Sam, Meet Morpheus
Summary: A need break nearly breaks Sam.
Lazily, languidly, Sam stretched out along the sofa in the campaign ready room. Taking up every glorious inch, he snuggled down a little more. It smelled like decades of cigarettes, and coffee, and held the promise of delicious, blissful sleep. Pure, unfathomable sleep.
"Sam, Ainsley called earlier. She's waiting to hear from you." Donna placed a nearly transparent slip of pretty pale pink paper on his chest, which he dislodged when he turned over onto his side.
So, Ainsley called. At last. Aaall the way from D.C. To tell him, he guessed, that she was wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong, and he was, therefore so right it made her toes curl. Like a game of chess, they'd been going back and forth on state-sponsored reproductive services for a week. By phone, by email; when he was actually in Washington and had but two spare minutes to drop by her office to remind her. She was wrong.
Sam had been patient, and respectful, and made his arguments one careful point at a time. He'd never raised his voice. Once; once he'd raised his voice. But it was only to be heard above her squawking about vaccination subsidies, and he hadn't wanted the debate to veer off course onto that topic.
Sam knew he couldn't argue well from the position of being wrong.
Checking his watch, Sam noticed the date. Ah. The eighth. The report had been leaked today, and now Ainsley had to know. She was wrong, wrong, so very, very wrong.
And she'd know that Sam had access to those statistics long before she, so in all likelihood, she was calling to give him hell.
It didn't make him wrong. And it certainly didn't make her right.
"Do you want me to get her on the line?" Donna inquired from her make-shift desk, clear across the room.
It was possible Ainsley hadn't seen the report yet. It wasn't the sort of thing that normally fell under her purview. The only reason Sam had even engaged in the argument with her in the first place was because she was basing her position on her supposed superior intuitiveness in such matters. Not on any professional research they may or may not have commissioned.
It was possible, entirely in the realm of possibilities, that Ainsley knew nothing of the report. It was also possible that she hadn't even called....
Sam's eye's drifted across the room to Donna, who was sitting sideways in a hard, cushionless chair, one elbow propped on the edge of the desk. Her hair swept over one shoulder, and though she had asked the question, she appeared to be completely uninvested in his answer.
Sam was beginning to think otherwise.
Perhaps Ainsley hadn't called after all. Perhaps this was a ploy, a devious underhanded ploy.
To get Sam off the sofa.
Oh no, he thought. He wasn't falling for that. This couch was his, he'd claimed it fairly, and ferociously. Everyone knew better than to try and separate his depleted body from it any time before the plane was scheduled to leave. There had been a memo.
But now he recalled, as he bumped his butt up against the back of the sofa, that Donna had stood apart from the rest of the staff, as they filed by to wish Sam a good sleep, and leave offerings to help him on his way to a blissful slumber. In fact he remembered quite clearly now - as clearly as his seriously sleep-deprived mind could reconstruct - he was sure he saw her sneer, when he'd growled at CJ's seemingly innocent intent to perch herself next to him.
It was entirely possible, Donna wanted the sofa for herself.
Well, if she thought he'd get up to talk to Ainsley, she was wrong, wrong, wrong.
Unlike Sam, Donna had had time, over the last forty-eight hours, in which to sleep. She had not spent ten hours constructing an exacting speech, full of intricate analogies and unchallengeable facts, only to have it ripped to shreds by an unforeseen foreign affairs fiasco mere hours before it was to be given.
Nor had she needed to simultaneously take a key piece of legislation by its grubby little hand, and drag it through the House kicking and screaming like a cranky three year old, so as to pass with exquisite timing just as the President unveiled his fully-funded program that complemented said legislation so perfectly.
She also didn't have the makings of an ulcer the size of Nova Scotia, her luggage jetting somewhere over the Pacific, or Toby. She certainly didn't have Toby.
And she didn't have, wouldn't get, Sam's sofa.
He'd been promised four hours of uninterrupted sleep. For writing the most soaring and inspiring speech Bartlet claimed to have ever read, and for single-handedly saving nearly a million welfare recipients from being wiped from the rolls overnight.
A hero's sleep, Josh had called it, before presenting Sam with a firm pillow. A much needed reward, Toby intoned, settling a blanket around Sam's perpetually freezing feet. A token of their affection and esteem, CJ concluded, dropping a light kiss to his forehead, and handing over her own highly prized sleeping mask.
No freakin' way Donna was getting his ass off that sofa.
Of course, Sam considered, squirming around until he was completely covered by Toby's blanket, should a national emergency arise.... One in which Sam's impressive insight into the human character, or even something of a strategic nature, with which he was quickly amassing quite the respectable reputation for deducing were to occur, maybe he could pull himself away from the couch for a few hours of high-level meetings.
But he'd need a guarantee that he could go back to sleep, as soon as the world was secure. Otherwise, he wouldn't even consider it. They could talk to Larry, for all he cared.
Donna's legs were curled under her chair, crossed at the ankles. She seemed absorbed in her work, but it was obvious to Sam that she was struggling not to look over at him.
Waiting with studied patience for Sam to leave her an opening.
The way she was tapping her pen against her teeth; winding a strand of hair around her finger. She looked as if she were concentrating on the papers in front of her. But it looked a little too nonchalant to Sam.
Flipping her hair back, exposing a long column of ivory neck. Pure villainy, Sam realized with a start. Could it be that her plan was even more devious than he'd ever imagined possible?
If she couldn't get Sam off the sofa, was it possible she was hoping to... join him there?
He thought back to the hushed discussion she and Josh had after Sam took up possession of his prize.
"We're going to celebrate, Donna. When have we had this much time to kick back in the last week?" he'd whined.
"I'll be fine. And I can guard the room, so no one disturbs Sam. Go. Shoo. Have fun," she'd insisted. Then added in that slightly annoying but still somehow endearing little whine of her own: "But don't have too much fun...."
So, clearly it was her plan all along! To get the others out of the room, out of the building even. Leaving Sam vulnerable. 'Disheveled,' CJ had called him. 'Rumpled,' Margaret had agreed.
And Sam heard somewhere that women loved that.
He sighed deeply. God, all he wanted - needed! was a solid few hours of sleep. Girlish crushes and womanly longings were just going to have to wait. As Josh had put it so succinctly while arguing with Leo to let Sam alone for a few hours: "He's too tired to hold his dick when he takes a piss."
That had sealed it with the Chief of Staff, and word came down from on high that Sam could have full custody of the only comfortable piece of furniture in the entire building.
He heard Donna's chair scrape across the concrete floor, and clenched his eyes shut. Maybe if she thought he was unconscious, she'd give up and go away. The air above him stirred. How, how was he ever going to explain this to Josh?
Sam could feel his heart rate accelerate when he felt Donna lean down over him. "Sam? Saaaam..." she whispered into his ear.
He'd really thought those old rumors about him had been laid to rest over the past three and a half years. So, why did Donna assume that wearing Polo cologne would do more for him than the White Linen that usually wafted off her?
"Saaaaam???? Sam, sweetie?"
He clutched at the top of his blanket, twisted in his fingers.
"Saaaammy? Sam? Sam. SAM!"
"Donna - Wha-?"
"Do I look like Donna?" Charlie smirked back at him.
Sam blinked up with sleep heavy eyes. "Ch- Charlie? Um. Where did Donna - ?"
"Hey, sorry to wake you, but they said to come get you. Now."
Sam pulled his blanket up to his chin. "No. I'm supposed to have - they promised four hours. Go away." He hitched himself up a little, hoping his defiant stance would convince Charlie to get the hell out of there before Sam was forced to --
"You gotta get up now, man. Toby said you could get yourself together in fifteen minutes, so I waited as long as I could...." Charlie plucked the blanket from Sam's hands. "And Toby also said to make sure I got his blanket back."
Groggily, Sam struggled to a sitting position. "Wait. They promised! Four hours!"
"And you got five, 'cause the flight was delayed. But it's time to go, buddy." Charlie stepped away from the sofa, to reveal Donna, standing directly behind him.
"Donna! What the hell...? I thought you were guarding me?"
She snorted dryly, and handed him his sweater. "Yes, and can I tell you what a thrill it's been, watching you sleep for five hours."
Reaching automatically for the proffered sweater, Sam shook his head. "But, I never got a chance to sleep. I, I was just starting to doze off when you - when Charlie - "
"Sam, you were asleep the minute your head hit the pillow," Donna informed him, and turned to gather her things. "I told you Ainsley called and you didn't even answer; you were out."
The sun had set. Sam instinctively looked at his wrist.
"I took your watch off. As adorable as it was to see you with your hands all scrunched under your head like that, I figured you wouldn't appreciate the round, red indentation on your cheek when you woke up." She passed his watch to him, and headed for the exit.
In the darkened office, Sam sat. Rumpled and disheveled. "Oh god," he groaned. "It was all a...?" Shrugging lazily, he got to his feet. "At least I got my four hours," he mused, pulling his sweater over his head backwards, tag jutting out under his chin....
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