RATING: R, strong language, themes of death and danger
DISCLAIMER: I do not own the West Wing, unfortunately. It seems none of us 
do. :) It belongs to Aaron Sorkin and the wonderful people he works with. 
Probably NBC and some bigtime company.
NOTES: This story has no relation to the season finale whatsoever. I thought 
of it before the finale but after I read somewhere that there was gonna be an 
assassination attempt IN the finale. So, anyway. 
SPOILERS: When someone in the West Wing is shot, the staffers and company 
have to examine the event's impact on their lives and how things would change 
if their friend doesn't survive.

"I can't believe this." Toby exclaimed as he barged into KD's office, papers in hand, and slammed the door behind him. KD looked up in shock and then sighed. "You're advising that he say yes to the nuclear ban? It could kill him."

"We decided that this administration was going to be about doing what's best for this country, not what gets the best ratings." KD retorted.

"Nice use of the word 'we' but you weren't here at the time." Toby reminded her. "Polling shows that 63% of this country believe that the ban should be vetoed. This is a democracy we're living in, remember?"

"Yes, I remember." KD said dryly.

"So you're suggesting we stand up and tell the citizens of this country that they're wrong?" He snapped.

"Damn right, if need be." She retorted coolly. Toby slapped the paper in his hand and collapsed on to her couch.

"This is not about nukes, you know? This is about you. After your wondrous EPA victory, you believe you can do just about anything." He exclaimed crossly. KD shrugged.

"I don't see what everybody's getting so riled up about. If you actually read the memo, you can see I have some pretty valid points. Besides, I already talked to Joss and he-" KD started.

"More than half of Congress is voting against the ban. It's not your job to tell Washington they're idiots." Toby interrupted. "It's not your job to change the world."

"I beg to differ."

"KD, let me spell it out for you. A poll was done. The budget was studied. We asked Congress. There's no way we can get this damn thing passed."

"But you agree with me that it should be?" KD pointed out. Toby sighed.

"That's not the point. Think politics. You can't get the votes."

"Oh, yes, I can. I don't care if I have to persuade, annoy, persist, bribe, bug, blackmail or slay every single congressperson in the house, I'm going to get the damn votes. I'm not give up on this, even if it depletes my bank account." KD retorted sharply. Toby stared at her silently.

"It occurs to me now that this seems to mean a lot to you. Why?" He asked softly. KD sighed and looked down at her desk.

"There's still a lot about me you don't know, I'm afraid." She replied quietly. "But you do know I'm right."

"What I know about you is what you tell me." Toby replied. KD looked at him, smiled weakly and nodded.

"Six years ago. The, uh, Fairwell test right outside Salt Lake City? Ever hear about that?" She asked suddenly. He paused and then nodded.

"There was an accident during the test. Had several injuries and one fatality." He recalled.

"Travis Brody." KD murmured. Toby's breath caught briefly. "Took him six months to die. I visited him quite often. He said it was his time anyway. He also said it was ironic because he was almost sent to Hiroshima in World War II but was called away at the last minute so that they could drop the bomb." She added. Toby stared at her, stunned. "This is all why Leo thought I might want the gig. Nothing sways a vote more than a dead uncle."

"Uncle?" Toby repeated.

"My official guardian for the two years between my mother's departure and my wondrous emancipation. He was in the service all his life, so he couldn't take care of me personally. I stayed with Joss and Leo and their families. In the meantime, Travis and I were always very close and the Fairwell accident was devastating in more ways than one. Toby, this bill has to pass so that no one else will have to sit by the bed of the dying and wait for time to take its toll. Toby, this bill has to pass and I swear on his grave, it will."

"Leo may have made a mistake. You're too close to this." Toby murmured.

"Believe or not, I got the whole 'you're too biased' speech and you wanna know what I say to it?" KD asked with a smile. "I say that we're all biased about everything. We all have an opinion on something based on everything that's ever happened to us. Being biased, or being to close to something, is what makes us good at politics."

"It's not our job to be biased." He replied sharply.

"Like hell, it's not. I'm doing my job. To hell with the rest of the country. I'm a political advisor, and this is my best advice. Ban nuclear weapons testing and do it now. Toby, we're not at war; we're not going to war; if we do, we're not going to go nuclear until a last resort is needed. This country is safe; it's strong. We don't need the damn tests. Those are the facts. This is our stance. That's my story and I'm sticking to it." KD finished, coming up into an angry stance and throwing her pen on to the desk in a fury. "Any questions?" She asked sharply. Toby stared at her a moment, thinking about all she had said.

"To hell with the rest of the country?" He repeated suddenly. KD nodded defiantly. Toby stood up and walked over to her. "Strangely enough," He started to whisper as he slipped his hands around her waist. "Your little speech really turned me on." He whispered playfully as he pulled her into a passionate embrace. She kissed him back and slipped her arms around him. While they stood there, a soft knock came at the door, immediately followed by the entrance of Joshua Lyman.

"Oh, boy. I did knock this time." Josh insisted in a half-whine. By this time, Toby and KD had already pulled apart.

"Yeah, but you didn't wait, Jolly." KD retorted with an exasperated smile and a playfully accusing finger. Josh smiled sheepishly.

"It's okay. I actually do have some work to do." Toby exclaimed.

"I just came to tell you that we've got to get to the EPA ceremony thingy." Josh reminded them. KD snapped her fingers.

"That's right! Is it time already?" She asked, glancing at her watch. Josh nodded.

"Yeah, boss is waiting." He affirmed.

"I'm useless without David. I hate it." KD murmured.

"He'll be back by the time we get back. It's just a doctor's appointment." Josh retorted.

"I've always hated doctors. Hospitals too, for that matter." KD said to no one in particular.

"Leo's doing this EPA thing, right?" Toby asked.

"Yeah." Josh and KD said at the same time. The trio smiled.

"Both you going?" Toby asked.

"I'm going, of course. Jolly, you coming?" KD asked.

"Yeah, unless you want my spot, Toby." Josh added.

"I'd like to be there, but I've got some stuff I really do need to work on. I have to talk to the President about nuclear weapons." He added with a smile. KD grinned and playfully slugged him.

"I understand, luv." KD assured him. "Jolly and I will just have to run away together." She added and wrapped her arms around Josh in a playful hug.

"Hey, bad." Toby interrupted and pulled her back to his grasp. The three laughed again and KD planted a kiss on Toby's envious lips.

"Come on, Kody. Let's go." Josh said as he started out of the room. KD murmured a response as Toby held her closer, pulling her into a stronger embrace.

"Kody! Now!" Josh called as Donna handed him his jacket. He smiled and pulled his assistant into an embrace of his own, tasting her tender lips with his own. Then he felt a whack on his head. As he turned from a chuckling Donna, he saw KD moving away with her ever-dangerous agenda in hand.

"Come on, Jolly!" KD called. Josh groaned, gave Donna one more long kiss and then followed his friend out to the car.

"Congratulations." Leo said to KD as they moved through the crowd of uproarious political fans and environmentalists.

"This is just as much your victory as it is mine." KD replied as they reached the end of the aisle and turned towards the motorcade. Ahead of them, Josh opened the door to the limo and turned back to wait for his friends as they slowly approached him among their moat of secret service agents.

The next moment seemed to be filled with chaos. A photographer took another picture of KD and Leo together, but his flash seemed to coincide with a sound that sent terror into the crowd. As the man set up his shot, KD caught hold of a rare sight.

"Leo, get down!" She cried as the camera flashed and the gun went off. Leo felt himself being shoved to the ground and then pulled up again by three pairs of hands. Leo looked about himself as the secret service agents moved him to the limo. He saw the crowd panicking. He saw four agents converge on a young man who was still holding on to his gun. His eyes flew again to see KD on the ground, staring at her fingers, fingers covered in her own blood, in bewilderment.

"Katy!!" He cried and tried to break free of the agents to get back to his surrogate daughter, but the agents were strong and trained to deal with panicking subjects.

"Kody!" Josh screamed and darted towards her body, but he too was shoved into the limo by the secret service, and Leo and three agents soon followed him.

"Go, go, go!" The agents ordered. The driver of the limo hit the gas and sped out of the driveway. Four agents cleared a path around KD's rasping body and a fifth called for an ambulance. Danny forced his way through the barricade and slid down by her side. He tore off his jacket and pressed it hard against the gushing wound in KD's chest. She glanced at him, bewildered.

"Look at this, Danny." She murmured as she looked into his eyes. He choked back a sob and looked at the enormous amount of blood that covered her hand. He continued to press down on the wound and looked to her eyes to see that they were watering.

"Hang on, damn you." He whispered. KD smiled deliriously.

"If I'm damned, I can't hang on very long." She retorted weakly. Danny smiled weakly as he saw a tear slip down her face.

"Just stay with me, okay?" He pleaded.

"It doesn't hurt. It did at first, but it doesn't now." She assured him very softly. "Is Leo okay?"

"Yeah, he's safe." Danny assured her, looking over his shoulder for the ambulance.

"Is Toby okay?" She whispered. Danny looked at her abruptly.

"He won't be if you don't keep holding on, damn it." He replied sharply. KD smiled and then her head fell back. "Katy?" Danny whispered. "Katy, answer me." He pleaded softly. "Katy, come on. Where's the fucking ambulance??" He cried and looked back.

He finally heard the siren pull in close by. The paramedics arrived and pulled him away so that they could get KD's bleeding body into the ambulance. They allowed Danny to climb in with her and the whole time, he kept his eyes on hers. Hers were only half open and the fire he always use to see in them seemed to have all but disappeared.





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