Note: All characters in this story are products on my own imagination. Any similarities between them and real people are completely coincidental. :)
President of the United States of America.
Head of state and head of government. Leader of the executive branch of the federal government and commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces.
And at noon today, it was all his.
At his right, his wife smiled brilliantly, their five-year-old son held securely in her arms, not entirely sure what exactly was going on, but thrilled to be there anyway. On is left was his ten-year-old daughter, struggling to keep her eyes from the camera flashes, but obviously soaking up the limelight.
"...and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."
The audience burst into sudden applause, alerting the president elect that his vice-president had finished his (thankfully much longer than his) oath into office and the band had once again started up with their patriotic praise.
He supplied his friend with a firm handshake, a silent thanks for a job well done. The Vice President nodded knowingly, flashing a small, secretive smile that either said "thanks" or "don't thank me yet", he couldn't be sure.
Out of the corner of his eye, the Chief Justice turned in his direction, smiling warmly with a large bible resting his hands.
It was time.
With shaking hands, he allowed his wife to help him to his feet, and after planting a small kiss to her cheek, took a deep breath and turned to the man. He could barely register the clapping and hollering of the crowd of people below.
"Are you prepared to take the oath?"
The president-elect nodded, knowing he was probably grinning like an idiot, but not bothering to care. "I am."
The Chief Justice raised his right hand and he immediately followed suit. "Repeat after me. I do solemnly swear."
"I do solemnly swear."
"That I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States."
"...that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States."
"And will to the best of my ability."
"And will, to the best of my ability,"
"Preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."
He allowed himself a deep, calming breath. "Preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."
"So help you God?" The Chief Justice raised an eyebrow playfully.
The president elect bit his lip and nodded. "So help me God."
"Congratulations," the older man paused briefly before allowing himself a small smile, "Mr. President."
The crowd broke into thundering applause as the President and the Chief Justice exchanged handshakes, and continued their clapping and cheering as his wife, the First Lady, did the same. His daughter was on her feet in an instant, jumping into his arms and kissing him on the cheek. He may have even heard her cry something about being the coolest daddy ever, but the people, his people were cheering so loud it was hard to be sure.
In the distance, cannons were fired and the beginning cords of Hail to the Chief started to play, and it was at that moment, that exact moment, at 12:05PM on January 20th, that he heard that iconic song, and knew that it was playing for him.
Him, the President of the United States.
"Well lookit what the cat dragged in! it's the fresh meat!"
The president-elect smiled softly and offered his hand for a handshake. "Hello again, Mr. President."
"Aw, shoot son, we don't do handshakes 'round here! Gimme a hug!" And suddenly his offered hand was yanked forward and he found himself with a face-full of patriotic tie and pudge.
"Yes," he gasped, trying to wiggle his way free. "Yes, that's good, that's quite enough-"
The President laughed heartily. He was a bigger man, known throughout his eight years in office as being jolly and enthusiastic, with a comforting southern drawl that made you either feel like home or crave some KFC. While it was true they both played for different parties, the president-elect felt no animosity throughout the entire election. Sure, he supported the other guy because it was what was expected of him, but the President was a man who cared about the country as a whole far more than he cared about who supported what.
"Come on now boy, you wont last a day with that there attitude a' yours!" With that the President started strolling down the hall, chuckling under his breath. "Woo-wee, America's gonna have a fun time with this one."
The two men made their way to the Oval Office, the President taking his spot behind the large desk, and the president-elect sitting in a hard wooden chair that was pulled in front of it.
The traditional meeting between President and elect. No one besides the two involved ever knew what went on during these meetings, it was one of those mysteries the presidents took to their graves. Sure they hinted at the sharing of advice or plans for the future, but the knowing smiles and giggles of White House staff had the current elect thinking otherwise.
The President rested his elbows on the desk and leaned forward expectantly. "So you think you're prepared to be president, eh?"
The president-elect chuckled, shaking his head. "Not even a little. I thought I was after the election, but now that the inauguration is getting closer, I-"
"Let me tell you somethin', sport," the President interrupted, suddenly serious, "And if you don't remember nothing else, you remember this."
The younger man's eyes widened, nodding to show he understood.
"I ain't never had any kids of my own. Shame really, I think I woulda made a good daddy, but that ain't the point. Point is, in my eight years servin' in this office, I didn't once feel sad about that. Not once. Why you ask? Cause I had a country now, and dammit if it's not the best damn country on this here Earth."
The President started to tear up at this point. Awkwardly, the elect offered him his handkerchief.
"Thank ya, son." He blew his nose. "Now where was I? Ah yes. I ain't saying this is gonna be easy. In fact, I would reckon to say these might be the hardest and most stressful few years of your life. But boy, I'm trustin' you with somethin' special. This nation, the United States of America, is a gift. You remember that. It's a gift, even if it don't always treat you the best, drives you straight to the loony bin on it's best days, you trust in that nation, you let it know that no matter what, come Hell or high water, you love it."
The President paused again to blow his nose and dab his eyes. The elect wrung his hands nervously, finding it difficult to keep his own emotions in check. It was a powerful thing, speaking with a man who loved his country so much.
"Now, you may hear some folks talkin' about you being America's boss." The President chuckled with a sniff. "I will tell you right now, that is the biggest load of garbage you will ever be told in this here house, cross my heart. You ain't America's boss, America is the boss of you...whether you like it or not." He smiled, handing the used handkerchief back to it's owner who took it in his fingertips with a grimace. "That VP a'yours. His daddy was president once upon a time, wasn't he?"
The President nodded, satisfied. "You're a lucky one then, partner. It's good to have someone who knows whatcha gettin' into."
The president elect smiled. "I have to say Mr. President, you're making me a little nervous."
The other man laughed heartily. "Aw shoot, son! I don't mean to frighten ya!" He stood up and offered the elect his hand in a proper handshake this time. "You'll be fine, don't you worry! I can see it in your eyes. Once you get through the first day or so, it'll be a regular walk in the park!"
"Thank you sir, it means a lot to know you have faith in me."
"One more word of advice, before I let ya skedaddle." The President grinned as he opened the door of the office to let the elect back out. "Get plenty of sleep that first night in the White House after the inauguration. Get to bed early."
The elect blinked. "And why is that?"
The President smirked. "Just trust me, son. Day two is a doozy."
The President finished up his nightly routine, familiar yet different in his new surroundings. It wasn't hard to take the ex-president's advice on getting to bed early, it had been a long day and even with all the excitement, he was dead tired.
He turned off the light from the bathroom and dragged his way to his new bed. His wife was tucked into the covers, wearing her reading glasses and flipping though her faithful schedule book. He smiled fondly.
"You know, from this angle, you look a heck of a lot like the First Lady."
She smirked, pushing her glasses up the bridge of her nose as she glanced up at him. "My, how observant you are, Mr. President."
The President chuckled and slipped under the covers as his wife took off her glasses and placed them along with her book on the bedside table. "You know, they say tomorrow is supposed to be a rough one." He switched off his lamp.
"Oh?" She switched off hers as well and he could hear her settling in. "Who says?"
A soft laugh. "Well, he would know, wouldn't he?"
"I suppose." He leaned over and kissed his wife goodnight. "Goodnight."
"Oh, cut that out."
As the presidential couple drifted off to sleep, they were unaware of a familiar, at least to most of the White House staff, figure lurking outside of their bedroom door. With one ear pressed firmly to the hard mahogany, it smiled a devious, movie-star smile as all went quiet inside the room.
"Let the fun begin."
FINALLY! I've been trying to start this for like, a year now. XD Thank you to cwizumi over on dA for reminding me to get my ass into gear and write this thing!
Some notes: None of the "real" people in this story are going to have names. I feel like in keeping all of these characters subjective, it allows for a more pleasurable reading experience for all. So you will have to deal with "the President" instead of a name. XD And you will never know what party he is either, just that it's opposite what the ex-president's was.
Speaking of which, I love the ex-president. I think he and America must have had a blast together. XD Maybe someday I'll write about their adventures, but for now we have to focus on Mr. Boring who I love just as much, but in a I-love-to-tourture-you way. Anyway, any other questions will hopefully be answered as the story goes on, and if not, feel free to ask it and I'll do my best to answer! :D
Don't forget to review!