Warnings/spoilers/etc: see pt 1

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"So, C.J., you ready for your bachelorette party?"

The press secretary looked up from the memos she was proofreading. "Donna," she said, pushing her glasses up the bridge of her nose, "at this point I'm more worried about Sam's bachelor party."

Donna snorted. "You should be. Josh is planning it."

"Exactly." C.J. got up to stretch her legs. "I can see it now. Thirty drunk guys, probably a stripper and God knows what else."

"C.J., even Josh isn't that stupid as to let it get too far out of hand," Donna said. "Sam will probably wind up keeping *him* in line. Besides," she added, with a very un-Donna-like wicked grin, "if we restrict them, they'll try to restrict our fun at your bachelorette party."

C.J. grinned. "Donna, in case you haven't forgotten, my mother's coming to our party. That ought to put a damper on things."

"I don't know," a voice came from the hallway. "I still have life left in me yet." Eleanor Cregg walked into her daughter's office. "Hi, Claudia Jean. Hi, Donna."

"Hi, Eleanor." Donna smiled. In spite of her friend's constant bitching, she genuinely liked the older woman.

"Hi, Mom." C.J. smiled. "How are you?"

"At this point, thoroughly sick of senators. I've just been raked over the coals because Senator Jackson decided to change his mind. Again."

Donna sighed. "Great, that means Josh will be in a bad mood."

"Isn't he always?" Eleanor smirked. "Claudia Jean, I won't be able to come over tonight; something's come up."

"All right." C.J. said. She didn't finish the sentence. *You mean Leo asked you out again, Mom?*

Donna, however, had no such compunctions. "So Eleanor, what's going on with you and Leo?" she asked, eyes shining with the promise of gossip.

"Nothing really. We've just gone out to dinner a few times." Eleanor's tone was casual, but her eyes were soft. C.J. couldn't help but smile back. Even though it was very weird, she was genuinely glad that her mother and her boss were getting along so well. It was good to see Eleanor so happy.

Donna let it go grudgingly. "Surrrre." Then she turned back to C.J. "So, do you think Sam and Josh will get plastered at the party?"

C.J. made a rude noise. "Do senators argue?"

"I don't know, do they?"

"It was a rhetorical question, Donna."

"Oh."

"Of course they'll get drunk!" C.J. bit her lip moodily. "They'll get plastered and Sam will be useless for at least a day."

"Josh persists in the fallacy that he can `drink with the best of them,' as he puts it," Donna answered. "As I repeatedly tell him, he can't drink with any of them."

"Oh, but it's worth it," Eleanor chipped in mischievously. "He's quite amusing when he's trashed."

"We're going to have to try and prevent that," Donna said. "Really. I want my boyfriend in one piece for this week."

"Yeah," C.J. agreed. "We'll think of something."

"But what?"

"How should I know?"

"Lemme think about it," Donna said. "I'll come up with something."

"Well, we'll have to see what happens, I guess." C.J. sighed. "I hope nothing untoward happens. Really. The press would have a field day."

"Well, imagine what will happen when they find out Laurie's friend Gina is going to be there."

Donna had spoken idly, but it made C.J. jump. "Gina!" she echoed, full of venom. "The stripper?" It wasn't that she didn't like Laurie and her friends, C.J. told herself, but... she could never be too safe.

Realizing what she'd done, Donna hastened to make amends. "Josh called her, C.J. – not Sam."

"Okay then." C.J. was still hesitant though. "I don't know."

Eleanor rolled her eyes. "Claudia Jean, trust the man. He's not going to cheat on you two weeks away from his wedding."

"I guess you're right." C.J. forced a smile.

"I know I'm right," Eleanor added.

Donna grinned. "The ceremony's all planned. I can't believe it."

"Me neither."

"You still nervous?" Donna looked at C.J. sympathetically. "If it's any consolation, Sam is terrified too."

It was the wrong thing to say. "He is?" C.J. echoed, face falling. That alone was enough to start the doubt race: maybe he'll back out, maybe he won't show, maybe he'll change his mind, maybe he'll...

Eleanor knew this look well. "Claudia Jean, stop that right now!" she said firmly.

"I'm sorry, C.J." Donna looked embarrassed. "I didn't mean it like that."

"I know." C.J. sighed. "It's just scary, you know?"

"Completely," Eleanor said with a reassuring grin. "I felt the same way before I married your father. But that doesn't mean I loved him any less for being scared."

"I guess you're right."

"Come on, let's go find Josh. We have to finish the Scranton memo before we leave."

"Yeah, and I've got a few other things for him." C.J. grabbed her files. She, Eleanor and Donna left and headed down the hall.

 

Wild Night - 3

 

 

 

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