SUMMARY: The latest installment of the series which began with the Bagel story. Previous chapters are available at: Http://www.phantomroses.com/SarahRabb/
RATED R for adult themes and subjec matter. Anything beyond that will be posted to WWAF only.
NOTE: These characters and The West Wing show itself are much beloved by us. We simply are borrowing them, and giving them rich personal lives both in and out of the White House. If this is not something you would enjoy reading, please don't trouble yourself by telling us so, simply quietly hit your delete key and move on.
DISCLAIMER: NBC et al own The West Wing. No copyright infringement is intended.
ARCHIVE: Certainly, and thanks for wanting it.
"Deadlines" Part 1a--
It was now August. Summer had passed quickly, especially for Tucker and Chloe who were soon to be starting school. CJ, Zoey and Donna were now very visibly pregnant, each six months along. Caroline was showing as well though less than the others.
Danny had heard that Brittany had returned a month and a half ago. She wasn't however, calling him, returning his calls or even taking his calls. Anyone Danny had asked about her had replied only that she had been acting very strange and distraught. Today she was in the White House, her first day to hold a desk there and she was busily typing away.
"Ms. Phillips" Danny said softly from her doorway. "May I come in?"
Brittany jumped at the sound of his voice. "Danny," she said softly as she looked up at him. "Please..." she motioned him in. She was actually trembling.
Danny closed the door and hurried to her desk. "Brittany you're shaking all over" he gasped, quickly stripping his suit coat and pressing it around her shoulders. "What in god's name is wrong? And this would also be a good time to tell me why you've avoided me these past weeks. I thought we had something special going, something we both wanted and had restarted from Paris."
Brittany tried to start a sentence several times and finally slamming her fist down onto her desk she managed to yell out, "I'm pregnant Danny!"
Meanwhile Gina was behaving very strange herself. Wearing a baggy sweatshirt and shorts during summer.
"Good lord it must be ninety eight degrees out there" Lucas sighed coming back from checking the car in preparation for Zoey's doctor appointment. "Gina Toscano, you are going to have heatstroke in that" Zoey declared as she came from her suite. "I know you need something to cover your weapon, but you can find something cooler can't you?" She looked to Lucas who simply shrugged.
"I'm fine," Gina smiled. They all proceed down to the car and it wasn't until she sat down that her need for a sweatshirt became obvious. Gina's figure was changing.
"Gina are you pregnant?" Zoey came right out and asked. Lucas had just popped an MnM in and began to choke violently at her words, clutching his throat.
"That's what this is about" Danny fairly yelled and then remembered where he was. "You're pregnant and that's why you were avoiding me? When did...OK dumb question. That one night of course. We didn't use....." He looked down at where her hand rested atop her belly. "Are you happy?"
"Scared," Brittany replied, "and maybe a little happy. I haven't been avoiding you because I don't have feelings for you but because I was afraid to tell you, afraid I wasn't right. I'm two months now. I think that's pretty right..." she replied softly. "I'm sorry Danny. I know you probably thought I was smart enough to be using something and..."
"I don't know..." Danny stammered. "I don't know what to say except that...." His voice failed him and he lifted her from the chair into his arms. "You're having my baby" he grinned finally. "I'm not sorry, not one little bit. I am sorry you felt you had to isolate yourself from me though. You should have come to me right away. I love you remember."
"I just got so scared," Brittany confided, "I found out while I was in Paris. I fainted in the park and they took me to the hospital."
"Really?" Brittany looked hopeful and then she flung her arms around his neck and kissed him. "Danny, I want you to come live with me. Please come take care of me..." she was about to say more when she suddenly grabbed her trashcan and was ill.
"What do you mean really?" Danny demanded. "Of course really. I love you I say again. I love you and I want you and the baby to be part of my life--the best and biggest part. Of course I'll live with you." This speech was given at the same time he was leaning over her, rubbing her back and holding her forehead.
"Oh sweetheart" Danny gasped, "I'm so sorry. Were you afraid I wouldn't want you, or wouldn't want you and the baby or what? I love you and I'm happy and proud that you're carrying my child." His hand went to her belly, covering hers. "This is wonderful."
"This has got to stop," Brittany whimpered, a hand over her mouth as she spoke. "I have been working from my apartment most of the time but now I need to be here and...could you point me to somewhere where I can brush my teeth?"
Danny helped her up and keeping a tight arm around her took her into the main part of the Wing. "Man in the room" he yelled as he pounded on the ladies room door. "I don't think so" came the answer and he opened it to come face to face with CJ. "CJ hi" he smiled lamely, "this is Brittany Phillips and she's new here and she's not feeling well."
Gina looked down at where the sweatshirt had exposed her secret and softly answered, "Yes...I...I haven't wanted to say anything...now I guess I don't have much of a choice."
Charlie quickly pounded Lucas' back and the offending candy flew out. "I guess you don't--thanks man." His words exploded right afterward. "Gina you're pregnant and you didn't tell me. My god why? What if something had happened?"
"Then you would have panicked and not done your job. You would have been obsessed with me, treating me like I was a fragile flower." Gina replied.
"Yes I would have" Lucas said firmly. "Like I'm about to start now." Charlie lay a hand on his arm. "Calm down man, she'll be fine." Zoey likewise took Gina's arm. "I'm so happy for you" she bubbled. "How far along?"
"Fifteen weeks," Gina replied with a soft smile, "almost sixteen. I don't believe I'm going to be able to be with you anymore," Gina sighed looking sadly to Zoey, "I'm sorry."
"Lucas?" Zoey wailed in distress and Gina looked suddenly tearful as well. "Let's not panic" Lucas gasped. "First I need to get used to this idea. Gina when we get back I want a few minutes alone with you please."
"Yes sir, sir," Gina replied in her usual humor and about that time the car arrived and they escorted Zoey to her doctor's appointement as though nothing had happened. "We get the sonogram today..." Zoey smiled at Charlie.
"Gina I don't suppose you've seen a doctor yourself?" Lucas asked hopefully, realizing he was hovering already. "Are we going to ask the sex?" Charlie wanted to know.
"I think we should," Zoey replied, then we can decide how to decorate the nursery. It is time to start on that." She looked down at the tiny belly she had which looked and felt huge to her now though she'd no idea what the next three months held in store. "Remember when I used to be tiny? I feel so different now." "I went to a clinic...if I had actually gone to my OB it would have gone on my record. I guess I can go now though. I mean I knew this was going to happen eventually..."
"Well we don't have to announce it in the newsletter" Lucas sighed, his hand on her belly as Charlie's was on Zoey's. "The most important thing is that you're taking care of yourself." "You are still tiny and beautiful to me" Charlie assured her, "but honestly, as you grow big with my child, that's beautiful too." "What he said," Lucas whispered to Gina, grazing his hand along her cheek.
The women smiled at Charlie and Lucas, grateful for their words. "Well now you know Lucas...I'm carrying your child." Gina whispered softly as they were alone in the doctor's office while the technician went for the sonogram machine. "Your baby's going to start moving in like the next three weeks or so," Zoey marveled, feeling as her own baby was moving within her.
"Oh," CJ replied, one hand on her back. "Wait a minute, Brittany Phillips..." CJ's mind worked like a steel trap and it took her all of a minute to put the bits and pieces Danny had told her one late night together. CJ smiled softly then. "It's all clear except for me, come on and bring her in. It's okay Brittany, morning sickness doesn't last forever."
"CJ Thanks" Danny gasped. "She's really sick." "She'll be fine. You wait outside." "But I..." Danny stammered. "But you can wait outside" CJ told him firmly, taking Brittany's arm and closing the door. "So you and Danny are making a little Phillips-Concannon? I think it's wonderful." Her hand passed over her own baby as she opened a cabinet and offered her an extra toothbrush and mouthwash, along with a wrapped mint. "There's a major baby boom around here and we're prepared."
As soon as her nerves hit over CJ's question she went lunging for the bathroom again. This bought was short lived and then she began brushing her teeth. "Yes...we are. I just finally told him about it a few minutes ago and my nerves aren't helping here." She used the mouthwash. "You're CJ...CJ Cregg Ziegler...the woman that Danny wanted a relationship with..."
"I am" CJ nodded. "And you're Brittany whom Danny told me about one late night here, much to my husband's dismay. He was desolate when you came back into his life and left again you know."
"I went to Paris on business and then discovered I was pregnant and just totally, well, freaked out. I'm only twenty-two and I wasn't expecting--and I was sure that Danny was going to be upset so I decided just to stay away until I could figure out how to tell him." Brittany replied.
CJ nodded. "But sweetie all you did was upset and confuse him. He was sure you had a major change of your heart and he was...well like I said, desolate and lost. Obviously he loves you. You love him don't you?"
"A whole lot," Brittany replied with a warm smile.
"Then what's the problem?" CJ asked gently and before Brittany could reply, Danny opened the door. "Sorry my patience is up" he said softly, "I had to know you were OK, and that you and I, well that we're OK. I love you Brittany." "And she loves you Danny" CJ assured him, "now on that basis, get this woman something to help settle her stomach and talk to her." Danny looked blankly at CJ. "Gingerale and saltines Moron" CJ teased, "and Brittany, start over. Tell him you're pregnant and let him have a chance to react properly and happily." Danny held out his arm to Brittany, inviting her to join him.
Brittany walked along cautiously with Danny, afraid that her body might revolt on her again and send her once more racing for the bathroom. She was thankful to be returned to her chair and blushed softly when Danny presented her the cracker and ginger ale. She finished half of what he had brought her and then spoke up. "Danny, there's something I'd like to tell you. I'm pregnant..."
"I could have known two months ago" Lucas pouted, "but I understand why you didn't tell me." He leaned down and kissed her gently. "Now maybe we can resume that discussion of a place together that you keep shying away from." His hand never moved from the baby as he spoke.
"Okay, okay you win," Gina smiled, "we can get a place together. I'm not going to be able to retain my spot on Zoey's detail anyhow. I don't know what I'll do now."
"No" Zoey almost yelled. "You're not leaving me Gina. If I have to I'll kick my feet and hold my breath. It worked when I was three--probably still will. You said pregnant agents took desk jobs; well you can have a desk in the residence with me. I'm going to be less mobile soon anyway. There has to be a way to make that work." Her last words were punctuated with tears and she looked desperately from one face to the other.
"If there's anyway we can make that work you know I gladly will Zoey," Gina replied softly, "I'd love to stay with you."
"I'll talk to my father or whoever I have to so that can happen" Zoey declared firmly. "I need you. You're my friend as well as my protector. I want you around, now more than ever as the baby gets closer." "The problem is we can't have her doing anything that's going to put her or the baby in jeopardy" Lucas pointed out gently. "I know of course" Zoey said, "and I wouldn't want her to. I just want her to work out of here and stay with me."
Gina smiled, "I'll read you books all day in your window seat," she teased.
"Gina might be a good time for you to take a class" Lucas offered. "If you just took one you could work around your time here, and have time for research and all. You'll be on duty but here it's much more relaxing."
"I don't know..." Gina hesitated, "I'm afraid it might be too much. I'm exhausted already and besides, waddling all over campus with an extra forty or so pounds and books."
"I was just thinking that it would be over before you got too large" Lucas said thoughtfully. "I want you to do what's going to be healthy for you and the baby and make you happy both." Lucas hugged her. "I love you remember and I want the best for you. Now back to the original subject. A place for us and the baby."
"Well maybe we can get somewhere near here so we won't have to commute too much," Gina suggested. "I'm open to anything you have in mind. Just remember you're shopping for three of us. A one bedroom apartment just won't do."
"Yes ma'am" Lucas grinned happily. I know there are some new places going up down on 18th. We might could find something there. Two bedrooms for now. Plenty of time to look into that house in Bethesda when the kids are older and the administration changes."
Gina smiled, "that's what I want. Perfect Lucas. I'm sorry I didn't tell you about the baby earlier but...are you happy now? forgive me?"
"Secret service priveleges do not extend to the exam room" the doctor reminded Lucas and Gina as he went in to see Zoey prepped and Charlie hovering. "OK let's see what the President's grandchild looks like."
Danny grinned and knelt by her chair, taking her hands in his and looking up into her eyes. "Brittany I love you. And I love you even more that you're carrying my baby. I want to live with you, to look after you and the baby. Is that OK--I mean may I?"
"Yes...I want you to live with me, in my apartment," Brittany smiled, "this is okay then hmm?"
"It's more than OK--it's very, very OK" Danny enthused. "I want to be with you and with the baby. What do you say to dinner tonight and let's talk and celebrate. I'd love to take you out, but if you don't think that's good with you and the baby, I'd also love to cook for you again."
"Well then let's go out and talk and celebrate," Brittany smiled, "just make sure I don't faint on you."
"I'll be very watchful of you, you can be sure of that" Danny assured her. "Is there any place you'd particularly enjoy. What would sit well with you?"
"The Willard room?" Brittany suggested. She leaned up and kissed him. "Thank-you Danny. I love you."
"The Willard Room sounds wonderful" Danny assured her. "I haven't been there in ages; but I know I can get us a table. Now what's with you for the afternoon? Are you going to be able to manage? I'm off to see the President's appearance at the dedication at Mt. Vernon. I'd love to have you join me--I'd also love to have you go home and be sure you're OK. At the same time I'm afraid for you to go home by yourself."
"I'm coming with you," Brittany smiled, "it's my job and it's where I want to be." She linked her arm with his and they headed off.
"Three days 'til school," Chloe chirped as she poured herself some orange juice.
Tucker nodded as he joined her. "Yes ma'am. I'm guessing we're about the only two students who spent the summer together--I mean really together as in the same bed" he grinned. "Bless your mom and Leo for being so understanding. I know it helped us both get over the baby and Raphael."
Chloe smiled, "and we'll be spending every night together still..." she kissed him. "We may as well be married. I can't wait for everyone to see my ring."
Tucker kissed the finger bearing his ring. "We are engaged my love, and we share a bed and that's wonderful."
Chloe smiled, "it is wonderful. Tucker I love you so much. I know without a doubt that this is forever. Everything in my heart tells me so. I will love you always."
"I love you my beautiful financee" Tucker assured her, bringing her into his arms and drawing her mouth into a large kiss. "Are we ready to go ride? I thought we had a better day yesterday. Your horse almost liked me."
Chloe smiled, "ready when you are." She kissed him and they took her car out to the stables in which she was keeping Moonlight Sonata. The beautiful white mare whinied when she glimpsed Chloe and Chloe moved quickly to pet her affectionately.
"Hi beautiful" Tucker greeted the prancing animal, who was sensing a ride. He took up the pitchfork, ready to tend her stall before they set off. To him she barely responded but to Chloe she nuzzled up to. "A one rider horse" Tucker sighed. "Maybe I'll have to get a companion one for me."
"She'll let us both on," Chloe replied quickly, "you just have to let her get to know you. She's protective of me. It's only natural. Come on, pet her and let her get to know you. Besides I was counting on you to steer today so all I had to do was sit and enjoy the ride and your close proximity." She leaned up and kissed his earlobe.
Tucker grinned and patted the mare's rear as he continued to clean the stall. "And did you plan on riding in front or behind Ms. McGarry?"
"Now behind wouldn't be any fun would it? I wouldn't be able to see anything but the back of your shoulders and neck!" She laughed.
"But you could wrap your arms around me and lay against my back" Tucker pointed out. He laughed and pulled the saddle down, setting it on Sonata's back and then standing back for her to adjust it.
Donna let out a small cry of frustration as she stared at her computer screen, realizing the system had frozen and her document was not saved. "This is some man's fault no doubt" she yowled as CJ and Toby were passing and Josh hurried out of his office. "Toby I'm afraid we're personna non grata at the moment" he sighed. "Hormones" Toby sighed and CJ looked as if she could kill.
"Men," Donna growled to CJ. "Don't I know," CJ sighed, rubbing her large stomach with one hand and massaging the small of her back with the other. "And we have two more months to go." she whimpered.
"We should cheer them up at lunch Josh" Toby smiled. "What would you ladies suggest." "Seeing my feet again would go a long way with me" CJ sighed.
"Two months," Toby smiled and rubbed her belly, "but I think you look not only beautiful but sexy swollen with my child." He kissed her. "How about you take us to that new spa that helps pregnant women feel beautiful. They also do everyone else so you two could enjoy with us," Donna replied.
"OK now let's see" Josh grinned, "an evening at the spa with our wives getting all hot and sweaty, or home in front of the tv with a cold beer." Donna glared at him. "I'm just giving you a hard time." He leaned in and kissed Donna's cheek. "I'd love to take you to the new place; but you have to wear that jogging suit that makes your belly look so cute."
Donna gasped and looked to see if he was serious. Then, rolling her eyes in resignment she agreed. "Okay then." CJ looked at Toby and with a sigh replied, "okay I'll wear the pink shirt but I'm not wearing the overalls with it. Not to an exclusive spa," she finished.
"Then we'll see you guys later" Josh smiled and took Donna's arm to lead her back to their area. "You are beautiful my love" he whispered, resting his hand on their babies for a moment. "Pregnancy becomes you.''
"I know and I really like it," Donna smiled, "I didn't think I would and it has its bad moments but on the whole I like it and I've been reading all of these books about pregnancy and how to keep the baby as healthy as possible. I was even reading a book about all the advances myths and beliefs about pregnancy for the last three hundred years!"
"I tried reading that booklet the doctor gave us last time and just the first few pages of the chapter on what could go wrong terrified me" Josh declared, shaking his head at the memory. He lay his hand on her cheek. "Do you know how scared I am that something is going to happen to you? Even more so than I am for the babies?"
Donna smiled and caressed his cheek, "I know love but nothing's going to happen to me. You and the doctor are taking very good care of me."
"I do worry" Josh sighed, "as does Toby about CJ. You wouldn't know I love you this much if I didn't."
Donna laughed, "You show me you love me all the time but yes, this pregnancy has made me really to what lengths you love me."
"I'm glad" Josh smiled and kissed her quickly. "There is nothing more important to me in this world than your health and safety, and for the babies too."
Donna smiled, "thanks you you and my doctor, we're all going to be fine. Now how about you make that appointment for the spa and we can all go back and Cj and I can change to suit our husbands."
"On my way" Josh assured her. "Wear something skimpy" he added teasingly and then caught her hand. "Remember you are beautiful to me--large and beautiful with my babies."
Zoey smiled and squeezed Charlie's hand. The doctor began the sonogram and Zoey winced at the cold gel. "Well look what we have here...It's a boy." Zoey smiled, "Your son Charlie," she said.
"Oh my god...." Charlie gasped as he stared at the image on the screen. "He's beautiful and what a...." "Charlie that's an arm" The doctor smiled. "But he's my son" Charlie gasped. "Our Charles Josiah maybe? Called CJ--but that would get confusing. Maybe Josiah Charles, called JC?"
"Either way is fine by me," Zoey said, "I'm sure CJ wouldn't mind having another one around, or we could just call him Charles you know."
"I like that too" Charlie grinned, "and that it's a boy makes me so thrilled. Hey we need to get Lucas and Gina in to share the news with them don't we?"
Zoey smiled, "I think so." Lucas and Gina were sent for. "It's a boy Zoey beamed, proud of her accomplishment and Gina smiled, "congratulations you two. Were you hoping for a boy?"
"Now that it's a done deal, YES" Charlie yelped. "OK call me a typical man, but I did want a son first. Charles Josiah, called Charles or CJ works good for me."
Gina and Lucas smiled enthusiastically. "I guess you and I can look through nursery books then," Gina suggested with a smile, "well that's if, after I talk to your father when we get back, he doesn't throw me out on my ear."
"I think we all four should see if we can see him" Zoey said seriously. "And tell him how important it is that we stay together and that you be with me."
Gina smiled, "Thank-you Zoey and as I once said before, I'm not your mother so if you wish to come I can't stop you." She smiled and winked.
Chloe expertly fitted the saddle and then mounted it with ease. She made sure that Sonata remained still and lended Tucker a hand. "This is nice...I may never want to ride by myself again."
"I may not let you" Tucker smiled, nuzzling his face into her neck from where he was sitting, and then scooting forward as close as he could and wrapping his free arm around her. "So future Mrs. Seaborn where are you taking me? Or maybe we should ask Sonny huh?"
"Sonata," Chloe corrected sharply, "will take us wherever you guide her. We can go anywhere you like. Of course it would probably be a good idea if we didn't try jumping like this. Hey what classes did you get this year?"
"Chemistry and Latin for pre-med, and then political science in case I decide to go that way" Tucker answered, "plus European literature and that art class I decided to take because it makes me look like a well rounded person on my record. Then I'm out of there--well you know that, so we can work at the White House."
Chloe smiled, "Literature honors, History honors, Pre-Law, chior, French and then off to the White House! That will be so nice...only having class until 1."
"Oh yeah" Tucker enthused. "Though I swear we work harder there than school ever thought about working us." He kicked the willing mare into a faster gait and she moved out willingly. "If you were pregnant we wouldn't be doing this" he whispered as the woods at Rock Creek swallowed them more fully and even the noise of the city disappeared.
"Tucker," Chloe wailed, "I had almost forgotten..." she sighed. She leaned back against him. "Ah well...two years."
"I'm sorry sweetie, honest" Tucker sighed, kissing the back of her neck. They came to a broad meadow with a small stream and Sonata drank greedily. "We should let her cool down" he pointed out, sliding off and catching her as she did so and then taking her hand to lead her across the meadow. "I don't know if two years is going to be bearable" he spoke up finally.
Chloe sighed, "I know...I know...I've been thinking many a recent night...what if we..."
"Drove across the state line and got married secretly in Maryland and didn't tell anyone?" Tucker finished for her. "It's not the first time I've thought about that, and we've in fact mentioned it before." He stopped and turned her to face him, putting his lips to hers in a charged kiss. "I love you Chloe---you know that."
"I know Tucker and I love you...I want to be married by the president though. I promised. I guess that means we have to wait...unless we slip before marriage..."
"I want to wait, honest I do--but you are so beautiful and I love you so much. Plus I've had you before and I know what it's like to make love to you. You are so soft and warm," Tucker sighed. "But honestly yes I think we should wait. Sometimes it just seems that time will never arrive."
"Yeah don't I know," Chloe sighed. They finished their riding and returned home to get ready for school in two days.
To Be Continued