Title: Man Of Steal.
Author: Jess
E-mail: jessicamatassa@hotmail.com
Spoilers: The War at Home. Bartlets Third State of the Union
Disclaimer: The Characters belong to the West Wing and it's creators. Not
copyright
infringement is intended. This is non-profit and for pure enjoyment.
Archive: If you want it. Take it.
Rated: Probably mature a few made words but nothing not said at home. Serious
discussions.
Summary: When Leo finally falls Jed, Abbey and the Staff help him back up.

"MARGARET!" Leo bellowed from the inside of his office. It was two o'clock in
the morning and without realizing it he yelled again for his assistance,
"MARGARET!"
Once again upset about the absence of his red-headed assistance bouncing into
the office
asking, 'what?' he got up to see where she was. He walked into the outer office
and was
disturbed by the sight in front of him he glanced around to see that no one at
all was even
in the building. He looked up at the clock and sighed, "That would explain it,
now
wouldn't it?" He muttered to himself and walked back into his office.
He sat down at his disk and pick-up the paper he had been working on. The paper
was on the latest results of the State of the Union, although they weren't bad,
the results
weren't what they were hoping for. He was on his third page of polling numbers
and
looked down at the pile of five more. He had read the same line over four times
without
even realizing it and after becoming easily distracted he put the paper down,
pulled his
glasses off and rubbed his eyes. Abbey had told him many times to stop this
habit saying
'it scratches your eyes,' but he always ignored it because it felt good when his
eyes were
tired and sore from reading such tedious things.
He shook his head and lifted his hand, he pulled away his sleeve to dread what
he
hoped wasn't true, it was two thirty in the morning, he was tired and there
wasn't a whole
lot of time for him to sleep left. He look up from his desk at his couch 'ah
what the hell?'
and wandered over. He took his tailored suit coat off and hung it over his
chair, he pulled
at his tie and after a few seconds finally loosened it enough to slip it over
his head and
toss on the chair along with his coat. He went to his closet and pulled out a
blanket. He
shook it several times because it had been months since it had last been used.
He sat
down on the couch, pulled his shoes off with tired shaking fingers, laid down
and pulled
the blanket up around his chin. He closed his eyes and fell instantly asleep
which was
rare for him.

~ The Next Morning ~

"Leo. Leo wake up. Leo?"

"Oh geez Margaret let me sleep would ya?" He turned over on to his side facing
away from her.
"I would since you don't very often, but you have a meeting with the President
in
twenty minutes and I don't think he would like if I told him not to bother you
because
you were sleeping."

"Yeah I don't think he would too." He grunted as he pushed aside the blanket to
get up. "Can you get me a cup of coffee? I'll be up in a few minutes."

"Sure no problem." She pulled a roll of papers out from under her arms and
handed them to her. "It's the 'Times' I know how you like to do the crossword in
the
morning." She turned and walked away.

He glanced at the roll of papers and started to open them. He made it to the
crossword before he slowly fell onto his side and closed his eyes. He laid there
for a few
minutes before he awoke to the sound of foot steps. He quickly scrambled to his
feet and
fixed his hair with his hands. The steps were just in the outer office when he
grabbed his
tie and slipped it over his head and pulled it tight.

Margaret appeared in the doorway. She stood there for a second and looked at
him. There was something about him, but she didn't quite know what it was, he
didn't
seem right, he didn't seem like Leo. She shrugged, "Here's your coffee." She
turned and
left, "meeting in five minutes, Oval Office." She yelled from the reception
area.

"Shit," he muttered as he searched through the two thousand pieces of paper for
the right one. He picked up about four or five neatly shuffled them and put them
into a
folder. He took a quick glance at his watch and opened the joining doors to the
Oval
Office.

He was greeted by a unusually happy president, "Gee Leo you look like crap." He
chuckled as he pointed to the couch for Leo to sit.

"Well sir, if I didn't feel like it I would resent that." He sat down, opened
the
folders. He carefully spread the papers out. "Well sir these are the results of
the State of
The Union. All in all you didn't do to bad, but it wasn't what we wanted. Joey
Lucas
suggests we 'dial it up' because we haven't got our message out clear enough and
people
are sitting on the fence. Frankly sir I agree, don't get me wrong, we have did
a great job
so far, but not enough to change the minds of the Great American Public. They
still want
guns now, not five days later. They seem to think that guns will protect them
from others
who already have guns if they can get them now instead of five days later."

"I guess they forgot about the whole assassination attempt that unfolded a few
months back which I and Josh were shot and don't forget the many lives put in
danger.
How can people not see that there is a problem when my and I staff are shot at
because
my daughter is involved in a interracial relationship? Do they not see that
there is a
problem when someone needs a gun this very second? They all seen the effects of
being
shoot at, they seen us. Many of us I don't think have completely healed." The
President
was on his feet pacing.

"I know which is exactly the reason why we need to get this message out. So
that
we are the last this will happen to. We are close to passing this bill and we
will. It will
just take time and persuasion."

Bartlet put his head down. He sat like that, perfectly still, for a few minutes
before looking up at Leo. "I hope your right Leo." He sighed, "Do me a favour
would
ya?"
"What's that?"

"Pass the bill."

"Yes sir." Leo gathered his papers, put them in his folder. He looked up and
smiled at the president as he turned and walked out.

"And Leo?"

"Yes sir?" He called from the doorway.

"Get some sleep. You look like something the dog dragged in."

"Whatever." He laughed and closed the door behind him.

He sat back in his chair and pulled out a few pieces of paper. "Margaret?" He
put
the pieces of paper in front of him and grabbed a pen.

He assistant came bouncing in, "What?" Leo chuckled for a second as he though
back to the previous night.

"Where's that coffee I asked for?" She started to leave. "Get Josh in here
would
you?" He started to write some names down on the paper. Next to each name he
wrote a
few numbers and some point form notes.

Josh appeared in the doorway, "You rang?"

"Sit down."

"What's up?" He took Leo seriously when he realized he didn't look up or crack
a
smile when he came in.

"I need you to go see these senators," he handed him the paper. "You do
whatever
it is we need to get these five senators to say yes. The president wants this
bill Josh, and
you know why."
"Yeah. Okay I will meet with them for lunch over the next few days. I will do
what I can and work the Lyman magic on them." Leo began to open his mouth to
protest
but Josh stopped. "Don't worry I want this bill too, I'm not going to screw
around." Leo
nodded and put his glasses back on. Josh turned on his heels to leave and
stopped for a
second as if he wanted to say something but decided against it and continued.

"Margaret my coffee?" He glanced at his clock it was only 10:00 and he was
tired. Margaret appeared and set his coffee down on his desk, walked out and
closed the
door. Leo took a drink of his coffee. It felt so good going down. He stopped and
thought
for a while then continued on with his work.

It had been quite a bit later when Margaret appeared in the doorway with a tray
of
food. On it was a tuna sandwich and some orange juice. She set it down on the
table and
looked at him. He chuckled, "Margaret what the hell are you doing?"

"Bringing you something to eat."

"What am I 5 years old."

"No your 55, you haven't eaten all day, you look tired, you've been stressed,
and
you look like crap. So eat."

"All right." He set the paper he had been working on and sat down in front of
the
table. He picked up the sandwich and took a couple of bites. She was standing
there
watching him. "Don't you have work to do?" She turned and left. He ate a few
more bites
of his sandwich and decided to lay down for a second.

~ Oval Office ~
3 Hours Later

"Charlie!?"

"Yes sir?"

"What's next?" President Bartlet got up and walked around to his desk. He took
his glasses off and put his papers away. He cleaned up his desk a bit as Charlie
walked up
in front of him.

"You have a meeting with Mr. McGarry. Then with Toby."

"When?"

"Now."

"Oh," he thought for a second and looked at his desk then back up. "Where is
he?"

"In his office sir. Do you want me to go.."

"No, no, no, that's fine I will go see what's keeping our grouchy friend." He
laughed at the smile that grew across Charlie's face.

He opened the joining doors and was surprised by the scene that had awaited
him.
He looked around the room, the door leading to Margaret was obviously locked,
the
sandwich on the table only half eaten and papers scattered all across the desk.
Leo was
sitting on the couch with his held tilted back leaning on the back of the couch,
his arms
laid out on his sides, his feet slightly apart and several folders on the ground
which had
obviously fell out of his hands. Jed Bartlet slowly walked towards his Chief of
Staff
careful not to startle him. He squatted down next to the couch and reached him
arm
somewhat hesitantly onto Leo's shoulder. He took hold of the shoulder tightly,
"Leo? Leo
wake up. Come on Leo." He didn't get much more than a grumble. He reached his
hand
up to Leo's forehead. He was definitely warm. He got up and walked over to his
desk to
call Abbey.
Toby entered the Oval Office and walked into the open doors leading to Leo's
office. "Sir what's going on? You told me to meet you in your office at 7:30."
He looked
over a Leo with alarm. "Jesus. What the hell's wrong?" He walked over to Leo and
bend
down in front of him to get a good look at him.
"I don't know Toby. I just called Abbey she should be here any second." He went
over to the joining doors to his office as Abbey appeared in his office. He
waved her
over.
"Where is he?"

"On the couch."

She entered the room to see Toby standing next to Leo. She was shocked at first
to see Leo in such a state. She crouched down in front of him. "Leo honey wake
up."
There wasn't an answer his eyes just flickered. She put her hand on his knee and
reached
up to brush his hair aside. "He's warm." She readjusted herself. "Leo honey you
have to
get up." She put her hand in his, "Leo if you can hear me close your fist." Jed
and Toby
both waited in anticipation for his hand to close. Slowly but controlled his
hand became
closed around hers. "Leo can you try and open your eyes." They slightly
flickered.
"Come on Leo you can do better than that. I want to see those beautiful eyes."
He slowly
with much effort opened them.

Jed and Toby closed in a little to get a good look at him. Toby was beginning
to
get worried and Jed was far past worried. He was about to say something but
Abbey's
hand came up in protest.

She turned her attention back to Leo. "Leo do you know where you are?" He
slowly nodded. "Can you tell me where?"

He eyes opened a little wider and surveyed the room. "Work?" He closed them
again.

"Abbey what the hell is wrong?" Jed was growing antsy.

"Hold on." She did a quick analysis and turned towards Toby and Jed. "I think
he
just really wore himself out to the point he's body won't function right. He
needs to rest
for a few days. I want to take him to the residence with us, I want to watch him
for a few
days."

Jed nodded. "Okay we'll help him to the residence. We'll take the back way.
Toby if anyone asks just tell them the truth this isn't a big deal we don't need
to lie about
it."

"Sure. Okay"

They both walked over to Leo. Abbey leaned over him. "Leo honey open your
eyes." She waited for him to look at her. "I know your tired so Jed and Toby are
going to
help you up to the residence to sleep. okay?" He's mouth opened and although it
wasn't
audible it was a 'yes.' "Jed and Toby are going to grab your arms to help you
stand. Is
that okay?" He was trying desperately to keep his eyes open, 'yes' came the
slight
whisper.

Jed grabbed his right arm and Toby his left and on the count of three they
managed to get him standing. He clearly sagged between them. Toby looked at him
and
helped him steady, "You ready Leo?" he nodded. They walked through the Oval
Office
and out the doors to the residence.

Halfway there Leo's legs gave out and all three of them almost fell to the
ground.
Jed and Toby set him into a sitting position on the ground. Abbey rushed over to
check
on Leo. She softly chuckled a bit, "Leo you can't fall asleep yet you have to
get up." He
opened his eyes, and they were pleading for him to rest. She stood and went to
get a few
agents to help.

A few minutes later he was resting in one of the spare bedrooms. Abbey checked
him over, while Toby and Jed sat in the living room. She took his coat and tie
off to do a
better examination. After she had confirmed what she thought she went to go see
her
husband and Toby.

Toby was a little frightened. Something's wrong with Leo, he is sitting with
the
president in the residence who is clearly worried and he doesn't know what to
say to
make him fell any better. Unsure of how to behave in such a situation he is
happy to see
Abbey return.

She stands in front of them. Toby stands in her presence and she waves her hand
for him to sit. "He's fine."

The president looks up doubting her. "He sure as hell didn't look fine to me."

"Your right he isn't fine right now." She sighed, "What I'm trying to say is he
will
be fine with a few days rest. He basically wore himself out to the point were
his body
wouldn't do anything. The past few weeks have caught up with him. The hostage
situation. the state of the union, the gun control bill, and the thoughts of
re-election.
Normally someone in his situation would require a hospital stay, but because I
will be
here for a few weeks and you guys are going to promise to let him rest for a
week I will
let him stay here."

"Abbey," Toby finally spoke up. "I, um... When can we, ah.. Can we see him?"
He wanted to make sure Leo was fine.

"Not right now. It's probably best that you tell the staff. You guys can come
see
him tomorrow afternoon, when he can keep his eyes open and speak. Until then let
him
sleep."

"Okay, I'm going to go back to the West Wing and let the staff aware of the
situation before they go home. Goodnight Mr. President, Mrs. Bartlet." He turned
and
left.

Abbey watched as Toby left and closed the door behind him. She took a seat next
to her husband on the couch. She put her cool hand under his shirt on his back.
He sat
there with his head down. "He's fine Jed."

"I shouldn't have pushed him so hard to get that bill to pass. I want it bad
though,
I told him to do whatever he can to get that bill signed. He came into the
office this
morning looking tired as hell, he looked like shit. I should've told him to go
home."

"It's okay Jed he understands. If he didn't, he would've went home. He wants
that
bill past as bad as anyone does who has been a victim of a gun crime."

A tear slowly slid down his check. "I was scared as hell a few months ago. I
have
never been so scared in my life not when I was diagnosed, when Leo went to war
or when
I was inaugurated. I was scared for Zoey, Charlie, Leo, Josh, CJ, Sam, Toby and
every
other person there. I seen everyone fall to the ground in front of me. I wanted
to so badly
go and help them but I couldn't, there was nothing I could do but watch. I was
scared as
hell then and I'm as scared as hell now."

"Honey I told you Leo is going to be fine."

"It's not that. It's how the public realizes our gun control problem and
doesn't
want to help. I'm scared for all those people who have died from guns, who are
going to
die from guns before we pass this bill and those people who are going to die
there after if
we don't pass this bill. I sincerely hope that this bill will help." He put his
head down. He
didn't want his wife to see him cry.

Abbey sat with him. She knew he was crying his whole body was shaking. She
pulled him down into her and they laid there on the couch until his body finally
stopped
quivering and he had fallen asleep.

She slowly slid herself from underneath him and covered him with a blanket. She
slipped out of the room to check on Leo. It had been a few hours since they had
got him
to the residence. She slowly opened the door. He was still sleeping. She came in
closer to
get a good look at him. He was very quite his breathing was deep a slow, which
was
good. She put her hand across his forehead, he moved a bit under her touch. He
was only
a bit warm. He opened his eyes a crack. She bent down and whispered quietly.
"Hey
there Leo. You comfortable?" He shook his head. "No? What's wrong?"

"I don't feel good and I feel hot." He spook so soft it was just audible.

"Well that's what happens when you don't get enough sleep. You wore yourself
out Leo and made yourself sick. If you want I can help you out of your clothes?"
He
nodded. "For someone who always has an opinion is being very quit." He didn't
answer
her. "I'll be right back. I'm going to go get some clothes from Jed for you."

She left and returned a few minutes later with a white shirt and flannel pants.
"This is all I can find that will fit you. I can't dress you myself so your
going to have to
help." She grabbed hold of his hands and pulled him up into a sitting position.
She
carefully unbuttoned his shirt, took it off and put on the white T-shirt. She
swung his feet
over the edge of the bed. "Okay Leo I got your shirt on. Do you want to put the
pants on
your self?" She chuckled a bit. "Or do you want me to help?"

He slowly stood up and began to undo his pants. It was a good thing he decided
to
wear boxers yesterday. He sat back down and pulled his feet out, then put the
flannel
pants on. He stood up once more to pull the pants all the way up. He sat down
and
Abbey helped him under the covers.

"You know your amazing Leo. You did that whole thing with your eyes closed.
No wonder you can run a country." She went into the bathroom to retrieve some
aspirin
and water. "Take this it will help the fever and let you sleep."

He took it gratefully. "Thanks Abbey. For..um, everything." He laid back down.
"Where's Jed?"
"He's sleeping in the living room. He's was worried about you, and so was
everyone else. I guess your not the man of steal you thought. He was scared"

"Sorry."

"I know you are." She got up to leave.

"Abbey tell Jed thanks and I love you guys."

She smiled, "Okay" and left. She could feel the lump in her throat grow until
the
tears were finally visible.

~ The Next Morning ~

"So you feeling better?" He closed the door behind him and walked up to his
friend.

Leo turned his head. "Yeah. I want to thank you for last night. What you and
Abbey did was...well...I love you guys."

Jed smiled. "Don't forget Toby. He helped carry you up here."

"Toby help you carry me. Geez I must've been out." He turned his head to look
out the window. "Toby...he touched me. No offense to him but I can't see him
doing such
a thing."

"Well I you were able to keep your eyes open for more than two seconds
yesterday you would've." He walked up to the bed and sat down on the edge. "You
should tell me when your tired Leo. Your not 20 anymore you have to slow down.
You
scared the hell out of everyone yesterday."

"I'm sorry."

"I'm sorry too."'

Leo chuckled, "Your not going to fire me are you?"

"I was thinking about it but here's the deal." Jed gave him his presidential
smile.
"Your going to stay here today and tomorrow. Your not going to work on Sundays.
Your
going to come in at 7:30 like everyone else and leave and go home every night
like
everyone else."

"I have to stay here? With you? for two more days?"

"You bet your tired little ass. Look at the bright side your going to be the
first
person in history to have the President of the United States and The First Lady
cater to
them." He got up and headed for the door. "I have staff. Abbey should be here in
a bit.
There are also four kids downstairs that are dying to see you. They will be here
at four
o'clock so wear your best PJ's"

"See ya later Jed. Thanks."

"Anytime, but not too soon." He shut the door behind him.

~ Outside the Residence ~
3:45 PM

They were all gathered outside the main door to the residence. Sam was standing
next to the door with CJ next to him. Toby was sitting in a chair. While Josh
was pacing
back and fourth.

"You know your going to wear a hole in the presidential carpet." CJ stated
while
Josh stopped and looked up.

"Knock"

"What?"

"Knock on the door."

She stood there in disbelief. "You want me to knock on the presidents door?"

"Yeah what's so strange about that?"

Toby finally spoke up. "Josh sit down. Sam knock."

"I'm not..." Sam started.

The door opened. "Don't worry you don't have to. Guys come on in." The
president gestured them into the room. He helped CJ out of her coat. "You guys
can put
your coats in the closet. Calm down a bit would you, it's not like you haven't
been in the
same room with me before."

He led them up to the family room. Leo was watching 'Who line is it anyway?"
and eating popcorn. They walked in the door behind him. CJ burst out laughing.
Leo
turned, "What?"

"I can't believe what I'm seeing."

"What?"

Josh stepped in, "I think she is referring to the White House Chief of Staff
watching a comedy and eating popcorn. Having fun there boss?"

"Josh shut up would you."

"Now that's the guy I know." Sam laughed at him.

"Okay kids calm down Leo needs rest. Lets not get the mad man going." Jed sat
down on one of the chairs. "Now like I said no work and all play. Now you guys
think
I'm some boring geek, but I insist I'm not."

Toby mumbled loud enough for everyone to hear "We wouldn't say that about
you sir."

"I'll bet. Anyway I got a movie called 'The American President.' I also took it
upon myself to order pizza. I hope everyone likes supreme. I also got for the
luxury of our
beer drinkers Corona beer with the little limes. For you Leo I got Gingerale.
Please have
a seat."

~ 2hrs and a half later ~

Leo was spread out on the couch. The President was laying on the floor on his
back. CJ was laying next to him she had a pillow jammed into his side with her
head on
it. Toby sat on the chair next to Leo with his coat, tie and shoes off and his
feet on the
table. Josh sat on the floor with his back up against the couch that Leo was
occupying.
Sam was also on the floor sitting cross legged with a beer between his legs. The
coffee
table had been pushed aside and was covered in pizza boxes and empty beer
bottles.

Jed was the first to speak, "You know I'm a much better president than
president
Marshall. I knew about my rose garden."

"Not until you were playing football with Zoey and fell into the bushes."
Everyone chuckled at Leo's remark remembering Abbey pulling thorns out of the
President. "I'm also a better Chief of Staff. This guy sucks."

"Hey I like him. He handsome and he's cool."

"Whatever"

"Did you just give the President sass?"

Toby grumbled "Will you kids be quit?"

"I hope that was said with all due respect of me Toby. Cause I can have you
transferred to Yemen."

"Can I have his desk?"

Toby had about enough, "Everyone quit and no Sam you cannot have my desk."

The credits began to role. "That was so sweet." CJ had tears coming out of her
eyes.

"Hey I can be a sweet president."

CJ looked up at him, "I know."

They all sat there together for a few moments in silence. It had been along
time
since they had did such a casual thing with the President. The screen turned
white as the
film ended. Toby was the first to speak, "Mr President thanks for the evening
it was very
enjoyable and you've proven you are not the geek everyone thinks you are." He
got up
and grabbed his coat, tie and shoes.

"Thanks Toby." The president moved slowly to warn CJ he was going to get up.
She moved the pillow away so he could stand.

Sam and Josh gathered their things. The President lead them to the door. He
opened the closet and handed them there coats. He helped CJ into her coat.

"Is Leo sleeping?" Josh asked as he put his shoes on.

"Yeah I'm going to let him sleep. I want to thank you guys for coming. He needs
sometime to have fun with you guys. He doesn't say it a lot and neither do I but
we love
you guys and we appreciate everything you do for us."

"Thanks Mr. President." Toby reached out his hand and shook the Presidents.
Sam and Josh followed suit and thanked him.

CJ bent down and kissed him on the cheek, "Thanks very much Mr. President."
She walked out the door behind the rest of the guys.

Josh was halfway down the hall when he turned around. "At the Pleasure of the
President and his Chief of Staff." He waved his hand and rounded the corner
after
everyone else.

President Bartlet smiled and returned to the family room to check on Leo.

~ Oval Office ~
Two Weeks Later

"So you think we have it Leo?"

"I think so sir. Josh has to convince one more person and we have the bill. We
were working on it all night and we might have done it."

"Yes. In years to come when children are siting in there history class their
teachers will be talking about today and how the Bartlet administration passed
the Gun
Control Bill."

"Okay. Thanks Mr. President." Leo gathered up his papers and left.

President Bartlet walked around to his desk. "Charlie!" He sat down and put his
glasses on. Charlie walked in, "What's Next?"

"Well sir, you have a bill here for $150 for the carpet that needed to be
cleaned
because you spilt beer on it. You have a meeting with Vice President Hoynes at
noon.
Your supposed to order flowers for Abbey."

"How come?"

He picked up his notebook and read what it said, "For all that she did for Leo
and....."

"Oh yeah."

"You also have to sign these letters for all the grade school students that
wrote an
essay into the White House." He sat the stack down on the desk.

"How many?"

"338, Sir."

"Okay. Thanks Charlie."

Charlie walked out. The President picked up the pen and began to read the note
that he was signing. He was in a happy mood the Gun Bill had a good chance of
passing.
He was thinking about what Leo said. He stopped and replayed the conversation in
his
head, 'we were working on it all night.' Damnit he should've went home.

He walked over to the joining doors. He walked into Leo's office and smiled.
The
lights were off and he was sleeping on the couch with a blanket on him. There
was a little
sign on the table that said, 'leave me alone I'm tired, grouchy, and I need to
sleep.'
With that he turned and walked out.

~ THE END!! ~
Feedback please. I'm just a little kid I need feedback. Well I'm not exactly
little (14 yr..)
You guys were so nice to me when I wrote my other story, 'we should've talked
about it.'
Please let me know what you think.

 

 

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