For notes and disclaimer, please see part one.

Previously, on the West Wing: Sam and Lisa arrive in Florida and have grand ideas on a fun weekend when Lisa winds up stung by a jellyfish. While Lisa naps, Sam slips a ring on her hand.

Lisa was slow to wake up. Her nap had been filled with wonderful, happy dreams as opposed to the nightmares that had plagued her earlier in the year and for part of the previous one. She smiled when she realized she had fallen asleep in Sam's arms. Brushing her brown locks out of her face, something shiny caught her attention. Looking at her hand, she sat up immediately, staring at the ring in shock. Tears stung at her eyes again but for a very different reason. She turned her attention from the diamond solitaire to Sam, who was still very much asleep. Leaning down slowly, she kissed his lips softly, cupping his face in her hands.

Sam opened his eyes once he realized that he wasn't dreaming, that he really was being kissed. When he saw Lisa, he closed his eyes again and started kissing her back, moving his arm that had been on the armrest and held her close. As the kiss slowly came to an end, Lisa smiled at him. "Ask me."

"What?"

"Ask me," she said eagerly.

"Lisa, will you—"

"Yes!" she said before kissing him again.

When she pulled back, Sam said, "You didn't let me finish my question."

"I couldn't wait."

"But you asked—"

"I thought I could but I couldn't," she grinned. He grinned back at her.

"Were you surprised?"

"Very!"

"I love you," he said, running his fingers through her hair and turning serious. "I want you to be my wife." Tears took to her eyes again.

"I can't tell you just how... amazing... that sounds," she said quietly, reverently. "To be your wife, to know you will be my husband."

"I know," he said, drying her cheeks. "I've been thinking about it since I bought the ring."

"It's a beautiful ring," she said, leaning her face into his hand. She looked at him suddenly and shocked, as if having been kicked.

"What?"

"We have to call your parents. We have to call my parents... My brother, my grandparents, your family, the Ambassador, Gage Whitney..."

"Josh..."

"Josh," she said with a nod. "Rollins..."

"He's the governor of Tennessee now, isn't he?"

"Yeah. Congresswoman Davis," she said. He watched as she obviously searched her memory for a list of who to send wedding announcements and invitations to, as well as which newspapers to contact.

"Lisa?"

"Hmm?" she asked, looking at him.

"Don't you think that maybe a date would be nice to come up with before we pick, y'know, who gets the invitations and who gets the announcements after the wedding?" She grinned sheepishly.

"Probably, but we should most definitely call our folks."

"Then let's go," he said with a broad grin. She stood quickly and pulled him up, ignoring the dull pain in her leg.

~~~

Josh Lyman followed at the heels of Senator John Hoynes, who was in no mood to listen to anything the younger political operative had to say. "Senator, you can't roll out your tax credit here. It won't fly."

"Considering we just got *off* a plane, Josh, I don't see the problem with 'not flying.'"

"Sir, due respect, this is *Florida*," Josh told the Senator. "You're going to be better off talking about Social Security *if* you talk about it the right way."

"I haven't been talking about it the right way yet?"

"Sir, please."

"Let me ask you this, *Josh*," Hoynes said angrily, "just who is running for President, you or me?"

"Well, first off we're running for the Democratic nomination. And it isn't just you or me it's both. You, me, and the rest of the campaign staff as well as who you've got back in D.C. running your Senate office while we parade around Florida like the lost Texan you are and the lost guy from Connecticut that I am, we're all running." 'Away from ourselves,' Josh finished in his head.

~

"Tell me again."

"Jed."

"Tell me again," Bartlet said, watching John Hoynes and his entourage pass them in the airport.

"Why?"

"Because I'm asking you, Leo. Tell me again."

"Jed, we are down here to see what we can see."

"And what are we going to see? We're going to see Hoynes, the tyrant of Texas, and Wiley, the wiry guy from Wyoming. I don't want to be here."

"Jed."

"Leo, I still don't see what coming down here is going to do in the long run?"

"In the long run, we're going to see our chances."

"Our chances for what? For running for the Democratic nomination," Bartlet said, answering his own question.

"Yes."

"We're not going to get it."

"Says who?"

"Says me."

"And what you say goes?"

"Yes."

"See, you're already thinking like a President."

"Leo," Bartlet sighed.

"Starting to sound like one, too..."

"I'm a former governor and former Congressman. I am, in no way, Presidential. Not now, not tomorrow, not ever."

Stay tuned...

 

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