Disclaimer—Characters belong to Aaron Sorkin. No copyright infringement intended. Any similarity to events or persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Song belongs to Guster.

Author's Notes—See what fun happens when you go trolling through your MP3 collection? Thanks to the Admiral. And to Jon, who introduced me to this song. And to Kacey, too. :)

Spoilers—through 100,000 Airplanes.

Archive—Let me know where, thanks.

Feedback—Always greatly appreciated.

Demons—I find a need to be the demon/A demon cannot be hurt.

~~
My words confuse you
My eyes don't move a blink
'Cause it's easier sometimes
Not to be sincere
~~

White.

Stereotypically, white is good. White is nice.

That's what got us into trouble... Blackballing. Blacklisting. Black.

Black.

White.

Racial relations.

Even political culture shifted in 1964 with President Johnson and the Civil Rights Act. The former "Solid South" that voted consistently Democratic... The whites suddenly favored the GOP and the new blacks were for the DNC. Johnson knew he was giving the South to the Republicans. He said as much.

But, that's not what I need to be thinking about.

White.

My word processing document is now... white. No black there anymore. No more words.

And I've been staring at it for at least twenty minutes without blinking while the world parties on without me.

Okay, so not the world. Just... the West Wing. Toby can eat the pie. I don't care about the pie. He's the one with the weird-ass obsession with pie. I was the one trying to... I don't know.

I was the one who was... Y'know, they pick on Cheese Day. They pick on the program and I've picked on the program, but it's really a good program. It's the truth.

It's...

It's the truth.

~~
Somehow I make you believe
Believe
When I speak I cross my fingers
Will you know you've been deceived?
~~

Nobody gives a goddamn about the truth. Cancer. Seatbelts. Pennies. It's all been shot to hell, so why should I care? Why should I be the one voice left? The one ragged, sore, tired voice being shouted down at meetings. I almost can't sit through a meeting anymore without having a headache.

It's just not worth it anymore.

The people don't matter anymore. It's only the re-election. The re-election so we can do this again for a little while before... before we're lame ducks. Before we can't do anything.

Provided, that is, we get that far.

But, we can't talk like that. Oh, no. We're fighting a war. We're fighting a war and it's bad morale to say we won't succeed, that we won't be re-elected.

We've called in reinforcements--Bruno Gianelli and his team.

We didn't get the kind of numbers we needed following the MS announcement... And then we didn't get the kind of numbers we needed after the re-election announcement. We didn't get the kind of numbers we needed at all. Well, possibly till tonight.

But, with the cancer thing...

Nobody cares about cancer. We can't be optimistic anymore. And neither can I. I'll be just as pessimistic, just as jaded, and just as cynical as the rest of them.

~~
I feel a need to be the demon
A demon cannot be hurt
~~

This doesn't hurt anymore. I'm just like them. They don't care and therefore I don't care. It was just a few paragraphs. Just a few things I wrote that maybe would be in a speech. I write things all the time that get cut from speeches. I crafted the original stump, the original nomination acceptance, the inaugural, the various State of the Union addresses... Toby and I both worked on all those speeches and all the ones in between. I bet, if you put together all the paragraphs, all the lines, all the complete sections that I've written that have been scrapped... I bet it'd be the length of a novel. Maybe two.

Some might say it'd be just like that delightful work of fiction our former staffer wrote about his very brief time with us here at the White House. Ron Burkhalt. We could go on book signing tours together. We'll tour the country and take the sitting President to town. Hell, everybody else does. All the pundits. And even the American people for the first twenty, thirty minutes of the State of the Union. And, hey, I worked for the White House longer than he did. They'll take my word for certain.

Hey, maybe we could pick Mandy up, too. Have a three-ring circus bashing President Bartlet. Burkhalt Brothers and Hampton and Seaborn Circus.

~~
Honest is easy
Fiction's where genius lies
~~

I can't. I am who I am and that's... Popeye.

I've stuck it out this far.

But, have I actually *done* anything?

I told Leo one time... there are times when we are absolutely nowhere. Have we *been* anywhere yet?

Mal gets onto me for doing what I'm told. Toby gets onto me for doing what I'm told.

The President *wanted* me to write the cancer section. I serve at the pleasure of the President. Y'know what that means? It means writing it. About curing cancer or about birthday messages for undersecretaries...

Leo, I did what you wanted me to do--I went running into walls headfirst.

And now I have a headache.

~~
'Cause it's easier sometimes
Not to be involved
~~

I have a headache and I'm not sure how I can keep going. Maybe it was just seeing Lisa today. Maybe it was just the stress over the State of the Union. I just put hours of words--fought over words, words that required long, hard battles--into the mouth of the President of the United States tonight. Maybe it was a combination of both.

Maybe it's more than that.

I don't know what it is, and I'm not sure I care at this point.

None of this is good.

But, hey, the President took the censure, which means... I'm not going to have to testify. At least, not over this at this particular moment in time.

There's a knock at my door and I look up. It's Josh. He smiles. "You comin' to the party?"

I blink for the first time. "In a minute."

"You okay?"

I nod.

"Pie's almost gone. Toby's guarding it. I tried to get a piece out for you, but noo..."

"Don't worry about it."

"You sure?"

"Yeah. Just save me a drink."

"You bet, buddy. Don't wait too long."

~~
Somehow I make you believe
Believe
When I speak I cross my fingers
Will you know you've been deceived?
~~

Josh, I don't feel right about this. About any of this right now. I don't feel like celebrating.

But, he doesn't know any of that. Doesn't mean I don't feel like screaming that at him and asking him or anyone else who will listen that help would be really nice right about now.

That goes against the new me.

The new me that's just as cynical as the rest of them. The cynical me that doesn't take this personally anymore.

~~
I find a need to be the demon
A demon cannot be hurt
~~

End.

 

 

 

Home        What's New        Author Listings        Title Listings