Title: Not So Much A Secret
The sun had set hours ago and the West Wing had calmed down for the night. Jed Bartlet signed the last documents Charlie gave him and then looked up to his young aide.
"Go home, Charlie."
Charlie Young gathered the papers and files from the desk. "I still need to arrange---"
"Go home," Jed repeated and took off his glasses. "Or Zoey will call me the first thing in the morning, and to tell the truth Charlie," Jed lowered his voice. "She´s so much like her mother, and sometimes when we do fight, I´ll end up looking like a heartless, cold and mean father who wants to ruin her life."
Charlie chuckled. "Yes, sir."
"Go home, and give Zoey my love. God knows you see her more often that I do." Jed sighed and stood up.
"I will. Good night, sir." Charlie smiled and closed the door behind him.
"Mark!" Jed called and the agent guarding the door stepped in.
"Has Mrs Bartlet´s limo arrived yet?" Jed asked as they walked out.
"Arrived about twenty minutes ago."
"Good." Jed grinned happily.
Abigail Bartlet turned away from the window where she had been standing the last ten minutes as she heard door opening. A soft smiled crept on her lips and she made her way into the waiting arms of her husband.
"I missed you." Jed said kissing her cheek gently.
"I missed you too."
They pulled apart and Jed brushed a lock of hair away from her face. "I know these things are important to you, but I am not wild about the idea of you travelling alone around the country."
"I was hardly alone." Abbey´s voice was teasing. "I´m fine." She assured softly.
"I know that, but I can still worry, can´t I?"
They sat on the couch, and he wrapped his arm around her, pulling her to rest against him. "How was your trip?"
"It was good." Abbey smiled and closed her eyes, letting herself enjoy the feeling of his arms around her. "I met Congresswoman Lance."
"How did it go?"
She glanced up to him. "We had a nice lunch, she showed cute pictures of her son. She´s a good woman, Jed."
"I´m glad." He replied. "We might need her."
A ringing phone made Jed groan and glance at his watch. "This better be good." He muttered as he reached for the phone. "Hello. Hi sweetheart." His face softened as he heard the familiar voice of his youngest daughter.
Abbey stood up and walked in the bathroom to start the water running for her bath. She undressed quickly and pulled her robe on.
"...and as always, you´re right. But I did let Charlie home in time tonight, didn´t I?" Jed sighed and smiled at his wife as she walked back in the bedroom and sat next to him. "And I know that... Oh, no, that´s entirely up to your mother... okay... I love you too sweetie." Jed handed the phone to Abbey. "She wants to come with us to California." He whispered.
The talk between Abbey and Zoey didn´t last long and Jed raised an eyebrow when she hung up. "You promised she can come, didn´t you?"
"You don´t want her there?"
"That´s not the reason, and you know that, Abigail." Jed replied.
"Jed," Abbey placed her hand on his arm. "She´s twenty years old and she´s in love with the man who follows you around the country. Your trip to California has a loose schedule, so she and Charlie can have some time off together."
"Yeah, you´re right." Jed nodded agreeing. "But I still think she would be safer here at home."
"I know." She smiled softly. "Now, I am going to take my bath, and after that, you can tell me what I missed while being gone."
It was a couple of hours later when they lay in the bed in each other´s arms.
"Did you know Josh has a thing for Donna?" Jed asked breaking the comfortable silence.
"A thing?" Abbey turned to look at him curiously.
"That´s what I heard."
"I knew there was something."
"Of course. Since the day she walked in our headquarters in New Hampshire."
"Jed." Abbey frowned. "And that night in the hospital..."
"Yeah." Her husband nodded his head softly. "I remember that. She was so worried."
"You haven´t notice the looks and the touches. How he... well, he adores her."
Abbey poked him gently on the chest. "What did you hear?"
"Leo caught them..." He paused for a while, letting her curiosity grow.
It worked. "Jed! Leo caught them... what?"
"I quote, `I walked in his office, and there they were, his hands on her face, kissing. And I´m telling you, Jed, it wasn´t like those teenagers in a supply closet, I think it was a kiss between lovers, and I am not sure what to think about that."
"You´re kidding?" Abbey exclaimed.
"No," Jed laughed and hugged her closer.
"Have you talked to Josh?"
"No." Jed shook his head. "But you think I should, don´t you?"
"Well, I think you should tell him that we know, and tell them that you will talk to... uh, handle CJ..."
"Oh no." He shook his head again.
"Yes." Abbey smiled. "You handle CJ and CJ will handle the press and we are all happy for them and if he ever hurts---"
"So, basically I should say him the same thing I said when Liz and Ellie brought their boyfriends home. Not to mention what I said to Charlie when he and Zoey started to date."
"Pretty much." Abbey reached to kiss him gently.
"It feels good to be home." She whispered.
"It feels good to have you in my arms again."
She closed her eyes and her hand smoothed his chest next to where her head rest.
"Do we have time to have a dinner together tomorrow night? Maybe Zoey could join us..." Jed asked.
"I´d like that." She nodded. "What time does your flight leave?"
"Ten thirty. Night´s the best time to fly."
"I know." She smiled and looked up to him. "The senior staff disagrees though."
"I know," he chuckled and placed a soft kiss on her forehead. "They´ll get over it."
"I´ll be gone when you come back."
"Your trip to Argentina."
"I´ll be gone for three days."
"I´m gonna miss you." Jed said giving her a gentle squeeze.
"I´m gonna miss you too."
"Maybe when you come back, we could sneak out to Camp David for a weekend. Just the two of us."
"Yeah." She said. "That would be nice."
They smiled in the darkness. Both knowing it could never happen, but wanting to play with the idea in their heads.
"Long walks in the nature, candle light dinners..." Jed told her.
"Picnics, sleeping late, making love under the stars."
"No phones or pagers or grumpy senior staff." He chuckled.
"No plans or schedules."
"No press or the Secret Service... well no Secret Service in our face anyway."
"Just the two of us." Abbey smiled.
"Some day, Abigail." He promised. "Some day."