Peter MacLeish would be Vice-President, it was official. It was the first good thing to happen to this administration since they had taken office, so of course, they were celebrating. A glass of scotch in their hands, Seth, Aaron and Emily were cheering to their first success. And when Seth left, eager to party with his former colleagues downtown, Emily and Aaron ended up alone in the Chief of Staff’s office. They had been dancing around each other for weeks now, and even had gone out for dinner once the previous week after Aaron had saved Emily’s ass at work. So of course, they could feel the sexual tension between each other. However, they had not planned to resolve that sexual tension on that night. But, slightly light-headed, they left their opinions on one-night stands at the office and they quickly headed to Aaron’s apartment.
For a first night together, sex was very good. So good that Emily almost regretted leaving before Aaron woke up in the morning. So good that both of them considered a round two sooner rather than later. But fate came in the way and the morning after, Emily was asked to investigate Aaron. They both built their walls back up, confused, lost and angry.
Everybody in the West Wing could feel that something had changed, but especially Seth. He was the third part of their Golden Trio, the third part of this team that would back the President at all time. He was left disconcerted by everything, especially since his two colleagues wouldn’t say anything. He knew it was partly because of security clearance, he got that pretty clear after a reporter asked him if it was true Aaron was interrogated by the FBI, but he also knew that something else was the main reason of the fallout. He never dared to ask, he knew he would be sent away, but it was utterly annoying him.
Truth be told, neither Aaron nor Emily had told anyone about this, not even their respective best friends. Hurt by the suspicions, Aaron had refused to even think about this night, and had not said anything to Ryan, knowing that his serial-lover best friend wouldn’t listen and just encourage him to go back to Emily, no matter the cost. He had not said anything to Nadia either. His cousin was amazing, but she was like a little sister to him, and he just didn’t talk about sex with her. Having been raised together had drawn a few boundaries in terms of topics they could broach. As for Emily, she had not said anything to her best friend, Gemma, either: she was just ashamed of what had happened with Aaron, for obvious reasons —since she had mistrusted him afterwards and had made the mistake to run checks on him— but also because she had always disapproved of Gemma’s way of life and her numerous one-night stands, and she had nonetheless fallen for Aaron and had a one-night stand with him.
Six weeks after that night, and after the fallout, nothing was seeming to get better. Emily and Aaron had still not talked and didn’t seem willing too, the administration was in turmoil after Peter MacLeish’s assassination by his wife, and Emily had taken Aaron’s position after his resignation. That evening when they had celebrated their first victory was just a very distant memory.
“Em, you look really tired these days, are you sure everything is okay?” Gemma asked as they were out for lunch.
“Yes, everything’s fine. It’s just hard to get used to being the Chief of Staff… I mean, Special Adviser was something, but Chief of Staff… It’s crazier than I thought.” Emily answered.
“Why don’t I buy it? There’s been something off with you for a while...” Gemma continued.
“I’ve been sick the past couple of days.” Emily finally admitted.
“I threw up this morning, and I’m feeling more tired than usual… I think I have the flu.”
“Well, if you’ve had sex, I would say you are pregnant, but since you haven’t in like what, decades…” Gemma laughed at Emily’s lack of sexual activity.
Emily didn’t answer but choked on the salad she was eating. She suddenly became pale as the distant memory of her night with Aaron flashed back in her mind.
“What? You have? With who? When? Why?” Gemma asked, almost screaming in the restaurant.
Not answering her best friend, Emily apologized and ran out of the restaurant. Her breath short and her hands trembling, she entered the first pharmacy she could find to buy a pregnancy test, and then ran to her apartment. She was so stressed she thought her legs would bail on her as a knot was forming in her stomach. Her heart was pounding as she was waiting for the answer during what she thought were the three longest minutes of her life. But then, she looked at the test. The little + sign on the test was absolutely clear, It was real, she was pregnant and there was no doubt about the father either: Aaron Shore. He was the only man she had had sex with in a good six months, the only one since she had broken up with her boyfriend a few days after the bombing.
Sitting on the floor of her bathroom, she tried to regain composure, but she just couldn’t. Her breath short, she suddenly started spasming and she started crying. She threw up, taken by nausea and disgust of herself. How could she have done that? How could she be pregnant after a one-night stand with a colleague, a guy she barely even knew, and that didn’t even talk to her anymore? She was fairly certain they had used a condom, and she had been told 9 years ago that she was infertile and would likely never have children of her own. She just couldn’t believe it. Her phone rang again, and a quick look at the screen made her realize that Gemma had already called four times since she had left the restaurant in a hurry. It also made Emily realize that she had a meeting just half an hour later, and that she desperately needed to look presentable and professional. Still not sure of her moves, she stood up and held herself to the sink in the bathroom, splashed water on her face, brushed her teeth and reapplied make-up. She left her apartment on that cold January day, her hands in the pockets of her coat, the wind blowing in her face, helping her to clear her head.
Later that evening, and after the thirtieth unanswered call from Gemma, Emily went back home and sat on the couch, trying to forget about everything with a glass of red wine and a good show on TV. She just didn’t want to talk, she was exhausted, it was already almost 11p.m. but she wasn’t hungry or ready to go to bed. Even worse, she just knew that if she even tried to close her eyes, flashes would keep coming to her eyes, from that day, from her night with Aaron to everything that had happened afterwards. Her afternoon at work had been terrible. She had constantly been on the verge of crying, not able to push away the thought that she was pregnant, and everybody had seen it. Seth had asked if everything was fine, the President had asked too, and even her deputy, Phil. Every time, she had brushed things off, saying she was just feeling a little sick, but they all knew better. Though, they had not dared pushing, they knew she would talk in due time.
Suddenly, she heard loud knocks at her door. She wasn’t expecting anyone, but she discovered her best friend at the door, entering in her apartment in a fury.
“Emily Victoria Rhodes! When are you going to answer my phone calls? What is going on? You ran away from the restaurant and you haven’t answered since then. Damnit! I was worried! I’m your best friend!” Gemma exclaimed, yelling at Emily.
Emily didn’t take the trouble to answer and went back to the couch, sitting there with her glass of wine. The curly red-haired was furious at her best friend who was ignoring her.
“Oh my Gosh! Don’t tell me you are pregnant and drinking wine! Are you?” she exclaimed, walking toward her best friend to take the glass off of her hand.
Emily continued her mutism and took her glass back from the coffee table where Gemma had put it. Her friend took her shoes and coat off and decided to sit on the couch, pulling the blanket toward her.
“Em… Talk to me.” Gemma said, her voice suddenly low and compassionate.
“What do you want me to say. I had a one-night stand, the only one in my whole life. The guy is not talking to me anymore, and I’m pregnant with his baby even though I’m fairly certain we used a condom. End of story.” Emily said, her voice toneless.
It took a moment for Gemma to realize what Emily had just said.
“Are you… sure?” she asked, her voice still low.
“As sure as a pregnancy test, my nausea and definitely sore boobs can be…” Emily answered, sighing..
“But I thought... you couldn’t have kids...” Gemma continued, her voice low.
“I thought so too….guess doctors are stupid...” she said, taking a sip from her glass of wine.
“Maybe you should stop drinking wine then, don’t you think?”
“Can I enjoy this one last time, please?”
“One last time? So you’re keeping it?” Gemma asked, surprised.
“I haven’t… thought about any other possibility…” Emma answered, honest.
“You haven’t thought about… abortion?”
“Gemma…” Emily said, her voice serious.
“What, I’m asking! It is a possibility. What are you gonna do anyway? Go see the guy and say: “Hey hi, remember, we had sex. You’re gonna be a dad, wanna share parenthood?”” Gemma said sarcastically. “Emily… Who’s the guy anyway?”
It made Emily chuckle, but it was a sad chuckle, the kind that made her want to cry even more.
“The guy whose job I took…” she answered.
“You mean, the guy who tried to kick you out of the White House and then saved your ass?” Gemma raised an eyebrow.
“I thought you hated the guy…”
“I still do.”
“And, you still had sex with him…”
“Can you just call it unresolved sexual tension?”
“Resolved sexual tension you mean…” Gemma smirked.
Emily shook her head, giving her a dirty look.
“Oh come on, Em!”
Emily continued to ignore her best friend.
“Okay, okay… Too soon for that. I’m sorry. Why don’t you talk to each other anymore?”
“Among other things? Because I investigated him for treason the day after we had sex.”
“Was the sex that bad?” Gemma laughed.
She was given another death glare.
“I’m sorry…” Gemma apologized. “What are you going to do about it? Are you even going to tell him?
“I saw him twice since he resigned. He barely talked to me, and it was just so icy... So no, I’m not planning on telling him…”
“Don’t you think he deserves to know?”
“I don’t even know what I’m gonna do with this… So no, he doesn’t.”
“You need to think about it Em, decide before it’s too late.”
“Can we talk about it another day?”
“Emily… Don’t avoid this conversation…”
“I’m not avoiding anything. It’s almost midnight, I had a hard day, tomorrow is going to be the same, so I’m just off to bed now.”
Emily stood up, leaving Gemma alone on the couch and in the middle of the room, stunned by such a behavior.
“You can sleep there if you want, if you don’t, lock behind you, you have the key…” Emily said, walking toward her bedroom.
“Em…” Gemma tried.
“Goodnight.” Emily cut her off.