This is an AU fic where Joanie Lyman never died in a fire and Noah Lyman is still
living, battling cancer. Donna never came to New Hampshire for
reasons that will be revealed later in the story. Joanie teaches
graduate studies at Georgetown and we are at the end of season 1 in
the Bartlett administration.
"Joshua Lyman, you owe me…."
"Just how do you figure that?"
"Do you really want to do this? Okay, let's start with the
decapitation of my Barbie's…"
"Barbie's? You can't go back 30 years and bring your Barbie dolls
into this! There is such a thing as a statute of limitation, you
know." Josh responded hotly.
"If you were a real lawyer, you would know that there is no statute
of limitation on murder." Joanie replied.
"One can not murder inanimate objects, and I am a real lawyer." Josh
"They were real people to me and there were multiple counts. Would
you like me to have Dad give you a call with some precedence?" Joanie
said without missing a beat.
Dad! Josh thought to himself, Dad is my ticket out of this.
"Yeah, give him a call. Hey, since you'll be talking to him about
this anyway, he would be the perfect person to guest lecture to your
grad students." Josh congratulated himself on the smooth segue.
"Nice try, little brother, but if you paid any attention to what I
tell you then you'd know that a) Dad already did a stint as a guest
lecturer and b) the topic for the class is collaboration in
Government. Dad is a fabulous lawyer, but he doesn't work in the
Government. Come on, Joshua, it's only 2 classes and think of all the
ego stroking you'll get out of it."
"I resent your implication that my ego needs stroking. I am the third
most powerful person in this administration and I am very busy
running this country. I simply don't have time to explain Government
101 to your students."
"They are grad students, Joshua, and you've been Deputy Chief of
Staff quite a while now. Surely, you've learned how to handle your
job well enough that the country can spare you for a couple of hours
for two nights." Joanie persisted.
"What two nights are we talking about? My speaking engagements are
usually booked months in advance as I am in high demand. Oh, and what
did you say the speakers fee was?"
"You're going to need to waive the fee. I'll take it as `in kind'
payment for the damage done to my property over the past 30 years,
starting with the Barbie's" she countered. "As for the dates, that
would be next Tuesday the 3rd, and the following Tuesday the 10th."
"Oh, I'm afraid I am completely booked on the 3rd. In fact, I have a
late meeting that night, and then a third date with the lovely
Kimberly Andrews from legislative affairs. Sorry, big sister, you
have to find another sucker. There is nothing you can say or do that
will persuade me to change my mind. Got it?" Josh put all his effort
into sounding resolute.
There was a long pause and Josh could smell victory. He hardly ever
won a fight with his sister, but maybe this time he could squeak one
"Okay, I'm sorry I bothered you, Joshua. I just had to give it a
shot, you know…Hey, do you want me to give Mom a message for you? I
have to return her call in a few minutes." Joanie answered innocently.
"Mom?...No, no message. I'll talk to her soon I'm sure. You don't
have to mention me at all." Josh started to panic and Joanie smelled
blood in the water.
"It's no problem. She loves to hear about her only son. I know! I can
tell her about your third date with Kimberly Andrews. Sounds like it
might be getting serious. She will be so happy to hear you're ready
to settle down with someone. Hey, is Andrews a Jewish name? Mom will
probably want to know…"
And that's how they do it in the NFL ladies and gentlemen, thought
"What time does the class start on Thursday?' he asked resignedly.
"It runs from 6 to 8, and remember, the topic is collaboration in
Government. Thanks, little brother. You're the best!" Joanie replied.
"I think you just proved who is best. Now I'm hanging up before you
have me grading papers or something." Josh groused.
"Don't be ridiculous. You aren't remotely qualified to grade grad
school papers. Love you!" Joanie hung up.
Josh blocked out the time on his PDA and slumped in his chair. One of
these days he was going to outsmart his sister…