Title: Bath Time
Author:
Willow
Summary: Josh and Zoey bath the president's favorite dog.
Spoilers/Episode: Anything up to season 4.
Characters: Josh and Zoey mainly.
Rating: G
Disclaimer: They all belong to Aaron Sorkin, NBC, John Wells and many others who aren't me.


"Go back to bed," Toby told Josh.

"We've got a meeting," Josh protested.

"I hate to burst your ego, Josh," Toby said, causing CJ to laugh, "but I think we can cope without you."

"How do you feel?" Sam asked.

"I'm fine."

"Joshua," Abbey scolded when she walked into the room. "Why are you here?"

"We're going to a meeting."

"Josh, you're ill. You're staying at the farm because you're ill." Abbey saw Josh was about to interrupt. "Well admittedly it's also because the hotel was double booked, but still, you look awful. Go back to bed."

"I'll be fine," Josh protested.

"He's just upset that we can cope without him," CJ grinned, as Leo joined them.

"You know, Josh, it'll be a struggle, but I'm sure we'll survive the Townswomen's Guild and the Girl Scouts without you," Leo laughed.

"So you all think I should stay here then?"

"Yes!"

"Yeah okay, I do feel like crap," he agreed.


After everyone had left for the meetings, Josh went and sat on the porch overlooking the paddock. He had a mild concussion, cuts and bruises, some bruised ribs and a sore leg. On Sunday evening he'd been stood waiting to cross the road with Zoey and Sam, when a car swerved to avoid a dog and hit him instead. Luckily it wasn't going fast, and it somehow managed to completely miss Sam and Zoey. So he was feeling a little sorry for himself and he was secretly glad he stayed behind. It was a nice day and he planned sitting outside for a while and then maybe watching the news and reading some notes.

"Morning," Zoey smiled, handing him a coffee. "How are you?"

"I'm fine."

"You haven't gone with them though."

"Your mom banned me."

"She's tough like that," Zoey agreed. "I'm going to take Bran for a walk you want to come?"

"Nah, I think I'll just sit here and feel sorry for myself."

"Sore?" Zoey asked.

"A little," Josh admitted.

"I'm sorry."

"Why?"

"I don't know really. It's just that Sam and I are fine and you've got cuts and bruises and a concussion."

"I just like the attention," Josh smiled.

"Sounds about right," Zoey smiled back. "I'll see you later then."

"Have fun." Josh watched Zoey and Bran walk away and then picked up the local paper. After reading about a prize cow, a book group meeting and a cycle ride to raise money for a tree preservation, he gave up and closed his eyes. He hadn't got much sleep the previous night. A combination of Sam asking if he was alright every time he moved and pain, every time he moved, kept him awake. Thirty minutes later he was woken my someone calling his name.

"Josh," Zoey rushed out from the house, "I need your help."

"To do what?" Josh asked suspiciously.

"To bath Bran."

"Okay. You need me to hold the hose?"

"I can't use the hose, it's April, he'll freeze."

"Zoey. He's a farm dog. Isn't he suppose to be tough?"

"Don't be mean. We'll use the bathroom."

"You want me to bath a dog in your father's bathroom?"

"No, we'll use the downstairs one."

"That'll make all the difference," Josh replied, still not moving.

"Josh!"

"Zoey! If your father comes back and finds us bathing a dog in any bathroom in his house, he's going to be pissed."

"Are you scared of my dad?" Zoey grinned.

"Yes," Josh grinned back.

"Why?"

"Well, he's my boss and has the power to fire me. He's also the president and has the power to draft me into the military."

"I'll tell him I forced you," Zoey smiled.

"Zoey, I'm a grown man. Do you really think he'd believe that you could......" he laughed at the look of determination that Zoey's giving him. "Of course he'd believe it," he said and stood up. "Come on then, if we must."

"He's in here," Zoey lead Josh into the den.

"God, Zoey, what the hell has he been rolling in. He smells like old gym socks."

"Hey, don't pick on him," Zoey said. "You are right though, he stinks. I let him run off across the field behind the paddock. When he came back he had this brown stuff on his neck and collar. Look, I don't know what it is."

"Well whatever it is, it's been dead a while," Josh commented, as he reluctantly followed Zoey into the downstairs bathroom.

"Here," Zoey handed Josh Bran's collar, which was also covered in the 'brown stuff' and which Josh promptly dropped. "Don't be so soft," Zoey laughed. She placed an arm in round Bran's front legs and the other behind his back legs and lifted him into the tub. "Use the shower head," she told Josh, "and make sure the water's not too hot, or too cold."

Josh grinned and turned the water on, checking that the temperature was just right. "You hold him, I'll hold the shower."

"Coward," she laughed.

"Hold his tail out," Josh instructed. "Poor little thing, look at his face. This is very undignified for him you know. Dogs are suppose to just jump in the river to clean themselves."

"Yeah," Zoey laughed. "The last time he jumped in the river, he couldn't get out again. It took two of us to climb in and get him."

"He's not too bright then."

"Well he likes you." Zoey commented, with a grin.

"Hey, remember which one of us has the water," Josh laughed. "Right he's soaking, where's his shampoo?"

"Use the Baby Shampoo."

"You're kidding me?"

"No. Dog shampoos make him itch, baby shampoo's the only thing we can use on him."

"How much?"

"Give it here," Zoey took the shampoo off Josh and poured some onto Bran's back. After she'd made him all soapy, and Josh had stopped laughing at him, they rinsed the shampoo off.

"Zoey, whatever this stuff is, it's still there" Josh pointed out.

"We'll just wash that bit again, otherwise I'm going to have to cut it out."

"Do you not think your dad might notice that?"

"It's better than the smell."

They were in the process of rinsing the poor embarrassed collie, when a small cough from the doorway made all three of them jump. "What are you two doing?" Ellie asked with a grin.

"This has nothing to do with me," Josh was quick to point out.

"My hero," Zoey laughed. "Josh got Bran covered in something dead," she smiled at her sister.

"Hey!" Josh protested.

"Then he made me help him bathe him," she continued. "I even had to lift him into the tub."

"Bruised ribs," Josh pointed out.

"Bruised ribs?" Ellie echoed. "How'd you hurt yourself this time?" she asked with a smile.

"This time?" Josh asked. "You make it sound like I'm accident prone."

"Zoey tells me stories, which I suspect Donna's told her - falling off chairs, sitting on chairs that aren't there, slipping in new shoes.... "

"Yeah okay, you may have a point," Josh smiled, as Bran spotted his chance and made a dash for freedom.

"Grab him," Zoey yelled. The two sisters ran after the soaking wet dog, while Josh laughed at them.

Ten minutes later a breathless Zoey and Ellie joined Josh and Bran on the porch "We've just searched the house for him," Ellie said, collapsing on a chair next to Josh.

"He was in the paddock, rolling in the grass trying to dry himself."

"And you couldn't have told us?" Zoey asked, sitting down on the other side of Josh.

"You shouldn't have tried to blame me," Josh laughed, ducking as Zoey went to punch him. A movement that caused him to flinch a little. He'd forgotten the joys of sore ribs.

"You alright?" Zoey asked in concern.

"Yeah, I'm fine," he reassured her.

"Have you taken something?" Ellie asked.

"Hospital gave me some painkillers."

"That wasn't what she asked," Zoey said. "Did you take them?"

"Yes, now leave me alone," Josh replied, then he grinned, "You're just upset cos Bran likes me better than you."

"You did say he wasn't too bright," Zoey laughed.

END