A/N: So here's the deal. I know most of you never expected to hear from me again, but I've apparently got one more story to tell. I was hoping to finish it up by Christmas. Eight days left and I'm posting the first chapter, that'll happen...right. This is the sequel and continuation of my other Christmas fiction titled The Stocking. If you haven't read that, this universe isn't going to make any sense at all, so go to my author page, scroll down, it's the second one from the bottom. Read that, leave me a review and then come back, I'll wait.
Okay, now that you're fully up to speed. (Or back up to speed.) We return the Christmas centric version of Chuck and Sarah. As this is a sequel, I promise more sex, more chocolate, more explosions and more warm fuzzies. What I actually deliver…well we can hope for the best can't we?
I won't keep you any longer, there's a little bit more note at the bottom.
Disclaimer: I don't own Chuck. We'd probably all be much happier if I did.
Chez Bartowski, Los Angeles, CA 2017
Sarah grimaced as she put the final few decorations around the living room. It seemed wrong, doing this by herself, however tomorrow was Christmas and Ellie, Devon and Ben would be here early to start the festivities. There just wasn't any more time.
She'd waited until almost eight PM to start the final preparations, but Chuck still hadn't called her back. He'd called at six and told her he was still at Langley. The last flight out was midnight. As she looked at the clock it was now twelve fifteen in D.C. Chuck wasn't going to make it.
This was the first Christmas since she'd left the CIA that they wouldn't be together. Honestly she was heartbroken. It wasn't Chuck's fault. He'd wanted to be home days ago, but meetings upon meetings had overflowed into the holidays. Business at the CIA didn't stop for holidays. Not that Chuck worked for the CIA exactly. But despite the org chart he far too often got caught up in the Agency's timeline.
The current meetings all went back months. Chuck had spent far too much of this whole year away from home. The European Union had put out a new integrated records package in July. It had been a disaster for the CIA. Different countries each had a hand in doing design and programming work, but getting information on the package had proved elusive. It wasn't that you couldn't find people who knew how it worked, it was that the central core of programmers who were put it all together had proven difficult to identify let alone penetrate.
Chuck had gone back in May to spend six weeks leading up to the software's launch to try and figure out what they knew and how they would get records into the system upon the new systems launch. He'd returned two weeks before the launch immensely frustrated. They didn't know enough and it was going to be a problem. He had to go back in July when it launched, he needed the team in D.C.
It was just six more weeks he'd told her, then he'd be home for the balance of the year.
Six weeks had turned out to be fourteen. For thirteen weeks US covert operations hadn't been able to safely insert records into EU databanks. As the EU rolled more and more systems into the new joined package the CIA had largely had to shut down unsanctioned deep cover operations in Europe.
Sarah could feel the stress in D.C. all the way back to their house in Los Angeles. When Chuck had finally returned he'd been so drawn, she'd never seen him in such bad shape. He had quite a few new gray hairs and he'd lost weight. When she pressed him he'd admitted to doing most of the hacking himself. Defeating the data logs had been all but impossible and just that part had taken his team more than a month. But the new system tracked every access, every file change, it was all logged and if you couldn't beat the logs you couldn't insert records. Chuck was exhausted.
Sarah was glad to have him home, but it had been far from over. His hours were too long. He worked too hard and now he'd gone back to DC for a 'few days' that was almost a month ago and now he was going to miss Christmas.
Sarah sighed as she put the little village of elves up on the mantle. It was already Christmas in D.C. Technically Chuck was already missing Christmas.
She thought long and hard about whether to hang up their stockings or not. Ultimately she decided she had to, as much as it would hurt to see her stocking sitting empty come morning, she couldn't not put it out.
Sarah's heart ached as she hung them by the fire. She had been going to tell him tomorrow. She'd tucked the baby booties into the bottom of his stocking. Next year they'd have another stocking to hang.
Sarah carefully removed the contents of Chuck's stocking and removed the tiny pair of baby booties. If Chuck wasn't going to be here in the morning, this was not the way to tell him. She'd have to find another way.
The stress of telling Chuck was eating at her. She'd known for almost a week and had vacillated between giddiness and terror so many times she'd lost count. They hadn't been trying to get pregnant, but they hadn't really been trying not to either. Doctors were unsure if she was capable of carrying a child after the damage of the shooting she'd suffered in Prague had caused. They'd decided to stop taking birth control 10 months ago, Chuck and Sarah had begun to assume the doctors were correct.
But a passionate interlude that made Chuck late for the airport had proved all their thinking wrong. It was still a high risk pregnancy. She'd visited her doctor four days ago and along with confirming her pregnancy he'd advised her that it wouldn't be easy and likely meant bed rest for most of the third trimester.
Sarah was putting the stocking back on its hanger when her phone rang and she almost dropped Chuck's stocking on the floor.
"Chuck, Hi!" Sarah said breathlessly as she scrambled to get the phone answered and to her ear in time.
"Merry Christmas!" Came the reply.
"It'd be merrier if you were here," Sarah replied in a decidedly Grinch like tone.
"I'm working on it," Chuck replied happily.
"You're on your way?" Sarah asked hopefully.
"Not yet, we're heading back to Langley for a bit, but then I'm coming, I promise."
"Where were you?" Sarah asked.
Chuck laughed. "You wouldn't believe me if I told you. Look we have a little bit of paperwork to do and I've got a line on a flight back, so I'll see you tomorrow…well today my time, but I'll be home don't worry."
"Chuck…" Sarah sighed. "Don't spend your whole Christmas in airports. The last redeye left fifteen minutes ago."
" I'll be there."
Sarah shook her head. "Chuck… it's okay."
"Hey don't give up on me yet, I've got a few more tricks up my sleeve. I've gotta go, but I love you."
Despite her sour mood, Sarah smiled. Chuck did have a way with Christmas. "I love you too, will you be here in the morning?"
"I'm not sure, but I'll be there sometime, I promise. Bye!"
"Bye!" Sarah replied but the phone clicked dead before her reply.
Sarah considered who Chuck had been sitting next to when he made that call and shuddered a bit. That could not have been an easy call to make. Chuck infectious happiness were not shared by his superiors in Washington if he was with them when he made the call… Sarah shook her head that could not have been pleasant.
Still Chuck was going to be here. He promised and Chuck almost never broke a promise. The smile came back to her face and she looked at the baby booties that she'd taken out of Chuck's stocking. Should she put them back?
Ben probably wouldn't wait if Chuck wasn't here first thing in the morning. It wasn't Christmas without Chuck. Sarah tucked the booties into the pocket of her hoodie and headed to the bedroom. If Chuck would be here in the morning, then she didn't want to be a wreck when he got here.
Sarah, opened the door and was crushed by Ellie's hug. "Hi! Oh! Merry Christmas!" Ellie gushed.
Ellie's belly poked into Sarah's own abdomen making her feel very self conscious. Ellie was not quite huge, but Sarah was suddenly very aware of the pregnant woman's bump. "Hi, Ellie, Merry Christmas," Sarah replied.
"What's wrong?" Ellie queried immediately.
"Chuck's not here, is he?" Ellie asked.
"Presents!" Ben cried from behind her. He pushed past the two women and headed for the living room.
"Ben, take off your shoes!" Ellie cried after him. "Sorry."
"It's okay." Sarah shrugged. "How are you feeling?"
Ellie let out a sigh and rubbed her belly. "Pregnant." Ellie rolled her eyes.
"Enough girl talk, Santa's here," Sarah heard Devon say as he walked up the steps to the front door his arms loaded down with presents.
Sarah and Ellie stepped out of the way as Devon stepped through with the first load of presents. He put his load down and gave Sarah a quick kiss on the cheek before heading back out to the car for another load.
"I'm so glad you agreed to do Christmas this year," Ellie shook her head. She rubbed her back and shook her head. "This one is definitely harder than it was with Ben. "
"Come on! Presents!" Ben reappeared in the entry jumping up and down.
"Shoes!" Ellie cried in exasperation. "We're not opening presents until Uncle Chuck gets here."
Ellie looked at Sarah for confirmation. "He said he'd be here, but he was still in D.C. late last night. I tried his phone a bit ago, but didn't get an answer. "
Sarah followed Ellie and Ben into the living room after Ellie made sure Ben removed his shoes. Devon followed them in with arm full of presents.
"We'll just do stocking now and then we'll wait for Uncle Chuck, okay?"
Ben whined a little, but eventually agreed. Sarah looked at her own empty stocking hanging limply by the fire. She certainly hoped Chuck made it.
Watching Ben open his stocking had been fun, sort of. She was so disappointed that Chuck didn't make it and she didn't have anything to open herself so she watched Ellie, Devon and Ben open theirs feeling like an intruder. It was neat to see them together and she was clearly family at this point in her life, but they were so perfect.
After breakfast and cleanup Sarah returned to the kitchen to prepare the turkey to roast. This was her first turkey, ever. Ellie had always done them. But Ellie had morning sickness and afternoon sickness and evening sickness, so she begged off turkey duty. It was the primary reason she was hosting. It was also the most intimidating part of hosting. Sarah had worked hard, primarily with Ellie, to turn herself into a decent cook. She no longer burned pancakes, she'd managed those with no problem, even though that was supposed to have been Chuck's job. Now she was facing the most intimidating part: cooking a turkey.
It had been sitting in the refrigerator for five days, she certainly hoped it was thawed. Sarah pulled it out of the fridge and placed it on the counter. She suddenly had the urge to run away. That was odd, Sarah might not be a great cook, but she wasn't a coward, she certainly wasn't afraid to cook dinner. She grabbed a pair of scissors and cut into the plastic. The first whiff of raw turkey got to her and Sarah's eyes bulged. She put a hand over her mouth and ran out of the kitchen.
She made it to nearest bathroom and slammed the door, just barely getting the toilet seat open before spilling her Christmas pancakes into the toilet.
WHAT. THE. HELL. WAS. THAT?
Sarah washed her mouth out in the sink and flushed the toilet. She took a moment to compose herself and washed her hands again just for good measure. She headed back towards the kitchen, but as soon as she saw the turkey on the counter she was overcome again and was back in the bathroom throwing up for the second time in five minutes.
"Damn it!" Sarah swore.
Was this it? Could it be? Morning sickness? This was the first appearance of it, if it was. Sarah didn't dare brave the kitchen again after that. What now? Sarah wandered out into the main part of the house and then called into the living room. "Devon? Can you help me for a minute?"
"Sure Sarah, be right there!"
Devon came jogging out of the living room. "What's up?"
"Can you do me a teensy favor?" Sarah asked holding her first finger and her thumb just a few millimeters apart to show how small this favor would be.
"Sure, anything." Devon shrugged.
"Can you go in the kitchen and put the turkey back in the fridge, it's just sooo heavy."
Devon gave her a funny look. She was a professional workout trainer. The idea that she couldn't lift a 22lb turkey into the fridge sounded weak even to her, but she was desperate. "Yeah no problem."
Devon walked towards the kitchen and Sarah went into the living. "Well it looks like I screwed up dinner," she declared to Ellie throwing her hands into the air. "You shouldn't have trusted me."
"What?" Ellie asked. "What's wrong?"
"The turkey isn't thawed."
"Sarah! I called you on Thursday and told you to get it out of the freezer!" Ellie objected.
"I know, I did, but it's not thawed, maybe our fridge is just too cold."
"That's impossible."Ellie shook her head.
"I don't know what to tell you, it's frozen."
"It's probably not that bad we can just run a little cold water over…"
"Nope." Sarah shook her head vigorously. "Trust me, there's no way that bird is getting cooked today." Sarah almost had to throw up again just saying the word bird.
"Are you okay?" Ellie asked.
"I'm great," Sarah lied. "I think we have some steaks in the freezer maybe Devon can BBQ?"
"BBQ'd steak for Christmas?" Devon clarified as he walked back into the living room. "That's awesome!"
"Great," Sarah said hastily. "We'll just do that then. Later…much, much, later."
The clock ticked past three o'clock Ben had been antsy to open presents for quite some time and Sarah was about to give up on Chuck, she'd called him one more time and his phone had rung through to voice mail. She really hoped he wasn't stuck in an airport somewhere. That would just complete this terrible Christmas in it's ultimate finale.
She supposed she and Chuck would just open their presents tomorrow, or whenever he managed to make it home. It really wasn't fair to make Ben wait.
"Ben, sweetie, why don't you go get a few of your presents out from under the tree?" Sarah asked.
"Really?" he said excitedly.
He and Devon had been playing cards for the last hour, but it was clearly wearing thin to the young boy.
"Sarah are you sure?" Ellie asked.
"I can't reach him…he could be anywhere," Sarah shrugged.
Ben wasted no time diving under the tree and extracting his first present. He was just about to tear it open when there was a loud pounding on the front door.
"Who on Earth?" Sarah asked.
They weren't expecting anyone else and Chuck wouldn't have knocked he'd just come through the garage. Sarah opened the door to a rousing. "HO! HO! HO! MERRY CHRISTMAS!"
Sarah stared. Santa was at their door. Not just any Santa, Sarah would recognize those brown eyes anywhere.
"Oh thank God!" Sarah whispered. She reached up and pulled Santa in for a very unchaste kiss. It was one of the odder romantic experiences of her life, and she'd been on dates in places she didn't like to think about.
"AUNT SARAH!" Cried an outraged Ben from behind her.
Sarah quickly broke off her assault on Santa's mouth and whirled around her face turning beet red. "I er… I…" Sarah explained.
"Well hey there little, Ben, Merry Christmas!" Santa bellowed not fazed in the least.
"You were supposed to come last night," Ben said in confusion.
"Well," Santa explained. "I had a little problem with this house last night. Some of the occupants didn't go to bed on time. Kinda threw off my schedule. But I wanted to stop in and see how you liked what I got you!"
"It's great!" Ben said. "I got chocolate, and playing cards and a new baseball and…"
"Ho, Ho, Ho! Glad you liked them."
Santa reached behind him and pulled a red bag up onto his shoulder. "I've got a few extra presents for this house though, why don't I just put them under the tree?" Santa asked.
They all followed Santa into the living room where he opened his sack and deposited several presents under the tree. Then he pulled a stocking out of his bag with Sarah's name on it. "I'm sorry this is late little girl. It was a crazy night."
Sarah's eyes began to fill with tears as she took the stocking from Santa. "Thank you," she replied with a watery smile. She wasn't going to cry. This wasn't getting to her.
"Hey, Ben? Why don't you open that one from me right now?" Santa asked.
Ben looked at his mom. "Can I?"
"Sure." Ellie nodded and then winked at Santa.
Ben ripped the paper away excited. "OH, MY, GOSH," Ben gasped. "It's the scale model R2D2 LEGO set, this is awesome! Thanks Santa!"
"You're welcome! Ben, I've got a few more houses to visit, but you have a Merry Christmas, all right?"
"Thank you, Santa, thank you, this is the best gift ever!"
"Ho, Ho, Ho," Santa laughed. He waved to the rest of them and wished them a Merry Christmas and left via the front door.
Sarah had to give Chuck credit. He was willing to sell a gag. It was ninety impossibly, achingly frustrating minutes before he returned.
Sarah nearly smacked him for making her wait so long but instead she smothered him moments after he walked back through the door.
"Well it's nice to see you too," Chuck managed to wheeze through the crushing hug Sarah was applying.
"I can't believe you came home on Christmas, how did you get a flight?" Sarah asked. "God, it's good to see you." She couldn't stop smiling she wasn't sure she'd ever stop smiling. The one and only thing she'd wanted for Christmas had finally arrived.
"Uncle Chuck!" Ben exclaimed. "You'll never guess who was here, it was Santa! He got me the R2-D2 LEGO build! It's the coolest thing ever!"
"Wow!" Chuck replied smoothly. "That's awesome, can I see it?"
Chuck gave her an apologetic grin as Ben tugged him into the living room.
Chuck stopped on the way into the living room to give Ellie and Devon each a hug before Ben tugged him away. "I'll be right back, I'm just going to take Chuck's bag into the bedroom," Sarah explained quickly. She picked up his valise and lugged it into the bedroom. She managed to get the door closed before the tears started.
Why was she crying? She was happy! Chuck had made it home for Christmas, which is what he'd said he would do and she didn't cry. She never cried about little things at least. The tears just kept coming though, leaking out of her eyes, betraying everything she knew about herself. If her father could see her now, breaking down about nothing.
It was at least five minutes, it might have been more, she lost track of time before she made it back out to the living room to find Chuck and Ben with at least a thousand LEGO pieces spread out on the carpet and beginning to assemble R2-D2.
"I swear she did," Ben insisted.
Chuck looked up at her and grinned. "You kissed Santa?"
Sarah rolled her eyes. "Thanks, Ben," she stated flatly. Ben looked up at her suddenly realizing he might be in trouble. "Next time let's keep that a secret, okay?"
"Don't listen to her," Chuck whispered. "You keep an eye on her."
Sarah huffed and sat down to watch the two boys assemble more LEGO pieces than Sarah had ever seen at one time into some small movie character robot.
After two hours R2-D2 had legs but no top and Chuck had abandoned the instructions and was giving Ben each piece one by one to add. "I need a break buddy."
"Okay," Ben agreed reluctantly. Chuck got up, but Ben continued to try and assemble the toy.
Chuck flopped down on the couch and leaned against her, she pulled him back so she could get firm grip. Oh, how she'd missed him.
"You haven't opened your stocking," Chuck observed.
"It didn't get here much before you," Sarah explained.
"Hmm, what an odd coincidence."
"It was, Santa is usually much more sneaky."
Chuck shrugged. "Probably delays at the North Pole, logistics and travel time, it's a nightmare scenario."
Sarah kissed the side of his face because that was what she could reach. "I love you," she whispered.
"I love you too."
Sarah disengaged herself for a moment to grab their two stockings and settled back in next to Chuck. She watched him for a few moments as he pawed through his gifts from Santa.
She'd never been quite as good at this at this as Chuck was. Still it made her feel special and it was far and away her favorite tradition. Part of her couldn't decide if she was happy she'd removed the baby booties from Chuck's stocking or regretful that he wouldn't find them buried in amongst his little treasures.
Sarah moved the toothpaste and travel shampoo aside and found a very nice pair of earrings. The next item surprised her as she pulled it out. A rather large package for coming inside the stocking. It was wrapped in brown paper and had a gold label that was written in script Bolssen's Réserve Privé.
"Are you kidding?" Sarah breathed.
"Kidding?" Chuck asked.
"How did you get this?" Sarah demanded.
"It's from Santa," Chuck replied in confusion glancing at Ben.
Sarah's eyes darted to Ben who was watching them surreptitiously. Bolssen's Private Reserve Chocolates we're in Sarah's opinion the very finest chocolate ever created by humans. It was only created by hand in small batches. There were four releases a year. To buy one you had to be a member of Bolssen's which cost, last Sarah had checked, five hundred Euros a year. Being a member didn't mean you got Chocolate, but it did entitle you to enter the four yearly lotteries. If you won the lottery you won the right to pay an absolutely ridiculous amount for a sales lot of chocolate. A lot was generally three pounds. Sarah had purchased a membership once and she'd even managed to win the lottery twice, but only once had she'd been able to fly to Belgium in the two week window after the lottery when pickups were required to actually receive her chocolate. After winning the lottery while being under cover and having her Chocolate sold in the store front for 50 Euros an ounce, she'd cancelled her membership. But oh, how she'd missed the chocolate.
Winning the drawing at Christmas when every member of the reserve would have been entering the lottery…not to mention that Chuck would have to have a membership, impossible. The membership was capped; it wasn't like you could just walk in and join. This must have taken years… Sarah brought the package to her nose and sniffed, there was just the faintest hint of cocoa. Sarah bit her bottom lip. Oh, God, did she need sex.
Sarah looked up from the Chocolate and wondered if anyone would notice if she and Chuck disappeared for a while. No probably not, given Devon's interpretations of proper Christmas morning behavior, they could likely disappear until dinner, but it probably wasn't the right thing to do.
"I don't know how to respond to this," Sarah finally said. It was just chocolate and yet… Sarah sighed.
"You know that's not the only thing in there," Chuck stated. He'd gone through his entire stocking and Sarah had barely noticed. Thank Santa the Baby booties had been removed. How bad of a mother could she to totally forget about her pregnancy for five minutes because of a little chocolate.
Hideously, ridiculously expensive chocolate, but still, it was just chocolate.
Sarah hesitantly put the chocolate down on the couch beside her. She was going to need to try it and soon, her mouth was already watering.
Her hands shaking Sarah removed the familiar white box from the bottom of her stocking. New charms for the bracelet on her wrist almost always came in a little white box. She slipped this one open wondering what Charm Chuck had found this year.
It was a tiny silver replica of the White House. That was odd. Chuck had just been in D.C. but generally the charms meant more than just a souvenir. It was odd.
Chuck's hand squeezed her knee bringing her back to reality as she contemplated the little charm. "Merry Christmas," he whispered.
Sarah gave him the most passionate kiss she could risk with a four year old playing on the floor behind her. "Santa is so getting lucky for this…" Sarah whispered indicating the chocolate. "Probably more than once."
Chuck's expression shifted from the small smirk at her first comment to a wide eyes at something he saw in her expression. Sarah smiled and turned back to Ben. "Should we find your parents and open the rest of the presents?" Sarah asked.
"YEAH!" Ben shouted, jumping up and running towards the family room, where Sarah knew Ellie had been having a rest. Pregnant or not, it was time to get this Christmas rolling.
Sarah stood at the bathroom wearing her Christmas themed lingerie making a final few tweaks to her makeup. It had actually been a while since she'd put this much effort in her makeup. It felt somehow wrong to do it right before going to bed. Sure she'd done it frequently before they were married, now it somehow felt like she was trying too hard. She was pretty sure it would be a while before she slept and chocolate, there would be chocolate. There might even be an extraction from Chuck of just how he managed to procure it.
"That turkey looks plenty thawed to me…" Chuck stated as he barged into the bathroom. Sarah quickly dropped the eyebrow pencil and turned around giving her best, 'come get me' pose.
Chuck stopped short. "Wow…" He blinked twice. "Just… okay I knew it had been too long, but wow."
"Thanks." Sarah smiled.
Sarah did a slinky little walk to reach him and pulled his shirt down so she could finally wish Chuck a proper Merry Christmas. It had been too long, she missed his touch so much she almost whimpered when she felt his hands on her shoulders, but then he pushed her away.
"We need to talk!" Chuck blurted.
"Now?" Sarah asked, trying to keep the outrage out of her voice, her disappointment was clearly evident.
"I think we should," Chuck nodded with his eyes fixed firmly on hers.
Sarah sighed. "We probably should. I've got news."
"Really?" Chuck asked. "Maybe you should go first because my thing is pretty huge."
Sarah gave a sardonic laugh. "I'm pretty sure mine's bigger."
"Really, why don't you go and then I'll explain," Chuck said.
"No, really, whatever you're going to talk about, isn't going to matter after what I'm going to tell you, so you better go first."
"You're sure, because…"
"Chuck, just say it! I'd like to get back to the kissing before the New Year!"
Chuck hesitated. Sarah could see the cogs working behind his eyes. He frowned for a moment and then he opened his mouth and said. "We have to move back to D.C."
Of the several dozen things Sarah was wondering if this could be about, moving to Washington D.C. had never come close to crossing her mind. It took her a moment to process it, after which she closed her mouth, since her jaw had nearly hit the floor once she finally processed Chuck's message. "Why?" Was the only semi intelligent thing her brain seemed to be able to form into a word. Why would Chuck want to move back to D.C. his family was here, his life was here?
"The President insisted," Chuck explained.
What kind of an explanation was that? "What?" Sarah asked. She shook her head, maybe she was delirious from the pregnancy, had she passed out after the incident with the turkey?
"Okay," Chuck made a calming gesture with his hands. "You know what happened with Europe last summer."
"Yeah," Sarah nodded slowly.
"Well we were rehashing it this week. The Congressional Intelligence Committee wants someone to blame, but of course we're all covert and I can't answer directly to congress. But the President…well he knows about the department and he knows about me. Last week we went to debrief him and I offered to take the fall."
"WHAT!" Sarah shouted. "It wasn't your fault!"
"That's what the President said." Chuck nodded. "He's been really impressed by some of the things my group has done and saw the warnings about what was going to happen if we couldn't get Europe's new software ahead of time. He knew everything. He's so impressive, Sarah, it was amazing his ability to retain information, he would have been a good intersect candidate."
"Chuck…" Sarah grunted to get Chuck back on track.
"Oh right, well he wants to make our department bigger and he wants me to be the director."
"Chuck…" Sarah groaned.
"I turned him down!" Chuck quickly explained. "I told him that the Stargazer project wouldn't be done for a year and we couldn't afford delays and that well… I mean I tried not to brag…" Chuck blushed slightly. "But they can't get it done in time without me."
Sarah put a hand over her eyes and rubbed her temples. "None of that explains why we have to move to D.C. if you turned him down."
"I did… but well… last night before I could leave to catch my flight the President called director Evans and I back to the White House. He gave me six months to finish project Stargazer and told me he expected me in D.C. on July first.
"I told him there was no way, we needed a year. Even if we could finish the code by June it would take months to test it and get the bugs out…"
"You agreed to go to D.C." Sarah stated flatly.
"I didn't have much of a choice, really." Chuck shrugged. "The President insists he needs me to help bring a new era to the CIA. He said my country needed me, what was I supposed to say?"
"Oh, Chuck…" Sarah sighed. She snuggled back into his chest and hugged him to her. "When?"
Sarah shook her head against him and laughed sardonically.
"What?" Chuck said.
"Nothing," Sarah sighed. "It just figures."
Chuck sighed too. "I know it's not what you want and hopefully it's not forever, I just, well I couldn't just turn my back on the President. I voted for him. He was really nice about it, apologized for making me miss my flight home. He made Director Evans fly me home on the Director's plane. He even helped me plan the Santa thing."
"You're kidding?" Sarah asked.
"Nope, he sent two aids out to get the Santa suit and the stocking. It was the middle of the night on Christmas! He's really cool, Sarah. Wait until you meet him."
"Chuck why would I need to meet him?" Sarah asked.
"Oh, he uh, he invited to the White House to dinner. He said he wanted to apologize to you personally for getting me to agree without talking to you."
Sarah sighed. Chuck frowned at her. "I'm really sorry, I did try to turn it down."
"It's not that," Sarah shook her head sadly. "It's not like you had a choice."
"I know, but I know you don't want to move back to D.C. and it won't be forever…"
"Chuck, it's not what you think." Sarah ran a hand over Chuck's chest, feeling the muscles underneath. This so wasn't how she wanted this night to go.
"What's wrong?" Chuck asked.
"Nothing's wrong," Sarah replied. "I just missed you and the timing is bad…"
"I know its Christmas, but I thought I should tell you as soon…"
"Not your timing," Sarah interrupted. "The timing."
"I don't understand."
Sarah brushed past Chuck and went into their bedroom. She opened her nightstand and retrieved the small gift bag and handed it to him. "I wanted to do this differently, but well, I think you should know."
Chuck took the bag his confusion evident on his face.
"Merry Christmas," Sarah whispered.
Chuck removed the tiny pair of booties from the bag and stared at them for a moment. His eyes travelled up to Sarah is disbelief. "Really?" he asked.
The smile crept over his face in slow motion until he was beaming. "We're going to be parents?"
Sarah nodded again.
"Oh my God! This is the best Christmas EVER!" Chuck swooped in and encircled Sarah. He picked her up and pressed her against him. He hugged her for at least a minute before he set her down. "How?" he sputtered. "It's been so long…oh my goodness…how far along are you?"
"Us, Chuck, how far along are we… about six weeks." Sarah smirked at his enthusiasm.
Chuck beamed at her. "Us. We're going to be parents!"
"I have to tell Ellie!"
Sarah shook her head and smiled. "Okay…but just Ellie and Devon. For now at least."
"But Morgan?" Chuck asked
"Can find out later."
A frown crossed Chuck's face "Six weeks he mumbled, nine months, but that means…"
Sarah nodded. "The timing sucks."
Chuck smacked his forehead. "Oh no. How? There's so much to do…" Chuck staggered over and sat on the bed. His head dropped into his hands. "How are we going to do it all?" Chuck asked.
Sarah dropped into his lap and put her arms around him. "I don't have any idea, but we'll manage. If there's one thing I've learned it's that you're full of miracles."
Chuck kissed her cheek and his hand rubbed over her stomach. "This is so amazing."
"I know," Sarah agreed. "We'll make it work."
"You're the perfect wife," Chuck stated. "Did you know that?"
Sarah smirked at him and pushed him over on the bed. "Prove it."
Chuck grinned from underneath her as she pinned him to the bed. "Oh trust me, I'm going to try."
Sarah bit her tongue to keep from laughing. Chuck was finally home again. And now she could be at home as well.
A/N: Okay so obviously this was completed without a beta. If you find yourself cringing then by all means volunteer for the job. Otherwise, *sniff* sorry, bro.
This story has kicked around in my head for three years now. Hopefully it makes it out of there with some semblance of reason, but I can't promise anything. I'm a very rusty writer right now and heck; I wasn't all that good when I was oiled up and shiny.
Merry Christmas too all!