TITLE: Those Who Show Up, Part 2/2

AUTHOR: Kasey

WARNING: I wrote this before the premiere aired, it just won’t be up ‘til afterward, unless someone updates in the next four hours!  Just disregard anything from the show itself after the line of "Who’s been hit?  Who’s been hit?" Get it?  Got it?  Good!

 

 

"Would you quit taking my temperature, woman?" he asked around the thermometer, sounding as though he’d just had "woot canaw".

 

"You caught that cold I’m finally getting over, didn’t you?

 

"Yeah."

 

"And you were worried about the letters."

 

"Yeah."

 

"And you didn’t tell me so you wouldn’t worry me."

 

"Damn, you’re good at this."

 

"How many more times does it have to happen before you realize you can’t ignore it?

"I don’t know."

 

"Because it’s not something that just goes away."

 

"I know."

 

"Then why do you always do this?"

 

"Because I’m a stubborn man who’s got the Air Force on his side?"

 

~*~*~*~

They let him into her room as soon as she was settled.  Sitting beside her bed he gently took one of her hands in his own and gently rubbed the back of it with his thumb, willing her to wake up.

 

~*~*~*~

He awoke with astonishing suddenness.  "Joanie!" he whispered as though it was a scream for help.

 

"No…Donna," the figure beside him said gently.

 

"I…Donna?  What…?" He looked around.  "What…?" he asked again.

 

"They brought you here after the shooting, you were…pretty bad."  She tried not to look as worried as she was, but he could see it in her eyes.  "I’ve been waiting, you finally woke up."

 

"No, Donna, it…I swear, I talked to Joanie, it couldn’t have been…"

 

"Who’s Joanie?"

 

~*~*~*~

"Dad?  You’re sure you’re okay?"

 

"Yes, Mallory, for the millionth time, I’m fine."

 

"You don’t have to get snippy," she said quietly.

 

"Sorry," he replied sharply.  "But I’m sick of people asking."

 

They sat in uncomfortable silence momentarily.  "You’re not in pain or anything?"

 

"No."

 

"It’s just that I’d think having a bullet in your leg would be painful…"

 

~*~*~*~

She wrung her hands as Gina led her down the hall to the private room with Secret Service agents who looked tired standing outside.  They immediately nodded to signal her entry, and she crossed the room to the chair where her mother sat, leaning her head against the wall.  Her father was still asleep in the hospital bed, physically and mentally exhausted from the shooting and his Multiple Sclerosis flaring up.  "He’s okay, right Mom?" she said quietly.

 

"Yeah, hone.  It’s the MS, we’ve been through it before…"

 

"I figured, I just…No one would tell me anything, but I knew Gina would’ve told me if he’d been shot, so I guessed…"

 

"Yeah.  He’ll be in bed a couple days, but he’ll be fine."

 

She nodded.  "Go get something to eat, Mom."

 

"Zoey -"

 

"Have you eaten since lunch?"

 

"Fine.  But have someone come get me if he wakes up so I can check on him."

 

~*~*~*~

 

A scrawny dark girl of about fifteen with familiar-looking features walked in.  "What are you doing here?" Charlie demanded, going to her.

 

"What kind of greeting is that?  I came to see you."

 

"I called you to tell you I was okay, Deena…"

 

"And I’m not allowed to come down here?"

 

"Fair point."

 

~*~*~*~

 

"Let’s go," she said, standing in his doorway.

 

"I can’t just leave -"

 

"I just talked to your doctor.  So long as someone - i.e. me - keeps an eye on you for the next 24 hours, you’re free to go."

 

"Okay."  He sat up, fighting slight but persistent dizziness.  She was immediately at his side.  "It’s okay, Mallory, I’m fine…"

 

"You have a concussion."

 

"Thanks for telling me, I don’t think I’d have known that one…"

 

"Let’s go."  He stood and walked with her down the hall.  "I’m taking my father back to the White House first."

 

"That’s not where you’re taking me?"

 

"Sam, you’re in no condition to -"

 

"I’m in fine condition, all things considered, and especially with Toby still doped up on sedatives, with CJ unconscious, with Josh just barely alive, with the President here and your father slower than usual, with Donna and Margaret and Zoey and Mrs. Bartlet all still here…They need me there."

 

~*~*~*~

 

She didn’t believe the television screen, she made Kenny come confirm the closed captioning.  She’d been in LA all day, at a conference, away from the television…to return to THIS, the displays of carnage and hatred…She was certain she saw Josh go down on the video footage.  There was no mistaking that hair…She had to go to them.  "Kenny, get us on the next flight to DC…" she signed.

 

~*~*~*~

 

The first thing that caught her attention was the hand which gently rested on top of her own on the white sheets.  The second was the man to whom the hand belonged.  "D’y…?" she mumbled drowsily, still not fully awake.

 

He’d been staring off into space and jumped at the sound of her voice.  "CJ?  Oh, thank God…"

 

~*~*~*~

 

"Good morning, if you’ll take your seats I’ll start the briefing."  Mandy’s voice was nearly shaking.  "As most of you know, at 10:58 last night, shots were fired in the direction oft the President and his staff.  Although some are uncertain, many speculate that the hate crime was committed by a racist group and that the attack was directed toward Zoey, the first daughter, and Charlie Young, her boyfriend and personal aide to the President.  As all immediate families have been notified, I am now able to give you information about all those who were injured…or worse.

 

"Secret Service Agents Mike Greenfield and Robert O’Connell were killed in the line of duty.  Both were DOA upon reaching the emergency room.  Eric Thomas and Jeremiah Burd, the gunmen, were also killed - by Secret Service Agents."

 

~*~*~*~

 

"Where’s Daddy, Mommy?" two-year-old Sylvia O’Connell asked her mother.

 

"Oh, Honey, I…Mommy has something to tell you…"

 

~*~*~*~

 

"The President was unshot, but is remaining under professional care as a precautionary measure.  In all likelihood, he will return to work tomorrow…"

 

~*~*~*~

 

"Jed -"

 

"No, Abby, I will not go public with this!  I have a country to run, I’ve been living with this for seven years, I don’t need a zillion questions about it and people thinking I’m destined to fall victim to the twenty-year curse!"

 

~*~*~*~

 

"…And Zoey and Charlie both remained unharmed, due to the keen eye of Gina Toscano, who spotted the gun.

 

"Chief of Staff, Leo McGarry, was shot in the leg, but has already returned to work in his office, as has Sam Seaborn, who suffered a minor concussion."

 

~*~*~*~

 

"Sam, you need to lie down."

 

"I’m fine, Mallory -"

 

"You’re dizzy."

 

"How would you know?"

 

"Because you had to hold onto the desk when you stood up just now."

 

~*~*~*~

 

"CJ suffered a concussion when she was pushed to the pavement.  I’m told she’s come to, which is definitely a good sign.  She may be released as early as this weekend."

 

~*~*~*~

 

"You should be at the briefing, Danny."

 

"No, I should be here."

 

"No."

 

"You secretly want me here, you just won’t admit it."

 

"Yes."

 

~*~*~*~

 

"Toby Ziegler broke his wrist when he was nearly trampled by the panicking crowd.  He’s being kept for observation of a possible head injury tonight, but might return to work tomorrow afternoon."

 

"Josh Lyman was shot five times, three times in his chest, and was probably the biggest question mark among the doctors as to his prognosis.  I’m happy to report, however, that he’s alert and talking.  A full recovery is to be expected."

 

~*~*~*~

 

"Josh, you couldn’t possibly have seen…You must’ve been dreaming…"

 

"I’m telling you, Donna, I saw her!"

 

~*~*~*~

 

"All of the things I’ve just told you were only the physical injuries suffered by the individuals tonight.  Who can account for the amount of emotional trauma?  Erich Maria Remarque once said ‘…For death is never an adventure to those who stand face-to-face with it.’  There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that staring and watching your coworkers be gunned down, having brief encounters with death, trying to comprehend the fact that someone was firing at you - there should be no doubt that it must’ve been indescribable. S o when those who were involved return to work, and you’re talking with them and asking questions, I ask that you keep it strictly technical, not involving their feelings of personal experiences.  It will certainly be a long and arduous healing process, and reporters clamouring around with questions like that will not help anyone.  Thank you, that’s all."

 

~*~*~*~

THREE WEEKS LATER

 

"Okay, folks, he’s on his way!" the President called to the room.  "About another fifteen minutes."  A cheer went up, and the leader of the free world smiled as he looked around at his staff.

 

Mallory had been tending to Sam nonstop since his concussion, but the President had a hunch that it had nothing to do with Sam needing the help, but that it had taken a near tragedy to make them realize how much they cared about each other.  She was at his side that evening, his arm protectively around her waist.

 

Toby’s wrist was healing fine, and he’d gotten over his shock.  The hospital had recommended that he go to counselling, which he, being Toby, refused.

 

Danny and CJ had decided to tentatively try a discreet relationship.  But, as time had proved often, no relationship was discreet in the White House.  In the interest of professionalism, they’d broken it off with hard feelings toward no one but Fate.

 

Despite Charlie’s suggestion to break off their relationship, he and Zoey were still going out - only not really out.  Both of them were very paranoid about people them - and rightfully so - but Charlie had made her dinner a couple times, and they’d spent a couple of evenings at her dorm, watching movies.

 

Leo’d come very close to another addiction to painkillers, but Mallory had been insightful enough to notice and intervene before it got bad.  He’d resented Mallory at first because he was in pain, but then he realized she was doing him a favour.  His cane was gone, but he still walked with a slight limp.

 

Donna had remained at the hospital nearly 24/7 for three weeks.  It had taken a toll on her, but she insisted upon it.

 

Among the absentees that night were Mandy and Josh.  Josh would be back where he belonged within minutes, but Mandy…Mandy had gone back to work for Lloyd Russell, figuring she was safer there.

 

It had been a very long three weeks indeed.  But, Jed suspected it, if everyone had come this far, it would all be okay in time.

 

QED (Sorry, math class habit!)

 

 

 

 

Home        What's New        Author Listings        Title Listings