Bermuda Part 5


Leo overheard Sam and Josh's quiet exchange. Josh sounded much better. He reached to his wrist to silence the soft alarm that would have sounded in about 10 minutes. Abby had given him a strict schedule to follow for assessments of Josh's status after the concussion. He had no doubt that Sam had a reminder on his lap-top as well. If Josh hadn't woken on his own, they both would have checked him.

Leo closed his eyes briefly and frowned. The same thoughts still disturbed him. If Josh hadn't been okay, they still would have been unable to do anything. They were still in the middle of the ocean.

These thoughts kept Leo awake. Fifteen minutes later he gave up hope of sleep and rose quietly to go upstairs. He could now hear the gentle hum of the engines. The storm must be clear. The crew was already heading them back.

He tried to be quiet as he moved gently out of the cabin. He need not have worried. They were all fast asleep, including Sam, whose head was down on the table. He noticed that even though his Senior Staff seemed dead to the world, they all still faced Josh. It seemed as if they thought they might protect him simply by their presence.

Leo made his way to the deck. He checked in with crew and paused to enjoy the sunrise.

Leaning on the rail, he enjoyed their slow progress through the now calm water for a few minutes. Just as he pulled out his phone to call Bartlett, it trilled softly to announce the incoming call. Leo sighed and flipped it open. They were old friends who knew each other far too well.

"Morning, Mr. President. How are things at home?"

"They're fine Leo. How's Josh?"

"He's fine, sir. Did you get to have dinner with Abby?"

"I did. Only got interrupted once, and it was just to give me the Notre Dame scores."

Leo smiled. Bartlet deserved a quiet night.

"Leo, where the hell are you now? And when are you gonna make it back to the trade conference?"

"We're headed back now. It's calm."

"I hope you're out enjoying the sunrise. The sunrises there are fantastic. Did you know that someone once counted fifteen different shades of pink in Bermuda?

"No, sir. I really didn't."

Leo walked over to a deck chair and sat down. He found a comfortable spot on his shoulder for the phone and prepared for a long story from his friend. Who needed to run the country when you had shades of pink to discuss?

Downstairs, Sam stirred and lifted his head as a small alarm sounded softly on his lap-top. He shut it off and looked at the time. He'd only slept for about fifteen minutes. Josh had awakened on his own just twenty minutes ago. He was fine then. Sam looked over at his friend with a critical eye. He seemed to be sleeping comfortably. Sam decided to let him rest a bit longer. They'd all be up soon.

He extricated himself carefully from his spot at the table and stepped carefully over a sleeping Donna to reach the stairs. The gentle hum of the engines and the calm motion assured him that the storm was over. They were headed back.

He found Leo in one of the deck chairs with his phone to his ear. Leo gestured for him to sit in the adjacent chair. A moment later, his voice betrayed a tinge of exasperation, but he spoke quietly into the phone. "Sir, let me sign off now. I want to make sure we get in okay..... Yeah....Okay. Good Bye, Mr. President."

Leo dropped the phone back into his pocket and turned to Sam with a grin on his face. "He just spent five minutes telling me about the different shades of pink I should be looking for. Can you believe it?"

Sam smiled. "Sadly, yes I can."

Leo looked closely at Sam. He looked tired. Worrying about Josh took its toll on his usually vibrant disposition. "How are you holding up, Sam?"

"Okay. Did you talk to the guys to get our ETA at the harbor?"

"Yeah. It's at least three hours."

"Everyone's still asleep down there. Anything we need to wake them up for?"

"No, let them sleep. It's quiet. In fact, you should go sleep, Sam. You look like hell." The light was better now and Leo could really see the deep blue smudges under Sam's tired eyes.

"Yeah, Sam you look like hell. What's up with that?" This comment was from Josh who had somehow managed to approach unnoticed.

Sam spun his head to look at Josh. "What are you doing up?"

Josh obligingly dropped into another chair. "I'm down again now. I'd venture to guess that I probably look better than you do right now. Of course, you look really bad."

"Shut up, Josh. How's your headache?"

Josh considered that for a moment. "Well it's still the worst headache of my life, but it's better than it was."

Leo spoke firmly. "They have the CAT scanner ready for you at the hospital. Abby's already called them."

Josh frowned and began to whine. "I really don't want to go to the hospital--"

Simultaneous glares from Sam and Leo shut him up.

"Josh, name the first ten Presidents of the United States." Leo spoke in a soft but commanding tone.

Josh looked at Leo like he'd lost his mind. "Leo, why the hell would I need to do that?"

"Because you're gonna prove to me your memory is okay."

"Leo, how would you think that I would be able to do that?"

"Because your father was really proud that he taught you that when you were ten. Fathers brag to other fathers about these things. And you're a geek and should still remember."

Josh looked at Leo closely. He was suppressing a grin. He shifted over to Sam, who wasn't even trying to suppress his grin.

Josh took a deep breath and began, "George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson--"

"--You can stop there Josh, that's enough," Leo interrupted him.

"This is supposed to be another one of the crazy neurological assessments? Something Mrs. Bartlett told you to do?"

Leo grinned at him. "Naah, I just made it up. I love to see stupid human tricks."

"You are messing with me, Leo?" Josh managed to sound both annoyed and amused.

"Yeah, why not. You're better enough for me to give you grief about being a klutz."

Josh suppressed a smirk. "I don't remember anything about being a klutz. What are you talking about?"

Sam glanced at him sharply to be sure he was kidding, then smacked him on the arm. "Don't even joke, Josh."

Josh sobered and looked again at Sam. His friend had been worried. "Yeah, Sam okay."

Leo's phone trilled again and he left them walk along the rail a bit and answer it. The crew caught him and told him they'd be docking on schedule.

When he returned, both Josh and Sam were lying down on the deck chairs. Sam was now snoring softly. Josh smiled at Leo and they continued to enjoy the quiet of the morning.

--- end




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