Chapter 10

 

Sandy stood in the middle of the ballroom looking fabulous in a velvet turquoise blouse and matching pants. Even though the party had already started, she kept overseeing and giving orders.

"Mom, I think that you can relax. You look too good not to enjoy yourself." Sam gave her a small peck on the cheek.

"You don't look so bad yourself."

"Of course, since you picked out the clothes."

"Versace looks good on you baby," she replied about the dark blue silk shirt he wore with slacks. "Plus I bet you loved the leather jacket I got you."

"Who wouldn't like a mahogany brown leather jacket! It's just the right color, but that's not the point. You don't need to do all this."

"I want to do it, Sam. It's all part of being a mom," she smiled.

"Awww, how sweet! A family moment." Mikey walked up to them. He was wearing an oversized light green sweater and black slacks, and a light brown suede leather jacket.

"I see that mom also dressed you. Why haven't you checked in your jacket?" Sam asked him.

"I'm cold."

"Sure, sweetheart, that's it," his mother grinned. "It doesn't have anything to do with Zoey seeing the 'look'."

"Is that true? Mikey, remember what I told you."

He rolled his eyes and was about to reply when he saw Leo arrive. He snickered. "Mom, by any chance, did you also dress Leo?"

"Mikey! Please!" Sam exclaimed.

"Sam, your brother is right. You do need to relax. He meant picking out his clothes, not physically dressing him. Your reactions to this are all a big hooleelya."

"Mother, you do know that doesn't mean anything, right?" Mikey added but no one actually listened to him.

"Oh," Sam said and turned to where Mikey had been looking. "How did you talk him into wearing all black? And with a brown jacket to boot! Not even the President could do that!"

Mikey snickered as Leo joined them. He patted Sam on the back as Leo gave their mother a kiss on the cheek. Sam cringed and Mikey took the opportunity to whisper to him. "They are so doing it."

"Shut up!" Sam mumbled back.

"Sam." Leo turned to him. "Mal came with me. She is saying hello to a few friends."

"Ahhh, our future sister." Mikey whispered again.

Sam glared at him. "I'll go find her." He began to leave. "You look good, Leo."

"I look like an idiot." Leo replied to no one in particular.

"You look gorgeous. Doesn't he, Mikey?" Sandy said as she smoothed some of the lines off of his jacket.

Mikey smiled uncomfortably, "I think I'm going to go find people my own age."

*****

"So? Are the rumors true?" Danny followed CJ.

CJ stopped to look at him. "If they are rumors about you dressing like a clown, then yes, they are true."

"CJ, that was mean! My mom gave me this sweater." He replied referring to his multicolored striped sweater.

"Really, the black jacket and the olive green slacks, not a good idea." She smiled and kept walking.

"Since when did you become the fashion police?"

"What do you want Danny? Aren't you here as a guest?"

"I am, but I'm still a reporter at heart."

"Yes," she said dryly. "I know that quite well."

"Plus, I'm writing the profile."

"Oh yes, I remember how you scammed an invite to the party."

"How about a couple of questions? First off, what ARE you wearing?"

"What? This old thing?" She twirled and smiled. She knew she looked good in the emerald stained leather pants and matching jacket. "See, this particular shade of green is Josh's favorite and I'm jumping out of the cake later on," she winked at him.

"Seriously, CJ, who are you wearing that for? I've heard so many rumors about the White House love connections, maybe you..."

"Maybe what? Can't I want to look good for myself? I don't need to impress a man to want to look good. I just like feeling good about myself!" CJ raised her voice on the last part.

"Easy there, CJ." Toby walked up to them. "Did you offend the sisterhood, Danny? Big mistake."

"Thanks for the advice, Toby," Danny said sarcastically.

"Listen to Toby. He knows of what he speaks." CJ replied.

"Why aren't you making fun of his outfit?"

CJ looked at Toby's ensemble. He had a black turtle neck, pants, and loafers. "Well," she shrugged, "It's somber for a party, but it is Toby, after all. Besides, black is always a classic."

"CJ, you still haven't answered my question, are the rumors true?"

Toby glanced at Danny, "Which rumors would those be?"

"About Leo and Sandy." Danny pointed to where the couple was happily talking.

"You mean, Mr. McGarry and Ms. Wellings?" CJ answered. "As you know, the White House doesn't comment on the personal lives of the staff and we certainly don't comment on the personal lives of private citizens."

"CJ, a simple 'no comment' wouldn't have killed you."

"No comment," Toby glared at him, which made Danny leave promptly. He then turned to CJ, "Have I told you that you look lovely this evening?"

"Why thank you, Tobus." She smiled at him.

*****

"Why are we still in the car, Josh? Don't you want to go into your birthday party?" Donna asked Josh. They had been sitting inside the car for a couple of minutes, but he didn't make a move to get out.

"I'm waiting."

"THAT I assumed, but why?" Donna was becoming exasperated.

"I think I'm a bit over dressed. Maybe the suit wasn't a good idea."

Donna rolled her eyes at him. "Josh, it's not like you are wearing a tie. You have a grey sweater, a nice wool one, with a crew neck, and you know how that makes you look soo sexy." She smiled and ran a finger on top of his sweater.

"Well, Ms. Moss, you don't look bad yourself. You know I love how you look in red." He put a hand on her side, rubbing her red leather skirt. "And ever since I saw how that sweater looked on you, I've thought of nothing other than getting you out of it. It looks good on you, but like any good frat boy would say, it will look better balled up on the floor in my room." Josh grinned and went to kiss her.

"Are you insane? This is a white cashmere sweater that the First Lady gave me for Christmas. We are taking good care of this sweater!"

"Whatever you say, m'am." He kissed her, gently at first, but it quickly became more passionate. After a couple of minutes, Donna pulled back.

"We really have to get out of the car."

Josh nodded in agreement, his mind clearly still on her lips.

They both noticed that the motorcade was arriving and decided to wait for the President.

"See, Josh, the President is also wearing a suit. You aren't over dressed. He is even wearing a tie." She pointed to the President's navy blue suit and yellow tie.

"He is the President. He has to look good. Plus he's wanted to show off that De la Renta he got for Christmas. He's told everyone about it, but look at Charlie, he's dressed more relaxed."

"Josh," Donna sighed pointed with her head to Charlie's purple sweater and black dockers, "he is dressed like a young guy would. You are over reacting." She pulled him towards the First Lady. "Good evening, M'am."

"Hey! It's the man of the hour. Happy Birthday, Josh. You look quite handsome." She told him and Donna snickered.

Josh ignored Donna, "Thank you, m'am. You are looking very beautiful, if I may say so."

"Of course you may, Josh, and thank you." Josh was right; she was stunning in a black and red pants suit. If Donna could guess, she would say it was by Lagerfeld.

"Happy Birthday, Josh!" The President approached him, with Zoey and Charlie in tow, as they all entered the lobby.

"Thank you, sir." Josh said and then turned to Zoey and Charlie, "How are you guys?"

"Good, Josh." Charlie replied quickly.

"It's so cool that you are having a big party for your 40th!" Zoey exclaimed. She looked lovely in a white wool sweater and tan slacks.

"Well, if it had been up to me, I would be home drinking beers with my friends and watching bad movies, but it wasn't. This is all Sandy's doing." Josh told them as the group finally entered the ballroom to see what actually had been Sandy's doing.

*****

The ballroom was beautifully decorated. You could tell Sandy had poured her heart and soul into it. As soon as she saw Josh walk in, she went over to him and gave him a big hug. When he let go of her, he noticed Leo, or at least he thought it was Leo.

"Who are you and what have you done with Leo McGarry?" He teased.

"Stuff it, birthday boy. I've heard enough from everyone else."

"Well, you should! This wasn't a costume party. You didn't have to dress like Fabio."

"Oh please Josh. Fabio would never wear something like that," Donna told him.

"Hey, Josh, I think Sam was looking for you, over there." Leo pointed to the other side of the room.

"Is that your way of getting rid of us?" Josh smiled.

"Go. Now."

"Hey Sam!" Josh began dragging Donna away, who could barely say, "Bye, Leo!"

When they found Sam, he was giving Mikey yet another lecture regarding his behavior. "You think you are funny, but you are not."

"Awww, come on, Sam, I think Mikey brings joy everywhere he goes." Josh walked up behind Sam.

"Happy Birthday, man!" Sam hugged him.

Donna smiled at Mikey, "Don't you think they hug too much?"

"Don't' start with that again." Josh replied as he let go of Sam. "How are you, Mikey?"

"I'm hanging in there, Josh. How's the birthday going?"

"It's going. There's a bunch of people here that I don't even know and I assume I'll have to go talk to them." Josh nodded. "I'm guessing that's going to be a drag. Unless they brought presents," he grinned at them.

"One track mind." Donna kissed him on the cheek.

"Hey." Josh looked around, "Where's Mallory? I thought she would have been here by now."

"You mean our future sister? She's around here." Mikey chuckled.

"Knock it off," Sam chided.

"Oh yeah, where's good old sis?" Josh joined in the laughter.

"Sis? Hmmm, I think I'm coming late to the party, since when is Mallory your sister?" Donna looked confused.

"Well isn't it obvious? Since Leo and Sandy are dating, when they get married, Mallory will be their sister." Josh burst out laughing and barely even said the last part.

Donna turned to Sam and gave him this look that said she felt sorry for him. "Oh Sam, for crying out loud."

"See? Donna knows how ridiculous that idea of them dating is."

"Oh no, Sam." Donna told him. "I'm pretty sure they are dating. What I find ridiculous is the whole sister thing."

"What sister thing?" Mallory walked up to them. Sam held his breath. She looked radiant in a cotton-knit wrap around deep rose russet dress.

"Easy there, Sam. I'm certain those thoughts you are entertaining are forbidden, unless it is something out of Flowers in the Attic." Donna told him and was joined by simultaneous snorts from Josh and Mikey.

Mallory had her hands on her hips. "Can somebody please tell me what's going on?"

"Nothing," Sam mumbled.

"I'll do it. It's my birthday and I get to be the one to have fun." He smirked and put his hand on Mallory's shoulder. "Sam's all confused about what will happen if Leo and Sandy get married. You know whether you'll be siblings." The laughter broke out again.

"First off, our parents are NOT dating. They are good friends." Mallory stated, followed by a chorus of sures and yeah, rights. "Anyways, even if they were – which they are not – it wouldn't matter, Sam. It's not like we would be living together a la Brady Bunch and grow up as siblings. C'mon, everyone knows that!"

"Ok, so we've got that matter under control, how about we go enjoy my birthday party."

*****

After a while, Josh had made rounds and talked to all the people he needed to acknowledge for coming to his party. He was finally able to enjoy himself and he did what he had really wanted to do. Dance with Donna. He loved holding her tight, caressing her body as they moved, and doing so in front of everybody. Even though they had danced together a number of times, it still felt like the first time. He always got those butterflies in his stomach. Of course he loved it even more because now he could kiss her in front of everyone.

He was about to kiss her when he noticed Ainsley arriving with Todd. They were heading towards Sam and Josh got the feeling his presence would soon be needed. He gave Donna a quick kiss and pulled her towards Sam. They arrived just as Ainsley did.

"Hey Ainsley, you look nice." He told her and she did look nice in a light grey halter top and sweater jacket with slacks of a darker shade.

"Thank you, Josh, and happy birthday. You remember Todd, of course." She smiled and looked from Josh to her date.

"Thanks for coming, Todd. Have you met my girlfriend, Donna?"

"Pleasure to meet you, Donna." He shook her hand.

"Likewise." She had to admit it, they looked good together, and the guy knew how to dress. Donna was pretty sure that the cream gray suit he wore was a DK.

"So, Ainsley, how are you?" Sam finally spoke.

"I'm well, thank you," she sighed. "I might as well tell you all now. I'm accepting that position in Miami and I'll be leaving within the next month."

"We'll miss you, but you'll keep in touch." Donna gave her a hug.

"Good for you." Sam said to no one in particular.

Josh patted his friend on the back, but he couldn't help but be glad. That meant he would win the bet. He was the master.

"Josh, I gotta say, your birthday has a great turnout, a famous actress, a major league baseball all-star, English lords, you name it." Danny walked up to them.

"Well, everyone loves me." Josh grinned. "Speaking of which, where is Marbury?"

"Where else?" Sam said and pointed towards the bar where John, Lord Marbury sat along sides Toby.

"As long as he isn't annoying the women..." Josh commented.

"So, Josh, are you enjoying your birthday?" Danny asked.

"Of course. Did you bring me a present?""

"I might have, but really, you don't need anymore presents, you've been blessed with having someone as wonderful as Donna in your life." Danny smiled at her.

"Why, thank you, Danny!' Donna beamed. Josh rolled his eyes at them.

"When will we be hearing wedding bells?" He said innocently.

Josh began coughing. "Wedding bells? Oh no, not for a long time." Josh quickly replied failing to notice the expression on Donna's face. "If anything, we might just move in together later on."

Sam closed his eyes and held back the desire to slap Josh upside the head.

"That's exciting, isn't it Donna." Danny turned back to her.

"Yeah, sure. Of course. Hmmm." She glanced around the room. "Will you excuse me, I see someone who's waving at me." She walked away from them as Sam shook his head.

"What's up with her?" Josh asked.

Ainsley stared at him, "You are an idiot, Josh!"

Josh was about to reply, but he was interrupted by Sam.

"Oh no!" He said as he made a dash towards the dance floor.

"What the?" Josh finally saw what Sam went after. Mikey. He was leading Zoey to the dance floor, and a very angry Charlie looked on. Josh decided to follow Sam. He would worry about Donna later.

 

*****

Chapter 11

 

"Mikey, what did I tell you?" Sam said through his teeth.

"I just asked a friend to dance."

"You didn't ask her. I saw you go over, take her hand, and lead her here." Sam replied.

"The asking was implied... and she didn't say no. This is a party and I wanted to dance. What's so wrong with that? Right, Josh?"

"Now, don't drag me into this." Josh said as he joined them.

"Just leave Zoey alone."

"Hmmm, Sam, I think I can take care of myself. If not, there's a bunch of suits that'll do it. I'm not doing anything wrong or not making a scene!" Zoey lowered her voice on the last part and Sam realized how much of a fool he was acting like.

"I'm sorry," he mumbled and walked away.

Josh smiled at them and went towards Charlie. "They are just friends."

"I know."

"Listen, I know Mikey very well. This isn't about Zoey. It's about Sam. Mikey is doing it to drive Sam nuts."

"Why is he like that?"

"Lots of things. C'mon, walk with me." They passed by the bar, grabbed a couple of beers and walked around the room.

"You know about Sam's dad, right? Why they split up?" Josh asked Charlie.

"Yeah," Charlie nodded. "He kept a woman for like 30 years... whoa! When Mikey was born, his father already..."

"Yup." Josh drank some of his beer. "Mikey blames his father for a lot of things. Plus he says that he –Mikey – was a guilt thing. To keep the family away from the affair, and it is really hard for him because he worshipped his dad. He was going to be just like him and now he is really confused."

"No wonder Sam is always fighting with him about Law School," Charlie commented.

"Exactly, plus he is jealous of Sam over a lot of things. Sam could easily forgive their father, Sam's their mom's favorite, and she still calls him baby, after all. He just feels out of place."

They both stood for a moment and watched Zoey and Mikey dance. They were having good clean fun.

"They dance just like I would with CJ or Donna." Charlie observed.

"Yeah. I think you two could be friends, if you wanted to. And like I said, don't worry about Mikey. He is searching for something and I'm sure he'll be gone in a few days. He always does."

"Thanks, Josh."

"Anytime, now I'm off to find Sam and fix him."

*****

Josh found Sam in the nearby patio. It was quite beautiful if it weren't a bit cold. The place where you took your date for a romantic interlude, not to go pout about being a basket case.

"What's wrong, Sammy?"

"Don't call me that, Josh. I feel bad enough as it is." Sam didn't turn around.

"You have to start giving your brother the benefit of the doubt. He is an adult, and considering all the crap that he has been dealt, he does considerably well."

"Why doesn't he listen to me?"

"You seek to control him, and the more you try to do so, the more he will rebel. He already has a father. What he needs is a big brother, a friend.

"Oh, Josh..." Sam sighed and turned to his friend.

"You know, that's the type of things that makes Donna say those things about us."

Sam laughed at him. "Speaking of which, where is Donna?"

"Not a clue. Probably somewhere being mad at me. She'll get over it."

"There you are!" CJ marched over to them. "The President wants you to open up your presents."

"Now?" Josh raised his eyebrows, "I kind of was hoping to do that alone in the privacy of my own home."

"Well, too bad," she grabbed his arm and pulled him inside with Sam following them.

*****

Everyone surrounded Josh and the President for the gift opening ceremony. He'd gotten everything from socks (for which he would have a long talk with Charlie about) to plenty of music CDs that he would never listen to. He picked out a present and read the tag. "This is from Olivia." He searched for his assistant and thanked her.

"Don't mention it," she smiled and winked at Donna. That worried Josh. He suddenly realized that a lot of the presents left had the wrapping paper he had seen at Donna's. He opened it carefully to find a book.

"The Foolproof Idiot's Guide to Using Your Computer." He read out loud as everyone laughed.

"I'm sure I'll enjoy it immensely. What's next?" He looked among the packages and saw one from CJ and Sam, also with the same wrapping paper. "Hmmm, let's see. Should I be frightened?" Both culprits just smiled innocently, which of course scared him even more. He opened the gift to find two books. He couldn't even read the titles out loud, but the President didn't have any trouble doing so, after a nice laugh. "Angelina Ballerina and I dreamed I was a Ballerina. Just perfect. Wish I thought of this, now my present will seem lame."

"I doubt that, sir." Josh replied, turning red from embarrassment. "Thanks guys, I'm sure I'll love reading them. In fact, Sam, why don't you come over and read them to me as a bedtime story." That promptly wiped the smile away from Sam's face. CJ, well, he couldn't do anything about her, yet.

"That one over there is from me, Josh." The President pointed to one that stood in the middle. "You might have to share it with Sam."

Josh picked it up apprehensively. It was yet another book. "Was there a special at Borders?" He wondered and then laughed out loud when he read the title. "So you want to be President? Well, sir, I think you are right, I have to share it with Sam, but if I were to listen to Donna, maybe I should give it to CJ," he winked at Donna, who didn't smile back.

"CJ?" The President looked at her, then at Donna. "Not a bad idea, actually. You have my vote!"

"Hey!" Sam complained.

"Hey what? Don't you think I could be a good President? I happen to think I would be amazing!"

"Damn right!" Donna nodded her head towards CJ.

"Of course, Donna you'll be there as my Chief of Staff."

"Actually, CJ, Donna wants to be your VP because she wants to be President after you." Josh spoke up, but Donna still didn't smile at him.

The President turn to Donna, "That's my girl. You both can count on my support and counsel."

"OK, now let's open another present." Josh said, bringing the attention back to him, and acting like a child, so he chose the biggest present left. "Oooh, Zoey, wonder what you got me." He took out quite a nice brown coat. "Hey, this is good."

"Well, it's not just from me. I went out and bought it with mom." Zoey smiled at him.

"Well, thank you both. You clearly have great taste."

Donna snorted, "Like you would know about fashion."

"It was all Zoey, Josh." The First Lady told him. "We were out shopping and she saw it and said you just had to have a... what was it that you called it, honey?"

"A Brown Coat of Lust," Zoey giggled.

"Huh?" Josh looked at the coat again. "Are there hidden things here I should know about?"

"No." Mikey told him. "It just means that Zoey spends a lot of time on the internet and loves Pacey from Dawson's Creek. It's just like a coat he used to wear that drove girls crazy all over the net."

"And you know this because?" Josh asked him.

"Dude, Joey's hot! I never miss that show. She's got some kind of it!"

"Ok then. Thanks for the great present. Moving on!" He saw that there were only three gifts left. One was from Leo and Sandy. That would annoy Sam. "Hey! Sandy and Leo got me a gift together! How cute!" He began opening it as Sam eyes were bulging out of his head. "Wow. You didn't have to." He took out an extremely fine looking watch. He was pretty sure those were diamonds inside.

"Well, Donna is always raging on you that you are never on time and your watch is always late." Leo raised an eyebrow.

"Thank you two. It is very... I don't have words."

"There's an inscription on the back." Sandy told him as she gave him a small kiss on the cheek.

He turned the watch around and read, "To know you is to love you. We are glad we know you." Josh was touched by that and held back the tears.

"Ok, Josh, now you have 2 presents left." Sandy took both of them. "One's from Ainsley & Todd and the other is from Donna. Which one do you want to open first, sweetie?"

"Hey, Toby? What? No gift?" Josh asked teasingly.

Toby looked at him from the back and raised his drink, "My gift to you is to work hard and spin everything you do and keep you employed."

"Gee, just what I always wanted."

"Fine. Fine. Here," Toby threw one of those stress balls to Josh. "You can play with it."

"Ok, I guess I'll open Ainsley's present now." He took it and began to unwrap it.

"Don't forget it is from Todd too." Ainsley reminded him.

"Oh. My. God." Josh couldn't believe what he was seeing. "Is this for real?"

"I got it from him myself." Todd told him proudly.

"You are my new best friend!" Josh exclaimed.

"Hey!" Sam complained.

"Look!" Josh showed them the gift. It was a framed photograph of Mike Piazza. It was autographed for Josh with a big 'DUDE!' written under his name.

"He's hot." CJ stated. "Maybe you could set up an intro."

"Sure, but I must warn you, m'am, he's a closet case." Todd told her.

"WHAT!" Josh freaked out.

"Well, ok, not officially. That's just locker room talk, but it usually turns out to be true. Not like he would actually come out in public or anything. That would be too much for a baseball player to bear, even if it is unfair."

"Poor Josh, your Piazza image shattered." Donna laughed.

"But it's just rumors, right?"

"Yes, Mr. Lyman, and really I shouldn't have said anything." Todd got nervous. "You'll probably never hear of this again. Unless he does something stupid and gives a press conference to deny the rumors."

"He wouldn't be that stupid." CJ jumped in. "That's almost a guarantee that he is!"

"Why don't we change the subject? Josh still has another gift to open." Sandy gave him Donna's gift.

"You know me, save the best for last." Josh opened it quickly and laughed. "It was about time!" He waited expectantly to see if she would smile and sighed with relief when she finally did. Then he showed everyone her gift. Two bags of Starbucks coffee.

"I knew you would like it. But don't think I'm making it for you!"

*****

The music had started again and Josh was dancing with Donna. This time they weren't dancing as comfortably as they had been before. Josh looked as Sandy and Leo danced. He wondered if Mallory was looking and what would her politics of dancing say now.

"Donna?"

She didn't reply. She didn't even move her head from his shoulder.

"Donna?"

He waited a few seconds and then pushed back to look into her eyes.

"What's wrong?"

"You honestly don't know? That's what's wrong." She told him and he could see her eyes welling up.

"Tell me. Then I'll be able to fix it."

"I don't want to tell you. If you knew me, you would know what was wrong." She left him standing on the dancing floor and went to the patio. Josh was about to go after her, but something told him he should give her a few minutes.

"Excuse me, Mr. Lyman." Josh turned to see an attendant standing besides him.

"Yes?"

"We just got a message for Charlie Young."

"What's the message?" Josh asked.

"Apparently the friend his sister was staying with isn't feeling well."

"Ok, I'll go find him."

*****

Donna looked at the stars. It was too cold to be outside, but she really didn't want to go get her coat. She knew she might be a bit unfair, but she was tired of spelling everything out for Josh.

"Donna."

She didn't turn around. "Hey CJ."

"What did the idiot do now?"

Donna laughed, "He is so predictable."

"Why don't you come inside so we can talk? It's cold here!"

"Well..."

"We can go to the lobby or somewhere else to avoid Josh."

"Thanks, CJ."

They walked inside and Donna told CJ to give her a break to visit the ladies' room to compose herself. When she came back, CJ had a group consisting of Mallory, Zoey, Olivia, Sandy, Ainsley, and Abbey. They all snuck out of the ballroom and went to Sandy's room. At first, Donna wouldn't say much, but really, that group of women could get any info they wanted. Donna poured their heart out to them.

"Ahhh," CJ said after Donna had finished.

"Honey, Josh is a man. He won't see that just yet. It will take a while for him to add it up." Sandy told her.

"You have to wait until he talks to Sam about it." Mallory added.

"Then he will go over to Toby." CJ jumped in.

"And finally, he'll go to dad and Leo." Zoey nodded.

"Then, when he still doesn't really know what's wrong, he'll finally talk to you!" Ainsley smiled at her.

"So all I have to do is wait. How wonderful!" Donna threw herself back on the bed.

"Oh relax, Donna. If it comes to it, we'll give Josh the kick in the ass he needs!" The First Lady told her. "So? Who do we talk about now? I know." She grinned. "Sandy and Leo."

*****

Josh was freaking out. Donna was missing again. He was asking everyone where she was, but what he did was make everyone nervous since it seemed the women were missing.

"Told you my gift would be fixing what you did," Toby walked up to him.

"Shut up, Toby."

Suddenly the elevator opened and the women entered the ballroom. Josh ran over there and hugged Donna.

"Ok."

"I was worried sick. Where did you go?" Josh was still freaking out.

"We were upstairs in Sandy's room, having a little girl talk." As Donna explained to Josh, the rest of the ladies walked around them smiling and laughing.

"I want to go home. Do you want to go home?" He took her hand.

"Ok, I guess. Shouldn't we say good bye to everyone?"

"Then let's do that now."

*****

"Hey."

Zoey turned around and saw Mikey standing behind her. Smiling.

"What are you up to now?" She bit her lip to hide her smile. She knew she shouldn't, but she really liked him.

"I'm being a good boy. I was told that if I gave Charlie half a chance we could be good friends. So I was wondering if you, Charlie and your secret service agents, wanted to go to the midnight showing. After all, this party is dying down." He looked like such a nice young boy with his hands inside his pockets.

"Charlie had to leave early to go get his sister, but I wouldn't mind going."

Mikey raised an eyebrow, "But what would Charlie say?"

"C'mon, we are going to be with a few chaperones. And you aren't going to try anything, right?" She teased.

"Let's go."

They walked past a couple of sofas where Mallory and Sam were sitting down.

"I think our parents are dating." Mallory told him quietly.

"Is this because of the watch thing? Because that was just a cute thing they did."

"Sam, denial, look into it. And it was more of how your mother talked about my father when we were all talking in the room. We have to face it. At least someone in our families is happy."

"And what is that supposed to mean?" Sam became defensive.

"Nothing Sam, but I thought we were trying to work at our relationship. May I ask what relationship?"

"Mallory, I have a lot on my mind lately. I have to think about my mom, my brother, and now it seems Josh and Donna are having problems, I-"

"Everything but us." Mallory crossed her arms.

"Hey guys, what's going on?" Sandy walked up to them and she was holding hands with Leo.

"Nothing mother. Have you see, Mikey?"

"You just missed him. He and Zoey went to the midnight show."

"What? I can't believe you let them!" Sam burst.

"Sam, Zoey and Mikey are grownups and they can do whatever they want." Leo interceded.

"I'm sorry Leo but what do you know about my family. Spending a few days with my mom doesn't make you an expert."

"Samuel Norman Seaborn. I can't believe you."

"Stuff it mother, I have a lot to deal with." Sam snapped.

His mother looked at him with shock in her eyes. "Let's go Leo."

Mallory turned to Sam, composure be gone. "I can't believe you did that!"

*****

Chapter 12

 

 

"Diamond's are nice, but ice cream is a girl's best friend." Donna told the tv screen as she had some mint chocolate chip ice cream. It was still a couple of hours before dawn and she couldn't sleep. She didn't want to wake up Josh, so she went into the living room to have some ice cream and watch tv. Luckily for her, Moulin Rouge! was on, but not even beautiful Ewan could make her feel better.

She really didn't get why Josh had freaked out so much when she was missing with the other women, but he was and as soon as they got to his place, he began kissing her. At first Donna had wanted to have a long talk with Josh, but she realized she couldn't do that on his birthday. Plus, it felt so good to have him hold her like that, so she let herself fall into his arms. They made passionate love for a long time until Josh tired himself out, but she couldn't sleep. She didn't want to wake up Josh. She just didn't want to be near him for the moment. She felt weird.

That was why she was now sitting with the tv on, – but not too loud – eating ice cream and surfing the net. She hadn't been playing that much attention to the movie or to the web sites she visited. All she did was think about why she was mad a Josh. She just didn't know what she was more upset about. The original thing, or that Josh didn't realize it made her upset. Even more so, she was mad at herself. It always came back to the same thing. Her ex-boyfriend. He robbed her of her self-esteem and now she didn't feel sure of Josh. She knew she shouldn't. He was one of the good guys, but she couldn't help it. She decided to avoid the subject even from her thoughts and concentrate on Ewan singing Your Song to Nicole Kidman.

"You know, he might be Obi-Wan, but that is just wrong."

Donna jumped up from the couch when she heard Josh. "I didn't know you were up."

"Just got up and noticed you weren't there. I missed you." He gave her a kiss on the cheek and sat next to her on the couch.

"Did the noise bother you?" She asked him.

"Just his bad excuse for a singing voice." Josh rolled his eyes.

"Yeah. Right. You are jealous. You know he can sing. He pulled off being in a musical and instead of ending his career, he became a romantic hero. He followed that by being in a war movie and soon he'll be Obi-Wan again."

"Like I would be jealous of that pansy." He pointed towards the screen where Ewan's character was hiding from the Duke.

"Good." Donna smiled. "Then you mind if I continue to surf through some more Ewan sites." She pulled up a site called General Kenobi.

"For crying out loud, Donna! I didn't buy that computer for you to look for pictures of him!" Josh playfully grabbed it away from her.

Donna sighed. No matter what, they always ended up so comfortable around each other. That scared her.

****

"So exciting... tarararara..." Mikey laughed into the phone. "I'm sorry; I don't know all the words." He was lying down on the sofa, watching Moulin Rouge! and talking on the phone. "Yeah." He listened. "I love this movie. I know a lot of guys go all macho because it is a musical, but I think that it goes beyond that. You had to have a great imagination to write something like that. Plus people say I look like him."

He held the phone away from his ear as the laughter could be heard all over the room. "Ok, maybe not so much, but there is something. I mean with the dark hair like Christian and... forget it, you'll just keep on making fun of me." He sat up and turned the volume a bit higher. "My favorite part comes soon. I just love the love medley they sing. Who would have thought that they could actually sing that well." He smiled as he listened. "Well, I've never really thought about being an actor, and yes I know I'm a drama king, but who knows, maybe I should have mom hook me up."

Mikey got up on the sofa and sang, "All you need is love."

"No, all you need is to get down from my sofa." Sam walked inside the apartment.

"Just one night. Give me just one night." Mikey kept singing with the movie. "In the name of love. One night in the name of love."

"Mikey, I'm not in the mood. It's extremely late and I'm very tired."

"Love lifts up where we belong. Where eagles fly. On a mountain high." Mikey sang into the phone, ignoring Sam.

"We could be heroes!"

 

"Mikey!" Sam yelled before turning off the tv.

"Hey! We were watching that!" Mikey complained. You could still hear the song coming in from the phone.

"We?"

Mikey showed him the phone, "I'm talking." He then talked into it, "I'm sorry, Sam the party pooper just walked in." He laughed. "Yeah, the stick is still there."

"Who are you talking to?"

"What do you care to which friends I'm talking about the supple skin of the first daughter?" Mikey grinned evilly.

"Give me that!" Sam grabbed the phone away from him. "Listen to me you little pervert, if I hear or see one tiny morsel of information about Zoey Bartlet, I'll make sure you pay big time. And really, you should know better than to waste time with my brother, singing songs from a movie, past 4 in the morning!"

Mikey just smiled and waited. He took much pleasure watching Sam's face change into different shades of embarrassment.

Sam glared at Mikey, "Nicole! Hey big sis, it's been a long time. No, no, I was only kidding about talking to Mikey being a waste of time. Of course I'm treating him right. Yes. Yes. Fine. Ok, talk to you soon. I know, I should call more often." Sam gave him the phone back, "She wants to say good bye."

"Ok. Yeah, I'm guessing Sam needs me now. I'll practice the songs and we can watch it again later. Now you can go back to fantasizing about him all that you want. Love ya." He put the phone back on the base and smiled at Sam.

"Why didn't you tell me it was Nicole?"

"You weren't nice to me when you entered." Mikey sat down in the sofa and turned back on the movie, but he lowered the volume. "And you turned off my movie."

"Just tell me one thing. What do you know about Zoey's skin?"

"Wouldn't you like to know!" Mikey saw as Sam's veins almost popped out. "We went to the movies with her Secret Service detail, what do you think happened?"

"I'm sorry for overreacting again. It hasn't been a great night for me. I've spent most of the time since the party fighting with Mallory and the rest just driving around. I went over to Toby's and I think I could be fired. Why are you up so late?"

"Well, I got here from the movie and tried to read a bit, but I feel asleep. And everything was going fine, until Mallory called, and called again, and again. So I gave up trying to sleep and logged on, that way she wouldn't call again. There I ran into Nic and we saw that Moulin was going to start so we made a date and she called."

Sam looked at him, "Do you guys talk a lot?"

"All the time. We always love to watch movies over the phone. Plus she has a huge crush on Ewan McGregor, even if he is younger than her."

"I haven't talked to her in the longest time. You know, you guys could include me in stuff like this." Sam sat next to his younger brother.

"We'll think about it." Mikey changed to a more serious tone. "So? Mallory really mad at you?"

"I think I blew it with her, and mom probably hates me," he shook his head. "I'm taking a long shower and then I'll try to sleep."

Mikey watched as his older brother walked into his bedroom. He looked different and tired. Mikey wondered if he had anything to do with it.

****

"It was doing fine until they had to put in the Whitney Houston song. That killed it." Josh told Donna.

"It could have been worse. It could have been My Heart Will Go On."

"True." Josh kept browsing the Ewan message board Donna had shown him. "Has he really been rumored for all these roles?"

"At some point or the other."

"Raoul? He'd sing again, and you'll like this one, in a Harry Potter movie. Who's Remus?"

"One of Harry's teachers. He is a major fan favorite, but I don't think he'll be able to do it, sadly, but keep on reading. There's one I'm sure you'll be interested in," she smiled.

"Well, really it won't be as far off as that one girl who swears he was wanted for Legolas, and I mean that picture with Ewan's face on Legolas' body." Josh shuddered.

"Well, if you use your imagination, he would look lovely in that outfit," Donna smiled. She looked at the tv. They were on the part where Satine and Christian kiss a lot. To be Satine in those moments.

"What!! No freaking way! I will not allow it! I'll call Lord Marbury to help me if I have to, and you know how I would hate that!"

She bit her lip, "C'mon. He would be a cool 007."

"No," Josh pouted.

"Fine."

"If you could put him in any role, which one would it be?" Josh asked her.

"I would love for him to be the eccentric villain in the next Indiana Jones movie. Wouldn't he be cool?"

"Hey! I'm all for that, as long as I get to see Harrison Ford kill him!"

"Josh!" She slapped him.

He just smiled at her.

"Well, then I guess I will keep your real birthday present," she stood up.

"My what? You mean, the coffee wasn't it?" Josh sat up straight.

She brings him a big box. "Now, if you don't like it. I'll keep it, but there are a few rules about it?"

"Rules?" He raised an eyebrow at her.

"Just open it. I'll let you know after."

Josh opened the gift like a little boy. His eyes shone like those of a little boy. "How did you ever get this?" He slowly took out an Obi-Wan Kenobi action figure, (doll, or collector's item, really your preference), but it wasn't just any one. It was from Episode 2; the movie that wouldn't start for a couple of months and the merchandise wasn't out yet.

"First off, do you like it?"

"Of course I like it! It's Obi-Wan Kenobi! Space Mullet and all!"

"I'm glad. Now the rules. You can't let anyone know you have it. Not yet anyways. That's why I didn't give it to you at the party."

"Sure. I can do that. How did you get this? Did you do anything illegal?" Josh suddenly worried, but not too much, he was holding Obi-Wan, the king of cool.

"Well, really, it's all the President's fault. He had me call George Lucas. Don't ask me why. I don't know. But, I did talk to the man, and I mentioned about your love of Obi-Wan, even if you were in deep denial, and we sort of worked this out. How much do you love?"

"You have no idea!" He kissed her. "I guess we are alright, aren't we?"

Donna pushed back. "Actually, I think we need to talk."

*****

Mallory couldn't fall asleep. She tried, but she had too much stuff on her mind. She channeled surfed, but at that hour there wasn't much on tv. They were showing Moulin Rouge!, but a romantic movie was the furthest thing from her mind. She settled on the news. Maybe they could tell her that a big hole opened up in the middle of DC and swallowed Sam Seaborn.

She was beginning to doze off when the phone rang, she jumped immediately since she wasn't expecting it.

"Hello?" She answered warily.

"Mal?"

"Mikey?" She wondered why he was calling and suddenly began to regret the 'hole' wishing. "Is everything alright?"

"Oh yeah. Nothing's wrong." He sounded very relaxed.

"Then why are you calling at this god forsaken hour!"

"Well, I figured I'd pay the favor back. You know, you called earlier, scared the beejesus out of me, and woke me up, so right back at you." She couldn't see him, but she knew he would be smirking. In another life, he must have been Josh's little brother.

"I can't believe you, Mikey. My fourth graders are more mature than that."

"Are not!"

"Are too... Oh my God. Mikey, let's call it a draw. We are even. I'm going to try to sleep." She was about to hang up when Mikey pleaded for her to stay.

"I'll behave! Please hold on."

"5 minutes."

"You obviously ain't sleeping this morning, and neither is Sam."

"Where is Sam?" She became worried, even though Mikey had said earlier that nothing was wrong.

"He is in the shower. Anyways, I want to propose something for you."

*****

"I guess we are going to discuss why you were upset at the party." Josh shrugged.

"Well, yeah," Donna stood up. "What did you expect? That we wouldn't talk about it and just gloss it over?"

"I guess not. It was just nice acting like nothing was wrong."

"Josh, I love you, but you hurt me a lot today."

"Tell me what I did, so I can fix it."

"It's not what you did, Josh."

Josh stood up and walked to her.

"Tell me."

"You told Danny that we weren't thinking of getting married, that we might move in together."

"I don't get it. Are you mad because I told Danny?"

"No, Josh, when did you ask me if I wanted to move in together?"

"Ok, so I hadn't asked yet, but you knew that's where we were headed."

"Really?" Donna folded her arms.

"Isn't that the most logical step before getting married?"

"No! That step would be called getting engaged."

"Donna!" Josh rolled his eyes. "It's a step there. It shows that I'm committed to this relationship and marriage will come when we are ready for it. This is good for us."

"No, it isn't, Josh. Did you know that more than 50% of all the couples that move in together, break up, usually after the get engaged. It's just an excuse to play house but with an open option to leave."

Josh rolled his eyes at her. "Oh please, you probably made that up. I'm sure you don't know anyone like that."

"Yes, you do, me." Donna tried not to cry, but she couldn't help it.

"Dr. Free Ride." Josh closed his eyes. How could he have been so stupid. "I'm so sorry, Donna," he hugged her. "Sweetheart, you know I love you. I'm not him. I'll always be here."

Donna pushed back, "I know, Josh, but just as you aren't ready to get married, I'm not to just move in together."

Josh stared deep into her eyes, "I understand." He gave her a kiss on the cheek.

"I'm going to take a shower."

"Take your time. Why don't we go find a nice place for breakfast? It will be dawn soon."

Donna nodded at him and walked towards the shower.

He watched her leave the room, which lost something as she left. He already longed for her. He felt like an idiot. Sam was right. He desperately wanted to marry Donna. He didn't know how to approach it. He turned towards the tv in time to watch the girl played by Nicole Kidman die in the arms of Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Wonderful.

He was certain of one thing. He wasn't going to lose her.

*****

Sam came out of his room, looking slightly disoriented. "Well that was great 90 minute nap." He smelled eggs, cheese, and bacon. He noticed that Mikey was busy in the kitchen. "That smells nice. Should I wonder if it is poisoned?"

Mikey laughed, "Only if you think you deserved it."

Sam smiled at him and grabbed a piece of bacon. "So, why the breakfast spread?"

"I wanted to do something nice for you, after all you have put up with me for the last few days."

"I don't believe you." Sam said sternly just as the doorbell rang.

"Yeah, you really shouldn't." Mikey grinned and motioned Sam to go to the door.

He looked through the peering hole and saw that it was Mallory. Surprised he opened the door. "Hey. Good Morning."

"Good Morning Sam, Michael. I'm here," she told them.

"I can see that. Why are you here?" Sam asked her.

"I invited her for breakfast." Sam turned to Mikey who continued. "I figured you were acting childish and I had to be the adult."

"Hey!" Sam resented that. Mallory only snickered. She enjoyed watching Sam's reaction to Mikey.

"Someone had to. Like it or not, there are a lot of things that bind us. For starters you too have feelings for each other, so do our parents."

"What is your plan, Mikey?" Sam stared at him, "Lock us up until we agree to be friends again?"

"Actually, that's not a bad idea. We'll call that plan B. For now, I figured we would enjoy this delicious breakfast, made by a wonderful chef, and talk. Let's see what happens." Mikey gave them both plates and led them to the table.

Mallory shrugged and followed with Sam in tow.

***

 

Next Chapter

 

 

Home        What's New        Author Listings         Title Listings