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My love for the President's daughter

Chapter Text

Diana was walking with her father and Leo outside on the portico towards the Oval Office discussing what is being done to retaliate in response to Captain Tolliver's plane being shot down.

"This is crap. It's been three days. This is amateur hour," Bartlet voiced.

"Cashman and Berryhill have to revise the response scenario so that they speak to State…" Leo tried to tell him.

"Cashman and Berryhill are dragging their feet," He interrupted, "Cashman and Berryhill are trying to make me look like a clown. And State should concern itself with what I damn well tell 'em to be concerned with!"

"I don't think it works like that, sir," Diana told him as she opens the door to the outer oval office.

"So I've discovered," Bartlet said.

"Good morning Mr. President," Nancy greeted.

"Good morning."

"Moreover you know that's not the way it works. The Chiefs are working as swiftly as they can…" Leo told him as they enter the Oval Office. Mrs. Landingham is already there, "...even though, frankly, time isn't a factor."

"Good morning Mr. President," She greets Bartlet as she hands him a paper.

"Good morning."

"And not to pile on, but Cashmen and Berryhill have a point with respect to the Security Council," Leo continued.

"Uh, Mrs. Landingham, I can't seem to find my glasses anywhere. Can you please do whatever it is you do when I can't find my glasses?" Bartlet asked as he stood behind his desk.

"Certainly sir," She responded and then leaves the room.

Bartlet then continues his conversation with Leo and Diana, "It's been 72 hours, Leo, Diana. That's more than three days since they blew him out of the sky. And I'm tired of waiting dammit! This is candy ass! We are going to draw up a response scenario today, I'm going to give the order today, we're going to strike back today."

"I wish you wouldn't say 'him', Mr. President," Leo said.

"What?" Bartlet said, looking confused by what Leo meant.

"'Three days since they blew him out of the sky.' Of course, that's fine while it's just you and me sir, but is there with Fitzwallace and the Chiefs, I hope you say 'it' or 'the airplane' not 'him'," He clarified.

"You think I'm taking this personally," Bartlet said.

"I think-" Leo began before Bartlet interrupted him.

"Why the hell shouldn't I take this personally?" He asked.

"I think the fact that Morris was on the plane-"

"Americans were on that plane," Bartlet interrupted again.

"Mr. President…" Diana began to speak but was interrupted by her father.

"I met Morris four or five times, let's not do this like he was my son," He told them.

"Yes, sir," They responded.

"Mrs. Landingham!" Bartlet yelled.

"Mr. President, I still think we need to talk about…" Leo said before he was cut off.

"I can't find my glasses anywhere," Bartlet told Mrs. Landingham as she entered the office.

"Yes sir, we're on it," She responded.

"Thank you."

"The director is waiting," Mrs. Landingham informed him.

Bartlet tries to read his watch, "Uh, yeah, let's have him," Bartlet then asks Leo, "What did you want to say?"

"Nothing," He answered.

"You sure?"

"Yeah. I got staff," Leo answered again.

"All right, I'll see you in an hour," Bartlet said.

"Thank you, sir."

Bartlet holds up a file and tries to read it. Leo heads towards his office, while Diana stays with her father and tries not to laugh as he tries to read the file. For the rest of her time in the Oval Office, Diana wondered what was going on in her father's head with Captain Tolliver. She understood what happened to him and everyone else on that plane was a tragedy, but why was her father taking this so personally. A while later, Josh came into the Oval Office.

"Uh, sir, could I borrow Diana for a minute?" He asked.

"Sure, Josh," Bartlet answered before adding a little joke, "Just make sure you bring her back before 10 o'clock."

Josh looked at Bartlet, unsure how to respond before Diana says, "Come on, Josh."

The two then left the Oval office.

"So, what do you need me for?"

"DiLaguardia found someone for the personal aide and since the President is your dad, I figure your one of the best people around here to judge who should work that close with your dad," Josh answered, "Here's the kid's file."

"Thanks, I guess," She responded. Diana opened the file and skimmed through it as she and Josh walked to the Roosevelt room.

The two arrived at the Roosevelt room and saw Charles, standing and looking around the room.

"Hi, Charles," Diana greeted and shook hands with him, "I'm Diana."

"We're supposed to vet you," Josh said.

"I beg your pardon?" Charles asked.

"Vet you. We're supposed to vet you;" He repeated, "Investigate to discover... if there are problems. I'm Josh Lyman, deputy chief of staff. This is Diana Bartlet, agent of the secret service and daughter of President Bartlet."

"How are you?" Charles asked

"Good," Diana replied, "And you?"

"Good as well, Ma'am."

"Is it Charles?" Josh asked.

"Charlie," He insisted.

"Charlie, you can have a seat if you like," Josh said as he and Diana took a seat at the table.

"I don't mind standing," Charlie said.

Donna walks down the hall and Josh spots her, "Uh, Donna!"

Donna stands at the doorway, "What?"

"Never mind the salad, I'm not going to eat it anyway," Josh told her.


"But I would like a bottle of water as soon as humanly possible," He added.

"Fine," Donna said before she leaves the room.

"So... have a seat," Josh insisted and Charlie does. Josh then goes on to explain the job, "I'm sure you understand why we have to go through this. It's a very sensitive job. It's also a very hard job. Twenty-hour days aren't uncommon, long trips at the last minute, a lot of wait and hurry up. Moreover, there will be times when you'll have to make yourself invisible in plain sight, as well as an undeniable force in front of those who want more time than we're willing to give. Sometimes the people I'm talking about will be kings and prime ministers, you understand so far?"

"Uh, sir, I'm sorry but I think there's been some sort of mistake," Charlie said.

"Really?" He questioned.

"See, I came here, I filled out an application form…" Charlie began.

"Yeah, I have your paperwork," Josh said.

"Right, see, I came here, I was looking for a job as a messenger and I had an interview with Miss DiLaguardia and she told me to wait," Charlie explained.


"And then she told me to come here."

"Yes, that's because we asked Miss DiLaguardia to keep an eye out. She's recommending you for a different job," Josh clarified for Charlie.

"Sir, if you don't mind me asking-" He began.

"Your being interviewed for Personal aide to the President, and you don't have to call him 'Sir'. Nobody really does unless they can keep a straight face," Diana told him.

"I don't understand," Charlie responded.

"Personal aide to the President, traditionally a young guy, 20 to 25 years old, excels academically, strong in personal responsibility and discretion, presentable appearance," Josh listed the qualifications for the job.


"We obviously get a lot of candidates that meet those qualifications," Josh interrupted Charlie, "the rest is just gut instinct. Or you could bribe me."

"Uh, um, sir…" Charlie began.

"Seriously Charlie, we call the President 'Sir' everyone else is 'hey, when am I gonna get that thing I asked for?'" He stated.

Donna enters and hands Josh a bottle of water, "Water."

"See, that's not... see, there's been some kind of mistake." Charlie tried to tell Josh and Diana.

"I'll say," Josh said as he read the report before calling, " Donna!" She stops at the door.

"I should go," Charlie said as he stands.

"'Insuccessful'?" He questioned.

"What's the problem?" Donna asked.

"I don't think we're allowed to make up our own words," He told her.

"Oh, and like there's no chance it's a typo," She said.

"Change it, would you? Serious people are going to read that," Josh said. Donna takes the report and exits, "Charlie, you're standing again."

"Well, see, I came here for a messenger job," Charlie said.

"Why aren't you in college?" Josh asked.

"Well, uh…" He began.

"These transcripts. Your grades are better than mine," Josh stated.

"Mr. Lyman."

"Well, no, not really, but they're close."

"Everyone's grades are better than yours, Josh," Diana teased.

"It was an easy school," Charlie said.

"No, come one, I'm looking at recommendations from guidance counselors, I'm looking at ACT scores. You didn't want to go to college?" Josh asked him.

"Well, I have a little sister at home," He replied.

"Do you take care of her?" Diana asked.

"Yes, Ma'am," He answered.

"What about your parents? Are they gone?"

"My mom, she's a police officer. She was shot and killed on duty a few months ago. Five months ago," Charlie told them with a sad expression before he sits back down.

Josh has a bunch of paperwork in front of him, "Charlie, I've got some questions here for you from the Council's office, as well as the Department of the Treasury and the Office of Internal Security. These questions are all routine, there's no cause for concern. Ready?"

"Mr. Lyman-"

"'Have you ever tried to overthrow the government?'" Josh asked him.

"Is it because the messenger job is not available anymore?" Charlie asked Josh and Diana, "Because maybe if I came back at a different time."

"Charlie, this job is way better compared to the messenger job. It pays more, you don't have to ride around town on a bicycle and instead of being a messenger, you will become personal aide to the President," Diana told him.

"I see. So, maybe if I come-" Charlie began before he was cut off by Sam knocking on the door and walks into the Roosevelt Room.

"Hey, Sam. This is Sam Seaborn, he's deputy communications director. This is Charlie Young," Josh introduced them, "He's here for Ted's job."

"It's nice to meet you," Sam said. Charlie begins to stand up, but Sam says, "don't get up."

"Um, I was here for the messenger job," Charlie told Sam

"Debbie's got an eye for personnel," He commented.

"I've got a driver's license and my own bike so…" Charlie began telling Sam.

"I gotta ask you some more questions…" Josh interrupted him.

"Have you ever tried to overthrow the government?" Sam asked Charlie, interrupting Josh.

"No, sir," He answered.

"What the hell's been stopping you?" Sam questioned before he, Josh, and Diana laughed.

"Seriously Charlie, I have to ask you about your personal life," Josh said.

"No, you don't," Sam told him.

"Yes, I do," He insisted.


"Because I do."

"Boys, play nice or I'll kick you out of this room and continue the interview," Diana warned the two.

"Charlie, are you gonna come to work early, stay late, do your job efficiently and discretely?" Sam asked Charlie after a moment of silence.

"As I was saying to Mr. Lyman-" Charlie tried to speak before he was interrupted by Sam.

"Thank you. What more do you need to know?"

"Charlie, I wonder if you could tell me about your social life, your friends, what you like to do?" Josh asked.

"Josh, I cannot believe you," Sam said with annoyance in his tone.

"Well, uh, there's my sister Deena and uh, I'm not sure what you're asking," Charlie answered Josh, a little confused.

"He's asking if you're gay, Charlie, and I wouldn't answer the damn question," Sam told Charlie.

"All right, that's it, Sam, let's take a walk," Josh said as he gets up from his seat.

"You know what, feel free to sue our asses off. I'll represent you." He added.

"Let's go," Josh leads Sam out of the room and into the hallway.

Diana clears her throat before saying, "Well, now that little drama is over. Please, sit, Charlie."

Charlie does so, "Ma'am, there has been a mistake. I'm not here for the personal aide position."

"Charlie, you remind me a lot of myself when I first started as a secret service agent. I was unsure of my position and but I was going to make sure I proved myself worthy of where I am. Do you know how I got this job?" She asked him.

"I'm not quite sure, Ma'am," Charlie answered.

"A few years ago, I was an Army Medic. My father's predecessor was visiting the base I was stationed at when there was an attempt on his life, but I got him out of the way in time and I had also managed to injure myself. The injury ended my military career, but when I was recovering in a stateside hospital, the President visited me and said that I deserve a chance to prove myself and that when I was fully recovered, there would be a job in the secret service waiting for me. I took that chance, Charlie, and you are being given a chance too. Now, I'm going to ask you the same question I was asked all those years ago, are you ready to take the bull by the horns?"

Toby walks into the Roosevelt room with Josh and Sam standing at the door.

"It's happening," He told her.

Diana's eyes widen, "Uh, Charlie, I'm gonna have to leave, but I'll be right back."

Diana got out of her chair and followed Toby, Josh, and Sam to Leo's office.

After arriving at the door for Leo's office, Margaret opens the door for them and they see C.J. is already inside.

"He's right here," Margaret told them.

Sam, Diana, Josh, and Toby walk in.

"It's happening?" Sam asked C.J.

"Yeah, that's what I hear," She replied.

Leo walks into his office, "The order was given at 16:27, codename Pericles One. Four targets, all military. Two munitions dumps in Northern Rishan, Southian bridge, and an IHQ."

"What's the estimated time?" C.J. writes down what Leo is saying.

"About 6:30 Eastern, you can come to the Sit Room in twenty minutes for a weapons briefing," Leo answered C.J. "In the meantime, Toby, Sam, the President will go on network at nine, so start zeroing in," Toby, Sam, and C.J. start to leave," Hey guys, no phone calls in or out. C.J., nothing to the press until you get the high sign from me. No head starts."

Sam and Toby leave, while C.J. stays behind.

"They're gonna wonder what all the fuss is about," C.J. told Leo.

"Then let's not have any fuss," He responded.

"I could use a few minutes with the President at some point," She pleaded.

"You and me both," Leo said.

"I'm not kidding Leo, this is the…"

"You'll be there," He told her.

"This is the first…"

"You'll be there."

"He'll talk to me?" C.J asked.

"Yes," Leo replied.

C.J. leaves. Josh is standing at the back of the room with Diana.

"How you doing?" Josh asked Leo.

"Fine," He replied.

"Leo, Toby says he's snapping at the First…"

"Not now Josh. I mean, you're right, but not now," Leo interrupted Josh before calling, "Margaret!"

She walks in and hands Leo a file before walking out.

"Hey Leo, can I ask you a question?" Josh asked.


"I'm interviewing this kid for Ted Miller's job, and he's a real special kid. He's applied himself in school, I'm sure he'd be articulate if he wasn't terrified. He's postponing college until his sister gets out of high school," He informed Leo as he and Diana walked up to his desk.

"Where are the parents?" Leo inquired.

"His father's gone and his mother was a uniformed cop here in D.C." Diana answered.


"She was shot and killed in the line five months ago," She clarified.

"I really like him, Leo. I want to hire him," Josh said.

"What's the problem?" Leo asked.

"He's black," He answered.

"So's the Attorney General and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs," Leo said.

"They don't hold the door open for the President."

"What are you worried...?" He asked Josh.

"I'm not wild about the visual," Josh answered, "A young black man holding his overnight bag."

"Josh, I hold the door open for the President, it's an honor. Diana holds the door open for her own father. This is serious business, Josh. This isn't casting. We get the guy for the job and we take it from there," He told him.


"And I'm fairly sure I'm right about this."

"Yeah. Good," Josh looks at his watch, "Two hours?"

"Uh, a little less," Leo said.

Margaret walks into the office, "Chairman Fitzwallace."

"Send him in," Leo responded.

"We'll be fine," Josh said.


Fitzwallace walks into the room and comments, "Oh, things have moved since I was in this office last."

"How are you, Admiral?" Josh asked as he reaches to shake hands, "Josh Lyman."

"Josh, you don't have to introduce yourself, and I'm fine thanks," Fitzwallace said.

"Good to see you again, Admiral," Diana greeted and shook hands with Fitzwallace.

"Same to you Diana," He returned.

"Tough day," Josh said.

"It'll be a lot tougher on them than on us," Fitzwallace said.

"Good," Josh and Diana then leave Leo's office.

After returning to the Roosevelt room, Diana told Charlie that the Roosevelt room was going to be needed and that they would going to have to move. They continued the rest of the interview as they walked to personnel, where Charlie is filling out his employment. When that was done, Josh and Diana were giving Charlie the tour on their way to the Oval Office.

"This used to be the White House Council's office 'til Toby and the Communications staff conquered and pillaged. The Map Room. Roosevelt Room. Oval Office. Chief of Staff," Josh pointed to the rooms as he listed them," Diana is usually with her father protecting him and I guess the only thing left to do is to say hello to the President."

Charlie stops walking, unnoticed by Josh and Diana, who keep walking.

"We're going on the air in a few minutes with a national address so I don't know how much... where the hell did he go?" Josh asked as he noticed Charlie wasn't next to him anymore. He and Diana turned around and saw Charlie standing and looking a little nervous.

"Come on, Charlie. We got your back," Diana said as Josh motions for Charlie to come into the Oval Office. When they walk into the Oval Office, it was filled with cameras, T.V.s, a teleprompter, and people running around getting everything ready for the national address. Sam and Toby were with Bartlet in front of his desk.

"Ordinarily we get help from inside the Syrian Intelligence," Toby said.

"So what's the problem?" Bartlet asked.

"We just blew up the Syrian Intelligence," He answered.

"Oh, for crying out loud, will somebody get on the phone to CNN and find out if we hit anything!" Bartlet exclaimed.

"Mr. President, it's the BDA sir," A staffer hands Bartlet a report.

"Thank you! Now if I had my glasses," He said.

Mrs. Landingham enters with Nancy, "The porters have searched your bedroom from top to bottom."

"This has been since this morning, we could have brought in an optometrist by now," Bartlet complained.

"An optometrist can't fold his equipment into a briefcase," Mrs. Landingham told him with her arms crossed.

"I don't need an optometrist now, thank you, Nancy. I just need to glasses he prescribed," He told her.

"Mr. President, if you'll take a minute or two to familiarize yourself with the phoenix," C.J. said as he walked into the room.

"I got the briefing on the phoenix," He told her as they moved behind his desk.

"You understand that I'm not talking about the sidewinder."

"The phoenix. I got the briefing on the phoenix last night, I studied the report, Hutchinson was there, in my private study. The phoenix, the A61, the sparrow, and the sidewinder. Are we covered?" Bartlet asked C.J.

"Yes, sir," She replied.

"Very well," He said.

"I think the president left his glasses in his private study when he was reading the report last night and forgot about them," Charlie whispered to Josh and Diana.

"Ten minutes to air Mr. President," The director informed Bartlet.

"Tell him," Josh encouraged Charlie.

"For want of a pair of glasses," Bartlet said.

"Try mine sir," C.J. offered.

"We're looking," Mrs. Landingham yelled as she looked for the glasses outside the Oval Office.

"Thank you," Bartlet tries on C.J.'s glasses.

"While they're looking sir, in the meantime can you take a look at the new paragraph?" Toby asked as he gave Bartlet the papers.

"Aw, crap. I can't see anything with those," He cried out after trying to read the papers.

"Tell him, Charlie," Diana encouraged.

"Mr. President…" Charlie spoke causing everyone to stop and look, "You said you read the phoenix report…"

"What!?" Bartlet exclaimed.

"You said you read the phoenix report in your private study last night, sir," Charlie continued.

"What of it? Who is this?" He asked.

"Have a steward go the President's study. Have him look under the papers on the coffee table," Mrs. Landingham said to Nancy, who nods and leaves.

"Mr. President, this is Charles Young…" Diana began to introduce Charlie.

"I don't have any time for new people now!" Bartlet yelled, cutting her off.

"Excuse me, Mr. President, a minute please?" Leo asked.

Charlie walks out of the room. Bartlet and Leo head towards Leo's office. Toby flashes Leo a ten-minute sign with his hands and Leo nods. Diana and Josh follow Charlie out of the Oval Office and stand in the hall with him.

"Charlie, I'm sorry about that," Diana apologized for her father, "A few days ago there was an attack and American lives were lost, most were doctors. One of the doctors did my father's checkup and he had a ten-day-old baby girl. Now, ordinarily, my father is an extremely kind man placing a very high premium on civility. Today, it's just been a difficult few days for him."

"I think I should probably go," Charlie said.

Bartlet appears at the doorway, "Excuse me, Charlie. Can I see you inside, please? Come on, it's okay."

Charlie, Bartlet, Diana, and Josh all enter the Oval Office.

"I'm Jed Bartlet," Bartlet introduced himself to Charlie.

"I'm Charles Young," Charlie shook his hand as they walked into the Oval Office.

"But you prefer Charlie, right? Listen, Leo McGarry filled me in on the situation with your mother, I'm so very sorry. I hope you don't mind but I took the liberty of calling Tom Connolly, the FBI Director. We had the computer spit out some quick information, you're mother was killed by a Western .38 Revolver firing K.T.W.s, or what are known as 'Cop Killer bullets', now we have not had a whole lot of success banning that weapon and those bullets off the streets, but we're planning on taking a big whack at it when Congress gets back from recess. So, what do you say, you wanna come help us out?" Bartlet asked him.

"Yes sir, I do," Charlie answered with a smile.


Bartlet and Charlie shake hands.

"Thirty seconds please!" The director announced.

"All set?" Leo asked.

Bartlet stands behind his desk, Leo in front of it. Everyone else is behind the camera and monitors.

"You tell me," Bartlet said.

"That's a pretty ugly tie," Leo commented.

"My granddaughter gave me this tie," He told him.

"So, my nephew gave me an ashtray he made at summer camp," Leo retorted.

"Get away from me. Somebody throw this guy out of the building!" Bartlet jokingly yelled.

"Stand by," The director announced to everyone.

Bartlet sits. Leo moves back with the rest. Charlie and the senior staff are standing around one monitor.

"I've never felt like this before," Charlie said.

"It doesn't go away," Josh told him.

"And you never get used to it," Diana added.

Everyone stood by the monitors, out of the view of the cameras, watching as Bartlet gave his speech to people of the United States.

"My fellow Americans, good evening. A short while ago, I ordered our Armed Forces to attack and destroy four military targets in Northern Syria, this in response to the unwarranted, unprovoked, and cold-blooded downing three days ago of an unarmed Air Force jet carrying 58 passengers and the flag of the United States."