Trials and Tribulations

Romance/Drama, Sam and Donna

Donna's parents show up with Dr. Freeride and screw with her life, SUICIDE
WARNING

Rated R

Heidi and Lisa

Trials and Tribulations

By Heidi H. and Lisa

Disclaimers-These are not my characters and I am making no money off of them.

Ratings-6th in the School Ties Series, Sam/Donna, Donna"s parents show up and
mess with her, Dr. Freeride makes an appearance, MILD LANGUAGE, SUICIDAL
THOUGHTS AND SUICIDE

Spoilers- In The Shadow of 2 Gunmen, 17 People, Noel, Pilot, 5 Votes Down,

Special Thanks-Lisa, my co-author, who gave me lots of help and good advice on
this series.

Special Note-I know nothing of court proceedings when it comes to Power Of
Attorney forms. This is pure fiction for the sake of the story. I also know
nothing of how injunctions work and is only for the sake of the story.

Note- School Ties Series
1. Back To School
2. Class Act
3. Roommates Together Forever
4. Changes
5. Transformation

Sam stood behind Donna as she let her parents into the apartment.

"Sam, this is Karen and David Moss, my parents. Mom, Dad, this is Sam
Seaborn, my roommate." Donna said with some difficulty.

"Nice to meet you. Donna has told me so much about you." Sam said in the
nicest voice he could come up with.

"Has she? Well let me just say this, Donnatella, you have acted very
irresponsibly. Letting a strange man live with you. Honestly!" Karen Moss
yelled, glaring at her daughter.

"How could you Donna? You know better. You know that Jacob is the perfect
man for you." David Moss said as he too, glared at his daughter.

Donna just stood there in disbelief. Was she really hearing her parents demean
her for everything that she had done in front of her roommate and the man that
had just kissed her?

"Mom, dad, please. I'm not irresponsible. I know exactly what I am doing.
Sam is a good friend and we both needed help with our living situations,
so....." Donna said as she was cut off by her mother.

"So, nothing! You had a bright future with Jacob and threw it all away, just
like you have done with every relationship. You could be married right now and
have a much better job than you do here and making a lot more money and not
living in Washington. I am very disappointed in you Donna." Karen said.

Sam just stood back and watched as her mother ripped her to shreds until he
couldn't take it anymore. Sam stepped forward and faced Karen Moss.

"Excuse me, Mrs. Moss. Donna has been very responsible. She is a kind,
caring person. She was nice enough to take me in as a roommate and she works
hard at her job and she is happy. I don't understand why you would want her to
go back to a guy who dumped her after he was finished with school. If you ask
me, it was his fault that he lost a wonderful woman, not hers. Donna had the
courage and strength to walk away from something that she knew was bad for her.
How dare you come in her and tell her what to do. She is a grown woman who
knows what she wants to do with her life. I know that you don't have any right
to make decisions for her. That's no longer your job. Your job is to support
her in whatever she does and to help her when she needs it." Sam finished.

Donna was looking at Sam not sure how to react. There were a few tears in her
eyes. Sam caught on that Donna was feeling really down on herself and needed a
laugh.

"I'm a spokesman. It's in my blood." Sam said getting a smile and small
laugh out of Donna.

Donna took a deep breath and faced her parents.

"He's right. You don't have the right to tell me how to run my life. I am a
capable woman, no matter what you think." Donna couldn't continue because she
started to cry.

Sam handed her some kleenex, so she could dry her tears. He wanted to help and
comfort her, but didn't think it would be a good idea to act intimate in front
of her parents.

Donna's parents stood there in disbelief. Was this really Donna talking this
way or was someone prodding her to act this way? Was that Jewish boss of hers
corrupting their daughter? Was this Sam Seaborn just her roommate or a little
bit more? There were blank looks on the Moss' faces as they stood there for a
moment, before David spoke.

"We will be staying at the Hilton." and with that the Moss' walked out of the
apartment, not even saying goodbye.

Donna sat down on the couch and started crying again. Sam sat down next to her,
not sure how to react. He gently put his arm around her and helped calm her
down. Sam pulled her into a tight embrace and the two of them stayed like that
for a while. Donna was happy just to be in the relative safety of someone's
arms and not having to speak. Sam wanted to reassure her, but couldn't shake
the nagging feeling that her parents would be back to bother their daughter and
try to take drastic action. He shoved the feeling down and comforted Donna.
Sam could deal with the nagging feeling in the morning.

Sam maneuvered Donna into her room for bed. She was still shaky from her crying
jag and seeing her parents. Donna looked up at Sam and started to speak.

"Thank you for what you said. You are a great friend. We need to talk about
what happened before my parents showed up." Donna said.

"We can talk about it tomorrow. You need to rest." Sam said, getting off the
bed and moving to the door.

"Thanks." Donna said.

"You're welcome. See ya in the morning." Sam said and closed the bedroom
door.

Donna slipped into the Harvard tee-shirt from Josh and was asleep before her
head hit the pillow.

Sam did the same thing. He hadn't fought with her parents, but was just dead
tired from the week's running around.

At 4 a.m., phones rang, beepers beeped, and forced two people who needed their
sleep to get up and find out what was going on.

Sam and Donna stumbled into the White House to help deal with the crisis. Sam
went to Toby's office and Donna went to find Josh. Neither one had spoken that
early morning, except for grunts that resembled a conversation. They had not
discussed the kiss, but knew that they had to at some point.

Donna was so busy running to other offices for Josh that she missed her mother's
phone call, but got the message when she returned to her desk. Donna took a
deep breath and picked up the phone to call her mother.

"Hello?" Karen Moss answered the ringing phone.

"Mother, it's Donna. I just got your message. What did you need?" Donna
asked coldly.

"We wanted to take you out for dinner. Well, last night, we were a bit harsh
on you and your roommate. We want to make it up to you. Would you consider
meeting us for dinner at Lasalles?" Karen Moss asked, praying and crossing her
fingers that Donna would say yes.

"What time?" Donna asked.

"Oh, let's say at about 7 p.m." Karen said.

"That's fine for me. I really hate what we do to each other." Donna said,
dropping the cold tone she had taken.

"I know darling, but we will talk more at dinner. Your father is dragging me
to see National Cathedral and the Washington Monument." Karen said.

"See you at dinner then. Bye." Donna said.

Donna was glad that her parents had made the first move. They treated her like
a little child and the previous night was no exception. She hoped that dinner
would go smoothly. Donna hated fighting with her parents and wanted to make up
with them.

Karen and David Moss smiled conspiratorially. Their daughter wouldn't know what
hit her when they sprung Jacob and the news on her. This was going to be a show
worth watching when their daughter realized what was going on and what was going
to happen to her.

Sam wanted to see Donna and make sure that she was okay. He shared the news
with Josh, CJ, and Toby about what had happened the previous night. The group
was planning to go out for dinner and told Sam to bring Donna. They knew she
needed some cheering up after the run in with her parents.

Sam headed for Donna's desk, surprised to see a smile on her face.

"What are you so happy about?" Sam asked.

"I just got done talking to my mother. They want to meet me for dinner at
Lasalles to talk about what happened last night. She agreed that they were a
little harsh." Donna voiced in a happy tone.

"I hope that dinner goes well for you. Lasalles is a nice place." Sam said
with a nagging feeling.

"I'll see you later at home. I gotta go run these files back to the right
offices before Josh starts yelling.' Donna said as she disappeared around a
corner.

Sam didn't feel right. He certainly didn't trust the Moss' after the previous
night's display. There was no way that Karen Moss felt bad about what she said
and how she had insulted her daughter. Sam hoped that the dinner with her
parents turned out better, but he didn't think it would.

Sam went to round up the gang and related to them what Donna had said. Josh was
with Sam, in that he didn't trust her parents either and didn't want to see
Donna hurt. CJ was pissed that Karen Moss was using her daughter again and
betraying the sisterhood. Toby was shocked that Donna's parents had come all
this way without having an ulterior motive. He told the group of adults that
their dinner was going to be at Lasalles. They were going to be inconspicuous,
but still make sure that Donna was okay and not getting trounced on by her
parents.


Lasalles................................................................

Donna walked into the restaurant and did a double take. She thought that she
saw Josh and Sam at a table, but brushed it off to being more than a little
nervous for dinner with her parents. She hung up her jacket and made sure that
her outfit was okay. She had dressed in a conservative blouse and pants. Donna
wanted to show her parents how grown up she was and the best way to do that was
by showing them an image. Little jewelry and makeup finished the look.

Karen and David Moss saw their daughter walk into the restaurant and smiled at
each other. Donna would never know what hit her and soon, even her powerful
Washington friends wouldn't be able to help her out.

Jacob Weston smiled when he saw his former girlfriend come in the door. He had
been directed by David Moss to stay at the bar until he was motioned over to
their table. Donna had left him to go work on some political campaign. He
would make sure that she regretted that decision for the rest of her life.
Jacob had been shocked by the shooting and glad that Donna hadn't been in the
line of fire. He knew that he couldn't live without her and the perfect set-up
had been put in play by her parents. He pulled out the signed papers from his
jacket and looked at them again. This girl was going to get the shock of her
life and no one would be able to help her, but him and her parents. She would
be forced to return to him and he was going to make her pay for leaving him. He
smiled silently to himself and got ready for the start of the show.

Donna slowly walked over to the table where her parents were sitting.

"Mom, dad. Sorry I was late. Josh needed me to find a file before I left."
Donna said.

"Well, that boss of yours shouldn't work you so hard. If you had stayed in
college, you would be the boss instead of following some idiot who got himself
shot." David Moss complained.

"David, let's not do this. I want a peaceful dinner with my daughter" Karen
Moss warned.

"Of course. Let's order." David said as he picked up the menu.

The waitress took their orders and left them at the table.

"Donna, we really think that you need to come home with us. Go back to school
and find a good husband." Karen said.

"I am going to school right now at Georgetown and I don't want a husband."
Donna explained.

"Will you at least agree to talk to a psychologist?" Karen gently asked.

"Why would I need to see a psychologist?" Donna asked, confused as to where
her parents were going with this.

"You have been acting out since you came to Washington. Not returning calls,
not coming home, moving in with a man you hardly know. This leads me to believe
that you need some professional help." David said to his daughter.

"And I suppose you have one picked out for me?" Donna sarcastically commented
to her parents.

"It just so happens that I do." David Moss announced and made the motioning
move that Jacob had been waiting for.

Jacob walked to the Moss' table and addressed his former girlfriend.

"Hello Donna." Jacob pronounced to a very shocked Donna.

Josh had been keeping an eye on the Moss' table and almost jumped out of his
seat when he saw who was approaching the table. Sam had seen the move that
David Moss had made, but had no idea who the guy was and turned to look at Josh.
Josh had a mix of anger and hate on his face.

"Who is that guy?" Sam asked.

"That would be Dr. Freeride." Josh snapped.

"What the hell are her parents doing?" CJ asked to no one in particular.

"They are playing with fire and I don't like the feeling that I am getting
from this." Sam said.

"What feeling are you talking about?" Toby asked.

"Ever since her parents showed up, I have had this nagging feeling like they
are setting her up for something." Sam explained.

"Let's just watch and see what happens. We'll know if Donna needs us to jump
in and help her." CJ said.

The senior staff watched the Moss table carefully. They were already in
fighting mode and all it would take was a small sign from Donna to push them
over.

Donna couldn't believe that Jacob was standing right here in front of her. She
took a deep breath and addressed him.

"Hello Jacob." Donna said coldly.

"Your parents were right. You don't look so good." Jacob said with a smile.

"How did you know what my parents.......You set me up. I should have known
not to put anything past you. How could you do this?" Donna said.

"Your parents came to me and told me what was going on with you. They came to
me because we were close and I could also answer their questions about your
mental health." Jacob said with a creepy smile.

"My mental health is just fine." Donna stated without emotion, still reeling
from her parents set-up.

"No, it most certainly is not. You are living with a man without the benefit
of a relationship of any sort. That is so looked down upon. You should know
better." Jacob lectured to her.

"Well, I am going home now where I am surrounded by people who love and care
about me." Donna threw her napkin on the table and prepared to leave.

"You aren't ever going back to that apartment. You are going to George
Washington University Hospital to the psychological evaluation center." Jacob
said, finally pulling the papers out of his pocket.

"I am so done with you." Donna said to both her parents and Jacob.

"You'd better read these papers first. They give your parents Power Of
Attorney over you. This was signed by a judge. There is no recourse for you,
but to cooperate and follow their wishes." Jacob said, the creepy smile
reappearing on his face.

"What are their wishes?" Donna asked coldly.

"We want you to get better and the only way for you to do that is to be
hospitalized for a time and then come home." Karen said without a trace of
remorse on her face.

"There is no way that any of that is going to happen. I am going home. Good
night." Donna said and stood up. She was stopped from walking away by Jacob
who grabbed her arm.

"You are going to the hospital right now. It is best that you not try to
fight this." Jacob said.

"There is no way in hell that I am going to let you or my parents make any
decisions for me." Donna said.

"The POA form takes care of all that. Come along dear." Jacob said and
motioned for David Moss to grab her other arm.

The senior staff couldn't believe what they had heard or what they were
witnessing. Josh was furious. Sam could barely contain his anger. CJ was in
shock. Toby was blown away by the Moss' actions toward their daughter. They
all realized that they had to jump into the fray when Jacob and David grabbed
Donna's arms. Sam was the first one out of his seat followed by Josh, Toby, and
CJ.

"What the hell are you doing?" Sam shouted at the men.

"Not that it is any of your business Mr. Seaborn, but we are taking my
daughter to the hospital." David Moss said.

"Well, Donna doesn't look sick to me." Sam said back.

"She is sick in the head and needs some immediate help." Karen gently
commented to the group.

"Donna is perfectly healthy. I would know if she is sick." Josh said,
referring to his own emotional rollercoaster.

"Well, I'm her immediate doctor in this matter and I am making the decisions
here." Jacob thought.

"Toby, isn't it medically unethical for a spurned lover to treat his former
girlfriend?" Josh asked, making sure that Dr. Freeride knew that Josh knew who
he was and what he had done to Donna.

"I believe that is true, but you would have to ask a real doctor." Toby said
getting the dig in.

 

Donna looked at her friends and glad they were here. She was tremendously
overjoyed that someone had recognized what was going on and come to her rescue.

"I am a real doctor and have made a conscious decision that this woman needs
immediate medical attention and supervision, so we need to go." Jacob said.

"She isn't going anywhere unless she says so." CJ added speaking for the
first time.

"Donna, where do you want to go?" Toby asked.

"I just want to go home." Donna said in a small voice.

"You have your answer. I am taking her home." Sam said.

"Well, it isn't that easy because I have this signed piece of paper from a
judge that says her parents have Power Of Attorney and can make the decisions
for her. Read it and weep." Jacob said handing the papers to Sam.

Sam and Toby quickly read through the papers and found several problems that
would declare the document null and void, but kept it to themselves. They
figured that they could use it later.

"I can call up a judge and get an injunction right now." Sam said.

"Go right ahead. We will win in the end." David Moss shouted back.

"Toby, call Judge Smith and tell him what we need." Sam said.

Toby whipped out his cell phone and phoned the judge. After explaining the
situation, the judge agreed to see all parties in court in two days. The
injunction was easily granted with the specific ruling that the Moss' and Jacob
Weston were to have no contact with Miss Moss until court.

The Moss' and Jacob were angry when they left the restaurant. Donna watched
them leave and looked at her friends. They were looking back at her when Donna
went white in the face and started to slide to the floor. Sam and Josh both
caught her and held her up. When they looked at her, they saw the tears in her
eyes.

"Donna, honey, what do you need?" CJ asked the trembling woman who was being
held up by the two most important men in her life.

"I just want to go somewhere where they can't find me. They know where I
live." Donna said, her voice shaky and afraid.

"You can crash at my place. Your parents don't know where that is." Toby
said.

"I don't want to be alone." Donna said.

"We will stay over at Toby's and keep you company." Josh and Sam said.

The guys helped to get Donna into a car and over to Toby's. Sam swung by the
apartment to pick up clothes and personal stuff for both of them.

By the time everyone made it to Toby's place, Donna was exhausted and could
barely keep it together.

"Sam, will you stay with me until I fall asleep? I really don't want to be
alone." Donna said from her place on the bed.

Sam couldn't bear to see the hurt in those blue eyes and climbed onto the bed
with her. He held her in his arms until she was asleep. He didn't want to let
go of her, but needed to get into the living room where the others were
discussing strategy on how to take care of Donna's problem. Sam waited until
she was in deep sleep before leaving her. He figured he would be back to
comfort her after the nightmares started. Donna had had a hellacious week and
things would take their toll.

"Is she asleep?" CJ asked, the worry on her face evident.

"Yeah, but she was pretty restless. I can almost guarantee she'll have some
nightmares." Sam said.

"We need to discuss what we're going to do." Josh said.

"Yeah, so what are we going to do?" CJ asked.

"The first thing is to look at this POA form." Toby said, pulling out the
copy that Jacob had given them earlier.

"What is wrong with the form?" CJ asked, being the only non lawyer in the
room.

"We found several inaccuracies in it when we saw it earlier. We didn't want
to say anything and tip our hand." Sam said.

"What inaccuracies?" Josh asked.

"Donna wasn't in court when the judge made the initial ruling. She wasn't
seen by a judge or allowed to speak on her own behalf." Toby said.

"Is that enough?" CJ asked.

"Probably, but we have another piece of ammunition." Toby explained.

"Tell." CJ commanded.

"Well, Dr. Freeride was the psychologist that the Moss' brought to court to
give medical testimony against Donna." Toby said.

"Does that bring up some ethical issues because he is her ex boyfriend?" CJ
asked.

"It's an ethically gray area, but he could be out for revenge because she left
him." Josh added.

"I would say that it's a pretty good idea that he's out for revenge." Sam
said.

"So what do we do now?" CJ asked.

"We go into court and present this evidence to a judge and let Donna speak for
herself." Sam said.

"So, it's hurry up and wait." CJ stated.

"Yeah and we make sure to take care of Donna." Josh added.

"How do we take care of Donna because I think tonight's little scene almost
did her in." CJ said.

"We can keep her busy with work. I know that I can do that." Josh said with
a smile.

"I can take her to lunch and spend some quality time with her or if I can't,
we make sure that the other assistants are with her." Sam added.

Toby wondered if he was the only one who picked up on the "quality time"
comment. He made a mental note to talk to Sam.

"We also monitor the phones. If the Moss' have family members call for Donna,
we take the message. Donna certainly doesn't need anyone to hassle her for her
parents." CJ added.

After they had mapped out their strategy, Josh took CJ home. Toby found Sam
watching Donna sleep from the doorway of the guest room. Toby gave Sam a look
and Sam quietly shut the door.

"Sam, if you love her, tell her. She needs to know." Toby said.

"I kissed her and we were just about to talk when her parents showed up." Sam
explained.

"Talk to her. I am pretty sure she feels the same about you." Toby said.

"How can you tell?" Sam asked.

"You both have got it bad for each other. It's in the way you look at each
other, touch each other, and act around each other. I saw it from the
beginning. Sam, she needs sometime to digest what happened tonight. Donna
isn't ready to jump into a new relationship while fighting off an old, jealous
boyfriend who is out for revenge, but at least let her know you will be there
for her." Toby said.

"Thank you." Sam said.

Toby headed for bed and Sam got comfortable on the couch. He thought about what
Toby told him. Sam had never thought about loosing Donna until tonight. He
figured that she would always be around. Toby was right, he had to tell Donna
how he felt and let her know he would be there, no matter what happened.

Donna awoke from another nightmare. This was the worst one. She was so close
to her friends, but couldn't reach them. She was so angry at her parents and at
herself. She wanted to believe that her mother and father had changed when they
invited her for dinner. Donna had been duped once again. Then the appearance
of Jacob at dinner. She was so afraid that she'd fall into his trap again and
again hurt the people closest to her. Josh wouldn't let her leave and would do
whatever it took to keep her in Washington. Sam and Toby would exhaust every
legal possibility. She had good friends and was determined to start showing her
gratitude for them.

Donna only got a few more hours of sleep. She rushed through a shower and
dressing and walked into the kitchen where the guys were. Toby and Sam both
looked up at her.

"I'm fine. I just need some coffee." Donna said to reassure them.

"I'm gonna grab a shower." Sam said and left the kitchen.

"Donna, come sit down. I need to talk to you." Toby said.

"What is wrong? Is it the thing from last night?" Donna asked, a stricken
look on her face.

"No, this is personal. I think that you need to talk to someone about what
happened last night." Toby gently suggested.

"I am perfectly fine. I don't need to see anyone." Donna said.

"Ok, then. I know what's going on with you and Sam." Toby said.

"There is nothing going on with me and Sam." Donna said.

"Yes, there is. I'm going to give you the same advice I gave him. Tell him
that you love him. He isn't going to make the first move right now while you
are going through all this. I'm not saying hop into the nearest bed, but talk
to each other and tell him how you feel." Toby said.

"Thank you for being such a good friend." Donna said.

"You don't have to thank me." Toby said.

The three of them rode to work together. Donna's car was back at the apartment
and Sam's was still in the lot at work.

Donna was escorted to her desk by Sam. He wanted to make sure that there were
no surprises waiting for her and he needed to talk to Josh.

Donna couldn't believe the pile of stuff on her desk that Josh wanted her to get
done. Between running from building to building and searching for old files,
she didn't have time to dwell on last night.

Josh was sitting in his office when Donna came back into the bullpen. He looked
at the stack of messages for her from various family members. He had already
talked to Sam and Toby, but the Moss' hadn't violated the injunction order
because they, themselves, hadn't called. Josh made a decision and walked out to
her desk.

"I'm trying to get all this work done as fast as I can." Donna said as a
shadow fell over her computer screen.

"I wasn't sure you'd want these, but your various family members have been
calling all morning to speak with you." Josh said as he held out the stack of
pink message forms.

Donna quickly thumbed through the stack and promptly dumped them into the
garbage. Josh was stunned.

"I don't want to talk to these people. They are just my mother's mouth
pieces. They will try to convince me that I am in the wrong and I don't, I
can't deal with that right now." Donna snapped the last part of the sentence
out.

"Okay, get back to work." Josh tossed at her as he retreated back to his
office.

"I'm leaving at 5 o'clock." Donna yelled at him.

"Whatever." Josh tossed to her.

When Josh sat down, he watched Donna. She had snapped that sentence out with a
sneer on her face and a hateful tone in her voice. He wondered if she needed
some help, like he did, but was too proud to ask for it, just like him. Josh
made a decision and walked over to Leo's office.

"Leo, do you have a few minutes? I really need to talk to you." Josh said.

"Yeah, come on in. What do you need to talk about?" Leo asked.

"Donna." Josh said.

"What's wrong with Donna?" Leo asked.

"I think the stress is getting to her. She snapped at me earlier." Josh
said.

"Donna has always been snappy with you. That's why we love her and keep her
around." Leo said.

"This was more than that. The way her eyes looked when she said it scared
me." Josh said.

"Do you want me to make some discrete inquiries into counselors?" Leo asked.

"Yeah, but she isn't gonna go unless ordered." Josh said.

"Just watch her and let me know if it gets worse." Leo said.

"Okay, thanks." Josh said.


Leo sat back and thought about what Josh had said. The stress of Donna's
parents and the ex boyfriend using the legal system to hurt her had to be
causing quite an ordeal for Donna to go through. Josh would be the first one to
see the stress problems because he saw her all day and Josh would know what to
look for. Leo picked up the phone and started making calls.

Josh hoped he was doing the right thing by telling Leo. He cared about Donna
and didn't want her to get as bad as he had been. Donna wanted people to see
how strong she was and tried not to show her weaknesses that Josh and the rest
of her friends knew existed.


At the same time Josh was talking to Leo, Donna was making her way to Sam's
office. She knocked on the door and he motioned her in.

"Hey." Sam said.

"Hey yourself." Donna said.

"What did you need?" Sam asked.

"I am going home now to the apartment. I need to be in my own environment."
Donna said.

"Really? Leaving at five o'clock on a weekday. What does Josh think about
that?" Sam asked with a smile.

"I really don't care what Josh thinks right now." Donna snapped at him.

Sam was shocked to hear Donna say that she didn't care what Josh thought about
her leaving early. Josh and Donna had a strong friendship that could not be
described by mere words. Sam made a mental note to talk to Josh about Donna's
outburst.

"Well, in that case, what are you making for dinner?" Sam asked.

"I am just going to make a casserole or something." Donna flippantly replied.

"I'll see you at home then." Sam said.

"Bye." Donna said and walked out of the office.

Sam and
Donna's...........................................................................

"What smells?" Sam asked.

"It's 5 Spice Casserole." Donna said.

"It certainly has a smell." Sam said.

"If you don't want to eat it, you don't have to." Donna yelled at him as she
slapped the dish down on the table.

Sam looked at Donna and couldn't believe how she looked. Her blond hair was
flat and messy. Her eyes were flashing with anger and Sam knew not to push her.

"We need to talk about court tomorrow." Sam said wanting desperately to get
off of the topic of dinner.

"I'm just a little nervous." Donna admitted.

"You don't have to be nervous. Just tell the judge the truth. There is no
way that your parents will win. All of your friends support and believe in
you." Sam said, pulling Donna into a hug.

Donna and Sam sat down to eat. Sam noticed that she kept pushing the food
around on her plate and not really eating. He made another mental note to talk
to Josh and see if Donna was acting weird and touchy. After dinner, they both
found themselves sitting in the living room.

"We need to talk. Toby pointed something out to me last night." Sam said.

"Well, Toby pointed something out to me this morning too." Donna said.

"I have a feeling that he said the same thing to both of us." Sam offered up.

"We do need to talk about what happened before my parents showed up." Donna
said.

"Yes, we do, but this isn't the right time. You need to get ready for court.
I promise that we will talk soon." Sam said.

"Thanks for understanding right now. I want to talk about it, but things are
a little harried right now and I want to give it my full attention when we
talk." Donna said.

"Good. I'm gonna go to bed. It's late and I need to sleep and so do you."
Sam said.

"Yeah, good night then." Donna said as she walked into her bedroom.


Washington D.C. Courthouse, Room 4.............................................


Donna took a deep breath and walked into the courtroom. Her parents and Jacob
were already there. They all gave her hateful looks when she went to check in
with the court clerk. After checking in, an older gentleman tapped her on the
shoulder. Donna turned to look at him.

"Miss Moss?" the man asked.

"Yes, can I help you?" Donna asked.

"I'm James Campbell, your attorney." James explained to the confused woman.

"No, my attorneys are Toby Ziegler and Sam Seaborn." Donna said.

"They gave you legal advice, but can't represent you out of a conflict of
interest. No one told you, did they?" James asked.

"No, they didn't." Donna said, feeling hostile at her friends.

"Mr. Ziegler and Mr. Seaborn gave me everything. I am going to take care of
this as I have been instructed." James said.

"Fine, thank you." Donna said.

Donna couldn't believe it. Sam and Toby had deserted her at the time when she
needed them most of all. She would be in their offices after court talking to
them. She was also upset at the fact that none of her "so-called" friends were
in court to support her.

Her case was called before lunch. James escorted his client to their table and
got ready to defend his client, if the need arose.

"I have reviewed the previous case file and the motions. Before I make my
ruling, I would like to hear from Miss Moss. Please tell the court why you
should not be held to the POA form." the judge instructed.

Donna stood up, took a deep breath, and addressed the court.

"Your honor, my parents and ex boyfriend are doing this because I grew up and
started making my own decisions. I am happy with the life I have now and don't
want to give it up. I am choosing to live with the decisions that I make. I
don't regret anything that I have done since moving to Washington." Donna said
and sat down.

"Thank you Miss Moss. I am now ready to rule on this case. After reviewing
everything and hearing Miss Moss speak, I have decided that the POA form is
invalid. Miss Moss is quite capable of making her own decisions and living with
those decisions." the judge said and banged down his gavel.

"What did I tell you? No problem." James said.

"Thank you." Donna said.

After saying goodbye to James, Donna was walking to the doors when her parents
approached her. Donna wheeled around to face her parents and didn't notice when
Sam and Josh came through the doors.

"Donna, please consider getting some help. You do need it." Karen Moss
pleaded with her daughter.

"You know what I need? I need a supportive family. You certainly don't live
up to that. I hate you and wish you were dead. I never, ever want to see you
again." Donna yelled and walked out of the courthouse

Sam and Josh weren't expecting to see Donna blow up like that. After her little
display, Josh knew that he and Sam had to see Leo again. Sam had told him about
Donna's behavior at dinner the previous night and had raised his concern level
immensely. The look on her face and the flash in her eyes was nothing like he'd
ever seen before.

Donna rushed into the bullpen and found both Sam and Toby working on a speech.
She walked into the office, slammed the door, and gave them both a piece of her
mind. Donna yelled at the top of her lungs until she was done. Donna blasted
back out of the offices and went home. Sam and Toby were in shock that sweet
little Donna uttered particular words to them.

Leo called everyone into his office after hearing about Donna's outburst. He
asked CJ if she had seen changes in her behavior. CJ said she had been snapping
at people for a few days and yelling at the other assistants when they'd try to
take her out for lunch.

"This is definitely affecting her work. What are we going to do?" CJ asked.

"I'll speak to Donna and I am going to order her to see someone or be put on
administrative leave until she does. I might even put her on leave if she
agrees to see someone." Leo said.

"Why put her on leave if she sees someone?" Toby asked.

"She can't have another little scene like the one in your office today ever.
I love Donna, but she is only an assistant and has no business yelling at her
superiors. That is tantamount to insubordination." Leo explained to a shocked
room of staffers.

"You can't fire Donna." Josh said.

"I am not going to fire her, but I am going to make it clear, if she does this
again, she will be transferred." Leo said.

Sam and Donna's............................................................

Sam walked into the darkened apartment. He fumbled into the kitchen and was
shocked to see its state. There were dishes in the sink and the table was full
of papers and bills. It wasn't like Donna to leave a mess. He looked around
the rest of the apartment. The living room was a mess with more paper and the
floor hadn't been vacuumed. He figured he'd take care of it in the morning
since Donna had gone to bed.

What Sam didn't know was that Donna was wide awake and looking at a pill bottle.
It would be so easy just to end the pain, she thought. There would be no
suffering or pain anymore. Donna had figured out how many pills it would take
to do the job. In the end, her resolve won out and Donna put the bottle back on
the nightstand and went to bed.

Leo hoped that Donna would realize that she needed to talk to someone about what
she was going through. Her friends were great, but this was something that they
couldn't help her with. He hoped that she would be receptive to the counseling
idea.

Donna arrived at work and headed for her desk where a message from Leo was
laying. The message said that he wanted to see her immediately. Donna had a
pretty good idea that Leo wanted to see her because she yelled at Toby and Sam.

"Hi Margaret. Leo wanted to see me?" Donna asked.

"Yeah, go ahead and go in." Margaret said.

"Leo, you wanted to see me." Donna asked from the doorway.

"Yes, come in and shut the door." Leo said.

Donna did as she was told and sat down stiffly in a chair.

"What happened yesterday?" Leo calmly asked.

"I got mad and yelled at my so called friends." Donna angrily said.

"Excuse me?" Leo said.

"You heard me and if you didn't, you should get a hearing aid." Donna said.

"Donna, what is going on? You don't act this way or say these kinds of
things." Leo said.

"Well, take a look cause this is the new Donna. Take it or leave it." Donna
spat out.

"We are going to loose this new Donna. You can't yell at your superiors, it's
insubordination." Leo said.

"Are you firing me?" Donna asked.

"Of course not, but you are going to see a counselor or somebody like that."
Leo instructed.

"No, I am not." Donna firmly stated.

"You are going to do it because I want a doctor to clear you to come back to
work. There are some things that you need to deal with and handle before coming
back to work. I hate to do this, but you are on administrative leave." Leo
gently told her.

"When is this leave effective?" Donna asked.

"Tomorrow morning." Leo explained to her.

"Fine, then. I will get Josh's schedule for the next few days ready and then
the temp can handle things." Donna said as she stood up and left the office.

Leo watched her walk out of the office. He was shocked by what he saw. This
wasn't the Donna he knew and loved. Leo only hoped that someone would be able
to give her the kind of help that she needed.

Donna couldn't believe what Leo said. She knew that she didn't have a problem.
Donna was still upset that her friends had deserted her when she needed them
most. Maybe it was time to make some new friends at a new job.

Leo told the senior staffers about his meeting with Donna. He suggested that
they spend some time with her and maybe try to get her to open up to them about
what was wrong. It was agreed that beer and Chinese takeout at Josh's was the
plan.

Sam found Donna in the mess and filled her in on most of the details. She
reluctantly agreed to go because she wasn't in the party mood. The puppy dog
look on Sam's face got to her and was too much to fight against.

"We're here. Let the party begin." Sam said as he drug Donna through the
door.

"Good. The food was starting to get cold." CJ called from the kitchen.


While everyone else dug into the food, Donna pushed the food on her plate
around, not really eating anything. No one seemed to notice that she was not
eating.

"Donna, when is your counseling session?" Josh asked.

"Why do you want to know and how do you know about that?" Donna asked,
getting an angry fighting face on.

"Leo told me and I wanted to know when my dependable Donna would be back."
Josh explained.

"How dare that SOB tell you that he ordered me to get some help. I can't wait
to see his face when a doctor says that there is nothing wrong with me." Donna
said with a victory type of smile appeared on her face.

The staff was in shock over Donna's reaction to Josh's explanation. They had
never seen her this way.

"Donna, I think that Leo was right to do what he did. After seeing your
behavior this week, I would have gone to Leo and asked him to help you." Toby
gently mentioned to the angry woman.

"This from the people who call themselves my friends. You are all far from
perfect. I can recall insider trading, a hooker, a press secretary that can't
even keep a reporter interested, and a bullet that didn't hit its target."
Donna shrieked.

The staff had some still very fresh memories of a December and couldn't speak.
The Donna that they knew and remembered would never try to hurt her friends on
purpose.

"Donna." Josh gently approached her and put his hand on her shoulder.

"Don't. Just stop it and leave me alone. I want to forget that I ever knew
you people." Donna yelled as she ran out of the door.

"Sam, make sure that she's all right and doesn't try to hurt herself." CJ
said, still in shock.

Sam knew that Donna headed home. He planned to force her to talk because her
outburst at Josh's wasn't normal, there was something more to it. The apartment
was dark, but Sam knew she was here. Her room was empty, so he tried the
bathroom. The door was locked and he could hear her knocking things off of the
sink.

"Donna, please. I know you're in there. Please come out and talk to me."
Sam pleaded.

After a few minutes, all the sound from the bathroom and movement stopped and it
got deathly still. Sam had a bad feeling and reached for his cell phone. He
called Josh and told them to come over now.

Sam was still banging on the door and pleading with Donna when Josh, Toby, and
CJ walked in.

"Break down the damn door." CJ said without any hesitation.

Josh, Sam, and Toby gave it their all and rushed the door. The door finally
gave way and swung open. The sight before them was horrifying.

CJ grabbed the phone to dial 911. Toby grabbed the pill bottle to help CJ with
the 911 call. Sam and Josh gently went to Donna. They couldn't believe it.
Donna was a gray ghost, but still breathing. Sam put her head in his lap and
stroked her blond hair. Josh held onto her hand and said a million silent
prayers. Their friend had tried to commit suicide.

The EMT's came through the door and took over. Within two minutes, Donna was
being wheeled out of the apartment with the senior staff in tow.

 

 

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