Author's Note: This is light & fluffy & one huge metaphor; please don't hurt me if it sucks. *g*
"Josh?" Donna softly called through the somewhat deserted bullpen. It was approaching 12:30 am, and she wanted to go home. Josh, however, had to spring her. So she was boss-hunting through an empty room.
As she headed towards his office, she noted with satisfaction that the light was on. Without thinking she walked toward the office and threw open the door. "Josh?"
"Gaaaaah!" Josh had jumped about forty feet, and the book he'd been holding clattered to the floor. "Donna!" he complained. "You made me lose my place!"
Somewhat miffed he'd been *reading* and he hadn't let her go home? Donna swiftly entered and picked up the book. "Joshua, can I please " She trailed off as she handed it back to him. "What are you reading?" she asked in an odd tone.
Josh's ears turned bright pink. "Nothing."
Before he could stop her, Donna had grabbed the book again and read the title. "Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azakban?" she read, trying to fight the giggles.
"Donna, that's Az KA ban." Josh wrenched his book back from her and flipped through, looking for his place. "If you insist on mocking me, then at least do it right."
Donna wouldn't let it go. "Josh," she said, "has it escaped your notice that you're thirty-six, not twelve?"
"These are really clever books," Josh protested. "They create this fantasy world for you it's so *real.* You can't put it down."
Donna had to fight to not roll her eyes. "Oh really?" she said, an air of disbelief prominent."What's so interesting in the great world of Harry Potter?"
Josh thought a moment. "Well, for one thing," he responded finally, "there's Quidditch."
"What the hell is Quidditch?"
"It's a wizard sport." Josh finally found his place. "There! See, read that. You interrupted me just as they were about to win the Quidditch Cup."
"Look." Josh sighed with the superior air of someone explaining things to a two-year old. "Quidditch is played on broomsticks. There's seven players per team. A Keeper, a Seeker, two Beaters and three Chasers."
"And what do they do?" Donna's question sounded bored, but by the look in her eye Josh knew he had her interest.
"Well, the Keeper is like a goalie in hockey," Josh said. "It's his or her job to keep the Quaffle the ball they play with out of the hoop."
"The Chasers are like forwards. They move the ball up and down the pitch the court and try to score."
"Kind of like we do here," Donna said, smiling, interested in spite of herself. "They can't lose the ball."
"Yeah, I guess." Josh grinned. He'd get her into the books yet. "Then, the Seeker is probably the most important person on the field. His or her job is to catch what they call the Golden Snitch. It's like a little fly thing."
"What happens if the Seeker catches the Snitch?" Donna asked.
"Their team gets one hundred and fifty points, and when that happens the team with the Snitch nearly always wins."
"Hm." Donna thought for a moment. "What about the Beaters, was it?"
"Yeah. The Beaters try to well, there are two little things called Bludgers. Bludgers fly around and try to knock people off their brooms. They hit pretty hard, too."
That one hit home. Smiling softly, Donna nodded. "I see now."
Josh looked at her slyly. "It's interesting come on, admit it!"
"Well," Donna said, sounding chagrined, "it sort of is. But only because it reminds me of here."
Josh blinked. "What do you mean?"
"Well, you said that there's seven players on a team."
"Think about it." Donna was impatient. "The President has to be the Seeker, doesn't he? The most important person on the team."
"Yeah, I 'spose."
"Leo is the Keeper because he keeps things from going nuts. He keeps the other team from scoring."
"And Toby, Sam and C.J. are the Chasers because they're always chasing the truth and trying to make points." Josh was getting into it. He frowned. "Where does that leave me?"
Donna smiled and stood. "You're a Beater, Josh."
"I guess I'd have to be."
"Well, not just because of that," Donna added. She smiled. "You're a Beater because you keep the what were they called?"
"Right you keep those away from the President."
"I never thought of it that way." Josh put his feet on his desk and tilted back his chair. "Interesting."
"Yeah. It almost works out." Donna racked her brain.
"We need one more Beater."
"Oh, that's easy." Josh stood to face her. "It's you."
"Yes, you." Josh paused for words. "You're *my* Beater." He grinned, laughing a little. "You keep those stupid Senators away from me. You run interference whether I ask you to or not. And most importantly, Donnatella, you know you saved my life. More than once."
Donna didn't know how to react. "Why Joshua, that's the sweetest thing you've ever said to me."
She knew what he meant.
Not knowing what else to say, she settled for the most simple. She picked up his book, returned it to him, and said, "I wonder if Borders is open right now." With a tiny smile, she headed out the door and home.