Title: "I Don't Want to be President"
Author: Tara Patterson
E-Mail: scarlett@covad.net Feedback is a wonderful elixir for the writer's ego!
Rating: PG
Category or Pairing: Jed/Abbey
Spoilers: 17 People
Archive (if applicable): Just let me know where.
Disclaimer: Jed and Abbey Bartlet are the creation of that genius Aaron Sorkin. I'm just taking them out to play for a bit. The song, "I Don't Want to be President" was written by Harry Chapin, another genius!
Author's Notes: Thanks to everyone for all your kind words and feedback. I hope you enjoy this latest installment of the "Harry Chapin Series" as I've begun to call it. I'm working on another piece to go with this series and your feedback is very much appreciated.


Just after I was born, my father said to everyone
That I would be the President one day
You're a natural politician, boy, get it in your head
And you know that it might just turn out that way
So through all the years of my childhood
There more important things than to play
I started caring for my country and my fellow man
And this is what I would always say

I'd say, I don't want to be President
But I want to help the poor and the helpless people
I really don't want to be President
But if I'm elected I promise to be faithful

"Dammit Abbey! I didn't even want to run for President! But Leo and YOU convinced me that it was the right thing to do for the
country! And now you're asking me to give up everything just because I want to run again!" yelled Jed.

"Because you're sick, Jed! Don't you get that?! Who knows how much longer you're going to be able to function? You've already
suffered one relapse while in office. I don't know how many more you're in for. No one does," she replied, her voice growing softer.

"Don't you think I know that?! It's MY body that's shutting down. I know the risks, Abbey and I'm willing to deal with the

"There are other options, Jed."

"What options? Back Hoynes for President?! I'd sooner take my eyeballs out with an ice cream scoop!"

"Jed!! You made a deal with Hoynes," she reminded him gently.

"Sometimes deals need to be restructured."

"And sometimes they get broken."

They fell into an awkward silence. Jed got up and walked across the room to pour them each a drink. He offered Abbey a glass, which
she gratefully took and sipped the contents.

I graduated college with my law degree
I was a young man on the move, they always say
I was helping my community, committed to the people
I was working as a citizen, to build a better day
They persuaded me to run for Congressman
They said from Congress you could do much more good
And you've got to have the power if your changing things
And I was hoping to do everything I could for the people

I'd say I don't want to be President
But I want to help the poor and the helpless people
I really don't want to be President
But if I'm elected I promise to be faithful

"Hoynes will understand," remarked Jed.

"I have no doubt that he will," Abbey replied. "Either that or he'll pull a Nixon. This could get ugly, sweetheart."

He sighed and shook his head.

"Jed, I'm scared," she said softly.

He sat down next to her on the sofa and took her hands in his.

"Of what, Abbey?"

"Of losing you. I have loved you since that day you tripped and landed on me in the Quad. I love your generosity, your spirit, your thirst for knowledge and inane trivia. I love you for the man you are and the man you want to be. You're my life, Jed Bartlet, and I don't want to waste the little time that we have left together. I want to be able to hear you say you love me while it still matters. I want to wake up
in your arms and know that you're the man I married. I promised to love you in sickness and in health and until the end of time. I just don't want that time to come any sooner than it has to. And I'm afraid that if you get re-elected, our time will be cut short."

Tears were running down Abbey's face as she confided her fears to him. It wasn't easy for her to open up sometimes to him, but he needed to hear what she had to say. He put his arms around her and drew her closer to him. She buried her face in his shoulder and let the tears fall.

Time is a march where the powerful are drummers
Big business, big labor, big oil
And soon I was meeting with the men who ran the country
The men who owned the sky and the soil
Oh, I became a Senator, a man to be reckoned with
Playing golf with millionaires, and speaking on TV
And when they talked of potential presidential candidates
Most often talked about, and most prominent was me
Well, I got the nomination, ran a campaign of conscience
I stood for peace and brotherhood and for prosperity
And on the day of the election I went home to my mansion
When the people had spoken, they'd elected me

He kissed the top of her head as the tears began to subside.

"I've really made a mess of things haven't I?" whispered Jed. "First, I convince myself and you that we should keep the MS a secret and then I tell Hoynes about our deal. Then I let the staff believe that we're going to run again. I don't want to tell them the truth, Abbey, but I know I have to."

"There's just so much I wanted to accomplish before I left office and I feel like I've barely scratched the surface. "

"What do you want to accomplish?" she asked, curiously.

"I want to implement Charlie's proposal for hiring new teachers. There's the Patient Bill of Rights to work on. There's hate crime legislation, balancing the budget, and getting a higher minimum wage passed. There's Social Security and Medicare reform that needs to happen. I want to bring women's issues to the forefront. The list is endless."

"However, none of it means anything without you beside me! You're my rock, Abbey and I need your heart, your soul, your strength and determination to not only get through a re-election campaign and another 4 years, but also our life. I've needed you since the day we met. And if I don't have you and your support, then I'm more than willing to downstairs right now and tell everyone that I'm not going to
seek re-election."

"Who said anything about not seeking re-election?" she asked, looking up at him.

"YOU just said that you're afraid of what might happen to my health if I get re-elected!"

"But I didn't say you shouldn't run, pumpkin."

"Okay, now you're confusing the hell out of me, Abigail Joan Bartlet!"

"Jed, if you're serious about running, then I'll stand beside you to do it. I'll make the campaign appearances and sleep on buses and raise money. I'll do it all if that's what you want. But understand this, we're a team and if your health deteriorates, you'll drop out. Your health and well-being is more important than re-election."

"Do you mean it, Abbey?"

She smiled and nodded her head. "Now, let me see what Toby has written for the address."



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