Title: Uninvited Guest - Part 6 of 7
Author: Rhonda Dossett
Character: CJ, but everyone gets to play
Rating: PG13
Summary: Is the White House haunted?
Spoilers: Minor possible spoilers up to and including
"The Day Before."
Disclaimers: The normal disclaimers apply.
Feedback: dossett@azalea.net

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Thursday 3:55 am
White House East Room

A single thought kept running through all the women's minds.
CJ finally gave voice to it, "Where the hell are they going?
The freaking table's not that big."

No one attempted to answer CJ's rhetorical question but in
a spontaneous, synchronous movement, the ladies crab walked
their chairs back from the table several feet, never once
taking their eyes from the table and what might lie beneath.

Even Dr. Blaine seemed disconcerted. "I, uh, nothing in my
past experiences has prepared me to deal with something like
this. I'm not sure what's happening here."

The sporadic sounds continued to emanate from the area hidden
by the floor length tablecloth.

Surprisingly, Donna was the first to act. "I'm going to look
under it," she declared, standing and walking toward the table.

Ainsley jumped up and grabbed her arm. In a rush and without
taking a breath she said, "Do you remember all those Friday the
13th movies where the guy in the hockey mask killed every
person as they left the room, and people just kept leaving one
at a time to look for the last person who left, and the hockey
guy just kept killing them, and this continued until there was
just one person still alive?"

Donna, who was paler than normal, if that was possible, just
nodded her head, once again frozen in place.

"Okay, we won't look under the table. We'll move it," CJ
decided, walking over to the table and giving it a good shove.

Dr. Blaine joined in the pushing and soon the table was hugging
the wall.

Except for a few dust bunnies, the oak floor was bare. There
was no trace of Josh or Toby. Donna knelt down and touched
the wood as if to assure herself that it was real.

Looking up at CJ, Donna asked, "Now what?"

With a resigned sigh, CJ said, "We pay a visit on Mrs. Lincoln."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Thursday 4:01 am
CJ's office

Dr. Blaine and Ainsley watched CJ doing a one-armed breast
stroke on the carpet. Actually she was searching for the book
that started all this. She was lying down flat on her stomach,
using her left arm to reach under her office sofa. After several
unsuccessful swipes she came up with the prize. Pulling the
dusty volume out, CJ stood.

"Let's go," she snapped. CJ turned around and walked out the
door, heading in the direction of the Lincoln bedroom.

The other two followed, turning off the lights behind them.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Thursday 4:01 am
White House East Room

Doing a little soul searching, a very tired Donna sat cross legged
on the cold bare wooden floor. She was staring at the spot where
she had last seen Josh before he disappeared under the table cloth.

She was waiting for Josh.

Waiting for Josh. Thinking about it, she acknowledged to herself
that she'd had a lot of experience with that activity. After four
years she was good at that. Waiting for him to notice her;
waiting for him to get well; waiting for him to love her. She
was good at waiting. With a slight smile, Donna had the fleeting
thought that on her tombstone, her epitaph would probably read,
"Donnatella Moss, born May 17, 1972, died **** , 20**, still
waiting for Josh."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Thursday 4:01 am
Under the White House East Room

The underground room was pitch black. Their disembodied
voices seemed to echo slightly as they discussed their
predicament.

"Toby, I can't believe you don't carry a lighter. What do you
light your cigars with anyway?" Josh whined, brushing up
against him.

Stepping away, Toby proclaimed, "If I carried a lighter I would
forget and light up, and then all hell would break loose in this
smoke-free federal building."

"Guys, this isn't a good time to bring up the subject of hell,"
stated Sam.

There was a moment of silence while they each contemplated
their immediate future or potential lack there of.

There was a scuffling sound.

"What the... Josh! Get off me. That's my foot. Will you
quit dancing around? You're going to step on Sam."

"I think I had too much coffee," Josh sheepishly explained.
"I hope we're not down here too long without a bathroom."

"Just remember that I'm down here on the ground, before
you give in to any urges," pleaded Sam.

Do you think they are looking for us?" asked Josh, bumping
into Toby again.

Toby, exhaling in exasperation replied, "Yes, but I'd bet good
money that they think the damn ghost got us. I doubt they think
we were stupid enough to climb down a trap door, even if they
knew about the trap door."

"So, we're on our own then," concluded Sam.

An unknown voice answered, "Not exactly."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Thursday 4:15 am
The Lincoln Bedroom

CJ, Ainsley, and Dr. Blaine were sitting with linked hands in a
circle on the enormous bed dominating the Lincoln bedroom.
The antique book was laying open in the middle of the circle.

Dr. Blaine began, "Mrs. Lincoln, are you here? We need your
help."

Fidgeting, Ainsley asked, "Are you sensing anything?"

Opening her eyes, Dr. Blaine responded, "Not yet." Adding,
"Please concentrate on clearing your mind."

"Do you think Donna's okay by herself? Maybe we should
have insisted she come with us," Ainsley worried, biting her
bottom lip.

"Ainsley, you know she wanted to wait and see if Josh
rematerialized or something. Now be quiet and concentrate,"
implored a weary CJ.

Several minutes passed in silence.

The electric heating clicked on. Warm air began circulating
while the faint scent of lavender filled the room.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Thursday 4:15 am
White House East Room

Donna swayed then jerked awake.

Speaking to the empty room, she asked, "Josh, where are you?

Standing up and stretching, she paced.

Walking over to the grand piano, she stroked the shining wood
and uncovered the keys. Leaning over, lightly touching one key,
then another, she began to play, singing fragments of a half
remembered song from the radio:

"Wherever you go, Whatever you do"
"I will be right here waiting for you"
"Whatever it takes"
"Or how my heart breaks"
"I will be right here waiting for you."

Sitting down on the velvet padded bench, she let her fingers rest on
the ivory.

"Oh, Josh, please, just..., " Donna stopped in mid-whisper
when the keys an octave up were depressed by unseen fingers.

Scooting off the bench in surprise, she listened in equal parts
horror and fascination, as the notes of "Greensleaves" filled
the air.

A young boy's voice, slightly off key, sang the words:

"Alas, my love you do me wrong"
"To cast me off discourteously"
"And I have loved you so long"
"Delighting in your company"

The music stopped as suddenly as it had started.

Instinctively, Donna sat back down and began playing the simple
melody.

His voice was high and clear as he continued.

"Greensleaves was all my joy"
"Greensleaves was my delight"
"Greensleaves was my heart of gold"
"And who but my Lady Greensleaves."

"I have been ready at your hand"
"to grant whatever you would crave,"
"I have both wagered life and land"
"Your love and good will for to have."

She continued playing for a few more bars but the
singing stopped.

Reaching out her hand, she whispered, "Willie, can you help
me find Josh? Will you grant me that wish?"

 

TBC