Title: Maybe Tomorrow...

Author: Robyn (quincy@global.co.za)

Disclaimer: Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there were some
really cool characters that aren't mine.

Spoilers: Well, um, the Sam/Mallory stuff.

Archiving: Yes.

Notes: I wrote this in just over an hour, and it's been sitting in my
computer for a few days, saying "Post me! Poooooossssst meeeeeeeee!" So I
am. Thanks to Flip for inspiring this! That's right, if you hate it, blame
Flip. *g* On to the story.

Mallory was sitting at her desk, trying to concentrate on grading papers,
when there was a knock on the door.
Damn, she thought, trying to pretend she wasn't thrilled at the chance to
avoid marking for even a few minutes. Putting on her stern teacher face, she
opened the door.
"Sam?" He was leaning against the door, head on his arm, eyes closed.
"Mallory," Sam said courteously, straightening. "May I come in?"
"I'm grading papers-"
"Thanks." Sam pushed past her, staggered over to the couch and flopped down.
"Are you drunk?" Mallory asked disapprovingly.
Sam laughed. "No. Nonono. Just got off a 72 hour stint at work."
She gaped at him. "And you had no chance to go home and sleep?"
He squinted at her thoughtfully for a moment before answering. "There was a
chance... on Tuesday, but it would only have been for a couple of hours, so
I stayed. And as it turned out, there was work to do after all."
Mallory relaxed enough to sit beside him. "And what was the big emergency
that required you to stay at work for three days?"
Sam waved a hand dismissively. "Had to convince the President not to do a
"Which took three days?" Mallory was becoming convinced that the First Lady
knew what she was talking about. It appeared that the geniuses really didn't
want to sleep.
"No. Ainsley Hayes -" he drew out the name mockingly - "convinced him to do
it despite the fact that the entire senior staff said he shouldn't. Three
days dealing with the aftermath. The President is a stubborn man."
"What was the thing?"
He stared at her mutely, considering. Two minutes passed. Finally, he said,
"What? Oh. Nothing."

Mallory sighed heavily. "And the reason you aren't at home right now,
Sam gave a slightly insane-sounding giggle. "Sleep? You kidding? I've been
living on caffeine for the last two days. Two and a half," he corrected
after a pause. "Speaking of which, got any coffee?"
"No," she said calmly. "No more coffee for you."
"Oh." Sam pouted briefly, then shrugged. " 's prob'ly for the best. You
shouldn't drink coffee after two in the afternoon anyway." Slightly maniacal
grin. "It really wreaks havoc with your sleeping habits."
Ring, ring. Sam patted his pocket, pulled out his cellphone, smiled
apologetically as he answered. "Hello?" Beat. "Your people or our people?
Well, then, so what? Why do I care about your people, is what I mean. We've
been through this. No. No. Uh-huh. Uh-huh. No. Well, that was just uncalled
for." Abruptly, he lost his temper. "No, you listen. The White House does
not tolerate threats of that sort. And I do not tolerate idiots." He hung up
irritably and threw the phone over his shoulder, muttering, "Asshole." Then
he gave her a sheepish grin. "I lied to him," he told her. "The White House
does occasionally tolerate threats like that, and I am quite often forced to
put up with idiots." Then he blinked. "Did I just throw my cellphone over my
Mallory smiled and nodded slightly. "Why are you here, again?" she inquired

Pause. "Uh. Wanted to ask you a question." Sam lurched to his feet and
walked to the window, where he stood, staring out at the street..
"Sam? Question?" Mallory reminded, joining him at the window.
He glanced at her with a surprised expression. "Right. Um... Are you my
girlfriend or not?"
She blinked. "Excuse me?"
"I was just wondering. Because. Um. We haven't been on any actual dates, but
I haven't been out with anyone else either, and if I consider it I feel
guilty, and I was... there was the time you kissed me, but..."
Mallory shifted uncomfortably. "Why do we have to define our relationship in
terms of girlfriend/boyfriend? What are we, twelve?"
"Because," Sam said absently, "There's the whole thing about... if you're my
girlfriend, then why haven't we slept together yet?"
Her mouth dropped open. "Excuse me?" she said sharply.
"You know, I mean, uh... we haven't... uh..."
"I'm sex-starved, here, Mallory. I need to get laid."
Good God, she thought incredulously, he really must be tired to not look
frightened after he said that to me.

Now Sam was pacing back and forth as he spoke. "You asked me out, but you
said it wasn't a real date. You kissed me. You made an appointment to argue
with me. It sure seems like we're going out to me."
"Whoa - what kind of weird-ass relationships have you had?" she couldn't
help but ask, as she watched him pace. Back and forth, back and forth. And,
the way he was waving his arms around... What did he remind her of? Suddenly
it hit her: he looked exactly like a lawyer presenting a closing argument to
a jury. Which made sense, since he was a lawyer. It also occurred to her
that he looked absolutely adorable.

"And correct me if I'm wrong," he was saying, "but there is definitely an
attraction thing going on here, right?"
"Oh, come on," he snapped. "I've seen the way you look at me." Doubt
flickered across his face. "I think."
Enough is enough, Mallory decided. She would not allow him to speak to her
like that. "You're out of line."
"I am not! I'm going crazy. I just want this cleared up. Preferably in a way
that ends with us having wild, raunchy, possibly even kinky, sex."
"Bite me," Mallory snapped.
"I'd love to," he replied distractedly, running a hand through his
already-tousled hair, "but you're making that very difficult."
Her mouth dropped open once again. "*What* did you just say? Now, you listen
here, Samuel Norman Seabourn, I - why are you looking at me like that?"

Sam was staring at her, smiling. "I was just thinking..." he walked over to
her, put his hands on her shoulders. "... how much I want to kiss you," he
"Don't you dare. Don't you even- mffmff." Mallory quickly realized that it
was hard to yell at someone when they had their tongue in your mouth. To her
horror, she found that she was kissing back.
Finally he pulled away and watched her, smiling again, waiting for her
For a long moment there was none, as Mallory processed thoughts ranging
from, 'Bastard! How dare he?' to 'Hot *damn*, he's a good kisser!' Then she
slapped him, and shoved him away from her.
He stumbled back a step and looked at her with a heartbroken whipped-puppy
expression. She glared at him furiously, then not so furiously, then
longingly, all in the space of a second. "What the hell," she decided
finally, grabbed him, pulled him toward her, and kissed him.
Mmm... he thought. At last.
She fumbled with his shirt as they sank onto the couch, and then the phone

Ring, ring.
They ignored it.
Ring, ring.
Getting harder to ignore, but they gave it the old college try.
Ring, ring.
"Damn!" Mallory pulled away. "Just a sec," she whispered, then got up and
snatched the phone. "What? Oh, hi, Dad. No. Nah, I was just grading some
papers. Hey," she added in her sternest teacher voice, "Why did you let Sam
work for three days straight without a break? Oh, how could you not have
known? He was just here. Yes. No, you don't need to come over, I'm not
lonely. No, really, Dad, it's okay. All right, I'll see you tomorrow for
breakfast. Bye."
She hung up the phone with an air of relief. "Sorry," she said, turning back
to Sam, "it-" She stopped. Sam was slumped down in the corner of the couch,
fast asleep.
"Damn it," she whispered. Oh well. She got a blanket from her closet and
wrapped it around him before picking up her grading pen, and staring at it.
Stuff it, she decided, it's late, and they can wait another day. She tossed
the pen over her shoulder - it landed next to Sam's phone - returned to the
couch and cuddled up to Sam, careful not to wake him.
"Mommy," he muttered, snuggling closer.
She stared at him for a moment, wondering if he was having her on, but it
was obvious that he was fast asleep. "Ri-ight," she said under her breath.
"You're a weird little man, Sam." She gave herself a mental shake, then
relaxed again and leaned against Sam, pushing away the decidedly un-ladylike
thoughts this caused. Tomorrow, she thought optimistically, was another day.



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