The White House was in full swing preparing for the state dinner. The Canadian Prime Minister was visiting and it was all systems go for preparations.
CJ smirked. “Getting ready.”
“What do you mean getting ready ?”
CJ had a cat that got the cream look. “You mean you don’t know? He is a guest tonight.”
CJ rolled his eyes. “You do remember the bit where your best friend is dating the British Ambassador’s nephew.”
“Yeah, I remember the hooha.”
She rolled her eyes because despite trying to pretend otherwise, she was well aware of just how clever Josh Lyman was behind the bullish exterior. “Yes, I’m just glad we supported him.”
“Me too,” Josh confessed. “But Sammy as a guest?”
She snorted. “He writes for a living, Josh, I’m sure he can remain diplomatic for the administration.”
“We do live in odd times.”
CJ chuckled as she went to find her gown. She may have to stand on the edges as a representative of the administration but there was no reason she couldn’t look fabulous doing it. Plus, she had brought a great Karen Millen dress and tonight was the perfect excuse for wearing it.
Sam was stuck in his office because he had some last-minute alterations to make for the President’s speech tonight.
Ginger walked in and stopped in the doorway. She was no stranger to the fact her boss was kind of heart. She was, though, caught off guard by the intense look on his face, whilst wearing a tuxedo and the tie worn loose around his neck. It was a scene that could have come out of a magazine shoot. “Er, Tony called and said you better be ready.”
Sam looked up with a small grin at the mention of his boyfriend’s name. He was still in awe of the fact that he got to love the man and still work. He had been so sure that he would be forced to quit. They both had.
It was true that their identities got revealed thanks to a vindictive woman but it hadn’t exploded in their faces like they thought it might do. They’d assumed that Tony would be using his investments to be a rich player, or maybe politician, and Sam would return to law. It had become their in-joke; they’d be the power-couple that all would be jealous of ... It was happening just not in the way they thought.
“I am. Did he say if he was arriving with Lord Marbury?”
Sam sighed but knew better than to ask his assistant another question. She would just mess with his head and he wanted to be on his A-game tonight. Toby popped his head through the door.
“Loverboy, did you get your head out of the clouds long enough to write the speech?”
Sam thrust the pages into the air. “Here you go.”
Toby looked through the pages. “Not bad, now go and have fun .”
Sam wondered how anyone could think of a state dinner as fun. It was the type of pressure that was crazy. You had to watch every action and mind every word you spoke in case you spoke out of turn. The only way plus side - Tony in a full tailored tuxedo was always going to be a distracting sight.
Toby groaned. “He’s got that dopey smile again.”
“You did mention Lord Paddington so it is your own fault.” Sam’s assistant remarked as if to say Toby had brought that shit on himself.
“A bit overdressed for work, aren’t you?”
Tony looked at his outfit and sighed. “Yeah but not for a dinner at the White House.”
Gibbs smirked. “Whose fault? Your uncle, or your lover?”
Tony had to love the way the question was blamed. “It was my uncle’s but I dragged Sam on the grounds I shouldn’t have to suffer through it on my own.”
Gibbs clapped him on the back in mock sympathy. “That’s the spirit.”
Tony was mournful. “I kind of miss the days where I was anonymous.”
Gibbs shrugged. “We can’t go back and I suspect that you’d now struggle to go back Mr Assistant Director.”
Tony nodded his agreement. “You’re right and I do enjoy the work now McGee has adjusted.”
Gibbs snorted because McGee had needed an attitude adjustment and when he’d been at his stubborn worst - Gibbs had asked whether he should discipline as a team lead or would he prefer to do it. “You managed it.”
Tony’s surprise and gratitude at having the choice had gone a long way to repairing their own friendship. “Yeah, I broke through eventually. How is the new team gelling?”
Gibbs had to grin. “Once the others stopped being compared to you ... fine.”
Tony pouted. “Hey, I am just a man standing in Tuxedo, delaying going to a State Dinner.”
Gibbs rolled his eyes. “Go, you’re making the others jealous.”
Tony sighed. “Fine. If there’s an emergency feel free to ask for my assistance.”
Gibbs just gave him a glare. “I won’t.”
Sam heard the knock at his door and lost his ability to speak for a second. “Wow.”
“If I reduce a speechwriter to speechlessness, I know I have done it right.” Tony replied with a smug grin.
Sam had to kiss the smugness off his lips. He was careful to keep it chaste, conscious that they had to go and be presentable as soon as possible. They pressed their foreheads together, wanting contact but recognising the need to look their best.
Tony had a wicked smirk. “I’m guessing we can’t stay down here all night.”
Sam snorted. “No, I think they’d notice. Especially as the British connections means we’re on the high table. At least you know the First Lady will keep you entertained.”
Tony chuckled as he found the First Lady to be a hoot. She shocked the more reserved diplomatic types but she never let herself lose her own character. “Shall we go shock a few people?”
“Let’s,” Sam said, taking a deep breath and leaving the room with his hand on the other man’s shoulder.
He didn’t know it now but these were unwittingly his own first steps to living in this house on his own terms.