Nifty Disclaimer - This story is a work of fiction and contains scenes including sexual relations between people of the same gender. If this isn't your cup of tea, or is illegal where you live, please do not read. Any relation between fictional characters and real people is purely coincidental. All work is copyrighted to Dan Kirk © 2004
"So, then Davey reached up, trying to catch the ball and he actually managed to do it!" Brian was saying with great gusto, acting it out in his seat. "The only problem was, when he landed, he had forgotten which base the runner had been on, and threw it to first instead of second or third!"
"Oh my!" Mrs. Reagan exclaimed with gentle humor as I blushed. That had been the first year that I played baseball, and I'd been essentially brand new to the sport.
"Brandon was on first base and still managed to throw the runner out." I muttered, pointing out the one thing in my favor. The two Reagans laughed still.
"So you didn't play many sports your first time around?" The President asked me as they finished laughing and he picked up another forkful of roast and started chewing.
"I did until my parents separated." I said with a wince. "I wasn't as good as I am at them now, but I did play some. When we moved back to California though, Mom, Jenny and I, I was too angry and rebelled against a lot of things, including playing sports. It was a bad reaction, but unfortunately very common for a lot of young people whose families are being torn apart. Even though Mom did the right thing leaving Dad in that time, it was still tough."
"But it's not as tough for you in this time?" Nancy asked me worriedly.
"Well, I think the biggest difference is that I have friends and their families to fall back on right now." I said after a moment's thought. "Even with all my other experiences, it is still hard at times. But, having my friends, having Brian, and their families being so supportive, it's made things a lot easier."
"I wonder if that holds true for other children of divorces." Nancy wondered aloud.
"I would imagine that it would make a difference in any of those cases." I offered and she smiled.
"How are your friends holding up?" President Reagan asked and I smiled. We had been in Washington for two days now. It was Monday night and I felt extremely exhausted, but the late dinner in the Residential Wing was not something you refused, even politely.
"They're having it easier than we are." I said. "They've only been with the different government investigators for a few hours a day."
"While you've been spending half the day with Ronnie's staff, more hours with the investigators, and then even more hours going over all those documents they send your way." Nancy Reagan pointed out. She knew that because in order to keep me out of sight of non-national security types and the press, I'd been sequestered in one of the rooms in the Residential Wing for most of the last few days. Saturday night, Brian and I had been moved to the famous Lincoln Bedroom (eat your heart out President Clinton, I had sex in there first!). Originally it had been just me that was going to be moved, but it had only taken one comment to Nancy that night and she'd scolded her husband for being so uncaring and gotten him to order that it include both of us. Mr. Rush had brought Brandon and Trevor up to the Residence on Sunday so they could see we hadn't 'disappeared'.
"All my staffers are burning both ends of the candle right now." President Reagan pointed out with a wan smile. "So am I for that matter. David, is there anything new you've come up with on the purges that are going on?"
"Not really, sir." I said. "I remembered Lec Wolenska's name but he'd already been purged and was pretty well known anyway. From the list of people the intelligence agencies have gathered so far, they moved damn fast on Sunday evening and are moving through entire bureaus. They're hitting people at the top, middle, and lower levels so it's very likely they're taking people who had a hand in the fall of the Soviet Union and in addition people who became pro-democratic leaders. One of the low-level czhech bureaucrats I recognized as being the first Czech President after they split off from Slovakia. I recognized the man who would become the President of Estonia as well. He was a large supporter of democratic reforms and led the modernizations of Estonia's economy in the mid-1990's. Another name I recognized had become the Mayor of Minsk and was likewise a strong advocate of democracy. Of course the first person they executed was Boris Yeltsin who was the first democratically elected Russian President. Strangely they have not arrested or killed Vladimir Putin who was Yeltsin's successor."
"So many people dying over there right now." Nancy said with a shake of her head. "It's really sad it's all happening."
"I doubt any of us would argue with you there, Nancy." Ron Reagan said with a smile for his wife. "It seems Shevrenadze's son was quite well prepared for this."
"He probably spent a decade making those lists and pouring over them, memorizing them in his obsession to get back at those that destroyed his precious Soviet Union." I said with no little bitterness. I was feeling more and more inadequate compared to what was being orchestrated in the Soviet Union right now.
"Don't be so hard on yourself." President Reagan ordered me sharply as Brian reached over and patted my arm, giving me a supportive smile. "For a man who had no idea he would end up in the past, and had no opportunity to prepare for anything except what he thought would be twenty minutes of observing a moment in his own history, you've managed to do quiet well in the last few days. I'm being told that you are a great asset to us in this crisis, and that is coming from men who at worst think homosexuals should be thrown in prison and at best dislike you because of that. You've earned from most of them their professional respect and that is no small feat especially when they see a teenager and not a grown man."
"Thank you, Mr. President." I said with some humility, trying not to blush. The truth was I was enjoying this, even though I spent a lot less time in Brian's company. I missed him, though and knew it wouldn't be long before I grew irritable at the separation. He was spending most of his day in the Treasury building holding discussion with the government 'investigators'. There had been a lot of questions about our relationship, as we both expected, with assumptions that I'd used my experience to seduce him. It was a character flaw they thought they saw in me, but Brian had pretty much set them on their asses verbally.
"I have been advised that there is no more need for your friends or Mr. Ruskanov, I mean Rush, to remain here in town." The President said after a moment's silence. "Arrangements are being made to send them back home tomorrow. Mr. Rush has been assured that you will be home as soon as you are not needed, if that is still your intention."
"It is." I said carefully. "I understand the cover story your staff developed, but it won't hold for any length of time, and I'd prefer not to have the issue of time travel become public news. The debate that would cause is not something I want to be the center of in the public arena."
"I can sympathize with the feeling." President Reagan agreed. "Every indication we have is that there is not going to be any surprise attack, nuclear or conventional, nor any expansionist policies. Everything points to consolidation. I expect that you will be allowed to go home next Sunday. Mr. Rush has agreed to the installation of some more security in his home and we will be able to communicate securely with you from there. You do understand that if another crisis happens, you will be recalled to Washington, don't you?"
"I've been drafted!" I exclaimed with mock horror and we all laughed.
"I was surprised at your insistence on a consulting contract." President Reagan observed and I'd smiled. "Five hundred an hour is no small amount. What are you going to do with the money?"
"Save it for college and maybe starting off our careers when we're older." I said with a grin. "My career as a national security expert is tied directly to my knowledge of future events. As those are dealt with, and as the future is being changed every day by the Shevrenadzes, my usefulness decreases. Right now, my biggest usefulness is I'm the only person on our side that understands what broke up the Soviet Union to any extensive degree and I'm the only person with experiences on embittered young Revolutionists seeking to restore the glory days of their old country. When that knowledge becomes less useful, so do I."
"Do you still intend to pursue careers as international business attorneys?" Nancy asked us politely and I nodded.
"I still see that as becoming an important field." I said calmly. "The changes in computers, the dawn of the information age, all will still likely happen. It might make things touchier with a Soviet Union still in existence, but then touchy situations are what lawyers dream of having."
"A shark in training already!" Ron Reagan joked and we laughed a little more. Dammit, I still didn't like some of the man's policies, but I couldn't help falling under his charm and liking him as a person.
"He's my shark, though." Brian pointed out and there was a lot more laughter. When it died down, Brian got a serious look on his face. "Mr. President, there won't be any problem with my staying until Davey leaves, will there?"
"No, no problems." The President reassured him. "I've spoken to all of your parents personally and they assure me they have no problem with you being here. I've had agents tell them that you were involved with a National Security matter and that was all. We'll let them assume what they will, but do not tell them any specifics. They've agreed to abide by the cover story we will be generating."
"I understand, sir." Brian agreed with a relieved smile. Despite everything he was still waiting for the other shoe to drop, and the worst that could happen would be us being separated forever. I didn't believe it was likely now, but it was always a possibility.
The conversation shifted back to sports then, and we enjoyed the rest of the meal without any real controversy. After dinner, Brian and I went back to the Lincoln bedroom where we worked on homework together. We'd gotten assignments from our school for our sudden 'trip' and we were under strict orders to work on them each night. When an aide had objected, the President had sternly rebuked him saying that he expected me to earn a real high school degree this time around, not a G.E.D. We did cheat a little, stopping homework twenty minutes early when Brian moved behind me and started rubbing my neck.
We were so worked up with nerves that it didn't take either of us long to shoot long, hard orgasms, although I still hadn't managed to get him in my mouth thanks to these damn braces.
Then I had to get dressed and head back over to the main residence and the room that had been set aside for me to work from. It had its own guard who let me in with a nod of his head and a 'good evening, sir'. Whether he felt stupid saying that to a teenager I didn't know, but he did every time and he looked like he meant it as well. The desk built in the 1800's was covered with papers. I'd never been a very neat office worker, but I doubted even the biggest neat freak in the world could have kept the piles of document in order.
Every single one of them had "Top Secret" stamped in big red letters on the folders, and my various note pads I was using to keep track of things had their own "Top Secret" cover pages now, made secret even before I'd written in them. Every now and then I would let myself wonder if they would ever become public, and if historians would argue about what I was writing down now. I also wondered if I could get a computer in here. I missed them now more than ever, especially database programs that would have helped to compile everything for me. Still, I doubted they'd let much of this information be put onto a computer just yet.
Tomorrow was going to be an even busier day than the last three had been.
I had a lot to do before that day started though, and I pulled out a file on a highly classified project to use the nascent GPS system to guide bombs. Much of what had been done on that was still classified in 2004, but here they were still in the stages of developing the theory. I realized I couldn't contribute much to this particular system after fifteen minutes of reading and made a note to that effect, but also noting that it was 'on the right track' from what I could remember.
Fourteen more files later, to which I'd marked eight as dead ends for various reasons, I headed back to the bedroom I shared with Brian. He was already in bed, with the lights off and I quietly undressed before crawling into bed with him. He must not have been asleep because he instantly curled his arms around me and pulled me tight against his chest.
"Is this what I have to look forward to, you working late into the night and then coming into bed with me?" He murmured sleepily into my ear.
"Probably." I sighed, relaxing against his warm body.
"As long as you do come to bed with me." He said and I could feel his erection poking just at the bottom of my rear. He sighed with pleasure as I moved to lock it in between my legs and the bottom of my butt. He started thrusting into that soft region and moaning in pleasure. We were coming closer and closer to that last 'forbidden' action and I wondered if we'd last until we were sixteen, the current date we planned to go the last step in our physical relationship. He drove the musings right out of me though when he reached around and began to fondle me in his hands while his lips moved down the back of my neck, all the while not missing a beat with his thrusting into me.
Right then I didn't care if we ever went to full penetration, it just felt so damn good and I let myself enjoy it a lot. This time we lasted a lot longer than we had earlier in the evening and we were both covered in sweat by the time we'd shot our loads. I turned around and we enjoyed soft kisses on each other's faces and necks in that post-orgasm bliss that we always felt. Yeah, the sheets were going to be stained, but that was for the White House maids to worry about.
"I love satin sheets." Brian murmured as we settled down with our foreheads touching.
"Yeah, but we'd better buy them by the dozen because they won't last long." I countered and he laughed gently.
"We'll be able to afford them, love." He whispered and his eyes closed as he drifted off to sleep. I just settled a little more firmly against him and also drifted off to sleep. He always knew just what to do to get me relaxed.
Tuesday morning dawned with Brian and I already up and dressed in suits that had been bought for us by Mr. Rush. Then we were off, with only one secret service escort through the tunnel to the Treasury building and off to the house where the others were staying. Mrs. Rush had arrived last night and joyfully greeted us with kisses as we joined them at the breakfast table.
Tyatya was the first person I'd met since the flight who was not in the government and was the first person whose reaction to the events in Moscow I got to observe. She seemed to talk about it incessantly, and while she'd been told by Dyadya about why we were here last night, I could see some disbelief still in her eyes, and she was most definitely not cleared for any more than the basic information of the entire situation. After breakfast, she managed to corner me while everyone but Brian and I went upstairs.
[Davey, I do not understand this thing about you being from the future.] She stated to me in Russian as we waited for the others to get dressed. [I can see with my own eyes that you are young boy, not older man.]
[I am fifteen, in my body.] I tried to explain in Russian. [It is my mind that is older. I remember living another life, and then was sent back here.]
[Why?] She asked me. [Why were you sent?]
[It didn't work the way it was supposed to work.] I said with a shrug. [I was only to be here for twenty minutes and watch, but it didn't work correctly.]
[So now you live as boy.] She said with a nod of her head, having reached some understanding.
"Da, Tyatya." I said and she smiled at me as Trevor and Brandon came down followed by Mr. Rush. They were now all dressed in suits. When we were ready, a Secret Service agent entered the room where we were sitting to announce that the car was outside. It was another of those large limousines and we all managed to fit in the back for the short drive over to the White House.
We arrived exactly on-time, at eight-thirty in the morning, and were escorted inside the main entrance this time, in full view of a few press cameras that had managed to get there after the morning schedule announcements. Trevor's parents kept stiff faces but the rest of us boys smiled at the cameras before going into the White House. We were led upstairs to the Residence, a place Brian and I were now familiar with, but most of the others had not been here yet. Certainly Tyatya was feeling a little overwhelmed by the expression on her face.
We had coffee and polite conversation for about a half-hour. Tyatya and Nancy Reagan talked mostly about the farmhouse and similar things while Dyadya sat with Mr. Reagan and talked about the basics of his work at Lawrence Livermore. I was surprised to learn that Mr. Rush worked on nuclear energy generation techniques, not weapons as I'd assumed. While they talked about how much more dangerous the Russian graphite reactors were as compared to the US version of fission reactors, I was reminded about Chernobyl. I had to excuse myself to go into the room I used as an office and write that down on a piece of paper before I forgot again. Brian had suggested I start carrying a notebook around with me as I remembered these things, and I could see he was right.
I wonder if I could pass off the 'top secret' label it would probably have as a joke at school?
"Forget something, David?" President Reagan asked me when I returned.
"More like remembered something, Mr. President." I said, shifting my gaze over to Mrs. Rush, Brandon and Trevor after I spoke.
"Ah, no problem then." He said with a smile as an aide opened the door to the hallway and announced the South Lawn was ready. "Well, then, shall we head down?"
"Certainly, sir." Mr. Rush said, rising as he spoke. The President and First Lady led the way, with Mr. Rush next to the President and his wife next to the First Lady. When we got to the exit that led to the South Lawn, we paused just inside the doorway while a couple of White House staffers checked everyone's suits or dresses and made a few minor adjustments. We boys were lined up behind the adults with Trevor standing just behind his dad.
The presentation of the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Mr. Rush was a carefully staged event and had several purposes rolled up into one neat little ball. Right now, fears of nuclear war with the Soviet Union were increasing, thanks to the recent change of leadership in that country. I'd heard mention several times of problems arising at home and the elevated alert status of our military forces was something that had a lot of people on edge. This ceremony would be the first event in a series designed to calm people down and set things up for the long haul.
In my original life, the public acknowledgement of Mr. Rush being a defector from the Soviet Union and working with our government as a nuclear physicist had not come until after the fall of the Soviet Union. He had been a relatively high-level person in their nuclear science ranks and it had been the opinion of the government that it was best not to rub the Soviet's faces in his defection. Now though, it was believed that declaring it publicly would help provide people with the thought that their government had an edge on keeping the evil Russians at bay.
It would also serve to notify the new regime that we were handling things differently, and they couldn't expect things to continue like Alexei might be telling them. Many analysts, and I myself, agreed that Alexei probably knew about the Rush family. He seemed to have compiled quite a list that was being worked through for the gulag or executions over there, and the story of Mikhail Ruskanov and his wife Olga defecting on a trip to Paris in 1967 was one that had been in the papers several times after the fall of the Soviet Union.
There were two more subtle purposes as well, though. The first was that it also put me in front of the cameras where the Soviet leadership would see me standing in a group with the President. They would know our side had their own information on the future, and that we'd be prepared for many of the things they might throw at us.
The last reason was that it was becoming increasingly difficult for me to leave the Residence wing without being spotted and discussed by either staffers or media types. In times of crisis, the media would swarm parts of the White House, looking for anything out of the ordinary and they would pounce on that story quickly. It had been suggested moving us to different buildings in the Washington area, but the President insisted that he wanted me close by until we knew there wasn't going to any immediate actions against us by the new Soviet leadership.
No, his insistence didn't make much sense, but I wasn't going to argue with him. I knew that under his gaze nothing bad was going to happen to me, while if we were spirited off to the hinterlands something could be done a lot more easily. It would be foolish to think there weren't people in the government that thought I should be killed for what I might know, but like had been said earlier; this was the United States, not the Soviet Union.
The official story that would be released is that Mrs. Reagan will have talked with Brian and I during the short meet & greet that happened before the press conference. She will have recognized us from some show we had done with Dr. Grayson and asked us about AIDS. She'll have wanted to hear more and invited us to stay for lunch and talked while Mr. Reagan went about his daily business. During that conversation, Brian will have invited her to visit an AIDS ward with him and she'll immediately agree, never having done that before. The Secret Service will object on security reasons, wanting to do a sweep of the hospital first, and asking that she wait until at least tomorrow.
Since we were 'supposed' to leave with the Rush family, who had brought us with them to keep their son company, that will necessitate a round of phone calls to our parents. Naturally they'd be honored to have their sons stay as guests of the Reagans in the White House for a few days, but they'll ask if the Reagans don't mind us staying until the weekend. It's a bad time for them to take off work and will want to fly out and pick us up themselves instead of having us fly home by ourselves. Nancy will agree saying she thinks we are 'delightful' young men and we will be 'her' guests for the remainder of the week.
That was the official story that would be released, and it raised a whole host of political issues, but settled any National Security issues. It would also establish us as 'friends' of the Reagan family and if I showed up at odd times, or we visited them while they were vacationing at their California ranch, it would be explained away as me, or us, visiting with Mrs. Reagan, who considered us dear friends.
Religious conservatives were going to have a fit over this whole thing, but the primaries had already been mostly won, and there was no serious challenge to Reagan in the Republican Party. Nancy would get most of the blame, and since so many had called her 'wacko' before, she just shrugged that off. White House records would show that two rooms had been set aside for us, not just one, but whether we used one or two wasn't something that would ever be discussed.
After the ceremony, we went back inside the White House. As soon as we were out of view from the cameras, Mr. Reagan and I took off for the White House Situation Room and the others went back upstairs for tea and some more conversations. A CIA assistant director was there with a fresh report from one of the few agents they did have in the Soviet Union. Half-way through, Mr. Reagan had to leave in order to hold a meeting in the Oval Office, and told the briefing officer to continue with me, the Secretary of Defense, and several generals still listening.
The report was fascinating because it told us how the coup happened, although we had to fill in many of the blanks. In the week before the coup, Shevrenadze had visited several top generals and party officials with his son, and after those meetings, those officials and generals had become very secretive, some dropping totally out of sight. They'd all converged a week later with several battalions of troops, overpowered the Kremlin guards and seized the reins of power. The intercepts of Soviet Television were also interesting.
The new government was claiming to have unearthed a western plot subverting Soviet leaders with promises of riches and the ability to exploit the Soviet people in exchange for causing the collapse of the Soviet Union. The 'plan' had been to set up an Imperialist government in its place, and all those officials would profit from the exploitation of the common citizen that would then happen by evil western corporations. What made it even more interesting was that when the briefing officer gave us some examples that were being quoted on television, they were mostly accurate.
That put some heat into the fire when I said that. A lot of those men would have gotten very, very rich, and from not-so-legal means. That didn't mean the people weren't going to eventually end up better off, just that before things got better those men were going to make a big profit.
It was after a quick lunch in the Situation Room that I was summoned up to the Oval Office. This was my first time in the room, and I had to admit that despite having been in the White House for several days, this room intimidated me some. President Reagan was there along with his Chief of Staff, the Secretary of Defense, and one other person that I recognized even before the President introduced us.
"Don, this here is the young man I was telling you about, Davey Jones." The President said with a fond smile. The man in question looked at me with a slight frown and reached out to shake my hand. I responded as politely as I could, but Donald Rumsfeld was not someone I had ever wanted to meet.
"I must say I find it hard to believe what I've been told about you, young man." Donald Rumsfeld said in a tight voice, with a slight trace of superiority.
"It's not something many people would find easy to believe." I replied as neutrally as I could, but inside my hackles were raised. We sat down then and it was the President who spoke.
"Don has just finished brokering a deal in the mid-east that he believes will be very beneficial to the United States." President Reagan informed me. "You've mentioned a few times several problems in that area so I thought your insight would be important for this meeting."
"Thank you, sir." I said as the President nodded for Mr. Rumsfeld to begin.
"Saddam Hussein holds a lot of potential to be a good friend to the United States." Rumsfeld said and I had to suppress a snort as he continued. "His war with Iran isn't going that well and he does need more equipment. He's been buying from the Soviets, which makes our dealing with him more difficult, but I think we can wean him away from them. His war with Iran does help our interests and prolonging it will be to our benefit. I've talked with the French and they are more than willing to sell him weapons. We'll help him finance the arms sales of French jets, bombs, and some cruise missiles to help his navy combat the Iranian navy. In addition, he's actively seeking chemical weapons. Frankly, he might need them to hold back the Iranians. Our part in the sales will be minimal, dual-use materials that we can claim were intended for agricultural purposes. It will be the French who sell him the most dangerous equipment. If, no, when he does use them, we can denounce the use and wipe our hands of the event. Later, when the UN likely sends in an inspection team we can include our own personnel and even get valuable data on the effectiveness of the weapons in a real combat scenario, something we'd never get on our own."
My temper flared at those words and I saw white for a moment. I had a vision of me strangling the man here and now, and fought to keep control of myself. To hear what he said now, and what he said in the 2000's was incomprehensible hypocrisy. I wasn't naïve by any means of the word, but this was far too much for me to take in.
"David, are you okay?" The calm voice of Ronald Reagan brought me back to reality, and I took several deep breaths, realizing I'd nearly gouged the stuffing out of the chair I was sitting in. The condescending look on Don Rumsfeld's face didn't help me calm down though. I had to take several more deep breaths to do that.
"Mr. President, the sales of arms to Iraq is not in the best interests in the United States." I said through clenched teeth and heard a snort from Rumsfeld.
"I'm sorry, Mr. President, but whatever this boy's story, he does not understand the complexities of International Relations." Rumsfeld said authoritatively.
"Mr. President, Donald Rumsfeld does not understand Saddam Hussein the way any American child of ten will by the year 2004." I countered angrily, still trying to get some control of my temper. "In 1986, an Iraqi Mirage fighter will fire two French-built Exocet anti-ship missiles at the USS Stark, killing 39 crew members. Also in 1986, Hussein will order the use of chemical weapons against the Iranians, killing tens of thousands of them. Then he will turn those weapons on his own people, eradicating thousands of Kurds living within his country. Then in 1988 he will broker a peace agreement with Iran. In 1990, he will send his army across the border with Kuwait and seize that country and its oil fields. He will then poise for an invasion of Saudi Arabia, but the United States will lead a coalition against him. In the fight to free Kuwait, he will launch SCUD missiles against US forces in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and he will launch them against Israel. The US will broker a peace treaty after freeing Kuwait and establish no fly zones in Northern and Southern Iraq, and severely restrict his trade until he complies with Inspections and destruction of his Weapons of Mass Destruction.
"Twelve years later, the United States will launch an invasion of Iraq, remove him from power and be forced to occupy his country. Loyalists, terrorists, and other insurgents will flood into that country, killing American troops there, and hundreds of innocent Iraqis. When I came back to this time, we were still occupying that country well over a year after our invasion, and we were still seeing troop casualties happen nearly every day. The Secretary of Defense at that time will call Saddam Hussein the most dangerous enemy of America in the world, and a despot whose removal from office was the best thing the United States could possibly do."
"Who was the Secretary of Defense at that time?" President Reagan asked me, and in his eyes I knew he already guessed. I looked over at Rumsfeld and met his flinty gaze directly.
"Donald Rumsfeld was the Secretary of Defense." I answered and saw surprise register there for a moment. "Of course he denied ever having arranged sales of the chemical weapons Saddam used. Mr. Rumsfeld was quite insistent that the United States would never arrange for a madman to have chemical weapons and insisted that American troops were not dying because someone had given a past President bad advice in dealing with Saddam."
"Mr. President, this boy he's lying." Rumsfeld said sternly. "I don't know why, or what he has against me, but he's trying to slander me."
"I seriously doubt David would resort to such tactics unnecessarily." President Reagan said sternly.
"Mr. President, I should apologize to you and to Mr. Rumsfeld." I said slowly, not wanting to but knowing it was the right thing. "I let my memories of events that are not likely to happen any time soon overpower my professional judgment. I stand by the information I said, if not how I said it, though.
"Mr. Rumsfeld is right in that we should not let Iran win this war with Iraq, but we should not have anything to do with his acquisition of chemical weapons, and we should handle him like a man holding onto a poisonous snake. He will turn and bite us given the least opportunity to do so."
"Good advice, David." President Reagan said after meeting my gaze for a minute. He nodded as if to himself. "You have a lot of work to do, and we won't keep you from it any longer."
"Thank you sir." I said, standing at the obvious dismissal. For the rest of the day I was worried that I'd gone too far, and was quite sure I'd made a political enemy of someone who would be around for a long, long time. That evening, Brian and I had dinner with Mrs. Reagan, but not the President who was busy with some meetings.
After dinner, Brian and I went for the first jog since we'd been here. There were two secret service agents following us as we left the White House dressed in sweats and t-shirts, but the exercise felt damn good. Two reporters took our pictures as we left, but there was no media frenzy or shouted questions, which was all good.
After the jog, and a quick shower, I returned to the small room I was using as an office and reviewed some more files. This time it was a list of CIA personnel and I was supposed to identify any I could remember having been convicted of spying. There was one name I recognized, and remembered he'd been up for parole in 2004 after his conviction for spying on behalf of Israel. I marked down what I could remember and closed the file before heading to bed. It was just after eleven and I was glad to see Brian still awake. Spending an hour with him helped me relax even more than the exercise had.
Wednesday morning had at least one surprise for us, and that was the President joining us and Mrs. Reagan on the visit to the AIDS ward at a hospital here in Washington. This time there were tons of press around us, and even more questions asked. Brian answered most directed our way, mentioning how much we were enjoying the White House and found the Reagans to be very friendly.
That evening, after dinner and in some free time, the President invited us out on the South Lawn where we threw a football between the three of us, all the while dozens of cameras flashing as they took pictures. It was embarrassing when the flashes distracted me and the football managed to hit me in the forehead, causing a round of laughter.
After the round of football throwing, we went back inside where it was time for phone calls. Brian had to talk to his parents, and then I talked to them for almost twenty minutes. Mom was next, and she was quite upset.
First, she didn't really know what was going on and was quite mad I'd head off out of state without even talking to her. To make matters worse, she'd been served with divorce papers from Dad, and he was suing for custody of both Jenny and me. He was claiming that Mom was 'abrogating her parental duties by allowing the son to live outside the home and engage in a dangerous, unhealthy lifestyle.' Fortunately, Mom had managed to hire a very good attorney who was busy drafting a counter-claim for custody although she was not challenging the divorce. Mrs. Reagan overhead the discussion on custody and motioned for me to give her the phone. She spent the next ten minutes talking to Mom and told her that if she needed someone to tell the court just how fine a young man I was, then the court could hear from Nancy Reagan directly.
The political ramifications of that event I didn't even want to think about. The First Lady getting involved in a divorce case? That was a political nightmare in an election year. Still, it did make Mom feel a lot better and Nancy finished with telling Mom she looked forward to meeting her and having tea before we left for home.
Mom was much calmer after that.
That night there was a long list of FBI counter-intelligence agent names, and I recognized one of them right off the bat. I even remembered that he didn't start spying for the Soviets until 1988, but with the possibility of Alexei remembering the name as well, he'd be watched very closely. It was boiling down to a long game of 'what if' scenarios and I was providing more information and opinions than anything else.
Friday I visited Bethesda Naval Hospital, purportedly for a tour of their facilities, but in reality for the most exhaustive physical examination I had ever gone through in either of my lives. I was poked, prodded, given a barium enema, all sorts of things to see if there was any physical difference between me and another fifteen year old that could be detected. That took until well after dinner time and I returned exhausted to the White House. Poor Brian couldn't even get me excited for the first time ever, but I did have enough strength to take care of his excitement.
Saturday a story appeared in the Washington Post citing unnamed sources that the President had some weird disease that would cause him to lose his memory and forget things, like the nuclear launch codes of the country.
The White House was prepared for that though, and at Bethesda several doctors attested that the President was in fine health and they could detect no trace of memory loss in the President. The issue was all but dead by the evening news, which featured the President stopping in front of reporters and making jokes about "I'm sorry, I forgot your name already? What's my name again? Who? I don't think I know him, have I ever met him? I'm sorry, where is this place again, I forgot?"
The humor worked and the story was written off as a piece of biased journalism trying to make a splash. In my thoughts I worried what the long-term effects would be when it was revealed he had Alzheimer's, but I knew that he was not suffering from it yet, and that was what mattered. Pushing that bit of news off the front page was an announcement that arms control talks with the new Soviet government would happen on November 28th of that year, after the elections and after Thanksgiving day, and they'd be held in Rome.
It was obvious Shevrenadze had kept his threat on the Alzheimer's story, and it was just as obvious that we would not cave. What that portended for the actual talks, I wasn't really sure, but it meant we would be going into them from a position of strength. We knew how to beat the Soviet Union, and they knew they could not keep up with us. The biggest danger I could see was them just cutting back costs no matter what we did. Such an action would be difficult to deal with and would keep them in power while making the United States look bad.
The more I thought about it, the more I suspected that would be their ultimate reaction. The biggest problem during the Cold War was that each side believed the other MIGHT start a nuclear war, but knew they had no desire to push that button themselves. Alexei knew that as did I, as only someone who had witnessed the end of the Cold War might be able to accept. The problem was convincing the leaders of this time, who KNEW the other side might push the button first that in fact NO ONE was going to push the button first.
Nope, having people in government know about me wasn't nearly as bad in some ways as I'd once feared, but it was proving to be far worse in other ways.
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