A/N the First: Some shout-outs before this goes anywhere: I wanted to give a massive, huge, I'm-in-awe thank you to everybody for all of the grand birthday wishes yesterday. You all truly made me feel loved, so thank you very much for that. I'd like to thank mxpw and quistie64 in particular for the lovely stories they wrote for me. I don't know what it says that stories written for me involve hijacking and murder, but whatever it is, I'll take it!
This story takes place in the That Which is Greater universe. If you haven't read That Which is Greater and That Which is Greater: The Greatest Place on Earth, you probably will want to read that so that some things make sense. To get to a Halloween in the story, I had to progress past, oh, 99% of the story, so this takes place after everything else you've read by a long shot. A lot of things have changed, a lot remain the same, and it'll be up to you to figure out the difference because my writing rarely spells things out.
Thanks to all of the lovely reviews I've gotten, too. I don't ask for them, nor do I demand praise, but I do appreciate them nonetheless. PS, thanks to quistie64 for...well, you'll see. And Aardie and mxpw for checking this over for me.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of it, not even the original characters, and no money is being made here.
That Which is Greater: Trick Or Treat
"Okay, okay, hold still." Holding back a squirming six-year-old should have been easy—he had over a hundred pounds on her, as well as more than a couple of feet—but Chuck still struggled with it. Part of the problem was balancing Violet Bartowski on the edge of the counter in his bathroom, a counter covered with various bits of Halloween odds and ends. And the other problem was the amount of excitement in said six-year-old.
And this was before the Halloween candy they were about to collect.
"C'mon, Dad," Violet said, drawing the word out across multiple syllables. She wriggled and would have probably slid to the floor if Chuck hadn't braced a hand on her hip. "I want to see everybody!"
"Hold on. I've got to…" Chuck trailed off as he tried, for the fiftieth time, to tuck the wisps of curly blond-brown under her cap. Apparently, having a daughter did not enable some sort of super hair-styling ability. No matter how many Youtube videos he watched, he didn't think he was going to nail the concept of a French twist, let alone a French braid. Violet would have to make do with a ponytail when the women in her life were busy. Now, he pushed the final wayward lock up and snugged the cap into place, praying it would hold. "Okay, got that."
"Yay! Are we done?"
"Grasshopper 'cause I'm wearing green, right?"
"That's exactly right."
Violet heaved a very grown-up sigh. "Is this going to take much longer, Daddy?"
"Years," Chuck dead-panned. Before Violet's latest squirm-fest could send her toppling to the floor, Chuck sacrificed efficiency and scooped her off of the counter. He could do the rest one-handed. "Here we go. Close your eyes, I want to put the glitter on."
Violet obeyed with gusto, scrunching her eyes closed. "How come Sarah isn't doing this?"
"What, you're saying Sarah is better than me? I've been doing this for years."
"But her makeup is always so pretty and you…"
"Me what?" Chuck asked, wincing as the glitter he was trying to apply below Violet's right eye smeared into globs.
Violet cracked her left eye open. "You're a boy!"
"Hey, boys can be good at Halloween, too, Megabyte. Just ask Uncle Morgan about the year we were both Klingons sometime." Chuck thought about it for a second. Spirit gum and spirits of the alcoholic variety hadn't meshed well. "Or maybe don't do that."
"Can I open my eyes now?"
"Just one second more…okay, now you can."
Violet opened her eyes, finding the mirror with that accuracy and speed that could only come from the XX chromosome. She was now very green, thanks to her outfit, and sparkly. She let out a melodramatic gasp.
"You like?" Chuck asked.
Violet nodded vigorously. "Are you going to wear glitter, too?"
"Not unless Sarah is," Chuck muttered as he set Violet down, so that she could preen in his shaving mirror. "And even then, not intentionally."
"What? Nothing. I said nothing."
"You're being silly again, Da-ad."
"You're sillier," Chuck said automatically. The costumes, he decided, were as good as they were going to get. So it was time to face the firing squad.
Just in time, too. Ellie's voice drifted up the stairs. "Sarah and Casey are here!"
It really was amusing, he always thought, to see Violet's entire thought process flit across her face. First came the immediate desire to race downstairs and hurl herself at her favorite people, followed quickly by a shyness that nearly made him smile—would they like her costume? But on the heels of that came that odd uncertainty. Chuck didn't know if it came from the Incident or if Violet was trying to emulate Sarah's natural reserve. Either way, it worried him.
He cleared his throat and picked her up again, ending all indecision for both of them. "Let's go show off our costumes. Nervous?"
"Nuh-uh," Violet said. "Are you?"
After checking to make sure his glasses were in place, Chuck set his top hat at an angle and grabbed his camera with his free hand. "You," he said as they walked down the hall, "have no reason to be nervous. After all, that is hands down the best costume of the night and I know this because I helped pick it. I, however, am wearing a dress."
"It's not a dress! It's a nightgown!"
Chuck still felt there was quite a bit of airflow where there had no right to be. But they'd been over this before. He headed downstairs—and the debate was immediately forgotten when they reached the bottom just as Sarah rounded the corner from the kitchen.
"Wow," she said, while Chuck and Vi stared. "Look at you two!"
"Sarah!" Vi wriggled down Chuck's side and launched herself at Sarah hard enough to send the spy back a step or two. She was all but dancing from foot to foot as she leaned back to get a look at Sarah's outfit. "You're her! You're really her!"
Chuck, on the other hand, could only hope he didn't resemble a deer trapped in the headlights. Chances were likely that was the case, but he'd just accepted that outcome a long time before. Dating Sarah Walker had its perks—a lot of them—but it also came with a lot of brain-melting, stunned stupid moments, too.
"I am so, so glad," he said when he could speak, "that we lost that bet."
Sarah raised her eyebrows, not quite a smirk. "I take it that means you approve."
"Uh-huh," Vi said. "I told you that you looked like Tink and I was right! Wasn't I right?"
"Better than Tink," Chuck said, meaning it. Sarah had, like Vi and Chuck, gone all out for her Halloween costume—which was a short green dress. Very short, and the skirt was artfully ripped in the same way Tinkerbell's was. Tinkerbell, however, did not have Sarah's legs, which was a pity for Tinkerbell. Where Sarah had managed to find green heels with the little puffballs, Chuck didn't know. The dress mimicked Tink's off-the-shoulder cut, and it looked like Sarah had, like Vi, gone for the glitter. It spread across her cheekbones and across her bared shoulders so that she glittered whenever the light moved.
She gave him the "you're staring" smile. Chuck didn't care.
"You know," he said after Sarah had picked Vi up, "it's not often you see Tink holding Peter Pan."
"I'll get bigger," Vi said confidently.
"But Peter Pan doesn't grow up," Sarah said, smiling at Chuck over Violet's head.
Violet frowned, obviously contemplating this deeply. "Maybe you could walk around on your knees all night, Sarah. That way, I can be taller than you."
"Nice try, but I think tonight we'll just play pretend."
"I can do that!" Vi bounced in place, neatly dislodging the hat Chuck had worked for ages to secure. Tendrils began to fall out from under the cap like dominoes.
Perhaps Sarah caught his grimace, for she set Violet down. "Let's fix this hat, huh? Then your dad can get a picture."
"Daddy says it'll never stay in place. I got too many curls."
"Just you watch. If there's one thing I can do, it's hair. I had to wear this wig once that was just a pain and..." Sarah, perhaps realizing that she was once again bringing up a spy job, stopped abruptly.
Vi apparently didn't see anything strange in Sarah wearing a wig. "What'd you do?"
"I brought a hat," Sarah said, which Chuck figured wasn't the real end of the story. There were far too few drug lords in it, for instance. But Sarah was already pulling Vi over to the staircase and sitting, adjusting around the fact that her skirt was too short for most public decency. She set Vi on a step below her so that the girl was leaning back against her knees.
"What kind of hat?"
"A gray one. I still have it somewhere, I think." Sarah raised her eyebrows at Chuck when she took off Vi's cap and the curls came cascading down. Chuck gave her a sheepish look in reply. "Hm. I'm going to need some clips. Why don't you fly up and fetch some for me, Pete?"
Vi giggled even as she scrambled away. The instant she was out of hearing range, Sarah turned to Chuck, smiled wickedly, and deliberately re-crossed her legs.
Chuck's blood pressure sky-rocketed.
"Nice nightgown," Sarah said.
Chuck tugged at the collar. "Ah, uh, yeah."
"I especially like the smiley faces."
Chuck looked down and thankfully broke the thrall before he spontaneously combusted. "Yeah," he said, giving the very obvious green smiley faces on his boxers—visible through the silly nightgown—a dirty look. "How the hell do you hide your underwear under white clothing? I tried white boxers, but that was just somehow worse."
"So you went with bright green instead?"
"I wanted to match. And I didn't want to go commando."
"Why not?" Sarah tilted her head to the side. "I did."
Chuck stared for a full ten seconds, but X-Ray vision did not miraculously manifest, nor did blood flow return to his head. "I wonder," he said in an oddly normal voice, "if it's possible to drug everybody, sneak away, and convince them it was all a hallucination tomorrow?"
"But we're not going to do it." Chuck gave Sarah a hangdog look.
She laughed and pulled him down to the stairs beside her, to kiss him. "Maybe later."
"I'm worried your statement might be more 'trick' than 'treat.'" Chuck paused about two inches from Sarah as an idea took hold. "Also, that you might be completely serious."
"Shut up," Sarah said, but she was laughing as she kissed him. "Beige."
"Beige underwear if you're going to wear white."
"Oh." Chuck blinked. Whatever glitter stuff she'd used, it smelled like apples, and it was downright intoxicating. "I don't have any of that."
"You could borrow some of mine."
"You know, I'm not sure if the fact that you're dressed up as a life-sized sexy fairy and I'm wearing a nightgown makes this conversation weirder or not."
"Incoming," Sarah said, and sure enough, footsteps pounded down the stairs behind them. Chuck climbed to his feet to give the ladies room on the stairs, or so he told himself. With the mood Sarah was in, it was probably better for his sanity to give her a wide berth. Indeed, Sarah gave him one final heart-rate-accelerating smile before she turned her attention back to Violet. "So, Miss Vi, did you practice thinking happy thoughts?"
"Yeah, but I still need Daddy or Uncle Awesome to help me fly."
Sarah gathered Violet's hair on top of her head. "I'm sure they're more than happy to help you with that."
"I don't know. Daddy says I'm getting fat."
"Big," Chuck said. "I said big, like tall."
"Nuh-uh, you called me Miss Piggy when I ate all of those nachos today at lunch."
"It was this big!" Chuck made a motion with his hands. "It was like watching an ant take out an extra-large supreme deep-dish!"
Vi giggled and made oinking noises. Even as he laughed, Chuck was somewhat vindicated to note that she didn't sit any more still for Sarah than she had for him. She grabbed the hem of her green T-shirt, part of her Peter Pan costume (with green soccer shorts, green tights, and green boots), and yanked up. "My belly pooched out and everything! See?"
Sarah poked her belly and Vi wiggled harder, trying to get away. "Whoa, there, jumping bean. Hold still a minute. I don't want to pull your hair by accident."
"I'm a jumping bean!" Vi's squirming lessened only minimally. "I'm a jumping bean!"
Sarah tugged on the lock of hair in her hand, forcing Vi to crane her neck and look up at her. "Has your daddy been feeding you sugar?"
"Standing right here," Chuck said.
"No," Violet said even as she nodded her head yes, a total lie. Well, a partial lie. The taffy Chuck had given her after lunch should have worn off by now...unless she'd been sneaking things from the bowl by the front door. Chuck squinted, but there was no evidence of contraband anywhere on his daughter's person. He'd just have to watch more carefully.
"No? You sure?" Sarah smoothed back Vi's hair. "Why don't we play a game?"
"It's a new one. I'm going to finish your hair. You're going to sit still. If you stay still longer than it takes me to do your hair, you win. If you move before I'm finished, I win."
"What do I win?"
"You can have a piece of candy, as long as your dad approves."
"Don't push your luck, kid," Chuck said, grinning as unseen by Violet, Sarah rolled her eyes. "I'll judge the winner. Okay? Ready? One, two, three, go!"
And while Sarah hurriedly used Violet's imitation of a statue to finish fixing her hair, Chuck snapped a picture. Sarah set the hat in place and threw her arms up in victory. "Ta-da! Done!"
A smile began to creep across Violet's face, but she remained where she was, stock-still.
"Wow," Chuck told Sarah, giving an exaggerated surprised look. "Look at that. I guess you lose."
"I guess so."
"She must really want that candy. I mean, she's not moving at all. Check this out." Chuck leaned over and poked the end of Violet's nose. It must have taken everything the six-year-old had, but Vi didn't even twitch. A small giggle escaped, but he and Sarah chose to ignore it. "Nothing. Not even a blink. You know what this means?"
"No, what does this mean?"
Chuck paused dramatically—and pounced. "Tickle fight!"
Violet let out a shriek as he went for the ribcage, but Sarah had too good of a grip to let her get away. So instead, the six-year-old writhed and giggled, fighting Chuck off as best she could between the bouts of laughter. The war ended only when Vi, gasping and giggling, went limp against Sarah and cried, "Uncle! I'm dead, Jim!"
There were moments he was proud to have raised a nerd, even if he expected that last was Uncle Morgan's influence.
"Here," Sarah said, shifting around Vi so that she could adjust the shoulder strap on her dress. She pulled the girl fully into her lap and scooted to give Chuck room. "Sit, sit, let's get a picture now that the hat's on. Is it too tight, Vi?"
"No, no, it's good. Now I'm a real boy like Peter!"
The "real boy" had to scrunch in close with her father and Tinkerbell so that they could all fit into the frame—with some amusing results. When they finally had a picture that hadn't decapitated any of them, Chuck laughed and leaned back against the steps behind him. "Who'd have thought when they watched the movie," he said, "that Tink and John would be the ones together? Never saw that coming, Tink having a thing for John."
"She'd better not, Bartowski," Casey said as he rounded the corner.
Chuck opened his mouth to reply that he had been talking about his costume—though that should have been obvious; who would ever mix up John Darling and John Casey?—but instead his eyes bulged and all words were forgotten. "Casey?"
Vi's eyes had also grown to the size of dinner plates. "Major Casey Sir!"
"That's 'Captain' to you, Pan," Casey said, growling a little with what Chuck hoped was for effect. "And 'Casey' to the rest of you."
Chuck had thought Sarah's costume was by far the most elaborate—after all, Vi's just involved pieces of her soccer uniform—but he was wrong. Wrong by a long shot. The Major wore a red coat brighter than any British soldier's, with shining silver buckles all the way down the front. It was trimmed with black and white ribbons, black cuffs, and gold-stitched embroidery, and it went all the way down to Casey's knees. Underneath it, lace tumbled down the front of a white dress shirt, all the way to the Jolly Roger belt buckle. Snug black pants—with a single red stripe down the side—disappeared into knee-high boots that shone like mirrors at the toe and heel. At his waist hung a sword that Chuck hoped wasn't real and an old-fashioned pistol he figured probably was. How Casey planned to use either with his right hand gripping a fake hook, Chuck didn't know. The icing on the cake, however, was the black wig, topped by the largest pirate's hat Chuck had ever seen. A white feather plumed from its brim.
Naturally, finishing out the outfit was the "If I start to die, please put me back in my G-man suit" expression on Casey's face. If he made it through the night with only a manslaughter charge, Chuck would be pleasantly surprised.
"Nice dress, Bartowski," Casey said.
"It's a nightgown."
"Major Captain Sir, you look just like Captain Hook!"
Casey magnanimously ignored the coughing fits from both Chuck and Sarah to give Violet a beady look. "I am Captain Hook."
Violet sprang up. "Well, I'm Peter Pan and Peter Pan doesn't like Captain Hook. They're enemies 'cause Captain Hook's a bad guy!"
"Enemies, huh? Where's your weapon, then, enemy?"
"Peter's got a knife, but Daddy says it's too dangerous."
Sarah rummaged through her purse. "You mean this knife?"
"Relax," Sarah told Chuck in an undertone. "It's not real. See?" She poked the tip with her finger and bent the knife easily, which made Vi gasp yet again. "No fake blood on this one like those knives we saw at Wal-Mart."
"Cool," Vi breathed, drawing the word out.
Casey snorted his opinion of that.
"Hold still, Vi. Let's strap this on, then you can fight Major Captain Hook like a proper Pan, right? Provided," and Sarah gave Casey a look, "the good Captain didn't bring the real sword."
"Yeah, yeah, Walker," Casey muttered.
"Tink!" Vi corrected him.
"I think the two of you are getting a bigger kick out of this than she is," Chuck said as Sarah helped Vi attach the fake knife to her belt just like Peter Pan's.
"Whatever. At least I'm not wearing a dress."
"Nightgown. It's a nightgown."
"Yeah, Aunt Ellie's looks more like a dress, but she says it's a nightgown, too," Vi put in. "Cos she's Wendy Darling, and Wendy wears a nightgown all through the whole movie."
"Which means your Uncle Awesome is wearing?" Sarah asked.
"Footie pajamas," Vi announced proudly.
"Pink ones," Chuck said as both spies stared at them in shock. "Just wait 'til you see him. He looks—"
"Awesome," Awesome said, coming in behind Casey. "Sarah, loving the dress. Sweet nightgown, Chuck. And John, my man, that has got to be the best Hook outfit I have ever seen. Dustin Hoffman's got nothing on you. Up top!" He held his hand up for a high-five.
The others could see Casey very obviously contemplating which weapon to use on the over-six-foot-tall-man-in-pink-pajamas, but in the end, the NSA agent groused and gave the desired high-five. "Need to check on something," he said before anybody else could say anything, and hurried out of the room. Chuck thought he heard something about "damned civilians" and "freaking holidays that shouldn't be celebrated" before he left, but he couldn't be sure.
"Can I just state for the record how glad, again, I am that we lost that bet?" Chuck asked nobody in particular.
- O -
Even in Los Angeles, an entire crew of themed costumes could draw stares, Chuck found out. He drew a fair share of odd looks, himself—not everybody quite understood the top hat, nightgown, and umbrella—but Casey and Sarah received the most gapes and gasps. Much to Sarah's chagrin, every single friend of Vi's that they saw on their rounds immediately raced up to her and wanted to talk to Tink. And the fathers of those kids had no problem spending time in her company. Casey drew wide eyes from those kids who couldn't believe Captain Hook could come to life.
Violet, of course, adored every bit of the attention that came their way. They met up with Moniqua and Shae, who'd foisted off the one-year-old DeAndre on relatives for the night. Because they had "civilians" with them, Casey had to hold the anger in. Chuck revised his opinion that they'd be lucky to get through the night without a manslaughter to feeling they would be fortuitous if they could prevent a triple homicide.
He said so under his breath to Sarah while they waited on the sidewalk for Casey and Shae to walk the kids up to the front porch.
"You should have seen his face when the box from NCS showed up," Sarah said, her face lighting up with a smile. "I thought he was going to have an apoplexy on the spot."
"Wait, you used the NCS to do your costumes?"
Chuck bit his tongue over his first thought—that this was cheating—and instead said, "I don't know, don't they have more important things to do than Halloween costumes?"
"Are you kidding? You think they'd pass up the chance to dress up legendary Major John Casey in a Hook costume just because the country needs them more?"
They both looked over as Violet's squeal split the night's silence, and the six-year-old raced over to the corner as fast as her green-tights-covered legs could carry her. "Who's that?" Sarah asked, nodding at the victim of Vi's tackle-hug. "I thought I'd met all of her friends."
"New one," Chuck said. "Brand new to her class—I met the nanny when I went to pick her up last week."
"Last week, last week..." Sarah's brow furrowed as she apparently tried to place the date. "What was I—"
"Oh, right. Kingpin. Sorry, they all get so mixed up. Anyway, what's the sitrep? Vi seems to like this new friend."
"Megan, yeah. As far as your 'sitrep' goes, she's six years old, no criminal background, no ties to suspected terrorists, though she might have been the one to pilfer the extra juice box last Thursday in Mrs. Nedermeyer's class—ow! Hey!" Chuck laughed and rubbed his arm where Sarah had smacked him. "Not my fault you were talking like a spy. C'mon, let's go over, I'll introduce you to the nanny."
But before they could follow the others over, they heard their names shouted. A man in all green was running at them from the other side of the street.
Chuck yelped when Sarah instinctively shoved him behind her. "Whoa, hey, that's just—"
"Morgan?" Sarah asked, sounding surprised.
Morgan Grimes finally caught up and grinned at both of them. Or at least, Chuck thought he might have been grinning. It was hard to tell, as Morgan's face was half-obscured by a plastic crocodile snout. He wore green sneakers, green trousers, and an old Buy More polo with yellow paper taped across the front, very similar to his ninja turtle costume from the second grade. There was an old-fashioned alarm clock hanging around his neck.
"Hey, guys! Sorry I'm so late. Where's the star of the show?"
"I thought you were going to be one of the lost boys," Chuck said. "Wasn't that what you drew out of the hat?"
"No, I drew Tinkerbell, but I paid Sarah to let me pick my own costume."
"Hey, that's cheating," Chuck said, looking from his best friend to his girlfriend with a pout.
"C'mon, you think we all drew gender-appropriate costumes on the first try? Get real, Chuck."
Chuck squinted at Sarah. "You're holding out on me, aren't you?"
"Ellie asked nicely. And Morgan gave me fifty." Sarah shrugged.
Chuck's squint deepened. "How much did Casey pay you?"
"No amount of money on the planet could get him out of playing Captain Hook. Which he may have originally got thanks to some, ah, slight of hand."
"God, I love it when you're diabolical." Chuck was laughing as he pulled Sarah in for a kiss—a kiss that unfortunately didn't last long.
"Ew, Daddy, you know you're not supposed to do that in front of Major Casey Sir!"
They broke apart; the entire group had caught up with them. Most of them looked either amused or neutral. Vi, though, had her hands on her hips and her best indignant expression in place. Casey just looked mildly disgruntled, but then, that was pretty much the norm. Feeling mildly like the schoolboy caught reaching for the candy jar, Chuck let Sarah go. "Oh, right. Kissing police. I forgot about that. Hi, Megan, Lizzie. Having a good Halloween?"
Megan Karath was dressed in a frilly pink skirt, black top, and pink chucks identical to the pair Violet normally sported. Thanks to Violet's insistence on sharing every detail of her day, up to and including what happened on the TV shows she watched, Chuck considered himself pretty hip about what the six-year-olds were into these days, but he had no idea what Megan was supposed to be.
"Let me guess," Chuck said. "You're Cyndi Lauper."
"Who?" Lizzie the nanny asked, and Chuck immediately felt old.
Megan, on the other hand, giggled and twisted her torso with her hands behind her back. "I'm Spy Barbie," she announced, and yanked up the hem of her skirt to show her thigh. There was a black band wrapped around it with what Chuck hoped were fake throwing knives attached.
Every single adult—save Shae—in Violet's group froze. Don't look at Sarah, don't look at Sarah, don't look at—as one, they all turned to look at Sarah, who was staring at the six-year-old next to Violet with something between fascination and outright terror.
"That is so cool," Violet breathed, staring at her friend while Moniqua nodded along. "I didn't know Barbie was a spy!"
"Really?" Casey muttered under his breath. "Because the evidence is right in front of—oof!"
None of the others but Chuck and Sarah had heard him. Meanwhile, Violet chattered on. "Ooh, I like your knives, did you see mine? My..." She tilted her head and gave Sarah and Chuck an odd look, as if she couldn't quite decide Sarah's title all of a sudden. "Sarah gave it to me, it's just like Peter Pan's. Have you gotten any good candy yet? We're going this way, Mrs. Andrews down the street has the best candy, have you gone that way yet?"
And just like that, Chuck thought, they adopted two more into their fold.
- O -
Unfortunately, all good things had to come to an end, and hours of perpetual excitement and energy combined with the nature of sugar meant that by the time they'd filled up Violet's pumpkin bucket, the owner of said bucket had a scowl on her face. They bid farewell to Moniqua and Megan's groups well past Violet's bedtime, but not in time to prevent some squabbling between the three girls. Casey and Morgan headed back to Chuck's house for the party. Sarah and Chuck hauled a now-very-grumpy Violet back to the Spy Casa before the tantrum could fully erupt since the party would be too loud to let her get some good sleep at home.
Bath-time appeared to be the final straw. As always, Chuck wondered if the neighbors thought he was torturing his daughter, judging on the volume of her shrieks alone. This time it was a full-out battle: Violet didn't want a bath, and she didn't like her favorite shampoo anymore, and rubber duckies were "stupid bath toys for babies" and why couldn't she wear her Peter Pan costume to bed since it was still Halloween?
"Wow," Chuck said forty-five minutes later when he came down to the living room. He rubbed his ear, which would probably be aching for a week. "If there ever needed to be a definition for 'un-fun,' I think we just found it."
"She was just tired," Sarah said, looking back at him over the back of the couch.
"Tired and loud. Next year, remind me why it's a bad idea to give her candy while we're trick-or-treating."
"Get her settled down?"
Chuck, now at home in the Spy Casa, headed for the kitchen to pour them both wine. "Yeah, she's curled up with Sir, currently Not Speaking to me as loudly as she possibly can. I think he's actually giving her most of the bed."
"Signs that she's the favorite."
"Not mine at the moment."
"Aw," Sarah said, taking her wineglass from Chuck. She had her feet tucked up under her, those ridiculous pouf-topped high-heels lying on their sides on the floor in front of her. "I'm sure you don't mean that."
"Ask me again in twenty minutes. My answer may change. Wait, aren't you heading back to the party? We don't both have to stay with her."
Sarah moved a shoulder. "I thought it was a rule that Tink had to stay with Peter. You can go, though. I don't mind. I'll just have a bubble bath and relax."
"Nah, I'm all people'd out. But you're sure you don't want actual adult company instead, though?"
"Well..." Sarah nibbled on her lower lip and tilted her head, and Chuck's mind went pleasantly blank. "I could use some 'actual adult company' in the bathtub, but if you're 'all people'd out,' I guess I can just..."
She didn't get a chance to finish her sentence before Chuck had the nightgown off and was pulling her toward the bathroom with a laugh. As fate would have it, not ten minutes later, he ended up wearing glitter after all.
Neither could say they actually minded.
A/N the Second: The End! Thanks for reading, and any reviews that don't have to do with this story will be subsequently deleted.