Disclaimer: These characters belong to Aaron Sorkin and the other people at NBC.

Bargaining Chips

By Mer

Part 5

(Somewhere in the city)

Donna was getting a little worried about Josh. He was in an extreme amount of pain, and he had been continuously been coughing up blood. Josh had also been gasping for air but was trying to play it off. She wasn't buying his nothing is wrong act. He needed help, and he needed it fast.

"Look what you have done to him! He needs a doctor!" Donna yelled once the door was opened again.

"Donna, please." Josh begged softly.

"I will not let you die." Donna cried as Rashad approached her.

Rashad grabbed Donna by the wrists. Even a weakened Josh couldn't let that continue any longer. Outraged, Josh slowly got up to his feet. He was a little dizzy from the sudden movement but he didn't care. He tried to pry Rashad's hands off of her.

"Let go of her, she has nothing to do with this." Josh said menacingly in Arabic.

Surprised, Rashad let go of Donna's wrists. Donna shrank away from him. Josh stood in between the two of them. He had no energy for this and could feel his legs starting to give way. Rashad then grabbed Josh and hauled him out of the room.

Josh was taken back to where Necklace man was. Necklace man gave Rashad an angry stare.

"You were supposed to bring the girl." He yelled in Arabic.

"He wouldn't let me." Rashad replied as he pointed to Josh.

"Leave her out of this. This has nothing to do with her." Josh said angrily.

"You must be one stupid American. Not only have you lied about where the dinner was, but you are willing to protect a worthless, what is your word for it, assistant?" Necklace man yelled.

"I did not lie about where the dinner was and if you hurt her I swear to God." Josh threatened.

"Oh yeah like I'm going to listen to a Jew." Necklace man snapped.

"Leave her alone. Hurt me all you want but leave her alone." Josh warned in an angry tone.

"Or you will what? I do believe you are in no position to be picking fights. Rashad teach him another lesson, and fetch me when you're done. It's about time I prepare the list of demands." Necklace man stated.

Rashad did what he was told and he beat Josh up even more. He stopped once Josh began to leave a pile of blood on the floor. He brought Necklace man back in and more pictures were taken. This time though they smeared the envelope with Josh's blood.

"What about the girl?" Rashad asked quietly.

"I don't know. I had planned on letting her go but I believe his punishment went a little too far. Someone needs to stay with him, because we aren't ready to kill him yet." Necklace man replied.

"Why not?" Rashad questioned.

"Because I know they will try and get him back eventually." Necklace man joked.

"What do you mean eventually?" Rashad asked.

"Because we are going to leak it to the press. And the American citizens will be outraged that they are willing to be so callus with his life." Necklace man laughed.

Rashad then took and threw Josh back in the room with Donna. She stayed away from Josh until Rashad was safely out of the room. What had they done to him, she cried to herself? Now Josh's other eye was beginning to swell shut and his breathing was even worse than before. She also knew that he would be coughing up a lot more blood.

"Oh Josh, why did you protect me like that?" Donna sobbed as she began tending to his wounds with what little supplies she had.

"Because I love you." Josh said very weakly.

"Josh." Donna said as she gasped in surprise.

"I know this is a bad time to bring it up, huh?" Josh laughed even though it obviously hurt him to do so.

"How can you joke at a time like this?" Donna asked.

"Because..." Josh began and his voice trailed off.

"Josh? You had better not leave me yet!" Donna ordered but she received no response from him.

(Sam's Hotel Room, half-hour later)

"C.J. you can't just not go to the dinner." Toby pleaded.

"I am as mad about it as you are, but Toby's right." Sam replied slowly.

"How can you even say that? Sam he's your best friend. You were the one who came screaming to me about it. How can you even consider going?" C.J. asked.

"It's our job C.J." Toby stated quietly.

"How can you even think about doing your job when someone has kidnapped Josh? And it was pure dumb luck that Sam wasn't taken with him." C.J. yelled.

"So what are we supposed to do? We can't just force them to stop something that hasn't even officially begun yet." Toby countered.

"We need to find Josh. Sam, say your with me. Please say you're with me." C.J. begged.

"I will not just let them kill him, but where are we even going to start to look for them?" Sam asked.

"Mr. Seaborn?" A person said as they knocked on Sam's door.

"I'm supposed to give you this, sir." A bellhop said once Sam opened the door.

"Thank you." Sam said as he took the envelope and shut the door again.

"What is it?" Toby asked.

"I don't know." Sam said as he began to tear it open, but he stopped suddenly.

"What's wrong?" C.J. asked.

"There's blood." Sam said quietly.

"Give it here." C.J. ordered as she grabbed the envelope and tore it open the rest of the way, spilling pictures out in the process.

"Is he dead?" Toby asked as he looked at one of the photos.

"Might as well be." C.J. muttered angrily.

"Why did they send this to me?" Sam asked as his hands shook with anger.

"I don't know." Toby said slowly.

"Look they finally sent those precious demands that Leo was so worried about." C.J. yelled angrily.

"What do they want?" Sam asked.

"For the peace process to be ended, and for us to go back home." Toby muttered.

"Actually they want the peace process to end and they want political prisoners to be released." C.J. replied.

"Or they'll finish Josh off." Sam finished angrily.

"Him and many more so it says." C.J replied as she dropped the note in horror.

"What?" Toby asked as he went to steady the shaking C.J.

"They want to kill off as many civilians as they can to get us to leave." C.J. sobbed.

"But that won't make us go away." Toby stated.

"That'll only bring more of us." Sam said slowly.

"They want to start a war and to blame us for it." Toby concluded.

"We can't let that happen." C.J. said quietly.

"How are we supposed to get Josh back with terms like that?" Sam screamed even though he already knew the answer.

(Hotel Lobby-same time)

"And in further news Josh Lyman is feeling under the weather so he will not be attending tonight's dinner." Leo said, as he was finishing up his press conference.

"Leo why isn't C.J. giving the briefing?" A reporter named Carl asked.

"She..." Leo began but was interrupted.

"Is it true that Josh won't be attending the briefing because he was kidnapped by a terrorist group?" A reporter named Joe asked.

"Now Joe..." Leo began as he felt his face flush, how the hell could they know that?

"If it's not true then can you explain these pictures?" Joe asked as Leo saw a sea of pictures being distributed amongst members of the press core. Pictures that even he hadn't seen yet.

"Is this why C.J isn't here at the briefing? Is it because she refused to lie about what happened?" Carl yelled.

"C.J. didn't come to give the briefing..." Leo stuttered, but then he realized he shouldn't lie anymore. "She didn't come because she is worried sick about Josh."

Bargaining Chips - 6




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