Disclaimer: Well you know the drill, Faith and the band and crew are sprung from my own imagination

The mentioned music is owned by the respective artists and their music companies

 

Archive: If you would have it, anywhere is good

 

 

Note:

This is my first attempt at a fanfic (so be nice, please)

I am not an American and have no knowledge of security so mistakes are totally not intentional

- -    - - indicates thoughts

= =  = = indicates flashback

 

This story is set not too long after the shooting

 

 

NOT AS BAD AS IT LOOKS

 

Early morning in the Oval Office.

The only one in the room is the one who lives closest. Jed rushes in, beginning with an apology for being late, still trying to put on his jacket. He stops mid-sentence and walks back to Mrs Landinghamís desk.

"There is no one there, where is everybody?"

"Probably they are late, as you are. It was rather late when the party ended last night, so they overslept."

"All of them? This is going to be one of those days when coffee wonít do the trick I guess"

Half an hour later they are all present, but not quite awake. Grumpy is the word for it, and as POTUS already stated, coffee didnít do the trick, everybody is jumpy.

 

 

Elsewhere in the building

"Last on the agenda, the security for the first daughter at the concert of the BJīs. In about ten minutes I will meet withÖ"

Ron Butterfield looks through his notes,"Ö. Miss Faith Peters, she is taking the place of Boris Arkov who has called us saying he is sick. Miss Peters is checked out and not known with FBI, CIA or the Police. The only thing we could find about her was an incident at a rock show where she was assaulted by an angry crowd and left the scene needing medical attention"

Outside the White House a taxi pulls up. A woman dressed in a long black coat, black pants, silvertipped boots and a black hat, all made of leather, steps out. She looks at the building in front of her, and mumbles, "Boris, if you would have said White House instead of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, I would have changed, in something more suitable, like Ö. Something else." She stops to attach her hat to her backpack, and to straighten her hair, with her hands.

"Here goes nothing, if I get thrown out... no when I get thrown out it is your fault Boris."

Donna looks at the closed door behind which she knows Josh is hard at work as if he needs to catch up.

 - -He has not been himself since the shooting. He is always very friendly to everybody, but there is no heart in it. Something has to change- -

Faith tries not to look too conspicuous but it finds that only disappearing would help.

Luckily she is ushered in a room where Ron Butterfield introduces himself.

"Boris has ate something that didnít agree with him, but I hope I can help you. I made the drawings for the site, and helped with the planning of the exits and placement of your celeb."

Ron looks at her at that last remark. "Celeb??"

"Oh, sorry celebrity, VIP whatever, Boris has filled me in on almost everything, but the name of our guest." "Her name is Zoey Bartlet, she is the daughter of the President."

Faith mumbles "oh my" and continues to unfold the drawings "This should do the trick, to keep her out of harms way, the only thing we cannot provide is the entrance and exit outside the stadium. That is going to be your job."

Ron smiles at her, "I am used to that part. Now lets seeÖ"

They look over every aspect of the plans made by Boris and Faith. After an hour, Ron is satisfied with the preparations, when Faith tells him some details about the security on their side.

"Up until now only Boris, James, the production manager and I know about this celeb. The day of the show, the rest of the crew will know we have a celeb on the site, only to make sure they donít point lights at the box. The security personnel, will be told that the security will be handled by the celebīs own people, and that those guys are not to be hindered. That is the way we always do it, and it always works out fine."

"And you are positive the crowd canít see her?" "Only if they are clairvoyant, nobody would look that way in the first place and secondly we have lights under the windows of the box, to see something against all that light is humanly impossible, but you can come and check."

"Oh one more thing, the box must be open to Boris and me, we have our jobs to do, and that usually involves moving around a lot and that box in directly in our paths." "You work up high?" "No but we cannot go from left to right or back to front through the crowd, because it will take forever, and for me it can get risky. I assume you have heard."

Ron says he has heard something, but not what really happened and how bad she was injured.

"A misunderstanding between some overreacting fans and me, they attacked me, it was not too bad only a stab wound, needing a couple of stitches."

"How many?"

"The doctor wanted to make it into the Guinness Book or something, he used 40 something stitches on it: This big" she holds out her thumb and index finger. "But I have been out of active security ever since, it is not for me."

When Ron walks her to the entrance of the White House, Faith suddenly says, "Oh, him I wanted to avoid, heíll get in trouble over me." Ron follows her gaze and sees Josh Lyman staring at Faith, not really sure if he is really seeing her. Faith turns to Ron and asks him if it is a bad thing if he knows why she is here. Ron a little bit baffled shakes his head.

Josh walks up to Faith and they say as they kiss on the cheek. "It has been forever, since I have seen you."

"How are you holding up since the thing?" She looks him straight in the eyes. Josh looks away as he says

"Hanging on I guess."

"That bad huhÖ..Oh I was hoping to avoid you today"

"Why?"

She looks over his left shoulder and says "Because of that look on their faces."

At the end of the hall Leo and CJ are looking shocked, Leo waves at them, and mouths "in here" at them.

On their way over, Faith says "Exactly like being called in the Principalís office."

CJ hears that and says rather grim "Well you should know."

"My reputation proceeds me." But Josh shakes his head and enters his own office.

"Ah just an insult, oke" and with her best grin, Faith walks in, but remains close to the door. Leo is standing there with a face that indicates that something is terribly wrong.

"Josh have you never listened to anything we said to Sam aboutÖ you know?"

"I have listened and I see no relation with what is happening here, I Ö"

Faith interrupts him "Josh, I donít wanna be hear when you tell. Please escort me out, and for the both of you, you surprise me. I have heard nothing but nice things said about you.

Claudia Jean you should lighten up, but after Laurie everything that looks different is bad, right?

And as for you Mr McGarry Thaddeus painted a completely different picture of you then this."

 

After that Faith slams the door shut behind her and follows Josh to the exit. Leaving Leo and CJ confused behind.

Josh is laughing very loud as they make their way out. Donna smiles behind her desk, that is the first time she heard that laugh in a long time. But she twitches as she hears a female voice say. "Come on Josh is wasnít that funny."

Donna recognised that accent, but canít quite place it. She hurries out to see who that was, but just misses them. Donna decides to wait until Josh comes back to ask him who that was.

 

With a big grin on his face Josh returns to his office where Leo and CJ are waiting, when he bumps into Donna.

"Donnatella, how can I be of your service." He says with a bow.

"Who was that Josh?"

"Would you believe if I said a good friend?"

"Yes" Donna replies with a big grin on her face, - -Josh is coming back, but where was that good friend when Josh was in hospital - -

 

Josh opens the door to his office with flair and says "I will answer all your questions, in order of appearance."

"Who was that, and why does she know about Laurie?"

"That was Faith Peters, she is a good friend of mine since Harvard."

"That was at Harvard?" Leo says with sarcasm in his voice

"Well, that got me through Harvard even, she took up law to help me, and graduated that too."

"She graduated more than one time?" CJ asked surprised

"Yeah, she has an IQ that goes through the roof, I stopped counting the MScís at 6. And donít ask which ones she has got. I donít think even Faith remembers."

"Than why is she aÖ."

"A what, CJ?"

"What does she do for a living Josh"

The three of them turn to the door where Donna is standing

"Donna how long have you been listening in?"

"I am curious about the woman, thatís all. She sounded familiar."

"You are right Donna, she called me to tell me my father died, but you answered."

Josh looks at Leo directly when he says "Yes, she knew my father, and she was with him when he died and for the answer on your question Donna, she works for the BJís, I wanted to surprise you with backstage passes but since the surprise is ruined..."

"You did? I love them. Please tell me we are still going?"

"Iíll buy you a T-shirt for the autographs." Donna almost jumps in his arms in delight.

"Oh, and CJ, I told her about Laurie because she is probably the only one who would not pass judgement on either of the involved. And she understood the implications for herself."

"CJ I think we goofed here, big time"

"Faith was afraid this would happen guys, if I tell her you are sorry, maybe you can come too."

"Faith Peters you say?" Leo thinks about what Joshís father had told him about that woman. "I got my line to get Jed to run for President from her. She mentioned that she was glad she didnít have to vote, because she couldnít care about either of the candidates. The only thing to choose from, was who cared a little bit more about important issues and who looked like he could hold his own in a conversation without a speechwriter for every sentence."

"That I remember, the debate 14 years ago. Dad and I had our minds made up after it, she didnít. She made a list of issues, and with every point we put up in favour of one of the candidates she said that the other said the same thing only in different words. Words that didnít appeal to us."

Josh smiles remembering

 

= = = =

"But JohnÖ"

"Left or right"

"What?"

"I made a list with the guy on the left and the guy on the right"

"Left wants to put more money into education"

"Yes some 10 million, right wanted 8 million, plus 2 to improve the transportation system to the schools"

"He said that?"

"We did see the same programme right? You should really listen to the man"

"Well  eh right said he wanted to cut taxes for the lower incomes"

"The left also but he wanted also tax cuts for the small businesses"

= = = =

 

"We stayed up all night to discuss things, finally I asked her whom she would choose, neither she said, where I come from we vote for a party programme, these guys have changes their minds so many times I donít trust them anymore. My dad and I ended up voting Ďneitherí"

"Rebels you were back then" CJ smiled

"Oh CJ about that remark you made the principalís office, she didnít know the rules of Harvard and when she knew them she found most of them silly, she will probably rock the boat here if you give her half a chance. That is why we decided long ago that it was best she did not come here."

"She was never in Washington?"

"No we havenít seen each other for three years, I miss our talks about , well just about everything. She gave me some good pointers. We would sit down on the floor, she would drink cocktails or whiskey, and I would get a root beer."

"She knows about your sensitive system?"

"She discovered it, She hauled my *** home more times than I care to remember. By the way she always says my liver is stuck in first gear. I like that better"

"Her liver shifts gears??"

"A matter of speaking, she is used to much higher alcohol percentages in beer than we have here, she could really drink for a Nerd."

"Nerd"

"Yeah nerd squad, the exchange students."

"Where is she from?"

"The Netherlands, you know Amsterdam, windmills, tulips"

"Not a very Dutch name Faith"

"It is not her real name, when she came to Harvard, none of us could pronounce her name, so we said that while she was there she was Faith Peters, it kinda stuck. She keeps it for her job"

Josh remembers the deal they made a couple of weeks ago. "We were planning to get you guys to accompany Zoey to the concert and than meet Faith in her ĎNatural environmentí as she called it. The shock would be a little less, we figured."

"I am game, as long as I get to meet the band." CJ smiles. "And I would like to see the confrontation between her and Toby."

"Well if she is on a roll she can be a little harsh. She wanted to leave before you found out she was nothing to be afraid of, she wouldnít be able to keep her cool. She probably would take offence of your lack of trust in my judgement."

"So we have to apologise to you too?"

"According to her? Yes"

"And do you think she is right about that?"

"Generally I donít disagree with her, she is usually way ahead of me. So I do not know if she is right."

"She is. I am sorry Josh, we should have given you the benefit of the doubt. By the way can we hire her, to keep you in line?" Leo pitches in

"Donít even think about it. She will be on everybodyís case, and I will tell you if youíre not ready for her, sheíll eat you alive."

"That bad?" Josh nods, "I have seen it happen, it is not a pretty sight to see a grown man shiver whenever she puts on her killer smile."

"Call her Josh, ask her to come back here."

"It will not work, but Iíll give it a try."

Josh dials the numbers, and puts the call on the speaker.

"Not now Chavez, Iím still working on your latest stupidity."

"Itís me."

"Ah lover boy," and after a pause, "and the rest of you. How are you."

"HowÖ?" Donna asks

"The tone in his voice, Donna, You should know that by now."

"Yeah, I can hear something is different, but I canít figure out what yet. You cheered him up though, I could hear that instantly"

"Donít come crying to me if he is going to be his usual irritating self again."

"I will come over to get some pointers on how to handle him."

A loud laugh comes out of the speaker, "Josh will never forgive me, sorry"

"Miss Peters, we want to apologise to you and in a way also to Josh, for overreacting."

After a pause, Faith answers with a little sadness in her voice

"You should, not that Iím not used to it, but it still is no fun to hear it."

Josh turns the speaker off and whispers something in the horn before hanging up.

Later, Donna stands in the door opening of Joshís office.

"Can I ask you something Josh?"

"Sure"

"Where was Faith when you were in hospital?"

Josh nods, he expected that question ever since he made everybody leave his office.

"She was in Singapore, waiting at the hotel, driving everybody crazy, calling the embassy here in Washington, the American Embassy in Singapore. Everybody who could know anything."

"Why didnít she come here?"

"Would you have let her in to see me?" Donna looks at her shoes and nods her head.

"You are right, she would probably have been arrested, considering the state we were in then."

"When I came home, there was a message on the machine, only Ďcall meí, it was the best get well wish I have heard."

 

TBC

 

 

Not As Bad As It Looks - 2

 

 

 

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