Here's the conclusion of this story! Thank you for all the reviews! I hope you guys are having as much fun reading as I did writing this one :)
As the girls began trying different dresses, Zondra kept the champagne coming and stories of old missions began flowing out of the cats' mouths. Clara had fallen asleep, and Ellie listened to the stories with interest (and often shock) as she learned real details of the spy life for the first time. While they waited for Carina to put on a dress, the other three sat on comfy chairs in the corner of the room. Zondra and Sarah took turns telling Ellie about a particularly successful CAT Squad endeavor in which Sarah beat up three armed security guards on her own while Zondra chased down their main mark who had managed to slip away.
"The guy heard CAT Squad and took off running," Zondra said. "What a wimp…"
"Sounds like you guys had quite the well-deserved reputation," Ellie said.
"Some of us still do," Zondra said, looking at Sarah.
"What does that mean?" Sarah asked.
"I was in Thailand last week," Zondra said. "I got quite an earful about the giant blonde she-male who terrorized their village a couple months back."
"And what makes you think that's about me?" Sarah asked with a grin.
"You're the only giant blonde she-male I know," Zondra said. "But man, Walker, the way they talk about you…sounds like you really terrorized the entire village."
"I…kind of did," Sarah smiled with pride.
"Why would you terrorize a village?" Ellie asked.
"They took something very valuable to me, and I wanted it back," Sarah said firmly.
Little noises began coming from Clara's carrier, so Ellie made her way across the room to check on her. Zondra leaned in to Sarah.
"Details on Thailand later?" Zondra asked.
"Absolutely," Sarah grinned. She glanced down the hallway that held the dressing room and checked her watch. "Carina, come on!"
Carina opened the door and sauntered into the room wearing an extremely short, one-shouldered, metallic black dress. Her long, red hair fell in curls around her shoulders. She stopped at the edge of the hallway, grasped the wall on each side, and smiled.
"Now this one…I like," Carina said.
"No," Sarah said.
"Why not?" Carina pouted.
"Because it's a late-morning wedding, not a midnight rave," Sarah said. "That's not even the dress I sent you in there with!"
"And I'm pretty sure that slit under your boobs is from a knife, not part of the design," Zondra added, earning another startled look from Ellie.
"Whatever…" Carina sighed. "I'm keeping it."
When Carina emerged in her normal clothes, Sarah sent Ellie into the dressing room with a flirty, ruffled dress. Carina flopped onto Ellie's vacated chair with another glass of champagne.
"So I heard something about Walker beating the crap out of Thailand?" Carina asked.
Clara started crying just as Sarah opened her mouth to speak. All three spies glanced hesitantly towards the baby.
"Oh, shoot!" Ellie called from the dressing room. "I'm coming."
Sarah stood and headed for the baby. "I'll get her, Ellie!"
"Really?" Ellie asked, peeking her head out of the dressing room door.
"Yeah, if that's okay with you," Sarah said.
"Of course," Ellie said. "Aunt Sarah can take care of her while Mommy puts on a dress."
Sarah awkwardly lifted the crying baby out of her carrier before curling her arms around the little girl and holding her to her chest. Sarah began making gentle shushing noises to calm Clara. She looked up to see Carina and Zondra watching with fascination and began to feel rather stupid shushing the baby, so she gently bounced Clara up and down.
"Hey," Sarah whispered. "You're okay, Clara."
Sarah relaxed as soon as Clara did, a smile creeping across her face as the baby stopped crying. The sound of a cell phone camera caused Sarah to snap her head up. Ellie stood at the edge of the hallway, iPhone in hand.
"Sorry," Ellie said, a guilty expression on her face. "You guys just looked so cute."
"She stopped crying, but I don't know why," Sarah said. "I didn't do anything."
Ellie wandered over and ruffled Clara's hair. "Maybe she just wanted to be held."
Sarah reached up to wipe some tears from Clara's cheeks, and Clara grabbed her finger.
"Oh," Sarah whispered as Ellie smiled and Carina and Zondra shared another look.
"Okay, I have to ask," Ellie said. "Babies? Have you and Chuck talked about that?"
Sarah laughed nervously. "Once…briefly."
"And?" Ellie asked. "Any interest there?"
"Well, I'm still trying to wrap my head around getting married, so it's a long way off, but…yes," Sarah said. "Someday…yes, I think so."
At that, Carina and Zondra started laughing. They looked at each other and spoke through their giggles.
"Sarah…with a kid…can you imagine that?" Zondra asked.
"It's about as ridiculous as Walker in a white dress," Carina agreed. "But I guess that's happening."
"Why is the thought of Chuck and Sarah having a baby so funny?" Ellie asked.
"Yeah," Sarah agreed, slightly insulted. "Chuck would be a great father!"
"You'd be a great mom," Ellie said.
"Oh, I don't know about that…" Sarah said.
"No, you would," Zondra said. "It…it's not that."
"It's just hard to imagine someone with so many notches on her gun cabinet and so much blood on her hands being so…maternal," Carina finished.
"Yes," Zondra agreed. "But if you want to trade your guns for a baby, I think that's great."
Sarah placed the now happy Clara back into her carrier and said, "Well who says I can't have both?"
Ellie smiled nervously as Carina and Zondra shared a different sort of smile.
"That's the Sarah we know," Carina smiled.
"So I take it neither of you has kids?" Ellie asked. They both said no. Ellie went on to ask if either of them were married.
"No," Zondra laughed.
"Almost," Carina said. "Once, but it was just for a mission, so that probably doesn't count."
"You were…you were going to marry someone just for a mission?" Ellie asked.
"Yeah, your brother went to my fake engagement party," Carina said.
"Did the guy know it was fake?" Ellie asked.
"Well, no. He was the mark. He thought it was real," Carina said. "Don't get me wrong. I'm glad I didn't have to marry him, but…seduction's part of the job, you know?"
"Seduction?" Ellie asked.
"Oh yeah, people will tell you anything once you throw sex into the mix," Carina boasted. "Hey, Sarah, how are you going to seduce people after you're married? Something tells me Chucky wouldn't like that."
Sarah glanced between Ellie and Carina, knowing this was heading into dangerous territory. Luckily, Ellie interrupted before Sarah had to attempt to answer.
"So…wait…you guys have sex for missions?" Ellie asked. "Like…actual sex with terrorists and other bad guys?"
"Yeah," Carina shrugged.
"Only if I have to…" Zondra said.
"I haven't," Sarah said.
Ellie was about to look relieved when Carina called out, "Ha!"
"What?" Sarah asked. "I haven't."
"Seduction's never really been her style," Zondra reminded Carina. "And even when she had to do it, she always did manage to get what she needed before going all the way."
"That may be true, but no sex at all?" Carina asked. "The girl who had to listen to Sarah and Edward Isaacs go down on each other before she pulled a gun on him would beg to differ!"
Sarah lightly sucked in a breath and avoided eye contact with a speechless Ellie as Zondra sat up in her seat with interest.
"The British diplomat we suspected of selling secrets to that Russian terrorist ring?" Zondra asked. "Is that why you created the rule about ear pieces coming off with the panties?"
"Yes and yes," Carina said.
Zondra turned to Sarah and exclaimed, "You're the one who caused that?" She turned back to Carina and said, "I just assumed it was Amy."
"Nope," Carina laughed, cheerily pointing at a blushing Sarah. "So maybe it wasn't actual intercourse, but it definitely counts."
"Sarah!" Ellie exclaimed.
"In my defense," Sarah said. "My motives for that were not…purely professional."
Carina shot her a knowing look, Zondra let out a catcall, Sarah deviously grinned at the memory, and Ellie looked even more appalled.
Upon noticing Ellie's discomfort, Carina said, "He was very gorgeous. Charming, too, and his accent…" She let out a little moan and continued, "Listening to him talk, you just knew he'd be good with his tongue. Sarah sure seemed to think so anyway."
"Carina…enough," Sarah said.
"What? I was jealous," Carina said.
Sarah's mouth dropped open. "You had sex with him the next day in a CIA holding cell ten minutes after we cleared his name!"
"What?" Zondra exclaimed, laughing.
"That's because I knew you wanted to," Carina grinned. Sarah glared at her, and Carina blew her a kiss in return.
Ellie, having finally heard just a little too much about life as a spy, grabbed her purse and quickly excused herself. She started dialing Chuck as soon as she was out of the other girls' sight. He picked up as she made it into the main room of Castle.
"Hey, how's it going?" Chuck asked with excitement as he wandered through the Buy More above them.
"How much do you really know about Sarah? Agent Sarah, I mean," Ellie rambled. "About the missions and what goes on during them and the things that she's done…"
"Ellie, calm down," Chuck said. "I'd say I'm pretty clued in to Sarah's missions."
"Really? Because I'm not sure that you have any idea what kind of lives these girls have," Ellie said. "I mean, I know you were a spy for a while, so you have a better idea than I did before today, but some of the things they're saying…"
Chuck took a seat behind the Nerd Herd desk and chuckled to himself. "The CATs getting to be a bit much for you, huh?"
"Chuck, they're in there talking about garters full of knives and notches on gun cabinets and terrorizing entire villages and…and…how Sarah once…serviced a suspected terrorist to get information from him!" Ellie said. "Did you know that she did that?"
Chuck pulled the phone away from his ear and rested his head on his hand for a moment before returning to the phone and saying, in a strangled tone, "If you had any idea how much willpower has gone into not asking that question for the last four years…"
"Doesn't that bother you?" Ellie asked.
"Well, yeah," Chuck said. "But you're not suggesting I call off the wedding, are you?"
"Well, no, of course not, but…" Ellie said.
"I know it's a lot, okay?" Chuck said. "It's a totally different world, and Carina and Zondra come on kind of strong, but they're Sarah's friends. They're kind of Sarah's only good friends, so just…don't freak out."
"Ellie?" Sarah called.
"I've got to go!" Ellie whispered, quickly hanging up and turning to face Sarah.
"It's okay," Sarah said, entering the room with Clara in her arms. "I know you called Chuck. That'll be a fun conversation for me later."
"Sorry," Ellie said. "Is Clara okay?"
"Oh yeah, she's great. I just didn't think it'd be the best idea to leave her with the girls," Sarah laughed, passing the baby to Ellie. "Can you sit down for a minute?"
They took a seat at Castle's center table. Sarah took a deep breath.
"I know you've heard a lot of stories today…" Sarah started.
"Sarah, you don't need to explain," Ellie said. "I know you're a spy and everyone in my family was a spy at one point or another, and I guess I just didn't really realize what that actually meant."
"I know it's overwhelming," Sarah said. "Especially since you've never really seen the side of me that Carina and Zondra know."
"It's a little hard to picture," Ellie laughed. "And the seduction stuff…that never even occurred to me."
"Well, every spy has their preferred method of getting the job done," Sarah said. "Carina likes sex."
"What do you like?" Ellie asked, knowing she might regret posing the question.
"Scare tactics," Sarah said. "Everyone talks eventually. I'd rather beat things out of people than seduce them. It gets the job done and relieves stress."
Ellie's eyes widened again. "I…feel like I don't know how to talk to you sometimes"
Sarah smiled. "That feeling's mutual," she said. "I was first approached by the CIA at seventeen, so…it's all I really know."
"Seventeen?" Ellie asked in surprise. "How did a seventeen-year-old girl get on the CIA's radar?"
"That's another story for another day," Sarah laughed. She grew serious again and said, "I know you're probably questioning a lot right now, so I just wanted you to know that Carina and Zondra knew who I was, but I've changed a lot since my CAT Squad days, both as a spy and a girl. Chuck's changed me, and this life with him is what I really want now, so they may know who I was, but you and Chuck…you know who I am. So…do you still want me to be your sister?"
"Yes," Ellie smiled. "Sarah, yes."
Sarah grinned. "Good. Are you ready to go back in there?"
"Almost," Ellie said. Sarah had started to stand up, but she froze in place at Ellie's word. "I do have one more question."
"Sure," Sarah said, sinking back into her chair.
"My wedding…the ruined, first one, I mean…that was a spy thing, right?" Ellie asked.
Sarah took a deep breath before answering, "Yes."
"Even the fireworks?" Ellie asked.
"Well, no, that was Jeff and Lester, but the reason Chuck asked for a diversion was spy-related," Sarah said. "I'm so sorry, Ellie. We never wanted you to find out."
"No, it's…it's okay," Ellie said. "It worked out. I'm just glad I finally know what happened. We can go back in there now."
They stood and started heading back for the wardrobe room. Sarah looked Ellie up and down as they walked.
"I really like that dress on you, by the way," Sarah said.
"Oh, thanks," Ellie said. "I like it, too, but do you think you could ever get Carina in something like this?"
Sarah laughed, "Probably not."
"Did she really sleep with Morgan?" Ellie asked with disgust.
Sarah laughed again, and the girls continued down the hall.
Thanks so much for reading! Please review and let me know what you thought!