Disclaimer: These characters belong to Aaron Sorkin and the other people at NBC.

This story includes everything up through Noel. It's three months later and everyone goes to Israel to try and set up a peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians. Not everyone is pleased about this, however as the staff soon finds out. How far will they go for peace when some of their own are being held captive?

Bargaining Chips

By Mer

Part 1

(Josh's office)

"Donna!" Josh yelled.

"What could you possibly need now?" Donna muttered aloud as she walked to Josh's office.

"I heard that. Are you about ready to go?" Josh asked.

"Yes. Josh, will you tell me again while I'm the only assistant going?" Donna complained.

"Well, for one you complained two weeks ago when I didn't take you with me to Las Vegas." Josh stated.

"That was Vegas!" Donna exclaimed.

"I figured that you would be mad if I left you behind this time. I was just trying to be the considerate boss." Josh said as he gave her a small smile.

"This isn't about that pact you and Sam made is it?" Donna asked as Josh's eyes opened wide.

"Pact? What pact with Sam?" Josh asked innocently.

"The one to get drunk in every country you visit." Donna replied as Josh's face fell.

"I can't believe you would think that low of us." Josh finally said.

"Oh yeah you only have a tally sheet in your desk. What's it up to, ten, eleven?" Donna asked.

"Fourteen but that's beside the point." Josh admitted.
"Oh really, how come?" Donna asked, anxiously waiting for his answer.

"You are the only one besides us that know about the plan. I couldn't exactly tell that to Leo. You know I did have to have another reason to bring you along." Josh protested.

"Leo knows about your guys plan. He heard you after neither one of you got to drink in Spain." Donna replied.

"I told them we should've stayed longer. We didn't have the chance." Josh muttered.

"So what are we going to do in Israel?" Donna asked.

"Try and set up a more successful peace agreement. The plan that Bartlet has might actually work." Josh said as his face beamed with pride.

"You guys ready?" C.J. called glumly.

"Yeah, we will be right there." Josh called back.

"What's wrong with her?" Donna asked.

"She doesn't agree with the plan." Josh commented.

"Well, who else agrees with it? Sam and Toby do right?" Donna asked hopefully.

"Actually, I think I am the only one who does." Josh commented softly.

"Wow. Is that why C.J. sounded upset?" Donna asked.

"They don't know. Leo was strongly opposed to it, so that kind of took over the meeting. The rest of them were grumbling on their way out." Josh replied as he led her out of his office.

"So you believe in it and you haven't told anyone?" Donna questioned, as her eyes grew wide.

"Let's just say that I have a newfound appreciation for peace." Josh commented slowly.

"Hey guys." Sam said as he caught up to them.

"Hey Sam." Josh replied as he smiled at his best friend.

"At least we will have time to sightsee after we land." Sam said devilishly.

"Not so fast guys." Leo said as he came up behind the trio.

"What did we do?" Josh asked innocently.

"Donna, I hold you responsible for keeping them away from alcohol until the last night we are there." Leo ordered.

"Oh I planned on it." Donna assured him.

"Smooth move, Josh. Asking if your assistant could come along brought us a babysitter." Sam muttered.

"Hey they already knew about our plan." Josh defended to which Donna and Leo both chuckled.

"How stupid do they think we are?" Donna asked as the reached the transport to the plane.

"Good point." Josh admitted.

(Aboard Air Force One, several hours later)

"What the hell are you smiling about?" Toby asked grumpily.

"Shhh, keep your voice down." Josh whispered as he pointed to Donna's head on his shoulder.

"Well?" Toby asked in a quieter voice, trying to be a little more considerate of the sleeping people around him.

"Can't a guy be in a good mood?" Josh asked with a shrug.

"You know Josh that this plan will never work." Toby grumbled.

"Peace has to be established sometime." Josh commented softly.

"Aren't you the least bit apprehensive about going into a region where Jews are killed everyday?" Toby asked.

"Shouldn't I be more worried about the Muslim children who are killed because they throw stones?" Josh countered.

"You know what I meant." Toby said annoyed.

"I think I'd be more worried about going to WWII Germany if you know what I mean." Josh replied.

"They are going to resent us you know? I mean especially you and me." Toby stated.

"Who says that no one resents you now?" Josh joked.

"There are times when I wish that, that bullet had killed you." Toby muttered, but then he realized he had said it aloud.

"That would've made your life too easy." Josh replied, brushing Toby's comment aside.

"Yeah well it's still a bad idea." Toby grumbled.

"Go back to sleep Toby." Josh said as he closed his own eyes.

"I can't with Snoring Ugly over there." Toby said as he pointed over to Sam.

"Toby, just plug your ears then." Josh replied without opening his eyes.

"Just plug your ears then. You just wait Joshua." Toby muttered though this time it was under his breath.

"Night Toby." Josh replied knowing that Toby had muttered something to himself.

"Good night Josh." Toby replied with mock sweetness.

(Another part of the plane, same time)

"Leo, you've seemed tense this whole flight." Jed commented.

"I just don't know what we hope to accomplish in four days, sir." Leo grumbled.

"You are sounding dangerously like Toby you know?" Jed replied trying to get his Chief of Staff to smile.

"I guess there are worse people to imitate." Leo remarked offhandedly.

"Leo, does everyone else feel the same way as you do?" Jed asked.

"Josh and Sam..." Leo started but was cut off.

"I didn't mean plans to get drunk." Jed protested.

"I wasn't aware you knew about that, sir." Leo defended.

"Everyone knows about that." Jed smiled.

"I told Donna to keep an eye on them, sir." Leo stated.
"Very well. But who else believes in this plan?" Jed asked.

"Well, I don't know. I know that Toby and C.J. are both strongly opposed to the idea. And I think Sam wonders why we all had to come." Leo replied.

"What about Josh? Let me guess he gave you the tirade that you desperately wanted to give me." Jed theorized.

"No, that was Toby who did that. Come to think of it I don't think I heard Josh's position on it." Leo stated as he tried to remember having a conversation with Josh.

"That's odd. Josh is usually pretty good at vocalizing his opinions." Jed stated.

"He has to agree with you then. That's got to be why he's kept his mouth shut. He doesn't want to face Toby or C.J.'s wrath." Leo commented.

"Yeah they are kind of pissed." Jed replied with a chuckle.

"I'm just worried that he might not be ready to handle this yet." Leo said slowly.

"What do you mean?" Jed asked quietly.

"It's just that the region we are going to is prone to gunfire." Leo commented softly.

"I don't think any of us will ever be ready to hear gunfire without remembering that night." Jed replied, as he looked Leo in the eye. "Josh will be fine. He has been for a long time."

"I know. I guess I was more thinking about me." Leo stated softly.

"I think people know by now not to mess with The President of the United States!" Jed exclaimed.

"God, I hope so." Leo mumbled.

Bargaining Chips - 2



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