Fade to Black
Part 9

All disclaimers and notes may be found in the introduction.

Six and a half months ago, two things happened. One of my dearest
friends, the maid of honor at my wedding, was buried behind a small
church in Alexandria, near the people and places that had become her
second home, her second family. I wasn't there when they threw the
handfuls of dirt over her coffin, and I wasn't there to pray beside her
mother, and I wasn't there to lay a flower upon her coffin. I would have
come. I would have lived and died, mourned and cried, alongside the
others if not for the second thing.

The second thing..... Maybe I ought to back up a little so you can
understand the second thing. The second thing.... that's why the Director
thinks I need to talk to you. He thinks if I talk to someone, it's
possible I'll find some answers.... answers for me.... answers for three
families. I'm not too terribly hopeful though. I've already talked to
people. Now, no offense, but I've talk to people a lot more qualified
than you are to deal with this, to look for the answers floating around
somewhere in my mind.

Six and a half months ago, a man, I still believe it was a man, killed
three women. One was a lawyer, who used to be a call girl, with a fiance
on the hill, the second was a corporate lawyer that worked for New York's
second largest firm. She left a husband behind, but I don't think he
missed her much. He'd been living with his secretary for months. The
third..... Right, the third. She was important to someone important,
worked in the White House...... and she stood up for me at my wedding.
Yeah, you're pretty quick on the uptake there. She's the one I was
talking about..... that first thing that happened to me in January.

I was supposed to work miracles, I suppose. Jamie thinks I should have
anyway. Jamie? Right, you wouldn't know Jamie. James Sattler. We work
together at the Center. What? Oh, yeah, we've always worked together at
the Center. We were two of the first people there, and even after I
officially left for greener pastures and harder games.... Yeah,
politics...... We still worked together.... unofficially. Six and a half
months ago? We worked together officially, sort of. He's still at the
Center. Jamie runs the Center, but I was at Quantico, teaching about
profiling, until, of course, my phone rang. Then my job was to stop
teaching and do. Six and a half months ago, I forgot how to work
miracles, because three people died, and there was the second thing.

The second thing? Oh, right, I haven't told you about the second thing
yet. See, the second thing is this period of my life, less than a day
really, that I just can't remember. I've tried everything anyone can
think of, because I need to work this miracle. I need to find this guy,
because even if he stopped killing after three, I don't think this is
over. I need to remember..... but I can't. When I try, I can remember
talking to Donna, she's the first thing, and listening to her tell me all
about her boss' odd work and coffee habits. The next thing I remember
after that is Jamie and Sam, Sam's my husband, screaming at each other in
the hospital. There were arguing about who was responsible, Sam for
bringing me back to DC, or Jamie for making me an FBI agent again.
There's important stuff in between there, like his face, but I just can't
get to it.

Tried it..... tried that...... Yeah, I did....... Tried that...... Tried
it...... No, that didn't' work either...... Tried it....... That
too....... Yeah.......Tried that four times....... They couldn't get it
to work....... Yup, that failed...... I see.

No, no, I understand. You'll put that in your report to the Director?
Great. No, I'm not. Quantico can wait. It's not like it's essential for
me to do this thing. I just..... you know, for my own peace of mind.
Finding this guy is pretty personal. Yeah, I know I shouldn't, but I have
to. No, I'm on official leave. I was..... I was in the hospital for a
while. Oh, yeah, I suppose it was in the papers for a few days. I wasn't
exactly paying much attention to the papers then, I was paying more
attention to the pounding in my head, and the numbness in my fingers.

CSPAN? It probably was. Josh Lyman.... we're old friends, and he
needed.... he needed help after the thing, and I needed to work, to keep
myself busy. You're right, I did have ulterior motives. It let's me work
with my husband and my best friend for the sole purpose of helping a good
man do good things. Trust me, it's a welcome change from the Center.
Yeah, trying to stop bad men from doing bad things.... the stress factor
is higher. I just, I don't think I can do that kind of thing now. Yeah,
the gun thing's tough to because..... yeah, the numbness, but i said that
already, didn't I?

Maybe, I mean, maybe next week, after the convention, we can have this
discussion again, except, maybe I could drag Joshua along. I think he's
like to talk to you, except, I don't think the Feds would pick up the
tab. Well, then again....... Yeah, we're all going to New York. I haven't
been back in a while now, and it'll be nice, except, I won't get to do
much other than try and run the convention. Somehow, Josh gets to work
with the President, and my husband gets to write the convention speeches,
and I get to handle the hell that is the Democratic National Convention.
Leo..... yeah, Leo McGarry, thinks I have the talent to take it from this
bad Keystone Cops movie to a real political tool. I doubt it, but you
don't start out planning to disappoint Leo McGarry. I did that once at
Labor...... uh, the Department of Labor. I was his Chief of Staff, and I
think I hid in my office for weeks.

Well, I ought to be going...... What do you mean? It has not been only 30
minutes. Well, what I am supposed to talk about then? No one will know if
we don't sit here and accomplish nothing for another half hour. No, I'm
not all that impressed that the President ordered you to talk to me for
at least an hour. I ordered the President to eat honeydew for breakfast,
so I'm not exactly quaking in my boots here.

What? Okay, I'm not sure why you care, but if you want to hear about
them, I'll tell you about them. Sam..... Where should I start? How 'bout
with the fact that he's wonderful and he's been so supportive. He's the
only one not grilling me over what I remember every time he's sees me.
Huh, well, he does grill me over the delegates, over the Bennet ads, and
the Convention schedule, but not over what I remember. What do I think?
What, you want my personal opinion, or my professional one? Fine,
personally, I think he's a saint, and he doesn't want to push because he
knows if I remembered anything at all, I'd be on the phone to Jamie
inside of 20 seconds. Professionally, I think he's afraid to know what
happened, who's doing this..... and why.

No, I wouldn't. I'd call Jamie first. Why? Well, he's still the lead. No,
that's not weird for me. I still, you know, review my profile from time
to time, refine what we've found out, but there hasn't been much new for
me to add. Yeah, life for a profiler is slow when the killer stops
killing. Jamie's still digging for information. I think he's going to run
the M.E. and the forensics lab ragged. Do I what? No, I'd trust Jamie
with my life. Well, yeah, when you put it that way, I would trust him
more than Sam. I've known him all my life. He used to live next to me in
Richmond, before..... well, before my mother left my father, and I ended
up in England. No, we kept in touch. Every summer when I'd come home to
Virginia...... There's still a tree house we built in the backyard of my
father's house.

Oh? Right. He used to run the Bureau office there, but he's retired now.
No, James didn't have a father. He.... Mr. Sattler was killed when his
store was robbed. I think that's why he went into the FBI, but he's the
one that followed me to the Center. He didn't just study behavioral psych
for a couple years though. Jamie went all the way. That's why he's in
charge now. What? 'Cause I'm the one who goes out to do interviews. Yeah,
talking to them. Jamie can't. Um, actually, I don't know why. Uh, did we
ever what? No, I met Sam. Huh, oh, Josh introduced us.

Is the hour close to being over, because CJ has some new media spots that
I need to look at. What? Oh, well, it's harder than it looks to run a
country and a campaign, because I'm the only one who can commit to the
race full-time. Everyone else is stuck dedicating some part of their day
to the country itself. Of course that would be easier, but Bartlett wants
the people that got him elected to get him reelected. I know, I know,
you're preaching to the choir here.

Time's up? Yes! Look, nothing personal, but if you can't help me
remember, I don't have a lot of time for you. I've got two days before
the White House and the DNC are descending on the Big Apple, and I'm
responsible for it.

 

Fade to Black - 10

 

 

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