Disclaimer: Chuck belongs to NBC. I got this idea from my friend Kelpy when she was telling me about an idea she had for her first tattoo! Enjoy!


Inked

Chuck stirred slightly and tried to fight to stay asleep. Reluctantly Chuck opened his eyes and gave into awareness. He rubbed the sleep from his eyes and tried to adjust to the darkness of the room. Once he was able to take in the room clearly, he looked over at this sleeping lover.

What the hell, Chuck thought sleepily. What woke me up? Looking around the room, Chuck couldn't find anything that could explain why he was pulled from sleep.

Sighing heavily, Chuck rolled over and snuggled up next to his slumbering lover, intent on going back to sleep. He tried for over half an hour to slip back into sleep but even wrapped up in his bed mate's strong arms, sleep would not claim him.

"Damn it," Chuck hissed quietly, not wanting to disturb Casey. He realised that he was not going to fall back asleep. So, Chuck moved out of Casey's arms and sat up against the headboard.

Casey moved closer to Chuck, subconsciously searching for Chuck's presence in his sleep. The NSA agent pillowed his head on Chuck's sheet covered thigh and snuggled into the warmth Chuck produced.

Chuck smiled sweetly down at Casey. He loved moments like there, where the gruff NSA agent became cuddly. Chuck was the only one who got to see Casey like this. Even Ilsa hadn't seen him like this; the NSA agent had a cover then – an act to play with Ilsa.

Casey had no cover and didn't have to act around Chuck. He could just be himself.

Chuck carded his fingers through Casey's soft, thick hair. There were many sides and many things about Casey that the agent only shared with Chuck and the younger man was ecstatic about that.

One thing about Casey that no one ever saw – besides Chuck – was his tattoo. Chuck brushed his fingers on his free hand down over Casey's side and down to rest on the sheet covering Casey's hip. He slid the sheet to the side and traced his fingers over the tattoo present there.

The NSA agent had gotten the tattoo years ago, before going into the army. Casey had gotten it on his hip since then no enemy could see it and later use it to identify him because of it. Even before he had joined up with he military, Casey had thought like a soldier and gotten it somewhere discreet.

The tattoo was of three Forget-Me-Nots tied together with a silver ribbon. It wasn't something that Chuck would have ever expected the NSA agent to have had tattooed. Casey had only explained the meaning of the inked flowers once to Chuck but the Nerd Herder had memorized it instantly. The tattoo mean a lot to Casey, so Chuck promised himself that he would never forget its meaning.

Each flower represented a member of Casey's family. The center flower, which was the largest of the three, was for this mother who had died when Casey was ten in a car accident. The other two Forget-Me-Nots were for the agent's younger sisters, who Casey loved dearly but was never able to see due to the demands of the job.

Chuck always felt slightly guilty when he looked at Casey's tattoo. He felt that way because he was one of the reasons – thanks to having the Intersect in his head – why Casey was unable to see his beloved sisters. He didn't even know when the last time Casey had even seen his sisters was. Yet, here he was helping Chuck and giving him a chance to stay with his.

"I'm sorry," Chuck whispered into Casey's hair, hunching over slightly to do it. He didn't even know why he was apologizing but he just felt that he needed to do so. That Casey deserved it.

"What for, Chuck?" Casey's sleepy voice reached the Nerd Herder's ears. Casey rolled over so that he was on his back but with his head still resting on Chuck's thigh, sleepy blue eyes meeting brown.

"C-Casey! I didn't know you were awake," Chuck said nervously.

"You were thinking to loud," Casey grumbled out. His voice was still husky from sleep. "Now answer my question. What are you apologizing for Charles?"

Chuck shuddered pleasantly. He loved it when Casey called him 'Charles' and Casey knew it. "It's nothing. Sorry to wake you with my noisy thinking."

Casey pulled himself up from the bed and turned to face Chuck. The sheet that covered his bare lower half sat dangerously low on Casey's hips. Chuck's attention was drawn to the pleasant sight.

Casey rolled his eyes at where he saw Chuck's attention had strayed. He leaned forward and cupped Chuck's face, drawing the younger man's eyes to meet his own. "What are you thinking about in that head of yours?"

"Nothing. It's silly, really."

"If it's keeping you up then it's not nothing. Tell me Chuck."

Chuck focused on Casey's eyes and the determined expression in them. He knew that Casey wasn't going to let Chuck off easy. Sighing Chuck answered Casey. "It's your tattoo."

Casey stared at Chuck. "My tattoo?"

"Yeah."

"Why are you sorry about my tattoo?"

"It's not the tattoo but what it means!" Chuck paused and thought over what he just said. "That's not what I meant."

"What did you mean the, Chuck?" Casey all but growled out. "This tattoo is mine, Chuck. I got it for me and its meaning is for me. It is not for you to feel sorry over."

Chuck stared at Casey, wide eyed and open mouthed in shock. "That was not what I mean, Casey," Chuck muttered.

"Then what did you mean, Charles?"

There was no pleasant shudder this time, only a cold chill. "I just – "

Casey didn't let Chuck finish. "Just what? Felt sorry for me since my mom is dead? Pitied me for – "

"NO!" Chuck yelled at Casey. "It has nothing to do with you! I don't feel sorry nor do I pity you! Damn it, Casey! I feel guilty!"

Casey stared at Chuck in bewilderment. He had never heard raise his voice like that.

"Guilty?" Chuck nodded. "Why do you feel guilty?"

"Be-because..." Chuck dropped his head into his hands before continuing. "It's because of me that you can't see them."

Casey looked at Chuck, eyes soft. The younger man looked so sad and guilty over something he couldn't control.

"So you feel guilty because I can't see my sisters?"

Chuck nodded. "It's my fault. If I hadn't gotten the Intersect stuck in my head, you would be able to see them."

"Chuck, if I wasn't here with you, I'd be off on some other mission. Protecting or killing someone else."

Chuck lifted his head from his hands, his crushed brown eyes not meeting Casey's own. "You don't know that..."

"Yes, yes I do. I had a choice when the General asked me if I wanted this mission. Either be here and protect you or be on a mission in the Middle years for an unknown amount of time," Casey told Chuck.

Chuck met Casey's eyes. "But your sisters..." He whispered.

"I'll see them soon enough."

"Really?"

"Yep. No reason to feel guilty over it, alright?" Casey soothed.

Chuck met Casey's eyes and smiled warily. "Pretty stupid of me, huh, worried over that."

Casey smiled at Chuck. "Yep, pretty stupid."

"Thanks," Chuck growled sarcastically.

The NSA agent chuckled at this lover before leaning forward and kissing Chuck on the lips, tenderly. They kissed slowly and lovingly, just kissing sweetly and caressing. Neither tried to take it further but just wanting to express their deep feelings for one another through the caring kisses.

Casey pulled away slowly and stroked Chuck's cheek. "There is no reason for you to ever feel guilty over me not being able to see my sisters," Casey whispered against Chuck's lips. "I see them and it was my choice to do this job and it's my choice to stay here with you, okay?"

"'Kay," Chuck whispered before kissing Casey chastely and winding his fingers into his lover's hair.

Casey smiled against Chuck's lips and pushed him gently back down onto the mattress. His toned body instantly covered the slim body of his lover's.

They kissed slowly until the need for sleep overcame them both. The couple settled down for sleep, Chuck's back pressed firmly against Casey's chest and the agent's arms wrapped protectively around Chuck's middle.

Before falling back asleep, Chuck moved his arm to wrap around Casey's own and placed his hand over the tattoo on Casey's hip. Maybe one day there would be another flower to accompany the other ones, one just for Chuck.