"If You Don't Wanna Speak"
Category: Donna/Cliff (ooooh!!), a bit of Donna/Josh
Rating: PG
Spoilers: All Cliff episodes
Disclaimers: These characters are SO not mine. Property of Janel Moloney, Mark Feuerstein and Aaron Sorkin. Song is "Breathing," by Lifehouse.
Summary: And even if you don't want to speak tonight, that's all right with me.

Cliff POV.

I'm finding my way back to sanity again
Though I don't really know what I'm gonna do when I get there
I take a breath & hold on tight, spin around one more time
And gracefully fall back to the arms of grace...

It's a pretty good day out here, weather-wise. Not so much in other ways, because I'm in the middle of doing something I dislike so much I think I'd rather be hung upside down over a firepit. Her innermost thoughts, her stories and her ideals are in my hands.

I'm thinking about her. I'm sort of kicking myself, honestly. Why the hell didn't I just end it that first night, when I found out who she works for? God knows it would have been easier on all involved.

I have no wish to jeopardize my career. I have no wish to be held on accessory to perjury charges. I'd like to go far in government law. It'd be nice. But the trouble is, I have no wish to watch her being led away by armed guards, charged with perjury, small and frail like the church mouse she is occasionally.

I guess that's why I feel so bad. I've always been a control freak, and nowhere is that more apparent than in my work. Emily told me that was the reason she broke up with me. And that hurt; you'd think I'd learn from that example. Yet I tried to control the situation, and through it, control her.

At the very least, I want to apologize. For a lot. Especially that I was really patronizing at the Inquisition (at least, that's what I've come to call it). But at least part of it was to reassure myself. I wanted to feel in control, and I didn't. That control freak thing happening again.

I also have to apologize for That Night at her apartment. Not for the sex, because frankly, the sex was great. But for all the trouble it's been. There is no way on earth she should have to go through this.

But most of all, I want to apologize for this - what I'm doing - yet I don't quite feel like I have to. Because with every page I turn I read something that hurts me. Josh helped me with the files today. Josh gave me a book today. Josh is upset, what can I do? Jesus Christ. Do I have the remotest ghost of a prayer with her, after reading this? Do I want it?


I get up off my bench and walk around to clear my head. She loves him, I can tell. And the look in his eyes when he handed the diary to me was proof-positive that he feels the same way. So why the hell am I bothering here?

I walk down the street, just sort of idling. After what I've read I have no desire whatsoever to go back to the office. Not yet. So like any lovelorn cliché, I walk over to her building.

There's nothing in her window. She told me when I was over that she always hangs her suncatcher in the morning. She puts it away at night so nothing will hit it – this isn't the best neighborhood, who knows what could come through your window? – but it's there every morning.
It's not there now.

I sit down on her stoop, just the same as that day when we spoke. When I threatened her – damn, something else I have to apologize for. But if nothing else, she owes me one apology. For making me think I had a chance.

I don't know what to do right now. I don't know if I will for a long time. So I'll just sit here and sort of soak things up. There are worse places to be, after all.

Cause I am hanging on every word you're saying
Even if you don't wanna speak tonight
That's all right, all right with me...
Cause I want nothing more than to sit outside heaven's door
And listen to you breathing
It's where I wanna be - it's where I wanna be, yeah...



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