Title: As the West Wing Turns

Author: Maria (mcacevedo@cs.com; marikenobi@aol.com )

Category: J/D (and flirting among other combinations, mainly M/S/A)

Rating: PG

Spoilers: Through Season 3.

Summary: Donna & Josh are happy and in love. Seriously? Who does Sam get?

 

 

PART 1

***

Josh was busy preparing himself for a meeting on the Hill. He was planning on kicking Republican ass.

"Excuse me, Mr. Lyman." He looked up to see his assistant, Olivia, standing in front of his desk. He has been concentrating on his documents and he didn't hear her knocking.

"Hey."

"I'm sorry about barging in, but you have to get to the Hill or you'll be late."

"Thanks," he noticed she was holding some of his clothes. "Why do you have those?"

"Ms. Moss wanted me to remind you that you should wear this tonight."

"Tonight?" He thought for a moment. "I completely forgot about dinner!"

"We figured you would. She also said that she has an errand to run and she'll meet you there."

"Thanks." Josh got up from his desk and picked up his backpack. "Wish me luck. Nah, I don't need luck, I know I'm going to do great. Wouldn't you agree?"

She shook her head as she followed him out of his office.

"Why aren't you agreeing with me?"

"And increase your ego? No way! It's big enough as it is."

Josh sighed, "I really don't like it when you and Donna talk."

"Get out of here." She smiled at him and sat down on her desk.

 

A few hours later, the bullpen was quiet, but not because it was empty. Everyone was shocked by the news they were watching on the television.

Toby came out of his office and walked over to CJ.

"What's with everyone's faces? What happened? CNN isn't reporting anything out of the ordinary, and is that Entertainment Tonight?"

"Sandy Wells is ending her run on Sunrise Valley. Those idiots in charge let her go because she isn't a young starlet anymore."

Toby looked around the bullpen, his eyes ready to pop out. "You mean to tell me that a section of the White House is NOT WORKING right now because of some aging soap diva?"

"Toby."

"When do you even have time to watch a soap?"

"I'll admit I don't catch it as much as I used to before, but I grew up with that soap. Brooke Leigh was my hero. I wanted to be her!"

"What did she end up doing?"

"She's the matriarch of a big and powerful family." CJ told him.

"You are the Press Secretary for the President of the United States; I think you can call it even," he said sarcastically.

"Now get everyone back to work." He bellowed as he stormed back into his office. Sam came out of his office and glanced towards Toby's.

"What's up?" He asked CJ.

"Oh nothing, you probably won't get it, just like Toby. It was just announced that Sandy Wells is leaving Sunrise Valley. Her last airdate is next week."

"What?" Sam looked horrified. "Did they say why?"

"The studio's press release says it was a mutual thing, but the reporters are implying that it was because of her age." Ginger jumped in.

CJ turned away from Sam for a moment and when she looked back, he was gone. She could see him talking on the phone inside his office. "Why did he leave like that?"

"Who knows?" Ginger looked towards him as well. "Maybe he belongs to the official fan club and is lodging a formal complaint." They both laughed at that.

*****

"I'm sorry that I'm late, Mr. President, but you'll be very happy with the news." Josh said as he entered the Residence and the President's private library where Donna, Abbey, and the President waited for him.

"I know, I heard, congratulations, Josh. But why did it take you so long to get back here?"

"Yeah, Josh," Donna stood up and greeted him with a tender kiss on the cheek. "We found out about it almost an hour ago. Did another woman keep you busy?"

"Yes, Mrs. Crawford, she wouldn't get off the phone. She kept babbling on about some Brooke woman."

At that moment, they were informed that dinner was served and they made their way to the dinning room.

"Was it Brooke Leigh by any chance?" Donna asked.

"Yeah, I think that's the one."

"Brooke from Sunrise Valley?" The President turned from Josh to Donna. "What happened to her? You haven't been keeping me up to date!"

Abbey groaned.

"You watch the soap?" Josh asked incredulously.

"I used to, way back when I was younger – and not a politician. Recently, Donna's been keeping me up to date, but I guess someone hasn't been doing her job."

"I just found out a little while ago and I wanted to have more details before I gave you the bad news." Donna bit her lip.

"Bad news? Oh no! Are they killing her off? They can't do that to her!"

"I'm afraid that's how it will be. I haven't been able to get online and check for spoilers, but she is leaving the show permanently. Her last show is next week. It looks like she will end up dead."

"Inconceivable, you must tape the episodes until she leaves for me. Do I have any power over that studio? Is there anything I could do?"

"For crying out loud Jed, she is just a TV character. It's not like Sandy Wells is dying. Give it a rest. I don't know how I put up with your silly crush on her. This from the man who wanted to be a priest." Abby rolled her eyes at her husband.

"A calling you drew me away from," he reminded his wife.

"Only because I got there first!"

Donna and Josh were laughing at the exchange, but something stuck to the back of his mind.

"What did you say the actress' name was?" Josh asked.

"Sandy Wells." The three of them said in unison.

"That's what I thought. Did Sam hear the news?" Josh asked again.

"Oh yeah. CJ said he rushed into his office to make phone calls. People are joking that he belongs to the official fan club. Maybe you and Sam could open the White House branch," Donna told the President.

"I might just do that, Donna."

Abby rolled her eyes again.

"Sorry about that," Donna told her.

"Don't worry about it. Now let's do what we came here to do. How about a toast, Jed."

They all raised their glasses and the President began. "To Josh and Donna and their six months of being happy and in love. Thanks to me, of course." Josh and Donna smiled at each other knowingly. Their secret would be safe. Toby had made enough death threats.

"Thank you, Mr. President. It has been a great 6 months." Donna blushed slightly.

"Even with the sordid sex scandal, Donna?" Josh smirked.

"Yeah, my record was clean. I had been a good girl. You, on the other hand, between Sarah what's her name and Mandy –"

"Hey, you are forgetting Dr. Freeride." Josh retorted.

"I think the Press' favorite part was the bet and my involvement."

"Of course it was, darling," Abby told her husband. "They couldn't believe how immature you guys had been."

"Need I remind you that you also wanted to hook up Donna and Josh?" The President smiled at her.

"But I wouldn't have made a bet."

"I carry the weight of the world on my back. These bets are my way of relaxing. Speaking of which... I was thinking about the Sam situation."

"You mean the Mallory, Sam, and Ainsley triangle." Josh grinned evilly.

"Oh no, you don't," Donna warned.

"Why not?" The President told her. "I might just get another happy couple out of the deal. As soon as Ainsley and Sam get together—"

"Ainsley and Sam?" Josh shrieked. "Are you insane?"

"I ask myself that question everyday." Abbey shook her head.

"What is wrong with Ainsley?" The President asked.

"She is a very conservative Republican!"

"Is that all, Josh?"

"No, sir, she has an annoying voice too."

Donna snorted, "And now we know why Josh isn't a litigator."

"Face it, Josh, you don't have any real reasons as to why Sam and Ainsley shouldn't be together."

"Fine, sir, but what have you got against Mallory?"

"I have nothing against Mal. She is Leo's daughter. It's as if she were my own daughter."

"Then I really don't understand, sir, why you-"Josh stopped for a moment as it dawned on him. "It's Sam, isn't it?"

"I have no idea what you are talking about, Josh. Could you please pass the potatoes, Abby?" He turned to his wife, deliberately ignoring Josh.

"Oh no, you don't, sir. It's not about wanting Sam and Ainsley together. It's because you don't think Sam's good enough for Mallory!"

"Josh!" Donna tried to interfere.

"Of course not, Josh. Sam is a wonderful young man. I just don't think he and Mal make a good couple. That's it."

"Well, I do." Josh said decisively.

"Do I hear a wager?"

Both Donna and Abbey groaned at the President's suggestion. They really had to learn to keep them apart.

*****

The next morning Josh arrived early. He wanted to talk to Sam. He had tried calling him during the night, but then he remembered Sam was out with Mal. After the wager, Josh wasn't about to ruin their date. He wondered how good the date must have been since Sam hadn't arrived yet at his office. Josh kept walking by Sam's office, but nothing.

"What are you doing here, Josh?" Toby called from his office.

"Nothing," Josh walked inside. "I just wanted to talk to Sam about something."

"What about?"

"Nothing important, just a thing." Josh replied.

"Really? Because instead of using the telephone in your office, you have walked by Sam's office 6 times in the last hour and a half." Toby raised an eyebrow, "I wonder if Donna should be worried."

"Awww, Toby, are you jealous that I might be keeping your Robin away from you?" Josh smirked, "Do you long for him too?"

"Go back to your office." Toby glared at him.

Josh nodded and did as told. He liked to tease Toby, but he didn't want to push the limit.

On the way back to his office he ran into Sam's assistant and learned that he was at a breakfast meeting with a few congressmen. A few hours later Josh heard Sam's voice and quickly went towards him. He saw Sam slamming the phone down in frustration.

"Easy there, Sam."

"Hey Josh," Sam greeted him as he entered his office.

"I wanted to talk to you last night, but I couldn't reach you. I heard about Sandy."

Sam sighed, "It sucks, man."

"Have you been able to talk to her?"

"Nope. I called yesterday when I found out, but I got her message service. Then I got home too late last night to call her. I tried calling now but I just get out of range message on her cell phone."

"Are you worried?"

"Nah, you know her; she always lands on her feet. She'll contact me soon enough."

"That's good to know. So, how did last night go?" Josh asked, quickly changing the subject to Mallory.

"Eh. Something was off... and she got this-"

"Hey! There you are." Donna walked in looking for Josh.

"Hey Donna."

"Hi, Sam." She gave Josh a piece of paper. "That's the schedule for the losers' – I mean the Mets'- training camp. I also jotted down the flight numbers, back up flight numbers, and our hotel information."

"Nice!"

"Our hotel?" Sam wondered.

"I'm going too. You think I would be doing the arrangements if I wasn't?"

"What about me? I like baseball."

"No, you don't, Sam. In fact, you hate baseball." Donna grinned and turned to Josh, "I'm giving this to Olivia, so she can make sure your schedule is cleared." She gave Josh a quick peck on the cheek and left.

"What was that about?"

"Who knows?" Josh shrugged. "It's Donna, after all." He smiled. "Now let's go back to talking about Mallory. How was your date last night? You were saying that Mallory got something."

"Yeah. In the middle of dinner, she got a weird call."

"Weird how?"

"I think she is two-timing me! There has to be another guy."

Josh burst out laughing. "Two-timing you? For crying out loud, you are dating her and Ainsley at the same time!"

"I really wouldn't call it dating, just friends sharing a lot of time together."

"Right, like the difference between hooker and call girl."

"Sam." Leo walked into the office.

Sam quickly stood up. Josh marveled at the fact that Sam had become Leo's whipping boy since he started seeing Mallory again. Better him than me Josh thought. He knew that Leo enjoyed making Sam suffer. He also knew that deep down Leo wanted them together. That could work well for Josh's plans.

"What are you doing Thursday evening?" Leo addressed Sam.

"Nothing, I think. I'll have to check, but-"

"Good. I want you to go to the Pediatric Heart Foundation benefit and schmooze Jonathan Truman III. He is a big fundraiser for the party."

"Yes, of course. Should I bring someone?"

"Hmmm, I wouldn't know. You should call Mallory and find out if she's taking her friend." Leo told him calmly, but Josh knew he was really savoring the moment.

"She's going? What friend?" Sam began to freak out.

"Didn't I tell you? Must have slipped my mind. She's been spending time with Casey Anderson, you know, the outfielder for the Orioles. Andy introduced them a few weeks ago. Such a lovely girl, too bad she and Toby couldn't make their marriage work." Leo glanced at his watch, "Well, I have a meeting to go to. Don't forget about Thursday."

As soon as Leo left, Josh started to laugh. Sam glared at him.

"Shut up!"

"I can't help it. You have to admit that it was a great way for Leo to let you know that Mallory's dating someone else."

Sam groaned. At that moment, he saw Toby walk by, so he followed him out into the hallway with Josh in tow.

"Can't you keep you ex wife in check!" Sam whined.

"Not really, never could or wanted to for the matter. What did she do?"

"She introduced Mallory to some baseball player!"

"So?" Toby thought for a moment, "Is it an Oriole?"

"Yes, Toby. Apparently Mal is dating Casey Anderson, thanks to Andy. Sam doesn't like it."

"An Oriole! Why does she keep doing this to me? If she wants to set up Mallory with baseball players, why not Derek Jeter, or at least a Yankee." He kept muttering under his breath and walked straight back to his office.

"What's going on?" Donna walked up to them.

"I hate baseball!"

"He found out about Casey Anderson." Josh told her.

"Huh? I thought Ainsley was seeing Todd Jordan. I could've sworn that's who she told me it was. He plays for the Orioles."

"Ainsley too!" Sam exclaimed.

"Too?"

Josh couldn't help his laughter. He really didn't believe in karma, but Sam was getting his due. "It seems Andy's been busy playing matchmaker with the Orioles because Mallory is dating Anderson."

Donna glanced at Sam and joined Josh in the laughter.

"Toby!"

"Sam, do you realize that was almost a squeal?" Josh teased.

"Shut up, both of you. Today started bad and keeps getting worse. I wonder what else could possibly happen now!"

On cue, a very shocked Cathy came to tell Sam that he had a visitor. He turned around and found himself faced with a very attractive older woman. He only smiled at her. She opened her arms wide and gave him a hug.

"Baby!"

"Mom."

*****

PART 2

***

 

Sam hugged his mom. It was weird, particularly with Donna squealing and shrieking.

"You... You... Oh my God!"

"Donna, calm down." Josh tried, but he was being ignored.

"Your mom is Sandy Wells! This is incredible. Why didn't you tell me?" She turned to Josh and slapped him over the head. "Why didn't you say anything?"

"Ouch! I didn't tell you before because Sandy as Sam's mom is Sandra Seaborn. She likes to keep her family life separate from her public one. Plus, I only learned last night that you watch the stupid show."

Josh was slapped again. This time by Sandy. "It's not a stupid show... yet. However, it will be after Brooke dies next week." Donna gasped. "Oh, and I'm not Sandra Seaborn anymore." She turned to Donna, "I'm sorry if I spoiled it for you."

"That's ok, I figured they would most likely kill you off. That's so wrong."

Sandy smiled, "Thanks sweetie, and don't worry, I won't tell you how it happens." She looked at Josh, "She's great. You better treat her right." Donna blushed and smiled at Josh. Sandy looked at Donna and said, "I can't wait to get to know you, and if you are half as wonderful as Josh has said, I'll try to talk you into leaving him for my son." She grinned at them.

"Mother."

Donna put her arm around Josh, "thanks Mrs. Seaborn, but I'm not letting this one go." She kissed Josh on the cheek, which prompted him to smile.

"Ahhh, that is so sweet, and please, call me Sandy."

Donna nodded and continued, "even if he is a pompous, arrogant ass, with an ego the size of Texas."

"Hey!" Josh complained.

"Shut up, you know you love it. It's part of your charm. Besides, Sam has enough women trouble between Mal and Ainsley."

"Donna!"

"Who?" Sandy looked from Sam to Donna.

Josh coughed, "We really have to be getting back to work." He grabbed Donna's hand, "I hope you'll be here a while. We should all go out to dinner." He didn't give them a chance to say anything else.

"Mallory and Ainsley?" Sandy raised an eyebrow.

"Why don't we go inside my office?" Sam told her, praying inside that he had the day filled with meetings.

*****

Josh dragged Donna into his office and closed the door. Mrs. Crawford gave them a look and hoped that she wouldn't walk in on any hanky panky again.

Inside the office, Josh stared at Donna.

"What?"

"Sam is going to kill you."

"Who cares, Josh? I met Sandy Wells!"

Josh rolled his eyes.

"Why didn't you ever tell me Sam's mom was a celebrity? Why didn't Sam?" Donna sat down on Josh's chair.

He sighed and sat in his visitor's chair. "It was a decision she made a long time ago. When she first became famous, Sam's sister was only about a year old, and Sam's dad had just gotten a high profile job. She already used Wells as her stage name, instead of Wellings. She'd also lied when she first got to Hollywood and made herself a few years older since she was under age. Her father-in-law advised her to keep her public and private lives separate to protect her family. At first it added a bit of mystery about her. People wanted to know who the real Sandy Wells was. Eventually she was accepted as a very private person."

"Ok, I get that, but why did Sam hide it during the campaign? Doesn't it help when candidates are endorsed by celebrities?" Donna asked.

"Actually, Sam and Sandy thought about it, but Sam's father argued against it. He said that Sam shouldn't do anything. If someone figured it out, then so be it. Sam indirectly asked Leo about it."

"Indirectly?"

"He said that he knew someone famous and whether Leo thought we could use the endorsement. At the time, we had a very strong support in California, so Leo told Sam not to go through any trouble. Sam figured that since his younger brother, Mikey, was about to start college then, it would help not to attract attention, so they didn't say anything. I guess no one thought to look much into Sandra Welling Seaborn's life."

"Funny, how it was all Sam's dad's idea." Donna commented.

"Yup. In hindsight, we know he just didn't want anyone looking into his life and learning about the affair." Josh answered.

"This is incredible."

Just then, there was a knock at the door. "Hmmm, Josh. I really hope I'm not interrupting anything."

Donna laughed, "Come in, Olivia, we're decent."

Josh glared at her. Not really wanting to remember the events of a particular night a couple of months earlier when all three of them had stayed at work late.

"Mr. Lyman-"

"Josh," he corrected her.

"Josh, Congressman Skinner is on the phone for you. And Donna, the President is asking for you."

"Oh!" Donna stood up. "I really lost track of time. This has just been so exciting. "She headed towards the door and turned around, "wait until the President finds out. He is going to be thrilled." She scampered out of the office.

"What was that about?" Mrs. Crawford asked.

"Be afraid. Be very afraid. You are about to see something you never expected to see." Josh replied right before picking up the phone.

*****

"So? Who are Mallory and Ainsley?"

"Nobody, Mom." Sam said as he closed his door.

"Really? Because Donna made it seem –"

"Mom, that's just Donna. Wait until you get to know her."

"Right," her eyes landed on a family picture Sam had on his desk. "There's the happy family now."

"Mom." Sam sat down on his chair. "What's with the 'I'm not Sandra Seaborn anymore'?"

"Well," His mother folded her arms, "since I just found out that your father went to Bermuda a few months ago and divorced me, I figured I didn't have to be a Seaborn anymore."

"But I'm a Seaborn."

"You are also a Welling and you will always be my son, Sam."

"How did you find out?"

"Your father's lawyer got around to sending me the papers." She stared at him for a few moments. "You already knew, didn't you?"

Sam lowered his head and nodded. "I'm sorry, Mom. I should've called, but I didn't know what to say. It's not like Hallmark makes a Happy Divorce card."

"Don't worry about it. I don't want you kids to feel like you have to take sides." She replied her face becoming very sad.

"You mean like Mikey has."

She nodded at Sam.

"How's he doing?"

"He still isn't talking to his father, and he said he wouldn't go to law school. He refuses to follow in his footsteps. He feels too betrayed."

"What about following me? I'm a lawyer!" Sam couldn't believe his younger brother was going to throw his life away because he was mad at their father.

"You should talk to him. I plan on visiting him soon."

"Speaking of which," Sam stood up and approached her. "Why are you here? You didn't even call me. This is very unlike you."

"I'm sorry, Sam. I guess everything was just too overwhelming. They told me about Brooke dying about 6 weeks ago. But I really didn't think it would happen. I mean, they've mentioned it before, but never ever came of it. Then I got the divorce news, and I died on the show. Yesterday the press began to hound me, something they've never done before, and I couldn't deal with it. I went to the airport with plans to get lost in Europe, but there was a flight to DC and I thought about you. I wanted to see you."

Sam could see the tears in his mother's eyes. It was too much for him, seeing her like that. "Listen Mom, I'm going to check my afternoon. I know I have a thing in about an hour that I can't cancel, but then I want to spend the rest of the day with you. We'll go to a late lunch or early dinner."

"That would be nice, Sam."

"You should go over to my place and settle in." He said as he approached the door.

"Oh, don't worry about that. I really don't want to put you out. I'll stay at a hotel."

"Nonsense, mom. I have a guest room, which I have decorated just for this occasion."

Sam's mom raised an eyebrow, "Pottery Barn or Martha Stewart's Living?" Sam shook his head and left his office.

Sandy walked around the office, stopping to gaze at Sam's diplomas. She had always been so proud of him. He was still her baby. He would always be so. That always annoyed Mikey, that she called Sam baby. At the time, he didn't care because he was his father's favorite. She glanced at the family picture again. Nicole was standing on the left. Smiling. She always was the independent one. Sam was on her right, with an arm over Sandy's shoulder. Then came Sam's father, he smiled widely, but didn't touch her. She should have known. Mikey was hugging his dad. He was a teenager then, all brace faced and happy to be there with his dad.

She sighed; she shouldn't have stayed away for so long. She felt distant from her kids. She wanted to know everything about Sam that she didn't know. Particularly who Mallory and Ainsley were. She looked around the office to see if she could find something that would give her a clue. She didn't find anything about them, but she did find a Martha Stewart magazine and a Pottery Barn catalog. She still knew her baby.

"Listen Sam, about Thursday, I-"Sandy turned around when she heard the man's voice.

"Excuse me. I was looking for Sam." He told her. She recognized him from his many pictures in the newspapers. Plus Sam talked about him all of the time.

"He'll be right back. He went to ask his assistant about his schedule." She smiled at the man her son admired so much. "You're Leo McGarry, right?"

"Yes," He walked closer to her, "and you must be Sam's mother."

"You heard I was here?" She couldn't believe it had gotten all the way to the Chief of Staff.

"Not really. Hadn't even heard anything. I just recognized you from the picture on Sam's desk. Are you staying long?"

"Oh, no. Don't worry, I don't plan on taking too much of Sam's time." She told him.

"You should. I'll have him make time. I never made time for my family and it got me divorced. Mal was very upset with me."

"Mal?" She wondered.

"Mallory, my daughter. She uses the last name, O'Brien, so you probably won't have heard much about her."

 

The boss's daughter... That's my boy. "I understand about the name thing. It must keep her out of the media."

"Yes, and I want what's best for her."

"Mom, I think I can arrange for us to spend some time together, but-"Sam stopped short when he saw Leo talking to his mom. "Leo... Did you need me for something?"

"Ahhh, yes. I just came in to tell you that I wanted you there early on Thursday night. Now I have a couple of other things to tell you."

"Ok." Sam gulped. He wondered what Leo would make him do now.

"I want you to take your charming mother as your date." Leo turned to a beaming Sandy.

"No problem. Why don't we make it a family thing and bring Ma- your daughter as your date."

Leo laughed, "Also, take the afternoon off. If there's something that you can't reschedule, let me know."

"Well, I have the thing soon, but beyond that, I can work it."

Leo nodded, "Good. You should have someone give your mom a tour." He began to leave, "It was a pleasure meeting you."

After he left, Sandy grinned at Sam, "So... The mysterious Mallory is Mr. McGarry's daughter."

"Don't start, Mom. Want me to get someone to give you the tour?"

"Sure." She said and sat down.

Suddenly, Sam could hear a small commotion outside his office. He figured someone else was a fan of his mom must have found out.

He was right. He just didn't expect it to be the President.

"As I live and breathe, Sandy Wells, in my White House." He shook her hand.

"Mr. President, I'm honored to meet you. I can't believe that you watch my show." Sandy said nervously.

"I was appalled when Donna told me the news of Brooke's demise. When she came to the Oval Office and told me you were here, well, I couldn't let the opportunity go to waste."

Sam noticed that Donna stood behind, just outside his office. He excused himself and left the President talking with his mom in his office. He walked over to her, but didn't say anything.

"Hi, Sam." She said, not looking at him.

Sam smiled.

"The President's a big fan of your mom."

"Good for him."

"Are you mad at me?" She said playfully.

"Why would I be mad at you? The only thing you did was tell my mom about Ainsley and Mallory."

"You won't try to get back at me, right?" Donna bit her lip.

"I'll get you... and your little Josh too."

Donna was about to reply when the President came out of the office with Sandy. "Come Donna. I'm showing Sandy the office. Then I want you to give her the grand tour."

"Sir?" Sam asked.

"That way you can finish up and take your mom out on the town."

"I... fine, sir. Have fun, mom." He stood there and watched the procession back to the Oval Office. He saw Donna grin wickedly at him. This was going to be very bad.

*****

 

Three hours later, Donna promptly delivered Sandy back to Sam. They had clearly bonded, a lot. Therefore he wasn't surprised with the first words out of her mouth.

"That Ainsley girl is divine! Even if she is a Republican." The next words did surprise him. "I invited her for a late lunch with us. You should call her and let her know when and where to meet us."

"What?" He couldn't believe it. Now Ainsley would probably get the wrong idea.

"It will be fine."

"Sure, it will." He shook his head and picked up his briefcase. "Let's go home and get you settled in. I'll call Ainsley from there." His mom walked in front of him as they left. She might try to keep her lives separate, but with her involved, it always ended up soapy.

It was going to be quite a ride.

*****

PART 3

***

 

 

"Good Morning, Donna."

"Good Morning, Toby."

"Mrs. Landingham used to have cookies."

Donna looked up from the computer. "Buy cookies and I'll keep them here."

"You've been at this desk for a while now."

"Yes, Toby."

"Do you like it?"

"Of course I do."

"I was just asking because you happened to spend a lot of time yesterday around Josh's office."

Donna rolled her eyes at Toby. "I have to. If not, I might start longing for him, even though we work in the same building," she smiled sweetly at him.

Toby glared at her.

Josh asked Sam, as they entered the reception area, "with Ainsley? What were you thinking?"

"There wasn't anything I could do about it."

"Sure there was, Sam!" Josh said loudly, prompting Donna to shush him. "Sorry Donna, it's just that -. Never mind, Sam's an idiot."

"Indeed he is." CJ walked in, "but that's really a universal truth. I do hope we are discussing something more important during staff."

"You can't possibly still be upset with me, CJ." Sam almost begged.

"Try me. You just stood there while I talked about her and you didn't even mention she was your mother! I had to find out from Danny! During my briefing!"

"I'm sorry, CJ."

Toby rolled his eyes at them, "Still can't believe you are arguing over a soap diva."

"That's my mother."

"I really hate to interrupt all the joyful bickering, but the President wanted to remind you about tonight." Donna stood up.

"Tonight?" Josh thought for a moment. "Oh crap! Again? Didn't we just have a movie night?"

"Sorry, and before you say anything Toby, you can't skip this one. You missed the last one and he remembers." Donna smirked at him. This strangely filled Josh with pride. He loved that she had his smirk down pat. Love definitely did wonders on him.

"Well, I'm skipping it. I have a good excuse. I'm spending time with my mother." Sam folded his arms across his chest.

Donna snorted and Sam was about to ask her why, when Charlie walked in.

"I just gave the movie and 2 copies to the steward." He looked at Sam, "I also called your mother and she said she'd be delighted to come."

"What?" Sam shrieked.

"Didn't you know, Sam? She's the President's guest of honor." Donna grinned from ear to ear.

"Just out of curiosity, Donna, what's the movie?" Josh wondered. This situation was getting funnier by the minute.

"Soapdish." Donna snickered.

"Oh brother." Toby exclaimed.

"You have to give the President credit for being thorough. He's making it a theme night." CJ laughed as well. Watching Sam turn various shades of red was fun.

"If it's a theme night, can I have an evil twin?" Josh asked.

"I thought you already were the evil twin." The President was standing at the door to the Oval Office.

"Good Morning, Sir!" Josh greeted him and was followed by the rest of the staff.

"Good Morning to you all. Why don't we step into my office? I'm only saying this because it seems that you prefer standing out here avoiding me." He entered his office and they all followed him inside.

"Good, we are all here. We can start." Leo had just entered from his own office.

"Yes, but before we do." The President turned to Sam, "It was great meeting your mom yesterday. I can't wait until Abby meets her tonight!"

Sam groaned, he really hated his life.

*****

 

CJ and Donna were having a late lunch in the Mess. It was practically empty and they were enjoying the time.

"Did the President tease Sam a lot?" Donna asked.

"It's not so much that the President teased him, it's the fact that he keeps acting like a teenaged boy who just met Britney Spears."

Donna snorted, "yeah, that's him alright. This must be driving Sam nuts."

"It's Sam, how could you really tell?" Ainsley said as she joined them.

"True." Donna commented. "You should have seen his face when he found out about certain Oriole players."

CJ snickered, she could definitely imagine Sam's reaction.

Ainsley laughed with them and suddenly stopped. "Wait a minute. Sam knows about Todd?"

Donna nodded. "I told him right after he found out about Mal and Casey. He was about to blow a gasket!"

"Then what happened?" CJ laughed.

"Oh, nothing much, his mom showed up." Donna burst out laughing.

Ainsley didn't join in. She just scrunched her face. "He didn't say anything."

"Who didn't say what?" Donna asked her.

"Sam, he didn't mention anything about Todd last night."

"Well, maybe he was just freaked out about his mom being here." CJ suggested.

"I guess... It's just... Never mind."

"What is it, Ainsley? Tell us." Donna prompted her.

"There's just something there that... I really don't know how to explain it, but I think that I'm kidding myself. There's never going to be anything real between Sam and me."

"Ainsley!" Donna said, wondering if maybe Josh knew something.

"I'm serious. We flirt and have fun with the whole Republican-Democrat thing, but that's where it ends. There's really nothing more. We are no Josh and Donna."

"I could have told you that! Sam's too much of a pretty boy to be my Josh. He looks like a freaking Ken doll!"

"Donna, somehow I don't think that is what Ainsley is talking about. Right?" CJ turned from Donna to Ainsley.

She nodded, "I always saw your banter and everyone knew it was your way of expressing your feelings without having to admit them. You guys inspired a bet, not about if you would get together, but when. I can assure you there is no bet like that with me and Sam."

Donna coughed, but Ainsley continued, "a bet like that would probably involve Mallory. After all, she knew about the past bet. Nobody bothered to tell me!"

Donna almost choked on her juice. If only Ainsley knew.

"Ainsley, you're exaggerating. And if you want to complain, go talk to the President. He's the one who drafted Mallory to the Josh and Donna project."

"I'm not complaining. Things are just different. You could tell how Josh felt about you by the way he looked at you. Now, it's all in his smile. You know he is really happy."

Donna was beaming. She couldn't help it. They were happy and she loved that everyone knew it.

"Speaking of which, Joshua had a huge smile this morning." CJ raised her eyebrows.

Donna blushed, "What can I say? I make him happy."

"I'll say, it's a shame we never got to see Josh's face the morning after that hospital benefit." Ainsley commented.

"You mean while I was making breakfast for the President and his guests?"

"Now, that would have been something to see!" Donna exclaimed.

"Sure," CJ told her, "especially the President's face when he got Josh's message." Donna grinned at her. "I've got to wonder when you two found the time to do that." CJ smirked.

"Why do you assume Josh and I had a sex-a-thon that night?"

"Because you guys were so happy and wearing huge grins. Plus you were always looking for places to make out. Somebody caught you so many times, that we all figured you were!" Ainsley looked at Donna.

"Weren't you?"

"Eventually, but not at first."

"I don't believe you." CJ exclaimed.

"Too bad. I'm not going to deny that we were thinking about it, a lot, but we had plenty to talk about that night."

"Talk? That's what you two were always doing. We'd figured that after you finally kissed, you'd be going at it all the time."

Ainsley snorted. "Maybe not all the time, but..."

"I'm not going to say that we just sat there talking because we didn't. We spent a great deal of time in bed kissing and such, but we talked. It was great. There was so much we needed to say to each other. After all, we'd been dancing around our feelings for 4 years."

"Ok, I can see that. How did you figure out that the President was involved?" Ainsley asked.

"Josh told me." Donna said quickly.

CJ raised her eyebrows, "and how did he know?"

"Well," Donna gulped. She hadn't realized what she had said at first. "He just figured it out. He'd heard grumblings about a bet and put two and two together. You know, Josh."

"I do, which is why I am surprised. It took him 4 years to realize he was in love with you." CJ commented.

"It's not the same thing, CJ. It's tough to long for someone you work with. Wouldn't you agree?" Donna narrowed her eyes on CJ.

"I wouldn't know," she replied. Donna momentarily wished Ainsley wasn't there, so she could try and get CJ to tell her about Toby. Ever since Josh told her about them, she wanted to be able to talk to CJ, but she hadn't found a way to do it. "So, tell me more about the talk you and Josh had."

"There's really nothing more to tell. We just spent the entire night talking about everything and anything. Even though we knew each other for so long, we realized there was a lot we didn't know about the other."

"Awww, you had the night!" Ainsley exclaimed.

CJ rolled her eyes, "You watch too much Friends, Ainsley. Anyway, Donna, when did you finally-"

"Get it on?" Donna smiled. "I'm not really going to say when, because, well, it's none of your business," she grinned.

"Aw, come on." Ainsley whined.

"What's up?" Sam walked up to them.

"Girl talk." Donna said.

"Donna's and Josh's first "time" together." Ainsley told him.

"A week after the Gala," Sam sat down. "After they went on their official first date," CJ laughed and Donna glared at him. "I wasn't supposed to tell?"

"Never mind," Donna stood up.

"Where are you going?" CJ asked.

"To go slap my boyfriend."

*****

 

 

"To go slap my boyfriend."

*****

 

"Horney?"

"Yes, Mr. President." Donna sat down in the cinema and prepared herself for a lecture.

"Over Freud? I can't believe you chose Karen Horney over Freud as your term paper topic."

"With all due respect, sir," she told the President, "I prefer her theories, and I thought I wrote a good paper."

"It would have been better if you've chosen Sigmund Freud as your topic."

"Freud?" CJ walked in.

"We're discussing Donna's work for her Psychology class." The President informed her. Donna covered her eyes and shook her head. It had been a mistake to show him her paper, but he had insisted. He was so excited about her going back to school.

"It was about Freud? Ugh. In my opinion, he was a sick pervert who created a bunch of theories to justify his behavior."

"Bless you, CJ," Donna smiled.

"Plus he abused morphine."

"Morphine? Please tell me someone's sharing. That might help me get through tonight." Toby grumped as he walked in.

"I can always count on you Toby to be your usual self, but trust me, you'll like this movie. Tonight's going to be fun." The President told him.

"What did I miss?" Josh entered the cinema with Sam behind him.

"I really don't know, but there was talk about morphine." Toby sat down in the back row.

"Morphine, sir?" Josh glanced at the President.

"We were discussing Freud." The President turned to Donna, "what does Josh think of your paper?"

"I wouldn't know. You should ask his boyfriend, Sam, about it." She glared at Josh.

"Donna." Sam rolled his eyes.

The President was about to say something to them when Leo entered with Ainsley and Sandy. Charlie followed and signaled to the President that they were ready to start. He waited until everyone had sat down before addressing them.

"I'm so glad that Sandy could make it. This is a really funny movie and you will all love it." They all nodded at him. They knew it was pretty much an order. "Then, after the movie is over, Sandy can tell us which things would actually happen." He walked over to Sandy and Sam. "Do you mind if I sit next to your mother?" The President glanced at Sam. "You can go sit with Josh." He grinned and winked at Donna, who was smirking.

Josh closed his eyes and began hitting his head on the back of the seat. Donna had said something to the President. He knew there would be a lot of teasing. Sam grunted and sat next to him. It was going to be a long night, and to make it worse, he could see Toby laughing at them.

*****

"Sam thought Montana Moorehead was hot." Laughter broke all around.

"I did not, CJ."

"He's right." Donna defended him. "Besides, she's not his type. He prefers balding, arrogant, smug, --"

"Donna." Josh tried to glare her down, but it didn't work.

"—full of themselves, old men!" She smirked.

"Old? I am not old!" Josh exclaimed.

"Do remember that you turn 40 in a week and a half." Donna smiled widely.

Josh grimaced.

"I can't believe that we forgot that your birthday is just around the corner." CJ said.

"I'll buy the beer, Toby can rent the movies." Sam nodded.

"Beer? Movies? Please tell me that's not all you are going to be doing for Josh's birthday?" Sandy looked at all of them.

Josh shrugged, "That's what we always do. Sit around, drink beer, watch bad movies, and they give me presents."

Donna rolled her eyes, "Don't count on the presents just yet."

"Well, I won't have it. Josh is like a son to me, and I might not have been here for Sam's birthday, but I'm here now, and I plan to throw him a party. It's your 40th birthday after all." Sam chuckled and she turned to him. "You don't mind, do you honey?"

"Of course he doesn't, and I think it's a great idea." The President stood up, "in fact, why don't we go back to my office and start planning." He motioned to Charlie, "Let's go. You too, Leo. After you, Sandy."

After they left, Sam stood up and glanced at everyone in the room. "At least, they won't be talking about me."

Josh groaned. Donna and CJ snickered, while Toby did his happy grunt and Ainsley just smiled.

"I am starting to fear for my mother's well-being. The First Lady might not want her around."

CJ laughed, "don't worry about that. It's not your mom's fault. If anyone should fear the First Lady, it's the President."

"This conversation is so interesting, that I'm going to go enjoy it in my office," Toby grunted.

Sam sighed, "I guess I'll go back to my office as well. I have to wait for mom." He looked over at Ainsley, "want to keep me company?"

"I can't. I sort of have plans to meet a friend for a late snack."

"Ok. Have fun. I'll be in my office." He quickly left.

Ainsley pouted and turned to Donna, who gave her a sympathetic smile. Ainsley shook her head and left Josh and Donna alone.

They both stared at each other for a few minutes until Josh broke the spell.

"The jokes aren't funny."

Donna stood up, "I'm going to see if the President needs anything, then I'm going home."

Josh walked closer to her. "Ok. I'll wait for you."

"Hmmm, no. I'm going home alone."

"Donna, you can't really be mad at me over the Sam thing. He's my best friend. I tell him everything."

"Josh, I'm not really mad, but it's... Look, I have to finish my term paper, get prepared for class tomorrow and come early to work as well. I just want to rest. We'll talk later." She gave him a quick peck on the cheek and left.

Josh stood there for a minute. She was pissed. He could tell. He wondered how he could solve that.

*****

 

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