Spoilers: None on either side.
Disclaimer: Death belongs to Mr. Pratchett. Jed Bartlet belongs to Mr. Sorkin.
JOSIAH EDWARD BARTLET?
There was nothing quite like coming face to face with a skeleton with a voice like slabs of concrete mating to snap you out of the early morning fog. Jed blinked, and sat up very carefully. "Okay, I knew I shouldn't have had that chilli before I went to bed."
I AM DEATH, COME FOR THEE, the spectre intoned.
He winced, still adjusting to being awake, and reached for his glasses. "Is this about the Hallowe'en ball? I told Abbey, there is absolutely no way I'm getting into that damn wizard costume, I don't care what the-"
AHEM. There was a brief pause, during which the skeleton looked, insofar as a featureless skull was capable of looking anything, distinctly peeved. COULD WE, POSSIBLY, TRY THIS AGAIN?
Jed was beginning to feel a strange, chilling numbness spreading over his body. "Okay," he said slowly.
AHEM. I AM DEATH, COME FOR THEE, READY TO USHER THEE INTO THE NEXT WORLD, IN WHICH-
Jed noticed that the skeleton was carrying a glowing blue blade. However, he was intrigued to see that the shape of it was hardly the one mythology insisted upon. "Hey, aren't you supposed to carry a scythe?" he interrupted.
KINGS GET THE SWORD.
"I'm not a king, I'm the president." He looked down at himself uneasily. Was it his imagination, or was his skin beginning to look translucent in the half-light? "Was the president," he corrected slowly.
THERE IS NOT AS MUCH OF A DIFFERENCE AS YOU WOULD LIKE TO THINK.
He sat up straighter, wishing he'd thought to put on a more presidential pair of pyjamas. He was wearing the ones with the bunny rabbit on the pocket Zoey had brought back for him from her school trip in the ninth grade. "So you're here to... kill me?" he asked.
YOU ARE ALREADY DEAD, Death corrected. I AM HERE TO MAKE SURE THAT YOUR ENDING OCCURS WHEN YOUR DEATH DOES.
"Ah. Administrative position?"
Death seemed irked by this description. I LIKE TO THINK I MAKE A LITTLE BIT OF DIFFERENCE, he said snippily. THE PERSONAL TOUCH, AN ESTABLISHED SERVICE...
Jed inspected his fading body with a kind of intrigued detachment. "So, what happens now?"
YOU MUST COME WITH ME.
He thought about it for a moment. "No."
"Traditionally, I'm supposed to refuse to go gently into that good night."
BY YOUR RECKONING, IT IS ALREADY HALF AN HOUR PAST THE DAYBREAK.
Jed scowled. "I don't care how the Department of Agriculture chooses to classify it, anything earlier than nine in the morning is most definitely night."
REGARDLESS, YOU CANNOT RAGE AGAINST THE DYING OF THE LIGHT. LIGHT IS NOT MORTAL. YOU, ON THE OTHER HAND, ARE. THE TIME FOR YOUR PASSING HAS COME UPON YOU.
"I'm told that death is a state of mind," Jed mused.
Death tapped a bony foot against the floor of the Residence bedroom. CURRENTLY, SOMEWHERE IN THE REGION OF 'MILDLY IRRITATED'.
Jed stood up. The skeleton still towered over him by at least a foot and a half. He wandered over to the mirror, and saw that he was fading fast. But at the same time, he looked younger than he had in decades.
"I can't die," he said. "What about the government?"
GOVERNMENTS CONTINUE, Death noted. IT'S ONE OF THEIR LESS ENDEARING FEATURES.
Another thought struck him. "What about Abbey? What about the children?"
THEY WILL MOURN YOU. THEN THEY WILL MOVE ON. SUCH IS THE NATURE OF THE LIVING.
Jed shot him a pleading look. "Can't I see them? One last time..."
IT WOULD BRING YOU NOTHING THAT YOU DO NOT ALREADY HAVE.
He sighed. It was only the faintest whisper of sound, barely enough to have stirred a spider's web. He smiled wryly. "You know, Isaac Asimov once said that 'Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome.'"
I'M BEGINNING TO SEE HIS POINT.
"I just- I'm not ready," he said passionately. "There's still so much to do, so many things left to accomplish-"
Death seemed to soften slightly. Perhaps he was no stranger to a neverending workload. NONETHELESS... IT IS TIME, he said, almost kindly. YOU MUST GO.
"To where?" he wondered, his sense of adventure beginning to reassert itself.
TO WHATEVER AFTERLIFE YOU FEEL IS WAITING FOR YOU.
Jed frowned. "So people go... wherever they believe they're going to go? That doesn't seem fair."
PERHAPS. PEOPLE RARELY BELIEVE WHAT THEY THINK THEY BELIEVE. SOME THINGS ARE ONLY UNQUESTIONABLE IF YOU DO NOT ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS.
"I have a question," he said.
THEN ASK IT.
Jed smiled, and slipped his hands into the rapidly fading memory of his pockets. "What's next?"