For disclaimer and notes, please see part one.

Previously, on the West Wing: The Senior Staff get down to business as Crys packs for her flight. When Josh and Sam learn of Crys leaving, they're puzzled and upset. Crys makes it to her destination while Josh and Sam get scolded for shirking their work. Josh, not to be outdone, comes up with a plan of his own.

~

"They're not going to let us through," Sam said. Josh glanced away from the dark road to look at him as he drove down the nearly deserted road that led to the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia later that night.

"Want to make a bet?"

"I don't like this."

"I told you that you didn't want in on this."

"She's my family, Josh."

"Your heart's not in this."

"I want to know what's going on more than anything."

"Yeah, but I'm talking about sneaking into the Farm."

"You've got a point there," Sam said.

"I could leave you here and could call a taxi for you."

"Are you kidding?" asked Sam. "I've come this far, I might as well continue on."

"You sure?" Sam nodded. Josh smiled faintly, returning his attention to the road. "Crystal would be proud of us." Sam laughed.

"She'd probably get mad at us for trying to track her down."

"She could've saved us the trouble."

"True."

"And so could've President Bartlet or Rob Conrad."

"Of all people, I wouldn't have expected the President to hold back on us."

"We should've figured that one out, Sam," Josh said. "We hold information back from the public; we hold information back from each other. Think about it. We kept stuff from C.J. when India and Pakistan got serious the last time. We even kept the Laurie thing from the President for months. It shouldn't surprise us."

"Truthfully, I'm more surprised Crys didn't say anything."

"She's got to be somewhere awful," Josh said. "Otherwise I don't think she would have had Melissa to call us."

"Where do you think she is?"

"I'd hate to hazard a guess, but. She's got to be in either India or Pakistan."

"You think?"

"Otherwise they wouldn't be so damn quiet about the whole thing." Sam nodded then was silent for several moments. He hesitantly broke the silence.

"What about the. skylight?"

"I went looking for one yesterday, telling myself I wouldn't buy one. I didn't make it out of the first store without buying it."

"You've already got the ring?" He nodded.

"And now she's gone."

"She had told me that you had brought up the subject a month ago."

"She did? What did she tell you?"

"She didn't think you were serious at first."

"Oh," Josh said quietly.

"C'mon, Josh. You've said it yourself on several occasions that you're not the 'marrying kind.'"

"I've changed my mind."

"Apparently. But that was only the first time you mentioned it to her."

"Oh?" Sam nodded. "Then what?"

"When she realized you were, in fact, serious, she was quite flattered."

"Really?" Sam nodded. "What else did she say to you?"

"I'm not going to tell you everything she's said to me."

"Why not?" Sam shook his head. "Aw, c'mon, Sam."

"Gate."

"What?" Josh asked, turning his attention back to the road. They were quickly approaching the gate. He pulled up to the guardhouse and rolled down his window. "Hi," he said, pulling his White House ID from the dashboard of his car. "Josh Lyman, White House Deputy Chief of Staff. This is Sam Seaborn, White House Deputy Communications Director," Josh said, gesturing to Sam, who was holding up his White House ID as well.

"State the reason for you stop," said the guard. Josh glanced at Sam. That was his part of the scheme.

"My cousin forgot a file here. We came to pick it up."

"Agent Seaborn is on assignment."

"Um. Yeah," Sam said.

"You'll have to turn around."

"Look," Josh said. "She's been working in the White House. She took a file from the White House and it's here. We need it for something we're working on," Josh said. He had come too far to get turned around now.

"You'll have to turn around." Josh looked at Sam.

"What's your name?" asked Sam.

"My name?" asked the guard. Sam nodded. "Why?"

"Because I want to be sure I get it right when I report to Director Conrad, who is eagerly awaiting the file as he sits in the White House Situation Room, that we weren't allowed access to the headquarters because a certain guard wouldn't open the gate," said Sam. The gate suddenly swung open.

"Sorry for the wait." Josh had to bite his tongue to keep from laughing as he rolled up his window and drove into the compound.

"I didn't know you had it in you, Sam," said Josh.

"I'll do anything for Crys." Somehow, they made it past all the security checkpoints and to Crystal's office door. Sam tired it and sighed. "It's locked." Josh quickly sat down at Melissa's desk and reached under it. "What are you doing?" Josh smiled triumphantly as he pulled a set of keys that had been taped on the underside of the desk. "How'd you know where to find those?" Josh said nothing as he unlocked the door. Sam quickly entered as Josh returned to Melissa's desk. "Do we even know what we're looking for?" asked Sam as he started looking through the top layer of paperwork on her desk.

"Anything useful," Josh called from Melissa's desk.

"All of this is India and Pakistan," Sam said dismally, skimming the reports.

"Cathy reads shorthand, doesn't she?" asked Josh.

"Why?"

"Because all of Melissa's stuff is written in shorthand," Josh said as he stepped into Crystal's office. "I know Donna doesn't-"

"Let me see it," Sam said. Josh handed Sam Melissa's calendar. "This doesn't make any sense."

"You read shorthand?"

"Yeah."

"What does it say?"

"G-E-R-O-2 Amritsar."

"Code for something?" Sam shrugged. "Does it say anything else."

"Yeah. Call Sam and Josh, tell them back in a week."

"Figures."

"You don't think G-E-R-O-2 Amritsar is a file do you?" Sam asked, looking at the row of filing cabinets on the side wall. Sam abandoned the calendar as he and Josh both started looking through the drawers. They both came up empty-handed.

"G-E-R-O-2. Phone extension?" suggested Josh. Sam picked up her phone. "Try dialing the last number she called first." Sam punched the redial button and waited. At the same time, Josh's cellular phone started ringing. Josh quickly pulled out his cell phone. "Yeah."

"Well, that didn't work," Sam said. "Any more bright ideas."

"I was the last person she called?"

"Apparently," Sam said, hanging up.

"Where would she keep phone numbers?" asked Josh, opening her desk drawer. He frowned when he realized she had yet to fill her desk drawers with anything. Her office had stayed the same ever since he met her.

"I don't know. What else could that be?"

"You know anybody at the NSA?" asked Josh. "Maybe they could crack the code."

"If it's code."

"G-E-R-O-2. Government Economic Review Organization Two?"

"Guatemala Emergency Rescue Operation Two?"

"Oooh," said Josh. "That's a good one."

"Greater European Radiation Observation Two?"

"In other words, we're no better off then before."

"No, this has got to mean something. I think we're on the right track."

"C'mon. I don't want to spend anymore time here than absolutely necessary." Sam nodded and followed Josh out of Crystal's office, turning off the light. Josh replaced Melissa's calendar before locking Crystal's door. They started walking back towards the elevator when Josh quickly pushed Sam down a corridor.

"What-"

"Shh!" Josh warned. "Conrad," he mouthed.

"What?" Sam asked quietly.

"He's going talking to the guard down there," Josh whispered.

"What are we going to do?" Josh shrugged. "Did he see you?"

"I don't think so."

"He just shot our story to hell."

"I know," Josh said, peeking around the corner. Sam tapped his shoulder. "What?" he asked, turning back.

"We signed in downstairs." Josh paled.

"He might already know." Sam nodded. "Okay," said Josh. "The keyword is now nonchalant. We'll just casually walk out of here like we're supposed to be here."

"But we're not."

"If Crystal can do this subterfuge stuff, so can we."

"Okay," Sam said as Josh looked down the hall. Conrad was walking down the hall, towards them. He motioned for Sam to wait until the director had passed them.

"The coast is clear. C'mon," Josh said. The two walked casually to the elevator, both hoping that they would not get stopped on their way out. They nodded to the guard as the elevator doors slid open, allowing the two to step inside. Josh watched as Conrad turned down a hallway, never once looking back at them. He let out a sigh as the doors swallowed them whole. An idea hit Sam as he punched the button for the ground floor.

"Hey, Josh," he said as they started their descent.

"Yeah."

"What if it's a name?"

"What do you mean?"

"G-E-R-O-2. Something like George Elliot Ryan O'Grady, II?"

"Well then, we're really screwed."

~~~

Crystal, after a day of tiring flights, had the last known addresses of the agents in India and set about contacting them from the new office she had found on the outskirts of Amritsar. As she had suspected, the phone numbers all resulted in disconnected notices or incessant rings. She hated the idea of getting out and tracking them down by foot but she knew it was a necessity. Sighing, she left the practically empty office and headed out on the streets.

Interrogating neighbors turned up several good, solid leads and by the end of her first day, she had found three agents. At one in the morning, they were sitting in the new headquarters, giving Crystal full reports on what had happened while Crystal tried not to die from jet lag. She had forgotten how bad it could get.

"I was following a mark," explained an agent, "and was calling in for a run on a license plate. No one answered. None of the backup lines worked. I took that to mean we had been breached."

"And the status of your mission now?" asked Crystal.

"Completely gone." Crystal sighed but nodded.

"What's the latest on troop movement, ma'am?" asked Teddy Forsythe, a young maverick agent Crystal had had the pleasure of meeting on several occasions in Langley for disciplinary actions.

"I'd like to have everyone found in the next few days if that's at all possible," said Crystal. "How does that sound?"

"I heard the State Department has suggested a travel block of India and Pakistan," said another agent.

"Do you want to visit a battleground as the shells explode?" Crystal asked.

"What happens now?" asked Teddy. Crystal tore several sheets out of her notebook and passed them to each of them.

"Since everybody's mission is shot, I need these people found. Phone numbers are dead. Current addresses are unknown. Remember your interrogation and investigative classes from training and you should be okay. Plus, y'know, any American stragglers you come across, point them in the direction of the airport."

"Seriously, ma'am, are we going to be dodging bullets in the streets or what?"

"It is possible before the week is out. President Bartlet is watching the situation very closely. Director Conrad has promised to keep me informed. Should we need to evacuate, we'll be notified."

"That sounds promising," Teddy said.

"Relax, Teddy. No point in getting worked up yet," Crystal said as she glanced at her watch. "All right, guys. Take off. Call me *immediately* if you find any of those agents on the list with their names circled. They have information that is imperative for our cause right now." They nodded and picked up to go. Crystal figured the time change for D.C.-it was only around three in the afternoon-and picked up her phone as the three agents left.

"Conrad."

"Hey, Robby," she said.

"Report?"

"Three little lost sheep have been found."

"Only three?"

"Rome wasn't built in a day. You expect me to rebuild in a couple hours?"

"All right, all right. Were they-"

"Nope. They're antsy about impending disaster, Robby."

"What have you told them?"

"I think I've been able to ease their minds some," she said. "What is the latest, though?"

"We're still at a standstill."

"Okay. Anything else I should know about?"

"There are two guys at the White House who are plotting my demise, I think."

"Oh."

"Yeah. Oh."

"How much do they know?"

"Nothing except the obvious."

"If I had told them I was leaving, they-"

"C'mon, Crystal. This is me you're talking to. I've dealt with my own irate family about the CIA."

"Yeah." He could hear the sadness in her voice.

"You going to make it?"

"Of course," she said. "It's kind of nice to be back in the action."

"Yeah. Keep me up to date."

"You bet." Crystal closed her eyes as she ended the call.

~~~

Conrad waited by Mrs. Landingham's desk as Charlie went to announce his arrival to the President. "Rob Conrad, huh?" asked Josh, who had been meeting with Bartlet, Leo, Toby, and Sam in the Oval Office.

"Down, Josh," Bartlet said. "Are we through?"

"Yes, Mr. President," Leo said, nudging Josh towards the door.

"Wonder what's going on with the CIA," said Josh as he looked at Sam. Sam shrugged and followed Toby out of the Oval. Leo hesitated at the door that led to his office, wanting to make sure Josh left without any trouble. Sam walked up to Conrad.

"Before you say no, hear me out. I know you can't tell me where she is or what she's doing. Keeping us in the dark on whether or not she's *okay* is cruel and unusual punishment. Can you tell us if she's all right?" asked Sam. Conrad glanced at Josh then back to Sam.

"She's fine."

"Have you heard from her since she left?" asked Josh. Conrad silently walked past him into the Oval Office. Josh started to go in after him when Sam prevented him.

"Forget it, Josh. We've gotten all we're going to get out of him for now."

"You mind getting the door, Charlie?" asked Bartlet as he saw Conrad. "So," he said as Charlie slipped out, closing the door behind him. "News?"

"She's still looking." Bartlet sighed. "She has located a few agents but none who are working on the deep cover op inside the Indian government."

"Are Josh and Sam still giving you trouble?"

"No more so than usual."

"I'll talk to them again."

"It's all right, sir." Bartlet nodded.

"I hate not telling them but-"

"If they knew anymore, we wouldn't have a moment's peace."

"We don't have that now."

Stay tuned.

 

 

Come Back 2 Me - 5

 

 

 

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