Disclaimer- see Part1
"There's No Place Like Home" - Part 14
The President sat on the couch in the Oval Office trying to concentrate on some files for some meeting he had tomorrow that he couldn't quite remember the subject of. Suddenly he sensed he wasn't alone and looked up to see Caitlin standing just inside the door to his office. His gaze went from her face to the item she held in her hands. The diary.
She slowly walked over to the couch and sat down beside him. He watched her, waiting for her to hand him the book. This time she didn't. Instead she opened the book herself to a marked passage and began to read.
"July 4, 1776: Today Mr. Jefferson of Virginia presented to the Congress his draft of a declaration of Independence. He has been working diligently on it and the final product was exquisite. As I signed my name to it, the consequences of our actions weighed on my mind heavily. We were creating a new nation, breaking free of the English crown and separating from our English brethren. It is not a decision we take lightly as we know our actions will surely lead to war. But these unbearably hot days in Philadelphia have proven that our goals and ideals are worth the sacrifice, any sacrifice we must make. My greatest hope is that no matter what the outcome, defeat or victory, our strides these days and our lessons will live on, will be passed on to the future generations. For my own family, I want them to realize the privilege I have had at this time, a privilege I will cherish no matter what lies ahead."
Caitlin stopped reading and looked at her father. His face was full of emotion and his eyes glazed with tears. "The first Josiah Bartlet held a great privilege in forming our country. And you," she said taking his hand "hold a great privilege now. One worth many sacrifices. I am so proud of you, proud to be your daughter and I want to stand by your side and experience this privilege with you."
"Caitlin..." the President began hoarsely.
"I am afraid Dad. The attempt on your life scared me beyond belief. But we cannot let fear deter us from the path you have chosen. The path we all want to travel on with you. There are still dangers out there, but there always will be. The trick is to not let them control your life. You are making history Dad and you will continue to do so. I'd like to be there with you. Please let me." She finished softly.
The President watched her closely for a few moments, his heart swelling with love and pride. He took her head in his hands and pulled her forward so he could kiss her forehead. "When did you become so grown up?" he asked.
"I have no idea. I guess it had to happen sometime." She answered, smiling.
He nodded his head at her. "I have missed you."
Caitlin knew she needn't say anything else. They had reached an understanding. So instead she handed him the book and curled up against his side, lying her head on his shoulder. He wrapped his right arm around her and opened the book with his left and began to read. Caitlin closed her eyes and listened to his soothing, melodic voice. It was good to be home.