Title: Aftermath
Author: Penemuel uvalpha@ix.netcom.com
Archive: Yes to list archive
Pairing: Josh/Sam
Rating: PG-13 (violence, language, and references to same-sex relationships)
Disclaimer: This is just for entertainment purposes and is not intended to infringe on the copyrights held by the owners, writers, or distributors of the show. Summary: Incomplete story of my version of 'who's been hit'.
Author's Notes: (when I first started writing it): I have no idea who's really going to be hit, if anyone, but we all know why we write this stuff...Also, I'm taking artistic license with the way things happened with Sam & CJ. Believe it or not, even after slo-mo'ing through the scene two or three times, *this* is how I remembered it. Then I watched it after writing some, and thought, 'oh...' So, you get my subconscious' version of the scene instead. This is a partial, first draft, never beta'ed, and is even missing some character names later on in the hospital scenes. Sorry! If you want to archive it, it's okay, but please make note somewhere that it's partial & unedited? Thanx!

[And now, after seeing 'Shadow', I *know* this will never get finished -- It was pretty much dead in the water most of the summer, and would definitely be an AU now... Eh. If someone wants to play with it, go ahead. If you do, let me know and I can give you notes on the other characters in the hospital part -- can tell you right now, I've got Chris Judge (Teal'c on Stargate SG-1) cast as Terry; the doctor is CCH Pounder, and Jayne is a butch Angela Bassett. Haven't figured out who her girlfriend is yet, but I'm leaning towards the actress who played Laurel Takashima in B5 and whose name I'm blanking on...]

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Aftermath by Penemuel

Josh Lyman stared in horror at the carnage being wrought before his eyes, people screaming and diving for cover as bullets rained down from above. Somehow he had become separated from the rest of the White House group, now trapped behind the barricade as all hell broke loose. It put him out of harm's reach, but he didn't want to be safe -- those were his *friends* in deadly danger!

He breathed a sigh of relief as he saw the Secret Service men practically pick POTUS up and throw him into the limousine -- at least that worry was out of the way! But the others -- oh God, he couldn't tell what was going on in all of the chaos. Leo was down with a Secret Service man covering him -- was he down because he'd been pushed out of the way, or had he been hit? He couldn't see Charlie, Zoey, or Gina -- perhaps the young agent had managed to get them out of danger; he knew the President would never forgive himself if something happened to his daughter after he had insisted she attend the event...

And Toby -- where was Toby? There was a small cluster of people off to his right, away from the center of the action and gathered around someone on the ground near the barricade -- was that Toby? Had he been hit, or was he making himself as small a target as possible?

And then the worst -- right in the center of the chaos; ground zero. CJ and Sam -- except that Sam started to push CJ down until one of the Secret Service men came out of nowhere, pushing CJ down and out of the way, with Sam slowly following.

Taking far too long to get out of the way; staying in view in that suit with the bright white shirt.

A perfect target.

Oh God.

"Saaaaaaaaaaaam!" he screamed, grasping the bars of the barricade hard enough to make his hands hurt. _Get down get down get down get down!_ he thought desperately as Sam continued to stand. Josh could imagine the look on his sweet face, those gorgeous eyes wide; the 'deer in the headlights' expression... Another round of shots rang out, and he could see Sam jerk suddenly, see crimson blossom on the expensive suit...

"NOOOOOOO!!!" Sam stood for a moment longer, as if stunned by what had happened, then dropped to the ground like a stone.

"Oh God -- SAM!" he screamed, realizing that the worst had indeed happened -- *Sam* had been shot. Somehow, he was over the barricade, running; running right into the thick of things, his own safety be damned. Even as part of him realized the SWAT team and Secret Service personnel had arrived at the room the shooters were in, he ran out into potential danger; the only thing in his mind the fact that *Sam* was in terrible danger. He shoved aside the agents and police who tried to restrain him, adrenaline giving him the strength to push men much larger than himself out of the way. He skidded to a stop where Sam lay, those beautiful eyes wide staring blankly at the sky; dropped to his knees beside him and pulled him into his lap.

Pressing the heel of his hand into the wound in Sam's chest, he looked out into the milling crowd of people and screamed, "Someone call an ambulance, he's been hit!!" then curled down over Sam protectively, in case any more bullets rained down on them...

"Sir," someone said, pulling at his shoulder, "Sir, you're going to have to let us in here to do our jobs..." a tense EMT said, trying to separate Josh from Sam's limp form. "We can't save him if you don't let us get to him!"

"Sam..." Josh murmured, realizing time must have passed -- the panic was over and there were police everywhere -- and ambulances... He looked up from Sam, ignoring the blood all over his hand and suit, realizing the ambulance personnel were trying to get to the injured man. "He was shot -- right here, he was shot..." he explained, beginning to move his hand away from the wound. Sam jerked in pain and blood began to well in the wound. "Shit!"

"Okay, Sir, why don't you keep pressure on that wound for a minute, okay?" one of the EMT's said as another hurriedly opened a sterile IV package and prepared a bag of fluids. "How long ago was he shot?"

"Huh? What?" Josh asked, looking back down at Sam, realizing those were his own tears that streaked the beautiful face... "I don't know -- everything happened at once..."

"Okay, line's in -- we've got to transport him now before he loses any more blood," the other EMT said, looking over at his leader. She studied Josh for a long moment, then nodded. "Sir, we've got to get him to the hospital NOW -- you can ride along if that's what you want, but we've *got* to move..."

Josh moved his hand, letting the EMT get to the wound as they loaded Sam onto a gurney and into the ambulance, then he climbed up and sat on the bench across from Sam's bed, staring at him numbly. "Don't let him die -- please!" he begged, looking up at the woman as she checked vitals and packed the wound with gauze. Josh realized that sometime during the brief discussion, she had already rolled Sam partially onto his side and packed the wound in his back -- realized that they had cut away his suit and shirt with scissors. "He's not going to like having that suit ruined," he murmured, thinking that he sounded just the slightest bit strange, even to himself...

He coughed, jerking his head away from the burn of the ammonia capsule that had been snapped under his nose. "Oh *God*, what is that?!" Coughing again, trying to sit up before he realized he lay on a gurney in the emergency room. "What? Where am I -- what happened? *Where's Sam?!*" he asked, grabbing at the hand that held the ammonia capsule. "What the hell am I doing in this bed -- I didn't get shot!"

"You passed out, Sir, you were in shock..." He recognized the woman as the EMT who had tended Sam at the shooting; realized that for some odd reason she had tagged along with her charges instead of dumping them at the ER and heading out for the next dispatch.

"What happened? Why did you -- oh God -- please tell me he's not--"

"Ssh, it's okay. The police and Secret Service told us all to stay with you -- they want to get statements from everyone. The doctors are with him now, Sir, don't worry, they'll do their best..." She smiled down at him and said, "Since I'm stuck with you for a while, how 'bout you tell me your name? I'm Jayne, my driver is Terry -- and your lover is Sam, from what I could tell."

Josh choked, sitting up much faster than he should have and grabbing onto the edge of the gurney as his head spun. "My -- lover? Uh... *shit*," he whispered, "What on earth did I say?!"

"Uh -- I'm sorry, I must have jumped to the wrong conclusion, Sir -- I apologize..." Jayne said, watching his reaction carefully. She wasn't sure if the sudden paleness had come from the shock, or her assumption...

"No, that's okay," Josh said softly, looking around to see who was nearby. No one he recognized, and no one who seemed to be a member of the press -- that was a relief! "He's -- uh...he's my friend. Sam, my friend. I'm Josh."

"Josh -- pleased to meet you, sorry it's under these circumstances. How do you feel?" Jayne asked, continuing to watch him, aware that he still seemed uncomfortable, and even a little nervous now.

"I'd feel a lot better if I knew how Sam was. Uhm -- can you tell me if anyone else was shot?"

"I don't know -- but I can try to find out. IF you promise not to go anywhere on your own -- don't need you collapsing and someone sueing my ass, okay?"

"Yeah, yeah -- thanks..." Josh said absently, patting his pockets for his cell phone. "Hey -- do you have my phone?"

"Here, Josh," she said, wheeling a small table over to the gurney. On it sat the contents of his pockets, and a bag with a tape label identifying it as Sam's belongings.

He picked up his phone and asked, "Hey, can I use this in here? I need to find out what's going on..."

Jayne nodded, then headed back towards the trauma rooms in search of information on Sam. Josh shivered as he looked at the floor, saw streaks and drops of blood -- forced himself to think that they were obviously in an urban hospital and they weren't the only wounded there -- the blood could be anyone's... He was avoiding thinking about the blood all over his suit that he already knew was Sam's.

He hit a number on his speed-dial -- number two, since he already knew number one wouldn't be able to answer. After 6 rings, he disconnected and went on to number three, and after that number 4. By the time he had gone through all of his choices, Jayne was back at his side with a cup of water. "No one's answering..."

"The ones who weren't there have probably all seen the news and are on the way here or too stunned to answer," she said, trying to reassure him. "I'm sorry -- I don't know if anyone else was hit -- I can tell you that there are two trauma rooms that have guards all over them, but that could be someone else from your group, OR, it could be the shooters. They aren't going to want something to happen to them before they have a chance to question them."

"I've got to find out how everyone else is -- you understand, don't you? It's important..." Josh said, looking down the corridor towards the guarded rooms. Suddenly, his phone rang, startling him so badly he jumped and nearly dropped it. Recovering by the second ring, he answered, "Josh Lyman." After a long pause, he frowned and said, "I'm sorry, Sir... How's Zoey?" There was another long pause, during which Jayne saw him blink back tears, then he asked, "Can I talk to CJ? I tried to call, but there was-- yes, Sir, I know. I saw it happen... He pushed her out of the way..." He paused again, choking back tears now, trying to force the words out. "He's here in the hospital -- they're working on him right now... I don't know -- his blood's all over my suit..."

He sniffled and cleared his throat, then said, "Yes, Mr. President, they're good doctors. I think-- I think I'll stay here until I know how things went. I'll call Leo and tell him I won't be -- No, Sir, you don't have to do-- thank you, Sir..." He swallowed hard, then hung up. "Uh...that was my boss...Well, my boss' boss. His -- his daughter's boyfriend is in the other room -- Secret Service got to him a second too late. They think he was one of the main targets..."

"The good looking young black man?" Jayne asked. When Josh nodded, she frowned and said, "Guess they don't like one of us dating someone important like the President's daughter, huh?"

"None of their business who she dates," Josh said softly, "None of their business at all." He took a deep, shaky breath, thinking, _Wouldn't it be nice if that really was the way it worked..._ then blew out hard. "Damn..." He looked back down the corridor, just in time to see the doors of one of the trauma rooms burst open and doctors, nurses, residents -- whoever they were, hustle a gurney out of the room and towards one of the elevators. One of the nurses held up a bag of blood and a nearly empty saline IV bag, and the scrubs and gloves in sight were much bloodier than he wanted to see.

"What's going on? Where are they taking him?" he asked nervously, turning to look at Jayne.

"They're taking him up to the OR -- must have gotten him stabilized enough to move," she explained, concerned by Josh's paleness.

"No, they didn't," Josh said, "I've seen 'ER' -- they don't run like that when someone's stable..." He swallowed hard and said, "Where was he hit?"

Jayne frowned slightly, since she knew Josh had been putting pressure on the wound himself -- was he really still that shocky? "Judging from the angle of the entrance and exit, the bullet went into the upper lobe of his lung and exited further down -- there could be damage to some of the other organs, depending on how much further down; massive blood loss, and potential damage from broken ribs or bone splinters if the bullet hit any of them. I'm afraid the chance of the bullet going straight through without damaging anything else is very slim -- that's the problem when the shooter is up a couple of floors..."

"God, please don't let him die..." Josh murmured, starting to scoop up his belongings and return them to their proper places. "I -- I've got to go find out where they took him..."

"Whoa!" Jayne said, grabbing his arm before he could try to stand, "I'm not sure that's such a good idea." She spotted her partner returning from restocking their rig and waved him over. "Terry, make sure Mr. Lyman here doesn't go anywhere, I'm going to get a doc to take a quick look at him -- and call <name> and tell her I'm gonna be home late."

"You da boss," Terry said, smiling at Jayne for a split second before he turned his attention to Josh. "Mr. Lyman, when was the last time you ate? Jayne's right, you don't look too good..."

"My best friend's been shot, of course I don't look good," Josh blustered, making another attempt at standing until his head spun and he sagged back against the gurney. "Oh..."

"You just lie back down, Mr. Lyman," Terry said quietly as he nearly picked Josh up and placed him back on the gurney. "There's nothing you can do for your friend right now, anyway. He's heading up to the OR, so you won't be able to see him until the surgeons are done. You need to rest and we need to get you warmed up and out of shock, okay?"

His head swimming, now, Josh nodded carefully and murmured, "Okay, you win...But if there's *any* news..."

"Don't worry, we'll tell you," Terry reassured him, looking around to see if Jayne was returning with a doctor. A few moments later one of the police approached them, but when he got a good look at Josh, he motioned Terry aside.

"He's one of the White House staff -- is he injured?" the officer asked quietly. "No, but one of the gsw victims is his friend -- he's shocky. Jaynie's getting a doc to look at him. Can you question him later -- he's not at his best right now..."

"Yeah, we can come back when he's not distracted -- what's the word on his friend?"

"I don't know -- heard Jaynie saying the bullet hit his lung, but beyond that, I don't know. I was driving the rig..." Terry frowned, then asked, "Did you guys get them?"

"They're being questioned right now -- lots of facist bullshit; white supremacist, anti-jewish, anti-black, anti-gay, you know the type," the officer answered quietly.

"All too well, my man..."

"Terrence Mitchell, you let that man get back to his work," an older black woman in doctor's scrubs said as she strode over to the gurney. "Did you get your supplies?"

"Yes, Ma'am," Terry answered as he smiled slightly and nodded when the officer walked off. "Jaynie get you to look at Mr. Lyman here?"

"Yes, while she calls <name> and calms her down. The shooting's been all over the news..." She looked down at Josh and asked, "Mr. Lyman, I understand you're having a little problem with your equilibrium?"

"I need to know how Sam is," Josh murmured, trying to sit up again until the doctor planted a hand in the middle of his chest and held him down. Her strength -- or was it his weakness? -- disturbed him.

"Mr. Seaborn is in surgery at the moment to repair the damage. The bullet deflected off a rib, breaking it as it did so, and entered the upper right lobe of his lung. He's lost a lot of blood, and the bullet and bone splinters did some damage to the major blood vessels on its way out. But, he's in good hands now. So," she added, eyeing him fiercely, "you will stop worrying about him for the time being and let me get a good look at you." She pulled out a penlight and checked his pupils, then said, "I'm Dr. <name>, and I don't take shit from anyone, no matter how important they are, you got me?"

Her smile and joking tone made it through the haze in his mind and he realized she was trying to cheer him up. He smiled weakly and said, "Yes, Doctor."

"Good. If you don't behave, I'll have Terry hold you down." Josh looked over at the ambulance driver and waved weakly, quickly estimating him at over six feet tall and two hundred pounds, all of it muscle. Terry, of course, smiled back.

"I'll be good," Josh answered, not about to tussle with a guy built like one of the Redskins.

Dr. <> checked his vitals and nodded. "Looks like shock to me, Mr. Lyman. You need to lie down and take it easy, see if we can get your pressure back up to normal."

"But I--" Josh tried to protest, until Terry took a step closer. "How long?" "Shock is nothing to mess around with, Mr. Lyman," Dr. <> said. "Since you're uninjured, you should recover fairly quickly, IF you lie there and rest. Basically, there isn't enough blood getting to where it needs to be -- if you were injured and losing blood, it could kill you. As it is, you could easily lose consciousness and hurt yourself, and then where would you be when Mr. Seaborn needs you to help him?" She smiled again and said, "He's going to be in surgery for a while, yet; it'll be okay if you rest for a while, you're not going to miss anything."

Josh nodded finally, accepting the logic of her argument; relaxed as much as he could and accepted the blanket she pulled up to his chin. He just wished he had had a chance to talk to Sam about their relationship recently -- they had come to some kind of unspoken agreement to back off, and he strongly suspected that Sam had done it to protect him. Now, coming so close to losing Sam, Josh knew he had his priorities seriously skewed...

"Now, Mr. Lyman, you will rest, and try to relax. As soon as we hear something, we'll tell you, okay?" Dr. <> said. He nodded, making a conscious effort to relax and realizing exactly how tense he had been. "Terry or Jayne will be monitoring your vitals -- you're not leaving the ER until you're out of shock, understand?"

"Yes, Ma'am," Josh said quietly, smiling weakly as Terry smiled at him again. "Did the cops want to talk to me?"

"Yes, but they can wait," Dr. <> said authoritatively. "And if they have any problems with that, they can talk to me..."

Josh realized that Jayne had rejoined them and that she and Terry were having a quiet discussion about something -- perhaps the friend that Jayne had gone to call. He could understand how concerned someone could be after seeing what had most likely been a very disturbing 'special report'. Part of him idly wondered what show they had interrupted, and whether the viewers were annoyed or sympathetic...

Back to the Big Block of Cheese Main Page