As of 26.10.11, I don't own Chuck et al.

Caution – Nudity involved.

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Thank you very much for the reviews, faves and just traffic on this the first time.

I was hesitant to add a chapter to this. Everything I could think of changed the timbre of the original idea. Nothing I did added to the story. I hope this works.


-o0o-

First off, it didn't go the way she had planned. But these things never do, do they? And later on, she had to admit it was a hasty plan.

The whole time, he was a perfect gentleman, her stupid genius... perfect man.

He was supposed to be smart. He would see through what she was saying, and everything would change. Even if nothing actually changed. They would know, they would both know. That would be enough.

But that didn't happen.

After about fifteen or twenty minutes marinading in the warm water, she knew she'd need to take the painkiller. Maybe two pills. She stirred, and Chuck heard the slosh of water. She smiled a little at his attention to her. He was at the open door to the bathroom right on cue. "Sarah?"

"Chuck, I'm gunna need to take some pills, I think. Can you grab the blue and yellow box from the cabinet?"

"Sure," he went to the medicine cabinet, held the box for her nod of approval, and brought her the pills with a glass of tap water.

Her half baked plan began to go off the rails when he looked away as her drinking action lifted a breast above the tide line.

"Do... do you need a biscuit or something? I can't take a pill without some thing to... I think they get stuck..." he stammered to wall.

She nudged the back of his hand with the empty glass. "I'll be fine," she said as she laid back into the water. He was still focussing on the wall.

"You're right. Besides, I don't think I can afford the mini-bar prices ..." he started as he got up, and took the glass back to the sink.

"Chuck? These pills work pretty fast. Can you... can you stay with me? If I start to fall asleep, you need to get me out, OK?"

He was focused on her toothbrush when he said "Sure." Her toothbrush was just about due to be changed, the bristles beginning to bend outwards.

"C'mere," she said, and he came over, and sat on the bath mat, his shoulder against the bath and their eyes on the same level. She held out her good, left hand for him to hold. "Thank you, Chuck."

This was the moment. If he said something like 'Always' or 'You're worth it' he would have at least tried. Instead, he nodded with a frowny smile.

She squeezed his hand. He squeezed back.

She asked him about Ellie and Devon. She needed to hear about something normal. She closed her eyes and smiled when he began to talk. She loved the sound of his voice.

Chuck was brave enough to rub his thumb across the back of her hand when he talked. She tightened her grip occasionally. He took that as encouragement. To be honest, she knew pretty much all about his sister's engagement and coming party, but she let him talk. Part of her realised she was asleep, but Chuck was here. He would look after her. She dozed, warm, safe and lost in his voice.

Chuck realised she was tireder than she let on. He could see it in her eyes. "Come on, let's get you up."

"OK," she nodded vacantly.

He got a towel ready, and positioned himself. She wrapped her good arm around him. Once again, her perfect body was inches from his face, her arm and neck now warm and wet against his neck. He got her to move her legs, and together they moved her onto her knees in the bath. The warm water and pills had worked. She still knew she still hurt, but it wasn't as bad this time.

Once she was standing, she pressed herself against him as they got her to step out of the bath. His shirt now clung to him, wet and cooling after she stood by herself. He wrapped her in the towel. Later, she'd admit, she simply forgot to gaze lovingly into his eyes, and say "Chuck, I ... I'm tired."

And her eyes would gaze at him in that manner she'd let him see so rarely. But he'd know. Know she loved him, that she was trying to say it. And he'd reply with "Me too." Or maybe even that Star Wars line of "I know."

And she'd look deep into his eyes, and know he'd understood. That could be their word. And everything would change.

But she forgot, and it never happened.

When he started working another towel down her arms, she realised she'd missed the opportunity.

He handed the other towel to her, and without thinking, she took it from him to look after her front bits, while he let the water out. She laughed at the drawn out farty sound the water made in its last moments as it spun down the drain. He looked at her questioningly.

"It's like Southpark," she explained.

"I say, Terrance," replied Chuck in a faux accent. He heard her quiet exhalation of amusement.

She was able to walk on her own into the bedroom, and sat on the bed, still wrapped in the towel. She closed her eyes, just resting them for the moment. She thought, maybe she could get him to give her a massage...

His hand at her shoulder roused her, and she realised he was holding something out for her "Huh! Oh.. my nightie... Right. Thanks Chuck."

He'd gone to the draws. Amongst the tremor inducing wisps of silk and lace lingerie, there was a faded and threadbare night dress. He closed the draw as quickly as he could once he'd found his objective.

She lacked the energy to even sigh at this change to her hasty plan. She hadn't counted on her stupid idiotic gentleman to get her night dress out. Hopefully he'd seen his old Ewok and Wookie tee in the draw... And of course, he kept eye contact the whole time she shrugged the towel off while he slipped the nightie over her head and shoulders. That was a plus, at least. Right now, she could spend hours lost in his eyes...

But she didn't have hours. She didn't even notice when she fell asleep. Which is where the rest of her plan fell though. She half woke up when he shook her, asking if she was having a nightmare. She couldn't remember.

"I... I though you might be. You were making like a long drawn out... I was worried."

Her perfect stupid gentleman had taken the protective side of the bed, closest to the door. He was supposed to spoon her, and she'd cradle his hand to her breast as she slept. Even with the nightie on, that could have worked. Instead, she'd fallen asleep on her back, and with him on her left, she couldn't roll onto her side for him to cuddle her... her right side was the sore one.

She rolled her head to look at him in the dim light. I love you she tried will him to understand.

His expression was so full of concern and pain for her. He cared for her. He cared for her when no-one else ever had.

She fell asleep smiling at him. I love you.

-o0o-

Chuck had a long, sleepless night. First off, Sarah had been shot. Even though she'd had a vest, just the thought of her hurt in anyway would haunt him for ages.

Then there was the bath. That was just awkward. And more images that would haunt him for a long, long time. She was hurt. It was wrong to think of her perfect, glistening body that way when she was hurting.

What kept him awake the whole night was his mind racing with the possibilities of that last word she'd said to him as she fell asleep, looking at him in a gaze of softness he'd seen only rarely and fleetingly at that.

She was still smiling, in her sleep. Her good hand holding his hand.

Surely he'd imagined it, or was thinking too much over a simple word. After all, she was mostly asleep when she'd said it. She'd more sighed it, than spoke it.

But what if... what if '...view...' meant what he thought, hoped it could mean...

What if '...view...' was only part of two, or three words, and not just one...

-o0o-