DISCLAIMER: As per all my work not mine, no money whatsoever, just some writing fun and hopefully reading pleasure
.they are all.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Second Favourite Coffee Mug
"I wouldn't go in there if I were you," warned Margaret when Kate Harper entered the Chief of Staff's outer office.
"Oh?" For all her years of covert operations and advanced skills, even CIA courses taught you to recognise the importance of adhering to personal assistants - many an operative had been forced to take sick leave following an ignored warning.
"She's in a bad mood."
"Ah." Canting her head to one side, Kate reviewed everything she knew about the state of the world as a whole, which was not inconsequential. Unfortunately, she couldn't come up with anything especially grump-inducing as far as CJ was concerned.
"There's a thing?" she finally asked, concluding that CJ's issue must be to do with domestic policy.
"Yes, a thing," confirmed Margaret, nodding her head with enthusiasm, glad that Kate had caught on so quickly to the situation.
"Ah...what sort of thing?"
"A Josh thing."
"Oh..." Frowning, Kate now mentally reviewed everything she knew about what the irrepressible Mr Lyman was involved with right now, sure that if there was something happening that was causing CJ to be having an issue now, she'd have mentioned it at morning staff. Not seeing the light, Kate was finally forced to admit defeat, and concede that yes, Margaret did have more patience than she did when it came to the slow release of information on a need-to-know basis. "...what thing, specifically?"
"Her second favourite coffee mug."
"This wasn't in morning staff," concluded Kate, wondering why this particular object was now causing problems, but deciding this was going to take sufficiently long that she could get comfortable on the corner of Margaret's desk, enabling the assistant to sit down again.
"Yes, it was."
"On her desk."
"She was drinking coffee from Starbucks, she didn't use a mug."
"She uses it as a pencil holder."
"That's her second favourite mug?"
"Where's her favourite mug?"
"Here," explained Margaret, opening her drawer to reveal the mug, sitting carefully in the middle of an otherwise empty drawer.
"Why is it...never mind," Kate interrupted herself, deciding she didn't need to know why Margaret had CJ's favourite coffee mug in her drawer.
"I keep her mug so that the cleaners don't clear it off her desk and send to the Mess for washing. She's still drinking her morning Starbucks and hasn't yelled for coffee yet."
"And she uses her second favourite mug as a pencil holder," confirmed Kate, now understanding her lover's mug preferences.
"So why is this a Josh thing?"
"Yes, when CJ yelled. We all ducked."
"But CJ yells at Josh a lot."
"Yes, but he forgot she was Leo now."
"What did he do?"
"Tell Jenkins the President would never sign the budget as long as his rider was on the bill."
"But the President won't sign," Kate was confused, and Margaret's conversation style was not helping.
"And it's in his column."
"That the President won't sign the budget because he hates green beans, yes."
"Yes. CJ yelled. Twice."
"CJ the Press Secretary called him a moronic fool."
"And CJ the Chief of Staff?"
"Threw her second favourite mug at him."
"And he ducked?" guessed Kate, finally understanding, she thought.
"He failed to catch the coffee mug, so it broke."
"Because it hit him?"
"Because it hit the wall."
"She missed him?"
"By three feet."
"So she's mad."
"About not hitting Josh?"
"And her second favourite coffee mug."
"And her second favourite coffee mug," repeated Kate, standing up.
"I wouldn't go in there," repeated Margaret, seeing Kate looking towards the door before the blonde NSA strode deliberately through the door, closing it behind her, just as Charlie appeared.
"I told her not to go in there."
"Kate is cool, she'll fix it."
"I'm not done yelling Josh," muttered CJ, not looking up from her desk.
"I'm not Josh."
"I yell indiscriminately."
"But you're still here?" asked CJ, amazed, looking up from her file.
"Satellite suggests it will be at least six hours before anyone blows up anyone else."
"So I had time to kill," concluded Kate, settling down on CJ's couch, obviously getting comfortable.
"But you're still here?"
"My lunch trip."
"Lunch trip?" By now, CJ had forgotten all about her work, and her fury.
"I'm going shopping."
"Your new second favourite mug."
"You shop?" asked CJ incredulously.
"You know where to buy mugs in D.C.?"
"Yes, at least, this one I do..." concluded Kate, satisfied she now had an idea what she needed to buy, "...I'll be back..." and, as suddenly as she'd arrived, she'd gone again.
"She's in the Oval," announced Margaret, spotting Kate.
"I'll leave this with you then."
"What is it?"
"Her new second favourite mug."
"You know where to buy mugs?" asked Margaret, amazed, but it was too late, Kate was gone again.
"Kate Harper left this for you."
"What is it Margaret?"
"Your new second favourite mug."
"Oh." Enthused, CJ grabbed the box and tore into it, before pulling out the mug and starting to laugh, "...it's perfect..."
"It's Josh-proof," agreed Margaret, before leaving to answer her phone. Charlie was right, Commander Kate Harper had fixed it, with a stainless steel, military issue, bomb proof tin mug...definitely Josh proof!
Return to The West Wing Fiction
Return to Main Page