Fortunate Son

Jane Harper

RATING: R for language 

SYNOPSIS: Leo and Sarah get away for a _long_ weekend. 

ARCHIVE: Sure! Just let me know where. HTML version available, email me. 

DISCLAIMER: I'm just a stowaway on the USS Sorkin. Please don't toss me overboard...

 

After Sarah was finished, Leo was a sight to behold, his right arm wrapped from fingertips to elbow in a tube of memos, socks tied around the tube at both ends, and the whole contraption suspended around his neck by what was once a tie. "I must look stupid," he said.

"So who's here to see?" she asked. With some difficulty, a lot of laughter and a modicum of what would, under other circumstances, have probably been considered foreplay, Sarah had managed to convince him that he was better off getting _out_ of the smudged and wrinkled remnants of the suit he had been wearing on takeoff. Clad in Levi's that must have been ten years old, a tee, and a natty sweater, he looked like a different man. He certainly walked like a different man - or rather, the same gait that seemed a saunter in a tailored suit became a swagger in jeans and cowboy boots.

As the sun came up, the two of them were sitting next to the crippled plane, enjoying the view. "You may think I'm crazy," Sarah said quietly as she leaned up against his shoulder, "but this is almost nice. It's certainly the first time we've ever been this alone together!"

He laughed and kissed her on the forehead, holding her with his good arm. "We're going to have to figure out how to get out of here, though." He looked at the surrounding buttes and the climbing sun.

"At least it's December and not July!" she responded, laughing. "I wouldn't want to wind up like some old movie cliché, me lying in the shadow of our little lean-to while you crawl on all fours across the desert looking for rescue. "

"Could be a lot worse..." His voice trailed off and his eyes fell out of focus for a moment, then he blinked and whatever he was seeing in his mind's eye had gone.

Sarah said nothing, only reached up and brushed his face with her hand.

He shook his head and pulled away, standing up to reach into the plane for his briefcase. He took out his cell phone and turned it on, hit speed-dial and waited. Nothing happened. Frowning, he dialed again, with the same result. "Damn, must be out of range."

"One sure way to find out - page yourself. That's a satellite pager, you should be reachable anywhere."

"What makes you think I know my pager number?" he grinned, sitting back down next to her.

"Give me that phone!" Shaking her head with a smile, Sarah paged him.

Nothing.

She paged again.

Nothing.

Looking over at Leo, she said, "Suddenly this isn't funny."

He pulled her closer to him. "Worst case scenario? I filed a flight plan to Tucson. If we don't get there, somebody will notice."

She put both her arms around his waist and closed her eyes; worried or not, after twenty-four hours without sleep the body started to take over. Both of them, sitting in the warmth of the desert winter, exhausted, drifted off.

* * * * *

Josh punched in the number again and waited. And waited. And waited. Undaunted, he tried the pager number. And waited. And waited. And waited.

He sat briefly with his head in his hands, then sighed and picked up the phone again.

"Alicia, do you have a number for Tucson International Airport?"

* * * * *

Water peppering his face woke Leo up. It was starting to rain, hard. "Sarah?" he said, shaking her softly.

"Hmmmm??" she shifted a bit and snuggled more deeply into his shoulder.

"Sarah?" he repeated, a bit more loudly. "Wake up, Toots."

'Why?"

He moved over slightly so that her face wasn't shielded from the shower.

"Leo, did your mother ever tell you that you don't have the good sense to get out of the rain?" she grumbled.

"Yeah," he responded, pulling himself away to stand. He had to get Sarah back into the plane or she'd get soaked. "Put your arms around my neck," he directed her, and tried to stand her up. Instinctively, he put out his right arm to help balance her, and the pain made him gasp.

Hearing him, Sarah used what leverage she had to throw herself forward and landed on the floor between the seats. Climbing back in, Leo was able to help her up from the floor to the seat, and the two collapsed together against the one door that remained closed.

"You OK?" she asked, pulling herself upright.

"I'm getting too old for this," he answered.

* * * * *

Abbey Bartlet sat in the winter sun at Camp David, watching Charlie and Zoey chase each other in the snow like kids. Her expression was thoughtful, as if she was a million miles away; she didn't notice when her husband sat down in the chair next to her, didn't see him until he took her hand.

"Honey? You OK?" he asked.

"I don't know, Jed. Something isn't right."

The phone rang; it was Josh.

"Yes, Josh," the President said into the receiver.

"I'm sorry to bother you, sir, but..." Lyman hesitated.

"What is it?"

"Sir, Leo's plane never arrived in Tucson."

 

 

Fortunate Son - 4

 

 

 

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