"Welcome Back"
Category: Josh/Donna
Disclaimers: This is NOT being done for copyright infringement OR
monetary gain, I swear. If you prosecuted everyone who wrote this TWW
would have no fan base and you wouldn't get much, at least not from
Spoilers: ITSO2G 1-2

Author's Note: Josh POV.

It's funny, but the first thing I notice coming back is the light. It
sounds clichéd, but I focus only on the light as the requisite
thoughts run through my head. Am I dead? Is this the stairway to
heaven? Or is this one last gasp before I'm flung into the depths of
hell? What? You ask about hell? Come on, I'm a politician.

It doesn't register yet that there may be other people in the depths
of hell right now. Images flash through my head. A brown-haired man,
staring into the void as he contemplates the blood on his sleeve. A
tall woman doing her job with fierce aplomb, yet I can see her hands
shake. An older man asleep at his desk, yet tortured by dreams. A
lanky blonde woman pacing in a window-encased room, waiting
restlessly for news. And a man without whom none of us would be here,
lying in a bed much like mine.

I want to touch something, to make sure I'm still here, but suddenly
I'm seized with incredible pain. I bear it, because it can't be any
worse than dying. I wonder, is Joanie here? Or did she have something
to do with this? I can't help but ask myself that. I really do
believe she watches over me. Her and my father. I've always felt
lucky, like I have my own set of guardian angels. I guess this proves

Now I hear clinical voices, there yet not there. They're talking
about stuff like "internal bleeding" and "lucky to be alive." Thanks,
Joanie and Dad. I owe ya one. But then I hear more. "Multiple
sclerosis." "Slight wound could be aggravated." What the hell does
that mean? I don't have multiple sclerosis. At least I don't think I
do. And my wounds, from what I can discern, sure as hell weren't
slight. So they must be talking about someone else. Trust me, of all
people, to hear someone else's problems in my hazy, nightmare state.

Whoa. Now the pictures come in a relentless parade across my limited
line of vision. Quick as lightning, they flash like some kind of
twisted slide show. Gina Toscano's face as she yelled GUN! The
crowd's pandemonium. Toby being thrown back behind the flow of
people. Sam and a secret service agent having the foresight to tackle
C.J. Leo face down on the pavement. Charlie trying to run, just
trying to get the hell out of the way of the fire. Zoey being thrown
into the limo. The President... where's the President?

Now this is weird, because I feel a kind of supernatural sensation on
my legs. It's just a light touch, yet it has the power to throw the
likenesses from Rosslyn far out of my head. It's oddly comforting.
It's scary, because I want to reach out and touch whoever's obviously
here for me, and I can't. But it's just nice to know someone *is*
here for me.

I want to get out of here so badly. Wherever I am. I have to go to
work. Gotta change. There's meetings to be held. And Donna says I
look really hot in my other shirt.

It hits me like the bullet that passed through me: Donna! What she
must be going through... I hadn't thought of that. There's more than
just boss-assistant there. We're good friends. And I know that if
Donna was wherever I am, I'd be out of my mind worrying about her.
She's one of the greatest people I've ever met. Really. She's quick
on her feet, smart, sensitive, and funny. And really good at her job.

I don't know, maybe it was fate that made me keep her. She followed
me like a puppy, and when we were on the campaign she made herself
invaluable to me. Now I can't imagine my job without her. Who else
would make sense out of my insane schedule? Who else would threaten
to bring me coffee? No, I can't fool myself. She's my friend. I'm
just as worried about her as she probably, hopefully is about me. I'd
go out of my mind if I were her. But she's not me; she'll be all
right. She's my angel.

Please, God, let me get a chance to tell her that.

I have to get out of here.

It takes all of my strength, but I have to ask the question. Need to
give a kick to my dormant vocal chords. Wow. I don't think I've gone
this long without talking since the President saw fit to give me a
three-hour lecture on the history and provenance of the White House
Rose Garden.

The President...

I have to ask it.

"What's next?"



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