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

Rade opened her eyes and looked around. Her face hurt a little as she sat
up and looked about the room. She'd elected to sleep on the couch because it
was something she was used to. She got to her feet and dragged herself to the
kitchen where Leo was sitting on the counter in a suit, drinking coffee and
readng the crossword. He looked awake and fresh.
"What time is it?" She murmured sleepily. Leo looked at her.
"Almost seven. You didn't have to get up now." He exclaimed.
"Tell that to my brain, only do it quieter." She retorted. He chuckled
and nodded. She smiled and ruffled his hair before leaning against the
counter and yawning. "You have a shower?"
"No, I prefer not to clean myself. Margaret finds it kind of annoying but
--" Leo started with a grin.
"Okay, okay, Just asking. You mind if I use it?" She asked. "Then maybe I
can make myself presentable to whoever it is that I might see today."
"Sure, go ahead." Leo replied. "I didn't even think about what I was
going to do with you today." He realized.
"What you're going to 'do with me'? Thanks, Leo." Rade said with a
chuckle. Leo chuckled and pointed down the hall. Rade grabbed her bag and
headed for the bathroom. About fifteen minutes later, she reappeared with
slightly soaked hair and a change of clothes on. She went into the living
room and rifled through her backpack. Leo emerged from the kitchen.
"You wanna come to work with me? The guys would love to see you and your
grandparents aren' t coming back until tomorrow, so you don't have to worry
about running into them." He suggested as he approached her. "Might be kind
of fun to see you talk to Toby again. He was actually pretty decent last time
you were here. Maybe you can get him to do that again." He said with a grin.
"Toby's not so bad. People just don't know how to treat him the right
way. With people like that, you gotta know what you're doing." Rade murmured
as she looked around in the black backpack.
"So is that a 'yes, you want to come and help out us poor folk who don't
know how to treat Toby the right way' or a 'no, I think you should go and
face the monster all by your lonesome'?" Leo asked with a smirk. Rade fished
out her wallet and slipped into her back pocket before going to the kitchen
to get a drink to take her meds with.
"It's a 'what would we say to them once we got here?'" Rade replied
before putting two pills in her mouth and downing them with orange juice. Leo
paused, knowing what she meant. "They deserve to know the truth, because
what's going to happen when a reporter, one we don't trust the same way we
trust Danny, finds out that I ran away from home, and not only that, that I
ran away from home with a four inch gash on my face? What's going to happen
then, Leo? But then again, if we tell them, I'm gonna have to deal with their
sympathies and their looks and their reactions and then the press, if they
find out. What happens to Granddad if gets it out? What happens to me? My
parents? Annie? Yeah, Leo, I'd love to tag along with you, cause the truth is
I have nothing else to do."
"They will find out eventually, Rade. Do you want to be there when they
do? They'll give you what you ask for. As for the press, this is our job and
we will handle it as best we can and I guarantee you, your wishes and needs
will come first when we do, not your grandfather. This is about you, not him,
and I know the others will feel the same way." Leo replied. Rade looked at
the counter as she put her glass down on it. Then she looked at him.
"Let's go to the White House."

******************************
"I think 32 down is wrong." Rade announced as she counted the squares on
the New York Times crossword while following Leo through the hallways. Leo
sighed and shook his head.
"I don't think they can go a week without getting one wrong. What is it?"
He asked as he walked into his office, waved to Margaret and found his desk.
Rade sat on his couch and counted the squares again.
"Isn't Khaddafi eight letters?" She asked as she looked at him. He looked
at her abruptly and moved over to look at the crossword. "Right there." She
pointed it out to him. He cursed.
"They did it again." He muttered.
"Leo, did you want me to go over your agenda for today or did you want me
to call the New York Times again?" Margaret asked as she stood in the
doorway. Leo looked at her and chuckled.
"What have you got for me, Margaret?" He asked with a smile. She looked
at him suspiciously. "No, I'm not in a good mood just to confuse you." He
added as he went back to his desk.
"He's practicing for his acting class." Rade added.
"Oh, shush. What's it look like today, Margaret?" Leo asked again.
Margaret smirked and moved over with his schedule.
"You have staff at nine, CJ's briefing is at ten today. You're meeting
with the NSC at eleven. At one fifteen, congressman LeBrandt is coming to
talk to you. At two, you see the joint chiefs. Three thirty you see O'Dwyer.
Four thirty there's a meeting with the EPA junkies and that's it." Margaret
recited from the top of her head.
"You memorized his schedule?" Rade asked.
"She's kinda freakish that way." Leo replied. "Thanks, Margaret." His
assistant nodded and left the room. "It's a quarter to nine. You ready to do
this?" He asked softly. Rade hesitated and then shrugged.
"Do I really have a choice? They do deserve to know and I do wanna be
there when they find out." She replied softly. Leo nodded and moved to sit
next to her on the couch.
"What's the answer to 2 across?" He asked as he put an arm around her
shoulder. She raised an eyebrow and then smirked.
"Liberty." She replied softly. He looked at her and smiled as he realized
she was right. He pulled out a pen and filled in the answer. Then his phone
rang. He got to his feet and moved to it.
"McGarry. Yes. Okay, thanks." He said quickly before hanging up. "New
York Times says they'll print a correction tomorrow." Rade laughed and
nodded.
"Leo, I need to talk to you before the meeting starts." CJ exclaimed as
she walked in, not noticing Rade.
"CJ." Leo interrupted.
"Yes, Leo?" CJ asked.
"Turn your head about ninety degrees to your left." He said slowly. CJ
paused and then did so.
"Rade!" She exclaimed. Rade laughed and got to her feet.
"Hiya, CJ." She replied. CJ walked forward and hugged Rade hello with a
grin on her face.
"I didn't even know you were in town. Wow. I'm sorry for ignoring you. I
didn't see you." She exclaimed.
"Leo, what's this I hear about O'Dwyer vetoing 408?" Toby snapped as he
walked into the room with Josh and Sam behind him.
"You're not the only one." Rade said to CJ. The others looked at her.
"Rade!" Sam exclaimed.
"Uh oh." Josh said playfully.
"Hey, boyos." Rade retorted before looking at Toby. "Heya, Ziegler." She
said. He shook his head at her.
"You back for round two?" He teased. She grinned and nodded.
"I missed you too." She retorted. He laughed and moved over to hug her
tightly. CJ, Josh and Sam exchanged surprised glances and then looked back as
Rade and Toby sat down on the couch.
"What are you looking at?" Toby snapped.
"Nothing." The three said in unison before taking their seats. Leo
chuckled and moved to lean his hands on the last empty chair.
"Now, before we get to business today, we have to talk about Rade." He
said softly, gaining a serious look.
"What'd you do now?" Josh asked playfully as everyone looked at her. Rade
smiled very weakly. Josh realized that he'd just asked a very stupid question
and looked back at Leo.
"The truth is that Rade's parents don't know that she's here, and neither
does the President." Leo said slowly. Everyone looked at each other
uncertainly and then at Rade who looked down at her hands.
"Okay, I'll bite." CJ said softly. "What happened?" Rade looked at Leo
and then brushed her hair behind her ears. CJ gasped weakly and looked at Leo
who was watching gravely. Toby was sitting on Rade's left side so he didn't
see the change, but he saw in the eyes of his colleagues that something bad
had just been revealed. Rade looked at him and showed him the healing gash on
her face.
"Rade..." He said softly and reached up to gingerly stroke her face.
She smiled weakly at him and then looked at her hands again. "What happened?"
He asked and looked at Leo.
"Apparently--" Leo started when the door from the Oval office opened and
Jed Bartlet moved in through the door.

TBC... .
Feedback? Comments? Please?? :) Batman needs some summer loving! :) I miss
you guys!

~D.C.
Batman

 

Just One Wish - 5

 

 

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