Hi, folks! This is my first completed TWW fic, although I've done some
for Ally McBeal this is very different and I don't know how it came
out. Let me know what you think, be honest, but let me just say that
none of this was written earlier than 11:00 p.m.
Disclaimer: The West Wing belongs to the great and powerful Aaron
Sorkin, NBC, and very possibly a host of others who I don't know
about…let it suffice to say that it's not mine, the characters are not
mine, and I'm not making any money off of this.
The song quoted is Carly Simon's "You're So Vain", also not mine.
Clouds in My Coffee 1/1
White House Press Secretary CJ Cregg answered the knock at her office
door with a startled but groggy, "Come in." As she processed the red
headed man walking in as being reporter Danny Concannon, she combed her
fingers through her hair. It was 6:00 a.m., and Danny could see that
the pallor of sleep still clung to her face.
"Danny? What the hell? It's six A.M.…" CJ started weakly.
"I know. I also know that you've been here earlier than this every
day this week. I know, too, that you'll like me a lot when you see what
I brought you," Danny began, in the way of an explanation.
"Please tell me it's hot, brown, and contains some obscene amount of
caffeine, " CJ said wearily.
"Ding Ding Ding! You've just won our game," he said, bringing out a
tall, steaming cup of coffee from behind his back and placing it on her
"What's my prize?" she asked, half playfully and half suspiciously.
"A date with me," said Danny, grinning slyly.
"Go away," ordered CJ, dropping her head face down onto her desk.
Danny reached for the coffee. "Leave it," CJ barked, her words
surprisingly clear despite the loads of paperwork she had buried her
"Nope, sorry, if I can't have a date, I'll need to take this coffee
to console myself…" he teased.
"Die and rot in hell, Danny," CJ groaned.
"Just say yes," he pleaded.
"Yes, damn you, Danny, but I hope you die first. Now give me the
damn coffee," she gave in, with much exasperation.
"Really? Did you just say yes?" asked Danny incredulously. He had
been startled into setting down the coffee, though, and CJ grabbed it.
She took a long, long drink, and setting it down, finally answered him.
"Absolutely not. Get out and let me work."
"But I brought you-" he started.
"I know. You tried to use it to manipulate me. If you had brought
it because you were a nice guy, now, things might have turned out
differently," explained CJ smugly.
"I'm a nice guy!" Danny protested earnestly. "I brought you a
And fish food! I offered to teach you to kayak!"
"Get out, Danny!"
"See you at the briefing in--" he glanced at his watch "--four
and forty three minutes. Unless I come to visit again before then…"
"If you do, so help me, Danny, I'll-"
"You'll what?" he inquired.
"I don't know yet, it's too early. I'll think of something, trust
"You know me, I can't resist a surprise. See you later," Danny said,
grinning as he ducked out.
"Danny!" CJ yelled angrily after him. She dropped her head back onto
her desk. "Damn it, there isn't enough caffeine in the world to keep
me going right now, she muttered to herself as she drifted off to
* * * * * * * * * * * *
About an hour later, Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman knocked
anxiously on CJ's door. She had agreed to meet with him in his office
at 7:00, and for CJ to be fifteen minutes late was very unusual.
"CJ?" Josh said loudly as he tentatively pushed her door open. Her
head jerked up with a start.
"Danny?" she said sleepily. "You were just-the fish-" she
ramble, obviously not quite seeing that it was Josh that had just
"CJ, it's me, Josh…what were you saying about Danny? Were you asleep?
No wonder you didn't meet me at seven-" he said with a note of
concern, only to be cut off by a suddenly wide-awake CJ.
"Seven? Oh, God, it's almost 7:30! Shit!" CJ rifled frantically
through her papers. Her hand knocked into a small cardboard canister
under a folder. She pulled out the fish food slowly, looking
thoughtful and more calm than she had a second ago. She began to feed
her fish, Gail, which had been a present from Danny not so long ago.
Josh observed all this carefully, , as well as the fact that he had to
remind her to stop feeding the fish when he realized that she was in
danger of putting the whole canister into the fishbowl.
"CJ? What's up? You ok?"
"What? Oh, I'm fine, Josh…just a bit tired-sorry I was late, but here
you are so let's work on this thing-"CJ said, attempting to shrug off
her uncharacteristic behavior.
"We're okay, this thing can wait…Tell me what's going on with you.
And…Danny," he ventured.
"Josh, it's nothing. Come on…" CJ said dismissively.
"CJ, when I woke you up, you thought I was Danny…did you have a dream
about Danny Concannon?"
"I- well- I- yes," she finally admitted.
"Well? What was it?"
"I dunno, Josh, I don't want to talk about it," she said,
"CJ, come on! I won't tell anyone, or laugh, or…be a jerk…promise!"
he begged curiously.
"Joshua! Fine," she conceded. "I had this dream that you, Leo,
Toby, Sam, the President, the staffers, everyone, had these smirks on
their faces and whenever I asked someone what was going on, they just
said look out your window. So finally I did, and there was Danny,
dressed as a goldfish and holding a giant coffee pot…he asked me out.
I said yes," CJ mumbled, head down.
"Well, duh, CJ…Say yes to Danny for real! We've all been waiting for
it. You guys make a great couple-"
CJ awoke with a start (for real this time). She wasn't sure what had
awoken her, but she thought it had sounded like a door clicking shut.
It had woken her just as- she suddenly remembered Josh's words in her
"Damn." She shook her head as if to clear it. "Gail, I have to
to your dad…" she said to her fish. She happened to notice the clock,
however, and began searching through paperwork.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Later that morning, CJ walked briskly through the halls of the West
Wing toward the press room. "Carol, let them know I'm on my way,
please," she called to her assistant. CJ was searching for a certain
single red-haired father of one (goldfish) who she was about to knock
for a loop.
"CJ? You weren't, by any chance, looking for me, were you?" asked
Danny in his usual facetious tone as he popped out from behind the
"Jesus, Danny, don't do that! But yes, I actually was…I have to talk
to you after the briefing," said CJ, sounding annoyed.
"Talk to me now," he said hopefully.
"No!" insisted CJ.
"Why not? Could be fun," Danny persisted.
"'Cuz, here we are at the press room and I have a briefing to do, I
don't know but I'm guessing you're supposed to be there…" CJ retoreted
as the walked into the Press Room. "Now sit!"
All during the briefing, Danny watched CJ even more closely than
usual, while she did her best to avoid meeting his eyes. He could tell
she had something important to say to him.
As soon as the briefing ended, Danny made his way up to CJ.
"Well, what's up?" he asked, trying not to sound too eager.
"Let's talk in my office," she said, leading him towards it.
"Hey, the last time you wanted to see me in your office, it was to
start grabbin' me and kissing me, so this can't be too bad," he
They walked into her office and CJ closed the door.
"You'll wanna remember that you closed the door this time," Danny
"I'm just sayin, the last time you forgot…" he said.
"I did not forget, I just…didn't see it. I was preoccupied…oh, come
on, anyone would have walked into a door…I had a lot on my mind…the
State of the Union…"
"My kissing you…"
"Shut up, Danny."
"Ok. So, what's up?" he asked for the second time.
"Have dinner with me. Tonight." CJ abruptly blurted this out,
wanting to get it over with.
"Come again?" he said, astounded and afraid to believe his ears.
"You heard what I said, will you?" CJ demanded.
"Well, yeah, …but…five hours ago, you told me to die and rot in
hell…I'm not complaining or anything, but what happened?" he asked,
"I fell asleep. I was at the point where an intravenous flow of
caffeine wouldn't have kept me awake."
"I know. I came in to see how you were gonna fulfill your
promise…threat…and you were asleep. I sat for a little while watching
you…you looked so peaceful, for once…"
"Danny! I don't believe you…I must have woken up when you left, I
thought I heard the door…anyway…I had a couple of dreams about you."
"Ooh, I must have looked pretty good there," said Danny, smoothing
"You were in a goldfish suit, you narcissistic fool! But, I was
convinced…what Josh said…never mind. Pick me up at eight. See you
then," she told him, her tone making it clear that the conversation was
over. Danny turned to leave the office, dazed.
"Danny, I thought you said to remember the door was shut," laughed
"Ow. Yes, I did, didn't I. Well, see you at eight, then." Danny
opened the door and made a more successful second attempt to leave. He
headed back to his office, beaming. On the way he passed Josh.
"Hey Josh! Thanks a lot!" he called to the harried looking Deputy
Chief of staff.
"Uh, hey, Danny…what'd I do, exactly?"
"I have no idea! Thanks!"
"Okay, whatever…" Josh muttered to himself, puzzled but beyond
caring. "Either he he has had way too much coffee or I am in serious
need of a cup or…twelve. Possibly both."
Danny picked CJ up at 7:55 - although punctuality was not a strong
suit of his, he made a special effort for CJ. He brought her to a
small, homey restaurant with a mellow -voiced singer woman singing on
stage near a wooden dance floor. They ate their meal and quickly
headed over to start dancing. After they had been dancing for awhile,
CJ went up and said something to the singer, who nodded. When she got
back to Danny, he was naturally curious.
"What was that?" he asked her.
"You'll see," said CJ with an enigmatic grin.
"That grin is very sexy, CJ. I'm beginning to enjoy constantly being
kept in the dark," Danny said flirtatiously. Just then, the singer
said, "This next song is from CJ to Danny, she says that there are two
lines in it that will always remind her of him."
With that, she began to sing Carly Simon's "You're So Vain"
Danny frowned and looked puzzled. "Why would you pick this song? I
thought you liked me now," he asked, a little hurt.
"Well, although the title does fit you, that's not it. Keep
listening," she said with a smile. She pulled closer to Danny and put
her head on his shoulder. "Now, listen," she said finally. He smiled
as he heard "his" lines, and everything became clear.
"I had some dreams, there were clouds in my coffee…"
So that's it…I know there are some awkward parts, I wrote this more
just to write TWW fic than to put it out, but I thought I'd share in
case anyone would like to read it. Hope you liked it--Let me know!
firstname.lastname@example.org is my email or reply to this message