Dear, Mr. President
disclaimer: only Stevie belongs to me
Abbey Bartlet sat propped up, in between the covers, on her bed, waiting for her husband to come out of the bathroom. She studied the report the Secret Service had done on Stevie before the girl had been allowed to visit. She shook her head, upset at the life that had been thrust upon this young girl.
Stevie's father had died when she was two years old from AIDS. Her mother had left her on the steps of a Catholic church soon after. Stevie had been raised by the nuns in the school for the next five years and then was bounced around the country in different foster homes. A year ago she had landed in the home of Mark and Lisa Tanner, a hard working couple with no children of their own. The Tanner's had expressed a wish to adopt Stevie, but because of past choices, they were not allowed to adopt her.
Abbey glanced at the bathroom door and then at her watch. She sighed impatiently, "Jed, did you drown in there?"
"No Abbey." Jed called back.
"When are you going to be done?" Abbey asked, going back to her reading.
"Actually, I was done a while ago." Jed answered.
Abbey paused in her reading, "Then what have you been doing in there for twenty minutes?"
"Trying to figure out what exactly it is that you do every night that takes you an hour." Jed answered, opening the door and standing in the doorway.
Abbey just rolled her eyes.
"So," Jed began, sauntering over to the bed. "What do you think of Stevie?"
"I like her... I like her a lot." Abbey said, thumbing through the papers in her hands. "She's a remarkable young girl, but she's had a hard life, Jed. No child should have to go through the things she's been through. For most people, Stevie's life would be something out a... a horror movie... but, it's been her reality..."
"I know," Jed said, softly. "That's why I wanted to bring her here."
"I'm going to take the day off tomorrow, Jed." Abbey said. "I'm going to spend the day with her. I bet I know a few things she'd like to do."
"She did mention the monuments and museums today..."
"Yes, she did didn't she?" Abbey picked up a pen and began to take notes. "I think she's like to see the House and the Senate too. But you had better take her to that... We could call Zoey down and see if she'd like to take Stevie around too..."
"That sounds wonderful. Abbey-"
Abbey interrupted him, "And maybe she could sit in on one of CJ's press briefings? It might be a good idea to let her wander around and explore. And if she spent a day with you that would be even better. I wonder if Mrs. Landingham-"
"I'm also going to take her with me when I go to my child welfare meeting next week. I doubt any of those hard-nosed-"
"You know, it might be fun to take her shopping... on us of course. And, oh, we have that formal dinner in four days... she can attend that. We'd have to get her a dress for it and-"
Jed listened to his wife ramble on for a moment longer. Then, he quietly took the papers out of her hand and threw them on the floor and waited. When she didn't acknowledge that, he reached up and slipped her glasses off her face.
Abbey stopped in mid-sentence when as Jed took off her glasses, "Jed?"
Jed didn't answer her until he had placed her glasses on the nightstand, "Mrs. Bartlet, how long has it been since you shared the same bed as your husband?"
"Huh?" Abbey asked, clearly confused. "Jed, what-?"
"Answer the question please, Mrs. Bartlet." Jed replied.
Abbey looked off in the distance, "Umm... I don't quite recall. As I remember, it was before my trip Mr. Bartlet."
"It has been thirty-two days, twelve hours and forty-eight minutes since you and your husband slept in the same bed at the same time." Jed informed her. "And now, that you and your husband are in the same bed, at the same time all you want to do is talk about tomorrow."
Abbey smiled, "Point taken, Mr. Bartlet..." she paused. "What did you have in mind? Did you want me to take your temperature?"
Jed shook his head as he crawled on top of her, "Only if you take it recreationally."
Abbey laughed as she turned out the light and felt her husband's lips on hers. When they broke the kiss, Abbey looked at him in the darkness, "How could you possibly know that it had been thirty-two days, twelve hours and forty-eight minutes since we've slept in the same bed?"
Jed blinked in surprise, "AH, I was right?"