Title: Take Off
Spoilers: I don't really mention anything specifically. More like vague
season 5 and 6 stuff. And obviously, what's going on now on the show.
Summary: Annabeth forgets her pills on a flight, and Leo helps her through it.
Authors Notes: Thanks so muc to ceemonster for the excellent prompts! You rock! I haven't written WW fanfic in a LONG time. I'm talking years. So I'm a little rusty. It might take me awhile to get back into the voice of the characters.
Disclaimers: These characters are not my property. If they were, they'd be kissing right now.
"We're going to die!" Annabeth said as the plane began to take off.
"Oh, for heaven's sake, we're are not going to-" Leo began.
"YOU HAVE TO STOP THE PLANE!" Annabeth yelled at no one in particular.
"Annabeth, would you come down, they are not going to stop the plane just because you're freaking out."
Leo had worried about Annabeth's sanity when they had sat down in their seats 20 minutes earlier and she had found she didn't have her anxiety pills. After a brief panic, she had assured Leo she would be fine with just the champagne. Leo had his suspicions, but he already knew better to argue with her. So he wasn't really surprised at her reaction when the plane started to move.
"I can't breath," Annabeth whispered. "Is that normal?"
"Sure it is, when you're holding you're breath."
"I need more champagne!" she yelled toward the back of the plane at the flight attendants.
"They can't get out of their seats until we're up in the air," Leo tried to explain.
"We're not up in the air yet?" Annabeth screeched.
"No, not all the way."
"We've been moving for like, 20 minutes!"
"We've been moving for 1 minute."
"No, no. It's been longer. And the plane hasn't taken off yet. Something's wrong. Something's very, very wrong."
Leo looked at his watch. "No, nothing is wrong. We started moving at 11:23. It is now 11:25. Calm down."
Annabeth looked at Leo helplessly. "I'm scared," she said to him in a little voice.
Leo started to feel bad. He had taken Annabeth's panic at flying as yet another of her little quirks, but looking at her, trying to hold back tears, he realized it was a lot more than that. He felt guilty for treating her like it was nothing.
"Hey, listen, it's going to be fine. Just hold my hand. Once we've been going for a little while, you'll be fine."
Annabeth nodded and grabbed Leo's hand tightly. She squeezed it so hard it started to go numb, but Leo found he didn't care.
"What was that noise?" Annabeth asked after a few moments.
"I didn't hear anything," Leo said.
"It's okay, just take some deep breaths."
Leo watched as Annabeth tried to calm herself. It was strange watching this normally strong and composed woman crumbling like this. Leo knew she was always sort of weird and a little manic, but he never imagined something like flying, that seemed so natural and normal to him, would cause her so much distress.
"You know," he started out, trying to think of something to say to take her mind off of things, "I bet you'd like flying on Air Force One."
"Yeah?" she said, in that little voice that surprised Leo.
"Yeah. It's not even like a plane. It's like a small office building on wheels. You don't even really realize you're flying."
"Yeah, until you crash into the side of a mountain."
"Hey, come on. No Air Force One has ever crashed."
"Well, there's a first time for everything."
"If you keep talking like this, then I'm not even going to try to make you feel better."
"No, no, I'm sorry. Tell me more about Air Force One," Annabeth said.
"It's just like being in an office. There are fax machines and copy machines…."
"Sounds exciting," deadpanned Annabeth.
"Hey, I warned you once," Leo responded.
"And the best part about it is the senior staff gets to walk around through most of the plane, through all the offices and stuff, and the press has to sit in this tiny little section like they're on any other plane. And we get to laugh at them for it."
A smile started to from on Annabeth's face, "That does sound nice."
Leo laughed as he remembered a particularly funny flight. "There was one flight we took during the holidays. Josh had said something on Meet the Press that had made the President mad, so when we flew over Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the President made him lead the press in a sing-a-long of 'O, Little Town of Bethlehem."
Annabeth laughed. Leo noticed she was starting to loosen up. "Feeling better?"
She nodded. "Yeah, a little." But she made no move to let go of Leo's hand. Leo didn't really mind.
"There was another time, I wasn't there but Toby told me about it, when CJ made fun of Notre Dame. And, you know, the President love Notre Dame, so he made her wear a Notre Dame hat and lead the press in the Notre Dame school song."
Annabeth laughed again, and Leo was happy to see her smiling.
Leo became quiet as he remember life at The White House.
"You miss it, huh?" Annabeth asked.
"Working at the White House."
"Yeah," Leo said. "Sometimes. But this - me leaving - was a long time coming."
"You grew out of the job?"
"No, more like Bartlett grew out of me."
"I don't understand."
"When he was first running, he wasn't really sure he was ready, so he sort of used me as a crutch. Even when he was more than ready he still did. I guess I just sort of took it for granted that he always would, but in the end I just didn't realize he didn't need me holding his hand anymore."
"Oh, I'm sorry."
"Don't be. We all have to move on."
"Yeah." Annabeth had finally calmed down, and she settled back in her seat.
"You're okay now?" Leo asked.
"Yeah. You were right. It's not so bad, once we get going. I think I'm still going to want that champagne though."
"Of course," Leo laughed.
Annabeth went to call for a flight attendant, but stopped. "Oh. Wait. Unless it's…" she trailed off.
"What?" Leo asked, puzzled.
"Well, I didn't even think about it before, but….I mean…it's doesn't make you ….uncomfortable or anything, does it? Being around me while I'm drinking?"
"Don't be silly. Of course not."
"I've gone to State dinners, to fundraisers, to inauguration balls, all where everyone there was drinking, and drinking a lot. If I can handle that, I can handle you having a glass of champagne, especially if it keeps you calm."
"All right, I just…wanted to make sure."
She called the flight attendant, who brought her a new glass of champagne. She settled back into her seat, sipping the champagne.
And she still didn't let go of Leo's hand. And Leo didn't mind one bit. THE END