Title: Mitt and Leena: A Slightly Toxic Love Story
Fandom: I don't want to talk about it.
Pairing: I really, really don't want to talk about it.
Rating: Shit
Word Count: Too fucking long (4018)
Summary: Leena and Mitt Fucking Romney have true love.
Warnings: Lots of weird. Lots of specifically requested weird that I did not come up with. (I'm not really denying responsibility. I brought it into being. But there are so many levels of creepy here and I'd like to make it clear that my autonomy was highly restricted and someone else made up 90% of the content of this story.) Did you get the part about Mitt Romney?
Notes: I wrote this as a present for a friend in my junior year of high school. As a present, it was great. As a work of fiction, fuck knows. But it's here and it's finished and I'm inflicting it upon you, the public, because I hate you for reading it almost as much as I hate myself for writing it. I skimmed it before posting and it might be worth reading just to see exactly how much of my bitterness over being made to do this leaked through.

This is a love story. That alone should tell you all you need to know. This is the story of two people who meet and fall in love. That is the story and that is all you need to know. You don't need to know that these people were a man named Willard, most often called Mitt, and a woman who was both named and called Leena. I, who am telling you this story, am under no obligation to tell you that or anything further. The story is done. It has been told. Everything else is just details. And, as this statement of facts has no doubt done much to prove, there is nothing so important as details.

Mitt and Leena met when they were in college. He was one year ahead of her and three years older. There are details involved – details like his year spent abroad doing missionary work and details like her being just a little bit younger than your regulation college sophomore. Little things like that.

He was a business major and rising star at Brigham Young University. She was the belle of the University of Louisville's economics major and she was beautiful. Whether you believe in destiny or not, you can't deny how appropriate it all seems.

They met for the first time, this young lady and the man who would become her husband, quite by accident. He had come to Louisville to look into interning at the local branch of Humana. She was rifling through her purse on a street corner and he happened to walk by just as the books she had balanced on top of a convenient mail box fell off. She didn't cuss – only gasped out 'oh, no!' when she realized what was happening – though she might easily have been excused for doing so, especially when a sheaf of papers that had been tucked away inside exploded out on impact and scattered across the pavement. Mitt didn't hesitate to drop to his knees alongside her and help gather them together. She glanced up, startled.

“I- It's all right,” she began. “I can - ”

He interrupted, gently, and startled her a second time. “I want to help."

They didn't say much, after that. They only smiled at one another, a little awkwardly, and when she blushed he was charmed and smiled wider. She looked away, hastily; an inopportune giggle escaped her. To say he was further charmed would be an understatement. Mitt was enchanted.

When they had finished gathering her things, and he watched her climb to her feet – a little awkwardly, perhaps, clearly unused to kneeling on the ground – a fit of chivalry seized him and he offered to escort her to where ever she might be going. Leena at first demurred, but Mitt was insistent. He had decided that he would very much like to get to know this girl and he was a man who got what he wanted. Once he had sworn his intentions were entirely honorable, even going so far as to give his word as a man of faith, she relented and asked, a little teasingly, what faith, exactly, she was to be placing her trust in. He told her.

The walk from the corner on which they met to the dormitory in which Leena lived would, under ordinary circumstances, have taken ten minutes, give or take. They stretched it on for nearly half an hour, taking leisurely place and dawdling for some time beneath a particularly lovely tree, when Leena confessed to him that though she had some interest in converting, she hadn't the faintest idea of how to go about it. They spoke comfortably to one another, even on those forbidden topics of faith and politics and found themselves to be remarkably in accord with one another on most everything they thought to speak of.

When the moment came that she really had to leave, they exchanged phone numbers. Even this simple process took far too long, making her a full fifteen minutes late. She found herself unable to feel to guilty, however, because they had made plans for dinner and she was flush with pleasure. She went through the rest of the day in excellent spirits, astounded by her own good fortune, and never so pleased to be proven wrong than she was by the demolition of her theory that there were no good men be found in Louisville.

Mitt, meanwhile, left the encounter with a sense of certainty the likes of which he had never experienced. While he wasn't quite sure how or when it might come about, he knew that this woman was going to be his bride.

Leena was unaccustomed to Mitt's kind of romance. Always in the past, when she'd thought of her future, she'd pictured designer dresses, candlelit dinners, and weekends in Paris. She'd pictured jewelry and gourmet chocolates, rooms filled with flowers and surprise vacations. She'd pictured private planes and private beaches and live music over dinner. She had pictured, above all, expense. And, if not expense, then at least grand gestures, early and often, gestures that announced not only to her but to the world just how beloved and cherished she was – nothing tacky, of course. No tattoos of her name in strange places, and she certainly didn't want her name flashing on the scoreboard of a hockey game - something with some class.

Mitt had class, but his gestures lacked grandiosity. No one was more surprised than Leena to realize she didn't mind at all.

They first dined together at a perfectly respectable Italian restaurant a stone's throw from campus – one that Leena was most surprised to discover the existence of and when she asked how he, a new-comer to the city, had known of it when she, who had been living there for several years, had never heard of it, he merely smiled enigmatically and complimented her on her appearance in such a way that she flushed pleasantly and forgot all else.

The next Wednesday he intercepted her just as she was leaving her last class of the day and swept her off, much to the amusement of her friends. He flatly he refused to tell her where they were going, guiding her first by the hand – she had never thought holding someone's hand could affect her so, but his was warm and his grip firm and if she paid too much attention she flushed – to his car and then frustrating all her attempts to extract an explanation by asking her a barrage of questions about her classes, her interests, and appearing sincerely interested by recent news in the fashion industry. When they arrived at a small diner in the more bohemian part of down, Leena was enjoying herself so much she'd forgotten why she'd been protesting to begin with.

So did things continue – Mitt would arrive, either for planned dates or out of nowhere, timing his visits precisely to give them maximum time together, and take her away to restaurants or on picnics, to movies or to the mall, or he would hand her into the car and, leaning on the door with a million dollar smile, he'd say that he was entirely in her hands. Such afternoons would generally pass with Leena giving him directions at random, driving all over the city with no object, so happy was she just to be with him. It was obvious to him what her angle was, but they were perfectly in agreement so he never complained.

Leena's friends were by and large amused by this development, and teased her good-naturedly about his strangely chaste style of courtship. The fact that the word 'courtship' could be applied without the slightest hint of irony made the situation all the more delicious to the more evil-minded of them and soon no love song could be played and no voice raised without one of them falling into a dramatic swoon, proclaiming all the time that it was Willard, serenading Leena from afar, or that it was Mittens, fighting a duel for her fine eyes. Leena took these jests with a good deal more grace then she normally would have. There were no squealed protests or obviously feigned apathy and so, by the end of the semester, most of the fun had gone out of teasing her and her friends had gone back to baiting each other.

For her part, Leena was too happy to raise a fuss. Any mention of Mitt, however mockingly phrased, pleased her, though any insult would send her into a rage such that her friends – being friends, after all, and not mortal enemies – were never heartless enough to risk twice.

When summer came, she worried that things between them might falter – she was going home, of course, and so was he, and then he would go back to BYU, never to return to Louisville. The distance between states, once a mere trifle in the eyes of so well-traveled a young lady, seemed insurmountable. She was a woman in love and she wanted to be with him always. She wanted to demonstrate to the whole world exactly how much in love they were, exactly how devoted this handsome, efficient, perfect man was to her.

And, mere days before she was due to pack her things and move back home for the summer, he gave her the opportunity to do just that. When he got down on one knee on the street corner on which they had first met, when he opened the small velvet box he's secreted in his jacket pocket and displayed to her the ring he had so carefully selected with her in mind, when he asked her to do him the honor of becoming his wife, she didn't hesitate before saying yes.

They didn't get married right away, of course. They both had degrees to finish and they both realized they couldn't ask the other to give up on that for their matrimony. Leena might have agreed if he had asked but Mitt, for his part, had decided that he would not marry anyone – least of all this woman, who deserved the very best of everything – until he had the means to provide for the family they would raise. He returned to BYU and finished the year with an impeccable record, despite frequent trips east to visit his fiancee`.

Leena spent her junior year alternately floating in a cloud of bliss when he had recently visited or called and swimming in sorrow when they hadn't had the occasion to speak for several days. (In the summer, she would discover she had managed to maintain her usual 4.0 GPA and be stunned, as she couldn't recall studying a moment the entire year.) She flew to Utah on his family's dime to see him graduate with honors and never in her life had she been more proud of anything than she was of being his woman on that day.

Another summer went by. Much to Leena's surprise, Mitt didn't go job-hunting right away, nor did he immediately enroll in graduate school. He instead once again split his time between Leena and his own home in Michigan. Their time together was still good, during this time. She couldn't imagine having a bad time with Mitt. But things were different, somehow.

He was still affectionate and attentive, still radiating confidence and good humor, and he most certainly never seemed anxious, but there was something different about him. She first put it down to having graduated. She'd never thought he was the type of person to be without direction but he was human and stranger things had happened. Still, the thought didn't sit quite right with her and, not knowing quite how to broach the subject without seeming to be complaining, or over-anxious, began casting about for other possibilities.

Her friends were of little use. They were totally confused by her descriptions of his behavior – which was, to be perfectly frank, exactly the same as it had been but also not – and simply assured her things were probably fine but they really didn't know him that well and if she was that worried why not, I don't know, ask him what's up?

When she interrupted a particular friend with a call ill-timed to the precise moment of the climax of a favorite film, the girl simply said, “Perhaps he's pregnant.” And then, over Leena's strenuous protestations that she was serious, she had continued, “No, no, you're right. So am I. It makes sense, now that I think about it. He's pregnant, doesn't know how to tell you. Maybe he's getting an abortion right now. In an alley. With a railroad spike. Hurry, you best go stop him before he ends the lives of those precious Romney ass babies. You can name them 'Glove' and 'Muff'. It'll be great. Go stop him. Now. I won't keep you. Go, and don't call back unless it's to invite me to little Gauntlet's christening.” Leena had then been unceremoniously hung up on.

Her parents were similarly useless in decoding what was wrong with Mitt. Her father was indifferent, while her mother concurred with her better-mannered associates, saying that things were most likely just fine and she shouldn't worry so much.

But worry Leena did. Though never one to question her own worth, she began to feel very serious anxiety that he might be unhappy with her, that he might be considering breaking their engagement and finding someone better suited to his perfection. Just who this person might have been was a question that kept her up at night, and she always fell asleep before she was able to answer it.

Despite her determination to work out what was wrong with her fiance with minimal confrontation, as the summer wore on and the temperature rose, so did her anxiety and finally she was left with only one possible course of action. Leena called his father.

George Romney, to Leena's mind, cut just as impressive a figure as his son. The physical likeness was undeniable, of course, but beyond that he had the same presence as his son – the same air of self-assurance and security and the same brilliant mind. Leena had adored him at once and often thought that, has she been a generation older, George Romney would have been the man for her. But it inevitably followed in such thoughts (were logic to be applied to them) that had she married him, Mitt would never have been born. So Leena – who was, after all, an intelligent young woman and understood how genetics worked – never dwelt too long on this, as denying the world such a magnificent specimen of manhood as Mitt would be a crime worthy of execution. Also, even she realized it was a bit creepy to have thoughts about one's father-in-law-to-be.

None of this, however, stopped Leena from forming a fast and affectionate rapport with Mr. Romney. They had, on their first meeting, spent some time discussing the finer points of trickle-down economics and how it might be effectively implemented in today's society. Mitt had sat with them, saying little, but listening with a contented smile on his face.

Leena didn't realize it, but it was on that day that she passed the final test of her suitability to become his wife. He had never had a doubt that she would pass, but to actually see her there, on such brilliant terms with his beloved father, gave Mitt such pleasure as he could never verbalize.

Now, in her time of need, when all else had failed her, it seemed the obvious solution to consult Mr. Romney on the subject that concerned them both so greatly. The idea that Mitt might be considering breaking things off with her gave Leena pause, but only briefly – if that was the case, then Mr. Romney could be counted on to tell her so, with dignity and tact. Otherwise, who better to call on in relation to the emotional and mental well-being of his son?

Leena's conversation with George Romney was, in tone entirely as she had anticipated. He was courteous and sympathetic, every inch the gentleman she'd known him to be. She began, of course, by asking after his health, about that of his wife and his other children. He, in turn, asked after herself and her own family. They made a moment or two of small talk before she gently segued into the true reason for her call. Though his manner was warm and polite, what he had to tell shook Leena deeply.

Mitt, he promised, had no plans to leave her. (She had not voiced these fears outright, but he perceptive enough and tactful enough to acknowledge and allay her fears without drawing undue attention to them. For this she was deeply grateful.) What he had planned, and had for months been trying to think of a way to tell her, was a year overseas, doing missionary work for the Church.

Her breath hitched and her eyes moistened at the very thought and, with great tact, Mr Romney spoke quietly of flight plans and Church duties while she composed herself. Once she trusted herself to speak without her voice breaking, she thanked him gravely and said her farewells. The phone had barely hit the cradle before it rang again. Mitt was calling.

His plane left a fortnight after the beginning of Leena's final year of college. She wasn't able to see him off because - perhaps in order to balance her inattention in the previous year - her classes had hit the ground running and were taking up all her time. He did phone her before boarding, and told her he loved her just before the call ended. It was quite lucky for her that all this happened on a Saturday as she was, in the words of her long-suffering roommate, “of no use to anyone” for the next twenty-four hours.

Much to the surprise of all involved (except, perhaps, Mitt), phone calls and visits from Michigan didn't stop with his departure. Friends and acquaintances gaped shamelessly to see the venerable George Romney arriving at the honor's dorm doorstep to escort Leena to dinner and concerts or plays. It took even the sharpest tongued of them several moments to compose themselves enough to even attempt to tease but mostly they all found the entire situation too bizarre for words to express and chose, instead, to ignore that it was even happening. This state of affairs suited Leena just fine.

She and Mr. Romney shared with each other the details of the letters Mitt had sent to each of them, and talked on the phone for hours, when their schedules permitted, about business and politics and Mitt. Though she enjoyed spending time with Mr. Romney, their outings always left her feeling faintly bereft and wistful. She wanted her fiance` back.

She felt his absence all the more keenly as the year progressed. Fall gave into winter which was vanquished by spring and she found memories of him on every street corner. When she learned she would be graduation first in her class, her first reaction was to call Mitt. This not being an option, she took a moment to miss him before going for the next best thing. After accepting his congratulations with her usual grace, she asked Mr. Romney, without much hope, whether Mitt might be able to make it back in time for her graduation. His apology was the most heartfelt sentiment she'd heard since Mitt's farewell.

And so Leena tried, with little success, to put him out of mind as she prepared to graduate. Her parents would be there, after all, and both of Mitt's parents would be attending, as well as a friend from her precollege days. Another had sent a cryptic e-mail that was either a death threat or notification that a gift was in the mail. Time went on. Acceptance letters arrived from three different graduate schools. A potted jade tree was delivered by a man in a bee keeper suit. The usual mockery among her group of friends, which had tapered off briefly, arose again with a vengeance. Tongues were sharpened to razors and hugs tightened like vices. They were going to miss each other.

The sun rose far too early when the day came. It shone in through the windows of the room Leena had fallen asleep in the night before, right onto the face of another girl. In retaliation, she took a blind swing and hit the boy sleeping on the floor beside her. His squawk of indignation woke everyone else and Leena slipped out in the ensuing mayhem.

Back in her own room, she took a shower and dressed quickly before ducking out of the dorm. It was silly, but she wanted to take one last look around before it was all over forever. She turned back to look at the dorm when she got to the fork in the sidewalk and for a moment simply stood, lost in memories of the many times Mitt or his father had left her at precisely this spot. It made her sad that they seemed to blur together. Someone coughed behind her.

Startled, she turned and for a moment was frozen on the spot. Then, she screamed.

Moment later, back in Mitt's arms – back where she belonged – she giggled into his shoulder as he leaned down and, his breath tickling her ear, he said, “You didn't really think I would miss this, did you, dearest?”

She giggled, again, and held on a little tighter.

They remained like that for quite a while.

The day Mitt finally made good on his vow to make Leena his wife couldn't have been more perfect. The sky was a brilliant turquoise, the few clouds soft and blinding white. The sun was bright and cheerful, shining gentle warmth down on all who ventured out into it. The bride was beautiful, the groom handsome, the wedding party tastefully dressed and picturesque. At the reception, there were touching speeches, excellent food, and drunkenness was restricted to the hotel room of the three old college friends who had managed to make it and still, after nearly seven years, found the whole thing ridiculous and a touch sickening. (In the end, thoroughly creeped out by the overwhelming Mormonism, they made a strategic retreat and spent most of the night pleasantly buzzed, watching action movies on pay per view and giggling over arterial spray. Leena, having expected no better, was not bothered.)

The party went on into the night, but Mitt and Leena made their excuses and slipped out long before. Clutching hands like teenagers, they darted through the hallways of their hotel until they arrived at the bridal suite. Mitt fumbled one handed with the key card as Leena clung to his other arm, and it seemed an agonizingly long time before the door finally beeped open. They darted inside. The door opened only once more in the next twelve hours, to allow a slender hand out to hang the Do Not Disturb sign from the handle.

What happened after this is a matter of public record. It has been reported and commented upon, the story told and retold, interpreted and reinterpreted so many times that even the most devout fan of Mitt Romney will be heartily sick of it by now. Within a year of their marriage, Leena Romney gave birth the Liam Mitt Romney, the first of their sons. Liam was followed within a year by Noel. Mitt and his wife were successful by any standards and soon became well-known and well-respected members of their Massachusetts community. Within days of Noel's second birthday and scant weeks before Leena announced her third pregnancy, Mitt announced his intention to run for Senate.
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