All pertinent information is in Part 1.

Part 5

Thump...thump...crash.

Jed Bartlet stood in their adjoining doorway and watched Leo toss the
pink rubber ball. Leo had chosen the wall where Margaret sat on the
opposite side. Jed had to wonder at the intelligence of Leo's choice.

Leo only noticed his friend standing there when Jed leaned down to grab
the runaway ball.

Leo shrugged and grinned at the President.

"I guess I'm not so good with Toby's balls."

Jed rolled his eyes. "Leo, I expect comments like that from Josh and
Sam. Really aren't you just a little more mature?"

Leo thought about it for a moment. "No, not really. I don't think so."

"Is that why you're throwing Toby's ball against that particular wall."
The President gestured with his chin, then chuckled a bit. "Please tell
me I didn't just sound like Dr.Suess."

"Sorry Sir, no can do."

There was a knock on the door. Leo panicked, "Quick, hide Toby's ball!"
The President looked around for a hiding place before quickly sticking
his hand behind his back.

Margaret popped her head in and looked around suspiciously. She began
to rub her temple as though she had a raging headache.

"Something we can do for you, Margaret?"

"Is everything okay in here? It's just that it's kind of quiet all of
the sudden."

"Mr. President are you okay?" Leo looked at him questioningly.

"I'm perfectly fine. Are you okay, Leo?" Jed mimicked.

"I'm just fine Mr. President." Turning back to Margaret, "Everything
seems to be fine in here. But if the situation changes and we're not
fine anymore, we'll let you know. Thank you Margaret."

Margaret pursed her lips at her boss before shutting the door.

Leo let out the breath he was holding. That'll teach her to make him
cut flowers.

"Leo, you wouldn't by any chance be getting Margaret back for making
you cut flowers and forcing you to wear a sun hat, now would you?"

Oh yeah, he had forgotten about the sun hat part. Leo gave a self-
satisfying smirk. "I was able to take three more band aids off today."

Jed looked down at the ball in his hand. Then he began bouncing it on
the ground.

"This is pretty addictive."

"Tell me about it. It's been the only thing keeping me sane. Jed, I
swear, having to handle Sam and Josh alone for the next two weeks is
gonna kill me. For a while there, I think because they were so worried
about Toby, they were focused. Now, Josh is back to his manic self and
Sam. Don't get me started on Sam."

"I heard about the Seth Gillette meeting."

"Yeah, can you believe it! Sam, Mr. Living Green, screaming at Seth
Gillette, his nature nugget cohort."

Jed caught the ball and looked at it again. "Maybe Toby should have a
talk with them."

"Nah, let Toby have this break. We're gonna need him strong and
obnoxious later." Leo noticed Jed staring at the ball intently.

"How's he doing anyway? Did he enjoy the flowers and cookies?"

Jed smiled remembering Toby's slightly scared look when he saw the
homey touches. "He pretty much slept through the first day. The 2nd
day, well, let's just say Abbey felt the need to make Toby understand
who's boss."

"Really, did she succeed?"

"She thinks she did. I, for a fact, know that she didn't."

"And you know this how?"

"Today, Ron advised me of a certain Senior Staff member wandering the
halls of the West Wing in his house slippers. I'm going to have a White
House dress code discussion with Toby.

Leo quirked his eyebrows at the image of Toby shuffling along in his
slippers.

"Are you going squeal like pig? Rat him out? Act the stool pigeon?"

"Leo, how could you think that? Of course, not. We must admire anybody
who has the gall to outsmart the First Lady of the United States."

"Yeah, cause we've never been able to do it."

"That's right, my friend."

Leo saw a tired look pass over his Jed's eyes.

"Mr. President, keep Toby's ball."

"You sure Leo? Cause you know, you've got Josh and Sam for two weeks."

"Take it, I can get another one from CJ's locked up stash of Toby's
balls. Just be sure you're careful throwing it. Breaking something in
the Oval could cost us a pretty penny."

The President grinned at Leo one last time before turning back into his
own office.

Leo started review his stack of paperwork to a steady thump...thump...thump
next door.

 

Two Weeks - 6

 

 

 

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