I don't own Chuck. Actually, I don't own much of anything.

I'm not really un-retiring… not yet anyway. This is not new content. In fact, it is almost ten years old. It's the fourth and final installment in the Real Relationship arc.

If you read the originals, there are some key differences.

Since day one, there has always been a fierce argument in the fandom about if Sarah ever slept with a mark on a mission. I find the argument a little silly. Sarah is a fictional character. She only exists to the extent that we've seen her on the screen. And since she never did on screen, that's left to each individual's imagination. I have no problem with a fanfic story that depicts Sarah either way. I think that's well within the poetic license one assumes when writing a story.

What I do have a problem with, is people getting angry and disrespectful in their insistence one way or the other. There's no way to know. Personally, I tend to look at the clues the show gave us and assume that she did use that weapon. In the original, she did. In the rewrite, she hasn't. She's danced very close to the edge. So even though the rewrite is tamer in that respect, the dancing close to the edge is more descriptive and perhaps harder to read for some.

One of the main themes of this arc (and most of my stories when it comes down to it) is the compromise between being a spy, and being a spouse. I think there is a reason why all of the spies are gorgeous. The female spies were trained to use that as a weapon. Of course, Sarah is now a wife. She never expected to be a wife. In fact it's the worst thing a spy could do. She doesn't exactly know what she's doing. So I like her conflict. She has a powerful weapon to keep her husband safe… yet using it hurts him.

Chuck's conflict is exactly the opposite. He only wants to be monogamous and live a normal life. But he also recognizes that they are in a desperate fight against evil, and sometimes they both will have to make a compromise to a normal marriage.

Look, I get that interest in things Chuck has waned. That's as it should be. So, while I'd always love to hear from you, I'm not doing this for hits or reviews. I'm doing this for me. Hopefully you can enjoy it as well.

No Right Decision

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Chuck struggled to wake up. At first the memories of last night seemed more like a really good dream. But as he gained more and more consciousness, the good memories came rushing back. All of the tensions and frustrations of the past few days instantly dissolved last night as he held his beautiful wife in his arms and they resumed their honeymoon. Without the pressure of knowing that they had a life or death mission that night, they could just relax and have fun… and boy did they have fun.

Chuck smiled to himself as he remembered the night and all of its highlights. Lately their sex life had been getting hotter and hotter. She was obviously working very hard to prove to him that… whatever hang-ups about sex she might have… they didn't apply to him. He found that he was getting more and more comfortable taking the lead… especially since that was Sarah's very favorite thing. It was almost too good to be true. The most beautiful woman in the world was thanking him for coming up with wild ways to make love. And the best part was that they could stay in bed all day. Chuck reached over to give Sarah a hug. The only problem is that he found an empty side of the bed. Quickly sitting up, he scanned the room. "Sarah," he called.

He didn't have long to wait. "I'm in here," Sarah's voice quickly came from the living room.

Chuck was relieved that she was there. But there was something about her voice that sounded off. And why was the door closed? So quickly, he got out of bed and went to find her sitting on the couch. One look confirmed his fears. She obviously had been crying. Sarah wasn't a crier. This couldn't be good. He went over and sat next to her. "What's wrong?" he asked.

Sarah opened her mouth to answer Chuck but no words would come. Instead she buried her face in his shoulder.

This was quickly getting serious. "Sarah," Chuck said softly. "You're scaring me. What's wrong?"

After a long moment Sarah finally spoke without looking up. "Graham just called," she said. "He wants me to go on an assignment."

Chuck was surprised that it was Graham. Lately, it had been Beckman who communicated assignments with them. He was even more surprised that he only wanted Sarah. That was unusual. By her reaction, something serious was up. "I'm not going to like this," he said. "Am I?"

Sarah shook her head sadly. "I'm sorry," she said. "No, I'm afraid you're not."

"Why don't you just tell me?" Chuck asked.

Sarah nodded her head. "Okay," she said. "I'll tell you. But let's agree on something first. If you say no, then it's not happening. I already told Graham that. We'll have to deal with whatever happens."

Now Chuck was on edge. "Sarah," he said firmly. "Look at me and tell me."

Sarah gathered her composure as she sat up and looked at him. "Please let me finish before you say anything."

Chuck just nodded.

Sarah took a deep breath. "A few years ago," she said. "Bryce and I went undercover to Qatar to help protect the prince from a coup. In that part of the world, single women don't have much freedom, so we were posing as husband and wife. The prince really bonded with us. Now that prince is king. The administration wants him to come to Washington for a state visit to improve relations. They're looking to build a base there. But the only way that he will agree to come is if Bryce and I will be in charge of his security detail. Graham wants me to go undercover as Bryce's wife for a week."

"Are you finished?" Chuck asked.

Sarah nodded.

"Good," Chuck said. "Because there's no way in hell that's happening."

That actually got a sad smile. "I understand," Sarah said. "I thought that would be your reaction. Chuck, I'm fine with that. I really am. I'm not trying to talk you into this. I promise that I'm not. But before you say no, there are some other factors that I think you need to understand."

Chuck nodded for her to continue.

"First," Sarah said. "This is vitally important. The President himself told Graham to tell me that he would be grateful if I would do this. Qatar is a very strategic ally for the country. That's especially important given the current situation in the Middle East. The king is in a tough spot at home. The US isn't very popular there. If he allows the base, it will cause problems for him. But he has really taken a liking to Bryce and me. He trusts us. It would go a long way towards improved relations. Graham thinks that we're the best chance of getting him to consider this. That's very important to the country. Having a friendly base of operations there will literally save lives."

Chuck looked at her. "What aren't you telling me?" he asked. "Did Graham threaten you?"

In spite of the tense situation, Sarah had to smile at how well he knew her. "Not precisely," she said. "He knows me well enough to know that would be counterproductive. He was inferring a threat to you. He can make our life pretty uncomfortable if he wants. You can imagine that I didn't take that well. So he switched tactics. I think you understand my relationship with Graham. I owe him so much. It was hard to tell him no. He really laid it on thick. He asked me to do this as a personal favor to him. He said that the agency would spring for a lavish honeymoon in Hawaii. Two weeks of lying on the beach."

Chuck didn't really understand her relationship with Graham… not fully. All he knew was that he was something of a mentor… and Sarah felt like she owed him a lot. "Tell me about this king. He's taken a liking?" Chuck asked. "Or something else?"

A blush crept into Sarah's face. "I promise not to ever keep anything from you," she said. "I'll admit, he had a huge crush on me. Nothing has ever happened, he was pretty bashful about it, but it was obvious. He was only eighteen at the time. Bryce was always trying to get me to make him a man but I shut that down before the words were totally out of his mouth. Putting everything on the table… I liked him. We got along great. We still trade emails every once in a while. If it hadn't been a mission, I might have even considered sleeping with him. I can count the men on one hand that I could say that about. Graham wants me to use that."

Chuck suddenly found the situation funny. "So," he said. "Let me get this straight. They want me to agree to let my wife pose as the wife of her ex-lover to schmoose a foreign leader who has a 'crush' on her and who she's willing to sleep with. Have I left anything out? You wouldn't have to be part of his harem? No belly dancing or stripping or anything like that?"

The fact that he was teasing her was a very good sign. It got a smile. "No," Sarah said. "Nothing like that. I think that it's bad enough as it is. I'm not willing to sleep with him. Please don't words in my mouth. I didn't say anything like that. I told Graham to go to hell. I'm married… to my soul mate. I said that I liked him and there was a time in my life when, under different circumstances, I might have considered it. You know that I don't screw on missions… ever. There's a line I've never crossed. Now that I'm married, I'm doubled down on that. I'll be disappointed on several levels if you fear that… even a little bit. You know that I don't want to do this either. I'd miss you too much. But please, don't make it worse than it already is."

"I don't fear that," Chuck said firmly. "I do have a confession to make. I'm not worried about the king. I imagine he doesn't have to cruise bars trolling for chicks. He can find his own girl. I'm still jealous of you and Bryce. I know this is stupid. I'm embarrassed about it. I just can't help it. You've told him that you loved him. You've probably daydreamed about your wedding and family with him. You've made love with him… actually, way more times then you have with me now that I think about it. You know that I want to do the right thing. I just can't. Not with Bryce. It's just too real. So now you're asking me to go to sleep for a whole week knowing that you're in bed with him? I couldn't bear the thought of what could happen. I mean, you fell in love with him once, didn't you?"

Sarah sided into him affectionately. "First off, you shouldn't be embarrassed," she said softly. "I'm every bit as jealous of you and Jill… and it's every bit as stupid. But you just said some things that prove that you still don't understand Bryce and me… none of them really correct. Every time you say something like that I'm going to correct you. I didn't fall in love with Bryce once. You're wrong about that. I've never told Bryce that I loved him. His ego said it and I didn't correct him. That's different. I've never had a single thought about marrying Bryce or having a family with him. The very thought of Bryce as a husband makes me snicker. I've also never made love with him… not once… not even close. You're the only man I've ever been in love with… the first man I've ever made love with… the first man I've daydreamed about what our kids are going to look like. You're also going to be the last. Okay, if you're talking about missionary position sex, that's happened. If we talking about quantity, maybe Bryce even has a small lead. I haven't been counting. We were together for a while. But if he does have a lead, you're closing remarkably fast."

Chuck looked in Sarah's direction and nodded sadly.

"I want you to listen to me very carefully," Sarah said firmly. "I understand how you feel. I do. I know that if we were talking about you and Jill sharing a bed for a week, I would be a basket case. So, if you can't do this I'll understand. But if you think that for one second that Bryce, or some stupid prince, or anyone else, could steal me away from you, then you're just being plain silly. If it wasn't that you're hurting, I'd laugh at you. I mean, how could such a truly brilliant man be so stone cold stupid?"

Chuck just looked at Sarah to continue with his mouth hanging open.

"I've been looking for you my whole life," Sarah said in a much softer tone. "I was beginning to doubt that you even existed. And now that I've found you, I'm never letting you go. You're the love of my life. And nothing could ever change that. If I ever saw someone hurt you half as much as what you're describing, I would tear them apart with my bare hands. You have to know that."

Sarah could see the smile beginning to form

"And okay," Sarah continued. "Bryce's ego thinks that that I loved him. Even in his fantasy world, the word has a different meaning to him than it does to you. I was a conquest to him… one of many. It was just easier to allow him to think that than deal with his ego. He may even think that I still love him. If it wasn't true then, it sure as hell isn't true now. Chuck, you just can't compare how I feel about you to how I felt about Bryce. Those two things are not in the same universe. You came into my life at a point when I didn't believe in love. Not only did you prove to me that it existed, through your actions you showed me exactly what it looks like. I'm not the same person that I was. My life has changed so dramatically in the past month that Bryce wouldn't recognize me. I love you so much that it scares me. I snicker a little because you think that you get that… but you really don't. And it honestly bothers me a little to think that you don't trust me enough not to destroy you by running off with someone else. I just couldn't do that. It's not in the realm of possibilities."

"I'm really being stupid," Chuck said with a small smile. "Huh?"

Sarah's smile was growing. "Stunningly stupid," she said. "Mind numbingly stupid." She picked up her phone. "I'll call him and tell him no," she said. "Nobody could expect what he's asking. He'll have to figure something else out."

Chuck grabbed her wrist. "I'm very sorry if I'm disappointing you," he said. "I never want to do that. Please don't take it that way. I totally trust you. Everything you said is exactly right. This is something that I have to get over. It's probably a good thing this is happening."

Sarah shook her head. "I don't expect you to do this," she said. "I couldn't do it."

"You're misunderstanding what I'm saying," Chuck said. "I'm not saying that I'll suffer through it. I need your help. Go, and when you come back, I'll never have to worry about Bryce again. I'll have slayed one of my demons."

"Chuck," Sarah said slowly. "You're an amazing person. I'll be counting the minutes. This will be just as hard on me. Don't worry about Bryce. If we fought, we both know who would easily win. I think that he knows that if he touches me at all inappropriately, he'll earn a trip in an ambulance. I'll make sure that he's reminded the very second I see him."

"I thought that Bryce was deep undercover," Chuck sighed. "Isn't it a risk that he could be exposed to Fulcrum?"

"Yes," Sarah said. "That's how important that they must think that this visit is. With our recent success with Fulcrum, they must think that they are lying low right now."

"So when do you have to leave?" Chuck asked sadly.

"I have to take the red eye tonight," Sarah said. "I have to be in Washington in the morning."

Both were blinking tears from their eyes as they embraced. "I'm really going to miss you," Chuck said.

"I'm pretty sure that I'll miss you more," Sarah said. "I can't tell you how proud that I am of you right now."

"Thanks," said Chuck with a slight smile. "I just wish that I felt better about it." He grabbed at Sarah's flimsy negligee. "I trust that you are going to take something more modest to sleep in?"

And there it was. It was a truly awful moment. Yet he could still make her laugh. "You've got it," she replied through her giggles. "I'll pack my granny stuff."

"Not that it will help," Chuck teased. "You'd be sexy in a suit of armor."

"Trust me," Sarah said with a smile. "By the time I'm done with Bryce, the last thing he'll be thinking about is anything sexy. He'll be trying to stay as far out of my way as he possibly can."

"Great. Now that we have that settled, Bryce is ahead of me in a position. I can't live with that. I have some serious catching up to do," Chuck said. Like a lot of their kissing, it started off slowly. But quickly it was white hot.

When Sarah felt him lifting her negligee, she just lifted her arms to allow him to quickly throw it to the floor.

"Absolutely."

x-x-x-x-x

Casey and Carina picked up Chuck and Sarah to drive them to the airport. During the ride, Chuck and Sarah snuggled wordlessly in the back seat. Casey pulled up to the departing flight section of LAX and stopped the car. Chuck got out with Sarah to say their last goodbyes. He retrieved Sarah's suitcase and handed it to a skycap. Chuck held Sarah's carryon bag as he turned to embrace her.

"Do you think you can call?" Chuck asked.

"Probably not," said Sarah sadly. "It's never a good idea on a mission. If I can, I will."

"There won't be a minute," Chuck said. "That I won't be thinking about you."

"Me too," Sarah said. "I know that a week sounds like a long time but it'll be over soon."

"I really love you," Chuck said sadly.

"I know," Sarah said. "It's the only reason that I can do this. Me too."

Chuck cupped Sarah's face in his hands and kissed her very tenderly. As soon as the kiss broke, he handed her the carryon bag and she walked into the terminal. Chuck just stood and watched long after she had disappeared from view.

As Casey and Carina watched Chuck from the car, Carina turned to Casey. "You know," she said. "He is really going to be down. If you take any pleasure in that, it's the only pleasure you'll be getting for a long time. Do I make myself clear?"

Casey could tell that she wasn't really teasing. "Crystal clear," was his stoic reply.

Chuck finally turned and opened the car door. As soon as he was in the car, he let out a big sigh.

"She's gone."

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