RATING: PG-13, strong language (not *that* strong)
ARCHIVE: Ja, sure. Go Ahead. Let me know where.
SPOILER: KD is released from the hospital and allowed to come back to work
but ends up taking a trip of her own, leaving the west wing in anguish.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own the West Wing characters, I don't own the show. I'm
only borrowing them. Thank you Aaron Sorkin for inventing them and for
letting us use them. Fan Fiction writers like myself love you for it, and
fans like myself just love you anyway.
"That's utterly ridiculous." Senator Matt Jones exclaimed as he glanced
at his guest. KD coughed into a kleenex and shook her head. Jones couldn't
help but noticed she had paled considerably since they had met four hours
ago. The town car pulled to a stop at a red light as their argument continued.
"If you think about it, it's not. Have you even looked at the latest
available facts?" She asked in a raspy voice.
"No amount of nuclear testing is capable of destroying the earth's
atmosphere in less than a thousand years. Scientists are predicting the
problem can and will be solved by then." Jones exclaimed.
"A majority of environmental scientists are saying that full nuclear
winter could happen in three hundred years or less." KD returned.
"We've got to be prepared. Should this country come under att-" Jones
"If someone fires a nuke on the U.S. we're dead anyway. We won't have
time to push the button. There's no enemy out there with nuclear capability
that the United States has had to worry about in nearly a decade. No one's
going to fire on us without an extreme amount of diplomacy preceding any
action." KD interrupted with an all-knowing tone.
"You can't know that for sure." Jones retorted.
"We've got the word of everyone in the United Nations and NATO. On paper,
Matt." KD pointed out.
"Pieces of paper mean nothing in time of war. Anyone's word means crap
when one country declares war on another. If such an event happens, no one
knows where nuclear power is going to come in." Jones replied. "We have to be
able to defend ourselves."
"And how is nuclear testing going to help us defend ourselves in such an
instance? How is it going to make us more capable than we currently are,
should such an unlikely event occur?" KD inquired darkly. Jones sighed and
glanced at her. She seemed as white as a sheet.
"Are you all right?" He asked softly. KD coughed into her white cloth
again and nodded weakly.
"I'm fine. Answer the question." She snapped. Jones stared at her warily.
He didn't like the way her eyes were slightly glazed.
"We need to keep our defensive and offensive systems in proper
functioning status. The only way to do that is continual testing. An attack
can occur at any time and we need to be prepared." He insisted.
"Bullshit. You're just being paranoid." KD retorted sharply.
"Hardly." Jones returned quickly. KD snorted in contempt as the car
pulled to a stop. Jones pushed open the door and held it open as KD climbed
out. He slammed it behind her and they both walked into the building. As he
opened the building door, KD's cell phone rang. She quickly grabbed it,
switched it off and shoved it back into her jacket pocket.
"Did it ever occur to you that these calls might be important?" Jones
asked with a playful grin as they both moved into the lobby.
"Nope." She retorted just as playfully as they walked up to the elevator.
As the senator leaned forward to press the button, both debaters thought in
silence. Jones glanced at KD who seemed to have trouble standing steady, but
decided not to be repetitive by asking her if she was okay for the fifteen
millionth time. He'd come to the conclusion that she would never tell him the
truth about her own health anyway. The thing was, Jones knew that three weeks
ago a member of the White House staff had been shot, but he did not know that
it was that same member standing next to him that had suffered such. The
elevator doors opened and the two stepped in.
"Why is this damn thing so important to you?" Jones asked suddenly. KD
sighed and coughed again.
"You remember my uncle very well, sir?" She asked softly. Jones nodded.
"Fairly well, yes. He was a good man." He replied.
"Did you know he was born a great deal of time before my father. Dad was
born in 1935. Travis was born in 1919." She said absentmindedly.
"Yeah, that is a great deal of time. I was born in 1933." Jones pointed
out. KD nodded as if she already knew that. "Your uncle was my neighbor until
1943 when I moved away."
"My uncle fought in World War Two." She said softly. Jones stiffened a
little. He knew Travis had been in the military for as long as anyone could
"I see." He whispered.
"He died six years ago after an accident at a nuclear testing site in
Utah." KD exclaimed shakily. Jones closed his eyes as he processed the
"I see." He said mournfully. KD stood in silence as she thought about the
look of her uncle on his deathbed, the image of his frail form smiling at
her. Silence filled the elevator again.
"You have kids, yes?" She asked suddenly.
"Yes, two sons and a daughter." Jones replied softly.
"Do you want them to live to see your age?" She exclaimed. He chuckled
"Of course." He said, his voice slightly caught.
"Well, I doubt they will. Or even if they do, the average quality of life
will have deteriorated so much that they won't want to be alive. The nuclear
pollution will have the atmosphere so out of whack that by the time your
oldest son is .. . how old is he?" KD stopped.
"Twenty seven." Jones exclaimed.
"Well at this rate, by the time he's your age, forty years from now,
scientists predict no human will be able to step outside without a gas mask.
A hundred years after that, people are gonna need bio-suits just to get from
their house to their car." KD pointed out forcefully. "This is all
considering nuclear war doesn't occur. We need to start taking better care of
our planet. We need to start taking control of air pollution, land fills,
toxic waste and yes, the usage of nuclear technology. Mankind was not created
just so it could destroy itself." KD finished quietly.
"You're making this up." Jones insisted.
"Pretty scary, huh, Matt?" KD replied. Truth was, some of it she was
making up, but in the long run, the nightmare she depicted was going to come
true. Maybe not as soon as she said, but eventually.
"I'm beginning to see your point." He admitted. KD coughed harshly.
"It's about time." She retorted.
"Okay then." He said simply. She looked at him abruptly, a dash of hope
sparkling in her hazy eyes.
"Okay?" She asked skeptically. "What does that mean, okay?"
"You've got my vote. I'll do my best to get things swinging your way."
"Do I have your word on that?" She asked hopefully.
"Yes. You've got my word sworn on the grave of Travis W. Brody." He
"You remembered his middle initial. Most people don't, for some reason.
I'm sure he'd be honored." She said softly. He smiled and she smiled back.
"Thank you sir."
"Matt." He insisted as he held out a hand. "KD."
"Matt." She replied as she took the hand and shook firmly. Jones frowned
as her grasp weakened. Suddenly her eyes rolled gently into the back of her
head and she collapsed at his feet. As the elevator doors opened, Jones's
assistant could see her boss leaning in worry over the body of the strange
woman she'd only met four hours ago.
"Oh, my God. Tracy, call an ambulance!" Jones cried.
"Hey, David. Right here." Nathaniel Beckwith called as he stood up. His
young son saw him and moved over to the table with a weak grin. Father and
son hugged each other before sitting down. They sat in silence for a moment,
David staring at his hands and his father staring at him.
"How have you been, son?" Nathan asked.
"I've been okay. Doing well, and stuff. How about you?" David replied
timidly. He didn't know how to act.
"I've been good. I've been good. Business has been doing well. We might
be able to extend the branch out of Cincinnati." Nathan exclaimed with a
grin, proud of his good fortune.
"I'm glad." David replied honestly.
"Listen, son, there's a lot I need to talk to you about." Nathan said,
leaning forward and resting his arms on the table.
"Really? That's great, cause I've been wanting to talk to you for-" David
"Son, don't get carried away." Nathan interrupted sharply. David nodded
and shut up. "Now, I need to talk to you. Do you have a lot of sway with your
boss, what was it, Brody?"
"Well, what do you mean by 'sway'?" David asked.
"Can you convince her to recommend certain things to the President? That
is her job, right?" His father asked. David paled.
"Is that why you wanted to see me?" He asked weakly.
"Son, I need to make sure that the medical research bill doesn't get
passed. If it does, I could go out of business." Nathan snapped.
"Dad, you're the CEO of a major pharmaceutical company. If anything, the
bill's gonna help your business." David insisted.
"Don't interrupt me, you little know nothing! You don't know the first
thing about business, and especially about politics. Whoever hired you is an
idiot, but there's no reason we can't make good use of it." Nathan hissed.
David cowered a little and looked back at his hands.
"Dad, I'm not going to influence my boss into this. I'm not gonna tell
her how to do her job, and I don't want to. She's working on the medical
research bill and I can tell you right now, she's recommending extended funds
for the whole thing. I don't plan on telling her to do otherwise." David
"God, and I thought you'd changed. You're just as worthless as you were
before." Nathan said softly as he leaned back in his chair. David didn't
respond. Nathan sighed, stood up and tossed his napkin on the table before
walking away. David didn't look up.