Notes: What is this?! Has it really been almost a year since I posted anything?!! Oh man! I’ve had a few ideas that weren’t fully formed stories that I decided to write as mini-stories to hopefully get the muse back in the writing habit. They aren't great technically, but I didn't want to let myself get bogged down by little things. Hopefully they are fun. I've got at least two more in the brain pan, and I'm going to do the same, just write them and not worry about length or making it technically great. Both of these are inspired by Pete and Chasten Buttigieg in that the first one, their story gave me the idea and in the second one a little personal catharsis from articles that were written about them. Title: Better Than I Know Myself Characters: Leo/Marc Timeline: pre-running for President Leo finished brushing his teeth, turned off the light in the ensuite and slid into the bed with Marc, who was sitting up against the headboard reading a book. Leo laid on his side watching him for a few minutes until Marc set down his book and looked at his husband. “I’m kinda afraid to ask,” Marc joked knowing Leo wanted to talk about something. Leo sat up, but continued to face Marc, he took a moment looking down at his hands, but then lifted his head to look Marc in the eyes. “What would you think if I said I wanted to run for president.” Marc smiled, “Okay.” “Okay? That’s it, okay?” “Do you want me to freak out,” Marc laughed. “Because I can work up to it if you’d like?” Leo shook his head, “No, I just didn’t expect that reaction. I don’t know what I was expecting, really.” Marc turned on his side so they were both half sitting, half laying on their pillows looking at each other. “I knew we’d get her someday, and by this point, I figured it was going to be sooner rather than later.” “You knew?” Leo asked. “I’ve known since before we got married, Leo.” “Wha.. how? I didn’t even know I wanted to until recently.” “How did I know? Leo, look at your life. Two people you call uncle and one aunt were presidents, you practically grew up in the Oval. You and your closest friends went into politics. Where do you think I could miss it?” “None of that means I’d want to run…” “Of course not, but when I combine that with the kind of man you are, someone who wants to do his best for the world, someone who is passionate about serving, but also has just that little spark of his dad’s ego,” Leo laughed, he couldn’t deny that he did have a bit of his dad in him. “Combine that with that little drive in you to make your dad proud,” Marc continued. “And of course he’d be proud of you no matter what, but I think there’s a part of you that thinks it will bring you that much closer to him. It was always something I figured we’d get to eventually, and I decided I was happy to support you in that before we got married.” Leo couldn’t help the few tears that escaped, “I… I don’t know what to say. I know it will be a huge change and such a burden on you, and you just… continue to be you.” “We’ll need to talk about things of course, especially how it’s going to affect the kids, but I love the man I married, and this has always been a part of you. That passion for others is part of what made me fall in love with you.” Leo just looked at his husband with awe, he couldn’t believe this was his life, that he’d found a man like Marc who not only encouraged his passions but knew Leo better than he knew himself. “Thank you. I love you.” “And I love you,” Marc replied. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Title: The Article Characters: Leo/Marc Timeline: Pre-White House “Not gay enough?!” Marc almost growled out reading his tablet in the car that was taking him and Leo to their next campaign stop. Leo raised his eyebrows. “Who isn’t gay enough?” “You!” “Well I mean, I’m not gay….” “That’s not what they mean!” Leo took the tablet from his husband and held his hand. “I know that’s not what they mean, but it’s just one person who doesn’t want to see a same-sex couple in the White House.” Marc picked the tablet back up, turned it on and turned it around for Leo to see. “It’s an LGBTQ+ magazine.” “Seriously?” Leo took the tablet and skimmed the article. “Seriously?” “Right?” “So being married to a man is too gay for some groups and being bi is a cop-out to some people in our own?!. It’s LGB...TQ. The b is smack dab in the middle there.” It was Marc’s turn to take Leo’s hand, he knew this wasn’t the first time Leo had heard that from their community and it probably wouldn’t be the last. “And this,” Leo continued to read, “They say we’re both too straight passing, and I quote ‘too heteronomitive with their white picket fence and 2.5 kids’.” “I guess we aren’t flamboyant enough. If you want I could turn it on?” “Yes, because the Christian right would love that.” Leo paused for a second thinking about it. “Actually come to think of it, they weren’t going to vote for me anyway and it might be fun to see.” “I could start with how I’d decorate the Residence and what kind of parties I’m going to throw. I’ll say the word ‘fabulous’ at least twice a sentence.” Leo laughed, “And don’t forget to call everyone ‘dahling’.” “Of course not, dahling, I’d never do such a thing.” They both laughed for a few moments and then sighed. “It’s not worth getting upset over,” Leo said. “Are you trying to convince yourself of that, or me?” “Both of us, I think. People are going to say a whole lot worse if I win the nomination, these attacks are coming from our side.” “Which kinda makes it worse,” Marc added. “It does. I don’t expect the LGBTQ+ community to vote for me just because I’m a part of it, but I guess I didn’t see this coming.” “Yeah…” Marc didn’t really know what else he could say, he was hurt and hurt for Leo. He was right, they’d expected to get attacks from certain groups, but not their own on how they lived their lives. Not have people say they were fake because they didn’t fit a stereotype. “It doesn’t matter, we are who we are and we aren’t going to change that to suit others or to win an election.” “Promise?” Leo asked, sounding a little bit unsure. “I don’t want to get caught up in things and become someone I’m not.” “I won’t let you, I promise.” They sat holding hands in a comfortable silence each thinking about the promise made. Soon after the door on Leo’s side opened and Josie was standing there holding a tablet, “Did you see this article?!!” This time Marc and Leo just laughed.