Summary: A look into what parenthood has done for the staff members, a year after the two term Bartlet Administration. (Includes a flashback of how the staff came together.)
Disclaimer: Not mine, just like to borrow.
Author's Notes: Trying something a little different. Since I have always wondered what if there were small children involved in the lives of our favorite television characters. Comments are always grand!!
"And they lived happily ever after," Joshua Lyman finished reading a story to his nearly five year old daughter as she went to bed.
"Can you read me another story, please, Daddy?" Sydney Lyman asked.
"I don't know, Syd," Josh said trying to let his daughter down easily. "You have to get some sleep for your birthday party tomorrow."
"But please, Daddy?" Her father spoiled the little girl, who looked so much like her mother had her.
"Oh all right, what can it hurt?" He agreed giving into Sydney.
"I want a true story this time," the bright little girl smiled to her father.
"A true story?" Josh thought for a moment.
"All right," Josh smiled as an idea popped into his head. "Once upon a time there was a handsome and very intelligent young man."
"Was he a prince?" Sydney interrupted.
"No," her father replied. "He was a lawyer."
"That's no fun, Daddy," the little girl insisted. "Does he fall in love with a princess?"
"Well," Josh said not knowing how to answer the question. "Can I please go on with my story."
"Okay," the little girl grinned. "Does he have a name?"
"Sure," he told her. "The man's name was Josh."
"But that's your name," Sydney giggled.
"I am not very creative. Anyway," Josh continued. "This young man was very smart and everyone loved him. He worked for people who were running the country. At the moment this story is starting Josh is working directly with a man who wanted to run the country"
"So he worked for the king?" Sydney still in fairy tale mode asked.
Josh thought a minute, "Well he won't work for the king, he will work for a President, but right now he works for a man who wants to be President. But it had been Josh's dream since he was a little boy to work in the White House."
"Okay," Sydney replied.
"One day Josh was sitting in his office doing some work for a man named John, who was trying to get voted to be the President," the story continued.
"Daddy, this isn't a fun story," the little girl said.
"Oh but it will be," Josh insisted. "The telephone rang and Josh answered it. On the phone was a man named, ah, Leo…"
Flashback-Primaries of Josiah Bartlet's first campaign
"Hello?" Josh answered the phone.
"Hello, this is Leo McGarry," the man said. "I am calling from Governor Bartlet's office."
"Hello Mr. McGarry," Josh said to the man. "So how is Bartlet's campaign going?"
"I was going to ask you the same about Hoynes's campaign," Leo said with a chuckle. "Actually, Josh, I was wondering if you wanted to join us."
"What?" Josh asked.
"Look, you and I both know that Hoynes is going nowhere fast," Leo explained. "Come join us, Josh. We want you to be a part of our team. You are one of the best that is out there. Wouldn't you like to see your hard work payoff? Come on, Governor Bartlet is a three term Representative a two term governor and on top of that the man has never lost an election. He's honest, has family values coming out of his ears, and he is what an American President should be."
"You know you sell a pretty good argument there, Mr. McGarry," Josh smiled. "But Hoynes has a chance."
"You and I both know that the only way to get Hoynes into office is if he listens to the advice you give him, Josh is he?" Leo McGarry questioned the younger man on a recently sensitive issue.
Josh didn't know what to say. The truth of the matter was that Hoynes had not been taking Josh's advice and the pollings showed that he was taking a beating for it.
"Look, all I am saying is to think about. I'll give you a call in a week or so and we'll talk about it again."
"All right Leo," Josh said and hung up the phone. Josh put his head on his desk and screamed in frustration. The idea of working for the Bartlet campaign made him actually smiled. Jed Bartlet the New Hampshire government was the favored candidate, despite the fact that candidates were just now joining the race.
John Hoynes made Josh crazy. He never listened to Josh no matter what he was advised to do. It was his loyalty to the man that was the only thing that kept him from jumping ship the moment that Leo called.
"Joshua, something on your mind?" Hoynes walked passed Josh's office.
"Actually," Josh started, "There is something I need to talk to you about."
"What's on your mind?" John Hoynes sat down across from Josh's desk.
"Look, Senator, you are getting a beating," Josh started. "You shouldn't be, though. The staff has planned good strategies, but the problem is you aren't following them. I know this is your campaign, but I am just saying you hired me to tell you how to win this election, and I am doing the telling, but you aren't listening."
"Josh, you know that you and I don't always see eye to eye," Hoynes told him.
"With all do respect Senator, you haven't taken any of my advice," Josh said. He was beginning to get angry with the man. "And with that in mind, I am going to give you to leave you with a question, why are you using your campaign funds for a service that you aren't using?"
"You right, Josh, you right," Hoynes said not needing Josh to spell out things further. "But are you telling me you want to leave?"
"I'll I am saying is that you shouldn't be paying for a service that you aren't taking advantage of," Josh explained. "I could be talking about the new cable service you recently got in your office, but I may be talking about some of your employees."
"Thank you, for your insight," Hoynes said a little annoyed as he headed out of the door. "Oh and Lyman, I want your resignation on my desk in the morning."
"Yes sir," Josh said now relieved that he could join the Bartlet campaign without anything hanging with Hoynes.
When Hoynes had clearly left the area Josh picked up the phone again and dialed the Bartlet campaign office in New Hampshire.
"Hello," a woman answered the phone. "Bartlet campaign office, how can I help you?"
"I'd like to talk to Leo McGarry," Josh said. "Please tell him that this is Joshua Lyman."
"Hold please," the woman said. "Mr. McGarry has been waiting for your call."
"Josh," Leo answered the phone.
"Mr. McGarry, count me in," Josh told him.
Leo beamed. "All right, when can you get here?"
"When do you need me?" Josh asked.
"I needed you weeks ago when Hoynes got a hold of you," Leo told him. "We've been waiting for you though, we want you as our Senior Political Director."
"I'll be in New Hampshire by the end of the week," Josh informed Leo.
"That's good to hear," Leo said. "Governor Bartlet will be pleased to hear that you are joining the staff. Thank you, Josh."
"Thank you Mr. Lyman."
Within the next few days, Josh packed his near bare apartment into two suitcases, and left Texas for New Hampshire.
When Josh entered the small campaign office that was busy with people he had a sudden burst of energy which he had never gotten in his months working in John Hoynes office. "Are you Josh Lyman?" A young blond woman asked him.
"Yes," he said taken aback at first by the fact that she knew who he was and then at the beauty of the woman.
"Donna Moss," the woman said. "Leo hired me to be your assistant. He's been waiting anxiously all week for your arrival."
"Nice to meet you Donna," Josh smiled.
"Let me take you to see Leo," Donna said to him. "Come on follow me."
They walked into a cramped office where Leo McGarry was on the phone, "Come on David, we need you here. Governor Bartlet wants you on the campaign. He wants you to write his speeches."
There was a pause in Leo's speaking and he looked up at Josh and Donna.
"Of course he's in it for the long haul, David. The governor wants the White House badly," Leo continued and towards then end he got angry. "Fine!" And he slammed the phone down.
"That was David Rosen wasn't it?" Josh asked Leo.
"Yeah, how'd you know?" Leo asked.
"Josh Lyman," Josh introduced himself first. "There were rumors that you wanted him as Director of Communications. I take the charm that worked for me didn't work for him."
Leo laughed for a moment, "No, I guess not. Nice to see you, Josh. I see you have meet Donna Moss."
"Yes, thank you," Josh said.
"She knows where your office space is. So, go get settled and I'll have you come in and meet the rest of the staff, and the governor, who should be stopping in a little later" Leo told Josh.
"Thanks, I'd like that," Josh said as he followed Donna to a small corner of the large room where two desks were pushed close to each other.
"Here we are," Donna said. "Our desks."
"Thanks," Josh said as he took off his backpack and started to situate his things.
"Josh," Leo called from his office, "I'd like you in here."
"Yeah, coming," Josh said as he walked back to the office, where Governor Bartlet and two women were now sitting.
"Josh," Leo said. "I'd like you to meet the crew as of right now, I am sure you know that this is Governor Josiah Bartlet."
"Sir it's a pleasure to meet you," Josh said and shook the man's hand.
"Josh, I am glad that you came to join us," Governor Bartlet smiled.
"Thank you sir," Josh said.
"These two lovely ladies are CJ Cregg, and Mandy Hampton," Leo told Josh. "Josh, I want you to get me some speech writers."
"All right," Josh said as he left the office once again and went to brainstorming. When the day was nearly over he had a comprehensive list, and he had done research on where to find many of the speechwriters. "Donna can you get me Sam Seaborn on the phone, please. He works out of Washington, DC a private firm called Dewey/Ballantine."
Donna crinkled up her face in confusion and replied, "Sure Josh."
A few minutes later, Donna looked across her desk with a smile and said, "Sam Seaborn is on line one."
"Thanks," Josh said. "Hello? Sam this is Josh Lyman out of Josiah Bartlet's campaign headquarters. Hey Sam, how would you like to work for the next President of the United States?"
"Are you serious?" The man on the other line asked.
"I tend not to lie on the phone," Josh told him.
"We'd like you on the speech writing team Sam," Josh told him.
"I would love to," Sam Seaborn said in a heartbeat.
"A bit impulsive, eh?" Josh commented.
"I suppose so, but this is an offer I can't refuse," Sam said.
"As long as you sing that tune we can't pass you up," Josh said. "I'll give you a call tomorrow and we'll discuss details."
"Thank you Josh," Sam said to the man on the other line.
"No, thank you Sam." Josh said as he hung up the phone. Josh failed miserably at the next dozen on his list.
"Josh," Donna said. "The governor is on line one."
"Thanks Donna," Josh said feeling a little nervous about why the governor was calling him.
"Hello?" Josh picked up the phone.
"Josh," Josiah Bartlet said. "I know Leo has you looking for some speech writers, one of which will become the Director of Communications. I want you to look into a man named Toby Ziegler. He should be working out of NYU."
"Yes sir," Josh said. "Thank you."
"If I can't have David Rosen, I want Toby Ziegler," Bartlet told him.
"All right sir," Josh said. "I will do what I can."
"Good," he replied.
"Donna," Josh called when he hung up the phone with the Governor. "I want you to get me Toby Ziegler at NYU."
"All right," Donna said and a few minutes later Donna looked up at Josh and said, "Toby Ziegler, line one."
An hour later, Josh Lyman smiled. "Thank you Mr. Ziegler, the Governor will be pleased. I'll call you later in the week to make more definite plans."
"And by the end of the first week, the handsome, intelligent Josh was a hero with his friends," Josh Lyman continued tell his daughter the story. "When the group got together they knew that they needed to work as a team and they would get Josiah Bartlet elected as president."
"So you really worked for the President, Daddy?" Sydney asked with her eyes wide open.
"How do you know the story is about me?" Josh asked his daughter.
"When they aren't from the books they are about you," the little girl replied. "And when they aren't from books they are boring!"
"Even when they are from books, they are sometimes about me," Josh said of the book that he was currently writing about his decade working for Jed Bartlet. "Yes, Sweet Pea, I did work for the President."
"Really?" Sydney asked in disbelief.
"Really," Josh answered. "And so did your mommy, and your Uncle Sam."
"Really?" She asked again.
"Yes," he told her. "You can ask them at your birthday party tomorrow."
" Okay," the little girl smiled and then after a moment asked, "Is that where you met Mommy?"
"Yes," Josh replied. "My first day there I met the most beautiful, fun, and intelligent woman I have ever met, and she later became your mommy."
"Joshua, are you boring our little girl with one of your stories," his wife walked into the room holding their infant son.
"Of course not," Josh said. "Sydney was enjoying it."
"He was," the little girl squealed in laughter. "Mommy, I like it when you tell me stories about princesses and knights."
"I know, baby," her mother said. "Your daddy, isn't good at everything. Now come and kiss me good night, you should have been in bed an hour ago. You'll never wake up for your party tomorrow."
"Yes I will," Sydney smiled, and gave her mother a big hug and kiss. Then the little girl looked into her mother's arms at her little brother, "Good night baby Noah," she whispered and kissed the baby softly on his head. "Good night, Daddy," Sydney said to her father.
"Night-night Sweet Pea," Josh said as he turned out the lights and exited his room with his wife and son.
"Story telling, really isn't your thing, huh Josh?" His wife asked him.
"I guess not," he told her.
"I pity your students at Georgetown," she said of his career as a professor since the end of the Bartlet administration.
"They keep coming back," Josh smiled.
"Because if they don't show up, you automatically fail them," she retorted.
"Good point," Josh smiled. "You know, I am glad Leo had me join the staff."
"Me too," his wife smiled.
"I couldn't be more content with our children and with our life, Donna" Josh smiled.
"I know," Donna Moss Lyman said to her husband
"But I guess we too should get some sleep since everyone is coming tomorrow," Josh said.
"I can't believe they'll get together just for Sydney's birthday," Donna told him.
"We use any excuse for a reunion, though," Josh pointed out.
"That's true," Donna smiled, "But most of us are still around D.C. Look at us, we're here with the kids, because you're teaching at Georgetown."