Actions

Work Header

Leave It All Behind

Chapter Text

It took Hillary all her will power to call Bill. It was already one-thirty in the morning but she couldn't sleep. She felt disgusted with what Tim did to her. She couldn't believe that he did it — force himself on her. 

She showered but she could still feel Tim's teeth on her neck, could feel the way his hand fondled her breast painfully, and the scariest of them all, how he pinned her against the wall with his body.

It was sickening. She never felt so scared that she couldn't sleep. She did not know who to call without ruining Tim's name and causing scandal. She just needed someone to hold to. 

She initially thought about Betsey or Martha but figured that they would most probably pry why she called at that hour. She took her chance to call Bill instead and she was glad that she did. 

Agent Harold parked near the White House basketball court. It was a good place to park since it was partially dark. No one would see them here. 

“I’ll be outside, sir,” Harold said, before stepping out of the car.

Bill nodded, then he turned his head to look at Hillary whose eyes were closed. He kept his arm curled around Hillary's shoulder, his hand slowly caressing her arm. He cupped his hand on the side of her head gently cradling her against him. He leaned his head against the backrest. His head tipped up as he contemplated her and what they were doing inside at that moment. 

Hillary was still quiet, her eyes closed. He couldn't figure out if she was asleep or was just closing her eyes. He has hundreds of questions he wanted to ask but he couldn't dare to voice them out. He was worried about her, what drove her to him at two in the morning? Did something happen? Where was Tim? Why did she cry?

Then there was his other problem, his growing attraction to her. He cared about her, and he wanted her with him.

Logic told him to stop, to walk away while he could. He wanted to tell her how he felt for her but what good would that do?

Nothing but disaster.

In the meantime, he needed to be contented with what she has to offer — her friendship. Even though a secret one. He was glad that she found a friend in him because while they held their position, it seemed like it was all he could also offer — his friendship.

They held each other like that for what seemed like an eternity when Hillary stirred and looked at him. Her eyes were glassy with unshed tears. 

"What happened to you?" Bill asked, his voice above a whisper.

Hillary took a deep breath, "Just some disagreement."

"With Tim?" 

She nodded. She leaned her head back on his shoulder. 

If only she could tell him what happened earlier, what drove her to find solace in his arms, but she felt her tongue-tied. She finally understood why others, who encountered the same experience, found it so difficult to share them.

"Are you okay now?" He asked her. When Bill heard that the cause of her running to him was Tim, his chest clenched. He was glad that she chose to find comfort in him though. If Tim was capable of hurting or disappointing her, he would do his damn best to do the exact opposite. He would rather die first than hurt her. Exaggerated but true. 

Hillary nodded at his question. 

Hillary thought that finding comfort in the arms of the person her family and colleagues wanted to put down was an irony. But Hillary realized how much she liked it there. Bill smelled like aftershave and a clean shirt. He was warm and cuddly. His other hand that was cupping the side of her head was idly brushing her hair with his fingers, then the sound of his heartbeat was music to her ears. It was such a comforting place to be in and it felt all-natural. 

"What's your favorite flower?" She heard him ask.

"Hydrangeas."

Bill smiled against her hair. "I like that, it's very unassuming… Like you.”

Hillary felt her heart leaped to her throat. She smiled feeling like she wanted to melt in his embrace as he said those words. She looked at him and he gave her a smile that took her breath away.

"You?" She asked. 

Bill chuckled, "I haven't thought of that."

"Aren't you a flower kind?" She asked, looking and smiling at him. 

Bill looked down at her and shook his head, then his free hand reached to brush her apple cheeks. "I am glad you are smiling now."

"Thank you for being with me," She said in a hushed tone. "I hope I didn't wake you up." 

"I couldn't sleep, your call was just in time," He replied. 

"Why can't you sleep?" 

Bill wondered if he was going to lie to her, but then he realized that he no longer didn't want to do that, at least not with what he felt for her. 

"I was waiting for you to call," He replied sincerely. 

Hillary felt her eyes prickling by his answer, her throat closing as she tried to hold back her tears. Bill was waiting for her to call but she couldn't do so because she was trying to recover from what Tim did.

"I'm sorry," She sniffed.

If only they could be together. If only she wasn't a Republican Senator they could have a chance to be together.

"Shhh," Bill shushed her, his arms closing around hugging her. "It's okay, you're here and that's all that matters."

She nodded, her arms slowly coiling around him as well.

What are they doing? She thought. Where is this going? She wondered. They couldn't be together at least not right now. She couldn't lose her leadership. She needed that position to influence her party to be progressive. She needed to leave before it became more dangerous for both of them.

She tightened her hold before she loosened her arms, "I better go back at home."

Bill nodded. He knocked on the door, signaling to Harold that they were ready to leave.

They watched as Agent Harold opened the door to the driver's seat and stepped inside. 

"I'll have someone escort you to your home," Bill said, as Agent Harold started the car. 

She shook her head, "I can't. I don't want to use any of that." 

"I just want to make sure you get home safe. Please, this is all that I could do."

Hillary smiled at him gently, and brushed his cheek with her hand, "You've done a lot by being here with me."

He inhaled as he relented, "Alright, at least give me a call that you arrived home safe."

"I will," She said. She sighed when Bill pulled back his arm as they arrived in the South Lawn. The car stopped at the landing and Agent Harold got out and opened the door on Bill's side.

Bill turned to her, "I'll see you soon."

"Wait—" Hillary called when Bill was about to alight the car. He turned to her, and she leaned and pressed her lips on his cheeks.

"So you can have a goodnight sleep," She said after she pulled back. 

Bill smiled and alighted the car. He watched as Hillary transferred to the driver’s seat and started to drive her car away from the White House.

Bill felt his chest swell, feeling a bit giddy by that kiss goodnight. His heart never felt exuberance and peace. 

***

White House, Morning

George just finished reviewing the upcoming press statement that Dee Dee, the Press Secretary, would do later when Mack arrived in his office. 

"Hey, we are going to grab some burgers, do you want to come?" Mack invited. 

"Don't we have a prepared lunch?" 

"Well, Bill is in good humor and wants to take a walk outside to grab something to eat."

George spread his arms and folded them at the back of his head, "The press will have a field day following him." 

Mack rubbed his chin, "It's a good press."

Knock knock knock

"Sir, the President is waiting for you in the foyer."

"Let's go," Mack said as he turned around and went out of George's office.

George and Mack were laughing when they reached Bill and some of the staff waiting for them. 

"Glad you made it in time!" Paul jabbed at them. 

George didn't pay attention to what Paul did because his eyes went to Bill who was standing far from the group and was talking to a lady that he identified as someone working in the White House flower shop. Bill gave back a golden card that he signed. Mack gently elbowed him.

"Seeing what I am seeing?" Mack asked, slightly leaning on him not to be heard by the people around them. 

"Yeah, might not be anything serious, though," George replied. 

Bill went to the group, "Let's go?" 

They went across the park from the White House and grabbed some hotdog sandwiches and burgers. Everyone was in good spirits. Bill was humoring everyone, even the press. He bought cokes and sprites casually hanging out with the people - shaking their hands and having his picture taken. 

"Jessica called and said that Bill had some bouquet sent to someone, but it was picked up by a courier to deliver to an unidentified recipient. He signed the cards. What is interesting is that it's not only a bouquet but a whole set. I think he is impressing someone," George concluded before he took a bite off his hotdog. 

They watched Bill carry a toddler then he talked to the father. 

"What's the bouquet?" 

"Hydrangeas? It's a set so it's not only a bouquet, hence they needed the FedEx to handle it." 

"That's an odd choice - hydrangea."

"I also thought of the same thing…" 

Mack rubbed his chin, "Have I told you? About what happened in Congress?" 

George turned to him, "No, you are supposed to share something but you didn't continue, what is it?" 

Mack pursued his lips before speaking, "Well, it's Senator Rodham —" 

"Jeez, Mack, you're still pushing with that idea?" 

"No, listen to me…" He rubbed the back of his neck, "I don't know. I don't want to think that something is going on between them but it's just the way Senator Rodham told him 'good luck' before Bill stepped inside the hall. She touched his cheek."

George looked at him weirdly, "I think you are misinterpreting things, Mack. Senator Rodham is well committed with Duke.”

“Right," Mack relented, but seemingly not convinced. "Anyway, I think we need to figure out who is the recipient of Bill’s flowers.”

George chuckled. “It’s interesting, let’s find out.”

***

Hillary’s Office, a Few Hours After, Morning

Mary received the set of flowers from FedEx. The flowers, besides the bouquet, was a set that was enough to spread inside Hillary’s office. 

“Who sent them?” Jen asked as they waited for Hillary to arrive.

“I don’t know, there’s a card. Maybe from Tim?”

Jen, who had been working for Hillary, knew that Tim wouldn’t do something as grand as that, “I don’t think it’s Tim.”

“Why do you think so?” Mary asked. 

They both turned when they heard Hillary’s usual “Good morning!” Greeting to others.

They scurried away and Jen met with Hillary as Mary went to the coffeemaker. When Jen reached Hillary, she started telling her about their communication campaign for Women's rights.

“Wow!” Hillary exclaimed as her eyes went wide as saucers by the amount of striking pink and purple hydrangea in her office. 

“They are delivered for you,” Mary said handing her the card that went with the flowers.

Hillary smiled holding the card. “Thanks, Mary.” She turned to Jen and she placed the card inside the pocket of her blue suit. 

After Jen finished her business with her, Hillary’s senior strategist, Joel, went to her office. “The conference on Women’s issues in Mumbai is pushing through. Our plane is already booked.”

“Can you connect me to Secretary Albright for me?”

“Good call. I had a conversation with her yesterday because she said you cannot represent the White House at that conference.”

Hillary didn't flinch, “I am not a delegate. It’s not an issue, but I need to have a word with her.”

Joel nodded then handed her a Manila envelope. “These papers came from the White House, by the way, and it was intercepted by Senator Doyle.”

Hillary received the gun reform proposal from Joel, “How did you get these?”

“Mack reached out to me if I got the proposal and said if we have any feedback, I told him that I haven’t received it. We did some sleuthing and found that these papers were picked up by Senator Doyle’s team.”

“That bastard,” Hillary hissed. 

“Exactly my reaction.” Joel said then he shook his head, “This is the third time that Doyle’s team has intercepted a proposal that should have arrived on our table.”

Hillary's eyes narrowed, "Can you get some ears why is Doyle doing that?"

Joel nodded.

“Thanks, Joel. Thank you for doing a great job.”

Hillary took a seat when Joel left her office leaving her alone. The card poked through her pocket and she fished them out. She broke the seal and pulled out a gold card.

Maybe, one day.

- B

 

Hillary turned the card but it was all that he wrote. “Maybe, one day.” Then he signed it with his initials. She narrowed her eyes because his message didn't make sense. She spun her head and looked at the colors of hydrangeas he bought: pink and purple. He didn’t buy the blue and white ones. 

Hillary chuckled, pressing the card against her chest at the meaning of his message.

***

The Capitol, Same day, Afternoon

Tim had difficulty sleeping after what happened last night. He didn't mean to do what he did to Hillary. It was just he missed her and he wanted her. It had been so long since the last time they slept together. 

Tim wondered what went wrong. What he did for Hillary to be cold. He needed to make amends. He just couldn't imagine not having Hillary in his life. 

He bought some fresh tulips near the Capitol. He would give them to Hillary, ask for her forgiveness. Kneel if he had to and beg, whatever he needed to do to win her back. 

He made his way in her office carrying the bouquet of fresh tulips. 

He saw Mary on her way out. "Mary!" He called. 

"Congressman!" Mary greeted back. She eyed the flowers that Tim was carrying. 

"Where's Hillary?" 

"She has a meeting with Senator Kerry," Mary responded. 

"Will she be back soon?" 

Mary turned to her watch, "She should be back fifteen minutes from now."

Tim nodded. "I'll wait for her in the office."

Mary nodded, then she nodded at his flowers. "Is that the grand surprise flower for her?"

"What do you mean?" 

"We received the flowers you sent."

Tim kept his face straight, then he understood what Mary meant. "I am glad it arrived. Yes," He said as he cradled the flower he was carrying. "This is the grand surprise — myself and a bouquet of fresh Tulips from Holland." 

Mary giggled. "Hillary would love that. I'll see you soon, Congressman!" 

Tim made his way towards Hillary's office even but before he could step inside he already saw the flowers. He was surprised. They were everywhere inside her office.

Tim felt his heart sunk.  So this is the reason why she turned cold , Tim thought.  Someone is courting his Hillary. 

Tim went around looking at hydrangeas.  What a fucking bad choice. What kind of flowers are these?  He took one and crushed them in his hand. He turned his head looking for any sign who sent these offensive things. 

He hurriedly went to her table and saw a gold envelope propped on the side. He took it, looked around before opening the flap, and taking out the card. 

He read what was written and flipped the card.

Maybe one day, B,  he read. 

He felt his throat closed. B.  Who is this?  He looked around again before slipping the card back inside the envelope. 

Who is B? I need to find out who this bastard is , he thought before he took the bouquet and went out of Hillary's office.

***

White House, Same Day, Evening

Bill was enjoying a glass of whiskey on the balcony in the Solarium. He was already done for the day, hence he already discarded his suit and tie. He just finished his dinner and was watching the stars and just enjoying the night thinking about what happened for the past few forty-eight hours. He was interested in Hillary and he was now making an effort for her to get his message.

He sent her favorite flowers - hydrangeas then he chose a specific one: pink and purple because he was informed that it conveys a heartfelt emotion, while the purple meant wanting to understand someone. Then he said in his card: “Maybe, one day.”

It was true. He hoped that one day he would be able to show what he felt for her and he wanted to understand her more - without hiding, so maybe, one day.

He sighed, it wouldn’t happen any time soon. He wasn’t sure if Hillary would even break up with Timothy. Certainly, he couldn’t ask her to resign from her position because that would be unfair. 

He finished his drink in one gulp, then hissed as the burning session trailed on his throat by the strength of the liquor. He hoped one day he would be able to do that but he wasn’t sure if she was feeling the same way.

Ring ring ring

Bill fished his phone in his pocket and smiled seeing Hillary’s name flashing. He answered it.

“Hey,” He greeted. 

“Hey, how are you?”

“Just finished my dinner. Did you get my flowers?”

“I did, thank you,” Hillary responded, smiling. She was already in her bedroom then and just finished her shower. “Regarding your message—”

“Hey, don’t think about it that much…”

Hillary chuckled, “Let me finish first... are you nervous with what I have to say?”

Bill laughed, “I’m sorry for cutting you. I’m impressed you already know my signs of anxiousness and nervousness.”

Hillary laughed. 

“Go ahead, sorry for cutting you.”

Hillary held her breath, “I actually like your message. It…” She paused, thinking if she would tell him the truth, “It made my day.”

Bill smiled gently. “I am glad. I only wanted to make you happy.”

Hillary sighed, there he goes again, making her want to melt on the spot. 

“Bill…”

“Yes, Hillary…?”

She bit her lower lip before saying, “I hope one day too.”

There was a silence that followed not knowing where they would go after that declaration. They both now know that they liked each other, but not knowing what to do about it.

"Thank you for telling me that," Bill said simply. "I am just glad to be sharing a few moments with you."

"Maybe...one day, just as you said."

He nodded. "Maybe, one day."

Silence.

“I...I’ll be in Mumbai by the way next week so I won’t be around,” Hillary said, changing the topic.

"How long will you be there?" 

"Just two days. I will be attending the Women's International Conference."

"When?" 

"Twenty-second and Twenty-third."

"I'll be in Mumbai as well from twenty-second to twenty-fifth."

"That's nice." 

"Can I see you? There would be few people snooping around then."

"Bill… I am not sure. We still can't go public."

"I am not talking about seeing each other in public places," Bill responded. 

"Then where?" 

"We can see each other in your hotel or at my hotel." 

"Bill…" She pressed her hand on her head. They couldn't see each other in Mumbai, could they? 

"I just want to spend some time with you."

"I am not sure how we can pull that off without our staff noticing us."

Bill chuckled. "You are in the same country as I will be, I just want dinner. I don't think that would be scandalous."

"Oh!" Hillary exclaimed, feeling her cheeks heated. She thought he wanted to sleep the night in her hotel. 

Bill wrinkled the space between his brows, suddenly understanding her worry, "Are you thinking that I am going to…."

"No!" Hillary blurted, feeling warm all over. Embarrassed by her assumption. 

Bill chuckled. "I am not too straightforward. I just want to have another dinner with you, Ma'am."

"Oh, yeah. I think we could do that," She said.

Bill smiled, "I cannot wait to see you."

Hillary gripped the phone, feeling her heart soared, feeling lightheaded, and happy to hear that from Bill. "I can't wait to see you too."

Bill looked up towards the dark and clear sky, the stars visible and the moon bright and full. "Hey…" 

"What?" 

"You should look at the stars right now."

Hillary turned her eyes towards the sky, her mouth opened in awe. 

"Beautiful aren't they?" 

"It is…" 

"Looking at it makes me feel closer to you, Hillary."

Hillary chuckled. "I didn't know you could be romantic."

Bill laughed. "Didn't you hear that about me among other things?" 

"Rumor has it that you are a charmer, not romantic." 

"I like that you chose to be polite," Bill teased considering that he was a notorious playboy.

Hillary chuckled, "I am an accomplished diplomat."

"I am puzzled that you are still talking to me despite what people claim. I would have run as fast as I could if I were you back when you saw me in the library."

Hillary bit her lip, "Faith, didn't you say?" 

Bill was touched that he softened, he had to lean against the railing to support himself.

"You shouldn't say that," Bill said.

"Why not?" 

"Because you give me butterflies in my stomach." 

Hillary laughed out loud to Bill's delight. "I can't wait to see you soon, Hillary."

"I can't wait to see you too, Bill.