yowza, okay, so apparently when you’re reading fic for a show that ran from 1999-2006, most fic can be found on the ancient artifact known as, “yahoo groups” and “geocities"
nonetheless, there are still some damn fucking good fics hanging around the net and my bookmark folder was looking good, so i thought i’d post part 1 now and part 2 later (part 2 is going to be the attempt at reading every fic on the national library). in any case, this list is organized by ship (and then in no particular order) and i promise that even though some of these are crazy angsty, everything ends happily. this list contains 40 fics
a magic mirror family: Jed and Abbey Bartlet open their spacious New Hampshire home to foster kids. (Family isn’t always blood.)
stories: Sam Seaborn never expected to end up in a place like Pawnee, Indiana.
seeing the whole board: "Sam, you’re going to run for President one day. Don’t be scared. You can do it. I believe in you.” Jed Bartlet.
The interplay between Ainsley and Sam was a series high point, how did you find those scenes? Emily: Rob Lowe is a sportsman and a ladykiller and it’s impossible to be in a scene with him and not immediately begin to play tennis. [Laughs] Whether you want to or not, that is what happens. Rob: I loved Emily and I thought her character was one of the best characters that ever appeared on The West Wing. Her introductory episode, where she and I are on Capitol Beat together, is one of my favorite sequences of all time. She was amazing.
This is keeping in mind that i’m on season four and still know that Sam leaves. I feel like so few people ship it based on where i’ve looked.
Ainsley is the one Sam is engaged to at the end of the series
Ainsley periodically leaves passive aggressively smug post-it notes at Sam’s desk when she hears he’s done something wrong.
Sam keeps a rotating stock of candy, and granola bars in his desk should she ever stop by
They spent their first date arguing over where they should go for dinner, and had to settle for burgers at a place by the Georgetown campus
Donna relentlessly gets on Sam’s case about asking Ainsley to dinner until he does, the bullpen applauds
Ainsley’s pregnancy cravings absolutely terrify Sam, and he makes sure the mess has stuff put by for her when they work late
Her parents weren’t huge fans of his but he was so polite when he went to meet them that they for the most part ignored his spot on the senior staff. It was remarkable considering he broke two toes getting their luggage up onto the front porch, and was in a lot of pain.
She’s the one who proposed to him, after two whole glasses of wine. She did it again sober just because she thought it was cute to see him trip over his answer. They only agreed on it when he asked on his own, they spent a weekend on Nantucket for a boat race and it was the most preposterously cliche’d thing Josh had ever heard of when Sam told him. Donna hugged them both and dragged Ainsley off to talk possible venues for the engagement party.
(740): At the funeral we'll say nice things, like "She was delightfully extreme, psychotically wonderful, and could probably drink all you fuckers under the table." (414): That's literally the perfect eulogy -- oliver/felicity or sam/ainsley
I have a bunch for Oliver/Felicity and this just seemed so perfect for the bipartisan OTP that I couldn’t resist! Hope you enjoy, bb!
“I don’t understand why I have to be the one to give the eulogy.”
At her husband’s overdramatic complaint, Ainsley turns and focuses her best exasperated look in Sam’s direction. The full effect is lost on him as he’s currently peering into the fridge, examining the stack of available take out containers.
“She was the senior senator from California. You’re the junior–now senior–senator from California,” she reminds him. “It kind of makes sense, doesn’t it?”
Selecting his desired leftovers, Sam places the box from their favorite Italian place on the countertop and closes the refrigerator door. Only then does he turn and give her his full attention, insisting, “But she’s a Republican!”
“I know.” Ainsley eyes the take out container and wonders if there are still leftover breadsticks in there. “I’m a Republican, in case you haven’t forgotten.”
“Trust me, I never do.” He shakes his head before he puts the take out box in the microwave and sets the timer. “I’m thinking I can say something like: Senator Williams was delightfully extreme, psychotically wonderful, and could probably drink half of the Senate under the table. That should work, right?”
“Yes, that’s perfect,” she nods, waiting for the chime that announces the microwave is finished. She walks over beside him and confirms that there are, in fact, breadsticks left over, before taking one for herself. “Except,” she says, punctuating her statement by allowing Sam access to the rest of his leftovers, “you know you can’t actually say any of that.”
Ainsley smiles because she knows Sam wouldn’t say those things even if he could, not when she’s seen him spend hours perfecting the graduation card for low level state administrator’s children and stressing over the exact wording of a birthday message for her great uncle who had Alzheimer’s. She can’t blame him for letting off a little steam, though. Senator Williams had not been the friendliest of senior senators, especially when Sam first took office, and speaking as a fellow Republican, Ainsley herself had been pretty terrified of some of Williams’s ideas.
“Maybe you should call Toby,” she suggests. “He’ll help if you ask him.”
Sam nods in understanding. “I think I will,” he agrees, abandoning his leftovers as he walks over to the kitchen table to retrieve his phone.
She picks up a fork and is getting ready to start in on Sam’s fettuccine alfredo when she hears Toby’s exclamation of “But Senator Williams was a Republican!!” echoing loudly through the kitchen.
Ainsley thinks it’s a good thing she loves her husband (and his friends) as much as she does.
You Talk - Babyshambles ~ 2 Atoms In A Molecule - Noah And The Whale ~ Accidentally In Love - Counting Crows ~ Any Way YouChoose To Give It - The Black Ghosts ~ All For Love - Serena Ryder ~ You’re Gonna Miss Me - Lulu & The Lampshades ~ 1983 - Neon Trees ~ Your Heart Is A Muscle - Carly Rae Jepsen ~ You WillBecome - Glen Hansard ~ All I Want Is You - Barry Louis Polisar ~ Finding Something To Do - Hellogoodbye
Who wakes the other one up with kisses: Sam does it more, though Ainsley is prone to doing it too.
Who cooks for who: Sam tries to cook when he can (almost went on a health ramble then realised he ain’t Chris Traeger) and Ainsley wants to make the effort but she’d happily live off pastries if she could.
Who is the morning person/night person: Both are pretty great at being awake anytime of the day/night.
Who is the romantic one: Sam (bless his heart)
Who is the top when it comes to sex: Usually Ainsley.
Who would lead in ballroom dancing: Sam
Who is the more cuddly one: Sam at first, but once she finds herself totally comfortable around him (which doesn’t take long), Ainsley takes over.
Who is the one to most likely pick the movie they watch: Both - when they can, movie nights occur with a film from each of their choosing.
Who is the one who would pay for dates: Sam, but not without protest from Ainsley.
Who is the one who would initiate a quicky during classes: Ainsley more, but Sam’s initiated the odd time before.
GIVE ME ALL THE SAM/AINSLEY HEACANONS GO GO GO (please)
I go back and forth on this, but sometimes I feel very strongly that she’s the fiancee he mentions in Transition. He’s making up the thing about her having to take the bar again because wow Josh is already kind of stressed so he should probably wait a little while to tell Josh that he’s going to marry a Republican.
Otherwise something along the lines of this fic happens.
She tastes like the rum they snuck into the eggnog. Her cheeks are pink where he sweeps his thumbs across flushed skin, and she can’t stop laughing into his kisses.
They’re in his office. The lights off and blinds shut between Toby’s next door. Music and voices spill in through the closed door, and the lights from the White House gardens outside turn her hair from bone white to gold.
“Sam,” she laughs and bites at his lip. Her eyelashes fall thick and heavy over lidded eyes.
He kisses her again because he wants to look at her here in his office, in the dim light from outside, wants to burn the image of her into his mind.
sam/ainsley, white house/job-switch au (so, like, ainsley's deputy communications director in a republican white house, and sam comes in, and blah blah blah)
“I heard Cliff was bothering you earlier.” Ainsley lingers in the doorway of the basement office, grimacing a bit at the plaster and brick that serve as the walls.
“I don’t need your help. Or your assistance,” Sam says with a curl to his voice. He keeps his eyes down, shuffling things around on his desk, hands distracted.
She smiles. “I wasn’t offering it.” She knows Cliff can be an ass, but she knows also the man behind the desk can take care of herself; it hadn’t stopped her from elbowing Cliff over lunch and reminding him that they all served at the pleasure of the President here.
HIGH SCHOOL!SAM/AINSLEY, COMPETING FOR CLASS PRESIDENT (this is totally lame and undeserving of caps but whatever, it popped into my head and refuses to leave)
He was supposed to win the class presidency by a landslide, that was always the plan. Then Ainsley Hayes comes along.
Sam had seen her before. They were in the same English class freshman year, and they were even in band together for three weeks, until he finally dropped out and switched to debate.
Standing on the podium in front of the entire class, he wishes he had paid more attention in debate class. (Or at least the month they did California geography back in the fifth grade.) What was supposed to be an easy victory is turning quickly into sure and sudden defeat.
He makes up for his debate performance ground during individual speeches, and he wins the election. But only by six votes.
The next day, he finds an atlas in his locker. There’s a note tucked inside the front cover.
You might want to make room for these in the senior class budget. -A.
He pockets the note. This girl, he thinks, is one worth knowing.