RATING: PG-15 (to tell you why would spoil the story, *strong* themes)
NOTES: See part 1
ALSO: "Adam's Song" is a song of Blink 182, and is not mine.

Sam leaned back in his seat and tapped his forehead with his pen. He was
trying to think but it was hard. He couldn't breathe, let alone think. He had
to write a statement for the President. He had to explain to the country why
a sixteen year old girl would cut her own wrist, even after having proven
that she wasn't lying about her father's abuse. Rade had nothing to be scared
of any more. She practically had the entire US military on standby to get
between her and her father, so there was no reason for her to die. And yet
she'd tried.
"Sam?" A soft voice asked as his door creaked open a few inches. He sat
up and beckoned the visitor in. "You working?" Mallory asked as she closed
the door behind her. He sighed and debated whether to nod or shake his head.
"I don't know." He said finally. She smiled and nodded, moving towards
him slowly. "How are you feeling?" He asked, knowing how much the whole
situation had affected the woman he loved.
"I don't know. I honestly don't. My father and Jed Bartlet practically
raised all as one big family and I just don't understand how Liz could do
this." She replied softly. He nodded, took a hold of her hand and helped her
to sit on his lap. She smiled at him and snuggled into his chest.
"We're all just trying to get beyond this. We're just trying to
understand and adapt. I promise you though, whatever you need me for, I'm
here." He whispered as he kissed her head. She smiled and looked into his
"That's very sweet of you, Sam." She whispered.
"Well, I'm a sweet guy." He replied with a tired smirk.
"Sometimes. When your foot's not in your mouth." She replied playfully
and kissed him gently. He kissed back and nodded.
"I'm working on that. I promise." He said playfully before she kissed him

Donna took a deep breath and rested her hand on the door handle. She took
another deep breath and leaned into the room. Josh was sitting in his chair,
staring at the wall that his TV and other things were nestled into, his hand
resting on his chin, his fingers resting on his lips as his eyes disappeared
into space. She moved inside and closed the door behind her, looking around
the dark room and noticing that none of the lights were on.
"Josh?" She asked softly. He didn't move. She sighed and moved around his
desk to stand in front of him. "Josh, answer me." She whispered. Josh looked
at her with wet eyes and she could see how he was holding back. She moved
forward and traced her fingers down his face to cup his cheek gently. "Talk
to me, Josh." She pleaded. He took her hand in his and stared into her eyes.
"How could something like this happen, Donna? In the White House?" He
asked softly. "How could Rade think that there was no more hope when she was
sleeping in the White House? Every day I come to work here, knowing that I'm
at least *trying* to make a difference in this country, and yet the
granddaughter of the man I work for and respect highly can't find hope."
Donna blinked back tears as she saw the pain in his eyes and heard it in his
"I don't know. Maybe she just didn't hear us soon enough. She didn't take
enough time to hear us tell her that she had hope. Now she has it, Josh. And
she has us, and we're going to give her hope. All of us." She assured him as
she squeezed his hand and traced his features with the slender fingers of her
other hand. He closed his eyes and attempted to nod as a tear fell down his
"I know. I hope you're right. I hope to God you're right." He whispered.
She nodded and tried to smile. "Thank you, Donatella." He added as he opened
his eyes again and stared into her. She found her knees unsteadying a little
as his brown eyes gazed into her light blue ones.
"You're welcome." She whispered weakly. He smiled very weakly and nodded,
reaching forward to caress her cheek with his fingers. "Josh." She murmured
softly as he leaned forward towards her.
"Yeah?" He asked as his eyes examined her face, taking in the view of her
delicate features.
"What are you doing?" She asked softly. Josh stopped and let his hands
drop to his lap. He shook his head and got to his feet, moving to get past
her. She watched him in confusion.
"Nothing. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have done that." He murmured as he
stopped in front of his desk and looked around, as if trying to remember what
he was going to do. Donna paused and then walked over to him to take his face
in her hands. She brought his eyes to hers.
"You just surprised me, that's all." She whispered before hugging him
tightly. He hugged her back, burying his face in her hair and inhaling the
scent of it. He felt her clutch him tighter and then returned the gesture.
Donna pulled back and looked him in the eye. He looked back and slipped a
hand through her hair, gently taking hold of her head and pulling her in for
a gentle kiss.

The hallway seemed silent. Abbey looked around and then moved for the
door. She opened it and moved inside. The bloodstain was still on the carpet,
and she could still remember the feeling she felt when she'd entered the room
and found her granddaughter in a crumpled pile, covered in her own blood. She
couldn't think then. All she could do was scream her husband's name. Now the
blood was still there. She moved to the ground and ran her fingers over the
stain. Then she stood up and walked to the stereo. There was a CD inside, one
she didn't recognize, but she never recognized them anyway. She pressed play.

*I never thought I'd die alone*
*I laughed the loudest, who'd have known*
*I traced the cord back to the wall*
*No wonder, it was never plugged in at all*
*I took my time, I hurried up*
*The choice was mine, I didn't think enough*

What was the choice, Abbey mused. What was the pain, the decision that
people faced when they decided to slash their wrist or take too many pills?
Abbey wasn't even sure if she wanted to know. She was glad that she'd never
known that kind of hopelessness.

*I'm too depressed, to go on*
*You'll be sorry when I'm gone*
*I never conquered, rarely came*
*Sixteen just held such better days*
*Days when I still felt alive*
*I couldn't wait to get outside*
*The world is wide, too late to try*
*The tour was over, we'd survived*
*I couldn't wait until I got home*
*To pass the time in my room alone*

Rade did spend a lot of time in her room, alone. Always alone. Abbey was
starting to feel frustrated. There was a question in the back of her head,
something that she hadn't thought of before. What were they going to do now?

*I never thought I'd die alone*
*Another six months, I'll be unknown*
*Give all my things to all my friends*
*You'll never set foot in my room again*
*You'll close it off, board it up*
*Remember the time that I spilled the cup*
*Of apple juice in the hall*
*Please tell mom this is not her fault*

As the chorus repeated, Abbey wondered about the line. Was it her
mother's fault? What did Rade believe? It was evident how Rade felt about her
father, but not about her mother. Where did Liz fall into the grand scheme of
things? Abbey shook her head and moved to switch the stereo off but then she
noticed the sound change in the lyrics.
*I never conquered, rarely came*
*Tomorrow holds such better days*
*Days when I can still feel alive*
*When I can't wait to get outside*
*The world is wide, the time goes by*
*The tour is over, I've survived*
*And I can't wait till I get home*
*To pass the time in my room alone*

As the music began to trail off, Abbey hit the stop button. Was Rade
going to make the decision to live now? Was she going to feel alive and
embrace the gift that God had given her? Only time would tell.

TBC... .
Feedback? Comments? Please?



Just One Wish - 13



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