Disclaimer: All characters belong to Aaron Sorkin. No harm, no foul, right?
Author's Notes: I'd like to thank the Academy… Wrong speech. *ahem* Seriously, I owe "my darling sister" Kasey, who was kind enough to let me bounce ideas off of her and read it for me. Not to mention help me find some quotes I couldn't seem to locate and the name of an organization-as far as I know it's fictitious.
Yes, that actually said part one of one in the subject line. Unusual for me, yes. Don't get used to it I'm afraid. :) Another thing, this isn't a Crystal story. Shocking, I know, but she'll be back soon enough-LauraS, more coming I promise. I'm having a crazy week.
Spoilers-He Shall from Time to Time, Six Meetings Before Lunch, Lies Damn Lies and Statistics, and I think that's it.
Archive-Just let me know where and I'm a happy camper.
Feedback-Please. My crazy week is only going to get worse I'm afraid. Feedback would brighten my day greatly.
It was three o'clock on a Friday morning when she found herself showering and getting dressed. She had been lying in bed awake since eleven that night. She wasn't exactly sure what she was going to do but she certainly couldn't stay in her apartment with her thoughts and the annoying incessant drip of the kitchen faucet any longer. Grabbing her purse and car keys, she left for a calming cruise through D.C.
Her hopes for a relaxing ride were dashed as she found herself being passed by police cruisers left and right. The DCPD was out in full force, pulling over cars and blaring their sirens. She suddenly wanted to be anywhere but on the road. Before she realized it, she was in front of his apartment building. Her car had taken over and had delivered her where she could feel safe. What the hell, she though as she parked. She would at least see if he was awake. Cautiously, she walked halfway around the building and looked up at his window. The lights were still on and she could see his silhouette pacing. Smiling, she backtracked to the entrance. The night guard nodded at her. He knew who she was and who she was off to see. She made her way to the elevator and rode to the fifth floor. As she started to near his apartment, she slowed down. What would he think of her showing up at such an odd hour? Would he turn her away? She hesitated at his door but wound up knocking anyway. "Coming," he called from within. She ran her fingers through her hair in one last futile attempt to look somewhat presentable. The door opened and she found herself face to face with him. He was dressed casually in blue jeans and a knit sweater. Most times she saw him at work, dressed in his tailored suits. She had to admit she liked the casual look. He smiled warmly at her. "Mallory."
"Hi, Sam," she said timidly.
"What a surprise. Come in," he said, stepping out of the way so she could enter. His apartment was impeccably neat as always with the lone exception of his coffee table. It was piled high with scattered papers and file folders, his laptop occupying one corner. "Can I get you something to drink?" he asked, offering to take her coat.
"No thanks," she said, shedding her jacket.
"So what brings you by?" he asked, hanging her jacket next to his on his coat rack.
~ You have an itch for Sam Seaborn!
"I couldn't sleep," she admitted.
"Have a seat."
"What are you working on?" she asked as she sat on his couch, looking at his table.
"Something guaranteed to put you to sleep," he said. "President Bartlet's remarks to the Specialized Group for the Protection of Northern Elk."
"How come working on it hasn't put you to sleep?"
"The fact that I know Toby will personally skin me alive if I don't get it done," he said as he sat down beside her.
"I should go?"
"No, no," he said. "Stay. I'm basically through. Just waiting on a review from Toby."
"Can I hear what you have?"
"Are you sure? I mean it really is boring. Kind of dull…"
"Read it to me," she said.
"Okay." He grabbed a printed hard copy of the speech and stood up, slipping his glasses on. Mallory got comfortable as Sam cleared his throat before reciting it. She didn't focus on the content. If she had, she probably would have fallen asleep. Instead, she watched his face and listened to his delivery, to the emotion he put in the bland speech. She remembered the support speech he had drafted for the President to deliver in defense of her father and she vividly recalled arguing with him about school vouchers followed by his impassioned position on education. She chided herself for calling him a fascist not to mention a moron. Of course he had made several faux pas with her as well. How else does one explain confessing to inadvertently sleeping with a prostitute on their first meeting? Her eyes started to water when she thought of him trying to remove his foot from being crammed in his mouth time after time.
~ You're taking over?
As he finished, he looked at her, half-expecting her to be asleep or at least terminally bored. She was smiling and on the verge of crying. "Mal?" He removed his glasses.
"Sounds good to me," she said. Abandoning the speech and his glasses, he sat down beside her.
"What's wrong?" He placed both his hands over hers.
"Nothing. Absolutely nothing," she said, blinking back tears. "It was a lovely speech." He raised a skeptical eyebrow. "I don't think you'll get in trouble with Toby at all." Leaning forward, she kissed his cheek quickly. She didn't back away; she wanted to be near him. She had seen the error in her ways and was hoping to make it up to him. She had been mean to him, her father had been mean to him, Toby was promising physical harm over a speech, even the President got in on the act occasionally. Smutty tabloid stories and her Machiavellian addle-minded father could try to drive them apart all they wanted. She no longer cared about such things. They stared into each others' eyes for a moment before Sam's lips brushed past hers. One of Mal's arms went around his neck as Sam pulled her closer to him. As the kiss slowly intensified, Mal was grateful for her case of insomnia. He was about to lay her back on the couch when his phone rang.
"That'll be Toby," he said, grabbing the telephone. "Hello." Mal watched as Sam's expression darkened. "Yeah, but…" He licked his lips. "Well, I had thought that part was rather clever… Toby, I…" He sighed and looked at Mal. "I'll fix it and e-mail you the corrections," he said before hanging up. "I'm glad *you* liked the speech." She squeezed his hand supportively. "Toby wants a rewrite of the B section in an hour."
"Write, then," she said, nodding to his laptop.
"Will… Will you stay?"
"Of course," she said. There was no place else she would rather be. He kissed her forehead before taking his laptop and slipping on his glasses to work again. Mal kicked off her shoes and curled up beside him, listening to the delicate clicks of the keyboard. After twenty minutes of restructuring the B section, he read it aloud softly. Mal was finally feeling tired and drifted off to sleep as he worked. When Sam finished rewriting the section, he glanced at Mal and smiled. He e-mailed Toby the revised speech as promised before looking at the time. It was almost five AM. Mal had been asleep for roughly forty-five minutes.
Sam stood and yawned before gently moving Mal from her curled position to being stretched out on his couch. He took an afghan from his bedroom and covered her up with it. He stood over her and watched her sleep peacefully for a moment before going off to get ready for work even though he would have rather stayed at her side.
Mal woke to the warm smell of fresh coffee. Sitting up slowly, she hadn't even remembered falling asleep. She heard movement in the bedroom and smiled, thinking of Sam. She was folding the blanket about the time a bagel popped out of the toaster in the adjacent kitchen. Sam, wearing only his slacks, wandered into the kitchen to get his breakfast. Mal's eyes widened when she saw him. She hadn't expected to see him shirtless when she knocked on his door only hours before and she was certain he hadn't bargained on her catching him that way either. Sam started to take a bite of his bagel, now loaded with cream cheese, when he noticed her standing in the middle of his living room. "Mal." He put his bagel back on the plate, looking at her.
"I, uh… Yeah. You want some coffee? Bagel?"
"Coffee would be great," she said. She couldn't help but smile at his discomfort; she thought it was absolutely adorable.
~ You made an appointment. … Isn't that adorable?
She walked into the kitchen as he poured her a mug and added sugar and cream the way she liked it. Their hands touched briefly as he handed her the cup. "Thanks."
"I didn't mean to fall asleep." He smiled.
"Doesn't matter," he said, gently stroking her hair.
"Did you finish the speech?" Sam nodded as she took a sip.
"I haven't gotten any more phone calls back from Toby. I'll take that as a good sign." There was a moment of awkward silence before the two started talking at the same time.
"Go ahead," said Mal.
"No, you," he said. "I insist."
"I was just going to say that I… Thanks for letting me crash here. I probably would have wound up driving around in endless circles if not for you." Sam could tell Mallory was struggling, trying to come up with the right words.
"I'm always here for you." She smiled.
"What were you going to say?"
"Just that I was glad you came by." Nodding, she took another sip of coffee.
"What time is it?"
"Not quite six."
"I should probably get ready to go to school," she said, putting her coffee on the counter.
"It is a school day, isn't it?" Mal nodded. She needed to get her shoes, purse, and coat but wound up lingering in the kitchen with Sam. "I could drive you home if you want," he offered, noticing the stall.
"I have my car," she said. Sam nodded, watching her carefully. "I really ought to be going," she said more to convince herself than to inform Sam.
"Don't let me stop you."
"I'll see you later."
"Yeah." She turned to leave but looked back at him. He was smiling faintly at her.
~ Don't go for the geniuses. They never want to sleep.
"Did you get any sleep last night?" she asked curiously.
"About an hour around midnight, yeah." She nodded. She took one step towards his living room when she walked back to Sam and kissed him. Sam held her as the kiss continued. Mal didn't want the moment to end. "Mal?" he said between kisses.
"Why don't you come by the White House and have dinner with me tonight?"
"I'll be there."
"Okay." She looked in his eyes as they finally stopped. "Eat your breakfast," she said with a smile. "I've got to go."
"See you tonight."
"Bye." Mal retrieved her belongings and glanced back at Sam with a wink before letting herself out. Sam leaned against the kitchen cabinet with a grin plastered on his face.
Mal silently wished it was already nine o'clock as she waited on the elevator. She had a feeling it was going to be an agonizingly long day. Abby Bartlet's words kept ringing in her ears. She certainly hoped it was true.
~ They never want to sleep…