Title: Inalienable Rights
Author: by Perpetual Motion
Summary: Sam confronts Toby about the drop in
Disclaimer: Let's be serious, if they were mine, they'd be having sex. Aaron Sorkin just isn't any fun on that level.
Author's Notes: Oh, my. I wrote Sam/Toby! Please, let me know if Toby's character is right. He's always been difficult for me to write.
Inalienable Rights by Perpetual Motion
Toby glanced up as his office door slammed and only had a moment to collect himself before Sam spoke.
"I'm not allowed, am I?"
"Allowed what?" Toby set his pen down and watched Sam. He looked very much disheveled and angry.
"I'm not allowed to be happy, am I?" Sam paced the office wall-to-wall twice. "It says in the Constitution that I'm allowed to pursue happiness, but I'm not guaranteed it, am I?"
"Sam, what are you talking about?"
"The constitution states every man has a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Apparently, happiness is not a guarantee, only the pursuit of it is. So even though I've pursued it my entire life, I'm apparently not getting it, am I?"
Toby stood up and backed Sam up against a wall. "Sam, slow down for five seconds and talk to me."
"You know what would have made me happy? Do you know what I pursued this past week? All I wanted, all that would have made me happy, was to see all the people at the dinner stand up and applaud the president. I would have been happy with them taking their time to get up. I would have been ecstatic for them to jump to their feet cheering, but they didn't do either. They just sat there and clapped. It wasn't even real applause, Toby. It was 'get-the-hell-off-the-stage-don’t-tell-us-how-to-live' clapping. Thanks to that damned drop in a roomful of people now hate the President.
I pursued happiness, and I didn't get it, but I could have had my happiness. Damn you, Toby."
All at once, Toby felt his stomach wrench, his heart tighten, and his Adam's apple get lodged between his throat and his mouth. He was silent for a few seconds as he tried to swallow. "Sam-"
"Shut up. You got your say. You got what you wanted. You got your happiness. You pursued your happiness and got it. I want my turn.
I want my say, and my happiness. I want the speech that has everyone chasing, and I want to catch my happiness, but I can't do that because of you."
"Me?" Toby's voice was very quiet.
"Yes, you. Besides a roomful of people cheering because of something I've written, all I want, all I really want, is to be able to go home and tell the love of my life about my boss who screwed up my pursuit of happiness, but I can't do that, Toby, because he's the same person who decided the speech needed a drop in. You don't need to come over tonight. I prefer to sleep alone." Sam slid past Toby and stalked out of the office, slamming the door as he went.
Toby sagged forward and rested his forehead against the wall. He cursed softly and tried to decide how to handle the situation. If it were anyone else, he would send flowers and a note apologizing for making an ass of himself, but these were very different circumstances than with anyone else. In the first place, Sam was liable to use the vase as a javelin in the mood he was in. Secondly, Toby knew there was a deeper problem than just the speech. He was going to have to wait until Sam calmed down before he made a move. Sighing and cursing a bit louder, Toby pushed himself off the wall and walked back over to his desk.
Sam lay in bed and thought over his confrontation with Toby. It wasn't just about the drop in.
He sighed in frustration and rolled over, half-surprised when his farm came in contact with the sheets and pillows. You kicked him out. Told him you want to sleep alone. You're an idiot, Sam.
"You're berating yourself in your head. Stop it."
Sam turned toward the door and saw Toby removing his tie. "What are you doing?"
"Getting ready for bed."
"I don't want you here, Toby."
"I know." Toby toed off his shoes and unbuckled his belt. "You're mad at me, but it's over more than just the drop in, isn't it?"
"It's about the pursuit of happiness, Toby, I can pursue it, but I never seem to catch it. At least not when it comes to my speech writing."
"You're a good speechwriter, Sam." Toby sat on the edge of the bed and removed his socks.
"I'm a great speechwriter, and I'm happy as a speechwriter except that I get tired of being second-guessed."
"By you, Toby." Sam propped himself up on one arm and watched Toby slide under the sheets and comforter. "Every time I come up with a good idea or a great line, you make me take it out. You wouldn't let me use the line in the education speech-"
"It was written by a Communist, Sam."
"Toby, you were the only one who gave a damn. So what if a communist wrote it? I was using the phrase to make a point. Not change someone's political standing. What if the quote had been from a Republican?"
"No Republican has ever uttered an elegant phrase. You know that."
"That's not my point. What if it had been said by a gay man? Or a woman? Or an atheist? Would you have complained then?"
"I know there's a point to this because I feel it stabbing me in the temples."
Sam shifted until he was hovering over Toby. "You always second-guess me."
"They pay me to do that. It's my job to put the best words in the President's mouth."
"It's my job, too. It's also my job to know the numbers, which you didn't show me."
"I'm sorry about that."
"You realize that had you told me about the internal numbers I would have been more willing to slip a drop in into the speech?"
"I realize it now." Toby was beginning to feel very uncomfortable with the glare he was receiving form Sam.
"You should have realized it before. Just because I'm idealistic doesn't mean I'm an idiot. The next time you want me to stick a drop in into a speech tell me why. Don't rant on something else. I want the truth."
Toby nodded slowly. "Fine."
"I'm capable of handling the truth, Toby."
Sam rolled over and shifted until he was resting his head on Toby's chest, and his right leg was interlaced with Toby's. "I want the truth."
"I'll give it to you."
"Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are inalienable rights to Americans."
"You, the truth, and the pursuit of happiness are inalienable rights for me. You can't deny me those."
"I'm still mad at you, Toby."
"I know, Sam."