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02 September 2010 @ 08:36 pm
Backwater .7.  
Title: Backwater .7.
Characters: CJ Cregg, Danny Concannon, Abbey Bartlet
Rating: Teen
Notes: Pre-series.   Part .1. Part .2. Part .3. Part .4. Part .5. Part .6.
Disclaimer: All credit goes to Sorkin, Wells, & NBC/Warner Bros.

CJ’s prediction about the Abbey Bartlet bio hitting the bestseller list comes true the day after the campaign pulls out of Montana. They’re at a truck stop just over the North Dakota line when the news gets through to Danny, leaving him choking on a bite of dubious meatball sub as his publicist shrieks congratulations over a weak cell phone connection. Katie slaps him on the back till he’s able to talk again, and before he’s really processed what’s going on, a six-figure bonus residual check’s been wired into his bank account and a post campaign book-slash-lecture tour’s been arranged with the promise of even more checks headed his way in the future.

Not too shabby for a guy who’s been living off a crap travelling salary, especially considering how that same stupid, sorry guy’d just gone and dumped a month of DC rent on a ring for a woman he’d spent fewer than six cumulative hours alone with. Yeah. Speaking of having trouble coming to terms with things…

But, uh, anyway. So, yes, he’d bought the ring. And yes, he’d spent a lot of money on it. Now, though, with the book and the tour and everything, Danny felt a teeny-tiny bit less stupid than he had that evening he left the antiques store wondering how in the hell he’d manage to persuade his landlord to take a payment on the fifteenth rather than the first. Praise be to the indomitable Dr. Bartlet and the millions –millions! -of Americans who’d decided to read about her.

Danny’s beelining it back to the press bus to spill the good news to anybody who’ll listen when he spies his fortuneteller sitting on top of a picnic table on a grassy island wedged between the parking lot and the highway onramp. The ring box, which, against his better judgment, is stowed in his pocket rather than a safe, secret spot like the back of his luggage, smacks against his leg as his stride falters, then weaves off in a new direction.

The grass is brittle under his feet, charred, almost, by the hot waves of car exhaust sweeping down from the highway. It’s a terrible place for a picnic table, he thinks, but CJ seems determined to enjoy herself. She’s got a book dangling from one hand and a bright green popsicle dripping in the other. In her jeans and worn-out button down, she looks more like somebody escaping from a traumatic family road trip than a woman instrumental in running a Presidential campaign.

Then again, he mused as he watched her lift the popsicle to her lips, what was a campaign other than a…than a –Jesus.

Okay, maybe coming over here had been a bad idea. Cause up until just this second here, Danny’s fixation with CJ had been, well, bland. And relatively tame. Like, the farthest he’d ever wandered down that path of ‘maybe there’s something more to this than me watching her be pretty from afar’ was when he’d entertained the idea of asking her to dance back in the spud bar, wondering, if he did, how his palm would feel pressed against the small of her back. And, y’know, buying the engagement ring. There was that.

But…woah boy. He can’t –he doesn’t even know what he’s going to do now. Now that he’s seen CJ’s tongue slide down the lime length of ice, pulling it into her mouth so, so, slowly before hollowing her cheeks around it and sliding it back out. It’s just…Jesus. Is what it is. And if he doesn’t say something, doesn’t do something to stop her from repeating the process all over again right now, this very second, it’s gonna be all he’ll be able to see whenever he looks at her, from now till the day he dies. Or, worse, he won’t be able to stop himself from running towards her, dashing the book out of her hands, and kissing her till everything tastes of lime popsicle and car exhaust.

“Hey,” the greeting falls out just in time; CJ lowers the popsicle away from her mouth and smiles, flashing greenish teeth.

“Hi.” With her hands full, she isn’t able to brush her hair back from her eyes. Danny shoves both hands into his pockets to avoid the temptation of doing it for her. His knuckles brush against the ring box. He’s forgotten why he came over here.

Oh, right. The book. He opens his mouth, set on saying something like ‘You seen Dr Bartlet anywhere?’ but what comes out instead is:

“Whatcha readin’?”

Yeah. Not the same thing. Though, technically, it was book related. So. Not as bad as it could’ve been. And, bonus, he hadn’t made a fool of himself by attempting to touch and-or maul her. Which was good.

“This new bestseller,” CJ’s tone is flippant, standing in direct contrast to the building dread he’s feeling as he watches the popsicle move back towards her lips. At the last second, though, she turns the book to show him the cover, leaving him no choice but to look at it rather than her as she takes another slurping lick.

It’s his book. Holy! –it’s his book! His!

Danny knows he must be grinning like an idiot, then, cause she starts to laugh at him, but he doesn’t mind, not when she’s talking to him after having dedicated her only free hour of the afternoon to reading his book while eating a popsicle in the most damned amazing way he’s ever been lucky enough to witness.

“C’mon, I want you to sign it for me.” He blinks, not sure he heard her right, but, no CJ’s beckoning him over, pointing to the patch of free tabletop beside her. “Come on. Sign it so I can hawk it on e-bay.”

He shakes his head and goes to sit next to her anyway. Like he’d pass that kinda shot up. The table’s uncomfortable, the highway heat’s burning through his shirt, but CJ’s pressing the book into his hands and he’s joking: “Well, I guess you gotta set off that paltry salary any way you can.”

“Damn right.” As if on cue, she sucks the popsicle back into her mouth. Danny allows himself to watch this time. CJ rolls her eyes. “I promise I won’t get any on the book, mother.”

Danny’s tempted to correct her; it’s not that. In fact, it’s so far from that, it’s kind of absurd. Even now, in the back of his mind, he’s begging her to let a few choice rivulets run down her chin, along the span of her neck, and into the gap between her buttons where he could –

Ohhhhh he was so screwed. Might as well enjoy this stint on the bestsellers cause, frankly, odds were he’d never get his act together long enough to write another sentence ever again, let alone a whole book full of them. He clears his throat, gets a pen out of his pocket. Along the way, his fingers brush the ring box again and he feels a bit of his nerve creeping back.

“What should I say?” he asks. “Dear highest bidder, hope you enjoy?” CJ laughs; it’s even better up close, and he has to hold back a shiver, even in spite of the heat.

“Say that I called it. That I was right –I wanna have that in writing, from you.”

“I’m gonna regret this.” Danny doesn’t know if he means the inscription or the fact that he decided to come over here. Maybe both. Probably neither.

“Mmm-hmm,” CJ hums around the popsicle. Danny chuckles, shaking his head as he writes ‘CJ - You Were Right’ in big block letters across the title page, then scrawls his signature underneath.

Definitely both.

 
 
 
Dr. M: pic#103928461spichkie on September 3rd, 2010 03:30 pm (UTC)
Just thought I'd say hi! I've been reading your CJ/ Danny magic for a while and think it's great. Loving the backwater thread. Hope you keep writing!
you're still going to the party, bitch: ww: cj poolmammothluv on September 30th, 2010 02:01 pm (UTC)
I just caught up on this whole series and I love it! It's so fun to get a glimpse of pre-White House CJ/Danny.
forlond: [tww] Danny boyforlond on October 17th, 2010 12:47 pm (UTC)
Just found out this CJ/Danny gem (aka your LJ with fics!). Love them. More fics in near (or distant) future? :)