A/N: Finally the story is over. I almost can't believe that I have completed not one, but three stories so far.
Thanks for sticking around in the almost three and a half months it took me to write it.
And, lest we forget, all disclaimers apply.
Sarah vs the Happy Life
Chuck was nervous. In fact he couldn't remember being so nervous in his entire life. A long drive might help clear his head, he thought as he put the Charger into gear. Driving along the highway, his mind wandered to the events of the past few months, after the return from Europe with Sarah's Mom. Mopping up the headless Ring, its component organizations and its subsidiaries had proven surprisingly easy. Well, not really surprising with Jack and Sam on the team. As Devon had eloquently put it, espionage was the family business and business had been good. And it had been a very happy time too. Sarah had finally quit the Buy More for good and started a –not cover – business with her Dad. Orion Games & Software would soon become one of the top brands as word about the quality of its products spread. And the first place in the world to get their new releases was the Burbank Buy More, prospering under Big Mike and Morgan. The latter also had the privilege of doing the pre-release testing of Sarah's games between his college classes and the time he spent with little Alex.
He turned back towards Burbank, determined to complete his new mission. It was like no other mission he had ever undertaken, but it was very important. He parked the car at its usual spot and walked down the street. As it had transpired, Jack was living with Sam in the old Walker family house, within easy walking distance from the apartment complex where his kids lived. Chuck took a deep breath, smoothed his tie and knocked on the door. He hoped it wasn't too early in the day for a visit, but he felt that what he had to say couldn't wait.
"Hello Chuck," Sam said as she answered the door. "Come in."
"Do we have a new mission?"
"No. I just wanted a word with you and Jack."
"Let me see if I can tear him from his computers." A couple of minutes later she came back into the living room with her husband.
"Chuck," he said, "nice of you to drop by."
"Thanks Jack. As I told Sam, I need to talk to you. It's about Sarah."
"Sit down and tell us everything."
"Jack, Sam," Chuck began after taking a seat, "you know how much I love your daughter. And now I think the time has come to take it to the next level with her. So, can I have your permission? Can I marry Sarah?"
The smiles on the faces of Mr. and Mrs. Walker were enough of an answer, but Jack verbalized it too.
"Son, you have our blessing. I can't think of anyone who'd make a better husband for our baby girl than you."
"And I'm sure you'll have a very happy life together," added Sam.
"When are you going to pop the big Q?" Jack asked.
"Tonight; I am going to propose to her tonight after dinner. I have everything ready, including the ring. Here it is," he said, digging into a pocket and producing a small box. When he opened it, Jack and Sam admired the simple yet beautiful ring it contained. Some small talk later, he hugged his soon to be in-laws and returned home.
Sarah was still asleep. It was her day off and she had made sure to pull the plug on the alarm clock. He looked down at her angelic form and smiled. After taking off his jacket and tie and kicking off his shoes, he lay down next to her. She automatically snuggled up to him and made herself comfortable in her new position.
Later, after serving her breakfast in bed, they decided to visit Ellie. Devon was at work, and Sarah wanted to keep her four months pregnant sister-in-law company. That and seek some advice on the dinner party she had planned for the evening. Despite the pregnancy Ellie was still a formidable dinner planner and she made sure to give Sarah all the help she needed. Chuck wisely kept away from the kitchen. He didn't want to face two women in Martha Stewart mode, especially since one of them could call up the Intersect 2.0 knife skills at will.
With nothing else to do, he snuck back into the bedroom and started playing a first person shooter computer game Sarah had developed. Before long she came to him with a long list of things she needed from the store and he obediently went to get them. Said list had obviously been written by two people. He could tell where Ellie had added her input, as the entries in the non-Sarah handwriting mostly concerned snacks one would expect a pregnant woman to crave for.
The shopping done he was once again dismissed and summarily ordered to remain on standby in the living room, just in case any last minute purchases needed to be made.
Dinner was great. Much of Sarah's panic about the occasion had been due to the fact that they would have many more guests than usual. In addition to herself, Chuck, Devon, Ellie, Morgan, Alex and Alexandra she had cooked for Jill, Carina, Jack, Sam, Stephen, Mary and the Caseys, the latter mentioned having flown in to visit their daughter.
After dinner they were all enjoying drinks and the friendly atmosphere. Bolonia Grimes had stopped by at one point to give Morgan some things only she knew where she'd been keeping and the others had insisted that she stay. She and Kathleen had hit it off instantly.
Chuck gave a meaningful look to Jack and Sam and they both nodded. Chuck then rose and cleared his throat to get everyone's attention.
"First of all, ladies and gentlemen," he said, "I'd like to apologize for interrupting your conversations, but I have something important to say." He paused and took a deep breath. "By now all of you know how deeply I am in love with Sarah, the woman of my life. And right now I can't imagine my life without her in it. I believe it's time to take the next step." He moved to where Sarah was standing near Awesome and Ellie and knelt before her. "I have your parents' blessing and this," he said, producing the ring. "Sarah Walker, will you make me the happiest man in the world by becoming my wife?"
She looked at him in mild shock and then, suddenly, she gagged, her hand flew up to cover her mouth and she dashed to the bathroom. Ellie, Alexandra, Jill, Carina and Alex ran after her, leaving the others just sitting there in total shock.
"I certainly didn't expect that kind of reaction," Chuck said to no one in particular.
In the bathroom, the other girls fussed over Sarah for several minutes. The rest were wondering what was going on when they heard excited squeals and clapping. Mary and Sam were the first to grasp what was happening. They jumped to their feet and hugged, laughing and crying at the same time, while bouncing up and down like schoolgirls. Stephen was the next one to catch on. From Chuck's desk he took a box and started passing cigars around to the men. Realization sank in and a happy chatter filled the room. Chuck was still kneeling on the carpet, completely stunned as he too finally understood why Sarah had behaved like that.
He hadn't moved an inch when the girls returned, a timid and at the same time happy Sarah in the lead.
"Sorry about that, Chuck," she said. "It had nothing to do with the proposal, which I accept, by the way. That's a yes, Chuck, I will marry you."
He slipped the ring on her finger to the applause of their assembled guests and then, without rising, he placed his hands on her hips, drew her close and rested his head on her abdomen. She smiled and pulled him to his feet before planting a loving kiss on him.
Alex Forrest looked at the photographs on her bookcase again and drained the last of her whiskey. She decided that some day she would accept Sarah's standing offer for a job at Orion Games and Software. She was getting tired of saving the world on a daily basis and she'd need a change soon. Putting the glass in the dishwasher, she went up the stairs to her bedroom and changed into her pajamas. She had just gotten into bed when she heard the sound of a baby crying next door. She hoped that Ellie and Devon would calm Awesome Junior down before he set off the Bartowski twins across the courtyard. Her maternal instincts were almost nonexistent, but she had to admit that she liked the three new residents of the apartment complex. And they were all fond of Auntie Alexandra too for some unexplained reason, always smiling or sleeping peacefully and never being fussy every time she held them. The Awesomes succeeded in making their son quiet down and so Alex smiled, turned on her side and quickly fell asleep. She needed the rest as she would have to embark on a grueling mission in the morning: babysitting the three little demons to allow their parents to have a Saturday to themselves. At least Aunties Jill and Carina were available to provide backup, if needed.