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Story [The West Wing] Dynasty (Vignettes in the Mav-and-Bri-verse)

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by Briannakin , Jul 26, 2017.

  1. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    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.
  2. mavjade

    mavjade Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 10, 2005
    Okay, so I quoted basically the whole thing because I love it so much! But I'm going to try and get it down to a reasonable amount.
    Ha! That's what I thought too! But I love how Josie is taking charge and doing what needs to be done. Of course that's her job, but her best friend was just shot at, and his husband shot. It's not an easy thing to do, but she does it so well! I'm guessing being able to hide behind calling him Mr. President probably helps. (Oh maybe plot bunny!)

    But then she's also able to comfort him, at least as much as he can be comforted at the moment. She's just awesome!

    :mad: The Lambs of God. Of course!

    OMG! No wonder they were so up in arms! And talk about hippocrits! They were willing to kill so many innocent people, innocent people who are sick for this one thing? Grrr.....

    DONNA!! I didn't even think about her! (Sorry Donna!) I'm sure she was in an absolute panic! But I imagine that hug from her was what Leo really needed at that moment if he couldn't have Marc.

    :_| Leo.....

    Awkward! For everyone, I'm sure! I mean, I completely understand but yeah....
    And awwwww..... on Leo putting on Marc sweatshirt! [face_love]

    Hahahaha.... at drugged Marc!! And that is such a perk of being President, all that stuff brought to you with just a call. I mean, we know Leo feels guilty that this happened (and that dream! :_|) because he's POTUS, but it's a nice perk. And so cute of Leo!

    Okay, now I'm officially worried about Leo. He could clearly talk with Marc around, but just can't talk to him. He's more messed up than he thinks he is, which is completely understandable! But I'm worried about him, now more him than Marc.

    I can't wait to see what happens to my boys! (And I'm very excited for comic-relief Elvie!)
  3. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    It's okay! I'm really glad you love it so much!
    I love Josie! She's such a great Best Friend and COS. I wish plot bunnies for her would bite for her.
    She just knows how to be his best friend and work for him and thats not easy, but she does it so well.
    They are just the worst, but I'm glad you caught that reference.
    Who ever said extremists made sense... because they don't :mad:
    DONNA! How could you forget about her! But I agree, sometimes a hug from mom is the best thing you can have if you can't have what you truly need.
    I am so mean :(
    I was trying to find some other info on the Secret Service (I didn't find whatever it was, unsurprisingly) but I found out the Secret Service actually won't let the President go to the bathroom by themselves. THANKFULLY in this universe they normally give President Lyman a bit more freedom.

    I love the image of Leo in Marc's clothes! He's the hoodie stealer in this relationship (... plot bunny?)

    I'm so sad Leo didn't have more fun with drugged up Marc, but it didn't feel right. And it is a nice perk! Leo is so full of guilt, but he also just wants to take care of Marc.

    I'm not sure who I'm meaner to in this fic! Leo is just so messed up.

    Hopefully Elvie can bring some relief, even if it's just comically!
  4. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    Part 3

    Leo was so thankful today was his lunch date with Elvie for the week. Leo spent much of the day wanting to amend the Constitution to allow him to punish anyone even remotely associated with the Lambs of God… when he wasn’t being distracted by the farming bill, HB 223, 229, and 245, the housing secretary, President of France, a NSC briefing, Congress being a butt about increased security measure funding, hospital reviewing protocols, the current mayor of DC wishing to speak to him, or the media going crazy about what happened last night and comparing it to what happened to his father over 50 years ago - he hoped his mother wasn’t watching any news. Never mind the fact he had a concussion and his thoughts dwelled on Marc.

    “Oh god, I need a friendly face,” Leo murmured as he entered the private dining room where he and Elvie met for lunch. Elvie, who had been poking at the tofu in his mac and cheese, looked up. Elvie, looked put-together, well-groomed and handsome like normal… with the exception of his black eye. A ring of swelling dark purpled surrounded his left eye. “God! What happened to your face?”

    Elvie rolled back from the table and hugged Leo. “I’m not sure I’m allowed to complain about my evening after what happened to you guys. How are you feeling?” He asked, peering up at Leo’s stitches. “How’s Marc? I’ve been meaning to go up and see him, but I got called into a NSC meeting, and the Secret Service wants me to sit in on all these reviews.”

    “We need to talk about me and Marc,” Leo said tightly, sitting down. He wasn’t very hungry but he hadn’t eaten much breakfast. He poked at the salad. “But now I’m curious about your eye.”

    “I insulted Rose’s cooking,” Elvie deadpanned.

    Leo burst out laughing. He felt guilty doing so, but he needed a laugh. “What?! Really?”

    “No!” Elvie exclaimed, though he was glad he could make Leo laugh. “I’m not that stupid. Secret Service doesn’t comment on procedure and they don’t like it when we comment, so that’s my story.”

    “So what happened?”

    “You and Marc nearly got killed. As soon as my agents heard you were in a code silver, I was in a code yellow so my agents had to get me to a safe haven. Rose and I were cuddling on the porch swing at the time, my agents went into action and I got a elbow to the eye in the process of getting back in my wheelchair.” Elvie grew quiet. “But I was so scared something happened to you and Marc. I love you both.”

    Leo nodded, then started furiously wiping away tears.

    “What’s wrong?” Elvie asked. Since there were agents in the room and he had just declared his love for the president, Elvie’s hand went under the table and out of sight to rub Leo’s leg in a comforting manner.

    “He pulled me down,” Leo openly began to sob. “I didn’t know where he was but he knew where I was and he made sure I was safe. And I can’t even talk to him. I can’t even tell him I love him. It’s like my brain is on mute. I can’t talk to him, even though I really want to. What is wrong with me?”

    “Leo,” Elvie said gently. “I think you’re in shock. Would you be okay with speaking to a trauma counsellor, maybe with Marc?”

    “Who could I go to?”

    “I have a guy - woman, actually. Besides, I don’t think the fact that you are seeking medical help for your mental health should be something you need to hide.”

    Leo nodded. “Of course. I agree. You still see someone for your PTSD?” It was a genuine question of concern. Leo knew his dad sometimes had struggled with symptoms many years after the fact, but Leo had never asked much about it. It had never really come up in their conversations, and Leo now regretted it.

    “I do,” Elvie confirmed. “It’s not a regular thing because I don’t need that at this point, but I was really struggling when we were first sworn in. I think it was just the stress, moving the kids, and getting used to all the helicopters. Do you want me to call her and see if she can come here and meet with you and maybe Marc?”

    Leo nodded, wiping away more tears. “Yes, please. Do you mind talking to Marc for me too? I need you to explain to him that he’s done nothing wrong. It’s my stupid head that won’t let me talk to him. Tell him I love him.”

    “I will, but he already knows Leo.”

    * * *

    After lunch Elvie made his way up to the Residence. It was quite quiet up here during the day, with both JJ and Miri in school full time now, and Donna was probably napping after what was probably a very upsetting night. Elvie actually could use with a bit of a rest after an extremely stressful night and morning.

    “Leo?” Marc called from the President’s bedroom when Elvie knocked gently. He didn’t want to wake a napping Marc.

    “Well, that is what’s on the birth certificate. But people just call me Elvie.”

    Marc laughed. “Come in.”

    Elvie pushed himself through the doors, opened by agents.

    Marc, who was lounging on the bed with socks and sweats on, smiled and laughed. His arm was in a cast and up on two pillows. He put down his book. “What the hell happened to your face!”

    “The official story is that I insulted Rose’s cooking -” Elvie began.

    Marc began to laugh, “You idiot!”

    “-And the fact that everyone believes that! I don’t know if that’s a reflection on me or on Rose. No!” Elvie exclaimed as he rolled to Marc’s side. “Secret service got a little rough with me after you guys decided to get shot. How are you feeling?”

    “Bored. But they’ve still got me drugged up pretty good so I frankly don’t want to do much. But I would love to cuddle,” Marc hinted.

    Elvie sighed. “Unfortunately I’m in some meetings in a few minutes.” Still, he leaned forward and put his arms around Marc’s waist. “But I know Leo is trying to make it a short day. He sent me up here to talk with you. He, for some reason, can’t speak to you. It’s like he goes into mute mode he said. I think he’s in shock and struggling to process what happened.” Elvie then explained Leo’s heartache about his mental block against speaking to Marc, but that Leo wanted to seek out counselling.

    “Yeah, absolutely. I’ll go with him to anything. Do you think it would help if I went to talk to him?”

    Elvie nodded. “I think he needs to process what happened and I think he might be subconsciously throwing himself into work. There’s nothing he needs to this afternoon that I can’t do or that he can’t do tomorrow.”

    * * *

    Leo was reading and approving notes on amendment to a foreign trade act when Mrs. Paddington let Marc into the Oval Office. Leo beamed at his husband and rushed to stand up. He worked his jaw to speak but no words came out.

    “Hey Love,” Marc said, sitting on one of the couches. “I just wanted to be with you.”

    Leo plunked himself down beside Marc and gave him a pillow to rest his arm on.

    “Thank you,” Marc said, kissing Leo’s cheek. “Elvie came to talk to me, and I just wanted to assure you that it’s okay; whatever you are going through, I’m right here with you. I seriously cried for like 3 hours this morning after the kids went off to school, and I’m probably going to do some more tonight.”

    Leo nodded and brushed his knuckles down Marc’s cheek.

    “I was so scared I was going to lose you,” Marc sighed, but continued. “Elvie talked to me about the counsellor and I had him make an appointment for us for tomorrow evening. She’s coming here for two hours and I’m going to try to get all my crying out beforehand.”

    Leo pointed to himself and nodded.

    “Yeah, I think that’s a good idea. I can understand why you don’t want to cry here, but if you want to let out those emotions tonight, I’ll be at your side or leave you alone, whatever you need, but I do want to snuggle. And I want to assure you, if you never talk to me again, I am okay with that.”

    Leo looked shocked and hurt.

    Marc laughed. “I’m sorry Leo, that came out wrong.” He kissed Leo’s cheek. “What I meant was, you are the easiest person not to talk to.”

    Leo made an annoyed look.

    Marc chuckled. “You’re right. I did that on purpose. It’s the drugs - and before you don’t ask, my arm feels fine. Leo,” he held Leo’s hands, but it was a bit awkward with the cast. “You tell me how much you love and care for me in so many ways throughout any given day, and often it isn’t with words. We don’t need to be talking for me to enjoy our time together, in fact,” Marc voice turned husky. “I prefer activities that don’t require speech.”

    Leo blushed.

    Marc grinned. “I love it when we share our days or be silly with the kids, but I also love it when we sit on the couch and watch movies or dance in the kitchen. Besides, if you’re not talking to me, it means I get to win all the arguments from now on,” he chuckled.

    Leo grabbed a yellow legal pad and a pen and wrote: No it does not!

    * * *

    That evening, after a quiet meal with his family and putting the kiddos to bed, Leo was in his private study, flipping through his briefing binder in his sweatpants and t-shirt. He just wanted a few moments alone. Every night, a part of this binder was dedicated to various national and international statements by other US and world leaders deemed something Leo may want to be aware about, but not anything he needed to be briefed on in depth.

    So many people condemned the actions of the Lambs of God. Leo was relieved he was supported, but reading it all was becoming overwhelming. Finally, he read the Prime Minister of Canada’s reaction. Prime Minister Tessa Gaunt and her husband, Chris, were good friends, so Leo knew these words were genuine: “We condemn the actions of terror and our thoughts are with our friends as they heal. President Leo Lyman and First Gentleman Marc Lyman radiate love and kindness. They did not provoke this senseless act of hate….”


    Hate crime.

    Marc had been a victim of a hate crime.

    Who could hate Marc? With his endless love and compassion; natural ability to put people at ease; and those adorable dimples.

    Realizing what he needed in that moment, Leo closed the binder, turned off the lamp, and left everything behind in the study. He made it into the Presidential bedroom and closed the door behind him before bursting into tears. His frame was wracked with sobs.

    “Leo?” Marc was in his pyjamas, reading in bed. He quickly got up as Leo stumbled towards him. Marc wrapped his arms around Leo and just held him.

    They eventually settled on the bed, but Marc never let go. Leo pressed himself into Marc’s chest to feel his breathing and hear his heartbeat.
  5. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    @mavjade I'm not sure if you saw the chapter above (or if it got lost in Vegas :p ) but I wanted to post another update!

    A/N: Disclaimer: I’m not a trauma counsellor. This is mostly made up, but there is some limited google knowledge.

    Part 4

    The following evening, Marc and Leo patiently waited in Leo’s private study, lounging on the grey couch. Both were wearing slacks and sweaters. Leo was leaned against the arm of the couch, Marc was leaned against him. Marc now had a full fibreglass cast, and he chosen green for the colour. Miri had already taken her markers to it and had drawn fishes, octopuses, and rainbows all over it (she had just been so adorable, sitting on Marc’s lap and chatting away as she coloured). Leo was rubbing Marc’s shoulders, trying to occupy himself and keep his mind off the fact that he hadn’t managed to utter a word to Marc in two days. Marc was being supportive as ever, which only frustrated Leo with himself. It had been another long day for Leo dealing with the fallout of the shooting and Leo just needed someone to decompress with. And he wanted that someone to be Marc. The Lambs of God had put out a statement basically confirming it was an assassination attempt and both Leo and Marc were targets.

    This group had tried to make his babies orphans and he was not okay. He had been kissing JJ and Miri every opportunity he got.

    Both looked up when the door opened and Elvie entered with a blonde woman about the same age. “Just right in here, Rachel,” Elvie said to the woman. He looked at Leo and Marc. “I’m going to take Miri and JJ down for the mess for ice cream, then Rose is going to stop by with the kids and we’re going to watch a movie in the theatre.”

    “Thanks for watching them tonight and giving Mom a break,” Leo said with a smile. He could talk to other people when Marc was in the room, he just couldn’t talk to Marc. It was dumb and he felt stupid.

    After Elvie closed the door behind him, both Marc and Leo got up to shake Rachel’s hand and gestured her to a seat. “Thank you, Dr. Yelnats, for seeing us on such short notice,” Marc said as he and Leo sat down again. Leo made sure they were holding hands.

    “I’m glad you reached out to someone, Mr. President, Mr. Lyman,” she said putting her briefcase bag down by her feet. “And, please, call me Rachel.”

    Leo nodded. “Call us Leo and Marc, please.” He let out a tight sigh. “I need to be just Leo in this space.” He put his clenched fist on his knee. Marc noticed and gave Leo’s hand a gentle squeeze.

    Rachel nodded. “Of course, Leo and Marc it is. I want to assure you that your privacy is my priority. I also want to let you know you are under no obligation to continue with my services after tonight, but I will urge you to find someone who you feel comfortable with.”

    Leo nodded. “I’ve done counselling before - grief counselling after my father died - and Marc joined me for a number of appointments, so we know how this works with confidentiality.”

    “Good. Why don’t we get started? I don’t want to take up your entire evening. I want to make sure you have some time with each other, because emotional support will be important. I spoke to Marc briefly on the phone yesterday, but, Leo, why don’t you tell me what happened and why you’ve asked me here?”

    “Okay,” Leo breathed. “Two nights ago we had gone to the opera,” he said, just trying to state the facts. “On our way out, I stopped to fix Marc’s bowtie -,” at this point, Leo began to lose his composure. He looked away. What if that had been the last time he had touched Marc? Instinctively, Marc squeezed Leo’s hand. What if they hadn’t paused to flirt? Would Marc be okay? “Then all I heard was gunshots and Marc pushed me down.” He swallowed. He didn’t want to go on, but the silence in the room told him that he had to go on. “I didn’t realize it was him. I think all I saw was that they had been shot in the arm and I think I momentarily blacked out at that point.”

    “He had hit his head against the cement pretty good,” Marc explained. “They told me in the hospital before my surgery that he had a concussion.”

    Leo brushed away tears at the thought: Marc had been in the hospital - shot - yet had still gotten updates on Leo’s stupid injury. He was mad now; mad it himself.

    “It’s okay to not remember or know every detail,” Rachel said. “It’s understandable from a physical aspect; the brain is a very delicate organ, and from a psychological point of view it’s actually a good sign when we aren’t able to recall every detail of a event. Forgetting is a natural way of coping, just like crying and showing emotion. Why don’t we carry on?”

    Leo tried to recount the events in the limo, but quickly grew too upset. He was crying, sobbing, and shaking with rage. “…And then I left him!” he was now shouting. “I left him to go inside the house and he had to be helped into an ambulance! And I couldn’t even talk to him and tell him I love him! I still can’t! What is wrong with me? I’m just a horrible husband for doing this to him!” He got up and stared out the window, jaw clenched tight.

    “Leo…” Marc sighed. “We both know that isn’t true.”

    “Leo,” Rachel said. “First, expressing emotions are healthy. You are angry with yourself; this is good to realize and know so you can forgive yourself. Second, I believed you are suffering from select mutism. It’s an anxiety disorder not uncommon in highly intelligent individuals who have suffered trauma. And I believe this inability to speak to Marc is connected to guilt. But we can work on both the guilt and the anger, and your inability to speak with Marc. Marc, while Leo calms himself, why don’t you tell us your recollection of events of that night.”

    “Okay,” Marc said, casting a concerned glance at Leo. “My memory is honesty fuzzier than Leo’s. It all happened so fast. We were coming out of the opera and we were joking around and flirting. I heard shots and I was pushed or pulled to the ground and there were like five agents on top of me. My arm just hurt like hell, but I knew Leo was under me, because of the way we fell, and I was moving to protect his head better when we were somehow both pulled up and carried to the limo. I remember Leo wanting to stay with me but I had to convince him to go because I needed him safe and with the kids. I remember Leo kissing me before we parted, but it’s all kinda a blur of doctors and agents from there.” He sighed and turned to look at Leo. “I remember you putting me to bed, taking off my shoes, and kissing the back of my neck. I felt so loved. You’re better than any husband I could have dreamed of.”

    Leo turned around and gave Marc a bashful smile.

    “Normally at this point I would go and make my clients some tea to give them five minutes of alone time to process things thus far. Would it be okay if I slipped out into the hall for 5 minutes?”

    “Absolutely,” Marc said. “I’ll also get one of the ushers to bring us some refreshments.”

    Leo remained standing as both Marc and Rachel left, and when Marc returned. Without speaking, Marc approached Leo, grabbed him, and kissed him on the lips, taking Leo by surprise.

    “What?” Marc ask with a grin, pulling back. “You can say ‘I love you’ with a kiss - ever since our first date - but I can’t do it?” he asked as he held Leo with his cast around the small of Leo’s back and his other hand on Leo’s hip. Marc kissed Leo’s forehead. “I wish I could make you not blame yourself; I don’t blame you at all. But I know you too well. I can imagine the guilt you are putting yourself through.” Marc sighed, lovingly, and pressed his hand to Leo’s chest. Leo’s hand covered Marc’s so Marc kissed Leo’s knuckles. “I love my man and his huge heart. You know all you ever have to do for me is to love me and the kids. I want you to know, I take pride in our marriage and I am so proud that you are my husband, father of our children and the President of the United States. And I couldn’t imagine our lives any other way. Please don’t hide or let fear win. You’re too cute for that.”

    Leo blushed and pushed his face in the crook of Marc’s neck.

    * * *

    “Mr. President? Sorry -.” Rachel corrected herself. “Leo?” Marc and Leo were now sitting again across from the trauma councillor. “I would like to do a exercise to help process your guilt and help you work through your mutism,” she said, searching in her bag. “But one of the best things you both can do is to get back into your regular routines. Try to have normal conversations and interactions.”

    “So one of us should geek-out until the other tells him he’s a nerd?” Marc said, mostly to make Leo laugh, which Leo did. “I’m going to blab on about bio-inspired design for node structures until you tell me to shut up,” Marc teased.

    Leo rolled his eyes, then grabbed Marc’s face and kissed him.

    “Well, that’s one way to shut me up, but you know how I get about node structures. Might take more than a kiss….” He let out a low growl. “That’s one way I could get you screaming my name.”

    Leo playfully shoved Marc.

    “It’s amazing to see you both comfortable and playing around with each other,” Rachel said as she handed Leo a pad of paper and pen. “And I do want to encourage relaxing and enjoying each other’s company. Both are heathy ways to recover from trauma. But it is important to address the guilt you, Leo, feel. So, I want you to list all the things you are currently feeling guilty because of in relation to Marc. Marc, I want you to start on the second exercise. I want you to write a letter to Leo, put it in the envelope, then address it to him and put it on the coffee table.”

    “A love letter?” Marc asked.

    “Whatever you think Leo would want to read. It won’t be read by anyone except for Leo. Be as open as you wish. Write something you think Leo will want to read.”

    “I’m going to write something dirty,” Marc joked, bumping Leo’s shoulder with his own.

    Leo blushed. Back to back, they both wrote for awhile. Leo was finished before Marc. Marc finished his note, put it in the envelope, and placed it on the table. It was address to: Mr. Leo Lyman, Sexy Man and Love of my Life.

    Leo grinned.

    Rachel saw this. “You can open and read it a bit. Sorry if this seems juvenile. Most people who experience select mutism - and actually get treatment for it - are kids. But I’ve seem these activities work with adults. Now, how would you two define blame? Leo?”

    Leo honestly didn’t mind the brainless activities. “I guess being at fault or the reason for something bad happening.”

    Marc nodded in agrement.

    “Now Marc, I want you to take Leo’s list, label each as Leo either being not the reason, or that thing being good. Circle it if you feel as if Leo is to blame; meaning that thing is both Leo’s doing and a negative thing in your life.”

    Marc took the list and was unsurprised at the contents. He began to make notes:

    1. Marc was shot - not at fault. You would never mean to hurt me.

    2. Marc has to be First gentleman - good; I love that you have achieved your dreams

    3. Marc has to be the parent to our kids - Our babies have two fathers. It doesn’t matter who packs their lunches, they know we both love them.

    Marc plunked the list in Leo’s lap, then wrapped his arms around Leo’s stomach and shoulders, holding him close and placing his chin on Leo’s shoulder - he had to slump down a bit to do this. “I love you and everything you are doing. If I were mad at you for anything, I’d be brooding and you would know it. And I wouldn’t do this.” He kissed Leo’s cheek. “All I want is for you to talk to me and let me hold you…. And for you to agree to the things in the letter.”

    Leo perked up. Still, he spoke to Rachel. “I like the idea of doing things for Marc. I guess, in addition to all the things listed, I also feel so guilty that he’s the one who does most the work in this relationship. He always has to cater to my wants, needs, and general schedule.”

    “Acts of service are an important part of a loving relationship - both giving and receiving. Leo, if you feel like you want to do something special for Marc, I want to encourage you to do so. Speaking of the letter, Leo, I want you to directly ask Marc for the letter. You can open and read it once you ask Marc directly for it.”

    Leo nodded and shifted so he was looking directly at Marc. He took Marc’s hands and momentarily was distracted by the cast. He was plunged into memories of that night, of having to be separated from Marc. All words just felt meaningless. He worked his tight jaw and breathed heavily. He knew he had to speak.

    Rachel spoke. “Leo? What are you afraid of?”

    Leo’s damn burst. He began sobbing and shaking uncontrollably. “Having to say my last words to Marc.”

    Marc immediately wrapped both arms around Leo. “I don’t need those. Not for a very long time.” Marc attempted a joke. “And you better die before me - at the age of like 115 - because I want many years of being old, married men before the kids put me in an old folks home with Rose so we can bitch endlessly about our stupid husbands.”

    “Leo? I think this fear needs to be addressed, but not tonight. For now, what words do you think Marc needs to hear? It’s okay to count them, whisper, and say them one at a time.”

    Leo continued to clutch onto Marc. His hand pressed against Marc’s chest and felt Marc’s steady, unwavering heartbeat. Leo promised himself this wasn’t going to be the last time he said this to Marc. “I…I…I…” he stuttered. He felt so stupid for having so much trouble with these words… to Marc! But Marc remained patient. “I. L…. L…. Love. You.”
  6. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    AN: I was in a mood, so I decided to post the ending of this story since I do have some MMM I wanna post next week. Don't feel obligated at all to do a long review.
    Anyway, this story kinda fell apart here (as all my ideas do when they get this long) but I wanted to get to this part to set up the PM chapter because of course there’s a PM chapter for this! You’ll get to read the letter there;) But I THINK going forward I'm going to stick to shorter stuff.

    Part 5

    Their homework for the night, until they saw Rachel again, was for Leo to ask Marc for the envelope. They put the kids to bed (Miri and JJ got so many kisses from Abba and Daddy, they were all giggling the entire time), and Leo, exhausted, did some quick reading from his briefing binder in the bedroom sitting area, before going into the bathroom and getting ready for bed. When he came out, Marc was in his pyjamas oh his side of the bed. On Leo’s pillow was the envelope from before.

    Now that he had said a few words to Marc, the pressure was mostly off. He was feeling fear and guilt, but he was confident they could get through this. Yet, the silence in these moments felt comfortable and safe, but maybe they always had.

    Leo made his way to the bed and was about to reach for the envelope when Marc snatched it away. “No, you don’t get this until you ask me for it. I just wanted to tempt you with it so I can hear that handsome voice.”

    “M… M… M…” Leo stuttered. He still felt so stupid. Why was he stuttering? This was Marc. He took a breath and gathered his thoughts. What am I feeling? He asked himself as he sat on the side of the bed. He felt ashamed. Like he wasn’t good enough for Marc. He knew that was dumb, but the shooting had just shaken him. He knew if he fell back right now, Marc would catch him and hold him. Leo looked down at his hands and saw his wedding ring and had an idea. He was going to do something for Marc - something really special - that would make them both feel better. As he climbed into bed, under the warm covers, ideas started to turn in his head and for the first time he was distracted - really distracted - from the shooting. He completely forgot about the envelope too. Leo burst as his head hit his pillows. “Marc!Willyougoonadatewithmetomorrownight? Please?'

    “Leo,” Marc said as he pulled his husband closer. “I love you, and I’m so happy and relieved you are coping with your fear and guilt and are trying to speak to me, but I can not understand you when you don’t breathe! You sound like Miri when she’s really excited. Now I know where she gets it from.” Marc laughed and began to rub Leo’s chest with an open palm. “I love you though, and I think you’re adorable. Will you please try again?”

    Leo began gently rocking to soothe himself as self-doubt began to creep in. He took a deep breath and looked at his wedding ring. “Date. Me. Tomorrow. Night.”

    “I’ll date you every night - because you’re my boyfriend,” Marc teased before kissing Leo’s cheek. “Of course I’ll go on a date tomorrow night.”

    Leo rolled over to his nightstand and pulled out his tablet to go to work. He wanted tomorrow night to be amazing.

    Behind him, Marc fanned himself with the envelope. “Leeeee—ooooohhh, Do you want this or not? Because I worked hard on this.”

    Leo ignored Marc as he started looking at local jewellery shops that sold elegant men’s jewelry. He found what he wanted, sent a quick email to one of the ushers, placed the tablet on the side table. Leo settled in, under the quilt and sheet. He looked from the envelope and into Marc’s eyes. “M… M…” his jaw clenched as he grew more ashamed of himself. He wanted to try. “M… M… M… M…” Leo had to look away to hide the tears. This was so juvenile and stupid.

    “Shhhh… you’re tired,” Marc hushed, slipping the envelope away and turning off the light. He cupped Leo’s cheek. “I love you.”

    “I. Love. You. Too!”

    “I know, I know. And that’s all I need to know.”

    * * *

    After another boring day resting (Marc wanted to go back to work but his partners insisted he recover and spend a few more days at home… and he called his husband a workaholic), Marc got ready for his “hot date”. It was Friday so Imogene and Noah had offered to take the kids for a sleepover. After getting JJ and Miri packed and off, Marc received a note from Leo (delivered via Donna who teased Marc about it; she said she’d make herself scarce for them).

    Hi, my Love. You ready for our date? I’d love it if you would meet me for dinner in the Rose Garden at 7:30. I’d tell you to wear something sexy, but you could make anything sexy. I look forward to a wonderful evening with the person I love the most. You chose me and I chose you and we keep making that choice every day and theres something so beautiful about this and I want to celebrate this tonight. I love you. L.

    Marc changed into a dark grey button up shirt, a pair of black slacks, and his dress shoes. He made his way down to the Rose Garden. There he gasped when he saw twinkle lights covering all the trees and bushes. A small table was set up with two chairs, two place settings, and a vase of roses. Soft music played. Neither he nor Leo were the flowery or overly romantic type - both would be happy just having takeout and sitting in their sweats - but Marc felt so touched that Leo thought of creating such a beautiful atmosphere for them.

    But, of course, Leo was nowhere to be found. Rolling his eyes, Marc looked towards the oval office. He saw the top of Leo’s fluffy hair. Marc walked towards and peered into the office. Leo was alone and not on the phone, so Marc entered. Leo looked at him in surprised, then checked his watch. “Oh. I’m… I’m…” he closed his eyes and reached out for Marc. “So sorry.”

    “Its okay,” Marc said, taking Leo’s hand then leaning down to kiss him on the lips. “The table looks so beautiful. And I’m starving.”

    “Me too,” Leo grinned, he then picked up the phone. “Steph? We’re ready for dinner now. Thanks.” He then turned to Marc, blushing. “T…T… Turn around.”

    Marc obediently did so and heard Leo’s desk drawer open, then close. “Okay,” Leo said, taking Marc’s hand once again and beginning to lead him out.

    “One sec,” Marc said, turning to face Leo. He untied Leo’s navy blue tie and stuck it in his pocket. He whispered in Leo’s ear as he unbuttoned the top button of Leo’s dress shirt, “If you ask for the envelope, which I brought with me, you’ll know exactly what I have planned for this.” Marc kissed and gently licked the hollow of Leo’s neck.

    “Oh, Marc,” Leo moaned without a hint of stutter.

    “I knew that would get you over this brain block of yours. Now come, lets eat, you’re going to need your strength for what I have outlined in this envelope.”

    “Can… can I have…” Leo breathed, “the envelope?”

    Marc beamed. “Of course!”

    They sat down at the table. The spring air was warm. They held hands as a usher came with water and wine.

    Marc slid the envelope across the table. “Something…” he closed his eyes and breathed. “Horrible and scary happened to us. And we both know it could have been far worse, but it was still so frightening. Sorry this isn’t that eloquent - I’m not the world leader at this table,” he chuckled. He lifted Leo’s hand and kissed his knuckles. “I was so frightened in that moment that I was going to lose you, then I was taken away from you and I can only imagine how hurtful and scary that was. And I was scared in the hospital and a selfish part of me wanted you there.” Marc reached and cupped Leo’s face. “I knew why you weren’t and I don’t want you to ever feel guilty. What I’m getting at is, we are healing. And I love how our healing process is the same: we cry, we hold each other, we know when to ask our friends and professionals for help, we play and find joy with the kids, and we call each other sexy names, flirt, and laugh. I wrote this when I wanted us to feel good and intimate.”

    Leo leaned forward to give Marc a peck on the lips. “My… handsome husband.” Leo opened the envelope, unfolded the letter, and began reading. He blushed, laughed, and gently moaned.

    “So,” Marc said once a few minutes had elapsed, tracing patterns on the white table cloth. “You open to my suggestions?”

    Leo - now bright red in the face - nodded as he quickly tucked the envelope in his breast pocket as more ushers brought two covered plates.

    When the metal domes were lifted, Marc laughed. “Burgers! We finally got our burgers!”

    “Veggie… veggie burgers!” Leo corrected. They also had a mixed salad and yam fries.

    “They look delicious!”

    * * *

    They ate and Marc talked about his boring day and Leo suggested a couple things they should do with the kids that weekend. He wanted to try yard bowling with them now that the weather was a bit nicer. While they waited for dessert, Leo inhaled deeply. He was so nervous! He couldn’t believe Marc had pretty much done this twice. And this time had no pressure. “Marc?” he asked, looking down at his hands. Leo then just went for it. Getting up, he got down on one knee and started fumbling in his pocket.

    “Oh, Leo,” Marc sighed with a smile.

    Leo pulled out a leather box a bit bigger than a ring box. He opened it to reveal a masculine bracelet: two thin bands of titanium rope were wrapped around each other with a small flat clasp which was engraved with L + M. It was dorky, but Leo adored it. “I’ve always wanted to… do this,” he grinned. “I… I love you,” he began, looking down. “I… don’t know… where… or who… I’d be… without you.” Leo took a deep breath and looked up into Marc’s eyes. He reached with one hand for Marc and they held hands. “You give me… strength with your endless patience. You push me when I need it… even… even if I don’t want it. You make me a better person… a better Abba. I can’t imagine… not kissing you every morning and cuddling every night with you. Marc, my handsome husband, you will always be the love of my life. Will you continue to let me love you… to let our love always outlast the bad? Will you wear this… over your scar - once the… c… c… cast is off?” Leo asked. He wasn’t stuttering now; he was trying not to cry. “To show everyone - and remind ourselves - that our love is… so…so much more-”

    “Yes!” Marc exclaimed, excited. They threw their arms around each other. “I love you so much. You make me feel so wonderful! And I love the bracelet!” Marc got Leo to help him put it on his uninjured wrist for now.

    “It’s not too feminine?” Leo asked, his words coming easier to him now. He just needed a shot of pure nervous adrenaline to kick him in the head. He felt Marc’s pulse as he held Marc’s wrist. “I thought about maybe a ring but you hate guys who wear a ton of rings, and you have a billion watches from me.”

    “I love it, Leo,” Marc assured him. “And I love the thought behind it. You are just so cute! Will you dance with me?”

    Leo smiled and nodded. Both got up and simply held each other as they swayed to the music.

    EDIT! I forgot to post the epilogue to this before I posted the MMM. I'm just a mess....

    This Guy’s Walking Down The Street
    Timeframe: 2057
    Characters: Leo, Elvie
    A/N: This hit me as I was posting “My Pride In You” (the previous story) and OH GOD. I’m so disappointed I didn’t think of this as a scene in that story, but it also works well as a stand alone/epilogue, even if it is so short. This goes back to my fic “Pure Spirit” and of course, the episode Noel. I love this so much and if I didn’t have a bunch of other vignettes written and half-written, I would have ended this entire series here.

    “Hey! Elvie!”

    Elvie looked up from a NSC memo to see the President of the United States standing in the door of his office. President Lyman wore a charcoal grey suit and blue tie. But Elvie just saw his friend.

    How far had they come. From kids toddling around this place in diapers. Now they were running the place.

    Elvie put his hands on his desk and pushed back. “What do you need Mr. President?”

    Leo entered and shut the door behind him. “Don’t worry about transferring. I just have a minute before Jos and I have a meeting with Stevenson and Mitchel. I’m being late on purpose.” He rolled his eyes.

    Elvie chuckled.

    Leo continued as he leaned against the wall. “I just wanted to thank you, for being there for me and Marc and for getting us to see Rachel. I can talk to Marc again and it just makes me feel so much better. I don’t think he’ll be able to shut me up. So… yeah… thanks.” He looked down and silence hung in the air.

    Elvie smiled. “This guy is walking down a street, when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep. He can't get out. A doctor passes by, and the guy shouts up ‘Hey you! Can you help me out?’ The doctor writes him a prescription, throws it down the hole and moves on. Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up ’Father, I'm down in this hole, can you help me out?’ The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a friend walks by. ‘Hey Joe, it's me, can you help me out?’ And the friend jumps in the hole! Our guy says ‘Are you stupid? Now we're both down here!’ and the friend says, ‘Yeah, but I've been down here before, and I know the way out.’”

    Leo brushed away tears forming. He wore a sad smile as he looked up. “Priest? I thought it was a rabbi.”

    Both began to laugh so hard, it hurt. They laughed until they cried, then laughed some more.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2020
  7. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    A/N: @mavjade I'm not sure if you saw above, but I finished off "My Pride in You" (which I still hate my title) and there IS a PM bonus chapter ;) Anyways, its Monday Mush Mania so I'm posting this short little bit. Your fic gift is coming - I swear - it's just one of those fics where I love my idea... but the writing execution just isn't there. Anyways, on with the mush:

    Title: Just for Grandma
    Characters: Noah/Imogene, Marc/Leo, Donna, Abi.
    A/N: Written for this Monday Mush Mania prompt.

    December 18 - 4th night of Hanukkah

    Noah Lyman-Seaborn loved Hanukkah. The whole eight days of presents was always fun as a kid. But now as an adult, he just enjoyed the calm evenings with loved ones and lighting the menorah always brought back such wonderful memories of his dad. This was his first Hanukah as a married man, having married the love of his life, Imogene Seaborn, six months ago. So they had come to his mother’s for Hanukkah and would be spending Christmas with Imogene’s parents.

    After a filling meal of chicken-pot-pie, he was drinking a glass of wine with his mom, twin sister, and brother-in-law. Imogene was cuddled up to Noah on the sectional couch, sipping her hot chocolate. Abi had just gotten into town early this afternoon. They were now taking bets - while Marc was on the phone - as to how late Leo was going to be.

    “Tell him we are going to open gifts without him!” Abi shouted.

    Marc rolled his eyes as he continued holding the phone. “Okay, love you too. See you soon.” He hung up his cell and sighed. “I married a workaholic.”

    Everyone either laughed or snorted.

    “Mayor Lyman claims he’s leaving and will be here soon,” Marc continued, rolling his eyes. “So he wants us to wait for him.”

    “Does he not love his sister?” Abi exclaimed. “Hey,” she said, kicking Imogene before she plopped next to Imogene, her longtime best friend. “You still not feeling well? Because I wanna get drunk with someone while I’m here.” She raised her glass. “I’m free of work, my jerk-wad ex-boyfriend, I’m turning 29 in a few days, and I wanna celebrate!”

    “I think you are going to have to celebrate your freedom with one of your brothers,” Imogene said pulling the blanket she and Noah were cuddling under closer around her. She had been vomiting and sick all day.

    “My brothers with their delicate systems? No thank you. I’ll get waisted with Marc.”

    “I have to work in the morning!” Marc exclaimed.

    “Bah!” Abi exclaimed.

    Imogene groaned, closed her eyes, and took a few deep breaths.

    “Imo?” Noah asked, concerned. “Bathroom?”

    She nodded and he began to extract her from the large quilt, but was too slow. She vomited all over Noah and the quilt.

    Noah glared. “And I was being mocked for my ‘delicate system’.”

    * * *

    Imogene leaned against Noah as they showered together. Noah was gently rubbing her back as she pressed into his chest.

    “You wanna go to bed?” Noah asked. “We can tell them tomorrow.”

    “No,” she sighed, rinsing off. “I think your mom already suspects something. Just wrap me in something warm.”

    “Okay. I love you.”

    “Love you too.”

    A few minutes later, with Imogene wearing sweatpants and an old hoodie belonging to Noah, they made their way back downstairs to the living room. Leo had arrived and was now stuffing his face with leftovers while Marc cuddled him.

    Noah and Imogene settled back on the other end of the couch and Donna covered Imogene up with a fresh blanket.

    “Thanks Donna,” Imogene said. “Sorry about that. Why don’t you open a gift from Noah and I tonight?”

    “Yeah!” Noah exclaimed, looking at the table in the hallway. “The box with the gold ribbon and the tag that says ‘Just For You.’”

    “Okay, okay,” Donna said, mostly ignoring him she went to the table. “Leo, this one is for you… this one is for Marc… Abi can have this one….”

    Noah and Imogene looked at each other and rolled their eyes. They didn’t want to give anything away, so they obediently watched everyone else open their gifts. Leo received new socks, Marc got some fancy olive oils, Abi received a new hat, Noah got gloves, and Imogene received some picture frames.

    Abi joked, “I love how the in-laws received better gifts than the actual kids.”

    “Mom!” Noah said. “Open your present! Imogene and I picked it out just for you.”

    Donna still had her gift in her lap, having been distracted by everyone else opening their gifts. “Oh. Okay!” She untied the bow and lifted the lid of the box. She opened the tissue and smiled at the wood wall decoration. She read it out-loud, “ ‘There’s no place like home - except --.” She paused, gasped, covered her mouth. She began to cry, then lunged and hugged Imogene.

    Abi and Leo were extremely confused. Marc picked up the sign and read the rest. “ ‘There’s no place like home - except for Grandma’s house!”

    Everyone erupted with shouts of excitement and tried to hug either Noah or Imogene, or whoever they could grab. “I was twelve weeks yesterday and we already know it’s a girl,” Imogene explained to Donna and Abi. “We are telling my parents and Josie at Christmas, so no telling anyone. I’m talking to you, Leo.”

    Leo was too busy hugging his bother.

    “Your not mad?” Noah asked. “We know you and Marc are exploring options and really want to become parents.”

    “Why would I be mad?” Leo asked. He leaned back into Marc. “We’re going to be uncles! And I got to know before Josie!”

    Marc rolled his eyes as he hugged Noah. “And we’re going to have a little niece to spoil rotten!”

    Noah smiled. “Imo and I wanted to wait a bit before trying for kids; it just felt so weird for me to become the first one of us to become a Dad. But, you know, birth control failed.”

    “No, we don’t know about birth control,” Marc deadpanned. “But you guys are going to be such great parents,” he said genuinely.

    “Thanks,” Noah said.

    Leo hugged his brother again. “Dad would have been so proud,” he said, softly.

    Noah nodded. “He would have gotten a kick out of becoming a Grandpa. I’m certainly excited to be a dad!”

    “You’re excited,” Imogene mumbled. “I’m just waiting until the morning sickness passes.”
    Kahara likes this.
  8. mavjade

    mavjade Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 10, 2005
    I'm so, so sorry. I absolutely love these stories and I never want them to end! And if you have longer stories to write, I'm so happy to read them, despite recent evidence to the contrary! I think it's a combination of things, I haven't gotten into a groove with work yet as I still have no idea what I'm doing. And then I want to do my usual reviews and I feel like I don't always have the time/energy so I say to myself I do it later and later doesn't come for the same reasons. I'm going to try and do better because I really really love your writing of these stories! (And I know I keep saying all of this, but it is true!)

    I did miss the last update somehow.
    I really loved how sweet Elvie was to Leo. I mean, he always is in his sarcastic way, but this was just perfect for the situation. His hand on Leo's knee under the table made me smile so much. And then going to talk to Marc. [face_love] The scene with the therapist was so emotional, I loved it! I especially liked when Leo insisted that he had to be Leo in that situation, it's a big distinction and an important one. She was perfect for them and I loved her exercises with Leo writing the list of things he felt guilty for (and all of those were sooo Leo) and Marc's love letter!
    And then the date.... [face_love][face_love] Perfect!!

    This was such a great story! You know I love me some angst with a mushy ending and it was just perfect!!
    And yes, I'm going to need that PM chapter!! :D

    Just for Grandma:
    Ahhhh..... A Noah and Imogene story!!! :*
    I love it so much!! The "Mayor Lyman claims he's leaving" line from Marc made me laugh so hard! And I love how they decided to tell Donna they were having a baby! But poor Imo, that's so embarrassing even if no one there would care.
  9. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    I will admit, I was getting a bit worried there, but I also completely understand changing schedules and not being able to get into any sort of grove given changes in life (especially me this month! Has it really been almost 2 months since I've posted anything? My muse has ideas but has been kinda refusing to stick with with any one idea to finish it, or I want to write one paring but all the muse is giving me is for a different paring OOOOOORRR my ideas are either way too short for a full vignette or way too long and not easily broken down into parts... it's annoying - I have an angsty Elvie fic I'm working on, it's probably going to be in the 3500 word range when I'm done and I don't wanna break it up, but at the same time, thats a really long post and I don't know what to do with it which is preventing me from finishing it... it's a problem).

    Thanks! I love sarcastic, yet sweet Elvie (mixed with a HINT of smut :p)!

    I loved writing the scene with the therapist. But I think this is one of those fics where it definitely could have benefited from a few more 'chapters' but the muse ended up wandering off, as it does.

    I was soooo happy when the muse gave me this one I just had to! And I love sassy Marc!

    And yeah, poor Imo! I don't think anyone cared but it's still gross.
  10. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    Title: Maturing Love
    2039 (a few months after the aftermath of Josh’s death), 2056
    Characters: Leo/Marc
    A/N: I just wanted to write some “stake-less” angst. This plot bunny actually came to me while I was fighting off a migraine of my own (because what else do I do when I’m lying in bed in the dark?).
    And then I added the second part when I just wanted some Leo/Marc but really had no plot bunnies for them. It kinda feels like a very different tone, but both parts were so short, it just made more sense to do one vignette.

    Leo frowned. The townhouse was dark and still. “Marc?” Leo called as he shut the front door behind him. It was Friday evening and Marc always got home an hour or so before Leo - and as far as Leo could remember - they had no plans this evening. Why wasn’t Marc home, making dinner? Friday nights were usually their date-night-in. Leo then noticed Marc’s work shoes on the mat. “Marc? Handsome? You here?”

    Leo began turning on lights and searching in the living room and kitchen. A smirk crossed Leo’s face. Was Marc lying in wait somewhere to jump out and scare him? Leo loved it when Marc did silly things to help Leo unwind after a stressful week… and it had been a pretty stressful week between the new e-train worker’s strike; protesters of the economic forum disrupting traffic, not to mention the Mayor of DC was sick so a whole lot more responsibility was heaped onto Leo’s desk as Chief of Staff to the mayor. “Ma-arc?” Leo called out in a sing-song voice. “If I hit you when you leap out at me, I’m going to have no sympathy.” He began climbing the stairs, discarding his jacket. “Marc, seriously, you’d better be naked up here.”

    His phone then pinged. It was a text from Marc and contained one word: migraine.

    Leo instantly felt bad. He stopped yelling and turning on lights. He slipped into the master bedroom. There was a single lump on Marc’s side of the bed covered in the sheets and quilt. Marc only slightly shifted.

    “Hey, Marc. Sorry for yelling,” Leo whispered. “How’re you feeling?”

    “Awful,” Marc grumbled back. “I have no idea why this one so bad. I thought I could… you know… make it manageable before you got back.”

    “I’ll go get you a warm compress. Do you need water or Tylenol?”

    “No, Leo,” Marc breathed, rolling over onto his back and pinching the bridge of his nose. “I just want to lay here in the dark.”

    “Okay,” Leo whispered. “I’ll get you that compress.” Leo quickly discarded his tie, left, but hurried back with a tray of things. He set the tray on the other side of the bed. “I got you a hot compress, some of your migraine medication, milk, some crackers, and water.”

    “I just want the compress,” Marc said, blindly reaching down. “I already took meds.”

    Leo handed Marc the heated pad. “On an empty stomach?” he asked concerned. “No, the bottle says to take with food.” He checked to make sure he read right.

    “Leo, it’s fine,” Marc insisted. He placed the compress on his forehead and settled back into his pillow.”

    “No, I’m going to make some dinner. How about some grilled cheese and tomato soup?”

    “Leo, I just need you to leave me alone,” his voice was calm, yet desperate.

    Leo felt gutted. “Oh. Okay.” He just felt so unsure of himself. He knew Marc sometimes just wanted to be left alone, but Leo wanted to help. He wanted to take care of Marc, like Marc had taken care of him over these past few weeks. Leo set the tray on the dresser before turning to leave. “Everything is just right here. Call me if you need anything.”

    * * *

    Leo spent the evening alone, worrying about Marc. He made two servings of grilled cheese and tomato soup, but put Marc’s in the fridge.

    He watched some news on TV, talked with his sister, and was generally just kinda bored. He watched an old Marvel movie and started looking online for gifts for Marc’s upcoming birthday.

    Leo eventually turned off the TV and quietly made his way to the bathroom where he got ready for bed. He tried to be as quiet as possible; he didn’t even turn on any lights. He carefully got into his side of the bed and draped his arm around Marc’s waist. He tried to kiss Marc’s cheek goodnight, but Marc groaned and pulled away.

    “Leo, no. You are way too cold. Your freaking freezing feet woke me.”

    “I’m sorry,” Leo said genuinely. He rolled away to give Marc more room.

    Marc groaned again. “I can’t do this. You’re tossing too much and shaking the bed. It’s making me nauseous. I’m going to sleep on the couch.”

    “No, my love,” Leo said without thinking. He began to get up and grab his pillow. He felt completely dejected. “I’ll sleep on the couch.”

    * * *

    The following morning, Leo stared at the ceiling. He barely slept; between the couch and worrying about Marc, it had been a rough night.

    He then heard footsteps approaching. Marc approached, wrapped in a blanket. “Good morning. I wanted to get up and make you coffee,” he murmured. “But I still feel lightheaded,” he said, lying down on top of Leo.

    Leo wrapped his arms around Marc’s back, “Then why are you out of bed? I would have brought you breakfast.” He hated that Marc was still feeling sick, but was loving the cuddles.

    “Because,” Marc sighed, laying his forehead on the pillow next to Leo’s, “I have this really big crush on this guy and I was kinda mean to him last night, even though he was only trying to be nice and take care of me. He slept on the couch last night and now I feel awful about kicking him out of bed.”

    Leo started to blush. Marc still had a crush on him, and the feeling was mutual. “Is he a good husband?”

    “The best. Though I wouldn’t tell him that. It would just go to his big head.” Marc started playing with Leo’s hair.

    Leo laughed as he rubbed Marc’s back. Everything felt right again. “Just like the fact that he was right about you taking your pills for your migraine with food.”

    “Yeah, he was right,” Marc admitted. “Which is just going make him insufferable. But I bet I can still make him make me avocado toast for breakfast. I’m starving!”

    “Okay,” Leo laughed, getting out from under Marc and helping him lay down again. “Avocado toast and eggs for breakfast.”

    * * *

    17 Years Later

    The pain was excruciating. The bright lights stabbed laser-beams at his eyes; every round of boisterous laughter drove the icepick deeper into his temple and wiggled it around. President Leo Lyman was killing it at his second White House Corespondents’ dinner.

    And it was killing his husband.

    Marc always tried to keep up appearances. He never wanted to be First Gentleman of the United States, but Leo’s work as President was his dream: his goal and purpose. And Marc smiling and laughing - and face-palming - at crippled Vice President jokes was all a part of keeping the “appearance” of the supportive, loving husband alive (Marc was, of course, supportive and loving, but all he wanted right now was to be a quiet, dark room and he knew Leo would want that too). And smacking the press in the face with the image of Marc laughing along with Leo at the White House Corespondents’ dinner would make both their professional lives easier.

    So, Marc sipped his water, timed his forced laughs, and tried not to inhale too deeply. Someone sitting nearby was drenched in cologne and Marc was pretty sure he was going to vomit or die of an aneurism. He would prefer the aneurism, though he always did want revenge on Leo for the vomit incident that cost Marc a suit jacket. That thought made Marc genuinely smile.

    “My staff-writers asked me what sort of topics I wanted to make jokes about in this address,” Leo continued. “I told them the usual: jokes actually acknowledging I have staff writers because we all know I’m not funny; meta stuff about this dinner being a bunch of elitist snobs ignoring serious issues; jokes that make it seem like I’m making fun of my handsome, smart, amazing husband, but in-fact I’m sucking up to him for dragging him here,” Leo paused, turned, and winked at Marc. “Love you, Hot-Stuff.” Marc knew that was his cue to roll his eyes but smile, and the smile was genuine. “And most importantly, I wanted to call out my smarmy, disrespectful Vice President.” Leo paused to glare at Elvie, who was seated at the other end of the head table.

    “There’s this whole thing about ‘when the President enters a room; no-body sits’… it’s about respecting the office. However, Vice President Leo-Vincente Alexander Ronen Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de LaFayette Santos,” there was a long pause for laughs as Leo did that entire bit in one breath. “He never stands for me when I enter a room! And I now have to make some lame joke about shortening the VP’s name to ‘Wheels’ because whoever was typing out the teleprompter got lazy….”

    Marc knew this was his opportunity to ‘slip off’ to the restroom. There was probably a whole bit about Elvie… written by Elvie. And no one would make a big deal of it if he was just gone a few minutes.

    However, trying to inconspicuously slip out a ballroom full of reporters with a Secret Service detail, was pretty much impossible, however, Leo was making “Lyman and Santos Dynasty” jokes and showing ridiculously cute pictures of himself and Elvie as babies in diapers and the audience was roaring with laughter. Marc had to get out of the situation.

    He pushed away from the table and quickly made his way towards a nearby door and escaped into a service hallway. Now he had florescent lights and clanking from the kitchen to deal with, but at least now he could breath, close his eyes and rub his temples. “Does anyone know where the restrooms are?” he asked his detail.

    “This way, Sir, we will clear it for you.”

    “Does anyone have any sort of painkiller? Tylenol? Advil? Anything?” Marc asked as he and two of his detail entered the restroom. Marc leaned against the sink and began splashing water on his face.

    “Sorry, Sir,” the head of his detail, Kingsley, said. “The only medicine you requested we carry around for is your Epi pen. We can carry around other as-needed medications if you give us a list.”

    The other agent in the room, Seamus, then spoke up. “But I can ask the Vice President’s detail if they have any.”

    Marc just nodded, unsure if this was protocol, but at this point, he didn’t care.

    Seamus left, but came back a minute later with a small black case that rattled. “This is from the Vice President himself. He said… umm… that the vape pen is charged if you would like to do a hit of… marijuana.” Seamus nervously eyed Kingsley. “And that there’s no Viagra because Mrs. Santos carries that for him.”

    Marc rolled his eyes as he took the case and unzipped it. It seemed like variety was chosen over quantity of any one particular medicinal item. There were maybe 2-4 pills of a dozen different types of medication (and there was actually Viagra, Elvie was clearly just messing with Seamus), a couple throat lozenges, catheters, and other paraphernalia. “Well, nice to see Elvie probably isn’t an addict.” Marc found a travel-sized bottle of Tylenol with codeine and popped two into his mouth. He gave the case of drugs back to Seamus but remained leaned against the sinks.

    He remained for a few more minutes, but knew he had to return. Taking a deep breath, he returned to the ballroom and took his seat.

    “Finally, I want to thank you, the media. While I might hate you most of the time, without you, democracy would not stand. I am held accountable to the American people… and you hold me accountable. We’ve lived through times of fear-mongering and false news, but we’ve always seen through those tactics and have striven for a more honest relationship….” Leo continued.

    But Marc stopped listening. It was easier just to pretend like he was listening along.

    When Leo stepped down from the podium, he sat back down and put his hand on Marc back. “How you feeling? How’s you head?” Leo knew Marc had come to this evening with a bit of a headache.

    Marc just breathed as he tried to form words. He didn’t want to lie - Leo wasn’t that dense. “It’s a full blown migraine and I’m not doing too well, but I got some Tylenol from Elvie and it seems to be taking the edge off.”

    “Okay,” Leo said as he put his hand on the back of Marc’s neck and gently massaged the tense muscles. “We’ll get going.” Leo turned and spoke to an aid, then turned back and held both of Marc’s hands. It was the warmth of Leo’s palms that made Marc realized how cold he was.

    It was in moments of this pain that Marc remembered all the little things about Leo: the softness of his hands, the calmness of his breathing, and his gentle kiss that said so much more than words: I love you, I’m sorry you’re in pain, let me do whatever it takes to get you feeling better.

    They were quickly escorted out, through a series of service hallways. Away from the stuffy ballroom, Marc realized just how cold he was. He began to shiver uncontrollably.

    Leo paused, took off his suite jacket, and put it over Marc’s shoulders. It was an interesting choice given that Marc was just a bit bigger than Leo, but the gesture still warmed Marc’s heart.

    “Do you need a doctor?” Leo whispered, even though it was pointless given all the noise around them. It was still sweet.

    “No, Leo, I just want…”

    “Quiet, dark, drugs,” Leo said as they continued walking. He kept holding Marc’s hand.

    “I knew I married you for a reason,” Marc said. “Cuddles might be nice too.”

    “Really?” Leo asked, sounding almost excited. He hated the fact that he didn’t get to show Marc love and comfort when Marc had a brutal migraine. But Marc figured he could put up with Leo; Marc could deal with some cold toes after dealing with The White House Correspondence dinner.

    On second thought….

    “As long as you wear socks. Your feet are always so cold.”
  11. mavjade

    mavjade Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 10, 2005
    I'm sure a lot of this is from your own experiences with migraines, but I feel like Marc and I are the same person in this instance! I love this, it was kinda therapeutic! lol
    Also, I hate it when I see the alert when I don't have time to read and then I forget. But at least I didn't forget too long this time.

    This was so cute, that he immediately thought Marc was going to do something silly and fun. That says a lot about their relationship.

    I've done this so many times. Last week I thought I might be able to walk the dog because dp was busy, and then I leaned down to put on his harness and nope. Not at all. By the time they got back, I was in full blown migraine.

    I can take basically anything on an empty stomach and it won't bother me, except migraine meds. Trying to choke down a few crackers or bread while I'm trying not to vomit and my head feels like it's going to explode is not fun, but it's so much worse if I don't.

    Poor Leo, I know that hurts. To want to help so badly but to be turned away. :( But yes, I'm with Marc on this, just leave me alone. Helping is making it worse.

    And same. I've gone to the couch more than a few times. Usually dp is fast asleep so he doesn't know until morning. But weirdly, I sometimes can actually fall asleep on the couch where I couldn't in my bed. I think it's because my head is more elevated.

    I know this feeling well. I actually told a boyfriend in college not to call an ambulance because I'd rather die on my bathroom floor. (That was probably my worst one I've ever had.) I told him if I lost consciousness, then he could call. But poor, poor Marc having to try and fake laughing, being in public, being watched. That's miserable. I've had to fake a bit while at work and it really sucks, but I don't have the press watching me and possibly the whole world.

    Hahah... I love Leo's jokes! He was killing it! And I love the idea that Elvie wrote the jokes about him, himself.

    [face_laugh][face_laugh] Oh Elvie! It's hilarious, but that poor Agent. And then I love the detail that there was Viagra in there and he said it just to mess with the poor guy! And thank goodness for Elvie's traveling pharmacy! I certainly don't have that much, but I never go anywhere without Ibuprofen, Excedrin migraine, and Tylenol just in case of a migraine.

    Sorry this was so much me comparing to Marc, but like I said, it felt good to commiserate. And of course, I love me some wump!
  12. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    Lol. A lot of this is from my personal experience but I knew you would relate to it too. I'm glad you liked it and found it therapeutic. It was oddly therapeutic to write too.
    My former roommates would do this - he'd jump out and she's yell - it was kinda annoying but at the same time so cute!
    That sucks. Yeah, the oddest thing will make a headache go from manageable to full blown nope.
    I've mentioned this before but having a migraine and low bloodsugar is god awful - trying not to vomit but being shaky and having to chug something super sweet is just awful.

    :( I felt so bad doing this to Leo. I had a migraine so bad while living with the above mentioned housemates [the couple I enjoyed living with more only because I knew them both well and they were quieter (though that's relative to the other housemates so...)] that I ended up puking (in the toilet) then after laying on the floor for probably way too long (it was nice there) I ended up having to call him (he was upstairs) to come get me back into bed because I physically could not do it myself. AND HE WAS SO SWEET. He put me to bed, got me a hot water bottle and a bottle of water and more tylenol and gravol. He wanted to stay and help so much, he even offered to sit and read in my living room incase I needed him. I told him it was best just to leave me alone but I felt so bad because all he wanted to do was help. It was possibly one of the sweetest things anyone has ever done for me (and yes, the COVID crisis has made me nostalgic for my housemates).
    Yeah, sometimes I'll try laying on the couch for a bit and it sometimes helps. I think for me it's because it's cooler (sometimes cold helps my migraines, other times it makes them so much worse (and now I've stopped completely taking about the story).
    Oh man, that's awful (and yeah, when my housemate found me on the bathroom floor he wanted to call an ambulance and take me to the hospital and I don't think my "I'd rather die" reply helped)

    But, yeah, I feel so bad for Marc here. I had an awful migraine the weekend of my high school graduation (the night before I ended up vomiting chilli out my nose... I don't recommend). I remember being pretty okay for the actual ceremony, though I was so drugged up I seriously don't remember much except for laying my head on the guy's shoulder next to me (we were good friends so he let me). Buuuut (point of this story) for the grad dinner afterwards it was in a similar setting to this story (dark, but with blinding spotlights, lots of people and sensory input) and I just couldn't do it. I was like "mom, no, I can't" and thankfully she understood. The one picture of me from that night and I look like death.
    Thanks. I was laughing so hard as I was coming up with them!
    I love the idea of Elvie still messing with the agents [face_laugh] The guy is just a terror. And, yeah, I got the reputation as a rolling pharmacy in high school. I have a case similar that I keep in my purse.

    It's okay. I love me some commiseration too, and wump. I've got two pieces Elvie wump coming along. Hopefully one will be done soon, but the other one that's less complete is taking over!
  13. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    Title: Outgunned, Outmanned, Outnumbered, Outplanned
    Timeframe: 2015
    Characters: Josh/Donna, Leo
    A/N: I think I might have written “Josh finds out it’s twins” before, back pre-vingette series, BUUUUUT this hit during NANO, and whatever the muse wanted during NANO, it got. The muse just wanted Daddy!Josh combined with Leo being too gosh darn adorkable. Plus obligatory Hamilton title. I had no idea where this was going, it’s short, but it’s too darn cute not to post. Plus we just need some darn cuteness. Hopefully I’ll have more fics coming - my muse was having issues but it’s coming out (it’s the stress and anxiety).

    Josh didn’t like doctors. He liked them even less when the doctor talked ‘low sperm count’. He was only here because Donna was holding his hand, preventing him from running out. He did want this… but the ‘traditional’ route had seemingly failed them. The office was small, but the walls were covered with diagrams of uteruses and there even was an educational model of male anatomy. Josh avoided looking around further.

    “So,” Dr. Keats - a woman Donna’s age with long brown hair. “Other than the oligospermia - which really isn’t that much of a concern - I really don’t see a reason why you haven’t conceived. All our routine tests have come back normal.”

    Josh and Donna wanted another kid. Josh wanted another baby. They had been trying after Leo, but had been unsuccessful. They had agreed that, if by the end of President Santos’ second term they hadn’t conceived, they would go to a fertility specialist.

    Dr. Keats continued. “We could do more tests but I don’t see a need to do so right now. Sometimes couples simply have troubles conceiving.”

    Josh appreciated the doctor didn’t bring up his age. He was turning 54 this year. He knew it was selfish to want another kid at his age, but he loved being Daddy and wanted to give Leo a baby brother or sister.

    Donna instinctually squeezed Josh’s hand as the doctor continued.

    “I would like to go ahead with in-vitro. We would try a straight round or two, see if it works - often first rounds of in-vitro are unsuccessful - then do some further testing if we don’t see results.”

    * * *

    A few weeks later, they got the results in the form of a blue plus sign. Donna was sitting on the toilet with the lid down and Josh was on the edge of the bed, staring into the ensuite bathroom.


    “Joshua! Shut up! I think I’m going to vomit again!”

    A few weeks after that, Josh got the shock of his life at Donna’s first ultrasound.

    Four legs.

    Four arms.

    Two heads.


    Josh was still in a state of wonder, excitement, and being scared out of his wits.

    Donna claimed she was feeling alright, nothing too unlike she experienced in the first trimester with Leo. There was a bit of nausea, aches, and she was generally more tired (but that might have been due to chasing a 4… almost 5 year old around). However, one thing she wasn’t expecting was how badly her ankles were swelling already. The OB/GYN claimed it wasn’t anything to worry about, but Josh was still being neurotic.

    So Donna gladly allowed him to rub her feet and ankles every evening. They were on the couch together and had Leo on the floor playing with Lego.

    “So, when do you think we should start telling people,” Josh asked, “My mom’s going to be mad we didn’t even tell her about the in-vitro stuff.”

    Donna rolled her eyes and set her hands on her stomach. At eleven weeks with twins, she was gaining weight, but it wasn’t noticeable yet. “I think it’s best to wait till a bit into second trimester since these guys are a bit more high risk.”

    “Don’t say that,” Josh said, trying to regulate his breathing. He leaned down and kissed her stomach through her teal shirt. “They just need some little extra loving and care from Daddy,” he said, scratching her stomach with his index finger.

    “Who needs extra loving and care from Daddy?” Leo asked, toddling up to the couch and trying to get into Josh’s lap.

    “Uhhhh,” Josh stalled, looking at Donna. It was understandable why they wouldn’t want to tell Leo either, quite yet. Something happening to the pregnancy would be devastating enough, but explaining that to Leo would break them. Sure most of the first trimester was over, but neither wanted to temp the wrath of the whatever from high atop the thing.

    “Daddy and Mommy have a surprise for you, but you have to wait…” Donna considered. “Three weeks.”

    “Three weeks!” Leo whined. “Daddy!” he exclaimed as Josh helped him sit in his lap. Leo knew Josh was the weak link when it came to information. “Thats… like… too many sleeps! I can’t even count that high!”

    Josh laughed and kissed Leo’s hair. “Come on! Lets make a count-down! You can mark off how many days let till you get to know the secret. Go get some crayons and some construction paper.”

    * * *

    Every morning for the next three weeks, Leo tried to get the information out of his daddy (he knew it was pointless with Mommy) but Daddy kept his lips sealed. Leo even tried to tickle it out of Daddy, but Daddy ended up hanging Leo upside down by his feet.

    However, on the twenty-first day, both Josh and Donna woke Leo up. Donna had gained more weight and it was becoming obvious that she was expecting, but Josh and Donna had wanted to tell Leo before anyone else. They wanted Leo to break the news.

    “Leo,” Donna whispered, smoothing her son’s hair and she and Josh sat on either side of the bed. Donna was dressed for the day, but Josh was still in his pyjamas. “Get up, my love. Daddy has something for you.”

    Leo tiredly sat up. His hair stood up everywhere.

    “Do you know what day it is?” Josh asked.

    Leo gasped and grabbed at his count-down on his bedside table. “It’s the day you tell me the secret!”

    Josh nodded, then gave Leo a small gift wrapped in tissue.

    Leo leaned against his daddy as he eagerly opened the gift: a blue t-shirt. Leo looked up at his parents, confused and just a bit disappointed.

    “Can you read it?” Donna asked as she smoothed out the shirt. Leo was just beginning to learn how to read.

    “B… Best. Big! I know that word!” Leo exclaimed excitedly. “Best big… b…br…o…bro…th… broth…er. Brother?” Leo looked up questioningly.

    His parents nodded. “Best big brother,” his father said gently.

    “I still don’t get it.”

    Donna laughed. “You! You’re going to be the best big brother.”

    Leo gasped. “I’m getting a little brother?”

    Josh and Donna nodded. “A little sister too,” Josh said proudly. “Mommy is pregnant with twins. That means we are going to have two babies in a few months.”

    Leo looked up at his parents and began crying.

    “Leo?” Josh asked concerned. “Is everything okay?” He scooped Leo up and held him close. “You know, Mommy and Daddy will always love you the same, there’s just going to be more love and more to love.”

    “I know,” Leo sniffled. “I’m just soooo happy and soooo excited! I’m getting two babies!”
  14. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    double post. sorry.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020
  15. mavjade

    mavjade Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 10, 2005
    Oh man, you always seem to know when I really need a pick me up and today I really did! I had a day where I was furious most of the day, so this bit of mush was perfect!

    Oh I always know it's going to awesome with a Hamilton title!

    Yay! But if anyone understands muse issues, it's me. I think the stress might also be making mine peek out.

    I could totally see Josh being super uncomfortable in this office and it makes me laugh! My company is about to release a scope that's for the urethra and bladder, so I'm going to have to start carrying around male and female genitalia models which is going to be... interesting.

    Dawww... they both want another kid, but I love how you said so specifically that Josh wanted another baby!

    Bahahaha..... of course Josh!! I laughed so hard at the mental image of this! And poor Donna.

    This was so well written, like I could see Josh thinking each line individually. Like each one was adding up to the twins but his mind wasn't quite getting it yet.

    Hey girl, if he's offering, that's not a bad perk! But of course she also has to carry around two babies so...

    Tee hehe... of course little Leo is curious and wants to know! But would totally spill the beans if they told him.

    Josh is such a good dad! This is a perfect way to deal with it, gives them something to do together and is in a way that a kid his age can understand! Daddy!Josh is just [face_love]

    [face_laugh] Little Leo trying to manipulate Josh is everything! I love that he knows, even at that age, Donna won't budge, but Josh might!

    I literally laughed out loud at this. Had I been drinking something it would have been a spit-take. He did so well sounding it out and then that.... [face_laugh]

    Awwww..... [face_love] My Leo! He's so sweet and so cute!!

    I loved this so much! And like I said, it made my day, I needed that!
  16. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    Woah. Has it it really been almost a month since I've posted in this thread. I know I've posted other stuff but days seem like they are blending together.

    I'm glad it really picked you up on a day you needed it!
    I can't resist a Hamilton title!
    I'm sad that everyone is stressed out, but I'm happy your muse is peaking out!
    Hahaha.. Oh, you just gotta own it and be totally confident with it!
    Well, Donna is the one who has to HAVE the baby! Josh gets to just cuddle with it!
    Josh just can't` help himself sometimes.
    BAHAHA! I can just see the delay in Josh's poor brain.

    Yeah, she deserves it!
    Little Leo would have a huge mouth and it's adorable.
    Josh would love being a dad I think and would love doing all the fun little kid stuff!
    Leo's a genius politician, even at that age!

    I just love how ridiculously honest and blunt little kids are, and little oblivious Leo is just adorable.
    He's so sweet.

    I'm really glad you loved it!
  17. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    A/N: I'm posting two vignettes today! Just because I feel like it! And because both are shorter. Ones really serious and heavy, and the other is just fluffy so I thought a balance was needed. In a way I totally didn't realize until I almost hit reply, these totally fit perfectly together in just a lovely unintended way @};-

    Title: Pouring Heart
    Timeframe: Winter 2037
    Characters: Marc/Leo
    A/N: My muse was being a butt and refusing to work on any of the 9 billion WIPs I have (and like so many are like 85% finished - uggghhg), so I started on something new! Anyways, I highly recommend listening to Me, Museum by Mary Lambert, because it just captures the reality and shame of a childhood of fear and abuse. Angst warning, but it has a mushy ending!

    “I think you should have to take a shot of whisky for every person with a Wikipedia page,” Marc murmured as he looked down the invite list his fiancé had FINALLY written. The past few months since being engaged had been a flurry of activity and change for Marc Johnson and Leo Lyman: they had bought a townhouse (using money Leo’s parents had given them for a wedding gift), moved from Boston to DC, Marc had graduated from Harvard (Leo had graduated the previous year), AND both had gotten jobs and started their careers. It had been many positive changes, but had left little time for wedding planning. So Marc and Leo were currently cuddled on the couch in their living room one January evening, creating (and hopefully finalizing in one step) their invitation list. Marc was sitting up, going over Leo’s list, and Leo was lying across the couch - head in Marc’s lap - scanning Marc’ list.

    They had the date (the Fourth of July), venues, and caterers… and not much else. Thankfully neither wanted an elaborate wedding and were going to keep the guest count far below max capacity of their venues (both were around 120)… or so Marc thought. Marc’s draft only had 30 guests: his family was small and he knew only a few close friends from Boston would make the trip on the long weekend, not that Marc minded, he was close to Leo’s family and friends and both wanted an intimate wedding were they both knew everyone. His list included their mutual friends. Leo’s list wasn’t much longer - perhaps maybe 50 names, most of who Marc either knew personally… or from recent US history… or both. There were two former US presidents, two former First Ladies… the current president, and the list just went on.

    “Mhhm? Marc? What do you mean?” Leo asked, completely oblivious to Marc’s joke.

    Marc leaned down and kissed Leo’s forehead. “Minus your mom’s side of the family, I was making fun of the fact that your guest list reads kinda like a brainstorming for a modern Mount Rushmore - and don’t tell your father I said that. But I love it and I think we got a good number of people. I don’t think we’ve forgotten anyone important… I think we got all the living presidents… but we can have our moms double check.”

    Leo was still lost in thought. Marc could tell by the wrinkles on Leo’s forehead.

    But Leo’s expression softened when Marc began playing with Leo’s hair. “Marc, your dad isn’t on the list.”

    Marc stiffened but didn’t reply. Emotions suddenly crashed into him like waves breaking a levee. Oh God, why hadn’t he told Leo the full truth yet?

    “Marc, I know you don’t talk to your father, but if you think we should invite him, we can.”

    “No,” Marc breathed. That was the last thing he wanted. The dark secret was bubbling up. Out of sheer fear, Marc tried to push it back into the dam it threatened to burst from. But cracks were leaking.

    “Okay,” Leo sounded unconvinced. “I know the two of you don’t get along but I think he should still come. You wouldn’t really have to talk to him, but I’m sure he’d want to come, see his only child get married.” Marc knew it wasn’t on purpose, but it felt like Leo was kicking down the sandbags.

    “Leo.” Marc closed his eyes as water crashed over him. He tried to say what was on his mind, because he could with Leo, but no coherent thoughts formed. “I’ve never… I don’t think…. I’ve always been… I don’t know… I just don’t like to talk about it…” Marc rambled as tears sprung to his eyes. Furious with himself and his reaction, he wiped them away.

    “Okay,” Leo sounded annoyed, but of course he wasn’t. “I just thought with the wedding -.”

    “NO, Leo!” Marc yelled in pure panic.

    Leo was stunned.

    Marc took a breath. “I should have told you this before.” Marc felt his chest beating hard. “I’m sorry,” he sobbed. It just least leaked out. Leo then clued into how distressed Marc was. Tears were now running down his cheeks. “I didn’t mean to keep it a secret. It just never came up and I don’t talk about it. I’m sorry,” he repeated. Marc felt Leo’s arms around him. “He abused me, Leo. He hit me when I disagreed with him.”

    “What?” Leo asked, mortified.

    “That… that wasn’t the worst of it. Not by far. He’d yell at me, blame all his problems on me, make me think I was wrong.” Marc’s thoughts were completely incoherent as random, suppressed memories burst onto the shore. “He told me I was the reason he and my mom got divorced, that I took up too much of her attention… that I needed too much. God, I became too afraid to ask for anything from him or anyone else. He conditioned me like that. He told me I was a disappointment of a son… and then I came out to him. I should have seen it coming. He called me a worthless fag, Leo. He told me I never wanted to see me again and I have no idea what I did wrong!” Marc was looking down as tears streamed down his face.

    Then Marc went on… and on… and on.

    “God, Marc. I had no idea,” Leo said in shock. He just wanted the snapshots of phycological warfare to end. He couldn’t believe any of those things happening to his bubbly, outgoing, kind, soul-mate. Leo didn’t want to imagine any more.

    “I’m sorry,” Marc breathed, looking at his hands in his lap. “I should have told you sooner, I’m just so ashamed.”

    Leo gently touched Marc’s tight jaw. Marc still wouldn’t look at him. “Why are you apologizing to me? Why are you ashamed?”

    “I don’t know. Because I’m not from a perfect family like you? Because I don’t know what a happy marriage looks like or how to be a good dad? Because I should have told you how messed up I really am deep down sooner? I only know how to apologize.”

    Leo’s heart broke. Tears were rolling down his face. He turned to grab a quilt off of the back of the couch - really he just wanted to mask him wiping his face - and wrapped both of them in the blanket. Leo made his fiancé look at him by touching his chin and tilting it up. “Marc, you are perfect. I love you. You are not a burden to me, nor are you messed up. I know who you are, even more than you do. You have the biggest heart and you are so thoughtful, patient, creative, understanding and kind. You are going to be a wonderful husband and the best Daddy. I love you, and I can’t wait to tell you that for the rest of our lives.”

    “Thank you,” Marc said. He rested his head on Leo’s chest. His breathing slowly returned to normal. “Leo? I know we haven’t talked about this yet, but I wanna take your last name.”

    Leo was stunned. “I… I just assumed we were going to hyphenate, but if you think you just wanna take Lyman as your last name, I’d love that more than anything.”

    “I know I want to become a Lyman. I’ve known it since our first date. I’m ready to start life with Lyman as my last name and leave everything in the past behind me.”

    “Okay,” Leo murmured into Marc’s hair before kissing it. He then took Marc’s left hand and kissed the ring - Leo’s great-grandfather’s wedding band. “You’re already Mr. Marc Lyman in my heart. I can’t wait to make it official.”
  18. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    Title: Daddy and Miri
    Timeframe: Early in Leo’s campaign for President (so 2053??? I really don’t understand how long presidential campaigns are, but I wanted Miri to be quite young for this, so the math might be wrong)
    Characters: Marc/Leo and Miri
    A/N: I just wanted to write something mushy with Marc!!! This is short and absolutely plotless. Also, cars backfiring in 2053? I don’t think will be an issue but I needed something!

    Marc Lyman now got all the ‘campaign widow’ jokes his mother-in-law made.

    When Leo ran for Mayor, and then Senator, things really weren’t that bad. DC was just one city so no overnight trips had been necessary. Plus, they had been childless for all but Leo’s last campaign (even then JJ had just been a baby) so Marc had accompanied Leo to most events and functions. But now it was Sunday night, Leo had spend all weekend in Los Angeles and Las Vegas while Marc had been a single dad all weekend. He was exhausted, and bored, but he was staying up and watching a movie because he just needed some adult time, plus Leo’s flight was landing any minute. Marc missed his husband. He missed having adult conversations, having help to change diapers, and being kissed by Leo.

    Marc was half watching the brainless action movie while scrolling social media on his phone, when suddenly there was a loud bang outside. Marc startled, but realized it was probably a car backfiring or a dumpster being slammed. And then the crying started. Sighing, Marc quickly paused the movie and dashed up the stairs before the crying would wake JJ.

    Miri Cera Lyman was a joy to her parents, and really a fun-loving, outgoing toddler… but she was the world’s lightest sleeper. While she was becoming better at bedtimes, she had yet to master “just rolling over and going back to sleep” or soothing herself (Marc blamed that one on Leo). And if Miri went to sleep and didn’t have a full uninterrupted ten to twelve hours, she was a terror that rivalled JJ on his most colicky days as a newborn.

    Marc reached his daughters room to see her attempting to scale her crib in her yellow onesie pyjamas, and escape - all while wailing and crying. They had to get her into a toddler bed.

    With a reaction time only a father could have, Marc caught her before she tumbled over the rail. “Hey,” he said gently. “What ‘cha doing, Miri?” He did not hold her close for a hug, instead he just laid her back down. She had to learn she could just go back to sleep. “Time for bed,” he said, getting her blanket and trying to tuck her in. She fought and thrashed.

    “NOOOOO! WANT UPPPP!!” she cried.

    Marc, in a moment of weakness, just gave in. He had sympathy for his daughter; her Abba (who was the push-over parent) was gone and she didn’t understand why. “Okay,” he sighed and picked her up, holding her on his hip. She instantly stopped wailing and wrapped her small arms around his neck.

    He grabbed one of her favourite cuddle blankets and her ‘moo-cow’ stuffy and sat with her in the gliding rocker in the corner of your room. Marc rubbed her back and hoped that talking to her in calming tones wold get her back to sleep. “Abba and I are going to get your brother’s toddler bed out of storage tomorrow. Your going to get a real bed.”

    “Abba?” she asked, getting excited.

    Okay, maybe it wasn’t the best idea to get her excited, but her smile was so big. “Yeah, you’ll see Abba tomorrow morning.” He figured it best not to tell her Leo would be home tonight. Marc smoothed her hair and gave her a kiss on the forehead. “Are you going to give him hugs and smooches?”

    She looked up and puckered her lips. Marc bent down to kiss her forehead.

    “Do you love Abba?” he asked in a silly tone.

    “Yeah!” she giggled.

    “Do you love Daddy?”

    “Yeah!” she squealed.

    “And I love you!” Marc smiled and squeezed her tight. He continued to rock her until she relaxed and got dopey. He then put her back into bed, tucked her in, and rubbed her back. “Goodnight my munchkin.” He made sure her puppy night-light was on, turned off the light, closed … and practically ran into Leo. He was getting better at coming home quietly ever since they had kids.

    Leo was carrying his weekend bag and he was a bit disheveled from travel, but GOD, after 3 days, Marc had forgotten just how sexy his husband was.

    “Hey, how—.”

    Marc interrupted him by grabbing Leo’s face, kissing him, and dragging him to their bedroom.

    They were home.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2020
  19. mavjade

    mavjade Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 10, 2005
    I know the feeling, I have the same thing! It's so frustrating!!

    Pouring Heart
    This was so heart breaking but so beautiful at the same time!

    [face_laugh] Yeah, Leo's side would be Who's Who of US politics. I'm actually amazed he managed to make it down to 50 people! The politics of wedding invites, even without politics, is complicated.

    [face_laugh][face_laugh] This cracked me up! But it's pretty true. All the living presidents, lol.

    :( Leo's trying to help, but he just doesn't know. Poor Marc, having to put it all out there and I know he'll feel bad for kinda snapping, but it's completely understandable.

    =((:_| The trauma that verbal abuse causes can have such life long effects (not that physical doesn't too). I can't imagine having someone who is supposed to love you unconditionally treat you like that. To be a child so afraid to ask for anything.... :_|
    *wraps Marc in a hug*

    [face_love] And we know that Marc is the best dad! Becoming a parent is always scary, but to have had that in your past would just add so much more pressure. I love that Leo says he knows Marc more than he knows himself, I think that's very true. I love them both so much!

    Daddy and Miri
    Dawww... this was so sweet and I love that you wrote a great dad Marc story to post right after the story where he was worried about it!

    Hahaha... yeah...
    But I could totally see Donna making those jokes with Marc and I love it!

    This was such an adorable mental image! It always scares me when kids to that, but this was just so cute!

    Oh god, that's going to be me as a parent. I can't deny the dog anything. LOL. When they are so cute, it's so hard!

    But this is also understandable. She's just not old enough to understand what's going on, so while you want kids to learn how to self-soothe and how to go back to sleep, you have to balance that with understanding that things are weird. So some extra snuggles are sometimes necessary!

    This whole part made me squee! So, so cute!

    I loved Marc remembering how sexy Leo is when he sees him, it shows how much they are still so much in love.
    But that last line was so perfect. *happy sigh*

    I loved these both so much and they were so perfect to read together.
  20. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    Yup. I'm working on some Martian stuff but I have a few vignettes in this series going "I want attention toooo".

    Thank you. It's a hard topic for me... and anyone really but it was "fun' to write. I don't think that's the right word but it let my angsty-ness fly and I ended up really please with the results.
    Yeah... I'm not sure how realistic it would be for Leo to make his invite list JUST 50 people. I've never had to do it and I can't imagine it would be easy. Elvie's 500 guest wedding (which I'm writing something with now) would probably be more realistic!
    LOL. Poor Marc. His wedding was probably overrun with secret service agents!
    Yeah, Leo is totally oblivious and it's not because of his personality - he just had no idea. Yeah, Marc felt bad for snapping but sometimes you just gotta get it all out there.
    Yeah, it just sucks and I wanna give Marc a hug too!

    Marc totally ends up being dad-goals but his nervousness is totally understandable.
    And Leo is just a sweetheart in this [face_love]:*
    I totally didn't intend this, I just really wanted to write Marc snuggling with a toddler Miri but I'm really happy I ended up posting both at once.
    Donna is like the queen of being a campaign widow!
    I can just imagine Miri just being the littlest escape artist! It's adorable, but also so scary!
    LOL! Your going to be the Leo parent!
    Yeah, I can imagine that balance being hard. You want them to be independent, but you also want to show them love and care.
    I had so much fun writing them just being so cute!
    I just love the instant turn on Marc has upon seeing Leo. Marc probably didn't want Miri hearing her abba was back, but Marc also just wanted to jump Leo's bones!
    Thank you! I had so much fun writing both of these.
  21. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    Title: A Good Day
    August 2033
    Characters: Elvie, Josh, Matt/Helen
    A/N: This idea originally began when I was watching “A Good Day” (season 6, episode 17) in celebration (an to quell the anxiety of) submitting my dissertation. Not much happens in the episode (besides the meeting of Donna Moss and Matt Santos!) and it’s not some peak of writing. It’s just one of my favourite “feel good” episodes.

    Anyways, I started this fic as a sorta way to channel my anxiety about finishing school and moving but didn’t finish it till (long) after I moved and the muse took a bit to pop out again. I think originally it was going to be montage of Elvie’s time in Walter Reed - mostly pertaining to his parents - but the first scene ended up being like 1500 words and I figured my original plan was going to be about 3000 words it was just going to be a weird length to post all at once but it didn’t feel right to split it into 2. So I just kept adding things onto it (AND THHEEEN COVID HIT, so I added and cut a bit! It’s still a weird length but I might make the cut stuff into a part 2). Anyways this author’s note is a really long and rambly way to say this is a really oddly constructed story, but I liked it too much to just let it go unfinished/unposted. It’s classic hurt/comfort so I just had so much fun writing it, even if it doesn’t really go anywhere.

    It was not a good day.

    “Hey,” Joshua Lyman was leaning over Elvie Santo’s hospital bed with a sad smile. “You’re up. You slept for a good four hour stretch.” Josh’s white hair and beard looked dishevelled.

    It took a few moments for everything to register. “So I didn’t die in my sleep?” Elvie wheezed under an oxygen mask. His voice was dry and raspy. He could practically feel the heavy circles under his eyes. “Damn. Kinda thought I did.” Less than 24 hours ago, he had crashed a fighter jet. He couldn’t move anything. He was somehow in agonizing pain and completely numb. It seemed like it was only him and Josh in this room and nothing really existed beyond Elvie’s bed.

    “Word from the wise: don’t go making comments like that around your parents. Making your mom cry with a wise crack isn’t going to help your case. I know from experience. Speaking of your parents, their flight should’ve just landed. Donna is on her way to pick them up and bring them right here, so they don’t have to deal with luggage and taxis.”

    The weight of guilt hit Elvie. His parents had just cut their trip to India short, and probably had a series of long, awful flights, all because of him. And that wasn’t really why he was feeling guilty. They were going to be devastated that he was so badly injured. “Josh? Will you hit me up with more morphine right before they get here?” All Josh had to do was hit a button a few times. Elvie was allowed to give himself morphine on demand, but was unable to hold the button himself. He could probably so with another top up, but wanted to wait.

    “Here, I can give you more right now.” Josh was already clicking the morphine and Elvie was not going to say no.

    “I just don’t want to be awake when my parents first see me. Mom’s just going to be a crying mess and make me feel even worse.”

    “Elvie, if you were Leo-.”

    “Hey, that is my first name.”

    Josh rolled his eyes. “If you were one my children and not some brat I babysat, I think I would feel better if I first saw you awake. I did when I walked in last night.”

    “Do I look that dead?”

    “No,” Josh was almost too quick to reply. “I just think it might be a bit easier for them to be able to talk to you. You can even lie through your teeth about how your feeing. But I’ll give you another click of the morphine right before they come.”

    “Okay,” Elvie resigned. He was too drugged to argue. “Can I get a blanket?” He was lying at a bit of an angle. He couldn’t see much as his neck was in a brace, but he knew he had a small towel over his groin and hips. The rest of him was covered in bandages, braces, wires, and tubes. He had rods, plates and screws - the doctors had called them something like external fixation devices - sticking out of his pelvis, right shoulder, and legs. His right arm was pinned to his side and his left arm - the arm and hand he had at least some movement in - was on top of a pillow. This was all the results of two surgeries in 24 hours. The doctors had to cut the first surgery short to give Elvie a chance to recover.

    He just wanted to cover up at least some of the horrifying nature of his current condition.

    Josh nodded and left. He came back with a nurse who loosely draped a blanket over him. “Is that better?” the nurse asked. “Is there anything else I can get for you?”

    “Some more water?”

    The nurse nodded and refilled his cup of water.

    Josh helped him drink by holding the cup and straw to Elvie’s cracked lips. “Donna and I will make a quick exit once your parents get here.”

    “Will you come back and visit?”

    “Of course,” Josh said.

    “Good. Someone is going to have to distract my mom and dad. They’re going to drive me crazy.”

    Josh chuckled. “Well, they are your parents. What else are they going to do? You learned from the best.”

    “Yeah… you.”

    Josh laughed. “Well… you’re not wrong.”

    There then was hushed tones in the hallway outside the ICU room and Elvie recognized his mom’s dad’s voices in the hall. They were speaking with his doctor.

    A lump formed in the pit of Elvie stomach and he felt like he was going to vomit. He didn’t want to do this. He didn’t want his parents to see him.

    Josh got up, smoothed Elvie’s blanket, and gave him another click of the morphine button. “You’re going to be okay.” Josh began to leave. The door slid open but Elvie couldn’t see. He wished he could sit up more. Josh gulped and sighed. “The nurses say he’s doing better than expected. He’s been dosing in and out and cracking the odd joke. He’s having some trouble holding the morphine button so he’s been telling me when he wants more.”

    Elvie heard his father speak. It was uncomfortably soft and tired. “Thank you, Joshua.”

    “Whatever you guys need, just call me or Donna.”

    There was more silence, the sliding door closed, and footsteps approached his bed. His parents came into view. Both looked exhausted and frail as the looked down at him. His mom was wearing a comfortable sweater and her hair was tied back and his dad was in a zip up hoodie. His mom and dad finally made eye contact with him. Tears welled in his mother’s eyes. They were in shock and Elvie had no idea what to do to make it better. He just wanted them to be happy.

    So he smiled. A small grin cracked across his face. “Soooo. You guys gunna… hug me or not?” The drugs were kicking in. Thank. God. Because his mom started crying. It made him feel worse than crashing a fighter jet. She leaned over him and gently held him. It still hurt, but he didn’t care. He was scared but now his mommy and daddy were here to take care of him. He was trying not to cry, but he just felt so relieved.

    His dad pressed his forehead to Elvie’s and gently kissed Elvie’s cheek. Elvie completely broke down when his dad began to play with his hair and Elvie saw tears in his father’s eyes.

    “We’re here.… We’re going to take care of you,” his dad assured him. His dad looked around. “Do you want anything? Water? More morphine?”

    “No,” Elvie breathed. “Just… just sit with me… for a bit.”

    His parents sat on either side of him. His mom dabbed at his eyes with a (hopefully) clean tissue from her pocket (such a mom move). His dad held Elvie’s hand and continued to play with Elvie’s hair.

    “We… we got something for you,” his dad started. Matt was clearly just trying anything to distract himself from crying. “On the layover in New Delhi. Mom has it in her purse.”

    His mom nodded, reached into her large tote and pulled out a small stuffed tiger with floppy limbs and a long tail. She placed it on Elvie’s chest. He chuckled. He wasn’t too old for stuffed animals. Not in his current condition. “Thanks. I love him!”

    “I’m going to get your sister to do up a package for you of stuff from home. Maybe a quilt and other things we can use to make you comfortable,” his mom said.

    Elvie smiled. “Yeah. That would be nice.” He closed his eyes. Exhaustion was beginning to overwhelm him. “Do… do you guys have a hotel?”

    His dad nodded. “Yeah, just across the road. Donna is putting all our stuff there. Peter is there now since you’re only allowed two visitors at once right now.” Peter, Elvie’s older brother had been in India as well and had come back to the US.

    Elvie didn’t open his eyes. “Well, you guys should go rest…. You’ve had a long… journey. And you’re old.”

    His dad chuckled softly. “But we came all this way to see you. Why don’t you rest for a bit?”

    “Okay,” Elvie murmured. He was slowly drifting back into peaceful unconsciousness. Maybe it wasn’t so bad of a day after all. His parents were here now, holding his hand and playing with his hair, and that was kinda nice. “I love you.”

    “We love you too.”

    * * *

    It was not a good day.

    Elvie had slept for only two hours before he woke up. He instantly knew something was wrong. He was in an immense amount of pain - and it wasn’t just the “morphine is running low” feeling he was getting familiar with. He had the worst headache he had ever experienced, his chest and stomach hurt so much, he could barely breathe and was quickly becoming alarmed.

    A nurse. He needed a nurse.

    He looked around for the button that would call him. But Elvie couldn’t find it.

    He tried to look out into the lit hallway to see if the nurse was nearby, only to realize his dad was still in the room, his frame silhouetted by the light. He was… reading? He was hunched over.

    Reality was becoming fuzzier but Elvie. He was so lightheaded and woozy, he just wanted to go back to sleep, but something was wrong and his body knew it.

    “Da. Daaaa.” God, it was hard enough to breathe, let alone try not to slur his words. “Daaaad.”

    His dad’s silhouette instantly became attentive. He stood up and neared him. “Elvie?” His dad stood over him, concern across his face.

    Elvis grunted. “Nuurrss….” His eyes fluttered closed, but he willed them open again.

    His father’s eyes looked red and puffy. “Okay.” As his dad turned to leave, alarms started to beep. His dad turned back for a moment before hurrying out. “Help! I need help in here!”

    Elvie felt so heavy. His dad had been crying. And now he sounded so desperate.

    Nurses rushed in and began taking off his covers, but Elvie was just trying to locate his dad and making sure his dad was okay. He didn’t want his dad to see too much of his body. “Daaad?” Where was his mom? In the washroom? Back at the hotel? His mind was wandering; it had stopped concentrating.

    His dad appeared, floating above him. “I’m right here. The nurses are just figuring out whats up.” His dad looked completely panicked. Elvie didn’t like seeing his dad this way. President Matt Santos never panicked.

    “Lieutenant Santos,” one of the nurses said, “Your blood pressure is extremely low right now - we think you might have post-op internal bleeding. We’re preparing an operating room and we going to do an ultrasound. This might feel cold.”

    At first, Elvie felt nothing - other than his dad stroking his cheek and holding his hand - but then burning cold seared his stomach. He screamed in pain. His body was in shock and had no idea what to do with the sensory input it was feeling. “No! No!” He tried to buck and kick to get away from the sensation but nothing happened.

    Alarms started blaring and nurses began screaming words he didn’t understand. The world grew darker.

    “Elvie! Elvie!” his dad was calling from a distance. Elvie could still feel his dad cradling his cheek. “I’m here. I’m right here, Leo-Vincente.”

    It was not a good day.

    * * *

    Elvie woke sometime later. He had no clue how many hours had passed. He vaguely remembered a doctor speaking to him and maybe a nurse sometime later. He wasn’t sure. Either way, the sun was up, high in the sky, casting bright beams throughout the white hospital room.

    In his peripheral vision, he saw his mom and dad. They were blurry, but they were sitting on either side of him, playing cards.

    Elvie grinned. Everything felt so fuzzy and warm, both inside and on his body. Nothing hurt… except his throat; it felt rough and dry.

    He was drugged.

    He was so high, it was amazing.

    “Iwanna play cards,” he slurred and he didn’t even care.

    Both his parents looked to him and looked so relieved. “Oh Elvie,” his mom sighed, leaning over to kiss his cheek. She then brought up a faded yellow flannel blanket and wiped his lips and chin (he was drooling? That would be embarrassing if he cared). She had his baby blanket!

    “Bubbee,” he grunted in delight. Nothing was softer than Bubbee.

    His dad was chuckling as he leaned forward and kissed Elvie’s forehead. It lightened Elvie’s heart so much to see his dad happy and laughing. “Good to see you up and smiling. Your sister sent a big package of care items express post.” God, how long had he been out? “She sent your favourite quilt for you,” Elvie looked down to see he was covered in a big grey and blue quilt. No wonder he was soft and warm - the back was expensive flannel. “And she stuck in some of your old baby blankets in the package incase we needed something to roll up and make you a bit more comfortable. She stuck in a crib board and some other card games. And your personal items from the base came: your phone and your tablet. You have a ton of messages and I’ll let you answer them when your feeling up to it.”

    “You can do it,” Elvie murmured.

    “What am I?” his dad laughed gently, “Your secretary?” his dad paused. “But I was thinking maybe I could download some books onto your tablet and read to you. It’ll keep you occupied until you can sit up more.”

    Harry Potter?” Elvie asked; it was the first thing that came to his mind. His dad had read the series to him as a kid… and it wasn’t that bad of a choice for right now: it was a comforting classic, plenty of material to get through, and it was entertaining enough to keep his mind occupied but he didn’t have to pay attention to every moment to understand what was going on.

    His dad smiled. “I’d love to read to you Harry Potter.”

    Elvie smiled back. It was a good day.
  22. mavjade

    mavjade Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 10, 2005
    I'm so, so sorry. I remember seeing the alert, but thinking I'd have to come back because I had something to do and then completely forgot. I'd blame it on quarantine brain, but we both know that's not true, it's just my brain, lol.

    But I loved this so much! I mean, not that Elvie is hurt, but the comfort part! It was very... comforting!

    This made me smile even though it's so simple. Josh just acting like Josh is so perfect. Not making a huge deal out of something that is sometimes is the best thing to do and Josh, at least in this case, is great at it!

    [face_laugh] Again, just acting normal, but with that little bit of things aren't okay in that he admitted that he felt better seeing Elvie awake. This whole scene he was so calm and comforting in the normalcy, but not ignoring what was happening. It of course is different when it's not your own child, but it's very clear that Josh cares a great deal for Elvie.

    [face_love] I love this! I think I said it the last time you wrote these two in a scene together, but I need more Josh and Elvie stories!

    You're never too old to get hugs from your parents when things aren't okay! Sometimes you just need it! But I can completely understand feeling guilty for making them scared.

    And along the same lines, one is never too old for stuffed animals! :D I love this, that he just loved him! Here he is a fighter pilot and isn't embarrassed about it, at least not in this situation!

    I always try to listen to patients because they do know their own bodies and will know something isn't right before the monitors show something. But one of my biggest fears would be that someone wouldn't have their call button and not to be able to ask for help, and it happens all the time. They fall down, they get set aside and not given back, they get ignored... it's not a great situation. Any time I would move a patient's call bell or bedside table, I'd tell them, make sure I give these back to you before I leave, which usually meant I'd remember from saying it, but there were a few times where they'd remind me, thankfully.

    This was so well written, I could almost feel how scared and bad Elvie felt here, it's a scary situation that felt that way even knowing he'd be okay.

    That is perfect for those exact reasons! Comfort food in forms other than food! And not just from the book itself, but from his dad reading it to him. [face_love]

    Also, I love high Elvie!!

    I'd definitely love to read the parts you cut out! :D
  23. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    It's okay! I understand! Ive been blaming a lot on quarantine brain lately but we we both know it isn't 100% quarantine's fault!
    Thanks! Yeah. Something about writing H/C, moreso the C is very comforting!
    Thanks! Josh's part in this ended up much longer than I intended! But that's fine with me!
    Yeah, I think maybe that bit of calm distance is what Elvie needed right here. Of course nothing can beat hugs from Mom and of course Josh would be sad if Elvie died, but Josh was able to act relatively normal and relaxed whereas Matt and Helen couldn't.
    Thanks. I love writing these two together and I just got another idea for 'part 2' of this, if I ever edit those cut scenes into a part 2
    I completely agree! Though yeah, sometimes the guilt can be real so sometimes I don't tell my mom I need her when I probably really do :p

    I completely agree! I don't know if you have ever seen those Squishmallows. Anyway, they are cute and really comfortable and great for positioning (I have my octopus under my elbow now and I sleep with a cat every night! But I want MORE!). ANYWAY, I really just want Elvie using Squishmallows to position himself!
    I've never been in that situation but that's amazing that you do that!
    Thank you. This was a "fun" one to write - not fun that I'm happy he's in a scary situation, but it got my angsty muse going.

    Oh yeah, I love "comfort food" books/media (and have been indulging in them a lot recently!). And I just love the image of Matt reading to Elvie and doing the Snape voice! It cracks me up!
    I will always want to write High Elvie! (I also really want to write High Leo and I totally just got bit by a plot bunny to write Josh taking care of a drugged up Leo! It makes me so happy... it might have to take place in my Josh/Joey universe for added hilarity and I've been itching to revisit that AU!).

    Thanks! I'll probably eventually make the cut parts into a part 2 (after I get rid of this other H/C plot bunny that is).
    Last edited: May 11, 2020
  24. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    Title: Elvie and Emilia

    Timeframe: 2064 (time jump alert!)

    Characters: Elvie and Emilia

    A/N: I had this head-canon for awhile for Elvie/Rose’s middle child, and (of course) Elvie’s future career. I just wanted to write something a bit different (hence the time skip), but Elvie still in Dad!mode. I’ve had the ‘head-canon’ that that Em (Emilio) identifies as non-binary from about the age of about 8 to 12, and later comes out as trans, I’ve just never written that far into the future, until now. Also, I had other vignettes already done, but I just finished this one and I LOVED it so much I just had to post it NOOOOWW

    Also as a resident of British Columbia, you’d be surprised how often other countries mix us up with Colombia. It’s REALLY annoying, especially trying to go through immigration and customs.

    President Leo-Vincente Santos rolled into the sitting area of the Presidential Suite and, with great effort, transferred onto the large, soft, couch. He was exhausted. This morning he had been woken at 4 AM to be briefed on a tsunami which had hit Sri Lanka. The US would be a part of aid and recovery efforts. That had only been the beginning of a very long day - which wasn’t over yet. This evening was the State dinner for the Prime Minister of Australia. Thankfully his schedule allowed him to have a half-hour power nap before having to get ready for dinner, and he was determined to make the most of every minute.

    Elvie discarded his tie and leaned down to remove his dress shoes, when - out of the corner of his eye - he saw a head with long, straight black hair pop into the doorframe. “Oh,” she said, disappointed, before disappearing again. She had looked upset.

    “Emilia?” Elvie called his middle child. “Is everything okay?”

    Emilia reappeared. Born Emilio, she had transitioned from non-binary at age 12 and now identified as transgender. She was 16 now and being a teenager wasn’t easy, never mind being the president’s kid. She didn’t look at him. She wearing a oversized sweater and jeans, not one of her usual flowing dresses. “I… I just thought you were mom. Where is she?” Emilia now looked up - her eyes were puffy and red.

    Elvie sighed. “She’s in Colombia… or maybe it was British Columbia. She’ll be back tonight.” He was honestly too tired to remember. “What do you need? Maybe I can help.” Yes, he was tired, but his kid was clearly crying. When she started to shake her head he called, “Come on Em! I’m the president! I can fix anything!” He smiled and held his arms open. “And what I can’t fix as president, I’m sure a hug from dad won’t hurt. Come on,” he encouraged. “Hug your poor old dad.”

    She relented as only a teenager could, slumped into the room, leaned down and hugged her dad.

    He rubbed her back. “I love you, Emilia. What’s wrong?” He thought he had an alright relationship with Emilia. He knew he could be distant due to his job, but he thought he was a decent father.

    She sat down beside him and looked at her hands in her lap. “I… I just needed to rant to mom about some stuff.”

    He nodded. “I get that. Sometimes it’s just nice to get feelings off your chest - and Mom’s hugs help too. But why don’t you try ranting to me?”

    “I can’t. Because it’s not fair.”

    “What’s not fair?” he asked. She shrugged, then began to cry. Elvie wrapped his arms around her and held her tight. “Oh, my honey, I hate seeing you like this. I can get Mom, Dr. Sidney, or Uncle Marc on FaceTime, but I wanna help too. I’m the one who can hug you right now.”

    “I just feel awful, Dad. I already talked to Dr. Sidney and she made me feel a bit better, but I just needed Mom. I’m having a bad day of dysphoria and Mom just knows how to make me feel better and I don’t think it’s okay for me to rant to you about having to wait for surgery to fix me when there’s no surgery to fix you.”

    Elvie’s heart just broke. He continued to hug her as he tried to come up with the right thing to say. “Emilia, I don’t think that way and I wish you wouldn’t either. And you aren’t supposed to be worried about me, I’m the one who has to worry about you. I’m your dad and you’re my daughter. Besides, I don’t think I’m broken or need fixing.”

    “Dad, that’s not what I meant.”

    “I don’t think you’re broken either. I know you don’t feel like yourself and I’m going to support you in whatever you need to feel like you; like the beautiful woman I know you are. I know its hard to wait for the right time for the surgeries, but me, your mom, and your doctors are just trying to do what is healthy for you.”

    “I know,” she sniffled.

    “That doesn’t mean that it’s fair; you’re allowed to have bad days, just promise me you’ll always talk to me, and give me hugs.”

    “I promise.” Emilia wiped her eyes in her sleeve.

    “Now,” Elvie said, “Can I braid your hair?” Rose usually did girly things with Emilia to make her feel better.

    She looked confused. “You can braid hair?”

    “Yeah. I’m not completely useless! Come on, grab a pillow and sit down in front of me.”

    She eyed him cautiously, but did as she was told, moving his feet apart. She sat down and he combed his fingers gently through her hair.

    “So,” he said, beginning to braid her hair. “I’m thinking, I got no date for this boring state dinner. If it would cheer you up and take your mind off things, you can come down with me: get all dressed up, eat a fancy dinner, dance with your dad. Before you tell me no, just get ready. Either way, after it’s all done, we can go get some ice-cream in the mess, then we can snuggle up, watch a movie and wait for Mom to get back.”

    She shifted. “Are you sure you want me to come?”

    “Of course I’m sure! I’ll be so lonely without you!” he said, overdramatic. He then asked. “Hey, do you have a hair elastic?”

    She held up her wrist to show a collection. He took one and wrapped it around there bottom of the “fashionably” messy braid. “There!” Elvie was actually kinda proud of himself.

    She pulled it around so she could see it. “A fishtail!” she exclaimed excitedly. She looked so happy. “I had no idea you knew how to fishtail braid.”

    “I told you I’m not useless!”

    “Thanks Dad!” She got up and hugged him. “I’m going to go get ready!” She turned back. “Dad?”

    “Yes Emilia.”

    “Do you have a mint green pocket square?”

    “I think so.”

    “Can you wear it tonight?”

    He smiled. “Of course.” After she bounced out, he checked his watched and sighed. It was pointless to nap now.

    Elvie transferred back to his wheelchair and peeked out into the hallway. “Rachelle?” he called the usher. “Can you go down to the florists and get something white that can go in Emilia’s hair. One of those comb things with a white rose.”

    * * *

    The state dinner was entirely uneventful. Elvie was so happy Emilia accompanied him. Not only did it cheer her up - she looked beautiful in her mint green dress with the white rose in her braided hair - but Elvie was thankful for the company. Afterwards, they had gone down to the mess for strawberry ice cream.

    “Do you know if the first lady is back yet?” Elvie asked the usher as he and Emilia left the elevator and entered the private residence.

    “No she isn't. Sorry Sir,” she replied.

    Elvie sighed and looked up at Emilia. “Can I be open and vulnerable with you, Emilia?” he asked. She had been open with him so he was keeping the lines of honesty going both ways in hopes she could feel like she could be open with him again.

    “Of course Dad.”

    “I’m exhausted. I’m going to need help getting into bed.”

    “Dad!” she said in a slightly scolding tone that reminded Elvie so much of her mother. Before the bodymen could intervene, she immediately went behind his back, adjusted the push handles, and began pushing him. “You gotta ask for help.”

    “I just did!” He let her push her into the bathroom in the presidential suite. “I can do the bathroom stuff on my own, Go get ready for bed. Put your jammies on. I’ll be done in here by the time you get back.”

    “Okay, okay,” she agreed while she got all his toiletries and put them within reach of his current position.

    Elvie brushed his teeth, washed his face, and drained his bladder bag. He then heard someone in his bedroom. “Em?”

    She appeared in the bathroom doorway with black and pink pyjamas on, her hair still in the braid, and a smile. “You ready for bed?”

    He nodded.

    She pushed him into the bedroom where she already had the bedside lamp on, adjustable bed positioned so he could sit up and turned down the covers, has a glass of water, and his plaid pyjamas laid out. He began unbuttoning his white dress shirt, having already discarded his bow-tie and jacket in the bathroom. She bent down and helped him take off his pants and put on his pyjamas. He could tell she was trying not to stare at his legs. He rarely wore shorts, even around just the kids. It had been 30 years, but he was still a bit self-conscious about his legs - they were saggy skin and bone. “Mom calls them my floppy chicken legs,” he laughed.

    Emilia laughed too. “I think I’m strong enough to lift you like Mattie does. Do you want me to do that instead of helping you transfer.”

    “Yeah, it’s about time you got lifting your dad. That’s why your mother and I had you guys.” It was awkward for him to now have two kids so grown up that they could now carry him. He used to carry them.

    She rolled her eyes, lifted him by holding him around the back and under his knees. He put his arm around her shoulders but the transfer was fairly quick. Emilia got him under the covers and gave him the remotes for the tv, bed, and lights. “Anything else?”

    “Yeah. You,” he said, patting the bed beside him. “I thought we were going to watch a movie together.”

    “You said you were exhausted,” she said, hands on hips.

    “Yeah, so, you are going to pick a movie, I’m going to fall asleep 15 minutes into it and every time you go to turn it off, I’m going to insist I’m awake. Come on, let me be a Dad for a bit longer.”

    “Okay,” she relented grinning, climbing over him.

    * * *

    Elvie (half) woke to his wife’s voice.

    “Emilia, I am so sorry I didn’t see I didn’t see your messages until I got on the plane. Tokyo was just madness.”

    “Dad said you were either in Colombia or Canada.”

    “What does your father know? Did you find someone to talk to? We can talk now if you want.” Elvie heard Rose put down her things and unzip her jacket.

    “It’s fine mom. Dr. Sidney managed to reply to a few of my messages, and I talked to dad. You were right, he did make me feel a lot better and I shouldn’t have been worried about talking to him.”

    “That’s great hun,” Elvie felt the bed depress beside him. “Just make sure your dad is actually asleep before you start stroking his ego.” Rose said, playing with his hair. “It all goes to his fat head.”

    Ellie slumped over onto Emilia. “You still love me though, right?”

    Emilia laughed. “Of course, Dad.”
    Last edited: May 11, 2020
  25. mavjade

    mavjade Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 10, 2005
    Really??! That's crazy! I mean, I can kinda understand, the number of times I tell AMERICANS I'm from West Virginia and they start talking about Virginia is astounding. I'm usually thinking to myself, I know you had to learn all the states in school. But at least WV and VA are right beside each other.

    :D :D Makes perfect sense and I love it!

    Ha! This at least makes sense, it's not that he's getting them confused, he just doesn't remember where she is, which is fair. But I so loved the pay off when she wasn't anywhere near either. LOL.

    This visual, so good! Teenagers and so teenagers.

    :( Poor Em! It's so hard being a teenager anyway. But it did warm my heart to see him offer to FaceTime Marc! :D

    :( Oh kiddo. That's so sweet, but of course Elvie wouldn't see it that way, but it's sweet that she doesn't want to hurt her dad.

    Haha... I loved this so much! From him offering, to her side eyeing him, to his apparent skill at not only braiding, but doing a more complicated braid!
    And then to invite her to the state dinner so she could get dressed up and feel pretty. *happy sigh*

    [face_love][face_love] I figure it can be really hard as a parent to know when and with what you can be vulnerable with your children. It can be a balancing act of still being the parent, but showing that you have problems so they know it's okay. I love that Elvie shows this to her, and allows her to help. I'm sure this makes her feel that much closer to him.

    [face_laugh][face_laugh] Oh man, I laughed so hard! This was so my dad! He would fall asleep watching something terrible, and anytime someone would try to change the channel he "was watching that"

    Hahah... I love their relationship so much!

    I loved every word of this!! These boys as dads, they are just so good! :*