End of the Innocence

by AJ

Notes: I seem to have reintroduced a character of mine into this story. I didn't plan on doing it, but I allowed my self to be persuaded into it.

Lydia stared at Leo with fear in her eyes. "Hi," she whispered softly.

"Hello. Linda, right?" Leo tried to remember the girl's name that just walked in to his office.

"Close, Lydia." She responded.

"What can I do for you?" Leo asked as he stood up from his desk and walked over to the girl.

"I don't know. Jed just made me come in here, probably cause he is about to yell at my parents, or Abbey is." Lydia said, as it started. Abbey's voice began to filter through into his office.

Most of what Abbey was saying was very hard to make out, but Lydia did pick up on a few things, the main one being that her father was becoming very upset. And he was, for a few seconds after Abbey's voice cut off, her father's picked up. For some reason, his voice was easier for her to pick up on. She understood every word he spoke, which caused her to break out in tears.

Leo could also hear the voices drifting in through the other room, and he saw the eyes in front of him begin to water. Closing up the gap between them, Leo took the girl into his arms, as Jed's voice was now the one to be heard.

A few seconds later, Leo's door opened up and Jed and Abbey walked through. Almost immediately, Lydia threw herself into Abbey's arms. She only just met her yesterday, but they already formed such a bond. The type of bond that Lydia was most in need of... Love.

"Thank you for not making me go back there." Lydia mumbled into Abbey.

Abbey made no attempts at speech; instead, she just stood there, being the support that Lydia had been lacking all her life.

"Lydia..." Jed spoke softly. "You are welcome to stay here, but maybe it would be best, if you called up an aunt or uncle, or someone you are related to."

"Okay." Lydia's voice was barely a whisper.

"Lydia, you don't have to if you don't want to. Jed's just saying that it might be better for you, if you did." Abbey clarified her husband's words.

"No, I'll go. I wouldn't want to be a burden on anyone."

"You're not a burden, Lydia. We enjoyed having you stay here last night." Jed said.

"It's okay, I'll go. I can tell when I'm not wanted." Lydia said as she ran out of the room.

It wasn't long after Lydia left Leo's office, that she crashed right into someone, or something. She wasn't quite sure until she heard the metal hit the ground, and a female voice proclaim, "OW!"

"I'm so sorry," Lydia cried as she turned her head up to see who it was she had crashed into.

"It's okay. Just... can you help me back into my chair?" Roni Bartlet asked.

"Yeah, sure." Lydia said quietly. She still remembered all of the hard times that Roni was put through a little less than three months ago. Lydia grunted a little as she helped to pick the First Daughter up, and replace her in her wheelchair.

"Thanks." Roni said as she positioned herself in her chair. Then she looked up at the worried face in front of her. "You're the one that Mom brought home, right? What's your name, Lydia?"

"Yeah, that's me." She responded quietly.

"Hi, I'm Roni Bartlet." Roni stuck her hand out, only for it to remain one solitaire hand.

Lydia looked down at Roni for one long moment, and then finally stuck her hand out to meet with Roni's. Roni, having a firm grip on the girl's hand, refused to let go. "I know that look in your eyes, Lydia. You want to run... you don't feel as if you belong... as if you deserve to belong... You couldn't be further from the truth."


End Of The Innocence - 3


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