I realize that this is my last recap of this show, but I still have time to declare "furrows" a stand-alone verb, meaning "to furrow one's brow disbelievingly." Between recapping scenes with C.J. and Josh, it's earned it. C.J. furrows at Danny, declaring, "I don't have time for this." She leaves to walk away -- but it's time for his ace. He tells her, exasperated, that she does have time, which he knows, because he checked with Margaret before he came down to her office: "You're not the busiest girl in America. That's not your life anymore." He looks at her, and he's upset but clearly also has a ton of caring in his eyes. "Look, I'm not trying to turn you into Doris Day. I know, if we have a future together, I'd be Mr. C.J. Cregg. That's fine. But you don't even see me in the picture, do you?" There is nothing worse than seeing someone secure enough to handle a more powerful woman than he, and to watch him realize that it's for naught. She fidgets and looks around over his shoulder with no answer. He gets it: "Thank you. That's useful information." He walks away, and she just scratches her head and furrows.
When C.J. comes back into the building, hugging herself, Margaret meets her and announces that Santos needs to speak to her. C.J. insists that it's not a good time, but it turns out that he's already there. She finally gives an icy "fine," and Margaret catches on and apologizes. C.J. adds that she's going to have to comb through the budget, and insists that it's a full day. It's like some sort of psychological lifeline for her at this point, possibly to keep her from really, actually thinking about her future. She throws her coat on the couch, and after taking the time to take only half a breath, Margaret ushers Santos in. They pedeconference as he asks about the fifty-cent tax, quietly very upset about it when he claims that the budget was just supposed to be a "placeholder document." She gives all the various oil/environmental upsides and insists, "The President wanted to present the country with a road map for reasonable governing." He's insulted, irritated, etc., and the two of them argue until she finally explains point-blank that the Republican Congress will shoot down his first budget no matter what unless Bartlet's is so insane that Santos's looks reasonable next to it. Is there such a fucking thing as dialogue, folks? The first time, a tricky plan to help Santos ease into a tough situation was interesting. Now it's copying. Santos calms down enough to remove his jacket, and they go on, much calmer. He finally asks if this was really Bartlet's idea, and C.J. insists that he just saved Santos $30 billion. Finally, Santos picks up on something and clarifies, "You mean you just saved me thirty billion dollars." He commends her on the good idea, and asks how long it took her to talk him into it. C.J.: "More than five minutes, less than twenty. If your staff can't get you on-board faster than that, they don't know what they're talking about." Santos likes this logic. She winds up insisting that they're not "trying to leave a dead cat on [his] doorstep." She talks up a gas tax, he gives a for-good-measure request that Bartlet pull it from the budget, and at the last moment, he turns and tells her that if she thinks the gas tax is worth it, she should come work for him and do it. I'm still not buying that this offer is too good to be refused.