Title: Hide And Seek
Author:
Willow
Summary: A poker night, a date, a surprise and general light hearted staff banter.
Spoilers/Episode: Set in an a/u that leaves the show's timeline after season 5, Memorial Day. This chapter takes place a month after chapter 11.
Characters: Ensemble
Rating: PG
Author Note: If you've read this chapter before, you will notice that I've changed the ending. Sorry to anyone who liked the old ending, but on further consideration, it just didn't fit.


Part I

Monday March 7th 2005

"Shouldn't you should be studying?" Jed asked his youngest daughter.

"Not continuously, no," Zoey replied. "Come on, a restaurant and then back here. Although we could be like a normal couple and go to a bar or club."

"Except that you're not a normal couple."

"Apparently not," Zoey agreed. "Mom said it would be okay," she smiled.

"That didn't work when you were six, what makes you think it'll work now?"

"Because now I'm all big and grown up," Zoey said. "Tell him, Leo," she turned to the chief of staff as he entered the Oval Office and placed some memos on the desk.

"No," Leo replied. "Whatever it is, I'm not getting involved."

Even though Zoey didn't actually need anyone's permission to go out on a date, she knew that Charlie would be happier if they had it. So she turned back to her father and smiled, "Dad?"

"Yes, okay. Don't be back late."

"Thank you," Zoey grinned and left the office to give Charlie the good news.

"Zoey got a date?" Leo asked with a smile.

"She's too young for dates," Jed replied. "She's going for a meal with a friend."

"Charlie?"

"Yes."

Leo smiled and then changed the subject. "Josh is meeting with Bassett this afternoon."

"He's going to sort it?"

"Yeah, it'll be fine, don't worry," Leo assured him.

"Good. Can you believe he'd hold up the bill over something this petty?"

Leo gave Jed an amused look. "You've been president for six years and this sort of political maneuvering still surprises you?"

"This isn't political maneuvering, Leo, it's self-serving crap."

"Yeah," Leo agreed. "Josh'll sort it."

Jed put his glasses on and started to read the memos Leo had handed him, then he had a thought. He looked up at Leo and smiled, "It's poker tonight," he said, before taking off his glasses and standing up.

"You're not about to do what I think, are you?" Leo asked.

"Too right," Jed replied. "Charlie," he said as he entered the outer office. "Zoey gone?"

"You just missed her, Sir. I can get her..."

"No that's fine," Jed interrupted. "Poker tonight in Leo's office."

"Tonight, Sir?" Charlie reluctantly replied.

"You don't sound very enthusiastic, Charlie."

"The thing is, I kind of had plans."

"More important than poker with your colleagues?"

"Yes, Sir."

Jed smiled. "Right answer. Have her home at a decent hour and take plenty of protection."

"Yes, Sir," Charlie smiled.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

"DONNA!"

"Yes," Donna appeared almost immediately at Josh's door.

"Do you just hover waiting for my call?" he asked.

"I was filing. What's wrong?"

"Poker tonight in Leo's office."

"Yes I know, you told me."

"Leo said to invite you," Josh added.

"Really? I thought it was a senior staff event?"

"Event?" Josh asked. "It's a group of people playing poker. Debbie's usually there and Charlie. If you don't want..."

"No, I do. It could be fun."

"Good. Nine o'clock in Leo's office."

"You play for real money don't you?"

"Well yeah, but the highest stake is 5, we're not talking Vegas here."

"Can you lend me some money?"

"You've only just been paid."

"Your point being?"

"I'll lend you some money."

"Thank you," Donna smiled. "Don't forget you're meeting with Bassett at 4."

"It's only 2.30."

"I'm just being efficient."

"Go and be efficient at your desk."

"Hey," Sam leant in the other doorway just as Donna left.

"'S'up?" Josh asked.

"You remember I'm away after tomorrow until next Monday?"

"Yes," Josh nodded. "Although I hadn't realized when you came back to work here, it was on a part time basis," he smiled.

Part 2 ...