Title: Blind Curve
Summary: CCTV footage of Rosslyn had seemed to be the worst of their problems this week, but you never know what's around the corner.
Spoilers/Episode: Set in an a/u starting after season 5, Memorial Day. This chapter takes place a month after Chapter 4.
Disclaimer: None of the characters below belong to me.
Monday September 13th 2004
"I think I might be dying," Josh told Donna as he entered her cubicle.
"Good morning, Josh. I'm fine, thanks for asking."
Josh smiled. "Good morning, Donna. How are you today, did you have a nice weekend?"
"I spent most of it with you," Donna reminded him. "Something about it being less than two months to the midterms."
"And we achieved plenty," Josh reminded her. "Plus, I did tell you to stay at home."
"Yes, but you kept phoning me with stupid questions, it was easier to be here." Ridiculous as it would sound to anyone else, Donna had actually enjoyed working the weekend with Josh and Toby; it had made her feel alive and stopped her thinking about how often she needed to take her medication and how much her leg ached.
Josh gave her a knowing smile. "You had fun," he said. "Aren't you going to ask me what's wrong?"
"Do I get a choice?" Donna asked, but decided to humor him. "What's wrong?"
"I'm ill," Josh complained and sat down in the chair opposite Donna.
"You have a cold," Donna replied.
"But a cold can turn into other things."
"A worse cold, the flu."
"A cold can't turn into the flu, they're completely different illnesses," Donna replied. "You have senior staff in ten minutes."
"I'm dying and that's the only sympathy I get?"
"You don't look well," Charlie told Josh when he entered the bullpen.
"I have a cold," Josh agreed.
"You should be careful, that could turn into the flu," Charlie told him.
"See," Josh told Donna.
"Oh for God's sake," Donna sighed. "Firstly, you have a flu shot every year and secondly, the only time a cold turns into the flu is when a man has a bad cold and thinks it's the flu."
Josh and Charlie both stared at Donna. "Wow," Charlie grinned, "she's mean."
"I know," Josh agreed. "What's up?"
"Actually it was Donna I wanted, but Toby's looking for you." Once Josh had walked away, Charlie suddenly looked embarrassed."I was wondering," he began. "See, it's Zoey's birthday in a couple of weeks."
"You don't know what to buy?" Donna asked with a small smile.
"No, I know what to buy, I just don't know whether it's appropriate. If a guy bought you jewelry, you wouldn't think it meant anything more than you were friends. I mean, say if Josh bought you some jewelry?"
"Josh has bought me jewelry," Donna replied.
"He has? And you didn't think it meant anything?"
Donna avoided that question, just like she avoided any questions about her and Josh's, rather complicated, relationship. "I thought you and Zoey had been on a couple of dates?"
"Kind of. We went out when Sam was here, and that was a good night. Then I wanted to go to the movies, but the secret service weren't keen, so we stayed in and watched one instead." Charlie smiled, "You know when most guys say they watched a movie at a girl's house, it means they rented a DVD. We used the president's theatre. "
"Just the two of you?"
"Yeah," Charlie grinned.
Donna smiled. "Sounds like a date to me."
"Except, then she went back to Manchester and I haven't seen her since."
"But you've spoken to her?"
"Yeah, we email and phone. She's coming here for her birthday though," Charlie smiled.
"What kind of jewelry did you get her?" she asked, praying he didn't say a ring.
"A necklace. It's a locket, an oval locket. See this is my real dilemma, do I put pictures in it, or do I let her do that?"
Donna wasn't sure how to answer that. She thought Zoey and Charlie made a great couple and should be together, so she wanted to tell him to put pictures in. When they went out last month, Zoey had kept touching Charlie on the arm and the hand, she'd let him take her home, she'd gone to the movies with him, and they had history.
"I don't want to scare her off," Charlie added.
"But you do want to be with her?"
"So you need to let her know how you feel."
Josh walked into Toby's office and flopped down on the couch. "Charlie said you wanted me so, even though I'm ill, I came to your office."
"What's wrong with you?"
"I have a cold, which has a very strong chance of turning.... "
"I don't care," Toby interrupted. "I want to know why Marshall is suddenly voicing opposition."
"It isn't sudden, Toby, he's been doing it for weeks."
"Yesterday, you said..."
"Yesterday, I said that Marshall will vote our way. It doesn't mean he's going to support us publicly and it doesn't mean he agrees with us, it just means that he needs our help to win back his district."
"So you're sure we've got him?"
"Right," Toby replied. "How's Donna?"
"She's fine, why wouldn't she be?"
"You made her work the weekend."
"She volunteered. We only needed help because you can't keep any research assistants for more than a week," Josh replied. He knew the real reason Donna offered to work yesterday, because it was just what he had done. He'd insisted on returning to work too early, because sitting at home gave him too much time to think about his injuries.
Toby started to object, but Leo interrupted them. "Josh, a word."
Josh glanced at Toby before following Leo into Sam and Will's old office. "'Sup?" he asked, as Leo closed the door.
"Pearson's numbers are picking up," Leo told him.
"You make it sound like a bad thing."
"Did you know?"
"Yeah," Josh admitted. "He was up to 38 last I heard. I have no idea why though."
"He's at 41 now. It appears someone leaked to his team that Chris Carrick has an interest in MDFP, the company that assembles the MB-827."
"The launcher, you're kidding me. What kind of an interest?"
"He's on the board of McKenzie's, they have a controlling interest in Whittaker's, who in turn have a large number of shares in MDFP. "
"Well no wonder he was so keen to see the useless piece of crap by built. God, of all the cheek....." Josh stopped talking at looked worriedly at Leo. "It wasn't me, I swear. I didn't even know."
Leo studied his deputy for a moment. He thought he was good at reading Josh, or as good as anybody could be, and the denial rang true. "Okay," he nodded and Josh breathed a sigh of relief. "Well someone did and now Carrick's numbers are falling quicker than," Leo shrugged, "I don't know."
"A lead balloon," Josh suggested with a smug grin.
"Yeah," Leo agreed.
"So Pearson has a good chance now?"
"He does, but you're still leaving it alone."
"Doesn't look like he needs my help anyway," Josh smiled.