TITLE: No More Hiding Places.
SUMMARY: Josh is ill and a drunk late night visitor is the last thing he needs. Set in 1994.
SPOILERS: Some stuff from S1, but nothing major.
CHARACTERS: Josh, Leo.
DISCLAIMER: Aaron Sorkin owns them all.
Janet stands in front of her boss's desk and folds her arms. "Will you go home, you look like crap and if I catch whatever you've got, I'm going to be pissed."
"Yeh, in a while, I've still got some stuff......."
"Josh, I've called a cab. Do I have to call security too?"
"Will you not shout, my head's killing me." Josh looks up at his assistant. He has to admit that he feels pretty crap. Congressman Brennan had already told him to go home, but he's been resisting. As Janet continues to hover and glare, he sighs, "I'm going, but I don't need a cab, I've got my car." He stands up, sways slightly and sits down again. "OK, maybe a cab'd be a good idea," he says as he stands again. Janet shakes her head and hands Josh his jacket and backpack. He picks up some files and leaves the building.
Forty minutes later he's sat in his apartment, wondering whether food would be a good idea. He walks into the kitchen, opens the fridge and decides maybe not, as his stomach does a somersault. He pours a glass of water, gets some aspirin, lies down in front of the TV and falls asleep. The ringing phone wakes him around 9. "Hello."
"Hey Josh, it's Mal."
"Hey Mal," he says, closing his eyes to stop the ceiling moving.
"Have you seen my dad?"
"No. I haven't seen him for a couple of weeks. Why?"
"Cos, he was suppose to be visiting a friend, but he's not got there."
"Mal, I hate to be blunt, but if that's the case then we both know why."
"Yeh," Mal replies miserably.
"Joshua," says another voice.
"Jenny," he mumbles.
"I know he hides at your place, so if he's there you'd better tell me."
"You make him sound like he's 10 years old." Josh is hot, he aches and the world spins whenever he opens his eyes. He's certainly not in the mood for a row with Jenny McGarry. "Look, if he turns up here I'll let you know. Now I really feel like crap, so if you don't mind I'm going to bed," he says, hanging up the phone. He goes to the kitchen for some more water and aspirin and tries to remember whether it's, 'feed a fever and starve a cold', or 'starve a fever and feed a cold.' The thought of food still turns his stomach though, so he goes to bed.
The buzzing's continuous now. He had thought if he ignored it then whoever it was would go away and leave him to die in peace. He knows if he leaves it long enough his Super will answer it, but he has a strong suspicion who's there and he doesn't want Carl finding the Secretary of Labor passed out on the front stoop. He gets up and answers the intercom.
"Let me in."
"Push the door," Josh says, walking to open his apartment door. He stands there for a couple of minutes but no one comes in. He sighs, staggers to the building's front door and opens it. "Come on," he says, taking Leo's arm and dragging him inside.
"Will you be quiet, you'll wake the building and my head's killing me."
"You need aspirin," declares Leo.
"Whatever," says Josh, pushing Leo into his apartment.
"You got anything to drink?"
"Yes," Josh replies, "coffee." He walks into the kitchen and makes Leo a coffee. "Mal and Jenny are looking for you," he says, leaning against the cupboards to steady his balance, while he waits for the coffee.
"Are they here?"
"No," Josh sighs. "They phoned, hours ago. What time is it anyway?"
Leo looks at his watch, "dunno."
Josh looks at the microwave, 2.15, quite early for Leo. "Apparently, you're suppose to be visiting someone?" he says, handing Leo the coffee.
"Am I? Oh yeh, Jed," he laughs, "he'll understand."
Josh suspects that if Jed's a friend, then yes, he will understand. In fact he's probably not in the least bit surprised that Leo hasn't turned up. "You should call them."
"Jenny and Mal."
"Not a chance."
"Leo. They know you come here. Phone them or at least call your friend and stop him worrying." Leo shakes his head and Josh sighs. "Look, do what you want. There's some bedding in the spare room. I'm going to bed." Josh goes to the bathroom, when he comes out Leo's stood leaning against the couch. "What are you doing?"
"You told me to phone Jed."
Josh hands him the phone and Leo dials, "Jed............." he begins, then says nothing.
Josh sighs and takes the phone of him. "Hello.......... Yeh, Leo's not too well. He just wanted to let you know that he'll phone you tomorrow............. That's OK, Goodnight." Josh hangs up the phone and turns to Leo. "That was a woman."
"Abbey," Leo says. "I should go to bed, unless you want a drink?" he heads to the kitchen.
"Leo. Bed," says Josh, grabbing hold of Leo's arm and steering him to the spare room. He hasn't got the energy to find a sheet, but he pulls out a duvet from the closet and throws it on the bed. Leo's just stood swaying and watching him. Josh sits him on the bed and takes his shoes and tie off. "Lie down and sleep." he says, turning the light off and leaving. He staggers back to bed and collapses, he's asleep before he hits the pillow.
Leo wakes to the sound of rain hitting the window. He looks around and sighs, he knows that he really has to stop turning up drunk at Josh's apartment, when he hasn't got the strength to face Jenny and Jed's not in town. Ah hell, Jed! He was suppose to go to Manchester last night, but he missed his flight. He should call him, but he has a vague memory that Josh has already done that. He looks at his watch, 8.10, he climbs out of bed, wanders into the kitchen and makes a drink of coffee. He notices Josh's door's still shut, better wake him or he'll be late, he thinks. He takes the coffee and taps on Josh's door, opening it and saying gently, "Josh. Hey, you're late for work."
Josh hears the voice talking to him. His head is sore and he aches, but he doesn't feel so hot now. He tentatively opens his eyes and is pleasantly surprised to find the room is still, until he sits up. He moans to himself and closes his eyes, "What?" he says.
"Are you OK?" Leo asks in concern.
It never fails to amaze Josh how quickly Leo can appear sober. "No," he mutters.
"Flu," he opens his eyes again and smiles, "or I could be dying of a tropical illness."
"Been anywhere tropical recently?" Leo smiles back.
"Does Baltimore count?"
"I doubt it. How long have you felt ill?"
"Janet made me go home yesterday. She took my temperature, apparently it was 101.1, which she says is quite high." He makes another attempt to sit up, the room's much stiller this time and he contemplates standing.
"Stay where you are and drink this." Leo goes to hand him the coffee, "Actually, tea might be better."
"No. Coffee's what I need."
"You want me to bring you some food?"
"I'm getting up, but toast'd be good - dry." Josh gets out of bed and follows Leo into the living room, collapsing on the couch.
"It's a good job I happened by," jokes Leo. Really though he feels guilty as hell that he woke Josh last night and then didn't even notice that he was ill. How drunk was he that he didn't see Josh was running a 101° fever? The phone starts to ring and Josh answers it.
"Hello, Jenny McGarry gave me your number. I hope you don't mind." says a man's voice on the other end of the line.
"No that's OK. You want Leo?"
"Yeh, it's Jed."
"Hang on a minute." Josh calls Leo, "Leo, it's Jed," he hands Leo the phone. "I'll make the toast"
"OK." Leo takes the phone, "Morning Jed, how'd you get this number?"
"I was worried when you didn't show. I phoned Jenny but, unsurprisingly, she didn't know where you where. Then we got a strange call very early this morning."
"I think that was me and possibly Josh," Leo interrupts.
"I called Jenny again this morning. She said you'd be hiding there, since I wasn't in town to shelter you - her words not mine. Where are you anyway?"
"Josh's. He's the son of a friend. He's Earl Brennan's Chief Of Staff. And Jenny's right, I do hide here. Josh doesn't do lectures."
"He obviously hasn't known you long enough," says Jed dryly.
"He's just had more experience with drunks," replies Leo. "Look I'm sorry about last night. I don't know what happened."
"Your friend said you were ill," supplies Jed.
"Did he? Actually he's the one who's ill, he's got the flu. Not that I realized. He could have collapsed in front of me and I probably wouldn't have noticed." Leo sighs and is quiet for a while. "Jed, you mind if I come today, I want to talk about something."
"Don't be cryptic Leo."
"I need help Jed, I can't keep doing this," he sees Josh come out of the kitchen, "to any of you."
"You need more help than I can give. Though you know I'll do all I can."
"I know that." He looks toward Josh, who's trying to be inconspicuous. "I mean rehab," he says, "I'll see you tonight."
Jed's speechless for a moment. "Yeh, I'll see you then." He's not an idiot, he knows alcoholics are full of promises to change, but Leo's never mentioned rehab before.
Josh watches him and sits down in a chair, wondering if he heard right.
After they've eaten Leo stands, "How are you feeling?" he asks Josh.
"I'll be fine."
"Thanks for last night Josh, I'm sorry for imposing on you - again. I meant what I said to Jed, I am going to try and get help." He takes the cups and dishes into the kitchen. "I've been thinking about this for a few weeks. I called a place and booked in. I know I'm going to need friends support. I talked to your dad about it. I'm going to go and talk to Jed and then check into the place."
Josh grins, "That's the best news I've heard in a while."
"I'm not promising anything, but..........." he shrugs, "I can't go on like this." Talking to Noah had been easy, he understood and he didn't expect immediate change and miracle cures. Josh and Jed though, they didn't understand what it was like. "Coffee?" he asks, aware that he's in danger of falling into self pity.
"Please. Does Jenny know?"
"Yeh. That's why she was so pissed last night when she phoned you." Jenny was also angry because he'd spoken to Noah, before her. "I was supposed to be going to see Jed yesterday and checking in today." He hands Josh the drink and walks to the window, "I chickened out."
"And today you feel stronger?" Josh asks.
Leo turns to look at him, maybe he understands more than he realized "If I don't turn up at Jed's today he'll come and get me. Now I've told you, him, Noah and Jenny. I'm running out of hiding places," he smiles. "I'd better go home and get changed if I'm going to make Jed's in time for dinner."
"Call me if you need anything or just to let me know how you're getting on." says Josh.
"I will. Thanks again, for everything." Leo smiles "Now go back to bed, I can let myself out."