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My love for the President's daughter

Chapter Text

 

Diana Bartlet was driving in a car, with another secret service agent, following her father, riding a bike in anger, when he crashed into a tree. She and the secret service agent rushed out of the car and went to her father's aide.

Diana takes out her radio and says, "POTUS has been in a bicycle accident. Repeat: POTUS has been in a bicycle accident. No major external injuries. Sir, are you in any pain?"

"No," Bartlet lied.

"Sir, please answer truthfully. Are you in any pain?" She repeated.

"A little," He answered.

"Where is the pain, Sir?"

"My left ankle."

Diana turns to the other secret service agent and says, "Go get the first aid kit. It's in the back."

The secret service agent went and retrieved the first aid kit from the car, and brought it back. Diana opened the first aid kit and took out scissors to cut open her father's pants a little. She examined his ankle, but when she went to touch it, he hissed at the pain.

Diana speaks into the radio, "Minor injury to the ankle, possible sprain. No need for an ambulance. Davis and I will take POTUS to St. John's hospital, let them know we're coming in for an X-Ray."

As Diana and Davis tried to help him up, he refused by yanking his arms out of their grip and fell to the ground. The second time, they helped Barlet up and wrapped their hands around his waist, and placed his arms over their shoulders before walking to the car. When they arrived at the hospital, Diana and Davis helped her father into a wheelchair, and a nurse took him to X-Ray.

When the nurse came back, she told them that it was a sprained ankle and that he will need a cane, and she took them to his room.

"How are you feeling, Sir?" Diana asked.

"Well, considering that I didn't listen to your mother about not driving angry, I'm doing pretty good," He joked.

"What made you angry?"

Bartlet took a breath before answering, "The lambs of God."

"What did they do?" Diana asked.

"They sent Annie a Raggedy Ann doll with a knife in its throat all because of an interview she did for a teen magazine. She talked about movie stars and makeup tips, but also about a woman's right to chose. Elizabeth called me and told me what happened," He explained, "I was just so angry, I mean what kind of group sends a 12-year-old girl a doll with a knife in its throat?"

"What do you want us to do, Sir?" Davis asked.

"By now, I assume my staff has been informed about my 'accident'?" Bartlet asked.

"They have, Sir."

"Alright, Diana I want you to head back to the white house and see what you can do there."

"Right now, Sir?" She asked.

"Yes, and ask Leo, C.J, or anyone about what's happening with what Josh said in that interview."

"Yes, Sir."

Diana left the hospital and drove to the airport after having packed her things.

After a five-hour flight and a ten-minute drive, Diana arrived at the Whitehouse. She walks into the west wing, and after being cleared by security, she walks to Leo McGarry's office. When she entered, C. J., Toby, Josh, Sam, and three or four others of the west wing were in Leo's office talking but stopped when she opened the door and looked at her.

"I'm not interrupting anything, am I?" Diana asked.

"No, your not, Diana," Leo answered from his desk, "How's the president doing?"

"Last time I checked, he was doing well for someone who crashes into a tree on a bike and got a sprained ankle."

"Diana, how do you feel about the Cubans?" Toby asked her.

"Cubans? What do you mean 'How I feel about the Cubans? What's going on?" Diana asked.

"There are between 1,2000 and 2,000 Cubans on rafts coming here," Leo explained.

"This is the first I'm hearing about it, but if they risked everything to get here then maybe we should help them," She gave her opinion before asking, "Where are they heading?"

"Vegas," Josh joked.

"Miami," Sam answered, "Though, it's not clear how sophisticated their navigation equipment is."

"Navigational equipment? That way is north, I think is pretty-"

"Josh," C.J interrupted.

"C.J., if one of these guys could throw a split-fingered fastball, we'd send in the USS Eisenhower."

"That's not entirely true."

"Oh, for god's sake. Forget about the journey. Okay? The voyage is not our problem," Toby said.

"What's our problem?" C.J. asked.

"What to do when the Nina, the Pinta, and the Get-Me-The-Hell-Outta-Here hit Miami," Toby said with concern.

"Sam?" Leo asked.

"Can't send them back. They'll go to jail if they're lucky," He informed.

"We'll get whacked in what? At least . . ." Toby looked to Sam.

"Three congressional districts. Dade county," Sam answered.

"Those seats are gone," Toby said.

"Not to mention the fact that it's wrong," Josh told them.

"Plus that," Sam agreed.

"What about Texas?" He asked.

"I wouldn't worry about it," Sam told Josh.

"Keep Josh in the loop on this throughout the day," Leo told Sam.

"Me?" Sam asked Leo as he pointed to himself.

"Yeah," He confirmed.

"The thing is, my day is a little tight. . ."

"Deal with it," Leo interrupted Sam.

"And I'm happy to. It's just that. . ."

Leo looked away from the papers on his desk and at Sam before saying, "Sam."

"I'm just saying, isn't this more of a military area?" He suggested.

The room goes silent as everyone digests Sam's argument in shock.

"Military?" Leo questioned.

"Yeah."

"You think the United States is under attack from 1,200 Cubans in rowboats?" Toby asked Sam.

"I'm not saying I don't like our chances."

"Mind-boggling to me that we ever won an election."

"Pat Thomas wants to call up the guard," Leo informed them.

"He shouldn't."

"Josh is right," Diana said.

"He is right," Sam agreed.

"You send in the guard you create a panic situation," C.J. said.

"I agree with Josh and I agree with C.J. and I agree with Sam and I agree with Diana," Toby told Leo, "And you know how that makes me crazy."

"Yeah, I do."

"They're running for their lives. You don't have to start a game with red rover with Castro. But you don't send in the National Guard. You send food and you send doctors," Toby said.

"Sam, see that I.N.S. is working with the Red Cross and the Centers for Disease Control," josh said.

"I've got my guy from CDC on the phone right..." Sam informed them before he was cut off by Leo.

"Go. Talk to him."

"Talk to him," Sam repeated before leaving the office.

"Moving on. Let's talk about Josh," Leo said.

Leo then went on about Capital Beat and what Josh had said to Mary Marsh, which is now being called the 'Mary Marsh incident.'

When the meeting was over, and everyone was leaving, Diana gave C.J some information about her father's biking incident for the press. Diana walked around the west wing of the white house, got some coffee, and she stopped at Josh's office.

She opens the door and sees that all of the lights are out. Josh staring at the television and watching and rewinding a videotape. The videotape was of 'Capitol Beat.' On the show, he is sitting next to Mary Marsh.

"I can tell you that you don't believe in any God I pray to, Mr. Lyman. Not any God I pray to," Mary said on the videotape.

"Lady, the God you pray to is too busy being indicted for tax fraud," Josh rewind it a few seconds back, "Lady, the God you pray to is too busy being indicted-"

"You keep that up and your gonna mess the tape up," Diana told him, "Also, you shouldn't have worn that tie. It bleeds."

"I don't think it was the tie that got me in trouble," Josh said, he turned to look at her.

"No, but Donna told me that she told you a zillion times."

"What's that?" He asked.

"It's coffee," Diana replied.

"Thought so."

"I brought you some coffee."

"What's going on, Diana?"

"Nothing's going on, Josh," Diana insisted.

"Diana."

"I just brought you some coffee."

"Close the door," Josh said. Diana sets the coffee on his desk and closes the door, "Diana Bartlet, when did we first meet?"

"During the campaign."

"And how long have I known you?"

"A year and a half."

"And when was the last time you brought me a cup of coffee?" Josh asked, but Diana didn't answer, "It was never. You've never brought me a cup of coffee."

"You don't have to make a big deal out of it-," Diana said.

"Diana. If I get fired, I get fired," Josh interrupted.

"Do you really think my father is going to do it?" She asked.

Josh paused for a moment before answering," No."

A knock on the door and they heard a man's voice announce, "It's Toby."

"You won the election for him. You, and Leo, and C.J., and Sam," Diana said.

More knocks on the door followed by Toby saying, "Open the damn door."

"And him," Diana whispered to Josh before she opened the door to reveal Toby.

"Thanks for the coffee," Josh said.

"You're welcome."

"Diana brought you coffee?" Toby asked Josh.

"Shut up," Diana said to Toby.

"What's up?" Josh asked.

Toby shuts the door before asking, "What did I tell you before you went on the air yesterday?"

"You said, 'don't get cute with Mary Marsh,'" Josh replied.

"I said, 'don't get cute with Mary Marsh.' I said Al Caldwell is not to be treated like some revival tent clown," Toby said.

"Al Caldwell wasn't there," Josh told Toby as he grabbed some paper from where Toby was sitting.

"He sure as hell was watching," He informed Josh.

"Look, I already took Leo's morning beating. What do you want?" Josh asked as he went back behind his desk.

"I want you to keep your job," Toby said.

"How?"

"I'm going to make a suggestion, which might help you out. But I don't want this gesture to be mistaken for an indication that I like you," Toby explained.

"I understand."

"And I'll see if I can help convince the president that you can stay," Diana said.

"Thanks," Josh said.

"In preparation for the Sunday morning radio address on family values..."

"When did that get on the schedule?" Josh interrupted Toby.

"Listen to me for a second..."

"When did it get on the schedule?" Josh asked again.

"It's the regular Sunday morning..." Toby began.

"Yeah, but when did we schedule family values?" Josh asked with a raised voice.

"We scheduled it, Josh, after your smug, taunting, you know, calamitous performance on 'Capitol Beat," Toby told Josh while raising his voice to match his. A moment passed before Toby spoke again with a calm voice, "America for better families. The AAF and Al Caldwell. . . Mary Marsh. I've invited them all for coffee this afternoon, along with a couple of speechwriters to talk about..."

"What they want to hear," Josh finished.

"Yes. Yes, sir," Toby said.

"If you listen carefully, you can hear two centuries of Presidents rolling over in their graves," Josh said as he walked away from his desk.

"Come to the meeting."

"NO!" Josh exclaimed at Toby.

"Josh, just go to the meeting and be nice," Diana said.

"Why?" He asked.

"So C.J. can put it in the papers..." Toby began.

"Al Caldwell is friends with bad people! I think he should say so for the common good. Screw politics! How about that?" Josh said with a raised voice.

"You don't run social policy for this government. How 'bout that!" Toby said with a raised voice.

"Toby!"

"I'm in charge of the message around here. It's my job to tell the President that the best thing he could do, from a PR standpoint, is to show you the door," Toby said as he pointed to the door. There was a moment of silence as he put his hand down, "Come to the meeting. Be nice. Keep your job," He said with a soft tone.

"Yeah, I'll be there," Josh softly said.

"Oh, take a look at this," Toby hands Josh a newspaper clipping.

"What's that?" Josh asked.

"One of the kids from the newsroom clipped that from the Journal this morning. Guess who's leaving Lennox-Chase to start consulting in town? She's leasing offices downtown. She starts today," Toby replied.

"Who's she working for? He asked.

Toby smiles, "I'm checking it out."

"See you later, Josh," Diana said.

Toby and Diana leave the office and went on with their day. Not long after leaving Josh's office, Diana was called in by Leo to stand in with him on a meeting with economist advisors. It was near the end of the meeting that Josh walked into the room and stood next to Diana.

"They're 2 ½ percent in the third quarter at the end of the fiscal year," Fred told Leo.

"That's fine, but the president's going to look at the W.B.O. revenue analysis and say that economists were put on this planet to make astrologers look good," Leo joked, making several people in the room laugh.

"Leo..." Fred began.

"Luther. Ballpark. One year from today. Where's the Dow?" Leo asked.

"Tremendous. Up a thousand," Luther replied.

"Fred. One year from today."

"Not good. Down a thousand," Fred said.

"A year from today at least one of you is gonna look pretty stupid," Leo told them.

"Can we go now?" Luther asked.

"Oh, go. Get out," Leo said. The economists all get up from their seats and leave the room.

Sam walks in and says, "There's a storm system moving into the South Florida area."

"See, with any luck the Cubans'll turn around and live to defect another day," Leo said to Sam, Josh, and Diana.

"Yeah, 'cause they're probably all tuned to the National Weather Service," Josh said with sarcasm, "but that's not what I'm here for."

"What's on your mind?" Leo asked him.

"We've gotta look at the whole field for a minute, 'cause I think we're about to get tagged."

"With regard to what?"

"Re-election," Josh replied to Leo.

"Oh, we're not there," Leo said before turning to leave.

"Don't let Lloyd Russell push us around on Medicare or medium-range missiles," Josh said to Leo, making him turn around.

"You're taking Lloyd Russell too seriously."

"His numbers are starting to get interesting," Sam told them.

"Hollywood likes him. He can raise money," Josh said.

"We're not there yet," Leo stressed as he stands at the doorway with Sam, Josh, and Diana near him.

"30 second hypothetical: You're Lloyd Russell, newly crowned prince of the White suburban woman, the upper-middle-class Black man, and teacher's union. You're no friend to the sitting President. What do you do?" Josh asked.

"Put together an exploratory committee," Leo answered.

"And who do you get to run it?"

"You."

"I already got a job," Josh said.

"For the moment," Leo said.

"That's one point for Leo," Diana joked.

"Who do you get?" Josh asked again.

"Well, if I could get Mandy to leave 900,000 a year at Lennox-Chase, I'd get Mandy," Leo replied.

"You'd be smart."

"Hey, come to think of it, you think she'd be interested in his job?" Leo asked Sam and Diana.

"You're in luck."

"She's in town?" Leo asked Josh.

"Just got here today," He told Leo.

"What she doing?"

"Working for Lloyd Russell."

Leo takes a moment to digest the new information then leaves the room as he calls, "Margaret! Get me Senator Russell's office on the phone."

Josh, Diana, and Sam stand in the doorway and watch Leo leave.

"Is that the same suit you wore yesterday?" Sam asked

"Yeah," Josh answered before asking, "You?"

"Yeah."

Diana looked at them both and shook her head, "That's gross," She said before leaving Sam and Josh to look out for anything in the white house with her fellow secret service agents. A few minutes later, Diana got a call from her father saying he was on his way back to the white house. Later that afternoon, C.J. asked Diana to join her, Josh, and Toby in on the meeting with Mary Marsh, Al Caldwell, and John Van Dyke. She agreed.

A while later, Diana was informed that Mary Marsh, Al Caldwell, and John Van Dyke had arrived and that they were waiting for them in the mural room. Diana then got Josh, C.J., and Toby. Diana and C.J. try to help Josh as they walked to the meeting.

"She's gonna try and bait you, Josh, you understand what I'm saying?" C.J. asked him.

"Lloyd Russell. Yeah, that'll last."

"Are you listening to her, Josh?" Diana asked.

"They're gonna try and bait me," He repeated.

"They want you to say something arrogant," C.J. told him.

"I don't need baiting for that," Josh said.

"That's what we're worried about," Diana said.

They walk into the mural room where Al Caldwell, Mary Marsh, John Van Dyke, and several staffers are waiting.

"Hi. Hi, good afternoon," Toby greeted, "We apologize. We're running a bit behind today."

Josh sits quietly, as C.J., Diana, and Toby greet everyone.

"That's quite all right. How's the President's health?" Caldwell asked Diana.

"It's just a mild sprain, he'll be fine and should be here this afternoon," She said.

"Good, good. You all know Mary Marsh and John Van Dyke," Cladwell introduced.

"Everybody, sit, sit, sit," Marsh, Van Dyke, and Cladwell took a seat across from Diana, Josh, C.J, and Toby, We're happy you all could come talk with us today. As you know, the President makes a usual Sunday morning radio address, and in a few weeks we've scheduled-"

"Ah, Toby, if I may interrupt for just a moment," Caldwell interrupted Toby, "the goals and spirit of Christian and Family oriented organizations, while embraced by a great and growing number of

Americans, have been met with hostility and contempt by their Government. Now, yesterday morning, on the television program Capital Beat, that contempt was given a voice... and a face... and a name," He turns to Josh, "I'm referring, of course, to you, sir."

"Yes, I know, and I'm glad you brought that up..." Josh Began.

"I was surprised at you, Josh. I always counted you as a friend," Cladwell said in disappointment.

"And I'm honored by that, Reverend. First, let me say that when I spoke on the program yesterday, I was not speaking for the President or this administration. That's important to know. Second, please allow me to apologize. My remarks were glib and insulting. I was going for the cheap laugh, and anybody willing to step up and debate ideas deserves better than a political punch line. Mary, I apologize," Josh said with a sincere voice.

There was a pause before Mary Marsh says, "Good then," She turns to Toby, "Let's deal."

"I'm sorry?" Toby said.

"What do we get?" She asked.

"For what?" Toby asked her.

"For insulting millions of Americans," Mary Marsh explained.

"Well, like Josh said..."

"I heard what Josh said, Toby, what do we get?" She interrupted.

"An apology," Toby told her.

"Sunday morning radio address. Public morals. School prayer or pornography, take your pick."

"School prayer or pornography?" Toby questioned.

"It's on every street corner," Van Dyke said.

"I've seen it. Mary..."

"Condoms in the schools."

"What?!" Toby asked.

"Condoms in the schools," Mary Marsh repeated.

"Well, that's a problem."

"What?" She asked.

"We have a Surgeon General who says they dramatically reduce the risk of teen pregnancy and AIDS," Toby said with a raised voice.

"So does abstinence," Mary Marsh argued.

"Show the average American teenage male a condom and his mind will turn to thoughts of lust," Cladwell told them.

"Show the average American teenage male a lug wrench and his mind'll turn..."

"Toby," C.J. interrupted.

"School prayer, pornography, condoms. What's it gonna be?" Mary Marsh asked.

"We're not prepared to make any sort of deal right now," Toby told her.

"Sure we are. Mary..." Josh began.

"My read of the landscape is that you're cleaning out your desk before the end of business today," Mary Marsh said smugly to Josh, "so I'd just as soon negotiate with Toby if it's all the same to you."

"Mary. . ." Cladwell began.

"Please allow me to work," She said to him before turning to Josh, "It was only a matter of time with you, Josh. That New York sense of humor was just a..."

"Mary, there no need..." Cladwell stressed before Mary Marsh interrupted him.

"Reverend, please! They think they're so much smarter. They think it's smart talk. But nobody else does."

"I'm actually from Connecticut," Josh informed her, "but that's neither here nor there. The point is, Mary..."

"She meant Jewish, "A stunned silence. Everyone stares at Toby, "When she said "New York sense of humor", she was talking about you and me."

"You know what, Toby, let's just not even go there," Josh told him.

"There's been an apology. Let's move on," Cladwell said.

"I'd like to discuss why we hear so much talk about the First Amendment coming out of this building, but no talk at all about the First Commandment," Van Dyke said.

"I don't like what I've just been accused of," Mary Marsh said bringing everyone's attention to her.

"I'm afraid that's just tough, Mrs. Marsh," Toby said while raising his voice.

"The First Commandment says "Honor thy Father," Van Dyke said.

"No, it doesn't," Toby disagreed.

"Toby-"

"It doesn't," Toby interrupted Josh.

"Listen-" C.J. began.

"No, if I'm gonna make you sit through this preposterous exercise, we're gonna get the names of the damn commandments right."

"Okay. Here we go," Mary said ready to fight.

"Honor thy Father" is the Third Commandment," Toby corrected.

"Then what's the First Commandment?" Van Dyke asked.

"I am the Lord your God. Thou shalt worship no other God before me," Bartlet said with a booming voice as he stood in the doorway with a cane and several Secret Service agents, "Boy, those were the days, huh?"

Everyone stands.

"Good afternoon, Mr. President," Caldwell said.

"Al," Bartlet and Cladwell shake hands before Bartlet turns to C.J., "What do we got here, C.J.?"

"Well, we've got some hot tempers, Mr. President," She replied.

"Mary," Bartlet and Mary Marsh shake hands.

"Mr. President, I'm John Van Dyke," Van Dyke introduced himself.

"Yes. Reverend?"

"May I ask you a question, sir?" Van Dyke asked.

"Of course."

"If our children can buy pornography on any street corner for five dollars, isn't that too high a price to pay for free speech?"

"No," Bartlet answered.

"Really?" Van Dyke said as he was surprised by the President's answer.

"On the other hand, I do think that five dollars is too high a price to pay for pornography," Bartlet said.

"Why don't we all sit down?" C.J. asked.

"No. Let's not, C.J. These people won't be staying that long. May I have some coffee,

Mr. Lewis?" Bartlet turns to Cladwell and says, "Al, how many times have I asked you to denounce the practices of a fringe group that calls itself The Lambs of God?"

"Sir, it's not up to me to..." Cladwell began before Bartlet interrupted him.

"Crap. It is up to you, Al. You, know, my wife, Abbey, she never wants me to do anything while I'm upset, "a staffer hands him coffee, "Thank you, Mr. Lewis. 28 years ago, I come home from a very bad day at the State House. I tell Abbey I'm going out for a drive. I get in the station wagon, and put it in reverse, and pull out of the garage full speed, "Leo and Sam appear in the doorway and quietly enter into the room, "Except I forgot to open the garage door. Scared the crap out of Abbey so much that she went into labor that very night and the next day she gave birth to Diana."

Bartlet pauses to take a drink of his coffee and smiles at Josh, who smiles back Uncomfortably.

Bartlet continues, "Abbey told me to not drive while I was upset and she was right. She was right yesterday when she told me not to get on that damn bicycle while I was upset, but I did it anyway, and I guess I was just about as angry as I've ever been in my life. It seems my granddaughter, Annie, had given an interview in one of the teen magazines. And somewhere between movie stars and make-up tips, she talked about her feelings on a woman's right to choose. Now Annie, all of 12, has always been precocious, but she's got a good head on her shoulders and I like it when she uses it, so I couldn't understand it when her mother called me in tears yesterday. I said, "Elizabeth, what's wrong?" She said, "It's Annie." Now I love my family and I've read my bible from cover to cover so I want you to tell me, from what part of the Holy Scripture do you suppose the Lambs of God drew their Divine inspiration when they sent my 12-year-old granddaughter a Raggedy Ann doll with a knife stuck through its throat? You'll denounce these people, Al. You'll do it publicly. And until you do, you can all get your fat asses out of my White House, "Everyone is frozen, "C.J., show these people out."

"I believe we can find the door," Mary Marsh said with smugness.

"Find it now," Bartlet said with seriousness in his eyes.

The group leaves the room quickly and quietly.

"We'll fix this, Leo," Cladwell promised quietly to Leo.

"See that you do," Leo said.

Bartlet has gone out the side door, through an adjoining room, and into the Oval Office.

The staff begins recovering from this last moment and following the President.

"Okay, can I just say that, as it turned out, I was the calmest person in the room?" Josh said with pride.

"Hey. . ." Toby began.

"Way to stay cool," C.J. said.

"I am not empowered to auction off the Bill of Rights," Toby said.

"I thought you were going to take a swing at her there," Josh said.

"Yeah, I thought I was going to have to pull you away from her," Diana said.

"She was calling us New York Jews, Josh," Toby told him.

"Yeah, but being from Connecticut, I didn't mind so much," Josh said as they enter the Oval Office, "You, C.J., on the other hand, were brilliant. I particularly liked the part where

you said nothing at all, same with you Diana."

"I'm sorry, Josh, I was distracted. All I could really think about was Lloyd Russell and your girlfriend," C.J. retorted.

"Mandy and Lloyd Russell?!" Sam said with shock.

"I'll be puttin' an end to that," Josh told him.

"Hello, Mr. President. Did you have a nice trip, sir? How's the ankle, sir?" Bartlet said from behind his desk and gained everyone's attention, "Seems to me we've all been taking a little break. Thinking about our personal lives or thinking about keeping our jobs. Breaks are good. It's not a bad idea taking a break every now and then. I know how hard you all work."

Margaret, Leo's secretary, brings Leo a note, which he slips to Bartlet after reading it.

"There was this time that Annie came to me with this press clipping. Seems these theologians down in South America were very excited because this little girl from Chile had sliced open a tomato, and the inside flesh of this tomato had actually formed a perfect Rosary. The theologians commented that they thought this was a very impressive girl. Annie commented that she thought it was a very impressive tomato. I don't know what made me think of that, "Bartlet opens the note and reads aloud, "Naval Intelligence reports approximately 1200 Cubans left Havana this morning. Approximately 700 turned back due to severe weather, some 350 are missing and presumed dead, 137 have been taken into custody in Miami and are seeking asylum. With the clothes on their backs, they came through a storm. And the ones that didn't die want a better life. And they want it here. Talk about impressive. My point is this: Break's over."

"Thank you, Mr. President," Leo said.

The senior staff say their thanks and begin to leave the office. Josh heads to the door but stops when he hears his name.

"Josh," Bartlet said. Josh turns around, "Too busy being indicted for tax fraud"? Don't ever do it again."

"Yes sir," Josh said quietly before leaving.

"Welcome back, Mr. President," Diana said to her father before leaving the Oval Office.

 

Chapter Text

Diana was walking through the bullpen when Josh comes out of his office, “Victory is mine! Victory is mine! Great day in the morning people. Victory is mine!”

 

“Good morning, Josh,” Diana greeted. 

 

“I drink from the keg of glory, Diana. Donna, bring me the finest muffins and bagels in all the land.”

 

“It’s gonna be an unbearable day,” Donna muttered before hanging up her jacket. 

 

Josh throws up his arms in victory in front of the other staffers, who are clapping for him. 

 

“Congratulations, Josh,” Diana said. 

 

“Thank you, Diana,”  Josh hugs her before he goes back to his office and when the door closed everyone could hear a “Woohoo.”

 

Diana shook her head and with a smile on her face before leaving the bullpen and walked into the outer Oval Office, and saw Mrs. Landingham behind her desk. 

 

“Goodmorning, Mrs. Landingham,” Diana greeted. 

 

“Goodmorning, sweetheart. Want a cookie?” Mrs. Landingham offered. 

 

“Sure. Thank you,” Diana opens the cookie jar and takes out a cookie before putting the lid back on.

 

“You try getting his attention on this,” C.J. said as she and Toby enter the outer Oval Office. 

 

"Mrs. Landingham, does the President have free time this morning?" Toby asked as he approaches Mrs. Landingham’s desk. 

 

"The President has nothing but free time, Toby. Right now he’s in the residence eating Cheerios and enjoying Regis and Kathie Lee. Should I get him for you?" 

 

“Sarcasm’s a disturbing thing coming from a woman of your age, Mrs. Landingham.”

 

“What age would that be, Toby?” She asked. 

 

“Late twenties,” Toby answered carefully. 

 

“Atta boy.”

 

“Can I have a cookie?” He asked as he lifted the lid of the jar. 

 

“No,” Mrs. Landingham told him. 

 

“Toby, they turned down our request?” Sam asked as he walks in. 

 

“C.J.’s on it,” Toby told him. 

 

“Good morning, Sam,” Mrs. Landingham greeted him. 

 

“Good morning.”

 

“Have a cookie, Sam,” She offered. 

 

“Thank you,” Sam takes a cookie. 

 

Toby, still holding the cookie jar lid, looks at Mrs. Landingham and she looks back.

 

“They’re issuing a press release. We’re gonna be playing defense all day,” C.J. told after hanging up the phone.  

 

“Is this really because of the joke?” Sam asked while his mouth was full. 

 

“It’s because of the joke,” C.J. replied. 

 

Josh steps in while Donna stays at the door.

 

“Someone give me a river to forge, a serpent to slay,” Josh declared. 

 

“What’s his problem?” C.J. asked Donna. 

 

“He’s been drinking from the keg of glory. We’re to bring him all the muffins and bagels in the land,” She answered. 

 

“We heard,” Toby said. 

 

“Good job,” Sam complimented. 

 

“Thank you very much. C.J., they turned down the invitation?” Josh asked. 

 

“They declined,” C.J. corrected before they then walk into the Oval Office. 

 

“What does that mean?” Josh asked C. J. 

 

“It means they turned down the invitation,” She told him. 

 

“Because of the joke?”

 

“Of course, because of the joke. Why does everyone keep asking? As if it could be something…”

 

President Bartlet and Leo come into the Oval Office from the portico.

 

“...32 billion against the trade surplus,” Leo said. 

 

“That’s no good,” Bartlet commented, “Jaworski knows that’s no good.”

 

“Mostly, he’s gonna say that the Japanese need to buy more American cars.”

 

“Americans need to buy more American cars,” Bartlet told Leo as he stood behind his desk and opened the folder in his hands. 

 

“Which is what I told Jaworski,” Leo said. 

 

“Good morning everyone,” Bartlet greeted. 

 

“Good morning,” Everyone returned. 

 

“What do you got?” Bartlet asked.

 

“443’s gonna stay in committee,” Josh answered.

 

“I heard,” He said. 

 

“What else?” Leo asked. 

 

“The Ryder Cup team is declining our invitation to come to the White House,” C. J told them. 

 

“You’re kidding,” Leo said with a shocked expression. 

 

“Because of the joke.”

 

“You’re kidding,” Bartlet repeated with the same expression. 

 

“I’m not,” She told them. 

 

Mrs. Landingham comes in and gives the President his schedule.

 

“The Ryder Cup team?” Bartlet questioned while looking at Leo surprised. 

 

“It’s a group of the best golfers in the country…” C.J began before she was interrupted. 

 

“I know what the Ryder Cup team is. Thanks, Mrs. Landingham.”

 

“Sir, this may be a good time to talk about your sense of humor,” C.J suggested. 

 

Bartlet looks at his schedule and says, “I’ve got an intelligence briefing, a security briefing, and a 90-minute budget meeting all scheduled for the same 45 minutes. You sure this is a good time to talk about my sense of humor?” He asked C.J. 

 

“No,” She replied. 

 

“Me neither,” Bartlet agreed. 

 

“What else?” Leo asked. 

 

“It’s just that it’s not the first time it’s happened,” C. J. told them. 

 

“I know,” Barlet said. He walked away from his desk and to the center of the room, while they followed him. 

 

“She’s talking about Texas, sir,” Toby informed Bartlet. 

 

“I know,” He admitted as he took a seat. C.J, Sam, and Toby did the same. 

 

“U.S.A. Today asks you why you don’t spend more time campaigning in Texas and you say it’s ‘cause you don’t look good in funny hats,” C.J reminded The President. 

 

“It was “big hats,” Sam corrected C.J. 

 

“What difference does it make?” She asked. 

 

“It makes a difference,” Diana and her father said simultaneously.  

 

“The point is we got whomped in Texas,” C.J. told them. 

 

“We got whomped in Texas twice,” Josh stated.

 

“We got whomped in the primary, and we got whomped in November.”

 

“I think I was there,” Barlet said. 

 

“And it was avoidable, sir,” C.J advised him. 

 

“C.J., on your tombstone, it’s gonna read, “Post hoc, ergo propter hoc,” He told her. 

 

“Okay, but none of my visitors are going to be able to understand my tombstone.”

 

“Twenty-seven lawyers in the room, anybody know “post hoc, ergo propter hoc?” Josh?” The President asked. 

 

“Uh, uh, post, after, after hoc, ergo, therefore, after hoc, therefore, something else hoc,” Josh replied, trying to translate. 

 

“Thank you. Next.”

 

“Uh, if I’d gotten more credit on the 443…” Josh said before being interrupted by Bartlet. 

 

“Leo?”

 

“After it, therefore because of it,” Leo answered with the right translation. Josh looks a little weirded out.

 

“After it, therefore because of it,” Bartlet repeated before asking,” Diana, the meaning, please?”

 

“It means one thing follows the other, therefore it was caused by the other, but it’s not always true. In fact, it’s hardly ever true, sir,” Diana responded. 

 

“Thank you,” He said to her before saying to C.J, “We did not lose Texas because of the hat joke. Do you know when we lost Texas?”

 

“When you learn to speak Latin?” C.J retorted. 

 

“Go figure,” He responded. 

 

“What else?” Leo asked. 

 


 

A short while later, after the debriefing was finished, Diana opens the door and the senior staff exit the oval office. Diana saw that Captain Morris Tolliver, the president’s temporary medical examiner, had arrived and was talking to Mrs. Landingham. 

 

“Sam, when are you writing the Hilton Head draft?” Leo asked. 

 

“I’m closing my door from noon to three,” Sam replied. 

 

“Let me see it at three,” Josh told Sam. 

 

“Yeah.”

 

“Morris,” Leo greeted.

 

“Good morning,” Morris shakes hands with Leo. 

 

“Stan, I’ll be just a second,” Leo said before asking Morris, ‘Take a walk with me, will you?”

 

“Sure,” He replied. 

 

“Leo, be sure to bring Captain Tolliver back soon for the President’s medical exam,” Diana told him. 

 

“I will,” He replied as he and Morris walked out. 

 

Diana closes the door to the oval office and stands next to the door while the President goes ver some papers. A short while later, there is a knock on the door and Diana opens it revealing Captain Tolliver. 

 

“Mr. President, Captain Morris Tolliver is here for your medical exam,” Diana informs him. 

 

“Thank you, Diana,” Bartlet said to her before getting up and greeting Morris,” How are you doing, Morris?”

 

Diana left the room and stood outside the door. She spent most of her time talking to Mrs. Landingham, but opened the door and went into the oval office when Diana heard her father yell, “I want the Secret Service in here right away.”

 

“In the event of a military coup, sir, what makes you think the Secret Service is gonna be on your side?” Captain Tolliver asked before waving to Diana and she responded by waving back. 

 

“Now that’s a thought that’s gonna fester,” Bartlet commented. 

 

“Let me guess: flu shot?” She asked Captain Tolliver.

 

“Yes, Ma’am. Hold still,” Captain Tolliver gives him the flu shot. Bartlet groans a little, and then holds his arm after the shot.

 

“Thank you. I’m not comfortable with violence,” Bartlet admitted to his daughter and Captain Tolliver, “I know this country has enemies, but I don’t feel violent toward any of them. I don’t know whether that’s a weakness or not, but I think I know how the Joint Chiefs would answer that question.”

 

“Let the chiefs get to know you, Mr. President. They’re serious men, naturally suspicious of your leadership. That’s what comes from spending a lifetime caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. They’re men of character. They may not like your résumé, but they’ll like you personally if you give it time. You have a once in a generation mind, sir. Ultimately, they’ll respect that. They’ll advise you well and go where you point. Let the chiefs get to know you, sir,” Captain Tolliver assured the President. 

 

“I couldn’t have said it any better, Captain Tolliver,” Diana agreed,” And In the meantime, Mr. President, you outrank them.” 

 

“So don’t worry about it so much, and cut back on the dairy,” Captain Tolliver instructed. 

 

“And the red meat,” Bartlet added. 

 

“And the scotch,” Diana added. 

 

“Don’t forget your picture. Corey’s a beautiful child,” Bartlet hands the picture of Captain Tolliver’s baby over to him as he started to pack. 

 

Captain Tolliver takes and looks at picture, “Yeah, I know. Look what I’d done.”

 

You didn’t do nothing, mister. You were a passenger on this one. Your job is to pay the bills, and do what these ladies tell you to do,” Bartlet reminded him as he rolled his sleeve down. 

 

“Yes, sir,” Captain Tolliver nodded. 

 

“Also, you got to teach her how to whistle. Her mother won’t do that.”

 

“Right.”

 

“I’ll see you next week, Morris,” Bartlet said. 

 

“In two weeks,” Captain Tolliver corrected him. 

 

“Right,” Bartlet walked behind his desk. 

 

Captain Tolliver and Diana head for the door, but stopped when the President called to him, “Morris?”

 

“Yes, sir,” Captain Tolliver stopped and turned around along with Diana. 

 

“Look at that picture again,” Bartlet said. Captain Tolliver looks down at the picture of his daughter in his hand, “See? The past isn’t the only thing your family can be proud of.

 

Captain Tolliver smiled, “Yes, sir.”

 

Bartlet smiled too and waved, “Go away.”

 

Morris leaves and Diana opened the door for him. He passes Leo walking inside with two distinguished men.

 

“Mr. President, you remember Stuart White and Ray Finley?” Leo introduced. 

 

“I do, indeed. Mr. White, good to see you. Mr. Finley,” Bartlet greeted. White and Finley shake hands with the President. Diana left the oval office and closed the door behind her. 

 


 

While walking in the bullpen, Cathay told Diana that Sam wanted to see her in his office. Diana knocked on the door, Sam opened it for her and Diana closed it when she was in the room. 

 

“So, what is it you wanted to see me?” She asked. 

 

Sam hesitated for a moment before saying, “About a week ago I met someone, Laurie.”

 

“Good for you, Sam,” Diana congratulated, “What’s she like? What does she do?”

 

“That’s just it; I slept with her and then the next day I found out she is a call girl,” Sam admitted. 

 

“Wait, what?”

 

“I slept with a call girl.”

 

“Has anyone found out about this?” Diana asked him. 

 

“No, but I need your advise,” Sam told her. 

 

“I’m sorry, Sam, but I have no advise to give in whatever this area is, or any area that deals with sex,” Diana said, “Just talk to Toby about this.”

 

“Thank you, Diana,” Sam said. 

 

“Your welcome,” Diana left his office. She walked through the bullpen for just a few seconds before running into Josh and C.J, “Hey, Josh. Hey. C.J.”

 

“Hey, Diana,” Josh greeted before asking C.J, “Did you talk to Hoynes?”

 

“Yeah,” C.J. confirmed. 

 

“Wait, what happened with Hoynes,” Diana asked them. 

 

“And?”

 

“We're fine,” C.J. told him. 

 

“Hoynes said, “ his is a time when the president needs our support” when he was talking about the A3C3,” He answered Diana before asking C.J, “ You're sure?”

 

“Yeah.” 

 

“C.J.?”

 

“Josh, stop worrying we’re fine,” Diana assured him. 

 

“Okay,” Josh said, relaxing a little. 

 

“Leo will call when he's ready,” C.J. informed him and Diana. 

 

“Anyone but Mandy.”

 

“Right,” She said before walking off.

 

“See you later, Josh. And try to play nice if Mandy ever shows up here,” Diana told him before she went to go have lunch with her mother.


 

That night in the oval office, Diana stands by the door while her father packs his briefcase before retiring for the day.

 

“Mrs. Landingham?” Bartlet called. 

 

“Yes, sir?” She responded. 

 

“I'm done, right?” He asked. 

 

“There are some calls, but you can make them from the residence,” Mrs. Landingham comes into the room with a file and a red paper bag. 

 

“All righty. Thank you. What's in the bag?” Bartlet inquired as she handed him the flie and red bag. 

 

“Delegation from the University of Nebraska was sorry you couldn't see them during their visit, and they left this for you with their compliments,” She  said as Diana approached and pulls out a red shirt from the bag. 

 

“It's a shirt,” He noted. 

 

“Yes, sir,” Mrs. Landingham an Diana confirmed. 

 

“They left me a shirt?” 

 

“Yes, sir,” They repeat themselves. 

 

“I think they left me something else, Mrs. Landingham,” Bartlet said before turning to his daughter, “Diana, I am saying this to you as the President not your father-”  

 

“Now, Mr. President…” Diana began. 

 

“I think they left me 12 center-cut prime fillet Omaha Steaks, Diana, Mrs. Landingham,” He interrupted. 

 

Mrs. Landingham folds the shirt and puts it back in the bag before saying, “Morris Tolliver said…”

 

“I was going to have Mario fix me one of those steaks tonight,” He told them before  he walks out into the Portico as Mrs. Landingham and Diana follow close behind. 

 

“Dr. Tolliver was very clear about…”

 

“You two stole my steaks.”

 

“We didn't steal them. We were simply following the direct orders of Captain Morris Tolliver, M.D. who would like to see your diet contain a little less…”

 

“You and my daughter are cattle rustlers, Mrs. Landingham,” Bartlet told her. 

 

“If you say so, Mr. President... And no scotch tonight, sir,” 

 

“And if neither of us catches you, Mr. President. We could always go over your head,” Diana warned Bartlet. 

 

“You wouldn’t dare?” He questioned her. 

 

“It is my job as a secret service agent to protect the President of The United States, even if it’s from himself,” She retorted. 

 

“Sometimes I wonder if your actually working for the enemy, “Bartlet said, “Between the two of you and Dr. Tolliver, who needs a wife or a mother?” 

 

“Good night, Mr. President,” Mrs. Landingham said. 

 

Bartlet walks toward the residence with Diana behind him and Mrs. Landingham returns to the office.

 


 

At 3:35 in the morning, Diana had gotten a call from Leo about bad new of the Airforce plane carrying Captain Tolliver and others. After escorting to her father to the Oval office, Diana went to get Leo in the Roosevelt Room. 

 

Diana walks up from behind Leo, “The President's waiting.”

 

“Excuse me, gentlemen,” Leo heads for the door. 

 

“Leo, do you need me?” Josh asked. 

 

“No, “Leo answered before he and Diana leave.

 

In the Oval officer, the President is leaning on his desk. Diana and Leo come in and walks slowly toward him.

 

“Mr. President, Morris Tolliver is dead,” Leo informed Bartlet. Diana could tell that the bad news had hit her father hard, “An airforce transport carrying Morris, 1200 other doctors, 42 support staff, and a crew of five to a teaching hospital in Amman exploded in midair about 150 miles north of Tartus. What was first thought to be a mechanical failure was then claimed by a fundamentalist group after a keyhole satellite sent back a record of a heat stream coming from what's called an F.I.M. 92, which is a shoulder-mounted surface-to-air missile launcher. In the last 90 minutes or so that's been debunked as well. Hard intelligence is telling us the order came from the Syrian defense ministry. Baker and Lennox are on their way from the Pentagon, and Brodie's in the Situation Room preparing for your briefing.”

 

Bartlet takes a moment before he speaks, “What time is it?”

 

“It's 10:38 in Damascus, sir,” Diana answered as she checked her watched. 

 

“Where is the Syrian ambassador?” 

 

“He's at his residence on a secure phone line,” Leo replied. 

 

“Tel Aviv and London?” Bartlet said.  

 

“State's waiting for your word,” He informed the President. 

 

“Alright, uh…” Bartlet lets out a big sigh, “I'm gonna call Morris' wife now. I'll meet you in the Situation Room.”

 

“Yes, sir,” Leo heads for the door but stops and turns around when the President calls him.  

 

“Leo? I am not frightened. I'm gonna blow them off the face of the earth with the fury of God's own thunder,” Bartlet pauses for a moment, “Get the commanders.”

 

A look of concern is on both Diana’s and Leo's face. Leo slowly turns around, opens the door and leaves. Bartlet walks around behind his desk. He sits on his chair and lets out a big sigh. He then picks up the phone and makes the call.

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.

"Fine."

"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.

"Yes."

"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.

"Sir-"

"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.

"Why?"

"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.

"What?"

"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.

"Was?"

"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.

"Good."

"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.

"Yeah."

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.

"Thanks."

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."

Chapter Text

Bartlet is speaking at a dinner in a ballroom. He stands behind the podium while important people in fancy clothes listen to him. Hanging behind him is a banner that says "Practical Idealism". Diana stands in the corner of the room, near her father, listening to his speech.

"One night he went in and set the briefcase down and said, "Bess, why do you suppose it is that only sons-of-bitches know how to lick a stamp?" The audience laughs and applause at Bartlet's joke, " The point is friends, you've got to write the letter, you've got to send a fax, you've got to pick up the phone and call Western Union. You've got to contact your Congressional representative. You've got to say "Mister, I've got a friend whose neighbor is dead. Madam, I've got a neighbor whose friend is dead, whose husband is dead, whose mother is dead, kids are dead! Kids are dead! And I wanna know, mister. I wanna know, madam how you intend to vote on Wednesday so that I'll know how to vote next election..." You gotta ask 'em. You gotta ask 'em!"

The audience applauds Bartlet before he continues with the speech, "You know, I had a civil procedure professor who said once… He said, "When the law is on your side, argue the law; and when the facts are on your side, argue the facts...When you don't have the law on your side, when you don't have the facts on your side, bang your fist on the defense table as loud as you can." Well, we've got the law on our side now, and we've got the facts on our side now bang our fist on the defense table, but we're not listening anymore. We're not having that anymore. We're gonna win on Wednesday. We're gonna win on Wednesday! Thank you all," The crowd stands up and applauds, "God bless you, and God bless America!"

Bartlet works his way out of the room with Diana following him while "Happy Days Are Here Again" plays. The staff follows as they all walk through the back hallways.

"Fantastic," Sam commented as he shook Bartlet's hand.

"Thank you," Bartlet said.

Bartlet continues down the hall with his Secret Service Agents. They go down the stairs and walked through the kitchen. Bartlet is shaking hands with someone and then joins the group. They go down the stairs again.

"Thank you. Good night," Bartlet said before saying to Toby, in front of him, "Toby!"

"Sir," Toby responded.

"What'd you think?" He asked.

"I thought my work was outstanding, Mr. President," Toby replied.

"I thought you would."

"Thanks for asking. Couldn't help but notice you got a little extemporaneous there in the D section," He mentioned.

"Oh, you noticed that, did you?" Bartlet asked.

"Yes, sir, I did," Toby answered.

"Yes. I did a little polish right up there on my feet," He said.

"Yes indeed," Toby agreed.

"Right in front of everybody. I looked to the side at one point, you know. I half expected to see you coming at me with a salad fork," Bartlet admitted as they walked through the hall.

"Well, but for the secret service agents restraining me, sir."

"Yup. Thank God for the secret service," Bartlet smiled.

"Bless their hearts…" Toby said.

Bartlet sees a couple getting friendly in the hall, "Hey there, fella. She deserves a nice room and some supper."

"You like doing that, don't you sir?" Toby asked.

"You have no idea," Diana told him. She, Toby, and her father had a little laugh.

"Hey, Charlie!" Bartlet called.

Charlie comes forward, "Yes, sir?"

"What'd you think of the speech?" He asked.

"Me?"

"Yes, you," Bartlet told him.

"Uh, I thought it was-" Charlie began before Toby cuts him off.

"He means the text of the speech, Charlie, discounting the little improv in the D section," He said.

"I mean the entire speech, Charlie, and in particular the delivery," Bartlet clarified.

"I thought it was excellent," Charlie commented.

"See!" Bartlet and Toby said at the same time before Toby laughs again.

"See, I think what Charlie's trying to say is that in this case, the singer outdistanced the song," Bartlet told Toby.

"Really. Well, what I heard Charlie say was that the text was user-proof, although you did your level best to disprove that in the D section," Toby told him.

"You know what, Toby?" Bartlet asked.

"Sir."

"You're what my mother calls a pain in the ass," Bartlet told Toby.

"Well, that's what my mother calls it too, sir," He retorted.

"Oh, Mr. President," Charlie called.

"Yes, Charlie. By the way, did the First Lady call?" Bartlet asked.

"The First Lady called at eight forty, sir. She wished you luck and told me to tell you to take your back medicine," He informed Bartlet.

"My back is fine," Bartlet told Charlie.

"I have it here, sir," Charlie holds the pill bottle in his hand.

"Those damn things make me goofy," He said, refusing the pills.

"Mrs. Bartlet seemed quite adamant. I'd describe her tone as being…" Charlie began telling Bartlet.

"You don't have to describe her tone to me, Charlie. I've been married to it for 32 years," Bartlet interrupted.

"Sir, if you do not take your pills, I will inform the First Lady," Diana warned her father.

"You wouldn't dare?" He questioned Diana.

The whole group comes out of the building where a crowd is waiting for them. They head for their cars. Secret Service Agents are everywhere.

"Sir, I don't want to get in trouble with the First Lady…" Charlie stressed.

"Give me the medicine, Charlie," Bartlet takes the medicine and sticks it in his pocket, 'Thank you. Have a good night. I'll see you in the morning."

"Yes sir."

"Thank you all," Bartlet said to the crowd as he waves to them. Diana opens the door and he gets into his limousine. Diana gets in and closes the door.

"We're ready to go. Move out," Diana said into her radio.


After returning to the White House, Josh informed Diana that they lost five votes, but were going to try and figure something out. In the Roosevelt room, Sam, Toby, Mandy, and C.J. are sitting around a table, still in their fancy clothes, and Diana in her secret service event suit, eating Chinese food. Leo and Josh are both on the phone.

"Leo, your food's getting cold. Want me to bring it over?" C.J. asked him. Leo shakes his head and continues talking on the phone.

"Seriously, I have never had dumplings quite this good," Mandy said.

"Isn't my food getting cold too?" Josh asked, plaintively.

"We ate your food," Diana told him.

"C.J., you have got to try this," Mandy offered C.J. some of her food.

"Oh, thanks. Try some of this," C.J. offered her.

"Here it comes," Toby said under his breath.

"Yum! Oh, Sam, you gotta try the General Chow's chicken," C.J. offered him as she held the box up to him.

"And the Kung Pow chicken," Mandy held up the box.

"And the sauteed broccoli," Diana told him.

"With the sauce," C.J added.

"Oh, you gotta have it with the sauce," Mandy agreed.

Sam picks up a pair of chopsticks and eats the chicken from C.J before saying with a mouth full of food, "That's delicious!"

"You didn't try it with the sauce," C.J. told him.

"Will the two of you... shut up?" Toby asked.

"Wanna try the spicy crispy beef?" Mandy offered him.

"I'm really very happy with the food that I've got," He replied.

"I'll try some," Diana took a bite of the chicken, "That's good."

Leo gets off the phone and walks over to the table. He starts dishing up.

"Botrell?" C.J. asked Leo.

"It's not Botrell. I've only got two, but Botrell isn't one of them. Katzenmoyer and Wick," He informed her.

"I could've called that," Mandy told Leo.

"Sam, slide me a soda please."

Sam slides a soda to Leo. Josh hangs up his phone and walks over to the table, sitting next to Diana.

"Everyone's someplace else. All I got was O'Bannon," Josh informed them.

"I didn't get O'Bannon. That's three," Leo said.

"Who'd you get?"

"Katzenmoyer and Christopher Wick," Sam answered Josh.

"Chris Wick?" He questioned.

"Yeah," Leo confirmed.

"It's got to be a mistake. Who told you that?" He asked.

"Lee Tamaki and the minority whip," Leo told him.

"They've got bad information. There is no way Chris Wick jumped the fence," Josh said.

"The President just told a ballroom full of people and anyone who reads a newspaper that we're gonna pass 802 on Wednesday. We've got a 72-hour fight," He told the group.

"How do we do that without making noise?" Toby asked.

"What do we care about noise?" Mandy questioned.

"My father says that there are two things in the world you never want to let people see how you make 'em: laws and sausages," Diana answered before saying, "First of all, we don't involve the President."

"Absolutely," Leo agreed, "This is us. C.J., what's the press room going to be talking about in the next few days?"

"Financial disclosures," C.J. answered.

"That time again?" Toby asked.

"It's that time again," She told him.

"What are you worth there, Toby?" Josh asked him.

"Well, I own this tuxedo, and I've got twenty-three bucks in my pocket," Toby dryly said.

"That's good," Mandy giggled.

"Financial disclosure it is," Leo said.

"No, I mean, that's good," She clarified, referring to what Toby said.

"She's right," Josh agreed.

"C.J. feed them human interest, not just, "Look, we're disclosing assets." People will really get a kick out of reading about how much money you guys have, especially when they find out you don't have any," Mandy told them.

"It's a pretty humiliating way of taking one for the team, isn't it?" Toby said.

"They're going to love you for being broke, Toby," She told him.

"I found that. I found that women especially can't get enough of my 1993 Dodge Dart."

"How do we get the votes?" Leo asked.

"Well, setting aside Christopher Wick, and I agree with Josh. Someone's getting that wrong. Katzenmoyer and O'Bannon I buy. I'm going to guess the other two are Tillinghouse and LeBrandt. That's what we're going to hear tomorrow. Now the two of them are going to vote together on this, so we're really only going to need to get to one, and whether it's Tillinghouse or LeBrandt, and it should be Tillinghouse, we're gonna need help," Sam told him.

"Yeah," Josh agreed.

"Who?" Leo asked.

"You're not going to like it," Sam told him.

"Who?" He repeated.

"The Vice President," Sam answered.

"No way," Leo told them.

"Leo…" Josh began.

"No way," He repeated.

"Tillinghouse and the Vice…"

"I'm not using Hoynes," Leo told him.

"Actually, Leo, I have to agree…" Mandy said.

Leo looks at his watch, "What time do you have? My watch says two o'clock?"

Diana looks at her watch, "It's two o'clock."

"Did someone pay for this?" He asked.

"I got it," Mandy replied.

"Make sure you turn in a receipt. I gotta go home," Leo turns to leave and says, "Toby, Sam, beautiful work."

"Thank you," Sam said.

Toby points at Sam with chopsticks, "Two and a half paragraphs," He points at himself, "Thirty-seven pages."


The next day, Diana was leaving the Oval Office with Sam and Josh.

"So what's the range of what we're talking about?" Josh asked Sam.

"Congratulations, Josh," Mrs. Landingham said as the three passed her.

"Thanks, Mrs. Landingham," He said.

"What's she congratulating you on?" Sam asked.

"Did you win something?" Diana asked.

"I don't know," Josh replied as they walked out to the hallway.

"What's the range?" Sam asked him.

"Yes," He responded.

"Votes are expensive," Sam continued, "O'Bannon's going to want the farm subsidies revisited, Katzenmoyer's gonna go back to the federal tax-exempt metro link. We're talking about unions, defense contracts, possibly agency appointments, and my point is that the clock's running, and we're no closer to answering the question."

"Which question?" Josh asked.

"How we get five votes without giving away everything in the store," He said.

A woman passes by, "Congratulations, Josh."

"Thanks."

"What the hell...?" Diana muttered.

"We do it by giving away nothing in the store," Josh told Sam.

"We can't…" Sam began.

"I say nothing," Josh interrupted him.

"What're you saying?" Sam asked.

"L.B.J. never would've taken this kind of crap from Democrats in Congress. He'd have said, 'You're voting my way, in exchange for which, it is possible that I might remember your name'," He said before stopping at a doorway, "Pal, we need to win. And I mean win. We need to take a curtain call and a victory lap. And that's how we get momentum. We get it by being tough. We give away nothing. That's what I'm taking to Leo."

"What about Chris Wick?" Diana asked.

"Chris Wick, I own his ass," Josh replied.

They walk into Josh's Bullpen area to cheering and people shouting "Congratulations". Donna walks up.

"I sense I'm being mocked," Josh said.

"Congratulations, Josh," Donna said.

"What did I do?" He asked.

"You won our award for best gift valued over twenty-five dollars on the financial disclosure report," She replied.

"Really?"

"Yeah."

"What won it for me?" Josh asked.

"The 1,189 dollar Viennatelli silk smoking jacket from Miss Sarah Wissinger," Donna replied.

"Ah, yes," Josh smiled before continuing to walk.

"You're also the runner-up, by the way, with the 345 dollars antique scrimshaw cigarette holder, also from Miss Sarah Wissinger," She added.

"Well, Sarah was very fond of me," Josh said.

"I'd imagine with that smoking jacket and the cigarette holder, you were quite the dandy," Donna teased.

"All right, this was fun, but Sam and I are busy making critical decisions, and I'm sure you have a lot of typing to do. So I'll talk to you later," He told her.

"Bye," Donna walks off.

Sam, Diana, and Josh keep going, right past Josh's office.

"I'll take care of Chris Wick."

"Where are you going?" Sam asked.

Josh stops and looks at Sam, "Where are you going?"

"I was following you," He replied.

"I was following you," Josh replied.

Diana rolled her eyes before saying," Sam go that way," She points ahead, "And Josh you come with me. All right, and no one has to know about this, okay?"

Josh and Sam nod their heads in agreement before Josh and Diana walk back into the bullpen as Toby comes around the corner. The two walked up to Leo's office.

Josh knocks on Leo's door, he and Diana walk in, "Leo?"

"Diana, do women like violinists?" Leo asked her.

"Depends on the woman," Diana replied, "Why? Are thinking about taking lessons?"

"No, I mean to listen to next to the table," He clarified.

"Gets a little weird after a minute, doesn't it?" Josh said.

"That's what I thought," Leo said.

"Is it Jenny's birthday?" He asked.

"I forgot our anniversary," Leo admitted quietly.

"In that case, I'd shift into gear and bring on the Juilliard String Quartet," Josh told him.

"No, Josh. Leo just put on Jenny and your's song, and maybe try to recreate your first date," Diana suggested.

"Call the guy," Leo said to Margaret.

"Perhaps Mrs. McGarry would enjoy you in a nice smoking jacket," Margaret said to Leo before she looks pointedly at Josh.

"Leave," Josh said.

"Call the guy," Leo repeated, and Margaret leaves.

"I'm going to see Katzenmoyer."

"When?" Leo asked him.

"Right now," Josh informed him.

"What're you gonna give him?"

"Nothing more than a wake-up call. I want your permission to kick his ass," He told Leo.

"You want to dangle his job in front of him?" Leo asked.

"Yeah," Josh confirmed.

"No," Leo and Diana told him.

"I wanna let him hear the branch creak," Josh said to them.

"We do that. It doesn't work. We can't do it again," Leo said.

"If it doesn't work, I back off. If it doesn't work, we give Katzenmoyer a metro link and we let O'Bannon order off the menu. If it does work, I think we get the other four votes no problem when word gets out we're not screwing around," Josh pleaded.

A moment passes before Leo gives in, "I should sell tickets to this meeting."


Later on, Diana was walking in the communications office and she ran into Josh.

"Hey, Josh, any luck with Katzenmoyer?" Diana asked.

"Yep," He replied, "Not to mention O'Bannon and LeBrandt."

"You got three?! That's incredible, Josh," She commented, "Now, all we need is Wick."

"He's waiting for me right now," Josh said.

Donna walks up to them and says, "Josh."

"Yeah."

"Congressman Wick is waiting in the Mural Room," She reminded him.

"I know," Josh replied.

"He's been waiting twenty minutes," Donna added.

"I know," He repeated.

"You have a legislative liaison meeting in fifteen minutes."

"I know."

"Walk and talk," Diana said and the three of them then began walking to the Mural room.

"And then the East Asia briefing.

"I know."

"All right. Well, then this entire conversation served only as a reminder," Donna said.

"Actually, it only served as a colossal waste of time and energy. Keep up the good work," Josh told her.

Josh goes inside the Mural room with Diana. Congressman Chris Wick and his staff are waiting.

"Congressman," Josh called.

Wick turned away from his staff and walked over to Josh, "Dude!"

The young Congressman shakes Josh's hand and then starts to introduce him to staff.

"Uh, John, Fritz…" Wick began.

"Right," Diana interrupted before saying to his staff, "Alright, Guys, could you wait outside for a minute, please. The Congressman and Mr. Lyman want to talk about old times. I don't worry there won't be any roughhousing."

"Go ahead," Wick told his staff and they left the room.

"Thank you," Diana said as she walked over to the door and closed it once they were all out before rejoining Josh and Wick.

"Is that supposed to impress me, you have a staff?" Josh asked Wick.

"Josh…" He began.

"I told the House minority whip he was crazy," Josh cut him off, "No way is Chris Wick jumping the fence. Do you have any idea how stupid this makes me look?"

"Uh, look. About that, dude," He tried to explain but was interrupted by Josh again.

"Shove it, dude. We're not in a frat house anymore."

"What the hell, man?" Wick questioned.

"Name for me please the weapons banned in this bill and why you feel they should be

Legal," Josh asked.

"Look, I realize I should have called…"

"How about we just start with you naming the weapons banned in this bill," Diana interrupted.

"If you'd let me explain…" Wick tried to say.

"You don't have a clue," Josh told him.

"No. That's not true," He responded.

"Mac 90," Diana said.

"Listen…"

"The PCR. NFR. Anything ring a bell?" Josh asked Wick.

"My aides were supposed to…" He tried to explain.

"They're both copycats of the AR 15 assault rifle that was banned two years ago."

"It's the exact same gun and it's back, but the only thing that has changed about it is the grip," Diana added.

"Calm down…" Wick told them.

"How 'bout the Pat Maxi?" Josh asked him.

"Semi-automatic, muzzle barrel…" He began describing the weapon.

"It's a damn grenade launcher!" Diana, getting very angry, yelled at Wick.

"Yes, I'm trying to…"

"You know, I realize as an adult not everyone shares my view of the world," Josh interrupted Wick, "And with an issue as hot as gun control, I'm prepared to accept a lot of different points of view as being perfectly valid. But we can all get together on the grenade launcher, right?"

"Josh…"

"I put you in your seat. I got you elected to the House of Representatives," He reminded Wick.

"Yeah, and now you guys think I'm on the leash," Wick responded, "Look, I get taken for granted, Josh. I've one photo op with the President. One. Me and sixteen other freshmen. That makes me weak."

"You're not serious?" Josh asked him while Diana remained speechless.

"I've been here over a year. Huh. Where's the courtship? This isn't ego. A relationship with the White House is currency around here and I need some," He explained.

"You're voting down a measure that would restrict the sale of deadly weapons because

nobody invited you to the cool kid's table?" Josh questioned him.

"Got your attention," Wick replied.

"Your a grown-ass man acting like a spoiled child having a tantrum and not saving countless lives by voting for a bill that would restrict the sale of deadly weapons that are practically military grade all because no one cool asked you to sit at their table?" Diana rephrased the situation, having a hard time believing that is what is happening.

"You know, I'm so sick of Congress I could vomit," Josh and Diana start to leave but they turn back and he asks, "What do you want?"

"A round of golf," Wick replied as he walked toward them.

"The President doesn't play golf," Diana told him.

"What does he play?" He asked.

"Chess," She replied.

"Over brandy. With the White House photographers and we're fine," Wick added.

"My father is going to kick your sorry ass, you know," Diana told him.

"Whatever," He said before saying to Josh, "You know, I really don't appreciate you calling…"

"Chris, you're a Congressman. You've gotta make that real. This time it was me in the Mural Room. Trust me when I tell you, you do not wanna have this conversation with the guy who works next door, and you're lucky I was here to hold Secret Service Agent Bartlet back because she would have put all those years of Jiu-Jitsu lessons and that Jiu-Jitsu Army v. Navy championship belt to some use. And I've seen the video of her last match, I felt every bit of pain she inflicted on the guy she took down, who by the way, weighed almost 30 pounds more than Diana."

Josh and Diana open the door and see the staff waiting outside

"You guys take care," Josh said as he and Diana walk away.

"That guy burns my ass," Diana told Josh.

"Same, but let's hope me threatening him with you will do the job if he thinks about backing out," He said.

The two walk over to Leo's office and tell them they got Wick. When they arrived, Toby, Mandy, Sam, and C.J. were in the room with Leo, who is holding a box with a pearl necklace in it.

"Leo, I got four out of five," Josh informed him, "I'm absolutely convinced we need the Vice President to get Tillinghouse."

"We're all agreed on that," C.J. stated.

"No," Leo denied.

"This needs a Texan," Josh told him.

"I have a different idea," He said.

"What?" Josh asked.

"I go to Richardson," Leo replied.

"But Leo, you've already been through this with Richardson," Diana reminded him.

"Let's not get the entire caucus any more pissed off at us than they are already," Josh warned Leo.

"I'll talk to Richardson alone," Leo said.

"If your gonna do this you need to do it quietly and right now," Diana told him.

"Margaret!" Leo called.

"Call me as soon as you've got it," Josh said before leaving the room.

Margaret comes into the room, "Yes sir?"

"I need to see Mark Richardson out of the office," Leo informed her before she left to do it.

"You know, Toby. You could afford to buy one of those now if you want," Sam said with a hand on Toby's shoulder as she points to the box. Leo, C.J., Mandy, and Diana turn their attention over to Toby.

"There's literally no one in the world that I don't hate right now," Toby responded, causing everyone, but him, to laugh.


The next day, Diana and Charlie were looking for her father. His back was pretty bad this morning and he had taken his back pills. The two had left his side for a couple of minutes and when they returned to the residence, he was gone. Now they were looking for a President wearing jeans and a Notre Dame sweatshirt and looking slightly drugged. The two were currently in the Roosevelt Room, discussing the possible places in the White House where he could be, when Diana got a call from Mrs. Landingham that the President was in the Oval Office with C.J., Toby, Josh, Sam, Mandy, and Leo. A moment later, Charlie and Diana walked into the Oval Office and saw the President hugging Toby while sitting on the couch.

"Excuse me, Mr. President," Charlie spoke.

"Charlie! Diana!" Bartlet said, ending his hg with Toby.

"Mr. President, we left you alone for two minutes," He told Bartlet.

"Charlie's a great name and so is Diana," He told them.

"Thank you. Sir," Charlie replied.

"Thank you, Sir. Let's get you back to bed," Diana said.

"Did you know that Diana is the Roman name of Artemis the Greek Goddess of fertility, childbirth, hunting, and the moon? And Wonder Woman? And that it is said to mean "luminous," "divine," "fertile," or even "perfect"?" Bartlet asked his daughter.

"I did know about the Goddess and Wonder Woman, Sir, but not the meaning," She replied, "Now, you have to get back to bed."

"I'm going. I'm going," Bartlet gets up from the couch and everyone stands up, "Before I go, please let me just say this," He sighs and everyone prepares to hear what he has to say, "I'm seriously thinking about getting a dog."

"That's a great idea, Sir," Diana commented.

"Well, feel better Mr. President," Leo told Bartlet.

Charlie and Diana lead Bartlet out as everyone grins after them.

"Maybe an Irish setter, Charlie, Diana. What do you think?" Barley asked his aide and daughter.

"I think that's great sir," Charlie commented.

"They are a very good breed," Diana added as she, Charlie, and her father walked out of the Oval Office to the residence.


Late that night in Josh's Bullpen, Leo, Toby, Josh, C.J., Sam, Mandy, Diana, and Donna are watching the telecasts. And the news reporters were saying that Hoynes was the one responsible for getting the bill passed and giving him all the credit.

"Unbelievable," Mandy commented.

"I don't believe it," Sam said.

"You loosen the ketchup bottle and he pops the top off," Diana said.

"And keeps the ketchup," He added.

"Sorry, Leo. You saw this one coming through the Holland Tunnel," C.J. told him.

"We got what we deserved. It was hubris and we got what we deserved," Leo said before he gets up to leave, "Night everyone."

Everyone says good night. Leo walks away but turns back to Josh, who's not looking happy.

"Listen. We won," Leo told him before he leaves.

"Where's the President?" Toby asked.

"He's asleep," Diana answered.

"Wake him up."

Diana turns her head around as she saw Josh leaving the Bullpen.

"Toby," C.J. said.

"Wake him now," Toby demanded.

"Let's leave it till tomorrow, Toby. Let's leave it till tomorrow," She told him as she fiddles with a Magic Eight Ball.

"Don't worry, Toby," Diana said, "They may have won the battle, but not the war."