Disclaimer: NONE of this belongs to me.  "The West Wing" and all the lovely things associated with it belong to the Head Wingnut Mr. Aaron Sorkin, NBC, and everyone else.  I claim no infringement or profit; I'm just playing with their toys for a little bit.  The characters you don't recognize are mine

Author's Notes:  This story is independent of the series that I'm writing with Tara.  It takes place anywhere in the second season after the shooting, and is written from Donna's POV.  Much thanks to Eileen for giving me the idea and to Paula for all the support and encouragement.  Thanks and happy reading.

Someone in the Shadows
By Rachel

It was very late, too late for a normal person to be calling me.  That would mean only one thing, there has been some sort of crisis or emergency and Josh needs me to be at work right now.  One of the problems with working at the White House is that the hours prevent you from having any kind of a social life, and tonight it was keeping me from my beauty sleep.  I roll over to grab the phone on my nightstand.

"Hello?"  Wow, I sound pretty coherent for it being two o'clock in the morning.  I expect to hear Josh telling me to get to work as fast as possible, but no one answers.

"Hello?  Hello."  All I can hear is someone breathing on the other end of the line.  My pulse quickens as I hang up the phone. Creepy weirdo.  Of all the nights for my roommate not to come home.  I looked at the clock beside my bed.  I need to go back to sleep. Five-thirty is going to come pretty quickly.

I made it to work in the morning without further incidents.  As usual, I beat Josh to work.  There's one thing you much understand about my boss, Josh Lyman is not a morning person.  He's barely coherent until he's had at least two cups of coffee.  I, on the other hand, am very punctual when I report to work. If I wasn't, I'd miss the morning gossip report with my fellow assistants.  So after I put everything in order for the start of the day, I headed over to the communications bullpen.

"Hey Bonnie, hi Ginger.  How was your evening?"

"Not too bad," Ginger answered, "except for this weird phone call I got at one-thirty in the morning."

"Weird phone call?"  My ears perked up.

"Yeah.  When I picked up the phone, nobody answered, but there was definitely someone there.  I could hear them breathing.  Bonnie got one just like it."

I looked at them in shock.  "Me too.  Only mine was around two this morning."

"This is really strange," Bonnie said.

"What's really strange," Margaret asked as she and Carol came into the bullpen.

"All three of us got a phone call last night.  When we answered." I tried to explain.

"No one was there but you could hear someone breathing," they finished.

My mouth dropped.  "You too?"

My friends nodded.  Finally Cathy joined the group.

"Did anyone else get a strange hang-up last night?" she asked.

I looked at the others.  "This is starting to scare me."

Cathy looked confused until Margaret explained the situation.  "Cathy, all of us got the same phone call."

"Do you think they are connected?" Cathy asked with a worried expression.

"Well, we do work for some of the most powerful people in America," Carol pointed out.

I looked at my watch.  Senior staff was going to be back soon.  We definitely don't want to make too much of this until we know specifics.  We don't want to draw attention to something like this, especially since it seemed the shooting was behind us.

"Listen, there's not much we can do about it at this moment.  Besides, senior staff is going to be out of the meeting any second.  I don't think we should say anything until we have something concrete.  Does everyone have lunch free?"  Five heads gave me an affirmative nod.  "Good.  Let's meet in the cafeteria for lunch and we can talk some more.  Until then, everybody stay cool.  We'll get to the bottom of this."

We shared a smile.  We were six women, as different as different can be, but we were a team.  Kindred spirits, if you will, the best of friends.

As I headed back to Josh's office, I realized that my brave speech had been a pretty good act.  Truth be told I was absolutely terrified.  I mean, some sicko has my phone number and is intent on tormenting me, not to mention the five women who are like family to me.  Who would do such a thing?  And why?  Sure, we work at the White House, but we're just assistants.  We're not members of the cabinet or even senior staff.  I continued to ponder those questions as I settled in at my desk.

"Donna?  Earth to Donna." a voice invades my thoughts.

"What?"  My mind snaps back to the present.  Josh is standing in front of my desk with a somewhat amused expression on his face. 

"What were you thinking about?" he asks.  "You looked like you were a million miles away."

"Nothing.it's nothing.  Did you need something before your nine o'clock with Senator Landis?"

"No, no, finish what you were working on."  He heads for his office.  He turns around.  "You know you can tell me anything, right?"  Uh, oh.  Sweet Josh has made an appearance.  My fear and worry almost let me give in, but I had made a promise that we wouldn't say anything until we knew for sure. "I know, Josh.  It's nothing, I promise.  Now get out of here before you're late." "Okay, okay.  I'm going," he grumbles as I shoo him out of the office.  Boy, that was close.


Someone In The Shadows - 2



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