Posted 20 Aug 2012

This used to be easier with an NSA cleaner team.

How long does it take for a plane to land, for passengers to disembark, and for someone to get a cab to the Buy More? That's how long it's been.

Sarah was bored.

Big Mike had stopped by earlier to apologize and thank her. He fumbled with his words and was actually kind of sweet. She told him not to worry about it and suggested they all get together at a housewarming for Alex. He thanked her again and left to deal with the Buy Morons.

Since then, the adrenaline had worn off, and now she was stuck giving a statement to some LAPD officer. It was more like she was being interrogated.

"Why didn't you call the police?"

"So no one would die."

"Someone did die."

"I didn't shoot him."

"What about the others?"

Sarah shrugged.

"You should have called the police. We would have done everything to make sure that neither hostages nor suspects died. You should have—"

"I should have said so no police would die."

"We're trained for situations like this."

"No. I am."

"It was seven guys!"

"I didn't even have to deal with all of them."

"Right. Your team. Where are they?"

"They're busy. You probably want to give them a few minutes." Sarah smiled.

"We don't need a group of vigilantes thinking that they can take out every group of hooligans that decides to rob an electronics store."

"We call them terrorists, and they weren't robbing the Buy More."

"Then what were they doing?"

"I don't believe you have clearance for that information."

"Look, if you aren't going to cooperate, I'll have to take you to the station."

Sarah just stared at him. CIA paperwork was more exciting than this.

"Did you hear me?"

At that point, she didn't. Her attention was on the front doors where her husband had just walked in. Sarah left the officer at the Nerd Herd desk and hurried to her Chuck.

Chuck's concerned look as he surveyed the scene melted away when their eyes met. Neither was worried about looking dignified when their lips and bodies met at full force. After a few moments, the aggressive kiss softened, and Sarah raised her hands to Chuck's face. A few moments later, they pulled apart and simply held each other tightly.

"Are you ok?" Chuck softly asked.

"Of course I am. I did send you a message saying so when the mission was over. I'm just happy you're home."

"I got to say, I'm loving how clingy you've been lately."

"I don't want to lose any more of what is mine, and you are mine."

"No argument here."

Sarah inhaled deeply and was a little disappointed. Chuck smelled like airplanes and hotel soap, not like her Chuck. She'd deal.

Their embrace was interrupted with a throat clearing. They both rotated back to look at their interrupter, but remained linked with arms behind each other's back. It was Sergeant Kingston with the officer that was harassing her before.

"Sorry to disturb you, Agents Carmichael and Walker. I explained to Officer Peters here about your special status, but we still need a few questions answered."

Chuck sighed. "Yes, of course." He slipped his hand down into Sarah's. "Let's go see who you nabbed."

Sarah led Chuck over to the array of bad guys, dead, unconscious, injured and otherwise, lined up against the customer service counter. Chuck looked them over and his eyes bugged out before he shook his head. Sarah recognized the flash.

"Good news, Kingston. Someone will be taking all of this off your hands."

Chuck led them all over to big screen in the home theater room. He weaved his way around some tools the team had been using to try to break in. He found the keyboard wedged between the cushion and arm of the sofa. Sliding to the side a block of C-4 and a drill, he placed it on the coffee table. Sarah settled on the sofa next to him, as close as she could without sitting in his lap. Chuck pressed a few keys, turning on the TV and placing a call. A couple second later, General Beckman was on the screen.

"Chuck, I've been expecting your call."

"You have? I just saw you yesterday, and no, we haven't changed our minds."

"I'm informed whenever anything unusual happens at the Buy More."

"Terrorists infiltrating the Buy More isn't that unusual…" Chuck trailed off with the disapproving look from the general. "Anyway, there's one in this particular group of seven Serbian terrorists that you'll be interested in: Vuc Andric."

"How do you know this, Chuck? Did you…" She deliberately stopped and tilted her head indicating the obvious word, 'flash', leaving it out because of the police listening in.

Sarah realized Beckman must suspect that Chuck downloaded the Intersect. They had decided to keep that information in the 'family.' Only Sarah, Chuck, and Casey knew initially. Chuck let Morgan and Alex know for safety reasons, since they were still living across the courtyard. Holding back that information had backfired too much in the past, and Morgan would have eventually figured it out anyway. They did not want Beckman to find out. She might draft Chuck again. He needed to think quickly.

"No, of course not! He was the guy behind the attempted assassination of General Stanfield—my first mission," Chuck explained.

"Of course. I forgot. He's been busy in Eastern Europe since then, and he's high on Interpol's most wanted list."

Sarah relaxed. Chuck would have recognized him anyway. He probably only flashed on the recent activities or the rest of the team, but Beckman didn't know.

"Please send the reward money quickly. We have a Herder to repair, some TV's and overhead lights to replace, and some other surface damage on a wall to fix up."

The general frowned but agreed, "Ok. Have local PD detain them. We'll send a team to collect and another to help with the cleanup. No reason to scare the natives any more than they already have been." She disconnected abruptly, which seemed familiar to Sarah.

"You heard the general. Take them away and wait for the Feds!" Chuck smiled. "We'll send our statements to the cranky lady with the stars on her shoulders."

Kingston accepted the new situation with a dutiful nod and pulled Officer Peters out of the room. Sometimes it was good to have fans.

Finally alone, Sarah wasted no time scooting across Chuck lap, pulling her legs up on the sofa and putting her arms around his neck.

"Hi." Chuck grinned.

"Hi." Sarah grinned.

She gave him a quick kiss and then settled her head against his shoulder. He rubbed light, lazy circles on her back.

"We should probably head out there to supervise," Chuck suggested

"In a minute." Chuck didn't argue. They both relaxed. After that minute, Sarah softly said into Chuck's neck, "I don't know what's wrong with me."

"What do you mean?"

"I used to really like going on missions. It made me feel like I was doing something good to make up for everything I did with my dad growing up. And I was good at it. But this time… I don't know. Something was missing."

"I wasn't with you."

"Maybe, but I don't remember that. When we were hunting Quinn it was awkward."

"You still wanted to kiss me when we danced," Chuck teased.

"I admit nothing."

"I think the real problem was your heart knew you loved me and but your head didn't remember."

"That was probably it." Sarah gave him a kiss on the neck.

"We had fun when we were on missions together. Well, except when we were fighting."

"We fought? I thought we were the perfect couple."

"Everyone fights. But even when we did, we were good at multitasking, resolving our issues while taking out the bad guys. Our fights were usually silly stuff, like you wanting to elope—"

"I could see that. I'm happy we have a video without an Elvis minister. Morgan was better, somehow fitting. What else did we fight about?"

"You arresting my mother."

"I didn't!"

"Oh yeah you did."

"No wonder she greeted me with a gun."

"That's just her. She's got enough of her own guilt issues that you're the least of her problems. You protect me and make me happy. That's all she really cares about." He kissed her on the head. They settled back into their relaxed embrace, not caring about the mess outside. The Federal agents would check in with them when they arrived.

"Chuck, I'm addicted. How am I going to get to the point I can be away from you more than a day?"

"We'll both get there. I think you are trying to make up for five years of lost memories all at once. That's not possible. You have a lifetime to remember those memories and for us to make new ones. There's no hurry. You used to go away for weeks after we were a couple."

"I can't imagine doing that again."

"You were looking for my mom."

"Was this before or after I arrested her?"

"After. Once to arrest her again. The other time to finish her mission."

Sarah laughed, "No offense, but after twenty years, she needed the help." Chuck agreed.

After a few more moments of snuggling, they were disturbed by another voice clearing. They looked up lazily and saw Alex, who had come through the hidden elevator door. She and Morgan must have finished with their post-mission activities.

"Sorry to interrupt."

"Don't worry about it," Chuck said as he straightened in the sofa. Sarah slid off of her husband and resumed her previous sitting position, plastered against Chuck's side.

"Sarah, you were right," Alex stated.

"I was? About what?"

"You probably don't remember. A few months ago during one of Chuck and Morgan's gaming nights, we got into your Scotch. You told me post mission sex was fantastic. Wow! It's a little faster than normal, but who cares!" Alex's grin was uncontrollable.

Chuck turned his head, bumping his forehead into Sarah's shoulder as he groaned. Sarah laughed.

"You two should take your turn downstairs where the police aren't roaming around. I volunteered Morgan to hold down the fort up here."

Chuck was still bleaching his brain, so Sarah answered. "That would be great. DHS is coming to collect the prisoners and the body."

"They can figure who the guys in black are. First, I wanted to make sure it was ok if I took my dad's X-13 knockout gas to deal with the prisoner and everyone at the deli." Alex held up the spray device.

Sarah answered, "I don't see a problem."

"Ok. I just wanted to make sure, because I don't actually work for Carmichael Industries, and I know what happens to people who try to steal CI's stuff," she joked.

"We should do something about that. Don't you think so, Chuck?"

"Sure," Chuck replied, not certain he knew what he was agreeing to.

"Alex, you did a great job today, and now that the CI is going to be safer, you really should be a part of the family business. That is, if you want."

"Yes I do!" Alex barely let Sarah finish.

Chuck had caught up. "We should have a planning meeting to talk about the new company direction, what with Sarah back, Casey gone, and you joining the team. Tomorrow morning?"

"We'll bring the pastries," Alex offered.

Sarah suggested, "How about we wait until Monday, no Tuesday, at 7:30? Chuck and I are going to be busy this weekend, and I can review the old plan I reportedly came up with on Monday."

"We'll still bring pastries."

"We have a plan. Oh, and we need to have a house warming for you in the next week. Invite Big Mike and Morgan's mom." Alex's eyes widened at the party Sarah had just suggested at her new home. Sarah didn't care, simply jumping up and pulling Chuck behind her. "Excuse us, but I think there's a storage room or closet or something else more comfortable downstairs with our name on it." Chuck followed willingly.

In the elevator, it finally occurred to Chuck to ask, "Sarah, Honey, who's the prisoner, and what were you doing at the deli?"

The prisoner

Anna heard the beep of the security panel. She grabbed her chair and lifted it between her and the door. After seeing Sarah stab and shoot those people, Anna had to protect herself. One of those guys looked dead. Morgan's girlfriend shot a couple more. It looked like the police weren't even arresting them.

Alex slowly stepped through the door with a big closed-mouth smile and a penetrating stare. "Calm down. I'm not here to kill you. In fact, I'm going to help you forget this day ever happened. But first, I just really have to tell someone, I really like my new job."

Song: "On Top of the World" by Imagine Dragons – when Chuck walks in and Sarah sees him

A/N: That's it for part 2, "Sarah vs the Buy More." Unfortunately, there will be a break in the daily updates for now because of Real Life. Chuck is back, so part 3 will include more Charah, as well as some family time, and the couple trying to figure out their immediate future. There will also be more guest stars, and not all of them will walk away happy.

This story is on extended hiatus, but I do hope to extend it someday. (4/2015)

While you are waiting for me, I have a few things to occupy your time.

My crossover 1-shot story "Beckett vs the Linchpin" takes place during the Tuesday morning meeting that Sarah set up with Alex. It's not required reading. It has its own continuity as the third story in the "Averages Castle/Chuck Crossover Universe," or can be read stand alone. Don't worry. This story will not become a crossover. I just decided to make the stories compatible. It includes more Charah domestic fluff and Team CI in the middle of someone else's mission. (I hope to extend this series too.)

Check out "mynameisjeffnimlost. tumblr com/tagged/CaSvTNA" for screencaps collections for each chapter.

Finally, check out the Chuck This! blog (chuckthisblog. wordpress com). They are just a few episodes in to a weekly rewatch of every single Chuck episode. The analysis is insightful, and the comments are filled with lively, but respectful debate. It should be easy to catch up and will be fun to start from the beginning.