Summary: Josh visits the Newseum
Spoilers/Episode: Post ITSOTG
Characters: Josh, Leo and Donna
Disclaimer: Not mine, I'm just taking Josh out for a stroll, I'll have him back in time for his dinner.
"Sam tells me you want to go to the Newseum," Leo asked Josh.
"Yeah, but no one'll take me."
"Why would you want to back there?"
Josh thought about that, it was a good question. "Because, my memories are disjointed. If I go back it might make sense of them." Josh replied.
Leo wasn't all that surprised by Josh's request, in fact he'd been expecting it. Josh had always been one for facing his fears head on, had always believed that if looked your demons in the eye they couldn't hurt you any longer. Still, he wasn't sure Josh should be returning to the Newseum so soon after the shooting. He was sure that there was more to his request than disjointed memories. "What's the real reason?"
Josh gave a slight smile, he must be recovering well if Leo was using the 'don't bullshit me' tone of voice. "If I don't go now, I'll keep putting it off until I can never face going there again," he admitted. "I don't want there to be places I can't visit. I don't want my over-riding memory of Rosslyn to be the shooting. I need to see that it's just a normal place that thousands of people work and live in, with nothing bad happening to them. I know it's not likely, but I don't want to think about being shot every time someone mentions Rosslyn."
"I think we all want that."
Josh smiled, "Maybe we should organize a group trip."
"I doubt you'd have many takers," Leo replied. "Have you not thought that the reason no one wants to go with you is because they don't want go there again, not yet anyway."
Josh hadn't considered that. "You think?"
"Can't say I'm too keen to go back."
When Josh thought about it, that actually made sense. "Yeah. I hadn't thought of that. I should leave it then."
Leo knew Josh better than that though. "You're not thinking of going on your own are you?"
"No," Josh replied. "How would I get there?"
Leo wasn't fooled and the idea of Josh at the Newseum on his own worried him. "I'll come with you."
"Seriously? You don't have to."
"I know, and Donna, Toby and Sam, not to mention your mother, are going to kill me."
"Donna?" Josh asked. "Don't tell me she's got to you with The Rules as well as Toby?"
"She's become a little scary," Leo smiled. Donna had risen enormously in Leo's estimation in the last few weeks. He'd always assumed she was good at her job, if she hadn't been Josh wouldn't employ her, and he knew she had to have the patience of a saint to put up with Josh. He hadn't realized how capable, not to mention protective and stubborn, she was until Josh had been shot. Leo was sure the speed of Josh's recovery had been helped by Donna.
"You okay?" Leo asked as they walked from his car to the Newseum.
"We've only just got here," Josh replied.
"You're not suppose to do too much walking yet."
Josh smiled, "You really are scared of Donna. I'm allowed to do gentle exercise, so unless you're thinking of jogging up the steps, I'll be fine."
"I think you're more up for jogging than me," Leo replied. "Where'd you want to go?"
'Well there's a good question,' Josh thought. 'The building? Where the fence had been? No, neither of those.' He looked at Leo, "The steps."
Leo nodded and they walked slowly over to where Toby had found Josh. The working day was over and people were rushing past them on their way home, some talking into cell phones or laughing with friends. Leo glanced at Josh, who was stood quietly looking down at where he'd sat to wait for help or death, and he shivered as a sudden chill passed over him. "We shouldn't be here," he told his deputy.
"I know," Josh agreed. He wasn't sure what he'd hoped would happen if he came here. He didn't know what he was looking for, some kind of release maybe. He really wanted to walk the route he'd taken that night, but the walk from Leo's car had exhausted him and the last thing he wanted was for Leo to know quite how ill he still was. "We should go."
"Yeah," Leo readily agreed. As they walked back to the car, Leo couldn't help notice that Josh was flagging, and he had to stop himself taking hold of Josh's arm to steady him. When they reached the car Leo unlocked the doors and Josh climbed slowly and painfully into the passenger seat. Leo sat in the driver's seat and looked across at Josh, who was pale and sweating. "You okay?" he asked.
"Bit tired," Josh admitted. "Don't worry, I won't tell Donna," he smiled.
Leo returned the smile, "Where is she tonight?"
"Keep fit with her roommate. Sam's suppose to be babysitting, in fact he's probably there now wondering where I am."
"It's not babysitting," Leo replied.
"Sure it is."
"No, it's concern. Why didn't you tell me you were still in pain?" Leo asked as he pulled out into the traffic and headed back to Georgetown.
"I just need my medication."
"Is it still bad?"
"Sometimes," Josh reluctantly agreed. "The doctor said it could be for a while yet."
"And you still think you should come back to work after the midterms?"
"Yeah. It's a month off yet, I'll be fine by then. Honestly. I'm going crazy at home all day."
"Okay, don't plead, I don't think I could take it," Leo smiled. "If your doctor still says you're ready to come back, then you can."
"You went with Leo," Donna stated the following evening.
"Sorry?" Josh asked.
"Yeah, he took me yesterday. I know you didn't want to and he volunteered," Josh studied Donna to make sure she wasn't offended.
"No I didn't," Donna agreed. "How was it?"
"Nothing," Josh shrugged. "I didn't feel anything."
"What were you expecting?"
"I dunno. I thought, I thought it'd help me remember what happened. All I remember is leaving the building and then Toby finding me. I don't know what happened in between." Which was a lie, he also remembered being shot, that had come to him suddenly in a nightmare a few nights ago and had been what prompted his desire to return to the Newseum. He wasn't about to share that with Donna though.
"And it didn't?"
"No. I wanted to walk from the building, the route we took, but I think Leo was getting worried that he'd have to carry me back to the car," Josh smiled. "Did you know he's scared of you."
"No he isn't." Donna looked at Josh but he nodded. "Really, wow, think of the power," Donna grinned. "You going to eat that?" she indicated the chicken on Josh's plate.
"I'm not really hungry, sorry."
"Yeah. I hate PT."
"You only hate it on the day, you know it helps."
"Yes. How are your arm and leg?"
"They're good." Another lie, his leg especially was still stiff, but it was better than two months ago.
"You spoke to your mom today?"
"Yes," Josh smiled. "You two are in collusion."
"We are," Donna agreed. "She still coming next weekend?"
"You know she is. She's still talking about moving to Florida."
"You can't blame her, look at the weather down there."
"Hurricanes?" Josh asked.
"Sunshine and warmth," Donna replied.
"Yeah, I guess. Connecticut's home though."
"You haven't lived at home for 20 years," Donna replied and then grinned. "I was 7 when you left home."
"Thanks for that," Josh scowled.
"Not a problem," Donna smiled. "Now eat your chicken."