Her First Born Sonby Lia
It was snowing lightly, and the streets were almost deserted. Sam drove slow, the black ice under the tires making him careful. The woman next to him leaned back on the seat, her eyes closed.
The lights changed to red, and the car stopped quite easily. Gently he reached to touch her face, brushed a lock of long blond hair behind her ear. She turned her face to look at him and opened her eyes.
"I had a good time tonight." He said softly.
"Me too." Her lips curved into a small smile.
Red light changed to green, and Sam focused back on the road. From time to time he glanced at her as she stared out to the night. She saw his reflection from the car window, and the softness on his face made her smile softly.
"What time your parents are leaving? We can drive them to the airport if you want?"
She turned her head to look at him. "You have to finish the speech."
"I'm sure I can sneak out long enough to drive my in-laws to the airport."
"You think Toby will let you?"
"He understands." He assured as he slowed down for another lights.
"I'm not so sure, he hates me." The look on her face was miserable.
"Toby doesn't hate you." He laughed lightly.
"I'm sure he does."
"Honey." Sam cupped her cheek with his palm gently. "He doesn't hate you."
She looked at him doubtful for a moment before she placed her hands on her swollen stomach. "Sam, marrying a republican woman from south, and getting her pregnant..."
"Ainsley." He laughed again, and placed a soft kiss on her lips before concentrating back on driving. "I love you. Toby loves you. The President loves you, don't worry about it."
She gave him a small smile and he tapped her thigh. "Don't worry about it."
Capturing his hand with her own she laid it on her stomach. "She's kicking."
"He tells his mommy to stop worrying."
"We should think of some names."
"Josh suggested Abraham."
"Sam, we're not naming our child Abraham."
"He was a good President." He grinned playfully.
"How about Marie?"
"Marie." He said the name thoughtfully. "Marie Seaborn?"
"Maybe not." She giggled.
"What about Patricia?" Sam asked.
"Patricia? Patricia Madeline Seaborn. I like that." She smiled softly.
The snow came down from the dark sky now heavier, visibility getting worse by the minute. Sam slowed down and concentrated now only to the driving. A few minutes passed in silence, and Ainsley leaned back on her seat and closed her eyes.
The car came from nowhere. Sam had no time to avoid the collision before the other car hit them. He felt the car rolling over, his head bumping against the wheel, and the pain in his chest as the airbags went off, breaking two of his ribs. Then it was all black.
It was the shouts outside, the sirens and hands feeling his pulse and injuries. With a moan of pain he opened his eyes.
"Sir." One of the paramedics said. "Stay still."
"Ainsley?" He repeated again, turning his head to the passenger's side. "Ainsley?"
"Sir, you're wife's been taking care of. We need you to stay still."
He pushed the man away roughly, and immediately regretted his sudden movement. The pain rushed through his body, making him close his eyes and lean back against the paramedic.
He opened his eyes, and saw the ambulance in front of him. Through the cracked windshield he saw her motionless body on the gurneys, the paramedics and firemen giving her the first aid she needed.
"Ains!" The desperate cry escaped from his lips. "What happened? How is she?"
"Mr Seaborn, you're wife is being taken care of." The paramedic repeated as he reached to put him a neck support. "We are taking you to the hospital."
"Ains." Sam cried, fighting against the oxygen mask. "I need to see her."
The paramedics worked quickly, placing the backboard behind him and moving him on the gurneys. He watched the other ambulance taking off its sirens on, leaving him behind. Soon he was lifted into the second waiting ambulance, and he was on his way to the hospital.
It was an hour later when he sat on the hospital bed, his ribcages bandaged and his wounds cleaned up. Grimacing he pulled his sweater on and stood up. With slowly steps he headed to the door and out to the hallway. The nurse rushed by his side, supporting his way along the hall.
"Mr Seaborn." The nurse said softly.
"Where is she?"
"Sir, the doctor will come to you..."
"No one has said a word about her since I was brought here!" He shouted in frustration. "I need to see my wife."
"Mr Seaborn, please."
"I want to see her!" He demanded, his voice cracking.
"Mr Seaborn." A voice said behind them and he turned around to face a man in a green scrub. "I'm Dr Friedman."
"How is she?"
"Sir." The doctor gestured the nearest couch and nodded to the nurse to leave them. He waited as Sam slowly sat down before moved to sit next to the other man. "You're wife's been taken up to the surgery. She was badly hurt..."
The words echoed in his head, and he closed his eyes. He felt a comforting hand on his shoulder as the doctor tried to comfort him. "Sir, I am going to be in the surgery, and I will return as soon as we are finished. If you have someone you'd like to call..." Dr Friedman stood up and looked down at Sam. "The nurse will show you where you can wait."
"Thank you." Sam whispered, not lifting his teary eyes from the floor at which he had been staring.
He followed the nurse into the private waiting room and sunk on the soft couch. He buried his head in his hands and cried quietly.
The flashes from the past filled his mind, and he allowed himself to forget the nightmare he was living at the moment. The images about her in their first date. Their first kiss in the rain on her door. The long talks, and nights when they had lay on the couch in each other's arms, talking about their families, their lives and dreams. The one night when he had been out with Josh, and confessed his love for the republican woman to his best friend.
The news had spread fast, and finally he had admitted his feelings for her in front of the President. He had thought it would bring problems, but he had thought wrong. With the President's, and Mr Hayes's blessings, he had asked her to marry him, and with a soft, tearful voice she had shouted yes. The wedding had been beautiful, Abigail Bartlet asking them to have the ceremony in the White House Rose Garden. He had stood next to Josh and Toby, nervously staring to the doorway, as afraid she would have changed her mind and run. When the music had started, the look on his face softened and he stared as hypnotized as she walked down the aisle with her father.
Later that night, he had danced with her under the stars, whispering promises in her ear. She had smiled softly and leaned to capture his lips with her owns. One of his promises had been to take care of her, to protect her.
And now he had failed.
On the other side the town, Josh Lyman groaned sleepily and reached for his ringing cell phone. The alarm clock fell on the floor breaking in three pieces, but he ignored it and grabbed the phone.
The voice in the other end made his heart ache, and fear filled his heart. No longer he was tired, and he sat up to rub his face.
"I'll be right there." He promised. "Sam," he said before he let him hung up. "She'll be fine."
He stared in front of him for a moment seeing nothing before snapping back to the reality and switching the light on.
"Donna." He whispered quietly, turning to wake up the woman next to him. "Donna wake up."
She smiled sleepily, but opened her eyes. "What is it? What time is it?"
"Get up." He said gently. "We have to go the hospital."
She sat up and looked at him worriedly. "Josh?"
"We have to go, now."
Reaching for his hand she stopped him and he lifted his eyes to meet her worried ones. "Sam and Ainsley were in the car accident. She's in a surgery."
"Oh no." The whisper left from her lips and she closed her eyes.
"Come on." He pulled her up into his arms and hugged her tightly.
Leo McGarry pushed the doors open and headed straight to the admit desk. He was soon led into the private waiting room, all too familiar to him. It was the same room where they had waited for news after the shooting over a year ago.
But now, only one of the chairs was occupied, Sam Seaborn sitting in the dim lighted room, his head buried in his hands.
"Sam?" Leo walked to him and sat down.
"They haven't told me anything."
"Sam." The older man lifted his hand and placed it on Sam's shoulder. "Are you okay?"
He looked up to him, the tracks of tears on his cheeks. "She's hurt, Leo."
"I know, son." He told him and pulled him closer.
A few silent moments later the door opened and CJ Cregg stepped in, Toby's hand on the small of her back. They changed a worried look with Leo before CJ walked to Sam and kneeled down in front of him.
"Hey." She said softly, brushing her hand across his forehead and pushing his hair away form his eyes.
He stared straight through her, not really seeing her there. She ran her hand down from his face to his neck and chest, as making sure herself he wasn't hurt more than she was told before. She felt the bandage under her palm and looked up to his face, worried that he was in pain.
"Sam." Her voice was a gentle whisper, and she used her hand to lift his jaw and make him look at her. "Are you in pain?"
Shaking his head he pulled his head away. CJ stood up and sat down next to him, her fingers curling around his tightly. "It'll be okay."
An hour later, Sam stood by the window, his hands deep in his pockets. Donna looked at him sadly, her head resting against Josh's shoulder, and his arm around her, comforting, assuring everything would be fine.
She turned her head and saw Ainsley's parents sitting across the room, trying to find comfort in each other's arms. Mr Hayes glanced up and met her eyes, and she smiled encouraging, not wanting the older man to see that she was worried too. She felt Josh's lips on her forehead and heard his soft whispers in her ear, his hold tightened, and she placed her hand on his thigh, not caring how it looked for those who were watching. And the only one who saw the gentle gestures, was the Secret Service agent who guarded the door, and he turned his head away, the softness and worry hided under the tough expression in his face.
Toby rose from his seat and walked to Sam, not saying a word he just stood next to him, giving him the silent support he needed. The desperate look in the younger man's face made his heart ache. The man he loved like a younger brother was suffering, and there wasn't a thing he could have done. He wanted to comfort him, he wanted to reassure him everything would be fine, but he had no words, so he only stood in silence, listening the soft cries, hating the feeling he could not help.
"We were having a dinner with her parents." Sam said quietly, still staring out into the darkness. "We talked about names."
"It wasn't your fault." Toby said, knowing he would blame himself.
"I promised to take care of her." He turned to look at Ainsley's parents. "I promised that to her mother."
"Mr Seaborn." The voice came from the door and Sam turned around, recognizing the voice.
"Is she okay?" He asked, taking a few steps closer to the doctor, a trace of hope in his face he glanced his in-laws.
"Your wife's condition is still critical." Dr Friedman said, the tiredness reflecting from his face. "Her heart stopped beating but we were able to bring her back."
"Oh no." Mrs Hayes leaned heavily against her husband, clinging frightened onto him.
"But she's going to be fine, right?" Leo asked, the shaky and worried voice betraying the strong words of the White House Chief of Staff.
Sam nodded in Leo's word, turning his eyes back to the doctor. Dr Friedman lowered his eyes for a moment before continuing. "At this point, all we can do is wait."
"Wait for what?" Mr Hayes asked, his voice cracking.
"If she wakes up in next 12 hours, that's a good sign."
"What are you saying?" Sam asked, his mind numb.
"We are worried about the baby. And there might come a situation when you have to decide---"
"Decide what?" Sam's legs were about to give up and Josh rushed by his side to support him.
"If you want us to save the child---"
"Save the child and lose the mother." CJ`s terrified voice behind them made them turn their heads to her.
"What?" Toby asked.
"No." Another cry from Mrs Hayes, and her husband led her back on the couch.
"I can't make that decision." Sam turned back to the doctor. "You can't ask me to make that decision!"
"Sir, your wife might not live for another 24 hours. If it comes to that, we have to decide---"
"No!" Sam shouted.
"There must be something you can do." Donna said, tears falling on her cheeks.
Dr Friedman's eyes were worried. "We have done everything we could. Now we have to wait."
"No." Sam cried as he sunk back on the couch. "No."
"I'm sorry, but I have to go back now. If you like you can go and sit with her." He looked at Sam, and then Mr and Mrs Hayes. "I allow one in a time. She's unconscious, and her condition is critical. She's covered with tubes and wires, but she has no pain at the moment."
Leo walked out to the bright-lighted hall. He pulled out his cell phone and hit the speed dial.
"No change." He said answering to the question that had been asked.
In the White House, President Bartlet walked behind his desk and leaned against the table. He lowered his head in worry, the words of his Chief of Staff echoing in the silent office.
"Damn." He shouted in frustration, hitting his palms on the wood. "I'm coming over, Leo." His words were clear.
"You know how the Secret Service..."
"I don't care." Jed shouted. "I need to be there. God, Leo. He is one of my boys."
"I know." Leo said quietly, his eyes getting wet with unshed tears.
Sam followed the doctor in the dark room and stared at the woman lying in the bed. His heart broke as he watched her, her face scratched, left hand bandaged and monitors beeping telling her heart was beating.
He walked by her side, reached to take her hand, his other hand brushing across her stomach, trying to feel the kicks or movements of their child. He gave a worried glance at the doctor.
"You can see the baby's heartbeats from the monitor."
Sam turned his eyes to look at the beeping monitor, and his face broke in a soft smile as he heard the steady rhythm. "Our child, Ainsley." He whispered, squeezing her hand gently.
He sat by her side over an hour, talking to her quietly, caressing her face. He never heard the door opening nor Josh's voice when he called him softly.
"Sam." Josh repeated, walking in. "How is she?"
"No change." Sam replied sadly, his hand resting on her stomach. "She's only seven months pregnant."
"I know." He said as he walked by her side and leaned to reach for her free hand. "Ainsley, I'm going to borrow Sam for a while, okay?" He talked quietly to her. "But your parents are here."
Sam was about to object, not wanting to leave her side. "Come on, Sam. Her parents need to be with her for a while. I'll buy you a coffee." Josh said softly.
Hours past, CJ and Leo had returned back to the office. Mr and Mrs Hayes tried to rest in the waiting room, trying to find strength and comfort in each other's arms. Donna had left Josh unwillingly, but knowing she had to go back and keep his office running.
Josh sat at Ainsley's bedside, waiting for Sam and Toby to come back. Dr Friedman had come to tell him that too much time had passed, and they would need to operate her and try to save the baby.
Helpless they watched as he kissed her lips, as saying the final goodbyes to her as they pushed her through the OR doors. Sam felt a soft hand on his back and turned to look at Mrs Hayes. She pulled him into her arms, hugging him tightly, sobbing quietly against his chest.
Thirty minutes later Dr Friedman walked in the waiting room and smiled softly. "Mr Seaborn, you have a healthy son."
Josh and Toby smiled partly relieved, but the worry about the woman they loved still there.
"What about our daughter?" Mr Hayes asked, his eyes wet from the relief about their grandson's well being. "What about Ainsley?"
Dr Friedman's eyes darkened, and he sighed sadly. "I'm sorry. We did all we could, now it's up to God."
Silently Sam walked into the room where his son lay in the incubator, sleeping without worries, his small fingers and toes curled. With the nurse's encouragement he sat down on the rocking chair and let her help the small child into his arms.
"Hey little one." He said softly, tears shining in his blue eyes.
For two days he sat by her side, their son with him, telling her how beautiful he was, and how they needed her to wake up. The Hayes stayed in the hospital with him, taking turns to spend time with their daughter and grandson.
That afternoon sun shone through the curtains into her room, the cold winter afternoon getting a warmer look. Sam held her hand, reached to brush a lock of hair away form her face.
"Mr Seaborn." Dr Friedman said from the door.
"What is it?"
"It's time." He said gently.
"Oh." Sam said, not moving away as the doctor and two nurses walked closer.
"Mr and Mrs Hayes are coming. They wanted to be here." Friedman said, his voice soft and sad.
They waited a few minutes before they arrived, the baby tightly in the older woman's arms. Sam reached to smooth his wife's forehead, his eyes taking in the every second he had with her.
He heard the soft snap as they stopped the machine that had helped her breathe, and he ignored the tear that fell on his cheek. His eyes fell on her chest, watching as it rose as she took the first breath in her own. He looked up to the doctor hopefully.
Not wanting to give too much hope, Dr Friedman only nodded. "We have to wait." After a few more minutes he looked up to the monitor that showed her heartbeats, and he smiled carefully.
A soft sob of relief escaped from his lips and he reached to kiss her lips, pressing his face against her cheek, and crying gentle whispers of love and hope in her ear.
The baby let out a loud cry and Mrs Hayes smiled through her tears. "I think he wants his daddy."
Sam left Ainsley's side to go with his son. Toby Ziegler had heard the news first, he had been sitting in the hallway, prepared for worse, and ready to comfort the man he thought as a brother. He watched him with the baby and smiled softly.
"Go with him." He said. "I'll go to sit with her."
He pushed the door open quietly and took his seat by the bed. Taking her hand in his own, he started to talk, like he had talked to her for several times during the past days.
"It seems that I have talked with you these last days more than the whole time I've known you." He chuckled. "I know you think I hate you, but I don't."
He reached to touch her face gently. "I love you Ainsley. I love you the way a man loves his brother's wife. I know you make Sam happy. I know you love him, and I love you for that."
Leaning back in his seat, but never releasing her hand he continued. "You have a beautiful son here who is eager to meet his mother. Sam has been worried, we all have been worried. Now would be a good time to wake up."
Thirty minutes later Sam walked back in the room and Toby returned back to the White House, noticing the news had spread fast, and seeing more smiling faces than days.
Twelve hours later Dr Friedman made his rounds and checked Ainsley again. Sam watched worriedly, but said nothing.
"Her breathing is better, and her heart is getting stronger." The doctor said.
"But why she hasn't wake up yet?"
"Give her time, Sam. Her body has gone through a lot in short time, and it needs time to recover."
Early in the next morning, Sam felt a familiar touch on his face and opened his eyes. He had fallen asleep, and rested his head down on the bed. Lifting his head, he saw her smiling tiredly at him.
"Morning." She whispered, licking her dry lips.
"Hey." He rubbed his face, wiping the tears away. "I love you."
Her hands lay on her now flat stomach, and she lifted her eyes to meet his. "Did I lose... Oh god, Sam... no..." She cried worriedly.
"No." He assured smoothing her face. "No, it's fine. He's with your parents."
"He?" She whispered. "A boy?"
"Yes." He grinned. "Our son. He's beautiful, Ainsley. Absolutely beautiful."
Later that night she watched Sam holding their son. She reached to touch him, longing him into her own arms, but still too weak to hold him. Sam sat on the edge of her bed and leaned down against the pillows, wrapping his arm around her, pulling her rest against his chest, and placing the baby between them.
"He has no name yet." She said, caressing his soft hair.
"We only had a name for a girl."
Dr Friedman stepped in the room and smiled brightly. "How are you feeling Ainsley?"
"I'm okay." She smiled. "Have you seen him?" Her question made the older man chuckle and he moved to sit on the chair next to the bed.
After a moment of silence, Ainsley looked up from her son. "What's your name?"
"My name?" Dr Friedman asked surprised. "Alexander, but everybody calls me Alex."
"Alex." She repeated, like tasting the name on her lips. "Alex Josiah."
"AJ." Sam grinned. "AJ Seaborn."
"Sounds good to me." The voice said from the doorway.
"Mr President." Ainsley smiled, and Alex Friedman stood up.
"I'm glad to see you doing better, Ainsley. You got us all worried." He walked closer and leaned down to kiss her forehead. Then he cooed with the baby for a moment, making Leo roll his eyes as he watched them from the doorway.
"I'll be back to check on you later." The doctor said and headed to the door. "You still need to rest." He said, giving a pointing glare to the small group of people in the room.
"I will." Ainsley promised, not taking her eyes away from her son. "Dr Friedman." She called after him, now lifting her face to look at the doctor. "You don't mind if we use your name?"
"I'd be honoured."
"Thank you." She said, returning her eyes back to the small child.
Jed Bartlet took a seat next to the bed and grinned at them. "Everybody sent their love. They all wanted to come, but we do have a country to run." He chuckled. "So I left Josh in charge."
"Good god, sir. I love the man dearly, and he will be the godfather of this child, but, leaving him in charge..." Sam laughed.
"He has Donna there to look after him." Leo assured smiling.
"So..." The President looked at them softly. "Can I hold my new godchild?"