Title : The President’s Daughter is Missing
Author : Booster
Rating : PG-13
Summary : Anne’s got this new girl at the shelter, whose looks strongly resemble the pictures on the news broadcast. Part of Jinni’s 20 minutes With Anne challenge.
Disclaimer : Anne aka Lily aka Chantelle belongs to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. Zoey Bartlet occasionally appears on the West Wing, and belongs to Aaron Sorkin, et al.
Setting : Lets call it around Angel season 3, and West Wing season 3 too? That sound good to everyone?
Distribution: Twisting the Hellmouth, FanFiction.Net, if anyone else wants it, just email and ask.
Feedback: Yes, please.
Anne stood frowning in the doorway of the TV room. Her eyes intent on the television news report and half listening to the commentary as her brain raced. Turning, she left the room behind and headed up the stairs to the room that she’d given to their newest arrival. She knocked once on the door and entered. ‘Alice’ was still sorting through the small amount of clothes that she had brought with her, and just glanced up from her seat on the edge of the bed.
Anne closed the door behind, and leant against it for a moment, deciding just how to approach it. She shrugged internally. What the hell? Straight ahead it was. “I think your hair dye’s starting to fade, Zoey.”
‘Alice’s head shot up. Her jaw dropped and she tried to get out “Who?” but gave up just looking at Anne’s firm face. A quiet “Shit.” was all that came out in the end.
Anne folded her arms and tried to project calm reassurance. “The hair dye was a nice idea, but frankly I’m more impressed that you dodged the Secret Service and got all the way to LA. Want to talk about it?”
Zoey sulked. “Why the hell should I? They’re already on their way, and I’ll be back in Washington in no time.”
Anne snorted. “No, they won’t. I haven’t told anyone about you yet. Emphasis on yet.”
She caught Zoey’s eyes and held them. “One of my cardinal rules that I promised myself when I started all this, was that I didn’t do anything to anyone here without talking to them first. So what makes the First Daughter run away from her father the President?”
Anne could almost watch the play of emotions running across Zoey’s face. The happiness, followed almost immediately by the wary look, and then the look of doubt and then of desperately needing to talk to someone, anyone. It had been that last look that had convinced Anne to let her into the shelter in the first place.
“It was….“ She swallowed, and visibly drew her courage together. “I overheard Dad and Leo talking in the Oval Office. I was going to surprise him…” She trailed off once more, and looked at Anne. Whatever she saw must have reassured her in some way, because she continued. “They… Dad had someone killed. Some sort of foreign politician…”
Anne flapped one hand quickly in the air in a negative way. “Whoa! Wait! Some of this stuff I really shouldn’t be hearing.” Change the subject! Change the subject! “But now you feel like you don’t know your father like you thought you did?”
“I just…I just felt so suffocated. Trapped in this façade with people I thought I knew. And Uncle Leo too!” Zoey looked back down at the floor again. Anne thought she could spot moisture at the edges of the eyes as Zoey continued “I had to go somewhere where no-one knew me. Figure out who I was.”
Anne’s lips twitched. “Well, I’m impressed you got this far. Any idea what you want to do now?”
“You’re not making me go back? Or calling them?” said Zoey, looking up in hope.
“Well, at some point you need to let your parents know you’re all right, but no. I’m not saying anything.”
“Thank you.” came the quiet, heartfelt reply.
“I’ll even get you a better hair dye.” Anne joked.
Zoey sat back on the bed, more relaxed than Anne had seen her so far. “Thanks. I have absolutely no idea what to do now. Or for the rest of my life at that.”
Anne smiled broadly. She’d just had a brilliant idea. “Say… you any good at karaoke?”