Title: Lightning by Willow
Synopsis: Lightning never strike the same people twice, does it?
Rating: PG
Spoilers: Anything up to S6, set around S4

Part IV

Josh walked through the communications bullpen at quarter past midnight and found Toby sat in his office. "You're here late," Josh commented.

"Yeah, I was writing."

"You're suppose to be at home ill."

"I'm better. You going home?"

"Not yet," Josh replied, "I need to check what I missed."

"Go home."

"I don't want to yet."

"You okay?"

"You asked me that half a dozen times on the phone."

"I'm waiting for an honest answer," Toby replied.

"I'm fine."

"No you're not."

"What do you want from me, Toby?" Josh snapped. "I've just been shot at, what the hell do you expect. You want me to be dancing in the aisles?"

"That's better," Toby replied.

Josh sat down and looked suddenly deflated. "I have to be fine."

"No you don't. No one expects CJ or Charlie or the president to not be effected, why should it be any different for you?"

"Because they don't have PTSD."

"All the more reason for you not to be okay."

"Yeah, 'cos I'm unstable anyway."

"No," Toby replied and sat quietly watching Josh.

"You just going to sit there and watch me?" Josh asked.


"Donna gone home?"

"No, she'd went to the mess for some food for us, she'll be back soon."

Josh nodded. "You don't look well."

"I have the flu."

"Then why are you here?"

"Why am I...?" Toby began. "Because I turned on the TV on this evening and heard that the president had been shot at as he left a meeting. Because I sat there and watched the pictures of people running and screaming and it was like Rosslyn again. Why the hell do you think I'm here?" Toby shouted.

Josh looked at his friend and suddenly realized that if he was going to talk to anyone here, it'd be Toby. "When the shooting started I couldn't move, I froze. If an agent hadn't pushed me down I'd have just stood there."

"CJ said you pulled her back down when she stood up. She thought the shooting had stopped, but it hadn't."

Josh nodded. "I didn't know if it had stopped or not," he admitted. "I could still hear the shooting when I was in the car."

"That's understandable."

"My chest hurt."

"Did you tell the doctor?" Toby was suddenly alarmed.

"There's nothing physically wrong with me. It was like, it was, at the concert that Christmas... I could feel the bullet," he hung his head.

"Have you talked to someone?"


"A therapist?"

"No. I will, but not tonight."

Toby was about to argue that he should talk to someone as soon as possible, but they were interrupted by Donna.

"You okay?" Donna asked Josh as she entered the office.


"You cut your head."

Josh fingered the dressing on his forehead. "It's nothing, just a scratch. I'm fine, honestly."

Donna studied Josh, and while she didn't believe him for a minute, she nodded. "I called Stanley to warn him you'd be phoning."

"Tomorrow," Josh agreed.

"Tonight," Donna replied.

"It's past midnight."

"Not in California it isn't. Go back to your office and call Stanley," Donna instructed. When she saw Josh about to object she added, "Do I have to get Leo?"

Josh considered arguing, but he didn't have the strength to take on Donna, Toby and Leo so he shook his head. "I'll go and call him."

Once Josh had left the office, Donna turned to Toby. "Is he alright?"

"I wouldn't think so."

"No," Donna agreed. "What about you?"

"They're all fine, so we're both fine," Toby replied.

"You should go home before you collapse," Donna smiled.

"Yeah," Toby agreed. "Keep an eye on him, he said he could hear the gunfire when he was in the car, and," he hesitated.


Toby looked awkward. "He said he felt the bullet," he quietly told Donna.

"Okay," she said and sat down.

"You think he'll be alright?" Toby asked.

"Yes, I just know how long that will take."

"No," Toby agreed.