Lost in a Heartbeat - A New Beat
West Wing Fan Fiction
By Caroline Walsh
All standard disclaimers apply: see "Lost in a Heartbeat".
Special Thanks to Jenny - my first "beta reader".
Authors notes: "Lost in a Heartbeat" wasn't meant to have a sequel but what the heck. Be warned - this is a Josh / Donna shipper story with some others mixed in. My apologies to any medical personnel on the lists, I'm no expert in medicine. If you can correct me - please do.
White House: four hours after the Attack.
Josh walked into the West Wing of the White House showing his ID. Everyone was on edge even four hours later. He turned the corner and headed to his office. Donna was waiting right there. "Are you ok?" was the first words out of her mouth. "Broken wrist. The Secret Service agent pushed me down." He took off his coat to reveal a sling and a white cast. He handed Donna a bag and walked toward the Oval Office. "What's this?" Josh turned toward her, "My pain medication. Doctor wouldn't let me go without it."
Mrs. Landingham was sitting in her normal spot when Josh turned in to the outer office. He saw Charlie's desk. It was going to be tough for a while. "Josh, they're all waiting for you." He nodded and walked in.
The President, Sam, and CJ were sitting on the couches. Their attention automatically turned to him. "What do you know?" the President asked. He looked pale and nervous. Josh took a breath and began his report. "Leo went into surgery when I left. He was hit in the left leg, just below his hip. Toby has a sprained ankle and a broken rib. GW is keeping him over night for observation." No one wanted to ask the next question. Finally CJ asked with her voice cracking. "What about Charlie?"
Josh sat down. "The doctors said that the bullet that hit Charlie was lodged in the lower part of his spine. The MRI showed that the spinal column was intact. What they are worried about is swelling. They're working now to see if they can get the fragments." Sam stood up and held on to the fireplace. "What about his sister?" President looked up. "The Secret Service is going to bring her here. I think it may do Zoey and Abby some good to have her with us."
Josh nodded. "What's next?" CJ spoke up. "I've got a briefing in five minutes." Sam and Josh looked at CJ then looked at the President. President Bartlet sat for a moment and chose his words carefully. "CJ - tell the press about the injured and update their conditions. Josh were there any civilian injuries?" Josh nodded. "Total of five. Two broken wrists, a broken leg and a dislocated shoulder." Sam wrote this down. "I thought you said five?" Josh nodded and the President understood. "Get me a family contact. I want to make this call myself." The President stood and walked to his desk. What remained of his senior staff also stood. "Josh," the President said. "Stay a moment." Josh returned to his seat as Sam and CJ left for the briefing. When the door closed, the President turned to Josh. "I'm going to need you to help me for a while, at least until Leo can come back. I'm naming you Acting Chief of Staff." Josh sat up. It was then that Jed Bartlet saw the sling. "Are you alright?" Josh nodded. "Broken wrist. It happened when the Secret Service shoved me down." President nodded his understanding. "Get together with Margaret and Donna. Find out what Leo was working on. Maybe when Leo is up to it, you can confer with him." Josh stood. "Now if you'll join me, I've got two ladies upstairs to bring up to speed." Josh held up the President's jacket the best he could. A Secret Service agent saw the problem and took the jacket from Josh.
After another hour, Josh got back to his office. Donna was waiting inside. She ran around the desk to hug Josh. // Good thing I closed the door. // He thought as he put his good arm around Donna's waist. "I'm so glad you're ok. I'm not sure what I would have done if you were hurt any more than you are." Josh held her closer. He remembered what had flashed before his eyes. It was her. "Donna," Josh said as he broke their embrace. "I need to tell you something." Donna looked at him with red eyes. He stroked her cheek. "I love you, Donnatella Moss." Donna started to cry again. Josh held her against his chest. "What's the matter?" he asked her softly. Donna looked into his eyes. "I love you too." He exhaled loudly. He lifted her chin so their lips met.
They stayed that way for a second. Then there was a knock at the door. It was Joey and Kenny. "Are you ok Josh?" Kenny said interrupting for Joey. "I'm fine and glad you're here. While Leo is recovering, the President asked me to fill in as Acting Chief of Staff. I'm going to need the three of you to help me out. Joey, I'd like to tell the President that you've agreed to stay on as Acting Deputy Chief of Staff." Joey looked surprised as Kenny signed what Josh had said. "I'd be honored," Joey said in her own voice. Josh looked at Donna and smiled. "Ok then - let's get to work."