DISCLAIMER: The pre-existing characters mentioned in this submission are from the brilliant mind of Aaron Sorkin, the creative genius behind the West Wing. The original characters are of my own creation.

(This and subsequent submissions are written in script format. When you read this, you will need to read it as though you are watching it on TV. Anything that is not in "quotation marks" is considered to be stage direction, or info to help out your creativity in visioning things. By all means, use your imagination to picture things, but above all, enjoy!)

 

"Hanging By A Thread, Part 2"

Guide: This is definitely best read after Hanging By A Thread, Part 1. You won't know what's going on

unless you do!

 

Synopsis: Zoey is coming home for vacation. The President and First Lady play basketball with some of the members of the Senior Staff. Sam is presented with memories and people from his past – pre-White House years, and C.J. and Josh think long and hard about their prospects in the romance department.

 

Rating: PG

5:30 a.m., the next morning.

The sun is just starting to rise, and we see, through the partially open blinds in Sam's bedroom, the

faint glimmer of impending sunlight. Though there is not much light in the room, we can see the shape

of Melody's body, lying on her side. She is sleeping soundly, though it is obvious by her very puffy

eyes, she has had a rough night. We hear the faint sounds of CNN from the TV in the living room,

where we see that Sam has sat down after his shower, in his suit, eating Lucky Charms from a Tupperware

dish, drinking coffee, and reading the Washington Post. From the TV, we hear the anchor say, "The time

is now 5:37 am, we'll be right back after this." We see Melody moving in the bed from the living room.

She has heard some noise, and is slowly starting to wake up. She rubs her eyes, and stretches in the bed.

She stops for a moment, with her eyes wide open, a look of panic on her face, then she relaxes – she forgot

where she was. Sam enters the room.

Sam – "Good morning sleepyhead. I brought you some coffee and O.J. You did tell me to wake you up

when I got up, remember?"

Melody – propping herself up on the bed and reaching for the coffee "Ya, thanks." She takes a sip.

"Mmmm. Ooh - that's hot." She closes her eyes, takes her free hand and rubs her left eye. As

she is trying to wake herself up she says, "Are you ok?"

Sam – "Sure, why wouldn't I be? Don't you think I should be asking you that?"

Melody – "I just wanted to make sure you were ok with everything that went on last night, with everything

that we talked about. That was a lot for you to ingest in one sitting."

Sam – leaning in to her, he gives her a kiss on the forehead. "I completely understand why you were

afraid to tell me. Here, have some O.J. I've had some rough times too – nothing like that of course,

but it has been difficult. I understand, and there is no reason for you to feel bad about yourself. You

did what you had to do, and that's the hardest thing in the world to do. You gave her a chance at life,

and I'm sure she is very grateful." Trying desparately to lighten the mood "One thing's for sure, your

bed-head hasn't improved at all."

Melody – embarrassed, she takes her hand over her hair, trying to smooth it out. She gets a little smile on

her face. "Thanks. Just what I needed. Bed-Head."

Sam – "I have to go to work Mel. I have a favor to ask you."

Melody – "Sure. Anything."

Sam – "Promise you won't say no?"

Melody – with reservation "Is there a reason for me to?"

Sam – "No. I need for you to get something at the store for me. I'm going to trust your judgement on

this one."

Melody – "Ok. What do you need?"

Sam – "I need a dress." Melody looks at him with a curious look. "Don't be smart. I need a dress for a

friend of mine. She's about your height. Now that I think about it, she looks a lot like you."

Melody knows what is going on. She lowers her head and smiles. "She is going to a special party

on Saturday night with me, and she needs a very special dress."

Melody – looking at Sam and smiling "What should this dress be like? What colors suit her best?"

Sam – knowing she has caught on, "Well, I'm wearing a penguin suit, so whatever you think would go

the best with that. I've always liked seeing her in Hunter Green." With great emphasis he says "It

brings out her eyes."

Melody – swatting him with a pillow, "Sam!"

Sam – With a laugh, he gives her a kiss on the forehead "I have to go. Make yourself at home. There is

the number for our car service on the fridge. Use it if you need to go out, ok? The people that own that

service serve White House Staff exclusively. I called them this morning, and told them that you would

probably be in need of a driver today. It's taken care of, you just have to call."

Melody – starting to cry a little, "Sam, you are too good for me."

Sam – "No, you are too good for me. I'll see you tonight." Sam gets up to leave the bedroom,

and gives her a little kiss on the forehead. Melody smiles at him, takes a sip of her coffee and

rests her head on the headboard as she looks out the window at the sunrise.

6:42 a.m. The North Wing of the White House.

Sam is entering the North Wing of the White House, and is heading to his office.

C.J. – On her way to Margaret's office, she passes Sam in the Yellow Hall "Morning Sam."

Sam – "Good Morning C.J. The briefing for today should be short, I guess."

C.J. – "God, I hope so."

Josh – coming out of the Lobby "SAM!"

Sam – "What's up?"

Josh – running to catch up to Sam, he says "I tried to call you last night, where were you?"

Sam – "I was home. Why, what's up?"

Josh – "I tried to call you at home, there was only a busy signal. I tried your pager and your cell, but no

answer. What gives?"

Sam – "Nothing. Really." It is obvious that he doesn't want to talk about it, but Josh is pressing the

issue.

Josh – "Sam. Anything going on that I need to know about?"

Sam – "No – drop it."

Josh – "Come on Sam, don't hold out on me. What gives?"

Sam – who is quite annoyed at this point, says very loudly "For your information, Mr. I need to know

everything, Melody got a call from a Mark Simpson from her work, stating that a guy that she

helped to convict a few years ago is out on bail. The funny thing is, she doesn't work with anyone

named Mark Simpson." C.J. comes back down the hall, from Margaret's office, and stops to hear

what is going on. "Oh. Another thing. After she got back to her hotel suite, she found out it had

been broken into and everything she had with her, her clothes ripped to shreds, her laptop, jewelry,

everything was taken. So she spent the night at my place and I took the phone off the hook so she

could sleep in peace. Is there anything else you'd like to know?"

C.J. – gasps "Oh my God."

Josh – apologetically "No. Is she ok? Sorry buddy."

Sam – "Forget it. I've got to get to work." Sam turns and walks to his office.

C.J. – aside to Josh "Is he ok?"

Josh – "I don't know."

C.J. – "Let him cool off. He'll be fine."

Josh – Turning to walk in the direction of their offices, "Ya. By the way – we have invites for a guest on

Saturday night. You bringing Danny?"

C.J. – "You bringing Donna?"

Josh – "Why would I do that?"

C.J. – "Because you like her, that's why."

Josh – "I do not!"

C.J. – going into her office "Give it up Josh."

9:57 a.m. The Briefing Room.

The buzz is going around the room as usual, when C.J. enters. She walks up to the podium and opens her folder.

C.J. – "Good morning. Good morning everyone. Please, let's get this started. This should only take a

few minutes. There's not much this morning so let's get going – and then we can all be on our

merry way. To begin, on a personal note, I would like to publicly wish Deputy Press Secretary

Simon Glazer a very Happy Birthday. The President, the Administration and I wish him all the

best in the forthcoming year. Next up are the amendments that were made to Bill 497. These

changes have all passed with the majority vote, and of course, the President is nothing but

pleased."

Danny – "C.J., how drastic were the wording changes to this Bill?"

C.J. – "Well Danny, if you had actually looked in the packets that were laid out on the chairs for

you this morning instead of just moving them when you sat down, you would have seen that in it

there is a detailed list of the changes. Included in that list is the old text, the proposed changes, then

the final wordings. Next on the docket, another personal event for the President this week. The First

Daughter Zoey Bartlet returns home from school for a vacation this Friday. She plans to spend time

with the President and First Lady upon her arrival in the Residence. The President then plans to

bask in the glow of his youngest daughter's approval of his latest batch of home made chili."

A laugh goes up from the members of the press corps. "As many of you are aware, her birthday is

on Saturday, but the President's plans for celebration are not concrete at this point in time." Pointing

to the crowd. "Yes."

 

Reporter – "C.J. – What are Zoey's plans for the summer?"

C.J. – "Well, I'm not quite sure at this point. Um, according to the President, she plans to study for her

finals which are coming up in one months time. As far as her plans for the summer go, I will

make those details, that she wishes to inform you of, available when I see her on Friday. Believe

it or not folks; that's it for today. Have a good one." She closes up her folder and walks to the

back of the Briefing Room. To Danny as she walks by him. "Walk with me." He follows her out

of the Briefing Room to the Press Room, and walks down the corridor towards her office.

"You're invited to the Residence on Saturday night."

Danny – "What? Why?"

C.J. – "We are allowed to invite a guest, and I thought I would give you the inside scoop. It's not a date

Danny, so don't get your nose all bent out of joint."

Danny – "Sure. What time should I pick you up?"

C.J. – "I will be in my office at 6:00. Off the record?" They reach her office door.

Danny – he opens the door for C.J. "Sure."

C.J. – "It's a surprise."

Danny – "What is?"

C.J. – "The President's party for Zoey. It's formal, so don't plan on getting in unless you're wearing

your penguin suit."

Danny –heading out of C.J.'s office "No Problem. At least I don't have to be a Flamingo."

C.J. – standing up from her desk "Do You Want To Go Or Not?"

Danny – "Calm down, Claudia Jean."

C.J. – "Forget it. You're not going."

Danny – "Yes I am."

C.J. – "No you're not."

Danny – He walks back into C.J.'s office. "Yes I am."

C.J. – "No, You're not." She walks towards Danny.

Danny – walks through the office, stands right in front of C.J. "Yes, I am."

C.J. – she plants one on him, pushes him away then quickly says, "Ok, you are – get out!"

Danny – with a smile on his face "I knew it!"

North Entrance Lobby, late in the afternoon

Mike – into his lapel "Bookbag is in the House." To Zoey "Welcome Back Ms. Bartlet."

Zoey – running up the stairs "It's Zoey, you know. Thanks Mike. Can you have someone tell Leo that I

don't want Daddy to know I'm home yet?"

Mike – "Sure thing." Into his lapel "Request to West Wing Agents from Bookbag – She doesn't want the

Eagle to know she's here. Confirm." A pause. "It's done Zoey. Have a great day."

Zoey – "Thanks Mike. See ya!" She heads through the lobby, past the Roosevelt room, all the while

saying hi to those who say hi to her. She approaches Mrs. Landingham's desk.

Zoey – "Hi Mrs. Landingham. Is Daddy in a meeting?"

Mrs. Landingham – "Zoey! Welcome home. I don't believe he is – go on in."

Zoey – "Thanks." She opens the door to the Oval Office while saying, "Daddy, I need your help with

something."

POTUS – sitting at his desk, not looking up "Just a minute sweetheart, let me just sign..." He looks up

from his desk and sees his daughter, standing in the middle of the room. He immediately gets up

from his desk and goes to meet her. "ZOEY!" While they share a big hug in the middle of the

office, Mrs. Landingham closes the door to give them some privacy. "What are you doing back so

soon? I don't have any chili ready for you."

Zoey – "Daddy, I don't think that the world will end if I don't have chili on my first day back.

We can have some tomorrow. Classes let out early, so I got the first plane back that I could get

everyone on." Giving her father another big hug and a kiss. "It's so good to see you! So much has gone on!"

POTUS – "You should have let me send Air Force 1 for you. Have you seen your mother yet?"

Zoey – "Daddy, I was fine. Everyone was there with me. Don't worry. I haven't seen Mom yet, I was

just on my way up. She's there isn't she?"

POTUS – "As far as I know she is."

Zoey – "Ok Dad. We'll yak later about stuff, ok?"

POTUS – "Cool. Come here you." Zoey comes over to her Dad, and he gives her a big hug and a kiss on

the forehead. "You'll always be my little girl, you know."

Zoey – "Dad... I'm gonna go see Mom. Talk to you later Dad!" She opens the door to go outside to the

Residence.

POTUS – "Ok sweet heart. Have a great day. Love you!"

Zoey – right outside the Oval Office, she yells back, "I love you too Daddy!"

SS Agent – into his sleeve "Bookbag is on her way to the Residence." The agent shuts the door behind

Zoey.

POTUS – yelling out, "What's next Mrs. Landingham?"

Mrs. Landingham - entering the Oval Office "Well Sir, there are a few public interest groups that are

requesting some time with you Sir..."

POTUS – "That's fine. Can you call the residence kitchen for me? I need the chili stuff today." She nods.

8:33 p.m. That evening.

Sam walks up to his door, puts the key in the lock, and turns the key. He opens the door, and stops. He is

stunned by what he sees and hears. He sets his briefcase down on the floor, takes off his coat and

rests it on the couch. We can hear the sounds of soft classical music coming from the CD player. In

the living room we now see candles lit on the Dining Room Table, and in a few other places in the room.

A small fire is lit in the fireplace in front of the couch. There are beautifully arranged spring flowers in

a vase on the mantel of the fireplace; something that Sam never does, he can't ever be bothered. At the

dining room table, we see that it is set beautifully; china, crystal glasses, the preparations for what he

can sense is going to be a wonderful evening. Melody walks in to the dining room area from the kitchen

with two small bowls filled with salad, and sets them on the table, one at each place setting. She retreats

from the table to take a look at her arrangement. She goes to one of the place settings are re-arranges the

napkin, which is not folded to her liking. She looks up and gasps. She sees Sam standing in the living room

with a stunned look on his face.

Melody – "You nearly scared me to death – I didn't hear you come in."

Sam – "Sorry. What's this?"

Melody – "Well, I went shopping today, after realizing that you had nothing in your fridge, and I thought

that I would make dinner. Sort of a thanks for being my friend thing."

Sam – still stunned "You didn't have to do this."

Melody – "I wanted to."

Sam – "I mean – you really didn't have to do all this. This was a lot of work."

Melody – "Actually, the most strenuous thing was opening that fireplace flue. That was a pain in the butt."

Sam – "Ya, it gets stuck sometimes. Wow. I really am blown away." With a chuckle, "I didn't know

this place could look so nice."

Melody – "Well, have a seat. Are you hungry?" She walks into the kitchen while Sam pours the wine into

the glasses.

Sam – "I'm starving. What did you make, it smells delicious."

Melody – "Only your favorites."

Sam – "And what would that be?"

Melody – "You don't know? You used to be able to tell what was cooking just from the aroma."

Sam – "Stressful day I guess – my sniffer is a little off."

Melody – appearing from the kitchen with a plate in each hand. Sam smiles while she attempts her best

French accent "Well, for starters, we have a mixed green salad with a balsamic vinaigrette, which

you will find to the right of your place setting. Roasted Breast of Chicken, marinated in an

Orange-Cranberry juice, stuffed with mushrooms, wild rice and fresh herbs," she places a plate at

Sam's plate where he is now sitting "the chef's famous garlic whipped potatoes, and fresh

steamed Green Beans with shallots, sesame seeds and a little sprig of mint."

Sam – looking up at her as she walks to her place and sits. "I don't eat this well at State Dinners!"

Melody – in her normal voice "I doubt that. Then for desert we have the all American – wait for it...

Apple Pie."

Sam – "You are too much." Raising his wine glass "You know, I write speeches and toasts at work, but

this one is off the top of my head. To friendship, the kind that you would do anything for."

Melody – raising her glass "To friendship." They both sip from their glasses. "Bon Apetit."

Sam – "This looks delicious." The phone rings. Sam, pushing his chair back from the table motions to

Melody to stay seated. "I'll get it – you relax." He picks up the phone. "Hello. (pause) Hey

C.J., what's up? (pause) Oh that's right. I totally forgot. I'll bring it in for you tomorrow.

(pause) What do you need it for? (pause) Oh really? (pause) That's news to me. (pause) Ok –

I'll put it in my briefcase tonight. (pause) You too, goodnight." He hangs up the phone. "Remind

me that I have to put my Pirates of Penzance film in my case tonight before I go to sleep."

Melody – "Sam, you need to..."

Sam – "Funny. Very funny."

Melody – "Why do you need to take that to work?"

Sam – "Well, apparently the President wants to use the film to unveil the present that he and the First

Lady got for Zoey at her party. She took Intro to Cinema in college. Apparently she is into

Gilbert and Sullivan and 'Pirates' is her favorite production."

Melody – "She has excellent taste."

Sam – "Speaking of which, this is delicious. Anyway, C.J. was asked by the President to find a copy of

the film version, and the word got out about me knowing about 'Pirates', and she asked if I could

bring her a copy for the party on Saturday."

Melody – "They got her a VCR?"

Sam - "I know it's something electronic – but I don't know for sure. Something tells me though, that we

are going to be watching that movie on Saturday night."

Melody – "There's nothing wrong with that. I did go shopping by the way. I found a beautiful dress."

Sam - "Let's see it!"

Melody – "ABSOLUTELY NOT! If this is supposed to be a 'date' you're not going to see it until

Saturday. Besides, it's not here."

Sam - with a confused look on his face "Huh?"

Melody – "I explained to the clerk the basics of the situation, you know, about how nosy you can be? She

said that I could leave it in the backroom of the shop. Besides, I made an appointment to get my

hair done – and I can pick up the dress on the way back."

Sam – "I am not nosy."

Melody – "Yes, you are."

Sam – "No, I'm not."

Melody – with a smirk "You know the phrase 'Nosy Parker?" It was going to be officially changed to

Nosy Seaborn."

Sam - conceding defeat, and with a smile on his face "Let's just enjoy this, ok?"

Melody – "I think we've found something to agree on."

Sam - getting a little serious "We agree on a lot of things – I think we just don't realize it." There is a

moment of nervous tension as Sam looks at Melody. She can feel his stare, and looks up at him

quickly, locks eyes with him for a quick second, then looks back down at her plate.

Melody – after looking at her plate for a moment she says softly "Sam."

Sam - realizing that he needs to change the subject, he quickly says "Well, at least tell me the color of

the dress. You can tell me that can't you?"

Melody – she looks up at him and smiles.

 

2:34 a.m. the next morning. Sam's Living Room.

We see the living room in darkness, except the 'snow' covering the TV screen. From this we can

conclude that Sam has fallen asleep on the couch while watching movies. We hear noises made in

sleep coming from the bedroom. We can see Melody tossing and turning in bed; obviously having a

nightmare of some sort. The sound of the 'snow' on the TV wakes Sam up from his uncomfortable

sleeping position and throws off the blankets. He turns off the TV, runs his hands through his hair,

then turns his head towards the sound coming from the bedroom. He can hear Melody in a muffled

voice saying "No, no, no." He knows what she is dreaming about. He gets up from the couch and

goes into the bedroom. He sits on the opposite side of the bed from her so as not to scare her, and

gently rests his hand on her shoulder.

Sam – "Mel..." No response, she is in a deep sleep. He tries rubbing her shoulder gently. Still she

doesn't wake. Suddenly, she sits upright, eyes wide open, sweat slowly dripping down from her

forehead, and trying to catch her breath. "Mel, it's ok. It was just a dream."

Melody – "Sam, it was awful. It was just awful." She starts to cry. Sam hands her a tissue.

Sam - "Here, you lie back, I'll get a cloth for your forehead."

Melody – "Thanks."

Sam - He returns with a cool cloth and wipes her forehead for her. He tries to ease her stress, "When

I've had bad dreams, I can never get back to sleep if I'm all sweaty."

Melody – "Thanks. Would you do me a favor?"

Sam - "Sure. Anything." She reaches for the blankets on the bed in an attempt to straighten them out.

"You want me to fix these for you? Sure."

Melody – stopping Sam, still in a sort of sleepy voice she says, "No. If you wouldn't mind, would you stay

in here with me? I just need to feel safe. You make me feel safe."

Sam - He is truly touched by this request. Trying very hard not to show his happiness, and failing

miserably "Sure." He slips in the bed beside her and pulls up the covers. He puts his arm over the

blankets, and wraps his arm around Melody's waist, pulling her a little closer. She takes her hand

out of the covers and pulls Sam's arm around her, holding him close. She closes her eyes and lets

out a deep, heartfelt sigh of relief. Sam smiles, kisses her on the back of the head, then shuts his

eyes.

1:30 p.m., Friday Afternoon. Josh's Office.

Josh – yelling out from behind his desk, "Donna!"

Donna – "You bellowed, oh Master."

Josh – "Geez – I didn't know you were into that. Had I known I would've..."

Donna – cutting him off "What do you want?"

Josh – "What are you doing tomorrow night?"

Donna – "Why?"

Josh – "Never answer a question with another question. It's bad grammar."

Donna – "Saying bad grammar is grammatically incorrect, oh intelligent one. Why did you ask?"

Josh – "Good Lord, Donna – I don't need the 3rd degree!"

Donna – "Well then, I guess you won't know what I'm doing tomorrow, will you."

Josh – "Why, do you have a hot date and you don't want to tell me about it? Are you scared that I'm

gonna do something to sabotage your evening?"

Donna – "Your saboteur acts are hardly deserving of my fear, Joshua."

Josh – "Don't make me beg, Donna." She stands with her arms folded, tapping her toe. "Ok – come on

– tell me."

Donna – "I love to see you squirm, you know."

Josh – pleading with her "I know, and it's killing me. Come on."

Donna – relinquishing her stance of power "For your information, Mr. Lyman, I plan on going to

Blockbuster, renting my favorite DVD, and sitting home, alone, drinking beer."

Josh – in shock "You made me beg for that?"

Donna – "And I loved every minute of it. You know it could have been avoided if you had told me why

you asked in the first place."

Josh – "For your information Miss Moss, I was going to ask you if you wanted to come with me to

Zoey's party tomorrow night, but seeing as you have plans I'll have to find someone else."

Donna – "Fine by me. Have a good time."

Josh – surprised by her non-chalante attitude about it, he stands in his office and watches her walk out. "Fine. I will!"

Donna – "Fine."

Josh - to himself as he walks into his office, "Damn her."

3:36 p.m. Sam's Apartment.

Melody is scurrying around the apartment getting all her new purchases ready for the 'Big Date' tomorrow.

The phone rings but as per Sam's suggestion she lets it ring, and waits to hear the voice on the answering machine.

Sam – heard on the answering machine "Mel, it's me. If you're there, pick up."

Melody – running to the phone, she picks up the receiver "Hey – what's up?"

Sam – heard only through the phone "Josh, Toby and I were thinking of shooting hoops after work in the

Back Lot at the White House. I wondered if you would like to come."

Melody – "Will I be the only girl there? That would feel weird."

Sam – "Well, I could probably get Donna to come – she's Josh's assistant, and she loves to show him up.

Wanna come?"

Melody – "Sure. I can wear your sweats, right?"

Sam – "Like you have to ask. I'll see you in a tonight."

8:46 p.m. The White House Back Lot.

Toby, Josh, Sam, Donna and C.J. have changed into their sweats and are ready to play. From inside the

White House we can hear the Village People blaring booming from a portable stereo. We see, from

inside the White House, a hand opening a door, then the door shutting loudly. Everyone stops dead in his or her tracks.

Sam – "Hey Mel. It's about time. I was beginning to wonder if you were coming or not."

Melody – "Sorry, got engrossed in work, and then the driver got stuck on Dupont. Please tell me that this

music is not yours."

Donna – motioning to Josh "Actually, its nimrod's. Hi - I'm Donna. This is C.J."

C.J. – "Hi there. Glad you could join us."

Melody – "Hi. Thanks for the invite."

Sam – taking her to Toby "This is the illustrious Toby Ziegler. Toby, this is my friend Melody Burns."

Toby – "It's a pleasure Miss."

Melody – "Please, its Melody. The pleasure is all mine."

Donna – "Melody, come on over for a sec." The three ladies stand together for a minute, then Donna

announces "OK – we've got it for 3 on 3. Teams are the winners, which would of course be

Melody, C.J. and I vs. you three."

Melody – to Donna "You know, I like you already."

Donna – "Hey – us women have to stick together."

Josh – to Sam "I told you to keep her away from Donna. They're plotting against us."

Sam – "Well, they are our competition this round."

Melody – "Can someone tell me, how do we determine who gets the ball first?"

Josh – "Well, in Basketball it's called a tip-off. Two people stand in the middle and the one that 'tips' the

ball to the other side or grabs it, gets it first."

Melody – "The floor must get wet with all that dribbling."

Josh – in disbelief to Sam and Toby "This is going to be so easy." Sam raises his eyebrows at Josh, then

Josh continues. "Dribbling is what it's called when you bounce the ball up and down."

Melody – "Well why don't they just call it bouncing the ball then?"

Josh – "Let's just play then. I call first tip."

Melody – "Then so do I."

Josh – "Before we start – losers buy dinner. Deal?"

Melody – sticking out her hand to shake Josh's "Wait a sec. The winners of this part here, or of the whole

game? How many innings are there in this game anyway?"

Josh – "The winners of the whole game, and there are 4 quarters in Basketball."

Melody – "So, if we, the ladies win, you, Josh, have to buy everyone dinner. And if we, the ladies lose,

then I, Melody, have to buy everyone dinner, right?"

Sam – "I don't think that's such a good idea Mel."

Donna – "Neither do we."

Josh – "Sure it is. Sounds good to me. Deal?"

Melody – "Deal." Toby, being the authority figure in the group gets to the middle of the court surface.

Toby – "Now, let's play nicely here children." With that, he throws the ball up into the air. Josh and

Melody, with a single motion, jump into the air. Melody grabs the ball in one swoop and

dribbles the ball up court, past Josh, past Sam and around Toby to make the perfect lay-up shot.

Melody – With a chest pass to Josh who is standing in disbelief "Oh – I think I forgot to tell you,"

pointing to herself "State Champions my Senior Year of High School." Donna and C.J. shout in

excitement and there are high-fives all around. A booming voice calls out... "Why did no one tell

me there was a game on tonight?"

All – dropping what they're doing and looking up to the Residence window "Mr. President."

POTUS – "Zoey's gone out – any room for an old guy and his wife?"

Toby – "Certainly Sir."

Melody – aside to Sam "I always thought that the President was supposed to be uptight and cranky."

Sam – trying to contain his laughter "Only when he's in a room full of Republicans." Toby laughs a little

bit, but tries to hide it. "I do believe that Toby just laughed."

C.J. – "No way!"

Josh – "Way!"

A moment goes by, then the door of the White House bursts open.

All – "Good evening (Mr. President), (Sir)"

Melody – to Sam "Is there some type of protocol that I don't know about?"

Sam – back to Melody with a smile "Don't let him lose by too much."

POTUS – to Melody who is now obviously a little nervous as this is her first time meeting the President. "I

don't believe We have had the pleasure."

Sam – to the President "Sir, may I introduce to you my friend Melody Burns. Melody, the President and

The First Lady, Mrs. Bartlet."

POTUS – extending his hand "It's a pleasure to meet you Melody."

Melody – also extending her hand "The pleasure is mine, Sir."

1st Lady – "It's a pleasure."

Melody – "Likewise, Ma'am."

POTUS – sensing her nervousness, he puts her at ease. Smiling, and with a jovial tone in his voice "It must

not be easy to have him as a friend." Giving Sam a punch in the arm "It sure as hell isn't easy

working with him."

Toby – "Amen, Sir."

Sam – "Thank you, Sir. I think."

Melody – "That was funny, Mr. President. Sam is a very good friend though."

1st Lady – Taking a genuine interest in getting to know her says, "Where did you two meet?"

Sam – "At school Ma'am."

Melody – "Yes, Sam and I have known each other for years."

1st Lady – "And what brings you to our neck of the woods?"

Melody – "The I'm talking to the First Lady of the United States answer to that would be 'Just for the party

tomorrow night.' The real one would be that I was actually doing some research at the State

Department Library this week."

1st Lady – with a genuine smile, "Well we're glad you can stay to join us tomorrow."

POTUS – "Absolutely. Any information you need we'll make sure you get. Now – who is winning this

game?"

Donna – "That would be the ladies' team, Sir."

POTUS – "Ah, I see – the clash of the Titans. Well, as in life, choose your allies carefully Abigail."

1st Lady – "Jed, be nice." Walking towards the group of ladies, "How are we doing at this game ladies?"

Donna – "Well Mrs. Bartlet, without bragging, we're killing them. Josh is going to have to buy dinner for

all of us. That was the bet."

1st Lady – "Good. I'm glad to hear it. Those men get too high on their own merits sometimes, and it's up

to us women to, pardon the pun, beat them at their own game as it were. You are all coming

tomorrow night, right?"

POTUS – "Look at that. We can't let them plot against us. This is what we should do." The men go into a

huddle.

1st Lady – "No thermo-nuclear war strategies Josiah."

POTUS – from the huddle, "Damn!" A few seconds go by. "Ok – let's get this show on the road." The

President and Mrs. Bartlet get the tip off, and, of course, the First Lady wins. They continue to

play ball as they fade into black.

11:46 p.m., the same night. The Mess.

The members of the 'Unofficial White House NBA' are relaxing, having coffee and muffins. Melody

and the President are sitting at a table talking quietly. He is interested in getting to know her better.

Melody – "That's true. You know, it's strange, Mr. President, but until now, I had you figured all wrong."

POTUS – "How so?"

Melody – "May I have permission to be blunt, and to not get extradited for the comment I am about to

make?"

POTUS – "Remember who I am. I'm sure I've been labeled as worse than what you thought of me."

Melody – "Well Sir, I always thought, what I mean is, well, what I really want to say is..."

Sam – who just happened to be walking by at the appropriate time says "What she meant to say Sir, was

that she thought that Presidents were supposed to be uptight and cranky." To Melody, "Is that

about right?"

Melody – with her head sinking into her hands "Oh dear God."

POTUS – with a smirk "Well Samuel, she would be right. I am uptight and I am cranky. However, it

is most often when I am in a room full of hot-headed Republicans "

Sam – "Some more coffee, Mr. President?"

POTUS – "No thanks, Sam. I'm off to bed." Everyone stands as the President gets up from his chair.

"Good night everyone. I'm outta here."

All - "Good Night (Mr. President), (Sir)."

Melody – The President leaves the Mess and the Secret Service Agent follows closely behind. As soon as

the door closes behind the President, she smacks Sam on the arm. "Way to go dingus. Now

he's going to think I hate him."

Josh – looking at Sam "Dingus? That's a new one."

Melody – "It's a long story."

Donna – from across the room "Hey Melody, can I use that one sometime? I think it's perfect for Josh."

Melody – "Be my guest, the English language is free."

Josh – "What exactly does it mean?"

Donna – "Look in the mirror. What do you see? That's a dingus."

Melody – "Sam, do you wanna get going? You're looking tired."

Sam – "If you're having fun, we'll stay. Don't worry about me."

Melody – "That's not what I asked. I asked if you were tired."

Sam – trying to conceal a yawn "No."

Melody – "Nice try. Let's get going."

Sam – He gets Melody's coat and helps her on with it. He gets his coat, and to everyone sitting in the

Mess he says "Well guys, we're off too. We'll see you tomorrow."

Josh – " 'Night guys."

Donna – getting up from her chair and walking over to Melody she gives her a hug "It was so nice to meet

you." She leans in to whisper something in Melody's ear. Donna pulls away and looks at her, "OK?"

Melody – with a smile, "You got it. Have fun tomorrow night." To the table where everyone is, she says

"C.J., Toby, it was lovely meeting you. I'll see you tomorrow."

C.J. – "You too. We'll see you then." She gets up to walk over to Melody.

Toby – "Have a good night you two."

Sam - Walks to the door and with his right hand holds it open for Melody, as C.J. gives her a quick hug

goodbye. Sam waves to them with his left hand "Good night." Melody walks through the door,

then his left hand guides her through the door, and then his right hand closes the door behind

them.

Sam – "He's one lucky guy."

Donna – under her breath "He's not the only one." We can tell Josh is thinking about whether or not he

should comment. He chooses not to, and gets a Cheshire cat grin on his face. "What?"

Josh – with a smirk. "Nothing, Donna."

12:53 a.m., Sam's apartment.

Sam is walking around in his P.J.'s as he enters the bedroom. He has already showered, and

is waiting patiently for Melody finish. There is music playing in the C.D. player from the bedroom.

The song playing is 'When I Fall In Love' from the Sleepless in Seattle Soundtrack. We hear the

sound of water running from the shower in the bathroom, and we can see steam coming from under

the door. Sam picks up the C.D. case and starts to read the insert. Suddenly, the tap in the shower

gets turned off, and we hear the shower curtain get pulled back.

Melody – "Man – there's a lot of steam in here. Whew!"

Sam – "Just open the door a bit – that'll fix it." Melody opens the door a bit, and steam comes wafting

out of the bathroom. "Man – it's a monsoon in there!" The steam begins to clear, and we see

Melody dressed in Sam's P.J. top, with a towel tucked and wrapped neatly around her hair. He

sits on the edge of the bed and watches her for a minute with a blank look on his face. She turns

out the light in the bathroom, and enters into the bedroom. He shakes himself out of his stare,

hopefully in time for her not to notice, but she knows what has just happened. He looks up at

her as she walks toward him. "The bed's all ready for you. Do you need anything?"

Melody – in a very gentle voice, "Sam."

Sam – almost questioning her. "Ya."

Melody – she takes the towel out of her hair and throws it on the chair beside the bed. "Sam."

Sam – sensing the tension, he stands up and meets her by the chair. "Yes."

Melody – she lowers her head, almost in very definite gesture of shyness "This is going to sound stupid,

almost as stupid as what I thought of the President."

Sam – Raising his right finger to her chin, he tilts her head back up where he leans towards her and gives

her a very gentle, sweet kiss, which could make the hardest heart in the world melt like soft butter.

A tear starts to fall down her cheek. "Let's not rush this. We've waited for this for more than 13

years, it should be perfect. It's not the right time yet. Mel, I don't want to rush this."

Melody – quietly, she says, "Stay here with me."

Sam – looking at her with a gentleness that can not be explained "There's no where else I would want to

be."

To Be Continued.

Questions, Comments, Criticism? Email me at jillianbarry@hotmail.com

 

Hanging By A Thread - 3

 

 

 

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