Birthday Surprises

Disclaimer: I don't own the characters, darn!

Author: Lee

Feedback: Lovely

Pairings: L/M

Rating: PG

Spoilers: Thru Season 3

AN: A bit of fluff, because everything has been so heavy lately.

"Hey, Donna," Ginger waved the blonde assistant over toward the mess table where she, Bonnie, and Carol were sitting.

Donna dropped her tray on the table as she sat, "Hey, guys. So, what we talking about?"

"Maggie's birthday," Bonnie answered stealing a French fry from her friend's plate.

"Oh god is that coming up again," Donna groaned slapping Carol's hand as she tried to steal the pickle. "She is absolutely impossible to shop for and planning a night out is worse."

"But, we've got to do something. I mean two years ago it was Mrs. Landingham's death and the admission. Last year it was Simon Donovan and whatever she and Leo were dealing with. We haven't exactly celebrated it," Carol sighed.

"When is her actual birthday," Donna asked.

"Thursday," Carol answered, "but I don't think she's going to be here. I heard Leo saying something about letting her go home to Chicago for a long weekend."

"You're kidding me! How'd she swing that," Ginger asked.

Carol shrugged, "I think he's feeling guilty about her having to plan funerals on her last two birthdays."

"Okay, now that you've made me feel like a terrible friend for complaining about shopping for her, can we plan something," Donna asked biting a French fry in half.

Ginger giggled as she watched Donna and Bonnie trying to maneuver the large bouquet of balloons through the narrow halls of Margaret's apartment building, "I told you that was too big. We're not going to be able to move around her apartment."

"We'll manage," Donna growled as she pushed a balloon away from the light fixture.

"As long as we've got room for the cake," Carol sighed. "If you guys don't move faster this ice cream cake is just going to be cream."

"Keep you pants on, Carol. We're going as fast as we can," Bonnie snapped.

Stopping in front of Margaret's door, Donna silenced the other assistants, "Shh, guys, we're here. Be quiet." Raising an arm, Donna rapped heavily on the door.

Silently, the women waited. After, several seconds they could hear footsteps on the other side of door, which was flung open with an impatient growl, "Listen, Fred, I told you not to bother... Donna?"

"Surprise," she answered weakly startled not only by Margaret's greeting, but by her appearance. Margaret's normally immaculate hair was wildly unruly and she wore a thin, nearly transparent cream colored silk negligee.

Margaret pulled her robe around her tightly, "Surprise, indeed. I... What are you girls doing here?"

"We wanted to surprise you for your birthday," Bonnie explained.

Smiling, Margaret flashed a quick look towards her bedroom, "Thank you. It really was a surprise."

"Maggie are you... um... busy right now," Ginger asked following Margaret's eyes.

"Well, a little, sort of, yeah."

Carol gasped, "I told you guys we should have called. I'm sorry, Margaret. Here you and your date can have some ice cream later."

Taking the cake, Margaret smiled, "I'm sorry, guys. I really appreciate this, but... well, you guys understand."

Murmurs of understanding and nods filled the awkward silence, until Donna spoke, "Okay, well, here are your balloons and present and we'll be getting..."

"Margaret," a familiar voice interrupted Donna, as its owner stalked from the bedroom, "is Fred being an ass, again?"

Biting her bottom lip, Margaret turned worried eyes to her friends while she answered, "No, its not Fred. It's the girls. They wanted to surprise me for my birthday."

"Oh," Leo McGarry flushed red, matching the woman in the hallway. Realizing that there was no means of escape to the situation, which was actually not as embarrassing as he would have expected, Leo smiled, "That was really nice of you girls. Why don't you all come in, instead of skulking in the hall?"

"Leo," startled protests from the women in the hall were his response.

Taking the cake from Margaret, who was just smiling warmly at him, Leo brushed off the others, "I'll go cut this cake and we can all celebrate Margaret's birthday. Okay with you, Love?"

"Sounds good," Margaret's hand slipped over Leo's arm silently thanking him for his understanding. "Check Robby's bowls while you're in the kitchen?"

"I feed him before you got home."


Leo just smiled as he disappeared, leaving Margaret to face her confused colleagues.

It was Donna, who found her voice first, "Margaret, what the hell was that all about?"

"If you want the story you have to come in. My neighbors hate me enough already," Margaret opened the door as wide as she could, waving them into the apartment.

All, but Ginger, reluctantly moved into the apartment. Shaking her head, Ginger sighed, "I'm not really sure I want to know the story."

With a laugh, Margaret pulled Ginger into the room, "Trust me you're not getting details. I'm not even sure where to begin."

"How about starting with Leo coming out of your bedroom in jeans, which I never thought I'd see him in, and an underwear shirt," Bonnie asked sitting on the couch with Donna and Carol.

"See that is the stuff I don't want to hear about," Ginger whined.

"Get you mind outta the gutter. He was helping me wrap and pack gifts for my trip to Chicago tomorrow."

"Then what's with the sexy nightgown," Donna asked waving a hand over her friend length.

"First, this isn't a sexy nightgown, it's comfy. Second, and I can't believe I'm admitting this, Leo and I have moved passed the sexy nightgown stage."

"Oh my god, how long have this been going on," Carol cried. "The press is going to have a field day with this."

Margaret shook her head, "You sounded just like CJ, there."

"I know. How long?"

"Um... 14 months."

Donna's head snapped up, "And you didn't tell me, I mean, us?"

"No," Margaret laughed. She was more relaxed than she would have ever imagined, but that probably had something to do with the fact that she could hear Leo puttering around the kitchen talking to her cat as if it was just a typical Wednesday night. "Guys, as weird as this may sound, Leo and I, our relationship, it's an escape. Together, we can just be us. He can talk back to the TV and eat hot dogs. I can dance around the apartment to Billy Joel and drink OJ right out of the carton. None of that matters, cause we're just us. Carol, you're worried about a sex sandal, but this isn't about sex. I mean the sex is amazing..."

"Details I don't want," Ginger groaned.

Margaret continued as if Ginger hadn't spoken, "But, it is not the important part any more. Tell your bosses, don't tell your bosses. It really doesn't matter. The President and First Lady know and they are fine with it, at least now they are fine with it."

"Do you love him," Bonnie asked.

"Yes," Margaret and Leo answered simultaneously as he entered from the kitchen carrying a tray of pieces of ice cream cake.

Setting the tray on the coffee table, Leo laughed, "I figured the next question was if I loved Margaret, so I just answered." Leo smiled slipping an arm around Margaret's waist, "I love her with my entire heart, mind, soul, and body."

Nearly an hour later the assistants left Margaret's apartment, all intent on running to their respective bosses with the discovery they had made tonight. Closing the door, Margaret turned back to where Leo was playing with her cat, "Well, that was a fun evening."

"You want to bet, they're all on their way to their bosses," he asked with giggle.

"No, cause I know they are. I would be."

He smirked up at her, "So, the sex isn't important?"

"Leo," she warned.

"Hey, makes it easier for me. I mean, like tonight. I was going to do that thing that you like, but now I guess it doesn't matter."

Moving the cat off his lap and replacing it with herself, Margaret sighed, "You did hear me say the amazing part, right?"

"No. Why don't you tell me about?"

"Hm, I will, but I have a complaint."


Throwing him a smirk as she moved off him lap, she moved toward the kitchen, "You forgot the whip cream on my ice cream."

"Did I," he asked innocently.

"Yes," she pouted. "Now, I'm just going to have to use it on other things."

Moving quickly to follow her, Leo laughed, "Now, there's a detail Ginger won't want."