A/N: So, let's finish this off, shall we? The title song's by the Beach Boys, duh Love you guys, thanks for sticking with this story…
A Gala to Remember
Part V: Wouldn't it be Nice?
Fitzgerald Thomas Grant III.
I was standing in the back kitchen, waiting for the restaurant to be cleared. We had to wait for the rest of the patrons to leave, then the secret service would fill the room, then I would be able to go in. I could see her sitting there, at the table. She was playing on her phone – probably emailing someone about something that she would do later. This wasn't what I wanted – what I was about to do. But it was what was right, it was a way so not drag her along any more – let her be happy instead of just waiting around for me. If it was meant to be, it would be, right? I just had to trust that she was my soul mate – that in the end, I would be with her, because that's how it was supposed to be.
She looked up, noticing that it had gone silent – it was go time.
"The United States is having him deported," I said as I sat down at her table with her.
"So Lavage is forced out of the US and has to return home to Kurdistan. Where he'll I don't know, chill? For the rest of his life in a giant palace while Jenny Nystrom's murder goes un-avenged."
"It's the best I can do."
"Nice. Wonderful. America's the greatest country in the world," She replied sarcastically.
There was a long silence, where I just looked across the table at her. She was angry, and I understood completely. I was angry myself that there was nothing more that I could do. For Jenny Nystrom, or for us – for her. I wanted to make it all go away, like I had the people in the restaurant. I wanted to make everything better, but walking away for now seemed like the only way I could make anything better for her.
"One of your staffers could have told me this over the phone."
"I wanted to see you," I said, desperately.
"Why?" She shot back, and it was like ice, "What's the point?"
"I'm going to the G8 tonight," I didn't want to let go, I'd give her one more chance to say that she'd stay with me through this – though I didn't blame her for not wanting to, "Wanna hitch a ride on Air Force One? – Yeah I didn't think so."
She was just looking at me, so hurt – so broken. I understood why she hated me so much – I hated me. I never wanted to see her like this, this look on her face was everything that I had been trying to prevent.
"You must really hate me, for falling in love with you," I said, then went into an explanation of why I couldn't do better for Jenny.
"Can I walk out of here or will I be stopped by Tom and Hal?"
Damn it. I was losing her, in a way that I didn't want to – in a way that I wouldn't be able to recover her from. A way in which I simply wouldn't recover at all.
"Liv," I pleaded.
"Where can this go? Really, other than me joining the mile high club with you on air force one. How is there any future here?"
"Fine," I said, after yet another long pause, "We're done."
"What?" She breathed, and I propelled myself into the speech I had prepared for her – knowing if I didn't I would lose all my nerve.
"I'm letting you go. That's what you wanted. And look, I'll drop the charges against Edison – it's fine…I'm married. Have children. I can't do this. It's not fair to you, or me, or Mellie, or the country. I have to be responsible. Right?"
Again, all she had to say was to tell me no. Tell me that it was ok, that she loved me too. That she knew that she was the only one for me, just like I knew I was the only one for her.
"Right," She whispered back, and my heart shattered.
I was pacing around the room, waiting for the agents to come back with news, any news. Liv was sitting on the couch, head in her hands. I took a deep breath and went over and sat next to her – wrapping my arms around her softly, trying to comfort her as best I could. I had no idea what they were going to come back and tell us. This was, most likely, the end of the road of the nice little truce we had going.
"Liv," I spoke up, leaning back, "While we don't know what's going on out there – we need to figure out what we're going to do."
"What do you mean?" Olivia replied.
"Liv," He breathed, "We can't keep going the way we have. We have to figure out how to make this work."
"Fitz, the country's in a panic," She said, then pointed to the TV in the corner, "Look at the death toll, it's at eight. Eight people are dead, from a shooting at the White House. We are not going to through us into this too."
"When else are we going to have time to flesh this out?" I pointed out to her, "When are we going to have time. As soon as we're out of this bubble, we're not going to have any time."
"We're done, Fitz," she replied, "You said it yourself."
"Are we?" I said, clearly we weren't, she had to see that, "Does this feel over to you, Liv? Does this feel like we're ever going to be over? I don't know about you, but I know for a fact that no matter what happens, every day when I wake up – I'm thinking of you. My thoughts, my dreams, my everything – you are my everything, Liv. I let you go only because I wanted you to have a chance to be happy. But I was going to take you back as soon as I could."
"Funny, because I never really let you go either," She replied, but she wasn't happy about it.
"I don't know how to go about this any better than you do," Olivia was pissed – I didn't blame her.
She had been pretending – at least on the surface – that we didn't matter, that we weren't a thing.. It was protecting her, and I didn't mind that – but it wouldn't last. That whole system that we were running on previously, it could go on – but for how long? It wasn't going to last long enough. We couldn't stay apart – and we both knew it.
"So what do you suggest we do?" Olivia replied – as if calling me back to earth.
"I leave Mellie," I said it, "And it's no use convincing me that I shouldn't – I'm going to. I'm leaving her, we have enough on her so that she'll wait until my term is over. Then, I will announce that we just couldn't make it work, and we're scot free."
"And while you're still in the white house?" She asked and I nodded.
"And you think that's going to work?"
"Mellie's out of the picture – you can come back to the white house," I offered, "We can be together, Liv. What do you say?"
Before she could answer, the agents returned with Cyrus in toe. We shot up from the couch to their feet. He was visibly upset, his hair was going every which way and his eyes were red. I was shocked at seeing him in such a state, but olivia went right up to him. Her compassion and ability to figure out what to do so quickly was something that I always envied in her, she was good at it. I took a backseat and sat on the coffee table as she sat him down on the couch.
"Cyrus – what's the matter?" Olivia asked him, but somehow I got the feeling that she already knew the answer, I would never know how she did that.
"James," Cy's voice broke – and he spoke in more of a screechy, "He's dead, that bastard shot him right in the forehead the last time he came in the ballroom. We were all sitting there like sitting ducks. I made him come – it's my fault. If he had stayed home like he'd wanted to…"
"Cy," Olivia stopped him, "You couldn't have known that this was going to happen. You would have never asked him to come. You loved him – you would have kept him as far away from it as possible."
"I thought I was keeping him away from it," He said, looking straight at her, and I realized that I was missing something.
"Cy, that's-" A look of horror and realization marred Liv's face.
"What's going on?" I asked, but I was ignored.
"Cyrus he wouldn't-"
"You heard him earlier," Cyrus said, "There's no coincidence that he took his wife and left ten minutes before the shooting started."
"Do you two know who did this?" I was shocked.
It was like they were having a silent conversation, and I was the odd one out. Usually, it was Liv and I who shared our little inside conversations that were way over Cy's head – but here it was in the reverse. I could understand why now, that Cyrus hated it so much when we did.
"No," Olivia looked away from Cyrus and to Fitz, "We would never be able to prove it – and it's not important anyways."
"People were shot, how is whoever shot them not important?" I asked.
"We'll get who shot them," Olivia promised me, "I already have Huck on it, tracking him down."
"Charlie," I told her, "But what about whoever hired him? You two know who it is."
"Sir," One agent reappeared in the room, "Senator Davis is in surgery at the city hospital with a bullet in his leg. The First Lady was gazed in the arm, she's at George Washington, she's fine, the baby's fine – but they're keeping her for observation. The first Children are in route here, they were very happy hear that you're unharmed. Agent Cole is recovering from a bullet in the shoulder, and has been out of surgery for a few hours. Agent Bernard's bullet was successfully removed, and he'll be placed in Agent Cole's room when he is out of surgery. Is there anything else that we can do for you?"
"Reroute my children to George Washington," I told him, "Mellie's injured, they should be with her – tell them I love them, and to watch over their mother."
Olivia was trying to comfort Cyrus on the couch, and I put my hand up to my head.
"Cyrus, I am so sorry," Liv was telling him over and over.
"I need to get out there," I told the Agents, "I need to go out and talk to the people waiting in the waiting room, then I need to get to the white house. Tell them to set up the oval office – I speak from there, tonight."
"Yes, sir," One agent said.
"But first I need the room, for a few minutes," I continued, "Please have Cyrus transported wherever he wants to go. Have an agent stay with him, and make sure that someone has an eye on him?"
"Yes sir," The second agent said, as Cyrus got up off the couch and allowed himself to be escorted out of the room.
"Liv," I breathed as soon as the room had been cleared, and she walked over to me cautiously, allowing me to wrap my arms around her.
"James," she breathed.
"I'm going to have you sent home with an Agent, ok?" I told her, "I'm not going to be able to stay with you tonight. I need you to keep Huck on finding Charlie. But I need you to have the team look into whoever set up the shooter. You're ok, Livy. You're out of danger and now I have to do my job – ok? I'll call you tomorrow."
"I can't do it," She breathed, "I can't lie to you – but I can't investigate this. Cyrus can't either – it's cruel and awful, but there's nothing we can do. We can take down Charlie, but there's nothing we can do…"
"How did I know that was what you were going to say?" I asked.
"It would be nice if we could do all those things," She said, and I nodded, "If I could hold the person who did this responsible. If you could somehow leave Mellie before the end of your presidency, if we could be together."
"It would," He replied, "And it will be. I promise you, Liv. I will come for you – the second that I can."
"And I'll be waiting."