TITLE: "The Flood" (5/8)
See notes on part one.
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Tim sat in the chair where Josh and Sam had left him. Still utterly horrified by what had happened and what it could mean for John, Tim replayed the event over and over in his head. The whiskey, the rain, the kiss. He was the one who asked for a kiss. This was his fault.
The ringing of the phone broke the stillness of the room. Bayliss knew that reporters would start calling sooner or later, and braced himself as he picked up the receiver.
Bayliss didn't recognize the voice on the other end. "Who's this?"
"Is this Tim Bayliss?"
"Danny Concannon, *Washington Post*. How're you doing this morning?"
*How do you think, jackass?* thought Tim. "Can I help you with something?"
"As a matter of fact, you can," Danny ignored Tim's tone. "I have a few questions for you, Detective Bayliss. May I?"
"You like exercises in futility?" Bayliss put his feet on the coffee table.
Tim rolled his eyes. "Knock yourself out."
"How long have you known John Hoynes?"
"Will you confirm that you do know John Hoynes?"
"Will you confirm that you are the man seen kissing Vice President Hoynes outside the Madison Hotel early this morning, the very hotel you are in now?"
Tim shifted in his seat. "No, I won't."
"Will you deny it?"
"No, I won't."
"Was last night the first time that you've kissed the Vice President?"
"Was it the first time you've kissed a man?"
"No comment." Tim wondered why he'd stayed on the line so long and was about to hang up when Danny spoke up.
"Just one more question, Detective, and then I'll let you go." He paused for a beat before continuing, "Are you and the Vice President engaging in anal sex?"
Bayliss bristled, and his blood pounded in his ears. Whatever warnings he'd received from Josh Lyman flew out of his head. "You son of a bitch," Tim seethed. "The fact that you have the audacity to--you're a goddamn weed. Go to hell."
Tim slapped the phone down and found that it was hard to breathe. He held his hands out in front of him and watched them trembling; when they finally stopped, he picked up the phone and called Giardello.
"Well, well, well, what do you know?" Detective Meldrick Lewis said with surprise. "How goes it, Bayliss? Or should I call you Monica?"
"Oh, God, Meldrick--" Tim did not want to be having this conversation.
"Ain't nobody hear a peep from your sorry ass in months, and then one day, boom! You're on the cover of the Sun, droolin' all over the VP."
Tim could just see Meldrick sitting at his desk, probably playing with that damned football, and getting a hearty laugh at Tim's expense. Bayliss decided to change the subject.
"How's business at the bar?"
"Oh, no, no, no." Lewis wagged a finger. "We ain't done talkin' 'bout this yet, Deep Throat."
Tim overlooked Meldrick's comment. "Is Gee there?"
"Yeah, but he ain't gonna be for long. Yesterday, Gee put in his proverbial two weeks."
"What?" Bayliss was astounded.
"Yeah, Gee quit." Meldrick looked around the squadroom at Sheppard and Falsone. "The place is gonna go to shit when Gee's gone."
"I can't believe it. Why did he quit?"
"Here's another shocker for you: he's running for Mayor." Lewis picked up his football again and tossed it in the air. "Hey, you think you could get him a Presidential endorsement?"
"That's cute, Meldrick. Can you put him on?" Tim started walking around the room.
"Sure thing," Lewis covered the mouthpiece with his hand. "Hey, Gee! You got a phone call!" He turned his attention back to Bayliss. "Take care now, Timmy."
"Thanks, Meldrick." Tim heard Lewis hang up and then heard the lieutenant's gruff voice.
Al sat back in his chair and smiled. "Tim Bayliss, Baltimore's prodigal son. Long missing, long wandering, you've finally surfaced."
"I think I've surfaced on the front of every newspaper in the country, Gee."
"So it is you."
"Don't tell me there was a pool going," Tim groaned.
"I think Lewis is calling Griscom as we speak, to divide the spoils."
Bayliss stopped pacing and sat down on the floor. "What am I going to do, Gee? Everything is such a mess."
"I don't know what to tell you, Bayliss," Gee replied. "But may I ask, what the hell were you thinking?"
"I wasn't, Gee."
"That's pretty clear."
Tim sighed. "This is a man's career."
"Not just one man's." Gee said quickly. "What about yours?"
Bayliss scoffed. "What about it?"
'I don't know if Meldrick told you, but I'm leaving the department."
"He did, but--"
Al took a deep breath. "I can't guarantee that your job will be here for you when you get back."
"I don't know if I want it," Tim said honestly.
Tim looked at his watch. "I have to go, Gee."
"Good luck with your campaign."
Tim hung up and ran his hands through his hair. Daylight was starting to filter in, so he closed the curtains. He wanted the room to be dark. The phone rang again, and Bayliss stared at it as it blared five, six, seven times. Finally, he picked up.
"We need you to come to the White House."
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TO BE CONTINUED