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A Potential Problem

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This story is No. 2 in the series "Potential". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Josh runs into a potential problem during the campaign.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > West Wing > GeneralkurttroutFR711,348062,5049 Jun 129 Jun 12Yes
Disclaimer: I own neither Buffy the Vampire Slayer nor The West Wing.

January 5, 2005

"So Matt's running again?" Buffy asked Helen as she corrected a girl's stance.

Helen nodded and gave another girl a pat on the shoulder as she and Buffy were walking through the martial arts studio in the basement of the Joyce Summers Academy for Gifted Youngsters' Houston campus.

Buffy gently corrected a young man's stance and turned towards her friend as she said, "I thought he was tired of being in Congress and wanted to stay to Houston."

"He is and he does," Helen said, crossing her arms. "But he's not running for Congress."

"No?" Buffy asked. She glanced around her and noticed many of the students were listening in on their conversation.

"Hang on a sec," she told Helen. "Alright! Enough kata practice."

A small cheer rang through the class. Buffy gave them a small glare and they immediately quieted down.

"Sparring." A groan and general murmuring. "One minute rounds. When the alarm goes off, shift clockwise around the room. Person with the most points leads the cool down."

Buffy quickly set the alarm on the wall to go off every minute for six minutes and started the first round.

"Ok. Where were we?" Buffy picked up her water bottle from the ground and started sipping. "Right. Matt's running for something but not Congress. City Council, then?"

"I wish." Helen leaned against the wall and lowered herself to the ground. When she linked her hands behind her head, Buffy joined her on the floor. After a moment of silence between them, Helen added, "President."

Buffy coughed and spit up some water.

"I'm sorry," Buffy said as she cleaned herself with the bottom of her shirt, "I thought I heard you say 'President.'"

"You heard me right."

"President," Buffy repeated. With a hint of hope in her voice, she added "President of what?"

Helen glared at her friend. "Of the United States."

Buffy re-capped her water bottle and put it back on the floor. "Well, that was a good talk."

Buffy tried to stand back up but Helen pulled her back down.

"Nice try, Buffy," said Helen. "I need to talk this over. You are my friend. Thus, we," she motioned back and forth with her finger, "are going to talk this over."

Buffy let a small huff escape but settled back down. What could she possibly say? Helen loved Matt, sure, but she hated being a Congressman's wife. She would most certainly hate being a President's wife. If she couldn't be comforting, Buffy could at least try to understand it.

"Why now?" Buffy asked. "And why President?"

Helen ran a hand through her hair. "This guy came by, a few weeks ago. He put the idea in Matt's head and you know Matt. If he sees an opportunity to do something big, to help people, he takes it."

The clock started buzzing for the sixth time. Buffy stood up and shut the alarm off.

"And time! Jenny, up to the front!" Buffy shouted to the room. The sweat-soaked teens let out a sigh of relief and fell to the ground while one of the girls pulled herself to the front of the room to lead the stretching.

"So," Buffy said, reaching out a hand to pull Helen up, "I guess this means we're going on a road trip."



September 4, 2006

"Listen up, everyone! The Congressman has an interview with the Plain Dealer in five, after which he has a meet-and-greet at Red's Diner. At a quarter til six, he needs to be in his dressing room at Case Western, ready to take the stage. Edie, do you have the changes to the stump speech? Good. Make sure they find their way to teleprompter. Donna! Where's Donna? Has anyone seen Donna?"

As usual, Josh was in a state of not-very-well-concealed panic. Not only was his right-hand woman missing but his candidate's family was as well. The Congressman wasn't concerned about the former--why would he be with Donna?--but he oddly didn't seem too concerned about the latter either.

With only two months until the election, the Santos campaign was running like a well-oiled machine that happened to break down every once in a while. Frequently, this was his own fault but today's problem could only be blamed on one person--Donnatella Moss. He could only offer suggestions but Donna was supposed to wrangle the future First Family using the power of friendship or something. Unfortunately, Peter, Miranda, Helen, Donna, and the girl Helen forced onto his staff were MIA. Woman, that is. Not girl. Definitely not girl.

It wasn't that he was scared of her. Or Helen. Or Donna. He just had a healthy respect for them. All he knew was that Lou had taken to calling them the Blonde Furies.

Helen et al were allegedly at the Science Museum for a meet-and-greet with the fifth-graders of Cleveland but calls to the museum revealed that they had left after lunch. The Congressman was supposed to be interviewed with his wife in five minutes but his calls kept going to voicemail and none of the interns he sent to chase them down found anything.

Josh felt someone tapping his shoulder and turned around to find Bram with the reporter.

"Josh Lyman, this is Ed McIntyre," Bram said, introducing the two men. "He's here for the interview with the Congressman and his wife."

"Er," Josh said, whipping his head around the room in one last attempt to find Helen or at least Donna, "I can take you back to see Congressman Santos but Mrs. Santos has been, um, delayed." There wasn't much else Josh could say. He could only hope this guy wouldn't make a big deal out of a missing spouse.

"Don't worry," replied Ed, "I knew Mrs. Santos wouldn't be making it when I heard the news. I could hardly believe it. It's just getting play in local outlets right now but I know a national service will pick it up sooner rather than later. Will Congressman Santos be making a statement sometime soon?"

Josh froze for a fraction of a second before regaining his wits. "Bram, why don't you take Ed here to the break room to get a drink? No really, I insist."

Josh pushed both men out of the main office and pulled Lou over to a corner. "What did he mean 'when I heard the news'--what news!"

Lou rolled her eyes at Josh and strolled to the nearest computer. Within a few seconds, she was on the Plain Dealer homepage.

"Huh," said Lou as she clicked on one of the first stories and turned the monitor towards Josh.



FLOTUS Hopeful, Friends Foil Felony

By Betty Schultz

Just after two today, Helen Santos, wife of presidential candidate Matt Santos, and two members of the Santos campaign staff foiled an armed robbery at a local drugstore.

Witnesses report that Helen Santos tripped the robber as he attempted to escape, causing him to drop his gun. One staffer secured the gun while another restrained the robber.

Initial reports identify Donnatella Moss and Buffy Summers as the staffers in question.

This incident ended without injury but it raises a question about the responsiveness of the Secret Service to threats.

Santos remained unruffled by the event.

"I believe everyone should know some self-defense. But when you get good at it, your reactions become unconscious. At the [Joyce] Summers Academy [for Gifted Youngsters], we teach our students how to be strong," Santos said in a statement as she was leaving the police station. Santos refused to comment further.

The police have not yet released the identity of the robber but an officer speaking on condition of anonymity revealed that the robber is suspected in three other robberies.




Josh slowly looked up from the screen and rubbed his eyes to make sure he wasn't imagining it. Maybe it was time to admit he was scared of them. Either way, he and Donna would be having a long talk about the proper response to a dangerous situation.

The End

You have reached the end of "A Potential Problem". This story is complete.

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