In Jerusalem Next Year

Author: Minervacat
Fandom: The West Wing
Pairing: Abbey, Ellie, Zoe Bartlet; Dolores Landingham; CJ Cregg; Ainsley Hayes; Mandy Hampton; Donna Moss; Amy Gardner; Margaret Hooper.
Rating: R
Spoilers: Through the end of Season 7.
Summary: i will make it through this year if it kills me. 1000 words.

i was seventeen years young (Abigail Bartlet)

She lets Jed bait her about Ron because she knows -- and she knows that he will never ask -- that Ron couldn't hold a candle to Jed, in her eyes. Not then, and certainly not now.

Ron never fought with her the way Jed fights with her, for one thing (and she's always thought that Jed was absolutely cuter). Jed fights with her, and she fights back, because she's known him more than half her life, now. If you can't fight with your oldest friend, there isn't anyone you can fight with.

And she lets him win because she loves him.

and listened to the engines roar (Dolores Landingham)

Her standards were always the same for everyone: for Jed, for her own boys, for Charlie and Toby and CJ and Donna. She expected everyone to do the right thing -- the good thing, the higher road.

She would never have worked for Jed Bartlet if she hadn't seen that he had that goodness in him. Sometimes he made the wrong decisions, but he tried, every time, to do the right thing.

She did, too -- she always had. Sometimes the right thing was hard, or awful. She did it anyway, and Jed did, too, because once, she had asked him to.

twin high maintenance machines (Eleanor Bartlet)

She's always thought that none of them were quite what their father really wanted -- Liz married into politics, but her father was only in politics because of Leo. Zoe attracted trouble, more than either she did, or Liz did. And she fought with him, because she was her mother's daughter, and Ellie didn't know what better to do with her father.

She loves him, and she respects him, but the only way he listens to her is when she raises her voice, takes a stand.

She raises her voice at him because she's never quite been the daughter he wanted.

a cavalcade of anger and fear (Zoe Bartlet)

The President's daughter was kidnapped -- she's a headline, nothing more, and she'll never be more than that. She will grow into middle age and be the President's daughter was disappeared, and as she becomes someone's wife, someone's mother, the way the world remembers her will be kidnapped, will be political pawn.

She is reduced to her relation to her father, to the ways that she is public property.

For weeks afterwards, she sits in her room in the dark and reminds herself: Zoe Bartlet, daughter of Abbey and Jed, sister to Ellie and Liz. She is more than her headlines.

hurt my knuckles punching the machines (Madeleine Hampton)

She doesn't leave because of Josh, or the President, or Leo, Toby, Sam -- Washington gossip tells her that she leaves the White House because the competition is too fierce, and that much is true. But it isn't the men, and it never was, screaming matches with Josh and all. She could hold her own with them; she was a match for every man on the President's staff.

It was CJ and Dr. Bartlett, Donna and Mrs. Landingham -- the women were the ones she couldn't compete with. She didn't try, and she didn't think they missed her when she was gone.

i drove home in the california dusk (Claudia Jean Cregg)

She takes Danny home to California. She loved DC, but it had never been home -- the townhouse she bought never more than someplace to keep everything she owned. The White House was a place that she would always love, but it had never been home.

Everything about the White House had always been too transient; everything could change in a split-second.

Danny likes the weather. CJ doesn't mind the traffic. They buy a house with a view and a pool. She raises money for campaigns that need it. When she leaves the office, she drives home to someone she loves.

i broke free on a saturday morning (Ainsley Hayes)

She voted for the President, the second time around. Her friends in DC and her family in North Carolina laughed at her, but they didn't know the President like she knew him. And she hardly knew him, but she knew enough -- she has always known enough, to stand up for what she believes in.

She stood up for what she believed in when she was in the White House -- it earned her contempt, first, and then respect, and then, almost, friendship. She admired people who stand up for their beliefs, and so she cast a vote for the President, happily.

the scene ends badly, as you might imagine (Amy Gardner)

In ten years, when she writes her book, she will not write about the way that she and Josh tried to rip each other's throats out. She will not write about the way she felt like a second-class citizen, or about the way that she thought, later, that she had maybe done it to herself.

She will write about the ways that the Bartlet administration validated her causes, supported the things she believed in. She will write about Leo McGarry's funeral, and the way everyone smiled, even broken in their grief.

She will write about believing that Bartlet meant hope.

locking eyes, holding hands (Margaret Hooper)

She never thought that she worked for the President; she worked in the White House, she worked for the Bartlet Administration -- she worked for Leo McGarry, and then she worked for CJ Cregg.

She was in the White House, but she worked for people who were bigger than the White House, people who meant more to her than the Oval Office had ever.

She had her loyalties, and they were tied up in the people who needed her in that building. She was loyal to the people she loved, because otherwise she couldn't make sense of where she belonged.

my broken house behind me and good things ahead (Donnatella Moss)

She picked Bartlet's campaign because she liked the slogan. Bartlet for America -- it sounded like something that applied to everyone. That applied to her. She picked Bartlet because he sounded, from those three words, like someone who might give her a little bit of hope, a little peace of mind.

She wasn't looking for a job. She was looking for a home, a place to settle down, and politics was a strange place to settle. But it turned out to be home -- you have to leave home to find where you belong -- and she keeps those words, for America, close.


author's notes: 100 words about ten women. title, summary and section breaks from the mountain goats, "this year".

feedback always welcome.

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