Sarah and Casey were getting debriefed in the home theatre room. "Why does no one ever ask what Casey, Chuck and I are doing in here all the time?", Sarah wondered. These civilians are either very caught up in their own world, indifferent, or gullible. Three things she couldn't afford to be...

Anyway, back to the matters at hand. "Could we make this quick? I need to get ready for Awesome's birthday party and I only have two hours left to go home, change and head over to Chuck's." Casey and their bosses looked at her funny. "Umm, the boyfriend of Bartowski's sister is nicknamed "Captain Awesome" and the sister and he insisted I come by to celebrate with them. I am posing as the girlfriend after all, so in order to keep up appearances I thought it'd make sense to attend..." Okay, she was definitely rambling and about to dig herself a hole it would be hard to get out of. There was a short silence and Casey had that look on his face as if he was about to say something snarky – but he didn't.

The debrief wrapped up shortly after and she made it out of the home theatre room before Casey had the chance to say anything to her. As she made her way through the Buy More she saw Chuck from a distance. He was talking to a customer, or rather the customer seemed to be yelling at him for something. She'd take being a spy over working in customer service at a place like this any day, poor Chuck... She smiled at him and mouthed "see you later" and he returned the smile, all of a sudden completely oblivious to the angry customer in front of him.

When Chuck saw Sarah across the Buy More in that equally ridiculous and hot Wienerlicious outfit, he couldn't help but smile. Sure, their relationship was only pretend, but her hotness wasn't. And the way she acted when they were on their own... Well, he hoped that was at least partly real. They might not end up dating for real, for a wide variety of reasons, but he hoped they would at least remain friends, once the new Intersect was up and running and they had all the information downloaded from his head into the thing, however that was going to work... "How come no one ever asks what she is doing with me and Casey in the home theatre room all the time? Does everybody here think I'm that kinky??", he wondered. Suddenly, he was very aware of a large wad of spit in his face. "I hate this job", Chuck thought and focussed back on the customer who had gotten so worked up, he accidentally spit in Chuck's face...

Ellie opened the door when Sarah arrived at the apartment. Of course Morgan was there too. For a moment Sarah wondered if they never invited Morgan because it was understood that he's welcome to stop by or whether he invites himself and the Bartowski's had just given up trying to get rid of him.

"Wow..." she heard Chuck's voice and noticed how he was looking her up and down. He tried to play it smooth around her and not drool over her like a little school boy, but he wasn't always successful with that. She blushed a little and smiled as he walked up to her – she liked how "her man" appreciated her dressing up for this occasion (or was it really for him?), even if he wasn't really "her man" and more of a government property she had to protect. Chuck put his arm around her and they walked to the table where everybody else sat, getting ready for some birthday cake. Sarah went over to Awesome before sitting down and gave him a hug to congratulate him. "Yeah, it's my birthday. Ain't that.. outstanding?"

Of course Ellie had made the cake herself. And it was delicious. Sarah would never not be amazed at this regular happy life Chuck, Ellie, Awesome – and Morgan, to some degree – were leading. The things they took for granted, like game night, or sitting down for home made birthday cake together, were things she didn't dare dream of. Which is why she enjoyed this assignment so much and even if it wasn't fair to Chuck, she hoped it would be a while before the new Intersect was up and running.

Ellie's voice cut right through Sarah's thoughts: "So, Sarah... When is your birthday? I need to make sure Chuck doesn't forget and has plenty of time to get you the great gift you deserve. You know how men are when it comes to picking out presents and Chuck is no different than the rest..." Chuck mumbled something under his breath, but all Sarah heard was her inner voice yelling "oh crap". She looked like a deer caught in the headlights and although she was used to liying (it was part of her job after all), she was already taking way too long to answer Ellie's question.

But what should she say? She would have loved to give them... Chuck... her real birthday, but she couldn't. It was part of the job no one could know anything real about her. She didn't want to lie to them either, that didn't feel right. Especially as Chuck would know it's a lie and she still very vividly remembers how he pleaded with her to tell him just her middle name and how hurt he looked when she remained – had to remain – silent. But she needed to give an answer, like, right now!

She coughed a little, as if she were clearing her throat and smiled at Ellie: "Well, in that case, my birthday is..."

THE END (or not?)