Title: Man Of Steal.
Author: Jess Another Unofficial
War at Home. Bartlets Third State of the Union
Disclaimer: The Characters
belong to the West Wing and it’s creators. Not copyright
intended. This is non-profit and for pure enjoyment.
Rated: Probably mature a
few made words but nothing not said at home. Serious discussions.
When Leo finally falls Jed, Abbey and the Staff help him back up.
“MARGARET!” Leo bellowed from the inside of his office. It was two
o’clock in the morning and without realizing it he yelled again for his
assistance, “MARGARET!” Once again upset about the absence of his red-headed
assistance bouncing into the office asking, ‘what?’ he got up to see where she
was. He walked into the outer office and was disturbed by the sight in front of
him he glanced around to see that no one at all was even in the building. He
looked up at the clock and sighed, “That would explain it, now wouldn’t it?” He
muttered to himself and walked back into his office.
He sat down at
his disk and pick-up the paper he had been working on. The paper was on the
latest results of the State of the Union, although they weren’t bad, the results
weren’t what they were hoping for. He was on his third page of polling numbers
and looked down at the pile of five more. He had read the same line over four
times without even realizing it and after becoming easily distracted he put the
paper down, pulled his glasses off and rubbed his eyes. Abbey had told him many
times to stop this habit saying ‘it scratches your eyes,’ but he always ignored
it because it felt good when his eyes were tired and sore from reading such
He shook his head and lifted his hand, he pulled away
his sleeve to dread what he hoped wasn’t true, it was two thirty in the morning,
he was tired and there wasn’t a whole lot of time for him to sleep left. He look
up from his desk at his couch ‘ah what the hell?’ and wandered over. He took his
tailored suit coat off and hung it over his chair, he pulled at his tie and
after a few seconds finally loosened it enough to slip it over his head and toss
on the chair along with his coat. He went to his closet and pulled out a
blanket. He shook it several times because it had been months since it had last
been used. He sat down on the couch, pulled his shoes off with tired shaking
fingers, laid down and pulled the blanket up around his chin. He closed his eyes
and fell instantly asleep which was rare for him.
~ The Next Morning ~
“Leo. Leo wake up. Leo?”
“Oh geez Margaret let me sleep would
ya?” He turned over on to his side facing away from her.
“I would since
you don’t very often, but you have a meeting with the President in twenty
minutes and I don’t think he would like if I told him not to bother you because
you were sleeping.”
“Yeah I don’t think he would too.” He grunted as he
pushed aside the blanket to get up. “Can you get me a cup of coffee? I’ll be up
in a few minutes.”
“Sure no problem.” She pulled a roll of papers out
from under her arms and handed them to her. “It’s the ‘Times’ I know how you
like to do the crossword in the morning.” She turned and walked away.
glanced at the roll of papers and started to open them. He made it to the
crossword before he slowly fell onto his side and closed his eyes. He laid there
for a few minutes before he awoke to the sound of foot steps. He quickly
scrambled to his feet and fixed his hair with his hands. The steps were just in
the outer office when he grabbed his tie and slipped it over his head and pulled
Margaret appeared in the doorway. She stood there for a second
and looked at him. There was something about him, but she didn’t quite know what
it was, he didn’t seem right, he didn’t seem like Leo. She shrugged, “Here’s
your coffee.” She turned and left, “meeting in five minutes, Oval Office.” She
yelled from the reception area.
“Shit,” he muttered as he searched
through the two thousand pieces of paper for the right one. He picked up about
four or five neatly shuffled them and put them into a folder. He took a quick
glance at his watch and opened the joining doors to the Oval Office.
was greeted by a unusually happy president, “Gee Leo you look like crap.” He
chuckled as he pointed to the couch for Leo to sit.
“Well sir, if I
didn’t feel like it I would resent that.” He sat down, opened the folders. He
carefully spread the papers out. “Well sir these are the results of the State of
The Union. All in all you didn’t do to bad, but it wasn’t what we wanted. Joey
Lucas suggests we ‘dial it up’ because we haven’t got our message out clear
enough and people
are sitting on the fence. Frankly sir I agree, don’t get me
wrong, we have dida great job so far, but not enough to change the minds of the
Great American Public. They still want guns now, not five days later. They seem
to think that guns will protect them from others who already have guns if they
can get them now instead of five days later.”
“I guess they forgot about
the whole assassination attempt that unfolded a few months back which I and Josh
were shot and don’t forget the many lives put in danger. How can people not see
that there is a problem when my and I staff are shot at because my daughter is
involved in a interracial relationship? Do they not see that there is a problem
when someone needs a gun this very second? They all seen the effects of being
shoot at, they seen us. Many of us I don’t think have completely healed.” The
President was on his feet pacing.
“I know which is exactly the reason
why we need to get this message out. So that we are the last this will happen
to. We are close to passing this bill and we will. It will just take time and
Bartlet put his head down. He sat like that, perfectly
still, for a few minutes before looking up at Leo. “I hope your right Leo.” He
sighed, “Do me a favour would ya?”
“Yes sir.” Leo gathered his papers, put them in his folder. He
looked up and smiled at the president as he turned and walked out.
“Yes sir?” He called from the doorway.
“Get some sleep.
You look like something the dog dragged in.”
“Whatever.” He laughed and
closed the door behind him.
He sat back in his chair and pulled out a
few pieces of paper. “Margaret?” He put the pieces of paper in front of him and
grabbed a pen.
He assistant came bouncing in, “What?” Leo chuckled for a
second as he though back to the previous night.
“Where’s that coffee I
asked for?” She started to leave. “Get Josh in here would you?” He started to
write some names down on the paper. Next to each name he wrote a
and some point form notes.
Josh appeared in the doorway, “You rang?”
“What’s up?” He took Leo seriously when he realized
he didn’t look up or crack a smile when he came in.
“I need you to go
see these senators,” he handed him the paper. “You do whatever it is we need to
get these five senators to say yes. The president wants this bill Josh, and you
“Yeah. Okay I will meet with them for lunch over the next
few days. I will do what I can and work the Lyman magic on them.” Leo began to
open his mouth to
protest but Josh stopped. “Don’t worry I want this bill
too, I’m not going to screw around.” Leo nodded and put his glasses back on.
Josh turned on his heels to leave and stopped for a second as if he
wanted to say something but decided against it and continued.
my coffee?” He glanced at his clock it was only 10:00 and he was tired. Margaret
appeared and set his coffee down on his desk, walked out and closed the door.
Leo took a drink of his coffee. It felt so good going down. He stopped and
thought for a while then continued on with his work.
It had been quite a
bit later when Margaret appeared in the doorway with a tray of food. On it was a
tuna sandwich and some orange juice. She set it down on the table and looked at
him. He chuckled, “Margaret what the hell are you doing?”
something to eat.”
“What am I 5 years old.”
“No your 55, you
haven’t eaten all day, you look tired, you’ve been stressed, and
like crap. So eat.”
“All right.” He set the paper he had been working on
and sat down in front of the table. He picked up the sandwich and took a couple
of bites. She was standing there watching him. “Don’t you have work to do?” She
turned and left. He ate a few more bites of his sandwich and decided to lay down
for a second.
~ Oval Office ~
3 Hours Later
“What’s next?” President Bartlet got up and walked
around to his desk. He took his glasses off and put his papers away. He cleaned
up his desk a bit as Charlie walked up in front of him.
“You have a
meeting with Mr. McGarry. Then with Toby.”
“Oh,” he thought for a second and looked at his desk then back up.
“In his office sir. Do you want me to go..”
“No, no, no, that’s fine I will go see what’s keeping our grouchy
friend.” He laughed at the smile that grew across Charlie’s face.
opened the joining doors and was surprised by the scene that had awaited him. He
looked around the room, the door leading to Margaret was obviously locked, the
sandwich on the table only half eaten and papers scattered all across the desk.
Leo was sitting on the couch with his held tilted back leaning on the back of
the couch, his arms laid out on his sides, his feet slightly apart and several
folders on the ground which had obviously fell out of his hands. Jed Bartlet
slowly walked towards his Chief of Staff careful not to startle him. He squatted
down next to the couch and reached him arm somewhat hesitantly onto Leo’s
shoulder. He took hold of the shoulder tightly,
“Leo? Leo wake up. Come on
Leo.” He didn’t get much more than a grumble. He reached his hand up to Leo’s
forehead. He was definitely warm. He got up and walked over to his desk to call
Toby entered the Oval Office and walked into the open doors
leading to Leo’s office. “Sir what’s going on? You told me to meet you in your
office at 7:30.” He looked
over a Leo with alarm. “Jesus. What the hell’s
wrong?” He walked over to Leo and bent down in front of him to get a good look
“I don’t know Toby. I just called Abbey she should be here any
second.” He went over to the joining doors to his office as Abbey appeared in
his office. He waved her over.
“Where is he?”
“On the couch.”
She entered the room to see Toby standing next to Leo. She was shocked
at first to see Leo in such a state. She crouched down in front of him. “Leo
honey wake up.” There wasn’t an answer his eyes just flickered. She put her hand
on his knee and reached up to brush his hair aside. “He’s warm.” She readjusted
herself. “Leo honey you
have to get up.” She put her hand in his, “Leo if you
can hear me close your fist.”
Jed and Toby both waited in anticipation
for his hand to close. Slowly but controlled his hand became closed around hers.
“Leo can you try and open your eyes.” They slightly flickered. “Come on
Leo you can do better than that. I want to see those beautiful eyes.”
slowly with much effort opened them. Jed and Toby closed in a little to get a
good look at him. Toby was beginning to get worried and Jed was far past
worried. He was about to say something but Abbey’s hand came up in protest.
She turned her attention back to Leo. “Leo do you know where you are?”
He slowly nodded.
“Can you tell me where?”
opened a little wider and surveyed the room. “Work?” He closed them again.
“Abbey what the hell is wrong?” Jed was growing antsy.
on.” She did a quick analysis and turned towards Toby and Jed. “I think he has
the flu, that with the added stress and running himself ragged, he’s to the
point his body won’t function right. He needs to rest for a few days. I want to
take him to the residence with us, I want to watch him for a few
Jed nodded. “Okay we’ll help him to the residence. We’ll take the
back way. Toby if anyone asks just tell them the truth this isn’t a big deal we
don’t need to lie about it.”
They both walked over
to Leo. Abbey leaned over him. “Leo honey open your eyes.” She waited for him to
look at her. “I know your tired so Jed and Toby are going to help you up to the
residence to sleep. okay?”
He’s mouth opened and although it wasn’t
audible it was a ‘yes.’
“Jed and Toby are going to grab your arms to
help you stand. Is that okay?”
He was trying desperately to keep his
eyes open, ‘yes’ came the slight whisper.
Jed grabbed his right arm and
Toby his left and on the count of three they managed to get him standing. He
clearly sagged between them. Toby looked at him and helped him steady, “You
ready Leo?” he nodded. They walked through the Oval Office and out the doors to
Halfway there Leo’s legs gave out and all three of them
almost fell to the ground. Jed and Toby set him into a sitting position on the
ground. Abbey rushed over to check on Leo. She softly chuckled a bit, “Leo you
can’t fall asleep yet you have to get up.” He opened his eyes, and they were
pleading for him to rest. She stood and went to get a few agents to help.
A few minutes later he was resting in one of the spare bedrooms. Abbey
checked him over, while Toby and Jed sat in the living room. She took his coat
and tie off to do a
better examination. After she had confirmed what she
thought she went to go see her husband and Toby.
Toby was a little
frightened. Something’s wrong with Leo, he is sitting with the president in the
residence who is clearly worried and he doesn’t know what to say to make him
fell any better. Unsure of how to behave in such a situation he is happy to see
She stands in front of them. Toby stands in her presence
and she waves her hand for him to sit. “He'll be fine. I gave him something to
get the fever down and to let him sleep.”
The president looks up
doubting her. “He sure as hell didn’t look fine to me.”
“Your right he
isn’t fine right now.” She sighed, “What I’m trying to say is he will be fine
with a few days rest. The past few weeks have caught up with him. The hostage
situation. the state of the union, the gun control bill, and the thoughts of
re-election. Included with that list is the beginning of the flu, which luckliy
I caught before he need hospital stay. I will be here for a few weeks and you
guys are going to promise to let him rest for a week I will let him stay here.”
“Abbey,” Toby finally spoke up. “I, um... When can we, ah.. Can we see
him?” He wanted to make sure Leo was fine.
“Not right now. It’s probably
best that you tell the staff. You guys can come see him tomorrow afternoon, when
he can keep his eyes open and speak. Until then let him sleep.”
I’m going to go back to the West Wing and let the staff aware of the situation
before they go home. Goodnight Mr. President, Mrs. Bartlet.” He turned and left.
Abbey watched as Toby left and closed the door behind him. She took a
seat next to her husband on the couch. She put her cool hand under his shirt on
his back. He sat there with his head down. “He’s fine Jed.”
have pushed him so hard to get that bill to pass. I want it bad though, I told
him to do whatever he can to get that bill signed. He came into the office this
morning looking tired as hell, he looked like shit. I should’ve told him to go
“It’s okay Jed he understands. If he didn’t, he would’ve went
home. He wants that bill past as bad as anyone does who has been a victim of a
A tear slowly slid down his check. “I was scared as hell a
few months ago. I have never been so scared in my life not when I was diagnosed,
when Leo went to war or when I was inaugurated. I was scared for Zoey, Charlie,
Leo, Josh, CJ, Sam, Toby and every other person there. I seen everyone fall to
the ground in front of me. I wanted to so badly go and help them but I couldn’t,
there was nothing I could do but watch. I was scared as hell then and I’m as
scared as hell now.”
“Honey I told you Leo is going to be fine.”
“It’s not that. It’s how the public realizes our gun control problem and
doesn’t want to help. I’m scared for all those people who have died from guns,
who are going to die from guns before we pass this bill and those people who are
going to die there after if we don’t pass this bill. I sincerely hope that this
bill will help.” He put his head down. He didn’t want his wife to see him cry.
Abbey sat with him. She knew he was crying his whole body was shaking.
She pulled him down into her and they laid there on the couch until his body
finally stopped quivering and he had fallen asleep.
She sat with him for
awhile before slowly sliding herself from underneath him and covered him with a
blanket. She slipped out of the room to check on Leo. It had been a few hours
since they had got him to the residence. She slowly opened the door. He was
still sleeping. She came in closer to get a good look at him. He was very quite
his breathing was deep a slow, which was good. She put her hand across his
forehead, he moved a bit under her touch. He was only a bit warm. He opened his
eyes a crack. She bent down and whispered quietly. “Hey there Leo. You
comfortable?” He shook his head. “No? What’s wrong?”
“I don’t feel good
and I feel hot.” He spook so soft it was just audible.
“Well that’s what
happens when you don’t get enough sleep. You wore yourself out Leo and made
yourself sick. If you want I can help you out of your clothes?”
“For someone who always has an opinion is being very quit.” He
didn’t answer her. “I’ll be right back. I’m going to go get some clothes from
Jed for you.”
She left and returned a few minutes later with a white
shirt and flannel pants. “This is all I can find that will fit you. I can’t
dress you myself so your going to have to help.” She grabbed hold of his hands
and pulled him up into a sitting position. She carefully unbuttoned his shirt,
took it off and put on the white T-shirt. She swung his feet over the edge of
the bed. “Okay Leo I got your shirt on. Do you want to put the pants on your
self?” She chuckled a bit. “Or do you want me to help?”
He slowly stood
up and began to undo his pants. It was a good thing he decided to wear boxers
yesterday. He sat back down and pulled his feet out, then put the flannel pants
on. He stood up once more to pull the pants all the way up. He sat down and
Abbey helped him under the covers.
“You know your amazing Leo. You did
that whole thing with your eyes closed. No wonder you can run a country.” She
went into the bathroom to retrieve some aspirin
and water. “Take this it will
help the fever and let you sleep.”
He took it gratefully. “Thanks Abbey.
For..um, everything.” He laid back down. “Where’s Jed?”
“He’s sleeping in
the living room. He’s was worried about you, and so was everyone else. I guess
your not the man of steal you thought. He was scared”
“I know you are.” She got up to leave.
“Abbey tell Jed thanks
and I love you guys.”
She smiled, “Okay” and left. She could feel the
lump in her throat grow until the tears were finally visible.
~ The Next
“So you feeling better?” He closed the door behind him and
walked up to his friend.
Leo turned his head. “Yeah. I want to thank you
for last night. What you and Abbey did was...well...I love you guys.”
Jed smiled. “Don’t forget Toby. He helped carry you up here.”
“Toby help you carry me. Geez I must’ve been out.” He turned his head to
look out the window. “Toby...he touched me. No offense to him but I can’t see
him doing such a thing.”
“Well if you were able to keep your eyes open
for more than two seconds yesterday you would’ve.” He walked up to the bed and
sat down on the edge. “You should tell me when your tired Leo. Your not 20
anymore you have to slow down. You scared the hell out of everyone yesterday.”
“I’m sorry too.”’
Leo chuckled, “Your not
going to fire me are you?”
“I was thinking about it but here’s the
deal.” Jed gave him his presidential smile. “Your going to stay here today and
tomorrow. Your not going to work on Sundays. Your going to come in at 7:30 like
everyone else and leave and go home every night like everyone else.”
have to stay here? With you? for two more days?”
“You bet your tired
little ass. Look at the bright side your going to be the first person in history
to have the President of the United States and The First Lady cater to them.” He
got up and headed for the door. “I have staff. Abbey should be here in a bit.
There are also four kids downstairs that are dying to see you. They will be here
at four o’clock so wear your best PJ’s”
“See ya later Jed. Thanks.”
“Anytime, but not too soon.” He shut the door behind him.
Outside the Residence ~
They were all gathered outside the
main door to the residence. Sam was standing next to the door with CJ next to
him. Toby was sitting in a chair. While Josh was pacing back and fourth.
“You know your going to wear a hole in the presidential carpet.” CJ
stated while Josh stopped and looked up.
“What?” CJ looked back at him.
“Knock on the door.”
She stood there in disbelief. “You want me to knock on the presidents
“Yeah what’s so strange about that?” Josh
Toby finally spoke up. “Josh sit down. Sam knock.”
not...” Sam started.
The door opened. “Don’t worry you don’t have to.
Guys come on in.” The president gestured them into the room. He helped CJ out of
her coat. “You guys can put your coats in the closet. Calm down a bit would you,
it’s not like you haven’t been in the same room with me before.”
them up to the family room. Leo was watching ‘Who line is it anyway?” and eating
popcorn. They walked in the door behind him. CJ burst out laughing.
“I can’t believe what I’m seeing.”
Josh stepped in, “I think she is referring to the White House Chief of
Staff watching a comedy and eating popcorn. Having fun there boss?”
“Josh shut up would you.”
“Now that’s the guy I know.” Sam
laughed at him.
“Okay kids calm down Leo needs rest. Lets not get the
mad man going.” Jed sat down on one of the chairs. “Now like I said no work and
all play. Now you guys think I’m some boring geek, but I insist I’m not.”
Toby mumbled loud enough for everyone to hear “We wouldn’t say that
about you sir.”
“I’ll bet. Anyway I got a movie called ‘The American
President.’ I also took it upon myself to order pizza. I hope everyone likes
supreme. I also got for the luxury of our beer drinkers Corona beer with the
little limes. For you Leo I got Gingerale helps with the fever. Please have a
~ 2hrs and a half later ~
Leo was spread out on the couch.
The President was laying on the floor on his back. CJ was laying next to him she
had a pillow jammed into his side with her head on it. Toby sat on the chair
next to Leo with his coat, tie and shoes off and his feet on the table. Josh sat
on the floor with his back up against the couch that Leo was occupying. Sam was
also on the floor sitting cross legged with a beer between his legs. The coffee
table had been pushed aside and was covered in pizza boxes and empty beer
Jed was the first to speak, “You know I’m a much better
president than president Marshall. I knew about my rose garden.”
until you were playing football with Zoey and fell into the bushes.” Everyone
chuckled at Leo’s remark remembering Abbey pulling thorns out of the President.
“I’m also a better Chief of Staff. This guy sucks.”
“Hey I like him. He
handsome and he’s cool.” The president remarked.
“Did you just give the President sass?” Jed
Toby grumbled “Will you kids be quiet?”
“I hope that was
said with all due respect of me Toby. Cause I can have you transferred to
“Can I have his desk?” Sam asked.
Toby had about
enough, “Everyone quit and no Sam you cannot have my desk.”
began to role. “That was so sweet.” CJ had tears coming out of her eyes.
“Hey I can be a sweet president.” Jed looked down at CJ, who had
made herself comfortable with a pillow jammed up against him.
up at him, “I know.”
They all sat there together for a few moments in
silence. It had been along time since they had did such a casual thing with the
President. The screen turned white as the film ended. Toby was the first to
speak, “Mr President thanks for the evening it was very enjoyable and you’ve
proven you are not the geek everyone thinks you are.” He got up and grabbed his
coat, tie and shoes.
“Thanks Toby.” The president moved slowly to warn
CJ he was going to get up. She moved the pillow away so he could stand.
Sam and Josh gathered their things. The President lead them to the door.
He opened the closet and handed them there coats. He helped CJ into her coat.
“Is Leo sleeping?” Josh asked as he put his shoes on.
going to let him sleep. I want to thank you guys for coming. He needs sometime
to have fun with you guys. He doesn’t say it a lot and neither do I but we love
you guys and we appreciate everything you do for us.”
President.” Toby reached out his hand and shook the Presidents. Sam and Josh
followed suit and thanked him.
CJ bent down and kissed him on the cheek,
“Thanks very much Mr. President.” She walked out the door behind the rest of the
Josh was halfway down the hall when he turned around. “At the
Pleasure of the President and his Chief of Staff.” He waved his hand and rounded
the corner after everyone else.
President Bartlet smiled and returned to
the family room to check on Leo.
~ Oval Office ~
“So you think we have it Leo?”
“I think so sir. Josh has
to convince one more person and we have the bill. We were working on it all
night and we might have done it.”
“Yes. In years to come when children
are siting in there history class their teachers will be talking about today and
how the Bartlet administration passed the Gun Control Bill.”
Thanks Mr. President.” Leo gathered up his papers and left.
Bartlet walked around to his desk. “Charlie!” He sat down and put his glasses
on. Charlie walked in, “What’s Next?”
“Well sir, you have a bill here
for $150 for the carpet that needed to be cleaned because you spilt beer on it.
You have a meeting with Vice President Hoynes at noon. Your supposed to order
flowers for Abbey.”
He picked up his notebook and
read what it said, “For all that she did for Leo and.....” Charlie squirmed.
“You also have to sign these letters for all the
grade school students that wrote an essay into the White House.” He sat the
stack down on the desk.
Charlie walked out. The President picked up the pen and
began to read the note that he was signing. He was in a happy mood the Gun Bill
had a good chance of passing. He was thinking about what Leo said. He stopped
and replayed the conversation in his head, ‘we were working on it all night.’
Damnit he should’ve went home.
He walked over to the joining doors. He
walked into Leo’s office and smiled. The lights were off and he was sleeping on
the couch with a blanket on him. There was a little sign on the table that said,
‘leave me alone I’m tired, grouchy, and I need to sleep.’ With that he turned
and walked out.