A/N: Sorry for the long delay. School started up again and it's been hectic. Here's the final chapter. All we have is the epilogue now. Thank you all so much for the reviews and the support.
Chuck groaned as he reached over to turn off the alarm. He felt Sarah rustle next to him and kissed her forehead. "Good morning."
Sarah yawned and curled even closer to him. "Do you have to go to work today?"
"I wish I didn't. I'm sure I can cut out early," he smiled. All he wanted to do was stay in bed with her all day, but his boss would kill him if he didn't show up for their weekly meeting. "Let's plan something nice for tonight. I can make reservations somewhere."
"Sounds nice," she said, but he could feel her stiffen and pull away slightly.
"Can we talk tonight? Maybe before dinner?" She watched as a flash of panic crossed his face, but he hid it quickly. It looked like he wanted to talk about as much as she did. But she knew it was needed. They would never really be able to move forward until they were honest with each other and put the past behind them. She was terrified that the conversation would change everything.
"Yeah, I guess. If you want we can talk right now." To be honest he didn't really want to talk. From the look on her face there was a lot that was weighing on her and he was scared it would ruin the happiness they had right now. Chuck just wanted to freeze time where it was.
Sarah sat up and took a deep breath. She didn't know where to start. It would be best if she started from the beginning: why she left, where she went, what she did, who she did. Sarah shivered and looked toward the floor. That probably wasn't the best place to start. "I guess . . . I guess I should start by asking if you have any questions for me."
"Hmm. Well, let's make sure I have this right," he said sitting up so he was even with her. "About two years ago you left LA, met up with Casey, worked with him to take down Fulcrum, came here to track down Agent X, left again, then quit the CIA and came back here."
"First off, I didn't come back here to find Agent X. I came back here for you. X just happened to have followed Casey and me here."
"You came back for me?"
Sarah nodded and watched as the wheels in his head started to turn. "If you came back for me, why did you leave again after you killed X?"
"You knew I killed X?" She didn't want Chuck to know that. She didn't want him to think of her as a killer. Thankfully, it didn't seem to faze him as he spoke about it.
"Casey told me," he shrugged, but never took his eyes off hers.
"I needed to finish my mission and figure some things out."
"Do you know I waited for you that night? I thought you would come back." The pain in his voice was evident and Sarah felt a lump rise in her throat at the memory of watching him wait for her.
"I'm sorry, Chuck."
They were quiet for a little awhile as Chuck let everything sink in. "I understand. And I figured leaving the CIA wasn't easy. I didn't think it would be a six month process. That must have been hard."
No, this was going to be hard. "It wasn't exactly a six month process. It was long, but not quite six months."
"What are you trying to tell me?"
"I spent some time in San Francisco after I left the CIA and before I came here. It was personal time."
"How much time?" he asked, but the look on her face told him all he needed to know. He felt something he couldn't quite place rise in him and quickly looked away from her. "I need to get to work."
"Chuck, we need to talk about this."
"If I'm late my boss will kill me."
Sarah watched as he quickly got out of bed and headed straight for the shower. She didn't know what she expected his reaction to be when she told him, but she didn't really expect it to be this. How was she supposed to fix this? She lay back down on the bed and ran a hand over her face. He just needed time to process. She would give him time and they would talk again when he got home from work. In the meantime it might be a good idea for her to figure out what she was going to do with the rest of her life. She had enough money saved to buy a place of her own and to live off of for awhile, but she still needed to find a job. The question was: what was she going to do? The only thing she was good at was being a spy. Sarah couldn't really see herself working at a desk job. She would get to antsy. She needed to be moving around. Law enforcement was an option, but she was tired of protecting other people. She could go back to the Wienerlicious, but she wanted more out of life than deep frying hot dogs. Maybe it wasn't one of those things she had to figure out right now. She had time to figure out what she wanted to do.
About ten minutes later Chuck came back into the room to get dressed. She watched him in silence and yearned to walk over and fix his tie. Instead, she sat there and pretended not to stare at him. When he was done, he walked over to his desk, picked up his briefcase, grabbed his keys, and turned to look at her.
"I'll be back around 5:30."
"Have a good day," she said offering a smile. He took a step to leave, paused, then leaned over to her side of the bed and kissed her on the cheek. If not for the fact that he was mad at her, it would have been a perfect. A moment later she heard the front door click and he was gone.
It was almost six o'clock by the time Sarah returned to the Bartowski's. She had attended a few open houses and looked at a few apartments near Chuck's. There were a few that looked promising, but nothing that really jumped out at her. She wished Chuck had been there with her. Hopefully, he would go along next time.
"Hey, Sarah!" Ellie called from the kitchen. Sarah smiled and walked over to her. Ellie was busy preparing dinner and whatever it was it smelled amazing.
"Everything looks great Ellie."
"Thanks. I made plenty in case you and Chuck would be joining us."
"Thank you, but I think Chuck mentioned going out tonight. Is he back yet?"
"Nope. He should be here any minute though. He doesn't like to stay at the office later than six."
Sarah looked at her watch and sighed. She wondered if because of the conversation they had earlier he was avoiding coming home. She shook her head to clear the thought and talked with Ellie until she was finished with dinner. The Woodcombs sat down for dinner around 7:00 and Sarah excused herself. After another half hour of waiting in Chuck's room, Sarah decided she better go look for him. It wouldn't be too hard; she had a pretty good idea of where he was.
Chuck checked his watch. It was almost 8:00 and he needed to get home. Five more minutes wouldn't hurt anything. He breathed in the cool salty air and watched as the waves crashed against the shore. It was comforting. This was the spot he came to when he needed to think. He came here when he first met Sarah. That time it wasn't about her. It was the night he found out about the intersect in his head. He remembered feeling so lost and confused. Nothing made sense anymore. And here he was again, years later, but this time everything finally made sense. He had been upset with Sarah this morning, but after thinking about it all day he came to the realization that none of it mattered. This was their chance to start over and he wasn't going to let anything ruin that. He heard rustling behind him, but he didn't look back.
"How long you been here?"
"A little while."
She sat next to him, a little farther away than he would have liked, and he resisted the urge to reach out to her. "How'd you know I was here?"
"It's our spot," was all she offered. He smiled. He liked the sound of that.
"Sarah before you say anything, I need to tell you something," Chuck took a deep breath and gazed back out at the ocean. "I was mad at you this morning. I was mad at you the night you left after everything that happened with X. I was mad at you a lot over the past two years. But I'm not mad at you anymore and I don't need to know anything else about what happened before you left the CIA, before you came here. It doesn't matter. We're starting fresh."
He turned to her and it broke his heart to see the tears in her eyes. Chuck reached out and pulled her toward him. She sank into his chest and he wrapped his arms around her.
"Thank you," she whispered. "I didn't want to dwell on the past anymore."
"I do have one question, though. Why San Francisco?"
"My dad used to talk about it all the time when I was a kid. There was this one place in particular, called Vista Point. It's a little place right off the Golden Gate Bridge. He said it was his favorite place in the city. It's beautiful, Chuck. You can see the entire city from that little spot. I'd love to take you there sometime."
"I'd love that."
She looked up and met his eyes. "I love you." He leaned down to kiss her then rested his forehead against hers.
"I love you, too."
"So this is what it feels like."
"Walking barefoot for awhile." Sarah laughed as he knitted his eyebrows together in confusion. "It's a chick flick reference. I don't expect you to understand."
"I didn't peg you for a chick flick fan, Sarah Walker."
"Me either, but I am not ashamed to admit that I totally love them."
"So is that what you did in San Francisco? Watch a bunch of chick flicks?"
"Not the whole time, but some of it. Actually, I watched a bunch of stuff while I was in DC waiting for my resignation to be final."
"What else did you watch?"
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lost, Prison Break. Oh, by the way, I might have to run off with Wentworth Miller."
"If the opportunity arises I would too." They both laughed and she snuggled closer to him. She loved this. Just being able to talk to him about things like TV was perfect.
"I did wait for you to watch most of the Sci-Fi stuff. I figured you could teach me how to fully appreciate Firefly."
"I think you've just made me the happiest nerd in LA."
They sat in silence for a few more minutes watching the sunset. Chuck felt like he had finally arrived at the rest of his life. Even before he met Sarah he had been waiting for anything to come along that would change his life forever. Then he met Sarah and it didn't take long to figure out that she was the girl he had been waiting for. He was finished waiting now. The rest of his life started and ended with the girl wrapped in his arms.
Chuck stood up and reached out for her hand. "Let's go home."