A/N: I would like to once again thank BDaddyDL for asking me to write this story with him. The whole process has been a lot of fun, especially bouncing ideas around and finding the perfect inspiration. This third chapter is testament to that process.
He also reminded me to plug my in-progress story "Return of the Ninja Librarian." If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check it out.
A/N2:I would like to thank OregonLT3 for getting me a lot of info on a show that is mentioned, made this idea flow a lot better. Hey you, yeah you, Jaytoyz…See I'm still writing. You can stop nagging when I review.
This chapter also has a bit of Kate Mckay. I just finished and PJ was working, and she did a quick run through for me. Had I known she would fix some things, I might have concentrated on actually using punctuation. Finally, I personally want to thank Wepdiggy. His creation has created a new ingredient for FF writers to use.
Both Quistie64 and I want to thank PJ Murphy for doing the beta on this. He worked really fast on this, and put up with my exhaustion last night as we were finishing this up. The first half of chapter three is all Quistie64, and I did something different with the second half. I hope you enjoy.
As always, please review. We writers always want to know what you thought, good, bad or indifferent. It really does mean a lot to us.
Sarah wielded the kitchen knife like a professional chef, the flashing metal blade slicing and dicing its way through the pile of vegetables. She decided to make pasta primavera for dinner and had picked up the ingredients and a loaf of garlic bread at the grocery store on the way home from her mani-pedi with Honey Woodcomb. She had already sliced her way through the zucchini, onions, squash and bell peppers. They were in a jumbled pile off to the side of the cutting board. Although she concentrated on what she was doing as she brandished her knife, she allowed her mind to drift over the conversation Honey and she had earlier that day. She was still trying to wrap her head around the idea both Honey and Woody had been CIA agents. She also thought about Honey's advice regarding forgiveness.
Easy to hear, hard to do, she thought.
She was slicing a carrot into thin strips when she heard the front door open. She suddenly felt like quite the happy homemaker, busily making dinner as her man came home. A few years ago, being in a situation like this would have scared her to death. She would have climbed out a window, never to be seen again. Then along came Chuck. After she met him, she found herself climbing in a window just to be near him. Now, a happy smile overtook her face when she saw Chuck come in and drop his keys on the small table next to the door. She carefully laid the knife on the cutting board and grabbed a kitchen towel to wipe her hands. She closed the distance between them so she could give him a proper greeting.
"Hey, beautiful," he said with a warm smile as she approached.
"Hey yourself, handsome," she replied with a devilish gleam in her eye. She whipped the kitchen towel around his neck and grabbed the free end of it with her other hand. She gave the towel a tug, pulled his head toward her and gave him a resounding and memorable kiss hello.
His eyes were a bit glazed. "Well, that's a great thing to come home to," he mumbled. He removed one of her hands from the towel and kissed the top of it. As he moved her hand away from his lips, he noticed her fingernails.
"Pretty. Did you have your nails done today?"
She was pleased he noticed such a small detail and rewarded him with a quick kiss. "I did. And you'll never guess who I went with," she said as she retrieved the towel from Chuck's neck, releasing him. She turned and walked back toward the kitchen with Chuck trailing closely behind her.
"Morgan. He's always had suspiciously nice nails."
"No again," her answer was accompanied by a playful toss of the kitchen towel at his face.
"Ah, you're going to wish you had held onto this towel," he said wickedly, holding the towel low and twirling it around and around. He raised an eyebrow as he prepared to snap it at her like they were in a locker room.
"Don't even think about it," she warned, making a show of picking up her knife from the cutting board. She waved a poor, unsuspecting carrot in his face and then proceeded to expertly slice it up in less than 15 seconds.
"Take a guess what that carrot represented," Sarah intoned with a not-at-all-subtle look at Chuck's groin.
He blanched slightly and quickly tossed the towel onto the counter. "Okay, moving on," he said, duly chastised.
"You still need to guess who I was out with today," she reminded him as she found a bowl and threw the cut up vegetables into it.
"I give up," he conceded as he took out a pot and filled it with water for boiling the pasta.
Her eyebrow arched when she said, "Honey Woodcomb."
Chuck visibly jerked, causing some of the water to slosh out of the pot and onto his shirt. "Hon-, Honey Woodcomb? As in Awesome's mom, Honey Woodcomb?" he burbled.
Her brow knitted together at his strange reaction. She knew it was odd she would interact with Honey, but she didn't expect a similar response from him. "How many other Honey Woodcombs do we know?" she asked. "Why did you react like that, Chuck?"
He lugged the pot of water to the stove, placed it on the burner and turned up the heat. He turned back to her. "I had coffee with Woody Woodcomb today," he said pointedly.
"What? What are they up to?"
He shrugged, "What did you two talk about?"
"Well, first off she wanted to make sure Devon, Ellie and Clara will be safe."
Sarah nodded. "Mm-hmm. Somehow, she knew I was with the Agency. She said she figured it out from that Special Forces invasion during Awesome and Ellie's aborted wedding. But how would she know it was the CIA?" she wondered aloud, pouring some olive oil on the veggies and adding the herbs.
"I can answer that," Chuck said as he grabbed a baking sheet and placed it next to the bowl of veggies Sarah was mixing with her hands. "He asked me the exact same thing…about Devon and Ellie and Clara being safe. Woody knew we were with the Agency, too. He said he heard it from a senator months ago."
Sarah's mouth dropped open upon hearing such a serious breach of security. Then she shook her head. "Politicians," she mumbled in obvious irritation. She took a handful of veggies and angrily threw them on the baking sheet. "Can't keep a secret…" she groused as she spread them out. Had she still possessed the knife, it may have ended up turning one of the cabinets into a dartboard.
Chuck waited until her anger subsided. "Is that all she wanted to talk about?" he asked as he took the baking sheet of veggies and put them into the oven to roast.
Sarah set the timer and answered, "No. There were a couple of other things."
"Such as?" Chuck prompted as he leaned against the counter and folded his arms across his chest.
"She wanted to talk to me about the hard decisions we might have to make about our jobs when we have kids."
The corner of one side of Chuck's mouth crooked up, and he stopped himself before it became an ear-to-ear grin. He didn't want to spook her, but he couldn't help being joyous over Sarah using the phrase 'when we have kids'.
"Why would she want to talk to you about that?"
She turned and looked him right in the eye with her hand on her hip. "She was in the Agency," she stated. She smirked when his eyes widened. "And she recruited Woody into the Agency as well."
"What?" Chuck was incredulous. "Is everyone we know a spy?"
Sarah threw her hands up in surrender. "It sure seems that way. Either they were spies or they know we're spies."
"And in their case, both," Chuck lamented. Suddenly, he paused. "Wait, everybody?"
"I hope not Jeff and Lester." Sarah started cracking up. "Can you imagine Lester with a gun?"
Chuck visibly shuddered at the thought. "He'd make Barney Fife look like Clint Eastwood. Or, hey…" he said, warming up to the game. "How about Jeff seducing a mark to get information."
Sarah grimaced at the images swirling in her. "Eww, Chuck, stop. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little."
"Yeah, sorry." They both stood silently for a moment staring at the floor, trying to exorcise the images of Jeff trying to be James Bond.
Chuck roused himself out of it. "Anyway, Woody told me he was in Southeast Asia as a medic, but he never mentioned he was in the CIA."
"I think it was after that," Sarah replied. "Anyway, she just wanted to tell me that they left the Agency when they started having kids. They both felt their first priority was to their family."
Chuck listened attentively but didn't respond. That was a discussion for another day. "What was the other thing she wanted to talk to you about?"
Sarah blushed slightly. "She gave me some advice on having a happy, long-lasting marriage."
Chuck gave a Sarah-melting smile. "Woody did the same with me. Apparently, talking to us about that very subject was a kind of payment for the information the senator gave them about us. My guess is that the Agency doesn't want a repeat of the Turners."
"Who can blame them?" she chuckled. She moved next to him and began to play with his tie. Her crystal blue eyes danced as she gazed at him. "So what advice did he give you?"
He hesitated for a brief moment weighing his options. Was he really going to have to put this into practice already? He took a deep breath. "He said we can have a bumpy ride or a smooth ride," he replied in a nervous voice. She waited expectantly for him to continue. "He said you are a brilliant woman and all I need to do is always agree with you and do what you say. If I do that we'll have a wonderful, fun-filled marriage. The other way, not so much."
He held his breath waiting for her answer. Thankfully, a grin spread across her face.
"Interesting. Honey told me I need to forgive you every time you do something stupid. Their advice seems to complement each other, don't they?" She didn't mention to him the other part of Honey's advice. She figured that when it came time for her to ask for his forgiveness, it would be more effective if he didn't see it coming.
Chuck blew out the breath he had been holding. "Well, you know, we don't necessarily have to listen to them. We can ask some other long time happily married couples we know for advice."
Sarah cocked her head to one side as she thought about that. Chuck's tipped his head back and looked up as if searching the ceiling for an answer. The ticking of the clock in the kitchen seemed to get louder and louder as the silence increased.
Chuck looked like he would explode and said when he looked back at her. "The Turners?"
After looking at each other for a few seconds Sarah laughed. "Ummm, yeah. Let's go with the Woodcombs."
Chuck opened the door for his bride. The last few months had been interesting. The Norseman, the hospital, the wedding, and then the money, it all set so much in motion. It had been a crazy ride, and now they were going into a restaurant to meet Honey and Woody. Chuck opened the door for his bride, both thinking that the two would never have dinner with the elder Woodcombs. Yet here they were, approaching what looked to be a poster for an advertisement to come to California.
When everyone had sat down Woody looked at Chuck and laughed. His arm swung around and hit Chuck on the arm. In the process Chuck was teetered like a top before Woody spoke up.
"Don't worry, Chuckster. This is a fun conversation. Honey and I haven't had anyone to talk to in years."
Honey's voice lowered a bit more than usual. "Besides, it's been so long since we were employed by the agency, we don't have any secrets worth telling."
Sarah smiled and let out a breath. "I'm glad you invited us. I'm not sure that the Turners were a good example of great agents."
Honey grimaced. "Mr. Turner never did realize at the end of the evening, you are supposed to take your wife home, not the floozy of the night."
Woody barked out a laugh. "Yeah, although I do believe Mrs. Turner never met a drink she didn't like."
Sarah nodded with an obviously displeased look on her face. "I think the less that can be said about the Turners, the better."
Chuck turned to Woody. "So, other than conversation, are you here to dispense any other advice?"
Woody took a sip of water. "Why would we do that? It would ruin all those chances for makeup sex."
Honey's eyes bulged out and she slapped her husband on his shoulder. "Woody, stop it, unless you…" Honey got red in the face. "Well played, Mr. Woodcomb. Well played," she barely eked out.
Chuck laughed and then looked at his wife. "Now I see where Devon gets it from."
"…so then Chuck said, 'You caught me when I fell'." The whole table laughed heartily in reaction to Sarah's story.
Honey finally caught her breath, glancing at the younger couple. "Just make sure you're careful if they ever turn your story into a TV show."
Woody rolled his eyes in response and took a big gulp of wine. Apparently, it wasn't the first time this came up. It did not take long for Honey to continue. "Don't get me wrong, the show has allowed us to not have to worry about money anymore, but there was a cost to it."
Sarah looked between the couple in front of them. "Show? What show? I don't remember ever hearing about this." When she looked at Chuck, he shrugged his shoulders. This was news to both of them.
Honey explained. "Back in the early eighties, we were contacted by a guy in the agency who went to Hollywood and stayed in touch with Woody. He wanted to base a TV show loosely on us. At first we were excited."
Chuck was interested, to say the least. "What show?"
At this point Woody jumped in. "Then production started, they aired it, and it became quite a popular show."
"What show?" Sarah asked, her curiosity now piqued as well.
Honey was mumbling in annoyance while Woody explained. "A beige LTD, a beige LTD station wagon, in fact. Seriously, what kind of spy would want a cop car as their vehicle?"
Chuck and Sarah shared a knowing glance. "I can't imagine," Chuck replied.
"Although, they had to make a few changes in the show in order to protect our identities," Woody told them.
Chuck tried again. "What show?"
Honey was fuming. "Housewife… housewife… I ha a damned medical degree from Berkley. I got through the Farm with flying colors, and they made me...ugh."
"Honey was such an accomplished person. Most of the changes to our covers were done to her."
Chuck and Sarah looked at each other and at the same time. "WHAT SHOW?" they shouted in frustration.
Honey shook her head with a huge grin. "What would be the fun in telling you?"
Sarah furrowed her brow and she looked lost for a second. "Chuck, isn't there a show you made me watch when we first worked together? Something and the King? The one where the spy gets together with the housewife? You thought it would change my mind abouvet the rules."
"Oh, no." Honey turned when her husband said that. She saw Woody empty his glass and grab the bottle to pour himself another one.
"See? I told you, Woody. I was the spy, for god's sake. And as I recall, you thought you were some kind of James Bond wannabe. Then the woman who played me always reminded me of that nurse who wouldn't stop flirting with you. God, she was such a…what word am I thinking of?"
"Skank," Sarah said as she smiled at Honey.
Honey smiled in return. "Yeah, skank. Exactly. Then they put a mother in the show. She was some kind of pushy busybody who just took over things."
Sara's voice became louder and she started gesturing with her hands. "Oh, believe me; I know all about skanks. The stories I can tell you about skanks."
Honey continued "If it wasn't for Ellie or that adorable girl who is John's daughter…,"
"Yeah, Alex. I would have to go psycho on all brunettes. That's the part that really got me; they made my character a brunette. Brunette skanks are the worst."
"They swoop in and try to take my man,." Sarah said after taking a large sip of wine.
When Chuck heard that, it was his turn to grab the wine bottle. Honey snorted and put her hand on Chuck's. "Oh, don't worry, Chuck. Sarah is simply being very protective of her husband, just like I was. I think it's adorable."
Honey then sat back in her chair and drained her wine glass in one gulp. "Damn skanks." Sarah laughed at that as Honey put her glass down forcefully and refilled it. "Oh, I know, and then made my character act as if the big strong man had to come and save her. Puh-lease."
Chuck leaned over and Woody did the same. "Should we change the subject?" Chuck whispered.
"Only if you want to turn into their target. Right now, silence is golden."
Chuck just nodded as he sat back up straight and listened to the end of the tirade.
"Seriously, some little brunette skank in one of those slutty nurse outfits is going to take my man out from under me? I don't think so!"
Sarah shook her head in total agreement. "I know! If I ever have to deal with another brunette skank trying to take my man…"
The waitress assigned to the table chose that moment to refill their water. When she heard the conversation, the chestnut haired twentysomething turned around quickly. Chuck figured she went to clock out early, or at least find a blonde or redhead to cover her table. Even a busboy would have sufficed right now.
"Isn't that right, Chuck?" Sarah asked.
Chuck opened his mouth, and all that came out was "Yes, dear."
When Chuck looked over he saw Woody, with a smile in his eye, nod and tip his glass to him.
"You're learning quickly, Chuck," Woody said as motioned the wine steward to get them another bottle.
A/N Final: Remember positive reinforcement helps. It also helps me argue with PJ that it's finally time to post the next chapter of Heritage.