Hi guys! Sorry that it's been so long between parts of this fanfic, but I've
been intrigued by a new idea and started working on another one, which I will
hopefully post soon. Anyway here's part 2! (For those of you who forgot,
this is a story about Mandy's decision to leave the West Wing and go back to
her old job.)

P.S. - Thanks for all the wonderful feedback and encouragement, you guys!

"Bittersweet Decision" Part Two
by Nikki

Sam walked into his office and was surprised to see Mandy sitting in a
chair in front of his desk, staring absently at the Princeton diploma on his
wall. "Mandy?" he asked tentatively.
Mandy jumped, startled by the sound of his voice. "Oh, I'm sorry," she
sputtered, trying hurriedly to wipe the tears from her cheeks.
Sam sat down behind his desk, never taking his eyes off Mandy. "Why
aren't you in your office?" he asked.
With a wry smile, Mandy replied, "I don't have an office here, Sam.
Remember?"
He blushed and cleared his throat. "Oh, yeah. I'm sorry," he added,
realizing that he had touched a nerve.
"It's okay. My lack of an office is just an example of the reasons why
I'm leaving," she explained sadly. Mandy took a deep breath. "I really
think that leaving is the right thing to do," she said, almost as if she was
trying to convince herself instead of Sam.
"So do I."
Mandy looked up, surprised. "You do?"
Sam shrugged. "If you're not happy here, you shouldn't stay," he said
simply.
"I know everyone else thinks I'm crazy," Mandy stated.
"Nah, I think they're just shocked. Once they get over their initial
reactions, they'll understand."
Mandy just looked at him and nodded. She cocked her head to one side.
"Why do you understand this?"
"Sometimes I surprise myself," responded Sam with a smile.

"Thank you, everyone. There'll be more at the three o'clock briefing."
C.J. finished her eleven o'clock press briefing and headed out of the
pressroom, Carol following her close behind.
"Carol, can you get me those numbers from Senator Randall's office as
soon as possible?" C.J. asked, looking over her notes from the morning's
briefing.
"Sure," replied Carol.
"Oh, yeah, and can you get yourself a dictionary? Thank you." C.J. was
definitely not in the mood for Carol's infamous spelling problems this
morning. Her mind was clouded with thoughts of Mandy's imminent departure.
Once more, she would be the only woman on the President's senior staff. She
would be forced to put up with all the male macho egos around the office,
without Mandy to deflect them. C.J. was mentally running through a list of
female consultants in Washington when she was startled out of her thoughts by
a voice next to her.
"Hey, C.J., yet another fantastic briefing by my favorite press
secretary," teased Danny Concannon.
C.J. sighed as they entered her office. "Danny, what do you want?
Because I am certainly not in the mood for -"
"I wanted to tell you how great you look in that suit," Danny interjected
with a smile.
"Danny -"
"And to ask you out to dinner."
"Danny -"
"And to warn you that Jack is probably going to ask you about your
opinion of the Vice President and his staff."
"What?"
"Jack's putting together an article about the relationship, or lack
thereof, between Bartlet's staff and Hoynes's staff. Just thought I'd give
you a heads up." He turned and headed for the door.
"Danny." C.J. grabbed him by the sleeve, effectively stopping him from
leaving. "Stop." She reached past him to pull the door shut. "Sit." She
pointed at the chair next to him. He sat. "Explain." She leaned against the
edge of her desk, taking care not to hit Gail's fishbowl.
"Come on, C.J., you've seen it before. He's a young guy, wants to move
up at the paper, so an editor tells him to put together a big piece to show
what he can do, so to speak. Rob seems to think that an article about the
President and Vice President is going to be a fantastic exclusive story," he
ended on a note of disgust. Rob McAllister, the managing editor at the
paper, always thought that every article was destined to make history.
"Is this going to be bad?" C.J. asked worriedly. It was no secret that
there were some problems between President Bartlet and Vice-President Hoynes
and their respective staffs, but C.J. worked very hard to keep the bad blood
out of the papers. So far, she had been pretty successful.
"C.J., it's no big deal. Besides, it won't even come out for about a
month," Danny reassured her.
"If it's no big deal, then why are you coming to me a month in advance
and warning me?" C.J. asked suspiciously.
Danny grinned irresistibly. "Because I was hoping that before you pushed
me out of your office and shut the door in my face, you would consider my
kindness and say yes to a date with me."
C.J. kept her face stoic, biting her tongue to keep from laughing.
"Danny," she warned.
"So, are we on for dinner tonight?" he asked disarmingly.
C.J. pulled him out of the chair and pushed him into the hallway outside
her office. "No." She shut the door in his face and turned away, unable to
contain the grin spreading across her face.

To Be Continued...

 

 

 

 

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