DISCLAIMER: I don't own "The West Wing" or related characters. I own Levi and
Dante, but they're just characters and Dante's looking at me quite hungrily
now so I'm gonna shut up.
SHOUT-OUTS: AJ, me wonderful beta, yes it is intentionally 'me' (My Irish
blood is emerging this month, maybe next month it'll be the Polish half) for
helping me not make a complete idiot of myself and Dallas who screamed
"resolution!" after the end of "BIAS" so this is what is produced.
NOTES: The beginning of this story takes palce after the *very* end of the
previous Levi story "BIAS" which is also the only other Levi story in
existence. Bravo, very easy. ::grins:: The way things look now, this may not
be the last Levi story in existence, but it depends on the response.
SUMMARY: What happened to Levi?
Josh moved across the room, pushing past his celebrating co-workers
towards his boss. Toby saw the worried look on his colleague's face and
handed the champagne bottle to Ginger before following the other man's
example. Leo saw them coming and then looked at his best friend for a
command. His own mind just couldn't handle decision making right now.
"Josh and Toby have picked up a scent, sir." He said weakly. Jed was
obviously trying not to cry, trying to think, and he nodded.
"Oval Office. Ten minutes. Discreet exits from the senior staff. Let
these other guys have fun while they can." Came the Presidential order. Leo
nodded and then watched as his best friend left the room. A split second
later, Josh and Toby arrived behind him.
"Where's Levi?" Josh demanded worriedly.
"Be in the Oval office in ten minutes. We're having a senior staff
meeting. Try to leave quietly. We want the rest of the staff to try and enjoy
the celebration... even if we can't." Leo added softly in a harsh yet weak
"What's going on?" Toby asked stiffly.
"Ten minutes." Leo replied and then made his way through the crowd and
out of the room.
"We have to find Sam and CJ." Toby exclaimed softly.
"You get CJ, I'll find Sam." Josh agreed softly. Toby nodded and the
two parted ways.
"What's going on?" CJ asked as she walked into the Oval Office and
found her colleagues waiting anxiously. Jed looked at his best friend and
right hand man, and then nodded. Leo took a deep breath.
"About ten minutes ago, I got a call from the DC police. Levi...
has been shot. It happened about half an hour ago." He exclaimed softly.
Silence filled the room as his words settled in. CJ paled consideraly and
looked at the others. Toby had adapted a steel jaw and had a look of utter
fury on his face. Josh seemed both heartbroken and enraged. Sam appeared to
be saddened and almost confused. Leo looked as if he could barely stay
standing, and the President had taken a much needed seat.
"Tonight of all nights." Sam murmured.
"Where is she? Is she still alive, for crying out loud?" Josh asked
"Yes, she is alive. She was taken to GW Hospital. She's in surgery now,
according to the officer that I talked to." Leo replied. "She was shot once
in the shoulder and once in the chest cavity."
"Twice? She was shot twice?" CJ asked softly.
"What the devil happened?" Toby asked quietly.
"We don't know yet. My card was in her jacket pocket, so the police
called me." Leo said hesitantly. "The police are working on the details."
said before hearing the door open.
Everyone glanced at the door to see Mrs. Landingham step into the room
a dispirited-looking furball nestled in her arms. Dante peered out around the
room, his eyes seeming blacker and beadier than usual, his fur matted and
scruffy. Jed stood up, getting the dog's attention. Suddenly Dante jumped out
of Mrs. Landingham's arms, darted across the ground, jumped on to a chair, to
the desk and then into Jed's arms. No one said a word, not even the President
as he sat back down, cradling the dog closely. Mrs. Landingham nodded sadly.
"A police officer brought him over." She said softly. Jed looked at the
small animal and felt the fur trembling against him. He pet the dog gently
and paused when his fingers ran across an area that felt crisp. He peered
down at that area of fur and saw that in various spots, the dog was blotched
with blood, blood that was not his. Levi's blood.
"I have to take him to the residence and clean him up." Jed said
softly. "Leo, stay in touch with the people at GW and the police department.
Sam, Toby, CJ, get a statement together. This is a big thing, and I want to
be the one behind the podium. This is partially her victory, and I owe her at
least this much." He continued slowly. "Josh, keep Leo up to date with their
progress, and keep me up to date with Leo's progress and theirs. We have a
lot to do now."
"Yes, sir." Came the murmured replies. Jed nodded as he stood up,
holding Dante close against his chest and headed for the door. When the door
closed behind him, Leo looked at the staff.
"I want to go over there." Josh declared. Leo paused.
"Call us when you get there. Talk to the doctors. Keep us up to date.
I'm going to contact the police officer whose name and number they left me
with. Toby, Sam, write a statement for the President. Talk about this bill,
the victory, and mix in Levi, you know that. We'll get you information as we
get it. CJ, go out and take a reading of the press. What do they know? What
are they saying? Find out a good time for the President to make his address.
Check with Toby and Sam on that." Leo commanded, trying to be stronger than
he felt. Josh took off out of the room through one door while the other three
left through another, heading for their offices. Leo sighed and then headed
for his office as well.
Tonight of all nights.
Jed pushed open the door to his bedroom and looked around. Dante
shivered against Jed's chest and whimpered softly. Jed moved into the
bathroom, started running the hot water in the sink and then changed his
mind. He turned off the sink and then proceeded to fill the bathtub. Moments
later, he climbed in and rested Dante on his chest, the small dog's body
resting in the warm water. Surprisingly enough, the dog stayed where he was
put. Jed watched as the water became slightly tinted with red as he washed
the dried blood out of the dog's matted fur and he tried not to see it.
About ten minutes afterward, Jed relocated to the bed, dressed in his
bathrobe, Dante nestled into his chest, wrapped in a towel and still
quivering, though not quite as dramatically. Slowly, the two fell asleep
together, just moments before Abbey moved in through the doors, home from a
trip to Italy. She smiled weakly at the sight of her husband but frowned when
she saw Dante with no Levi in sight. She moved forward and sat on the edge of
the bed. Dante opened one eye and watched her cautiously. Abbey put a hand on
her husband's shoulder and gently woke him. Jed looked at her and smiled
before seeing Dante and realizing that it wasn't all a dream.
"You two made peace?" Abbey asked softly. Jed nodded slowly.
"Levi, she... she was shot, Abbey." He whispered as Dante met his
gaze. Tears came to Abbey's eyes as she too looked at the dog and then back
at her husband. Dante whimpered and snuggled into Jed's robe. Jed carefully
pulled his wife into a hug, careful of the scared creature on his chest. He
clung to her tightly, trying not to cry into her shoulder.
Dante just rested between them.
To Be Continued...
Of All Nights - 2