A/N: Personally, I understand the need for angst warnings (when it's over-the-top) and especially for character death warnings. However, I've never understood the need for fluff warnings, so I refuse to do that. Wait. Oops.

Published: 26 Mar 2011


Chapter 4

The Continuing Mission

The Woodcomb Apartment


About a week later, Chuck and Sarah finally completed their mission. Devon and Ellie got a romantic night out for dinner, while Chuck and Sarah got a night with Clara.

Uncle Chuck and Aunt Sarah got the full experience. Clara was awake the whole three hours. They even had to change her once. The experience was memorable for all involved. They were lucky Clara was a girl because otherwise the walls would have been wet. Sarah thought about calling in an NSA cleaner team, but they managed without one. Clara seemed just as traumatized by the experience as her babysitters, but Chuck finally concluded it had nothing to do with the changing and was really just an excuse to exercise her pipes. He joined in with a soft lullaby, which both quieted Clara and melted Sarah's heart.

The rest of the evening went without a hitch. Clara might have even fallen asleep if it weren't for the regular calls from Ellie. Ellie wasn't too bad. She only called four times: once arriving at the restaurant, once waiting for the appetizers, another time before dessert, and the final time to say they were on their way home.

Clara ate shortly before her parents left for dinner, but was getting fussy and hungry when they returned. Since Ellie had prepared a bottle 'just in case', they hung around to give Aunt Sarah the chance to feed her. That did it. When they returned home, Sarah told Chuck her decision. While she was not ready for a baby and being pregnant was not compatible with life as a spy, she was completely into the idea of being the Aunt and Uncle that vicariously lived through their relatives' kids. Chuck whole-heartedly agreed.

Chuck and Sarah sat for their niece (Sarah enjoying calling her that, even though it was not official), several more times over the next couple months. One time Clara was wearing an 'I heart my Uncle' bib and the next time she was wearing an 'I heart my Aunt' bib. A picture of Uncle Chuck, Aunt Sarah, and Clara in that second bib was added to Sarah's nightstand. Sarah even stood up to Beckman and pushed back a non-time sensitive mission so they would not have to cancel a babysitting night. On another occasion, while taking a break from wedding planning, Ellie showed Sarah how to give Clara a bath. Sarah and Clara had a blast, while Ellie stood back and grinned at the baby and the spy.

This particular afternoon, Ellie and Devon returned home to the most precious sight. Chuck was asleep, leaning back on the couch. Sarah, also asleep, was leaning back against Chuck, and in her arms she held a sleeping Clara. All three seemed to have a small smile.

Ellie quickly pulled a camera out of her purse. Parents with babies always have a camera within grasp. Sarah called it the three-foot rule. Before Ellie could take the picture, she saw one of Sarah's eyes staring directly back at her. So much for sneaking up on a spy. Ellie figured Sarah probably knew they were home the instant the key was inserted in the lock. Sarah just closed her eye, though, allowing Ellie to take her shot.

Ellie and Devon had just returned from their lawyer. Ellie and Devon made the easy decision a week ago. Of course, Sarah saw the paperwork before the Woodcombs could tell them their choice. When Sarah confronted them, the tables were turned. The issue was guardianship of Clara, if, God forbid, anything happened to both Ellie and Devon. Sarah thought Devon's parents would be a better first choice. Devon explained that being raised by a spy and a Nerd Herding ex-spy (Devon knew the truth even if Ellie didn't) is a lot more normal than being raised to be awesome. He loved his parents, but didn't want to subject Clara to them full-time. Sarah understood picking Chuck, but did not understand why she was to be named in the will. Sarah found herself subjected to a very similar interrogation as the one Chuck had given her a few weeks before. Did she care about Clara? Would she do anything to protect her? Did she love her? All easy yeses. That was all Clara needed, which is why Sarah was included, too.

Putting her camera away, Ellie just stared at her brother, her daughter, and her future sister-in-law. She knew they had made the right choice. If anything happened to them, Clara needed to be protected and loved. Chuck and Sarah were both up for that mission.


A/N: That's all for this story. Once again, it's been fun. Thanks for your supportive reviews and for just stopping by. I hope you enjoyed it.