A/N: I wrote this in the car on the ride to my relatives house for Christmas. Please excuse the fact that it's somewhat pointless holiday fluff and probably fairly nonsensical. It's Christmas! I'll be posting the rest of the chapters over the next few days. It's all written except the final chapter.
Disclaimer: Other people own Chuck, this little piggy got none.
Casa Bartowski 2008
"Sarah," Chuck prodded.
"mmmmuuuuuhhhh" she replied burrowing deeper into his comforter.
"Come on, wake up, it's Christmas."
"Hate Christmas, bed comfortable." Sarah pulled the comforter over her head so she was just a lump in Chuck's double bed.
Chuck turned the comforter down and ran the backs of his fingers across her cheek. This caused the edges of Sarah's lips to curl into a smile, but she kept her eyes firmly clamped shut. "Come on, I brought coffee..."
"Coffee?" She popped one eye open hopefully.
"Yep, and Ellie's making pancakes." Sarah frowned slightly. "I'll put some chocolate chips in yours."
Sarah grinned. He always knew.
"You're adorable when you're sleepy."
Sarah suddenly felt warmer inside. She sat up on the bed. "Coffee?" she asked again.
Chuck handed over a large mug of freshly brewed coffee with milk and a one cube of melted Godiva's in it."
"MMMmmmMMM" Sarah mewed after she took a sip.
"Santa came." Sarah tilted her head to the side as she looked at him curiously.
"I thought you gave me my present yesterday?"
"Hey, it's not me, it's from Santa."
Instead of letting her object he leaned over and kissed the side of her mouth. "Come on sleepy head, everyone's waiting. Let's go open presents."
Sarah took a moment to enjoy Chuck's affection before she swung her feet out of the bed and pulled on the robe she'd brought with her. She shuffled into the living room of Casa Bartowski. Sure enough, there, by the fire, were stockings. Right next to a tattered and sad looking stocking that said "Charlie" was a hand sewn stocking with the name Sarah embroidered into it. Sarah stood staring at it, struck dumb. Chuck walked up next to her and put his arm around her. "You made me a stocking?" she asked.
"Ellie did it."
Sarah turned to the kitchen and asked. "You made me a stocking?" she asked with a pained lilt entering her voice. She was NOT going to cry.
Ellie looked up from where she was cooking bacon. "Oh, yeah, I hope its okay. Chuck said you didn't have one and …"
"Excuse me…" Sarah cut across her.
She ran towards the bathroom, but Devon had it locked so she dove for the safety of Chuck's room. She blinked and took a series of rapid breathes. A few moments later Ellie slowly opened the door to Chuck's room. "It's terrible isn't it?" Ellie said cautiously holding the stocking. "I made Devon one a couple of years ago. Chuck said you didn't have one and so I just thought…"
"It's amazing," Sarah stopped her. "I've never had one before."
"Sorry," Sarah replied. "I'm being dumb. I'm just…I'm not good with family I'm a little overwhelmed.
Ellie took a few steps into the room and gave Sarah a tight hug. "One of these days I want to talk about your past. Chuck says you don't like to talk about it and that's fine, really. I just want to make sure you know that you're a part of our family. Chuck's a bit thick sometimes…"
"No he's not, he's amazing!" Sarah argued.
Ellie gave her a beaming smile. "Yeah he is. It makes me so happy that you guys found each other and you know, whatever happens with your situation, you'll always be a part of our family."
Sarah's stomach dropped a bit. She'd come to share Chuck's reticence about lying to Ellie. "Yeah…" she said wistfully.
"Here." Ellie handed the stocking to Sarah. "You can replace it with a better one next year if you want. I just wanted to make sure you had one."
"No way, it's perfect…"
Ellie smiled and hugged her again. "Come on, I left Chuck with breakfast. That's dangerous." Ellie hooked an arm around her and pulled her back out into the main part of the house.
Ellie laid her head and Sarah's shoulder as they walked down the short hallway. "You know it's okay to show emotions here, right? You're safe here." Sarah's eyes burned as they walked out to the living room. Chuck gave her a concerned look from where he was flipping pancakes. She gave him an encouraging smile and he just nodded.
Devon walked up to them and put his arm around both of them. "Merry Christmas, babes. Two girl hug, awesome!"
Ellie smacked Devon on the shoulder. They sat down and had breakfast together. Sarah ate with one hand and her stocking clutched in her lap as if it might escape. After breakfast they adjourned to the couch. Ellie, Devon and Chuck retrieved their stockings. Chuck sat on the couch next to her, disappointingly far away. Devon and Ellie dove right in, but Chuck was just watching her. "Go ahead," he encouraged her. "It's not going to open itself."
Sarah was confused at first as she pulled out tiny bathroom toiletries. Then she realized that Devon and Ellie had some similar items. Hers were all the correct brands she used. "Ah good," Chuck said. "Some extra's to keep in our bathroom here."
"What?" Sarah asked.
"Well you should just keep some here. You know, for when you stay over," Chuck explained.
It was a little thing, but something about it made Sarah want to launch herself at Chuck. "There's a basket in the bathroom cupboard for your stuff," Ellie added offhandedly. "Let me know if you need more room."
Sarah whipped around. "Really?"
Ellie laughed. "You guys have been going out for a year, but other than a few photos I can't even tell Chuck has a girlfriend. It's not right."
"Well the pictures and the fact that Chuck is a totally new man. That's a good hint too," Devon added.
"Yes, there is that," Ellie agreed.
"He's not a new man," Sarah argued reflexively.
"You're just good for each other," Ellie assured her.
"Chuck are you kidding? Totally new man, confident, happy, hard working, care free, that's all you Sarah. I was beginning to think Stanford left him a broken man…"
"Gee thanks, Awesome."
"Hey, bro, I love ya, but I'm just saying Sarah's been awesome for you."
"There's more," Chuck nodded towards the stocking.
Sarah found Godiva chocolate. Nail polish in the color she most commonly wore on dates, not missions. A crystal snowflake ornament, that Chuck and Ellie let her put on their tree. Sarah reached to the bottom of her stocking and found an orange and a small jewelry box. She glanced at Chuck and he was watching her carefully. She opened the box to find a silver charm for her bracelet. It was a C.
Sarah got up from where she was sitting on the couch took one step and sat down squarely across his lap. She kissed him once and then wrapped her arms around him and put her forehead against his neck and held him. Chuck wormed his arms around her and held on to her. She felt accepted and loved. She didn't deserve this, she'd killed a man yesterday and today, she felt whole again.
She didn't even notice that Devon and Ellie had left the living room until Chuck's hand slipped down to her hip. She was acutely aware of the progress it had made down her hip Sarah looked around to find them sitting alone in the living room and she found herself disappointed that its progresses stopped. "Where did Ellie and Devon go?"
"They're taking a shower and getting dressed."
"Oh," Sarah sighed. "I guess I should get up then."
Chuck sighed. "Yeah, probably."
Sarah didn't move. She actually wrapped herself more possessively around Chuck. "I don't want too."
"I don't want you to."
Sarah and Chuck stayed snuggled together on the couch until Devon and Ellie came out of the bathroom half an hour later. "Your turn," Ellie declared.
Chuck patted Sarah's thigh. "Go head."
"Dude," Devon said when he got up. "You guys are so weird. It's Christmas, go enjoy a little shower time together. Ellie and I aren't going to tell anyone."
Sarah grimaced after she walked past Devon and Ellie, but she could hear the uncomfortable silence behind her. She turned and looked back to see Ellie gesturing vehemently that Chuck should follow Sarah.
"What?" Chuck finally asked.
"Go with her…" Ellie whispered, but not quietly enough that Sarah couldn't hear her from Chuck's room.
"She likes her privacy in the bathroom," Chuck responded.
"Chuck, you guys have been dating for a year. You sleep together, surely you can take a shower together?"
"Ellie, just don't"
"Bro, the Christmas shower is a time honored tradition…"
"Just STOP!" Chuck said aggressively. "I do not need anymore information about what you and my SISTER do in the shower."
The last thing Sarah heard before she closed the bathroom door. "Totally not awesome, Chuck."
Sarah was brushing out her hair, a towel wrapped around her body when Chuck knocked. "Sarah?"
"Yeah, come in." She called.
She looked over her shoulder at Chuck whose eyes bulged when he saw her. She loved that she could still have that effect on him. "Sorry." Chuck muttered planting his eyes squarely on the floor. "They wouldn't let it go. I'm not a perv, I promise."
"You don't think I've figured out by now that you aren't a perv?" Sarah laughed "It's okay, you can look."
Chuck's eyes slid up her body to where her towel blocked his view part way down her thigh. When he finally met her eyes he looked like he could devour her. She wanted to drop the towel and push him into the shower, but instead she turned and said. "Get in the shower, I won't peek."
Chuck looked entirely uncertain at this turn of events. Even though she had turned her back, she knew Chuck was still watching her and not getting undressed. "Chop, Chop," she said over her shoulder. She heard the shower turn on and the gentle rustle of Chuck's clothes coming off.
When the shower door closed Sarah went back to her primping in the mirror. She snuck a peek at Chuck in the mirror as she put on her eyeliner. She knew she shouldn't, Chuck had proven quite shy about his body, but it was too good of an opportunity to update her fantasy profile. Chuck was showering with his back to her. Sarah came to the somewhat startling realization that his actual butt was much cuter than she'd anticipated. She needed to look away as she felt her body react to seeing Chuck naked. Her body certainly didn't need anymore encouragement, if she was going to behave herself today.
Chuck finished quickly and asked Sarah to throw him a towel. He emerged a minute later with the towel wrapped around his waist and Sarah was treated to an unobstructed view of his chest. Her hormones got the better of her as she stepped towards him and ran her fingers down his chest. "You look good," she told him. Somewhat adorably, Chuck blushed and even his chest tinged slightly red. Her mind screamed at her to stop, but she pulled his head down anyway and kissed him. He was hesitant at first, but responded after a moment. His arms wrapped around her and she became acutely aware of how little terrycloth was separating them.
Sarah pulled away. As much as she wanted to continue, she'd already gone too far.
"What was that for?" Chuck asked.
"I'm only human." Sarah smirked. "You can't expect me to ignore how good you look."
"I didn't know that was allowed."
"It's not," Sarah shook her head. "Thank you, for my stocking. I…" She couldn't think of any way to express herself that was sufficient, so she kissed him again. This time she let her own hands explore his back. She was fascinated by the feel of the muscles in his back. She felt Chuck's hand on her thigh begin to slide under the edge of her towel. Sarah wanted to feel his hand touch her more sensitive parts more than anything, but she couldn't, not now. "Thank you, for today," she told him. "I love my stocking."
They eventually managed to get redressed. Sarah watched Chuck in the mirror as she got dressed and she was slightly disappointed that he didn't try to sneak a peek at her. Deep down she knew he wouldn't, he was too honorable to invade her that way, but she couldn't help her desire for Chuck to see her. She supposed that was the reason she wore such revealing dresses on their cover dates.
Chuck had already given her, her present. So when they opened presents later that day she received a sweater from Ellie and a picture frame from Devon with a picture of she and Chuck together. He was standing behind her with his arm around her shoulders and his chin resting on the top of her head. In the photo she looked more comfortable than she could believe. They looked natural together.
They spent the rest of the day snuggled on one end of the couch with Ellie and Devon on the other watching Christmas movies. Morgan and somewhat surprisingly Anna came over for dinner later that evening. It was the first time in Sarah's life that Christmas hadn't held any disappointment. She settled down with Chuck in his bed after her happy day. She pulled Chuck's arm around her and snuggled into his chest. "I like Bartowski Christmases," she told him.
Chuck kissed her temple and she felt like she was home for the first time since her mother died.