Title: Helpless
Author: Willow
Josh liked to be in control, he hated feeling helpless.
Episode: Post season 5, '25'.
Characters: Josh and Donna
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: They all belong to Aaron Sorkin, NBC, John Wells and many others who aren't me.

Josh liked to be in control, he hated feeling helpless, but at the moment that was just how he felt, completely and utterly helpless. He knew Zoey was out there somewhere, but there was nothing he could do to help her. He'd spent the last forty minutes staring out of his office window. It was coming light now and he could see the press camped outside the White House. Driving back into work, they'd passed news crews from all over the world. The world's press were camped on the doorstep. CJ said it was like Rosslyn all over again. Josh couldn't help but wonder though, how many of those reporters were secretly hoping that Zoey didn't come back, because that would be one hell of a story for them - tragedy sold more papers and brought more viewers than triumph.

"Will you stop doing that," Donna told him.

Josh didn't turn around. "I'm not doing anything."

"That's what I mean. You've not moved in twenty minutes, it's not like you."

He turned to face his assistant. She was sat in the visitor's chair reading through some paperwork. "I don't feel like me at moment," he admitted. "How long have you been sat there?"

"About twenty minutes. Didn't you hear me come in?"

Josh shook his head but didn't reply.

"There's nothing you can do."

"Yeah I know, that's the problem. At least if I was doing something I'd feel like I was helping."

"You and Charlie are so much alike, you know that?"


"He's over in The Residence, beating himself up 'cos he thinks he should be doing something and because he feels somehow responsible."

"This is no way his fault," Josh protested.

"I know and it's not yours either," Donna told him. "But you and Charlie take the blame for things that you have no control over."

"It's a failing," Josh knew there was no point in arguing. He knew Donna was right, as usual. If Zoey didn't come back Charlie would never forgive himself. He was well aware that Charlie still felt guilty about Rosslyn, he'd caught Charlie watching him sometimes, like he was just checking he was okay.

"Toby's gone back to the hospital," Donna said.

Josh smiled, he still couldn't get use to the idea of Toby as a father, but he thought it was pretty amazing.

"You ever want kids?" Donna asked, in an attempt to keep the subject on happier things for a few more minutes.

"Yeah, I'd love kids. I just need to find a relationship that works."

"You need to meet the right woman."

Josh watched Donna for a few seconds. "Maybe I have, but I've been so scared of loosing her friendship that I haven't taken our relationship any further."

Donna studied Josh. He was still watching her intently. She never did answer Amy's question, she wondered what Josh would say if he knew that her answer was, 'yes, I've loved him for years.' Instead though she asked, "Did you have anyone in particular in mind?"

"I do," he smiled. "The trouble is I don't know how she feels and if I say anything and she doesn't feel the same way, well where would that leave us?"

Donna returned Josh's smile. He still hadn't taken his eyes off of her, he seemed to be searching her face for an answer. "You won't know if you don't ask her," she told him.

They watched each other intently for a few more seconds, until the mood was broken by the ringing phone. "Josh Lyman," Josh answered. "Hey, CJ....... yeah I'll see if Donna and Charlie want to join us. See you soon." He looked back at Donna, "CJ thinks we should all go to the mess before the day really kicks in."

"I'll go and get Charlie," Donna smiled as she left the office.