NOTES: See Part One, Please enjoy. :)
... Please don't kill me...
ARCHIVE: Go ahead. Please do, if ye can.
DISCLAIMER: They're not mine, except for Levi McClane and Dante the dog.
SUMMARY: The White House prepares to send a comprehensive, best of the best
gun control package to the hill, and they're going to do everything they can
to make sure it passes.

"Toby." Josh whined.
"Don't you even." Toby retorted.
"Come on, Toby. Live a little." Josh exclaimed.
"We don't know how it's gonna go down, Josh." Toby replied.
"Just one. We can save the other bottles for later." Josh whimpered.
"You open one bottle, you're blowing our chances." Toby growled.
"Well, that's just nutty superstition if I've ever heard it."
"It's tempting fate, Josh."
"So? Let's tempt fate. Live a little."
"Josh, if you open that bottle, I'm going to break the rest of them
over your head and then throw you out a window."
"You know, for a rather morbid threat, you said that rather calmly."
"I suggest you get away from me, and I mean now."
"I mean, that's more than just threatening to kill me, which you've
done many times be--"
"Josh, get away from me now, or listen as I make up all kinds of new
creative threats and then watch me as I *act* on them." Toby growled. Josh
raised an eyebrow, handed the champagne bottle to the disgruntled speech
writer and then slowly backed away.
"Never try to ruin his day of jubilee." Bonnie whispered to the
retreating deputy chief of staff.
"No, really." Josh muttered. Across the room, Leo watched the scene
that had just taken place and then glanced around the room. CJ and the
President seemed to be engrossed in a deep conversation about dogs, while Sam
and Ainsley Hayes were standing against the wall, also in what appeared to be
a very serious conversation. Josh found refuge next to Donna's side and
pretended to look as interested as she was in Margaret's non-stop, one-sided
discussion of the truth behind fruit roll-ups.
No where in sight could he see Levi McClane. It disturbed him.
"Hey, Leo." Zoey's soft voice exclaimed as she walked up to her
father's best friend. He smiled.
"Hey, kid. What are you doing here?" He asked as he gave her a hug.
"Nice to see you too." Zoey joked. "Dad asked me and Charlie to be
here tonight. He said something about moral support."
"Well, he either means about this bill or about having to deal with
Levi." Leo mused out loud.
"I don't think it's Levi. He said that she came into his office and
they had a long talk and she apologized or something." Zoey exclaimed. Leo
couldn't help but smile. Levi really was changing.
"He didn't tell me about that." He admitted. Zoey smiled weakly.
"I don't really see how much moral support I can give him about a bill
though. I mean, you guys are going to win it, right?" She asked.
"We honestly don't know. The last vote mark-up was 52-48, and we had
asterics next to seven names telling us that those many people were still in
limbo about what decision they were going to make." Leo replied.
"So if the mark-up stays the same, you'll lose?" Zoey asked with a
frown. She couldn't tell him, but the gun package meant more to her than she
would ever let on. A gun shot her friend; a gun shot her father; a gun tried
to kill her and her boyfriend because he was her boyfriend. She needed to
know that things would be okay in the long run, and she didn't know how else
to be assured.
"Well, I'm not happy about the specific use of the word 'you' there. I
try not to think of myself as a loser." Leo pointed out playfully. Zoey
smiled weakly. He paused. "If it stays the same, the bill will not pass."
"Then why is Josh trying to open the champagne?" Zoey asked.
"My guess is because that he's more upset about the idea of losing
then he'll tell any of us, and he wants to get drunk before he has to deal
with the results of the vote." Leo mused sadly. He could remember feeling the
same way.
"Then it's good that Toby's not letting him drink." Zoey said softly
as she slipped an arm through Leo's. Leo smiled weakly.
"Toby is a very superstitious person when it comes to his work. When
the vote's over, he'll crack that sucker open; either to celebrate a win or
to drown his sorrows over a loss." He pointed out. Zoey paused.
"They're good people though." She said. Leo smiled and nodded.
"They really are. We did a good job rounding these people together."
He replied.
"I'm especially glad you found Charlie." Zoey said with a grin. Leo
paused and then smirked at her.
"You can't realize how glad that makes me." He said softly. After all
they'd been through, after all that their relationship had put them through,
Charlie and Zoey were still very much in love. To see two young people in
love made Leo's heart swell with joy, especially when one of the two people
was his goddaughter.
"Thanks, Leo." Zoey whispered. Leo smiled a little wider and nodded.
"Hey, Leo." Josh said as he walked up to them. "Where's Levi?"
"I don't know. I've been looking for her." Leo admitted.
"Leo." Mrs. Landingham said as she walked into the room. "There's a
phone call in the office."
"Okay. Who is it?" He asked. Mrs. Landingham paused.
"It's Levi." She replied.
"Levi? Levi doesn't use phones." Leo said worriedly as he followed the
elderly secretary out of the room.
"It's not her. It's about her." Mrs. Landingham admitted. Leo nodded
and grabbed the receiver. Mrs. Landingham watched his face slowly drain of
color as he listened to the voice on the other end of the line. In the other
room, the senior staff of the White House stared at the television screen in
"Three more, come on!" Josh called to the TV.
"Prescott votes yes." A voice exclaimed. Everyone cheered.
"Quiet!" Toby shouted. Everyone waited in silence. Another nay vote
elicited groans from the rapt audience. "Quiet!" He snapped again. Josh
looked around for Leo as another yay vote caused an eruption of cheers.
"One more..." Toby muttered. Josh saw Leo enter the room and walk
over to the President. The chief of staff whispered into the President's ear
and the two looked at each other. Neither Josh, nor Leo, nor the President
himself heard the cheers of joy as the last needed vote was counted and Toby
popped open the bottle of champagne.
In fact, the only thing Josh heard coming from the bottle was another
gunshot. And as Leo glanced across the room, causing their eyes to meet, he
could see that another gun had indeed been fired.


~ D.C.



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