Disclaimer: Characters don't belong to me, but to Aaron Sorkin and whoever…. Many thanks to Lida Rose for her proofing expertise. Rated PG
MISSING by LuLu
Donna looked at her watch again and sighed.
"Donna, if I'm keeping you from something let me know." Josh and Donna had been working on election reform all day, and it was getting close to 5:00.
"Josh, you know my bother is coming to town today. I'm just waiting for security to call and say he's here."
"I told you Donna, if you wanted to go to the airport you should have gone."
"If we get this done I can spend all day tomorrow and all weekend with Donald." Donna looked up at Josh hoping he noticed that she planned to take a day off.
"I thought he was here on a job interview?"
"That was this morning, we'll have all this time before he goes back Sunday night."
The phone rang and the security guard told Donna her guest had arrived. Donna scooted down the hall singing, "My brother's here. Hey Ginger, my brother's here. Hey Nancy, my brother's here." It had been almost a year since she had seen him and she was excited about the thoughts of spending the next three days with him. At the guard's desk was a tall male version of Donna. 6'5" maybe 180 pounds after an all-you-can-eat buffet, the light hair and smile were definitely Donna's. She ran up and hugged her older brother tight. "I'm so happy to see you! How was your interview this morning?"
"Hey, Donna! Hey, Donald!" Danny Concannon was walking out of the building.
"Hello, Danny." Puzzled he asked Donna, "Was I supposed to know him?"
"No, I've just blabbed on and on about you this week. I'm sure everyone thinks they know you."
"Josh?" she looked into his office. "Josh?" she shouted at the outer office. "I don't know where he is, but I want you to meet him for sure." She looked around again for him. "Well let me start out with a tour of our offices, then we'll see the public rooms of the White House." They started walking through the hallways with Donna introducing Donald to all of the people she worked with.
"Toby, this is my brother Donald."
"Nice to meet you." Toby shook his hand and gave him a warm smile, "I'll tell you, Donald, we couldn't do without Donna around here."
"Thank you, Toby." Donna tipped her head and wrinkled her forehead, surprised by the nice comment.
After Donna & Donald had left the area Sam looked at Toby.
Toby resumed his usual frown, "Josh called in a favor."
"Aaah.." Sam replied and nodded his head.
The siblings worked their way over to the Chief of Staff's office. "Hey Margaret."
Margaret looked up at the tall man with Donna and thought, "Donna always gets the tall ones."
"This is my brother, Donald."
Margaret rose from her chair and her gaze kept going up until they met his blue eyes. "Nice to meet you Donald."
"Donatella Moss is that you?" It was Josh's voice coming from Leo's office.
"There you are Josh. I want you to meet my brother"
After all of the introductions, "Bad news Donna, Smith and Jones are raising questions about Section 4. We've got to stay late and rework it."
"No Josh, you promised!"
"I'm sorry Donna this is my fault." Leo offered "But Josh says if you start now, you can finish this tonight. And I'll promise you tomorrow off."
Josh frowned at Leo; he had planned to give her the day off himself, and was hoping to keep that favor in his pocket for later. "Donna we'll have someone show Donald out since I need you to come in and take some notes."
"Jo-o-sh," Donna whined. She wanted to pout, that sometimes worked on Josh, but she wasn't sure about Leo.
Margaret quickly offered, "I'll show him out."
Margaret barely came up to his shoulder. As they walked to the exit, their conversation was stiff, but Margaret thought she would take a chance. "Would you like to see the Washington Monuments at night?" Margaret had heard the line had worked for many White House staffers.
He gave her a shy smile, "Since Donna's going to be tied up…I mean even if she wasn't…I mean, Yes, I'd like that."
They stood looking at each other, hoping for the other to say something.
The guard had seen Margaret many times escorting high ranking officials through the buildings corridors, she always seemed so unflappable, but today she looked like a blushing school girl, and the guy wasn't much better.
They made arrangements to meet later and Donald was gone.
"Josh are we done yet?" It was 1 a.m.
"Yes Donna you may go home. I know Leo told you to take tomorrow off, but could you please check in around lunch time in case I need you?"
Donna never could resist Josh when he pleaded.
"Not before 11:55 though." She couldn't make it too easy for him. "I'm going to bring my brother in for a complete tour and you are not allowed to talk to me if you see me."
"Got it. See Donna, no talk."
"Hey Leo" Josh walked into Leo's office for the staff meeting; he nodded at everyone else in the room.
"You ready to face Smith and Jones?"
"Yeah, my meetings late today. On a Friday. First they tear apart my bill, then ruin my weekend." Josh whined.
Josh noticed Leo kept looking towards the door that led to Margaret's office. "Has anyone seen Margaret today?" He looked toward the door again. "I can't find anything. I need copies of these."
"Did she call in?"
"No voice mail or email"
"That doesn't sound like Margaret."
"Did you call her at home?"
"Yeah, no answer there." Leo answered all of their other questions with a shake of his head.
"Maybe she had car trouble on the way in, she's only a half hour late."
A half hour by scheduled hours, but an hour and a half in Margaret hours.
When they finished updating Leo, Sam, CJ, and Toby picked up their folders and began to file out.
"Leo," Toby began, "I'll have Ginger make some calls."
Soon after the staff meeting Ron Butterfield from the Secret Service tapped on Leo's door. "Sorry to disturb you Mr. McGarry, but I understand Margaret is missing?"
"I wouldn't say she's `missing', but it's really strange I haven't heard from her this morning. This is just not like Margaret."
"I know, that's why I'd like your permission to send a couple of guys to her apartment. I don't want to start worrying you, but she is privy to sensitive information, and has a high level security clearance."
"I know," Before Leo was annoyed, but now he was starting to worry. "Go ahead and send your guys. Let me know as soon as they get there."
Leo walked Ron out of his office and found that someone had accessed Margaret's computer and his schedule. Now he was thumbing through the romance novel Margaret always kept in her desk drawer.
"What are you doing?" Leo glared at the agent, feeling very protective of Margaret's possessions.
"Sorry Mr. McGarry, just seeing if she left some kind of a note about where she might be, an appointment."
It hit Leo like a ton of bricks; they were taking Margaret's disappearance seriously. So many times when Margaret would talk to him, Leo would tune her out. Now he began to rack his brain, "Did she tell me something yesterday?" But he couldn't remember.
"Leo," the President walked into his office and Leo stood. "I understand Margaret's missing. Wow, I never thought I'd say that. Now Sam or Josh missing, that wouldn't be news, anyway, I've got Mrs. Landingham on it. That woman will find her, toot sweet!" He tried to put a reassuring smile on his face, but he could see, it wasn't helping.
"I hope so, Mr. President." Ron Butterfield joined them. "Our men are inside her apartment, nothing, and her car is missing. But the good news is, it doesn't look like there's been any kind of an attack."
"Attack! Who'd attack Margaret?" Leo was beginning to panic.
"Sir, we have to take everything into consideration. I'm asking the DC police to put out an APB on her car. We're also notifying the Maryland and Virginia State Police."
"Jesus," Leo muttered as he looked at the other men, "where could Margaret be?"
As he sat looking down at the files on his desk, Josh could see a familiar shape standing in the doorway.
"I'm not allowed to talk to you today." When she didn't come back at him with some kind of snappy retort, Josh looked up to see Donna standing in the door. She looked like she hadn't slept, and her eyes were bright with tears.
"Josh, he didn't come home last night!" Donna's face showed the panic that was in her voice.
"Donald, my brother." The tears started in earnest.
"I'm sorry, Donna," he got up to put a comforting arm around her shoulders, "when was the last time you saw him?"
"In Leo's office when you made me stay and work." She gave him an accusatory look, like somehow this was all Josh's fault. "He could have been mugged or he might be in the river."
"Donna, always the optimist." Josh tried to ease her fear, "Maybe he met a girl."
"Josh we're talking about Donald, he's an Accountant. What do I tell my parents! They don't even want him to move here, but I told them he'd be safe with me."
"I thought Donald was your "older" brother?"
"Oh, Josh, he's so shy, so inexperienced, he still lives with my parents!" The tears were starting again. "I thought if he moved here with me, he would open up a little, get a life."
"Well, Donna, it sounds like he did. Now sit down and tell me everything about yesterday when you last saw him."
There was pounding on the motel door. "Manager, open please."
Margaret grabbed her coat from the chair next to the bed to use as a robe.
"Who is it?"
"Manager ma'am, please open the door."
Margaret slowly opened the door leaving the chain on. The sunlight blinded her as she stood in the darkened room looking out. Margaret looked into the face of the motel manager, behind him stood two state troopers.
The trooper asked, "Is this your car ma'am?"
"Yes officer. Is there a problem?" Margaret was sure she had parked the car legally. Then she noticed a city cop car and another state patrol car pull up.
"Are you Margaret.." he looked down at his notebook.
"Yes." She was beginning to panic.
"Would you step outside, ma'am?"
Margaret shut the door and undid the chain. As she walked out onto the sidewalk, the two state troopers took their guns out of their holsters and carefully proceeded into the room.
A second later they were escorting a wide-eyed Donald, wearing only his trousers, out of the room.
"Can you tell us who this man is?"
"What's this all about?" Margaret asked again, wondering in the back of her mind if she should call a lawyer. Maybe Sam or Josh?
"I don't know ma'am, but you've got the troopers in two states, the FBI and the Secret Service looking for you! Now can you tell us who this man is?"
Margaret was is shock. "Yes, he's Donald Moss," and for the first time Margaret said it, "my…"
"Leo, have you found Margaret yet?" Josh led Donna and her tear stained face into Leo's office.
"No, and I'm pretty worried about her."
"Well, Donna's brother didn't come home last night. The security guard saw them together yesterday afternoon and thought they were making plans to meet later."
Leo leapt to his feet to confront Donna, "I don't know what kind of guy your brother is, but if he hurt Margaret there'll be hell to pay!"
Donna defended her brother. "Leo, he's an accountant, not some kind of serial killer!"
"How long has it been since you've seen him? Any unsolved murders in your hometown?" Leo and Donna were standing toe-to toe.
Ron Butterfield heard the exchange as he came into the room and couldn't suppress a smile. "Mr. McGarry, your phone." Ron was pointing to the ringing phone.
"McGarry!" He answered still staring at Donna. "Margaret where the hell are you?" He turned his back to the others, and began to yell at his missing assistant. "No, I didn't get your email…Margaret…Margaret, I know there's problems with the email, but where are you?…Virginia? What are you doing in Winchester, Virginia?…TO WHO?" His glare moved to Donna. "Yeah, all next week. I'll fix it" the relief was beginning to show on his face. "Oh, and Margaret," he said sincerely, "congratulations."
Leo sat back in his chair still appearing a little stunned. "Josh, you'll be working with a temp next week."
"Donna will be working with me."
"What about Margaret?"
"She's taking next week off."
"But why does Donna have to cover for Margaret?" now Josh was whining.
Leo sat up in his chair and a big grin replaced the scowl he had been wearing all day, "Because she's the one who started this. Margaret and Donald got married this morning and are spending next week on their honeymoon."
Donna looked from Leo to Josh and then at the office where Margaret should be sitting.
Josh slowly helped a stunned Donna into a chair, looked into her eyes and said with a smile, "What are you going to tell your parents, now?"