A/N: Okay, well first, WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON with the show? It's actually killing me. The last episode had like four major WTF plot twists. Ugh, can we get back to them getting it on all the time please?
Thank you all for your reviews. They are much appreciated!
I struggled with this chapter and am not sure how I feel about it. I'm not quite sure if I got the Olivia part right, and I know a lot of people won't be happy with my Mellie conversation. More explanations at the end.
As always, italics indicate dialogue from the show.
Please review if you like it or want more! They are what got me going on this chapter, that's for sure.
Chapter 7: Spilled Jam
"We need to call our clients," I say quickly, before the kissing commentary starts, "Let me get dressed and let's go to the office."
"Um, Liv," says Harrison, and I hear a tone in his voice that I don't like, "There are reporters camped out in front of your building. I'm sure they're probably going to get a picture of the President leaving. Maybe we should set up shop here today."
I sigh. This really does make things difficult, and I'm torn between wanting to avoid the harassment and feeling like I shouldn't let them alter my life.
"Fine," I say, "I'll start making calls. Can the two of you please start putting together a statement? I need to make one and then we'll head into the office. We have to keep moving forward."
"Got it," says Abby, "We're on it," and with that I turn to go back to my bedroom.
Pulling out a sheath dress, I can't help but think that everything is about to get way more complicated.
Fitz sighs as Mellie storms into the Oval. He understands her frustration, and isn't surprised its directed at him. They had been happy once, or so he thought. Not until he met Olivia did that time in his life pale in comparison. He had always thought they had been in love once.
He did care for Mellie. Sure, she had turned into a manipulator, somebody who used him to get what she wanted. But he could see it from her end- she had left her law career, she had put up with Big Gerry, she had made sacrifices to get them here too, and it had to be infuriating that in doing so, they had lost all semblance of a loving relationship. He mourned it- maybe ten years ago, they could have salvaged it, but the manipulation, the withholding, the lies- there was just too much resentment between them now.
And then Olivia had come into his life, and she had been like a ray of light. He never thought he was going to be happy again, and he had made peace with that, but when she was around him, it was like life was breathed back into his body. She revitalized him, and he was forced to face the fact that he had never loved Mellie the way she deserved to be. That failing was a hard pill to swallow, and the outcome was staring him down, eyes ablaze.
"I didn't do anything, Mellie," Fitz says, looking at her, "I didn't release that tape. I have every intention of following through and helping you get your own career in politics. You were always too ambitious to pick out China patterns anyway."
She glowers at him.
"That tape destroyed any chance I have of a political career. We have to fix it. Damn it, Fitz, I need you to show up for me here. I've agreed to give you the divorce, and despite the fact that I don't want it, I understand that you don't love me. You don't have to love me, but you could at least be my friend. The sacrifices I've made for you- God if only you knew! I need you to work for me now. Whatever you feel for Olivia, you did love me once; we were happy. I know its been years but," she sighs, and he can see her vulnerable- he feels like an asshole, "You can at least stand for me now, like I stood for you."
Fitz walks forward, pulling her into his arms and gently holding her.
"Mellie, we'll fix this. This is not your fault. I'll stand for you now; I'll help you get what you want. I want you to be happy too. Neither of us would have ever been happy together. What we had- it's gone, we both know that. And you deserve to find someone who loves you the way you deserve."
Mellie sighs and can't help but feel resigned. They finally aren't at war; they aren't fighting. They're just there. And for the first time, she realizes it is really over.
He's a good man. He's always been a good man, but he hasn't been hers in a decade. Now she just wants to be on the same team again.
"Okay," she says, "Just fix it. I don't care what you do, just fix it."
"I will," he promises.
"Okay then," she says, straightening to her full height, "Let me know when you want to discuss," and with that she swiftly exits the Oval, leaving Fitz on the Presidential Seal, staring after her full of regret, sadness, and the resignation of someone who knows that change always comes with pain, but that after the pain, there is the opportunity for progress. Finally.
I take a deep breath as I step onto the top step and microphones are shoved in front of my face. I know that there will be lots of questions. And I know my talking points.
"Good morning. I will make a few remarks but will not take any questions. I am in a relationship with the President of the United States. The recent clips that have been released, along with the President's statement, have made that incredibly clear. I've apologized to Mellie, and as you know, the President is currently in the process of getting a divorce.
"In terms of the tape that was released yesterday, I have to apologize to the American people; I know that it must've come as a shock to many of you to hear us attempting to create a story. Optics are everything in this town, and sometimes it's better to spin a truth then to come out with the full story because the full story can never really be seen in context by the public. That tape put all of us in a bad light, but I hope that the American people will understand the emotional turmoil that we were in.
"I had just had my name leaked and my entire life was changing. The President was dealing with his decision to end his marriage. The First Lady was in an impossible situation- despite the fact that their marriage had long ago stopped been loving, Mellie made amazing sacrifices to get her husband elected and to better this country. She deserves to be recognized for that; she has worked tirelessly for this administration because she believes in the President and that he can do great things for this country. Despite what it may have sounded like, Mellie reacted extremely fairly for somebody being put in this situation. I fully intend to support her fully in the upcoming elections, as I know the President does- she is an asset to this country who is also capable of great things.
"That being said, I'm of course embarrassed that our private conversations have come into a public setting. Having our privacy invaded has been unfortunate and confronting. I challenge you to put yourself in our places as you hear these tapes. Think about what you would have done in these situations before you judge. Think of how you speak to the person you love most in the world before you decide. Think about what you would do if your world was falling apart.
"The American people are smart enough to recognize that these tapes are private and have no bearing on who we are publically. We have always been these people in private, and who we are in terms of our jobs has not changed. The President is still as dedicated as ever to this country, as is Mellie. I am going to continue running my firm in the same manner. I don't know where these tapes are coming from, but rest assured that I intend to find out. The best thing we can do now is accept these changes and move forward. There is still a lot of work to be done, and I am lucky to know two people who are so dedicated to this country that they are still standing for it, despite the exposure of their personal lives in such a public way. I hope you will support them along with me. Thank you."
Questions are thrown left and right but I ignore them and walk to the car idling at the curb, Huck at the wheel. Slipping into the front seat, I turn to him.
"You think that went okay?"
"Well as it could," he says, succinct as always, allowing Abby and Harrison to slip into the back before he pulls into traffic heading towards our office.
My phone rings. Of course.
I glance awkwardly at all of them and pick it up.
"Hello," I say softly.
"Hi," he says, "Thank you. I was trying to figure out how to fix this for Mellie, and that definitely did it. You're amazing."
I can't help but smile at the pride in his voice. He talks to me like he's constantly in disbelief- disbelief that I'm doing this, disbelief at what I'll do for him, disbelief that I'm his.
"Thank you. I think it went okay."
"It went more than okay. Already both Mellie and my ratings are going up."
"I'm glad to hear it."
"Where are you?" he asks.
"In the car with Huck, Abby and Harrison."
"Oh, that makes more sense now," he laughs.
"Why?" I ask, smiling.
"The short answers. I was wondering what was going on."
I laugh quietly.
"Now that I know you aren't sitting next to a reporter I can tell you how much I enjoyed last night, and how excited I am to get you naked again. Soon."
I can feel my cheeks heating and I glance quickly at Huck, hoping he can't hear my conversation. If he can, he doesn't let on.
"That's a definite possibility," I answer, and he chuckles.
"I can't wait to have you in my bed," he says.
The thought of being in Fitz's bed at the White House does things to me I can't even articulate.
"I love you, Livy," he says, and I melt a little as I hear the smile in his vioce.
"I love you too. I'll talk to you soon," I say, and quickly hang up after a soft "bye."
"So what did Mr. President think?" asks Abby from the back.
"He was appreciative," I say, "I think he's trying to help Mellie. She's manipulative and can be mean, but she doesn't deserve to have her political career ruined over this. I think what I said has helped."
"Good," says Abby, and then recklessly, "I've never heard you tell anybody you love them before."
She sniggers a little and Harrison breaks a smile, and I do my best to hide my embarrassment.
"Usually I need to be drunker," I deadpan, and Abby suggests that we pick up wine on the way to the office.
"No need," I say.
What I don't say is that my nerves are shot to hell. This has been the most stressful few days of my life. I still have this feeling that there is more bad to come before the good. As I step out of the car at my office, I get a harsh shot of reality and know the other shoe has dropped.
"Ms. Pope, what do you say to people who criticize you for your affair with a married man?" comes a reporter.
But that's not the bad part. The bad part is the protesters, haters, whoever they are, who have taken up the sidewalk around the entrance to my office. I hear shouts:
"You're a whore!"
"You should be ashamed!"
"You're defiling the Presidency!"
I gasp as I hear a shout out of the fray:
"You're a fucking slut. You think you can do whatever you want. Someone should take you out."
I put on my blank face and walk purposely into my building. If I thought my nerves were shot before, I was wrong. I walk straight into my office and pull out the scotch in my bottom drawer, pouring a tumbler and downing it quickly.
"Huck, look into the people making threats," I say as he follows me into my office and watches me pour another glass.
"On it. We'll take care of this, Liv," he says, and Harrison follows him.
Abby steps into my office.
"Don't say anything Don't tell me not to. I'm going to hug you now," she says, and I don't object as she wraps her arms around me.
I try to take a breath.
"Pour me one of those," she says, as she pulls back, and Abby and I sit down on my couch and work on getting drunk.
So I wasn't super sure about this chapter, as I mentioned. I know some people won't be happy with my portrayal of Mellie, but even before the last episode I never thought she was evil. She's a bitch, but she's also in a shitty situation. I tried to portray that, and my desire for everybody to just get along *sigh*. Please let me know what you thought. Also, I would love some comments on the Olivia speech. I really wasn't sure about it but figured I'd just post and let it go. More fluff soon. Cheers! :)