Part 2 Leo was diagnosed with a mild concussion and given two stitches in his forehead and told to rest. Like that was going to happen. Josie came into the Oval Office as the doctors were leaving. She looked tired and her grey suit was wrinkled. She gave him a huge hug, then straightened up. “I just heard from Marc’s agents. He’s doing fine. The doctors are just preparing him for surgery - he’s going to need a plate along one of his forearm bones to help it heal, but he’s going to be okay.” Leo’s spiralling thoughts weren’t eased. “When can I go see him?” Leo asked. “If I have to sign the 25th amendment and make you work for Elvie, I will.” He was completely serious. “Frank is coming in to give you a briefing,” she began. “After you will understand why you can’t leave the White House. Marc’s agents and doctors know the situation so they are going to try to arrange it so that Marc can come back here immediately after surgery because this is the safest place for him. He’ll be in surgery by now and there’s nothing you can do there that you can’t do here.” “Josie,” Leo said, quietly. “I couldn’t speak to him. He’s the one who was right beside me when it happened. He pulled me down. He saved me, yet I couldn’t speak to him. It was like no words would come out of my brain. I couldn’t even tell him that I love him.” She pulled him into another hug. “You’re in shock, Leo. You hit your head, hard. You need some rest. Besides, Marc knows you love him.” Her words provided little comfort. Frank, the head of the Secret Service, then entered and began speaking. “Sir, at approximately 9:54 PM, nine seconds after the first shots were fired, Secret Service snipers positioned on the roof of The Kennedy Centre, shot and killed the lone gunman on the roof of the opposing building. We are now investigating why that building wasn’t secured.” “Frank,” Leo breathed, rubbing his eyes, trying not to sound too annoyed. His head was pounding. He knew he needed to act as President, but some details did not matter tonight. “Just tell me who it was, why they did it, if anyone else was hurt, if any other security measures need to be in place, and when I can see Marc.” “We are in the process of confirming the ID of the man as Adam Liotta, a member of the far right Christian group, Lambs of God.” Leo’s stomach lurched. The Lambs of God were one of the groups who took offence to the fact that the President of the United States was in a same-sex marriage. Frank continued. “We believe Liotta was part of a wider plan. He shot into the tents with an AR-118, knowing his shots would not be accurate so we believe he was trying to wound either you or Marc. Protocol states that if you or he were badly wounded at that site, you or he would be taken directly to George Washington Memorial Hospital. Five minutes ago the FBI found bombs in a basement locker at the hospital.” Leo gasped. “Has the hospital been evacuated?” “We are in the process of doing so, searching other hospitals as well as Walter Reed. Walter Reed is also being surrounded by communication jamming vans so no communication frequencies can set off any devices set there. The bombs at George Washington indicate an employee of the hospital placed them there, planning to move them before setting them off. Right now our plan is to keep you here. We are determining if it is safer to transport the First Gentleman here after his surgery or securing him at Walter Reed.” “Okay. Please keep me updated. If Marc can come home tonight… I just want to be with him.” Frank nodded. “We need to up your protection for now, so even in the Residence at least two agents will be in any room with you. They will keep you informed.” “Was anyone else hurt?” Leo asked. “Donnovan was hit in the leg and O’Malley was hit in the stomach, but neither are in critical condition. No civilians were injured.” “Mr. President,” Josie said gently. “I think you should go up to the Residence now. You need to rest. I’m going to sleep in my room in the Residence tonight so I’ll be close by if you need me, but Johnathan is briefing the press in a few minutes and I want to speak to him. Marc’s security will be our main concern.” Leo nodded, “I also want all hospitals in the area secured and the FBI to monitor any activity of known members of this group.” He thanked Frank and Josie, then headed up to the Residence. Leo was used to being surrounded by agents, but they usually allowed him more space in the upper levels of the White House, but not tonight. “Leo!” his mother gasped as he exited the elevator. She had been waiting on a padded bench in the hall for him. She wore a blue nightgown and a purple robe and she looked as though she had aged 10 years since he had saw her at dinner. Donna finally looked her age. She pushed passed the agents and held him tight. “I’m okay, Mom,” he assured her, rubbing her back. “And Marc? They won’t tell me anything.” “He was hit in the arm and taken to Walter Reed after they dropped me off. He was alert and talking.” Leo gave her the basics, trying to sound optimistic for her. He filled her in, trying not to worry her too much. He then told her about the Lambs of God and why she couldn’t go be with Marc, even though she practically demanded. “Leo,” Donna said softly. “I’ve never seen a marriage more filled with love and support than what you and Marc have. You two are amazing fathers. As your Uncle Charlie would have said, if those people want to destroy that, then you must be doing something right.” Guilt flooded Leo. He knew that it wasn’t his mother’s intention, but if he had just remained a Senator, Marc wouldn’t have gotten hurt. He covered up his thoughts by kissing his mother’s cheek. “You should go to bed, get some rest.” “And what about that cut on your forehead? Let me look at it.” “Mom,” Leo groaned, straightening up. “I was given stitches by two of the highest ranking doctors in the US military. I think it’s fine. Now, can I please go see my children?” Together they went and Leo spent a few minutes with the sleeping JJ, then Miri, tucking them in, giving them gentle kisses, and smoothing their hair. They both reminded him so much of Marc, from JJ’s curiosity to Miri’s outgoing nature. They were both so kind and loving. He had to tear himself away from them, but he didn’t want to start crying. “Get some rest, Mom,” Leo told her. “I’m going to stay up until Marc’s out of surgery.” Leo made his way to the presidential bedroom. He wearily entered and looked around; it was a mess of clothes from when he and Marc had changed for the opera a lifetime ago. They only liked maids coming around to tidy up once a day and only accepted the help because they normally didn’t have time to clean up dirty socks. Leo busied himself tidying up, trying not to think too hard about Marc. When they had changed after dinner, he and Marc took a few moments to fool around, just kissing as they stood in their boxer-briefs; Leo hinting that he would make the opera all worth while by undressing Marc afterwards. But of course Marc wasn’t here. The fact stabbed at Leo. What if Marc didn’t come back? It felt like someone was ripping his chest open. Just wanting to keep busy, Leo awkwardly had a shower with two agents in the bathroom with him, stripping out of the last of his tuxedo, quickly trying to rinse away the day, then wrapping himself in a towel. He - flanked by the two agents, Reid and Finn, went into the closet where he put on a pair of sweatpants and found Marc’s favourite sweatshirt. He buried his face in it, breathing in Marc’s scent and tried not to cry as he put it on. Knowing he didn’t want to sleep, he went into his study to try to keep himself busy. * * * “MARC! MARC!” Leo screamed in desperation as he pressed down on the wound in Marc’s chest. They were on the floor of the presidential limo. Warm blood flowered from under Leo’s hands, infecting Marc’s crisp white shirt. “Stay with me!” Leo voice broke. Marc’s blue-grey eyes were cold and distant. He was broken… sad. “Tell me you love me, Leo. Why don’t you love me?” Leo felt words frozen in his throat as Marc went limp. Leo then saw his mother, on the couch, holding JJ and Miri. “Where’s Daddy, Abba?” they asked, and Leo knew he had to find the words. * * * Leo woke from the nightmare and found himself in his study, sitting in his recliner with his briefing book in his lap and a single lamp on. He rubbed his eyes and tried to sort the real nightmare from the one in his head. He checked the time, it was 2:14 AM. “Excuse me, Hugo?” Leo asked one of the agents now with him. “Has there been any update on Marc?” “He was out of surgery about 45 minutes ago. He was in recovery but now he and his team are on their way back here.” Leo was slightly annoyed he wasn’t woken up when Marc got out of surgery, but he was so relieved that Marc was okay and would be back home. Overwhelmed by so many emotions, he just placed his head in his hands and cried. Many minutes later heard a number of people down the hallway. One voice rang out.“Does anyone know where my husband is? Leo?” Leo couldn’t help but smile. He wiped his eyes, crept out into the hall, walked up beside Marc, and swiftly put his arm around the small of Marc’s back. Marc looked like hell. He was pale, almost grey, shaking and limp. He looked so tired and he had a touch of stubble on his face, which normally only Leo saw him with. Marc was wearing a medical gown and scrub pants and his arm was in a half cast and bandage. Still, when Marc saw that it was Leo walking at his side, he smiled, and his smile spread to his eyes, then he rested his head on Leo’s shoulder. “My beautiful husband,” Marc sighed. Together, they made their way to their bedroom. There was so much Leo wanted to say: I love you, are you okay, where does it hurt, can I get you anything, we are going to cuddle and I’m going to be the big spoon. But no words came out. They were stuck in the lump in his throat. They made it to the bedroom and Leo set Marc on Leo’s side of the bed. He wanted to speak words of comfort and love, but his mouth wasn’t connecting to his brain. It was so frustrating and distressing. Leo covered up his anxiety by kneeling at Marc’s feet and taking off his black dress shoes. He gently held Marc’s feet as he took off the socks. “I’m sorry its not the full tuxedo,” Marc sighed. “I wish it had been you taking it off of me.” His speech was slightly slurred, probably from drugs. “They offered me some slippers to go with the pyjamas they gave me but I said no, I wanted my socks and shoes.” Yup, he was drugged. He began pulling off his clothes. Leo quickly got some warm pyjamas for Marc and began dressing him. Leo then reached for the phone, picked it up, and suddenly found himself with the ability to speak, though it was to the nighttime switchboard operator. “Hello Morgan, can you get me whoever is in the usher’s office?” He waited for a moment with the phone between his shoulder and cheek while he got Marc in bed and against the pillows. “We snuggling on your side of the bed?” Marc asked with a smile as he put his arm on top of a few pillows. “Fun! Do I get to be the little spoon?” Leo nodded with a forced smile. He then spoke to Polly in the usher’s office. “Hi Polly. Can we get some things sent up to the Presidential bedroom? Just some tea, ice packs, and hot water bottles?” “Leo,” Marc said gently. “I don’t need any of those things.” “Just have whoever sends them up to leave them outside the door. Thanks.” Leo hung up, got into bed, and cuddled up to Marc, tucking them both in with the huge grey quilt. Leo held Marc close to his chest. “I’m so tired,” Marc yawned, shifting under Leo’s arm. “I love you.” Leo murmured in agreement and kissed the back of Marc’s neck. Leo then listened as Marc’s breathing calmed and his husband began softly snoring. * * * The next morning, Leo was woken by his wake-up call while Marc remained fast asleep, which was a rare occurrence (usually it was the First Gentleman dragging the President out of bed) but unsurprising given how many drugs Marc had probably been given. Leo got ready for the day, then sat down at Marc’s side to write his husband a quick note. Hello my Handsome Husband. Good morning. I love you. Hope you slept well and that no one woke you. I’ll make sure Mom gets the kids off to school. Gets lots of rest. I’ll try to have a light day so I can come back and snuggle. I was so scared last night. I don’t want to leave your side. I love you so much, Marc. Words can not express this. I am so relieved and happy to be writing you this note this morning. You are my everything and I don’t know who I would be without you. Call if you need anything. All my love, Leo. Right as Leo was folding the note, Marc started to stir. “Hmgrnsh,” Marc groaned. “Leo?” To his horror, Leo couldn’t speak. It was as if his brain had completely shut down. He panicked and kissed Marc on the lips. Leo pulled away and Marc was completed smitten. His sleepy smile was adorable. “You off to work?” Leo nodded. He wanted to assure Marc that he wouldn’t be long, but his brain was stuck in mute. So he just began tucking Marc in, hoping he would go back to sleep. Marc needed rest anyways. “Okay,” Marc rolled over. “I need more sleep, but can you please set my phone alarm to go off like 15 minutes before the kiddos go off to school? I was so out of it last night but I wanna see my little muffin munchkins….” His words became incoherent as he fell asleep. Leo set the phone, placed the note under it, kissed Marc again, then went off, ashamed.