1. In Memory of LAJ_FETT: Please share your remembrances and condolences HERE

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. mavjade

    mavjade Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 10, 2005
    I'm so, so sorry. I remember seeing the alert now, and it was one of those days where I had like 20 alerts and quite a few were me being tagged and then I completely forgot. And oh how I wish I'd remembered because this is some of the cuteness I needed!! I love it so, so much!!

    I know you aren't doing it for NaNo, but I just want to say I'd love to see it! The idea of Sam and Josh adopting.... [face_love]:*

    It's totally fate that they got called about a boy named Leo!! <3 I love the idea of them fostering/adopting!! It's so perfect for them!

    :_| Oh little Leo...
    I've worked with so many burned kids and it's always heart breaking, but I love them so much because of what happens here. They are still very much kids and just want to be read to or played with. I really miss my burn babies. Josh is such a good dad, despite how he thought they'd get an older kid. He doesn't know what he's doing, but what parent does? There are foster commercials here that boils down to "You don't have to be a perfect parent, just be a parent" and this reminded me of that.

    My heart!!! [face_love][face_love]

    I loved getting this little look into Josh's childhood!! And how we got a dream about his own experience with a fire at the start, of course this would bring it back up.

    Yep, I loved this so much and I'm so sorry I missed it!!

    I'm sorry it took me so long to get here, I was so anxious the last few days I couldn't even read. I really could only stare at the TV and stress eat. But now that the nightmare is over here I am!!! I loved it so much and practically quoted the whole thing so I had to prune a bit. ;)

    I hope you aren't because I love them so, so much!! But I understand not wanting to deal with politics right now and you muse moving on to something else.

    Haha, yep, but if the muse wants to go there, I'll love it!!!

    I can't even imagine how terrifying that would be. The whole world watching.... [face_hypnotized] I'm nervous just thinking about it and it doesn't apply to my life at all.

    [face_love] She's 100% right! She doesn't owe it to anyone. And no one could blame her for not being ready for such a big coming out. But I was so sad she loved the dress so much and felt so much like herself in it. But, when she's ready, there should be plenty of times to wear it while Elvie is in the White House.

    Hahaha... this is so good! It would be weird!!

    I'm not crying, you're crying!! And it would totally go with the outfit she put together.
    I loved all of the gifts, both big and small! And Elvie thanking them for putting up with all of this! [face_love]

    [face_love] Who cares what other girls do, you be you Emelia!

    Absolutely beautiful!! @};-I love this so much and I love Emelia! (I love all of Elvie and Rose's kids, but [face_shhh] I think she's my fave!)
    Kahara likes this.
  2. Mira Grau

    Mira Grau Kessel Run Champion star 5 VIP - Game Winner

    May 11, 2016
    In regards to "Dance with me to the end of love"
    Nice, sad but also heartwarming story. Good to see Leo being there for Marc and Abi.
    Kahara likes this.
  3. amidalachick

    amidalachick FFoF Hostess Extraordinaire star 5 VIP - Game Host

    Aug 3, 2003
    "Dance Me to the End of Love": I'm not familiar with the show or this 'verse, but this was such a tender, love-filled fic!

    Aww! I'm a sucker for dancing in kitchens, and the little clumsy moments (specifically, the stepping-on-foot-when-attempting-to-spin) make it even more adorable. :D

    Marc seems so compassionate and so caring, and I love how he's there for both Leo and his sister.

    Lovely work! =D=
    Kahara and Briannakin like this.
  4. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    I had to trim a bit of the comments I could reply to. My muse is back, along with me actually having a job, so the wrist pain is back. But know I love and appreciate every one of your comments!!

    It's totally okay but I'm sorry you didn't get to read this cuteness when you needed it!
    I wish I had more time and energy to write... and that my muse could focus on a fic for more than 5000 words because I love the idea and it's so cute!!
    Totally fate!
    That's one thing that made me hesitate doing this idea - I know you have a ton of experience in burn wards and I seriously know nothing.
    They are just the cutest together!
    I'm so glad you lived it!!!

    This is honestly just triggering so many memories of me last month too.

    So, as we've discussed, the muse is back... at least for now. While I was excited for it to hop onto a new fandom, which has now completely fizzled out, I really cant complain about my muse giving me more West Wing comfort and Joy.

    Sooo terrifying. I cant even imagine.
    Exactly. People should never feel pressured to come out! But she's totally going to rock so many cute dresses in the white house!
    I love them kinda ragging on their dad!
    I'm not crying! Though I do love this bit!
    Exactly! She's definitely a girly-girl and I love writing someone like that! Sometimes I just want to imagine all the pretty things!

    Thank you. I mean, I love all the kids too... but some inspire my muse more than others (and Emilia is also my fave! She reminds me a lot of Ellie Bartlet who's my fave Bartlet daughter).
    Kahara likes this.
  5. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    Title: Presidential Ghost of Hanukah Future
    Timeframe: 2020… or 2056
    Characters: Josh, Leo, mentions of many others
    A/N: The author’s notes are at the end because I didn’t want to spoil the reveal. 1 of hopefully 2 holiday themed fics this year (second one decided it needed to be 2 parts. I’m working on it and it’ll hopefully be done around Christmas. I’ve also already started on your fic gift so hopefully my body and brain continues to cooperate on that too). Happy Hanukah to you and DP!

    Kinda written for the Holiday Tropes Challenge.

    December 14, 2020

    Joshua Lyman stared at the ceiling listening to his heart beat. It was the fourth night of Hanukah and last night he had a heart attack. He had been in the situation room, going on his 20th hour of monitoring a situation between Qumar and Saudi Arabia, he had been feeling like death warmed over, and then the tightness in his chest had overwhelmed his vision and he had collapsed. Doctors said it was minor but stress induced. Donna - who was asleep in a chair at his side - insisted his diet didn’t help (neither did dealing with a global pandemic!).

    Josh was having some weird-ass dreams. It was probably the drugs, being in the hospital, and the fact that Donna had fallen asleep watching the Muppet’s Christmas Carol on her iPad. The kids had started the movie when they had come by to visit. Hanukah in a hospital would be no fun for them, but at least Josh would be home by Christmas.

    His first dream of the night had been President Bartlet and President Santos doing a former Presidents comedy duo as they showed Josh some less than ideal highlights of Hanukahs of his past, mostly of him working way too hard. Josh didn’t exactly appreciate being lectured about a minor Jewish holiday by two Catholics (both of whom were workaholics in their own times). Then came the Presidential Ghost of Hanukah present, President Sam Seaborn, who made him relive the scene of this afternoon and made him see the White House was running just fine without Chief of Staff Lyman barking at everyone.

    Josh now just wanted to stay awake for the rest of the night because having a third dream would just freak him out.

    “You need to sleep Old Man,” a voice came from the shadowy corner of his hospital room. A man in a navy suit and a grey tie walked out with his hands in his pants pockets. He looked to be in his mid-40s with puffy brown hair going slightly grey.

    “Oh god, who the hell are you and can you just go away so I can sleep? Because this is getting ridiculous.” Josh assumed this was the Presidential Ghost of Hanukah Future. “I don’t need some man I don’t know telling me I need to take it easier. Another stupid Christian white guy they are going to elect sometime in the future. Why you of all the future presidents, eh?” Josh couldn’t believe he was asking a figment of his unconscious mind a question. “What number are you?”

    “54. Inaugurated about 35 years from now,” the man chuckled, then paused as he walked up to Donna - still asleep soundly in her chair - leaned over and kissed her cheek.

    Josh didn’t care if this was a dream or not. “HEY! That’s my wife,” he squawked indignantly. Donna didn’t wake.

    “And she’s my mother,” the man replied with a smirk as he sat on the edge of the bed. “Hey Dad.”

    “Leo?” Josh said, looking his son up and down. He did look like Leo. He knew his son as a 10 year old kid, but this man seemed so tall and wise. “So are you here to show me what Hanukah will be like in the future if I don’t quit working?” Josh asked sarcastically.

    “Something like that.” The adult Leo leaned down and hugged Josh in his hospital bed. “I’ve missed you so much.” The hug was tight and long.

    “It’s been like 2 hours since you were here, kid, how much could you have missed me?”

    Adult Leo sighed sadly, but smiled. “It’s been a lot longer on my end.”

    Leo’s words hit Josh like a ton of weight. “Okay, that’s it. I’ll retire! There’s no need to guilt me into it by showing me some future Hanukah without me there. I know I’m not the youngest father but I want to be there for as many Hanukahs and Christmases as I can.”

    Leo smiled. “Well that was the easiest part of my week.” He sighed. “Mind if I stay for a bit?”

    “I thought you were going to show me some Hanukahs of the future?”

    “Well you said you’d retire; my job is done!”

    “God, you’re still a pain in the ass,” Josh groaned.

    Leo grinned. “Okay. What Hanukah do you want to see?”

    Josh considered for a moment. “Show me one one I’m definitely not going to see. I don’t want any spoilers and I definitely don’t want to know when I die. I just want to know you turn out okay.”

    Leo considered a moment.”Okay,” he held out his hand and helped his father out go the bed. He pulled his father’s IV stand behind them. Josh held his medical gown closed at the back. When they entered the hallway they entered the White House residence.

    Dream logic.

    Everywhere was decorated with warm white Christmas lights and garland. They entered the sitting room attached to the Presidential bedroom and there was a large Christmas tree with glittering lights and ornaments, both home-made and bought. By the window was a menorah on a table. None of the candles were lit yet as it was still late afternoon.

    Two small kids played Lego on a mat in the middle of the room. The little girl wore a red dress and the little boy wore a blue sweater-vest and glasses.

    “Are these yours?” Josh asked in a gasp.

    Leo smiled and nodded. “Miri and JJ - short for Josiah Joshua.”

    “They’re beautiful!” Josh proclaimed. “Such cuties!”

    Donna was sitting on a sofa to the side, watching her grandchildren while reading. Josh sat beside her and continued to beam. Donna was much older but still radiantly beautiful. She adjusted her black sweater over her red blouse. Josh went to help her but found he could not touch her. He turned back to his grandbabies so he could continue to smile in this moment. Leo sat beside his dad, beaming with pride.

    Josh looked up when another man - around adult Leo’s age - entered wearing a green sweater.

    “My husband,” Leo proclaimed excitedly. “Marc. You’ll meet him.”

    “Look at my space-ship, Daddy!” JJ proclaimed holding up a creation.

    “That’s amazing J!” Marc grinned as he got onto the floor with his kids and began building while Miri crawled into his lap.

    “Look at my house Daddy!” Miri said as he began to tickle her sides.

    “Where’s the roof? Eh? Your people are going to get all soggy and cold when it snows.”

    Miri just giggled.

    “I was just talking to Abba. He’s going to be off early!”

    “I’m Abba,” Leo explained for his father.

    Marc continued after Miri and JJ shouted in joy. “So, he wants to know what you guys want to do before sundown? Before your Aunts, Uncle, and cousins get here for dinner.”

    “Can we build a snowman? It’s been snowing all day. Like actual snow!” Miri exclaimed excitedly.

    “You want to torture your wimpy Abba by making him go outside in the snow?” Marc asked. “Okay! Lets go put on your boots, coats, mitts, and hats.”

    “I’ll make sure there’s hot cocoa and peppermint tea for everyone when you guys get back in,” Donna said with a smile.

    “And coffee!” JJ shouted. “That’s Abba’s favourite.”

    “Yes, I know,” Donna laughed. “He got that from his father.”

    Josh looked to Leo. “The only thing you got from me, I hope.”

    Leo shrugged. “No… but I like to think I only got the best from you. Mom and Marc would disagree… Noah and Abi too, but they deal with it. Now, as much as I would love to spend more time with you, you need rest.” Leo hugged his father and kissed his forehead. “I love you Dad.”

    “I love you too, Leo.”

    * * *

    Leo woke from the dream to find himself in his own bedroom in his own bed wearing his plaid pyjamas, Marc was gently snoring on his side. Leo found himself smiling. He dreamed of his father from time to time, maybe once a year or so, and he always found it so comforting, like a little visit from his dad.

    Leo checked the time, he still hand an hour before he had to get up. Since it was Hanukah - last night was the fourth night - he was starting work earlier so he could be off earlier and spend more time with the kids. But being so focused on JJ and Miri had left little time for Marc. Leo missed their morning coffees and chats.

    Some days Leo forgot he was a husband as well as a father and a president. He needed some Marc loving time to get him through the days too.

    That probably what the dream had something to do with. Either that or it was the half of a turkey sandwich he had eaten before bed.

    Leo rolled over and draped his arm over Marc’s sleeping form, spooning him gently and nuzzling his cheek into Marc’s back, breathing in the scent of Marc’s thin t-shirt and faint soap smell. Even if Marc was asleep, Leo could still get some Marc loving time in.

    “Hmm, Leo,” Marc murmured. “What do you need?”

    “Sorry, hun, nothing. I didn’t mean to wake you.”

    “Why are you awake?” Marc asked. This was one of the many things he loved about Marc, his willing to just open up time for their relationship, no matter what the hour. It made Leo feel more loved than even sleep.

    “I had the best dream,” Leo sighed.

    “Really? Was it the one with Elvie and Rose?” Marc asked as he shifted under Leo’s arm so Marc could see Leo. He put his arm under Leo’s neck and pulled him close. “Is that why you woke me? Do you have something you want me to take care of?” Marc’s sleepy voice turned husky. To be fair to Marc, it had been awhile….

    “No.” Leo let out a tsk. “I had a dream about my dad. He got to see the kids.”

    Marc’s whole face brightened. “I love those dreams.”

    “You have them too?”

    “Of course. Not that often… except when JJ was a baby. I had them every few weeks for like that first year. The odd chance I got to sleep back then.”

    “So you had one everytime you got to sleep back then?” Leo asked with a laugh.

    “Yeah, pretty much,” Marc laughed too. “Oh, god, our babies were adorable, but I do not miss those sleepless nights, fourteen loads of laundry a day, and only having sex once a month when your mom would come babysit for us.”

    “Minus the laundry, I guess that was training for being First Gentleman.”

    Marc snorted. “Speak for yourself, I’m having loads of sex.”

    “Hey!” Leo shouted, indignant.

    Marc poked Leo’s nose, then looked at the time. “Well it’s pointless to go back to sleep now.”

    Well we could re-create the shower sex we used to have, complete with you being so dopey and tired it’s adorable.”

    Marc quirked his eyebrows, then pushed Leo out of the bed and towards the bathroom.

    Okay so, I’ve had this idea of doing Josh in a Christmas Carol - with Bartlet and Santos as the ghosts of Christmas past, Sam as the ghost of Christmas present, and Leo as the ghost of Christmas future - for a few years now but rewrites of Dickens Novels are hard and take a long time and we all know my muse is has focus issues and I really didn’t have a vision for the first two parts, but I really loved the idea of future Leo visiting his dad and I just needed to write it. Then half way through writing it I realize this could actually be Leo’s dream. Then I just wanted the excuse to write some plotless Leo/Marc fluff, which got completely veered this vignette off direction. But I know you don’t mind :p
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2020
  6. mavjade

    mavjade Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 10, 2005
    Oh my god, I love this so, so soooo much!! I have a thing for a Christmas Carol stories (one of my all time favorite House fics is one) and this just hit me in all of the feels! Like all of them! I was smiling so big my face hurt, but also had a few tears running down my face!!

    Please don't worry about that! A lot of times my comments are mostly emojis anyway! I'm sorry your wrist pain is back. :( That really sucks!

    Ohh.... yay for holiday themed fics!!
    Thank you!!

    I love that you set the start of this in this current mess. This whole thing made me so happy, it made it all just a little bit better! Also, I can just imagine Josh flipping out about it all and that is somewhat amusing (and he'd certainly take it much more seriously than the current (though not for long!!) US government.

    Bahahaha..... that is so good! Just thinking about it cracked me up. I also loved the present one because that is so very Josh!

    And this is about the time I started grinning so hard. I also have a big thing for people getting to see something wonderful they had a part that they didn't get to see in their life (like van Gogh seeing his paintings in a museum being called one of the greatest painters of all time in Doctor Who, and the Hamilton theory that Eliza's gasp at the end is her seeing the audience). So for Josh to see that his son becomes president hits me right there so hard! [face_love]:_|[face_love]

    This whole conversation!! [face_love] We know Josh loves his kids, but that he doesn't hesitate to say he'd quit when he learns he won't live to see it all, that's everything when you know how much of a workaholic Josh is.

    Oh..... [face_love]=(([face_love] Just picturing the look on his face, it makes my heart melt but also makes me so sad this is all he'd get to see.

    [face_love] I love this twist so much, that this was all Leo's dream. It so beautiful that he gets to show his dad who he's become and his family. I know that has to be so important to Leo even if it's only a dream. I'm not joking when I say I have tears running down my face, but in a happy way.

    Hahaha..... I love that you got to slide this into this story!! :D It was such a great way to end this whole thing! (And Marc saying he was getting plenty cracked me up!)

    This just made me feel so warm, happy, and full of love! It was perfect! [:D]@};-
  7. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    I's so happy you loved this! This has been one of my favourites to write in awhile! I'm a sucker for any Christmas Carol fics. Again, I've been wanting to do a full one with Josh for awhile but we both know my muse quits a story after like 5k words. It's annoying but at least I got this out of it.

    I'm glad you felt all the feels because I did too! I loved reading your comments.

    Ha! That was honestly just a random throwaway line. But I can just imagine Josh trying to work from home and all the kids bugging him! But Obviously a Seaborn administration would handle it much better than the current (AND THANKFULLY NOT FOR LONG) administration. BUUUT I also think literal 5 year olds could have handled it better.

    I really want to write this. It is so Josh!!
    Meee tooo! so yeah, I love this so much!

    Yeah! Josh obviously loves work, but he loves his kids more but think he would have to be reminded that he just cant do it all.
    I know... I want to do an AU where he actually lives to see them but he'd be so old so that would also be heartbreaking in a way, you know? :(
    This just came to me and I loved it! Like some of the Leo's dialogue in the dream I felt like I could have taken from my own dreams. Like the "It's been a lot longer on my end" and "Mind if I stay for a bit?” just hits me in the heart.

    But who said just Leo had this dream ;)

    Yeah... my dirty muse had to sneak in there a bit with Marc!

    Thank you so much. Yeah, this is probably one of my favourite holiday fics I've written! There are just such complex levels of love here, I just was so happy with how it turned out!
  8. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    Title: Man-Flu 5: The Holiday Special

    Timeframe: 2076(ish) (a few years pre “Old Men and Grandchildren”).

    Characters: Elvie/Rose/Leo/Marc, kids

    A/N: I think this is part 5 of the Man-Flu saga. Not much plot, but plenty polyamory. Also, the 4th evening of Hanukah is December 24th in 2076. The things I google for this fic series.

    This turned into 2 parts but part 2 isn’t finished yet because its just mindless mush and I haven’t got the clearest idea on how to end it. But hopefully I can finish it before the new year.

    Part 1

    Elvie had stared at the same light green walls for the same three months (when he had the energy to lift his head). The past 90 days had been torture of most cruelest form. Torture he had not experienced since he was in his 20s. Now in his mid-60s, he felt every day here atrophied his mind like his muscles. Most of the days he laid in his hospital bed without the strength to sit up even aided.

    And now he had the flu.

    He hoped he’d be out of here by Christmas. Now he wondered if he ever would be free.

    Even after Elvie’s two terms as presidents, the Santos’ life hadn’t settled down… until recently. Rose and Elvie “officially” lived in Houston Texas, but the couple loved to travel, speak for their foundation, visit the two of their kids who lived in the DC area (Mattie, their eldest, lived in Houston), and often spent weeks every few months visiting their partners - Leo and Marc - who still lived in DC (well technically just outside of DC).

    Elvie and Rose had been in DC in September, visiting, when Elvie had woken up one morning with a headache, which turned into a pounding migraine by the time he went to bed early. Rose had woken him up several hours later, in a complete panic, He had all the classic signs of severe autonomic dysreflexia - severe high-blood-pressure in individuals with spinal cord injuries - along with a fever (indicating an infection). He vaguely remembered whining at them all as Leo held him upright while Marc took his blood pressure. Elvie had been too sick to fight back and his blood pressure had been so high that Rose threatened him with divorce and bodily harm if he didn’t let them take him to the hospital.

    The following hours and days had been upsetting. Not for him, but seeing Rose, the kids, and Marc and Leo worry about him endlessly had been awful, especially when he was so weak he was unable to comfort them. Elvie had been diagnosed with both kidney and bladder stones and had gone into kidney failure. It had been a long two ands a half months of dialysis and other treatments but two weeks ago he had received a stem-cell printed kidney and his doctors expected him to be discharged in time for the holidays… but of course he had caught a flu bug at some point in the past few days.

    He hated hospitals.

    And he hated them even more when he couldn’t openly kiss and cuddle with his boyfriends. Marc and Leo visited him almost every day (with the exception of the past few days, which was making him kinda sad and lonely and was probably contributing to his mood), along with Rose who was with him all day most every day. Back when things were really serious they all took turns sitting with him around the clock, along with the kids, but it was hard not to seek comfort from Leo or Marc. Sure the current President was letting Elvie stay in the presidential suite of Walter Reed, but Elvie just wasn’t feeling comfortable enough to openly cuddle with two married men while in a hospital.

    At least Leo and Marc were taking care of Rose, that’s all Elvie cared about.

    Elvie coughed and reached for his phone and tablet. He gave all his loves strict orders not to stay with him overnight unless he was on his deathbed, but they made him send a message in the family text thread (not to be confused with the “quad-ouple” text thread between just himself, Rose, Marc and Leo) when he woke up every morning, his vitals, and if he wanted anything.

    ‘I’m up,’ he sent. ‘Feeling okay but Nurse Ratched has yet to make an appearance. Bring me some tea and a real breakfast’

    ‘Good morning Dad. You could at least say please,’ Ella replied. ‘Good luck to whoever decides they want to put up with the Grinch today. I’m hoping to be out of the office by 5 so JJ and I will come by then.’

    Elvie felt kinda sad by Ella’s text. Had he been that grumpy and disagreeable? He knew he probably hadn’t been the happiest human, but had he really been a Grinch?

    Emilia replied. ‘I’m on my way Dad. I’m not working. And Happy Christmas Eve!!’ She was a social worker who dealt with asylum cases and refugee families helping them get settled in America. Elvie then realized today was Christmas Eve and the evening was the fourth night of Hanukkah. Which explained why Leo and Marc had spent the past few nights with Abi and her family. Emilia send another message. ‘I’ll be there in a few minutes.’

    A few minutes later, Marc sent, ‘Good morning and merry Christmas eve all. Elvie, we might be a few hours later than normal but we have a surprise for you and we’re all planning to spend the evening with you.’

    ‘That’s fine, could use some alone time with my favourite daughter anyway,’ Elvie replied.

    That got a number of indignant gif replies from both Ella and (jokingly) Miri.

    Elvie then looked up to see his least favourite nurse, Lieutenant Bennson, enter. “Good morning Lieutenant Bennson. It’s Christmas, are you going to be nice to me today?”

    Lieutenant Bennson narrowed her eyes. She was apparently all business today as she snapped on gloves. “Sir, Commander Harris wanted some urine samples sent to the lab before she gets in. What symptoms have you been feeling today?” She leaned down to look at the bladder bag hanging from Elvie’s bedside. “Actually, nice urine output this morning.”

    “Thanks, I tried my best,” Elvie sarcastically replied. “Pretty much the same as yesterday: cough, congestion, runny nose, aches and pains. I’m tired but that might just be because I was up half the night coughing.”

    Lieutenant Bennson changed her gloves and took his temperature and blood pressure. She recorded his stats, then looked at the rest of his stats on the glowing panel on the wall. “Blood pressure continues to be acceptable - it’s actually kinda low for you right now - and your temperate is down a degree to 100.8. Oxygen saturation levels aren’t great but I see no need for you to be put on oxygen. Commander Harris will be by once the urine and blood tests are done. She wants to talk to you.” She changed her gloves to take a blood sample.

    “Good news?” Elvie asked. He suppressed a cough.

    She didn’t answer. “Commander Harris will come by once we have the tests back.”

    Elvie grinned at her. “Let’s hope for a Christmas miracle.”

    Bennson left and Elvie tried to distract himself. He really hoped they might actually send him home.

    A few minutes later, the door to his room opened and he couldn’t help but smile. His oldest daughter entered wearing a grey wool coat, her dark brown hair in a braid, and carrying a to-go cup and a paper bag. “Hey Sweetheart!” he said, trying to sound peppy.

    “Hey Dad,” Emilia said, setting the tea and the paper bag on the bedside table. “I might have spoiled you for breakfast this morning: peppermint tea and a peach danish.” She shrugged. “It’s Christmas eve.”

    Elvie grinned at her. “Thank you.” He ripped open the paper bag and began to eat. He then remembered Ella’s text. “I haven’t been a grinch, have I?” he asked.

    Emilia hesitated and stalled while she took off her coat. She was wearing a lovely blue sweater-dress and dark grey leggings and silver jewelry. “Well… yeah. But you’ve been in the hospital for the past three months and you just had major surgery. I think it’s understandable you’re a bit grumpy and your sleep schedule is off. Heck, I’ve been there. Everyone has been busy with other holiday stuff and now you have the flu which means you have to stay here for Christmas, so yes, you have been whiney and crotchety, but I think it’s justified.”

    “You could have sugar-coated it a little,” Elvie grumbled.

    She leaned forward and kissed his forehead. “But I’m here to cheer you up so you can be less of a Scrooge for Christmas. I brought you some fresh sweatpants and a new sweater for Christmas. So I thought I could give you a bath -.”

    “A real bath,” Elvie demanded. “Not those sponge baths you were giving me a few weeks ago.” He then remembered his manners. “Please. I’m strong enough now to get out of bed.”

    “I actually think you’re strong enough to go home,” Commander Harris said as she entered, her hands in her white jacket pocket. She was an intimidatingly tall woman with a buzz-cut, but with an infectious smile. She tapped the screen on the wall showing Elvie’s vitals. “Your urine and blood tests came back normal. Your flu symptoms aren’t a sign of infection or the printed kidney failing. It’s just the flu. I think the best thing for you is to go to wherever you normally stay when you are in DC and spend the holidays with your family, and I will see you again on the 27th for some more blood and urine tests.”

    “Really?” Elvie said, shocked.

    Harris nodded, then put her hands on her hips. “But I want check-ins every two hours.” She turned to Emilia. “Text me his temperature, blood pressure, urine output, how he’s feeling.”

    “Of course,” Emilia said. “I’ll be at his side.”

    Elvie just grinned, happy to be going home.

    “I’m going to get the pharmacy to fill out your medications. They’ll probably be about an hour. Take your time and just check in with a nurse when you want to be discharged.”

    Emilia hugged her dad as Harris left. “I’m so happy I’m taking you home for Christmas! Everyone had plans to pack up all of Uncle Leo’s and Uncle Marc’s decorations and surprise you by setting up Christmas here.”

    “Why don’t we surprise them and your mom? We can probably get me ready to go in an hour. They aren’t going to show up suddenly, are they? We can tell them I had a code brown and that I’m really crabby so they don’t start packing up.”

    Emilia laughed. “I mean, they weren’t going to come till later in the afternoon. Mom is making a ton of hors d’oeuvres and other yummy things. But if you want me to lower their expectations, I can totally do that.”

    “Yes,” Elvie exclaimed. “After I get in the bath.”

    “Okay, let’s do this.” Emilia helped her father out from under his (many) quilts. Elvie had lost a lot of weight and muscle mass over the past few weeks, plus with his weakened state from the flu, he was not able to do his own transfers easily. “I’m going to lift you up now, okay?” He nodded and she lifted him easily by putting her arms under his knees and around his back and placed him in his wheelchair.

    Elvie immediately felt lightheaded. He murmured, “Em, help me,” as he leaned forward. He had sat up too quickly.

    “Dad?” Emilia was immediately concerned. “Do you need a nurse?”

    “No, just really lightheaded,” he said, trying to sit up.

    “Okay, just take your time. We’re not in a hurry.”

    “Yes we are. I’m going home!”

    She rolled her eyes. “I’m going to start the bath. Just sit!” She ordered, sounding like her mother. She went off into the large bathroom attached to the private hospital room (being a former president had perks).

    His daughter wasn’t gone 30 seconds when Elvie rolled himself in after her. The bath was already running and Emilia was laying towels, briefs, and a t-shirt on the heated towel-rack. On the counter was a pair of black sweatpants and a forest green sweater.

    “Really Dad?!” Emilia huffed. “I was going to come back and get you.”

    “I can roll myself ten feet!” he exclaimed as his frame was wracked with coughs.

    “Yeah, sure.” Emilia walked over and began undressing him. She pulled off his sweatshirt and he could tell she was diverting her eyes. His ribs were visible.

    “We’ll get me home and get me fattened back up on Mom’s cooking,” he assured her.

    She leaned down and hugged him.“Just promise me you’re going to take better care of yourself.”

    “I promise Em.”
  9. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    AN: @mavjade - I think your notification for part 1 (above) got lost in the holidays but this is part 2. My muse kinda died half way through this (and I REALLY want to work on your fic-gift before my holiday ends), but this basically just all holiday fluff anyway.

    Part 2

    Emilia placed her father in the Secret Service SUV, tucked him in with a thin thermal blanket, then covered him with a warm quilt. She climbed in beside him after putting his wheelchair and luggage in the back. “You good?” she asked. It was cold for DC and the sky looked like it was going to snow. Elvie’s Secret Service agent began to drive as it began to snow.

    He nodded and kissed her cheek. “Can I have your phone so I can mess with the family?”

    She rolled her eyes. “I already told them that you had a code brown. They are all very concerned. Do you really want to be mean to them?”

    “Yes, with some added touches of self-deprecating humour. It will be funny. Tell them I fainted getting out of the bath.”

    She glared. “It’s mean! I’ll tell them you are out of the bath and having a nap. Which you should be doing anyway.” She pulled out her phone and opened the weather app. “With the holiday traffic - and by the look of the weather report - its going to be almost an hour before we get to the Lyman estate,” she said with a joking tone. She always bugged Leo and Marc about their huge home, but Marc and Leo loved to host and this Christmas would be no different. “I’m going to swear Jamie to secrecy and tell him you are out and to pack up because we’re just going to spend tonight there. This snow is supposed to turn into a storm.”

    Elvie snuggled up to Emilia. “Fine,” he sighed. “Guess I’ll just get my cuddles in with you now. There’s probably going to be a fight over me once we get back to the house.”

    She rolled her eyes but leaned forward to put some Christmas carols on, then she wrapped her arm around his shoulders. “Sure, Dad. Whatever you say.”

    He leaned on her and fell asleep.

    * * *

    It was snowing quite heavily by the time Elvie and Emilia reached the Lyman’s home. The large property was gated for their privacy and security. “You guys can relax in the carriage house,” she told the agents, Ada and Oliver. The Lymans had a (really nice) carriage house on their property for their and Elvie’s agents to stay in. It was for the agents’ comfort and for the family’s privacy. “I’ll unload Dad,” she said with a smile. After the agents had left, Emilia nudged her dad awake. “Come on Dad, time to go make out with your wife and boyfriends.”

    Elvie woke with a dopey smile. “I’m up, I’m up.” He waited while Emilia got out his wheelchair. “You packed all the gifts I bought everyone? Right?” he asked as she transferred him into his wheelchair. He had done all his Christmas shopping online this year and had everything delivered to his hospital room.

    “Yes Dad,” she said, tipping him back on two weeks so the cold get through the snow accumulating on the path to the front door. “Let’s get you inside, in the warmth, and then I’ll drag all your stuff in so you can make-out with whoever you want.” She pushed him up to the front door and dusted off the snow that had accumulated on his lap. She opened the door for him, and he rolled inside. “MOM! UNCLE LEO! UNCLE MARC! I’ve got a surprise for you guys. A real Christmas treat!”

    Elvie looked around. There were garland and lights everywhere. Marc had really vomited Christmas this year and Elvie loved it. There were two tubberwear bins by the door that looked like they were in the process of being packed. Emilia had mentioned something about them packing up and bringing Christmas to Elvie. The house smelled of Rose’s delicious baking. He was glad to be home for the holidays.

    “Emilia?” Marc called from the kitchen. “I thought you were with your dad.” He emerged from the kitchen with an apron over his blue sweater and a cheesy Hanukah dish-towel over his shoulder. He gasped when he saw Elvie, then rushed to hug him. After the initial surprise Marc knelt on his knees and hugged Elvie at his level, wrapping his arms around Elvie’s back. He kissed him passionately.

    “I’m going to go bring in your stuff before things get too mushy,” Emilia murmured.

    “Elvie?” Leo had also entered the front room, then rushed to join the hug.

    Rose appeared from somewhere, kissing the top of his head and rubbling his back. She let Leo and Marc have their reunion since she had been to at least touch and kiss him over the past few months.

    “Are you home for good?” Leo asked, after taking the opportunity to kiss Elvie.

    Elvie nodded.”I have an appointment in a few days, and you guys have to keep Commander Harris updated. But I’m fine. I just have the flu. So if I could just bundle me up on the couch and have a cuddlesome with me, that’s all I want for Christmas.”

    Rose nodded. “Of course we will put up with your man-flu whining. I’m just glad you’re home for Christmas.” She took her turn to kiss him. “I love you so much.” She began pushing him into the living room and turned to Marc. “Looks like all our hard work prepping for Christmas in the hospital wasn’t needed.”

    “Sorry for ruining all your plans,” Elvie sarcastically said as they pushed him into the living room. There he was hit by the full force of two former First Spouses decorating for the holidays. A tree with glittering lights, tinsel and ornaments stood in the corner next to a table with a menorah sitting on it. Dozens of gifts were under the tree. A fireplace was roaring. Stockings were hung for both Lyman and Santoses and partners - all 11 of them. There was a half-finished puzzle and a crib board on the coffee table. Beyond the living room was the kitchen with Rose’s usual holiday mess. It was comfortably lived in. And it was nice to be home. Elvie felt so overcome by emotion.

    The urge to cry was suppressed by a cough. Leo rubbed his back. “We will get you snuggled up and take turns cuddling with you. I think I should take the first shift while Marc and Rose finish the cooking.”

    “How selfless of you,” Marc rolled his eyes. “Let’s put a quilt under him. A flannel one.” Leo and Marc took charge of his care, laying down a quilt, then transferring him to the corner of the large sectional, in front of the TV and fireplace.

    Emilia came into the living room after unloading the vehicle. Her arms were full of pillows of different sizes all covered with flannel pillow cases. She had Elvie’s gifts in a tote bag around her arm. “Figured you’d want these.” Marc took the pillows from her and positioned Elvie while Leo spread quilts over him. Emilia put his gifts under the tree.

    “You warm?” Leo asked.

    “You comfy?” Marc asked.

    Elvie smiled. “Yes. Thank you.”

    Leo slipped off his loafers and snuggled up to Elvie, getting under the covers. “I’m so happy you’re home.”

    Elvie smiled and rested his head on Leo. Still drained from the flu and the trip home, plus finally warm, comfy and cuddling with one of his boyfriends, Elvie fell asleep.

    * * *

    “Dad? Dad, come on Dad.”

    “Elvie. Elvie. Leo-Vincente.”

    Elvie woke very slowly. He had been extremely deep in sleep and was just having a moment having difficulty waking. “I’m here, I’m awake, no need to call me that.” He finally opened his eyes and assessed the situation. He was in Marc’s arms but Ella - and JJ - were in front of him looking very concerned. “Don’t look at me like that. Emilia has me drugged on cold meds. Now give me a hug.”

    Ella smiled, leaned forward and hugged him. “The storm outside is getting pretty bad, so we all got off work early and were so happy to hear you were out of the hospital. JJ and I even stopped by the airport and got your surprise.”

    “Hey Dad!” Mattie said, emerging from the kitchen. The eldest Santos child lived in Houston but had come to see his father at the beginning of Elvie’s kidney ordeal. Still, it warmed Elvie’s heart to see his son for Christmas. He bent down and hugged his dad.

    “Mattie! I can’t believe you’re here.”

    “Of course, where else would I spend Christmas? I’m just happy we aren’t spending it in your hospital room. Mom’s just finishing dinner. Do you wanna eat on the couch or do you want me to help you to the table?”

    “I wanna eat with the family at the table.”

    * * *

    Eating at the table with the family was a mistake. Elvie had a few finger foods and two pieces of Rose’s infamous shortbread and was completely exhausted by the meal and everytime he had to roll back from the table to cough. He could barely hold himself upright by the end of dessert, instead gently leaning on the table.

    And everyone noticed. But Rose knew how to handle it with dignity. “Love?” she asked, gently placing her hand on his forearm. “I wanna cuddle with you while I drink my wine. On the couch preferably. Do you want a peppermint tea? JJ and Ella also picked up some liquid meal replacements for you.”

    He smiled at her and nuzzled her neck. “That all sounds lovely… except for the meal replacement.”

    “Can someone help me get dad on the couch and get him some tea?” she asked. “The rest of you can clean this up, seeing as I did most of the cooking.”

    Mattie and Ella got up and got Elvie back in his cocoon of blankets, this time with Rose with him. Emelia appeared behind them with a tray of tea and a meal replacement shake. “You don’t have to drink it, Dad, but it would make all of us feel a lot better if you tried.”

    Elvie turned to Rose and glared. “You raised them too well.” He took a sip of the meal replacement, then washed it down with the tea. Together, Elvie and Rose snuggled by the fire.

    * * *

    A few minutes later, as the kitchen was still being cleaned, a swinging Christmas carol came on the playlist. All cleaning progress was halted as James took Emelia (who was now giggling) and held her tight as he began dancing with her. Marc groaned as Leo forced him to dance too. JJ and Ella joined in and Mattie danced with Miri (who was recently single and appreciative of her quasi-older-brother who made her laugh). Everyone was clearly half drunk. Rose couldn’t wait until they had grandchildren added to all this.

    Elvie smiled at the sight and rested his head on Rose’s chest. “Do you wanna dance?” he asked, never wanting Rose to feel left out because of him.

    “No,” she said, leaning down to kiss him. She began to play with his ears, something he always loved. It was essentially foreplay for them. “This is just fine. I love you.”

    “Love you too.”

    Bonus Scene:

    Emilia hadn’t snuck into her parents room this early on Christmas morning since she was 8. She didn’t want to be up this early - away from the warm sheets and Jamie’s embrace - but she had to take her father’s vitals and urine output. She quietly entered in her plaid pyjamas and bathrobe. She knelt at her dad’s bedside and checked his bladder bag hanging off the side of the bed and took his temperature with a laser thermometer. Everything seemed good, but the difficult part was the blood pressure. She tried to extract his arm but he woke.

    “Hmmm. Em?” he groaned, shifting on his pillow.

    “I just need to check your blood pressure. Just go back to sleep,” she said, holding his hand and putting the automatic cuff. She set his hand down at his side.

    “Why would I do that when I have my beautiful daughter at my side?” he murmured sleepily.

    “Okay. I was going to ask if you wanted more flu meds but you clearly don’t need more. How are you feeling? Do you need anything?”

    The cuff beeped and Emilia made a mental note of the result: fairly normal for her dad.

    “No, Sweetheart, thank you. Just give me a few more hours before you drag me out of bed to open presents. Love you Emelia.”

    She laughed softly. “I love you too.” She kissed his forehead, then gasped as a very masculine arm reached over her father, pulling him tight.

    “Are you done with him?” Marc asked tucking Elvie back in.

    She rolled her eyes but smiled. “Yes. I’ll leave you two be. Love you too Uncle Marc.”
  10. mavjade

    mavjade Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 10, 2005
    I completely forgot!! I'd seen you'd posted but couldn't read at that time and then it was gone. I wish there was a way to mark alerts as unread, it would make my spacey brain much less likely to forget things!

    Oh this was so warm and comforting, I felt wrapped up in all of those quilts!! It makes me so happy! This was another case of, I basically quoted the whole thing, so I had to take some of them off or this would have been crazy!

    Teeeee.... I love this! And since they'd always been friends, it doesn't seem weird to the outside world!

    This is what I was going to do for your fic-gift last year, but I think part of my problem was I got nervous on messing it up and then my brain was stuck and couldn't do anything else.

    That would be so COOL!!! (The kidney, not the flu!) But of course Elvie would catch the flu too, hospitals are a terrible place to be when you are sick because there are other sick people there!

    Yeaaahhh.... it probably would have been fine, since I can't imagine how awful the blow back of saying something about a former president in a military hospital, but I'm 100% with him that it's not worth the risk. I imagine even by then, that would be a huge scandal!

    Ahhhh.... I love this!! And I can totally seen an 'oops!' happening and a lot of embarrassment all around!! It makes me giggle!

    Dawww.... I love that even Miri joined in on that!! [face_love] They really are a big family!!

    I just loved this whole thing with them! They have such a beautiful relationship and this really showcases it! How Em takes care of Elvie and how he responds to her. But also their scheming to surprise everyone else! I just loved this whole section so much!

    I know this kids have known awhile now, but I love how you show how comfortable they all are with it here. Because when you can make a joke like this and it comes across as warm, you know that everything is fine. It made me so happy!

    Hahaha.... YEEEESSSSS..... I totally imagine Marc being someone who goes way over the top with holidays, but especially Christmas.

    I loved this paragraph so much!! The image is beautiful: the fire alllll the stocking hanging up, the menorah, the puzzle.... all of it. It's the perfect family Christmas and I love that they are all together for it!! [face_love]:*

    Teee... that button on the bonus scene!! :D

    *happy sigh*
  11. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    It's totally okay! I've had my fair share of spaced out moments! Though yes, that would be handy.

    Warm and comforting feelings were basically just the main motivation behind this fic!
    I mean, I don't think the world really cares about what (most) former presidents do (or maybe that's the Canadian in me - after like a week from when they leave office you really don't hear anything about former Prime Ministers until they die and its quite nice actually). But I think to like their Secret Service agents and and other staff - yeah - it probably doesn't seem too weird that these guys always hang out.
    OHHHHHH! Now I really want to read it! I probably wouldn't notice if you mess it up or even care (my friend has me watching Chicago Med right now and it is SOOOOO inaccurate, but it has Oliver Platt in it so I can forgive it). But I also understand having that fear of messing up just killing your muse.
    Yeah, I know we don't really use the futuristic setting in this, but adding that is fun. And yeah, poor Elvie just cant catch a break from getting sick in hospitals.
    Yeah, I'm not sure how many people would notice, care, and say something, but I think people can be as open - or as reserved - with their poli flings as they want. Plus I imagine Ella in politics and everyone wanting to keep things as quiet as possible :p

    I can too and I think its hysterical!
    They are! I don't care how realistic it is, I LOVE it!
    I was really on an Em kick when I wrote this! I love writing these two and their father/daughter relationship. Em cares for him so well, but also knows what she should and shouldnt put up with!
    Yeah, I'd like to think things aren't totally natural, but they can make jokes about it.
    Me too! This was totally inspired by Chasten Buttigeig's instagram :p
    Me too! Its so warm and nostalgic !
    Hehehehe. This bonus scene kinda inspired this whole fluffy fic, but I couldn't figure out where it should go... so I kinda just stuck it on the end.

    Glad you enjoyed this pure fluff!
  12. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    Title: What To Expect When Your Surrogate Is Expecting

    Timeframe: Mostly 2047/48/49 with Prologue

    Characters: Leo/Marc, Josie, with mentions of many others

    A/N: Written for Mav’s and my (now traditional) Holiday/West Wing fic-gift exchange. See request in spoiler. I’ve actually had similar ideas so this kinda turned into a mini-vintage/scene series rather than a actual plot line, but it’s mostly fluff. This might not exactly line up with our canon on how Leo/Marc became Daddies, but who cares or has brains to care at this point? But it is cannon with Kids (kinda - it expands on that viggie).

    Also on that note I haven’t written much about Josie (IDK why) and I think at one point you (and/or me) mentioned kids and a husband (?) but I love the idea of Josie as an independent woman (I had an image in my head as I was writing this with Josie as divorced because I just like the idea of her trying it out but not everyone can be married to a DC person). Like, I would love it if the idea of a person (female or male) finding fulfillment and happiness in friends/their career/family (as opposed to romantic relationships or children) became normalized. And then this decided to turn into a bit of a romance fic for her (we both know I cant control my muse). Anyways, thanks for coming to my TED talk.

    There will probably be 3-4 parts to this but only the first 2 are done. My muse has really just needed the fluff right now and I’m sure you can relate. Which is why I’m starting posting this now.

    The story of Marc and Leo asking Josie to have a baby for them, and maybe some scenes from her being pregnant and how they react to her being pregnant. It can totally be mushy, or angsty, or both! Or if one section of that is more inspiring than the other, that's fine too! I'm happy to have anyone else in it as well! Basically, I just would like 'about to become daddies' Marc and Leo!

    Part 1

    Prologue 2027

    “So can I have your babies?”

    The two seventeen year-olds sat in Leo’s basement bedroom. Josie and Leo were having a sleepover and talking about all their plans for their future: that colleges they applied to and what city they saw themselves living in and if they saw themselves getting married and having kids. Their future felt so uncertain. They wanted to remain close friends, but knew life didn’t always work out that way. Life never worked out the way you think it will when you are 17.

    Leo snorted the cup-of-noodles he was eating. “What?!”

    She was laying on his bed and he was sitting on the floor among the piles of his dirty laundry.

    “If you marry a guy, are you going to use me to have your babies? Promise me you will if you need me to… if you marry a guy, or a woman who can’t have her own kids… or don’t end up with anyone but still want to be a father. Because you are going to be the best dad. That’s one way we can always keep in touch.”

    Leo rolled his eyes. “How long have our dads known each other? I don’t think we need to worry about keeping in touch.”

    “But I want to make you happy if I can. Like not marry you… though we should make like a pact if neither of us are married by the time we are like 45 we will marry each other so you don’t grow old alone… because that would be bad.”

    Leo rolled his eyes but smiled. “I know I can rely on you for anything, Josie.”

    * * *

    21 years later

    November 2047

    Marc Lyman could hardly contain his excited nervousness. He had asked Josie to meet him alone for lunch in a sushi restaurant close enough to the Capitol building for this meeting to be convenient for Josie - she was Director of Floor Operations for the House of Representatives. But Marc wanted to be far enough away so that Leo wouldn’t stumble on their meeting.

    Marc scanned the restaurant, then took off his jacket and slipped into a booth. It was a cold, rainy November day. He ordered a green tea and two rolls for himself - he didn’t have a ton of time for lunch. Hopefully Josie wouldn’t be too late.

    She wasn’t. “Hey Marc,” she said after she entered. She was wearing a black power suit and blue blouse. She slipped into the booth across from him. “Not too late for our clandestine meeting am I?” she asked with a laugh, scanning over the menu.

    Marc and Josie were friends, but rarely saw each other without Leo around (really only when they were hatching something behind Leo’s back). So this lunch was definitely odd.

    “No! Not at all. Thanks for seeing me,”’ Marc said. The waiter came and brought Marc’s lunch and took Josie’s order - a ramen noodle bowl and a coke. “So,” Marc said, after the waiter left. “How’s life going?”

    She narrowed her eyes. “Decent,” she said skeptically. “I went on a date with this new guy, Kyle. Not sure if I wanna keep him around or not, but he’s fun.”

    “Along as he’s not a creep. But I would love to see you happy.”

    "So,” she said, “as much as I like hanging out with out and having company for lunch who’s not a caffeinated intern, is there a reason why we are meeting without your husband and why you told me not to tell him we were meeting for lunch? Is everything okay with you guys?” She was genuinely concerned.

    “Oh, we’re amazing!” Marc gushed. “Like I am somehow still so in love with that man.” He could feel himself smiling. “No, the reason why I’ve asked you here today is,” he sighed. He had rehearsed this in his brain, but it was still weird to ask your husband’s best friend to have your baby. “Leo and I have been researching options for having kids and we love the idea of furthering science and having genetically engineered kids.”

    “I know,” Josie said with a smile. “Leo has told me all about the crazy gamete splicing they are doing in Canada and Norway and how it is also being researched to help people like Elvie. But I also know - and I have fairly expert insight - its a long way from being done here in the US.”

    “I know,” Marc said with a nod. The waiter came back with Josie’s lunch. “Which is why I’ve been in contact with a clinic and a an embryologist in Canada. Leo doesn’t know, but I got us an appointment in March. I’m going to give him tickets to Toronto for Christmas.”

    “Oh my god!” she exclaimed loudly.

    “The first series of appointments will probably take a week and they will need genetic samples from Leo, me, and our surrogate and egg donor. I think Leo still feels guilty about the whole adoption situation years ago. So I want to make this as painless as possible as I can for him.” Maybe it was presumptuous to pre-ask Josie, but Marc knew Leo. Leo would want Josie there with them through out this journey. “Josie, you have always been at the top of our list as a potential surrogate.”

    She smiled and snorted. “I better be! When we were in high school I made him promise that I’d have have his babies if he needed to take some eggs and borrow a uterus.”

    Marc laughed. “I wanted to give you time to think about it, but if you want to have our baby, nothing would make me or Leo happier.”

    “Of course I’ll have your baby! Leo is going to be so excited!”

    The entire restaurant was glancing in their direction as Marc got up to hug Josie. “Thank you so much.”

    To the gawking observers, Josie exclaimed, “We’re going to have a baby!”

    Marc just laughed. As they sat back down, he said, “Now to get Leo in on this.”

    * * *

    December 2047

    Marc and Leo didn’t think twice about spending Christmas in California with Sam and Ainsley Seaborn. Marc and Leo weren’t tied to DC for the holidays and they would follow their little niece anywhere. It was a huge family gathering for Christmas with Noah, Imogene, little Joanie, Donna (Joanie was her grandma’s world), Josie, and even Abi.

    Despite the festive atmosphere, Marc knew something was up with Leo. He was sad, but not opening up to Marc.

    Marc had been through this before, so when Leo abruptly left the living room Christmas eve, Marc let Josie be the one to follow Leo. Leo would always feel able to unload onto Josie. Marc understood that. Leo didn’t have to think with Josie because there were no stakes with Josie.

    Still, more worried than jealous, Marc picked up his two-year-old niece (he had been tickling and playing dollies with her) and placed her on Grandpa Sam’s lap. “Why do Lyman have to be so complicated?”

    Sam laughed. “If it helps, I know exactly where Leo gets it from.”

    Marc followed Leo and Josie out to the patio, but lingered by the door. He was eavesdropping, but he couldn’t help himself.

    “I want to make Marc a dad,” Leo was saying.

    Marc’s heart soared. He hated that Leo was so upset, but Marc loved how much Leo cared.

    Leo went on and Marc just grinned like an idiot in love. “He loves kids. I love kids. We should be parents. Instead, we’ve been married 10 years now and I am making him live this selfish life of just me that I know he’s getting tired of. He’s been researching how to talk to potential surrogates. He doesn’t know I know. He won’t share with me. I am so scared that he doesn’t think I’m ready. Is he going to leave me to be a single dad?”

    Josie now spoke, cryptically. “He loves you Leo. He would never do that. And I love you guys. You know my uterus is here if and when you need it. Rent free for 9 months at a time.”

    Leo chuckled. “Thanks.”

    “And remember, both our dads were in their late 40s by the time they had us. I know you miss your dad, but don’t beat yourself up because you are 37 and don’t have kids yet. If our parents taught us anything it’s that these things happen on their own schedule and when their supposed to. Oh, and to never tell the press you have a secret plan to fight inflation.”

    Leo laughed along with her.

    “If I know Marc, I know he has a plan. But I think I’m going to let your husband deal with the rest of this early mid-life crisis.”

    Marc was knew that was his cue. Josie had seen him lurking. He came out of the doorway and wrapped his arms around Leo, holding Leo from his back. Marc rested his chin on Leo’s shoulder and gently kissed Leo’s jaw. “Josie, can you get the envelope off the tree for me?” Marc asked Josie before she left. She nodded.

    “How long have you been listening?” Leo asked.

    “Since ‘I want to make Marc a dad’.”

    “Well I do. I don’t care how anymore.” His tone was both stubborn and loving.

    “And you are. We are ready now and that’s all I want. But I know you want to help the world out wherever you can. I love that about you.”

    “But, we’ve talked about this and I’ve researched it endlessly and what I want - what we want - just isn’t done in the US yet.”

    “Which is why,” Marc looked up at Josie who was leaving the decorated living room. He took the brown envelope she had retrieved. “The three of us will be going to Canada in the new year. In March. You’re adorable and I’m sorry for frightening you. I’ve been scheming with Josie to make you a dad. I just wanted to deal with all the details for you - for us.”

    Leo gasped and opened the envelope and pulled out a stack of papers. On top was flight itineraries and underneath were information packets.

    Marc continued. “We have a consultation appointment with Dr. Saint-Claire. He’s been doing what we want for a few years now.” He paused as Leo processed the information. “Was I wrong in taking care of everything?”

    Leo threw his arms around Marc. Leo began crying. “No, Marc. This is a beautiful gift and I couldn’t be happier. I love that you took care of everything.” Leo kissed Marc. “You know me better than I know myself and I am so in love with you. Thank you.”

    Marc stroked Leo’s back. “It might take a bit, but we are going to be fathers. Merry Christmas, Leo Love.”

    Leo kissed Marc through tears. “Our kids are going to be Canadian,” Leo laughed.

    “Which will at least give them a fighting chance between our genes.” They laughed together. Marc continued to hold Leo. “Hopefully, by next Christmas, Josie will be pregnant, then, the Hanukah and

    Christmas after, we will have a baby!”

    * * *

    June 2048

    Marc liked to plan and be prepared. He never really was a “control freak” or anything like that, but he liked to know what was happening, which is probably why he had organized the “baby making process” (because god knows Leo would have been too disorganized and distracted to ever make them fathers). And things had all gone as planned for their first, second, and third appointments in Toronto (well… other than getting Leo’s sperm sample, but Marc had even been able to take control of that).

    But this was one thing he had no control over.

    He sat on the edge of Josie’s blue flowery bedspread, holding Leo’s hand, staring at the closed door. Their fingers were laced.

    Technically with in-vitro, blood tests were used to confirm pregnancy, but they had to do this part a bit sideways (nothing they had done was illegal, just not approved to be done by US doctors). Five weeks ago they had been in Toronto to go through the fertilization process. The easiest route from there was just to confirm it had worked with a good old fashioned drugstore urine test. The had to go back to Toronto once more - if Josie was pregnant - for genetic testing on the fetus (once it got to that stage), but other than that, Josie could go to her own OB-GYN (with Leo and Marc at her side).

    And even if she wasn’t pregnant this time around, the geneticists in Canada had made a number of eggs splicing Leo’s DNA into Josie’s gamete. Next time would be much easier. It still didn’t make waiting for the result easier.

    The toilet flushed, facet ran, then the door opened.Both Marc and Leo began to stand in anticipation.

    “Hold on guys. It takes a few minutes,” Josie said, leaning back to check the test stick on the counter

    “So are you sure you feel no different?” Leo asked. Nobody wanted to say it, but Josie was getting in her late 30s. It might take a few tries before she got pregnant. Marc was wary about getting his hopes up and was worried about Leo definitely getting his hopes up.

    Josie shrugged. Her hair was up in a messy ponytail and she was wearing bluejeans and a t-shirt. “I have a craving for caramelized onions on a cheeseburger and my period is late. But neither is nothing new. I just don’t want to get your hopes up.” She leaned back and simply said, “Oh.”

    “What is it?” Leo and Marc both asked.

    “Hug your husband, because I already find you both insufferably cute. And you’re going to be even worse with a baby,” she said as she placed her hands on her belly.

    Marc and Leo exchanged a quick kiss on the lips and a look that conveyed all the meaning in the world, before getting up and hugging Josie.

    “We’re going to have a baby!” Leo exclaimed.
  13. mavjade

    mavjade Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 10, 2005
    Oh... this is exactly what I needed right now!! I love it so much!!

    I adore this! That Josie was thinking about it, and that later she remembers it and still sticks to it! That was such a great detail.
    I love this is how you started the story! I was thinking the other day that if the muse wants to start cooperating, I'd like to do more of all of them being teenagers again.

    The mental image of this was awesome! And she made me laugh so hard with that!

    [face_laugh] Yeah, Sam understands. He might not have married a Lyman, but he certainly was around them enough that he completely gets it. This was another scene that I just loved seeing in my head. Leo being such a Lyman and Marc plopping the baby in Sam's lap, it's just so good!

    Awww.... this is so Leo. He's not thinking that Marc is doing it all to surprise him, he goes right to the negative. I mean, it's not unwarranted after what happened before, it's possible that someone else would be fed up and just not saying anything.

    Hahaha.... but so true. Sometimes things happen in their own time and not always in the time you want them to.

    [face_laugh][face_laugh] I love that people in this big West Wing family always end up Canadians! It's the joke that keeps on giving and I love it!

    Ahhhh..... yay!! I obviously knew it was going to happen at some point, but this was just such a perfect way for her to tell them!! [face_love]

    I love it so much!!! I'm excited for the next parts!!!
  14. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    Honestly this fluff has been exactly what I needed the past few weeks. Actually I can probably say that about this entire series over the past few years. But the past few years are over, and to celebrate, SOME MUSH!

    As soon as I came up with the idea of Leo and Josie discussing this as teenagers, I knew I had to start it with this. I love seeing them as teenagers! The muse doesn't bite often but I do love seeing them as awkward teens!

    I just love the idea of Marc and Josie (and Elvie) ganging up on Leo no matter what the situation!!!

    Total side note but my muse has totally been wanting some more Josh/Sam (with little Leo!).
    It's so Leo! As optimistic as he might be, he also carries some of his dad's insecurities.
    Canadian jokes will never get old :p

    I'm glad you loved it. I'm still not done part 3 yet but I wanted to update this again. I'm just having all the feel good feelings this evening!

    Also know that most of this next update was actually written before January 6th. It's weird that for all the words I've written in this 'verse, very few (if any???) scenes actually take place in the Capitol.
  15. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010

    Part 2

    Marc and Leo accompanied Josie to her first ultrasound (their plan was to go to every one of her appointments). The geneticists in Canada recommended an OBGYN who was familiar with the genetic splicing process and would know what to look out for. The OBGYN recommended an ultrasound at 8 weeks, instead of the normal 11, which was was why Josie was getting a vaginal ultrasound.

    Marc frankly had no idea who was the most uncomfortable with this situation. He knew that he and Leo were going to get extremely intimate with Josie’s reproductive parts but so far the geneticists in Canada had been great about keeping things clinical. But Josie had raised concerns about… swelling in an area of tissue Marc had no idea even existed on female anatomy.

    There was no getting around the fact that Leo and Josie were best friends - practically siblings, plus Leo being the most AWKWARD human on the planet - and Marc was very, very gay.

    Josie was on the exam table - a curtain around her hips for her privacy. Leo was beet red and holding both Josie’s and Marc’s hands.

    “Swelling in all parts of the vulva is completely common. Josie,” Dr. Platt was saying. She was younger, though she had excellent bedside manner and made Marc and Leo feel very involved but also treated Josie as her priority as a doctor. “That’s all just extra blood and oxygen going to the embryo - though just a few more weeks and we can call this little guy - or gal - a fetus. Speaking of which, did you request a sex when you had the egg fertilized?”

    “No,” Marc said, “And we are hoping to keep it a surprise.”

    “Fair enough,” Dr. Platt said with a smile.

    Josie let out a small groan of pain. When Leo and Marc looked at her with concern, she just said, “The swelling down there doesn’t make this easy.”

    “I know,” Dr. Platt said with a sympathetic sigh. “Thankfully this is the only ultrasound we have to do this way.”

    “Is there anything we can do to make you more comfortable?” Marc asked Josie.

    She let out a quick, sarcastic laugh. “Pretty sure ‘comfortable’ ended when I agreed to carry a Lyman baby.”

    “Everything looks normal and healthy. Would the fathers like to hear the heartbeat?” Dr. Platt asked with a knowing smile.

    “Yes!” Leo was the now to answer and Marc nodded enthusiastically.

    Dr. Platt tilted the screen she was looking at. “We’ll do 3-D ultrasounds starting next appointment but this is your little one,” she said, pointing to a embryo shape on the screen.

    Leo and Marc gasped.

    Dr. Platt pressed a few buttons and there was a strong, steady heartbeat.

    Marc wrapped his arm around Leo’s shoulder and Leo kissed Marc’s cheek.

    The sound of their love in a tiny human.

    August 2048

    Marc knew something was wrong when Leo called hm at work. They actually rarely communicated during work hours - maybe the odd text to make the other smile, or more likely to remind the other to do something like take dinner out of the deep-freeze. For the most part they were very focused on their work. So when Leo called while Marc was in his office - Marc had been going over changes to some drafts for a new museum the clients had commented on - Marc answered right away.

    “Leo? Love? What’s wrong?” Marc asked, pushing away from his drafting table.

    “Hey. Um, would you be able to come down to the Capitol? Josie is puking her guts out and I’m trying to convince her to go home, but I have a caucus in like a half hour.”

    Marc was already packing up his laptop into his leather bag. “Be right there. Love you.”

    “I love you too.”

    * * *

    Leo had given Marc a tour of the Capitol years ago, and Marc knew his general way around the Senate wing, and where Leo’s office was, but the House Wing was a whole different maze. Thankfully he knew how to read a map and having a pass to get through security (as Leo’s husband) came in handy. Still, he had only been to Josie’s office once she had gotten this role.

    But the signs on the doors were a big help. He entered the doors marked “Floor Director” and the man - a young guy - behind the desk asked, “Can I help you? The Floor Director is currently unavailable. Do you have an appointment?”

    “No,” Marc said. “I’m Senator Lyman’s husband. I’m here to help with the… current situation.”

    “Oh,” the man said, rolling his eyes. “They’re in the bathroom down that hallway.”

    “Thanks,” Marc said, unsure if the man had really been helpful but didn’t give it much thought as he hurried down the hall.

    The bathroom door was unlocked and both Leo and Josie were on the floor in their navy blue and burgundy, respectively, suits. Josie was heaved over the toilet and Leo was holding her hair and rubbing Josie’s back. Something told Marc that this wasn’t the first time they had been in this position.

    “Alright, Marc’s here. He’s going to drive you home and take care of you,” Leo was saying in hushed tones. After a decade of dealing with Marc and his migraines, Leo’s bedside manner had improved dramatically.

    “No, no, I’m fine,” Josie insisted, her voice echoing as she spoke into the bowl. “The morning sickness isn’t this bad. It’s the dizziness that’s new and I’m not-” she heaved again “-used to.”

    “Then let Marc and I help you. There’s nothing you need to do today -.”

    “Shove it Leo. You know I have a million things to do,” Josie groaned before barfing again.

    “You have three deputies! Make them run Congress for a day! It’s like arguing with my father,” Leo grumbled.

    “It’s like arguing with you,” Marc murmured as he wet some paper towel with warm water. He knelt at Josie’s side. “I’m going to dab your face, okay? Are you too warm? Cold?”

    “I’m fine,” she repeated, trying to sit up. She changed her mind half way up and leaned forward to place her head on her forearm. “Just go and I’ll be okay.”

    “You’re also a horrible liar,” Marc said gently. “Worse than Leo. How you both got into politics is beyond me. Just answer me one question: would you feel better if you were at home in a pair of pyjama shorts?”

    Josie considered. “Probably.”

    “So can I take you home? We can take your laptop so you can work if I get you feeling better?”

    “Okay, okay, you win,” Josie sighed. “You’re going to be an amazing father and I hate it.”

    “And I love it,” Leo said, leaning forward and kissed Marc on the lips.

    Josie rolled her eyes but grinned wildly. “You two make me sick, and I’m not just just talking about the morning sickness.” She rolled to sit on her butt. She clutched her stomach and began to talk to it. “Your daddies are ridiculously adorable. You are going to be so hopelessly cute!”

    * * *

    Leo eventually made it to his caucus and Marc got Josie to his car. Marc drove with the windows down because Josie said the cool, fresh air was making her feel better.

    “Leo keeps me updated whenever he talks to you, but how have you been feeling?” Marc asked. “Other than today.”

    Josie shrugged. “Not too bad. Today’s been the first really crap day. The swelling in all my fun spots is still annoying but the morning sickness is usually manageable. Thanks for driving me home though. I need to remember I can’t do everything.”

    “Of course. Leo and I will always be here for you… even after you give birth to our baby,” Marc said with a smirk.

    “I know,” Josie said with a smile.

    “So how’s it going with that guy you were seeing?” Marc asked. It didn’t all have to be about the baby.

    “He was a dud. We broke up three weeks ago. Josie Seaborn is single again.”

    “What? No! I’m sorry.”

    “It’s fine. At least I figured it out before I married this one.”

    “What happened?”

    Josie shifted so she was getting more fresh air in her face. “He didn’t like the way my body was changing.”

    “What an absolute smuck! Can I go beat him up for you? Didn’t you tell him you were pregnant and that’s why your body is changing?”

    “No I didn’t tell him I’m pregnant. Nobody knows I’m pregnant. You guys haven’t even told Donna yet - she gets to be the first to know. Besides, if a guy can’t love me with puffy nipples, then he can’t love me at all.”

    “Well Leo and I love you,” Marc said with a smile.

    Marc got Josie home, in bed, then cleaned her entire condo for her.

    * * *

    September 2047

    Josie wanted Leo and Marc to make all decisions when it came to telling people about their pregnancy. Leo and Marc decided they wanted to tell Leo’s mom first, around 15 weeks, and they wanted Josie there as well. So Leo invited them all to his mother’s home for Sunday lunch.

    The whole thing was painfully obvious, but since Marc got to ask Josie to be their surrogate, he felt it was only fair that Leo got to plan how they told Donna. Leo didn’t feel like they ever needed a “tit for tat” but Marc saw how excited Leo was to tell Donna.

    Josie wasn’t looking pregnant yet - and the sun-dress she was wearing covered her mid-section anyways - and she had gotten her appetite back with her second trimester. She scarfed down two sandwiches and two brownies as they all sat on the back patio, overlooking the garden where Marc proposed to Leo. The flowers were all blooming in the late summer air.

    “Bad break up?” Donna asked as Josie reached for another brownie. “I’m not judging, had my fair share of plates of brownies.” She reached forward and rubbed Josie’s arm and gave her a kind smile. “Is that why my Marc and Leo brought you here today.”

    “No,” Josie rushed to say. “Well - yeah - I broke up awhile ago. But I also saw a new guy last week - my sister and your other son set me up - and I actually had a lot of fun… but I also have another new life form in my life.” Josie wanted Leo to get to the news.

    “Oh?” Donna asked.

    “Marc and I have some news too,” Leo said, getting a folded pastel yellow envelope out of his pocket and giving it to his mom. As she opened it, Leo drew a big breath in. “Marc and I going to be fathers. Abba and Daddy to be exact,” he blabbered.

    Donna gasped as she pulled out the small copy of the 3D ultrasound they had taken last week, the same image Marc and Leo had on their fridge at home. “Finally!” she exclaimed, standing up to hug Leo, Marc, then Josie.

    Donna had a million questions about the baby, the genetic make-up, and how Josie was doing. They all sat on lawn chairs by the garden and talked.

    Eventually Donna cuffed Leo upside the head.

    “Ow! What was that for?” Leo asked.

    “For telling me all those trips to Canada were for work! I could have gone with you! I have so much to do as a Grandma!”
  16. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    AN: @mavjade Not sure if you saw part 2, but here's part 3.

    You wrote JJ’s actual birth, so I decided to skip over that bit and go right to bebe cuddles. I kinda waned to write these three at a lamaze class because the idea is just funny to me, but the muse just wasn’t giving me ideas (… now Elvie and Rose at a lamaze class I do have an idea about!).

    My muse kinda puddled out there at the end (sorry! I think now more than ever 5000 words seems to be the hard limit for me now more than ever and this did reach 7k) so I did have more ideas, but muse just kinda rolled over and said “nope I want something different” (it wants angst and I don't know how to give it that). I want to eventually write those ideas (Grandma Donna meeting JJ for the first time, Josie’s boyfriend visiting her post-delivery, JJ’s baby shower), just not right now.

    Part 3


    Marc held Leo as they cuddled in bed. Leo read out loud from “What To Expect When Your Surrogate Is Expecting”. Also on Marc’s bedside was “Two Daddies” and “Surrogate Pregnancy, Childbirth and Newborns for Same-Sex Parents.” They tried the heteronormative pregnancy, childbirth, and newborn books, but found there was just too much that didn’t apply to them. But the LGBTQ+ books addressed all their worries. So this was them beginning to nest.

    “After birth your surrogate will be experiencing many emotions and hormonal changes. They may wish to hold the baby or not. Talk to them about their wishes but also respect that these wishes may change in the moment.” Leo paused. “Do you think Josie’s going to be okay? I mean, we asked her to carry our baby for us, but we’re going to be taking him or her away from her. Is that going to be as awful as these books make it?”

    “I mean,” Marc shifted. “These books all seem to account for a wide range of possibilities. We should talk to Jos next story-time about her wishes and how we can best support her.” Every week or so Leo and Marc hung out with Josie and read to their baby to get him or her used to their voices.

    “Of course,” Leo said before continuing. “But also remember this is an important time for you and your partner to bond with your new bundle of joy.” Leo had to pause because Marc had kissed him. Leo continued with a grin. “Skin to skin cuddling has many benefits for newborn babies and new dads.” Leo sighed. “I can’t wait until we can hold him.”

    “Or her.”

    Leo grinned. “Whatever they identify as, I just hope they love cuddles.”

    Marc laughed. “You remember the palmar reflex - the clinched fist thing we read about in the last book. Well, I can’t wait until they grab my finger.”

    “When we first got engaged you told me you were worried about becoming a parent. Are you sill worried?”

    “Nope.” Marc said confidently. “I mean, I have worries about the birth - will the baby be okay, will Josie be okay - but it’s been over ten years since I told you that and we have a little niece I love babysitting. Of course it’s different being a uncle versus a dad but I have practiced now. And I can’t wait to cuddle with them and you. I just want to pick them up and tickle them,” he said before beginning to tickle - and kiss - Leo.


    “Leo is sorry he’s running late,” Marc said as he hugged Josie as he entered her apartment. Today was one of their “story times” where he and Leo read to Josie’s stomach. Leo was always much more enthusiastic about talking to Josie’s 5 month baby-bump, but Marc enjoyed hanging out with Josie and according to the baby-books the baby could hear them now and Marc definitely wanted the baby to recognize his voice.

    “It’s fine,” Josie said with a laugh. “I saw this senate filibuster coming a mile away.” She led Marc into the living room. “Can I get you something? Water?”

    Marc chuckled as they sat down on her couch. “I should be the one asking you that. How’s the little one treating you.”

    “Actually pretty good. Second trimester is a breeze. You can touch my stomach if you want. Little one has been kicking away all day and you might be able to feel them dancing away.”

    “Okay,” Marc said, placing his hand on Josie’s periwinkle sweater.

    “You don’t have to be timid Marc. This is your baby, I’m just having them for you.”

    Marc felt something move. Suddenly - just a random instant - the idea of the baby and becoming a daddy became so real to him. “Oh my God. Hi! Hi little one! It’s Daddy!”


    Marc and Leo stumbled into home at 2:46 am on January 1st in their fancy dress clothes - Leo was in a 3 piece suite and Marc had on his best sports coat. They had celebrated a quiet Hanukah and Christmas but Imogene, Noah, and Abi had insisted they all go out for New Years Eve before Leo and Marc became dads to a newborn. They had gone out to dinner then to a party at a bar. Josie had offered to take care of her niece so everyone else could have a fun, glamorous night. Josie had entered the “uncomfortably pregnant” stage and just wanted to stay at home with her new boyfriend, Ethan.

    “I kinda hate your sister,” Marc grumbled as he locked the door and sluffed off his winter coat.

    “Was she the one,” he asked flopping down on the couch to take off his dress shoes, “who kept buying tequila shots?”

    Marc nodded as he headed for the kitchen.

    “Then I kinda hate her too,” Leo grumble as he stood up and stumbled into his office.

    “You were the one who kept drinking them.” Marc had taken a pre-emptive Tylenol (and had set out one for Leo) and began chugging a glass of water.

    Leo stumbled and placed a new calendar on the fridge. In a drunken haste he ripped off January.

    Marc raised an eyebrow as he filled a glass for Leo. “Getting ahead of ourselves, aren’t we dear?”

    Leo’s eyes were full of love as he gazed at the date circled in the middle of the month. “I don’t care! I’m going to be Abba this year!”

    Marc chuckled and leaned forward to kiss Leo on the lips. “Yes you are!”

    Leo’s hands made his way to Marc’s hips as he grinned. “And you’re going to be Daddy!”

    “Yes I am!” Marc declared before dipping Leo in his arms and kissing kissing again.


    It was the Saturday before Josie’s due date (though the doctor suspected since the baby was a bit underweight that Josie would likely carry late… a fact that Josie did not appreciate since she was now on leave until the baby came). Leo was hard at work in his home office trying to get as much done as possible to prepare for his paternity leave. Marc had stopped taking contracts a week ago and was now upstairs in full nesting Dad mode. Marc had spent the last three days COMPLETELY decorating the baby’s bedroom. Leo had wanted to wait until they had the baby came until they brought anything in the house for the baby (Jewish superstitions) but Marc was a planner and liked to have everything prepared, so Leo relented and let Marc (and himself) go crazy.

    Finishing up a campaign donor report (he was now searching for things to do to kill time and make sure EVERYTHING was off his plate the baby came), he made his way upstairs to the kitchen where Marc was making muffins. Leo leaned against the counter in his jeans and hoodie and took a muffin from the cooling rack. “Do I have to buy us another deep freeze?”

    “Not if you’re going to eat everything as I make it,” Marc bantered as he turned off the stove and poked Leo in the stomach.

    “I can’t help it if you make yummy stuff.” Leo’s phone began to ring and he answered it immediately. “Josie! Marc is right here beside me. I’m putting you on speakerphone.”

    “Hey. So you know when you and Marc called me this morning and I was really cranky with you both?”

    “You weren’t cranky….” Marc tried too assure her.

    “Shut up. I haven’t slept all night because of the contractions.”

    “Contractions?!” both Leo and Marc exclaimed.

    “Look, they weren’t regular, I had Ethan time between every single one. I’m positive they were just pre-labour but they are getting really regular now but they are like ten minutes apart now and progressing steadily. I think you guys might wanna come now.”

    When Leo hung up both he and Marc looked at each-other with the same nervous, yet excited smile.

    * * *

    “You’re doing great Jos,” Leo said as he and Marc walked with Josie through the hallway of the maternity wing. Her hair was up in a messy bun and she had a pink robe hanging off of her over her hospital gown. They weren’t sure if walking was helping but it was helping pass the time.

    She huffed as they rounded the corner into her room. “Shut up, Lyman and just go ask the nurse if I can have drugs,” she mumbled as Marc helped her back into bed.

    “I’ll go,” Marc offered as he hefted Josie’s feet back into the bed.

    Leo approached the bed and got into bed beside her. He placed his arms around her. “I love you and I hate that you are in pain for me.”

    “Leo. I love you too - and Marc,” she said, resting her head on his shoulder. “I want to do this for you guys. That doesn’t make this easy. But after this part,” she said, holding her large stomach, “it becomes your problem. And you’re going to be such a great—.” She was interrupted by a contraction. The tightness in her back just took over her entire body. “Oh. Oh Leo!” she screamed. She felt his hand squeezing hers and his arm around her back.

    “Just breathe, okay? Or you can scream and I’ll do whatever you need.”

    Eventually Josie stopped screaming and leaned back onto Leo, huffing. “Oh, you suck so much Leo.”

    “I know,” Leo said as he began to give her a scalp massage.

    “I just wanna get this baby out of me, give them to you then have a nap,” she whined. “After I wake up I’m having a glass of wine, then I’m going to sleep again.”

    “You deserve all that and more,” Leo chuckled.

    At this point, Marc entered with one of the nurses. “We’re pretty sure with the timing that you are ready for the epidural,” Marc said with a smile.

    Josie just beamed. “God, I love you Marc!”

    * * *

    “So,” a nurse asked. “Who’s going to be the first to hold him?”

    “Leo is,” Marc replied.

    After a long delivery, Leo and Marc had welcomed their son into the world by laying their hand on him, but the nurses had scooped Josiah-Joshua away to clean him up and help him clear out his airways. Josie was already nodding off, taking her much needed nap. Marc was holding Leo from behind as they impatiently waited by as JJ was measured and weighed. He was a wailing bundle as another nurse wrapped him in a blanket and put a little white hat on his head. “There you go!” she said to the baby. “Nice and cozy for your dads.” She lifted him up, cradling his head, and placed him in Leo’s waiting arms. “He’s tiny, but a perfectly healthy baby boy.”

    JJ was so much smaller - and louder - than Leo thought possible. Leo couldn’t help but continue to grin like an idiot. “Hey my Josiah-Joshua.” Leo cooed as he held his son close to his stomach. “You got your little hat on and your all bundled up! Are you ready for cuddles with Abba and Daddy. Are you ready for all the cuddles in the world?” he asked, timidly bouncing the bundle.

    Marc gently led Leo over to the couch by the window. Marc sat first, then Leo sat next to him. Marc wrapped his arms around Leo and they held their baby together. No words could convey their love and joy.

    Marc offered JJ his finger and his young son grasped. “He is everything.”

    Leo nodded as he kissed JJ’s forehead. “He’s perfect.”
  17. mavjade

    mavjade Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 10, 2005
    I'm so, so sorry. I've not been ignoring you on purpose. I've not had the concentration to actually read for weeks now, I've been skimming most everything. Not fanfic, novels, not even longish news articles. I kept thinking, okay, tomorrow I'll be okay and then nope. I should have PMed you to let you know, but I kept thinking it would go away. (It happens on occasion, but not usually this long.) And I wanted to be able to read this when I can actually read and enjoy it. And finally, I'm here!!

    Hahahah.... This may be TMI but I've had more than a few of those ultrasounds so I don't think any thing of them anymore, but yeah, if two of my male friends were present... awkward!

    I love that Leo is being so caring. Josie is going through all of this so it's the least he can do, but it's still sweet. I love that you show how his bedside manner has improved after helping to deal with Marc's migraines.

    And then Marc goes and is perfect about it! That was a great way to get past her stubbornness without making her feel useless. Sometimes it's all in the wording.

    Right on, girl! I love that she thinks that Donna needs to be the first to know! I think Leo and Marc would be fine if she was seriously dating the guy, but it sounds like he wasn't a keeper anyway.

    I love this! dp and I kinda have something similar, we take turns with the 'big' announcements on Facebook, lol.

    [face_laugh] That is so Donna and I love it! Of course she wants to be as involved as possible!

    PART 3

    I loved all of the book titles, were they real ones you researched? I also loved Leo reading them out loud to Marc! [face_love]

    This made me laugh! Of course she knows the life of a politician, she's been around it her entire life. But the way she said it really makes me feel like she understands it and really doesn't mind as long as it's for a good reason, and that probably is!

    [face_laugh][face_laugh] Yep, that was probably Abbi! I love all of these little glimpses of things happening before the baby comes. This one cracked me up!

    I learned of this a few years ago (along with not naming a child after someone who was still alive) and while I can totally see the reason for not buying things early, but not doing it at all before the baby comes is really impractical. Yeah, something bad might happen at any time in a pregnancy/with birth, but something could happen at any time of life, you can't not get things because of a maybe. I'm glad Leo wasn't too set on that superstition. (And I realize this probably comes from a time when a significant number of babies died before being born, but they also probably had stuff to take care of baby from family or other babies.)

    [face_rofl] And she deserves it! It's one thing to give up drinking, certain foods/things in your life to have your own child. But to do it for someone else?! That takes someone special. Marc and Leo should buy her all the wine she can drink! (and I'm sure they would!)

    [face_love][face_love] Dawww... I loved this reference to Toby's 'babies come with hats'! I love that scene and this one! It's just so cute to imagine!!

    Thank you so much for this!! I loved every single word and it's exactly what I was wanting. It makes me so, so happy! And wow, did you go above and beyond with the length of it!! You are awesome! [:D] @};-
  18. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    It's totally okay. God knows my brain has been in that state for the past few weeks. It happens, particularly these days.
    Yes, I love that Leo's bedside manner has improved just a little bit! But of course, Leo is going to care for Josie!
    Marc was always meant to be a great daddy! Dealing with Josie was probably great training for Miri!
    Yeah, I think Leo and Marc would encourage her to tell whoever she needed, but I love how stubborn she is in really making this about them!
    Thats great!
    Of course! She probably loves being a grandma!
    I can't remember. I think I did research some for some inspiration! But I love how they find their own way to bond and nest.
    Yeah, she knows all too well. But I relly loved the idea of just a Josie and Marc bonding moment!
    I'm an Abbi in all this. I'm all for one last chance to have fun before someone starts being a parent.
    Oh yeah, I can see why this became a tradition with infant mortality rates being what they used to be (and certainly you make a good point about hand-me-downs), but I agree (and I think in my research people said 'yeah, it's really not followed anymore'). I can see Leo wanting to incorporate his dad and his Jewish side into the baby process, but there really isn't many Jewish pre-natal customs.
    Oh she totally deserves it!
    I had to. It's possibly the most adorable line of the series.
    Your welcome! It was so much fun to actually put all these random plot bunnies I had in my head surrounding JJ's birth into an actual story! I'm so happy you enjoyed it!

    Not sure if you saw my new AU West Wing vignette thread but the muse is occasionally still biting for this one too.
  19. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    Title: It Happens

    Timeframe: 2035(ish)

    Characters: Elvie/Rose

    A/N: I just wanted some “stake-less angst” with Elvie and Rose, and also write them while dating. Then this came to me. My muse was being a butt and I just wanted to write anything. I did have an idea for an actual plot but then I forgot it, but I decided to finish it and post it anyways. Fair warning, this isn’t very good… and there’s poo… lots and lots of poo.

    “Elvie? Elvie? You need to get up,” Rose’s voice was coated with panic and exhaustion as she shook her boyfriend awake. Gone were the days when she feared disturbing his slumber. She reached over his body to turn on his bedside lamp and knocked over his bottle of water. “Dammit,” she cursed.

    “Wha?” Elvie groaned, covering his eyes against the sudden bright light. “What’s wrong?”

    “I just knocked over your water, but that isn’t our issue right now.” She sighed. “I think you’re sick. You had an accident.”

    Elvie was still confused until she pulled back the quilts and sheets. He smelled it first. He looked down and realized they were both - and the bed - completely covered in diarrhea. He was mortified. It had seeped through his cotton pyjama pants and was in a pool around him. Rose was wearing a pair of light pink shorts and a tank-top, both covered in his feces.

    He had had accidents before, but he hadn’t had one at night in like a year - since he was in rehab (he considered himself extremely lucky but his stem-cell treatments had helped in that regard - he was able to keep himself “regular” for the most part when it came to his bowels).

    Rose sighed again, “I am never making chimichangas again.”

    Elvie was trying to formulate a plan to clean himself and the bed. And then he felt himself fart and leak. He couldn’t stop his own body. He tried to sit up but his stomach cramped and he curled up. “Oh Lord.” He started to dry heave.

    “Please don’t!” she burst, breathing heavy. “Because if you vomit, I’m definitely going to and I’m barely holding it in as it is.” She got on her knees and folded back all the sheets.

    “Okay, uh,” he struggled to sit up without putting his hands in it. “Let me get in the shower, I’ll clean myself, then I’ll take care of this.” He hesitated transferring into his wheelchair.

    “Sweetheart, please, stop. Let me help, you’re CLEARLY SICK. And I’m feeling horribly guilty since it was probably my cooking.” She didn’t think it was, but she knew how to gently manipulate her boyfriend for his own good - and her sanity. “I love you Elv. Let me carry you,” she said getting out of bed. She didn’t want to clean his wheelchair on top of everything else. “Are you okay with this?” she asked, moving to pick him up.

    He nodded, realizing he had her permission to feel terrible. He put his arms up and around her shoulders as she picked him up. She began carrying him through their closet, into their bathroom. “Just get me onto the toilet or into the shower. I don’t know if it’s ov—” As he said that, Rose started to scream.

    “Oh, my god you are crapping again and I’m stepping in it!” she shrieked as she tried to run with him in her arms.

    “I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I can’t control it!” he exclaimed as they reached the shower and he flung open the door for her.

    She placed him on the shower chair and sighed. “I hate you so much right now.”

    “Yeah, well I hate me too!” he burst, refusing to meet her gaze as he peeled off his pyjama pants and underwear, throwing them on the floor just outside the shower, in a pile with Rose’s PJs.

    She grabbed the detachable shower-head and began to shower Elvie. “Well, it’s less you that I don’t like, more your delicate digestive system. You, I love you very much.” She kissed his forehead. “Please don’t turn this into a night of self-loathing just because you poo’ed all over your hot girlfriend. If I truly was upset about your lack of bowel control when you have a stomach bug, I’d be a horrible human being. You wouldn’t be upset about me pooping on you.”

    “No,” he chucked. “I’d tell you that it was my job.”

    “Exactly. So, please get it through your thick noggin that I am neither upset nor mad. I’m just worried and frankly kinda tired,” she said soaping both herself up, and gently washing Elvie’s back. She handed him the bar of soap and rinsed herself off. “I’m going to go start cleaning up. I’ll bring your wheelchair in when I can.” She kissed him on the lips. “Stay here in the warm water, get feeling better, and call me if you need something.” She slipped out, grabbing a towel and wrapping it around herself.

    * * *

    Elvie stayed in the shower until his colon stopped leaking and Rose brought him his wheelchair and lined it with a towel. “The floor is clean but I gotta put the sheets in the laundry and the winter sheets on the bed, how’re you feeling.” She also brought him a fresh pair of pyjama pants. She was wearing another cute, matching purple tank and shorts set. She was clearly not worried about being crapped on again.

    “Like I just crapped out my colon. I think I got a bug.” He preferred the idea of blaming a virus rather than himself. He moved slowly to transfer into his wheelchair.

    “Do you want anything?” she asked, rubbing his shoulder.

    “No, hon, thank you.”

    “Okay. Call me if you want anything,” she said before leaving.

    He opened up the bottom drawer under their sink. At the back were a few adult diapers. He hated having to use one again, but knew it was the safe thing to do.

    Elvie got dressed, then grabbed another towel, and headed back into the bedroom. Rose was in the freshly made bed, the lights were off and a few candles were lit on their nightstands.

    “They are to help with the smell,” she explained, “But I like the ambiance too.” She patted the bed beside her.

    “Are you sure you don’t want me to sleep on the couch? So I don’t have another accident on you.”

    “Elvie,” she admonished with a grin. “I even plugged in your heating pad. I want my little spoon because no one ever said anything about letting your ego or heteronormative gender roles into our bed. Now come here,” she said, patting the bed beside her.

    He sighed, laid out a towel on the sheets, then transferred back into bed. She snuggled up to him, pulling him close and kissing his cheek. “I love you,” he said as he forced a smile. She placed his heating pad over his stomach. “Oh, I really love you.”

    “I know,” Rose said. “I love you too.”
  20. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    @mavjade Not sure if you saw above, but here's another story!


    Timeframe: Autumn 2056(ish)

    Characters: Leo/Marc, Elvie, Josie

    Notes: This was inspired by two mini challenges (The Latin Challenge and the Gilbert and Sullivan challenge). Under the right circumstances I feel like I could have done something amazing with these, particularly the latin prompt, but we know I was lucky enough to get anything out of my brain, but I really loved writing the banter in this! Originally this was going to be much more fluffier/funnier, but as I was writing it turned a bit spookier (but still with plenty comedy) which I’m not good at, but it was fun to write a different genre. I tried to do a flashback with teenage Leo, Elvie, and Josie but the muse wasn’t with it.

    De nobis fabula narratur. Translation: about us is the story told. In essence: their story is our story. Originally, this phrase referred to the end of Rome's dominance as a world power. Now, it's often used when comparing any current situation to a past story or event.

    “When the night wind howls (The Ghosts’ High Noon)” (Sir Roderic Murgatroyd and chorus, Ruddigore)

    G&S meets Halloween in this sceery, creepy chorus of ghosts and ghouls to serenade the last living member of an ancient cursed family.

    Here is your lyrics link.

    Here is a video:

    Marc felt like an idiot.

    And he had an entire West-to-East-Coast flight to wallow in his own cringeworthy idiocy. Not to mention minimal staff on the Gulf-stream and the few staff he did have, Marsha - his body-person - and Amanda - his press secretary, had done a terrible job trying to make him feel less stupid. He ate tasteless airplane food for while he sank in self-pity.

    Somedays he really hated the fact that he was married to the President of the United States.

    * * *

    The White House was creepy at night. It was a 250 year old mansion - of course the place was creepy at night! During the day it was typically so busy that Marc really noticed. But at night, the place was unsettlingly quiet. Sure at night there were still the Secret Service, armed guards, dress marines, and a dozen staffers always working on something into the witching hour in the West Wing, but in general, the hallways were dimly lit and downright spooky at 9 pm. Never-mind the huge paintings, inconsistencies in heating (it was an old house), and far-off noises.

    But tonight was particularly eerie.

    Marc made his way from where his car dropped him off at the East Entrance up to the Residence. He walked alone (passing the occasional posted secret service agent) but he felt like he was being followed, or watched. And the elevator felt a whole lot colder, but Marc figured it was thanks to the rainy autumn.

    The Residence was still. Dark and quiet. Marc made his way to Miri, then JJ’s room, stepping over toys (Leo sucked at getting the kids to clean up), tucking them in, and kissing their cheeks. He’d make them both pancakes for breakfast tomorrow to make up for being gone this evening.

    He then made his way to his mother-in-law’s room. The light came through the crack at bottom of the door. He softly knocked.

    “Come in.”

    Donna’s room was lit by a single bedside lamp. Her room was decorated in white lace and lavender, and many pictures of her kids and grandkids at various ages. There was a single photo of her and Josh on their wedding day on her bedside table. She was sitting up in bed, reading from a tablet. She looked up and smiled. “Hey, honey. What’s up? How was LA?”

    “A train-wreck. Did you catch the news?”

    “Nope, Marc, I was married to Josh for over 25 years and my son is the president. I try to avoid the news.”

    “Fair enough.”

    She patted the bed beside her. “Wanna talk about it?”

    He sighed. “Not tonight. Do you know where your son is? I just wanna get my history lesson and then cuddle with my dork.”

    Donna sighed. “He went back to the office after putting the kiddos to bed. Elvie and Josie wanted to work on fixing social security.”

    Marc rolled his eyes. “I’m pretty sure that’s code for ‘drink and talk about the good ol’ days’ but thanks. Now I’m going to get a lecture from a political genius, a smarmy bastard, and the world’s biggest dork.”

    Donna chuckled. “Okay. Goodnight, Marc.”

    “Goodnight Mom.”

    * * *

    Marc walked down to the West Wing, mostly just to prove to himself that he wasn’t afraid of walking through the house at night. As predicted, there were a few stray employees still in the West Wing, but none looked up for him with the exception of Kaia and Erik, Leo’s and Elvie’s body-people hanging out and dong paperwork outside of the oval office. Marc sighed. Leo always had to have some staff around if he decided to work in the Oval Office, which was why Marc encouraged Leo to work in his private office in his residence if he was working into the night. Mrs. Patterson and the other secretaries had at least escaped. “Sorry guys. I’ll get them out so you guys can get home.”

    “We don’t mind,” Kaia said too quickly.

    “Secret Service still wants someone on the Vice President 24/7,” Erik said, in reference to the change in procedure for Elvie’s shoulder replacement 4 months ago. “I’m just happy for the company for part of my shift.”

    Marc tried not to grin. He was pretty sure Erik was into men but Marc had never been too sure about it. In any case he avoided meddling in the love lives of White House employees.

    “Have a good night you two,” Marc said before entering the oval office.

    “President William Henry Harrison,” was the first thing Elvie said as Marc came in. As predicted, Leo, Elvie, and Josie were all sitting on the couches. All three were still in their suits. Three glasses and a decanter of scotch sat on the table between the two couches.

    “First Lady Letitia Tyler,” Josie countered.

    “President Zachary Taylor.”

    “Willie Lincoln.”

    “Probably a few dozen slaves at least who built this place and worked here.”

    Marc groaned as he hid his face.

    Leo, who had not joined in, got up and greeted his husband with a hug and a soft kiss on the lips. “Ignore them.”

    “First Lady Caroline Harrison,” Josie continued.

    Marc groaned. Leo pulled him close to him, rubbing his back. “I’m an idiot,” Marc moaned into Leo’s shoulder.

    Leo sighed. “Well, ‘no one has died in the White House’ was a pretty idiotic thing to say.”

    “Thanks Love,” he said, dripping with sarcasm. Marc had been in LA for a fund-raising gala with Hollywood elite and plenty of media. He had been talking about the White House architecture (and nerding-out) when he had gotten the question from a 20-something starlit: ‘so is the White House haunted?. Marc thought the idea of ghosts was stupid - there was always a logical explanation for things that went bump in the night, particularly in an old building - but had struggled to think of a diplomatic reply to the question without calling the young actress stupid for believing in such things. He had blurted out the very wrong statement of ‘I don’t think so - it’s not like anyone has died in the White House.’

    Marc had no idea why he had said it. He probably got it mixed up with some other stupid fact. It was now all over social media.

    “Fredrick Dent - Ulysses S. Grant’s Father-in-Law,” Elvie said.

    “Elisha Hunt Allen, Minister of the Kingdom of Hawaii to the United States,” Josie said smugly.

    “First Lady Ellen Wilson!” Elvie said as if what they were listing of was obvious.

    “God, how could either of you forget President Newman? We knew him and went to the funeral,” Leo snarked to two of his oldest friends.

    “Okay. I see. People who have died in the White House,” Marc said, sitting on the couch, now getting their ‘game’. Leo sat with him, letting Marc lean on him. Leo began rubbing Marc’s shoulders.

    “De nobis fabula narratur,” Elvie said thoughtfully. “We must know their story because it is our story.”

    Marc scowled. “I used to think the fact that you can speak nine languages was sexy. Now I just think its annoying and smarmy.”

    “It’s only five,” Elvie defended himself.

    It’s only five,” Marc mocked. “And one of them is friggin Latin. Pour me a drink in Leo’s glass. I need it after tonight.”

    “This place is haunted, by the way,” Josie said as if it was a scientific fact. She leaned forward and poured more scotch into Leo’s glass and handed it to Marc.

    Elvie and Leo nodded in agreement.

    Marc looked in incredulity at all three of them. “What? 400, probably closer to 500, IQ points between the three of you - and you all believe in ghosts?”

    “I mean, most experiences have a perfectly rational explanation,” Elvie prefaced. “But I believe that science and religion go hand in hand and not everything can be known. This place is haunted. Spend as much time as we have living in this building, with ALL its history, then you will know there’s some weird juju going on here.”

    “I’m sure some - maybe a lot - of it can be chalked up to the age of the building, all the updates and renovations it has gone through… not to mention all the security and monitoring system,” Josie added. “But dark decisions have been made in this building. I experienced some weird things living here.”

    “To be fair,” Leo said, “You also sought the supernatural stuff out and dragged me along just to give me the heebie jeebies.”

    “Love? Did you seriously say ‘heebie jeebies’?” Marc looked back at his husband.

    Leo huffed. “President Truman’s Mother-in-Law, 31 British who burned this place down in 1814, I think there was a Press Secretary back in the 1950s?”

    “Shut up… giant dork,” Marc grumbled into his glass before downing the rest of the amber liquid and holding it out for more. Josie poured him another drink. Marc settled further into Leo’s arms.

    “Remembered when we tried to use an Ouija board in the basement?” Josie asked. “It was summer in the middle of Dad’s second term. We were like 15 and bored out of our minds. Elvie was here for some reason.”

    “Wait,” Marc said. “Are you seriously telling me you guys used an Ouija board with that one,” he said gesturing to Elvie. “And believed the results?”

    Elvie chuckled at this.

    Marc went on his rant. “What did you have the board say? Butts? Farts?”

    “Please,” Elvie said defensive. “I was a bit more creative as a teenager. But no, we never exactly got that far.”

    “What? Don’t tell me something went bump in the night?”

    “Kinda,” Josie began. “We all were setting up candles in one of the storage rooms in the sub-basement, and it was creepy as we all know it is - unnaturally cold and we all had the weird sense of someone watching us -.”

    Marc Interrupted. “You were three idiot teenagers in the White House. Of course someone was watching you.”

    “-And a candle fell over.” Josie finished

    Marc laughed. “So you guys almost burned down the White House?”

    No,” Leo insisted, “that’s the thing. The candle was in the middle of the table and no one was touching the table. It wasn’t our fault!”

    “And it was a hefty candle,” Elvie added. “Anyways so we managed to quickly smother the fire with a blanket we pulled off of a painting being stored down there. In the commotion, all our other candles went out. So we were in among a bunch of stacked up furniture and paintings in the pitch-black… and we all just got a jolt of adrenaline and had to boot it out of there.”

    “Something touched my neck and I just screamed bloody murder,” Josie added. “So Secret Service came and rescued us. The weirdest thing is, we went back down there - well, Elvie and I, your husband refused - early the next morning and we found the candle and the burned blanket but the Ouija board was nowhere to be found.”

    Marc laughed. “The Secret Service probably took it away from you delinquents so you wouldn’t burn the place down. Two of you are Canadian.”

    "Half Canadian," Leo corrected.

    “Then why didn’t they clean up the rest of the stuff and get the White House curators to re-cover the painting?” Josie pointed out.

    “I’m not saying it was ghosts,” Leo sighed. “But I haven’t been down there since and I still won’t go down there.”

    “Well then it’s a good thing you have eight ushers to do your bidding,” Marc sneered before downing the rest of his scotch.

    “At least he knows basic US history.” Elvie shifted and pulled his wheelchair close to begin his transfer.

    Marc blew Elvie a raspberry. He looked up at Leo. “Have you had your fun yet? Can we go home so I can cuddle with you while watching a superhero movie? I wanna fall asleep watching hot men in spandex while I cuddle with my cute dork.”

    Leo kissed Marc’s cheek. “I like that idea.”

    “Well, if you guys don’t mind,” Marc said getting up and hauling Leo up. “My husband is going to make me forget a horrible evening. Elvie, we will see you and Rose Friday night.”

    Leo stuck his head out the door. “Kaia, I’m headed back to the residence now. Have a good night. Erik, come haul Mr. Santos back to his wife.” He turned back to Marc and reached out for Marc’s hand. “But we are going to walk down the portico. I’m not walking past the portrait of Dolly Madison at this hour.”

    Marc rolled his eyes as they walked out. “You’re ridiculous.”

    “President William Henry Harrison!” Leo exclaimed.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2021
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  21. Findswoman

    Findswoman Fanfic and Pancakes and Waffles Mod (in Pink) star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    This was fun! I'm so glad you contributed this to my little challenge--the mix of the grim and the humorous, the scary setting of the 250-year-old White House at night and the recollections of all those past deaths there (wow, I had no idea it was so many myself!), combined with the humorous repartee among Marc, Leo, Elvie, and Josie, was a great match for "When the night wind howls." And I love how you integrated the Latin quote--that's a great fit, too, because don't we know that similar stories (both grim and humorous) are likely to be told about these more recent denizens of the White House in future generations! (Heck, you're telling us one now! :D ) Thanks so much once again for sharing! =D=
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  22. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    Thanks so much for reading and giving me the inspiration for that idea! it really was so much fun! I took a few liberties with the deaths (apparently no known British actually died when we torched the place) but it was surprising to see the list.

    @mavjade Not sure you saw the above stories but my muse gave me something new! It's short and dumb but fun to write.
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  23. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    Title: Burned Out

    Timeframe: 2066 (Ish? Sometime during Elvie’s Presidency)

    Characters: Elvie/Rose, Emilia

    Notes: This is pretty much just therapy for me right now. References to Elvie Meets Rose

    Elvie was stressed.

    Well… more stressed than normal.

    He was burned out.

    And Rose could tell he was burned out - even though he masked it to everyone around him - because he was forgetting things.

    She believed there were two types of geniuses: those who had incredible memories; and those who forgot everything. Those who were data-driven and could pull out and connect every piece of intelligence given to them, and those with creative minds and lofty ideas. Elvie was very firmly in the first category (and she knew the previous president, Leo Lyman, was in the second).

    So when Elvie forgot “the biscuit” on his beside table, Rose knew something was up and decided it was best to hand deliver it to him.

    Because the biscuit was code word for a card covered with opaque plastic which had to be snapped in half in order for the card to be read.

    The card contained the Gold Code, which identified the holder as the Commander-in-Chief and allowed them to launch a nuclear attack.

    Elvie had left the nuclear launch codes beside his nighttime glass of water.

    Rose entered the outer office from the portico to see Lee-Ann - Elvie’s executive secretary - along with his four other secretaries working at their desks. “Good morning Lee-Ann.”

    “Mrs. Santos?” Lee-Ann asked with surprise. Rose was rarely in the West Wing unexpected. Rose had other things to deal with during the day. “The president is currently in his morning senior staff meeting.” Lee-Ann was always very too the point. “Do you need something?”

    “I need to see my husband. It’s rather important,” Rose explained, knowing her delivery surpassed a typical senior staff meeting. “I won’t be long.”

    Lee-Ann gave her a sharp look but waved her in. Rose entered but stood quietly at the side of the Oval Office. Elvie and his staff noticed her. He was sitting in his wheelchair in-between the two sofas with his senior staff at either side.

    Elvie immediately smiled when he saw her, but with a hint of confusion. She subtly held the biscuit in-between her fingers at her shoulder. Elvie’s eyes went wide and he cursed, causing the staff to look at him. He composed himself and addressed his staff. “Thank you, everyone. Aimee,” he said turning to his Chief of Staff (it was still weird not to see Josie in the position but she had deserved her retirement). “Let’s consult counsel before dealing with HB 189. Milo, please just deal with Senator Gideon, then that stupid movie thing; see if it’s actually worth trying to bring my personal lawyer in on. Jenn and Pete, I want names for a new Secretary of Defence by the end of the day. Remember we don’t have any comments on the Kuffion trial until the jury comes back from deliberations. That’s all for now. Apparently I have to thank my beautiful wife and I’d rather do that in private.”

    There were nods and a round of, “Yes, Mr. President,” before all the staff left out various doors.

    Rose approached him. “So I really hope you don’t need this today, but I figured - in case you do - it’s best for you to have them.” She handed him the card.

    He sighed as he took it and slipped it into his breast pocket of his plum suit. “Have I told you how much I love you?” He looked up at her and puckered.

    She leaned down and kissed him. “Not yet today, but only before you left before I was awake.’

    “Sorry, I had a call with President Korovic at an ungodly hour.”

    She straightened her flowing black skirt and sat in the chair beside him. “Talk to me my love. Please. It’s not like you to forget… anything.”

    He sighed, grateful to have a few moments with his wife. His NSA briefing could wait five minutes. Elvie reached out and took his wife’s hand. “Would it help or hurt my case if I admitted this,” he patted his pocket, “Was the least important thing I forgot this morning.”

    “Okay… what else did you forget?” she asked worried.

    “Well I went to stand up when I got out of bed this morning, so that was pretty stupid.”

    She rolled her eyes and nodded.

    “Apparently there’s a film-maker who is trying to make a movie titled: Leo-Vincente. Press staff is all worried about it and implications of libel and slander and free-speech. I was very confused as to what was making them worried and how it had anything to do with me and running the country.”

    “You forgot your own name?” she asked, deadpan.

    “Yes, Rosamie.” He sighed. “But the worst thing… the thing I feel absolutely terrible about; President Korovic and I were just making small-talk and she asked about my kids.” Elvie looked so pained. “I said my sons were great but my daughter was a pain in the butt. I misgendered Emelia after all this time,” he confessed.

    She leaned forward to hug him. “You were talking through a translator I’m assuming. Or did you learn Bulgarian overnight?”

    “That still doesn’t make it okay.”

    “No, but Emelia will forgive you. Is this just burn-out or should I actually be worried about memory-loss?”

    He glared. “I hate how easily you can make me admit I am burned out.”

    She started playing with his hair. “Why don’t we take a long weekend and force our trio of annoying teenagers to Camp David? You’ve been dealing with so much lately, you can take a long weekend.”

    “I need to find a Secretary of Defence before I do anything fun.”

    “You need to take a break,” she said. “Come on. I’ll prepare everything with the staff and the kids. We can even invite Leo and Marc. I bet they can help you forget your name,” she suggested wiggling her eyebrows.

    He laughed. “I need to remember my name, not forget it!”

    “I think you need a hard reset. Robotic freak,” she teased, calling him the first name she had called him when they first met.

    He snorted. “Okay, okay. Go make your plans. At this point my brain is mush and I’ll just follow you along in whatever.”

    Rose got up with a smile and leaned down to kiss him. “That’s exactly how I like you!”
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  24. mavjade

    mavjade Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 10, 2005
    As I think you know, I've had real focus issues recently and I'm so sad it's taken a toll on me not responding. I've kept putting off replying thinking I'd get to it soon and I'd be able to do my usual replies and then it keeps not happening. I feel absolutely terrible about it which then makes me want to do my usual even more and then the cycle just continues. But I figured at this point you'd rather any reply than me keep putting it off. So this isn't going to be anywhere near my usual, but I just wanted to make sure you know I do love your stories and they make me so happy, especially in a trying time!

    [face_love] And this is when you know someone loves you! Because Rose is right, it doesn't matter if you love the person, you'd do anything to help them. I love how this was funny but yet sweet and really shows their relationship and how beautiful it is. The detail I really loved was that Rose lit candles for when Elvie came back out. To make it feel a little sexy (not the poop part, but that it didn't bother her) and a way to feel good. That's such a great idea.
    Also, I had to laugh because my dog barfed right on me when I was laying on the bed the other day and I thought that would have really grossed me out and I just laughed and said, I guess I'm ready for kids now. LOL.

    O.M.G. I love this so much! From Marc going to Donna (loved that she doesn't watch the news and her reasons why), to how creepy the White House is (and it would be!), and especially Leo, Elvie, and Josie teasing Marc over his silly comment. Them just chucking out names! I was chuckling though the whole thing. Their banter always makes me so, so happy and this was no exception! It makes me want to write so badly, but the stupid muse won't cooperate. [face_frustrated] I also loved the story from the teenager years, and of course they almost burned down the White House! Leo and Josie come by that honestly! :p

    Oh man, I feel this so hard! I've been forgetting things too when I normally wouldn't. Like I did actually leave the oven on the other night, even though that's the cliche thing people always mention. Thankfully dp noticed it right after dinner. I forgot one of my team members names. It's been bad. So yeah, I feel ya!
    I did have to chuckle at what Elvie forgot, he was right, the nuclear codes were probably the least bad as the likelihood of need for them was small. The trying to stand up made me chuckle. And yes, I think Leo and Marc couldn't help him reset! :D :D

  25. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    I was getting worried (I mean, I love these guys and write them for my own pure selfish entertainment, especially in trying times, but your comments - long or short - always bring me such joy and motivation to finish and post - even when I feel it's kinda garbage) but I totally understand the stuff going on in RL

    Yeah, that's when you know it's true love!
    Ha! so awhile ago I woke up to my cat on top of me barfing. My other cat sleeps next to me so I was thankfully quick enough to grab the sheet and protect us both! I was quite impressed by my reflexes!

    HAHAHA. I had completely forgot I had written this one but I think it is one of my favourites I've written lately! The banter was just so much fun to write (as it always is).

    BAHAHAHA. I completely forgot about that cold open where Josh and Sam nearly burn down the White House (how could I forget! That's one of the greatest cold opens!). I might have to use that in a fic!

    Oh no! Thats bad. I'm thankful he noticed. I think this was inspired by the day I went for a walk and forgot my phone, my mask, and my keys. I kept going back before I got out of the building but I kept forgetting when I went back. I ended up going for a walk with no phone which isnt the worst thing. But I am NOT a forgetful person when it comes to those things so... yeah. I also forgot my first name one day for something... but as a person who goes by their middle name, it's actually not that rare of an occasion.
    But yeah, poor Elvie definitely needs a vacation, I certainly needed one!
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2021
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