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

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

  1. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    Title: Love, Grandpa Josh
    Timeframe: 2049
    Characters: Leo, JJ, Sam, mentions of Josh and Marc
    AN: Possible tissue warning? Because I just started to bawl as soon as this plot bunny bit.

    Leo Lyman blinked away tears. He had let Marc go. Leo knew it was for the best, but he had no idea what he was doing. So he just continued to bounce their newborn son as he paced, exhausted, around the house. Josiah Joshua had been born a week ago and it had been the happiest day of Leo’s life, but it had also marked the last day of his sanity, and the last day he had slept for more than an hour at a time.

    JJ, for all the hardships and heartaches Leo and Marc had gone through to have kids, was a terror. Leo loved JJ more than the universe, but JJ never stopped crying (or so it felt). Leo had him bundled in a colourful orange receiving blanket; had fed him, had changed him, had skin-to-skin cuddled with him. Nothing would get JJ to stop crying and sleep. He and Marc had even called a non-emergency nurse hotline who told them JJ was just probably “a little colicky.”

    Suddenly there was a knock at the door. Leo frowned. “Who could that be?” he cooed in a high pitch voice. He wasn’t expecting anyone. Then again, he was so tired, someone might have called and he just honestly didn’t remember it. Had he ordered pizza? Maybe. He was hungry.

    He kissed JJ’s forehead, mostly to remind himself that this was his son and he loved the little monster, then walked to the door and opened it. His Uncle Sam stood on the front porch. Leo smiled. He knew his Uncle Sam and Aunt Ainsley were in DC. They had come for JJ’s birth and baby shower - which was in a week - and were visiting Josie and helping her out as she recovered from the birth. “Hey Sam,” Leo said letting him in, still unsure if they had pre-arranged this visit. He didn’t mind either way.

    “Hey Leo. Hey little J-man,” he cooed to JJ, waving his pointer finger. “Someone’s not very happy.”

    Leo led Sam in. “Oh, he’s never been happy. Imogene and Noah say it’s because he thought he was going to be a Seaborn, but he’s just realized he’s a Lyman and he’s not happy about it.”

    “Where’s Marc?”

    “I told him to leave. We can’t do this together.”

    “What?” Sam asked, shocked.

    “We both can’t go forever without sleep - unlike our offspring apparently,” Leo explained. “Marc’s upstairs having a nap. We switch off in a few minutes. He’s going to take JJ while I sleep for a few hours.”

    Sam rolled his eyes as he also breathed a sigh of relief. “So you guys are okay? The marriage is still together?” Leo nodded. Sam patted Leo on the shoulder. “Might want to lead with that, Leo.”

    “Huh? What? Why?”

    Sam shook his head.

    Leo grabbed a baby quilt made by Helen Santos off the back of the couch. “Want to sit on the deck? I’m thinking the fresh air might be nice for him. Maybe tire him out.” Sam nodded and they settled on the large swing on the back deck. Leo draped the quilt around JJ. “You want to hold him?”

    “I do,” Sam said, getting something out of his sweater pocket. It was a folded piece of paper. “But I think you should be holding him for this.” He unfolded the paper and handed it to Leo.

    “What is-.” Leo paused as soon as he saw the first word.


    It was in his father’s writing. Leo recognized it after all these years. His father’s penmanship was distinctive - not that messy, but not exactly fancy either. It was legible, but fast, like his brain was working at a higher speed than his hand.

    Leo looked up at Sam, who answered Leo’s question. “Before he died, your dad was feeling his time and knew he didn’t have much of it left. So he wrote three letters for you guys and gave them to me with explicit instructions for safekeeping - something about not wanting your mom feeling like a secretary.”

    “Like that ever stopped him before.”

    Sam nodded. “When I was President, I had given him letters to give to Ainsley and the girls if something were to happen to me. I think this was him repaying the honour. I gave Abi her letter when she completed her PhD - I don’t think your dad ever wanted to think about her getting married or having children. I gave Noah’s his the night before he married Imogene. And I was to give you your letter when you received your first child.”

    Leo nodded, took a deep breath, kissed JJ again, then began reading.


    If you are reading this then it means you just became a father. Congratulations. You and Marc are going to be amazing dads and it fills my heart with such joy to imagine your family growing. I don’t know what you did to deserve Marc, but hold on to him. We all agree he’s good for you. Give him my love.

    I don’t know if the child you just received is a newborn or 16-years-old; if it’s a boy or a girl; if it’s one or multiples. It doesn’t matter. I just hope the kid is driving you insane, just like you drove me further into insanity.

    Leo laughed to himself. “Oh Josiah Joshua. So you’re doing your grandfather’s bidding, aren’t cha?” He continued reading.

    I won’t be there to give you fatherly advice, but I’m hoping your Uncle Sam will be there (boy, if your Aunt Ainsley is the one delivering this note, then this clearly isn’t going down the way I’m imagining it) and your Tìo Matt too. They will tell you all you need to know.

    Leo sighed to himself. If things had gone to plan, his Tìo Matt would have been here too. But he had passed away last year.

    But I still want to tell you some stuff, because it’s my job to tell you what to do. So that’s my first piece of advice: tell them what to do, mostly because it’s fun. And it will drive you crazy when they don’t listen, but you’ll love them anyways. Your love and patience will know no limits, but, unlike me, that won’t be anything new with fatherhood for you.

    Second, lay down these essential ground rules: we are a family of Met fans, we are Democrats, no running down the stairs, and Grandma Donna is the most beautiful woman in the world (unless you have daughters, then Grandma becomes second, only to them).

    Third. I don’t know what names you and Marc have settled on for your kids to call you. I’m partial to Abba and Dad myself, so you should use those. But make up cute nicknames that absolutely would have made me roll my eyes. Something like Aboo-boo and Daddy. Make the kids call you those stupid names for as long as possible. Because as long as they call you those names, there’s nothing hugs and cuddles can’t fix.

    Finally, make sure they know their Grandpa Josh loved them. They might not be here yet, and I might now be there now, but I love them to pieces.

    I love you.

    -Grandpa, Daddy, Josh

    With tears running down his face, Leo placed the letter in his lap and looked down at JJ. In the process of reading the letter, Leo had unknowingly shifted JJ, holding the newborn tighter and turned the baby on his side. JJ had his head turned and the side of his face smushed against his father’s stomach and JJ apparently loved it. He wasn’t crying; he was slowly blinking, falling asleep.

    “Josiah Joshua,” Leo said softly, brushing his thumb down JJ’s chubby cheek as the baby yawned. “We’re going to frame this letter and hang this in your bedroom. Your Grandpa Josh loved you and you’re going to know this every single day.”

    “He would have been so proud. He was proud,” Sam said gently. “And he loved you so much.”

    “I just hope I can be half the father Dad was.”

    “Just love him. Your father had no idea what he was doing, but he just absolutely loved you guys.”

    Leo nodded with a huge smile. “Just like Aboo-boo loves his JJ.”
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
  2. mavjade

    mavjade Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 10, 2005
    You certainly aren't annoying me!! I just wish my muse would keep up so I can have more things for you to read. She's back to the only getting parts of stories again. *sigh* But I'm hopeful to have at least one soon-ish.

    [face_laugh] That is awesome!

    I love it! That's such a great way to meet a friend, and I'm so socially awkward, something I'd totally do.

    So I read the date, but it didn't click fully so when I read this I was thinking it was in the future (faaarrr future!!) and Marc had died and I was going to be like, YEP! Need the tissues already! But then I quickly with the next line Leo is channeling his father with the poorly thought sentences due to exhaustion. And then I chuckled.

    Sadly, we're like this with a new puppy, so I can only imagine what it's like with a child. More than once I've said; You've eaten, you have water, you've gone outside and both pooped and peed, we've played, you don't want to play anymore... what more do you want from me!!

    There's a commercial here that has a mom wanting to call the 24 hour line in the middle of the night for a rash and as the dad goes for the phone, he trips and falls into a pile of kid stuff. When they get the doctor on the phone he says "That's normal for new babies", and then the mom pans to the dad and the Dr. says "That's normal for new dads." So this is what I thought of immediately and started laughing pretty hard.

    [face_laugh][face_laugh] Oh man! That was such a great line!

    Oh Leo! I know you are on a one track mind right now, but you are freaking people (me!) out! LOL! It's kinda cute in a 'he's so exhausted kind of way.'


    Okay, yep. Out come the tissues. :_| Just the first Leo and I'm gone.
    That was such a great description of Josh, I can totally see his handwriting showing that.

    But in our mind meld-ness I totally was thinking about Josh having written letters to his kids. I love that this is the one he wrote to Leo! [face_love]=((
    And [face_laugh] at him not wanting Donna to feel like a secretary!

    I don't think Leo knows what he did either, but I know he's grateful and loves that his family loves Marc so much!

    This really got me, that Josh mentioned so man different kids that they could have had and that it doesn't matter. He loves them, and knows their family will love them no matter what.
    Also, I love that he gave them the curse that all parents give their kids. I know mine started telling me I'd have a kid just like me when I was like 8. :p

    [face_laugh] Of course those would be Josh's priorities! I love that it gives a bit of humor to the situation, though.

    Daaawwww..... [face_love][face_love]
    It's true! That really got me too.

    Sorry I keep just replying with emojis, but they express my feelings more than I can.

    I love the idea that it will hang in his bedroom!! It's such a beautiful idea and thought! @};-

    I loved this! It was beautiful and heartbreaking!
  3. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    As soon as this plot bunny hit me, that intro popped into my head with Leo just thinking out of context, making you think Marc and Leo had a huge argument, and it was just so evil, I had to.

    But, as evil as my muse is, I don't think think I could ever write either Marc or Leo becoming widowed. If I need some good angst or a good cry, have enough fodder with Josh's death.

    Bahahaha! My friend recently had his baby last weekend (or rather his wife did) and we are getting so many hilarious stories. Apparently the other day he was just so sleepy he started rocking his bowl of cereal!

    It is making me want to write babies so much (is that weird? It's weird). Just Josh and all the babies. But my muse is being a butt.

    Figured it was a very Imogene thing to say. She was a Seaborn and now she's a Lyman.

    He's just channeling his father!

    I love making baby quilts! They are so much fun!

    Yeah, I warned you this was a tissue one.

    Yeah, it kinda describes me and my spelling/grammar. I (probably) know the proper spelling but my brain is just going too fast to care.

    Yeah, the letters seemed like a very Josh thing to write.

    I have a letter from my father - he wrote it when I just little but it is one of my most precious possessions.

    Yeah. I think it is important to Marc that he really is part of this family and it is important to Josh/Donna that Marc loves them.

    I think Josh wanted to be a grandfather so much but he also knew he would never meet any grandkids, so he allowed him to imagine and just loved them.

    Bahaha! My mom was talking to a visiting family member once (I was like 20) and going on about how I was her "good" child. I was like "Noooo, I was just the smart one and got away with everything." Family member goes "Oh, so she is Brian's [Dad's name] kid."

    Sam's the last one left of all the dads and knows he has to step in as Grandpa. It makes me happy but is so heartbreaking. But I did let Matt see 1-2 of Elvie's demon spawn kids.

    Of course! I think he would want Leo to laugh.

    Yeah, I think Josh hated the day when he stopped being "Daddy" and wanted to give Leo and Marc as much time as he could being Abooboo and Daddy.

    I totally understand. As soon as that line hit me, I just started bawling. Like ugly crying.

    Yeah, He will know who the "Joshua" part of his name comes from.

    Thank you. I just loved this one so much.
  4. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    Title:Like a Little Lion Lyman

    Timeframe:2026 (near the end of the Seaborn administration)

    Characters:Leo, Josh/Donna, Sam

    Leo Lyman stormed into his father’s office. Leo was mad, absolutely pissed off, which was rare for the usual calm, level-headed kid. Even if he was 16, he had gotten his mother’s temperament. When he saw that his father’s mess of an office was empty, he moved onto the adjoining office. Leo peeked into the Oval Office to make sure it was just his dad and Uncle Sam talking on the couches, then threw the door open. “This is bull crap.”

    Both his dad and Uncle Sam looked up. “Mr. Lyman,” Sam said, “You know how I feel about that kind of talk in the Oval Office.”

    “I apologize,” Leo murmured, waiting for them to tell him to leave.

    “A lot of things are bull crap,” Josh said, indicating whatever he and Sam were working on could wait. “Like the Electoral College.”

    “And pennies, and the NRA,” Sam offered. “And Congress.”

    “Imperial system and Republicans,” Josh nodded.

    Sam rolled his eyes. “What’s got you turning into your father?”

    “Uganda,” Leo asserted, stepping further into the room. Both Sam and Josh exchanged pained glances but let Leo continue. Both Sam and Josh allowed their children to express what upset them. While they didn’t let it impact their decisions as President and Chief of Staff, they didn’t want their kids feeling like their voices didn’t matter. Sam and Josh didn’t want their kids turning to the media to be heard. “The last administration there legalized same-sex marriage and now the current president has criminalized it and is using the marriage records to systematically murder all the couples who were married under the old law. They’re being killed for who they are and who they love.”

    “We know,” Josh said gently.

    “Then why the hell aren’t you doing anything about it!” Leo shouted.

    “We are doing what we can,” Sam explained. “There are NGOs in the area and we are offering asylum to anyone in danger who they can get out.”

    Leo wasn’t satisfied. “That isn’t good enough.”

    “It isn’t that simple,” Josh said. “We are in an election year, we only have a few months left in office, and the numbers involved just don’t make international intervention in an African country worth the cost to Senator Mapes campaign or what we want to accomplish or treaties.”

    “That’s a bull crap answer,” Leo said, now enraged. “This is a human rights issue! What’s the point of being the last superpower if we can’t make the world better. What if it were me? What if the next administration wanted to kill me because I’m bisexual? You would just let them because it’s an election year.”

    “Leo.” Josh’s voice bled with the pain he was feeling. He got up. “Let’s talk in my office.”

    “No,” Leo muttered. “I’ve got to write up a physics lab report with Josie,” he said, stalking out and slamming the door behind him.

    “He’s really upset about this,” Sam sighed.

    Josh nodded. “I’d be worried if he wasn’t.”

    * * *

    “Leo not back yet?” Donna asked, entering the dark living room.

    Josh looked up at her from the couch. He had been watching (and yelling at) the news. “No, I texted him and extended his curfew till midnight.”

    “Trying to buy back his love?” Donna asked as she leaned forward against the back of the couch and rubbed Josh’s shoulders. Josh had told her of their son’s explosion after dinner had been quite tense and Leo had announced he was going out for the evening. “I thought you hated this boy he’s dating.”

    “They aren’t dating,” Josh grumbled. “He’s 3 years older than Leo; it’s criminal. And he has a motorcycle.”

    Donna rolled her eyes. “Leo just takes after his mother. He likes the older men.”

    “Oh, god, no wonder your parents hated me.” Josh scrubbed his face.

    “What’s going on under that hair?” Donna asked, running her fingers through his white hair.

    “He’s just so upset about this Ugandan thing - I mean, I am too, but there’s nothing we can do, it’s a loss and it’s horrible - and now between this and the fact that I don’t like the boy he’s seeing, I think he thinks I don’t support him.” Josh sighed. “He said he knew he liked both girls and boys since middle school but only justcame out to us when he decided he was going to date this Augustus kid. And he was so nervous when he told us. What does that say about me?”

    Donna sighed as she plunked down beside her husband. “It says you are the father of a 16-year-old who is exactly as awkward as his father. Josh, you are allowed to hate Leo’s boyfriend, but still support his sexuality. I’m not a fan of Augustus either.”


    “Leo knows you support and love him. But he’s 16 and thinks you’re wrong and he’s right about everything. It’s just teenage angst and hormones. He also doesn’t quite comprehend the complexities of international law - he’s realizing the world sometimes just isn’t fair and sometimes even the people who care the most can’t do everything. He’s growing up and realizing his dad and Uncle Sam are not all-powerful, even if they want to be.” She kissed his temple.

    Josh shook his head, remembering what Leo had shouted right before leaving the Oval Office. What if it were me? You would just let them. His hands clench and breathing tighten.

    Donna continued, rubbing Josh’s thigh. “You have amazing relationships with all your kids. You value their honesty and you give it to them in return. Perhaps you should tell Leo how much you understand what he’s going through.”

    Josh rubbed his hands down his face. “Yeah, there’s some therapy for the kid: your old man is bi and, by the way, slept with your Uncle Sam.”

    “Maybe not all the details, but just have a conversation with him so that youknow he knows you love him.”

    Josh nodded. “I’m going to stay up till he gets back. Go on to bed.”

    She kissed him. “Okay.”

    “Good night. I love you.”

    “I love you too,” she said, getting up. “And, just a warning, this whole teenage angst thing is only going to be so much worsewith Abi.”

    Josh rubbed his temples. “Please don’t remind me of that fact right now. She’s 11. She’s not allowed to date or have any political opinions. I’m just putting that out there now.”

    Donna laughed, kissed him again, then headed up the stairs.

    Josh returned to the news and dozed in and out of sleep until a local report caught his attention. A peaceful protest in front of the Ugandan embassy had turned violent when a group of drunk college kids had attacked them, using homophobic slurs. A fight had ensued and had needed to be taken care of by the police. Josh sighed. This was going to be a thing Sam may have to address tomorrow.

    Then, footage of the protesters being loaded into a police van was played.

    His son was among them.

    Josh simultaneously became worried and annoyed. Both his heart, and a vein in his forehead, began to thump. “Oh Leo,” Josh exhaled, getting up. He looked down at his flannel pyjama pants, grey t-shirt with a small hole in the stomach, and a baby-blue bathrobe. The robe actually had been Donna’s while she had been pregnant with the twins. It, obviously, no longer fit her, so Josh had taken to wearing it around the house. It was expensive and comfortable.

    Despite his anxiety, Josh grinned as he slipped on his loafers. This was going to be his ultimate “embarrassing dad” moment. His Secret Service Agent was not going to be happy.

    * * *

    Leo kept his eyes on the laminate floor of the holding cell. He kept his hands clasped and bladder squeezed shut. If he didn’t die in prison, his parents were going to kill him. All he had to do was wait until he got his one phone-call and call Josie. She could get him out of here before he had to turn to a life of crime to fit in. He would never go to Yale or Law School.


    “Here!” Leo shouted, arm jutting up, as he looked up at the cop.

    The cop unlocked the cell and Leo practically leaped out. He then froze when he saw his father… in his mother’s bathrobe.

    On second thought, he would rather life without parole.


    “He’s free to go,” the cop told his dad. “He wasn’t a part of the brawl, he only wanted to be booked because the other protestors were. Keep your son out of trouble, please, I’d hate to see another kid in the system.”

    Josh grumbled and nodded, turning around. Leo obediently followed the man in the bathrobe with the crazy white hair.

    It wasn’t until they were in the back of the car and on their way home that Leo spoke, but didn’t look at his dad. “I didn’t call anyone. How did you know to come get me?”

    “Leo, I’m your father; I know everything.

    “Is mom mad?”

    “Your mother doesn’t know yet.”

    Mom knows everything. Mom knows more than you.”

    “Leo, you are in no position to be smart with me. I didn’t see Augustus in there,” Josh noted. “Where was he?”

    “I thought you knew everything,” Leo snarked. Josh glared. Leo looked down. “We stopped seeing each other a week ago.” It had been a mutual decision. They just had fun together but both agreed that there was no connection. Even if Augustus was hot… and had a motorcycle.

    Josh had to stop himself from pumping his fist and dancing. “So not only did you decide of protest in front of an embassy, you lied to your mother and me about where you’d be tonight and who you would be with.”

    “Because I knew you wouldn’t understand.” Leo looked out the window.

    “I understand, Leo.”

    “No, you don’t!” Leo snapped. “You don’t understand what’s important to me. I got called horrible names tonight, but that doesn’t matter because there are being attacked and killed for being who they are and loving who they love. This is MY fight for them. And you just don’t care.”

    “Leo, I care and understand more than you know.” Josh let out a breath. “Before your mother, I dated both women and men.”

    Leo stared at his father with wide eyes. “What?”

    “It was the 80s and 90s and I was a Law student and then I worked on the Hill - then in the White House - so I knew I had to keep it quiet if I wanted a future in government. It was hard, guarding my personal life and not being able to live openly, not knowing who I could trust. I guess I still kinda struggle with it. Only your grandparents and Uncle Sam knew about it. And of course your mother knows now. I went on dates with other guys but had to be careful not to hold his hand or show any signs of affection, not like when I went out with women. One time I slipped up, started holding his hand and we got called fags and had beer bottles chucked at our heads. This was also back when the AIDS crisis came to light and the press was still calling it GRID.”

    “GRID?” Leo asked, confused.

    “Gay-related infectious disease.”

    “That’s horrible.”

    Josh nodded. “It was a different time. Unfortunately still is in other parts of the world. We’ve made so much progress here at home. I am so happy to have been involved with the legalization of Same-Sex Marriage back when your Tío Matt was president. It still remains what I consider one of my greatest professional victories. But it pales in comparison of how proud I am of you,” he said, nudging Leo’s arm.

    “Da-ad,” Leo groaned. “Please don’t go all mushy.”

    “I am. You are so passionate in what you believe in and so courageous. Like a little lion Lyman.”

    Leo blushed. He hated when his dad - or anyone - gushed about him. Leo didn’t have an ego, he just liked doing the right thing. “Does that mean I’m not grounded?”

    “Ohhh, you are sogrounded. But not for protesting and getting arrested. You are, however, grounded for lying to me and your mother. I think I’m going to make you mow the lawn.”

    “That’s not so bad.”

    “The White House lawn. With a push-mower.”


    “Hey, you’re the one who I just had to pick up from jail!”

    “Okay, okay.”

    “But, if you want to wear a protest sign while you do your punishment, I’m not going to stop you.”

    Leo smiled. “Josie is probably going to want to join me. She’s going to be so mad when she finds out I went to my first protest without her. Aunt Joey’s going to be sooo pissed. She once said she wanted to take me to my first protest.”

    “I’d be more concerned with telling your mother what you did.”
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2018
  5. mavjade

    mavjade Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 10, 2005
    BAHAHAHA..... now that's exhaustion!

    When I first read it I thought you said it was making you want babies so much, then I read it again and saw the key word, WRITE. I don't think that's weird at all!

    I ADORED this! Every single word. I know I always say that, but I think this may be one of my favorites so far... though it would be hard to choose. I just love the conversation between Leo and Josh and how Josh lets him know that he understands.

    This is so cute. He's ticked but he's still responsible and knows he can't just go storming into the Oval Office any old time.

    [face_laugh] Classic Josh and Sam! And that sam is still on pennies! I mean I agree, they are pretty stupid. :p

    I love this! Kids need to have their opinions and learn how to have an informed one. That they allow their kids to have those opinions certainly helps to turn them into the adults they are later on.

    I can so understand where Leo is coming from, it is a crap answer for a crap situation. But it doesn't change the fact that you can't just go storming into another country just because you don't like something. I remember being Leo's age and being exactly like that. Then you get older and see the complexities of the situation and see that it's not always as cut and dry as it seemed when you were younger.

    [face_laugh] She's onto you, Josh. Not that she's never not been on to you.

    [face_rofl] I love the motorcycle tacked on at the end, like that's the biggest sin of them all.

    I can totally see this being such a difficult situation. When a kid is 16, it doesn't take much to make them fly off the handle. They can't help it, but even a kid as even tempered as Leo doesn't see the full picture. So I can totally see Josh worried that Leo thinks he doesn't approve of him dating guys when it's actually just that guy. Combine that with Leo being nervous and Josh could easily think he'd done something to lead Leo to feel that way.

    [face_laugh] Oh man, talk about traumatizing when you put it that bluntly. I'm glad he didn't go with that way, though it would have been funny!

    That's EXACTLY what I was thinking. This is good, calm practice of a even tempered teenager.

    [face_rofl][face_rofl] Oh man, this made me laugh so hard!! That's the ultimate punishment, having your dad show up to get you out of jail dressed like that!

    I love this. He isn't mad about the protest, but about the lying, which is certainly the bigger deal. He really is such a good dad. [face_love]

    This whole thing was just so moving and heartfelt from Josh. I'm so glad this is how he told Leo. That he understands the struggle, though they may not be exactly the same, they are similar. But that in some ways, Leo has it easier, that the US at least has progressed (a bit) from where it was and Leo can be more open about who he is than Josh ever could. That's an important lesson and I think something that will bring them together a bit more.

    Hehe... yeah, I get the feeling Josh is the soft touch when it comes to punishment. :p

  6. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    Thanks so much! This was kinda an odd one in the way that I didn't really think about it that much. One night I decided I wanted a fic where Josh would come out to Leo, and then the next morning the set up in the oval office came to me, so I decided to get it down before I forgot it, then it all flowed from there. I think this is one of my favourites so far too. I had a lot of fun writing it.

    He is so cute! He's mad, but also doesn't want to get into trouble.

    I love these two having Dad-moments together! And pennies are stupid. Head-cannon: the last thing Sam does as president is abolish the penny.

    Thanks. I totally agree.

    Yeah, it is just crap all around and everyone knows it, but, yeah, it doesn't mean you can invade another country - it's a bit more complicated but Leo just isn't old enough to see it.

    Oh Donna just knows Josh and how he operates.

    In Josh's head, dating his little boy is the biggest sin. Josh just doesn't want Leo to grow up.

    Yeah, Josh is worried that this is Leo not seeing the bigger picture yet. And of course Josh knows Leo is 16 and just a ranging ball of hormones. And, of course, Josh is Josh and just wants to be there for his kids and wants what is best for them.

    Hahaha! Yeah, it would have been funny. I may still have to traumatize Leo with the Uncle Sam bombshell.

    Bahahaha! Yeah, as my mother says, my sister and I were demonically possessed as teenagers, but it was all just practice for my two younger brothers.

    Oh yes. This totally was not planned but as soon as I came up with the idea of Josh bailing Leo out, this image just popped into my head.

    Yeah. I was really just so happy with how this turned out with Josh coming out to Leo and them both just understanding each other better. Leo does have it easer in some ways, in the fact that he can be open about it and have so many people care for him.

    Oh yeah. Josh is just all bark and no bite and his bark isn't that bad when it comes to his kids.

    I'm really glad you enjoyed this one because it was a really fun one to write. I mean, all these are fun to write but it dealt with Leo at an age I really haven't explored yet, and it was nice to write Josh so open.
  7. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    Title: The Not-so Newlywed Game
    July 4th, 2057
    Characters:Leo/Marc Lyman, Elvie/Rose Santos, Josie Seaborn, Donna Lyman, Helen Santos, Sam Seaborn, Noah/Imogene Seaborn-Lyman
    A/N:Written for the OTP “The Couples Game(s)” Challenge. Nothing from The West Wing is needed to understand this, but it might help to know the OCs of this verse, so there is a small primer under the spoiler tag for some background one these main ‘ships. Kinda a longer one (just under 3000 words) but there wasn’t a nice place to break it, sorry!

    Leo Lyman, Leo-Vincente “Elvie” Santos, and Josie Seaborn are childhood friends. Both Elvie and Josie were children of Presidents and Leo’s father served as their fathers’ Chief of Staff.

    Leo met his husband, Marc, when they were in grad-school in 2033. Elvie met his wife, Rosamie (Rose) when they were both studying for the Bar Exam. Both couples married in 2037 (July and December respectively).

    In 2055, Leo became President with Elvie as his Vice President.

    Marc Lyman couldn’t help but smile. When he had married Leo, he knew life was going to be an adventure, but it was the quiet moments he enjoyed the most. Leo had given his Fourth of July speech this morning, but now the President was in jeans and a white short-sleeve shirt as they enjoyed the White House BBQ lounging on pillows and a quilt on the grass in a quiet corner of the south lawn by the Rose Garden. The staff and other attendees of the casual BBQ picnic knew to leave the President and First Gentleman alone. It was the Lyman’s 20thwedding anniversary. Neither of them wanted to draw attention to it. They just wanted to enjoy a quiet summer evening with each other, their children, family, and close friends.

    Seeing Leo at rest, just enjoying the sun on his face, prompted Marc to kiss his husband. Leo leaned on one of his elbows but his other hand came up to cup Marc’s cheek, rubbing his jawline. When Marc pulled away, Leo was grinning. “I love you.”

    Marc was still smiling too. “I love you too.” He then leaned down for another kiss. They were about to risk some tongue action when they heard screaming.

    “ELLA! ADVERT YOUR EYES!” Marc looked to see the Vice President rolling down the path in his wheelchair, 7-year-old daughter in his lap. He was in jeans and a black t-shirt. Behind Elvie Santos was his two older children, Mattie and Em, and his wife, Rose, who was wearing a tea-length purple sundress with a scoop neckline. “Uncle Marc and Uncle Leo are making out!” That comment got Elvie a cuff upside the head from Rose.

    “Go play with JJ and Miri,” Rose told her kids as Elvie helped Ella off his lap. Mattie and Em threw the pillows they had been carrying and the three kids ran to join the President’s and First Gentleman’s children on their playground and playhouse a few dozen metres away.

    Marc rolled off his husband. “Hey guys.”

    “We aren’t interrupting anything are we?” Rose asked, arms folded under a quilt she was carrying. “You guys did say to come join you when we found an opportunity to escape from the BBQ.”

    “But when you said ‘join you’, Sir, I didn’t think we’d be doing thisso publicly.” Elvie winked.

    Leo started to blush. “No. Please, come, sit. Our mothers should be along shortly with Uncle Sam, Noah, Imogene, and Josie. We just found an early moment to escape and took it.”

    Rose began spreading the quilt next to the Lyman’s while Elvie got his wheelchair over the grass. “Leo just didn’t want the media catching a picture of Marc eating a kosher hotdog,” Elvie laughed.

    Marc through his head back and laughed heartily. Leo hid his bright red face in Marc’s chest.

    Elvie transferred from his wheelchair to the ground and leaned back against the pillows Rose had positioned.

    “Why do we put up with you?” Rose sighed, leaning back against Elvie.

    “Because I’m cute.”

    “What all strong marriages are based on,” Marc said, jostling Leo.

    “I don’t disagree,” Leo said, “But you are so amazing - your patience, understanding, confidence and tenderness,” he said touching Marc’s sternum. “I am so thankful I married you 20 years ago. You have brought me nothing but happiness.”

    Marc kissed Leo’s fingertips. “I never believed love existed until I fell in love with you. I can’t imagine my life without you. These 20 years have been so full of laughs, intimacy, and love.”

    Leo placed a soft kiss on Marc’s lips. Leo then looked behind him at the Santoses. “What? No comment from the peanut gallery?”

    “No, because I know in five months, we are going to be just as sickening at our 20thwedding anniversary,” Elvie said, nuzzling Rose’s neck. “And your other guests are on their way. I don’t want to get hit by my mom.”

    Marc looked over to see Donna Lyman and Helen Santos walking down the west colonnade. Behind them was Josie Seaborn, carrying a stack of cardstock and paper; Leo’s and Marc’s nieces, Joanie and Hanna, Noah Seaborn-Lyman (Leo’s brother) helping his very pregnant wife, Imogene, and his elderly father in law, Sam Seaborn, along. Behind them were ushers caring reclining lawn chairs, blankets and pillows.

    Imogene told her daughters to, “Run along and play with your cousins.”

    The ushers began setting up the lawn chairs, blankets and pillows. Marc and Leo got up and greeted everyone with hugs and kisses, helping the older members of their family on the chairs, while Noah and Josie helped Imogene sit and lay back on the pillows.

    Leo was smiling so much. “I am just so thankful everyone’s here. Marc and I didn’t really plan much. We just wanted to celebrate our anniversary with the people we care about the most. If people are still hungry from the BBQ -.”

    “Imogene,” Marc interjected.

    Imogene just laughed as she rubbed her huge stomach.

    Leo finished his thought, “We can get ushers to bring out food or drinks. We just wanted to spend the evening hanging out and watching fireworks once it gets dark.”

    “I knew that was going to be the plan,” Josie smirked from her blanket. “It issoyou guys. So I’ve prepared some fun - mostly at your expense.” She handed half the card-stock to Marc, and the other half to Rose, along with some markers. “We are going to play that old dumb TV gameshow: The Newlywed Game. Actually the questions are more like ‘The Not-So-Newlywed game.’”

    “Why?” Leo asked. “Why must you torture us like this?”

    “I figured it would be fun and funny,” she retorted. “And I want to know some of these answers. Come on, let our parents laugh at your expense.”

    “And how did we get roped into this?” Elvie asked.

    “Because you guys are the most even competition,” Josie said. “Noah and Imo said they wouldn’t do it.”

    “Imogene put on two different shoes on yesterday,” Noah interjected. “We would just lose so badly.”

    Imogene nodded. “I’m fairly stupid and sleep-deprived,” she said rubbing her stomach. “And I’m not moving from this spot.”

    “I think it’ll be fun,” Marc said. “It’ll bring up memories of our wedding.”

    “Alright,” Leo said. “They have to let us win anyways because it’s our anniversary.”

    “Pffft. No,” Elvie grunted. “You’re going down.”

    Rose rolled her eyes. “As long as no one leaves here in an argument, I’m fine with it.”

    “None of the questions are that bad. Alright. Two of you leave,” Josie ordered. “Remember, the first round, the questions are worth 5 points each and the second round they are worth 10.”

    Leo sighed and got up. “Shall we check on the kids, Elvie?” Elvie nodded and Leo offered Elvie a hand back into his wheelchair. Leo gave Elvie an arm to brace himself as he lifted himself up. They then went down the path to where the kids were chasing each other.

    When Rose and Marc finished writing their answers on the cards, Josie called. “Mr. President! Mr. Vice President!”

    Elvie and Leo returned and both stared at Josie. “My God you are loud,” they both said as they returned and rejoined their spouses, who were sitting up with the cards face down in their lap.

    “We ready?” Josie asked as the other guests began to snicker. “First question, Mr. President, what would Marc say is the best thing about being married to the President?”

    “Why do I get the feeling the questions weren’t found on the internet?” Leo said, slipping off his shoes. “Um, Marc probably said something about the house.”

    Marc shook his head. He held up his card. It read: When I call him ‘Mister President’ in bed.

    “MARC!” Leo exclaimed as everyone laughed at how red his face was getting. Leo turned and stared at Josie. “These aren’t supposed to be dirty are they?”

    “No,” she laughed. “But your husband apparently made them dirty.”

    “That was the only one, I promise,” Marc chuckled, kissing Leo’s warm cheek.

    “Alright.” Josie turned to Elvie and Rose. “Mr. Vice President-.”

    “Can we please cut it with the titles?” Leo interjected. “You know I don’t like them outside the office. We’ve known each other for ever. We are family and decorum doesn’t apply to family.”

    “Unless it’s in bed, apparently,” Elvie snickered.

    “ELVIE!” Leo exclaimed.

    Josie tried to control her laughing. “Fine. Elvie. What would Rose say is the best thing about being married to the Vice President?”

    “She probably said something able how irrelevant my job is and how I can help out with the kids more.”

    “Nope,” Rose said, holding up her answer: I get to hang out with Marc all the time.

    “Please say the next question are easier,” Leo whined. Elvie nodded.

    “I did start off with a hard one. The next question is, how many guests were invited to your wedding.”

    “85,” Leo answered with confidence.

    “Yup,” Marc said, showing the matching answer and kissing Leo. “Which, coincidentally, is the same number of people Rose and Elvie had in theirwedding party.

    “Pretty much,” Elvie deadpanned. “Rose wrote down there were 500 people invited, but the right answer is 9 billion.”

    Rose showed her answer: 500 (but he’s going to crack a joke about that not being right).

    “5 points for each couple!” Josie exclaimed. “Dad, keep a record. Next question. Leo, what is the first meal you made Marc?”

    Leo nuzzled Marc’s shoulder. “Mac and cheese bake.” The answer matched Marc’s.

    “Elvie? What is the first meal you made Rose?”

    “Um,” Elvie scratched his head. “It was probably when we first moved in together, so I wasn’t able to use the stove yet. Probably soggy microwave taquitos.”

    “Cereal,” Rose answered. “You made me cereal.”

    Elvie shrugged. “Somehow, I feel that is better.”

    “Leo, who cried the most at your wedding?” Josie asked

    “Me,” he said with a nod.

    “I said your dad,” Marc said, showing his last card.

    “Marc didn’t see your complete breakdown over how happy you were as we were getting ready,” Elvie reminded Leo.

    Marc let out an awww.

    “Oh Leo was just a mess - even more than his dad,” Donna said with a smile. “Just so happy he was getting to spend the rest of his life with someone he loved so much.”

    “I’m still so happy,” Leo said, kissing Marc. Marc wrapped his arm around Leo’s shoulders.

    “Elvie?” Josie asked.

    “My mom cried the most,” Elvie said, looking up a his mom with a teasing smile. “She lost it as soon as Dad, Peter, Josie and Leo helped me stand up for when Rose walked down the aisle.”

    Rose showed her card revealing the right answer, then kissed Elvie.

    “So the scores are tied ten-to-ten,” Sam reported.

    “Time for the second round!” Josie said, rubbing her hands together.

    * * *

    Marc and Rose returned after Josie called them back. Behind them were two ushers with wine glasses, bottles of wine, and cans of pop. Everyone got their own drinks in order to get rid of the ushers quickly. Marc and Rose positioned themselves on their blankets, leaning back on their pillows and allowing their husbands to lean back on them.

    “Right! First question,” Josie smiled. “What do your husbands prefer to wear to bed?”

    Marc laughed. “Leo, unfortunately, prefers to wear a full outfit to bed: sweatpants, sweatshirt, and socks.”

    Leo nodded showing the matching answer. “Hey, I can roll out of bed and deal with international threats.”

    “Yeah, when the agents remember to knock.” Marc deadpanned. “You wore that to bed even when we were dating.”

    “Rose?” Josie asked.

    “Elvie prefers wearing just boxers, but now he wears pyjamas pants and a t-shirt. He’s paranoid about being woken up in the middle of the night.”

    “As any good, prepared, VP should be,” Elvie said with a nod. “But no,” he said, revealing his card. “I said, ‘I don’t care, I can’t feel half my body anyways, I just care what Rose is, or isn’t, wearing.”

    Rose rolled her eyes at the small print on the card.

    Marc laughed. “You somehow made all these dirty, didn’t you?”

    Elvie just grinned and wiggled his eyebrows.

    “Next question,” Josie announced. “Where’s the weirdest place you have found your husband asleep? Marc?”

    “I’m going to have to say the Oval Office.”

    Leo shamefully nodded, showing his card. “I’ve might have nodded off once or twice.”

    Helen nodded. “I found Matt in there on multiple occasions, napping.”

    “Hey, its a great place to nap,” Sam said with a shrug. “People rarely disturb you.”

    Josie shook her head. “Rose?”

    Rose sighed. “Underneath me durning sex.”

    “WHAT?” everyone exclaimed.

    Elvie showed his answer: During sex. “It was while I was Governor, just after Hurricane Julienne, so Em was just a baby, Mattie was three and a terror and I was just exhausted, but I wanted to do something special for Rose, so I bought something special, but… yeah, ended up falling asleep while Rose just did her thing. And that’s how Ella was conceived.”

    Everyone just laughed. Leo was absolutely killing himself trying to breathe in-between fits of giggles. Marc smiled. This was exactly what he wanted for their 20th wedding anniversary, just to laugh with Leo.

    “That’s how Ella was conceived?” his mother yelled at him. “You said you guys wanted one more so you did another round of in-vitro.”

    Elvie shook his head. “Nope, she was actually our one-in-a-million shot. And I wasn’t even awake for it,” he said as Rose wrapped her arms around him. “Anyways, next question.”

    “What is Elvie’s and Leo’s favourite flavour of pudding?”

    Rose laughed. “He doesn’t care, as long as he’s eating it off of my body.”

    “YES!” Elvie exclaimed, holding up his card: Off of Rose’s body.

    “Oh, my god,” Marc rolled his eyes. “That isn’t even a flavour. Chocolate. Chocolate is Leo’s favourite flavour, which is actually a flavour.

    Leo frowned. “I tried to be sexy too. I said ‘Naked in bed’.” Everyone laughed as Marc rolled his eyes and Leo turned bright red.

    “Alright,” Josie said, breathing normally. “Last question. Dad? What are scores?”

    “We are tied, 30 to 30.”

    “So it’s all down to this: after a long day ruling the world - or being completely irrelevant in Elvie’s case - what does your husband look forward to the most when he gets home? Marc?”

    Marc smiled. “Leo’s a sap. He loves snuggling with the kids and cuddling with me when he gets back to the Residence.”

    Leo nodded, showing his card: Snuggling and cuddles. They kissed yet again.


    Rose sighed. “I know exactly what is written on that card.”

    “Do ya now?” Elvie taunted.

    “Yes, and I am not saying it out loud. So instead I’m going to get it wrong so Leo and Marc can win.”

    “What? No!” Elvie whined. “Sweetheart!”

    “What’s your answer going to be?” Josie asked.

    “A long, hot bath.”

    Elvie shrugged. “Well she’s not wrong. But thats not what I answered. So Leo and Marc win.”

    “Yes!” Leo exclaimed. “Victory is ours! Victory is ours!” He leaned over and kissed Marc. Marc ran his hand down Leo’s arm.

    “So what did you answer, Elvie?” Josie asked.

    Elvie just began to laugh. Rose looked at the final card. “Leo-Vincente! I can’t believe you would write something like-.” She paused. “Wait a minute, yes I can.”

    “What does it say?” Marc asked, taking the card so that he and Leo could read it. Leo blushed. Marc asked, “Is that even physically possible?”

    “You wanna find out?” Elvie asked with a wink.

    “Alright,” Leo said, handing back to Rose, who promptly scribbled over the fine print on the card. “That’s enough of that game.”

    “I think we should tell embarrassing stories about Leo,” Marc suggested. “I want to hear more about this crying before the wedding.”

    “Well, he was fairy hungover,” Noah offered.

    Elvie laughed. “I’m pretty sure he was still drunk.”

    “I was not!” Leo whined. “That was all Abi’s fault!”

    * * *

    Later on, after the sun went down and it got dark, the fireworks show began. Leo and Marc cuddled under blankets. JJ and Miri also cuddled with their fathers, both drowsy after a day of playing outside and running around with their friends and cousins. Leo held Miri close. He felt Marc kiss the top of his head. Leo looked up and just smiled when their eyes connected and they held so much love in a wordless gaze.
    Captain Rakkaus likes this.
  8. mavjade

    mavjade Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 10, 2005
    I'm so sorry it took me so long to comment, I'm terrible.
    But man this was so much fun!!! Elvie was so funny and clearly in quite the mood to have a good time, mostly at Leo's expense. It was cracking me up! Sorry that there are several parts where I quote and just put an emoji. I didn't always have something profound to say, but wanted you to know I particularly enjoyed that part.

    I just loved this mental image of all of them in casual clothes, hanging out, just having fun together.

    [face_love] They are so adorbs! Even after 20 years, they are still very much in love, and I love it!

    And [face_love] for Uncles Marc and Leo. :D I mean, it makes perfect sense, Leo did call Elvie's dad Tio Matt. But I think (?) this is the first time it's been established that they've continued familial connections.

    So I had to go back and double check a certain PM story to see just how much innuendo I should read into this section. [face_batting]


    Dawww.... they really are so cute! And I love that Elvie and Rose can't say anything because they'll be in the same boat soon.

    I just love how this was a bit family get together, that you included Noah, Imogene, Sam, Donna, Helen and all the kids! Even if they don't play a huge part, it makes it feel like a big family thing.

    I just love how you did this! That is was Josie wanting to have some fun with friends and family. That way they can say embarrassing and fun answers, where if it had been a TV show type thing, the answers would have to be canned.


    Tee hee hee... Of course he does! I mean, isn't that one of the perks of being President? :p
    But Leo totally being embarrassed was so great. He just makes it so easy for everyone to pick on him!

    LOVE! I just love that's what she said, that having Marc as a friend has clearly made life better, and I don't think just because they are in that situation.

    I knew they had a huge wedding, but man... I'm sweating it just with 150, I can't imagine 500!

    Dawwww..... [face_love] And so cute that Marc didn't know it until now. Also, I love that Marc said Josh. Not Donna, but Josh. It just made me so happy.

    [face_laugh] Oh Elvie! I mean, sometimes you are just too tired. I loved that Helen had no clue about the baby being conceived without IVF.


    Okay, now I'm curious! And since Elvie asked, yes I want to find out! :p

    This was so much fun! I had a huge smile on my face the whole time I was reading it, both times!
  9. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    It's fine! I totally understand!

    Yeah, this was a fun one to write. It is just totally plot-less, but it was just so much fun. Yeah, Elvie was just being annoying and I was just having so much fun having Elvie bug Leo endlessly. I was eventually just in a mood.

    And I completely understand. I love it when you quote parts and just put emojis (though I might not have anything profound to reply with.

    I just love it too and I just wanted, for one evening, for their extraordinary circumstances to take a back seat and for them to just be a normal couple with their friends and family.

    They are like too adorbs and I can't even handle it! They are like relationship goals and I wanted the to just be happy celebrating 20 years together.
    Elvie was just so LOUD in my head when I was writing this.
    Thanks. I kinda wanted to touch on this in my Marc&Rose diary (buuuut I never got around to it, so this is the first time), but it would be so awkward to have Elvie's kids call them Leo and Marc and suddenly have to call Leo "Mr. President" and Leo would never want that, so they are just Uncle Leo and Uncle Marc (and the Santoses are Tío Elvie and Tía Rose to JJ and Miri).

    The answer: a lot ;)

    I really wanted this to be their 20th, so I think this is the "latest" (thus far) I've ever written these guys.

    Yup. That was all Elvie. I had no part in writing that. I'm now blaming things on our characters like a crazy person.

    I love writing them being adorable!!! But I think I'm going to have to write Elvie and Rose being adorable too now.

    Yeah. I really suck at writing big groups but I really wanted some of them there to be part of this big, loving family (Abi wasn't there because I knew she would have either gotten into it with Elvie or would have ganged up with him to pick on Leo).

    When I first can up with this, original it was going to be a TV thing, but I didn't want it to be staged.

    I love Noah and Imogene and I just wished the muse bit for them more.

    Leo just makes it so easy but I think he loves when his family does pick on him.

    Yeah. They are just great friends and it isn't just because they are the only two people who "get" each other's situation.

    Yeah. I can't imagine either (though I'm trying for a fic).

    Yeah, In my head, Josh was just an emotional mess for Leo's wedding, but in a good way. Like, he never thought he would live to see any of his kids, who he loved so much, get married.

    There are just some things you don't bring up with your mom :p

    Yeah. I have no idea what it said, but whatever it was, was not PG rated. I might have to come up with something ;)
    Thanks. This really was just a fun one to write.
  10. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    AN:This is possibly the first part to a multi-story arc??? But the other parts aren’t working out so I don’t know when you will get them, but they are only loosely related (they all just have Elvie sick and stupid). But next week (hopefully) I’m going to start posting my “continuation” of your “Sound of Love” (so look forward to a lot of angst and eventual make-up sex).

    Timeframe:Spring 2034
    Characters:Elvie, Rose, Matt/Helen

    “Mom,” Elvie weakly moaned, reaching out to her from his hospital bed. Her image was hazy. Everything hurt. Well, everything he could feel. “I think this might be it.”

    Helen didn’t even look up from her laptop oh her lap where she was editing her latest journal article. “Yeah. Pretty sure it isn’t. Pretty sure this was your own doing, honey. If you want sympathy, whine to your father.”

    Elvie let his head fall to the other side of the bed. “Daddy? I don’t feel good.” Elvie had the flu. His sinuses were stuffed, his ears were clogged, his throat burned everytime he swallowed, and he was sweating but he was freezing cold so he had his mom wrap him in homemade quilts. Underneath he wore a Columbia hoodie and flannel pyjama pants that his mom made.

    Matt put down his book and took Elvie’s hand. “I know. But you were told by all your doctors - and me - that if you pushed yourself too hard that you were going to get sick.”

    “But I’m like two months away from being released from this prison, with its bad food, and the Bar Exam is three weeks away.” he whined. He had approximately eight weeks left of living in the rehab centre, and he was taking the Bar Exam at the end of the month. “I need to study. I need -.” Another coughing fit interrupted him. “I need my textbooks back.” They had taken all his study materials away from him and had placed them on a high shelf. It was cruelty to the now vertically challenged Elvie.

    “No. You need to rest. I thought ‘this was it’,” his father said, raising his eyebrow.

    “Because I’m bored. I’m going to die of boredom.”

    “Yeah, we got that. Do you want me to read to you?”

    “Will you read me from my textbook?”

    “No, you have the flu. You need to rest your brain too.”

    “I crashed a plane,” Elvie grumbled, reaching for his cup of orange juice off the bedside table. “I can study with the flu.” He took a sip and moaned at the pain it caused in his throat. He continued to whine longer than necessary. “Daaaaaaadddd.”

    “You are so pathetic when you get sick,” Matt said, getting up, sitting on the edge of the bed, helping Elvie lean forward against him and rubbing Elvie’s back. Elvie just let his father do it. Elvie put his forehead on his father’s shoulder, hoping the new position would drain some of the liquid.

    “He takes after his father like that,” Helen murmured.

    Matt ignored her. “Remember when he was 5 and we had just moved back to Houston?”

    She nodded. Right after Matt had left office, the family had gone from DC to Houston, to Maui, then back to Houston, then Elvie had started at his new public school and he was exposed to a host of new germs he had never really been exposed to growing up in the White House. It made for a pillaging on Elvie’s immune system. “Oh, he was so sick and didn’t really understand the concept of you being retired.”

    Matt laughed, now speaking to Elvie. “Oh, you were so worried that I was going to have to go to an ‘portant meetin’,” he said, copying 5-year-old Elvie’s speech patterns. “I pretty much spent 120 hours just holding you to my chest, just doing this. Just cuddling and rubbing your back.”

    “I seem to recall being that age, being sick, and you putting me on a dining room chair outside of the bathroom,” Elvie murmured. “I think you used to give me dinosaur fruit snacks.”

    “Ah, yes,” Matt said. “It was the only way I could go to the bathroom. You were literally a poop-disturber.”

    “Hon, remember when you tried to get up early and have a shower?” Helen asked and Matt nodded. “Elvie, you woke up in our bed, saw that Dad was gone and just bawled. Even after he got out, you just bawled for hours.”

    “Pretty sure you are trying to make me feel pathetic, but I think that just shows how much I wanted you,” Elvie grumbled. His phone started to ring. Matt handed it to him. The ID showed it was Rose. “Oh,” Elvie exclaimed. When he had woken up feeling like death warmed over, he had been forced to cancel his study date (emphasis on date, but they usually did accomplish a fair amount of studying together) with Rose this afternoon between her lunch and dinner shifts at her restaurant. No one was going to give him a ride because he was sick. He pushed off of his dad and fell back onto the steeply inclined bed. “You guys should go.”

    Matt humpfed.“I guess gone are those days. My baby doesn’t want me anymore and it breaks my heart.”

    “Dad, just go get me some tea. Please?”

    Helen sighed, closing her laptop. “Come on, Matt. Remember when we were that point in our relationship?”

    “When we were that point, you knew my parents and we were just writing each other letters while I was in the Navy,” Matt pointed out.

    “Yeah, because you are so old, you got married in the 18thcentury. Dad is actually a founding father.” Elvie’s laughs turned into groaning and coughing.

    “That’s what you get for making founding father jokes,” Matt scowled.

    “Come on, Mr. Santos,” his mom said, linking arms with Matt and dragging him out of the room.

    Elvie quickly answered the FaceTime call before it stopped ringing. He tried to smile at seeing her face, but he couldn’t stop coughing.

    “Elvie, I believed you when you said you were sick. Now I think you might be playing it up to blow our study date off for something stupid,” she said in a playfully accusatory tone. Her hair was tied back and it looked like she had an apron on over her white shirt.

    “I’m not.” His voice was now hoarse from the laughing and coughing. “I’d come study with you if I could.” Elvie didn’t want to go into details - didn’t want to get into all the in-depth elements of his life over a quick fact-time call. “My parents are here now and took away all my books so I can’t even study with you over FaceTime.”

    “Yeah, because you should be resting. What’s your address? I can borrow my dad’s car in-between lunch and dinner shifts and bring you some soup. Our specials today are Italian Wedding and Tomato Basil, but I can put on a pot of whatever you want.”

    Elvie hesitated. He wanted to see Rose, and he wanted soup made by her, but he didn’t want to have the entire “I crashed a plane, my body is more messed up than you think, and I’m only 24 but I’m actually a retired old man in the eyes of the US Military” conversation with his new girlfriend (they had decided they were officially dating at their last study date). But he was going to have to tell her soon, before things got too serious. Before he could answer, he sneezed, violently. He swore, dropping his phone in his lap. “Oh, my, God.” He clutched his shoulder, waiting for the sudden burst of pain to ebb away. He had definitely pulled something.

    “Elvie? Elvie? Are you okay?”Rose asked. Elvie fumbled for his phone, in the process inadvertently showing her his room. “Elvie? Are you in a hospital? It looks like you’re in a hospital.”

    He took a deep sigh. “I guess it’s time to tell you. I’m slowly turning into a fish-man.”

    “Elvie!” she practically yelled. “I’m freaking out right now and my break is almost over. Are you okay? Are you in the hospital?”

    “I’m fine. Yes, I’m in a medical centre but not because I’m sick. It’s a long story.”

    “I have to get back to the kitchen. Where are you and what can I bring you?”

    “I’m at the DeBakey VA medical centre. If you want to come visit, don’t bother asking for me. Just come right to the SCI centre. It’s on the first floor. I’m in the last room - number 40.” Elvie had been given a private room, mostly due to the lack of inpatients currently, but the whole former-First-baby probably had something to do with it. “And I want Italian Wedding soup.”

    “I have so many questions.”

    “About Italian Wedding soup? Aren’t you a cook at an Italian restaurant?”

    “Elvie,” she huffed.

    “I will explain. Go back to work. I’m going to drink tea and nap.”

    “Okay. I’ll be there in like two hours. Byeeee.”

    “Byeeee.” Elvie hung up the phone. Despite the throbbing, burning pain at the back of his throat, he smiled.

    “Wow,” he heard his mom say. He looked up to see his mom and his dad standing with his tea in a thermos. “She must really like you.”

    Elvie now talked softer. His voice was going even more after all the talking. “How could she not? I’m adorable.”

    Both his parents rolled their eyes. His dad handed him the tea. “I take it you want us to leave.”

    Elvie took a drink, the warmth calming his sore throat. “I think the whole plane crash is enough explanation for one day. I don’t think she needs to meet a founding father too.”

    Matt sighed. “I think you need to shut up and save your voice for your girlfriend.”

    * * *

    Elvie was bored out of his mind. His parents had left so he could nap, but he was so clogged up, he couldn’t get into a comfortable position. Even worse, one of his pillows had fallen off the bed and he was too lazy to try to get it himself, but didn’t want to call someone to pick it up for him. He tried to watch some TV and caught a press conference his Auntie Ainsley was doing, but when that was over, all he could find were soap operas. This is why he had worked himself to sickness: because everything else bored him.

    Finally, after over 2 hours of trying to nap, there was a knock at his door. “Come in,” he said, suddenly nervous as he readjusted the bed. What had he done? Knots formed in his stomach. He was going to have to tell a girl he liked - perhaps even loved - the details of his disability. Doctors knew he wasn’t going to ever walk again. His future was much more hopeful than first predicted, but it was still going to be filled physical therapy, PTSD counselling, catheters, wheelchairs, panic attacks, and the nightmares of accessibility. Would she want to stick around for all that when she had her future ahead of her? Somedays he barely felt human, let alone ‘manly’.

    Rose entered, looking around nervously. Her hair was up, her backpack slung around one shoulder, and she was carrying a paper bag and a tray of two warm drinks.

    Elvie held up his hand and gave her a wave. “Hi. I’m pretty sure I’m not contagious, but kissing might be a bad idea.” He coughed. “I don’t want to risk getting you sick too.”

    “Okay,” she said, tentatively entering, putting the bag and drinks on the rolling bedside table. “What’s wrong? You looked fine when we studying the other day.” She put her backpack on the floor and began unpacking various take out containers from the paper bag. Elvie looked at them, excited: real food! Even if his tastebuds weren’t 100%.

    “It’s really just the flu. The reason why I’m in the hospital is a bit of a longer story,” he sighed, and closed his eyes, searching for the right words. “I really like you and I want you to know everything. It might be hard for me to tell; I really should have told you before we officially became a thing. But I just liked being so normal with you. I haven’t had that with anyone in so long.”

    He opened his eyes to see her frowning. “I’m just worried about you. I knew there were things I didn’t know about you, just like there are things you don’t know about me. That’s why I want to date you, so I can get to know you better. I have so much fun with you and our conversations are amazing.” She unpacked utensils and napkins from the bag. “Can you please tell me what’s going on while you eat your soup? I brought you a fresh bun and some soft banana bread. Oh, and a herbal tea.”

    He smiled. “You’re the best.”

    She grabbed her coffee and sat in the chair next to his bed. “I know; so talk to me.”

    He took a slurp of soup. “So, up until like nine months ago, I was in the Air Force. By the way, this soup is amazing. Oh, exactly what I needed.”

    “The Air Force? I guess that explains the particular hospital. But didn’t you just graduate from Columbia?”

    He nodded. “I did my undergrad in World History and basic training at the Air Force Academy in Colorado.” He paused to blow his nose, then took a bite of the warm bun. “This is so good. Anyways, when I was accepted into Columbia, I got special permission to go into the reserves for 3 years while I did my Law degree, then I went back into service. And then I crashed an experimental fighter jet. It wasn’t my fault, I swear.”

    “Wait. What? You crashed a plane? Are you being serious with me right now? Because this isn’t something to joke about.”

    He nodded. He deserved her skepticism. “About 9 month ago now. I… I severed my spinal cord – T12 if you are curious, incomplete now thanks to stem sell treatments. I also smashed up my pelvis, hips, ribs and shoulder. Not to mention all the internal bleeding they had to fix and the ongoing mental trauma and PTSD. I’ve been an inpatient - first at Walter Reed and now here - ever since. I get out in two months but I have to move in with my parents because I still need an embarrassing amount of care.”

    She looked at him, blinking, unable to find a reply.

    “I’m sorry if I misled you. I just didn’t want to bring it up.”

    Words began uncontrollably spilling from her mouth. “No, no, you didn’t have to tell me that - I mean, I’m glad you did. Not that I needed to know - I just wanted to know - but not in a noisy sort of - .” She sighed and took a moment to pause.

    “Just collect your thoughts,” he said with a wink, taking another slurp of soup. “I’ll just be here, eating this nice, warm meal.”

    “I’m just glad you trusted me enough to tell me. I want to help you - not that you need help - I - UGH.” She rested her face in her hands.

    He rubbed her forearm with his knuckles. “I do need help sometimes and I really like having you around. And you bring me good food and make me feel better.”

    She looked up and smiled. She stood up and kissed his forehead.

    He just giggled in glee until he started to cough again.

    “I’m just glad you aren’t one of those guys who get all whiny when you get sick.”
  11. mavjade

    mavjade Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 10, 2005
    I totally get it. They do things on their own sometimes and you just sit back and do what they say.

    Haha.... oh yeah, I could totally see it going either way!

    Yeeessss!!! I'm excited for it! And more in this story when the muse decides to play.

    [face_laugh] I love how unimpressed Helen is. I mean, he really was about to die not all that long ago, so she not taking his whining to heart. Not that she would anyway because that's just her.

    I imagine being stuck someplace it would feel like that. I talk to my patients who have been in the hospital for a long time about that all the time. I'm sure it feels like you are going to die of boredom. And then for him to know there are things he could be doing makes it worse. Whiny sick Elvie is cracking me up, though. He's such a man... :p

    Daawww.... [face_love] These cute little moments talking about baby Elvie were just so cute!! I love how all he'd known was his dad had meetings he had to go to, so when Matt retired, he thought that would continue. And the bawling when he was gone sounds exactly like something I would have done.

    [face_laugh] I love this joke and how it continues into the story. That even sick, that snarky sense of humor is still in tact.

    I love their flirting here, and how it makes their relationship seem so new, which it is at this point. But it would be so easy to make it seem more comfortable because you know them that way, but their conversation and flirting definitely has that feeling of awkwardness and not really knowing what is the right thing to say.

    Little does she know he's (probably) not just talking about the aftermath of the crash. I'm sure, from all aspects, that feeling normal with her was such a relief. He could just be a young guy flirting with a girl.

    [face_love][face_love] I'm pretty sure I'm in love with her. That's just the best answer because that's exactly what dating should be.
    I also loved how she turned into an awkward mess once Elvie told her the whole thing. She wasn't turned off, wasn't angry, but she just didn't know what to say, which as we've talked about before is pretty normal.

    [face_rofl] Maybe he can hold that in a few years and she won't notice until they are married! :p

    This was so much fun. Elvie is adorbs when he's sick, but still totally Elvie. And I always love getting Matt and Helen, especially talking about little Elvie!

  12. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    Good, because this upcoming one has frustrated me for months, but I'm happy I wrote it (even if it really isn't that happy of a fic. As for "Man-Flu" - part 3 is coming along great, but part 2 has been re-witten twice now and I'm still not happy with it, but much like this thread, they don't have to be read in order, so you may get part 3 before part 2 8-}
    I just love Helen. She seemed like a person not to put up with whining in seasons 6/7 and after everything in the White House, I don't think she'd put up with anything.
    Yeah, I can only imagine how boring it would be (and I've heard it from people who have had to spend extended amounts of time in the hospital). And, of course, Elvie just wants to feel productive (as I'm sure most young, intelligent people in the hospital for a long time would). Which is why he chose to study for the bar exam in the hospital in the first place. He probably learned a couple of languages while he was stuck there too.
    I thought it was so cute too and bawling even after his dad came back is something I would have done. I really want to write more of little Elvie and retired Matt because I think those two were just adorable.

    Thanks. I really want to come up with a situation where Leo (or Abi) makes founding fathers jokes at Josh because the idea just kills me.
    Thanks. I love writing this awkward, flirty stage because I'm a really awkward person and they are just so relatable. Of course, I also love writing them knowing each other so intimately.
    That totally didn't occur to me, but yeah, he totally isn't just talking about the crash.
    I'm pretty sure I'm in love with her too.
    Bahaahaha! Maybe. Maybe not. We will see how cooperative the muse is.
    Thanks, I know I'm going to do more sick Elvie, but I think I also want to do some little Elvie with Matt/Helen.
  13. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    Title: Through it All
    Late 2038
    Characters:Marc/Leo, Donna, Josie, mentions of others, random new OCs I needed
    A/N:This is a continuation of Mav’s fic The Sound of Love (after Marc and Leo’s fight but before the time jump), so this isn’t going to make much sense unless you have read that fic. So read it because it’s amazing.

    Also I’m not super happy with the breaks, but this was kinda everywhere since it was a hard one for me to write. This probably should have been a 15k word short story BUUUUT we know my muse. I’m done all 3 parts so I’m going to post in fairly rapid secession. And, yes, there is a bonus PM-only 4thpart if you make it through all the other parts.

    Part 1

    Despite grabbing his coat, Marc still was cold when the late autumn wind hit him, but he didn’t want to move off the bench outside his and Leo’s townhouse. He didn’t want to go back inside. He wasn’t sure what he was going to do when he faced Leo. Marc’s mind had calmed down thanks to his very long walk, and he felt bad for getting angry, but he was still hurt.

    Leo had decided, for them, that they were not going to have kids; Leo had canceled their foster and adoption file - without even talking to him or even telling him. Marc felt betrayed, like Leo didn’t trust him to understand that he was going through a rough time since his father passed. If Leo had just talked to Marc, he would have understood. Just like he understood the long, late night calls to Josie, just like he understood why Leo had Marc care for Donna after Leo’s dad had died, and just like he understood why Leo was working late and was so distant when Marc tried to care for him. Leo didn’t even let Marc touch him anymore. Leo was just grieving and really struggling with accepting these emotions. This had gone on for weeks now.

    Marc came to the conclusion that Leo didn’t trust him. Leo didn’t trust him to stay when things got hard, so Leo had tried to shelter Marc from all their problems, all his problems. Marc had no idea where this fear came from. No one had ever abandoned Leo.

    Marc sighed, getting it.

    No one had ever abandoned Leo. Leo didn’t know that life goes on. It hurts, but life goes on.

    And the worst part of it was, Marc wanted to leave. Not forever, but just for now. Just for tonight. He just needed to clear his mind and work on what was best for Leo - because Marc still loved him. Marc didn’t want to yell or get angry. That had never solved anything - it would just make them both hurt more. Marc just wanted to think.

    Going for another long walk and hoping Leo had fallen asleep, Marc re-entered their home, made it to the bedroom, only to see Leo sitting in the chair, on the phone. “Oh, Jos, he’s back. Thank god he’s back. Gotta go.”

    Anger welled up in Marc once more, clouding all his thoughts. Leo went to Josie right after a marriage dispute? How… how could he? How could Leo trust Josie like that, but not him. He wasn’t going to say anything. He simply went to the closet, pulled out a small suitcase and began packing, just a few pairs of nice jeans and some work shirts.

    “Marc?” Leo asked, voice timid as he got up. “What are you doing? Where are we going?”

    If he hadn’t been so angry and focused on getting away before irrationally shouting something he’d forever regret, the ‘we’ might have broke his heart. “We aren’t going anywhere,” he bit out but took a breath. He continued to pack, not looking at Leo. “I’m going to spend a few days away.”

    “What? No. No. Just… just stay, Marc.” Leo was now pulling on Marc’s arm. It was the first physical contact they had experienced in weeks. “I know you’re mad. Just stay. You can yell at me all you want. Just stay.”

    Marc wasn’t going to stay to yell at Leo. That was what Marc’s father would do and that man was just toxic. Marc closed his eyes. “I don’t want to yell at you. I love you Leo, but you hurt me. I want to just not be around you right now because I don’t want to hurt you back. I know me leaving right now is going to hurt - it’s going to hurt us both.”

    “Then don’t go. I… I can call the social worker. She said our application would still remain active for a few more weeks.”

    “You can’t undo this Leo. As much as it kills me, we can’t have kids right now. I could have done it with you still processing your dad’s death, but I can’t bring a child into this house with me pissed off at you because I know you don’t trust me. You won’t talk to me; you won’t even let me touch you so I might comfort you!” Marc was now yelling and he regretted it, but he wasn’t going to say sorry. This was Leo’s doing.

    Marc opened his eyes. Leo had coiled back in fear.

    Marc let out a breath. “I’m sorry Leo. I have to leave, for us.” He pulled out his phone and sent Leo a phone number he had found. “I want you to get help. Help I can’t give you. I sent you a number for a grief counselor.”

    “I don’t need grief counseling,” Leo’s breath hitched, but he couldn’t cry. “I trust you. I just needyou. Just… just come to bed and we can talk in the morning.”

    “No,” Marc said softly. “Please get professional help and then we can talk about us. I still love you but I don’t know how to make this work. I’ll call you in a few days.” He kissed Leo’s forehead before leaving.

    * * *

    Marc woke up, grumpy. He had been sleeping on an air mattress in his office for two weeks now. He really had no place to go. He didn’t want any of their friends to know - his co-workers already thought he was a horrible human for fighting with Leo after his dad had died. Of course, Marc didn’t tell them what Leo had done. And Marc didn’t want Donna knowing just how bad this situation had gotten. Of course she knew that Leo and he were fighting - she called Marc every few days - but she didn’t know about the arguments they were having over the phone. Leo just wanted Marc back home. Marc just wanted Leo to get help so they could move forward.

    But, Marc hadn’t heard from Leo in 4 days now.

    There was a knock on his office door. “I’m decent,” Marc grumbled, sitting up.

    His boss, Mr. Bhati, an older man with salt and pepper hair, entered with a cup of coffee and handed it to Marc. “Still staying here?”

    Marc sighed. “Yeah, is that okay?” He wondered when he should start looking at apartments, but that would mean his marriage really was over.

    Mr. Bhati shrugged. “You’re not pulling a Frank. You’re showering, keeping your clothes clean, and doing all the small contracts slipping though. Stay as long as you need. I’m just worried about you and Leo. You guys seemed so in love at the summer picnic. Are you guys willing to look into marriage counseling? It did wonders for Kelly and I.”

    “I am,” Marc said, wondering if getting Leo to marriage counselling would then get him to grief counselling. Marc wasn’t prepared for this to be the end of his marriage. He still loved Leo. “I think I’m going to run across the street to the gym for a half hour.”

    Mr. Bhati nodded. “Well, I hope you guys figure it out.”

    * * *

    Later that afternoon, Marc got a very lengthy text from Leo. First Marc got worried, but at the end, he smiled.

    Hey, Marc, my love. Sorry I haven’t talked to you. My mom sat me down and pretty much forced me (there was a whole lot of guilt involved) to tell her exactly why you and I are fighting. She then told me… my dad used to go to a therapist for a number of things. So I made an appointment with a grief counselor, mostly because I just wanted to make you happy so you’ll come back home (and to shut my mom up). But then I went and I realized how much I needed it. She - her name is Michelle - made me think about a lot of stuff, about myself and us.

    I realized I didn’t open up about my grief to you because I wanted our marriage to remain a happy place. I wanted to preserve the happiness and joy. Because you couldn’t make what happened with my dad be okay so I didn’t want to even try. That’s why I didn’t let you comfort me, though I did want you to. I wanted to contain the pain I’m feeling and not have it consume allmy relationships. Like… I don’t know how to put it into words… but I don’t want you to be sad because I’m hurting so much. I wanted to save you from that. But that was wrong. I just ended up pushing you away and alienating you. I’m sorry. I should have told you everything. I just want to be held by you and cry in your arms.

    It was a mistake not to tell you how much I am struggling with the idea of having kids when I’m so broken and so sad. I’m so overwhelmed by negative emotions and, when we do have kids, I want to enjoy them and have them know me as me and not the messed up shell I am right now. Again, I just wanted our marriage not to be overwhelmed by my grief, which is why I didn’t talk to you or tell you. It was wrong and I am sorry. I’m not justifying not taking to you about the cancelation of our adoption file. It was wrong and I am sorry. I don’t know what else to say. I hope you can forgive me. I am so scared my stupid, irrational decisions might cost me the one relationship I can’t bare to lose, my relationship with you.

    I haven’t really talked to anyone in the past few days besides Michelle. I’ve had two appointments with her and I have another one this evening after work, and another one tomorrow at 6. I really would love it if you would consider coming tomorrow with me. I would love to see you, apologize to you, and to talk to you. I love you. L.

    Marc let out a heavy, but relieved, sigh. He texted back.

    Leo - my love - Of course I will be there. I love you. Send me the the address. Thank you for opening up to me. I am here for you. I have so much I want to say to you. First, thank you for getting help. It means so much to me to hear from you and to know you are getting better. I know it has been hard for you and I just wanted to help you and make sure you got the professional help you needed. I should have been more patient and I should have stayed. I’m sorry for getting angry and I’m so sorry for leaving.

    You know communication is so important to me and your text deserves so much more of a reply than what I can give you. But thank you so much for telling me everything. I forgive you. We both still have a lot we need to work through, but I forgive you and I hope you forgive me too.

    Our marriage will always be a happy place, because we love each other. The past year - and the past 5 years since we’ve started dating - has been so full of love and happy times. But it has also been a place of support. You have supported me through so much. Even though you are grieving - as I am - I know you will be happy again one day. I want to be there as you cry and hold you in sadness, so I can also hold you in happiness.

    I’m still working though many emotions on the cancelation of our adoption file. Plans have changed and that is hard for me. I still want to be a dad. But now I want to be a dad with you when you are ready. And I still want to be your husband. No matter what. I love you. Marc.
  14. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    A/N @mavjade Not sure if you saw part 1 (above) but here's part 2.

    Part 2

    Marc was running late. The directions Leo had sent had been so confusing. Marc entered a small office space with a boring beige reception area and a number of doors behind it. Leo was leaning against one of the door-frames, head hanging. He looked pale and tired. “He’ll be here. I know he will be here.” He looked like crap. His suit was wrinkled and hanging off of him.

    A woman with an afro was standing next to him. She gently brushed his arm. “Is that him?”

    Leo looked up and his frown broke into an awkward grin. “Marc!” He then broke into tears. “I’m so happy you’re here!” Marc walked to Leo and hugged him. Leo placed his head on Marc’s shoulder and just broke down into tears. “I am so happy to see you.”

    “Shall we go into my office?” the woman asked and Leo pulled back, nodded, took Marc’s hand and pulled him into the simple, small office with a desk, a chair, and a couch. Everything was in calming blue tones.

    Leo sat on the couch and Marc sat next to him, not touching, but letting Leo continue to hold his hand.

    The woman offered Leo a box of tissues. “I’m glad to see you openly showing your emotions,” she said, as Leo took the box. “Remember the benefits of crying?”

    Leo nodded, wiping his eyes.

    She then looked at Marc. “Hi, I’m Michelle.”

    “Marc,” he said, shaking her hand.

    “Just some ground information for you,” she said with a smile. “I am a counselor. I am not a psychiatrist. This will not be on your health record and I can’t prescribe any medications, but I can suggest going to see a doctor for a prescription. I can also refer you to a doctor. Confidentiality laws do apply unless I feel you are a danger to yourself or other people. Finally, since you are a couple, I ask that you respect each other and don’t discuss anything that is said inside this room to a third party without your spouse’s permission. I specialize in grief counseling, but I have done a bit of marriage counseling, so do feel free to use me as such.”

    Marc nodded.

    “Why don’t you start us off, Marc? Do you have anything you’d like to say to Leo?” she asked.

    Marc looked at Leo. “Well, I am very happy and so relieved to see you. I’m so happy you got help. It makes me feel much better to know you are on the path to recovery and I hope we are too.”

    They talked to each other with the guidance of Michelle for nearly an hour. Leo apologized for many things and Marc apologized for leaving. Marc learned more about Leo’s thoughts surrounding the cancelation of their adoption. At the end, it was decided that Marc wasn’t going to be moving back home just yet.

    “I just think we need take it slow and I don’t want to rush back,” Marc explained. “I’m afraid I’m going to get angry and yell and I don’t want to do that, Leo. I don’t like it when I lose control and yell at you.”

    “You’re not going to lose control and you’re not going to turn into your dad, but I understand your fears.” Leo nodded. “I can be… frustrating and clingy. I reallymessed up, I know and I don’t want to mess this up for us. I think I - and we - have a lot more to work on and work though. But I look forward to the day when you are back home. If you want me to sleep at my office or at my mom’s I can. It’s not like I’m sleeping much anyways.”

    “You’re still not sleeping?” Michelle asked. “Did you try melatonin?”

    Leo nodded. “I tried. It puts me to sleep for like 3 hours and then I wake up and I’m like wide awake.”

    “How long have you not been sleeping?” Marc asked.

    Leo shook his head. “Not since…” his breath hitched and he began to cry again. “Not since that phone call.” He rested his face in his hands.

    Marc understood. They had been woken in the middle of the night by a phone call from his mom, telling them his dad had been rushed to the hospital with chest pain. Marc began rubbing Leo’s back. “Love? Why don’t we slowly ease back into our relationship? I’ll come home with you tonight so you can get a good night sleep, then in a few days I’ll stay another night or something.”

    Leo looked up, wiping his eyes. He looked so relieved. “Yeah, I’d love that. Oh, but, the house is a mess. I’ve been eating out and just being pathetic and gross. But I’ve started cleaning up since coming to counseling.”

    Marc continued rubbing Leo’s back. “You’re not pathetic. Though knowing you, the fridge is probably a biohazard.”

    Leo gently laughed at this and Marc smiled. How long had it been since either had laughed?

    “So how about I make some soup for dinner and hopefully get you to sleep?”

    Leo nodded.

    * * *

    Marc stuck a few more shirts, socks, and pairs of underwear in a backpack. He had just showered, shaved and brushed his teeth in his own bathroom and it was so nice to not get ready for bed in a public washroom. As tempting as it was to come back home, he knew he and Leo still had a long way to go in their relationship. But it had been a nice, quiet evening, Marc had made soup, and then Leo had asked Marc to just hold him while he journaled, so he had done that. Leo was now just getting ready for bed. Marc made sure to put the backpack out of sight (Leo knew Marc was going to be leaving again in the morning, but Marc didn’t want to upset Leo and get his brain going) and got into bed.

    Leo exited the bathroom a few moments later. He looked so tired as he pulled at his old, baggy, sweatshirt. Marc frowned. Had Leo lost weight?

    “What?” Leo asked.

    “I’m just worried about you,” Marc said as Leo crawled into bed and pretty much flopped on top of Marc.

    Leo rested his head and hand on Marc’s chest. “I’m worried about so much.”

    Marc began rubbing his knuckles down Leo’s back. “I know. Let me help.”

    “You are,” Leo said. His breath hitched and he began to cry. He clutched onto Marc’s t-shirt and buried his wails into the fabric.

    Marc held Leo a bit tighter, his free hand running his fingers through Leo’s hair. Marc simply whispered affirmations. “I’m here. I know you’re struggling. I’m here and I love you. I’m so in love with you.”

    Leo’s dam broke. “I miss my dad. I’ve missed you; I’ve been so worried about our relationship. Work has just been so bad and I’m so worried I’m going to be replaced even though Mayor Abbot is just so nice and says I’m doing a great job. I’m worried about Noah - he’s back in Africa now and Abi is still just a ball of rage. She’s been screaming at me almost every night on the phone and I just have to take it because I don’t know how else to help her. And, Mom. Oh, God, Mom is just being so quiet. She’s refusing to clean out any of Dad’s stuff. I went over there after we got that freezing rain to spread some salt over her walkway and she hasn’t done any of Dad’s laundry and I’m just so worried about her.”

    Marc just continued to rub Leo’s back. “You don’t have to fix the world, Leo. Wecan just take one thing at a time. Tonight, let’s just try to get you a good night’s sleep. That’s all we want. For you to just take a few deep breaths and sleep.”

    “I’m so tired.”

    “I know you are,” Mark tried to make his voice as soothing as possible. He yawned and Leo did as well. “So let’s just sleep. I love you Leo.”

    Leo quickly fell fast asleep.

    * * *

    Over the following two weeks, Leo continued to go to grief counseling, Marc would join him for marriage counseling and Marc would always return with home Leo after the sessions so Leo could get a full night’s sleep. Leo was looking much healthier and he was smiling more. Marc had forgiven him for canceling their foster/adoption file. That session had ended in hugs and tears. Finally, at the end of one of their sessions, Marc asked Leo, “So, we have Isaiah’s and Kimberly’s engagement party tomorrow evening. I told them we would be there. Will you come have some fun with me? Celebrate our friend’s happiness.”

    Leo’s face broke into a grin at the prospect of spending a fun evening with Marc. “Yes! Will you pick me up after work?”

    “Of course.”
  15. mavjade

    mavjade Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 10, 2005
    Ahhhhh..... how did I miss part!?!?! I blame work. (That probably true. I have a bad habit of getting on while at work and then getting pulled away.) I'm so, so sorry.

    Oh man, I'm totally crying. Like big 'ol fat tears running down my face!

    That's such a perfect summation of Leo's reaction. He doesn't know how to deal with his grief because he's never dealt with it before.

    This is one where I can see it from both sides, how Leo goes to Josie because she's always been there and known him the longest (and also because I wrote it. :p) but I can also see how Marc would be mad. That he keeps going to her and not Marc. I don't blame either of them for their emotions here, but it's so hard... my boys....

    I love that as mad as he is, he has the wherewithal to know he needs to go. Of course he doesn't want to be his dad and he goes to great lengths to make sure he isn't, but sometimes when you are truly angry and hurt, it's hard to think that much. Marc doesn't want to make the situation worse, nor does he want to hurt Leo. That really shows how much Marc loves him.

    Aww... Marc. [face_love] That he's letting his coworkers think badly of him so that the whole thing isn't out there. He could so easily blame everything on Leo, but he doesn't. Because that's just who he is.

    [face_laugh] I love how we don't know Frank, but this says so much. I cracked up!

    Donna to the rescue! Of course she wouldn't want to see her boys fighting. She'd give them time, but when it needed to be done, she'd smack her son up side his head (metaphorically) and make him fix it.

    I think this shows how far he's already come with counseling. To say that he was, at first, only doing it because he thought it would get Marc back and get his mom off his back, but then to see that he needs it... that's a huge step.

    :_| And that's so his dad, trying to protect that ones he loves from his own emotions. It's so misguided, but it's kinda sweet in a way. Totally not the right thing to do, though.

    I love that he just comes right out and apologises. He doesn't make excuses, just says it was stupid and it could cost him the best thing in his life. This whole message was so lovely and it made me cry. I could feel Leo's emotions through it all.

    And then Marc's reply was prefect, but especially this. That he tells Leo he's grieving too. It's of course not the same, but Marc found a family in the Lyman's and of course he is! But I think it's important he tells Leo that.

    Awww.... Leo. :( But I love that he was saying "I know he'll be here," not "he's not coming." I'm sure he was terrified that Marc had changed his mind, but he knows Marc well enough and trust him enough to know that if he said he'd be there, he will be. But still, this is the picture of misery.


    I feel ya, Leo. That's exactly what it does to me!

    I really liked this, how Leo is learning to listen, to see himself and understand what he's doing. Leo may have one or two habit from his dad that aren't the best habits to have, but he's learning. (I loved the part when Leo learned his dad had also seen a therapist and felt a little better about going.)

    [face_laugh][face_laugh] Leo need Marc, if only so he doesn't live like a bachelor! :p

    This one little line show how well Marc knows Leo. That if his brain kicked in again, that would be it and he'd never get to sleep.

    [face_love]:**happy sigh* I know it's not over and there's still a lot to work on, but this was just so full of love. [face_love]

    And there's Leo channeling his dad again, trying to take everything on himself. He feels like he has to take on everyone else's grief and he has no room for his own. That's so hard. But I did like getting these little glimpses into the rest of the family and how they are (not) dealing.

    Awww... YAY!!! Thing are getting better!! Not that I don't know they will, but it's still hard to see my boys fight! But I know they'll be stronger in the end.

    =D==D= This is so heartbreaking, emotional, and realistic and I love every single word. @};-
  16. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    It's okay. I figured it was probably work related.
    I would say sorry, but I'm not, I was going for big fat tears, because I definitely cried multiple times as I wrote this.
    Yeah, he has probably experienced death before (probably both Bartlets are gone by this time, and Charlie), but never someone super close, and Leo and Josh were so close. And, no matter how "expected" it may be, a loving parent's death will always be hard.
    Yeah, we kinda see Josie's side of things in this next part, but I totally see both sides too. Leo just wants someone to listen, but I can see how this would be Marc's "breaking" point. I really like how flawed and real these characters got in this. It is just a broken situation and I can so sympathize with either side.

    I also loved that you wrote it this way. It gave me so much to work on and, while it is hard to see them fight, I know it makes their strength later on make sense because they have dealt with and gotten through something so tough.

    Yeah, I know for me, when I'm absolutely mad and pissed off, I just want time to myself to cool off and think and process, so I made Marc be that way too. But if course I know my silence has hurt other people who just want to get through it and make up.

    Yeah, it says so much of Marc and how much he still loves Leo and how he isn't bitter at Leo.

    Yeah, I figured no explanation was needed :p

    Let's be honest, I'm not sure the smack upside the head was entirely metaphorical :p

    Yeah, as cliché as it is, one of the biggest steps is admitting you have a problem.

    It is so much like Josh and it just breaks my heart to see him make the mistakes that his dad did in the wake of his death.

    One of the biggest problems I see in many types of relationships is the inability to admit when you did something wrong. But I think Leo doing this shows how he was raised and how much he loves Marc.

    Thanks. Yeah, I think Marc was really hurting from Josh's death too, and maybe that explains his putting up with Leo pushing him away until he reached the breaking point. It just shows how broken the entire situation is and how no one is really at blame.

    I'm sure he was terrified too, but I think this is his mom's optimism showing, as well as how well he knows and trusts Marc


    Yup. I don't have problems staying asleep (just falling asleep) but whenever I take anything, I'm always wide awake just a few short hours later.

    Thanks. He's becoming more aware and getting to know himself, Marc, and their relationship better, and I think that only helped them in the first

    Also, there's such a stigma behind getting help, especially for men, but I like how Josh (through Donna) could still help Leo.

    [face_laugh]Leo needs Marc in so many ways.

    Yeah, those darn Lyman brains :p He knew Leo just needed sleep the most in that moment.


    Oh yeah, he is so Josh in so many ways (and now I'm trying to think of two WW quotes about Josh that totally fit Leo in this situation but I'm way too tired).

    Yeah, this was a hard one to write because I hate them fighting too, but they are stronger and learn so much through the pain,

    Thanks! I really worked so hard on this one!
  17. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    Part 3

    Marc packed the air mattress in the trunk of his car. It was time to go home. He was now laughing again with Leo. Marc felt he wanted to spend tonight and the rest of his nights with Leo.

    Leo did trust Marc. Marc had realized that the night Leo fell asleep in his arms. Leo had gotten help and had welcomed Marc into his counselling, and had trusted Marc to come back on his own terms.

    And Marc now trusted himself not to hurt Leo. There wasn’t one event that made Marc realize this, but Marc knew he could walk away… and return. And he would alwayswant to return to Leo.

    Marc got in his car and drove to Leo. For some unexplained reason, Leo told him to pick him up at the Library of Congress. Marc didn’t think Leo didn’t have any reason to go there. It wasn’t like Leo had any business in federal government.

    Marc pulled to where Leo was waiting, standing on the steps. Leo didn’t move to get in the car. Marc sighed, put the car into park, and got out. “What?”

    “Come here.”

    “I’m going to get a parking ticket.”

    “Just come here!” Leo insisted.

    Rolling his eyes, he approached Leo. He stopped one step below his husband. “What are you doing here?”

    “Say something about the architecture.”


    “Say something about the architecture.”

    “Leo, we are going to be late. We still have to pick up a gift and some food to bring.”

    “Just nerd out for a moment!”

    Marc looked around. They were at the Thomas Jefferson building. “Uh, the exterior porticos are —.”

    Leo interrupted Marc’s sentence by kissing him on the lips.

    Marc began to laugh. Leo had just recreated their first kiss: out of the blue, on the steps of a library. Marc stepped up to share the step with Leo, holding him around the waist, pressing their bodies together. Marc kissed Leo long and slow.

    When they pulled away, Leo was grinning. “Hi.”

    Marc shook his head. “I love you.”

    * * *

    Leo was happy for his friends, he really was. Isaiah and Kim were just such fun people, amazing hosts, and just perfect for each other. Leo was glad he could be here to help them celebrate their engagement. Isaiah had been Leo’s and Josie’s friend from high school and when Leo had moved back to DC with Marc, they had picked up their friendship once again.

    Leo knew plenty of people here at the party - even Josie was here somewhere - but he didn’t feel much like socializing. There were just too many people here, which was really putting Leo out of his comfort zone. He had told Josie to have fun and not to worry about him. Marc was here and that was all Leo needed. Leo wasn’t one for parties anyways, but this was his first ‘celebration’ since before his father’s death and his huge fight with Marc, so Leo was particularly quiet and withdrawn. He knew it was good for him to be out and with other people - he and Michelle had talked about this - but he kinda just want to be curled up at home, in sweatpants, with Marc.

    Marc sat down on the love seat next to Leo, bumping him a bit. “I brought you some more mini-egg rolls,” Marc said, placing a plate of hor d’oeuvres on Leo’s lap.

    “I take it the mozzarella sticks are for you?”

    “Yeah.” Marc then handed Leo a glass. “And this rum and coke is for you.” He pulled a can of orange pop out of his pocket, popped the tab and took a drink. “You are drinking and I’m driving you home.”

    Leo stared at the drink, unsure if he wanted to drink it. Alcoholism didn’t run in his family, but he had consciously avoided alcohol since things had been so horrible. He just didn’t want to tempt the easy way out of his problems, and he could never handle alcohol anyways.

    “You don’t have to drink if you don’t want to,” Marc said gently. “But you are allowed to have some fun and relax.”

    “It might help me sleep tonight,” he said, taking a sip. He then wrapped his arms around Marc’s arm, resting his head on Marc’s shoulder.

    Kimberly entered the living room, holding Isaiah’s hand. “Time for our second game!” she exclaimed tapping Marc on the head with a stack of card stock. “And Leo and Marc have to play since they didn’t participate in the ring hunt.”

    Marc groaned. “No, we are not playing this game.”

    “What game?” Leo asked.

    “The Newly-wed game,” Isaiah answered with a groan as he sat on the couch next to Kimberly. “Josie volunteered to host,” he said as Josie entered with a sheet of paper.

    “So who are our participants?” Josie asked, settling in a chair and crossing her legs under her purple skirt. “Kisaiah; Meo; who else?”

    “Don’t call us that,” Marc mumbled at the use of his and Leo’s “‘ship name”. “And we aren’t even newly weds anymore.” Their first wedding anniversary had been a few months ago.

    “God, that makes me feel old.” Leo took a stack of card stock from Kimberly and got two markers off the coffee table.

    Kimberly shrugged. “We aren’t even married yet, but I just thought it would be fun.”

    “We’ll play,” another friend, Kara, said, entering the living room with her boyfriend of 8 months, Tom. “We want to see if we can kick the old married men’s butts.”

    Marc turned to Leo. “I think that’s us.”

    Leo pouted. “But I like your bum. I don’t want anyone to kick it.”

    “Well, we’d better win then.” Marc pressed a quick kiss to Leo’s lips. “Shall I be the wife for this stupid game?”

    “I got the questions from a website,” Josie said. “I skimmed the questions quickly - someone didn’t tell me I was hosting one of her engagement party games till an hour before it started and I was at work,” she glowered at Kimberly. “I just wanted to make sure there were no wedding questions. So if there’s any horribly aged or heteronormative questions, please don’t yell at me. Everyone know the basic rules? The right answer really doesn’t matter, it is all about just matching your partner. First round gets 5 points and the second round gets 10 and the couple with the most points gets a fabulous prize.”

    Isaiah laughed. “I hope the prize is not getting into an argument with their partner tonight, because I didn’t get any prizes for any games.”

    “I picked up a little something,” she assured with a nod. “And it made my security detail very uncomfortable.” Though Josie’s mother only had weeks left as President of the United States, Josie still had to have a Secret Service detail.

    “Oh, god, I don’t want to know,” both Leo and Isaiah said. They had both been friends with her long enough to know it wasn’t an innocent prize.

    “Okay, girlfriends, fiancées, and Marc, go down into the basement,” Josie ordered. When she was finished asking Leo, Isaiah, and Tom the first round of questions, she called Marc, Kimberly, and Kara back up.

    When Marc sat back down next to Leo, he kissed Marc.

    “Feeling confident, are we?”

    Leo nodded.

    The first question was a given: “Who kissed who first?”. The answer Marc gave was “Leo kissed me first.” Their answers matched, as did all the other couples.

    The second question was: “Which of these does your partner have the most of: sense of humour, sense of time, sense of adventure, fashion sense?”. Marc laughed as he answered. “By process of elimination, a sense of humour.” Leo nodded as he revealed his card with the matching answer.

    Josie sighed as she read the next question. “What new item in your bathroom confuses your husband/male partner the most?” Marc rolled his eyes. “This question is stupid, even for straight couples.” Leo instantly got really excited and revealed his card: this is stupid and heteronormative.

    The fourth question was: “Other than you, what is the first thing your partner thinks about in the morning?” “Coffee.” Marc didn’t even have to think about it.

    The only question they got wrong was the last one: “What body part does your partner find the most attractive?”

    Marc laughed. “He’s too shy to write the actual body part he likes the most, so I’m going to say my arms.”

    Leo tossed his head as his cheeks grew red. “I’m not that shy.” Leo showed his card. It read Marc’s bum.

    Marc laughed out loud at the innocence of the wording and nuzzled Leo’s neck. “That rum and coke is really bringing out your raunchy side, isn’t it?”

    Leo giggled. “I think it is.”

    Everyone in the room laughed, but none smiled more than Marc and Josie. After all the pain Leo had experience, he was letting go and able to laugh again. He was healing and having fun.

    * * *

    “Are we okay?” Josie asked Marc as they sat on the couches while the party had moved to the back deck. Leo and Marc ended up winning the game. Leo had another two drinks in celebration and, due to his mostly empty stomach (and delicate system) Leo ended up drunk and falling asleep. His head was in Marc’s lap, he wearing Marc’s sweater, and Marc was playing with Leo’s hair.

    “Yeah,” Marc said with a smile. “I’m sorry if I made you think I was mad at you for being there for Leo. I am so glad he has you and you helped him out in a way that I could never. But…” he hesitated.

    “Some things should be between husbands. I get it. And he did need professional help. And I didn’t realize that and I’m sorry. I just wanted to be there for him and just give him what he wanted, and maybe didn’t realize what he needed. I was grieving for Josh too - and I know you were too. I might not have agreed with your methods, but I’m so relieved you got him help and that you two are on the mend.”

    Marc nodded, “I’m not sure I agreed with my methods either. I should have been more patient with him. I shouldn’t have left.”

    “He never doubted your love for him. And he loves you so much.”

    A loud snort interrupted their sentimentality. Leo only snored when he was really drunk.

    “I’m going to get him home.”

    “Of course,” she smiled.

    Marc began rubbing Leo’s back. “Leo, my love, you wanna go home? I’ll get you some milk and maybe some Advil?”

    Leo grunted and nuzzled his head into Marc’s stomach.

    “Come on hun. We’ll cuddle in our nice, warm, big bed.”

    At this, Leo finally looked up. “Cuddles?” he slurred. “Can we hold hands on the way home too?”

    “Yes, Leo. We can hold hands in the car.”

    * * *

    “Maaaaarc…” Leo whined as his husband helped him up the stairs. They had made it home from the engagement party, but now Leo was drunk, tired, and his world was spinning. Marc had Leo’s arm around his neck and one of his hands in Leo’s sweaty armpits.

    “Almost there." Marc hurried them into the bedroom and practically lifted Leo into bed.

    “I don’t feel so good.” Leo lay motionless on the bed.

    “I’m going to get you some Advil and some milk,” Marc said, slipping his hands through Leo’s hair.

    “Maybe warm the milk?” Leo sounded so pathetic as he looked up.

    “Okay. I’ll warm the milk.” He began to leave.

    “Marc?” Leo began to sob. He changed his mind about the milk. “Please don’t leave.”

    Marc walked back, sat on the side of the bed, and began rubbing Leo’s chest. “I’m not going anywhere.”

    * * *

    Leo shut his eyes against the brightness of morning, streaming in through the bedroom window. His head hurt and his mouth was dry and crusty. Yet, he smiled. He smiled because he remembered Marc had undressed him, got his pyjamas on him, put him to bed, and cuddled with him until he had fallen asleep. Marc had also gotten up with Leo at 4 AM when he had to vomit (it was then when Leo had finally let Marc leave the same room as him to get Leo Advil and milk).

    Leo rolled over and nuzzled his face into Marc’s warm t-shirt, breathing in his husband’s scent. He was about to fall back to sleep when his phone began to ring.

    Marc began to groan, waking up.

    As quickly as he could (which wasn’t that fast) he answered the FaceTime call from his mom. “Hey Mom,” he yawned, thankfully not feeling the need to vomit (again).

    “Sweetheart? Leo? You feeling alright?”

    “No, Mom. I’m sick. Actually I kinda did something last night.”

    “Leo, are you hungover?”

    Leo sighed, rubbing the stubble on his face. “Yeah. I went to Isaiah’s and Kim’s engagements party last night and got really drunk.”

    Donna sighed. “You’re allow to have fun with your friends. As long as this isn’t a way of masking or forgetting your emotions.”

    “It’s not, but that isn’t the thing I did. I was really drunk and really in need of comforting. Mom, I brought another man home last night and….”

    “Leo, no,” she gasped. “No. You said you and Marc were making such progress in counselling. Leo. How could you do this to him? You love him.”

    “I do, I really do.”

    “Okay. Okay. You need to call Marc, right now. Tell him everything and ask for his forgiveness.”

    “Leo, stop being mean to Mom,” Marc yawned, rolling into Leo’s arms, laying his head on Leo’s chest. “Hey Donna,” Marc said once the camera picked him up.

    “Oh, Marc!” Her worried expression broke into a huge smile. She then frowned. “Leo, don’t you dare ever do that to me again!”

    Leo chuckled. “Okay.”

    “What do you guys have planned for today?”

    “Cuddling,” Leo answered, holding Marc tighter.

    Marc rolled his eyes, but he smiled. “We also need to go grocery shopping for some realfood.”

    “Well, after you finish that - and your cuddling - I would really like it if you two came over for dinner. I want to make a big chicken dinner with dumplings.”

    “Mmmmm, that sounds so good. Of course we will be there.”

    “Okay, be here around 4. We —- I love you.”

    “We love you too, Mom.” Leo answered before hanging up. Leo then looked down at Marc. “I want to surprise Mom with something nice. Maybe we can go away with her for the weekend?”

    Marc hummed. “Yeah, maybe drive to Virginia? Go to a nice spa resort. Can you get Friday off?”

    Leo nodded. “Probably. Can you book 2 different rooms? Maybe we can rekindle our physical relationship?” He asked, holding Marc’s hand, lacing their fingers.

    Marc grinned. “Yeah. Let’s do it.”
  18. mavjade

    mavjade Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 10, 2005
    I do the exact same thing, so I understand the impulse. I hate confrontation so much, I'd rather be by myself until I can work through something and then talk about it, though I'd rather not do that either. :p

    Awww... yay!! [face_love]I'm so glad you wrote the resolution! Even knowing that things would be okay, it's nice to have it here and see it actually happen.

    Oh Marc! You should know why!! Okay, so it's easier for us to know because we aren't living every moment of life, but as soon as I read the word Library, I knew Leo was going to do something cute like that!

    :* And it didn't disappoint! This was so adorbs! I love that Leo wanted recreate that moment, to put them back on a good step. He's so sweet!

    I feel him! I go to parties sometimes because I feel like I have to, but if there are a bunch of people, I'm so uncomfortable. I guess he doesn't use a drink as social lubrication like I do, though. :p

    I LOVE THAT YOU USED MEO!! I'm not sure why I felt like I had to yell that, but I did. And I love that they don't like it... it makes it cuter.

    [face_laugh][face_laugh] Oh man, I bet that did make them uncomfortable! But the mental image is priceless!

    The whole game was so much fun, but this had to be my favorite part! That they got this specific answer right! It cracked me up.

    I adore that Josie asked this of Marc. Of course she wouldn't want to come between them, but it would be so easy to just let it drop and not bring it up. But that she goes that distance to ask and make sure the two of them are okay, because they both love Leo and she doesn't want things to be bad between her and Marc.

    Hehehe... drunk Leo is so cute! (Though I'm sure he wasn't so cute when he was vomiting!) And so his dad with the inability to hold his liquor!

    But then this.... Oh Leo [:D] Drinking can sometimes bring emotions to the surface, and I'm sure he was terrified the whole time that Marc was going to leave him and it was coming out here.

    :oops: Now is not the time to joke like that, Leo. Poor Donna, I imagine she was freaking out just a bit!

    Dawww... those boys are so sweet! [face_love]

    This was such a great story of and resolution to their fight!! =D==D=
  19. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    Gah, so I did these replies and then I saved them and then, when I wanted to post these, they were gone. Gah, that s what I get for trusting technology. Sorry if these are rather short, but I really wanted to post this next vignette.

    Yeah, I hate arguments and I cry whenever I'm mad so I'd much rather just work through something on myself before even thinking about communicating my thoughts.

    Yeah, as soon as I read your fic, wanted to write the resolution and make-up (even though we know they did even in your fic). Even though I had to add some more angst, I just wanted them happy again.

    Yeah, Marc should have known Leo was up to something cute, but it isn't unreasonable for Marc to think Leo might have some sort of meeting there or not just think it through.
    I just loved the idea of Leo wanting to do something cute and just being adorbs.
    Yeah, I hate parties, particularly if I don't know a lot of people, but I often feel obligated to go if it's something important like a engagement or baby shower.

    I loved the idea of Josie using it and bugging them about it (I'm sure she bugs them about MANY) things.

    Yeah, I think Josie was just as much or a terror as Elvie to the Secret Service (though in a slightly different way)

    Originally the game was going to be longer, but the make-up kinda took over, but I wanted to leave part of it in there just to show just how much they know each other and how they can, and do, work well together.

    Yeah, I wanted to show how Marc wasn't really mad at Josie, it was just a crap situation. And, yeah, they both love Leo so they don't want things to be awkward for him.

    He is so cute and loves Marc so much. And yeah, is so much like his dad.
    Yeah. I tried writing this whole thing from Leo's POV, but it just broke my heart to think about all the pain and how scared he was.
    As soon as that scene popped into my head I was like "Oh, Leo, must you do that to your mother?" and he just had to do it.
    They are so sweet and thank you so much for your comments and writing a wonderful story for me to go off of.
  20. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    Title: The Maternity Wing
    June 2010
    Characters:Josh/Donna, LITTLE BABY LEO!!!
    A/N:I’ve never had a baby so if I’ve gotten anything wrong, I’m sorry. This may become AU if Mav decides she wants to write Leo’s birth.

    “Just breathe, okay? Just take nice long, slow breaths with me. Just take my hand and squeeze it through the contraction. According to the timer on my phone, another one is coming - they are getting predictable now and that’s a good sign.”

    “I don’t know if I can do this,” the reply was a half whine. Probably covering up a sob.

    “No, no, no, shhh… shhh,” one occupant in the hospital room said, rubbing the other’s arms in comfort. “We can do this. Now, you said you didn’t want drugs -.”

    “I don’t want to be completely out of it for the birth of my son.” That came out way too defensive.

    “I know, I know, but it might make this easier for both of us. If you start hyperventilating again, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to keep you from fainting this time.”

    There was a furious shaking of a head in complete disagreement with the idea.

    “Okay, okay, if you don’t want drugs, you don’t have to— Oh…. Oh. Oh god. Dammit Josh!” The pending contraction began.

    Donna Lyman was pretty sure this conversation had happened in every maternity ward room since men were let in on the whole “birthing process” thing (whose idea had that been?). But she was pretty sure that only she and her husband had ever flipped the script.

    Donna tried to hold it in, but she couldn’t. She had to scream through this contraction. She gripped the side of the mattress. The contractions had gone from being uncomfortable to downright painful awhile ago, but she had tried to contain her response for Josh. Because she knew he would react badly. And he did.

    She opened her eyes to see Josh pacing and huffing, holding the sides of his head in panic. His hair was a mess and his blue shirt was untucked from his black slacks - his coat and tie had been discarded hours ago.

    “Joshua,” she breathed, leaning forward on the edge of the bed, not really caring that her gown was falling off of her - it was June and she was hot as it was. “Wall. Now.”

    He, in an uncharacteristic display of obedience, nodded and pressed his back against the white wall. Maybe speaking to him in caveman worked. He closed his eyes and began his breathing exercises, which clearly weren’t helping. He began slapping his thigh and the wall in frustration.

    She wasn’t going to threaten to kick him out. As much as it would calm her growing anxieties about pushing a baby out of her, it might kill Josh and she didn’t feel like dealing with that too.

    “You reallyshouldn’t have had any coffee today,” she grunted as she tried to put her legs back up on the bed. She then grabbed her phone and search through videos until she found the one Josh needed. She pressed play and a recording of one of her ultrasounds began. The baby’s heartbeat could clearly be heard.

    Josh’s face screwed up as he both grinned wildly and began to sob.

    “Just count the heartbeats,” she told him. “I want you to breathe in for 10 beats, then out for 10.” It worked, at least for the time-being. “Josh,” she eventually said. “Tell me what’s wrong. Say it out loud.” She knew what was wrong, but maybe if he identified it for himself, he could see how irrational he was being.

    He let out a few breaths. “You’re hurting. You’re in pain and there’s nothing I can do. You’re about to have our child and there’s nothing I can do to help. I’m useless! I’ve been useless for nine months.”

    “Josh, love, there’s tons you’ve done and still have to do.” She was about list all the things he had done - all the foot rubs, bubble baths, weird food runs at 2 AM - but she felt another contraction. “For example, hold my hand, right now, and let me squeeze it, please!” her breathing quickened and her words became tight.

    Josh rushed to her side, took her hand and let her squeeze it as tightly as she needed.

    * * *

    Josh was shaking. His wife was screaming in pain as her sweat-drenched blonde hair had fallen out of the scrunchy and clung to her face and shoulders, but he couldn’t hear her. He was next to her, holding her hand (he wasn’t sure whose grip was tighter), with his other arm wrapped around her bare back.

    “Push Donna! Push! You’re doing so great, Beautiful! So, so, so great, Donna!” he yelled, but he didn’t hear his own words. All he could feel was the exhilaration. He was here! At the birth of his child! He tried not to think, he tried to just be in the moment and not to think too much.

    Donna then slumped back. Her hair formed a halo as her head hit the angled bed as she heaved. She looked down in pure delight.

    Sound then returned. There were gasps from Donna and shrill cries.

    “Dad? Dad? Does dad want to cut the umbilical cord?”

    Josh then realized the nurses were speaking to him. He turned to look at them and shook his head at the question (he and Donna had discussed it before, Donna had wanted him to but Josh didn’t trust himself). Josh then caught a glimpse of the bed between Donna’s thighs.

    Their baby boy. A greyish purple, covered in blood and other fluids, his eyes were clinched shut but his mouth was open and wailing. Tiny fingers splayed and chubby limbs jerkily flailed. He was perfect.

    Josh stated so. “Oh, oh, there’s my boy! There’s my perfect baby boy!” He was in love, but this love felt like nothing he head ever experienced before. His body was just filled with every emotion. He kissed Donna because he didn’t know what else to do.

    The cord was cut and a nurse lifted the baby with a blanket and put on Donna’s chest. She was already sobbing as she just held him.

    Josh put his head beside her’s and gingerly put his hand on the baby’s back. His hands seemed so big and his son so small. “Hi.” He had no idea what he was saying, but he was saying it anyways. “I’m Daddy. I’m your dad, Leo.” Josh began to cry as well as he cupped the back of Leo’s head. He was grinning wildly. “Daddy loves you. Daddy loves you so much, Leo Lyman.”

    * * *

    It was all over. The baby had been cleaned, weighed and measured. Parents had been called and told they were now grandparents. Everyone’s titles had changed. Everything had change.

    Mommy was now sleeping. Daddy was in the corner of the room, in a gliding chair. Leo was in Daddy’s arms, swathed in green flannel blankets, his head resting in the crook of Josh’s arm. Josh’s other hand was resting on his son’s chest, the tip of Josh’s finger gently rubbed Leo’s tiny chin. Leo was awake, looking up at his daddy with big, curious eyes. Josh was gently rocking him.

    “I didn’t know you’d come with a hat,” Josh cooed, fixing the blue hat on top of Leo’s head. “And I didn’t know you’d be so cute. I knew you’d be fairly cute because your mine and your mom’s, but I didn’t think you’d be this cute.” Josh paused to glance at Donna. “She’s just the most beautiful woman in the world. I know you haven’t seen much of the world yet, so just take my word for it.”

    He looked back down to see Leo yawning and five tiny fingers trying to escape from the cocoon of blankets. “Am I boring you?” He offered Leo his finger, which Leo promptly grasped. Josh somehow fell more in love. He just wanted to hold Leo as close as he could and never let go. “Daddy loves you.” It was here when tears began to flow down his face. He didn’t wipe them. “I have no idea what I’m doing but I’m pretty sure you’re the one who’s supposed to be crying here, kid. I didn’t know I wanted you,” he admitted. “But now that I have you, there’s nothing I’ve ever wanted more.” He kissed Leo’s forehead and little fingers. Josh felt calm. Like for the first time in his life, he could just sit here and everything would be alright. Josh whispered again. “Daddy loves you.”
  21. mavjade

    mavjade Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 10, 2005
    Nope, this is totally canon! I had no plans to write Leo's birth, and after reading this, I don't plan to have any plans because it was perfect!
    Also, I've never had a baby either, so I don't know any better either!

    I LOVE that you did this. I was reading along thinking Josh was calming Donna down, and then we get to this and I had to go back and read it again the other way. It makes perfect sense that Josh would be flipping out so much, and I love that Donna is so calm about it. Of course she is, she knows Josh, but in this moment she has the right to maybe not be as understanding. But she's still Donna and she needs to help Josh so he can help her.

    [face_laugh] Even Josh won't dare cross a woman in labor. Or yeah, the caveman thing probably works for him. LOL.

    This was just so heartbreaking, that he's so worked up (rightfully so) that even the normal things don't work. This little detail was so descriptive and said so much. I could clearly see it in my mind and I just want to hold them both!

    [face_love] This is just the sweetest, most adorable thing ever and I love it!!
    Also, having him say it outloud is a great idea. Sometimes putting something into words can make things feel less... big?

    And then this answer is just so Josh. He doesn't like it when he's not in control and this is a situation where he has absolutely none. And there's not a whole lot he can do about it.

    [face_love] That this is how Josh see's Donna after she's just given birth. :* He loves her so much and I love it so much!

    [face_love][face_love] (Yep, it's going to be a lot of those emojis!) So, so adorbs. He's so smitten right away!

    YAYYYY!!! Babies come with hats!!
    When I have a kid, it better come with a hat or I'm going to be so disappointed.

    Daaawwww..... I wonder what all those senators who called Josh Bartlet's Bulldog would think of him if they could see his gooey center.
    I love that holding Leo brings him a sense of calm. I'm sure it won't last, but it's so sweet that he loves being a daddy already.

    This was just so sweet and cute and I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!
    It's the perfect thing to read after Leo and Marc's fight because now I feel all mushy! :D
  22. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    Yeah, as soon as that idea hit me of Josh being the one freaking out, I just had to write it that way. She totally has the right to be annoyed with him, but she knows she needs him as much as he needs her.

    Josh is dense, but not THAT obtuse! Though, yeah, simple instructions probably help :p

    I just want to hug them both too! Josh just wants to be okay for Donna but his head just won't let him and I can just imagine how frustrated he is and how badly he wants to be there.

    He just love his baby so much already!
    Yeah, specifying what is wrong can make things seem... clearer, then they can deal with it instead of Josh spiralling.

    Yeah, he just wants to help and make everything better, but of course he can't.

    They are just so cute and so in love and I love it!

    Yeah, Daddy!Josh just kicks in right away.
    If we are still in contact when you have a kid, you better believe I'm sending you a baby hat.

    Yeah, Jost really has the biggest, gooiest centre when it comes to his kids (and it is so big, he can't even deny it!).

    And of course the calm won't last but then again, this is Leo, so it will come and go, but I love the idea of Josh loving being a dad... even in the rough patches.

    I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'm working on some more Daddy Josh stuff because I just love it so much.
  23. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    Title: Comfort
    Characters:Josh/Donna, Leo, Abi, Noah
    A/N:This is short, pointless and I love it. I had no idea how to end it, but I still wanted to post it. I have other things that I promised you that I’m working on (things are getting done, but my muse is working on like 4 things at once, so things are slowly moving along), but I just wanted to post something, specifically more Daddy!Josh.

    Josh stared up at the ceiling trying to calm his breathing. He rolled onto his side and stared at Donna as she slept. She was on her side, facing him, her hair cascaded around her. She was wearing her favourite blue jersey nighty with little flowers. He couldn’t see the flowers in the darkness - damn age was making his eyesight go. He was going to need to get glasses soon. He focused on her perfect skin and tried to make out her eyelashes.

    It wasn’t working. His breathing wasn’t returning to normal. He couldn’t get the images from his nightmare out of his head. Donna and the kids… on the pavement in Rosslyn. He… he couldn’t get to them.

    Josh rolled out of bed, careful not to wake his beautiful wife. It was as if he was on autopilot, but he knew what he had to do before he had a complete breakdown. He padded across the hardwood floor in his old t-shirt and plaid pyjama pants and reached the hallway (which was lit since all the kids were afraid of the dark). His first stop was Noah’s bedroom - it was the closest door.

    Palming it open, he sucked in a breath and ran his fingers through his hair. The small, toddler bed was empty - the bright green comforter on the floor among the dinosaur toys. Not this again.

    In a moment, he crossed the hallway to Abi’s room. In the light of the nightlight, he saw both of his eighteen-month-old babies in Abi’s bed, cuddling. Noah was sucking on his thumb and Abi was snuggling her blankie. Josh sighed and whispered, “Okay. I know you guys need to start sleeping in your own beds.” He knelt down to pick both of them up. “And this is so going to mess up all of Mommy’s progress.” He kissed the top of both of their heads and carried them back to the master bedroom. Josh put them in the bed between his and Donna’s pillow. None of them woke up.

    Josh quietly left the room again and went further down the hallway. Leo was tucked into bed with his Star Wars sheets. Josh began to untangle his eldest child.

    “Huh?” Leo murmured. “Daddy?”

    “Shh… shhhh.” Josh smoothed Leo’s hair. “Just go back to sleep.”

    “What’s wrong, Dad?” he asked sitting up. His hair was sticking up in all directions. Leo was now 7 and beginning to call Josh “Dad” on occasion and every time it broke Josh’s heart. He wanted his kids to stay children and call him “daddy” forever.

    Josh didn’t lie to his kids. “Daddy needs his Leo,” he said, picking Leo up. Leo placed his arms around Josh’s neck and nuzzled.

    Leo was back asleep when Josh put him in the master bed and climbed in after. His breathing returned to normal as he laid with his family. He knew his kids were growing up and he wouldn’t be able to pick them all up and put them in his bed for much longer, but tonight he could.

    So often he regretted how long it had taken him to realize Donna was the love of his life and how late they had kids. But he went thought hard times, times when he wasn’t himself, after the shooting and he wouldn’t have been a good husband or a good father back then. Though baby cuddles would have helped.

    But at least he could have baby cuddles now. He pulled Abi closer and kissed her hair.

    “Josh?” Donna mumbled. “Why is Noah’s foot in my armpit?”

    “Maybe his little toe-toes are cold?”

    “Joshua?” she breathed. “Why are all three kids in bed with us?”

    “Bad dream.”

    She opened one eye. “Noah, Abi, and Leo all had bad dreams.”

    “Yeah. They were all crying for Daddy cuddles. I don’t know how you slept through the whole thing.”

    She rolled her eyes. “You want to talk about it or should I schedule an appointment for Stanley in the morning?” She knew. Of course she knew.

    “Yeah… I’ll see if he has an opening.” He had his babies and Donna to calm him down now, but in the morning he would need someone to help him function as a normal father.

    She nodded and reached over the slumbering babies to rub his shoulder. It took awhile, but Josh fell back asleep.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
  24. mavjade

    mavjade Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 10, 2005
    :D :D :D

    Oh man, I love this SOOOO much!! It's so sweet and adorbs and I just want to live in it!

    I always love the ways you come up with to show how someone is trying to cope with something. Josh trying to make out details in the dark is such a great one.

    Oh Josh... :(

    Dawww.... they need each other. Twins don't want to be apart! This mental image is so cute!

    =(( It breaks my heart too, Josh! But they grow up to be such great people, so it's okay!
    And little Leo asking what's wrong! He's already so... Leo. [face_love]

    [face_love] I love that he tells the truth. It's not everything, but it's true and it's all that Leo needs to know right now.

    Classic Josh and Donna! Josh makes a joke and Donna sees right through him. It's so cute and fun, even though the situation isn't all that fun for Josh.

    *happy sigh*
  25. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    Thanks. Sometimes the muse just wants something sweet and fluffy and totally pointless.

    Thanks, I just love the idea of Josh looking at Donna to calm himself down.
    Yeah :(
    When my brothers were little and in toddler beds, they'd do this and they were so adorable (now... not so much).
    I just love daddy!Josh so much, making them 'grow up' kinda breaks my heart too (but Dad!Josh is still fun too!).
    Leo is just so compassionate, it's just adorable.
    Yeah, Leo gets used to the idea of Josh's PTSD without the weight of that impact before he can understand it.

    Thanks! I love these two and how well they know each other. Josh isn't having fun, but he tries to make himself okay for Donna