Five memories that hit Sarah Walker like a freight train (And one little memory she keeps for herself)
Rating: PG-13 for a little bit of lust
Disclaimer: Sarah and Chuck are not mine. Though if they were they'd be having babies right now
Spoilers: Seasons 1 - 5. You may want to skip this one if you haven't seen the finale
Summary: Memory is an odd thing. It washes over you when you're not really looking for it.
1. It happens late one night, laying in the bed she and Chuck used to share. She's nearly asleep; that hazy place between dreams and wakefulness that you never quite remember once you wake up in the morning, and it comes to her.
The motel room isn't nice, but it's lit up with sunlight, and his hand is resting atop hers, their fingers brushing, and suddenly his face is pressed against the back of her neck like he can't help himself.
The turn of her head, staring, and then their lips pressing desperately, like they'll never, ever be able to be this close to each other again.
She remembers his hands, warm and gentle, and his smile as they look at each other; like he can't believe this is happening. Like being between her legs is the best situation he's ever been in.
It replays in her head, and she can feel all that passion and longing all at once, and it makes her dizzy, but not too dizzy, and she slides out of bed and to the guestroom.
She doesn't bother knocking. She swings the door open and steps in, crawling onto the bed and mounting him, just as he's sitting up and about to ask her if she's alright. She silences him with a kiss. It feels just like she now remembers that kiss in Barstow (it was in Bartstow), and they shift and roll around in the bed, his hands (so warm), running over her.
"This is crazy," he breathes against her lips as he unconsciously presses against her.
She pants, her hand threaded into his hair. "Tell me Morgan hasn't stolen all your condoms again."
He stares at her, utterly delighted, and kisses her eagerly.
2. Prague hits her while they drink their morning coffee one day.
It's quiet. She's reading the morning paper and he's halfway through a book that looks more like a doorstop than reading material, and she stops as she takes a sip from her mug. What exactly sets it off, she doesn't know, but she remembers that it was windy at the train station, and that he left her there.
He left her there.
Chuck looks up at her and grins. "Do you want pancakes? I'm kind of in the mood for-"
Reflexively, her hand reels back and then slaps him right across the face. Coffee spills everywhere and Chuck himself hits the dining room floor like a sack of potatoes.
"Agh," he whines, looking up at her, his eyes large. "What what what-"
"You left me at that train station in Prague!" she cries, feeling all of the confusion and pain that came with that day. "You left me!"
"Oh. Oh. Sarah, I...you remember that."
Her lip trembles even though she doesn't want it to, and she cross her arms, looking away from him.
"Okay. I probably deserved the slap," he admits. He stands up and goes about cleaning the spilt coffee.
He leaves the room, and she thinks he's not coming back out. She sighs, the guilt over harming him settling into her stomach, and she moves to get up to apologize, but he comes back with a laptop computer, and a USB drive. He sets the computer in front of her, and plugs in the drive.
"I need you to watch this. Okay?"
She swallows and looks at him. "Chuck, I-"
"Just watch," he says gently.
He presses play and Sarah's looking at a security feed. She doesn't know what it's from, but there's Chuck, younger, skinnier, with wild curly hair, standing there looking at a door.
"Look, Sarah, I know– I know that you're probably very hurt;" Chuck on the computer screen says. "You're probably hurt that I didn't run away with you in Prague. I get that, and I'm– I'm– I'm sorry. You have to know that you were everything that I ever wanted..."
She watches and tears sting her eyes, as she realizes that she's seen this before, when it happened. She blindly reaches out and grabs Chuck's hand.
3. She wears her wedding ring, but she hasn't touched her engagement ring in quite a while. It's pretty, beautiful, actually, but while she's remembered their wedding, his proposal is sill murky. She thinks it happened somewhere in the French countryside, but Chuck's said before that they were in a hospital here in Burbank.
France makes much more sense to her. The danger of a mission, popping the ring out with the moon lighting up the night sky.
She sighs as she stairs at the diamond, and then goes to put the ring in its case, a red one that looks like a little treasure chest. It's cute and it's very Chuck and it's...
The hospital hallway
Sarah sits slowly on the bed, and stares.
The way he'd popped the box open and then slowly knelt in front of her, heart in his eyes. She remembers.
She remembers that he didn't actually get the whole proposal out before she was kissing him, and she remembers the way his hands shook as he placed the ring on her finger.
This memory puts others in context and perspective. Wanting to elope, and that awful belly dancing costume.
The bedroom door opens and Chuck wanders in, taking his governor off as he gets ready for bed. He shakes his head out just a little and rubs his eyes.
"There was a..." she clears her throat and continues softly. "There was a janitor cleaning the floors when you proposed to me and I knew that there was this noise coming from the buffer he was using but all I could hear was your voice."
He stops and turns to her.
"And I didn't need to hear the words. We didn't need words."
Chuck slowly walks over to her and kneels on the floor in front of her. His eyes are soft, and his hands are warm on her knees.
4. He does something with his eyebrows one night during dinner that makes her crack up laughing.
Chuck is funny and she knows she's told him so at some point, but he really is entertaining. She's glad of it. She's glad he's not always so earnest.
She stops laughing and blinks. She's still smiling and she looks at him. "You kissed me."
"I..." He stammers a little, unsure where this is going. "I have kissed you. Many times. I actually really like kissing you, it's one of the many reasons I married you."
"No, you..." She smiles and laughs a little. "You did this thing with...bedroom eyes? Or something, and then you did that...that eyebrow dance and then..."
He smiles and lifts his finger, making them into guns. "Comin' at ya like this?"
Sarah laughs again. "Yes! Yes, that! And then you kissed me!"
Chuck gazes at her warmly. "I did. I did. That was...I mean, my...virility was challenged, and you had given me permission to lay one on you, so..."
"Your virility?" she giggles.
"Look, the man asked me if I'd ever actually had intercourse before!" Chuck is laughing now, too. "And then he was gonna go get Casey to kiss you and...and that would have just been weird."
Sarah nods. She smiles and sighs. "I didn't really go to fix my lipstick."
Chuck sits back in his chair, just a little smug. "I know."
She laughs again and throws a napkin at him, and they go back to eating. He's gazing at her as he eats his pasta, and his eyes are warm and hopeful and happy.
Tall, dark and caring, she thinks to herself. What a combo.
5. She learns (relearns) that music is a very personal thing for Chuck. He doesn't share it with other people very often, so when he makes Sarah a mix CD, she takes care to listen to every track very carefully, since that's the way he selected each song.
Sandwiched between a few songs she loves and a few she's pretty sure she doesn't really know comes a haunting vocal.
"Birds flyin' high you know how I feel. Sun in the sky you know how I feel. Breeze driftin' on by, you know how I feel. It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life for me. Yeah, it's a new dawn it's a day it's a new life for me...and I'm feelin' good..."
It's hazy at first, the memory, but little things about that night come back. The way his hair looked, the way his hands were so steady in finding the track on the record he was looking for. The way they laid, stretched out on the bed, their legs entwined.
The way his eyes closed for a moment as they listened. The way he kissed her; soft and slow and loving.
All these details, all these things about them, about him, make her feel warm and safe, and she listens to the song three more times on repeat before slowly walking out of the bedroom and into the living room where he's playing video games.
Chuck looks up. "Hey. How do you like it?"
Sarah takes the controller from him and then climbs into his lap, curling up and resting her head against his chest, letting his heartbeat fill her ears.
He doesn't ask. He just wraps his arms around her tightly.
And one little memory she keeps for herself
She can't sleep one night, and she doesn't know why. Chuck is dead to the world, and she's glad he doesn't snore. His breathing is soft and slow, his hair messy from a shower.
There's no moon tonight and things are dark. It makes her feel chilly and she cuddles up under the covers, inching her feet close to his. Even in his sleep he shifts them to warm hers, and she takes a deep breath.
That stupid, stupid mission to Costa Gravas, where he insisted that they had communication problems. 101 Questions Before I do.
She remembers what she said that night as he slept.
"I love you, Chuck. And nothing's ever going to change that. And if you asked me for real, then my answer would be yes."
Sarah smiles a little and shifts closer to him, snuggling up, and closing her eyes.