Comfort through Trials - Divided

Archive: If you want it, take it. Just let me know where it's going.

Rating: PG-13

Spoilers: None that I know of.

Author's Notes: Sequel to "Comfort through Trials - Thankful". This
is part of a series I am working on. This is the second part of the 20
Hours in LA challenge.

Disclaimer: They're not mine, I just borrow them to play with.

It's too early. No one should be awake this early. Maybe he's still up,
and not just waking up. That's it. Anyway, it's 2:30am and Sam's calling
me. Woah, back that up. Sick? What does he mean by sick? Sick like the
flu or sick like.... Okay, I think I feel sick now.

I'm out of bed, and I nearly trip over Czar. Why did my brother have to
leave his dog with me this weekend? He's whining, the dog, not Sam. Sam's
voice is shaking too much for me to tell if it's whining. I'm on my way.
I keep telling him that I'm on my way. I'll be there. Not to worry. Never
mind the fact that I'm worried. My suitcase is still packed from my trip
to London to see my mother, and I dump the clothes on the floor,
replacing my vacation-wear with DC clothes.

I'm trying to keep Sam on the phone while changing clothes. I put it down
for a second to pull on a sweater and when I pick up the phone, I swear
his voice is shaking even more. Bending down, I grab Czar by the collar
and dash across the hallway. Mrs. Johnson keeps telling me she loves
animals, so I'm sure she can watch Czar for me until my brother comes
back. She agrees, and I don't even think I woke her. I'm still talking to

Juggling the phone, I get back to the apartment, and call my travel agent
on the cell phone. Now he's asleep, but I think ten years of generous
Christmas bonuses and please and thank you have bought me lots of
goodwill. He promises a ticket will be waiting for me at the counter, and
I hang up. "Sam, I'll be there right away." Hanging up is hard to do, but
I manage, and I grab my bag. Ralph looks up when I appear at the door.
I'm not exactly I night owl, but he doesn't ask, that's not his job. He
just calls a cab, and wishes me a safe trip. A safe trip? That's the
least of my worries.


"Sam?" I'm glad I have a key now, because I'm not sure where he is.
Dropping my bag, I try to walk through his apartment slowly, but I can't.
Living room, kitchen, bedroom.... Bedroom. He's sitting on the edge of
the bed, and he looks like hell. Damn.

He holds his arm out in front of him, and it's pretty hard not to notice
the tremors. Okay, this is really, really bad. How can he keep taking the
drugs, if the drugs are going to make him sick. "Lisa?" I can't help it.
I just want to hold him. Wrapping my arms around him, I let him pull me
into his arms, and rock back and forth.

"Have you called Stanley yet?" Of course not, because, you know, I'm such
a medical expert. I even failed Biology in high school, and I'm his first
call. What on earth was he thinking? Wait, I know the answer to that.
"When did you take it last?" Yesterday. It's this bad and he hasn't taken
any all day? I'm not sure I want to know how he's been coping. I leave
him in the bedroom and call Josh. Josh probably has Stanley's number on
speed-dial. He sounds sleepy. It's still before five, so what should I
expect. He rattles off the number and asks me what's up. I tell him Sam's
having problems with his medication, and the next thing I know, he says
he's on his way.

Stanley. Right. I've only spoken to him once. When Sam and I first
started... whatever.... he explained all about Sam's condition. Sam asked
him to, and I wasn't all that thrilled with the conversation. I guess
I'll have to get over it.

Okay, it doesn't surprise me when he answers his service right away. He
sounds tired, but awake, and I jump right in with the point. Oh, this is
so not cool. I don't think Sam even knows the answer to some of these
questions. I certainly don't. Yeah, bringing him in is a great idea
except, Stanley thinks I need to take him to GW just in case, and I'm not
sure if it's possible to do that without.... well without every reporter
in DC finding out.

I hang up, and Josh is banging at the door. I let him in, and we don't
talk much. I get Sam dressed, and Josh walks with him down to his car. I
turn off the lights, and on second thought, grab the pill bottle off the
table. The side effects might be getting worse, but the regular effects
aren't something you can have and still work in the White House.


They're telling me stuff I already know. Yes, the lithium is giving him
tremors. I can see that. They have always warned him about side effects.
What? Back that up. Thyroid problems? Sam never mentioned the lithium
could cause thyroid problems. What are thyroid problems? So the thyroid
problems explain why he's losing so much weight? At least I don't have to
feel bad about not being around to cook for him.

Josh is squirming. He asks if he ought to call Leo and CJ, but I shake my
head. Sam never wanted people to know. He wouldn't have told Josh if they
hadn't run into each other at Stanley's one day. No, he never wanted
people to know. Josh looks uncomfortable, but he nods. He hasn't stood up
to me once since the shooting. I'm starting to think Josh is becoming
spineless, at least, towards me. That's isn't my problem right now

Wait, back that up again. He cannot be serious. You can't take Sam off of
the lithium. No, bad Stanley. Sam has to be able to think clearly. What
would make him want to do something like that? What was that about his
heart? The lithium did not cause that. No one ever told me it could do
that! That's not a simple side effect! Related to the thyroid problems?
Great. See this? This is not my happy face.


"Sam?" He looks up at me with this very.... He reminds me of my little
brother right now. That lost helpless look could get him any woman he
wants right now. Of course, he already has me. He doesn't look well, and
I wonder how I could have missed it. He looks perfectly horrible. I'll
kill Josh for missing it. I really will. Stanley keeps talking about
seizures, or.... or.... yeah. Half of me feels like I ought to go home
and hide under the covers, and the other half is mad at Sam. Why on earth
would he stop coming in and getting his blood levels checked? Does he
have some sort of death wish he isn't telling me about?

"CJ'd kill me." Excuse me? Are you telling me you stopped having your
blood levels checked because of the PR? Since when is overdosing good PR?
I can't exactly berate him for it now though. Heaven knows I want to.
Yeah, I want to.

Stanley's decided to check him in, and that just can't be a good thing.
Josh is going to cover for him, but I mean, it's Saturday. Surely no one
will miss him until Monday.


Lisa looks ready to kill me, but I just can't focus on anything right
now. Definately not on her being angry. It just..... I can't explain it.
I just didn't want anyone to know. Those are headlines I can live
without. I mean, if the reporters were so blood thirty over Laurie, I can
just imagine if they found out I was crazy. Not good for the White House,

Stanley thinks it would be good to check me in. Definately not. Josh will
agree with me on this one. We'd never be able to keep it from the press.
Somehow I think the public would frown on a manic-depressive running
through the halls of the West Wing. Actually, I don't think they'd hate
it, I know they would.

I'm not staying. He can take me off the lithium. I'm sure I'll be find.
Better to deal with a few mood swings than the full force of the White
House press corps. Besides, I don't remember it as being this bad. I feel
like I could die right now. Between the fact that my whole body is
shaking and my heart is pounding a hole through my chest, I'm pretty sure
I can deal with whatever happens.

Stanley and Josh are still arguing, and Lisa just keeps looking at me
like my suggestion just to stop with the lithuim is completely insane.
I'm not insane. It's not like we can't do something if I do have an
episode, and wouldn't it be kind of hard for me not to know if I do?

I try to hop up off the table, but my legs give out under me. That was
sort of scary. Josh caught me, and I'm sure that can't be good for him.
Stanley's telling me that I need to stay at least until my lithuim levels
drop down. He says he worried about a seizure of heart attack. Just the
idea scares Lisa, because her face pales, and she opens her mouth to
argue. I just want to go home. Is that too much to ask? I guess so,
because she's begging me to stay. When I say no, she and Josh exchange
this look.

They leave me in the room with Stanley, and then, Josh comes in and
Stanely leaves. They're up to something, but I'm too tired to figure out
what it is. When Lisa and Stanely come back in, they agree that I can
leave. Josh helps me up, and I'm too busy trying to pretend I'm okay, to
wonder what they've cooked up.

Josh bundles me in the car, and he and Lisa stand outside for a second
and talk. Oh, I am so not seeing this. Josh just kissed her. Not, you
know, like Josh usually kisses her, but like I kiss her. I'm going to
close my eyes now, and not wonder about what's going on.

Josh opens her door, and Lisa turns around once she's inside, rubbing her
hand against my knee. I am just not in the mood for Lisa right now,
actually, I haven't been for a while. Okay, maybe that's a sign I was
ODing on my medication. Josh was right, I wouldn't pay attention to how I
was feeling if it hit me on the head.

I'm not real clear on how I get back into bed, but I do know Lisa and
Josh are in the living room because I can hear their voices. Damn, Sam,
you're jealous. It's just Josh, and he's here for you. Monday ought to be



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