vanillafluffy: (TJ Hammond leather)
[personal profile] vanillafluffy

The Campaign



If Dante had ever been part of a major political campaign, TJ is sure he would have assigned it a circle of Hell all its own. Ever since Mom had announced her candidacy for President, he’s been living in eternal torment. Fund-raisers. primaries, the campaign trail—he wears a big, enthusiastic smile, but inside he’s screaming.

The fund-raisers are swimming with alcohol, from champagne in the orange juice at breakfast to the five-grand a plate dinners with open bars. TJ gets mineral water with a twist, but when the contributors get loud and he’s listening to Mom’s speech about making America a better place for all Americans—he’s heard it four or five times a week for the last two months—sometimes he just wants to reach over the bar, grab the nearest bottle and suck it down til he passes out cold. He hasn’t—yet—but he knows he shouldn’t even be thinking like that.

It doesn’t help that most of the staff is on ADHD meds, so they’re all buzzed with energy while his ass is dragging from too many rallies and not enough sleep—and forget about quiet time, because there always a jet full of aides, a busload of volunteers, troops to rally, flesh to press, constant events to spread the gospel of Elaine Barrish. Sometimes he hallucinates the smell of cocaine; his nose runs just thinking of it. If he could score enough, coke, his nose would collapse inside of a week and he’d make Scarface look like a lightweight.

Explaining that he doesn’t want to be the Ambassador to the Rainbow Coalition is futile. It’s his assigned role to play, and he can’t let them down. The toothpaste commercial smile feels stapled to his face as he meets with so many GLBT groups he wonders if there are any straight people left in America. He turns down offers daily, one-on-one, threesomes, mixed groups that sound suspiciously like orgies—because he knows better. One Tweeted photo of himself en flagrante would bring down the whole campaign, and his dad’s already set enough bad examples of that kind of behavior.

Doug assures him he’s crucial, that they need him—he’s young, he’s hip, he’s going to get them the gay vote, plus all the young women who think he’s cute (and that he’d turn straight if he’d just get it on with them). His wardrobe is carefully selected to send just the right message, his hair is trimmed every ten days—he’d give anything for a sloppy, unshaven weekend in jeans and sneakers, because apparently the right message means looking like a clean-cut preppy from the Hamptons. Maybe he can arrange a doctor’s note saying he’s allergic to button-down shirts and khakis?

They’re all taking his willing participation for granted. Nobody seems to have a clue about how hard it is for him, how precarious his sobriety is, how much he’d like to disappear, to run off and play piano for drinks in some dive bar until his liver explodes. Not that they’d let that happen; the Secret Service would drag him back before he’d gone three blocks—and then he’d have to listen to the lectures, so no. Instead, he’s got his NA sponsor on speed dial. He calls Crispin every evening and vents. That’s the only thing keeping him clean. He’s already disappointed his family so many times he’s lost count, but he doesn’t want to disappoint Crispin.

***



From a prompt: http://comment-fic.livejournal.com/567688.html?thread=79642504#t79642504
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