RATING: PG-15 (to tell you why would spoil the story, *strong* themes)
NOTES: See part 1

"Ladies and gentlemen, if you'll take your seats." CJ said as sternly as
she could despite all the emotions that were swerving through her right now.
The circumstances dictated that the press conference happen as soon as
possible. When the President's granddaughter slashed her own wrist in a guest
room in the White House, the press were generally pretty good about finding
out about it. As soon as the words left her mouth, the reporters began
calling her name. "Please, we all know why we're here. Let's just get through
this and then I'll try and answer your questions." She said softly.
"Day before yesterday, the President's granddaughter came to visit Chief
of Staff Leo McGarry and was taken to a private doctor to have a gash treated
on the right side of her face. She's stayed with Mr. McGarry that night and
came to the White House the next day. Her parents came to town to take her
home. Upon their arrival, evidence was given that Eric Knox, Rade's father,
caused the gash." CJ said slowly and then took a deep breath. "Last night, at
approximately nine thirty, Rade was found with an apparently self-inflicted
wound. She was taken to Bethseda hospital where she was treated and is
currently in stable condition."

Jed hung his head over his knees and threaded his fingers through his
hair and stared down the hallway. The lights were dim in the hospital, and
even though Ron Butterfield was insistent, Jed was even more so. He wasn't
going to sit in the White House while his granddaughter had a slash on her
wrist. He looked at the knife in the small plastic bag. The small buck knife
handle was intricately designed with images of leaves and a small deer. The
end held the inscribed initials "E.K." Eric Knox. Was she trying to speak to
her father?
Why would she do this type of thing? No one was going to hurt her. No one
was going to try and hurt her. She was going to be protected. She was safe,
with people who loved her and who would protect her from Eric Knox. But she
thought there was no hope and she had slashed her wrist. What did that mean?
Luckily, Abbey had found her in time and they'd gotten her to the hospital.
She was given a blood transfusion and the wrist was sewn up and bandaged. Now
she rested in a recovery room, someone watching her at all times, despite the
thin restraints that were loosely wrapped around her wrists and ankles. All
that anyone could do now was wait. Jed got to his feet and left the hospital.

Rade opened her eyes and looked around. The room was dark but full of
sounds, little ones. She leaned her head to the right and saw an empty bed
and beyond that a dark window. She leaned her head to the right and saw an IV
hanging over her bed along with several other machines. She felt a small
sticker on her chest, probably a heart monitor of some sort. She looked to
the chair by her door and grimaced. Leo was sleeping soundly in it. She
groaned softly and looked at her wrist, seeing the white bandage that was
wrapped around it. She looked back at Leo and found his eyes open and meeting
"Where am I?" She whispered. He got up and approached her bedside.
"Hospital." He replied softly.
"Why?" She asked with tears in her eyes. Leo sighed, his own eyes
"Because we love you." He replied softly.
"Why?" She repeated, her voice cracking.
"Because you're a bright, wonderful, intelligent, funny young woman." He
replied softly as he moved to sit next to her. She shook her head, tears
streaming down her face. He reached up to wipe them away and nodded. "You
"Leo... My own father... I could never make him see, no matter
what. I wanted to make him see." She said weakly. "I can't be here. Leo, I
don't belong... anywhere." She whispered.
"You do." He replied. "You belong. Sweetie, we love you. Your father will
never get near you again. You don't ever have to do anything you don't want
to. You can make your own choices now."
"Can I? Will I be able to?" She asked him softly.
"If you can't, I'll help you. So will your grandparents, and I know Toby
will. He practically tried to kill your father. We will protect you and we
will take care of you." He whispered.
"Even after this?" She asked as she raised her bandaged wrist.
"Especially after this." He assured her.
"Why?" She asked as the tears started to slow.
"Because you need us, and we need you." He replied. Rade nodded and
kissed the palm of his hand.
"And father?" She asked softly.
"You'll never have to see him again if you don't want." Leo assured her.
"And Granddad? They know, don't they? The Press? I really screwed this
up." Rade whispered. Leo hesitated and then shook his head.
"We can handle the press. You didn't screw up anything. Nothing has
happened that wasn't going to happen anyway. As long as you're okay, you
haven't done anything wrong." Leo whispered. Rade nodded and then looked past
Leo to the doorway. Tears flooded to her eyes. Leo turned and saw Toby
standing in the doorway, looking very tired.

TBC... .
Feedback? Comments? Can the death threats please stop now??



Just One Wish - 11



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