RATING: PG-15 (to tell you why would spoil the story, *strong* themes)
DISCLAIMER: See part 1
NOTES: See Part 1, thanks to Dallas for her help and AJ for her relentless
encouragement. Please note, she cursed my computer, ladies and gentlemen.
Otherwise, this would have come a lot sooner. ::Smiles at AJ::

Abbey stroked the hair out of Rade's eyes and tried not to concentrate on
the gash that was so strongly evident on the child's face. As Rade murmured
in her sleep, Abbey tried to think of what kind of world they lived in where
a teenager, a child only just getting ready to face life, and now she was too
afraid to even go home, a place that should have been her sanctuary. The door
opened quietly, drawing the first lady's eyes to land on her husband. Abbey
slowly slid away from the girl to venture out into the hallway with him.
"I had to give her a sedative, Jed. She was hyperventilating and was in
hysterics. She'll probably sleep for another few hours." She said softly. He
nodded. "Did you call Liz?"
"Yeah, she's coming down with Eric and probably Annie, she didn't say.
She says Rade crashed her bike or something and scraped her face." Jed
replied softly. Abbey frowned.
"Didn't she get here on her bike? If she crashed it, how could it get her
all the way up here?" She asked. Jed shook his head.
"I don't know. Liz said that the bike is all scratched up and I can look
for myself, so if she did crash, it must not have been that bad. The bike's
being brought in later by the secret service. Maybe they can tell me if
there's significant damage to it." He said softly.
"Jed, do you know what this means?" Abbey asked softly. "It means one of
them is lying to us."
"I know. I just wish I knew which one." Jed said softly. Abbey sighed and
hugged him tightly. He hugged her back and just tried to breathe.

"Danny, can I speak to you for a moment?" CJ asked. Danny looked up from
his typewriter and nodded.
"Yeah, sure. I just gotta finish this sentence." He replied and typed
quickly. Then he got to his feet and followed CJ to her office. "What's up?
You wanna ask me out again?" He asked playfully. CJ rolled her eyes and
closed the door.
"First of all, I never asked you out, I just said yes to one of the many
times that you asked me out and second of all, I need to talk to you about
Rade." She said the second part softly as she looked him in the eye. He waved
his hands.
"I'm not gonna write about it, but I don't have to tell you, CJ. It's not
gonna be long before someone else finds out about it. The President's
granddaughter runs away from home? There's a lot to be said about that and a
greedy reporter, not me, but someone out there itching for an exclusive is
gonna be able to find one in this." Danny warned. CJ paused. Did he know
about the gash?
"Danny, this story is bigger than Rade running away from home." She said
softly as she watched him. He paused. And thought.
"The hair." He whispered. "The hair, it was covering something up, wasn't
it? Oh, my God, I didn't even think of that." He cursed himself.
"And if you had, would you have taken it on the record?" CJ asked with an
eyebrow raised. Danny looked at her and firmly shook his head.
"No, CJ, I wouldn't have, but there are so much bigger fish to fry now.
What's it going to look like to a country when the President's granddaughter
is being physically abused by one or both of her parents?" Danny asked
sharply. "I'm upset because Rade deserves better than to be smacked around.
Your boss is going to have a lot of problems, especially when a line of
people begins to form in the 'who wants to beat up Rade's parents' contest, a
line I'm gonna be in." He added sharply. CJ stared at him in amazement.
"Danny, that has got to be the most powerful, wonderful thing that you
have ever said about Rade but if you beat up her parents, my job is going to
be a lot harder. I've got to keep Leo, Toby and the President off of her
father. I don't know what's going on with Liz, because all I've heard is the
father, so don't go after her just yet." She replied softly with a weak
smile. Danny smiled and nodded, looking at his feet. She walked over to him
and kissed him gently. He kissed her back, his hands resting on her waist.
When they parted she leaned her forehead against his. "Danny." She whispered.
"Yeah, CJ?" He asked softly.
"Get out of here." She said with a smirk.

Toby moved up the stairs and past the guards in the hall. They nodded as
they recognized him and tried to surpress the looks of confusion that were
threatening to cross their faces. Toby ignored them, as he often did when
encountering people who were confused about how he reacted with Rade. The
truth was that nobody else knew what he and Rade had done that night that
she'd stayed in his home. They didn't do anything sick, anything that people
would disapprove of, but the night was such that now Toby could think of Rade
without feeling a sense of paternal warmth. He neared her door and stopped
when he saw Abbey Bartlet emerge from it. Abbey saw him and smiled.
"You can go in if you want. She's sleeping now, but she might wake up any
minute." She said softly. Toby hesitated and then nodded.
"Thank you, Mrs. Bartlet." He said softly.
"Call me Abbey, Toby." She replied before moving off. Toby took a deep
breath and moved into the room, closing the door behind him. He saw the
President sitting in a chair by Rade's bed, a book in hand as he turn the
pages. Jed looked up at Toby, nodded and then went back to reading. Toby
walked to the other side of Rade's bed and sat down on a chair. He watched as
she slept, somewhat peaceful. She tossed once so that she was facing him in
her sleep now. Jed saw it and chuckled then looked at his watch. He made a
phone gesture to Toby and then left the room. Toby watched his boss leave and
then looked back at Rade. What could he say to her when she woke up?
Rade started to murmur slightly, bringing his attention raptly to her
face. Her features had tightened somewhat and the first thing that came to
his mind when reading it was fear. She was afraid of something. He moved to
sit on the bed next to her and stroked the hair out of her face.
"Dad . . no." She murmured. Toby's face tightened in anger as he heard
the pain in her voice. "No, dad... I'm sorry..." She whispered. Toby
moved to cup her face in his hand.
"Rade, wake up. Come on, listen to my voice, Rade." He whispered to her.
Her face began to relax under his touch. "That a girl." He said softly,
brushing her cheek with his thumb. He felt her lean into his touch and
smiled. "That a girl." He repeated in a whisper. But then her face tensed
again and she thrashed across the covers. Toby moved to control her arms as
she cried out.
"Daddy, no!" She cried before her eyes snapped open and she saw Toby's
face. She immediately flew forward and hugged him tightly as tears streamed
down her face. Toby hugged her back without hesitation and just held her
"Sssh. It's okay." He whispered to her as he stroked her hair and rocked
gently. "No one's going to hurt you." He promised, now more sure than ever
that there was never any bike accident.

TBC... .
Feedback? Comments? Pwease?



Just One Wish - 8



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