Chapter 13

 

Josh and Donna were enjoying a nice quiet breakfast in a small café near Georgetown. The operative word was quiet. It felt weird.

"I wish I hadn't said anything," Donna broke the silence.

"No. I'm glad you did. This is awkward, but it is better than if we didn't talk." Josh placed his hand on top of hers. "We'll be fine. We'll work this out."

Donna was about to reply when his cell phone rang.

"Josh Lyman," he answered.

"Josh, I'm glad you are up, I wanted to talk to you about something."

"Is there anything wrong, Mr. President?" He replied quickly.

Donna sat up right when she head Josh refer to the President.

"No. Nothing's wrong. I just found out that Ainsley is moving to Miami."

"Oh that, sir, yes, she got another job there." Josh told him and mouthed to Donna that she shouldn't worry.

"Really? Well, what could possibly be better than working at the White House?" The President wondered.

"I didn't say that it was a better job. It's another job. Ainsley's a Republican, it's not like she's got common sense after all."

"Josh."

"I'm sorry, sir. So, what is the purpose of the call? Do you want me to convince her to stay?"

"Oh no," the President answered. "If she wants to leave, it's her choice. Now if she does, then we must call off the bet."

"Ahhh," Josh laughed. "That's the reason. You don't want to lose."

"Well, Joshua, I am the President, besides being extremely wise and noble. How would you have Aragorn beating Gandalf, Ron beating Dumbledore, or Han Solo beating Yoda?"

"With all due respect, Yoda and Han Solo never cross paths in the movies, sir."

The President sighed, "I know that Josh, but see, Sam is more of a Luke, and you don't reach Obi-Wan standards."

"Sir!"

"Yet, now you have a goal to look forward to. So, what do you say? We call off the bet?"

"Whatever you say, sir, but I really wanted to win." Josh whined.

"Stop whining Josh, you still won't get to be Luke. Anyways, how about if, right after the election, regardless of the outcome, I'll pay for a vacation for you and Donna."

"Hmmm," Josh looked at Donna, who was eating the last of her breakfast. "Deal, Mr. President, but I get to pick the destination."

"Good boy. I guess we'll be discussing travel plans later. Now enjoy the rest of your day."

"Thanks sir," Josh put the phone down. "Guess what?"

"The President dropped the bet because Ainsley is moving to Miami and he doesn't like to lose," she smiled.

"Ahhh, your powers of eavesdropping are amazing, but there was something else."

"I figured it was some Jed Bartlet trivia involving Yoda, Han and a destination."

"Aren't you curious?"

"Not really. Surprise me. It's not like the President won't eventually tell me."

Josh smiled. "As you wish." He knew she liked that phrase. Now all he had to remember was to tell the President not to tell Donna.

*****

Sam and Mallory arrived at the hotel where Leo stayed. Their breakfast with Mikey had been very good. Not only was it quite delicious, but Mikey showed that he could be more mature than the next guy. They talked about how they felt about each other and about their parent's relationship. After a while they both agreed that they had been acting like children and that they needed to apologize, particularly Sam.

They chose Leo first because he was an early riser, unlike Sandy, who loved to sleep until after 10. They walked across the lobby and straight to the elevator.

"Shouldn't we call ahead?" Sam asked.

"Why? I never do. I always go up."

The doors opened and they walked up to the door. Mallory knocked. "Dad, it's me."

"Hold on," came the muffled reply. After a few moments Leo opened the door. He was wearing a robe.

Sam closed his eyes. He was going to need a shrink. It couldn't possible get worse.

"Baby, why are you here so early?" Leo asked.

"We came here because Sam has to apologize." Mallory entered the suite and stood in the middle of the small living room.

Sam walked in, feeling very uncomfortable. There was a feeling that kept telling him to leave. Now.

"Leo, I'm really sorry about my behavior the..." Sam stopped. The smell, he knew that particular smell. He looked at Leo. "Oh. My. God."

Leo didn't flinch and that was enough answer for Sam.

"What? What's going on?" Mallory went from Sam to Leo.

"Darling!" That was the sound coming from the bedroom. "Is that the coffee?" Sandy, also in a robe, walked into the room.

Sam and Mallory exchanged frantic looks.

"This is bad..." whispered Sam.

"...In so many levels." Mallory finished.

"Kids, let's talk about this." Sandy walked over to Leo, who put an arm around her.

Mallory grabbed Sam's arm and practically pulled him to the door. "You know what? We don't need to talk. We are fine and we are really sorry for everything. Right, Sam?"

"What she said." They both left quickly and didn't stop until the elevators closed.

"I don't know about you, Mal, but I rather behave childish."

"Right back at you."

They both stood still, only looking at the numbers go by.

*****

Josh had dropped Donna off and decided to visit the President. He found him in the residence with Abbey. They were both laughing at something.

"Mr. President, I'm sorry to interrupt."

"You are not. Come join us. You'll love this." The President motioned for him to join them.

"Jed, maybe you shouldn't," Abbey told him.

"He'll find out soon enough when Sam goes to him to cry about it."

"What happened, sir?" Josh said warily. He suddenly became very worried. Sam hadn't been in a stable state of mind lately.

"Oh nothing," The President noticed his face, "Relax. See, Sam and Mallory decided to apologize for being so childish, and they decided to go first to Leo and guess what they found?" The President burst out laughing as he spoke.

Josh smiled, "Let me guess, Sandy was there too."

"In a robe, no less."

"Poor, poor Sam. He must be out of his mind." Josh shook his head while grinning.

"Hey, when you came in you looked a bit serious when you got here? Something on your mind, son?" Jed looked at him.

"Actually, sir, I wanted to ask you something. I'm seeking advice."

"I guess that's my cue to leave." Abbey stood up and began to exit the room.

"Hmm, it's about Donna, so I might need your help too." Josh told her.

"Ahh, indeed you must likely do." Jed smiled at the First Lady. "Sit down wife and let's lead this strayed sheep back."

"Oh shut up, Jed."

***

CJ had a nice swig of her homemade milk shake and grinned. "So, were they white terry robes or just plain cotton?"

"CJ!" Mallory yelled and glared at her. She'd called her for comfort and all CJ could do was laugh about it.

"I'm sorry, but I find this amusing."

"What's amusing?" Donna asked as she let herself in.

"Mallory and Sam found Sandy and Leo in bed!"

"What!"

"That is not true! We found them in dad's room, but they were dressed. And standing up." Mallory replied quickly.

"Ahhh, so they had been together." Donna smirked.

"Argh! Shut up."

"Hey, at least she's a nice lady. For all you know, your dad could be with a weirdo or psycho." CJ pointed out.

"It still feels weird." Mallory pouted.

"Well, get used to it. I'm pretty sure she makes your dad happy, and you and Sam will just have to deal with it." CJ gave Mallory a sympathetic look.

"Besides, think about it. You could have a double wedding!" Donna giggled, but she just didn't see the milkshake coming.

***

Toby threw his stress ball all over the kitchen. He barely avoided Sam who kept hitting his head on the counter. He didn't know why he was missing since right now his biggest desire involved hitting Sam. He figured it was because he didn't have a strong enough weapon for the damage he wanted to commit.

"What is so wrong about mom getting some? It's about time, I think." Mikey was also there. About fifteen minutes after Sam arrived, Toby called Josh to get him. When he couldn't find him, he called Mikey. It didn't work. Mikey came over and settled in nicely to try and talk to his brother. Not take him away like Toby had wanted.

"She can't. She, I mean, it's just wrong."

"You do know that old people can have sex, right?" Mikey laughed.

"I know that... oh would you shut up," Sam whined.

"Please, both of you, shut up. Or better yet, leave."

"Toby, you really should lock your door. You never know what kind of hoodlum might drop by." Josh entered, smiling wide, and slowly taking off his sunglasses.

"I know. I should have done that a couple of hours ago," Toby mumbled. "Where the hell were you that you didn't answer my calls?"

"I'm sorry, dear, but I had important business to attend." Josh smiled.

Toby glared.

"I was with the President, you know, the big guy in charge. The one who knows where the red button is."

"Wow. Is there really one of those? I thought that was just in the movies." Mikey exclaimed.

"He's lying. There's no such thing." Sam told him.

"How would you really know? You wouldn't have the clearance?" Josh raised his eyebrows.

"But-"

Toby interrupted them, "As much as I would love for this to go on, I want you to get them out of here."

"What did Sammy do?" Josh laughed. "I mean could it possibly have to do with his mom and future dad wearing matching robes?"

"How the hell do you know that?" Sam lashed out at him.

Josh smiled wickedly. He wanted to savor it. "The President told me."

Sam began to hit his head against the counter again. "Someone kill me please."

"That can be arranged." Toby growled.

***

Josh took Sam to get drunk. He figured that would be the only option. How should have he known that CJ had the same idea regarding Mallory. They both got pretty drunk, really fast. It wasn't pretty. It got even worse when Mikey got a call on his cell phone and split.

All Josh heard from the bar to the car to Sam's place was how things would get even more difficult with Mallory, or how he could never look at Leo again. He was seriously considering dropping him off at Toby's and leaving him to his mercy, but then Toby might end up doing time, and they needed him for reelection. Sam too. Josh dumped Sam in his bedroom. He wasn't about to change his clothes or anything. There were enough rumors about the two of them together.

Instead he sat in the living room and watched tv. At least he turned it on. All he really did was think about Donna and how he would proceed. He thought about calling his mom, but decided against it. He had already talked to her the day before and he didn't say anything was wrong. She would just get unnecessarily worried.

He heard Mikey walk in and got up to leave.

"Hey, Josh. How's the dork?"

"Passed out. Watch over him."

"I will. What's up with you? You seem down." Mikey sat down.

Josh shrugged and sat back again. "Eh. I just have a lot of things on my mind."

"Just do it. If you love Donna so much, don't even think about it. Go for it."

"You don't even know what I'm talking about."

"Of course I do. And I think you are being a big baby." Mikey shoved him a little.

"Whatever. Hey, where did you go earlier?"

"To plan my future."

"And?"

"I'm not telling. It's my future, not yours." Mikey grinned. "Besides, it will be a surprise."

***

 

Chapter 14

 

It was Monday morning and Donna was busy finishing up a few documents for the President. She had entered into a nice cool groove, so she jumped when she heard the President calling for her. She practically sprinted to his office.

"Mr. President, what's wrong?" She said as soon as she entered his office.

"Well, I just realized it's Monday."

"Ok... I don't get it, sir."

"It means we only have 2 days until Wednesday, which is movie night again, and we haven't picked a movie!"

"That's it, sir?" Donna couldn't believe it. "That's why you bellowed?" The President raised an eyebrow. "Which really is great reason to bellow, sir."

"This really is all Josh's fault. If we hadn't been so caught up in his birthday extravaganza, we would have remembered. We can't let this happen again, Donna."

"Of course not, sir. I'll make a note of this. Do you need help choosing this week's movie?" She asked him.

"No, I'll decide on one, but I do want you to make sure everyone shows up. I'll want a few extra guests, which I'll let you know soon. I also want you to pick a few movies, ponder on which titles you'd want, for the next movie night."

She grinned, "Ohh, that will be nice. Thanks, sir!"

"Anytime, Donna. Now get back to work."

After she left, the President smiled at himself. "Josh better hope his plan works. If he breaks her heart, I'll fire him." That's why he was going to have to take matters into his own hands.

***

 

A few hours later, the President was in a meeting with Leo and Donna didn't really have anything to do. Nothing pressing, at least. So she decided to work on her class paper. That lasted about ten minutes. She soon found herself on lemonlyman.com. It amazed her that there was a website devoted to all that was Josh. Of course, they mocked him too. She was quite surprised that there was a section devoted to her. Even better because they thought she was too good for him. Not that she agreed – most of the times, but it was still fun.

"Flowers for m'lady."

Donna looked up to see Josh standing in front of her desk offering her a small bouquet of flowers.

"What's this?" She took them from him.

"Well, as far as I know, I believe they are called flowers."

Donna rolled her eyes, "Ok, let me rephrase it, what is the purpose for this?"

"Ahhh," Josh smiled, "I was thinking about inviting the most beautiful woman in the world to dinner."

"Awww."

"But CJ was busy, so I came over here instead."

"Not funny, Josh."

"I'm not!" Josh opened his eyes huge, as if he were insulted. "Darn it, there goes my second job as a standup comedian."

"Josh, don't try to be cute."

'Yeah, I'm already drop-dead gorgeous," he grinned.

"Josh."

"Ok. Ok. Want to go out for a nice dinner tonight with a man that is crazy about you."

"That would be you, right?"

"Ahh, so now it's your turn to be cute."

"Of course." She leaned over to him and gave him a quick kiss. "What time are you picking me up?"

"I made reservations at 8pm, so I'll swing by at 7:30."

"7:20 in your watch, Josh." Donna reminded him.

"Not anymore. Remember I got a new watch." He showed her that he was wearing the watch he was given on his birthday.

"That was a really nice gesture from them." Donna commented and gave a tiny happy laugh. "They make a great couple."

"Yeah. Too bad little bratty Mal and little whiny Sam will probably ruin it for them."

Donna shook her head. "I still can't believe the way they are acting like children!"

"Hey, are you busy now? What are you doing?" He tried to peer into her screen, but Donna switched it quickly.

"Oh nothing. I was proof reading something."

"Yeah, you should. You always make a lot of typos. Anyways, walk me back."

"Why?" Donna raised an eyebrow.

"Because it will be cute." He took her arm. "C'mon."

"Ok."

As soon as they entered his office, CJ walked in.

"Who the hell is Luminara?"

"How should I know?" Josh answered back. "Have you been drinking?"

"Shut up, Josh. I was just walking by and I could swear a Secret Service Agent called me that."

"Well," Donna said cautiously, "isn't that better than flamingo?"

"I guess, but... Hey, what do you know? Have they been changed already?"

"Maybe. I knew it would be soon, just didn't know the exact date."

"Hmmm, wonder what my new name is?"

"Who cares, Josh! I don't want to be stuck with a stupid name again!"

"There you are!' Toby entered and addressed Donna. "What's going to be the torture this time?"

"Toby, CJ and I were talking." Josh told him.

"Do you know who is Luminara?"

"Couldn't care less. Now, Donna, if you please."

"He hasn't decided on a movie yet, only that there will be movie night, and as usual you all have to be there."

There were groans all around.

"What's going on?" Sam walked in.

"The President hasn't picked a movie yet." Toby mumbled.

"Isn't that good? Maybe there won't be one."

"Oh no, Sam. There will be one. The President is probably trying to find the perfect movie about 2 bratty grownups who can't deal with their parents' sex life." Josh replied.

Sam frowned.

"The Myth of Fingerprints or something like that. It's with Noah Wyle and the cute guy from Alias." Donna piped up.

"Vaughn, right?"

"Of course, CJ, who else, but I don't think they show matching robes." Donna laughed.

"I quit. I'm quitting and moving to Greenland." Sam left the room in a huff while the rest of them laughed.

"Donna," Toby turned to her, "I've never been more proud of you."

"That's my girl!" Josh said proudly.

CJ and Toby looked at each other, "Donna, you should really think about moving up." Toby said as he left with a snickering CJ right behind him.

"I feel insulted." Josh complained.

"You? What about me? I'm the one who settled!"

"Hey!"

*****

This was the most romantic restaurant Donna had ever seen. Particularly romantic. Quite romantic. Very romantic. Extremely romantic. Just the type of place where marriage proposals were made. Donna didn't know whether to be thrilled or scared.

She wanted to marry Josh. She'd wanted to do that for the longest time, even before she thought they would get together. But... There was always a "but". She had said that she didn't want to get married. She had lied. She only wanted to wait until the time was right and to be sure that Josh was ready and willing, which was what scared her. She couldn't help but wonder if this was in response to their argument the other day. That was not her desired proposal.

She came back to reality where she caught Josh staring into her eyes.

"So? You like the place? I think it is very nice and I heard the food is good."

She smiled shyly at him. She really didn't know why she did that. She would blame it on the ambience.

"You must wonder why I brought you here." Josh began and Donna held her breath. "I've been thinking about what you said and really, I just want to be with you, so if you want to get married instead of moving in together, let's do that."

"What?" Donna really couldn't believe her ears.

"Yeah, I mean, it's a win-win situation. We both get what we want. Let's get married." He took out a nice ring case and opened it for her. It was a pretty ring, but that was beside the point. Josh was doing what she was afraid of.

"Josh, this is not right." Donna started to tell him, trying to remain calm. "I don't want you to propose because I said something or because you are afraid you might lose me. When I get proposed to, I want it to be because the time is perfect; you are ready, and wanting." She got up from her chair.

"Where are you going? Shouldn't we talk about this?" Josh grabbed her hand as she walked by. He sounded desperate. He couldn't believe what was happening.

"We should talk about this." Donna bent down and kissed him softly. "But not now. We need to calm down first."

"I'm calm, Donna." He obviously wasn't.

"See you later, Josh." She let go of his hand and walked away.

Josh got the desire to knock over the table, but he didn't, since there were already enough people looking at him. He really didn't know what he would do.

 

*****

Sam knocked on Ainsley's door. She was busy working and didn't notice him, so he had to knock again.

"Oh! Hey, I'm sorry." Aisnley looked up. "Come in, Sam."

"Working late?" He sat down on her desk.

"Yeah," she was kind of amused that he chose to sit there. "I leave in less than a month and I really don't want to leave anything hanging. What about you? What are you doing here at this hour?"

"I wanted to see you."

"Really?"

"Yes. Do you think..." Sam stopped.

"Do I think? Yes, generally I do. In fact, I'm known for it." Ainsley replied, knowing full well that was not his question.

"That maybe you and I could've made it work if we had tried." Sam's face became very soft, almost vulnerable.

"Yes." Ainsley was barely audible. They stared longingly at each other for what seemed like interminable hours, but were really just a few minutes.

"I guess we will never know now since you are moving to Miami. Do you really want to move to Miami? What about that Todd guy?"

Ainsley smiled, "I really want to go and Todd isn't moving to Miami. "She reached out and brushed his hand with hers. "You need this. You've barely just got over your ex-fiancée and you've never worked out the Mallory issue. You need to do that now."

"If you say so." Sam replied. He knew that she told him the truth.

"Besides, we'll keep in touch and you never know... Maybe if it's meant to be, in four years, after Bartlet's out of office, you'll come down to Miami."

Sam smiled, "I like that you accept that he will win."

She laughed, "Really, Ritchie is no competition. Even a Republican like me has to admit it. And meanwhile, we'll always have the mess..." She winked at him.

"I still can't believe you tried to spill the coffee all over me that night." Sam shook his head as he remembered.

"It was fun." She bit her lip.

"I know it was fun, but you can't believe the amount of ribbing I got from Josh over that night. He kept teasing and teasing about our so called disheveled stated when we came back."

"Can't believe he even noticed. He was so busy flirt... I mean, fighting with Donna." Ainsley commented.

"You know Josh."

"Yeah, no wonder Donna is worried," she quipped.

"Not you too!" He groaned.

"Well, I really never had any proof, so I believe what I hear. After all, that night we only fool around with the coffee." She said, quite innocently.

"I guess I must fix that." He leaned over and rubbed her cheek with his thumb. She closed her eyes as he slowly traveled to her lips. It was the sweetest kiss. It was also a good bye kiss and they knew it. The gentle kiss was swiftly interrupted by Sam's cell phone. They broke away and both shrugged before Sam answered his phone. They knew the moment was over. Now it was all up to destiny.

"Sam Seaborn," he answered and listened for a few moments. His face was changing expressions constantly. Ainsley became a bit worried, but she didn't have time for that because her phone started to ring.

"Ainsley Hayes," and soon after that she repeated most of Sam's facial expressions. When she hung up, Sam looked at her and said, "Donna?"

"Yeah. I assume that was Josh?" She pointed to his cell phone.

"Who else?" Sam shrugged. He began to leave, "I'll guess I'll see you around."

"Yeah," she gathered her stuff to leave as well. Now they would both go comfort their broken hearted friends.

*****

The President put down the phone and looked at Abbey. They were both in bed when the phone rang.

"So, what did Josh do now?"

"Well, the idiot, as he had previously told us planned on proposing tonight." Jed began.

"Yes, that part I remember."

"It seems that he managed to screw that up, just like I predicted."

"How?" Abbey sighed and shook her head.

"Don't have the details yet. Leo promised to call back soon, but nonetheless, now I will have to fix this."

"What are you going to do?"

"For now, call Charlie." He picked up the phone and dialed. "Charlie, glad that you are up. I need your help. First, get a lot of chocolate and have it in my office. Second, make sure Josh is in my office first thing tomorrow morning, and finally, any information you can get, please pass it on to me." He listened for a few seconds and smiled, "Me? A Gossip! How could you say that!" Abbey laughed when she heard that. "Yes, Charlie, I'll see you tomorrow morning and thanks."

"Should I be worried about what you are planning, dear?"

"Don't worry, Abbey. I worked very hard so those two would finally open their eyes to each other and I'm not going to let them lose it because Josh is an imbecile."

"Oh yeah. I won't worry. Jed, please don't be too much of a jackass."

"Abbey, we both know that can not be helped."

*****

Chapter 15

 

Donna had been dreading Tuesday for quite a while because she had to hand in a paper and give an oral report in her class that night. It was worth 50% of her grade. Now she dreaded the entire day. She didn't want to be at her job. She didn't want to run into Josh. She almost called in sick, but she had promised herself that she wouldn't let her relationship with Josh interfere with her job. She just hoped Josh wouldn't try to fix things now. She wouldn't be able to deal with it.

She was surprised to find Charlie and the First Lady at her desk. The first thing that jumped into her mind was that something had happened, and her face expressed it for her.

"Good Morning, Donna, relax, there's nothing wrong." The First Lady told her.

Donna sighed in relief, "Good Morning, ma'am. Good Morning, Charlie. So, what may I help you with today?"

"It's actually quite simple, and Jed already agreed. What happens is that I need a bit of help today. You know that luncheon that I'm hosting today?" Donna nodded. "Well, I just wanted some help with a few last minute details. Jed said you have a light day, so I can borrow you, and Charlie can hold down the fort here. Plus, you get to stay for the luncheon too."

Donna looked over at Charlie and noticed that he was holding a box of chocolates. Her favorite kind. "I guess it will be fine, if you are ok with this, Charlie."

He nodded at her and gave her a very gentle smile. "Don't worry about it. The President suggested it himself."

Donna closed her eyes and tried to hold back the tears. They knew what happened and they were trying to make her day less bad. She knew the President was behind it. She wanted to rush in and give him a big kiss. "Can I go see the President?"

"Not right now. He is in a meeting that suddenly came up, but he told me to give you this." He handed her the chocolates.

"Thank you," she said softly and walked over to the First Lady.

"C'mon, Donna, we've got lots to do." They began walking, but Donna stopped and turned to both of them. "Thanks for not asking."

"Honey, we know it's a tough time and you need our support, not questions."

She smiled at the First Lady. "Oh, Charlie, please make sure the President doesn't kill Josh."

"Don't fret. I'm sure he'll just maim him.

*****

 

Josh looked at the President. He had been summoned extremely early to the Oval Office, but nothing had happened. He sat there for about half an hour, watching the President handle some calls and read a few documents. He was getting scared. He'd already envisioned the many ways the President could have him killed. He'd figured they would bury him in the rose garden.

"Sir?" He whispered.

The President raised his eyes. "Yes?"

"Well, you called me here a while ago, but you haven't even yelled at me."

"Why would I yell at you, Josh? What have you done now?"

Josh closed his eyes. This was really bad. He was also very worried because Donna hadn't come in at all. That was unusual. Suddenly Charlie walked in and nodded at the President.

"Thank you, Charlie. You know what to do now, right?"

"Yes, sir." He left.

"Would that be my execution, sir?" Josh tried to be humorous. By the expression on the President's face, it was clearly the wrong idea.

"No. Donna has suffered enough." He rose from behind his desk. "Of course, I can still hurt you."

"Sir, if I may-"

"You may not, Josh. What were you thinking! A win-win situation? I knew you would screw this up."

"Trust me sir, no one feels worse than I do. I might lose the love of my life because I can't even propose well."

The President shook his head. "You still don't get it."

There was a knock on the door and Charlie let Toby in, followed by Sam. "He is still standing," Toby commented. "Maybe we should come back later."

"What a comedian." Josh muttered. "Instead of this crap, why don't you two write me a proposal speech."

Toby rolled his eyes at Josh. "There's no way that –"

Josh interrupted, "On second thought, it's not like you would be able to write a good one, the one you wrote got you divorced and you haven't gotten past the longing in the other case."

Toby growled at Josh. At least that was what it sounded like.

Sam thought for a moment. "Actually, I think that I could write a good one. I mean, I know Donna pretty well and I've already written one before."

"Sam, stop. No one is writing anything for Josh. That is really no the point." The President stared at Josh.

"Please, sir, enlighten me."

"Do you want to marry Donna?"

"I love her!" Josh replied quickly.

"That's not what I asked."

"Isn't that the answer? I thought that all you need is love, you know, love is like oxygen, and all that crap." Josh's voice was becoming very sharp and cutting.

"I can see someone was watching Moulin Rouge! too." Sam said.

"Too?" Toby asked.

"My brother, for some reason, he really loves that movie."

"Great movie, a little loud and bright, but the kid from Star Wars can really sing, now can we get to the topic at hand." The President told them.

"With all due respect, sir, are you trying to tell me that I don't want to marry Donna?"

"You tell us. Why did you propose? Because you wanted to, or because that's what you think she wants?"

Josh didn't say anything at first. His reply was clear from his face. "I do want to marry her, start a family, and all that with her... but not yet. I know I'm not ready, but –"

"But nothing." Toby spoke up. "You have to tell her the truth. A woman can always tell when they are being lied to. They are like witches in that respect."

"Ahhh, I see that I arrived at the precise moment, Tobus." CJ entered the room.

"Good, you can rag on Toby for a while and get the pressure off of me." Josh sat down.

"Why? I agree 100%. Seek out the one who did this deed, that it return to them thrice, by magic's creed"!

Josh groaned.

"Hey," CJ ignored him and addressed the President, "Who's Luminara?"

"Later, CJ." The President told her.

"Wait, I've heard that name before." Sam jumped up.

"Later, Sam, we have other things to talk about."

Josh pulled on his hair. "I hate my life."

Sam sat down next to him. "A lesser man would say this is KARMA for making fun of me."

Josh glared at him, but Sam's glee was short lived. Leo walked in.

"Josh, a win-win? Really? I'm so disappointed."

Josh groaned again and ran his fingers through his hair. If he kept this up, he would end up bald.

Sam quickly stood up. "I... there... I know I have to write something. On my desk. I have to leave now." He left without saying anything else.

"He can't even be in the same room with me for 5 minutes. Incredible."

The President folded his arms across his chest and looked over his remaining staff. They were broken and he had to fix them. There was no way they would win reelection like this. Plus he wanted his staff happy.

*****

About an hour later, Charlie entered and stood in front of the President's desk.

"Go ahead, Charlie." The President told him.

"Yes, sir. Josh is in his office making lists, Sam is writing drafts of various possible proposals; Toby is playing with his ball... the pink one, sir." The President chuckled and Charlie continued. "CJ is researching wiccan love spells and Leo is trying to talk to Mallory."

The President shook his head, "My staff needs help. You think maybe Stanley can do group therapy?"

"Hey, it could be worth a shot." Charlie laughed. "Sir, if that is all, Zoey is outside waiting."

"Send her in."

Charlie nodded and went outside the office. A few moments later, Zoey entered.

"Hey Dad!" She walked over to him and gave him a kiss.

"Are you going to mom's luncheon?"

"Yeah, I'm on my way there. I just wanted to stop by and say hi."

The President smiled, "Well, now that you are here... I want to ask you something."

"Sure." She sat down.

"Do you like Mikey?"

"What do you mean by that? Of course I like him, he's my friend." Zoey replied quickly.

"Yes, but do you like him like him?"

"Why are you asking me this? It's not like it matters anyways, he's leaving soon."

He smiled at her, "I guess that's the answer to my question."

"Dad."

"What if he decided to stay?"

"He isn't, so why think about it." She saw her father's expression and continued to try and explain herself. "Yes, I kind of like him, but it doesn't count, because it has never been serious. It was just someone fun to hang around with. It doesn't mean anything. And nothing has happened between us."

"So... if suddenly he tells you that he will start classes in Georgetown next semester... What would you do?"

"Nothing." She answered, not very convincingly.

"If you say so, but hey, at least one of my staffers will be happy." The President sighed.

"Yeah, I heard about Josh. It's all like out of that movie."

"What movie?"

"There's a movie where the guy keeps messing up the proposals."

"Really? Tell me more about it." The President became quite interested.

***

 

Leo and Sandy were walking towards a restaurant. They walked hand in hand, but they weren't very happy,

"You understand why I have to do this, right? She asked him.

"Yeah," he rubbed her hand gently, "I just wish you didn't have to."

"I have to fix what's going on with my children first. Besides, I haven't seen Nicole in such a long time." She squeezed his hand a bit, "plus, it's not like you won't be busy in the coming weeks and months."

"I agree, Sandy, and you know I hope things go as you planned." He stopped walking and gave her a soft kiss. "I'll miss you."

"I'm not gone yet." She smiled at him. "Do you think the children won't mind the dinner tonight?"

"They really don't have that much of a choice. Sam thinks he is meeting you and Mikey, and Mal thinks she is meeting me. We'll talk things out tonight."

"I hope so." Sandy said as they entered the restaurant. Inside their three children were waiting, obviously they knew what was up.

"How nice of you two to show up," Mallory commented.

"Mom, may I make a suggestion?" Mikey asked. He was sitting in between Sam and Mallory.

"Yes, dear."

"I'm actually not the screwed up one here, so may we make the announcement that corresponds to me first."

Leo raised an eyebrow at him, "Would you happen to have plans?"

"Yeah, I kind of want to tell Zoey before she finds out from anyone else."

"Tell her what?" Sam asked.

Sandy looked from Leo to Mikey and to Sam. "Mikey and I are leaving. We will go visit with Nicole – something you should do as well – and then head to Europe for a long vacation."

"What? Why?" Sam couldn't believe it.

"You keep saying it yourself. I need guidance and mom says she needs to get reacquainted with me. It works perfectly." Mikey smiled.

"So, you are just giving up on your education. I can't believe you would allow this, mom." Sam whined.

"I'm not. I'm just giving him a different type of education. He says he wants to be a writer, and I support that. He will be schooled on life for a while." Sandy grinned.

"I happen to agree with your mother. This will do your brother good." Leo looked at Sam. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to intrude."

"That's ok, Leo. I don't mind." Mikey told him. "So? Am I done?"

"Yeah, you can go, but remember to-"

"Yes, I will square things off with Charlie too."

"Please behave too." His mother smiled at him.

"Of course I will, mom. Have fun here." He kissed her, then shook hands with Leo, and raised his eyebrows at Sam and Mallory.

After he left, Leo grinned at the two remaining children, "Now, onto business."

*****

 

When the luncheon had ended, Abbey had kept some of the women to talk and she invited them to come by later for dinner at the residence. That had come and gone and the few remaining ladies were sitting around the drawing room talking. Those women were CJ, Donna, Zoey, Ainsley, and, of course, the First Lady.

"Were you really looking up love spells?" Zoey asked CJ.

"How do you know about that?"

"Charlie told me."

"Wonder how he knew," CJ scrunched her face. "Anyways, I was. There's plenty that we can learn from our wiccan sisters."

"Right on, CJ. Maybe I should go get my Oija Board." The First Lady grinned.

"Mom!"

"Why not? I could ask it if I'll meet someone special in Miami."

Donna looked at Ainsley, "Are you sure about leaving? I know Leo and the President wouldn't mind if you decided to stay."

"I have to do this. I'll miss you guys, though."

"So, Ainsley, who would you love to meet?" The First Lady inquired.

"Hmmm, George Clooney." She smiled wickedly.

"This is fun!" CJ exclaimed, "Now, who would you love to meet, but don't want anyone to know?"

"I'm not telling."

"C'mon, Ainsley, just between us girls. We won't tell anyone."

"Oh, alright. For some unexplained reason, I've always fancied Mike Myers. Ever since the Wayne years. Heck, I own both Austin Powers movies and can't wait for the third one to come out."

"Wow, Ainsley, I'm looking at you in a whole new light." CJ laughed, "What about you, Donna?"

"Well, it's no secret that my latest obsession is Ewan McGregor. I honestly think I would lose the ability to speak if I were in front of him. Now for the other one-"

"Hey, David Hasselhof doesn't count. We all know about that dirty little secret. You have to come up with another one."

"Yes, CJ. I guess I would have to say Jim Carrey. There's something about him that I find quite sexy."

"That explains so much," CJ teased. "Your turn, Abbey."

"Jack Nicholson. That man is... I can't describe it; there is just this thing about him. Of course Jed hates him. Did you know Jed wanted to talk the Oscars people into taking his awards away?"

"That doesn't surprise me about daddy," Zoey giggled. "Who would be your embarrassing one?"

"He didn't use to be embarrassing, but then he did that god-awful battlefield movie. Ever since then, I've never wanted to admit in public about liking John Travolta," she shuddered. "So, let's say my other pick is Shaft."

"Samuel Jackson's cool mom, and he's hot, even for his age," Zoey told her.

CJ burst out laughing. "Sweetie, your mother means the other Shaft, Richard Roundtree, the one from the 70s."

"Oh."

"What about you, Zoey? We are dying to know?"

She smiled shyly. It was kind of fun hanging with this women. "Well... Right now, the dreamy one has to be Orlando Bloom, also known as Legolas in Lord of the Rings. I mean, those long tresses, the accent, and the tights! He makes that outfit look good." Zoey sighed. "As for the other option, I'll follow the comedy tradition... I adore Adam Sandler. I even watched The Waterboy."

CJ glanced at the First Lady, then at Zoey, "You are still young, but I agree on the Legolas part."

Donna sat up, "CJ, it's your turn. You haven't answered yet." She smirked at her.

"It's tough. I've been trying to think about it, but I just can't narrow it down to one."

"Really?" Donna bit her lip. "Maybe I could make a suggestion." She winked at her.

"Antonio Banderas." She replied quickly. "With the Zorro outfit." She thought for a moment and added, "And I think it could work as well for the other category just because he married Melanie."

"That's mean CJ!" Donna pretended to be shocked. "What would the sisterhood say?"

"Nothing! Besides, he left his wife for her!" CJ looked around, "So... next topic."

"I know." The First Lady grinned mischievously. "Soap stars sons and the women who love them."

Donna snorted. This was too good. Ainsley's and Zoey's faces were priceless.

"Well, Dr. Bartlet, in that case, you should talk to Mallory. She's the one that's really involved with Sam, not me." Ainsley said quickly.

"Yeah, she says that now because she is leaving us... forever." Donna stuck her tongue out at her.

"Of course, there's another guy we can discuss..." The First Lady pointed at Zoey with her head.

"There is nothing going on between us. He is just a friend." Zoey whined. "What is this? Gang up on Zoey day? Dad also gave me the third degree about Mikey!"

"Gee, wonder why? Honey, you have to admit it, you like the boy and what's not to like. He is just as cute as his brother, less shy and way more charming." CJ told her.

"I don't like Charlie that way!" Zoey saw Donna raise her eyebrows and realized her slip. "Mikey! I meant Mikey. I love Charlie."

"Sweetie, no one is saying you don't." Her mother told her reassuringly. "We are just saying that you do like Mikey. If it weren't for Charlie, would you want to be with Mikey?"

"No." Her mother just looked at her. "Maybe."

"This is just like Gilmore Girls. Rory loves Dean. She really does, but she can't help but want to be with Jess. That's what makes it so interesting... and I'm not helping, am I?" Donna shrugged.

"Seriously I got to know, when do you get to watch so much tv, because I can barely catch a couple of shows a week." CJ wondered.

"Well, my roommate tapes a lot, plus I look for spoilers on the net, that way I know what to watch and what not to. Speaking of which, you won't believe what is going to happen with Rory."

"I wouldn't mind knowing."

The five ladies turned to see Mikey standing at the door, smiling wide.

"How long have you been there?" Zoey asked him quickly, wondering how much had he heard.

"Don't you mean how much did I hear?" He grinned.

"Actually, how did you know we were here? And how did you get here?" The First Lady folded her arms.

"The President told me and Charlie brought me up." He saw their faces, "and before you ask, I went out with Charlie for a beer to talk about a few things."

"Ok." Zoey nodded with a frightened look on her face. "What did you talk about?"

"We agreed on how many goats you were worth." He deadpanned.

"You don't say." CJ raised an eyebrow and smiled.

"I can't lie... it was Leo's idea, and I'll tell you more about it, if you don't mind coming with me to get a bite to eat. I know it's getting to be late, but I didn't have anything to eat at dinner, and just had a few beers, so I need nourishment. If your mother or your security detail doesn't mind, of course."

Zoey was about to reply when her mother jumped up, "Of course you can go and have fun."

Mikey didn't give her a chance to change her mind and practically dragged Zoey out of there.

"Oh yeah, she doesn't like him. Not at all." CJ said after they left. "So, Donna, tell us, what does happen with Rory and Jess."

*****

 

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