Josiah Bartlet, known as "Jed" to his friends and now, as "Mr. President," walked for the first time into his new office. The Oval Office.
He blinked. "What the hell?"
Standing on the desk - his desk, he reminded himself, it was his now - was a tall blond teenager, dancing to overly loud pop music and waving around paper American flags. He started playing air guitar, yelling the lyrics at the top of his lungs. Bartlett looked in bewilderment at the Secret Service - at his Secret Service - who for some unfathomable reason were pleading with the kid to get off the desk instead of simply shooting him. What were they doing? The building should be in lockdown! This was not what he had expected when Leo had first showed him a paper napkin marked with the words "Bartlett For America."
Speaking of Leo, at that moment the old curmudgeon walked in.
Leo gaped at Alfred, the obnoxious, hyperactive adolescent whom, he had learned just two days ago, was the personification of the United States of America and his and his friend's charge for the next four years. Wasn't it ten minutes ago - he checked his watch, yes, it was just ten minutes ago that Alfred had sworn on his mother's grave to be presentable and to at least appear serious when his new boss entered the room. Ten minutes. Was his nation's attention span really that short?
Alfred's eyes met Leo's, and there was a loud crash as the microphone dropped to the floor. He stared at Leo, his brow wrinkling. "Didn't I... promise you something? Or something?" Leo uttered a low growl of annoyance. Apparently it was. The teen slowly looked around the room, taking in the Secret Service, trying to remember. Then he saw the bewildered President. He let out a gasp and blushed deeply. "I was supposed to..."
Leo sighed. "Yes, that was it."
Bartlett turned to his best friend. "What the hell is going on? Who is this kid?" He turned to Alfred. "Where the hell are your parents?"
The blond young man laughed, forgetting the situation. "Well, my dad's probably at Buckingham Palace complaining about me to that crusty old chick who orders him around." Leo looked scandalized. "Alfred F. Jones! That is the Queen you are referring to!" Bartlett gaped. "Your father works for the Queen of England?" he asked, a hint of respect having entered his voice. The kid laughed again, jumping down from the desk and striding purposefully over to the president. "Well, technically, the Queen of England works for him. Just like technically - and here Bartlett found himself staring into Alfred's surprisingly piercing blue eyes - you work for me." Every word left his mouth like a hammer blow as this kid who couldn't be a quarter of his age made him feel like an unruly child.
Suddenly, Alfred laughed yet again, diffusing the tension. "But you get to tell me to shut up, and not the other way 'round, so pretty much you call the shots." Despite the teen's carefree attitude, the new President got the distinct feeling that he had been warned. Shaken up and bewildered, he burst out, "Will someone please explain to me what the hell is going on?!"
Alfred stopped laughing, looking somewhere between embarrassed and guilty. "Yeah. Sorry, boss. I get carried away sometimes; we're halfway through the introductions and I haven't even actually introduced myself yet!" He paused. "You might want to sit down."
Bartlett sat down.