A/N This story has moved along a lot faster than canon ever did, a side-effect of my style of writing, so Molly will be a younger child than she was in canon. A little older than four, rather than almost six.
This is the last chapter of the last episode of this series. I'm combining the Christmas party from Santa Suit with the dinner party from the Baby episode, with a few additional happy endings thrown in for good measure. No flashbacks here, this chapter is moving forward.
"I'm guessing it wasn't the truth."
"The secret is paying attention."
"I'm working on it."
One month ago, in LA…
Mary picked them up at the airport, as she drove down from the slightly-damaged-and-currently-under-repair home of the two most recent additions to Bartowski family. None of the bullet-holes were her fault, of course, but the hand-to-hand had gotten…out of hand. That wasn't a supporting wall, but it still should have been sturdier than it turned out to be.
Three 'business executives', two young, one not-so-young, were just disembarking from the private jet as she drove onto the tarmac for the pickup. Not surprisingly, Casey sat in front, while her son and his wife took the back together. Mary looked her daughter-in-law over critically in the rearview mirror. "Are you alright, Sarah?"
The blonde in the back touched a cheek gently. "It's just a bruise. Ryker liked to show off."
Mary smirked at the use of the past tense, but that faded quickly. "And the ribs?" She pulled away from the plane and toward home.
Sarah brushed a hand over the jacket covering the place where Ryker had punched her. She should have known an agent of Mary's caliber wouldn't miss that. "He got a hit he shouldn't have gotten." She noted the glower from on high. "But you don't have to say anything, Mary. This was my last job. We decided that before we left Florida."
Mary nodded. "Good to hear." She expected it, but of course they hadn't told her beforehand, so they wouldn't jinx it.
"How's Emma, Mom?" asked Chuck.
"I barely saw her, but according to your father she's a real trouper." They'd met halfway, at some truck stop or other, but Mary had only gotten a quick look as they switched vehicles. She liked what she'd seen, and the daughter seemed to be taking the sudden change well, too. "Stephen was always so good with kids."
"What's the cover story?" asked Casey. Surely they hadn't told a kid that young the truth.
Mary shrugged. "Her sister is coming home for Christmas."
Casey grunted approval. "Simple."
Chuck nodded. "Short, sweet–"
"And true," said Sarah.
The closer they got the more nervous Sarah became. What would she say? What could she say?
Chuck took her hand. "Nervous?"
She squeezed his fingers. "Just a lot. My mother raised Molly to think she was my sister. She has to wonder where I was." Fighting bogey-men. Staying away to keep her safe. "How do I tell that little girl why I was gone for so long?"
"You're thinking about the past too much, Bartowski," said Casey from the front seat. "My advice? K-I-S-S, and I don't mean you two! Don't tell her why you were gone, tell her why you came back."
Chuck watched as his mother reached toward the lock, but her hand didn't have a key in it. "Once a spy?"
She shoved the lock to one side and pressed her thumb against the scanner. "Always a spy." She opened the door for her family to enter.
The TV drew their attention first, sounds of electronic mayhem mixed with laughter, as a tall man with shaggy hair battled a well-groomed little girl for supremacy in some arena that was colorful, quick, and Godawful loud. The noise didn't seem to bother the woman sitting on the couch, leafing through one of a rather large collection of photo albums with a smile on her face.
The sound chopped off as the game paused in mid-crash. Stephen Bartowski got up from his seat, while Emma closed the book and set it down on the table, where some juices, ciders, and cups waited for a party to show up. "Hi, dear," he said, putting the game controller down. "I was just, erm, beta-testing our new prototype."
"Hard at play, as usual," said Mary.
Stephen went to hug Chuck. "And she wonders why she gets coal in her stocking. Welcome home, son. Sarah–?"
Sarah wasn't listening. She left all the mumbling behind, lost in the pounding of her heart as she approached the woman she had longed to be with for so many years. "Mom?"
Emma wiped suddenly sweaty hands on her pants leg as she took a step forward. "Sam?"
"It's 'Sarah' now, mom," said Sarah, holding up her left hand. "Sarah Bartowski, now and forever."
Emma put her hand up against her daughter's, and they clasped their hands together. "So you finally settled. I hoped you might."
Being Chuck's wife wasn't 'settling' for anything, but that wasn't how her mother used that word. "That's a very long story, mom."
"Can I hear it?" asked the little girl, suddenly standing at Emma's side.
"Molly," said Emma, putting her hands on the girl's shoulders. "I'd like you to meet your sister, Sarah."
Sarah, much taller than her mother, sank to one knee. "I'm very pleased to meet you, Molly," she said, taking one of the little girl's hands in her own.
"I'm pleased to meet you," said Molly, as her mother had taught her. She smiled, feeling very grown up. "Can you tell me the story?"
"Molly–" said Mary, but Sarah raised a hand, and her mother-in-law subsided.
"She deserves to hear it." Sarah looked at her mother, standing there looking hesitant. "The 'Good Parts' version, I promise."
"What does that mean?" asked Molly.
"It means I'm going to leave out all the boring bits," said Sarah. And the bad bits. And the violent bits. So it was going to be a pretty short 'long story', too.
Everyone sat down, except for Casey, who wasn't the settling type, and drinks were poured. With a sip to clear her throat, Sarah said, "Chuck?" and when he leaned in close she whispered, "How do I start?"
"Try 'once upon a time'," he suggested. "Works for me."
"Okay," said Sarah. She took a deep breath, and said, "Once upon a time, um, there was a little girl, bigger than you but still little, who made a wrong choice." A life in search of adventure, rather than seeking out the adventure in the life she already had.
Chuck, perched on the arm of his wife's chair, held up a hand over Sarah's head, pointing down, and Molly nodded. "She knows it's me, Chuck," said Sarah, seeing the little girl staring over her head and knowing her man very well.
"Just making sure."
"You want to tell this story?"
"Except to say that the bad choice led to other bad choices that left this girl in a bad place, like Ariel when she defied her father, made a deal with Ursula, and found herself voiceless and alone. You know that movie, right?" Molly shook her head. "'Little Mermaid'? No?"
"So the girl," said Sarah, reaching up over her head, pinching his lips together, and seizing back her story. "Eventually a woman, found herself alone, in a bad place. Then her mother called her, and told her she had a sister, and she realized she had no idea how to be a sister, or even a daughter. So she stayed away, thinking it was better not to be a sister at all, than to be a bad one. That's when she met the most wonderful man in the world.'
Chuck pointed at himself, and Molly grinned.
"Or at least she thought so until today." Sarah dug an elbow into Chuck's ribs, and he threw himself off the arm of her chair with a big noise and flailing about. Molly laughed. "And this mostly wonderful man had a really wonderful sister, who showed me how to be a sister too."
"So now you can be my sister?" asked Molly.
"I'm ready to try," said Sarah. "And even better, in order to make his sister happy, we found her father, and then we found their mother, and they were able to help me figure out how to be a daughter again. A real daughter, a good one." She looked at Emma with I'm sorry in her eyes, and Emma took her hand, squeezing gently. "And so here we all are together."
"Yay!" said Molly, leaping up and throwing herself into Sarah's lap.
"Good story?" asked Sarah, surprised.
"Tell it again," said Molly, bouncing on her lap. She pointed at Chuck. "Especially the part where he falls off the chair!"
Somewhere three time zones to the east, a woman in a hospital bed, her room quiet, still, and very secure, opened her eyes. "Hello?"
Chuck sat properly in his chair, much to Molly's amusement, watching the not-quite-a-party swirl about him. How long had it been since he'd had a Christmas with both his parents at the same time? If only Ellie could have been here, but according to Casey, who'd disappeared with Orion at one point to check on the house's security setup, internal security was recording the whole thing, so there'd be a recording for her. Yes, the pratfall too. Suck it up, Bartowski.
Being Bartowskis, they all naturally gravitated toward the only child in the room, but they also deliberately held back, trying not to overwhelm her with a crowd of strangers. Molly had formally and with great ceremony introduced her new sister to her toy dog, a floppy-eared hound named Rex, and Sarah had told Molly about her own favorite toy, a dog named Bunny, which got a giggle. Chuck had tried his hand at the new prototype game, but somehow the controls just didn't fit his hands, or something, since Molly kept winning.
Or maybe it had been the sight of his mother and Emma, talking quietly in the corner where there was probably no surveillance. Emma looked upset, Mary looked calm and consoling. The house would be fixed before they got back to it, and Molly would never know anything had happened. Just then his car flipped over and fell to pieces, and his pit crew came out to put it back together again while Molly raced ahead, laughing. She'd crash somewhere up ahead, he was sure–the pit crew's antics were half the fun, and the cars never came out working the same way after they were done–but apparently there were better places to crash than others.
There were presents, of course, but unfortunately they were in transit, shipped from LA to DC or from DC to LA, neither branch of the Bartowski family having foreseen this little coming-together. The presents they did have were mostly for Molly, but since no one else had anything to unwrap, Emma politely put them away to open when they got home.
Sarah appeared from behind him (he knew she was there, of course), so he rose to his feet, took her hand, pressed it to his lips, and said, "Thank you."
"For giving me a mother-in-law like Emma and a sister like Molly, of course," said Chuck. "I just wish I had something to give you."
Sarah kissed him back, not on the hand. "But you have, Chuck. You've given me everything I could have ever thought to ask for. I have everything I ever wanted."
"Well now, missy," said Chuck in a mildly scolding tone. "I happen to know for a fact that that's not true."
Something was, as they say, up. "Oh, really?" said Sarah, smiling.
"Yes, really," said Chuck. "The thing is, you see, that in between getting saved by the General, and Carina and Gertrude, and then Manoosh, and then my sister, I sort of almost managed to not be able to get you a present for Christmas this year."
He didn't have to, he was her gift. "Chuck–"
"Thank God for Vivian."
Brain glitch. "Vivian who?"
Chuck reached into his back pocket. "The Vivian who stole this–" he produced her charm bracelet with a flourish "–from you." He knelt before her, before them all. "May I?"
"You may." She held out her wrist, and he fastened the precious decoration where it belonged. Stephen embraced his wife as they looked on. Once the clasp was closed, Sarah took it to Mary first, and then to her own mother.
"It's pretty," said Molly, touching some of the charms after Sarah gave her permission.
"Didn't you give her that already, Bartowski?" asked Casey.
"Do you have to be such a killjoy, Colonel?" said Stephen.
"He is right, though, Dad," said Chuck equably. "Which is why that's not the present." He reached up into his shirt pocket and pulled out a small envelope, and offered it to Sarah. "I got this in Budapest."
Sarah took the envelope and spilled its contents into her hand. "Oh–" she said. Was all she could say. She held her hand out to him, eyes glistening.
He shook his head. "Perhaps she should help with this one?" he said, indicating Emma. He moved back.
Emma sat up straighter, shifting Molly on her lap as Sarah nodded, unable to speak. "Chuck?"
Sarah knelt, and held out her hand. On her palm was the silhouette of a little girl's head, a silver charm. "Sarah?" said Emma, lifting the ornament. "Are you…?"
The blonde ex-spy nodded again, smiling through her tears. "Do you think you could give me some 'mommy' lessons now?"
Chuck stopped backing up when he ran up against a brick wall that said, "A girl, huh?" right in his ear.
"What if it's a boy?"
"Sarah's sure it's a girl."
As if reality would bend around her wishes. It would, if it was smart, but no one said reality was smart. Look at all those TV shows it made. "What if it's not?"
"She's sure it is."
Casey made an amused sound. "You've got a boy charm in your pocket, don't you?"
Chuck rolled his eyes. "Duh."
Two weeks ago, in DC…
The doctor pushed the door open part-way, tapping to get her attention, not that she needed to. "Vivian, your visitors are here."
Vivian stood and straightened her clothes unnecessarily. "You may let them in now."
"Don't be so nervous, it's your father," said the doctor as she closed the door.
Which was precisely why Vivian was so nervous. Alexei Volkoff's support came with a high price, that she be prepared to excel at whatever he was supporting her in, and he had the highest standards she'd ever struggled to meet. She could only imagine how disappointed he would be in her, to find her in hospital this way.
Then there was the man himself, and an older woman stepping into the room. "Vivian, darling!" said the man, walking into the room and taking her hands.
He drew her in for a hug. "I'm so sorry I wasn't here for you in your hour of need."
Something felt off to Vivian. Alexei Volkoff was never so bold with his emotions. This embrace both thrilled and frightened her. "I don't understand, Father. You've always been there for me, you've given me everything."
"Not everything, dear," said Hartley, gesturing his mother, Vivian's grandmother, forward. "I have, in point of fact, kept a great deal from you, but that ends now."
Ellie stood in her monitoring station, watching the various screens as they told her more about what was going on inside Vivian's head than the words and the gestures did. The clothes she wore, and how she felt about them. Her father's past, and present kindness. So far, so good. Now for the real test, the final test.
"Six months?" said Vivian incredulously. No wonder they hadn't let her see a newspaper, or anything with a date on it. She touched along the back of her head, but felt nothing.
"I doubt you'll feel anything now," said her father. "Fortunately Artemis' training kept her from kicking out as strongly as she might have, but even so, if your young man hadn't been there…"
Vivian left off searching for the injury. "My who?"
Ellie lifted her phone. "Send him in."
Carina walked her charge to the door but made him go into the room alone. She waited a few moments, just in case, but when nothing instantly exploded she headed back to her seat.
Vivian looked up as the door opened, and a tall, curly-haired man stepped through, a little hesitantly. "Miss Vol–I mean, Miss MacArthur?"
She rose slowly, staring at him, his eyes, so…brown. "I…Do I know you? I feel like I should."
"We…met briefly," he said, sounding a bit nervous, staring at her. "I was there to coordinate the service at your party, and we…chatted." A world of implications lay behind that word. "I was there in the stable, when your horse was startled, and kicked–"
"My father tells me you might have saved my life," said Vivian with a smile. She couldn't stop smiling. "I wish I remembered you better." Or at all. She held out her hand. "Are you free for dinner, Mister…?"
He took her hand, bowed over it like a gentleman. "Carmichael, Miss MacArthur. Charles Carmichael."
"A pleasure, Charles." A genuine pleasure. Dinner could not come soon enough. "Please, call me Vivian." She nodded, to include the others in the room. "It's a Winterbottom family name."
Ellie sat alone in her room, wiping tears from her eyes, smiling. She couldn't stop smiling. Vivian Volkoff, her entire existence neatly coinciding with Chuck's presence in her life, was gone, erased as if she had never been, and her family and Mr. Carmichael would help keep this old-new Vivian from ever going down that path again.
Ellie thought about souls, like her father had been doing a lot lately. After Bryce…
"Everything went back, Eleanor, everything but the Intersect. Bryce died trying to destroy the Intersect. Is it so unbelievable that somewhere in his frozen brain that one imperative remained, waiting to be fulfilled?"
Until they pushed all that code through his frozen brain, and…Ellie would never know, but some days, she was more willing to believe than others, and forgive. If not for Bryce, Chuck would have been the one in that tube. She called the General. "Miss MacArthur is ready to be released." Then she called the General back. "And expedite, please. She's got a dinner date."
Two young men stood waiting for Carina by her chair, leering at her. "Hola, senorita," said the larger one, in a tired monotone. "We are looking for Miss Vivian Volkoff."
"She's with family now," said Carina. "You'll have to wait."
At the news that she was near they became a great deal more animated. And demanding. "We have followed Miss Volkoff around the world, to deliver a message of great importance," said the thug, holding up a flash drive. "Our business cannot wait."
Carina smiled, recognizing that drive. These two simpletons had followed Miss Volkoff through any number of her suppliers and/or customers, searched at each one, the trackers in their bodies activating at each search. They'd gutted her empire, and now…here they were. One last fling before she retired to desk duty, i.e., got promoted. "You two young men definitely deserve a reward for your dedication and service. Come with me and I'll make sure that you get all that you deserve."
Tonight, at the house with the red door that Chuck and Sarah called home…
"Morgan, please stop straightening the buffet table, you're not on duty." Chuck looked around for help. "Alex, could you sit on him, please?"
"Oo, gladly," said the young FBI agent, steering her man toward a chair. "You heard him, sweetie. It's his house…" A small grunt as girl sat on boy, a soft moan as girl distracted boy from silly things like food service. Chuck wasn't about to turn around. He heard a grunt of pain behind him as he made his rounds, leaving the imaginary dining room area for the imaginary living room area.
"I'm gonna need something stronger than this Chardonnay…" said the grunter.
Alex came up for air. "Scotch. Kitchen, top left cabinet."
"Nice," said Casey. "Would you like some, Gertrude?"
Emma was still in front, by the picture, the current wedding photo, as Chuck and Sarah cycled through their many favorites from the reception. Chuck amused himself all the time, trying to figure the time and place, the story behind each one. "So what do you think?" he asked as he got close enough not to have to yell. "Post-dip? We had a really nice dip in the middle there." He looked over at the couch, where Sarah was introducing Molly to the sister who showed her how to be a sister, and of course Carina had to sit in on that. She did a lot of sitting in on things these days, but tonight she was practically shaking the chair apart with some secret tension.
Emma shook her head, bringing his attention back to the photo. "Not flustered enough." She didn't really know Chuck all that well, but she'd seen the effect he had on her daughter. The tough little thing she'd worried about so often was nowhere in sight. "I'm thinking first dance, right as the music starts."
"Devon had a great speech," said Chuck. "I think."
"You had other things on your mind, I'm sure." Emma smiled at him. "Thank you for giving her this."
Chuck wasn't sure what to say. How could he not have given it to her? It was hers, he was hers, right from the start, no 'giving' involved. The hard part was trying to get her to take it.
The doorbell saved them from what was growing into an awkward moment. Chuck excused himself to answer it, while Emma went to watch Morgan try to do a card trick. If his magic was anything like his Mario Kart she had to be ready for the worst.
Chuck missed seeing Morgan's deck of cards explode all over the room, but he heard Molly's squeal of joy as he checked the panel by the front door. He found himself staring down into the face of Roan Montgomery, who looked up into the camera and gave it a wink. Chuck opened the door. "Aunt Diane," he said loudly, as General Beckman stepped over the threshold, "So glad you could come. Roan, always a pleasure."
"Thank you for the invitation, Charles," said Roan. "I understand congratulations are in order?"
Chuck held out his arm, and Sarah stepped into his embrace. "On many fronts," she said, resting a hand on the curve of her belly.
Roan beamed. "One of several enlargements to your family, eh, Charles? Well done."
Sarah took the hint. "Let me introduce you to my mother, and Molly, my sister."
Beckman stayed behind. "I apologize in advance, if he sweeps any of the ladies off their feet."
Sarah looked surprised. "My mother?"
"Your sister. He's very good with children." They watched as Roan turned on the charm, first for the mother, then the daughter. Satisfied that he would stay out of trouble for the moment, Beckman said, "Please, excuse me. I see Agent Miller over there. I have some news for her."
Chuck put their coats away, coming back to the room in time to see Roan Montgomery seat himself on the floor, elegantly of course, and ask Molly solemnly, "Is this Dog?" as she showed off her most precious possession.
Suddenly they heard Alex shout, "My eyes, I'm blind!" Morgan raced off to the kitchen, passing Casey and Gertrude as they were, ahem, on their way out. Naturally they came over to Beckman to pay their respects. Chuck looked desperately for anything else to think about, and noted Carina's happy glow, still tinged with that strange buzz, and ambled over to satisfy his curiosity.
Sarah watched as Morgan and Alex came out of the kitchen, Morgan moving like a man on a mission. 'Uh-oh." She moved to intercept.
Carina and Davis got to her first, even with the cane, drawing Chuck in. "Good news! My promotion came through!"
Morgan and Alex came up behind Casey and Gertrude as they chatted with the General. "So he'll get his star?" asked Casey. "How did you manage that?"
"I offered to put one up at the NSA if the CIA didn't think he was worthy," said Beckman. Casey and Gertrude made identical (except for the pitch) grunts of approval.
"Dad, Gertrude," said Alex, and they turned.
"We've got news," said Morgan, nervous and determined.
A few feet away, Chuck looked suspiciously from Carina to Davis and back again. "That's not all your news, is it?" Being taken out of the field, however necessary due to her injury, was hardly something she'd get excited about.
On the other side of the General, Casey glowered at the youngsters as they dithered. "Well? Out with it, moron, we're aging here."
Carina, Davis, Morgan, and Alex all shouted at once, "We're moving in together!" Then the two couples looked at each other in the sudden total silence, and they all said, "You're what?"
"Did he call you 'Aunt Diane'?" asked little Molly, as General Beckman sat eating.
"Does that make you my aunt too?"
Well, technically…why not? "You can never have too many aunts," said 'Aunt' Diane. Or nieces.
"This is Rex," said Molly, holding up her dog. Her way of including people.
"Rex is a good name," said Aunt Diane. "I had a tiger once, when I was your age. I named him Spot."
Molly giggled. "That's a silly name for a tiger!"
Beckman leaned in close. "I'll tell you a secret. He was a silly tiger."
"I have a gift for you, Agent Miller," said Gertrude. She nodded at Carina's hip. "For some actions, like yours, there is no repayment possible, only acts in kind. Casey said this would be best."
The box was heavy, so Davis took it and opened it for her. "A bulletproof vest?" said Carina.
"Much more than that," said Gertrude. "Custom made, with the latest materials, it'll stop anything on the street tomorrow."
Carina stroked the material. It even felt like safety. "Thanks, but…I'm leaving the field. I won't need this."
Gertrude smiled, pointing at Davis. "The vest is for him, silly."
"You're leaving the CIA?" asked Morgan.
Chuck sighed. "I wish I could, buddy, but the Piranha's out of the bag. Beckman had to broker a deal with three agencies, not to mention a few Federal departments that will remain nameless. Hannah's the new Intersect, after a fashion. Or she will be, once she finishes her honeymoon. She and her group are the contact point for all of us, where we'll all, you know, intersect."
"But you don't work for her?" asked Morgan, as Chuck had another crab-cake.
"Nope. Carmichael Industries is a well-known and respected name in the cyber-security arena," said Chuck. Too well known, said any number of Federal agencies, with photos and film footage to back them up. "Casey's going to work for Verbanski, and as payment of our debt to VC, we'll be farming out all the fieldwork to them. We'll be located on VC property, trading intel for physical security, but otherwise CI will be independent, doing contract work for whoever needs it." And was willing to pay his prices. Forty mil would only go so far.
"Balance of power," said Morgan, nodding sagely. "Smart General. Where does Sarah fit into all this?"
"Base commander, with a bit of combat instructor." Still in charge of Chuck's protective detail. "That way Gertrude can get out in the field more."
Morgan smiled. "I thought Casey was grunting happier…"
"So," said Devon to Carina, in a quiet moment. "You and Davis, huh? That's not because of the, uh…" He gestured at the cane.
"Not entirely," said Carina. "He's smart, though. He knew what this–" she touched her cane "–would mean for me, for us. Knew we'd need to change, and pushed me into it with some creative miscommunication." He tricked her, not necessarily a bad thing. That first Game Night, he knew exactly what she'd meant, as opposed to what she'd said. A man with wit, her favorite kind. "He's glad I won't be in danger anymore, though." And thanks to Gertrude, neither would he. Much. "But really, until it heals as much as it's going to, we can't do sex either, so we're doing other things."
She looked over to the table, where Davis was refilling her plate with her favorites. "He makes it easy to remember myself, share myself. The true things, like my name."
Devon frowned. "It's not Miller?"
"Nope." That was for Davis to know, and for no one else to find out. Carina smiled. "But it's still safest."
"So here you are," said Emma softly, standing next to her eldest daughter as Sarah stood by the door, surveying her domain, her family. Ellie and Molly watching The Little Mermaid. Her sister-in-law was so much happier, now that the project was over, and words like 'bunker' and 'Chuck' would no longer be used in the same sentence. And speaking of brothers, there was Chuck, finally making good on his bet with Carina, telling her how he'd come to owe Sarah twenty children, with Casey and all of his nearest and dearest laughing as he got to the punchline.
"As long as it's the right twenty," said Gertrude.
The floors were still bare but Sarah's home was full. A normal home, and a normal life.
"Did you ever imagine that the life you chose then, the CIA, would lead you here now?" asked Emma.
Sarah sighed. "The CIA doesn't lead. It orders. It assigns." Like Graham had once assigned her to track down the missing Intersect data. Just a job, in the end, but where the job ended her life began. "Sometimes an assignment can also be an opportunity, and then it's up to me to grab it and hold on. Like Chuck." She ran her fingers over the angular letters they'd carved into the frame that first night. "Like this house. Like–" Suddenly Sarah gasped, dropping the fork onto her plate with a clatter.
"Sarah?" said Emma urgently, getting the attention of all the husbands, medical personnel, and spies in the room. "Are you all right?"
The doctors were fast but Chuck was faster. "Sarah?"
"Chuck!" said Sarah, slapping her plate down on the table as she reached out. Grabbing for him, she pressed their joined hands against her belly. "She kicked!"
A/N2 And this really is the end.
I said there would be no Amnesia plot, and there wasn't, for Sarah. For Vivian it was the best possible outcome.
I have no plans to write any more stories in this or any other fandom at this time, although I had a really neat idea for how seasons three and five were meant to link up. I will instead be focusing on my other projects that have been waiting in the wings until I completed this. I hope some of you have or will check out some of my non-Chuck work as well.
Thanks to all of my many reviewers over the years, steadily growing fewer as time went on, but always a few voices left, even if they were sitting in the back of the theater. While this has always been a Charah story, it's rarely been a fluffy story, and I'm sure some of those who desired fluff have gone away, disappointed. In my mind and in this story Chuck and Sarah have been together since Barstow and always will be, even in those parts of their story that I'm not going to write. (I do have a number of scenes I wish I could have included in this series, such as Casey standing up from his wheelchair in Coup d'Etat, or Chuck throwing himself out the window in Zoom, but that's about it.)
I may not have had the quantity of comments other stories got, or still get, but the comments I got are some of the most thoughtful and insightful I've seen. You guys really pushed me to make the story better, with lots of suggestions and more than a few sudden insights into how it should go. Thank you all. As always, this season will be available as a PDF for anyone who wants it.