RATING: PG
DISCLAIMER: Please see part 1
NOTES: Please see part 1
SUMMARY: Whole lot of shaking going on

Rade sat nervously in the waiting room and fidgeted with her hands. It
was all her fault. She wanted to go riding and Toby, being the wonderful guy
that he was, finally agreed. If she'd only been willing to go with him later
like he'd said; if she'd let him get away without riding at all in the first
place. She looked at the door and saw a doctor come through. She got to her
feet hopefully as he moved over to her, smiling weakly.
"Miss Bartlet?" He asked. She nodded uncertainly. "He's gonna be fine.
The helmet protected his head so his only real injuries are a couple of
cracked ribs he got when he landed on the ground so fast."
"So he's gonna be okay? Is he awake yet? Can I see him?" She asked
eagerly. The doctor nodded.
"He hasn't woken up yet. His body is insisting that it get rest, but I'll
take you to his room, yes." He said with a smile before leading the way. Ten
minutes later, Rade sat in a chair next to a hospital bed with Toby Ziegler
in it and she thought about how ironic it was that their positions be
reversed so quickly. Was it really only two weeks ago that she was in a
hospital bed with him by her side telling her that everything was going to be
okay?
"You know you can't break your promise." She said softly. "You're coming
with me, and in order to do that you have to wake up and smile at me again.
And then we're gonna go home and you'll sleep. I'm not going without you. You
made me a deal and if you don't keep it, I won't either." She added.

"Liz?" Abbey Bartlet's soft voice called into the room. Liz emerged from
the bathroom in her robe and her hair wrapped in a towel. Abbey smiled weakly
and leaned against the door. "You want me to come back later?" She asked
politely. Liz shook her head and moved to her dresser.
"Nothing you haven't seen before." She said softly. "You're the one who's
always reminding me that you used to wipe my butt when I was days old." She
added playfully. Abbey smiled weakly and sat on the couch.
"And you were the one who screamed at me when you were a teenager that I
never gave you any privacy." She pointed out.
"I do remember and you'd always reply 'nothing I haven't seen before, I
used to wipe that bottom' as I remember." Liz replied.
"Good point." Abbey admitted. She glanced back and found that her
daughter had already gotten on a pair of pants and a shirt and was now
proceeding to dry her hair feverishly with the towel.
"Have they heard from Rade yet?" Liz asked as she moved to sit next to
her mother. Abbey nodded.
"She stayed at Toby's again. Apparently this morning they went horseback
riding and he fell off the horse." She reported in amazement. Liz tried to
contain her laughter.
"Is he okay?" She asked weakly.
"Yeah, just a couple of cracked ribs. He was knocked out but he'll wake
up any minute now." Abbey replied.
"That's good. I know Rade cares for him a great deal." Liz said softly.
"Like you don't." Abbey teased. Liz looked at her mother in shock.
"What are you saying?" She asked.
"You like the way Toby and Rade interact. I see you watching him." Abbey
explained. "You could do worse, Liz."
"I have done worse, mom." Liz replied softly. Abbey bit her lip and then
put an arm around her daughter's shoulder to bring her closer.
"Do you want to talk about this?" She asked softly. Liz snuggled into her
mother's side but didn't respond for a while. She didn't know what to say.
She had so many thoughts and emotions running through her body with all this
stuff. She could remember Jonathon Richards telling her that he had to do it.
She could remember Eric holding her close and saying that everything would be
okay, that he would protect her. She shuddered as she thought about how
easily she trusted him. If only she hadn't, none of this would have happened.
"She shouldn't have to do this. My testimony should be enough." Liz
whispered softly. "She shouldn't ever have to look at him again."
"Oh, sweetie." Abbey whispered and held her daughter tighter. "Rade needs
to do this, not just because of her father but because it's a way of
finalizing this whole situation. It's a closure sort of thing."
"And me? I never got closure." Liz said almost coldly.
"This could be your closure. Your way of saying goodbye to the past and
embracing the future." Abbey replied softly.
"You think I can?" Liz asked weakly. Abbey hugged her tighter, feeling
like she was talking again to the sixteen-year-old that was so dearly
traumatized so many years ago.
"I know you can." She whispered.

TBC... .

~D.C.
Batman

 

Jury Of Your Peers - 9

 

 

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