Title: One Last Time Author: Briannakin Fandom: The West Wing Timeframe: Post-Season 7 Notes: This was written for the OTP’s first non-competitive challenge: Elderly Love. This probably isn’t going to make a whole lot of sense unless you have read mavjade 's Leo Lyman diary. But you don’t really need to know much about TWW (or my diary that continues immediately after the finale) except that Sam Seaborn worked with Josh Lyman, Donna Moss, and Ainsley Hayes under both Presidents Bartlet and Santos. In our universe, Sam Seaborn eventually marries Ainsley (a Republican lawyer) and becomes a (Democratic) President. Also, this contains mild spoilers for my diary, but the references should be clear if you have read Junior BONUS POINTS FOR THE HAMILTON REFERENCES! November 5th, 2054 It was late: 11 PM on the west coast. Though in the days long past, in the days she spent working, then living, then living and working in the White House, 11 PM would have been considered early. But time mattered little when you had so little of it left. Besides, who could sleep on election night? Never Ainsley Hayes Seaborn. But apparently, her husband could. Ainsley rolled her eyes at the sight of her husband, lit by the flickering of the hospital TV. He was asleep in the large leather chair. His head lolled to the side. His face was worn and tired; his white hair was disheveled. Sleeping in jeans and a white shirt could not be comfortable for a man over 90 years old, not that he ever acted like it. Ainsley leaned out of her bed and placed a weathered hand on his harry arm. “Sam?” The resulting smile could be described as nothing less than boyish, with the carefree youth of a man in love. He stretched and brushed the sleep from his eyes. “Yes, love, what do you need?” he asked, leaning forward in the chair. “You said you wanted me to wake you when there was a result.” Sam glanced towards the TV. CNN was on a commercial. He looked back at Ainsley. “Who?” “Your Democrats are back in power.” He chuckled. “Well, I’ll be damned. They did it. Leo and Elvie actually did it.” “Yeah, America is damned. Josh Lyman’s son is the president,” Ainsley drawled. “And he somehow got VP who doesn’t even go by his real name. Damn Santos kid.” “Vice president isn’t a real job anyway,” he teased, his hands finding her waist under the blankets. “Hey!” she exclaimed, gently swatting him. “It’s an important office.” He wasn’t deterred. He commanded the television off with his voice. Modern technology was convenient when annoying one’s wife. “Yup, just like the first lady.” He began to tickle her like the immature brat he was. “Says the man who was the first male to hold the office.” He stopped. “You know, I remember thinking when you were vice president that there was no way I could feel more useless. And then you became president.” “Oh, that must have sucked,” she replied sarcastically. Sam shrugged. “The sex was pretty good.” He then climbed into bed with her, lying on his side, letting her still have most of the room. She placed her head wearily on his chest. He gently stroked her white hair. “I’ll have to call Donna and then Helen in the morning and congratulate them.” “I can do it,” Sam said. “Do you think you’ll make it to the inauguration?” He was so damn optimistic. Even after everything, he still always believed in the best outcome. She didn’t want to break his innocence. “You’ll have to ask me closer to the date. But you should go no matter what. Represent us both.” “Okay,” he promised. He got off the topic. He didn’t like to think about why she was in the hospital. “They’ll do alright,” he said with a confident, optimistic nod. “The future is safe with them.” “They will make mistakes,” Ainsley said. “I know we both did.” “But they will learn from them.” “I guess that’s all we can hope for.” “There’s plenty we can hope for,” Sam countered, showing his optimistic nature once again. “Their fathers taught them well.” “Let’s just be thankful Leo takes after his mother. The future is bright because of that.” At this, Sam nodded in agreement. “We should call Josie in the morning too. She did so much for the campaign. I think she needs to take a break and come visit her mother.” “How you got that girl to be a democrat, I don’t know and I’ll never forgive you for it. But I still love you.” He kissed her. “I love you too.” She rested her head on his shoulder one last time. Former President Ainsley Hayes Seaborn closed her eyes and retreated to sitting under her own vines and her own fig tree.