DISCLAIMER: Not mine. I promise I'm only borrowing them and will return them to their rightful owners whenever they ask for them back. My imagination took a flight of fancy.....my bank account stayed empty. (Seriously, the cast of The West Wing belong to Warner Bros. and I'm only borrowing them for some free daydreaming that I wrote down).
AUTHOR'S NOTE: The fourth in a series of stories introducing Kate Harper and establishing her as 'one of the gang'. Post ep missing scene for Episode s5 ep 19 'Talking Points'.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To ncruuk[at]gmail.com

Explaining Kate Harper – Charlie Young
By ncruuk


"How's he doing?" Sighing, Charlie Young sat back in the armchair he had dropped into and thought about how he might respond to Debbie's question.

"Did he meet a new person today?" he finally asked, deciding that could be the only explanation.

"The President's always meeting new people Charlie," said Debbie, sorting the papers on her desk ready for tomorrow which, with the President in Brussels, might just run to schedule.

"A new person like a new Senior Staffer type person," clarified Charlie as he smiled in thanks to the Air Force One steward who had just delivered his dinner.

"Nancy McNally brought by the new Deputy National Security Advisor…"

"That was the 11 o'clock?" asked Charlie, now understanding what the five minute meeting was about, and why it was in the Oval Office and not the Situation Room.

"That it was… quite a doozy too," continued Debbie, continuing to return the outer office into something that vaguely resembled order.

"I can't believe I missed it…" mumbled Charlie around a mouthful of potato salad, "…why was it a doozy?"

"Kate Harper makes the Marine Guard look relaxed and sloppy."

"She was tense?" interpreted Charlie, suddenly connecting Kate Harper to the muttered 'Commander NSA' he'd heard not long ago from the President.

"She Ma'am-ed me… and quoted security protocols…" protested Debbie.

"And you talked about Alpaca farming and gambling when you first met him," reminded Charlie pointedly before continuing, "what protocols?"

"The locator box for the First Family…" began Debbie, only for a grinning Charlie to interrupt her,

"Which you moved this afternoon?"

"…which I moved this afternoon because to see it you need code-word clearance which is not necessary for access to the West Wing," explained Debbie, refusing to rise to Charlie's bait.

"And that's the protocol that Commander Harper remembered but which all of the Secret Service had apparently forgotten about," concluded Charlie, although he suspected the real reason the Secret Service hadn't said anything was because the President's secretary scared them.

"What's the President saying about her?" Now, having confessed to her first run in with the oddly likeable Commander, Debbie was content to sit back in her chair and hear it from the other side.

"I don't think it went well," began Charlie, taking a big bite from his sandwich.

"It didn't – Dr McNally had to leave after one minute of introductions."

"She was nervous, called him Ma'am in her muddle," added Charlie, picking up on something he'd heard the President grumble about.

"She disagreed with him too – he dismissed her when he heard her answer to something," recalled Debbie, remembering the anger with which he had demanded her show in his next meeting, not all of which was due to his being over an hour late.

"At first she refused to offer an opinion – he's claiming he argued with her about giving an opinion," explained Charlie, understanding how that situation could arise but equally recognising why it would trigger frustration for the President.

"She gave him one though…" concluded Debbie, remembering that the anger shown by Jed Bartlett was more than that shown by someone refusing to debate.

"She bested him," declared Charlie triumphantly.

"He couldn't argue back?"

"Nope… and she speaks Arabic fluently and has actually been to Outer Mongolia, in winter," continued Charlie knowing that Debbie had had to suffer the President's tolerance of extreme cold just like he had.

"She's a keeper!" declared Debbie, powering down her computer, the office finally tidied to her satisfaction.

"Don't think the Senior Staff will think you're right on that one yet…" warned Charlie, remembering how difficult it was for Will to join in, "…although I don't think they'll try to put goats in her office."

"Good night Charlie," suggested Debbie, knowing that the young man still had a lot to do and was having to try and cheat time, something that even the Secret Service and NSC couldn't yet achieve.

"Good night Debbie, don't worry, I will try to get some sleep," volunteered Charlie as he hung up the phone, only for the cabin to reverberate with the sound of Jed Bartlett calling for him again, "on my way back to D.C…."

The End

Return to The West Wing Fiction

Return to Main Page