An Evening in the Basement

by Lisa Verson

Category: Romance
Rating: PG
Spoilers: Any episode with Ainsley Hayes
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Friday, 5:30pm

"Sam! How many times have I told you to stop writing such long memos?" Leo nearly yelled.

"Leo, you know that I write long memos. How can I summarize something like this in two to three pages?" Sam asked, somewhat taken aback at the fact that his abilities were being challenged.

"Well, that's too bad!" Leo yelled as Sam winced. "Summarize this memo and have on my desk in three hours."

"But Leo--"

"Go! Write! NOW!" Leo yelled so loudly that Josh, Toby, and C.J. were all shocked that Leo could yell that loudly. Sam was in a panic. 'What am I going to do?' He thought to himself.

As he and Josh were walking back to their offices, Josh asked, "Why don't you think you can summarize the memo in three hours? You've done it before."

"Whose side are you on?" Sam asked Josh, nearly snapping.

"Yours, but what else do you have to do?"

"I have to finish a report on Education Reform that is almost guarenteed to take me about four hours alone. I do not want to be here until one in the morning." Sam said, nearly whining. Sam was the kind of person who never whined, so this had to be something he really dreaded.

"I know, why don't you get Ainsley to do it?" As Josh suggested that, Sam cringed at her name.

"Are you crazy? I am not having her summarize my memo. The last time she did, she reversed my position. I will not have that happen again." Sam said, trying to end the conversation.

"Didn't Leo like the position though?" Josh asked innocently.

"Well, yes, but that's not the point. She is a Republican who reversed my position."

Josh gave Sam a look indicating that he was nuts. "Sam, Leo liked it. Leave it at that. Tell her that you will not have her change your position." And with that, Josh disappeared into his office. "Oh, and Sam?" Sam walked into Josh's office. "You may want to consider having her summarize it, seeing that it just began raining, thundering and lightening. You probably want to leave as soon as possible. But, I leave it up to you. See you later."

Sam started towards his office. 'I will not have Ainsley of all people summarize another memo. Josh does have a point though.' And with that, he hesitantly walked out of the Communications bullpen and into the hall, opened the door that led to the stairs, and walked down to Ainsley's office.

When he got there, her door was closed, but there was light coming from under the door, so he decided to take a chance. 'Here goes nothing.' He thought as he knocked on the door.

"Come in," came a tired voice.

Sam opened the door to the office, only to see Ainsley working very hard on something. "Hi, how are you?" He asked, trying to break the news that she would have to summarize a twenty-five page paper into a two to three page paper. "I have to ask you a favor."

"What is it?" Asked Ainsley, who still did not look up from her work.

Before Sam answered her question, he looked closely at her. 'God she's beautiful. How have I never noticed that before?' "Um, I need for you to summarize a twenty-five page memo for me." Sam said very quickly. This time, Ainsley looked up from her work this time. She was not happy.

"Sam, do you see that I am currently working on something else?" She asked in a cold tone. "I have to write this reporrt for Mr. Tribbey and it is due to him in three hours, and he will have my head if I don't get it to him." She said loudly.

She looked at him then. 'He is so cute. How have I never noticed that? Wait a minute, Ainsley. This is Sam Seaborn, Democrat who planned for me to meet the President without my saying I wanted to meet him. But, oh, what the hell?' "Okay, Sam, I will summarize your memo."

Sam let out a sigh of relief. "Thanks, Ainsley. I appreciate it. I really do." Sam said, smiling. "Since we are both going to be here for quite awhile, why don't I take you to get some dinner or something to eat, and then we'll get back to work?" Had he just asked Ainsley out on a date? 'What is going on between Ainsley and me? Do I like her?'

"Thanks, Sam, I would like that--" Her sentence was cut off by a loud slam.

"What was that?" Sam asked, a little nervous.

"It must have been a door somewhere. People slam doors down here all of the time." Ainsley said, trying to hide her nervousness.

"Well, why don't we get going now, it's starting to rain pretty hard out there."

"Okay, let me just get my coat." Ainsley said, getting up from her desk. As she did, she stretched her arms and back. "I have been sitting in that chair for four hours straight."

Sam wondered how anyone could sit in one place for such a long amount of time without getting up for a break. 'She is so beautiful.' He thought.

'He is so cute,' she thought as she put on her coat.

The two of them went up the stairs and Sam went up to open the door.

The knob wouldn't turn.

"Oh Damn." He said under his breath.

"What? What's wrong Sam?" Ainsley said, growing more nervous by the second.

"The door seems to be locked. Do you by chance have a key or something to open the door?" Sam asked, now getting a little nervous.

"Sam, there is no lock on this side of the door. Only on the other side. Oh my gosh. We're trapped, aren't we? What are we going to do? How do we get out? Who is going to find us? Will anyone ever find us?" Ainsley asked, now in a complete panic.

"Calm down, Ainsley," Sam said in a calm, soft voice. "We can use the phone in your office to call upstairs to Josh or Toby or C.J. I am sure that at least one of them is still here."

"Okay," Ainsley said, slowly regaining her confidence.

They walked back to her office. When they got there, Sam helped Ainsley to sit in one of the chairs in front of her desk. "I am going to try Josh first, okay?" Ainsley nodded.

He picked up the receiver, only to find there was no dial tone. "Uh-oh." He said very quietly, but loud enough for Ainsley to hear him.

"What? What is wrong now, Sam?" Ainsley asked, her panic now growing again.

"The phone line is dead. The storm must have knocked down the phone lines." Sam said, still perfectly calm. He didn't want Ainsley to have another panic attack.

"I have a cell phone in my purse. Maybe that will help," Ainsley said in a shaky voice. She got up and went to get her phone from her purse. "Oh no." She said in a monotone voice.

"What now?" Sam asked, seeing the panic growing in Ainsley's eyes.

"The battery is dead. The damn battery is dead." She said, her voice becoming shakier by the second.

Sam could see that she was starting to panic again. He quickly went over to her and held her.

For a few minutes that was all they did. They stood there, in Ainsley's office holding one another.

"It's going to be alright, Ainsley," Sam said in a soft, soothing voice. "it's going to be alright, don't worry. Someone will come down here looking for us."

Ainsley just stood there, holding Sam. "Are you sure?" She asked, looking into his eyes. For some reason, when she looked at him, she became less agitated.

"Yes, I'm sure, Ainsley, don't worry, everything's going to be fine." Sam led her to a chair and sat down with her head resting on his chest.

"Thank you, Sam. This is very nice of you, staying here with me." She said in a slightly calmer voice.

"Well where else would I go?" Sam asked, trying to lighten both of their moods.

The two laughed. They then found themselves looking into each other's eyes. Before they knew it, their lips came together. They kissed, not just for a second, but for several seconds. It was a passionate kiss.

"Wow, I can't believe we feel the same way about each other." 'Oh god. Did I just say that out loud? What is he going to think of me now?'

Sam smiled. "I didn't know I felt this way about you until you began working here."

Ainsley blushed. "I must admit, I am feeling better. I have you to thank for that, Sam." She said sweetly.

"Why don't you close your eyes for a little while, at least until someone comes down here for us, okay?" Sam asked in a hopeful voice that she would want to stay in his arms.

"Alright." And with that, she closed her eyes, leaned her head against him once again and fell asleep.

Friday night, 10:30pm

Sam opened his eyes to a noise coming from upstairs. He then heard a door open. He looked at his watch. He must have fallen asleep. He looked down to see that Ainsley was still asleep in his arms.

"Hello? Is anyone down here?" Came a voice from the stairs.

"Ainsley, wake up," Sam said, patting Ainsley's shoulder to wake her.

"Hmm?" She mumbled. "What's going on? What happened?" The panic was beginning to rise in her voice again.

"Don't worry, Ainsley, someone is coming. I heard him coming down the stairs."

"Anyone here?" Came the voice again.

"Yeah, in here," Sam said. He and Ainsley slowly got up. "What took so long for you to find us?"

The security guard entered the office. "Sorry, Mr. Seaborn, Ms. Hayes. We had no idea that the door had jammed. When you didn't come upstairs, Mr. Lyman suggested looking down here." The security guard explained.

"Well, thank you very much," Sam said, shaking the man's hand. "Ainsley, why don't I take you home?"

"Thanks Sam, but I am really hungry. We never did have dinner." She said innocently with a smile on her face.

Sam let out a little giggle. "Ainsley, it's 10:30pm. Don't you want to go to bed?" Sam asked. He then looked into her eyes and gave in. "Oh, alright. We'll stop at a Denny's or something on the way to your apartment, okay?" He asked with a broad smile.

"That sounds really nice, Sam, thanks." Ainsley put her coat back on.

She and Sam then started up the stairs and walked out of the West Wing and into the cool night air. The thunderstorm had ended, but their relationship had just begun.

The End

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