Disclaimer: The West Wing belongs to Aaron Sorkin. No infringement is intended, blah, blah. Imitation is the highest form of flattery.
Author's note: This story is just general silliness. Archiving it is fine.
NOT MUCH TROUBLE: A SILLY WEST WING STORY By bluejeans
<The White House; Wednesday, 8:00 a.m. Toby's office>
Toby Ziegler was sitting alone in his office, scowling at his laptop. It was only 8 a.m., but he already looked rumpled.
"'Find a way to tell a bunch of old people we have no idea what to do about Social Security without saying we have no idea what to do about Social Security. We have faith in you Toby,' yeah, right," Toby muttered to himself.
His subordinate, Sam Seaborn chose that moment to knock on his boss's door.
"Morning Toby," Sam said.
"What's so good about it?" Toby growled.
"Actually," Sam said, "I didn't say it was good morning. However, I was hoping you would say `good morning' back so I'd know there was a chance you wouldn't kill me when I ask you something."
Toby sighed and stopped typing. "What do you need?" he asked.
"Well... uh... you remember how I told you my sister and my five-year-old nieces were visiting this week?"
"Well, my sister sort of came down with the flu. So I was wondering if it would be a big deal if I took the day off to watch the girls?"
"Actually it would be a rather big deal," Toby said. "I have the Social Security speech to write today. I need you to get the HR 515 speech done. So you absolutely can not take the day off...the baby-sitter will just have to watch the kids all day."
"Well," Sam said as he stepped aside, "that could be a problem." Two beautiful redheaded twins were standing behind him, shyly clinging to his legs.
"Sam..." Toby sighed.
"Look, I'll get the speech done. They can play in my office or something. It'll be OK."
"Sam, if I allow that you know you'll just get sidetracked." Sam looked crestfallen. The twins looked around Toby's office. Toby looked thoughtful. "Leave them here with me," Toby said.
"Yes. I am, after all, a nice guy. Children adore me. What are their names?"
"Cassie and Kim, but I honestly couldn't tell you which one is which. Are you sure about this?"
"Yes. Now go." Sam left with a guilty expression on his face. Cassie and Kim stared expectantly at Toby.
"Come here, girls," he said. "I want to show you something. Do you like to color?"
Cassie or Kim nodded. Toby pulled two yellow pads out of his desk and checked to see if his door was closed. When he was sure it was, he pulled a box of 64 crayons from the recesses of his bottom drawer and settled the girls in at a corner of his desk. The twins grinned up at him. He smiled back, turned to his laptop, paused, closed it, and grabbed another pad.
"Do either of you know how to draw a bald eagle?" he asked.
<A White House hall; 9 a.m.>
Josh Lyman was striding purposefully through the West Wing, calculating in his head how many miles he walked through the corridors everyday. Before he could finish, his assistant Donna broke his concentration. Donna liked to pretend she was a ditzy blonde; in fact she one of the smartest people in Washington and indispensable to the Deputy Chief of Staff.
"Good morning Josh," she said.
"Good morning Donna. Did you know I end up walking 5 miles everyday just getting to meetings and people's offices in the WhiteHouse?"
"Actually," she said, "it's more like 7 miles." Josh looked sharply at her. "Do you know what Toby is doing right now?" she continued.
"I would hope he's in his office writing the Social Security speech," Josh said.
"He's coloring," Donna confided.
"Coloring? A picture?"
"Toby doesn't have crayons in his office."
"Yes he does."
"No he doesn't." Josh paused. "How do you know these things?"
"Bonnie told me."
"He has crayons?"
"One of those small 8 packs?
"No, the kind with 6 different types of red."
"Maybe I should go see him."
"You probably should."
On this intelligence from his assistant, Josh diverted to Toby's office and added another .06 miles to his day. Josh decided that a sneak attack was the best tactic and burst into the office without knocking. He was stunned to find the Communications Director sitting between two little girls and surrounded by bits of wax.
"Toby, what are you doing?" Josh asked.
"I am entertaining two lovely ladies," Toby said with great dignity. He pulled a paper into his lap.
"You have crayons in your office?"
"I'm a big supporter of the arts."
"I can see that. What are you hiding?" Josh grabbed the picture from Toby. "Nice. A bald eagle complete with American flag background. This is pretty good for crayons."
"Uncle Toby showed us how to draw feathers," one of the twins announced.
"Are these your nieces?" Josh asked.
"No. They're Sam's. I'm watching them while he writes his speech."
"What about your speech?" Josh demanded.
"I'll get it done."
"Yeah. Like now. I'll take the kids. What are their names?"
"Uhh... Kim and... Carol? Cassandra?"
"Which one is which?"
"I don't know."
"Okay. Come on girls, we'll go find something *really* fun to do."
"'Bye Uncle Toby!" they said in unison.
"Goodbye," Toby said wistfully.
<A White House hall: 9:17 a.m.>
Josh found himself in his beloved corridors again, only this time he had a little girl's hand in each of his. He thought his heart would melt.
Then Donna ruined the moment.
"Josh?" she said. "Wow, who are they?"
"Kimmy and Chloe. I think. They belong to Sam."
"Well, I hate to interrupt you, but Senator Grey is on the phone. I think you've been waiting for his call?"
"Oh. Well, I guess I have to take it. I never get to have any fun. What do I do with these kids?"
Josh looked wildly around and spotted CJ Cregg slipping gracefully though the hall.
"CJ! Come here for a minute. I've got to take a call. These are Sam's nieces. Take care of them, will you?
CJ opened her mouth to protest, but Josh was already gone. She looked down - quite a long way - and met two pairs of expectant green eyes.
"Okay," she said. "Uh... come with me."
CJ got a few strange looks as she made her way to her office. But then, it wasn't everyday that CJ Cregg led a small train of five-year-olds through the West Wing. When they arrived, CJ looked at the mounds of paperwork she needed to read before the noon briefing.
"Now, listen carefully," she said. "This is called `The Jackal.'"
<The White House, just outside CJ Cregg's office; 11:43 a.m.>
Leo McGarry was busy. He was usually busy. In fact, at that exact moment he had three other places to be *other* than outside the Press Secretary's door, but he needed to go over a report with her before the noon briefing. He was about to knock when he heard familiar music. It sounded like The Jackal. Intrigued, Leo opened the door.
CJ was standing on her desk with two little girls, and the music *was* The Jackal.
"Hey CJ," Leo said as he looked up higher than usual to meet her eyes.
"Oh, Leo. Hi. Um, what can I do for you?" CJ asked as she crawled off her desk.
"I *was* going to go over this report with you. Who are *they*?"
"Josh's nieces. Or Sam's kids. Or something."
"You were teaching them *The Jackal*?" Leo asked incredulously.
"Leo, it's a real life skill," she said.
"Yeah, maybe. Do you realize you have a briefing in... 9 minutes?"
"Holy... uh, yes. Um, Leo, could you do me a big favor and watch these kids for a minute?"
<7:30 p.m. The White House, Leo's office>
Leo's door was open, so the only sign he had that someone was standing on the threshold was a subtle change in light. Leo glanced up and saw a familiar figure.
"Sir," he said as he started to stand.
"Leo, don't get up," Jed Bartlet said.
The President of the United States dropped wearily into a chair across from his best friend.
"Leo, this has been a really strange day," POTUS said.
"How so, sir?"
"First I asked Toby how the Social Security speech was coming. He handed me a few pieces of paper with `American Symbolism' written across the top and told me it would be a more interesting subject. He even had a strange diagram that looked like it had been done in crayon."
"In crayon?" Leo asked.
"Yes. Then a few hours later Josh came in. He was in a really bad mood and kept ranting about never having any fun."
"Really," Leo said.
"Oh, and the press corps is all worked up. Apparently CJ did The Jackal at the briefing this afternoon."
" `s that so?" Leo muttered.
"The only thing that went right today was Sam's speech. And even that was strange. He brought it in at about 5. I was reading it over when he suddenly turned white, yelled `I've lost them,' and ran out of my office."
"Hmm," Leo replied.
"To top it off - and this is very serious, Leo - I think Mrs. Landingham is out of cookies."
Leo didn't respond.
The President looked narrowly at his Chief of Staff. Leo's gaze and attention had wandered somewhat left of the Chief Executive's face.
"In other news," the President said lightly, "My nose is on fire. I declared war on Canada. I sold all our nuclear weapons to Iraq. I decided that the Constitution was far too important a document to just leave sitting around, so I had Mrs. Landingham go to the National Archive and shred it. I'm going to change my name to Moondoggie. Oh, and in a stunning display of bipartisanship and congressional cooperation, the House and Senate decided to impeach me and remove me from office just for the heck of it."
Leo glanced at his boss.
"I'm sorry, sir, I didn't quite get that last part," he said.
"Yeah, that's what I thought," the President said and turned quickly to find out *what* Leo was looking at. The answer was immediately clear.
There were two little girls in the Oval Office. More to the point, they were behind Barlet's desk, covered in the last of Mrs. Landingham's cookies, and a Marine guard was *spinning* them in the President's chair.
"Leo," the President demanded, "who are those kids in my office?"
"I have no idea," Leo said.
"Well, that Marine is giving them a really poor ride. I know that chair. Maybe I could take a break and show him how it's done. After all, how much trouble can two redheads be?"