Title: In A Cold Season
Summary: Donna catches Josh's cold while on a fundraising trip to New York.
Author: Jennifer (email@example.com)
Disclaimer: I don't own them. I just like to have fun with them. Please don't sue me. I have no money.
Random Thoughts: I hope you don't mind, but I have several stories that I started before the season finale and therefore they don't mention Josh getting shot. But I'd like to post them just the same. I hope you enjoy. Feedback is greatly appreciated.
**Note** My computer is really acting up tonight, so I apologize for the weird extra spaces and hard returns! Stupid technology! :)
In A Cold Season (2/3)
Throughout the day, several people come visit.
CJ brings me peppermint tea, telling me that Josh paged her four separate times to remind her to come up and visit me.
Margaret comes up to eat her lunch with me. I'm not very hungry, so I sip some juice, while she tells me that Josh made her promise to come find him after lunch to tell him how I was feeling.
I take a nap until Sam comes with a tray of toast and some more tea. We watch cartoons while I pick at the toast. Sam tells me that Josh went to the wrong meeting room and when no one else was there, had to call Sam to figure out where he was supposed to be. Now I feel guilty for being sick and not reminding Josh where he's supposed to be. Then I start sneezing and remember that I'm mad at Josh. It's not like the room name wasn't written down in his schedule book. I can't hold his hand forever.
After Sam leaves, I take another nap and a shower, because I hope the steam will loosen my chest. I'm running a comb through my hair when I hear Josh's door open and something flop onto one of the beds in his room.
He peeks into my room. "Hi."
"Feeling better?" he asks coming into the room.
"No," I mutter, fighting with the comb in my hair. Sometimes I just want to cut all this long hair off and not deal with these constant tangles.
Josh stops in front of me and holds out a teddy bear.
I look up at him. I suddenly feel like crying. "You bought me a teddy bear?"
"The best the hotel gift shop has to offer," he says, handing me the bear and taking the comb out of my hand.
He sits behind me on the bed and starts working the snarls out of my hair. No one's bought me a teddy bear since high school, when Tom Franks gave me one when I got my drivers license.
"You're welcome," he says. I sniff, but it's not from my cold. He's being so gentle with my hair. Making sure he doesn't tug too hard.
"Don't you have to get ready for tonight?" I ask, putting a hand up to my throat as I rasp.
"In a bit," he whispers back, reaching around to hand me my tepid tea. I sip and give it back to him.
"You'll behave yourself tonight, right?"
"Hmmm," he says, obviously struggling with a particularly nasty tangle.
"I won't be there to rein you in. You have to be nice to these people."
"Do I have to?"
"Okay, but I'm using you as an excuse to leave early."
"Joshua," I say in my most exasperated voice.
"Donnatella," he mimics my tone. "Sure you don't want to come tonight?"
"I can't. The tissue box doesn't match my dress."
He laughs, running the comb through my hair once more. "You missed big fun this afternoon."
"Yep," he says, pushing me forward so he can get up. "Be right back."
He walks into his room and returns with a shopping bag.
"We went to the Statue of Liberty."
"You did?" I'm disappointed. Everytime I've ever been to New York, it's only been for business and I've never seen the Statue. Figures the one time the Statue is on the official itinerary, I'm not able to go.
"But," says Josh, smiling as he dumps the bag onto the bed in front of me. "I got you souvenirs." The bed is littered with green foam Statue of Liberty hats, several t-shirts featuring the Statue, three books about the Statue and a packet of postcards. I feel like crying again. Instead I just look up at him.
"Well, I knew you'd never been and I didn't want you to feel left out," he says,plopping the foam hat on my head. "See, you can read the book, which the President assured me is filled with annoying little bits of trivia, and it'll be like you were there."
I smile at him. I'm amazed. "Thanks Josh."
"You're welcome. Now remember, I bought you all this stuff, so you can't annoy me all the factoids."
I smile again, flipping through the postcard book. I feel embarrassed all of a sudden. Josh buying all this stuff for me…it's so sweet and so…something else that I don't even want to think about.
"Um," he says, undoing his tie and heading back towards his room. "The First Lady will probably stop up to see you."
"What?" My voice sounds like a screech. It's one thing to be sick on an official trip, but I can't have the First Lady seeing me like this. "Josh!"
"I'm sorry," he yells from his room. "But she was there when I was buying you all this stuff. She just wants to be sure you don't have a fever anymore. I told her I thought it was a good idea."
"Josh! I don't want anyone to see me sick," I whine. Ugh! I'm whining again.
"Why didn't you just tell her I was already dead?" I sigh, flopping back on the bed, which only makes my head all stuffy.
"I've seen you sick. CJ, Margaret and Sam have seen you sick. Why not the First Lady?"
"Because she's the First Lady," I stammer back. I'm getting confused by my own argument.
"She's also a doctor," he says, walking back into my room with his tux on. "Can you do my bowtie?" he asks.
"Why should I? You've invited half the nation up to visit me on my sickbed and you got me sick in the first place." I try to sound mad, but I cough and sneeze again.
"Bless you," Josh says, handing me the box of tissues. He smiles that puppy dog smile and I can't resist.
"Come here," I sigh. "Maybe I can reinfect you by breathing on you."
He laughs, but kneels down in front of me, while I sit on the edge of the bed. He puts his hands on my thighs and I feel hot and woozy again. My hands are shaking too much for me to do a really good job with his bowtie, but it's passable.
"Thanks Donnatella," he says, reaching up and feeling my forehead again. He cups my face in his hands. "You feel cooler."
No. I feel much warmer all of a sudden and I'm at a loss for words. And I'm never at a loss for words.
Someone knocks at the door and Josh pushes away from me to stand. I scramble back under the covers, pulling off the green foam hat at the same time. I push all the assorted souvenirs into a pile on my bed.
"How are you feeling, Donna?" the First Lady asks, setting her medical bag on the table next to me. "Josh has been driving everyone crazy all day making sure you were well taken care of."
"He gave me this cold. He should be more repentant," I say, opening my mouth while Abbey puts a thermometer under my tongue. Josh rolls his eyes at me from the end of the bed where he stands.
"Oh, I believe Joshua has already been punished. The President shared with Josh all the ins and outs of the common cold and how it easily gets transmitted from one person to the next," she says, pulling the thermometer out and looking at it. "I believe he'll think twice before coming to work sick again."
"And believe me. I suffered for every excrutiating minute," says Josh.
"Good," I say back.
"No fever. That's a good thing," Abbey says, feeling the glands in my neck. "Does your throat hurt?"
"Well, I think we can safely say that you are the first person Josh has infected and probably not the last," she says, shooting a glance at him.
Josh has the decency to look sheepish.
"I want you to gargle with hot salt water and drinks lots of fluids. I'll check on you in the morning."
I sigh. "Thank you Mrs. Bartlett."
"You're welcome dear. I'll have the kitchen send you up some soup." She pats my leg and then notices all the souvenirs.
"Josh, how many t-shirts and hats can one woman wear?"
"She's never been to the Statue of Liberty," he says, blushing.
"Well, then wasn't it sweet of you to bring her every souvenir ever made?" she says, winking at me.
I feel my face flush. From the cold or the First Lady's insinuations, I don't know.
"Get some sleep," she says, getting up and smoothing her hands over her dress.
"Josh, perhaps you could escort me to the party?"
"Okay," Josh nods, lifting his head from where he'd been studying the carpet.
"I'll wait outside," says the First Lady, winking at me again and heading out the door.
I'm tired all of a sudden and scrunch down in the sheets. Josh gathers the Statue of Liberty souvenirs from the bed and puts them back in the bag.
"Yeah?" he asks, leaning over me, tucking the blankets in.
"Thank you for all the souvenirs and the teddy bear," which I pull out from under the sheets. It seemed like a private gift that I didn't want the First Lady seeing and teasing Josh about.
"You're welcome, Donnatella. I'm sorry I made you sick."
"S'okay," I say, feeling my eyes sliding closed. "Have a good time tonight."
"I doubt it. You won't be there," is what I think he says, but I fall asleep and could have just dreamed it.
End Part 2