Helping Hands

Part Two
Standard Disclaimers Apply

I don't know why I keep thinking about this underwear
thing. I mean, it's not like I haven't touched a
woman's panties before. Not to brag or anything, but
I've had my hands on more than a few.

So, why would Karen Cahill think I was interested?

There are several possibilities that I have considered
in the time since I opened that package. Karen Cahill
could think I'm a fabric connoisseur. She could think
I would be amused by Donna's daffiness. She could
think I'm a cross-dresser.

But, I think she thinks that I would be interested
because she thinks I'm interested in what Donna wears
underneath her clothes.

Wow. That's quite a sentence.

No, I'm not trying to change the subject. Because I'm
really not interested.

I'm not. I'm also not interested in what Donna has
underneath what she wears underneath her clothes.

Why would Karen Cahill think I'm interested? I'm so
obviously not.

So there.


"Charlie, can I talk to you for a second?" I ask
sheepishly as I sidle up to him in the hallway.

"Sure, Donna," Charlie replies. "What is it?"

"I'd like you to ask the President to do me a favor,"
I say nonchalantly.


"You see, I was talking to Karen Cahill at the South
Street Exhibit last night. We were having a very
stimulating conversation."


"And when the conversation was over...I sort've
dropped my underwear on the floor in front of her."

Charlie stops in his tracks and turns to look at me.
His eyes are widened in surprise. "You dropped your
underwear? On the floor in front of her?"

"I wore the same pants two days in a row. I didn't
check the pant leg for the previous day's
underwear...and my underwear fell out of my pants."
This story is even more embarrassing when it's retold.

A tiny smile graces Charlie's face. I think it is only
Charlie's unfailing politeness that keeps him from
laughing in my face. "I can't wait to see how this
ties into the President."

"You see, I thought, maybe you could ask the President
to call Karen Cahill and make it clear I wasn't making
a sexual advance towards her. It was just...a strange

Charlie nods. "I'm not sure the President will
agree...he might be uncomfortable. But I'll ask him,"
he assures me.

"Thanks, Charlie," I say. I'm closer to correcting my
embarrassment. I can breathe somewhat better.


Where in the name of all that is holy is the Whitaker
file? I've looked all over her desk and have yet to
find it. Is she trying to drive me insane?


I continue my search by looking through her drawers. I
look through the ones on the left side. I come up

Then I open the upper right one.

And there they are again. Her underwear. Which, I
shall reiterate, do not interest me in the least.

Still, I find myself staring at them. It's not
interest, you see. It's just the fascination of
looking at something you're not supposed to be looking

That's all. Although, the longer I stare, the greater
my chances of being labeled a pervert are. But, I've
already seen them, so it can't be that wrong. Can it?
So, I continue to stare. For no ulterior motive.

It's just surprise to see them again. Really.

"Josh!" I hear Donna shriek.

I slam the drawer closed. "Donna! Hello!" I yell back.

"Josh, what were you doing?"

"I was looking for something." Although I can no
longer remember what it is. Why must all things
related to women render me speechless?

"And you had to look in my drawers because?"

"I couldn't find it on your desk."

"And you were *staring* into my drawer for what

"I wasn't staring. I was looking. I'm sorry you can't
recognize the difference," I say arrogantly.

She rolls her eyes. "I can't believe you," she says
with irritation. "First, you embarrass me by twirling
my underwear in front of everybody - -"

"I wasn't twirling."

"Then, you go looking for my underwear, probably
planning some sort of practical joke at my expense -

"I wasn't."

"Then what were you doing?"

I suddenly remember. "The Whitaker file! I was looking
for that!" I say triumphantly.

"It's on your desk," she says with a sigh.

"Oh. I forgot to look there." I wonder where she was,
anyway. "This wouldn't happen if you didn't just leave
your desk without any sort of warning."

"This wouldn't happen if you looked on your desk."

"You know I don't like to rummage through the mess on
my desk unless it's absolutely necessary. So, where
were you?"

"If you must know, I went to ask Charlie to ask the
President to call Karen Cahill and explain I have no
sexual interest in her."

"Okay. You think that seems logical?"


Can't argue with a response like that. It's too simple
and self-assured. "Okay." I walk into my office to
continue the search for my file.


Okay, the file thing did explain why he'd be looking
in my drawers. I'll give him that.

But it still doesn't explain why he'd *stare* into the
drawer that I threw my underwear into. I didn't want
to press the issue. I could see color rising to his
cheeks. And it's not every day that Joshua Lyman gets
flustered. I could've taunted him about it, but I'm
seriously frightened of the response I would get.

It probably meant nothing anyway. He probably *was*
going to play a joke on me. Drop my underwear
somewhere else in the White House and smirk as I
frantically search for them. He can be a jerk like
that sometimes. His moments of sweetness and
vulnerability make up for this idiotic behavior,

"Hi, Donna." I look up to see Charlie. "I talked to
the President."

"What did he say?" I ask pleadingly.

"He didn't think it would be appropriate."

I sigh. "I understand."

Charlie nods and walks away. This stinks. I could
always talk to Karen Cahill myself...but I don't
really want to. And I might end up leaving more

I don't need that embarrassment again.

Josh reemerges from his office. "I found the file. It
was on my desk."

"Uh huh," I say sulkily.

"What's wrong?" he asks.

"Gee, take a guess. Do you not remember what's
happened today?"

He nods. "And I suppose the President said no?"


Josh is silent for a moment. "Well, I could always
talk to Karen Cahill."

I stare at him. "You want to help me with this?"

And Josh nods again.


Helping Hands - 3




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