TITLE: Goldfish for Congress
AUTHOR: Julian Lee
CATEGORY: challenge response; CJ/Ainsley, but only *very* obliquely
SPOILERS: "Life on Mars"
ARCHIVE: Yes to list archives; others please ask.
DISCLAIMER: "The West Wing" and its characters belong to NBC and John Wells Productions. But they like me better.
SUMMARY: Sam's not the only member of the Bartlet team with personal political ambitions.
NOTES: For Shoshanna & her effing brilliant goldfish challenge.
Goldfish for Congress by Julian Lee
"You know that campaigning on federal property is illegal."
CJ looks up. "Joe Quincy. Spreading joy wherever you go."
Quincy's hands are stuffed in his pockets. Classic defensive posture. "Campaigning on federal prop--"
"As it happens," CJ says, dropping her glasses onto the desk, "I do know that. Where am I doing this campaigning?"
One hand comes out of Quincy's pocket. When CJ sees where his finger points, she laughs. "Would you like *her* resignation in the morning?"
Ainsley had a house made for Gail, an exact replica of theirs. Today, Gail's 'front yard' proudly displays a 'Seaborn for Congress' lawn sign - just like CJ and Ainsley's.
"I think it's cute," Quincy insists, "the attention to detail. But the law in this case is very clear, and--"
CJ waves off the rest of his sentence. "Fine, Joe. I understood." Sighing, she reaches carefully into the bowl and removes the lawn sign. "You know," she says as she dries the lamination with her fingers and tucks the sign into her briefcase, "if you're going to survive here, you're going to have to learn to lighten up."
Quincy cracks an almost-smile. "I'm a Republican, CJ. I'm sure my predecessor made it clear that Republicans don't have senses of humor."
Drumming her fingers on the desktop, CJ challenges, "Your predecessor made that lawn sign."
"Did she? Hmm." Quincy stares into Gail's bowl for a minute. "Maybe there's hope for me yet." He returns his hands to his pockets and turns to go. "Good-bye, CJ."
"See you 'round, Joe Quincy." As he walks away, she calls, "Carol? Better move the press conference to the house; Gail can't announce her candidacy from the press room."
Quincy slows, then stops. "That's a joke, right? I get that. It's funny."
CJ grins and goes back to work.
When she returns from the 2:00 briefing, she notices there's a new sign in the fishbowl. Frowning, she approaches her desk. "Carol? Did Ainsley come by while I was in the briefing?"
"I didn't see her, boss."
"Okay." CJ bends down and stares into the bowl. The sign is blue with a red fish in the corner and white lettering that reads, "Goldfish for Congress."
Laughing, she clicks her 'Compose Message' icon.
Re: Thank you for your campaign contribution
Dear Mr. Quincy,
The candidate's name is Gail, and she's running for Senate. However, she appreciates your efforts toward her election and is proud to add your name to her donor rolls.
Claudia Jean Cregg, campaign finance manager, Gail for Senate.
P.S.: You destroyed our Vice President and seem to want to suck away what little fun remains to us, but you're all right, Joe Quincy.
CJ sends the message and reaches for her phone. She has to tell Ainsley that there's finally someone in the family with ambitions toward an elected post.
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