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!
From Part 1--
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.
"Off to Camp" Part 2--
At that moment both Josh and Toby stepped forward. "OK that's enough right there" Jed spoke up, and moved between his friends and Danny. "There will not be fighting in my home, and certainly not two against one. You two should be ashamed of even considering it." He looked to Danny then. "Take out your press pass please." Danny frowned but removed the card admitting him to the White House from his wallet. "OK, now offer that to CJ. Your fate is in her hands. And I'm not even going to get involved in whether she presses charges, but if she does you're looking at hard time--assault on a federal employee on federal property."
Danny stood before CJ and offered her his badge. She took it from his hand and looked at it before handing it back. "This has nothing to do with the way you do your job. You are a good reporter. Today was a mistake and I won't compound it by taking action. Think very hard about your actions Danny, everyone should." She looked at Danny for a long minute and then walked over towards the buffet. "Come on everyone, it's time for the bride and groom to cut the cake!"
Donna smiled and quickly followed CJ, leaving Danny with Toby and Josh. "You're a very lucky man" Toby said quietly. "My wife has more integrity than I do." "Same" Josh put in, "and if you step out of line around either of them again, there won't be enough left of you for prison." Josh tugged at Toby's arm then. "Come on, lets join our wives. This is over. For now." Danny somberly put his wallet back in his pants pocket, watching them for a long minute. "That could have been me" he said to himself as he saw Toby put his arms across CJ from the back, his hands resting on the barely protruding stomach. Finally he turned and under the escort of a WH police officer, left the building.
Champagne and sparkling apple cider was being poured around the cake. "A toast" the president declared. "To Josh and Donna Lyman. Good friends, good people to work with, without whom I could not accomplish much of what I do. And so much in love, going back to the campaign days. I'm glad they finally came to realize what was in front of them all along." He held up his glass and the others joined him, everyone rising.
Donna smiled and laughed delightedly like the giddy bride she was. With all of their friends gathered around them they accepted the toast and everyone drank. Then they watched them cut the cake and soon everyone was eating. This was quickly followed by the announcement of the first dance. 'From this Moment' by Shania Twain came on as Josh and Donna took to the floor. As soon as the next song started Tucker and Chloe were on the floor as well, waltzing just like Josh and Donna and with Chloe's fluffy blue gown on she almost looked like a bride herself, her head tenderly laid against Tucker's shoulder during the following song when they merely slow danced.
"You're going to make a beautiful bride yourself someday" Tucker whispered, kissing her cheek lightly. "I just hope I'm the groom you picture yourself with."
Chloe smiled, "Wouldn't that be incredible, our wedding, with all of our friends there. I love you Tucker."
"It's a dream I'm going to make come true for us" Tucker vowed. "I love you Chloe and I want to spend my life with you."
Chloe lifted her head and kissed Tucker lovingly as they danced. "I love you Tucker Seaborn. I love you and I have a feeling I'm meant to love you for the rest of my life." She danced with him as her eyes sparkled.
"I think we were meant to be together. Fate, karma, pre-destination whatever. I like to think of it as God's plan" Tucker smiled and returned her kiss, this time under Caroline's watchful eye. "How's your mom with all this? She's taken notice of us at the moment. Maybe we should give her something to really see." He grinned mischievously and dipped her nearly to the floor, kissing her lips and then her throat.
In the company of friends, Lucas quietly slipped his arms around Gina much as Toby was doing to CJ and Jed caught his eye and smiled.
Meanwhile Gina looked to Lucas, "Seeing as this is the new millennium, would you like to dance Lucas?" she asked offering him her hand.
"Since I trust you with my life I certainly would accept a dance offer from you" Lucas smiled and taking her hand let her lead him to the floor. "Any excuse to be in your arms. Someday I'll let myself get shot so you can hold me."
"You'd better not!" Gina protested, "I'll hold you without you having to go to those lengths!"
"I'm holding you to that" Lucas whispered, "especially next week in Atlantic City. We have reservations at the Ritz Atlantic, twenty fifth floor, ocean view with balcony." He stopped and looked embarrassed. "It's a single room, king size bed. OK?"
"Sounds wonderful," Gina smiled, "I have dibs on three-quarters of the closet space." she teased. "I can't wait Lucas. I'm pretty excited about having my first adult vacation."
"Our turn Charlie" Zoey said firmly. "I didn't get all dressed up just to sit here, much as I enjoy sitting with you."
"Zoey I really don't think you should..." Charlie protested concerned. "Look in a few months I'll be too big to do anything anyhow so why don't you just let me enjoy myself now," Zoey returned with a sigh.
"Good point" Charlie nodded. "I love you Zoey and I'm just concerned about you is all. I'm glad you're starting to be able to be up and around. Let's try this again. Zoey Abigail Young will you honor me with a dance?"
Zoey smiled, "Why Charlie, my darling husband, I'd be delighted." she replied and then couldn't help but laugh giddily. "It still feels kind of strange to think of myself as married. I'm loving it though and I certainly haven't had any complaints thus far."
Sam took Mallory away from the buffet table and out on to the dance floor. "Let's do this while I can still get my arms around you" he teased his rail thin fiancée, "plus they're not serving salsa and oreos tonight."
Mallory intentionally stepped on Sam's foot. "Oops...bad step." she smiled as they twirled onto the floor.
"Leo I think you're right" Caroline sighed, "parenting is for much younger people."
Leo smiled, "Are you having trouble watching your oldest daughter grow up? You know it had to happen. Tucker takes very good care of her and with Sam and us being such good friends the communication lines are always open."
"It's hard" Caroline admitted, "but I have the twins and this one to look forward to." She patted her stomach and his hand fell on top of hers. "If we do it right, we could get two in before Chloe makes us grandparents." She watched as Tucker kissed her daughter deeply again. "Or maybe not. Leo you don't think they're already....do you?"
"She's taking it great I think," Chloe answered with a smile, "she always asks how you are and she talks to you like you were a member of the family. She treats us really well. I think she's gotten fairly used to the idea."
"I know, but she still thinks of me as taking her first born away" Tucker sighed. "I love her to death you know. My own folks---well you know that story about not having time for me and having me late and all. Our children will be born when we're plenty young enough to enjoy them."
Chloe smiled, "You're already on kids?!" she laughed lightly, "maybe we'd better just work at the marriage part first love. After all we're not even old enough to vote yet."
"It's seeing all this family around me," Tucker admitted with a smile. "Makes me want my own, to do better by than my folks did."
Chloe smiled, "Well my family loves me but I know I want a family with you whenever we're married. I'm saying right out of high school. Although a baby would make going to college very difficult for me..." Chloe sighed, "maybe I'll take a year off and work at the White House."
"If I take a year off I'll look like a grandfather by the time I'm out of med school" Tucker sighed. "And that's what I want I think. College and med. school right here in DC and then I want to do trauma at DC General, right in the action." He kissed her again. "And of course I want to be with you. Babies are not a necessity, at least not right away. But being with you is." He lowered his voice then. "We're going to share the bed, or sleeping bag or whatever, at Camp David this weekend right?"
"You bet," Chloe returned with a smile as she kissed him again, "and it's not like a campgrounds Tucker. They have beds there..." Chloe laughed, "I think."
"If you want to know that sort of thing Caroline you'll have to ask your daughter," Leo replied diplomatically.
"I guess so" Caroline sighed, "but I'm afraid of the answer. Yet I know Tucker would never hurt her. That's very obvious."
Leo smiled, if Caroline only knew. He still hoped that Chloe would talk to her mother but he had seen evidence of why she was so reluctant. "I mean if she got pregnant right now..." Caroline began softly.
"If she got pregnant right now we would take care of her and her baby welcomed into our family" Leo finished for her. "It's not what I'd want for her, but it's not the end of the world. At least we have the resources to manage something like that. Not like we'd be dependent on taxpayer money."
"Yes I suppose so," Caroline sighed, "now my mind is just a going. I suppose I shouldn't worry but that would be just like a boy to take advantage of a beautiful girl like Chloe.
"If she was seeing anyone but Tucker I would be concerned" Leo sighed, "but she's seeing someone who cares deeply for her. Even loves her in the best way kids that age can. He's not going to let anything hurt her. Not even himself. Besides she's not going to let him take anything she's not willing to give. She's going to be sixteen in a few days. In the last century sixteen was a common age to be married and starting a family. At twenty one you'd be considered a spinster."
"Yes well," Caroline sighed, "I suppose if it happens it happens and I'll love them all the same but I hope that they don't intentionally set out to start a family. Anyhow, I suppose we'll cross that bridge if we come to it in the meantime let's enjoy this evening. I'm dancing in the arms of my extremely handsome fiancée and all I can do is complain and worry about our daughter."
"You're a mother, and I love you for that" Leo assured her. "You're warm and caring and compassionate and that's what makes you the woman I love. Of course you're concerned about her, as am I. But as a father who raised a daughter through the teenage years, let me assure you that we'll both survive it somehow."
The orchestra struck another romantic song and Josh took Donna onto the floor. "Happy Mrs. Lyman?" he whispered, "because I'm ecstatic right now thank you, and in a few hours I'll be making love to you for the first time as my wife"
Donna smiled, "That sounds so very nice. I'm happier than I ever thought I could be." She kissed Josh lovingly. "My husband."
"And baby makes three--or four" Josh added happily, stroking her stomach and then pulling away startled. "You are getting a bit of a pouch there Mrs. Probably Pregnant With Twins.
"I don't think that's necessarily baby. I think it's fat, after all I'm just two months and a week but yeah..." Donna smiled, "If it's twins I'll get larger than most. That's why I wanted to marry you while I could still wear a beautiful gown."
"Fat or baby--it's cute" Josh smiled, "and you are beautiful. Hey you know we're choppering up there. You're not going to be ill on me are you?"
"A helicopter?" Donna raised her brows, "I'll bring a bag just in case and someone remind CJ to get one. She may never have needed one before, but she wasn't pregnant before either."
"Yeah they decided the weather cleared enough to use the choppers" Josh nodded, "you know the secret service likes that better than the motorcade thing. I mentioned we were hauling pregnant women but they weren't impressed. Airsick bags will be provided."
"Looks like we're going to spend this weekend bunking together again" Lucas grinned. "They gave us a little room right off Charlie and Zoey's. I understand there's a screen between the beds for privacy. I don't think privacy is going to be a concern as long as the door locks."
"Think we can lay the screen under the mattresses to keep the box springs together and make a king?" Gina replied with a smile. "If the door doesn't lock we'll just make sure Charlie and Zoey know how to knock."
"Sounds like a plan" Lucas grinned. "I just know I sleep well with you and my insomnia kicks in without you."
The dancing continued on into the early afternoon and then they loaded up to head for Camp David. The ladies had fun getting changed out of their dresses and then they all appeared in the same blue sundress and loaded into the helicopters. "I don't know what this bag is for I don't get--" CJ said and then suddenly she was mildly ill, "airsick" fortunately it wasn't enough to really effect her but it proved Donna's earlier point.
Four Navy choppers were lined up on the south lawn. With a little jockeying everyone was distributed and the choppers took off into the starry DC night. "I thought they said the weather had cleared" Josh fretted as the chopper hit its first turbulence. "If this keeps up I'm going to need one of those bags" Toby agreed. "I wish I'd known this before that last meatball."
"Don't," CJ cautioned, urging them not to mention food. Then women all curled up against the love of their life and Caroline made sure the twins were strapped into their car seats well. The flight was a little bumpy but nothing unusual.
The choppers landed in perfect formation on the pads at Camp David. "OK CJ, Donna you can open your eyes now" Josh laughed, giddy with relief. "We're here finally." Jed bounded from the lead chopper, his usual jubilant self. "Hey what a great trip" he enthused as he turned around and helped Abbey down. Charlie hit the ground and reached back for Zoey, taking her into his arms at her first step. "I'll walk in" she said firmly. "OK thirty minutes to unpack and if anyone wants to change into something more comfortable" Jed announced, "then midnight breakfast will be served. Bacon, eggs, pancakes in the great room off the kitchen." He looked to Donna and Josh. "Of course the newlyweds may want to retire right away."
"No way I'm starved," Donna replied with a smile. Then she looked to Josh, "We're eating breakfast right sweetie? I've never had a midnight breakfast before."
"Midnight breakfast in your PJ's" CJ added and the others smiled thankfully for the most part. CJ changed into her silver with black pinstripes satin drawstring shorts and her black, with silver trim, nightshirt once they had reached their rooms.
Donna dressed in a white satin gown that could have just as easily been worn to a prom. The top and bottom hems were trimmed in white feathers, the confection had spaghetti straps and trained slightly in the back and she had a matching white boa to accompany it.
"Gina dear are we donning sleeping attire to the breakfast love" Lucas called in his best Thurston Howell voice.
"Yes," Gina replied appearing in a beautiful sea green silk pajama set with shorts and a top with spaghetti straps.
Lucas's pajamas were so dark blue they were almost black and provided a nice contrast to hers. "You're beautiful" he smiled and stood blocking the doorway. You're not getting away from this room without this though." He held his arms to her and when she reached him he kissed her passionately, his hands sliding down her bare back.
Gina wrapped her arms around Lucas and kissed him passionately. "I love you Lucas, now can we go to breakfast?"
"I guess I can take you to breakfast after that love you" Lucas teased, "but next time let's try for one that doesn't involve holding food over your head."
"Oh Lucas, you know how I am when I'm hungry," Gina laughed, "besides after you feed me I might be more cuddly." She snuggled against him for the walk over.
"Zoey do you need any help?" Charlie called to her anxiously as she was holed up in the bathroom.
"Yeah I'm finished now and I think I'll wear out if I do anymore walking..." Zoey called back calmly. She was beginning to resign herself to allowing Charlie to care for her much more now. She was dressed in kitty cat pajamas, cats chasing mice and cheese on a soft pink background.
"Then it's just a question of my arms or your chair" Charlie said easily. "I'll never get tired of carrying you. I love you remember?"
Zoey smiled, "I know and if you can manage to carry me I think that would be the most fun way to travel."
"I could do this all day" Charlie assured her, lifting her easily into his strong arms and she hooked her arms around his neck laying her head on his shoulder. "Love you Zoey Young" he whispered, putting his lips to hers as they walked out the door.
They kissed until they had to stop so Charlie could see where he was going and they talked the rest of the way.
"Leo you go ahead" Caroline sighed, standing between the cribs provided for the twins and helping them to settle. "We can't take them. They're exhausted and I can't leave them here alone."
Leo brought a woman into the room. "This is Anna, she the camp secretary and she has volunteered to sit with the babies tonight until we want to come back," Leo introduced her. "I have a one year old at home and I promise I'll take the best care of them," Anna offered with a comforting smile.
"Oh bless you" Caroline actually sniffled her gratitude, not wanting to be left out. "Please make yourself home and I'm sure they'll sleep. They're totally exhausted."
"Now come along," Leo put his arm around her back and Carolyn walked with him in her coral crepe pajamas to the breakfast room.
Charlie and Zoey arrived first though all of the cabins were close so that no one would feel too isolated. They were quickly followed by Lucas and Gina, curled together. Leo and Caroline were next and CJ and Toby were in the door right behind them. Tucker was next with Chloe riding piggy-back on him and both of them laughing delightedly. Finally Josh and Donna made it to the breakfast room and everyone was present. "And now we eat!" Jed pronounced. "Seconded!" Josh joked and everyone laughed.
The Navy stewards began dishing up serving trays of breakfast food and everyone relaxed, enjoying the warmth and the friendship. "I'm still marveling at what Danny did tonight" Toby said softly, eyeing the marks that showed where CJ's pajamas didn't cover. "He'd been drinking" Donna sighed. "Not an excuse but certainly the cause."
CJ lowered her head and noticed the horrible marks on her chest. She wished that she and Danny had been able to speak like she wanted to. She sighed and returned to her breakfast plate which, like Donna's, was piled pretty high. "I'm just thankful you're alright," she told Donna.
"Well it could have been a lot worse, for both of us" Donna sighed. "Hey you really wanted to talk to him didn't you? But it's better that things cool down first. When we come back pick a day when Toby is off doing whatever it is they do when they disappear and invite Danny for a pizza in your office."
CJ nodded, "That's a good idea Donna. Thank-you for the suggestion." she ate in silence for a few minutes, "Won't it be nice that the painters will be finished when we get back. Then we can furnish our new home."
"Oh yeah" Donna smiled at the thought. "Josh has been packing up his books and things like that. I don't have much since the fire--haven't accumulated back a bunch of stuff."
Zoey and Charlie, with Lucas and Gina, were comfortably seated at one small table, the group of four in friendship that they had become. "They gave you guys the little bedroom off ours" Charlie laughed. "Did you notice the sleeping arrangements?" "Only temporary" Lucas growled, keeping his voice down. When they got up to refill all four plates, Zoey leaned over to Gina. "You want to share if you and that gorgeous male agent are you know...how can I put this....uh...doing it?"
TO BE CONTINUED