by Robyn H.

Disclaimer:TWW and it's characters are Sorkin's, this little story's mine.
Spoilers: 17 People
Rating: PG
Archive: Sure.
Author's Note: This is a companion piece to Noticing. It's in Ainsley's POV, and all disclaimers apply. Thanks for reading and feedback!

First, let me just say that I'm a Republican. I'm very Republican. And proud of it. My goals have always been to be a major player in the Republican party, get married to a smart, Republican man and have beautiful, intellegent Republican children. And I was well on my way to meeting these goals-until I met Sam Seaborne.

Then my goals got shot straight to hell.

You see...Sam Seaborne's a Democrat. He's very Democrat. He's the Deputy Communications Director in a Democratic White House. He's also kind, smart, and beautiful. I've never met a man more beautiful than Sam Seaborne. A kind of bond begun developing between us. He became more than just another Democrat to argue with, he became Sam. Just...Sam. Yeah, I've got it bad.

But, in my defense, I really didn't see anything happening between us. I mean, Sam's not the most observant person in the world, and I was so sure it would never enter his head that a Republican could be attracted to him, or vice versa. Plus, I thought that with time this thing between us would diminish.

I have never been so wrong in my life.

Instead of diminishing, it just kept growing. I thought for sure he noticed it the night of the State of the Union, but the next day it was just business as usual. I don't mind telling you I was getting a little discouraged, and disgusted with myself. Falling for a Democrat? What was I thinking? I was just going to put it out of my mind, just stop thinking about it. It was never going to happen.

Then Sam asked me for help with the Correspondence Dinner speech. He offered me chinese. He came all the way down to the depths of the White House to ask me for help and to feed me. I was lost all over again.

We were having a good time coming up with ideas to `bring the funny' as Josh calls it. It was just me, Sam, Josh, Donna, Ed and Larry. I felt I was part of the group, after five months I felt I belonged. Still, as nice a feeling as that was, when the chance came to be alone with Sam, I jumped on it. Hey, wouldn't you do the same? Besides, there was a possibility I might get cheescake. I love cheesecake.

He lied about the cheesecake.

Not lied exactly, he was just kidding me. If I had been thinking straight, I would have known there would be no pastry cheif at this time of night-but I wasn't thinking straight. I got embarrassed and mad at myself all over again for acting like a love-sick teenager when the object of my affection didn't have a clue. I had to get out of there.

But he stopped me. He asked me what was wrong. I told him something about being nervous about a debate I was attending tomorrow. He said something incredabley sweet about me always being great at these things. I thanked him. Then it happened.

He noticed. Finally.

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