Ok so this story has been rattling around in my brain since the season finale. It is a Caitlin story but a kind of alternate universe type. When I wrote the first Caitlin story, "Homecoming" it was before the season finale so I explained her coming home due to some personal crisis. This story is going to explain it as a result of the shooting. Which means it comes before all the others and can serve as a kind of introduction to Caitlin Bartlet. It also means that she's not working in the White House, living with Donna, or in a relationship with Sam...yet :)
Hope you all enjoy as always all feedback is welcomed, encouraged, and appreciated.
Disclaimer- The West Wing and it's characters are the property of Aaron Sorkin and NBC. Except for Caitlin Bartlet who is the product of my overactive imagination.
There's No Place Like Home- Part 1
"Who's been hit? Who's been hit?"
The voice seemed to scream through the eerie silence that followed the gunshots. The scene appeared frozen as if it were a photograph.
The President and Zoey had been shoved inside the limo. Leo McGarry lay beneath a Secret Service Officer. Gina Toscano and Charlie Young lie right beside the limo. Toby Ziegler lay next to the rope line barricade amongst the panicked on lookers. Josh Lyman knelt behind the iron fence that led to Freedom Park, CJ Cregg and Sam Seaborn both lay to the right of Toby behind the limo.
All at once, the scene began to move almost in fast forward as those agents that could stood and began checking on their wards.
The Agents piled on top of the President and Zoey filed out after ascertaining that both were unhurt. The last Agent slammed his palm on the roof of the car and the limo quickly sped away.
"Mr. McGarry?" The Agent on top of Leo asked.
"Yes, I'm fine." Came Leo's muffled voice from under him. The Agent got up and helped the now rumpled Leo to his feet.
Gina slowly lifted her head and looked around, the first thing she noticed was Charlie lying on his back, blood seeping from his chest. "Charlie!" she called to him. She crawled over and leaned down to listen for breathing as she felt for a pulse. When she found both, she placed her jacket over his wound and called out to no one in particular. "We need a paramedic over here."
Josh freed himself from the iron gate and ran to the first person he could find. "Toby. Toby!" he cried.
"I'm trampled Josh, not deaf." Toby said as he slowly turned towards Josh. He had a small cut above his right eye and his breathing was labored.
"How bad are you hurt?" Josh asked.
"I don't know, but my side hurts like hell." Toby answered.
"Ok, lie still and I'll get help."
Suddenly CJ's anguished cry interrupted them. "SA-A-AM!"
Josh and Toby looked at each other, fear registering in both their eyes.
"Go" Toby said giving Josh a slight nudge.
Josh sprinted over to CJ, kneeling beside her. She turned to him, panic written all over her face, her hands on Sam's stomach now covered in blood. "I think he's...I mean I don't think he's breathing."
Josh placed his ear next to Sam's mouth and paused for a moment. "I need some help over here!" he shouted urgently to the paramedics who just arrived. Two of them ran over and gently but forcibly pushed CJ and Josh away.
"Looks like we've got an upper abdominal entry, no exit." One of the paramedics said.
"No breath sounds or pulse. Start CPR." The other paramedic said as he placed the air mask over Sam's nose and mouth and the first paramedic began compressions.
CJ grabbed onto Josh's arm and they helplessly watched for what seemed an agonizing eternity. Toby slowly made his way over followed by Leo as they all held their breath.
"Come on Sam." Josh said.
"Don't do this Sam. I need someone around to make me look good. You're the best at it." Toby said quietly.
"We've got him. Let's get him stabilized and on the rig." The paramedic doing compressions said.
As they were doing that another pair of paramedics got Charlie into the waiting ambulance. Gina spoke to Ron Butterfield who made his way over to the Senior Staff. Leo turned at his approach.
"What the hell happened?" he barked.
"I don't know sir. Our investigators are trying to determine the breach. We did apprehend the shooters."
"Who were they?"
"Identities are still unknown, but they were both male, Caucasian, aged 15-17."
"Dear God" Leo whispered. "The President?"
"Unharmed, on his way back to the Residence."
They stopped as the heard the clang of a gurney. They turned to see Sam loaded onto the ambulance. One of the paramedics turned to the group. "Are any of you hurt?"
"He is" Josh said pointing to Toby.
"It's not that bad."
"Still, sir, please come along and we'll have you checked out."
Leo quickly looked over the group and saw for the first time CJ clutching her left arm. "Her too." He said.
She turned to him "Leo..."
She walked towards the van and was helped inside along with Toby.
As the ambulance left Leo turned to Butterfield. "Was anyone else hurt?"
"Two Agents and 4 crowd members. None serious. The only other serious injury was Charlie Young."
"Charlie" Josh asked, dread in his voice.
"Yes, he was hit in the chest. He was taken along with the others to GWU Hospital."
Josh hung his head and rubbed his hand behind his neck.
"Ok I want constant updates on the situation." Leo told Butterfield.
"Josh we'd better get back to the White House." Leo said.
They walked away towards the remaining car each wondering 'What now?'