Hi, everyone! This is my new story. You can probably tell from the title that it's gonna be a fun little story. I just like writing humorous stories, although I love writing the dramatic as well. This will include most of the characters on the show, including Donna, Mallory(in second part), and Danny. (For the Donna and Josh list, this story will just have their usual banter, probably nothing more. But I figured some of you might want to read it anyway.) It will probably be a two-part story, but it may grow into three parts. Well, hope you enjoy it and please let me know what you thought afterwards. ~Steph
Disclaimer: "The West Wing" and its characters do not belong to me. They belong to Aaron Sorkin, NBC, etc. This is just for fun out of a love for the show. No profit is made and no infringement is intended.
* * * Adventures in Baby-sitting: Part 1/2* * *
CJ Cregg, Sam Seaborn, Toby Ziegler, and Josh Lyman all entered into the Oval Office, engaged in an argument. Neither of them acknowledged the disapproving looks of Leo McGarry and President Josiah Bartlet, who stood before them.
"To acknowledge Senator Timmon's concerns publicly would be political suicide," Toby stated in irritation.
Josh sighed, shaking his head. "Stop being so dramatic, Toby. Every time you disagree on a matter, you try to argue against it like the state of the union depends on it...If we acknowledge his concerns publicly it simply means that we are acknowledging his concerns publicly."
CJ spoke next, "You're both wrong."
Sam held a finger up. "May I say something?"
"Shut up, Sam," replied all three in unison.
Sam ignored their response and continued, "I feel-..."
His sentence was interrupted by the President's voice. "Actually, I would like it very much if you would all shut up."
All four turned to the President, surprised by his comment. Jed Bartlet came closer to them. "In case you've forgotten, this is the Oval Office, not the playground at recess."
Josh tried to respond. "Sir, we were simply discussing a matter."
The President shook his head. "No, not one of you was listening to a word the other was saying. You have all been arguing like this for weeks. You couldn't even agree on the color of the sky right now. I don't know what's come over you, but I've just about had it."
Toby whispered to CJ, with a roll of his eyes, "He sounds like he's about to give us all detention."
Bartlet continued, "This is the White House and I depend on all of you to work together to help me run this nation. Now I know that you won't always agree on everything and that's what is best, it helps us to address every possible angle on issues. However, I will not stand for you all disagreeing with each other simply because you want to...And that is what you have been doing. It gives me a headache. I think you all need a refresher in teamwork."
Josh sighed and spoke softly to Sam, "Refresher?...I don't like the sound of that."
CJ spoke up. "With all due respect, sir, I really don't see the need. We are just going through a rough patch, that's all."
Bartlet shook his head, "CJ, your 'rough patch" has made me seriously consider tying you all to chairs and taping your mouths closed. But doing that could be grounds for impeachment I'm sure, so I've decided on it only as a last resort."
The group smiled halfheartedly and then Sam spoke, "So what did you have in mind as a refresher, sir?"
The President smiled. "I am glad you asked, Sam. You see, my second oldest daughter, Valerie, and her husband recently moved their family here to D.C. They live only ten minutes away, in fact. Since my wife and I have not spent much time with my daughter as of late, we plan on doing so at the residence all day tomorrow. However, my daughter would also like that time to be spent without the presence of her four young children. They are wonderful children, but she would like one day with only adult conversation. Here is the problem: Since Valerie is new here, she does not yet know anyone that she would trust with her children...Zoey has a paper to work on all weekend and Charlie has plans with his sister, so that's where you all come in. I trust you all completely. This is the perfect solution to both problems. My daughter will have good caretakers and you all will have to work together to take care of those children, thus refreshing yourselves on the art of teamwork," the President concluded with a wide grin.
Toby swallowed hard and tipped his head to the side as he spoke. "Sir, am I correct in saying that you want us, four highly qualified, degree-laden, White House Senior Staff members to do the job of a twelve year old girl?"
The President nodded, "That's correct, Toby. The only difference is that the twelve year old girl would get paid."
CJ, Toby, Sam and Josh shook their heads in disbelief. They couldn't believe that they were being forced into baby-sitting the President's grandchildren.
Josh ran a hand through his hair as he spoke, "Is there anything that we could say that would get us out if this?"
The President shook his head, "You've all said too much already, that's what got you into this."
Sam looked at Leo imploringly, "Leo, a little help here. Don't you think this is a tad unfair?"
Leo shook his head and smiled, "Actually, I came up with the idea." All four shook their heads at him in surprise, as he continued, "You were driving me crazy with your constant bickering. I would have gladly held you down while the President tied you to the chairs if it came to that...Consider yourselves lucky."
They all sighed in defeat, as the President spoke again. "I can see you're all looking forward to this. Mrs. Landingham will give you the address and directions to the house on your way out. Be there at 1 o'clock sharp. Here is a little information on my grandchildren to whet your appetites: Johnny is eight and the oldest. He enjoys playing outdoor games indoors, as well as video games until his eyes roll back into his head. Laurie is six and the second oldest. She loves finger-painting with her toes and wearing her clothes backwards. Petey is 4 and the third oldest. He loves to bark like a dog, moo like a cow and eat grass. Rachel is 6 months old and the youngest. She enjoys eating, sleeping, drooling, spitting up, burping, crying, yelling and messing her diaper. Well, that about does it. They sound like absolute delights, don't they?" The President ended, with all the pride of a grandfather shining in his eyes.
The mouths of all four fell open as they listened to the President. Josh's words emerged without his permission, "Where did you find these kids, the circus or the zoo?" Josh snapped his mouth shut quickly, but not before receiving an elbow in the ribs from Sam.
The President smiled good-naturedly, "They're on loan from the zoo, Josh...Their cages are being renovated."
Josh looked down uncomfortably, "I'm sorry, sir, I didn't mean-..."
"Yes, you did and that's all right. They are certainly unique children and I wouldn't want it any other way...Trust me though, they're angels," the President assured them.
All four nodded, before turning around and leaving with the President's permission. They received the directions from Mrs. Landingham and began walking down the hall.
Sam shrugged, as he walked beside the other three, "I don't know why I am being punished, too. You're the ones who are always telling me to shut up lately. I-don't-..."
"Shut up, Sam," they all replied, before heading off in opposite directions.
* * * * *
Josh sat in his office, thinking about how he was about to waste his Saturday taking care of a bunch of spoiled, little brats. Josh didn't like kids and kids didn't like him. He was going to have a miserable time. He ran a hand through his hair and yelled for his assistant, Donna Moss.
Donna appeared a few minutes and a few bellows later.
"Why don't you ever come right away when I call you?" Josh asked.
"Because I love the sound of your voice," Donna replied sarcastically.
Josh feigned laughter, before Donna continued without the sarcasm, "Because I am usually doing something, despite your annoying insistence that I do very little all day."
Josh grinned, "Gossiping with Cathy and flipping through 'Cosmo' doesn't count."
Donna smiled slightly, as she shook her head. "Well, what is that you want?"
Josh shifted uncomfortably in his chair, while he tried to force a smile and soften his tone. "I...I just wanted to tell you that you look very nice today. Is that a new perfume that I smell?"
Donna shook her head, "No, that would be 'white-out' that you smell." She held up the open bottle of 'white-out' that she had absentmindedly carried into his office.
Josh smiled in embarrassment, "Well, it's lovely."
Donna looked at him suspiciously, "Josh, what exactly do you want from me?"
Josh responded nervously, "Want? Me? I don't want anything. What made you think I wanted something from you?"
"Because you only compliment me on my appearance when you want something from me that you know you have very little chance of getting," Donna responded.
"No, I don't."
"Yes, you do."
"Yes, I do," Josh relented and then spoke quickly, almost desperately. "Please, please, please, Donna. You have to help me, I-"
"No," Donna replied.
"You haven't even heard what it is yet," Josh countered.
"Whatever it is, the answer is no."
"Why?" Josh whined.
"Because I know that you are going to ask me to sacrifice yet another one of my Saturdays and I am not going to give in this time," Donna answered determinedly.
"Even if I say I'll fire you if you don't?"
"Empty threat," Donna said quickly.
Josh banged his fist on the desk, "Damn, I can never pull that one off."
Donna laughed and nodded. Josh stood up, walked around the desk and stood before her.
"You're going to make me beg, aren't you?" He asked hesitantly.
Donna tried to speak, but Josh continued. "There was a time when I was above begging, but people change."
Donna watched, her lips pursed, as Josh got down on his knees, clasped his hands together and then held them up to her. "Please, Donna, you have to help me. CJ, Sam, Toby and I have to take care of the President's four anim-, I mean grandchildren, all day tomorrow. And you know how I am with kids. I hate them, they hate me. I am going to go crazy, unless you come and help me. I need you to be my calming force, the person who will make me stop saying things like 'Nuh-uh, you started it,' to the children. Please, Donna, you know me and kids."
Donna bit her lip to keep from laughing at the pathetic man who knelt before her. "Yes, I know. Remember when you met my nephew, Derek? You made him cry for over an hour."
Josh shrugged, "The kid's too sensitive."
Donna shook her head at him, "Joshua, you told a six year old that he'd break the seesaw if he sat on the other end."
"Hey, it's not my fault the kid's had one too many twinkies," Josh replied defensively.
Donna's eyes narrowed at him, causing Josh to attempt to change his tune, "Although always being picked last in gym does have its advantages-..."
Donna interrupted Josh's miserable attempt at trying to be sensitive towards a child's feelings. "Joshua."
Josh smiled slightly, "Sorry, I'm just not good at relating to children. I always say something that makes them cry, scream, bite me or step up on my foot. See? This is why I need you. Your nephew is the perfect example...I need you to stop me from placing my foot in my mouth every five seconds."
Donna smiled at him, "I hate to tell you, but you're not much better at relating to adults."
Josh nodded, "True, so will you, please, please help me then?"
Donna shook her head, "No."
Josh sighed, "Even after all of that, after I begged you, you still won't help me?"
Josh slowly got to his feet, as he brushed at his suit. "You were still going to refuse, no matter what I said or did, weren't you?"
"Then why did you allow me to make a fool of myself by kneeling on the floor and begging?"
"Well, I tried to tell you it didn't matter what you said, but you knelt before I had a chance. Once you had, I couldn't help wondering how much of a fool you were about to make of yourself. I must say, you've reached new heights."
Josh sighed, "Well, thank you very much for that, Donna. So why are you so adamant about not helping me anyway?"
"Well, besides the fact that you always try to take away my precious Saturdays, I happen to have a date."
"A date?...During the day?"
"Yes, we're going hiking."
"Hiking?" Josh replied, with barely in check laughter.
"Yes, hiking," Donna responded bitingly.
Josh couldn't control himself and he let out a laugh.
"What is so funny, Joshua?" Donna asked in irritation.
"Nothing, it's just that I didn't peg you as the rugged type."
"I can be rugged."
"Occasionally missing your morning coffee does not classify you as rugged, Donna," Josh said with a smile.
Donna smirked at him and Josh continued. "What kind of date is hiking anyway?"
"Jerry likes the outdoors and he wants to share them with me."
"Jerry? You're going out with Jerry again? Isn't this the same Jerry that took you to Burger King on your first date, through the drive-thru no less?" Josh asked incredulously.
"No, we ate inside," Donna replied softly.
Josh laughed, "The guy takes you to Burger King on your first date and you still decide to go out with him again?...He must have wooed you with the prospect of an even less expensive date than the first, complete with sweat, dirt and bugs."
Donna shook her head at him, "Forget what I am doing, it doesn't matter. All that matters is that I won't be helping you."
With that, Donna turned on her heel, a smile on her lips. Josh ran a hand down his face and groaned.
* * * * *
Toby stood in the doorway of Sam's office, listening to his phone conversation.
"Mallory, please? Come on, you know I'm not good with kids. You're a 4 grade teacher, so I'm assuming you are. Please, help me. I don't do well with children. Remember the first time we met? I *lied* to those kids about the White House...I'm a liar...I lie to children. I am going to corrupt their innocent minds, unless you come with me and stop that from happening....Mal?...Mallory?...Are you still there? Mallory?"
Sam took the phone away from his ear and glanced at it before placing it on the hook. He looked up at Toby, who now stood in front of him. "I think she hung up on me."
Toby nodded and sat down in front of him, "I gathered. Of course, the way you were whining, I think your own mother would have hung up on you."
Sam's eyes lit up, "My mother...I should try my mother."
Sam began to reach for the phone, before Toby's voice halted him. "Give it up, Sam. You're on your own. We're all on our own."
Sam sighed and brought his hand down to the desk. "I can't believe Mallory wouldn't help me."
"Believe it. I just passed Josh in the hall and he said he begged Donna, but she refused. I just spent the better half of an hour promising Bonnie things that I had no intention of following through on to get her to help me, but she too refused," Toby stated.
"When did women become so unsympathetic?" Sam asked.
Toby shrugged, "Who knows? I still think they're bitter at us about the whole 'leaving the toilet seat up' thing."
Sam laughed, "It used to be that you could whine a little, make a few puppy dog faces and they'd cave, but not anymore...Or maybe it's just the women that we're whining to and making faces at."
Toby nodded, "I think they saw right through us. I mean, none of us know how to deal with kids and they know that. They knew that we were just trying to get them to come with us, so that we could hand the kids over to them, prop our feet up and watch some TV. Too bad they didn't fall for it. I don't like kids, you don't like kids, Josh doesn't like kids and CJ is indifferent. This is going to be great. We can't relate to kids, we're too immersed in our adult-soaked worlds. When I see one of those snot-filled creatures, I turn around and run the other way."
Sam laughed and nodded in agreement, "I can't talk to kids. I always end up using words they'd have to spend three hours looking up in the dictionary in order to understand. I spoke to Mallory's class on Career Day a few months ago and put the kids in a coma."
Toby laughed and shook his head. "My brother's got a kid. I went to see him when he was first born and my sister-in-law insisted that I hold him. I hadn't been holding him for more than a second before he spit up all over me. I practically dropped the kid, I was so disgusted. It goes without saying that Uncle Toby is not his favorite."
Sam laughed and then spoke seriously, "So do you have a plan of attack?"
Toby smiled, "Yeah, Sam, I was thinking we should ambush their right flank near the Easy Bake Oven and then finish them off at the Legos."
Sam grinned, while blushing slightly. "You know what I meant. Should we play them one-on-one or designate our areas of strength...Like one of us makes food, one cleans them up, one plays with them, one disciplines them. What do you think? Which way gives us a better chance?"
Toby smirked, "Well, first of all, I think you need to realize that they are kids, not the Chicago Bulls, and that we are baby-sitting, not trying to win a championship."
Sam nodded, "Okay."
Toby continued, "With that said, I like our chances because they don't outnumber us. We're on equal footing, although they do have a slight edge with home court advantage."
Sam muttered, "Now who sounds like a basketball coach."
Toby didn't hear Sam and continued, "Therefore, I think it's best if we designate assignments. CJ will clean them, Josh will play with them, you'll make food and I'll supervise, while also handing out any punishments that are needed."
Sam held up a finger in objection, "Why do you get the easy job?"
Toby shrugged, "You asked for a plan of attack, that was my plan of attack."
Sam shook his head, "Doesn't work for me and it won't work for CJ and Josh either. We'll just have to go with the flow and see what happens.
Toby relented, "Fine, but don't come crying to me when all hell breaks loose."
Sam nodded with a shrug of his shoulders. "We're just going to have to bite the bullet and make the best of it."
Toby shook his head, as he got up to leave. "Unfortunately, I hate biting bullets and I suck at making the best of it."
With that Toby left and Sam sat back in his chair, a long sigh following out of his mouth.
* * * * *
CJ sat on the couch in her office reading through some files. She heard a knock on the door, but didn't respond to it. The person opened the door, walked in and sat on the edge of the couch. CJ looked at him, as her glasses slid to the tip of her nose.
"I don't remember saying 'come in, Danny'."
Danny grinned, "You never say 'come in, Danny'."
CJ nodded in agreement, "So what do you want?"
"Nothing really. I was just wondering what the going rate was for baby-sitters with credentials like yours."
CJ shook her head at him, "How is that you always manage to find out things that have nothing whatsoever to do with the well-being of this country?"
"I always make it a point to find out what you're doing on Saturday nights."
"As scary and borderline 'stalker-ish' as that sounds, I am still compelled to ask: why?"
"So that when you refuse to go out with me every Saturday, I know why."
"And what about when I have nothing to do, but I still refuse you?"
Danny smiled, "That just confirms my theory that you are playing a masterful game of hard to get."
CJ smiled slightly, "You are nothing if not relentless, Danny."
Danny grinned. "So what kind of experience do you have with kids? Have you done a lot of baby-sitting in your time?"
CJ shook her head, as she looked down at her file, "No, not really."
"Do you have any nieces or nephews?"
"Any close friends with kids?"
"Ever work with orphans?"
CJ smiled, without looking up, "No, Danny, I haven't."
Danny continued, "Are you hiding a secret love child that you bore with an Elvis impersonator, or any other impersonator, for that matter."
CJ chuckled and shook her head, "Can't say that I am."
"Have you ever even seen a child, CJ?" Danny finally asked.
CJ lifted her head and smiled at him, "Yes, Danny, I have. I happen to be looking at one right now."
Danny laughed, "Well, that's going to be interesting. You four trying to take care of a bunch of kids."
"I'm sure we'll do fine," CJ responded.
Danny grinned, "I'm not."
"Is there anything more that you'd like to know, Danny?" CJ asked in annoyance.
"Just the address. I was thinking of doing a different kind of story for my paper, an uplifting, personal one. It'll be about four White House Senior Staff members who selflessly give up their Saturday to devote to a bunch of underprivileged children...It'll be heartwarming, inspiring," Danny replied.
CJ smiled at him, "They are not underprivileged children, Danny. They're the President's grandchildren."
Danny nodded, "I know, but underprivileged sounds a lot better than spoiled, rich kids...It sells newspapers, it brings up approval ratings, it sets a good example...I'll brings rags to put the kids in for the photo."
"No, I am not giving you the address. No, you are not doing a story on it."
"Because it's a lie."
"I wouldn't say it's a lie, more like a stretching of the truth."
"What if I said the story was just a lie to get to spend time with you, then would you give me the address?"
CJ grinned, "No."
CJ smiled, "Because taking care of four kids is enough, I don't need a fifth."
Danny smiled, "Fine, but I have sources that can get me that address. You should know that I like Oreo cookies and milk, so have my snack ready when I get there."
CJ laughed, as Danny stood up and left the room.
* * * * *
At one o'clock sharp the next day, all three arrived at Valerie's house. They stood solemnly in front of the door, as if awaiting their executions. They rang the doorbell and waited for it to be answered. It was almost immediately answered by a red-haired, freckle faced little boy. CJ bent down to talk to the child.
"Hi, you must be Petey, your grandpa told us a little about you. I'm CJ and this is Sam, Josh and Toby. We're here to take care of your for the day. Do you think you could go tell your mommy or daddy that we're here?"
The boy shook his head and responded with a loud, "Moo."
Sam smiled and whispered to Toby and Josh, "Interestingly enough, I once got that same response when asking a woman out on a date."
Josh and Toby tried to stifle their laughter, as CJ spoke again. "That was an excellent impression of a cow, Petey. Do you think you could go tell you parents we're here now?"
The boy shook his head and responded with, "Ruff."
Toby sighed and whispered to Josh and Sam, "I say we tie this one to the porch right off the bat." Josh and Sam both laughed, as they covered their mouths to block the sound.
CJ was just about to try again, her patience lessening, when a woman came to the door. She looked to be about thirty, maybe a little younger, and was the spitting image of what a young Abigail Bartlet must have looked like. Her short brown hair framed her kind face nicely and a smile lit it up. She ruffled the hair of the boy who stood next to her. "I see you've already met my son, Petey. He's the reason we don't have a pet. As you can see, we don't really need one."
All four laughed, as Valerie extended her hand to each of them and the boy disappeared. "I'm Valerie O'Neil, it's very nice to meet you all. My husband was called into work for a little while, so he will be meeting me at the residence. He sends his regrets and his wish to meet you all soon. My father speaks very highly of you. Thank you so much for doing this."
CJ nodded, as they all entered the house, "Oh, it's our pleasure. President Bartlet told us a little about the children, they sound wonderful."
Valerie nodded, her smile fading, "Oh yes, they are wonderful. But they can be a handful. They have very unique qualities. I am sure you'll all get along just fine."
The group nodded unenthusiastically, noticing the tone with which she delivered her words. Valerie walked over to a bassinet and picked up the baby, Rachel. Then she yelled for the other children. "Johnny, Laurie, Petey, please come down here."
All three soon arrived and took their places next to their mother. They all had dark, red hair and freckles, which lead the staffers to conclude that her husband must have the same. Valerie gestured to each one of her children. "This is Johnny, Laurie, Petey and Rachel. Kids, these are grandpa's friends. They are going to take care of you all day today, so I want you to be on your very best behavior."
The children, except for the baby, nodded with the smiles of angels. Valerie kissed them all and then began to walk to the door. She quickly handed the baby to Josh, who proceeded to hold it out in front of him like it had a contagious disease. Valerie waved once more and then hurriedly left.
Toby spoke, "The fact that she left here like a just freed hostage, shouldn't worry us at all, right?"
Josh wrinkled his nose and nodded his head toward the baby, "What should I do with *this*?"
CJ shook her head, as she took the baby from Josh, "It's a baby, Josh, not a stick of dynamite." She placed the baby back in the bassinet and then turned towards CJ, Josh and Sam. She smiled widely.
"This is going to be fine, guys, you'll see. I know you have your reservations, but I think we are going to come through this with flying colors. They are just children. We are adults...Adults who work in the West Wing of the White House, amid chaos and crisis everyday. I handle a roomful of eager press reporters each day, who are just waiting for the chance to rattle me. You three deal with congressmen all of the time who are out to prove you wrong and make their case. We do more difficult things than this everyday, we help run a country. These are just children, how hard could it be?"
At the moment the last word left CJ's mouth, a Nerf football hit her in the back of the head.
CJ's head jerked forward and her mouth hung open in surprise, as the other three doubled over in laughter. Sam finally recovered long enough to say, "This probably goes without saying now, but I'll say it anyway...Famous last words."
To Be Continued...
Please let me know what you thought, I'd really appreciate it! Thanks for reading. Feedback link---> FEEDBACK ~Steph