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

"Don't run too far." Liz called after Annie as they waited in the office
outside the Oval. Eric was tapping his foot on the ground and his fingers to
his knees as he glanced nervously at the clock. He didn't want to be there.
He needed to be in Virginia, doing his job. He didn't need to be in
Washington, he didn't need to be talking to the President and he didn't need
to have to deal with Rade. She wanted to rebel, she wanted to run away, that
was her decision. Eric believed that at times like this, the best thing to do
was nothing at all.
"I won't, mom." Annie called as she disappeared into the hallway. Liz
sighed and shook her head.
"Doesn't listen." She said with a soft smile.
"You can go in now." Mrs. Landingham exclaimed gently. Liz nodded and got
to her feet. Eric hesitated and then found himself being grabbed by his wife
and dragged into the Oval office. They looked around the empty room and
nearly jumped when Mrs. Landingham closed the door behind them. They'd been
in the room before, but it was never so nerve-wracking as it was now. The
door on the other side of the room opened and Jed Bartlet walked in.
"Sorry to keep you waiting." He exclaimed kindly. "Leo had a problem with
Congressman LeBrandt and I thought I'd give him a hand." He explained as Leo
entered the room behind his boss and closed the door.
"Mr. President, I don't see why we're here. You could have easily put
Rade on a plane or a train or something." Eric pointed out. Jed paused,
looking at the man with a squinted eye.
"I made a promise to my granddaughter that I would do no such thing. Your
wife, my daughter, is the one who made the decision to come down here, and
she seems to have insisted you come along." He replied. Eric sighed and
looked at his wife who glared at him.
"Did you look at her bike, dad?" Liz asked.
"No, but Ron Butterfield did. He said it was slightly scratched up, but
nothing worthy of a crash." Jed reported honestly. "Leo went to take a look
and he said that it was scratched up but on the left side."
"What are you trying to say?" Eric snapped.
"I'm not trying anything. I'm telling you that it's looking more and more
like my daughter has lied to me." Jed replied, looking at his daughter with a
grave expression. Liz shook her head.
"She must have fixed it up, dad. I swear to God, I did not lie to you."
She exclaimed.
"Where is she?" Eric asked.
"I'm not letting you anywhere near her until I'm sure of the truth." Jed
"Listen to me, you take me to the mat on this, Bartlet, and things will
end up looking very bad for you. I know what Rade told you, but it's not
true. I would not hit my child, especially not with a piece of furniture.
Goddamn it, I don't know why you believe her anyway, especially when she's
lied to you before."
"She's never lied to us before." Leo interjected.
"She has." Liz replied.
"When?" Jed asked.
"Well..." Eric started angrily.

Toby opened his eyes and looked around. He stretched his neck and then
looked down at Rade who was asleep on his side. He stroked her hair and then
looked at the first lady who was watching them both from a chair. She smiled
at him but he could tell she'd been crying. He smiled weakly at him and
looked back down at Rade who was snuggled into his side. Rade stirred and
looked up at him with a weak smile.
"Hi there." He whispered.
"Hi, Ziegler." She whispered back.
"You get enough sleep, kiddo?" He asked softly.
"I had a nice pillow." She murmured. He chuckled and ruffled her hair
gently. Rade turned her head and looked Abbey, still snuggling into his side.
"Hi grandmom." She whispered.
"Hi, sweetie." Abbey replied.
"Where's granddad?" Rade asked sleepily.
"Right here." Jed exclaimed as he walked into the room. Rade stiffened
slightly as she saw her parents were right behind him.

TBC... .
Feedback? Comments? Pwease??



Just One Wish - 9



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