Chapter 34 – The Best Mission
The mission had been a success. Casey and Sarah went to Castle to return the equipment after sending Chuck home. The Intersect had earned its keep that day, for not even its host could believe the things he managed to do with it. The aftereffects, overall soreness and a massive headache were not at all pleasant, however. He wearily changed into a t-shirt and sweatpants, plopped down on the bed and picked up a comic book. Then he turned on the TV. A knock on the open Morgan door made him look up. His eyes almost bulged out of their sockets at the sight of his fiancée, still in her mission outfit, which consisted of a tight white open-necked shirt leaving her midriff bare and showing quite a bit of cleavage, a very, very short black skirt, a silver gray tie and a Nerd Herd nametag hanging from her neck, and high-heel ankle-strap sandals.
"Hi, I hear you are having a computer problem," Sarah said seductively.
"Uh, yeah," he stammered, still admiring her. Finally deciding that two could play the game, he said, "I do happen to have a serious computer problem. I hope you know how to fix an Intersect."
"For the Nerd Herd nothing is impossible, Mr. Bartowski," she said and entered the room stepping over the window sill. Suggestively swaying her hips she reached the foot of the bed and crawled on it towards him on all fours. Straddling his legs, she placed her hands on his shoulders and pushed him back onto the pillows before leaning in and passionately kissing him. He wrapped his arms around her slim waist and pulled her to him. They didn't break the kiss as they started rolling on the bed, at one point almost falling off. Rolling back to a safe spot they started shedding their clothes.
"I love you, Mr. Bartowski," she said in the morning when the alarm clock woke them up.
"I love you, future Mrs. Bartowski."
"We should set a date for the wedding. My Mom and Mary are beginning to pester me about it."
"Yeah, about that… tell you what, we'll tell them that we don't know when we'll be able to get married, but we know when we can't."
"I already told them," Sarah replied. Ellie had expressly forbidden them from getting married until after she'd given birth. Originally, they had attributed it to the pregnancy and its increased hormonal levels, but she was deadly serious, as it turned out, because she wanted to look her best at her little brother's wedding, which in turn meant that first baby Clara had to come out and then she would have to lose some of the baby fat. Of course, the prohibition didn't extend to the engagement party. Ellie would just have to steer clear of the booze.
"We still have the engagement party to appease our parents and have fun with our friends."
"Good idea, Chuck. Shower?"
"Sure." As it transpired, they had to wait in order to take a shower, as the bathroom was already occupied by Morgan and Alex. The two couples were spared an embarrassing situation because Chuck had had the forethought of making a sign for the bathroom door that anyone using it would put up. Sarah used the delay to prepare a light breakfast, which the two couples enjoyed after she and her fiancé had showered.
Team Chuck's string of successes remained unbroken when the Morocco mission was completed. An upside to it was that Chuck finally got to meet Roan Montgomery, whose tips he'd once used to try to romance Sarah – until the job messed up his plans. Even more amusing was seeing Beckman turn into a schoolgirl with a crush at the very mention of the veteran agent. The two had a long history of an on again-off again romance, as it turned out.
Immediately following their return, and after a sensuous private belly dance recital by Sarah, they briefly entertained the notion of eloping, but changed their minds, as they didn't want to face the combined wrath of their families. A downside was that the missions were taking up too much of their time, forcing them to keep postponing their engagement party. Fortunately, three days after their return from Morocco, Graham informed them that Beckman had taken a few days off and there was little likelihood of missions. If anything came up, he would contact them. It was the perfect opportunity to finally have the party.
"I don't understand your problem, Chucky," Carina said.
"You are Sarah's sister and you know her better than anyone. And it's a simple enough question."
"It is, but you still haven't told me the reason for asking it."
"Well, it's about our engagement party."
"Good luck with that. It's turning into an obsession for Ellie."
"True, but I'm more concerned about the guest list. All our friends will be there, but I don't know any of Sarah's friends, let alone how to invite them. I thought it might be a good idea to…"
"OK, I get it. Come to think of it, there is always the CAT Squad."
"You were both in this CAT Squad?" Chuck asked after flashing on the now disbanded spy team.
"Yes, we were. Sarah was made a member just after graduating from Harvard."
"Can you please call the other girls…?"
"I'll take care of it. Don't worry, Chuckles. After all, it's my baby sister we are talking about here."
"Thanks Carina. I'll owe you one."
"You're lucky that your fiancée is Sarah, otherwise I'd be collecting on the debt big time," Carina said sexily. The Walker girls are going to be the death of me, Chuck thought. He still gave his future sister in law a hug before leaving to go back to work. Carina sighed and sat down by the window. Pulling her phone from a pocket, she dialed a number she had not called in ages.
"Zondra? Hi, it's Carina."
"Hey Carina, long time no see. How are you doing?"
"I'm doing great, actually, what about you?"
"The same," Zondra shrugged.
"Listen, I have news."
"Good news or bad news?"
"Take it as you like. Basically, Walker has gotten engaged recently and her fiancé asked me to invite some of her friends to the engagement party. Yours was the first name on my list."
"I thought I'd never live to see the day Walker would settle down…"
"Yeah, me neither."
"Still, as you may recall, the relationship between her and me is not exactly friendly anymore."
"Damn it, Zondra, I thought you two would have buried the hatchet by now."
"Forgive me if I'm making a big deal out of your best friend considering me a traitor."
"What? You mean you never got the news?"
"News, what news?"
"Amy was the traitor. She was made some time after the CAT Squad was disbanded."
"Shit… Does Walker know?"
"I'm not sure… No, I don't think she does."
"OK, she was wrong about me and I was wrong about her. Where does that leave us?"
"Come to her engagement party. I'll tell her about Amy."
"Maybe I will."
"Great! I'll have to get back to you with the time and place. Chuck forgot to tell me."
"Is this Chuck Sarah's fiancé?"
"He's a great guy, Zondra."
"Has to be, if he's managed to tame Sarah. By the way, what happened to Amy?"
"From what I heard, she cut a plea and turned State evidence to avoid going to jail. She's no longer in the game, though."
"Not quite the fate I expected, but it'll have to do, I suppose. Carina, please tell Sarah about her. We were friends and I was hurt when the whole mistrust business happened."
"Don't worry. I'll tell her everything. I bet she'll be thrilled."
"Just give me a call."
"You just be ready for some wild partying, like the good old days. See you!" Carina hung up and meowed in satisfaction.
The Buy More was busy, but still Skip devoted his time to helping his former supervisor and his fiancée as they stocked up on office supplies. Sarah had just picked up a large pack of blank DVDs when she saw a familiar face among the rush of shoppers. The other woman saw her too and her eyes widened in recognition. Sarah surreptitiously gestured a question to her and she replied in the same way, then asking the same question. Sarah's answer caused a wide smile to appear on her face.
"Come with me, Chuck," Sarah said.
"OK, what is the matter…?" He saw the other blonde and flashed.
"Hi Sarah," she said brightly.
"Hi Alex," Sarah replied. "I'd like you to meet my fiancé, Chuck Bartowski. Chuck, this is my friend and roommate at the Farm, Alex Forrest."
"Pleased to meet you, Ms. Forrest."
"Likewise, Mr. Bartowski. So, you got engaged, Walker? You've come a long way from the snot-nosed college freshman I met at the Farm."
"So says the constipated, by-the-book Second Lieutenant who had just been recruited into the CIA."
"It's Captain now, thank you very much." Alex and Sarah hugged.
"Well, Captain Forrest, first of all you can call me Chuck. Second, are you ladies in the mood for some fro-yo? I'm buying."
"That's the best offer I've had all day. And, Chuck, just call me Alex." The three paid for their purchases in the Buy More and headed out together towards the Orange Orange, where they took a table in a quiet corner.
"Before you start revisiting the good old times, Sarah and I are having an engagement party in a couple of days. I think it would mean a lot to her if you were to come."
"I'd love to. Say, Sarah, since you already mentioned the Farm in front of Chuck, I suppose he's one of us, right?"
"He's one of my partners, yes."
"Frankly, I've never heard of him, no offence."
"None taken," Chuck said. "Maybe you've heard of my cover name, Charles Carmichael."
"You are Carmichael?"
"In the flesh."
"It's really an honor to meet you."
They spent some more time talking and then it was time to go back to the office. Alex was on vacation, as she told them, so she would definitely make it to the party. Sarah was really happy to reconnect with an old friend of hers. Chuck considered telling her about the invitations he'd sent to the CAT Squad via Carina, but decided to surprise her.
Sarah was checking and rechecking everything. The first guests would be arriving soon and she wanted everything to be just perfect. There was a knock on the door and Sarah frowned. It was a bit early for anyone to be coming for the party.
"Sis, Chuckles, open up," Carina yelled.
"I'll get it," Sarah said. She threw the door open and swept her sister into a hug.
"Take it easy, kid. I've got a surprise for you."
"Surprise, what surprise?"
"Hello Sarah," Zondra said.
"Sarah, there is something I neglected to tell you. Zondra knows because I told her, and it's time you learn it, too. Amy was the mole."
"What? So, Zondra and I were blaming each other for nothing?"
"I'm sorry," Sarah and Zondra told each other in unison.
"Good, now you two can be friends again."
"Thank you Carina," Sarah said, hugging both her sister and her old friend.
"Where's the lucky guy hiding, Sarah?" Zondra asked.
"I'm not hiding!" Chuck called.
"He's in the kitchen," Sarah laughed. "Don't just stand there, come on in."
The engagement party was a huge success. In one fell swoop, Sarah also found a maid of honor (Ellie), plus bridesmaids (Carina, Zondra and Alex McHugh). At one point, Carina pulled some of the other girls aside and, casting furtive glances in her little sister's direction, briefed them on a plan of hers, to which they agreed enthusiastically.
A few months later, finally Ellie gave birth to her baby girl. In turn, this meant that Chuck and Sarah now had the all clear to proceed with their own wedding. Chuck took it upon himself to plan it to the last detail. Sarah didn't even know where it would take place. The only tasks she was given was to see to the wedding dress, the bridesmaids' dresses and take care of the catering for the reception. All the while, Chuck would do anything to make sure he had time for his new niece. Everyone, even Casey, adored Clara. Sarah, who often had to baby-sit her between missions and work at Orion Computers and Software, found to her surprise that she was a natural with children. Mary and Stephen of course, were ecstatic to be grandparents and were spoiling the little girl rotten, aided and abetted by Woody and Honey Woodcomb every time they happened to drop by.
Before the wedding, there was just the little matter of the traditional parties for both the bride and the groom. Yet again, the men had to endure lectures from their better halves to behave, or else. They had already gone to a club Awesome had picked, when Carina and Zondra arrived together with Alex Forrest. Ellie was privy to the plan, as were Alex and Jill. They dragged Sarah out of the apartment and took her to a minibus parked nearby. Eve Nichols was waiting, leaning on the hood, and greeted Sarah warmly. Completing the bachelorette party team were Ilsa Trinchina and Sydney Prince.
In the morning, Chuck woke up feeling pressure on both sides. To his right, Sarah was sleeping still in her green dress and jewelry; to his left, he saw another blonde, who had her back to him.
"Sarah?" He shook his fiancée lightly.
"Head… hurts," she complained. "Please stop shouting."
"Ow… Um, we partied."
"We went to a new nightclub, then checked out Vegas and finally ended up in an after hours joint in Miami. Ugh, I'm never drinking again."
"Who's sleeping in our bed with us?"
Sarah sat up and glanced at the other side of the bed. "That's Alex. The girls were too tired to go to a hotel, so they crashed here."
"All of them?"
"Uh-huh. Although, I think Devon collected Ellie when we arrived."
"Let's take stock of the situation." He got up and went to the living room, where he did a head count. Jill had claimed the recliner. Ilsa and Sydney were sharing the couch, while Zondra was comfortable on an air mattress and Eve had made a similar choice. There was no sign of Alex and Carina.
"They must be in Morgan's room," Sarah shrugged. And indeed they were. Morgan's reaction to waking up between two women, one of whom (Carina) had slept in the buff after getting her dress wet while trying to have a drink of water when they had all gotten back to Echo Park, was priceless. The little accident was proof of how drunk the girls had gotten, so Alex didn't mind that she and her boyfriend were sharing a bed with a sheet- clad Carina. She was too drunk to care, anyway. Chuck and Morgan called Bryce and together started trying to sort out the mess, first making huge quantities of coffee, while Devon brought over a few bottles of aspirin.
When their big day arrived, Sarah was in her apartment, getting ready together with the other girls. Casey had dismissed Chuck's idea about renting a limo to take the bride to the still secret wedding site, claiming this privilege for himself and his Crown Victoria. It was a gesture to show how much he appreciated his partners. His wife – he and Kathleen had gotten married a couple of months earlier, as Ellie's wedding prohibition decree did not extend to them – wholeheartedly supported the idea.
"Casey, where are we going?" Sarah asked impatiently. She noticed that her partner was taking a roundabout route.
"You'll see, Walker, soon to be Mrs. Moron."
"Just kidding, Sarah."
"Cut each other some slack, will you?" Alex said. She and Ellie were flanking Sarah in the back seat. Kathleen, riding shotgun, was trying to stop laughing. Behind them, Devon was following in his own car, with Zondra and Carina.
"Casey, this is…"
"Bartowski told me to bring you here." He opened the door for her and she stepped out to find her parents waiting. Beyond the parking area was Chuck's favorite spot on the beach, a red carpet over the sand leading to where he was standing with Morgan and Bryce, waiting for Devon to join them.
"Dearly beloved, we gathered here today to join Charles Irving Bartowski and Sarah-Samantha Lisa Walker in matrimony," the Justice of the Peace began the ceremony. Sarah had done everything necessary to legally have both names her mother had given her on the day she was born. "Who gives this woman away to this man?"
"We do," Jack, Katie and Carina replied. Sarah was beaming as she walked towards Chuck.
"Marriage is a partnership and as such it should not be entered into lightly, but with much consideration. If anyone can show just cause why they should not be joined, let them speak now, or forever hold their peace." As expected, no one spoke up. "Do you have the rings?" Morgan smiled and took them out of his pocket.
"Sarah… Sam… we are ready for this. We have proven that we are made for each other and will keep proving it, to ourselves and to the people we love, every day. Accept this ring as yet another token of my unending love for you." With that, Chuck slipped the wedding band on Sarah's finger.
"Chuck, there is not much I can add, in fact I feel that whatever I say now will be too little compared to what you said. But you've been helping me be a better person every day since we met, and I only hope I am a positive influence to you as well. Together we are one, in every way. We have been through a lot, good things and bad, yet we faced them together and this is the way I want us to go on. I love you, forever and ever," Sarah said and placed the second ring on Chuck's finger.
"By the authority vested in me by the State of California, I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride," the Justice of the Peace said. The newly wedded couple's lips met in a slow, passionate kiss. When they ended it, they just rested their foreheads together for a few seconds.
"I love you, Mrs. Bartowski."
"I love you, Mr. Bartowski."
All the assembled guests applauded. Ellie, Carina, Mary and Katie could barely hold their tears of joy. The men were smiling widely. With everything wrapped up on the beach, it was time for the reception. Once again it was held in the courtyard of the apartment complex. Ellie and Alex had even decorated the fountain. Chuck took a look around, obviously satisfied. He spotted his father talking to General Beckman, who'd come accompanied by Roan Montgomery. Sarah's parents were having a little chat with Langston Graham. The two directors had flown to LA, not wanting to miss the wedding of two of their best agents. The bouquet and garter throwing rituals were interesting, to say the least. Carina had disappeared, lest Sarah get back to her for Ellie's bouquet conspiracy, so Sarah threw it without aiming. It was Alex McHugh who outfoxed the other ladies and walked away with the prize. Similarly, Morgan out-weaseled the eligible bachelors to claim Sarah's garter.
As for the honeymoon, Chuck and Sarah did not tell anyone where they were going. It was part of a game they wanted to play with their families and friends. They would simply email them pictures, and the others would have to guess where said pictures were taken. In due course it was proven that Tigress mode applied to wife Sarah as well. Casey was the one to answer correctly, only because he recognized a geological feature, having himself been to the same place once.
Following their return to Burbank, Chuck and Sarah settled down into the routine of a married couple. Not that it differed from what they were already used to. The company was doing great (Chuck's flight simulator game had won the games critics award at the E3), plus it was branching out into hardware. As far as their secret lives were concerned, after Volkoff there was just no villain worthy of a long concerted effort by the team, so missions tended to be short and sweet.
Not long ago, Graham and Beckman had contacted them and informed them of their decision to expand the team by adding Bryce and Jill to it. The former would be operating out of the local CIA office, acting as a liaison and taking part in missions when required, while the latter would continue her Intersect related research with Ellie and Stephen.
The family dinner in the courtyard was in full swing. Sarah went to the cooler to get another soda and started making her way back to Chuck, when she suddenly felt dizzy. She wobbled on her feet, stumbled and fell on the ground as her world went black.
"Sarah!" Chuck was by her side in an instant and everyone gathered in a concerned circle around them. Ellie and Devon immediately took over. Mary was holding Katie back.
"Let Ellie and Devon take a look at Sarah," she said. Katie said nothing and just squeezed Mary's hand.
"Ellie, say something! Is she going to be okay?" Chuck anxiously asked his sister.
"There seems to be nothing wrong with her. I'll need her medical history to confirm, but at first glance she looks okay."
"She might have just been tired, Chuckster," Devon said. "I know how hard you guys have been working lately."
"We need to take her to the hospital, just to be on the safe side," Stephen said calmly.
"I'll go warm up the Vic," Casey added and left.
"Chuck, you, Awesome and Ellie take Sarah to the hospital with Casey. Stephen, take Carina, Alex and Kathleen in your jeep. Mary, take Katie and Clara in Devon's car. I'll take Jack in the DeMorgan. I'm sure it's not serious and Sarah will be just fine," Morgan said. Chuck picked Sarah up in his arms and followed Devon and Ellie. He, Mary and Alex had the presence of mind to lock up the three apartments and filed out to the parking lot. The Vic was already gone, so the remaining people there piled in Morgan's DeLorean, Devon's Toyota and Stephen's jeep. Throughout the drive to the hospital, Mary was trying to comfort Katie, who was understandably worried about her baby daughter.
"We're late," Jill grumbled.
"It's not my fault we had a flat tire," Bryce said defensively as he parked the car. Then his agent senses sounded the alarm. "Something's wrong."
"What do you mean?"
"Sarah's Porsche is here, but I don't see the others' cars."
"You are right. Come on, let's see what's going on." Out of habit, they checked their guns first.
They entered the courtyard and found a middle aged couple talking by the fountain. There was still evidence that a dinner party had been taking place not a long time ago.
"Excuse me," Bryce said, addressing the man, "but what happened here? Chuck invited us tonight and there's nobody home."
"They have all gone over to Westside Medical. Sarah, Chuck's wife, just fainted all of a sudden and they took her there for tests and observation."
"Is she OK?" Jill asked, worried. She and Sarah cared about each other like the good friends they were.
"We don't know," the woman said. "Ellie said that everything seemed okay at first glance."
"Thank you. We need to go to the hospital, now."
"Let's go. Ma'am, sir, thank you," Bryce said.
"What's taking them so long?" Chuck was nervously pacing the waiting room.
"Sit down, Moron," Casey grumbled. "Walker's in good hands." Chuck just went to a corner and stood, anxiously tapping a Converse clad foot. When Ellie came out, she went straight to him and hugged him. There was no mistaking the smile that threatened to split her face in two.
"Congratulations, little brother," she said.
"Dude," Morgan said, "unless I got it all wrong, you are going to be a daddy!"
"Who, me?" Chuck still couldn't believe it. Mary and Katie did and were holding each other, little Awesomette next to them, laughing and crying at the same time. Jack simply walked over to Stephen and pumped his hand.
"She wants to see you, Chuck," Ellie said. He followed her inside the examination room, where Awesome was wrapping it up together with the gynecologist. Sarah looked excited, scared and happy.
"I'm here baby. I love you so much." He sat next to her and gently took her in his embrace. "We are going to be parents, it's so awesome…" She just latched on to her husband and cried.
"Bro, it gets better," Devon said jovially.
"What can be better than learning that we are going to have a baby?"
"Learning that you are going to have two babies," Awesome deadpanned. They just gaped at him, while Ellie let out an excited squeal/scream that had the others rushing inside to see what was wrong.
"Twins?" Chuck asked, his voice breaking with emotion.
"Two little Chucks," Sarah said, looking into his eyes.
"Or two little Sarahs," he countered.
"Or one of each," Morgan added.
"I'd like that," replied Sarah. They kissed to a round of thunderous applause by their relatives and friends.
"Hey guys, what did we miss? Sarah, are you OK?" Bryce said, entering the room with Jill hot on his heels.
"Bryce? Jill? What are you doing here?"
"You invited us to dinner, remember? We had a flat tire on the way and arrived at your place late. The neighbors told us where we could find you."
"Well, there is nothing to worry about," Sarah said.
"Are you sure? You are white as a sheet."
"Jill, I'm fine. I'm just pregnant."
"This is amazing! Congratulations!" Jill hugged Sarah. Bryce pumped Chuck's hand.
"It gets better," Chuck said. "We are having twins."
"That's… awesome. Chuck, my man, congratulations again."
"Can we all just go home now and get back to having a good time?" Sarah asked. In the Vic, Chuck was riding shotgun, while in the back seat Mary and Katie were on Sarah's flanks, protectively quartering the younger woman.
"Thank you Chuck, this is useful information," Graham said. He had called for an unscheduled videoconference, as he had some intel he wanted Chuck to review, especially since the Intersect computer was down for its scheduled periodic maintenance.
"We'll let you know if we have anything for you," Beckman said.
"General, Director," Sarah interrupted before their superiors could sign off, "I have a request to make."
"What is it, Sarah?" Graham asked.
"Sir, as of today, I'd like to be taken off field operations."
"Congratulations to both of you," Graham said with a knowing smile. General Beckman, quite uncharacteristically, was also smiling. They both knew that there could only be one reason for Sarah Walker to make such a request.
"I suppose it's too early to ask if it's a boy or a girl," added the General.
"We are hoping for one of each, General," Chuck said. "Apparently we are going into parenthood big time."
"You are having twins?" Graham asked. "Well, congratulations again. The request is granted, of course. Have you thought about the future, Sarah?"
"Yes, I have, sir. I am not going to make the same mistake Chuck's mother did. But I'm not sure I want to leave the CIA entirely, so I was hoping for an administrative or analyst position."
"I see no problem with you handling the administrative and logistical requirements of your team."
"Thank you sir." She turned to her husband. "Chuck, what do you think?"
"I am a father first and foremost, now. I'll opt for an analyst position, too."
"So be it," Beckman said. "Maybe we can still use your talents in an additional capacity. You can be instructors as well, teaching new agents the tricks of the trade."
"We can do that," Sarah said.
"How did this happen?" Ellie asked. "I mean, it's great, but you two were always fanatical about using protection."
"It's Morgan's fault," Chuck said. He was, or at least looked, totally serious.
"It's MY fault? Can you please clarify, buddy?" Morgan asked.
"You spiked the punch at my birthday party. We got drunk and forgot all about the protection," Sarah explained, while playing with Ellie's daughter.
"That's awesome, guys. We'll help in any way we can," Devon said, smiling widely.
Sarah's approach to her pregnancy was concise and methodical. She would deal with it the way she knew best. First of all, she decided to go over everything she had learned by observing Ellie when she was pregnant on Clara, talk to her and borrow all her pregnancy books. Accumulating knowledge on the subject would help keep her from freaking out completely. And having Chuck's support from start to finish was another plus. Katie and Mary were there for her every day, helping every way they could. They knew that eventually they would have to temporarily take over all household chores from Sarah, and they did. Morgan and Alex had moved out to give the Bartowski family more space and had moved to Kathleen's house. The tenant had fortunately left after getting a transfer at work, so it was free for the couple.
A few months into the pregnancy…
"Oversized balloon or Goodyear blimp my ass," Sarah grumbled, looking at her bloated figure in the mirror. "I've become a fucking lead Zeppelin and it's entirely your fault." She had conveniently forgotten that just five minutes ago she had wolfed down a not-so-veggie pizza (heavy on the olives and with country sausage and bacon in it) and a bag of cheese puffs. The kids had a tremendous appetite, or so she claimed.
"Honey, watch your language. Do you really want the kids to hear you talk like that?"
"How long do you think it'll be before Casey teaches them to swear worse than that?" Sarah retorted.
"Come here." He sat her on his lap. "It's only natural for you to have, um, expanded like this. Just keep this in mind: You have our kids in there." He gently ran a hand over her bulging belly.
"I know. But I do miss my old figure. Don't you?"
"You'll be back to normal in no time once those two are out of the oven."
"They better hurry. They are growing fast and with the gymnastics they are performing in my gut…"
"Do you feel them move?"
"Move? They are breakdancing in there!" As if on cue, the twins moved and Chuck felt it. His reaction was to kiss his lovely wife tenderly.
Another issue they dealt with was the kids' names. They settled on a name for the girl quickly enough, but hit a stalemate on the boy's name issue for a while. Sarah wanted to name her son after her husband, but he nixed the idea, claiming that he didn't want his little boy to eventually adopt a name like 'Indiana Bartowski' or 'Mutt Bartowski' to distinguish himself from his father and avoid being called 'Charles Irving Bartowski Jr.', or just plain 'Junior'. So they compromised and decided on another name.
"Chuck?" Sarah shook him awake.
"What is it, baby?" Chuck asked sleepily.
"My water just broke."
"Chuck! Don't freak out on me, OK? Go tell Ellie. I'll take a quick shower and we'll be on our way."
"OK." He turned and consulted the chart Devon had made for him. The car had a tank full of gas, his keys, stopwatch and push mix were all there, and he had committed all details of the Awesome Route to Westside Medical to memory. At this hour there was not much traffic, anyway.
While the nurses were wheeling Sarah towards the delivery room, she grabbed a handful of her husband's shirt and savagely yanked him close to her.
"Charles Irving Bartowski, you're cut off indefinitely, if I don't kill you first for what you did to me," she screamed into his face.
"Just breathe, honey," he said soothingly, ignoring the assault on his eardrums. For her sake, he was trying to appear calm, despite the fact that he was freaking out monumentally, but it only infuriated Sarah even more.
"I'm going to filet you with my knives and feed you to the dog, you bastard!"
"Sarah, we don't have a dog."
"I'll get the biggest, meanest, most vicious son of a bitch I can find!" She then pulled him even closer and kissed him so hard that his lip bled.
Chuck continued holding her hand, which she relentlessly squeezed with every contraction, until he lost almost all feeling in it.
"Come on, Sarah, push," said the doctor. "Come on, we're so close." Sarah gritted her teeth, groaned and followed the doctor's instructions. Less than a minute later, a baby's cry filled the room. Jack Stephen Bartowski had finally been born. Sarah then threw herself into the effort to bring her second child to the world with renewed vigor and Samantha Eleanor Bartowski appeared a few minutes after her brother.
"You did it, honey," Chuck said enthusiastically and hugged his wife.
"We did it together," she replied smiling, looking at her children as the nurses were taking care of them. Her husband leaned closer and kissed her. She returned the kiss and when he pulled back she went limp in his arms.
"Sarah?" There was no reply. Her breathing was still rapid, but was slowly returning to normal.
"Let her rest," the doctor told him. "She just gave birth to two good sized babies. I can only imagine the pain she was in and I am a mother myself," she added. He just smiled and brushed a few strands of matted hair off Sarah's sweat covered forehead.
"Well?" Casey asked when a very happy Chuck went over to where the others were gathered.
"Who came out first?" Morgan added.
"Jack, but Sam was a close second," Chuck replied.
"Hah! Those who bet on Sam being the firstborn, pay up!"
"Casey, you guys were betting on which one of my kids would be born first?"
"We had to do something while we were waiting." He then turned to Bryce. "Show me the money, Larkin."
"How's Sarah doing?" Jill asked, while Bryce paid one hundred dollars to Casey.
"She's out cold, but otherwise fine. The doctor said that it was only to be expected and that she'll soon regain consciousness."
"OK, I'll go keep her company." Ellie then disappeared in the direction of the room Sarah was being taken to after everything was wrapped up in the delivery room, followed by Carina, Jill and Alex.
Chuck, along with his parents and the in-laws, was at the nursery window, looking at his children. Morgan had been right that day when they'd learned that Sarah was pregnant: they did have one of each. Little Jack looked just like his father, while Sam was the spitting image of her mother, as Katie confirmed.
A couple of days after the kids were born, Sarah's hospital room was full of people. Alex Forrest gently cradled little Jack in her arms, while Eve looked on. Suddenly he started pawing at Forrest's boobs.
"Look at that," she exclaimed.
"You little stud you," Eve laughed and tickled Jack. She laughed harder when the baby pinched her nose.
"This one is going to be killing it with the ladies," Bryce remarked. Meanwhile, Sydney Prince was playing with little Sam, who was in her mother's arms. Sarah's fellow CAT Zondra was looking on, amused.
"This one is a lady," she declared when Sam reached out and took her pendant in her tiny fingers, attracted by the shiny object. They were all having lots of fun, the babies first and foremost. They were really enjoying being the center of attention. Of course, it couldn't last, as the head nurse declared that visiting hours were over a little while later.
"Home, at last," Sarah said, entering the courtyard.
"Do you think the kids will like their room?" Chuck asked for the hundredth time.
"Sure they will," she replied, a little exasperated.
"Let's do this."
"I can think of no better mission than raising them, Chuck."
"Me neither," he admitted.
"But we'll have to keep our parents in check, lest they spoil Jack and Sam even more rotten than Clara."
"Good luck with that," he muttered.
Having two kids forced Chuck and Sarah to develop new routines. There was no lack of willing babysitters, but they couldn't keep themselves away from the babies for long. Plus, Sarah was a firm believer in the value of breastfeeding, so this was another reason why she started taking them to work. She had returned to the office even before her maternity leave was technically over, forcing her husband to turn the lounge where they usually spent their breaks into a nursery of sorts. Once, Sarah managed to secure a contract by excusing herself to a client, who was a woman, in order to tend to her children and favorably impressing her with her dedication to both work and family.
"Hey, Walker," Casey said, entering the Orion offices.
"It's Bartowski now, Casey."
"OK, Mrs. Moron, how are the Evil Twins?"
"They are thirsting for your blood," she replied. Every time her partner threw a barb, she had an appropriate answer. Of course, he didn't really mean 'Bartowski Spawn', 'Walker Litter' and 'Evil Twins' as insults to little Jack and Sam, but rather as teases to their parents. He had warmed to the babies as much as everybody else.
"Chuck in his office?"
"Graham called. He wants you two to give a lecture to some CIA rookies at the local training facility."
"We can handle it."
"I wish I'd be there to watch."
"Sarah, the first thing they teach over there is the Cardinal Rule. What will the students think when they start getting lectured by a married couple?"
"I'll tell them what I always say. Sometimes it helps to know you have something to lose."
"That it does, honey," Chuck said, entering his wife's office. "Hi Casey," he added acknowledging his friend's presence. "When's the lecture?"
"Next week. See you two around," Casey said and left.
"Good, because tonight the Bartowskis are going to be busy. Sarah, we have a lot to do and very little time to do it."
"What is it now?"
"Our anniversary," he replied. "You didn't think I'd forget about it, did you?"
"Chuck, I forgot all about it."
"Mom and Dad are coming to pick up the kids. We have the whole weekend to ourselves."
"Looks to me like you've been planning this."
"Anything for you, Sarah."
"You are the best husband, Chuck."
"I love you," they told each other in unison.
A/N: As with all things, this too, the longest story I have written so far, has to come to an end. It was fun writing it and it's good to see it was entertaining to you all.
I would really like to thank all of you for reading it, as well as your reviews and other forms of encouragement and support, such as adding it to your favorites and/or alerts. Special thanks go out to the community staffs who listed it in their archives.
Now, I'll take a short break from writing (not from reading – Balthazar, T-Rex, Chuckfan56, LittleCandyMan, to name but a few, I'm waiting for updates to your stories), but will soon be back with a story of war, greed, camaraderie and love.
Best regards to all of you out there.