Title: Life Uncommon
and Jess Another Unofficial
Let's say all, but with major emphasis on "He Shall, From
Time" and "The Women of Qumar"
don't 'em, we don't claim to own 'em, don't sue, it'd be
realize that a few events in this story would never happen, but we thought it'd
make a hell of
story. Also, this story will deal with several sensitive subject manners,
so if you are easily
probably be best if you just skipped this one. Another note is that I
had to sort of
"rewrite" the Constitution, just so a specific part would work. No offense
for the title.
By: Mackenzie and Jess Another
Sixteen Hundred Pennsylvania Avenue was a buzz with activity oozing
from every crack and crevice. They were all working on the re-election
campaign-commuting to and from Manchester where the campaign headquarters were
located, while at the same time, some were working on getting bills passed, some
were working on foreign trade policy, some were working on speeches and some,
namely CJ, were working on getting the President's message out to the American
Ever since the incident with Qumar, CJ couldn't bring herself to
utter more than a simple hello to Nancy McNally, Percy Fitzwallace and other
National Security personnel. Qumar has become a word that is not spoken
around CJ. To CJ, everybody treated Qumar like you would treat a certain
member of the family that was an embarrassment-shove it out of the way, that way
it didn't have to be thought about.
Stopping into her office after a
brief meeting with the President, CJ stops when she sees Danny Concannon sitting
on the edge of her desk, looking down at Gail. She sighs softly. "Danny,
how is it that my staff just allows you back here?"
"I guess I just have
an effect on people." Danny answered as he reached into adjust Gail's
podium. "Listen... I know this isn't like myself, but I'm reaching out on
a limb and am about to disgrace the 'Reporter Hood'. There have been a few
rumors floating around that the VP may be in a little trouble." He pulled his
hand out of the bowl, satisfied with his work. "Well... maybe more than a
little trouble. It's been said the FBI are investigating his office. Now I don't
know, maybe it isn't even him, but I'm just letting you know 'cause your
probably going to get some questions about it in the next briefing."
sighed softly as she pulled a tissue out of her tissue box and swipeed up the
few drops of water on her desk and then looked at Danny. "Why are the Feds
investigating Hoynes? Come to think of it, why haven't we been
"Beats me. For all I know, or for all you know, they might not
even be investigating Hoynes personally. It's just we both know the press is
going to make it look like the Feds are investigating Hoynes. With re-election
in the picture and Hoynes on the ticket no good can come from it." Danny slid
off the desk heading towards the door. "All I know is that I don't want to lose
my favorite Press Secretary."
CJ sighed softly and nodded. "Okay,
I'll look into it. Thanks for the heads up, Danny."
CJ. I'm here to keep the public informed, but I only go for fair game and
you needed to know this. I'll see you around." Danny turned and walked
CJ sighed softly and ran a hand over her face. She grabbed a
notebook and headed over to Toby's office before her briefing. She took a
deep breath and knocked and poked her head in, "You got a minute?"
Get out. You're wreaking my plan." Toby grumbled as he threw the ball that he'd
been bouncing at CJ.
CJ reached up and caught the ball in the palm of her
hand. "There's going to be a thing."
"No..no..no. This isn't part
of the plan. The plan that I have written in stone this morning. The plan that
clearly states: 'CJ will not come in before her briefing and ask for a minute.'
That plan that also states: 'And her request when granted, will not be followed
by 'there's going to be a
thing'.' I loved that plan and now you come in here
and blow all my work to hell." Toby sighed as he opened his desk drawer to find
ball. "Okay, now that that's out. What's this 'thing' I'm so destined
not to hear?"
CJ stepped further into the room and closed the door and
went over and drew the blinds in his office, she sighed softly and as she sat
down on the corner of his desk and reached over and took his ball into her hand
and rolled it around in her hand. "Danny Concannon was waiting in
office for me today, Toby. He got some information from a source. It
seems that the FBI has been spending some time at his home and
Toby studied CJ for a second. "CJ, what the hell are you talking
about? Whose home and office?"
She sighed and tossed the ball into the
trash can as she pushed herself up off his desk. "Hoynes."
CJ I knew you where going to wreck my plan but I didn't know you were going to
shoot a ICBM clean through it, then gather the ashes and do it again." Toby
rolled over to the trash can and picked his ball out. "Did you talk to Leo yet?
This is serious CJ. I mean why the hell would the Feds be interested in Hoynes
to begin with."
"First of all, Tobias, what's an IBCM? Secondly,
no, I have not been to see Leo, Danny just left my office five minutes ago and
lastly, I have no idea why he's being investigated."
"I don't know it's
some missile Leo's always talki...That doesn't matter. What the hell? The FBI?"
Toby hit his intercom button. "Tell Leo I want to see him in five minutes. I
don't care where he is, five minutes." He released his finger from the button.
"CJ, Leo's, five minutes."
CJ stood up and slapped her feet together,
saluting him. "Yes, Lord and Master, shall I kneel before you on a
Toby pointed toward the door. "Get lost." He scratched out some
words on his note pad before ripping the paper and throwing it out. "And it was
a good plan Ms. Plan Wrecker."
CJ headed out of the bullpen towards Leo's
office, running into Carol on the way over. She handed her her
notebooks. "Put these on my desk and get Danny in my office, I don't care
where he is or what he's working on and he'll stay there till I get back."
That said, she swung a left and headed to the Chief of Staff's
Stepping into the outer office, CJ spied Margaret hard at
work. "Margaret, can I go in?"
"Sure, he's doing some paperwork.
It's been an easy day." Margaret looked CJ up and down. "You're going to destroy
that right now aren't you?"
CJ took a deep breath as she walked in,
mumbling, "That's me. The Destroyer." She stopped when she saw Leo
working at his desk, lightly. "Hey, Leo."
"Stop right there." Leo
didn't even bother looking up. "Unless you're hear to tell me we have just been
elected a second term don't continue." He placed his pen down, removed his
glasses and looked up at her. "I'm sorry. It's just that you seem to be on a
destroying rampage. Toby told
me you destroyed his plan that he has triumphed
over this morning and I'm sure you're about to destroy the plan that I stole
from him this morning."
CJ sighed in annoyance. "You know, Leo, I'm
getting pretty damn tired of being blamed for doing my job. You hired me to keep
this administration on the smooth path and not to get TRASHED by the
press. And I have. And I've done a pretty damn good job if I say so
myself. When one of my reporters comes to me with a piece of information
that could DESTROY us, instead of getting pissed at me for relaying the
information and screwing up the path of your day, a 'thank you, CJ' would be a
whole hell of a lot better received. Do you think I enjoy having to tell
you this stuff??"
Leo sighed. "No. I apologize. Listen, everyone just
letting off a little steam alright. Now, what is this joyous news you come
"I'm going to quote your words back to you when it's my turn to
let off some steam." She sighed. "Danny saw me this morning.
The Vice President is being investigated by the Feds."
uncomfortably in his seat. "Close the door." He waited until CJ returned to his
desk. "How did you find out?"
CJ went over and closed the door sat down
in a visitor's chair across from Leo's desk, speaking softly, "Danny told
me. He says he likes reporting the news, but only when it's fair and he
gave me heads up."
"That's good of him. Remind me to send him a fruit
basket for Christmas." Leo sat up right in his chair. "I heard a little talk
about a Federal Investigation in Hoynes office. But it's not that uncommon.
Money is stolen, embezzled. Crimes happen and plenty of evidence comes back to
the White House, especially when dealing with interns, press, congressman,
pages, and lobbyists. Don't worry about it, if it's something big I will get
briefed on it. In the meantime, thank Danny and answer no comment for
CJ stood up as she looked her boss in the eye. "So I
shouldn't worry about this then?"
Leo walked CJ to the door. "No. Like I
said if it's something big the FBI Director would set up a meeting with me. If
something progresses I'll let you know. In the meantime go destroy some more of
Toby's Great Stone Plan."
She sighed softly and looked at him.
"It's not like that's the goal I set for myself when I wake up in the
"It's a goal none of us set. Unfortunately it's this type of
crap that keeps our world spinning." Leo laughed.
thoughtfully. "Yeah. Leo, I'm going to call someone at the FBI. It
may be futile, but if we are going to be slammed, I'd rather put on the
protective gear now. Also, I'm going to talk to Hoynes. Plus, I have
Danny back in my office. I'm going to see if I can juice him for more
"Sure. Whatever you want to do to keep your world spinning.
Just be sure to keep me updated."
She nodded. "Yeah, I will.
Thanks, Leo." She turned and left, giving Margaret a small smile on her
way out. Once in her office, CJ stopped when she saw the redheaded
reporter, once again, adjusting Gail's podium in her bowl. CJ let out a
"You do realize that the more you put your fingers into her
bowl, the more dirty her water gets, right?"
Danny looked up and dried
his fingers on his pants. "Yeah, but I don't have to change the water so.
CJ shook her
head as she closed her door and went to her desk. "Thanks for being so
considerate of my time, Danny. I just left Toby and Leo's offices and they
are pissed as hell, as am I. I need to know everything you know and I need
"CJ," Danny said as he sat down in a chair in front of her desk,
"I told you everything I know. I'm not lying here. Someone told me
that a couple of federal agents were seen talking to Hoynes and Hoynes left the
OEOB and the Feds were trailing and it appeared they were going to Hoynes'
place. That's all my source gave me."
"Who is your
Danny sighed softly. "CJ, you know I don't give my sources
out. Come on now, I can lose my job if the paper found out I even gave you
a heads up on what's going on. My editor will be pissed as hell at me for
not writing about it first anyway."
CJ nodded as she stood. "Okay,
you are right. Thanks, Danny."
Danny nodded as he rose to his
feet. "You are welcome. If I get any more information, I'll seek you
out. I'm on your side on this one, CJ. Keep your head in the
That said, Danny left CJ alone in her office to
Vice President John Hoynes sighed as
he watched the agents going through all of his personal affects. His life
had been turned upside down when Tanya Morgan was found dead in his bed and John
struggled to figure out how she got that way.
As he watched the feds dig
through his stuff, he sat down on a chair. "This is ridiculous. You
guys won't find anything. I did not kill that girl."
sir, but I have my orders." The agent replied.
John stood up, throwing
the glass he was holding against the wall, shattering it. "Your orders are
wrong! I am the Vice President of the United States and I am *not* a murderer.
Yes, I fucked around on my wife. I'm a bastard in that sense, I take full
responsibility for that. But I *did not* murder that girl. I have no
idea how she ended up dead in my bed, but it was not by my hand!"
Vice President, please sit down."
The voice came from out of
nowhere. John turned around and was soon face to face with Ron
Butterfield. "It's part of the investigation and you are required by law to
co-operate. Failure to do so, will end up with your arrest."
law?! You'd better check the Constitution, Ron, because no where does it
say that I am subject to invasions like this."
"No, but you, like every
other citizen, are subject to a Court Order." Ron pulled a paper from his inside
coat pocket and handed it to Hoynes. "Mr. Vice President, if you didn't do
anything you have nothing to worry about. So quit interfering in my
John took a deep breath and stalked out of the room and
headed to his study. Once there, he paced nervously.
Butterfield sighed softly as his eyes roamed the pictures on one wall of the
living room of Vice President John Hoynes. Never in his wildest dreams did
he ever think he'd have to be on a team that was investigating the Vice
President of the United States. As his eyes scanned the room, finding the
top detectives of the DC Police, he couldn't help but have a sickening feeling
deep in the pit of his stomach.
"Excuse me, Agent
Ron looked up at the officer in front of him and was
momentarily shocked at her appearance. She was young, not much older than
25-if that-and here she was on a major investigation. They were getting
younger every year.
He cleared his throat, "Yeah, what do you
The young officer stepped forward, her hands clad in rubber gloves,
holding a broken bottle. "We found a broken empty bottle of scotch in the
closet. There is a dent on the far wall, probably from when the bottle made
Ron sighed softly. "So it appears that there was a
domestic spat as well. Okay, take the bottle to the lab, I want it dusted for
fingerprints, hair fibers, any material fibers, everything. I'm going to
contact the President now."
The officer nodded. "Yes,
Ron closed his eyes and emitted a soft sigh and took his phone out
of his inner coat pocket and dialed some buttons. "Yeah, Charlie, it's Ron
Butterfield. I need to see him."
CJ sighed softly as she pulled the
heavy glass door to the Old Executive Office Building open and stepped in.
Smiling wearily at the guard, she took her ID out and showed it to him and
walked through the security check point.
Once in the wing which housed
the offices of the Vice President, CJ walked straight for the man's private
office, stopping when she comes into contact with his private secretary. "Hey,
Rita, is he in?"
The middle-aged secretary looked up at the White House
Press Secretary. "Good morning, Miss Cregg. No, I'm afraid the Vice President
was called away for the afternoon, is there anything I can to do help? Maybe I
can call his chief of staff?"
CJ sighs softly as she pinched the bridge
of her nose. "No, no thank you. But if you could leave him a message
telling him that I need to speak with him the moment he gets back, I 'd really
Rita nodded helpfully. "I'll leave it on his
CJ gave her a small smile in thanks and
Charlie Young sat at his desk, quickly jotting down a
message on a piece of paper. Standing up, he walks over to the doorway and looks
down the hall to see if anyone is coming. Once he saw that nobody would be
coming in in the next few minutes, Charlie walked into the Oval Office. "Excuse
me, Mr. President?"
Jed Bartlet looked up and smiled softly at his
aide. "Yeah, Charlie, what do you need?"
Charlie crossed the room
and handed him the message. "Agent Butterfield is on his way to speak with
The President sighed softly and looked at the message and back at
Charlie. "Charlie, do you think it's possible CJ has conspired with Ron to wreck
such a beautiful day? I'm just asking because I've been informed by a rather
humored Leo that she almost drove Toby off the deep end. So when I asked Leo
what's going on, he shrugs me off." Bartlet removes the glasses from his face.
"It's just that when CJ's on a rampage, Leo shrugs me off and Ron requests a
visit, no good usually comes from it."
Charlie suppresses his grin.
"I think, Mr. President, that CJ is just trying to get through her day without
doing any bodily harm to anyone."
"I know. I just love a women who stands
up to any man, especially Toby. CJ is a member of a great organization called
the Sisterhood and we all learned not to mess with it. So be a good aide and
never mention to CJ this conversation. When Ron get's here, please send Leo
Charlie grins at him. "Yes, Mr. President."
heads back to his desk and begins to work. Within minutes, he hears the
President's voice, "Screw it. Charlie, get Leo in here now!"
rises and walks into the doorway of the office and nods. "Yes, Mr.
President." That said, he walks back to his desk and picks the phone up
and punches a button. Within minutes, he's connected to Margaret and she
relays the message. A few minutes later, Leo arrives at the Oval
Office. "You wanted to see me, Sir?"
"Is there anything you know
that you should let the staff know about, or, more importantly, me? I have this
feeling something big is about to come down. CJ's doing some major investigating
which could only mean she got a big lead, and now Ron is coming to visit me.
What's going on?"
Leo sighs softly. He goes over and closes all the
doors leading into the Oval Office and stands before the President, speaking
softly, "I am coming to you as 3 men, Sir. Your Chief of Staff, your top
aide, and your best friend. The Vice President is being investigated by
the FBI. CJ was told first by Danny Concannon. How he knew, I don't
know. But CJ went and told Toby and then she went and told me and now I'm
telling you. I contacted the head of the FBI to find out what's going on.
The Vice President has been having an affair with a Tanya Morgan. She's 28
years old and from Arlington. Miss Morgan was found dead in the Vice
President's bed by his maid this morning."
"And you didn't think this was
something important and that maybe you should've informed me? God Leo, did you
lose your memory and ability to speak! We are four weeks from elections and the
Vice President may as well be indicted for murder!"
Leo looks him in the
eye, his voice raising. "I understand how you feel, Mr. President, but I
wanted to be 100% sure what was going on. I didn't want to bring you a
hunch from Danny Concannon. But I think that right now you need to start
looking for a new candidate for your Vice President."
president walked over to his aide's door. "Charlie, get CJ, Sam, Toby, and Josh
in here now." He turned and walked back in. "We aren't a 100% sure
Leo sighs. "Not yet."
Charlie pops his head in.
"Mr. President, I've called everybody down, they will be here shortly.
Also, Ron Butterfield is here."
The President nods. "Thank you,
Charlie, go ahead and send Ron in and when everyone else gets here, send them in
Charlie nods. "Yes, Sir."
Ron walks in a moment
later. "Mr. President, I have with me the results of the DNA tests as well
as fingerprint analysis."
President Bartlet nods. "Okay, Ron, I
want to wait until everyone gets here. No sense in having to repeat
ourselves. Have a seat. Can I get Charlie to get you
The Secret Service agent sat down. "No, Sir, thank
The President nods and for a few moments the room in silent until
the senior staff starts to trickle in. Once everyone is seated, the
President sits down himself. "Okay, Ron, you may proceed."
you, Sir." He pauses and sighs softly, "The Vice President's DNA was found on
Miss Morgan. She had his skin under her nails and his sperm was found on and
around her vaginal area. Her pubic bone was also severely bruised as well
as abnormal tearing indicating that she was raped before being
CJ closes her eyes, softly, "Dear god."
softly. "Who was the girl?"
Ron confers with his file before
sighing softly. "Her name was Tanya Morgan. She was the secret
mistress of the Vice President's. We have knowledge that they were having
a secret affair for the past 17 months. We have notified Mrs. Hoynes and brought
all of this to her attention as well as questioned the Vice President. He
at first denied it all and when we brought up the DNA, he confessed.
Currently, Mr. President, your Vice President is sitting in a cell at the DCPD
pending charges of rape and murder."
Jed stood in silence. "Okay. . .
keep me posted. Thanks, Ron." Ron nodded as he took his dismissal.
"I can't believe this. John Hoynes murdered a young girl, John Hoynes! Damn it!
What the hell was he thinking?" He slammed his hand on his desk. "We are weeks
from election, no Vice President and there is one more family who are a victim
of crime. How am I suppose to stand in front of America talking about crime
control when I can't even control the crime within my home?!"
remained quiet while the President vented. After several minutes, Leo
looks at Sam, speaking softly, "I want you to contact Ainsley Hayes. Let
her know what is going on so she can contact the family and help with a civil
suit against Hoynes. Make sure she knows to keep this as quiet as
possible." Sam nods and leaves and then Leo turns to Josh, still in a
monotone voice, "I need you to get a copy of the Constitution and contact the
Speaker of the House and let him know we are no longer with a Vice President but
we are working on something at the moment. Toby write out a briefing for
CJ to give and then give it to me so I can read it first. CJ, not a word
to the press."
Everyone nods and leaves, Leo sighs softly and goes over
to where the President stands and puts a hand on his shoulder, softly, "I am
Jed just nodded. "I'm going to call the parents and talk to them tonight.
We have to win Leo. With the crime in this country I don't want to hear anyone
utter the words 'crime...boy I don't know'. We have to stop it Leo. We have
Leo nods thoughtfully, after a few moments, he says, "I have no
doubt that you can still win this, Sir, however, you need a Vice
President. There is no getting around it, and the last time I spoke with
the Speaker, he didn't want to take on the task of the Presidency or Vice
Presidency if needed."
Jed shakes his head and paces. "I can't
believe that Daniel Moore wouldn't want a chance at the Presidency or Vice
Presidency. It's his Constitutional right, he's got no choice.
Unless there is a loop hole somewhere."
"There is always a loop hole
somewhere, Mr. President."
Jed turned and looked at his Chief of
Staff. "Leo, call the gang. Get them in here. We need to
prepare ourselves and we need a method of attack if needed."
Toby led the way into his office, with CJ, Josh
and Sam in tow. The senior staff was silent until they heard the clicking of the
door, indicating that they were all safe to, at the moment, speak their
"I just don't believe it." Josh said. "How in the hell could
Hoynes be this dumb? It's bad enough that he screwed around on Mrs.
Hoynes, but now this?? How are we ever going to recover from
CJ sighs softly. "If I were Linda Hoynes, I think I'd pull a
The men collectively crossed their legs and Toby sighed
softly. "Okay, I agree. Hoynes is a shit for doing this to this wife
and family and to the President. But sitting around bitching isn't going
to do anything. We need to figure out how to best address this without
further harm to the Administration."
"The constitution will take care of
the position for the Vice Presidency at the moment, but we need to think of
someone who can replace Hoynes on the ticket this late in the game." Sam added.
"We need someone who works well with the President. Someone who can handle the
position. Someone who has a military background since Bartlet doesn't. Someone
who has a clear record. And unless I'm mistaken I think we all know who could
fill this job description." He looked up waiting for an answer.
in the corner chair, softly, "He'd make a hell of a leader."
"Who are you
guys talking about?" CJ asked looking at Toby to see if he had a
Toby shifted in his seat. "They're talking about Leo."
stands up quickly and paces. "Think about it. He's known the
President longer than the President has known the First Lady. He flew
planes in Vietnam, got a purple heart. He knows the President inside and
Sam took over. "He knows a lot about politics. He could handle any
situation if the President wasn't able to. We already cleared his record, by now
when someone mentions McGarry and booze they all say who cares. He's proven
himself already. Personally, I think he's our only chance."
"Besides, with the exception of Abbey and the girls, he's the only one who knows
the full extent of the President's medical history."
Toby nods, softly,
"I think we found our vice President."
CJ agreed. "Now our problem is
telling our new vice President."
Josh stops pacing and looks at his
friends and colleagues. "He's been a second father to me for as long as I
can remember. I'll tell him."
There was a knock at the door and
everyone silenced as Toby stood up and answered it. Mutely thanking his
assistant, Toby walked back in and opened the folded piece of paper that was
handed it him and scanned it before handing it to Josh. "We'll all tell
him. Leo wants us all to meet with the President in the Oval at
8:00. I suggest everyone grab a bite to eat now because I have a feeling
that we won't have that option later."
Everyone nodded as they stood up
and filed out of Toby's office. Toby sighed softly as he put his head in
his hands, wondering how, or worse, if, they will ever recover from this massive
eight, everyone was assembled into the outer area of the Oval Office. They were
all silent. Nobody was quite sure what to say, so instead of saying the
wrong thing, they all said nothing. A few minutes after their arrival, Leo
steps out of the Oval Office.
"Guys, you can come in now and take your
Quickly casting glances at each other, the four members of the
senior staff stepped into the Oval Office as if they were stepping on glass,
careful not to shift the balance of the room. After exchanging quiet
pleasantries with the President, everyone but Josh assembled into their
seats. The President and Leo looked at each other before turning their
eyes on the deputy chief of staff.
"Josh? Is there something you'd
like to say?"
Josh looked at his colleagues and back at the President and
Leo. "Mr. President, Leo, earlier today, Toby, Sam, CJ and myself all
congregated into Toby's office to discuss the latest goings on. It is no
secret that Daniel Moore does not want the seat of the Vice President.
He's made that crystal clear on a number of occasions. Being the hard
assed lawyers that we are, Sam, Toby and I spent the better part of 3 hours
pouring over the Constitution and other pertinent documents to see if there is
any-big or small-loopholes that could be found."
The President and Leo
glanced at each other and back at Josh. "And?"
Toby stood up,
taking a breath. "And we found one. There is a document that was
written in 1947 that states if the Vice President or President were involved in
a scandal that would result in impeachment, than the Speaker of the House would
assume duties. Now, that is in the Constitution. The document Josh
and I found gives it a clause that if the Speaker does not wish to accept the
duty that is handed to him, than
instead of going down the line of
succession, the President may hand pick his Vice President. Incidentally,
this document was written at Harvard University by a student who was majoring in
law who had a keen interest in politics. The document is legal, it can be
used in court, however the dean of administrations at the time, would not allow
the student to send it to Washington to be added into the Constitution.
Lawyers and Congressmen at the time, passed it in the house and it is
Constitutional even though it is not a part of the Constitution." He
paused, "If that makes sense."
The President just looked at his
Communications Director as if he had grown a second head. "So, what you
are saying, basically, is that I can choose my Vice President because Moore
doesn't want it."
The President sat down,
stunned. "This is intriguing. And you are sure that I can't get sued
Jed nodded. "Okay, then, do you guys
have any ideas who I can pick?"
"We have one or two."
CJ quietly hands Josh a hand mirror and Josh goes over to Leo and
holds up the mirror to his face. "What do you think about this
Leo rolled his eyes. "What, are you guys drunk?"
goes over to them. "Leo, think about it. You've known the President
longer than he's known his wife. You are a military man. You know
the staff. You are familiar with the Situation Room. You are a born
"But I was a drunk!" Leo sat back down. "You can't possibly
think that the country would elect the President with my name attached after
Jed stood up and walked over to his staff. "Leo,
they are right. You know they are. It's time to stop hiding behind me, you are a
good person and could get a lot done on your own."
CJ glances at the
President and then back at Leo, speaking softly, "He's right. All of your
skeletons are out of the closet, Leo. Everyone knows about your rehab, it
is no longer an issue."
Leo sighed. "I don't know. It's just. . . I mean.
. . hell I just don't know." Leo smiled to himself. "Why the hell not? If
everyone is comfortable with the fact we have nothing to lose, why
Josh grins a little. "Can I call the Speaker then and tell
him we've got a new VP?"
"We have a new candidate Josh." Leo
Josh smiles and hugs him. "You are going to do great
"I hope." Leo hugged him back.
Jed came over and hugged
him, "You are going to be fine, my friend."
Leo pulled back and smiled at
the rest of the group. "Alright, everyone listen we need to get into gear, we
have damage control. Tomorrow the story's going to leak. Josh, have Joey set us
up with some polls. Sam, Toby, get a statement prepared for me, I have a little
speech to give."
Josh claps Leo on the back of his shoulder and heads to
his office. Sam grins at Toby who looks at Leo and smiles softly, he
extends his hand, "It will be an honor, Mr. Vice President."
to work." Everyone left the room, each having a bounce to their step that
represented that things were starting to get a little brighter. Leo looked
at his best friend. "Well Sir, what do you think?"
The President grins at
him. "I think we are going to kick some Republican ass."
weeks later after the public has been made aware of Hoynes, Toby and Sam draft a
speech for Leo announcing his run. Leo spends the time that the speech is
being written pacing his office, snapping at Mallory and once making Margaret
cry. Finally the day arrives.
On the day that will change his life
forever, Leo steps into the briefing room and looks at the faces of the White
House press corps. He takes a deep breath and is shocked when he sees his
hands shaking. He glances up at the back of the room and smiles softly
when he sees the President, First Lady, CJ, Toby, Sam and Josh standing on the
rim of the room.
Clearing his throat, he begins, "Good morning. As most of you, if not
all of you, are aware of by now, John Hoynes has been arrested for the murder of
Tanya Morgan. To say that this comes as a shock to this administration is a
gross understatement. Not only are we devastated with shock, we are
sickened with humiliation. After several meetings, several very long
meetings I might add, I, along with the help of my nearest and dearest friends
and family, have decided to accept the office of the Vice Presidency offered to
me by incumbent Jed Bartlet, when or if he is re-elected to the office of the
Presidency. Our staffs assure me that this is the right step to take and I
know in my heart that it is." He pauses and then continues, "It is the
worst kept secret in Washington that I am a recovering alcoholic. But I
want to assure the American people that I have not had a drink in 8 years, I
will not have one today, nor will I have one tomorrow. I am a very lucky
man to have the support system that I do. I want the American public to
know that I will work my hardest with this President to further better this
nation. I believe in my heart that America is the greatest country on
god's green earth, and my goal, as Vice President, is to ensure that it keeps
getting better. Thank you all very much." That said, Leo smiles
softly and nods his head once and turns and walks out of the room, his head held
CJ, Toby, Sam, Josh, Jed and Abbey met Leo as he round the corner.
Before even having a chance to escape, Jed gave Leo a hug. The staff including
the First Lady stood a respectable distance watching the scene unfold. They
couldn't help but smile at the scene. They weren't watching the two most
powerful men in the world but rather two good friends.
Jed stepped aside,
signaling to the staff he had said what he wanted to say in private. Josh was
the first to reach Leo, putting his hand out to shake Leo's hand. "We're going
to do it." He whispered as he pulled Leo into a semi-hug. "We're going to do
it." He repeated while pulling away.
Leo smiles softly as he hugs the man
he's grown to love as a son, he pulls back and cups Josh's face with his hands
and smiles at him, "Don't ever forget that you are like a son to me,
Josh blinked several times to hold the tears back. "Thanks Leo."
He took a stand behind Leo with one hand on his back. "Okay. Let's get some
Welch's's white grape juice, we have an occasion to celebrate. This time we get
the Dooby Brothers." There was a collective groan from the group.
shakes his head. "No Dooby Brothers, Josh. I had to live through
Mallory's love of them, posters on every wall. I won't go through it
"This from the man who was born at 55." Leo was the only one to
laugh at Jed's remark, while the others stood dumbfound. Jed cleared his
throat and glanced at his watch. "It's 7:30 let's call it a day and head to the
residence for a 'new vice President' party."
Leo can't help but
laugh. "Watch, we'll all get settled down and we'll be called to the
There was a collective shudder as the world's left Leo's
mouth. "So help me Leo, if you jinx it, there will be hell to pay." Abbey was in
Leo grins at the First Lady and one of his dearest
friends. "You know, Abbey, the President is right. You are more
beautiful when you are threatening."
"A woman is like a tea bag. You
don't know how strong it is until it gets into hot water. Or in your case
when you get my husband in hot water. "
"Quoting Eleanor Roosevelt are we
Abigail?" Jed smiled at the staff who where beginning to become antsy. "Come on.
Let's head home."
Leo laughs and takes both the President and First
Lady's hands, grateful for his friends. The staff filters out and CJ lags
behind. She stops on the West portico and looks up at the constellations
in the sky and lets out a cool stream of air between her lips. As she
studies Jupiter, Mars and Saturn, she closes her eyes and says a silent prayer
for a smooth road ahead.
Lost in thought, CJ hears for Josh calling her
to hurry up and she opens her eyes and quickly falls into step.
to the residence was exhilarating for some. Few actually took the back route to
the residence. It was there for the Presidents use and those who were lucky
enough to travel with him. It was one of those awe-inspiring
They passed several security check-points, and Secret Service
agents, giving the staff a new perspective on how safe home has to
Jed opened the doors for the staff. Giving the agents a slight nod as
they rose from there seats in respect for both Jed, Abbey and Leo. "Take a seat
guys. I'll have some pizza's brought up. Take your shoes off, spread out, this
is extremely informal." Jed picked up the phone as Abbey
led the group into
the main room.
CJ reaches down and removes her pumps as she sits down,
rubbing a hand over her calloused heel, groaning in satisfaction.
heads over to the fireplace to observe the photographs that rest on the
mantle--glimpses into the past involving his President, friends, moments in time
that will only relive on paper. Emitting a soft sigh, he allowed his mind
to wander as he thought about what was yet to come.
"That was a well
written statement." Toby said as he sat down next to Sam. "You did a good job. I
was able to spot smiles forming on the reporter's faces."
It was well written." Abbey agreed as she took a seat next to CJ. "It made us
all proud, Sammy boy."
Sam looked at his mentor, sincerely, "Everything I
learned when it comes to speech writing, Toby, I learned from you. Thank
Toby laughed. "No need to kiss my ass. I'm never going to fire you.
I sometimes am frustrated with you, what to pummel you with rubber balls, and
I'll admit even jealous, but I'll never fire you. That is unless you
accidentally sleep with another prostitute, then I will not only fire your ass
but I'll probably kick it too." The room giggled at Toby's little speech, but
mainly they laughed at Sam's pretend horror stricken face.
Sam looks down
at his hands, softly, "A man tries to pay his boss a compliment and tell him
that he respects him and he's made fun of." Sighing softly, he pushes
himself off the couch and heads over to the bookshelves.
CJ glares at
Toby and smacks him upside his head. "Fix that."
"I didn't know he
was going to take it seriously. I was just having a little fun with his mind."
Toby sighed. "I'll be right back." He walked over to Sam, slowly approaching him
and placing a hand on his shoulder. "Hey what's the matter? Usually you don't
mind my jocularity. Come on give. You've been rather quiet this
Sam flinched involuntarily at Toby's touch and sighed
softly. "Leo's previous battles, and even Hoynes' problems, won't be the
downfall of this administration."
"Sam, what are you talking about? We
are going to be fine." Toby started to become concerned with Sam's
Sam shakes his head no and turns to face Toby, his voice
deathly soft, "Toby. I will be the downfall of this
Toby was taken back by Sam's behavior. It wasn't Sam to
show this kinda of fear, and nervousness. Sam was a self-determined, self-made
man. "Sam? Should we go talk outside?"
Sam glances around the room and
sees everyone is doing other things, he clears this throat and nods.
put his hand on Sam's shoulder leading him out onto the portico. With the door
safely clicking shut behind him what was said now would be shared between
themselves, the sky and about a half dozen Secret Service agents sworn to
secrecy. "Sam what's going on? Are you alright?
"Toby," Sam looked everywhere but at the man who was before him, in
a voice that was inaudible, "I'm gay."
Toby at first didn't say anything.
He didn't know what to say, and for the President's speech writer it almost
seemed impossible. Toby had never be confronted with such a situation in his
life. This was Sam, the man he thought of as a younger brother, a good friend, a
colleague and he was telling him something no one else knows, a secret he found
necessary to hide from the world. It puzzled Toby, why now? "Sam. I...I
know what to say really. I'm....kinda at a loss, why didn't you tell me
before? Did you think I'd be upset? Sam, I could of been there for you. You know
me better than that. It doesn't matter to me, and there is a room full of people
in there who love you and think the same thing." Toby
embracing Sam. He was proud of Sam, it just proved Sam's honest intentions and
loyalty to his friends. "Excuse me if this
is inappropriate, I don't really
know how to ask it, but....How long have you known?"
Sam stiffened in
numbness as Toby's arms went around him. As he stood there, numb with the
shock of such an intimate gesture from a man who had a reputation for being a
grouch, Sam blinked back the tears. Once Toby pulled away, Sam took a step back,
his eyes still on his friend, his mind grappling with the words spoken to him
only moments ago. Swallowing a cry, Sam spoke, his voice just above a
hoarse whisper, "I figured it out when I was 11. I was away at summer camp
in Northern California. There were two boys there, my age, and everyone
kind of knew." He took a slow breath as he walked over to a bench pushed
up against the House. "I was walking through the redwoods one day, I had
some time to myself, and I came upon the two boys and they were. . ." he looked
up at Toby, "You know. And a part of me screamed to run as far away as I
could, but another part of me was intrigued. It was like watching a car
wreck in slow motion, Toby, you knew it was wrong and sick, but you couldn't
help but watch the scene unfold. And as I watched I felt things happen to
my body, things I had never experienced before. It was then that the camp
counselor found me and called my name out to let me know I was needed at
camp. But Toby, I never forgot the feeling I had stumbling upon that
scene. The following summer, I had re-enacted that scene with a fellow
camper. We were lovers for fifteen years before Kevin died."
winced as Sam said the last part. "It must have been hard. I mean...I can't
relate...but I know it had to have been hard. What about Lisa and the...you
know..uh...the prostitute." Toby stiffiled a laugh. "I'm sorry Sam, but I can't
help but picture your scared face when you had to come and tell me. You must
think I'm a real boar if your face is any indication of the level of fear you're
"I loved Lisa, I did, and I suppose that a part of me will
always love her, but I didn't love her the way a man should love a woman.
And she knew. And I proposed to her because we both knew that Washington
had a very hard time accepting gay politicians. As for Laurie, well, she
was, as much as I hate saying this, a product of too much alcohol."
this something you wish to share with the rest of the group yet? I'm mean if you
aren't ready don't sweat it. " Toby placed a hand on Sam's arm. "Don't worry
about DC Sam. We aren't just here to protect the President, we are here for
Sam looked at the hand on his arm and looked up at the
owner, softly, "Thank you for that." He sighs as he rises to his
feet. "I don't know how to tell them yet. I think I need some
Toby nodded. "What do you say we join the group with there glasses
of fine grape juice in toasting our soon to be electees?"
Sam can't help
but smile softly. "Sounds good. And Toby, thank you."
what friends are for, and I was only joking before, I'd never fire you." Toby
opened the door allowing Sam to pass through first.
He laughs, teasingly,
"Oh good, then I think I just might call up Laurie." He winks at him.
looks up and sees his Communications Director and his deputy enter the
room. "There you two are, I was beginning to get insulted."
President, no one on this earth would purposely insult you. I must say you have
an excellent home." Toby pointed out. "Excellent fixtures, beautiful use of
paint, 8 inch baseboards and striking coping around the door frame. I must say
the oak was a magnificent touch." The group seemed to stare at him as if his
head exploded. "I enjoy Bob Vila and New Yankee Workshop." He returned to his
seat adjacent to CJ and Abbey.
CJ just continued to look at him, amused,
"You are a nerd, Pokey."
"I was an informed child Ms. Cregg." Toby
accepted the last glass of grape juice that Josh handed out, turning the floor
to the President.
CJ continues to smirk at him. "Bob Vila, Julia
Child, the New Yankee Workshop, Sesame Street. Do you have any other
secrets for us?"
Jed smiles softly at the site of his staff teasing each
other. "Okay, you two, cut it out."
"Yeah you guys are wrecking
more havoc than I've caused the entire year." Josh spoke up opening himself up
to flying pillows.
"Alright you guys knock it off. I'm actually going to
say something here." Jed paused. "And I'm going to pretend I didn't see the
sideway horrified glances. But to put all this nonsense aside for a
moment." He stopped to take a breath. "As you know some five years ago Leo
hunted me down and somehow through ways unexplainable convinced me I'd make a
good President. Within weeks I was on the democratic ticket and he began to look
for staffers. Now, as you all know I can be a pain in the ass, and I know you
all wanted to quit one time or another, but this insensible person thought it
best to scream at me then continue with his work. And around and around we went,
I needed Leo to keep things going. He was there for me time and time again,
showing up, having faith in me, all the while getting me elected. I'll admit I
didn't think there was a chance in hell for me to get here, but once again Leo
proved me wrong by hiring the greatest staff a person could ask for. I love you
guys, I really do, and I'm not saying it in a boss/employee relationship, but as
a member of my family. And it seems to me, whether you like it or not, you have
inherited some of Leo's traits. Now four years later we are about to embark
on another challenge, getting both myself and my chief of staff elected as
President and vice President. In about one months time Leo is going to bang on
one of your doors and want to pummel someone's ass with a baseball bat, and when
the time comes you'll know why. So as I stand here today, truly surrounded by
the greatest of country men and women I want to thank you, for what you've done
for me and for what you'll do for Leo. And we will show the World a truly
awe-inspiring White House."
Sam sits back, allowing the words to sink
in. After a few minutes of silence, he looks at Toby and then at the
President, softly, "Mr. President, I would like to say something."
Sam." Jed took a few steps to the side, leaning against the wall as he allowed
Sam the center of the room.
"I, um," he laughs softly to himself.
"This is ridiculous. I'm a speech writer, yet I can't put my thoughts into
words." He takes a deep breath and decides to jump in with both feet. "I'm
The room seemed to go quiet. Sam broke the silence, addressing
Toby, "This seems to be a common reaction."
"You knew?" CJ asked
Before Toby had a chance to answer, Sam took it as his duty to
answer questions. "No, CJ. I only told him about 20 minutes prior to
Josh looks at Sam stunned, his voice soft, "Why didn't you tell
"It isn't something I'm good at talking about. As I'm sure the
President can relate, it was private. I didn't want to many people to know. My
family didn't except it too well, and I didn't want my friends to react the
Josh finishes his drink and sets it on the table. "Sam," he
walks over to his friend and puts a hand on his shoulder, "You are my best
friend. You are a hell of a friend, a hell of a lawyer, a hell of a
politician, and a hell of a man. I don't give a rat's ass what your sexual
preference is. That doesn't matter to me. You are still my best
"Sam, you know us, and we know you. It's Sam Seaborn we love and
nothing would change that." Leo spoke up.
"I agree Sam we could've been
there for you." Jed added. "You shouldn't have had to keep yourself a secret to
us for what we might think."
Sam looks at all of them, tears in his eyes,
he chokes back a lump. "I love you all. Thank you."
CJ got up and gave him a hug. Leading him back to the couch for him to
sit between herself and Abbey.
There was a knock at the door. Being
closest Jed answered to find Donnie, one of the members of his detail, behind
it. There was some small exchange of conversation before Jed returned with three
pizza boxes. "You guys hungry?"
A few months after the Vice
President's arrest and subsequent conviction of the murder of Tanya Morgan, Josh
comes into the White House with large boxes under both his arms. He sees
Donna walking down the hall and gives her a whistle to get her to come over to
him. He opens one arm a little so she can get the box out from under
it. "Help me out here, will ya?"
"Josh what is all this? Did you
finally decided to move in? Cause I was just joking when I suggest it." She
grabbed one of the boxes before he dropped it.
Josh rolled his
eyes. "So funny, Norma Rae. No, these are surprises for everyone to
help them get into better spirits. I have a meeting with the
President," he checks his watch, dropping the other box. He sighs as
he squats down to pick it up. "Now. Help me take these to the Oval
Donna uses her knee to shift the weight of the box as she runs
after Josh. "Are you going to tell me what's up or are you going to keep me in
Josh turns around, walking backwards, as he talks to
her. "I'm keeping you in suspense, Donnatella, because that's what I am. .
. a suspenseful man. I am a man of mystery. Nobody knows what is in these
boxes until after I show the President and Leo first. And also," he pauses
for effect, "I rigged your box so you can't open it."
"Who are you Austin
Powers?" She giggled. "Josh Lyman International Man of Mystery." She looks at
the box. "I wouldn't call that rigging, looks to me like you just had fun with
the tape dispenser. Oh Josh watch out!"
"Huh?" Before he can turn
back around, he runs smack dab into a column, dropping his box again. He
glared at her. "You could have warned me sooner. Just for that, you
are fired." He again squats to pick the box up and then looks up at her, a
grin on his face. "You just like seeing me down here like this.
Gives you an idea of Little Josh."
"Oh please." She rolled her eyes.
"What is it with every guy thinking that's all we care about? I can tell you
there is no way Little Josh is more impressive than Little Joe's or Little
Randy's. They are all the same." She looks at the box he's carrying. "I hope
your surprise isn't fragile."
He looks wounded as he stands up.
"That hurt, Donna. That really hurt." He hikes his box back up under his
arm. "Come on, let's go."
They quickly head to the Oval Office and
are allowed in and Josh sets the box on the meeting table in the Office and
takes the one Donna is carrying and sets it on top of it and then looks at
Donna, softly, "Ok, you can go back to your desk now, thanks." Donna
nodded quietly and left.
Josh turned his attention to Leo and the
President. "Good morning, Mr. President. Good morning,
The President sips his coffee, eyeing the boxes. "What do you
have there, Josh?"
Josh grins at him. "I'm waiting for Leo to greet
"Morning Josh." Leo grumbled. He was reading over a speech that
Sam wrote for him.
"Don't worry about Mr. Grumpy Pants over there. He's
finally understanding how hard preparing for a speech is." The president
Leo reached out and sipped his coffee, his eyes never leaving his
paper. "It isn't hard to prepare for a speech. That's not what I am
doing. The Times crossword is particularly difficult this morning. I
can give a speech with my eyes closed."
Jed rolled his eyes and gestured
his coffee mug towards the box. "So, what's in the box?"
Josh takes a
breath. "Sir, I hope that I wasn't over stepping my boundaries here. .
Leo sighs softly, moaning, "Oh god."
Josh ignores him.
"As I was saying, I hope I wasn't overstepping my boundaries here, but I thought
we could all use some mood adjustments lately given what happened with John
Hoynes. So, I enlisted the help of my friends who own their own publishing
and printing firms, and had these made up." He lifts the lids of the
boxes up to show Bartlet/McGarry campaign posters, buttons, flyers, pamphlets
and t-shirts. "These are a limited number here, 5 different designs.
You guys need to pick one and I'll get everything set up."
came closer slipping a hand into the box. "Oh I like these." He pulled out a
campaign poster with "Bartlet/McGarry for America" written boldly across the
poster. "Leo what do you think?"
Leo looked over his glasses. "They are
very nice sir." He said seriously.
"Bet you though you'd never see the
day. When both out names were together and we'd be running together." Bartlet
continued to rummage through the box.
Leo set the speech down and walked
over and looked though the box with him. He found a poster of an American flag
with different landmarks that defined America with Bartlet/McGarry for America
splayed across. "I like this one."
Josh stood off to the side
watching as the two men picked out a poster. It was a meaningless task, but for
some reason Josh enjoyed watching it unfold. It was the first time McGarry
showed a real, enthusiastic ambition towards the campaign.
laugh broke his though. "Josh can your friends spell? 'Bartel'?"
laughed along with him. "I like this one." It was a simple transparent American
flag with the White House visible underneath it. It had both names written in
bright white and 'four more years' added on the bottom.
Josh could feel
his eyes roll about Leo's remark as Leo leaned over Jed's shoulder and looked at
the poster and then he looked at his dear old friend, a crooked grin on his
face. "I believe we have found our design."
Jed grinned and clapped
his shoulder. "Josh, my man, print this off. Check with CJ to see how many
copies we need of everything and we'll enlist in some aides to distribute them
throughout the country." Bartlet handed the poster to Josh, looking up into the
younger man's eyes. "Thank you, Josh."
It surprised Josh at how he felt
his chest swell up in pride under the satisfied look of the most powerful man in
the world. He gave him a genuine smile, "You're more than welcome, Sir."
Josh gathered the boxes and began to leave.
"By the way, " McGarry spoke
up. "Thanks Josh, it did help."
Josh smiled softly and set the boxes down
and walked over to Leo. "We are all right you know, you will do great
things. You have done great things and you will do more. There isn't
a man more suited for the job of Vice Presidency than you. Even when you
came and pulled me off of Hoynes campaign, telling me that he," he cocked his
head in the President's direction, "was the real thing, in the back of my mind
and heart, I knew you belonged in the office of the Vice President."
looked at the man he regarded as a son as he felt the tears well up in his
eyes. He reached out and gave Josh a healthy hug before pulling back and
clearing his throat, turning his eyes elsewhere. "Go check with
Josh nodded and smiled softly as he left. The President
watched the Deputy Chief of Staff leave and smiled softly as he put a hand on
Leo's shoulder, his voice soft, "Leo, I may have to steal him for my chief of
It wasn't a coincidence that not long
after McGarry's acceptance to the ticket that the polls began to climb in favor
of Bartlet. McGarry's acceptance to the Democratic party was smoother than
the Senior Staff could've hoped for, and the acceptance from the country was
even more gasifying. Now all they had to do was wait. The campaign was over
with, and all their hard work would be graded in the next few hours as they
waited for the results to pour in.
They were stationed in the residence,
waiting. The president was making a few last calls in his study with Leo as the
Senior Staff was pilled in the living room, voices chattering into and over cell
phones. Josh had an open line to Joey Lucas and Kenny Thurmond, giving
them both the orders to call if anything happened out of their
favor. Security was high as assistants wandered in and about the
room passing out information to the Senior Staff. Then the clock wound down and
nothing could be done. Nothing but wait and listen. Most of the assistants have
left to watch the results in the West Wing, while the Senior Staff grabbed a
seat in anticipation.
In a corner of the room, Leo shushed Margaret out
of the room, telling her the sight of her made him nervous. Margaret only
smiled softly, knowing full well that it wasn't the sight of her that made him
nervous, but the reality of what was soon to happen finally settling in.
He sat nervously in his chair as his knee bounced, a nervous tick that he had
never before noticed, but found it was soon starting to become annoying, trying
his hardest to stop it, but failing miserably.
Jed watched him from
across the room and made his way over, smiling at everyone who was in his way.
He sat down next to him, handing him a non-alcoholic beverage, his voice soft,
"Leo, you need to calm down."
Leo gratefully took the drink, taking a
healthy swig of it, and then looked at him, "You're not nervous?"
way past that. I'm in denial that this is happening again. It's the only way I
can get through this." Jed smiled.
"Josh! Sit down now!" CJ called from
the couch. "I can't see the TV."
The President and Leo's attention
quickly shifted to the large screened TV that was stationed in the middle of the
room, both rising to their feet as the familiar music and graphics of breaking
Josh quickly sat down, throwing CJ a glare. Toby
jumped up and turned the TV up loud enough for everyone to hear as Ashleigh
Banfield sat at the anchor desk of MSNBC news.
Ashleigh adjusted her
famed glasses and looked into the camera. "Good evening, Ladies and
Gentlemen. The polls have been closed throughout the country for roughly four
hours now. Please understand that isn't nearly enough time to count all
the votes in every district in the country, but the votes we have counted,
Bartlet/McGarry: 305,207 votes
Ritchie of Florida: 27,330 votes.
We will keep you updated
throughout the night."
The room erupted in cheers as Jed and Leo both
jumped at the results, embracing each other as the news was heard.
Jed turned to his wife pulling her into a kiss. "Honey I love
"I love you too. I have to admit, I think you and Leo will do a
good job." Abbey smiled. She gave him another kiss.
On the other
side of the room, the staff along with Leo, were busy literally dancing with
joy. Bartlet laughed. "Yep honey, there the greatest people you could hope to
Josh grins as he takes a CD out of his pocket and puts it on,
within seconds The Doobey Brothers are playing. "Now this is a real
Toby groans as he refills his drink, muttering, "Kill me
"No Toby not until you right the President's and Leo's acceptance
speech." Josh remarked with a smirk.
"Yeah Toby, you don't want to leave
me with all the work." Sam joked.
Several hours later, after many calls
to and from Joey Lucas throughout the night, and even a stunning call wishing
good luck from John Hoynes, CJ's voice could be heard blasting through the
room. "Sshhhhh. There about to announce some more polls."
turns the TV up again so they can hear Rick Sanchez on the news. "This is
Rick Sanchez for MSNBC news, reporting live from Los Angeles, California, where
we are just getting word that the incumbent, President Bartlet and new Vice
Presidential Candidate Leo Thomas McGarry, are still dominating the polls
carrying well over 700,000 of the votes while Governor Ritchie of Florida owns a
over 200,000. We'll keep you updated through the
"Who the hell are these people?? Rick Sanchez?
Ashleigh Banfield? John Elliott? Alex Witt? Get me some
familiar faces. I want to see Dan Rather, Connie Chung, Tom Brokaw, Peter
Jennings." Leo shouted at an aide.
The aide cowered under his loud
voice, stammering, "I'm sorry, Sir, this is MSNBC, it's. . ."
care what channel this is, put it on NBC or CNN or something."
nodded and quickly did as he was told as Leo looked about the room sucking in
another deep breath, softly, "I can't believe this is really going to happen."
Leo mumbled in disbelief, as he made his way towards the First Lady. "I mean
this is really happening. Now."
"Relax Leo you're going to do an
excellent job." Abbey gave him a reassuring hug.
"Yeah Leo, you're going
to do an awesome job." Sam added.
The President, who had remained quiet
up until this moment, cleared his throat.
"Ahh...You to sir." Sam added
The President rolled his eyes. "Gee, Sam, you really think
so? I mean, I'm not all that sure."
Abbey rolled her eyes at her
husband's remark. "Oh put a sock in it, Jethro."
"I can't help it
if they didn't recognize they are in the presence of greatness." Jed
"No we were quite aware Leo was in the room." Toby
"I can fire you." Jed warned.
"Not before I write your
speech you won't." Toby countered.
"Damn. Then I guess I'll have to keep
you." Jed remarked.
Everyone laughed softly. Ginger, in a rare
moment of orneriness, casually sipped her wine. "Oh I don't know, I think
it would be a little comical to see the President write his own acceptance
speech. I would like to count all of the Notre Dame
Everyone stopped and looked at her in surprise and Ginger
blushed as red as her wine, which Toby reached over and took out of her hand and
set aside and looked at his assistant, a twinkle of amusement in his eyes.
"I think you've had enough of that, don't you?" Ginger nodded
Sam laughed softly and looked around, "Where's CJ?"
spoke from behind Sam, causing him to jump, "Right here."
softly, "You should wear a bell around your neck."
Leo laughed hard from
across the room, "That's what I've been telling her!"
The Press Secretary
just rolled her eyes and looked at Sam, "What do you want, Sammy
"Numbers. Where were you anyway?"
CJ glared at him,
her voice laced in annoyance, "I was in the bathroom, Sam, and by the way, did
you know that toilets up here don't swirl but rather just suck it straight down
like an airplane?" CJ asked Sam as she walked back into the room.
didn't care to know, but now that I do that's just gross that you watched
it." Sam replied.
"Haha very funny. Anybody here thought to pay attention
to the news? Cause I hear there's an election happening the same night as this
party." CJ took her seat next to Josh.
Josh looked at CJ, teasingly, "You
watched your. . ." he made a gesture with his hand, "go down the toilet? And you
wonder why you can't get a man."
Donna reached over and smacked him
upside the head as Toby picked his cellphone up and dialed a number. After
having a short conversation, he hung up and let out a shrill whistle to get
attention. "Just so everyone knows. . . We are still kicking
"Excellent." Jed clasped his hands together. He slowly began to
walk around the room.
"So we are still in the lead?" CJ
"Yeah." Toby answered.
"Not just in California though."
"No, that's the present total."
"How about electoral
votes?" Sam asked.
"No word yet. I don't think they've gotten that far."
"Mr. President what are you doing?" Leo asked next,
interrupting the conversation.
"Huh?" The president stopped. "Oh,
"You finally nervous?" Leo asked.
"Oh God yeah." He
Abbey gazed at her husband a few minutes and noticed
his hands shaking a little, she walked over and took his hand in hers and kissed
it softly and led him out the room for a moment and looked at him, her voice
soft, "Try not to get too nervous, Jed. Nervousness brings on stress and
we both know what stress leads to. Tonight would not be a good night to
have an attack. Just relax and enjoy the night, sweetie. You've got
this thing in the bag."
"I know, but I'm getting that feeling again. The
one I haven't gotten since the first year in office. I want to leave her having
done something, and I may get the chance yet, but I don't want to blow it. Not
to mention I'm nervous as hell for Leo. He's never done this before, I don't
want him to be let down." Jed admitted.
"Jed, you have accomplished a
hell of a lot in four years. You got Mendoza on the bench, we aren't
fighting a war, the economy is strong, you and your staff have passed countless
bills, don't sell yourself short honey, and remember that Leo wouldn't have done
this if he didn't think he couldn't do it."
Donna is sent out by Josh to
get the President and First Lady, she timidly sticks her head out, her voice
soft, "Excuse me, Sir, Ma'am, but Josh said the final numbers are coming in
Abbey smiled at Donna. "Thank you, Donna, we'll be in in a
Donna nodded and smiled softly and went back in while Abbey
looked at her husband fondly and reached for his hand. "Come on.
Let's go watch."
"They're coming. They're coming." Josh was practically
jumping up and down.
"Don't break the President's furniture Josh." Sam
said. "Take a seat."
Leo was standing near the back of the group, waiting
anxiously. Each time he exhaled it seemed to shake his entire body, he'd never
been so nervous. Jed spotted him and stood next to him putting a hand on his
"Everybody shut up!" Toby yelled.
Elizabeth, Annie and Mallory sneak in unnoticed, each finding a way to be here
for her father's special night.
Abbey squeezes both Jed and Leo's hands
as Dan Rather looks up into the camera. "Good evening. At this time,
we are prepared to call the election to incumbent President Josiah Bartlet and
his new Vice President, Leo Thomas McGarry. This was an incredible feat
for the President and Vice President Elect, and all of us here at CBS news wish
them both the best of luck. We can only imagine the happiness that is
exploding at the Bartlet Headquarters."
Everyone jumped up and down
screaming and Mallory took that opportunity to go to her father and hug him
"Group hug!!!!!" Josh screamed as Sam, CJ, Donna, Ginger, the
Bartlet girls and even Toby joined in. There screaming was loud enough to bring
in the Secret Service to a higher alert of readiness. They broke up giving each
other individual hugs.
Josh and CJ stopped as they watched the scene
unfold in front of them. The President and Leo were embracing each other, and
the tears were evident as they streamed down their faces. "Never made you
prouder." Josh said softly.
"I can only imagine what good things will
come for this country from such great minds." CJ replied.
Josh and CJ
didn't even notice the entire room joined them. Jed gave Leo one more smack on
the shoulder before the both stopped to look at the staff as they exploded with
"Oh daddy I'm so proud of you." Zoey gave her dad a hug. "You to
Jed hugged his youngest daughter tight and kissed her
cheek. "Sweetheart, you being here means a lot to us." He
reluctantly let go of her as Leo hugged her and kissed her other
Hugs, kisses and a lot of laughter was passed around that
night. Everyone knew only good would come from the Bartlet/McGarry
Administration and everyone was eager to start another four years serving their
President, while secretly grooming the Vice President for his own Presidency
four years down the road.
As the night wore on, the energy levels started
to slowly decrease and one by one, everyone started to trickle home so they
could unwind and relax and try to sleep that night, even though they knew sleep
would be lost to them all.
In the privacy of their bedroom, deep into the
night, Jed looked over at his wife in bed and smiled softly as he took her hand
and brought it to his lips, planting a soft kiss on her wedding band, looking
deep into her eyes, "Last night, tonight, four years from now and beyond. . .
always be my first lady." He kissed her softly as she reached
over and turned the light off, enshrouding the room in darkness as
President and First Lady began their own private