See warning and disclaimer in part 1

Leo looked up as Toby arrived in his office.

"Nice of you to make it." Leo said sarcastically.

"I was talking to Andi."

"Well, next time you can... talk... to your wife on your own time."

"Andi says that Steve Fairbairn is sexually harassing her."

"What?"

"He keeps asking her out and won't take no for an answer."

"Danny Concannon does the same thing with CJ. I'm sure she doesn't call that sexual harassment."

"Andi is really uncomfortable about it."

"So Andi has a problem with saying no forcefully enough." Leo said dismissively.

"Leo, she was married to me for fifteen years. Believe me, Andi has no trouble telling even the most stubborn man where to get off." Toby pointed out. "I think there's more to it than just a simple persistent suitor."

"Toby, I realize that you want to slay dragons for Andrea, but I'm not sure there is a dragon here for you to slay." Leo leaned back in his chair. "Andrea's fairly new to the whole singles thing and times have changed in the last few decades. She's probably overreacting."

"Andrea asked me to kiss her in a public place to get this guy off her back. Much as I would like to believe that Andi just wanted an excuse to touch me, I doubt she would have gone that far unless she was really scared."

"Has she got any proof?"

"Just innuendo and a few risque comments. Nothing really tangible."

"Then there's nothing you can do about it. Talk to Lionel and get up to date on the harassment policies. That way you can be there to help Andrea if something happens." Leo replied. "Now, about the President's remarks on the Middle East..."

**

"Hey, hotstuff." CJ rapped lightly on Toby's door. "You got the proposals for the World Health Organization summit?"

"Just finishing up. And don't call me that." Toby said, furiously typing.

"Why not? You were really cooking out in the halls today." CJ said, with a smirk.

"CJ."

"Yeah?"

"Go away."

"Give me the proposals."

Toby saved the file and popped the disk.

"Here. Go away."

"My, we are a little testy, aren't we?"

"CJ, I swear to God, if you don't go away right now, I am going to make you proofread Sam's precis on the status of the Middle East peace initiatives."

"I'm out of here."

**

Toby really didn't want to go to the next meeting with Fairbairn, but had no choice. Josh made no comment about his surly attitude; Josh was far too used to it.

The meeting was professional and productive. Andi was not there, but Fairbairn has made significant progress in bringing some of the most reliable and respected professionals into the discussion. Toby had to grudgingly agree with Josh that bringing Fairbairn on board for the Medicare issue was a brilliant move. "Toby, can I talk to you for a minute?" Fairbairn asked, just as the meeting was breaking up.

"Sure." Toby replied and led Fairbairn to his office.

"So this is what the West Wing offices look like." Fairbairn said, looking around. "The Oval Office is right over there, isn't it?"

"Yes, it is. What did you want to talk to me about?"

"Andrea." Fairbairn said seriously. "She's a beautiful woman."

"Yes, she is." Toby replied coldly.

"Look, I realize that she and you have some kind of a thing going, but there's no reason for you to look at me as if I just crawled out from under a rock. I am not going to put up with one of your famous tantrums. I will not be treated like that."

"I treat everyone like that." Toby assured him. "You'll get used to it."

"I don't want to get used to it. I have supporters in the Party and I won't be pushed around." Fairbairn said stubbornly. "Andrea's a babe, but she isn't worth getting bent out of shape for. She slept her way to the top, like most women in politics."

"Pardon?" Ice was warmer than Toby's voice.

"She used to be married to some party hack. He was a nobody, but he had good connections. After she got elected, she dumped him." Fairbairn pointed out. "She went after me when this Medicare thing came along and now she's trying it with you. After all, you work in the West Wing and have the ear of the President."

"Do you happen to know the name of that party hack?" Toby asked, dangerously quiet.

"Something Wyatt, I assume." Fairbairn shrugged. "What does it matter?"

"Andrea's maiden name is Wyatt." Toby pointed out slowly. "Her married name was Ziegler."

"Ziegler?" Fairbairn frowned, the connection starting to fall into place.

"She was married to me." Toby said flatly. "And I do not appreciate such slurs on my ex-wife's character."

"Oh. Hey, I didn't mean..." Fairbairn backpedalled quickly.

"I know exactly what you meant." Toby interrupted. "Andi told me that you've been hassling her. I want it to stop as of now."

"I haven't been hassling her." Fairbairn protested. "I asked her out, that's all. If she says anything different, she's lying."

"I believe I already said I don't appreciate slurs on her character." Toby said, with terrifying gentleness. "You will leave her be from now on. Understood?"

"Wait a minute." Fairbairn was regaining his poise. "All I did was ask the woman out. You have no right to dictate to me about who I can and can't ask out."

"No, I can't." Toby agreed, folding his arms. "However, I can and do have the right to speak to Lionel Tribbey in the Counsel's office about your behaviour. I also have the right, if not the obligation, to report my objections to your harassment to the President himself."

"You can't do that."

"If the President asks my opinion, I am obliged to give it. And if there is any hint of Andrea being harassed again, I will make sure he hears it."

"You're hardly objective in this."

"You can take that up with the President." Toby said dismissively. "If you want to make an appointment with him, I think he's free for ten minutes in about ten days. Now, if you will get the hell out of my office, I have a meeting. With the President."

--

-- Adrienne                   ar895@freenet.carleton.ca

 

 

Victim Of Power - 4

 

 

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