Title: Cynicism And Naivety
Author: Willow
CJ and Josh are worried about Sam.
Episode: Post season 2, 'The Drop In'
Characters: CJ and Josh
Rating: G
Disclaimer: They all belong to Aaron Sorkin, NBC, John Wells and many others who aren't me.

"Hey, how'd it go?"

CJ looked up from her notes. "Well, Josh, he was pretty pissed at me. How would you think it went?"

"Okay," Josh replied. "But I meant the award ceremony."



"Sorry," she smiled. "That went well. You want to see it?"

"Yeah," Josh replied. CJ reached into a bag and pulled the award out. "Nice. But shouldn't it be out on shelf or something?"

"I'm taking it home."

"Okay." Josh sat down on the couch.

"What you up to?"

"Nothing at all. Leo's still trying to convince John Marbury that we need the missile shield."

"And so you're hiding?"

"I'm not allowed at the reception."


"I dunno," Josh shrugged and dismissed the question. He actually wasn't sure he wanted to go to the reception, given his reaction to the music at the last party he attended at the White House. "Have you seen Sam?"

"No," CJ replied. "But I do know that he's extremely angry with Toby."

"Yeah," Josh sighed, "the drop in."

"Toby should have told him."


"Maybe? It was Sam's speech."

"I know, and can you imagine him letting Toby change it?"

"Josh, Sam worked......."

"CJ," Josh interrupted her. "The president giving the speech was a bad idea in the first place. You know that as well as I do. He can't just go along to functions because a group lost their original choice of speaker. We were giving them what they wanted and they got the president there to tell them."

"So you agree with Toby."

"Yeah. But don't ever tell him," he smiled.

"Sam's really upset, Josh."

Josh leant back against the couch and closed his eyes for a moment, before agreeing with CJ. "I know."

"Toby thinks it's not only because he changed the speech, he thinks it's 'cos there was no standing ovation."

"Yeah," Josh agreed.

"That twice in two minutes that you've agreed with Toby."

"It's been a long day," he smiled.

"He tried to storm into the Oval Office. He was gonna yell at him."

"Yelling at the President, never a good idea," Josh smiled slightly. "So what's he said to you?"

"He was ranting about cynicism and being kept out of things."

Josh leant forward and nodded. "You know, CJ......" he trailed off.


"I dunno," he sighed.


"Sometimes I think it would have been better to have left Sam alone. Not to have brought him to the campaign."

"Sam's good at his job," CJ protested.

"I know."

"Then what the hell are you talking about?"

Josh sighed again and ran his hand through his hair, "I dunno."

"You can't leave it like that. He's your best friend."

"Yeah he is. That's the point."

"I don't........"

"He's an idealist, CJ. He talks about doing the right thing, being the bigger person. About taking the moral high ground. He always seems shocked and angry when he finds that Leo, Toby and I are as capable of cynicism as the next man, when we do stuff that, well, isn't completely honorable, in his eyes anyway. He doesn't get that this is politics, it's how it works."

CJ hesitated and then nodded. "I was going to disagree with you, but I can just hear him saying that it doesn't have to be how it works."


"I know he can be pretty naive, but that's what makes him good at his job. We need a voice like his."

Josh smiled. "To hopefully rise above mine and Toby's?"


"I know. I just wish it wasn't Sam."


"Because I can see it changing him," Josh replied.

CJ was quiet for a moment. "You know, one day he's going to run for office and he'll be good at it."

"He will," Josh agreed.

"Can't be yet though."


"'Cos you'd have to be his Chief Of Staff and we need you both here," CJ smiled.

"You want to tell my mom that."

"She doesn't like you working here?"

"No. Don't get me wrong, I think she's proud of me, she says she is anyway, she'd just prefer me to work in the private sector somewhere."

"Better money," CJ pointed out.

"Safer," Josh amended.

"She's bound to worry about you."

"I know. She always has done, ever since I came to Washington. Then one time I made the mistake of mentioning the hate mail I get, years ago when I worked for Earl Brennan."

"You got hate mail?"

"Yeah. Think about it CJ. A black congressman with a Jewish chief of staff. We were just asking for trouble," he smiled.

"And you told your mom. Boy was that dumb."

"I realized that afterwards," he agreed. "I always laughed off her worries. I mean who the hell tries to assassinate the advisors. She almost believed me."

"Until last August," CJ added.

"Kind of made it harder to laugh off her concerns," he shrugged.

"You still get hate mail?"

"Yeah, some. Secret Service filters most of it, but yeah, some gets through." Josh stood up, "Come on."


"The bar, where else will they be?"

"Yeah okay. But can we gage their mood though before we join them?"

"Nah, where's the fun in that?"