Falling Into Forever

by: AdoreLeo

Characters: Leo, Margaret, General Cast
Pairing: Leo/Margaret
Category: Romance
Rating: TEEN
Disclaimer: The characters are from the NBC, WB, TV show The West Wing; they do not belong to me.
Summary: Margaret finally gets to take a trip to California. But, it doesn't turn out like she thinks.
Spoiler: Anything up to and including The Stormy Present
Feedback: I would love to hear your opinion!
Author's Note:Beta & Additional Ideas By: Lynn, who always goes above and beyond the call... THANKS!!!!

The alarm goes off and Margaret reaches over and smacks it with zest. She knows she shouldnít be taking her anger out on an object, but at least this way, she wonít get fired. Because if she hit who she really wanted to right now, sheíd be out of a job and would probably have the Secret Service in her face too! She rolls out of bed and heads off to the shower. Here she is in a five star hotel in sunny LA and hasnít had a minute to enjoy it since she got here. When Leo first told her they were all heading for California, she was ecstatic. Leo hasnít been away from the White House in months, which means she hasnít been anywhere either.

So much has happened this past year and most of it was not good. It has taken its toll on Leo and the rest of the staff and if she would be honest with herself, it has had an effect on her as well. So when Leo informed her of this trip, she thought it would be great to get away for a while. Especially with it being on Valentineís Day weekend. She wouldnít have to spend another lonely Valentineís Day, pinning away in her apartment for a man who was so unattainable. Sheíd still probably sulk a little, but at least in would be in five star comfort with room service.

They have been here for three days and Margaret hasnít gotten to do anything that she had planned on doing. She has spent her entire time at Leoís beck and call. There has been meeting after meeting after meeting and after the meetings are over with for the day, Leo wants to go over the notes at night and be ready for the next day of meetings. Leo has kept her busier than if they were at the White House. All of the others have gotten to go out in the evenings and enjoy themselves, but she has been stuck with Leo. Normally, that would be okay, but he has been a real grouch since they left DC.

Itís almost six am, and Margaret is finishing up with her makeup getting ready for her early breakfast meeting that sheís having with Leo. A meeting that she is so not looking forward to. She has no idea what happened before they left, but something has been bothering him for the past few days and she has had no luck in figuring out what it. Sheís just putting on the last of her makeup when thereís a knock on her door. "I wonder who that might be?" she sarcastically says to herself, as she heads to the door and unlocks it.

"Margaret!" Leo impatiently bellows from the other side of the door.

Margaret opens the door and gives him her patented squinty-eyed look. "Leo, you do know some people are still trying to sleep?" Margaret glances at her watch. "I didnít think we were meeting until six?"

"I have six on my watch, yours must be slow," Leo huffs at her as he enters her room. "Are you ready yet? We have a lot to do today before we head back to DC this evening."

"What?" she demands, "I thought we werenít leaving until tomorrow."

"Nah, change in plans. The Presidentís decided to go back early tonight. I guess he doesnít want to waste anymore of the tax payersí money." Leo knows the real reason for the change in plans though. The President forgot that today was Valentineís Day and Abbey will kill him if heís not home this evening.

"Great, just great." Margaret gives Leo a look. She had hopes that after todayís meetings she would have sometime to sightsee, but that just went to hell in a hand basket. She has been looking forward to this trip to the West Coast, but Leo has really screwed that up for her.

"Well, are you ready?" Leo asks, as he moves towards her hotel door.

"Yes Leo, Iím ready." Margaret picks up her suit jacket and puts it on and as she heads for the door.

Leo opens the door for her and they move toward the elevators. Leo presses the button, folds his arms on his chest and impatiently starts to tap his foot.

"Leo, calm down. Itíll be here in a second." Margaret is worn-out from working late last night and she has only had four hours of sleep. Sheís pretty sure that Leo has had even less. But, mostly sheís pissed that Leo has ruined her entire trip.

"I am calm!" Leo growls back at her.

Margaretís tiredness and his abominable mood get the better of her. "You are not! Youíve been driving everyone crazy on this trip. Leo, what the hell is wrong with you?" Margaret says, before she even thinks.

The ring of the elevator arriving puts a hold on a stunned Leoís return comments. He motions her into the small space and follows her in. Heís just about ready to say something when the elevator suddenly lurches, and Margaret is thrown into his arms. He manages to help them maintain their balance somehow as he holds on tightly to her.

"Are you okay?" he asks her.

"Yeah, I think so. What was that?" Margaret says with a voice full of anxiety as she tries to pull from his arms.

But, before Leo can answer or Margaret can pull from his arms. The elevator suddenly drops and they go flying towards the wall. Leo has just enough time to twist his body around and put himself between the wall and Margaret. The elevator stops falling just as quickly as it started. They wind up as a tangled mess on the floor, with Margaret on top of Leo.

Margaret rolls off of Leo and sits up. Sheís still a little disoriented and it takes a couple of seconds for her to figure out just what has happened. Her side is hurting and so is her hip. Sheís about to say something about the pain, when she looks over at Leo, who is still laying on the floor on his side, his face is grimaced in pain and there is blood running from a cut on the right side of his eyebrow.

"Leo," she says, as she moves to his side, suddenly forgetting about her own pain. "Are you okay?"

"Iím fine," he exhales out between pained breaths.

"No, youíre not," Margaret says as she lays a hand on his leg, "where does it hurt?"

"My... shoulder. I think I... dislocated it or something when I hit the wall," Leo says, as he cradles his right arm against his chest.

"You also have a nasty cut on your head," she informs him and she starts searching thought her purse for something to press against it. She finds some old napkins and presses them to his head. The blood quickly soaks through the thin napkins despite the pressure she held on it. Margaret gets a concerned look on her face as she pulls them off and starts searching for something else to try and stop the bleeding. She needs to hold more pressure to the cut to stop the bleeding.

"Margaret, donít worry about it. Head wounds always bleed a lot. Iím fine." Leo tries to reassure her.

"Leo, I donít have anything else for it," she says in a panic as sheís frantically searching through her purse.

"Here take this," Leo pulls out his silk handkerchief that is in his suit pocket. "Apply more pressure this time, please."

Margaret gives him a look. "Leo, I was putting pressure on it."

"Okay, I just... itís..." Leo stops. He realizes that Margaret is doing it right and heís just frustrated. He closes his eyes in pain and says,† "Sorry."

Margaret nods her head in acknowledgment of his apology and then sits down by his head and gently moves his head into her lap. The pain in her side is getting worse, but she is not going to give into it. Leo needs her and she canít let him down.

Leo tries to protest this. "Margaret, youíre going to get blood all over you."

Margaret ignores his comments, gives him a face and continues on. She presses the handkerchief firmly onto his forehead and holds it there for a few minutes. Margaret sits there and starts to absentmindedly stroke her fingers lightly through his hair. Neither of them talking as they ponder their fate.

Leo would love to have her to continue running her fingers through his hair. No one has done that in years, but his shoulder is really starting to throb laying in this position. "Margaret can you help me sit up? Itís very uncomfortable laying in this position." Leo starts to push off the ground with his left arm.

Margaret helps Leo into a sitting position and against the wall of the elevator. He moans out in pain and Margaret flinches. When she does this, so almost let out her own moan of pain. Moving him really aggravated her side.

"Leo, are you sure itís just a dislocated shoulder." She manages to get out with no evidence of pain showing in her voice. She touches Leoís left shoulder in an effort to comfort him as she reapplies the handkerchief to his forehead. "Does your head hurt too? Are you dizzy?" Margaret fires off her questions.

"No my head doesnít really hurt that much and Iím not dizzy," Leo explains as he tries to find a comfortable position to hold his right arm in to alleviate the pain in his shoulder. "Yeah, itís dislocated. I did it once before when I was in the Air Force. So, Iím pretty sure. Same shoulder too," Leo grimaces as he leans back against the wall.

Margaret gets sad look on her face as she starts to imagine all kinds of terrible ways that Leo could have injured his shoulder during the war. Sheís about to ask him, but he has already anticipated her and read her thoughts.

"No, Margaret," Leo lets out a sigh. "I didnít do it by any of the dreadful ways you just imagined. I dislocated it during a very rough game of flag football at my base camp," he smirks.




"Why donít you check and see if the emergency phone is working?" Leo nods his head in the direction of the phone.

"Okay." Margaret removes the handkerchief from his head and notices that it has slowed down considerably. "Hey, itís almost stopped bleeding."

"See, I told ya."

Margaret turns her head and gets up. She doesnít want Leo to see her face cringe in pain. Her side is really starting to bother her and helping move Leo against the wall didnít help it at all. She wonders if maybe she might have bruised a rib. She painfully makes it to her feet and goes to the phone box.† She opens the panel that houses the phone. "Hello, is there anyone there? Hello! Hello! Help us! Weíre stuck in your damn elevator." She pulls the phone away from her ear and stares at it. "Itís not working, Leo." She informs him as she slams it back into its box. She walks back over and sits down next to him.

"Do you have your cell phone with you?" Leo asks.

"No, I left it in the room, itís recharging," Margaret explains.

"Well, Iíve got mine," Leo pauses and lets out a breath. "But, youíre going to have to um... get it."

"Okay, no problem." Margaret stares at him, wondering why heís acting so funny.

"Itís in my right front pants pocket," Leo tells her as some red flushing creeps onto his face.

"Okay," she says. "No problem." She moves over to his other side and slowly starts to put her hand into his pocket. Leo flinches when her hand touches his leg. "Sorry." She tells him.

"No problem, I um... Iím okay, go on," he remarks as she reaches further into his pocket and grabs a hold of the much sought after device and pulls it out of his pocket.

"Got it," she announces. She flips it open and calls the hotel.

"Who are you calling?"

"Shh," she tells Leo. "Hello, yes this is Margaret McGuire. Leo McGarry and I are stuck in your elevator. It fell several feet and then it stopped. No, I donít know. Please hurry, Mr. McGarry is injured and needs to get some medical help. Not too serious, I think; but, heís in a lot of pain, heís got a nasty cut on his forehead, and he thinks heís dislocated his shoulder. Yes, okay. Hereís the cell phone number. Weíll be here." Margaret closes the phone after she gives the cell phone number and puts it down.

"How did you know the hotel phone number?" Once again Margaret amazes her boss.

Margaret gives him that Ďwhat do you mean lookí. "Iím the one who made all the reservations." She reminds him.

"Okay, but..."

Margaret interrupts him. "Once Iíve called a number, I remember it. My mind just works that way."

"Well, for once, Iím glad it does." Leo pauses. "Well, what did they say?"

"The fool at the front desk wanted to know what floor we were stuck at. Like how the hell would I know that?" Margaret blurts out in an exasperated voice. "They said they would get someone to us as soon as they could. She said theyíd have to call the fire department, and they will have to get us out. I should call Donna and let her tell the rest of the staff."

"Nah, let them sleep. No sense them worrying over nothing."

"Yeah, we wouldnít want to ruin their trip." Margaret says in a very sarcastically voice. "And what do you mean by nothing to worry about?† We could plunge to the bottom floor at any second now and you think thereís nothing to worry about," she says in a very infuriated voice.

"Margaret. Calm down. Thatís not how these elevators work. They have safety features that stop them from falling too far. Thatís why we only fell a few short feet."

"Feels like we fell further," she says as she rubs a sore spot on her hip where is bounced off the wall. When she does this, the ache in her side is just too much to stand and a gasp on pain makes it out of her lips and she grabs her side.

"Margaret, are you okay?" Leo tries to reach out to her, but when he moves his good arm, he other one drops further onto his lap and causes him to moan out in pain. He quickly pulls his hand back and grabs a hold of his arm and holds it against his chest.

"Leo, stop moving around," she says as she lays a comforting hand on his leg.

"Margaret, youíre hurt arenít you?" Leoís eyes grow dark with the realization that Margaret is hurt. "Why did you try to hide it? You could have broken a rib and all this moving around isnít helping it."

"Leo, Iím sure itís just bruised or I pulled a muscle, besides it hurts just a little." She fabricates as she moves closer to Leo. She has an idea on how to relieve some of Leoís pain.

"Margaret, you need to stop moving around," Leo informs her.

Margaret ignores him and kneels next to him. "Leo, do you think we could get you tie off without causing you too much pain?"

Leo realizes what she means. "Yeah, letís try it, but after this you are going to stop moving around, Okay?"

"Okay, youíre the boss." Margaret relents as she reaches over to undo his tie.

"Now you tell me." Leo smirks.

Margaret brushes her fingertips against his neck. "Sorry," She mutters as she continues to unknot it. She finally gets it undone and slowly pulls it off. She unbuttons the top few buttons of Leoís shirt to make him more comfortable and to provide more support for his arm. She ties a knot in his tie and slowly slips it back around his neck. She holds the loop out for him and he carefully puts his arm through it. She helps lower his arm into the make shift sling, then she slips his hand through his open shirt and it rests against his chest. "Now, you can move your other arm a little more without causing your shoulder so much pain."

"Thanks, Margaret," Leo pants out. "Itíll feel better soon. Now sit down next to me and stop moving around, please," He pleads with her.

"Well, at least your head stopped bleeding." Margaret chooses to ignore his comments. "I bet youíre going to have to get a few stitches to close it up." Margaret has moved closer to his face to examine the cut.


"Yeah, looks like it, but then again, Iím not a doctor." She is so close that she can see her reflection in his eyes. She quickly backs away. She canít let him get any ideas about how she feels about him, besides, right now sheís still mad at him about his bad mood and that fact that if he hadnít wanted to have an early meeting, they wouldnít be here in the first place.



"Whatís wrong? Is it your side?"

"No, itís fine. Nothingís wrong with it." She flatly denies.

"Listen, Iím sorry that I made you go to breakfast with me this morning, itís just that ..." Leo doesnít continue, because his cell phone rings and interrupts him.

"Hello, Margaret McGuire speaking," she says into the phone. She listens for a couple of seconds and nods her head. "Okay, thanks. Weíll be here waiting."

She turns towards Leo. "That was the front desk. They called the fire department and they are on their way."

"Margaret, whatís wrong?"

"Leo, I really donít want to talk about it."

"You know, it might help to talk about it." Leo pries.

"Not with you!" She huffs out.

"Why not me? Just because Iím your boss, doesnít mean I donít care."

"Yeah right," Margaret snorts, "it sure hasnít seemed like that these last few days." Margaret canít hold back anymore. She stands up and lets him have it. "Leo, you have been unbearable these past few days. Your mood is one thing, but you havenít given me a single moment to enjoy this trip. This just isnít what I expected this week to be like."

Leo has been spoiling for a fight all week and he has finally found it. "I donít know what you expected, but we are here on business and I donít think the tax payers would understand you sightseeing on their dime." The pain in his shoulder is forgotten as he growls back at her.

"Leo I know weíre here to do a job, but my God, everyone else has had time to go sightseeing or go to a nice restaurant. But Iíve been stuck with you the whole time!" Margaretís face is red with angry.

"Well, Iím sorry that this has been such a hardship for you!" Leo huffs as he starts to get up, but the pain that goes shooting through his arm as he moves, makes him think better about it. He tries to cover it up. He doesnít want her pity right now. He settles back against the wall and informs her that, "you work for me and...."

"Donít remind me." Margaret interrupts him. She notices the grimace of pain that crosses his face, and it take every bearing of her fiber not to rush to his side. She canít let her emotions about him cloud her judgment right now. She needs to get these issues between them resolved. "You know, I only get paid for forty hours a week, maybe I should start working only forty from now on!"

This last statement shocks Leo and he visibly flinches from her comment. Margaret has always been ĎI go home when you go homeí. He has never demanded that she stay until he goes home everyday. But yet, there she is, always by his side. Leoís face turns sad at the prospect of her not being there with him all the time. Of all the people he knows, she is the last person that he should be taking his problems out on. He knows that he needs to tell her whatís going on, but heís not sure if heís ready to talk about it. So he goes with the easy way out. "Margaret, Iím really sorry."

Margaretís not willing to let Leo off the hook a quick apology. "Leo, who spit in your cheerios this week?"

"I donít eat cereal." Leo smirks.

"I know that, you idiot," Margaret pauses. "itís just a figure of speak." She sits back down beside him. "Leo, whatís going on?"

"Nothing," Leo refuses to look her in the eye.

"Leo, this isnít like you. Yes, you do have a certain cantankerous image to maintain, but this is beyond that. You normally donít take it out on me this much."

Leoís head drops at her last statement. Itís true, he has treated her terribly these past few days. Leo raises his head and looks into her eyes. He tries to tell her. "Itís just..." But he stops. Heís not sure how to go on.

"Just what, Leo?"

"Nothing," Leo says as he changes his mind.

"Leo, how long have I worked for you?"

"Ah, I donít know the exact number of years." Leo tries to add up the years quickly in his head. "Whatís that got to do with it anyway?"

"Itíll be fourteen years next month," Margaret informs him. "So, I think I should know when youíre not telling me the truth. So spill it. Whatís going on, Leo?"

"I just... I didnít want to go to breakfast alone this morning," he quietly mumbles.

"Why, Leo?"

"Margaret, what do you want from me?"

"I want the truth and I think that I deserve it after all these years. Especially after how you have treated me this past few days."

"Yeah... you do," Leo takes a breather. The pain from his shoulder and Margaretís questions are wearing him down. "Because todayís... Valentineís Day."

"Okay, well... thatís clear as mud." Margaret pauses as she gives him a puzzled look. "Well, that explains this morningís breakfast meeting, but what about your ill humor?"

"Yeah, well since the divorce I..." Leo stops.

"Leo, there have been at least three Valentineís Days since your divorce. Why is this one causing so much trouble?"

"The day before we left, Mallory came to see me... she told me that... her mother is getting remarried."

"Oh, Leo, Iím so sorry." Margaret stares at Leoís hand that is resting on his leg. He still wears his wedding ring. She knows that he always thought or hoped that she would come back to him. She reaches out and places her hand on his.

Leo raises his head and looks into her eyes. He sees only love there, not pity. How could he have missed it before? Sheís in love with him. All these years, his happiness has been right here in front of him, and he was too blind to see it. In the past couple of years heís known that he has had feelings for her, but he hasnít allowed himself to actually feel or act on them. He was certain that she didnít feel the same way about him. Leo gives her a small smile. "Itís okay, Iím sorry that Iíve been such a bear these past few of days. I really have been over the divorce for a long while, but this just... I guess caught me by surprise and ...."

"Leo, itís okay. You donít have to explain anything to me."

"Yes, I do. You see... I was jealous that Jenny was getting on with her life and that she has found someone and then I realized it was Valentineís Day and I wondered just how many more years was I going to be alone on that day again and..."

"Leo, you are an attractive man with so much to offer a woman; I know that someday you will find someone to love and who will love you in return." It kills Margaret to say this. She knows that he could never feel the way about her that she does about him. She only wants Leo to be happy.

"But you see, Margaret, I already have found someone, but Iíve been afraid to tell her." Leo sees the look of disappointment on her face.

Margaretís heart sinks. There went any hope she had for them. "Well then, you need to tell the lucky woman. Whatís stopping you?"

"I didnít think she would be interested."

"Leo, only a fool wouldnít be interested in you," she blushes at what she just said.

"Margaret, ...itís you." He pauses and looks for her response. "I love you and have for a long time now."

"Me!" Margaret is shocked; never in her wildest dreams did she ever think she would hear those words coming out of his mouth. "Oh Leo, ...I... love you too."

"Good, that makes things so much easier now." Leo leans over and brushes his lips against hers. The share a gentle first kiss. Leo would like to kiss her more, but the pain in his shoulder is stopping him and he pulls back in frustration. "Iím sorry, but I just canít lean over without my shoulder hurting."

"Thatís okay, I can come to you," Margaret says, as she scoots over closer to Leo, and leans in closer to him to initiate the kiss this time. She is afraid to hurt him, so she balances herself away from him, she only experiences a little discomfort in her side, and so she continues on.

"Margaret, you should stay still. You could have a..." Leo gives up the second her lips touch his.

This simple kiss slowly turns more intense as they increase the pressure on each otherís lips, and then they stop again for a moment, to look into each otherís eyes.

"Margaret, where have you been all my life?" He asks as he reaches up to trace her jaw line with his fingertips.

"Right here under your nose, for a good deal of it," she says, as she cups her hand under his chin and leans in again, this time she opens her lips and hesitantly brushes her tongue along his bottom lip, she pulls back once more and shyly looks at him with a small smug grin and she sees a dark passion in his eyes. The pain in her side has been forgotten and sheís only aware of the tenderness that they are sharing.

"Oh, Margaret. I love you," he says, as he nods his head for her to continue.

"I love you too," she whispers as she leans in to passionately explore his mouth, his tongue meets and tangles with hers and they dance an old dance of love.

Leo reaches up and places his hand behind her head and pulls her closer to him. The pain in his shoulder is forgotten for the moment.† This is what has been missing from his life, and it has been here in front of him all along.†

Neither of them notices the cell phone ringing beside them on the floor; they are so caught up in each other, and it is only when they hear feet drop onto the elevator roof that they break apart and look up.†

Margaret begins to stand up and Leo reaches out with his good hand to stop her, "We will continue this later, we have things we need to talk about. Okay?" Leo professes as he takes her hand and gives it a tender squeeze.

Margaret bobs her head. "Yeah," she says, as she gently touches her lips that are swollen with passion.

"I want this... you and me.† Iíve wanted this for a long time," Leo confesses his strong desire.

"Me, too," she agrees.

"I donít want to wait any longer to begin a relationship. Is that is okay with you?" Leo prompts.

"Itís definitely okay with me," she tells him as she gives him a gentle smile.


"Very okay," she assures him and to show him, she leans in to brush a quick kiss on his lips.

"Okay, good. Now, letís get out the hell out of here." Leo gives her his heart-stopping grin.

The trap door on top of the elevator opens up to reveal a firefighter. "Hello, down there." The firefighter says, as she lowers herself down into the elevator.

Margaret is standing up now. "Boy, we sure are glad to see you."

The firefighter kneels next to Leo and checks him out quickly. "Sir, do you think you can stand?"

"Yeah." He says, as he starts to get up. Margaret and the firefighter help him up to his feet. He sways a little after he gets to his feet. Margaret grabs his arm and steadies him.

"Sir, weíre going to pull you up out of here on a chair like apparatus. All you have to do is sit and enjoy the ride." The firefighter looks back up the trap door. "Okay, send it down."

"She may have a broken rib." Leo nods his head in Margaretís direction.

"Leo, I told you Iím fine. My side is just bruised." Margaret glares at him.

"Donít worry, Sir. Sheíll be riding out of here the same way as you. Weíll make sure she gets checked out at the hospital, too."

Leo is soon strapped into the chair and ready to be lifted out. Itís a short ride, because they are just a few feet below an opening to a floor. Several hands pull him out of the elevator shaft and into the hallway. Leo is surprised to see Josh and Donna waiting for him. The firefighter undoes Leo and helps him onto a waiting stretcher. The chair is sent back down to get Margaret and his briefcase.

They both rush to his side. Josh is the first to speak. "Leo, are you okay?"

"Iím fine."

"Is Margaret okay?" Donna asks.

"Yeah, I think she so. She may have a broken or bruised rib and some bruises."

The medic starts working on Leoís cut and soon has a large bandage placed on it. He is just about done examining him when Margaret has finally been set free from the chair and joins the medic by Leoís side. "How is he?"

"Looks like heíll need a few stitches and his shoulder is definitely separated, and he could possibly have a concussion. Weíre getting ready to transport him."

"I donít have an concussion!" Leo growls.

"Leo, you are not a doctor." She fires back at him.

Leo reaches out with his good hand and grabs her hand and gently pulls her down to him. "I may not be a doctor, but I sure want to give you an examination later." He whispers into her ear only loud enough for Margaret to hear.

"Leo!" She says, as she lightly slaps him on his leg.

Josh and Donna are standing there with their mouths open watching the two of them. They arenít acting like the Leo and Margaret they know. They both looked at each other and mouthed the words. "What happened down there?"

"Iíll talk with Margaret later." Donna tells a stunned looking Josh.

"Okay," is all that Josh can manage to come up with?

"Iím going to the hospital with him," Margaret tells the medic.

"Are you family? Only family can ride in the ambulance." The medic questions her as he starts to gather up his equipment.

Before Margaret has a chance to speak up, Leo does. "Yes, she is and she needs to get checked out at the hospital anyway for any injuries. She wonít tell anyone, but her side is hurting her."

"Okay, letís get you both to the hospital," the medic announces.

"Margaret, weíll follow behind you guys, Okay?" Josh informs them.

"Josh, thereís really no reason to. Itís just a cut and a separated shoulder; Iíll be back here before you know it. You need to handle this morningís meeting now, since I wonít be there."

†The firefighter arrives with Leoís briefcase and Margaretís purse.

"Josh, take my briefcase, all the notes are inside you will need for this morningís meeting. I should be back in time for this afternoonís meeting." Leo pauses as he fights off a wave of pain. "I take it you havenít told the President."

"Havenít told the President, what?" A commanding voice behind Leo says. Leo has been too distracted by pain to have heard the thundering footsteps of several agents making the way down the hall.

"Mr. President," Leo says as he starts to stand up, but is stopped by a well-placed hand and a look from Margaret.

"Donít you dare get up," the President says, as he moves to his friendís side. Jed frowns at the shape that Leo is in. His shirt is soaked with blood and his face is filled with pain. "Leo, are you okay?"

"Iím fine, Sir," he says, in an unconvincing voice.

"Right, well then... why donít you just get up and go to that meeting this morning?"

"I donít think I will, Sir." Leo admits. "But, Iíll be back in time for this afternoonís meeting."

"Leo, you are not going to any meetings today. The only place youíre going is to the hospital. And if they should happen to let you leave today, you will come right back here to your room and spend the rest of the day in bed."


"Do I need to make that an order, Leo?" Jed turns to Margaret. "Margaret, heís not to attend any meetings today. If and when he gets back from the hospital today, he is to stay in bed. Youíre in charge, Margaret."

"Yes, Sir." Margaret agrees as she gazes down at Leo who is rolling his eyes and grinning at the prospect of her being in charge of him.

"Mr. President," Ron Butterfield steps up next to the President. "We need to leave this area, itís not as secure as I would like. Sir, we only agreed to let you come here for a minute."

"Ok, Ron." Jed turns his attention back to his friend. "I mean it Leo. Iíll stop back in later to check up on you, okay?"

"Yeah." Leo mumbles.

"Margaret," the President places a hand on her arm. "Take care of him?"

"Yes, Sir, I will," she says with a smile. "Itís second nature to me by now, Sir."

"Right," Jed says as he looks down at Leo. "You going to be okay?"

"Iíll be fine, Sir." Leo says, as he reaches out with his good arm and tenderly takes a hold of Margaretís hand. "Iíve got Margaret."


When Margaret and Leo get back to the hotel, itís almost noon. Leo spent the entire ride from the emergency room; sound asleep in her arms in the limo that the President had sent for them.

"Leo," Margaret gently strokes his face, "weíre back at the hotel. Time to wake up."

"Is there any press?" Leo mumbles as he tries to wake up.

"The agent has brought us the back entrance, Leo," she informs Leo. "I donít see anyone, so far."

"Good," Leo says as he straightens up in his seat. "I donít want to have to go through that circus again today."

When they removed Leo from the hotel that morning, there was press all over the lobby and the outside of the hotel. A fire truck and ambulance being sent to the hotel where the President is staying, is big news. The press woke up and swamped the area like flies. Leo was not happy to be photographed and video taped being placed into an ambulance. A quick thinking Margaret called Mallory, from the ambulance, to let her know that her father was basically fine and he would call her later that day with more details. By the time they got to the hospital, the Secret Service already had the situation under control there and no press was allowed close enough to get any more pictures.

Agents are waiting for them at the kitchen entrance. They help get Leo out of the limo and surround him as they make their way towards the staff elevators. Margaret hesitates a little before entering the elevator.

"Margaret," Leo takes her by the hand, "itís okay."

She bobs her head and lets him lead her into the elevator. They stand there hand in hand as the elevator makes its way up to the top floor of the hotel. Margaret lets go of his hand as it stops. When the doors open she is out of there like a flash.

Leo grins at her departure. "Margaret, lightening doesnít strike twice," he tells her as he joins her in the hallway.

They head off to Leoís room. They enter and Leo goes directly to the phone to check for messages. Heís got several messages. Most are from the President, checking to see if heís back yet. Also, he has one from Mallory and Abbey. Heís relieved to discover that none of the messages are work related. Heís a lot more tired than he would like to admit and the thought of lying down on his bed and napping is very appealing to him right now, but with a sigh he sits down on the edge of his bed and picks up the phone.

His first call is to his daughter. He tells her about the six stitches he received in his eyebrow and that they were successful in getting his shoulder back into place. Heíd have to keep it immobilized for a few days, but it should be fine after that. He tells her that Margaret is fine and that they will be coming home that night. He tells her he loves her and then hangs up.

His next call is to Abbey. "Hi Abbey," Leo says into the phone after she comes onto the line.

"Leo, are you and Margaret okay?" she asks. "Jed called and told me what happened."

"Weíre fine. Margaret bruised her hip and side pretty good. I imagine they will turn some pretty colors before itís all over with." Leo smiles at the fact that he might get a chance to see those bruises.

"Leo, how are you? Jed said you dislocated a shoulder and had nasty cut on the eyebrow and a possible concussion."

"No concussion. I did get six stitches in my right eyebrow and Iím sure that Iíll have a nice shiner in the morning. I did dislocate my shoulder. I have it in some sort of sling like thing, which keeps my arm immobilized. I only have to wear it for a few days."

"Leo, I wish I had made the trip out there with you."

"Abbey, what could you have done?"

"Nothing, but I could be there now taking care of you."

"Nah, Iíve got Margaret doing that." Leo glances at Margaret and gives her his best impish grin.

"I bet she is." Abbey smirks. "Seriously, Leo are you okay?"

"Abbey, Iím fine. In a couple of weeks, Iíll be good as new."

"Well, I hope you realize that when you get back here tonight, youíre staying here in the Residence and I going to check you over for myself."

"Yes, Maíam." Leo winces at the thought of Abbey examining him. "But youíll have to work hard to convince Margaret to leave my side," Leo informs her best friendís wife.

"No problem, we have plenty of rooms, besides I want to make sure that she is okay, too."

"Iím sure sheíll love that." Leo rolls his eyes.

"Leo," Abbeyís voice turns serious. "Jed was really upset when he called, does he know that youíre back and okay?"

"Yes, Abbey. Margaret has talked with him several times this morning and the agents informed him that we are back at the hotel. Iím sure weíll be getting a Presidential visit as soon as he can get back from his latest event."

"You know he wonít be happy until he sees you with his own eyes, for that matter neither will I."

"I know, Abbey." Leo pauses as he wonders if he should tell her about him and Margaret. "Abbey, I have something I need to tell you when we get home tonight. Donít worry itís good news, but I donít want to announce it over the phone, Okay?"

"Leo, I just want you to know that I talked with Mallory today. I called her after Jed called me this morning. I didnít want her to hear about you on the news, but Margaret had already beat me to it." Abbey pauses, sheí not sure if she should bring this up on the phone, but decides that she wants Leo to know that sheís there for him. These past few months have been hard on them and their friendship has greatly suffered. It has only been lately that they have been anything more than cordial to one another. Abbey realizes that she went too far with him, but doesnít know how to make it right. "Leo, Mallory told me about Jenny. I also heard from Jed that you have been less than your happy self lately."

"Donít worry about it," automatically flies from his mouth, but he really does mean it. Heís fine. Heís got Margaret. "Abbey, yes itís true that I wasnít exactly little Miss Mary Sunshine these past few days, but itís really okay, now. Thatís part of what I wanted to tell you. Hell, I might as well tell you now, because as soon as Ďheí finds out, Ďheíllí be on the phone blabbing to you."

"Okay, Iím listening."

"Margaret and I... are going to pursue a romantic relationship, as of today."

"Oh Leo, itís about time! She is so perfect for you. Iíve always thought that there was something there."

"Thanks, donít tell the President though, Iíll tell him when I see him." Leo wonders just how transparent heís been about his feelings towards Margaret.

"Okay, I wonít. Leo, I am so happy for you two."

"Thanks. Abbey, I am..." A huge yawn interrupts their conversation. "Sorry, Iím really tired, and believe it or not, Iím going to lay down and take a nap."

"Okay, Iíll see you tonight. Bye."

"Bye," Leo says as he hangs up the phone and faces an astonished Margaret.

"What?" He asks.

"You told the First Lady," Margaret stammers out.


"The First Lady knows," Margaret restates, as she starts to wring her hands.

"Yeah. Margaret itís okay. Sheís very happy for us." Leo tries to get up but the pain in his shoulder forces him to stay on the bed. He brings up his left hand and holds his injured arm tighter against his body.

"Leo." She says, as walks over and sits down next to him. "You need to stop moving around so much." She lays a hand on his leg. "Are you in a lot of pain?"

"Not much." He tells her as her looks into her eyes. He reaches up and takes a strand of her and places it behind her ear.

"Is that not much on the normal personís standard, or are we using the ĎIím fineí Leo McGarry scale?" She smirks to him as she leans over and lays her head on his good shoulder.

"Yeah, it hurts," Leo sheepishly admits.

"They said you could take more of your ibuprofen when we got back to the hotel. Iíll get it." Margaret gets up off the bed and goes to her purse and pulls out the liquid prescription strength ibuprofen and dispenser that they gave her at the hospital. She pours out the correct dose and takes it to Leo. "Here, Iíll get you some water to wash it down with." Margaret goes to the small refrigerator and gets him a bottle of water and hands it to him.

Leo takes the bottle and then just stares at her.

"What?" She asks.

He holds the bottle back out to her, "Could you open it, please?" He asks.

"Oh, Leo, sorry. I just wasnít thinking," as she takes the bottle and unscrews the cap and then hands it back to him.


"Youíre welcome," She replies. "You told the First Lady."

"Will you get over it?" Leo smirks.

"Okay.... Yeah."

"Margaret," Leoís tone turns a little serious. "I told you before that we would continue our talk and actions that we started in the elevator, but right now I just need to lay down and sleep."

"Okay," Margaret says sadly, as she gets back off the bed and starts to walk away. "Iíll be out in the other room if you need me."

"Margaret?" The sound and tone of Leoís voice stops her and makes her turn around. "I want you here with me." Leo pats the area next to him on the bed. "I want you in my bed, next to me. I need you here." He pleads with his voice and his eyes.

"Okay," Margaret shyly says, as she walks back over to the bed. She helps Leo get situated and then crawls into bed next to him.

"Margaret, I just wanted to tell you again how sorry I am for the way Iíd been treating you these past few days."

"Shh, Leo it doesnít matter anymore, my love. Donít worry about anything, just go to sleep," she tells him as she takes his hand and gives it a squeeze.

"Margaret, I love you." He reaffirms as he returns her squeeze. "What did I ever do to deserve you?"

"Funny," she says, as she scoots closer to him, "I was just thinking the same thing."

The President gets back to the hotel a little after three oíclock. The first thing he does is head for Leoís room. Ron had informed him earlier that Leo and Margaret got back to the hotel at noon. The President, surrounded by several agents, knocks softly on the door of Leoís suite. Thereís no answer. He knows that Leo is in there, because an agent is posted outside the door. "He must be asleep, Iím surprised that Margaret isnít in there watching him." He turns to the agent. "Has she left the room?"

"Sir, no one has left and entered the room, since I relieved the agent an hour ago, Sir." The young clean-cut man informs his President.

"Do you have a key to his room?"

"Yes Sir." The agent replies as he produces a card key from his pocket and walks over and unlocks the door.

"Thanks," the President says, as he starts to enter the room.

"Youíre welcome, Sir." The agent replies.

"Mr. President, we need to sweep the room first," Ron informs the President.

"Okay," he says as he steps aside and lets a couple of agents in the room. They are back in a matter of seconds.

"All clear, Sir." An agent informs the President.

"Was Leo inside?"

"Yes Sir, heís asleep."

"Oh, okay. Iím just going to go in and check on him." Jed enters Leoís room and a couple of agents follow and take up position in the living area of Leoís suite.

Jed walks through the living area of Leoís suite and into the darkened bedroom. He hears the soft sounds of Leoís breathing, he also hears another person too. As he gets closer to the bed, he sees that Leo is not alone on the bed. Margaret is curled up next to him, with a protective hand resting on his good shoulder. Jed smiles as he sits down in the chair next to the bed. He should have known that Margaret would never leave his side. Sheís always been the one who has taken care of him. She was there for him during the drinking and the drugs, rehab, the campaigns, his divorce and too many other things to even try to remember.

Jed has been sitting in the room for just a few minutes, thinking about their relationship and something that seems to have changed, when Margaret begins to stir. She rouses, looks up and notices that someone else is in the room. She sees that itís the President and quickly tries to get off the bed. But this quick movement makes her side hurt and she lets out a gasp of pain. Jed is on his feet and on her side of the bed in record time.

"No, Margaret itís okay. Please donít get up."

"Itís okay, Sir. I just moved too fast. I only bruised my side." She continues to get up while holding her side.

Jed tries to grab a hold of her arm and help her out of bed. "Margaret are you sure you should get up? You should stay put, you two have had quiet an experience today."

"Thatís okay, Sir. I can manage. Iím fine," she tells the President.

"Margaret, I think you been spending too much time with ĎMr. Iím Fineí. Are you sure youíre okay?"

"Yes, Sir," she reaffirms, as she slowly gets up off the bed and starts moving around the room. "Sir, I hate to ask you this, but do you think you could sit here and watch him for a couple of minutes? I want to get changed out of these clothes." Margaret looks down at the stain that is on her skirt. Leoís dried blood is all over it. She shivers at the thought at what could have happened to them today.

"Iíd be happy to sit here while you do that. Take your time. Maybe if you soak in the tub it would help your side?" Jed tells her as he escorts her to the door. "Heíll be fine Margaret."

"I wonít be gone long," she tells the President.

"Margaret, donít worry, Iíll take care of him," he tries to reassure her.

"Okay," she says as she bobs her head and leaves the room. She heads down the hall to her own room. She has some things she wants to do before she heads back.

Leo wakes when he hears the door to his room close. Heís still half asleep when he reaches for Margaret and finds her missing. "Margaret," he softly calls.

Jed rushes to his friendís side. "Shhh Leo, she just left." Jed sits down on the bed beside Leo and lays a comforting hand on him. Leo eyes are more awake now and he looks around the room. "Itís okay, she went to her room to change and take a nice long soak in the tub."

Leo settles down and nods his head. "Is she okay?"

"Yeah, she seemed to be in a little pain when she first got up," Jed says.

"She hurt her side," Leo tells his friend.

"She didnít want me to help her up, sheís almost as stubborn as you."

"Nah, sheís afraid of you," Leo smirks and then he continues, "does she really seem okay? You know she tried to hide her injuries from me?"

"Leo, she seemed fine, just a little stiff and sore. Why did she try and hide her injuries?"

"She didnít want me worrying about her, I guess."

"Leo, that woman is far too good for you."

"Yeah, I tend to agree, but I need her." Leo isnít successful in keeping any emotion out of his voice when he confesses this fact to the President.

Jed raises an eyebrow at this statement, but decides not to comment on it just yet. "Leo, how are you doing?"

"Iím fine."

"Leo, you are not!"

"Yes, Sir, I really am," Leo continues. "I canít say Iím not in pain, but it will be fine. Nothing serious, Sir. Really. Donít worry about it."

"Iíll worry if I want to," Jed informs him.

"Okay, be that way." Leo smirks.

"How many stitches?" Jed points to the bandage on Leoís eyebrow.

"Only six, Sir." Leo proudly announces.

"Howís the shoulder?"

"Sore and back in place."

Jed gets up off the bed and starts to pace. "Leo, why didnít you call me and tell me what happened?"

"Sir, I know for a fact that Margaret talked to you at least three times after we left the hotel this morning?"

"I donít mean then Leo, I mean when you were stuck down in the elevator." An exasperated Jed informs his friend.

"Sir, what could you have done?"

"Nothing, but at least I would have known. I could have talked to you I..."

"Jed, itís okay. Iím fine, really." It suddenly hits Leo that Jed is scared that he almost lost him this morning.

Jed stops pacing and turns to face his friend at the sound of his first name being used. "Okay, but next time youíll call."

"Yes, next time Iím stuck in an elevator, Iíll be sure and call you Sir," Leo smirks.

"Smartass," Jed calls his friend.

"Sir, do you think you could help me up and arrange the pillows so that I can sit up? Iím getting tired of laying down."

"Sure." Jed walks over to the bed and helps get Leo up to a sitting position. Then he arranges the pillows. "Leo, while youíre sitting up, do you need to make a trip anywhere?"

Leo stares back at him, and then he realizes what Jed is implying. "What am I, in kindergarten?"

"No, but I just thought you might need to, you know and I could help get you... um out of bed, if you wanted."

Leo sits there for a few seconds. "Well, I didnít before, but since you mentioned it, I do. Thanks!"

"Hey, what are friends for?"


Jed helps Leo up off the bed and watches him as he makes his way to the bathroom. He seems pretty steady on his feet. Jed sits back down in the chair and waits for his friendís return. Leo has been in there for a while now and Jed is starting to get nervous. He gets up and walks over to the door. He listens, but doesnít hear anything. Then he hears a muffled curse and then Leo calls for him.


"Yes, Leo."

"Sir, um... could you come here? ... I um..."

Jed walks into the bathroom to find Leo standing there, holding his pants up. "I canít fasten or zip them." He informs Jed. Leoís face is red from embarrassment.

"Oh, so I guess maybe you are in kindergarten after all," Jed says as he walks over to him, heís trying to keep the situation light. He knows that Leo hates to ask for help and this is really hard for him.

"Yeah." Is all Leo says.

After Leo gets back into bed, he is finally a lot more alert than earlier and his embarrassment over the bathroom situation is gone. "Sir, didnít you have something on the schedule this afternoon?"

"I did, but it got canceled."

It got canceled or you canceled it, Sir?"

"Yeah," Jed tells his friend. "Hey, is there something you want to share with me concerning your assistant?"

"No, Sir. I donít think so. Her x-rays were negative."

"Leo, thatís not what Iím talking about."

"Sir, Iím in pain over here," Leo points to his shoulder, "could you get to your point?"

"My point is, whatís going on between you and Margaret. I saw you grab her hand in the hallway."

"Yeah, well... We went though a terrible experience together this morning. She was still upset and I was just trying to calm her down."

"She didnít appear to be too upset to me and she seemed very happy to be holding your hand."

"Yeah, well, thatís because Iím a lovable guy."

"Not the way youíve been acting these past few days, my friend." Jed moves over closer to his friend. "Tell me, what happened in the elevator?"

"It fell, Sir," Leo tries to keep a straight face.

"Besides the obvious, Leo. I know it fell, good God, youíre the most difficult man to talk to!"

"Funny, I was just thinking the same about you, Sir." Leo smirks.

"Okay, Mr. Wisenheimer, hereís a question you canít step around. Is there something of a romantic nature happening between you and Margaret?"

"Yeah." Leo relents with a huge grin plastered across his face.


"Yeah... Sir... Margaret and I are going to be seeing more of each other... we are you know... we have been for a while...wanting know... been thinking about and then Mal told me about Jenny getting remarried..."

Jed interrupts his friend. "Jenny is getting remarried? Leo why didnít you tell me? Why do you always try and handle everything by yourself? Leo..."

"Sir, let me finish. After Mal told me I sorta... took out my mood on Margaret. She called me on it today. She gave me hell over it and forced me to tell her what was going on. During this time I realized that there was a good chance that she felt the same way about me that I felt about her. Jed, Iíve loved her for so long, but was afraid she wouldnít feel the same way. I finally told her how I feel and she feels the same.

"Well, my friend, I think you have finally found the one person who totally understands and loves you. Margaret is perfect for you."

"I think so too, Sir." Leo agrees.

The President is about to continue, but is interrupted by an agent.

"Mr. President, CJ Cregg is here." The agent informs him. "Sheís wanting to see Mr. McGarry."

Jed looks at Leo. "The more the merrier," Leo says, "send her in."

CJ walks into the bedroom. "Leo, are you okay?"

"Iím fine." Leoís getting a little tired of all the attention.

"Well, I donít believe so, but I can see that youíve probably just been given the third degree," CJ nods towards the President, "so Iíll leave it at that."

"Thanks," Leo says. "Howís the day going?"

"Good, weíve had a lot of questions about the accident, but nothing that I canít handle. Howís Margaret?" CJ glances around the room and is surprised that sheís not hovering.

"She went to her room to change, she left me in charge of watching Leo." The President proudly announces.

"Well, then the rumor I heard must be true."

"What rumor?" Leo quickly asks. He starts to rise off the bed, but Jed motions for him to stay put.

"That she hit her head in the fall and has lost all sense of reasoning," CJ teases.

"Very funny CJ, that type of comment will get you a trip to a cold state." Jed smirks.

"Seriously, is Margaret okay?" CJ asks.

"She bruised her side and hip. She got a knee from me when we hit the floor." Leo explains.

"Mr. President," a Secret Service agent interrupts, "you have a call on the secure line in your room, Sir."

"Okay," Jed turns to face CJ. "CJ, can you watch Leo while I take this call? I donít want to get on Margaretís bad side for leaving him alone."

Leo is getting up off the bed. "Sir, maybe I should come with you."

"No, I can handle this, Iíll send for you if I need to. You stay here and visit with CJ." The President commands.

"Iíll make sure he stays in bed, Sir." CJ tells the President as she walks over and sits in the chair next to the bed. "Leopold, back in bed with you," She orders.

"What are you my mother?" Leo smirks to her.

"Funny man, thatís almost as funny as the last time you said that to me." CJ crosses her legs and gives Leo a look.


"Leo, seriously, how are you feeling?"

"My head hurts a little," Leo raises his fingertips to his bandage and lightly touches the area around it and grimaces. "and my shoulder is pretty sore and Iím starting to discover some other aches and pains in my body as the day wears on. Basically, I feel like I was in an elevator that fell a few feet." Leo smirks.

"Well, you and Margaret were very lucky that you two werenít seriously injured."

"Yeah, weíre very lucky," Leo gets a grin on his face. "CJ, thereís something I need to tell you.


"There might be a ... um... no there is a situation that you need to be aware of," Leo informs the Press Secretary.

"Okay." CJ gives her full attention to Leo. Whatever it is must be really big, because Leo doesnít normally hesitate when talking about things.

"CJ, Margaret and I are... that is we are... oh hell ... Margaret and I are going to start seeing each other outside of the office."

"Okay," CJ has a confused look on her face, "I donít see that as a problem, because you two already spend time out of the office now, right?"

"Yeah, but not the same way as before. CJ, I love Margaret. I told her today in the elevator and she told me the same, weíre going to start..."

"Oh," it finally sinks into CJís head, what Leo has been trying to tell her. "You and Margaret? Really?"

"Yeah, Margaret and I."

"Congratulations," CJ gets a wicked smile on her face, "couldnít you have waited a little longer?"

"What?" a confused Leo asks her.

"This means that Toby wins the pool, I had the time after the next midterms." CJ smirks.


"No, just pulling your chain." CJ laughs. "You are far too easy to tease."

"Thanks." Leo turns serious. "Do you think it will be a problem with the press?"

"No, I wonít let it be." CJ tells him. "Leo, Iím so happy for you two and to tell you the truth, Iíll always thought that you were sweet on her."


"Oh yeah."


"Iíve seen the way your face lights up when she enters a room and the way you smile when she hands you one of her famous messages."

Leo smiles. "I guess I didnít do such a good job of hiding my feelings as I thought I had."

"No, I guess you didnít"

"CJ, I need a favor. I was going to ask the President to help me, but I think that you are an even better choice."

"What can I do for you, Leopold?"

"Well, first off, you can stop calling me that," Leo smirks and CJ laughs. "I want to get Margaret something for Valentineís Day, but I not very mobile at this time and besides, Margaret wonít let me leave the room anyway. Could you pick something up for me at the jewelry store downstairs?"

"Sure, what did you have in mind?"

"Well, I was thinking about either a nice gold bracelet or maybe a necklace. Maybe even a necklace with a heart locket."

"Oh, I think the locket idea sounds great."

"Okay, then, a locket it is. I hope they have one there that is nice."

"Iím sure they do, and if not, there is a jewelry store in the next couple of blocks that might have something."

"Thanks CJ," Leo starts to get up.

"Leo, what are you doing?"

"I was going to get my wallet and give you some money."

"Leo, where is it? I can get it for you."

"You know, Iím not an invalid." Leo smirks.

"I know that," CJ teases. "But, Iíve always wanted to get my hands on your money."

"Women. Youíre all alike." Leo teases back. "My wallet is in my suit coat. I think Margaret hung it over one of the chairs at the table." Leo nods his head towards the living area of his suite.

CJ gets up and goes to the table. She comes back into the bedroom with Leoís coat. She pulls out his wallet from the inside pocket and starts to hand it to him.

"CJ," Leo motions towards his injured arm, "youíll have to get the money."

CJ opens up his wallet and is surprised to see several one hundred dollar bills staring back at her. "Leo, do you always carry this much money around with you?"


CJ just shakes her head. "Okay, how much do you want me to take?"

"Take three or four, no make that five, I want you have plenty."

"Okay, hey can I keep the change?"

"No." Leo chortles.

"Well, you canít blame a girl for trying."

"Canít blame a girl for trying what?" the voice from the doorway says.

"CJ is trying to take advantage of me, Sir."

"Not our CJ." Jed smirks as he enters the room. Jed notices that she has Leoís wallet and a few one hundred dollars bills in her hand. "Robbing the bank of McGarry, CJ?" Jed jokes.

"Yes, Sir." CJ replies. "If youíll excuse me Sir, I have an errand to run for Leo." CJís not sure if Leo has told the President about Margaret.

"Leo, are you sending CJ out to buy a present for someone?"


"So, you told her?


"Okay, great, I hate secrets," the President tells the roomís occupants.

"Yeah, right!" CJ smirks as she leaves the bedroom and heads for the door.

"What do you think she meant by that?" Jed smirks as he walks over and sits down in the chair by the bed. "So, how you doing?"

"Sir, will you stop? Iím the same that I was before," Leo pauses as he looks at his watch, "like twenty minutes ago, before you left to go take that call. Speaking of the call, is there anything that I need to know Sir?"

"No. Leo youíre off duty for the next few days. Youíre going to have to leave the running of the White House in Joshís hands for the next week or so."

"A week! Itís just a dislocated shoulder," Leo motions to his arm. "Iím coming back to work tomorrow."

"Tomorrowís Sunday."

"Sir, you and I both know that the government doesnít close down on Sundays. I work most Sundays."

"Well, you wonít be working this one. As a matter of fact, you are going to stay here in this hotel for the next few days and recover."


"Donít Sir me. Itís already been arranged," Jed informs his friend.


"You will be the guest of this hotel for the next few days, actually for as long as you like. I had Debbie call the hotel, while I was taking my call, and arrange for you and Margaret to keep your rooms."

"But, Sir."

"Leo. There are no buts. The hotel was more than happy to extend your stay here. As a matter of fact, you are not even being charged for the rooms. They want you to stay here and recover. I think theyíre afraid of a lawsuit."

"Yeah I bet they are, but Sir..."

"Leo take this time and use it to your advantage. Spend it with Margaret and enjoy yourselves. I know for a fact that you owe her some free time, especially after how youíve been behaving these past few days."

"Yeah, youíre probably right about that," Leo thinks that this would be a good chance for them to really get to know one another. "Well, Sir, when you put it that way. How can I resist?"

"Resist what?" Margaret says, as she enters Leoís bedroom.

"Hi Margaret. Howís your side feeling?" The President asks.

"Oh, itís much better now, Sir. I soaked for a while in the tub and Iím feeling fine now," Margaret says, as she walks over to the bed. She wants to reach out to touch Leo but she doesnít know if heís told the President about them yet.

"Hey," Leo says to her as she stands by the bed. He reaches out and takes her hand. He pulls it to his face and places a tender kiss on it. "Missed ya," he tells her in a very loving voice.

"Me too," she replies. She glances shyly over to the President.

"Itís okay, Margaret. Leo told me and I couldnít be happier for you two," Jed professes as he stands up and walks over to her. He places a hand on her arm. "Iím going to go. Leo has something to tell you. Take care of him, Okay?" Jed runs his hand down the length of her arm and gives her hand a gentle squeeze.

"I will Sir," she says, as she watches the President leave the room.

"Hey," Leo says again to her as he pats the bed next to him.

Margaret sits on the edge of the bed. "Hey yourself."

"Come here," Leo whispers in a gravely voice.

Margaret leans over and Leo raises his hand to her face, gently stroking her cheek. His hand moves through her hair and to the back of her neck. He slowly pulls her down to him. Their lips lightly brush against one another at first and then increase in pressure against one another. Margaret continues to kiss Leo gently, his lips separating her own to let the entry of his tongue, sliding against hers. Their tongues leisurely explore and shyly touch with their playful kisses.† This is still so new for them for them.† They just want to take their time getting to know each other.† Neither one of them is new to relationships, but they want to experience the romance that Valentineís Day is all about. After a couple of minutes, they break apart. They gaze into each otherís eyes. Margaret leans in and lays her head softly on his good shoulder.


"Leo, I..." Margaret canít seem to find the words.


"Me too." Leo agrees. He has his hand in her hair running his fingers through it.


Margaret sits up. "Leo, I made some plans for us tonight."


"Okay. What did you have in mind?"


"Iíve ordered us a really nice dinner for here in your room. I hope you donít mind?"


"I think thatís a great idea. I have something to tell you, too." Leo shifts his position on the bed, trying to sit up a little bit more. "Weíre going to be spending the next few days here at the hotel. The President is making us take a little vacation here, allowing us to recover from our injuries."






"Oh, Leo, thatís sounds wonderful."


"I thought you might like that. Maybe we can get out of this room and go see some things tomorrow."


"Leo, do you think youíll be up to it tomorrow?"


"I sure hope so, thereís a couple of places I want to take you to while weíre out here."






"Okay. This trip sure hasnít turned out like I expected it would."


"Yeah, you said that this morning in the elevator."


"True, but itís improved so much since then."


"Yeah, I especially liked the trip to the hospital," Leo smirks.


"I think maybe we could skip that one on our next trip out here."

"Fine by me," Leo says. "Margaret I think Iím going to get these stained clothes off and get into something more comfortable."

"Dapper, even when youíre hurt, huh?"

"Yeah. They said at the hospital that I couldnít get my stitches wet for a couple of days, so a showerís out, but the dried blood on my neck and shoulder are really itching me and was wondering if..." Leoís not sure if Margaret will be comfortable with what he is about to ask.

"Leo, do you want me to help get up cleaned up?"

Leo nods his head. "Yeah, you sure you donít mind?"

"Leo, Iíve been taking care of you for years. Why would I mind?"

"True, but youíve never had to clean me up before."

Margaret doesnít want to lie to Leo, but she doesnít want to go into any of their past right now. There was a few times in the past, during his days as Labor Secretary, that she cleaned up a very drunk or high Leo McGarry. She used to wonder if he remembered any of those awful times. She decides to sidestep the issue, for now, "Come on Leo, letís get you out of those clothes.

"Oh Margaret, I like the sound of that," Leo says, as he slowly gets up off the bed. "See Iím getting better already, I didnít even need help this time," he proudly announces as he heads to the bathroom.

Margaret follows Leo and then shuts the door to the bathroom. She doesnít want anyone showing up unexpectedly and catch her giving Leo a sponge bath.

Leo turns towards Margaret. "Iíll hold my arm and you can undo this Velcro straps on this thing." Leo grabs a hold of his injured arm and holds onto it. He knows that this is going to hurt, no matter how well they do this. "Okay, Iím ready." He tells her as he takes a deep breath.

Margaret removes the Velcro straps and then the main Velcro that holds the sling around Leoís shoulder. The sling slips off. Leo grimaces a little at the total loss of support as he takes the full weight of his arm. Margaret starts undoing his buttons on his shirt and then carefully unbuttons his cuffs. "Leo, Iíll hold your right arm, while you slip your left arm out of the sleeve."

Leo nods his head. "Okay." He breathes out as he slowly removes his arm and the slides halfway out of his shirt. Then he takes a hold of his injured arm again. Margaret slides the shirt the rest of the way off his other shoulder and then they carefully remove his injured arm from the sleeve.

"Leo, whereís you t-shirt?" Margaret says with a confused face and slightly embarrassed look on her. He had it on when they were in the elevator. She has never seen him bare-chested before and doesnít really know where to look.

"They had to cut it off at the hospital," Leo explains.

"Oh okay, I guess that was the only way to prevent giving you more pain before they popped your shoulder back in," Margaret says, as she goes to the sink and gets the water and soap ready.

Leo steps next to her and nuzzles his face against her neck. "Thanks for helping me with this." He whispers to her as he kisses her neck.

"Leo, that tickles," she giggles as she tries to finish what she is doing at the sink. She wrings out the washcloth and soaps it up. She takes the washcloth and gently washes off the dried blood his neck and shoulder. "Ok, now lets get this rinsed off." She turns around and runs the washcloth under the warm water, then starts to clean off the soap from his neck and shoulder. She brushes up against Leo and realizes that this sponge bath is having quite an affect on Leo. She smiles and then leans over and places a kiss on his injured shoulder. "All better now?" She asks him.

"Yeah." Leo groans. He is having a hard time controlling himself. When Margaret accidentally brushed up against him he almost moaned out loud. He was hoping that she wouldnít notice what was going on, "Margaret, I um..." he turns his back to her to hide his condition and she moves over to place a kiss on his neck and then on his cheek before she gently kisses his lips, allowing the kisses to remain loving and playful and romantic.

They were soon lost in each otherís mouths. Margaret places her other hand on his waist and skimmed her fingers around to the middle of his back. Lightly rubbing circles to comfort him.

Leo moans into her mouth. "Oh, Margaret. I wish I could hold you properly with both arms," he says when he pulls his lips from hers.

"Donít worry about it." She says, as she runs her hand back around to his face and strokes his cheek. "We have plenty of time. Weíre in no rush."

"Yeah, plenty of time." Leo moans as he presses his mouth back on hers, willing her to let him explore her mouth some more.

Margaret shifts her position and inadvertently touches his bad arm. Pain shoots through it. Leo tries not to react, but canít control his body and he flinches.

"Oh, Leo. Iím sorry. We need to stop this and get your arm immobilized again." She tells him as she pulls away from him.

"Yeah, youíre probably right." Leo mumbles, upset by the loss of contact with her mouth. "I really should get out of these pants, too."

She gets a towel and starts to carefully dry off Leoís shoulder and neck. "How will we manage to do that?"

"I can get them undone and off by myself, but Iíll need help fastening and zipping them." Leo shyly tells her.

"Leo," she realizes that heís embarrassed at the thought of needing her to do this for him. "It will be okay." She reassures him as she reaches for his hand and give it a squeeze. "Iíll go get you another pair of pants. What ones do you want?"

"I think I packed a pair of Dockers and a pull over shirt."

"Leo, I donít think a pull over shirt will be very easy to get on you."

"Yeah, youíre right. I wasnít thinking. Just get me a dress shirt then."

"Okay." She tells him as she goes out to the bedroom and rummages through the wardrobe and finds something appropriate for him to wear. She walks back into the bathroom and closes the door again. "Letís get this shirt on you first and get your arm back in the sling."

"Yeah," Leo agrees.

Margaret helps him back into his shirt and then buttons it up. She gets the sling back on him and places his arm back into the restraints that hold it immobile. She then steps back and gives him a look. "How are you going to do the pants?"

"Well, Iíve already discovered that I have no problem undoing them, itís the refastening and zipping them back up that I have a problem with," Leo informs her as his face turns a little red.

"Leo, thereís nothing to worry about. Youíre wearing boxers, right?"

"Yeah." Leo answers. Heís trying to figure out how she would know this. He has a puzzled look on his face.

"Leo, how many times of I packed your clothes for you when you had to go away on a last minute trip?"

"I donít know."

"Well, after all those times, you think I might know what type of underwear you wear." She pauses, as she gives him a look. "I hope your wearing those silk blue ones with the white stars on them, Iíve always wanted to see you in those," she smirks, as she runs her fingers around his waistband.

"Margaret." Leo whines.

"Margaret, I love you but I want to do this right. I donít want to mess this up. I donít want to... I donít know. I just..."

Margaret places her finger oh his lips. "Leo, itís okay, I want to take things slow too. But that doesnít mean we canít enjoy ourselves a little along the way." She says as she drops her hand slowly from his face and leans in and kisses him.

They jump quickly apart when a knock on the bathroom door interrupts them. They have been so engrossed with each other that they didnít here the door to Leoís room open or the CJís voice calling for Leo. They break apart.

"Yes," Leo says in a raspy voice.

"Leo, itís me. CJ. I um.... have..."

"Okay, weíll be right out. Margaret was helping me get cleaned up," Leo looks at Margaret whose face is bright red. He puts a hand on her shoulder. "Baby, it's okay. CJ already knows about us."

Margaret stares back at him. "Leo, you just called me Baby."

"Yeah, I did. Do you mind?"

"No, I um... I kinda liked it."

"Good. Now lets get my pants changed, okay?"

Itís probably a good thing that CJ came along. Because it makes the changing of Leoís pants a lot less embarrassing after almost getting caught making out in the bathroom.

When CJ realizes that Margaret is here, she goes back out to the living area and tries to find a place to hide the gift. She fanatically looks around the room for a place to hide it. She eventually decides to put it in the end table drawer. She is just shutting the drawer when she hears Leo and Margaret coming out of the bathroom.

"CJ," Leo calls as he walks out of the bathroom. "What do ya need?"

"Um... I was just coming by to check up on you," CJ walks back into the bedroom door. She notices that Leo no longer has on his bloodied shirt or pants. His face has a lot more color than it did earlier too.

"Okay, well Iím still fine," Leo, says before he realizes the real reason for her visit.

"You look a lot better than you did the last time I saw you. Margaret how are you? Leo says you bruised your side?"

"Yeah, I fell on Leo and got a knee to the side."

"CJ," motioning with his arm, "lets sit out in there. Iím getting tired of lying in bed." Leo walks out and slowly sits down on the couch. The sponge bath really did make him feel better, in more ways than one. "Wheels up still set for six oíclock tonight?"

"Yes, the motorcade leaves in a half an hour." CJ looks at Margaret. "Do you need help getting him packed and ready for the trip back?"

"CJ, weíre not going back tonight. Weíre under Presidential orders to stay here and recuperate in this fine hotel," Leo motions with his arm. "The hotel is putting us up here for the next few days, free of charge."

"Okay, you guys deserve a break, after everything that has happened to you today." CJ gets up out of her chair and heads for the door. "I need to go get packed, call me if you need anything. Weíll be here for another half an hour or so, you know the President, we never leave on time." CJ opens the door to leave and almost runs into Josh and Donna. "Hey guys."

"Is he up?" Josh asks.

"Yeah, heís sitting on the couch right now."

"Okay," Josh says as he steps around her and enters the room. "Leo?" he calls out as he enters the room.

"Right here, Josh," Leo says,

Josh and Donna walk over to the couch were Leo and Margaret are sitting. Josh canít help but stare at their hands. Theyíre holding hands. "Leo, Margaret, how are the two of you?"

"Iím fine." Leo says while rubbing his thumb on Margaretís knuckles.

"Me too," Margaret is a little uncomfortable, but as long as Leo keeps rubbing her hand, she thinks she might be okay.

"So," Josh smirks. "Whatís new with you two?"

"Well, the elevator we were in this morning fell several feet," Leo quips.

"Already knew that one," Josh comments.

"Oh, you mean this." Leo raises their joined hands into the air and kisses her knuckles. "Margaret and I have decided to start seeing on another."

"Congratulations!" Donna says.

"Thanks." Leo and Margaret say in unison.

"Way to go Leo." Josh gets up and goes over to shake Leoís hand, but realizes that isnít going to work so he pats him on his good shoulder. Then he looks at Margaret. "Hey, I thought you loved me?" Josh queries.

"I still love you, just not that way," Margaret smirks. She has known Josh for a lot of years. They have both been a part of Leoís life, the good times and the bad.

"Well, I guess that will have to be enough then." He says as he bends down and places a chaste kiss on her cheek.

"Hey, who said you could kiss my girl?" Leo feigns jealousy.

Donna sits there and stares at the interplay between Leo, Margaret and Josh. She has never seen Leo so playful before, well really she has never seen Leo be anything other than all business. She thinks that he looks years younger sitting next to Margaret. Sheís really good for him and she thinks that Leo is just what Margaret needs, too. "Josh, we should go, so they can get ready. Plus I know for a fact that you havenít even starting packing your stuff yet."

"Donna, weíre not leaving tonight. The hotel has offered to let us stay here, on the house, for a few days and the President is forcing Leo to take a few days off."

"Okay, you two deserve a break after today." Donna gets up out of her chair. "Come on Josh. Weíll see you two back in DC in a few days."

"Bye you guys, weíll talk before we get back.† Have a good flight." Leo says as he starts to get up off the couch. His face grimaces in pain.

"Bye," Margaret says, as she grabs a hold off Leoís arm and helps him up.

"Okay, see you guys later. Have a good time." Josh says, as he follows Donna to the door.

"Finally, weíre alone." Leo proclaims just as the phone rings. "Yeah," Leo says after he answers the phone.

"Leo, itís CJ, I just wanted to let you know that I put your present to Margaret in the end table drawer. Your change is in the bag, too."

"Okay. Thanks for everything."

"No problem, see ya later."

"Okay, bye." Leo puts the phone back down.

"Who was that?" Margaret says.

"Wrong number." Leo quips.

"Okay." Margaret stares back at him. She knows heís lying, but decides to let it slide. "Leo, youíre in pain again arenít you?" She says as she walks over to him and places a hand on his shoulder. "You know, you can take your prescription every four hours and itís been longer than that since you took it the last time?"

"I was going to take it after dinner. It makes me a little drowsy and I want to be wide-awake during dinner. When is dinner?" Leo tries to change the subject.

Margaret looks at her watch. "It should be here in a half an hour. Um... Leo I need to run back to my room for a couple of minutes. Will you be okay?"

Leo rolls his eyes at her. "Margaret, Iím fine, go." He says with the wave of his hand.

"Okay, Iíll be right back."

As soon as the door closes behind Margaret, Leo goes over to the end table and opens the drawer. He finds a bag with the gift in it, already wrapped. His change is also in the bag. CJ even picked up a Valentineís Day card. Itís a nice simple card about love. Leo smiles at the card and makes a mental note to himself to thank CJ when he gets back to DC. He takes the card out of the bag and heads for the table. He picks up a pen with his left hand and tries his best to sign the card and envelope. He then places the gift and card on the coffee table. He heads to the bathroom to put on some cologne.† Heís struggling with the cologne bottle cap when the phone rings.

"Damnit," Leo puts down the bottle none too gently and goes to answer the phone. "Yeah," he says in an aggravated voice.

"Leo, are you okay?"

Leo rolls his eyes at the person on the other end of the line. "Yes, Sir. Iím fine." Leo huffs into the receiver.

"Doesnít sound like it."

"Sir, is there something that you needed?"

"No, I just called to tell you goodbye." Jed pauses, he knows somethingís wrong, but doesnít know if he should press Leo. "Okay, well if everythingís okay, Iíll see you in a few days."

"Sir, Iím sorry. Itís just... that I was trying to open a bottle and canít get it by myself. Margaret went to her room for a couple of minutes and I was just trying..."

Jed interrupts him. "Leo, Iím going to send an agent over, that will be much easier than me coming. Okay?"

"Yeah, thatís fine. Tell him to hurry."

"Okay, Bye Leo, Iíll talk to you soon."

"Bye, Sir. Not too soon, Sir.† Iím kind of still tired and we will probably turn in early tonight.† It has been a busy week and an especially long day.† Iíll call you tomorrow before we go out."

In just a couple of minutes, thereís a knock on his door. He goes to answer it and finds Ron Butterfield standing there. "Ron, Iím sorry the President sent you here. He should have just sent a junior agent. Thereís no reason to trouble you."

"Leo, the President asked me to send an agent and I decided I would just come down myself. How are you doing?"

"Little sore, but nothing serious."

Ron gives him his patented Ďyeah rightí look and continues on. "The President said you needed some help with something."

"Yeah, I was trying to open a bottle in the bathroom and canít get it." Leo heads to the bathroom. Ron follows. Leo picks up the bottle of cologne and hands it to Ron. Ron opens it with no problem.

"Thanks." Leo says as he holds out his hand and Ron pours a little into his hand. Leo applies it to his neck and face.

"No problem. Leo, The President informed me of your new situation and I also wanted to let you know that weíve leaving your regular agents behind too. The President is going to send the First Ladyís plane back in a few days to pick you up. He also said something about that the First Lady would be accompanying it out here."

"Great, I canít wait for her to get out here and get her hands on me," Leo smirks as he walks out of the bathroom and heads for the living area.

"Yes." Ron smiles a little as he says it. "Leo, weíve already got a report on the accident this morning. It appears to be just that, an accident. No foul play could be found."

Leo looks at Ron. "Yeah, I really didnít think is was anything else."

"Please remember not to go anywhere out here by yourself." Ron looks around the room like heís looking for someone.

"Yeah, I know. Itís just, well, I want to enjoy this weekend here. I owe her some fun after the way I treated her this past week."

Ron nods his head in agreement. "Yeah, I was surprised she didnít crawl out of that elevator and leave you down there in it."

"Me too, I think she might have considered it once or twice, but finally my charm wore her down."

"Yeah," Ron says as he heads for the door. "Iím sure it did," He smirks as he opens the door and leaves.

Leo is back sitting on the couch when Margaret gets back. She has a gift bag in her hand and has put up her hair and has a very nice dress on. Leo stands up to greet her. "Margaret, you look very pretty. I love that dress. Is it new?"

"Thanks and yes itís new. I bought it for this trip. I was hoping to have a reason to wear it." She puts her bag down on the coffee table next the other gift already on there and moves to Leo. She carefully wraps her arms around his waist and gives him a tender kiss.

"Mmmm, thatís nice too." Leo says as he carefully leans his forehead against hers. "I hope the foodís here soon, I just realized that I havenít had anything to eat yet today."

"So, it been a typical day for you then, not eating." Margaret smirks, as she moves her head and rests it on Leoís good shoulder.

"Yeah, normally my ever hovering assistant has forced me to eat twice by now."

"Like you eat half the stuff I put in front of you."

"I eat some of it."


"Okay, I can see Iím not going to win this argument."

"Thatís for sure."


"Yeah," She nuzzles her face against his neck. "Did I just see Ron coming out of your room?"

"Yeah, he was here helping me with something."


"Man stuff."

"Oh, so thatís why you smell so good." She kissed his neck. "He put it on for you too?"

"Margaret!" Leos whines.

"Leo, I was only kidding." Margaret smirks. "Besides, he doesnít go for short blondes."

"Oh, well I guess itís a good thing that you so then, huh?"

"Yeah, I always had a thing for blonds," Margaret says as she continues her assault on his neck, "I especially like pilots, too"

"Well then, youíre in luck. Arenít you?"

"Oh yeah, Iím lucky." She purrs into his neck.

A shiver goes though his body from Margaret breathing on his neck. "Margaret, you need to stop doing that." He growls.


"Because if you donít, Iím going to..." Leo is interrupted by a knock on the door. "What the hell is this" Grand Central Station!"

"Leo," Margaret looks at her watch. "Itís probably dinner." Margaret goes to the door and opens it. Out in the hallway are two carts full of food. "You must have the wrong room, I didnít order all of this."

"No Maíam you didnít. The hotel added some items to your order with the hotelís compliments."

Margaret steps out of the door way and motions for them to enter. "Okay, come on in."

"Margaret, whatís all this? I know I havenít eaten all day, but I think you went overboard," Leo smirks. He heard the conversation in the hallway, but he couldnít resist tormenting her.

"I didnít," Margaret voice got high pitched, "the hotel added to my order." Margaret notices that one of the things they added was champagne. She points to the bucket with the campaign. "You can take that back with you. Thank you anyway but we donít drink."

"Margaret, itís okay. You can have some, it wonít bother me." Leo looks into her eyes.

"No, I donít need or really want it."

The stewards set the table and uncovered all of the food. There must be enough food for six people.

"Thank you," Leo says as he digs in his pocket, but he has no money in there. "Umm.. Margaret, could ya..."

"No problem," Margaret knew immediately what he wanted. She picked up her purse and took out some money. She tried to give it to the stewards, but they refused.

"No Maíam, the hotel will take care of it," The steward turned and headed out the door.

"Margaret, itís okay to drink in front of me. Itís ...."

"Leo, are you trying to get me drunk, so you can have your way with me?"

"Maybe," Leo smiles.

"Well, youíll just have to think of another way then," she coyly tells him.

"Okay," Leo walks over to her chair and pulls it put for her.

"Thanks," Margaret says as she sits down.

Leo goes to his chair and sits down. He somehow manages to scoot his chair up to the table.

Conversation is light over dinner. They talk a little about work and what they have coming up on their schedule once they get back to DC. But, mostly they talk about their plans for tomorrow. Leo tells Margaret about a couple of things he wants to show her and some restaurants that he wants to take her to. Margaret admits that she wants to go on a tour of a movie lot and do some shopping. When they have had enough food they move to the couch.

"Margaret, I had CJ go out and get you something today. Iíve not even seen it, but if you donít like it we can exchange it tomorrow, Okay?" Leo says as he hands her the gift.

Margaret opens it and finds the delicate white gold locket inside. "Oh, Leo itís beautiful." She puts it on. Itís just the perfect length.

"So I take it that it stays."

"Oh yeah," Margaret says as she fingers the locket hanging around her neck. "Do you like it?"

"It looks very nice." Leo says as he leans over and brushes a kiss on her lips. "Happy Valentineís Day, My Love.† Will you be my Valentine?"† Leo tells her after pulling away from her lips.

"Yes I will, if youíll be mine," she replies, as she places another quick kiss on his lips and smiles at him. Margaret reaches over and picks up Leoís gift. Itís in a bag with tissue wrap, so he doesnít have to fight to open it.

Leo removes the tissue to find a silk handkerchief, some heart shaped milk chocolates and a pair of bright red silk boxers. Leo laughs when he sees the boxers. "Hey, I thought you wanted to see me in my blue ones."

"I do, but these new ones match the new nightie that I bought today."

"New nightie?" Leo asks. "Are you going to wear it tonight?"

"Yes, but donít get your hopes up, itís not that revealing. I just wanted to have something new for tonight." Margaret blushes and lowers her head. She embarrassed by how forward sheís acting and that she has presumed that she is sleeping in bed with Leo tonight.

"Baby, itís okay. I canít wait to see it. You are staying tonight arenít you? I know weíre not ready for um... but I want you by my side." Leo reaches over with his fingertips and raises her chin and turns it towards him. "I need you with me, we have wasted too much time, I want you in my arms at tonight."

"Iíll stay, I was hoping thatís what you wanted, too." She shyly admits. "I have another surprise too."


"Yes," Margaret gets up off the couch, kicks her shoes off and goes to her bag. She pulls out a CD and goes and puts in the player. She walks back over to Leo. "I know that this will be a little awkward with your shoulder, but Iíve dreamed of us dancing together for a long time and Iíd really like to tonight, Okay?"

Leo gets up off the couch, "Iíd love to dance with you."

Margaret goes back over to the CD player and hits play. The sound begins and Leo immediately recognizes it. Margaret walks back to him and puts her right hand on his chest, near his heart, she just wants to touch him and feel him and her left goes around his waist. She positions herself, mostly on his left side, staying away from his injured arm. Leo wraps his left arm around her waist and pulls her in close. They slowly start to gently sway to the music. Leo softly sings the first couple of lines in Margaretís ear.

When I fall in love

It will be completely

Or Iíll never fall in love

In a restless world that weíre in

Love is ending before itís begun

His deep voice vibrates through her body. She nuzzles her face against his neck and breathes a heavy sigh. She never imagined in her wildest dreams that this is how she would be spending Valentineís Day this year. She canít believe that sheís here, in Leoís arms and dancing with him.

Leo stops singing and pulls her even closer to him. He pulls back and looks at her in the eyes and smiles at her, he then leans in and brushes soft butterfly kisses against her forehead, then her eyes and lastly down to her mouth, before he pulls her back into his arms.† He feels her breath on his neck and a shiver goes down his spine. He canít believe that Margaret is in his arms. She feels so good here in his arms. Gone from his heart is the pain from earlier this week and now it only has room for love. Love for his Margaret. The song ends, but they keep on dancing as the next song comes on. Neither one of them wants this moment to end. Finally, Leo breaks the silence.

"Baby, you know I love you, but this has been an eventful day.† So, if itís okay with you, can we turn in for the night?† Depending on how we feel in the morning, we have a big day ahead tomorrow, so letĎs go to bed." Leo says, as he loosens his grip on her. "You can show me your new nightie and I can wear my new boxers for you."

"Sounds good to me," Margaret says as she slips her arms from him. †She hates to let this moment go but they will sleep in each otherís arms tonight. She goes over and picks up her bag and Leoís boxers and then takes him by the hand and leads him to the bedroom. "Do you need any help getting changed?"

"Nah, I think I can handle the boxers, since they donít need for me to zip them up." Leo takes the boxers and goes to the bathroom. In a few minutes he is back out. "Margaret, I need help getting out of my shirt." They go through their earlier routine of removing his shirt, and then she helps put back on the sling. "Thanks." He tells her. He goes over and gets in bed. Margaret has pulled back the covers while he was in the bathroom.

"Iíll be back in a couple of minutes." Margaret takes her turn in the bathroom now. True to her word, she is back out in just a couple of minutes.

"Wow, you are so beautiful," Leo tells her as he pats the bed next to him.

Margaret has I mid thigh red silk spaghetti strap nightie on. She slips into bed and reaches over and turns out the light. She slides up close to Leo and puts her hand lightly on his chest. "I forgot to tell how cute you looked in your new boxers."

"Yeah, but not nearly as good as you look tonight."

Margaret moves up in the bed a little and leans over and kisses him. At first they start off slowly, but soon their kisses soon intensify. Margaret has a hand resting on his bare chest and the other behind his neck. Leo has wrapped his arm around her and is holding her tightly against his body. Margaret moves even closer and brushes her knee against his hip. Leo moves his injured arm a little and it inadvertently touches her breast. She moans at the slight touch and it entices Leo to continue the contact. They continue to explore each otherís mouths slowly and with purpose, only breaking apart when it becomes necessary to breath.

"Oh Margaret," Leo pants. "I love you and I canít wait till I get this damn thing off of me." He glances down at his sling.

"Leo, itís okay. Remember, we have plenty of time." She tells him as she rubs her hand up and down on his bare chest. "We probably should slow down now, even though I really donít want to."

"Youíre right, we should, and I donít want to either. Margaret... you make me feel so young. I... canít wait until I can make love to you, but right now we need to stop."

"I know, and I canít wait to make love to you either." Margaret leans up and kisses his cheek. "Letís get some sleep. We have a lot to do tomorrow."



She moves away from him until they can collect themselves then she moves back to settle against him with her head on his uninjured shoulder and his arm around her shoulder, holding her safe and loved to him "Goodnight, Leo" She closes her eyes and thinks about all that has happened today. She's so content feels completely safe in his arms that it takes only a few short minutes for her to fall asleep.

"Goodnight, Baby." Leo tries to get comfortable and he moves his head towards Margaret. He hears the music still playing on the CD player, as they settle off to sleep. He kisses her forehead and she snuggles in a little closer.† He canít believe how lucky he is.† He has the thing heís wanted for longer than he can remember and she is laying in his arms, so beautiful and trusting.† She wants him too.† How did he get so lucky? †He closes his eyes and thinks about all of the events of the day. Heís so lucky to have her by his side and he plans on keeping her there, forever. He can tell that she has fallen asleep by the gentle changes in the sound of her breathing. He drifts off to sleep content to have his Valentine with him, and have her resting innocently on his shoulder, on this first night of the rest of their lives.

The End.

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