Title: All The Henrys
Summary: Josh and Jed brood on the days events
Spoilers/Episode: Post season 3, We Killed Yamamoto
Characters: Josh, Jed and Abbey
Abbey walked over to where Jed was sat nursing a glass of whiskey. He looked tired and distracted, and she wished he could tell her what was bothering him. She knew that something had happened because he'd been snappy and distant all day, and now the thing with Josh. When she'd heard about that she was surprised, thought the gossips had got it wrong, it had sounded so unlike Jed.
"Jed, are you alright?"
"I'm fine," Jed replied without looking up.
"No you're not," Abbey replied. "I heard what happened today in the Oval Office with Josh."
"Jed! You tore into him, in a room full of people. Were you deliberately trying to humiliate him or were you just taking your bad mood out on him?"
"He messed up."
"I don't care what he did, Jed. You don't yell at your senior staff in front of others like......."
"Leo's already been defending him, he doesn't need you too. He's quite capable of looking after himself."
"I'm not defending Josh for whatever he did. If he messed up, then tell him. The way you did it isn't like you, it was wrong. I don't know what's going on, is it something Josh has done?"
"No." Jed looked up at Abbey. "I know that Josh didn't deserve the dressing down I gave him. He screwed up with the women's groups, but I know he'll sort it. That sort of crap doesn't usually bother me, it's Leo's territory. I just needed to feel in control of something today and yes, you're right, I needed someone to yell at, Josh just happened to be there."
"You can't tell me what's going on can you?" Abbey asked.
"No," Jed agreed. He stood up and walked to the door.
"Where are you going?"
"To talk to Josh."
"Jed, it's almost midnight."
"He's still here. Leo told me he came back in." Jed opened the door and walked toward the West Wing.
Josh was sat in his office, feet on the window sill, staring out at the darkness. It was a pose familiar to anyone who worked with him. It was his 'brooding and trying to think' pose. He knew he screwed up, he should never have told Amy what was going on. Of course she was going to organize opposition, it was what she did. He sometimes wondered whether this was all game to Amy. It wouldn't matter what the government did, she would always have to challenge it, because for her the fun was in the battle, not the victory. As for the President, he didn't know what was going on there. Jed Bartlet wasn't a man to take pleasure in humiliating his staff, or anyone for that matter. Not that he looked like he was getting any pleasure from this afternoon's encounter. At the time Josh had been hurt and angry. He was 41 years old and the deputy chief of staff of the White House, he didn't deserve to be treated like a naughty school boy. The walk back from Amy's office had cooled him off though, now he just couldn't work out what was going on. Maybe he should go home and try to sleep, after all he had to be back here in six hours.
Jed stood in the doorway and watched Josh for a few seconds. He wasn't entirely sure what he was going to say to him, it just wanted to talk. He left his agents in the bullpen, he knew that Josh was angry with him, but he didn't think he was a threat to his security. "Josh."
Josh stood up. "Mr President."
"Sit down." Jed closed the door and sat in the guest chair. "You going to stay here and watch the vote, while we're in New York?"
"This wasn't just a ploy to get out of going to the play was it? It's Shakespeare you know, well a modern adaptation anyway," Jed smiled and tried to lighten the atmosphere.
"By modern, Sir, does that mean that the history will be even slightly accurate?" Josh asked.
"You're not knocking Shakespeare are you, Josh?"
"Well, Sir, he gave Richard III a hump and a speech impediment."
"You think that was a little inaccurate then?"
"Richard led men into battle on horseback. He was a great battle commander. Quite a feat with a hump," Josh smiled.
"You are knocking Shakespeare," Jed tried to look stern.
Josh grinned. "I'm just saying that the Tudors certainly knew that history is written by the victors, and they taught us a lot about propaganda."
Jed laughed. "If you didn't want to go you could just have feigned illness." His smile faded and he watched Josh quietly. "Amy's organizing opposition to this vote isn't she?"
"You and her fight?"
"No," Josh replied. "There's no point in fighting with her. She thinks she's right and I know I am," he smiled weakly. He really didn't care enough about Amy to fight with her over this and he couldn't be bothered trying to change her mind. "Anyway, I know how to fix it. That's when she's really going to be pissed at me."
"I don't want to know do I?"
"I wouldn't think so, Sir, no," Josh agreed. Some things it was best the President didn't know about and some things Josh just wasn't proud of doing. Bribing Amy's boss not to oppose the Bill fell into both of those categories.
"You should go home and get some sleep," Jed said. "You look tired."
"I'm fine, Sir, I've got some stuff to read."
Jed thought that Josh had looked like hell for days now. "Josh, are you sleeping?"
"Are you sleeping?" Jed replied.
Jed didn't believe him, he suspected that Josh hadn't had a good nights sleep, or whatever constitutes a good nights sleep in this job, since CJ started getting death threats. He couldn't believe he hadn't picked up on that sooner. He couldn't talk to Josh about it though, he knew the younger man would deny it and it may even make matters worse. "Okay. Go home then and sleep. I'll see you tomorrow," he said as he stood up and turned to leave.
"Yes, Sir," Josh replied."Thanks for asking. Good night."
After Jed left, Josh packed his stuff away. He considered going to Amy's to talk to her, but the idea really wasn't too appealing. Instead he picked up his backpack and headed for home.