Comfort through Trials - Anticipation
Archive: If you want it, take it. Just let me know where it's going.
Spoilers: In spirit for Noel. No real ones that I know of.
Author's Notes: Sequel to "Comfort through Trials - Seeking." This is part of a series I am working on.
Disclaimer: They're not mine, I just borrow them to play with.
It's moments like this, I want to hide under my bed until the storm passes. Three women have called me today, and none of them were Lisa. See, this shouldn't bother me. It's all perfectly fine..... except she was supposed to call me at 11:30. No, I'm not worried. Not at all.
Instead, I'm going to worry about Josh. I'm not sure why, but I'm going to go with the argument that Lisa needs me worrying about her as much as an extra arm, but Josh needs me to worry about him, and Donna to worry about him, and CJ to worry about him, and.... Well, I think you get the drift.
It all started this morning when I walked in, early by the way, and heard Josh yelling. Not an unusual occurrence. However, he wasn't in the bullpen, and Donna wasn't standing in front of him. I heard him yelling in Leo's office. Worse yet, I heard Leo yelling back. I think I might have been able to rationalize this and move on if it hadn't been for one thing, they weren't actually yelling *about* anything. Crucial point there. Not one actual logical point was screamed across the Chief of Staff's office. At least, not during the time I stood there with my ear pressed against the door. I would have stayed longer, but Margaret threatened to give me a wedgie and turn me over to Leo. I said no thanks.
So anyway, I'm using this as a foundation from which to start a mountain of worry about Josh. My best friend is losing his mind, or at least, his ability not to yell at one of the two people more powerful than he is. Other than Leo, there's only one person more powerful than Josh, and if he yells at the President, I'm having him committed or something.
I worry about Josh. Yes, I worry about Josh, because it's easier than worrying about Lisa. I came up with this plan at 11:30 this afternoon when my phone rang. Now since Lisa was going to call me around 11:30, barring any catastrophe on what she figured would be a slow day at work, I expected to hear her voice. I have since learned to deal with disappointment. Granted, talking to Sarah is kinda nice, but not when she reminds me every other minute we talk about my medicine. Yes, Sarah, I will remember to take it. No, Sarah, I have no desire to flip out on the President. And no, I will not let you come over here and watch me take them just to be sure. Don't you have other children to mother?
Of course, she also called to help me hatch plans for my upcoming shopping trip. Now, I hate shopping as much as the next man, and over the years, Josh and I have plotted a variety of ways to avoid malls, shopping centers, and quaint shops. This time, I need to buy something, and I won't trust this to Cathy or Donna or anyone else. This one, I want to handle myself. Of course, I also realize I'm in over my head here, so Sarah's going to back me up. Make's sense to me, even if it won't to anyone else.
So, I'm not that worried when I hang up on Sarah. I know Cathy's manning the phones, so I don't have to wonder if Lisa called while I was on the phone. On the other hand, since I don't have to wonder about that, I have to wonder why she's late in calling instead. I'm not that worried though. I don't have time to be, because no sooner do I manage to extricate myself from a conversation with Sarah about our parents, than Cathy transfers another call in. Lisa. Finally.
No, not Lisa. Andrea Wyatt, and a very angry Andrea Wyatt at that. I almost have to ask why she's calling me instead of Toby, but I don't feel like having that conversation right now. We apparently dropped the ball on HR 459. Great, so someone can't converse about emissions standards. It wasn't me, so please tell me why I'm having this conversation. "Josh Lyman is the devil!" Okay, I have never actually heard Andrea insult anyone, let alone a member of the president's staff. What did he do? Alright, let's rewind a bit and pretend I didn't ask. No? Fine, I'll talk to him. My ear's ringing by the time I get off the phone. Josh, you're toast. Not only have you yelled at Leo today, you've pissed off most of the leadership. You.... are.... toast.
After that encounter, I want nothing more than to lay my head down on my desk. Of course, it isn't an option. As soon as the thought occurs to me, I hear Toby bellowing my name. Can I change my name to Bob and move to Virginia?
By the time I appease the brutal god that is Toby Ziegler by handing over a rough draft of next week's Christmas address, I'm anxious. I cannot believe I haven't heard from her. In the last week, she has called me every day, at 11:30, just like clockwork. There's an ulterior motive on her part. Lisa, like Sarah, wants to make sure I take my pills. As if CJ sticking her head in my office five times a day to remind me wasn't enough, but it doesn't matter, because I like to hear her voice at 11:30. So why hasn't she called. I ought to be working on the bullet points for the State of the Union to run by POTUS after Christmas, but I can't tear my eyes away from the clock. 12:29. Why hasn't she called?
When the phone rings, I nearly leap out of my chair in a rush to answer it. "Lisa?" It's not Lisa, but is. Lisa Anne Andrews is nearly frantic. Apparently Josh didn't actually call Senator Richter's office before jumping on the foreign policy bandwagon. See, these are the moments I hate my job. How am I supposed to tell her to ignore everything Josh says about foreign policy without telling her to ignore the White House Deputy Chief of Staff?
I hate my job today.
It's almost five o'clock, and Lisa still hasn't called. All day I've been supressing the urge to call the FBI and wave around my pitiful excuse for an intimidating job title. Only the knowledge that Lisa would kill me if I followed through with it keeps me in check.
"JOSH! Have you talked to Lisa today?" Now is that the kind of look someone gives their best friend? Just because it's sort of a stupid question does not mean you have to look at me like that. Fine, I'll go away. Just don't be surprised when I take revenge later. No, come on Josh. Let me leave at a reasonable hour today. No, can't you see that I don't want to talk to the CBO about the new budget figures, and I definitely do not want to go over polling numbers with CJ. You know, Josh, your holiday spirit is definitely lacking.
I'm sitting at my desk watching the clock tick. CJ just left to take the this morning's numbers to Leo, and I'm just waiting for Josh and Donna. I don't think Josh should be driving, and so I offered him, and Donna who caught a lift with him this morning, a ride home. They are, of course, running late. 11:54. 11:54 PM. She was supposed to call over 12 hours ago. When I get home, I'm going to start calling hospitals.