Bring on the Banter

Chapter One
The West Wing

The string quartet on the stage had been playing a variety of tunes over the course of the evening, and now the dance floor was filled with couples dancing around the room. The range of colours from the women’s dresses, swirling around the men, all dressed in white tie (at the request of the President) created quite a vision.

The Senior Staff of the White House however, were all seated around their table, discussing the merits of owning one’s own washing machine, much to Toby’s disgust. CJ had just begun to debate with Sam, how much trust one could place in their dry cleaner, when Donna approached the table. Slipping into the chair empty alongside Josh, she joined in easily with their conversation.

After a few minutes, Josh stood, gallantly offering Donna his hand and asked “May I have this dance?” Smiling Donna placed her hand in his and let him lead her into the floor. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she rested her head on his chest as they swayed in time to the music.

The two were so caught up in each other that they both failed to notice the bright flash of a nearby camera. Instead they continued dancing, forgetting if only for a few minutes that they were not really a couple.


>>The next day<<

CJ entered the press room a few minutes before her briefing so that she could quickly answer the insignificant questions the reporters were sure to be asking about the fashions which had been worn to the ball the previous night.

As expected she was bombarded with questions, but not the questions she had been expecting. Instead she was positive she heard Josh’s name. She clenched her fists tightly as thoughts of all the possible things Josh could have done wrong, ran through her mind.

Holding up her hands to silence the excited reporters she spoke: “Katie – I choose you. Pray tell me, why I am hearing the mention of Joshua Lyman? Tell me quickly so that I may leave as soon as possible to go and wring his neck.”

A few of the press snickered lightly, but stopped at once on CJ’s glare.


“Well, we were all wondering,” she glanced around at the rest of the press who were sitting around her “who won the press pool?” She finished excitedly.

“The press pool…?” CJ gaped at her “You mean…?”

Everybody nodded in excitement. CJ’s eyes widened in surprise.

“How can I not have heard even a whisper of this before now?”

One of the reporters walked to her and handed her a photograph. CJ looked down at the photograph in her hand. The photograph was of Josh and Donna and had been taken the night before as they danced. This was not uncommon, as the two usually danced with each other at these events, but this photo had captured something else.

Usually when they were together, they were careful to keep a respectable distance, forever mindful of their positions as boss and assistant. However the dance floor had been overcrowded last night and the couple was dancing their bodies close to each other and if that was not enough, all one had to do was glance at the way they were looking at each other, to clearly see how in love they were.

CJ looked back up, taking in all the excited faces surrounding her. She sighed “Unfortunately, nothing has happened. Sorry guys, but the pool continues on – this was just a dance. But if I few of you would see me after the briefing, I think I may have a plan which will fix this little situation”

She grinned, and then straightening walked up to the podium and began the morning’s briefing.


CJ was sitting at her desk, flipping through a few notes Leo had given her when she heard Carol come into the room.

“CJ? Some of the Press are waiting outside. They said you said you wanted to talk to them”

CJ nodded “Thanks Carol. Send them in.”

Looking back to her notes, she didn’t take any notice as the entire press corps wandered into her office. Finally looking up, she gaped at the sight of them.

“All of you?”

“We all want to hear your plan and help out if we can” Katie replied for the group.

“Okay then” CJ stood and began to describe to them her plan.


Smiling to herself as she watched everybody leave her office, she called to her assistant. “Carol? Can you tell Toby and Sam I’m coming? Thanks.”

Walking quickly to the communications bullpen, she saw Sam standing at the door to Toby’s office. Pushing him inside, she quickly closed the door behind her.


“Boys? There’s something I need to discuss with you…”


Later than day, CJ entered Leo’s office, crossing her fingers, hoping that everything would go to plan.

Leo glanced up from what he was writing. “CJ, come in.”

Closing the door, she took a seat and began talking.

“Leo, I’m going to tell you something. Now before I begin I want you to promise that you won’t comment until I’ve finished”

Leo frowned “CJ?”

“Okay, listen. This morning before my briefing I was questioned on if there has been a change in Josh and Donna’s relationship. The reason they were asking is due to a photograph which is going to be printed in tomorrow’s paper.”

She handed him the photograph she had been holding. “Now, I know nothing has happened between the two of them, so that’s what I told the press. But it led me to thinking. So after the briefing a few of the press came to my office and we started to discuss some strategies”

Leo opened his mouth to comment. But CJ quickly interrupted him “Now I’ve talked this over with Toby and Sam, and they have agreed, so if you give the okay…”

“CJ! Take a breath! I have absolutely NO idea what you are talking about.”

Taking in a deep breath she exhaled slowly then continued “I have a plan to get Josh and Donna together.”

The corners of Leo’s lips curled upwards slightly. “Margaret” he called “I think that you had better come in here”

Margaret appeared at the door at once, hesitating, unsure what her boss wanted.

“Come in, come in. I have a feeling that you are going to what to take a part in this little scheme of CJ’s” He smiled at both of the women and motioned for CJ to continue.

“Okay, we were thinking that once this photograph is published, we should all pretend that Josh and Donna are a couple.” Margaret’s forehead furrowed slightly and she sent CJ an inquisitive look, but kept unusually quiet.

“We will all pretend that we have known that Donna and Josh have been a couple for a while, but never mentioned anything, because we assumed that wanted their relationship to be kept private. Now of course they will deny this, but we’ll let them, saying that everybody already knows and is fine with it, so they don’t have to keep it a secret any longer. If this doesn’t at get them together, at least they will know that the White House has no problem with the two of them forming a relationship.”

“So….” She looked at each of them. “What do you think?”

Chapter Two

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