A Second Floor Visit

Posted on Thu Jun 23rd, 2022 @ 2:10pm by President Gabriel Helman & Mrs. Tara Helman (*) & Mr. Brandon Helman (*) & Ms. Sophia Helman (*)

Mission: So Help Me, God
Location: Dining Room, White House
Timeline: Saturday, January 14, 2017; 5:50pm

Gabe returned from Andrews Airforce Base at 5 o'clock eastern after his long round trip across the country. He wanted nothing more than to lay back on the couch with a book or the news on the television, but the unforgiving agenda had him and was threatening to never let him go. Tonight was drinks with the current First Family in the Residence; his and Tara's chance to get their first look at the place that would be their home for at least the next four years. He enjoyed a ham sandwich on the drive from Andrews to Blair House so that he wouldn't be hungry. He brushed his teeth and freshened up at Blair House and then he, Tara, Brandon, and Sofia headed out to walk across the street to the White House, accompanied by several service agents, of course.

36 degrees and raining slightly, the Secret Service had wanted to drive them across the road to the White House, but Gabe had resisted quite strongly. He donned a stripped white shirt, a black tie, and a red sweater-vest with a long dress coat. His wife put on a knee-length sleeveless white shift dress with brown shoes and a long brown coat of her own. He grabbed her hand, holding it gently as they stepped down the front steps onto the street.

"So, are you willing to concede now or shall we wait for the embarrassing proof, Mrs. Helman?" Gabe asked his wife, a cocky grin on his face.

"You wish, Gabe. Matt Santos is a bourbon drinker if I've ever seen one." she said with a grin all her own.

"No way. Scotch all the way." he replied as they drew near to the Secret Service checkpoint.

"I always thought President Santos was secretly a...bud light and peanuts sort of guy." Brandon cut in from his position behind his parents, next to his sister.

"Yeah, and Mrs. Santos likes to finish her nights with a nice chardonnay." Sophia said, and the family all laughed together.

They passed the checkpoint without anything more than a series of waves, a privilege allowed only to those who called the White House home, and proceeded toward the north entrance to the building. Nodding to the marines guarding the entrance, they stepped into the entrance hall.

"Welcome to the White House." Theo Harrington said with a grin. The White House Usher's office was right by the entrance, so he hadn't had to walk far. "I can take those coats if you'd like."

The Helmans then removed their coats without much fuss. Brandon wore a button up and lime green tie with a black cardigan and Sophia wore a pink ponte-knit fit & flare dress which accentuated smooth skin and long caramel legs.

After they gave away their coats and wiped their shoes on the rug, they were ushered up the main staircase to the second floor, the main floor for the First Family's personal use. At the top of the landing stood Matthew Santos, elected the first Latino American President in US History in 2008. After two terms in office, his youth has given way to a slightly slower and much greyer appearance. Standing next to him are his wife, Helen and their two children. All of them offer polite smiles, though there is some tension in their expressions.

"Mr. President." Gabe says, reaching the top of the stairs and grabbing hold of Matt's hand in a firm grip. He places his other hand on the man's shoulder and offers a very warm grin. Afterward, he moves on to the First Lady. "Mrs. Santos."

"Oh please, just call me Helen." she said, offering a smile just as warm as Gabe's and sharing a French cheek kiss with him before moving down the line to his children.

"Mr. President-Elect, welcome to the residence." Santos said, greeting Tara and the kids in turn. "You all know the First Lady, of course, and this is Peter and Miranda."

Peter was 13 years old, but quite tall, and had a known love of basketball. Miranda was 12 and gave a gentle wave, particularly at Brandon and Sophia, two people older than them to enough of a margin that they found them intimidating. They turned their attention to their father as he spoke again.

"I'm so glad we could get together in this final week before the inauguration to chat and to give you a chance to see your new home. Brandon and Sophia, Peter and Miranda here will take you up to the Third Floor and give you the tour, no doubt. Just uh....don't spend too much time on the roof, okay? It's cold out there.

Brandon offered a cool nod while Sophia smiled prettily at the President's words. For them, Matt Santos was still the man they saw on tv and not the man standing in front of them, and certainly not their father's predecessor. They went all the same, following the Santos kids toward yet another staircase.

"Tara, you and I will spent some time together in the West Sitting Hall; a place you'll get very used to soon, I promise." Helen said with a smile, becoming Tara along.

When they were alone, the President and President-Elect looked at each other for just a moment before the former broke the silence.

"Look, I know we've seen each other a few times before in the West Wing talking transitions, but I'd really like to be here for you now and in the future, Gabe. This is a damn tough job; it's hard on you and your family and it ages you like hell. It'll be hard for you to find people who understand the burdens it brings. Even though we're from different parties, I'd still like to be a resource for you. Hell, maybe even a friend.

"I really appreciate that, Mr. President. Truly, I do." Gabe said, offering a bright smile. Santos seemed genuine. "I have no doubt I'll need all the help I can get."

"Well, we can start here and now. I've got some bourbon and cigars for us in the Treaty Room." Santos said, placing a hand on Gabe's shoulder as they walked together toward the President's private office.