Disclaimer: Chuck characters are not mine, folks.
A/N: I don't like to use terms like "honey" and "babe" in my dialogue. When I do, it is only to stay in character. I hope you all enjoy the first part of my first Chuck story!
An Awesome Christmas
CHRISTMAS EVE IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
Eleanor Woodcomb anxiously strolled through her new house, wiping down imaginary dust off the kitchen table and countertops as she had already done twice in as many hours. Then she entered the living room through the connecting door to eye the garlands and the Christmas tree she and Devon set up earlier in the week, making sure everything was aligned, checking to see that all ornaments were in place on the tree, and making sure no bulbs blew out on the white lights that illuminated the living room. Once she had made sure everything was in order, she took in the sight of her living room and sighed as her mind flooded with memories, both old and recent.
The living room itself was a reminder that this was her family's second year, and their second Christmas, in Chicago ever since she and Devon accepted research positions in the city. Everything else, though, reminded her of being home in Burbank. As she approached a set of lights hanging on the wall, she giggled to herself, wishing she could have had Morgan there to hang them, and all the while she would insist to him that he make the place magical, as she had once done.
I need the place to be magical. MAGICAL, Morgan.
She grinned again, shifting her gaze to a square-shaped gift tucked beneath the tree, encased in red and green wrapping with a pink bow, that Morgan had shipped out for Clara. Probably a Disney Princess film, she guessed. Although she didn't get along with Morgan at times, she missed him, along with Chuck and everyone else in Burbank, a lot more than she thought she would. He wouldn't be present at the Woodcomb house for this Christmas, but her brother and sister-in-law would.
For the first time in two years, they were coming for a visit, and this was the reason for her anxiety on Christmas Eve. She was determined to make the most of tomorrow's holiday re-union. Ellie closed her olive-green eyes again and took a deep breath. "I am Eleanor Woodcomb...focus on the calm."
Her meditation didn't last long before gentle footsteps came up behind her, and she felt a strong hand on her shoulder.
"Babe, why are you still up? It's 1:30 in the morning. Oh wait...is Santa still on duty?"
"No, Devon. I guess I'm just nervous. Chuck and Sarah will be over tomorrow, and I'm sort of on edge, but in a good way. It'll be the first time since we've moved that we've seen them, and a part of me wants everything to be perfect. And honestly, I'm a little worried about Sarah. I mean, I love her, but if she doesn't remember us still, I don't want her to be too uncomfortable around people who seem like strangers. Her memory still hasn't fully recovered ever since the Intersect overloaded her brain."
Devon put a hand to his wife's cheek and looked into her eyes, seeing the hint of sadness that streamed from the memory of a time when Sarah once held her hostage. So he graced her with a smile to ease her worry. "Babe, don't worry. The last time we talked to Chuck, he said it was a slow process, but some of her memories were returning. And she knows of us and trusts us, because she fully trusts Chuck. It will be fine, and we will show them tomorrow that we still love them, and despite the distance, we are still there for them during this hardship they face. Now, remember what I said about tomorrow?"
"Tomorrow is going to be an awesome Christmas." she repeated.
"An awesome Christmas, babe," Devon kissed Ellie's forehead. "Now shall we go to bed?"
Ellie nodded and rose to follow Devon to their bedroom, but not before stopping to Clara's bedroom to give her sleeping child a goodnight kiss.
WOODCOMB RESIDENCE, CHRISTMAS MORNING
Outside, Chuck and Sarah stood in front of the door of the Woodcomb's two-story brick residence. Chuck had the jitters, brought on by excitement over seeing Ellie and Awesome again. To think his sister and brother-in-law were just behind the door, and Clara was probably walking, no longer a crawling infant...What else had changed?
His thoughts were cut off when he felt Sarah's grip on his hand tighten. He turned over to look at his wife, who was eyeing the door with a look of discomfort in her eyes."Baby, are you okay?"
"I think so, Chuck. It's just," she sighed. "I still don't remember too much of your sister and her family. I've regained only a few memories of Ellie and Devon, but I still have none of Clara. I want to re-unite with them, but I'm worried I'll make them uncomfortable. You remember what happened when I was under Quinn's influence." A tear strolled down Sarah's cheek and Chuck turned to engulf her in his arms and stroke her blond hair.
"Hey, hey," he soothed. "That's over. It's in the past. You know the truth now about who you were...who you are. I'm here for you Sarah, for better or worse, as I promised you when we got married."
"Chuck, I don't..."
"I know, you still don't remember our wedding. I know your memory is still limited, but you once said to me, that we didn't get married because we thought life together would be easy. We married, because we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together, to face challenges together. And that still holds true, Sarah Bartowski. I will always be there for you, and so will Ellie and Awesome. Trust me, trust us."
"Always, Chuck," Sarah whispered as he pulled away and took her hand once more.
"Are you ready, Sarah?"
"Yes." At last, Chuck rang the doorbell.
Ellie put her hands together and rushed toward the door. "Devon, they're here! How do I look?" she asked as she straightened her hair.
"You look great Ellie!" Devon called from the kitchen, where he was tending to a turkey for Christmas dinner. His wife nodded and turned Clara, who was wearing a red dress with white stockings and matching red shoes. "Okay, baby, are you ready to see Uncle Chuck and Auntie Sarah?"
"Uncle Chunk!" The two-year old repeated as her mother turned to open the door.