A/N: Thank you for all the kind words, I forgot how exciting writing could be. I have been so busy with life that this secret addiction if mine got ditched and it's a shame since I really do like it. I'm not sure what's next with this story, I just walk (write) and chew gum at the same time. I really hope you like this! Please share your thoughts with me. One last thing: I will be opening an account with AO3 in the upcoming days and will start to post there as well so if anything were to happen to this account, know you can find me there.
Elizabeth settled against the cold exam bed and exhaled loudly. Just hours ago, she was lying in the comfort of her own bed, wrapped in her husband, enjoying a quiet evening with him. Now, she had to lie with her legs up in the air, feeling the cold breeze against her skin. She has been given something for the pain through her IV, so she felt like this was all just a waste of everyone's time. There had to be more pressing events, and she hated the fact that she was pushed to the top of the line just because of her position. It was nothing. It had to be nothing. She couldn't get cancer now, she was too young and this was such a bad timing. But Elizabeth also learned at a very young age that you don't control everything.
She slid her pelvis to the edge of the bed when the doctor came in, already well accustomed to these exams. She forced her legs open and gritted her teeth at the feeling of the doctor's hand on her thigh. It wasn't that Elizabeth felt embarrassed with the situation, it was simply uncomfortable and she hated the whole scenery of a vaginal exam. The only person who touched her there was her husband; has been for so so long, side from the occasional trip to the gynecologist. His touch was welcomed, to say the least, and so completely different than undergoing this exam.
"Elizabeth, is it okay to start?" Dr. Lambert asked.
Elizabeth nodded, turning her look away. She felt the pressure of the speculum going inside, hissing when the doctor stretched it open to give her more access to her cervix. A sharp pain shot through her lower body when the doctor injected the sedatives to her muscles. Then there was a feeling of burn as the doctor performed the Schiller's test, explaining every part of what she was doing. But the most painful part was when the doctor began to take samples, pinching the skin of her cervix. Elizabeth had to breathe deeply, her fingers pulling at the sheets under her, willing herself to not move.
"I'm sorry," Dr. Lambert said softly. Her voice was kind, and so were here hands. "I'm almost done."
Elizabeth cried out at the last sample, and then exhaled loudly as she felt the speculum being pulled out and the pressure was relieved, finally.
"You can get dressed," the doctor said with a small smile. "I'll send the nurse in to take you back to your room."
Henry's face lit up to the sight of her being wheeled back into the room. He wanted to join her for the test, but her doctor refused and Elizabeth assured him she was okay. So he sat anxiously in her room and waited for her to return. He noticed that tiny bite mark on her lower lip and closed his eyes for a second to catch his breath.
"That bad?" He asked, taking her hand in his.
"Let's say I hope I won't have to do it again."
He nodded; he hoped so too. He leaned closer to her, tucking a stray hair behind her ear and smiled. "Whatever happens," he muttered against her lips before kissing her slowly.
"Whatever happens," she nodded, a small tear forming in the corner of her eye.
"President McCord," Dr. Lambert called as she entered her room, Elizabeth's chart in her hand. She had to bite her tongue, remembering Elizabeth asked to be addressed by her first name. She couldn't bring herself to do it, Elizabeth was the the leader of the free world, and it felt so disrespectful.
Elizabeth smiled faintly at her. She and Henry spent the rest of the night dosing off to sleep, only to be awoken by another blood pressure test or one of the machines beeping. Elizabeth tried to insist on leaving right after the biopsy, as the bleeding subsided and with the painkillers she was feeling better. But her agents refused, and so did the medical staff, and so she found herself hauled up in the hospital room, trying but failing to think of anything other than that fact that she might be sick with something a lot more serious than she ever thought.
"I'm still waiting to get the results of your biopsy but I see no medical reason to keep you here longer. I will of course be in touch once I get the results, but something tells me you'll be more comfortable at home," she chuckled, looking at Henry and Elizabeth cuddled up in a single bed.
"Oh thank god," Elizabeth breathed, already attempting to get up.
"One last thing though," the doctor started, looking around her just to make sure they're alone. "You're not to have sex for the next week, okay?"
Looking at the man beside her, they both nodded. "It's a safe bet to say having sex again is off the table for a while," Henry chuckled.
Elizabeth's heart skipped a beat at that comment, but she didn't let it show. This was not the place nor the time to open up a discussion about their sex life and his dying desire for her.
Finally in the privacy of their bedroom, she looked around at the place they left less than 24 hours before. The sheets have been changed, the bed has been made, and any reminder of what happened the night before disappeared. Except for Henry's words that lingered heavily between them.
Placing his hand on the small of her back, he urged her on, needing her to just sit down and rest. He didn't give it another thought that what he said was so upsetting to her. He was simply making a joke, trying to lighten up the mood. But when she moved from his touch, as if shaking the feeling of his hand on her, Henry raised a brow.
"What is it?" He asked.
Turning to face him, she exhaled loudly. "I never thought I would be so hideous in your eyes."
Taken aback by her comment, he looked down at her. "What are you talking about?! That word doesn't even come close to describing what I think of you!"
"Yet you don't want to have sex with me. Maybe ever."
Oh. It suddenly hit him. He absolutely didn't mean it the way she interpreted that and he most certainly didn't find her hideous to say the least. But then again, he should've known; he dove right into that one, waking up her demons when she was already at her weakest. President or not, Elizabeth had her own fair share of vulnerabilities, she just didn't share it with the rest of the world. "Babe, I'm sorry!" he reached for her hand, taking it in his. "I didn't mean it like that. You have to know that I could never think of you as anything less than gorgeous and sexy."
"Then why did you say that? What exactly did you mean?"
"Baby, I got really scared last night. I'm still terrified. And as much as I want to believe that everything is okay, seeing all that blood…"
She blinked back the tears that welled in her eyes. She was terrified too but what happened to in sickness and in health? "So I'm damaged goods now?" she asked quietly, too afraid to speak up.
"No! God no! You're just as perfect, Elizabeth. I swear! I just can't bear the thought that this was my doing, that it wouldn't have happened if I didn't…"
She looked at him with sheepish eyes, needing to cling to his reassurance. She was scared to death the night before too and the results of her tests just made it all a lot more real. "Henry, if I do have cancer," she swallowed hard, "it can't be your fault. It's not. And last night wasn't any different from any other night we do that. I didn't know it would end this way, so how could you?"
He felt the air hitch in his lungs. The word Cancer has been thrown out in the air too many times in the past day and he couldn't hear it. He couldn't associate this word with her. He was probably on edge ever since she stepped into office as President, understanding that she was a walking target, and history didn't do any good in quieting down his fears, but that was tolerable and manageable. She was, at all time, surrounded by armed men, whose sole purpose was to keep her safe. A disease that fatal as cancer, that was something he couldn't fathom. "I can't lose you. And seeing you like that last night, seeing our bed…"
She took his hand and placed in on her chest, right where her heart was steadily beating. "I'm okay," she smiled.
For now. I'm okay for now.