"Too Marvelous For Words"

Rating: PG, maybe PG-13

Spoilers: don't think any

Disclaimers: Of course, I am a humble college student, and besides, you can see from my writing that these wonderful characters are not mine. They are, alas, property of Aaron Sorkin, John Wells et al. (NBC) I'm just borrowing them.

Author's Note: As I was writing this, I needed a way to open the story. But I happened to see Lida Rose's story "Snapping at Snowballs" on the archive after I finished. I want to say, I am *really* sorry, I never meant to steal your plot!! =) I just thought it was a good way to open the story. But, all the same, credit for unknown and unconscious inspiration. *g*

Also thanks to Stefanie again for dialogue inspiration - you're the best! To all that don't like the plot, it's mine, not yours. =) Enjoy!!

"Sam, are you nuts?" C.J. Cregg asked her boyfriend. "It's December. Why do you want to have lunch outside?"

Sam Seaborn shrugged. "I don't know. It'd be a nice change from being cooped up in my office all day."

"Don't you think the press will follow us?"

Sam shrugged. "Let them. They've known about this since March."

"You are such a dork." C.J. smiled fondly at the man she'd been dating for nearly a year.

"I know. That's why you love me." Sam returned the smile.

"Oh, please!" Josh Lyman said, walking into the hallway. "Give me a break already!"

"Oh, go to hell," C.J. said evilly. "You and Donna have sickened me numerous times."

Josh looked hurt. "Hey, I resent that!"

C.J. had to laugh. "Well, it's true."


"So, you still sicken us," Sam joked. He turned to C.J. "Are we going outside or not?"

She debated for a moment before capitulating. "Oh, what the hell. Fine." C.J. walked outside, and was struck by how nice it actually was when the wind wasn't blowing. Sam, however, hung back, causing C.J. to stamp her foot in annoyance. "What's wrong, Sam?"

"It's cold. Just a minute." He turned away to grab his suit coat.

Something in C.J. made her taunt him as Josh looked on, laughing. "Sam, don't be a wimp."

"All right already." Sam, fastening his suitcoat meticulously, followed her outside. He stayed on the path, but otherwise looked perfectly content to be there. He watched C.J. accustom herself to the climate, thinking of the past months. This year had been the most wonderful that he could remember. C.J. really was his perfect match, and he was becoming more and more accustomed to that idea. They were so psychologically in tune it was scary. Not only did they work together even better, but the outside perks of just C.J. herself, mind and body, were, in a word, incredible.

Josh, meanwhile, watched his friends from outside, an evil idea forming in his mind. They were weird... but it looked like fun. Knowing she would be in, he stuck his head into the hall and yelled, "Donna!!"

She appeared momentarily, still in her coat. "What, Josh?"

"Get my coat, please."

"Sure." She disappeared and was back in a minute with Josh's jacket.

He threw it on, grabbing her arm. "We're going outside."

"Josh, are you nuts!?" Donna yelled.

Just then, however, some evil spirit inside of C.J. made her do something she'd later regret. But what the hell, she had a change of clothes in her office. "Hey, Sam!"

"What?" He looked up just in time to get a well-aimed snowball in the face. "C.J.!!" Sam shouted good-humoredly, rubbing the stinging flurry out of his eyes.

"Don't whine, Sammy!" C.J. called back, laughing to herself.

Josh couldn't confine his chuckles. "Hee hee. She called you *Sammy.*"

"Only C.J.'s allowed to call me that... Joshie!!"

"Oh, this means *war*!!" Josh, taking careful aim, threw a rocket that missed Sam and hit Donna square in the back.

She yelped and turned around. "Josh!! What was that for!?"

"It wasn't aimed at you!"

"Well, it hit me!"

"Well, I'm sorry, Donnatella!" While talking, Josh hurled one at C.J. that connected. Pretty soon they stood in the middle of an all-out snowball war. White projectiles were everywhere. Donna nailed Sam in the leg. C.J. thumped Donna with one in the back of the head. Sam had Donna distract Josh, then dumped a handful of snow down his back. It was getting ugly.

Eventually, though, Sam removed himself from the line of fire. "C.J., I have to go in and change!" he called. "I have the FBI procedure change meeting in less than an hour!"

C.J. sulked a bit, looking for all the world like a ten-year old. "Sam!"

"I have to!"

All of a sudden, she found a better revenge. Throwing one last well-aimed snowball that hit Sam in the chest, C.J. hollered lightheartedly, "Baby!!"

Josh could see the scales balancing in his friend's head, weighing the options. Finally, one won out. "Ooooh, that's it," Sam said to himself, sprinting across the path and bringing C.J. down with a flying tackle.

Once down he playfully attempted to facewash her, while C.J. struggled for the upper hand to do the same, accompanied by shrieks of, "Sam!"

Josh stared at Sam and C.J., each trying to rub more snow in the other's face. It occurred to him that they were unbelievably happy together. He hadn't seen C.J. smile so much since she discovered the Jackal. And Sam... well, he was even *more* annoyingly cheerful now that he had C.J.

Sam abruptly halted the grudge match. "C.J., I really have to go in and change now. Toby will chew my head off if I'm late." With difficulty he disentangled himself from his girlfriend, and headed inside.

"I have to go too," Josh added. He felt like a kid telling his parents he was coming in. He'd wanted to stay, but he, alas, had to prepare for the same meeting.

C.J. shrugged. "Hey, Donna, feel like getting more snow in the face? I don't have anything for two hours!"

"Sure, C.J.!" Donna answered, grin on her face. "I promise to miss sometimes." And with that the women resumed the snowball fight in all its fury.

The men stood at the door, drying off. "Damn," Josh said, "C.J. has one hell of an arm, doesn't she?"

"Yeah, she does," Sam said absentmindedly. "How should I ask her to marry me?"

Josh, for a moment, continued as though he hadn't heard Sam. Then it sunk in. "I wonder if... *what??*"

Sam let just a hint of a smile escape. "How should I ask C.J. to marry me?"

Josh was still a bit flustered at the idea. "Well, how the hell should I know?! It's not like I've ever asked anyone to marry me before!"

Sam looked crestfallen. He honestly hadn't thought of that. "Well... you're my best friend. I wanted to come to you about this."

Josh shook his head. "Well, I'm flattered, but I have no idea."

"Damn," Sam muttered. "Then who should I ask?"

"Well, you should probably ask a woman what another woman would want."

"Yeah, why didn't I think of that?" Sam asked rhetorically. "But which woman?" He ran through the possible candidates in his mind. "Ainsley? ... Good God, no. Cathy? She'd tell everyone. Ginger?... Ditto. Um ..."

Josh sighed. "Why don't you just ask Donna?"

Sam grinned mischievously. "Sure I'm not giving her ideas?"

Josh was about to reply when the women came in. C.J. was laughing gently at Donna. "Maybe we should get you to work on your aim," she teased as they came through the door.

Donna was muttering general vows of revenge when Sam stopped her. "Donna, can I talk to you for a minute?"

C.J. was troubled by his serious tone. "Sammy, everything all right?" she asked.

"Uh... yeah, C.J., everything's fine. You can go now, I'll see you later." Sam spoke perhaps a bit too hurriedly. She looked at him strangely, but complied.

Josh left as well. "Donna, I want the defence council files when you're done here."

"Sure." Once he had left, Donna turned to face Sam. "So, what can I help you with?"

"Um... well, Donna, I, uh..." Finally Sam decided the best thing to do was to just say it. It still seemed a foreign proposition for him; something so wonderful that words really wouldn't do it justice. If she said yes, of course. "I need some help. I need you to tell me how I should propose to C.J."

Donna's face lit up. "Oh, wow, Sam, that's so wonderful! I think you –"

Sam interrupted. If he didn't she could go for weeks. "Donna! Just... how do I do it?"

Donna, misunderstanding, looked at him witheringly. "Well... you sorta give her a ring and say 'C.J., will you marry me?' It's not that difficult."

Sam shook his head in annoyance. "No, Donna. *How* do I do it? How can I make it really romantic? You know, sort of sweep her off her feet and stuff."

"Oh!" Now that Donna knew exactly what he wanted, she spoke fast. "Well, make reservations at her favourite restaurant. She likes Chinese, right?" Sam nodded. "Well, do that, and then arrange everything beforehand. You know. Champagne, flowers, a table for two, the whole deal."

Sam felt his confidence increase. "Yeah. Yeah, I can do that."

"And then..." Donna waved a hand. "Just go down on one knee and say it." She sighed. "God, I love weddings."

"Thanks, Donna." Sam kissed her on the cheek. "You've helped a lot."

"Good luck." She turned in one direction and Sam went the other way, on to the meeting, but afterwards, a lot more than that.

Chapter 2 



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