Title: Present Imperfect

Pairing: Annabeth Schott/Ainsley Hayes The West Wing

Rating: R ish

Summary: Ainsley is having a rotten day.

A/N: Written for a flister who was having a really crappy week. This continues the relationship started in "Vertically Challenged" and "Iambic Pentameter"


"This cannot be happening. Of all the days…"

Ainsley Hayes was convinced that the world was, in fact, out to get her. Or at least someone in this Administration. Resisting the childish urge to stamp her foot, the Republican glared – in what she imagined to be a suitably frosty and intimidating manner – at the pile of briefs on her desk. The pile that had been added just moments ago by a White House Counsel's aid who was not nearly contrite enough given that they had effectively ruined the one and only thing that she had been looking forward to all week.

It wasn't that Ainsley didn't love her job. The Santos Administration – despite belonging That Other Party – lacked the smug arrogance of the previous White House. The dedication and drive was the same however, and Ainsley Hayes was proud to serve. It also helped that Ainsley was no longer the only Republican in a prominent position, and she certainly couldn't complain about the office.

But damnit, she had planned on going home tonight. It was Saturday night. In civilized society, Saturday night was a night of rest, of relaxation…of sex with a beautiful woman…

"Crap" Ainsley muttered under her breath in a wholly unusual display of profanity.

Had she been the kind of person to kill the messenger, that aid's head would be adorning her door as a trophy.

That highly satisfying thought occupied Ainsley's mind for all of a few seconds before the frustration of her reality set in and something akin to a pout worked its way onto her features.

It had been one thing after another this week and despite the fact that Ainsley normally would have welcomed the challenges inherent in her new position as White House Counsel, she had – foolishly she knew – been hoping to have this one night to herself.

Well ok, not entirely to herself.

Which of course brought her back to the source of her frustration and the action she was dreading.

Straightening in the tall leather chair, Ainsley took a breath and picked up the phone to dial a now familiar number.

She was just biting the inside of her lip and waiting for the connection to go through when the sound of her door being shut and locked jerked her head up.

Ainsley felt her eyes widen.

Almost stupidly she looked at the phone in her hand, then back to the woman now standing in front of her desk.

"Annabeth, I was…I was just going to call you," the Republican blinked, trying to compose herself as the object of her thoughts smiled sweetly. It was less the smile and more the black, floor length dress that tied behind her neck and hugged the small, slender body in question that Ainsley found herself unable to quite get a handle on at the moment however. For some reason, her tired brain was completely entranced by the way the press secretary's skin seemed even more golden than usual in the warm light of her desk lamp.

"I got wind that the Carhart depositions were coming down, and I thought to myself 'When would be the absolute worst time for those to land on your desk?;…and behold, I was right." Annabeth said smartly, a sparkle in her luminous blue eyes and a smirk on her lips.

"Plus I know how overdeveloped your sense of duty is, so I thought I would save you the guilt of having to call and cancel, and me the trouble of getting dressed up for nothing." Annabeth's head was tilted slightly and the smile on the smaller woman's had become distinctly devilish.

Ainsley took in Annabeth's outfit again and blinked. Twice.

"Correct me if I'm wrong Annabeth, but you do, in fact, appear to be dressed up. Beautifully so, if I might add," the last was delivered rather breathlessly and indeed, the Republican had no idea where the sentiment had come from. She just knew it was true.

Still, whatever they had – Ainsley was not sure if 'relationship' was the most appropriate term given its implications of something stable and lasting and mostly what they were doing was having sex – was conducive to declarations of feelings, so she tried to cover.

"Well thank you for stopping by. I'm sorry that our plans were interrupted and I would, of course, be very glad to take a rain check, but I'm sure you need to be going. I'd hate to see you wrinkle your dress." Ainsley was rather proud that she couldn't hear her disappointment in her voice. The words were clipped and precise, if rather…speedy.

Annabeth's response however, was to smile even wider.

"Oh that's quite alright. I wasn't planning on wearing it for long," the press secretary replied blithely, and with that, reached up and tugged at the tie behind her neck.

The black material came slithering off her body to drop sinuously at her feet, revealing golden skin…and a pair of strappy black heels.

Ainsley's throat was suddenly very, very dry.

"Annabeth," she managed, her accent thicker than usual as desire began a pounding ache low in her belly.

The smaller woman didn't answer but instead just stalked casually around the desk – the huge, teak desk that Ainsley loved so much and that had been used on more than one occasion for activities not at all pertaining to the business of the White House – and reached out to Ainsley.

The Republican hesitated only a moment before giving in to what was rapidly becoming and irresistible desire for the woman standing in front of her.

Despite the separation of Ainley's clothing, she could still feel the heat and the softness of the smaller woman when their bodies pressed together, and the lawyer nearly sighed.

Closing her eyes, she welcomed Annabeth's mouth with her own, wrapping her arms around her and running hungry hands over the warm satin skin of her back.

This was what she had wanted all week, and as delicate fingers tugged at her jacket and blouse, and warm lips worked their way down her throat, Ainsley Hayes decided that it wasn't such a bad day after all.

Fin