A/N: This one I had written I think two years ago. I had even uploaded it to the site to publish it but then got sidetracked and it was deleted cause of that 90 day thing (I learned my lesson to make sure I edit my docs in Word and then just copy and paste here because trust me, editing in Doc Manager and then losing those edits is agonising). Anyway, I polished it up a bit and hope you enjoy it.
Thanks as always for the reviews, PMs, favourites etc.
Sarah cast pointed looks to the three members of her team before they breached the building. She had gone over the plan of action prior to arrival but knowing these three, it was always better to repeat.
"Just so we're clear, no one will put anything in the shopping trolley unless Mommy tells them to,"
Her three children, Jackson who was seven, Chase their quiet five-year-old and little Daniella who had just turned three all nodded.
"Jackson, that means you won't put that sugary cereal in when I'm not looking, and Chase, no toys when we pass that section. And no talking to strangers. Understood?"
"Yes Mommy," Jackson saluted, a gesture he had learnt from his Uncle Casey and his younger brother mimicked his actions.
From her booster seat, Daniella nodded and clapped her hands together, excited to go into the store. "Yay, we go shopping, Momma!"
Jackson unclipped his seatbelt and helped his younger brother with his while Sarah removed Daniella from the booster seat. Once they were all outside of the car, she pressed the alarm button and told the boys to hold hands. She was lucky to have found a parking spot in front of the entrance. Seeing the trolleys outside, Jackson pried his hands away from his brother's and ran to get one, ignoring the warning calls of his mother.
With Daniella in one hand, her bag slung over her shoulder and her other free hand holding onto Chase, Sarah hurried over to where Jackson was now waiting with the trolley he had chosen.
"Look Mommy, I got the nicest trolley," he stepped aside for her to admire it. "I think it's a new one Mummy, it's shinier than all the others."
"Awesome, a shiny new trolley for Mummy," Chase smiled at his brother, proud of his find. After all, their father did say their mother deserved the best.
"Jackson, I've told you before, you cannot go running off like that."
The seven-year-old ducked under her gaze and shrugged before he mumbled an apology. Meanwhile, Chase's blue eyes began to well with tears, almost as though he had taken the emotional brunt of the reprimand more than his older brother. "But the trolley is pretty Mommy. I thought you would like it. Don't you like it Mommy?" Sarah was once again struck by the different personalities of her boys; something she had come to realise as they had grown and begun to develop their personalities and little quirks. Jackson liked to test just how far he could have rules bent before it was considered him breaking them and took any punishment given. It was something that she and Chuck had been trying different disciplinary tactics for as it seemed that their oldest child almost laughed in the face of punishment. Meanwhile, Chase had always been the more sensitive one who wore his emotions on his sleeves.
Daniella was getting restless, so Sarah put her in the child compartment of the trolley. "I do," she told the boys, "but like your father and I always tell you. it's not okay to run off and leave us behind when we're out, especially in places like this. You could fall or run into traffic. Running off is dangerous," she tried to explain firmly yet gently.
"Sorry Mummy," Jackson, suitably chastised, mumbled a second apology which sounded a bit sincerer than the first.
"Okay, come on. We have a lot of things we need to get," Sarah pushed the trolley forward with the two boys holding hands at her side. Once past the automatic doors, she glanced down at the boys. Jackson was scanning the aisles, probably to find the cereal aisle and she knew Chase was just itching to get to the toy section. Jackson began to drift away in the direction of the cereal aisle, pulling his brother along with him and Sarah had to pull them back. She sighed, wondering why it was that so often her instructions to her children went in through one ear and out through the next.
There were many things Sarah loved about her life as a mother. Grocery shopping with three children in tow however, was not one of them. She and Chuck had planned to go three days ago after work as Mary had offered to collect the children from school and watch them then Daniella had an allergic reaction. The day after that was also crazy. She and Chuck had gotten into an argument about a ceremony at Jackson's school. She had been livid that he didn't want to go to his son's graduation. To which he'd replied that it was not a graduation. Jackson was merely moving from one grade to the next. She had countered that it was a ceremony and Chuck shot back that it was psychotic. Long story short, they had gone to the ceremony, Chuck had recorded, and they had clapped and fawned over Jackson like any parents would when their child reached a milestone.
Chuck had a meeting today that had been already rescheduled twice otherwise she would have left the children at home and done the shopping on her own. She could have been in and out of the supermarket in less than half an hour, maybe forty-five minutes depending on how slow the checkout lines moved. And when it rained, it poured...Oh had it poured for Sarah Bartowski. Today no one was available to watch the children. Mary was in Washington meeting Beckman, Devon and Ellie were at work, Casey was helping some of Verbanski's new recruits with their sniper training and she didn't want to make her mother drive all the way up to Burbank. Morgan had the meeting with Chuck and that left Alex with their two children and she hadn't want to add her three into the mix. If her three drove her up a wall, she had no doubt that when they combined with Alex's, she would be going insane to, especially considering that she had to deal with a seven-month-old baby.
So, with a fridge that was out of milk, down to one cartoon of juice and cupboards with no peanut butter, bread, jam or pasta, it wasn't like she could have waited for Chuck's meeting to be over. Otherwise they would have needed to have takeout for dinner and as much as she was sure the children would have been thrilled at the prospect, they were not having takeout for dinner twice in a row.
She found herself, in the drinks and snacks aisle with three children who refused to listen to her. Well two, Chase was standing beside her, dutifully following her instructions and not straying away from her. She sent one quick prayer up, thankful that at the moment, at least one of her children knew how to listen. The other two, well she was chalking up their behaviour to Chuck's DNA that flowed through them. Their father never listened to instructions to stay in the car and despite her instructions, Jackson kept skipping down the aisle ahead of them while Daniella kept reaching for things to put in the trolley.
At least with Daniella confined to the trolley and Chase holding her hand she has an easier task of supervising them. Or at least it should have been easier. She had to keep an eagle eye watch on Jackson because every time she called him back to her side, he came, only to take off when given the smallest opening, which basically meant every time she glanced at the list or stopped to read the ingredients on the back of a label or to compare prices or to pry something from Daniella's fingers.
When he strayed away from them, he returned every minute with items his mother did not send him for. In the cereal aisle, she had allowed him to go get the Cornflakes, Raisin Bran, and the Lucky Charms (they had pleaded and turned up the Bartowski Charm to get her to say yes, they could have it), he returned with the ridiculously sweet Cinnamon Crunch and Fruit Loops. She had narrowed her eyes, said the word 'cavities' and ordered him to take them back. In the spices aisle, Sarah made sure to point to where the spices they needed were located and specified their packaging. She wasn't at all surprised when instead of returning with the cinnamon, paprika, curry and cloves she sent him for, Jackson also brought back cilantro, oregano and Montreal Meat Spice. He had dumped the handful of spices into the trolley and flitted off, only to return with other spices they did not use in the household. By the time he was done bringing back his loot to the trolley, it looked like they might as well open a spice shop. Sarah sighed, it was like everything his hand touched he had to place in the trolley.
Daniella meanwhile took every opportunity that her mother stopped in an aisle to grab whatever she could from the shelf. So, while Sarah was grabbing two jars of peanut butter from the top shelf, she grabbed tartar sauce and tomato paste. She just could not win with these two and began to grow frustrated. At least Chase was dutiful and put the canned mixed vegetables she had requested in the trolley when they were in that aisle. Daniella had now become restless in the seat of the trolley and had attempted to get out of it on her own and Sarah barely managed to stop her from banging her head on the trolley in her attempt. Then the whining and begging came, and Sarah finally took her out but held her on her hip. The little girl was not having that and squirmed in her mother's arms until Sarah finally set her on her feet.
"Dani, stay by Mommy and Chase okay?"
"I'm good girl, Momma," she nodded and smiled cheekily at her mother.
Sarah eyed her wearily, not at all convinced. "Better yet, why don't you hold her hand Chase?"
"Okay Mummy," he replied and took his sister's hand in a firm grip. "No running Dani," he instructed his younger sibling.
Sarah had all but given up on calling after Jackson. Pushing the trolley down the aisle, she grabbed a couple more items and crossed them off the list. Daniella seized that opportunity and pulled away from Chase, running to catch up with Jackson. Sarah lunged forward and grabbed her before she could get too far and returned her to the trolley.
"Momma! Down!" Daniella insisted. "I wanna get down!"
Sarah shook her head. It was just typical for her to promise to keep still but then become distracted and run off. Daniella looked close to tears and Sarah narrowed her eyes. Maybe she had picked it up from some of the other children in her day-care, but Sarah would not stand for her daughter to be throwing a tantrum when she couldn't get her own way. While she knew that it was in her nature as a child to find it almost impossible to keep still, she equally knew that the three-year-old was not too young to be disciplined.
"Down now, Momma!"
"I said no Daniella," Sarah pursed her lips.
The little girl pouted, and her lip began to quiver. "Momma you mean!"
"Sweetie, you can't have things your way." Sarah glanced at her watch and realised they had been in the store for almost an hour and still haven't completed their list. Jackson came trotting up to them with a handful of cookies, Twinkies, chocolates and other candies in his arms and dumped them all in the trolley.
The water immediately disappeared from Daniella's eyes and she grinned widely at all the candy. "I like candy!"
Sarah cast a pointed look to her oldest child. As with Daniella's shenanigans, she had had enough. "Jackson," Sarah warned, "do not put anything else in this trolley unless I tell you to. Do you understand me?" He nodded, noticing that his mother was done playing around. "And if you run off and leave me again I will punish you. I don't know, you seem not to mind being punished, but I have had it and if I have to speak to you one more time..." She let the sentence hang, watching her son to make sure her meaning was sinking in. "I'll ask again, and I want verbal communication this time, do you understand what I just said?"
"Yes Mommy," he mumbled.
The family of four made their way through the rest of the aisles, getting fruits, vegetables, milk, oil, pancake mixture and different types of meats.
"Don't we need pasta Mummy?" Jackson reminded her as he peered into the trolley.
"Oh, that's right, I almost forgot," Sarah confirmed. She did forget and had been ready to head to the checkout counter. She made a U turn and they made their way down to the pasta aisle which was further down. On their way, they passed the cosmetic and beauty care aisle and Sarah diverted, remembering that they also hadn't taken up toilet paper or wipes for Daniella.
"Mommy, I need a new toothbrush," Jackson tugged on her arm.
"Because Dani dropped it in the toilet," he looked at his younger sister accusingly.
"Did you do that Dani?"
"I cleaned the toilet Momma," Daniella said proudly.
"Oh my gosh, have you done that with anyone else's toothbrush?" Sarah asked, horrified.
The three-year-old didn't answer but the little smirk on her lips answered the question for Sarah.
"Okay, fine. You can pick out a new tooth brush," Sarah informed Jackson who was happy about the latest developments. Sarah also grabbed a couple extras, intending to throw away all of their current toothbrushes when she got home. "And Daniella, please don't take it upon yourself to clean the toilet anymore."
"Okay Momma," Daniella smacked her lips and crinkled her nose at her mother, portraying a look of innocence.
"I'm serious. Leave people's toothbrushes alone."
"Okay Momma," Daniella said again. Sarah didn't see any hint of mischief in her eyes but that was immaterial. She had resolved that their new toothbrushes would be housed in the overhead cabinet which her daughter could not reach. She'd also be scheduling a dentist appointment for her entire family as soon as possible.
"Okay, pasta and we will be done," Sarah announced. Hopefully by the time they got home Chuck would be there and she could have a nap. This supermarket run had really tired her out.
As they began to leave that aisle, with each child satisfied - Jackson and Daniella with their new toothbrushes and Chase with a Star Wars toothpaste, Sarah's gaze momentarily fell on the shelf holding the sanitary napkins and tampons. It was then she realised that that hadn't been on her shopping list and that based on how long her stock usually lasted, she should have needed to buy some. Doing a quick mental calculation, Sarah realised she was in fact late for her period. She shook it off and told herself it was nothing and went to get the last item they needed.
"Mummy, can we get Elbow Macaroni?" Chase pleaded with wide blue eyes.
"And the one with spirals too?" Jackson smiled hopefully, giving his mother an imitation of his father's puppy eyes.
"Alphabet pasta!" Daniella added her preference into the mix.
"Okay, okay." Sarah acquiesced and picked up two of each type and some spaghetti.
"Momma, I tired," Daniella said.
The two boys nodded in agreement and conveyed that they too were ready to go home.
"Yeah, let's go home," Sarah said, intending to make her way to the checkout line. But there was a nagging in her head that wouldn't leave her alone until she picked up one more thing, so she swung back to the cosmetic aisle. She tried to rationalise her period being late- maybe it was because of stress or maybe her body was simply resetting itself or something. It was no big deal. Except her period had almost always came on time. Even last month, though it was lighter, it was on time. In retrospect it was more like spotting - oh...oh... At that point she remembered during her pregnancy with Jackson that she'd read stories about women who mistook spotting during the early weeks of pregnancy as their period. Suddenly, this didn't feel like nothing.
"Mummy, what are those?" asked Chase as he looked at the items on the shelf which currently had his mother's attention. "What are they for? How do they work?"
"Lemme see," Jackson, always ready to show off his expanding vocabulary and ability to read, peered closer. "Preg-nan-"
"It's nothing for you to worry about," Sarah cut him off and quickly grabbed one of the boxes. "Come on, let's go to the checkout so we can go home and make lunch." She was grateful that the deflection worked as they immediately stopped trying to figure out what the unfamiliar item was.
When Sarah pulled into the driveway, she was happy to see that Chuck's car was already there. Chuck had heard when she pulled up and came out to help bring the groceries inside. The boys had already undone their seatbelts and waited for their father to open the door as the child lock was activated.
"Hey guys," Chuck greeted his two boys as they tumbled out of the car.
"Daddy!" Jackson yelled, "we went to the supermarket."
"Shhhh," Chase told his older brother. "Dani's sleeping." He whispered, and Chuck had to strain his ears to hear.
"You two don't forget to remove your garbage from the car," Sarah informed them as she stepped out of the car, going around to get Daniella. They followed her instructions and removed the empty juice boxes and bags of potato chips they had been eating on the way home then raced into the house.
"Was wondering when I was gonna get a greeting out of you," Sarah teased.
Chuck smirked and kissed her softly on the lips. "You haven't seen me since this morning and that's all I get?" Sarah challenged, arching her right brow. Chuck laughed and kissed his wife again, this time slipping his tongue into her mouth and lightly nibbling on her bottom lip. When Sarah pulled away, she rested her hand on his forearm to steady herself. "Much better," she breathed.
"Ah, only the best for my girl. I think if I really tried I could top that though," he grinned.
Sarah took a step back. "Oh no, anything more and I think the neighbours will be calling the police cause I would take you in this drive way."
"The scandal!" Chuck gasped.
"And God forbid if Dani was to wake up or the boys were to come back outside."
"Well there goes their college fund to therapy sessions."
"You're incorrigible Mrs. Bartowski."
"But don't you love it!" Sarah smirked.
"Damn right I do," Chuck grinned. "Do you want me to take Dani up?"
"No, I've got her," replied Sarah as she gently removed the child from the car and rested her head on her shoulder. "I'll put her in bed and come back to help.
When Sarah was returning from upstairs, Chuck was heading back out to retrieve the last set of bags. "Sorry I took so long. I had to take Dani to the bathroom and then settle her back down."
"She's all good?"
"Yeah, she's fine. You should be more concerned about what I heard her mumble that she did with your toothbrush," Sarah shrugged.
Chuck looked at her in alarm. "Wait, what?"
Sarah bumped him with her hip. "Don't worry, I bought us all new ones."
"Now I am actually concerned."
"I'll tell you about it after I get the other bags."
"Babe, it's okay. I can handle bringing in the rest of the groceries," he looked at Sarah, as if sensing that something was off. "Are you okay Sarah?"
Sarah moved a lock of hair behind her air. "Um, yeah. I'm good. Why do you ask?"
Sarah cut him off, beginning to ramble. "I'm just a bit tired. You know...taking three kids to the supermarket can do that to ya. But other than that, I'm good, Peachy even!"
"Peachy?" Chuck knitted his eyebrows.
Sarah laughed nervously. "Heh yeah. I'm all good."
"Okayyyyy," Chuck drawled, not convinced but deciding to push her. "Well in that case go on up to bed. The boys and I will put away the groceries."
"No, Chuck, I can help," she began to protest but Chuck cut her off.
"I insist," he said and guided her to the stairs. "I'll handle everything."
Sarah awoke to the heavy thudding of feet and the giggles of children. Then came the yell from Chuck that they should not be running up and down the stairs. The giggles quietened, and she wondered whether Chuck stopped their play momentarily. She rolled over to her side and focused on the alarm clock on Chuck's side of the bed. It was just after five and though she had slept for over three hours, she still felt tired. The bed felt so warm and inviting and she was almost tempted to pull the covers up to her neck and go back to sleep. But she was also hungry and when the sound of the children laughing outside in the yard drifted through the open window and she threw the covers off. Sarah crossed the room and pulled the curtains back, so she could have a clear view of the yard. Her three children were there playing a game of tag with Morgan's son, Adam. The four of them were able to corral Morgan into joining them and when he did, he made a big show of trying and failing to catch them which caused them to shriek with joy. Smiling at the scene, Sarah decided it was time that she went downstairs. She found Chuck busy in the kitchen preparing dinner.
"Hey," she greeted from the archway and gave a small wave.
"Hey, you're looking somewhat refreshed."
"Yeah. I had a nice nap. What's for dinner?" she queried as she took a seat at the table.
"The kids wanted chicken alfredo. I know you're not too fond of it though. I could make you something else."
"That's okay. I'll have a little. But in the mean time I will snack on some fruit. Do you need my help with anything?" He already had the pasta on the stove and the chicken was already sliced so there wasn't much for her to do. "I'll set the table."
"Morgan and Adam are here so set two extra plates," Chuck informed her.
"Yeah, I know,"
Sarah observed Chuck as he navigated in the kitchen, testing the food and seeing if more slat or sweet pepper or other things needed to be added. Something was off with him. She could sense it. She just needed to find out what it was.
"Chuck?" Sarah called as he was mixing the cream and cheese into the pasta before letting it simmer.
"Are you okay?"
She was unconvinced and walked over to him. She turned off the stove and waited for Chuck to turn to face her. "What's wrong? I know I didn't ask earlier but did the meeting not go the way you wanted it to?"
"Sarah the meeting went fine. We secured the contract."
"Then what's bothering you?"
"Sarah, can we talk about this later? I really want to get dinner finished."
"So, you admit that something is wrong and you're not just peachy? You know Chuck, we're a team."
"I am not getting into this with you right now."
"Argh! You know what? Fine!" Sarah snapped.
"Fine!" he held her gaze just as intently as she bore through him.
"You know this feels like a fight and I have no idea why it has reached this point. I literally have no idea what you want from me right now."
Just then the children, followed by Morgan ran into the kitchen. "Mhmmm, I smell food!" He made a show of sniffing the air and rubbing his stomach hungrily. "Hey Sarah."
Sarah turned her attention away from her husband and plastered a smile on her face at Morgan. "Hey Morgan."
"Auntie Sarah," Adam called out, "we played tag and Daddy couldn't catch any of us."
"Yeah, he couldn't even catch Dani," Chase enthused, miffed that their uncle couldn't catch their sister when she was so slow.
"He's a slow coach," added Jackson, causing the other children to laugh.
"Well I'm glad you had fun. Dinner's is almost finished so go wash up," Chuck spoke for the first time since they had come in.
"Make sure you wash your hands properly," Sarah added.
"Oh, I'm on it," Morgan said.
"I think that was more directed at you Morgan," Chuck laughed.
"Oh, you wound me!" Morgan placed a hand over his heart in agony, causing the children to laugh at his theatrics. "Come on kids. He led them to the downstairs bathroom, leaving Chuck, Sarah and the tension between them.
After dinner, the children were bathed and allowed to watch a movie. Choosing the movie of course proved to be difficult.
"I wanna watch Frozen!" Daniella demanded.
Jackson rolled his eyes. "Oh, let it go Dani," he frowned "we're gonna watch Incredibles 2," he stated it with confidence, as though because he was the oldest what he said was what had to be done.
"No, we should watch Inside Out," Adam suggested.
"Or maybe we could watch The Good Dinosaur," Chase was the last to speak.
They couldn't agree and began to argue, each child trying to speak over the other.
"Hey, hey!" Chuck came into the living room when he heard all the commotion, Morgan following behind him.
"What's going on?"
They all started to speak at once, giving their own version of the predicament which just translated into a pile of garble when they spoke so quickly and at once.
"Whoa! One at a time." Chuck encouraged and when they did he was able to figure out the problem.
"So how about we all choose a movie together?"
After a few more arguments and Daniella accusing the boys of being mean to her, they finally reached consensus and decided to watch Tangled.
"Damn, I feel like that was a simulation for a course in diplomacy," Morgan quipped as he looked back at the children who were now sitting in the living room sharing bowls of popcorn as they watched the movie.
Chuck nodded. "You'll have your fair share when Amber is able to talk properly," he informed Morgan who shivered at the thought of having to play the role of mediator so often. "I'm just glad we averted that crisis."
Later that night, after Sarah had finished various small tasks round the house and Morgan and Adam had gone home, and the children were all in bed, Sarah waited in their bedroom for her husband to join her.
He strolled in moments later, a frown on his face. "Sarah, look can we talk about earlier?" He was relieved to find her sitting on the bed with her legs tucked under her and not already asleep as he had feared.
"Yeah, I was waiting up, so we could do just that." Sarah patted his side of the bed, inviting Chuck to come sit next to her. He came over and sat cross legged. "We both kind of just snapped at each other," Sarah began. "But before that, I asked you if everything was alright and you said it was 'peachy'."
Chuck ran his fingers through his hair. "You mean like how you did this afternoon?"
Sarah titled her head slightly to the side. Okay, that was fair. "I see your point. You didn't push but I did. I'm sorry for snapping at you the way I did."
"I'm sorry too." He got up and walked over to his chest of drawers. From the top drawer, he pulled out a brown paper bag and Sarah immediately what was in it. Was this why he had been so snappy with her before dinner? Because he'd found the pregnancy test and thought she was keeping it from him? But wait, how had he even seen it? Sarah was almost certain she had put it in her bag.
"Where did you get that?" she asked when he returned to the bed and she hoped her voice did not come off as being accusatory. "Did you search my bag?" She winced then. That question certainly sounded accusatory.
Chuck crossed his eyes at her. "Really Sarah? Do you think I went snooping or something? When have I ever searched your bag? You know that even when you ask me to find something in it I usually bring it to you anyway since I can never seem to find whatever it is you've sent me for."
Sarah nodded. That was true. "I didn't mean it like that," she began to explain, "I just thought I put it in my bag."
"It was in one of the shopping bags- the one that had a lot of toothbrushes. By the way, you really do need to tell me what Daniella has been doing with my toothbrush. I'm getting worried that I might have transferred bacteria to my mouth from a place my toothbrush should never have. Who knows? It could be some mutant bacteria that the strongest of mouthwash can't kill. It probably makes plaque and gingivitis look like child's play."
Sarah nodded. She didn't put it in her bag after all. Then she remembered, she was going to do it when they were putting the bags in the car but then the children began complaining -Daniella about being thirsty, Jackson about being hungry and Chase about having to use the bathroom so that she just shut and locked the trunk before rallying them into a nearby fast food restaurant. Then Daniella had waited till they were feet away from the car to decide she too had to use the bathroom, so they had to turn around again. By the time each child was set, putting the test in her bag had slipped her mind.
"You think you're pregnant?" He interrupted her.
"No," she quickly responded, and he raised his eyebrow at that. "I mean maybe. It crossed my mind while we were at the supermarket and I bought the test just in case."
"Oooh," he drawled. "I saw the test and was a bit upset that I might have missed out on the signs like that time back and Casey- Casey of all people was the one who had to tell me..." He pinched the bridge of his nose. "I wasn't really mad at you but, more so at myself for being the most clueless, insensitive, uncaring husband in the world and not picking up on your signals."
Sarah gave him a soft smile and ran her fingers through his curls, eventually resting her hand at the nape of his neck. He sighed and leaned in to her touch. "Well like I said, that time I should've just came out and told you, but I felt like saying it out loud would've made it seem...real. And as for this time, babe, seriously, there were no signals for you to pick up on. I haven't thrown up. Excluding today, I haven't really been unusually tired and even then, that tiredness could be chalked up to the children's supermarket shenanigans. So really, nothing I experienced with the other three pregnancies. I really only got the test cause I'm late."
Chuck nodded. "How late though? Like a week or so? Because I distinctly remember last month when my Mom had the kids for her 'grandma movie night' and I was all hot and ready to go and you shut me down because you had cramps," he blinked the faraway look from his face and went over the words he'd just said in his head. "Not that I feel like I'm entitled to your body whenever I'm flustered cause that is so cave man days but…you know what I'm just gonna stop talking now." Chuck zipped his mouth and threw away the key.
"I was all flustered for you that night too by the way." Sarah winked at Chuck. "But yeah, I really did think that I was menstruating. It was lighter than normal though so when I was at the store and I realised that I was late for this month and I remembered reading about spotting during the first trimester, I thought that maybe I could be pregnant."
"Well, I guess we might as well find out." He passed the pregnancy test to Sarah.
She got up to make her way to the bathroom but stopped, turning back to Chuck. "What if it's positive?" Sarah tentatively asked. "I mean, we've never really talked about more. And we're getting older. And potty-training Dani was such a nightmare. At one point I really thought she would be in diapers till she was four or something. And when Jackson told her there was a toilet monster I was sure that her diaper days would be bumped up to at least seven. Are we really ready to go back to early morning feedings and messy diapers?"
Chuck quickly crossed the room, closing the distance between them. He took Sarah's hands in his and she stopped fidgeting with the box in her hands. "Sarah, don't freak out."
She shook her head. "But Chuck, you know that with Dani the doctor placed me on bed rest and then there was talk about a C-Section..."
"And everything went fine. You didn't need the C-Section and three years later Dani is still here with us and she's happy, healthy, smart and beautiful."
"But I'm older now Chuck," Sarah sighed. "Something could go wrong."
"Sarah," Chuck squeezed her hands. She looked up at him with a wild look in her eyes. "I'm here for you, always."
Sarah sighed again. "Here I am getting worked up about another baby and I don't even know for sure that I'm pregnant."
"Everything while be fine," Chuck tried to allay her fears and motioned her to the bathroom.
Minutes later, she was sitting on the bathroom floor, her back resting against the bathtub and Chuck was next to her, his long legs stretched out before him. "You're happy with our family, right?"
Chuck looked at her like if she had gown six heads. "Sarah, of course! I love you and I love our family."
"The way it is I mean..." Sarah fiddled uncomfortably with her fingers. "You're happy enough that even if I'm not pregnant that we'll still be good?"
Chuck grabbed her face in his hands and kissed her soundly until his chest burned from lack of air. "Does that answer your question?"
Sarah shrugged. "Maybe."
"Seriously Sarah, if you are pregnant, then that's great. It's another person for us to love. But if you're not, I'm happy all the same. You and our children make me feel like the happiest man on earth. And I can't even begin to describe how blessed I feel knowing that you're mine."
They were silent for a moment then, with Sarah processing what Chuck had said. "I could make an appointment with my doctor and see if my body could handle another pregnancy," Sarah turned to Chuck, watching for his reaction.
"Babe, I don't want you feeling as though this is something I pushed you in to. If we do decide to try for another baby, I'd want it to be something that we both want."
"The idea of another baby doesn't seem all that bad. I think the kids would like it. Dani would certainly like not being the youngest anymore," Sarah added after a moment. "And it's not like you won't be there for all the messy diapers and the other less than glamourous parts."
"Yeah," Chuck smiled and kissed her forehead. "Wait, did we just agree that if this test is negative and subject to what your doctor says, we would try for baby number four?"
"I guess we did," Sarah laughed. "Chuck Bartowski, do you agree to have another baby with me?"
"I do," he grinned. "Sarah Bartowski, do you agree to have another baby with me?"
They sealed it with a kiss just as the timer on Chuck's phone beeped, signalling that the ten minutes was up. Taking a deep breath, the couple turned to the pregnancy test.
"It's changing, it's changing. What is that an equal sign? An arrow""
"Or maybe a peace sign. Is that even an option?" Sarah huffed. "Just read the instructions, Chuck!"
"How come you didn't get the one that literally spells out pregnant or not pregnant?"
"The boys were beginning to ask me too many questions and I just grabbed the nearest one I could."
"I'm just saying, this would have been much easier if-"
"Chuck, shut up and read the damn instructions!"
A/N: Thanks for reading.
Until next time,