Author's Note:

The White House - Pro AM. Season One, Episode 17
Jed Bartlet | Danny Concannon | the guy just sitting there

"I miss our late night talks, Danny.'

'Yes, Sir.'

"Out there on the campaign trail. Ames, Iowa. Tulsa. Skokie. Center City. Tallahassee. Albany. San Antonio. Jasper, Wyoming."

"Yes, Sir."

"We got very close."

"I'm flattered by that, Sir."

"You covered the First Lady as well."

"Yes, Sir."

"You literally wrote the book on my wife."

"Yes, Sir."

"Once again, I want to emphasize the strong personal bond we built on the campaign trail."

I also borrowed dialogue from:
Season 1, Episode 9 - The Short List


Albany, New York

Sometime in 1998

Danny Concannon was nursing a drink and flipping through a notebook when a slight rush of air told him someone was sliding onto the bar stool next to him.

"Hey Josh," he said without looking up.

"Hey Danny."

When the silence stretched out for a while, Danny closed up his notebook and took a sip of his drink.

"What's goin' on?"

"Abbey Bartlet."

"What about her?"

"Listen .. uh .." Josh looked around and his voice dropped a few decibels. "There's someone from your old stomping grounds sniffing round her."

"Who?"

Josh shrugged and avoided the question.

"She's concerned there might be some stuff out there .."

"Is there?"

"You tell me."

"Josh, any information I get I have to print. You know that."

"Do you have any information?"

"No."

"Would you tell me if you did?"

"What's in it for me?"

Josh cast a look around them.

"An hour with Bartlet."

Danny snorted and downed his drink.

"What's so funny?"

"You are, Josh," Danny replied as he signalled the bartender to get them both a drink.

"What then?"

"I want access to Abbey Bartlet. If there's anything out there, I'll find it, but if she's going to be First Lady .."

"That's a tall order, Danny."

The reporter swivelled to look at him.

"If Jed Bartlet makes it to the White House you're going to need someone friendly to the administration. Just sayin' .."

"I'll see what I can do."

"Great."

Danny downed the second drink and stood to leave.

"Hey .. come by the campaign office later."

The Nokia ringtone interrupted the moment, and Josh raised his hand and then patted down his jacket until he found his phone and pulled it out.

"Hey, Leo. Hang on a minute, will ya?"

Josh covered the mouth piece and looked up at Danny.

"Come by for a drink. CJ's doing The Jackal."

"Yeah, maybe."

Danny smiled, but the gears were turning in his head.

"I gotta take this," Josh said as he turned his attention back to the phone.

"Take it easy," Danny said as he headed out of the bar.

"How'd it go?" Leo asked from the other end.

"He wants access to Abbey."

"No surprise there."

"Think she'll entertain it?"

"Maybe. He went to Notre Dame. Jed likes him. Maybe. I'll see what I can do. You guys all set for tonight?"

"Yeah yeah," Josh said before hanging up.

He sipped his drink absently; his mind on what it would mean to have someone like Danny Concannon as an ally on Pennsylvania Avenue.

If they made it that far.


Danny stepped into a haze of cigarette smoke and took a beer from one of the volunteers milling around.

"Hey Danny."

"Oh, hey CJ. Heard you're doing The Jackal tonight?"

"Is that why you came?"

"Gotta see it sometime, right?"

CJ put her hands on her hips and feigned shock.

"I've done it five times since South Dakota and this is the first time you're seeing it?"

"What can I say, I'm a busy guy."

CJ's shoulders shook with silent mirth as she took the beer from his hand and took a sip.

"Please .. help yourself."

He watched her take a second sip and then a third.

"You in need of some Dutch courage there?"

"Nah, I'm on fire tonight."

"I can tell," he said disbelievingly as he took the bottle back from her and raised it to his lips.

"Let's go, CJ!" someone shouted from the other end of the room.

"So .." CJ asked him as people began to chant her name.

"Hmm?"

Danny was looking distractedly around the room, hoping to catch a glimpse of Josh Lyman.

"You gonna stick around or what?"

"CJ! CJ! CJ!"

"Danny?"

"Yeah. I'll .. stick around."

"Good."

"Okay then."

"Okay."

Someone hit the play button on the CD player as he settled into a corner, and he realized that he hadn't listened to the song in a very long time.

The spoken-word jazz was as smooth as as he remembered; dulcet with underlying tones of fierceness.

Shades of sublimated desire.

He had a real deep voice, and white pearly teeth
And his shoe was always shining
Long slender fingers manicured perfectly
The man wore 800-dollar Italian suits, straight from
I dunno, what would they call it
Milan or Rome or someplace like that?
I knew it wasn't local
I said, I got to get next to that
I haven't seen him in a long time
My man was so fine
He could get any good girl into trouble

No figure-hugging pink dress here, but there was something mesmerizing about watching CJ even though she looked nothing like Dana Bryant.

Maybe he'd been in a drought too long, he thought to himself.

Danny looked around - mostly to ascertain that he wasn't the only man in the room feeling the heat - and smiled a little to himself when he recognized the signs of his fellow reporters discreetly adjusting themselves.

He caught CJ's eye across the room, and for a half a moment something about the way she lifted her left shoulder slightly made him wonder whether she was putting some extra effort into this just for him.

Maybe he'd been in a drought so long he was starting to imagine th -

"Danny .."

A voice to his left caught his attention, and he turned his head to find Leo standing right next to him.

"Take a walk with me."

"Sure."

He put his beer bottle on a nearby table and followed Leo out of the building.

"I'll cut straight to the chase," the older man said as soon as they were at a safe distance. "Mrs. Bartlet is wondering if you have a few minutes to spare."

"Right now?"

"Yeah."

Danny tried to get a read on the man in front of him, but Leo was choosing his words carefully.

"There's a lot of talk about a biography about Mrs. Bartlet," Leo continued.

"Yeah, I heard something about that."

"She wants your name on the dust jacket."

Danny was speechless just long enough to exhale the pent up anticipation that had built up in his body since the earlier conversation with Josh.

"I'll just .. uh .. grab a fresh notebook and pen from my car."

"You do that," said Leo, patting him on the shoulder with a satisfied smile. "I'll be waiting right here."