A/N I'm drowning in Charah fluffiness!
"We have a more…permanent partnership in mind."
"You keep doing that and you might break that finger again, and it'll be another month to get ceremonied," mumbled Chuck.
Sarah immediately folded her fingers under. "Spoilsport." She started keeping time with her fist on Chuck's chest instead.
"Ow. How am I a spoilsport?" he complained. "Was it me who told you to get all cathartic on Leader's a-uh, anatomy? Not that I'm not glad you did…"
Sarah couldn't remember breaking her finger, or any of the bones she broke, although she remembered how hard Leader's body was, with all the mechanicals on it. She remembered the feel of Leader's throat between her hands, how much she wanted to close them. Her hand hurt, and she unclenched her fist before she broke her finger again. She didn't want to be that, define herself that way anymore. She closed her arms around the man beside her instead. "I'm glad Shaw killed her and not me." Once was enough. Five years was enough.
"So am I," said Chuck. He wasn't sure how that would have gone down and he didn't want to know. Let that part of her therapy stay confidential. "But you weren't really in a position to kill her anyway, that's probably why you felt so free to get so mad."
That's what Dreyfus said, but that was in his office. She didn't need that stuff invading their bedroom. "Some pillow talk this is."
Chuck shrugged as best he could, given their positions. "You want normal pillow talk, you should have married a normal man." For a second, he thought about mentioning muzzle velocities or something, but that sounded too much like a Casey version of pillow-talk and his mind shied away from the concept.
Sarah surged up to hover over him. "No way in hell, Mr. Bartowski. Your non-normal wife is going to get the non-normal husband she deserves."
Chuck smiled at his ferocious wife. "Yes, ma'am. But you really need to keep the weight off your hands." He rolled her over. "Allow me." He started kissing her lips, her cheek, her neck. Murmuring against her skin. "How shall I love thee…?"
Her breath caught. "Isn't that–ah!–how do I love thee?" Oh, how I do love thee!
He whispered into her ear. "Picky, picky."
Chuck looked up from his breakfast as his wife staggered out of the bedroom. "You okay?"
She shook her head tightly. "I thought you didn't flash in the bedroom."
The skill sets were reflexive again. Me Superman, you Lois Lane. "Blame it on Dad, I know I plan to."
"That sounds too creepy. I'll blame you. You can blame him."
She frowned her way across the kitchen, her steps getting less tiny, less mincing, as she walked. "It's not like I don't have enough to blame him for already."
His fingers tightened on his coffee mug, but he kept his voice level. "You're rehearsing. You know Dreyfus warned us about that."
She slammed her mug out of the cabinet and onto the counter. "I'm pissed!" She turned to glare at him. "He tried to hit you with a surprise…thing, and destroy you." Destroy the Intersect, and Chuck Bartowski was the Intersect. Orion may not be hiding from his children, but he was damn well hiding from her.
"I know that." Orion restored the 0.0, saved his mind, and then would have plugged his ability to upload anything ever again, if Carina's reflexes and fear of Sarah's avenging wrath hadn't gotten in the way. Chuck set aside his coffee and his newsfeeds. "I also know that, however unintentionally, he saved you from the bad guys' device, and all devices like them." Exactly what Orion wanted for his son. "I think about that instead."
"Sorry, that trick doesn't work for me. I'd love to think about all the good things he's done for you, but I can't remember this morning very well, and my hips really hurt." Which wasn't helping her mood one bit.
"Sorry," said Chuck, not sounding sorry. Time to change the subject. "So what are your plans for the rest of the–" He glanced at the clock "–oh my God, look at the time–uh, the rest of the afternoon?"
She poured coffee, drank it straight. "You mean, after I take a shower and change the sheets? Ummm…We have to go pick up the gown from the seamstress." She stayed by the counter. No way she wanted to try sitting right now.
Chuck got up and went to the cabinet. "I can't wait to see you in it."
"Villain." He opened a bottle of Advil and got out a couple.
"I'm being traditional!"
Chuck's eyes started to cross. "You're a spy, my non-normal wife, and I have a computer in my head." He brought them to her.
She took them with hot coffee. "All the more reason."
He had to deal with 'cutting-edge' in all its various meanings on the job. He didn't need that stuff invading his home, their home. "Save the weirdness for the bad guys, huh? Works for me." Back to his feeds, back to work.
"I thought it might, Mister 'Prepare-to-be-heartwarmed.'"
He grinned without looking up. "My work here is done."
She stood straight, and grimaced. "In that case I'll let you do the sheets."
Walked right into that one. "Good thing you have that spa day with Ellie later."
"Right, spa day. I need to take that shower." She put the cup down and start hobbling.
"Uh, hello?" said Chuck. "Spa day?"
"They're decorative, Chuck. What I need right now is industrial strength."
"Want some help?"
She couldn't shake her head and walk at the same time. "How is 'us in the shower together' helping?"
He sagged, his charitable instincts frustrated, then he brightened. "Bacon?" He held out his plate.
"Now that helps." She opened her mouth.
He put in a strip and handed her the plate. "Duh. Bacon helps everything."
She came out of the shower feeling and moving much better. They had that super-massaging shower head, but their water bill had taken the real beating.
Chuck had, surprisingly, only gotten the bed half made while she was gone. He stood by her side of the bed, pillow case in one hand and the phone in the other. For a second her mind seized, and not in a good, bedroom-y way. The Carmichael phone!
No. Just a phone. Charles Carmichael was dead and gone, and they'd all been at the surprisingly well-attended funeral as Shaw was buried next to the memory of his wife. Sarah continued walking, the little momentary hitch in her step just a ripple.
"Right, got it," said Chuck, and he ended the call.
"Nothing," he said, whacking her pillow down the middle. "An article in the paper reminded me of a news item from last night, and I called it in. That was them calling back, with some keywords they want me to look for." He shoved the pillow in the case and let it unfold as it would.
"Anything I should be worried about?"
"Not unless you plan to be at a nightclub called Sabado's tomorrow night."
"I'll have to check. Carina has this whole surprise bachelorette party planned."
That got his attention. "I'll make sure I have bail money."
"You think if we asked real nice, Fulcrum would let us borrow their Intersect?"
"Alright, alright, alright," said he husband in his best bad British accent. "Um, she does know that it's not a surprise if–"
"I know, Chuck, I said the same thing, and she said that A) she's still a bachelorette, even if I'm not, and B) the surprise isn't what I think it is."
That's what he was afraid of. "You'll have your FRODO…?"
She nodded. "And my gun, my knives, and a flash-bang, just in case."
She came in the door carefully, holding her head still, not for any reason other than she had her hair up in some new style and seemed to be afraid of dislodging it. She stood in front of him and posed. "What do you think?"
Her face fell. "You don't like it."
"I didn't say that," he corrected. "I like all your hairstyles. The only real difference between them is whether they make you stunningly beautiful or magnificently beautiful or some other variety of beautiful I haven't heard of yet–"
"And which one is this?"
Chuck swallowed, really hard. "It's…definitely in the magnificent category. You'll get up there next to me at the altar and every man in the Universe is suddenly going to start looking our way even if they can't really see us because–" he paused to take a breath "–They'll know the most beautiful woman in the world is getting married and it isn't to any of them."
Oh, God, she just had to kiss him for that, and she did. But she still remembered her question. "And my hair's a problem because…?"
"Because by the time you get all the pins out our wedding night will turn into our wedding tomorrow and that isn't…traditional."
"I could just leave it up, Chuck." She put up a hand.
He stopped her. "Please don't. I love your hair when it's down, it's so lovely…"
"But not beautiful?" she teased.
"Lovely is the hands-on version of beautiful," he said softly, running his hands along the bones of her cheek. "Or beautiful is the display-case version of lovely, take your pick. At the altar you'll be on display but that night you will definitely be hands on."
Sarah reached up, holding Chuck's hand in place, while getting out her phone with the other. She was the only person Chuck had ever met who could touch-dial a smart-screen. "Ellie? We're gonna need a new appointment with the salon…"
Chuck called Morgan from the kitchen. "Yeah, she bought it, she thinks the club is the site of a drug buy or a sting, they'll never go within a million miles of the place. Right, see you there, buddy."
Sarah called Carina from the garage. "You don't know any place called Sabado's, do you?"
"Never heard of it."
Sarah breathed easier. "Good, that means it's probably legit. Chuck tried to warn me off the place, probably where they're having their party."
Carina snorted loudly enough the phone picked it up. "Did he really think he could hide the truth from spies?"
"I think it's adorable that he tries," said Sarah. "I'm leaving to pick up Hannah now, we'll be there in a few."
The door opened and Chuck staggered in, supported and guided by his best friend. "Thanks, Morgan, what would I do without you? Who could believe that Virgin Marys could pack such a punch?"
"I could, Chuck, I could," said Morgan, "Especially since I spiked them all."
Chuck managed to focus on his compadre. "What?"
"Come on, man, what kind of bachelor party is it where the groom doesn't get drunk and do something stupid?"
"One where the bride's a kick-ass ninja spy girl, buddy!"
Morgan grimaced. "Okay, you got me there, but it's not like the Heavens didn't intercede for you, what with that whole stripper thing…'
Chuck tried to put his foot down, but suddenly the floor seemed a bit lower than usual. "I liked the girl they sent, wha'd you get rid of her for?"
"I didn't get rid of her, Chuck, she had her own gig to go to. And our girl only showed up an hour late."
"But I liked the first girl."
"I know, you tipped her well enough. But she had to go, Chuck, don't blame me, it was just business."
"Fine. Hey this looks like my bedroom."
"That's 'cause it is your bedroom Chuck."
"Great idea, buddy, I am feeling kind'a beat." He saw Sarah's nightstand in front of him. "Hey, get me a pill."
"One of Sarah's pills, they absorb…absorb…You don't get drunk."
"Too late for you, pal, but whatever you say." Morgan raced to get the pill, raced some more to get the water to take the pill. "Here, take this."
Chuck looked at the stuff in his hands. "What's this?"
"A pill so you don't get drunk."
"You're the best bud a guy like me could ever have, you know that?" He took the pill and washed it down.
Morgan positioned Chuck by the bed. "Okay, here we go, ready? Coat." He pulled Chuck's coat off, making him fall face first onto the bed. "Aaand you got the fall part down-get it, Chuck, fall? Down? Ah forget it. Then the shoes and…good night. Yeah." Morgan left the shoes on the chair, draped the jacket, and let himself out.
Something heavy hit the door and Chuck's lightning reflexes threw him to one side, the wrong side, where the bed wasn't. "Ah!" he moaned, trying to rub the point of impact, which he was still sitting on. He looked up.
Sarah stood in the doorway, her dress torn, dirty, and that may have been smoke damage. Her face had bandages, her arm had contusions, and two of her fingers were taped, fortunately not on her left hand. "Next time Ellie chooses the venue," she said in a dull, tired voice.
"There's going to be a next time?"
"You know what I mean." Sarah dropped her bag to the floor with a clank. "We all thought the SWAT team was strippers. Turned out they really were a SWAT team." She reached behind herself to unzip.
Chuck struggled to rise. "Are you guys all right?"
"Are you kidding? Half of us were spies, the other half were analysts, trainers, and a couple of nurses Devon and Ellie knew from Burbank." Sarah shuddered, and her dress fell off. "Really mean nurses. Once we got the bad guys taken care of, they settled right down, though." She stepped out of it to give him a hand up, not the broken one.
"Sounds like you won."
"Define winning. Carina booked my bachelorette party in the middle of an FBI sting operation. If it hadn't been for Alex we'd be in jail now."
Chuck went white. "Alex?" Casey would explode.
Sarah blocked out the headline in the air. "Heroic FBI trainee protects civilians during gun battle, film at eleven. She'll get another commendation."
"Crap." Casey being proud was worse than Casey exploding.
"Could be worse. We heard there was a stripper got sent to a 10-year-old's birthday party by accident, instead of the nice little old fairy godmother that was supposed to show up. His mother was pissed."
A/N2 Maybe a plot point next chapter, something small.