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Reality of Rain
Presidential Suite

Summary: Abbey's point of view as she anticipates the disclosure of Jed's MS.  Angst

Spoilers:  contains vague spoilers through "17 People"


Reality of Rain

It is raining.

She can see it falling outside the window, but it does not touch the glass. It doesn't quite seem real.

But she knows it must be, because she can see the sidewalk far below is changing its color from grayish white to shiny bronze. The first drops quickly evaporated as they touched the hot concrete, but now the rain falls fast enough to keep the surface wet.

Still the drops don't touch the window, and so she is safe from the storm.

She knows this is just an illusion, but she wants to believe it.

This house is built like a fortress, and unless one were to look for the tell tale signs, they would never know that, outside, rain was falling. There is security in this steadfast place, but she thinks it only serves to insulate them from reality. Inside these walls is a world of their own making, where they often push unwelcome truths aside. And, like the rain, there are no obvious signs of their unspoken conspiracy. Reality is not allowed to intrude.

She remembers all the other houses she has lived in. In those places, she could hear the rain in every room. It would pound on the roof or hiss at the windows. Occasionally, it would lull her to sleep, but it could also jolt her awake with its sudden savage beating upon the walls. That was reality.

At the farm, when gentle summer showers came, she would sit on the porch and revel in the coolness brought by the rain. She would watch her children run on the lawn, dodging the drops as long as they could. Then they would dash up to the porch and come to her, laughing and damp. That was reality.

The memories of other rainy days come flooding back. When she had been in med school, sometimes Jed had been there to walk her to class, and, even if it were raining, they would not hurry. They would find a sheltered spot and huddle close together. She remembers lifting her face for his kisses, and also being kissed by the raindrops. That was reality.

As a child, she had feared storms, and she had tried to hide from the wind and thunder and pouring rain. Clouds on the horizon had frightened her, because she was unable to recognize which rain was beneficial and which could be disastrous. The passage of time banished her childhood fears, but sometimes the old dread returns. She knows that one day soon they will be engulfed by howling wind and crashing thunder.

Sometimes it is hard to know which clouds will produce the worst storms. She now has the ability to make that distinction, but it has come too late.

She leans her forehead against the cool glass and wishes this illusion of security could be real.

It is raining.

In this White House, where she lives, she knows the rain only touches her window when the gods gather in a fury. When that happens, they can direct the winds to blow directly at her, the thunder to crash and the rain to pelt the glass like tiny silver bullets. But, today, the rain is mild and the window remains untouched.

Suddenly, there is a brief burst of strong wind, and the raindrops lash the glass. She lifts her head and the fading light reveals the tears sliding down her cheeks.

The rain does not touch her, but the blast of fury touches her heart. Reminding her of all the things they have done which will bring a frenzy of rage down upon them.

The door opens behind her and she knows it is Jed. She continues to stand there, looking out the window at the rain. She thinks he hesitates, then she can feel his warmth as he comes to stand behind her.

He tells her the weather was due to change. It had been hot and humid all day.

She agrees with him. This rain was not unexpected.

She turns to him and, if he sees the traces of tears, he does not comment on them.

It is raining and the summer is almost over.

She wants to turn back the clock and relive the seasons they treated so callously. To make better choices. But spring is just a memory and summer will soon end. They cannot recover those days and change the reality of their deeds.

She fears the harmony of their lives is fading fast. She wants to reach out and grab the days, but they slip away like raindrops against glass.

He puts his hand on her shoulder and looks into her eyes. She can see her own regret and anguish mirrored in his face, but they will not talk about it. The illusion will be preserved.

He moves away from her, finds his book and goes to his favorite chair. She knows he has accepted that some day the storm will come, but, for today, at least, it has been avoided.

She remains at the window, seeing the rain, but it does not touch her.

She closes her eyes and a final tear makes its way slowly down her cheek.

When the storm comes, this White House will not be able to shield them from it.

She prays they will be able to protect each other.


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Best Characterization of Abbey (Tie)