The light stings my eyes as the suns rays touch them. I forget where I am
for a moment, but the sight of Josh sleeping in the chair, and the quiet
beeping of the moniters, reminds me. I shift carefully so as not to
disturb Lisa and slip off the bed. Spying Josh's bag on the floor, I dig
through the front pocket, swallowing my pills dry. "Sam?" Josh is rubbing
his eyes wearily and he glances down at me. "She doing alright?" I nod
dumbly, and Josh grins, just the tinest bit, and asks me if I can leave
for a while. "I don't know, Josh. Maybe I should stay and....." He
doesn't let me finish though, because he grabs my jacket off the floor
and throws it at me. It's August, and it's hot, and I'm not sure why I
need a jacket, but I shrug it on over my shoulders. Kissing Lisa's
forehead gently, I follow Josh down the hallway.

Maybe it's an odd morning-after feeling, or maybe it's this hate-hate
relationship I'm starting to have with hospitals, but the smell of bleach
and antiseptic seems more pervasive now than it did last night. Last
night everything was..... actually, I don't know what it was - I was too
numb.

When we get out on the street, Josh stops, standing on the corner, and
the rush of people on their way to work nearly knocks us over. I catch up
to him though, and we walk while Josh tells me everything he knows.
"Peter Lillianfield has been paying a guy since last June......." Doesn't
he pay a lot of people? I mean, he is a Congressman for goodness sakes.
Do I really care about this? Josh doesn't see the look on my face though,
and he keeps talking as if I'm hanging on every word. "..... accessed
personnel records for a former CIA agent........" Why on earth do I care
whose records Bennet accessed? Sure, we'll make a big deal of it during
the general election, but right now, I don't give a damn. Wait, did he
just say those were the personnel records from Havverson's room? "......
What I can't figure out is how Havverson got the file, but Bennet and
Havverson are both missing now, and....." They're both missing? How did
that happen? Shouldn't someone do something?

"It gets better, Sam. The CIA guy, his prints were on that fucking
shirt!" He's talking now, about the report, and the luminol and the
wonders of forensic science, and a theft from the Hoover building, and
then he says something else about the shirt that stops me cold. ".......
some old partner of Lisa, his blood was all over the shirt. They would
have known sooner, but finding something for a DNA sample - I guess it
was tougher than....." God, this was planned from the start. This is....
this is bad. I'm racking my brain now, trying to remember everything I
read about the subway bombing as Josh and I cross another street.

Whoa, if Lillianfield's been paying this guy since last June, then why
didn't anyone get killed until January? "........ thought there might be
two different killers at work, and I'm starting to agree." Who thought
there might be two killers? Lisa? Jamie? Detective Bailey? "I'm starting
to agree, Sam. The guy, the one from the CIA, he was only in London for
the bombing. During the murders he was in Africa....." Josh goes on to
talk about how his reasons for being in Africa were classified, but that
Leo's contacts keep whispering about Haidad's assassination. We killed
him? Wow, I didn't know we did things like that. I thought US political
assassinations were just one of those odd conspiracy theories. Josh stops
his rapid pace to turn and face me. The thick crowds have let up as the
rush to get to work ends, and the daytime crowds thin in the heat. "Sam,
do you know what this means?" Well, I'm not entirely certain, but I think
it means we're screwed. "Sam, two people are trying to kill the
President!" His voice is a harsh whisper, as though we might be overheard
by the aforementioned killers at any moment.

"We have to do something." Okay, this is where he lost me. What exactly
do you want me to do, Josh? The FBI can't figure this out. The NYPD can't
figure this out. What do you want me to do? "Leo's making some calls,
trying to track down our guy, but we don't know how to find the bomber
guy." And I'm supposed to be helpful in what way? This is nuts. I'm going
back to Lisa. "You were a boy scout or something, shouldn't you be
prepared for this?" Sure, Josh, between my badge for building a bird
house, and my patch for knife safety we learned how to fight crime and
leap buildings in a single bound.

I'm sure Josh has some smart aleck comment to make, but he doesn't get a
chance. The sound is shockingly familiar and frighteningly different.
Gunshots. My body jars with the shock of hitting the ground, and I try to
glance around - try to see if anyone's been shot. This can't be like last
time. We can't forget about someone. These people, they're not even
involved in this, and in my heart I know who's being shot at. Josh is
laying on top of my legs, and it takes me a minute to realize he knocked
me down. Josh! "Josh, you okay?" He doesn't answer me and for the longest
time, I think he's been shot. "I'm fine. You?" Okay. We're okay.

It seems like it takes forever, but Josh rolls on his side, and I think
my legs are numb. Not that I'm complaining, 'cause it keeps me from
standing up and falling down. I'm pretty sure if I stood up I'd fall
down. Josh has his arms around his knees, and his face looks like he's
about ready to pass out. You know, I think gunfire might be a better
trigger than music. There are sirens now, and I push myself up off the
ground slowly. Moving over, I sit next to Josh on the pavement.
"Seaborn?" I glance up and see Detective Bailey stepping out of a patrol
car. It's a wonderfully small world, isn't it? Lisa's father is stepping
out of the car after him, and he's saying something about finding
Havverson's car a few blocks over.

The detective is redirecting the mass of police officers that descended
on the street and Lisa's father is on is phone, barking at people other
than me. I just can't believe this. How do you fire shots at someone in
broad daylight and stroll away before anyone sees you? Last time, last
time I wrote it off as a consequence of serving President Bartlet.
This.... this is worse. This is about Lisa and Josh and a 13 year old
bombing and the President and the CIA and Havverson and Konrad and some
bank statements and the Oversight Committee and my head hurts and there's
bruises from where I hit the pavement and I think I need to sit down.

Josh looks like he needs to lay down, but he's pacing restlessly. Pacing
restlessly, and sneaking looks towards me. Okay, so I'm not taking this
well. I'm a lawyer. When I went to college, not once did it ever occur to
me that I'd get shot at, let alone shot at more than once. This is a
rather disturbing trend, I mean, I know lawyers aren't all that popular,
but I'd rather not walk around with a target on my back.

TBC

Fade to Black - 24

 

 

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