Disclainer: Don't own Scandal
AN: Sorry for the lateness. I've had the worse toothache so I haven't felt like even firing up the computer to get this posted. With that said, I'm sure when I'll be getting the next chapter up by Thursday.
Chapter 32: Emotional Rollercoaster
I was gonna take contol of me.
But eventually reality hit me.
Mentally, physicaly, emotionally.
And I opened my eyes and realized
that I was still being taken for a constant ride
I'm on a emotional rollercoaster.
Loving you aint nothing healthy.
Loving you ws never good for me.
But I can't get off.
-Vivian Green: Emotional Rollercoaster
September 24th, 2010
Olivia double Josslyn's luggage. She wanted to assure she hadn't forgotten any necessities. Tomorrow was going to be a big day, the beginning of a long weekend, and she wanted to be as grounded as possible. Having an upset Josslyn would certainly throw things off, and she could just imagine Fitz accusing her on purpose if certain events occurred.
"Do you have everything," Sofia asked softly.
"I do but you know I'll do another check tomorrow," Olivia smiled at her mother softly.
"Of course you will. You've always been that way, even as a little girl. 'Mommy, did you pack my sunscreen.' or 'Daddy, did you remember to put my books in the bag.'," Sofia laughed as she thought back to a younger Olivia.
"When life was so simple," she sighed.
"Are you prepared for this trip?"
"That's a rhetorical question right," Olivia joked. "I'm as ready as I'll ever be. How do you prepare to spend a weekend with a hostile ex, his wife, their two children and your illegitimate child?"
"You keep a clear mind, pray, meditate and don't let that temper get the best of you," Sofia advised.
"I..." Olivia began but Sofia held her hand up.
" I know how you can be. When you feel threatened, you go into defense mode. This weekend isn't about you. It's about Josslyn. It's about your little girl bonding with her siblings and father. I hate saying this but you're in wrong. Before you even start, I know your intentions were pure and your heart was in the right place but that doesn't erase what you've done. And that, he adores you. It was very clearly after your accident but you hurt him. He has a right to be upset with you so enjoy this emotional rollercoaster ride because you won't be getting off anytime soon."
"I'm scared, Mom. What if he tries to fight for her? What of he tries to take her? He's losing his grip and I wouldn't put it past him." Olivia confided.
"He doesn't seem like the type to risk everything due to revenge. Just give him time. Apologize. Everything will work itself out. You just have to have faith," she squeezed her daughter's hand.
Outside stepped out of the black SUV, with Josslyn's in hand. The agents had wanted to help her with the little one; however, Olivia insisted she was capable of getting the little one into the house in one piece.
"It's time to enter the lion's den, Poppet," Olivia said quietly as she pressed a kiss against her daughter's curls.
Inhaling deeply, Liv made her way inside. She thought back to the weekends she and Fitz had spent there before her departure. They'd had some good times. Movies nights, midnight baking, exploring one another's body until the wee hours of the morning. It would only be three days but it was three days of just them, in their safe haven. There everything seemed so simple. Olivia wished they could go back to those simple times. Times when Fitz would light up at the sight of her instead of the dark scold he currently carried.
"Liv, you're here, finally," Karen exclaimed with a bright smile.
"KC! KC! KC! KC," Josslyn chanted as she reached out for her sister.
"Hi Jossie, you look so adorable," Karen said scooping Josslyn from Olivia's arms and placed a quick kiss on Olivia's cheek.
"Hi, KC," Josslyn responded as she mimicked her sister's actions and kissed her cheek.
"Gah, you're adorable. I've missed you, little sis. We're going to have so much fun this weekend. Now let's go bug Jer. I'll so you how to kick his butt at playing video games," Karen smiled.
"You see your sister and you just forget all about me," Olivia gave a faux pout.
"I'm sorry Liv, I've just missed her," she explained as Josslyn toyed with the chain around her neck.
"It's fine. Where are your parents?"
"Dad is still in DC. He should be here within the next two hours. And Mom went for a walk so she'll be inside any time now," Karen answered.
"Alright. I'll just go unpack. You two have fun bothering Jerry," Olivia said as she made her way to the room. She set up the dock for her iPhone, plugging her phone up and putting on some music. She figured she'd enjoy the piece while it lasted. Pulling items out of her bag, she began to put them into the drawers and hang then up in the closet.
"Knock knock," Mellie called, starting Olivia.
"Hi Mellie," Olivia greeted with a hug.
"How was the trip up here?"
"Good, Josslyn slept most of the ride which isn't surprising. You all got here early,"she commented.
"I decided not to wait for Fitz. I needed a little alone time," Mellie explained.
"I understand completely. Karen kidnapped Josslyn, so I'm savoring the moment while it lasts. This is certainly going to be an interesting weekend."
"Things can go one of two ways. Fitz will either ignore us completely and focus all his attention on the kids. Or he'll throw a hissy fit once the children are asleep and give us hell," her voice said coldly. Mellie knew her husband well enough to know he'd be a pain in the asses if the weekend didn't go the way he planned.
"I'll take the first option. The last thing we need is for the kids to see or hear us," she was about to continue when Jerry whisked into the room holding Josslyn in front of Jim.
"Hi Liv, Josslyn needs to be changed. What do you feed this kid," he rushed out with his nose turned up.
"Manners, Jerry," Mellie scolded.
"Sorry," Jerry said sheepishly.
"Hi," Josslyn waved at Mellie. "Hi!"
"Oh Liv, she's adorable," Mellie gushed. "Hi Josslyn, you're so pretty."
"Jossie, can you tell Ms. Mellie thank you," Olivia instructed.
"Tank yoo," Josslyn giggled.
"Oh how adorable."
"Real adorable but she still smells," Jerry said sarcastically.
"Hand her over, Jer," Olivia held her arms out finding Jerry's expression humorous .
"I've got it," Fitz voiced came from behind his son. "Hi, Olivia."
"And hello to you, HoneyBee," he scooped Josslyn up and kissed her cheek.
"Hi, Dada," Josslyn mashed her hands against his cheeks.
"Your brother is right, you are stinky. You want to come with Daddy and get clean? You want to get clean little stinky one," Fitz's voice came lightly and enthusiastically.
"Cean, meeeh cean?"
"Yes, we're going to get you clean," he smiled, "Olivia where is her diaper bag?"
"It's right here," she grabbed the bag and Jerry retrieved it.
"Are you coming with us," Fitz asked his son. Josslyn was tugging on the collar of his shirt, as her finger poked his face.
"I'll pass on this one. I don't think my delicate nose can handle it. So that's a no," he joked.
"Pees, pees," Josslyn said pointing to her brother.
"Looks like she wants you to come. Don't worry bud. It'll be quick and painless," Fitz informed the three left the room.
"She is too sweet, Liv. She adores Fitz," Mellie gushed.
"That she does and it looks like she has Jerry wrapped around her little finger also."
"That she does. If things continue on like this we'll be good to go," her voice hopeful.
Fitz had made the decision to grill. The weather was still nice, his children were all together, and it had been quite a while since he'd been able to man the grill. Jerry had Josslyn outside with him and Fitz. He was completely enamored with his younger sister. While those three were outside, Olivia, Mellie and Karen prepared side dishes.
"Has Karen told you about Christian," Mellie asked Olivia.
"No, she hasn't," Olivia replied. "Who is this Christian your mother speaks of?"
"My homecoming date. His mother is Senator Alvarez. We're in the same Chinese class," Karen shared.
"Oh Lilliana's son. He's nice young man although I'm sure that hasn't put your Dad's mind at ease," Olivia teased.
"No it hasn't," Mellie laughed as soon as her phone rang. "If you'll excuse me."
"Dad has it in his mind this is just a onetime thing. He doesn't want to believe anything will be happening between us after homecoming," Karen shared.
"And will there be anything?"
"Perhaps. We've been talking for a while and he was waiting for me to turn sixteen," Karen looked back to make sure no one was present as she leaned into Olivia. "Today he kissed me. It was so amazing Liv. It was short and quick but completely perfect. Please don't tell Mom or Dad."
"My lips are sealed. Just be careful sweetie. He's an older boy and I don't want you to feel pressured to do anything," Olivia relayed in a concerned tone.
"He would never," Karen said. "He knows Dad would kill him or have him killed; he isn't crazy. And his ex went all crazy on him and tried to get pregnant. Honestly what teenage girl would ruin her life by purposely trying to have a baby, but that's beside the point. The entire ordeal has made him take a break of sex. No worries but thank you for the concern. This is why I like having you around. You give advice like a big sister, but you care like a mom," Karen hugged her.
"That's kind of you to say. You know I care about you dearly. And if you ever need to talk I'm available. There's a lot of changes in your life right now and I don't want you to do something you'll regret later on."
"Can I ask you something? It's rather personal and..."
"You can ask, and I'll answer you to the best of my abilities," Olivia cut her off. She had a feeling this would be about her relationship with Fitz.
"Why did you keep Josslyn away? I know Dad is upset and hurt but he'd never say anything negative about you, at least not to me. It's clear you two love another so why'd you do it?"
"Karen, life is messy and love is complicated. Your dad and I, whatever we had was a messy experience. When you love a person the way I love your dad, you'll do anything for him," Olivia sighed. "Being president is his dream and the only thing more important than that is his kids. I knew he'd resign and I couldn't let him do it. He's done so much good for this country. He was finally doing what he'd dreamed of all his adult life. I was willing to make a sacrifice if it meant he could keep his dream. It was about protecting all of you."
"I understand, I wish I didn't but I do. I know my parents don't have a typical marriage but never in my wildest dreams did I expect any of this to happen...I'm glad you make Dad happy. I'm thrilled to have Josslyn in my life. Whatever happens between you and Dad is between the two of you. It's just...Do you promise you won't take her away, to protect us," Karen inquired meekly.
"Oh Karen, I could never, would never, no. You all adore her, and she adores you. She needs you all in her life. I would never punish you guys," she hugged Karen tightly.
Friday evening went smoothly. After dinner the group sang Josslyn happy birthday and gave her gifts. Karen, who had her mother's love for reading, gave her young sister books she enjoyed as a young child in English and Spanish. With Karen's help, Jerry picked out a few toys for his younger sibling. Mellie followed the same route as her daughter, choosing educational gifts. Fitz choose to indulge his daughter's love for elephants, getting her elephant studs, a necklace, and bracelet. On top of that, he found a plush elephant blanket and pillowpet.
Fitz decided to bathe Josslyn while Mellie, Olivia and the kids lounged around waiting to choose a movie. Jerry came up with the idea to put the DVD cases in front of Baby Joss and let her decide. Karen thought it was crazy, but Jerry argued their little sister was bright and would choose the right film. However, much to his disappointment, Josslyn grabbed ahold to The Lion King despite Jerry's efforts for her to choose Toy Story.
Mellie had been the first to turn in for the night, only to be followed by Olivia. She was going to tuck in Josslyn who had fallen asleep in Karen's arms but Fitz said he'd get their little one all squared away. However, when Olivia woke a little after midnight she found Fitz and the kids knocked out. Josslyn was resting securely in his chest, while Karen and Jerry were tucked under each arm. Olivia grabbed two blankets and covered the four before heading back to bed.
When morning came Olivia found them still in the same position. She grabbed her camera and snapped a couple photos before she made her way into the kitchen.
"Good morning," Mellie greeted.
"Good morning. Things went well yesterday," returned Liv.
"They did but the morning is still young," she commented as she sipped on her coffee.
"I'm keeping my fingers crossed," Olivia said pulling out food to prepare Josslyn's breakfast.
Once Mellie finished her coffee she began to chop up fruit. She and Olivia made small talk while they began breakfast. Once breakfast was finished they decided to go wake the group. Olivia found Josslyn wide away squeezing Fitz's nose.
"It looks like Josslyn beat us to the job," Mellie joked.
"She did," Karen announced from behind them. "She gave me raspberry kisses though and she poked Jerry in the face."
"Dada, up. Up, Dada,up!"
"Okay little one, I'm up," he grabbed her, peppering kisses on her face. "You hungry? You want to eat?"
"Eee-tah, eee-tah, eee-tah!"
"You heard her, Dad, lets eat," Karen smiled.
Everyone sat around the table enjoying breakfast. There was turkey bacon, omelets, fruit, pancakes,yogurt French toast, and Canadian bacon. The conversation flowed freely, the kids offering various topics to discuss.
"Don't eat that," Olivia advised as Fitz went to taste Josslyn's blueberry yogurt.
"Why? Is it poisoned?"
"No, why would I poison our child," her tone sarcastic. "It was made especially for Jossie," Olivia commented.
"You don't mind sharing, do you HoneyBee? Can Daddy have some of your yogurt?"
"Yes," Josslyn answered taking the spoon and fed her dad. Fitz's face contorted as the yogurt wasn't what he'd been expecting.
"That's a rather unusual taste. It has this odd sweetness about it; what are you feeding her," Fitz asked as Olivia laughed at him.
"It's yogurt made from breastmilk," she shared and everyone except joined her in laughter.
"You could have said something," Fitz laughed along with them.
"And made us miss out on that face you made, as if. Liv made the right choice," Jerry interjected.
"In my defense I told you not to eat it, you were just too stubborn to listen," Olivia teased.
"Oh sure, blame me," Fitz said dramatically.
"Never a dull moment," Karen commented.
"Moh-eer, Dada moh-eer," Josslyn held her spoon out.
"No thank you, HoneyBee," Fitz laughed against her forehead.
Karen and Jerry wanted to spend the day riding. They hadn't been able to since they'd gotten back from California, and wanted the chance before they became too busy with school and extracurriculars. Fitz saw it as the perfect opportunity to introduce Josslyn to horses and thus changing the carefree mood of the day.
"What do you mean no? It's perfectly safe," Fitz hissed at Olivia who'd outright told him he couldn't take Josslyn to the stables.
"She's just a baby! Any number of things could happen to her. You accused me of endangering her but from the looks of it, you aren't too concerned with her safety," Olivia threw in his face. She was still holding a grudge over his accusations.
"You know I didn't mean that; I was just upset. Nothing is going to happen to her. It's not like I'm going to let her ride the damn thing!"
"Freak accidents happen all the time. You aren't taking her out there," her voice adamant as she stepped closer to him.
"I'm taking her. I've done it with Karen, I've done it with Jerry, and I'm doing it with Josslyn. She's going to pet the horse, maybe feed it some carrots and that's it. You can either come and enjoy the moment with us or stay inside with this bitchy attitude," his eyes dark with fury.
"I'll leave. If you try to take her out there I'll leave," she threatened.
"Try it. I'll have my guys stop you before you can even finishing packing your bags," his eyes bore into hers. "You're on my turf now, Liv. You've robbed me of so many traditions and firsts with Josslyn, and this won't be one of them. My name may not be on her birth certificate but I have just as must say as you do. Push me on this I'll a petition for joint custody minute we get back to DC."
"You wouldn't," she challenged her dark eyes searched his for hesitation but there was none. He wasn't bluffing and that's what scared her.
"I won't let you keep me from her. While I'd hate to drag this to court, I would if you pushed, and we both know I'd win," he tone dark. "Let's not turn a molehill into a mountain, Liv."
"Fine, I'll allow it but I swear to you, if anything happens to her I'll make sure you regret it."
"Oh cheer up, Olivia. It's a beautiful day outside," he taunted before leaving the room.
After taking Josslyn out to interact with the horses, Fitz and Olivia steered clear of one another. They knew spending extended periods of time with one another would only result in them bickering. As much as they both were ready to tear into each other, they refused to have the kids around when it happened.
Lunch and dinner for that evening held a small amount of tension. Josslyn seemed to break it up a bit and Karen went to discussing what she'd wear for homecoming. Jerry offered input at times, mainly playing with Josslyn and throwing snarky comments about homecoming Karen's way. The entire scene was the one of the highlights for Fitz. Seeing all three of his children together - laughing, teasing, bickering, bonding - it reminded him of his own childhood. More than anything, it made him happy to know Karen & Jerry were accepting Josslyn with open arms even if they didn't agree with his actions. It let him know he'd been doing something right along way.
Fitz spent most of Saturday night watching Josslyn sleeping. When the sun rose the next morning day he knew they'd be heading back to the real world. He would no longer be able to take Josslyn for a walk or watch Jerry attempt to teach her to play Anger Birds or for Josslyn to try to repeat the words Karen would say in Mandarin. He'd no longer be Fitz, father of Karen, Jerry and Josslyn. Instead, he'd be Fitzgerald Grant III, POTUS, father of two and loving husband. It pained him not being able to take Josslyn home with him. To love her freely as he did with her siblings. It made him feel like less of a father.
So he sat holding Josslyn, never wanting to let her go until he became restless. He checked in on Karen and Jerry. Jerry was out like a light while Karen was reading. Mellie was working on material for her literacy foundation; however, Olivia was nowhere to be found inside the house. Fitz decided to check outside and sure enough there she sat, a glass of red wine in one hand while she looked up at the stars in the sky.
Fitz took a seat next her, taking in the view. Camp David had always been peaceful. Perhaps it was the seclusion or maybe even the nature aspect but Fitz felt at home there.
"Beautiful view," he commented.
"It is. I've always loved it here. There's nothing quite like it," she responded softly and received a hum in response.
"I'm going to miss her. I'm going to miss my little HoneyBee after we return to DC," he commented.
"Fitz, I'm..."she searched for words to comfort him but none came."I know."
This weekend has been emotionally draining for her. It was filled with guilt. Watching Josslyn interact with her paternal family ate away at Olivia. She regretted have taken away that year away from Fitz and the kids. Olivia wished she had the right words to say to make the situation better; words which could magically eraser the all the negativity.
"Somedays...Somedays I wish I didn't love you," he confessed. "Not loving you means I could hate you. Right now hating you would be a better alternative to the way I feel."
"Fitz," Olivia turned to look at him, taking in the anguish etched across his face. The sight before her broke her heart. "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I don't know what I have to say or do but I am truly sorry."
"You should be sorry," he bit back. "It feels wrong to love you and I myself for feeling that way. But right now there's nothing you can say. There's nothing that could justify what you've done," Fitz said bitterly.
"Have you even thought about this from my perspective? Why I made the decision I did," Olivia asked taking a sip of her vine before placing the glass back on the table.
"I've tried but the only thing I can think about is that you made this decision without me. We were a team about you just disappeared without giving me or my feelings a second thought," he accused as he reached for the wine glass and took a swig.
"See that's where you're wrong. I was thinking about you and your feelings. I know you. You never would have let me walk away not without you doing the same. I wanted to protect you. I wanted you to be happy, to do all you've dreamed of your whole life. I wasn't going to let one slip up ruin everything you worked so hard for," her voice came strong as she stared into his grey eyes.
"I'd love to believe you but I can't trust you. I can't trust anything you tell me and that hurts. The one person I was sure would always be straight with me but it was all just a lie. "
"One lie, one mistake and now I'm the worst person on the face of the planet. Enemy number one," Olivia snapped.
"Don't try to turn this around on me and attempt to make me feel guilty..."
"I'm not trying to make you feel guilty. I just want you to look at things from my point of view," she grunted out.
"You, you, you. Have you ever thought of me, Josslyn, Karen or Jerry? No only yourself," he yelled.
"Don't yell at me," she bit back.
Fitz sighed and ran his fingers through his hair. He didn't want this weekend to turn into a disaster. He took the glass of wine and took three big gulps.
"This isn't healthy. This on and off fighting isn't healthy for either of us," he finally said.
"You're always the one to stop. Are you afraid you're going to hurt me, that I can't handle your anger? Is that it, Fitz? I know what I've done. I can deal with the consequences but I'm tired if living in this limbo. Either you put everything on the table or stop dropping the issue when the situation becomes intense," she egged him on. Olivia was tired of his demeanor.
"We were having a pleasant weekend until you became defensive, not me. While this is a conversation that needs to happen I'm not doing it with the kids here, I'm just not. When I look back at Josslyn's birthday I don't want to remember us fighting. That's the least I deserve," his voice adamant. "Next Friday, you'll come back here, alone. "
"Next Friday it is," she agreed taking her glass and finishing it off. "I'm off to bed. See you in the morning."
Josslyn wouldn't stop crying and it was breaking Fitz's heart. Olivia and Josslyn were due to leave in approximately ten minutes. Mellie, Jerry, and Karen already said their goodbyes. When Fitz scooped Josslyn up, declaring his love and telling her bye the waterworks began.
"No bye-bye. Pees... No, Dada," Jossie sobbed as her little face reddened.
"Calm down, HoneyBee, it'll be okay," Fitz said soothingly as he rubbed her back in a circular motion.
"Dada no bye-bye, no," her tears stained his shirt.
"Fitz let me see her," Olivia reached out.
"Josslyn, you want to go to Mommy? Here, let's go to Mommy," Fitz tried to shift her to Olivia but Josslyn clinched into him tighter, her chubby legs kicking all the while.
"No Mama! Meeeh Dada. Dada, Dada, Dada," she yelled.
"She never acts like this," Olivia said as she went to get Josslyn's sippy cup.
"Well she's not letting go anytime soon," Fitz said as he kissed Josslyn's blond curls.
"No bye-bye. No bye-bye pees," Josslyn wailed just at Karen, Mellie and Jerry made their way back inside from a walk. Mellie had wanted to give Fitz to say his goodbyes in private.
"What happened," Mellie asked rather concerned.
"She doesn't want to leave," Olivia explained. "She doesn't want to leave her Daddy."
"Poor thing. Karen used to get like that until she turned two. I could leave and she'd be perfectly find but if Fitz was going on a trip she'd throw a complete fit," Mellie shared.
"Hey Joss, you want to come to me," Jerry asked.
"No! Meeeh, Dada," she hollered.
"How about me? You want to come to your big sister," Karen offered and Josslyn gave the same response.
"She'll tire herself out. It's almost her nap time," Olivia stated.
"Do you want your elephant, Jossie? Would that make you happy," Karen tried again and Josslyn nodded yes.
"Ehla," Josslyn hugged the toy tightly. "Ehla, no bye-bye Dada, no bye-bye."
"HoneyBee, Daddy will see you soon, I promise. You're my HoneyBee, and Daddy's little HoneyBee is too adorable to cry," he stroked the fears from her cheeks.
Olivia handed over the sippy cup and Josslyn took it eagerly. Fitz rocked her in his arms and her tears slowly subsided. "There you go little one. No need for tears. You're going to be okay. You're going to go home and be good for your Mommy. But Daddy will call you and sing to you. I love you so much, Josslyn. So so much," Fitz declared as Josslyn's grey eyes stated up at him widely. She dropped her sippy cup, pursing her lips together and making a smacking noise indicating she wanted a kiss. Fitz leaned down and kissed her nose. Josslyn returned the gesture by placing a loud kiss on her dad's cheek before she drifted off to a peaceful slumber.
Fitz locked eyes with Olivia and they both knew what had to be done. They could no longer put off their talk. They had to figure out a way to make put Josslyn's best interests at her. Incidents such as those, Josslyn's heartbreaking sobs couldn't be a constant fixture in their lives.
AN: Tell me what you think. There was alot going on here. Thanks for reading.