Disclaimers in part 1
The small assent came. "Okay."
But instead of leaving Donna strode through the Wing over to the press secretary's office. "C.J., you there?" she asked, Carol having gone home.
"Yeah, I'm here. Come on in."
Donna entered and sat down on the couch. "C.J., I've been thinking about this weekend."
"What's to say they won't cheat?"
C.J. stopped what she was doing and turned to look at Donna. "What do you mean, cheat?"
"Think about it, C.J. What's to keep them from drinking non-alcoholic beer or something?"
"You really think they'd drink *non-alcoholic beer* at a bachelor party?" C.J. raised her eyebrows.
"To get us?"
"Good point." C.J. took off her glasses, pinching the bridge of her nose. "Well, what should we do about it?"
"I don't know."
The women fell silent for a moment, until C.J. snapped her head up to look at Donna. Without saying a word, she dialed a number. "Hi. Is he in?" A pause for the other person to respond. "OK, thanks." She hung up and turned back to Donna. "Go get Sam's Rolodex."
"Okay." Donna rose, baffled. "But why "
"I'll explain when you come back." C.J. waved a hand. "Sam will be back soon go, go!"
"All right!" Donna left and was back quickly, carrying Sam's immaculate phone directory. "What are we looking for?"
C.J. didn't answer right away. She was too busy pawing through the phone numbers. "Carter, Cattrell Coe. Here it is. Gina Coe."
"Is that Laurie's friend?"
"Yep." C.J. held out the card. "And you're gonna call her."
"Because." C.J. paused to explain her idea. "Why not have Gina tell us if they cheat?"
Donna smiled. "What if she won't do it?"
"Oh, she'll do it." C.J. was firm in her conviction.
"Trust me." C.J.'s face broke into an evil grin. "Let's just say pressure can be exerted in the right places."
Donna smiled cautiously. "All right." She picked up C.J.'s phone and dialed the number written in Sam's microscopic hand. Hoping she'd gotten it right, Donna listened to the rings.
Someone picked up after the fourth ring. "Look," a woman's voice said, "the caller I.D. says `unlisted,' so please do not try to sell me anything. Have a nice day." She went to hang the phone up.
Donna had to do something. "Wait!" she said, hoping the woman would hear her.
It worked. "Yes?"
"Is this Gina Coe?"
"This is Donna Moss. I work at the White House."
Gina snorted. "I'm sorry, but why would someone at the White House be calling me?"
Though she didn't want to do it, Donna played her trump card early. "You're friends with Laurie. Who's friends with Sam Seaborn."
"Laurie... oh, right!" Gina cracked her gum. "Sorry. It's a little hard to believe, you know? What did you say your name was?"
"Well, Miss Moss, what can I do for you?"
"Donna, please, and it's a really strange favor, I have to tell you."
"Well, I'm sure I've heard weirder things. And call me Gina."
"First off, this has to do with Sam's bachelor party, I'm guessing. Right?"
"Yeah." Donna paused for a moment, then just decided to blurt everything out, then deal with the consequences. "OK, here's what's up. I'm Josh Lyman's girlfriend."
"Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman?"
"Yeah. And C.J. Cregg, the Press Secretary, is Sam's fiancée."
"We made a bet with them that they didn't have enough willpower to drink without getting blind drunk at the bachelor party."
"But we're not sure they won't cheat by drinking non-alcoholic beer or something." Before Gina could answer, Donna added, "They'd do it to get us. This bet was pretty high stakes. And we want someone to make sure they don't cheat."
After she finished, the other end of the line was silent. "Is that too much to ask?" Donna asked timidly.
Finally, though, sound could be heard on the other end of the line: laughter. "That sounds great!" Gina crowed. "How funny! But what happens if they win your bet?"
Donna told her. "Bruce Gordon is an obnoxious windbag Republican Fascist, and if C.J. has to tell the President she broke the lamp he'll subject her to some sort of godawful punishment generally not suited for a woman with as many degrees as she has."
Gina smirked. "What happens if you win?"
"They strip at C.J.'s party."
Gina exploded into laughter. "That's beautiful!" she giggled. "Well, I think I can help " She cut herself off in the middle of her sentence. In an odd tone, she said, "Donna, would you put me on speakerphone? Is that possible?"
"Yeah." Donna put the receiver down and switched to speakerphone. "The other voice you'll hear is C.J. Cregg."
"Hi," C.J. said. "So, can you help us out, Gina?"
"C.J., I can do better than that." Gina lowered her tone, just in case. "OK, here's my idea. I usually work with a partner. But Felicity's sick this week. So I need someone to fill in."
The full implication of what Gina was suggesting struck C.J. and Donna at the same time. "I'd love it!" Donna cried. "You're suggesting that one of us fill in for your partner?"
Almost immediately C.J. demurred. "I don't know... what if the press finds out?"
"How would they?" Gina asked. "What I was going to say is that whoever comes should dye her hair and stuff like that. You'd have to do it anyway, so Mr. Seaborn and Mr. Lyman wouldn't recognize you."
"That's true." C.J. said. She pondered the idea for a moment. Finally she said, "I wouldn't be able to. I don't know if you watch CNN ever, Gina, but I'm about six feet tall."
"Yeah, that'd be pretty conspicuous." Gina blew a bubble with her gum that exploded into the speaker with a loud pop. "Donna, what about you?"
C.J. appraised the younger woman critically. "It could work," she said. "Donna's an average height. Maybe on the tall side. Long blond hair. Blue eyes."
"Yeah, that'd be good." Gina paused. "Donna, whaddya think?"
"I don't know." Donna thought about it for a minute. It might be dangerous. Some drunk man might try to grope her or something. On the other hand, it might be fun. And it might pay Josh back for that little comment about "dull Donna." When she told him, of course.
She didn't think any longer. "I'll do it."
"Great!" Gina laughed. All of a sudden, she became businesslike. "How `bout we meet up somewhere and I show you some of the tricks of the trade?"
"Sure." Donna said. "I'm leaving work now."
"Me too." C.J. said. "Sam won't be home til around eleven; he's got a late meeting on the hill. And Mom's, um... working late with Leo." Donna snickered audibly. "How about our place?"
C.J. gave Gina quick directions to her apartment. "See you soon, then?"
"Thanks for doing this."
"Well, I expect one thing in return."
Donna and C.J. sighed collectively. Of course. "What would that be?" C.J. asked guardedly. She couldn't make too many deals.
"Invite me to your bachelorette party if you lose. I wanna see the two famed White House bachelors do the full monty."
"The full monty? Interesting thought." C.J. laughed. "Sure, what the hell. See you later."