TITLE: After Stu Winkle
AUTHOR: Julian Lee
EMAIL: thwarted1066@yahoo.com
URL: http://geocities.com/thwarted1066/index.html
Rating: CHILD
CATEGORY: Sam/Will, "Life on Mars" post-ep
SERIES: The New Guy: http://geocities.com/thwarted1066/westwing/newguy.html
DISCLAIMER: I fear not ghosties, I - no, wait, that was a different thing. Anyway, I don't own these guys.
ARCHIVE: Yeah, sure. Whatever.
SUMMARY: Sometimes they just aren't your meetings.
NOTES: This one's for Dodger, one of the most devoted Toby-lovers I know.

(~(~)~)

After Stu Winkle by Julian Lee

"How much longer is it like this, Toby?"

"Like what?"

"How much longer do I stay on the outside?"

"It has nothing to do with time, Will."

"Right down the hall from one of the worst scandals this administration has faced--"

"This doesn't even begin to touch--"

"And I spent my day writing a useless counter-attack ad."

"You were where you needed to be."

"We had an SUV towing a U-Haul full of Saudis. I should have been in those meetings."

"They weren't your meetings, Will."

"Joe Quincy's been here *one day.*"

"Joe Quincy works for the Counsel's office. This has nothing to do with how long you've been here, Will. Ask Sam; he'll tell you: sometimes you just aren't in the meetings."

"I should've been there."

"Why?"

"I could've done something."

"You're the deputy director of communications. You could've done what, exactly?"

"I like Vice President Hoynes. I may be the only person in the West Wing who honestly *likes* him and believes him to be a good man."

"I believe he's a good man. A pompous, over-confident know-it-all who's cost this administration I don't know how much and never gave it a second thought - kind of proving your point here, aren't I?"

"Yeah. So *you're* in the meetings, and I'm stuck with the Laurens writing this stupid, pointless ad, and they can't stop talking about your damned salad--"

"Eating healthy will be the death of me."

"Meanwhile, John Hoynes resigns - and let me tell you it makes me sick to think of him join a club whose *only* other member is Spiro Agnew - and nobody does a thing to stop him."

"Leo and the President tried damned hard to stop him, Will, and I resent your implication that they left him to twist."

"What would you call it, Toby?"

"I call it thinking about the future of the party and understanding that it has to come before the career of one man."

"You think so?"

"This one's a no-brainer, Will."

"You're wrong. One hundred years from now, people are going to point to what happened here today and say, 'This is where

they made their first mistake.'"

"Sam's out of the country right now, isn't he?"

"What?"

"That's why you're getting...like you are about this. All day, everyone's been giving me shit about Andy, and I never noticed that you're in exactly the same predicament."

"Sam's pregnant with my children and refuses to marry me?"

"How long's that summit in Tokyo?"

"We were having a serious discussion about the Vice President, Toby."

"Two weeks?"

"And I would appreciate--"

"Must suck. For you."

"I admit it freely. Unlike you, who refuses to admit to feeling anything more than possessiveness and a twinge of misplaced chivalry towards Andy."

"The sound you may hear is the ice cracking under your feet, Will."

"Would you be trying to get her back if she weren't pregnant?"

"Would you be able to do anything for the Vice President if I were using your *head* for free-throw practice?"

"No less than I can do as things stand now."

"It wasn't your meeting, Will. It was barely mine. John Hoynes's demons are bigger and have more claws than anything under

our beds. And, yes, I think he is a *very* good man, but you can't have that many problems and not expect one of them to catch you with a sharp left hook one day. He did what he had to do for the party."

"He's all alone out there."

"No. Josh and Leo have his back, even if he doesn't know it."

"Because we're not the heartless fiends I often fear we are?"

"No, we are. Especially me. But Leo and Josh have...possessiveness and a twinge of misplaced chivalry towards Hoynes."

"Yeah, Toby, about that--"

"Getting left out of these things never gets easier. You deal with it."

"I understand."

"You should go home. It's one in the afternoon in Tokyo; there might be a lunch break or something."

"The ad was almost good a couple of times. The soccer moms would've loved it."

"Except that the soccer moms don't run this country."

"I'd probably like this country better if they did. I'm out of here; give my love to the Congresswoman."

"Cracking ice, Bailey."

END

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