I'd like to thank you for reading, and I hope you've enjoyed it. Please send me
feedback, as I'd like to know whether I suck or not. Also, please note that the
disclaimers for all the parts are the same as for Part One. I don't own them,
I'm not getting anything out of them, and imitation is the sincerest form of
flattery. Also, I really am not any sort of expert at all on WWII history, I
don't know much about Birkenau or what happened, so if I make any glaring
mistakes, I apologize. Again, send feedback to queelock@hotmail.com Thanks.

"Hey, Edith. I brought the ice cream you asked for."
Josh nearly choked. He scrambled out of the tent. "Donna?!"
And indeed Donnatella Moss was standing beside Edith at the door, which was
swinging closed. She was staring at the tent and holding an economy-sized tub
of chocolate double-fudge ice cream. "Josh? Is that a...tent...in the middle of
your living room?"
He stood and ran a hand through his hair. "Yeah."
She nodded. "Just wanted to make sure."
"Donna, what are you doing here?"
"I called her," Edith said. "We got a chance to talk at the Dinner while you
were talking to Mr. McGarry and the President. We became instant friends."
"Instant friends."
"Yeah."
"So you called her over?"
"Yeah."
"Okay."
"Okay?"
"Yeah."
Donna looked at them both and shook her head. "So, um, the ice cream's
melting."
"I'll go get spoons and a flashlight for Donna," Edith said, moving towards the
kitchen.
"Yeah," Josh said, not really paying attention. He was staring at Donna, who
stood in front of him in a coat, pajama pants, and a t-shirt, holding a tub of
ice cream, and who was looking at him with that expression... Josh stepped forward
and took the ice cream carton out of her hands and set it on the table next to
the door.
"That might leave a watermark."
"I don't care." Donna gave him a puzzled look. He smiled. And was fully
aware that he looked like a big grinning idiot.
He didn't quite know how, but in the next minute he had his arms around her and
was hugging her close. When he felt Donna's arms tighten around his shoulders
as she hugged him back, he completely forgot about Edith in the kitchen, the
tent in the living room, and just about everything else.
"So are you two going to stand there hugging all night or can we get around to
eating the ice cream and camping out like little kids?"
They both jumped at Edith's voice. She stood against a wall near the kitchen
with her arms crossed, holding three spoons in her left hand. Donna started
laughing, and Josh joined in. The whole situation was probably the most
ridiculous of his entire life. He was surprised to find that it was that
ridiculousness that he had missed. From the day he set his mind on politics
he'd realized that it was a serious occupation, though rewarding in its own
ways. But what good was event the most rewarding occupation if you couldn't
have fun once in a while?
Josh picked up the ice cream and headed back to the tent with Edith and Donna
in tow. They settled into a small circle with Donna sharing Josh's flashlight
because Edith couldn't find another. "Donna, if so much as a whisper of this
gets anywhere near anyone else at the office, you are so fired."
"You should know by now that I am completely impervious to that threat, and
besides, I can keep a confidence."
"Yeah, which is exactly how everyone knows I have a sensitive system."
"That was for your own benefit."
Edith smirked. "You have a sensitive system?"
"Do I need to bring out the middle names?"
She handed them their spoons. "No, no, hint taken."
Josh took a scoop. "So what happened to Dr. Ethan Marbury, Donna?"
She shrugged. "Nothing. He took me home, said goodnight, and then went back
to his hotel."
Edith snorted. "Oh, come on, Donna. Don't torture the poor man. Come clean."
Josh blinked at them. "Would someone please...?"
Donna smiled and took another bite of ice cream. "Let's just say I wasn't
exactly his type."
Edith snickered.
"You weren't his type?" Josh echoed.
"Nope," Donna said, "but you are."
Edith busted into out right laughter.
Josh stared, the ice cream forgotten on his spoon. "Hang on, you mean to tell
me that he's –"
"Yep."
"Oh."
Edith continued to laugh.
"Does Lord Marbury know?"
Donna rolled her eyes. "Of course not! Or if he does, he pretends not to."
"Right," Josh said, "hint taken." He looked at Edith. "How the hell did you
know?"
"I know him."
"You know him?"
"Well," Edith amended, "not personally, but the friend I stayed with in Cape
Town did. He was involved with her cousin Daniel."
"Ah."
"But," Donna said, "he did tell me that under different circumstances he might
have been in great danger of falling in love with me."
Josh smiled. "I wouldn't blame him."
Donna, who'd been expecting the usual sarcasm, stared. "Really?"
"Yeah," he smirked, "you're a very devious person, Donna Moss."
"I should so fling ice cream at you right now, but I want a raise."
"And the chances of that happening are on the far side of never."
She took another spoonful. "It's not if you ever want to find a file you need
again."
Josh ignored her and looked at Edith. "So tell me about Granddad."
"Well," she started, and then noticed Donna's curious expression. "Did you
ever tell Donna about him?"
Josh frowned and looked at Donna, who shrugged. "Guess not."
"Our grandfather, Jacob Lyman, was a Holocaust survivor, Donna," Edith
explained. "He was liberated from Birkenau by American troops."
"Wow," Donna said.
"Yeah," Josh said. "And apparently he got shot while inside the concentration
camp, which is part of the story he never told us. Edith found out from his FBI
file."
"He has an FBI file?"
"Who doesn't?"
"Well," Edith began again, "I did found out he'd once received a gunshot wound
from the file, but the rest was a hunch I acted on. I went and tracked down any
survivors of Birkenau and their families living in the US that I could find."
She looked up and smiled. "Nearly all of them remembered a Jacob Lyman who, on
the very morning of the day of the liberation of Birkenau, risked his life to
save a woman by the name of Anne Goodman."
Josh gaped at her. "That's..."
Edith nodded. "Our grandmother. She died before either of us were born," she
explained to Donna.
"What..." Josh swallowed. "What happened?"
"The Nazis were slaughtering people right and left; disposing of the evidence."
There was an undertone of anger to her voice that Josh completely understood.
"She'd been rounded up with some of the other women, but was at the end of the
line near a building, according to one woman I spoke to. The woman, Ruth
Villstein, said that he just appeared out of nowhere, grabbed the hat off a Nazi
soldier and just took off running.
Apparently, the sounds of the American troops drawing closer had inspired some
resistance inside before they even arrived. While the three soldiers who were
supposed to dispatch the small group of women were busy chasing down Granddad,
ten other men appeared, and shuffled off the women. Granddad took a shot that
missed his heart by four centimeters and didn't do any serious damage, according
to the scar tissue the coroner found. The other ten men managed to catch up to
the three Nazis and...well, I don't know what exactly happened, but I'm sure the
Americans must've showed up by then, because he had to have had medical
attention."
Josh couldn't find any words to say exactly what he was thinking. He didn't
even exactly know what he was thinking, except for the fact that he'd never
really realized the full extent of the wonderful person that was his
grandfather. "When did you find this out?" he managed.
"Last year. No, Josh, I don't know if Uncle Noah ever knew or not." Now there
was just a bit of sadness to her voice.
Donna put her arm around his shoulders. She looked at Edith. "That has to be
the most incredible story I've ever heard, Edith." She sounded as if she were
close to tears. "I don't think I'll ever cease to be amazed by the Lyman
family."
Edith smiled at her. Josh was frowning as he remembered something Edith had
said. "Did you say that the bullet missed his heart by four centimeters?" he
asked. Donna gasped as she realized it, too.
"Yeah," she said, "that's what the coroner said in his report according to the
scar tissue he found." Edith looked at both of them. "Why?"
"The...bullet that...Well, let's just say that four centimeters and I'd be dead."
He felt Donna's arm tighten around his shoulder, and he reached up and squeezed
her hand reassuringly.
Edith stared. "That's...wow...I...damn, Josh." She moved the ice cream aside,
leaned over, and hugged him. She pulled back, and Josh saw that her cheek was
slightly wet. He looked over and Donna's was, as well.
"Okay, look, I don't think I can handle two crying women. Isn't chocolate
supposed to make you people happy?"
They laughed and started in on the ice cream again, ignoring the fact that a
good bit of it had already melted. Donna and Josh attempted to explain a normal
day in the West Wing in response to a question from Edith, which led to a
political discussion, which eventually led elsewhere. Outside, a bit of early
thunder sounded, and rain began to fall. Lightning illuminated the windows from
time to time, but inside, in the ridiculous living room makeshift tent, in each
other's company, they had shelter from the storm.

THE END

 

 

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