Sam spent every waking moment for the next few weeks spending time with Tyler or while at work at least thinking about him. Lisa and her lawyers had come up with an acceptable agreement. Tyler would live with Lisa during the week and Sam on the weekends. But Sam spent time with Tyler, Lisa and Stephen so the little boy would become comfortable with his father and so that Sam would become accustomed to Tyler.
Sam's first Saturday with Tyler finally came, unfortunately, Sam had to stop into the White House for a few Senior Staff meetings, "Are you and Mr. Donkey ready to come to work with me big guy?" Sam asked the small child who was clutching a stuffed donkey toy, his father had recently given him as Sam carried Tyler one of his arms, and he juggled Tyler's diaper bag and his own brief case in the other.
"Good morning Kathy," Sam greeted his secretary. "Tyler say hi to Kathy."
The very outgoing child waved to the woman who was already tickling and cooing at him.
"Sam," Kathy said before he entered his office, "Mallory O'Brien is your office waiting to meet with you."
"What?" Sam asked in shock.
"Mallory O'Brien called yesterday and she made an appointment to meet with you," Kathy explained.
Sam took a deep breath and opened the door of his office, still carrying Tyler. "Mallory," Sam forced a smile. Despite the fact he was still very much in love with her, Sam had cancelled all of their dates the past few weeks to better bond with his son. He feared that Mallory would take the cancellations badly.
"Sam we need to talk," Mallory said in a serious tone.
"I know we do," Sam agreed.
"What's going on?" She asked sternly. "Are you still mad about me canceling that date for the school board meeting?"
"No," Sam said with a laugh. "How could you think such a thing?"
"That's when this all started," Mallory explained. "I mean, I guess I shouldn't care so much and I wouldn't, but Sam I thought we had something. Sam I thought I was falling in love with you."
"Mal will you let me explain?" Sam asked. He was warmed by the fact that Mallory thought she was falling in love with him. "I think that I may be falling in love with you, but I have to explain to you what has been going on."
"All right," Mallory said. "Let's here it."
"Mallory O'Brien, I'd like very much for you to meet someone very special I have just found out about Mallory, this is Tyler Samuel Seaborn," Sam said proudly of his son he was holding.
"What?" Mallory asked surprised.
"Tyler is my son," Sam explained. "His mother and I were engaged before I came to work for the Bartlet campaign. We broke it off, and Tyler was born nine months after I left. He and his mother have recently moved to Washington and I just found out about Tyler myself only a few weeks ago."
"Sam?" Mallory asked completely shocked at the news.
"I've been spending the last few weeks working on some custody agreements and spending time with him," Sam continued. "I didn't want to tell you, because I wasn't sure how you'd react, because I wasn't sure how I was reacting, but I am finally accepting this and getting the hang of being a father. If you are angry, I can understand. I want things to work about between us, because I have come to love you, Mallory, but Tyler needs to be my main concern. You don't need to say anything, all you have to do is walk out of this office and I will understand. Things are going to change for me and you have the option to bail out now, no questions asked."
Mallory saw the sincerity in Sam's eyes. He wanted to make things work with both his son and her. "Oh Sam," she said and threw her arms around both Sam and Tyler. "Can I take the two of you out to lunch?"
"What do you say to that offer?" Sam asked Tyler who smiled. "You have a date."
"All right," Mallory smiled. "I'll be in around noon." She turned to exit the room.
"Mallory," Sam called as he put Tyler down in a chair. She turned around to his open arms. He pulled her into his embrace and they kissed. "Thank you for understanding."
Mallory left the office and Sam turned to his son, "She's really something. Now, we're off to a meeting. How would you like to go to the Oval Office?"
Tyler rode on his father's shoulders hugging his new favorite toy, the donkey, through the halls of the West Wing to get to the Oval Office. "Good morning, Sam," Mrs. Landingham greeting him.
"Hello Mrs. Landingham," Sam smiled.
"This must be Tyler," Mrs. Landingham said of the boy perched on Sam's shoulders.
"Yes," Sam answered. "Tyler this is Mrs. Landingham."
The little boy waved.
"Isn't he darling," Mrs. Landingham smiled. "Would you boys like a cookie?"
"You want a cookie Tyler?" Sam brought the boy down so he could get a cookie. "Thank you Mrs. Landingham."
"Of course, dear," she answered. "You keep bringing him here so we can all watch him grow."
"I will Mrs. Landingham," Sam answered.
"Get into that meeting!" She told them.
"Good morning," Sam greeted the group.
"There he is," The President instantly lit up. "Let me see this strapping lad." Jed Bartlet walked over to Tyler and took him into his arms. "Hello there," he smiled.
Just as the President began cooing over Tyler, "I see your daddy is already buying things for you," noting the donkey.
Charlie walked in. "Sir, Mrs. Bartlet is here to see you."
"Send her in," he answered without looking up from the child he had in his lap.
"Oh good," Abbey Bartlet smiled when she walked in. "Jed said that Tyler would be here today, and I couldn't wait to meet him. Hello, Tyler," Abbey knelt down next to Jed and Tyler. "My you look like your daddy, don't you?"
Tyler grinned at the attention.
"Why don't I take you out to play with the secretaries until your daddy is done with his meeting?" Abbey Bartlet suggested. "Is that okay, Sam?"
"That's fine," Sam smiled. "Thank you ma'am. Be a good boy, Tyler."
"Oh the stories that boy will tell when he gets older," Josh laughed. "The First Lady was my baby-sitter."
"He's absolutely adorable, Sam," CJ commented.
"His mother must be something," Toby said, "Cause I had my money on the fact that Tyler would be beastly like his father."
"Hey," Sam said weakly defending himself.
Inside the Oval Office, the Senior Staff meeting went on, outside the office, the secretaries gathered around Abbey Bartlet and the little boy she was holding.
"Hi there, Tyler," Donna Moss went straight to the small child and gathered him in her arms.
"Donna you seem to be a natural at mothering," Abbey Bartlet took notice to the younger woman's instincts.
"Thank you Mrs. Bartlet," Donna smiled.
"I have a feeling that this one will be quite the heartbreaker, like his father," Ginger sighed.
"Oh I think he already is," Abbey Bartlet pointed her head in the direction of Donna and Tyler.
"Can you say Donna?" She coaxed the small boy, "Don-ah."
Tyler grinned from ear to ear at Donna's antics, and put out his donkey to show her.
"I want one of these," Donna sighed to the other secretaries.
"A stuffed donkey?" Margaret asked.
"A Seaborn son?" Kathy asked.
"Actually, I would want a Lyman son, or daughter not a Seaborn," Donna answered, ignoring Margaret's comment about the stuffed donkey.
"You and Josh?" Abbey Bartlet asked. Being on the other end of the White House, she got very little gossip. "I was aware there was something between you two, but-,"
"Josh and Donna have been together since the shooting," Margaret announced.
Abbey Bartlet smiled knowingly, "I always knew you two would end up together. But the shooting wasn't that long ago, you don't have any plans for a child in the near future do you?"
"As soon as I am wearing Josh's ring on my finger," Donna said, "But for now that too is only a dream. So that means lots of quality time with you, little man." She hugged Tyler.
"Daddy's back," Sam announced to his son, when the meeting was over.
"Thanks for watching him, Mrs. Bartlet, Donna," Sam said to the two women who were still with his son.
"Anytime, Sam," Abbey smiled. "I am serious now, if you need any help with him whenever, I'd be more than happy to do it."
"Thank you, ma'am that really means a lot to me," Sam said sincerely.
"And Donna here, would love to spend more quality time with your son," Abbey added.
"Thank you both," Sam said, "But now we need to go back to Daddy's office and get some work done, how about that buddy?"
The little boy smiled as Sam carried him back into his office. Sam went to his desk working on a speech for the President as Tyler sat on the floor with a marker and some scrap paper coloring.
"Hey Tyler," Sam said after awhile. "Daddy's got to go get something, but we are going to see if Uncle Josh and Aunt Donna can watch you for a minute, okay?"
The little boy nodded and toddled next to his father keeping his donkey close at hand as he walked down the hall to Josh's office.
"I'm just saying Josh, you should really look at this information," Donna said.
"Will that get you off of my back?" Josh asked in an uncivil tone.
"Josh," Donna whined.
"Are we interrupting?" Sam asked as he and Tyler entered the office.
"No," Josh said. "Donna is just trying to get me to read this memo that I really don't need to read."
"Read the memo, Josh," Sam suggested knowing that Donna was correct more often than Josh would care to admit. "And while you do that, would you two mind watching Tyler for a little bit, I've got to track down some paperwork that I had sent downstairs, and I just now realize that I need it."
"Sure, we'd love to," Donna smiled.
"Thanks," Sam said as he exited. "Tyler behave."
"You're really into this whole baby thing, aren't you?" Josh switched modes from boss to boyfriend with that question.
"I guess you could say that," Donna said nervously. She wasn't sure how Josh would react if he found out she had such a strong desire to have children, his children.
"You've been really good with him," Josh commented about the child. "You seem to light up when your holding him or talking to him."
"I guess a little," Donna blushed.
"It's cute," Josh smiled. "I've never seen this maternal side to you Donnatella. Well, unless you count that whole period of time while I was recovering, you seemed to be quite the mother hen then, but this is different. This is you and a baby. I like that idea."
"Really, Josh?" Donna asked in surprise.
"Yeah," he said. "You know when we are ready, I'd love for you to be the mother of my children."
"Really, Joshua?" Donna grinned as Josh came close and kissed her. When their lips parted Donna smiled again and said, "Read the memo Josh. I have to go get a file, I'll be back in like two minutes."
"All right," Josh said and began reading the memo.
"Did you get what you needed?" Donna asked Sam as he passed the filing cabinets a few moments later.
"Yes, in fact I did," Sam said proudly. "Where's Tyler?"
"He's bonding with Josh," Donna said brightly.
"You seem in a chipper mood," Sam commented.
"Yeah, I guess I am," Donna admitted.
"It wouldn't have anything to do with my best friend, Joshua Lyman, would it?" Sam asked.
"Yeah, it does," Donna smiled.
"I'll catch up with you later, and we'll talk, but I better go get Tyler. I think it may go under cruel and unusual punishment to allow any child to spend too much time in the mess Josh calls an office," Sam said and headed off to the office.
"Hey," Sam said when he entered Josh's office. "You've got Donna in quite the jovial mood. What were you two up to?"
"It's not what you think," Josh said in disgust at the tone in Sam's voice. "She's been happy to be spending time with Tyler, and I told her that when we were ready, I wanted her to be the mother of my children. She's the one, Sam."
"I could have told you that when you first met," Sam noted. "But I am glad to see that you are both happy. Now where is my son?"
"What?" Josh asked. "He is right in front of my desk playing."
"Josh?" Sam asked in a panic.
"Yeah," Josh said with uncertainty, "You mean he's not there anymore?"
"Josh," Sam began to raise his voice. "I leave you with my son for like fifteen minutes and you lose him! How can you be so irresponsible?"
"Sam, calm down. This is the White House, there are like a million guards, I am sure Tyler hasn't gotten too far," Josh said as he got up from his seat and the two went out into the hall.
"Tyler," Sam called. "Josh, I will kill you with my own two hands!"
"Tyler," Josh called. "Donna, have you seen Tyler?"
"Josh?" Donna raised her eyebrow. "You lost your best friend's son?"
"In my own defense," Josh started. "I knew where he was until he wasn't there anymore."
"Josh that made no sense whatsoever," Donna commented.
"It sounded good in my head," Josh said. "Come on help us look for him."
"Tyler?" Sam called passing CJ's office, "CJ, you haven't seen Tyler have you?"
"No," she said. "What happened?"
"Josh lost him," Sam said.
"I'll help you look," CJ said emerging from her office with Sam. "Tyler?"
"Tyler?" Donna called looking under all of the empty desk with Josh.
"Hi there," Toby Ziegler said when Tyler Seaborn toddled into his office with the stuffed donkey in his arms. "You aren't supposed to be here, are you?"
The little boy walked to Toby, who was sitting at his desk and smiled.
"Come here," Toby said. "You want to come sit with me?" Toby lifted the little boy into his lap. Tyler was a welcomed break from the work that Toby was doing.
Once situated on his lap, Tyler carefully placed the donkey on Toby's desk, and then intertwined his hands into Toby's beard. Neither Stephen nor Sam had facial hair so a beard was a new thing for Tyler.
"I may not be a people person," Toby said to the little boy, "But I like children. And their stuffed donkeys."
Tyler giggled as Toby petted the animal on his desk.
"You think that's funny?" Toby asked allowing his voice to become silly in order to amuse the child.
"Tyler?" Toby could hear the panicked call of Sam echoed by Josh and Donna and CJ.
"You've just escaped from where you were supposed to be, huh?" Toby asked. "I thought your father was responsible enough to know not to let little children roam the White House. He's in here," Toby called out.
Sam, Josh, Donna and CJ came running into Toby's office. It took them all an instant to totally take the picture they saw in front of them. There was gruff Toby, playing with small child as if it came second nature to him.
"There you are," Sam said relieved. "Thank you, Toby. Josh, now I know who can be responsible for my son."
"So it wasn't you?" Toby asked Sam.
"No, I had to go downstairs for a few minutes, and I left him with Josh," Sam said.
"My pals, Tyler and the donkey and I were just getting better aquatinted," Toby explained. "The little guy wandered into my office, and I was under the impression he wanted to play with me."
"You never cease to amaze me," CJ laughed. "Here I though I thought you were some sort of angry grizzly bear, but it turns out your nothing but a teddy bear."
"And that fact will be kept in this office," Toby said. "I have taken time to cultivate my reputation as a grizzly, and it would just totally kill my style if people were to find out there's a big teddy bear stuck inside me."
"You secret is safe with us," Sam said. "Thanks, again Toby."
"Not a problem," Toby said. "My door is always open to Tyler when he wants to come and visit. That policy goes for the little guy only. If any of you need anything and my door is closed, then my door is closed."
"Come on, Tyler," Sam said. "We've had a busy morning, and it's time to meet Mallory for lunch."
"Bye Tyler," Toby said to the little boy. "Have a good lunch!"
"Let's get our stuff," Sam said taking the boy's hand. "Listen to me, Tyler, I know Uncle Josh was being irresponsible, but I need you to stay where you are supposed to be, okay?"
The little boy nodded at his father's seriousness.
"All right," Sam said surveying his office. "We've got one Tyler, Tyler's donkey, we've got Daddy's brief case, Tyler's bag and -,"
"One lunch date," Mallory O'Brien said from behind them.
"Mallory," Sam smiled letting go of his son's hand for a moment to take the woman he loved into his arms.
"Hi there, Tyler," Mallory said when Sam let her out of his arms. She got down on her knees to be at the child's height. "I'm Mallory. How are you?"
The little boy grinned.
"Can I help you with your bag, mister?" Mallory asked the little boy, whom handed over his bag, but kept the stuffed donkey under his arm.
"How about some lunch?" Sam asked. "I'm starved."
"I'd like that," Mallory smiled as the three walked out of the West Wing.