In response to Kathie's challenge that she posted at the Leo/Margaret group. Were it had to be a Leo/Margaret story around Christmas time and that we were to use two other tid bits from the list. This is what came out of it. Hope you like! 

Disclaimer: The WW Characters belong to Aaron Sorkin and Company. 

Archive: Anywhere. 

Summary: A blizzard, a date-less Secretary, the White House and a sleep over. 

Feedback: Please, oh please. I love it.

~*~

Watching Margaret run between her office and his, Leo set down his pen and leaned back in his chair. It was quite a show that she was putting on. Placing folders on his desk and then looking around for something. Going back and getting messages for him. And in all this, he was taking in what she was wearing: a white turtleneck sweater, a long brown, suede skirt and knee-high boots that once in a while stuck out from the slit in her skirt.

After awhile, he leaned on his elbows and asked, "Did you change?"

His secretary stopped and looked darkly at him for a moment. "Yes, I did."

"You look good. Are you doing something special tonight?" Leo asked casually.

Blushing a deep shade of crimsom, Margaret nodded. "I met this guy about three and a half weeks ago. Oh Leo, he's so sweet and kind. He's an accountant and..."

Rubbing his temples, he shook his head. 'That's what I get for asking,' he thought to himself.

"So you're going for dinner with him tonight," he finished.

"Uh-hmm," she nodded. "Do you need anything else? 'Cause, if you don't, can I leave?"

"Leave," Leo told her, grabbing his pen that he set down before. "But..."

Turning, a fallen look on her features, Margaret was hesitant before she wondered, "Yes?"

"Never mind," he told her, seeing the pleading look in her eyes.

Smiling, she nodded slowly. "All right. I'll see you on Monday."

~*~

It wasn't fifteen minutes before he heard the door open and watched from the corner of his eye a figure stalk into his office.

"There's a blizzard," his secretary seethed. "A blizzard! Can you believe it? They're practically shutting down the city. And the guards won't let anyone out of the building."

"Really," Leo said smoothly. Setting down the same pen once more, he shook his head. "So, you can't go to your date then, huh?"

Confused, Margaret nodded. "Uh-huh."

"What?"

"Nothing." She paused and then shook her her head. "You just seem..."

"I seem?"

"Happy that I'm not going."

Widening his eyes, Leo shook his head. "Now, why would I be happy that you're missing your date with the accountant?"

Shrugging, Margaret left and then entered, coatless. "Need me to do anything?"

~*~

"Is this what you're paid to do?" Leo called out from behind her.

Startled Margaret jumped and almost tipped over the half-full bottle of water. Spinning in her chair, she glared up at her boss. "What?"

"Where are you? Amazon.com?"

"No, I'm at BarnesandNoble.com," she told him matter-of-factly. "Looking for Christmas presents if you're wondering."

"For who?"

"Family."

"Oh."

Grinning, Margaret told him, "I already got yours."

"You did?" Leo asked, crossing his arms.

"Yep."

Changing the subject, he stood up straighter. "Hungry?"

"Excuse me?"

"Are you hungry? Since you weren't able to go out for dinner with the accountant, I was wondering if you are hungry." Rolling his eyes when she just kept staring at him, he shrugged. "I'm going down to the Mess."

"Wait!" She called. "I'll come too." Standing up, she reached into her purse for her wallet.

Walking in silence, Leo found himself casting swift glances at his tall secretary, who was fidgeting with her hands.

"Are you going home for Christmas?" he asked, trying to find something to say.

"Oh, no. It's too expensive," she told him softly. "They, my family, understand, I have two older brothers who'll be there anyway. So, I'm just going going to send them the presents and call."

"You're not..." the word that he wanted to say sounded out of place in his mind, so he let the words hang there.

"Angry? Sad?" Margaret helped. "No, I'm not. I'll have a few days to myself, so it's, well, not a good thing, but an *okay* thing."

Holding the door open for her, which made her duck her head slightly, Leo pulled out his wallet and asked, "What would you like?"

"I can pay..." she protested.

"Just let me pay," Leo told her, putting up a hand.

Standing up straighter and looking at the menu, she shrugged. "I'll have a...hamburger with...ketchup, lettuce and bacon and french fries. Oh, and a Sprite."

Licking his lips, he nodded. "Okay. Go get a table, will ya?"

Walking off to the tables by the windows, Margaret put a hand to her chest and wondered why she felt so nervous. It was just dinner with her boss.

~*~

The only thing the local radio stations seemed to be playing that night was Christmas songs and Margaret was getting a little annoyed with them as she flipped through the stations. Just giving in, she sat back and looked around Leo's office where she was sitting. Even though she walked back and forth through out the day in this small space, she only noticed now how dark it seemed to the rest of the offices.

It was uninviting in some ways, yet cozy in others. Curling her legs under her, she looked around some and wondered why she was just noticing this now. With a sigh and a mental shrug, her head snapped to the door as her boss walked through the door.

"What's up?" she asked.

"Well, I talked to some people and it seems that we're not the only ones stranded here," Leo told her, sitting at his desk.

"Oh?"

"C.J., Josh and Toby are camped out in his office right now. And some of the other secretaries are still here." Taking a breath, Leo looked her over and looked concerned when she yawned loudly. "Tired?"

"Mmm, yeah," she told him sleepily. "What time is it?"

"Eight."

"Oh." Making a face, Margaret stood and walked out, saying, "I'll be at my desk if you need me."

~*~

Catching one paper as it fell from her clutches, she looked it over and blinked. It was that of a picture of her and her brothers. It was taken a few months before Bartlet won the Presidency. Standing, she then sat on her chair and put it next to her phone.

"Everything all right?" Leo asked, standing in his doorway.

"Are you bored or something?" she snapped, putting a hand to her chest, trying to control her pounding heart. "I mean, do you have anything better to do than come up and scare me half to death?"

"Sorry."

Sighing, Margaret just looked up at him. "Whatever."

"Margaret, come here," Leo beckoned.

Curious, she got up and followed him into office. "Lay down."

Standing where she was, she looked at him, eyebrows raised.

"Oh hell, Margaret, I'm not going to do anything," he bellowed.

Jumping slightly, she hurried to the couch and sat curling her legs under her and rested against the arm of the couch.

Pulling out a blanket, he covered her up. "There. Try to get some sleep, will you? I've seen you when you get over tired. If you're not giddy, you're angry and I don't want either of your moods right now."

Glaring at her boss, Margaret laid down and turned over, her back to him. A few minutes later, her breathing was even and her body limp.

~*~

Turning over, Margaret sat up and rubbed her eyes and then glanced over at her boss.

Scowling, she said, "Leo, what are you doing?"

"Reading," he mumbled, not looking up from the hardcover book in his hands.

She made a noise and then wondered, "What time is it?"

"Around midnight, why?"

"I'm thirsty," Margaret told him promptly. Standing quickly, she then braced herself as she became lightheaded. "Would you like me to get you something also?"

"No, I'm fine," he told her gruffily.

Confused by his mood swing, she shrugged to herself and got a dollar out of her wallet.

The vending machine was a bit of a walk for her, since she was only half awake. Rubbing the bridge between her nose, Margaret yawned and put the bill into the slot. Hitting the button closest to the top, she waited for it to come out.

Unscrewing the cap, Margaret took a drink of the liquid before turing quickly and stopping as something caught her eye. Pausing in the middle of the hallway, she stood there and wondered what it could've been. Pinching herself, she walked closer to the office that she saw was open. Peaking inside, she looked at a figure that was in the corner with a...pointed hat?

Stepping back, Margaret let out a gasp and turned away, shutting her eyes tightly. Whipping around and looking again, she saw it was still there. Groping for the light, she turned it on with a rush of air.

A doll that was dressed up in an elves costume for the Holiday's stood up in the corner, a hat on it's head. Shaking her head soflty, she turned off the light with a relieved giggle.

~*~

A few hours later, Margaret sat on the couch, rubbing her eyes. "Aren't you tired?"

"Go to sleep," Leo commanded from his desk.

"Well, aren't you?"

"No, I'm perfectly..." he broke off in midsentence to yawn.

Timidly, she bowed her head and then looked at her boss. "You can come and share the couch with me."

Taken aback, he just stared at her for a moment. An internal battle was now going on, trying to decide whether he wanted to take her up on her offer or if he was going to be the gentleman that he was and just rough it out in his chair.

Feeling defeated, Leo slowly got out of the chair and walked to the couch. "Move over some."

Nodding, Margaret moved to her "side" of the couch and made room for him. Moving around, she tried to get comfortable enough to sleep before giving up and just thinking that the floor would be nice to sleep on, for it was carpeted.

Seeing his secretary nibble on her lower lip, Leo rolled his eyes to the cieling and then sighed. "Margaret, come here."

Going closer to her boss, she felt his arms go loosely around her shoulder. Molding into his embrace she laid her head on his shoulder. Feeling her eyes get heavy, she closed them.

~*~

"Aww, would ya look at that?" Josh Lyman said in a sticky-sweet voice. There was a muffle and he was then heard to say, "Ow, damn it C.J., that was my arm."

"Shoulda aimed lower," C.J. Cregg mumbled and then smiled as she saw her boss do the same. In a whisper, she told him, "Good Morning Leo."

Only giving what looked like a nod, for the fear of waking Margaret, he opened his eyes and smiled. "Morning," he mouthed.

Stirring, Margaret mumbled some in her sleep before burrowing her head deeper into his embrace. Taking a glance at her, Leo then looked at the two adults in his doorway. "Go away."

"But Leo," Josh whined. "I was just about to get the camera."

"Go away *now*." Watching them trudge from the doorway, he called out softly to C.J., "Close the door, would ya?"

~*~

Well, there it is. I hope I did all right. It was my first time ever replying to a challenge. :)

Dani Beth

 

 

 

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