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Title: Let the Future Be Bright
Author: Gotham's Princess
Rating: PG/K+
Fandom: The West Wing
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters in the show the West Wing.
Summary: Jed Bartlet was a dark horse candidate from New Hampshire, who became President.

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I.

Josiah Edward Bartlet has just very recently been elected President of the United States.

The whoops and hollers of jubilation are enough that even a deaf man could hear. Jed kisses his wife as he is clapped on the back by Leo. Toby spins CJ around, a rare smile on his face. Josh and Sam are proclaiming to anyone who would listen that they are 'Da Men', while Donna stands awkwardly next to them, wearing an expression that displays a mixture of shock, elation, and insecurity.

Jed Bartlet was a dark horse candidate from New Hampshire. Now he is President-Elect. The future has never seemed brighter.

II.

Earlier that morning, Josiah Edward Bartlet was inaugurated for the second time.

Now, he is dancing with his wife at one of the many Inauguration balls. Things have changed in the past four years. Sam is missing, starting a new life in California after a failed Congressional run. His replacement, Josh, Toby, and Charlie are conspicuously absent from the festivities. Leo mentions something about Josh running off to be a knight in shining armor. CJ, between making pleasant small talk and looking for Danny, worries whether or not she will be receiving any uncomfortable questions regarding the Deputy Chief of Staff and his assistant. Zoey is on the arm of a man that makes the President question the United States' alliance with France.

Somehow they survived scandals and Congressional hearing. Maybe they were meant to do something good after all.

III.

Josiah Edward Bartlet just stepped down from being President of the United States, leaving Glenn Allen Walken to take his place.

It is a move Josh doesn't understand, and he won't even begin to until an SUV explodes in Gaza. It's a move that Toby understands completely, because despite a national crisis, his mind keeps returning to his own children, just a few hours old. CJ is fielding press questions, hating the fact that the media shows little regard for Zoey Bartlet, bloodthirsty for war. Donna is avoiding questions from Amy, wondering why it matters if she is or isn't in love with her boss, and shouldn't Amy be asking about Zoey? Charlie is silent, his heart aching or Zoey; Leo's heart is aching for the hell his best friend is going through, and makes a call to Mallory, in sudden need to hear his only daughter's voice.

Jed Bartlet isn't President, his just a broken man with a kidnapped daughter. He wonders if the presidency was even worth it.

IV.

Tomorrow, Matthew Vincente Santos will be inaugurated as President of the United States.

Josiah Edward Bartlet throws a farewell party in the Residence, a way to remember the past and welcome the future. Sam, like the prodigal son, has returned to Washington, and is appears to be in a lively debate with CJ. Josh has his arms wrapped around Donna as Zoey teases them about finally coming to their senses. Charlie stands amused by her side. Will and Kate, who were the newest additions to the family, are sitting quietly in the corner, both a little overwhelmed by the camaraderie between everyone, until Sam and CJ wave them over to help settle their debate. Leo's absence is stark, and his misses his friend greatly. He tries not to think of who else is also missing, betrayal being a different pill he doesn't want to swallow. Abby comes over and squeezes his hand.

Jed Bartlet was a dark horse candidate from New Hampshire, who became President. Tomorrow, he will be replaced by a dark horse candidate from Texas. The future has never seemed brighter.