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AUTHOR'S NOTE: Part of the FSAC:DD07
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Glass and Other Things That Hurt
"What happened?" Carol asked from the doorway.
"I fell into the glass thing on the shelf."
"How did you fall?"
"Does it matter?"
"You're bleeding. Badly," Carol said, making her way into the office and examining C.J.'s arm.
"Could you get the first aid kit, please?"
"I think that's going to need more than a Band-Aid."
Carol got the first aid kit from her desk drawer as Josh walked in. "What's going on? I heard yelling."
"There's always yelling," Carol said as she pulled out some bandages to put over C.J.'s arm. The blood quickly soaked through them. C.J.'s hand was covered in red, and she sat on the edge of her desk. "You need to see a doctor."
"Will I do?" C.J. immediately turned her attention to the intimidating figure standing in her doorway. Despite her dizziness, C.J. tried to stand. Abbey noticed the stained cloth, and her gaze locked on C.J.'s pale face. "What the hell happened, C.J.?" she asked as she quickly made her way to C.J.'s side. "Sit down." C.J. sat, and Abbey pulled the bloody rag from C.J.'s arm, reaching for a clean bandage at the same time, putting medical tape over it to secure it in place.
Sam appeared next to Josh's elbow. "What happened?"
"C.J. cut her arm. She needs...something," Josh said, sounding queasy.
"C.J., come with me. Make sure to keep pressure on your bandage." Everyone took a step back, recognizing the First Lady's slip into doctor mode. C.J. smiled at the protectiveness in Abbey's tone.
"Where are we going?"
"To the Residence. My bag is there. Your arm requires stitches."
"You're going to do them?" Josh asked, his voice rising to a near squeak.
Abbey smirked. "Yes, Joshua, I am. I could use some assistance. Would you like to help?"
"No! I, uh,...No, ma'am. I have to..." He motioned over his shoulder. "I should go do work. I have a job."
Abbey's smirk deepened as Josh wandered off, sneaking peeks through the window of C.J.'s office before finally disappearing from sight.
"Carol," Abbey said as she and C.J. walked out of the office.
"Cancel C.J.'s schedule for the day. She's going to be indisposed for the rest of the afternoon."
"And call Leo," C.J. said. "They're still on the plane, but Leo will want to know about the H.R. 195 bill."
"I'll take care of it," Carol said.
C.J. allowed the First Lady to guide her through the hallways, the Secret Service agents clearing a path and Abbey's hand on the small of her back burning C.J.'s skin.
"Leslie, get my bag for me, please," Abbey said as they arrived at the Residence. Abbey immediately directed them to one of the bathrooms, sitting C.J. in a chair and turning on the sink, quickly washing her hands and making C.J. do the same.
"This will sting," she said as she removed the bandage on C.J.'s arm. C.J. hissed with the pain, and Abbey smiled in sympathy. She wet a cloth and began cleaning C.J.'s wound, applying pressure when it began to bleed again.
"Mrs. Bartlet," Leslie said as she held out a black medical bag.
"Just put it on the table, Leslie. Thank you."
"Do you need anything else, ma'am?"
"No, we'll be fine. Check my schedule and cancel my afternoon."
"Abbey," C.J. sighed. "You don't have to do that. I can go to the hospital."
"Hush," Abbey told C.J. before turning back to Leslie. "Go, Leslie. I'll talk to you tomorrow."
C.J. caught the smile the First Lady's aide tried to hide before the younger woman nodded. "Yes, ma'am. I'll be in the office if you need me."
"You really don't have to do this," C.J. said, the feel of Abbey's fingers caressing her skin distracting her.
"I don't mind. Actually, it gives me the chance to practice my skills." Abbey smiled as she lifted the cloth, seemingly satisfied with the result.
"You didn't have to cancel your afternoon. I can take care of myself."
"Maybe," Abbey said as she opened her bag and pulled out a needle and a bottle of medication.
"What is that?" C.J. asked.
"Something to make you feel better. Why? Don't trust me?"
"Of course I trust you, but I don't like needles."
"Would you rather do this without any aid?" Abbey asked with a raised eyebrow.
"It's going to hurt, isn't it?" C.J. said.
"The needle or the stitches?"
"Aren't they the same thing?"
"Close your eyes, C.J. This won't take but a second."
C.J. did as she was told as Abbey rubbed her arm with an alcohol pad. "I don't think this will take but a second. I think it will take longer. Ow!" C.J. opened her eyes. "That hurt!"
"You're sounding like Josh," Abbey admonished, but her expression softened the rebuke.
"That was just mean," C.J. said as she examined her arm. Abbey pushed a strand of hair from C.J.'s eyes, brushing it behind C.J.'s ear. C.J. smiled at her shyly.
"I have to fix your arm," Abbey said softly. C.J. nodded. Abbey sat down across from C.J. and took out her instruments, lining them up on the counter next to C.J.'s injured arm. "This won't take long. You only need a few stitches."
"Just tell me when it's over," C.J. said.
"Why don't you tell me what you've been working on?"
C.J. knew Abbey was trying to sidetrack her, but it was hard to ignore Abbey's sure movements and steady hands caressing her bicep with every pinprick.
"It's been a slow day, so I've had time to catch up on paperwork, which is not something I enjoy, especially now when I have a legitimate excuse to avoid it. I can't wait to tell Leo I have proof that doing paperwork is dangerous."
"I'm sure that will go over well."
C.J. laughed. "Yes." Abbey's hair caressed C.J.'s arm as the First Lady leaned over her. "Though it does have its advantages," C.J. said.
Abbey, sitting so closely to C.J. she could hear C.J.'s breathing, smiled up at the younger woman. "Yes, it does," she said. Her voice was teasing, almost flirtatious, and C.J. felt herself completely relax into Abbey's touch.
"Do you...do you ever wonder where you'd be if you weren't here?"
Abbey glanced at C.J., surprise lightening her eyes. "I suppose I would still be making rounds at several different hospitals, possibly working for a non-profit organization for children's health." She shrugged and turned back to her work. "You?"
"I don't know. I had just lost my job when Toby recruited me for the campaign."
"I'm sure you would have been recruited by some organization or company if Toby had not appeared."
"Maybe. Sometimes I wonder."
"Having second thoughts about your current life?"
"No," C.J. said, recognizing the uneasiness in Abbey's tone. She added, "Especially at the moment."
Abbey chuckled. "Despite the needles?"
Abbey's hair tickled C.J.'s arm again as the First Lady turned toward the sink. C.J. felt a tingle run down her spine. "I would say it's been worth it. After all, I am getting special attention from the First Lady of the United States."
Standing, Abbey glanced down at C.J. "There are easier ways to get my attention, C.J.," she said. "And better ways to spend our time together."
They shared a look as memories surfaced, and C.J. had to turn away, forcing a smile as she cleared her throat. They were quiet while Abbey pulled out a roll of gauze from her bag and sat back down.
"We used to be friends," Abbey finally said as she wrapped a clean bandage around C.J.'s arm. "We used to talk."
There was a long moment of silence. "I like that you're taking care of me," C.J. finally said. "I've missed..." C.J. sighed. "I've missed you."
"I'm here, C.J. I haven't gone anywhere."
"But, you're out of my reach," C.J. said. "You never should have been within it."
"There," Abbey said, patting C.J.'s bandaged arm. "All better."
"I..." C.J. nodded. "Thank you."
Abbey leaned forward, kissing C.J. softly before pulling away.
"Abbey..." C.J. whispered, and then she kissed Abbey again, reaching out to pull Abbey closer, her hand coming up to cup Abbey's cheek. When they parted, they rested their foreheads against each other. C.J.'s eyes were closed, her heartbeat fast. "We shouldn't..." C.J. said before she pulled Abbey to her again, kissing her and allowing Abbey to deepen it. When C.J. tried to tug Abbey even closer, their knees bumped, and Abbey smiled against C.J.'s lips.
"It's been a while since I've made out in a bathroom," Abbey said. Her smile faded as she caressed C.J.'s cheek, and C.J.'s hands grasped at the fabric at Abbey's waist. "Matter of fact, the last time was with you over two years ago."
C.J. sighed and rested her head on Abbey's shoulder. "I can't believe it's been over two years since I've kissed you."
"Me, either." Abbey kissed C.J.'s temple and then below her ear. C.J. turned her head to meet Abbey's lips in a tender kiss. "You should rest. You can stay in the Residence."
"There's nowhere else I'd rather be than right here."
"I didn't lock the door, C.J."
"We can take care of that," C.J. said, leaning more on Abbey. "There's a bed in the next room and, thanks to you, neither of us has anything to do this afternoon."
"That's the medication talking," Abbey said as she stood, disentangling herself from C.J. but pulling C.J. to her feet.
"Now's the perfect time to take advantage of me," C.J. said, trying to stifle a yawn.
"Are you telling me there's a bad time?"
"For you? Never." Abbey led C.J. out of the bathroom into the adjoining bedroom, sitting C.J. down on the end of the bed. C.J.'s grasp on Abbey's hand tightened. "Remind me why we never made love," C.J. said.
Abbey hesitated. "You'll remember tomorrow," she answered. C.J. nodded and let go of Abbey's hand. Abbey went to the head of the bed to turn down the covers.
"You never told me why you came to see me."
"It can wait."
"Does that mean I'll get to see you again?" C.J. asked, stifling another yawn.
Abbey brought C.J. to the head of the bed and sat her down. "You can see me anytime you want, C.J."
"That's the problem, isn't it?" Abbey helped C.J. lie down, pulling off her shoes and her belt. "I can't believe it's been two years since I've kissed you," C.J. said dreamily. "Lay with me?" Abbey nodded. C.J. scooted over to let Abbey sit down, and then C.J. put her head in Abbey's lap, curling up on her side. "Abbey?"
C.J.'s hand rested on Abbey's thigh. "I know why we're not friends."
"Why?" Abbey asked.
"Because friends aren't supposed to be in love with each other and because we can't always lock the door."
"Yeah," Abbey said, resigned.
There was another moment of silence, and Abbey thought C.J. had drifted off until C.J. said, "Abbey?" with her voice soft and drowsy.
"Yes, honey?" Abbey could feel C.J. smile against her stomach.
"I'll remember tomorrow?"
"I hope not," Abbey answered, her own voice rough and quiet. At C.J.'s lack of response, Abbey smiled and ran her fingers through C.J.'s hair, soothing the younger woman into a deeper sleep, offering the comfort she knew they both needed. It was an indulgence, but the last one Abbey would partake in that day.
She knew C.J. would wake up alone.
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