Title: Recovery
Author: Brandy
Email: brandyblack@mindspring.com
Archive: If you are so inclined
Fandom: TWW J/S
Rating: CHILD/PG
Feedback: Always appreciated, never required... although it might encourage me to write faster
Disclaimer: I don't own them. I don't make any money off of them. I do enjoy to play, though.
Note: I would love a beta for future chapters. I posted this as is becuase I always think people should know what they are getting into :)


Recovery by Brandy

Josh played the scene over and over again in his mind. What had begun as a triumphant moment for the Bartlet administration had turned to tragedy. In the blink of an eye Josh's world had turned upside down. One minute Josh was envisioning a celebratory drink with the other staff members, watching the CNN coverage while trying to pick out the sound bites before they were shown. Those plans were shattered when the first shots were fired. All he could do was watch helplessly as bullets rained down upon his friends. With all of the bodies flying, it was impossible to see who was hurt and who had simply hit the ground for cover. Less than a minute later it was all over.

Several seconds after the last shot was fired, people hesitantly began to rise. Leo was the first White House staff member on his feet. Leo expertly began walking the chaotic scene, helping people up, surveying the situation, pointing the paramedics to the most serious injuries, and desperately searching for a working cell phone. He needed to call the press, the president, the hospitals, and undoubtedly the families of some innocent victims.

Toby rose next, and found himself next to a young woman who appeared to have little hope of survival. Toby stayed on his knees, offering a coat and a prayer. While there was nothing he could do for the girl, he would not let her die alone.

Scanning the crowd further, Josh found Charlie fidgeting on the ground, as if in serious pain. One look at Charlie's previously white shirt was enough to prove that he had been hit. Just as Josh started to move towards the young presidential aide, the paramedics arrived at Charlie's side. Realizing there was nothing more he could do, Josh promised himself he would return to Charlie as soon as he rounded up the rest of his team.

He still had not seen CJ or Sam and he was beginning to panic. Just seconds before he began calling out their name, Josh saw familiar red hair rising out of the corner of his eye. Turning he saw CJ, who with the help of a secret service agent, was slowly standing. She looked pained and Josh worried. "CJ?" He called as sprinted towards her.

"I'm fine, Josh. Ankle, probably sprained." She called out even before he had reached her.

"Blood, your skirt. Blood." Josh, out of breath from adrenalin more than running, panted.

CJ looked down alarmed. "Not hit." How? She asked herself. A nanosecond later she remembered. "Sam!" She had hit the ground with him. Where was he now?

Josh and CJ saw Sam's still body at the same instant. They both let out a simultaneous gasp of shock and fear.

Josh dropped to his knees and began searching for the wound. "Come on buddy." He begged for any reaction from his best friend. Josh kept telling himself that Sam would be fine. As long as Sam could hear his voice and feel his touch, Sam would keep fighting. He had to.

"You will have to move." A gruff unyielding voice announced. Three paramedics swarmed down on Sam, pushing over Josh in their effort to secure their patient.

"I have to.. I .." Josh stammered as he attempted to work his way back to Sam.

"I am sorry, Mr. Lyman. You will have to stand aside." The paramedics moved Sam onto a backboard and continued to work.

"But." Josh began to protest before feeling a familiar hand come down upon his shoulder.

"You need to let them work, Josh." Leo's voice remained steady. Seeing members of his team hurt, tore Leo up. However, he needed to work for the best interest of the administration. If that involved leaving the paramedics free to work, Leo would hire armed guards to restrain Josh.

"What Does Leo know?" Josh asked himself silently. In reality, Leo knew everything, but it didn't make it any easier. Josh had been covered in Sam' s blood, he had felt Sam's pulse weaken, and he had felt the location of the hole. He knew how serious the situation was. How could he leave Sam alone to fight by himself?

Hours later, sitting in the hospital waiting room Josh asked himself the same question for the thousandth time. What was taking so long? They wouldn't let him into the see Sam. They wouldn't give him any information. Every time he managed to trap a doctor in a corner, Josh was told that it was too soon to tell. All the while, Sam was alone, without friends. How could they allow that to happen? Sure Sam was strong, talented, and brilliant. He always appeared, in the press, as if nothing could touch him. Didn't they know how misleading that image was? Didn't they understand that Sam needed people? Sam needed to be taken care of. He needed somebody to talk to him, to hold his hand. Josh desperately wanted to be the one to give Sam hope.

The rest of the staff had stayed at the accident scene until all of the injured were taken into the hospital. CJ gave a short statement, to the press, while still on the scene. Afterwards the entire group returned to the White House. As far as Josh could tell from the news reports he had been half-heartedly watching since his arrival, only a few of the White House staff had made it to their homes to change. Leo sent Josh to the hospital because there was too much blood on his clothing to be in front of a camera, or so they said. It was probably better that way. He couldn't work. All he could do was think of Sam.

In the hours since Sam had arrived at the Hospital, Josh had only left the waiting room for fifteen minutes to see that Charlie had made it out of surgery intact. The bullet that had lodged in his shoulder was removed. Zoe convinced the Secret Service, the hospital staff and the President of the United States to let her spend the night in his room. Josh had no reason to worry about Charlie. He would be fine; Josh reminded himself thankfully. He had no desire to see somebody so young, so bright, and so full of life gunned down before ever really getting the chance to live. However, he couldn't stop thinking of the possibilities that Sam might not be as lucky.

"You can't think like that." Josh reprimanded himself out loud.

"Rough night?" Came a tired but slightly amused voice from the doorway.

Josh looked up a little relived to find Leo standing in front of him. "I thought maybe I had started answering myself." Josh managed a pained half smile.

"Not yet." Leo smirked. He handed Josh a garment bag and sat down in the chair across from him. "I thought you could use a fresh change of clothes."

"So could you." Josh noticed stains on the tie that were more than likely blood.

"Yeah, I guess. Margaret doesn't keep a change of clothes for me. You will have to get Donna to talk to her about that." The light conversation was strained but it was all they could do to stay sane. "Mrs. Landingham sent a cookie, but I ate it on the way over."

Josh nodded. "Thank her anyway." He was about to crawl out of his skin and even though he relished the idea of getting out of his blood stained clothes he couldn't bring himself to leave without talking to the doctor first.

Before the conversation could continue a weary eyed doctor appeared in the doorway. "Is one of you Josh Lyman?"

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