TITLE: "Where Pride Goeth"
AUTHOR: Pat Steiner [ssbpmn@aol.com]
SUMMARY: A relationship for Donna brings her and Josh closer together as
tragedy strikes. Rated PG for mild violence and language.
DISCLAIMER: The West Wing belongs to NBC et al. No copyright infringement
is intended and the following is for entertainment purposes only.

From Part 4--
"Berger what are you doing here?" Josh spoke slowly and deliberately so
Sam would be sure to hear him.
"I've come for Donna" Berger answered, "and I might have known you'd bet
here Lyman. Not that I'm sorry you are." With those words he reached under
his shirt and pulled a pistol from his waistband.
"God Sam he's got a gun. Call 911" Josh screamed into the phone.

"Where Pride Goeth" Part 5--
The phone hit the floor as Josh went sprinting to the archway of the
bedroom hall, desperately wanting to block Berger's access to Donna.
"Lyman I've had all the interference from you I'm going to tolerate"
Berger threatened. "Now move aside while you still can under your own power."
Josh planted his feet firmly. "I'm not letting you anywhere near her.
You'll have to go through me to get to her."
Berger's response was to raise the gun level with Josh's head. "I can
take you out right here Mr. White House" he sneered and there was a loud
click as he removed the safety.
"Brian no please" Donna screamed from her bedroom doorway behind and to
one side of Josh.
"Donna get back in there and lock the door" Josh hissed without turning
around.
"I wouldn't do that" Berger told her sharply, "not if this guy means
anything to you."
"Brian please don't hurt him" she begged. "I'll do anything you
want--just don't hurt him."
"No Donna" Josh said quietly. "A line has to be drawn and I'm drawing it
for you, right here and right now. This ends--no more of it. Berger you
know the police are on the way. Don't make this end badly.''
There was silence for the next minute as Berger seemingly thought over
his options. Josh turned his head slightly so that his eyes met hers. "It's
going to be OK" he mouthed. "This man will never hurt you again."
The scream of police sirens made Berger's decision for him. "All they're
going to find here is a lover's triangle gone bad" he declared and swung the
gun towards Donna. Josh saw his finger move on the trigger and he screamed
"No" as loud as he could, throwing himself in front of Donna just as Berger
fired.
The bullet caught him high in the shoulder and slammed him against the
wall. He slumped down to the floor as his shirt quickly stained scarlet,
soaked by his blood.
Donna screamed in terror, not knowing if Josh were alive or dead.
Berger simply laughed and raised the gun to her. She stared at him and
then down at Josh, every fiber of her being wanting to fling herself down
with him to take him in her arms.
A second later she was overcome by cold fury and she turned and fled into
the bedroom, running to her nightstand and then standing with her back to the
doorway.
"Donna, Donna it's over" Berger called softly from just outside. "I
wanted you. I wanted all of you but you couldn't give that to me. Your
heart is tied to Lyman. Well maybe you'll see him in hell."
She turned slowly and locked eyes with the man she now hated with every
ounce of strength she possessed. "Joshua Lyman has my heart. He always has
and always will" she whispered.
"Good Bye Donna" Berger responded, moving his finger on the trigger as
before.
She took a deep breath, steeling herself for the bullet's impact and in
the same millisecond raised the hand which she had been keeping from his
sight.
Berger's eyes opened wide and he froze in shock at what he saw.
That pause was all she needed to put three bullets square into his chest,
the words the FBI gun safety course had drummed into her echoing in her
brain--don't raise your weapon unless you intend to fire, and when you do,
make it count.
Her tormentor was dead before he hit the floor, the look of surprise
frozen on his face in death.
The shock at what she had done lasted only a moment as she flung herself
against Josh, still slumped against the wall and his shirt becoming more
saturated with his blood. She pressed one hand to the source of the
bleeding, a small hole in his upper shoulder, and her other to his forehead,
stroking back his hair. "Please hang on Josh" she begged.
At her voice he opened pain filled eyes and with some effort focused on
her face. "Donna, thank god. You're OK? He didn't hurt you?"
"No I'm fine" she assured him quickly, "but you're not. Oh Josh I'm so
sorry."
"Not your fault" he responded and suddenly struggled to rise. "Where's
Berger?"
"He's dead" she answered quietly, "and you stay right where you are
mister." She was pushing him down and trying to cradle him on her lap at the
same time just as the police burst through the door.

GEORGE WASHINGTON HOSPITAL
"Donna?" CJ's soft voice broke into her thoughts as she stared out the
large window in the waiting lounge. The mass of shredded tissue in her hands
gave evidence of both her tears and her nerves. Donna wheeled and faced her
friend, who a second later enveloped her in a massive hug.
"Donna how is he? Have you heard anything?" Toby had followed CJ into the
small lounge and now put his arms around both of them in commiseration.
"No one told me anything except he's in surgery" she wailed softly. "Oh
god he was bleeding so much and it's my fault, all my fault."
"I doubt that" CJ told her as they stepped apart. "But the press already
has the word that the assistant chief of staff was shot in his assistant's
apartment so that's going to take some explaining. Nothing we can't handle
though. But the police are panting outside too for a statement."
"Yes they are" Toby added. "The sergeant said you were too upset to tell
them much."
"I couldn't" she sighed. "Seeing Josh there bleeding....I just couldn't.
I know I do need to give them a statement. I did just kill a man after all."
The gasps of CJ and Toby were audible in the room.
"You...you killed Josh's attacker?" CJ stammered.
Donna nodded miserably. "If it's OK, can I not go into it right now. I
have to know Josh is OK before I deal with any of that. but if you have to
explain to the press, it was self defense. He had already shot Josh and he
was about to kill me." And with tears threatening again she turned away.
CJ quickly patted her shoulder. "Nothing will be said until you talk to
the police and they can handle the press first. I'll just do a follow up."
Donna sobbed softly. "Thank you. I'll do it as soon as I...."
"You take your time" Toby told her firmly, putting an arm around her
shoulders and then around CJ's. "Why don't we try a word of prayer for Josh."
"Please" Donna whispered.
Dr. Alan Carpenter stood a respectful distance away as Toby's soft voice
spoke to his God.
"Thank you" Donna sniffled and kissed his cheek.
"You're here for Mr. Lyman?" the doctor broke in.
"Yeah we are" Toby spoke up, feeling Donna's nails bite into the flesh of
his hand and he looked intently at the doctor.
"The bullet didn't do any major damage" Alan reported. "It lodged in a
fleshy part of his shoulder, managing to miss the collar bone. He's still in
surgery and then he'll do some time in recovery. Right now we're more
concerned about the blood loss. The bullet nicked an artery and he's going
to need a couple of units. After that he should bounce back pretty easily."
"He's going to be Ok? That's what you're telling me?" Donna's voice
quavered as she dared to hope.
"Barring any surgical complications I see no reason why not" Alan smiled.
"But he's going to be pretty uncomfortable when he wakes up, and probably
pretty crabby as well."
"Crabby I can deal with, just as long as he's OK" Donna sighed.
"Someone will let you know as soon as he's back in his room" Alan assured
her. "He's a lucky young man to have someone who obviously cares about him
as much as you do waiting for him." He gave her shoulder a quick pat and
left them.
"Donna tell him" CJ whispered urgently.
She nodded slowly with a long sigh. "It's not something he and I are
good with--personal stuff I mean, like sharing feelings."
"Maybe you should start" Toby smiled and looked shyly to CJ.


TO BE CONTINUED

 

Where Pride Goeth - 6

 

 

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