Broken Wings: P.3

By Red

Disclaimer: In part one.

Disclaimer: Only in my wildest dreams. Author's Note: Beware! There be Toby-Torture hereabouts.

The hours passed slowly while Toby waited until he could leave for home guilt-free. He knew that Donna had left, Cathy a while before her, the woman in shock and unable to comprehend that her boss was gone. Charlie had gone to be with Zoey and Leo had left early to break the news to his daughter and be with her while she grieved. He was pretty sure Josh was roaming around somewhere looking for something to distract him and CJ had gone to seek solace in the Press Corps with Danny. But Toby couldn't leave early. He wouldn't let himself.

He had the lights off while sitting in Sam's office, and reflected that while his office was always sunny and light, Sam's was always darkened and in shadow, even with the lights on. Which was ironic. Toby hadn't been sunny without the aid of drugs for years, and Sam didn't have a dark bone in his body.

Suddenly restless, he stood and began to pace agitatedly. It all seemed so unreal. The West Wing had never gone without Sam for more than a week, which in itself was extremely rare. Now Sam would never be back; he was gone forever and Toby didn't know what to do with himself.

He knew there would be a briefing soon. The American people would want to know that one of the President's Senior Staff had indeed died. What had been a catastrophe was now a tragedy.

And Toby didn't even know how he had died. He wondered if anyone did. After relaying the news to both Toby and Leo, and leaving them to spread the word, the President had disappeared quickly, locking himself away in the Residence.

Slowly he rose from his chair and took the two steps necessary to Sam's desk. Unsure, he paused, his hand extended toward the phone. Would he be able to handle the doctors without breaking down? Could he take knowing the gritty details of Sam's death?

Groaning, Toby squeezed his burning eyes shut. It didn't help. Haunting images bombarded him against the dark backdrop of his eyelids. Flashes of dancing blue eyes, a boyish grin, a trusting, open face sent him reeling, kareening to his knees. A low keening note escaped him as sobs wracked his entire body, shaking him like a leaf.

He leaned back, falling back against the desk's side, drawing his knees up to his chest. He couldn't breathe and his heart wanted to stop beating, fighting his brain's protest with waves of pain. Curled into the tightest ball possible, he began to rock back and forth, his head cracking into the desk with every movement.

'Sam,' his mind screamed desperately. 'Sam, please.' But Sam couldn't hear him or answer.

His face soaked in tears Toby cursed the boys that had taken his little brother from him. He cursed the doctors for not saving him. He cursed CJ for letting Sam play the hero, taking the bullets meant for her. He cursed the President for taking him from his safe, happy life as a lawyer to hire him as a speechwriter. He cursed Zoey and Charlie for bringing it all upon them. And he cursed himself for all his faults, and for all the wrongs he had done Sam that couldn't be made right now.

Nearly two hours later he woke, lying on the floor in the fetal position with no idea how long he had been out of it. Blinking, he sat up and stood. He stared for a moment at the phone and decided that a trip to hospital might bring some closure for him, as well as getting the information CJ would need.

With a sigh he stumbled out of his deputy's office for what he swore would be the last time, not looking back. If he were ever going to be normal again, he would have to accept that Sam was gone. He had to move on. He had to forget him.


Broken Wings - 4


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