The god of writing known as Aaron Sorkin, and his cohorts at Warner Bros. and NBC own the characters. I'm just taking them out for a spin in a rented limo.
This is pure goofiness, plain and simple. It shouldn't even qualify as good fic, because just about every cliché, bad word, etc., is included. Just read and laugh (or cry), and I shalt be happy. ;-)
Mucho gracias to AJ for all of her help in this. This fic wouldn't be here without her!
Category: Pick one - it could fit under general, romance, angst, or humor
Rating: R for language and sexuality
Spoilers: minor "Let Bartlet Be Bartlet" references
Pairings: Jed/Abbey Archive: Yes, if you have to. But ask permission first!
Feedback: To BeckyAnneA@aol.com or on the lists.
Summary: The White House goes to hell in a handbasket, starting with the plumbing.
by Rebecca A. Anderson
"I'm in bed with a beautiful brown-eyed lady."
"It damn well better be Abbey or I'll skin you myself," Leo threatened. "Look, we've got a situation with the workmen. They claim to have seen a ghost in the rose garden, which is absolutely absurd."
"They saw a ghost in the rose garden?" Jed repeated.
"Yes, they saw what they *claim* was a ghost in the rose garden."
"Ghost?" Abbey said, remembering her daughter's dream.
"I'll be right there, Leo," Jed said with a sigh, hanging up the phone and pulling on his suit pants from the day before.
"I'm coming, too," Abbey said, throwing on a wool suit and her coat.
"Jed, please -- if there is a ghost, I'm the one with the most paranormal experiences. The most ESP, if you will."
"The most bullshit is more like it," Jed said, pulling on his coat.
"That's it," Abbey growled, grabbing her husband by the ear and dragging him out of the hotel room to where the Secret Service agents were congregated.
"Will everyone that is not the head of maintenance please shut up?" Jed ordered, trying to make sense of the many voices shouting at him.
When the noise only got louder, Jed nodded at Abbey, who put her fingers in the corners of her mouth and let out a ear-piercing whistle that made everyone cover their ears in pain.
"Thank you, Abbey," Jed said sweetly. "Now, what the hell is going on?"
Immediately all of the voiced picked up again.
"One at a time, or she'll whistle again." Jed said, then turned to the head of maintenance. "Bill?"
"Mr. President, I went out this morning to start digging up the outlying corner of the garden when I saw this woman in the middle of the flowers. Now, I know Mrs. B goes out there sometimes, so I didn't think anything of it, just started to dig in the corner. Next thing I know, the whole damn scooper flipped, and the woman turned to look at me. SHE WAS GLARING AT ME, AND DISAPPEARED!!!" Bill said, very shaken.
"What did she look like?" Abbey asked in curiosity.
"Umm... She was kind of chubby, had darkish hair, was wearing a turbanish hat thingie with some huge feathers sticking out, and this dark grey dress with a white collar and cuffs," Bill reported.
"Oh my God." Abbey muttered.
"What?" Jed turned to her.
"Jed, have you been in the Portrait Gallery lately?" she asked, holding a hand to her heart, trying to steady its uneven beat.
"No, I haven't. Why?"
"We got a portrait of Dolley Madison off the Sothesby's auction last month, remember?"
"In that portrait, she looks exactly the way Bill is describing the woman!"
"What are you getting at Abbey?"
"It was always rumored that she haunted the rose garden."
"Now don't start all this supernatural bullshit again, Abigail," Jed scolded.
"It isn't bullshit, Josiah."
The workmen were more than a little uncomfortable, seeing the First Couple bickering like small children, but they held their tongues.
Which was more than could be said of either Jed or Abbey.
"Ghosts are hallucinations," Jed said.
"No, they're manifestations of psychic energy, coming into contact with the corporeal plane of reality that we live on," Abbey snarled.
"Bullshit. Plain and simply, bullshit."
"Exactly what you are full of, dear."
"I'm rubber and you're glue. Whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you," Jed taunted.
The senior staff groaned. They hadn't seen their First Family acting so immature since.... Well, since never!
"Josiah, I'll call your mother and tell her all about your bill to cut funding to the Bingo Alliance of the United States of America," Abbey grinned.
"You wouldn't." Jed said incredulously.
"I will, unless you promise to take this seriously! An angry spirit is a deadly thing, Jed," Abbey said.
"Says me? Says anyone who knows, Jed! Remember, you yourself watched me almost die when I was possessed by the ghost of some poor slave who died on these lands hundreds of years ago!" Abbey cried, oblivious to the stares of horror that her statement had evoked.
"You were just messing around then, and you are now, too."
"Jed... do you want to sleep on the floor?"
"I was not messing around. Josiah, I was so close to dying then. And you know it."
"I know no such thing, other than you are fuller than shit right now."
"Fine, dear. It's time for the ouija board," Abbey declared.
"Oh shit, not again," Toby moaned, burying his head in his hands.
"Excuse me?" Abbey glared in a new direction... Toby's.
"Nothing, Ma'am. I can't wait."
"That's better," she said. "CJ, please go get my ouija board out of my safe. You know the combination."
"I don't even know the combination to your safe!" Jed yelled. "And you told CJ?!"
"Yes, yes I did." Abbey smiled.
"That wasn't a compliment."
"It sure as hell wasn't an insult," Abbey grinned as CJ left the room.
"Fine -- if we have to do this stupid ouija thing, let's at least get the crew out of the residence while we do it," Jed snapped.
Ten minutes later, Jed, Abbey, and the senior staff were sitting in a circle around the ouija board, which was in the middle of the floor in the living room of the residence. "Everybody put a finger on the pointer," Abbey instructed. "Nobody force it to move."
"Now, who has a question to ask? A warm up one."
"I do." Jed smiled.
"You? You who don't believe?"
"Yes. My question is this, what will our baby be?"
"Jed," Abbey sighed, rolling her eyes, "you are terrible."
"I get it from my wife."
"Look," Sam said," if I'm gonna have to do this again, I'd rather hurry and get it over with already."
"Fine," Abbey said. "Channel all of your thoughts to the pointer."
Jed snerked as he intentionally used his finger to move the pointer to the "B", then the "O", then the "Y". "JOSIAH THOMAS BARTLET!!" Abbey shrieked. "YOU MOVED IT ON PURPOSE!!"
"Did not," he grinned.
"Yes, you did!"
"Oh, fine, I did."
"Well, now that you've admitted it...." Abbey sighed. "Okay, everyone, concentrate on the pointer, and ask the question 'Is there a presence here?' in your minds." Everyone did as Abbey asked.
"Great -- I feel like a total loser," Toby muttered, only to be elbowed by Leo and CJ.
"No talking." Abbey said quietly.
An hour passed, with no movement from the pointer. "I guess you all can leave," Abbey said quietly, standing up with tears in her eyes. Her last chance to prove herself had failed.
Everyone else let out pent-up breaths, and shifted their weight, readying to get up when the pointer suddenly shot to the word "YES".
"Abbey, look," CJ said, shock evident in her voice.
"It's moving." Sam said.
"Oh my God," Josh and Leo breathed at the same moment.
"Abbey, did you rig this thing?" Jed asked.
"Wow," Toby muttered, clearly in total shock.
"Why would I do something like that?" Abbey shot back.
"To make me think this bullshit actually works."
"Jed, I give you my word as the mother of your children that I didn't rig it," Abbey swore. Kneeling on the floor, she whispered, "Who are you?" The pointer shot around the board until "DOROTHEA PAYNE TODD MADISON" had been spelled out.
"You were right, Mrs. Bartlet," Josh breathed.
"Mrs. Madison, are you angry?" Abbey asked quietly.
The shuttle shot to "YES".
DIGGING UP MY GARDEN.
"But it's our garden now," Abbey patiently said.
MY ROSE GARDEN.
"It's the garden owned by the God damn United States of America," Jed said loudly. "Abbey, this is bullshit."
The pointer flew around, spelling, YOU ARE PRESIDENT?
"No, I'm the goddamn Queen of England," Jed ground out.
ENGLAND IS EVIL. ARE YOU PRESIDENT?
"Yes, I'm President."
"2000," Leo said.
MY ROSES ARE STILL ALIVE?
"Some are," Abbey conceded.
WHY ARE YOU DIGGING UP MY GARDEN?
"To make the toilets work for Abbey here," Sam quipped snidely.
"Chamber pots," Josh interjected. "With flushing mechanisms."
I UNDERSTAND NOW.
Even Jed had become mesmerized by the fluid movements of the shuttle around the board by that point, and they had all sat back down on the floor, barring Toby, who had moved onto the couch because of his bad back.
"Mrs. Madison," Abbey said gently, "to repair our pipes here in the White House, we have to dig up the roses to re-lay the pipes."
BUT MY FLOWERS....
"We can protect your roses," CJ said. "We can move them into pots until they've relaid the piping."
YOU WOULD DO THAT?
"Do we look like friend or foe?" Leo asked.
FRIEND. HE IS PRESIDENT. HE MUST BE A FRIEND.
"Then know that we'll do everything in our power to make this work," Abbey murmured. "I love your roses, Dolley."
DO NOT CALL ME THAT.
"Why not?" she asked gently. The edges of her vision blurred and she felt something enter her body, a spirit not unlike the one that had tried to kill her not that many months before, only decidedly more friendly. She let the spirit into her body willingly, giving her control.
Jed watched his wife in alarm. "Abbey?" he called, shaking her arm.
"Dorothea," came the clipped reply. "Please tell me why your toilets require pipes to go through my garden."
"We have nowhere else to put them," CJ said gently. She was used to this part of the seance. She was always with Abbey when possession occurred. Except the last time.
"The White House sits on many acres of land, surely you can find a place," Dolley said through Abbey.
"There is less room on the grounds now than there was in your time, Mrs. Madison," Leo interjected. He had no doubt in his mind that Abbey was truly being controlled by the spirit of the late Dolley Madison.
"How will you preserve my roses?" she asked.
"We can get pots to put them in until the pipes are in and we can get the garden replanted," CJ said.
"How long will that take?"
"Less than a week," Jed finally said, only at the urging looks of his colleagues.
"That is acceptable. I thank you for talking to me, Monsieur Presidente," Dolley said, using Abbey's body to bow low to the floor. And then Abbey was in a crumpled heap on the floor. But a wispy form remained nearby -- a woman not unlike the portrait of Dolley Madison in the Portrait Gallery. And then she, too, disappeared.
"Abbey, wake up," Jed called worriedly, slapping his wife's cheeks.
"Huh... what?" Abbey mumbled.
"Abbey, honey, wake up," Jed said.
"I'm awake, I'm.... oh, god my head hurts," Abbey wailed, sinking back into her husband's lap.
"I'd imagine." Jed grinned.
"Wha... what happened?" Abbey asked in a choked whisper. Her throat was dry, her lips cracking suddenly, almost as though she had been a very old woman for a time.
"Hell if I know." Jed said, picking her up to her feet.
"You were spoken through," CJ said, awe in her voice.
"Whatever it was that was moving the pointer moved into you," Leo said grimly.
"I still say you staged it. For my benefit." Jed said.
"The last thing I remember is the pointer stopping," Abbey confessed, looking certifiably confused. "What did she say?"
"Don't worry about none of that. Right now, we're going to get you to bed." Jed said.
"Any of that," Abbey corrected sternly. "Jed, I want to know. NOW."
"I will tell you later." Jed said just as stern. "NOW, I'm taking you to bed."
"Jed, you'd better tell her," CJ warned.
"No, she's going to bed."
"Mr. President, she will have nightmares about it if it isn't talked about *now*," CJ said. She knew. She had seen it before. On the campaign trail.
"Fine. She wanted to know how long everything will take. And how we were going to preserve the roses, and about toilets, and I think that's it." Jed gave in.
"That's all?" Abbey sighed in relief. Her husband nodded, and she passed out again.
"That's normal," CJ grinned.
"Maybe for you, but not for me." Jed shot her a glance as he scooped Abbey into his arms and carried her to their room.
"C'mon everybody -- let's let the maintenance crew in on what they've got to do tomorrow," Leo said, leading the senior staff out of the residence.