A/N the First: Guys, you have to stop believing me. Also, thanks for still reading, and to my awesome beta mxpw.
A soft chirp made Sarah look away from the laptop screen and blink at the clock on the room's dresser. She hadn't been that absorbed in watching surveillance of the government workers at Chuck's house that she'd completely let time slip away, had she? Apparently she had. She shut the laptop lid and set it on the nightstand, swearing under her breath when she spotted the taxi through the window. She'd meant to prepare, but it would have to do for now.
Carefully, she stepped around the bed and scooped up the sleeping five-year-old that had been sprawled over the other side of the mattress. Violet barely even stirred, though Sir raised his head in question from his position over the heating grill.
"Trust me," Sarah told the dog as she nudged the door open with her shoulder, Violet's arms swaying limply, "you don't want to stick around for what happens next. Move it."
Sir whuffed, the tragedy in his canine eyes painting a picture of sheer indignity about being forced to endure the sheer indignity of leaving the warm spot behind. And then he rolled to his giant paws and nipped playfully at Violet's dangling foot.
"Quit that," Sarah said. Because it was her and not Chuck, Sir stopped. He flopped into a lazy, groaning pile of bones and fur next to the couch as Sarah laid the still-sleeping Violet down. She covered the girl with a blanket—which did little good, as Violet rolled over, kicking most of the blanket off. Sir rested his giant head against the arm that dangled over the side of the couch.
"Well, as long as you two are happy," Sarah said, and both girl and dog sighed in their sleep.
At the sound of footsteps on the walk, she moved over to the door, smirking. Her blood wasn't quite humming, but she couldn't deny the excitement building behind her sternum. When the door opened, she pounced. Chuck had time for one muffled grunt of surprise (and a tiny flailing motion) before she pushed him back against the door to close it, locking her mouth to his so intensely that they were both gasping when they broke apart.
Chuck's lips, already chapped from the cold, split wide in a grin. "Were you waiting at—"
"Shh." Sarah jerked her head at the couch, the sleeping child, and the vaguely interested dog.
"Sorry." He lowered his voice, his hands working up the back of her shirt—which almost made her flinch, as his fingers felt like icicles. "Were you waiting at the door specifically to greet me like that?"
She unzipped his parka and ran her hands along his sides, moving closer as she kissed him. "What do you think?"
"Honestly? What if it had been Casey? Ow."
She'd only pinched him a little. Sarah debated her options and decided to go with the direct route, which was to gently bite his ear lobe. His breathing went shallow. "Do you," she said, peppering kisses from his ear to his throat as she pushed the parka off of his shoulders, "really want to think about Casey right at this moment?"
He dropped the parka and grabbed her, almost crushing her as he kissed her. "Not particularly. But we do need to get out of the room with the small child in it. Now. Right now."
"Let's get out of here," Sarah said. She should have been proud about making Chuck sound that strained, if she weren't feeling exactly the same way, all itchy and like the top of her head might come shooting off. It had been a long three months after that kiss on New Year's Eve.
"One sec." Chuck took a deep, shuddering breath when she stepped back. "I can't even begin to tell you how happy it makes me to hear you say that," he said, scooping up the parka and opening the front closet to stow it inside. "How'd Vi do?"
"Lasted twenty minutes and then out like a light." She'd let Violet crash on the bed with her while she'd gotten some work done. It had just seemed more human than leaving Violet on the couch, which was ridiculous because Sarah had actually seen the girl fall asleep sitting upright at the dining room table. "Been out an hour or so. I think she missed you."
"Aw." Chuck glanced over the back of the couch and gave Sir a look. "What are you looking at, creep? None of your business what's going on here."
"Speaking of that." Sarah grabbed his hand to pull him down the hallway. "I believe you're late for an appointment."
"A sex appointment." Chuck wiggled his eyebrows, and frowned. "Wow, that sounded less lame in my head. A sex appointment? It sounds like a prostitution thing. Not cool. Unless you're into that."
Sarah shut the bedroom door. "Not into that."
"Right, yeah. What are you into? Just so I can, uh, plan ahead."
Because she remembered Christmas morning all too well, Sarah locked the door. "I don't have too many outrageous kinks," she said, tugging on Chuck's hand to pull him toward her. "Mostly what I'm into is you."
Again, that heart-melting grin spread. She decided it should probably be registered as a lethal weapon, but they could get to that later.
"Oh, really," Chuck said. He stepped closer, right into her space, and grabbed her waist, kissing her slowly. "Still, wouldn't you like some candles or wine or something?"
"What I want for you is to take off the sweater."
"So you can admire yourself some nerd physique? I conditioned this body myself, you know. Countless hours of World of Warcraft with a steady diet of Cheetohs and pizza to supplement it. The perfect nerd."
Sarah nearly snorted. Like she hadn't admired his rangy build, the surprisingly broad shoulders and the narrow hips, before. "That, and it just makes it easier to run my tongue all over your body," she said, and she had the pleasure of seeing his eyes nearly cross.
He got out of the sweater very, very quickly.
"Yeah, I thought so," Sarah said, chuckling a little when he kissed her again. The kiss deepened until they were both pawing at various articles of clothing, laughing and swearing under their breath when urgency made them clumsy. Or, Sarah thought, like horny teenagers finally away from adult supervision. The thought actually sent a thrill through her, one that was embarrassingly strong. She would never have done anything like this as a teenager. Chuck might have, though probably not like this.
It made her laugh again.
Chuck immediately lifted his head. "What? What is it?"
"Oh, nothing. Just…feels a bit like being a teenager, you know?"
"This is way better than trying to get to first base after chem lab." Chuck fiddled with her bra strap. His hair was already mussed from her hands and his face was flushed, but that grin was still there. "In fact, nothing from my teenage years even comes close to this moment."
"Ditto," she said, and peeled out of her jeans.
"Way, way better than high school," he said, pulling her close once again. "High school me wouldn't have had a chance with you."
"Oh, I don't know about that." She let her hands roam because they could, and she enjoyed the catch in Chuck's breath. "I think I definitely would have looked twice. At you."
"Aw, shucks." When he kissed her again, the kiss deepened until they were wrapped around each other, hands wandering—until Chuck shifted and they were on the bed in a move so smooth, Sarah hadn't seen it coming. She let out a gasp.
"Like that, huh?" His voice was low as he moved his lips down her neck to her collarbone, thumbs tracing light circles on her hipbones.
She didn't quite manage to keep her voice steady. "It's all right. I guess."
He rested his chin against her stomach, a wide smirk on his face. His thumbs never ceased. She wanted his hands all over her like that, she decided. Hell, her body was already beginning to quiver a little bit in anticipation of it. He had calluses from the game controllers he typically held, and why that was suddenly driving her nuts, she didn't know. But she certainly wasn't going to question any of it. "You guess?" he asked. "I got moves, you know."
Without breaking eye-contact, he pressed a single kiss to her midriff, and Sarah figured she was done for.
"Oh yeah?" She reached behind her and popped the clasp to her bra open. "Well, why don't you show me, then?"
Chuck, it seemed, was all too happy to oblige.
"I might be blind. No, I'm not blind. I clearly saw choirs of angels and they were singing your name." Chuck moved his head and nuzzled the side of her neck with his nose.
Sarah had her eyes closed, but she smiled anyway. "Pretty sure that was you."
"You didn't see the angels?"
Sarah opened her eyes and met his straight on. They were lying where they'd fallen, sweaty and wiped out, and Chuck's face was only a couple of inches from hers, though she did have to look at him kind of cross-eyed. "No," she said. "I can't say I did."
His grin took on an edge of dopiness. "They all looked like you."
"Oh my god." Sarah rolled away from him, mostly because she could feel the traitorous giggle bubbling up. "Seriously?"
"What?" Chuck affected an innocent look as he rested his head on her shoulder.
"That was smooth. Corny as hell, but smooth."
"Special brand of Bartowski magic. It's a curse, I tell you. An absolute curse." Chuck let out a gusty, world-weary sigh. "Just like my devilish good looks and incredible wit."
Sarah squinted. "Such a burden."
Sarah propped herself on her elbows and then rolled over until she was on top of him, arms crossed over his chest. She rested her chin on her wrists. "However do you bear it?"
"Up until this week I had constant surveillance and paranoia to keep me humble. But now that I know you are truly warm for this form—"
"Really?" Sarah asked, raising an eyebrow.
"You pushed me up against a wall. Twice. It's incredibly flattering and not a little intimidating, you know."
Sarah, about to kiss him, paused. Her stomach sank a little. "Intimidating."
"And hot." Chuck reached up to thread his fingers in her hair, which she was sure had to be a mess. She really didn't care. "I'm having a hard time convincing myself this is real, you know. I know it is, but I can't believe it. You're here, I'm here, you're perfect."
"You're not too bad yourself."
"Please, I'm fantastic."
Sarah finally laughed. "Yes," she said, kissing him, "you are." She felt Chuck's hand in her hair spasm, like he was surprised, but she chose to ignore that and instead focused on the way his lips felt against hers, which really had the power to drive her absolutely wild.
It was such a novel sensation. She definitely wasn't getting used to this anytime soon.
He broke the kiss. "Water," he said in a croaky voice. "As excellent as this, I need it. I crave it."
"Oh, fine." She rested her head back against the pillow and tried to catch her breath a little as he crawled out of bed and headed for the dresser. "Get me some, too?"
"Your wish, my command. And it's really weird that you're checking out my ass right now."
"That's not all I'm checking out."
"So weird." Chuck pulled on pajama pants and slung a T-shirt across his shoulder. He pointed to her as he headed for the bathroom to clean up. "Don't go anywhere. I won't be able to convince myself it wasn't a dream."
"So you're saying don't escape through the window?"
"Sad as it is to say, you wouldn't be the first to try it after intercourse with me." Chuck poked his head out to flash her a cheeky grin.
She propped her hand on her hand and thought that over. Of course, it sounded absurd, but some of the stories Chuck had told her before... "Is that even true?"
He only laughed as he left the room.
The minute she was alone, Sarah flopped back onto her back and drew in a deep breath, steadying herself. She had not expected that. Certainly, she'd had daydreams before—a lot of them, if she was going to be completely honest; it turned out living under strict surveillance flipped on some contrary switch inside her—but nothing of this magnitude. She gave herself sixty seconds to do nothing but relax, and then regretfully rolled out of bed, padding over to the dresser.
Chuck pouted when he came back inside and found her pulling on one of his T-shirts. "Aw."
"You want to be the one to scar your daughter for life, or me?"
"Point, but—oh my god."
Sarah instinctively reached for the small of her back and the gun that wasn't there. "What? What is it?"
"It completely slipped my mind—Sophie. Sophie's in Tahoe."
Sarah dropped her hand to her side. "What?"
"She approached me at the casino, right before I left." Chuck set down one of the water glasses to push his hand through his hair. He sat down on the edge of the bed. "I wasn't expecting it, and she wasn't expecting it, either, actually. We just sort of ran into each other. I was going to tell you earlier."
"And you didn't because—"
"You attacked me," Chuck said, and she couldn't resist the urge to roll her eyes a little at his terminology, especially when he gave her a skeptical look. "I really was going to tell you."
"I'm not mad," Sarah said, shaking her head as her thoughts settled. She wasn't proud that her first instinct had been annoyance at something ruining their perfect vacation, but with the aggravation out of the way, other questions arose. "Just surprised. Why is she here?"
"Wants to see Vi. I mean, technically it's her weekend."
"Really? That's a surprise."
Chuck squinted at her.
"What?" Sarah said. "It is. She hasn't exactly made overtures to visit like this before."
"Are you thinking this feels like some kind of set-up? I mean, she's an actress, not a spy."
Sarah had to blink a few times. When had she started thinking of Sophie like a spy? The woman did use counter-surveillance tactics, but...was she really so far out of the field that she was losing focus? It made an uneasy feeling crawl along the back of her spine, so she reached for the water glass in Chuck's hand and downed half of its contents. "No, I'm just thinking like a spy. Ignore me. Did you tell Casey?"
"I told him right afterward, and he thought I should get out of there. I, um, convinced him to stick around with Morgan and the others. Make sure, you know, nobody caught Sophie and me talking together on camera or anything. But the good news is he backed me up when you texted me so nobody else wanted to ruin our sex-appointment."
Sarah groaned and rested her forehead against his shoulder. "We're not calling it that."
"I don't know." He played with her hair again. She was starting to think he was getting an obsession with it. "I kind of like it."
"You compared it to prostitution earlier."
"I don't recall any transactions other than, you know, bodily fluids." Chuck wrinkled his nose before she could. "Never mind that. I told Sophie that if she wanted to come up to the cabin tomorrow, Vi likes the snow."
"Should be remote enough to keep any paparazzi away. It's a good idea."
"Yeah, and Ellie and Awesome are going skiing tomorrow, so they can find out afterward."
Sarah gave him a surprised look. "Keeping more secrets from your sister?"
He scrunched his face up. "Sophie and Ellie don't exactly get along?" It sounded almost like a question. "Yeah, yeah, I know, it's not exactly noble. Coward's way out completely, I admit it. I just thought it's better to keep the hostile parties away from each other."
"And you're bringing me into your little scheme." Sarah couldn't stop the little smirk. She bumped her shoulder against Chuck's and gave him a kiss on the cheek. "Violet will be happy. To see her mom."
"And Ellie can hear about it afterward and everything will be okay," Chuck said. "Sorry about not bringing it up sooner."
"We were a little busy." Sarah held her thumb and forefinger up close together, which made Chuck grin. "Vi still sleeping?"
"How she can sleep with Sir basically using her hand for a pillow is beyond me. His head's like a boulder." They both looked up when the monitor chirped, indicating that another car was pulling in. "What's that?"
"Alert system." Sarah got up and moved over to the window to check. The vehicle in the driveway made her blink, but she quickly backed away from blinds before she could get caught spying. "The others are back. That was sooner than I expected. Think there was a problem?"
Chuck flopped backward onto the mattress. "If there is," he said, closing his eyes with his arms spread wide, "I vote we hear about it at breakfast and not now. If we eat breakfast. Eating breakfast means leaving the bed, and I vote we never do that. Leave the bed, that is. Granted, first you have to get into the bed for us to never leave it."
Sarah nibbled on her bottom lip. "I should probably talk to Casey."
"He's gonna know you just had sex."
"And tomorrow is soon enough to talk to Casey, you're right," Sarah said without missing a beat. She set the water glass down on the nightstand and crawled back into bed, kicking around some of the covers they'd mussed. When Chuck stretched his arm out toward her, she wasted no time pressing in against the warmth of his side, finally giving into some of the exhaustion from their long day playing in the snow (and trying to keep their hands off of each other).
He winced a little when she pushed her feet—which had been frozen ever since they'd arrived, really—between his. "Heh," he said.
"Should've expected you're an aggressive cuddler."
"I am not." She half-lifted her head in mock-outrage.
"And your feet are like popsicles with toes attached."
Sarah snorted at the imagery and settled in, not caring that she was proving Chuck's point about the aggressive cuddling. "Then do your job and warm them up," she said.
"So this is how it's going to be? I'm your errand boy and foot warmer."
"Among other things," Sarah said, shifting around so that she could get a little closer to his warmth. "I'll let you know as they come along."
"Deal," Chuck said.
A/N the Second: Wait, an entire chapter of happiness? Frea, who are you killing off next chapter?