Summary: Four months after the shooting, the staff is still recoveringÖ


C.J. walked along the hall, trying to ignore Danny. Heíd been following her for ten minutes now, trying to get a story- or a date, she wasnít keeping track anymore. "For Godís sake, Danny, I have a staff meeting. GO AWAY!" C.J. shouted, trying to lose him. And while she did get a few looks from some staffers, she didnít lose Danny. "C.J., I"- C.J. entered Leoís office and slammed the door in his face. The waiting staff laughed as they heard a muffled "Ow" through the door. C.J. shook her head and joined Sam by the window. Josh was standing by the door; Toby was leaning against Leoís desk. Leo and the President had yet to finish whatever meeting was going on in the Oval. "You know C.J.," Sam commented, "Iím beginning to think that you donít mind his following you around."

"I do mind very much Sam," C.J. said irritably. Josh opened his mouth to say something but stopped dead as they all heard a familiar sound. Gunshots. Except this wasnít a gun firing at the staff- it was a car backfiring. It was a sound they had found sounded eerily like gunshots. Sam had gone dead white and hardly noticed C.J. gripping his arm. Josh had stumbled backwards and was gripping his jacket over the spot where heíd been shot. Toby was clenching the edge of the desk so hard his knuckles were white. They were all silent, all reliving the horror they had gone through that night. "Okay guys, letís- what happened?" Leo asked as he and the President entered Leoís office. The staff all glanced around nervously, then relaxed. "What happened?" Leo asked again, looking concerned. "It was nothi"- C.J. started, but Toby spoke up. "A car backfired," he said quietly. Leo looked confused, then realization spread across his face. "Oh, yeah. YeahÖ well, uh"- Leo looked for something to say, but the President cut him off. "Look guys, we heard it too," he said. "And I know things like that can bring those memories back, but we need to move on, to get over it."

"All due respect sir, but I donít think weíll ever get over it."

"Whatís that, Josh?"

"I said I donít think weíll ever get over it. Weíll move on, weíll go on with our lives, but itís gonna stay with us forever. Another four weeks, four months, four years- thatís something we canít ever forget. But"- Josh quickly continued, noting the look on the presidentís face- "we canít let it keep us from making other memories that weíll never forget. But things like that"- he gestured at the window towards the unseen car- "things like that are still gonna hurt, Mr. President. No matter how long itís been." After Josh finished, there was a silence. Then the President nodded. "Youíre right, Josh. I think youíre right." Josh half-smiled. "Would you say that again, Mr. President, so I can get it on tape?" Sam laughed. "Yeah, youíd better get it now- I doubt heíll say it again this term!"

"All right, letís get down to business. C.J., hereís the stuff for your noon briefingÖ."




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