Just Between You, You, and Me
Summary: A lesson in why secrets are best kept between two people. (Sequel to 'Matchmaking 101'.)
Category: Josh/Donna, Sam/Mallory, new character
Note: This story starts about two weeks after "Matchmaking 101." So far, Josh and Donna have kept their relationship quiet. Sam and Mallory are sort of dating, but mainly they just go argue in Sam's office. Which, I might add, is where our story begins.
"195 million dollars, Sam!"
"Why are you telling me? First, I already knew about it, and second, I had nothing to do with it-this administration had nothing to do with it."
"Your Secretary of the Interior is the same one who allowed taxpayer money to be spent on this."
"Mallory, it's not my problem! Take it up with Josh, he's the National Parks person!" At that, I entered Sam's office. " I am NOT the National Parks person, Samuel. Don't even mention that incident." Sam and Mallory both looked up. "Hello, Josh," Mallory said. Sam asked how long I'd been listening. I shrugged. "Just as you wrapped up the argument about vouchers"- Sam cringed as Mallory turned to him and began arguing her case again. Sam looked desperate for some sort of escape, but I just grinned and said, "It can wait." I returned to my office to find Donna perched on the edge of my desk. She stood up and smiled when I walked in. "'Morning," I said, heading around to my desk. Donna grabbed my shoulder and spun me around, then gave me a kiss that had to last at least a minute. "That's a good morning," I said when we broke apart. Donna smiled, then said, "And for that, you have to promise not to freak out when I read you your schedule." I nodded. Donna shuffled the papers she was holding and began to read. "8:30, Staff. 9:00, CJ. 9:15 to an indefinite time, meeting with POTUS, Sam, and the Secretary of Interior about some National Parks."
"Could you cancel it?"
"You're cute when you beg, you know that?"
"Are you going to help me get out of this meeting or not?"
"Josh. You're being asked to meet with the most powerful man on earth. Just because the last time you had a meeting like this, you were here until two in the morning..."
"Okay, okay, think of it this way: If that happens again, you're going to have to deal with me early tomorrow morning."
"Tomorrow's Saturday. I have no obligation to come in," Donna said. I sighed. "Fine... but if I'm not out in, like, two hours, come rescue me, okay?"
"Make up some phone call or meeting! I don't know- just get me out of there." Donna regarded me for a moment with a smirk on her face, then said, "Okay, but only cause I love you."
"I love you too, Donna."
"Staff in five minutes." Donna grinned at me and left. I shook my head and took off towards Leo's office.
I glanced at my watch. 11:25. Hmm... may as well make Josh panic a little. I'll get him out later. I flipped through some previous schedules of Josh's, trying to find someone remotely important who could be on the phone. I toyed with the idea of saying it was Joey Lucas, just to freak him out. I settled on an aide to the Majority Whip. I walked down to Charlie's office. He looked up and said, "Oh, hey Donna. Need something?"
"Yeah, I'm supposed to rescue Josh, but I wanna see how bad it is before I do anything." Charlie laughed and nodded at the partially open door. I stood near it and listened in. "... the cloud traveled all the way around the world in 17 days. Also, it exploded laterally, rather than up, as most experts had predicted."
"Yes, Mr. President. Uh, not to be rude, but could we return to the subject at hand"-
"Did you know that there's a legend about where the mountains came from? It's said that two brothers, Mt. Adams and Mt. Rainer, were fighting over a beautiful maiden, Mt. St. Helens..." I turned to Charlie. "Go get Josh and tell him it's an aide to the Majority whip." He nodded and entered. Josh came out, looking terrorized, moments later. He waited until we were in the hallway before launching into a tirade. "15 minutes late, Donna! Do you know what hell I went through back there? My God, I know more about Mount St. Helens, Washington State, the Cascades, and the National Parks then I ever wanted too!! He's talking about a trip out there. 'It'd be fun', he says. 'We could see a real live volcano!' And get this: Sam thinks it's a good idea! 'We could stop in Oregon while we're there, and it'd be a nice break from the office,' he says. 15 minutes late!" We'd arrived in his office now. "Don't ever do that aga-" I shut him up very effectively.
However, Brooke chose that moment to walk in. "Okay, I just saw far more than I wanted to," she said dryly. I pulled back from Josh, who looked like the day just couldn't get worse. The phone rang then. I answered, listened for a moment, then covered the mouthpiece and said, "Josh, the President would like you to come back to the meeting."
"Tell him I've got a thing."
I relayed the message, listened again, then turned to Josh again. "The President says that this meeting is important, and to tell the aide to wait." Josh sighed and nodded. "Tell him I'm on my way if I don't commit suicide before I get there."
"He'll be there in a few minutes, Charlie." Josh left the office, looking like he was walking to his death. After he shut the door Brooke turned to me and said, "Okay, what did I just see?"
"That... what I walked in on."
"Nothing?! Donna, you and Josh were standing in his office, kissing! And you call that nothing?"
"Yes," I said. Brooke stared at me for a few moments, then said, "Okay, let's start over. What happened?"
It was another two hours before the meeting ended, and there was another one set up for tomorrow. I trudged back to my office, trying to figure out how to convince two very eager National-Park-Mount-St.-Helens-freaks that we didn't have time to climb a mountain. I walked into my office to find Donna sitting at my desk. I groaned and shut the door. Donna stood up. "First of all, I managed to clear your schedule until four so that you can hide out here. Second, I talked with Brooke. Once she got over her euphoria that she'd had some minor, miniscule part in getting us together, she said that she could a) keep it quiet and b) if it did get out, that she could handle it."
"Does CJ know?"
"I made her swear on the Constitution that she wouldn't tell anyone."
"I didn't exactly have any bibles lying around."
"Whatever. Do you have any objections to going to Mt. St. Helens?"
"I'd love to go!"
"Okay, fine. I'll have to keep us from going without your help." I sat down at my desk and started working. Donna bent over and gave me a quick kiss before leaving the office.
At ten minutes to four, I walked into Josh's office. He was buried in paperwork. "Josh, you've got a meeting."
"Okay. What's after that?"
"Uh... it's marked down just as 'Appointment'."
"Oh, yeah, that. Okay."
"What is it?"
"Ah... that's not fair."
"You get to leave the building for an hour!" Josh gave me a withering look. "I'm leaving at seven," I informed him as we walked. "Why?" he asked. I rolled my eyes. "I'm going over to your apartment and getting dinner," I said. Josh nodded. "Ah... since when do you do that?"
"Be home at seven thirty."
"I'll try." I would have argued, but I knew 'I'll try' was the best he could do.
I opened the door to my apartment at quarter to eight. Donna was sitting on my couch, Chinese food spread out on the coffee table in front of her. "I thought you said you were cooking," I said as I hung up my coat. "No, I said I'd get dinner. Not a word was spoken about cooking," Donna replied. I shrugged and collapsed onto the couch next to her. She handed me a glass of wine and a fork. I grabbed a container of fried rice from behind a pillow where Donna had been trying to hide it. She gave me a look. "Jerk," she said with a grin. I speared a shrimp and said, "You really should just get two orders." We sat in silence for a while, eating and stealing food from each other. Donna set her glass on the table and turned to me. "Okay, so you're in a better mood now."
"Okay, good. Try very hard not to flip out when I tell you this."
"Donna, I never flip out."
"Sam and Charlie know about us."
"You flipped out."
"How?" I asked, grabbing an egg roll. "Well, it's sorta my fault, and sorta Brooke's. I forgot to hang up the phone, and Sam and Charlie were listening. Not on speakerphone, thankfully."
"I'll kill him tomorrow. Go on."
"Brooke turned on the speakerphone without my noticing after she'd found out who was on the line. Sam cornered me later, and asked about it. Brooke was nearby, so..."
"Both of them then."
"Josh, only three other people know."
"Yes, one of whom can't keep his mouth shut."
"I assume you're referring to Sam?"
"Sam does have a little common sense. Plus, Brooke threatened him. He's scared of her, so I think he'll be okay."
"Good. He's easily frightened into submission."
"Okay." I noticed Donna was grinning at me. "What?" I asked. She shook her head. "Nothing," she said. "What?"
"You. You're funny."
"How?" She shrugged, still grinning. I gave her a look. She stood and turned on the TV. "I wonder if anything good's on tonight," she said. I started flipping through the stations. Donna watched for a moment, then walked into the kitchen and returned with a Chinese food carton. "Guess what I've got?" she said in a taunting singsong voice. I looked over at her. "Shrimp fried rice," I said, picking up my fork. She nodded then said, "Remote." I looked at the food, then at the hockey game I'd found, then back to the food. "Okay," I said wistfully. We traded and I settled in next to Donna and prepared to watch 'You've Got Mail'.