TITLE: One More Night
"Toby, where did you go? There you are." Josh exclaimed as he leaned into Toby's office. Toby sighed.
"I've always been here, Josh, since this morning. I'll probably be here until I die, and at this rate, that won't be too long from now." He retorted as he flipped through the gun control legislature release. Ever since Jed Bartlet had decided to take the risks of being a more effective administration, the work rate had sped up to about nine hundred percent. Toby wasn't sure if he was kidding or not when he predicted he might die sometime soon; he was about ready to suffer an aneurysm or a heart attack any day now.
"I wanted to ask you how the dinner party went last night." Josh asked as he plopped down on the couch. Toby rolled his eyes and turned to his computer, bringing up an important file.
"Uneventful, save a surprise or two." He replied honestly. Josh raised an eyebrow, a curious smirk on his face.
"Surprise? What sort of surprise?" He asked, leaning forward on the couch. Toby flashed a raised eyebrow at his colleague and sighed.
"Nothing you're interested in." He retorted.
"Are you sure? I'm interested in an awful lot."
"You know how persistent I can be, Toby."
"Don't you have some work to do? I know you do."
"Did you have an upsetting conversation? Did you get in an argument? Did Irwin Jacobs get drunk again and you punched him in the face?"
"I only wish. Damn bastard." Toby grunted.
"Did you see someone there?" Josh asked after musing. Toby looked at him, his face a little softer. Josh grinned. "Aha. You did. Who'd you see? Come on, tell. Old girlfriend? Bitter enemy?" He asked.
"KD Brody." Toby exclaimed softly. Josh paused and shut his mouth. He knew that Toby had some assorted feelings about KD Brody, but he was never sure about where the feelings were headed.
"Oh. Both. She's back in town?" He replied.
"I guess so. I didn't talk to her." Toby said softly, giving Josh his attention. The damage was done.
"You mean you ran out before she saw you because you didn't want to talk to her." Josh interpreted. Toby stared at him in disbelief.
"Basically, yeah." He affirmed after a pause. "It doesn't matter. She didn't see me. She probably doesn't want to see me. We'll probably never see each other again and life goes on." He exclaimed turning back to his computer. "Just go back to work." He added. Josh paused a moment then stood and went to the door. He opened it and then slammed it closed again.
"What's the matter with you?" Toby snapped as he heard the door slam.
"What was that you were saying about never seeing her again?" Josh asked with a grin. Toby frowned.
"What are you getting at?"
"KD Brody is standing outside talking to CJ and Sam." Josh replied, turning to face Toby and not even attempting to hide his amusement. In fact he did the exact opposite by grinning very widely. Toby shot up out of his seat and moved to the mini window that opened out into the hub outside his office. He peered through the blinds and saw that Josh was right.
"Damn it. What do I do?" He murmured. He turned to see Josh laughing.
"What do you mean, what do you do? You go out and you say hi, that's what you do." He said with a chuckle as he opened the door and stepped out into the hub. "Kathryn Dylan Brody! My long lost sister! Where have you been?" He exclaimed as he stepped forward and hugged the chuckling KD. She hugged him back while Sam and CJ chuckled as well. Sam leaned to the side a little and saw Toby hiding behind the shades, watching them.
"Josh Lyman! I get to see you when you're NOT in trouble for once!" KD exclaimed as they stepped back from each other. Josh nodded and grinned.
"Hey, Josh, is Toby in today?" Sam asked with a wry smile. Josh nodded.
"Yeah, he's just a little busy, you know? He's feeling kind of shy. He hasn't had his coffee yet." Josh replied.
"It's nearly three 'o' clock." CJ commented.
"Yeah, well, I woke up late. Hey there, KD." Toby exclaimed as he stepped into their small circle. KD smiled and nodded.
"Good to see you, Toby." She replied softly. CJ chuckled and glanced back and forth between them.
"So what are you doing back here? How long you staying?" Sam asked in an attempt to the conversation.
"Yeah, how long have you been in town?" Josh added.
"I'm back in town to inquire about recommendations for job opportunities, I do not know how long I'm staying seeing as how my plans are quickly changing, and I've been in town about four days." KD replied with a smile, pulling her eyes away from Toby.
"You've been in town four days and you haven't dropped by to see us? I thought we were your family." Josh exclaimed in a mock hurt tone.
"You are my family. I just... was nervous about seeing my family again. I've never had extremely good experiences with family, and that leaves me with some evil prejudices." She replied with a shy grin. Everyone chuckled and glanced at each other with wide smiles. Toby just stood there, silent and solemn, trying not to stare at KD, and finding it hard. "Besides, I had planned on leaving day after tomorrow."
"Leaving so soon?" CJ asked.
"I'm being prevented." KD retorted.
"So you going to stick around the white house awhile?" Sam asked.
"If Joss has anything to do with it, yeah." KD replied.
"Do you people not have more work to do than chat with Miss Brody?" Leo exclaimed as he emerged into the hub and dispersed the group. "As much as I love her more than any of you, we do have work to do. This is not high school and there's no time for locker room chats." He said as he shooed people away.
"Yeah, yeah. I have to go work on the state dinner approach." Toby exclaimed and retreated into his office. Sam murmured a groan and moved back into his office as well.
"You get to come with me." Leo exclaimed as he pointed to KD. She smiled and nodded her goodbyes to the others before moving with Leo down the hall. Josh and CJ started moving in the same direction behind them.
"You're not off the hook, Brody. We're talking later." Josh exclaimed as he turned a corner.
"Got it, Josh." She replied as she and Leo turned another corner. "Hey, CJ, talk some more later?" She asked as CJ began to move away. CJ nodded with a smile and disappeared down another hallway.
"Margaret! Where's that, uh, thing I asked you for?" Leo called as he led KD into his office. Margaret appeared out of nowhere and handed him a few pieces of paper. He took them and glanced them over. "Good, good. This is over by the communications?"
"No, it's more relatively close to Josh's hub." Margaret replied as she moved back to her desk and began fishing through some papers on it. Leo grabbed the arm of a confused KD and began pulling her towards the pathway into the oval office. She chuckled.
"I'm perfectly capable of controlling my own motor functions, Leo. What's going on?" She exclaimed as they moved into the oval office. He let go of her and smiled apologetically.
"Sorry about that. I'm just in a hurry, and we've got some stuff to talk about." He exclaimed.
"It was wholly uncharacteristic of you, if I may say so. I'd almost call you excited." KD retorted.
"Giddy as a school boy almost." Jed added as he stepped into the room and closed the door behind him.
"I'll say." She agreed.
"Everything set?" Jed asked as he stepped forward. Leo nodded and handed him the papers. Jed looked them over.
"Guys, could you stop with the secret government stuff? What's going on? Why did you pull me in here?" KD asked, getting a little nervous. Jed smiled and handed the papers to her, which she took with a confused expression; an expression that intensified as she read the words on the pages.
"Wait a minute. This is implying that..." She trailed off.
"We can't pay you too much, I guess. You can live on a quarter a year, right?" Jed exclaimed with a grin. "Or a dime."
"You're offering me a job?" KD asked in disbelief. Leo grinned.
"I think so. Let me see." Jed retorted as he took the papers and looked them over sarcastically. "Yeah, that's what it looks like."
"I can't work here." She said simply.
"Why not?" Leo asked, a frown appearing. KD tried to think of an answer, but she couldn't, and Jed knew it.
"Executive political advisor." He exclaimed. "We've got your office already set up. It's been empty for ages. That office needs an occupant, and you need an office. It's meant to be, kid."
"It can't all be ready just like that. I've been here, what, four hours?" She exclaimed. Jed glanced at Leo who nodded.
"You've been here a little less than that, but when you and I parted ways earlier, I already had a plan in mind." Leo replied.
"The plan actually was created last time you were here." Jed added. KD looked back and forth between them incredulously. "Your record is outstanding, your background checks out, you've got more than enough credentials, you've got the experience and we've got the room." He continued.
"We need the help. I got Margaret to punch you into the system, and now you can be a part of this staff if you'll only sign here." Leo added as he took the papers from Jed and waved them around in front of KD's nose playfully. She smiled weakly.
"You have to admit that this whole thing is extremely biased. You're going to get so much press about hiring a friend of yours." KD said darkly. Jed nodded and handed the papers back to her.
"But that doesn't mean a thing when it comes down to the fact that we need you. You're good, you're qualified, and friends or not, you could be an asset to this staff." He retorted.
"Not to mention a catalyst for whenever he and I start squabbling." Leo added lightheartedly. The three of them chuckled. KD took the papers and looked them over again.
"This is for real? Executive political advisor, for the President of the United States?" She asked as she looked to where a few lines awaited signatures. Jed nodded again, taking the papers and pulling out a pen. He carried the packet over to his desk and signed it. Leo followed suit and then turned to KD, holding out the pen to her.
"You never like staying in a job too long anyway. In two to six years, depending on the results of the next election, you're free again." Jed exclaimed as he noticed she was still indecisive.
"You have doubts about the next election?" She said with a friendly grin. She glanced at the pen in Leo's hand and sighed weakly.
"Come on. Stick around. We could always use the extra slave." Leo exclaimed, stepping towards her and pushing the pen into her. She smiled and took it.
"I guess this means I'll have call that guy again and tell him I do want the apartment after all." She said as she walked up to the desk and signed the paper. Jed and Leo chuckled as she folded the papers up and turned back to face them. Leo patted her on the back.
"Welcome to the White House." He said softly. "Allow me to show you to your exceedingly empty office?"
"I thought you were kidding about that." She replied with a raised eyebrow. Jed laughed and hit the buzzer.
"Yes, sir?" Charlie exclaimed as he leaned in the door.
"Charlie, get this down to personnel." Jed said as he handed the packet of papers to the young aide. Charlie took them, glanced at them and then smiled and nodded.
"Yes sir. Welcome to the team, Miss Brody." He said as he moved back out the door. Everyone chuckled and KD grinned.
"When do I start?" She asked as Jed returned to the desk.
"Right now, how about? We've got some stuff that needs to be gone over before the weekend. Sam was going to do some of it, but we've unloaded way too much on his shoulders." Leo replied as he leaned against the desk as well, creating a little trio against the desk.
"I can handle stuff. Question is, how will the nation handle me? You going to announce this in any way?" She asked, leaning on them both, being in the middle of the sandwich.
"I'm going to tell Josh, Toby, Sam and CJ as soon as I finish getting you settled, complete with about four pounds of paperwork." Leo exclaimed. KD nodded and looked at Jed.
"So get out of here already. I've got some weird meeting to go to. Charlie!" He exclaimed. Charlie leaned back in the door.
"Yes sir?" He asked.
"What do I have next?" Jed asked.
"You are making an appearance at the United Organization of... uh, book binders... sir." Charlie replied, stifling a grin. Jed looked at KD and Leo, both of whom were grinning.
"See what I have to put up with by being President?" He said with a smile. "Go on, get out of here. I have serious stuff to do eventually. At least I hope I do." He added as he shooed them out of his office. KD and Leo both chuckled as they moved out of the room.
"They give a desk, they give paperwork, they give a fricking computer, and yet they will not give a stupid pen." KD murmured as she rummaged through the drawers of her new mahogany desk. She liked it very much. It had been an hour since she'd met with Jed and Leo in the Oval office. Leo had escorted her to her office where a computer had just arrived. It was an iBook laptop, black in color and very acceptable to KD's taste. She'd seen one before, but she couldn't remember where. It had been nearly five hours since she ran into Abbey Bartlet on the pathway. Since then, she'd had lunch, visited friends in the white house and gotten a job, as well as a nice office, a computer and an average sized apartment down on K Street. Along with it all, she'd gotten a hello, congratulations and other various comments from several dozen staff members and about ten pounds of paperwork. She may have been exaggerating. Right now, all she wanted was a regular, black ballpoint pen.
At least they gave her a phone.
And the paperwork was all on stuff she could handle. A few briefs on the Don't ask Don't tell situation, some various statements on the immigration issues that congress was pressing towards the Bartlet administration, and a sly paper or two that contained the newest joke of the internet. Today's joke is... a man is trying to prove to his wife that women talk too much. He finds a study that says that men say about 25,000 words per day and women say about 50,000 words per day and shows it to her. She responds that women always have to repeat themselves. He says "what?"
KD sighed, chuckled and tossed the crumpled piece of paper into her brand new recycling bin. Then she leaned over and dragged the environmental lobbyist's statements on to her lap and started marking it up with a highlighter. Can't have a pen. Can have a highlighter, but no pen. She thought. I'll have to drop by Staples later. She'd just completed her first mark when Toby barged into the room and slammed the door behind him.
"You're working here now?" He snapped.
"Hello, Toby. How are you? Me? Oh, I'm just fine." She replied, not looking up. He started pacing in front of her desk.
"It's Mr. Ziegler to you." He retorted.
"That's what you told me from the beginning, but have I listened?" She replied, still not looking at him and making another note on the small packet of whines, um, complaints.
"You can't work here. Okay? You can't." He exclaimed. She looked at him with a curious glance.
"Why not? Because you don't like me?" She retorted. He paused, looked at her and then nodded furiously.
"Absolutely. I don't like you. That reason works for me." He exclaimed, staring at her intensely. She laughed and tossed the brief and highlighter back on to the desk. She stood up and began to walk around the desk.
"That hardly makes sense. Besides, you only don't like me because I'm too much like you, and you despise that." She added with a playful grin. He glared at her and brushed his jacket back, putting his hands on his waist as he so often did when he got tired or upset.
"Well, if that's true, than they only need one of our kind in this office. I got here first, so you get out." He replied. She chuckled.
"What's next? This House isn't big enough for the two of us?" She retorted.
"Didn't I just say that?"
"I've got a job here. I signed a contract."
"I'll burn the damn thing."
"You have no legitimate reason to not want me working here."
"You're immature, arrogant, a slacker and I have no doubts you have a criminal record."
"You just can't find out for sure."
"Your file's been secured by the Bureau. They won't let me see it."
"I know. They called me the moment you made the request."
"Why is your file classified?"
"Because they just love me so much."
"Very funny. You can't work here. It's a security risk."
"Oh, yeah right. If security were an issue, Jed and Leo wouldn't have asked me in the first place. The same goes for any other issue. Don't you trust their judgment?"
"They're personally biased." He snapped.
"Well, if that isn't the pot calling the kettle black." She retorted quickly. He sighed and stepped closer to her, his nostrils flaring with anger.
"There is a very specific balance in this office, a balance that has been nearly 18 months in the making. You can't just come out of nowhere and expect to be a part of the team." He exclaimed harshly.
"You're saying that I'm upsetting this balance? Already?" She asked.
"Yes, that's what I'm saying." He affirmed.
"Sounds more like I'm just upsetting you." She retorted fiercely. He stared at her, his soft brown eyes gazing into her. She shifted a little in her stance under the gaze and began to realize that he was closing in on her, backing her into the desk. As she opened her mouth to draw attention to this, he raised a finger, quieting her. She cleared her throat and opened her mouth again, and again he quieted her. Soon she was leaning against the desk, and he was still moving closer.
"Toby..." She started. "I know you're upset but please don't kill me. You would be the prime suspect, you know?" She exclaimed weakly, half joking and half truly afraid for her life. He put his hands on either side of her, resting them on the desk and leaned forward a little more. Then he tilted his head to the side and kissed her, very gently, and yet very sincerely. She was somewhat surprised, not only by the gesture but also by the fact that she was kissing him back. He kissed her again, his right hand moving across the desk until it reached the point where her hip was leaning against the wood, and then the hand moved up her hip and into the crook of her back. Then he jumped his left hand straight up to a point in her back between her shoulder blades and pulled her closer to him. She moaned very slightly as he continued to kiss her, growing more passionate with each passing second.
"Hey, KD I was wondering if-" Josh stopped short as he stood in the half open doorway, his jaw dropped. Toby pulled away from KD and looked at a spot on the opposite wall. KD glanced shyly at her feet. "Perhaps I should have knocked." Josh exclaimed softly.
"Yeah, maybe." KD whispered. Josh nodded and held up a packet of papers.
"I just came to drop these... I'm going to put these on your desk now." He said softly as he placed the papers on KD's desk and started backing out of the room. "Bye-bye." He said weakly as he closed the door behind him. Toby sighed and looked KD again, but she was still looking at her feet, trying to figure it all out. He reached up with his left hand and touched her chin gently, bringing her gaze up to meet his. She stared into his eyes, and a weak smile spread across her face. One appeared on his as well, one that was soon disrupted when he leaned forward to kiss her again. It didn't take as long for the passion to intensify this second time as he pulled her close against his body, kissing her with a great deal of thrust. As she kissed back, her arms moved up to fasten around his neck. A soft knock at the door interrupted them one more time.
"Go away." Toby snapped as he took a breather and then kissed her again. KD smiled in the middle of the kiss and almost giggled as he clutched her even closer to his body.
"Toby, is that you?" CJ's voice exclaimed from behind the door. Toby sighed and leaned his head into a small crook in KD's neck, nuzzling her gently. She chuckled and traced a gentle finger up the back of his neck.
"Do I still upset you?" She whispered. He lifted his head and looked her in the eye. He seemed to think about it before he nodded.
"Absolutely." He murmured as he stroked her back, his thumb gently prying under her shirt.
"KD, are you in there?" CJ asked again.
"Yeah, I'm coming, CJ." KD called back. "Reluctantly." She murmured as she moved out of Toby's grasp to the door. She opened it to reveal CJ standing there with a curious grin.
"What were you two doing?" She exclaimed. KD shot her a look.
"Nothing." Toby retorted. "I have to go. I've got a... uh, a statement to write for when the president goes to the floor tomorrow. I'll see you later, CJ. KD." He added turning a slight shade of pink as he quickly moved out of the room. After he closed the door behind him, he sighed and glanced down the hallway to where Josh was standing in his office doorframe and grinning like an idiot. Toby rolled his eyes and took off in the opposite direction.