Summary: Josh and Donna walk home past the flowers and praying people.
Episode: post season 5, 7AWF83429
Characters: Josh and Donna
Disclaimer: They all belong to Aaron Sorkin, NBC, John Wells and many others who aren't me.
Josh and Donna watched the vigil for ten minutes. They walked along the line of flowers and candles and teddy bears and toys. They stared at the pictures of Zoey and watched the people, people who had never met her, praying for her safe return. They both stood still and quiet for a minute or more, neither sure what the other was thinking, both wondering if the other was going to be alright through all this.
"Come on," Josh said. "Let's go home."
"Yeah," Donna followed Josh, with one last look over her shoulder at the crowd of people. "You walking?"
He nodded. "Need the air. You don't have to walk with me."
"I want to." Donna fell into step beside him. "The Bartlet's have gone to mass."
"I heard. Charlie's gone with them."
They walked in silence for ten minutes, until Donna asked, "You think people really find comfort in religion?"
"I guess they must, otherwise why would they bother?"
"No," Josh answered honestly.
"I've prayed for her. I haven't been to church, but I've still prayed. It worked before."
"Rosslyn. I prayed then," she reminded him.
"Yeah," Josh agreed. "I guess if it worked once there's no harm in trying again. Perhaps that's why people do it. I mean, what harm can it do?"
They crossed to the other side of the road and walked through the almost deserted streets in silence again, until Josh asked something he'd always been curious about. "Do you think God gets pissed off when people only pray because they need something off of him?"
"The Bartlet's pray all the time. They attend Mass every week," Donna pointed out.
"I know that. I meant in general. All those people tonight at the vigil, all praying by candlelight. Most of them have probably never seen the inside of a temple or a church. You think that annoys God?"
Donna smiled, "You do believe in God then?"
"'Course I do."
"I was teasing. I know you attend Temple when you can."
Josh just nodded and decided on a change of subject. "The twins are home tomorrow."
"You going to go and see them?"
"Yeah, I'd like to. In a couple of days when they've settled in. You going to come?"
"Yeah I will," Donna replied with a smile. She glanced sideways at Josh and asked, "Are you okay?"
"You looked like you were zoning out before. I just, are you okay?"
"Yeah I'm fine. Tired, worried, but I'm okay."
"Alright." Donna wasn't convinced by Josh's assurances, but she knew there was no point in arguing.
"I think I've pissed Leo and Toby off though," Josh continued.
"I told them he shouldn't have stood down. They think I'm more worried about the administration than Zoey."
"No they don't. They know you're worried about her." Donna had seen what Josh was doing and it was worrying her. He was throwing himself into work and fretting about the administration because he needed to do something and he couldn't help Zoey.
When they reached Josh building he sat down on the stoop. "This is crap, Donna, you know that?"
Donna sat next to him and waited for him to continue.
"We were with her, Charlie and I. Three hours before she disappeared she was in the arboretum with us. That's only just over a day ago and it seems like a lifetime. She was sat a few feet away from me and now she's gone." Josh hung his head and Donna put her hand on his arm.
"It's not your fault anymore than it's Charlie's fault or the Secret Service's fault."
Josh saw Donna's worried expression and tried to pull himself together. He knew she was as scared for Zoey as he was, and she really didn't need to be worrying about him falling apart on top of that. "I know," he agreed. "You want to come in and phone a cab, or stay for a while?"
"Yeah," Donna stood, held out her hand and helped him up.