Chuck remembers the first day he met Sarah Casey and her brother John, she was the only other person studying in the bleachers during the schools first football game of the season. After Chuck’s mom left his dad moved them to Steele Texas, Go Knights. He was going into his freshman year and as a nerd in football country he didn't make friends easily, unlike Ellie who was a Junior dating a senior named Devon, but everyone called him Captain Awesome because he was on every sports team the school had and was awesome at all of them. She had joined the cheerleading team and begged Chuck to come see her cheer, and he just couldn't say no to her and she knew it.
He looked around the bleachers trying to find his one and only friend Morgan Grimes who he met when they both came up with excuses to skip gym class on the first day, now they play video games together most nights and all weekend long. That’s when he saw the pretty blonde who was more interested in her school work than the game, so he went to introduce himself.
“Excuse me, can I sit here?”
“Sure, but don’t talk to me I’m trying to study”
He looked over at her notes “I have that class, that’s last weeks assignment, never seen you in class before"
“I just moved here, I start Monday. I'm trying to catch up, dad made me come to this stupid game because my brother is playing and my dad wanted to act like he cared but he never showed up”
“I’m sorry, I feel your pain, my sister is a cheerleader and dragged me here because our dad was too busy to come”
“Yay for siblings and absent fathers”
“If you want I can help, I have an A in that class, I’m Chuck by the way”
“People actually name their kids Chuck?”
“It's short for Charles”
“Interesting, I’m Sarah it's not short for anything”
By the end of the game, Chuck had helped Sarah with everything he could, they chatted about life with older siblings and moving to a new state, and having shitty parents.
“Sarah, come on, I want to go home”
“Of course you do” She rolled her eyes “Chuck this is John, my lovely older brother”
“Hi” Chuck forgot how to breath for a minute when he looked into the most beautiful blue eyes he had ever seen.
“Glad you found another geek to hang out with”
"So you're not going to the party?" Chuck tried to not stare at the man in the number 24 jersey who just confirmed he is not straight.
"I don't do parties" he growled and Chuck felt his knees go weak, he was doomed.
“See you in class tomorrow Chuck”
Chuck spend every Friday night going to all the football games, he told Ellie it was to support her and hang out with Sarah who went to every game to support her brother. He liked hanging out with Sarah, and Morgan even came to a few but the real reason was to stare at the number 24 as much as he could get away with. He may have even made shirts with Sarah for home-coming that had a giant 24 on the front. You know to support his best friends brother, if anyone asked.
And even though Chuck spent a lot of time over at the Casey house having dinner with them when Ellie was out with Devon, there wasn't much of a relationship between him and Casey, no matter how hard he tried, most of the time all he got was a hi"
Then one night as Chuck was closing up the library (He got a job there just so he could buy new video games) he found Casey asleep at one of the tables.
“Excuse me” He tapped the desk a few times but there was no response so he tapped him on the arm, his very muscle arm that Chuck would probably think about later when he was alone in bed.
“What the fuck” he shot up
“Sorry John, the library is closing and you were asleep”
“Chuck what the hell”
Casey looked down at his notebook “Dammit”
“Is everything okay?”
“If I don’t pass this stupid test I won't be able to play the homecoming game”
“I can help”
“You’re a freshman”
“I have a 4.0 GPA and I’m acing all my advanced classes, let me take your book home and you can meet me here tomorrow night and I’ll help you”
"Are you sure?"
"I study for fun"
"Nerd" He handed Chuck the book, “And call me Casey”
"Nerd and proud" Chuck smirked, then kicked himself when Casey didn't react.
After that night Chuck and Casey spend at least three nights a week studying, sometimes at the diner where they shared a plate of fries, sometimes at dinner with Sarah and sometimes Chuck would sneak over to help him during his shift at the library, but Chuck's favorite was after football practice on Thursdays when Casey would come out of the locker room with wet hair and his shirt clinging to him in all the right places.
Then things changed. It was the last game of the season, Chuck was walking to get him, Sarah and Morgan some snacks when he got distracted by Casey doing his stretches on the field and ran right into Bryce Larkin, the most popular kid in school, who also happens to be the biggest jerk Chuck has ever met.
“I’m sorry Bryce”
“It’s just Chuck”
“You enjoying the view? You like watching the guys stretch and tackle each other, bet you wish you could watch them shower after the game” He shoved Chuck “What would your boyfriend Morgan think if he knew you were ogling the football players”
“You're an asshole”
“What did you just say to me” Bryce grabbed the front of Chuck’s shirt pulling him closer.
Chuck doesn't remember what happened after that except his face, head and ribs hurt really bad and when he opened his eyes Casey’s face very close to his. “Is this a dream?”
“Do you dream about me often Bartowski?” Casey laughed.
“My head hurts”
He was later told that Bryce punch him then threw him to the ground where he hit his head on the edge of the bleachers and then kicked him in the ribs before Casey ran off the field and tackled Bryce.
He thought he was hallucinating when Casey walked into his hospital room “Hey” Casey said kind of shyly.
“I was told you were knight in shining armor, pun intended”
“I just wanted you to know that Larkin is being sent to a private school so you won't have to worry about him”
“Morgan will be happy to know that he won't be stuffed in his locker anymore”
“I might just have to shove him in there a few times for nostalgic reasons of course” Casey smirked, “How are you doing?”
“Not bad, they are keeping me here overnight just to make sure, I have six stitches in my head and some bruised ribs but these pain killers are awesome. Did you guys win?”
“Congrats, but now what am I going to do on Friday nights?”
“There is always baseball season”
“I’ll have to look into that” He could not wait to see Casey in that uniform.
“Is Ellie here”
“She was but our dad called, she needed to get him from the bar"
Casey sat on the bed “Sounds like our dads would get along great.”
“That’s one of the things me and Sarah bonded over”
“You two seem great together”
“We are just friends”
“Really? I thought you two were a couple”
“No way, we did kiss once but that was more of a hey neither of us has ever kissed anyone maybe we should try it, but it just verified that I am definitely gay” Chuck’s eyes went wide “Uh I’ve never actually said that out loud before, please Casey don’t tell anyone.” Chuck could have sworn Casey was leaning closer to him when Sarah walked through the door but it could have just been the pain killers messing with him.
“Glad you’re okay Bartowski, see you around” He walked towards the door “Don’t take too long Sarah we need to get home”
She handed Chuck a stuffed pineapple with a face on it. “This was the weirdest thing I could find at the gift shop, thought it would make you laugh”
“What was that about? John usually doesn't talk to many people”
“He was just letting me know Bryce is being sent to private school”
"He may look tough, but deep down John is a teddy bear, he was worried about you"
"Probably making sure his Tudor didn't get any brain damage"
After that Casey was more distant, their study time went down to one day a week, but Chuck still went to every baseball game and cheered him on. No matter what Chuck did he couldn't stop his feelings for Casey, they were made even more clear the night of Casey’s graduation when he announced that he would be leaving for South Carolina in less than a week for the Marines. Chuck left the party so no one would see him cry, that was the last time he saw him.
“Morgan why do you want to go to this stupid thing”
“You only get one ten year reunion”
“There is usually a fifteen and a twenty too, we only had one friend all four years of High School and we haven't talked to her since our summer road trip to New York after graduation”
“Well now is our chance to talk to her, maybe ask her for John’s number, I can't believe neither of them has facebooks we can stalk”
“Why would I want Casey’s number?”
“Because you have been in love with him for fourteen years Chuckster”
“Don’t call me that”
“You didn't argue with me this time, that’s progress”
“I haven't seen Casey since, shut up Morgan”
“You spent the summer he left crying”
“I did not cry”
“You stole his letterman jacket and I bet it’s hanging in your closet right now”
“I didn’t steal it, he gave it to me after one of the games when your clumsy ass dropped a chili cheese dog all over me and I had to take my jacket off so he gave me his”
“And you never gave it back”
“He never asked, now go pack our flight leaves early tomorrow”
“Just admit, you never dated in High School then there was Will in college and then Lou last year, you never went past third base because you are holding out for John”
Morgan wasn't wrong “Seriously Morgan get out of my room”
“Just promise me if you pull the jacket out for some alone time, turn your music up”
Chuck threw his shoe at Morgan as he ran from the room.
“Oh my god Chuck Bartowski is that you” he heard a familiar voice yell at him from across the room. He turned to see a stunning blonde in a red dress walking towards him with her arms out.
She wrapped her arms around him “It is so good to see you”
“I’ve missed you, we have missed you, Morgan and me”
“You and Morgan still talk?”
“Yeah we live together”
“No, not like that, he is super straight” (Chuck finally came out to everyone his Junior year)
“I am so sorry I didn't keep in contact after I left for Washington, life just got kind of crazy”
“I understand. We tried looking you up on Facebook but didn’t have any luck”
“Oh that’s because my last name is Walker now” She held up her left hand.
“Congratulations, Is he here? I’d love to meet him”
“No, he had to work, he is in the F.B.I too. It was hard enough for me to get time off. So what have you been up to?”
“Well after Stanford me and Morgan opened a computer repair business called Nerd Herd”
“What a fitting name” Chuck could have sworn his heart stopped when he heard the familiar deep voice behind him. “Casey?”
Chuck resisted every urge in his body to wrap his arms around him and never let go.
“You’re a few years late for your reunion” Morgan walked up “Hey Sarah, wow you look stunning”
“She is married Grimes, back away” Casey growled and Chuck blushed at how turned on he was by it. “I was too busy fighting for this country to go to my reunion, so Sarah invited me as he plus one”
“It’s so good to see you Casey” Chuck couldn't stop the giant grin on his face.
"I'm sure it is" Morgan elbowed Chuck, Chuck glared at him.
“Hey, Morgan how about you show me where you got that drink” Sarah grabbed his hand dragging him away.
“So you and Grimes?”
“Are still best friends and own a business together, yes. How is like in the Marines?”
“I really liked it, fighting for my country, but then I got discharged after, well that’s maybe a story for another time, but now I’m in private security”
“Are you living here in Steele now?”
“I’ve been moving around, but I’ve been in L.A for the last six months, celebrities pay very well”
“So you’re saying that we have practically been neighbors for six months and haven't run into each other. I tried finding you and Sarah online but I had no luck, I’ve missed you both.”
“I don’t do social media”
“That doesn't surprise me” he smirked "You were the only person in our school who didn't have a phone"
“I know you just got here but do you wanna head out and get dinner, catch up on the last thirteen years?”
“I would love that”
“Well if it isn’t Chuck Bartowski”
“Wow Bryce, still living at home I see” Casey growled. Which he really needed to stop because it was slowly killing Chuck.
“John Casey couldn’t make it as a Marine so now you’re back here taking Chuckie here on a pity date”
“Please just leave Bryce” Chuck begged
“You ruined my life, Chuck”
“Pretty sure you beating people up was the reason you got send away, not my fault you’re an asshole”
“Well I own this restaurant and I think you two should leave”
“You mean daddy owns this restaurant but is too busy creeping on the freshly turned eighteen-year-olds to take care of the place and since you couldn't get into college you got stuck here taking care of it while Chuck here graduated in the top of his class at Stanford and runs a very successful business, jealous” Casey smirked.
“Get out of here now” Bryce yelled.
"Gladly, I'm sure the food here sucks anyway"
Even though they had only ordered waters Casey handed the waitress a tip as they left.
“I wish I could have punched him in his stupid face, just once”
“Me too but I didn't want to spend the night locked up”
“So now what?”
“What hotel are you staying in?”
“I’m actually staying at my dad’s”
“Sarah got us a fancy hotel room, with fancy room service, we could go there and maybe rent a movie”
“I wrote you” Chuck blurted out, “I wrote you every day while you were in boot camp but I never sent them and I have regretted it every day since, I wish I kept in contact with you and Sarah”
“And I have spent every day regretting not kissing you in the hospital or any other day after that” He grabbed the front of Chuck’s shirt pulling him into a kiss.
“Yup that was, wow, we should do that more”
Casey pushed him against the side of his rental car. “God Bartowski” he growled, pressing against him “All those nights studying, all the times I looked up into the stands and saw you cheering me on wearing my number. Seeing you in my letterman jacket. But being a star athlete in the state of Texas I was too scared to come out and when you came out to me in the hospital that night, I was envious of how brave you were”
“I’ve been waiting to kiss you since I first saw those striking blue eyes of yours” Chuck cupped Casey’s face in his hand pulling him into a kiss. “I’ve been waiting for you John, for fourteen years”
“Hey losers” Bryce yelled “I said get the fuck out here, we don't allow that gross shit”
“I’ll be right back” Casey smirked.
“Casey that was really stupid, but also really hot” He put an ice pack on Casey’s knuckles. “Once again my knight in shining armor coming to my rescue”
“It felt great”
“I’m so glad we both escaped this town”
“Let’s order some food and find a movie, I texted Sarah and told her to find somewhere else to stay”
Chuck took off his shoes before sitting on the bed with his back against the headboard, he grabbed the menu off the side table “Holy crap, have you seen these prices?”
“It’s room service, what did you expect” Casey took his shoes off before sitting next to Chuck
“There is a steak dinner for two, four sides to share and a bottle of wine and dessert”
“Sounds good, don’t care what the price, Sarah’s card is attached to the room, and she married some rich asswipe” Casey ordered their meal while Chuck scrolled through the movies to rent.
“Have any movies in mind?”
“Don’t care, wasn't really planning on watching it” He pulled Chuck into a kiss. Chuck moved so that he was straddling Casey’s thighs. The kissing was hot and sloppy as they moved their hips together, trying to get the much-needed friction.
He tried to push Casey’s shirt off “This needs to go”
“Uh, I’m, the thing is” Casey took a deep breath
“I’m sorry, we don’t need to rush this, I’ve just dreamt about this moment for so long I didn't stop to think what you were wanting plus I'm a virgin so I have no idea what I'm doing and I'm actually kinda freaking out so maybe we should slow down a bit”
"A virgin?" Casey raised a brow
"As I said, I've been waiting for you"
“Can you get up”
Chuck climbed off Casey’s lap and stood awkwardly next to the bed. Casey stood in front of him, “Two years ago, I was taken, I was kept in a cave for almost a year where every day I was whipped, stabbed, cut, you name it. My chest and back are covered in scars”
“I'm so sorry that that happened to you Casey” Chuck's eyes were filled with tears.
“I'm okay Chuck”
“If it makes you more comfortable you can keep your shirt on”
“I just didn't want you to freak out when you saw them, no one has seen them except for the men who rescued me and the people in the hospital”
“Is that why you aren't in the Marines anymore?”
“I was honorably discharged, even got a metal for my bravery”
Chuck pulled Casey into a hug and didn't let go until their dinner arrived.