Title: Two Of A Kind
Summary: Zoey's home safely, but her parents are still worried about her.
Episode: Post season 5, Jefferson Lives
Characters: Josh and Zoey with some ensemble
Rating: PG (angst)
Disclaimer: They all belong to Aaron Sorkin, NBC, John Wells and many others who aren't me.
Jed stood looking through the window at the horses in the paddock, but he couldn't help keep glancing back across the den at Zoey, who was sat talking to her sisters. He saw Charlie, stood in a corner, keeping his own vigil, and walked over to him. "You okay?"
"Yes, Sir. How's Zoey?" Charlie asked.
"You spent three hours talking to her yesterday," Jed pointed out.
"That's why I'm asking."
Jed knew what Charlie was referring to. "She feels guilty about Molly," he said.
"I know. She told me. How can she think Molly dying is her fault? It's stupid."
Jed sighed, "Only as stupid as a young man who still blames himself for his friend getting shot," he pointed out, glancing at Josh who was talking to Leo across the other side of the room.
Charlie considered arguing, but he knew there was no point, it was just the same.
Jed turned and watched Zoey. He knew she wasn't sleeping, but that was hardly surprising. She'd been home a week and had said she wanted to see everyone. So Charlie, Josh, CJ, Sam, Donna, Toby and Leo had come to Manchester. Jed hadn't been convinced that Zoey was ready for this yet, but she'd insisted that she wanted a barbeque for them all.
Across the room Josh answered his ringing cell phone. "Hey, Will, hang on I'll go outside." He left the house and walked toward the paddock. Zoey watched him leave and a few minutes later she followed. When he hung up his phone she walked over to him.
"Hey," she tapped him on the shoulder.
He turned round and grinned, "Hey, how you doing?"
"I'm going mad," she confided, with a slight smile. "They won't let me out of their sight. I can't go anywhere without one of them tagging along with 400 Secret Service agents."
"That's understandable," Josh pointed out.
"I know. I'm not really complaining, it's just.... I don't know." She sat on a log and watched the horses.
"You need some space," Josh asked.
"Yeah," she agreed.
"You want me to go back in?"
"No," she said a little too quickly, "I don't actually want to be alone."
"You want to talk about it?" he asked, sitting down next her.
She looked down at her hands, "My dad wants to me see a psychiatrist."
"You don't want to?" Josh asked gently.
"Would you?" Zoey asked. "And can you imagine the press? 'President's daughter looses her mind'."
"The press don't have to know," Josh assured her. "And yes, I would."
Zoey turned to face him. "Really?" she asked doubtfully.
"Really. Who does he want you to see?"
"Some guy from ATVA, Stanley something."
"Keyworth," Josh told her. "I saw him after Rosslyn," he admitted.
Zoey looked a little puzzled, "Why?" she asked.
Josh wasn't entirely sure that the First Daughter was suppose to know about that, but maybe it would help her, maybe she'd agree to talk to someone if she knew. "I have post traumatic stress disorder," he told her.
"Josh." Zoey suddenly looked concerned and upset. "I didn't know."
"I know," he replied. "Which proves no one has to know if you talk to Dr Keyworth."
"Where's Zoey?" Ellie asked her father.
"She went outside," Jed replied.
"Your mom says we had to leave her alone and stop crowding her."
"Is she okay though?"
"She's sat by the paddock with Josh," Jed replied, resisting the urge to send a dozen agents out there.
"Okay," Ellie relaxed a little.
"Maybe she'll talk to him," Jed said hopefully.
"My mom's watching us," Zoey told Josh.
"Perhaps she's gonna bring us lemonade," he joked.
"More likely she's going to surround us with agents."
"You don't think she trusts me?" he grinned.
"'Course she does, she knows you only have eyes for Donna," Zoey laughed.
"What?" Josh stuttered.
"Her and Amy talk," Zoey smiled.
"Apparently. It seems Amy asked Donna if she was in love with you," Zoey grinned at Josh's obvious discomfort.
Josh stared at Zoey, not knowing quite how to respond to that. "What did Donna say?" he asked. "No actually forget that. How do you know this?"
"I overheard them talking the other night."
"Oh my God," he muttered.
Zoey was laughing, "Donna didn't answer."
"Well, thank God for that, I think."
"Do you think he appreciates what a talent that is?" Jed asked Leo.
"Why what's he done?" Leo asked.
"By the paddock," Jed indicated Zoey and Josh. "He's made Zoey laugh, a real laugh."
Leo watched Josh and Zoey and then turned a concerned gaze on to Jed. "Is she okay?"
"She's a little withdrawn. She's bottling it all up."
"Well, Josh is the king of keeping stuff bottled up, so if anyone can understand what's she doing, it's him."
Leo looked back at Josh and Zoey. Zoey had seemed more relaxed today, actually she seemed a little better since her talk with Charlie yesterday. Leo's relief when he'd heard that Zoey was safe was immeasurable. He'd been relieved for Jed and Abbey, who he really didn't think could have stood it if she'd died. And if it had turned out it was in retaliation for Shareef's death, Jed would never have forgiven himself. He'd been relieved for Josh, who thought of Zoey like a sister, and loosing one sister is enough for anyone. And then Charlie, who'd been trying to win Zoey back for months now, and who had known enough tragedy in his life already. But Zoey wasn't back completely yet. As he watched her and Josh talking, Leo hoped that Josh can maybe make her open up.
"If you don't want to see a counselor then talk to one of your family or friends," Josh suggested.
"I can't talk to my mom or dad about it."
"Okay," Josh understood that, he'd never told his family or his friends everything about his nightmares or flashbacks.
"Really, Josh, I can't."
Josh looked at Zoey. She sounded almost pleading, and that worried him. "What did they do to you?" he asked quietly.
"Nothing." She saw his skeptical look, "Honestly. They tied me up and blindfolded me. But they didn't hurt me. I was terrified that they were going to. Every time I heard one of them approach, I thought that's what they were going to do, but they didn't.
"I never thought they'd kill me though," she continued, watching the horses graze in the field. "I saw a movie once were someone was kidnapped and he decided that, as the kidnappers had gone to the trouble of blindfolding him, then they weren't going to kill him. Does that sound stupid?"
"Sounds pretty logical to me."
They sat in silence for a few minutes until Zoey confided, "I can't sleep."
"You want to talk about them?"
"No," she shook her head.
Josh nods, but there was one thing he wanted to asks, although he wasn't sure if he should. "Zoey?" he began.
"Are they only when you're asleep, the nightmares?" he asked.
Zoey studied him, "Why?"
"Mine weren't," he admitted.
Zoey looked down at her hands. "I thought I could hear them talking when I was on my own yesterday morning."
"How do you mean?"
"When they had me, I could hear them talking. Not clearly, just like a hum, like when someone has the TV turned down low, you know?"
"At night sometimes, when I know no one else is around, I can hear faint talking, it sounds just like them. I thought.... I thought I was loosing my mind," she confessed. When she turned to look at Josh there were tears in her eyes.
Josh put his arm around her. "You're not loosing your mind, I promise. Chances are it really was someone you could hear, or a TV or radio. Even if it wasn't though, it will go away."
Abbey watched as Josh puts his arm around Zoey. She was about to walk out of the house and over to her, but Jed stopped her. "Leave them," he said.
"She's upset. If he's upset her, I swear to God, Jed......."
"Does it really look like he's upset her? He's just comforting her."
"I know," was Abbey's deflated reply. "I still want to go to her."
"Maybe she'll talk to him."
"I'm her mother, why would she talk to him if she won't talk to me?"
"Because he's her friend, and he's had some experience of trauma."
"She's need to see a counselor, not a political advisor," Abbey snapped.
"But she won't," Jed reminded her. "We've been trying to persuade her all week."
"You think Josh will have more luck?" Abbey asked doubtfully.
"I suggested Dr Keyworth to her."
"Does she know that Josh saw him?"
"No, but I'm hoping he'll tell her. Maybe then she'll realize that it's not something to be ashamed of."
"What were yours?" Zoey asked Josh.
Josh paused and looked out across the field. Even after all this time it wasn't that easy to talk about his breakdown. Zoey was watching him expectantly though, so, "Sirens and screams and gunshots," he said, and then surprised himself by admitting, "It got so I as wasn't entirely sure what was real anymore."
"How did you hide it?"
Josh gave Zoey a knowing look; like he was really going to coach her in, 'how to hide the fact that you're having a breakdown'. Instead he said, "I didn't. Toby and Donna noticed. They talked to Leo, who made me talk to ATVA."
"Did you want to?"
"Talk to ATVA?" Josh asked, Zoey nodded. "No. But it was the only way I was going to keep my job, so I didn't have much choice."
Zoey still wasn't sure therapy was a good idea. She couldn't imagine telling her deepest fears to a complete stranger. She was curious though. "Did it help?"
"I don't have flashbacks anymore," he replied, not altogether truthfully.
"So you think it would help me?"
"Yes. I really think you should talk to someone, Zo. Before it gets so bad that both you and your friends are terrified what you're going to do next." From the concerned look that Zoey was giving him, Josh realized that he'd probably said too much.
"What did you do?" she asked.
"I yelled at your father," he replied, absently fingering his right palm.
"I don't remember. But according to Sam, it's a good job there were no agents in the room at the time," he glanced up at her and smiled ruefully.
"Were you scared?" she asked.
"Terrified," he admitted.
Leo walked back over to Jed, who was still stood watching Zoey and Josh. He didn't interrupt Jed's thoughts though, he turned and watched them too. He had a vague idea what Jed and Abbey went through, not knowing whether Zoey was alive or dead. He remembered the terror he felt when Josh was rushed into the emergency room after being shot. He remembered the constant fear during the operation, that something was going to go wrong, and then during the 24 hours that followed, when the doctors warned that Josh wasn't out of danger, that there could be complications from the surgery, the risk of blood clots from the transfusions. He remembered all that anguish, and Josh wasn't even his son.
"What do you think they're talking about?" Jed asked. When Leo didn't respond, Jed turned to face him. "Are you alright?" he asked.
Leo hadn't realized he'd been so caught up in memories. He smiled a little self-consciously, "Yeah, I'm fine."
Jed looked a little doubtful, but let it go. "You think she's telling him anything?"
"You think he'll tell me later?" Jed already knew the answer to that.
"No," Leo told him, "and you wouldn't want him to."
Jed nodded. "Did you know him and Charlie got lost in the National Arboretum," he smiled.
"Yeah, Josh never was very good with the great outdoors," Leo grinned.
"Talking to a therapist won't bring Molly back though will it," Zoey stated.
"You can't blame yourself for Molly dying."
"If she hadn't been protecting me, she wouldn't have been killed."
"Don't tell me she knew the risks, Josh," Zoey snapped.
"Molly's death wasn't your fault."
"I don't believe that, and neither would you if you were me."
"Maybe," he conceded. "But I do know how you feel."
"No, no you don't," Zoey shouted. "Nobody died at Rosslyn so you can't possibly know how I feel." Zoey stood and walked to the fence while Josh sat and watched her, wondering what to say, how much to tell her.
"Zoey," he began.
"Everyone tells me that it's not my fault, that I didn't do anything wrong. She's still dead though."
Josh felt a familiar ache at Zoey's words and he knew he had to tell her that he did understand.
"I heard them shoot her, Josh. They dragged me down the fire escape and I saw Molly in the alley. Everything was confused, they think I was drugged, but I heard a shot being fired." She looked back at the house and saw her father watching her, she tried to smile reassuringly at him and then sat back next to Josh, trying to calm down.
"Have you told anyone else about that? Did you tell Charlie?" Josh asked.
"I couldn't tell Charlie, not after what happened to his mother."
Charlie has no idea what Josh has just said to Zoey, but he could see that she was obviously upset because she was shouting at him. It took all his strength not to go out there and yell at Josh. Ever since Zoey went missing he'd wanted to lash out at someone. He'd almost hit Josh that night, he had no idea why he didn't hit Jean Paul. Zoey was back now and she was safe, so everything should be better, but it wasn't.
"You okay?" Donna asked.
Charlie shook his head. "I just want to help her, I want to make it better, but she won't talk to me, she won't let me in."
"Give her time."
"I can't just stand by and watch her suffer."
"There's nothing else you can do, you just have to be there when she needs you," Donna told him. "I know it's hard, believe me I know."
"Yeah." Charlie turned away from the window and studied Donna, "You love him don't you?"
"Who?" Donna tried.
Donna looked around, but no one was within ear shot. "No, he's just a good friend."
"That's a pity," Charlie smiled.
"Yeah, 'cos he loves you."
"Me and him have had this bond since Christmas time. Zoey was with Jean Paul and you were with Captain Marvel."
"Lieutenant Commander Reece," Donna amended, "Jack."
"Yeah, that's him," Charlie replied. "See we both had this unrequited love thing going on."
"I think you're wrong. I don't think Josh feels that way."
"Okay," Charlie agreed, turning back to the window. "She's stopped yelling now. You think she'll open up to him?"
"I don't know."
Zoey and Josh had been sat quietly for a couple of minutes when Zoey said. "I'm sorry for yelling at you. I just get sick of everyone telling me that they understand and that it's not my fault."
"Yeah I know." Josh saw the irritated look on Zoey's face and added, "I really do understand."
"How can you?" Zoey asked a little sharply.
Josh looked down at his feet and kicked the grass for a moment. "When I was 8 my sister died in a house fire. We were home alone, I left her. She told me to leave, but that didn't make me feel any less guilty."
"You were 8, what could you have done?"
Josh laughed humorlessly, "Do you know how many time I've had that conversation with people? It doesn't matter whether I could have done anything, I still left her there. I was stood safely outside, while...... " he shook his head slightly and looked back at the ground.
"I'm so sorry, I had no idea." Zoey looked at Josh and then took his hand. "I was so scared," she confided.
Josh placed his arm around Zoey's shoulder. He felt the sobs shake her body and pulled her closer to him.
An hour later they were sat around eating the barbeque, drinking beer and laughing at stupid stories. Just like a normal Sunday afternoon anywhere, except that this wasn't quite as normal as it looked. Zoey was still thinking about what Josh said. Josh was worried about what Zoey told him. Charlie was still concerned about Zoey's unwillingness to talk. Jed and Abbey were keeping a close eye on their youngest daughter, even though they know they're starting to annoy her, and the others, they were trying to pretend that everything was fine.
"Hey," Sam walked over to Josh. "You want another one?"
Josh looked down at his empty beer bottle. "Nah, I've had two, Donna'll shout if I have anymore," he smiled.
"You okay? You looked miles away there."
"Yeah, just thinking."
"I saw you talking to her before, is she okay?"
"She'll be fine. She's a bit sick of the parents watching her every move," Josh smiled.
"You think they're okay?" Sam asked.
"You mean, is the president okay now?" Josh amended. "Yeah. He's angry and upset that this happened, but he's okay".
"Good," Sam smiled. "I don't think the country could have stood any more of Acting President Walken."
Josh couldn't agree more, but he needed to think about something else for a while. "How's life away from Washington then?"
"Peaceful," Sam smiled. "I actually get to lie in on Sundays, in fact, and you're not going to believe that this is possible, but I stayed in bed until 8.15 one day last week."
"Were you ill?" Josh smiled.
"I felt really guilty," Sam admitted.
"So you're enjoying being back in the private sector then?"
"For now. I needed to get away from Washington. I don't know how you've done it for twenty years," Sam commented.
"I know," Josh agreed. "You'd think I'd be cynical and jaded by now wouldn't you?" he commented, with a straight face that was given away only by the laughter in his eyes.
Sam laughed, "I've missed you."
"Me too. I'm glad you're here."
"I've met someone."
"Really? What does she do?" he asked cautiously.
"She's a stripper," Sam grinned. "I'm kidding," he laughed at Josh's face. "She teaches English."
"Well that's a vast improvement on a call girl," Josh smiled. "What's her name? Where's she from?"
"You sound like my mom," Sam smiled. "Chloe, she's 34 and she's from Connecticut, Bridgeport in fact."
"Really? Is it serious then?"
"Yeah I think it could be. I like her a lot," Sam said. "What about you?"
"Haven't met her."
"What about me?"
"Met anyone new, or old?"
"No. Although Amy being Abbey's Chief Of Staff is a treat," he sighed.
"No one else then, no one I know."
"Is Donna still in touch with the Navy guy?"
"No, they decided long distance relationships don't work."
"Were is he again?"
Sam smiled, "You didn't have a hand in that did you?"
"No, why would I?"
"Because Donna was dating him."
"I don't care who Donna dated," Josh protests, he saw Sam's smile and continues, "I really don't. She can see who she wants, it's none of my business."
Sam laughed, "You know, Josh, there is such a thing as protesting too much."
Josh glanced over at Donna, who was sat talking to CJ and Toby. "I don't know what you mean."
"You could just ask her out you know, because I'm pretty sure she'd say yes."
Josh considered arguing, but he knew there was no point. At Christmas Leo had told him to get it together, Amy had always thought there was something between him and Donna. Apparently Abbey thought he only has eyes for Donna. Even Jack had thought something was going on. "I think you're wrong," he told Sam.
"You saying you don't have any feelings for her?" Sam asked.
"No," Josh replied. "You know damn well that I do. I think you're wrong about her saying yes."
"I think you're an idiot," Sam replied, with a smile.