THE INTIMACY OF POWER:
HOW CYRUS GOT HIS GROOVE BACK (HOW TO GET AWAY WITH WEST ANGOLA)
Charlotte brings Cyrus into the Oval Office. Fitz sets his drink on the desk.
Cyrus: Mr. President.
Fitz: Have a seat.
(Charlotte exits and shuts the door. Cyrus remains planted at the door. Fitz walks toward the couch)
Cyrus: Why am I here?
Fitz: I want you back.
Fitz: In the White House. Here. Working for me. (Cyrus twitches)
Cyrus: You’re offering me my job back?
Fitz: I have a Chief of Staff, but yes. Something similar…high level…Senior Advisor.
Fitz: Cause I could use you right now. The country could use you. We have unfinished business in this administration. I know we’ve had some difficulties lately. I think we both acted emotionally and precipitously. I wanna put that behind us for the good of the country. I want you on my team.
Cyrus: Hmmm. (Cyrus moves forward from the door) This is interesting. (as he takes a seat) What do they have?
Fitz: (feigning surprise) What?
Cyrus: The Senate Committee…they have something on you. That’s why I’m here.
Fitz: I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Cyrus: It’s not the ring. She fixed that. It’s bigger than that. What is it…?
Cyrus: Amanda Tanner…may…be? Remington? Do they know about Rowan? Do they know about Defiance? (realizing) Oh. No. It’s the tape. West Angola. Oh, I see. That’s really not good, is it? But this? This is good. This is her…not you. This is SMART. I’m the only one who can say you saw it. Well me and the vegetable, Andrew, but he’s just drooling now…so it’s just me. (pause) YOU GIVE ME BACK MY JOB…(exhaling)…or some job…and I say you never saw the tape. That’s the deal right?
Fitz: (dryly) Yes. Whatta ya say?
Cyrus: (pausing, thinking, sitting back) How many times did you mispronounce Delano in that Governor’s debate?
Fitz: Excuse me?
Cyrus: Against Astley, you kept saying the City of Del(uh)no instead of the City of Delano. Do you remember?
Fitz: No. I have no idea. That was 16 years ago…in the Primaries…
Cyrus: It was 17 years ago and it wasn’t the Primaries…uhh, General…the second debate. You fumbled it three times. Twice in the first 5 minutes and once again about 45 minutes later, but you caught yourself that last time…and you never did it again…and you carried Kern County by 11 points. Did you know you carried Kern County by 11 poi…
Fitz: WHY are we talking about this Cyrus?
Cyrus: Because I want to. If you don’t wanna talk about it, I can leave and you can rehearse your resignation speech. (Fitz’s lips lock tight as Cyrus continues) Do you remember what you ate the morning after you became Governor of California? A cinnamon donut, which is weird because you didn’t eat donuts. You wanted yogurt and fruit that morning…a parfait. You wanted to eat it at some snooty place in Santa Barbara. But I said, “No”, cause I was already looking ahead…because Governor of California wasn’t the goal. So, we drove over the hill into ranch country, into real people country…to the Longhorn Cafe in Santa Inez where you would be seen eating a donut like a real person. I picked out your donut. It was cinnamon. But then I snuck into the kitchen to get you a bowl of fruit, cause I didn’t want you to whine. Some oranges, apples and berries. I picked out the bananas of course, because you don’t like bananas…and you ate the fruit in the car on the ride home. Do you remember the ride back home?
Cyrus: I remember you had fruit, but you didn’t finish it because you said it smelled like banana. This is what I KNOW…about you. This is what I remember. This is what is in my head. You. Everywhere, everything, what you say, what you eat, what you…wear, what you think. I dream your dreams and I sweat your nightmares. This is what you are to me. What am I to you? I am the man to be thrown on the grenade. I am the man that you use and abuse and toss out and try desperately to reel back in to try and save you one more time. That IS what I am to you. That’s all you know about me. If I left this room, you wouldn’t even remember I was here, but I could tell you everything you said…the color of your shirt, the part of your hair. I can look in your eyes and know…how you slept the night before. I know exactly how many times you mispronounced a single word in a debate 17 years ago and you couldn’t tell me my mother’s name. I know…why we’re sitting here. To fill in this Olivia Pope masterpiece. We all march forward into glory. All is forgotten. That’s the deal on the table and I’m not going to take it. (pause) Because this band is never ever getting back together. (pause) I do not need this. (exhaling, eye watering) I do not need you. Not anymore. (He gets up to leave, his back is to Fitz)
Fitz: We were on a bus…between King City and Salinas in my first run for Governor and you had a package from her. It was an Agatha Christie novel and she’s written a little review on an index card and tucked it inside the front cover. “I think you’re going to really like this one, Cy. But I don’t know how she killed him with a candelabra.” You laughed. You said she sent you a package like that every week since you left home. Always a mystery, usually Agatha Christie and always with a little index card that ruined the story…and you loved it. I used to see you open those packages…behind the campaign bus in Barstow, in your office, backstage at a rally at San Marcos High School. Sometimes it was the only time I’d see you smile in a week. Sometimes in a morning briefing, I’d know you’d gotten one of the packages just by your mood. I know what she meant to you. I know that you loved her. Your mom’s name?…was Helen. (Cyrus glances back at Fitz slightly choked up) I am sorry. Truly, deeply sorry. I am sorry. I’m sorry for what happened to us. I’m sorry for what I did to us. (Cyrus turns to face him) We both made some mistakes along the way. But your mistakes…were for me. My biggest mistake…was forgetting that we were family. Everything you did, you did for me. I can’t do this. Not like this. Not alone. I want you back. That seat on the couch is yours if you want it. The job is yours if you want it. Please?
(There is a long silence as Cyrus regards Fitz’s apology)
Cyrus: The job is Chief of Staff. Elizabeth North is terminated immediately. She doesn’t transition to another position in the Administration. She’s gone. I will keep Ethan and Red. I want new car-pet in that office. You will issue a full Presidential pardon…to me for any and all crimes committed during my time of service to you. It will be signed. It will be sealed. It will be non-revokable. (pause) And I will keep it secret.
(Fitz nods yes. Cyrus moves to his familiar spot on the 2nd couch across from Fitz and begins to create the cover story.)
Cyrus: The situation in West Angola was an urgent and growing threat to the National Security of the United States. Your decision to go to war was based solely on a methodical and reasonable assessment of that threat and was supported by actionable intelligence. You never saw that tape…of Olivia Pope. You did not know it existed. You were never aware that she was even kidnapped.
(Fitz stands and extends his hand to Cyrus. Cyrus stands and shakes on the deal they have just made)
Fitz: Good to have you back, Cy.
Cyrus: I serve at the pleasure of the President. The honor is all mine.
(Cyrus turns to leave)
Fitz: CHARLOTTE, PLEASE ASK ELIZABETH NORTH TO COME TO MY OFFICE.
THE INTIMACY OF POWER: