Chuck vs. the Aftermath

A/N: This is some fluff that I thought up somewhere between vs The Colonel and vs The Ring. Takes place between those two episodes. I don't own Chuck. One shot. Enjoy :)

---

Chuck and Sarah sat in the living room of Casa Bartowski surrounded by Awesomeness. The rehearsal dinner had gone swimmingly and now a large group of the attendees had gathered in the home of the soon-to-be-weds for drinks and conversation.

Devon's awesome parents sat on the couch talking to Devon's awesome brothers and a couple of his awesome friends. Ellie and Captain Awesome himself were in the kitchen talking to the eldest Bartowski and reliving some of the good times before pancakes and disappearances. And a number of other people filled the apartment's common areas with laughter and wine and conversation. Even Casey stood in the foyer talking to Awesome's grandfather who happened to be a retired Navy General.

And that left Chuck and Sarah sitting together in the armchair- Chuck in the actual chair, Sarah perched on the arm.

They had been relatively quiet for most of the night. At dinner they sat next to each other with the rest of the bridal party and made pleasant conversation with those sitting around them, and Chuck made what Sarah considered to be a particularly poignant speech when the time came. He spoke of dreams coming true and finding the one person that you are meant to be with and fate putting you in a place of opportunity that you are responsible for taking advantage of. If asked directly, she wouldn't deny that his words struck a chord with her, but only if asked directly. And whether it was a subconscious move or just a serendipitous turn of events, their chairs seemed to be closer together than they would normally allow them to get.

They were close enough, in fact, for Sarah to reach over and take Chuck's hand in hers when he sat down from making his speech. And that meant that they were close enough for Chuck to lean over a few inches and whisper in Sarah's ear that he could probably suffer through it if she wanted to stay the night, after all, it had been a very long day. This provoked a look on Sarah's face that Chuck had not seen before. And without a word she responded by biting her lip to contain the grin that threatened to take over her entire face and nodded ever so slightly.

-

Ellie, the always vigilant sister, was not unaware of the interesting shift in the interaction between her brother and his girlfriend. She had spent enough time with the two of them to notice that something was just a little different and just a little electric between them tonight. And as she glanced over at the two of them from the kitchen later in the evening, she saw it again. It was something so small and so simple that it would have been imperceptible to the untrained eye, but Ellie was no layman.

From the kitchen she watched as Sarah leaned down and whispered something to Chuck as she stroked the curls of hair near his ear with the hand of the arm that was draped on his shoulder. Chuck smiled at whatever it was that Sarah said and placed his hand gently on her knee as he stretched up to respond with his own whispered statement that made Sarah laugh and lean just a little closer to him. It was nothing so terribly different from what she had seen in the past but it was the way they looked at each other and the way they touched each other that had Ellie nearly bursting with joy for her brother and how happy he was.

-

Chuck, on principle, was not a fan of PDA. He had always been a firm believer that there was a time and place for everything and that public displays of affection should be kept to a respectable level to avoid any discomfort. But something about this night and his proximity to Sarah Walker and how her hair fell in waves over her shoulders and the way her dress made her eyes glow… well, it was getting to him. At dinner when she reached over without any ceremony and took his hand, he had nearly jumped out of his chair. But it seemed that all his time in the spy world had taught him to control his person enough that he was not only able to remain seated but after a deep breath, he gave Sarah's hand a little squeeze and practically prayed that she wouldn't pull away. She didn't.

And now, as he sat in his living room watching his friends and family together he couldn't help the smile that made its home on his lips.

"What are you thinking about?" Sarah whispered in his ear.

And suddenly PDA seemed like a completely fantastic thing because her warm breath was tickling his ear and her hand was gently playing with his hair on the other side of his neck and it took every bit of self-control he had to not break his own rule about PDA in front of a room full of his closest friends and family. So instead he turned to her and spoke softly into her neck just below her ear.

"I hope Casey thought to turn off the surveillance." He let his statement sink in for a second knowing what she would think he meant and then continued, "Morgan has been in my room playing Call of Duty all night."

He had never heard a more beautiful sound than Sarah's real, genuine laugh that escaped her lips and it was then that he realized that his hand was on Sarah's knee and she seemed very okay with it being there and so did he.

-

Stephen Bartowski was new to this environment. Ellie and Devon's home was no Air Stream trailer in the middle of nowhere. For the first time in a long time he was surrounded by people, and more than that, he was surrounded by the people he cared about. His decision to leave had obviously not been an easy one and there were many times over the last eleven years that he regretted more of his decisions than he'd care to admit. But standing in the kitchen sharing good conversation and good wine with good company, he couldn't help but be grateful that whatever decisions he had made had brought him here.

He watched happily as Ellie talked about Devon's many interests that were dangerous (for non-spies) and how she wished sometimes that he had safer hobbies. But even as she said it, she snaked her arm around her fiancé's waist and Stephen didn't have to be a spy to see that Ellie loved everything about her fiancé, including his hobbies.

And when Mr. Bartowski (as Devon insisted on calling him for now) glanced over to the rest of the party and saw his son sitting with his CIA handler he was hit with a rush of feelings he didn't even know he was capable of having. He had been responsible-at least in part-for his son having the Intersect in his head. He was the reason that his brilliant son had been kicked out of Stanford and forced to work at a big box store. He was the reason that his son had to have a CIA handler in the first place. And now he was the reason that his son could have a normal life with no Intersect, no lies, and no handlers. And the moment that he felt the unfamiliar pang of pride flood in from the peripheral-because he had finally gotten it right-he saw his son whisper in his CIA handler's ear and place his hand on her knee and all at once that feeling of pride disappeared and was replaced by the all too familiar feeling of regret.

He may have left his children many years ago but that didn't mean that he didn't know what was behind every move they made and every word they said. They were his children after all, and he knew them like the processing board of a Mac. Therein lay the problem because as he watched his son look at his CIA handler he knew in an instant that their connection was deeper than asset and protection detail. And from there it was not difficult to think through the domino effect of what this new situation meant for the two of them. No Intersect in Chuck's head meant no secrets to be tortured for, which meant no need for any protection, which meant a reassigned CIA agent and a lonely, heartbroken Chuck.

The already painful feeling of regret was joined by an overwhelming feeling of guilt and it was all Mr. Bartowski could do to smile at his daughter and her fiancé and try not to think about the excruciating lesson in asset/handler protocol his son was soon going to learn.

And still as he glanced back at the two of them close and quiet in the other room, he couldn't help the tinge of another feeling that crept in: hope.

-

Sarah Walker had broken virtually every rule in the book over the last few days. She directly disobeyed orders, went AWOL, took an incredibly important asset to the American government with her-putting them both in danger, and worst of all, she let her guard down. From a purely professional point of view, she should have been completely disappointed in herself. She should have been, but she wasn't, not at all. Her agency training had specifically taught her how not to do all of those things and yet when the moment came to make each of those decisions, it was hardly a dilemma. Why was that?

And now here she was in Chuck's living room watching the goings on around her, thinking about why she had chosen the path she had and then the answer was crystal clear and it was sitting right next to her. She looked over at Chuck and noticed again that something was different about him. Not bad different, she had decided, definitely good different. He looked lighter, his smile more genuine, the spring in his step was back and better than ever. He looked happy and how could she be disappointed in herself if everything she did and everything they had gone through had made him happy? She couldn't.

She watched him as he seemed to examine each group gathered in front of them. His smile spoke volumes. He had many different smiles that Sarah had seen during their time together. There was the forced smile that she knew he hated because it wasn't real and he didn't like lying. There was the smile that he used when he was hiding something. The smile that he gave Ellie to reassure her that whatever she was worried about would be fine. There was the smile that he couldn't help when he wasn't expecting something-that was her favorite. But this smile was his thoughtful smile. And before she could control what she was doing she found herself leaning into him and whispering in his ear.

"What are you thinking about?"

When he turned to look at her she caught a glimpse of her favorite smile as he leaned in close to her. Now, Sarah was a trained spy. She had been in more inexplicable situations than she would ever let on. Needless to say, she was capable and good at being in control at all times. But there in the living room of Casa Bartowski, ALL of that training flew out the window as Chuck's lips brushed against her neck in response to her question.

"I hope Casey thought to turn off the surveillance."

His words were barely audible but she heard him loud and clear and she swore she felt her heart stop. For the last two years Chuck Bartowski had been petrified of PDA and if she thought that what he said at dinner was surprising, well this was… heart stopping. She froze, mouth agape, flushed and suddenly very warm in the overcrowded apartment. He was implying in no uncertain terms that-

"Morgan has been in my room playing Call of Duty all night."

The breath that had caught in her lungs was let out in a burst of laughter. He would never cease to amaze her but at least she would always know that she could handle the level of PDA he was ready for. And at that moment she felt his hand fall gently onto her knee and she could not have been happier-or more surprised-that he had been so brave.

They shared a silent moment as their eyes met. And just like that, Sarah's mind was made up- if he was going to be so brave tonight, perhaps she could follow his lead. She took hold of the hand on her knee and stood not losing any momentum as she gently pulled him up with her. Without a moment's pause she turned and led him through the crowds of people, past Casey by the front door, past the conversations in the kitchen and down the hall. It wasn't until they reached his bedroom door that she stopped and turned to face him.

She was a leader by nature but this thing that she had with Chuck was not what she was used to. This was not something that she wanted to be responsible for breaking. She cared too much about his feelings to be the only one making decisions tonight. And that was when she watched Chuck reach for the doorknob, his eyes never leaving hers as he led her into the bedroom.

--

They were two steps into the room and Sarah was slowly shutting the door behind them. The two mimicked the movement of the door as Sarah stepped back and Chuck stepped toward her until she was up against the door and he was mere centimeters from her lips. Chuck's mind raced as he thought of the concept of touching her waist and pulling her to him and touching her hair and it was a wonder that he had enough self-control to wait for her to make some kind of move. He had barely contained himself as she led him through the party to his door and when she stopped and turned to him he nearly devoured her when he saw the question in her eyes.

He had seen Sarah hesitate before, it didn't happen often but he had seen it. It came with a conflicted look in her eye, as if she knew exactly what her options were and the agent and the girl inside her were nearly killing each other over the decision. When she turned to him outside his door, however, he realized that what would have appeared to almost anyone else as hesitation was in fact something else. There was no conflict in her eyes, no major internal struggle, just a question that she was asking him silently. Was he sure that he wanted to take this step with a girl like her? The answer was an instant, overwhelming yes. So he summoned his courage and reached for the doorknob and took control- at least for the moment.

And now here he was, a breath's distance from Sarah and the look in her eyes had gone from questioning to down right smoldering in no time flat. But as he stood there feeling her hand in his and seeing her head tilt back ever so slightly against the door he realized that while he had managed to be so brave just moments before, he could not be the first to act. His feelings for Sarah were obvious and most definitely not a secret but he needed to be sure that Sarah wanted this as much as he did. He could not have the shadow of a doubt cloud this moment for him.

Knowing Sarah was not much for talking he decided she would need to be the first to act- something he knew full well she was capable of. And so he waited.

-

Sarah heard the door click shut and felt it stop against her back. Everything around them was a blur which should have made her spy instincts go haywire but all she could focus on was how his thumb was gently stroking her wrist and how tantalizingly close his lips were to hers. Her eyes were locked with his as she waited. But he wasn't moving and it took her longer to realize that than she would care to admit.

What on earth is he waiting for? She thought as she tilted her head back against the door gently. She wondered for a moment if that little move (proven to give him better access to her lips and a better view of her neck) was something she had been trained to do at the academy to seduce a target or something that she had done because she could barely breathe and she desperately wanted Chuck to kiss her. But the thought passed as she became acutely aware of his stillness once again. He had done exactly what she needed him to in the hall just moments before. He answered her question without a word and she relinquished control to him as he pulled her into the bedroom. But now he was frozen and she could not focus enough to determine why.

Her eyes dropped down to his lips and she studied the right corner as it turned upward just a touch. And then, because she couldn't help herself, her eyes floated back to his and it was at that moment that the realization hit her. Like a ton of bricks. He was asking her the same question that she had asked him- was she sure that she wanted to take this step? How could she have missed it? Of course Chuck would want to be sure that this is what she wanted, he would never take advantage of a moment of weakness- if that's what this was for her.

If she could speak, she would tell him that this was just the opposite. All weakness was gone and all she had left was a clear, pounding certainty that she wanted this more than she had ever wanted anything. But words failed her. So as an uncontrollable smile spread across her lips, she pulled his hand gently toward her and the rest of him followed.

The first thing she felt as her eyes drifted closed was the feather of his breath against her lower lip for an instant before his breath was replaced by his lips. He barely touched her and then he pulled back, not far, just an inch. The brief contact was enough to set her skin on fire. She felt the flush rise from her chest to her cheeks and she felt like she had been hit in the stomach by lightning.

Then his kiss moved to her upper lip with the same brevity and light touch as the last. Her breath hitched and she knew he noticed when she felt him laugh against her. He moved in again, this time without touching her and when she didn't feel his lips as she had expected to, she shuddered. Now he was just teasing her. Eyes still closed, the only thing that moved was her arm as she ran her nails up the length of his arm, feeling the goose bumps under his shirt that appeared in her wake. Two could play that game.

-

It was subtle but he felt it with every fiber of his being. She was pulling him toward her and she was smiling like this was the only thing she had ever wanted. His heart pounded in his chest as he closed the distance between them. He watched as her eyes closed slowly and he suddenly became very aware of what it felt like to be pressed up against her. First, his wrist grazed her hip as she pulled him in, then his leg touched her thigh and he barely kept his knees from giving out. Finally, he let out the smallest breath as he leaned in at last to kiss her.

He grazed her lips savoring the spark at the contact. He pulled back slightly and inhaled as his muscles finally started to relax just a little. Then he saw it, there was Sarah, right in front of him, the color in her cheeks begging him to kiss her again. And so he did, but wanting to savor every second of this moment he moved to her upper lip to see if he could ignite anything else in her. When he pulled back the second time he heard her breath catch in her throat and felt a tiny shudder move through her body and into her hand. That was exactly what he had been hoping for. He knew it may seem ridiculous but all he wanted was to make Sarah feel what he felt every time he was near her and that catch—that shudder—that was exactly it. He couldn't stop the laugh that escaped his lips when he felt her grip on his hand tighten. He had never seen her so far under his spell.

And he instantly realized his mistake-the one where he hadn't just recaptured her lips with his-when her hand ran slowly up his arm, across his shoulder and onto his neck.

It may have been a mistake to tease a highly trained CIA agent like that but he couldn't help himself. If she knew what it did to him to see her waiting for him to kiss her, she could not have blamed him. But now her fingertips were running across his neck and making their way into his hair and then tracing the line behind his ear and he all but lost it as he saw her smile turn just a little bit wicked as she gave him a taste of his own medicine.

So he did the only thing he could do and pulled his free hand up the side of her body from her waist to her ribs to her neck and leaned in and kissed her like he had always wanted to. He should have been surprised by the way she reacted when she turned her head and parted her lips immediately to give him better access but he was too focused to notice the urgency of her movements. And when her tongue made its way across the top of his lower lip his instincts (that he didn't even know he had) took over and he wrapped his arm around her waist as she let out the slightest, most amazing moan of enjoyment into his mouth.

--

She was dizzy and she couldn't tell if he was pulling her or she was pushing him toward the bed. Maybe it was both. Everything was moving quickly except his fingertips that ran up the length of her spine so excruciatingly slow that she was sure she would faint. Breathe, she told herself, but it was easier said than done.

Her hands were on his chest working on loosening his tie and she flashed back for a moment to the restaurant when she had straightened it for him before they sat down. Now all she cared about was how difficult it was to untie. When she finally completed that task she moved to the buttons on his shirt. Two buttons down she wanted nothing more than to rip it off of him. Deciding that he may want to wear it again she begrudgingly moved to undo the third button.

But then she felt his hand (the one that wasn't tracing the line of her shoulder blade) move to the zipper of her dress on her right side and he began to pull it down slowly. She was no longer responsible for her actions and quickly decided she would buy him a new shirt and grabbed either side just under his collar and pulled it apart with startling ease.

The sound of buttons hitting the floor must have been more distracting than she expected because it took her a long moment to realize that Chuck's hand had stopped its progress on her zipper. Her thoughts raced as she tried to assess her surroundings but then she managed to pull her eyes off the spot on Chuck's neck that she had been kissing and she noticed the reason for Chuck's pause. She froze instantly, hands still clenching his shirt.

-

Chuck couldn't help but be distracted by the way her hands moved from his hair to his tie. Any other person would have just let her hands leave his hair and go to his tie and start to loosen it. But not Sarah. Sarah, who had been tangling her hands in fistfuls of his hair a second ago, was now moving both hands slowly and gently down to the back of his neck and around to the sides just above his collar and then over his shoulders and down his chest letting her nails drag lines against the fabric covering it. Then, she took a moment to grip his shirt and pull him into her just a little, all the while, gently pushing them away from the door and toward his bed.

Finally she moved her hands to the knot of his skinny black tie and he remembered earlier in the evening when she had run her fingers down the lapel of his jacket and adjusted his tie like she always did. He loved it when she did that. And right now he loved it when she would let out tiny sounds of frustration as she did her best to loosen and undo his tie. It was proving quite a task and he wondered how something as simple as a Windsor knot could give a CIA agent such trouble. That thought dissolved in his mind as he ran his fingertips gently up her spine and felt the cool, smooth silk of her dress flex under his touch.

The feeling of being freed from his tie was not lost on Chuck and he would blame Sarah later (for pulling the length of long, thin fabric through the tunnel of his collar and giving him goose bumps) for what he did next. As he felt her right hand pull on his tie and her left hand slide toward the buttons on his shirt he was no longer responsible for his actions as his left hand slid up her side to the tiny metal zipper pull on her dress. As he began to pull the zipper down gently he could have sworn that he heard something behind him but then Sarah made another one of those noises that he loved and she moved from kissing his lips to kissing his neck and he couldn't even see straight much less think clearly about a noise he may or may not have heard. In fact, the only thought he could form went a little something like, ohmygodohmygodohmygod as Sarah's lips hit a particularly sensitive spot.

-

Morgan Grimes fancied himself a perceptive man. He noticed things about people and about situations that he felt no one else did. He prided himself on that characteristic whenever he thought about Ellie Bartowski and how he was sure he knew more about her than anyone else on the face of the planet. Perhaps it was something he had picked up from playing so many video games. Nonetheless, Morgan considered it one of his life skills- he was alert and aware of his surroundings at all times.

So he was beyond surprised when he found himself faced with an unexpected, albeit interesting sight as he stepped one leg over the ledge of the Morgan Door cradling a two-liter bottle of grape soda in one hand and holding a bag full of video games and snack food in the other. He stopped, straddling the threshold of his best friend's room, his jaw nearly hitting the floor and his load of provisions about to follow.

There, not eight feet in front of him, Chuck's shirt was being ripped from his person and the zipper on Sarah's dress was nearing dangerous territory. This was, well, something that Morgan was ill-prepared for. Having expected to return to the empty room he and Call of Duty had been occupying since the group had returned to the apartment, he failed to notice the faint shadow of movement that passed across Chuck's bedroom window as he made his way across the courtyard. It wasn't his fault; everything else about the outside of the room was exactly as he left it: blinds shut to prevent any movement outside from distracting him from his game and window slightly ajar to allow him reentry without much effort. So as he stood half in the courtyard, half in the now occupied room, he noticed only the two figures in front of him and not the fact that he had just interrupted them by dropping the bag and the soda on the floor.

Chuck turned first, having heard Morgan's personal celebration for managing to open the window and enter the room while carrying so much stuff. That celebration was cut off by his own gasp and the noise of plastic, food and a bottle of liquid hitting the hardwood floor. What Morgan noticed next was not the blonde taking too long to stop kissing Chuck's neck but the fact that Chuck had stopped pulling on the zipper of her dress and was attempting to cover her now exposed side with his hand.

Still frozen on the window sill, Morgan tried to stop the grin he felt coming on but it was futile. And when Sarah caught up with the moment and looked up, the bad timing of the whole situation culminated in her seeing Morgan perched at the window, smiling like an idiot, staring at them.

Morgan had been around Sarah enough to read her looks at least a little. He had seen her happy, sad, and even angry but the look he saw on her face as they made eye contact at that moment was unlike anything he had ever seen before and it was most certainly something that he never wanted to see again. He was the only one who spoke as he clumsily retreated back the way he came apologizing profusely for interrupting their "personal time" and he knew he took it just a step too far when he announced that he would let them get back to undressing each other. Again, it wasn't his fault he was a nervous talker.

He made it three steps into the courtyard when he realized that he'd left all of his stuff on Chuck's floor and without thinking, turned on his heel and reappeared in the window reaching in to grab the bag and the badly shaken soda bottle and then made it one and a half steps away from the window before he turned again and closed the window with a mumbled, "I'll just shut this all the way so there's no more interrup-," One glance at Chuck's face and he stopped talking, shut the window and walked as quickly as he could through the courtyard thinking about how he was going to get all of this stuff home on his bike.

-

When Chuck realized what was happening, he was too late. It had all happened at once and he was defenseless (for many reasons). He knew Sarah had undone two of the buttons on his shirt because each time the collar around his neck loosened she would glide her fingers to the next tragically annoying button and start working again. Chuck had taken to counting at this point to try and avoid losing control of himself completely.

That's when he heard it: the familiar sound of his window quietly creaking open and a footstep hitting the ground. He had heard it a thousand times. Morgan used his personal entrance more than the front door and the soundtrack of the occasion was always the same. But this time something was different. He heard the window and the footstep and felt Sarah grip his shirt tighter and begin to pull on it and as if in slow motion Chuck turned toward the window as he felt his shirt come apart in front of him and heard the buttons bounce on the floor just as he heard a plastic bag and a two-liter bottle do the same.

And there was Morgan, staring at what Chuck was sure would be quite a sight: Chuck's hand on Sarah's side, zipper halfway down, his shirt now hanging off one shoulder, Sarah still kissing his neck. He turned toward the window just a fraction of an inch and moved his hand from the zipper and pressed it open against Sarah's side, accidentally misjudging where the fabric was and sliding his hands under it instead of over it as he had intended. Smooth, he thought. Apparently that was enough to bring Sarah up to speed as she lifted her head from his neck and Chuck couldn't look at her. Turned out he didn't need to, the look on Morgan's face as he fumbled back out of the window was enough to tell him that Sarah's expression was probably not amused.

Later Chuck would decide how he felt about this situation. Was he angry that they had been interrupted for the second time in one day by his best friend? Did he think it was funny? Par for the course? He could decide all that later, right now he was sure that some sort of damage control was in order. He watched as Morgan stumbled out the window and apologized and then said something about undressing that Chuck was sure was inappropriate and he made a mental note to apologize to Sarah for that gem of a comment but as he turned to look at her he heard Morgan again as he returned to retrieve his things and Chuck made another mental note about possibly getting a lock for that window when he heard Morgan once again shutting the window and Oh my god, is he serious?! Chuck thought.

-

Sarah was good at silence. It seemed a weird thing to be proud of but frankly, most people were not good with silence and Sarah was a pro. She never felt the need to speak or make a joke just to fill a gap. She was completely comfortable letting the silence settle over her and waiting until it was necessary to speak. Why waste her breath or her time? But now as she stood in Chuck's room, hands clutching his shirt, feeling his relatively cold hand on her ribs, and watching the window click shut in front of her she found herself in a thick, extremely uncomfortable silence that made her hair stand on end.

She was staring over Chuck's shoulder at the newly secured window and watched as the swaying blinds slowed to a stand still. What. Just. Happened? She thought to herself as she struggled to regain composure. The silence seemed to last forever and it was most definitely suffocating her. She didn't know how many times he had said her name but she knew it was not the first time as his words made their way through the fog and finally shattered the only silence she had ever hated. Thank God. Her eyes shot to his and she was greeted with a sweet, apologetic smile. She wanted to speak but knew that her odds of succeeding at that task were near impossible. So she just stared at him.

"Are you okay?" He asked after a long moment.

Again, no words. Great, Morgan managed to get his video games, his drink and my vocal chords before he left, she thought. She nodded slightly as she tried to read his expression. He didn't look angry or upset but he did look… something. She had never had difficulty reading him before but right now she was finding it as difficult as speaking.

He stood there for another moment still holding her and her gaze and then after a beat he gently pulled his hand from her side, and returned it to the zipper he had been working on. Sarah swallowed, her breath caught again and she felt her flush flood to her neck. And then she felt her zipper rise slowly up her side as Chuck attempted to redo what he had undone just moments before. Oh, he must be kidding, Sarah thought as she was suddenly faced with the realization that the moment had not only been cruelly interrupted but it had also passed completely. Or had it?

As Chuck worked on the zipper, Sarah realized exactly what his expression was: Disappointment. She mentally kicked herself for not recognizing it right away and was instantly grateful that some (but not all) aspects of Agent Walker kicked in as she assessed that this situation could possibly be salvageable.

-

With Morgan gone, silence settled over the room. Chuck hated silence; he always had, and at that particular moment he could not think of a time when he had experienced a more uncomfortable silence. And there had been a lot of them over the years. He finally turned to look at Sarah, more than a little afraid of the level of anger he might see. But as he turned toward her he found her stone still and staring at the window behind him. He couldn't help but let out a small laugh as he took in the sight of a tough as nails CIA operative completely out of sorts over an intimate interruption.

"Sarah?" He whispered because that was all he could muster. When he got no response he tried again. "Sarah?" Still nothing. "Saaarrraaaah?" Wow, perceptive spy, he thought sarcastically. It wasn't until his fourth attempt that her eyes shot to his and he felt her entire body tense. She looked up at him with wide eyes and her lips parted just enough for him to see her two front teeth peeking through. But he should think about that another time he decided.

"Are you okay?" She said nothing. All he got was a tiny nod and a pensive look as one eyebrow shifted up a tiny fraction as it was like to do when she was thinking about a lot of things at once. It was that look (that he didn't know he had misread) that prompted his own expression to change from a smile to an uncontrollable mask of disappointment.

Her hands were still on his shirt and suddenly he realized where his hand was as the smallest shift of silk on the back of his hand jerked him back to reality. He slid his hand out of her dress and, thinking that she would be turning to run away any second, decided that her dress should be securely fastened when she did so.

He looked down at his shoes as he slid the zipper back up to its original position, and as he made to take a step back and give the flustered blonde in front of him a little space, he was stopped in his tracks when her grip on his shirt remained tight. He swayed at the balance check and his gaze sprung back to her face where he found a sly smile and flirtatious eyes in place of the uncertainty he had seen a moment ago. He watched as she tilted her head slowly to one side and raised her eyebrows with her question.

"You're not going to let Morgan ruin this for us twice in one day are you?"

Now his eyebrows shot up in surprise because he was sure that not ten seconds earlier she was terrified and ready to sprint full speed in the opposite direction and now she was pulling him toward her and popping up to her tip toes so her lips would meet his. His mind tried to form thoughts but each attempt was overtaken by the feeling of Sarah's lips on his and then again when she pushed his shirt off his shoulders and let it fall to the floor and finally he gave up on thinking altogether when Sarah stretched up to whisper in his ear, "Tomorrow we're getting a lock for that window."