... CONTINUED FROM PART 1
"C.J.," Carol said gently. "Are you okay?"
"I guess I'm about as well as can be expected considering I just saw one of
"I'll go get you some tea," Carol said.
"Thanks," C.J. said, smiling gratefully as Carol hurried out. She turned to
"Sam drove him over to the hospital," Donna said.
"Is there any word yet?" C.J. asked.
Donna shook her head sadly. "No."
C.J. closed her eyes and leaned back on the couch. After a moment Carol
C.J. sat up and started to protest until she noticed who her visitor was.
"I'll just go try Sam's cell phone again," Donna said, picking up on her
"Danny, you're not supposed to be here," C.J. said.
"Carol came and got me," the reporter answered.
"Oh. I thought she was getting tea."
"Guess you'll have to settle for me instead," Danny said, taking a seat on
"She was standing right next to me, Danny. One second she's talking to the
"Try not to think about it," Danny said gently.
"It's all I can think about," C.J. said wrapping her arms tightly across
"I know... C.J., why don't you let me take you home?" Danny asked.
"What good am I at home? I need to stay here until I find out how Mandy's
"You could change clothes, for one thing," Danny suggested.
"I'm fine," C.J. said. "Shouldn't you be like, working and reporting on all
"Does the White House have any comment on the attempt on President
"Not until the briefing."
"There, all done. Looks like I've got some free time for the next few
A moment later, Sam walked in, looking grim, followed by Donna, who shut
Leo glanced around the room taking stock. "Where's Josh?" he asked.
"In his office," Donna said.
Leo looked from Donna to Sam, trying to read their expressions. "All
Leo took a deep breath before continuing. "Mandy was hit in the right
"An arrest has been made and all indications are that the shooter acted
C.J. sat up. "I can be ready--"
"No," Toby cut in. "Sam will do the briefing, I'll work up the statement."
"I'm fine," C.J. protested. "I can handle this."
"Toby's right," Leo said. "You've been through too much already. Let
Bartlet spoke up for the first time, interrupting C.J. "That's an order,
"Yes, sir," C.J. answered.
Leo continued with his instructions. "Toby, I want you to get up to speed
Someone knocked softly at the closed office door, but Josh made no
After a moment Donna opened the door and entered tentatively. "Josh?" she
Josh still didn't respond. Donna approached and stood next to his chair.
Josh nodded absently.
"I thought you'd want to stay at the hospital," Donna said.
"Her parents are there now. I thought it'd be best to leave them alone with
"I'm sure she'll pull through, Josh. Doctors can do amazing things. We just
"She's got a bullet in her brain, Donna," Josh snapped. "It's not a
Donna flinched, as much from the grim reality as from the harsh manner in
Josh realized he'd upset Donna and reached out for her hand. "I'm sorry. I
"It's okay. I know," Donna said, squeezing his hand.
"They tell me the shooter was mentally ill, Leo," Bartlet said, looking up
Leo nodded. "Yes, sir."
"Been in and out of hospitals and halfway houses his whole adult life,"
"Then why is it, Leo, that all I can feel right now is hate?"
"What?" Sam asked.
"Huh?" Toby responded distractedly.
"You stopped typing," Sam said. "I was just wondering if everything was okay."
"Yeah," Toby replied. "I was just thinking."
"I'm just sayin'--"
The door to Toby's office opened and Josh came in, eyes red-rimmed. Sam and
Finally Sam broke the silence. "Josh? Is she...?"
Josh nodded slightly. The three men were silent while the news sunk in.
"Of course," Toby said. "Are you--"
"I'm going home," Josh said, then turned and walked out of the office.