I'm sure some of you are relieved that this is the end of this! Although actually I hope that anyone who is not interested was simply hitting delete rather than letting it bother them. But we know some were enjoying it and to those who were taking the time to read, we thank them. And a special thank you to all those who defended our right to post something that's different from the ordinary WW stories. Pres. Bartlet would approve.

Off to Camp By: Pat [SSbpMN@aol.com] and Lisa [LAB7417@aol.com]

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! Please also be aware that this includes their intimate life. While the details are left to the WW Adult list, allusions to bedroom activities are made here. These people are loving consentual adults after all. So our stories could be considered PG13, as are most movies nowadays!

From Part 9-- 

Both agents looked at Charlie wide-eyed, waiting for him to finish. "I think he means," Gina said after a minute, "that maybe that's just a chance that we have to take but that we shouldn't stop loving one another just because of the possibility of a disaster." "Well what would make you feel worse," Zoey spoke next, "knowing that you were holding the person you loved and they had been shot doing their job, or knowing that you were holding a person who had been shot and you may not ever have the chance to tell them that you still love them. I think lost opportunities is a much worse pain."

Lucas took a deep breath, gaining some appreciation for the wiseness of this young woman. He put his hands on Gina's shoulders. "I love you, and I would rather have you now, and maybe have to give you up in some fuzzy future time, than not to have you at all. If nothing else, I would die happy, knowing that you love me"

"Off to Camp" Part 10-- 

Gina sniffled and began to cry again, curled against him. "I love you," she whispered. Zoey sighed, "I think it's going to be okay now. Meanwhile I worked up more of an appetite." She went over to the buffet and got more to eat. "So then he asks me 'did I really assign something this long and boring'?" CJ recited a story from her college days and everyone burst into laughter at that table. "I used to think I wanted to teach at a university" Josh said thoughtfully, hearing CJ's story and laughing heartily. "I still may when the Bartlet administration draws to a close in six years."

Lucas put long arms around Gina. "Are we back then?" his voice was teasing but the concern was there. "I think we may have broken up for about five minutes there. You honestly had me thinking, but I've come to my senses. I don't want to live my life in fear of what might happen; and in fact I don't want to live my life without you in it."

CJ sighed, "That's depressing, Josh you're not supposed to depress people at a party. I don't want to think about us all splitting up and not seeing each other in six years."

"I don't know Lucas..." Gina hesitated, "Yes, yes we're back together." she finally answered and then she kissed him.

"Thank you" Lucas gasped, "what a relief. I just saw the best thing I've ever had in my life evaporating and I was afraid--more afraid than I was when I was choking in fact."

"Yes thank you" Donna said firmly, pinching the back of Josh's hand. "Maybe one of us should run for president. We could have a whole other eight years. CJ you'd be good at it. Or Leo?" "Money" Josh sighed, "in our country it takes money, though Leo seems to be pretty well..." "What's Leo got?" Leo asked as he returned from the buffet table, "besides heartburn from the chili dip?"

"I don't want to see this group of people split up in six years, we need to come up with a good way to keep that from happening," CJ spoke up, "it will be the worst thing that's ever happened to me if I lose close touch with any of you." "Oh don't even mention it," Caroline said getting teary-eyed. Even Abbey looked upset at the thought.

"We could get a constitutional amendment passed to throw out term limits and then Jed can run for a third term" Toby said, not totally in kidding. He then put his arm around CJ. "No one said anything about losing touch" he said softly. "Maybe we'll open up one huge law practice--like DC needs another one." "There's always a lobbyist outfit or some kind of research'' Josh offered. "Well we don't have to decide today" Sam spoke up. "It's enough that we resolve we want to stay together." "You and I will be married in six years" Tucker whispered to Chloe, hearing the conversation, "probably with a little boy and a baby daughter."

Chloe smiled, "that seems totally weird. Definitely great though. I can't even imagine." She kissed Tucker, "I love you and it's going to be great to get to celebrate my sixteenth birthday with you." "Yes we should all stay together," Caroline decided.

"Sounds like a plan to me" Josh smiled. "Of course CJ, Toby--Donna and I are practically living with you guys."

"Your birthday is going to be one of the highlights of your life" Tucker promised. "First our celebration and then the party at the White House, with press coverage likely."

"True and Leo's not far away for now, but I don't want anyone getting any ideas," CJ answered.

"What? Party at the White House? Tucker what are you talking about?" Chloe asked confused and curious.

"Your mom told me I could surprise you" Tucker grinned. "Mrs. Bartlet invited her to have a birthday dinner in the Blue Room for you on Sunday. I think. Of course that's secondary to our own celebration on Friday night." He leaned over and kissed her. "Going to be a big weekend, and then the weekend after your mom and Leo's wedding. Are we--or you--going to sing then? I really liked singing with you this morning by the way. It was like I was telling you how much I love you in music."

"We need a pact that no one is ever leaving DC" Donna said quietly, and then suddenly the tears came. "Donna" Leo tried to warn her, but it was too late. "I don't want anyone going anywhere" Mallory wailed.

"What's she crying for she's not pregnant," CJ spoke of Mallory, "well at least not that she'll admit."

"Oh that sounds wonderful," Chloe smiled a buzz of excitement, "yes I'm going to sing at mom and dad's wedding. Would you sing with me? I'm supposed to do 'Love will find a way' and 'Because you loved me' I think. Oh also Ave Maria but that's my gift to my mother..."

"I'd follow you to Antarctica like Mulder did Scully" Tucker grinned, ''so of course I'll sing with you. Hey that means getting together to practice. What a shame--I'll have to bear up somehow."

"Mallory stop crying" Sam smiled tolerantly, handing her a napkin. "She's having sympathy hormones." "Right" Donna smiled.

Chloe laughed and then suddenly lost her balance and fell backwards off the bench she was sitting on. This made her laugh harder. She managed to get back up. "You're too funny," she told Tucker, still giggling.

"Okay I'm pre-pre-....pregnant, there I've said it," Mallory finally choked out nervously and then buried her face against Sam and continued weeping.

"Hey it's nothing to cry about" Josh said quickly, squeezing her hand. "We're thrilled for you, all of us. And it's OK to cry. Donna has shed enough water in a month to launch a battleship."

Tucker quickly helped her back onto her chair. "It's going to be fun. Maybe Leo will let me play that beautiful piano he has. I'm very rusty, but I don't think it's something you forget."

"Congratulations Mallory," Jed was the first to offer and Abbey immediately echoed his sentiments. "Welcome to the club," CJ said warmly.

"You play too?" Chloe asked, "wow, we really do have a lot in common! I play also...I'm sure Leo would let you use the grand, so long as you're careful with it. What kinds of things do you play?"

'Music" Tucker smiled. "All kinds. Show tunes, classical, country, gospel, hymns, some pop. I just like music. If my ambition to be a doctor wasn't so overwhelming, I'd probably do something with music. What I was wondering was if you'd like to sing while I played for one."

"You're carrying my step grandchild" Caroline smiled, "and I'm so pleased. Leo used to tell me about his wonderful daughter and I'm so pleased to know you, and to be part of your family."

"We can do that for 'Because you Loved me' since it's not a duet and then sing 'Love will find a way together. You're more than welcome to play Ave Maria if you can." Chloe looked at him with admiration.

Mallory smiled back, "thank-you, I'm happy that you're a part of my family and that you make my father so happy. It's also pretty nice to have Chloe and the twins around as well. I'm counting on you to quell my fears, all of you, since you have more experience than I."

"We'll all help you Mallory" Abbey assured her, "though back when I was pregnant, drinking was allowed. Which might explain....." She laughed and gestured to where Zoey was now laughing hysterically with Gina and the guys.

"If it's got sheet music I can play it, at least after a fashion" Tucker assured her. "But I will need some practice. It's been a long time. If I had suggested in County that I could play piano and sing...well I had enough to defend thank you."

Chloe sighed and picked at her food from there on out until finally she left the table and went to a nearby couch to curl up and look at the lake out the window.

"I hardly think there's anything wrong with Zoey," Donna returned, "I think you just got lucky...it's too risky now with all that we know and that's why I'm going to have no alcohol for the duration of my pregnancy, for the baby's sake." CJ nodded her agreement.

"I can't believe it's almost time to leave. We've been having so much fun I was hoping it wouldn't end," Zoey commented.

Mallory excused herself and went to sit with Chloe. "Hey little sister" she said softly. "We haven't had much time to talk. You and Tucker are so good together. And no, I don't think it's some teen age thing. I've seen those before--hell I had about twenty of them; but this is so obviously different."

"No reason you and Charlie, and me and Lucas, can't come up here for a week sometime" Gina smiled to Zoey. "In fact that would be great I think. A week away from DC. Lots of good food and fresh air--good for you getting your strength back. Of course it wouldn't be the same without everyone but it could still be fun. What's great of course is how secure it is. Lucas and I can relax some too."

Chloe smiled and looked hopefully at her, "You don't think it is either? That's wonderful." she sighed then, "yes I'm sitting over here all alone because I'm having a problem. Tucker, well...he went to a county home for a while last year. He didn't do anything but he was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Anyhow, I've accepted that and it doesn't really bother me except he mentions it all the time and I...I guess I'm afraid to react because I don't know how to react and I don't want to hurt him. I love him too much."

"You two could use that!" Zoey replied laughing.

"Sweetie I think he mentions it because it had a profound effect on him" Mallory said thoughtfully. "He screwed up bad once and he doesn't want to repeat it. Plus it may be his way of dealing with the experiences he had there. Healthier for him to talk than shut down about it. Maybe he had a bad experience there he'd like to let you know about and is afraid to tell you."

"I wouldn't mind" Lucas admitted, drawing Gina into a huge hug. "This is nothing like being in DC. That reminds me Charlie, when you start your classes I'm going to not just watch you but I'm going to be taking them along with you. I dropped out of college after my freshman year and did a stint with the Marines, and now I want those credits that I missed out on."

"Oh no, you don't think..." Chloe began, "well then what do I do to help him?"

Gina smiled admiringly. "Way to go Lucas! Let me tell you the math ones stink!" Zoey put in.

"That's one of the things that drove me away the first time" Lucas smiled. "That and being an eighteen year old kid who watched a big country invade a small one in the desert and decide I wanted to be part of the force that stopped them."

"I wouldn't do anything" Mallory advised, "except be there for him. He may someday want to tell you what he experienced there and then you'll get your chance to listen, but even then you can't do anything but let him talk."

Chloe sighed, "Do you think? Do you think I can handle this Mallory? I don't want to lose him and I worry a lot that I might do something immature and end the whole thing and that's one of my worst fears because I love him so much it hurts sometimes." "Well just pretend that math is something that also has to be conquered and defeated," Gina encouraged and Zoey nodded. "We can do it together," Charlie offered with a smile.

"And I'm always glad to help" Gina smiled. "The Marines helped me get my degree. Gave me duty time to go to class and the money of course. I wouldn't have without that for sure. My parents were.....never mind" she shook her head, "except to say they were no help at all."

Mallory laughed and ruffled Chloe's curls. "My dear, that man is like gum on your shoe. You are never going to get rid of him. He's hopelessly in love with you. Lose him? Not in this lifetime."

"Start wrapping it up" Leo called. "Choppers are sixty out."

Chloe hugged Mallory gleefully. "Thanks, you're the best big sister anyone could ask for. I love you much Mallory." They heard Leo's announcement then and everyone began to make sure their luggage was together. Soon they were all loaded onto the choppers and their weekend at camp was concluded. 

THE END

 

 

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