You Are The One (Sequel to "The One")
Disclaimer: All characters of "The West Wing" are property of Aaron Sorkin, NBC, et al. No profit is being derived from the use of the characters on the part of the author.
Archive: Anytime, anywhere (just let me know where and when and give me credit)
Summary: When Jed met Abby…
It was late Saturday morning before Jed finally managed to get himself out of bed and showered. He had been up late watching movies with Zoey, something he hadn’t done in years. Pouring himself a cup of coffee at the breakfast table in the residence, he was finally surveying the many reports that demanded his attention. ‘Might as well get this over with,’ he thought to himself.
Smiling, he remembered that Abby would be home in a few hours. She had been participating in a medical symposium in New York focusing on women’s health issues. As a featured speaker and co-sponsor, she had worked for weeks on this event. Now it was over. Jed knew she would be excited but exhausted. Pushing the reports aside, Jed decided he needed to treat her to a few relaxing and sensual surprises.
No sooner had he begun working on his list when he looked up and saw his Chief of Staff approaching, his expression grim. Jed sighed. So much for having fun. "Morning, Leo. Tell me, what new catastrophe awaits us today?" he asked sarcastically.
Leo almost flinched at the words. "Mr. President," he answered shakily.
Jed studied his best friend closely. Leo looked pale, almost deathly so. His expression seemed calculated, as though he were trying not to betray any emotion. And he seemed to be forcing himself to stand up. This wasn’t a man bearing news on national security. This looked personal. Was he ill? Had something happened to Jenny? Or Mallory - God no, not that. "Leo? What’s happened?" Jed asked, his concern for his friend evident.
"Sir, I-" He was interrupted at the sight of Jed’s youngest daughter. Clad in her bathrobe and pajamas, she yawned, stretched, then smiled at the sight of her father and godfather.
"Mornin’ Dad, mornin’ Leo," she called out. She planted a peck on Leo’s cheek and did the same for her father. Turning her attention to the table, she asked, "Is that coffee?" She reached for a cup, but Jed placed a hand on her arm to stop her.
"Sweetie, can you give us a minute?" Jed asked.
"Yeah, sure," she said. She turned to leave but Leo stopped her.
"It’s okay. Zoey, you should stay." Noting the concerned but confused looks on their faces, Leo took a deep breath and exhaled, then spoke. "I received a call about fifteen minutes ago. About forty-five minutes ago, Abby was traveling en route to JFK when a car traveling in the opposite direction lost control and spun out. An armored car following behind swerved to avoid hitting the car. The driver was going too fast and he jumped the meridian, plowing into Abby’s motorcade. Abby’s car spun out and was knocked into oncoming construction. The driver tried to correct but another car hit them and they were slammed into a concrete K-rail." He swallowed hard then continued. "The force of the impact broke the rail and the car flipped down an embankment."
The seconds ticked by in silence. All the color seemed to have drained from Zoey’s face. She stood there, shaking. Her breaths were coming short shallow bursts. For a moment, Leo was afraid she was going to pass out.
Jed stared at Leo as if he had grown a third eye and horns. His mind was still trying to comprehend what his ears had just heard. He was vaguely aware that his heart was still beating because the sound was reverberating in his ears. Finally, he found his voice. "Abby?" he choked out.
"She’s still alive. The emergency crew arrived within minutes and they’ve extricated her from the car. She’s been taken to Mt. Sinai-NYU Hospital." He reached over and grasped Jed’s shoulder. "She’s still alive, Jed," he whispered.
"I…I need to go…"
Leo nodded. "Chopper One is on its way. ETA is ten minutes. It’ll take you and Zoey straight to the hospital. Ron is standing by with a detail for both of you."
The sound of his daughter’s name seemed to snap Jed out of his daze. He turned his attention to the young woman. He took her by the shoulders and looked at her; her eyes seemed to be looking at nothing. ‘She’s in shock,’ a voice that sounded much like Abby’s echoed in his head. ‘Get her to focus on something.’
"Zoey? Sweetheart, look at me." He took her face in his hands and looked her squarely in the eye. "Breathe, Zoey, breathe. I need you to focus for me, can you do that?" He felt her nod and saw the tears brimming in her eyes. "Zoey, you need to go get dressed. Now, honey. We’ve got to go to Mom," he said gently. She nodded again then turned and fled the room.
Jed watched her leave. His body felt heavy and he couldn’t move. He felt Leo’s hand on his shoulder. "How bad, Leo?" he asked quietly.
"Mr. President, I don’t-"
"The truth, Leo. How bad?"
Leo sighed. "Internal bleeding, broken bones. That’s all I could get out of anyone. They’re trying to stabilize her and then they’re taking her up to surgery."
"What are her chances?"
"Don’t know. At this point, no one wants to say."
As badly as Jed wanted to race to his wife’s side, he was still the President of the United States. "Does the staff know?"
"I’m sure they know by now. I’ve spoken to CJ and Lilly Mays. I’ll brief the rest of the staff fully after you leave. Charlie, CJ and I will be flying up to New York on Air Force One as soon as we secure things around here." Jed nodded "I’ve spoken to the hospital. They’re preparing the presidential suite for your arrival. There’s also going to be a media blackout in place at the hospital until CJ and I can coordinate with the hospital’s administration. She’ll make the first statement here and we’ll do follow ups in New York."
Jed nodded again, grateful for his friend’s presence of mind to keep things on track for him. Suddenly, Jed had an agonizing thought. "I’ve got to call her parents… and the girls…"
"I’ll speak to the Landry’s. Do you want me to have the Service notify the girls?"
Jed tried to concentrate. Elizabeth was on a cruise with her family in the Mediterranean. Jordan was on a safari in Kenya. "No, I’ll talk to them once I have a better idea of her condition. Once we know…I’ll tell them…" His voice trailed off. His shoulders sagged and he dropped his head in his hands. "Dammit Leo, if she dies…"
Leo’s grip on Jed’s shoulder tightened. "Don’t go there, Jed. Let’s take this one step at a time. Right now let’s get you and Zoey on the chopper." They started walking towards the bedroom. "We’ll get through this. Just like we always have."