"Acquiesce" – The Masterplan #3
Category: Sam/C.J., Josh/Donna (in later parts), post White House
Rating: PG-13, language
Spoilers: None
Disclaimer: None of this is mine, pretty much, except the way the words are arranged. Making no money off it.
Summary: "Sail them home with Acquiesce..."

Time Line: Three days post- "Words Upon The Waves."

Donna Lyman watched fondly as her two-year old daughter fell asleep. Even after how many times she'd seen it, watching Becky and Jake sleep was one of the most calming things in the entire world.

She closed the nursery door, walking down the stairs into the living room. The house was quiet, waiting for Josh to come home. Everything always seemed okay when Josh walked in and kissed her. Yet he hadn't quite been the same since the visit to the Bartlets.

He worried about the President – Jed – whatever. Donna also knew that her husband worried about C.J. often. She just seemed like such a shadow of her former self. Sam knew it – so did they all – but Josh had said he just didn't know what to do.

As she straightened up a bit, the doorbell rang. "Odd," Donna said aloud, moving through the foyer to the front door. She opened it, ready for the polite smile or the bored housewife's stare.

Neither was necessary, however; C.J. stood on the doorstep. "Hey, Donna."

"Hi, C.J." The women hugged. "What're you doing down here?"

C.J. bit her lip, looking away. "Um, there's something I have to ask Josh." She didn't want to, or couldn't, say any more yet. "Is he home?"

"Not yet," Donna answered, "but you're perfectly welcome to come in and wait."

"Thanks." C.J. walked in and hung up her coat. "Where are the kids?"

"Sound asleep." Donna grinned. "Nice to have a little time to myself."

C.J. laughed. "Definitely." She looked around; the Lymans had done very well since the administration had left office. Taking in the bay windows and the leather couch, she said, "Donna, this is a gorgeous home. Really."

"Thanks." Donna took the compliment in a voice with an undercurrent.

C.J. heard it. "Is everything okay?"

"Yeah, fine." Donna sat down. "I don't know. Josh has been sort of distant lately."

C.J.'s face was a mask of concern. "Donna," she said delicately. "Are things all right between you and Josh?"

"Between me and Josh? Couldn't be better. Everything else? Couldn't be worse." Donna sighed. "Well, they could. But I'm so bored. So is he, for that matter."

"I know the feeling," C.J. said fervently. Quickly, before the topic could change, she said, "Donna, I may have an idea. Actually, that's what I wanted to talk to Josh about."

"Really?" Donna was interested. "What did you have in mind?"

C.J. was about to answer when they heard the sounds of a door opening. "Donna, I'm home!" Josh hollered, putting his briefcase down.

C.J. rose as Josh walked into the living room. "Hey, Josh."

"Hey." Josh's face broke into a real smile as he kissed his wife and went to hug C.J. "How've you been doing?"

"All right."

"Likewise." He sat down next to Donna and put his arm around her.

As she surveyed the tightness in his shoulders and the slight droops under his eyes, C.J. just wanted to blurt out her mad initiative. Somehow, she didn't think Josh would find it so crazy.

As an overture, she broached a related topic. "Hey, have you heard from Toby lately?"

"Yeah, about a week ago, actually." Josh chuckled. "He told me about some wild-ass story he saw in the Philadelphia papers that you were gonna run for President."

C.J. gulped inwardly. Oh, hell. He sounded almost dismissive. "Well," she said cautiously, "I wanted to offer Toby a job. And actually, I wanted to offer you one too."

"A job?" Josh echoed, interest piqued. "Doing what?"

She couldn't back down now. If she said it to Josh, the frightening yet exhilarating idea in her brain would take on a new reality. C.J. said it in a rush. "Being my VP when I run for President."

Chapter 2



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