Sarah Vs. The Strong Swimmer Chapter 31

It had been almost forty-eight hours since they'd returned from their honeymoon and Sarah couldn't believe how surprisingly quiet things had been around 'Casa Bartowski', almost too quiet she told herself and then immediately wanted to kick herself, sure that she'd somehow jinxed the calm. Looking up from the 'baby' book she'd been perusing for the last hour, she took a slow and careful visual inspection of everything in her field of view, taking a little longer to carefully scope out the part of the courtyard that was visible through the front window. Taking a relieved breath, she reached for the strawberry and tobacco smoothie that was sitting on the end table when a loud and panicked sounding banging announced someone's presence at the front door.

After marking her place in the book and putting it down beside her almost finished drink, she took three quick rocks before huffing her way to her feet. Before she could take the first step towards the now silent door, the twins decided to start up they MMA practice, kicking and throwing elbows in what she was sure was an attempt to force her womb into a submission hold. Placing a hand to her stomach while sending silent pleas for less rough-housing towards the twins, Sarah made her way towards the front door, wondering who could possibly be pounding on her door with such abandon. Putting together a quick mental list and adding appropriate punishment to each possible offender, she was about to grab the door know and through the door open when she remembered her training and paused with her hand halfway to the knob.

"God dammit" she muttered to herself and immediately regretted her choice of words when the twins resumed their rough housing. Although she would deny it to anyone who asked, she secretly believed that her unborn children had somehow understood their dad when he'd told them to 'kick mommy' whenever she swore. She'd giggled when chuck had issued his instructions one morning while singing to her stomach but ever since then, whenever she slipped up and swore, the twins seemed to pick that exact moment to spend extra energy trying to get her attention. Of course, thinking about her husband, and the thrill she got from being able to call him her husband, helped her send thoughts of love towards their unborn children while she gently rubbed her stomach.

By the time she'd keyed up the video monitor and gotten a good look at the person who continued to treat the front door like a bongo, the twins had calmed back down, apparently 'forgiving' her for her colorful language just moments before. Grabbing the door knob and giving it a violent twist, she yanked the door open and fixed her best 'secret agent/pregnant mom glare at the individual who'd made the mistake of interrupting her book/Tabasco strawberry smoothie time.

"What the he…ck do you want, Morgan?" she blurted out, catching herself just in time.

"So, the twins still following Chuck's 'no swearing' policy?" the short, bearded man asked while trying to appear nonchalant as he tried to slip around Sarah and into the apartment, his head in constant motion, turning back every couple of seconds to scan the courtyard.

"What. Do. You. Want. Morgan?" Sarah repeated, moving to be a more effective door block while staring down at her husband's self-proclaimed 'hetero-life mate' who was continuing to act weirder than normal, still casting fearful glances back over his shoulder as he nervously shifted from one foot to the other.

"Hey…what? Your children's favorite uncle can't just stop by to visit. You know, say hello, shoot the breeze…"

"Morgan! Guillermo! Grimes!" a vaguely familiar woman's voice yelled from outside the courtyard and right away, Sarah pretty sure she had solved part of the mystery of the little man's odd behavior. Now, it was time to find out the 'what' part of the equation.

"What did you do to Carina?" Sarah asked after closing her eyes long enough to take a deep, steadying breath. When she didn't find anyone standing in front of her, she spun around, surprised that Morgan had somehow slipped past her and was now standing in the kitchen, already dumping the remainder of her smoothie from the blender into one of the classic Burger king Star Wars glasses that he had given to them as part of his wedding gift.

"Wait, Morgan, don't…" Sarah managed to say before watching, dumbfounded, as her 'houseguest' swallowed the entire contents of the glass. Cringing a little as she waited for what she assumed would be an epic spit-take, she could only blink in disbelief when a smile appeared on the little man's face.

"Strawberry and tobacco, what a taste treat" He announced before looking past her and seeing something he didn't want to see. His eyes got huge, his jaw dropped and then he disappeared from view, obviously having ducked behind the small island that separated the kitchen from the dining room.

Sliding further down the slope of confusion, Sarah turned around to see Carina, her hand holding a bloody rag to her nose, stalking across the courtyard with a worried looking Chuck and Casey following behind her with looks of worry on their faces which explained the sizable gap between them and the obviously furious redhead.

"Please, don't let her hurt me. It wasn't my fault" Morgan's terrified whisper caused her to turn her attention back towards the kitchen where the sight of two very scared eyes and one sweaty forehead almost caused her to erupt in laughter. Before she could get a question out, all traces of Morgan vanished again and she felt the presence of someone behind her. Turning back around she was stunned to find a teary eyed Carina standing in the doorway while a quick glance showed that Chuck and Casey had taken up positions about ten feet behind her oldest friend, neither one of them looking like they had any clue how to handle whatever was about to happen.

Her husband offered a quick shrug and a small smile before she turned her attention back to the woman standing in front of her. Despite years of experience that involved some pretty outrageous assignments and situations, Sarah was at a complete loss about what to do next. Carina obviously had a broken nose but the look in her eyes seemed to speak more of a broken heart and, for perhaps the first time in her life, she didn't have a clue what to say.

"He's cheating on me" Carina blurted out.

"She hates Dance Dance Revolution" Morgan blurted out.

With both 'blurts' coming at the same time, Sarah found herself unable to pick which side of the accusations to focus on and simply stood stunned. Looking first to her friend who stood in the doorway with a bloody rag held to her nose and tears standing in her eyes and then slowly turning to find Morgan's now confused eyes staring back in her direction.

"What?" Morgan and Carina both managed to blurt out, both again at the same time.

"What the he...ck are you two talking about?" Sarah asked, shaking her head at the absurdity of the situation suggested by the dueling outbursts. Glancing over carina's shoulder she noticed that both Chuck and Casey had moved closer, both of them obviously wanting to know more about whatever was going on. From the look of their clothes, she was pretty sure that her husband and her partner had just returned from a large install that they'd been working on since mid-morning. Casey didn't normally help out but since it involved an eighty inch flat screen that the customer had purchased to replace his sixty-four inch flat screen and Chuck had offered the year old television in exchange for his help, Casey had become a 'helper' for the day and they had been returning home at the same time that the 'Morgan and Carina' show had arrived at Casa Bartowski.

Taking Carina's free hand, Sarah gently pulled her into the apartment while using her other hand to motion Chuck and Casey to join them inside. After guiding her towards the sofa, Sarah waited a moment and the slowly eased herself down, one hand on the arm of the sofa and the other on her belly.

"Jeez, Walker, you move like a…"

"You better think very carefully about what you're about to say" Sarah hissed while glaring at her friend, "or I'll make sure that nose is broken."

"…like a true friend who can't believe that my boyfriend is cheating on me" Carina finished, the rag held to her nose adding a nasal twang that almost had Sarah giggling.

"That was barely a save but I'll let it slide. Now, what is this about Morgan cheating on you" Sarah asked after finally settling into a comfortable position. Just as she thought about putting her feet up she felt her wonderful and, apparently, mind-reading husband, take her right foot and begin to slowly rub soothing circles into the sole. Before Carina could explain further, Morgan's voice called from the kitchen.

"Cheating on you? What are you talking about? I was at the pier, playing, and you snuck up on me and started yelling that you hated me playing Dance Dance Revolution and that you were going to kick my ass for dancing and then I took off…"

"What?" the red headed spy yelled back, clearly upset but, also, clearly confused.

"It's just a video game…" Morgan called from the kitchen.

"And what about that skank you were…" Carina yelled from the couch

"What skank?" both Sarah and Chuck blurted out.

"Would everybody shut the hell up" Casey demanded from his position near the front door and then moved quickly to the side, just barely avoiding the knife that was now imbedded in the door frame.

"Language, Casey! How many times do I have to tell you?" Sarah asked.

"Yeah, all right" the older agent grumbled. "What the he…ck is going on around here? You're cheating on Carina? How did you manage to slip this new one the stupid pills?" Casey growled around a smirk.

"Cheating? What? Why? Who?" Morgan asked, leaving the perceived safety of the kitchen to stand in front of his accuser. "And why do you hate Dance Dance Revolution?' he added.

"What are you talking about, Morgan?" Chuck asked, clearly completely lost but desperately wanting to figure something out.

"I was at the arcade with Juanita…"

"So now the skank has a name" Carina muttered.

",,and we had just made it to the dance off bonus round when Carina appears and starts yelling that she hates the game and then she just freezes up and it looks like she's ready to do some damage and I…"

"Let me guess" Chuck interrupts, "you flashed back to sixth grade and your flight or flight response kicked in…"

"Uh, don't you mean fight or flight response" Sarah interjected.

"Uh, Sarah, it's Morgan, It's flight or flight…trust me" Chuck replied which was seconded with a 'da…rn right' grunt from Casey who somehow managed to change mid grunt.

"What about that whor…ible skank you were dancing with?" Carina ground out, somehow salvaging the sentence when she noticed the mother-to-be glare being sent her way.

"Jaunita? That's Morgan's cousin." Sarah answered, remembering her own brief desire to inflict some damage on the gorgeous young woman before she learned of the family connection and other things.

"You weren't cheating?" Carina blurted, staring at her boyfriend.

You don't hate D D R?" Morgan blurted at the same time, returning the stare and failing to notice the third matching blurts of the day.

"Oh, just great. Let me guess" Casey said, tossing his hands into the air and then shoving them into his pants. "The couch wreckers aren't broken up so I'm going to have keep having my furniture scotch guarded the rest of the apartment disinfected weekly, Right? So how did the troll hag end up with a new broken nose…you know what? I don't care! I'm going home to watch my new TV." Casey growled to a stop, yanked open the door and stomped off, leaving the door standing wide open behind him.

"Well, I'm cooking" Morgan announced as if nothing had happened, turning and heading towards the kitchen.

"And Chuck is gonna take me to the insta-med down the street" Carina declared, getting to her feet. "Chop, chop, Chuckles. This nose isn't gonna set itself."

"And I'm going to get back to my book and my tobasco/strawberry smoothie" Sarah said to no one in particular, smiling when she realized just how much she loved her life, no matter how strange it sometimes got.