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!)

 

"The House Warming- Part 3"

Synopsis: A continuation of the "Hanging By A Thread" stories. Sam gets in trouble and has to deal with a dose of reality, the President gets up from his chair too fast and gets light headed – or is it an 'episode', Donna and Josh go for dinner at Sam and Melody's place

 

Comments: I thrive on them! Please – send me emails and tell me what you think!

 

Notes: Thanks to Dani for her help with the time-line of recovery for Sam's injuries! There is a song in this story that is mentioned a few times, and will be mentioned in other installments. There is a link to the lyrics in the first part of this story. The lyrics of this song really add to the drama in this story, and add to its effectiveness. Enjoy.

 

Rating: PG to PG 13 (probably) – there are some innuendoes, but nothing rude.

7:46 a.m. Wednesday Morning

There are a lot of things happening in this part, so please bear with me as I try and describe them for you. The song "Love Rescue Me" by U2 begins playing before anything is seen. The music stays at the same level through this whole 'scene' as there is no dialogue, just action. The lyrics that are heard are written in bold type and italics with the actions we see below them.

 

Love rescue me, Come forth and speak to me. Raise me up and don't let me fall

No man is my enemy, My own hands imprison me, Love rescue me.

We see nothing for the first 10 seconds or so of music, as the 'screen' is black, and all we hear is music. We gradually begin to see what is happening. While there is still the introduction music in the song we see Sam and Melody, walking down the hallway of their home, they are just getting up. Sam wants to walk faster, and we can see the impatient look on his face. He is dressed for work, and Melody is holding on to him for support as they slowly walk down the hall. They talk to each other, but we can't hear the words they are saying to each other. They reach the stairs, and Sam winces as he takes the first step, then they continue down the stairs as the scenes merge.

 

Many strangers have I met, On the road to my regret. Many lost who seek to find themselves in me.

They ask me to reveal, The very thoughts they would conceal, Love rescue me.

The previous scene has been blended into this one to reveal Toby, who is sitting at his desk, typing at his computer. He looks into space for a second or two with his eyes shut, collecting his thoughts, then he returns to his computer and continues typing.

 

And the sun in the sky makes a shadow of you and I, Stretching out as the sun sinks in the sea.

I'm here without a name in the palace of my shame, Love rescue me.

The previous scene has been blended into this one. We see Leo standing at his desk with file folders stacked 20 deep on the top. We can tell he's frustrated. He picks up one, looks at it, then puts it down in another spot. He repeats this process a few times, then he yells for Margaret – but we can only see his lips moving as he yells her name. She comes in. He is asking her for a particular file. She walks to the filing cabinet, pulls it out and hands it to him. He sheepishly mouths "Thank you." He sits back down in his chair, and we can't see him any more – he is behind the piles of folders.

 

In the cold mirror of a glass, I see my reflection pass, I see the dark shades of what I used to be.
I see the purple of her eyes, The scarlet of my lies, Love rescue me.

The previous scene blends into this one, where we see the reporters in the Press Room. Danny is talking on the phone. He turns his head and sees C.J. waiting for him to get off the phone. He motions for her to wait one second, then he gets off the phone and walks with C.J.

 

And the sun and the sky makes a shadow of you and I, Stretching out as the sun sinks in the sea.

I'm hanging by my thumbs, I'm ready for whatever comes, Love rescue me.

C.J. and Danny are seen walking past Josh's bullpen, to C.J.'s office, and we can tell they are talking on the way.

 

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow, Yet I will fear no evil.

I have cursed thy rod and staff, They no longer comfort me, Love rescue me.

 

The scenes blend together, and see POTUS and Charlie at Mrs. Landingham's desk. They are looking over the President's schedule for the day. POTUS and Charlie walk back into the Oval Office. Charlie closes the door.

 

Sha la la, sha la la, Sha la la, sha la la

During the musical part in the middle of the song, we are taken from the door of the Oval Office, through the Yellow Hall, through the Roosevelt Room, past the Communications Bullpen going towards Josh's office. This whole time, we see people walking back and forth, saying hi to each other. People getting coffee, talking to each other, general things that would go on in an office. We get to Josh's office.

 

I've conquered my past, The future is here at last, I stand at the entrance, To a new world I can see

The ruins to the right of me, Will soon have lost sight of me, Love rescue me.

We see Josh, working at his desk, then he looks up at the doorway. Donna is standing in the doorway to his office, tapping her watch. She gets his shirt that "all the girls think he looks hot in" and hands it to him. She holds up her hand to indicate the amount of time left to get ready. We can see her mouth "Let's go. 5 minutes." The music fades out.

1:43 p.m. The White House, Josh's Office

Toby, Sam and Josh are standing in his office, discussing his recent meeting with the Gun Control Lobbyists. They are talking about Josh's responses to their questions.

Josh – "I'm telling you, that's what I said to them."

Sam – "I can not fathom that you would make that sort of a response Joshua. You don't talk like that."

Toby – "That's the kind of response that I would expect from someone like C.J., not from you."

Josh – "Hey now. Don't compare me to her. I am nothing like C.J."

Sam – "Well duh. All I can say is that I'm very shocked."

Josh – "What, you didn't think I had it in me?" They shake their heads. "You didn't think I could be

nice to a bunch of gun control freaks?" They shake their heads. Josh fakes outrage, with a smile

"That hurts me right here." He pats his hand on his chest.

Sam – giving Josh a swat on the arm "Smart ass. I think that's great though. They were receptive to the

proposals?"

Josh – "Ya."

Toby – "All of them?"

Josh – "Well, they weren't to pleased when I told them that the President had other more pressing issues

on the plate right now, and that he would get to this issue when he could. That sparked a little

fury, but suave, debonair Joshua Lyman that we all know and love, was able to calm the stormy

waters."

Sam – to Toby "I think I'm gonna be sick."

Toby – "You're not the only one."

Melody is seen walking down the hall with a folder in her hand. She knocks on Sam's office door, no answer. She walks in,

there is no one there. She walks to Cathy's desk.

Melody – "Hi Cathy. Have you seen Sam lately?"

Cathy – "Hey there. I think he and Toby are in Josh's office, but I'm not too sure. I can call there if you

want."

Melody – "It's ok. I have to head there myself anyway. Thanks."

Cathy – "No problem."

Melody walks towards Josh's office. She approaches Donna's desk to say hi, but she is not there. She glances at the

glass that separates her office from Josh's. She sees Toby and Josh standing in the middle of the office and Sam,

standing there with them, without his cane. She decides to stand outside the closed office door and listen to what's

going on. She hears the following...

Josh – "I know that Toby, but the proposition was not going to go through anyway. It's not like I was

telling them a lie or anything."

Toby – "But you should have handled that differently Josh, you know better."

Sam – "Toby, this is Josh we're talking about."

Toby – "True. Josh, I talked with the President about this on Saturday, and he told me that the reason why

he wanted you to do this was so that you would learn to listen to people before you went shooting

your mouth off at them. Don't you think that this is going to get to Press, then you'll have C.J.

after you, not to mention all the people on Capitol Beat breathing down your neck? When are you

going to learn?"

Josh – sheepishly he says "I thought I did good."

Sam – "As far as Josh Lyman goes, you did. But for the President, I don't think so. He's going to want

to talk to you about this one Josh."

Josh – wining "But Sam..."

Toby – "But nothing. You did most of what you were requested to, and then you screwed up at the end.

Josh, when will you ever learn?"

Josh – "I told you Toby, that proposal was ludicrous and there was no way that what they wanted would

 

ever pass first reading anyway."

Toby – "You should have said something different Josh. Anyway, I have to see Leo. I have to go." Melody hears

Toby approaching the door, and she stands in the doorway to make sure that she is seen as the door opens. Toby

opens the door. "Good Lord. You scared the hell out of me."

Melody – who is very angry at this point, and has raised her voice enough so that many people have

gathered to hear this speech. "Good. I'm glad. I can't believe you three. I don't care who either

of you are two are, or what your positions in this country's administration are either. You profess

to be Sam's friends. Friends care about other friends. And I know for a fact, Joshua Lyman, that

you have been teasing Sam about using his cane. Well that is going to stop, right now."

Sam – looking apologetic "Look Mel, I..."

Melody – holding her hand up to him "Save it. I've had it with this crap you try and dish out. If you want

to jeopardize your recovery, by specifically doing what the Doctor told you not to, then that's

your own fault. Not mine. I guess that my help isn't needed here any more, so I'm getting out of

here to cool off, because I fear that I may say something to either or you three that I will regret in

the future. You can get home by yourself. I'm leaving." As she leaves the doorway, she turns to

look at Josh and Toby.

Sam – "But what about my physio tonight? How am I gonna get there?"

Melody – with utter frustration in her eyes and her voice she looks at him and says "Public Transit is a

wonderful thing Samuel. You have proven that you have sufficiently recovered, so you can

bloody well get there on your own." She looks at Josh and Toby with a very disappointed look.

"You two can rest assured that you'll have to deal with me later..." pointing to Sam "...I have to

figure out how to deal with this one first." Those who have gathered to hear this applaud her as

she walks very quickly towards Sam's office. Sam, Toby and Josh watch her walk past Josh's

office. The only word spoken is from Sam.

Sam – "Damn."

8:43 p.m. Sam and Melody's house. Melody puts the key in the front door and we see her enter, alone. She sets her

briefcase down, and switches the lights on. She hangs up her coat in the closet, then heads into the living room. She

pours herself a drink from the bar, then picks up her briefcase, turns off the lights and heads upstairs.

9:23 p.m. Melody is sitting in bed, P.J.'s on, with official White House folders strewn over the comforter. The radio

is on, and we hear the D.J. talking. Throughout the speech, Melody is propped up on pillows, reading from one of

the folders. We see some of the pieces of paper that are on the bed, have graphs, charts, and statistics on them.

We can gather that these sheets are the results from the health issues poll that they were conducting for the President.

D.J. – "It's almost 9:30 in the Nation's Capitol. Continuing with the softer music for the evening, we

have a special song up. This one is by one of the beauties of Country Music, Faith Hill. Enjoy it

folks."

We hear the song "When You Cry" by Faith Hill playing on the radio. We hear, from the main floor of the house,

the sound of keys in the door. Melody drops her file folder in her lap, then looks towards the door of the bedroom.

The front door opens. "Mel? Are you home?"

Melody – relieved, but barely above a whisper "Good. He's home."

Sam – his voice is heard from downstairs. "Mel? Where are you?" She doesn't respond. "All these

 

bloody lights are off and I can't see anything." Something crashes downstairs, and Melody's body

gets tense. She sits upright in bed with a look of panic on her face, but resists the urge to run

down the stairs and help him. He is frustrated. "Good lord Melody, I know you're home. I can

see the bedroom light on and I can hear the radio. Are you going to come and help me up these

godforsaken stairs?" She doesn't respond. She starts to get teary as she knows the pain he is in

going up and down stairs, but she wants him to do this himself. "If I fall down and break the other

hip it's on your conscience." She drops her head down into her hands, runs her hands over her

face. We can see the stress that is in her face – she listens to him stumble up the stairs. Every step

up that he takes is accompanied by a "Damn it" or a "God that hurts." She decides to lean her

head back against the headboard, and close her eyes, so Sam thinks she is asleep. She hears him

reach the top of the stairs. He breathes a sigh of relief then says out loud so she can hear "I made

it up, just in case you were wondering." She smiles. She hears his limp coming down the hall.

The music is still playing in the background, and Sam reaches the bedroom door. While he looks

at the floor, he leans on the bedroom door frame. "Ok. You've made your point. I know I can't

do this on my own." Melody doesn't move. "Are you listening? I'm saying I admit defeat, you

are the victor." She still doesn't move. Quietly, he says to him self "Maybe she is asleep. It

sure looks like she is." He hobbles over to the bed, and Melody can hear there is a third bump

hitting the floor.

Melody – thinking "He is using it. Yes!"

Sam – who has now reached the bed, sits down very slowly, and leans against his arm for support. He

starts to clear away the papers and files from the bed as he speaks. He speaks quietly "Mel, I

know that you will probably be able to hear me in some form, even though you're asleep. You

always have that ability to know what I'm thinking and how I feel. Well, this time I'm just gonna

tell you. You're right. I'm wrong. It's the lawyer in me that makes me not want to admit defeat,

but I have to this time. I can't get through this without you. Hell, just getting up those bloody

stairs was challenge enough. God, I can't even get into the tub without help." Melody has to

work hard to hold back her tears at this point. She knows this is difficult for him to do. "I am

indebted to you, really I am. You take care of me, when I know that no one else would. You put

up with my crappy and defiant attitudes, and I don't know why. I know that you have my best

interests at heart, and I love you for that." He has finished gathering the file folders that he can

reach from his sitting place, and is now sitting on the side of the bed, looking at the floor. Melody

looks at him from the corner of her eye. Then she shuts it again quickly. "I don't know where my

pain meds were today, but I really needed them. Maybe Josh took them on me as a prank, but I

could hardly function it was so bad. Then there was physio, which almost killed me. Getting out

of a cab was hard enough, even using this stupid wussy cane. If you can ever forgive me for being

such a colossal pain in the ass, I promise to use this stupid thing..."

Melody – "I took them."

Sam – looking up at her "Huh?"

Melody – opening her eyes to look at him "I took your pain meds."

Sam – almost getting pissed off at her "Why would you do that? You know I need to take them every 8

hours."

Melody – "You also needed to be using your cane, and you weren't, so I took it upon myself to see that you

had nothing. It's called tough love dear."

Sam – "Why didn't you come and help me with the stairs?"

Melody – "Again, it's tough love. You need to see for yourself that you are not superhuman lawyer-man,

that you have weaknesses just like the rest of us mortals." She sits up to look at him face to face.

She raises her hand to his face, and gently runs her finger along his jaw line. "Samuel, I don't

want you to think for a moment that I didn't want to jump out of this bed and run down there and

carry you up those 'godforsaken' stairs if I could. You needed to realize that you need to do what

you're told to by your doctor. I am only being the enforcer, and if your friends think that makes

me a bitch, then so be it. I'm not about to jeopardize the health of the man I love for the approval

of his friends."

Sam – realizing she's right "I know. I do appreciate everything you do for me, and I know it's only

because you care."

Melody – "Sam, if I didn't, I wouldn't wake up at 4:00 in the morning to run a bath for you. I wouldn't...

Sam – "You get up at 4 in the morning to run a bath for me? Why?"

Melody – "For a couple of reasons. Firstly, I know that you like to try to get to work early. You wake up

at about 4:30, and I run boiling hot water in the tub at 4. The water is perfect temperature for you

by the time you wake up and we get you in the tub. Secondly, I know it will take you a while to

get to where you need to go, so I do things 30 minutes to an hour ahead of time."

Sam – "You don't need to do all that for me, you know."

Melody – "I know I don't need to. But I do these things because I do care. If I didn't care, I wouldn't go

all over town driving you here and there to all your appointments, and I sure as hell wouldn't put

up with Joshua Lyman."

Sam – with a big smile. "Ya, he is an idiot, isn't he?"

Melody – "Yes, and I'll have you know that this afternoon, while you were thinking that I was deserting

you and that I left you to wallow in your own self-induced misery, I talked to C.J., Donna, Cathy,

Leo, the President and Mrs. Bartlet, all at different times. I told them that if there was ever an

instance that they saw you walking without your cane, that they should swat you upside the head,

and remind you that you are human, and that at this particular moment in time you have physical

limits and frailties. Mrs. Bartlet said that she would pop down periodically to check on you, as a

physician – not as the First Lady. That put me at ease right there. C.J. also told me that she

looked forward to the opportunity to swat you with my full permission, as did Donna and Cathy."

Sam – with a gentle smile "I can't believe you did that for me."

Melody – "I also had a little meeting with our friend Joshua, where I must say, the prosecuting attorney in

me shone like the North Star. I grilled him like a BBQ does a porterhouse." Sam laughs. "All he

could do was sit there and take it. It was wonderful."

Sam – "He has been careful around me this afternoon. He always made sure I had my cane with me."

Melody – "Good. I'm glad it worked. It's about time someone knocked some sense into that stubborn

man's head."

Sam – looking at her, and speaking directly "I'm sorry."

Melody – "So am I." She gives him a kiss on the forehead. "Let's get you in the tub and get you ready for

bed, ok?"

Sam – with a smile "Ok."

Melody – as she takes his arm to help him up from the bed "Did you have anything to eat yet?"

Sam – wincing as he stands up "I had some soup at about 5, other than that, no, it's hurt too today for me

to eat much of anything."

Melody – they slowly walk towards the bathroom "Sweetie, I'll get you something while you're in the tub,

then after your bath you'll have some tea and one of your pills. This is the one instance when you

can eat your dinner in bed, ok?"

Sam – with a smile "Yes Ma'am."

10:43 a.m. The White House. Josh's Office.

Josh is sitting at his desk, and Donna knocks at the door.

Josh – "Ya."

Donna – entering the office "This package just arrived for you Josh."

Josh – with a look of panic "Is this, like, an anniversary or something I missed?"

Donna – "Not that I know of – I didn't send this." She hands Josh a package that has a couple of holes in

the top.

Josh – "Huh? No one else gives me stuff."

Donna – "Well, open it then."

Josh – "Why are there holes in it?"

Donna – teasing him "Maybe it's from someone that hates you and they sent you a Kimodo Dragon to eat

your fingers one by one, then eat your toes, then eat your..."

Josh - 'That's quite enough, thanks." He unwraps the package with caution, especially after the vivid

mental picture he has in his head of a dragon eating his appendages. He opens the box and a

teddy bear is revealed, who is carrying a tiny American flag, a white flag and a purple tulip. He

holds it up for Donna to see.

Donna – "Aww. That's so cute. Is there a card?"

Josh – looking for one "I can't see one. Do you?"

Donna – pointing to the bottom of the box "Um, right there."

Josh – opening the envelope, he reads out loud. "Dear Joshua." He looks up at Donna "I know you sent

this, no one else but my mother calls me Joshua."

Donna – "I swear to you, it isn't from me."

Josh – "Dear Joshua. I know that you will be reading this in front of Donna, so I will try to be brief." He

looks up at her. "It really isn't from you." He looks back to the card. "I wanted to apologize for

yesterday. I was upset with the situation with Sam, and I took out my frustration on you a little

more, hell, a lot more than I should have. I can't believe this, but I actually told Sam that I grilled

you like a porterhouse." Donna and Josh laugh. "Anyway, I hope that you can take what I said

with a grain of salt, and know that I appreciate all the things that you do for us. You really are a

good friend, not only to Sam, but to me as well. Like I told you before, I worry way too much

about him, and I just need to know that he's ok when I'm not there with him. Have a great day

you two. Melody"

Donna – "Aww. That is so sweet. She's great."

Josh – "Here Donna, you can keep the Teddy Bear on your desk."

Donna – "Are you sure?"

Josh – "Ya. I'll keep the card in mine. You were mentioned in this letter too, you know."

Donna – "I think you should keep this. It might come in handy some day." Donna hands him the white

flag.

Josh – looking up at her with a smile "Smart ass. Don't you have some work to do or something?"

Toby is sitting in his chair at his desk, and is relaxing as he is reading from a sheet of obviously professional stationary.

Toby – (internally) "Dear Toby. I know that you are not one for anything mushy, so I will get right to the

point. I overstepped my bounds yesterday afternoon. I am not one of those who can not admit

when they are wrong, or that they have wronged someone else. I know that you care for Sam, as

do I, and that you had nothing to do with the fact that he was standing in Josh's office not using

his cane. I do appreciate the friendship that you two have, although I know you will never

publicly admit it, and I appreciate the fact that we have become friends over these past few

months. I respect and admire you, not only as a colleague, but as a friend, and hope that you can

accept my apology for my hideous outburst of anger yesterday. Again Toby, I ask for your

forgiveness as I sincerely apologize. Melody." Josh appears at Toby's door. He knocks, and

Toby looks up. "Ya."

Josh – "You got a minute?"

Toby – "Barely. What's up?"

Josh – "I'm just letting you know that I re-scheduled a meeting with the members of that Gun Control

Lobby, and I plan on apologizing to them for my outburst. It wasn't all that professional."

Toby – "That's a good idea."

Josh – "Ok." Josh turns to walk back to his office.
Toby – "Josh."

Josh – returning to the office "Ya."

Toby – "You did good."

Josh – "Thanks Toby." He gives Toby a smile, and Toby returns it. They understand that it was Toby's

way of apologizing. Toby returns to typing at his laptop, and Josh walks back to his office.

Sam's office.

Sam is on the phone, and is talking with Mrs. Landingham, about scheduling a meeting with the President about the results of the polls.

Sam – "Any time would really be good." (pause) "She would, yes." (pause) "I can call her about that

right now and let you know in a few minutes." (pause) "I'll call you right back. Talk to you

soon." He depresses the thing in the phone to end the call. He presses the line, dials 9, then calls

his house.

Melody – only heard on the phone "Hey there."

Sam – "Hey babe. Can you come in for about 12:30 today?"

Melody – "Sure, what's up?"

Sam – "The President would like to meet with us about those results."

Melody – "I'll be on my way in a bit, I'll meet you in your office, ok?"

Sam – "You got it." He depresses the hang up button on the phone, then dials Mrs. Landingham. He sees Donna

at his door and waves her into the office. "Hi Mrs. Landingham. 12:30 is good." (pause) "Ok,

we'll see him then. Bye." To Donna "What's up?"

Donna – "Josh and I wondered if you would like to come out with us for lunch today."

Sam – "As much as I would love to, I just made a meeting with Melody and the President for 12:30. I

wish I had known."

Donna – "Oh she's welcome to come too. We're not doing anything special, we're just going to sit outside

and have our lunch there. Between you and me, I don't think there's going to be too many nice

days like this left, and I want to enjoy them while they're here."

Sam – "Well, I promise you I will tell her about it. What time are you guys heading out?"

Josh – "Hey Sam."

Sam – "Hey buddy."

Donna – "Well, if you and Melody are for it, we can go when your meeting is over, right?"

Josh – "Ya-bsolutely. What did I just agree to?"

Donna – "Waiting for their meeting with the President to be over so we can all have lunch."

Josh – "Sure, sounds good. Hey Sam, do you have a minute?"

Sam – "Confidential?"

Josh – "Ya, I'm afraid so. Sorry Donna."

Donna – as she walks back to her office "I never get to hear any good stuff."

Sam – "Come on in, have a seat – just close the door for me, would ya?" Josh closes the door, then pulls

a chair up near Sam's desk.

Josh – "I need a favor. A big one."

Sam – looking at Josh like this is the most secret plan they have ever concocted "What?"

Josh – "I need help planning something."

Sam – with a grin "Oh. I see. For you know who."

Josh – "Exactly. Can you help?"

Sam – "When?"

Josh – "Now."

Sam – "Now?"

Josh – "Well, not for right now, but for Friday or Saturday."

Sam – "Barring any Emergencies of State, right?"

Josh – "Of course."

Sam – "Let me sleep on it. How much?"

Josh – "Huh?"

Sam – "Are we being cheap on this thing or are we going all out?"

Josh – "All out, dazzling, wow kinda thing."

Sam – "Let me sleep on it. We'll meet up tomorrow and discuss this in greater detail, ok?"

Josh – giving him a slap on the shoulder "You're the best." He gets up from the chair. "See ya."

Sam smiles at him, shakes his head, then goes back to typing on his computer.

12:57 p.m. The White House, Oval Office

POTUS, Leo, Sam and Melody are sitting on the couches in the middle of the Oval Office, and are discussing

the results of the polling that took place over the past 5 days.

Melody – "Sir, as I mentioned, Sam and I decided between ourselves, that in order to get the most accurate

results with this poll, that instead of going through the regular channels, that we would call during

different hours. We thought that his would result in a more detailed and accurate response to the

questions asked on the Public's behalf."

POTUS – "And did that prove to be the case?"

Sam – "Well, Sir, if you would look at the chart that is on page 3 of the folder, you will notice that the

general results of the poll were in the positive with 87.9% of the population believing that your

health is your business, no matter what. On the same note, there was only a 4.6% decline in those

numbers when the individuals were asked about your health declining. Meaning that 83.3% of

those polled believe that it is really none of their business what the state of your health is. I think

that no matter what issues may arise in the future Sir, that the general population of the American

people will be behind you."

POTUS – "Well, that is absolutely wonderful news." POTUS goes to stand up, and they all follow suit,

and Melody helps Sam stand by holding his arm to support him. POTUS stands in the middle of

the room for a moment, while the others wait for him to speak or move. He has a blank stare on

his face.

Leo – approaching his friend "Sir. Are you ok?"

POTUS - Aside to Leo "I need to see Abbey."

Leo – "Sit down Mr. President, please." Leo looks at Melody, then motions for her to call the residence

from the President's phone. She does. "You should sit down Sam, this may be a while."

Sam – with concern, as he carefully sits down "Are you alright Mr. President?"

POTUS – who is a little out of breath, but otherwise ok "Ya Sam. I think I just got up too fast."

Melody – returning to them with a glass of water with some ice for the President "Mr. President, the First

Lady is on her way down to see you Sir. She told me that you should have a glass of cold water,

she said that it's good if you get up too fast to drink something."

POTUS – accepting the glass from her "Thank you." He takes a sip and sees their worried looks. "I'm ok

guys, relax. I just got up a little too fast, that's all." To Melody – "Could you two see to it that

those figures get distributed to the appropriate people?"

Sam – "You've got it Sir."

POTUS – "Thanks. I think that's it then." Melody gives Sam her arm to hold on to as he gets up from the

couch.

Sam and Melody – "Thank you Mr. President, Sir." As they leave the office, Melody looks at Leo and

mouths the words "Is he going to be ok?" Leo nods his head and mouths "Yes." Melody nods in

recognition, then holds the door open for Sam.

1:27 p.m. The White House, North Lawn

Donna, Josh, Sam and Melody are sitting on one of the benches that are situated on the North Lawn. They are

eating their lunch, which Josh ordered for them while they were in their meeting with the President. They are

seated, L – R: Sam, Josh, Melody, Donna

Melody – "You know Donna, I don't think there are going to be too many more beautiful days like this, do

you?"

Donna – "I was just saying that to Sam this morning when I told him about lunch today. I love this time of

year – everything is so colorful."

Melody – "So do I. Guys, I have an idea. Would you both like to come over for dinner tonight?"

Donna – "Really?"

Melody – "Well, I wouldn't have asked if I didn't mean it Donna."

Josh – "No more Chef Boyardee! Woo Hoo!"

Sam – "What do we have to make anything with?"

Melody – "Well, there would be a catch."

Josh – fearing the worst "What would that be, exactly?"

Melody – motioning to Sam "You'd have to bring him with you."

Josh – "I think I can do that."

Melody – "And you have to eat your vegetables."

Josh – "This is an outrage! I have to eat fungus and green stuff? That's nasty."

Donna – leaning over and swatting him on the arm "Don't be such a baby. I think it would be lovely. Is

there anything we can bring for you?"

Melody – "Nope. I have to go out this afternoon and get some things anyway, so I'll pop by the market and

get the stuff I need."

Sam – "Do you have time to cook anything? I mean won't it take hours?"

Melody – "Sam, it only takes about 1 hour to cook the" making quotation marks in the air " 'thing with the

things on the thing.' I'll have plenty of time." Sam laughs, he remembers not remembering the

name for the dish. "Shoot. I can't use wine to marinade the meat."

Josh – "Why?"

Melody – "Sam's meds. I guess I can just use a white grape juice. I hope you like sparkling grape juice

you two. That should be ok, don't you think?"

Sam – leaning to her and giving her a kiss on the cheek "Anything you make will be delicious, I am sure

of that."

Melody – "Well, on that note of praise folks, I'll be off. Josh, thanks again for the invite to lunch – this

was really a nice idea." She stands up from the bench, and Josh stands, being polite.

Josh – "Just make sure that there's no porterhouse steaks on the menu for dinner tonight, ok?"

Melody – with a smile "Definitely. Donna, keep an eye on these two for me, ok? I don't trust them

together."

Donna – "Sure thing. Neither do I."

Josh – "Hey!"

Donna – "Is for horses." Melody walks towards Sam and sits on down on the bench beside him. "Josh,

let's give these two a minute, ok?"

Josh – "K."

Melody – "It's ok guys, I won't get all mushy." To Sam "I want you to be careful this afternoon, ok?"

Sam – "I will."

Melody – "Promise me, ok?"

Sam – "I promise."

Donna – raising her hand "WITNESS!" Everyone laughs.

Melody – giving him a kiss on the forehead. "Ok. Gotta go. I'll see you tonight, ok?"

Sam – "See ya babe."

Melody – "Bye guys."

Josh and Donna – "See ya."

Melody waves at them then walks towards the North Parking Lot. Donna, Josh and Sam finish eating their lunch,

enjoying the crisp autumn day.

7:36 p.m. Sam and Melody's house. The Dining Room.

Melody, as we see, as been very busy. She has set the table beautifully with pieces of china that were her mothers

and her grandmothers. Crystal glasses are at each place, with napkins impeccably folded. There are silver utensils

at each setting as well, with a vase of flowers on the small side table. There is a stand with a wine-chilling canister,

where we see a bottle of sparkling white grape juice chilling – just for Sam. There are candles lit in the sconces that

hang on the walls, and the room is filled with a very lovely and quiet ambience, one that is reflective of a hard day at

work, and the need to relax with good friends. Josh and Donna enter the front door first to open it for Sam, and they

are stunned by what they see in the Dining Room. Josh's jaw drops.

Sam – to Josh – "It's like you've never had someone get a room nice for ya before."

Josh – "Ya."

Donna – "Melody, it looks beautiful in here. You went to a lot of trouble just for us."

Melody – from the kitchen "It was no trouble – remember I love to do this. I find it amusing actually.

Come on in and have a seat. Are you hungry now or do you want to wait a bit?"

Sam – to Donna and Josh "Well – now or in a bit?" Donna and Josh look at each other and shrug their

shoulders. Towards the kitchen "Is everything ready?"

Melody – "Almost. By the time the 1st course is done, the main course should be ready to plate."

Josh – taking Donna and Sam's coats and hanging them in the closet "First course?"

Sam – with a smile – "Ya. I hope you're hungry."

Donna – "I'm famished."

Josh – still in disbelief – "A first course? This is like a State Dinner."

Sam – "Not quite. Don't tell the President, and don't ever tell her, but I think she cooks better than the

White House Chefs."

Donna – "You've got to be kidding." Sam shakes his head.

Melody – from the kitchen. "Josh. Donna. There are some hors-d'ouvres on one of the side tables in the

dining room. If you would like to have some, go ahead. I'll be out in a minute, I just have to

shake this stupid dressing..."

Josh – "Ok." He goes to the table.

Donna – "Do you need any help?"

Josh – "Who me?"

Donna – "Not you dingus. Melody." Towards the kitchen "Do you need any help Melody?"

Melody – appearing from the kitchen with four salad plates and a basket of rolls "Nope. Have a seat guys,

we can start to eat whenever you're ready. Sam, you'll have to sit on the end there, because of,

you know, the thing." Melody maneuvers around Sam and their guests as she puts the salad plates

at each setting. They continue to talk to each other.

Sam – "I know." Donna holds the chair out for Sam as he sits down. "Thanks."

Donna – "No problem. Do you need a cushion or anything?"

Sam – "I'm ok, but thanks."

Donna – "If you need anything, just ask." Josh holds Donna's chair for her. She smiles and says quietly

"Thanks Josh."

Josh – He walks to his chair and sits. "Hey, it's my job." Melody has placed her salad plate at her

setting, then she places the rolls on the table. She sits down in her chair.

Melody – "Well everyone, Bon Apetit."

Josh – "This really does look delicious. And it shocks me to say that because it's salad."

Donna – in disbelief "Joshua Lyman!"

Melody – laughing "It's ok Donna. That's a compliment if ever I heard one!"

12:36 a.m. Sam and Melody's house, Their bedroom.

Sam and Melody are sitting in bed, propped up by pillows. Sam is reading papers from a file, and Melody doing the

same. Melody looks at the alarm clock.

Melody – "Sam, do you have any idea what time it is?"

Sam – shaken out of his thoughts "Huh?"

Melody – "It's almost 1:00 in the morning. We should go to sleep."

Sam – "Ya, just let me finish thi..." Melody snatches it out of his hand. "What was that for, now I'm

gonna lose my place."

Melody – She puts the files on the night table "You need your sleep Sam. This can wait, the words will

still be on the pages tomorrow, ok?"

Sam – yawning "Ok. Hey, I've already had my bath – can you pass me one of my pills from the table

there?"

Melody – "Here you go." She hands him the pill and a glass of water. He takes the pill and swallows it

down. "Good. Now you should be able to get some sleep."

Sam – as he gets himself comfortable enough to sleep on his left side "You know, Josh really loves

Donna."

Melody – placing the pillows behind his back to support him she says sarcastically "I knew you were

brilliant for some reason or other."

Sam – "Seriously. He really loves her."

Melody – "And she really loves him. It's sweet."

Sam – "It's almost disgusting."

Melody – "How so?"

Sam – He closes his eyes as he pulls the covers up to his chest. "Well, he wants to do something special

for her one day on the weekend, and he asked me for advice. He is a little bit of a dolt when it

comes to impressing women."

Melody – sarcastically "Really, I never would have known."

Sam – "I told him I would think of some things, and let him know tomorrow, but I'm drawing a complete

blank on this one."

Melody – "It's the meds hun. Go to sleep. Maybe you'll dream something nice and wake up with a

brilliant revelation in the morning. By the way, I don't plan on letting you get up at 4:30 this

morning. You need your sleep – Toby will understand." Sam doesn't respond. "Sam." She

looks at him. He has tumbled off into sleep at the speed of light. She turns out the light, and

cuddles beside him. He puts his arm around her waist pulling her close and gives her his evening

kiss on the back of the head. Then they both smile and close their eyes as they settle in for their

nights sleep.

To Be Continued

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