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TWW FIC: Coming to Consensus

TITLE: Coming to Consensus

FANDOM: The West Wing
RATING: PG-13
PAIRING: Josh/Sam
SUMMARY: Sample size takes on a whole new meaning. Sequel to “Equal and Opposite Reactions” and “Out of Proportion,” set during 1X6, “Mr, Willis of Ohio.” Dialogue-only.

 

“No, seriously, that’s what he said - Get the door, would you? - and to top it all off- Mmmm… What are you doing?!”

“I should think that would be obvious.”

“Sam, you know when I asked you to come to my office to talk to me about the census?”

“Yes?”

“I meant that I wanted you to come to my office to talk to me about the census!”

“Oh.”

“Yeah.”

“But you had that face.”

“What face?”

“That face, you know, that come-hither face.”

“That was just my regular face, Sam.”

“But-“

“That was just my regular face, Sam!”

“Oh.”

“Yeah.”

“Well, but then you can see how I could have gotten confused.”

“…yeah.”

“I should go.”

“Sam…”

“What?”

“That was… a good kiss.”

“Yeah.”

“Seriously. I don’t remember you being such a good kisser.”

“Well, I expect that your memories of the last time may be somewhat hazy. Under the circumstances.”

“Yeah.”

“Kind of a shame, really.”

“...yeah.”

“Well, I should go.”

“Sam.”

“What?”

“Not here.”

“What?”

“I’ve been thinking about it, and maybe...”

“Yeah?”

“Maybe it would be okay.”

“Really?”

“But not here.”

“Okay.”

“Want to meet me at my place?”

“When?”

“How about as soon as humanly possible?”

“Okay.”

***

“Mmmm.”

“Josh?”

“Yeah?”

“Are you sure about this?”

“Yeah.”

“In the sober light of day?”

“It’s night, Sam.”

“I’m just saying-“

“Shut up and kiss me, Sam.”

***

“Wow.”

“Yeah.”

“That was incredible.”

“Yeah.”

“I take back all those things I said before about protecting our reputations.”

“You do?”

“Yeah. Fuck ‘em.”

“Josh-“

“What?”

“I’ve been giving this some thought…”

“You had time to think during that?”

“If anyone asks, you can tell them that I came over to talk to you about the census.”

“Really?”

“Yeah.”

“Who’s going to ask?”

“I don’t know.”

“But you’re willing to go along with the fiction that you talked to me about the census?”

“It won’t be a fiction.”

“It won’t?”

“The issue under debate is whether we should be allowed to estimate the population of the United States based on a census, which is an attempt at an actual head count of every individual, and sampling, which would allow us to infer the size of the population based on a small but representative subset of individuals.”

“Wouldn’t the first way be more accurate?”

“No, that’s what’s really interesting. Actually, the headcount method tends to underestimate the numbers of many specific demographic populations, including minorities, the homeless, and of course illegal immigrants.”

“So instead you want to use sampling?”

“Yes.”

“And how would that work exactly?”

“Allow me to illustrate.”

“What, already? You know we’re not in college anymore…

***

“Sam?”

“Yeah?”

“I assume that’s not really how the census samples would be taken.”

“It was an inexact analogy.”

“You don’t say.”

“Did it clarify the concept?”

“Maybe. I do have one question.”

“Shoot.”

“I’m assuming that the underrepresentation in the headcount is due to problems with locating these particular individuals and getting them to respond to the survey instrument.”

“Yeah.”

“So how can you be certain that your sampling is representative?”

“What?”

“If you don’t actually know how many of these individuals exist in the overall population, and you have a smaller chance of getting them to respond, then how do you know that they’re being represented in the right proportion in your sample?”

“That’s… an excellent question.”

“Does that mean that you can’t answer it?”

“Um… yeah.”

(Pause)

“Do you think you might want to be able to before you talk to CJ tomorrow?”

“Yeah.”           

“You’re leaving?”

“You don’t mind, do you?”

“Uh… no. So I… guess I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Thank you, Josh.”

“You’re welcome.”

“That was truly an excellent question.”

“Sam?”

“Yeah?”

“You’re a huge… nerd.”

“Thank you.”

“Anytime.”

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
yarroway
Jan. 10th, 2011 01:42 pm (UTC)
Don't change a thing! it's lovely. You get their dialogue just right.
flywoman
Jan. 10th, 2011 05:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you, I really enjoyed writing this, and I'm glad to hear you liked it!
jezziejay
Jan. 11th, 2011 10:49 pm (UTC)
I went back and bought the season one DVD - because I have to know if these two are as fun as you write them :)
flywoman
Jan. 11th, 2011 10:55 pm (UTC)
Hooray! TWW is absolutely this fun, and not just these two, although they are the ones I ship the hardest (and least canonically, but whatever). Can't wait to hear what you think :).
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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