A/N: Thanks to the awesome NMH for editing this chapter and being fantastically supportive throughout as I struggled to write it. Crumby, too, I should thank you for something. You're brilliant.
This is the final chapter of this story. I hope you guys enjoy.
Kill Jill, Part VII
Sarah knew she shouldn't be doing be this.
It went against every one of her instincts to do so.
Even after the choice she made, Jill's request had still seemed entirely unreasonable, completely out of the question. It felt like she was going against the very fabric of her being. Casey wouldn't have done it – he'd told her as much, and yet here she was: doing it.
This had been Jill's final request, and as entirely unreasonable as it might have been, it wasn't really surprising. Jill was kind of predictable like that. She really didn't deserve to have it seen through.
Sarah sighed, turning to her partner next to her. This wasn't going to be easy.
"I better go talk to him."
Casey didn't respond with his usual sarcasm; he just nodded. "I'll wait here."
She paused momentarily before stepping out of the car. She was scared of Chuck's reaction more than she cared to admit, of what he'd do, of what he'd say.
It was too late now.
# # #
Chuck was agitated.
Waiting around while Sarah and Casey were on mission sucked.
It gave him too much time to think, and thinking, more often than not, led to worrying, and worrying about Sarah sucked even more than being left behind. Even if he had told himself – and her – that she was with Casey and would be fine, actually convincing himself of that was another matter entirely. Sarah had instructed him to remember to eat before she left to keep up his strength but his appetite just wasn't there.
Normally when this happened, he'd distract himself by playing video games, sometimes with Morgan, but mostly on his own. It was cathartic. It helped him take his mind off things, like Sarah and Jill together in the same place…
But with the two stoic CIA agents that were standing at opposite ends of living room – supposedly to "guard" him, as Sarah had said – playing video games in front of them would have felt kind of awkward. He'd offered them coffee, just in case they actually said did say yes – Chuck was still polite after all – but they had declined, any traces of personality remaining hidden behind dark sunglasses. Sitting on the couch was enough, he told himself, while trying to hold his foot still.
He didn't regret choosing to stay here; his going along on the mission really wouldn't have helped, particularly after last time. From a tactical standpoint, he had very little to offer. The Intersect was still buried in his subconscious, and he'd already proven that he couldn't be objective. He wanted people to have second chances. He couldn't really deny that. As angry as what Jill had tried to do to Sarah made him, he didn't want her to suffer. But maybe that was too much to ask, at least when the CIA was paying the bills…
"Are you sure I can't get you guys-" he started to ask his guards, but stopped midway, seeing the front door open.
The agents briefly tensed, relaxing once they recognised Sarah walking in.
Chuck visibly sighed. She was back.
"Smith, Johnson," Sarah greeted, turning straight to the agents and offering them a curt nod. "Report back to Castle."
She didn't look over at him as the agents nodded their affirmatives and moved towards the door, instead blankly staring into space.
Once they had left, Chuck quickly moved over to her, wrapping his arms around her before she could refuse. She felt tense.
"Hey," he said. "You okay?"
She didn't reply, instead pushing her head into his chest and gripping him tightly back.
"That bad, huh?"
Chuck felt her hands scrunch up the back of his shirt, and he held her there for a moment, listening to her uneven breathing. His mind couldn't help but wonder what had happened with the mission – what had happened with Jill – but he could already tell it wasn't good.
"You wanna sit down?" he asked, tilting his head so that his chin brushed her hair. "You know, rest for a bit?"
She shook her head against him.
Sarah pushed herself back slightly so she could look up at him. "We need to go outside."
Chuck cocked his head. "Oh?"
"There's something you need to see," she said quietly.
He considered it for a moment, trying to read what she was thinking. He couldn't see much past the blue. Tiredness was there, and nervousness. Maybe.
"Right," he said quickly. "Let's go."
Sarah smiled briefly, pulling back from his embrace and leading him back towards the door. She kept a grip on his hand as they moved into the courtyard, which was empty.
"Are Ellie and Awesome around?" Sarah asked, looking towards the apartment across the courtyard.
"No, they're both at the hospital. Why?"
She nodded again without looking at him, before pressing a finger to her ear. "Okay, Casey, we're good."
"Um, Sarah?" he asked, trying to catch her gaze. "What's going on?"
Finally, apparently satisfied that the courtyard was empty, she turned back to him. "I made a deal, Chuck," she said simply, before pulling herself close, turning so that her back pressed into his chest. She placed his arm firmly against her stomach, before overlapping it with her own.
Chuck gulped. She'd made a deal? What kind of a deal? And with whom?
He didn't need to wait long to find out, for a moment later Casey entered the courtyard with Jill in tow.
Chuck's stomach literally jumped, and he had to blink several times before he believed what his eyes were telling him. If he hadn't already been leaning to Sarah, he probably would've stumbled…or something. He wasn't alone in his adverse reaction; Sarah's hand was gripping his arm noticeably tighter and a low growling sound was now emanating from her throat as Casey and Jill started to move.
Casey, behind his stony expression, was brooding, Chuck could tell. Whatever was going on, he clearly didn't like it. Nevertheless, that didn't stop his gaze from giving a quick sweep of the courtyard before making his over towards them, professionalism not slipping.
Looking over from Casey, Chuck's eyes moved to his prisoner – at least that's what he assumed she was. Jill had a jacket draped across her hands – covering, what he presumed, were handcuffs beneath – a small effort at preserving whatever of her dignity remained.
Casey led them over to a stop, such as that each couple were standing on either side of the fountain. Jill, looked even worse than yesterday. To add to the sleep deprived bags that were already under her eyes, it looked like she'd been crying, too. Chuck swallowed again, already guessing at how the bruise on her cheek had gotten there, as it definitely hadn't been there yesterday. Maybe she'd tripped, he thought less than hopefully.
Through the near palpable silence, Sarah pushed herself further back into him, subtly so that no one but him would realise, and boy, was he realising. Was she really trying to… Chuck let out a deep breath, thankful that Sarah was covering his front. She was doing this, he was certain, at the same time as glaring at Jill.
It was her who first broke the silence.
"Well? Here he is," she said harshly. "You got your meeting. Now speak."
Jill looked up, from where she'd been staring at the ground in passive defeat, her eyes flicking back and forth between him and Sarah, nervously.
"Um, actually I was hoping to be able to speak to Chuck." Jill licked her lips. "Alone."
"That's okay, Jill," Chuck quickly cut in while tightening his grip around Sarah before she could move. "Anything you want to say to me, you can in front of Sarah."
Sarah released a breath, and he felt her relax a little more against him.
From beside Jill, Casey rolled his eyes – the sheer number of things here that probably disgusted him were too many to narrow down - before releasing Jill's arm and moving a few feet away, out of earshot. Whatever Jill wanted to say, Casey really didn't want to hear it, and neither did Sarah, probably. Chuck wasn't entirely sure he did either. Regardless, Sarah had brought her for a reason…
He started to untangle himself from Sarah – which she reluctantly conceded to – and stepped out so he was facing Jill, still keeping his hand joined with Sarah's.
"What do you want to say, Jill?"
"I…" Jill paused for a moment, looking unsure of what to say, unnerved by his blunt question. When she did speak, her voice was toneless. "Sarah's agreed to help me."
"What?" Chuck jumped up and looked to his girlfriend. "You've agreed to help her? How? Why? After everything she's done…"
"Chuck," Sarah said calmly, giving his hand a reassuring squeeze. "Just listen."
He turned back to face Jill, who hadn't reacted to his outburst.
"I know that everyone here would probably rather see me dead than alive," she continued. "I know what I've done. It's not a secret, not really."
"Sarah…and Casey, they've agreed to let me go."
"Go where?" he asked, keeping his voice controlled.
"Helsinki, actually," she said, the faintest trace of hope starting to fill her face. "My parents moved there after…I'm going to go and join them."
Chuck turned to his girlfriend. "You're just going to let her go? Why?"
Sarah paused for a long moment.
"She carries no intelligence of any value, Chuck," she said eventually, looking up at him awkwardly. "Beckman really has no interest in her. As part of the deal we made, she's not allowed to return to the U.S. or contact you again."
Chuck frowned, looking back to Jill. "This is true?"
"I get to see my parents, Chuck," she said, nodding a quiet affirmative. "I really don't want to run anymore."
A sudden rush of sympathy ran through him. Was this all Jill wanted? To risk coming to Los Angeles, simply to try and see her parents? To just go home? Even if that was the case, something still didn't make sense.
"Then… why are you here, Jill? Sarah said you wanted to see me."
"I wanted…" Jill shut her eyes very quickly, taking pause, before continuing. "I wanted to see you to say I'm sorry – because I really am, Chuck."
Chuck blinked and felt himself inch closer towards Sarah, still looking at Jill.
"You think you can just apologise?" he said abruptly, the harsh voice he heard come out of his mouth sounding foreign even to him, and he felt Sarah jump from next to him. "After everything you've done to us, you think you can just apologise? Do you actually expect me to forgive you?"
Chuck blinked again, looking around as he took a breath, the bottled-up emotion of everything that had happened causing him to shake. Jill hadn't moved. She just continued to stare at him, unflinching, which just made him feel even angrier. From across the courtyard, he could see Casey looking at him awkwardly, his jaw slightly dropped, unable to conceal his surprise.
Just as he was about to open his mouth again, Sarah started to press herself closer to his side, one hand slowly rubbing the small of his back. The feel of her had an instant calming effect and he stopped himself.
"I don't expect you to forgive me, Chuck," Jill said slowly. "I know I don't deserve it. But I want you to understand that I'm sorry, because I really am."
Chuck exhaled very deeply. "It's not just me you need to apologise to."
"You're right," she said, swallowing awkwardly and turning to Sarah. "I'm sorry, Sarah, to you, too. And… thank you."
Sarah gave a curt nod. "I didn't do it for you," she said quietly, her body stilling and giving Jill an intense look, before looking to Casey. "It's time."
Having been waiting for his cue, Casey stepped back forward so he was in a position to shadow Jill, who briefly looked up at him before turning back to them, nibbling on her lip. "This is it, then?"
"We've arranged a car to take you over the border," Casey answered for them, his voice mechanical, highlighting his clear disagreement with this plan. "From there, you'll be provided with new papers and transport to Europe."
"Oh," Jill said quietly, looking back down at the jacket that covered her manacled wrists.
Sarah took a step forward away from Chuck's side, putting herself as a barrier between him and his ex-girlfriend. "Goodbye, Jill," she said bluntly as Casey started to lead her away, back towards the cars.
Chuck stood still as he watched Jill leave. This time, there were no empty feelings of regret or betrayal, or of wondering what could have been. This time, he was sure; it would definitely be the last. It was for good.
"Jill, wait!" he said, stepping up. Both Casey and Jill turned back to him, as did Sarah. "Good luck."
And then, with a small smile, she was gone.
He was vaguely aware of Sarah stepping back to his side and putting an arm around him.
"C'mon," she gently said into his ear. "Let's go."
# # #
"Here you go," Sarah said, placing the cup of coffee on the table in front of him.
Chuck closed his eyes briefly, inhaling the warming aroma, before looking up at his girlfriend and grinning. "Thank you."
She nodded, returning a small smile. Still, however, she looked concerned, which she couldn't mask from him.
He reached to take her hand in his. "Hey, are you okay?"
"Actually, yeah," she laughed, looking down at where their hands were joined. "I'm, uh, good. It just feels strange having all this behind us."
Chuck look at her for a moment. She hadn't yet changed out of her mission gear, which consisted of a form-fitting black jacket and equally dark pants, topped off with impossibly high boots.
"What about you?" she asked suddenly. "How are you feeling?"
"Good," Chuck nodded, before biting his lip, causing Sarah to frown at him.
She ran her thumb over his and lowered her voice. "You can talk to me, you know."
"I'm sorry," he said quickly, grimacing. "It's just…I can't stop thinking about what I said to you yesterday."
Sarah's face immediately lightened. "Is that what you're worried about?" she asked, causing him to quietly nod an acknowledgement.
"Aww, honey…" she said gently, "we don't need to dwell on that. Really, it's okay."
"Positive. Besides, I've been thinking about other things."
Chuck raised an eyebrow. "Oh? What things?"
"Oh, you know," she drawled, before abruptly pulling him up off the couch so that they were face to face. "Like that thing you did with your tongue this morning…"
"Hee!" Chuck squeaked, flushing red.
Sarah cocked her head to the side, gently pressing a kiss to his lips. "That's not what you're supposed to say," she whispered, and he could only smile stupidly as she did so, starting to feel blood running to other parts of his body as her warmth pressed against him.
He kissed her back, letting his lips linger a second longer than she had, long enough to elicit a small moan from her. "And what I am supposed to say?" he managed to get out, dropping his hands to her side.
"You're supposed to say," she continued, looking up at him from under hooded eyes, "that if you don't get me out of this jacket soon, you're going to tear it off me."
Chuck felt his eyes briefly widen, before remembering what was good for him and dropped his lips to her neck. He peppered kisses against it, letting his tongue sneak past his lips to taste her soft skin. It took all his concentration not to lose himself in her smell as he fumbled around for a zipper, which was cunningly hidden on the side of her jacket.
When the jacket fell loose, he had to blink at what he saw. "You went on a mission like that?" he panted, moving his head back to get a better look.
"Oh, this?" she asked in a sultry voice, giving him a small smile and parting her jacket a little more.
Barely a shade brighter than the marks now on her neck was a red chemise directly under her jacket, which clung to her body perfectly. Chuck didn't care that his mouth was open, he just continued to stare.
"You like?" she said, smile widening.
Chuck bobbed his head up and down, finding himself short of words.
Grabbing a handful of his t-shirt, Sarah pulled herself closer to him and kissed his neck at the base of his ear, causing him to shiver. "It's all just for you, Chuck," she whispered as she pushed him back onto the couch, straddling him. "It's all just for you."
Then, Sarah's jacket was completely off and Chuck had his hand wrapped around her back, holding her as he kissed his way down her neck. He paused briefly to gently bite her collar bone before continuing his trip down, settling his head in the valley between her breasts.
Sarah's hands were soon in his hair, entangling it, pulling him in closer and holding him there, leaving him to feel his way up her back and slide the silky straps of the chemise from her shoulders. He continued to tug the straps down, causing the material to pool at her waist and leaving her perfect breasts exposed.
He heard her let out another guttural moan as he licked across her left breast, settling his mouth on her nipple, sucking lightly. Sarah, too, was not inactive. Just as he brought his hand around to massage her other breast, she released his head, only to start sliding her hands up the back on his shirt. The pain of her nails digging in against him only caused him to suckle harder. After a moment, she withdrew her hands.
"You're wearing…" she panted, pushing him back so that he was lying back against the couch, staring up at her topless form, "too many clothes," she finished, before practically ripping his t-shirt out from under him. Her dishevelled hair now fell across her face, but could barely conceal the look of hunger in her eyes as she stared down at his chest. The smile she'd had earlier, with all the control it represented, was now gone from her puckered lips, which were slowly descending towards him.
The sight of her blonde hair spread messily across him, and the feel of her warm tongue against his chest nearly caused him to lose it then and there. They were now actively thrusting and grinding against one another, clothing be damned, both desperately scrambling to undo the other's belts, to try to deepen their contact.
And then their pants were gone, leaving Sarah clad in the remains of her chemise and matching panties and Chuck just in his boxers. Soon, they were gone, too, leaving nothing but the warmth between them.
As Chuck felt Sarah sink down against him, the couch suddenly became the most comfortable place in the world.
And then there was nothing but bliss.
# # #
It was a couple of days later and both of them were still enjoying the extra vacation that Beckman had given them. They had, eventually, even managed to leave the bedroom for some of it.
Chuck had gone over to Morgan's mother's house to let him know that it was now safe to return, leaving Sarah alone in the apartment for the first time in what felt like forever – she knew it had actually only been three days since she'd last been here alone, but it still felt longer.
Casey had told her this morning that Jill had made it over the Mexican border and had since reached Helsinki. She wasn't sure quite how she felt about that. Truth be told, she wasn't particularly dwelling on it. It was the past. Maybe Jill did deserve a second chance. Regardless, it was out of her hands now anyway. It didn't concern her.
She had just finished changing the sheets in their bedroom when she saw it, a little slip of paper poking out of the desk drawer. Curious, she went over and pulled it out. Upon unfolding it, she blinked twice at what she saw: Chuck's proposal plan.
Only he'd changed it. Gone were the race cars and horses and beaches. Well, they technically were still there, though he'd covered them over. He'd covered them over with a photo. A simple photo. Just one.
Them from years ago. It was a cover photo of him draping both his arms around her waist in somewhere that looked like Palm Springs. They were grinning stupidly at the camera and both looked impossibly young.
Below, Chuck had written something simple, which caused her to smile wider than her picture-self was.
Sarah and Chuck.
# # #
A/N: It's been a pleasure.