Title: Spilt Coffee

Fandom: The West Wing

Rating: R

Genre: Romance, Missing Scene, PWP

Characters/Pairings: Sam/Ainsley

Spoilers: Minor up to Season 2's '17 People' during which this is set

Summary: Sam and Ainsley were sent off alone to get the coffee. They were very late back: this is why.

A/N: This is my first West Wing fic, mainly because I only watched the whole series this summer. And Sam/Ainsley is one of the hottest never-realised ships in the show, that I had to write something for them. Also: it seemed really weird to me that it took them so long coming back from the mess in '17 People' and that Sam would suddenly be so supposedly clumsy.

Anyway, enjoy, read and review!

"So, what you're saying is that all women now have total equality forever and ever?" Sam's face is turning that crazy reddish colour that only means he's talking to Ainsley Hayes, "Well, that's just swell! I'll go tell the women's rights lobby, 'hey, don't worry about it, gender saved!'"

"No, Sam, I'm only saying that one more law that only says a combination of all the other laws already in place is a waste of time, money, and - to be quite frank - the paper its written on."

"And that's what you're gonna say in front of one of the most liberal feminist audiences you could find?" Sam laughs as he picks up the coffee tray and makes for the exit, "That one of the most important laws in enshrining the legal equality of all women is a pile of horsecrap?"

"Maybe not in so many words, but yes. It's a debate, Sam, someone's got to argue the other side. Why not make it someone who really believes it?"

"Wow, you really do have issues, don't you?"

"Excuse me?" She's using her Southern School-Marm voice, the one that makes her sound as if she has the entire Confederate army to back her up at a moment's notice. She stops dead in the hallway and whirls to face him, making him brake hard and spill some of the coffee on the floor. "What, exactly, was that supposed to mean?"

"Only that you first took a job in one of the most liberal White Houses in modern history when you're a Bible-thumping, gun-toting federalist Republican, because that wasn't a big enough pointless struggle to take on, but then proceed to go and start a fight where there wasn't one before! I mean, seriously, is this a power thing or what?"

He's still laughing, derisively, and a little part of him hates himself for it. Her face is cast in concrete, cold, hard and unmoving, and for a moment he thinks she might slap him.

"I didn't pick this job." her voice, when it deigns to make an appearance, is as frosty as her expression, and almost too quiet for him to hear.

"Excuse me?"

"I didn't come in here and beg Leo McGarry for a job in Jed Bartlet's White House, okay Sam?" Her voice is rising steadily with every word, as she comes right up in his face, angrier than he's ever seen her, "I kicked your ass all over Capital Beat, and the President obviously agreed you needed some schooling. I didn't come to pick a fight, but you and your buddies seem to do a great job of doing it anyhow!"

He wants to take it back; he wants this to go back to the spirited, friendly debate they'd just been having moments before. He wants to apologize, and every good voice in his head is telling him to. Unfortunately, there are two camps of demons doing a swell job of drowning them out. One's so angry at her for everything, for coming into the West Wing and polluting the rooms with social intolerance, for bringing up the rights of gun owners even when she knew about Roslyn, for defeating him in debate every chance she got.

The other just loves how she smells like vanilla and cinnamon, and wonders if she tastes like it too.

But she's shouting at him, and he can't help but rise to it, "Oh, come on, you pick a fight any chance you get! You can't just let something slide, you can't keep an opinion to yourself when you're surrounded by people who literally hate everything you stand for. You want to argue so you can win and feel superior to everyone else."

She laughs, "This coming from the great and mighty Sam Seaborn, holder and sharer of the correct opinion on every issue. You can't even see the other side of anything, you're too busy making sure the rest of the world is listening to you!"

She's so close now that he can feel her breath on his face, see the flush in her cheeks as she glares up at him. He can't think of a response, they've crossed a line somewhere and he can't think of how to move back into the safe zone. Only the damn tray still in his hands separates them, and in that moment his body politely seizes control from his brain and tells sense to take a hike.

Somehow his hands grab her waist without him even realising it, sending the coffee tray crashing to the ground, and before she can say another angry word his mouth is covering hers and one hand has reached up behind her back and into the soft mass of her hair.

For a moment she doesn't move, and he hopes she's just shocked and that he didn't just make a massive mistake. He's about to pull back, apologize, blame lack of sleep, and avoid her for the next eternity, until she starts to respond. Both of her hands tangle in his hair, her nails scratching his skull as she pulls him in closer, deepening their kiss as he pushes his tongue into her mouth. He hears her moan and resists the urge to grin.

They finally have to break for air, and as they pull apart he really hopes she's not about to slap him back to the stone age. But when he looks down at her, her eyes are shining and her cheeks are red, and he just has to smile like the Cheshire Cat on a particularly brilliant day.

"Uh, Sam?"

"Yeah?"

"Your hands are still on my hips."

"Yeah."

He knows that he's doing no less than leering at her now, but he can't help it, the cross between lust, indignation and joy on her face is simultaneously the most adorable thing in his universe and entirely priceless.

"Well, were you planning to remove them? There's a bit of a mess on the floor here." He looks down and there's coffee everywhere, although the mugs were plastic so at least there're no shards of pottery lying around.

He decides that her brain is still far too functional, and remedies it by leaning in and kissing her again, slower and deeper than before. His tongue explores her mouth, discovering the spots that make her shake and mewl into him, and his hands don't show any signs of moving. He walks them back, slowly, until her back is against a wall and he fairly well has her pinned.

Finally his lips leave hers and start to trail down her jaw to the side of her neck, kissing and biting, trying to find the places that will make her fall apart around him.

"Sam?" this time it's a gasp, and lust seems to have won the emotional battle within her. He ignores her, and moves her sweatshirt neckline aside to bite down lightly on her collarbone, "Sam?"

"Shh."

"Don't you shush me- Ohhh!" He moves up to nibble on her earlobe and suck it into his mouth, and he feels her muscles quiver.

"Ainsley," he whispers into her ear, "I'm a little busy right now, okay?" He reaches down between them to move his hand up under her shirt, rubbing her breast through her lacy bra.

"Uhhh," he loves the little noises she makes, how uncontrolled and free they are compared to her usual professional, conservative manner.

She takes him by surprise when she moves her hands to grab his face and kiss him again, making up for her lack of control before by giving as good as she got. He's almost painfully hard now, and it doesn't help when she reaches one of her hot little hands down below his belt and cups him through his pants.

He pinches a nipple in response, and they're now aligned so perfectly that he can feel the heat between her legs through their clothes. She moves her hand and they grind against the wall, their mouths still fused. Finally he has to breathe, and he looks down into her face. Her eyes are open, looking back up at him, and he takes that as a personal challenge. He thrusts forward, pushing hard into her heat, the friction nearly sending him cross-eyed. He hasn't been this turned on while fully clothed since he was a teenager.

She makes a breathy little moan, and her eyes flutter closed. "Sam…" he's not sure if she's just moaning, or if she wants to say something.

"What?"

"No."

"What?"

She pushes on his shoulders, and he moves back a little, giving her room to move away and gain some distance, "I said no. Not like this. We're not doing this in a hallway outside the White House Mess."

He sighs, frustrated, but he knows she's right. "I know, I'm sorry."

"Are you?" she looks a little concerned.

"Should I be?"

"No!" It seems involuntary, and she backtracks quickly, "I mean, yes, you just… attacked me in the hallway. You couldn't have asked me out for dinner, Sam? I'm a respectable girl..."

"You loved it." He can't help the smug, cocksure grin spread over his face.

"It was unexpected and rude and-"

"And hot and perfect and to be continued." He knows she agrees from the way her breath hitches, "Preferably somewhere with a big, soft bed."

They're close again, leaning in without even realising it, and they both startle back suddenly, regaining the physical space between them. It would be too easy for him to just grab her again, push her up against the wall and let her have her way with him, and that wouldn't be right. Partly because there was a 100% chance that Donna or CJ or Josh or - heaven forbid - Toby, could get hungry or wonder where the coffee'd got to, and come wandering downstairs to find them in a very compromising position. But mostly because she was Ainsley Hayes, and he knew that he was rapidly falling in love with her, and this wasn't how their first time should be.

So he just reached forward, and took her hand. Even that small contact sent a little thrill up his spine, "We need to get more coffee - they'll wonder where we are."

"Yeah," she nodded, unable to stop smiling.

When they finally get back upstairs, Sam makes up some story about being unable to stop spilling the coffee - which was at least partly true - and everyone's too busy freaking out over the Correspondence Dinner speech to care that he's never clumsy and that they sit next to each other for the rest of the night, in as much contact as possible with each other at all times.