Abbey nodded at the secret service agent as she approached her husband and nephew sitting on the ground, crying for the man they both loved so much. Without thinking, Abbey kneeled next to them and drew Mason against her, holding him tightly, stroking his hair in the way only a mother could.
Abbey looked up at her husband, crying just as hard as Mason, and gathered him in the hug as well. Tears began to form in her eyes as well, as the emotion filled in the parking garage became so overwhelming.
The three cried together until Mase practically fell asleep in Abbey's arms. Helping them both to stand, Jed led them back to the residence and watched as Abbey tucked Mase into his room that she set up for him.
As Abbey left, she took hold of her husband's hand and walked him to their room. Jed wanted nothing more then to have his wife hold him again and tell him everything would be okay. But, he had things to do and arrangements to make. As they made their way there, they saw a timid looking Donna venture into the Residence.
Donna spoke quietly, "Mr. President, where is he, please?"
"He's sleeping." Abbey simply replied.
"Can I sit with him, please? I. . . We're friends. . . And. . ." Donna felt tears threaten and wasn't sure why.
"Sure." Jed replied. He remembered how close the two had gotten when Mason came down during his summer vacation to help with his campaign. "He's right down the hall, two doors to the left."
"Thanks," Donna whispered softly, as she made her way into his room. She slowly opened the door and walked in. She saw him lying on the bed, sleeping peacefully and she smiled slightly. Shutting the door and plunging the room into darkness, she made her way to sit next to him on the bed. Murmuring softly, she gently stroked his forehead.
Mason felt a gentle kiss on his cheek, and began to stir.
Donna remembered his gentle comfort to her during the campaign when her father had died and she allowed a few tears to slip down her cheeks as she thought of her grief. How his heart must be aching. How she wanted to take his pain away.
"Donna?" Mase said puzzled.
"Shh, go back to sleep." She whispered as she kissed him on the forehead.
Mason spoke softly, "I don't want to. Don't leave me Donna. Please don't." His voice cracked and he closed his eyes against the tears that threatened.
Kissing his tears away, she spoke just as softly, "I'm not going anywhere. I'm gonna stay right here with you."
Without thinking, Mase pulled Donna down next to him and held her tightly, burying his face in her hair. Donna felt a flicker of surprise, and perhaps something else, but decided to go with it as she held him tightly.
When Mason felt Donna's lips press up against his, he hesitated at first, but then welcomed the warm display of emotions.
Donna wondered in the back her mind, what the hell she was doing. But she forced herself to ignore these thoughts as she deepened the kiss and gave into something she had wanted since she had first met Mason Bartlet.
"Donna?" He called out, not fully aware of what was going on between the two of them.
She was as unsure as he was as she answered softly, "Mason?"
Mason slightly pulled away when she said his name, but Donna closed the gap between them, and began to kiss him ever so gently.
Mason ran his fingers through her long blond hair, pulling her closer as he broke the kiss and gazed into her eyes. He was stunned to see tears. "Donna?" He whispered softly into the darkness.
Donna blinked and moved to roll off the bed, "I'm sorry, this is inappropriate." She said softly, praying her voice sounded steadier then she felt.
Mason stared at her in confusion. "I shouldn't have. . . Not now. . ." Donna ran her hands through her hair.
Mason got up from the bed and went over to her, hugging her tightly. "I'm actually kind of glad you did." He replied softly.
She hugged him back, burying her head in his shoulder, knowing that she should be the one offering him comfort, not the other way around. "I just. . . All this time. . . I had to. . ."
A knock sounded on the door and Donna jerked away from Mase, and almost ran to the door. Flinging it open, she tried to run out, but was stopped by Jed's gentle touch, "Donna? Are you okay?"
Donna stopped and looked at Mason, then back at the President, as she ran out of the room.
TBC. . .