Summary: That'd ruin the fun! Donna's POV.
Disclaimer/Note: Aaron Sorkin owns all West Wing characters and references. Lisa Lobe owns 'Stay". Don't sue. I'm not entirely sure why I used "Stay" for this, but it's late and I never have reasons for anything past nine.
You say I only hear what I want to
I don't think I've ever been this mad, or hurt, in my life. Ditching Dr. Freeride- damn, another Josh reference- wasn't easy, but that was my choice.
Come to think of it, so was this, but that's beside the point. Josh knows damn well why I stormed out of the West Wing at four pm.
Two and a half hours earlier...
"Josh, it's the same numbers, the same stats... I don't see why you guys think this will pass this time." I followed Josh into his office and dumped some files on his desk. "We have some sort of cynical... I guess it could be defined as hope, but we need this bill to be passed." Josh replied sitting down. "Josh... there's no way the Republicans will vote for this gun-control bill. It's exactly the same as the last one." Josh shook his head. "Donna, really, I know this already. Believe me, I know how absolutely hopeless this is." I could tell he was getting hostile, so I sighed and left the office. I heard Josh get up and follow me out. I stopped and turned around to face him. "Yes?"
"Could you call Congressman Shoeller's office for me?"
"You have a phone in your office, don't you?" I snapped. Josh blinked and took a small step back. He looked confused for a moment, then suddenly realized something and rolled his eyes. "This is about that AIDS bill, isn't it," he said. "You dumped it in favor of this- the same gun control bill you've been trying to get passed for over a year!" I'd raised my voice a little, and we were getting looks from people passing by.
And I thought what I felt was simple
Josh took my arm and led me back into his office and shut the door. "Donna..." he started. "Josh, look, the bill isn't gonna pass. I just think the AIDS bill was more important."
"Okay, great, but you have about zero influence on policy in this building." I bit my lip and said in a very controlled voice, "Josh, you have no idea how much influence on policy I have." He looked puzzled, so I elaborated. "Who do you always come running to when you need advice on nearly anything? Me. I'm not stupid, Josh. I do my homework, read up on whatever you're working on at the time." Josh went and stood behind his desk, apparently at a loss for words. I glared at him, figuring I'd won. "Donna, I go to you for a second opinion. Normally what you say is what I've already decided to do." Josh said, looking up at me. "And why the hell do you care so much about the AIDS bill anyhow?"
"Same reason you care about the gun control bill." Josh's eyes got wide, and I continued, "I know someone- very close to me- who has AIDS. His two-year old daughter has it too. I have personal reasons, just like you."
"Donna, there's nothing I can do about it-"
"Yes there is, Josh! Go to Leo or the President and ask if you could work on it. Getting rid of AIDS is generally a bi-partisan thing, so it would look pretty good politically."
You say I only hear what I want to:
Josh didn't say anything, and I walked out. I picked up my bag and began putting some files in it. Josh came out and watched for a few moments, then asked, in a sarcastic tone, "So, who's this person? One of your local gomers you've been seeing?" I felt the blood drain from my face as I looked up at him. Fighting to keep control, I replied. "No, Josh, it's my brother and my two-year-old niece." With that, I grabbed my bag, coat and purse and walked out of the Wing.
Which brings us to our current situation. I spent the weekend in Wisconsin with my family. Robbie has about five years to live; Melissa, at most seven. Fortunately, Robbie Jr., and Christa, his wife, don't have it. They're still not sure how Christa avoided it, but she did. I pick up the slightly shabby teddy bear Robbie gave me when I was in hospital in college. It was right after Robbie Jr. was born, so we named him Robert III. I hug him to my chest and stare blankly at the TV. After a few moments, I stand and turn on the radio.
So I turned the radio on, I turned the radio up
The song on is about a woman who's in love with a man, but hasn't told him. Kinda like me. I settle back down on the couch, still hugging Robbie III, and pull my knees to my chest. I jump at the sound of a knock on my door. I call, "Who is it?" knowing it's Josh. "It's Josh. Can I come in?" I sigh and shout "Fine." He opens the door and comes in. I don't look at him. Mentally, I'm screaming at him. "What do you want?" I finally ask him in a cool voice, not giving any emotion away. I can't let him see how much he's hurt me. I can't let him see that I'm dying inside, because now I'm almost certain he doesn't feel the way I do. I can't let him see that even though I've only been away from him two hours, I missed him. I can't let him see that even though he's killing me, I still love him. I can't.
"To apologize, ask for forgiveness, maybe grovel, and beg for you not to quit." I look over at him for the first time. He looks awful, but also dead serious about his words. Josh sits down on the edge of the coffee table across from me. He nods at my bear and asks, "What's that?" I nearly say, "What do you care?" but I bite back the words and respond, "Robert the Third. Robbie gave him to me when I was in college," hating the tremor that's entered my voice. Josh's sighs and asks if Robbie is my brother. I nod, still avoiding his face.
Some of us hover when we weep for the other who was
"Donna, I'm really sorry. I didn't mean it- any of it. I really do value your opinion on things, and I know you're not stupid, or a ditzy blond, or anything like that." I shake my head. "Then why'd you say it?" I hear him sigh. "I honestly don't know. Maybe it's just the enormous lack of judgment that everyone thinks is great when it helps us get our way." I shift on the couch so my feet are on the ground, and my bear is sitting on my lap. I'm still not looking at Josh, not do I say anything. "Donna, you were right. It's basically the same bill, and I know it won't pass. I just work on it because I don't want anyone else to have to go through this," Josh says, tapping his chest, right over where I suppose his scar is. He reaches over take my hand and says, in a much softer tone, "I don't want anyone to have to go through what you went through, Donnatella." I look into his eyes and my resolve nearly breaks. Without looking away, I say, "I still don't see why I shouldn't quit right now."
You said that I was naive and I thought that I was strong
Josh gets a desperate, throw-caution-to-the-wind look in his eyes. "You can't quit, Donnatella, because I need you and I love you." I just stare at him. Why does he tell me now? I was doing so well, holding out, then he drops this on me. I've waited forever to hear him say that. I just can't tell him. I have some pride. For some reason, we both stand. "If that's true, then why-"
"Because I'm an idiot who can't keep his mouth shut when he's scared of letting someone he's fallen in love with see how he feels."
"And that's why-"
"That and the fact I was in an arguing, angry-at-the-world mood today." I've just noticed he has his arms around me. It's very... I can't really think off a good word right now. I throw my arms around his neck and kiss him.
To hell with pride.
One of us finally pulls back. I whisper, "I love you, Joshua," softly. He smiles and brushes my hair off my face. "You have no idea how long I've waited to hear you say that," he replies.
"Trust me, Josh. I've waited longer."
"Just shut the hell up and kiss me again."