TITLE: All Come Undone
DISCLAIMERS: See part 1.
FEEDBACK: is a must have!
SPOILERS: General up through season 3, but some specific ones for 17 People.
Sam had finally managed to talk his doctors into letting him go back to Washington, assuring them he could do physical therapy there just as well as he could in California. But mainly, he just wanted to go home. That was how he found himself a short two weeks after the accident walking unsteadily between two metal bars hanging on for dear life with his good arm.
"Come on Sam, just two more steps." Sylvia, the physical therapist Dr. Bartlet had strongly recommended, said encouragingly.
He winced sharply as he took a step with his left leg. "One more." He muttered softly to himself. Exactly one step later his left knee buckled under his weight and he sat down heavily on the mat.
"Good." Sylvia straightened his left leg. "You're making great progress." They could hear the phone ringing in the nearby office. "I'll be right back, you take a break." She headed across the room.
"It's really coming down out there." Sam looked up as Cassie stepped in from the rain. She crossed the room, smiling brightly at him. "How's it going?"
"Not to bad." He stared at her for a second. "You're soaked, I can see right through your dress." Sam joked.
Cassie lightly smacked his uninjured shoulder. "Shut up." She shook out her hair. "Do you want to hear about Zoey or not?"
"Sorry, I'm listening."
"She had a boy at 8:34 this morning. 7 pounds 11 oz. Christopher Josiah Young."
"That's a nice name. How's Zoey doing?"
"She was sleeping when I left."
He gently touched the side of her face. "Good news, I should be able to go back to the office, at least part time, in a week or so."
"Are you sure you're up for that?"
He looked briefly annoyed. "Yes, you worry too much."
"It's just because I love you."
A week and a half later Sam sat at his desk thumbing through the stack of folders Toby had handed him. As far as he could tell it was mostly busywork. His first instinct was to get up and tell Toby that he was ready to handle real work, but something on top of the stack caught his attention.
"What's that?" He glanced up to find Cassie standing in front of his desk.
He snapped the folder closed. "Just some more useless work Toby handed off to me." Sam got unsteadily to his feet. "Toby's not in his office is he?"
"No, he's on the hill."
"Good, I'm going use his couch for a little bit." He picked up the file and took a step forward.
"Here, let me help you." Cassie wrapped her arm around his waist as he leaned heavily on her shoulders.
"I have the crutches, you're going to hurt your back."
"We're just going next door."
"Fine." He let her lead him to Toby's couch. "Thanks."
"No problem. You need anything else?"
"I'm good, go back to work."
"Ok." She walked out of the office, closing the door behind her.
He flipped open the folder and stared intently at the contents.
4 days later.....
Sam took one final unsteady step before carefully lowering himself to the ground. "God, I'm exhausted."
Sylvia took a step closer. "I think we can give your leg a break, but we still need to do more with your arm." She smiled encouragingly. "You're doing much better."
"But?" He detected an undercurrent in her voice.
"I didn't say anything." She looked at him strangely.
"I can read in between the lines."
"It's too soon for me to draw any definite conclusions."
She sighed, defeated. "Alright. You're are improving, but I really don't think you'll ever a hundred percent back to the way you were. You'll probably always have the limp in your left leg and some impaired motor control in your left arm." Sylvia watched him warily as she spoke.
"Well, thank you for being honest." He took a deep breath. "Let's just get back to work." Sam held out his left arm.
When Sam got back to the White House that evening he headed straight to Leo's office, determined to get an answer to the many questions that had formed in his head since Toby handed him that stack of files four days earlier.
Sam leaned on his crutches next to Margaret's desk and stared at the blonde woman intently. "You're Amy right?"
"Yes Mr. Seaborn."
"Is he in?"
"Yes, he's about done for the day, but you can go on in." She nodded her head toward Leo's door.
"Thanks." He glanced at the door. "Could you get that please?"
"Sure." She jumped to her feet and opened the door for him.
"Thank you." He nodded at her as she closed the door behind him.
"Sam, sit down." Leo looked up from his briefcase. "I was about to leave."
Sam sat slowly onto the couch. "This is kind of important."
"I'm listening." Leo gave him a worried look.
"This has been running through my head for the past few days. The Vice President gave a speech in New Hampshire."
"The speech was made in the middle of a four day camping trip and it was followed up by a poll evaluating the public's opinion of the Vice President's ties to the oil industry."
"I'm still not getting..."
Sam could sense a tone of wariness in his voice. "After the poll he voluntarily admonished the oil industry in the media."
Leo sat down at his desk. "What is your question?"
"Why did he put the poll out? Why did he make the speech?"
"He's an ego maniac who's obsessed with what people think of him." Leo replied nervously.
"Nice try. After the last State of the Union the First Lady got pissed at Toby because she thought the speech set the stage for the President to run for a second term and for some reason she is under the impression that that isn't supposed to happen." Sam leaned forward. "So I guess my ultimate question is why does Hoynes think he's going to be running instead of the President?"
Leo got to his feet and closed his briefcase. "Sam, you're reading way to much into a bunch of unrelated facts. I really want to get home, goodnight."
Sam gave Leo an annoyed look. "We're not done with this. Goodnight." He walked slowly out the door.
Leo crossed the room and closed the door behind Sam. "Damnit!" He opened the door again. "Amy, I'm going to see the President and then I'm going home. You can go ahead and go."
"Goodnight." Leo turned and walked into the Oval Office. "Sir I was just talking to Sam and....." He trailed off, unsure how to finish.
"And?" Jed stared at him.
Leo closed the door behind him. "And you need to tell him."
"What? I need to tell him what?"
"About the thing...about your MS."
"You sure." The President gave Leo a concerned look.
He nodded softly. "Yes."
"Alright." He rubbed the bridge of his nose. "Mrs. Landingham." He yelled at the door.
She appeared in the office. "Yes sir."
"I need to see Sam, now."
End Part (7/8)....