This is the fourth in the series: A Bagel and A Beginning, Chili with a side of 'The Jackal', Dinner and Dancing. The continuation of our little WW saga here, a look at the other parts of the characters lives we so rarely see.
What Lisa means is that these are stories about their personal lives, much more so than their professional personas, so if that's not something you want to read, this would be a good time to bail.......Pat
Darts and Dresses 1/6 ------------------------
It was a month after Dallas and everyone was bored out of their minds. They had even done most of the work for CJ's wedding already. That was when Sam had come into the office with a bright yellow dart gun and shot Toby with it. Toby had gone on break, bought a green one and shot him back and then got Leo who bought a blue one from Sam who had extras and he had shot Sam and Josh and the whole affair had just gone downhill from there.
"Toby we have got to talk," CJ said walking into his office and sitting down, "remember that little affair in Dallas a month ago..." she paused a long moment, "I'm pregnant Toby." she said softly and then she tossed two tests on his desk with a sigh mostly from nerves.
"Really" Toby yelped and then looked around to see if anyone was looking. "Really, really, really? And sorry if I sound like a kid just told he's going to Disney World. Oh CJ that's great. I would point out though that we haven't exactly been inactive since Dallas."
"No, but I was supposed to have a cycle two weeks ago which would have made Dallas the high point for conception, which CJ didn't think about. Anyhow, according to those tests, yes really, really." She finally smiled, "you're okay with this? we can do this right?"
"This is not some statistical problem on the exports of Eastern Europe" Toby smiled. "This is you and me, about to be married, and finding out we're going to have a baby. Of course we can do it. I love you." He took her by the arms and kissed her soundly, risking being observed. "How about you? I'm sorry, in my exuberance I ran over your feelings. Do you want a baby?"
"Yes I want a baby. I just wasn't sure if now was the right timing but I guess it's as good as any. I mean I don't know what we'll do when I start showing. I mean I don't know if it would be a good thing for the press secretary to be pregnant..." CJ began fretting always worried about her effect on the president's office.
"Women work into their ninth months now in case you haven't noticed" Toby smiled, "and we'll make sure you have a wardrobe of those business suits, none of those frilly pink checked tops. Well those you can save for around the apartment."
CJ smiled, "Thanks. Everyone's really going to have to learn to be supportive of this though. I can't do it myself. Oh Toby, I'm pretty happy. Pretty happy, ha I'm ecstatic," CJ smiled and sparkled brightly.
"Yes," Toby said letting out the breath he was holding, relieved she was happy. "You know everyone will be thrilled. We don't even have to tell them for awhile yet though. Of course as I walk around with a stupid smile on my face all day I don't know if people will wonder what I've been up to."
White House Residence Same Time
"Gina," Zoey sat down with her guard. "You know how you said I could always talk to you... Well I really need to talk now. I think I'm pregnant." Zoey said, wiping tears from her raw eyes.
"Shhh OK" Gina said automatically, putting her arms around the trembling young woman, handing her a Kleenex from the desk. Zoey sniffled and then began to cry again in earnest, overwhelmed by the woman's sympathy. "Get it all out and then we'll talk" Gina told her.
"Well you know about Dallas right? Well that was the only time that Charlie and I ever...and well I was supposed to you know, two weeks ago and well I-I didn't and I've never ever missed before and then four days ago I started getting all sick in the mornings." Zoey told Gina worriedly.
"OK I'm going to get you a pregnancy test" Gina told her calmly, rubbing her back as she sat up. "First we find out for sure, but it sounds like it. Then we talk about how to tell your parents, and Charlie."
"They're going to kill me," Zoey moaned, "okay what are we going to do?" she asked wondering what the next plan of action was, nervously.
"WE are not doing anything" Gina told her. "YOU are staying here. I'm going to turn over my detail to Harris and then I'm taking a bus downtown someplace to one of the big drug stores. I'll pick up a test, some shampoo, a magazine, you know not looking suspicious. Then we'll see. If you are, Charlie needs to know first. Remember both of you are twenty one and no one can make a decision for you and I'll stand behind you whatever decision you make." She stood and got her purse. "You going to be OK? I won't be any longer than I need to be."
"I'll be fine. I'll be right here figuring out how my father is going to kill me first," Zoey said lying back on her bed in the residence.
West Wing Same Time
"Move it or lose it" Sam screeched, seeing Charlie coming through and he hit him in the back with the rubber dart.
"Aw man what's this discrimination? Yeah pick on the young guy of the group!" Charlie teased back before he leveled his gun and shot Sam right on the forehead and then Josh too. Josh blinked, completely and totally dazed because he had only looked out of his office to see what was going on.
"Yeeooow" Josh screeched with such loudness that Donna came running. The dart had left a neat red circle exactly between his eyes and she began to roar with laughter. "Keep it up" Josh warned, "and someone is going to find all their pantyhose knotted together in the morning. Try getting ready for work in the ten minutes you allow yourself like that."
Donna scoffed, "you wouldn't!" Just then Sam and Leo took aim at one another and both got Donna in the forehead, dazing her enough that she stepped backward, lost her balance and fell over, the papers she had been carrying raining in the air like confetti on New Years.
"Donna!" Josh shouted, pushing Leo and Sam out of the way to get to her. He lifted her head and upper body into his lap before he even checked to see if she was hurt.
Donna laughed lightly, "oh what a morning. This place is a war zone." she laughed. "Okay, you think we can call it a tie now and you'll not do that horrible thing you were threatening earlier?" she raised her eyebrows.
"I'm so glad you're OK I'd agree to any surrender terms" Josh breathed and helped her up, still keeping hold of her to make sure she was steady. "I know this place goes nutsy when the president is taking a down day, but he's just upstairs for crying out loud."
It was an hour later when Gina returned, passing through the West Wing before going up stairs and was promptly hit by a red dart in the back of the head. Acting instinctively she spun around, her weapon in her hand and her bag dropping. "Whoa hey sorry" Leo laughed, throwing his hands into the air "Let me give you a hand." The shampoo and the pregnancy test were now in the middle of the aisle and Leo took one look at her and quickly scooped them into the bag for her. "Gina I didn't see anything" he whispered, "but if...well if you need anything....my door is open."
Gina smiled, "Thanks, I appreciate that." She sighed knowing she couldn't break Zoey's confidence and it showed in her eyes, that she was hiding something. She quickly turned to make her way down the hall towards Zoey.
Meanwhile Toby was fiddling with some folders on his desk and Sam stepped in gun in hand and held them up for the report. He took it and stepped into the hall. He opened it with Leo, Sam, Josh and Donna present. "Woah," he voiced opening the folder and finding a pregnancy test in it, a positive one.
"Ha, ha" Leo groaned, "someone thinks they're being real cute. If the President had opened this, that someone wouldn't be laughing. "Now who wants to fess up to this. Putting it in the folder I mean; the test itself is none of anyone's business unless he's the father."
Toby opened the door hearing the commotion and then he saw the test. He snatched it up, "this got in there by mistake. My apologies. The report should be in order though." Then he closed the door.
"Well I guess we've been told" Leo shook his head. "Leo, you think Toby and CJ....?" Josh whispered and then looked to Donna who blushed and looked away. "I think I'm going to mind my own business" Leo said. "Now we have the report in order good. I'm going to the gym for some weights and a swim and then an early lunch." "Alone?" Sam asked, waggling his eyebrows. "No not alone" Leo smiled sweetly, "excuse me." "He's been doing more of that work out stuff since Caroline" Sam laughed quietly.
"Maybe he needs it," Donna suggested, "maybe he's refusing to let himself feel old? I say good for him and good for Caroline. She's nice you know, coming in with him after hours and helping. Then there was that day that she brought us all lunch." Donna thought aloud. Meanwhile behind closed door CJ asked, "So everyone knows now and we might as well make our little speech?"
"I think it's safe to say it's going to get around" Toby smiled and kissed her gently. "But you'll be OK for your press briefing at least." He kissed her again. "It's going to be OK, I promise. Even if we have to run away and join the carnival."
"I think Caroline's great for Leo" Josh agreed. "Since the breakup he's been lonely I know. And you and I have both been there." He gave her cheek a quick kiss. "Sam you and Mallory are still coming for Bridge aren't you? Mallory and I owe you and my significant other here big time from two weeks ago."
"Oh yeah, you're on!" Sam replied, "unfortunately for you Donna and I are going to pulverize you again. You can just go on thinking you're going to win."
"I plan to, all afternoon" Josh retorted, "even though I'm taking a member of the opposition to McCabe's for corned beef for lunch."
Donna stuck her tongue out at him as usual. She just didn't expect him to take advantage of it and kiss her but he did. "Mmm....that was nice," Donna smiled. "Still feel bad about taking me to lunch?" "Of course," Josh teased and again out came the tongue as Donna grunted her frustration. Sam and Josh both turned to meander back to their offices and then suddenly they turned and fired on one another again and it was all out war. About that time Leo returned and the president appeared to check on progress. However, he came armed with an automatic firing dart gun. The big expensive one that the others had passed up and he managed to nail everyone. He even got CJ in the back and Toby on the forehead as the staff all appeared.
Gina quickly climbed the three flights to the residence and slipped into Zoey's room undetected. "Do you want to have Charlie here while you do it?" she asked gently as she handed her the small box.
Zoey shook her head, "No. I don't want to alarm him unless, well if it's true." She took a deep breath, read the instructions and then with trembling fingers she went to go take the test. She came back out, three minutes later and showed the test to Gina. "It's positive. What am I going to do?" she whimpered in a small voice, very obviously frightened and once more beginning to cry.
"Oh sweetie I don't know whether to congratulate you or say I'm sorry" Gina smiled and hugged her. "The next step of course is Charlie and your parents, but not right this minute. You need to give yourself time to process it first, and to be rational when you tell them. You're much more fortunate than most though even though you're still in school. Like a nanny can be hired so you can still go, and Charlie loves you. You do love him don't you?"
"Of course I love him," Zoey answered, "very much so. I don't want to continue college when I'm showing though. I don't!"
"Hey OK" Gina held up her hands. "But you can't lock yourself in the upstairs bedroom for eight months either. Women haven't had to do that in this country for a long time now, thankfully." She took both Zoey's hands, the little sister she had always wished for. "You want this baby don't you? You don't want to not have it do you?" she asked gently.
"I couldn't do that. I don't believe in it," Zoey answered decisively, "My father has always taught us girls that if you bring a baby into the world partway you have to bring it into the world all the way and take care of your responsibilities." Zoey hugged Gina, "you'll go get Charlie and stay while I tell him won't you? please?"
"I'm glad. I don't believe in it either. And if that's what you want of course" Gina smiled. "Listen, your mom and dad are going to be shocked; but once they start thinking of themselves as grandparents, they're going to come around. I'll get Charlie. You rehearse what you're going to say."
Meanwhile Zoey rehearsed carefully what she was going to say and when she heard the door open she took a deep breath and smiled as Charlie sat down. "I'm sorry to bring you away from any important work you were doing but I have something equally important to tell you. We both know that when we were in Dallas we were expressing our true feelings for one another and you know that I love you Charlie. Well something else came out of that...a baby." She finished and then she sat there and waited while Charlie absorbed all that she had just said.
"And this is where you say April Fools and I go back to work" Charlie finally got out as he looked at her, his eyes automatically going to her belly and then to Gina who was watching from the far chair. She nodded to confirm what Zoey had said. "I didn't think...." he stammered "when we were doing...I didn't think this would happen and I guess that's what people have been saying since time began." He knelt in front of her so he could look up into her eyes. "Are you happy?" he asked gently, "because I'm trying real hard here to look for a reason not to be and I can't find one real easy. All I'm thinking is you and me, and I love you, and that love has made a baby."
"I'm okay with it. I can't exactly be really happy yet because I haven't told my parents and if the press got ahold of this... Well we all know one of the big things that got my father here was family values. This would blow a second run for him. I can do it though. I'll stay here until the baby is born or whatever it takes. I...I guess I am pretty happy about it though."
"What if we got married" Charlie spoke up suddenly. "I love you, you love me, we're going to have a baby--somehow marriage doesn't seem to be all that foreign an idea does it?"
"Guys let me interrupt here to say getting married for the sake of a pregnancy is not the right reason" Gina interjected.
"But getting married for love is" Charlie maintained, putting his palm to her cheek.
"And if I wasn't pregnant?" Zoey asked him, "would you still want to get married right now? I mean I've been toying with the idea of us getting married for a while now but I think what Gina is trying to say is that even though we love each other maybe we shouldn't rush the marriage ahead for the sake of this baby?" she finished it more as a question that a comment.
Charlie took a deep breath and then a long drink of water from the glass at the bedside. "If I wanted to wait for marriage it would only be because you're still in school and I'm...well I may work at the White House but I'm basically just a messenger, OK an administrative aide, but certainly it's not a career job. I need to further my own education. Anyway, Gina has a good point. I don't know." He ran his hand through his hair and then placed it on her belly. "I love you, and I can't think beyond that. But know this, I would marry you in a heartbeat. Of course everyone will know you were pregnant at the time, but it happens all the time. Hell in Hollywood they don't even bother to get married half the time." He took her hands and looked over at Gina. "We need her parents in on this." "Yes you do." Gina nodded. "And neither are available right now. Try to set something up for tonight late. Like hot chocolate and cookies in the residence and serious talk. They're both going to yell, but when they calm down they'll help you work to the best solution." "I love this woman and I'm not giving her up" Charlie yelped, "not even if they fire me." "I can see lots of late night rendezvous' then" Gina grinned.
Zoey laughed and then she leaned down and kissed Charlie before squeezing his hands. "Thank-you, for proving to me the world won't end. You know a wedding in the rose garden would be incredible and I am 22 you know. I don't know how I'm going to make it to tonight without just exploding. I wonder what would happen if I ran it past Leo first..."
"Leo sort of knows" Gina smiled and sighed at the same time. "You're kidding" Charlie looked panicked. "He attacked me with a dart gun from the back and I just spun around dropped the bag and drew my weapon all without thinking" she explained. "When he helped me pick up the stuff he saw the box. He just said if I needed him, he was there. Maybe he thinks it's for me." She gave a short laugh, "which would be funny since I'm always here." "All right I'm leaving you two alone for now." She walked slowly to the door and turned back. "Rose Garden wedding? Ask CJ and Toby if you can stand up with them'' she laughed again, hoping to break some of the tension. "I'll be out here if you need me."
Charlie moved to sit next to her on the bed, wrapping his arms around her for the first time and then mischievously lifting her pants waist band. "My baby's in there" he laughed and then sobered. "I love the idea, and I love you."
Zoey smiled, "I'm glad. I love you and I was so scared about how you were going to take this. I mean I only have two more months 'til I'm finished with school for the year and then of course I just won't go back for the fall semester." She paused thinking about what Gina had said. "I wouldn't want to stand up with CJ and Toby, that would be unfair to them and secondly I want my own wedding, a nice big pretty one, ya know?" Zoey said continuing to fidget uncharacteristically.
Charlie tightened his grasp of her. "I'd love to have a wedding like that with you. Anywhere. Just name the time and place and I'm there in a....whatever. And once people do the math they'll forget it, and we'll be showered with hundreds of baby sweaters. Remember when your dad had the surgery on his toe--you'd have thought he was getting a heart transplant from the get well stuff."
"Ha! Ha!" Josh exploded into Toby's office armed with his gun, "your Kona coffee or your life!" he called out in a pirate-gangster kind of voice.
"Stale, it's all yours'' Toby mumbled, casually reaching into his drawer. Josh leaned over to take what he expected Toby to hand him, only to be hit full front with a spray of silly string, in neon pink. "You're adorable" Toby laughed, looking at the pink vision.
"Ah!" Josh gasped, "Okay...Ziegler, this means war!" Josh said in his best general voice before exiting into the hallway and starting a ruckus of laughter.
"Yeah I'm hiring a body guard--real worried" Toby yelled back, looking back into the drawer to be sure his arsenal was secure. "Yellow for the next victim" he smiled.
Josh was greeted by Donna's raucous laughter as he walked back to his area, trying to pull bits of the still wet substance from his shirt and tie. "That Ziegler is a dead man"
"Actually it looks like you are," Donna laughed, looking him over. She got him some moist towels to help with the cleaning process.
"Wonder how he'd like to sit in a pile of peanut butter" Josh mumbled.
Donna raised an eyebrow, "wouldn't be very nice but there's some in CJ's cabinet in the kitchen...oh and some marshmallows too...microwaved marshmallows are terrible."
"You stay right here" Josh smiled, "I don't want you to be an accessory to the crime."
Zoey drug Charlie with her to see Leo. "Leo, are you busy?" Zoey asked, "It's kind of just a little important that I talk to you." she said in her usual polite manner.
Leo looked up and a sudden vision of Gina and a drug store bag rushed over him. "Close the door" he nodded, and hit a button on his phone. "Short of a nuclear disaster I'm not to be disturbed" he said firmly, then walked around the desk to pull up a chair next to the ones he motioned Charlie and Zoey to use. "Charlie, Zoey" he said softly, and looked down to where Charlie was taking Zoey's hand. "All ears" he said quietly.
"Well you know when we--umm no. Well it kind of goes like-- err," Zoey tried to get started. "I'm pregnant." she finally declared for lack of a better way to broach the subject at the moment.
TO BE CONTINUED.