Hi everyone! This story goes out to my friend Leah, who asked for this for her birthday. I wasn't going to do it because I don't like to encourage those kinds of demands, buuuuut...she's taking me to see Golden Boy in December...and thus, Yvonne...so if Leah wants a story, she'll get a story! ;)
Also, I was a little unsure about the rating for this. It's a really soft "M" I think, so can someone please tell me if you think I put it in the wrong place?
As always, Chuck isn't mine, thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy :)
"Chuck, can you show me our dream house?"
That wasn't what Chuck Bartowski expected to hear when he heard his wife walking down the hallway one Sunday morning, but those were the words that escaped her lips before she even made it into the room. He paused his video game and turned from his place on the couch to find her. She was standing at the end of the hallway in a cream colored camisole and matching pajama shorts, her arms loosely folded across her middle as if she were nervous.
"Really?" Chuck asked. Her eyes widened a little, and she nodded slightly. "Uh, yeah, okay. Yeah."
Sarah shot him a bright smile and uncrossed her arms. "I'll just be a few minutes," she said, her curly hair bouncing as she quickly turned around.
Chuck watched her disappear back into their bedroom, a small grin on his face. Having already gotten dressed that morning, he stayed in place on the couch, thinking about what had just happened and the importance of her request. With a satisfied tilt of his head, he turned back to his game and waited for her to get ready. She reappeared about twenty minutes later, dressed in jeans and a blue top with little white buttons. He stopped the game and turned to look at her again.
"I'm ready," she said. "Do we need to call somebody to let us in?"
"I've got it covered," he said with another grin. "Out of curiosity…never mind."
"What?" she asked.
"Umm…did you pick that shirt for a reason?"
"Uh," she said, looking down at her wardrobe choice for the day. "Because it's old? It's kind of weird getting dressed when I don't recognize 80 percent of the clothes in my closet. Why do you ask?"
"Come here and I'll tell you," he said.
She folded her leg underneath her as she sat facing him on the couch. "Even my shirt has a story?" she asked in disbelief.
"First thing's first," he said, leaning in. He gave her a soft kiss and said, "Good morning, babe."
She caressed his cheek and whispered, "Hi."
Chuck leaned back against the couch and held her hand against her knee.
"It's just kind of a joke between us. After we met, we would spend our evenings doing spy stuff, but everyone, you know, thought we were going out, so we sometimes had to make up dates. You would always make sure we were on the same page about everything – where we went, what we ate…what we were wearing," Chuck started. "Despite what we planned, I always seemed to end up saying you were wearing the blue top with the little buttons."
"Always?" she asked with a laugh.
"I think I just got so flustered lying to Ellie that it was the only non-spy outfit I could remember. So when we finally got to actually go on a real casual date and not do something spy-y instead, you wore that. You said I'd tell everyone you wore it anyway, so why not?" he said. He then shrugged and said, "This, unfortunately, went on for several years, so…"
She chuckled again, but this time, her laughter eventually trailed off into a sigh. "I don't even know which shirts you like on me anymore," she said sadly.
"I like all of them," he promised, grinning as he leaned towards her again.
She shot him a small smile as he kissed her cheek and asked if she was ready to go. Sarah nodded, and the couple headed out.
They pulled up in front of the little white house with the red door, and Sarah got out of the car, looking at the house in awe.
"You found it," she breathed. "I mean, I know I've been here before, but I guess I didn't really look at it then, and…it's just like what I always pictured. Did I tell you?"
"Yeah," he admitted. "I'm not that good. I was trying to surprise you with gigantic mansions on beachside cliffs, and you found out and told me what you really wanted."
She scrunched up her face in repugnance. "I hate big surprises like that."
"Oh, believe me. I know," Chuck laughed. "Ready to go inside?"
Sarah nodded and grabbed his hand, letting him lead her up the empty driveway. Chuck pulled a key from his back pocket and opened the front door. She toed off her boots and wandered around the living room as he shut and locked the door behind them.
"It's not much, but we thought it was kind of perfect," he said, following her lead and leaving his own shoes by the door. "We're not really the 'leave-your-shoes-by-the-door' type, by the way. We can be, I guess, if you want."
"No, I just didn't want to mess anything up," she said.
Sarah had found her way over to the post with their names carved into the wood in the short time it had taken for Chuck to deal with the front door. She was delicately tracing the plus sign with her fingers when Chuck walked over and ran a hand across her back.
"Well…" she sighed, glancing back at him. "Give me the tour."
He held out his hand, and she laced her fingers through his again, running her free hand over the vandalized wall as they walked away. He took them only a few steps and paused in the middle of the room.
"This is the living room, obviously. We've had a couple candlelight picnics in front of the fireplace here," Chuck said. "Umm…I always said that corner over there would be great for a Christmas tree someday. We'd be blocking some windows, but…"
She nodded. "I could see that," she agreed.
"And then back here is the kitchen-slash-dining room. There's no formal dining room, but I don't think we need one. We're not that fancy," he said, leading her towards the back of the house.
"No, not really," she laughed, recalling the previous evening's dinner of pizza, straight from the box, on the couch.
"Want to go out back?" he asked. She nodded, so he slid open the sliding glass door and led them outside to the spacious backyard.
"It's no toes in the sand, but we were going to get a table with one of those umbrellas in the middle for the patio here, so we could eat outside sometimes," he told her. "And I wanted a big hammock to put in between those trees across the yard. I thought we could swing and look at the stars on warmer nights…or snuggle and look at the stars on cooler nights."
"That sounds nice," she smiled.
"And someday, there could be a swing set over here…maybe even an above-ground pool if we were feeling really crazy, and we'd have to fence it in, of course."
"Why…of course?" Sarah asked.
"For the dog," he said.
"The dog?" she asked. "I agreed to a dog?"
"You did," he said.
"You're lying," she said.
"I wouldn't lie to you!" he protested.
"Not even if it's to your benefit?" she challenged.
"No!" he insisted. "We were going to move in and get a fence and get a puppy. A golden retriever, ideally, but you wanted to rescue, so we'll see."
"I agreed to a puppy?" she asked again. "And had a preference for how it got here?"
Chuck laughed. "You did! I swear! The golden retriever thing was all me, though."
"Of course you want a golden retriever," Sarah said, playfully rolling her eyes at how clichéd but wonderful the entire scenario he was feeding her was.
"And we're going to name it Bunny, whether it's a boy or a girl."
"Bunny? Why would we name a puppy Bun…oh!" she said, suddenly remembering where the puppy named Bunny had come from. She let out a breath, amazed at how well this man holding her hand knew her. "Oh wow."
He just smiled at her and gave her hand a slight squeeze. He led her back into the house and into the den across from the kitchen.
"This was going to be the entertainment room. Couch, recliners, big screen, video games, etc…" he said.
"So this is your room?" she teased.
"Hey now, I know we have to re-do your entire pop culture education, but you will learn to love watching TV with me again," he said. "We've even had a few fights over the DVR lately, believe it or not."
"Or not," Sarah said. "What in the world would I want to watch that badly?"
"Uh, it's called Revenge, and we'll marathon your little guilty pleasure when we get home," he told her. "You wouldn't let me delete them, so we still have them all. You'll be obsessed again by the end of the night."
She nodded, an amused smile on her face, clearly not believing a word he was saying. He pointed a finger at her and told her she'd see before leading her to the small half-bath on the downstairs level.
"What's wrong?" she asked after he stopped just outside of the closed door.
"Well, this…this is a little scary, but we're going to fix it. I promise," he said. He opened the door and flipped on the light. Sarah's mouth dropped open as she stepped inside.
"Why…why is there wallpaper on the ceiling?" Sarah asked.
"I have no idea," Chuck laughed.
"What would you even call that color? Chartreuse?"
"Sure, maybe, I don't know. We'll fix it," Chuck said.
"That is the ugliest thing I've ever seen, Chuck," she said.
"Yes, it is. The owners were nuts. We'll fix it," he said again.
"Okay, I don't want to look at it anymore. What's upstairs?" she asked.
"Oh, lots of good stuff," he grinned. "Come on!"
They made their way to the staircase, and Chuck pointed out the little room under the stairs, making a Harry Potter reference that Sarah didn't understand along the way. She pulled him up the stairs before he could dwell on that too much and asked him which door led to their would-be bedroom. He opened the door to the master suite and pulled her inside.
"Walk-in closet," Chuck said. "With shelves, so you don't have to leave your shoe rack by the bed anymore. We talked about painting…the neutral walls are fine, but we thought some color might be nice. We hadn't really talked specifics yet. Oh, and we talked about getting a bigger bed."
"We did? The bed we have is plenty big," she said. She grinned and added, "We seem to only really sleep on one side of it anyway."
He chuckled. "Yeah, that's basically true, but you said…umm…" he stuttered.
"What did I say?" she asked softly.
"You once told me that you wanted a bed big enough for us and our babies. So we could all get together and have movie nights or watch Saturday cartoons or stuff like that. When we have babies, you know, maybe…" he said, broaching the topic of children for the first time since she'd come home. "And Bunny, of course. She'd be at the end of the bed keeping your feet warm."
Sarah nodded slowly, facing away from him. She covered her mouth with her hand as she tried to picture the room filled with their things and a little person snuggled between them in bed. She took a breath, blinked back the feelings swelling inside of her, and turned back to her husband with narrow eyes.
"I was going to let you get a dog and put it in our bed?" she asked.
"You're a wild woman, what can I say?" he shrugged.
She smiled and pulled him towards the bathroom. "Is this our bathroom?"
"Yeah, he said. We're going to re-do this one, too."
"Oh no, what's wrong with this one?" Sarah asked.
"Well, nothing, exactly, but I always promised you we'd get a big bathtub when we got a house, and there's not one in there right now."
"Why did you promise me that?" she asked.
"Because we have a standard size tub back at the apartment, and you do not have a standard size husband," he said.
"Oh," she giggled. "And that's something I complain about a lot?"
"You could say that," Chuck teased. "We were also arguing over whether we needed to be one of those ridiculous couples with his and her sinks. That hadn't been settled yet."
"I'm for, you're against?" she asked.
"Ah, see, you do remember," he said.
She shot him another amused glance and wandered through the master suite a bit more before she grabbed his hand again, signaling her readiness to move on. Chuck led her out into the hallway.
"We wanted to line the hallway with pictures," he said. "Maybe even all the way down the stairwell, depending...pictures of us, pictures of…"
"Our kids growing up?" she interrupted. Chuck faltered when he heard the emotionless tone to her words, the tone that always came out when she was trying to detach herself from a situation.
"That's not what I was going to say, but yeah, that was on our list…you know, someday," he said quietly. He opened the door to one of the spare bedrooms. "Anyway, moving on…we weren't really sure what to do with this room."
"No ideas?" Sarah asked, her voice returning to normal. "It seems like we talked about every inch of this house so far."
"You wanted a home office. I wanted a nerd room with arcade games and…" he started, catching the look she was giving him out of the corner of his eye. "Stupid guy stuff. Ellie said we should make it a guest room. Awesome said it should be a home gym. Morgan said this was obviously his room," Chuck said. "Mostly we were just using it for dancing."
"Dancing?" she asked.
"Yeah, well, we'd come here at night, and you like dancing, and the moonlight is really beautiful coming through that window over there, so once we finished picnic-ing, we'd walk through the house and talk about our plans and end up in here. Nothing, like, ballroom, just…you know…"
Chuck spun her so she was facing him, readjusting the grip he had on her hand and wrapping his other around her waist. He pulled her in close as her arm naturally fell around his shoulders. They swayed back and forth in the center of the room of a few times before he held out their joined arms and she twirled. Sarah laughed, and he pulled her into a hug.
"It's more romantic at night," Chuck promised as she pulled back to look at him.
"That was pretty romantic," she said softly, rubbing the back of his neck. Their foreheads fell together, and Sarah's eyes slipped shut. Chuck brushed some hair away from her face, and after a moment, Sarah asked, "There's more, right?"
"Yeah…yeah," he said. He pointed to a door near the back of the room. "Bathroom through there. It connects the two bedrooms."
"What's in the other room?" she asked.
"Uh…" he stuttered.
"Chuck, what?" she asked.
"That was going to be the baby's room," he said gently.
"Can I see it?" she asked.
"Are you sure?" he asked. He had noticed the way she had reacted when that topic was brought up at other points throughout the tour, and he didn't want to upset her.
"Yes," she said.
"Okay, after you," he said.
They walked through the connecting bathroom and into the home's third bedroom. It was empty, just like all the other rooms in the house, and Sarah looked around as she walked in. She paused just a few steps in with a sigh, and Chuck wrapped his arms around her from behind, resting his chin on her shoulder.
"Just so I know," she said with a soft voice. "Did we lose…I mean…have I ever actually been pregnant?"
"No, no, nothing like that," Chuck said. "Not with me anyway."
"So no," Sarah deadpanned, shooting him a look.
"So no," he confirmed.
"But we were trying?" she asked.
"Well, no. We were still being safe because our lives weren't safe enough yet," he said.
"So why did we have a nursery?"
"You thought you were pregnant once. You took a test. It was negative. It was good at the time, but it got us thinking…spiraling, really."
"Tell me about the room, Chuck," she requested, unraveling herself from his embrace to wander around.
"Right across from our room, lots of natural light…it was perfect," he said. "You wanted to do it in lavender and white if it's a girl. Or mint green and white…you hadn't decided yet. And as long as there's something Star Wars in the room, I don't care."
"And for a boy?" she asked.
"Tan and navy blue," he said.
He stood in the bathroom doorway, his arms crossed as he leaned against the door frame, as she walked around the room. She peered out the windows and glanced in the closet, her mind filling with the promises a former self and Chuck had held for this room only a little while ago. Sarah's steely exterior finally broke, and her face crumbled. Chuck stood up a little straighter when he saw her body slump from behind, and he finally walked over to her when he heard a sob escape her throat.
"Sarah," he whispered, caressing her back. "Hey, Sarah, it's okay."
"It's not okay," she said softy. She didn't turn around to face him.
"Let's go, okay? It's a just a room," he said, never taking his comforting hand off her upper back. She shook her head.
"No, it's not the room. It's not just the room. It's everything, Chuck. It's the house and the Christmas tree in the corner and the hallway of pictures and the dancing and the hammock in the backyard, and…" she said, her voice breaking as a few tears finally rolled down her reddening cheeks. "And Bunny and…"
"Sarah," he whispered. She turned, and he tried to wipe the tears spilling from her eyes. She shook her head, and he finally rested his arms by his sides.
"It was…a real life. We were going to have something here together, and it all sounds so nice and beautiful and…happy. It sounds like I was so…" she said. "We were so happy."
"We were," Chuck nodded, his own voice breaking.
"No, Chuck," she said, shaking her head. "No, you can't do that, too."
"I'm sorry," Chuck said. He took a deep breath, trying to hold himself together for her sake. "Do you want to talk about…I don't know…anything?"
She stood in front of him calmly crying and shook her head. "He…he just took everything, didn't he?"
Chuck knew she probably only had a few moments of composure left in her, and the lump in his own throat was growing, so he hesitantly reached out and touched her shoulders. He tugged ever-so-slightly, and Sarah fell into Chuck's embrace, burying her face into his neck. He pulled her body as close to his as he could and held onto her tightly, resting his head on hers.
"Why did this happen?" she cried, her body finally racked with sobs.
"I don't know, baby," Chuck said, eyes filling with tears of his own.
They embraced for a few more moments, silently crying in the middle of the would-be nursery before Sarah pulled back and looked into his eyes. She held onto his shoulders, her blue eyes still brimming with tears, and he clutched her waist.
"Is it harder being the one who remembers?" she asked softly.
Chuck pondered her question for a minute before heavily saying, "I don't think there is harder or easier here. It's all just…hard."
Sarah nodded slowly in agreement and then surprised her husband for the second time that day by leaning in and planting a kiss on his mouth. Chuck cradled her head in his hand and let out a moan as he felt her mouth open beneath his. His tongue slipped past her lips, and her hands strongly gripped his sides. She lowered them to the carpet beneath them as their kisses combusted with passion. Their knees hit the floor, and one of the hands on Chuck's side slipped up between their bodies. Sarah rested on his chest for just a moment before toying with the buttons on his shirt. She slipped the first few buttons apart before Chuck grabbed her hand and released her lips.
"Are you sure?" he whispered.
"Yes," she breathed.
"You're upset," he said.
"Chuck, I need you," she pleaded, playing with another button on his shirt. She looked him in the eye and added, "Not just now in this moment, but in my life…I need you."
He shot her a small, endearing smile. "Babe, I love you," he whispered.
She returned his smile, waiting for him to make the next move. He hooked his fingers through the belt loops on her jeans and pulled her to him. Their lips met in another passionate kiss, and she moaned when his hand slipped up underneath her shirt to caress her warm skin. She finished undoing the buttons and pushed the garment off his shoulders. Chuck tossed the shirt aside, pulled off the white undershirt he wore underneath, and shifted so he was sitting with folded legs on the carpet in the empty room.
Chuck pushed Sarah's shirt up to kiss her taut stomach as she climbed atop him, and she giggled when his lips brushed her skin. She sat down on his lap and kissed him again, slowly running her hands against his bare chest, re-committing the lines of his muscles to her memory. He ran his hands up her back, gathered her blonde locks in one of his palms, and gently pulled her head to the side. He dove in, attaching his lips to her neck, and she squirmed against him, moaning as he sucked at the sensitive spot she didn't even know she had.
His hands slid down her body as he fervently kissed all along her neck. He pulled the button on her jeans apart and dragged the zipper down its track, giving him enough room to curl his hands around her ass and grind her hips into him. She groaned, her head falling back in pleasure, and Chuck took the opportunity to place hot kisses along her throat. She pulled her own shirt over her head when he leaned back to take a breath, and she cupped her hands around his cheeks as soon as the top had been discarded. Their lips met in another long kiss, only breaking when Sarah steered his head towards her breasts. Not wanting to waste any time, Chuck caressed up her back and unclasped her bra, throwing it onto the growing pile of clothes across the room.
"You're still sure?" he asked, giving her another out.
"Kiss me," she told him.
She didn't have to ask him twice. He cupped one of her breasts in his palm and gently massaged it before leaning down to take her into his mouth. He sucked on her skin, the tip of his tongue licking circles around her nipple. She thread her fingers through his hair, tugging slightly when his thumb mirrored the motion of his tongue on her other breast. Sarah closed her eyes and rocked against him.
"Oh, Chuck," she sighed.
He moved to kiss her other breast, and his free hand stroked down her stomach into the front of her opened jeans. She whimpered as he massaged her bare skin, and she rocked harder against him until he fell backwards, taking her with him. Her chest hovered over his mouth, and she crawled down his body until their lips and tongues met again. They finished undressing each other and rolled around the floor, re-exploring each other's bodies. Their lips finally met in another passionate kiss, and he laid her on her back, climbing on top of her. She broke away from their kiss on a moan as he slipped inside of her and wrapped her arms around his chest, holding his body to hers in an intimate embrace.
"Mmm…" she breathed, peppering kisses along his neck as he made love to her. Her body suddenly stilled, and a startled-sounding, "Oh," escaped her lips.
Chuck immediately pushed himself up on his elbows to look at her, afraid he'd done something wrong. "What? Are you okay?"
She nodded quickly, assuring him she wasn't hurt. Her face softened into a grin. "I was just suddenly thinking about the last time we made love here," she said.
"What?" he asked.
"Not here, but um…downstairs," she said. "After we carved our names into the wall, we made love on the picnic blanket in the candlelight."
He looked at her in awe. "You remember that?"
Her face broke into a huge grin, and she nodded. "Yeah."
"I tell you stuff all morning, and you don't remember any of it…" he mumbled in disbelief, more to himself than to her.
"Well, I've always been more of an action kind of girl," she teased.
He grabbed her legs from where they were sprawled out on the floor beneath them and wrapped them around his waist. Chuck gathered her body into his arms and moved them both back into a seated position in the middle of the room. She immediately began rocking again, and he clutched her ass, holding her against him. They fell into another round of passionate kisses, and Sarah pushed him onto his back, continuing their lovemaking until they were both spent.
Chuck's arms fell from her body and slumped against the floor while she collapsed against his chest, the sounds of their heavy breaths filling the still air. He mustered up enough strength to brush some hair away from her face as she pressed open-mouthed kisses against his chest. Sarah grabbed his side and locked her legs around his body, rolling onto her side on the floor and coaxing his body to roll with hers. She slid her legs slowly down to his and tangled them together as they shared deep, languid kisses.
"We're good at that," she murmured against his lips.
He chuckled. "Yeah, we're pretty good at that," he agreed.
She moved onto her back, breaking contact with him. He stroked down her arm, hoping she would roll back over and cuddle with him, but she was already sitting up, reaching for her underwear on the pile of the clothing that had collected near the bare window. Her mouth fell open as she realized their private moment may not have been so private.
"Chuck, the windows…" she said.
He glanced over at her, opening just one eye, and admired the way her bare skin glistened in the sunlight. "Yeah, they're nice…" he muttered.
"No, Chuck, what if someone saw us?" she said.
"Oh!" he said, finally catching up to her. He sat up a little and then shrugged, falling back to the soft carpet beneath him. "Well, I guess we won't be getting any welcome-to-the-neighborhood parties. Better than being the couple on the street that fights all the time, right?"
He opened his eyes after a few more moments to find her silently pulling on her clothes. Chuck sighed, sat up, and decided to get dressed as well. He finished as she was fastening the button on her jeans, and he swiftly grabbed her hips, pulling her down to sit between his outstretched legs.
"What are you doing?" she asked.
"Please don't tell me we're back to anti-cuddling Sarah," he said.
"Anti-cuddling Sarah?" she asked.
"My cuddling needs used to slightly outweigh your tolerance for it…until you learned that cuddling while we sleep equals warm feet, and then you were swayed to good side," he quickly explained.
"But we're not sleeping, and my feet aren't cold," she pointed out. "And I thought that's what Bunny was going to be for."
"Yeah, after we get a little one to block me from reaching you. Until then, feet warming duties fall to me," he said, covering her still-bare feet with his.
"Our little one…" she pondered, staring wistfully at the wall in front of her.
"How's that sound?" he asked.
"Strange," she admitted. "Nice." She ran her hand against her stomach. "Strange. Chuck, what just happened here was wonderful, but I still feel like everything you told me this morning is from a stolen lifetime."
"He didn't win," Chuck whispered. "I know sometimes it feels like he did, but he didn't. You're here. You stayed with me, he didn't win, and we can still have it. Bunny, the baby, the house…everything. We can have anything you want."
"What do you want?" Sarah asked, turning in his arms to look at him.
"I want this," he said. "I want us."
"I want that, too," she smiled.
He shot her a huge grin. "So you like the house?"
"Yes," she said. "You knew I would."
"I did," he admitted. "You think you could be happy here with me?"
"Yes," she nodded immediately. "Very happy."
"You want to move in here with me next weekend?"
"Yes," she said. She realized what he had said and tuned to face him again. "Wait…what?"
"It's ours," he said. "Well…mine, at the moment. We'll get your name on the papers."
"You bought the house, Chuck? When?" she asked.
"Two weeks ago," he said. "It was quick, but it was in the works for a little while before that. I was trying to surprise you again."
"You succeeded! But…but when you bought it, I was…" she said, knowing he hadn't seen her in a while when he purchased the house.
"I know," he said softly.
"Why?" she asked.
"This was your dream house long before I was in the picture. This is where you always saw yourself when you dreamed about your future, and that preceded what Quinn took away, and I just thought that…if you came back, and if you decided I was still your dream guy…I wanted you to have your house," he said. "And if you didn't ever come back…I wanted a piece of you…of us…to keep for myself."
Her eyes began welling with a different kind of tears, but she breathed them back before any could spill across her cheeks. She leaned in and kissed him softly.
"Thank you," she said. They shared a smile, and she hopped up from her place between his legs. "Well, we have a lot of work to do if you want to move in here next weekend!"
She grabbed her socks and sprinted down the stairs, eager to get to work on her new home. He followed her, pure happiness shining on his face, and his stomach growled when he met her at the front door.
"Can we maybe start with lunch?" he asked.
"Sure," she laughed.
He opened the front door to let them out after they pulled on their shoes, and she grabbed his arm as they walked through the doorway. He paused, and she fell against the open doorframe.
"You know I love you, right?" she asked. "You make me happy."
He leaned in for one more kiss. "I know," he said.
Chuck locked the front door behind him and took her hand again as they headed back down to their car.
"Chuck," she said. He looked at her. "About this dog…"