A/N#1: Hi everyone. Here's a little one shot that came to me the other day when I was watching some clips of Chuck on YouTube. Thanks to charahkids for looking it over for me. I dabbled with it a bit after he did corrections, so if you spot any, they are mine.
I don't own CHUCK, but my bday is in a month, sooooo...
Hope you enjoy.
Charah vs Transitioning. Words: 7,225
It's not like I want a baby right this second, but it's not the worst idea in the world.
And now the picket fence…Perhaps this little man...or woman…Someday...
'Someday' was now a reality. They lived in their dream home. The red door, the white picket fence, and their little woman, they had it all. Maybe the dog would come when their baby was a bit older, but for now, it was more than enough. She was content and at peace with her life. It was perfect, and unlike when she had said that the wedding preparations had been perfect, and nothing could go wrong, this time, Sarah didn't think that her mental admission of this fact would jinx her life in any way. The room was warm with the heavy drapes pulled over the windows and the only light came from her bedside lamp which cast a soft glow on her face. The sound of crickets could be heard outside and if she paid close enough attention to the near silence, the sound of Chuck's heavy breathing was keeping the beat of her heart in check. She'd heard him arrive home; it was already dark and Lisa had long ago been put down to sleep. She'd listened to his feet make a stop by their baby's bedroom and with a smile; she'd heard the faint creek of her daughter's bedroom door closing once again before his footsteps continued on down the hallway to their room. He didn't turn on the light when he entered the room, but rather moved around in the almost complete darkness. She didn't turn to greet him, but with her head on the pillow and her eyes still closed, she pretended to be asleep, waiting.
She loved the sound of his presence because he moved across their shared world with an ease quite absent when he had stepped into the world she'd lived alone in for so very long, as nothing but a spy. Chuck navigated the darkness with a masters in silent grace. His clothes rustled as he removed them and she smiled at the silence between removing them and the dull thud of his undershirt and button down dropping into the hamper. He walked over to their large walk-in closet and slipped off his shoes, placing them on the ledge next to his Converse. Their closet reflected their personalities. Chuck still loved a more casual style and his side consisted mostly of jeans, casual button downs and four pairs of Converse. Some business suits, slacks and dress shirts had eventually wormed their way into his side now that Carmichael Industries was becoming more recognized. Her side, like his had a fair set of business wear in addition to her more formal dresses for when they went out, casual clothes and her beloved heels which she had not worn for a couple of months because of the pregnancy. A few of Chuck's T-shirts and boxers had also wormed their way to her side and she now claimed them as hers.
There had been a steady stream of customers ever since they had revamped CI to a cyber-security company. Both Chuck and Sarah were happy about that. Working at CI and being the bosses allowed them more flexibility and of course they were away from danger. No more chasing drug lords or mercenaries, climbing in sewers or gunfights. But she didn't miss as much as she had thought she would. She had traded in her guns and knives...well most of them- for baby bottles and diapers. She had gladly given up interrogating suspects for singing lullabies and midnight stakeouts for midnight feelings. Tonight though, Chuck had been closing up a deal with some contacts in China and due to the time differences, he had to stay late at CI. Shedding himself of his pants and socks, which would also be tossed in the hamper on his way out, Chuck slipped into a pair of pyjama bottoms and a grey T-shirt before making his way to the bathroom. Sarah listened closer. She could hear his bare feet touch the tiles of the ensuite bathroom and could practically smell the freshness of his toothpaste from the bed. With a faint click the light over the bathroom vanity turned off and suddenly his feet had been travelling closer, the sound of his steps getting louder until the bed dipped under his weight.
"I know you're awake." Chuck whispered, drawing close to her. Sarah turned so that she was facing him and Chuck rested his hand on her hip. Sarah smiled at the feeling of being in his warm, firm arms.
"I couldn't sleep." Sarah admitted.
Chuck chastely kissed her lips and toyed with the hem of her pink slip, causing it to expose some of her stomach. When his large palm rested on her stomach, Sarah felt a shiver run through her body. She had only given birth two months ago and she and Chuck had not been intimate since. Grinning, she moved her hand to the back of his head and guided his lips to hers again. When they pulled apart, Sarah saw that Chuck was grinning.
"Why couldn't you sleep?" He questioned. "Were you waiting up for me?" He continued, drawing circles on her stomach.
Sarah shook her head no. While she had been interested to find out how the deal had gone, that wasn't the real reason why she couldn't sleep. His eyes drifted to the bare space to the left of Sarah where the bassinet used to be. Their room was missing something now. Chuck smiled understandingly.
"How are you?"
Sarah sighed and pressed her eyes closed tightly. Chuck read her so perfectly, so effortlessly that she didn't even need to feel tense for him to know that something was worrying her.
"What do you mean?" she asked. Chuck looked at her earnestly, letting her know that he knew she was missing the baby's presence. "Shouldn't you be asking how Lisa is?"
Chuck shook his head. "I know that she's good." When he had checked on her, the babe was resting peacefully in her crib, a small smile on her face. "But what about you?' Chuck pressed.
"I'm fine." Sarah replied, breathing out deeply. Fine. Otherwise known as freaking out, insecure, neurotic and emotional. That was what she was. She wasn't ready for her baby to be out of their room. She had grown so accustomed to having Lisa within a short distance that having her in the nursery down the hall seemed like a mile.
Chuck held her closer. He knew that was a lie. Maybe it was a lie all new mothers were expected to tell. But he had a small smile, because Sarah was still Sarah an even the swiftest of life changes wouldn't change that. He knew that this was painful for her, but he also knew that she knew that this was best for Lisa- for her to spend time in her own room before she got an unhealthy attachment. And because she was Sarah, as painful as this was, she would do it because it was for Lisa, and her needs came above hers.
Sarah didn't expect him to answer, mostly because she knew that there wasn't much he could say. When they had first broached the subject of Lisa sleeping in the nursery without the sound of her parents so close by, Sarah had been hesitant. Chuck had tried his best to assure her that Lisa would be fine. They would have the monitor with them and he had also set up the video feed. He had also stressed that she would just be down the hall, in her own Tangled-themed room with an assortment of toys and books on painted shelves that her Uncles Devon, Casey and Morgan had gladly put up. Casey especially had taken pride in helping them get the nursery ready. At first, he had acted as though being there was a chore, but by the time it had come to put together the furniture, Casey had all but taken over, pushing Chuck aside and telling him he wouldn't know what screw went in what hole and had done a lot of the work. That had resulted in Chuck bestowing the moniker of 'Uncle Sugar Bear' and Casey threatening to put him in the hospital before it was time for his wife to go in to labour.
They laid there, in comfortable silence. Chuck was now lying on his back and she laid her head on her chest. "I love you."
"And I love you."
She opened her mouth to speak again, but as she listened, she could hear his breathing even out and she knew, after a few moments, that he was fast asleep. When his arms stayed around her but his grip on her waist loosened, she waited a few minutes before the deafening weight of the silence around her became too much. She'd become accustomed to seeing the tiny body of her daughter sleeping only centimetres away from her and while her baby girl seemed to be taking the change in her stride, and adjusting comfortably, she was not. She had helped Chuck yesterday in taking apart the bassinet, and appreciated the reassurance of his warm embrace when she rested Lisa's tiny body in the freshly made up crib in the nursery. But tonight, when Chuck hadn't been there, she had seriously considered putting it together again and bringing Lisa back into their room. It had been difficult, but eventually, she convinced herself that Lisa was OK sleeping in the crib.
Slipping out of Chuck's hold, she sat up in bed, wondering if she should get up. Her mind battled. This was normal. Her mother, and even Ellie and Mary had said they had similar experiences and that eventually they had gotten accustomed. But Sarah could not imagine getting accustomed to having little Lisa so far away from her. So even though her rational side said to leave Lisa alone, she decided to go check on her. Maybe then, if she actually saw her for herself and not from the video monitor that Lisa was in fact really fine, she'd be able to go to sleep.
She swung her legs over the bed and pressed her feet down onto the plush carpet, wiggling her toes in it and liking the warmth. Slipping her feet into her bedroom slippers, she then pulled her blue cotton robe from the back of a chair. With one final glance at Chuck, Sarah slipped out of the room.
Sarah padded down the hall and entered the nursery. Smiling, when she saw that Lisa was sound asleep, she sat down in a chair and watched her little chest rise and fall for a while. She didn't know how long she had been there, but eventually she found herself nodding off. When Lisa wailed though, she realised that it must have been after two as it was time for Lisa's feeding. Shaking her head a bit, Sarah walked over to the white crib and looked down at her baby girl. Lisa was wiggling and her movements caused her blanket to come from around her body.
"Hey baby. Momma's right here." Sarah greeted.
Lisa squealed and smiled, though whether it was because of the colourful butterfly mobile above her head which had been a gift from Beckman or from seeing her mother, Sarah was not too sure.
Sarah bent down and picked her up as she was growing fussy. "Momma missed you." Sarah whispered as she cradled Lisa to her chest and walked over to the rocking chair and sat down to feed her. She loved moments like these. When all was quiet and the moonlight barely shone through the lilac curtains. The dim lighting in the nursery was perfect for Sarah to gaze down at her sweet baby. She loved her so much. As Lisa pulled, Sarah found herself looking into her face. Lisa had her nose and her high cheek bones but Chuck's beautiful brown hair. Her eyes were a striking blue, with hazel on the edges but they weren't sure if they would eventually change once she got older.
Eventually, Lisa was full and Sarah rested her on her shoulder so that she could burp her. Sarah set Lisa in her lap, cradling her head in the cup of her hands. Lisa opened her eyes then, looking up at her mother and Sarah couldn't help but think that she was wondering, measuring her with her eyes. Sarah began singing the lullaby her mother had sung to her and Lisa seemed completely taken with her, keeping her eyes on her mother and every note had her blinking as if she was trying to pay closer attention. Sarah knew she was too young to completely understand what was going on around her, but she knew that Lisa knew she was her mother. Chuck had only gone back to work last week and she was on maternity leave for another month. She wasn't too sure that she would be able to leave her little girl though. She loved the routine they had established and enjoyed spending time with her, watching as she grew more aware of her surroundings and drank her new world in.
They stayed in the rocking chair, Sarah just enjoying spending time with her until Lisa began to drift off to sleep. Sarah kissed her cheek and laid her back down in the crib, pulling the blanket over her. After one last glance, she left the nursery, knowing that Lisa, who still was not sleeping through the night, would be up in at least another three hours for another feeding.
Sarah shot upright in her bed. She was cold. Taking a series of shallow breaths, she clutched unconsciously at her camisole, curling her fingers into the fabric in a search for warmth. Her heart was hammering wildly in her chest and she struggled to stop her breath from becoming ragged. She could feel her hands shaking and a sheen of sweat on her face despite the room being chilly. She drew in another deep breath and tried to calm down. She assessed her situation in the moon-lit room. The comforter had been kicked to the foot of the bed frame and Chuck's warm large feet were not wrapped around hers. That's probably why she was cold. Sighing, she made her way to the bathroom and splashed some water on her face. 'It was just a dream' she muttered to herself.
Sarah returned to the bed and sat down. She pulled her legs close and rested her forehead on her knees. She felt a hand on the small of her back and she jumped slightly, ready to defend. Chuck reached over and turned on the bedside lamp on his side.
"Hey." Chuck's voice was close and gravelly with sleep. "What's going on?"
Sarah averted his gaze. "I was cold." She muttered. Her eyes drifted to the sheet bundled at the bottom of the bed as the explanation. "And I had a nightmare." Sarah confided after a moment's silence.
His brows pinched and he pressed his lips tightly together. "You don't want to talk about it." Chuck said. He knew her well enough. Sometimes she needed time to herself.
"Come back to bed. I won't let you get cold again." Chuck's voice was soothing and reassuring.
"I think…I think I'm going to check Lisa." Sarah said. "She's been quiet." Too quiet. Sarah pulled her plush robe around her and tied the sash around her waist. A line of goose bumps ran up her neck and she rubbed them unconsciously.
"That's good, Sarah. Let her sleep while she's letting us sleep."
Sarah sighed and fidgeted with the sash of the robe. "I just want to look in on her. I won't wake her up." She would be extremely quiet, although if Lisa did wake up, she wouldn't mind.
Chuck groggily got up from bed and walked over to her. "I really think you should just sleep – or come talk to me, at least…" He laid a hand on her shoulder, guiding her back toward their bed, but she shrugged him off, face scrunched together in a grimace.
"No, Chuck really. I'm fine. I'll just be a minute." She smiled at him in an effort to persuade him and he returned a small grin. Kissing him on the cheek, Sarah then made her way out of the room and into the nursery. Chuck watched her disappear from the room then slumped back into bed and pulled the comforter over his body. Sarah's side of the bed was cold.
Around eight o' clock, the family of three was downstairs for breakfast. In her chair, Sarah forked her half eaten pancake around the plate. In her other arm, she balanced Lisa. The baby had been up early this morning, sometime around six. Chuck had already tended to her bath and she was now dressed in a green onesie with the words 'Little Soldier' on the back of it which had been a gift from Casey. Casey had really taken to her and the baby showed him the same affection. Lisa was idly gnawing at her bib, having already had her bottle of milk. From his adjacent seat, Chuck sipped his coffee, having already finished eating. He was also surreptitiously watching Sarah gently bounce and rock Lisa in a purely unconscious affection of motherhood. He thought she was beautiful, with her flowing blond hair hurriedly braided into a French braid and her pink camisole and plaid boxer shorts.
His vision drifted to Lisa and then back to her mother. His eyes traced the silky curvatures of her bosom and he lingered when he saw her eyes. One might have honestly mistaken the bags forming under her eyes as a sign of having a young baby who still did not sleep through the night and he had a few of those as well. But he knew better. He had planned to wait up for her to return last night, but he had eventually fallen asleep. When he had awoken, her side of the bed was still cold and he knew that she had not returned.
He'd found her dosing in the rocking chair in Lisa's room around six. Lisa was already awake and pawing at her mobile when he found them. And when he woke Sarah, with understanding in his eyes, she had smiled at him apologetically before going back to bed for a little less than two hours. He didn't think she was rested well enough and had tried to coax her into sleeping some more, but she refused.
"Are you tired?"
Sarah was startled by the question and dropped her fork onto the plate with a clatter. Lisa was also startled by her action and fussed. "Sorry baby. Momma didn't mean to startle you." Sarah tapped her gently on the back. "I'm OK." Sarah told Chuck. She had survived on less hours of sleep before. He looked at her, undeterred and his gaze unwavering. "Ok, I'm a little tired. But it's nothing I can't handle."
"You didn't come back to bed," Chuck probed carefully, keeping his voice low. "Is everything all right?"
Sarah's eyes caught his briefly, then darted quickly toward Lisa and back.
"Umm, yea. Everything is fine, Chuck. I just wanted to make sure she was alright." She shifted an unhappy Lisa to her other arm and rested her on her shoulder.
"Is she gassy? Or maybe she's hungry again?" Chuck asked. He had given Lisa her first bottle after she woke up and another bottle half hour an hour ago but sometimes he thought Lisa ha his appetite as she liked to be fed very often, and as such she was quite chubby for her age. The paediatrician had said that she was within the average weight range for babies her age, so they weren't worrying about that.
"I got it, Chuck."
Lisa began to wiggle in her mother's arms and her fingers tangled in Sarah's hair. Lisa grasped a fistful and tugged. "Ouch!" Sarah yelped. She stood and switched Lisa to a cradling position so she couldn't tug her hair. Lisa was shrieking now, as she hated being in that position unless she was being fed and she kicked her little feet, her hands also squatting the air. Chuck was suddenly struck by just how small and tired Sarah looked.
"Here," he said, rising and easing the baby out of her arms. "I'll take her. You should go back to bed."
"Chuck. I can handle it." Sarah protested. "Besides, you have to go to work."
"I don't have to go to work. I'll call Morgan and have him hold the fort. You need me here, and you two are the most important people in my life. I promised I'd always be here for you and I'm not about to renege on that." Chuck smiled. Sarah frowned and opened her mouth to protest again. "Go back to bed Sarah." he said firmly, hoisting Lisa up against his chest. Almost instantly she began to calm, screeches dimming to whimpers as she nuzzled her face into his shoulder. He ran one hand down her back soothingly, and Lisa cooed. Smiling happily, he turned back toward Sarah again.
"You're tired and you won't be much help to her like that." Chuck said in a soft voice, hoping that she wouldn't be offended.
He saw her mask crumble and her expression collapsed from exhaustion into defeat. A flush rose on her cheeks as her eyes grew over bright, and she caught her lower lip in her teeth. "Fine," she sniffed, clearing her breakfast wares. "She likes you better anyway; I guess I'll go take a bath."
Chuck caught sight of her pained face as she made her way out of the kitchen and called out to her. "Sarah, come on. I didn't mean anything by it." In his arms, Lisa began to fuss again. She did not like having her peace disturbed. He winced. "Lisa, sweetie, it's OK." He patted her back, mimicking Sarah's bounce and sway. "Sweetie, shhh, it's OK. Daddy's got you." He managed to calm her and set her down in the bouncy chair in the living room before going into the kitchen to clean up and call Morgan.
They didn't talk about what happened in the kitchen or the fact that Sarah had slept in the nursery. Chuck had tried to broach the topic a few times during the day, but Sarah had been unresponsive. Instead, they spent the day watching a movie and playing and reading to Lisa. Though she was only two months, Chuck knew that she was going to be a very bright child. She was always drawn to her baby books and never seemed to tire of looking at the bright colours and different shapes unless she was hungry. It was around three when Sarah suggested that the three of them go for a drive somewhere. He agreed and after he had packed Lisa's baby bag (which Sarah then had to repack because she argued that he had packed too much stuff) they piled into the car and set off.
They didn't set out for a particular destination, but ended up at Emma's house. Emma and Molly were both excited to see them. Chuck spent some time playing Mario Kart with Molly while Lisa took a nap and Sarah conversed with her mother as the two prepared supper. She hadn't necessarily set out to come to her mother's when she suggested the drive, but Sarah guessed that this was as good a place as any to wind up. She needed her mother's advice. She was still adjusting to motherhood and it felt nice to be able to talk openly to her mother about it and get advice. Supper was delicious and the conversations flowed easily as they caught up on each other's lives. Molly was excited to share her new tales about the victories of her football team. Molly had also asked them when Sarah would be having another baby, since by her logic, Lisa needed a playmate. Chuck was able to maintain a neutral expression and told her that she would be one of the first to know if they did have another baby. The Bartowski family spent another hour before deciding it was time to go home. Emma promised that they would visit them in Burbank soon. Molly hugged Chuck and Sarah and peppered kisses along Lisa's face when it was time for them to go. She also walked them down the drive way, proudly slinging the baby bag over her shoulder, it was clear to Chuck and Sarah that she was very excited to be an Auntie- a title which she had proudly boasted during dinner that none of the children in her class had.
By the time they reached the white house with the red door and white picket fence, Lisa was sound asleep, tuckered out from the forty-five minute drive from Grandma's house. Sarah slung the baby bag over her shoulder and walked up the path to open the door while Chuck covered her with her purple quilted blanket and removed the car seat from its base.
Once they were inside, Chuck removed Lisa from her car seat and took her up to the nursery. There, he changed her diaper, put some more powder on her and then changed her into one of her night rompers. Sarah came up behind him just as he had laid her down into the crib. She wrapped her arms around his waist and rested her face against his back.
"I'm sorry about this morning." She mumbled against him.
Chuck turned so that he was facing her. "Hey," he began, tilting her face so that she was looking directly into his eyes. "Apology accepted. But I know something's bothering you. I want you to talk to me."
"Come on, let's get to bed." Sarah offered, deflecting his request. She would talk to him. Soon.
Chuck woke groggily to the feeling of a breeze across his bare back. Tonight had been unusually hot and they had opened the window just a crack. The breeze wasn't uncomfortable, but he just didn't feel right. He rolled onto his back, fully expecting to feel the resistance of Sarah's body wrapped around him as he moved, but found none. He craned his neck and found her side of the bed empty. There was however a lingering scent of pawpaw and cucumbers which he knew to be from her night cream. There was also a hint of baby powder which he had become accustomed to which added to her alluring arsenal.
He sat up against the headboard and watched as the gold curtains rustled against the window frame. He never would have been able to feel that breeze had they been intertwined as they usually were. As he reached his hand across the bed, he could feel that the sheets had minimal warmth to them. She had been gone for some time. He glanced to the alarm clock on the bedside table and registered that it was 2:37 AM. He knew that meant she was probably in the nursery feeding Lisa. The monitor was on, but he didn't hear her melodic voice singing a lullaby nor did her hear the exaggerated noises of Lisa as she suckled. He heard nothing and wondered if Sarah had fallen asleep in the rocking chair as she had done the night before. He shrugged and slipped out of the bed, pulled on his night shirt and exited the bedroom.
Chuck padded his way down the hallway, his footsteps light. He came to his destination and gently rested his hand against the door. He looked at the hand painted plaque that read "Lisa Yvonne" in lilac and pink surrounded by white gardenias and he smiled. That had been a gift from Carina and Zondra who had enlisted the help of one of their assets to bring their idea to fruition. Chuck remembered their abysmal attempt to downplay their cluckiness when they gave the gift at the hospital, and Casey's subsequent barb about Burbank turning them all soft.
He pushed the door open slowly and quietly, not wanting to startle its occupants. Chuck had expected to see Sarah sitting in the rocking chair with Lisa in her arms, covered by a blanket, but instead he saw that Lisa was in her crib, soundly asleep. He pushed the door open further, intending to look down on her and make sure she was properly covered by the blankets. After that, he would check downstairs for Sarah. He moved to cross the room when he felt a hand on his ankle. Normally, being Chuck Bartowski, he would've had heart palpitations and a girlish scream (which Casey would have no doubt rebuked him for) would have escaped his lips by now. He would also have been ready to defend his family although the closet guns were stashed in their bedroom. But, he didn't freak out, because this hand was soft and gentle.
Silently, he moved a bit further inside the room and sat down on her left side. He pressed his back to the wall and outstretched his long, lanky legs on the floor. "Hi." He bumped her lightly with his shoulder.
Sarah smiled faintly and looked at him for a second before returning her sight to Lisa. He knew why she was here. Sarah titled her head back, resting it against the wall before resting in the crook of his neck, a sigh escaping her lips. "Do you think I'm crazy?" She questioned.
"Well, if you mean crazy in love with me, then yes." replied Chuck.
She shook her head and waited for him to be serious. For a moment, Chuck considered pretending that he didn't know what she meant, but he realized she wouldn't appreciate that,
"No. You're not crazy." He replied, wrapping his arm around her shoulders and pulling her into his side. She extended her legs, and rested her hands in her lap. She idly played with her wedding and engagement rings. For a moment, they just sat there with the light from an energy saving lamp casting a shadow across the furniture in the room and their faces.
"Sarah you are a fantastic mother. You just want to make sure that she's alright."
Sarah closed her eyes and sighed. When they had finally let her sleep in here three nights ago, Sarah thought she would have been ok with the adjustment. Clearly she wasn't.
"You know last night, when I had the nightmare?" She asked, and Chuck nodded. "I woke up in our bed and she wasn't next to me in the bassinet, and when I rushed in here, she wasn't in her crib. I couldn't find her anywhere Chuck. She was just gone." She hiccupped on the last sentence. "And now, everyone I close my eyes, I think that maybe she's stopped breathing or that someone has come in here and taken her away from us." Sometimes it was Shaw she saw, sometimes it was Mr. Colt and sometimes it was Jill or Heather Chandler. The faces varied, but the result was always the same. She didn't find her baby.
Chuck hugged her tighter and kissed the top of her head when he heard her voice trembling. "Hey, she's fine." No one was going to hurt or take their baby girl away, and if they did try, well he would unleash his wrath.
"My Mom says that it'll get better." Sarah said wistfully. "I don't see that happening."
"I think your mom is right." He understood what she was feeling and he knew that in time, she would be alright. It was Lisa's first couple of nights without them and it would take some time to get used to. But this was one of the many firsts that were to come in her life. He could already see flashes of their future. On her first day of Kindergarten he could picture her cheerful spirit as she ran to greet her teacher and other children in her class. He'd probably have to steer Sarah away from the building because she wouldn't be ready to leave her there for a whole six hours in the care of what she would consider to be strangers. When she started school, Lisa would probably wipe Sarah's kisses from her cheeks and he would have to wipe Sarah's tears as they watched her becoming lost in a sea of school children. They would be sure to maintain a visual on her for as long as possible. And when Lisa would have her first boyfriend, Sarah was going to cry over her baby pictures and wail that she was growing up too fast while Chuck was going to be cleaning all of the guns they had in their possession, maybe with Casey's help...OK, maybe the last situation would be the other way around and Sarah would leave the guns to Casey while she sharpened her knives.
Those firsts though were still some time away and another was much closer: the first day that Sarah would leave Lisa in the care of another. They had let relatives watch her before, when Chuck had to work or Sarah had errands to run, but it had never been for more than two hours. They hadn't come to a decision on what they would do when Sarah's original three months maternity leave was over. For now, it was between having Emma who had retired a year ago watch her or enrol Lisa in a nursery. That was if she decided to come back to work after the three months. He knew she was contemplating extending her time, and maybe doing some of her work from at home.
"You going to be OK?" Chuck asked, still concerned.
She sighed. She trusted her mother and she trusted Chuck and they had told her the same thing. "I will be."
Looking at her, he'd admit that he wasn't all that surprised by her response. She was Sarah and even though she hadn't come to terms with it now, he knew that she would eventually. She had adjusted to motherhood expertly and he was amazed by her. He was infatuated, addicted to and irrevocably in love with her. He searched her eyes, and he believed her response. Her eyes told the real story. She did believe that she would be ok. Her eyes had never lied to him, and that's why he loved them so much and hoped Lisa's would be like hers. Even when her mouth had lied, her eyes had always shown what she really meant and betrayed any feelings which she might have wanted to keep locked away.
"How come you aren't freaking out about this?"
Chuck laughed lightly. He had been worried that Lisa wouldn't take to being in her nursery, but upon seeing her sleeping soundly on her first night, he just knew that she'd be OK. She was strong, and resilient. Just like her mother. "I do a bit, but there's one thing I'm absolutely sure about."
"That you will protect Lisa with a tenacity that rivals a mamma bear. I know that you'd do everything in your power to keep her safe."
Sarah smiled warmly at him. That was true.
"I love you." Chuck told her, pressing a lingering kiss to her forehead before pulling back to study her smiling face.
He pressed kisses along her collar-bone, wrapping his arms around her and pulling her against him until she got the message to curl her legs around his waist. He was on his knees by then, holding her closer around the waist as her head dropped over his shoulder and her blonde hair tickled his back. "We can't do this here." She gasped, flinching as he ran his broad hands over the back of her thighs, gripping hard but not painfully, just enough to make her arch into him.
"Why not?" He smiled against her skin, dipping his hand underneath her nightie and running his fingers along the inside of her thigh.
"Because our first time after our daughter's birth should not be on the floor of her bedroom."
"Ah, you've got a point there." Chuck conceded. "But we can do this? Right? You're ready?"
Sarah giggled and her cheeks became tinted red. "I was ready since a couple of days ago." Her pale fingers traced the contours of his chest and she bit her lip.
Chuck pulled her body against him again, shuffling closer to the wall so that Sarah had that support against her back. Chuck kissed her along her neck lazily and ran his fingers through her hair. Sarah titled her head and met his eyes and smiled lovingly.
"I love you so, so much Chuck." Sarah breathed.
He smiled at her and leant in to kiss her again. Without breaking the kiss, he used the wall to brace him as he pulled them both to their feet. Sarah's kisses always left him breathless and overwhelmed and dizzy. He cupped her face in his hands and pulled her body flush against him, wanting no space between them. He loved her. Everything about her.
"Chuck, take me to bed." Sarah pleaded.
He nodded and bent to pick her up bridal style. Sarah squealed at the unexpected gesture. She wrapped her arms around his neck and Chuck had begun to make his way to the door when Lisa made a noise. They both froze, each feeling their hearts beating wildly in their chest. Lisa squirmed in her crib and let out a soft wail. Sarah held up a hand to Chuck, signalling that they should wait a moment more and see if she fell back to sleep. She didn't calm herself down and became more agitated, her cries becoming harder. Chuck set Sarah down on her feet and walked over to the crib.
"Hey sweetie. What's the matter? Huh?" Lisa kicked her feet and the blanket came loose around her. Chuck bent down and picked her up. "It's ok baby. Daddy's got you." Chuck soothed. "Are you hungry? Do you need a bottle?"
"I fed her shortly before you came in, so I don't think she should be hungry." Sarah explained.
"Ok, well let's see what's got Daddy's sweetheart so upset huh?" Chuck cooed. He felt her diaper and realized the source of her discomfort. Taking her over to the changing table, Chuck quickly worked on removing the soaked diaper and giving her a new one. When he had finished, he placed Lisa on his shoulder and rubbed her back soothingly. Chuck then walked around the room in circles and hummed a song as Lisa drifted off to sleep. When her eyes started to droop, he kissed her hair and set her down again, pulling the blanket snug against her.
Sarah smiled at him. He was such a good father to her. "You're good with her." Sarah said softly.
Chuck walked up to her and hooked his arms around her waist. "So are you." He said honestly and grinned at her. He didn't want her to think any different. Despite any initial apprehension she might have had about becoming a mother, they were immaterial because as far as he was concerned, she had been doing an excellent job.
"But I guess the mood is gone now?"
Sarah scoffed. "Are you kidding me? You owe me some good lovin'" Sarah laughed, exiting the nursery.
Chuck smiled and pulled the nursery door closed, before charging down the hall after her.
He caught up to her just as she reached the bedroom door and attacked her lips, pinning her against the door. For a moment, they stayed there, Sarah having her legs wrapped around his waist and the pair completely enthralled by each other, wanting to be as close as possible. Sarah tugged at his shirt and slipped her hands under it to remove the offending material. That's when he decided they should finally go into their room. He was not gonna lose his control right here. He was going to make this special for Sarah. He was going to show her that whatever worries she might have been having following childbirth were unwarranted and that he still considered her to be the most beautiful, gorgeous, sexy woman that there ever was on the planet. Breaking the kiss, he turned the door knob and the two stumbled into the room. As soon as the door shut behind them, Sarah's lips were in his again, and they continued a dance with their lips and tongues which he would never get tired off. Sarah ran one hand along his chest, scraping him lightly with her nails. Chuck growled against her lips and she smirked.
"Wait a minute." Chuck managed to pull away from her for a moment.
Sarah cocked her head to the side. "What do you mean wait Chuck? I told you I'm ready." She kissed his neck and pulled the shirt over his head. With the shirt gone, Sarah ran her hands all over his back and moved to kiss him again. Chuck pulled back slightly. She frowned and unhooked her legs from around his waist, coming to stand in front of him. "So you don't want to?" She asked, her voice small and uncertain. Sure she wasn't back to her pre-baby body and her stomach was still a lot bigger than she would've liked, but she wasn't going to go hard at her workouts at the expense of taking proper care of her child. Then too, her thighs were a bit bigger, but she wasn't bothered by that. She had borne a child for the man she loved more than anything else in the world. But with Chuck's hesitation, she was becoming more self-aware of how her body might have looked. Was she now less attractive? Surely Chuck wasn't that shallow! She knew he was better than that.
"If you're thinking that I don't find you attractive or something you can get that nonsense out of your head." Chuck said, pulling her closer. "I just didn't want to rush it."
Sarah smiled and nodded in understanding. He took his time, exploring her body- it was softer and rounder now that pregnancy and childbirth had tamed the angles of her hips, her breasts were heavy and her thighs were thicker- and he loved all of her. And later, when they had both been sated, Sarah beamed at him, rosy pink, happy and relaxed. A familiar swell of affection blossomed in his chest and he found himself unable to speak- completely mesmerized by the ethereal being that he was lucky enough to call his wife, his soul mate, and mother of his child. Sarah snuggled closer to him, and he pressed a kiss on her forehead. Wrapped in each other's arms, the two fell asleep.
Sarah didn't slip out that night to check on Lisa. She spent the night wrapped in her husband's warm embrace, comfortable that Lisa was safe down the hall. And the following night, Lisa also checked off another first- it was the first time she slept through the night.
AN#2: C'est tout. Feel free to review, even if it's as a guest. I have a month of exams starting next week, so if I don't get a chance to reply to reviews personally, just know that I appreciate them all.
Until next time,