A Common Spy Problem

A/N: It's 3:20 a.m. The only thing that still registers is that I don't own Chuck.

Chapter 1

Okay, so maybe it was a little mean on her part, but in all fairness, the mission called for her to dress like an escort. The fact that it coincided with the exact time she was supposed to formally meet Jill was pure coincidence. Mostly. Her only regret was the color. Chuck didn't like red. Or her in red. His comment from a few weeks ago was so unexpected, she still had trouble wrapping her mind around that one. It wasn't Chuck's color preferences that worried her though. There was another woman. Again. But it was different this time. It was Jill, the girl he yearned over for, what Sarah thought, five years. Now here they were, eighteen months later, and Chuck had jumped at the chance when Jill gave him the slightest opening. He didn't even bother to fake breakup with her, he simply told Jill the truth about their cover relationship. Maybe Chuck had learned something from the whole Lou-debacle.

Sarah wanted Chuck to be happy, but she couldn't shake the feeling that Jill might break his heart again. That was not going to happen. Not on her watch. It was her job to protect him. She wanted to protect him. From everything. Of course the irony wasn't lost on her that any heartache he'd experienced in the past year and a half was her doing. It would have laid more heavily on her conscience had it not been for the fact that their hearts were in sync. They broke in unison every time. Up to now, at least. Chuck had the love of his life back and a shot at having a normal relationship. That was all he ever wanted and it was the one thing she couldn't give him. He made that point very clear.

Sarah pushed her thoughts aside as she changed into her black mission gear. They didn't have much time and had all gotten dressed in the same room with their backs to each other. Chuck turned around just as she was pulling down her shirt and she didn't miss his eyes darting down to her bare midriff for half a second before he looked away guiltily.

Ten minutes later they were back in their rented hotel room trying to figure out how to open the box containing the list of Fulcrum agents. Sarah felt a surge of pride as she watched Chuck using his nerd skills to solve the complicated puzzle protecting Gee's secret. He was so much more than just the Intersect host and she hoped he realized that too. Chuck explained what he was doing, but she wasn't really paying attention. Neither did she when he opened the lid and they stared at the contents. She recognized the device too late. The gas escaped before she had time to get Chuck to safety. Thankfully Casey was standing close to the door and managed to get out to call a containment unit, but Sarah knew it would take them at least twenty minutes to show up.

Jumping into action, she ordered Chuck to get to the shower, urgently pulling his shirt over his head as they stumbled towards the bathroom. He was too panicked to do it himself. When she was out of her own, her hands went for his pants, which apparently jolted him out of freak-out-mode. He took over the task from her giving her time to shrug out of her own slacks. Sarah reached for the closest tap and shoved Chuck into the stall. She ignored his complaint that the water was cold, grabbed the soap and started to scrub him down. Some of the water ended up in her mouth, mixing with the powder they were exposed to. She was about to spit it out when she recognized the taste. Fruit punch.

Sarah opened her mouth to tell Chuck they were going to be okay, but somehow his face ended up very close to her chest. The words never made it past her lips when she felt his breath against her skin. The temperature seemed to have increased several degrees despite the cold water pouring down on them. It was only when Chuck took the soap out of her hand that she came out of her stupor. Instinctively she turned around, gathering her hair to allow him access to soap her back. Chuck still thought they were trying to rid themselves of a possible poison and she needed a little time to find her equilibrium. But then she felt his fingers trace a path along her bra strap and her last shred of self-control dissolved. His touch was incredibly light, causing her knees to grow weak. With a hand against the wall, Sarah tried to steady herself. In the process she pushed herself upright and her back collided with Chuck's chest.

That was all it took.

Chuck wrapped an arm around her waist, pulling her flush against him. Sarah inhaled sharply when she realized he was as affected by her proximity as she was by his. She tilted her head slightly and he didn't miss his cue. Marveling at what his lips were doing to her neck, she tangled her fingers in his wet curls. When he gave her a small reprieve, she turned her head and caught his gaze. After a beat his eyes dropped to her lips before meeting hers again. They reflected the same hunger she felt. She pulled his head down and closed her mouth over his. Chuck responded eagerly, his tongue meeting hers halfway. He managed to turn her around without breaking the kiss. They pulled apart reluctantly for some much needed air.

Sarah was the first to break the silence. "Casey's going to be back in fifteen minutes."

"Do you really think we're gonna make it past ten?" Chuck asked, still out of breath.

She shook her head. "Probably not." Sarah knew there were a hundred reasons why they shouldn't be doing this, but when his lips found hers again, she couldn't come up with any.

Chuck reached blindly behind her and found the tap, shutting the water off. He half-led, half-dragged her out of the bathroom, pulling her down on top of him when they finally reached the bed. Sarah pushed herself up on her arms before bringing her knees up on either side of Chuck's thighs. Straddling him she answered the unspoken question in his eyes by reaching back and unclasping her bra. She let it slide down her arms and discarded it somewhere behind her. Chuck's hands on her ribcage steadied her. His thumbs stroked the skin just below her breasts and he swallowed.

"I always knew you'd be perfect." It was the last coherent words spoken.

Chuck lay sideways across the bed, his head on Sarah's stomach. Her fingers were stroking through his hair, his brushing the back of her hand on his chest. They'd put on robes to ensure Casey didn't find them in a compromising position. Not any more compromised than they were at the moment anyway.

"A penny for your thoughts," Chuck spoke first. Sarah regarded him with a small smile, but didn't respond. He propped himself up on one elbow, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. "Hey, I know when something's bothering you. Tell me, Sarah."

Sarah sighed. She didn't want to voice her concern, but given their history, she could only imagine the conclusions Chuck would jump to. And he'd be dead wrong. So she took a deep breath. "You cheated on Jill."

She expected a flash of guilt to cross his face but it never came. Instead he just shook his head. "Jill and I…things haven't progressed that far. And if you want to get technical about it, I'm fake cheating on you with Jill and it's…"

"Complicated," she finished his sentence.

"It's easy to uncomplicate."

She wished it was that simple.

"So you didn't…" Sarah really didn't want to ask that question.

"Didn't what?" Chuck prompted when she didn't continue.

"This wasn't to get back at her for sleeping with Bryce, was it? Or to even the score with him in some way?" It wasn't that she didn't trust Chuck, as much as she was capable, but she overheard him in the courtyard trying to convince Jill that this relationship was just a cover. That was mere hours ago.

Chuck straightened, resting his elbows on his knees. He didn't look at her when he spoke. "I can see how you'd think that and the truth is there was a time I considered it. But that was a long time ago, Sarah." He turned to face her, his heart in his eyes. "The fact that you have ties to Bryce has nothing to do with why I fell…I care about you and I'll never use you. And if anything, trying to rekindle things with Jill has a lot more to do with me not being able to be with you than what happened at Stanford."

Sarah sat up and crossed her legs. "What are you saying, Chuck?"

"I don't want what just happened to be a one-time thing, Sarah."

"Me neither, but you said…"

"…that we don't have a future. I can explain that, but we don't have the time right now. Just know I didn't mean it. Look, if we have to wait a little while longer, then that's okay."

"What about Jill?"

"I'm not going to tell her what happened, that's between us. But I will make it clear to her that it would be a mistake to try again. Are you okay with that?"

"Yeah." Chuck smiled when Sarah leaned closer to give him a peck on the lips. When she pulled back, she rested her forehead against his. "I promise I won't keep you waiting too long."