Title: A Still Life in June Author: A.j.
Fandom: "The West Wing", future ficbit. Fluff! (Finally)
Rating: PG-13.

Summary: Family barbecues take on a different meaning.


It is a warm day in mid-June when they pull up to the warm solid brick house Andi bought for herself and her children.

Donna leaves her bag in the car when they get to the cookout. Toby's attempt at sociability is almost as unexpected as it is entirely Andi's idea. She slathers something on her lips and rolls her eyes while he explains that he's "not going out there just to lug that bowling bag you call a purse out to the backyard when you can just bring it in now."

She tosses the tube back in her bag before closing the door hard and marching at him in a determined fashion. His arm stings for a good ten minutes after he hands CJ the potato salad and ice.

Donna's eyes laugh at him for much longer.

Even hours later, her lips taste slightly sweet, with just the barest hint of lime. He asks her, hands in her hair, what it is. He can feel her smiling against his collarbone when she answers. Her breath is hot and moist on his skin, somehow a thousand times better than the muggy afternoon air.

"Dollar store chapstick," she grins into his shoulder. "Tootsiepop flavored."

"Tootsiepop?" It amuses him, but at the same time reminds him of exactly who he's with. Why he's with her. Because he never liked the taste of Esté Lauder or wealth. He likes the taste of Tootsiepop chapstick. "Should I make the joke?"

"Better yet," she whispers up at him, "I could drop my drawers and you could conduct an empirical test."

She's giggling then, pulling away to look up at him. Her eyes shine and her hair is bright in the afternoon sun as she watches him try not to blush.

Around them pieces of their life swirl in patches and flashes of color. CJ in red swings Molly by the waist. Toby smiling at Andi who is beautiful and laughing against the darkening blue sky. In the distance, Huck explaining something of great import to Charlie, while dripping an ice cream down the older man's shirt. Charlie, eyes serious, is nodding at whatever Huck is saying. The older man's shoulder twitches occasionally, but he is so absorbed in the small child, he does nothing to correct the problem.

There are people missing, but that's always the way of things. It is a warm day in June and for this one brief span of time, things are perfect.

"Just call me Scientist Josh." He is leering at Donna, heart full to near bursting.

"Right-o, wild thing."

-fin-