Title: Poker Night Two - Dimple and Airports
Author: Perpetual Motion
Fandom: West Wing
Series: Second in the "Poker Night" series.
Summary: A first meeting. A surprise pick up.
Disclaimer: They're not mine. I screw with them as I see fit, and then Aaron gets his turn on national television.
Author's Notes: I couldn't quite remember if Jed and Leo went to Notre Dame together. I say yes.
Poker Night Two Dimple and Airports By Perpetual Motion
The table had been quiet for a full two minutes as everyone rearranged their cards and decided how much to bet. The President glanced across the bale. "Josh, you look like you're not here for the game."
Josh looked up from his cards, to the President, and back to his cards. "I was just wondering if you could explain something to me."
"Don't get him started, Josh. It could lead to inane trivia." Leo grinned and waved off the President's mock glare.
"Actually, it has to do with you, too, Leo. I want to know when you guys knew you were in love."
Leo looked slightly surprised. "Why the hell do you want to know that?"
"We all want to know." CJ threw her bet in the pot. "The last time the press asked the President said it was love at first sight. We want to know how come."
"You all want to know? I call." Everyone laid their cards down and groaned when the President took the pot.
"Everyone of us. Even Toby." Josh grinned.
Toby shrugged at the look he got from the President and Leo. "It beats inane trivia."
The President smiled and looked over at Leo. "The first time we met, it was raining."
Jed ducked under an awning, rain dripping off his hair, and muttered a small string of curses under his breath.
"Watch your language, Jed. Your father will tan your hide."
"Mrs. Landingham, my father is in New Hampshire. We are in New York. I strongly doubt he can hear me."
"Don't' get smart with me, Jed. I've no problem tanning your hide myself."
"I'll keep that in mind." Jed shook water from his hair and pulled his comb from his pocket to try and salvage what had been a perfectly acceptable hairstyle.
Mrs. Landingham smiled as she watched him. "Come on, pretty boy, let's get your school clothes."
"I'm going to college, Mrs. Landingham. They're not school clothes."
"You're still at a school, Jed. They're school clothes."
Jed didn't get a chance to respond; Mrs. Landingham yanked him into a clothing store. He stood with his hands in his pockets as she talked with the clerk.
"No, my dad's secretary." Jed turned to see where the voice had come from. A boy about his age stood against a shelf of shoes and watched Jed. "I'm Josiah-Jed."
The boy took his hand and shook it. "Leo. What are you doing here?"
"Have to get clothes for college. You?"
"Same." Leo smiled, and Jed saw a small dimple in his left cheek. "Where are you going to school?"
"Me, too." Jed smiled at Leo. "That's an interesting coincidence."
"How could you possibly fall in love with someone who spoke twelve words to you?" Toby shuffled the cards and dealt them out.
"It wasn't the conversation, Toby. I couldn't get that dimple out of my mind. It was-Leo." The President smiled softly. Next to him Leo rolled his eyes.
"Mr. President, I think you may have just made me physically ill." Leo grinned at the light slap the President landed on the back of his head.
"As cute and cuddly as this all is, are we planning to play poker sometime tonight?" Toby tapped his cards on the table and waited.
Everyone anted and played the hand, and there were almost back in the swing of things when Sam spoke up. "When did you fall in love with him, Leo?"
Leo smiled a little, his dimple showing. "He met me at the airport."
The plane was nearly overcrowded, and Leo sat in his aisle seat in his dress uniform and felt like yelling something. He was finally coming home from Vietnam, and no one was going to greet him. He'd gotten a hold of Jed a week before his departure and found out he couldn't make it.
"I'm sorry, Leo, but I've got four finals that day. I wish I could be there."
"It's okay, Jed. I'll get a hold of someone else."
The static over the line couldn't hide the uncertainty in Jed's voice. Leo knew if he pressed the issue Jed would come all the way to Vietnam to get him. "I'm sure. I'll get someone else."
"Okay." There was a pause. "I'm sorry, Leo."
Leo sat on the plane and wished he'd pushed the issue. He hated the idea of standing in the airport with his army duffel and wrinkled dress uniform.
The plane landed. Leo filed off and wasn't sure if it was unmaly to cry at the sight of smog and no trees or jungle. ~I'm home. I'm not getting picked up at the airport, but damnit, I'm *home*.~ He breathed in deep and let it out slowly. ~I'm home.~
Leo turned and found Jed standing behind him. "What are you doing here?"
"Came to pick you up."
"You have finals."
Jed waved it off. "Screw it. Someone had to get you home."
"Right then. I knew as soon as he showed up I was in love. He gave up a full day of nerdishness for me." Leo smiled at Jed and glanced around the table. "And it was the one day I really needed him to do that."
There was a pause as everyone around the table smiled, and then CJ called for a bet and the game got into swing again. No one noticed the look that passed between the President and Leo, or the thumb the President used to press against Leo's dimple for just a moment before returning to the game.