Author: Redconky PM
Is it possible to lose what you never had?Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance - Josh L. & Donna M. - Words: 967 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 1 - Published: 02-16-07 - Status: Complete - id: 3398419
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Title: Loose Ends
Pen Name/Nickname: Redconky
Author's Notes: Title: Loose Ends (Part Five of the "A Fork In the Road" series)
This is the fifth installment in the series "A Fork in the Road as well as a post-ep for "On the Day Before". Aaron Sorkin owns all of these characters, storylines, etc. This is very short. I hope you like it. As always, characters' thoughts are in italics. Thanks to the wonderful betas Sara and Noriane! Feedback would be much appreciated.
While walking out of the Oval Office, CJ noticed the pensive look on Josh's face. She dropped a couple of paces behind him, and then followed him into his office.
"What's going on, CJ?"
"I was about to ask you the same thing."
Josh ran his hands over his face and pushed himself slightly away from his desk. "Donna just told me about a situation that might cause a problem for us."
"What is it?"
"Ainsley set Donna up on a blind date with a Republican attorney who was on Ways and Means but is now on Oversight. She went out with him twice." Josh began pacing back and forth behind his desk, and his voice increased significantly in volume. "Donna went out with this guy who was on Ways and Means when I was fighting with them and went out with him again knowing he was being transferred to Oversight!"
"OK, this might be a problem, but let's not holler before we're hurt, Josh."
"CJ, how can you be calm at a time like this? You're the one who has to figure out how to spin everything when we have problems and you're acting like she broke curfew by five minutes!"
"Josh, I'm not saying it might not be a snag but I'm saying we've got a lot to deal with right now. Let's dispense with the real crises before we go looking for phantom ones."
"Why did she have to go out with him?"
"Are you saying Donna's not allowed to date?"
"I'm saying why did she have to go out on any date? Right now?"
"Donna's entitled to a life, Josh."
"She works in the White House."
"That doesn't mean she can't have a life."
"What did she want from him?"
"What do you think she wanted from him? She wanted to be treated like her own person, not just Josh Lyman's girl Friday."
Josh's lips tightened. He stared at CJ. CJ stared right back.
"Why did she need him?"
CJ paused, then replied, "You weren't THERE for her, Josh."
"You heard me. She's there for you, morning, noon and night, but you weren't there for her. You act like she's yours, but she isn't."
"She's my assistant."
"And that's all she is. She's not your sister, or your wife, or your girlfriend. Yet she's been more than an employee, more than a friend – but you don't recognize that. You treat her like some damned loyal lap dog, stroking and petting her occasionally but only realizing how much you miss her when you think you've lost her. Isn't that what this is really about Joshua? Aren't you afraid you've lost her?"
"He's a Republican! On Oversight!"
"Yes, and there's going to have to be some damage control and spin, but don't you see? You're pissed because she dared to step out of your shadow a bit and you can't deal. God forbid – she's human! She made a mistake. Who was there for you when you screwed up with Mary Marsh? Oh, hell Josh – build a bridge and get over it!" CJ turned away from Josh and strode swiftly toward her office. She was 2-0 tonight and decided to quit while she was ahead.
Josh waited a few moments, then stepped out of his office and over to Donna's desk. Lying on her desktop was the bowtie she had tried so hard to tie earlier that evening – or last night, depending on how you look at it. He picked it up, running his fingers over it. He should have known something was up. He should have known by the look in her eyes, by the way her fingers trembled slightly when she tried to make the knot. He gets paid to read people, yet tonight he was completely blind to the book he should know best – Donnatella Moss.
If they disagreed, they always seemed to manage to work it out before they parted for the day. Maybe through a joke, or actually talking it out, but this time he had slammed the door, effectively shutting her out. He had been so cold to her. Why?
CJ's words echoed through Josh's head: "Aren't you afraid you've lost her?" To have lost her implies he had her. Had he had her? Was she ever his? He wanted to believe he had at least a part of her, but the truth is he wanted to believe he had all of her. He wanted all of her, but knew there were obstacles. He was her boss. She was his assistant. It was a matter of appearances. Could she really be his equal in a relationship when he had the power to tell her what to do at work? Josh realized he couldn't deal tonight with all of the implications of what it would mean to change their relationship. But he couldn't ignore the little voice inside that kept at him, asking the same question CJ asked:
Aren't you afraid you've lost her?