To all those who have stayed with this story, and expressed their enjoyment
thereof, my heartfelt thanks. God Bless and God Bless America. [Sorry,
still reliving the finale here]

TITLE: "Where Pride Goeth"
AUTHOR: Pat Steiner []
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 5--
"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.

"Where Pride Goeth" Part 6, concl.--
Josh was finally delivered to his room and Donna allowed to sit with
him. The maze of tubes and wires covering his body made her shudder.
Nonetheless she pulled up the chair as close as possible to the bed and took
his hand, bringing it up to her cheek. "Josh I'm here" she said softly.
For the next hour she simply held his hand and stroked his forehead,
squiggling her fingers in his wiry hair, and spoke in hushed tones of times
they had shared.
"He's coming out of it slowly" the nurse who was checking his vital signs
pointed out. "Keep talking to him. Often it helps patients return more
quickly to awareness when they know someone is waiting for them." She gave
her an encouraging smile. "He's going to be OK, you'll see."
When she was alone with him again, she leaned over him closely, putting
her mouth near his ear and called his name. His eyes fluttered slightly.
"Josh--Joshua James Lyman--wake up now" she ordered. "Please Josh I need
Josh moaned and his eyes opened half way. "Donna?"
"Oh yeah" she smiled, feeling tears threaten and she blinked them back.
"Donna where..." he fretted, beginning to toss back and forth.
"Josh I'm right here" she spoke more firmly. "Be still and open your
eyes now."
Recognition dawned with him and he did as she had ordered.
"Donna what....what happened?" he gasped, reaching his free arm for her
and pulling against the IV line.
"Back down there mister" she directed and then felt her throat tighten
with a small sob. "You're going to be OK thank God." His arm hooked around
her neck before she could stop him and she slid her hands beneath his back,
bringing him to her in a warm hug. "I was so scared" she whispered into his
ear. For a long minute they clung together and she trembled slightly with
"Donna I need to know what happened" he gasped as she resettled him on
the pillow.
"I'll tell you but only if you promise me you'll keep still and rest
here" she nodded, stroking his forehead again.
"Promise" he sighed, closing his eyes against the pain that was beginning
to build.
"Not much to tell anyway" she smiled ruefully. "Except how you saved my
life. Brian was about to kill me and you jumped in front and he shot you.
Is that starting to get familiar?"
"Yes" he exclaimed and grasped her arms. "I recall sort of asking if you
were all right. He didn't hurt you did he?"
"No I'm fine" she answered at once in quick reassurance. "Thanks to you."
"But where...." he began and full memory returned. "You told me he was
dead. Did the police...."
"They took care of..." she started and then shook her head, knowing he
deserved the full truth.
"I killed him Josh. I took the only think my father left me, an old
twenty two handgun, out of my nightstand and killed him." She shuddered at
the memory and he held tightly to her arms, his eyes never leaving hers. "I
killed him and I'm not sorry. I hated him and I'd do it again." Her voice
choked with her last words. "I'm just glad you're OK" she finished. "I was
so scared. You were bleeding so bad."
"I know and I'm so sorry this happened to you" he soothed. "Ssshhh it's
OK. All over."
"Yeah it is" she nodded after a minute. "Except, Josh I'm so sorry. I
caused every bit of this myself--by not seeing Brian for what he was, and by
letting it continue after I knew. I don't blame you for hating me and I'll
be resigning as soon as I can report to work."
"What?" Her words so agitated him that he again tried to rise despite the
sharp pain that shot through his upper body. "Where is that coming from?
Resign? No way in hell Ms. Moss. Hate you?" He stopped shook his head,
looking at her in amazement. "Donna there's no power on this Earth that
could make me hate you."
"Thank you but..." Her words were cut off by his finger to her lips.
"In fact I....I need to tell you...." he stammered and a look of
helplessness came across his features as he could not get the words out.
"Tell me what Joshua?" she asked gently. "You know there's nothing you
can't tell me. Didn't you remind me of that about the time this all began?"
"I think I need to show you" he whispered. He cupped his hand to the
back of her head and brought her forward. Their lips touched in a soft
gentle kiss.
"I understand" she whispered back. "I love you too."





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