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CHALLENGE FLUFF RESPONSE: What shall we do today?

TITLE: What shall we do today?

AUTHOR: ncruuk

FANDOM: West Wing, CJ/Kate

DISCLAIMERS: Not mine, no profit, just fun....

SPOILERS: Kate nearly invaded someone (someone = a nation that really is quite funny in this context) in season 6. If you don't know who/don't want to know who, look away for this fluff....

AUTHOR'S NOTES: You know, I think I might need to apologise for some of this...the eight nations and three capital cities named in this fic are picked because they've got nice names and are geographically convenient or are an in-joke from the show itself...I hold no views on any of them....please, take this 'nation-bashing' in the spirit it is intended, with a smile...

AUTHOR'S NOTES 2: I have yet to read a 'Kate-whumping' fic...until now, but it's done gently and with a friendly, fluffy intention....





"Commander Harper?"

"Yes?" Turning away from the balcony, Kate looked at the man who had stopped a respectful couple of strides away, his dark suit and discrete tie, coupled with the earpiece and American accent elevated him from the ranks of faceless security staff to being a nameless Secret Service Agent.

"This just arrived for you from the Chief of Staff..." he explained, holding out a padded envelope that had obviously come up with the day's briefing papers. Whilst the President was speaking at the Summit in London, he had only travelled with a skeleton domestic policy staff, CJ Cregg remaining in D.C. - that decision may have been based on sound political strategising Kate couldn't help but also guess that her lover had perhaps decided to stay behind since, well, to put it bluntly, she'd have had to fly in the overhead compartment, so full was Air Force One of staff from State. Given the delicate situation in the Middle East, not to mention all the policy ambitions that the Summit itself presented, Kate and the Secretary of State had, between them, been forced to bring what felt like one advisor for every country in the UN, and a few spares for good luck...even the Press had had to give up their seats on Air Force One and fly Delta to London....

"Thank you..." acknowledged Kate, accepting the envelope before once again deliberately turning her back on him and surveying the lobby below them, which right now was deserted, but in a few minutes would become a flurry of activity as various Presidential details tried to usher their respective Head of State out of the auditorium and into their convoys...it would be well organised diplomatic chaos, something Kate was only too happy to avoid.

The agent forgotten, Kate opened the slim package, expecting to find the latest briefing book on Uzbekistan, Liechtenstein or Kyrgyzstan, or any number of countries who she was currently glad she merely had to be able to pronounce, and not spell. Instead, what she pulled out was much smaller than expected, and actually wrapped in brightly coloured paper which, on closer scrutiny, was actually proclaiming 'Happy Birthday'. Pausing a moment to consider the date, Kate wasn't sure whether to be embarassed or relieved to realise she'd forgotten that today was her thirty-eighth birthday, before continuing to unwrap....a complete set of Rand McNally map sheets for Canada!



"...and make sure you spell Tel Aviv with only one 'l'..." yelled CJ as the target of her frustration left her office...it wasn't his fault the one typo in the 200 page document happened to be the Chief of Staff's pet peeve, having seen every possible misspelling of that particular city when she was Press Secretary, "...MARGARET?"

"Yes CJ?"

"Get me..." CJ's request was abruptly terminated when her cell phone rang what Margaret knew to be the 'gets CJ happy in two rings so clear the office now!' ring. Even as CJ was reaching for the cell and turning her back on the door, her request forgotten, Margaret was reversing out of the office, happy to close the door and not reopen it until CJ's good humour had been relocated. With the President in London with most of his advisors, the day was stressful enough, without CJ being unusually cranky...

"Hey...Happy Birthday..." greeted CJ, tossing her glasses on the desk and kicking off her shoes, determined to relax for as long as this conversation was allowed to last.

"It was supposed to be classified..." grumbled Kate, only slightly good-naturedly, wondering how her lover had managed to get the date right.

"I have clearance..." teased CJ, reaching for her coffee, only to ignore it again when the mug was stone cold to her touch.

"It's codeword..."

"Yes, and I thought I got all the words in the right order yesterday morning..." recalled CJ, remembering their all too brief but nevertheless enjoyable parting at 4.30am when Kate's car came to collect her from CJ's apartment and take her to Andrews to meet Air Force One.

"You did...but how did you know?" asked Kate, trying desperately not to dwell on those thoughts, especially not when she could see the French Security Minister storming through the lobby, obviously upset by what he'd just heard. She was going to have a busy afternoon....

"Nancy told me...thought you might need a pick-me-up after the speech..." admitted CJ, wishing she could have sent something a little more, well, romantic, but unwilling to risk it given how many security checks the gift would be subjected to.

"Did she pick the gift?" asked Kate, all naive hopes that her Boss hadn't heard about that particular evening being shot to hell.

"She may have hinted..." confirmed CJ, wishing she could have seen Kate's expression at that moment, "...she said to tell you she was impressed by the way..."

"What, that I didn't invade Canada?"

"That you had the forethought to ask if we had a map..."

"I'm still not sure if I should be relieved that we didn't have one..."

"Nancy's put in a requisition for a nifty wall chart, laminated so you can draw invasion plans on it with magic markers..." The serious tone CJ used prompted Kate to smirk - she really could see some of the military strategists setting on such a wall chart with enthusiasm....and multi-coloured magic markers....

"She requisition the four or six colour packs?"

"Those ones that change colour if you use the magic pen..."

"And so my paper set?"

"Is in case you need to organise a decoy invasion in a rush after the President's speech..."

"Ah..." Looking back down at the lobby, Kate watched the tail end of the Presidential Detail exit, Bartlett having been put in his car seconds earlier. Judging by the groups of animated diplomats gathering around the edges of the lobby, it wasn't just the French who might need some attention this afternoon...

"It looked good on television, lots of applause..." observed CJ, remembering the pictures she'd had showing in the background whilst she'd skimmed the Tel Aviv report.

"That was inside the room..."

"And in the lobby?" asked CJ, knowing exactly where Kate would be camped out.

"If I'm as good at this as you all think I am, badly..."

"Oh?"

"I'm gonna have to go..."

"That bad?"

"I think Sweden's neutrality is about to be permanently damaged..."

"What's happening?" asked CJ, straightening in her chair - yes, the speech had meant to be radical, but surely not that inflammatory...

"I'm about to take one for my country..." mumbled Kate, before striding over to the escalator and quickly melting into the throng in the lobby.

"Kate?"

"Germany and Russia are about to punch the poor guy..."



There was silence in CJ's office as she listened to Kate begin to attempt pacify the irate diplomats, who were currently venting their frustration with each other through the Swedish Ambassador, only for the conversation to be suddenly terminated by what sounded like someone's nose being broken.

"Kate?"

"D'ime here CJ..." mumbled Kate, accepting a handkerchief from the Swedish Ambassador and holding it against her broken nose in a rather swift and practiced motion.

"What happened?"

"Chivalry is dead in the German Republic, but Sweden's still neutral..." said Kate, hoping that CJ would be able to decipher what she'd said as experience told her that her words would be sounding very different now her nose was no longer, well, nose-shaped.

"And the US?"

"Has two allies and a broken nose..." snuffled Kate, glad she'd managed to contain the situation with the handkerchief before it involved her suit. She liked this suit...CJ liked her in this suit...

"You ok?" asked CJ, concerned and slightly panicked. This had supposed to be diplomacy, not school-yard bully tactics.

"I will be...look, I have to go..." At least, that's what CJ thought Kate said - it was getting increasingly difficult to understand what Kate's snuffled mumbles were actually meant to be.

"You'll get it fixed?"

"Sure...listen I..."

"Got to go, yeah, me too..." sighed CJ, all too aware that, whilst not having her privacy invaded, Margaret had opened the office door slightly which, as non-subtle clues went, was a fairly good one...

"I'll be ok..." reassured Kate, waving off the Secret Service Agents that were now wanting to guard her in case anyone else got a little too passionate in their reviewing of the speech.

"Happy Birthday sweetheart..."

"Dank you..."

"Go invade Canada..." instructed CJ warmly, before ending the call when she heard Kate's mumbled conversation with the Secret Service get cut off as the Deputy NSA ended the connection.

"We're invading Canada?"

"Gees Margaret, don't do that..." shrieked CJ, the sudden silent arrival of her assistant making her literally jump.

"Sorry..." apologised Margaret, looking anything but, before repeating, "...we're invading Canada?"

"No, look, get me David at State, he needs to brief now..."

"About the Speech? I thought you'd told them to schedule that for 2..."

"Yes, no, this is a different brief..."

"Okay..." Margaret managed to introduce about three extra syllables into the word as she stood, pen poised, ready to scribble the outline brief into her notebook.

"Sweden supports the ideas and is already acting as negotiator for our position, although Germany is reluctant to share this view, Russia seems prepared to defend it…I think..." CJ paused as she tried to recall if Kate had actually told her whether it was the Germans punching a dissenting or agreeing Russian representative, "...no, he can only mention the Swedes, Russia and Germany merely hold strong views..."

"And we're briefing this because?"

"The German delegate just broke Kate Harper's nose..."

"You're kidding me..."

"Go ring David..."

"Wow..."

"MARGARET..."

"It's just, well..."

"Well what?" asked CJ, familiar enough with Margaret now to know that if she was given the opportunity to finish her thought, she'd head back to work far quicker than if CJ attempted to herd her back to work.

"Broken noses can be kind of sexy, don't you think?"

"GET OUT!" As if to illustrate her point, CJ rose from her chair and made to throw her pen in the direction of Margaret's departing back.

Returning to her chair, CJ shook her head in disbelief, before reaching for the next paper on her reading stack, only to instead grab her Blackberry and send a message to Kate,

*Margaret thinks broken noses are kind of sexy...!*

before smiling and settling down to read the report. Three pages later, she eagerly opened the response,

*And Margaret's boss?*

*Is quite fond of the nose you left with yesterday...* responded CJ, valiantly trying to start on the second paragraph of page four. She got as far as paragraph five, when,

*It's being reset in an hour...then I invade Canada... :-) *

It wasn't often you could hear the Chief of Staff's laughter from down the hall...but, once they'd got over the shock, everyone got back to work...it was a quiet day in the White House, with many people not sure what to do...perhaps it was time to invade Canada?

Now, if only they could find the map...

Tags: [163], ncruuk, west wing
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