Cold Blood Part II
Josh Lyman’s office: The West Wing 10:03 p.m.
I stood up from my desk and looked out the window. I checked my watch and started at the time. Two hours already? I decided to go to the hospital. "Donna, let’s"- I stopped as I came around my desk. Donna was asleep on my couch. I smiled faintly as I studied her from this vantage. It wasn’t something I got to do very often- watch Donna without her noticing. If you didn’t know what had happened, you could almost imagine she’d just had a long day and fallen asleep on her boss’s couch. It was these rare times that made me realize just how in love with her I was. Hating to end this moment, I sighed and walked over to the couch. I bent down and gently shook her shoulder. "Wake up, Donnatella," I said softly. She opened her eyes and blinked a couple times before recognizing me and sitting up. "You ready to go to the hospital?" I asked. She nodded, then got up. We walked out to my car. After driving for a few minutes, she asked if she could turn on the radio. I nodded and she tuned it to a news station. We both listened as the announcer continued his news cast: "…shooting during a routine briefing this afternoon which left Press Secretary C.J. Cregg with a wound from a bullet grazing her arm and two reporters shot, along with Ms. Cregg’s secretary, Carol Sanders. Carol is recovering in the hospital overnight and is expected to be released tomorrow or the day after. Arthur Leeds, one of the reporters, has just gotten out of surgery and is expected to make a complete recovery. Danny Concannon, the other reporter who was shot, is in his second hour of surgery to remove a bullet from his chest. His condition is critical. We will be keeping you updated on this tragedy throughout the night. Stay tuned…" I blinked hard, realizing that I was having trouble seeing. I pulled over to the side of the road and rubbed my eyes. Donna reached over and rubbed my shoulder while I tried to get myself calm enough to drive. I took a deep breath and pulled back onto the highway.
We arrived at the hospital a few moments later. A few of the doctors recognized us and offered their sympathy. We found the private waiting room where C.J., Leo, Zoey, and the President were sitting. Leo was trying to talk C.J. into going home. "C.J, it’s gonna be another six hours before we know anything. You need to get some sleep." C.J. shook her head. Zoey was sitting next to her with her arms around C.J.’s shoulders. The President looked up as we entered. "Josh, I thought I told you to stay in your office," he said. "Sir, did you really think I was going to stay there?" The President shook his head. "Not really." Donna and I sat down in two chairs near the door. Leo stood. "I’m gonna head back to the office." We all nodded, then fell into silence as we waited. The President spoke up. "Is this what it was like last time?" he asked quietly. I nodded in agreement. Donna and C.J. nodded. "This bad and worse," Donna said. "They’re giving Danny a good chance of survival." I looked up sharply. "Better than my chances?" I asked quietly. Donna and Zoey glanced at each other. "Yeah," Donna said. "They weren’t…" "They weren’t expecting you to live, Josh," Zoey said. The President looked abruptly at his youngest daughter, but didn’t say anything. As Zoey and the President turned their attention back to C.J. and trying to get her to go home, Donna and I quietly talked. "Last time… we thought you weren’t gonna make it," Donna said. "It really was worse last time." I shook my head. "We shouldn’t be referring to a last time. We shouldn’t be here, and there shouldn’t have been a last time," I said angrily. "Josh, we can’t change what happened."
"I know." We sat in silence for a few minutes. Then my cell phone rang. I sighed and answered it. "Hello?"
"Josh? It’s Sam."
"Hey, buddy. You did good with that briefing."
"Thanks, but I don’t know how C.J. does it."
"Why’d you call?"
"Leo wants you to come back."
"You need to talk with the SS agents."
"Once again: why?"
"Cause they can’t really spare anyone else. I called cause Leo’s up to his neck in work."
"Fine, I’ll be there in fifteen minutes, but if anything happens I’m coming back up here."
"Okay. See ya soon."
"Yeah." I hung up and rose. "Where are you going, Josh?" the President asked. "I get to talk with the SS agents. No one else is free." Donna stood up and followed me out of the room. We drove back to the Wing and I walked to my office.