Title: Tourniquet 

Author: Faye Dartmouth (fayedartmouth@hotmail.com

Summary: CJ holds a vigil after the shooting. 

Author's Note: I was messing around on my computer tonight and came across this story that I wrote a couple of months ago and completely forgot about. I reread it, and decided-- what the heck, I'll post it. So, it's a first season finale resolution that's a first person kind of thing. 

Disclaimer: Right, like I own them.



I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. If I'd only known it'd come down to this, I would've… I don't know, done something different. I would've prevented this. I didn't mean for this to happen. I mean, it just never occurred to me that this would happen. Not to us. It just doesn't make any sense. We weren't doing anything except our jobs. And we were doing a pretty darn good job at that too.

Sure, we've made mistakes, but everybody makes mistakes. We've stood tall in their wakes and haven't run from them. We've taken them in stride, I think. I mean, that's respectable isn't it? No one should except miracles of us? Right?

Miracles. I think I've stopped believing in those. A miracle would be if Sam would come out of surgery right now and the doctor would say he's fine. A miracle would be if I stopped seeing his blood every time I close my eyes. A miracle would be if you would wake up right now and look at me and tell me that everything really is going to be okay. Because right about now, you're the only one I would even believe.

I was so busy before. There was all the shooting and yelling, and I just wasn't thinking straight. Suddenly there I was on the ground, and Sam's lying on top of me. He's just lying there. And all I can think is that I've got to get up and make sure that the president's okay. But then I saw the blood and everything changed.

There was no longer any time to think. I was just stuck in my own world with horror and blood. Sam was lying there, bleeding to death right in front of me. I didn't even have the presence of mind to put pressure on his wound until Leo joined me. All I could see was the blood on his shirt, pooling on the ground. It wasn't real, you know? Sam's dying and the only thing I could think was that it wasn't real.

I was so preoccupied with Sam that I didn't even think about anyone else. I couldn't. The blood had me locked in place. It was almost like his blood on my clothes bonded me to his side. But it was so futile. The blood didn't stop just because we were adding pressure. We were doing everything right, and Sam just kept on bleeding and bleeding.

That's how we ended up this way anyway. We took on a futile job to begin with. We had this idea of changing something for the better, of being America's tourniquet. And we did everything right. We fought the good fight. But she's still bleeding. People still hate us no matter how good of job we do. We can't win. We'll never win. Maybe we should stop trying.

You know, I lied earlier. When I said I was struggling to sit up to check on the President, it wasn't true. He crossed my mind later, when I was finally coherent and sane again. But the only thing I could think about was you. I was trying to get up to see if you were okay.

I've been trying to deny that since it happened, just like I've been trying to deny all the feelings I've had since we met. I kept telling myself there was no time for relationships in our line of work. And then I tried to convince myself that I didn't need to love you in my life because my work would be enough to satisfy me. Over and over I insisted that keeping focus on our goal would gain it for us. And surely the goal would be all I need from life.

But the goal doesn't help me sleep at night, in fact it is what keeps me awake. I think I now understand that I'm bleeding too. I'm bleeding day in and day out, in my efforts to do my job and attain our goal. I'm bleeding to death, just like Sam. And now I think that maybe I can't staunch my own blood flow any better than I could Sam's. I need help. I need you, Toby. You are my tourniquet.





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