Title: Just Come Home
Disclaimer: Alas, these characters are not mine.
Genre: Angst, stream-of-consciousness, character study
Timeline: During "Gaza."
Feedback: Yes please!
A/N: This was written for the Second Person POV challenge at tww_minis.
When you hear her voice on the phone, you know instantly that it's the best sound you've ever heard in your life. Better than when she said "I do" at your wedding, better than when the talking heads announced that your first successful campaign had in fact resulted in your candidate being elected President, better than when the doctor said you had two healthy babies. You don't want to hang up the phone because her voice is the only thing cutting through the awful images you're seeing on TV, but eventually she has to go so you tell her to just, please, just come home.
And then your phone is ringing again, more quickly than you would have thought possible, and for a minute you think it's some sort of sick joke. Begley can't possibly think that this is the right time to talk to you – to talk to anyone – about who the DNC wants to run in place of the dead Congressmen. You briefly wonder about Begley's feelings toward his own ex-wife, given that he seemed to believe there was a chance that you'd be in any way receptive to this conversation right now. You know you and Andi are different – most people have their children before they get divorced, for one thing – but REALLY. You think of all the times you've heard people joke about wanting their former spouses dead and wonder if they ever really thought about what they were saying.
As you stand in the Oval Office and discuss options, you suddenly realize that the thing you want desperately to do right now is to go pick up your children from their grandmother and just hold onto them until their mother gets home. You know they're too young to have any idea what's going on, but you don't care, they need you anyway. Or maybe you need them. But the President can only afford to have one advisor losing his mind over this, and Josh has already called dibs rather spectacularly on that one, so instead you call Andi's mother to give her an update and tell her that you'll be over to see the twins as soon as you can get out of the office. She just laughs at that one and you want to say no, really, you mean it, but your mother-in-law never really liked you in the first place and after watching your marriage quietly fail, why should she believe you now?
For an instant you're unspeakably jealous of Josh, and you can't believe you're even thinking that way, because Donna could be dying in some hospital right now. But at least Josh is on his way to her, and no one is questioning it, at least not publicly, not yet. He gets to drop everything to go to his assistant – his assistant, for God's sake! - and you're expected to stay here and talk to AIPAC and the DNC. You regret the thoughts as soon as you have them, because you know that Donna has never been just Josh's assistant, and if this is what it takes to make him have some sort of revelation, to become conscious of that fact, then maybe some good will come out of the whole godforsaken mess.
And then you abruptly realize that you're having one of those revelations yourself. You've always been more of a romantic than most people suspect – no divorced man wears his wedding ring for years without being something of a romantic – but you'd never believed in the whole idea of a tragedy or near-death experience making people suddenly realize things they'd never known they'd felt. But now you get it. It's not that those feelings suddenly appear or change. It's that after facing the possibility of unspeakable loss, every other option seems a little more bearable, and every other excuse seems pathetic. So you turn your attention back to the President as you begin to count the hours until she will be home, in the country, and begin to plan how you can fix this to make her come home, to you.