Spectacular episode. I told you guys it would all work out! Now I have to weed through all the stuff I've written pre-Other Guy since it all looks mediocre compared to what it turned out to be in the show.

Summary: Just how did Chuck and Sarah end up in that hotel? Come on, you know you were curious, too...

PS. Reviews make me smile. There's a chance I might add more if anyone wants me to.


Chuck stood there on the bridge cradling her head with his hand as he held onto her protectively. His heart was racing at how close she had come to dying. His Sarah. He kept a tight grip around her, keeping her upright and whispering comforting things in her ear for the benefit of both of them. She could have died, but she didn't. She didn't, and it's all over now. All he could think of was getting her somewhere safe; somewhere far away from where her life had almost ended. His life had almost ended. He relaxed his arms and her weight fell against him even more, prompting him to catch her. Not going to drag her along like… someone else had done, Chuck bent his knees and scooped her up, his arms supporting her back and legs. Her head fell against his chest and her hair blew into his face due to the light nighttime breeze. Chuck had recently acquired the muscle mass needed in order to carry her back to the café where Casey was waiting with the knocked out Ring director, so he was only feeling a faint burn in his biceps by the time the Colonel came into view. The two men met each other's stare and Casey got up to pull out a chair for Chuck to place Sarah. Instead of parting with her, Chuck sat down and put Sarah so she was sitting across his lap leaning against him. Her eyes were barely open and Chuck's hand was back cradling her head like an infant's. Casey explained he'd talked to Beckman and set up a few things, most notably his reinstatement, and most usefully his booking of a hotel room for Chuck and Sarah. Casey left them in order to call a taxi while Chuck continued to whisper to the woman in his arms who could only figure out how to blink and look at him. When Casey came back, Sarah had fallen asleep on Chuck and Chuck looked like he'd be wired for hours. Seeing the emotion in his eyes, Casey spoke.

"First kill's always the hardest," the seasoned agent said understandingly.

Chuck softly stroked Sarah's head and without looking up, said, "It was the easiest decision I've ever made."

Casey helped Chuck get her into the taxi when it arrived. He told the address to the driver in spotty French. Sarah was the linguist of the team, and Chuck didn't really seem like he'd be up for a flash at the moment. Casey handed over the laptop to Chuck knowing he'd need it. Looking at the exhausted couple, Casey felt the urge to send him off with some fleeting words.

"You two take care of each other."

Chuck paid attention to every breath she took on the ride there. That simple sign of life made it all worth it. Chuck winced as he replayed the shooting. Three times in the chest, he barely remembered pulling the trigger once. He'd do the same thing if given the chance. Daniel Shaw was no longer alive. He hadn't been for quite some time, just a hollow shell of a man looking for redemption. And if he ever got it, then what? It hadn't been about stopping The Ring. Maybe at first, yes, but traitors or not, he wanted the people responsible for Eve's death. …Even if that person turned out to be an innocent trainee just following orders. A girl who was haunted by that night just like he was. A girl that was far too important to Chuck Bartowski to ever be killed for the purpose of setting an example.

He had no trouble getting to their room. Casey had taken care of all check-in procedures and he carried her in the elevator and didn't put her down until he got to the bed in their room. He'd had a bellhop bring up the laptop for him, surprisingly remembering he should probably keep that with him. Seeing as she couldn't sleep in what she was wearing, he took it upon himself to get her ready. Sarah's eyes fluttered open as he attempted to remove her second heel.

"Hey," he said quietly. The toxin still hadn't worn off so she could only look with a tired visage. "I'm just getting you ready for bed." Smiling crookedly, he added, "I promise not to try anything." Sarah mustered up as much of a smile as she could manage, which was hardly anything at all, but he could see it in her eyes. Leaning over her, he unbuckled the belt on her coat and unbuttoned the many buttons on it. He opened it up and one by one, slid her arms out of the sleeves. "Um," Chuck fumbled when he realized what he was doing. Sarah didn't have anything but a bra on under her blouse, and he suspected nothing much more than underwear under her pants either. "Okay, here goes…" Chuck started with her blouse, which also had a significant amount of buttons. Chuck got a little flustered when the space between her breasts became more and more prominent as the shirt came undone. "This isn't exactly how I imagined undressing you would be like," he joked. He lifted up her back with one arm as he slipped hers out of the shirt. Seeing her bare skin in abundance, he quickly removed his bowtie and threw it away before removing his dress shirt. He figured out a way of getting it on her by putting her arms in first, and then flipping it over her head and pulling it down. He buttoned a few of them, but left it open at the top, knowing she always kept the top buttons open. Next to go were her jeans, which involved yet another button and this time threw in a zipper for good measure. As his fingers pulled down the metal tab he became acutely aware of where his hand was. Careful not to bring her panties with them, he slid his fingers under the waist and pulled downwards. They were skinny legged so it provided enough of a challenge as he tried to pull them off her. He tried to not notice her silky smooth thighs as his fingers brushed along them, knowing this was not how he wanted to first be able to appreciate them entirely. Once she was left in nothing but her underwear and his see-through shirt, which was an incredibly sexy look nervous system or no, he lifted the covers on the other side of the bed closest to the windows and then went back around and picked her up. He placed her where the covers had been moved and then pulled them over her. Sitting in the edge of the bed, Chuck stroked her hair and looked into her sleepy eyes. "I love you, Sarah," he told her. "And I'll always be there for you. Whether it's to chase you across the world or take off your shoes for you, I'll always be there." He leaned down and lightly kissed her on the lips. He could've sworn he'd felt her kiss him back if only for a millisecond. He then kissed her forehead. "Go to sleep, I'll see you in the morning."

Sarah closed her eyes with the image of him coming to her rescue repeatedly playing out behind her lids. The only man in the world who loved her enough to do something like that. And when she opened them once the sunlight was flooding into the room he would be there for her. Just like always.