Title: Courage: It couldn't come at a worse time
Author: Jess Another Unofficial
Category: General w/Jed and Abbey and a little, little CJ/Josh ref.
Spoilers: A small reference to 17 people and ITSOTG I&II
Disclaimer: The Characters belong to the West Wing and it's
creators. They belong to Warner Bros., Aaron Sorkin,
and other rich Hollywoold people. No copyright
infringement is intended. The title belongs to The
Tragically Hip.
Summary: The wrong place at the wrong time.
Rated: Probably mature a few made words but nothing not said at
home. Serious discussions.

Now for the feature presentation..........

"Hey Spanky one, two and three." CJ stood in the doorway of
Toby's office where Josh, Toby and Sam were going over the

"I think I agree with Leo." Sam gestured for her to take a seat on
the couch.

"What's that?" Josh inquired.

"She needs a bell." Toby answered.

"What is this the Three Musketeers?" CJ smiled. "No wait,
perfect, I got it. The Three Stooges. Sam is Moe, Josh is Larry and
Toby is Curly."

"Listen to this CJ." Sam read a few one-liners from the speech.

"That's good, for only a few days of writing." She laughed, "The
only thing that could save you now is if you three became the
Stooges." She smiled. "By the way I talked to Abbey she's coming
to the Correspondents Dinner. See ya." CJ left the three men.

"You know what Sam?" Josh moaned.


"We still need the funny."


"Oh well, Toby, Sam see ya later." Josh picked up his coat and ran
after CJ. "CJ!" Josh caught up next to her.

"Well if it isn't Spanky two."

"Listen CJ, I was wondering if I could -- you know--"

"If you could escort me to the dinner?"

"Hey I applaud the thought, but that wasn't what I was thinking."
Josh laughed. "No, could I lead you to your table?"

"Sure." She smiled at his childish remark.

"Alright then. Tomorrow night."

"This isn't a date right?"

"No, no, no, no,-- right?"

The next day
"What do you think CJ?" Abbey was standing in the residence

"Abbey you look wonderful." She watched as Abbey turned for
her. "What do you think?" CJ did the same for Abbey.

"Stunning." Abbey smiled, "So?"

"So?" CJ mocked Abbey, unsure of what she was trying to start.


"Oh yeah, it's just a friendship thing."


"Yes Abbey, really. The President warned us about you liking to
fix people up." CJ laughed.

"You know him. He likes to be prepared." Abbey laughed at the
thought of the President telling his staff that his wife wants to
make couples out of them all.
Leo, Jed, Toby, Sam and Josh were gathered in the Oval Office.

"Leo I can't get this---(groan) damn."

"Here Mr. President let me do it." Leo stepped forward, reached
out and helped tie the white bow tie. "There."

Sam spoke up, "You know sir, you would think somewhere
between learning all the national capitals of the world and
becoming President, you would learn to tie a bow tie."

"Sam, you know --"

"Yes sir I know, Yemen."

"That's right." Jed put his coat on with the long tails. "Toby, Sam,
shall we?"

"Yes Mr. President."

"Yes sir."

"Leo, Josh, see ya at the party." Jed walked out of the Oval Office
surrounded by secret service agents.

"Well Josh should we go and get the girls."

"Yeah." Josh followed Leo out the back to the residence. "I never
did this before."

"Date CJ?"

"No, no, not CJ. I mean I never dated CJ, this isn't a date. What
I'm trying to say is this." He gestured to their surroundings. "The
back way to the residence. I feel like a secret government agent."
He made his hands into a gun and moved in and out of the pillars.

"You better be careful or you are going to get shot by a secret
government agent."

"I'll duck."

"You should've last time." Leo stopped in front of the door to the
residence. "Behave yourself." Josh gave him a solider salute. Leo
knocked on the door. "I'm not kidding."

"Good evening Leo." Abbey answered the door.

Both Josh and Leo stood in awe at Abbey. She was dressed in a
beautiful midnight blue gown. Josh was the first to speak, "Wow."
Leo gave him a nudge in the side

"May I say Mrs. Bartlet you are absolutely stunning." Josh stepped

"Thank you Josh."

"What about me Josh?" CJ appeared in the doorway.

"CJ-wow-I mean, wow." Josh stared at CJ. She was wearing a long
silk pale green gown, that was sleeveless with a collar and
matching shawl.

"Put your tongue in your mouth Josh." Leo gave Josh another
nudge. "All this beauty is getting to him."

"Hey a man can only take so much." Josh smiled at the two
beautiful women.

CJ and Abbey chuckled. Leo reached for Abbey's arm, "Well First
Lady Bartlet, your husband awaits."

Abbey hooked her arm around Leo's, "Chief of Staff McGarry."

Josh took a step near CJ, he whispered in her ear, "Lets play too."
More loudly he added, "Press Secretary Cregg, your limo awaits."

CJ smiled, "Deputy Chief of Staff Lyman."

"We need to abbreviate that."
Abbey and Leo, and CJ and Josh arrived at the back entrance of
the hotel where President Bartlet's staff were preparing for the
Correspondents Dinner Address. The limo pulled to a stop and two
Secret Service agents opened the doors. Josh stepped out first and
helped CJ out, Leo came out next and aided the First Lady out of
the Limo. CJ smoothed her dress out while the First Lady tucked
her hair behind her ear.

Sam walked over. "Mrs. Bartlet your husband is suppose to be
seated, so I'm guessing he is standing somewhere creating small
talk. Toby, Josh, CJ, Leo and myself will be seated with you and
your husband for a change, since there is no guest of honour."

"My husband probably is happy."

"Yeah he kept saying something about the `fun table.'" Sam
gestured them to follow him and Toby. As they were walking Sam
instructed them on what will happen. "Mrs. Bartlet as you know it
is customary for you to do the `toast' as well as `Grace'."

"You have a toast written out for me?"

"Yeah, here." Toby took a small sheet out of his folder.

"Next, we will have dinner. After dessert the President is going to
give his address. After that, they will start the dancing, at that point
we leave."

"How come we can't stay for the dance?" CJ asked.

"Because it is difficult for the Secret Service to observe everything
that is going on and it is unsafe for the President and First Lady.
You, CJ, have to give a press briefing, after which you are free to
return to the party. Leo and Josh can stay, but I'm can guessing
they aren't. Toby and I have to prepare a press briefing for you to

"Okay that settles it." CJ, gripped onto Josh's arm a little tighter as
they entered the dinning room.

Everyone in the room slowed down to an uncomfortable pace as
the First Lady and Chief of Staff entered. "Well Leo we sure know
how to draw attention."

"You're telling me."

Jed was seated at a small table discussing the first President
Bartlett. He stopped at the sight of his wife, she was beautiful. He
joined her at their table.

"Mr. President."

"Leo." They shook hands, Jed kissed his wife on the cheek and
pulled out a chair for her. "You're beautiful Abbey."

"You're looking handsome there yourself. White tie, and tails,
you're giving me goose bumps."

"Keep that taught until later." Jed gave her a devilish grin.

Leo pulled out a chair for himself next the President. Sam sat next
to Leo, and Toby next to Sam. Josh pulled out a chair for CJ, and
took a seat for himself between CJ and the First Lady.

Abbey did a wonderful job saying `toast' and `Grace' before
dinner was served.

"Oh boy prime rib." Jed rubbed his hands together excitedly.

"Take it easy Jed."

"I'm eating prime rib."

"And tomorrow it will be a salad."

"You know how to suck the fun out of everything." He made a
sucking sound as he gestured pulling something out of the air.

"Eat your squash." Abbey turned to Josh. "So how is it going?"

"How is `what' going?" Josh answered trying to look dumbfound.

"Your thing with CJ?"

"My `thing' with CJ?"

"Are you going to play dumb?"

" `Dumb' Ma'am?"

"You've been around my husband to long." Abbey sighed and
turned away from him.

Josh leaned over and whispered into her ear. "From the Brightest
and Best."

The President, First Lady and his staff's occupied themselves with
small talk while they ate. The basic stuff for them, politics. CJ
announced the President as he stood. The speech was a big
success, it had everyone laughing, even Toby.

".....God bless you and God bless America." President Bartlet
finished his speech. The audience was standing while applauding.
Abbey stood and the President gave her a kiss, causing the crowd
to clap louder.

Once the applause had muffled and became quiet CJ stood,
"Thank you ladies and gentlemen. On behalf of President Bartlet,
First Lady Bartlet, myself and the rest of the President's staff I
would like to thank you. Now, you are free to move about the
room and the room next door is open to dancing. President
Bartlet, Mrs. Bartlet and the rest of us are returning to the White
House, because after all the country doesn't run itself. We all
enjoyed your company, we hope you enjoyed ours, have a safe trip

The crowd stood and applauded the President as he and his wife
were lead out the back door towards the basement. Sam, Josh, CJ,
Leo and Toby were ahead of them, discussing the speech as they
returned to the awaiting limos.

"That was awesome Toby." Josh gave him a pat on the back.

"Calm down Josh."

"It was old school."

"Josh." Toby rolled his eyes.

Josh turned around and walked near the President, "That was great
sir. You had'em there, in the palm of your hand."

"Thank you Josh."

"And Mrs. Bartlet, your husband is da'man."

"Thanks Josh."

Toby, Sam, Leo and CJ slowed down for the President. CJ was
discussing dinner with Josh to Abbey. Sam was congratulating
Toby. The President stopped and put his hand in his pocket. He
was searching for something.

"Lose something sir?"

"Yeah Josh, my glasses."

"Hey guys hold up a second." Josh yelled ahead to the group. They
were just about to turn the corner when they stopped to wait for the
President. Leo walked back to the President to see what was
keeping him.

"Hey you hear that?"

"Hear what sir?" Josh strained his ears to hear. "No I don't hear

"Me neither sir." Leo added.

"Hey guys you hear anything?" He gestured to the two Secret
Service agents behind him.

One agent nodded and exchanged glances with the other agent.
The first agent spoke into his wrist while the other pinpointed the
exact location of the noise. He opened up a small vent in the wall.
The odor that came out caused all five of them to turn there heads.

"Gas leak in the basement. Corridor 14." The two agents grabbed
the President, his Chief of Staff and the Deputy Chief of Staff. "sir
lets go. Go, go, go ,go." The agents at the end of the hallway near
the senior staff, grabbed on to them to lead them out of the

Then it happened. It was simple, the furnace turned on. The
explosion was deafening. The agents and the staff all scrambled to
safety. Two of them diving on to the President or his wife. The
lights flickered. Nothing but a haze of smoke and dust filled the
Toby, Sam, CJ and Abbey started to pick themselves up off the
ground. The agents surrounding them were checking them over to
make sure they were secure. Other than a few cuts and bruises the
staff and First Lady seemed to be fine. The dust was starting to

"Mrs. Bartlet we are going to see if the exit is secure." An agent
approached Abbey.

"Alright." She noticed some agents running to the corner were they
had last seen the President. "Oh, God. JED!" She followed the
agents to her husband.

"Oh shit." Toby ran after her, followed by a horrified CJ and Sam.

Two agents were pulling away the two dead agents on top of the
President, Josh and the Chief of Staff.

"Oh, God." CJ buried her face into Sam's shoulder. Toby turned
his head away from the scene.

The two agents who had piled themselves onto their friends to save
their lives weren't even recognizable.

Josh started to sit up. Toby noticed him move and rushed to his
side, "You Alright?"

"Yeah I think so." He looked around at the scene played out before
him. "What the hell happened?"

"I don't know. Can you stand?"

"Yeah." Josh began to gather himself up. Toby stood next to him
in case he need his support, but Josh seemed fine other than the cut
on his shoulder, but it only seemed skin deep. "Oh, God. Are they
okay?" He gestured to Leo and the President.

Abbey kneeled down next to her husband, "Jed?" She placed her
hand around his neck, there was a pulse. She put her hand on his
chest, he was breathing. "Jed?" She tried again, this time a little
louder. His eyes fluttered open, but he closed them quickly. "Jed,
honey open your eyes." He slowly opened them. "That's it." She
could see the pain in his eyes, and it was enough to break her heart.
"Can you tell me where it hurts?"

"My head." She felt around and could feel the large abrasion on
the back of his head. "How is Leo?"

She looked over her shoulder at the two agents working on Leo.
They had him sitting so she figured that was a good sign. "He's
fine honey. Toby come here for a second." Toby knelt down next
to the Presidents head. "Honey I want you to lay still, I want to
check you over first before you move." She waited for him to
acknowledge the request. "Don't nod sweetie. If you don't want to
talk just squeeze my hand." She placed her fingers in his palm as
his fingers closed in around them. "Toby I want you to hold his
head straight." She took his hands in her own and placed them
around her husbands head. "Sam?"


"I need you to help me." He got on his knees next to her. "You're
going to help me role him on to his side away from us." He
nodded. "Okay you grab his legs. On the count of three. One, two,

The three of them held the President on his right side so Abbey
could better access the lesion on the back of his head. "It doesn't
look back. It just broke the skin, the pain is probably from the
swelling. Honey you tell me if I'm hurting you."


"Does anybody have scissors?"

"Here." Toby pulled a Swiss army knife out of his pocket. She
ripped the back of his coat and shirt open so she could get a good
look at his back. "It looks like you hit the ground rather hard, you
have a major bruise on your back. This is probably going to hurt."
She applied some pressure to the bruise by pushing with her
fingers hard.

"Jesus Christ, shit that hurts." The President was screaming at his

"I had to feel for internal bleeding, which as far as I can tell it
isn't." She looked at Sam and Toby, the looks on their faces were
heart breaking. They were watching the most powerful man in the
world screaming in pain.

"Everything alright Abbey?"

"Yeah, Leo you okay?"

"I think so."

She turned to him as he was struggling to stand up, "Leo stay
seated for now. You might have a concussion from the fall."

"I think that is a good idea." He gave up and sat back down. CJ sat
next to him so he could rest up against her. Josh was talking to
him, to keep him coherent.

"Ma'am the hallway caved in. They know we are trapped, and they
are sending a unit down here to rescue us. They say it might take
an hour, because of the cave in." The agent informed Abbey.

"Alright. There isn't any other way out?"

"No, Ma'am this is the closest exit. From were the debris ends and
the exit it is only about twenty feet. To go out the other way is
about four hundred feet."

"Oh I see. So what do we do now?"

"We are going to keep the area secure, try to keep cave inns to a
minimum. We are to keep the President, yourself, and the staff
safe until the unit arrives. Right now we are going to search the
area for fires, other injuries, weak spots, and other possible
hazards." The agent signaled for the others to go ahead. He took
post against the wall about 10 feet down to stay out of the way.

Abbey turned her attention back to her husband, "Jed?" He slowly
opened he eyes. "You have to keep your eyes open. I'm almost
finished, then we can put lay you on your back." She continued
down he side and noticed the unusual look of his side. "I think you
may have broke a rib. Does it hurt when you breath in?"


"You should've told me, I would have been more careful."

"I didn't want to worry you," He smiled wryly.

"Jed. I'm serious when I say this. You have to tell me where it
hurts. Is there any other place?"

"My left leg."

"Okay Sam, Toby lets get him on his back. On the count of three
we are going to carefully ease him on his back. One, two, three."
Jed tensed up as they eased him on his back, "Jed relax. That is
going to put strain on your ribs." She slid down to his left leg, Sam
quickly moved out of her way and joined Toby. She picked his leg
up and tried to bend his knee. All she got was another cry of pain.
She carefully rolled up the black tux pants. "Christ....."

"Abbey. What is it?"

Sam moved over to Abbey to see what had caused her reaction.
"Oh God...." Sam turned away.

"Sam what the hell is going on?"

"Jed, you didn't break your leg from the fall."

"What happened then?"

"A piece of metal has lodged itself deep into your knee. I don't
even think it is broken. The reason you can't bend it is probably
because it is so swollen. Sam give me your coat" Abbey cut a strip
of the tux away with the knife and wrapped it around his knee.

"What's next?"

"Well Jed by the sound of things we are going to be stuck here for
a bit." Abbey glanced at Toby, "Do you think you can hold your
head still by yourself?"


Toby released his grip on the side of his head. He paused with his
hands a few inches from their previous position to make sure he
was alright.

"Toby can you sit with him for a second. I'm going to check on
Leo and Josh."

"Yeah sure." Toby shifted his body so the President could see him.
"I guess they found the funny."

"Yeah. They sure had enough time with you not there terrorizing

"Yeah." Toby chuckled.

"Bartlet to the rescue. I guess you found yourself a new sparing
partner. What did you wear Josh and Sam out?"

"Listen sir about that --."

"Don't worry about it Toby." Jed moved his hand and reach out for
Toby's. Toby hesitated for a second but gripped Jed Bartlet's hand

Abbey sat on the ground next to Leo, Josh and CJ. "How you guys
holding up?"

"Not too bad Abbey. Leo says he has a major headache. Probably
from Josh talking his ear off."

"Right now talking Leo's ear off is the best thing you can do. How
ya doing Leo?"

"Not too bad. I have a major headache, and it's not from your
husband." Leo looked Abbey in the eye with a serious expression.
"How is Jed?"

"Jed isn't doing to bad. He broke a few ribs, he has a nasty bump
on his head, and a large bruise on his back. That's not what I'm
worried about. I'm worried about his knee. He has a chunk of
metal impelled deep in his knee, and I think it might get infected."

Leo looked at CJ and Josh. "Could you excuse us for a second?"
CJ and Josh went over to Sam, Toby and the President. "There is
something else. What's wrong?"

"I'm worried about a neck injury. There is a large bump on the
back of his head near the top. A bump there usually indicates that
head landed head first, which puts him at risk for a neck injury. It
could be from the agents tackling him, but it is too large, so I'm
guessing the explosion launched him airborne."

"Jesus, but he will be alright?"

"If we can get him out soon enough. Which looks like it may be
difficult and long."

Leo glanced at the President and Toby as they both started to
laugh. "Lets go see what's so funny."

"You sure you're up to it?"

"Yeah give me a hand."

Abbey waved Sam over to help Leo. Sam grabbed one arm and
Abbey the other. They both helped him over to the small group
gathered around the President.

"You're kidding me. Josh I can't believe you wore a bra!"

"sir, I was drunk." He stopped at stared at the laughing group, "For
some reason I don't think we should be sharing these stories with

"Oh come on Josh. Everyone has done stupid things." Abbey told

"Except for me." The President smiled.

"You have got to be kidding Jed. You have done so many stupid
things. Lets see: You were once reading a book and walked into a
pole, you drove your car through the garage door, drove your
bicycle into a tree, stapled your sleeve to the wall, glued your hand
to the table, glued your hand to a cup, glued your hand to paper,
glued your finger to a model and don't ask me how you managed
to glue your head to the floor." Abbey was in tears laughing by the
time she finished. Josh, Sam, CJ, Toby and Leo were laughing
hysterically at the President's face.

They all needed a good laugh. They finally started to control
themselves when they noticed Abbey was still crying. She was
quickly wiping the tears away so no one would notice. Jed reached
his hand out, she quickly took hold of it. "Guys do you mind
leaving me and my wife alone for a second?"

"Yeah sure Mr. President." Toby helped CJ to her feet. Sam and
Josh grabbed a hold of Leo and helped him along.

One of the agents followed them around the corner. When they
were finally out of sight, Jed looked at his wife. "What's wrong?"

"Jed I'm scarred."

"I know I am too, but everything will be alright."

"I hope so."

"Abbey is there something your not telling me?"

Abbey sniffled in a cry, she wanted to be brave for her husband. At
the same time she was deathly scarred. "I'm worried about your
neck. That bump on the back of your head indicates that you fell
directly on top of your head and that can cause a neck injury."
Abbey started to cry.

"I thought it was a concussion."

"You have a concussion but surprisingly it isn't that bad. You're
not vomiting, and your pupils seem equally dilated and respond to

"That's good?"


"Don't worry I won't let anything happen to us and the staff. I love

"Oh Jed. I love you too, but you can't control everything." She
bent down and kissed him. "How you feeling? Be honest."

"I'm tired and my leg is getting to be really painful."

"I can't let you sleep because there is a possibility you have a mild
concussion. I don't have anything for the pain."

An agent approached Abbey, "Ma'am the fire crew has found
small hole for us to go through. They want to know the seriousness
of the injuries to know how to get us out safely."

"Can I talk to them?"

"Yes. Hold on a second Ma'am." The agent talked into his mike
then pulled the speaker out of his ear and put it on the First Lady.
"The line is direct to the fire Chief, you can talk through the
cufflink on my wrist." He stretched his arm out in front of her face.

"This is the First Lady."

"Ma'am this is Fire Chief Casey, I need to know the extend of the
injuries so I can get them out safely."

"Most injuries are rather mild, a few minor burns, bruises, and
cuts. One of them has a concussion he is a little uneasy on his feet.
The problem is the President, he has a mild concussion, broken
ribs, a large abrasion on his left knee, and a possible neck injury.
He can't be moved, we need a backboard for him."

"Okay Ma'am. I'm going to send a backboard, neck brace, and
straps through the hole so you can prep him. This is how it is going
to happen. The structure is weak, it isn't secure enough to start
drastically digging away at the debris. You're going to have to get
him prepped and bring him to the entrance, and gather everyone
else there. We are going to quickly move away the debris and get
everyone out before it caves in."

"Sounds like we are pressed for time."


"Okay, lets do it." She gave the earpiece back to the agent. "Go get
the back board and supplies. Have Toby and Sam come here, as
well as two agents. Have everyone else on standby at the entrance.
Once they start digging we are going to have to exit fast."

The agent followed his instructions and went in search of the
supplies. "You found away out honey?"

"Yeah Jed, you were right we are going to get out."

"Told ya."

"Jed it is going to be difficult to get you out." She watched as his
face changed from excitement to fear as she talked. "We are going
to strap you to a back board and slide you through the hole. I'm
going to prep you here with the aid of Toby and Sam. We and the
other two agents are going to quickly bring you to the entrance the
fire crew is going to make and slide you through."

"Okay, but everyone is going to have time to get out?"

"Yeah we are going to go as fast as possible. I'm warning you it
may be a little painful."

The agent arrived with Toby and Sam. "Mrs. Bartlet they found a
way?" Toby asked.

"Yeah. Is everyone gathered at the entrance?"

"Yes Ma'am. Two more agents are on their way." The agent
informed her. He laid out the supplies in front of her.

Abbey put the board on the right side of the President. "Toby hand
me the neck brace." She undid the straps so she could put the brace
on. She carefully slid it under his head, and adjusted it so it fit
properly and securely. "Okay honey we are going to move you.
Sam, you grab his feet. Toby, you take his head. Agent Willkinson
you're going to help me pick up his body." She slid her hands
underneath her husband's back. The agent did the same next to
her. "On the count of three we pick him up, and slide the board
under him." She adjusted herself so she could slide the board.
"One, two, three." They hoisted the President and carefully set him
back down. She placed two large blocks next to his head and
strapped his head down into them. "Honey how are you doing so

"Good. Get me the hell out of here."

"Hold on I'm almost done." She pulled some supplies out of the
bag to apply to his leg. She cut through the material, cleaned and
bandage as best she could with the limited supplies.

"Holy shit. That hurts."

"I know. We are getting there." She started to do some of the
straps up. "Sam, Toby make sure these are pulled tight. Agent
Willkinson how far are they?"

He talked into his mike, "Two minutes Ma'am."

"Okay guys lets get moving." She pulled out a blanket and placed
it over her husband. She tucked in the sides and carefully did the
final three straps to hold everything down. "Okay lets go. Toby,
Sam, Agent Willkinson and Agent Thompson grab."

The four men held on too an edge as they lifted the President off
the ground. They walked as quickly as possible without disturbing
the President.

"They are closing in Ma'am. Less than thirty seconds." Agent
Thompson reported.

They held on tightly to the President. Waiting in anticipation for
the rescuers to become visible in the entrance, soon to be an exit.
Abbey walked around to her husbands head. "I can't believe you.
Normally you would've fainted from the pain."

"I need to keep an image."

"You're so sweet you know that." She kissed his forehead and
brushed back his hair. "You do realize you are human, its okay to
show pain."

"Not when you're around the people who died for you. You can
only cry when you have it the worst, and I can assure you those
two agents back there have it the worst."

Abbey had tears in her eyes. She couldn't believe what she just
heard. He wouldn't show pain because there were people around
him that were in more pain." You're amazing." She looked up as a
part of the wall came crashing down. "Lets go."

She watched as Toby, Sam and the two agents carefully slid her
husband through the exit. She watched until he disappeared and
Toby came back to grab her arm. "Lets go Mrs. Bartlet." He helped
her climb through the hole. Two men on the other side helped her
into an ambulance with her husband.

Toby, Sam and Josh helped Leo and CJ through next. Then they
themselves helped each other and the remaining four agents. Josh
was the last to come through he looked back at the two agents who
had saved him, Leo and the President. He wished he could help
them, but they were far past help. He took one last look before
pulling himself through, as the ceiling started to crumble. The
waiting crew helped Leo and Josh into one ambulance with agent
Thompson. CJ, Toby, Sam and agent Willkinson got into another

They rode in silence to the hospital. A few paramedics worked on
Leo checking for a concussion. Josh placed a hand on Leo as a
paramedic bandaged Josh's shoulder. They also checked the staff
and the agents for further injury. In the other ambulance. CJ held
onto Toby as tears slid from her face. She turned to Sam who was
beginning to show tears. She reached out her hand for him and he
slowly took it. She smiled at him. Her way of showing everything
was fine. They had made it out alive, and that's all that mattered.

GW Hospital
All three ambulances came to a shrieking halt outside the
emergency doors at GW hospital. The ambulance doors flew open
as the paramedics and Secret Service agents pulled the President
out. His wife followed closely behind them as he was rushed into
one of the rooms. A doctor turned to her as she was about to enter.
She knew that face, it is one she has worn herself. Reluctantly she
stopped outside the doors and watched the hospital staff work on
her husband.

She felt a comforting hand on her shoulder and turned to face
Toby. She looked into his eyes and could feel his worry. She
leaned into him, as he put his arm around her. She could sense his
anguish. "Don't worry Toby. It won't complicate it." She could
feel him relax under her grip. He was thinking about the MS.

"Good." He gave her a quick squeeze and parted away from her.
"Leo is in room number two if you want to see him?"

"Yeah I better before he kills someone." She gave a weak smile.
She turned to one of the nurses. "I'm going to be in with Leo
McGarry." The nurse nodded and continued into her husbands
room. She gave one last look at her husband before finding Leo.

She grabbed Toby's hand as she walked down the hallway. No one
was in the hospital other than the senior staff, secret service and
doctors. His hand felt comforting in her hand. She could sense
Toby's frustration with the evening. She gave his hand a quick
squeeze and noticed a smile creep across his face.

Toby opened the door to Leo's room for her. The room was dark.
Leo was lying down, his eyes were only slightly opened. She
watched as the doctor attempted to insert an IV. Even in Leo's
state he managed to give the doctor a hard time. She walked
around the bed and stood next to the doctor. "Here let me." She
took the needle from the relieved doctor. "Leo I'm going to do it
and your not going to give me a hard time because I'm not afraid
to stab you."

"Hey Abbey. How's Jed?"

"I don't know yet. He is in room one." She had the needle in and
placed a piece of tape over top. She looked up at the doctor.

"Ma'am it isn't quite severe, but good enough for an overnight
stay. I would like to have a CT scan done, just as a safety

She turned back to Leo. His eyes were drifting shut. "You look
tired Leo, but you have to keep your eyes open for a while. Just
until the CT scan is done. Then they will bring you to a private

Two nurses entered the room and began to prep Leo for his CT
scan. Abbey and Toby followed Leo. She kept hold of Leo's hand
until it was time to let go. She gave Leo a kiss before they took
him into radiology. She watched as the doors closed behind them.
She paused for a second before continuing to the waiting room to
sit with the rest of the staff.

CJ was sitting next to Josh. She had her hand around his waist, as
she rested her head on his good shoulder. Donna had arrived and
was sitting next to Sam. Sam was bent over with his head in his
hands, Donna was unconsciously rubbing his back. Toby and
Abbey joined them. All four of them looked her way, waiting for
the news.

"I don't know anything about the President yet." She said bluntly.
"Leo seems fine. They took him to get a CT scan just as a
precaution." She watched as a look of hope came over their faces.
"How about you guys? Josh how is your shoulder?"

"They said it was fine. They gave me some nice green coloured
pills, and some bandages so I can change it. As for the rest of us. I
think we are all a little tired."

A doctor entered the room. Abbey and Toby noticed him as the
one that was working on the President. Abbey stood taking hold of
Toby as she walked over to him. The rest of the staff sat more
upright waiting for Abbey to return with news.

"Ma'am my name is Doctor Carey, I was working on the President.
He is in fair but stable condition. His leg shows sign of a slight
infection from the foreign object impaled in his knee. We are
taking him to OR right now to remove it and get a further analysis
of the damage, but first we are going to have a CT scan done.
Your concern for a neck injury is accurate and that is why we are
having the scan done. Although I think a possible neck injury is
slim to none. He doesn't seem to have any symptoms of a
concussion. The abrasion on his head is only skin deep and may
require at most two or three stitches. The bruise on his back is just
from the impact of hitting the ground, nothing to be concerned
about. He has broken two of his ribs. They are only minor fractures
and will heal in about two to three weeks."

"So the only large concern is his leg?"

"Well I wouldn't call it a large concern, but yes it is. The object
doesn't seem very deep. The infection is minimal and can be clear
up easily with the aid of oral medication."

"Is Dr. Lee on duty?"

"Yes Ma'am. He insisted for some particular reason to be the
anesthesiologist. If you have any objections.."

"No. I would prefer Dr. Lee, thank you."

"Thank you, Ma'am."

Toby followed Abbey back to the group. He leaned down, "Is that
what I think it was about Abbey?"

"Yeah. He told you, nobody lied, nobody is under surveillance. We
only tell who needs to be told and he needed to be told."

"Okay." He released her hand as she sat down.

"Okay guys, here is the story. The President is listed as fair but
stable, which isn't as bad as it sounds. They are checking for a
neck injury, which is assumed unlikely because of the absence of a
concussion. After they are taking him to surgery to remove the
shrapnel from his knee. He has two broken ribs, that are expected
to heal with three weeks. His head wound is mild and require only
a few stitches. As I said there is also no sign of a concussion,
which is surprising. He will only be listed as fair until the results
the CT scan come back and the surgery is complete." She watched
as smiles grew across everyone's face. CJ hugged Josh and Donna
gave Sam a hug. They all seemed a little happier knowing
everything would be fine.

"Ma'am how is Leo?"

"Josh you know you don't have to call me Ma'am. It's Abbey to
you guys."


"I don't know. It doesn't look bad at all but they are doing a CT
scan as a precaution. So you guys will relax, the worst outcome
will be a mild/severe concussion. Which can come with a two
week vacation and a three day hospital stay."

"Leo won't be happy."

"I know, but I will make sure he stays Josh if that's what your

"Yeah, Abbey that's what I'm asking." Josh gave CJ's hand a
squeeze. He seemed a little more comfortable around CJ than he
used too. Abbey smiled at the thought.

A nurse hesitantly entered the waiting. "Mrs. Bartlet, Dr. Hillsboro
will be with you in a second."

"Thank you." She turned to Josh. "Looks like your answer is
coming sooner than expected."

"Mrs. Bartlet I'm Dr. Hillsboro the radiologist. Would you like to
talk somewhere or is here fine?"

"Here is fine." She heard the exasperated sighs of everyone around

"Mr. McGarry has a mild concussion. He requires an overnight
stay before he can be released. I request that he stay with someone
for a few days. Someone who will check on him."

"He will stay in one of the guest rooms at the residence. Have you
told him yet?"

"No, he is resting in one of the private rooms."

"Do you mind if I tell him? If you tell him he is just going to

"I would appreciate that Ma'am. I also have finished the CT scan
on the President." He waited hesitantly.

"It's okay these people are family."

"Okay. The President's neck and spine are not fractured. However
there does seem to be some concern for whiplash. He more than
likely hyper-extended his neck when he hit the ground. So for that
reason we recommend a neck brace during his stay at the

"Thank you doctor. Are they taking him to surgery?"

"Yes Ma'am."

"Can you take me to Mr. McGarry's room?"

"Yes Ma'am"
Abbey opened the door to Leo's room. It was dark inside, she
carefully navigated herself to his bedside. "Hey Leo how are you
doing?" She brushed his hair out of his face.

"Hey Abbey, I'm not to bad. How's Jed?"

"He'll be fine. He is in surgery right now. You need to worry about
yourself. You have a slight concussion, so your going to have to
stay here till tomorrow."

"What time is it?"

"4:35 am Friday. Which means you have to stay here until
Saturday evening."

"Then I get to go home?"

"Not quite. You get to stay and sleep in the guestroom at the
residence until Monday. Then you can go to work and go home."

"That doesn't sound so bad."

"No it isn't considering the night we had."

"When is Jed expected out of surgery?"

"I'm guessing in a few hours. I'm going to let you sleep. I will be
sure to let you know as soon as I know anything." She gave him a
kiss on his forehead. "Love you."

"I love you too."

She carefully closed the door behind her. Tonight was turning out
better then she thought. If you asked her what she thought five and
a half hours ago her opinion would have been much different.
Deciding she would get a bit of rest with the others, she went back
to the waiting room. When she reached the waiting room, she
noticed everyone was sleeping except Josh.

"How is he?"

"He is fine Josh. Get some sleep. We won't have anymore news
for awhile."

"I just wanted to make sure before I closed my eyes. You should
get some sleep to Mrs. Bartlet."


"Sorry, Abbey."

For the first time in hours the senior staff had finally relaxed.
the explosion they had been so tensed and so full of fear. They had
went six hours at full speed, filled with adrenaline. It was finally
taking toll as each member of the staff silently found a place to
sleep. Even at this point they were sleeping sitting up, unable to
completely relax. A tear flowed down Abbey's face as she glanced
at her husband's loyal staff, their extended family.
"Mrs. Bartlet?" A hand landed on her shoulder.


"Sorry to disturb you but I have new information on your

"Oh yes, hold on." She wiped her tired eyes so she could focus
better. "Guys wake up." She watched as the staff groaned and
slowly became adjusted to the light. "Dr. Carey has news on the
President. Go ahead."

"The President has been upgraded from fair to good condition. The
surgery was a success and the President is resting in a private room
in ICU. After he wakes he will be moved to a private room. During
the surgery we extracted several pieces of shrapnel. They seem to
be..." He hesitated for a moment. "They seem to be pieces of a
gun. I'm assuming from the agent that tackled the President. The
extent of the damage wasn't too severe. The nerve damage wasn't
severe. As the radiologist informed you, he hyper-extended his
neck. We are expecting that to heal within the next few days, until
then I suggest the neck brace stay on."

"Can I see him?"

"Only for a few minutes Mrs. Bartlet."
She peered in through the window. She never thought she would
see it again. Her husband in a hospital room, hooked to machines
giving him oxygen and monitoring his heart. She stopped to think
if this would be the last. She hoped it was. It isn't his job this
that got him injured. This time it was a freak accident. An accident
that took the lives of two agents, and crumpled a building. Last
time it wasn't life threatening and this time it isn't either. She
prayed it would be the last time.

She pushed open the door. It was silent inside except for the
beeping of the machines. He looked so peaceful. You would never
know he was injured, except for the small bald spot on his head
from were they put the stitches, the neck brace around his neck,
the oxygen tube above his lip, the pulseox on his finger and the
bandages around his left knee.

She sat down on the edge of the bed. The pulseox beeped a little
faster, so she readjusted it on his finger to slow it back down. "Hey
honey." She whispered as she moved his hair out of his face at
caressed his check. "Everyone was worried about you, but it looks
like you're going to be fine. Leo is fine too, he is resting in
room. Not even cement and an explosion can damage your rock
head." She smiled softly. "I love you." She kissed his hand and set
it back down on the bed. "I will see you in a little while." She
looked at him one more time before closing the door.
Josh, Sam, CJ, Toby and Leo were gathered for senior staff in the
Oval Office.

"Hey Leo how is the head?"

"It's fine Josh."

"What can break rock? Leo's head."

"That isn't funny Josh." Toby sat on one of the couches.

"Yeah, but it made Leo smile." Josh tilted his head at Leo.

"Just so you know. The President is coming home this afternoon,
Abbey left early this morning for the hospital. Please do not make
fun of the bald spot on his head, or how he could've picked a
better spot to look for his glasses. I'm especially warning you

"You make one remark about the guy crashing his bike into the
tree and..."

"He's the President of the United States and you will speak to him
with the respect he deserves." Toby interrupted.

"Which is?"

"Very little. Josh was right he is a geek and a klutz." Leo passed
out a folders, "Now, on to business..."
"So when do we leave?"

"Once the doctor comes in with the papers to sign."

"When do the stitches come out?"

"They fall out themselves. It wasn't a large gash. You know your
are going to have to take it easy with your broken ribs."

"Ah they are fine. I have my back medicine to take if they hurt."

"Which they will."

"At least they took that stupid neck thing off. My neck was so

"I would imagine." Abbey was packing his things as the doctor
entered the room, "Dr. Carey you have the release papers?"

"Yes Ma'am. I would suggest the President take it easy. His ribs
are healing fast, so we don't want to go backwards. I suggest you
stay off your leg for the next two weeks to allow the tissue to heal
properly, so that means you need a wheelchair."

"A what?" Jed's eyes stared the doctor hard. "You can't expect me
to putz around in a granny mobile?"

"Don't worry Mr. President we got you a cool chair."

"I don't think there is anything cool about it."

"I'm sorry sir, but that is the best recovery."

"Oh holy hell."

"Sir, keeping off your leg well help it to heal faster and reduce the
chance of the infection progressing. It will also help your ribs heal
faster. So..." The doctor walked out into the hallway. "Here is your

"You're right it is cool, but not for me." Abbey shot him the `don't
think about it' look. He backed off thinking it was best to just get
in the damn thing. "Alright." He carefully eased himself in it. He
eyed the chair carefully, "What is this? Kevlar?"

"Yes sir."

"I have a bullet proof chair?"

"Yes I guess you could say that. The chair is the cadilac of chairs,
complete with Tri-spoke wheels, titanium foot plate, low rising
sports back, padded cushion, shocks and is completely rigid for

"Wait till the guys see this. Hey, where are the handles and the

"It's a sports chair Jed. I figured you would like the idea of an
independent cool chair, than a granny mobile as you put it."

"You knew about this? And you let me get all excited over
leaving?" He turned to the doctor, "You think being the most
powerful person in the world I would know more things."

"Besides if you run this one into a tree it won't break."

"Very funny Abbey. Well, lets get going."

He turned the chair around, surprisingly he managed to move
through his hospital room without running into anything. Abbey
put her hand on his shoulder, it was odd having to reach down to
do it. It was a different sight, she never thought she would see it.
Her husband in a wheelchair, wearing jeans, a Ralph Lauren polo
shirt and doc martins, all while maintaining the formality of the
President of the United States. When he married her and said he
would buy her a large White House with pillars, she never
expected the White House. She knew the wheelchair would be
gone in a few weeks, but it still bothered her. She thought about
the future and how it might end up like this, his MS progressing.
Right now, this second, it didn't matter because she remember
thirty-some-years ago swearing in sickness and in health.

The ride back to the White House was quite. Jed stared out the
window, grateful to see the outside again. He held on to his wife's
hand, and played with her wedding band. Abbey couldn't help but
stare at his head. There was a small part on the back of his she kept
her eyes on. It was bald, a noticeable spot in his thick head of
He kept putting his hand there, feeling the large bump and the

"It won't be noticeable after a week." Abbey spoke up, he just
nodded. "What's bothering you?"

"I keep thinking about the two agents that didn't think twice about
saving me. Why am I so much more important that they would get
themselves killed?"

"It's their job."

"A lousy job."

The car pulled up to the White House. Josh, CJ, Toby, Sam,
Margaret, Donna, and Leo were standing just outside the door
waiting for their return.

"I see the kids are here. Did Leo get all the rest he needed in the

"Yeah I made sure Leo rested." She didn't tell them about the
wheelchair. She wondered what the reaction would be.

The agents opened the door for the First Lady. Leo reached out a
hand for her. She took it, and gave him a kiss.

"How was the first day back?"

"Not bad."

All eight of them stood patiently as they waited for the President to
emerge from the car. President Bartlet slid himself to the edge of
the seat. Everyone watched wide eyed as an agent parked a
wheelchair in front of the door. Two agents helped him get in, as
the staff fought for words to say. This is what Abbey dreaded. The
reaction of the staff, one that would make her husband

Josh began to open his mouth as everyone watched in horror.
"Wow that is one kick ass chair sir." Josh moved forward to
inspect it. "Kevlar sweet. You mind if I take it for a spin later."

"Later son." Jed steered it to his family. "So, I'm guessing you
didn't know about this. It looks like my wife didn't have everyone
conspire against me. It's only for a few weeks, so relax."

The group gave a collected sigh. "I think I speak for everyone Jed.
When are you coming back to the west wing." Leo spoke up.

"I will be back tomorrow. You guys want to join us for dinner?"

"Well sir that depends. Are you making chili?"

"No Sam I was thinking of pizza and beer."

"Okay we're there." Josh said.

"Alright then. I will see you later. Abbey." He gestured for his wife
to take a seat on his lap. He pushed both of them through the halls
of the White House.
Residence 7:00
"I must say, sir. I really dig the wheels."

"Thanks Josh." He laughed at Josh's impatience. He transferred to
the couch. "Here."

"Alright." Josh hopped in.

Sam bent down and pushed on the bar across the back. It didn't
have handles so he had to make use of other parts. "My turn."

Josh reluctantly got out and pushed Sam around. He stopped next
to the kitchen door, "CJ hop on Sam."

"What is this Dr. Suess?"

"Enough with the names. You want a ride or not?"


Jed and Leo watched as Josh pushed Sam and CJ. "They are great.
Nothing like the brightest and best."

"I would've agreed with you up until I seen this act sir." He got up
as they went into the hallway. "Guys bring that back!" He yelled
after them. "We're eating!"

"Sorry sir." Josh parked the chair parallel to the couch. "Do you
need help?"

"No, just put the brakes on." The President slid back into the chair.

Josh joined the rest of the group at the table. Leo turned to his
friend, "I'm impressed you're taking this better than I thought you

"Well Leo, normally I would, you know, be an ass about it. This is
how I see it. I'm very lucky that I, and the rest of us came out as
we did. It could've been much worse, and if all I have to do is use
this contraption for two weeks I'm alright with it. I think back to
the two agents and figure I'm way better off."

Leo put his hand on Jed's shoulder, "You said it good my friend."
He removed one of the chairs from the table so Jed could pull up.

"Okay. Who's saying the toast?"

"I will sir." Toby stood from his seat. "I know you guys are used to
me going off on something. So I'm going to make it, as you all call
it, short and sweet. All I can say after all this is I'm happy with
way it turned out, and that we were all there for each other. So....."
He raised his glass. "To family."

"To family."