TITLE: Stormy Monday
AUTHOR: Karen T
DISCLAIMERS: Except for Jenn, they're still not mine.
SPOILERS: Everything through Season 2.
ARCHIVE: I'd be honored. Just let me know where so I can visit.
FEEDBACK: Always appreciated. Please send to email@example.com.
NOTES: This is a continuation of my Jennverse stories, which began with "High Expectations." This picks up right where H.E. left off.
"She back yet?"
Leo looked up from the papers he'd been flipping through to see the President stride into his office. "Not yet, sir. I'm not sure how long it'll take Jenn to repack her belongings."
"I should've gone with her," Jed firmly stated as he lowered himself into one of the armchairs in Leo's office.
"I'm sure the Secret Service can handle it, sir."
Jed nodded his head absently before chuckling. "Could you believe the fight she put up when I told her I wanted her to check out of the motel she stayed in last night? Who in their right mind turns down an offer to stay in the White House?"
"I don't know, Mr. President," Leo replied, resisting the urge to say more.
But Jed knew he best friend too well. Looking at him pointedly, Jed asked with sigh, "What is it, Leo?"
"Mr. President, you know I would never criticize the way you raise your children, but—"
"Cause I raised two more than you?" Jed interrupted with a laugh.
"But," Leo continued, choosing to ignore Jed's comment, "you pick fights with Jenn every chance you get, and I just don't see how that's constructive."
"I pick fights?" Jed exclaimed, his tone incredulous. "She's the one who constantly picks fights with me."
"Sir, since she's gotten here, every time she makes up her mind to do something, you immediately tell her that you disagree with her decision and think she should do the exact opposite." Leo exhaled slowly through his nose as he moved over to the front of his desk and leaned against it. "You goad her into fights, Jed, and you know it."
Jed opened his mouth as if to protest, but then lowered his head and tiredly rubbed his eyes with his hands. "She's so much like Mel…always ready to fight for what she believes in."
"I thought that was one of the things you loved most about Mel."
"It was…but it was also what ultimately drove us apart." Jed gazed at Leo with mournful eyes before saying, "You should have told me she was sick, Leo."
"I know, sir." Leo looked away and resumed shuffling through the papers on his desk.
"So," Jed uttered authoritatively, the melancholy gone from his voice, "what's the plan for tonight?"
"Well, as we speak, Toby, Josh, C.J., and Sam are going through Jenn's FBI file. When she gets back from the Washington Inn, we'll- "
"Hold on." Jed cocked his head to one side and raised his right hand. "You had the FBI open a file on my daughter?"
"How else did you think I've been keeping an eye on her for the past four years, sir?"
"Okay, fine." Jed shook his head in disbelief but decided not to pursue the matter. "They're reading her file. Then what?"
"When Jenn gets back from checking out of the Washington Inn, she'll meet with the senior staff. They'll ask her some questions, which will probably include questions about how and when she found out you were her father, what her relationship was like with her mother, and what her relationship is like with you."
"Our non-relationship, you mean," Jed mumbled under his breath. "And where is this covert little meeting going to occur?"
"In the conference room downstairs."
Jed was noticeably shaken by the mention of the room where he and his senior staff had congregated months before to plot how he should reveal his MS to the public. Trying to appear nonchalant, he ordered, "Let's move the meeting to the Oval Office. We could order in some coffee, and we'll move be comfortable there, and- "
"No, sir," Leo said firmly. "We're not going to move the location of the meeting."
"Leo," Jed warned, "I know you wouldn't be foolish enough to think you could order me, the President of the—"
"Mr. President," Leo interrupted, "the meeting cannot and will not be moved to the Oval Office because I need the senior staff to feel like they can open every and any door they think they need to without incurring your wrath. Furthermore, I don't think you should be there tonight."
"Leo," Jed growled as he glared at his Chief of Staff.
"Sir, this is a difficult time for us all," Leo began explaining in a calm manner. "But we really don't have time for the senior staff to tip-toe around you as they try to figure out what we should do from here on out. I'll be there to make sure things don't get out of hand, but we really need them to feel like they have free rein tonight. You know I'm right about this."
Jed exhaled loudly and continued glaring at Leo before begrudgingly saying, "Fine. And what, pray tell, do you suggest I do tonight while you're all holding this meeting without me?"
"Might I suggest speaking to a certain First Lady? I'm sure you two can come up with something to talk about."
"Argh," Jed groaned. "I gotta tell you, Leo, I'm really in the doghouse with her on this one."
"Then you two should definitely talk tonight cause you're not getting out of that doghouse by keeping silent."
"Aren't there two countries out there somewhere that need me to write a peace accord for them instead?" Jed jokingly asked as the two men walked out of Leo's office.
"Yes, there is, sir," Leo deadpanned. "And it's called the Peace Treaty of Josiah and Abigail Bartlet."