Author's note: I do not own West Wing or its characters. This is slightly AU and set during the fourth season.

Let's Play Our Game

CJ took her place at the podium with a smile. She was going to have fun with this today. There were also a number of bets in the West Wing that hinged on the outcome of this press briefing. The White House press corps was known for their observational skills and quick uptake. They were about to be tested on just those skills.

What had started with death threats had ended up being one of the best things that had ever happened to her. When they had gone out for drinks after the play that night in May, Simon had related the story of the robbery that he had interrupted and the two off duty detectives that had kept the second robber from shooting him. CJ was very grateful to those two officers. She didn't want to think about losing out on her chance with Simon. Their romance had survived the election, the insanity of working in the White House, and the curiosity of the press corps. And CJ was incredibly happy.

The president and the rest of the staff had been informed over the holidays, and now all that was left was to make a statement to the press. Of course, that didn't mean she couldn't have fun with them first.

"Good morning, folks. We've got a lot to cover today, so let's get started."

It was a pretty typical briefing. There really wasn't much going on this week. Josh and Sam had managed to keep from causing any major crises, mostly because Sam had the flu, and Donna had managed to sprain her ankle causing Josh to spend his time fussing over her rather than creating problems for the rest of them. So it really was the regular piffle.



The cacophony began. She fielded their questions easily, trying to hide her amusement. No one seemed to have noticed yet. CJ considered giving them a clue, but that would be making it too easy. There was evidence in plain sight after all. If it took them more than that for the Washington Press Corps to figure it out, then maybe they needed to renew their credentials. Of course, the ring wasn't that flashy, but it was prominently displayed right now. CJ was very fond of the simple gold band set with a square cut diamond. It was beautiful and elegant without being flashy. Simon had made a good choice. One of these days she was going to have to drag the story about ring shopping out of him. She had heard rumor that everyone one from Toby and Josh to Leo and the President had been involved.

Deciding to give the reporters a little nudge in the right direction, CJ tucked a strand of hair behind her ear with her left hand as she answered the next question.

"President Bartlet will be meeting with representatives of both groups later on in the week. He hopes to be able to broker a deal between them and bring an end to the conflict."


She kept her face straight. "Danny."

"Can you tell us anything about the engagement ring on your left hand?"

CJ bit back a grin. "I would remind you that the White House does not comment on the personal lives of its staffers. That being said, I would like to announce my engagement to Secret Service Special Agent Simon Donovan. At this point we don't have a wedding date, but it will probably be sometime in the spring."

There were more questions. Somehow, CJ wasn't surprised. She couldn't suppress her grin any longer either. She was happy, and she wanted the world to know it. She fielded questions about when the engagement had taken place and what it meant for her position at the White House as well as congratulations from most of the reporters. With her secret out, there wasn't all that much more to the press briefing. She wrapped things up and headed back to the bullpen to see who had won the bet. It had taken the reporters nearly twenty minutes to figure it out, and that was with a hint. Somehow, CJ couldn't help but feel disappointed with them. After all, these people could smell a potential scandal miles away, and yet when it came to an actual news story (albeit just a human interest one) they couldn't see it staring in their face.

Oh well, they would just have to make up for it with their wedding gift. Knowing the press, she wasn't going to get away without one.