Ok. After reading tons of stories, I decided to try and write one. I've decided that it is much harder than I thought. This is my vision of how Chuck and Sarah could start a real relationship. Since this is the first thing I've written since college, I'd appreciate constructive criticism.

I'm not sure why but everyone says that they don't own Chuck. I'm not sure who does, but it isn't me.

It had been a long night.

Sarah, Casey, and Chuck were driving home in silence.

As Sarah went through the events of the evening she fought to keep in a frustrated sigh.

Oh, the mission had been successful all right. They had caught the bad guys. Casey had gotten to bust a few heads. She even got to use the roundhouse kick she had been working on in the gym. She smiled briefly as she remembered the shocked look on his face as he was falling to the ground.

And Chuck, Chuck was brilliant. He flashed on some very bad guys and was able to give Casey a heads up just before he was ambushed. He had almost certainly saved Casey's life.

Her smile was short lived however as she remembered how Chuck had acted at the bar.

"What is wrong with him", she thought to herself. "Why does he act so unprofessional every time I have to get close to someone?"

It was a pattern that was becoming all too common. Sarah would just start to get the mark interested. Admittedly it wasn't that tough. Most men melted when she flashed those baby blues. But then she would look over at Chuck and see his sad eyes. Damm his big sad eyes.

She could forgive him being jealous. Truth be told, she thought it was kind of cute. But in a mission there was no room for jealous or cute. Drawing attention to yourself could get you killed. And Chuck was definitely drawing attention to himself. Tonight, even the mark had noticed. It had even taken a little more overt flirting than she would usually allow to get his focus back on her.

It was just a matter of time before something very bad was going to happen. She just couldn't let that happen. She hadn't given up her chance at a normal life, endured countless hours of training, and risked her life more times than she could count to fail now.

It didn't help that she knew she shared a large part of the blame. She had sent Chuck so many mixed signals that she really couldn't blame him for being confused. Try as she might to stay professional, she knew she was failing.

She knew that staying professional gave her the best chance at protecting Chuck. And that's what really mattered, protecting Chuck. Mostly because it was her sworn duty but partly because she couldn't bear the thought of sometime happening to him. Or was it mostly because she couldn't bear the thought of something happening to him?

Whichever it was, she knew that something had to change.

They finally arrived at Casey's for the usual post mission debriefing.

The meeting had gone surprising well. The brass didn't know or care about the problems in a mission. They just cared about the results.

And Sarah couldn't deny that the result had been good. Beckman was in a better mood than Sarah could remember. Not that she kept track.

Normally Sarah enjoyed getting praise in these debriefing sessions. Not that it was that common. Tonight oddly, the praise had the opposite effect. She knew that they were lucky tonight. She also knew that luck would not last forever. The more the General raved about the fine job, the more Sarah fumed. She wasn't quite sure how yet but she knew that she had to fix this. Just as Sarah was ready to scream, the meeting mercifully ended.

She could tell that Casey knew something was wrong. He didn't say anything but he had a smirk that begged to be punched. Maybe one of her roundhouse kicks would do the trick.

"There is no sense letting him know anything", she thought to herself. "Especially since I'm not sure how this is going to turn out."

She turned to Chuck who was getting ready to leave and forced a flat smile.

"Walk me to my car?"

"OK", he relied rather dejectedly.

He could obviously feel that she was upset. He was also pretty sure it was him she was upset with.

As they walked to the car, Chuck kept waiting to Sarah to yell at him. With each step, the anticipation grew and grew until the point when they arrived at the car his nerves were totally on edge.

"She must really be pissed if she asked me walk her to the car just to give the silent treatment", he thought. Not knowing what else to say he said "Well goodnight Sarah".

"Get in", was her terse response. "We need to talk."

Chuck had no idea where they were headed as they drove in silence but after what seemed like forever, they pulled into Sarah's building. They walked into Sarah's apartment again without saying a word.

As each silent second passed, Chuck absolutely knew that he was in more and more trouble. Finally, he couldn't take the tension any more so he spoke. "Umm Sarah, what did you want to talk about?"

All of Sarah's pent up frustration came poring out. "I want to know what the hell your problem is", she yelled a little louder than she had meant to.

"I don't know what you mean", Chuck answered as he stared at the floor even though he was pretty sure he did know.

"Come on Chuck. You know darned well what I'm talking about. Are you trying to get us killed? Do you think this is some sort of game? Do you realize how dangerous these people are? Do you? You just can't keep blowing our cover every time I need to get close to someone. I'm just so pissed at you right now."

Chuck wisely let her rant. He had never seen the fire in her eyes he was now seeing. Not that he had much of a choice because he wouldn't have gotten a word in edgewise anyway.

Finally she was done talking.

"Well?" she demanded.

Chuck looked the floor. He knew that he needed to calm her down.

"I'm really sorry" he began. "I know that I have absolutely no right to be jealous. I also know that you're just doing your job. I just can't help it", he said the last part so softly that Sarah could barely hear him.

"It's just too hard to watch you give to other men what I want so badly. I've tried everything I know to make you care for me and it doesn't look like it is going to happen. I guess I panic a little when I see you with those men. I truly am sorry", he said as tears started to form in his eyes.

Sarah had been so pent up with emotion that she was surprised by his admission. She had expected him to put up a fight. As she looked at Chuck, she realized that he was broken. It took everything she had not to throw her arms around him. But she knew that she needed to resolve this and tonight was her chance.

"I know Chuck", she said. "I though if we kept our feelings out of the picture, we'd be ok. That's obviously not working. We'll need to do something else. The way I see it, we have two choices. But either way we have to resolve this tonight."

Chuck wondered what choices she could mean. The first things that came to his mind were knife or gun. He slightly nodded to Sarah to let her know she had his attention.

Sarah started. "The first choice is obvious. I'll ask for a reassignment and they'll assign someone who can be totally professional to take my place. Hopefully that person will be able to protect you better than I can. Of course, that means we'll never see each other again".

"The second choice is that we admit we have feelings for each other and have a real relationship".

Hearing that, Chuck's face shot up to meet Sarah's a smile forming on his lips.

"Before you get too excited", Sarah warned, "I have some serious conditions."

Chuck didn't respond but his eyes told Sarah to continue.

"We have to face the realities of our situation", Sarah began. "You are a very valuable asset to the nation's security. Very bad people are trying to capture or kill you. I'm assigned to protect you. My first condition is that whenever we're on assignments our relationship is strictly professional. I'm your handler and you are my asset. When I tell you to stay in the car, you stay in the damm car. When I tell you to run from the bomb, you run from the bomb. Ok?

Chuck simply nodded too stunned to speak.

Sarah continued, "My second condition is that our superiors can't find out. You have no idea what I'm putting on the line here. How this goes against every single piece of training I've ever had. That also means Casey can't know. I'm not sure what he would do and I don't want to find out. I'm sure he suspects something already. Ok?"

Chuck nodded for her to continue.

"Third condition. I'm a CIA agent. I need to get close to men. The way I do that is by flirting with them. I don't totally understand why but I'm very good at it. You're going to have to witness that without freaking out.

"OK, those are my conditions. Do you have any questions?"

"I have a couple", Chuck replied eyes firmly on the floor. "Will this relationship include, um, things like sex?"

"Come on Chuck", Sarah replied disgustedly. "Is that all men ever think about? Is that all you want from me …, sex?"

Chuck's eyes widened in horror.

"Of course not", he said quickly. "I'm sorry that it came out like that. Sex isn't that important to me. Not that I mean it's not important. I mean, I mean I'm just trying to figure out how real this relationship is going to be."

Sarah calmed down as she smiled at Chuck's bumbling response and the half smile returned to her lips.

"OK. I'll answer your question. Yes. I anticipate sex sometime. When is sort of up to you. Right now I'm too angry with you to even think about it. When you fix that, we'll talk sex.

Sarah's face had now broken into a full smile as she was enjoying Chuck's obvious discomfort.

"You said you had a couple of questions", Sarah continued. "What is your second one?"

Chuck finally looked Sarah in the eye and she could see a twinkle starting to form.

"You're offering me a real relationship. Are you going to tell me how you really feel?"

Sarah was shocked. She hadn't expected Chuck to say that. It was her turn to look at the floor. Darn it. Why hadn't she thought this through?

"You know that I'm not very good at talking about my feelings", she whispered. "Is this something you really need to hear?"

"I need to hear it once", he replied softly. "So far, this has sounded sort of like a mission briefing. No offense but I'd like to know there's at least a little romance involved."

Sarah began thinking of what she should say. How about "I like you a lot"? No, that seemed to tame. How about "I have feelings for you"? No, that's too formal. How about "I care for you"? Perfect. Intimate enough but also ambiguous.

Sarah felt her hands shaking. "Come on Sarah", she told herself. "You've been in lot's of scarier situation than this. Just tell him that you care for him. She forced herself to look up from the floor and into Chuck's eyes as she told him.

"I love you."

Chuck's grin was the biggest she'd ever seen. Sarah kept her eyes focused on Chuck's to keep from breaking down. She wasn't sure why "I love you" came out but it sure felt good.

"Thank you for telling me. I know how hard that was for you. Just for the record, I love you too. I think you probably have already figured that out."

Chuck held out his arms as an invitation. Sarah wrapped her arms around Chuck and buried her head in his chest.

Chuck waited for quite some time without speaking just enjoying the moment. Finally he spoke.

"I have some conditions too."

Sarah looked up at him questioningly.

"Well, more like requests than conditions", Chuck started.

"First, I know how men react to you. You can take almost any man and make him feel like he is king of the world just by looking at him. I've seen you do that with men that I know you actually loathe. Please promise me that you'll never do that to me. I need to know that your emotions are real. I'd much rather have you mad at me than pretend to be happy."

Sarah looked up at Chuck, keeping her head on his chest. "I promise", she said softly.

"Second, I know there a lot of things about you that you can't tell me about. I'm ok with that. But if I ask you something that I can't know, just tell me. I promise to let it drop. Please don't make some cover story up."

Sarah nodded her head to let Chuck know that she understood.

"Third, I'm never going to like watching you with other men. I understand that it's your job. I understand you have to do it. I understand that I have to deal with it. It's just … just … you're just so good at it."

Sarah stepped back from Chuck so that they were at arms length but still holding hands.

"I don't expect you to like it, she said softly. "There would be something wrong if you did like it. I don't like it any more than you do. What I expect is that you don't let it affect the mission. If you can bottle up those feelings and talk to me about it later, I might be able to find a way to make it up to you." As she finished talking she smiled suggestively.

Chuck's eyebrows arched as he tried to match Sarah's suggestive tone while trying not to laugh.

"Did I mention to you how jealous I was of the way you were looking at Casey at the debriefing tonight?"

"Nice try bub", Sarah laughed as she playfully slapped him on the chest.

"Ok, seriously", Chuck said as he grabbed her hand again. "I know that you're not that happy with me right now. I know that I have that coming. I've been acting like a jerk. I just want you to know that I'm really, really sorry. I promise I'll do better."

Sarah nodded. "I know you will."

Chuck smiled. "You have to know that I can't stand it when you're mad at me. It makes me feel empty. I was sort of hoping that, just this once, you could give me a pass on the doghouse thing?"

Sarah looked into Chuck's eyes. How would she ever be able to tell him no when looking into those eyes? She knew that she had better figure something out. Soon. But not tonight.

She reached up and grabbed Chuck's head down to be able to kiss him. Just before their lips met, she replied.

"Just this once."