Alternative Solutions

By Nomad
May 2002

Spoilers: A few facts from "ITSOTG2"
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters; I am not Aaron Sorkin. Although, just for today, I'm pretending to be.
Author's Note: I'm up to my ears in transcripts for various reasons at the moment, and that inspired me to try my hand at writing a little West Wing script myself.
Why am I writing this when I should be working on DtVS? Because I suffer from FADS (Fanfic Attention Deficit Syndrome), a surprisingly common affliction that results in a pathological desire to start new fics before I finish the old ones.

TEASER:

CJ
Arrogant jackass!

FADE IN
INT. WHITE HOUSE CORRIDOR
CJ walking.

CJ
Swollen-headed, pompous, bitter, ill-informed and arrogant jackass!

JOSH enters.

JOSH
Wow. That's... some anger you're working off there, Claudia Jean.

CJ
I'll say.

She thrusts a piece of paper into his hands. He reads it as they walk.

JOSH
One of our guys said this?

CJ
They did.

JOSH
In response to...?

CJ
The thing about Leo.

JOSH
The thing about Leo?

CJ
Yeah.

JOSH
So this guy Kolberg totally trashes Leo, and one of our guys calls him a... swollen-headed, pompous, bitter, ill-informed jackass?

CJ
Also arrogant.

JOSH
And we care about this because...?

CJ
We don't.

JOSH
See, that's what I thought.

CJ
Except that we're the White House. And, officially, we care.

JOSH
Because it's unprofessional.

CJ
Yeah.

JOSH
As opposed to what that guy wrote about Leo?

CJ
Yeah.

JOSH
So we're looking for the quotee?

CJ
Not very hard.

JOSH
That's what I like to hear.

TOBY comes up from behind and joins them.

TOBY
Where's Sam?

JOSH
I don't know, Toby, did he slip his leash again?

TOBY
He's late.

CJ
It's probably traffic.

TOBY
There's traffic every day, he wasn't expecting it?

CJ
He'll be here, Toby. Did you see the quote?

TOBY
Swollen-headed jackass?

JOSH
Also pompous, bitter and ill-informed.

CJ
And arrogant.

TOBY
Tell the press we're investigating.

CJ
I plan to, Toby.

TOBY
Are we?

CJ
Not very hard.

TOBY
Sam needs to be here half an hour ago. I have a twenty-seven page proposal.

CJ
Of marriage?

TOBY
Twenty-seven pages, CJ! I need it down to three.

JOSH
Couldn't you just photocopy it really small?

CJ
Why are you making Sam summarise it?

TOBY
He needs to learn about the importance of brevity. [Glances at his watch.] Also punctuality. [Shouts] Ginger!

TOBY peels off in the direction of communications. JOSH looks at CJ.

JOSH
One of our guys really said that?

CJ
Yeah.

JOSH [Grinning]
Cool.

CJ walks away as we follow JOSH into-

INT. JOSH'S OFFICE (CONTINUOUS)
DONNA follows him in.

DONNA
Josh, you've got a thing.

JOSH [Rummaging at his desk]
I have many things, Donna.

DONNA
A meeting.

She hands him a folder, with a sticky note attached. JOSH peers at it.

JOSH
I have a meeting with 'with'?

DONNA
You have a meeting with WITS.

JOSH
That's an 's'?

DONNA
It's perfectly clear.

JOSH
Apart from the part where it looks like an 'h'.

DONNA
To people who can't read.

JOSH
Donna, who or what are WITS?

DONNA
Something you're obviously lacking in this morning.

JOSH
Donna.

DONNA
Women in Technology and Science.

JOSH
I have a meeting with Women in Technology and Science?

DONNA
Yes.

JOSH
All of them?

DONNA
Maybe just a sample selection.

JOSH
What do they want to talk to me about?

DONNA
It's all in the folder, Josh.

JOSH
Yes, but that would involve me caring enough to open it.

DONNA
Josh.

JOSH
Donna, what do they want?

DONNA
Money.

JOSH
From me?

DONNA
From the government.

JOSH
To do what?

DONNA
To encourage more women to go into science and technology careers.

JOSH
Why does that take money?

DONNA
Lots of women in America, Josh.

JOSH
Yes. And none of them are me. Send them to somebody else.

DONNA
Josh.

JOSH
Donna, I have important things to do this morning.

DONNA
This is important.

JOSH
You're doing the face again.

DONNA
What face?

JOSH
That face.

DONNA
This is my 'this is important' face.

JOSH
Well, it's not working.

DONNA
Josh.

JOSH
Donna, I have... things. To do. This Hawkman thing is still up in the air, I have to deal with that. And frankly, any meeting that involves me and a bunch of women with a mission that I don't want to talk to is not going to end well.

DONNA
This is true.

JOSH
Have somebody else take the meeting.

DONNA
There's nobody else.

JOSH
I'll talk to Leo.

He turns to go.

DONNA [Calling after him]
Women in technology are our future, Josh!

JOSH [Calling back]
Your future, Donna, I'm not having a sex change.

CUT TO:
INT. JOSH'S BULLPEN (CONTINUOUS)
We see a lot of people looking at JOSH. He blinks at them for a moment.

JOSH [To the room]
I'm really not.

He hurries away.

END TEASER.

SMASH CUT TO:
MAIN TITLES

ACT ONE:

FADE IN:
INT. LEO'S OFFICE
LEO is at his desk. JOSH, CJ and TOBY stand in front of him.

LEO [Not looking up from his work]
Josh; what's going on with Hawkman?

JOSH
We're on it.

LEO
Toby? Where's that proposal?

TOBY
It's a mess. I'm having Sam summarise it.

LEO finally looks up, and frowns.

LEO
Where is Sam?

JOSH
He's not here.

LEO [Sarcastic]
Thanks for that.

CJ
It's probably traffic.

LEO
He's worked here how many years now, he didn't expect there to be traffic?

CJ just shrugs.

LEO
Okay. Get to work.

TOBY leaves; both JOSH and CJ hang back.

JOSH
Leo, about this WITS thing-

LEO
Women in technology?

JOSH
Yeah.

LEO
Take the meeting, Josh.

He goes back to his papers as JOSH leaves, and then registers that CJ is still there.

LEO [Impatiently]
CJ, was there something...?

CJ [Hesitantly]
Leo, about this quote-

LEO [Dismissively]
I'm on it.

CJ
I'm just saying, you shouldn't-

LEO
CJ-

CJ
-You shouldn't take it too seriously-

LEO looks up and frowns at her.

LEO
CJ, this is the White House. We take everything seriously.

CJ
It was loyalty, Leo.

LEO
It was amateur, CJ! We can't have our guys running their mouths off every time somebody writes something we don't like!

CJ
Okay.

LEO
Okay.

CJ starts to leave; LEO calls after her.

LEO
CJ.

CJ
Yeah?

LEO
Swollen-headed, pompous, ill-informed and arrogant jackass?

CJ
Yeah.

LEO
Okay.

CJ starts to leave, then hesitates in the doorway.

CJ
Leo.

LEO
Yeah?

CJ
You know he's all those things and more, right?

LEO
Yeah.

He goes back to his work.

CUT TO:
INT. JOSH'S BULLPEN
DONNA stands up as JOSH approaches, carrying the folder she gave him.

DONNA
Did you speak to Leo about the meeting?

JOSH
Yeah.

DONNA
What did he say?

JOSH
He said you should do it.

He hands her the folder and walks off.

CUT TO:
INT. WHITE HOUSE CORRIDOR
DONNA is walking along with the folder. She sees something off-screen, stops, and frowns.

DONNA
Sam?

SAM is standing with a file folder held up so we can't see his face.

SAM [Not lowering it]
Hi, Donna.

DONNA
Uh, Sam?

SAM
Yeah?

DONNA
What are you doing?

SAM [Innocently]
What?

DONNA [Gesturing]
With the folder.

SAM
Reading.

DONNA
Sam, what are you hiding?

SAM
It's nothing.

DONNA
Sam.

SAM
Really.

DONNA [Pointedly]
Sam...

SAM hesitates, then start to lower the folder. We cut to DONNA to see her reaction.

DONNA
Wow.

CUT TO:
INT. BEDROOM IN THE RESIDENCE
BARTLET is adjusting his tie in front of a mirror. ABBEY wanders in, fiddling with her earrings.

BARTLET [Not looking round]
Hey.

ABBEY [Mildly irritated]
Hey yourself.

She waits for a moment, but he doesn't turn.

ABBEY
I'm off to this thing in Maryland today.

BARTLET [Still fiddling with his tie]
Yeah.

ABBEY
I'm all dressed up.

BARTLET [Preoccupied]
Uh-huh.

He still doesn't turn.

ABBEY
I'm actually here in the room with you, Jed.

BARTLET [Turning]
Huh?

ABBEY
I have a thing. In Maryland. I'm all dressed up.

She spreads her arms to display her outfit.

BARTLET
And you look nice.

He turns back to the mirror.

ABBEY
Gee, thanks. [After a moment] It wouldn't kill you to take a little interest, you know.

BARTLET [Facing her again]
Sorry. I have some important things this morning.

ABBEY [Frostily]
Important?

BARTLET [Not picking up the tone]
Yeah.

ABBEY
As opposed to my thing?

He pauses, midway through adjusting his jacket.

BARTLET
You see what I did there?

ABBEY
Share it with me, why don't you?

BARTLET
I accidentally cast aspersions on the importance of your thing.

ABBEY
So you did.

BARTLET
And obviously, that's not something I want to be doing.

ABBEY
Don't worry about it.

BARTLET [Warily]
No?

ABBEY
No. You know why?

BARTLET
I suspect I'm about to be told.

ABBEY
Because you're a very important man.

BARTLET
Abbey-

ABBEY
And obviously, you know, your things are gonna be more important than my thing. It stands to reason.

BARTLET
Abbey-

ABBEY [Headed for the door]
So I'll just quit bothering you.

BARTLET [Starting to get exasperated]
For God's sake, Abbey, I just-

ABBEY
My plane leaves in three hours. Don't bother to see me off. [After a moment] After all, it's not that important.

She leaves. BARTLET stares after her for a moment.

BARTLET [quietly]
Damn.

He yanks the knot in his tie undone and starts to do it again.

CUT TO:
INT. OUTSIDE OVAL OFFICE
LEO walks up to join BARTLET as they head inside.

LEO
Mr. President.

BARTLET
Leo.

LEO
You read the quote.

BARTLET
Yeah.

CUT TO:
INT. OVAL OFFICE (CONTINOUS)
BARTLET makes for his desk.

LEO
We're looking for the source.

BARTLET
Do we have to?

LEO
It makes us look unprofessional.

BARTLET
Because we tell the truth?

LEO
Sir...

BARTLET [Waving it away]
Whatever.

LEO [Frowning]
Mr. President? You seem a little...

BARTLET [Sharply]
A little what, Leo?

LEO
Frankly, you seem a little pissed this morning.

BARTLET
I can't imagine why that would be, Leo.

LEO
Mr. President-

BARTLET
I had an argument with my wife.

LEO
What did you do?

BARTLET
What makes you think I did something?

LEO
Experience.

BARTLET [Giving him a look]
I may have inadvertently suggested that my work is more important than anything she does. [LEO winces] Although, technically, that's true.

LEO
And I'm sure it'll go down well if you point that out to her, Mr. President.

BARTLET
It's my fault.

LEO
Yes it is.

BARTLET gives him a look.

BARTLET
I don't take my wife for granted, Leo.

LEO
Of course not.

BARTLET
It's just that I'm very busy at the moment.

LEO
And of course, you're sure to be getting less busy any day now.

BARTLET
You know, technically I could fire your ass any time I wanted.

LEO
You think you can run this country without me?

BARTLET
I'm becoming increasingly willing to try.

LEO
Yeah.

BARTLET sighs and sits down at his desk.

BARTLET
I have to make my wife realise I really do appreciate her.

LEO
Yeah.

BARTLET [Decisively]
You know what I need? A strategy.

LEO
Or a personality transplant.

BARTLET
Go away.

LEO
Yes, sir.

Smirking, he leaves the room.

CUT TO:
INT. COMMUNICATIONS BULLPEN
Back view of SAM walking.

Camera pushes in on BONNIE, sitting alone in the bullpen. She looks up and her eyes widen.

Camera slowly pans around to SAM, and reveals that he is sporting a spectacular black eye.

BONNIE [Beginning to grin]
Been in a fight, Sam?

SAM [Quietly and very fast]
Hit myself in the face with a door, okay?

BONNIE
Excuse me?

SAM
I accidentally hit myself in the face with a door.

BONNIE
In the face?

SAM
Yes.

BONNIE
With a door?

SAM
Yes.

BONNIE
You accidentally hit yourself in the face with a door?

SAM
I did.

He hurriedly passes her and heads towards his office. BONNIE calls after him.

BONNIE
We have these things, we call them door handles-

SAM
Leave me alone.

CUT TO:
INT. SAM'S OFFICE (CONTINUOUS)
TOBY is sitting waiting for him. He looks up, and then blinks.

TOBY
Sam?

SAM
It was a door.

TOBY
You were physically assaulted by a door?

SAM
I hit myself in the face.

TOBY
You tried to walk through it before it was open?

SAM
It was a completely random accident that could have happened to anybody.

TOBY
Only if they were you.

SAM
Can we, I don't know, go back to work and never ever mention this again?

TOBY
Well, the phrase 'back to work' would seem to imply that you'd actually done some work already. Which, obviously, is not the case.

SAM
Toby-

TOBY [Nodding at a folder on the desk]
I've got a twenty-seven page proposal for you to summarise.

SAM
Me?

TOBY
You.

SAM
I'm not, oh, a few hundred times too qualified?

TOBY just looks at him, until he starts to shift uncomfortably.

TOBY
I'm not sure you can be self-righteous after failing to figure out how to walk through a door.

SAM
I'll go now.

He snatches up the folder and beats a quick retreat.

TOBY
Watch out for that door on your way out.

FADE OUT.

END ACT ONE.

ACT TWO:

FADE IN:
INT. OVAL OFFICE
BARTLET is at his desk. He looks up as CHARLIE comes in.

BARTLET
Charlie! Did you clear my schedule?

CHARLIE
Yes, sir, although I'm still not sure why-

BARTLET
I am a man with a mission, Charlie.

CHARLIE
Okay.

BARTLET
My wife is mad at me.

CHARLIE
Yes, sir.

BARTLET
And it's all my fault.

CHARLIE
If you say so, Mr. President.

BARTLET
I need to make this better.

CHARLIE
Yes, sir.

BARTLET
I need to make my wife feel better... You know what she needs?

CHARLIE
Respect and understanding?

BARTLET
Chocolate brownies.

CHARLIE
Chocolate brownies?

BARTLET
Yes, Charlie, chocolate brownies.

CHARLIE
Well, I could go order some for you, sir-

BARTLET
No, Charlie, real chocolate brownies, made by my own hand.

CHARLIE
By... your own hand, Mr. President?

BARTLET
Exactly! Come on, Charlie, let's go make us some brownies!

He marches out excitedly, and CHARLIE stares after him for a moment.

CHARLIE
Okay.

He follows the president.

CUT TO:
INT. JOSH'S OFFICE
JOSH is at his desk, talking on the phone.

JOSH
Yes. Yes. I do understand that. But- Okay. Well, if you'd just let me- No, I don't think- Okay. Yes. Goodbye. [He scowls at the phone for a moment] Thanks for that.

He looks up, and jumps as he sees DONNA in the doorway.

DONNA [Amused]
Using the phone without me?

JOSH
I did all my own dialling, too.

DONNA
Was that the Hawkman thing?

JOSH
Yeah.

DONNA
I thought you said it was in the bag?

JOSH
It was.

DONNA
Until...? [She frowns] The quote?

JOSH
Yeah.

DONNA
What's that got to do with anything?

JOSH [Sarcastic]
Apparently it 'throws doubt on the character of this administration'.

DONNA
This administration has character?

JOSH
Not any more, allegedly.

DONNA
Remind me again why we want this deal, anyway?

JOSH
Because... because. We've been working on it a long time.

DONNA
It's amazing your debating skills didn't sway the guy on the other end of that phone.

JOSH
I know. How was your meeting?

DONNA
We should give these people money.

JOSH
We haven't got any.

DONNA
You're going to spend money on the Hawkman thing.

JOSH
It's an investment.

DONNA
And educating women in technology subjects isn't?

JOSH
Well yeah, but it doesn't bring us any tangible return.

DONNA
Good will. Votes. The girls'll be grateful.

JOSH
Yeah, but to WITS, not to us.

DONNA
I'd've been grateful, if WITS had come to me when I was in college. I could've had a degree in Cybernetics by now.

JOSH
Along with the Political Science and Government, Sociology and Psychology, Biology, French and Drama?

DONNA
You remembered all my majors and minors?

JOSH
I am the Memory Man.

DONNA
You're really not.

JOSH
You're mocking my memory?

DONNA
What memory?

JOSH
I have a great memory.

DONNA
And you have a meeting you're supposed to be in.

JOSH
I remembered that.

DONNA
It started fifteen minutes ago.

JOSH scrambles to his feet and dashes out.

DONNA [Calling after him]
Give them the money, Josh!

CUT TO:
INT. JOSH'S BULLPEN (CONTINUOUS)
JOSH rushes out. He passes SAM in the corridor, then turns and stops.

JOSH
Sam?

SAM
Yeah?

JOSH
Were you in a fight?

SAM
No, I, I hit myself in the face with a door.

JOSH smirks.

JOSH
You, yourself? As in without any outside intervention?

SAM
I gotta- I gotta go do a thing.

JOSH [Calling after him]
Watch out for those doors!

SAM scurries away and we follow JOSH through the corridors. CJ comes up to join him.

CJ
Joshua.

JOSH
Claudia Jean.

CJ
Shouldn't you be meeting on the Hawkman proposal?

JOSH
I'm on my way. Something, uh, something came up.

CJ
Did you talk to the women from WITS?

JOSH
Donna did it.

CJ
Josh.

JOSH [Defensively]
She wanted to do it!

CJ
We should take them seriously.

JOSH
We do.

CJ
We're not giving them any money, are we?

JOSH
We haven't got any.

CJ
We're spending money on the Hawkman proposal. Which, by the way, we all know is a complete waste of-

JOSH
Are you gonna be saying that in the briefing? 'Cause I gotta-

CJ
No, Josh, I will defend your dumb-ass proposal to the hilt, and stand up there to proudly usher in this new era of cooperation.

JOSH
Or not.

CJ
Hawkman's holding out?

JOSH
Apparently they're not happy with our character.

CJ
Our- [Realising] the quote?

JOSH
Yeah.

CJ
They don't like the fact that we stick up for our own?

JOSH
Apparently not.

CJ
This is all we need.

JOSH
Leo's ready to tear the place apart over it. He's taking it personally.

CJ
He doesn't like it when our guys stick up for him.

JOSH
Yeah.

CJ
So I'm going out there to tell the press we're working on a proposal we don't like that might not go through anyway, and tracking down the source of a quote that we're not sorry about?

JOSH
You could also tell them the White House Deputy Director of Communications has trouble with walking through doors.

CJ
It's a real red-letter day for the administration, isn't it?

JOSH
Oh yeah.

CJ heads off towards the briefing room and JOSH continues on his way.

CUT TO:
INT. LEO'S OFFICE
SAM lingers a little sheepishly in the doorway; LEO doesn't look up.

SAM
Leo?

LEO
Sam.

SAM
About the Hawkman thing-

LEO
It's not going through.

SAM
It's not?

LEO
I just spoke to Josh on the phone. We're not getting it back.

SAM
'Cause I was gonna say, it wasn't a very good-

LEO
Yeah.

There is a brief pause. LEO is still working and not looking up.

SAM
Leo, if you find the guy-

LEO
He'll be dealt with.

SAM
Leo, he was only defending-

LEO
We don't do that in this White House, Sam.

SAM
-Only defending you from Darren Kolberg, who's a-

LEO
I don't need defending, Sam, I'm a big boy now.

SAM
Leo, he's a hack! We shouldn't be defending his right to free speech, we ought to be suing him for libel.

LEO
This is the way we do things, Sam.

SAM [Subsiding]
Yeah.

LEO
Do this thing for Toby.

SAM
The summary? Leo, that's a job for the interns!

LEO
He wants you to do it.

SAM
He's punishing me.

LEO
Go.

SAM
He's punishing me because I rewrote the D-section for the president's address last Thursday.

LEO
Sam. Go.

SAM lingers awkwardly for a minute.

SAM [Blurting out]
I walked into a door, okay?

He dashes off, and LEO looks up for the first time. He blinks in puzzlement.

LEO
Okay.

He goes back to his work.

CUT TO:
INT. OUTSIDE OVAL OFFICE
NANCY looks up in bemusement as BARTLET approaches, bearing a plate of chocolate brownies. CHARLIE follows behind with a resigned expression.

BARTLET [Waving plate expansively]
Ah, Nancy! Smell those! Those are real, home-baked chocolate brownies!

NANCY
Home-baked, Mr. President?

BARTLET
Made 'em myself.

CHARLIE
And I stood by with the fire extinguisher.

BARTLET [Wagging a finger sternly]
Less of your cheek, young Charlie. Have I not proven my ability to bake beyond all reasonable doubt?

CHARLIE
Well, you didn't set the kitchen on fire, Mr. President, so I'm counting it a positive experience.

BARTLET
Just for that, Charlie, you will be barred from sampling the produce.

CHARLIE
I thought they were for the First Lady, Mr. President?

BARTLET
They are. But now I'm going to tell her not to give you any.

He ducks into the Oval Office.

NANCY
Uh, Mr. President? The First Lady's gone.

BARTLET [Appearing in the doorway.]
Gone?

NANCY
She left early.

BARTLET [Loudly]
Godammit!

CHARLIE
Guess the First Lady won't be getting her chocolate brownies after all.

BARTLET
You're still not having any. [Turns to NANCY] Nancy, get me a camera.

NANCY
A... camera?

BARTLET
Yes, Nancy, a camera! Use your initiative. Stop a tourist. Mug a reporter. Buy one, I don't care. But get me a camera.

He goes back into the Oval, and NANCY and CHARLIE exchange glances.

CHARLIE
I'd just humour him if I were you.

BARTLET [Yelling from off-screen]
I heard that!

CHARLIE rolls his eyes and NANCY leaves.

FADE OUT.

END ACT TWO.

ACT THREE:

FADE IN:
INT. COMMUNICATIONS BULLPEN
SAM is walking along. People smirk at him as he passes.

PASSING STAFFER
Been in a fight, Sam?

SAM
No, I, I walked into a door.

He sees Ginger grinning at him.

SAM
It was a door!

GINGER
That's what they all say.

SAM
Can't you people leave me to die in peace?

He goes into his office.

CUT TO:
INT. SAM'S OFFICE (CONTINUOUS)
SAM jumps as he sees TOBY.

SAM
Do you live here now?

TOBY
The summary, Sam.

SAM
I'm too qualified!

TOBY
Then it won't take you very long.

SAM
This is taking me away from more important work.

TOBY
Hawkman's not going through, you have no work.

SAM
I could find something more useful to do.

TOBY
Like learn how to walk through doors?

SAM [Slumping down into his chair]
Give me the draft.

CUT TO:
INT. OUTSIDE CJ'S OFFICE
CJ walks up to CAROL.

CJ
Carol, what have I got-?

DERRICK [Calling out from behind her]
CJ!

CJ [To CAROL]
Reporters, following me, that's what I've got.

CAROL gives her a sympathetic shrug.

CJ [Turning on her heel]
Derrick.

DERRICK
CJ.

CJ
What can I do for you this fine and glorious afternoon?

DERRICK
The quote.

CJ [Rolling her eyes]
We're investigating it.

DERRICK
I know you are.

CJ
Well, then.

DERRICK
I also know who said it.

CJ looks at him for a moment, and then opens the door to her office.

CJ
In.

CUT TO:
INT. CJ'S OFFICE (CONTINUOUS)
CJ closes the door behind them and turns to face DERRICK.

CJ
You know who made the quote?

DERRICK
Yes.

CJ
Who?

DERRICK
I'm not telling.

CJ
Derrick-

DERRICK
You know something?

CJ
Apparently you know more than I do.

DERRICK
Leo McGarry's a good man.

CJ [Slowly]
Yes he is.

DERRICK
And Darren Kolberg's a disgrace to the face of journalism.

CJ [Half amused]
You people have standards now?

DERRICK
CJ.

CJ [Unapologetic]
Sorry.

DERRICK
I'm not publishing the source. [CJ looks at him] Leo McGarry's a good man.

CJ
Yes.

DERRICK
And he's not the only guy who ever found himself with a few more bottles of scotch than he really ought to need.

They exchange a long and meaningful look. CJ breaks it first.

CJ
Thank you.

DERRICK
I don't like Kolberg. I don't want to follow his lead.

CJ
You're a good guy.

DERRICK
Just don't let it get around.

CJ
Yeah.

DERRICK
I just wanted to let you know. I understand. Maybe some guys wouldn't.

CJ
And I appreciate it.

DERRICK turns to go; CJ calls him back.

CJ
Derrick.

DERRICK
Yeah?

CJ
Hawkman's. It's not going through.

DERRICK
It's not?

CJ
No.

DERRICK [After a moment]
Good.

CJ
Yeah.

DERRICK
Okay.

CJ
The source?

DERRICK
I'm still not telling.

CJ
Okay.

He leaves. CJ looks thoughtful for a moment, and then smiles.

CUT TO:
INT. LEO'S OFFICE
LEO is at his desk. JOSH comes in.

LEO
Josh.

JOSH
CJ's leaked Hawkman's to the press.

LEO [Nodding]
Okay.

JOSH
It was a bad deal anyway.

LEO
Yeah.

JOSH
We saved ourselves some money.

LEO
We did.

JOSH [After a moment]
I might have a thing.

LEO looks up at him expectantly.

CUT TO:
INT. OUTSIDE LEO'S OFFICE
JOSH emerges and nods at MARGARET.

JOSH
Hey, Margaret.

MARGARET
Hey.

JOSH leaves, and Margaret just stands there for a moment. Then she approaches Leo's doorway.

CUT TO:
INT. LEO'S OFFICE (CONTINUOUS)

LEO
Margaret.

MARGARET
Leo, about this source you've been looking for...

LEO
Yeah?

MARGARET
I realise that this is quite a sensitive subject area, and-

LEO
Margaret.

MARGARET
-You don't like people making statements about-

LEO
Margaret.

He gives her a look.

LEO [With a long-suffering expression]
What is it, Margaret?

MARGARET
This quote...

LEO
Yes.

MARGARET
It might have been me.

LEO slowly looks up to meet her eyes.

LEO
Excuse me?

MARGARET
I may have said that.

LEO
You may have said that Darren Kolberg is a swollen-headed, pompous, bitter, ill-informed and arrogant jackass?

MARGARET
Yes.

LEO
To a reporter.

MARGARET
To several people.

They exchange another long look. LEO shuffles papers.

LEO
Okay.

MARGARET
Okay?

LEO
Go. Work.

MARGARET
Okay.

MARGARET nods rapidly and scuttles off. LEO looks after her thoughtfully for a moment.

CUT TO:
INT. JOSH'S BULLPEN
DONNA stands up as JOSH approaches.

JOSH
Hey.

DONNA
Hey.

JOSH
I need you to go back in there and give our answer to the people from WITS.

DONNA
Josh.

JOSH
Write this down.

DONNA
Josh, I don't-

JOSH
Get a piece of paper, Donna.

DONNA picks up a notepad and pen and gives him a look.

DONNA
The least you could do is actually talk to them yourself.

JOSH
Take this down.

DONNA
You know, actually give them the benefit of talking to somebody official. Instead of me. Since, obviously, nobody listens to my opinion round here.

JOSH
The White House has spent some time considering the initiatives you propose-

DONNA
That was nice of us.

JOSH
-And after careful consideration-

DONNA
You've said consideration twice now.

JOSH
-We've decided to give your program the full funding that you asked for.

DONNA
Well, that's just- [She stops, and JOSH grins triumphantly at her] You're giving them the funding?

JOSH
We are.

DONNA
You said we didn't have the money!

JOSH
We didn't.

DONNA
And we do now?

JOSH
Since Hawkman's fell through.

DONNA
And you're just... taking the money from that and giving it to WITS?

JOSH [Grinning]
Yeah.

DONNA
You can do that?

JOSH
Leo okayed it.

DONNA
You suggested it to him?

JOSH
Yeah.

DONNA
Why?

JOSH smiles at her.

JOSH
Because we can never have too many witty women.

DONNA beams back. A moment later, CJ sticks her head in the door.

CJ
Guys? Coming out for drinks?

JOSH [Standing]
What's the occasion?

CJ pauses for a moment, then smiles.

CJ
Today has been... a pretty good day.

JOSH [Smiling back]
It has, hasn't it? Come on, Donna.

They leave.

CUT TO:
INT. SAM'S OFFICE
SAM and TOBY have their heads close together as they study a document intensely.

SAM
We can cut sixteen.

TOBY
It needs sixteen.

SAM
What about nine?

TOBY
You'd only have to slip it back in somewhere else. [He rubs his eyes] What are we down to?

SAM
Five and a half pages.

TOBY thumps the desk dramatically.

TOBY
Two and half to go!

SAM
We can nail this.

TOBY
Yes, we can!

They pay little attention as CJ, JOSH and DONNA arrive in the doorway.

JOSH
You guys coming out for drinks?

SAM
We're not done here.

CJ
Is it something important?

TOBY
Not even slightly. [To SAM] Four?

SAM [Shaking his head]
We need four, it's the bridge into the second section.

TOBY
Damn.

JOSH
Suit yourself.

CJ
We'll be down at the Four Seasons if you want to drop by.

SAM
Yeah.

TOBY
Whatever.

Neither looks away from the document as the others leave.

TOBY
What about sixteen?

SAM
Oh, I could live without sixteen.

TOBY [Expansively]
Well, cut it out, by God!

SAM grabs a pen and scribbles furiously.

CUT TO:
INT. HOTEL ROOM
ABBEY is sitting on the bed. She reads a few pages of a report and then drops it in disgust.

There is a knock on the door.

ABBEY [Snappish]
What?

A young AIDE cautiously pokes her head in.

AIDE
Ma'am? There should be, uh, a fax coming through for you.

ABBEY [Frowning]
From the organisers?

AIDE
From the White House.

She quickly flees whilst ABBEY looks at the fax machine across the room with a puzzled frown. The fax makes noises and spits out a piece of paper. ABBEY picks it up and stares at it for a moment. Then she starts to laugh. She moves over to the phone and quickly dials.

ABBEY [Into phone, still amused]
Put me through to my husband.

She holds the paper up to look at it, and the camera closes in. We see it's a photograph of a plate of chocolate brownies, with the words "I Wanted to Say I'm Sorry" hand-written underneath.

ABBEY [Into phone]
Hey, babe. How's it going?

She pulls up her knees under her on the bed, and smiles as she listens to the voice on the other end.

FADE TO BLACK

END