Cousins a TWW vignette by Cait & Janie

RATING: actually it's probably G but we'd never admit it 

SYNOPSIS: just another quiet dinner for a thousand of your closest friends 

ARCHIVE: Sure, just let us know. HTML version available 

DISCLAIMER: the characters in this work of fiction are solely the property of the Evil Genius, Aaron Sorkin, and of Warner Bros. For that reason the authors wish to state that we intend no infringement of their copyright, nor do we expect to make any profit from it.


"Did I hear someone mention little old me?" a vibrant, luxuriously gowned brunette asked, walking up to kiss first Bartlet and then MacInerny hello. "Mr. President, it's wonderful to see you again. But, AJ! I thought you said you couldn't possibly make it here tonight. Leo McGarry, get over here and give me a hug! You're looking yummy!"

"Thanks, Syd." the Chief of Staff complied, grinning. "Let me introduce you to the reason. Sydney, I would like you to meet Sarah Cooper."

Sarah blushed pink to the roots of her dark hair and shook hands with the former First Lady. "Ms. Wade, I'm honored."

"Syd, please. I'm not sure what kind of polish you're using, but Leo's positively glowing these days."

Sarah turned to McGarry, smiling. "Now I know who held onto you, while you kissed the Blarney stone."

Seeing that the party was beginning to break up, CJ, Josh, Toby and Cherie excused themselves.

"Leaving early?" Sam asked.

"No," CJ said. "We need to work the room a little, and I'm not letting _him_ out of my sight." She nodded toward Josh.

A tall, handsomely aging man joined the group's laughter as the staffers sorted themselves out. Embracing Sydney first, he then turned a brilliant smile on Sarah, saying: "Was someone here taking my name in vain?"

"Only if your name's Blarney." Jed replied, grinning.

"No, my name's Andy Shepherd, actually. And you're Sarah Cooper, I believe. How d'you do?"

Feeling the least bit light headed, Sarah shook hands with the former President. "I'm ... fine, sir. Thank you, Mr. President."

Shepherd turned to his Secretary of Labor and remarked. "Quiet, isn't she?"

"Not usually."

Turning to MacInerny, the former President echoed his wife. "AJ, I thought you couldn't make it here tonight. You and Jed haven't been doing your two-act again, have you?"

"Well, they had Sarah goin' for awhile, Mr. President," Leo noted.

"You know, I don't know how they manage to fool people so easily. I've always been able to tell them apart."

"Mr. President, maybe you could let me in on the secret?" Sarah asked.

"No problem at all, Sarah, if I may call you that?" Pointing at AJ, Shepherd laughed and said. "_He's_ shorter."

"And better looking." MacInerny quipped in response.

"Joshua!" came CJ's cry from the other side of the room. Seaborn was on his feet and halfway there before anyone else at the table could move, and everyone else at the table looked at each other with a mixture of confusion and dread.

Leo, rolling his eyes skyward, muttered, "How _did_ that bullet not kill him?"

"Must have been one of those magic bullets, Leo," Toby said, returning to the table. "You know, the kind that make a hard right turn in midair?"

"What happened?" Bartlet asked his Communications Director.

Toby's escort giggled, and said, "It was so cute! I guess he thought she was somebody else!"

"She?" Leo asked with dread in his face.

A tiny smile crept across Ziegler's face. "He went up to Isobel Lillienfield, gave her a dip and a big kiss, and dropped her on the floor."

"Shoot me now," Leo said.

"You had your chance," Bartlet answered.

Sam and CJ returned to the table with Josh in tow. "You _sure_ that wasn't Mandy?" he was groaning.

"No," CJ replied. "Mandy would have punched your lights out."

Josh leaned over the table and put his head in his hands. "I have the feeling I am _so_ gonna be sorry for this."

"You can take that to the bank," Leo responded. "Do me a favor, Josh."

Lyman looked over at his boss with a hang-dog expression. "Grab the third rail?"

"Stay home from work tomorrow. Then at least we can say you weren't well."

Josh nodded.

"And CJ? Talk to Donna about keeping the wine locked up as long as he's on his Vicodin, OK?"

"No pastrami for you," Toby added. "You're going straight home."

"Thanks, Ma," Josh responded.

As the group headed together for the door (and the kosher deli), they chorused, "You can dress him up, but you can't take him anywhere."


The End




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