Author's note: I know, I know, I said I'd be taking off until May, and here I am, the very next day, writing.

What can I say. This idea has been gestating since halfway through "Seventh Day". When I have ideas, I have to write them, or I go crazy. Enjoy!

7:00 A.M., Pacific Daylight Time

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Studio City, California

Chuck Bartowski was up early, as usual. It was his task to wake up every day and get the coffee going while Sarah made sure that the kids were ready for day care.

But the smell of coffee almost invariably brought Sarah wandering into the kitchen before she woke up the twins. "Mmmm," she said approvingly, smelling the coffee as she wandered into the kitchen.

"Good morning to you, too," Chuck replied amusedly. His very sleepy wife embraced him and laid her head against his chest, closing her eyes.

"Don't move," she muttered. "Going back to sleep here."

"I'm pretty sure that's not an option," Chuck said, laughing softly. "The kids have to be woken up and gotten ready for the day, and I have to go to work."

"Spoilsport," Sarah grumbled, squeezing him tight before releasing him. "Get me something to wake me up then."

"Yes, seƱora, allow me to be Juan Valdez," Chuck replied in a ridiculous accent. Pulling the pot off the coffeemaker, he poured a mug for Sarah.

She accepted it, and took a sip. "It's good," she approved. "It's been good ever since Will told you how to make Marine Corps coffee. What's the difference, anyway?"

"I was sworn to secrecy," Chuck replied, mock-zipping his mouth shut. What Major Will Williamson of the United States Marine Corps had taught him was very simple, but Chuck had sworn he would never share it with anyone.

"Punk," Sarah complained. "And I can't weasel it out of him, either."

"Kinda hard for a woman to seduce a gay Marine," Chuck laughed. Will Williamson had finally been able to stop living in the closet three months before when the President had convinced Congress to put a stop to "don't ask, don't tell."

"I can still seduce you, though," Sarah said with a smile. She ran her fingers through Chuck's hair, and gently traced her fingernails down behind the backs of his ears. His eyes involuntarily closed and he shuddered as she did that. His mouth dropped open just a little bit, and she seized on the opportunity.

Sarah kissed Chuck, ever-so-slyly snaking her tongue into his mouth and making him shudder again. She withdrew, and gently bit his bottom lip.

"Oooookay," he gasped. "You add a pinch of salt and a half teaspoon of brown sugar to the grounds."

"See," Sarah said with a smile. "That wasn't so hard, was it?"

Chuck was just about ready to say "to hell with the morning schedule" and let Sarah finish the whole seduction bit right then and there, but they were interrupted by a dull thud that came from the direction of the living room window.

"What the hell?" Chuck asked, heading toward the front of the house. He opened the front door. A brick sat on the front porch, a note tied around it. Clearly, it had been meant to go through the front window, but CIA Director Sam Tyler had insisted on having bulletproof glass installed over a year prior.

But that wasn't Chuck's immediate concern. "Holy shit," Sarah said, as she stepped out the front door and saw the large burning circle on their front lawn.

Chuck grabbed the garden hose, turned on the spigot, and was quickly able to extinguish the flames on the grass that John Casey had worked so hard to make perfect. "Casey's gonna be pissed," Chuck groaned.

"I don't think that's our biggest problem," Sarah replied. She held out the note that had been tied around the brick.

Chuck took the note and read it. You're a dead man, Bartowski, it read. It was signed, Anillo Del Fuego.

"Okay," Chuck said, taking a deep breath. "This is definitely gonna be a problem."