Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language.
August 31, 2020
Jackson and Capitol County
Austin trailed behind Esa, a stack of law books, folders, and binders in his arms. His long, shaggy, unkempt hair continued to cover his eyes as they walked through the wind towards the Senator's Jackson home.
"I told you to get a haircut," she persisted, opening the dark gray door to her terraced home. The cobblestone path was slick with last night's rain, but they were careful. Letting her aide inside first, Austin was careful to place Esa's things down on her coffee table.
Austin turned and pulled his hair back. "I like it long and messy. Keeps me looking modern."
"Austin, we were nuked," Esa said. "You may not remember this, but anything from 2016 is considered modern. I never saw anyone with hair like that four years ago, and you're the only one I see like that now."
The young adult smirked. "I'm the only teen in Jackson," he said. "I have a legacy to build--"
"--because of Senator McHale, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah," Esa said, shaking her head. "We know that you want to follow in his footsteps, Austin. All of us know that by now."
Austin smiled. "I know you do. I just like repeating it to get on your nerves."
"Well, it's working," the Senator said with a sigh. "Now, get ready, we've got a meeting we'll have to get to soon. DuBois is not a patient man."
Francis DuBois looked at the four Senators he had invited to the meeting. Esa and Austin sat side by at one of the four tables in the room. DuBois stood behind a podium at the front. Reginald Obama, Anne Mei, and Lee Prestons each sat at their own tables with one of their interns.
"Welcome, friends," DuBois said. "I've got good news and bad news. The good news is that we have good evidence that all four of you are going win re-election this year easily. The bad news..." The man sighed, pulling out a pair of glasses. After putting them on, he reread the notes he had on his podium. "The bad news is that people are starting to see McHale as a bad choice for the presidency."
"Well, they're wrong," Esa said plainly. "So what if he wants to take his tim choosing a VP? Lots of nominees have waited. You waited until the last few weeks were up."
"Things were different then," Obama said, dropping his Illinois accent. "Indecisiveness can kill."
"That's why the five of us are here," DuBois said. "We represent the four parts of America-- Esa and the south, Anne and the northeast, Reggie and the Midwest, and Lee the southeast. I want you four to choose our vice president out of the three finalists."
Esa looked at the other Senators. "We're supposed to choose between your brother, a Europhile nut, and the governor of Erie?" she asked.
"Yes," DuBois stated firmly. "I'll leave you four to bicker about it--"
"No need," Obama interrupted. "Governor Romney has my support. She's a good person."
"She's got my vote," Prestons agreed. "If we all agree, I'll talk to William tomorrow."
"Hold on," Esa said. "Matthew is a good choice, too. We can ditch dingbat."
"I prefer Matthew," Mei agreed.
"So," Obama's intern started, "do we flip a coin?"
"No, we let Senator DuBois break the vote," Austin said. "We just hope he has common sense and chooses his brother."
"I hate both of them," DuBois said dryly. "I-- darn it, you four, just make a decision!"
"Um... Senator DuBois?" one of the interns said. "We're all eighteen. You can curse."
"...damn it, Kira, just be quiet."
Kira's Senator, Prestons, cracked a smile. "I told you that you talked too much."
"Pfft. As if."
Austin turned to look at the intern that had spoken. Kira was honey-skinned and blue-eyed, and her long back hair was braided past her waist. She had high cheekbones and a round face, and she was terribly thin, as if she was being starved.
Austin chose not to reply, instead looking at Senator DuBois again. "What exactly do you intend to do, sir?"
"Well, Austin," DuBois said, "you chose Smith's pick, so why don't you choose ours?"
"With pleasure," Austin replied. "Matthew DuBois--"
"That was a joke."
"I knew that."
"What if went with someone completely different?" Mei asked.
"Such as...?" Prestons began.
"Francis," the New Englander replied. "He was a Democratic, so it crosses old party lines and brings more than enough Liberals into the fold to--"
"I could approve of that," Prestons interrupted.
"As could I," Obama agreed.
"I think that would work," Esa said, "only a certain old man wouldn't approve."
"You'd be surprised what extents Grandpa would go to in order to beat Smith," Austin replied. "I'll talk to him."
"Austin?" Esa put a hand on his shoulder. "Please don't die in the process."
Author's Notes and Commentary:
Hehehe... Poor Austin's going to die, isn't he? I dunno yet. I haven't gotten that far quite yet.