NOTES: See Part One, Please enjoy. :)
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.
"The main problem is still there." Sam muttered. "No matter how many
votes McClane swings over, I don't think we have time to still win this
thing." He added as he sat down behind his desk. Ainsley sat down on his
couch and thought about it slowly.
"Well, maybe if you could cut parts of it, stuff that isn't as
important to the rest of the bill, just leave the meat of it there, it could
pass more smoothly." She suggested finally.
"Why should we?" Levi said as she leaned in the doorway. "We should
leave it the way it is. It's the most productive the way it is."
"The chances are that it's not going to pass the way it is. I
understand how you feel, but if you just made a few changes, cut down on one
or two of the restrictions, you could have a much better chance of passing
it." Ainsley replied quietly. "You'll be able to do more with a lesser bill
that passes as opposed to a stronger bill that gets vetoed out of the house."
"A lesser bill gets less done. If we cut down on it, it's not going to
do anything." Levi returned, getting a little riled. Sam didn't like the
looks of this. Ainsley remained calmed and cool.
"Like I said, a lesser bill that passes does a lot more than a
stronger bill that gets vetoed." She repeated slowly.
"Well, what should we cut? Huh?" Levi asked. Somewhere in the back of
her mind, an alarm was going off. "Maybe the guns? That'll get it passed.
People will definitely pass a gun-control bill that doesn't mention guns."
"Not the guns. Just some of the stricter restrictions." Ainsley
"The stricter restrictions are the ones we need." Levi said sharply.
"If we cut those out, the lesser bill will be the same piece of crap already
passed by this administration and there will be no actual gun control!"
"Well, you can't take guns away from everyone. Some people need them
to survive. You can't judge people who own guns; not all of them are out to
kill somebody." Ainsley replied, still trying to stay calm, but not really
appreciating the fact that she was being yelled at simply because of her
"But eventually chances are that somebody is going to be hit by one of
those guns." Levi retorted angrily. "Eventually a gun is going to be misused
and somebody else is going to die."
"Some people enjoy shooting targets out in their backyard. Farmers and
ranchers need rifles to guard their herds. Guns are a part of society in a
way, so you can't just get rid of them." Ainsley returned. "So you have to
ask yourself, is it the guns you don't like or is it the people who like
"The people who like guns!" Levi snapped. Suddenly everyone was
looking at them, and Leo was standing in the hallway. Levi paused and looked
at the ground. Dante stood by her feet and whimpered. Leo walked forward.
"Go to my office." He said softly. Levi looked at him.
"I'm not a child." She replied.
"Go to my office." He said, his teeth clenched. Levi saw the look in
his eyes and nodded. She moved away quickly, keeping her eyes on the ground.
Leo watched as Dante followed loosely behind. Then he leaned into Sam's
office and looked at Ainsley. "I'm sorry about that."
"Don't worry about it." Ainsley said softly. "I'm used to people
disliking me because of what I think."
"Just because she did that, doesn't mean she dislikes you." Leo said
softly. "She goes overboard."
"She doesn't like people who like guns, Leo, or people who thinks that
they shouldn't disappear." Ainsley replied softly. Leo paused and then nodded
slowly before glancing at Sam and heading for his office.
"Are you okay?" Sam asked softly. Ainsley looked at him and smiled
"I'm fine, Sam." She said. "Did you want to talk about anything else?"
"No, I guess not. I'll be sure and mention what you said at the next
meeting." He added.
"I don't think Levi would like that." Ainsley replied somewhat
"Well, I really don't care." Sam replied with a weak smile. "Your
opinion matters, Ains." He replied.
"What'd you call me?" She asked with a smile.
"Ains. You don't like it?" He asked. She paused.
"No. No, it's fine. I just... It was a surprise." She replied. "I'm
gonna go back to my office now." She said, pointing for the door.
"Okay. If you need me, I'm just a phone call away." He replied. She
smiled and nodded as she got up and headed for the door. As she walked away,
Sam found himself watching her and tried to shake the feeling away.
"Snap out of it, Seaborn." He muttered.
"That was out of line." Leo said as he went into his office and
practically slammed the door. "She's on our side, and you'd do well to
remember that." He added angrily. He stopped when he saw Levi sitting on his
couch, her shoulders slumped and her fingers clutching her hair tightly.
"I'm sorry. I know." Levi said softly, not looking up at him. Dante
looked at Leo and whimpered sadly. "I don't know . . I don't know what came
"You fell apart." Leo declared. Levi looked up at him and then paused.
"I guess I did." She said finally and looked back at the floor. "I
like Hayes. I mean, she's a good person. I..." She trailed off and shook
her head. "I shouldn't be here. I never should have come here."
"I wouldn't go that far." Leo said with a sigh.
"I would. It wasn't right for me to come here." Levi insisted. "This
is such a big thing, Leo. Me being here could screw it all up."
"Listen, if all this comes from what just hap-" Leo started.
"It comes from everything that's ever happened to me, Leo." Levi
interrupted softly. Leo sighed and sat on the couch next to his distraught
"When's the last time you talked to your father?" He asked. Levi
"Five years ago, right before he died." She replied. Leo winced.
"I'm sorry. I didn't know." He said softly.
"You know, when I was sitting in the hospital, I was staring at the
wall and wondering how much I cared about the fact that my father was in the
next room, facing death's door." Levi said suddenly but softly. "I never
forgave him, Leo. I never forgave him for painting me with David's blood."
"He thought --" Leo started.
"It doesn't matter. He should not have had a gun in the same house as
children." Levi replied. "I shouldn't be here."
"You're the one that's always saying that the only reason we ever
fight for anything is because we care about things, because we're biased."
Leo pointed out. "Your major problem is that you don't know where to draw the
line and you don't know how to be truly respectful of the people you're
dealing with. That's been your major problem your entire career, Levi."
"Respect." Levi said slowly. "I have had a problem with it, haven't
I?" She added weakly. There was a silent pause in the room.
"I must say, that's the easiest I've ever seen someone respond to
constructive criticism." Leo said suddenly.
"I've got a lot to do, don't I, Leo?" Levi exclaimed softly.
"What do you mean?" Leo asked.
"I've got to learn about respect, apologize to a few people, figure
out what trick I'm going to use tomorrow, feed Dante..." Levi trailed off.
"How old are you, Levi?" He asked. She glanced at him.
"I'm 42. You know that." She replied.
"No offense, but it took you long enough." He said seriously. She
sighed and looked at the ground.
"No offense taken, but couldn't you have told me that before I learned
my lesson instead of after so that I wouldn't feel so crummy now?" She
retorted. Leo winced playfully and patted her on the back.
"You'll be fine. You're learning." He said softly.
"But it's about time." Levi said before getting up and heading for the
door. Leo frowned as he stood up.
"Where are you going?" He asked.
"Anywhere but here." She retorted as she moved through the door. Leo
looked at his couch to where Dante was staring at the door.
"You're not going with her?" He asked. Dante glanced at him and tilted
his head as if to say 'are you nuts?'. Leo smiled very weakly and looked
around the room. "Good point. This day's going well, isn't it?" He muttered.
Dante grunted in agreement before resting his head between his paws. Leo
glanced at him before moving back towards his desk.
"Sounds good to me." He said to the dog.
Bias - 7