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Don’t leave me
That’s all I hear you say
And somehow that keeps me
From all of the plans that I made

This wasn't happening. Dear God, not again. She had heard whispers for months but didn't believe any of them. There was always gossip and that's exactly what it was. It couldn't be true because they were doing so well. At least she thought they were doing well.

Hillary had been working behind the scenes on a number of plans, never getting credit and she was content with that because her husband knew what she had done. Her husband would praise her, privately, for all that she had done for him. All that she had worked for in order for the people to love him and loathe her. As long as they didn't know she was the brain behind everything, everyone loved it.

And her husband loved her. Her husband acted no differently with her than he ever had. He still kissed her whenever he saw her, still touched her if she was close to him, still made love to her with such intensity and passion that this couldn't possibly be happening again. When he had strayed in the past, it had been when they were going through a rough patch and he would withdraw from her completely. That was not the case this time.

“Please. Hill, I'm so sorry. I'm sorry,” he kept repeating.

“I can't,” she cried. “I can't see you right now.”

“I'll do anything to fix this. Please, I can't lose you,” Bill pleaded. Finally taking her silence as his answer, he made his way out the door and heard her sobs through the solid wood from the other side.

We both know there’s only so much
A person can take
Only so far you can reach
Only so long you can carry that weight

She stood by the mantle and picked up their wedding photo. She couldn't believe it had been so long since they stood on the steps of that little house. So long since she believed he could be the man she needed him to be. The man she knew he could be if only he tried a little harder. But doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results was truly the definition of insanity. She was pretty sure she was on her way there and chose to stop it.

The door opened and the man in the photo appeared in front of her, albeit a little older and hair no longer brown but white. He looked surprised to see her and she immediately knew the look of guilt on his face. It was a look she had come accustomed to and one she would no longer accept. He went to take a step further into the room when he saw one perfectly shaped, dark eyebrow raise.

“Why?” was all she asked.

“Hill, I…”

“Nevermind. I don't want to know,” she cut him off. She went to leave the room and he made to follow her into the kitchen but she turned quickly back towards him and he almost ran into her. “No. Actually I do want to hear this. Why? Why did you do this? Again! Raking me over the coals for the last year and a half hasn't been enough humiliation for me? You just want people to know that I really am the person they describe in the papers. That I'm just a cold bitch and you would risk getting caught again just to fuck some twenty something!”

She swung her arm in the air to make her point more clear and her hand, along with the framed photo, collided with the wall smashing into pieces. She hissed and closed her fist tightly only to cry out in pain. Bill moved to her quickly and took her hand into his to inspect the damage.

“Don't fucking touch me,” she said through gritted teeth and pulled her hand away.

Bill watched her closely and knew how this was going to play out. She looked down at her hand and noticed the blood seeping out of the very large wound on her palm. He saw her face go pale and took a step closer to her once more and this time she allowed him to wrap his arm around her waist before she began to lose balance. Guiding her to kneel on the floor he reached for a towel on the counter and wrapped her hand in it. An agent came through the door a minute later after hearing the loud crash of broken glass.

“She cut her hand and I think there's still some glass in there so I think we should head to the doctors. Give me a minute with her and we’ll be out,” Bill told the agent. “You okay to stand?” he asked after a few minutes. He had seen her completely lose consciousness at the sight of blood a few times and it scared the hell out of him so he had learned how to help her through it as much as he could.

He was finally able to get her into the car with her hand still wrapped and held tightly to her chest. They were brought directly into an exam room where the doctor came in right away to look at the wound on her hand. Neither former president nor senator said more than was asked while the doctor numbed Hillary’s hand with a local anesthetic block and cleaned the small shards of glass from the cut. Placing a few skin sutures and a loose bandage on her hand, Hillary was free to go and the doctor left them alone.

“I want you out of my house by the time I get back from my mother’s next week,” she finally said, coldly breaking the silence.

“Hillary…”

“No,” she cut him off again. She couldn't hear any more excuses. “I'm done. I can't do this anymore. I love you, so much, but you break my heart every time I trust you with it. I can't take it anymore.”

Time does not waste itself
A dream can not wake itself
The truth can not disgrace itself
An unwritten prayer can not save a lost soul
Arms can not embrace themselves
A heart can not break itself
And I can not shake myself from you

“Chelsea, I can't believe that you did this!” Hillary yelled to her daughter from the other room. She wasn't one to actually yell at her daughter but she felt like doing so just then. She hadn't seen her ex-husband in over two years and she wanted to keep it that way but her daughter had other plans.

It was Chelsea’s only time off from school and she wanted to be able to spend it with her friends and didn't feel like having to take two nights out of her short time to placate her parents who couldn't be in the same room. It wasn't that they couldn't, it's that they didn't want to. Or at least her mother didn't want to. Chelsea knew that her mother was still having a hard time living without her father and thought that maybe seeing him would help her.

“Mom, it will be fine,” Chelsea assured her mother after walking into her bedroom. “Marc and I will be there.”

“He's not… bringing anyone, is he?” Hillary asked tentatively, still putting the finishing touches on her make up. She wasn't sure she wanted to know if he was, it would hurt too much.

“Who would he bring? He hasn't dated anyone since the divorce,” Chelsea threw out that last tidbit and watched her mother’s hands still for a moment. It was something she knew her mother didn't know and something that she had kept to herself since her father told her almost a year ago.

“What?”

“You of all people should know not to believe everything in the news,” Chelsea said over her shoulder as she walked out of the bedroom.

When they arrived at the restaurant they were lead to the private room in the back and Hillary could tell by the agents standing nearby that Bill was already on the other side of the door. He stood when they entered and their eyes met for the first time in too long. Chelsea gave her father a kiss on the cheek but his eyes never left Hillary’s. It wasn't until Marc went to shake his hand in greeting that he broke eye contact.

Hillary was momentarily relieved until he walked over to her. She could feel his eyes roaming over her body, something that used to send a thrill all the way to her toes. Now it made her want to cry. Did he look at other women this way? Did other women get that same thrill that was supposed to be just for her? She had to stop herself or else she would break down right there in front of him. Even after two years it was hard to be in the same room as the love of your life and not be able to be with that person.

“Hill,” he said as a greeting. She gave him a small smile and let him take her hand to lead her to the table. He pulled out her chair and she took a seat, not prepared to spend the next couple hours next to him.

Dinner went well, dessert as well. Once they were finished, Chelsea and Marc said that they were heading out and left Bill and Hillary alone in the private room of a romantic restaurant. Hillary never thought badly about her child but she wanted to throttle her for setting this up and leaving them alone. After a few minutes of silence, Bill took the first step.

“How have you been?” he asked. He had asked her the same question earlier but he was fairly certain that he was given the polite version. He had no reason to believe he would get any other version this time but he figured he would try. Hillary could do almost anything but she couldn't lie to him. That was one thing he could always do that she couldn't.

“Fine,” she replied with a questioning lilt to her voice. She turned her head to the side and gave him a suspicious look.

“Really?” he asked again. When he didn't get a response, he continued. “Because I've been lousy.”

“Oh? What's wrong?” she asked without looking up. She finally raised her eyes and looked at him. “Bill…”

“I miss you,” Bill blurted out. He reached across the table to place his hand over hers before going on. “I have the foundation that keeps me busy but all I can think of is you. I always said that I was nothing without you and I guess it was actually true.”

Hillary didn't know what to say. She knew that she felt the exact same way but she didn't trust him. She had told him that every time she gave him her heart he broke it and that was true. What's to stop him from breaking it again if she trusts him? She wasn't sure she could handle having her heart broken again. She actually thought it may kill her. She just didn't have it in her to go another round.

Bill surprised her when he reached up to her cheek to wipe away the stray tear that fell. Her eyes connected with him and she knew he was telling the truth and that was the problem. He would always tell the truth eventually but it didn't change anything. She also knew that he loved her but that didn't change a thing either.

“I love you, Hillary, and I'll do anything to make it up to you. Over two years. Twenty seven months we've been apart and it still hurts like you told me to leave yesterday. I know I messed up. A lot. More than I deserve to be forgiven for but can you tell me that you're happier now?”

“No,” came a voice just above a whisper. “But I also can't go back. Bill, not being happy is better than being destroyed.”

He waited for a moment before saying anything. “I've changed. And before you say anything, I've been in therapy every week since we've been apart. I haven't been with anyone since.”

“Chelsea told me,” she said softly.

“Can we at least be more than this?” Bill asked. “Is it selfish of me to ask you to try to be friends? I lost my best friend because of my stupid actions. And I miss her so much.”

She wanted to say no. She knew this could lead to something terrible but she also knew it could lead to something wonderful. He was her best friend and she missed him so much. If he had changed that could mean everything else changed as well. But she wasn't ready for that yet.

“I miss you, too,” Hillary replied with teary eyes.

“So, yes?” There was a lift to his voice that wasn't there a moment ago.

“I can't promise you anything but I do miss you. And I do love you, you know that I do, but please don't push anything. I can't take having my heart broken again.”

He stood from his chair and pulled her from her’s before wrapping her small form in his arms. She buried her face in the crook of his neck and took in the scent that she had missed for two long years. Bill turned his head into her hair and whispered ‘thank you’ over and over again.

Don't leave me
That’s all I hear myself say
As you persuade me
To throw the rest of my life away