In Love With the Other Party
Disclaimer: I own nothing. You've heard it all before.
Author's notes: I'm Canadian so I know nothing about
politics, I know I can't write but there is hardly any
Sam/Ainsley fic out there and I haven't slept in 24 hours
that's how I got the guts to write this.
Archive: Who would want this? Whoever you are, you can
Feedback: good, great, wonderful
"Hello?" I said distractedly into the phone
while trying to
get Sam's summarized memo done. He was very long winded. Eloquent, I
grudgingly admit, but long winded.
"Ainsley? Is that you darling? I was hoping to catch you."
Came the harried reply from other end of the line.
I am totally unprepared for that voice. "Mom? Why are you
calling?" I ask her warily. Since I had taken this job my party has
pretty much slammed every door in my face. Including that of my very
much Republican parents.
"Don't take that tone with me! I just got you out of a very
bad position with your father. He finally conceded defeat," she added
I can feel a spark of anger starting to burn in my stomach.
"What do you mean 'bad position'? He told me in no uncertain terms to
never speak to him again! That means I have no position with him. And
by the way, he included you and all of our extensive extended family
in that statement." I am trying very hard to keep a tight rein on the
anger that is threatening to fly out of my control and I am still only
hanging on by a fingernail. My mother's next words ended that anger as
swiftly as blowing out a candle.
"He wants you to come home for Thanksgiving."
The words echoed in my mind. Come home. "What?" I finally
choke out. No way, it's just a dream. My dad wants me home for a
family oriented holiday. Unbelievable.
"Yes, that's what I said." Her mother said interrupting her
musings impatiently. " I had to badger him into it but he agreed."
Well, I muse wryly, no kisses and happy hugs for Ainsley. It was just
going to be a gruffly spoken, 'Your mother made me. You know how she
gets.' Well it was better than 'get the hell out of my house and don't
"For how long? Just a couple hours for turkey and stuffing or
the usual four days? I have to clear it with my boss."
"The usual. But he doesn't want you in your old room. Since I
made him invite you he's decided to punish you with the guest room and
your Aunt Jane's lumpy pillows."
I almost groan out loud. The guest room had an old bed with an
even older mattress and Aunt Jane's pillows were twenty-five years
old. Punishment indeed. Well, at least I'll get some of Mom's turkey.
"Can I bring a guest to face the firing squad with me?" And possibly
pick up the pieces of my body that will be scattered on the floor when
my family gets through with me, I add silently.
"Yes, of course. Bring whoever you like, but I've got to go.
The chili's starting to burn."
"Okay, love you. Bye."
"See you in three weeks."
The only sound in my so-called office was the sound of the dial tone
and the occasional noise from the pipe system. And then the hard thud
of my head hitting my desk. I'm going home for Thanksgiving to face my
father, my mother, two brothers and possible cousins about my life and
what possessed me to take this job. And all of them are Republicans.
For four days. What the hell have I gotten myself into?
Oh, well. I've got three weeks of freedom. Well it would be freedom if
this office hadn't started to look like a dungeon. "Enough of that," I
end up saying aloud shaking my head as if to clear it of family
thoughts. Back to Sam's long winded memo. It actually was very
eloquent. Too bad he was wrong about most of it. Will he care if I
reverse his position? Maybe, maybe not. Who am I kidding? Of course he
will. He'll probably want debate the points of the argument and I'll
get another chance to look at his handsome face and kick his ass
around his office for a good hour or two. Wait, 'his handsome face'?
Where did that come from? Oh, well. It is a handsome face. And he's
the kind of guy I would date. If he wasn't a Democrat.
She reversed my position. She did a good summarization but she
reversed my position. And she's leaning against a desk patiently
waiting for me to come out of the office I had just entered and say
something. Oh, I'll say something alright. This has to be on Leo's
desk in under two hours and she reversed my position. Last time I
checked 'summarize' did not mean 'reverse my position'. I realized I
should be saying this to her and not in my head like an idiot.
I turn on my heel and walk out and stand there staring at her.
She looks at me expectantly. She knew I would do this. She's actually
very pretty when she's trying to bait me. Whoa, where did that come
from? Oh, well. She just probably reminds me of Donna with her hair
being the way it is tonight. And Donna baits Josh hourly. Who am I
kidding? I don't want to go out with Donna. I want to go out with
Ainsley. But she's a Republican.
Back to business. "You reversed my position." And we
on in this vein for a good hour. I think. I wasn't really paying that
much attention to the words she was saying, but I was and am paying
attention to the very pretty mouth they're coming from. I realized
that somewhere in the middle of this I had gotten up and had taken a
pot shot at her party's ethics. And she shot me down spectacularly.
She really should debate with Josh someday. I would be interesting to
see who won. I just caught the end of her tirade that had a bunch of
numbers I didn't have a clue about but I'm going to take a chance that
she's probably right. "Start from the beginning." I said, sitting down
at my desk again. She is looking at me strangely. Did she think I am
so egotistical that I won't back down if I'm wrong? At least I think
I'm wrong. But I usually know.
"Can I have that donut?"
She's asking me for my donut? What's with her and food? Oh,
well it's no big deal. The donut's stale anyway. "Take the donut,
start from the beginning." I need to know what's going on. If I don't
get this memo to Leo I'll be in deep shit. Using the excuse 'I was
looking at her mouth' about being late would get me in even deeper
shit. So I really need to know what's going on.
He let me have his donut. It's kinda stale but it's food. Food
that was his before it was mine. And those very good-looking lips
would have been on it. Okay, I need to stop thinking about his looks.
And I need to stop thinking about the fact that I'm infatuated (and
possibly more) with a high-ranking Democrat.
I need to get back to work. I'm right and he's wrong. I just need to
convince him. I rattle off the numbers again and voila. I've convinced
him. That was fast. And now we're going to Mr. McGarry's office to
present the memo. Why am I going to Mr. McGarry's office? It's Sam's
memo, I just typed it. And I reversed his position. He couldn't seem
to let that go.
Before I can even begin to process the surprising fact that a
Senior Staff member is walking down a busy hall with me where any
member of the press corps can see, we are in Mr. McGarry's office.
I stand a few steps behind Sam as he gives Mr. McGarry the
memo and explains the 'independent study he has faith in.' Which means
he has faith in me. I am trying my damnedest to ignore the thrill of
pleasure that goes through me when he said that he had faith in me.
But I don't really want to ignore it. I want to treasure it and get it
more often. I can't seem to find a way to get that without dating him
and he'd balk at being seen in public with me, the Republican. Plus
the fact that I'd be the laughingstock of the West Wing because Sam
tells Josh everything, one of the perks of being someone's best
friend, and Josh wouldn't hesitate to tell the world about the
Republican who made a fool of herself. So I'm basically screwed.
Unless Sam wants to be seen with me in a date-like setting. And the
chances of that are as slim as me becoming a Democrat. I've just come
to the brilliant conclusion that I haven't got a snowball's chance in
hell with Sam Seaborn as a boyfriend, lover, or whatever.
I suddenly remember that I need to get that time off. Mr.
Tribbey would say no in less than a second but Mr. McGarry is his boss
and he might say yes. He's one of the few people who's said more than
'so you're the Republican' to me. As I start to say something Sam's
already dragging me out of Mr. McGarry's office and back to his. Who
the hell does he think he is?
Once we're safely back in my office I let go of the death grip
I had on her arm. "You're probably wondering what the hell I was
thinking." Without waiting for her tight-lipped nod, I jump right into
the explanation. I really don't want her mad at me. "Leo is really
busy. He's trying to get out of here because he has a dinner date with
his daughter. And you don't want to have Leo mad at you for any reason
for any amount of time. The mood around here drops to the basement
when Leo's pissed and happy workers are good workers. Do you
understand? And will you have dinner with me?"
'Will you have dinner with me?' Oh, man this is bad. She'll
probably run to her friends and tell them that a Democrat asked her
out. A Senior Staff member even. I'll be the laughingstock of the
Republican party for years. This is very bad. I finish mentally
beating myself up just in time to see, not the smirk I was expecting,
but a brilliant smile that lights up her eyes. And not to mention her
enthusiastic nod and the word 'yes'. She said yes? She said yes. Wow.
"I've just got to tell Toby I'm leaving and I'll meet you in
the foyer. How do you feel about Irish pubs?"
"Okay, I'll meet you in the lobby. And a pub is fine. As long
as they have edible food."
I smile and head to Toby's office. "Toby? I'm leaving now. See
you tomorrow." Toby doesn't even look up as he nods his assent. I'm
almost out the door when he calls me back.
"Sam, I almost forgot, remember you have the trip to Vegas
about the international trade market in a week and a half. Four days
there and then we're off for Thanksgiving. POTUS is going so that
means that Josh, CJ, you and our resident Republican legal counsel,
Ainsley Hayes are going. Most of the guests at the meeting are
Republicans. Assistants aren't going except for Donna because we all
know Josh would go to the opposite end of the country if Donna didn't
keep him straight."
"Okay, Vegas can't be all that bad. At least there won't be
strange people offering picture deals like L.A. That was slightly
frightening. Oh, and just out of curiosity, how did you get out if
"I pretended to be interested in the history of the eagle all
the way back to the dinosaurs."
"That's all you had to do? It's that easy?"
"For and hour and a half."
I just had to wince in sympathy. "Ouch. Well, I'll see you
tomorrow." I beat a hasty exit because Toby would have made me do
something if I had stayed longer and I had a beautiful woman waiting
for me to take her to dinner. I'm just in time to see her look around,
sigh, and turn to the exit.
In Love With The Other Party - 2