Disclaimer: This isn't mine.
A/N: A post ep to transition. I love reactions. I cant help it. Its my favourite part of anything. Cliffs face when he sees Donna again, josh when he sees the chicken fighting, Donna when she learns that josh has been hit. Both of them when they're standing in the New Hampshire office, and she's so much more important now. And those are the ones that we saw. Here are the ones we didn't see, from transition. Reviewing makes my day.
Sitting across from Helen Santos, Donna felt in indescribably nervous. Not because of the first part of what she was to say- for the second part. She was sure that the First Lady Elect would be happy that she was accepting the offer of the Chief of Staff position. She wasn't, however, at all certain of her reception to her own taking the next week off. Silently she cursed Josh's sudden romantic impulse and its inconvenient timing.
She opened her mouth twice, and then closed it abruptly, struggling for words.
"Is this you practising your turndown, or-"
"Oh no, not at all ma-"Donna stopped herself, and grinned. "Actually, I would like to accept." she added, as though still doubting her self worth with the hint of question in her voice. Helen's face split into a broad grin, and she glared at Donna curiously.
"And you're nervous because..."
"Because I would like to ask if I could leave, for a week, please, maam." she could hear her heart thumping. "I know that's not the sort of thing you want to hear from your newest employee, but there wont be much to do just yet at any rate, and I thinking, perhaps if we took on Annabeth as Press secretary, she's more than capable of handling things for a week, and I'd be back with plenty of time to map out an agenda, and get the office sorted, and hire staff..."
Helen was surveying her, with a puzzled look on her face. She had, of course, just gotten off the phone to her husband, who had informed her, in the most amused and relieved of tones, that his own Chief of Staff had been convinced to go on a vacation for a week. Surveying Donna's tense face and nervous disposition, something suddenly clicked, and she let out an amused snort, an undignified display of amusement, her hand covering her mouth as she laughed, confusing Donna.
"Oh my god, you're Donna!"
"No no, I mean, I always knew that you were Donna, I just didn't realise that you were Donna. Donna from the phone call Donna...looking sullen in Iowa Donna." she continued to laugh, and then was silenced by the confused look on her new chief of staffs face. Sobering up a little, Helen explained.
"I'm not sure I follow..."
"You're going on vacation?"
"For a week?"
"There was a night on the campaign trail- a few hours after the winner of the Californian primary was announced, when Josh stormed into the office, yelling into his cell." she explained, grinning at her own powers of deduction.
"He didn't know we heard him, we were about to go to sleep in the next room. This was back in the days where hotel rooms constituted an office, and the walls were never very thick." she added, getting a grim look on her face as she remembered the campaign trail. Helen had never been a fan. "He was ranting and raging, which wasn't unusual, but we noticed the call when he started using the name John."
Donna was more and more confused. Why was she sharing this piece of information now, with a humoured look on her face? It didn't seem connected at all.
"It didn't take us long to realise he was screaming at Hoynes. We knew that they had worked together once, but the things Josh was calling him-"she laughed again, and then cringed, and started to imitate Josh's rash tones. "You told me that it was all over! Full Disclosure?! Why should I believe you now if you lied back then! You ever hurt Donna again and- why should I believe you!? The press was right about the other girl, why wouldn't they be right about- They're saying you...they're saying you and Donna...Even if this is just spin on your half, you don't get at the Russell campaign by targeting her or I"LL come out for Bingo Bob, you hear me!" she was smiling now, and Donna was blushing.
"I'm sure you're exaggerating." she said, her cheeks flushed red.
"I'm really not."
There was a silence, in which Donna couldn't help but smile. The corner of her mouth bending upwards, causing Helen to laugh.
"Go! Of course you can have a week, have fun, making sure he doesn't get his hands on a newspaper! Calm that man down! And I'll hire Annabeth. Just wait till Mat finds out I stole you both." Donna nodded, and grinned, thanking Helen before walking out, and closing the door.
Stepping into the hallway, she remembered the night Helen was talking about. The press was harassing her more than she had ever been harassed- they were sure that Hoynes had come onto her, sure that was how she had known about the scandal. Humiliating as it was, she wasn't all that upset about it.
She remembered the phone call she had gotten where no one had spoken. She had thought it was just a reported who had bad reception, but...maybe not so much. Maybe, even in the time they had spent apart, they'd been more together than she had realised. Maybe Josh cared a lot more than he led her to believe.
Matt Santos waited for his senior staff to come to his office. He had never really had a meeting with them before- of course, he had had many meetings, with them, but never with them. As a group. As the senior staff elect, you might say. They stood in the office at the OEOB, and they stared at him, expectantly.
"Well, this is Sam." he said, in an attempt to begin, although Lou, Bram, Amy, and Annabeth all appeared to be waiting for two more.
Everyone fell silent. Sam gave a small wave, and a smile.
"You replaced Josh?" Amy joked, dead pan, causing Sam to chuckle as he caught her eye.
"He's going to be the new deputy chief of staff."
They all exchanged pleasantries, before the President Elect cut in again.
"He's going to be filling in for the week while Josh is...absent." he said. In return, he received blank stares.
"Absent?" Lou asked a hint of amusement in her voice.
"He's taken a vacation." Sam explained.
Blank stares; again, were given in response, until Amy gave a dry laugh, again, catching Sam's eye.
"Suddenly the fact that there are only six of us here seems pretty ominous." she grinned, rolling her eyes. Sam chuckled, and the president Elect was the only one to reply to Lou's inquisitive look.
"Ok, we're going to say this now, and then we're going to move on with discussing cabinet appointments and try not to be as preoccupied with the soapoperesque nature of my administration as my wife is- Donna and Josh have gone to Hawaii. For a week. Sam here made him leave, then he made her leave, and now they are in Hawaii, for a week. Don't ask how to contact them, because you cant." he said, firmly, ignoring the mixture of bemusement and elation on the staffs faces.
"Did I mention that we were moving on?"
"I never really thought he'd be a good match for Sarah, I was just trying to smoke Donna out..."
"And we're back here again."
"You were trying to smoke her out?" Sam asked, raising an eyebrow, "Was that what you were doing when-"
"And we're done!" Matt interjected, grinning, "I now know much much more than I ever wanted to. So. This is our team."
Sam sat down, before CJ had even glanced up. She hadn't taken any notice of the noise in the outer office as Margaret had made a fuss at his arrival. She hadn't blinked an eyelid at his entrance at all.
"Just hold on there Elwood I'm almost done." she said, scribbling down notes in the margin of a briefing book.
"And the award for nostalgia and sentimentality goes to Miss CJ Cregg." Sam said, blankly, staring down at CJ, from the seat across from her bent form. Freezing, she looked up, her mouth dropping open when her eyes fell on his grinning face.
"Oh my god! Josh said he flew about a million miles to recruit you, I never thought you'd come!" she said, jumping from her seat and rushing around to strangle him in a hug. Sam chuckled, and hugged her back.
"You did better than Josh. He practically suffocated me with a pile of briefing books."
"Where is Josh?"
"Funny you should ask." he said, sitting back down, and smirking.
"They haven't had him institutionalised, have they?"
"In a manner of speaking."
"Stop being smug, just because you know the latest and I'm-"
"I was across the other side of the country and I was still more in on the-"
"Oh I've been out of the gossip loop of late."
"He's on vacation."
There was silence in the Oval Room.
"I'm sorry what was that?"
"He's on vacation."
"Vacation as in he's been made to stay at home for the day or-"
"Vacation as in he's sitting on a beach in Hawaii." Sam said, immensely pleased with himself.
"That's...that's a big achievement their Jake. That should go on your resume right above DOS."
"I understand the Elwood reference now."
"Took you a while."
"So you wanted the briefing on the appointments."
"Just wanted to touch base. I'm guessing I'll communicate with you for the next-"
"Week And yes."
"And Sam when you get back to OEOB can you asks Donna to stop by, I want to congratulate her, and you know, touch base, talk about the first lady, the transition- What?"
Sam, now, was giving her a sly grin.
"No one knows..."he said, slowly, realisation dawning on him.
"No one knows what?"
"No one knows"
"Sam, I'm an important person, I may need to move on from palace intrigue and start, oh I don't know, governing?... No one knows what??"
"I feel so powerful."
"You are Sam, you're a very powerful person."
"Oh its nothing, I'd better get going."
CJ's mouth dropped open, knowing that Sam was only doing this to torture her.
" Oh and will Annabeth be alright for the first lady briefing? Donna's out of town for the week."
CJ looked up.
"Why would Annabeth do it?"
"She's the new press secretary, its all there on your briefing sheet, the one that I just put on your-"
thanks for reading! Please review! And if anyone has any other good reaction stories, for any episode, or wants to write more, then please let me know, Id love to read them. I'm running low on West Wing fics, and its making me sad. There are still heaps to be done. The president? Josh's mum? Will? Toby? Charlie? Cliff? Anyone at all. Let me know.
Toodles. Jess x