[He’s called this number a dozen times before, but punching the numbers in tonight is like he’s calling a completely different person. But in reality, the only thing that’s changed is the title. Men fall and rise; such is the ebb and flow of life.] Good evening, Prime Minister. [He’s smiling through the phone, and there’s an amused hint to it. Of course, there’s really nothing funny about the circumstances that led to this.] I’m not sure if is bad form to congratulate on your new position, but I will say that I think [he doesn’t say hope; even though that is more reflective of the truth, not out of lack of faith in Stannis, but in the fragility of the situation - terrorists, just what this country needed on top of everything else] you are the leadership that this country needs right now. I am, as I have been before, at your disposal.
He’d just gotten off the phone with Selyse not a few minutes past and already his phone was ringing. One call after the other. This Undersecretary, that Undersecretary, journalists, MPs (independent, Tory, Labour, Lib-Dem, a cross-section of them). He puts his phone on mute and told himself he’d slide back into the current in a few minutes. He sits down, in his office in MOD, and realizes with a pang that this is the last day he’ll ever sit in his chair—and that he has so many things to pack. His phone vibrates an nth time; he checks the LED; Varys. He frowns, worried that there might be another emergency for the Director of MI5 to be calling him. Quickly he picks up his phone.
Varys, he greets shortly. What is— he grunts when he realizes that Varys only called for congratulatory purposes. He falls back in his chair. News travels fast, doesn’t it, he muses, not without heat.
‘I am, as I have ever been before…’ Stannis doubts that, but he doubts everything that Varys says. If he has the luxury, he’ll reshuffle the cabinet. He’ll even replace the Directors of the Intelligence Agencies. But as it stands, he only serves as caretaker in the meantime. And there’s no room for politics, or convenience.
He can’t help but ask: Did you say the same to my brother after each election?