I still don't own Chuck. Prospects are not good for me ever owning it. But, boy if I did…

I wanted to explore how Chuck and Sarah could have as close to a real relationship as possible while keeping Chuck safe. Here is what I came up with. It follows Chuck vs. The Incentive. And thanks to Happydayz for the ideas,

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Chuck Vs The Negotiation

- - - -

"You're late." Sarah snapped as she flung open the door to her hotel room.

"I'm so sorry." Chuck said with a sigh. "Just as I was walking out the door, Big Mike asked me to go on a quick service run. It was on the way over here so I said ok."

"Why didn't you call?" Sarah asked angrily.

"I should have." Chuck said sadly. "I didn't think it was going to take long. But then the customer kept asking questions. I couldn't get away. I'm very sorry."

"I'm sorry that I got mad." Sarah said as she exhaled a cleansing breath. "I just don't think that you realize how much I look forward to this."

"You're looking forward to it?" Chuck asked sarcastically. "Sarah, it's all I think about all week. It was a brilliant idea. I have nightmares about the one week when I screwed it up. I never want to do that again."

"Yea," said Sarah with a smile. "I thought it would be a good incentive."

"It really was…"

Chuck was interrupted as Sarah threw herself into Chuck and smashed her mouth into his. It only took about a second for Chuck to get over his surprise and respond by wrapping his arms around Sarah and pulling her to him. Sarah, as was her custom in this weekly event, grabbed two handfuls of Chuck's hair and used it as a handle to keep their faces pressed together.

In a sense it was an odd kiss. Where most passionate kisses start off gently and build intensity, this was just the opposite. It started off as raw hunger. But after a few moments, once the physical need was satisfied, it became much more tender. As their tongues explored each other's they became one. It was one of those magical moments where time seemed to lose all meaning. It seemed to last forever and was far too short at the same time. It wasn't until Sarah felt Chuck's hand creeping up the front of her shirt that she broke the kiss.

"I'm sorry, sweetie." Sarah whispered while she kept her lips touching Chuck's and grabbed his hand to stop its progress just as his fingers were slipping under the edge of her bra. "If we go there, we won't be able to stop."

- - - -

"I want more." Chuck said softly as he stared into space. His half eaten slice of pizza sat on a paper plate on his lap.

"Don't worry, Chuck," Sarah said with a soft smile. "There's a whole pizza here. But you have barely touched the slice that you have."

"That's not what I mean…" Chuck started.

"I know what you mean." Sarah said as her smile faded. "I want that too."

"Can you help me?" Chuck said with a sigh. "What is it going to take?"

"First off," Sarah said a little more sharply than she intended. "You need to understand something. I want this more than you do. I'm not holding out on you or teasing you or trying to be mean. I just need to keep you safe. That has to be the first priority."

"I'm sorry how it sounded." Chuck said softly. "I'm just desperate. I want this so much. What is it going to take? Is there anything I can do to convince you that I'm ready?"

"I know, sweetie," Sarah said with a sigh. "It's messed up. Let's talk. But there just are some things that are out of my hands."

"Like," Chuck questioned.

"Beckman," Sarah answered quickly. "If she even suspects how I really feel, I'll be out of here faster than Jeff can find porn on the internet. If I'm in Jakarta and you're here, we're not going to be having much of a relationship, are we?"

"I guess not," Chuck whispered. "How do we keep her from finding out?"

"We have to keep our feelings inside of this room." Sarah said quickly. "If we go forward, we're only safe here. Anyplace else, we have to assume that we're being watched and listened too."

"Are we going forward?" Chuck said eagerly as his eyes brightened. "I can live with that. We'll just spend all of our time here."

"I'm not sure if we're going forward yet." Sarah said sadly. "That was just the first hurdle. And we can't spend all of our time here. That would get their attention. We're going to have to limit the amount of time that we can spend as a couple. Are you going to be able to live with that?"

"Is this forever?" Chuck asked.

"I hope not." Sarah responded slowly. "Once we have a track record, I think I can go to Beckman to tell her that me being close to you is keeping you controlled. Maybe I can even talk her into letting us move in together someday. But for right now, we're going to have to be extra careful. One screw up and she'll separate us. And, Chuck, that would be non negotiable. So it would be better if we kept things the way they are if we're going to screw up. Do you understand?"

"I understand." Chuck said sadly. "I have no choice."

"There is something more." Sarah said with a sad smile. "I'm not trying to paint a bleak picture here. But it's important that you understand. If Beckman orders me to get close to someone like a Lon Kirk, there is no way for me to refuse. I'd have to do it. And you'd have to accept it. Can you do that?"

"I'd hate that." Chuck said. "But again, I have no choice. I'm assuming that you would try and make it as easy on me as you could."

"Of course," Sarah said. "And naturally, when we say Beckman, I mean Casey as well. I don't think that he is going to try and find out anything but we can't rub his face in it either."

"Is that all?" Chuck asked expectantly.

"Well, that's all for Beckman." Sarah said with a grin. "Now you just have to convince me."

"I thought you already said…"

"Not convince me of our feelings," Sarah quickly interrupted. "You're going to have to convince me that we can be a couple and still have you be safe. I love you, Chuck. If anything ever happened to you it would kill me."

"I thought that you wanted to wait on the saying 'I love you' thing?" Chuck asked with a grin.

"What I said," Sarah replied with her eyes shining. "Was that I wanted to wait until we are ready to do something about it. That's what we're talking about now, isn't it?"


"So," Sarah said softly. "You've done a lot better for the past couple of months. Can you stand here and look me in the eye and promise me that your safety will continue to be the top priority?"

"I have a couple of questions." Chuck said slowly. "The last thing I want to do is not be honest. But there have been a couple of situations that I'm not sure what you would expect me to do."

"Like?" Sarah asked.

"Like when the Black Widow had you captive and was going to kill you." Chuck said quickly. "I'm afraid that you would have expected me to take the Cipher and let her kill you. Please don't ask me to do that. I couldn't. I'd be lying if I said that I could."

"I know," Sarah said with a smile. "Actually, I'm going to cut you some slack on that one. You tried to contact Beckman. You worked with Roan. And while I wasn't happy to see you jump off the roof, I was very proud of you."

"Good," Chuck said.

"But here is what I would expect." Sarah said firmly. "I would expect you to do anything that it took to not fall into Fulcrum's hands. And that means not trading you for my life. It also means that you wouldn't have confessed to Mouser on Christmas eve. When he threatened to shoot Ellie, you would have to call his bluff. That's where I'm drawing the line. Can you do that?"

"You want me to see someone shoot Ellie?" Chuck asked incredulously.

"Of course not," Sarah said. "First off, we never should have gotten to that point. You should have left when you had the chance. But this is what I'm asking. I need you to look me in the eye and promise that you will do whatever it takes to keep from falling into Fulcrum's hands. No matter what. If you can do that, we can move forward."

"I love you." Chuck said softly as he looked directly into Sarah's eye. "And I promise you. But having said that, we need to protect Ellie."

"Thank you," Sarah said as her eyes began to fill with tears. "We will protect Ellie. I promise.

"We've talked about all the harsh realities." Chuck said with a smile as he opened his arms as an invitation that Sarah quickly accepted. "Can we talk about some good stuff?"

Sarah just nodded her head for Chuck to continue.

"We talked about getting married." Chuck whispered. "Is that still a possibility?"

"I'll marry you." Sarah whispered as she hugged Chuck even tighter. "But it has to be real. If I'm going to say vows that say 'for better or worse', 'for richer or poorer', and 'till death do us part' I want both of us to mean that. If we're going to get married, it's going to be for the rest of our lives."

"That's what I would want too." Chuck whispered with a grin.

"We're the only two people who could know." Sarah said softly. "Not anyone. Not Ellie or Morgan. Just us. That means we can't wear rings."

"I know,"

"And we'll have to use cover names." Sarah said with a smile. "We can't have Sarah Walker and Chuck Bartowski showing up on some Vegas web site. You can be Carmichael. I'll be someone you've never heard of. I'm not sure how legal it will be but it would be real to us anyway."

"Ok," Chuck whispered. "As long as it is real to us."

"And we're going to need some time to be able to get to Vegas and back." Sarah said softly. "So it can't be tonight. Let me think of some excuse next week for us to get away for a few hours."

"Sarah," Chuck whispered excitedly. "Are we engaged?"

"Yes," Sarah whispered back. "I'd say that we are."

"Can we celebrate?"

"Well," Sarah said with a grin. "Our cover is that you came over to watch a movie. I'd say we have about an hour left. What do you think two people madly in love could do for an hour?"

"Do you have any ideas?" Chuck said as he gently touched his lips to Sarah's. Quickly the kiss turned intense.

"A couple," Sarah whispered between kisses as she grabbed Chuck's hand and guided it up her shirt. "When I stopped you earlier, I think you were right about here."

As Sarah resumed the passionate kiss she quickly broke it for a moment.

"You do realize," Sarah whispered lustily as she pulled back enough to look into Chuck's eyes.

"I'm out of ideas. You're on your own now."

- - - -

The End