RATING: G so far
DISCLAIMER: I don't own them, unfortunately. I'm just having some creative
fun with them. Rade is mine however.
NOTES: I still don't know if this is gonna become a series or not. Depends on
how y'all react to it.
ALSO: "Freak on a leash" is a song of Korn's and not mine; "Star Spangled
Banner" Is a work of... some guy, I know, I learned in History class, but
I can't think of him, and I gotta give credit to Jimi Hendrix. In any case,
it's not mine.

"Where the hell is my daughter?" Eric Knox screeched into Ron
Butterfield's ear. Ron winced and gently pushed the man away before pulling
out a hankerchief and wiping Eric's spit off of his face.
"I'm not at liberty to tell you, sir. Your daughter requested that her
presence not be disclosed." He replied before looking in the direction of the
door as Jed Bartlet stormed into the room with his wife slowly trailing
behind.
"What the hell is going on here, Ron? Where's Rade?" The President
snapped. Ron found himself closely pinned between two angry patriarchs and it
didn't strike him as a wonderful thing.
"Sir, the duty of a secret service agent is to protect their assignments
and to honor their wishes. Agent Jackson told us that your granddaughter is
safe and happy, but that she does not wish to make her whereabouts known."
Ron informed his boss. "Rest assured she'll be back before eleven thirty and
there will be no damage done. Beyond that, I don't have any answers for you."
"Are you seriously going to let him get away with that?" Liz asked in
near hysterics. Jed sighed and looked mournfully at his daughter.
"I'm afraid I have to. They have rules, sweetie." He said softly. "We'll
just have to take his word for it that she's okay."
"I'm gonna kill that kid." Eric muttered.
"You'll do no such thing, Eric." Liz snapped.
"I wasn't serious, sweetie. I would never kill her nor anyone else." Eric
replied sharply, angry that she actually believed he would do anything to his
own daughter. Liz sighed and collapsed into the couch.
"She's going to be back for the picnic. That's what matters. In the
meantime, she's okay and probably having the time of her life far away from
us." Abbey exclaimed as she sat next to her daughter.
"I swear, that kid is trying to give me a heart attack." Eric muttered.
Just then, Ron leaned forward and listened to the device in his ear.
"Sir, Captain has returned to the Cottage." He said weakly.
"Where is she??" Jed snapped.
"The West Wing, sir."

********************************
"I still think you should change the first line of the third paragraph."
Rade exclaimed as she walked with Toby down the hall. He shook his head and
turned another corner towards his office.
"No, because the first line establishes the subject for the next four
paragraphs. There's no reasonable way to change it." He retorted.
"Well, instead of 'as I look out blah blah blah' how about 'looking out,
I see these faces' or something. You did the 'as I look out' thing before.
With fishermen or something." Rade pointed out. Toby stopped and looked at
her.
"How did you know that?" He asked.
"Well, just because I'm a rebellious brat doesn't mean I don't pay
attention to the things my granddad does. Besides, wasn't he indoors? He said
'as I look out across this magnificent vista'... He was indoors, Toby."
She teased. "I don't think hundreds of old, fat fishermen constitutes a
magnificent vista."
"Okay, let me first point out that that was Sam's mistake, not mine--"
Toby started, but Rade was chuckling as she remembered.
"And what about the time he started talking about guns and stuff, shouted
'kids are dead, kids are dead' and then the band started playing 'Happy Days
are Here Again'? That was downright weird." She said, nearly cracking up.
Toby just rolled his eyes with a grin and started walking for his office
again.
"I'm not even going to bother with you." He said repressing laughter.
"And then there's the one when he was campaigning and he said 'I'm gonna
support this country and we'll make things right' and then ne nearly fell off
the stage? That was just hilarious. This country's not the only thing that
needs support, nai?" Rade asked with a laugh before feeling a hand clamp on
her shoulder. She whipped around to meet the gaze of her angry grandfather.
She gulped and smiled weakly. "Um, hi, granddad."
"Where the hell have you been?" He snapped. "You've been gone since six
yesterday!" He added looking at his watch. "That's nearly 16 hours."
"Relax! I had to get away for a while. I'm surrounding by screeching
adults, thicknecked secret service agents, fat reporters, lovey-dovey couples
in denial and whining sisters." Rade replied slowly. "I'm sorry that I didn't
tell you where I went, but I figured that a) if I had asked for permission,
you wouldn't have given it and b) Ellis was with me so I was safe."
"Where *did* you go?" Jed asked, a little more calmly this time.
"Um, sir, if I may intervene, she was with me." Toby's soft voice
interrupted the silence. Jed looked at his communications director in shock
and then back at his granddaughter who was smiling weakly.
"With you?" He asked looking at Toby. Rade nodded. "Toby, isn't she a
little young?" Jed added as he looked back and forth between them.
"Granddad!" Rade exclaimed with a grin on her face.
"Sir, it was nothing like that." Toby insisted.
"Matter of fact he's never even touched me. I haven't gotten a handshake
out of him." Rade added. "Truth is I don't like it when people touch me
anyway."
"You went to his house?" Jed tried to clarified, confused out of his mind.
"No." Rade replied.
"I live in a condo, sir." Toby added.
"Oh, well, my mistake. What the hell is going on here??" Jed snapped. "I
think I've really lost it." He muttered.
"Jed, honey, what are you ranting about? Oh, Rade, honey, there you are.
I was worried about you." Abbey exclaimed as she took Rade into a tight hug.
Surprised, Rade hugged back weakly, still not crazy about being touched, but
reciprocating anyway. Abbey smiled and took a step back to look her husband
in the eye. "Now what's the matter?"
"Rade spent the night at Toby's." Jed exclaimed.
"Toby, isn't she a little young for you?" Abbey said in a tone much more
playful than the president's. Toby smiled weakly.
"Well, I've been trying to loosen up, ma'am." He replied.
"Oh, my God! Toby!" Rade exclaimed with laughter. Abbey chuckled and
nodded.
"Just watch it. I'll get the secret service on your butt." She added.
Toby grinned and held up his hands in surrender.
"Anything but that." He said in a mock plea. Jed growled.
"Have you all gone nuts???" He snapped. "My god!"
"Jed, calm down before you have a stroke. It's almost eleven and we have
to start getting ready for the picnic. Nice, fun, happy family picnic,
remember?" Abbey exclaimed. Jed sighed and nodded.
"Sir, if I may take this moment to just give you this." Toby said meekly
as he handed the banquet speech to his boss. Jed took and looked it over.
"And I'd like to add Rade helped out."
"A sixteen-year-old helped write the President's fourth of July address?"
Jed asked slowly. Toby paused and then stood up straight.
"Yes, sir." He said sharply, almost proudly. Rade smirked at him and then
looked at her grandfather only to meet a pair of eyes that were still kind of
pissed.
"I'm gonna go up to my room and change for the picnic. Lord knows, with
how mad you are, my dad probably is fuming like World War III." She murmured.
"Bye Toby. Thanks again. Bye grandmom." She added before disappearing down
the hallway, Ellis right behind her.
"Toby, stay out of my way today." Jed grumbled as he moved towards the
Oval office. Toby looked helplessly at Abbey and sighed.
"She said she needed to get away from this place, Mrs. Bartlet. I know
what that feels like." He started but Abbey waved her hands.
"Toby, she was smiling when I walked in. I attribute that to you and I'm
ecstatic that someone got her to open up. I wish we had known where she was,
but she made that choice, and she's back here, safe and sound, so I'm not mad
at you. Thank you for making her happy, even if my bull-headed husband had to
go and ruin it." Abbey interrupted with a kind tone. "They've never gotten
along, but by God, I've got to fix that." Toby smiled and nodded.
"She's really a good writer, by the way." He said softly. "Better than
Sam."
"Who's better than me?" Sam asked in an almost whine as he walked up to
them. Abbey laughed and walked off. Toby just smiled at Sam and disappeared
into his office. Sam looked around and then moved into Toby's office. Abbey
heard down the hallway as the young man asked again "Who's better than me?"
She laughed and turned towards the residence.

**************************
Rade opened the door to her guest room and peered around. She moved in
and headed for her luggage bag. As the door closed behind her, she heard open
again as her father barged into the room. She spun around just in time to
jump out of his warpath.
"Whoa! Dad on the rampage!" She exclaimed as she moved behind the
armchair Eric spun and looked at her as his wife moved into the room.
"What the hell were you thinking? You went to some stranger's condo?" He
exclaimed loudly. Rade winced.
"Um, to be honest, he wasn't a stranger. I was introduced to him in the
Oval office and saw him on two more occasions. Ellis was with me and when you
think about it, this stranger happens to be one of the guys that granddad
trusts the most, so I think you can calm down just a little." Rade replied
carefully as she kept an eye on her angry father.
"You should have told us where you were going." Liz said softly.
"You mean you cared? You know, Ellis told me that he didn't hear anything
from you since yesterday and I had seen you after that. I vaguely remember
you yelling at me, dad." Rade reminded him. "I didn't anything wrong. If
anything I had fun for a change. Now if you don't mind, I have to take a
shower and change for the picnic, something I don't need an audience for. You
don't want me stinking up the White House lawn in clothes that I've been
wearing for nearly 36 hours now, do you?" She snapped. Eric sighed.
"I'm not done with you. You'd better behave today." He exclaimed angrily.
"Eric, come on." Liz said softly. Rade looked at her mom appreciatively
but got a cold look in return. She sighed.
"I'm sorry, guys. You're right, I should have told you. I just felt so
trapped, you know?" Rade exclaimed softly. Eric looked at the ground and
nodded.
"Okay. We were just worried about you. I'll see you when you come out."
He said softly before leaving the room. Rade looked at her mom again, a
hopeful look on her face, but she got nothing back as her mother followed her
father and closed the door behind her. Rade looked at her bag and then
collapsed into her armchair, crying softly. She shook her head and went to
the stereo to drown out her thoughts as she got ready for her shower.
*Something takes a part of me*
*Something lost and never seen*
*Everytime I start to believe*
*Something's raped and taken from me, from me*
*Life's got to always be messing with me (You wanna see the light)
*Can't they chill and let me be free? (So do I)*
*Can't I take away all this pain (You wanna see the light)*
*I try to every night, all in vain... in vain*

Rade continued to cry as she took off her overshirt and grabbed a change
of clothes. She turned up the volume and walked into the bathroom, letting
the music play loud enough so that she could hear it through the water
pouring down over her head. She tried to calm herself, tried to let the water
sooth her muscles as she tried to regain control, but everything was just
falling into place. And she was just slipping through the cracks in the
sidewalks.
*Sometimes I cannot take this place*
*Sometimes it's my life I can't taste*
*Sometimes I cannot feel my face*
*You'll never see me fall from grace*

***********************
The White House Lawn was loud and boisterous as the picnic began.
Reporters sat in their designated areas, scribbling madly as Jed Bartlet
welcomed people to the party and laughed with them. The sun was up, but the
temperature was a nice 78 degrees, slightly warm. His second-oldest daughter
still had not arrived, but his family was still enjoying themselves. Zoey was
happy playing with Charlie and Annie. Eric and Liz laughed together as they
sat on the lawn and pressed food into each other's mouths. Jed and Abbey
welcomed guests and made small talk with the various west wing staffers.
Leo McGarry watched everything happen with soft eyes. He saw his daughter
laughing with Sam Seaborn and smiled. She was happy and that was all that
mattered. He wasn't exactly thrilled when he learned of Sam and Mal being
together, but there were worse choices she could make. In the long run, Sam
was a good choice. She could make worse ones. Leo had realized that his
problem wasn't with Sam but rather with Mal going out with *any* male. Leo
moved his sight again and saw his best friend kissing the first lady very
tenderly. He saw Josh standing at the refreshment table, pretending to listen
to Toby rant while watching Donna with a guy named Ike Morgan. Behind the
punch table, a bandstand was set up and Leo could see Rade talking to the
sound mixer, pointing to the amplifiers. Leo chuckled and walked to the punch
table.
"Heard you got into some trouble." Leo said to Toby. Toby looked at him
and shrugged.
"The First lady assured me that there was no such thing." He replied.
"You know, sunlight is very pretty." Josh murmured as he watched the sun
reflect off of Donna's golden hair.
"Get over yourself." Leo exclaimed. Josh looked at him.
"What do you mean?" He asked.
"Go over and talk to her and the Elvis-wannabe." Toby interpreted,
pointing to Donna and Morgan, who indeed resembles an Elvis impersonator with
slicked back black hair and long sideburns. Josh looked where Toby was
pointing and then back. He scoffed lightly.
"Nah, no reason. I shouldn't bother her." He exclaimed. "She's got a
date."
"I happen to know for a fact that he's her cousin." Toby pointed out.
"Really?" Josh exclaimed eagerly.
"Go over there." Toby and Leo chorused in unison. Josh jumped a little
and nodded.
"I'll bring them some punch." He said softly before gathering some full
cups and carrying them over. Toby looked back at Leo.
"Thank God. Thought he'd never leave me alone." He muttered.
"You finish the President's speech?" Leo asked.
"Yeah, last night." Toby replied.
"Can I see it?"
"The President said not to show it to anyone. After he read it though.
Seems he liked it." Toby said softly. Leo raised an eyebrow and opened his
mouth to respond when the sound of rock music filled the ears of everyone at
the picnic. Everyone looked to the bandstand where the band stood playing
their instruments. But the sight that everyone enjoyed the most was the
President's granddaughter standing on stage, wearing blue jeans, a white
t-shirt and a red overshirt as she played the guitar to a hyped-up version of
the Star Spangled Banner.
"Look at that. A regular Jimi Hendrix." Jed muttered. Abbey was the only
one who heard him and smiled.
"See, she's not so bad." She told him softly as the lead singer of the
band smiled at Rade and then stepped forward to the microphone as he noticed
that they had the crowd's attention.
*O say can you see, by the dawn's early light*
*What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming?*
*Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight*
*O're the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?*
*And the rockers' red glare, the bombs bursting in air*
*Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there*
*O say, does that star spangled banner yet wave*
*O're the land of the free and the home of the brave?*

During the song, Rade was given a few fantastically done solos as she
elaborated on the chords of the traditional song. The singer finished with a
flourish and the music died out. The crowd applauded as Rade finished the
music and looked out among them. She made eye contact with her grandfather
and nodded to him before nodding to the lead singer.
"Thank you everyone. Let's have a good picnic." The singer said in the
microphone and then shook hands with Rade. She handed him the guitar and
climbed off the stage, met with a few people who congratulated her and
commended her on her musical talents. She thanked them and smiled politely,
but went nowhere near her parents or grandparents. Instead she disappeared
into the crowd, and before he knew it, Jed had lost sight of her.

TBC... .
Feedback? Comments? Please????? Batman needs support! Especially after
"Batman and Robin"!!!!!!!!!!! :) Sorry, had to. :)

~D.C.
Batman

 

Through The Cracks - 7

 

 

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