Character(s): CJ Cregg, Jed Bartlet, Leo McGarry, Nancy McNally, OFC, OMC, Percy Fitzwallace
Summary: "It gets stressful around here; we have to gossip about something."
Author's Note: #21 in the Love Connection series. I decided to go back since I never really addressed the space between the first date and Nancy asking her to move in. Doug of course is original, and so is Lauren, but the rest come from Aaron Sorkin's genius mind.
Nancy dialed the number on her phone, trying to pretend she was not smiling. It rang three times before she answered.
“Hey. How are you?”
“Good. I wanted to call, but I never know how busy you are.”
“Yeah, but that’s what voicemail is for. I'm sorry about last night.”
Nancy and Lauren had plans to see La Boheme at the Kennedy Center but Nancy had to cancel at the last minute... a copter went down near Mogadishu. Lauren was disappointed but understanding; she took her friend Maggie Carpenter.
“Maggie and I had a nice time. It really is a lovely opera.”
“Yeah. I want to make it up to you.”
“You have my attention Dr. McNally.” Lauren replied.
“I can leave early tomorrow and we can meet at my place. We’ll have dinner, talk a bit...have a nice evening in.”
Nancy stopped listening as Fitz walked in without knocking.
“Hutchison is an unmitigated ass. Do you believe this idiot wants to start dropping bombs on Rwanda? Like that really went well the last time.”
“I'm on the phone.” Nancy said through clenched teeth.
“Oh shit.” Fitz sat in a chair. “Sorry.”
OK, Nancy had not expected him to sit. She went back to her cell phone.
“Baby, I have to go. I will try to call later but I make no promises.”
“OK. Bye Nance.”
Nancy flipped her phone off, looking hard at the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Fitz looked right back with his “scary” naval stare. This went on for about 45 seconds before Nancy cracked with a smirk.
“Give it up McNally. No one beats me in a staring contest. Baby, huh? Is this the cute girl CJ introduced you to?”
“What's happening in Rwanda?” she asked, crossing her arms.
“The copter definitely went down about 15 miles outside of Mogadishu. We haven’t been able to establish contact with any of the seven soldiers on board.”
“Was it an accident?”
“Shannon thinks it may have been shot down by rebels and Brennan concurs. Rescue and recovery are taking precedence in my head right now over why. Still, I don’t want to send troops in over an accident.”
“What are our people saying?” Nancy asked. “I know we have to have something.”
“The Kenyans think they could be dissolving into another bloody Civil War. That’s the most we can get right now from the Embassy and people on the ground. Rwanda may be falling apart; I think a fact-finding team should be sent ASAP.”
“State, CIA, military intelligence. I want Doug in on this one.”
“OK. We should brief the President with what we know.”
“Yeah. Was that the pretty brunette on the phone?”
The conversation had come full circle but Nancy refused to bite the bait.
“You said she was smart, and pretty. Are you two dating now?”
“Percy Fitzwallace, cut it out. There are important things we have to handle right now.”
“We’re handling it. I hope that was her, as you haven’t dated since the fall of the Berlin Wall.”
“Seriously. What was her name anyway? She was um, she worked at Langley right? Monica, Marissa maybe?”
“I hope you don’t expect me to talk about her. Her name was Marcella.”
“Marcella, yeah, that’s it. We could solve all of this by you answering my questions.”
“It was Lauren, OK? We are dating, or whatever the hell you call it. She is nice, and smart. And probably one of the most beautiful women I have seen in a long time.”
“I am sensing a problem.” Fitz replied.
Nancy stood, smoothing out her slacks.
“Don’t we have to brief the President?”
“Mmm hmm. Do we agree on the fact-finding mission? You know I hate going in there and playing good cop, bad cop.”
“Why? You usually win. We do agree for right now, but we can adapt as more information filters in. The President will not sit by if they were shot down, and I won't let him. Is the Middle East quiet?” she asked.
“Today. That won't last for long...we’re waiting for the other shoe to drop. Qumar is going to blame Israel, but its just an excuse to start a holy war.”
“Will you be able to sleep knowing we started this?”
“Yes. He was the enemy Nancy...we didn’t have a choice. Don’t get me started.”
“Yes, yes, we killed Yamamoto. I remember. We also agree nearly 100% on this subject. Now lets brief the President before all hell breaks loose.”
“I hear someone has a girlfriend.”
The briefing was over. The only people left in the Oval were the President, Leo, Fitz, Nancy and Doug. Nancy looked around.
“You cannot be serious.” She muttered.
“Oh come on Nancy. It can get stressful around here; we have to gossip about something.”
“Well, for the record I don’t have a girlfriend sir. I have been on a few dates. My job does not afford me the extravagance of a social life. It hardly affords me daily showers sir.”
Jed Bartlet smiled.
“Is she pretty?” he asked.
“A Masters degree from UCBerkeley Mr. President.”
“Well well, Leo would know how smart that is.”
“Leo thinks he would rather have thumbtacks stuck in his eyes than to join in this conversation.” The Chief of Staff said in his usual tone.
“Bring her to the Portuguese State Dinner next week. I am anxious to meet her; she must be special.”
“The jury is still out.” Nancy replied.
“Bullshit.” Doug said in a sneeze.
She turned to him.
“Keep quiet you.”
All the men laughed.
“Hey Doug, we have to sit down to lunch sometime soon.” The President said as Charlie entered the room and he threw on his suit jacket. “I need some pointers on how to keep control when Albie is in the room.”
“Yes sir. I would be glad to help. How are you Charles?”
“Very good Mr. Pierce, thank you.”
“I need an update in two hours.”
“Yes sir. Thank you Mr. President.”
Fitz stayed behind with the President and Leo. Doug and Nancy took the scenic route back to the OEOB. It was right next door of course but they went nearly three blocks out of the way for Doug to get a warm twist pretzel with sweet mustard.
“Sorry about the ambush in the Oval.” He said, breaking off a piece for her.
“Oh right. Your extra added bullshit sneeze did not help.”
“I was just keeping it real.”
“Doug, you just said keeping it real.”
“I know. I somehow got involved in a conversation with a bunch of interns at lunch a couple of days ago. It must have been said about 22 times. Did I use it correctly?”
“Yeah, and that is the part that shocks me the most.”
“Funny girl. I think we can get those soldiers home in 36 hours if they survived the crash. I just don’t think military action is necessary; not until we know more.”
“Well I want to do something before some ingenious rebel sends a videotape to CNN or e-mails photos to the New York Times with soldiers in blindfolds, guns to their head, denouncing our godless government. Covert military actions happen everyday, particularly in that region of the world. May I have another piece?”
Doug handed her the pretzel as they crossed Pennsylvania Avenue at 18th.
“Why are you limping?” Nancy asked.
“Damn war wound. You know how it is...$50 says it will rain tomorrow and the day after.”
“Who needs the National Weather Service when I have Doug Pierce.” She gave the pretzel back. “You sure you're alright?”
“Yes. Are you going to see the pretty redhead again?”
‘She is not a redhead...those are highlights. I will see her again; I am trying to negotiate for an early release tomorrow.”
“So,” he leaned his shoulder on hers. “could this be something? Does she have potential to end the dry spell?”
“We’ve already slept together; the drought is over. She is...something but it is only a matter of time before the hours start to get to her.”
“She works for CNN. That is definitely not a nine to five. She understands the hustle.”
“I don’t want that CNN thing getting around Dougie.” They walked into the OEOB. “It could be more trouble than it is worth.”
Lauren was smoking a cigarette with a few colleagues outside the CNN Washington Bureau at 8:35 when her phone rang. She smiled, excusing herself from the group.
“Hi. I am leaving early tomorrow and we’re going to have a lovely evening. Will you be able to clear your schedule? I am sorry for the short notice.”
“I don’t care. I will be there; what time?”
Nancy smiled on the other side of the phone.
“You're smiling right now. I can feel it.” Lauren said.
“Yes, that’s scary. How about seven thirty? I really do want to see you.”
“Seven thirty sounds good. I am looking forward to it. Since this cigarette is almost gone I had better go.”
“OK. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“I...I really do miss you.” Lauren said. “I wasn’t sure if I would say so because I didn’t want to sound dorky.”
“Dorky? Yeah, you did. I liked hearing it anyway.”
“Good. See ya.”
“See ya later baby.”
Lauren wanted to melt into the cracks of the sidewalk as the phone line went dead. Every time that name came from Nancy’s lips, she wanted to undress and do deliciously naughty things to herself and the National Security Advisor. Oh God, it had been so long since they made love...life dragged them in so many directions. They had some time for a few lunches, coffee, and the occasional make out session. Nine times out of ten, it was interrupted by a crisis of some sort. Things were crazy in the world right now but Nancy assured her they would not always be. She told her that the decision to stay or go was, of course, hers, but she wanted her to stay. Lauren wasn’t walking out anyway but she definitely wasn’t after she heard that.
In her OEOB office, Nancy grabbed her legal pad and wrote out a menu. It had been a while since she had the time to cook; rice krispy treats and French fries did not count. Maybe Lauren would like country meatloaf with the homemade mashed potatoes and green beans. No, too Little House on the Prairie. Maybe grilled chicken with tomato sauce and mozzarella sitting on a bed of rotini would be better. Then she could buy two bottles of red wine and a nice Italian loaf. Yes, yes, Italian would be perfect. It would call for a little Mario Lanza on vinyl and candlelight.
It seemed like a long time since she had seen Lauren, though it had only been a little over a week. That was how Nancy knew she met someone she liked...dare she say she missed Lauren? She loved Lauren’s confident talk with the shaky nervousness underneath. Something about that was so sexy and appealing. Speaking of sexy, that woman was amazing in bed. It had been too long for Nancy to mention since she had gone to bed with a woman...longer than that since it was good.
With Lauren, it was better than good; the word cosmic came to mind. Nancy did not want to get too far ahead of herself though. She had no time for a love affair, and the women still had to get to know each other better. But just thinking of them being together and naked in about 28 hours made Nancy flustered. She deserved the gift of Lauren after another long week.
The Press Secretary looked up from her briefing book, smiling at the National Security Advisor. Suddenly she stopped.
“Oh lord, did things change in Mogadishu?”
“No change.” She walked in and closed the door. “This visit is personal, sort of.”
“OK. Sit down and tell me what I can do for you.”
“You have known Lauren for a long time, right? Normally, I would not come to you and put you in this position and once we know each other better I won't ever have to do this again but...”
“Nancy, what do you need?”
“I thought you could tell me something she liked.” Nancy said.
“What do you mean?”
“We have a date tomorrow and it has been some time since we’ve been alone. I thought a trinket of some sort would bring a smile to her face.”
“Lauren loves things she can eat. Bonbons, chocolate, that sort of thing. She loves jewelry too, but I don’t think you would go there after so little time. To be honest Nancy, you could get her a history book and she would melt. I think you could get her a popsicle and she would melt.”
“You know something I don’t McGarry?” Nancy asked.
“Probably not, even if it hasn’t been verbalized yet. I did know you had a date tomorrow...Lauren had to call someone and gush.”
“Yeah.” Nancy headed to the door. “I will think of something...on the trinket front.”
“Alright. But I hope you don’t feel like you have to buy her something.”
“Didn’t Leo buy you nice things when you first started dating?”
“We barely dated. And while he did purchase a few choice gifts in the beginning, it was the intimacy that told me how he felt. C'mon, you know Leo; he was not spouting out poetry.”
“I should think not. Thanks for your help CJ...go home to your baby.”
“Tell me about it. Soon.”
“I don’t know why you didn’t take 12 weeks of maternity leave.”
“During the reelection? Are you insane? You can't get one day off and you're wondering why I didn’t take off twelve weeks. Six was crazy enough. I still have Simon, Henry and the others doing some of the briefings. I usually just stay until six but I am playing catch up tonight. I am leaving soon; my husband should be in any minute to play the sexist card.”
Nancy rolled her eyes.
“Has he done that? A part of me is not at all surprised.”
“I have to remember that as much as I love my husband he is from the generation where women stayed home. He does not have anything against women working, its just...the whole situation is as complicated as he is.”
“I get it. We’ll talk soon.”
Nancy left at 3:30 on Friday afternoon. The four survivors and three bodies of the soldiers who went down near Mogadishu were on their way to Rammstein AFB. Another serious crisis averted, though people were looking into if they were shot down or not. Nancy put her chicken in the oven and went to take a shower. It was a long one...she needed to shake off the whole week. Drying off she lotioned while listening to Billie Holliday. It took over an hour to blow dry and straighten her hair; Nancy was not sure if she would be able to put either of her arms down for the next couple of days but she looked good. The price of beauty was certainly hefty. Back in the living room, she lit a couple of ocean-scented candles before fluffing all the couch pillows.
While boiling the water for the pasta, Nancy checked the chicken. Billie had changed over to Chaka Khan and Nancy sang along. Oh God, were her hands actually trembling? Damn if she wasn’t nervous. A glass of wine would calm her down. Unfortunately, she had to leave her phone on, but it was in her nightstand drawer. She would check the messages after dinner as world annihilation would not stop for a night of romance. There was a shiver through her when the door buzzed. Seven thirty already...time moved too fast.
“Come on up.”
Nancy buzzed her in. She opened her door and looked at the two agents on post.
“My guest is on her way up. Please don’t look so intimidating.”
Nancy closed the door again. She checked herself in the mirror and took a deep breath. Lauren knocked, Nancy opened the door, and her greeting died on her lips. She looked amazing in white hip-hugger slacks and a silver top. It sparkled, with spaghetti straps, and was backless. Only a string kept it from falling off altogether.
“Hey Nance, gonna let me in.”
“Yeah, come in.”
The National Security Advisor waited until the door was secure to put her arms around Lauren.
“It is good to see you Lauren. You look amazing.”
They kissed for a while, a satisfied smile across Lauren’s face when she moved away.
“I have to say, you look damn good yourself.”
Nancy smiled as Lauren held her back a bit and examined her outfit. White linen pants and a light blue v-neck tank top. Her breasts looked magnificent and suddenly Lauren was not hungry for anything but her. She had to at least make it through dinner; show a little restraint.
“What did you do to your hair?” she asked, following Nancy into the kitchen. “I like it.”
“I just blew it out...nothing special really.”
“Thanks. Will you have a glass of wine?”
“Yeah. Dinner smells delicious.”
“I decided on Italian. You almost had traditional American.”
“Nancy, I love food. Either way I would have been happy.”
Smiling, Nancy poured a glass of wine. She took the chicken from the oven and served up two plates while Lauren watched her.
“The place settings are lovely.” Lauren said as she sat down.
“They belonged to my great-grandmother and my mother gave them to me. Stop it with all the compliments.”
“Oh right, you don’t do well with compliments. I'm nervous.”
“Why? We’ve done this before.” Nancy said.
“Yeah, but I honestly wasn’t sure if we would do it again. Both of our lives are hectic right now. I waited all day for you call to postpone.”
“I don’t know what to say about that. Let’s make a toast.”
“To what?” Lauren held up her glass.
“To a wonderful night together and an adventurous weekend.”
“Our lives are hectic, but this weekend is free and I want to spend it with you. As much of it as I can.”
“I didn’t bring any clothes.”
“That’s not going to be a problem. Look, you're blushing.”
“I'm sure I'm not.”
“I'm sure you are. So, our toast?”
They touched glasses and Lauren sipped her wine. She seemed quite satisfied with dinner...threw more compliments Nancy’s way.
“Do you cook?” Nancy asked.
“I do. My mother made sure we all learned to so we could survive. She also taught me to sew, knit, do laundry, iron, and clean a chimney flue. Mama is definitely a Jack of all trades.”
“Sounds like it. Oh hey, I bought you something.”
“Because I felt like it.”
Nancy left the room, coming back with a wrapped gift. She handed it to Lauren. She tore the paper off with the glee of a kid.
“Oh Nancy, this is...where the hell did you find this?”
“I know people, I can't tell you too much or you could disappear. Do you like it?”
Lauren was holding a small, leather bound copy of the diary of General Edward Pakenham. He was the British general who lost the Battle of New Orleans.
“I love it. Oh wow, its perfect for my collection.”
Lauren went and sat on her lap, wrapping her arms around Nancy’s neck.
“Its amazing. You're amazing.”
“Is that so?”
She kissed her softly, moaning as Nancy’s fingers crept across her naked back.
“Lets go to the bedroom now.” Lauren whispered.
“So we can make love. Mmm, I missed you so much.”
“Yes. And I want you now Dr. McNally. Now, now, now!”
Lauren got up, took her hands, and led her to the bedroom. Up against the wall in the hallway, their tongues tangled as Nancy untied Lauren’s shirt. She shrugged it off her arms and it fell to the floor. She held Nancy’s arms at her side and the National Security Advisor smiled. With a knowing smile, she went down on her knees, yanked the linen pants and panties down, and pushed Nancy’s legs apart.
“Oh my God!”
Nancy threw her head back, knocking it against the wall. She shook off the pain...it only lasted for a few seconds anyway. Lauren pushed her legs apart further, running her tongue across Nancy’s clit as her fingers explored her.
“Oh baby! Oh baby! Fuck me harder!”
She felt her orgasm start at the tips of her toes and as it engulfed her she purred like a lazy tigress. Lauren kissed across her stomach, up her chest, discarding the tank top, up her throat to her mouth.
“Baby, that was so good.” Nancy murmured.
“I'm glad you liked it. I love the noises you make; you're my little boo boo kitty.”
Lauren kissed her and they made their way into the bedroom. The few clothes left fell to the floor and they lay on the bed.
“I missed you so much.” Lauren whispered.
“Me too baby. You taste so good.”
They were playful, touching and tickling each other. Nancy kissed all over her body until Lauren was incoherent. When she grinded against her, Lauren gripped her back.
“Nancy!” she squealed.
Nancy stroked her tenderly while Lauren arched her back.
“Tell me how good it feels.” Nancy said, kissing her breasts.
“Wonderful.” She laughed. “Oh God, so wonderful, don't stop.”
She ran her fingers through Nancy’s hair as she made love to her breasts. Lauren knee went in the air; she shouted out her orgasm while gripping both Nancy and the sheets. She pulled Nancy into her arms.
“Lets draw up a contract.” Lauren said.
“That you do that for me three days a week no matter how this thing goes.”
Nancy laughed, kissing her cheek.
“What do I get?”
“The sheer joy of giving me pleasure.”
“What's behind Door #2? A new car perhaps?”
“Um, my undying affection?”
“You're getting warmer.”
They kissed again as Nancy threw the sheet over their naked bodies.
“OK, OK, um, weekly back and foot massages and home-cooked meals?” Lauren suggested.
“How about just because I think you're adorable and I really like you?”
She cuddled in Nancy’s arms, sighing as they settled into a comfortable silence.
“I really like you too Nancy. And not just because of this...though this is fantastic.”
“So I guess we’ll just keep seeing each other.” Nancy replied.
“Yeah. Goodnight boo boo kitty.”
Lauren kissed her and Nancy cringed. OK, that was definitely going to have to go. Maybe she could negotiate it along with the foot massages.
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