For disclaimers etc see part 1
Three days before the election:
Josh heard the car coming along the track that ran alongside the trees where they were making slow progress.
"Car, quick hide!"
Danny reacted by dragging Josh down behind the nearest big tree.
"Do you think he saw anything?"
"No he would have stopped if he had. The problem now is that once he sees his buddy inside they're going to be looking for us."
"Well let's get going then!" Danny stood and pulled Josh to his feet.
Josh slid back down the tree. He looked up at Danny, "You need to get help Danny. I'll stay here and you go get to a house or phone, or you know, a cop would be good. Hey or failing that a McDonalds. I could do with a burger right about now."
"Oh no, you are not going to play the hero my friend. Donna will kill me, hell I'd kill me. Now quit whining and get up." Danny held out his hand for Josh to take.
"I'm holding you up. You can go faster alone." Josh didn't attempt to take the still outstretched hand.
"You are now, with all this crazy talk. Get up Lyman or I'll just stay here with you and both of us can get caught." Danny sat down.
"You're nuts! Okay, okay come on then, but don't come whining to me when they shoot us both." Josh held out his hand to Danny who stood and pulled him to his feet.
"And for the record no burgers for you, you get a salad."
Josh just shook his head in disbelief and grinned at his friend as they made their way, hopefully towards a main road.
"We followed the money trail and it lead us to a guy called Paul Lewis."
"Who's Paul Lewis?" Sam interrupted Mike's explanation.
"He's an ex-con. He served 20 years for kidnapping and extortion."
"Okay so what does that have to do with Josh?" Leo asked.
"The lead lawyer for the prosecution was one Noah Lyman."
"Josh's father put the guy away so now he's after Josh, but why?" President Bartlet looked as confused as the others.
"That we don't know. His wife died from cancer five years ago. She divorced him after the trial. He had a son who apparently committed suicide after his conviction. The girl Lewis kidnapped was a school friend and his son never got over the affect it all had on his life. It didn't help that Lewis said he did it for his son. The family had huge debts, mostly caused by bad investments made by Lewis himself. He seemed to think he could get them out of debt with the ransom. It was poorly planned and badly executed. He was easily caught, but carried on denying it throughout the trial."
"Seems like he was delusional." Toby commented.
"He did have a psych assessment. They said he was depressed but otherwise sane."
"So do we know where he is?" Donna finally spoke.
"Lewis?" Mike clarified. Donna nodded.
"We have agents tracking him down at the moment. We really have no idea what he would gain by doing this to Josh. I guess Noah isn't around anymore so he's the next best target. It seems to be purely revenge. We're having Josh's mother flown up here with an escort just in case."
"Okay Mike, thanks you'll keep us informed?"
"Yes Sir, I will." Mike confirmed as he left the room.
"Okay everyone," Leo got everyone's attention, "I need you all to get back to work, we have an election to win. Be in no doubt that we will call you back in here if there is any news." He made eye contact with Donna, CJ, Toby and Sam. They all nodded and thanked the President as they left the room.
Donna sat at her desk staring at the computer. She didn't know what to do. Josh's work had been farmed out when he was fired. She needed to do something useful, and she knew that she really meant to help Josh and not the campaign. She sighed, stood and made her way to Josh's office. She paused at the door briefly before going in. It was unnaturally quiet without Josh, even when he was reading, he made noise scribbling notes on an ever present legal pad. Then calling her to take the papers leaving her to decipher his script and type them up so they actually made sense. She walked around the desk and sat in his chair, turning so she could see out the window. She thought back to all the times she had performed this ritual, waiting for him to return victorious from the Hill demanding the finest muffins and bagels. Silent tears fell, tracking down the cheeks of her alabaster skin. She let them drip on to her blouse unchecked. She jumped slightly when she felt the hand on her shoulder.
"Donna?" Leo quietly said her name.
"Is there news?" She sat up wiping her face with her hands, looking at him expectantly.
"No I'm sorry nothing yet. I just wanted to talk with you, to apologise." Leo looked down and the two made eye contact. "I'm so sorry I reacted the way I did."
"Why did you? Why didn't you believe him, believe in him?" Donna turned around and Leo pulled up a visitor's chair before he answered.
"I've thought about it. I reacted to the feeling of deep disappointment in someone I think of as my son. I was so shocked that he would do that to the President and to himself. I guess you could say I wasn't thinking straight. My judgement was impaired by my feelings for him. It was a gut reaction. It was indefensible, I know."
Donna leaned forward and held Leo's hands in her own. "He loves you like a father. He was so hurt and confused by your reaction. I can't guarantee that you haven't caused irreparable damage in your relationship. When we get him back you'll have to talk with him, explain. Maybe he'll eventually listen."
"Will you help me?"
"I can't do that. I won't be your spokesperson Leo but I won't speak against you either. I love him too. I will support whatever he decides."
Leo nodded, "That's fair." He squeezed Donna's hands and kissed her on the cheek. "He's a very lucky man."
"We're both lucky to have found each other. I just pray it's not too late."
"We'll get them back, Josh for you, Danny for CJ." Leo reassured as he stood.
"Danny for CJ?"
"Yeah, I hear things." Leo shrugged. Donna managed a small smile as Leo left Josh's office. She sighed again before turning her attention to the computer. Research she needed research.
"Can you hear that?"
"Traffic?" Josh cocked his head to define what they were hearing.
Josh shrugged, "Let's go find out."
When they reached the edge of the trees they stopped and just stared. Danny recovered first. "Not traffic."
"No definitely not traffic."
"Shit!" Danny cursed as they both looked at the river below them, a bridge to their left the only apparent crossing.
"Josh I want you to hide back in the trees while I walk down away from the bridge to see if there is another way across. I won't be long but it'll be quicker on my own."
"Okay, look Danny you could get across there pretty quickly, just go and leave me here."
"No I told you I'm not leaving you like that! Just stay hidden while I have a quick look. Anyway if they might come back this way soon and I can't beat a car over the bridge."
"Don't be long." Josh moved back into the tree line as Danny walked off.
Josh was exhausted. His head and ribs hurt more than he would let on to Danny. He felt awful and never seemed able to get enough air into his body. He took a sip of water from the pack Danny had left, leaned back and closed his eyes trying to fight the nausea and dizziness that came in waves. He heard the car not long before the driver would have seen him. He rolled himself further into the foliage. The car was going slowly with the window open revealing a high powered torch cutting through the shadows thrown by the trees. Josh held his breath and tried to keep as still as possible. He hoped Danny wasn't just strolling back, he couldn't warn him.
"I can't see anything. They must have made it over the bridge."
"Why don't you get out and check?"
"What and end up like you if they jump me? No way, I can see just fine from here."
"You said you were going to take me to the ER."
"Okay, quit your whining! That bastard isn't going to pay us the rest of the money now you realise?"
"We got enough, let's just go. If they turn up somewhere we need to be far away from here."
The light went out and the car pulled away at an increased speed. Josh heard it crossing the bridge and sighed in relief expelling the breath he had been holding.
"Josh? Josh, where are you?" Danny called quietly.
"Over here." Josh sat up so Danny could see him.
Danny sat beside him and Josh relayed the conversation he had overheard.
"Right so we don't have to worry about them."
"No, we're okay as long as the boss guy doesn't turn up." Josh agreed.
"So let's give then an hour and then go for the bridge?"
"Sounds like a plan. Some time to recharge our batteries as well."
"Yeah, boy I'm hungry. I haven't eaten anything but chocolate for two days."
"I told you to go get a burger, but did you listen to me? No, of course not."
"Here have half the last bar of chocolate and imagine it's a burger."
Josh took the food gratefully, wishing it really was a burger. They sat leaning against a tree silently for a while. Josh didn't realise he had dozed off until Danny shook him awake,
"Josh, come on buddy time to go. It's getting dark."
"Josh come on we need to get going, wake up." Josh looked around confused until he realised where he was.
"Right, yeah, sorry. I'm awake." Taking Danny's hand he stood up.
The two men made their way to the bridge which was wide enough for one car. They began to walk across however when they were half way over a car came towards them. They had nowhere to go so they just stopped walking and stood to the side.
The car stopped in front of them, the driver's door opening. They were blinded by the headlights so they couldn't see the person who approached them, with others behind.
"Well are you a sight for sore eyes!"
"Mike?" Josh couldn't believe who he was seeing.
"No I'm a mirage. You're hallucinating Lyman!" Mike laughed as he came closer to his two stunned friends.
"Mike, how the hell did you find us?" Danny had to know.
"Thanks to your little lady." He nodded at Josh as he spoke.
"Yes Donna, unless you've got more little ladies stashed away, but with your track record I doubt that." Mike laughed again. "I think we need to get you two checked out and back to DC. We can talk more on the way." Mike and another agent supported Josh while Danny got in the car. They then helped Josh get in. Mike filled them in on how Donna had found out that there was a fishing cabin associated with Paul Lewis from way back. He told them how she had insisted Mike check it out and had not been happy about having to stay in DC.
Paul Lewis hadn't planned this really any better than he planned the kidnapping that Noah Lyman prosecuted him for. When they found him he was happy to reveal his plan thinking they would never find Josh and Danny. His original master plan was to discredit Josh and then kill him making it look like suicide when Ritchie won the election. When he realised Danny had got too close he changed that plan to kill Danny and then Josh again after the election. Josh supposedly now taking his life not only because he caused President Bartlet to lose the election as a result of his indiscretion, he also caused Danny's death. What he didn't count on was the strength of Josh's friends' loyalty and their inability to believe Josh would do that to the Administration.
Election Day Night:
The West Wing was jubilant as the election was called for President Josiah Bartlet. Everyone hugged everyone else, people danced around, some people kissed. CJ and Danny kissed; Jed and Abbey kissed, and many women took the opportunity to kiss Sam.
Two other lovers kissed but theirs was not publicly in the bullpen. Theirs was quietly shared in the privacy of a hospital room at GW. Josh and Donna kissed and kissed again and carried on kissing, eventually Josh's abused lungs needed air so he pulled away slightly. Their eyes met and as if by some telepathic communication they both looked at the beautiful ring that Donna now wore on the third finger of her left hand. Drawn to each other their eyes locked again and needing to be joined their lips met, mouths opening, tongues exploring, and both moaning softly.
Breathless Josh was the one to pull back, "I love you." His hand cupping Donna's cheek, his smile showing two amazing dimples, the sight she thought she might never see again took Donna's breath away. A tear slid down her cheek.
"Don't cry baby, we just won." Josh kissed the tear away.
"I nearly lost you, again."
"You found us. You are the most amazing person and I am going to marry you then we are going to finally give my mother grandchildren."
"Children, plural?" Donna smiled now.
"Yes, lots, a whole load of them, all beautiful like you."
"Okay, it's a deal." Now serious Donna looked at Josh. "Did Leo talk with you?"
Josh looked down at their joined hands, "Yeah, yesterday." Donna gently lifted his head by the chin to look at her.
"And?" She queried.
"We're good, I think…not….not quite like it was before but I….I think it will be…..eventually." Josh stumbled over the words still trying to work through his feelings regarding Leo.
"It'll take time."
"Yeah, it will." Josh whispered.
"You should get some sleep." Donna instructed, "You look tired."
Josh opened his mouth to answer when the door burst open and in came CJ, Danny, Toby and Sam.
"We wanted to celebrate with you." Sam slurred.
"You drunk?" Josh laughingly asked his best friend.
"Damn straight buddy we won!" Sam hugged Donna and kissed her cheek. He then proceeded to hug Josh, pulling back a bit when he heard him gasp in pain. "Sorry my friend. You know I love you buddy." To everyone's amazement Sam landed a big sloppy kiss on Josh's cheek. Toby gently pulled him away and sat him in a chair. Josh wiped his cheek as they all laughed.
Danny and Toby hugged Donna and shook Josh's hand. CJ kissed him after hugging Donna.
Toby pulled out a bottle of bourbon and some plastic cups. Handing them out to all in the room, including Josh, he gave everyone a drink.
"A toast to us and to President Bartlet's four more years."
"Four more years," was repeated by all.
"Okay now you really all have to go now." A nurse ordered as she came in to see what all the noise was about. She walked straight over to Josh and took his drink as he was about to take a sip.
"No alcohol for you!" She scowled at the assembled friends as they laughed at Josh's astonished and embarrassed face.
"Say good night now." Donna told everyone.
"Goodnight now," everyone repeated and made their way out giggling like naughty children, except for Toby who would never giggle, followed by the nurse.
"I guess Sam wasn't the only drunk one there." Donna observed smiling.
"No." Josh yawned as he spoke.
"Okay buster, sleep now."
"Will you stay?" Josh asked as he settled down.
"Of course, I wouldn't be anywhere else." Donna lay next to Josh in the space he had left for her. They shared another kiss and Donna watched over him as he drifted off to sleep.
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