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

Author's Notes—Two to three AM must be the 'bewitching' hour or something, because I seem to get all my ideas right about then... I have since started keeping paper and pen at my bedside and invested in one of those little battery operated tape recorder things... (that, hopefully, won't get stuck on record and have to be crushed with 'the big hammer' *G*) At any rate, I owe yet another debt of gratitude to the three greatest gals online, my fellow Sirens, for beta-reading this for me. And to Kacey, for being understanding.

Spoilers—The Drop-In and Two Cathedrals

Feedback—Always greatly appreciated.

Archive—Sure. Just let me know where.

Jolly Good Show—A British take on an American announcement.

After an early dinner, the British ambassador to the United States, Lord John Marbury, settled into the lush leather chair in the study with a cigarette and a brandy. He had received word from the White House earlier in the day that he might be interested in the guest on Dateline. Switching on the television set, he propped his feet up, wondering who could possibly be on TV.

"Tonight, live from the White House, a special interview with President Josiah Bartlet and First Lady, Dr. Abigail Bartlet."

Marbury tilted his head to one side. "Caprice?" he called, snuffing out his cigarette in an ashtray. His personal assistant appeared a moment later. "Bring me something to write with, would you? And my glasses," he said, sitting up.

He sat and watched the interview where his old friend announced to the world that he was suffering from relapsing/remitting Multiple Sclerosis. He scratched out a few notes during the interview, random thoughts he had while enraptured by the broadcast.

As the program came to a close, he worked to put his thoughts in order, to write a supportive letter.

Caprice entered again. "Are you watching C-Span, sir?" she asked quickly.

"Whatever for?" he asked. "I think Dateline was the major news tonight."

She wordlessly crossed to the television set and changed the channel to C-Span, where President Bartlet stood at the podium before the Press Corps. Marbury lowered his glasses and set his pen down.

"Could you repeat the question?" asked Bartlet on the television set.

"He looks like bloody hell right now," Caprice muttered. "Forgive me, sir," she said, looking quickly to her boss and leaving the room.

"Can you tell us, right now, if you'll be seeking a second term?"

Marbury watched Bartlet's face anxiously, waiting for any sort of hint as to what his answer would be. The President was being quiet, too quiet in Marbury's opinion.

"Now is not the time for silence, Mr. President," Marbury murmured. "Speak to us. Guide your people. They're wanting to hear answers from you now..."

One word. That was all he heard. The simple first word of the President's next sentence. The rest was drowned out by Marbury's enthusiastic cheers as he got to his feet. Flashbulbs lit the State Department briefing room brighter than the sun, capturing the image of the determined President of the United States. Marbury, grinning, sat back down and crumpled the first letter he had been working on. Tossing it over his shoulder, he set about writing a new one.

"Mr. President," he wrote. "A jolly good show! I look forward to our continued partnership for the next six years. Your humble servant, LJM."




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