Author's Note: This fic has been on my site for a while, and I finally decided to read through it, realise it was not as terrible as I previously believed, so copied it and others to here.
Post Episode: Election Day; Pt 1.
(Dedicated to the memory of John Spencer 20/12/1946-16/12/2005)
"Hey," Josh remarked in greeting as he saw who had come to stand beside him and watch the exit polls. "No robe?"
The hopeful Democratic Vice President candidate shrugged his shoulders nonchalantly. "Thought pants and a shirt might appear more casual."
"I can't believe you slept the whole day," Josh added after a pause.
"It did me good. You should try it some time."
Leo heard the affected casualness in his tone and glanced at him as he asked the next question. "Alone?"
"Yes. Why do you ask?"
"I know that tone, Josh, I know that look. You have no poker face."
Josh made sure that they were alone before he made his next response. "You wouldn't believe me if I told you."
Leo grinned then in surprised pleasure. "It's about time. You two have been dancing around each other since the day you both met."
"Really? Didn't think it was that noticeable."
Leo's level of surprise increased. "You mean you guys knew that you were crazy about each other?"
"Course we did. You think we're that stupid? We're two very smart people."
"So what were the last nearly eight years about?"
"An elaborate scheme of self-denial and public misdirection to fool you guys and the press."
"Well, it was a terrific PR campaign. You guys could have discarded the performance after the first two years opinion was that favourable."
"Really? Oh." Josh paused. "To be honest, it was pretty much left up to when life got less hectic."
"You thrive on hectic."
"I know, that's why it took us so long. It wasn't until last night that we realised to hell with the waiting."
"Not that I'm encouraging anything but you still need to relax. You look like hell."
"I blew up a little earlier ago."
"Worried about the math? Me too. But Donna's right. There's nothing more you can do but let it run it's course. So relax. And stop waiting for something bad to happen."
"I can't help it," Josh confessed. "Something always does."
"That's life, Josh. You take the good with the bad. It's learning to focus on the good that let's you feel you've achieved a win whatever the outcome."
"So you're saying that there are more important things in life than politics?" Josh smiled as Donna came into his eyeline. "I learned that awhile ago."
"No. I'm saying that you should remember that. Never forget it. Otherwise your career could cost you the most important person in your life."
Josh looked at him steadily. "I'd never make that mistake. Donna wouldn't let me."
"See that the both of you never do."
Josh nodded as his eyes turned back to the exit polls. He saw another state declare itself for Santos and turned to congratulate his mentor.
But Leo wasn't there. He had gone awhile ago.