Title: Peter Rabbit
Summary: Josh has a secret admirer, but she's not quite what she seems.
Spoilers: Anything up to season 3.
Characters: Josh, CJ and Donna
Disclaimer: They all belong to Aaron Sorkin, NBC, John Wells and many others who aren't me.
"Josh, that woman is definitely watching you," CJ said with a wicked grin.
"I don't know her," Josh replied, barely looking up.
"Aren't you just a little bit interested?"
"You haven't even looked."
"CJ, I'm trying to read here."
"I'm going to ask her."
"Don't you dare."
"Voice got a little squeaky there, Joshua," CJ laughed.
"Yeah well, you were going to go over there and embarrass me," Josh protested. "She's probably seen us on TV or something. Anyway it could be you she's watching."
"Nah, it's you. Perhaps she's an old girlfriend and you've forgotten her."
"How many old girlfriends do you think I've had, CJ?"
"I dunno, how many?"
"Do you have no work to do?"
"Actually no. It turns out that my inferior education away from the Ivy League, actually means that I can do my work quicker than you can."
Josh put his papers aside. He looked at CJ and tried to hide a smile, "Really?"
"And it couldn't just be that I had more to do than you?"
"I think that's unlikely."
"What do you want from me?"
"She's still glancing this way."
"I don't know her."
"She's a bit old to be in your fan club, I mean they're usually freshman at the most."
"Perhaps you'd like to go and find someone else to annoy?" Josh suggested.
"I could go and talk to your admirer," CJ started to stand.
"Why are you bugging me?" Josh asked.
"What day is it?"
"Oh God, CJ, you can't be serious. I've got a mountain of stuff to read before tomorrow, it's 120 in the shade and we're not actually in Washington."
"Well that argument got a little weak toward the end there, Joshua. Plus you certainly can whine can't you?" CJ grinned. "I wonder if the mystery lady would like to go running?"
"Okay, I'm coming. An hour, no more," Josh sighed and reluctantly followed CJ back into the hotel.
The fund raiser was in full swing, when CJ saw Josh's admirer across the garden. She decided that if anybody knew who she was, Donna would. "Donna," she called, walking over to where Donna was standing. "Do you know who she is?"
"The woman in the blue top with the blonde hair?"
"No idea, why?"
"Saw her yesterday, she was watching Josh and now she's here."
"Perhaps she's a fan," Donna suggested. "Though she looks about twenty years too old for that," she smiled. She saw Josh walking around the corner. "Josh," she shouted.
Josh turned at the sound of his name, he smiled and walked over to Donna and CJ. "You called."
"Who's that woman?" Donna asked.
"Oh God, not this again!"
"I think she's following you, Backpack Boy," CJ smiled.
"Backpack Boy?" Josh asked.
CJ shrugged, "Seems to sum you up."
Donna laughed. "I like that. You know, Josh, you're suppose to be a top politician. Have you ever considered using a briefcase?"
"No. Why would I do that?"
"Image, Joshua," Donna smiled.
"Now come on, Donna," CJ smiled. "You know Josh has a carefully cultivated, rumpled verging on the scruffy, image to maintain."
"Can I go now?"
"She's looking this way again," CJ told him.
"Ah no look, she's married," Donna sighed. "Isn't that always the way?"
"She might not be married," CJ commented. "He could be her brother. There could still be hope for you, Josh."
"What are you two on? You seem to have forgotten a couple of small points. Firstly, I've never met her and secondly, I've got a girlfriend, kind of."
"That's something we all try very hard to forget," CJ told him.
"Thanks," Josh replied.
"I can't believe you're not in the least bit interested in who she is," CJ persisted.
"I'm really not," Josh told her, though he couldn't help glancing toward the woman.
"A ha," Donna laughed. "You are interested."
"She's coming this way," CJ told him.
"I can see that thank you," Josh replied. "Go away now."
"Not a chance," CJ laughed.
Josh glared at them and started to walk off, the mystery lady met him on the steps leading down to the lawn.
"I'm sorry, you are Josh Lyman?" she asked.
"Yes I am," he replied. "Sorry, I don't recognize you," he said, well aware that CJ and Donna had moved within hearing distance.
"Of course you don't. You haven't seen me for thirty years," she told him. She saw that he still looked puzzled and carried on. "My name's Susan Franklin, but I was Susan Curran when you knew me. You probably won't even remember me, but I had to say hello."
Josh smiled. "Of course I remember you, you and Joanie made me a pot Peter Rabbit."
"Yeah, though we got more paint on your mom's carpet than on the rabbit," Susan laughed. "I tried to keep in touch with your parents after I moved away to college, but you know what it's like," she almost seemed to be apologizing.
"I do," Josh agreed. "My parents were lucky I kept in touch with them," he smiled. "So what are you doing now?" he asked.
They walked around the gardens of the old house where the fun raiser was being held, and caught up on what had happened to them in the last thirty years. Josh told her about going to Harvard and Yale, and the 8 months he studied in the UK. She told him about Berkeley, and he joked that he'd have to introduce her to CJ. She told him that her grandmother, who she lived with, died a year after she moved to California, but he already knew about that. He told her about his grandfather and father and that his mom now lived in Florida. She made sure that he was fully recovered after being shot. She confided that she couldn't stop watching the TV for news about him after Rosslyn. Her husband thought she was becoming a little obsessed, until she told him how they knew each other. Then they found a quiet corner, where they finally sat and talked about Joanie. Susan had been Joanie's closest friend. They'd done everything together and she'd been almost as devastated as Josh and his parents when Joanie died.
Across the garden CJ watched Donna, who looked both amused and sad at the same time. "Who is she?" CJ asked.
Before Donna had a chance to answer Leo asked. "Have you seen Josh?"
"He's talking to someone across the garden," CJ told him.
"Who is she?" Leo echoed CJ's question.
"I think she was a friend of his sister's," Donna replied.
"Okay," Leo said watching Josh who was in a quiet and deep conversation with Susan. "Leave him for now, but I really am going to need him in the sitting room at 3."
"I'll make sure he's there," Donna promised.
Forty minutes later Donna and CJ were sat quietly at a table in the shade, when Josh bounded over. "You two are very quiet now. Couldn't find anyone else to torment?" he grinned.
"Why would we do that, when we could just sit here and wait for you," Donna smiled. "Leo wants you inside at 3."
"Just time for some food then," Josh said. "You want anything?"
"Akay," he smiled and walked to the barbeque.
Donna watched Josh walk away. She looked so concerned that CJ said, "He's seems fine, Donna."
"Yeah," Donna said absently.
"But?" CJ asked.
"When things remind him of his sister it tends to upset him," Donna confided.
CJ wondered whether Amy knew that, she doubted it very much. "I'm going to go and find Toby. If Josh needs to talk he's more likely to do it it's just you."
Donna looked surprised at that. "You don't have to."
"I'll see you later," CJ smiled.
"Where'd CJ go?" Josh asked, sitting down with a plate of food.
Donna took a piece of chicken. "To find Toby. So, who's the lady?"
"Susan, she was a friend of Joanie's," he smiled. "I use to trail round after them when I was a kid."
"Yeah," he replied. "Yeah surprisingly I am. It was actually quite good talking to someone who knew her."
Donna studied Josh's face and was relieved to find that he looked happy and relaxed.
"Strange she recognized me," Josh commented. "I mean she hasn't seen me since I was nine."
"You don't think she's probably just seen you on the TV?" Donna asked, taking a chicken wing off his plate.
"Will you stop eating my food," he said. "No wonder she thought we were together."
"She thought what?" Donna spluttered.
"Hey, there's no need to look so shocked and well, horrified," he laughed.
"Sorry," Donna grinned. "But in future do you think you could wait until I'm not eating before saying stuff like that."
"Well if you weren't stealing my food," Josh pointed out.
On the other side of the garden Susan watched them. Josh said that he and Donna weren't a couple. Well they seemed to be only ones who thought that because, to an outsider, they looked like a loving couple who'd been together for a long time. She smiled to herself and walked off to join her husband.