Broken Wings

By Red

Disclaimer: They are *so* not mine, and they never will be. And that thought alone makes me cry at night.

Author's Note: Ok. This is kind of dark (when aren't my stories dark?) and angst-ridden (which I can guarantee more than 95% of my stories are) and involves Sam Torture (something I'm beginning to like writing - anyone want to join me as an ESF (Evil Sam Fan)? And this is a very different style of writing for me. I wrote this part in about ten minutes during Creative Writing when I was *supposed* to be listening to something about poetic devices. As you can see, in that class I get in a strange mood. Rated PG-13.

This follows the season finale which I *just* saw. And this is more a teaser than it's anything else.

Eyes howled their anguish with fat drops of crystalline grief and stared dully at the haggard face and the dead eyes opposite them. 'No,' the mind behind the eyes whispered. 'No.'

Jed Bartlet stood before him like a homeless man caught in a rainstorm, his baring drooping, and sorrow leaking from every pore. At that moment in endless time, he wasn't the most powerful man in the world anymore. Three teenagers held that title now. They had stolen it away from them with their bullets of hatred.

And Toby Ziegler felt dead, as if it were his body that had been ripped apart by the shells. "Sir?" he choked his ability to stand there and talk - however monosyllabic it was - proving that he was indeed alive.

"I wanted to… let you know myself. I know how you two were…" The President's voice - usually so alive and thrumming - was weak and fading.

Toby's world was collapsing and he wondered privately if God was laughing at him and his grief for a man who he had taken for granted for so long. His tongue like a wad of cotton in a mouth as dry as the Sahara. He couldn't reply to Bartlet, even if he had words to say. Which he didn't. Which he wouldn't anymore.

"I'm sorry Toby. No one's more sorry than I am…"

Nodding and not even knowing he did it, Toby turned away, decorum ignored in the face of his anguish. A moment passed before the tired Leader of the Free World sighed his regret and left, leaving his Communications Director alone with his demons.

Gone. He was gone. Dead. And the world should grieve for all the men and women who would never see him smile boyishly, or be offered his help, or meet his twinkling, trusting gaze.

His heart splitting and cracking like an angry fault line, he fell back into his chair bonelessly, his heart and his soul not following him, escaping, fleeing. Beard and mustache wet from his tears Toby hung his head.

"I'm sorry," he groaned to his dead friend's deaf ears. Was he in heaven? No deserved to be with God more than him… "But why did you leave us?" he demanded, anger rising and fusing with the pain, a hard knot of turmoil in his cold heart. "How could you leave me?"


Broken Wings - 2


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