Olivia suffered multiple gun shot wounds, one of them in particular just missed her heart, while the others though not as seriously located had done their own damage. While they repaired one wound, another would begin to bleed out. It was a long night.
Cyrus knew that there was no point in trying to get everyone to go home and rest. They were all there for the duration. However it did make the President's presence a little harder to conceal. He tried to keep Fitz at bay till she was at least out of surgery, but he knew that was also futile.
Abby placed a hand on Stephen's arm as the Secret Service began to sweep the floor. She had noticed that their floor had become emptier and emptier throughout the night. Abby may have not known what was going on, but Stephen knew. He knew exactly was going on. He took a deep breath as he looked around the room, her parents, Eddison, the Gladiators, all oblivious to the love affair that consumed not only Olivia, but the President of the United States. Somehow he doubted that the feelings that they have hidden for so long would continue to be masked. Only more questions were to come from his appearance. It was careless, stupid and Olivia would be furious but it only meant that Fitz truly loved her. Just as he always expected he did.
"Mr President." Michael Pope said in surprise standing to his feet, just as the rest of them did in the room.
"Please sit down, and it's Fitz. I am so sorry Mr and Mrs Pope. I am sorry that you are here because of me. That should be me on the table and not Olivia."
"Mr President, thank you for coming. There is no need for apologies. It's who Olivia is. Whether it had been you, or some random stranger in harms way, she'd throw herself in front of them first." Eunice replied as she took his hands in hers. She could see the guilt he felt, but there was something more than that. He loved her daughter, he may have been able to hide it from everyone else, but she saw right through him, just as Olivia always had. She gave his hands another squeeze as if to confirm that she knew and he nodded bowing his head in shame. For subjecting their daughter to an extra marital affair, and not giving her what she truly deserved which was all of him.
"Mr and Mrs Pope," the doctor said as he came into the waiting room. Fitz froze in place. The doctor looked exhausted as he took his cap off. Sensing Fitz's panic Eunice kept his hands in hers, for which he was grateful. Stephen tightened his arms around Ellie who was sitting on his lap.
"Ms Pope sustained multiple gun shot wounds. One in particular just missed her heart." There was an intake of breath in the whole room as he paused,
"There were many complications, and we lost Ms Pope not once but twice, but your daughter is a fighter, she pulled through the surgery, but she is not out of the woods. The trauma of her wounds, and the surgery that followed has taken a toll on her body. We had to close her up, but she will require further surgery when her body is up to it."
"So what are you saying Doctor?" Eunice asked,
"That your daughter is lucky to be alive, but the next twenty four hours are critical."
"Can we see her?" The Doctor was about to say immediate family only, but he knew that there would be no point. None of them would leave till they saw her.
"Immediate family first, and then everyone else can see her, but briefly. Then I would suggest you all go home and get rest. We will keep you posted if anything comes up." Everyone nodded dutifully. Ellie got up taking Stephen's hand he was immediate family to them.
"Mr President, would you like to join us?" Michael Pope offered. Fitz longed to see her, but knew his place.
"It's okay Mr Pope, you all go on ahead." Truth was Fitz was scared he would break down at the sight of his Livvy on a hospital bed. Stephen gave his arm a pat as he passed him. Their gaze locked. In normal circumstances he knew that Stephen wanted to strangle him, he was Liv's best friend and he was fiercely protective of her, but in that moment all he saw was compassion, and for that he was grateful.
Fitz stood with Cyrus in the corner trying to blend in, which was of course next to impossible when you're the leader of the free world. Eddison, who hadn't stopped staring at Fitz since he had walked in, finally stood to his feet.
"It was you." He said in quiet accusation. As though sensing an incredibly private moment was about to transpire the Gladiators took it upon themselves to vacate the room. Cyrus, stood back but did not leave the room.
"You were the one who hurt her so badly that she's completely shut down to any possibility with anyone else. She'd rather spend the rest of her life alone than entertain the possibility of being happy in any capacity." Fitz felt like he had been punched in the gut. All he saw was that she was moving on without him, and as unfair as it seemed, he didn't want her to. He wanted her to wait for him, and hearing Edison's words were made him see that what she had projected was so far from what was.
"I have worked so hard the last couple of months to even get as far as we are right now, and I can tell you that she's not all in regardless what she says, but I stayed because I had hoped that one day, she'll get there, and looking at you, and seeing the same sadness in your eyes that I have come to know as familiar in Liv, she'll never get there. She gave herself to you so wholeheartedly that she didn't leave enough for herself. So for the sake of her happiness, I'm going to bow out. I would have fought for her to the end, but I am giving you a chance to do right by her because she deserves a shot in happiness. Don't blow it." Edison said evenly looking right into Fitz's eyes. Fitz nodded unable to find the words. He sat down as he watched Senator Davies turned to leave. At the door he stopped,
"I would appreciate it if you keep me updated with her progress."
"Of course." Fitz promised gaining a whole new respect for Edison.
The Pope's along with Stephen returned shortly after allowing the Gladiators to have a chance to see her. By then everyone had figured out that Fitz was buying his time, accumulating courage to see her, to ensure that he didn't break down the moment he saw her. Highly unlikely but, he had to at least try. While Cyrus went with the Gladiators to see Liv, Michael and Eunice went downstairs to grab some coffee leaving Stephen, Ellie and Fitz alone in the waiting room.
Ellie who had been watching Fitz curiously all night stood from where she sat beside Stephen and walked across to where Fitz was and sat beside him. Surprised Fitz gave her a small smile,
"You must be Ellie. I'm Fitz. Your sister talks non stop about you," Ellie smiled back at him,
"You love my sister don't you?" Surprised Fitz stole a quick glance at Stephen who was equally floored, biting the bullet, he swallowed before answering,
"I do. I really do. She means the world to me."
"But you have a wife." Fitz's second sucker punch in only a half hour
"Eliana!" Stephen said in gentle admonishment, the kid had a point but it was still a tiny bit rude.
"It's ok." Fitz said to Stephen before re-addressing Ellie.
"That's true, I do have a wife, and I have kids. I can tell you it's complicated, and it is, but that sounds like a cop out even to my own ears. If you and I are going to be friends, and I hope to be, I have to be honest with you." At that very moment Michael and Eunice Pope entered the room, Fitz looked at them apologetically before proceeding.
"My wife and I got married very young, and though most people married for love, we married because it was what our parents wanted us to do. They had been planning our marriage since we were born, and they had plans on what would come out of that marriage, and one of them was becoming the president. My wife and I care about each other, and we have two amazing kids, but I never knew what love felt like till I met your sister. I had resigned myself to the fact that our relationship was the norm, and it was enough. Then I met your sister. From the moment we met there was a connection that neither one of us could explain, and regardless how hard she and I tried to avoid it, and run away from it, nothing worked. You know she ran my campaign for presidency right?" he asked, while she nodded,
"Well that meant we had to spend a lot of time together, and we made sure we always had people with us to avoid further complications, but in running my campaign, she became my closest confidant. She became my best friend. She knew without my having to say anything what I was thinking, and vice versa. We just got each other, and the more time I spent with her, the more I grew to love her in more than just 'my friend' kind of way, and it was the same for her. We didn't mean for it to happen, and we tried for it not to happen. I just wasn't strong enough. Your sister tried to do the right thing every chance she got," Fitz said again looking up to meet Michael and Eunice's gaze
"But I wouldn't let her. I couldn't. She is the love of my life, and whenever she wasn't near me, I couldn't breathe. It was like something was missing. If I were a better man, I would have let her go a long time ago." The tears pooled in his eyes as he looked down at his hands.
"She finally took that decision out of my hands when she left her resignation on my desk during my state of the union address. I didn't hear from her at all for over a year." He omitted the part where he had surveillance on her,
"It wasn't until I needed her help with a case a little while ago that I saw her again, and despite the time and distance apart, whatever we felt was still there. We were still drawn to each other, and she begged me to let her go, and though I fought her on it, I finally did a few weeks ago, to give her a chance at happiness knowing I couldn't give her what she deserves right now. But I have to tell you that letting her go, and seeing that look on her face when I finally did will be one of the things that will haunt me forever. I would give everything up to be with her, but she won't let me, because that's who your sister is. Something else is always more important. I'm lucky to have had her, and I'm sorry for having made her life more complicated." Fitz said regretfully looking back at her parents. Ellie took his hand in hers.
"She must love you for a reason, and that's enough for me. I know you love her, I can see how much it hurts for you not to be with her, but most of all I know that you would do anything for her, and that's all I need to know." Taken aback Fitz was speechless, as he looked at her he realized just how much of Olivia was in her, and at that moment, it brought him great comfort.
As the Gladiators headed back to the waiting room and make their way home Cyrus stayed behind with Olivia,
"Hey Kid, you need to come out of this okay? I can't do this without you. He won't survive this Liv. He can survive anything, but losing you is not one of them. He needs you. I need you. I know you and I have had our differences, and I am so sorry for disappointing you on so many levels. You're the daughter I never had Liv, and I need you to come out of this. Please Liv. Please." He dropped a kiss on her cheek and have her hand a squeeze.
When Cyrus had come out from seeing Olivia his eyes were red, and Fitz felt for him. Cy for all of his ruthlessness loved Olivia and it would devastate him to lose her.
"Sir, why don't you go in and see her?" Fitz nodded and stood to his feet. He looked at Ellie who just released his hand,
"You'll be fine. Just tell her everything you told me. She'll want to hear it. She loves you too." Grateful Fitz dropped his lips to Ellie's head,
"Thank you." He murmured before heading to Olivia's room followed closely by his security detail.
Hope you all enjoyed that. I wanted to kill many birds with one stone. Bye Edison! Coming out to the parents, etc… next chapter will be him seeing her so don't fret, it is coming. Thank you for all the support and encouragement. I am loving your input! Keep 'em coming!