Work Header

Unpublished Corrections

Work Text:

Moss started her career as secretary to Santos Chief of Staff Josh Lyman, and it is now widely reported that the two flew to Vegas for a pulled together marriage to give legitimacy to a pre-existing sexual relationship.

Donna crosses out 'secretary', 'Vegas' and everything past that. She hands it back to Micah. "In the unlikely event that they have a fact-checker, these are my corrections."

"Ms Moss, I don't know what to do about-."

"It really is Donna, and you don't need to do anything. These are the facts."

Former West Wing insiders tell tales of an office romance – flowers, gifts, and late nights spent closeted together 'working'. They say that Moss's infatuation was obvious, and Josh Lyman's ego notoriously easily flattered by the attentions of a beautiful younger woman. Lyman was, of course, the subject of numerous campaign rumours surrounding his conquests, in an administration already plagued with scandal.

Donna laughs. "Tell them to go and talk to Mandy or Amy about that. I'll watch from a safe distance."

Democracy in crisis is our topic. With Helen Santos making a clear statement in favour of a change in international law, one believed to be orchestrated by her Chief of Staff, Donna Moss, where does the constitution kick in? Where do we draw a line and say 'hey, buddy, let's leave the wives and girlfriends out of politics. It was your name on the ballot, not hers.'

Mrs Santos paces. "It's a little bit funny, I suppose. This is approximately the same level of press coverage as I got when I picked the mauve curtains for the residence and they said I wasn't taking my role seriously."

Donna smiles. "What gets me is that they think you ran to the UN to do your husband's dirty work. Do you think I should tell them that we actually upset both the President and Josh in equal measure?"

"Well, they were both wrong."

"Yes," Donna agrees, "they really were. And you're allowed to say that. Even in front of the international media."

"Still," Helen says. "I'm not sure whether this counts as the middle path."

"I promise we can talk about your garden next time. That might balance it out."

Unrest in the White House today as it is revealed that the President's staff are stuck in a staring match with the First Lady's staff about a rider to the new healthcare bill. Boy, there must be some frosty silences over the Lyman-Moss breakfast table right now. Let me give you some advice, Josh. I've met your wife. Blink first.

Josh is startled into laughter along with the Daily Show studio audience. He looks at Donna. Donna sighs and says, "This time, listen." When she retells the story, which she will, often, she ends with, "And that's how I convinced Josh to let me give him seven million electoral votes and won re-election."

Dear Ms Moss,
I am writing to ask you to consider me for the internship opportunity with the Office of the First Lady. Four years ago I was still in high school, and you visited my town with the President's campaign team. You spoke to the volunteers in the party offices and I was there stuffing envelopes because I wanted something to put on my college applications. You said you had come down there to the back of the offices because you wanted to say thank you, and then you told us why you were working with President Santos. That was when I decided to major in politics.

She doesn't know what to do with that. Donna remembers the town, because she always remembers. She doesn't know exactly what she said. Donna had joined the Bartlet campaign because she thought she could be more useful there, and she had gone to work for Vice-President Russell because she knew she could do more there. There was never any grand plan, as though she had picked Josh's office because she knew eventually, through some long-drawn seduction, she would end up sleeping with him and have the second-largest office in the East Wing. It was just that Josh's phone had been the one ringing, and his office looked like a cry for help. Everything else came after that, from the promotions to the knowledge that no, actually, she could be more than just 'good at this.'

This award goes to Donnatella Moss, who started her political career as an unpaid intern during President Bartlet's first campaign. Who poured coffee and answered phones and made copies, like so many of the young women working in the corridors of power today. But she wasn't satisfied, and she demanded more, and she pulled herself up to become one of the most important figures in democratic politics.

Donna walks to the podium. She doesn't feel like she deserves this, but CJ told her not ever to be stupid enough to say that again, and to take the damn award and say thank you. Donna stands behind the microphone and says, "Just for the record – I only ever poured him coffee once."