Rating: G. I think.
Disclaimer: Mine? Why, yes. Okay, no. But they will be mine. Oh yes,
they will be mine. Especially Sam.
Notes: Sam fic, of course. Josh is in there too, lots. Also, I don't
know anything about the White House or its air conditioning system.
So sue me.
"...And, yes, ladies and gentlemen, it is officially the hottest day
of the hottest week of the year. Hospitals are working overtime as
people keep checking in with heatstroke..."
Josh smirked as he turned off his television and strolled out of his
office. Working for the President certainly had its perks - the air
conditioning kept the temperature at a comfortable constant all year
round. Although, now that he thought about it, it did seem a little
warmer than usual. Hmm.
Donna gave a long-suffering sigh. "Yes, Josh?"
"Is it just me, or is it warmer than it should be?"
"It's just you, Josh."
"Check it out, will you?" Josh didn't even wait to see her nod before
proceeding to his original destination, which was Leo's office.
"... So he wants nothing to do with it, and also, is it getting hot
in here or is it just me?" Sam looked around thoughtfully.
"You know, I just asked Donna the same thing!" Josh said.
Leo shook his head. "This is the White House," he informed them,
speaking slowly as if they were children. "The air conditioning keeps
the temperature at a comfortable constant all year round. Okay?"
Sam and Josh exchanged looks, and shrugged. "Okay."
Half an hour later, Sam and Josh strode down the corridor, on their
way to watch CJ give the press their morning briefing.
"It is a little warm, right?" Sam asked, answering his own question
by loosening his tie and taking off his jacket.
"Well, here's a passing Donna to tell us. Donna!" Josh grabbed
Donna's arm as she passed by, swinging her around to face him.
"Yes, Josh?" she asked, patiently.
"Did you check out the heat thing?"
"Yeah, it seems the air conditioning is broken."
Josh gaped at her. "It's what?"
"Broken. Damaged. Not in working order."
"I know what it means!" Josh snapped.
"How can it be broken?" Sam interjected, cutting short the burgeoning
argument. "Don't they have regular checkups or something?"
"Probably." Donna shifted her attention to Sam. "But it's broken
Only in the West Wing, though."
"Do we not have people that fix these things?"
Josh heaved a sigh of frustration. "Well, when will it be fixed?"
Donna looked back to Josh. Like watching a tennis match, she thought.
"I called the guy, and he says they can only fit us in day after
"You did tell them that this is the White House, right?"
Donna rolled her eyes. "Let's see. The guy said, quote, 'White House,
shmite house, we can't show preferential treatment just because it's
the President. We got other clients, lady, it's the hottest day of
the year.' Unquote."
"He said they can't show preferential treatment to the *President*?"
Sam repeated incredulously. "We need a new guy!"
Donna smiled sweetly. "I'll work on that," she assured them,
gently removing Josh's grip on her arm, she proceeded on her merry
Josh stared at Sam. Sam stared at Josh.
"You know what this means," Josh said nervously.
"It's gonna get hot in here," Sam replied fearfully.
"I can't handle heat, man."
Sam laughed apprehensively. "Oh, well... Donna will find someone to
fix it. It's the White House, for Pete's sake."
Josh nodded, stepped toward his office, and hesitated. "Hey... when's
that thing?" he asked, glancing over his shoulder.
"Today's thing or Thursday's thing?"
"Oh, well, that's on Thursday."
"Okay." With a heavy sigh, Josh plodded to his office. Sam did the
same, already wondering how he could get a Sam-sized ice cube into
his office without it melting and leaving a puddle on the floor.
"Sam?" Toby burst through Sam's office door and stood still,
around angrily. The bastard wasn't here! He was supposed to be
working on a speech! He was probably off sulking because Toby had
told him the first draft was "fine-ish". Anything less than perfect
and... Muttering to himself, Toby turned to leave, only to be stopped
by a weak voice saying, "Yeah?"
Toby paused, eyed the empty office thoughtfully, then strode over to
the desk and looked behind it. Sam was lying spread-eagled on the
floor, eyes closed. An expression of concern flickered over Toby's
"Sam? You okay?"
Sam opened his eyes. "Oh, sure. It's cooler down here, you know."
Toby growled softly. "Why aren't you working on the speech?"
"I was... but... it's too hot to think... so... and it's cooler on
the floor." Sam paused, then added, "Not much cooler, mind you."
"Sam, get up and write the damn speech."
"But it's too hot..." Sam whined, before defiantly closing his eyes
Toby scowled down at his deputy for a few seconds, then turned on his
heel and stalked out.
Cathy took a few steps into the office, holding something bulky
behind her back. "Josh wants to see you, but I said you'd get back to
him because Toby wanted me to give you a message."
Sam forced his eyes open and gazed at the ceiling for a moment, then
rolled over and crawled to his chair, pulling himself into it.
"Melodramatic twit," said Cathy.
Sam stared at her. "Rapscallion. What's that behind your back?"
"It's... It's a bucket of ice water. Toby gave it to me."
"And what are you planning on doing with that?"
Cathy hesitated, walked up to Sam, and upended the bucket over his
head. "That," she said nervously.
An ice cube slipped off Sam's head and bounced off his nose on the
way down. After a moment, he ran a hand down his face, wiping off the
excess moisture, and grinned. "Cathy, remind me to get you a raise."
Ignoring her astonished look, he stood up, shook himself like a dog,
spraying little droplets of water everywhere, murmured, "Josh, you
say?" and left. Cathy stared after him for a moment before going back
to work, muttering about heat affecting people's brains.
"Yes, sir. Yes, sir. Yes. Yes. No, sir. Senator-" Josh rolled his
eyes as Sam came in, pointing to the phone he held and then slapping
his forehead. "Sir, it's very hot, so - Sir. Yes, sir. Yes, sir.
kiss my ass." Josh slammed down the phone with more than a hint of
"That's getting to be a habit with you," Sam observed.
"Yeah," said Josh, looking up. "This new campaign strategy rocks.
"What? Oh." Sam glanced self-consciously at his drenched suit and
shrugged. "It sure keeps the heat at bay."
Realization dawned. "The message from Toby?"
"He didn't like me lying on the floor of my office. It was
unproductive, I guess."
Josh tore his eyes away from the ice cube that had lodged between
Sam's tie and his collar and shook his head. "Yeah. Uh, you wanna
keep being unproductive?"
"Well, I figure we can't wait around for this repair guy."
They were interrupted by a polite knock on the door, which was
followed by Cathy poking her head in and saying, "Scoundrel."
"Wench," Sam replied absently.
"Demimondaine," Sam responded unhesitatingly. Cathy mouthed silently
for a second, then, frustrated, slunk away to check her thesaurus,
slamming the door behind her.
Josh blinked. "What...?"
Sam shrugged. "She insulted me yesterday and I responded, and now she
keeps trying to one-up me."
Josh nodded slowly. "Uh-huh. You should fire her."
Sam was shocked. "I can't fire her!"
"Sure you can! I fire Donna all the time! Mind you," Josh added
thoughtfully, "I never seem to get around to actually arranging a
severance package and giving her the boot, but it does tend to cut
short conversations like this."
Donna looked in. "I called another two repairmen but the Secret
Service guys say that they have to run a background check and that
would take at least two days anyway and I don't want to make another
phone call, my ear hurts!" she whined.
"You're fired," Josh said.
"Josh!" Donna pouted. "Okay, I'll try again."
Josh nodded as she closed the door, and looked at Sam. "See?"
Sam shrugged. "You were saying, so?"
"So, we fix the air conditioning ourselves."
Sam took a startled step backwards. "What are you, nuts? No way!"
"Oh, come on! Once we get this place cool again, we'll be hailed as
"No. No way. I know you and your scams - never again. Not after
Josh waved a hand dismissively. "I can't help it if that cop had no
sense of humor."
"That wasn't it, Josh. It was more that you acted like a pompous ass."
"I swear, if we get in trouble, I'll take the blame. And I won't act
like a pompous ass."
Sam hesitated, teetering on the edge of being convinced.
"Tell you what. I'll fix it, and you can just come and watch me, keep
me company. I won't do anything you don't want me to," Josh said
hopefully, watching Sam's no-way expression change to one of mere
"I don't know..."
"Oh, come on. Please? I'll owe you one." Josh put on his best puppy-
dog face and added, "Buddy?"
Sam sighed. "Okay. But-"
"Thanks, pal! Let's go!" Josh gave Sam an enthusiastic, and rather
painful, slap on the back as he exited his office, then wheeled
around again. "Er... any idea where this air conditioning thing is?"
Sam mutely put his hand over his face, wondering what the hell he'd
gotten himself into this time.
If You Can't Stand The Heat - 2