“The First Lady wants to see you,” Donna said as soon as she stepped foot into C.J.’s office.
C.J. looked up from where she was standing over her desk, pouring over a newspaper article that had potential ramifications. She looked at Donna over her glasses. “And she sent you?”
“Honestly, I think was just the first person she saw.” Donna replied, following C.J. as they started walking down the hall. “Are we in trouble?”
“We as in you and me, or we as in the entire White House?” She asked, her mind immediately supplying her with hundreds of things that could possibly require her presence and the accompanying actions she would need to take in order to handle them. “Either way I have no idea,” C.J. stopped, staring at Donna. “Why? Do you have reason to believe there is something that could get us in trouble?”
“Isn’t there always?” Donna countered.
C.J. nodded. “Touche,” she said, continuing walking. She scanned the newspaper as she walked, Donna directing her whenever she was about to collide into a staffer or wall.
“Wish me luck,” C.J. said as they reached Abbey’s office, handing over the paper, trusting Donna to take it back to her office.
Donna held up her hand that wasn’t holding anything, showing her index and middle finger crossed over one another. “Fingers and toes.”
C.J. nodded, taking a deep breath before opening the door.
“C.J.,” Abbey grinned with a glint in her eye that was almost predatory. “We’re going out.”
“We are?” C.J. asked dubiously.
“Yes,” Abbey replied in a tone that made it extremely clear this wasn’t exactly optional. “We are. Tell all of the girls for me, would you?”
C.J. nodded. “Right away, ma’am.”
“And C.J.?” Abbey called as C.J. was almost out of the room.
“Try to look a little less like you’re entering the lion’s den the next time you come in here, okay?”
C.J. smiled sheepishly. “Yes ma’am.”
“Ugh, today, Josh---” Donna started, but was cut off by Abbey.
They (meaning Donna, C.J., Amy, Andy, Ainsley, Joey, Abbey and her security detail) were at a local place, one that was frequented almost exclusively by White House employees and was therefore acceptable place for the First Lady to be, free of overly invested onlookers or nosey journalists. The place was a combination of a club, a restaurant, and an English pub.
“Mmm,” Abbey said, already throwing back her first drink. “Uh-uh. No men, no work, no politics.”
The table was awkwardly silent for what couldn’t have been more than a few seconds but felt like an eternity.
“Oh, come on,” Amy groaned, unable to believe the entire group of them couldn’t think of something to talk about that didn’t involve men, work, or politics.
“I think I might be killing my goldfish,” C.J. said, at last.
“Last week I went out and bought a pack of cheap underwear so I wouldn’t have to do laundry,” Donna said, wrapping her lips around the straw sitting in her cocktail, and blinking up at everyone innocently.
“My vibrator broke,” Amy offered.
There was a loud chorus of shocked and humored “Amy!”’s around the table. She grinned unabashedly. “Okay, but seriously, I need a new one. What do you guys use?”
C.J. laughed. “You think I have the time? Mine’s been sitting in a drawer in my nightstand for the past three years.”
“I mainly bought mine because it was pretty,” Donna shrugged, smiling apologetically.
“What about you?” Amy nodded to Ainsley, who was stirring the ice in her club soda around with a straw.
“I don’t...have one.”
Amy leaned forward, placing her hands on the table. “I am so sorry.” She spun around, moving onto the next person. “Abbey! Vibrator, go!”
Abbey snorted.“Don’t have one, kid. What if someone found it? One of the maids, or God, Leo. Could you imagine?”
“Mmm!” Donna said, around the straw in her mouth. “You mentioned a man! You have to do a shot, those are the rules.”
Amy grinned, banging her fists on the table and shouting “Shot! Shot!” Soon enough, everyone in the group was shouting along. “Shot! Shot! Shot! Shot!”
Abbey rolled her eyes, taking a shot glass off the table and downing it quickly, shaking her head once she’d finished.
The group laughed, clapping and screaming, “Woo!”
“Oh, do you need someone to loosen you up.”
“I’m sorry?” Ainsley asked, blinking in disbelief.
“Shh, shh,” Amy replied, waving her off. “Bartender! Can you send Jose over here, please?”
“Who’s Jose?” Abbey asked.
Amy grinned.“The longest relationship I’ve ever had.”
A guy walked over, not the bartender, nobody was exactly sure who he was, carrying a bottle carefully in his hands. “Ah,” Amy sighed, taking it in her hands. “Here he is. Say hello to Mr. Cuervo.”
C.J. stood in front of the mirror in the restroom, running her hands through her hair. No matter what she did it wouldn't behave the way she wanted it to. At this point, she was about to run her hands under the faucet and pat her hair until it was flattened into place. The faucet wouldn't work, however, even after she ran her hand under it two or three times. She sighed, turning around and resting against the sink. Donna had proclaimed a need to relieve herself, quickly, and C.J. had volunteered to be her designated bathroom buddy. She played with her hair absentmindedly, frowning when she realized two of the strands in her fingers were different lengths. A loud gasp startled her, causing her to lose her balance.
“What?" She said, looking around the room frantically. "What is it? Reporter? Camera?”
Donna walked out of the stall, looking completely dejected. She looked back at the toilet forlornly before answering C.J.'s question.
“I missed," she frowned, causing C.J. to cackle so loudly, their entire table could hear her from where they were seated.
Abbey grinned conspiratorially with Amy as C.J. came back from the restroom and sat down at the table. They counted to three before subtly nodding at each other and banging their fists on the table. “Jackal! Jackal! Jackal!”
C.J. waved them off at first but relented a few seconds later, going as far as to step onto her chair and then onto the table.
“Twist of lime, coke on the side, the brother loved the high life.”
“So, why don’t you like me?” Amy said, sidling up to Donna, who liked slightly like a startled deer at the accusation.
“What? I don’t,” she shook her head. “I like you! I just...you’re really successful and beautiful and that’s kind of intimidating and I feel like I have a duty to be loyal to Jo-”
“No men!” Abbey’s voice rang out from somewhere behind them.
“No men!” The rest of the group echoed.
“To you-know-who,” Donna whispered. “And I have to be on his side? And sometimes you can be kind of scary and it makes me a little bit afraid of you but it also kind of turns me on and I don’t know what to do with all that,” she said all in one breath, then wrapping her mouth around her straw and blinking up at Amy innocently.
“Ladies, ladies” Amy said, trying to get the group’s attention, but it was a lost cause over the noise everyone was making. She sighed, staring at everyone for a minute before her eyes glinted with an idea and she bellowed, “FREE TAMPONS!”
It was immediately silent.
Amy smiled. “Now that I have your attention, it has come to my attention that our dear, sweet, Ainsley,” she gave Ainsley a pitying look, to which Ainsley smiled back warily, “has never had the pleasure of experiencing body shots. What do you say we show her how it’s done?”
“Yeah!” Amy said, throwing a fist into the air before focusing on Abbey. “Madame, would you care to do the honors?”
Abbey grinned. “It would be my pleasure.”
“Here,” Abbey said, licking her thumb and wiping at a spot beside Amy’s mouth where her lipstick had gotten smudged while she had been doing body shots.
“It’s like your thumb is making out with my face.”
Abbey leaned back to look at her. “If I was going to make out with you, it wouldn’t be with my thumb.”
Amy raised her eyebrows.“Really?”
Abbey only smirked before walking away.
“Huh,” Amy said softly to herself, looking after her.
“What’s wrong with you?” C.J. said, coming to stand up beside her. “You like you’ve seen a ghost. Oh, god, you didn’t spot a reporter did you?” C.J. turned her head from side to side frantically.
Amy tilted her head. “You’re a really paranoid drunk, you know that?”
“Eh,” C.J. said. “So I’ve been told.”
Amy shrugged. “Better than an angry one, I guess.”
“Mmm-hmm. Or a sleepy one,” C.J. nodded to where Andy was asleep with her head in Joey’s lap, Joey signing to Ainsley, asking for a hairbrush so she could brush Andy’s hair.
“Anyway,” C.J. said. “Why do you look like that?”
“Oh, yeah.” Amy grinned. “I think the First Lady of the United States just said she would make out with me.”
“Really?” C.J.’s eyebrows rose dramatically, almost to the very top of her head. Amy titled her head at them.
Amy sighed happily. “I know.”
“What are you doing?” Donna whispered,
“Mmm,” Abbey mumbled around the considerably large sip of tequila she had just taken. At least, she thought it was tequila. “They’re trying to see if they can sneak past Vin Diesel and the Rock over there,” she nodded her head towards her security detail. “Whoever can do it gets their tab covered by,” she smiled, “the First Lady herself.”
“Ooh, count me in,” Donna said, getting into hiding position with Amy and C.J..
“Sure,” Amy replied, “but I’m warning you, I’m pretty good at this kind of stuff. Being so scary and all,” she grinned at Donna, teasingly.
Donna blushed, but brushed it off. “Please. I’m from Wisconsin. Most of my adolescence was spent sneaking out to go ride on guys tractors.”
C.J., Amy, and Abbey all looked at her with raised eyebrows.
“No,” she sighed, “actual tractors.”
A loud snort startled them, alerting them to Ainsley’s presence.“Move over ladies. I went through a rebel phase my freshman year of high school, dated a young Democrat. My parents didn’t like that too much. I spent nine months scaling the trellis outside my window.”
“Hey,” Josh said as he walked into C.J.’s office.
C.J. just groaned.
“Man,” Josh said, taking in her state, “what did you guys do last night?”
“Me and Sam were having breakfast in my office and Donna came in, stole Sam’s breakfast and my coffee, and left muttering about not being able to find her panties,” Josh shrugged, mystified, but amused.
C.J.’s head lifted from where it had been resting on her arms throughout the duration of their mostly one sided conversation. “What color were they?”
Josh frowned. “The breakfast?”
“No, Joshua, the panties. God,” she replied, shaking a few pills out of a bottle she seemed to have procured from nowhere and taking them with a swig of water.
“I don’t know, I didn’t ask. Why?”
“I woke up with a pair in my purse this morning.” C.J. frowned.
Josh leered. “Okay, seriously, what did you guys get up to last night?”
“Do you have an actual reason for being here or…?”
“Oh, right! Yeah, the First Lady wants to see you.”
“Ma’am,” C.J. said, walking into Abbey’s office.
Abbey was at her desk, head in her hand, sunglasses covering her eyes. She waved C.J. in with one hand.
C.J. walked over to her, eyes looking back at the sofa in the back longingly.
“You wanted to see me?”
Abbey looked up at her over her sunglasses. She opened her mouth as if to say something, but nothing came out. “Hell,” she groaned, “I don’t even remember what for.”
Abbey looked down at the floor. “Do you?”
CJ looked at her warily, wondering exactly how much Abbey had to drink the night before, but the wariness turned to shock as Amy crawled out from under Abbey’s desk. Her hair was disheveled, lipstick smudged on her face, and a different shade was on her collar. Her shirt was buttoned up unevenly hanging off of her slightly, and she didn’t appear to be wearing any shoes.
“And I thought I had a wild night.”
Amy grinned, then winced and groaned as if the movement pained her.
A stream of sunlight came through the window at that moment, causing them all to groan and C.J. to look back at the couch and whimper.
“Just go,” Abbey said, waving C.J. towards the couch.
“Oh, thank God,” C.J. said, rushing to said couch and flopping into it face first. She groaned into the cushion. She turned her head towards Abbey, blinking in an attempt to stay awake long enough to say thank you. The last thing she saw before she drifted off was Amy crawling over to sit on the floor beside Abbey’s chair, Abbey reaching down to pat her hair absentmindedly.