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

Bargaining Chips

By Mer

Part 9

(C.J.'s Hotel Room)

"They beat him pretty badly." Donna cried.

"It's okay Donna. It's not your fault." Toby comforted.

"He jumped up to protect me even after he had already been beaten pretty badly." Donna moaned.

"I hope we kill the bastards." Sam remarked.

"Sam, your not helping." C.J. said gently.

"We can't just let them get away with this." Sam stated angrily.

"The CIA is working with local people. They are trying to find the hideout." Toby stated.

"Didn't they lose the trail though?" Sam asked.

"Sam" C.J. warned.

"This waiting is getting to me. I mean waiting to see if a b..." Sam's words trailed off because he couldn't bring himself to say it.

"We know." Toby replied gently.

"He was trying to protect me." Donna sobbed again.

"Because he loves you Donna. He won't give up." C.J. said shakily.

"I didn't want to leave him. I swear I would never have left him..." Donna sobbed.

"It's okay. We know." Toby comforted.

"I can't believe we are even discussing this. We should never have come here in the first place. This never should have happened." Sam exclaimed.

"Sam, Josh wanted to come here." Donna said slowly.

"Donna" Sam said hoping she didn't mean because of their not-so-secret goal.

"He thinks that peace is a good thing." Donna replied softly.

"That's because..." Sam protested.

"Because he knows how good peace is." C.J. finished for him.

The phone rang just then. The four of them just stared at it. Donna jumped away from it as if it were going to explode. Sam noticed this and he went over to comfort it. C.J. and Toby remained staring at it until Toby finally got up the nerve to answer it.

"Toby Ziegler." He answered slowly.

"They found him alive, Toby." Jed said slowly.

"What about..." Toby began.

"It was someone else. But he's in pretty bad shape. I guess the CIA burst in right as they were finishing him off." Jed said slowly.

"But he is alive right?" Toby asked as everyone in the room looked at him hopefully.

"Yes, barely." Jed said softly.

"Thank you." Toby rejoiced.

"Meet me downstairs in five minutes and we will go to the hospital." Jed said.

"Okay." Toby said as he hung up the phone.

"Well?" C.J. asked.

"He's alive." Toby said very slowly, and Donna totally understood why.

"So that wasn't his body?" Sam asked.

"No." Toby replied.

"Oh God." Donna moaned knowing who's body it was.

"What?" C.J. asked gently.

"They shot someone last night." Donna said in almost a whisper.

"As long as it wasn't Josh I don't care." Sam stated matter-of-factly.

"Come guys, we have to go to the hospital." Toby stated.

(The Hospital-three hours later)

"So how did they find him anyway? I thought that they had lost the trail?" Toby asked.

"I guess they never gave up their search. They knew the vicinity that he was being held in so they searched everywhere." Jed replied.

"How powerful was this group anyway?" C.J. asked.

"Fairly new. I guess they had enough explosives and fire power to destroy the whole city." Jed stated angrily.

"They were going to destroy the whole city?" Toby asked incredulously.

"Apparently, the figured that we would choose peace over Josh." Jed said slowly.

"Which is what almost happened." C.J. replied.

"I'm sorry about that. I didn't want to do it. But we have Josh back now." Jed replied.

"Why isn't he out of surgery yet?" Sam said as he paced the waiting room.

"That's a good sign. It means he's still alive." C.J. said absently.

"Last time was worse." Toby commented slowly.

"No this one is. Last time we knew how long he was supposed to be in there." Sam commented angrily.

"Sam, calm down." Jed ordered.

"He's my best friend." Sam defended.

"We all know this, but you are driving me nuts with the pacing." Toby said.

Sam stopped pacing. He saw Donna curled up in a chair in the corner. She had drawn her knees to her chest and had been rocking herself back and forth earlier. But now she was perfectly still because she had to be sedated. Sam knew that he could end up the same way if he didn't stop so he sat down next to Donna.

"Am I interrupting something?" Leo asked as he poked his head into the room.

"Leo, I didn't think you were coming." Jed said slowly.

"I'm sober now." Leo commented.

"Come in then by all means." C.J. said as she gestured to some empty chairs.

"I talked with Abbey. Did you know she and Zoey are on their way over?" Leo asked.

"Yeah. Abbey figured that we might need to move Josh to a safer region." Jed commented softly.

"I'm sorry for what happened yesterday and this morning." Leo apologized.

"We've all done and said some things that we shouldn't have." Jed replied.

"Everyone I'm sorry I've been such a bastard. I know that I shouldn't have turned to the bottle. I was wrong in lying about Josh and in a way I'm glad that the press found out. I'm sorry for all of the pain I've put you all through." Leo apologized to everyone.

"It's all right Leo." C.J. said softly.

"Yeah, I agree with her." Toby stated gently.

"No it's not okay. C.J. I nearly forced you to quit yesterday and that is not acceptable. Josh is your friend, our friend, and I should have been more understanding. I'm ashamed to admit it but I was scared." Leo stated on the verge of tears.

"Josh will forgive you." Sam said gently.

"He's going to be angry at himself for being the cause of me falling off the wagon." Leo commented softly.

"Like you said yesterday, I'd rather have a pissed off Josh then a dead one." Jed said softly.

"Amen to that." C.J. replied.

"I wish I could apologize to Donna too." Leo said as he saw her sleeping form.

"Don't worry about it. You can tell her later." Toby stated as the waiting room door flung open.

"Everyone here about a Mr. Lyman?" A asked.

"Yes." Jed said slowly.

"I'm supposed to tell you that there were some complications..." The nurses voice trailed off.

Bargaining Chips - 10



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