Blood and Thunder

Jane Harper

RATING: R (language, some violence) 

SYNOPSIS: The fifteenth man has talked, someone is being stalked, someone is pursued by someone they know, and someone is doing what he should have long ago. Burma Shave. 

ARCHIVE: Sure. Just let me know where. HTML available. 

DISCLAIMER: We didn't start the fire. Please don't sue us, your attorneys would laugh when they see the balance sheet.


When Josh Lyman arrived at work Tuesday morning, there were flowers on his desk, an arrangement of carnations and daisy mums that matched the color of his office walls. Slightly embarrassed, he went looking for his assistant Donna Moss, to thank her.

"I didn't send them," Donna said. "Why would I send flowers? How could I afford it on my pitiful salary?"

Josh sighed as he anticipated another morning wrangling with Donna about a raise. Returning to his office, he booted up his computer and checked for a phone number.

"California Relay Service," the voice answered.

"Hi. My name is Joshua Lyman, and I'd like to speak to Joey Lucas, at 310-555-1620."

"TTY or TDD?" the operator asked.

"TDD," Josh responded, and waited for the connection.

"She has answered, Mr. Lyman. What's your message?"

"Tell her thanks for the flowers."

The voice responded, "She didn't send the flowers, and wants to know when you're getting your own TDD."

Donna stuck her head in the door of his office and pointed to her watch. "Senior staff," she said.

"Tell her I'll look into that, and that I had to run. Thank you, operator."

* * * * *

Sarah Cooper was running late, dashing around in the condo she shared with Leo McGarry, collecting the stack of memos and articles she would need for her morning. Tossing them into her backpack, she hooked the backpack on the back of her wheelchair and sped out the door to the elevator and down to her van.

When she got to the van, there was a ribbon tied to the driver's side door handle. Attached to it was a 3 x 5 card with one word written on it:


* * * * *

Toby was the first one in for the morning staff meeting. Picking up a bagel off the tray on the table in Leo's office, he sat and stared at it for a moment, then began to mutter.

"Ha-olam, hamotzi... hamotzi... "

"Lechem min ha'aretz," he heard Leo finish.

"Leo, how does a good Catholic boy like you know the Hebrew blessing for bread?" Toby asked, smiling. "Maybe because you hear it every morning at breakfast?"

"Ya think?" Leo responded, grabbing a bagel for himself. "And Sarah would say, shame on you for _not_ knowing it!"

*Shame on me, indeed,* he thought in silence.

* * * * * After the morning gaggle, Danny Concannon slipped up behind CJ Cregg and took her elbow. "I've got to talk to you," he said, urgently.

The two of them went into CJ's private office and closed the door. "What's up, Danny?" she asked.

"CJ, I could lose my job for this. I'm going to hand you something explosive, because I have great respect for the President and don't want to see him irretrievably hurt." He led her over to her sofa and both of them sat down. "I'm glad you're sitting down."

"Danny, you sound like Chicken Little. What are you talking about?"

Pausing a moment and taking a deep breath, he asked, "Has the White House been covering up the fact that President Bartlet has a fatal illness?"

* * * * *



Blood And Thunder - 2




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