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Posted in 24_fanfic

Title: And Finally We’re Done
Author: marinw
Rating: PG. This is as fluffy as I get.
Characters: Tom/Karen
Summary: Post Day 6. Tom Lennox plots his next move.
Disclaimer: 24 is the property of the Fox Production Company. Etc.
A/N: I may be alone in this, but Tom sets off my gaydar. Thanks to my beta reader, sardonicynic, for her lesson on the American political system.

Tom sat behind his large desk and tapped both his thumbs together.

The motion helped him think. He had a lot to think about.

Tom reviewed the current situation:

Unfortunate. Very unfortunate. But not unsalvageable.

The latest report from Walter Reed hospital was that President Palmer was still in a coma, and was likely to remain so for an indefinite period. Even if he did regain consciousness, the experts were skeptical that he would ever be able to resume his office.

Noah Daniels would not be allowed to finish President Palmer’s term. Daniels was also far too hawkish for Palmer’s Democratic supporters to stomach. The current Speaker of the House was less than ideal for the top job.

That introduced a wealth of possibilities.

Tom reviewed the usual suspects, the list of people who might want the job.

Allison Taylor came immediately to mind. Many people would be skeptical, and say that America wasn’t ready for a female president, not in the wake of the recent wave of terrorist attacks.

People once said the same thing about a black president.

Another question: what man could accept the role of First Gentleman without feeling emasculated?

I would be a good First Gentleman. But that’s not really relevant. I don’t swing that way.

Yes. Allison Taylor required further study.

That took care of the Democrats. As for the Republicans…

Tom’s thoughts were interrupted by a gentle wrap on the open door of his office.

Tom looked up to find (ex) National Security Advisor Karen Hayes in the doorway, her arms crossed in front of her. She was wearing a very slight smile. Tom found that smile intimidating, and Karen knew that.

Everything was a chess match. Even a casual conversation. Especially a casual conversation.

Tom liked it that way. He was good at chess.

Tom stood up. “Karen. What brings you to the White House?”

“I came to get my things.”

“They could be sent to you.”

Her smile widened. “But then I wouldn’t be able to speak to you.”

“What would you like to discuss?”

“I wanted to say thank you.”

“You already thanked me.”

“Well, I’m doing it again. If it weren’t for your efforts, Bill and I could very well be in jail.”

“You and your husband have paid a high enough price already. Charges of treason would be bad for the nation right now. The nation is still my first priority.”

“Of course it is. You must have been very persuasive with the Vice President.”

“I can be. You’re welcome. May I ask how much longer you’re planning on staying in Washington?”

“I have some details to take care if. I want to rent my apartment.”

Tom scribbled down a name and number and handed it to Karen. “I have a friend who may be interested.”

Karen took the paper. “Tom, if I didn’t know better, I would say that you’re trying to get rid of me.”

“That thought never crossed my mind. And Karen? The answer is no.”

“If the answer is no, what was the question?”

“You once asked me if I wanted to get in the ring with you. The answer is no. I don’t.”

“I’ll take that as a compliment.”

“As it was intended.”

“What are your plans now? Will you stay on as Chief of Staff?”

“For now.”

“The job of National Security Advisor just opened up.”

“I heard.”

“It’s been an honor.”

Tom and Karen shook hands. Some formalities were impossible to abandon.

After Karen left the office, Tom and leaned back in his oh-so-comfortable leather chair with his hands behind his head.

National Security Advisor?


Very interesting.