DISCLAIMER: Please see part 1
NOTES: Please see part 1
SUMMARY: Whole lot of shaking going on
"You don't think he's your real father?" Toby repeated. Rade
"No, I don't, and I think he resents the fact that I represent a mistake
my mother made a long time ago." She murmured. "And it explains so
"If you really think that's the truth, you should ask your mother." He
"I don't want to." She admitted. "And I don't want to go to
guys promised me that I'd never have to go back there."
"We meant you'd never have to go home. We didn't mean you never had to
back to that state." Toby clarified.
"They can't make me testify. I'll run away. I'll get on my bike and head
for Canada like I planned to in the first place." Rade started but Toby
his head and quieted her.
"You can do this, Rade. Not only that, but I'll go with you, okay? You
can do this and then you never have to deal with him again." He whispered.
"But just do this, just put this guy away behind bars where he belongs. Put
him away, Rade. And then you can come right back here and we'll watch a
Snot-Nosed Airhead concert together or whoever it is that you listen to."
said with a smile. Rade laughed weakly and rested her head on his chest.
"I don't know of any bands named Snot-Nosed Airheads." She told him.
laughed and nodded.
"Really? I always enjoyed their music. You know it's the
ddahhenhaha-nehdanehhdhann--" He started making horrible scratching sounds
with his tongue to illustrate.
"Okay, okay, okay. I get the idea!" Rade said laughing. "Besides,
listen to anything *that* bad." She cooed. He smiled and ruffled her hair
"So do we have a deal?" He asked softly as he held out a hand. She
and then shook it.
"You're coming with me." She repeated as she held on to his hand. He
"Absolutely. Wild horses couldn't drag me away." He said with a smile.
She smiled back and nodded before finishing her drink.
"Good." She said. "Speaking of which, you never let me take you
riding." She pointed out.
"There's a reason behind that." Toby lamented.
"You promised you'd go with me." She whined playfully.
"Rade --" He started.
"Don't go breaking promises, Toby." She said softly. "I
understand if you
really don't want to, but don't make promises you can't keep." She said
softly as she looked at him.
"I don't break promises. As soon as we get back from Virginia, we'll go
horseback riding and you can watch me break my neck. I won't be any good to
you anymore though." He warned her.
"Oh, you won't break your neck. If you can survive my granddad, you can
survive anything." She said happily.
"Who said I can survive your granddad? I had hair when the campaign
started." Toby muttered. Rade laughed.
Leo took a deep breath as he walked through the halls of the White House.
He did this often, especially on the nights when he worked late and never
even made it home in the first place. Those nights were becoming too common
these days. He wanted them to stop coming. He climbed the stairs and looked
around. He saw a door propped open with light spilling out into the hallway.
He staggered in a mix of exhaustion and curiosity before finally moving over
to the door and knocking lightly.
"Liz?" He asked softly as he leaned in. Liz looked up from where she
on the armchair. He could see she'd been crying.
"Leo." She said softly. He smiled and moved in, closing the door
"That's me." He said softly as he moved towards her. "You okay?
talk about this? Jed told me what happened. Kid's got a hell of a right hook,
I've heard." He tried to joke softly.
"I wish this hadn't happened." Liz said softly. "This is all my
should have left him so much sooner." She said. Leo shook his head and
to kneel next to the chair.
"This isn't your fault. We all knew that the supoena would come, even
Rade." He said softly. Liz sighed and shook her head.
"I should have left that first night. Leo, so much has happened in the
last ten years. I never imagined that this was the way my life would go. I
was Rade's age when she was born..." She started, tears coming down her
face as she began to remember. Leo closed his eyes and then hugged her
"That wasn't your fault." He whispered. "That wasn't your fault
this isn't your fault now." He assured her. "You couldn't control what
happened to you 16 years ago and you can't control what's happening now."
"I can, Leo." Liz insisted suddenly. "I won't let them make her
She shouldn't have to. She's sixteen."
"The law says --" Leo started.
"I don't care about the law, Leo." Liz snapped. "He's spent her
life making her miserable simply because of the fact that he knows she's not
his." There was a silence in the room.
"Liz, have you ever told Rade the truth? About her father?" Leo asked
"No, but I've had the feeling for a long time that she knows." Liz
softly. "At least the truth about Eric. The rest... well, the rest she
doesn't need to know." She said soflty as she looked at her hands. Leo
"One day she'll want to know who her father is."
"Her father's a snot-nosed little rich kid who did what he 'had to' in
order to get the best fraternity. He was an asshole and she doesn't need to
know that." Liz retorted. "She doesn't need to know her father's a
Jury Of Your Peers - 7