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29 February 2008 @ 09:35 pm
Oh Toby, oh Nora...........I love you and was glad to spend some time with you.  Now I give you to the masses. 

Title: Strippers, Foul Lines, and Jacksonian Politics
Author: Montiese
Category: Political/Missing Scene/Drama/Humor/Romance
Characters: Toby Ziegler, Nora Masterson, Leo McGarry, CJ Cregg, Sam Seaborn
Pairing: Toby/Nora
Rating: R
Spoiler: H.Con 172
Summary: “Soon it’s going to be impossible to see a pair of breasts south of the Mason-
                  Dixon line.”
Author’s Note: This is #24 in the Toby and the New Girl series.

“Hi Leo. What are you doing down here?”
Nora approached the table carrying a half-bottle of cranberry apple juice and a plastic bowl with fruit salad in it.
“Change of scenery.” He replied. “I feel as if I've had this conversation before.”
“Cases of déjà vu are well documented.”
“Actually, Josh just left.”
“Oh. Well, I don’t want to disturb you so…”
She walked away but Leo stopped her. Nora turned around.
“Tell me what you know about Andrew Jackson.”
She came to stand by the table until her boss nodded toward the chair.
“He was the hero of the Battle of New Orleans. Killed 10,000 British troops with a ragtag group of militiamen. Lost the Election of 1824 but won in 1828. During his two terms, he admitted two states into the Union, Arkansas in 1836 and Michigan in 1837. He…”
“Tell me what you know about his censure.” Leo said.
“He was censured on March 28, 1834 for removing US funds from the Bank of the United States. It was expunged in 1836 when Jacksonians had a majority in the Senate.”
“It was expunged?”
“Yeah.” Nora nodded. “They offered the President censure, didn’t they?”
Leo didn’t say anything for a while.
“I guess that’s not for me to know.”
“Tell me what you think about censure.”
“Well, it would bring this to an end. Why can't the President say he was wrong without saying he lied? He did not lie, but full disclosure is important in this job, whether we like it or not. Someone has to take responsibility and I personally do not think it should be you, Leo. Gibson is going for the jugular as soon as they come back from recess.”
Again, Leo was silent. Nora thought she might have overstepped her bounds. Of course, the Chief of Staff did not hire her to be a shrinking violet in the midst of war. Leo McGarry valued Nora’s opinion.
“You know about Gibson?” he asked.
“I know that Josh and I pulled a lot of strings trying to get him out of the room. I don’t know why, but Josh asked. He said it was for you and that’s all that mattered to me. We couldn't do it on that day. That doesn’t mean it can't be done.”
“I did not know Jackson’s censure was expunged.” Leo shifted the subject.
“In 1836. History tends to forget the fixing of mistakes. Jackson had not done anything wrong…at least concerning the Bank of the United States.”
“Do you think that President Bartlet did something wrong?”
Nora chose her words carefully. She knew how much Leo loved and respected Jed Bartlet. She also knew how it felt to be a regular American, before she was part of the inner sanctum, and discover the President had multiple sclerosis and chose to keep that bit of information to himself.
“I think the President did something regretful. The lack of malice and intent does not negate the results. Leo, you are a wonderful man and an excellent Chief of Staff but in my opinion, you cannot protect a man from his own doing. Whatever Gibson knows about you should not be fed to a ravenous Oversight Committee to protect the President. All that will happen is that two men will be destroyed. Censure will bring this to a bloodless end. It will be onward and upward …State of the Union and beyond. Its time.”
They were both quiet then. Leo took a deep breath and knew he needed a cigarette. Nora stood from the chair.
“Whatever you choose, you have to know that I am right behind you. Everyone is this building is ready to go into the fire for the President and for you. A lot of people on the Hill, both parties, owe me favors.”
He smiled a bit. The woman was definitely an asset to him, and the entire White House right now.
“Thank you Nora. Goodnight.”
“Goodnight Leo.”
She made her way back upstairs. It was late, after eleven and probably closer to midnight. Why was she still at work? The West Wing was relatively quiet but Nora followed the light into CJ’s office like a moth to a flame. There she found the Press Secretary, Communications Director, and Deputy Communications Director. CJ seemed to be working. Toby read the paper while Sam sipped a beer.
“I'm sorry that I wasn’t working here when Burkhalt was.” she greeted them. “This place was the shit. I want my own chapter.”
“I am sure this will not be the last completely inaccurate tell-all book about our time here.” Sam replied.
“He should have called it The Bartlet White House: A Novel.” Nora said.
CJ burst into laughter. She scribbled something on a legal pad.
“That’s it Nora…that’s the sound bite.”
“It’s finally snowing.” Sam said.
“Really? I think its time to go home. I was supposed to see Larry and Ed about strippers but…”
“Strippers?” Toby finally moved the paper from in front of his face.
“Excuse me, pole technicians.” That made Sam almost spit out his beer. “It’s the Teague thing.”
“Is Teague being serious?” CJ asked.
“He always thinks he is. After recess, he is probably going to revisit banning gentleman’s clubs in the state of South Carolina. There is strong conservative backing for this. A few counties in Florida have already done it, Louisiana and Georgia too. Soon it’s going to be impossible to see a pair of breasts south of the Mason-Dixon Line.”
“Perish the thought.” Toby mumbled.
“Anyway, I will just grab them tomorrow. I want to go home and soak in the tub. My feet are killing me; I'm exhausted.”
“The boots are nice.” Sam said.
“Thanks.” Nora wore a pair of maroon boots with two-inch heels. They looked great with the grey skirt and maroon sweater she wore. Her hair was up in a modernized bun. “I thought I would break them in but it was really the other way around. How much snow are we going to get tonight, Sam?”
“Six to nine inches according to the National Weather Service.” He stood from his chair. “I should probably go too…Tish is sound asleep, I'm sure. Toby, do you need me?”
“No, it has been a long day. We could all use some rest. Go home, Sam.”
The Deputy nodded, saying his goodnight and leaving the room.
“Where is the beer?” Nora asked.
“Out in the fridge.” CJ said. “I thought you were going home.”
“Yeah, fuck it. I have beer in my fridge and bourbon on my counter. I will be fine.”
“Drinking alone is unhealthy.” Toby replied.
“Thank you for your sensitive concern pot, but kettle has had a long day.”
CJ snickered. It was so obvious that the two of them were falling in love, maybe already in love. She knew Toby was fighting it. He fought everything. In the end, he would lose this one. CJ was happy for it. At least they would go home together. Who knew how long her husband would be in Oval Office. She would most likely fall asleep and wake up alone.
“Goodnight guys. I will see you in the morning.”
“Goodnight Nora.”
“Hey Nora.” Toby stopped her.
“A guy shoots 1 in 23 from the field…”
“McDeere? Oh God, I know, what the hell are they fouling him for? He was like 8 for 8 from the foul line. My mother could do better from the field. They should have let him drive to the basket. He missed his first 18 attempts. Jesus.”
Toby’s smile shone through the protective shield of his beard. Her knowledge of sports was so damn sexy. Her knowledge of everything…the woman was one of the most intelligent he had ever met. Toby Ziegler knew a lot of intelligent women.
“That’s what I said.”
“Great minds, Tobias.”
“Could I get a ride from you?” he asked. “My car is in the shop.”
CJ glanced up from her work. Nice segue, Tobus, she thought. Everybody knows you two are doing it. OK, not everyone, but all the observant people
“Sure,” Nora’s reply was nonchalant. “I've bummed enough rides from you. CJ, you need a ride too?”
“I am going to wrap it up and see if I can drag my husband out of here. If not, Lewis will take me.”
Nora left and Toby followed. CJ scowled as he left his newspaper and beer bottles behind.
“You ever think about buying a new car?” she asked. Toby walked behind her a bit so she had to talk to the air.
“You don’t like my car?”
“I like it, it just might be time.”
“Something to think about I guess.”
She said nothing more until they got to his office.
“Meet me at the guard’s desk in 15 minutes.”
“Yeah.” Toby nodded.
Twenty minutes later, Nora was starting her car. She hoped the Corvette did alright on the snowy roads. She would just have to drive slowly like everyone else in the nation’s capital tonight.
“My place or yours?” she asked, turning down Hall and Oates on the radio.
“I don’t have a bathtub.”
“I can make due.”
“Then my place; less stairs. Can I ask you something?”
“Alright.” Nora pulled out of the parking lot, flipping on the windshield wipers.
“Are you inside?”
“Sort of. This is a complicated thing.”
“A bit.”
“No more politics tonight. It will be there in the morning. All I want to think about is deep sleep. How does that sound to you?”
“Good. Today was really neverending.”
“It’s over as of right now.”
Inside Toby’s condo, Nora lit a cigarette. She sat down on the couch since Toby didn’t like smoking in his bedroom. The Communications Director sat across from her on the coffee table. He took her left foot, unzipped her boot and pulled it off. Then he did the same with her right. Nora sighed when Toby massaged her aching feet. He smiled as she sank deeper into his couch.
“They are nice boots.” He said.
“I got compliments all day…but they really suck. Doubt I will ever wear them to the White House again.”
“That’s alright. You might find they come in handy at other places.”
“I like items that have multiple uses.” Nora replied.
“Oh me too sugar, me too.”
Toby got down on his knees, leaning forward to kiss her. She tasted of tobacco and watermelon…Toby found the taste unique but not unpleasant. Nora was gentle when she pushed him away; she needed a few more puffs from the cigarette. Surprisingly, her companion was willing to be patient. As soon as she crushed it in the ashtray, he scooped her up in his arms.
“Toby put me down. You are going to hurt your back.”
“Don’t worry about my back.” he said, not entirely sure she was wrong. “Your feet hurt and you don’t need to be on them. The faster you relax, the faster we will get there.”
Nora stopped fidgeting. She smiled, sliding her arms around his neck and nuzzling close to his beard. That tickled but Toby made it to the bedroom. After depositing his girlfriend on the bed, he made a show of doing stretched for his back and knees. I had been a long time since…well; he actually never carried a woman to the bedroom. That type of romance was lacking in Toby Ziegler’s life. All types of romance were pretty much nil.
Nora reached behind her to unzip her skirt, pushing it off of her legs. Now she just wore the sweater, a pair of string bikinis, and thigh highs.
“Question?” Toby pulled off his jacket and tie.
“Go for it.” one by one she got rid of the hose.
“How do those things stay up without garters?”
“I’ll say.”
“C'mere speechwriter.”
“Yes ma'am.”
Finally, on the bed together, for a while Toby just held her close.
“Oh God, you smell so good.” He murmured against her skin.
“Clinique Happy.” Nora rolled them so that she was on top. She straddled him.
“Toby happy too. Very happy.”
She pulled the sweater over her head, throwing it to the bottom of the bed. Nora did not have the heart to throw it on the floor…it was cashmere. Who knew the last time Toby vacuumed the carpet. She didn’t even know if he owned a vacuum. He pulled her into a smoldering kiss as she unbuttoned her dress shirt.
“Question?” Toby shrugged out of the shirt. Instead of going for the tee shirt, Nora went for the slacks.
“Do you think everyone knows about us?”
“What about us?”
“I have never thought about it honestly.” She patted his hips. Toby lifted his buttocks and the slacks came down.
“You haven’t?”
“Why should I?”
“Well they…”
“Technically, this is discussing politics, and I am not in the mood.”
“Conversation over. I like you much better when you are in the mood. Actually, I rather like you all the time. But when you are…”
“Shut up Toby.”
“I can do that. That is not a problem.”
Nora laughed, bending over for another kiss. Toby reached around to caress her back. He groped for a moment and then one by one, the clasps of her bra came undone. She sat up and slid the bra down her arms. Toby could not help but smile. That made Nora smile.
“You like what you see, speechwriter.”
“You are a very beautiful woman. With and without clothing.”
“Which is better?”
“Is that a trick question?”
“Answer me, please.”
“Mmm,” his hands stroked her flat stomach. “With…shit wait…I can't answer that.”
They both laughed.
“Nora, you make every outfit sexy but it’s a lot easier to make love to you with your clothes off. How about I love in a sexy outfit that you like to take off for me.”
“I can live with that.” she was kissing him again. “Tonight though, I just want to be held.”
“Whatever you want.” Toby replied, slightly disappointed but not heartbroken. 
There was no better way to come down from a shitty day than some quality sex. Still, just having Nora in his arms gave him a high he was not sure he ever experienced. It was only recently he and the Special Assistant began sleeping together. Toby thought he would explode if he had to wait another moment…it had been worth it. A whole other side of Nora revealed itself once they shared that intimacy. She loved him; had even told him so.
He was not sure he was ready for something deeper. To be sure, Toby wanted Nora’s mind as well as her luscious body. The woman was shaped like a Greek goddess etched in marble. Still, he was not sure infatuation and romance, with all of its complications, had any place in his life at the moment. There was enough upheaval; who in their right mind would want to add to it?
“Tell me what you're thinking.”
They were both under the covers now, in the dark. Nora rested on her stomach and Toby on his back, staring at the ceiling. If they had made love, strangely, the positions would be reversed. Toby didn’t know what made him think of that. Other than the fact that sex with Nora always seemed to be somewhere on his mind. He consoled himself with the fact that it was even before they had ever slept together. It was from the instant they shook hands. 
“I'm not.” Toby replied.
Nora found that hard to believe…he was always thinking.
“You can tell me Tobes. I don’t care if its kinky.”
“OK, in that case…”
“Ha, ha.”
She hit his chest and Toby pulled her into his arms. He loved the feeling of her breasts pressed on his side. It was better if he was on his stomach but Toby was too tired to move. He just stroked her back and closed his eyes.
“I have to write what might be the most important speech of my career.” He said.
“Not your career, the President’s.”
“He has never lost an election and I had never won one. What the hell does that equal out to?”
“I'm not entirely sure. I'm the new kid and I spend much time observing. It seems as if the major players all needed something; they get it everyday at the White House.”
“What did you need?”
“We’ll have a conversation about that one day.”
“I'm looking forward to it.”
She kissed his lips. Then she did it again.
“What Toby?”
“Nothing. Its going to be another long day tomorrow. I don’t see a good end to this.”
“I do. Go to sleep.”
Nora turned so that she and Toby were spooning. She was exhausted, glad to be getting some sleep. They would live to fight another battle. She wondered if the President would consider the censure offer…if there were an offer. She knew the President; the Special Assistant never thought she would be able to say something like that. This would be over soon. Nora hoped her relationship with the speechwriter was another story entirely. Toby had finally won one. Many other victories were ahead for them.
I Feel....: happyhappy
I Hear....: "Just Because" Anita Baker