TITLE: Dinner with the Fascist

AUTHOR: Kasey

SUMMARY: Mallory sees the picture of Sam and Laurie.

RATING: PG, I guess…nothing really bad or anything…

DISCLAIMERS: I don’t own these characters…major bummer.

SPOILERS: "Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics", and a little "Pilot", but nothing you wouldn’t know if you read quotes pages.

 

~*~*~*~

 

"Lemme at him!" Mallory demanded, storming into the West Wing, a newspaper clipping in her hand. 

 

"Hello, Mallory," Margaret said amiably.

 

"Is my father in his office?"

 

"Yes -"

 

"Tell him to start looking for a new assistant communications director."

 

"Why?"

 

"I’m killing Sam."

 

"Okay."

 

"Where is he?"

 

"His office.  With Toby, I think -"

 

Mallory was already almost there.  She threw open the door.  "Samuel Norman Seaborn!"

 

"Hi, Mal," he said, smiling warmly at her.  Toby looked up from the pad they were both staring at.

 

"Don’t ‘Hi, Mal’ me, you lying, two-faced, fascist scum!"

 

Toby looked from one to the other.  "Mallory, as much as I would love nothing more than to watch Sam get the crap beat out of him, I have a speech to write."  He left, and had he been anyone but Toby, he would’ve been chuckling loudly.  But, because it was Toby, it meant that a faint smile played on his lips, barely noticeable under his moustache and beard.

 

Mallory closed the door behind him and noticed Sam was still scrawling on the pad, occasionally looking at his laptop.  She slammed the clipping down on the desk, hoping it got his attention.

 

It did.  He jumped about a mile. "Mallory, what did you do that - Oh," he stated simply as he saw what it was.  A picture met his eyes, of himself embracing Laurie.  "Listen, it’s not what you -"

 

"Not what I think?" she said, raising her eyebrows doubtfully.  "Then what is it, Sam, because I’m pretty sure it IS what I think."

 

"She’s a friend of mine, Mallory -"

 

"And she’s also a prostitute, Sam!  And you expect me to honestly believe that you’ve never slept with her?"  When he remained silent, she just smirked and turned to leave.

 

"Mallory, wait!  Let me explain this to you."

 

She turned back.  "You have two minutes.  Go."

 

"Two minutes? I…um….It would be much easier to discuss it over lunch or -"

 

"A minute forty-five."

 

"Okay…here goes.  I slept with her ONCE.  And it was before I knew what she did.  We met at a bar, it was before you even asked me to go to the opera.  I was single, we met at a bar, we talked over drinks, we went back to her apartment, we slept together.  The next day, I found out who she was, why she did what she did, of which, the reason she was an escort was so she could put herself through law school.  We didn’t see each other socially, but I would have lunch with her from time to time when she had a break between classes.  Toby wouldn’t let me go to her graduation because he thought someone was waiting to make it a scandal, so I asked her friend to set it up at a different apartment so that I could give her a gift and congratulations.  The friend was a double-agent and got 50 grand for setting it up at all from a reporter.  I swear to you, that’s all it was -"

 

"Time’s up," she said coldly, clearly unmoved by the speech.

 

"Mallory, please…"

 

"Would you like to know how I found out about this?"

 

"Okay."

 

"It was in the newspaper."

 

"And you read it?"

 

"No."

 

"Then how did you find out about it?"

 

"One of my students."

 

"They knew we’d gone to lunch?"

 

"They remembered you from the tour.  Most of my class did."

 

"Really?"

 

"Yeah.  They call you ‘The Lunatic White House Guy’."

 

"Nice."

 

"Steven saw the picture and remembered the name and face.  He brought it in to show for current events time."

 

"Ah."

 

"Do you have any idea what it’s like to have a piece of paper shoved under your nose which shows a prostitute hugging the guy you THOUGHT you were going out with?"

 

"Mallory -"

 

"And I had to act like I was indifferent.  Not drag my feelings into it, just give him an A for a job well done on the assignment to bring in a newspaper clipping about a recent happening."

 

"I -"

 

"And then I had to go four hours without even THINKING about it because it happened to be the ONE day that they only planning periods I got were after lunch!  And even then, I couldn’t let myself lose it, because what would twenty-seven students say about their teacher sobbing as they walked back in from Art class or Music?"  Her pissed off glare had faded into a much sadder, more vulnerable gaze as she struggled to stay in control.  "You didn’t call me, you didn’t do anything to warn me, to tell me, to ANYTHING."

 

"Listen," he said, walking to her and gently pressing his palms to her shoulders.  She pushed him away, but he continued.  "First of all, I’m sorry you had to find out the way you did.  Second of all, it’s not like Laurie was some big secret, you knew about her."

 

"What are you talking about?"

 

"When I was told to give your class a tour of the White House…remember the chairs made from wood that was once in the Spanish Armada in the Roosevelt room, which was named for our eighteenth president?" She smiled faintly.  "And I told you I really needed a break because I was having a really bad day?  Do you remember the reasons the day was so bad?"  She shook her head.  "Because I’d just found out the woman I’d slept with was an escort and I had to give a tour to kids when I knew nothing about children OR the White House…And because I made a complete idiot out of myself in front of you, THAT is why the day was so bad."

 

She just stared at him.  "You…You did tell me that, didn’t you?"

 

"Yes, yes I did."

 

"So it was before we’d even met."

 

"Yes."

 

"And everyone else knew about it?"

 

"Including your father and the president."

 

"And yet my father didn’t tell me, so he must’ve known…it was…nothing…" she mused.

 

"It is nothing," Sam assured her.

 

"But you…it just…"

 

"What?" he asked gently.

 

"You slept with her once."

 

"Before I even knew what she did."

 

"Well, then," she said, nodding.  She tilted her head in thought.  "What time is it?"

 

"Dinner time," Sam replied, smiling hopefully at her.

 

"That’s what I was thinking."

 

"Then let’s go -"

 

"Wait.  First you know what I’m doing?"

 

"You’re setting ground rules?"

 

"Yes."

 

"Okay."

 

"We will go to dinner, we will NOT mention your friend, then if you still have work to be done, we will come back here, I will visit with my father, and later, if you like, we could do something else when you’re done with work."

 

"No opera?"

 

"No opera," she assured him, smiling. 

 

"Well.  O…Okay then," he said, closing his laptop.  Putting his arm around her shoulder, they left his office.  "Cathy, if anyone asks, I will be back in a couple hours at most, but not for long if I can help it, so try to…not let anything come up."  Mallory tried to contain her laughter as they kept walking, headed into the warm Washington night.

 

The End

 

 

 

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