Wearing Your Tattoo

EMAIL: HIMH@aol.com
CATEGORY: Romance, Slice-of-life (SL/Other -Chuck-)
RATING: PG (Mild Language)
SPOILERS: Uses Freefall canon, partial "Get Carter" Spoilers
DISCLAIMER: All characters owned and created by various parties, NBC, Amblin, Constant C.
SUMMARY: There are only so many ways to say "I Love You" Properly...

"When can I open my eyes?"

Chuck couldn't help but smirk at his girlfriend's tone. "Gimmie a second, babe..."

"Chuck...It's dark, my feet are killing me, and I don't know if dinner's going to stay where I put it."

"Okay, fine, spoil yourself...damn!"

A crash firmly made the decision for her. She opened her eyes and saw her boyfriend glaring at their alarm clock, his shirt over his head, pale body halfway between exposed and clothed.

For the first time since she had learned of her pregnancy, she laughed.

He sighed indulgently. "Help me?"

"I can't help it." She grabbed him by the sleeve and tugged. "You reminded me of Chris Farley for a second."

He wasn't offended, and with disgust he kicked the clock with the tip of his shoe before picking it up. She deposited his tee-shirt on the bed.

"What did you want to show me?"

He straightened up, smiling. "See anything different?"

She frowned, concentrating. But no; he was the same Chuck, with a freckled, pale chest.

He shivered, crossing an arm over his exposed body as an evening chill bled into the room. "Please guess!" He encouraged.

Her eyes scanned his face; nothing unusual, no foreign piercings....thankfully. The tattoos were as they had been before; his mother's name on his breastbone, right between each pectoral muscle, a Celtic cross on his upper arm, and a large bandage over his heart.

"What happened?" Fear gripped her; he was never reckless without good cause, but he was frighteningly passionate.

"It's not anything. Hold on." He winced as he peeled back the tape from the bandage, which left behind only a trace of red.

For a moment, she didn't notice anything but the redness of his skin. Then her eyes trained focus on a fine scripted word, in dark black ink. Her name over his heart.

Her name. Over his heart.

She groaned, not quite sure if she should laugh or smack him. God help her, but she thought his tattoos were sexy.

"I don't put anything on my skin unless I mean it, Suz." He'd explained, on a night of sobriety and thoughtful conversation months before. He had so many contradictions bouncing around inside of that body, just as many as she did. In their infinite variety, they were well-matched.

"What do you think? There's room left for the baby's name when we -"

She smiled, crossing the distance between them with an outstretched hand. "Chuck, you're a goober.'

He laughed; only his mother and Susan could get away with calling him something like that. "Yeah, I'm extra-goobery. With big globs of peanuts, baby!"

She was laughing so hard that he had to prop her up. Wiping away a tear, she said, "It's the hormones."

"You mean it's not me?" He said, and she shook her head, exasperated.

"It's you. It's been you for awhile."

And she rested her head over his heart.

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