You Too?by Robyn H.
Disclaimers: WW characters aren't mine, they belong to Mr. Aaron Evil Genious Sorkin
Associate White House Counsel Ainsley Hayes sat behind her desk with her feet propped up and her eyes staring off into space.
The previous evening had been almost perfect. She and Sam had decided to take things slow and not worry about the negative aspects of them entering into a relationship until those aspects actually became an issue. They left the theater a bit early, went to an all-night Chinese place for a late dinner and then parted ways.
After he gave her a perfectly innocent peck on the cheek, of course. Yes, the night had been almost perfect.
She was probably just imagining things but...she could've sworn a pair of eyes were following her and Sam out of that theater.
Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff Donna Moss was gazing unblinkingly at her computer screen.
She and Josh were always careful. They had mastered the art of nonchalance. No one questioned the fact that they had attended last night's movie together, it would have been more noticeable if they hadn't. Though they were always together, the casual air they projected around themselves prevented any speculation on the exact nature of their relationship. Which had been anything but casual since the months Josh had been in recovery after the shooting. Not intimate, they had only shared some kisses and long talks, but definitely not casual.
Something wasn't right, though. She had felt like they were being watched lately, and felt it even more last night.
Donna gave her head a quick shake.
She was probably just imagining things.
"Hi, Ainsley," Donna greeted as she turned in her chair to face the other woman. "What brings you to our neck of the woods?"
Ainsley fidgeted nervously. "Oh, I was just on my way to the Oval Office and wanted to say hi. Um, you don't know why I was called in, do you?"
Donna smiled kindly. "No, I'm sorry, I don't. But I can walk over with you, if you want."
"Thanks. I'd really appreciate it," Ainsley replied, relieved.
Donna and Ainsley had just started walking, when they met Margaret heading toward them.
"Good, Donna. I was just coming to get you. The President and Leo would like to see you along with Miss Hayes," she indicated Ainsley by nodding to her, "in the Oval Office as soon as possible." Margaret then immediately turned around and headed in the direction she had come.
Ainsley grabbed Donna's sleeve. 'You too?,' she mouthed. Donna just shrugged, but a concerned frown could be seen on her face as they made their way up to Mrs. Landingham's desk.
Deputy Communications Director Sam Seaborn stared out at the rain as it pelted the window of his office.
It seemed his life was perfect. Great job, great friends, great girl. Especially the girl. He had only known Ainsley for a few months, but already he couldn't picture life without her. She was funny, and smart and beautiful. And best of all, she didn't mind the demands of his job because hers was just as demanding. He was convinced that they could work out whatever problems came their way, their connection was just that strong. A seemingly perfect life.
Sam shifted restlessly, peering past the rain to the dark clouds that blanketed the sky.
Then why did he feel so uneasy? And he'd been feeling that way for the past couple of days now. Like someone was waiting, just out of sight, for him to let his guard down so they could pounce and tear everything away.
Sam shook his head and turned back to the stacks of papers piled on his desk.
He was just being foolish. He even imagined that someone was watching as he and Ainsley exited the theater last night. How paranoid was that?
Deputy Chief of Staff Joshua Lyman stared at the door that separated him from the bustle of activity outside.
He could just imagine Donna typing away furiously at her computer or writing copious amounts of those index cards she was so fond of. She was so full of energy, but at the same time she was the anchor that kept his world from scattering to the winds. God, he loved her. It still amazed him that she actually loved him back. That they could admit that to each other, if not anyone else.
Josh closed his eyes and smiled as he listened to the rain tapping out a rhythm against the building.
He felt like he was entering the best time of his life. Like things could only get better from here.
Josh peeked his head through the door and tapped on the frame. "Come along, Samuel. We've been summoned."
Sam got up quickly and walked beside Josh down the hall. "The president, or Leo?"
"Both, but we're meeting in the Oval Office."
"Do you know what it's about?"
"Have no idea. You haven't seen Donna, have you?"
"She wasn't at her desk when I came to get you, and I'm expecting a call."
Sam glanced sideways at his friend and suppressed a smile. "I'm sure she's around."
"Yeah," Josh mumbled looking straight ahead.
They walked up to Mrs. Landingham, who just waved them through without ever looking up.
Josh arched an eyebrow at Sam, who had a puzzled frown on his face, and motioned for him to lead the way.
"Now that we're all here, let's get on with this."
The President looked around at these people shifting uncomfortably in their seats, and hid a smile. He'd been watching them carefully, and there was no doubt in his mind what he had to do. Leo disagreed with his decision, but though he valued his friend's opinion above all others, he just wouldn't be swayed in this.
"You have my blessing."
Josh looked around at the others then back up at Bartlet. "Excuse me, Mr. President?"
"It's time to stop sneaking around, Josh. All of you. I know these relationships can pose problems for this administration, but they will pose more of a problem if the press finds out before we tell them."
"How did you know?," Sam choked out. Ainsley edged a little closer to him.
"I have eyes, Sam. Although, I have to admit Josh and Donna were a little harder. Once you get past that aura of indifference, though, it's rather obvious." Jed smiled triumphantly at Leo, who rolled his eyes.
"Getting back to the press," Leo began impatiently, "we're going to hold a press conference in which CJ will spin it like you guys are the most romantic figures since Romeo and Juliet. It won't stop certain Republicans from stirring up trouble, but we're hoping since one of you is one of their own, it won't be that bad."
"Are we required to attend this press conference?," Ainsley asked gesturing to include Josh and Donna. She saw they had given up all pretense and were side-by-side holding hands on the couch. Ainsley followed suit and took Sam's had where it lay on his leg. Sam smiled reassuringly.
Leo grimaced. "Josh speaking at a press conference? No, everyone will be working while it's going on so we can show that you're still all professionals with a job to do. That your personal lives are separate and will not affect what we do here."
The President grinned. "I will leave it up to you to inform CJ, and as much as I would like to watch that, I have a meeting to go to."
Just then Charlie opened the door. "It's time to go."
The president put on his jacket and grabbed his briefcase. Before he exited he smiled at everyone and patted the area over his heart. Then he was out the door.
A second later CJ came in. "What's this I hear about an impromptu press conference?"
Sam shut the door behind him and Ainsley and rubbed a hand over his eyes. That was one meeting he never wanted to repeat. He glanced at Ainsley, who looked white as a sheet. Even more than usual.
"Ainsley, are you okay?"
"I have to call my father," she said staring straight ahead. Sam's gut twisted. He went over and took her by the shoulders, staring at her until her eyes were focused on his face.
He swallowed hard. "Ainsley, I want to keep seeing you. God knows I want that more than anything. But if this is to soon for you, to hard..."
Ainsley shook her head. "We were deluding ourselves, Sam. It would have come to this sooner or later and who says later would've been better? All I know is that I don't want this to end before it has a chance to start."
Ainsley put her arms around Sam and closed her eyes as she felt him hug her to him. He had become so precious to her in such a short amount of time.
"Ainsley, you don't have to call him if you don't want to."
"Sam, I have to let him know before he sees it on TV."
"No, I mean we can go there and tell him together, if you want to."
Ainsley pulled back. "You would do that for me?"
"I would do anything for you," Sam whispered, before leaning down and kissing her forehead. Sam was surprised that she didn't know by now crazy he was for her.
It was a minute before Ainsley could talk. "I don't think a trip to North Carolina will be necessary, but I appreciate the offer. Let's just call him first and we'll see how it goes."
Ainsley detached herself from Sam's arms and headed towards his phone. Sam held her hand as she dialed.
"Ok, everyone listen up. I've got a story that's guaranteed to make you glad you got out of bed this morning. I'll read a brief statement first, then I'll take questions and believe me, you're going to want to ask those questions, so put your hand down Katie, and I'll get started."
Josh, Donna , Sam and Ainsley were watching the briefing in Ainsley's office where they would have more privacy. They were all gathered around the TV positioned in the center of her desk. Sam was standing behind her with his right hand on her shoulder, which she sat clutching with her left one. Josh was leaning against the wall, his arms encircling Donna's shoulders and his chin resting on her head. All eyes were fixed upon a small, 19" screen.
"It was brought to my attention today, that Deputy Chief of Staff Joshua Lyman and Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff Donnatella Moss have entered a mutually exclusive relationship and have, in fact, been in said relationship for several months."
CJ raised an eyebrow as the cameras flashed, and paused for a moment to let the murmuring die down before she continued.
"I guess the meeting could've gone worse."
Josh wiped a hand over his face. The rain had stopped an hour ago, and now moonlight bathed his office in a blue-gray haze. Donna stood with her back to the window, making her hair glow silver, and giving the illusion that a misty aura surrounded her body. He stared and thought back to the other time she had looked like this to him. She started to walk to where he was leaning against the door.
"It could've gone a lot worse."
She halted midway to him. She had meant to say more, but the look on his face stopped her. She had only seen that look only once before. Tears pooled in her eyes and slid unheedingly down her cheek. Josh took those last few steps and wiped them away with the pad of his thumb.
"I couldn't remember if you were there. I woke up knowing what had happened, but not being able to picture it my mind. I was frantically searching my memory, hoping you had been safe at home, when I heard you whisper 'Joshua'. I opened my eyes and at first you were just a blurred image, but then I could make out your lips, your nose, your eyes...and I knew for certain it was you. You never looked so beautiful to me. I knew then that I loved you, and promised myself that I would spend the rest of my life showing you just how much. I want to make that promise to you, now. I love you, Donnatella Moss, and will till the day I die."
It was her turn to wipe away the tears.
"I love you, too, Josh. I think I have for a long time, now. I remember holding you the night you got back from Connecticut, from your father's funeral, and wishing I could've been there with you to help you through it. I want to be there from now on, Josh. I need to have that right, and so do you. This thing that's happening will be good for us that way. We can finally give each other the love we deserve."
Donna framed Josh's face with her hands, and they kissed passionately. Then they simply held each other. Because they could.
"That's not all, folks. It has also been brought to my attention that Deputy Communications Director Sam Seaborn and Associate White House Counsel Ainsley Hayes have also entered a dating relationship which began almost a week ago. Must be something in the water."
There were a few laughs along with the murmurs this time.
"I would also like to point out that this administration is only one in a long line that have produced relationships among it's staff. Each one was able to separate their personal lives from their professional, and the President has every confidence that tradition will continue. These people are committed to you, almost as much as they are committed to each other, and believe me when I tell you, that's saying a lot."
"Hey, daddy, it's me."
"Ainsley, my dear, how are you? Helen, get on the other line, it's Ainsley."
"Hello, dear! Why are you calling so late? Are you all right?"
"Yes, mom, I'm fine. I've just got to tell you both something before you hear about it in the news tomorrow."
"Well, what is it? Come on spit it out, no use beating around the bush, I always say."
"I know dad, and you're right. Here it goes: CJ Cregg is going to do a press briefing tomorrow in which she states that Sam Seaborn and I along with two other staffers are in committed relationships and I just wanted to let you know before everyone else that it's true and he's a very nice guy and I'm very happy with him."
Silence. Then, "This Sam, he's a democrat, isn't he? Wasn't he the one you argued with on Capitol Beat?"
"Deputy Communications Director, right?"
Another silence. Then, "You're not going to become a democrat, are you dear?"
"He's not trying to convert you, is he?"
"No, dad, he's not."
"Ok, then, when do we get to meet him? Easter?"
"Um...let me check. Hold on a minute, dad."
Pause. "He says that's fine."
"Good, Good. I'll see you both then. You better get your sleep. Good-bye now."
"Bye, daddy. I love you and...thanks."
"Yes, well, I love you too. See you in April."
"I'm so happy for you, Ainsley. All your father and I ever wanted was your happiness. We love you and are so proud of you, always. Never doubt that."
"Good. Now, you better go get some sleep, dear. I'll talk to you later. Bye, now."
"Bye, mom. I love you."
Ainsley put down the receiver in it's cradle and stared at it a moment. Then she turned around and stared at Sam.
"My parents are wonderful people."
"Yes, I would say they are."
They both broke out in big grins and held each other tightly.
"I will take a few questions, now. Danny."
"There is no indication that their relationship has or will interfere with their job?'
"No, there is not. Katie."
"They have the President's full support?"
"They have the President's support, Leo's support, and the Chinese food guy is quoted as saying, "It's about time."
Laughter. Then, "C.J.?"
"Is there any concern over what the Republicans might have to say about this."
"I would think the Republicans will show support for a member of their party. That's all I have for now. There will be a scheduled briefing in four hours, so stay tuned."
Sam turned around to look at Josh. "She did well."
Everybody looked at each other. It was finally over. Josh spun Donna around and gave her a long, hard kiss. Sam took Ainsley's hand as she rose from the chair. Then he dipped her, and kissed the oval her mouth had made when she gasped. Then they all separated as Ainsley gave Donna a hug and Josh gave Sam a high five that turned into an affectionate, but manly, embrace. Then the men looked to where the women were talking animatedly across the room. Sam sighed.
"I'm in love with a smart, adorable, sassy, blond, leggy goddess who argues with just about everything I say and who never ceases to amaze me."
Josh, still looking at the women, put his arm around his friend and clasped his shoulder.