Helping Hands

Part Five
Standard Disclaimers Apply

I'm in a good mood today. How can I not be? Yesterday,
Josh did me a favor. He succeeded. He was *nice.* And
I don't have to worry about Karen Cahill.

Today is a good day.

I'm walking serenely down the halls of the West Wing
when I feel a hand on my arm.

"Donna!" Margaret whispers harshly. She looks

"What is it? And why are you whispering?" I reply with
a confused look on my face.

"I don't really know," she says, her voice returning
to its normal volume. "I need to show you something."
Pause. "I have to warn you, though. It might upset


She leads me to her desk. "Are you sure you're ready?"


"Are you really sure?"



I sigh dramatically. "Just show it to me already."

"Alright." She points to her computer screen. It's an
e-mail. At first, I think it's once of those
'informative' e-mails she likes to pass around. Maybe
something about low fat cake that isn't *really* low

But then I read it.

My mouth drops open.

Margaret tells me where the e-mail came from.

What in the name of God did he say to her?

I'm going to kill Josh.

*Kill* him.



I look up from my paperwork to see Donna.

She does not look happy.

"Donna," I say evenly.

She slams the door behind her and continues to glare
at me.

"Donna?" I say again.

"What did you say to Karen Cahill, Josh?"

"Nothing much," I lie. I don't even know why I'm
lying. It's obvious she knows something. I'm just
going to dig my hole deeper. But still, I continue.
"Just how you weren't hitting on her. You know, what
you told me to say."

"You jerk! I'm going to kill you."

I don't really doubt it. "What did you hear?" I say

"There's this rumor," she continues, still seething.
"Margaret got this e-mail from a friend of hers who is
a friend of Karen Cahill's assistant."

Oh damn. Karen Cahill just won't go away. "What was

"Well, for one, that you're insane, hostile, and
abusive. This I agree with."

I guess Karen *really* disliked my behavior yesterday.

"Oh wait! There's more! Apparently, you're carrying on
a secret affair with Sam. But, to deal with your
feelings for another man, you've been having some sort
of 'deviant' sex with me," she declares in a rushed

She says it so quickly, I don't even react to it right
away. I stare at her for a moment. "WHAT?!?" I yell.

"You were supposed to be helping me! Not telling her
lies! I don't want to have any sort of sex with you,
let alone 'deviant sex!"

I continue to stare at her. "I did help you. I never
said anything about 'deviant' sex." I do actually
think this is true.

"Well, what did you say?" she says testily.

What did I say that could've been shaped into wild
rumors? For a moment, I'm stumped. Then, I think.

'That doesn't mean I'm covering up my feelings and am
secretly having an affair with Sam.'

I guess she thought that meant something different. Or
that she purposely twisted it to screw with me. I'll
bet the latter.

'Not in the way one would think.'

That's what I said when she asked if I've slept with
Donna. You see, that seemed like a reasonable thing to
say at the time. Obviously, it was misconstrued.

'Not in the way one would think.'

I suppose, if one were evil, one could spin that into
'deviant' sex.

I hate Karen Cahill.

"So?" Donna's still staring at me.

"I said...stuff! It was taken out of context and
twisted," I say in my own defense.

"You said 'stuff'? Limited vocabulary for a man who
went to Ivy League schools. And what could you say
that would equate to admitting to a love triangle
between me, you, and Sam?"

"Stuff," I mumble again.

Donna sighs heavily, obviously irritated by me.

Then, the door opens. Sam is standing there,
wide-eyed. "Never! I would never sleep with you!"

"Well, I guess my dreams have been dashed now," I
reply dryly.

"Why did this start?" Sam asks, ignoring my remark.

"He told it to Karen Cahill," Donna says as she points
accusingly at me. "Now everyone in D.C. will think I'm
sleeping with somebody else's boyfriend!"

"Hey, I'm nobody's boyfriend!" Sam declares. He sighs.
"God, that's depressing."

"Okay, here's the story. I yelled at Karen Cahill
because...she said some inappropriate things to me
about my personal life." That's sufficiently vague.
"So, to get back at me, she's spreading rumors."

Donna tilts her head and folds her arms. "And what are
you going to do about it?"

"I have no idea."


Never. I'm never asking Josh for a favor again.

How can a man so brilliant be so dumb anyway?

He's a Fulbright Scholar and a graduate of Harvard and

But he manages to blurt out a story about 'a secret
plan for inflation.' And make Karen Cahill so
irritated that she spreads rumors about his personal
life. And mine. And Sam's.

Why is Josh Lyman such an idiot?

And why am I almost ready to forgive him?

I hate being half in love with an idiot.


Okay, so the Karen Cahill thing didn't work out.

I should've seen that one coming.

Isn't it ironic?

The day after I realize I'm somewhat interested in
Donna is the day she decides she hates me.

How ironic.

Irony stinks.

And now I have to find a way to make this all better.


Where's Toby?




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