Leo McGarry’s Famous And Yet Deadly Secret Cure for Nerves




“Hey. I wondered where you were.” Leo joined the president leaning on a fence, looking out into a dark copse of trees in the Saybrook Institute compound. There was a faint scent of intermingled flowers – Leo didn’t know their names but the smell was pleasant enough. The sun had long since gone down and it was time, Leo thought, for the president to be in bed; they had an early start in the morning, and a big couple of days ahead of them, but Jed clearly had other ideas.


“It’s a beautiful night. I wanted to be alone – I’d go for a walk but you know, I’d feel stupid doing that with all these guys trailing along behind.” Jed nodded in the direction of his secret service agents who were gathered a discreet distance away – far enough to be out of earshot but within clear sight of the president.


“You wanted to be alone?” Leo frowned, glancing at the cigarette in his friend’s fingers. Jed only smoked when he was stressed, and, Leo supposed, he had every reason to be stressed right now.


“Yeah.” Jed shrugged. “We’ve been working this debate camp thing for all its worth for the past 2 days and I’m tired and crabby. If I have to answer one more debate question *and* stay polite then I’ll probably disappear in a puff of pissed off presidential smoke.” He blew out a lungful of smoke as if to illustrate that point.


“Very impressive alliteration,” Leo commented.


“Thank you,” Jed grunted. “Two days of thinking up smart answers will do that to you. God, I’m beginning to wish we’d never agreed to this damn debate.”


“You’ll be fine.” Leo shrugged.


“There see – that’s one of the things I really hate about you, Leo,” Jed replied moodily, flicking cigarette ash onto the grass beneath them.


“What did I say?” Leo asked, with feigned surprise. He hadn’t known Jed intimately for 40 years without being familiar with his lover’s more explosive moods and he had two equally good methods for handling them – one was to go head to head with his friend in a heated argument and the other was to simply absorb the flak as calmly and implacably as possible until Jed got whatever was bothering him out of his system. Leo usually employed the latter method, as he was doing right now; there were times when Jed liked a heated debate, but Leo was pretty sure that now wasn’t one of them.


“You’ll be fine,” Jed mimicked. He threw his cigarette on the ground and stomped on it with his shoe. “You always have this unshakeable faith in me, Leo. It’s annoying.”


“Ah.” Leo grinned.


“I mean, where can I go with ‘you’ll be fine’?” Jed asked, warming to his theme. “It boxes me into a corner. If I do well then it belittles my achievement as you can just give me that knowing ‘I told you so’ look and be all laid back and complacent about it, and if I screw up you get to yell at me so either way you win and I don’t,” he said grumpily.


“I don’t yell at you,” Leo replied smoothly.


“Hmm,” Jed replied, in no mood to concede that very valid point.


“When did I yell at you?” Leo asked.


“Oh I don’t know. I was using ‘yell’ in a metaphorical sense,” Jed complained. “No, wait, I remember – you did yell at me once when we were talking about the relative merits of a proportional response. You definitely yelled at me then.”


“I may have raised my voice – and so did you,” Leo pointed out. “I wasn’t yelling at you. It was a heated debate.”


“Hmm,” Jed said again.


“And it was either that or watch the world go up in flames so I think it was a subject worth getting heated about,” Leo added. “That’s about the only time I’ve ever had to *stop* you wading into a military confrontation. Usually I have to drag you kicking and screaming in the other direction.”


“Alright, alright, you’ve made your point,” Jed snapped, reaching into his pocket for another cigarette which he lit and drew on moodily.


Leo settled his arms comfortably on the fence. Jed had been in a bad mood for most of his time at the debate camp and Leo wasn’t remotely surprised or fazed by it. They were all getting tense as the day of the televised debate drew closer and Jed’s nerves often manifested in little explosions of temper which Leo was easily able to either defuse or absorb. The last 48 hours hadn’t exactly been a picnic for Jed as he’d been called upon to spend hour after hour rehearsing debate questions with the staff, at the same time as dealing with a tense military situation. Jed was never more ill at ease than when wearing the mantle of Commander In Chief and it was during those sessions that he relied on Leo more than at any other time – he respected Leo’s judgment, aware that his friend had actually seen armed combat while he had not. Jed was never at ease with taking hard military decisions. He and Leo had an ongoing disagreement about how to deal with military situations; Jed’s natural instincts were what Leo called fudge and Jed called compromise – and it was up to Leo to occasionally push Jed into being more hawkish than was his inclination.


“So…you’re nervous about the debate?” Leo asked. Jed moved his neck from side to side as if trying to relieve a persistent ache and then he gave a little grin and shot Leo a slightly mischievous sideways glance from under his eyelashes.


“Yeah, I’m nervous. What are you going to do about it? Administer Leo McGarry’s Famous and Yet Deadly Secret Cure for Nerves?” Jed asked, his eyes glinting in the darkness. Leo gazed at him for a moment, and then quirked an eyebrow.


“Does it work?”


Jed gave a bark of laughter. “Yeah!”


“Then you’d better watch out,” Leo grinned.




“Jed – it’s for you!”


Jed threw his book on the floor with a growl, walked over to his bedroom door and wrenched it open savagely. He was in no mood to talk to anyone right now – didn’t people know he was trying to study for god’s sake? He ran down the stairs and into the hallway of the house he shared with 8 other students and glared at Eric Lewis who was brandishing the telephone at him.


“Who is it?” Jed hissed.


“Leo,” Eric replied, handing him the phone and fleeing under the weight of Jed’s irritable glare. Jed grabbed the phone and barked:


“Leo – it’s me,” into it, still glowering.


“Hey, you don’t sound so good,” Leo commented.


Jed struggled for a moment, torn between holding onto his current foul mood, and allowing Leo’s mellow, good natured tones to soothe him, as they usually did. He normally loved it when Leo called and they’d been known to talk for hours with Jed sitting on the narrow stairwell in the hallway of the student house. As he talked, he could picture Leo lying on his bed in his room in Michigan; Leo had somehow, and Jed still wasn’t sure how he’d done this, managed to find a bedroom that came complete with its own private telephone line. The most Jed had managed to swing was single occupancy of his own room – he’d shared for his first three years but for his final year he had a small room all to himself, which suited him much better – especially when Leo dropped by in the battered old beater that he called a car and stayed over. That didn’t happen often though; their colleges were a couple of hundred miles apart so they often split the difference and met somewhere between the two in order to spend a few hours together.


“I have my final Economics exam tomorrow,” Jed hissed at Leo as if that explained everything.


“I know,” Leo replied. “That’s why I’m calling. I know this is the big one and you wanna nail it. I was just calling to say good luck.”


“Oh.” Jed sat down on the stairs and began to pick moodily at a piece of wallpaper that was peeling away from the wall.


“You’ll be fine,” Leo said confidently.


“You don’t know that,” Jed muttered.


“Jed, trust me, I do,” Leo replied calmly. “You have the biggest brain of anyone I ever met. If you don’t ace this exam then there isn’t a hope in hell for the other guys taking it.”


“Leo, I’m not anywhere near as smart as you think I am. I had to work really hard this term and there’s still some stuff I need to know that I just don’t have a handle on,” Jed said, picking at the peeling wallpaper some more. “God knows I’ve studied and studied but there’s this one last book I just need to get through…”


“Before tomorrow?” Leo asked incredulously. “Jed, were you planning on staying up all night studying?”


“I won’t be able to sleep anyway,” Jed protested. “I didn’t get any sleep last night – all I could think about was that I hadn’t read this book. I went over to the library first thing this morning and got it but I need more time to study it properly.”


“Yeah, and I’ll bet it’s the one econ book in the stacks that you still haven’t read,” Leo commented. Jed gazed at his fingernails moodily – that comment wasn’t far from the truth. “Jed, did your professor say you had to read this book to pass the exam?”


“No,” Jed conceded.


“Is it possible that you didn’t read it because you don’t need to as it isn’t relevant? Jed – I’m betting that you’ve done all the studying you possibly can for this exam until you’re word perfect on everything – and that you’re just making excuses about reading this book to distract you so you don’t think about how nervous you are,” Leo observed with unerring accuracy.


Jed was silent for a moment. “Maybe,” he agreed grudgingly.


Leo’s sigh at the other end of the phone was both audible and exasperated. “You didn’t sleep last night either?” He asked.


“No – you know I get insomnia, Leo. There’s no way I even expected to get any sleep this close to the exam.”


“You’ll do better if you at least get *some* sleep,” Leo told him firmly.


“Yeah, well, tell that to my brain,” Jed chuckled. “The minute I close my eyes all I can think about is Keynes’s Internal Rate of Return and Adam Smith’s Theory of Value and Distribution.”


“Jed – will you do something for me?” Leo asked in a thoughtful tone of voice.


“Mmm. Maybe. Depends what it is,” Jed replied warily.


“Is the book upstairs in your room?”




“Okay. I want you to go and pick it up, bring it downstairs, and leave it in the hallway. Just leave it – put the book down and walk slowly away. Think you can do that?”


“Not sure,” Jed mused, levering some plaster out from under his fingernail with his thumb.


“Then, when the book is safely out of reach, I want you to go back upstairs, lie on your bed, close your eyes, and think of nothing; nothing at all. Will you try and do that for me?” Leo asked.


“Well, I’ll try,” Jed said uncertainly. “But it won’t work.”


“You won’t know unless you try,” Leo pointed out reasonably.


“Okay,” Jed sighed. “Thanks, Leo. I’m afraid I’m a lost cause though.”


“No you’re not. If you go to bed now, you might get a few hours sleep even if it takes you a couple of hours to switch off.”


“Mmm.” Jed shrugged, having absolutely no faith whatsoever in Leo’s strategy, although he was grateful that his friend cared enough to at least try and help.


“Are you gonna do like I say?” Leo asked.


“Probably,” Jed replied.


Leo sighed. “That’ll have to do I guess. Good luck for tomorrow – not that you need it, but good luck anyway.”


Jed smiled to himself. Talking to Leo always made him feel better no matter what kind of a mood he was in. “Yeah. Thanks,” he said softly.


Jed put the phone down and gazed at it glumly, wishing Leo was here right now and not miles away, and then, with a sigh, he picked himself up and returned to his room. He gazed at the book in question with a fatalistic look and then picked it up.


“We can go through the motions but you and I both know you’ve already won,” he told it.


He walked the book out of the room, took it down the stairs, and placed it on a shelf next to the phone in the hallway. The book gazed at him maliciously from its plain brown cover. It seemed to be taunting him. Jed scowled at it and then did as Leo had advised and backed slowly away up the hallway towards the stairs again. The book didn’t cease its baleful glaring for a second so Jed decided he’d have to run for it. He fled up the stairs and into his bedroom and slammed the door shut behind him. Then he flopped onto the bed, closed his eyes, and tried to do as Leo had advised.


Think of nothing, he told himself sternly. Nothing…


An image of the book came tantalisingly into his mind. He could see the chapter headings…supposing he was sitting in the exam tomorrow and all the answers he needed were covered under one of those chapter headings? It was too much for Jed to bear, so he got up, opened the door, and returned down the stairs. The book was sitting where he’d left it 10 minutes ago. Jed retrieved it and sat down on the stairs again, book in hand. He flicked it open and tried to read, but the words just seemed like a meaningless jumble on the page. His eyes stung and his eyelids felt so heavy he could barely keep them open. He read the same paragraph three times and realised it had made no sense to him whatsoever.


“Oh god,” he muttered to himself. “Leo’s right. I’m so tired I won’t even be able to think straight during the exam tomorrow.” He got up, threw the book on the shelf, and then let himself out of the house, taking a deep breath of the cool night air. He’d go for a long walk and try to clear his mind that way; maybe that would work.


Jed walked relentlessly for three hours straight. He was so tired he wanted to throw himself down on the grassy verge and sleep wherever he fell but his brain was still too active – it refused to be turned off. He tried to do as Leo had advised and empty his mind and think of nothing at all but it only worked for a second or two and then he was back running over all the things he needed to know for the exam and working out example essay answers in his head. Finally, he realised that he was soaked and it had been raining steadily for at least 20 minutes without him noticing. It was only that realisation that drove Jed back to his house, dripping wet. He stomped moodily up the stairs, threw open his bedroom door, slammed it shut behind him and then…gave a startled gasp as he was pushed up against the wall.


“What the…?” He began, confused.


“Quiet!” A voice hissed in his ear.




“I said, be quiet,” the voice repeated. Jed struggled for a moment but his assailant was young, fit and strong – and clearly had the upper hand. Jed gave in and slumped against the wall and the man behind him gave a grunt of approval. He put one hand on the back of Jed’s neck to keep him in place and his other hand moved lower…and then lower still. It was curiously caressing and Jed’s panic disappeared instantly as he felt a familiar tingle spark through his body; there was only one person this could be.


“Leo?” He said, with a bark of relieved laughter.


“You’re drenched,” Leo chided, by way of reply, patting Jed’s damp clothes with what sounded like a snort of disgust. “What the hell were you doing out hiking in a thunderstorm?”


“I tried the lying on the bed thinking of nothing trick and it didn’t work,” Jed sighed.


“And you thought getting half drowned would help take your mind off tomorrow?” Leo asked.


“I’m not sure I was thinking about anything other than the questions that might be in the exam,” Jed said. “Leo, can I get up now?” He tried to move back, only for Leo’s hand to close more firmly around his neck, pushing him back against the wall.


“No,” Leo replied. “I know you; If I let you up you’ll end up talking me to death about the exam and that’s precisely *not* why I’m here.”


“Why are you here?” Jed asked, staying where Leo put him, feeling somewhat excited by the whole scenario. He heard Leo give a little chuckle behind him, and then he gasped out loud as Leo’s warm lips nuzzled at his cold, damp neck, just below his hairline.


“I’m here,” Leo said, in portentous tones, “to administer Leo McGarry’s Famous Cure for Nerves.”


Jed couldn’t help himself; he snorted – loudly. “Okay, I’ll bite,” he said, grinning into the wall. “What exactly is Leo McGarry’s Famous Cure for Nerves? It’s clearly so famous that I haven’t even heard of it.”


“It’s famous – but a deadly secret,” Leo told him. Jed snorted again – this was at least distracting him for his worries about the exam though.


“Ah – so it’s really ‘Leo McGarry’s Famous and Yet Deadly Secret Cure for Nerves.’ Hmm, isn’t that a contradiction in terms? Famous but secret?” Jed asked.


“Nope. Something can be famous among a very small group of people,” Leo replied.


“How small?” Jed demanded.


“Two,” Leo conceded. “You and me.”


“You and me?” Jed laughed. “Except I’ve never heard of it so that makes it just you. It can’t be famous if only one person knows about it.”


“I knew you’d talk me to death if you got the chance,” Leo lamented. “However…I also know ways of keeping you quiet.”


“No you d…ooooh…shit!” Jed found himself rendered suddenly speechless as Leo’s warm tongue found that spot just behind his ear that always made his knees go weak. He clung on to the wall for dear life as Leo licked him vigorously and then sighed as Leo’s hands slid down the inside of his damp pants and made warm, erotic contact with his buttocks. Leo kneaded Jed’s butt thoroughly as he licked behind his ear and nuzzled at his neck and Jed could almost feel the steam rising off him as he melted against the wall.


“I rest my case,” Leo said in a tone of some satisfaction. “Now, it’s time to administer that famous cure I think.” There was a distinct grin in his voice as he said that, and a few seconds later Jed felt his friend’s hands glide around to the front of his body and start unfastening his pants.


“What are you gonna…?” Jed began, wondering what exactly Leo had planned.


“Ssh,” Leo said, his warm breath tickling the back of Jed’s ear. A few seconds later Jed felt his pants being pushed down his legs along with his briefs, and then he gave a squawk of surprise as his buttocks were parted and a finger slid smoothly inside his body.


“Oh shit,” Jed gasped, struggling in vain to find some kind of handhold on the smooth wall he was pressed up against. He pressed his palms flat against the wall and hung there, his body responding as it always did to Leo’s caresses, every nerve ending starting to tingle and vibrate. He felt Leo slide another finger inside him and then another; Leo’s fingers appeared to be lubed and Jed tried to turn his head to at least catch a glimpse of his lover in the dark room, but Leo increased the pressure on the back of his neck with his other hand, making it impossible.


“The Famous and Yet Deadly Secret cure doesn’t work if you try to look,” he said.


“You’re making up the rules as you go along!” Jed complained.


“It’s my cure – I can do that,” Leo told him smugly and there was no arguing with that so Jed just resigned himself and rested his head on his hands. It had been several weeks since he’d last seen Leo and everything always felt so right when they were together. His worries about the exam had now receded to the back of his mind, completely pushed aside by the distraction of having Leo here, playing this deliciously tormenting game with him.


Jed gave a hoarse yell as Leo’s mouth descended on the back of his neck again, licking and sucking at his damp skin, warming him in time to the rhythmic thrusting of his fingers. Jed abandoned himself to the sensation, moaning softly to himself as Leo continued with this exquisite torment until Jed didn’t think he could take it any more – and at that precise moment he felt Leo remove his fingers and draw away and then a second later his ass cheeks were parted and Leo’s hard cock took the place of his fingers. They had never had sex in this position before, standing up like this, and Jed found it more exciting than he would have thought possible. He loved the fact that they were half clothed and Leo hadn’t allowed him to look round – it lent the proceedings a furtive, illicit aura that aroused him; and he adored the slightly rough texture of Leo’s pants as they rubbed against his ass and the back of his thighs and the warmth of Leo’s hands on his still damp skin.


Jed gave another gasp as Leo slid into him with one expert thrust and Jed found himself pushed up closer to the wall, his head angled sideways, his cheek pressed against his hands. His ass muscles felt tighter with this angle of penetration and he liked the intensity of the way that felt when Leo thrust into him. He also loved the sensation of Leo covering his body with his own, his hand milking Jed’s cock with every forward thrust, his lips finding the back of Jed’s neck at the same time, kissing, nuzzling and gently biting him as he moved his body effortlessly inside Jed’s. Leo kept them both on the edge for a long time – slowing down his own thrusts and his pressure on Jed’s cock just when they were both near to coming, much to Jed’s frustration. Now all thought of exams and the unread book were completely banished from his mind; all he could think about was the intoxicating sensation of being taken by Leo against the wall in this almost primitive way and he was shocked by just how exciting it felt. It was all he could do to stay upright as Leo continued rocking his hips forward and back, sliding in and out of Jed’s ass, his hands and body the only thing keeping Jed in position. He felt literally impaled on Leo’s cock and the musty scent of his damp clothing combined with the heady scent of sex to make him forget about everything except the fact that he was being vigorously made love to against the wall by his best friend. Finally, when Jed really thought he’d collapse from the sensory overload, Leo allowed them both to come. It took Jed a few minutes to even realise that he had spent himself, as he hung against the wall, panting, Leo’s softening cock still embedded in his body, Leo’s hands warm on his hips, keeping him from falling to the ground in a boneless heap. They stood there for a moment and then Jed felt Leo’s warm breath tickling the back of his neck again.


“I’m going to let go. Can you stand?” He asked.


“Dunno…” Jed replied, shakily.


“I’ll keep my arm around you then,” Leo said, and then he carefully withdrew and pulled away. Jed was grateful for that arm around his midriff as he sank down for a moment, and then rallied enough to find his feet. His pants were still down around his ankles and he took one step and would have fallen over if Leo hadn’t been holding him up. Somehow Leo managed to throw him onto the bed in the centre of the small room and then he threw himself down beside him. It was dark and all Jed could see were Leo’s teeth grinning inanely, the whites of his eyes, and the slight shimmer of his blond hair.


“So, I think Leo McGarry’s Famous and Yet Deadly Secret Cure for Nerves works,” Leo commented in a satisfied tone.


“You think?” Jed tried to sound as if he wasn’t certain but Leo wasn’t having any of it. He grabbed Jed, laughing in a way that made his body ripple against his friend’s.


“You are so not going to have me about this, my friend,” he said into Jed’s ear. “You were doing everything short of purring just then.”


“No I wasn’t. I was thinking about my Economics exam the entire time,” Jed told him solemnly.


“Ah, now I wish I’d taken Economics. I had no idea it could cause such explosive orgasms,” Leo observed, and his hand sneaked down to find Jed’s cock, which, despite being so recently sated, immediately sprang into life again when it was touched. “A-ha. I suspect you were lying to me, Jed Bartlet. In which case…” He rolled over on top of Jed, imprisoned his arms above his body, and then lowered his head to capture Jed’s mouth in his own in the first kiss they’d shared since Leo’s clandestine arrival. Jed opened his lips immediately and they spent a good couple of minutes claiming each other’s mouths, kissing ardently and passionately until they had no choice but to come up for air. Jed gazed up at Leo, feeling warm, relaxed and happy in a way that would have been unthinkable a few hours before. Leo smiled down on him and kissed him again, gently, tenderly, caressingly. They undressed each other, and then Leo wrapped his arms around Jed, held him down on the bed, and made love to him again, just as tenderly…and that was the last thing that Jed remembered until his alarm clock went off several hours later.


He came to with a start and glanced over at the mound under the sheets beside him, remembering the events of the previous night with a happy smile. Leo opened a sleepy eye and gazed at him.


“S’morning already?” He groaned.


“Yeah,” Jed said softly. “And I feel great. Thanks for driving over last night, Leo.”


“No problem,” Leo mumbled into the pillow. “You sounded so pathetic on the phone that I figured extreme measures were called for so I got in the car and drove like a bat out of hell to get here – Eric let me in. I was worried when I got here and you were nowhere to be seen – I was just about to go looking for you when you showed up like a half drowned rat. So, did you sleep?”


“Like a baby.” Jed grinned.


“Worked then.” Leo closed his eyes again. Jed leaned over and kissed his friend’s forehead. Leo had grown his hair a little longer while at college and it was wispy around the edges. It wasn’t anywhere near as thick as Jed’s hair and Jed suspected that Leo found it annoying so he doubted it would be long before Leo had it all cut off again – probably into the buzz cut he’d favoured when Jed had first met him. In the meantime, Jed enjoyed being in the unusual position of being able to smooth Leo’s hair away from his forehead for a change. Leo made a face and waved his hand feebly in a bid to ward Jed away.


“Hey, you can do it to me. Why can’t I do it to you?” Jed complained with a grin.


“S’different. You like it,” Leo muttered sleepily.


“I don’t. You like doing it to me!” Jed protested. “I’m just very kind and let you.”


“Yeah. Right,” Leo said, opening his eyes again. Leo’s eyes were a very pale blue in colour – sharp, smart and perceptive with just a faint edge of teasing in their opaque depths. “You like being stroked, fondled, kissed and fucked, Jed Bartlet – and as I like doing all those things to you I think it works out pretty well.” He grinned and ran a speculative hand over Jed’s thighs as if to test that point. Jed’s cock responded as it normally did and Leo laughed out loud. “I rest my case,” he said.


Jed grinned and deliberately stroked Leo’s hair by way of retaliation – and one thing led to another and they spent a quick ten minutes divesting Jed of any more last minute ‘nerves’ before, regretfully, he decided it was time to get up.


“Will you be here when I get back from the exam?” He asked Leo, rolling out of the bed and stretching like a cat, naked and utterly content.


“No,” Leo sighed. “I have to get back before lunch. Will you be okay?” He asked quietly, his mood changing as he gazed at his friend speculatively.


“Yes.” Jed nodded. “I’m going to ace this exam, Leo!” He dropped a kiss on Leo’s head and then grabbed his bathrobe and made for the door, feeling refreshed and full of confidence, ready to face whatever challenges the day ahead brought.


“Yeah, like I didn’t tell you that yesterday,” Leo grumbled. “But would you believe me? No…I had to schlep all the way down here…”


“Well, if I’d believed you yesterday there wouldn’t have been any need for Leo McGarry’s Famous and Yet Deadly Secret Cure for Nerves, would there?” Jed said with a mischievous smile. “And I wouldn’t have wanted to miss *that*.” He laughed and exited the room, closing the door just in time to avoid a deftly thrown pillow.


The End




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