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.
From Part 1b--
"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.
"Deadlines" Part 2a--
CJ carefully brought herself downstairs to Toby wearing the soft pink shirt that he liked so much, which showed off her pregnancy and made her very feminine and delicate. She had paired it with a pair of khaki pants and her hair was in its usual style. There had been numerous pictures of her progressing pregnancy, one almost every week as soon as the press had realized it. She sat down carefully, Toby's baby taking up a goodly portion of her lap already. "Are you ready to be pampered?" she smiled.
"Shouldn't I be pampering you?" Toby questioned, putting down his reading matter and looking into the eyes of the woman he adored. He reached out with both hands for the baby mound, stroking gently over top her shirt. "You look more beautiful every day Mrs. Ziegler."
CJ smiled, "I like it Toby. There for a while I didn't know if I was going to like being pregnant, but I like it." She smiled and then leaned over to kiss him. "And the pampering I was referring to is the spa you and Josh are taking Donna and I to tonight, remember?"
"Ah yes" Toby grinned. "And I have to admit, a steam room, hot tub, massage type evening does sound wonderful to me. Just as long as I can share it with you of course."
"Well I'm not planning on going anywhere," CJ replied and then her face contorted as a hand went to the baby mound, "baby kicked." she supplied.
"Don't even suggest you ever might" Toby sighed, teasingly but serious all the same and he pressed his palm to her cheek. "I waited a long time to have you in my life, and I'm not letting you go anywhere."
Toby and CJ met with Josh and Donna on the porch and they took Josh's car to the spa.
"Leo, sweetie, I know you've had a long day but would you mind bathing the twins? My back and feet are killing me and I've been chasing them all day." Caroline said softly from where she was curled up on her side on the couch the twins sitting on the floor in front of her.
Leo put down the Time magazine and frowned. "Of course I will; but that brings up something else. I know we're sending them to preschool a couple mornings, but maybe you need some help with them so you get some time to yourself? A nanny a couple afternoons, say between nap and dinner?" His face was full of concern as he cupped her cheek, tilting her eyes to meet his.
"But that feels like abandoning them to me," Caroline answered softly, "I don't want them to think I don't have time for them or something. I miss having Chloe around, now that she's with you. I never realized what a huge help she was with the twins."
"Maybe that's the answer then" Leo said thoughtfully, "maybe Chloe and Tucker should work one or two afternoons here instead of the White House. Problem is, they're becoming indespensible there. They actually work and we get more out of them than we do our college interns."
Danny brought Brittany back to her place after their assignment. "I'll bring some of my things over tonight" he told her as she opened her door. "And gradually I'll just kind of move in with you I guess. But first we have our dinner at the Willard Room like we said." He brushed a lock of hair from her forehead and kissed the spot. "Are you going to be OK now? No more sick?"
"I can't make any gurantees, " Brittany responded, "but I think it's passed."
Danny looked at her worriedly. "I'll hurry then. I'll bring my things over and change here. Also you have my beeper number and my cell number." He stood in the door hesitantly, torn between knowing he needed to get ready for the night and afraid to leave her.
"Go on, Danny, go..." Brittany waved him out. "I'll be waiting for you." He was almost to the door when she hurried to him, grabbed him and kissed him. "Love you," she whispered and then once he was gone she curled up on the couch and waited for him to return.
It took Danny but an hour to gather some things for over night; his dark suit for their evening out and to make the stop for the item he had ordered weeks before when Brittany had first come into his life. He had never been able to bring himself to cancel the order and now he was infinitely glad as he dropped the small box into his pocket. She would not again walk from his life.
When Danny returned it was to Brittany, dressed in a white satin gown and laid on a chaise sound asleep. She had been so tired as of late and being ill just added to her weariness. She was thankful that she no longer had to handle it by herself.
"Hey you" Danny greeted her with a soft kiss. "You look beautiful asleep there." He dropped his hand to her belly, feeling his child--or rather the area where his child was growing. "I love you Brittany Brianna Phillips" he said into her ear as she stirred sleepily. "I'm going to grab a shower and change. Being on White House duty has taught me to shower and dress in ten minutes."
Brittany smiled and kissed him quickly. Once he had left to shower she thought once again about the true awesomeness of being pregnant, carrying Danny's baby inside her. She was startled from her revelry as he returned. "Let's go to dinner," she smiled and wrapped her arm in his.
Danny gave his tie one final adjustment and held tightly to Brittany. The ride to the Willard Room was short and the maitre-D gave Danny the table he had asked for, back in the corner. Tonight he wanted to talk to no one save the beautiful woman who was accompanying him. The music was playing softly and the violin players added to it as they strolled through the room. "I'm glad you suggested here" Danny whispered.
Brittany smiled and then couldn't help but tease, "Why? Think you might be able to get the inside story on someone tonight?" "There is only one person in this whole room I am interested in tonight" Danny vowed. "And that would be the beautiful woman on my arm. The Speaker could walk in with Mrs. Hoynes draped all over him and it wouldn't concern me for the next few hours. The woman I'm in love with, who is carrying my child, is the only person I'm focusing on thank you."
Brittany smiled, "Oh Danny you don't know how relieved I am that you want this baby. You don't know how scared I was when the doctor told me I was pregnant. When I got back to my hotel room I cried all day. I was so worried."
"I wish that worry had translated into picking up the phone" Danny sighed. "I tried so many times to get you and always got your voice mail or messaging. I was scared too--scared what we had that one night was something you found out you no longer wanted. I kept wondering if I was really that big a loser."
"And I was so selfish I wasn't even thinking about that," Brittany replied with a self-reproaching sigh. "Danny do you realize what's happening inside me?" she whispered softly.
"Yes ma'am" Danny sighed happily, picking up her hand and placing a soft kiss in the palm. "You are carrying my child. A baby I very much want, in the womb of a woman I love very much. A woman I want to marry if she'll have me. And not just for the baby either."
Brittany was about to go on speaking when she suddenly stopped and asked, "Danny did you just ask me to marry you?" "If you did the answer is yes."
Wordlessly Danny slipped his hand into his pocket and speared the ring with his pinky. "I asked you to marry me" he confirmed as he pushed the ring onto her fourth finger. "A baby needs a mom and a dad, and in this case that mom and dad love each other. What more is needed, except maybe the ring and this." He slid from his chair, still holding his hand and knelt on one knee before her chair. "Brittany Brianna Phillips, be my wife."
Brittany burst into happy tears. "Yes Danny, yes." She pulled him up to her and kissed him lovingly, clinging to him as she continued to shed her joyful tears.
"Thank you" Danny gasped, feeling his own face dampen as a few tears sneaked from his eyes. He initiated a second kiss and held her tightly, not concerned that nearby patrons were enjoying the mini-drama. Finally he returned to his chair, still holding her hands. "I'm very happy at this moment" he sighed.
"I'm very happy, and actually rather hungry at this moment," Brittany replied, surprised at herself.
"That doesn't surprise me," Caroline smiled, "No, you keep them, Chloe would be furious if I enforced that on her. We'll just have to come up with something...He maybe Mallory could help. She's not teaching...it would give her good practice."
"Mallory can be asked" Leo nodded, relieved that a solution was available. He had been alarmed at the note of exhaustion in his wife's voice, and he did know how tiresome the twins could be.
"Wonderful, will you do it?" Caroline inquired as she finally got off the couch and hugged her husband, her small baby mound pressed between them.
"Right now" Leo smiled, hugging Caroline with one hand and picking up the phone with the other. "Mal, your dad........we're OK but we need to talk to you......if you and Sam aren't busy, would you grab some Chinese take out and come over? We could play some cards after we get the twins down.......Great, an hour then." Leo hung up the phone and pulled Caroline down onto his lap, thankful the twins were watching Blues Clues for the moment. He cuddled her to him, pushing her head down onto his shoulder. "Rest now. You're through for the day."
"That sounds wonderful," Caroline sighed softly. She curled comfortably against him and for a long while was content to just be silent and concentrate on his gentle caresses.
"That was Dad, he and Caroline want us to come over for the night and bring Chineese," Mallory told Sam as he reentered the room. "Must be the flavor of the evening." Mallory went to change into something. "Sam...Sam could you come...ergh...unh...fasten this!"
"Two words--elastic waistband" Sam grinned, staring at the gap between button and hole in Mallory's hands. "Wait a sec." When he returned he had a sturdy rubber band, which he threaded through the hole and then wrapped around the button. "One more word--overblouse" he grinned again, rubbing his hands across her belly. "You're beautiful Mallory and I love you like this."
Mallory smiled, "Thanks. I love you too Sam and anyone that can love me like this is a keeper." She kissed him and slipped a long shirt over her pants to go and see her parents.
"OK bring on the mud bath" Josh screeched as they pulled up in front of the spa.
"Mmm...that doesn't sound bad," CJ said silkily and Donna enthusiastically nodded her agreement.
"I was kidding" Josh yelped. "We're really going to sink into mud?" "Try it before you get too adamant" Toby advised. "It actually feels rather nice; then there's a long hot shower afterward that feels even better."
They entered the spa and the women changed into their white bikinis made just for pregnant women. Then they went to the mud room and sunk carefully into the large spa like tub of it. "Oh this didn't feel nearly this good last time," Donna said to CJ. "No I'd have to agree with you," CJ replied.
"The words 'Oh Ick' are on the tip of my tongue" Josh sighed, dipping his hand into the goop. To his surprise it was soft and warm, like a giant vat of chocolate pudding just off the stove. "I think I'm changing my mind" he sighed as he put one tentative foot in.
Toby shook his head and with a smile he slipped in with CJ in his white suit. CJ and Donna were loving rubbing mud all over their baby mounds. They already looked more relaxed.
Josh took a deep breath and went all the way in, sliding in behind Donna as Toby was behind CJ so that they could wrap their arms around their wives and rest their hands on the baby mounds. Josh pressed his hands over Donna's at once, letting her guide him in slow circles. Toby took CJ's hands and lifted them from the baby to dangle at her sides. "Let the dad do that. You relax" he whispered.
"I can handle that," CJ smiled. She leaned back against Toby and smiled softly as he took the kinks out. She was soon so into relaxing that she closed her eyes happily and trusted Toby to continue to take care of her. ----------------------- A month passed by and a lot occurred in what seemed like the blink of an eye. CJ and Donna reached seven months and had blossomed greatly accordingly. Zoey had grown the most of all and was trying to avoid the press who had yet to get a picture of her pregnant. Gina was now showing rather obviously even at only five months. Caroline was very large, it being her third pregnancy.
However the most noted change was that Chloe and Tucker had been at school a month. Their work at the White House continued and their grades were commendable, even Tucker's with Chloe's help.
Tucker had just entered his third period class when the boys behind him caught his attention with their conversation. "Hey did you hear about the accident Brandon just picked up on his scanner?" "No what?" "Said Chastity Anders and Chloe McGarry had been in an accident. One of the cars flipped and slammed into a tree. They were calling Jaws of Life to the scene." "Doesn't her Dad work at the White House?" "Yeah"
Tucker wheeled around, his face white. "Where?" The boy looked puzzled. "I said where was this accident?" he screamed, trying to fathom why Chloe was not in school at that moment. The boy looked terrified at the larger Tucker's onslaught. "I don't know" he stammered, "but the name caught my ear is all." Tucker dropped the kid's shirt and ran into the hallway. Then he took a deep breath and dialed Leo's number on his cell phone. "Please let her be OK," he whispered. "Please, please, please" he repeated over and over as he waited for the connection.
"Leo McGarry's office, he's not avaliable at the moment may I take a message?" Margaret's voice came over the phone.
Tucker gulped hard so that he would sound coherent. "Margaret it's Tucker" he said quietly. "I'm getting news here Chloe's been in an accident and I'm about to lose it. What's going on? I'm terrified here."
"Yeah we just got the call. It's on Camden way. The road that winds through the woods between those two wealthy subdivisions on the way between your school and hers." Margaret replied. "I was just on my way to get Leo from his meeting."
"I'm on my way" Tucker sighed, feeling hot tears forming behind his eyes and he offered up another in a long series of prayers as he pocketed the phone. With no explanation to anyone he sprinted for his car and roared away from the parking lot.
"Leo that is not going to work" Sam banged his fist on the table for emphasis. "And as your son in law I feel completely confident when I say that the plan is the biggest piece of sh...." Before he could continue the door opened to reveal Margaret's presense, her face showing her distress. "Margaret this had better be an emergency," Leo growled.
"Afraid so sir," Margaret trembled, "the police just called and Chloe has been in an accident on Camden way."
"Tucker? Was my brother with her?" Sam demanded at once, standing up and taking Leo's arm in support at the same time. "How bad?" Leo stammered.
"No sir," Margaret looked to Sam. "He just called and said he was on his way to the accident. Sir they've called for the Jaws of life," she said solemnly to Leo.
Leo shook visibly and for a moment Sam was afraid the older man would have a stroke. "Leo she's going to be OK" he said softly. "Come on, I'll drive you over there." Toby and Josh looked on in alarm. "Tell her we love her" Toby whispered as the two men hurried out.
"Deadlines" Part 2b---
When Tucker arrived it was to a total police barricade of the road. Chloe's firebird was out of view but a silver sportscar was partially tangled with it, laying upside down and wrapped against a tree. He could see blood all over the road, mingled with glass and twisted metal.
"You can't go over there son" the first policeman to spot him called. "Watch me" Tucker answered, pushing his way through. "I'm looking for my fiance. She was driving the Firebird. Long blonde hair, sixteen, very tall. Tell me what happened to her please." At the same time he was looking around frantically.
The officer's face looked grim. "What was she wearing this morning? Purple or white?" the officer asked looking even more pale.
Tucker looked totally blank. "I don't know...I can't remember. Oh god I don't know---I was talking so much about this horse I'm going to buy that I'm not sure I noticed. She dropped me at my school. Oh god I'm not sure we kissed or that I told her I loved her." With that he broke away from the officer and ran toward the Firebird, screaming her name.
In the white firebird there was blonde hair and blood everywhere where the body was mangled in the wreckage, head draped out the broken window at an odd angle. Meanwhile Chloe's car was upside down but fairly undamaged except the back and top. Chloe was hanging upside down in it, officers around her. "Tucker," she called out when she heard his voice. "Tucker." She repeated. One of the men turned around and saw him. "Are you her fiancee?" he asked. "She's okay, I know it looks bad but she's going to be okay once we can get her out. We have to wait for the paramedics to do it though because with her in shock like she is we could do serious damage if we removed her without great care. She's badly bruised and she has a broken collarbone but she's going to heal just fine. Would you like to come hold her hand. She knows about the other girl. She watched her die." the man finished solemnly.
"Chloe, oh Chloe" Tucker gasped, hurrying to her and forcing his way into the wreckage. "Chloe I love you," he murmured, tears now streaming down his cheeks--tears of relief, and tears of fear at the same time. He held both her hands and pressed them to his cheek, feeling her engagement ring press into his flesh.
"Careful, careful," Chloe cautioned and it was then that he saw the blood running down her arms onto the hands he held. It was coming from a gash on her forehead and he could see her windshield had been busted. "Tucker I love you. I wanna go home. I love you so much." Chloe began to cry. "No, no...you need to stay calm and awake," an attendant advised. "Paramedics are here," another officer announced.
"I'm going to take you home" Tucker assured her, "just as soon as you're out of here and treated and I know you're OK. I'm going to take you home and we're going to plan our wedding. I don't think we want to wait any longer. My god I might have lost you here today--here on this road and I'm not even sure I told you how much I loved you this morning. We've put our lives on hold for some magical date when you turn eighteen. I'm not going to love you any more then than I do now Chloe Kathleen Murphy. I want to marry you and give you my child to carry inside you."
The paramedics interrupted them before Chloe could reply and they began to work just as Leo and Sam appeared on the scene. "Tucker my God how is she? what happened?" Sam demanded quickly hugging his brother while Leo desperately waited for an answer and looked in horror at the scene. Mr. and Mrs. Anders appeared on the scene a moment later as well.
"They say she's going to be OK," Tucker answered without turning away from her. "They've got to get her out of here and patched up." He felt Sam's arms around him for the first time and relaxed somewhat. "Sam I almost lost her here. I'm so scared." Leo moved slowly to Chloe's side, putting his hand up for her to take. "I'm here daughter," he said softly. "And Tucker is here too. We're going to take good care of you." Meanwhile the police led the Anders couple away, speaking softly to them and Mrs. Anders' scream split the air when he told them.
Chloe began to cry heartily but thankfully they now had her free and onto a board and were poking and prodding her like crazy. "She's not dead, she's not I saw her...I wish I had never been on this road. I hate myself!" she cried out bitterly.
"I've got you angel, easy now" Tucker soothed, pushing his way to her side and sliding his arms around her the best he could. "I'm afraid the other driver is dead at the scene," the officer confirmed. "She was killed instantly, no suffering. Looks like the brakes on her car may have failed as they rounded the curve. The brake light on the dash is stuck on." "It's not your fault baby" Leo tried.
"She was my friend...one of the most popular girls at school. No one's going to forgive me for this. I didn't see her in time. She clipped my car and...I should have been able to do something!!!" "We've got a fractured collar bone, major bruising, swelling of the spinal cord and a minor gash to the forehead. Whose riding with her to the hospital?" the medic asked as they loaded Chloe up.
"Me" Tucker and Leo spoke up at once and Leo looked at Tucker's stricken face "Go son, I'll follow you." "Thanks" Tucker smiled, clamboring aboard the ambulance. He shook his head at the paramedic's offer of the bench and instead crouched on the floor beside her, holding her two hands. He heard the words 'swelling of the spinal cord' over and over in his head now as the siren screamed; and could not help but wonder if that was indicative of future problems. "I love you Chloe" he spoke into her ear. "No matter what, I love you and nothing will ever change that."
"I love you Tucker," Chloe replied back weakly against the oxygen mask they had placed on her. It seemed like an eternity before the ambulance reached the hospital but she was then quickly wheeled into the emergency room and Tucker was forced to wait outside the doors while she was examined. Sam and Leo caught up with him just a moment later. Sam was quick to wrap arms of support around his younger brother. "Did they say anything else?" Leo asked, looking strained and worried.
"Other than get out you mean?" Tucker answered bitterly, letting Sam hold him tightly for a minute. "I am so scared. I love her so much and my life is nothing without her." A small sob escaped him and he fought a moment for control. "Leo have you called her mom?"
"I want to know something before I call Caroline," Leo replied, "something like this could make her lose the baby if I don't handle it carefully." It was only a short half hour later that the doctor stepped out to speak to them. "Mr. McGarry, your daughter's going to be just fine. She got seven stitches on her forhead from our best surgeon, they shouldn't leave a scar since she told us about her modeling aspirations. We had to brace her left collarbone with a bone grip device that we have. It will need to be removed in eight weeks. That's going to cause her some pain and discomfort while she's bruised which she will be heavily for probably the next two weeks. She suffered severe whiplash which has caused swelling around the spinal cord. This is going to also cause her a fair amount of pain and her nerves will act erattically until the swelling goes down. This won't cause any permanent damage though. She's black and blue and very traumatised but she's fine. You may come see her now and in thirty minutes when we're sure she's not having any reactions to the pain medication then you can take her home." Chloe was laying on her side, the middle of her back where her backbone was usually slightly visible was swollen in a ridge down her back. Her left arm was in a sling with an odd looking brace on her shoulder. She had a bandage on her forehead and blood all over her purple sweater and in her gorgeous blonde hair but other than that she looked just as always.
Tucker had to restrain himself from diving into her arms. "Chloe I've been scared to death" he whispered, sobbing slightly and carefully putting his arms around her. "Don't let me hurt you now." Leo and Sam watched from the doorway. "I'll call the White House and tell them she's OK" Sam offered, "and you'd better be thinking about breaking this to Caroline."
Leo sighed, "Yeah I know. Well I've got to take Chloe home. You'd better get Tucker checked out for the rest of the day. You know he's not going back." Leo sighed and wiped his brow, "It could have been so much worse. I could have lost her Sam." "Gentle," Chloe cautioned Tucker with a smile. "My back feels like it's on fire. The doctor said he was going to give me some icy hot sort of stuff that I'll have to have rubbed on when it gets like this. He said if it doesn't get better in a week I'll have to come take physical therapy every other day." She smiled and traced his cheek then, "enough of that though. Right now I just want to go home and I want to have french onion soup for lunch and I want to sleep."
"Let's not rush" Tucker fretted. "Just tell me what I need to do. And of course I'm going to be with you every second, no matter how much school I have to ditch. God Chloe they were talking about spinal swelling and so forth. I was terrified you'd be in a wheel chair. Not that it would have made any difference in how much I love you."
"Yeah I will--he'll probably insist on staying with her tomorrow too I'm sure" Sam nodded. "I'll call his school and then get on back. Will you be back later?"
Chloe smiled, "Yeah everything's kind of tingly here and there with my back messed up but the doctor said I'll be fine. I couldn't have handled being in a wheelchair. Oh Tucker I love you so much. That's all I could think about after the cars stopped moving...how much I loved you and my friends and family." She squeezed his hand with her right one.
Leo nodded, "I should be. I'm going to take Chloe home and explain this to Caroline. If I see that she's alright, since Tucker will be there to take care of things then I'll probably try to get back in. I've got that thing this afternoon." "At three" Sam reminded him, clapping his shoulder. "And if you need anything I'm just a beeper call away. You know that Leo. We're all family and we hurt for each other."
"If I had lost you I wouldn't have wanted to live" Tucker declared, pressing her hand to his cheek and kissing the palm. "And now you're going to be fine--you're going to walk down the aisle to me in a beautiful wedding gown."
Leo smiled, "Thank-you, I'll keep that in mind. If you would please give everyone else all the details so everyone has their facts straight at once." Leo patted Sam on the back and smiled, "Thank-you" he said again.
"Yeah in two years," Chloe laughed lightly, "I love you Tucker." Tears started to cascade down her cheeks again. "I can't stop seeing it, over and over..." she whimpered.
"I know baby I know" Tucker soothed, rubbing her back. "It was a nightmare, and one you'll probably have to live again and again." He held to her awkwardly desperately afraid of hurting her and wanting to provide comfort at the same time. Leo walked in as he was rocking her as best he could. "We need to take her home" Tucker whispered, "where she can lay in our bed and I can hold her."
Leo nodded, "The doctor just discharged her. He said to wake her every so often for the next 24 hours and watch for concussion." "Come on Chloe angel," Leo spoke to her softly, stroking her hair disregarding the red blood coating it, "it's time to get you home so you and Tucker can rest. I'll buy you a new car. The cop said this accident was in no way whatsoever your fault and that you did the best you could." Chloe smiled softly, "I love you Daddy and I'm sorry I worried you." Chloe was helped down into a wheelchair because she was too disoriented for walking at the moment.
Tucker never released Chloe's hand as they wheeled her out and Leo stood with her as he pulled his car up. Tucker then lifted her from the chair onto the seat and carefully buckled the belt over her. "Leo you need to go ahead and prepare Caroline for us" Tucker pointed out, "in her condition she doesn't need this without some warning."
Leo nodded and taking the faster route he made it there before Tucker. He led Caroline to the couch and sat her down. "Okay Caroline I have to tell you something but you need to stay calm... Chloe was in a car accident this morning. The other girl's brakes went out in a turn on Camden way and she hit Chloe. Chloe's going to be okay. Tucker's bringing her home from the hospital now. She had a break in the left side of her collarbone from the seatbelt and a gash on her forehead. She also has a swollen spinalcord from severe whiplash but the doctor said that she will heal as good as new in short order."
Caroline gasped and her hand flew to her mouth at the first words out of his mouth. "And she's OK?" she panted, her arms wrapping around her baby as a pain of stress passed through her entire body. "Oh Chloe" she sobbed, holding to her belly as another pain went through her and she tried to get herself under control.
TO BE CONTINUED