"Will Baby Make Three?" part six.
Disclaimer: in part one.
Still CJ's POV, but back in the present. Much lighter then the last part.
No one was near her when she first started her trip down memory lane. By the time she was finished, she was wracked by tears. She knew in her heart that Danny was no Sean. There was no comparison between the two. That didn't take away the fear of his reaction to their predicament. "He did seem happy in the office until I asked him his opinion on abortion." she thought to herself. Then she felt a hand on her arm. She had thought she heard someone calling her 'Lady' but she was too self-involved to answer. She really didn't want to be bothered right now. The hand was still poking her. It seemed small. "Lady, why are you crying?" He was a little boy about 4 or 5 years old, she judged, with the brightest blue eyes she had ever seen in her life.
"Because I'm sad." she decided to answer him.
"I'm Patrick. My mommy is Shannon. Who are you?"
"I'm CJ." She was able to give him a weak smile.
"That's not a name. Those are letters." he laughed.
"Patrick, don't be rude. I told you to leave the lady alone."
"It's okay, Ma'am. If you don't mind, then I don't. He could be a nice distraction."
"As long as you're sure."
"I am. Patrick, my name is Claudia Jean but I don't use my whole name, I use CJ."
"It's easier to write in school, huh? then I would just have to put PMS, instead of Patrick Michael Shaughnessy." CJ couldn't help but laugh at that one. "I don't think that's a good idea."
"Why? It's better than having to write my whole name. I get tired." he complained.
"Pat, don't start. I'm sure CJ had to write her whole name when she was in school."
"I did." She was stretching out a bit as she spoke.
"You're getting bigger!" he exclaimed.
"No, I'm not! I'm stretching."
"Uh-uh, you were little when you were crying. Now you're not crying and you're getting bigger."
"I guess I am, then, in a way." Hesitantly she ruffled his hair. He didn't mind.
"You know what I do when I'm sad? I get a big hug from my mommy. Sometimes she gives me my best loved stuffy and sometimes a new present." He held out a medium-sized shell that was still intact. Shannon had written 'Patrick, age 5' on it. "Here, this is for you." He smiled as he handed it to her. "Take it, CJ, so it's a new present from a new friend. So you don't cry anymore."
"Thank you. Here, take this one." She wrote 'CJ, WHPS' on it. She certainly wasn't putting her age! "Do you watch any of the press briefings that are broadcast, Shannon?"
"Not usually. I'm not really much into politics."
"Please watch Monday at 8:00 a.m. Just the beginning if you can't sit through the whole thing."
"CJ, what's WHPS mean?" Patrick was tugging on her arm.
"You'll see on Monday. I'm going to say hello to you on TV." She gave him a big smile. He was helping her get her mind off both the past and the future. For a little while, she could focus on just the present. And she was enjoying herself.
"Who made you cry?" Patrick was looking directly into her eyes.
"You made yourself cry?" He put his hands on his face and scrunched up his cheeks.
"Then who made you cry?"
"Patrick, stop it!" His mother scolded him.
"I'm just asking, Ma." He started swirling the dirt around a bit. CJ did the same. Patrick started swirling a little harder. Again, CJ repeated his actions. Then she picked some up to examine it more closely. This time it was Patrick's turn to copy. He scooped up a small amount and blew it. He giggled very much after that. Like it was his best accomplishment yet.
"Life should always be so simple." CJ thought. Try as she might not to, she went back to her thinking. "Patrick, I'm gonna take a break right now and be really quiet. So please let me have some time to myself, okay?"
"Okay." He went to play with his mother. CJ's thoughts immediately went to the White House. Having a baby meant that people would eventually find out that she and Danny were together. Conflict of interest. Leo was gonna kill her. "No, not kill me, fire me. I'll be an unemployed expectant mother. What a difference two decades make, huh, CJ?" She knew she was being too hard on herself. It would not be good politics to fire your Press Secretary who just so happened to also be an expectant single mother. Their approval ratings would definitely drop. Leo could, however, make her life miserable if he wanted to. Oh, and Toby. Let's not forget about Toby. Just as bad as Leo when it came to her and Danny. God, his marriage ended and Leo's is almost over. You'd think they would want somebody to be happy.
Her thoughts turned to Danny, next. The look on his face should have told her everything she needed to now. He almost looked happy about the news. Until she blew it. "I don't think he'll make me sorry that I'm pregnant. In fact, he'll probably make me very happy he's the father." CJ smiled at the thought of how often he had asked her out. "He's persistent, that's for sure." She hoped that he wasn't in danger of losing his job over this. "Oh, well, I think I've gone as far as I can by myself. My thinking time seems to have come to an end." Just then, her phone rang. It was Danny. God, how she missed him. They had been together every night since the shooting. Being apart even a few nights felt weird. "I think you love him, CJ." she smiled to herself remembering how it felt to be in his arms. Josh had suggested she think about her true feelings for Danny. "If you think it's weird to sleep alone for a couple of days, you've got it bad." she told herself.
Anyway, Danny was going to be there in a few hours so she had time to distract herself with Patrick again, if he still wanted to play. Of course he did! He and Shannon had eaten lunch while CJ was in her own world. He was re-energized, so to speak. She didn't think kids ever ran out of energy completely but she sure could tell when they got an energy boost!
Wow! Three hours went by already. Shannon announced to Patrick that it was time to go for dinner. "Can CJ come too?" He was pulling on CJ's hand to get her up. "Thanks, Patrick, but I'm waiting for my friend."
"Will you be here tomorrow, too?"
"I hope that my friend and I will I have time to stop by before we go home."
"Hey, CJ." It was Danny. CJ's heart literally skipped a beat. She was so glad to see him but so scared to see him at the same time. She made the necessary introductions. "So, is this the friend you've exchanged shells with?" He was eyeing Patrick up and down jokingly. "I was afraid I would have to fight for your affections." He was looking right at her. Their eyes locked and she took his hand. "You will never have to fight for my affections. You have them for as long as you want them. Life, if that works out." She became a little anxious and looked down at her hands. She hoped she wasn't giving too much of herself away. Danny put his arms around her. "Life sounds good to me." He kissed her forehead.
"You're really big now!" Patrick was clapping and pointing at CJ who was leaning against Danny, still in his arms. "You grew!"
"Patrick, I'm tall, okay? I just stretched out again."
"But when you were cry..." CJ tried to distract him but he was a determined little one. "When you were crying, you were so small. Mommy said you were wrapped up in yourself. Then you got bigger when you were playing with me. You got really big when your friend hugged you. See I told you big hugs work when you're sad!" He was so thrilled with himself. Little did he know how CJ was feeling inside. The latent butterflies in her stomach were popping out of their cocoons.
"Patrick, come on, you're talking too much. Say good-bye to CJ and Danny."
"Bye, CJ, Bye, Danny. See you tomorrow on the beach and Monday on the TV. I didn't forget."
"Bye, Patrick. Bye, Shannon. Thank you for including me in your day. It helped a lot."
As her new friends were leaving, Danny helped her get up. "A whole day at the beach, huh? And crying? Then I know you have not eaten at all."
"Danny, I really don't want to eat yet. Let's go back to the room, though, okay?"
"Okay." They held hands all the way to the room. When they got there, the butterflies began flying. Danny put his bag on the floor. "Come here." He held CJ close, then led her to the bed. "We've each done our own thinking separately; are you ready to start talking to each other now?"
"Danny, I want and I need to make love with you first. I missed you." She kissed him. She didn't have to tell him to kiss her back this time. They laid down on the bed. "You do still want me, don't you, Danny? The possibility that I'm pregnant hasn't scared you off at all." She sounded so relieved.
"Some things you've said the past few days have scared me but having a baby with you doesn't." He kissed her again. "Do you really want me, CJ? Crazy and lovable as I am? Not just somebody to make you feel better but really want me."
"Yes. I very much want you."
"Do you love me?" He wasn't as confident this time.
"Yes." she answered very softly. "Do you love me?"
"You haven't figured it out? Yes, I do." He moved a few inches away from her. "Making love is going to make talking easier?"
"Yes. When I tell you everything, you'll understand why it's so important to me. Can you just trust me on this one?"
"CJ, do you remember what I said the first time we were together? That I had to protect my heart. Not long after that night, I gave you my heart symbolically. That's why I thought you already knew how I felt. You have my trust. I did say we'd talk Sunday." They kissed again. This time they didn't have to worry about stopping. Tonight their lovemaking was different; it seemed a little more intimate. Only time would tell what tomorrow would bring. Tonight they were back in each other's arms. CJ knew it would not be easy to disclose her past. She had never really done that before. Danny would know everything about her then. He would know where so many of her fears rose from. He would know all the right buttons to push if he ever wanted to. She shuddered and sighed. Danny pulled her closer. "Hey, enough thinking. Tonight we rest."