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Modern Times

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Summary: Cordelia wakes up with no memory of the past two years. No memory of meeting Josh Lyman, of falling in love, of their wedding day. No memory of a marriage that is teetering on the brink of total collapse.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > West Wing > Cordelia-Centered(Moderator)MalanaFR1522,0651111,95831 Aug 0614 Sep 06No

The Wicked Messenger

"Cordelia, it's me."

"Yeah?" Cordelia didn't really know how to respond. She wanted to be as vague as possible. She was assuming that this was her husband, but she couldn't be sure yet. And even if he was, over a cell phone might not be the best way to tell him that she couldn't remember who he was.

"There's been a change in the schedule. We've added an L.A. thing. I'm not going to be back for a couple of days."

"You're in L.A.?"

"I will be in a few hours. I'm about to get on the plane. We may be there overnight."

Cordelia began to explore the room once more. There was some mail on the table. Leafing through it she saw a few letters addressed to a Josh Lyman. She was glad for the confirmation that the guy on the phone was indeed her husband. But it still didn't make this conversation any less difficult. It's wasn't exactly easy when she had no idea what he was talking about, but didn't want him to know that.

"Maybe I could come out?" she suggested. Going to L.A. meant being able to see Angel and the others. If anyone could fix what was happening it would be them.

There was a pause, and a long sigh before Josh answered. "Cordelia...It's not like I'm going to have any time to spend with you. The schedule is tight."

"Sure. I understand," Cordelia said, lying through her teeth. She didn't understand any of this. "But even if you just had time for a cup of coffee or something. I could spend the day with Angel."

"Angel, of course." Josh's tone was clipped, "Of course that's why you'd want to come out."


"Look, if you want to come out and visit Angel, just say so. Don't pretend that I'm the reason you want to come out here."

Confused as she was, Cordelia couldn't help but become defensive at Josh's tone. "God forbid that I want to see one of my friends. Christ, what's wrong with you? You're the one who got all cagey the second I suggested coming out there. 'Won't have time to spend with you, blah, blah, blah, my schedule, blah.' It's pretty obvious you have no desire to see me, so why shouldn't I want to see my friends?"

There was a pause before Josh spoke. "You know what? I don't have time for this. I'm trying to win an election. I'm not having this argument with you again. Not now. I'll be back in D.C. on Thursday. We can deal with this then."

"Josh, wait-" Cordelia began. But it was too late. Josh had already hung up.

Cordelia sighed and sank onto the couch.

"Well, that could have gone better," she muttered to herself.

She was just so frustrated. She was married. It didn't make any sense. Married to a guy she didn't know. Living in a city she had never even visited before. What had happened to her? How had she woken up to a life that was no longer her own?

Tears filled her eyes and threatened to spill down her cheeks. But Cordelia angrily brushed them away. Sitting around on the couch wasn't going to make her feel any better, and it certainly wouldn't solve her problem. If she was in some sort of alternative universe she had to find a way home, and if this really was her life, and she had just forgotten it somehow, she needed to find a way to get her memories back. And there was no better way to do that than going to LA.

Glancing around the room, she noticed a laptop sitting on a rather messy dinning table. A few minutes online produced a ticket for a flight that left for L.A. in just a few hours. Luckily it wasn't completely booked. She found a credit card in her purse. Looking around the apartment, it didn't exactly seem like she and her husband were hurting for money, so she didn't worry about the cost. She also found a phone book and called herself a cab. She might have a car for all she knew, but she didn't want to deal with the hassle of driving in a city she didn't know, especially not with the stress she was currently under.

Her cab was due in a little under two hours, which gave her some time turn the apartment upside down, trying to put together whatever scraps of information she could find out about her life.

She started with the mail she had glanced at earlier. There was a small stack of bills, some junk mail, and some large envelopes that contained a bunch of "Bartlet for America" material, bumper stickers, buttons, and leaflets.

She pondered it for a minute before remembering that Josh had mentioned something about an election on the phone.

She returned to the laptop and ran a Google search on "Josh Lyman" and "President Bartlet". Her jaw dropped a little the results came up. She was married to the Deputy Chief of Staff at the White House.

Something else stirred in her memory. Josh Lyman. He had been the one who had been shot a few months ago. From what Cordelia remembered from the news, he had almost died.

A little more searching confirmed that. But it had taken place over two years ago. Two years. That was a long time. A lot could happen in two years. Like meeting a guy, falling in love with him, and getting married, apparently. She felt tears welling up again, and pushed them back down.

It was then that she thought to check her e-mail. Luckily, her old account was still active, which pretty much killed the alternate universe theory, but could hopefully shed some light on the two-plus years she was missing.

She opened her 'sent mail' file and began to read. There were a lot of e-mails exchanged with Angel and Wesley, along with some names she didn’t recognize.

One subject line in particular caught her eye. "At the end of my rope" She had sent it just a few weeks ago.


Things have gotten worse. Josh is on the road with the campaign a lot now. Between the election and his regular work, I barely see him now. And part of me thinks that's a good thing. He came home last night, for the first time this week. He's mostly been sleeping in his office when he's in town. We pretty much started fighting as soon as he walked in the door. It's the same stuff as always. Little crap that sets one of us off. I'll admit that I started it this time. I was pissed that he hadn't been home, even though he's been in town. He got defensive, and it ended up with us screaming at each other and him storming out.

I don't know where he went. To his office maybe. Or Sam's. I tried calling his cell this morning and it went to voice-mail. I also called the office and Donna said he was in meeting and would call me back. He hasn't yet. And I'm not holding my breath.

I miss L.A. I miss you and Wesley and Gunn, and Fred, and I don't know how much longer I can put up with this.

I miss you,

Apparently the argument that she had just had with Josh on the phone wasn't unusual. She may not remember being married, but it still hurt to know that her marriage was going so badly.

She read through more e-mails that were a lot of the same. The last few months apparently hadn't been good ones for her.

Then she clicked on the last e-mail that she had sent. It had just been sent the day before. It was short and simple, and filled her with a mixture of sadness and rage.


I think he's having an affair.


The End?

You have reached the end of "Modern Times" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 14 Sep 06.

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