A/N: I know it's short and kind of pointless, and there was no noticable gash on Josh's head, but work with me here.
Set in Drought Conditions, after Josh fights Toby.
Donna saw Josh swaggering up the street. The White House was looming over them almost daring her to say something that she knew she shouldn't, but she couldn't help it. His head was bent low, though she knew it wasn't against the cold, but something else. His eyes were dropped right to the ground, and he was walking with much too little purpose. As he passed a trash can he gave it a small kick, and then kept walking, limping slightly, after having kicked the trash can too hard. Donna titled her head, curious, and sped up. Whether the White House seemed to be glaring at her in a way which was depressingly metaphoric or not, she hadn't properly spoken to Josh in way too long, and he didn't seem to have reacted well to spending a day back at the White House. A rushed conversation about a campaign in a storage closet did not classify as a proper conversation, no matter how much long lost banter they had squeezed into those few moments.
"Josh!"she called after him, braking into a small jog now, her feet hoping springingly underneath her. She had spent quite an amount of the day reminising, and it was with a little more sympathy that she saw him with now. It hadn't been easy for him to leave, she knew it, even if she hadn't been there to witness it. Josh doesn't just walk away. You had to get Josh.
In truth, despite being turned down relentlessly by the White House Staffers with whom she used to work, returning to the White House today had given Donna a guilty sense of satisfaction. She was able to return in a way that she had always dreamt about- a way that showed her job description was more than just answering phones and passing on messages.
But he wasn't slowing down. Whether he had heard her, or was simply too caught up in his own head to realise that Donna was the one calling his name down that Washington Street, Josh Lyman had not slowed down, nor was he looking any more gleeful. Donna called his name one more time, and he still didn't respond, so she reached out a hand and held onto his arm, stopping his on set path and spinning him around.
Josh looked shocked, and his expression changed from anger to worry when he saw that it was Donna who had stopped him. He opened his mouth to ask if it was something more about Rafferty, and to tell her that he knew who it was who leaked it when he remember that his head was supporting a gash that was oozing a little too much blood for Donna to be completely nonpulssed. Quickly, he raised his hand to his head to cover it, but it was too late. Donna's hand had clapped to her mouth.
"Josh what happened?" she asked, not even registering that her other had was still rested on his forearm, a trace of when she had stopping him from practically marching away from the gates. "Who did th-"
"Ït was nothing Donna." Josh said, sighing. Then he grew angry as he thought of his fight with Toby. They'd never fought like that. And they'd disagreed a lot of times, over a lot of things. He'd been so calm, when he'd left. He didn't want to have to leave things like this. Esspecially not with David having died the last week, but he couldn't help it. What right did he have? He was going to ruin Josh's chances, Santos' chances, he was going to ruin everything just because he was holding a grudge against him for not inviting him to come along? Did he ever think that maybe Josh had wanted him to come, but didn't want to be the one doing the asking? That if he failed, he didn't want to drag his friends down with him?
No. Toby hadn't. But still, to hit him.
"Josh..." she began, but she was cut off. Josh stepped away, out of her reach, her hand falling off his arm and to her side.
"Seriously Donna, forget it. Its not like I didn't deserve it. What right do I have to be mad at him? I know what it's like when people just leave. I wanted to punch something too! I just didn't use my best friend as the punching bag." he said, angrily, though not meaning to direct his words so harshly at Donna. She stepped back, as though she had been the one hit, and felt a chill run through her. When had her leaving been brought into the conversation at all? She'd missed that warning.
"Who?" she asked, concerned. She didn't like that he was taking it out on her, but hell, she was more than used to it.
"Toby was the one who was mad because you left?"she asked, peicing everything together. She doubted very much that either Leo or the President could do that much damage to Josh's face, though CJ might be able to give him a run for his money.
Josh gave a small nod, looking down at the ground to get his courage, and then straight back up.
"Yeah, Toby." he said, quietly.
"David died. His brother died."he explained, feeling his voice clench up.
" And no one told me."he added, a little hollowly. "Why is it that no one told me?"
Donna gave him a small, sad smile, and nodded, listening. They were standing on the street, they were freezing cold, and they were on opposing sides of a ruthless campaign. She nodded, because she couldn't do anymore.
"Ï dont know why they didn't tell me..." he repeated again. "Why doesn't he get it? I was walking away from the White House, I wasn't walking away from the people in it." he said, in a defeated voice, but Donna couldn't resist-
she smiled a little.
"Ëxactly." she replied. Giving his arm one last comforting squeeze, watching as the look of comprehension dawned on his face.
"Get a baindaid for your head."she said, as she walked away. "You'll look funny, but you always look funny." she added, over her shoulder, and walked off down the street.
Josh watched her walk away. He always seemed to be watching Donna walk away. Ever since he'd known her he'd find himself distracted until she'd walked completely out of veiw. It was slightly hindering considering the length of the West Wing corridoors.
But this time, as he watched her walk away, his own words resounded through his aching head- she was walking away from the White House, and not the people in it.
A/N: Review? Please, they make me smile.