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"Broken Dreams" pt. 1/2 By Cindy


"Broken Dreams" By Cindy cindyryan7@yahoo.com
A West Wing/JAG crossover story
Timeline JAG: Before the episode 'Boomerrang'
Timeline West Wing: after the episode "20 hours in L.A."


Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman slowly picked himself off of the sidewalk as he shook the cobwebs out of his head. His ears were ringing and he could feel a trickle of blood running down his right cheek from a cut on his forehead.
The brown haired man in his early thirties sat down heavily as he struggled to remember what had happened....that was when he saw the limo.
Or what was left of it.

"Oh my God."Josh whispered as he looked around at the flurry of humanity. The limo that President Bartlet had sent his youngest daughter into only moments earlier was now a heap of charred metal being hosed down by the fire department. Around him other members of the White House senior staff shakily rose to their feet.

"Josh!'Donna Moss exclaimed as she knelt next to her boss. It had taken her forever to exit the hotel and wade through the army of Secret Service agents that had descended. "Josh? Are you all right?"

"What happened?"Lyman asked as he struggled to his feet.

The young blonde woman quickly reached out to steady him as his knees started to buckle. "It was a bomb, Josh."She replied tearfully,"Zoey's dead."

************

Colonel Sarah Mackenzie lay still in her bed as she tried to figure out what had awakened her. The red numbers of her alarm clock read a quarter to three so she knew it hadn't been her alarm or the phone.
Then she heard it....someone was knocking rather insistently on her front door.
Throwing the covers off Sarah quickly pulled on a blue robe and padded sleepily into the living room. She and Harm had been burning the midnight oil a lot over the past several days trying to get the Davidson case ready for trial. However the person that greeted her on the other side of the door was the last one she expected to see.

"Sam?"Sarah asked in surprise as she took in the young dark haired man's appearance. His black tuxedo jacket was torn in several places, his left hand had several cuts and his nose had a nasty gash across its bridge.

Sam Seaborn shifted uneasily from one foot to the other. "I'm sorry, Sarah, I know it's late."

Sarah gently took his right arm and pulled him into the apartment. She had met the deputy communications director a few months ago at a Washington gala. They had dated a few times since but with their complicated jobs neither had time for a serious relationship. No matter how much ethier had wanted.

"What the hell happened to you?"Mac demanded as she gently ushered him over to the sofa. "You look like you were in a fight with half of Congress."

Sam shook his head wincing as a sharp pain shot through his ribcage as he sat down. "I wish I had been."

Mac had been about to get her first aid kit when she caught the haunted look in his eyes. She quickly retraced her steps and knelt next to her friend. "Sam? What is it? What's happened?"

"It was a typical day, Sarah."Seaborn replied shakily,"We were at a fundraiser at the Hilton hotel. The party wrapped up about one and we all started to head out. Some how a bastard planted a bomb in the President's limo."

Sarah rocked back on her heels her face paling. "Oh God....you mean the President was...."

Sam shook his head sadly. "No."He replied in a choked voice. "He hadn't gotten into the car yet. The bastard's got Zoey instead."

Sarah quickly rose to her feet and sat down next to her friend pulling him into an embrace.

*********

Georgetown hospital
3:00 a.m.


President Jed Bartlet leaned against the hallway wall opposite the Intensive Care Unit. He was acutely aware of Leo McGarry standing twenty feet away in the bend of the corridor. Leo had been hovering ever since the explosion but Bartlet hadn't spoken a word to anyone, not even his old friend. He couldn't deal with anyone right now. He was barely dealing with the night's events himself.
Jed swallowed hard and shut his eyes briefly thankful that his wife had been in England. Abby had originally been due home tonight so she could attend the fundraiser with them but fog at Heathrow airport had grounded all flights. Now he just had to find the words to tell her that they had lost a child.

Bartlet opened his eyes and looked through the window of the intensive care unit to the young man fighting for his life. Charlie Young had been the closest to the limo when it exploded. He had been talking to Zoey before she got into the car, confirming their plans for dinner the next day.
Jed slowly walked over to the window his feet felt like they were stuck in quicksand. He couldn't believe that his daughter had been taken from him.

"Hang in there, Charlie."Bartlet whispered praying for the young man who was not only his personal aide but a friend and right now the last link to his daughter. "Your sister needs you to pull through this."

"Just got word."Leo began quietly as he came to stand at Bartlet's left. "Fog finally lifted at Heathrow, Abby's on her way home."

Jed turned around and leaned heavily back against the window shutting his eyes. "God Leo, how do I tell her this over the phone?"

Leo placed a comforting hand on his friend's shoulder. "You don't have to. I can meet her at the airport and tell her then."

Bartlet shook his head. "No, Leo, I have to do it. No matter where or how I tell her it won't be any easier."He turned and looked back at Charlie's still form. "What are the doc's saying about Charlie?"

McGarry rubbed the back of his neck wearily with his good hand. His left arm had been broken during the explosion. "They're cagey but optimistic. They repaired his punctured lung and removed his spleen. They're most concerned about his concussion."

Bartlet stepped away from the wall. "Whatever he needs, Leo...."

"Already done."McGarry replied as Bartlet started to walk away. "Where are you going?"

"To call my wife."Bartlet replied sadly.

**********

Sam flashed her a brief smile as Sarah handed him a blue coffee mug full of hot tea. She placed her own mug down on the small coffee table as she sat down. She opened the first aide kit and began taking out gauze and antiseptic.

"I still don't know how they got the bomb in."Sam stated quietly as he absently traced the rim of the coffee mug with his finger. "The limo's are constantly rotated, there were secret service everywhere."

"Do you have any idea who might have done it?"Mac asked as she gently dabbed antiseptic on the gash on his nose.

Seaborn winced as the antiseptic seeped into the cut. "Could be any number of nutcases. Hell we don't even know if the bomb was meant for the President or for his daughter."

"Has she gotten threats?"Sarah asked as she placed a bandage over the cut.

Sam nodded wearily. "Yes, but I don't know if she was aware of them. Some people weren't too happy with the prospect of she and Charlie dating."
Seaborn winced inwardly as he realized that was the first time he had thought of Charlie since he had arrived at Sarah's apartment. He wasn't even sure if the young man was still alive.

Before Sarah could reply Sam stood pulling out his cell phone. "Charlie....I should call Josh and see if he knows anything about Charlie's condition."

Mac rose to her feet and stood next to him placing a gentle hand on his shoulder "Do you know what hospital he was taken to? I can make a few calls see what I can find out."

Seaborn met her gaze. "Georgetown, I think....it was pretty crazy....I'm not even sure if he's still alive. He was standing next to the limo....had just finished talking to Zoey."

Sarah gently took the phone from him and steered him back to the sofa forcing him to lie down. She pulled a purple afghan from the back of the sofa and placed it over her friend.

"Get some rest, Sam."Mac said softly as she pulled the afghan up around his shoulders. "I promise I'll wake you as soon as I know anything about Charlie."

"Thanks Sarah, for everything."Seaborn replied just as his eyes drifted closed.

*******

Admiral AJ Chedwiggen buried his head further under his pillow. A pounding on his front door had interrupted his sleep. And from what his alarm clock told him whatever the news that someone was bringing at this ungodly hour was not good.

When the pounding didn't cease the former Navy SEAL sighed pushing the pillow aside as he threw off the covers. Pulling on a black robe AJ padded barefoot into the living room.
Chedwiggen groaned inwardly as he looked through the window. Webb, terrific.

"Webb, do you have any idea what time it is?"AJ demanded as he opened the door.

CIA Agent Clayton Webb's face was grim as he stepped uninvited past Chedwiggen and into the living room. "Believe me AJ, I wish I wasn't here."

"What's going on, Webb?"The Admiral demanded not liking the look on the operative's face.

Webb sighed as he turned to face the head of JAG. "Somebody planted a bomb in the President's limo, killing his daughter, the driver and two secret service agents."

"When?"Chedwiggen demanded.

"They were at a fundraiser. It wrapped up about one."Webb replied "Bartlet's personal aide was seriously injured and is in ICU. Other members of the senior staff acquired lesser injuries."

AJ shook his head in amazement. "Bartlet?"

"Not a scratch."Clayton replied as he took a step toward the door. "AJ, JAG is officially invited in on this investigation. Preliminary reports on the explosive tell us that it is domestic terrorism."

"Any idea who?"The former SEAL asked as he reached for his phone.

Webb shook his head. "No, which is why we need Harm and Mac on this one."

******

By five thirty that morning the senior staff gathered in the bullpen of the west wing looked like the walking wounded.

"Anybody heard anything on Charlie?"CJ Cregg asked as she stood gingerly and limped over to the coffee machine.

"Still unconscience."Josh replied sadly as he sat at Donna's desk.

The bullpen fell silent once more....the bank of TV monitors on the back wall normally on were off. No one wanted to watch the relentless media coverage.

"Where's Sam?"Toby asked softly as he leaned against the door. The small movement caused pain to knife through his cracked rib.

"We don't know."CJ replied as she turned around glancing at Josh.

Lyman shook his head confirming her statement. "Nobody's seen him since the......fundraiser."

Zeigler nodded. "He probably just needed some time to...."The communications director trailed off as Leo McGarry entered the room followed by two men both in military uniforms.

"This is Admiral A.J. Chedwiggen head of the Judge Advocate General and Lieutenant Harmon Rabb Jr."Leo stated as he stopped in the center of the room."They've been invited by both the White House and the CIA to help with the investigation into Zoey's murder. So I want you to cooperate fully with whatever they need."

"Do we have any leads?"Josh asked tightly as he leaned forward wincing as a firey pain shot through his bruised collar bone.

"Only that it's domestic terrorism."Leo replied grimly as he glanced at each of his friends knowing how close they had come to being killed. "And that information doesn't leave this room."

*****

Sam Seaborn woke slowly and as he turned over opening his eyes he realized he wasn't in his apartment. It was then that he saw Sarah Mackenzie asleep in a nearby chair; cordless phone and pad of paper in her lap.
"Oh God.....Zoey."The dark haired man whispered sadly as he sat up. The previous night's events hitting him full force..
Shaking himself out of his thoughts Sam tried to focus on his watch in the dim light, six a.m..

Sam stood pulling the purple afghan with him. Crossing the short space he gently placed it over the Marine Colonel.
Sarah awoke as Sam turned away from the chair.

"Sorry, I was trying not to wake you."Sam commented sheepishly as he knelt next to the chair.

Sarah straightened as she turned to face him."What time is it?"

"Six."Seaborn replied.

Mac nodded as she remembered the pad of paper in her lap. "It took a few calls but I finally found some information on your friend."

"Is he alive?"Sam asked anxiously.

"Yes."Sarah replied,"But he's unconscience. They repaired a punctured lung and removed his spleen. He's in the intensive care unit."

Sam nodded as he stood placing a gentle hand on her shoulder. "Thanks, Sarah."

Sarah placed her hand over his. "You can stay as long as you want."

Sam flashed her a brief but grateful smile. "Thanks, but I need to get to work and find out what's going on. I want to make sure everyone's okay."

Mac nodded as she stood. "Call me if you need anything.....no matter what time it is."

Seaborn squeezed her hand as a reply before turning and quietly leaving the apartment.

After he left Sarah smothered a yawn as she started toward the bathroom. The flashing light on her answering machine caught her attention. She quickly hit the play button:

/Mac, it's Harm. Call me as soon as you get this. You won't believe what's happened./

******


Zoey Bartlet groggily opened her eyes to find she was in a cold, cement room barely bigger than a closet. Her hands and feet were tied with a coarse rope.
The room had no window so she had no idea how long she had been there.

The young woman struggled into an awkward sitting position wishing she could remember what happened. Her head was pounding relentlessly.
In an effort to fight the pain Zoey closed her eyes and leaned her head against the wall. The last thing she remembered was talking to Charlie outside of the hotel. He was reminding her of their date the next day, as if she would forget.

Zoey's eyes flew open as she remembered the threats the White House had received about her dating Charlie. She hoped he was all right.

******

Leo McGarry walked past Mrs. Landingham's desk. "Is he in the Residence?"

The President's long time secretary shook her head sadly. "No"

Leo stopped in his tracks turning to face her. "Where?"He asked even though he knew the answer.

Landingham gestured with her head back toward the closed door of the Oval Office. "He's been there since he got back from the hospital."

Leo nodded as he started toward the closed door. "Is Abby with him?"

"No, she's in the residence."Mrs. Landingham replied knowing better than anyone did what it was like to loose a child.

McGarry knocked once on the office door before a muffled response acknowledged his request to enter.

**********

After giving his statement to the JAG officers Josh wearily retreated to his office. He left the light off as he closed the door behind him. He sat down on the corner of his desk and reached across for his phone, somebody had to track Sam down.
It was only then that Josh noticed that someone was sitting in his chair.

"Donna?"Lyman asked as he recognized his assistant.

The young blonde woman quickly wiped away her tears as she stood. "I'm sorry....I know I shouldn't be...."

Josh stood and gently grasped her shoulders as she rounded the corner of the desk. "You okay?"He asked softly even before his brain registered that it was a stupid question.

Donna shook her head as the tears began to flow once again. Josh wordlessly drew his friend into a comforting embrace.

**********

After showing her JAG ID, Sarah MacKenzie was quickly ushered through White House security and shown to the West Wing. A few well-placed questions to a nearby Secret Service agent pointed her to the communications bullpen where Harm was still collecting statements.

Lieutenant Harmon Rabb Jr. sat on the corner of one of the desks interviewing Toby Zeilger.

The dark haired man glanced toward the door noticing the Marine Colonel. "Friend of yours?"Toby asked.

Rabb followed the older man's gaze spotting Mac instantly. "Yes, she's my partner and I need to fill her in. Will you excuse me for a moment?"

Zeilger nodded. "I'll be in search of caffeine."The communications director replied as he stood.

Harm reached Sarah's side and quickly ushered her into a nearby empty office, closing the door.

"I'm sorry I didn't pick up the phone when you called."Sarah commented as she sat on the corner of the desk."I must've slept right through it."

Rabb nodded deciding there wasn't any other way to say it then to say it. "President's daughter was killed in a car bomb last night."

"I know."Sarah replied grimly clearly remembering Sam's haunted expression.

Harm blinked in surprise. "Did the Admiral fill you in?"

Sarah shook her head. "No, Sam Seaborn knocked on my door at three this morning."

"The deputy communications director?"Harm asked as he placed the name.

Mac nodded. "He was pretty shaken up. Do we have any leads at all?"

Harm shook his head grimly. "Not really. We have a handful of white supremacist groups claming responsibility but none have panned out."

"So the bomb was meant for her and not the President?"Sarah asked sadly.

Harm shrugged. "All we know for certain is that it was domestic terrorism. The same ingredients used in this device were used to take out the Murray building in Oklahoma."

******

Charlie Young awoke to a world full of pain. Every nerve ending seemed to be on fire forcing the young man to keep his eyes closed. Breathing was difficult he couldn't imagine the effort it would take to open his eyes.
As Charlie lay there the memories assaulted him.....the fundraiser, leaving the hotel, talking with Zoey, Zoey getting into the limo.

The youth's eyes snapped open as the final memory came into focus. What he was remembering couldn't be true.
It just couldn't.

A middle aged blonde haired nurse stepped into his line of vision. "We're very glad to see you awake, Mr. Young. You have a lot of people worried about you."

The woman leaned forward to check his vitals. "Mr. Young, do you know where you are?"

Charlie struggled past the memories to focus on her questions. He knew that was the only way he'd find out what happened. "H-hospital."He replied in a weary, hoarse voice.

The woman smiled brightly as she straightened. "Good. What's your name?"

"Charlie Young."The personal aide replied his voice gaining strength.

"Excellent."The nurse replied happily. "I'll tell Doctor Bradley that you're awake."

Charlie snagged her elbow as she turned to leave halting her. "Please....Zoey....is she alright? How bad was she hurt?"

At the nurse's hesitation Young's hand instantly dropped away from her arm. Charlie turned his head away from her knowing the answer. He had seen the same look in Sergeant Tanner's face when he and his sister had been informed of their mother's death.

"I'll get Doctor Bradley."The woman replied awkwardly as she turned and quickly left the room.

Once he was alone Charlie squeezed his eyes shut drawing the blanket closer around his shoulders. Zoey had been the first person he had gotten close to since his mother had died.
Now she was gone too.

How could he have been so close to the limo and not have seen anything? Charlie opened his eyes and looked out the window finally allowing the tears to flow. He could only hope that Zoey's parents could someday forgive him because he knew he'd never forgive himself.

*****

White House reporter Danny Concanon was amazed at how easily he had gotten to C.J's office. He had expected more roadblocks but ethier way he was grateful. He wasn't there as a reporter he was there as a concerned boyfriend.

Even with all of his contacts Danny had found out very little about the limo explosion. All he knew was that most of the senior staff had been injured and that one was in the hospital.

"Are you okay?"Danny demanded anxiously as he entered the press secretary's office without bothering to knock.

C.J. glanced up container of fish food in one hand. "I didn't feed Gail yesterday."

Danny crossed the room stopping a few feet from the front of her desk. "She's fine. How are you?"

The red haired woman shakily set the container down and gingerly walked around the corner of her desk.

Danny instantly frowned at her limp and reached forward to take her arm. "You're hurt....."

"Just a sprain...."C.J. replied quietly

"Did you get that looked at?"Concanon asked worriedly as he tenderly brushed a stray hair out of her face.

C.J. nodded as Danny drew her into an embrace.

"You don't know how glad I am that you're okay."Danny replied softly as he rested his chin on top of her head.

*****

At first Leo thought the Oval office was empty. The room was dark and still a far cry from the normally hectic room. It was only as he turned back toward the main door that he spotted Bartlet sitting slumped in one of the chairs near the right wall.

The Chief of Staff quickly knelt next to his old friend noticing for the first time the small item that was clutched in the President's hands. It was a pre-school picture of Zoey clutching her mother's hand outside the school.

"Jed?"Leo asked with concern wondering if the current strain was affecting the President's health.

"Any news on Charlie?"Bartlet asked in a choked whisper not looking up from the picture.

McGarry shook his head grimly. "He's the same."He replied quietly.

"How, Leo?"Jed asked as his hands tightened on the small picture. "How could this have happened?"

Leo placed a hand on his friend's arm. "We will find out who did this, I promise. JAG and the CIA are coordinating with State, FBI and the NSA."

*********
Georgetown hospital
7:30 a.m.

Josh Lyman rubbed the back of his neck wearily as he walked down the busy corridors of the hospital. The nurse had called to inform them that Charlie had awakened. Toby had taken it apon himself to tell the President while leaving Josh the unfortunate position of telling Charlie about Zoey.

The Deputy Chief of Staff paused by the nurse's station in the intensive care unit. God he didn't want to break the kid's heart......Josh knew Charlie was just starting to rebound from his mother's death. Taking a deep breath to steel himself Josh moved away from the nurse's station and pushed open the heavy door of the ICU.

Charlie's eyes's opened instantly as the door opened. Seeing it was Josh, Charlie started to ease himself into a sitting position but quickly stopped when intense pain sliced through his rib cage.

Josh immediately placed a gentle hand on the younger man's shoulder's easing him back against the pillow. "Take it easy, Charlie. The President's the only one you have to stand at attention for."

Young closed his eyes as he lay still waiting for the pain to subside.

Josh glanced at him worriedly. "Want me to get a nurse?"

Charlie shook his head tightly. Finally the pain lessened enough so he could reopen his eyes. "Zoey's dead, isn't she?"He asked in a hoarse voice.

Josh quickly pulled a nearby chair over to the bed and sat down. He nodded sadly as he began to fill the younger man in on the details of the previous night.

************

"What about the Davidson case?"Sarah asked as she and Harm stepped into the communications bullpen.

"Bud's going to take it."Harm replied as he glanced down at his notes to see whom they still needed to take a statement from. "But it doesn't go to trial for another week."

Mac turned to face her friend catching something in his voice. "You think this investigation will be done by next week?"

Rabb smiled grimly. "It's the President's daughter, Mac. This'll be wrapped up by Friday."

*********

"How's Abby?"Leo asked quietly

Bartlet shook his head as he finally looked up from his daughter's picture. "I honestly don't know, Leo. I don't think she's had a chance to take it all in....doc's gave her a sedative."

Leo nodded. "If either of you need anything.....anything at all...."

Bartlet was about to reply when there was a quiet knock on the office door.

Leo stood as Mrs. Landingham poked her head into the darkened room.

"I apologize for the interruption, Mr. President."Bartlet's long time secretary replied softly. "But Mr. Zeigler is here with an update on Charlie."

Jed exchanged an anxious glance with Leo before nodding. "Send him in, Mrs. Landingham."

********

Sam Seaborn entered the West Wing and was surprised that he hadn't run into anyone yet. The communications bullpen was practically deserted. Sam paused in the doorway of the bullpen disturbed by the quietness of the normally bustling room.
The two aides who occupied the room glanced at the deputy communications director awkwardly before excusing themselves from the room.

Sam barely acknowledged the young people's exit as he glanced at the bank of dark television screens on the back wall. The quiet was almost deafening a stark reminder of the tragedy that had occurred less than twenty-four hours ago.

The dark haired man rested his left shoulder against the doorframe as he rubbed his eyes wearily with his right hand. He knew he had to pull himself together.....there was a lot to get done. Besides that the Bartlet family would need everyone to help them through this tragic time. However all he could see was the limo going up in a ball of fire.

A gentle hand on his right shoulder jerked Sam from his thoughts. Turning he was surprised to see the woman he had left behind barely two hours previous.

"Sam?"Sarah MacKenzie asked quietly. "You okay?"

Seaborn nodded wearily. "What are you doing here?"

"JAG was invited in on the investigation."Mac replied softly. "Harm and I are collecting everyone's statements."

"Do you have any leads?"Sam asked as he moved away from the doorway to sit on the corner of Donna's desk.

Sarah nodded. "We know it was a domestic terrorist attack."

Sam blinked. "That's it?"He asked incredulously.

"It's early, Sam."Mac replied reassuringly as she took a step toward him. "The FBI's still questioning witnesses from the fundraiser.....the CIA is looking over the limo."

Seaborn nodded as he stood. "Have you seen the President?"

Sarah shook her head. "No. I don't think anyone's seen him except the chief of staff."

"Any news on Charlie?"Seaborn asked quietly.

Mac's expression brightened a little grateful that she had some good news. "He's awake, the doctors think he's going to make a full recovery."

"Thank God."Sam replied as he leaned against the doorway."What do you need from me?"

Mac took out a small pad of paper from her jacket pocket. "I know you told me what happened last night, but I need you to start from the beginning. Don't leave anything out no matter how unimportant it seems."

*********
Three days later

JAG Headquarters
Falls Church, Virginia
9:00 a.m.

Lieutenant Bud Roberts stood next to Colonel Mackenzie in the Admiral's office. Harm stood a few feet from Sarah staring out the window.
Everyone from JAG to CIA to State was frustrated. It had been nearly four days since the President's daughter was killed and they had no leads.
The three friends instantly snapped to attention as Chedwiggen returned to his office closing the door behind him.

"At ease."A.J. replied wearily as he sat down behind his desk.

"Anything new from Webb?"Harm asked quietly as he stepped closer to the desk.

Chedwiggen shook his head. "Not a damn thing. The CIA's as dried up on leads as we are."

"There has to be something we're not seeing, Sir."Sarah replied. "Whoever planned this put a lot of time and thought into it. They picked a very public place knowing the risks of someone seeing something."

Chedwiggen nodded. "And yet we still have nothing except what the bomb was made out of."He glanced up at his three best officers. "Harm, Mac, I want you to go to the daughter's memorial service. It's scheduled for three o'clock."

"You think whoever did this will show up to see the results of his handiwork?"Bud asked.

"It's a long shot but right now it's the only one we have."A.J. replied as he glanced at Mac. "Colonel I understand that you're friends with the Deputy Communications director?"

Sarah nodded. "Yes, Sir."

"Work with him."Chedwiggen replied. "Maybe from inside the White House we can find a way out of this mess."

"Yes, Sir."Mac replied knowing Sam would want to help catch Zoey's killer any way he could.

"And Bud."Chedwiggen added. "Get me background information on the secret service agents assigned to the President's family."

Robert's nodded. "Yes, Sir."

Harm perked up at that statement. "You think this was an inside job?"

"I don't want to think it, Commander."A.J. replied sadly. "But it's the only thing that makes sense. We haven't gotten any leads because somebody might be throwing up road blocks."

********

Zoey's memorial service was held in the White House chapel. The guest list was kept only to Bartlet family members, Zoey's friends and the senior White House staff.

Jed Bartlet stood just inside the doorway of the side entrance at the front of the chapel. The President glanced out at the room that was quickly beginning to fill. Near the altar was a framed picture of Zoey. It had been taken in their home in New Hampshire just after the democratic nomination.

As he stared at his daughter's picture Jed felt himself start to lean against the doorframe. He barely had the strength to hold himself together how was he going to make it through the next hour? How was he going to find the strength to say goodbye to his little girl?

A comforting hand on his right shoulder jerked Bartlet from his thoughts. Turning he saw his wife standing next to him her other hand resting on Charlie's wheel chair.
Jed placed a hand over his wife's as he glanced down at the young man. Despite the doctor's protests Charlie had insisted on attending Zoey's memorial service. The doctor's had agreed to release him only into Abby's care. With strict orders to take it easy, which meant getting around in a wheel chair until Charlie got his strength back. Charlie had resisted the wheel chair at first but when his legs had buckled when he had tried to walk to the hospital room window he had relented.

Jed squeezed Abby's hand before releasing it and kneeling next to the wheel chair. Charlie hadn't once looked at him, his gaze transfixed on Zoey's picture a few feet away.
"How are you doing, Charlie?"Jed asked quietly concerned that his friend was doing too much too soon.

"Been better, Sir."Charlie replied in a barely audible whisper as he finally met his boss's gaze, "But I'll be okay."

"Is Elizabeth here?"Bartlet asked turning toward his wife.

Abby nodded. "She's sitting with Mallory and Sam."

Leo appeared in the doorway his expression grim. "It's time."

Jed glanced back at Abby as he stood. The First Lady nodded and seemed to pull herself up straighter as she struggled to compose herself.
Jed stepped back and placed an arm around his wife's waist as they stepped into the chapel.

***********

Lieutenant Colonel Sarah MacKenzie stood awkwardly at the fringe of the East Room where a small reception was being held for those who attending the memorial service. Harm had stepped out of the room to check in with Bud.
Mac scanned the crowd for Sam....she finally spotted him in the far corner of the room talking with a brown haired man.
As Sarah made her way through the group of people she recognized the brown haired man next to Sam as the deputy chief of staff, Josh Lyman.

"Sorry to interupt."Mac stated quietly as she stood next to Seaborn,"Sam, I need to talk with you for a moment."

Sam nodded. "Sure."He looked back at Lyman. "I'll catch up with you later."

"Okay."Josh replied as he moved into the crowd in search of his assistant.

********

"This was a stupid plan!"A red haired young man in his twenties hissed as he pushed himself away from the wall of the small room. "What's the point of holding her hostage if everybody thinks she's dead?"

A blond man about the same age glared at his friend as he glanced up from the television. "Boss knows what's right. It'll work out."

**********

The night of Zoey's memorial service Sam Seaborn sat in Sarah's apartment staring at an endless stack of files that covered the living room table. It was nearly eight o'clock and they were just getting to the half way point of the secret service files on white supremacist groups.

Mac jumped slightly when the deputy communications director slammed a stack of ten folders down on the sofa and stood. She watched with concern as Sam stalked over to the window.

"This is getting us nowhere, Sarah."Sam stated quietly not turning away from the window. "We've been at this for five hours and we haven't even narrowed down a list of suspects."

Sarah set down the files she was looking at and stood. "Why don't we stop for the night? It's been a long day for you."

Sam shook his head as he turned to face her. "I'm okay. Let's get back to work....I want to have something to show the President tomorrow."

Mac nodded as the two friends turned and walked back into the living room. "Harm had a meeting with Webb tonight, maybe the CIA's come up with something."

Sam retook his seat on the sofa as he looked at her. "What do you know about this Webb?"

Sarah grinned. "He's your typical CIA operative but deep down he has a good heart. He'll keep on this until we find out who did it."

"I hope so."Sam replied wearily. "I see that limo exploding every time I close my eyes. I can only imagine the hell that Bartlet's going through. Zoey deserves justice."

Sarah reached over and covered Seaborn's hand with hers. "We will find the people responsible, Sam. I promise."

********

President Jed Bartlet stepped out of the oval office and scanned the White House lawn. Charlie had eaten dinner with them in the residence but neither of them had seen him since. This was Jed's last stop before he sent the secret service out.
As he stepped off the sidewalk the President finally spotted his personal aide sitting under a tree.

"Abby's been looking for you."Jed stated quietly as he came up behind the young man. "It's time for your medication."

Charlie nodded. "I didn't mean to worry her, but I had some thinking to do."

"She isn't the only one worried about you."Bartlet replied as he rested a hand on the back of Young's wheel chair.

"I was going to leave this on your desk tomorrow."Charlie said quietly as he turned to face his boss holding a folded piece of white paper.

The President glanced down at the piece of paper and frowned. "If that's what I think it is you can tear it up."

Charlie grasped the arms of the wheel chair for support and gingerly stood. "You trusted me with your daughter's saftey."The youth's voice trembled and broke forcing him to swallow hard and start again. "I let her down and...."

Jed grasped his friend's shoulder. "Charlie, stop."

The young black man instantly broke off his sentence.

"Did you see them plant the bomb in the limo?"Bartlet asked grimly.

Charlie shook his head. "No, Sir."

"Then there is no way in hell that this is your fault and Zoey would be the first to tell you that."The President replied quietly.

Several long moments passed both men lost in their memories.

"Come on."Bartlet stated gruffly as he gestured for Young to sit back down in the wheel chair. "Let's go back to the residence before you catch pneumonia."

*******

Sarah replaced the coffeepot just as the phone rang. She grabbed the cordless from the kitchen wall as she passed balancing two mugs of coffee.

"Hello?"

"Mac? It's Harm."Rabb replied as he leaned against the steering wheel.

Sarah handed one mug to Sam as she set her own down on the small table. "Where are you, a bar?"

Harm glared at the gridlock in front of him. "No, caught in a traffic jam."

"How'd your meeting with Webb go?"Mac asked as she sat down.

Rabb shook his head. "Hit another brick wall. The informant that Webb swore would break the case wide open never showed up."

"Damn."Sarah replied softly. "How did Webb take it?"

Harm smirked. "The way Webb usually takes stuff like this. If the guy isn't dead by now he will be when Webb gets a hold of him."

Mac glanced at Sam. "Bud's still digging through the secret service background files. Hopefully something there will point us in the right direction."

"It better."Harm replied as the line of traffic finally started to move. "I hate spinning my wheels on this, Mac. It's been nearly a week.....if we don't find a lead soon we may never find out who was behind the bombing."

Sarah nodded as she picked up a new stack of files. "Sam and I are still sifting through the supremacist files that the Secret Service sent over. I'll let you know if we find anything."

"I'll update the Admiral and then try to catch a few hours sleep."Rabb replied as he turned off the interstate."Night, Mac."

"Good night, Harm."Sarah replied quietly as she hung up the phone.

*******

Clayton Webb groaned as the insistent ringing of his phone sliced through his slumber. The CIA agent sighed as he reached to his right and plucked the phone off the nightstand.

"Webb."

"I told you to come alone, Webb."

Clayton jerked upright instantly awake as he recognized the voice on the other end. "You know I work by my own rules, Bennett. Where the hell were you?"

"Protecting my own interests, mainly my own neck. These people aren't exactly the boy scouts."

Webb glanced at the clock, nearly two in the morning. "It's late, Bennett if you don't have anything useful to say....."

"She's alive, I've seen her."Bennett replied. "But if you want any info my usual fee has tripled."

Webb gripped the phone tighter in an effort to calm himself down. "Bennett, this is not the case you want to screw people on, trust me. I've seen Bartlet mad and you do not want to get on his bad side. Tell me where she is and you'll be a bona fide hero."

Bennett snickered. "There's only one kind of hero and that's a dead hero. Triple the amount Webb, I'm sure you remember our usual place and our usual time."

The next minute Webb was listening to nothing but the dial tone. In frustration Clayton threw the cordless phone against the wall. It shattered and fell to the hard wood floor.

**********

Harriet Roberts went to the bathroom to get a glass of water and on her way back she noticed the light was still on in the living room. The blonde woman sighed as she walked down the hallway.....Bud had been digging through the Secret Service background files since he had got off work.

"Anything?"Harriet asked as she stood behind the sofa resting her hands on her husband's shoulders as she glanced at the clock on the wall, three a.m..

Bud nodded distractedly as he typed away at the keyboard of his laptop. "I think so and if I'm right we've been looking at this whole thing the wrong way."

Harriet moved around the corner of the sofa and sat down. "What can I do to help?"

Bud flashed her a grateful smile as he handed her a stack of files. "I haven't gotten through these yet."

*********

Sam Seaborn raised the coffee mug to his lips before he realized it was empty. The dark haired man sighed tiredly as he glanced over at Sarah who was asleep in a nearby chair. Sam stood and walked over to the small kitchen and went through the motions of brewing another pot of coffee.

As he waited for the machine to stop Sam recalled the phone conversation Sarah had earlier with her partner. Sam walked back to the sofa and pulled his cell phone and computerized Rolodex out of his jacket pocket. He found the number he was looking for and dialed it on the way back to the kitchen.

"Danny?"Sam greeted after the fourth ring. "It's Sam Seaborn. Yeah, I know what time it is....listen what do you know about a Clayton Webb?"

*******
JAG Headquarters
Falls Church, Virginia

Harmon Rabb entered his office at seven thirty the next morning to find Bud Roberts asleep in one of the chairs.

Harm placed his hat and stack of files on his desk before returning his attention to his friend. He gently placed a hand on Bud's left shoulder and shook him awake.

"Bud?"

Roberts jumped three feet nearly sending the pile of computer printouts on his lap flying to the floor. "Did I fall asleep?"

Harm nodded as he pulled the other chair over. "Yeah, you look like hell."

Bud glared at him slightly. "Thanks, I was up all night but I think it was worth it. The limo explosion, Sir, we've been going at it from the wrong direction."

Harm raised an eyebrow as he took the computer printouts from the younger man. "So you're saying, what, that this was just a random bombing?"

Bud shook his head as he gestured toward the printouts. "No,Sir, far from it. The attack wasn't directed at the first daughter like we thought but at President Bartlet."

Rabb stood and grabbed his hat from his desk as he glanced out the door. "Mac in yet?"

Bud shook his head. "No."

"See if you can find her and Webb."Harm replied as he stepped into the hallway. "I'll fill the Admiral in."

***********

"Hey CJ."Sam greeted the press secretary as he walked by her office.

"Sam? Come here for a minute."The red haired woman replied.

Sam poked his head into her office. "Yeah?"

CJ took her glasses off and rubbed the bridge of her nose wearily. "Sam, next time you call Danny for background information think of who his next call will be."

"Sorry CJ."Seaborn replied sheepishly. "Won't happen again."

"Better not."CJ stated as she replaced her glasses.

"How's the President doing?"Sam asked quietly as he came to stand next to her desk.

Cregg shook her head sadly. "He's trying to put up a brave front for everyone but you can see how this has shattered him."

Sam nodded grimly as he raised the stack of computer printouts he was holding. "Sarah and I may have finally made some progress and come up with a lead or two."

"That's the best news I've heard all week."CJ replied but her smile quickly vanished. "Sam, these guys play hardball....watch your back."

Seaborn nodded. "I will. Anything else going on?"

CJ glanced toward the door. "It's Charlie's first day back."

"How's he doing?"Sam asked as he moved toward the door.

CJ shook her head sadly. "He's trying but I think it's starting to hit him that she's gone."

"I'll talk to him."Sam replied quietly as he left her office and headed toward his own.

*********

Clayton Webb rubbed the back of his neck wearily as he got out of his car at Arlington National Cemetery. It was nearly eight thirty in the morning and he felt like he hadn't slept in a month. If Bennett wasn't here this time he'd personally put out a contract on the weasel.

"You're late," Bennett snapped as he approached Webb's car from the rear.

Webb turned to face the informant slowly. "You picked the details of this meeting so you should know what traffic is like this time of morning."

Bennett grinned as he leaned against the car. "A little grumpy this morning are we, Mr. Webb?"

Clayton glared at the red haired man. "You're on very thin ice, Bennett. No credible information, no money."

Bennett held up his hands in a defensive position but the smile never left his face. "Alright, agent man, alright. "He glanced around the cemetery before pulling a yellow piece of paper out of the inside pocket of his leather jacket. "This map will lead you right to the lady."

Webb snatched the paper from the informant examining it closely. "How do I know this is real?"

Bennett grinned as he gestured toward the brown leather briefcase at Webb's feet. "The same way I know that money is real."

Clayton looked at the younger man with disgust before picking up the briefcase and throwing it. "I'm sure you'll count it."

Bennett caught the briefcase before it hit him in the chest. "You're getting touchy in your old age, Webb."He replied gleefully as he opened the briefcase. "Hey, there's only half here."

"Very good, you can count, I wasn't sure." Webb sneered as he opened his car door. "You forgot who you were dealing with, Bennett. You'll get half the money now and the other half when Zoey Bartlet is safely back in the White House."

Bennett took a swing at Webb but the older man blocked the blow sending the informant sprawling.

Webb stood over him struggling to control his anger. He'd dealt with low life creeps before, part of the job, so why was this case so different? "Bennett, if I find out that this is all an elaborate hoax to get money I will hunt you down myself."

Bennett scrambled to his feet and started to reply but he had barely enough time to get out of the way of the car as Webb drove away.

*********

Unlike most people Charlie Young didn't mind paper work. It kept his mind occupied and away from painful memories.
But as he sat at his desk just outside the Oval Office the painful memories weren't going away. In fact they intensified with every person who came into the room.
Each person was a painful reminder to Charlie that Zoey would never again step through that door.

It was his fault that she was gone.

Though the President and First Lady had gone out of their way to assure him that they didn't hold him responsible he still blamed himself. Gina had told him about the threats Zoey and the White House in general had gotten since he had started dating Zoey and it had angered him that there were people in this country that still thought that way.

Charlie sighed and picked up the framed photo of Zoey from the left corner of his desk. God, he missed her. He hoped that the last thing he had told her was that he loved her but he couldn't remember.

Sam approached Charlie's desk and placed a medium sized paper cup on the
corner. "I thought you could use some caffeine."

Young jumped slightly not having heard Seaborn's approach. Charlie
placed the photo carefully back in its place before turning to face the
deputy communications director.

"Thanks," Charlie replied softly.

Sam nodded as he sat down on the corner of the desk. "I didn't think the
First Lady would let you out so soon."

Despite everything Charlie smiled as he took a sip of the cappuccino. "I
didn't give her much choice. I was going stir crazy......everytime I
closed my eyes all I saw was the limo...."

Seaborn placed a supportive hand on his friend's shoulder. "I know," he
replied softly.

"I don't know how to deal with this again, Sam."Charlie stated softly.
"I got through my mother's death because I had to.....because Deena
needed me. This is different, Sam.....One second she was there the
next...."

Sam knelt next to his friend so that they were eye level with each other. "You're not alone this
time, Charlie. You have all of us. Remember that no matter what time of
day it is, we're here."

Charlie swallowed the lump of tears and nodded tightly. "Thanks, Sam."

*******

"Mac!" Harm exclaimed as Sarah stepped through the door at nine o'clock. "We've been trying to reach you for the past half hour."

Sarah flashed him a sheepish look as she walked toward her office. "Sorry, Harm. My cell phone's on the fritz and the battery in my pager died and I haven't had a chance to replace it. What's going on?"

"We got a lead on the Bartlet case," Harm replied as he stood in the doorway."Bud's waiting for us in the Admiral's office."

Mac nodded as she dumped her briefcase and coat on a nearby chair. "I'll be right there."

*******
CIA headquarters

Webb sat at his desk staring at the small map Bennett had given him earlier that morning. He knew he had to get it analyzed to make sure of it's authenticity. But with the high stakes of this case Webb didn't trust his usual sources at the CIA lab.

Which left only one group of people who had as much at stake in this case as he did.

With a sigh Clayton put down the map and picked up the phone. "Yes, I need to speak with Lieutenant Commander Harmon Rabb Jr.."Webb paused, "I don't care if he's in a meeting."

*************

"So this really was an inside job by the Secret Service," Mac replied with a sad shake of her head as she sat next to Bud.

"Not the whole Secret Service, Ma'am," Bud replied quietly as he flipped through a pile of computer printouts, "Just part of it. Peter Koening has been with the Secret Service for almost twenty years. The last ten years he's been assigned to protect the President's family."

"So is he just a run of the mill nutcase or does he actually have a reason for killing Bartlet's daughter?"Harm asked as he glanced at his boss.

Roberts nodded as he handed a printout to Rabb, MacKenzie and Chedwiggen. "He has a good one as far as motives go. His brother, Charles Koening was on death row in New Hampshire for six years before his execution date finally came around three years ago."

"The last year Bartlet was Governor of New Hampshire," the Admiral stated quietly not looking up from the picture of Koening.

"Yes, Sir," Bud confirmed as he continued. "Bartlet denied a stay of execution for Koening."

"Let me guess," Sarah began as she turned to face Roberts. "The anniversary of his brother's death was the day Zoey Bartlet was killed."

Bud nodded. "To the hour, Ma'am."

Chedwiggen's intercom buzzed catching everyone's attention. "What is it, Tiner?"

"Sorry to interrupt, Sir," The young yeoman replied. "But Agent Webb is on the phone and he's insisting to speak with Commander Rabb."

AJ sighed before hitting the right button. "Put him through, Tiner."

"Yes, Sir."Tiner replied.

"He's on line three, Sir."Tiner reported a minute later.

Chedwiggen motioned for Rabb to pick up the phone. "Thank you, Tiner."

Rabb glanced at his boss apologetically before standing and picking up the nearby phone. "What's going on, Webb?"

"Is Mac there?" Webb asked as he picked up the map.

Rabb nodded. "Bud, Mac and I were briefing the Admiral on a new development in the Bartlet case."

"Put me on speaker," Webb ordered. "I have something they'll definitely be interested in."

"Okay," Rabb replied as he hit the correct button on the phone before replacing the receiver. "It's on."

"That informant we were going to meet finally came through," Webb began grimly "He told me that Zoey Bartlet is still alive."

Stunned silence grasped the room for a moment before Chedwiggen spoke. "How the hell is that possible?"

"I don't know, Admiral," Webb's disembodied voice replied. "But he gave me a map that will allegedly lead us right to her."

"How do you know he's telling the truth?" Mac asked as she leaned forward.

"I don't, Mac, but the informant who gave me the information is a worm who doesn't trust anyone but himself. He doesn't risk his neck lightly or cheaply." Clayton replied quietly.

"If there's any chance this is true, Sir, we have to look into it," Bud stated quietly.

Chedwiggen nodded as he turned toward the speakerphone. "Webb, I'd like you and Rabb to get the map analyzed and if it is real follow it."

"I'll be over there shortly," Clayton replied as he ended the conversation.

Chedwiggen turned to face Mackenzie. "Colonel, I want you and Seaborn to track down this Secret Service agent and bring him in."

********


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