Title: Is It Real?
Author: Willow
Will is in shock after being made Toby's deputy.
Episode: Post season 4, Inauguration Part 2
Characters: Will, Toby, CJ and Josh.
Rating: G
Disclaimer: They all belong to Aaron Sorkin, NBC, John Wells and many others who aren't me.

"Have you seen Will?" Toby asked.

"You can't have lost him already, he's only been your deputy for 30 minutes," CJ laughed.

"He just wandered off while I was talking to him," Toby complained.

"He's in shock, Toby. You could have warned him that you'd recommended him for the deputy's job."


"Do you remember when you were officially made Communications Director, do you remember the feeling?"

"It seems a long time ago."

"It does," CJ agreed. "We've all been through a hell of a lot in the last four years. But we've survived to fight another day."

"Just," Toby commented.

"Just? It was a landslide, Toby."

"I wasn't talking about the election."

"I know," CJ agreed.

"Toby's looking for you." Josh walked up to the bench Will was sat on.


"Toby," Josh repeated.

"I haven't seen him"

"Are you okay?" Josh asked with a slight smile.

"I have no idea," Will looked up at Josh. "This is the weirdest night of my life."

"Really?" Josh grinned, thrusting his hands in his pockets, in a vane attempt to keep warm. "Which part?"

"Well, I was at a party and some idiot dragged me to a snowball fight," Will smiled, "and then the President gave me this." He held out the leather document folder he was holding.

Josh smiled, "I know, it's an unexplainable feeling," he agreed. "Even though I knew I was gonna be deputy CoS, when he gave me that signed and sealed document with my name on it...... " he shook his head, "it was amazing."

"Yeah," Will agreed.

"Pretty weird night then?" Josh said.


Josh grinned, "Don't worry."

"It gets more normal now?" Will asked hopefully.

"Your life isn't going to be normal for quite sometime yet," Josh promised.

"Is that suppose to make me feel better?"

Josh laughed. "You'll enjoy it, well most of it, some of it anyway."

Will looked worried. "I've never done anything like this before."

"None of us had," Josh told him.

"Really? None of you had worked in Washington before?"

"Well I had and Leo, obviously, and Toby and Sam, but not CJ."

Will sighed.

"I'm not helping am I?"


"You phoned your father?"

"I almost did, but then I thought, 'is it real?'"

"You should get use to that feeling," Josh told him. "Look, really, don't worry about not having done stuff on this level...... "

"Or anywhere close to this level?" Will interrupted.

Josh dusted the snow off the bench and sat down next to Will. "Charlie originally came for a messenger's job you know, kept telling me he had his own bike. He was scared witless when he first met the President. I'm not sure he's ever forgiven me," he smiled. "Donna had never worked in politics, she just turned up on the campaign and assigned herself as my assistant."

"Why'd she choose you?"

"I think she looked in my office and decided that whoever this Josh Lyman was, he sure as hell needed someone to organize him," Josh grinned. "CJ had only ever worked on local campaigns. Toby had never won an election before. Sam was just about to become a partner at a law firm in New York."

"So basically what your telling me is that, besides you and Leo, no one had any experience of government."


"That's pretty scary."

"Isn't it," Josh agreed.

"Can I tell you something? and I want you to remember that I may be a little drunk."


"Leo scares me."

"He scares everyone when they first meet him."

"So he scared you?"

"Except me."

"'Cos you're brave?" Will smiled.

"I am," Josh grinned. "Plus I was only eight at the time."


"Leo's fair, he's good to work for. You work hard and do as he asks, you'll be fine."

"And Toby?"

"Yeah, can't help you there. He still scares me," Josh smiled. "Come back inside, it's freezing."

"In a minute. Won't people mind?"

"Mind what?"

"That I've been here two months and suddenly I'm Deputy Communications Director. Most of the speech writing staff have been here since you took office. Plus, Sam was pretty popular."

"You didn't get Sam fired, he chose to leave," Josh pointed out. "Toby's Communications Director and he obviously thinks that no one on the staff is as good as you. It's Toby's opinion that matters. He likes the way you're prepared to argue with him." Then Josh smiled, "And with me, Leo and the President."



"But I was here on a temporary contract. I very much doubted I'd ever see any of you again, so arguing with you all wasn't so big a deal. I honestly don't think I can stand and argue with Toby or Leo if I know I'm here permanently."

"Sure you can. The senior staff are expected to argue with each other, that's how we know we've covered all the angles. The President likes to have people around him who aren't afraid to disagree with him, just as long as you know where to draw the line and don't ever cross it," Josh smiled a little ruefully at the memory of Christmas 2000. "As for the speech writing staff, they'll come round and until they do they're professionals, they'll do what you and Toby tell them to."

"I suppose at least the hazing's over." Will smiled and glanced at Josh, "I know that was you and CJ by the way."

"I have no idea what you're talking about," Josh grinned stood up, "Come inside, before we both freeze to death."

Will stood and followed Josh, "So you really think taking a Washington Post correspondent with you to throw snowballs at your assistant's apartment was a good idea?" he smiled as he followed Josh back into the building.