"Hey Sweetheart, someone has something to say to you."
"Oh my gosh you said Dada." Olivia could hear his excitement over the phone. She wished that he could have heard it in person.
"You were her first word."
"Oh my precious baby girl! Daddy loves you."
"Say love you too Daddy."
"You, Dada." Gabby managed.
"Close enough baby girl. Daddy can't wait to hug you sweetheart. Both of you." He added.
"Thanks Baby, even if I was an after thought." Olivia teased.
"Don't even Fitzgerald."
"I miss you both."
"We miss you too. I spoke to Cyrus earlier, he said that he can clear your weekend if you're up for visitors."
"Of course I am. Camp David or your place?" he asked.
"Which would be better for you?" she asked. It had been months since she had arrived back in the States and though it was hard to be so close and yet so far, they managed.
"The residence." He replied not missing a beat. Olivia closed her eyes and took a breath. He hated hiding Gabby, and so did she but she had to try and make sure there was as little fall out as possible.
"I'm sorry. That's not fair." He apologized quietly, knowing that as hard as it was for him, it was equally hard for her. She was the one who took care of Gabby and she was doing it alone. There was no tag teaming, it was just her. Her parents were always a phone call away but Olivia was determined to raise her daughter on her own.
"It's okay. I'll see you at Camp David." She said making the decision for both of them.
"I have to go. We have a play date with Ellie."
"I'm sorry Liv,"
"I know." Olivia hung up the phone and looked at her daughter. A perfect mixture of both her and Fitz, the amusing thing was despite the little time they spent together, Gabby was her father through and through, facial expressions and all. There were times, like right then that she felt as though she was cheating him of the opportunities with his daughter, but at the same time, even if they were in the same residence as he keeps pitching to her, they would both be equally busy, but it was the idea he loved. It has always been about the idea, their happy ending. To end up together, to be together.
Fitz knew that he had pushed a button, and he felt terrible. He knew the reasons behind why she was being so careful and it was for Gabby's sake, but he just missed them so much. He picked up the phone again,
"Hello," she answered
"Let's try that again shall we, this time I'll try not to sound like such an ass hat. Hi Baby, Cyrus has cleared up my weekend, how about a weekend at Camp David two of my favourite girls?"
"Sounds lovely, I'm really looking forward to it."
"Me too Sweetheart."
"Oh I spoke to Karen earlier today, and she asked if she could come this weekend too. She actually asked to come here and have a slumber party with Ellie, but I told her I was going to come and see you, and then it became a can Ellie and I come too?" Fitz laughed. Ellie and Karen had certainly found each other, which kind of made sense, Ellie was almost Olivia but without all the responsibilities attached to it.
"The more the merrier. I'll see if Ger wants to come too. I'll call Mellie tonight and run it by her. I'm sure she and Kevin wouldn't be opposed to some time alone."
"Ahhh alone, I have a vague recollection of what that feels like." Olivia joked.
"We'll find away, we always do." He replied earning a chuckle from her.
"Of course we will."
Olivia had hung up the phone feeling much better than when she did the first time. She was glad that he had called again, and that he was always willing to talk it out, whatever it was, however big or little.
"Hey Fitz," Mellie answered as he showed up on her caller id.
"So I'm not sure if you're aware but your daughter has asked to slumber party with Ellie Pope, but after finding out that Liv and Gabby are coming here, she's decided to slumber party at Camp David instead. I was just calling to make sure you don't already have plans with them this weekend and if it's okay if I steal both kids this weekend even though it's not my weekend with them."
"Of course Fitz. I'll let the kids know. How are you doing?" she asked knowing he was feeling a little empty nest.
"I'm good. Busy. I miss having you guys at home. I miss Liv, I miss Gabby."
"Oh Fitz, it won't be long. You just need to wait a little longer, but at least they're already here in the States and you see them regularly."
"I know I'm just wallowing because I can." He replied,
"Well you know you're always welcome over here if you need a moment of reprieve."
"Thanks Mel, I might have to take you up on that one day."
"Any time Fitz, and I've been talking to the kids and they've asked to stay at the White House a few nights a week permanently if you're up for it. The kids miss you too."
"I'd love it. Come down for coffee when you drop off the kids over the weekend and we can iron out what days suit you."
"Sounds like a plan. See you then Fitz."
Fitz knew how lucky he was, that normal circumstances didn't guarantee the smooth transition he got with Mellie.
Olivia, Ellie and Gabby arrived at Camp David the day before Fitz was supposed to arrive. Strategically it was better for her to be there first instead of arriving at the same time as the President. On a personal level she needed to gather her thoughts before she saw him face to face. She knew that he was getting impatient with being apart, to him he was no longer married and all he wanted was for them to start their new life together, and so did she, but she was scared too.
"Hey Ollie, are you thinking of moving back to DC?" Ellie asked as took another slice of Pizza,
"I am monkey. I have to admit I'm going to miss you guys when I do though." Olivia knew she would not have survived the last year without her family, and that it was them that got her through every day, and now that she was with them all the time, they were like her security blanket and she wasn't sure if she was ready to part with yet, or ever if she was truthful.
"We'll miss you too, but you're not that far away. Besides, we still have the house in DC. Mom and Dad were thinking of moving to DC if I get into Karen's school anyway."
"You want to go to Karen's school?"
"Yeah, they have a special program for Astro Engineering that would come in handy." Olivia smiled. Ellie had been dreaming of building planes and spaceships for as long as she could remember. She worked hard, studied hard and their parents did everything they could to make sure she reaches her true potential.
"That's great Monkey. I'm so proud of you. I know how hard you work."
"Fitz did offer to get me in there, but I wanted to do it on my own. I don't want to get in because my future brother in law is the leader of the free world." Ellie slipped in.
"What?" Olivia spat out in shock,
"For which comment?" Ellie asked grinning widely,
"All of it you brat. How does he know you've been wanting to go to that school and I haven't? And the other thing, the brother in law thing, where did that come from?"
"Well his daughter goes to that school. So he knows that programs are offered there and when he found out what I wanted to do when I grow up, he was the one who told me about the program. I mean we're all well researched in the one's in Boston but never really ventured out further than that, and when I read up all about it, it seemed right so I brought it to Mom and Dad, whom of course were supportive. They said that should I get in, and I really wanted to go they were happy to make the move. They figured you would eventually move back to DC to be with Fitz anyway, and they don't really want to be too far away from you and now Gabby so it seemed like a win win for all."
"Wow! So when do you find out?"
"Umm, a few weeks I guess. I've only just sent in my application, and they've called to set up an interview which is in a couple of weeks, and a couple of weeks from there I guess." Ellie answered nonchalantly,
"Look at you all calm and collected."
"If I get in, great. If not I'm already going to a great school that will also push me towards the right direction. The major plus for getting in would of course be having you and Gabby close by, and Karen who'd be in the same year as me."
"You two have gotten very close haven't you?"
"Yeah, she's cool."
"Well I think she's pretty luck to have you for a friend Elliana Pope."
"Now about that brother in law comment." Ellie smiled and stood to her feet.
"That's my phone ringing. It's probably Kare,"
"Brat!" Olivia muttered waving her off to take her call.
Olivia left a sleeping Gabby in Ellie's capable hands while she went for a walk. She and Cyrus used go for walks around the property to clear their heads between pow wow sessions.
"You should call James, I bet he misses you." Cyrus turned to look at her, shock written all over his face. She smiled at him kindly grabbing hold of his arm as they walked.
"Worst kept secret in Washington." Cyrus, in what seemed almost like relief that someone else knew about his relationship with James.
"I am a leader of the Republican Party. It's complicated."
"It's not. You want to be with the man you love, be with him."
"I'm an indoor person Liv."
Being with Fitz was never easy, and it was never going to be easy. They seemed doomed from the very beginning. The more she fell for him, the more complicated it got. It never started as an affair it was a relationship from get go. They were so intertwined that breathing was almost dependent on the other's close proximity. They loved each other with such intensity that consequence was an after thought which only worked for so long. Reality was, they couldn't keep going the way they had. Which is why she left in the first place.
"You're pacing, that can't be good." Olivia stopped and looked up to see Fitz standing there, hands in his pocket smiling at her. Her heart skipped a beat. God she missed him.
"It's back and forth,"
"I noticed. If it was circles I would be worried. So are you going to stand there all night looking all shocked or do I get a hug hello at least. It has been a couple of weeks." Olivia smiled back and walked over to his outstretched arms.
"God I've missed you Liv." He murmured holding her so tightly.
"I've missed you too. What are you doing here? I thought you weren't due in till tomorrow."
"I know a guy," he replied,
"That's my line." Fitz lowered his lips to hers, and hungrily she met them, holding him tightly against her.
"I love you." She said meeting his gaze, tears pooled from her eyes.
"I'm in love with you." Fitz brought his lips to her forehead.
"I don't think I will ever tire of hearing you say that. I love you too Liv. I'm in love with you."
"I don't want us to wait anymore. I'm tired of us waiting and watching. I just want to be us. I'm ready if it's still what you want."
"Yes, I've never wanted anything more." He said kissing her once more,
"I'm in, I'm all in. We're in this together."
Fitz led her to the big oak tree and sat down to lean against it taking her with him. Sitting between his legs, she leaned against him.
"Are you sure about this? There's no going back." He asked as he unconsciously tightened his arms around her. Liv nodded,
"It's been a year since your divorce to Mellie was finalized. She and Keith have just announced their engagement and that they're expecting. I think it's time we get our shot don't you?"
"You know I do."
"So I thought for the time being Gabby and I can move back to my old place."
"Uh no. You're moving into the residence."
"Don't Fitz me. We've waited long enough. I won't hide you any longer than I have already. I want the world to know that I love you. That you are the love of my life, and out of that love we made Gabby, that I love her just as much as I love Karen and Gerry."
"Well you certainly spoil her just as much," she slipped in dryly.
"Daddy's prerogatives. So I say we pack you up and get you moved in ASAP."
"What no wooing, you just expect me to move in with you? What kind of girl do you think I am? Where's the wining and dining? Where's the picking me up at my front door?" she teased. Fitz tightened his hold with one arm and started tickling her with his free hand,
"Alright, alright Uncle! Sheesh!"
"You will be romanced, I promise you. We have the rest of our lives for me to romance you. Trust me."