Title: "Return to Sender"
Series: Sequel to "Strange Glue"
Author: Anna Rousseau annadelamico@yahoo.co.uk
Fandom: The West Wing
Genre: Drama/Angst
Category: SS/Family/JL
Rating: PG
Set: The months between 'ITSOTG' and 'The Midterms'
Spoilers: S1 through mid-S2
Archive: Yes please, just tell me where
Summary: E-mails prove a useful source of communication for Sam and his brother as he tries to deal with the shooting and the impending onset of winter and his SAD.

Notes: I'm trying out a different sort of format: e-mails. I guess this the modern version of stories which are collections of letters, really. I must say credit must go to Marie-Claude Danis whose 'Hey, Guess What!' gave me inspiration.

Series Notes: This is directly linked to 'Strange Glue' (a fic which was a response to a challenge for a fic that explained Sam's pill-popping in '20 Hours in LA'), so read it first. Medical notes are included in that story, but please remember, just e-mail me if you need any more information.


"RETURN TO SENDER"
==================

Sam Seaborn looked at the business card in front of him. Surely it wasn't too late. It had been weeks since his brother had come to visit him in the West Wing and they had talked only a few times since that day. That day after the night when Josh Lyman had been shot and Sam had finally had to face up to the fact that he was going to have to sort out his life. In short that meant his depression.

Opening up his laptop, he looked around the relatively quiet staff cabin aboard Air Force One. Toby was sitting opposite him, leafing through pages of printed text. Donna was sat next to Sam reading some notes. Her face was pale and she was dark under the eyes. Weary. Like Sam, she wished she was back in DC with Josh, not on this trip to Miami. Under any other conditions she would have jumped at the chance to go to Florida. But without the Deputy Chief of staff, everything had changed.

Sam rested the computer on his lap and leant forward, starting to type.


-----------------------------------------------
FROM: sseaborn@whitehouse.gov
TO: acseaborn@bostongenhosp.org
SUBJECT: The Big 3-0
SENT: September 10, 2000 08:12:07 -05:00

Happy Birthday Alex!

I didn't think I'd see the day my little brother would turn 30... but the day has come and I must say I'm feeling slightly freaked out by how quickly time goes when you're not really paying attention to its passing. I think time has some sort of stealth thing going on...

Speaking of stealth, I'm on Air Force One at the moment, on the way to Miami... not that Air Force One has stealth capabilities (I don't think so, anyway... I'm not sure. I should really know things like this).

Anyway, I thought I'd give the old e-mail a whirl (I just found your address in my suit pocket the other day, I know it's been nearly a month but my mind's neither here nor there at the moment) since it seems so hard to get you on the phone these days.

First off I'm extremely sorry that I can't make it up to Boston this weekend. It's the midterms soon (insert ominous music here) and Toby's got me working my knuckles to the bone. All that on top of the extra work I have to do whilst Josh is at home recouping means that I rarely leave the office! Josh's doing better, by the way, except he's bored. I swear that he rings me every half hour just to check that I haven't done something stupid like tidy his office. He thinks I'm this neat-freak, which I suppose I am, but in my opinion the mess he calls his 'unique filing system', which consists of a variety of folders strewn across every flat surface in his office, is not particularly effective. Donna's still trying to get up the nerve to tell him that she went in there the other week and literally emptied his office of every single piece of paper. It looks much better, but I guarantee that within a week of Josh's return you won't be able to see the floor again.

Well, I went a bit off topic there, didn't I? The only disadvantage about being a passenger on the President's plane opposed to an ordinary one is that Josh can still get in touch. Not that I don't love hearing from him, though. However, I'm absolutely convinced that he shouldn't be worrying about work. I really don't think it's the best thing for him at the moment. Still, Leo says he needs something to focus on apart from the shooting, and what Leo says really does go around here. I went to see Josh last night and I came bearing gifts: a book on theoretical physics (he really is bored). Donna was there, she's been really great to Josh over the past few weeks. It's made it a whole load easier for Josh, I'm positive. She's a wonderful person, I mean, she's not obligated to go do everything that she's been doing.

Oops, I just realised that Donna is sitting next to me and she's been reading over my shoulder (which she really shouldn't be doing, and she knows that now because she's still reading), at least I didn't write anything incriminating about her... ouch, she just whacked me for suggesting that I knew anything unsavoury about her. Donna says 'hi', by the way.

Good, she's gone, well I had to go compose some more of the speech I'm supposed to be working on until she lost interest. Donna's very edgy nowadays. She wanted to stay back in DC with Josh, but Leo insisted she came, I think for her to get away from being Josh's indentured servant for a while. Margaret assured me that either she or Bonnie would go see him today, which puts my mind at rest somewhat.

I made an appointment with my doctor for the 15th, the earliest I could get at such short notice. I'm supposed to go see her every two months in the summer, but since we're edging into fall I think I'd better step it up to once a month. Well, I'll see what she suggests. The weather's been pretty dire in DC this last week and on Saturday I got the light box out again, which helped slightly. The Paroxetine is amazing, but I'm going to pause judgement until we hit midwinter because premature celebrations are something Toby detests with a vengeance. Counting the proverbial chickens etc...

I guess that really is it because I *have* to go work on this draft, Toby's giving me funny looks (but that's just Toby). Oh no, he looks *extremely* pissed, I think Donna told him I was writing e-mails. Yup, I was right, he just told me to say 'hello' to you... well, that's not what he wanted me to tell you, but I don't want you to feel depressed. You beat him at poker again at the bar the other week, didn't you? Bitterness thy name is Toby.

That's all. Happy Birthday, have a great day and give Carol a kiss from me.

Love,
Sam :) (I'm trying to be techno-savvy here)

~~~~
Samuel N Seaborn
Deputy Communications Director
The White House
-----------------------------------------------

-----------------------------------------------
FROM: acseaborn@bostongenhosp.org
TO: sseaborn@whitehouse.gov
SUBJECT: Re: The Big 3-0
SENT: September 11, 2000 02:05:56 -05:00

Hi Sam.

Thanks for the card, now where's the present. Just kidding with you (but seriously, I'm not too old for gifts just because I'm thirty)!

The big birthday passed with not much in the way of pomp and circumstance: sweater from Aunt Susan in a rather dashing snowflake design I'm sure to wear, phone call from Mom and Dad, surprise party from the people in the Emergency Room. I'm on nights for a while now, covering the ER quite a bit as a consult. Nice people here but terribly overworked, takes me back to med school. It's very hectic at work, even more so since the annual influx of 3rd years who need teaching how to find a pulse... I can't believe that was me once. I'm considering going into private practice after my residency is up, though I've become quite attached to the hospital. Strange that.

Say hi to Josh for me. I wanted to send him an e-mail, but I don't seem to have a home address for him so if you could send it to me, it'd be much appreciated. I think I'll have a word with him about working Donna so hard, he needs telling :-).

Have you talked to Mallory yet, because you really should. Carol says so too, she thinks that Mallory's just the sort of person you should settle down with. None of my business, but then again, who am I to keep my nose out of things!

Tell me how it goes with Dr. Perkins. I had a word with my friend who's an attending up in psychology, he's doing a study on affective disorders. If I glean anything useful, I'll tell you. I think the main thing is to keep optimistic, Sam. Don't let it bring you down.

As for Toby (regarding our poker game when I was in DC), I triumphed and he just can't hack it. I return his less-than-amiable greetings; he's such a grouch.

Gotta go, I'm doing trauma consults tonight and a gurney has just crashed through the doors in true 'ER' style.

Thanks for the card, thanks in advance for the present I'm sure I've guilted you into buying me, and give Mallory a kiss from me ;-)...

Love,
Alex :-)

~~~
Alexander C Seaborn, MD
Chief Oncological Resident
Boston General Hospital
-----------------------------------------------

-----------------------------------------------
FROM: sseaborn@whitehouse.gov
TO: acseaborn@bostongenhosp.org
SUBJECT: Re: The Big 3-0
SENT: September 11, 2000 06:43:19 -05:00

Josh's home e-mail is joshua_lyman61@aol.com

... however, he has become a fully fledged web-surfer (or a techno beach-bum if you must) and now has more e-mail addresses than I have hot meals, but I'd stick to this one as it's the one his mom e-mails him on so he either checks it or dies!

Glad you had a good birthday... if you really wanted to know, I did have a present for you, but I want to see the look on your face when you see it, so you're just going to have to wait until I can get up to Boston or you come to Washington. CJ tells me that the President has to open a National Heritage museum in Cambridge next week, so I'll see if I can tag along.

I hope you're not getting worked too hard. Whatever you do, don't take it out on some poor medical student, I don't want you to get arrested for killing poor innocent 3rd years.

If you find out anything from your attending friend, I'll be interested. Dad called the other day, I don't think he's quite come to the terms that I'm not quite certifiable.

You must have won quite a lot in that poker game with Toby, he sounded even more grumpy that usual when I mentioned it to him. Did he bet his soul, or something?

Talk to you later,
Love,
Sam :)

~~~
Samuel N Seaborn
Deputy Communications Director
The White House
-----------------------------------------------

-----------------------------------------------
FROM: acseaborn@bostongenhosp.org
TO: sseaborn@whitehouse.gov
SUBJECT: Toby's soul
SENT: September 11, 2000 06:57:04 -05:00

... I thought he'd sold it to the devil years ago.

He needs to lighten up, you know! It's just a game.

It'd be great if you can make it up to Boston soon, see what you can do. Exercise some of your lawyer-ish persuasiveness (please don't be appalled by my grammar, it's nearly the end of my shift and I'm not quite coherent! I'm not surprised that I haven't killed any med. students yet!!!).

You didn't answer my question, Sam.

Love,
Alex :-)

~~~
Alexander C Seaborn, MD
Chief Oncological Resident
Boston General Hospital
-----------------------------------------------

-----------------------------------------------
FROM: sseaborn@whitehouse.gov
TO: acseaborn@bostongenhosp.org
SUBJECT: Re: Toby's soul
SENT: September 11, 2000 20:08:06 -05:00

Well the verdict's still out on that one.

I tried not to be scared by your use of triple exclamation marks, but it was just excessive. Do me a favour, Alex, use the spell-checker.

What question?

Sam :)

~~~
Samuel N Seaborn
Deputy Communications Director
The White House
-----------------------------------------------

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FROM: tziegler@whitehouse.gov
TO: sseaborn@whitehouse.gov
CC: acseaborn@bostongenhosp.org
SUBJECT: My soul
SENT: September 11, 2000 20:12:39 -05:00

Don't you two have work to do? You know, more important things than discussing whether or not I have a soul or not, and if I don't, who I sold it to.

Toby

~~~
Toby Ziegler
Communications Director
The White House
-----------------------------------------------

-----------------------------------------------
FROM: sseaborn@whitehouse.gov
TO: tziegler@whitehouse.gov
CC: acseaborn@bostongenhosp.org
SUBJECT: Re: My Soul
SENT: September 11, 2000 20:13:59 -05:00

Why are you reading my e-mail?

Sam

~~~
Samuel N Seaborn
Deputy Communications Director
The White House
-----------------------------------------------

-----------------------------------------------
FROM: tziegler@whitehouse.gov
TO: sseaborn@whitehouse.gov
CC: acseaborn@bostongenhosp.org
SUBJECT: Why are we doing this?
SENT: September 11, 2000 20:17:23 -05:00

First off, Ginger told me.

Secondly, I can't believe I'm actually sending e-mail to someone who works in the office next door.

Toby

~~~
Toby Ziegler
Communications Director
The White House
-----------------------------------------------

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FROM: acseaborn@bostongenhosp.org
TO: sseaborn@whitehouse.gov
CC: tziegler@whitehouse.gov
SUBJECT: Ironic
SENT: September 11, 2000 21:01:56 -05:00

.... you guys are supposed to be Director and Deputy Director of White House Communications.

I'm afraid.

Alex :-)

~~~
Alexander C Seaborn, MD
Chief Oncological Resident
Boston General Hospital
-----------------------------------------------

-----------------------------------------------
FROM: sseaborn@whitehouse.gov
TO: acseaborn@bostongenhosp.org
SUBJECT: Re: Ironic
SENT: September 11, 2000 21:06:13 -05:00

You should be afraid, I scare myself sometimes.

Toby's giving me dirty looks through the window. In fact, the bouncing balls are flying around his office. He's trying to abolish the Bill of Rights, everything's getting to him. I somehow think he won't be e-mailing us anymore. Wait till I get my hands on Ginger, I'm going make it impossible for her to steal my doughnuts.

So what was the question, again?

Sam :)

~~~
Samuel N Seaborn
Deputy Communications Director
The White House
-----------------------------------------------

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FROM: acseaborn@bostongenhosp.org
TO: sseaborn@whitehouse.gov
SUBJECT: The Million Dollar Question
SENT: September 12, 2000 00:47:21 -05:00

Mallory. Have you rung her yet?

Alex :-)

~~~
Alexander C Seaborn, MD
Chief Oncological Resident
Boston General Hospital
-----------------------------------------------

-----------------------------------------------
FROM: sseaborn@whitehouse.gov
TO: acseaborn@bostongenhosp.org
SUBJECT: Mind your own business
SENT: September 12, 2000 11:34:06 -05:00

See the subject heading.

... I don't see why I have to ring her anyway, it's not like I did anything heinous. She could have rung me, you know. It is the 21st century, after all.

Sam :)

~~~
Samuel N Seaborn
Deputy Communications Director
The White House
-----------------------------------------------

-----------------------------------------------
FROM: sseaborn@whitehouse.gov
TO: mallory_o_brian@juno.com
SUBJECT: Please don't delete this
SENT: September 12, 2000 11:36:58 -05:00

Mallory,

I'm so sorry I haven't called earlier. I was about to phone you, but I knew you'd just see the caller ID and hang up... then again, you'll probably see my e-mail address. This proves the fact that I am dumb, Mal.

Maybe we could have coffee so I can apologise profusely.

I really am sorry,
Love,
Sam xxx

~~~
Samuel N Seaborn
Deputy Communications Director
The White House
-----------------------------------------------

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FROM: postmaster@juno.com
TO: sseaborn@whitehouse.gov
SUBJECT: Mail System Failure. Message Please don't delete this returned to sender.
SENT: September 12, 2000 11:37:09 -05:00
ATTACHMENT: Please don't delete this.html (2KB)

This Message was undeliverable due to the following reason:

Your message was not delivered because the destination computer was not reachable within the allowed queue period. The amount of time a message is queued before it is returned depends on local configuration parameters.

Most likely there is a network problem that prevented delivery, but it is also possible that the computer is turned off, or does not have a mail system running right now.

If you feel this message to be in error please contact us at inquiries@juno.com
-----------------------------------------------

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FROM: sseaborn@whitehouse.gov
TO: lmcgarry@whitehouse.gov
SUBJECT: Mallory's e-mail
SENT: September 12, 2000 11:43:46 -05:00

Does Mallory have a new e-mail address? I tried her Juno account, it bounced back.

Sam

~~~
Samuel N Seaborn
Deputy Communications Director
The White House
-----------------------------------------------

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FROM: lmcgarry@whitehouse.gov
TO: sseaborn@whitehouse.gov
SUBJECT: Re: Mallory's e-mail
SENT: September 13, 2000 06:07:32 -05:00

Why do you want to know?

Leo

~~~
Leopold McGarry
Chief of Staff
The White House
-----------------------------------------------

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FROM: sseaborn@whitehouse.gov
TO: lmcgarry@whitehouse.gov
SUBJECT: Re: Mallory's e-mail
SENT: September 13, 2000 07:01:32 -05:00

Just something I wanted to talk to her about.

Sam

~~~
Samuel N Seaborn
Deputy Communications Director
The White House
-----------------------------------------------

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FROM: lmcgarry@whitehouse.gov
TO: sseaborn@whitehouse.gov
SUBJECT: Re: Mallory's e-mail
SENT: September 13, 2000 18:27:09 -05:00

m_obrian@clearlake_dc.org

Don't leave it any longer, son. I have a disturbing feeling that her friend's trying to set her up with a hockey player. At least you work to earn a living.

Leo

~~~
Leopold McGarry
Chief of Staff
The White House
-----------------------------------------------

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FROM: sseaborn@whitehouse.gov
TO: lmcgarry@whitehouse.gov
SUBJECT: Re: Mallory's e-mail
SENT: September 13, 2000 19:41:06 -05:00

Thanks for that. I think.

Sam

~~~
Samuel N Seaborn
Deputy Communications Director
The White House
-----------------------------------------------

-----------------------------------------------

FROM: acseaborn@bostongenhosp.org
TO: sseaborn@whitehouse.gov
SUBJECT: Re: Mind your own business
SENT: September 14, 2000 01:57:06 -05:00

What happened to the sensitive man of the twenty-first century?

Anyhow, got anywhere with CJ and the trip next week? Tell me, and I'll get the guest bedroom clear of the mountain of junk which currently resides in there. Where the hell did you put all your law school text books, I mean I have about 50 volumes of the things, but no idea what to do with them now.

Alex :-)

~~~
Alexander C Seaborn, MD
Chief Oncological Resident
Boston General Hospital
-----------------------------------------------

-----------------------------------------------
FROM: sseaborn@whitehouse.gov
TO: m_obrian@clearlake_dc.org
SUBJECT: Please don't get angry, just read what I have to say.
SENT: September 14, 2000 10:43:19 -05:00

Dear Mallory,

I can't call you right now because I am so confused with everything that I'm convinced I will say something that will make matters far worse, if that is all possible. The last few weeks have thrown me my fair share of curve-balls and at the moment I really don't know where I am.

I'm writing to you because I know this way you won't hang up, you won't cut me off and I won't forget what I prepared to say. It was going to be a letter, a lovely long one on thick writing paper in real ink, but the mail takes so long and I need you to read what I have to tell you right now.

Firstly, I am so extremely sorry about the photograph of me in the papers. I want to assure you, though, that I am just friends with Laurie, we've never been more than that. I realise I should have rung you straight away, but the truth is I was too much of a coward to face up to the situation.

There are no words I can conjure up to express how sorry I am, which I'm sure you'll appreciate is quite extraordinary. This is because I don't think I have ever felt the same way about anyone before, Mallory. You don't give me an easy time, granted, but then again I don't think I deserve the smooth road after all the utterly idiotic things I have done. Mallory I love and admire everything about you: how smart you are; how passionately you debate the things you believe in; how you've stuck next to your father without question; how beautiful you are even when you're mad at me; how you've put up with me and made me feel so happy I want to start shouting clich├ęd exclamations of affection and love from the top of the Capitol.

Mallory I love you so much. I have done a colossally moronic thing and if you can find it in your heart to give me another second chance, which you are certainly under no obligation to do, then I shall be eternally grateful. I miss you so much, Mallory. Your laugh, the way you make me turn me into this incoherant and ineloquent klutz, even the way you mix up the status of our relationship so much that I don't know where I stand. I miss you being close to me and every day I miss the time you kissed me more and more. I'm in love with you and I miss you.

So please forgive me, for the photo, for being an insensitive imbecile and for not being able to do this sooner. I still have so much more to figure out, things which I can't tell you about right now but I will not keep from you in the future, I promise.

I love you Mallory, and I don't want to lose you over some unnecessary mistake I made. You know where I am if you want to shout at me or hit me or something. I just need to see you soon, Mallory, to evoke some sort of emotion in you so I'm sure that you haven't forgotten about us.

As always, all my love,
Sam xxxxx

~~~
Samuel N Seaborn
Deputy Communications Director
The White House
-----------------------------------------------

-----------------------------------------------
FROM: dmoss@whitehouse.gov
TO: sseaborn@whithouse.gov
SUBJECT: Josh's place tonight
SENT: September 14, 2000 16:43:41 -05:00

Hey Sam.

I'm going around to Josh's after work, I wondered if you wanted to come. I'm going to cook, by the way (don't be put off, I'm actually quite good). We can have a nice meal all together, take Josh's mind off stuff. Not that I'm trying to bribe you with the promise of food or anything.

What was the name of that physics book Josh wanted?

Donna :o)

~~~
Donnatella Moss
Assistant to Deputy Chief of Staff Joshua Lyman
The White House
-----------------------------------------------

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FROM: sseaborn@whitehouse.gov
TO: dmoss@whitehouse.gov
SUBJECT: Re: Josh's place tonight
SENT: September 14, 2000 16:57:08 -05:00

Thanks, Donna. That sounds great, I think he's really getting a bit too involved with theoretical physics for my liking (the name of the book is 'The Physics of Star Trek' - and you'll agree with me that he is in dire need of distraction if he has resorted to analysing the accuracy of sci-fi shows). I should be finished with the President's comments on the current agricultural crisis in TX by seven (fingers crossed, touch wood), so feel free to come around my office and drag me away from my laptop any time then.

Sam :)

~~~
Samuel N Seaborn
Deputy Communications Director
The White House
-----------------------------------------------

-----------------------------------------------
FROM: dmoss@whitehouse.gov
TO: sseaborn@whithouse.gov
SUBJECT: Josh's place tonight
SENT: September 14, 2000 17:12:52 -05:00

Gotcha. I'll see if I can dig up 'The Physics of Star Trek' on amazon.com. I tell you, I'm getting seriously distressed by this obsession. I went to see him yesterday and he was watching a DVD box set of the X Files he bought off the internet.

Donna :o)

~~~
Donnatella Moss
Assistant to Deputy Chief of Staff Joshua Lyman
The White House
-----------------------------------------------

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FROM: sseaborn@whitehouse.gov
TO: dmoss@whitehouse.gov
SUBJECT: Re: Josh's place tonight
SENT: September 14, 2000 17:49:16 -05:00

We should confiscate his TV and his computer, not to mention his phone. In the last hour he called me no less than five times.

Sam :)

~~~
Samuel N Seaborn
Deputy Communications Director
The White House
-----------------------------------------------

-----------------------------------------------
FROM: dmoss@whitehouse.gov
TO: sseaborn@whithouse.gov
SUBJECT: Josh's place tonight
SENT: September 14, 2000 18:17:32 -05:00

Bags me the DVD player (since he's too mean to give me the raise that would mean I could buy my own). You think five times in an hour is bad! Try him ringing you every five minutes to give you annoying pop quizzes about the damn super string theory.

Donna :o)

~~~
Donnatella Moss
Assistant to Deputy Chief of Staff Joshua Lyman
The White House
-----------------------------------------------

-----------------------------------------------
FROM: sseaborn@whitehouse.gov
TO: dmoss@whitehouse.gov
SUBJECT: A strange request
SENT: September 14, 2000 17:49:16 -05:00
ATTACHMENT: Please don't get angry, just read what I have to say.html (12 KB)

Point taken.

Donna, this is a strange thing to ask, I know, but please hear me out. I've enclosed an attachment of an apology I wrote to Mallory. I've sent it to her, but I don't know if I should have. Could you read it and tell me if you think I said anything wrong? I need a woman's perspective on this and Cathy scares me, so I'm not going to ask her.

... Got to go, Toby's just appeared in my door not looking to happy (even for him). See you at seven.

Sam :)

~~~
Samuel N Seaborn
Deputy Communications Director
The White House
-----------------------------------------------

-----------------------------------------------
FROM: dmoss@whitehouse.gov
TO: sseaborn@whithouse.gov
SUBJECT: Re: A strange request
SENT: September 14, 2000 18:34:02 -05:00

Sam! What are you talking about? You said exactly the right things, and believe me *I know* (I've dated a fair amount of what Josh calls 'gomers' in my time... not saying you're a gomer or anything, of course. OK I'm just going to go remove my foot from my mouth). I can't see how Mallory could stay angry at you after reading that, it's truly touching. I think its my favorite piece of your writing.

I'm not gushing, Sam. I just wish someone'd write me a letter like that.

See you at seven.

Donna :o)

~~~
Donnatella Moss
Assistant to Deputy Chief of Staff Joshua Lyman
The White House
-----------------------------------------------

-----------------------------------------------
FROM: sseaborn@whitehouse.gov
TO: dmoss@whitehouse.gov
SUBJECT: A strange request
SENT: September 14, 2000 19:00:00 -05:00

Thanks Donna. I just needed a beta reader, I guess. But I needn't have said that because you're standing in the doorway with your coat on and I'm, weirdly, still typing. OK, I'll tell you now myself and I'll send you an e-mail that will be totally off topic by the time you get it. OK you're staring at me because I'm laughing. I'll just hit send.

Sam :)

~~~
Samuel N Seaborn
Deputy Communications Director
The White House
-----------------------------------------------

-----------------------------------------------
FROM: sseaborn@whitehouse.gov
TO: cjcregg@whitehouse.gov
SUBJECT: The Cambridge trip
SENT: September 15, 2000 09:12:01 -05:00

CJ,

I know you're managing the trip this Saturday and I was wondering if there would be any problems with me coming along. Toby's going (and it's fine with me) and I checked with Leo and everything. So what do you say.

Get back to me.

Thanks,
Sam
~~~
Samuel N Seaborn
Deputy Communications Director
The White House
-----------------------------------------------

-----------------------------------------------
FROM: sseaborn@whitehouse.gov
TO: acseaborn@bostongenhosp.org
SUBJECT: My appointment
SENT September 15, 2000 16:23:47 -05:00

Hi there Alex.

Hope you're still surviving the night shift and the new med. students (getting sick of teaching them how to insert Foley catheters yet?).

I've asked CJ about the trip to Cambridge (it's on Sat the 20th of Sept). If it checks out fine, I'll be with you on Saturday night and then I'll book a flight back to DC for Sunday night. Presumably I won't be needed in the office. It just depends whether I can get everything past Toby. He's really on a knife edge at the moment. He blew up at CJ the other day about gun control and he hasn't been the same since. He's taken the shooting pretty badly. We all have, but Toby especially. He's either completely silent or ear-splittingly furious.

Donna and I went over to Josh's last night and Donna cooked us all pasta. She's a great cook, believe it or not. Anyway, Josh is driving us nuts with all the theoretical physics. He's having lively banter sessions with Donna, which I take as a good sign. Josh was planning to move from Georgetown to Capitol Hill at the end of October and I promised him he could stay at my place during the move. I don't know quite how it's going to work out. He is driving me insane. Well, more insane then I am already.

You can see I'm giving my doctors appointment a big, drum-roll sort of intro. So I went to see Dr. perkins at twelve. I snuck out past Toby, who in my opinion is the one in need of psychiatric assistance. As I said earlier, he's taking the shooting badly. My doctor and I talked about Rosslyn in great depth and I worked out a few issues. She urged me not to bury my head in work to forget about it and she's making sure I'm doing what she said by making appointments for me every week. Apparently at a time of stress such as this (I should have reminded her that it's no more stressful than it is usually, but anyway), those afflicted with SAD could experience serious symptoms of depression. Well, at least that explains why I ate more ice-cream than Donna last night (and she's the champion of ice-cream eating a la 'Friends', i.e. straight from the tub). You'd think that women were the only ones who comfort-eat. That's not true. Today I have already eaten a whole box of doughnuts and Cathy didn't even 'help' me out by stealing some. Seriously, this craving for sugar is getting out of hand. It's not just pastries though, it's any sort of carbohydrate. I addressed this issue with Dr. Perkins, and she suggested that it might be useful if I bought a light box for my office. Well, let's face it, I'm never home to use the one there and I hardly have time to sit in front of it any way. If I bring it into work, people are going to ask questions and I'll have to tell them. When am I going to find the time to use it? In between meetings in the Oval Office and conferences with the Republicans: 'Oh, excuse me please, I have to go sit in front of some light bulbs for two hours, otherwise I'll go crazy'. I can see that going down real well.

I'm going to have to start spend some time sorting myself out before we get into winter. The drugs make everything so much more manageable, but I can't hide behind medication forever. I've thought about telling Josh about everything, however I don't think it's the right time to start pouring out all my inner most secrets. I have to be here for him right now.

The whole thing is so complicated. But there's nothing I can do about it, so I'll not complain. I'll just keep taking the Paroxetine (which, I must say works really well) and go to the gym to work off the ounces I'm putting on though my effeminate eating habits. I think I've been around Donna too much, I seriously am starting to develop feminine tastes (No! I didn't mean that!)... in food. Blame it on the depression, I usually do. But I can't tell Toby that, and now he thinks I'm turning into a woman. I mean how many men do you know who eat Ben and Jerry's from a tub? Better not answer that question with something like 'only the ones who are women', or I'll do something painful to you, Alex!

I've e-mailed Mallory. I know, I should have phoned her, but I know that I'll get all tongue-tied and I'll end up appearing like more of an idiot than I already have made myself out to be.

All my love to Carol.

Love,
Sam :)

~~~~
Samuel N Seaborn
Deputy Communications Director
The White House
-----------------------------------------------

-----------------------------------------------
FROM: cjcregg@whitehouse.gov
TO: sseaborn@whitehous.gov
SUBJECT: Re: The Cambridge trip
SENT: September 15, 2000 17:01:47 -05:00

Hey Spanky.

Your flight is booked! Thanks for flying with us. I even checked it out with Leo, he seemed quite pleased, he said there's something he wants to talk to you about (i.e. where you disappeared this lunchtime without telling anybody). I have a sneaking suspicion that you are hoping to see Alex and Carol when we're up in Massachusetts... that's the only reason I can think of for someone intentionally going on a plane trip where the President is likely to bore them to death with a complete and in-depth lecture on the history of New England. Well, I hope it works out well for you. Now I'll have to find someone else to look after Gail this weekend.

See ya.

CJ

~~~
Claudia Jean Cregg
Press Secretary
The White House
-----------------------------------------------

-----------------------------------------------
FROM: sseaborn@whitehouse.gov
TO: cjcregg@whitehouse.gov
SUBJECT: Where I was and Gail
SENT: September 16, 2000 06:51:24 -05:00

Thanks for arranging that CJ. As for Gail, why don't you ask Danny? After all, he is her sort-of 'father'. Aww, Gail was a love gift, wasn't she. How sweet! Some guys give flowers, but you get a fish. Ha ha. If Gail goes belly-up, if the engagement off? I'm just saying.

Don't kill me, CJ, I am too young to die at the hands of a very tall woman in heels she really doesn't need.

I take that back.

As for where I was yesterday... dentist's appointment.

Thanks,
Sam

~~~~
Samuel N Seaborn
Deputy Communications Director
The White House
-----------------------------------------------

-----------------------------------------------
FROM: cjcregg@whitehouse.gov
TO: sseaborn@whitehouse.gov
SUBJECT: Re: Where I was and Gail
SENT: September 16, 2000 06:57:02 -05:00

Nuts for dental hygiene, eh? I should have guessed. That's a weird obsession you have, Sam.

As for the Gail-Danny thing, I've a bone to pick with you at Senior Staff... which is in 3 minutes, so I should really go.

See you Spanky.

CJ

~~~
Claudia Jean Cregg
Press Secretary
The White House
-----------------------------------------------

-----------------------------------------------
FROM: sseaborn@whitehouse.gov
TO: cjcregg@whitehouse.gov
SUBJECT: Re: Ouch
SENT: September 16, 2000 07:12:32 -05:00

I'm sorry, but I really don't think I deserved the 'CJ Cregg death stare' throughout the whole of Staff. I'm just saying.

Sam :)

PS Sorry, I didn't mean to be flippant about Gail.

~~~~
Samuel N Seaborn
Deputy Communications Director
The White House
-----------------------------------------------

-----------------------------------------------
FROM: outdoorsman@home_when_i_want_to_be_at_work.com
TO: sseaborn@whitehouse.gov
SUBJECT: 'Sup?
SENT: September 16, 2000 11:13:14 -05:00

Sam,

Cool e-mail address, don't you think? Donna brought me around that 'Physics of Star Trek' book this morning- excellent reading, I'll call you soon, there's some really interesting facts about the possibilities of teleportation you have just gotta hear. I just received a box set of Jimmy Stewart films I ordered, want to come and watch 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington' with me tonight... eight fine for you? And bring pizza, no anchovies, mind you.

And beer... lots of it. I feel like watching a filibuster and then getting drunk.

Josh :)

~~~
'I believe the human being and the fish can co-exist peacefully.' George W Bush (Thank God that man will never be President, I think I's rather leave the country!)
-----------------------------------------------

-----------------------------------------------
FROM: sseaborn@whitehouse.gov
TO: joshua_lyman61@aol.com
SUBJECT: Re: 'Sup?
SENT: September 16, 2000 13:21:56 -05:00

Josh, what a surprise to hear from you... not.

Make it nine, I've got some comments to finish up and too many meetings today to do it this afternoon (due to the fact that you're at home making up weird e-mail accounts). I'll bring one bottle of beer each, I don't want you passing out like that last time.

I'm actually astonished that you don't have a copy of 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington'... I'm convinced you had one.

Anyway, see you then.

Sam :)

PS The day George W Bush is President is the day I become a Republican and sell my soul to the devil.
~~~~
Samuel N Seaborn
Deputy Communications Director
The White House
-----------------------------------------------

-----------------------------------------------
FROM: bookings@fly_online.com
TO: sseaborn@whitehouse.gov
SUBJECT: Confirmation
SENT: September 16, 2000 12:21:09 -05:00
ATTACHMENT: Booking & Payment Information.html (32KB)

Your flight booked with FlyOnline has been confirmed.

AA2134 Depart: Boston INTL 22:05 Bound: Washington, DC INTL

Tickets and further booking information will be posted to you today and should arrive September 17 2000. Further details are attached and require Adobe Acrobat 4.0 to view

Any queries to enquries@fly_online.com

-----------------------------------------------
FROM: c_hart_seaborn@thwaite_kaye.org
TO: sseaborn@whitehouse.gov
SUBJECT: The first ultrasound
SENT: September 16, 2000 15:12:23 -05:00

Hi Sam.

All went well at the OB today and here's a link to our first ultrasound, check it out. http://photos.yahoo.com/achart_seaborn

Alex said something about you sorting out a visit to see us, I hope it all works out fine.

Love,
Carol
xoxox

~~~
Carol Hart-Seaborn
Attorney at Law
Thwaite, Kaye & Associates
Boston
-----------------------------------------------
FROM: sseaborn@whitehouse.gov
TO: acseaborn@bostongenhosp.org
SUBJECT: See you on Saturday
SENT: September 16, 2000 18:33:12 -05:00

Hi Alex,

I really appreciated the phone call last night. I've been thinking the things over that you said and you have really got a point. Dr. Perkins suggested some support groups I might try. I feel so guilty though, if CJ finds out she'll be at my throat about her being my 'first call'.

I don't want to think about that though.

I'm glad you're off this weekend, and back on days. We'll have a chance to have a nice quiet weekend for once! I should be arrive at your place at about half ten at night on Saturday. The museum opening is in the evening so I'll be in late, if that is OK? I'll probably ring you this evening to sort it out. I'll be leaving about 9pm on Sunday; I've got my plane to DC from Boston booked already, on the internet, none the less.

Anyway, I can't wait to see you and Carol. You better start to shift those med. school text books out of the spare room.

Love,
Sam

~~~~
Samuel N Seaborn
Deputy Communications Director
The White House
-----------------------------------------------

-----------------------------------------------
FROM: joshua_lyman61@aol.com
TO: sseaborn@whitehouse.gov
SUBJECT: Re: 'Sup?
SENT: September 16, 2000 19:02:32 -05:00

See you at nine, remember.

Oh, and you have to try out this link- it translates any web page into Valley-Girl speak.

http://www.80s.com/Entertainment/ValleyURL/

Josh :)
-----------------------------------------------


Flipping the power switch, Sam Seaborn closed his laptop and tossed his wallet into his trouser pocket after checking that he had sufficient money to buy enough pizza to satisfy Josh's need to give himself coronary heart disease. He was halfway to the door when he remembered what he had promised his brother. Returning to his desk, Sam lent over it and fished around in his desk drawer for a packet of something familiar. His hand closed around the foil wrapped sheet of anti-depressants and held them tightly in his hand. Sam's eyes slowly wandered to some hand-written pieces of paper on his blotter. He picked up the notes he had taken from his doctor's appointment the previous day and sighed, the weight of the world on his shoulders, it seemed. Sam was turning off the light in his office and placing the notes into his coat pocket when he heard a knock on his open door.

Turning around, Sam nearly tripped over as he came face to face with Mallory O'Brian, the person he least expected to come into his office at half eight at night. He was even more stunned to see that she had a smile on her face when she greeted him. A piece of printed paper was dangling from her finger tips.

"Hey Skipper," she breathed, her eyes fixed on his. Her face was red and her breath was coming fast from her lips as if she had just been running. His mouth dropped open slightly in shock.

Without any indication of what she was about to do, Mallory threw her hands around Sam's neck and kissed him passionately on the lips, her body pressed against his. Sam heard a flutter of paper as the pieces of paper fell from his hands when he placed his arms around her waist, drawing her closer to him. Tipping his head to the side, Sam reciprocated willingly to Mallory's embrace and found it just as heart-stoppingly exhilarating as their first kiss. An almost heady wave of yearning flowed over them as his mouth pursued her perfectly painted lips.

As the seconds passed, Sam could feel himself clinging onto Mallory and her holding on to him for fear of losing each other again. Mallory's fingers were entwined in Sam's hair and his were encircling her waist, their bodies so close that they seemed to melt into one.

Reluctantly they broke apart for air, their torsos still pressed together and their breathing laborious.

Mallory's breath was hot and quick on Sam's lips as a smile played across her mouth. "You've no idea how long I've wanted to do that."

Sam smiled back at Mallory, his eyebrows raised slightly. "I thought you hated me."

"The e-mail," Mallory replied, pointing behind Sam to where it lay, forgotten. She kissed Sam again, ardently, then broke away, breathing heavily. "I love you too, Sam."

Sam's voice was low and throaty. "I thought you'd never speak to me again."

Mallory disentangled herself from Sam's arms, but not before planting another prolonged and fervent kiss on his lips. "What can I say? You're a wonderful writer."

Moving away from him, she bent over to retrieve the e-mail from the floor. Remembering the notes he had dropped, Sam scrambled to the floor and gathered the sheets of paper before Mallory could pick them up.

"What's that?" Mallory asked as Sam stuffed the yellow pages of legal paper into his pocket with the sheet of pills which had fallen with the papers during their heated embrace.

Sam looked at her blankly, trying not to feel guilty about lying to her, but his heart beating rapidly at the deception. "Just some phone numbers, a packet of aspirin... Nothing interesting." Well, it was nearly true. Mallory couldn't know, not right now. Maybe sometime later, when they got past this.

He handed her the e-mail and she looked slightly less suspicious. Mallory took Sam's hand and smiled as he bowed his head and pressed his lips against hers, his hands moving to her back. Mallory moaned and her body melted under Sam's hands as he began to run kisses along her jaw.

"I've missed you so much," he murmured as Mallory put her arms around his torso. "I love you, Mallory."

"Come back to my place," Mallory whispered as she captured his lips in another kiss.

Sam drew back and looked into her sparkling green eyes. "'Kay."

Mallory smiled and waved over at his desk. "Get your stuff and let's go."

"Oh, I - Josh," Sam exclaimed as he picked up his briefcase, remembering his promise of 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington', pizza and two beers at Josh's place.

Mallory frowned and ran a hand up his arm. "You had plans."

"Yeah," Sam admitted. He looked into Mallory's eyes and knew that this was something that he could not screw up again. "I'm sure he'll understand."

"You're sure?" Mallory asked, looking at him increduously. "I mean, I don't want you to drop everything-"

"I'm sure," Sam said, cutting her off with light kisses on her lips.

Mallory mumbled something barely coherent through his caresses, "Let's go then."

Sam smiled and nodded as Mallory took his arm and pulled him out of the office. He put his hand in his pocket for his keys but instead felt the foil and plastic of the Paroxetine packaging. Stopping, Sam looked at Mallory seriously. "Mal, we need to talk."

"I'm not pissed anymore, Sam," Mallory replied, an insistent and forgiving expression on her face.

"It's not that," Sam replied slowly. He slowly started to bring the drugs out of his pocket, "It's... I..." he plunged his hand back in and dropped the packet back into the safety of the fabric.

"What?" Mallory asked, her voice soft and inquisitive.

Sam smiled weakly and said the first thing that came to mind: "What's the deal with you and the hockey player?"

Mallory grimaced. "He was a jerk, nothing to worry about. You don't worry about him and I'll not worry about Laurie. Deal?"

She was smiling at him. Sam fingered the pills in his pocket then let them slide out of his grasp, promising Mallory silently that one day she would know. He wrapped his arm around her shoulders and hers went to his waist as they started to walk towards the foyer.

Sam's voice was nothing but sincere. "Deal."

***
To Be Continued
***

Any feedback is devoured! Tell me how I did at annadelamico@yahoo.co.uk

~~~
Medical Notes:

Seasonal Affective Disorder is an internationally recognised medical condition, the symptoms of which occur mainly in the winter when light intensity is below a certain level though in areas nearer the equator some SAD sufferers find themselves negatively influenced by the weather in the summer months. SAD is a result of different levels of the hormones melatonin and seratonin being produced by the body. Sufferers of SAD may feel lethargic, void of creativity, too exhausted to perform simple tasks, depressed and they may have eating problems. Many people are not influenced by SAD until later in life, or due to a change in latitude, so this is a disorder that affects a large number of freshmen that move north to college.

Medicines used to treat this disorder include Paroxetine, Prozac and the herb St John's Wort. SAD sufferers also may find light therapy beneficial.

If you would like more information on SAD, Dr. Norman E Rosenthal's 'Winter Blues' is an excellent guide for those who find themselves affected by seasonal changes. Information on SAD is available from his web site www.normanrosenthal.com and these are some recommended societies and help groups that may be of interest.

Society for Light Therapy and Biological Rhythms
10200 West 44th Ave.
Wheatridge, CO 80033
(303) 422-7905
sltbr@resourcenter.com

Depression and Related Affective Disorders Association (DRADA)
John Hopkins University School of Medicine
Meyer 3-181
600 N. Wolfe St.
Baltimore, MD 21287-7381
(410) 955-4647

SAD Association (SADA)
PS Box 989
Steyning
BN44 3HG
England
(01903) 814942

Also, feel free to e-mail me with any queries, or just to talk... annadelamico@yahoo.co.uk.

Feedback, as always, is appreciated.
~~~