Title: Domestic Affairs
Originally published: May 14, 2006
"I'm kinda running late."
"Yes, the whole you not being here sort of gave that away."
"Yeah, the meeting ran long. Then I stopped by the office to meet with Sam, except Sam wasn't there and the President-Elect was."
"Because of the thing?'
"We got him!"
"Yeah. It's a done deal."
"Does Sam know?"
"Not yet. The President-Elect is going to tell him when he gets back from the Hill."
"He's still on the Hill?!"
"Yeah, apparently after eight years of loud, obnoxious Deputy Chiefs of Staff, more than that if you count the previous administration, they don't know what to make of Sam's chill."
"Something like that."
"Sam's going to be thrilled about the news."
"As well he should be! It was his idea!"
"He thought we should be thinking outside the box for the Secretary of State. You were the one that was worrying about trying to neutralize Vinick. Which made the President-Elect realize we could kill two birds with one stone. And the three of you together came up with the plan to get him."
"Yeah, but we're gonna let Sam get the credit for this one."
"So are you on you way home?"
"Yeah. Do you want me to pick something up for dinner?"
"Nope. I cooked."
"It's not that unusual. Besides, I've cooked for you before."
"Yes, but not when you were living with me… and sleeping in my bed."
"Feels sort of domestic, doesn't it?"
"Yeah. Wait! That's not a bad thing, is it?"
"Come home, Josh. I'm waiting for you."
"On my way."
. ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
"I'm in the kitchen. Don't yell. Hi........... Umm........ Josh!"
"Hello, yourself! Dinner's almost ready. Here carry this to the table."
"Smell's great. What is it?"
"That's just a fancy way of saying pasta with vegetables, right?
"I stopped at Whole Foods and got inspired. You're not going to give me grief, are you?"
"Do I look like I'm insane?"
"Not right at this second. So I'm taking today was a good day?"
"Yeah. Hey, this is really good!"
"Thank you. I'm a little amazed that you are even eating the vegetables. Let alone enjoying them."
"Maybe I'm growing up?"
"Yeah, I didn't think so."
"You met with the head of the DNC again today?"
"Yeah, more commotion about the VP. Nothing really new there. Sat in a couple of Kazakhstan briefings with CJ. Met with the directors of FEMA and the Red Cross. We're going to want to have our disaster relief plans in place before we even take office. Not that it'll be much different from the Bartlet plan, but things like that can never be improved enough. Truthfully, it was nice to work on something of vital public importance without worrying about party lines."
"Who are you and what have you done with Josh Lyman?"
"Funny. Know how CJ didn't like campaigning because kept her from helping?"
"Yes. And I remember your face when she said it."
"The point is I think I finally understand where CJ is coming from."
"But you love the struggle!"
"Yeah, but some of the stuff I chose to struggle over as Deputy Chief of Staff just seems stupid to me now."
"You've got larger concerns."
"That I do. And I'm enjoying it far more than I ever thought possible. And how was your day?"
"You are enjoying all this domesticity aren't you?"
"I truly, truly am."
"I had staff interviews that took the whole day. Not to mention trying to adjust the schedule for the First Lady moving into the White House six months early."
"But you expected that to happen."
"I did, but it still is more work. Did you hear that the Santoses decided to send the kids to public school?"
"Yes. The President-Elect was quite impressed that you already had a school vetted and approved by the Secret Service."
"I'm thorough like that."
"That you are."
"Wow. That was your third helping you just polished off, wasn't it?"
"It was good."
"Wait a second....... I just got a message. Heh. Apparently, Sam just found out about our new Secretary of State."
"Sam text messaged you?"
"Yeah. A little weird?"
"That the President-Elect's Chief of Staff receives text messages from his Deputy?"
"Actually, not so much. I think the idea of Sam actually text messaging is what's throwing me."
"Huh? Why's that?"
"Someone as verbose as Sam willing condensing his message to a few words?"
"Well, when you put it like that..."
"Are you done? With the pasta, I mean."
"Is there any desert?"
"What would you like?"
"Josh.... Dishes first. Then, I'm all yours."
"Sigh. The down side of domesticity. I'll help. It'll go faster."
~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
"Shhh... Sorry. Go back to sleep."
"Naw.... I 'm awake. What's wrong?"
"No, nothing's wrong. I..."
"It's just... I wanted to say..."
"It's ok. Don't worry about getting it to sound right."
"Today was such an ordinary day. I'm mean, ordinary for the White House. And now I was just lying here with your arms around me and I couldn't imagine what could possibly improve it all. Our life... the path we're on... is just so near perfect. I mean, I know that bad things will happen. Not that I am a pessimist but they do. And, if the last eight years at the White House were any indication, they will probably be big things... just because of who we are and what we do. But, even knowing that, it doesn't diminish what we have right now. After all we went through... I love our life. What we do. How we live the everyday. I just... I love it."
"I do too. And it's only going to get better."
"I know. I think that might be the best part."