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FF: The Reluctant President (17/?)

Title: The Reluctant President (17/?)
Author: caitrin
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: These characters are not mine.
Genre: AU, romance, drama, mystery
Feedback: Much appreciated.
Timeline: Day two of the Lyman administration.

Josh was in the Oval Office working on his speech with Sam, Toby, and Will when Ron Butterfield appeared in the doorway, looking grave.

"I'm sorry to interrupt, Mr. President, but we have something of a situation."

Josh looked up at him and blinked. It still didn't seem right that he was the one Ron came to. What did HE know? "What is it, Ron?" he asked, trying to sound more confident than he felt.

"There's – well, increased chatter. About children."

"Chatter? What exactly are we talking about here?" Josh demanded.

"I'm not sure, exactly, sir," Ron said. "But it worked last time – they got the President out of office, if only briefly - and it looks like the conspirators noticed that."

"Last time?" Josh asked blankly. Then it hit him. "Zoey . . . oh, God. But I don't . . ."

"We want to make sure any children who are close to you are under our protection," Ron said. "I have people calling the agents who are with the Santos children and President Bartlet's children and grandchildren, and I sent a detail to pick up Danny Concannon and his daughter." He turned to Toby, who had gone completely white. "Mr. Ziegler, I'm going to send a detail with you to get your children from their school."

Toby nodded, looking dazed.

"I'll – uh, I'll go with him, sir?" Will turned it into a question at the last moment, but Josh quickly nodded his consent. Toby silently followed Will from the room.

"Now, who are we missing? If you have any skeletons in your closet, Mr. President, now's the time," Ron said bluntly.

Josh winced. "No skeletons. But there is one other child – Donna Moss's son Leo. He's with Danny, so the agents will get to him anyway, but you should call and tell them that he should be their priority."

"Sir?" Sam was aghast.

"I mean, God, I'm not saying to protect one child over the other." Josh ran a hand over his face in despair. "We don't even know if the conspirators know about Leo. But if they do, that's the ball game."

"How so?" Sam asked carefully.

Josh closed his eyes for a moment. This was all his fault. He'd practically forced Donna to come here, and now her son – HER SON – could be in danger. How could he have thought for even a second that he might be entitled to fall in love like a normal person?

"Mr. President?" Ron prompted. "We need to get moving on this . . ."

Josh's eyes snapped open, and suddenly his voice was low and deadly. "If someone kidnaps this baby, I will give them anything they ask for, immediately. I will hand the presidency over in an instant, and none of you will be able to stop me. So, Ron, your guys had better go get him and bring him here, RIGHT NOW."

"Yes, sir." Ron nodded and left the room to use his walkie-talkie.

"CHARLIE!" Josh called.

"Yes, sir?" Charlie entered the office.

"I need you to get the principal of Toby's kids' school on the phone for me. Then I need you to call Zoey and convince her to come stay here for a few days. She's certainly not a child, but they might think that since it worked once . . ."

"She's not going to be crazy about that idea, Mr. President," Charlie said dubiously.

"You can convince her," Josh said. "Look, you stay too. You can stay together."

"Thanks. Because we so rarely get the chance to spend the night together in our own apartments."

"I'm just saying – The rules are less strict now than last time she was staying here. I know she's not a kid anymore." Josh looked at the younger man seriously. "Convince her, Charlie? For me?"

Charlie nodded. "I'll try."

Josh paced the Oval Office until he got the signal from Charlie that the principal was on the line.

"Hello? This is President Lyman."

"Ah, hello, sir." The woman sounded surprised. "This is Dr. Candace Walters. I'm the principal here."

"Good. I need you to do something for me right now."

"Of course, sir."

"Go to Molly and Huckleberry Wyatt-Ziegler's classrooms and get them out of class. Bring them to your office with you."

"Sir?"

"We have something of a security situation. I'm hoping this is just a precaution, but you are not under any circumstances to release the Wyatt-Ziegler children to anyone but their father," Josh instructed.

"Even their mother?"

"Even their mother. We haven't gotten ahold of her yet, but Toby Ziegler is on his way with a Secret Service escort. We need those children to be under Secret Service protection as quickly as possible."

"I see."

"Are we clear, Dr. Walters?"

"Yes, sir. I'll go get them now."

"Don't hang up. Put the twins on the phone when you get back. I'll hold."

"Yes, sir."

As Josh waited for Dr. Walters to return, he glanced over at Sam. His chief of staff had an odd expression on his face. It almost looked like he was smiling.

"Sam! What could POSSIBLY be worth smiling about in this situation?" he demanded.

"I'm sorry, Mr. President. It's just – I was thinking - "

"WHAT?"

"I was thinking that I can stop worrying about the presidential voice, sir. It seems you've found it."

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
westwingclaire
Mar. 6th, 2010 10:37 am (UTC)
Josh with a presidential voice... Just when I thought he couldn't get any sexier! :)
13_pines
Mar. 6th, 2010 12:46 pm (UTC)
He does sound Presidential...very authoritative! I love it!
dwhitford
Mar. 28th, 2010 06:01 am (UTC)
Where are you??? March 5th was the last chapter? Should I be worried? ('cause i am)
caitrin
Mar. 28th, 2010 01:35 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry, I was traveling for a few weeks and then ill for the past several days. I have a few chapters written that I haven't managed to post - I'll try to get at least one up today.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )