Denial

Sarah Walker was good at denying certain aspects of her life. It was a fundamental principle of espionage. Get caught? Deny. Compromise the mission? Deny. Admit feelings for the Intersect? Deny. Deny. Deny. But even the best of spies could only deny so much.

Disclaimer: I own nothing

Rating: Light T for sexual situations

Timeframe: Post 1.11 Chuck versus the Crown Vic

Pairings: Chuck/Sarah; mentions of Chuck/Lou

Okay once again, I've journeyed into another realm of fan fiction. For those who know me, I'm more set in the Gilmore Girls arena and, just recently, the Bones one as well. But, I've fallen prey to the adorable charms of Chuck and found myself writing a fiction to appease the obvious frustration I hold to the obvious chemistry of Chuck and Sarah. This is kind of a drabble, not really akin to my usual one shots. There isn't any dialogue other than what I mention the characters saying. If anything, I would say that this is a stream of consciousness from Sarah's point of view within the context of a generic Chuck mission. So here it is! Enjoy!

Sarah Walker lived off a principle of denial. It was a fundamental theory of espionage. Get caught? Deny. Compromise the mission? Deny. Disclose connections with the CIA? Deny. Admit feelings for the Intersect? Deny. Deny. Deny. Denial had gotten her out of the most dismal of situations…well, that and one hell of a shot, but it had also disallowed her basic human needs: family, friends, ties to a home, even love. Sarah Walker considered herself a damn good spy. The CIA considered her one of their top agents. But, as she was learning with each day in her latest mission, even the best of spies could only deny so much.

The steady cacophony of her alarm clock pierced the early morning air, jolting her from a blissful slumber filled with dreams of white, sandy beaches and a worriless existence not having to dwell on preserving an adequate state of national security or the balancing act of juggling her stupid, extraneous cover job with her real one or her illicit feelings for a man whose brain held the entirety of the government's secrets had inexplicably captured her attention with his dorky charm and steadfast loyalty. Dammit. Flopping over onto her back, Sarah resisted the urge to hurl yet another knife at the infernal device, knowing that she probably wouldn't have the good fortune of being gifted with another replacement. Resigning to her fate, Sarah huffed an acquiescent sigh, flinging the covers off and hefting herself from her bed. Going through the motions of her morning workout, Sarah found that the routine that usually alleviated her tension only managed to pile even more stress atop her overwrought limbs, and abandoning her workout, she shuffled lethargically to the bathroom to prepare for her shift. Minutes later, as she exited feeling a bit more refreshed and certainly more composed, another shrill ring permeated her fleeting moment of tranquility, this time drifting from her cell phone. Snatching the device from its spot on her dresser, she growled a greeting, wincing as John Casey's amused grunt reciprocated the pleasantry. In a voice that seemed to take great pleasure at her state of disgruntled ire, Casey informed her that their superiors wished to meet with them before her shift started at Weinerlicious. Sarah pressed a weary hand to her temples, rubbing despairingly before agreeing to meet Casey and the remaining third of Team Bartowski in the media room of the Buy More. These were the days that she could deny she relished her job.

- - -

Sarah strolled into the Buy More, clad in her ridiculous Weinerlicious uniform, her hair up in the pigtails that complemented the absurd outfit. The things she did to maintain national security. Rising on her tiptoes and scanning the interior of the store, she spotted Chuck manning his post at the Nerd Herd counter with Morgan beside him, leaning over the surface of the structure to chat with his best friend. Sometimes Sarah believed that the short, bearded man had some kind of built-in radar when it came to her and Ellie as the moment she eclipsed the threshold of the store, Morgan whipped around in her direction, but Sarah would never put it past him. Straightening abruptly, he nudged Chuck, gesturing none too inconspicuously. Immediately, Chuck's eyes sought out hers, and she beckoned to him with a waggle of her fingers and a smile on her face. He bolted up, and Sarah caught Morgan smirking, a knowing glint to his eyes. Craning her head up to his, she offered her cheek for a perfunctory kiss, maintaining the charade of doting girlfriend. Taking his hand and playing with the fingers, she engaged him in small talk, flirtatiously running one hand down the pewter tie dangling from his neck as she subtly scanned the room for anything suspicious. Deeming their situation satisfactory, she rotated with a coy smile and tugged him along, leading him to the media room where Casey no doubt was already waiting. Chuck followed, the slight pressure on her hand indicating he had indeed tripped over his feet in his haste to keep pace.

When Sarah first met Chuck Bartowski, she could deny she didn't find him even the least bit attractive. Yes, he didn't radiate the cocky, self-assured confidence Bryce did, and Chuck didn't have the ability to make her breath leave her lungs in a rush with one glance of smoldering, ice-blue eyes the way Bryce did. Rather than a dashing, debonair, almost dangerous aura, Chuck possessed a gawky, bumbling, awkwardness that couldn't be classified even remotely close to hot. No, Chuck Bartowski was more adorable. He didn't induce fear or intimidation that made people bend to his will for fear of loosing one or more important limbs. Rather, Chuck induced a kind of calm security that made one comfortable around him and facilitated genuine confidence. His inviting personality made it easy to endear himself to even the most callous of people. Case and point, the human wrecking ball himself: Major John Casey. No one could deny that the gruff, coarse NSA agent had taken a reluctant sheen to the man who carried the Intersect. Chuck Bartowski wasn't a ruthless, proficient CIA operative. He was the leader of the Nerd Herd, earning eleven bucks an hour at a job that didn't quite showcase his immense intelligence and talent who lived with his sister as his five-year plan floundered into action. His eyes weren't blue, they were brown…No, that wasn't accurate. Brown seemed so plain, so ordinary, and Chuck's eyes were anything but. They were deep pools of swirling sepia, able to warm to a milky chocolate with delight, light up with his smile, darken and flash hotly with annoyance, or bug with unadulterated fear. But never anger. Sarah had never seen Chuck angry. His heart was too forgiving to display potent anger. Deep-seated, begrudging resentment, yes. Impatient irritation, yes. But never anger. All that made it extremely difficult for one to rebut attraction to Chuck Bartowski. But Sarah could deny that attraction. She could.

- - -

In the media room of the Buy More, the trio of herself, Casey, and Chuck listened with various degrees of intensity at the words of General Beckman and Director Graham. Casey stood ramrod straight at attention, his dark, beady eyes fixated on his superior as she explained both agencies had gotten word that an unusual amount of wealthy dignitaries had come in from various parts of the world this particular week. Chuck fidgeted slightly as he rocked back on his heels, eyes flicking from the screen to another ambiguous point around the room amidst Director Graham expressing concern that something less-than-patriotic would be occurring at a gala in the heart of Los Angeles. Sarah snapped back to a façade of attention as she acknowledged her orders from General Beckman and Director Graham with a curt nod. Once again, Team Bartowski was going to infiltrate yet another charity gala thrown by some influential multimillionaire who had too much money and too much time on his hands and therefore found nothing better to do than concoct a crackbrained scheme to take over the world. Wonderful. Just as previous missions, they would be working as a couple: Charles and Sarah Carmichael, a brilliant semi-retired software multimillionaire and his lovely wife dabbling in their interest of antique pieces from the Crusades all the way to the Renaissance. Sarah could feel Chuck's gaze studying her closely as she coolly informed their superiors that it was no problem. And it wasn't. Really.

She could deny that she suggested she and Chuck pose as a couple for the sake of a cover. After all, what better way to stay close to her mission and facilitate his safety by assuming romantic relations? She could deny that every question she asked concerning his personal life was to better understand her subject. His likes and dislikes mattered to his protection, and they abetted to their cover. He trusted her, and in turn, she learned more about him and was able to even better ease that trust. She could choose to deny the fact that she pushed for a good relationship with Ellie and Captain Awesome was for their cover. She argued that it would be a bit odd if a girlfriend distanced herself from her boyfriend's family, especially if aforementioned boyfriend lived in the same house as elder sibling and accompanying significant other. But as she became more familiar with the elder Bartowski sibling and her goofy blonde surgeon, Sarah could deny that she was attached to the pair and their endless dedication to Chuck. But even Sarah Walker fought to deny that her heart ached ever time she arrived at the Bartowski door for an outing with Chuck, Ellie, and Awesome, knowing that this fun-loving, sweet, girl-next-door, completely enamored with the younger Bartowski sibling she exuded was only yet another manifestation courtesy of the mission sent down from her superiors. It was a manifestation just as fake as the alias of Sarah Walker, and she could deny that it hurt that the only way they would know her was through the affectation of this manufactured pseudonym. That fact reigned painfully clear the day Chuck "broke up" with her, forgoing his obvious attraction for something more…real. Sarah Walker vehemently denied all vestiges of jealousy towards a girl – no one that petite could possibly be classified as a woman – whom she, without any semblance of doubt, could snap in half with a twist of her wrist. As she watched Chuck flirt so effortlessly and candidly with the sandwich maker, Lou, she denied any feelings of longing that Chuck had the ability to pursue a genuine relationship, not one constructed for protection of safety but one constructed out of legitimate affection. She remembered posing a question to Casey, wondering if he ever longed for normality and the things that most people take for granted: a home, kids, someone to love. Maybe Casey was the wrong person to ask, as single-minded as he was to his job. He had given her a look that screamed confusion as to why she would even muster up the brain power to think such a query, let alone voice it aloud before saying that the choice they made to put the country before themselves was the right choice. She could deny that it was stupid to even second guess her commitment to her job. Then she remembered the distinct family vibe coursing through every action between Chuck, Ellie, Awesome, and even Morgan. It reminded her of the serious lack of in her own life. But she could deny that it didn't matter. She could.

- - -

Chuck arrived at her hotel room ten minutes early, cuffs dangling freely, his bow tie undone, and his tuxedo jacket slung over his shoulder. Entering the bathroom where she was just finishing up the last of her makeup, he gave her a cursory once-over, a shy smile flitting across his face as he deemed her beautiful. She fought a flush, thanking him nonchalantly before returning to her task. As Chuck fiddled with his cufflinks, absently arranging his bow tie, she informed him of their target and quizzed him on their back story, even though he had long ago memorized their aliases. Chuck finished buttoning the last button on his tuxedo jacket, turning towards her and assuring her he had everything covered. After all, he had crafted this guise long before the Intersect made its way into the hard drive of his brain. Sarah smiled, reaching up to straighten his slightly askew bow tie, reminding him that they could never be too careful. Chuck nodded his understanding, gallantly offering an arm to lead her down to the front where Casey was waiting with a limo. Sarah drew his attention, laying a hand on his arm and presenting him with a plain white gold band. Chuck's eyes flitted from the ring to her expectant gaze with slight confusion. From his position in the driver's seat, Casey cracked that surely he understood the concept of wedding rings. As Chuck cocked an eyebrow, Sarah promised him it was solely for cover. Fumbling with the band slightly before sliding it on the appropriate finger, Chuck pointed out that they hadn't felt the need to wear rings before. Casey sardonically responded that they didn't want another Crown Vic incident to occur again. Shooting Casey a sharp glare, Sarah explained that this particular gala judged on looks. For all intents and purposes, they had to sell the fact they were married right down to the jewelry, she finished, raising her left hand in example. Chuck whistled at the sizable diamond and accompanying band gracing her finger, joking that Charles Carmichael sure brought in the bank if he could afford that boulder. Sarah joked back that Sarah Carmichael only expected the best and biggest from her influential hubby, and Casey interjected tersely stating they had arrived. Turning in his seat, Casey handing Chuck a watch that held a transmitter so he could hear their movements, and with a feral grin that did more to intimidate Chuck than reassure him, wished him good luck and not to eat the shrimp. As they exited the car, Chuck rotated to Sarah, the panicked glint in his dark eyes, vigorously questioning if that meant anything. Sarah waved off his concerns, stating it was just Casey being Casey, and they entered the gala arm in arm. By this time, Chuck had a very good grasp on the persona he had to play. As they swept through the doors and into the mix of thousands of faceless dignitaries, Chuck slipped flawlessly in to the persona of Charles Carmichael. He straightened his posture, threw his shoulders back, slowed his walk to a saunter that bordered just shy of arrogant, and arranged his face into visage of aloof poise. His brown gaze scanned the scene before them, calmly detached yet amiable. Slowly descending down onto the main ballroom floor, they meandered around the perimeter. Chuck coolly accepted a flute of champagne, pointedly avoiding the shrimp hors d'oeuvres before slipping in amidst the gathered populous. The process was endless: approach some business tycoon and attempt to connect on some frivolous level. Their target would greet them with slight apprehension, sizing up Chuck intently, sweeping over her appraisingly then subtly flicking a gaze down to zero in on the wedding bands and – in Sarah's case – accompanying diamond mate, before deeming them worthy of conversation. Chuck effortlessly engaged all whom they approached with his natural charm and willing smile, hoping to pick up something or other that would trigger the Intersect. For her part, Sarah played the role of dim trophy wife well, making small, inane comments that would make her known but easily forgettable, allowing her time to subtly scan their surroundings for any clues to the intention of their mission. Observing Chuck, Sarah couldn't help but be impressed at his gift of dialogue, always finding something or other to talk about with the dozens of notables they accosted, and she turned her attention to their latest companion, a Gaston LeBeau, some French oil magnate that stumbled upon his fortune while in search of a diamond mine. He was like any other male who attended these functions: suave, charming, and exceptionally coiffed. Most of the men were what one would consider handsome, but Sarah found herself preferring Chuck's geeky, bumbling charm over men like LeBeau. Sarah knew these types catered towards whomever they were courting, putting up the most amiable façade in order to gain whatever they were pursuing. With Chuck, things were unadulterated, genuinely pure from his natural charisma to his deceptive humor. As the two men shook hands, Chuck's eyes drifted down to the ornate ring gracing LeBeau's pinky finger, and he froze, his eyes bugging out, an indicator Sarah had learned that the millions of images imbedded in his mind were registering something or other. He jerked and mumbled a quick apology to LeBeau, excusing himself and Sarah before taking her hand and leading her out the doors to a more private setting. Chuck swiveled to face her, spluttering out the information he had just received, a glint of fear prevalent in his dark gaze as he asked her why representatives from many major terrorist organizations were in attendance. His charade slipped for a moment as his head whipped back to follow LeBeau as the man hovered just inside their eyesight, his breath coming in anxious gasps. Sarah gently placed one hand on the base of his neck, the other splayed across his chest, wordlessly imploring him to calm, gently running her fingers through the soft tendrils of the hair curling around his ears. Chuck's breaths slowed and steadied as he obliged, and opening his eyes, he exhaled deeply, the breath teeming with world-weary exhaustion, and he wondered aloud how someone could just callously disregard human life the way some of those people did. The question was so innocent, so simple that it threw Sarah for a moment. She shrugged, unsure of how to answer, and responded that some people just let money and the thirst for power corrupt them.

As they continued to mingle, waiting for Casey to process what had just happen so they could minister a plan of attack, Sarah could deny that she didn't feel even a bit of remorse that the last remnant of innocence Chuck carried had been dashed the moment his index finger punched the Enter button on his computer that triggered the entire gamut of US government secrets pouring into the crevices of his brain. After all, better they were kept in this man's head than some opportunistic leech that would hold the government as well as anything remotely related to national security ransom. She could deny that she didn't feel any resentment towards Bryce for facilitating the beginning of the loss of Chuck's innocence. Hell, she couldn't deny much when it came to Bryce Larkin…but this was one thing she could. Kind-hearted, genuine guys like Chuck Bartowski were not meant to be privy to everything she faced on a daily basis. Bryce had that part correct. Guys like Chuck Bartowski came so few and far between that they needed to retain the innate purity they possessed, not become susceptible to whatever mission the latest baddie conjured up for the week. Sure, Chuck kept like his goofy, charming quirks like his "Morgan Outings" and his oh-so stereotypical fascination with Star Wars, video games, and anything to do with technology. But with each flash elicited by the myriad of government secrets stored in his brain, Chuck became more and more cognizant of the evils agencies like the ones she and Casey worked for combated against. She could deny that she felt guilty that he had to witness conspiracy, corruption, and general chaos that came with wealth, power, and an evil heart. She could.

- - -

Unbeknownst to any of the guests mingling below Charles and Sarah Carmichael slipped away from the gala, stealing silently along the upper floors of the sprawling mansion. According to Chuck's flash, Gaston LeBeau was well-tied to many terrorist organizations due to his status as a prominent oil magnate and had used his influence to obtain access to the key oil pipelines of all the major powers of the world, including America, Great Britain, and France. Gaston planned to use the gala to sell the plans to the highest bidder. Destroying those pipelines would, in essence, cripple all oil transportation to whatever country they were located in or, in a more morbid case, causing a leak in one pipeline could kill countless innocents with the toxins released in the air. The possibilities were endless to the destruction that would cause. According to the Intersect, the plans were hidden in many of the pieces being used in the auction, hiding in nondescript places around the mansion. There were three pieces in all, veiled in each of the four rooms of the upper floor. From the limo, Casey had instructed them to search each room, hoping that the Intersect would flash on whatever piece concealed the parts. And so, the rest of the evening found Charles and Sarah Carmichael flitting from room to room, supposedly searching for places to "get away." With two of the three pieces securely stashed in hidden pockets of both Chuck's suit jacket and the lining in Sarah's evening gown, two-thirds of Team Bartowski entered the fourth and final room for the last piece of their mission. Scrutinizing the antiquities strewn haphazardly around the room, Chuck zeroed in on an ornate sculpture, nudging Sarah and motioning to the piece. Crouching down, Sarah ran her hands over the smooth marble until a barely noticeable crease piqued the skin of her fingertips, and with deliberate precision, Sarah extracted the final part of the plans in the guise of a normal computer disk. Just as Sarah handed the disk to Chuck, the latter stowing the device in another pocket, a sudden noise grabbed her attention, and she threw out a hand, wordlessly imploring him to stay quiet. The pair rotated towards the door, listening intently as the sound of footsteps permeated the silence of the floor. The footsteps grew louder, signaling an approach and giving no time for them to sneak away. Thinking quickly, Sarah acted solely on instinct. Rotating around, she shoved Chuck down onto the couch behind them, hitching up the skirt of her gown to straddle his lap. Ducking her head down, she pressed her lips to his neck and rolled her hips against his groin, subtly guiding his hands to encircle her torso as she lavished his pulse point, keeping one ear out for the footsteps that had originally piqued her attention. Moving her lips to his ear, she hissed out a command to play along, her eyes betraying the seriousness that he followed her order. His Adam's apple bobbed as he swallowed hard, but he obeyed, his eyes fluttering close as he reciprocated, his mouth meandering along every part of her exposed skin, hands spanning along the length of her back, lips kissing meticulously everywhere but her own lips. Vaguely, Sarah registered the door opening and a harsh bark sounded in their ears. Bolting from Chuck's lap, Sarah forced a deeply embarrassed flush to spread across her cheeks, a feat that proved to be less than laborious. To her surprise, Chuck answered smoothly in French, ending his apology with an embarrassed laugh and a joke. The burly henchman surveyed them for a moment before stepping aside to grant them exit. Carefully avoiding Chuck's eyes, Sarah preceded him out of the room, his hand clasped securely in hers, their wedding rings aligned with their entwined fingers. She could feel his stare burning into her back, and she fought to ignore the pooling heat throbbing at her center. She was not aroused by Chuck Bartowski. She wasn't.

Sarah tried to focus at the task at hand, but her mind drifted back to another time. She could deny that the Kiss – that hot, angst-ridden, desperate kiss made in what they believed were their waning moments of life – was nothing more than an act of extreme despair that meant nothing. Never mind that she shivered as his surprisingly skillful tongue swept sinfully, deliciously against hers. Never mind that, even given their dire situation, she felt unwittingly safe in his unexpectedly strong, solid arms. Never mind that she pressed harder against him, running her hands through the tousled curls of his unruly hair, rising up on her toes to seek even more of his lips, clutching the lapels of his mandated white work shirt. Never mind that she noticed he reciprocated, yanking her to fit to his lean frame, one hand splayed against the curve of her back, the other grasping her shoulder. None of that mattered in that mistake – all that it was – made in the heat of the moment. She could deny that, despite her claims of discomfort, her lips didn't tingle with a sensation she refused to label, and she could deny that a part of her wished to kiss him again. She was Sarah Walker, one of the best agents the CIA had to offer, and, barring a single blunder where one Bryce Larkin was concerned, she was nothing but professional. She could work with Chuck even after that moment, and she would not let it happen again. It was harder to deny the second time around when Jeff, half crocked off spiked eggnog, dangled mistletoe above their heads, slurring to Chuck that he'd thank him later. Luckily, Chuck saved them both from a potentially uncomfortable situation by suggesting they dance, and Sarah could deny that part of her wasn't disappointed. But the fundamental principle applied: that first kiss was a mistake, never – she was going to repeat that – never to happen again.

- - -

Hours later amidst the black velvet of the expanse of evening sky, Sarah exited the limo, reaching out to gather a less than coherent Chuck from the backseat. With an absent nod to Casey, she proceeded to half lug, half guide him back to the Bartowski stronghold. His eyelids threatening to droop, Chuck murmured a barely lucid sentence, complimenting the other half of Team Bartowski on another job well done, the soft glow of moonlight framing his features. Fighting her own fatigue induced from yet another completed, albeit completely harrowing mission, Sarah reciprocated the praise. Chuck seemed particularly pleased with the outcome as he utilized the basic self-defense techniques both she and Casey began to meticulously instruct him for the first time. Of course, they would rather Chuck turn tail and bolt with his self-described girlish scream, but both she and Casey reasoned it wouldn't hurt for him to learn something as to reduce his perpetual deer-in-the-headlights complex. Sarah remembered how just moments after they had exited the final room, a swarm of LeBeau's men had emerged from the first room, barking in rapid French that the plans were missing. The man who had caught them in the final room, swiveled in their direction, swiftly drawing his gun before Sarah had shoved Chuck out of the way, before whirling back towards the man, knocking the gun from his grasp with a swift roundhouse kick. Out of the corner of her eye, Sarah had directed her gaze down to the ballroom floor where a stealthy Casey had swiftly put LeBeau's guards out of commission, apprehending the oil magnate as NSA and CIA operatives silently swarmed the building from the outside. Moving with the speed honed from years of CIA training and experience, Sarah rapidly disarmed and disabled the remaining guards before returning her attention to Chuck. Caught between a henchmen and the corner, Chuck had flailed out, striking his target out of pure luck rather than legitimate skill. Watching his fist impact his attacker's face and seeing the man crumple to the ground, Chuck had gawked down at the fallen thug in before his eyes bulged out, and his mouth gaped open as a throaty gasp of pain filtered from his mouth, and in true Chuck fashion, he staggered slightly from shock, shaking out his hand. Said hand dangled over her shoulder, knuckles already beginning to purple from the collision of skin on bone as she towed Chuck's half-catatonic body over to his room, mindful of the fact Ellie and Awesome were sleeping mere feet away. Sarah guided his movements along as the day's excitement took its toll on his functioning process. As they lurched through the silent Bartowski home, she could deny that the slight snores filtering from his body were adorably endearing. He stumbled along the long hallway before collapsing into his room, toppling over onto the bed. Helping him from the constrictive tuxedo into sleep-clothes, maneuvering around his limbs as his state did more to hinder rather than help her, Sarah studied his woozy face, memorizing every curvature and contour from his wavy, unkempt hair with the one curl that always seemed to frame his temple, down the long, bumpy nose, over his full, lips and ending at the curve of his chin. She could deny that his innate ability to make her smile every time his long, lanky body shifted into her visual eyesight was a simple materialization of the mind that was solely for cover. She could deny her fierce need to protect him stemmed from her dedication to the mission, not anything personal.

Chuck snuffled, turning her attention his way. With bleary, sleep-filled eyes, he gazed at her, those swirling sepia pools betraying his affection in the childlike, untainted way hers lost the ability to long time ago. Almost unconsciously, he reached a hand out, tugging her down to the bed, stating in a fatigue-addled mumble it was way too late for her to be driving back to her hotel, kick-ass CIA agent or not. His eyes implored her to stay, and she could deny that she wasn't touched at his concern. With a slight nod of her head, she acquiesced, stating that it would aid to their cover anyway. Chuck nodded absently in response, allowing her to get up to rifle in his drawers for a pair of boxers and a shirt, knowing exactly which places to look for each respective garment. Stripping down, she could deny that their heightened level of comfort in his room and in his home wasn't even a little bit unsettling. Throwing her gown to hang arbitrarily over his computer chair, she haphazardly tossed around the articles of his tuxedo, providing the charade that more adult activities transpired prior to their presence in Chuck's bed. She stretched out beside him, his lengthy body dwarfing hers considerably. Chuck had already regressed back to his slumber, his torso rising and falling in steady, deep breaths. Unconsciously, she curled into his warmth, trying to ignore the shockwaves of something between desire and affection flittering across her body as he involuntarily slung one arm around her waist, drawing her closer, and her comfort level couldn't bring her to remove it. Her eyes plummeted down to the white gold wedding band encircling the appropriate finger, Chuck's intrinsic fatigue prompting his forgetfulness to remove the prop. The precious metal glinted in the moonlight, prompting her to shift her stare to her matching set of rings. The irony wasn't lost on Sarah as the hand resting on the small of her back clenched slightly, tangling its grasp in her sleep shirt. This was something intimate couples were supposed to be doing. Not fake couples. This was not right...no matter how she currently felt curled in the circle of his arms. Gazing into his deceptively handsome features, slack with sleep and radiating his innate innocence, Sarah Walker could deny that she had fallen in love with Chuck Bartowski. She could. She really could.

And done. As it is with any foray into an arena extending past a comfort zone, I hope I did the characters of Chuck justice. Hope you enjoyed it!

Roxy