RATING: PG-13 (revised from part one rating, I changed my mind)
Well that was then and this is now
The room was dark. Toby squinted as he leaned in the doorframe. It had been nearly eight hours of sitting in the waiting room, listening to nurses call to each other, hearing alarms go off in the ICU, fearing each moment might be the one that a doctor emerged covered in blood-soaked scrubs, a mournful look on his or her face.
To Toby's right, Danny Canconnon sat in a chair, staring into space with a dazed expression. To the reporter's side, a blood-soaked jacket rested on the chair. He'd never seen blood flow like that before. It hurt him so much more than he'd ever thought he'd be hurt. He'd never seen anyone he'd loved so dearly bleed that much before.
Behind Toby, David paced an aisle slowly, thinking. He couldn't help but wonder if he'd only tried harder, maybe he could have met her expectations. He shouldn't have gone to his appointment that morning. If he didn't he might have been there with her, and no one would have been shot. If anyone had been shot, he would have, and that would have been better. There was no one to worry about him if he died. Only the people at the White House cared about him anymore. David sighed and sat down in a chair. If only he could have done better, made her happier, moved beyond acceptance on the star system.
Toby looked up as a thin doctor moved out of the doorway and straight to the nurse's desk. He talked to a nurse there for several moments and then looked out around the room. Toby watched the doctor carefully as the man's eyes drifted about the room and finally locked with his own. Toby nodded and stood up as the doctor moved forward.
"Mr. Ziegler?" The doctor asked. Toby nodded again. Danny was quick on his feet and so was David. The three men stood and waited for the news. "We've done the best we can do. There was a lot of internal bleeding, and the bullet came very close to nicking her lung. We have her on a respirator and she's being moved to ICU as we speak." The doctor exclaimed.
"What are her odds, doc?" Danny asked quietly. The doctor looked at him and sighed.
"I don't normally like to give odds unless asked, but I'd say it's about 70-30." He replied.
"70-30 which way?" David asked. The doctor sighed again and looked at his feet. A silence pervaded the small group as the three men realized that the doctor couldn't bear to tell them that KD had a 30% of pulling through this ordeal. Toby bit his lip, glanced at his feet, then back at the doctor.
"Can we see her?" He asked softly. Danny and David were impressed by his usage of the word 'we' and waited for an answer.
"I'd say in about an hour. We need to get her stabilized in ICU. I want the nurses and machinery to be in standard rotation." The doctor replied honestly. Toby nodded and looked away.
"Thank you, doctor. You'll have someone let us know when we can go in?" He asked. The doctor nodded and then moved away. Toby looked at the other two men and sighed. "I have to go back to the office. I have a feeling I'm going to be here for awhile." He said.
"Okay. I've got to do some writing." Danny replied. "I hate it, but I do." "I don't have anywhere to go really." David said honestly. "So I'll just wait here for you guys to come back, I guess. I'll keep you updated." He added quietly as he sat down. Toby and Danny glanced at each other and then at the younger man.
"Okay, then." Toby exclaimed and walked out of the waiting room, Danny right behind him.