy before.

Look, you’re not responsible for my feelings at all, and I shouldn’t have brought it up right now, so don’t feel…obligated or anything.


Hah. Time to suggest a CAT scan.

She’d been nervous, Chuck recalled with a frown. She fidgeted a lot in socially awkward situations, and when she’d informed him that he wasn’t obligated, she’d been close to jumping around like a boxer in the ring. And since she had taken out the Fulcrum agent in the room without breaking a sweat, the only thing there that would have possibly made her nervous had been…him.

Chuck nearly dropped the ice.


Okay, so what would have followed this, if I'd kept going in this direction, is that Chuck would have realized that Sarah put her heart on the line for him, and he just kind of idiotically shut the door in her face.  He would have raced back to the room, babbling about how he's really not a jerk, he promises, but by then, Jill would be awake, and Fulcrum hijinks ensue.  But I scrapped all of this and went with the version of the scene that made it into the chapter, now available on ff.net.

Hope you enjoyed both versions!



  1. I'm pretty sure Frea greeted me at least three separate times with the following (paraphrased):

    Frea: Yeah, so I'm going to completely change such and such scene from what we just talked about last night.
    Me: Why?
    Frea: Because it feels better.
    Me: But I thought we planned everyting out just right?
    Frea: Yeah, but I changed my mind. Keep up. Duh.


    Personally, I suspect she only does this so she'll have outtakes that she can post on this blog and have everybody tell her how awesome she is. Frea is like Tinker Bell, you know. If you stop believing in her, she fades away.

    Although this outtake and what was eventually posted as 33 on FF, is a good example of why it's taken so long for there to be forward progress in the Chuck and Sarah relationship. It's because the thought of Sarah being interested in him in that way breaks his brain. You can't have sexytimes if one of the two participants is a vegetable. Well, you can, but then that becomes a whole other type of scene.

    Anyway, in other words, you keep me on my toes. I guess I can't really ask for anything more than that. You're like good training for later on in my career. Heh. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Anonymous3.8.10

    *scratches head*
    i honestly can't decide which version i like best, both are great.

  3. I like that version because Chuck realizes eventually that Sarah doesn't know why he freaks out about her feelings and doesn't know how he feels. He didn't seem to realize that in the actual chap 33, and made no attempt at making her feel better or something.

    But I think the one at FF.net fits better, IMO. I just hope Sarah doesn't feel to bad.

  4. OldDarth3.8.10

    You made the right decision Frea. This version is more fun. The published version feels more 'true.'

  5. Anonymous3.8.10

    I loved this outtake almost as much as the condom one. I do like that chuck seems at the end of this be willing to accept that sarah likes him a lot but not so happy with Sarahs obligated line so I think i prefer the official version.

  6. I agree with Lou, this version seems more fun and the published version rings more "true". It was the right choice.
    That said, I do love your out takes. They give us another glimpse into the characters self-conscious emotions - well actually YOUR self-conscious emotions about these characters and where you see them going. Especially Sarah.
    Funny, as I write this I realize that we really don't know if Chuck has the same feelings about Sarah.

  7. mx - are you sure it was only three times that I greeted you that way? And yes, I KNOW you just copied and pasted that conversation, shut up. :) By the way, I'm thinking about switching the events in 34.

    Anonymous - Thanks! I like both, too, and this one makes me giggle more, I'm not gonna lie.

    Crumby - I got your review and it made me go "huh." Mostly because Chuck and I never would have considered that Sarah was anything less than okay. She IS having a pretty rough day, and unfortunately...wait, that's a spoiler. Never mind. We'll see how Sarah's feeling soon.

    OD - Thanks! I was a little worried about it, but when I was writing, the scene flowed much easier with the second version, so I definitely agree, as vain as that makes me sound.

    Anonymous 2 - Thanks for the compliments! The condom scene was one of my favorite outtakes to write, and I'm still really sad (but not as sad as mx) that it didn't make it into the actual story. Oh, well, similar scenes down the road. You're also not the first to mention that the "obligated" line was a bit strange. Poor Sarah's just trying to be fair, and now she's breaking Chuck even more. Whoops.

    PeterO - Sarah has been the reason for most of my outtakes, true. I tend to write her as a lot more...gaga over Chuck whenever I write out a scene by hand, so most of the time, those are the scenes that get cut/end up on the blog. I'm glad you're enjoying the outtakes, too! Also, you touched on an interesting point. What ARE Chuck's feelings on this matter? Sarah, I figure we know because the woman has all but dry-humped him. But Chuck's a whole different kettle of trout. Poor guy doesn't have the first clue, as he hasn't had the opportunity to just sit down and mull over it all. Too bad I apparently seem to be sending him into a gun battle before he can sort out all of those emotions. :)

    Thanks again, everybody! I'm glad you liked the chapter and the scene. Poor Chuck. I do so enjoy breaking him every chance I get.

  8. Well, I did say "at least", so I'm sure you did greet me more than just three times like that. And I can only imagine what you're going to throw at me now.

    Blah. Is it a coincidence that most of my favorite scenes end up on the cutting room floor? I don't know, but it sure is suspicious... :P

  9. I hope my remark in my review didn't came out wrong. It was just a thought I had, it was nothing of a reproach or anything.

    But I'm glad to know we'll see how she's feeling soon. :)

  10. Not at all, Crumby. It was actually a great review because it made me stop and think, and I love it when that happens. :)

  11. Anonymous3.8.10

    Hmm, like everyone else I liked them both. The outtake one could have been fun if you left it in. I really enjoyed how you had Chuck come to the realization about Sarah’s feelings in this one. How you interspersed his thought process about Jill being Fulcrum and Sarah’s hints about her feelings. It was an interesting way to go about it, showing us that Chuck’s mind is all over the place with everything that is been thrown at him.

    I didn’t really mind the “obligated” line. I kind of liked it actually. I really liked his reaction to it; it made me laugh a little.

    Overall, in the version you posted of ff.net, I’m glad that Chuck was alone when he finally realized her feelings for him (although, with how he destroyed the bed sheet in the outtake it was like he was alone anyway). It made more sense with how you’ve written everything thus far. To have us in the dark about what Sarah’s really thinking (not necessarily feeling) and that Chuck is always just a few steps behind.


    p.s. it looks like bungalow is getting a few more votes...

  12. OldDarth3.8.10

    Yes Chuck's feelings are indeed going to be interesting. It is pretty clear that his cluelessness is due in part to having put Sarah on a pedestal and hence out of his reach.

  13. OldDarth4.8.10

    Also with Chuck's fit is that his coughing catharsis? Will his agoraphobia no longer be an issue?

  14. "Chuck's a whole different kettle of trout." Never having had a kettle of trout before, I do agree with Lou that Chuck's cluelessness is due in part to having put Sarah on a pedestal - but also think that his self worth is still about as low as it can get. In his mind he must be thinking that he is sooooo unimportant, soooo worthless that they put him in Siberia because they couldn't think of a better place to put such a looser. Add onto that the whole Jill thing and you have enough material to give a therapist a very good living for a very long time.
    Which brings up another potentially interesting conversation - with his therapist. Hmmmmmm.....

  15. OldDarth4.8.10

    Good point Pete ie - Chuck's lack of self esteem, wanted to mention that too. Though a 'looser' Chuck might not be a bad thing Pete. ;)

    Also want to add further to my earlier point about the published version feeling truer because it honors the characters in contrast to the outtake version which shows up in fan fiction far too enough. Usually a sign of fanfic writing wish fulfillment.

    IMHO - to be able to make that discernment and adjust the story accordingly is the difference between amateur and professional writing.

  16. Hey Lou, what can I say. I'm a victim of Spellcheck Dependency. but now that you mention it - a looser Chuck could be - entertaining?

  17. OldDarth4.8.10

    Apparently I have a proclivity for interchanging enough and often so we are even Pete.

  18. mxpw4.8.10

    Chuck is going to get better. Eventually. Or at least I like to think so. But like with most emotional and psychological problems, it's a very gradual process. I like to think that Fates is as much a story about Chuck's mental healing as it is anything else. It's not going to happen quickly (obviously, 33 chapters in and it's still there!) but it's going to happen, I think.

    And people should be impressed that Frea has stuck so closely to her original intent and not deviated from it like so many authors might just because it annoyed the fans.

    Fortunately, I think Chuck's realization about Sarah in 33, was a major breakthrough for him psychologically. Things will probably be different now. It should be cool.

  19. OldDarth4.8.10

    And if I had to guess what is in store is:
    a) Chuck's self worth issues
    b) are they both interested in just about a physical relationship or something long term - potential for misunderstanding?
    c) the upcoming gun battle
    d)the reappearance of Bryce - whose most endearing/aggravating? characteristic is to show up at the worse possible moment.

    These are the elements I would be exploring. So things may not proceed as quickly as one might think.

    Frea likely has something even better in mind.

  20. mxpw4.8.10

    Man, sometimes it sucks talking about Fates because I know all the answers and yet I'm unable to say anything. I can't go, "Yes, yes, yes, maybe, no, Batman, he likes pickles, yes, no." You get the idea.

    All I have to say is, OldDarth, is that everything you listed will probably be touched on, even if only obliquely, at some point in the upcoming narrative. But considering how long Fates is, it could be a while before it unfolds. It may seem like a lot of time has passed, as we're 33 chapters in, but it's really only been about two months since Fates started. The fact that Chuck and Sarah are this far along in their development is pretty amazing. But their relationship (and yes, most of those issues you brought up tie either directly or indirectly to their relationship) will maintain its natural pace.

    Oh and yes, the things Frea has planned will probably blow most people's minds. There is something coming up that pretty much blew my mind when I first heard about it. She even managed to surprise me in 33 with something. So if even I can be surprised at times, I count that as a win for her.

  21. OldDarth4.8.10

    As I said mxpw, sure Frea has something even better planned.

    "It may seem like a lot of time has passed, as we're 33 chapters in, but it's really only been about two months since Fates started. The fact that Chuck and Sarah are this far along in their development is pretty amazing."

    Totally understood and agree. I am a journey versus destination guy so whatever pace Frea sets the story is A-OK with me.

    Oh hi Frea! No pressure.... ;)

  22. LA - Yep, I'm happy the Bungalow is slowly gaining ground, as there are several fun things about Randy that I would love to reveal in that story, and of course, Sarah Walker's tired emotions are all over the place. And I agree with you about being glad Chuck was alone when his brain finally allowed him to process all of the stimuli he had received. Poor Sarah. It took him something like ten minutes to get the multitude of snacks and water bottles, and to stick his head in the ice machine. She must have been inside freaking out the whole time.

    OD, PeterO - You're right, in part, about Chuck's idolizing Sarah. It's a subject I've thought long and hard about and one that's constantly on my mind when deciding what happens in Fates and why, and here's where I usually land:

    Chuck, on some level, is aware that he has placed Sarah on this pedestal, and Sarah is also aware of that. Wait, you say, that can't be healthy for EITHER of them, and on one level, you're right. But I think what’s going on here is really something like Sarah may be choosing the lesser of two evils. Chuck is really kind of a special needs agent. The fact that he faces life and death situations pretty constantly unfortunately means they have to shove the sort of attention Chuck needs aside, so Sarah might be, in this situation, letting Chuck think she can save the day and be Wonder Woman because it keeps him level. It could be part vanity—what woman doesn’t want to be Wonder Woman to a sweet guy like Chuck?—but…well, it’s a complicated situation they live in.

    What makes this situation acceptable to both of them, really, is that Chuck *does* have the ability to knock Sarah off of that pedestal when he needs to. People call him a moron, and they call him a wimp, and yes, he’s not always the bravest individual, but really, Chuck’s the guy you want in your corner. He works best when backed into a wall. This was what I tried to show in Chapter 23, a chapter in which Sarah is most assuredly off that pedestal, and in Chapter 14. It's why I consider them two of the most important chapters to date. :)

  23. Comment Part 2:

    Now, I want, briefly, to touch on the subject of Chuck’s agoraphobia. I view the coughing catharsis (I really like that term for it) as a temporary reboot, similar to something we saw in “Ring II.” There’s only so many times you can sucker punch your main character before he breaks down into an incoherent jumble of words and tears, so I needed something to stabilize Chuck, and unfortunately, my go-to girl for this problem (Sarah) was too busy causing *more* problems. The catharsis was temporary at best. Chuck has not made a miraculous recovery. Agoraphobia is a very serious disorder that takes *years* to get past, and many people never do at all. For Chuck to be able to function as well as he has, with the agency he’s continually shown, is actually a bit…Mary-Sueish, to be honest. Or I suppose I could say that that, my friends, is the power of Sarah Walker in your everyday life.

    Quite a few readers have approached me about it, some kindly, others insinuating that Chuck is an incompetent buffoon because years trapped underground deigned to have any effect on him. I know a Chuck who has issues is a bit unpopular after we’ve seen a Chuck in Season Three that can do everything from kung fu to Korean. I think the problem stems from the fact that I’m half Norwegian, half Irish. I didn’t write the book on stubborn, but damn if it isn’t dog-eared like nothing else. And in this case, I definitely have a plan and I’m gonna stick to it. I have listened to the readers, I know what everybody likes and wants to happen, and I promise I’ve considered everything carefully...but I’m still a green-blooded Viking. Sorry, everybody. :)

    And mxpw, did you really have to give the pickles away? We’ve talked about this, dude. Next thing I know, you’ll be telling them about the fact that Chuck ends up in prison and—DARN IT, I did it again.


  24. OldDarth4.8.10

    Interesting Frea. Totally get what you are doing with Chuck and the agoraphobia. It does seem that how debilitating it can be and how long the recovery can take have not been conveyed with enough vigor hence the readers who find Chuck too incompetent. Something you may want to consider revisiting in some form? Just a thought.

    So the reboot is temporary eh? Most intriguing.

    Chapter 14 and 23 you say. Reread time. But first to get a crunchy Gherkin to munch on.

  25. Ayefah4.8.10

    I think that more trips to the therapist might actually help with the acceptance of the fact that Chuck has psychological problems, by putting more of an emphasis on the recovery narrative.

    It would, on the other hand, be hellaciously hard to write, though if anyone can do it well it's you. And I totally think it's possible - one of the great X-Men movieverse fics is a novel-length recovery narrative called Special, featuring a Scott Summers who was a streetwalker as a teenager.

    The tough thing is that you're writing an adventure/spy story, too, and all that intrigue occupies a lot of resources. Not to mention the slow-burning romance in the background and the occasional burst of family drama. Strengthening the recovery thread of the story could be a tough balancing act. But again, I think that if anyone can do it you can.

  26. rmasterson5.8.10

    Frea i just have to say that i absolutely love the way you are doing your story! I think the route you have taken is absolutely unique and write it so incredibly well!! I love the fact that Chuck sees Sarah as this God because lets face it, we all kind of see her as one. But just the simple fact that Chuck doesnt see the signs that she has given him cracks me up! And i love the spin you put on Chuck as well! I am so interested to see where you take this story in the later chapters!

  27. "Next thing I know, you’ll be telling them about the fact that Chuck ends up in prison and—DARN IT, I did it again."

    He's going to run into a guy named Tea-bag, right?

    I hope Chuck gets over his squeamishness about being touched by other people...

  28. OldDarth5.8.10

    'I hope Chuck gets over his squeamishness about being touched by other people... '

    LOL. Indeed!

  29. OldDarth5.8.10

    Ah yes Chapter 23 - my favorite moment to date:

    "Because I've broken my sister's heart enough."

    Such a powerful moment.

  30. OldDarth5.8.10

    Ayefah it would be more dramatic if the readers could see how serious Chuck's condition is by having Sarah confront Bryce about it.

    If she tore a strip out of Bryce laying Chuck's condition/situation at Bryce's feet such a moment would serve several purposes. It would remind the readers how tough it has been for Chuck. It would clarify Sarah's feelings for Bryce and Chuck. All the same time! Awesome.

    Course it would require Chuck to be present as the story is from his POV.

  31. Frea many moons ago I worked in a psych hospital. I have often thought how important Sarah is to Chucks recovery. Thank you for making sure Sarah doesn't try and fix Chuck. If she did their relationship would probably never work. So I guess I'd be in the camp that would have Chuck continuing to go to the dr.

    You can see how much Chuck has improved in his illness. Frea, I think you should be proud of this suttle plot line. While not abandoning it, it doesn't slap you in the face either. Bravo!

  32. Hey Frea, thanks for taking so much time to respond to these posts. I appreciate the insights so I went back and reread Chapters 23 & 14 and I do see how Chuck knocked her off of that pedestal in both chapters. And it wasn't an accident - Chuck knocked her off when he needed to. She knew it too.

    Which of course got me thinking about the last chapter - did Sarah just get knocked off again? And if she did, did it happen by accident for the first time? Sarah could not be Wonder Woman for Chuck because she was busy causing her own problems for Chuck.I think Chuck knows it happened, but this time, I wonder if Sarah does.

    Nothing is the same, is it?

  33. Wow, okay, the post comments exploded overnight while I was going all LA Confidential (thanks, CJ) on my team. Let's see if I can field these appropriately:

    OD - It's a rough balance, showing enough of the agoraphobia to let people know that, yes, Chuck is very, very damaged, yet not turn them off by the severity of it. I think my approach to it, and this I can probably get away with since Fates is so intensely written in Chuck's perspective, is that the agoraphobia can sometimes be "same old, same old" to him. It's there in the little details, but if I sit there and explain it every single time he's thinking about going outside, Fates would be over two hundred thousand words by now and--what do you mean, it already is? Am I insane?!

    Yes, possibly.

    Ayefah - I both completely love you and hate you. I feel like you're so incredibly right about Chuck needing the therapist, but on the other hand, the therapy sessions are sooooooo hard to write. :) In his first talking session with Anton four days ago (yes, it's only been four days), Chuck acknowledged that it's harder for him to do some of the things he should normally be able to handle without problems, so he is cognizant of the fact, and I think they'll continue to hopefully work on his self-esteem.

    rmasterson - thanks for the compliments! I'm glad you're enjoying Fates, and I can only hope you continue to like what I've got in store for everybody! Always nice to meet a new fan. :)

    mxpw - Dude, it'd probably be wish fulfillment fanfiction, but if Chuck does meet T-Bag in prison, somebody's getting shanked and it's not Chuck. *grumble*

    OD - That really is one of the most heart-breaking moments in Fates, isn't it? How Sarah didn't break down in tears at hearing that, I don't know. Oh wait... :)

    If Sarah ever does tear a strip out of Bryce, you're right, we sadly won't see it because she wouldn't do it in front of Chuck, possibly for the same reasons she didn't want to talk to Ellie in front of Chuck, and why she cautioned Ellie about breaking down around Chuck. And the situation with Bryce is a little more complicated than that, as Sarah said in 14. Geez, I can't ever make things easy on you guys, can I? :-P

    Dennis - I got your email and I'm going to go reply to it as soon as I'm done with this comment. :) I wanted to give the matter some thought before I replied. In answer to your comment, thank you. Out of everybody in Fates, I think Sarah's had the hardest act to juggle, really, wanting Chuck to get better so badly and yet continually having to ask him to do things that remove him from his comfort zone and could be incredibly detrimental to his recovery. Now that her safety net is gone (Chuck's obliviousness to her ploys), we'll see how the dynamic changes. :)

    PeterO - 23 and 14 had to happen for a healthy relationship to occur down the road, and you raise some interesting questions about 33. DID Sarah get knocked off her pedestal? Is Chuck opening his eyes? What happens between our power-couple now that Sarah has to stop acting like his girlfriend or just become his girlfriend (because mxpw and I have a drinking game where we take a drink every time Sarah acts like Chuck's girlfriend; be warned, this WILL get you drunk). 33 is such a game-changing chapter in so many ways, we'll have to see where the fallout settles before those questions can be truly answered. :)

    Thanks for the comments and the feedback, everybody! I really appreciate it all!

  34. OldDarth5.8.10

    I guess all the comments are coming out because we all sense and/or know a big corner has been turned.

    'How Sarah didn't break down in tears at hearing that, I don't know. Oh wait... :) ' ;) Indeed!

    'Out of everybody in Fates, I think Sarah's had the hardest act to juggle, really, wanting Chuck to get better so badly and yet continually having to ask him to do things that remove him from his comfort zone and could be incredibly detrimental to his recovery. Now that her safety net is gone (Chuck's obliviousness to her ploys), we'll see how the dynamic changes. :)'

    Absolutely. Can't wait!

    Chuck is in a tough spot. So is Sarah.

    Is it not ironic that Chuck has a fear of open places while Sarah has one for closed in spaces? Or what!

    Intentional or accident? My money would be on Frea setting that up intentionally. :D

    Either way its an awesome character symmetry that provides wonderful subtext to their story.

  35. Wow - dialogue with the author! This is amazing so thanks! That said, don't think you have to respond to this one as it's just my imagination, running away with me.... (courtesy of the Temptations)

    As hard as it has been for you to write the therapy sessions for Chuck, I have enjoyed them - especially the last one. You give us so many insights.

    I thought about Truth, Lies, and the CIA after Lou's post - thanks for validating my theory.
    Yes, Sarah has the hardest juggling act - but isn't that true to the series?

    And yes, 33 was a game changer. I knew that when I read your intro to the chapter. But here's the thing (I know, so NY is showing isn't it) I have faith that you HAVE a vision and I'm looking forward to where it will take us.

    Again, thank you.

  36. mxpw5.8.10

    So with all this talk of therapists, I'm just wondering when Dr. Futurama will be making a return?


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