RATING: G so far
DISCLAIMER: I don't own them, unfortunately. I'm just having some creative
fun with them. Rade is mine however. I just created her today and thought,
hmmm, why not?
NOTES: I don't know if this is gonna become a series or not. Depends on how
y'all react to it. This isn't a KD story, sorry. :)
ALSO: "Angry"and "bent" belong to Rob Thomas and Matchbox Twenty, it's not
mine. You might recognize a few of the lines. :) I couldn't resist.

"Rade! Where are you?" Annie called as she moved through the house. Rade
looked up and sighed. She turned up the volume on her stereo and went back to
reading her summer reading book. Annie came to the doorway of her sister's
room and knocked loudly. Rade responded by turning up the volume even more.
Rob Thomas's voice touched her somehow as he sang somewhat bitter words.
*And instead of wishing that it would get better*
*man you're seeing that you just get angrier*
*And it's good, that I'm not angry*
*I just need to get over*
*I'm not angry, anymore*
"Rade, are you packing? Mom wants to know if you're packing." Annie
called. Rade sighed and moved to open the door before going back to her bed
and opening the book of essays. "Okay, that's obviously a no." Annie
exclaimed as she looked around her sister's messy room. "Rade, you have to
pack. We're gonna be there for four days and your clothes already stink."
"Thanks a lot, little sister, but I'm not going." Rade replied as she sat
up and looked at her 12-year-old sister.
"Not going? What do you mean you're not going?" Annie asked.
"They're not gonna care whether I'm there or not. They never do. I'm just
the invisible granddaughter. Even if they ever do notice me, it's to yell at
me or tell me what I'm doing wrong." Rade lamented as she placed her bookmark
in the right place and gave her attention to the young girl in front of her.
"Well, 'changing' your name to Rade didn't really help things. Granddad
loved your name before and then out of nowhere *Rade*??" Annie pointed out.
Rade chuckled and shrugged.
"I liked my other name too, but it wasn't *my* name. It didn't fit me. It
didn't feel right. Hell, half the time I didn't respond to it, and that was
never on purpose. I'm just not a Mary." Rade exclaimed as she picked at her
"I know. I like Rade. No one else does, but I do." Annie quipped.
"Haha." Rade retorted.
"Do mom and dad know you're not coming?"
"They will soon enough, I guess."
"You really should come. I mean, come on, a July 4th picnic at the White
House. Granddad is the President of the United States You can't pass this
up. Imagine what the press would say." Annie said with a grin. Rade laughed.
"They probably wouldn't notice. The only person who has ever really acted
like they cared about me is you, Annie, and I know you're gonna be busy
there. God knows, it's frustrating to love your little sister. Mom won't let
me ask Jake to come so what am I going to do there all alone?" Rade pointed
out, thinking of her best friend with a sigh. "I'll just stay home. Eddie can
watch me, make sure I don't get into trouble, like he always does and no one
else. No one will miss me, I promise you." Rade exclaimed.
"Annie! Rade!" Elizabeth's voice exclaimed as she moved up the stairs
towards the open door. She smirked at the Star Trek poster on the door and
moved beyond it to look around the messy 16-year-olds room. There were
posters of Matchbox Twenty, Savage Garden, The Twilight Zone, all kinds of
Star Trek and a few other various things that Rade loved, including her most
prized poster, a copy of the one Fox Mulder had in his office that read "I
want to Believe" in a frame of sorts. Rade's bed consisted of a mattress on
the floor, per her insistence and the rest of the room was shrouded with full
bookshelves, movies, her built-in desk, a ladder to the small loft above them
and her entertainment system which Rade had saved a lot of money from her job
to afford. But Elizabeth saw none of these things right now. Now, all she saw
was Rade's empty suitcase.
"Mary Radell Bartlet Knox, what the devil is going on? Why aren't you
packed???" Liz snapped. Rade rolled her eyes.
"Mom, nobody's gonna care if I'm there or not. Why should I bother?
Granddad hates me. Grandma hates me. You hate me. No one ever lets me talk to
anyone, even though Annie gets to talk to whoever she wants to. I don't want
to go." She said in almost whine.
"Mary, plase don't do this to me. Please, just pack your bag and come
with us. I know you hate these things, but granddad and grandma do *not* hate
you and neither do I. I promise, when we get back, I'll take you to Borders
or something and you can get a whole onslaught of new books to read, but
please, don't ruin this weekend for us." Liz pleaded. Rade sighed and nodded.
Her mother won. Her mother always won. It stunk, but it was true. Rade got to
her feet and started tossing clothes into her bag. "Thank you, sweetie, and
don't forget something dressy."
"Yeah, I know." Rade replied with a weak smile.

"Margaret!!!" Leo screeched. Margaret winced and grabbed a few files
before hurrying into her boss's office.
"Where do you learn to scream like that?" She asked honestly. Leo peered
at her and then shook his head.
"Where's the report on 408?" He asked. "You said you put it on my desk."
He added looking around.
"Leo, will you relax? I heard you all the way from Mrs. Landingham's
desk." Jed Bartlet exclaimed as he walked into his best friend's office. Leo
looked up and then scoffed. "Besides, it's right under your elbow. Margaret,
I apologize for him. Go on back to what you were doing."
"Thank you, sir." Margaret replied and went back to her own desk.
"Why are you so grumpy, Leo? Come on. Liz is coming in at four with the
kids and Jerry. We're having a family reunion. It's gonna be a good holiday.
What's wrong with you?" Jed asked as he took a seat in an armchair.
"Sir, with all due respect, I don't think I'll be coming to the picnic or
the dinner." Leo admitted finally. Jed frowned almost angrily.
"What do you mean you're not coming? Why not?" He asked.
"I'm fairly positive your wife asked Jenny to come and I don't know if--"
Leo started but was interrupted.
"You can't run away from her. She's still your daughter's mother and
Mallory's going to be there. Besides, there will be so many other people
there, you'll never have to talk to her if you don't want to." Jed paused to
study the look on his friend's face. "Come on, Leo, come. If I can force
Josh, Toby, Sam and CJ to come, I can certainly force you." He added with a
playful grin.
"Sir, I would appreciate it if you didn't." Leo said softly. Jed frowned
and looked at the floor.
"All right. Fine. I guess you're used to running away and spending your
holidays alone." He murmured. Leo sighed. "Sounds all too familiar though."
Jed added as he got to his feet.
"What is that supposed to mean?" Leo snapped.
"Oh, come on, Leo. This is exactly the way you acted when you were on the
booze. Have you fallen off the wagon?" Jed exclaimed.
"No!" Leo retorted in horror.
"Then come to the damn party, Leo." Jed insisted.
"Fine, I'll come to the stupid party." Leo retorted.
"Good!" Jed exclaimed with a grin. "Now, you wanna come with me and Abbey
to the airport to meet Liz and the kids?" Leo glared at him. "Guess not. I'll
see ya later, Leo." The President exclaimed before walking out of the room
with a grin on his face. Leo sighed and sank back into the chair.

"I don't see why I have to do this." Toby muttered as he tapped his
pencil against his desk. Sam shrugged.
"We all have to. It's a fourth of July party, so what? We're White House
staffers and we should be expected to join in the celebration of the
anniversary of our country's independence." The younger man replied as he
read a draft of a speech that the President would be delivering at the July
4th banquet.
"Yeah, but why should I? I can celebrate fourth of July at home in the
nice company of a bottle of beer, a good cigar and a cap gun. Better yet a
real one and I can keep the drunks off my lawn." Toby added in a soft murmur.
Sam rolled his eyes and turned a page.
"You don't have a lawn, Toby." Sam pointed out as he read.
"Fine, I'll keep them off the White House lawn." Toby retorted.
"You have to be at the White House to do that, so you may as well come to
the party." Sam replied.
"No, just give me a hi-definition laser scope and I'll pick them off from
the roof of my building." Toby assured him.
"That'll be a great headline for the next day: White House Staffer
Massacres Independence Day Drunks." Sam envisioned aloud. Toby grinned
"I actually like the sound of that." He snorted.
"Just when I thought you couldn't get any worse." Sam muttered.
"And I know exactly who's going to be first." Toby said in a soft growl.
Sam looked at his boss with a sheepish smile.
"Uh . . the reporters?" He joked. Toby glared at him and then looked back
at his work.
"What are you doing in my office anyway?" Toby asked after a pause.
"My office is being cleaned." Sam admitted.
"Finally. That place is a pigsty." Toby muttered.
"Hey!" Sam protested softly. Toby snickered. "Look who's talking." Sam
said suddenly. Toby scoffed and continued working.

Rade stared out the window and watched the clouds hiss by. She didn't
like trips. Music blared in her ears as she ignored the sounds of her parents
somewhere in front of her talking about what they were going to when the
plane landed. Rade was tired of just being another thing to deal with around
the house. She never felt like anything else. She turned up the volume again
on her walkman and just lost herself in the clouds.
*It shouldn't be so complicated*
*Just hold me and then*
*Just hold me again*
*Can you help me, I'm bent*
*I'm scared that I'll never*
*Get put back together*
*Keep breaking me in*
*And this is how we will end*
*With you and me bent*
"Excuse me, miss?" A sweet young voice asked. Rade slipped off the
headphones and hit pause to glance at a young flight attendant who was
smiling sweetly. "You're going to have to turn off your walkman while we
land." Rade stared at the attendant incredulously.
"Why?" She asked.
"Because it interferes with our navigation system." The flight attendant
"Do you realize how stupid it sounds when you people say that?" Rade
asked with a raised eyebrow. The flight attendant frowned, suddenly losing
patience with the teenager.
"All the same, miss, you have to turn it off." She insisted.
"This thing is a Lockheed eagle series L-1011. It came off the line 23
months ago and carries a Sim-5 Transponder tracking system." Rade exclaimed
harshly. "Are you actually trying to tell me I can still throw this thing off
course with Rob Thomas and something I got at Radio Shack?"
"Rade, turn it off!" Her father snapped. Rade shut the walkman down,
glared at the flight attendant and put the CD away. She put her stuff into
her backpack and pulled out her book.
"No respect anymore." She muttered.

TBC... .
Feedback? Comments? Please?



Through The Cracks - 2



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