"Sam! Thank god you're here." Santos ran his hand through his hair, causing it to stick up on end. "I have calls from everywhere coming in. I need you to answer the French Prime Minister; he's calling on the behalf of the President. I think I just told him that if he thinks his President is busy, how much does he think I have on my hands? You may need to make amends there."
"On it, Mr President."
"Yes." Sam turned, his hand still on the doorknob.
"Can you remember when the Brits have their elections?"
"It was meant to be… The day after tomorrow, sir."
"Right." Santos turned slightly vaguely towards his phone. "Prime Minister of Great Britain first, then."
Josh ripped open his morning paper, all three of them, anxiously scanning for the article on Gordon. He heaved a sigh of relief when he finally found Bartlet's predicted inch long article on page five, before turning back to the front page news. Each newspaper had pictures the whole way through, already showing burning buildings in Vancouver, a wrecked underground station in London, fire and rescue services swarming the platforms, New York, there were graphic pictures of people being dragged from their cars underneath a collapsed flyover and Paris, the dust and rubble ridden area where the Arche de la Défense and the surrounding area had been.
Toby, who had chosen to remain around HQ, rather than returning to his day job at the Bartlet Memorial Library walked in on Josh. "Does nobody knock anymore?"
"Josh, you've got to get to work. People will read the inch long article, you don't want Fuller to look like he's hiding from the bombings coz his boyfriend's in the papers."
"Since when did you care what Fuller looks like?"
"Since he became the Democrat's only hope at another term in the Oval Office."
"Have you been talking to a Leon McBeth?"
"Never mind." Josh swung his legs off his desk and picked up his phone. "Simon. Yeah, we need to make a statement.- No. Nothing big, that would be pompous, just at the Connecticut stop make a mention, thank anyone who's turned up for being there even on such an awful-devastating will do, yeah- day. So on, so forth. We need to get you back there some other time too. Make up for the lack of audience.- No, I cancelled New Jersey. After Connecticut you're to come back to Washington.- Of course HQ. Where else?"
Donna swung her head round the door, "Josh, your mum's on the phone."
"Can't you tell her I'm busy?"
"I'm not your secretary, Joshua."
She left. "It was easier when you were."Josh called, albeit quietly, after her.
"What was that, honey?" Donna leaned back in smiling sweetly.
"I love you and have a good day… dear." Josh picked back up his phone. "I should… call Mum back."
Leon knocked on Annabeth's door. There was no answer so he peered through the window. She lay asleep across her desk so, armed with coffee and cake, he let himself in. "Latte and c-carrot cake. I d-d-didn't think you w-wh-would have eaten."
Annabeth looked up blearily. "Huh?"
"Latte and c-carrot cake. I d-d-didn't think you w-wh-would have eaten. I m-m-m-made the cake m-myself, the latte I'm afraid was b-bought at St-t-tarbucks. It should be g-good, though. I b-b-brought you sugar." He put down five sachets of sugar. "I th-thought I should wake you up b-b-before someone with less orth-thodox methods d-did."
"Oh, this is gorgeous, Leon." Annabeth spoke though a mouthful of carrot cake. "You could go into business with this."
He sat down opposite her and smiled. "Th-thank you."
"Honestly, this is to die for." She leant over to pick up a crumb that had fallen onto her lap. Realising that she had chosen poor words under the circumstances.
"I'm g-glad you like it." He was by this point beaming. Annabeth looked back up at him, realising, what he was attempting to steel himself into doing was never going to happen at this rate. Many women might have encouraged him to say it himself, but Annabeth thought the pressure might give the journalist a heart attack.
"Are you free for breakfast tomorrow, Leon? I would suggest lunch or dinner, but Toby and Josh have been known to barricade the doors to keep us in."
For once Leon spoke with only a trace of a stutter or shake in his voice, "Breakfast would be fantastic."
As expected the turnout in Connecticut was five reporters, one cameraman, and twenty odd people who had chosen to come out and see the nominee for themselves. Simon followed Josh's orders. Brief condolences towards all those caught in the terrorist attacks, no jokes in the speech. Brief Q&A on some of his policies and he was out of there. Josh met him at the bottom of the stairs. "Santos has made his statement, so has Sullivan."
Simon was handed an umbrella by an FBI agent. "Thank you- What was Ray's turnout?"
"Considerably bigger than this. He was in New York when the bombings took place so he told them a bit more of a personal… thing." Josh waved his hands to emphasise an anticlimactic finish.
"How far was he from-"
Fuller stepped into a black car after Josh. He groaned before sarcastically adding, "Great."
Isn't a guy who can cook a great thing? Review please. Argh... I'm late out. Please review, I'll get back to you in the morning. Oh, and vote on my poll, pretty please.