Wind Beneath My Wings
Disclaimer: Not mine. 'Nuf said.
Summary: I can't think of one, so just read.
It must have been cold there in my shadow
Many people believe it to be a true miracle when someone as high up as the President of the United States has such a strong, loving, long-lasting marriage. But the true miracle was that marriage staying as strong on the journey to the White House.
In the past, before they were Potus and Flotus, Jed and Abbey had much of a give and take marriage. Neither of them being the center of their relationship. Until he announced that he was to run for President. That's when things began to change.
Instantaneously, Jed was pushed into the national spotlight. Him, not her. People somehow seemed to forget that Abigail Bartlet existed. She was no longer Dr. Bartlet. Or Abbey. Or anyone except for the wife of the democratic nominee. That's who she was.
None of that ever really seemed to bother her though.
She loved her husband. She wanted to see him succeed. And from her position behind him, she did.
So I was the one with all the glory
Nothing is ever as it seems. Sure, on the outside Abbey put up a smile. But it killed her. She had to give up her entire identity for him. Even her friends started referring to her in more formal ways, as they slowly exited her life.
So here she was: A new identity, no friends, and a really grouchy husband. Almost more than one person can take. And she let Jed know it occasionally. But mostly, she just sat back and let it all happen without putting up much of a fight.
Putting on a smile, she endured all of the debates. Every last primary. And election day... Jed's mood swings as the results kept jumping around... Through all of this, Abbey just smiled from her quiet spot in the corner.
After Jed made it into office, things began to change. Slowly, the wheels started to turn, and Abbey began to make a name for herself as the First Lady. But those wheels often got stuck in the mud.
Since he became President, she has always been second to him. In the news, in the minds of their friends, what little they were able to keep. Second. She was the Misses. Mrs. Jed Bartlet. Mrs. President Bartlet. Mrs. That was her new name. Mrs.
Jed always tried to show her how much he loved her. He always tried to show her how truly important she was. Not only to him, but to everyone. Everyday he invented new ways of telling her, or showing her his love for her. And she loved him for it. But the fact remained... She was still Mrs. Jed Bartlet.
Shifting through a magazine that sat at his desk, Jed looked up at his chief of staff who just made his way into the oval office.
"What are you reading, sir?" Leo asked.
"I don't know. It's one of Abbey's magazines. Some medical journal. Something to pass the time."
"Well you know, you can always leave for the night. Go crawl into bed, call Abbey. We can take care of this thing."
"Yes, Mr. President?"
"Abbey said something to me before she went on her trip..."
"Well, I'd imagine so. I mean, she was almost late for the... Sir, what is it?"
"It's nothing," Jed replied softly. "Nothing."
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah." Jed turned back to the magazine and started flipping through the pages. His eyes did a little dance when he got near the end. "Leo?"
"I'm going to the residence now," Jed got up and practically ran out of his office.
Jed realized every sacrafice that Abbey had to make for him. Big and small. He knew just how high a price she paid for him becoming President. And he loved her for it. But he wished he could change it. Maybe make it up to her somehow.
But how do you make up for something like that?
Jed loved her with all his heart. With all of his sole. With every fiber of his being, he loved her. But somehow that just didn't seem to be enough. For she reciprocated every last one of those things, so it wasn't like he was making up for anything.
Sighing as he climbed into bed, Jed reached out for the page in the magazine that had caught his attention. Ripping it out, he carefully placed it on his nightstand, making a mental note to have Charlie fax it for him the next day. Then he reached over for the phone. When her voice picked up at the other end, Jed's heart did a couple flips in the air. It always did.
"Hey sexy," Jed smiled.
"I miss you. A lot."
"Jed, I've only been gone for two days." Abbey smiled. "And I'm coming back in three."
"What? Am I not allowed to miss you?" Jed paused. "So, what'd you do today?"
"You name it, we did it. What about you?"
Jed glanced over at the piece of paper that came from the magazine, "Not much."
"Jed, I'm going to ask you again," Abbey said, picking up on the tone in which Jed spoke his last words. "What did you do today?"
"I read a magazine. And filled out a thing..."
"What kind of thing?"
"Oh, you'll find out soon enough." Jed grinned. "Listen, I know you are exhausted. I can hear it in your voice. Why don't you go to sleep now?"
"What'd you do?"
"Good night. I love you."
"Jed, you better tell me."
"I'll tell you when you get back. Now good night."
"I love you, Dr. Bartlet."
"Love you too... I think."
"I'm hurt by that."
"Yeah, well tell me what you're up to..."
"Not a chance." Jed's grin widened.
Abbey gave in, "Fine. Good night, Jed."
"Good night, my love."
Did you ever know that you're my hero
True to her word, three days later Abbey was on her way back to the White House. And along the way, she stumbled on to some very interesting information.
After getting herself resituated into her life as Mrs. President Bartlet, Abbey slowly made her way to where she knew she would find her husband. Opening the doors to the Oval Office, she smiled as she spotted him asleep on one of the couches in the middle of the day.
Her smile graduated to a grin as she climbed up on the couch with him and laid her head down on his chest. This newly found comfort was enough to make Jed stir from his slumber.
"Yeah. And I'm mad at you."
"Oh? What'd I do this time?"
"That thing you were talking about the other day on the phone. That thing with the magazine... they called me Jed."
"Good," He grinned. "I was afraid it might be too late."
"Was it really necessary to do that? I mean, why? You know I don't like much recognition, Jed."
"Since when?" Jed watched as Abbey sat up.
"Since whenever. It doesn't matter since when, Jed. Why?"
"Cause I wanted to do something for you... to prove my love and belief and support in you."
"You don't have to prove any of that to me. I already know all of it."
"Yes, well I did it anyway. And you aren't doing a very good job at playing hurt. I can see the excitement in your eyes. You're glad I did this. Aren't you?"
"I am not glad you did this. And I'm never ever letting you near another of my magazines again."
"This year's recipient of the Best Doctor of America Award goes to one of the better known doctors of America. For the past 25 years, she's been hard at work as a pediatric doctor. Through her work, her love and passion of being a doctor has always been evident. Her dedication to her patients, to the quality of care they receive is admirable on many levels."
"In the past two years, she has taken her medical degree to places some of us only dream of being able to go. Traveling all over the world, she has helped create pediatric centers in eighteen different hospitals. And in twelve others, she aided in the further development of their programs."
"This year's recipient is the example of everything a doctor in this country strives for. Kind, caring, passionate, and dedicated. I am proud to give you Dr. Abigail Bartlet."
"I would like to start out by thanking my patients. Without them, I wouldn't be a doctor. It has been a pleasure to serve each and every one of you. Also I'd like to thank all of my coworkers over the past several years. They've been a great support chain, and I couldn't have gotten here today without any of them."
"Next, I would like to thank my parents. They couldn't be here, because this was all such short notice. But they are here in spirit. It has been them to give up the most, to get me where I am today. They supported my decision to become a doctor. The helped me through school financially. And they have always been there for me to give me that extra push, even when I didn't think I needed it."
"And I'd like to finish up by thanking my husband. His love has inspired me to reach all of those goals I set out with so early on in life. With his help, I have been able to meet every one of them, and perhaps surpassed a few along the way. He's always been there in my corner, cheering me on. Although, sometimes I wish he would cheer a little quieter. But I love him all the same."
"Thank you, all of you. This means so much to me. So thank you."