Title: Watching The Sun Rise From The Back Of A Truck
Author: Baked Goldfish
Disclaimer: I don't own The West Wing, and I don't own Coca Cola. Don't sue me.
Archive: Wherever you want it.
Spoilers: Manchester, slightly.
Summary: "It was cold, right now, but the sun was halfway up and rising, slowly but surely, and he knew that later on it would be comfortably warm. Right now, though, he had a warm body pressed against his side, and that was all he needed."
Watching The Sun Rise From The Back Of A Truck by Baked Goldfish
It was a luminous night, one where the starlight made everything stand out sharp against the bruised sky. The next farm could be seen clearly, even though it was the witching hour; but though the night seemed alive with light, there was nothing by way of sound, not even the rustling of leaves in the breeze or bugs in the trees. It was so late, that it was too late for even those sounds.
It was cold. The air was chilled as only New Hampshire at five in the morning can be. It was early fall, and while the prime hours of morning in Washington were fairly mild, those same hours in the north were crisp, frigid.
The still of the morning was broken by the low, gravelly rumbling of a truck driving over dirt and rock. It creaked into park, a few yards from a dirty white fence, with the truckbed facing east. The cicaedas were beginning to wake up, chirping cautiously as two men got out of the cab of the truck and walked to the back. The tailgate was opened with a groan, and then a whump that sounded loud in the early hours as the truck's owner let it fall. It groaned again as the two men crawled onto it and into the truck bed.
"God," he muttered, pulling out a cigarette as he settled against the back window, his quiet voice sounding loud in the otherwise silent air. "Can you even remember the last time we did this?"
"August 23, 1967," came the reply. Leo turned his head slightly to face his oldest friend. "I was just about to ship out."
"That's right," Bartlet agreed around the cigarette, lighting up and nodding as he remembered the day himself. "I can't believe it's been that long."
Leo took a swig of his cola. "It's been."
"Yeah." He took a slow drag, and for a moment, the tip flared red as the rising sun, a beacon in the dark hours before disappearing as suddenly as it had come. "Yeah, damn shame, that."
Stretching his shoulders, Leo stated with a wry grin, "There's probably a very good reason for it, though. Old men shouldn't be fumbling around in the back of trucks."
"You say that *now*," Jed teased, taking a drink of his own soda. He flicked some ash over the side of the truck absently as he watched forward, and said, "That's still a heluva long time, you know."
"Sure is," Leo replied before taking another drink. "You remember the first time we did this?"
"High school," Jed replied automatically, with a reminiscing grin. Around them, the birds were beginning to wake up, joining in the cautious chorus of the morning's insects. "It was summer after junior year, right before you were going off to that work study thing, right?"
"Yeah, and like the good liberal rich kid you were, you brought me up here as your token poor friend," Leo teased.
"Did not," Jed huffed, shoving him a little.
"Did too," Leo laughed, shying away from his assault.
"Fine," Jed groused, turning away and smiling. "But look how it turned out. You're richer than I am now, you know."
"That's only because of my secret night life as a prostitute," Leo quipped, looking out at the muddy field with a smirk on his face and a smile in his eyes.
"Night life as a prostitute?" Jed balked with mock indignation. "Where's my share?"
"I'm the President, after all," he said. "Wouldn't that make me your pimp?"
"Not necessarily," Leo chuckled, taking another healthy swig from the glass soda bottle. The night sky was beginning to lighten in one slim line on the horizon, shades of red, then purple, creeping into the bruised blue of the night as the sun began trying to push through the ground. The stars were still bright, but the ones closer to the ground seemed to begin to fade into nothing as light slivered up; the ones further away, though, looked as if they were not bothered at all by their impending doom.
The two sat with their backs braced against the back window, staring forward at nothing in particular, occasionally sipping at their sodas in the dark, oblivious to the cold. Every now and again, the tip of Jed's cigarette flared up, and every now and again, gray ash flicked to the ground like so many dead leaves.
"You think we're gonna win this thing?"
Leo glanced over at his oldest friend, fingering the mouth of the now empty soda bottle thoughtfully, almost nervously. This was the question he'd been waiting for; for all Jed's bravado, for all his assurances, Leo knew that he was only working from momentum. The freight train that sped down the tracks at that rainy, soaked press conference four weeks ago was finally beginning to show signs of friction on the wheels. He knew that it had been only a matter of time before this question was voiced.
"I dunno," he answered truthfully. "It'll be a heluva fight."
"Our numbers don't look too bad," Jed stated.
"Yeah," Leo said, though he'd almost been tempted to reply that they don't look too good, either. "They're not rock bottom, and we can still come up."
Jed stared out at the darkness tainted by light, and crushed his spent cigarette against the side of his truck. It was going to be hellish on the paint job, but who the hell really cared about those things, anyway. The filter fell to the ground, misshapen and dead, and he pulled out another cig to replace the last one. "We'll win it," he said with a sort of finality, quietly and absently as he lit up for the second time that morning.
Leo nodded. That was the answer he knew he would get, but he'd still needed to hear it. He looked down at the empty bottle he'd been holding onto for too long, and muttered crossly, "These things finish too fast."
Jed passed his own soda over to him. "I'm done with it," he said, motioning for Leo to take it.
He took it, his fingers touching Jed's for a moment longer than necessary, and he leaned towards him to kiss his cheek. "We'll beat this," he murmured against the slight, soft-harsh stubble on Jed's skin.
Jed turned until their lips met. "I know," he said, suckling on Leo's lower lip before darting his tongue into his mouth. He felt a hand between his legs, cupping him, and he took a long, slow drag of his cigarette as Leo leaned down and undid his zipper. He almost laughed as he heard the bottom of the soda bottle clang against the truck bed.
If he could think between the feel of Leo's mouth on his half-stiff cock, and the burn of nicotine in the cold dawn, Jed might think it was kind of ridiculous to be getting a blowjob that early in the morning. But he couldn't think straight, not when Leo was tongueing him to hardness, and not while he was watching Leo do it. The hand not holding his cigarette went onto Leo's head, fingers lacing through his fine blond hair, as the other man reached into his own trousers to stroke his own cock.
It was a strange thrill, smoking a cigarette and getting sucked off in an open field when there could be literally dozens of Secret Service agents looking on, and Jed was savoring every minute of it. "You're missing a beautiful sunrise," he quipped as Leo's head bobbed up and down, taking him as far down his throat as he could. Head back and eyes closed, his hand moved absently to Leo's shoulder, squeezing in rhythm with the way Leo was moving around him.
He opened his eyes again, when he felt a pause. Hazel eyes were looking up at him, asking if he should go all the way. Nodding, Jed took one more puff before flicking spent ash to the dewed ground. One hand twined in Leo's hair, one hand grasping the cigarette over the side of his truck, Jed gasped, closed-eyed, when he came, when Leo convulsively swallowed everything he had to offer.
"C'mere," he breathed, pulling Leo up so that he was half-straddling him, with one leg between Jed's. He stroked his cock, as one of Leo's hands rested on the top of the cab, and the other rested on Jed's chest; he stroked him, and watched with contentedness the earnest, anxious expressions on his face through the early morning fog and cigarette smoke. And when Leo came, Jed licked his hand clean before leaning forward to catch a kiss, messy and breathless and sated as it was.
It tasted of nicotine and Coca Cola and them. It tasted, Jed thought, of youth. They broke apart, and he pulled a drag from his dying cigarette as Leo's hands redid his jeans. "You think Ron saw us?" he asked after a moment, looking at the still-rising sun.
"Probably," Leo answered, settling back against the back of the cab, a little closer to Jed than before, and a little more tired.
He took another drag. "Think we should charge him some sort of viewer's fee?" He heard the sound of a glass soda bottle being lifted off the bed of the truck, and he took that as his answer. He was being ignored, because the question was silly, and the sun was still rising, blanking out those lower, duller stars that were closer to the dirt and mud. He sucked on the cigarette again, and the burning ember didn't flare as bright as it had earlier; rather, now it seemed almost camoflauged by the inklings of daylight, as opposed to stark against the night.
He was the President, he thought, and with strength, daring, strategy, and just a little bit of luck, he would be President for a few more years to come. He smiled, in spite of the fact that they faced inquisition upon inquisition, in spite of the fact that these next few years would be the hardest of their lives. He was the President, and, really, fuck everything else, because right now, it was his call. He had something to say, and he would say it.
It was cold, right now, but the sun was halfway up and rising, slowly but surely, and he knew that later on it would be comfortably warm. Right now, though, he had a warm body pressed against his side, and that was all he needed. He pulled on his cigarette one last time before crushing it dead and dropping it to the ground, and he let the flavor of it remain in his mouth for some time.
It tasted, he thought, of youth.