Off to Camp
Note: This is the eighth in the series including A Bagel and a Beginning, Chili with a side of 'The Jackal', Dinner and Dancing, Darts and Dresses, Josh and Donna's Weekend Getaway, Would you hold me?, and Fajitas and Margaritas (All of these can be found on our web page Http://www.phantomroses.com/SarahRabb)
DISCLAIMER: The wonderful West Wing series belongs to NBC et al. No copyright infringement is intended.
And the usual warning applies--our stories are about the lives of these great characters, not about passing bills and making deals. That's their professional life, and we write about the other half!
Off to Camp Pt 1--
"Something Blue, something blue," Donnatella Jolie Moss fussed as she was wandering around the West Wing in a giant designer bridal gown. CJ and Caroline had hold of the train. Donna's gown was off the shoulders and at her neck was the beautiful necklace Josh had bought for her at Aruba. Carolyn and CJ both had on beautiful navy dresses that were backless and nothing but elegant. "Donna, Donna breathe," CJ reminded her for about the fourth time. She was exhausted just following the frantic bride around.
"You breathe, I don't have time" Donna sighed. "Well you'd better because if you get sick at the altar you're going to upset a lot of people including your husband to be" Mrs. Landingham scolded gently, following the bridal group. "Come here dear." Donna stopped and looked at the older woman. "I wanted to give you this before at your shower but they didn't have it ready." She held it up without the wrapping. It was a dark blue ribbon from which hung a small charm. The charm was a small gold D, and pasted to the back of the D, a J, the top and bottom of the letters entwined intricately. "Something blue" she smiled and kneeling down, tied the ribbon about her ankle. "I wish you and Josh all the best" she smiled. "This is like seeing my children marry."
For a moment the group was silent in reverence. Then they all made their way to Donna's white carriage and from there took a short ride to the rose garden. Caroline got into place and then CJ hugged Donna. "It's here Donna, these are going to be some of the greatest moments of your life, relax and enjoy every bit of it. You don't get another one." she smiled. Then she took her place just in front of Donna. Josh had not had time to help plan much of the wedding so most of it would be a surprise to him. Starting with the appearance of Chloe in a billowing gown of soft blue. It was a cross between a bridal gown and the looks of an angel. The music began and it was quickly clear why she was not at the back with the others as she opened her mouth and from this young woman poured the powerful voice of an angel singing Ave Maria reverently. Carol began up the aisle followed another of the assistants, Caroline, finally CJ and then Donna appeared all walking very slowly up the long aisle midst the roses blooming in full glory.
Tucker's heart swelled with pride as he heard the music made by the woman he loved. Her sixteenth birthday was the following Friday and he had already made the plans for it. The formal dinner and dance she had requested and now as he listened to her, he allowed himself to think ahead to when he would stand in this very spot and take her for his bride.
Sam, Leo, and Toby watched as their women approached them, each locking eyes with the woman he loved.
In the first pew sat Charlie and Zoey, Charlie's arm protectively over her shoulders as she hugged him closely. She was only just now starting to move around on her own and tired extremely easily. Lucas and Gina sat on one side of them, leaning together as was their habit. On duty, and yet there for each other as well.
Finally Donna reached Josh, her long train pulled and arranged into place quickly and then she smiled to Josh. "I love you," she whispered quickly while Chloe took her place amongst the bridesmaids. "Who gives this woman away?" the priest asked. "I give this woman to this man," the president answered and lifting Donna's veil he kissed her quickly before adjusting it back into place and passing her to Josh. He took his seat with Charlie, Zoey, Abby, Lucas and Gina on the front. The priest opened and then intoned with a prayer. Then Ave Maria began to play softly in the background, as Donna began, "I Donatella Joliee Moss take you Joshua Lyman to be my partner on this earth and to spend eternity with me when our time here is finished. I promise to devote myself to this marriage and to love, honor, and cherish you, as you have inspired me to, all the days of our lives. I promise to walk with you down whatever paths we choose in life, good times of bad, sickness or health, to share your sorrows as well as your joys and never to forget these vows I make to you."
"My love, my deepest love" Joshua began after getting his emotions under control from her moving statement. "From this moment on I will take your life to be mine. Your joys and your sorrows, your successes and your failures, your triumphs and tragedies are now laid at my feet and I take them on gladly and with deep abiding love. You are the woman I was born on this planet to be with. God does nothing without a plan and His plan for me was to seek you out and make you my world. On this day that I do gladly and with deep abiding love. From this moment on your life and mine are entwined for all eternity."
Donna cried tears of joy softly as the priest continued the ceremony and then Belle and Brighton toddled up and brought two satin pillows with the rings securely tied to the center. The exchanging of the rings had everyone smiling and the priest continued on to the finish where he announced, "presenting Mr. and Mrs. Joshua Lyman. You may now kiss the bride."
"Thank you Father" Josh breathed, drawing her into his arms. "Long or short one?" he whispered, a mischievous smile on his face.
"Long," Donna replied with a light laugh and a new sparkle in her eyes.
"Long yes ma'am" Josh smiled and then moving exquisitely slowly took her face between his palms and brought her lips up to meet his coming down. This kiss began and showed no sign of ending. --------------------------
"That was so beautiful" Gina sniffled, leaning more heavily on Lucas.
Lucas rubbed her back gently with a smile. He would have stroked her hair but it was up in an elaborate updo as were all the other women in the wedding party save CJ's.
Gina leaned back comfortably against Lucas again. Next weekend would be their time away as they would have three solid days off and could leave Thursday morning and not be due back until Sunday morning. --------------------------
Tucker's eyes found Chloe's. "I love you" he mouthed.
"Love you," Chloe mouthed back and added a giant smile. Tucker had made her happier than she could imagine in the last two weeks and now that he could walk through the gate into her yard and spend all day with her their bond had only gotten stronger.
Tucker grinned and gave her a quick thumbs up in a teasing gesture. His love for the beautiful soon to be step-daughter of the chief of staff to the president of the United States was only growing stronger each day. They spent their days together swimming, minding the twins, reading, or any one of a dozen other activities. --------------------------
Finally the President coughed loudly which excited laughter, broke the kissing newlyweds apart and ultimately started the music playing while the wedding party walked up the aisle. Afterwards there were at least forty formal wedding pictures taken and finally the wedding party took the white carriages to the blue room which had been set up for their very tiny invitation only reception which was only the wedding party and very close friends. However, CJ was walking to the Blue room to meet Toby at the party when she saw Danny leaned in her office doorway. She walked over and unlocked her office admitting them both. "Danny," she greeted and in the navy dress her baby mound could barely be seen where it was beginning to make its appearance, changing her body. -----------------------------
"CJ" Danny smiled, "thanks for the special credentials. That was awful nice of you. My specialty isn't in reporting for the women's pages but at the same time I can do a credible job I think." Danny closed the door behind them and walked over to her behind the desk. "So are you pretty happy there with the great stone face?" he asked and CJ realized he had been drinking. He was not drunk, but the smell of liquor was about him. She was staring at him when he reached out and ran his hand down the length of her arm. "Does he make you as happy as I might have?"
"Danny you're intoxicated," CJ pointed out calmly and she tried to move from him.
"Not yet, but hopefully soon" Danny sighed. "They're letting the champagne flow in there already and since none of you preggo's will be drinking it, I'm making up for it." He crowded her more back against the wall. "I've missed you CJ. Are you getting everything you need from that stuffed shirt? You never did let me show you how happy I could make you." He leaned in even closer, his mouth an inch from hers and she could smell the champagne on his breath.
Then his mouth came down forcefully on hers and CJ tried to struggle as he pressed her against a wall and unzipping the back of her dress he began to paw at her breasts. He muffled her voice by slamming his mouth down on hers as he continued his attentions.
"CJ are you trying to work in here when I'm trying to have a..." came Donna's plaintive voice as she opened the door, which Danny had neglected to lock behind him. "What the hell....get away from her." Donna quickly crossed the floor and grabbed Danny's arm. He froze and then panicked, flinging his arm back and knocking her back against the wall. Her head impacted with a sharp crack that left her stunned and Danny looked from her to CJ, finally realizing what he had done. His eyes wild with fear he sprinted from the room. Despite the dizziness that was quickly enveloping her, Donna took a deep breath and screamed Josh's name for all she was worth.
Josh panicked and looked around the room then he headed back towards the wing, this action brought Sam running as well. "CJ!" Josh gasped seeing her appearance and her state of being. Then he saw Donna. "Donna no!" he screamed very loudly going to her side, "Sam!" he yelped panicking and not having any idea what was going on or what to do.
"Josh get her up on the sofa" Sam directed and turned his attention to CJ who was in shock after what had been done to her and seeing what Danny had done to Donna. "Let's get you dressed back" he said softly, guiding her arms into the dress and pulling up the zipper, then taking her to the sofa where Josh was bending frantically over Donna. Sam sat CJ down and reached back on her desk for the water pitcher pouring two cups and handing one to Josh. Donna was staring hard at Josh, trying to focus and finally his face swam into view. "CJ OK?" she gasped, at the same time feeling Josh's face to get her bearings.
"She's okay sweetie, Sam's with her. Are you sure you're okay?" Josh begged. "Yeah, just a bump that shocked me, that's all. It wasn't too serious, probably just a headache and maybe a little tenderness or maybe nothing at all. I'm feeling better already. CJ's the one I'm worried about."
Meanwhile CJ was sitting stunned with Sam. She had her arms crossed over her and Sam could already seen massive dark bruises in the shape of Danny's hands appearing on her soft flesh.
"Well I'm worried about you" Josh returned, his fingers probing her hair gently to check for injury. "What the hell happened in here?" He and Sam exchanged looks. The idea of an intruder did not cross their minds given the security of where they were. "Toby, please Toby" CJ whispered finally. "I'll get him" Sam nodded. "NO" CJ almost screamed. "I don't want him to see me. I'm so sorry. So ashamed."
"What happened?" Sam asked his face full of confusion. CJ put her head in one hand and sighed. "I gave Danny a press pass. He was upset I guess and he got into the champagne and then he wanted to show me what I was missing by being with Toby so he..." CJ choked on her words and then burst into sobs.
"Sam go get Toby" Josh ordered. "But she said...." Sam protested as he held to her. "I know what she said" Josh ground out, "but she needs him right now. And tell security to see if they can stop Concannon at the gate."
Sam nodded and took CJ's hand, pressing it into Josh's who was still hovering with Donna. "Baby are you all right, you're sure? He didn't hurt the baby?" CJ continued to sob softly as Sam hurried out.
"I don't think," CJ sniffled, "he didn't get that far. I just can't believe...Donna are you sure you're all right? He caught her on accident. I know he didn't mean to hurt her."
"He didn't" Donna spoke up. "I just was grabbing his arm and he tried to shake me off him that's all. My sense of balance isn't what it used to be and I fell back. I just have a headache. But I'm sure the baby's OK." Josh breathed a long sigh of relief and gathered her close as he continued to hold CJ's hand. A minute later Toby burst through the doors. "My god what's happening?" he demanded, "Sam wouldn't tell me except that you needed me, CJ." He dropped next to her and took her hands, pulling her arms away and the red imprints which would soon be bruises leaped out at him, along with the tears on her face." "Who?" he demanded again.
"Danny," CJ answered with a sigh. "He was intoxicated, he didn't know what he was thinking..."
Toby's face turned red with anger and he looked to Josh and then Donna. "He hurt her too?" Toby gasped. "I'm OK, he just pushed me" Donna assured him. "And he won't get off the grounds" Josh told him, "Sam's told security to pick him up. Before anyone could speak further Jed was at the door, followed by Abbey and then Caroline with Leo. "Sam told us what happened," he said quietly. "I wouldn't have believed that man could do something like this." He squeezed into the now crowded office and knelt with Josh and Toby in front of CJ and Donna. "And you're both OK?" "CJ's got some bad bruising starting and Donna's got a good lump," Josh pointed out, "but nothing more thankfully." "I'm going to kill him," Toby said in his quiet voice. "You can have what's left," Josh muttered. Both Donna and CJ looked distressed at those words. "Stop both of you," Jed ordered. "No one is killing anyone. Security will pick him up and charges filed." "I want to get back to the party" Donna spoke up and turned to CJ, "if you're OK that is. I don't think we should let this jerk spoil it for us." Jed turned around to the group in the door. "What am I selling tickets here--back to the party you all. Let's leave these four to recover a few minutes."
CJ readjusted her dress and then rose, "Come on Donna. What's a bridal reception without the bride and maid of honor?" she brought a small smile to her lips. Then she helped guide Donna in her beautiful gown to her feet. The group all returned to the blue room, CJ seeing the party for the first time. The room was beautifully decorated and all of their close friends were there. CJ grabbed a glass of juice from the bar and moved to a quiet area of the room calming herself for a minute and then, as was CJ's personality, she was soon in the middle of a lively conversation with Carol and Mrs. Landingham.
Sam frowned and hung up his phone. "No sign of Danny" he said quietly to Leo. "I don't see how he could have gotten off the grounds that quick though but they're looking for him." "It would be even more scary if some kind of intruder got onto the grounds that easily" Leo sighed with a long glance at Caroline.
Josh handed Donna a tall glass of juice and walked with her out onto the wide balcony. "You might have been really hurt tonight," he said softly, needing to get his fears and feelings into the open. "And I'm not through hugging on you yet. I love you Donnatella Jolie Lyman."
"Wow that sounds so strange to hear," Donna smiled, "Donna Lyman...I'm going to have to get used to hearing that, sounds like fun." Donna snuggled closer to Josh lovingly.
"I'll get you a name tag" Josh grinned. "Actually you are going to have to have your ID badge changed." He suddenly thought of something. "Unless you're keeping Moss for your professional career. We haven't talked about any of that, or even if you're going to keep on after the baby. I can't imagine you staying home all day alone, or more to the point, away from me."
Donna smiled and laughed lightly, "There's no place I would rather be than at your side and I can't imagine not being here in the White House. This is where I want to be Josh. As for my ID badge, you're right. I'll have to get a new one." ------------------------
Meanwhile everyone was in the room enjoying the party when Danny Concannon entered. "CJ, CJ I want to say I'm very sorry," he spoke up, "I never meant to hurt you."
Toby froze, his anger building up and CJ's hand closed tightly around his in restraint. "Then why Danny?" she asked softly, staring at the man she was once close to, a man now sober enough to face up to what he had done.
"Here?" he asked gesturing to everyone present. All eyes were on them, even the presidents'. "Yes here Danny. This is as good a place as any," CJ replied calmly. "These women," Leo merely whispered to the President, amazed yet again at CJ's strength.
Movement inside the room caught Josh's eye and he drew his breath in sharply, seeing the red haired man for whom he had developed hatred in the last hour. "Danny" he whispered, gesturing.
"CJ's holding her own," Donna stroked his arm softly, "by tonight we'll be at the camp and it will all be forgotten."
"In our honeymoon cottage" he smiled. "They may not see us for the rest of the weekend." He drew her into a deep kiss. "That you chose me to love makes me the luckiest man on this planet."
"Oh I think we can spare some time to spend with our friends this weekend," Donna nudged him gently in play. "After all you've already gotten me pregnant so it would just be pleasure anyhow and my mother always told me too much of that when you had a baby could be bad for it." ---------------------------
The secret service was beginning to close about him and Jed waved them back. "We'd all like to hear what Danny has to say," he said calmly, in that voice that compelled people to do his bidding. "I want to know what made you feel you had to do that to me" CJ persisted. "I told you nothing could be between us long before Toby and I started seeing each other, and I was clear why, not that I needed to be since you knew full well."
"I love you CJ," Danny said, "and I just wanted to know, how you were doing and about the baby, if you liked your new life and then," he sighed, "everything got out of hand."
"Danny all you had to do was ask" CJ said softly. "I would have even made time to have lunch with you one day in my office and we could have talked. I told you that when I told you about Toby and I. What scares me is if Donna hadn't come in. I mean I would have been too afraid for the baby to fight you."
Danny dropped his head slightly, "I know CJ. I know and that's what bothers me the most of all, that I could have hurt your baby. You're a wonderful, strong, graceful, intelligent, beautiful woman and you're going to be a wonderful mother someday. You deserve this baby. All I can say is that I'm truly sorry...I never meant--"
"You're still a bastard" Toby spoke up, his anger not assuaged. "OK enough" CJ sighed. "Danny, you've fallen on your sword and that's all that needs to be done." She shot Toby a warning look. "Everyone of us in this room has done at least one thing in their life that they're not very proud of. Am I right?" She looked around the room for nods of confirmation. When she had received them she looked up again. "Would someone get Donna and Josh off the terrace please." ---------------------------- Leo stepped outside to where Donna and Josh were. "Better get in here, CJ requested you and I don't think at this particular time anyone wants to mess with her," Leo spoke quickly. Donna trembled slightly and held to Josh's arm as he led her back inside and they joined the group.
Danny gasped as he looked at Donna. "I think you have something to say to her as well" CJ said softly. "She's pregnant as well and you might have really hurt her too. You could have knocked her stomach against the table or something the way you threw her." Josh's protective arm went across Donna's shoulders and he stared at the man, sharing Toby's rage.
"CJ you know-" Danny began but CJ's relentless stare made him turn his attentions to Donna. "Ma'am it was never my intention that you should even have been involved in this at all. This never should have happened. When you grabbed my arm I reacted without thinking and the damage I could have caused horrifies me. I am not, nor have I ever been a violent person. I apologize and on your wedding day nonetheless." He sighed figuring that he would never again see CJ for whom he had a certain fondness. If nothing else he had hoped they could remain friends and he could admire her from afar. The rage on the faces of the two men protecting these women told him he might had better be ready to dodge a couple punches.
TO BE CONTINUED