A/N: Hi everyone! I'm sorry that these updates seem to be taking longer and longer. I started watching fanfiction when I was just thirteen years old, and now that I'm twenty-three, it's slowing down. I think this is going to be the last chapter of The Unexpected. I've loved this story since the beginning, and I'm sad to see it end. But also, I want to make sure everything is wrapped up, while still leaving somethings to the imagination. I am so grateful to have people who read my stories, and I hope to do these characters justice! Thank you for sticking with me, and I hope you enjoy this last chapter.
Time seemed to fly by once the new groove set in. Going to work together every day, Sydney's school and athletics schedule, and the one day a week they had set aside for family time. Sometimes they would go out and find a new restaurant to try, or a new activity to take a stab at. But today, they decided to stay in. Chuck and Sarah wanted to break the news of the engagement to Sydney in a private setting.
"What if she isn't excited?" Sarah frowned, grabbing a shirt out of the laundry basket next to her.
"I don't think that's a possibility." Chuck laughed, grabbing the folded shirt from his fiance, and placing it on the pile he had created on the bed. "That girl has been rooting for this to happen since they day we reconnected."
"That doesn't mean she's going to be excited about the change."
"What's going to change?" He looked to the blonde.
"Everything." Sarah looked down.
"Are you second guessing your answer?"
"No, not at all." She faced Chuck. "I just don't know if I'm ready for the dynamic to shift. I like what we have, and I like our routines."
"Those don't have to go away." He said. "Marriage doesn't have to change anything."
"And if it does?"
"Then we'll cross that bridge together." He gave her a quick kiss.
"Why is it that I always seem to interrupt you guys at the worst times?" Sydney scoffed in the doorway. "Maybe we should start using the whole 'sock-on-the-door' system?"
"Ha ha, very funny." Chuck replied with a playful glare. "What's up?"
"I was just wondering what we were doing for family day today." The teen made her way to the bed, messing up Chuck's fresh piles of clothes as she sat.
"I just folded those." Sarah whined.
"Sometimes I wonder why I don't have OCD like you two." Sydney laughed. "But seriously, where are we going today?"
"We were thinking about staying in." Chuck and Sarah shared a look.
"We wanted to switch it up." Chuck shrugged.
"Yeah, aren't you bored of going out all the time?" Sarah chimed in.
"Okay, something's up." Sydney looked at her parents. "Spill."
"Nothing's up, why would you think that?" Chuck asked.
"Because whenever we can't decide on where to go, mom suggests staying in, and you suggest go-karting for the millionth time." Sydney raised a brow. "Her I can understand wanting to stay, but you? Not a chance."
"Okay, we've been trying to figure out the best way to talk to you about this..." Sarah trailed.
"Are you guys breaking up?" Sydney's eyes widened.
"No, of course not." Chuck stated.
"Did someone die?"
"Why do you automatically assume it's bad news?" Sarah asked. "We don't always have bad news."
"I don't know, I just figured that if we're staying here it must be bad."
"It's not bad." Chuck said. "It's actually the exact opposite."
"We're getting married." Sarah blurted. The silence sat in the room for a little over a minute. Chuck and Sarah watched as their daughter's face formed into a frown. She seemed to be mulling over the words her mother had just let out of her mouth.
"Married?" She asked.
"Married." Chuck couldn't contain his smile. "What do you think?"
"I think it's about damn time." Sydney shared his smile.
"Really?" Sarah let out a sigh of relief.
"Honestly, I'm surprised you guys didn't do it sooner."
"I told you." Chuck looked to his fiance.
"You're positive you're okay with this." Sarah said to her daughter. "Because we can talk about it."
"I'm glad you guys wanted to stay in today." Sydney continued to smile. "But you can't keep making out in front of me, because I will throw up."
"Noted." Chuck nodded.
Work after accepting the new job was more fun. Sarah loved going to work with Chuck every day. It made her feel young again, the same as she did the day they met for the first time. She easily fit in, creating schedules and making sure the surgical board looked clean when it was her turn to organize it. She loved her office, as it looked over the surgical floor of the hospital. Chuck loved it as well, but mostly because he now had a spot for his Playstation 4.
"Hey." Chuck crept into his fiance's office with a grin.
"Already?" Sarah pretended to check her watch. "You've been here for like two hours."
"It's quiet today." He shrugged, sitting down on the couch by her west facing window. He turned on the TV, booting up the console.
"Really? There's no children that need saving at all?" She gave him a look.
"Not a one." He challenged her. "What're you working on?"
"Just going over the discharge papers for a patient." She replied. "I want to make sure everything goes smoothly when she gets back to her nursing home."
"Ahh, an oldie." He glanced at her ring finger, which happened to be missing a very important piece of jewelry. "Where's your ring?"
"Oh, I left it at home." She didn't look up from her paperwork.
"I haven't told anyone about our engagement yet."
"Well, yeah, I understood that when we were waiting to tell Syd, but what's stopping you now?" He asked.
"I don't really think it's anyone's business to know about our personal life." She looked up. "Why are you making a thing out of this?"
"Maybe because you're hiding it?" He stood up and made his way over to her.
"I'm not hiding it." She put her pen down. "I just don't need to go blurting it out to the entire hospital."
"Do you not want to get married?"
"Why do you keep asking me that?"
"Because you keep acting like you don't!" He yelled.
"Uh, am I interrupting something?" Devon poked his head into the office.
"No." Sarah looked at him. "What's up?"
"Mrs. Lane's daughter wants to talk to you before she leaves." He said. "I can go do it if you want."
"No, I'll do it." Sarah stood up. "Doctor Bartowski and I are finished here."
"That's funny, because I didn't think we were." Chuck scoffed. "We'll finish this at home." Sarah left the office without another word, leaving Chuck to sit in his own silence. He opted out of playing video games, and went back to the pediatric floor instead.
"Dude, there you are." Morgan met him at the nurses station. "So, I've been thinking about this whole last minute wedding thing, and I think I should be the one to marry you guys. Ellie is probably the safest choice, but I'll make it fun."
"I don't think there's going to be a wedding, Morgan." Chuck sighed.
"What?" Morgan's voice raised two octaves. "What do you mean, no wedding?"
"She just keeps doing things that make me think she's not ready for this." Chuck replied. "I don't know if it's really what she wants."
"That's ridiculous, Chuck." Morgan frowned. "Of course she wants to marry you."
"Can we just get on with our day? I'm done thinking about this." With that, he walked away. All he wanted was to marry Sarah Walker, and he wasn't sure it was going to happen.
School let out a few hours earlier than usual, due to a teacher prep day, so Sydney was home well before her parents. She wanted to do something special for their engagement, so she decided to start dinner.
"I'm not saying that!" Sarah's voice echoed through the house as she entered.
"That's exactly what you're saying!" Chuck's voice followed. It only took Sydney a few seconds to realize they were fighting.
"I just don't understand what the big deal is. Wearing a ring is proper in a marriage." Chuck said.
"Oh, so it's about being a proper couple now? I thought you said we could take our time?"
"I did, but then you said we should get married this week!" He fought back. "You keep sending me mixed signals, and I have no way of deciphering them! I can't read minds, Sarah."
"I didn't think you could, Chuck."
"Is everything okay?" Sydney stepped into the living room, where Chuck and Sarah had ended up.
"You're home." Sarah looked to her daughter. "Uh, yeah, everything is fine."
"I'm making dinner for you guys." Sydney lifted the pot in her hand.
"I think I'm gonna head back to the hospital." Sarah replied. "You guys can eat."
"You can't keep walking away every time we're having a serious conversation." Chuck warned. "We need to talk about this."
"All I hear is you telling me what I need to be doing." She shot him a glare. "Never once have you asked me why I'm doing what I'm doing. Maybe I have a reason." She gave Sydney a sympathetic look before turning around and leaving the house as quickly as she had come in.
"Is the wedding off?" Sydney asked her father.
"I don't know." He shook his head. "With her, I never do."
Sarah hated leaving things the way she did. She and Chuck had their arguments, sure, but never had it felt like this. All she wanted was to marry Chuck, but she knew something would happen and screw it up. That was their "thing". Nothing ever ended up working out between them. She spent the night in her office, going over her upcoming procedures, and trying to figure out the schedules for the week.
"Wow, big office." A familiar voice came from the doorway.
"What're you doing here?" Sarah looked up from her paperwork to see none other than her best friend, Zondra.
"I thought I'd stop in and see how you were getting on here." She looked to the Playstation by the TV. "And by the looks of it, you're changing a lot." She finished with a chuckle.
"Clearly that's not mine." Sarah laughed back.
"You're here late." Zondra sat in one of the chairs directly in front of Sarah's desk. "I thought you'd be at home with your family."
"I was." Sarah started. "Wait, I thought you came here to see me?"
"Maybe I lied." Zondra shrugged.
"So what's the truth?"
"I got a job offer." Zondra said. "Chief Beckman seems to be poaching all the good ones." She winked.
"You're coming to work here?"
"I haven't decided yet."
"I think you should."
"I figured you could use your best friend." She smirked. "Anyway, who's going to help you through all your baby drama?"
"Hopefully we'll never have to deal with that again." Sarah laughed. "Although I guess you could say I'm having some baby daddy trouble."
"I thought you guys were getting married this weekend?"
"We're supposed to."
"I know for a fact that the hesitation isn't coming from Chuck." She looked at the blonde. "Why are you scared?"
"I'm not scared." Sarah scoffed. "I just-"
"Would you stop saying that?"
"If you're not scared, then what are you?" Zondra challenged her.
"What if he leaves me again?" The words came out of her mouth before she knew she was saying them.
"Go home, Sarah." Zondra stood up. "Talk to him."
"You already took the job, didn't you?" Sarah asked.
"Of course I did."
After finishing the schedule, Sarah went back home. It was nice to have time away to think about things, but she knew Chuck was right. Running away from her problems was something she would've done in the past. But now, she was in a committed relationship with the one person she knew she'd be with for the rest of her life. It was time to start facing things head on.
"Are you still awake?" She whispered, entering the master bedroom.
"Yeah." Chuck's reply was soft.
"I shouldn't have left." She sat next to him. "You're right, we have to talk about things."
"Are you drunk?" He sat up.
"Very funny." She joked. "I just...I need to know that this is going to work."
"You can't know that." He said. "No one can predict the future."
"I'm not trying to make it seem like I'm putting this on you, but I don't think I'd survive it if you left me again." She looked down. "The first time I had something to keep me going, and even that barely worked."
"Babe, I'm not going anywhere." Chuck took her hands in his. "I know that it's probably going to take us the rest of our lives to move past what happened, but I can only tell you so many times that I'm here to stay. It's up to you to trust me enough to believe it."
"I do trust you."
"So then put the dang ring on your finger, and let me tell everyone that we're getting married." He smiled. "Nothing is going to change. It's going to be the three of us, and everything is going to work out."
"I thought you said no one can predict the future." She smirked.
"They can't. But anyone can make goals for what they want their future to look like, and mine has you in it." He kissed her softly. "A love like the one I have for you never goes away."
"Good answer." She kissed him back. She let him go back to sleep, making sure she was quiet as she changed out of her scrubs. She laid in bed for a while, unable to sleep. Finally, she decided to raid the fridge for a light snack.
"Can't sleep either?" Sydney was sitting at the island in the middle of the kitchen.
"You scared the crap out of me!" Sarah exclaimed. "What're you doing up?" She sat across from her daughter.
"Are you and dad splitting up?" She asked. "If you are, it's cool, but I'd rather not have to choose between my parents. There are kids at my school that have had to deal with it, and it looks like a real bitch."
"First of all, language." Sarah warned. "And second, no we aren't splitting up. I'm sorry you had to hear us arguing earlier."
"So you're still getting married?" The teen slightly perked up.
"Yes." Sarah replied with a smile. "At this point, I don't think there's any other option."
"I don't want you to worry about that. We may be dysfunctional, but we're always going to be a family. I know things started out pretty rocky, but I'd say we're solid now."
"That sounded so convincing." Sarah sassed playfully. "What's on your mind?"
"It just feels like when I'm finally happy, something happens and it all goes away." Sydney sighed. "What happens if you guys do split up? What happens to me?"
"I can't tell you where we're going to be in five years. Hell, I can't tell you where we're going to be in a week." Sarah said. "But what I do know, is that I love you more than I ever could've imagined loving someone. And I know for a fact that if for some reason Chuck and I ever split up, you will be coming with me. Or him. The point is, you're stuck with us."
"Cross my heart." Sarah nodded.
"Is the wedding still going to be this weekend?" Sydney changed the subject.
"As far as I know. We just have to figure out what time to get to city hall."
"What if you guys could do it somewhere else?"
"I'm not doing the whole church wedding thing." Sarah laughed.
"No, I'm not talking about a church."
"Then what are you talking about?"
Nothing about their relationship had ever been normal, and Chuck knew it never would be. He had dreamed of this moment ever since her first laid eyes on the mysteriously captivating Sarah Walker.
"I know this isn't what you had planned." Sarah whispered in his ear as they walked towards the water, their arms around each other. They had all come straight from a shift at the hospital, so the wardrobe for this particular ceremony was decidedly called "scrub-chic".
"Honestly, it's better." He smiled.
"Really." He assured her. "A big wedding wouldn't have been fitting for our situation." He looked ahead, watching as his sister and daughter laughed together, putting their feet in the ocean. Devon joined them, pretending to throw Sydney in. Gracie raced along the tide, flicking sand up as she ran.
"You look content." Sarah stated.
"I am content." Chuck gave her side a slight squeeze. "You've given me so much, Sarah."
"Save it for the vows, you softy." She joked.
"Dude! I got the paper!" Morgan rushed to the shoreline, passing Chuck and Sarah seconds before they got to it. "Getting ordained online only takes like five minutes." He huffed, clearly out of breath.
"Are you sure you want to leave this to Morgan?" Ellie asked.
"I think he can handle it." Chuck nodded.
"Alright, places everyone!" Morgan clapped his hands together. "Let's get the show on the road!" The seven of them lined up by the water, not afraid of getting their feet wet. Morgan stood directly in front of Chuck and Sarah, while the rest chose their sides. Ellie and Devon stood behind Chuck, while Sydney and Gracie shadowed Sarah.
"You ready?" Chuck asked.
"I'm ready." Sarah nodded.
"Since this is a last minute thing, I think it's safe to say we can keep it relatively short." Morgan said. "Do you guys have any vows prepared?"
"I do." Chuck nodded.
"Me too." Sarah smiled at him.
"Okay, Chuck would you care to start?"
"I would love to." He took Sarah's hands in his. "It took me a while to figure out exactly what to say. There's so many things I wanted to say to you in this moment, Sarah. I screwed up all those years ago. We could've done this then, the right way. But I think I'm glad we went through the things we did, because we came out so much stronger. I love our life. I love waking up to you every day. I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with you. Thank you for making me a better doctor, someone's father, and your husband. I love you." He cleared his throat, holding back the tears that were forming in his eyes. He almost couldn't do it when he saw her eyes welling up.
"You're going to make me follow that?" Sarah laughed along with everyone else. "Chuck, you are my soulmate. You made me realize that there are more important things than just being a surgeon. I know it seemed like I was sure of myself when we first met, but it was exactly the opposite. I didn't truly start to find myself until you helped me see that opening up was something to be celebrated. Our family is the most important thing in my life, and I am proud to choose you to be mine for the rest of our lives. I love you more than you could possibly imagine."
"Is there anyone here who objects to this marriage?" Morgan looked around, only noticing blank stares. "Didn't think so."
"I think we can skip to the end." Chuck whispered.
"Right!" Morgan agreed. "Then by the power vested in me, by the state of California, I pronounce you husband and wife. Go on and kiss her, man."
"Best day of my life." Chuck leaned in to kiss his wife, overwhelmed by the amount of love he felt in that singular moment. They spent a few more hours at the beach with everyone, staying until the sun set.
"So, husband, where shall we go for our honeymoon?" Sarah leaned into Chuck, who was sitting to her left on the sand.
"Oh, so you can't have a traditional wedding, but you want a traditional honeymoon?" Chuck laughed.
"I thought it would be nice to get away for a little bit." Sarah shrugged.
"Do you think Syd would care?"
"I don't know." Sarah frowned. "Would we be able to leave her?"
"There's gotta be a first time for everything." Chuck replied. "I love her, but parents need time alone. Also, I don't think she'd be opposed to some down time with Gracie."
"Are we really planning a honeymoon?"
"You're the one who brought it up!" They laughed together for a moment, taking everything in.
"Having fun over here?" Sydney strode up to her parents, a smile on her face.
"At ease I would say." Sarah replied. "Where'd everyone go?"
"They decided to go. It's getting pretty late for Gracie, and Morgan said something about a surgery in the morning." Sydney shrugged.
"Well it's a good thing we saved a spot for you, then." Chuck scooted to the side, making space for her in between him and Sarah.
"I get why you guys love this place." Sydney plopped down in between them. "It's quiet."
"You have fun today?" Sarah asked.
"Are you kidding? I think this was the best day of my life. Well, other than the day I found you guys."
"You saved us." Chuck smiled. "Without you, we'd probably still be miserable."
"Mom would be married to Bryce Larkin." Sydney joked.
"Not funny." Sarah warned playfully. "He's right, though. You changed our lives for the better." Sarah took a long look at her daughter. She had only known the teen for about a year and a half, but she felt like she knew her better than she knew herself. Here she was, this vibrant mini version of Sarah, bringing people together left and right. She was the person Sarah had always hoped to be, and she was barely a teenager.
"I wasn't so sure I wanted to find you guys, but I'm glad I did." Sydney admitted. "I know I've said and done some things that may make you think otherwise, but I love you guys so much. I'm really proud to have you as my parents."
"The past is the past, Syd." Sarah said. "There's nothing you could ever say or do to get rid of us."
"You're stuck with us forever, kid." Chuck agreed.
"Good, because this is the only place I'll ever want to be." The three of them sat there, as one. A family brought together by a dream of being alone. They had gone through so much together, but ended up as strong as ever. They were the Bartowski's, now and forever.