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An Unexpected Visitor

The sun was shining brightly through the window of Sam's bedroom, waking him up. He looked at the clock: 7:05am. "Why can't I ever sleep in?" He moaned to himself as he got up to make breakfast for himself.

He was interrupted when there was knock at the door. "Who would come here this early in the morning?" He said to himself. When he opened the door he was quite surprised.

Outside his door stood Michael Seaborn.

"Dad? What the hell are you doing here?" Sam asked in an accusatory tone.

"I wanted to make things right with you again, Sam. I didn't think that a phone call was enough."

"It's a little late for that, don't you think? You kept this a secret for twenty-eight years. How do you think you can make things right?" Sam nonetheless motioned for his father to enter the apartment.


"Look, I know you're mad at me--"

"Mad?! Try hurt, disappointed, or discouraged. You are NOT the person I thought you were, *dad.*"

For a few moments, the two men just stood in the living room, not saying anything. Michael decided to break the silence.

"So, how are things going in the political world? Anything interesting occur recently?"

Sam let out an exasperated sigh. "Nothing that would interest you. I made a few pardon recommendations and found out that a man that a man who I thought was accused of a crime he didn't commit was actually a spy. Other than that, not much." Sam looked at his father who seemed interested in what Sam was saying.

"The man who was a spy, wasn't he the person you wrote about in your thesis in college?" Michael looked at his son, awaiting an answer. Sam just looked completely surprised.

"How did you know about that? I thought you were with that *woman* in Santa Monica. I didn't think you had time for your real family," Sam said with a sad tone to his voice.

Michael just looked at his son. "You sent a copy of it home to your mother and myself. Don't you remember that?" He asked with a hopeful look.

"Yeah, I remember sending to Mom, and I remember what she told me. She said it was incredible. I don't remember receiving a response from you, though. You must have been too busy with her." Sam looked his father straight in the eye. "Well? Why didn't you say anything to me about it?"

"I don't know to be quite honest," his father said with a slight smirk. "I did read it though."

Right as he said that, Sam's pager started beeping. He picked it up and read the message to himself. "I have to go to the White House right now. Maybe we can talk later." Sam looked at his father, who simply nodded.

"I'll go to the hotel--"

"No, it's okay. You can stay here," Sam said, surprised at what he just said. "The guest room is right down the hall. We'll talk when I get back," he said as he showed his father the room and then started towards his own room to shower and get dressed.

"Sam?" Sam turned around. "Thanks. I appreciate this, really, I do." His father said sincerely.

Sam just stood there for a minute. "Yeah, um, I have to get ready for work." His father nodded again and went into the guestroom.

Sam went into his room, shut the door and let out a long sigh. "And I thought I would never have to see the man again." He sighed once again and went to shower and get dressed for a day at work that was not going to be good.

*****

As Sam was driving to work, all he could think about was his father and how he could have the nerve to show up after what he had done not only to Sam but also to his family.

Sam walked into the West Wing of the White House, rushing past everyone else. He just wanted to get whatever done that he had been called in for. He was not in the mood to go over a speech with Toby. He couldn't handle Toby's temper; at least not today.

He walked into the Communications bullpen and started for his office when Josh came up to him. "Sam! There you are. We have to be in the Oval Office in five minutes." Josh saw the look on Sam's face that seemed to say 'leave me alone right now or else.' "Are you alright, Sam?" Josh asked, now concerned.

"I'm fine," Sam said, lying through his teeth. "I just...I had a bad morning. Let's leave it at that, alright?"

"Okay, but if you need to talk--"

"I know, and thanks," Sam said, feeling the anger subsiding a bit. "I'll see you in the Oval in a few minutes."

In the Oval Office, all Sam could think about was his father. He tried as hard as he could to listen and concentrate on what the President, Leo, Toby, Josh, and C.J. were saying. But he couldn't. He could only think about his father and what he had done.

"So the pardon recommendations are complete, then?" Leo asked Sam.

Sam still had his head in the clouds, so he wasn't paying attention to what Leo had just said. "What? I'm sorry, I, uh, didn't hear you."

"I said are the pardon recommendations complete, and are you okay, Sam? You look a little pale." Leo was now a little concerned about Sam.

"Yes, they are complete, and yes, I am fine." Sam said, looking at the floor. He couldn't look anyone in the eye. He knew that if he did, they would know he was lying. But since he was such a horrible liar anyway, nearly everyone noticed that something was wrong.

"Then I believe we're done." The President said. Everyone thanked him and left, ready to go home again. Sam hurried as fast as he could to his office, but someone caught up with him.

"Sam, are you sure there isn't something you need to talk about?" C.J. had followed Sam to his office. "I mean, did something happen that you would like to talk about?"

Sam looked at C.J. She was genuinely concerned. Sam let out a long sigh and said, "Well, my 'father' is in town. He came to my apartment this morning, completely unannounced."

C.J. didn't know what to say. She could only show Sam her support. "Didn't you just talk to him on the phone last night?" She asked.

"Yes, and right now I have to go home and talk to him again, so if you will excuse me, I am going to go home." Sam said, nearly snapping at C.J. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to sound so harsh."

"It's alright. I'm sure you're under a lot of stress. If you need to, call me and we'll talk some more."

Sam let a small smile creep onto his face. "Thanks, C.J. I will if I need to talk." And with that, he walked out of the West Wing, ready to once again face his father.

Sam opened the door to his apartment, only to find his father waiting for him on the couch. "Hi Sam. How did the meeting go?"

Sam just stared at his father, the anger coming back. 'How can he just sit there and pretend as if nothing happened?' "The meeting was fine. I think we have to finish a conversation we began earlier." Sam said, trying to control the level of rage he was feeling at this moment.

"Okay. Look, Sam, I know I screwed up--"

"Screwed up?! You had a woman in another apartment for twenty-eight years! You call that screwing up?" Sam was now on the verge of yelling, his voice getting louder and louder.

"Look Sam, I don't expect you to forgive me right now. I just wanted to see if we could begin to break the ice. If it helps any, I talked to your mom again yesterday and she seemed to be getting over it." Michael said, his voice shaking a little.

"Yeah, well mom has always been the stronger one in the family," Sam said, his voice slowly getting lower. "I'm surprised that she even talked to you. You cheated on her for over half of your marriage." Sam could not look at his dad. He just looked at the floor. "I am not ready to forgive you, but I am willing to let the ice melt a little bit." Sam lifted his head up and looked at his father.

His father smiled. "That's the main reason I came here to see you, to break the ice."

"Okay. Let's talk, dad."

And with that, the two of them began talking, slowly breaking the ice.

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