I haven't had time to watch the series in forever so I'm a little hazy on details but this kind of expands on Chuck Vs. The Goodbye. Have said this before, will say it again, I haven't read any of these in years so I hope this hasn't been done yet.

Disclaimer: Don't own it.

While Sarah had a 'flash', so to speak, of memory when Chuck kissed her on the beach, that was it. Granted, it was the memory of the first kiss they shared but it still wasn't quite what he had hoped for. As a result, it was decided that he would take on the task of making Sarah fall in love with him all over again, praying her memory would return in the process; bit by bit if that's what it took.

Instead of leaving to find herself, after asking Chuck to kiss her, Sarah realized that staying with him, and being immersed in 'the familiar', was the key to unlocking her past. She'd already developed a fondness for him and felt a connection, that was strengthened when he told her their story and kissed her, but that wasn't enough for her to be able to slip into marital bliss and, with it, the same bed. So, instead of moving out and returning to her hotel room (the last place she remembered calling 'home'), Sarah decided to stick close to Chuck by taking her things to the guest room that very same evening. After dinner, he walked her to her door and, with permission, gave her a gentle peck on the cheek to say goodnight.

A day went by, where Sarah had no idea of what to do with herself, when she decided to call General Beckman and ask for a job. Her first mission was received almost immediately and Chuck followed her around the house while she packed a bag for the short trip to…well, she couldn't really tell him where she was going.

"I don't think this is a good idea," he advised.

Sarah didn't look at him when she replied, "That's not going to stop me from going." Her hand went to her stomach and an uneasy expression clouded her face.

Chuck was at her side instantly, one hand on her forehead to check for a fever while the other went to her wrist to monitor her pulse. "What is it? What's wrong?"

"Nothing," she responded, pulling free from the attention. "My stomach is a little upset."

"It's your gut," he pointed out, "telling you that you shouldn't go. I cannot stress how important it is to trust your gut in situations such as this."

Sarah stopped and stared at the man that she, apparently, managed to muster enough feelings for that she was compelled to marry him. The idea of marriage was such a foreign concept and so unlike her; completely going against rules she'd made for herself when she entered the CIA. She had a mild urge to move closer to him and put her hand over his heart to offer reassurance but resisted it and kept her distance.

"This is part of me returning to the familiar," Sarah notified. "It's not like I'm moving out. I'll be back in three days."

"I don't like it," he admitted.

"You mean, you don't like that I could meet a handsome international man of mystery, fall madly in love with him, and leave you," she countered.

There was a flush of embarrassment in his cheeks and he admitted reluctantly, "Among other things, that is a concern."

"What are the others?" Sarah questioned in the hope to set his mind at ease, without understanding where the overwhelming need to do so came from.

"That you'll meet a handsome English Duke or a handsome Greek oil tycoon or a handsome island resort cabana boy."

"That's just absurd. I'm not even going to an island," she teased. He caught on to the joke but didn't laugh. "You're being insecure."

"Of course I am!" Chuck agreed all too readily. "My super hot wife, who has no idea who I am, is about to travel to God knows where while I sit here, twiddling my thumbs, waiting for her to come home." She went to her bedroom and Chuck followed but stopped at the doorway, trying to be mindful of her space, and proceeded with his nervous rant, "I had to work my long game on you...like, really long game….ridiculously long…I'm talking years. I had to wear you down with just the right amount of gunfire and espionage. Look at me. I'm not, exactly, oozing with sex appeal. I'm tall and dorky and my hair does weird things without the right amount of product and we both know, but have never said, you could do so much better."

"Chuck, if it puts your mind at ease, I happen to find you very attractive."

"You do?" he asked, calming down significantly.

"Yes and, I would dare to say, it was attraction," she stressed the word to keep him from getting too excited about his progress, "at first sight."

"Attraction?" he repeated, seeming to be pleased with himself.

With her bag packed, Sarah carried it to the threshold of the room and stood in front of Chuck to confirm, "If we're being honest-"

"Always," he answered and took the chance to lace his fingers with hers.

"I married you, whether I remember doing it or not, and for me to make a commitment like that, my feelings for you had to have been immense."

"Can we please stop using past tense?"

She continued, "You're not dorky, you're actually very charming. And…" Sarah started then freed her hand from his to run her fingers through his dark locks, "…I like your hair…especially when it's doing weird things." Afraid any movement would remind her that she needed to stop touching him, Chuck held completely still until her hand gradually slid down to his face where her thumb lightly caressed his cheek. "I'll see you in a few days."

He watched her walk into the living room then called out just as she started to open the door, "Can I give you something to think about while you're gone?" The question was asked shyly yet, at the same time, his eyebrows danced around flirtatiously to properly convey his request.

Picking up on the not so subtle delivery, Sarah questioned, "You mean like a kiss?"

"I do."

"I suppose that would be alright," she responded, seeming suddenly bashful as well.

With several large strides, he crossed the apartment to her; his eyes showing a mix of determination and desire that she couldn't recall ever being on the receiving end of despite the familiarity of it. A lovely warmth spread through her once he was directly in front of her that was immediately overridden by a shiver of nervous excitement when one of his hands landed on her ribcage and the other went to rest on her jaw. There was another brief 'flash' before his lips lowered down to hers.

"You really want me to kiss her?"

"Desperately."

It wasn't like what they'd experienced on the beach. That was gentle, sweet, and controlled; the sort of thing one would expect at the end of a first date with a nice boy that your mother set you up with. The ardent dance they were in the middle of performing with their mouths was the furthest one could get from that on the kiss spectrum…without removing clothes, of course.

He pulled back but kept his lips mere centimeters from hers and Sarah whispered into them, "Bravo." Her legs nearly gave out on her; phased by the memory but, more so, the contact.

Chuck jerked back even more and his eyes went wide with excitement when he instantly placed the word. "You just remembered something."

"I did," Sarah replied, out of breath.

"Let me try again," he offered and she nodded in agreement. The second kiss was longer and he heard her bag hit the floor just before feeling her hands creep up his chest to meet at the back of his neck. Again, he was the one to allow it to end (eventually) and inquired in an exhale, "Anything?"

"No," she stated, keeping a hold of his shirt to steady herself. While there were no memories attached to the act, there were definite feelings finding their way to the surface. "Maybe try one more time," she suggested and pulled his head back to hers instead of waiting for him to initiate.

The intensity continued to grow, well beyond a level of passion she ever expected to feel with (or for) another person, and her legs raised one at a time to wrap around his waist just before he carried her to the couch. Nothing was interrupted when they fell, ungracefully, to the cushions, physically showing their desperate need for one another.

"Wait," he said into her mouth but couldn't quite get separated from her. It wasn't until he realized his hands had taken on a mind of their own, and started to remove her shirt, when he became more committed to putting a stop to things. "This is wrong," Chuck commented. "We shouldn't do this."

"Yes, we should," she countered. "It might shake something loose."

"Oh, I can guarantee something will be shaken loose," he joked. "This just isn't how I want it to happen."

He tried to stand but her legs tightened to keep him in place. "What if you're weird, bearded, friend was right?"

"Morgan," Chuck reminded.

"What if, instead of a 'magic kiss', it takes something more extreme?"

"A magic…" he trailed off but the rest was implied in the silence.

"Exactly."

While he was intrigued by the idea, he also knew it was wrong and shook his head in disagreement. "I can't take advantage of you like that." Chuck started to move his body off of hers but she was quick to restrain him. "What's happening? Is that a head lock or an overly enthusiastic hug?" Her arms tightened slightly and he answered his own question, "Definitely a head lock."

There was a futile attempt at an escape that led to them rolling off the couch and her pinning him to the floor. He instantly countered the move and a sexually charged wrestling match, of sorts, resulted that, strangely enough, Chuck was doing his best to get away from. A slight breeze on his chest signaled that his shirt had been ripped open shortly before he heard the sound of buttons raining onto the floor.

"You have to go!" Chuck declared then managed to break free, sweat beading on his forehead from the exertion. "You're going to miss your flight and, how would that look on your first day back? What would the other spies think?" It was a low blow. A hit that would hurt the pre-Team Bartowski Sarah Walker where it counted; in her professionalism.

Instantly clearing the haze her arousal had her in, Sarah agreed, "You're right," and shot off the floor, picked up her suitcase, then headed straight for the door as he trailed behind her. "I'll call you when I get there," she stated and, without thinking twice about it, lunged forward to kiss him on the cheek, something his Sarah had done a thousand times over when she was in a hurry to leave.

Chuck pressed his fingers to the spot and smiled at the act since 'the familiar' seemed to be just what they needed to get his wife back.

###

Sarah sat on the plane before takeoff, trying to study the details of her mission and cover but her mind was in no way ready to absorb any of the information. Instead, it was back on the couch with Chuck where she allowed things to play out the way she'd intended for them to. She didn't want to rush through the fantasy, since he didn't seem like the kind of man that would expedite an experience like that, and it was just on the verge of receiving an 'R' rating when her cell phone alerted her to the receipt of a text message.

The noise startled her and, after a quick glance to make sure no one saw how entranced she'd become, or the rush of red in her cheeks, she pulled the phone from her bag and read, 'Change of plans. Report to Castle."

There was confusion considering, last she'd checked, Castle had become Carmichael Industries before the Buy More was purchased by Subway, potentially dissolving its ability to be a home base for clandestine activities. But, since that was Castle's last known location, that was where she went.

The only difference with the change of Buy More ownership was that there was a small food court provided by Subway. Green shirts still walked uselessly around the merchandise, pretending to look busy to avoid actually being busy and several Nerd Herders sat in swivel chairs, mostly awake.

Sarah entered and her eyes immediately went to the Nerd Herd desk where, for just a moment, she saw Chuck with a phone to his ear and a folder in his hands as he sang, "Vicky Vale, Vi-Va-Vicky Vale."

She found herself smiling at his quirkiness, then randomly imagined a little girl dressed like a ballerina and, unexplainably, her grin widened while warmth spread throughout her chest. The feeling vanished when Lester practically jumped in front of her, blocking her path to the home theater room.

"We heard about your little memory problem," he reported.

"You did?" Sarah questioned, hesitant to converse with him.

"We did," Jeff confirmed from directly behind her, startling Sarah since she had no idea he was there and because his face was mere inches from her ear.

She knew who the men were but only from recent dealings and the small amount Chuck spoke about them. Studying the pair, she inquired, "Weren't you two supposed to go record an album in Germany or something?"

With a gasp of astonishment, Jeff whispered, "She knows who we are."

"Germany wasn't ready for all of this," Lester stated confidently then gestured to his face and body. He leaned toward her and said, "But you are."

Her eyes narrowed sharply. "Excuse me?"

In a quiet tone, he lied, "You probably don't remember this but, you and I had a thing."

"A thing?" she repeated skeptically then envisioned Chuck's reaction to her having a thing with anyone but him. The image caused her previous nausea to swell back up inside of her.

Lester glanced around to make sure no one else could see or hear them then continued, "Let's just say, when Chuck was away, Lester and Sarah liked to play. It was our little secret." The back of his hand ran down her arm seductively and he added, "It could still be."

In an instant, without seeing how she attacked him, Lester was slammed onto the ground and Jeff hovered over him. "You got knocked the fu-" Jeff screamed in Lester's face but couldn't finish the statement before Sarah grabbed him by the hair and jerked him up. "Ow!"

"Let me make something clear to you boys," she explained and locked the larger man's arm behind his back. "It's an incredibly bad idea to screw with a woman who has a blank space where years of her life should be. Awful things could happen to the people that try."

"How awful?" Lester asked.

Sarah clarified, "Your body would only be found if I wanted it to be." She twisted Jeff's limb even more then continued, "I might not be able to remember some things but I do know I'm not a cheater." With a strong shove, Jeff was propelled forward to land on Lester and the blonde resumed walking to one of Castle's entrances.

"Oh," Lester said with an uncomfortable chuckle, trying to cover his inappropriate actions. "You thought, when I said 'play' that I was referring to an adulterous affair." His volume increased the farther she was from him. "What I meant was, we used to play 'Words With Friends'. I can see where you'd get the wrong impression there, though. It's all in the syntax." His eyes shifted away and he repeated the word 'syntax' over and over. "Did I use that correctly? Is it even a real word?"

"I think it's a medication for erectile dysfunction," Jeff commented.

"Then I did use it correctly," Lester said.

Castle looked different from the last time she'd been in it but the equipment and order of things was comfortable to her. It no longer felt like Carmichael Industries but had a very 'government owned and operated' vibe to it.

Even though there was no designated time that she was meant to report for her new mission, General Beckman knew her well enough to expect a hasty arrival. Within seconds of Sarah stepping in front of the video conference monitor, it turned on and General Beckman was there with her straight lined, business as usual, demeanor.

"Good afternoon, Agent Walker. I'm glad to see you've returned to what you do best," Beckman stated with no visible indication of actually being 'glad'.

"Thank you, General."

"I trust you're prepared for your assignment."

"I am."

"Good. Your new mission is to protect the Intersect."

Before her face could scrunch up in confusion, with that final word, a chorus of, "Surprise!" sounded out as confetti flew at her and several people jumped from various hiding places around the room. Briefly believing she was under attack, Sarah kicked the man closest to her, causing his body to fold in half and fall to the floor, then pulled her gun and aimed it at the rest of the intruders.

Chuck raised his hands in surrender, standing in front of Alex to protect her. "Whoa, whoa, whoa. No need for gunfire. We just wanted to celebrate your return."

"I told the idiots that it's never a good idea to surprise a government trained killing machine," Casey growled, coming from a nearby corridor. "But they thought it would be fun," he added with a straight face. "Having fun, Grimes?"

From his position still on the ground, Morgan groaned in response and Alex hurried over to help him to his feet. The move earned a grunt of disapproval from her father as Sarah put her weapon away.

"Chuck, what are you doing here?" she asked.

He explained, "You said you wanted to get back to the familiar so, what's more familiar than Team Bartowski?"

"We got the band back together!" Morgan exclaimed, finally able to inhale enough air to form a sentence.

There was the sound of footsteps entering the room and they all turned to see Gertrude Verbanski stroll in, with a cup of overpriced coffee in her hand, and stop beside Casey. "Did either of the idiots get shot?"

Morgan corrected his previous statement, "Well, the band plus Yoko."

Sarah took Chuck's hand then pulled him aside to speak privately. "I'm not going to let you get tangled up with the CIA again," she said, straight off.

"It's a just a temporary assignment. I told the General I'd do some work for her if she agreed to let us have a little reunion."

"You never wanted this life," she reminded without questioning where the thought had come from.

There was a hint of a smirk and a sparkle in his eyes when he pointed out, "Which is something you know because this is already working. Trust me," Chuck said and linked their other hands since she still hadn't let go after guiding him away from the crowd.

The contact was soothing but it also sent her heart racing and made her brain back track to the short time they spent on the couch earlier in the afternoon. In such a short span, she went from having a mild attraction and controlled affection for the man to wanting more, emotionally and physically; like he was a drug she'd been off of for years but, with one (admittedly passionate) kiss, she was flying back off the sobriety wagon.

His gaze held hers until General Beckman cleared her throat to regain the attention of the room. "I'd like to issue your covers so I can move on with my life," she stated impatiently.

Alex shot her hand up and questioned, "Do you have one for me, ma'am?"

"Have one for you? Who are you?"

"She's my daughter, General, and she's not going to have anything to do with this," Casey notified.

It was Chuck that stepped forward to disagree, "Actually, there was no way that Ellie and Devon could move back so, we need someone that can offer level-headed encouragement, a touch of compassion, and just all around awesomeness."

"My girl is all of those things," Morgan agreed proudly and perched his arm across Alex's shoulders.

Casey countered, "My girl is all of those things but she isn't going to be involved."

Despite being separated for decades, Alex was a daughter and, as such, well aware of how to get a father to bend to her will. "Just think of all the fun we'd have," she persuaded, "you could teach me how to shoot, we could research terrorists together, share a cigar and a bottle of scotch as we laugh about an insurgent stronghold we've demolished with some sort of high powered explosive."

He started to smile fondly at each mental picture she painted when the General interrupted, "You will serve a support role only."

"Deal!" Alex exclaimed then inquired, "Do you think this could count as college credit?"

Morgan's hand clamed over her mouth and he mumbled, "Ixnay on the olleg edit cray. They will pay you money." She nodded slowly in understanding and he removed his hand then smiled charmingly. "As you were, Your Generalness."

With an eye roll, Beckman proceeded, "I want everyone based out of the Buy More this time so, Agent Bartowski, you will resume your role as head of the Dork Desk."

"Nerd Herd," Chuck amended, mildly irritated until he felt Sarah's hand on his forearm to calm him. Yet another step in the right direction since it showed that she understood why he'd be upset with the slip.

"Mr. Grimes," the General continued, "you'll return to your position as assistant manager and, per Bartowski's request, we were able to locate and employ Mr. Tucker as manager."

"Mr. Tucker?" Morgan questioned and looked around, bewildered. "Who's Mr. Tucker?"

"Your step father," Chuck answered then, after Morgan still didn't seem to understand, clarified, "Big Mike."

"Daddy Mike!" he exclaimed. "Why didn't you just open with that?"

Beckman resumed with assignments, frustrated with the lack of professionalism in the room, "Colonel Casey, your green shirt and khakis are in your locker."

Casey grumbled then turned to Gertrude and informed, "They make them green so you can't tell that's where all the booger pickers wipe the snacks they save for later. Green's not really your color but, you can make it work."

"Actually, given Ms. Verbanski's particular skill set," the General explained, "She'll be working with Bartowski."

Gertrude's confused boyfriend inquired, "What skills qualify you to be in the Nerd Herd?"

"The KGB sent me to college in the United States," Verbanski answered, initiating a short conversation between the pair.

"So?"

"I was in the top of my class at M.I.T."

"How did I not know that about you?"

"Are there things I don't know about you?"

"Well, yeah, but only because it's none of your business."

"Exactly," she responded with a smirk then returned to the briefing.

Having taken a good look at the group of workers upstairs, Sarah envisioned herself in the only ensemble she knew she'd be qualified to wear. "Does this mean I'll be a green shirt too?" she questioned with dread.

"That all depends on your manager, Agent Walker," Beckman replied and, without commenting further, the monitor went black.

###

It was the best smile Sarah could muster, given her position, when she greeted, "Hi, welcome to Subway." To say it was a smile might have been stretching things a bit and it, more accurately, could have been called a sneer. While she wasn't issued one of their more popular green polo shirts, her teenage manager did give her two black ones and a hat.

"Just think of all the food service experience you've accumulated," Chuck consoled optimistically from the other side of the counter while she prepared the order for the customer standing next to him. "When this is all over, and you have your memory back, you can open your own restaurant."

"A restaurant that serves hot dogs, frozen yogurt, and sub sandwiches?"

"Thanks to you," he started then finished in the form of song to lighten her mood, "these are a few of my favorite things."

"I've only been here for twenty minutes and I already smell like deli meat and onions," Sarah commented, sniffing her shirt with a cringe. "Which reminds me," she glared at the man in front of her and practically growled, "do not ask for onions."

Still hoping to make her feel better, Chuck complimented, "You look adorable in that hat."

Sarah looked up and attempted another cold stare but there was a softness to it and a grin that went along with it that she failed in suppressing. Minute by minute, it was becoming easier to understand her attraction to Chuck as she was exposed to all the reasons why and how she could have fallen for him. She handed the sandwich to Alex, her Subway partner, who happened to luck out of food making duties and was set at the register.

Chuck followed her, smiling widely and never taking his eyes off of her as she went back to the top of the assembly line to help the next customer. Sarah didn't hold his gaze but glanced at him occasionally with a smile that might have been considered shy (yet slightly thrilled) were she not Sarah Walker, super spy, badass, who's so used to the attention of men, she was beyond being able to be flattered.

"I'll have a foot long cold cut combo on white with tomato, lettuce, and onion," the stranger ordered.

Sarah groaned at the request and turned to retrieve a loaf of white bread.

"We're out of onions," Chuck informed the patron.

Her eyes shot up from her task, one inch away from having her hand in the odious topping, and watched the two men go back and forth in their debate.

The man replied, "I can see them, right there."

"Those are my onions," Chuck answered. "I just bought them."

"You can't do that."

"But I did," he responded and reached over the glass counter to take the small metal container.

"She can get more from the back."

"I bought those too. I really like onions." Wanting to drive the statement home, Chuck reached in to grab a handful of the raw onions and shoved them into his mouth. "I'll be back later to pick up the rest," he said and walked to the Nerd Herd desk, continuing to eat the topping to remain convincing.

The next morning, still smelling as if she'd rolled around in lunch meat, after taking an hour long shower the night before, Sarah reported for work. At the daily staff meeting, she and Alex were told that there was a massive recall on onions and they would no longer be served in that Subway location. Knowing where the 'recall' came from, her eyes met Chuck's and they shared a smile across the Buy More.

###

He convinced her that they needed to go on a date. Well, convincing wasn't really necessary since she'd been anxiously awaiting an opportunity to do something with him on the couple level since the afternoon prior. She would have taken the initiative to ask him out the day before, or even initiated something that night, had she not been incredibly self-conscious of her smell.

"So, this is our third first date," she stated as he pulled out her chair in the restaurant.

He confirmed, "I guess it is...which has to be some sort of record."

"I don't know," she replied skeptically. "Wasn't there a movie about fifty of them, or something?"

"Well, yeah, but you can't compare a movie to real life. A couple going on fifty first dates is just completely unrealistic. Especially considering most of the fun stuff doesn't happen until about the third date," Chuck said with a wink.

"That's right. It would be unfair to expect you to wait that long to handle all my baggage," she flirted without fully realizing that the comment came from her, generally, inaccessible memories.

Hours later, they stumbled into the apartment with their mouths attached, neither taking a break to make finding the door handle or turning on the lights easier. Clothes were blindly removed and, when they'd reach the point of, 'This is happening', Sarah went to the bathroom to freshen up. While she was gone, Chuck lit candles and chose what he thought was the perfect song on his iPod. He moved around the living room, trying to pick a natural position for her to find him in, then paused his iPod after restarting the song three times since she'd been gone so long. Finally, when he heard the click of the bathroom door opening, he immediately turned the music on and stood abruptly to greet her.

She appeared with her make-up washed off, dressed in baggy pajamas, and had her hair in a sloppy pony tail. "I'm kind of tired. I think I'm going to head to bed."

"Okay," Chuck said with a forced grin and shut the music off. "See you in the morning."

"Goodnight."

###

In the middle of a fist fight in Prague, while saving the kidnapped daughter of an American Ambassador, Morgan did his best to stay out of the way as the rest of the team fought through a small Army. For Casey and Verbanski, a strange foreplay was taking place that everyone did their best to ignore, which got difficult when an article of clothing would disappear from one of them every so often. Sarah and Chuck were separated but, occasionally, she would look up from her situation to check on him, earning a hit or two to the face in the process, to ensure his safety. The supervision was unnecessary, considering he was doing a phenomenal job (if he said so himself) handling his attackers and, every once in a while, Morgan would pop out from under a desk to offer assistance in the form of a chair to the back of a head or a trip hazard from his leg shooting out.

"I don't get it," Chuck complained while casually blocking and striking several attackers simultaneously. "We were making progress…you know…physically and she just called the whole thing off."

"Maybe, she's just not that into you," an opponent suggested just before being kicked in the head.

Without missing a beat, Chuck picked back up, "On top of that, she hasn't remembered anything since that night and she's been locking herself in the bathroom constantly. She said she's not going in there to cry but, it's not like she's going to admit it if she was."

"Why would she cry?" Morgan questioned as he threw a stapler across the room to 'help' Casey. The assist was deemed a failure when it hit him in the forehead instead.

"Grimes, if you hit me in the face with one more thing, I'm ripping yours off!" Casey shouted after having already developed bumps from a paperweight and an electric pencil sharpener.

With a touch of uncertainty, Morgan inquired, "Just so I can fully grasp the severity of that threat, are you saying you'd rip off my face or my thing?"

The older man struck his opponent with such force that he went flying toward Morgan and would have hit him had Chuck not grabbed his best friend's shirt to pull him out of the way.

Chuck resumed their discussion as if their lives weren't at risk, "Why wouldn't she cry? She's been dropped into an incredibly stressful situation. Years of her life are gone and, barring the possibility for divorce, she's stuck with a man she doesn't even know for the next twenty to sixty years." As his ponderings continued, his tone became agitated but his body stayed calm as he reflexively fought the multitude of assailants. "You and I both know she's no quitter with or without that pre-nup we signed. What happens if she never remembers what we had and she's stuck in a loveless marriage for decades?"

"Buddy, stop it," Morgan ordered, placing his hands on Chuck's shoulders to shake him during a brief respite from the fight. "You want to get your girl back?"

"I do."

"And I don't mean Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams style in 'The Vow'." Chuck narrowed his eyes and Morgan explained, "Alex saw a preview for it the last time we went to the movies. I think she's going to make me watch it when it comes out. Anyway, I'm talking about legitimately getting your wife back and not having to win her over all over again."

"I do," Chuck said with more confidence then, without looking, blocked an attack and threw a few punchess before returning to his friend.

Morgan explained, "It's not that I don't have confidence in your abilities, it just took a really long time the first go round."

"That's what I'm saying," Chuck agreed. "And maybe it was luck when I got her then. I mean, look at her."

On cue, the two men stopped what they were doing and observed Sarah fighting. She had her fair share of the work load to handle, and Chuck questioned her decision to block a few hits to her body at the sacrifice of taking some strikes to her face but, she knew what she was doing and he wasn't the slightest bit worried about her.

Morgan grabbed Chuck's face and directed, "Be helpless." The other man's expression of bafflement was all that was necessary for him to elaborate, "Think about it, man. She spent a better part of your 'will they, won't they' years saving your butt."

"At first…then, I like to think I did my fair share of butt saving," Chuck argued.

"Go back to basics," Morgan advised. "You want to delve deeper into the familiar? It doesn't get much more familiar than Sarah rescuing you."

So, reluctantly, he waited until his helplessness wouldn't be a liability; the moment where only a handful of attackers remained, then he allowed a punch to come through his defenses and land on his chin. His ungraceful, staged, stagger backwards wasn't convincing enough and even Morgan gave him a, 'You can do better than that', scoff. Committing to the new hybrid of 'The Familiar is to Be Helpless' plan, Chuck accepted a side kick to his chest and threw himself (catching more than a few feet of air time) and landed roughly on his back.

"Chuck!" Sarah called and moved quickly to stop an extended attack from his opponent, by subduing the man, then dropped down to Chuck's side. "I told you to stay in the van!" She closed her eyes and shook her head, certain that wasn't the correct thing to say then asked, "Are you alright?"

"I think so," he groaned but was better than alright when she made her initial declaration.

Morgan signaled to Casey that it was on him and Verbanski to pick up the slack and, with a grin and his hand on his belt to remove it for use in the fight, the Colonel nodded in agreement. Chuck 'tried' to sit up but didn't make it too far beyond the floor before he lay back down so, Sarah positioned his head in her lap and ran her fingers through his hair. With the threat fully contained, Verbanski and Casey watched the scene.

"I can't believe we gave up the life we had in Russia to play matchmaker with Tweedledumb and Tweedledee…" Gertrude commented.

John was in the process of sliding his belt back on and replied, "Look, Gertrude, I may have feelings for you that go beyond, 'I wouldn't kill her in her sleep,' but Tweedledumb and Tweedledee are the best friends I've ever had."

Morgan cleared his throat in an effort to remind them of his place in John's life. He seemed unhappy with his lack of friend status until his expression brightened. "I'm not a friend because he sees me as a son."

"You're one of the Tweedles, idot. Take a guess as to which one," Casey explained.

"You didn't let me finish," Verbanski defended. "We gave up the life we had in Russia to play matchmaker and I've never been happier because I'm with you." They shared a short, sweet, kiss before it came to their attention that one of the attackers was regaining consciousness. Casey kicked him in the face and she added, "And I'd never kill you in your sleep either. Mostly because I'd want to look you in the eyes when I did it."

Somehow turned on by the statement, Casey grabbed Gertrude and pulled her body to his roughly, commencing an inappropriate make out session. Morgan tried not to look at them while Sarah and Chuck were caught up in their own blatant display of affection; not kissing or fondling but simply gazing.

###

'Helplessness' wasn't the absolute solution to Sarah's problem but it did serve to kick start the emergence of a new round of memories. They were glimmers of recollections that shined through the darkness left in her mind by the Intersect. The hint of conversations would continue to pop in out of nowhere and hazy images floated around her brain, when she was on the verge of waking in the morning, requiring the need to confer with Chuck to ensure they weren't just snippets of a dream.

One day, she inspected her possessions; going over everything she owned that included items she remembered and items she'd never seen before. Her fingers acted like a metal detector at the beach, passing over things of little importance in order to pinpoint something significant. Finally, from her jewelry box, she removed a modest trinket and carried it to the living room where Chuck sat on the couch, reading a comic book.

Holding the charm bracelet up so he could see it, Sarah stated, "This is something real. Something that you should give to a real girlfriend."

"I know," he smiled then crossed the room to clasp it around her wrist. His fingers gently caressed the skin there and he tilted his head down, closer to hers, when her eyes zeroed in on his lips.

In general, she kept her distance from Chuck, aside from friendly conversation or memory confirmations. When it seemed like he was on the verge of being allowed to kiss her, she'd shut him down and hide in her room, which was exactly what she did in that moment. For this, Morgan suggested a second offensive tactic.

"When else does Sarah get all protective and territorial with you?" Morgan inquired while he and Chuck stood in the middle of the Buy More. Chuck searched his brain but couldn't think of a circumstance so Morgan checked his watch then pointed to the front door.

Chuck was going to ask what they were staring at but his words failed when a small brunette entered the store, looking around for something…or someone. "You called Lou?" he questioned in angry frustration.

Morgan smugly answered his previous question, "When there's another woman in the picture. You're going to thank me for this. Oh! I also called Hannah," he revealed just as the doors slid open and a second short brunette walked in, this time with a baby on her hip. "Was that a bad idea? Social etiquette is not something I excel at."

"You don't even dabble in it," Chuck scolded.

"I tried for Jill but she was unfindable and, believe me, I exhausted resources that should only be available on a CIA level." With the image of Hannah's entrance finally registering, he added, "Why does Hannah have a baby?"

The two women converged at Chuck and Morgan then waited expectantly.

"Hello, ladies," Chuck finally greeted. "What brings you into the Buy More on this fine afternoon?"

"Cut the crap," Lou commanded. "This guy said you've been reflecting on your life and that you wanted to apologize for the way you treated me."

"And me," Hannah chimed in, swaying from side to side to keep her son calm.

Lou continued, "Which, I thought was weird since you sent me that really nice apology letter after we broke up so, there's got to be something else going on."

"You got a letter?" Hannah questioned. "All I got was a text."

"No," Chuck corrected, "It looks like you got something way better than a letter." He reached his hand out for the baby to grab then proceeded to make faces until the little boy laughed.

Hannah watched him with her son briefly then noted, "I should probably thank you."

"Why's that?"

"I met my husband right after you and I stopped seeing one another. He'd just moved into my building."

"Oh yeah? Where'd he come here from?" It was like catching up with an old friend instead of a woman whose breasts he may or may not have fondled.

"A small town in Kansas."

"Did you say Smallville?" Morgan asked.

Chuck ignored his friend and questioned, "What brought him to Burbank?"

"He's a reporter for The Daily-"

"Planet?" Morgan interjected hopefully.

"Record," Hannah corrected with a glare.

Getting back on topic, since they'd veered way off, Morgan threw all the cards on the table that didn't say, 'We work as spies for the government,' and shared the saga of Chuck and Sarah. He interchanged bits and pieces, subbing in a car accident where the Intersect should have been and even embellished with made up details about a fake ex-fiance.

"Sounds like that Channing Tatum movie that's coming out next month," Hannah commented.

Lou turned to her excitedly and admitted, "Oh my God! I am cannot wait to see that!"

"Me either," Hannah agreed. "This is crazy but, there's no way my husband would go. Would you want to see it with me?"

"You know what? I don't think my boyfriend would want to go either so, yeah, I'd love that. I'm Lou, by the way," she stated, extending her hand to be shaken.

"Hannah."

"Nice to meet you."

"You two!"

The pleasantries were dropped and Lou, with a stern face, turned back to the men, who were on standby while they set up their date. "So, let me get this straight," she recapped, "You thought, that by calling in the only other women he's dated, briefly I might add, you'd set off some sort of jealousy in his wife that will help trigger the return of her memories."

Morgan replied, "Exactly. See, she gets it."

Lou studied Chuck for a moment then said, "I'll bite," and, out of the blue, grabbed his shirt and jerked him down for a kiss that he, absolutely, did not reciprocate. She pushed him away just as suddenly, patted his chest and grinned. "Thanks for that letter, Chuck."

"You're welcome," he responded uncomfortably.

"Kind of wishing I'd gotten one of those letters," Hannah admitted.

"Me too," Morgan agreed.

Lou reached into her purse to retrieve her business card and handed it to Hannah. "Just call or text me and we'll set something up." With one last smile, and a wave to Sarah who was definitely watching from Subway, she turned and left the Buy More

Chuck didn't miss the tears in Sarah's eyes when she stormed away from the sandwich shop, shoving past her manager on the way to the break room.

He took off after his wife but, being a good guy, turned back to Hannah and spoke quickly, "So happy for you and it was very nice seeing you and little…" he trailed off, realizing he'd never been told the name of her son.

"Clark Junior," she called back to him.

"You've got to be kidding me!" Morgan declared. "Is anyone else hearing this?"

Sarah was seated at a break room table, wiping her eyes with a paper towel when Chuck walked in, causing her to shift in her chair so her back was to him.

"Hey," he said softly and knelt behind her. "I'm sorry for that. It was all Morgan's doing and I had no idea she was going to kiss me."

Sarah laughed humorlessly then professed, "For future reference, crying is not how I would handle another woman kissing you."

"Noted.

"What's got you so upset then?"

Sarah spun around to face Chuck and the sight of him on one knee caused her to inhale sharply. "You said, 'Please, have that with me.'"

"That's right," he confirmed with a smile, thinking back to his proposal in the hospital while baby Clara was being born.

"Did you mean it?"

"I wouldn't have said it if I didn't."

With his affirmation giving her the confidence to continue, Sarah revealed, "I'm pregnant."

Chuck's face fell. "What?"

"I mean, I think I'm pregnant."

"You think?" he echoed.

"The tests could be wrong."

"Tests?"

"I only took five."

He exclaimed, "Five?"

"Well, the first one, I thought I did it wrong because it's so hard to do what the directions say when you can't really see what's going on down there. By the fifth, I had a pretty good handle on things so…I think I'm pregnant. I just thought you should know because, I literally can't remember the last time I had sex so, I'm pretty sure it's yours."

"Well that's good to know," he said with wide eyes.

She jumped up. "I didn't do this the right way, did I?"

"I don't think there's a wrong way...unless you're on a talk show." He continued to sit, in shock, as the declaration processed.

"I should have surprised you…" Sarah stated then started pacing nervously.

"Oh, I'm surprised."

"…or done it in some clever way that they post on those motherhood websites with the message in the sand or put an actual bun in the oven for you to find."

"I probably would have thought that was dinner." The tears started again so Chuck stood up, stopped her pacing by wrapping his arms around her and kissed the top of her head.

She cried into his chest, "I'm having a baby…"

"We're having a baby," he amended.

"…with a man I don't even know."

"You know everything about me," he soothed, stroking her hair. "You just…don't know it yet."

Sarah broke free from his hold and started to pace again. "I don't know what to do with a baby."

"I could use a class on that too but, from watching Ellie and Awesome, I think you just clean their bottoms, feed them, and hold them while they sleep."

"See! I didn't even know that. I'm going to be a horrible mother!"

"No," he disagreed and held her hands to keep her in place once more. "You're going to be the best mom on the planet." Chuck bent his head down slightly to catch her eyes, when she refused to look at him, and assured, "You're Sarah Walker. You're amazing at everything you do. Who got recruited into the CIA straight out of high school?"

"I did," she answered, still troubled.

"And who, in two thousand and three, thwarted an assassination attempt on my, on the record, favorite queen, essentially preventing a Civil War?"

"They never would have gone to war," she defended modestly.

"And who went rogue and took out a gang of Taiwanese mercenaries to save her boyfriend?"

"I did?" she questioned with uncertainty.

He verified, "You did and I was the boyfriend, in case you were wondering who you'd be willing to do all that for."

"I had a strong feeling that it was you."

His arms fell from their position of support around her and one hand went to his wallet. She watched as he opened it, curious as to what he was doing when he pulled a piece of paper out that was previously torn from a Japanese magazine. It was unfolded for her to see a drawn picture of them together, standing in front of a house with a white picket fence, while she held a baby.

Hopeful, Chuck asked, "Anything?"

One word immediately popped into Sarah's head that she vocalized, "Someday."

###

By their second third date, Sarah's 'baggage' was handled. In fact, Chuck handled it better than any other man she'd ever been with and he explained it was because none of the other men loved her, or knew her, like he did. There were a few 'tricks' that she did; moves she only knew from them figuring things out together, that continued to signal the return of Sarah Bartowski. To make matters even better, she started speaking about their time in Paris, delving into extended details instead of simply remembering short clips.

With 'sleeping together' came actual 'sleeping together' and she started to move her stuff back into their bedroom. It didn't happen all at once but, gradually, her clothes would appear in the closet, the pillow she preferred found its place back on their bed, and some of her books ended up on the nightstand.

###

They didn't tell anyone about the pregnancy and decided to wait three months before revealing the news. Things got tricky in the concealment of the detail when, in most dangerous situations, Chuck hovered around Sarah, choosing to protect her over accomplishing the task at hand.

"Get the briefcase!" Casey called.

They were in Spain, trying to retrieve a stolen, prototype, weapon of mass destruction and the man holding the metal box containing said weapon started to run, on a course that would have him go right past Chuck and Sarah.

The Colonel growled as Chuck continued to defend his wife, permitting the enemy to pass, "Bartowski!"

"What?" Sarah and Chuck questioned simultaneously.

Chuck looked at her with love in his eyes and stated, "You just acknowledged being a Bartowski."

She grinned, "I didn't even think about it. I just knew it was who I am."

His arms wrapped around her, mid-fight, and he kissed her, confusing several potential attackers in the process that didn't know if they should capitalize on the distraction or give them a moment of privacy.

"The case!" John reminded.

Sarah pulled her lips from his and directed, "Get the case. I'll handle these guys."

"But, what about…" he trailed off and glanced down at her stomach.

"We'll be fine," she assured then ordered, "Go!" He turned and made it one step away before she yelled, "Stop!" Jumping at him, Sarah wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him again, leaving several of her opponents observing.

"Kind of melts the heart a little bit, doesn't it?" one asked with a wistful look in his eyes then straightened up when he realized no one else felt the same way.

"See you soon, Mr. Bartowski," Sarah said softly when she ended the kiss.

"I'll be looking forward to it, Mrs. Bartowski," he replied, grinning widely.

Then, once they did tell the rest of the team, everyone started doing the same thing; gravitating toward Sarah to protect her, forgetting about their objective in the process.

"Don't be mad at me for what I'm about to say, okay?" Chuck stated a few missions later. "Because I've given this serious thought and I didn't come to the decision lightly. I know how you are and I know that, part of your identity, is being a spy."

"I don't think I should go on missions anymore," Sarah blurted out, figuring that was where he was headed.

"You don't?" he asked with an immense amount of relief. "Wow. That was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be." He admitted, "I kind of envisioned screaming, punches, and the withholding of…" Chuck hesitated, embarrassed, then finished with a wink, "…things…until I gave in."

Sarah chuckled slightly. "My priorities have shifted significantly and I don't think it's in the best interests of our baby for me to be jumping out of airplanes or taking part in gunfights. Plus, more than anything, I think I've been a hindrance to the team. Every time I turn around, one of them has their hand on my belly, making goofy noises."

"Yeah, I told Casey to knock that off."

"I just think it's best for everybody if we," she said, placing her hands over her growing belly, "stayed in the van, so to speak."

"You have no idea how happy I am to hear that."

"Good," she responded, "because I'd like to ask something of you that I've also given serious thought to."

"You want me to leave the field too," he deduced. She nodded in agreement so he rubbed his hands up and down her arms in comfort. "Team Bartowski is committed to one last mission but, after that, I'm done."

"Wow," she echoed his previous sentiment, "That was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be."

"A wise woman once said, 'My priorities have shifted significantly'," Chuck explained then bent down and kissed her stomach.

###

He'd been shot and it just so happened that he was on the opposite side of the world, literally as far away from her as possible. Morgan had no idea what was going on when he reported the news to Sarah, all he did know was that his best friend was down and his wife deserved to hear the news as soon as possible.

Sarah didn't waste time with standing by for any more details. She threw a few things into a bag, not caring if any of them even made one complete outfit, and headed for the airport, calling in favors to various connections in order to get a private flight to Madagascar. During her wait for the plane to take off, Morgan called with updates; Chuck was on his way to the hospital, the team made it there shortly after, they weren't being told anything, and the final one was that he was in surgery before she departed from Burbank.

More than a decade in the CIA and there was nothing that terrified her more than that phone call. Another 'flash' and she realized that wasn't entirely true.

"Without you, I'm nobody. I'm nothing but a spy. Come back to me, Chuck. I want to marry you."

Not being able to do anything to help him, not being there for him to begin with, ate away at her. She used the phone on the plane to call Morgan several times but there was still nothing he could tell her. She nearly threw a fit in frustration at how long he'd been in surgery until she looked at her watch and realized only two hours had passed from when she'd gotten the first call. It wasn't like most of the international flights she'd been on, where she could distract herself with magazines or videos, because there was no way to focus on anything but Chuck.

It seemed like every five minutes she called Morgan…or Casey when Morgan had nothing to share…then Verbanski when she felt the men just couldn't think of a way to break the bad news to her. Gertrude would tell it like it was, heart wrenching or not, but the woman gave the same cookie cutter response as the men, "We haven't heard anything yet."

Then, a few hours into the flight, a call to Morgan revealed that Chuck was going to be fine. When the shot rang out, the Intersect advised him of how to move his body, otherwise, it would have hit his heart, spine, or a lung.

By the time she got there, Chuck was being amused in his hospital room with "Guitar Hero" after Morgan snuck it in for him. He wasn't able to play but he held the plastic guitar while his best friend skillfully moved his fingers along the multicolored buttons of his controller while dancing around.

She stopped her approach and froze momentarily, relieved to simply see him alive and joking around with Morgan. Then, as if knowing she were there, his smile dropped and he turned his head to the doorway with an expression that spoke so many words to her, 'Sorry I went and got shot', 'The world went black and all I could think was that I'd never see that face again', 'I missed you', 'I love you', "I'm done with the spy business'.

"You're still my Chuck," she said, trumping anything he could have decided to actually say to her at that point.

He glanced down to the guitar then held it out, away from him, knowing Morgan would be there to take it away. "And I always will be," Chuck stated, his right arm extended, serving as the invitation she was waiting for to rush to the bed and, carefully, fall on top of that side of his body.

The statement said everything it needed to say but, with more coming back to her, and after a slight pause, she practically whispered, "I love you," into his chest. Sarah picked her head up then spoke at a normal volume with tears pouring from her eyes, "One more time, just because it feels really nice to say…I love you."

"That was my line," he teased.

Then, she cried harder, buried her face back into him, and explained the cause for her concern, "It could have been your heart."

"Well that's impossible," he said softly, pressing his cheek against the top of her head. "I always leave it with you."

Sarah stayed with Chuck until he was cleared to go home, as did the rest of Team Bartowski despite Chuck's insistence that they should all get back to their lives. They traveled back to the United States together and Sarah gave everyone a ride home in her new 'family vehicle'.

Her husband eyed the massive, black, SUV that even he didn't know about and questioned, "No Porsche?"

"Priority shift," Sarah reminded. "This is the safest thing on the road."

Morgan found the claim hard to believe and asked skeptically, "Says who? Consumer Reports? J.D. Pow-"

Sarah cut him off and revealed, "General Beckman."

All eyes went back to the vehicle, re-examining it with the new piece of information.

"What are you equipped with?" Casey inquired, more excited than anyone else.

She listed, "Bullet proof windows, armor plates, an on board computer system that controls enough features that it would make Inspector Gadget jealous, a built in armory and cup holders in the back seat."

The Colonel ran his hand along the side and admitted, "I want one."

"Have a baby," Sarah challenged.

Casey's gaze immediately shot to Gertrude and she shook her head vehemently. "I'll get you that diamond encrusted Desert Eagle that you've been talking about," he negotiated.

"That you even think the two are comparable is all the reason you shouldn't have a baby," Chuck commented then slid into the passenger's seat while Morgan loaded the luggage.

"So…" Sarah started, climbing into the SUV, "…I had Alex and a few of your friends from the Buy More help me with something before I left." She removed a blindfold from the center console and held it up. "But you have to wear this."

With wide eyes and an understandable panic, Chuck asked, "Are Jeff and Lester involved? Because, no good can come from the two of them and a kinky blindfold."

"Learned that one the hard way," Morgan agreed.

She batted her eyes and requested sweetly, "Please?"

Hesitantly, and with a mild amount of fear, he gave in and Casey tied the fabric around Chuck's head from his position in the back.

"That was very gentle, Casey," Chuck complimented. "Have you done this before?"

Over sharing, Verbanski concurred, "He's very good with blindfolds…and bindings in general."

They drove for a while, making unnecessary turns to keep him from figuring out where they were going and, finally, the vehicle parked. Sarah helped Chuck out then guided him for a few steps before having him stop and wait for her return. After only a few seconds, he felt one of her hands back on his arm just as the other swiftly removed the cover from his eyes.

"Surprise!" an audience of people screamed.

More remarkable than the massive amount of family and friends gathered in one place was the fact that they were standing in front of Chuck and Sarah's dream house; the home they carved their initials into and planned to raise a family in.

"What is this?" he questioned in astonishment.

Sarah answered, "This is your, 'Welcome Home, We're Glad You're Not Dead, Housewarming' party."

"Housewarming? This is our house?"

Her face fell slightly, terrified she'd purchased the wrong home, and inquired, "Isn't it?"

"It is," he confirmed. "I just can't believe…when do we move in?"

"We already have," she replied proudly and held a key out for him.

Instead of taking it, he swept her up into a one armed hug, wishing his other wasn't injured and that he could have used it as well. Then, he placed her back on her feet and kissed her in a manner that one wouldn't, generally, like for so many people to witness but, in that particular moment, neither of them cared.

She reluctantly pulled away and pointed out, "You shouldn't leave your guests waiting."

Reminded of the spectators, Chuck looked up to finally register the faces of the people standing in the front yard of his home. Ellie was there with Awesome, Clara, and Mary. They were the first group that he made it to and spent an extended amount of time with. After that, he and Sarah worked their way through the crowd, encountering Alex, Big Mike and Antonia, a throng of Buy More employees, General Beckman, and a few others.

"Is that the president?" Chuck mumbled to Sarah, trying to keep from freaking out.

She whispered back casually, "Yes but, if anyone asks, he's just an impersonator."

"Why is the president of the United States at my, 'Welcome Home, We're Glad You're Not Dead, Housewarming' party?"

"Because, it's also my retirement party."

"Retirement?" he repeated in disbelief. "I thought you were just taking a break until after the baby is born."

"Priorities," she said again. "It's time for both of us to move on."

"I agree," he smiled then returned to their discussion, "Does the president go to the retirement party of every CIA agent?"

Sarah bragged as she smoothed the front of his shirt, "Only the ones that are recruited straight out of high school and prevent civil wars."

Across the yard, Casey stood beside Verbanski, just having finished socializing with Ellie and Devon. "What do you say?" the Colonel asked then jerked his head to signal to something. "The house across the street is for sale too."

She scoffed at the idea then answered, "Yeah right. Can you see us living in a neighborhood and having barbecues with the Bartowski's and trading recipes with the Jones's?"

He grunted with a smirk and a head nod then, when she became occupied in a discussion with Mary, Casey approached Morgan and Alex. "I guess you guys are going to be getting married and starting a family and all that other stuff?" he questioned with an uneasy expression.

"I've been meaning to talk to you about that," Morgan said bravely as Alex started to reveal her left hand to her father.

"Don't," he responded shortly, causing Morgan's chest to deflate and Alex to shoot her hand back behind her back. He tossed a set of keys to the small man, who immediately missed the catch and dropped down to pick them up.

"What are these for?" Morgan asked, examining the key chain.

With the same head jerk, Casey directed their attention to the house across from Sarah and Chuck's then explained, "Well, you're going to want a home to do it in, aren't you?"

The couples eyes doubled in size and, without hesitation, they threw themselves into Casey for a hug of gratitude; a spectacle that he didn't notice Gertrude had witnessed.

Chuck entered his home with Sarah behind him, staying out of the way while he made his way through each decorated room.

"You did all this while I was gone?" he inquired.

"Before you got shot," she confirmed.

He did the math mentally then replied, "I was only gone for two days."

"I told you, I had a lot of help."

Chuck thought back to their previous conversation then, with a sudden realization, declared, "If you let Jeff and Lester in here, we're going to have to do a serious sweep for bugs and hidden cameras…especially in our bedroom."

"Already done," she responded. "We're clean."

He continued to walk the halls, not just glancing but taking an extended look at all the work that she'd put into the home…their home. Finally, he ended up at the bedroom next to theirs and opened the door to find a nursery.

Over a brief period of time, the couple had collected an impressive mass of baby gear and it was all unpackaged and placed perfectly in the room.

"Since we're not finding out if we're having a boy or a girl," Sarah pointed out, "I thought orange would be a nice, gender neutral, color."

He smiled, "I love it."

They returned to the yard, where most of the guests remained but General Beckman was on her way out. She said a brief goodbye to the Bartowski's then headed for a heavily guarded convoy with the president.

Remembering something important, the General spun around and added, "Sarah?"

"Yes General?" Sarah asked.

"It's Diane to you now," she corrected. "When I said I was glad you returned to what you do best?"

"Yes?"

"I didn't mean the CIA. I was talking about Agent Bartowski." Morgan, who was eavesdropping, sniggered at the wording and the General rolled her eyes. "Grow up, Mr. Grimes. I didn't mean it like that."

Later that night, after everyone else had gone home, Sarah and Chuck moved around the house, cleaning up from the party. Ever so softly, as she threw piles of garbage into a trash bag, he heard her humming 'Feeling Good'. His cleaning efforts ceased and he stood still, just wanting to watch her and enjoy the sound of the song he had yet to remind her of. Then, struck with an epiphany, he put the record on and went straight to her, removing the trash from her hands. He pulled her to the middle of the living room then swayed slowly to the beat.

With a fond smile, Sarah said, "I like this."

"That's a good start."

###

They carried out the rest of the pregnancy with normal lives (barring the occasional reemergence of old enemies looking for payback that were hastily dealt with). Not wanting to waste the Intersect, and after a highly appealing offer from Beckman and the president, Chuck continued on with the CIA in a completely safe consulting/analyst position. He had weekends off, never traveled, and was home every night in time for dinner. It was his dream job, his dream house, and his dream life; a far cry from where he'd been before Sarah Walker stepped into the Buy More five years prior.

Always punctual, Sarah went into labor on her due date. Chuck rushed her to the hospital in their SUV (equipped with lights and sirens) then held her hand through the contractions…never letting go or complaining, no matter how tight her grip was.

Casey and Verbanski were among the rest of the visitors that made it to the hospital in time for the birth and she was able to see a light in his eyes (well, as much of a light as Casey was capable of) that had been missing since Team Bartowski disbanded. He'd given up his family and friends to travel around the world with her and she stated as much while they sat in the waiting room; anxiously anticipating any word on the delivery.

"Yeah? What of it?" he answered gruffly. Very simply, in response, a key was removed from her pocket and pressed into his palm. "What's this?"

"It's not the house across the street but it is in the same neighborhood…and don't expect me to quit my day job."

Understanding the message, his grin grew wider than anything she'd ever seen on his face. "You really mean it?"

She glanced around at the waiting room packed with Chuck and Sarah supporters. Jeff and Lester were in the middle of their seventh performance of "The Circle of Life", Green Shirts walked around the space just as aimlessly as they did at the Buy More, Alex held Morgan's hand and coached him through breathing exercises while Ellie and Awesome flexed the residual muscle they had at the hospital for frequent updates. They were the most random assortment of human beings gathered in one place but they were important to John Casey and, therefore, important to her as well.

"God, help me. I do," she confessed.

After hours of encouragement from her husband, with one final push, baby Bartowski was welcomed into the world.

"It's a girl," the doctor notified then permitted Chuck to cut the umbilical cord before the baby was handed to her mother.

"She's beautiful," Chuck said and continued to gush over the adorableness of their daughter.

Sweating and crying tears of joy, Sarah looked down at her baby girl, with a full head of dark locks like her father. Her husband's words of amazement became white noise that she didn't quite register because, in that exact moment, her memories came flooding back.