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Story [The West Wing] Canadians in the East Wing (Dear Diary Challenge 2017) COMPLETED DEC 30

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by Briannakin , Jan 2, 2017.

  1. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    Title: Canadians in the East Wing
    Author: Briannakin
    Series: The West Wing
    Timeframe: Post Season 7
    Characters: Helen Santos, Donna Moss, Matt Santos, Josh Lyman, Annabeth Schott and many others.

    Notes and Disclaimer: I am writing this for the 2017 Dear Diary Challenge! This will be my first foray into a long NSWFF. As a disclaimer, know I am a fairly new fan of The West Wing, not to mention I am Canadian. Like the show, I will take some purposeful liberties when it comes to life in the White House, but I am trying to do research to make this as accurate as I can. HOWEVER, I’m not even going to pretend I even have a “general knowledge” of how the US Government works (I have some, but it is far from comprehensive), so mistakes will be made. Feel free to correct me. I can’t guarantee I’ll change the story unless it is a minor detail or some huge mistake, but I want to learn. There might also be a bit of idealization because I feel we may need it in the coming year (also, because the original show had a fair amount of idealization of politics as well).

    If you have not seen The West Wing, I do hope you stick around to read this diary. I have a general info blurb in a spoiler tag below which includes some youtube videos (because it’s 2017), and through-out the year (if needed and if non-watchers are reading and enjoying) I’ll include other background info. Plus the first entries by Helen and Donna are both serve as introductions with the majority of the info you should need.

    The West Wing was an American TV drama that aired from 1999 to 2006. The show took place in an “alternate universe” and covered the majority of the presidential term of Josiah Bartlet (who served as president from January 1999 to January 2007) and focused on president as well as his staff. In the 6th season, Congressman Matt Santos is introduced and much of the final two seasons focus on how he is elected the next president, with the help and guidance a few key members of Bartlet’s former staff (all will be introduced with some background as the become relevant) becoming a part of his and his wife’s staff. The show ends on January 20, 2007 with Matthew Santos becoming the President of the United States (and his wife, Helen Santos, becoming the First Lady).

    The following two YouTube videos do a fairly decent job summarizing the Santos’ story arc: Part 1; Part 2 (for reference, Helen Santos is the blonde woman at 7:08 and Donna is the blonde woman at 8:45 of the first video; both are seen more in the 2nd video).

    More info on “The West Wing” general fictional timeline can be found here, but basically everything in history before Richard Nixon’s presidency is the same, but the timeline diverges from our own during the Nixon presidency (there are fan theories as to the details that explain why the election cycle is 2 years off, but it is never explained in the show).


    Canadians in the East Wing
    The personal journals of First Lady Helena Santos and Chief of Staff to the First Lady, Donnatella Moss
    Edited by Penelope Socks
    2064 Fanfic Press

    Editor’s Forward

    The following is a selection of journal entries from First Lady Helena (Helen) Santos and the woman that served as her Chief of Staff, Donnatella (Donna) Moss. As their diaries span several years, this is an abridged version, therefore there will be large gaps in the dates. Both women wrote entries in the same journals, with the intention of their writings eventually becoming published. They provided suitable introductions to their stories and wrote with an future audience in mind, however, some entries will be forwarded with “editors notes”. Note that for reader’s ease, each woman’s entries have been formatted with different colours. It was a joy for me to compile this intimate look at life inside the most powerful house in the United State of America.

    P. S.


    Helen Santos - January 19th, 2007 - Entry 1

    Tomorrow, I start living the first line of my obituary (and my wikipedia page; I’m not sure which is scarier). Tomorrow, the man I freely chose to spend my life with, who I love with all my being, and who I like most days of the week, becomes the most powerful man in the world. Tomorrow, I become the First Lady of the United States of America.

    I was born Helena Marcelina Chlebek in Stavely, Alberta, Canada. How I managed to become Helen Santos, wife to the first Hispanic man to be elected President of the United States of America, is a long, unlikely story, but my personal origins are surprisingly easy to summarize.

    My father, Bogdan Chlebek, immigrated to Canada from Poland in 1935, when he was just four months old, and with his family, settled in the cattle community of Stavely in southern Alberta (where the population has remained a steady 453 people). In 1956, he traveled to Texas for a livestock auction for his father’s cattle ranch. There, he met Angelina Stawski, the descendant of Polish immigrants from the 1850s. The two bonded over their culture and Roman Catholic religion, fell in love, got married, moved to live in a tiny house on the Chlebek cattle ranch where they had four children. I was the third, born in 1968. When my grandfather, who owned the ranch, died in 1981, my father and mother decided to sell the ranch and move to warmer parts: Texas; to be closer to my mother’s family.

    I, being, 13, was forced to move to Huston, Texas. I met Matt while I was in college (which is a tale better saved for another entry).

    Matthew Vincente Santos was born in Huston, Texas, in 1961. He’s the fourth out of seven children and grew up in the oldest Mexican-American neighborhood in Huston - being of the sixth generation of Santos’ to do so. When I met him, he was a Naval Aviator in the Marines, having graduated top of his class at the United States Naval Academy. He is 7 years older than me, but once we realized we loved each other, it was meant to be. We were married the autumn of 1991.

    I studied anthropology and archeology in school and received my Bachelor of Arts degree in 1991 and my Master’s in 1993. It was hardly training for the life I’m about to live or the role I will soon have. Our tentative plan was, when Matt got out of the Marines full-time, I was going to return to school and get my PhD so I could teach. But when Matt entered the Marine Corps Reserve in ’93, he knew he wanted to pursue a career in politics. He told me it was going to be an adventure. I just never thought the adventure would land him into the position of president.

    He began as a councilman for the City of Huston. During that time I had Peter Matthew, our son, now 11. Then Matt decided he wanted to run for mayor. He won. Twice. He ran for congress in 2000 and served three terms as Representative for Texas’ 18th District. I had Miranda Marie, who is now almost 6, in 2001: Matt’s first year in congress. How I survived that, I don’t know.

    Matt had decided he was finished with politics. He had grown frustrated with the lack of impact he was able to have on every-day life of average people. Just when it looked like I could finish my education, Joshua Lyman showed up at our doorstep on Christmas Eve. Somehow, he convinced Matt to run for president. I had my mouth full of melted ice-cream when Matt shared with me the “stupid idea”. But I could see it in his eyes: he wanted it.

    At first, he entered the race for Democratic nominee for the 2006 presidential election simply to bring awareness to issues: mainly education reform. He simply wanted to stay in the race long enough for the Texas primaries so he could show so many children that the colour of their skin did not matter. Then, something bizarre happened. He actually started winning. He won the nomination and somehow, he won the presidency.

    Now, after almost 3 months, the transition period is over. Tomorrow he takes the oath of office. I will be at his side, as I always am.

    So I guess today is just as good of a day to start as any to start a new journal. I used to write in diaries a lot as a kid; it helped me process thoughts. Though those always remained private. This journal (much like my entire life now) is meant to be eventually read by whoever wants to. People in my position (or rather the position I will hold as of noon tomorrow) often publish personal memoirs, so why not do both at once?

    I asked the woman who I have asked to be my chief of staff, to join me in this chronicling venture. I will let her introduce herself. I asked her to be my right-hand person because I felt we have a friendship forming, plus, she recently relieved that she was technically born in Canada, so I feel as though our professional and personal connection was fate. Plus it really just bugged Matt that I managed to get her on my staff and he didn't get her. She has much more experience in the world of politics than I, but even she has admitted she feels like a novice in this world. But at this point, I feel completely lost without her.

    If anything, this will be an entertaining look at life inside America’s most powerful home, from the point of view of two Canadians.

    H.S.


    Donna Moss - 01/19/2007 - Entry 1

    Hello. This is my first time writing something that a large audience will actually read. I guess I shall start with introducing myself and catching everyone up with my story so far.

    My name is Donnatella Kathrine Moss. I was born in Warroad, Minnesota, which, just a few years ago, was repositioned into Canada when that section of the boarder was reexamined. Though I technically kept my American Citizenship, I was officially born in Manitoba, Canada. That is probably the most interesting fact about me. My mom is Celia Moss, a nurse, and my father is Kevin Moss, an accountant. We moved to Wisconsin when I was 6 and I have two younger brothers: Dario and Dante (Mom picked all our names).

    I studied at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, though I never settled on a major. I had to drop out to support my boyfriend, who promptly dumped me after he finished medical school. It was then that I joined "Bartlet for America" presidential campaign that eventually won. It was there that I met Josh Lyman. I had pretended to be assigned as his assistant. But I guess he liked me, because he hired me and I spent six years as his assistant - my official role was Senior Assistant to the Deputy White House Chief of Staff for Strategic Planning. It was mostly good, but it got to a point where I could no longer work under him. I quit and became a senior aid on the Bob Russell presidential campaign, at the same time when Josh was knocking on the Santos’ door. However, when Russell lost the nomination to Santos, I was hired as a campaign spokeswoman for Santos. Mrs. Santos and I grew to be friends, I feel, on the campaign. And, Josh and I, finally, realized the feelings we have for each other. We haven’t said as much, but we are dating.

    When, against what felt like all odds, Santos won, I was offered deputy White House press secretary by Josh and Helen Santos offered me the position of her Chief of Staff. I knew I could not work under Josh and date him at the same time. I think that’s part of reason why it took us so long to get to this point in our personal relationship. After much thought, I took Mrs. Santos' offer. Though my experience is largely in the West Wing, for some reason I felt it was the right choice for me as soon as I made it. I’m not sure why I didn’t make this move years ago.

    Though this where we belong, I have a feeling the adventure has only started.

    Helen Santos is a smart and savvy woman. The Office of the First Lady can do so much. We might not be the activists that our predecessor Abbey Bartlet and her staff were. But we really have a platform like no other, and we intend to use it.

    D.M.
     
  2. JediMaster_Jen

    JediMaster_Jen Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Spectacular start! I'm a huge fan of The West Wing so I'm excited to read this. =D=
     
  3. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2005
    Yay yay yay!!!
    [​IMG]

    I love the backstory you give Helen and her family! It gives us a much more rich picture of a character we didn't get to know very well on the show.
    I also love how you use Donna's being Canadian here. I loved that story line on the show and the meta-ness of a Canadian writing two Canadian women who are so involved in U.S. politics is so great!

    This idea is fantastic, the diary of a first lady certainly would be an interesting read and quite a plausible idea. But to have her Chief of Staff as well, that really will show us multiple perspectives of similar events, which is always great!

    I'm sooo looking forward to this!
    Will to tag me when you update, please?

    Edit: I forgot to say that I love the editor's last name being Socks and how it's published Fanfic press! [face_laugh]
     
    Briannakin likes this.
  4. pronker

    pronker Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Way to go starting the challenge, and good luck to you this year:cool: . Interesting and fun point to make them Canadians looking in from the outside and now being as far inside as one can be. :)
     
  5. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Oh, this is going to be fantastic, I can feel it. :cool: [face_dancing]

    First off, your title. That gave me such a chuckle - what a way to use Donna's unique citizenship, and give Helen a similar such backstory to frame this story. I loved reading the summations on both ladies, and am looking forward to following their escapades in the White House for the year to come.

    For this particular update, lines that really stood out to me were: Helen living the first line of her Wikipedia page/obituary - that drew a chuckle from me :p; Donna's mom being the one to name the kids - because of course; and the last line of Donna's entry. There's so much hope and determination to make a difference there that it was refreshing to read; it's how the First Lady and her Chief of Staff should be at the start of a presidential term. And it's particularly sad in the face of American politics right now, but I digress.

    So, brilliant start, and I can't wait to read more! =D=
     
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  6. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    Thanks! Hopefully I do it justice.

    Thanks. Helen Santos was one of the (many new) characters I thought could have been so much richer in terms of character depths. I really enjoyed the last two seasons of TWW (I know I might be in the minority) but there were a number of characters that either lost their personality (Will Bailey, Abbey Bartlet) or never really had the chance to establish themselves.

    I love the "Donna is Canadian" story line too, so when I decided to make Helen Canadian to make up for my lack of knowledge, I just had to use that story line for the title.

    Thanks. Of course I will tag you.

    ALSO, the "Penelope Socks" is a long-used pseudonym in my family (from my grandmother who swears that is what she will change her name to since my grandfather can't say or spell it), so I had to use it for this for the "socks".

    Thanks! Donna being born in Canada is actually canon, but there will be a fair bit of "outsiders now being on the inside" here.

    Thank you so much. Normally I suck at titles, but as soon as I thought of that one, I had to go with it and make Helen a Canadian. Plus Canadian jokes are always funny.

    And Donna's mom naming the children will come up again ;)

    This will be a bit idealistic and hopeful. But I think we all need it this year.
     
  7. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    A/N: so these entries got really flipping long, so I had to break up what I had planned, but together they still ended up on the longer side of what I normally post. But if no one who hasn’t watched TWW comes along, I’ll cut down on the explanatory stuff.

    Tag List: @mavjade


    Helen Santos - January 21st, 2007 - Entry 2

    I want to assure readers and whoever will be eventually editing this diary that I won’t be recounting what I do each day, down to each minute. But yesterday was probably one of those days that warrants such a documentation. My husband became the president yesterday in the longest and most tiring day known to humankind.

    I woke up at 5:30 am. Matt was already awake, sipping coffee by the window. We were staying in Blair House - the President’s Guest House - for the transition. The kitchens were bigger than the house I grew up in. I signed as I sat down beside him on the window seat.

    “Are you ready for this?” he asked me. I doubt he had slept at all. I certainly had troubles.

    I sighed softly. “No.” I rested my head on his shoulder. “But you are.”

    He rested his head on mine. “You have been so very supportive.”

    I laughed. “I doubt others have seen it that way.” I thought back to the few times when I have lashed out at his staff for pulling him away from Miranda and Peter - I’ll admit, for very important matters like who will be vice-president. The man who would have been vice-president died on election night. I will always be grateful to Leo McGarry for helping Matt realize this dream. His presence will be missed and his death left a hole, not just in the chain of succession. Matt’s victory was not the same without Leo.

    “You have,” he tried to convince me. “You never asked for this. But you have been here, this entire time, supporting me.” He kissed me on the temple. “I know you never wanted this.”

    “I wanted it because I knew you wanted it.” I then stole his coffee out of his hands. “Just remember that,” I said before taking a sip.

    “I doubt you’ll ever let me forget it.”

    “Damn straight.”

    He stood up. “We have a couple of hours before the cars pick us up to go to mass at the cathedral. The kids are with my parents.” Thankfully we didn’t have to worry about our children on this hectic day. Matt’s entire family - his parents, five sisters and his only brother, as well as many of his aunts, uncles, and cousins - were all here for the inauguration. Even my parents and brothers, came from Huston, and my eldest sister came from Canada. Everyone understood why Matt and I were a bit unreachable, and I didn’t have to worry about the kids. “So, do you want to have sex with me in the shower one last time before you have to have to have sex with the president for the next four years?”

    I kicked him. It was actually more of a push with my foot in the general direction of the bathroom. “No I do not!”

    If you are going to take anything from this journal, it is going to be that my husband has a very dirty sense of humour.

    We managed to get ready without much of a hitch. Matt, of course, got to put on long underwear since Lou, his Communications Director - who is now the White House Communications Director - didn’t want him wearing an overcoat. Something about youth and vitality and the re-elect. Which just makes me sick. I have to take this whole thing one day at a time while Matt is already planning for four years from now.

    Meanwhile, I was putting on pantyhose and a dress for -23 degree weather (that’s celsius because I still run on metric. I’m not converting it or anything else in this diary because I am really hoping that by the time this gets published America will come to its senses and have converted - though I will admit, I will use inches and feet for some things). I was prepared for one of Matt’s many Canadian jokes, but we were rudely interrupted by Bram, Matt’s personal aide, who announced it was time for Matt’s daily security briefing by the National Security Advisor.

    I waited in the sitting room while Matt was given the nuclear authorization codes.

    It was the most surreal experience of this entire day, surprisingly. I was sitting on a couch in a room with 18th century paintings on the wall, waiting alone, while my husband, in the next room over, was given a card - the Gold Codes - information to confirm his identity he would need incase he needs to launch a nuclear attack. He can end the world with a simple plastic card. With the current political situation between Russia and China in Kazakhstan, where there are American troops between two nuclear nations waiting for one to blink, I fear Matt may need them. I pray not.

    And people say the Cold War ended in 1991.

    After, we then left for mass at Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. We thanked the staff of Blair House for all of their help, and then Matt said to me, “We could make a run for it, you know. Catch the first plane out of Dulles, head to Panama.”

    The fact that he can still humour me with such plans gave me hope for the future of our relationship. I know the stress of the election will seem pitiful in comparison to the stress we will face in our new roles.

    After mass, we headed to the White House to escort the Bartlets to the Capitol. Matt drove with President Bartlet while Abbey Bartlet and I followed. It was the first time I’ve ever met Mrs. Bartlet. She had been on various state trips every time I came to the White House. But she put me at ease as soon as we entered our limousine.

    “So, how much do you want to kill your husband right now?”

    I laughed. “A lot.”

    “Oh, don’t worry. You’ll want to kill him much more once tonight is finished.”

    “Great.” I think she heard the regret in my voice.

    “Chin up. The hard part is over. If your marriage can survive the campaign, you two can survive anything,” she said, making a sweeping gesture.

    “Really? Do you have any advice?”

    “For being First Lady or for being married to the president?”

    “Both.”

    “Well, you can actually make yourself pretty scarce as First Lady if you want to. The focus will be on your husband, particularly during the first hundred days. There will be quite times - politically. If you want to make any sort of change using your position, and you should, do it during the quite times. Have you settled on any issues you want to tackle?”

    “I was thinking domestic abuse, child vaccination and maybe maternity and paternity leave.”

    She nodded. “Good. Causes you can make real changes in. Let me know if you want any help with any child vaccination projects.” She then sighed. “Now, about the whole being married to a jackass thing: don’t be too freaked out if he leaves the nuclear codes or any other top-secret documents on the bedside table, just inform his personal aid. Make sure his personal aid is someone you can control and who is perhaps a bit intimidated by you and things will be fine. Don’t be afraid to call your husband a jackass. Pretty much everyone else in the world has to call him sir or Mr. President for the rest of his life. He’ll still get called bad names in the media, but you are the only person who is really allowed to call him a jackass. If he’s being one, tell him. Don’t worry if you guys argue. It’s the silence you need to watch out for. And finally, make sure get drunk with your chief of staff and a selection of the female staff once and only once. There will be a time when you need it, but never do it again. You chose Donna Moss as your chief of staff, correct?”

    I nodded.

    “Good choice. I kinda regret not stealing her away from my husband at the end. You two will do fine.”

    “Thank you, ma’am.”

    “I think you might be the last person to ‘ma’am’ me as first lady. God, I am so ready to be rid of all that stuffiness.”

    “Are you going to be the first to do it to me? Because I’m really not looking forward to four, let alone possibly eight years of only hearing my name from my husband.”

    “Of course!” she said with a laugh. “Circle of life or entrance into the most exclusive club or any of that stuff.” For the record, she did whisper “ma’am” into my ear after we left the balcony after Matt’s swearing in was over. It was the only time I had to stop myself from laughing at the absurdity of it all.

    My short interactions with Abbey Bartlet made me sad I didn’t have more time to glean knowledge from her. I know our paths will probably overlap again for other ceremonial purposes. But she also gave me confidence. If she retained her sass after 8 years of health scandals, a nearly successful assassination attempt, and a child being kidnapped (which I pray non happen to us), I can make it too.

    Much of what occurred next is on film. If you are reading this diary, I am assuming you have seen it. We were seated, there were performances, then exactly at noon I held the bible as Matt took the oath of office. In that moment I forgot all my fear, all the cameras, the historic moment of it all, the cold on my legs, and the fact that the bible clearly states not to swear oaths on it (just another sin Matt elected ignored for public image - he didn’t want to appear too knowledgeable about bible passages, especially when Bartlet was sworn in on bibles). I just focused on Matt and my pride for him. I also remembered what Mrs. Bartlet said: the hard part is over.

    From there we walked the parade. It was another two hours in heels and pantyhose. The kids joined us for a bit. Near the end, Matt leaned in to whisper in my ear. “See this is why I married you, because you are a big, strong Polish-Canadian woman. We should start calling you Helena again.” He said my name with the most annoying accent. “No amount of cold can phase you.”

    “Matthew,” I gritted out. “I’m not above hitting you upside the head. I can’t feel my legs or my feet.” I opted for the 2 inch heel, but even that low heel was becoming painful.

    He kissed me and the crowd seemed to go a bit crazier. “You look lovely. Have I told you that yet today?”

    “Nice save,” I muttered.

    When we returned to the White House and Matt was ushered to business. I was frankly glad to be rid of him. Donna was in the residence, ready to welcome me “home.” I don’t think I can ever call this place home.

    Perhaps I shall let her take over from here and I shall continue to recount the joys of 9 inaugural balls tomorrow.

    H.S.



    Donna Moss - 01/21/2007 - Entry 2

    My day, up until the balls that is, was much quieter than Mrs. Santos’. I woke up next to Josh. Since the end of the campaign, I’ve practically moved in with him. Perhaps we are moving a bit fast, but we did dance around each other for many years. I no longer work for him, or even with him really, so I think I’m okay with out current path. I love him, and I think the feeling is mutual.

    Josh was on his Blackberry already. I just smiled up at him. He actually put his cellphone down and kissed me.

    “You ready to take over the White House?” he asked me.

    “Are you ready to take over the country?” I joked in reply.

    He nodded.

    We got ready, only to receive a knock on the door of the apartment. Josh’s first security briefing as chief of staff. During that time I made sure to pack up what I needed for the inaugural balls, along with Josh’s tuxedo. It all felt so fancy. I never attended any of the balls back when Bartlet became president, though I did get to attend a couple state dinners and other formal functions. I never thought I’d ever be living this sort of life, but I wouldn’t trade it.

    Josh finished his briefing and we headed out. We actually killed an hour at the White House before the inauguration. Josh wanted to take one last stab at getting CJ Cregg - the former Press Secretary who served as White House Chief of Staff for the past two years, not to mention a good friend - to stay on. She ultimately declined but I understand why. People often don’t stay more than two years in jobs at the White House. You have to be some sort of mental patient to do so.

    I said goodbyes to many people. Most of them called me insane for staying, even if I’m changing wings. But, there will be a few familiar faces to share the insanity with Josh, like Margret, Ed, and Larry.

    We then left for the Capitol where we were one of the many guests on the balcony for the historic moment. The President, and now I can refer to Matthew Santos as the President, looked so in charge when he took the oath, and Mrs. Santos was simply encouraging to see her bravery in the fact of what it all meant. I worked for the Bartlets for many years, and while their knowledge and scholarly wisdom what what America needed in the late 1990s, that was nearly a decade ago. We are in a whole new era now. The Santoses represent the future. I guess I’m a part of that future too.

    After the oath of office, the Santoses went off to walk the parade while Josh and I and many of the other staff who I have gotten to know somewhat over the past few month, headed back to the White House for the “hand off”, along with Sam Seaborn and Annabeth Schott.

    Josh and Sam went off to the West Wing and I, surprisingly, wanted to follow them. But then Annabeth grabbed me by the arm.

    “Come on,” she said. “Time to change the world by being overpaid party planners.” Annabeth will be the First Lady’s Press Secretary and I can think of no one else I want to work with.

    We were shown our suite in the East Wing. The suite Abbey Bartlet used with her staff is currently being restored for much of the next year, so an usher showed us to the alternative suite. It is so grand, so much more than I ever got under Josh.

    I left Annabeth to get settled in while I headed up to the Residence of the First Family. I made sure the Santos’ things were being moved in and put in the right rooms and I even got to peek in on the rooms that the Bartlets had allowed the White House interior decorator to redecorate: Peter’s and Miranda’s rooms. With approval from Mrs. Santos, Peter’s room was painted in rich colors and decorated in an aquatic theme - apparently he loves marine biology - while Miranda’s room was painted pink and decorated in princess things. They were both adorable.

    I was checking out the Presidential bedroom - it had been given a quick, but refreshing, coat of grey paint and a matching modern bed with blue linens moved in - when Mrs. Santos entered.

    “Welcome home,” I said with a smile.

    She looked around, daunted at everyone, redecorating and moving things in. “Yeah, I guess so.” She let out a deep breath. “Secret Service just informed me they want the kids to stay here tonight.”

    I nodded. “I think the staff has already planned for this. They want to get to know the kids better. I think there are rumours of bouncy castles in the basement.”

    “So I should just arrange for the kids to be dropped off here? I think they are with my parents.”

    “Secret Service has already arranged for Miranda and Peter to come here shortly. Your parents will be told to go to one of the inaugural balls.”

    “Will I at least be able to see them and meet the people looking after them?”

    I nodded and tried to put Mrs. Santos at ease. She seemed to be okay after seeing Curtis Shaeffer again, who assured her that he, along with 15 other ushers, maids, and other staff would be entertaining the kids for the night. I understand her fears of leaving her children with complete strangers, but hopefully we can hire some nannies that she can get to know and trust.

    She was in a much better mood after the kids came, got to see their new rooms, and got to meet everyone.

    “Ma’am,” I said as we were watching Curtis give the kids a general tour of the residence, “We should start to get you ready for the balls.”

    “Are you my dressing maid now too?” she asked. “Because I’m not complaining if you are, but please stop ‘ma’am’ing me.”

    “I had a quick glance at the gown we ordered for you. I figured you might want one for tonight.”

    I think shall leave this here and leave the energy to truly recount the inaugural balls tomorrow.

    D.M.
     
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  8. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2005
    Love it!
    Even knowing TWW, I really like the explanations told from their voices. It's quite interesting!

    [face_laugh] That was so great! I can totally hear him saying that!


    I loved the conversation between Helen and Abbey! Such great advice and so very Abbey Bartlet! I especially love the 'don't be afraid to call him a jackass' and get drunk with your staff only once. I so hope we get to see that eventually! :D

    I of course loved the Josh and Donna parts! I certainly don't think it's too fast for them. It's not like they need to date, they certainly know the best and the worst of each other.


    Margret!! Ed and Larry!! [face_love] Yay!!

    I also really liked seeing the Residence through Donna, and the personalization the Santos' had done.

    =D=
    I can't wait for more!!
     
  9. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    This was a great look at both ladies settling into office. It's a jarring, exhausting time, I can only imagine - especially for Helen! You did a great job at conveying that sense of mingled queasiness and hope that must have been prominent for day one. =D=

    Some particulars I liked:


    I will always be grateful to Leo McGarry for helping Matt realize this dream. His presence will be missed and his death left a hole, not just in the chain of succession. Matt’s victory was not the same without Leo.

    Oh, this hurt! A great moment to remember a much loved character, though. [face_love]


    “I wanted it because I knew you wanted it.” I then stole his coffee out of his hands. “Just remember that,” I said before taking a sip.

    “I doubt you’ll ever let me forget it.”

    “Damn straight.”


    Their marriage really makes me so happy; it's that wonderfully healthy combination of mutual support and respect, and the banter doesn't hurt, either. [face_love]


    “So, do you want to have sex with me in the shower one last time before you have to have to have sex with the president for the next four years?”

    Banter like that. [face_laugh]

    Although her warning about her husband's dirty humor had me cracking a grin - after the Bartlets, I feel like nothing is really shocking . . . ;)


    Matt, of course, got to put on long underwear since Lou, his Communications Director - who is now the White House Communications Director - didn’t want him wearing an overcoat. Something about youth and vitality and the re-elect. Which just makes me sick. I have to take this whole thing one day at a time while Matt is already planning for four years from now.

    Ugh - the politics part of politics. My heart hurt for her here - for all of the perks about being in office, there are definitely some downsides. [face_plain]


    Meanwhile, I was putting on pantyhose and a dress for -23 degree weather (that’s celsius because I still run on metric. I’m not converting it or anything else in this diary because I am really hoping that by the time this gets published America will come to its senses and have converted - though I will admit, I will use inches and feet for some things).

    The Canadian jokes are not going to get old, here, something tells me. [face_laugh]


    It was the most surreal experience of this entire day, surprisingly. I was sitting on a couch in a room with 18th century paintings on the wall, waiting alone, while my husband, in the next room over, was given a card - the Gold Codes - information to confirm his identity he would need incase he needs to launch a nuclear attack. He can end the world with a simple plastic card. With the current political situation between Russia and China in Kazakhstan, where there are American troops between two nuclear nations waiting for one to blink, I fear Matt may need them. I pray not.

    And people say the Cold War ended in 1991.


    What a cold, sobering line. Yeah, I can only imagine, for all of the things to become acclimated too, this would be one of the most difficult - no pressure there. No sirree. [face_plain]


    “Chin up. The hard part is over. If your marriage can survive the campaign, you two can survive anything,” she said, making a sweeping gesture.

    “Really? Do you have any advice?”

    “For being First Lady or for being married to the president?”

    “Both.”


    Loved Abbey's advice - and Abbey period, honestly. She really knew just what to say, and Helen can only benefit from keeping her counsel in mind. [face_love]


    Josh was on his Blackberry already. I just smiled up at him. He actually put his cellphone down and kissed me.

    Good Lord, the man's in love! [face_love][face_laugh]


    Then, I loved seeing the rest of this from Donna's POV - the particulars of moving from one administration to the next, and her helping Helen find her feet.

    Although, those nine balls - ouch! My feet are hurting for the ladies here!


    This was a wonderful update; I am looking forward to more! =D=
     
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  10. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    Thanks. It's been fun to think about the show from Donna's and Helen's POVs and put some of the "past" in their voices.


    Matt Santos: The dirtiest minded president since Jed Bartlet :p


    Oh yes, Abbey getting drunk with CJ and Donna was one of my favourite episodes (plus it was the Donna is Canadian episode) so, yeah, that piece of advice will be followed and well documented!

    Good. 'Cause things are about to move reaaaally fast!


    I don't know, but I have to get Ed and Larry in this diary somehow!

    Thanks!

    Mingled queasiness and hope is a really good way of putting it! I may have to use that in the future!


    I really loved the character of Leo - he somehow reminded me of my late grandfather. I know it might seem odd to have Helen be so grateful and gracious in remembering Leo, but I still wanted him to be around in everyone's hearts and minds.


    I think you would need all three to make a healthy 'First Couple', and I just love writing banter and the Santoses had some pretty good (but sadly brief) moments of banter on the show.


    EXACTLY!


    I think Helen thinks that she and Matt are somehow going to be scandalous after the Bartlets... NOPE!


    Nope! There will be PLENTY more, just because of who is writing this.

    Yeah, I'm not sure anyone could get used to that pressure.


    I just love Abbey. This was very nearly an Abbey diary (maybe next year!).


    Yes, Josh loves his Blackberry almost as much as he loves Donna! [face_laugh]

    Thanks. Though your feet will be hurting a whole lot more after the next entries!
     
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  11. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    Tags: mavjade

    I know nothing of what happens at inaugural balls. I did some research but details were kinda slim. However, the whole pancake diner thing comes from my prom night where I was VERY MUCH Donna.

    Also, given the events of today, I’m so very annoyed with American politics, it just makes me sad and I almost didn’t want to touch this. But I know you guys are too and I need to continue this diary as a form of hope that things can get better again, that there are Lymans and Santos of my parents’ generation - we have (thankfully) have one in charge of Canada - and that one day soon, my generation will pick up the pieces and continue forward.



    Donna Moss - 01/22/2007 - Entry 3

    After I had helped Mrs. Santos with her hair, make-up and into her gown, I hurried back to the east wing to get ready myself. Annabeth was in her office. The door was wide open and she was sniffling into a tissue, staring at a flowing, tea-length apricot ballgown she had hanging in the window. I called her name softly, but she still jumped.

    “You alright?” I asked.

    She nodded, and then sighed. “I hate apricot, but I picked the color because it reminded me of Leo.”

    “He would have thought it was beautiful. You’ll be beautiful.” I wasn’t daft. I knew what had happened between Annabeth and Leo on the campaign, but I also understood that she wanted to keep it quiet and I respect that.

    “It just doesn’t feel right, ya know? Celebrating this without him.”

    “It isn’t right. He should be here. It is as much his victory as it is anyone else’s.”

    “He told me, if we won, that he was only going to dance with blondes at the inaugural balls. We were going to be his champaign.”

    I shook my head with amusement. Sometimes I had wondered if Leo had been stuck in 1971, or if he was trying to make the younger men appear less sexist in comparison to his ‘good old days’.

    “Do you want help getting ready? I already helped Mrs. Santos.”

    She shook her head. “Go, take care of yourself before Josh comes running to you to tie his tie.”

    “He has Margret for that now.”

    “Is she really staying on as Secretary to the Chief of Staff?”

    I shrugged. “She said she was only going to help CJ for her first few weeks, but she’s still here even now.”

    “I guess some people are just needed to tell the story.”

    I nodded, realizing she was right, and left her to get ready myself. I did my make-up and gently curled my hair with an curling iron I borrowed from Mrs. Santos - feeling so odd after working so many many years for Josh in the bullpen to be curling my hair in my own office bathroom. I then stepped into my evening gown, a dark pink sheath dress with a straight square neckline, but without sleeves. Perhaps I looked a bit like a Barbie, but I didn’t care. After so many months with two different presidential campaigns, it was time to celebrate.

    I was actually killing some time, setting up a computer facilities had delivered for me, when Josh showed up, looking so proper already in his black bowtie.

    “I think your office is bigger than mine,” he said as he walked in and started to look around.

    I ignored him and stood up. “You look nice.”

    He then finally saw me and his jaw dropped a little. “You… you look… amazing.”

    I smiled. That was all I wanted to hear.

    Josh and I managed to attend four inaugural balls. I bow down to Mrs. Santos for managing to do over twice as what I did.

    At the first ball, we joined the President and First Lady at their table for dinner. After getting through many speeches, we watched them dance. They looked so glamorous, so young and in love.

    It wasn’t until the second ball (we were trying to keep up with the couple of the night), until we caught up with Sam Seaborn. Josh and I finally got to meet his mystery fiancée.

    Ainsley Hays had worked for the White House Counsel under Lionel Tribby in President Bartlet’s first term. She had left for California and was there for a few years, but had returned for Leo’s funeral recently and to see if she had a shot at White House Counsel under President Santos. She had inquired about the job without her fiancé’s knowledge. She knew he was going to get roped into serving as Josh’s Deputy Chief of Staff, so she wanted to see if she would have a reason to let her fiancé move their life together to DC.

    Yes. Sam Seaborn is marrying Ainsley Hays. I didn’t quite get the story of how they came together, but I am simply so happy. Though the realization broke Josh. It was quite funny actually. Ainsley wasn’t around when Sam told Josh, but I was. It went like this: we were at a table, sipping Champaign, when the conversation started.

    Sam: “So my fiancée is here tonight.”
    Me: “Oh! So we finally get to meet her.”
    Sam: “You both actually already know her.”
    Josh: “Please don’t let it be the prostitute.”

    That was the first time of the night I cuffed Josh. Hey, if CJ isn’t around to do it, then I have to.

    Sam: “No, Josh.”
    Josh: “Oh, thank God.”
    Sam: “Our boss actually hired her as our lawyer. I’m marrying Ainsley Hayes.”
    Josh (screaming): “YOU’RE MARRYING THE REPUBLICAN?”

    That was the second time I hit him, because I saw Ainsley approaching the table. She looked so lovely in a slimming black dress and her hair down straight. She sat beside Sam and he kissed her on the cheek.

    Ainsley: “Someone summoned me?”
    Josh: “It’s like summoning Satan! YOU’RE MARRYING THE REPUBLICAN?”

    I hit him again before Sam could throttle him across the table.

    Me: “Oh, congratulations! I am so happy for you two.”

    The night kinda spiraled from there. We ordered drinks to celebrate (and to shut Josh up).

    I remember the third ball. Not so much the fourth and I feel really bad for drinking to that point, but it was stress relief, the speeches were getting so boring and no one was paying attention to us anyways. Josh swears we made it to a fifth ball, but Josh is not good with alcohol.

    I do remember the 24-hour diner we got pancakes at.

    I was actually pretty sober by that time, as was Sam (thankfully, or else he and Josh might have gotten into fisticuffs). Annabeth had joined us at that point and I was taking care of her. She apparently can’t hold her alcohol either. We were sitting at a table in a corner, still accompanied by Josh’s Secret Service agents. Thankfully, the joint was pretty empty, because we were not giving a good face to the new government. I’m not sure how the American people would react to learn that the new president’s Chief of Staff, Deputy Chief of Staff and White House Counsel spent their 13th hour on the job drunk in a 24-hour pancake house with the First Lady’s Chief of Staff and Press Secretary.

    “I can’t believe you are marrying a Republican,” Josh was going on. I was too busy rubbing Annabeth’s back and trying to get water into her to hit him.

    “Josh, I am sitting right here,” Ainsley said, her mouth full of pancakes.

    “Please shut up, Josh,” Sam said, “Or else I’m not going to ask you to be my best man.”

    “Why would I do that?” Josh retorted.

    “Because you are my best friend!”

    “Oh, okay.”

    After our bizarre meal, Sam and Ainsely got Annabeth back to her apartment since Josh could barely stand and I apparently had to deal with him. I think I had the short end of that agreement.

    And that is why the five of us (mainly Josh) were pretty fowl our second day of office.

    D.M.


    Helen Santos - January 22nd, 2007 - Entry 3

    Donna is clearly too nice to truly recount my bitchiness, which is a shame for readers, but great for be. My ‘dressing maid’ comment was totally uncalled for, but I had just dealt with too many people at that point in the day. But I knew I was going to have to deal with more before the day was over.

    Donna was amazing in doing my make-up and putting my hair in a low bun off to one side. She then helped me into my dress. Now, I’ve had to dress up for functions with Matt before - when he was a congressman and especially back when he was mayor - but I typically wore black to blend in. The dress Donna and I picked was light cream chiffon with a single shoulder neckline (I was NOT going strapless) and a ruched bodice. The waistline was dropped to just below my hips and the material flowed from there.

    I was a bit worried about it looking like a wedding dress, but black detailing made it look appropriate. Besides, I will admit, it made me feel pretty. I needed something to get me through the night. The look that Matt gave me when he walked in was worth it. He didn’t even notice the very sudden renovations to the residence.

    “Wow. You’re beautiful,” he said, kissing my cheek.

    “Yeah, and you’re late.”

    He shrugged. “Not my fault.”

    I hurried him up but I have no idea why. The nine inaugural balls were… painful.

    Okay, the first one was pretty fun: the food was delicious, and the speeches the first go around weren’t that boring. We then danced our first dance. The song was our wedding song: I Do It For You (hey, we were married in 1991, don’t judge). It was preformed live by Bryan Adams (my fellow Canadian). It was truly a special moment. We were the only ones on the dance floor, arms around each other, simply smiling and swaying. While these days, I feel like the song is from my prospective (everything I do, I do it for Matt), it’s okay. It is my privilege. He took me as I was, all those years ago, loved me, and, while I might complain, there’s no one I’d rather give my life up for. During the song I told him I loved him and he told me he loved me. It was the first time that day we had exchanged those words, but they truly meant something.

    When we started this crazy adventure, he told me “Tell me not to and I won’t.” I never told him not to. While I may regret it sometimes, it took courage not to say no. When I look into Matt’s eyes, I know God wants us here, together. Perhaps that makes a subservient woman, but I don’t think so. I had to swallow everything I’ve ever wanted to do with my career for Matt and his crazy dream. But he never told me to. I chose this life for us. I will make the most of it because I know he will do so much good.

    Anyways. I’m getting mushy.

    To be honest, the next seven balls all blurred together. However, I finally allowed myself a sip of Champaign at the ninth. It’s a good thing too because my BRILLIANT husband had someone (Annabeth!) slip the band his favourite song for our last dance: You Can Leave Your Hat On. I just wanted to kill him at that moment.

    “I’m not dancing,” I insisted, going back to my seat.

    Matt tried to lured me up by dancing by himself and swaying his hips. He is such a dork sometimes. The crowd laughed at our antics and I had to give in, simply because I couldn’t watch him make a fool of himself. I had to join him in making fools of us both.

    Because I love him.

    I’ve never been so relieved as I was when we finally left that last ball. Matt gave me his suit jacket since it was so cold. I guess the official White House Photographer got a shot of us waiting for the motorcade with me in his coat, his arm around me, us still laughing from our last dance. It made for an amazing image of my second favourite moment of the night.

    My favourite moment was much more private.

    When we got back to the White House, we checked on the kids. They were both asleep in Peter’s new bed. The staff, particularly the Chief Usher - Curtis - assured me they had fun but were also well behaved. We thanked them, then got to spend a moment tucking our children in and kissing them goodnight.

    After we left Peter’s room, Matt picked me up, bridal style, and carried me over the threshold into the presidential bedroom for the first time and placed me on the bed.

    “I bet that hasn’t been done in a long time,” he laughed.

    I tapped him on his cheek. “Yes, I get it. You are young, hot, strong, and in charge of a country. Now I am going to bed and you’d better not stop me.”

    I’m still in charge of some things, or so I’d like to think.

    HS
     
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  12. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2005
    Eeeee!!!

    :_| She's right. It's so heartbreaking he got so close, but didn't get to actually see the end. And poor Annabeth! I love her, and the relationship she had with Leo.


    [face_laugh] Yeah, the casual sexism is a bit icky, but politics is such a boys club, especially then, I can see it happening easily. It doesn't excuse it, of course. I like how you call it out here.


    This kinda made me sad. I mean, I super happy Margret is still around, but I still want Donna to do his ties. It was always so adorable.

    I loved their interactions in Donna's office. That episode where he threw snowballs at her window, he looked so gobsmacked when she was in front of him. That's how I imagine him there, and I love it.

    Josh's reaction to Anisley literally made me LOL, and is totally in character. I could see Josh going on and on about it. And poor Donna, having to be the one to take care of everyone who can't hold their alcohol. I also like that you mentioned Josh's Secret Service agents. I don't know why, but I love the few stories I've read that mention them or even include them. Even if they just get this nod, I'm happy they are here!



    I adored this part. It's so simple, but says so much about Josh. For all his bravado and cockiness, he's really insecure underneath. The fact that he doesn't know he'd be Sam's best man or maybe even that he's Sam's best friend is very telling.


    I love this. We know she had to give up so much and that it's been a bit difficult. But I love that she's not bitter or even truly upset about it. Matt's dreams were big, and she loves him so she's going to support those dreams even if it means giving up some of hers. They make such a great couple!


    Me: [face_tee_hee]
    The mental image of Jimmy Smits dancing in a tux trying to lure her to dance with him is adorable. And I think it would be something that would be quite popular if a video or a picture got out.


    [face_laugh] Another great example of their relationship! I love it! They are so cute and so much fun. And I love how she's taking a bit of Abbey's advice in not letting it all go to his head.


    Now that I've quoted the whole thing, thank you for continuing to write this. I need this universe to escape the real one right now. And you are right, there are people like these people out there, and there will be more, we just have to hang on and fight where we can.
     
  13. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Oh, this continues to be so much fun! [face_love][face_dancing]


    “It just doesn’t feel right, ya know? Celebrating this without him.”
    “It isn’t right. He should be here. It is as much his victory as it is anyone else’s.”


    Oh, Annabeth! Once again, it felt . . . right - painful, but right, to give this mention to Leo. And Annabeth! I absolutely adore her, and loved the snippets of her there - with her not being able to hold her liquor, and slipping in the music. She is such a dear. :p


    Sam: “So my fiancée is here tonight.”
    Me: “Oh! So we finally get to meet her.”
    Sam: “You both actually already know her.”
    Josh: “Please don’t let it be the prostitute.”


    Josh! :rolleyes:[face_laugh] He went above and beyond to earn all of those swats, that's all I have to say. [face_mischief]


    Ainsley: “Someone summoned me?”
    Josh: “It’s like summoning Satan! YOU’RE MARRYING THE REPUBLICAN?”


    I was already grinning - but that had me laughing out loud. That was perfectly IC! [face_laugh][face_laugh]


    “Or else I’m not going to ask you to be my best man.”
    “Why would I do that?” Josh retorted.
    “Because you are my best friend!”
    “Oh, okay.”


    Oh, Josh! I have to echo mav on this - the dialogue here was perfect in its simplicity. There is so much uncertainty underneath Josh's bluster, and I love imagining the stunned, pleased little expression he made when he realized that Sam was serious. [face_love]


    I remember the third ball. Not so much the fourth and I feel really bad for drinking to that point, but it was stress relief, the speeches were getting so boring and no one was paying attention to us anyways. Josh swears we made it to a fifth ball, but Josh is not good with alcohol.

    [face_laugh][face_laugh]


    When we started this crazy adventure, he told me “Tell me not to and I won’t.” I never told him not to. While I may regret it sometimes, it took courage not to say no. When I look into Matt’s eyes, I know God wants us here, together. Perhaps that makes a subservient woman, but I don’t think so. I had to swallow everything I’ve ever wanted to do with my career for Matt and his crazy dream. But he never told me to. I chose this life for us. I will make the most of it because I know he will do so much good.

    This was such a great character moment! While those moments of regret and 'what-if' are more than understandable, there's such a strength and satisfaction to be found in supporting your partner in such a way, I can only imagine. Matt wouldn't be there without her, and his victory is as much hers as it his. There's nothing subservient about that - they're a team. [face_love]


    Matt tried to lured me up by dancing by himself and swaying his hips. He is such a dork sometimes. The crowd laughed at our antics and I had to give in, simply because I couldn’t watch him make a fool of himself. I had to join him in making fools of us both.

    Ack, THIS DORK! I swear, imagining Jimmy Smits doing this just made my heart flutter. What a dear! What a pair of dears! At the end of a long day, having a memory like that to keep is too perfect.



    “I bet that hasn’t been done in a long time,” he laughed.

    I tapped him on his cheek. “Yes, I get it. You are young, hot, strong, and in charge of a country. Now I am going to bed and you’d better not stop me.”


    [face_laugh][face_love]

    Now THAT'S a pair I want to see leading a country. This little bit of humor and affection was the perfect way to wrap up the entry.


    Fantastic work, once again! :) =D=
     
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  14. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    I loved the subtly of the Leo and Annabeth relationship, and Annabeth and Leo themselves, so I wanted to have them both a part of this.

    Ugh, sometimes I just hated Sorkin's writing of women and towards women, but I'm not sure if was on purpose.

    Don't worry. I think Donna will always be on Josh's tie duty.

    Awww! I forgot about that episode! I love it!

    When that idea hit me, I totally started laughing out loud at my own brilliance. I'm not 100% confident in my characterization of Josh, but I can just picture that moment


    So Ron Butterfield is my favourite minor character in TWW, and the fact that the character (and actor) appears throughout all the series when the Head of the Secret Service played a role - even if it's super small - is just one of those small attentions to details that I love (and Micheal O'Niell sounds like such a pleasant person from his appearance on the podcast). So, yeah, the Secret Service will get the occasional mention, or even a small (or big) part in a couple entries. As you are about to see :p

    Thanks. As I've mentioned before, the treatment of Helen just annoyed me, even though she had some pretty big moments of being super supportive (she was the one who ultimately decided they were going to remortgage their house if needed)

    I wrote this before the "awkward first dance" of this year's inauguration and I went back to read this to make sure my first couple is the complete opposite from the joke currently holding the office.

    Thanks! They are just so much fun to write.

    You're welcome! Thanks for introducing me to this fandom. I love that I can escape, but also vent my annoyances.


    Thank you! It is so much fun to write and I'm glad that others are enjoying it!


    Thanks! I just adored her spunk and also her heart. It just felt right to have her be the one to remember Leo in all the craziness.


    Josh is just going to get swatted throughout this diary.


    I just love angry, drunk Josh.


    Thanks. The whole Republican joke came instantly, but this exchange I really had to work on. I'm glad you both liked it.


    Thanks.


    OH, Matt Santos is totally going to be a dork under it all. And, yeah, Jimmy Smitts [face_love]

    Thanks! And yeah, I would LOVE to see a pair like this run the US!
     
  15. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    mavjade

    Helen Santos - February 26, 2007 - Entry 4

    It has been a few weeks since Matt has become president and things are going smoothly. Almost too smooth. I’m still having some problems adjusting, but the kids are doing surprisingly well.

    The first couple of days I accompanied Peter and Miranda to school and picked them up, along with our security detail. After the first week, Peter assured me he was fine without me, and Miranda wondered why I was coming with them when she had so many other adults to take her to school. I felt almost bad asking their Secret Service agents if they could take them to school without me. They told me it would actually be easier without me as not as many agents would be needed and they could take one vehicle.

    Yeah, so now I am making a bunch of high-ranking former military officials take my kids to school.

    Which is why, when the issue of a nanny came up during our second week here, I asked Donna and Annabeth how it would look if we privately hired family member to care for the kids (Matt brings in an hefty salary these days). They told me it might make a small news story, but it would be worth it for my peace of mine (I think they just want someone who will calm my nerves). Pretty soon Matt and I will be going on his first international trip (to the US’ biggest ally: Canada) and I know many trips will follow, so I want someone who my kids already know and who I won’t mind them getting attached to.

    So I approached Matt about it one night after dinner. Matt has settled into our new life fine as well. It has actually done wonders to our marriage. I see him more now than when he was a congressman and dividing his time between DC and Texas. Now, we often see each other in the mornings and, it is odd, but he always eats dinner with the kids and me (I still get to make the family dinner in the residence, which brings some normalcy) unless there is function of some kind, and, so far, we have gone to bed together every night.

    His only opinion about the nanny: “Anyone but your mother.”

    Matt does not like my mother. “Really?” I asked, not wanting the conversation to devolve into an argument.

    He looked at me from above the reports he was reading on the couch. “Do you honestly think she will clear White House security to work here? And if we hire your mom, we would also have to deal with your dad who will want to cook for us.”

    I grunted. I love my dad, but he his an extremely devout Catholic and loves cooking with cabbage. “Fine. My family is clearly out.” Yes, I have a sister, but she loves her life in Alberta, and both my brothers have lives, wives, and their own kids in Huston.

    Matt then sighed. “And my dad isn’t doing too well. Mom will her hands full with him pretty soon.” Matt’s dad is showing early signs of Alzheimers, the why they were never seen as part of the campaign. “So I guess it is down to my sisters. I never thought having five sisters would come in handy,” he laughed.

    Though I am closest to his youngest sister, Lucia - we were actually roommates back in college and she is the reason why Matt and I met - and having a friend from my old life would be nice, I did’t want to uproot her from her three kids. So I suggested, “What about Maria?” Maria is Matt’s oldest sister. She too served in the military, though she is now a nurse. She has been divorced for over 10 years now and her youngest of two kids just entered college.

    Matt nodded. “I could deal with Maria.”

    So, in my own private victory, I asked Maria to be nanny to my kids, and she said yes. Working at the White House, even if it is for your little brother, is a hard offer to turn down. She has been so helpful and Peter and Miranda love her.

    I guess I should quickly write how I am. I guess I’m glad that I know my kids will be taken care of by someone who loves them, even when I’m shipped off to all four corners of the globe. It’s one weight off of me. And Matt’s and my relationship has been great. I’ve even slowly started to get used to all the Secret Service agents. I was daunted at first, but they do try to keep their presence minimal. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been grateful for their service, even back during the campaign. I know us being the first mixed-race first family puts added pressure on them. But the agents are… less stuffy than one might think, though they will never show it outwardly.

    I was walking out of the Oval Office one afternoon (Matt had called me down there to ask me about the kids and we ended up talking about what we were going to make for dinner - it was a weird moment in my very bizarre life) when I heard one of the agents say “Jade has left the Jaguar.”

    I looked at the agent - Mike - quizzically. “Jade? Is that my code name?”

    He nodded. “Yes, Ma’am.”

    I eyed him. “As in the precious stone or the more archaic meaning of an ill-tempered woman.” Honestly, I was going to be fine with either meaning.

    “The stone, Ma’am. But that isn’t the main reason.”

    “So what is it?”

    “Are you familiar with Star Wars Extended Universe novels?”

    I laughed. Someone in the Secret Service is as big of a geek as me and Matt. “So Jade as in Mara Jade. I approve.” I really do. Mara Jade is Luke Skywalker’s bad-ass wife. “And Jaguar for Matt?”

    He nodded. “The third largest cat, native to the Americas. Plus he is a bit more… agile than past presidents. We considered Bail, but that was too obvious.” Matt and I are fully aware that Matt looks like the guy that played Bail Organa in the Star Wars prequels. Matt embraces it like the nerd he is. Mike continued, “and then your code name would have had to start with a ‘B’ as per protocol.”

    “You should have done it. I would have been okay with Bitch as my code name.” I was curious. “And the kids?”

    “Jasmine for Miranda and Jasper for Peter.”

    I smiled. They both fit. My princess and my rock.

    So far, acting as hostess for White House events has been a stretch for me. I don’t like it at all. My staff assure me that once things quiet down, we can start forming some sort of agenda. Tomorrow we are hosting a “Daughters of the American Revolution” event. The event is to raise funds for one of the special needs schools they support. It’s a worthy cause, but I am so out of my depth.

    Matt finds the fact that I am hosting such an event positively hysterical. I don’t see why. He has much ancestral connection to the American Revolution as I do.This is all his fault anyways. I have half a mind to ditch him when we go on our first “out of state” visit next week.

    H.S.


    Donna Moss - 02/26/2007 - Entry 4

    I guess adjustment and victories will be the theme of today’s diary entries.

    I’m really enjoying being in charge of the East Wing. I organize events such as this upcoming “Daughters of the American Revolution” donor dinner - or rather I organize other people to organize these events. I somehow feel so efficient and impactful, like I’m organizing and making a change, even thought our first ‘real’ event is this dinner. Josh mocks me - I guess like the President mocks Mrs. Santos. I have about the same connection to the American Revolution as she does. My father’s family came from Ireland during the Irish Potato famine in the 1840s. And my mother’s parents immigrated to America in the early 1920s from Italy.

    Though, I’m not sure if either the president nor Josh can exactly mock us for our lack of ties to the American Revolution. Okay, sure the president’s ancestors were in the Americas LONG before the American Revolution, but he still has no ancestral ties to the event. Neither does Josh.

    Which has made me realize we are such a different face to the White House, not just because President Santos is Latino. President Bartlet had a great-great-great-great grandfather was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and Abigail Bartlet has ancestors who privateered during the American Revolution. But we are all products of fairly recent immigrants, or those who immigrated long before American history begins. We really show that immigrants, of all backgrounds, build this country, while also representing the long pre-colonial past.

    I know planning dinners is such a trivial thing, but, I feel like I’m making a difference and we will be able to do more. We are in the planning on creating an initiative for child vaccination - educating people about the real necessity of vaccines for their babies. I also want to see if we can start a “baby box” program here in the US. I’ve heard about it from the internet. In some Scandinavian countries, parents are given boxes with items for their baby’s first few weeks or months. It has dramatically reduced infant mortality, something the US needs. Republicans are all about saving babies inside the womb. They should be concerned with babies after they are born - right? Mrs. Santos is completely on board. We are going to try to raise enough funds for an experiment and provide boxes for DC for a year, to show congress this is a worthy health-care initiative.

    Josh thinks it’s “fluffy”. I think he’s just mad that such a simple solution can bring so much good, particularly for poorer communities.

    As for Josh and I, dating him is everything I expected. He works long hours, we tried the whole car-pooling thing, but since I don’t have to work the hours he does, I often ended up taking the bus home rather than wait for him and his entourage. But the less I have to see of him makes the whole ‘living together’ situation easier to adjust him. When I see him, it is just us.

    Well, us and his Secret Service agent who has to sleep on the couch. Which is why we are looking at apartments together.

    He suggested it in the most non-romantic way I can imagine. It was Saturday night and we were watching CNN. It was during a commercial break. “Hey, you should get rid of that apartment of yours. Have you been there since the campaign ended?”

    “Josh? Are you asking me to move in with you?”

    “No,” he said. “But between my pay raise and your pay raise and the fact that the Secret Service agents draw straws to see who will do the night shift here, I think we should upgrade.”

    “Yes!” I exclaimed.

    We looked at a number of places. Well, I looked at a number of places. Josh only cared about the location and the price. I settled on a town house, only a 20 minute drive from the White House. It has a garage and a small suite downstairs and a two bedroom home upstairs. It is quaint, but beautifully decorated.

    I thought we were only going to rent it. Josh ended up buying it. We move in on the 1st and I couldn’t be happier.

    We also celebrated with Sam and Ainsley two weeks ago. They were married in a very small, but very elegant wedding ceremony on Valentine’s day. They wanted to keep it quiet and have been planning this since November. It was just Ainsley’s and Sam’s families attended, along with C.J., Danny - both of who flew from California - Toby Ziegler, Charlie Young, and Zoey Bartlet. It was great to see them all again, even if it was just for a simple ceremony and dinner. I don’t miss “the old days” but I made so many friends and I’m very grateful we became like a family. I have a feeling many of us will always keep in touch.

    Ainsley simply looked amazing, and Sam just so in love. Josh was the best man and pretty much roasted Sam in the best man’s toast. I knew I should have looked it over before he gave it.

    Josh was never in communications for a darn good reason. Secret Service calls him Rampage - they called him that even back when he was campaigning for Hoynes. But now that I am dating him, I guess I finally got my own code name: Ruby.

    D.M.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
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  16. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2005
    What I'm getting from the podcast is that it was mostly a way to show how much of a man's world the West Wing is, and I buy that. It's not easy to be a woman in politics today, much less 15 years ago. Do I think some of it's a product of the late 90's humor, yeah, I do, but I'm just going to go with the characters being that way, and not Sorkin. ;)

    - - -

    I tried not to quote the whole thing this time. It was hard, and I think I ended up leaving a few things out. Know that I loved every word of it.

    I really like that Helen is adjusting to having USSS with her and the kids. Giving into having them take the kids to school is a big step, I think. In my experience most people put their kid on a bus, or the kid walks, so having them go probably makes it a bit more normal for the kids... well as normal as having Secret Service can be.

    I really loved the information we got about their families, and why their parents couldn't really come live with them. (Helen's dad.. Lol!)

    One of the things that I really loved about the Obama's were the way they said their children weren't going to live the spoiled life and were going to learn to be good people, and they brought Michelle's mom with them to help that along. I like that you've brought a family member to help them. I'm sure that's so overwhelming and can be so scary for kids, having another family member can only help.


    As soon as I read this I wondered if it was going to be based on Mara. There was a big "Yes!" when it turned out to be so. I love it! And I love that the Santo's are such nerds that they get it! All the kind meta SW stuff made me laugh so hard!


    It is kinda funny the two Canadian's doing a DAR event. But a good cause is a good cause!
    Fun fact, I can totally be in the DAR. My grandmother was a member and so was my mom. I'm not quite sure who it was that was in the Revolution or where, but I know that connection exists. Now that you are mentioning it, I may have to look into it further.

    I really liked your inclusion of the baby box! My former roommate is Finnish, which is where it started and when she told us about it, I was so amazed. It's a great program. Of course, I've seen some companies try to do it here... at a profit. [face_plain]

    Yay for Sam and Ainsley getting married, and Josh and Donna moving in together!! :D And of course for Josh's USSS agents mention.

    Rampage... [face_laugh] Yep, that works!

    I continue to love this and look forward to more!!
    =D=
     
  17. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    This continues to be quite simply the best. Really. :D [face_dancing]

    I loved everything about the family settling in: from the SS taking her kids to school, to their actually having more time together as the First Couple, and the in-law battle. It's just so . . . typical, all the while being not so, if that makes any sort of sense.

    I liked learning more about their backstory, too - from the college days to the prospect of meeting Maria. Another awesome lady is coming aboard, it sounds like: I approve.

    [face_laugh][face_laugh]

    All of this - from Matt being a rather . . . spry president to the SW references. Oh, that was gold! Of course he'd eat that up.

    This whole mien was just fantastic! [face_laugh]

    I loved Donna's thoughts about making a difference, too. I like that they're starting with the children. The Baby Boxes are a simply elegant solution, even though I find myself with Josh that they are needed in the first place. It's a sad world, at times, but with their being in office, they can make a difference. :)

    Because that is so how Josh would ask her, I can't even. [face_laugh][face_love]

    It's great to see their relationship progress, that said, just as it was great to see Sam and Ainsley tie the knot - with the old gang back together! That's a mental image that I will never tire of.

    Every other line of this was quoteable, really, but I think I'll stop myself here. :p Once again, I am thoroughly enjoying reading this, and look forward to more! =D=[/quote]
     
  18. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    AN. As much as I love gushing about TWW with you guys (SERIOUSLY WHY DOES NO ONE IN MY REAL LIFE APPRECIATE THIS MASTERPIECE... cuz they are all dumb, that's why) my wrists are killing me right now, I just picked a couple things to reply to. But seriously, thank you so, so much for reading and commenting on this silly fic.

    Mav:


    [QUOTE]What I'm getting from the podcast is that it was mostly a way to show how much of a man's world the West Wing is, and I buy that. It's not easy to be a woman in politics today, much less 15 years ago. Do I think some of it's a product of the late 90's humor, yeah, I do, but I'm just going to go with the characters being that way, and not Sorkin.[/QUOTE]
    Yeah. I see this.


    Thank you. I'm just having so much fun writing this. I know its a bit less political and more of the personal side, but some of my favourite episodes (like "Ellie") showed more of the personal side of these characters.


    The Obamas really inspired some of these details (probably because I know then-senator Obama inspired Santos). I really got a sense that Helen didn't want the spoiled life for her kids and I saw that in Michelle too, so I took some details like bringing in another family member as a "nanny".

    Yeah. I had to. I'm not even sorry for all the meta stuff :p

    Also, logically, Santos would have been the first president in the tww universe born after WWII (and by quite a bit - much like Obama, fit right into the start of generation x) so I think it makes sense for them to be a bit more up on the geek culture (because, yeah, you'd have to be a big nerd to be in a position like the POTUS... or so I would have thought :rolleyes:).

    All my knowledge of the DAR comes from Gilmore Girls [face_laugh] and a quick Wiki skim. Because, yeah, apparently there is a Canadian "faction" BUUUTTT yeah, I'm kinda like Matt in this area. Most of my people were here a WHOLE LOT EARLIER and had a lot more problems than the taxes on tea.


    It was honestly just something random I could think of, but actually, Canada began to adopt the idea in 2015 for Nunavut (one of our northern territories) where the infancy mortality rate is double the national average, and apparently, it's helping.


    I just had to. There was nothing that fit better.



    Mira:


    Thank you. I am really glad you guys are enjoying this as much as I am enjoying writing it!


    Thanks! I really wanted that "typical problems in a so not typical situation sort of feel.

    And Maria. I'm not sure if I'll be able to fit her in to this in any huge role, but I love her. Much like Joanie in that ficgift for Mav, she's an older sister to the most powerful man, but he'll always be her baby brother.
     
  19. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    Tags: @mavjade

    Donna Moss - 03/05/2007 - Entry 5

    The President and First Lady left this morning on their first international trip. They are flying to Ottawa, Canada as I type this, so things are actually pretty quiet around the East Wing, which is good for me. Mrs. Santos bugged me about joining them in Canada - something about introducing me to my true heritage of hockey, cold, some guy named Tim, and poutine - but I had to say no. I’m currently in moving in mode since Josh is no help to me with the new place. He is busy with the newly confirmed Vice-President: Eric Baker.

    Baker is nothing of note. Democrat from Pensilvania. His wife is a pleasant woman, but wants little to with politics, so I doubt we will see much of either of them in the East Wing. If, heaven forbid, something happens to the president, Baker would make a fine replacement. Though, I’m not sure if I’d stay in the East Wing. Yes, I believe Mrs. Santos and I are becoming friends - during the DAR donor dinner last week she whispered in my ear “Thanks for the notes for my speech. Without them I would have been totally lost.” To which I replied “Thank Google for the info and Sam about the stuff on education.” She then said, “Well, then, thank Josh’s other other half for me.” But it’s the fact that she is willing to “fake it to make it” (her words) for the impact she can have makes working for her worth it. I’m not sure if I could work for a woman who didn’t want to use this office for good.

    Some thought the vice president should be a woman, given that the President was basically able to select who he wanted [yes, the senate had to confirm, but between Ainsley Hays Seaborn (I AM SO HAPPY I GET TO WRITE THAT!!), the Republican White House Counsel, and a Republican Secretary of State with Arnold Vinick, the Republican Senate would have looked fairly bad denying Santos’ first pick). I personally think a woman vice president would have sent a powerful message and may even launch her towards being the first female president.

    Mrs. Santos had a differing opinion. She agreed with her husband - and Josh - that first female to hold that high of office needs to win it, to show that women can do the same things the same way as men. She used the example of Prime Minister Kim Campbell of Canada, who I did not know about. She was Canada’s first - and thus far only - female prime minister. But she was not elected (and here is where I got “Canadian Governance 101”). After Campbell’s predecessor retired (before a bunch of scandals could come to light), she was chosen by her party as the new leader of the party (thus becoming the Canadian prime minister). Canada can’t really say that they have elected a female prime minister, because she wasn’t the leader of the party at the time of the election.

    Josh also brought up the fact that (and this was a discussion the four of us were having with a few other advisors in the Oval Office one afternoon early in the presidency - the fact that Mrs. Santos and I were part of the advisors really showed me what effect we can have, particularly on women’s issues), after Santos’ first term, we will have 12 years of Democratic rule as “baggage”. If Santos wins another 4, that will mean a practically unprecedented 16 year “blue streak”. Whoever runs as leader of the Democratic Party after Santos will likely not get in. So Baker was chosen.

    So as of right now. I’m enjoying the quiet.

    Well as quiet as one’s life can be when you are in the middle of a move. I might try to slip out early today and get some things done on the house. Because I can do that now that I’m not working for Josh.



    Helen Santos - March 7, 2007 - Entry 6

    This will be an entry re-telling Matt’s first international trip, which turned into what could be a nuclear war. And I’m not being dramatic.My apologies if this runs long.

    We arrived in Ottawa in the morning and were greeted by Prime Minister Jean-Baptiste Dallaire - a shorter man of average build in his mid-sixties with grey hair - and his wife, Nadine Dallaire. The first order of the trip was a joint-press conference with plenty of jokes (and I was the consenting butt of them). Here’s an excerpt from what Matt said.

    “Canada and the Unites States has shared over seven decades of close diplomatic relation and an even longer shared history. Prime Minister Dallaire and I hope to work together to not only build both countries, but also to ensure peace in the world for all our children. Our economies are intertwined and our trade only strengthens both countries. Goodness knows I am personally grateful for Canadian exports to America. I love my beer, the Dallas Stars, and of course, my wife. Though I’m not sure she would appreciate being in that list. Canada and the United States are much more than neighbors, we are allies and friends. Except when it comes to the World Juniors.” [Editor’s note: The Juniors are a yearly international hockey tournament].

    After the press conference, there was more official business of state - I do believe there were meetings on trade deals, involvement in NAFTA, and the situation in Kazakhstan - but I was ushered to a photoshoot with Nadine Dallaire. She is 20 years my senior, but so very quiet. She is a thin woman who wears black and her brown and grey hair up in a bun. She personifies the librarian that she once was. Prime Minister’s wives are rarely in the media, unlike First Ladies.

    “You are quite a figure here,” she said in broken English. “The media loves that you were born in Canada.”

    “So I hear,” I replied in my rusty Quebecois.

    “You speak French?” she asked in her native language as she led us to a bench in the Chinese garden we were walking in.

    I nodded. “I might be an Albertan girl, but I was raised speaking English and Polish, so languages came easy to me. Plus I was an angry thirteen-year-old when I was forced to move to Texas. I kept up my French in hopes I would eventually be able to get a job here and move back. Then, of course, Matt came along.”

    She looked at the photographer. “Are we though?”

    The photographer nodded and packed up his things.

    She seemed to be unburdened and visibly relaxed as soon as he left. “Thank you, for being willing to speak French with me. My lack of English often makes days like this so awkward.”

    I smiled. “I can imagine even with my four languages I’m sure I’m in for plenty of awkward days playing hostess.”

    Then we were just two women talking about our unique situation. She demanded I call her Nadine and I demanded she return the favour. We visited the library where she does outreach work and we walked to the nearest Tim Hortons for a quick snack. It was nice just to stroll through the streets, Secret Service agents not particularly worried. It as almost as if I was home.

    It was then time for the state dinner. There I continued to be the butt of the export jokes. Matt even said in his remarks. “Jean-Baptiste and I hope to keep the Canadian dollar on par with the American to increase trade to benefit both countries. I know if the Canadian loonie becomes too low, I might be tempted to trade in my own Canadian loonie - I call her Helen - for American currency.” That remark got Matt a cold stare from Nadine. It was pretty funny.

    Dallaire didn’t make things better by saying. “We hope to foster the Canadian/US relationship. Otherwise I’d hate for Matt to get the Canadian cold down in the president’s bedroom. But don’t worry, Mrs. Santos, we will always recognize your joint citizenship if you ever want to return home. I know your true allegiance when it comes to the important matters.”

    I knew my line and I knew my audience. I pumped my fist in the air. “Go Oilers!” What can I say? I’m an Edmonton Oilers fan.

    We retired for the night at 24 Sussex - an address known by all Canadians as the prime minister’s official residence. Matt kissed me so very softly once we got to our suite. “I love you. Thank you for putting up with all the jokes. Dallaire and I had some pretty serious talks about Kazakhstan and we don’t want details getting out prematurely. You were our distraction.”

    I rolled my eyes. “So you weren’t just being jackasses? I’m glad I could be of service to my countries. I’m not annoyed,” I assured him. “I’m just glad to be home.”

    “Home?” he asked as he discarded his pants. “Do you really still consider Canada to be your home?”

    I shook I head. “That’s not what I meant, though part of me will always consider Canada to be where I come from. Home is wherever I am bugging you and you are bugging me. It means, after everything, we are still together and in love.”

    He smiled and kissed me again.

    It was 3 AM when everything went to hell.

    We were woken by a phone-call. Matt was up and answered the phone almost immediately - a remnant from his time in the marines. “Yes, okay,” was all he said before hanging up the phone and getting out of the bed.

    I was almost afraid to ask. “Matt?”

    He was already pulling on a pair of pants. “Explosions and shots in Astana.” He didn’t have to say any more. Astana is the capital of Kazakhstan. He had a shirt on and was out the door before I could even process what had just happened.

    Not knowing what to do, I quickly dressed in a pair of dress pants and a sweater and wandered the halls until I found the room where Matt had escaped to. Lights were on in the large sitting room and there seemed to be two dozen aids and Canadian military officials. Nadine was waiting outside for me in much the same state I was.

    “What is going on?”

    “Russians bombed a Chinese camp in Kazakhstan outside of the capital. The Chinese retaliated. Eight Chinese, fourteen Russians and ten Americans are dead already.”

    For those unaware, here is the “situation in Kazakhstan boiled down to a paragraph”: the Kazakhstan Prime Minister Issetov was assassinated and replaced by Prime Minister Tarimov. Tarimov has a long history with the Russians and, of course, no one believes that the elections were fair, least of all the Chinese. The Chinese were in the middle of trying to get an oil pipeline when Issetov was assassinated. The Chinese invaded. The Russians invaded. And President Bartlet put American lives in-between the two. It has just been one long game of chicken Matt has tried to solve since being sworn in. He has managed to get Dallaire on board, but up until that point, no other heads of state would touch the situation. Then, of, course, we found ourselves in that early morning on the brink of nuclear war.

    “What do we do?” I asked Nadine. She has five more years of experience at this.

    “We make our husbands’ coffee the way they like it, then stay out of the way unless they need their most trusted advisors.” She held out her hand for me. “You can do it.”

    I took her hand and we entered into the chaos of people on the phone. I recognized the face of the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sarah Jakobson and as soon as we entered, Arnold Vinick - Matt’s Secretary of State and the Republican nominee Matt beat for his job - and Josh passed by us. Both looked like they had just rolled out of bed and gotten on a plane.

    Nadine and I quietly made coffee using a counter in the corner and I watched her as she gently brushed her husband’s back and slipped the mug of coffee into his hand. She then retreated to a couch. I tried to do the same with Matt, but when I brushed his shoulder, he looked up and gasped. I instantly felt bad for interrupting him, and I was ready for the yelling from Josh, but Matt shouted. “You speak Polish!”

    I nodded like it was the most obvious thing in the world. If it had been a different situation, I would have reminded him of all his Polish jokes.

    Josh started scrambling. “Get President Buzak back on the phone. We have a fluent translator.”

    ‘Fluent’ might be a bit of a stretch, but I can grasp the gist of whatever is said in the language and reply with the vocabulary of a pre-teen.

    I was then sat between Matt and Josh with Dallaire, Vinick, and Jakobson. I was pretty freaked out when I was handed the receiver, but Matt held my other hand throughout the entire conversation. I can not recall the exact conversation, but the Polish president was willing to oversee another election in Kazakhstan if the parliament called for a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Tarimov. Apparently everyone else knew the Russians would see the Poles as “on their side” but the Chinese would see them as natural enough.

    I guess it was the last peace to dangle in front of the Chinese and the Russians to get them to sign a ceasefire and get them willing to have some sort of peace-talks. Dallaire is planning on trying to give the Russians access to an Arctic passage - something he doesn’t want to do as it will compromise Canadian Arctic Sovereignty. But I grew up in Canada in the 1970s. I know how scary the prospect of nuclear war between Russia and the US is. The shortest way between Russia and the US? Over Canadian heads.

    Matt has been putting together a pretty nice package for the Chinese that involves shared green energy research and plenty of money under the guise of energy research so that neither China nor the US (though, mainly China) will have to depend of foreign oil. It also has the added benefit of helping combat climate change. He told Vinick the final details that morning. “You think congress will go for it?”

    Vinick frowned. “It’s a lot of money.”

    “Cheaper than fighting a war.”

    “You’ll kiss your education reform goodbye.”

    Matt nodded sadly. “This year, perhaps.”

    Finally, Vinick said. “Let me talk to China while Jakobson and Poland talks to Russia. Let us see if we’ve put together enough to get them talking. What should we tell them if they just are not going for it?”

    Matt seemed to sit up straighter. “Tell them I am prepared to pull all American peace-keeping troops out of Israel and Palestine. Tonight. And send them north.”

    “And if they call your bluff?” Vinick asked.

    Matt stood up. “Oh, I’m not bluffing.”

    He was. Or rather, I hope he was.

    We were headed back to DC a fews hours later. Thankfully, a two-week-long ceasefire had already been agreed upon. On Air-Force One, Matt asked Josh, “I heard of an ambassador that helped Bartlet negotiate peace between India and Pakistan using… monetary incentives. Perhaps he can help with the Chinese?”

    Josh nodded. “I can send for him. But, sir, we will have to hide the women.”

    H.S.


    ”Prime Minister Dallaire of Canada” was actually mentioned a couple times during the last two seasons of TWW. I’m pretty sure the writers were actually referencing Roméo Dallaire, who was a Canadian Lieutenant-General and served as Force-Commander for the failed UN peace-keeping force during the Rwandan genocide (you may have heard of the book, documentary, or movie Shake Hands with The Devil). Roméo Dallaire actually became a Canadian Senator in 2005 [which just adds to the creepiness factor of the whole “TWW predicting the future”, because the first mention of Prime Minister Dallaire was made in season 6, episode 10, which aired in early January 2005; Roméo Dallaire wasn’t appointed to the Senate (not an elected position here) until LATE MARCH of 2005].

    Anyways, given that we have rules against real-person fics here, ADDED to the fact that I’ve seen Roméo Dallaire lecture in person and briefly met the man, it was just too weird for me to write him into a fic. Thus why I created Jean-Baptiste Dallaire, sorta influenced by Roméo Dallaire, but mostly just a generic French-Canadian Liberal.

    Also, I had no idea what to do with the whole Kazakhstan situation, but I was not writing a war story, which is why this was so long - I just kinda wanted to wrap up the threads left over from the show. PLUS I just wanted Lord John Marbury to make an appearance.
     
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  20. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2005
    Another fantastic update!!


    Not only did I laugh out loud, but then I had to read this part to my boyfriend, who also laughed out loud. It was "some guy named Tim" that really did me in.


    Yeeesss! I love this! It's the perfect description of Sam and Josh! :D
    (On a random note, I'm reading a story on AO3 that is a Sam/Donna/Josh slow burn story that is angsty and all sorts of amazing. I don't know why I'm telling you this other than Sam being Josh's other half made me think of it.)


    I wouldn't have thought of that, but it makes for an excellent point and now that I've read it, I agree. I really enjoyed reading about Kim Campbell here.
    Also, the streak of Democrats winning was also an excellent point. This was so well thought out, and it really shows how much you thought about the situation before writing it. (This actually goes for the whole thing. The details later about the Kazakhstan situation are amazing.)


    I love that she points this out! She can have a life with Josh still in it, but not have to work his crazy workaholic hours.


    I really loved Helen's entire part. Like I said above, the details about the whole situation were amazing and really made it feel real, like this is a real situation and the tensions running so high. Is your almost having a minor in PolSci showing here? Because I feel like even as a (recent) political nerd, these are details I wouldn't have even begun to think of. Such as Santos losing his education reform with the Chinese package. Amazing.


    Oh man, I bet that can be so awkward. I'm glad you included it here as it really makes you think about not only what government officials/dignitaries go through, but more so their spouses who didn't really sign up to have those jobs.

    Helen got to take part in the situation because she spoke Polish! :D That is awesome, and I think it will go a long way for her to feel like she's really a part of things (I also liked that she and Donna got to be a part of the VP talks for the same reason for both of them). The vocabulary of a pre-teen line made me laugh. At least she speaks another language better than the current President of the US speaks his native language. Bad mav... sorry.


    LORD JOHN MARBURY!!! YES!
    [​IMG]


    Thank you for the info at the end, that was quite interesting!!

    I can't wait for more!!
     
  21. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    Thank you!


    It really just sad how we can sum up modern Canadian culture with just a few one-liners. But we really do just embrace the stereotypes.


    I'm known as my roommates other other half, simply because I've known him for like twice as long as his wife has, so I think Sam would have been relegated to this position too of "the other wife".

    I might have to go check that out.


    So, I mostly just hated Amy (maybe more than I hated Mandy), particularly in the last season and just totally disagreed with her insistence that the new VP HAD to be a woman.

    As for Campbell - yeah, she was pretty much just appointed to take the fall for EVERYTHING her predecessor did and does NOT have a great legacy as Canada's first female PM.


    Thanks. Though, yeah, as a Canadian, the whole idea of a 12 year streak of one party being in power being "a very long time" is just laughable.


    I love that she points this out! She can have a life with Josh still in it, but not have to work his crazy workaholic hours.[/QUOTE]

    I really enjoyed the conclusion of Donna's arc - I think making her the First Lady's CoS was just an off hand thing for the writers, but it really just fit for her. She could still work in the government and continue her career, yet still be with Josh, but not work under him.


    Thanks. And yes, my abandoned focus on International Studies and "almost" minors in Poli Sci and Econ really came in handy. But also my major in History actually. But of course, these are really simple solutions.


    I think Helen's (and Abbey's in the show) entire arc can be summed up with the tagline "I didn't sign up for this".



    I know its a bit implausible, but I think I wanted to show (how I would imagine) how useful spouses can be.

    And don't be sorry :p I'm probably going to end up on some US government watchlist with the character I have planned for Santos to run against for reelection (yes, my fellow nasty women, I am going there).


    I had to and I'm not even sorry.
     
  22. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    A/N: I know the next couple of entries are kinda short. For my own sanity, I need to cut back on length on some stuff. There is just no way I can do 48 entries, each 1000+ words. I hope you guys still enjoy

    Tags: mavjade

    Donna Moss - 03/11/2007 - Entry 6

    For the first time in eight years I feel like my home-life is much more hectic than my work-life. Which is an odd thing to write considering I work for the White House.

    The night when fighting began in Kazakhstan, Josh and I had been up until one in the morning, unpacking the last few things to make his house our home. The phone call came just before 3 AM and the Secret Service was practically pounding on our bedroom door at the same time. He was informed of what was occurring and he was already changing when he gave the orders to “wake everyone up”. He didn’t even have time to kiss me, or even tell me he was boarding the next Air Force plane for Canada.

    But I suppose this is my life now. Our life.

    I ended up heading into the White House shortly after Josh left. I ran into Sam, looking extremely frazzled and tired. I asked him if there was anything I could do to help.

    “Tell me why I accepted this job,” was his reply.

    “Because you can change the world and make it a better place.”

    Sam nodded, then told me to connect his calls until his secretary could make it in.

    The Santoses returned later that day. I was in the East Wing in our suite by that time. I welcomed Mrs. Santos back and asked her, “What do we know now?”

    “I honestly don’t know. I was going to ask you the same question.”

    I thought back to the many crises we dealt with under President Bartlet. Mrs. Bartlet and her staff tended to lie low unless it had involved her. “Stay out of the way,” I offered. “Continue work as normal.”

    Mrs. Santos nodded. “And hope to goodness they don’t need a Polish translator.” She then told me what she had to do and she told me she kept replaying the conversation between her and the Polish president in her head. I was suddenly reminded that Josh’s father’s family is from Poland, though under completely different circumstances. It is strange the difference religion and less than 10 years in history can make to generations that follow. Mrs. Santos was forced to learn Polish as a child so she could communicate with her family still in Poland. Josh had no reason to learn the language. His grandmother had been pregnant with Josh’s dad when she and is grandfather escaped Birkenau. I’m not sure if even Josh’s dad learned Polish.

    Mrs. Santos then said she wanted to take her mind off the stress.

    “We need to start planning the Easter festivities.”

    She nodded. “That I can do.”

    So, that’s what we have been doing the past few days. Until Josh came in this afternoon during his lunch hour. Mrs. Santos and I were in her office, planning the annual White House Easter Egg Hunt.

    “You are not allowed in the West Wing after 3 today,” Josh said, sticking his head into the room before attempting to disappear just as quickly as he appeared.

    “Wait! What?” I called. “Who are you even talking to?”

    He reappeared again. “You,” he said. He then looked at Mrs. Santos and frowned. “Make that both of you. Your husband will thank me.”

    “Okay,” Mrs. Santos said, putting down her pen and cracking her neck. “First off, are you telling Donna as the Chief of Staff, or as her boyfriend, because either way I have a problem. Secondly, I do not take orders from Matt, let alone you! Is this about that British ambassador? Because you boys are not hiding the women.”

    “Wait? Lord John Marbury is coming?” I asked, apparently too excited for Josh. Many years ago, I was asked to entertain Lord Marbury for a few minutes as he waited for the president to make him an ambassador. He entertained me with what it was like to be royal and listed all the eligible British noble men for me. I should have listened, even if the most eligible one was five years old at the time. “He is such a fascinating man. I must say hello.”

    “Yes,” the First Lady mused. “I think I would like to meet this Lord John Marbury.”

    “No!” Josh shouted. “We are so very close to putting together a deal the Chinese are bound to accept and the president wants him to look it over and I don’t want to get him distracted.”

    “Fine,” she said. “We will come, be a part of the welcoming committee, then we will return to our end of the house.”

    I love the joy Mrs. Santos gets out of annoying Josh.

    “You said he was coming at 3, correct? I’ll pencil it into the first lady’s schedule.” Annoying Josh is pretty fun.

    DM



    Helen Santos - March 11, 2007 - Entry 6

    Annoying Joshua Lyman is the only fun I get these days, so when he told us we weren’t allowed to meet Lord John, of course I was going to ignore him.

    Just before 3 PM, Donna and I made our way to the entrance hall. Matt, Josh, Secretary Vinick, Sam Seaborn, and their entire (male) entourage entered shortly after. The fact that we were the only female representatives of the United States was simply pathetic - and Matt has the record for the most women in higher-ranking positions.

    Matt walked up to me and kissed me. “I’m not happy with you.”

    “Yeah, well Donna and I are not putting up with your ‘boys’ club,” I replied. “Other countries can hire chauvinists, but you aren’t.”

    “Yes, dear,” he replied in his placating tone that I hate so much.

    I nearly swatted him - and I should have too - when a tall, lean man entered, arm extended, heading towards Matt. “Mr. President! It is such an honour to meet you. Congratulation on your victory.”

    I took a small glance at Vinick, though he masked the awkwardness well.

    Matt stepped forward to great him. “Lord Marbury. Thank you so much for meeting with us. Your experience in such matters will be most helpful.”

    “I shall do whatever is needed. War in Asia is a dreaded fear of most.” Lord John’s face saddened when he turned to Josh, who was now at Matt’s side. “Joshua, my deepest sorrows were felt when I heard of Leo’s passing. He was such a fine sport.”

    “Indeed he was,” Josh said. “We have the Roosevelt Room waiting.”

    “It is always business with you, Joshua. I shall need to find a way to fix that. I don’t suppose I could pretend to think you are the butler.” Before Josh could reply, Lord John looked at Donna. “Ms. Moss! What is a fine woman like yourself still doing in politics?” He rushed to give her a kiss on each cheek. So much for the “reserved British”. Josh’s look of pure horror was hard to not laugh at. Matt put a hand on Josh’s arm.

    “I finally got promoted,” she replied with a smile.

    “No thanks to Joshua I presume.”

    “None,” Donna said. “I’m now the Chief of Staff for the First Lady.”

    “Very well done!” He then turned to me. “And this must be the First Lady from Britain’s commonwealth.”

    I held out my hand for him to shake. “Helen Santos.”

    Instead of shaking my hand, he kissed it. I noticed Matt take a large breath through his nose. Lord John didn’t notice. “American Presidents truly have an eye for the breasts.”

    At that point, I was trying not to laugh at Josh holding Matt back.

    “Thank you, Lord Marbury. I do believe you have business with my husband.”

    “Yes, yes! Off to business we must go!”

    When Donna and I got back to the East Wing, both of us were in laughing hysterically. Hopefully the men saw Donna and I don’t need to be ‘hidden’. We can face blatant sexism, because we deal with more subtle forms of it daily.

    H.S.
     
    Chyntuck likes this.
  23. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2005
    Lord John Marbury never fails to be amusing!

    I loved Josh coming to tell the womenz that they have to avoid the west wing, that's such a Josh thing to do. And of course, it's a very Donna and Helen thing to completely ignore him.

    I really liked the expanded back story to Josh's family and how Donna was showing how a generation makes things so different.


    [face_laugh] He's just so much fun to rile up! I love it!



    I love that he finally got Leo's name right here and then he goes on to show that he always knew it, he was just having a bit of fun. That not only shows that he's not an idiot like he seems, but also that he probably did have a great respect for Leo. It was quite a touching moment.

    Such a fun update!! And I feel you on the shorter updates, the longer ones twice a month are hard to keep up with.
     
  24. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    LORD JOHN MALBURY! YES.

    First off, for little things I enjoyed about the update: the beginning with making Josh's home their home, and their lives once again sweeping them away. We're so used to seeing things from the WW's POV that I didn't first consider how tense it would be on the FLOTUS side of things just waiting in the wings, so to speak, and carrying on business as usual.

    But of course they are not going to let Lord Malbury pass. Josh was cute if he thought that was going to work. :p Helen ribing her husband on the matter was equally as satisfying. [face_love] :p

    But, on a sobering note:



    Honestly, that was my first thought reading this entry: but there's no Leo for him to tease. So I'm glad that was given a line. :(

    Then, he did not disappoint with meeting the ladies! I had such a grin on my face reading that, such a grin! :D

    And:



    Yep. Amen to that! It's wonderful to see the ladies standing their ground. As always. [face_love]=D=
     
  25. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    This diary (if you hadn't noticed yet) just doesn't take anything that seriously, so I had to have Lord John Marbury make an appearance.


    Oh yes. Josh would try to control the entire White House and I don't think Donna would have let him get away with that.


    Thanks. That was added into there because of your diary.


    Thanks. He's pretty fun to write riled up.


    It is my belief that John TOTALLY did the whole "Gerald" thing 100% on purpose. But I think, deep down, he would have had a lot or respect for Leo.

    Thanks. I have a couple ~2000 word updates already written, but it is just so hard because I'm trying to get through 8 years in the lives of two different women.




    I could not do a TWW diary without giving Lord John time to do his thing.


    Yeah. Unfortunately, I can't really find ANY (free, modern) sources (that I want to read) on what it is like to be FLOTUS or work in the East Wing (or be in a relationship with someone like the CoS) so this is pretty much all out of my own brain, but, yeah, I can imagine it must be weird to "go on with business as usual" when on the other side of the building, the free world is being run.


    Josh should have just not opened his mouth. And, yeah, these are two bad-ass women raised in the second wave of feminism.

    Yeah. I wanted to make sure Leo still had a presence in this diary and it is clear that people still think of him.


    These women are just unstoppable, which I think the First Lady should just be in this era (or any era).