Title: Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Author: Cindy Brewer
Disclaimer: I don't own them
Series/Sequel: Sequel to Pandora's Box
Author's notes: Many thanks to Amanda for her advice on this last part.:)
Josh wearily returned to his office not quite believing the whole mess was over with. Even with Lillienfield's dramatic exit the meeting had seemed anti-climatic. As he opened the door to his office Josh found Donna sitting in his chair a paperback mystery novel open on his desk in front of her. Lyman shook his head with a smile as he stood at the front of his desk."I thought I told you to stay home."
Donna returned his smile as she stood and walked around the desk. "I thought you could use the company. How'd it go?"
Josh wrapped his arms around her waist and drew her close. "Oh Lillienfield threatened and stamped his feet but in the end he lost. The President stood his ground and Lillienfield's going to resign."
Donna blinked in surprise. "He's resigning? Just like that?"
"I wouldn't have believed it either if I hadn't been there."Josh replied quietly as he tenderly caressed her left cheek. "But it is finally over, Donnatella."
Donna rested her head against his chest as she closed her eyes. "I couldn't have gotten through this without you."
Josh tightened the embrace. "I'll always be there for you. No matter what."
After a few moments Josh pulled away from her. "Hungry?"
"Starved."Donna replied as she reached across the desk for her things.
"Let's get out of here."Josh replied as he helped her on with her coat and grabbed his own."I don't want to deal with politics for the rest of the day."
Several members of Lillienfield's staff who were unlucky enough to be away from their desks had to scramble to get out of their boss's way as he returned to his office.
Nick Halloway started toward Lillienfield, FedEx package in hand but before he could meet his boss's stride Lillienfield entered his private office and slammed the door shut in his face.
"I guess the meeting didn't go well."Nick muttered under his breath as he knocked on the door. When there was no answer Halloway pushed the door open and stepped inside anyway.
Peter glanced at him briefly before returning his attention to the view out the window. "Tell the staff to clear out their desks. If they ask why tell them it's the order of the President of the United States."
Nick nodded as he came to stand next to his boss. "Before we close up shop completely you might want to look at this."
Peter glanced down at the overnight package in Halloway's outstretched hand "Had almost forgotten about this little gem."
Lillienfield took the package and quickly opened it. He took out two manila file folders each with medical markings.
"This will do nicely for a final round."Lillienfield commented as he the information. "Tell Stan to schedule a press conference."
"Think that went too easy?"Leo asked as he and the President stood in the center of the Oval Office.
Bartlet nodded. "Way too easy, but for now Lillienfield's out of our hair. What do we have for the rest of the day?"
Leo grinned. "Usual. Meeting with the French Ambassador, press conference at two with Fitzwallace about the situation in the Philippines, then we have a meeting with Hoynes about the census results...."
Around four o'clock that afternoon Donna and Josh returned to her apartment.
"Well looks like the wolves finally went back to their caves."Donna commented dryly as she got out of Lyman's car and fished her apartment key out of her pocket.
Josh grinned. "They probably heard about Lillienfield and tripped over each other to get to the Hill in time."
Donna glanced at him as she opened the door. "Do you want to watch it?"
Josh shook his head. "No politics today, remember? And that for the moment includes Lillienfield. I can think of much better ways to spend my time then watching that airbag. What movies did you pick out?"
Donna rummaged through the plastic video store bag and pulled out a videocassette. "Runaway Bride, Romancing the Stone, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade....."
Josh snatched the bag from her and plucked out the Indy movie. "Definitely 'Crusade'....the other two are chick flicks."
Donna glared at him slightly the other video still in her raised hand. "Chick flicks? Joshua Lyman......"
"Hey you picked where we ate lunch I get to pick what movie we watch first."Josh countered as he plopped down on the sofa and turned on the TV.
Donna sighed as she placed her coat and purse on the small kitchen counter. "It has Harrison in it so it can't be that bad. Just don't snore through Runaway Bride."
"I don't snore."Josh replied as she sat down next to him.
"If you say so."Donna commented with a grin as she reached for the remote control.
"Thank you for coming."Peter Lillienfield began as he stood on the bottom of the steps of Capitol Hill surrounded by his staff. "Effective immediately I am resigning my position in Congress.
It is with regret that I do this but recent events have made this move necessary. It's time to go home where I can do more good than I can here.
I refuse to work under a President who suffers from a debilitating disease. The same President who shuffles most of the workload to a chief of staff who drinks and takes drugs.
This is not the government that our founding fathers envisioned over two centuries ago. And it is not the government that I will serve in. I would like to thank my staff for all their hard work over the years it will not be forgotten.
I have time for a few questions....."
Toby Ziegler knocked on CJ Cregg's office door but the Press Secretary was already on her feet.
"What does the President say about Lilienfield's press conference?"CJ asked with concern as she met Ziegler in the doorway.
Toby shook his head. "Haven't heard anything was on my way there now. The debilitating disease thing was probably just typical Lillienfield smoke and mirrors."
CJ glanced at the communications director. "What if it's not? What if he is sick?"She asked remembering clearly the day Bartlet collapsed in the Oval Office.
Toby met her gaze briefly. "Then we'll deal with it and move on."