DISCLAIMER: Sorkin has custody. I just get them on the weekends.


MONDAY

"Good morning," Matt pronounced happily as he sidled up to Danny in the hallway on Monday morning.

"You're in a good mood," Danny said tiredly, not looking up from the newspaper in his hand.

"Yeah, well, any morning that I wake up not alone is a good morning," explained Matt as they entered Danny's office.

"I'd like a morning where I actually wake up instead of having already been awake for four hours," Danny responded, rubbing his eyes tiredly as he put the paper down.

"Rebecca's still not sleeping through the night?"

"She's got an ear infection thing. Jordan and I are trying to take turns, but it's still pretty hard to sleep with a baby screaming."

"Get earplugs."

"Earplugs?"

"Yeah, so when it's not your turn you can just... put the earplugs in an go to sleep."

Danny opened his mouth to speak, but instead just stared at Matt.

"You didn't just... Fall asleep, did you?" Matt asked after several seconds had passed.

"No," Danny responded, "I was just thinking of how stupid that idea is."

"Why is it stupid?"

"What would happed if there was a fire, genius? Or if something happened to Jordan and the baby? What if Jordan were to, I don't know, trip over one of Rebecca's stuffed animals and get knocked unconscious? What would I do then, since I couldn't hear any of it, because I had plugs in my ears? Huh, Matt? What would I do?"

After a moment of confused silence, Matt responded, "You really need to get some sleep."

"Yeah."

"Why don't you take a nap right now? It's not like anything's going on."

Danny stood from his desk. "I can't, I've got a meeting with Jack and Jordan in a few minutes."

Matt followed him out of the office. "A meeting? About what?"

"I... really don't know. Probably business-y stuff."

"Well, shouldn't I go? I mean, I'm an executive producer, too."

"Yeah, but not really."

"Come on," Matt complained. "I can do the business thing, too."

"Okay. You can come if you want, I guess. We'll probably be talking about money. And ratings. And how the money effects those ratings. And then we'll probably talk about demographics and advertisers and which advertisers would work the best on which demographics."

Matt and Danny stopped walking once they reached the exit. Matt put his hands in his pockets thoughtfully. "I could go, but I've got a lot of work to do here."

"Right," Danny said, patting Matt on the shoulder before exiting the building.


"Hey," Danny said, smiling, as he walked into Jordan's office.

Jordan looked up from the pitch that was on her desk. "Hi!"

"What are you working on?"

"I'm looking at pitches for mid-season replacements," Jordan explained as she got up to greet Danny.

"Ah, a goldmine of creativity there, I'm sure," Danny said sarcastically.

"Hey, it's not all bad," she said as she wrapped her arms around Danny's neck.

Danny wrapped his arms around her waist. "And what's the premise of the show you're looking at now?"

"It happens to be quite clever."

"Yeah, what's it about?"

"A Hollywood movie star who gets sentenced to 6 months of living on a farm for a DUI," Jordan described lamely.

"Oh, yeah, that's incredibly clever. I'm sure it'll be the next Seinfeld."

"It's only the third one I've read, okay? They can't all be bad."

"How many more do you have to read?"

Jordan sighed, "Eighty-seven."

"Sounds like a long a day."

"Yeah, you know it's bad when I'm actually looking forward to a meeting with Jack just so I can get away from bad sitcom ideas."

"Well," Danny said as he dropped his arms from Jordan's waist and moved away from her, "Shall we?"

"Ah, the air of professionalism," Jordan said as she walked out of the office ahead of Danny. "Could you try not to make googly eyes at me during this meeting, please? I find it quite distracting."

"I don't think there's going to be a problem with that. Every time I look at you I'm going to see the terrible pitches you must be reading. It's going to be like mediocrity is seeping out of your pores."

Jordan stopped to stare at him before entering Jack's office. "How romantic."

"Hey, Jack," Danny said as he walked into the office.

"PETA Masterpiece Theater?" Jack said by way of greeting. "So, the Christian Right wasn't enough? You decided you had to piss off animal lovers, too?"

"I...didn't write the sketch," Danny said, taken off guard.

"No, but you put it on the air."

"It killed at dress. I thought my job was to put the funny sketches on the air and keep the unfunny sketches off the air," Danny countered, sitting on the couch.

"Gentlemen, I don't think we scheduled a meeting today to chat about the animal people," Jordan said, trying to break up the fight.

The men stared each other down briefly before Jack finally relented. "Okay, J-Mac, let's get this meeting on the road, I've got things to do."

Danny gritted his teeth Jack's nickname while Jordan started the meeting. "We need to talk about the company logos for Studio 60's new set designs. We've got a list of companies, and Danny agreed,"she said, throwing a warning glance at her fiancee, "to let you look over the list and pass on any that might end up being a conflict of interest or... whatever."

"Well put," Jack said, taking the list and looking it over. "No to Nokia, they made an internet advertising deal last week with Time-Warner. And no to Adidas, they pulled out of a deal with us last year, we're going to punish them for a little longer. That's it."

"That's it?" Jordan asked.

"Yeah. You guys can go ahead and pick and choose and...whatever it is you plan on doing."

"Well put," Jordan smirked.

"Is that it?" Danny asked impatiently.

"Yeah, that's it," Jack said, standing.

"We should have the final list by the end of the week," Jordan told Jack.

"Okay," Jack said as Danny and Jordan turned to walk out of the office.

"Oh, Jordon, one more thing," Jack called after them.

"Yeah?"

"You're going through the midseason pitches?"

"Unfortunately."

"Pull out Damon Winston's show. You know, the one about the half robot spy. He already made an exclusive deal with ABC."

"Damn, because that one sounds like a real winner," Jordan retorted sarcastically.

Jack narrowed his gaze. "Leave now, please."

Danny and Jordan left the office and started down the hall back to Jordan's office. "I'm surprised he only passed on two," Jordan said. Danny just grunted in response. "Usually he likes to shoot down half the lists I make, just for fun." Danny didn't respond. Jordan stopped and looked at him, confused. "Are you okay?" She asked.

"Yeah, I'm fine," he replied shortly.

"Were you... really attached to the Nokia logo or something?"

"No, it's just..." Danny shrugged. "Do you have to flirt with him?"

Jordan's jaw dropped and her eyebrows shot up. "Flirt with him? With Jack?"

"No, with Ronald McDonald. Yeah, with Jack."

"You think I flirt with Jack Rudolph?"

"I mean, I can't stop him from flirting with you, but do you really have to..."

"What the hell are you saying right now?"

"Jack Rudolph has a crush on you, and I don't like it."

"I'm not sure-"

"And you're practically encouraging it!"

"Okay cowboy, let's take a few giddy-ups back because you lost me."

"Jack so obviously has a crush on you!" Danny exclaimed.

"Jack does not have a crush on me. This is not middle school."

"Oh, please. The nicknames, the back and forth..."

"The back and forth? You mean the business discussion?"

"He flirts with you, and you just let him!"

Jordan stared at Danny for a moment, her mouth slightly open in confused amazement. Then, her gaze hardened and her jaw set. "I've got about 90 hours of poorly conceived midseason pitches to go through. They're looking awfully attractive right now. Excuse me." With that, she turned and stalked back to her office. Danny ran his hand through his hair and, after hesitating for a moment, turned and headed back to the studio.


"Matt," Suzanne said, sticking her head into the office. "Do you have time to see Lucy and Tom?"

Matt stared at the blank screen in front of him. "No, because I'm writing so many brilliant things right now."

Suzanne was silent for a moment. "Sometimes I can't tell when you're joking, or..."

"Send them in."

"Right."

Tom and Lucy walked in excitedly. "What've you got?" Matt asked.

"We have a character we created together, and we just wanted to run it by you to make sure it had potential," Tom said.

"Alright."

"It's a Mussolini-type fascist trying to live in a modern day American world," Lucy started.

"Yeah, he tries become the dictator of his apartment building, he tries to overthrow the manager at work," Tom went on.

"Just, stuff like that," Lucy finished.

Matt thought about it for a minute. "It could be pretty funny. Write a draft, we'll see where it goes."

The pair bounded out of the office, passing Harriet on the way. "Hey, sexy," she said.

"Can I get no peace?" Matt asked dramatically.

"That doesn't sound good."

"Eh, I've got nothing," he said glumly, pushing his chair away from his desk.

Harriet leaned against the desk and stared down at Matt. "I have a hard time believing that with all the crazy stuff Britney Spears has been doing that you can't think of a single sketch."

"Well, I can think of plenty of sketches, but none that weren't already funny three years ago." He rubbed his temples, already feeling a headache coming on.

Harriet moved to stand behind his chair. She briefly rubbed the tension out of his shoulders before leaning down and wrapping her arms around him. "Don't worry," she said quietly into his ear. "Something funny will happen. It always does."

At that moment, Suzanne burst into the room. "Put on CNN."

"Um... can't you see I'm having a private moment with my lady?" Matt said.

Suzanne ignored him and turned on the television. The trio was greeted by the sight of a middle aged man in a suit, talking animatedly. It took Matt a few minutes to realize that the man was talking about him.

"He's from some group called 'Liberals in Television Writing' or something like that," Suzanne explained.

"I've never even heard of that group," Matt said, "Which is strange, because I'm pretty sure I'd have a good chance at making president."

"Matt Albie has softened this season," the man said. "The comedy on Studio 60 this season isn't nearly as biting or as topical as it was last season. He's pulling his punches on Republicans and the Christian Right, all because of his love life. He's dating Harriet Hayes again, and it's making him soft. He's so scared of pissing off his girlfriend, he's stopped being funny."

Suzanne and Harriet both looked at Matt, stunned. "Well," Matt said, "This is pretty funny, but I'm not sure if it's funny 'ha ha'."

TBC