I know you're all impressed by me updating so quickly. You're welcome.
"Yeah, Chuck?" Morgan said as he hopped over to his best friend.
Chuck leaned in and motioned to Lester who was behind him at the Nerd Herd desk. "Can you tell me why Lester has been staring a hole into the back of my head all day? He looks homicidal."
Morgan slyly (for Morgan's standards) looked over at the Nerd Herder who best resembled an Indian lesbian. He looked back at Chuck and raised his eyebrows with a shrug. "I don't know." He snuck another look. "It's kind of creepy, huh?" Chuck widened his eyes and nodded as if that was the most obvious statement ever. "I would've thought he'd be mad at Jeff right now, not you. You know Lester quit their band? He thought they were getting too corporate again."
"Right, that makes sense," Chuck said dryly.
Chuck missed Morgan looking behind him again and then immediately diverting his eyes. Sarah had brought her finger to her lips signaling for him to pretend he didn't see her.
"Hey, you," she said as she slipped her arms around Chuck from behind.
Chuck jumped but then laughed softly and turned his neck to look at her. "There's my better half," he said. "For a second I thought you were Lester sneaking up to murder me."
Sarah furrowed her brow and looked between him and Morgan for any clue to what her boyfriend was talking about. Lifting her head slightly, she asked, "Why?"
"I was going to ask you the same thing," Chuck said, indirectly answering her question.
"Well, have you tried asking him?"
Chuck looked at her and whispered, "Honey, you look at his face and see if you'd be ready to go over there and talk." Sarah showed Morgan what discretion really looked like when she snuck a glance at the Hin-Jew.
Pressing her cheek against Chuck's shoulder to hide her mouth she said, "I think he might be planning on doing something with that mini screwdriver." She felt him tense under her arms and she let go so she could face him directly. She put her hands on his arms and looking in his brown eyes said, "Do you want me to take care of it?"
Both Chuck and Morgan's eyes instantly widened at the offer. Chuck gulped and said, "I don't even want to know what your version of "taking care of it" entails." Sarah didn't budge and he told her, "Seriously. I think I'm alright."
Sarah smiled brightly and perkily leaned up to plant a kiss on his cheek. "Okay! Well, I'm going to go over to Orange Orange. Want me to grab you anything?"
It scared Chuck a little how she could transition from trained assassin to angelic girlfriend in the blink of an eye, but he had also gotten somewhat used to it. "Yeah, tell Casey I want "the usual." He'll know what that means." There was a glint in his eyes that gave her the impression Casey would know what that meant and he wouldn't like it.
Turning to the shorter man she said, "Alright, what about you, Morgan?"
"Actually, do you mind if I come with?" he asked her. "I've been meaning to stop by and say hello to mi amigo, John Casey."
Sarah shook her head helplessly and gave Chuck a peck on the lips. "This should be interesting." She then turned and said, "Come on, Morgan."
Chuck smiled as he watched them go. Sarah had always had an understandable aversion to his oft-creepy friend, but lately she had taken a liking to him. He wasn't sure if that was because of them being roommates, teammates, or because Morgan now had a girlfriend to keep him grounded. Probably a combination of multiple things. Whatever the reason, he was happy two of the most important people in his life had found a way to get along.
Chuck heard scraping and turned around to see Lester shaving away the surface of the Nerd Herd desk with a screwdriver, a sick smile plastered on his face. Chuck decided it was time for him to go.
"So how are things going with you and Alex?" Sarah asked as she and Morgan walked side by side over to the frozen yogurt shop.
"Good, actually," Morgan said sounding surprised. "I would have thought for sure she would run as far away as possible once she found my Star Wars collection but it turns out she's kind of a closet nerd. Don't tell Casey that."
"Wouldn't dream of it," Sarah laughed. "Well, I'm happy for you. Sounds like you two are really good together."
Morgan smiled. "Yeah, well, I'm not sure if we're at "Chuck and Sarah" level status but we're doing pretty well considering I'm one half of our pairing."
"Oh, I wouldn't sell yourself short. She obviously sees something in you." They smiled at each other and kept walking.
"So how about you," Morgan said, changing the subject. Sarah looked at him. "You're going to have a ring on that finger pretty soon, huh?"
Sarah blushed a deep pink and looked at her feet as she tried to hide her smile. "Seems that way, yeah. Just waiting for Chuck to pop the question."
Morgan smirked and nudged her with his arm. "Excited?" he teased, drawing out the word. Her face told him the answer to that question. "His proposal plan will blow you out of the water," he promised her. Seeing the curious look she gave him he quickly added, "And I have direct orders to under no circumstance reveal to you what said plan is! So don't even try to get me to talk."
Sarah laughed under her breath. "Try?"
Morgan rolled his eyes. "Okay, as previously proven, yes, you could easily extract the information out of me. But really, Sarah, where's the romance in knowing?"
"Good point," she told him, backing down. She wouldn't dream of ruining the proposal, if not for herself then for Chuck. He no doubt will have slaved over making sure everything went perfectly. For her to not be surprised would just be cruel. Even though she hates surprises... She may need to rethink this.
They finally reached the door to Orange Orange and Sarah opened it to let Morgan in. "Try not to get yourself killed," she advised him as he walked through. She followed him in and was met with the joy-filled face of Colonel John Casey.
"What the hell are you doing here?" is the greeting Morgan received.
Morgan held his hands up and walked to the counter. "Hey, I can't come pay my friend a visit? I just wanted to wish you the best in your future endeavor." Casey narrowed his eyes and growled, only supporting Morgan's theory that he was originally raised by a pack of wolves.
Ignoring the conversation going on between the two males in the room, Sarah smirked and walked around the "Yogurt & Fun" counter to get her own things. Casey had never ordered from her while she was working there as a cover so she figured she'd return the favor. She scooped some fresh kiwi into a cup and noted that the slices weren't as clean cut as when she worked there. No matter how ridiculous the situation, Sarah took pride in her skills with knives. She was surprised the fruit didn't have bullet holes in it, considering Casey was the one preparing it. She then opened a cabinet under the counter where she had kept things for Chuck whenever he ordered something. She grabbed a bag of chocolate covered gummi bears and closed the door to the cabinet. Chuck's smile the first time he found out she'd gotten them especially for him was enough to make her never run out. The way her heart had fluttered when he told her that was "really thoughtful" showed just how far gone she was before they even started dating.
The little smiled on her face from thinking about Chuck stayed there as she left the shop. She assumed the snapping noise she heard as she walked away was the plastic spoon finally giving way to Casey's clenched fist. Morgan certainly knew how to push his buttons.
Sarah walked into the Buy More and noticed Chuck was no longer at the Nerd Herd desk. Standing on her toes, she scanned the area for him and came up empty. She eventually found him in the break room sitting with his forehead pressed against the table and arms hanging to the floor. No one else was in there and she smiled sympathetically before putting down the food and walking up to put her hands on his shoulders.
"Poor baby," she cooed as she started to massage the base of his neck.
"Mmm, that feels good," said his muffled voice. She could feel him relax beneath her working hands. Once she was sure he was feeling better she pulled out the chair next to him and sat down, keeping her hand on his back and moving it in circles.
"You, Mr. Bartowski, are one of the most stressed out people I know." Chuck grunted his agreement. "And yet," she said, watching her hand rub against the white fabric of his shirt, "I still can't figure out why." Chuck sighed and sat up to face her. She gave him a small smile and brushed away his brown curls. "Other than the giant secret computer in your brain, of course," she added. "What's going on?"
Chuck laughed self-depreciatingly and said, "I've got Sarah Walker for a girlfriend and still have bad days. There must be more wrong with me than I thought."
"That's sweet, but you still didn't answer my question."
He shook his head adorably. "Just having an off day."
Sarah stared blankly at him for a couple seconds before slapping his knee and standing up. She grabbed his hand and pulled. "Come on."
"Where are we going?" Chuck struggled to stay seated, not thrilled with the idea of using his legs.
"Just come with me. We're going out to lunch and if you're not the slightest bit happier by the time we get back then you have my permission to wallow in self-pity for the rest of the day."
Chuck sat there for a while weighing his options with Sarah's crystal blue eyes staring at him. "…I can live with that," he decided.
Chuck and Sarah walked out of the break room and were halfway to the exit when Sarah realized she'd forgotten her jacket in her locker. Chuck told her he'd wait for her to go get it and that was when he saw his best friend walk in through the sliding doors and head his way.
Morgan was wiping at his face and in his beard when he reached Chuck.
"I take it the fact that there are rainbow sprinkles sticking out of your nose means the visit to Casey didn't go as well as you'd hoped," Chuck said humorously.
Morgan waived off Chuck's observation. "Casey just isn't used to all those feelings of friendship and brotherhood like you and I. In due time, Chuck."
With that comment Chuck was amazed that a nose full of sprinkles was the only thing Morgan walked away with.
"Well, Sarah and I were just on our way out for lunch, so I'll—What the…?" Chuck stopped when he was hit in the side of the head with something mid-sentence. He bent down to pick up the crumpled piece of paper and opened it to read its contents. "Home theater room. Come alone." Chuck recognized the inexplicably girly handwriting from Lester's offsite install reports. He sighed and rolled his eyes, showing Morgan the note.
"Scary," Morgan said, throwing in a dramatic shudder for good measure.
Chuck motioned in the general direction to the home theater room. "I'm going to go see what this is about."
"Good luck, man," Morgan said before turning around. He then caught himself and told Chuck, "Uh, there's a grape soda under the couch. If you run into any trouble you could maybe, like, shake it and then spray…" He acted out spraying Lester in the eyes with soda.
"Morgan." Chuck pointed to his head in a 'Duh' kind of way.
His friend snapped his fingers and pointed at Chuck. "Or flash. Flashing works, too."
"Let's hope it doesn't come to that," he said.
Sarah walked out from the break room with her jacket just in time to see her boyfriend enter the curtained home theater room. She squinted her eyes and went to follow him. What she found in there was not what she was expecting.
Chuck was in the middle of the room surrounded by green shirts and nerd herders pumping their fists and cheering. Next to him was Lester, who poked him in the chest as hard as he could and then climbed up to stand on the coffee table.
"With these Buymorians as witnesses, I, Lester Patel, challenge Charles Bartowski… TO A DUEL!"
At this the crowd erupted even more. Chuck's face displayed his confusion and Sarah tried to fight her way through the crowd to reach him. She didn't get very far, and a few seconds later heard her name being called from behind her. She turned and saw Morgan standing behind her.
"What's going on?" he yelled over the noise.
Sarah wondered if he could read her mind because those were the three words going through her head since she entered the room. She shook her head slowly and said, "Lester just challenged Chuck to some kind of duel…?"
"The winner," Lester continued, gaining both Morgan and Sarah's attention, "will become the lead singer of JEFFSTER!"
At this, Sarah realized that this whole thing was her fault. Her mouth hung open and all she could say was, "…Oh." She felt horrible. Leaning towards Morgan's ear, she shouted, "Morgan, get me to Chuck."
He looked at her and then nodded. Keeping her behind him, he pushed through, threatening his subordinates if they didn't disperse. It wasn't an easy task, but he garnered better results than Sarah had. She finally made it through and Chuck saw her.
"Sarah," he said helplessly, desperate to find a way out.
"Should he accept, he will face me in a single round of the unreleased game, Karaoke King, courtesy of Fernando's uncle, Jerry."
"Lester," Chuck said, holding his hands out palms down.
"Bets are being taken by Skip over by the—"
"Quiet, Charles! You're ruining the festivities," Lester shouted.
"I don't want to be the lead singer of JEFFSTER! I don't want anything to do with it," he told him exasperatedly.
"Ho ho," Lester said in a high pitch, bringing his fist to his mouth. "Looks like the great Chuck Bartowski is afraid of a little competition!"
The crowd of Buy-Morons suddenly began to taunt Chuck with mocking cries of "wah wahh" and putting their fingers in the shape of an L on their foreheads.
"I will respect the results of the duel," Jeff announced.
"What?" Chuck couldn't believe what he was hearing. "Are you insane? There will be no duel. I have no intentions of becoming a part of that band. All I want to do is go out to lunch with my girlfriend, who, by the way," he looked at Sarah, seeming more frustrated than angry, "has a lot of apologizing to do." She had to admit she deserved that. "Now if you'll all excuse me, I'm going to leave now."
He took Sarah's wrist and led her through the sea of unhygienic employees, weaving his way towards the exit. She had the right mind to keep her mouth shut until they got away from the home theater room.
Finally as they were making their way outside she said, "You have to believe me, I had no idea. I'm so sorry."
He had let go of his hold on her wrist the second they got out of he home theater room and had since walked while engaging in no physical contact.
"S'okay," he mumbled unconvincingly, looking at his shoes.
"Hey." She put her hand on his arm and stopped walking. He turned around and she made him look at her. Sliding her arms around his waist she smiled as she inched closer to him. "Forgive me?"
"I'm not really mad at you," he told her. She looked so cute he couldn't resist leaning down to kiss her while she smiled up at him. Parting, he said, "I can't possibly hold you responsible for every illogical conclusion Jeff and Lester's minds come to."
"Well, I'm sorry anyways," she said. "I should have known better."
Chuck put his arm around her shoulders and she kept one arm around his waist as they continued walking towards the car. "Maybe it's my fault," he laughed. "I mean, I am your mentor. I probably should have warned you."
She could tell he was joking and she was glad he had moved on. Getting her car keys from her purse, she said, "So where to?" They both got in the car and she waited for an answer.
"Good question," he said. "I'm not sure."
Sarah smiled, "Well, we could go enjoy a romantic meal under the fluorescent lights in Castle."
Chuck laughed and said, "Tempting, but we seem to do that quite often, don't you think?"
"I guess so." She pursed her lips and looked up and off to the side as she fought to produce a good enough idea. "What if we grabbed some sandwiches and then went to the beach?"
"You mean eat sandwiches on the sand?" he joked.
Sarah laughed and asked, "So where do you want to get them? It's Subway or Lou's." She looked at his face and could see him struggling to not say what she knew he wanted to say. But it was his day, and she wanted to make him happy, so she ignored any previously harnessed feelings and put her hand on his leg. "Lou's it is."
Chuck smiled and looked at her. "Are you sure? I know you don't like going there."
"That's only because of Lou," she told him. "I do like their food."
Chuck looked like he was hesitating saying something and she looked into his eyes to try and figure out what. Eventually he asked, "…Can—can I get a 'Chuck'? Or is that pushing it?"
Sarah smiled and shook her head before telling him, "Whatever you want."
"Tell me something I don't know," she said cheekily, turning on the engine and shifting into drive. Chuck laughed and rested his arm out the window. Sarah drove across the parking lot and stopped outside the deli. Chuck undid his seatbelt and put his hand on the door before he noticed she hadn't moved.
"I think I might just stay here," she told him. Joking, she said, "You barely have full visiting rights as it is. Both of us going in together may ban you for life."
Long after the Weinerlicious had been replaced, Chuck went to Lou's and made the argument that his deal of going to the Weinerlicious instead of the deli was no longer applicable. Lucky for him, Lou had found a new boyfriend and they were pretty serious, so she had no feelings, good or bad, for Chuck Bartowski. She did make him fix her iPod for her, though.
"Good point. Turkey on wheat?" he asked.
"Am I that predictable?" Sarah loved that he had taken the time to memorize every little thing about her.
Chuck pointed to his head. "The Intersect's like a filing cabinet up here. Keeps track of all the details for me." Sarah's face fell. So he didn't really take any time at all. He saw her reaction and his famous Bartowski smile spread across his face. "I'm just kidding. That's all Chuck."
Her eyes turned dark for a split second and she leaned over and hit him in the arm. "Jerk."
He laughed and opened the car door, putting his foot down on the pavement. He turned back to her. "Extra olives, right, sweetheart?"
Sarah pushed him out.
Watching him walk into the deli, she flashed back to when Chuck had broken up their fake relationship after the whole pentathol incident. She's always wished she had told him the truth. Wished she hadn't been such a robot. Standing there as she watched him with another woman had made her forget to breathe and her chest tighten an almost unbearable amount. But that was all in the past. She didn't have to put on that emotionless façade anymore. She was in love with Chuck and she'd tell him as many times as she wanted. He needed something real, and Sarah was finally able to give him that.
Chuck had been gone for a while, so to pass the time Sarah leaned her head against the headrest and watched the clouds drift by, taking advantage of the convertible top. It was quite peaceful until the silence was broken by a loud car horn directly behind her. Sarah grimaced and knowing that she had parked so that there was more than enough space to drive around her, motioned for the person to go around. The response that earned her was the driver leaning on the horn obnoxiously. Sarah dropped her head forward in frustration and looked through her rearview mirror. What she saw made her drop her jaw in disbelief. "What the?" She undid her seatbelt and got out of the car, walking over to the black Audi R8. She ran her hand along the sleek lines of the car as she neared the driver's window, which started to roll down as she got closer. Standing in front of the open window with a smirk, Sarah said, "And I thought my car was pretty."
"Well, Walker, can't let you have all the fun," Carina said, matching Sarah's smirk with one of her own, before opening her door and stepping out to hug her friend.
"What? No fight? No helicopter?" Sarah asked after embracing her friend. "Who are you and what have you done with my friend?" She again looked back at the sports car. "And where did you did get this?"
"So I may have left out of my report that the drug lord scumbag I took down had a bit of a car collection. Big deal." Sarah cocked her head in disapproval but there was still a smile on her face. Raising her hands in defense, Carina said, "I dumped the plates and, no, there are no drugs anywhere on the car." Carina motioned at Sarah up and down with her hand. "Now please explain this outfit."
Sarah looked down at her revealing Nerd Herd uniform and sighed. Shrugging her shoulders, she simply said, "CIA covers."
"Makes sense," Carina said. "That skirt length has CIA written all over it." Sarah laughed at her vast knowledge of the skimpy uniforms the agencies came up with for their female agents. She then turned when she heard her name being called.
"Sarah?" Chuck said, walking to her Porsche with a brown paper bag in his hands and a couple of drinks.
She brought up one hand to wave and said, "Over here, Chuck." He saw her and placed the food into the car before walking over to her and…
"Hi, Chuck," she smiled nicely. While Sarah was one of her oldest friends, she had started considering him a friend, too. That is, if he didn't hurt Sarah.
Chuck hugged her and while looking over her shoulder, gave Sarah a confused look. Sarah saw and just shrugged. No idea. He let go of Carina and said, "So what brings you back to Burbank?"
"I'm on leave right now after a prolonged mission in Vegas, so I figured why not take a little road trip and visit you guys."
Chuck raised his eyebrows. "That's a pretty long drive, isn't it?"
"It was a good chance for me to try out my latest commodity," she said, motioning to the car.
He looked between the two female agents before asking, "Do I want to know?"
Sarah smiled. "Probably not."
He took her word for it and changed the subject. "So how long do you think you'll be in Burbank?" Chuck asked the DEA agent.
Carina smirked and said, "As long as I feel like it I guess." She looked at Sarah and told her, " I figured I would just stay at your hotel if that's alright with you."
Sarah's eyebrows raised and she opened her mouth, looking from her friend to her boyfriend. "Actually," she started, sharing the same look with Chuck. "I, um…" She leaned into him and held onto his arm, "I live with Chuck now."
One of Carina's perfectly manicured eyebrows peaked at this. "Oh?" A sly smile was sneaking its way onto her face as she surveyed the couple. She pointed back and forth with one finger. "So you two are an item now? Can't say I'm surprised." She turned to Chuck. "You know she's been in love with you since day one."
Chuck smiled brightly and put his hand over the one resting on his arm. "Yeah, she, uh, she may have mentioned that." Sarah smiled up at him and gripped him tighter.
"Aw. You two are cute in your matching outfits and all," Carina told the couple. "I hope I'm not interrupting anything by stopping by."
"No, not at all!" Chuck said politely, swallowing his disappointment caused by the sudden change of plans.
Because she knew him so well, sometimes better than she even knew herself, Sarah could see through his façade easily. "We were actually going to go eat lunch. I promised him we'd stop by the beach. It's been kind of an off day today. We figured we'd go relax for a little bit."
"Oh, okay, well, you guys go do that," Carina told them nicely. Chuck and Sarah both couldn't deny they were a little surprised by how understanding she seemed. "I'll just, you know, find a motel somewhere around here. It's not like I couldn't defend myself if there were any break-ins..."
Sarah immediately realized why Carina was acting that way. Chuck didn't.
"What? Don't be crazy," he said. "You're staying with us. Here, how about you follow us back home and Sarah and I will go out while you get settled."
Carina put her hand on her chest. "Oh, I wouldn't want to impose…"
"No, we insist. Right, sweetheart?" Chuck said, turning to Sarah.
Sarah looked at Chuck and smiled. "Right." She narrowed her eyes at her friend, knowing she was taking advantage of Chuck's kindheartedness. She found it to be more funny than anything else, knowing she wouldn't let Carina stay anywhere else, either.
Carina smiled. "Okay. I'll just follow you guys, then."
After getting back in the car, Sarah put her hand on Chuck's leg and rubbed it up and down. "Hey. Thank you, for being… well, you." He looked over and smiled at her and that was all that needed to be said between the two.
After a few minutes of driving and Sarah challenging herself to stay at the normal speed limit so Carina could easily keep up, Chuck decided to make conversation. "So this was a surprise, huh?"
Sarah swerved around a sedan and then reminded herself to slow down for the spy tailing them. "Yeah, well," she said, "It's kind of rare to get a heads-up call from Carina."
"When's the last time you saw her?" Chuck asked.
"Not since you have," she answered, "But we've stayed in contact between that. Not very often, but sometimes."
"Really? That seems like it'd be hard to do with spies," he said sounded surprised.
Sarah took a right turn and checked her mirrors again to see if the black car was still there. "Yeah, well, they invented this thing a while back called the telephone." Chuck rolled his eyes. "It seems to work pretty well."
"Very funny," he deadpanned. Sarah smirked and slowed down at a stop sign. "Wait. If you've stayed in contact with her then why didn't she know we were together?"
She looked at him before focusing on the road again. "I told you, we don't talk very often. The last time we spoke was before Paris. Then she had her mission in Vegas and she couldn't risk any outside calls." She put her hand on the back of his neck and played with his short curls. "Trust me, if she had called I would have shouted it from a rooftop."
"I think I may have actually done that," Chuck said honestly.
"What?" she asked, turning her head, "Seriously?"
"It wasn't exactly a rooftop," he explained. "More like a… balcony, or a… window."
Sarah's melodic laugh filled the air as she pulled into a parking spot a respectable distance away from the Crown Vic that was occupying the neighboring space. Carina pulled up next to them and they all got out of their cars.
"Home, sweet home, huh, Walker?" Carina teased. Sarah smiled and simply shook her head.
Carina popped the trunk on her car and grabbed the handle of her suitcase.
"Oh, let me get that," Chuck said, stepped forward to take it for her. Carina stepped back and let him get it, shooting Sarah an impressed look with raised eyebrows.
The two women walked ahead of Chuck into the courtyard. "Picked a good one, Walker," Carina told her.
Sarah smiled brightly. "You're not the first person to tell me that."
"I'm going to go throw this stuff away," Chuck said, grabbing the paper that had wrapped their sandwiches from off the table and bringing them into the kitchen.
The three spies had lost track of time and instead of Sarah and Chuck going off on their own, they ended up staying in their living room swapping stories with their new guest.
"Thanks, sweetie," Sarah said, moving her legs out of the way so he could get past her. Carina watched him walk away and looked at Sarah who seemed oddly fit for this normal environment.
Carina cocked her head to the side and scrutinized her friend. "So this is your end game?" It was more of a statement than a question. In response, Sarah simply looked at her and smiled. "I can't say I'd feel the same way about this place as you, but you do seem happy."
"I am happy."
The two women looked at each other enjoying the moment of friendship they seemed to be sharing. It wasn't often they got to discussing these things. Especially when it came to real world relationships. Even though Carina hadn't spent nearly as much time with Chuck as she had, Sarah thought for a split second that maybe Carina was changing. He was known for his irresistible heartwarming. She only thought this for a split second, though.
"…Great sex," Carina said matter-of-factly, pinpointing that as the source of Sarah's glowing disposition.
"Carina!" Sarah's eye widened in shock at her friend's bluntness.
Seeing Sarah's reaction, Carina gave her a face that said 'yeah, right.' Her mouthed curved up at the corners and she said, "Am I wrong?"
Sarah opened her mouth and couldn't find any words to say other than, "Well… no…" Carina smirked. "Shut up."
"What are we talking about?" said the one male in the apartment as he returned to his girlfriend's side.
"Nothing," Sarah said, shooting him a quick smile.
"…Other than her telling me how amazing you are in bed," Carina added sweetly.
Chuck's eyebrows shot to the top of his head and his whole face turned red. He looked to Sarah but she was smiling open mouthed in disbelief at Carina.
"Um." Chuck cleared his throat. "Okay. Anyways, I hate to cut his short, but our lunch break ends soon so I think we may need to head out."
"Oh, well, I guess duty calls," Carina said. "I was thinking about taking a little trip to Rodeo Drive for a shopping spree, so you two have fun with the nerd thing…"
At the mention of "Rodeo" and "shopping spree," an involuntary guttural noise was produced from the blonde in the room. It was not unlike the kinds Chuck had heard in their bedroom many times before. Chuck's head turned to her and she looked a little embarrassed by her own reaction.
Carina smirked at this. "You wouldn't want to come, would you, Sarah?" she teased.
Sarah was desperately trying to ignore the things going on in her head. The little off-centered crease that formed between her eyebrows when she was inwardly debating something was present. Knowing that her not returning to work would defeat the entire purpose of the new cover, Sarah finally steeled herself and said, "Can we go tomorrow?"
"Tomorrow," Carina repeated. "The day after the bikini sale."
"Bikinis?" The women looked at Chuck. "I mean, uh," he cleared his throat, and looked at Sarah, "You can—you can go if you really want."
Sarah raised her eyebrow and the corners of her mouth lifted. "I'd need your opinion, of course, sweetie."
His mouth forming into that boyish smile she loved so much, Chuck raised his hand with staccato and pointed to his chest. "M—me? Yeah?"
With her eyebrow still peaked, she slowly nodded. "Mhm."
"What do you say? Wanna be our official bikini judge?" Carina asked.
"I'm gonna go call Morgan," he said as he shot up off of the couch.
"I'm gonna go call Morgan."
"No, Chuck! Look at this blouse. What do you think?" Sarah said from behind a clothes rack.
"Mhm. It's great, honey," he mumbled for the ten thousandth time since getting out of the car. He had already beaten his 70-level game of Brick on his iPhone and was now searching the App Store for another version of Angry Birds.
"Look alive, Chuck!" Carina said before unloading four shoeboxes into his arms. "Hold these." She was gone before he even had time to protest. Chuck sighed and leaned his shoulder against the wall of the store.
Despite the earlier conversation, Chuck had yet to see any bikinis on his blonde, leggy Valkyrie. In fact, after doing a quick 360 around the store they were currently in, he didn't think they even sold them here.
"Judging by the black high-tops and all around bored disposition I'm going to rule out gay best friend," Chuck heard a woman's voice say. He turned his neck and saw a brunette employee in her twenties scrutinizing him with her arms crossed and her hand on her chin. "No, I'm going to take a guess and say you're the devoted boyfriend who had no idea what he was getting himself into."
Chuck gave her a closed mouth smile. "Good guess."
She looked at the two women she had seen him walk in with. "So are you with the blonde or the red head?"
Chuck followed her line of vision and smiled as he saw Sarah. "The blonde. I'd like to think she loves me as much as she loves shoes, but it looks like shoes may have the edge today," he joked, turning back to the saleswoman and smiling.
Just then Sarah's head turned and she looked over at Chuck. The smile she was wearing dropped off her face when she saw the new friend he had made. A frown formed when she saw the hair color.
"Hey, what do you think of this neckline?" Carina asked Sarah standing next to her. When she got no response she looked up and saw the spy's less-than-pleased visage. Sarah kept her eyes on Chuck as she aggressively folded a shirt she had picked up and put it back on the table. "Oh, my God. Sarah Walker, are you jealous?"
"What?" Sarah said, breaking her stare and looking at Carina. "Don't be ridiculous," she denied.
"Wow. You totally are. He really is "the one," isn't he?" Sarah's glare returned to the saleswoman and Carina sighed and then yelled over at Chuck. "Chuck did you get those in a size 7 yet?"
"Well, what are you waiting for?"
"If I'm not mistaken, I believe my instructions were strictly to "hold these," and that was it," Chuck said defending himself.
"I can get them for you," the brunette woman offered Chuck.
"Thank you," Carina sang, successfully completing her mission. She turned to Sarah. "And you're welcome."
Sarah watched the woman take the boxes from Chuck and go to the back to get Carina's size before she moved over to her boyfriend. He looked at her and mustered up a smile. "Hey, baby," she said sweetly, wrapping her arms around his waist. "Having fun?" she joked. His eyes said otherwise and she tilted her head to the side. "I know. I'm sorry. Once we get out of here I promise I'll make it up to you."
Chuck rubbed his hand over her back. "You know, for as much crap as you put me through, you do always somehow make up for it."
Sarah smiled brightly and leaned up to kiss him, placing her hand flat against his chest. Pulling away somewhat reluctantly, she bit her lip bashfully and patted his pectoral. "Don't ever forget it, Bartowski." She turned her head to see the brunette return and she started running her fingertips lightly over his shirt in a circular motion. "Let's go sit and wait for Carina to try those on and then we can go have some fun."
"What kind of fun?" Chuck asked suggestively.
"You'll just have to wait and see," Sarah playfully retorted. "There a men's store down the street with dress shirts…" Chuck's face dropped, and Sarah leaned up to seductively whisper in his ear, "I'm sure they'll have a replacement for your shirt after I rip it off of you."
"…Ohh," he groaned quietly, gripping her hip with his large hand.
Sarah smiled at him and winked. "Come on." She slipped her hand into his and pulled him to the small couch in the middle of the floor. She sat down and pulled him down next to her. He put his arm around her shoulders and she leaned in with her hand on his leg.
Jess came out and looked around for her customers. Her friend Stacy came up to her. "Cute boy you were talking to," she teased.
"Yeah, well, unfortunately I don't think anything's going to happen there," Jess admitted.
"Hm," Stacy said suggestively. "Mind if I go for a crack at it?"
Jess laughed ruefully and turned her attention to the couch. "Good luck getting through her."
Stacy's eyes widened when she saw the blonde woman leaning into him. "Wow, she's gorgeous." Stacy dropped her arms. "Well, I have no chance. On to the next one." Jess laughed and brought the shoes to the red headed woman.
"Is it just me or do all these shoes look the same?" Chuck whispered in Sarah's ear as he watched Carina try them on.
Sarah elbowed him in the ribs. "It's because of guys like you that we buy these things. Would you rather I walk around in Crocs all day? Didn't think so," she said without waiting for a response. They had had the earlier conversation that Crocs were truly the most hideous footwear on earth. They had agreed that if you're not a nurse, baby, or an old lady gardening, you had no excuse for wearing them.
Chuck smirked and to pass the time started tapping his foot to the music playing over the store speakers. "I like those, Carina!" he shared randomly. He wasn't even looking at her shoes. He just wanted to speed up this never-ending process.
"Well, I don't," she said honestly. "I'll take the other ones," she directed at the saleswoman.
"Oh, thank god," Chuck sighed. Sarah smacked his arm.
"Looks like your Batman turned out to be Catman, or shall I say… Pussyman. Huh, Robin?"
A loud cheer of "OH!" came from multiple employees within hearing distance.
Morgan nodded his head. "Alright, guys, lay off of Chuck."
"No way, my bearded colleague," Lester said. "Not until the duel has been… dueled. Your cowardly comrade will face his destiny in the confines of the Home Theater Room! And I will rise again!"
Morgan's expression was that of wide-eyed disturbance. "Dude, I've met some weird people, but you are seriously high up in the rankings as the weirdest."
Lester slowly stepped up to whisper in Morgan's face, "Don't forget it," before migrating to a new area of the store.
Morgan shuddered and straightened out his tie before going to his office.
"This sucks," he sighed.
"This is great," Chuck said to himself. He was sitting in a plush white chair in the fitting room of Aqua, a boutique that only sold one thing: bikinis. He was by himself, because the two women he had walked in with were behind the curtains in front of him trying different tops and bottoms on. The reason it was so great is that he got to be the judge of each one.
"I'm coming out, Chuck!" Sarah called. This had been going on for quite some time already but Chuck still had to quickly try to hide the glow on his face so that he wouldn't be too obvious about his joy. He failed spectacularly. The curtain flew open and his jaw dropped. "…Wow."
"What do you think?" she asked, turning around to show him the back of the blue and silver bikini.
Sarah smiled patiently. "Not me, the bikini."
"Anything that allows you to show that much skin is A-okay with me, honey." He shot her a sly grin and she winked at him before going back behind the curtain.
"Dude, is that your girlfriend?" Chuck turned to see a guy that looked like he was in his early twenties sitting in the chair next to him but at a right angle.
"Yeah, she's with me."
"Damn," he said. "What's your secret?"
Chuck laughed and replied, "Luck."
"Okay, Chuck, I'm next!" said a voice behind a different curtain.
The two men watched Carina Miller saunter out towards them in the slinkiest bright red bikini they had ever seen. Chuck had a flashback to when Carina had tried to seduce him in her hotel room wearing only red lingerie and a silk robe. But then he pictured a certain blonde in his rolled up boxers and t-shirt and he had to admit that was ten times sexier.
"What the…" the guy next to him let slip.
Carina waited as she tried to read his expression. "Well, Chuck?"
"It's, ah, it's... it looks great… Carina."
She motioned behind her. "Put it in the 'maybe' pile?" Chuck nodded and she went back to try on another one.
"Alright, dude, seriously," the guy leaned over. "How?"
Suddenly the girl the guy had come in with stepped out wearing normal clothes. "Okay, I'm done. Let's go." He shrugged at Chuck, stood up and the two walked out of the fitting room.
"Hey, babe?" Sarah called.
She poked her head out and asked, "Can you help me tie this?" Chuck got out of his chair and went to help Sarah.
"Hi-yo!" Chuck squeaked once he got inside. "You know, Sarah, when you asked me to tie something for you, I was assuming you would be wearing something for me to tie."
"Mmm," Sarah hummed, stepping up and pressing herself against him. "I'm tricky like that."
Just then Carina's voice broke through the air. "Chuck?" Sarah had an impish smile on her face.
"Yeah, hi, I'm just helping out Sarah in here." He was surprised his voice only cracked twice during that sentence.
"Not yet," Sarah complained in a whisper, undoing to top button on his shirt.
Carina called back, "Okay, I'll be out there paying for these." Chuck thought that he was successful in hiding the situation going on at the moment until Carina sang, "Have fun…" as she made her exit.
Chuck didn't respond for it was at that moment that Sarah lips latched onto his neck and his shirt became expendable. She wasn't kidding about buying him a new one.
Minutes later, with his jeans down by his ankles, he didn't feel the cellphone in his pocket vibrate with a text from Morgan.
"Get back to Buy More ASAP."
A/N Despite the fact that I received them about a year ago, I haven't forgotten your reviews. I've already written an Ellie/Devon scene to get them involved in the story for the future. I couldn't resist adding Carina since she's my favorite character to write. I might try writing for Zondra, too, motivated by my love for Mercedes Masohn. If you don't follow her on Twitter, you are seriously missing out. Hope you enjoyed the latest chapter. Drop me a review letting me know what you thought and vent out all your anger after the prolonged wait. It'll be therapeutic for you and motivational for me. And before I forget, thank you to everyone who said you liked Mrs. Finkelstein. She's the first time I've ever dabbled into OCs, and I wouldn't be surprised if she ended up making a return. And the "Duel" scene is a reference to The Office when Dwight and Andy fight over Angela. The episode is named "The Duel." I don't know why.
Review! I may just update again before the world ends.