Title: John's Quest

By: Abra de Winter

Beta By: dot - Thank you. Your attention makes the story a lot better. Thank you.

Pairing: John Hoynes/Ellie Bartlet - Romance

Rating: R ( the NC17 version is at:

http: adultfan . nexcess aff / ?no 10892

Just remove the spaces and you'll get the link. Don't go there if you're under 17! If you do check out the naughty version , please leave a review there.

Spoilers: season 5 episodes 15 – "Full Disclosure" and 16 – "Eppur si muove"

Considering events in season 6, the story is AU material.

Disclaimer: The characters are from the NBC, WB, Bravo, A John Wells Prod., TV show, 'The West Wing'. They are the creation of Aaron Sorkin.

Feedback: yes, please!

Chapter XVII

Ellie had fallen asleep in his arms, but John was wide awake, even though he had barely slept since he had left Washington. Everything had turned out all right, after all. As long as she was close, everything was all right. He traced the curve of her hip softly with his fingers, then got out of bed, careful not to wake her.

A strange uneasiness had intruded into this perfect moment. He tried to identify its cause in the foggy landscape of his mind. He thought about it all the way to the bathroom, and when he caught his image in the mirror he understood what was bothering him. He stared at his reflection more carefully than he usually did. He studied his face, annoyed that he seemed a lot older than he had remembered. He looked at the wisps of gray hair, disturbingly visible all of a sudden.

The image of the sleeping Ellie smiling satisfied in his bed had triggered several feelings. He could just about cope with the waves of tenderness enveloping his heart, and with the surge of sheer lust. He was not expecting the anxiety.

The answer rose from the dark of his subconscious. He was afraid to be next to her when she woke up. He realized that from then on, he would always be afraid that Ellie might look disappointed that he was the first thing she saw upon waking. In that brief moment between sleep and consciousness, her instinctual rejection was liable to crush him. He knew that she loved him. He knew it with every fiber of his being, but he could not rule out that one day, he was going to read disappointment on her face.

He stepped under the warm jet of the shower, and closed his eyes, trying to drive away the dark thoughts. Maybe he was still trying to punish himself for all his past mistakes. Maybe he was just afraid to be happy. He let the water pour over his exhausted body, willing it to wash away the fear.

"Do you need an extra pair of hands?"

He opened his eyes at the sound of Ellie's voice. She was standing in the doorway, wearing nothing but an appreciative smile.

"Sure," he said huskily, all worries forgotten at the sight of her.

He was familiar with Ellie's collection of neurotic inhibitions, and was surprised to see her naked in the bright light. She walked toward him with a dazed expression on her face looking like she was barely aware that she had no clothes on. He was flattered to see her gaping at him like that. He smiled and wondered if he might have felt flattered or suspicious of her apparent adoration, had he not known how little experience she had had.

The familiar fire snakes of desire started to coil inside him. His body was stirring, responding to her mere presence before she even touched him. He captured Ellie's mouth in an impatient, sloppy kiss. God, how he loved to feel her react to his touches; her tongue was sliding frantically around his, and she was making that amazing noise at the back of her throat. He felt her hand at the back of his head, pulling him to her. As if he needed any prompting to dive into her sweet, delicious mouth! Her hands were roaming all over his upper body, unable to settle on just one part of him.

He put his arms around her waist and pulled her roughly to him. Her breasts, pressed against his chest, felt so damn amazing it made him want to crush her in his arms. Their bodies were intimately molded onto each other, and once again, John found it difficult to postpone plunging into her. He spun her around brusquely, and heard Ellie's gasp of surprise and frustration.

"Hold on to the towel rack," he ordered in a husky voice, "and spread your legs," he went on as she had obeyed.

Ellie turned hesitantly around in his arms, steadying herself against him. She wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled his head down into a kiss.

"God, that was great," she said.

"You're amazing, Ellie."

"Nah, you just get the best out of me."

They kissed for a while under the warm water. John reached for the shower gel. Soon, the floral scent filled the bathroom. He massaged the gel gently onto her skin, spreading the foam thoroughly all over her body. He smiled when Ellie's shaking hands tried to do the same to him. It was amazing how this inexperienced woman could turn him on as though he had a switch. Her usually deft hands were touching him with endearing clumsiness.

He wondered if that had been the first time she had had sex in the shower. He decided not to ask. He could not risk her saying yes, or imagine her ever being with another man. Besides, she could always ask him the same thing, and Ellie was just supposed to enjoy the skills gained from his vast experience, not think about his past.

John watched Ellie wrap a towel around herself. He ran his fingers over her shoulder, the skin reddened after his unshaven chin had rasped against it. She gave him a smile, and walked out of the room.

He put a towel around his hips and followed her into the bedroom. She was standing by the window looking at the night sky over Austin. He sneaked behind her, and took her in his arms. Ellie had used the same shower gel, but somehow she smelled different, sweeter. His lips caressed her silky shoulder, and her neck, pausing for a while to enjoy the feel of the rapid pulse drumming under her alabaster skin. A reminder of their real life surfaced annoyingly.

"We should get ready to leave," he murmured.

She sighed deeply, and turned her head to silence him with a kiss.

"I really don't want to go," she whispered.

"The Las Vegas wedding is back on the table then?" he inquired lazily, and felt her stir in his arms.

"Oh, no, the wedding," she said. "Yes, we should go back."

"Front door exit? You're ready for the media ambush?"

She groaned despondently.

"I'll embarrass you. At least we don't have to stop to talk to them, do we?"

"You could never embarrass me," he interrupted her. "Ellie, there's nothing about you that I do not love."

She trembled, and kissed him again.

"I guess we could stay one more night," he said, dazed by her kisses.

"No. We shouldn't," she said, without making any attempt to disentangle herself from his embrace.

"I'll be a happy man once the wedding is behind us."

"Amen," she agreed, and kissed him again.

It had sounded more like a moan, and he had to search deep inside for any remnant of discipline to put an end to the kiss.

"If you don't get dressed right now, we're never going to leave this room."

It was quite dark in the room, but John was sure she had blushed. She extricated herself from his arms and started to gather her scattered clothes.

Will Bailey was busy. He had two fairly important speeches to finish, but the papers kept pilling up on his desk and the computer screen was stubbornly blank. He was staring into the middle distance when the screen saver came on. He hadn't been able to pay attention to anything lately. He had been brooding for days, and not it was 48 hours to Ellie's wedding. He had no right to be jealous, but that didn't stop him. Worse still, he had no one to talk to about it. None of his friends were in Washington, and he hadn't bonded with anyone strongly enough to confide his hopeless crush on Elle Bartlet. Soon to be Ellie Bartlet-Hoynes.

"No," he thought bitterly, "probably not Bartlet-Hoynes. She's not the type to hyphenate her name. She would probably be Ellie Hoynes."

Alone, behind closed doors, Will had worked hard to put Ellie out of his mind. He had almost succeeded. Or so he thought until that horrible moment a month earlier when he had received the wedding invitation, the same time everyone else had received theirs. He hadn't really expected an invitation at all, never having been close to either of them. He had somehow gotten over that nasty surprise, too. The invitation was now buried under many layers of paper, in the bottom drawer of his desk.

The TV set was muted, and Will realized that he had been looking at it for some time. However, he didn't need the sound for the banner across the bottom of the screen to catch his attention. It was asking the question: John Hoynes: America's Next President? Apparently the Hoynes' imminent wedding was raising speculations about his chances.

He turned on the sound while he watched the images accompanying the story. There were the usual ones, the old ones, Hoynes and Bartlet accepting the nomination, Hoynes on the podium, Hoynes and his wife, the cover of Helen Baldwin's book, Hoynes announcing his resignation. Then another set came on, and his heart leapt: Ellie. Ellie standing with her family, Ellie with her father at an official function, Ellie seeking sanctuary in the White House when her research had been attacked, Ellie's press conference making her stand.

His unrequited, secret love, and his fallen hero. The combination hurt. He greeted his teeth determined to watch the whole reportage.

Will thought that the worst was when they showed her standing next to Hoynes announcing their engagement, but a short clip of footage he hadn't seen before hit him even harder: Hoynes and Ellie, leaving a hotel through flashbulb glare. This one was recent. Her hair looked longer, and there was an air about her… she was radiant, blushing, happy. He tried to steer his mind away from that image. She was smiling, she was in love, she was… Dammit! She had probably just fucked him.

Will left his office, slamming the door behind him, and went home to get drunk.

John and Ellie were in the back seat of the limo taking them to the airport, while her agent sat in front, next to the driver. John glanced at Ellie; she had regained her delicate, ivory complexion once they were far enough from the hotel. Her jaw, however, was firmly clenched, and she was still shivering, ever so slightly. He knew she hated handling the press, but he couldn't have imagined that she wouldn't even try.

He smiled. She had been terribly nervous. She had almost crushed his hand while they strode "casually" from the hotel doors to the car. He realized that he had quite liked to see her flushed, and thought about what he could do right now to see her like that again. He put his palm on her knee, and then slid it smoothly up on her inner thigh. He heard her surprised gasp. He felt her tense up for a second. It took quite an effort to keep looking out the window while he felt Ellie fidget, and he could imagine her cheeks going red. He could just picture her teeth sinking into her full lower lip.

John kept his gaze out the window while his fingers painted another picture, in vivid flesh colors. After a while, he couldn't stand not looking at her any longer. He turned, ostensibly to show Ellie an interesting building on her side. He saw all the details he wanted, although his eyes did not linger on her face. He was still speaking in a steady voice when his fingers reached the edge of her panties. Ellie's sudden intake of breath sent a shiver down his spine. He kept talking about architecture while he fondled her through the lace.

Ellie was burning red, and she hadn't been able to make a single comment since he had started to touch her, but she spread her legs a little wider to give him greater access. John was impressed; she was getting very wet, but she didn't let out a sound. When they got close to the airport, he reluctantly withdrew his hand.

"John," she whispered on their way to the plane, "would you stay over tonight?"

"I thought you'd never ask," he answered quickly, grateful he was not one to blush. He could not imagine spending even one night without her.