Disclaimer: Don't own the west wing or any of it's characters. I know I've been writing this story for a while so that should be obvious at this point, but whatever
Author's note: I'm sorry I haven't updated this story for a while. One of you guys left me a review that guilted me a bit though. Smartbookworm this chapter is for you and all the other readers who have read my stories :)
"Hey Danny," Sam greeted, as he took in the red haired man sitting before him.
"Hey Sam," he replied with his usual cheeky grin. "I heard you moved out of you're parents house."
Sam couldn't help it, he laughed, "yup…well to be fair it wasn't really my choice to move into their house to begin with."
"I can imagine, I doubt there are many people, who would want to voluntarily live with that many women."
"Yes, true enough. So, you really wanted ten minutes with me in exchange for not running that story on whatever happened at the cabinet meeting with my dad and Hoynes? I have to say I'm honored, but I think CJ could have been convinced into giving you ten minutes with my dad."
Danny smiled wide, "would it really surprise you to hear how long the press has been trying to get an interview with you Sam?"
"I've done plenty of interviews—"
"Please Sam, you and I both know what I'm talking about. We don't want to do an interview with you where you talk about political issues."
Sam wasn't stupid, he knew everyone had been trying to protect him from the media for the last two and a half months. In fact, CJ had at first said no to Sam doing this interview, but Sam liked Danny and he figured he would have to do this sooner or later. "Yeah well…I guess you've got ten minutes."
"Okay, do you mind if I record you Sam?" Danny asked, quickly getting down to business.
"Sure, go ahead Danny." Danny nodded and clicked record on the recorder.
"So what should I call you now?" Danny asked.
Sam furrowed his brow, "what do you mean?"
"Well, it would seem you have a never ending list of names given to you by the media…" he got out a sheet of paper and Sam wanted to curse; he thought he liked Danny but this guy was about to read a list of all the stupid nicknames the media had given him! He tried to hide his frown as Danny started reading, but he was almost certain he wasn't fooling Danny, "The Long Lost Son, The American Prince, Bartlet Jr., The Heir…oh and this one is my favorite by far…The Greek God."
Sam knew he was blushing now, "Honestly, the First Amendment allows everyone freedom of speech, which means the media has the right to call me whatever they please, but I would prefer everyone call me by my name, Sam Bartlet."
"But technically speaking it isn't really your name," Danny stated. For some reason that comment irritated Sam more than it probably should.
"Danny, I've been going by Sam for over two decades…it may not be the name I was born with, but it's my name nonetheless. I'm not Ben anymore…"
"I'm sorry if I offended you," Sam was surprised to find that Danny actually sounded sincere.
"It's fine," though Sam couldn't help but purse his lips.
"So…there must have been a lot of changes in your life these past two months. What have been the most drastic changes in your life?"
Sam smiled, "my family situation has definitely changed. My parents before, they were nothing like my…my real parents. I have parents, who care about me, and three more sisters, who I love, but who drive me crazy. Then there's the media coverage. It was a shock; I went from being Sam the President's speechwriter to, well, pick one of those nicknames you just read. I think the hardest part is that I don't see myself as 'The Greek God' or 'The Long Lost Son.' I still see myself as Sam the Speechwriter, I'm just a man not a god. Then, finally, there are the secret service and all the security issues that come with being the President's son. That first week, after I found out the truth, I went with my sister to go get ice cream and got mobbed. I can't do a lot of the things I used to take for granted. I can't go for a walk outside or anywhere without permission."
"That sounds hard…do you ever wish life could go back to the way it was before?" Danny asked him a look of genuine curiosity on his face.
Sam smiled, "Wish…maybe for the privacy and less media attention, but I love my family and I would never want to go back to a time where I didn't know the truth."
Danny smiled, "yes, I can understand that, especially given…you're other family." Sam braced himself for what was coming next. "I can't imagine what life was like with an abusive father and then finding out that the people you believed to be your parents had kidnapped you…"
Sam cleared his throat and fidgeted in his seat, he took a deep breath, "I…I guess it sounds horrible saying I got used to the um…abuse…That sounds even more depressing when I say it out loud, but it's true. I got used to the pain and the harsh words and hating the man I thought was my dad. I…I should have told someone, but I got so used to keeping it a secret, it was just…just part of my life I had accepted it. I had rationalized it too… he promised if I didn't tell anyone he wouldn't hurt my sister. I know, saying it out loud I realize how ridiculous that sounds. Even when I left home…when people asked about the scars or the burns, I would lie. Then I found out he kidnapped me that he wasn't really my dad and worse still that he'd lied. He hurt me again and again, but I couldn't believe he would lie. He hurt my sister and the guilt I feel for not stopping that…it'll haunt me for the rest of my life."
Sam could feel the tears in his eyes at this point. He had been trying to keep all of those feelings about his ex-parents and what his…that monster had done to him and his sister hidden away. He had been trying for months not to think of them at all, to just get on with his life, but he couldn't stop thinking about them.
"But you're working now…to help other people who have been abused right?"
Sam was thankful for the change of topic, "yes, both me and my sisters, Katie and Zoe, have been working with the Childhelp organization doing whatever we can. They focus on the prevention, intervention and treatment of child abuse and neglect. It's a great organization and I'm more than happy to help, child abuse is far too often an occurrence and I want to give a voice to those kids, who can't speak for themselves."
Before Danny could speak again there was a knock and the door and CJ came in. "Sorry, Danny, but it's been ten minutes."
"Wow CJ," Danny stop the recorder and gave CJ a cheeky smile, "what, were you standing outside with a timer counting down the minutes?"
CJ ignored the comment and turned to Sam, "Sam, Toby needs some help writing the President's speech for this afternoon."
Sam nodded and gave CJ a small smile. "Okay CJ." He smiled back at Danny, "see you later Danny." Sam allowed CJ to lead him out of the room.
"Are you okay Sam?" CJ asked with a clearly worried look on her face.
"I'm fine. Relax, I told you I could handle it. It was like therapy except I didn't have to pay him and it only lasted ten minutes. I'm a big boy…"
"I was just asking Sam…oh and before I forget Zoe called."
"Really, did you ask her about her first day at Georgetown?"
"She said it's fine. She likes her teachers so far and she told me to tell you to callas soon as the interview with Danny was over."
"God, you women really need to stop mothering me," CJ clapped him in the back of the head with the file she was holding and Sam shuttled off to Toby's office before she could hit him again.