Disclaimer: These characters belong to Aaron Sorkin and the other people at NBC. And the song is not mine either.
Best I ever had
I laid on the couch a little more after Toby left. I didn't really know how to handle the situation. Toby had told me to fight for her, but I thought I had been doing that. Maybe sending e-mails and leaving phone messages didn't count. I had never allowed myself to be this deeply in love before, not even when I was with Mandy. So maybe I didn't know the proper way to fight for the woman I loved. Yeah, I so what if I'm scared that she'll reject me, but hasn't she already been doing that?
But I can't take it
So I run away and hide
I continued to stare down at the divorce papers. I wondered if Donna was doing the same thing. Granted she had been the one who gave them to me but did she really mean them? Did she really want a divorce? A voice in my head screamed no, but Donna's voice filtered in over it.
"Josh I know your ego and how you can't think much beyond yourself, and your needs."
Donna had been so angry and I now I could finally see her point. I had been thinking about myself. I married her because I needed her. I married her because I was alone and I needed someone to hold me. I married her for my reasons.
And I may find in time
That you were always right
You're always right
Wait, no I didn't just marry her for my reasons. I married her because she needed me as much as I needed her. I jumped up off the couch but I quickly realized that had been a huge mistake. I had forgotten that my legs couldn't support me as well as they once had, so I had fallen flat on my face. My situation was made worse by laughter I heard.
"Glad to see that someone thinks this is funny." I muttered from my position on the floor.
"Ahhh, but Josh you look ridiculous." Charlie said from his place in my doorway.
"What are you doing here anyway?" I asked as I pulled myself into a sitting position.
"I was told to drag you out of your office at all costs." Charlie remarked.
"You talked to Toby then huh?" I asked looking up at him.
"Yeah, Zoey and I helped them finish painting. The house is finally done Josh." Charlie beamed proudly.
"That's good." I replied.
"Did she really?" Charlie asked softly, as if finishing the sentence would be too hard.
"Yeah." I replied without looking at him.
"Want me to sick the secret service out on her?" Charlie asked with mock-seriousness.
"Nah, they couldn't take her." I replied with a grin.
"Josh there is something that I have been meaning to ask you." Charlie began as he shifted around nervously.
"And that would be? Come on man I don't bite." I exclaimed.
"Would it be alright if I asked Zoey to marry me?" Charlie asked.
With some effort I pulled myself up into a standing position. I didn't really know what to say. His question seemed to come out of nowhere. I wondered why he was asking my permission, wasn't that a question you were supposed to ask the father or the intended girl?
"I wasn't sure I should because of what happened." Charlie asked quietly.
Damn, his anxiety face was replaced with a look of guilt. I saw that his eyes had gravitated to my chest. Why did everyone always do that? I placed my hand on his shoulder and then the other on his face. I brought his head up so that he was looking at me.
"Yes, you should ask Zoey to marry you. And that night wasn't your fault. It wasn't your fault." I said in a voice he knew not to disagree with.
"Do you think she'll say yes?" Charlie asked.
I let out the breath that I had been holding. Phew, I wasn't going to have to give him more of a speech. I flashed him one of my patented grins.
"She'd better or I'll sick the secret service out on her." I replied to which Charlie laughed.
"Where did you propose to Donna? I'm sorry." Charlie said, as the guilty look returned.
Damn, not another guilty look. I am not made of glass people when are you going to realize that? I survived a gunshot wound and being hit by a delivery truck, I think I'm too stubborn to die.
"Right here actually. Romantic huh?" I asked with a little laugh.
"Josh, what are you going to do with the house now?" Charlie asked quietly.
Okay where are all of these questions coming from? I am getting just a little fed up with them. But actually Charlie did have a point. What was I going to do with it? My lease was almost up in my apartment. I guess I could still try and give it to Donna. But if she didn't want it, I would be stuck with it.
"It's still her house." I stated softly.
"I see." Charlie said slowly. "Come on I promised them that I would drag you out of here for dinner. Sam wanted to have us all over to his place."
"That's nice of him." I stated quickly.
"There's more, Sam cooked." Charlie replied with a grin.
"Can we eat before we go?" I asked light heartedly.
"I promised Zoey I wouldn't." Charlie replied with a smile.
"But you didn't say anything about me." I protested.
"Come on Josh, Sam's cooking can't be that bad." Charlie theorized.
"Yeah well, you weren't there for Thanksgiving." I commented.
"Trust me I would trade the history of Thanksgiving marathon of speeches I received for it. I didn't know that the president knew so much about the place settings they had back then." Charlie exclaimed.
"Point taken. Okay we can go." I said with a sigh.
"Hey aren't you forgetting something?" Charlie asked as he saw only my crutches.
Damn, Toby didn't bust me without my wheelchair but leave it to Charlie. Now not only will I have a nightmare to explain away, I had to explain that too. C.J was already pissed at me earlier because I had been painting.
"No." I replied and I gave him a smile.
"Josh." Charlie said in a warning tone.
"Please don't tell C.J. she's already pissed enough." I begged.
"She's worried about you too." Charlie said softly. "We all are."
Charlie didn't really need to add that, I assumed it was implied. So what if I was recovering from a near fatal hit and run? So what if my wife wanted a divorce? So what if I had once been diagnosed with PTSD? Wasn't I allowed to live my own life anymore? Wait, I suddenly remembered that their concern was a good thing.
"I know, but could we please keep this a secret?" I begged him.
"I guess I owe you that much." Charlie replied with a sigh.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. Charlie was letting me off the hook. He walked along beside me and I think he wasn't too thrilled about the snails pace. But he kept his mouth shut. Which was a good thing since I was really exhausted so I was walking even slower than my new pace allowed.
We got out to the parking lot and Charlie offered to drive me over since he had to bring Zoey back anyway. I thought about it but decided that I needed to drive myself over. I would be cramped on the way back with my wheelchair on his little backseat with me. Charlie must have figured that was my reasoning because he didn't press the matter. He just said that he would meet me there and if I didn't arrive shortly after him that he would send out a search party.
On the drive there I longed for Donna to be in the car with me. Hell, I longed for her all the time. I knew that I had to try at least once more to make amends with her, but I wasn't holding out much hope. I guess I was beginning to tell myself that it was probably over.
So you sailed away
Into a gray sky morning
Now I'm here to stay
Love can be so boring
I arrived in the parking lot at the same time as Charlie did. It wasn't until I started to get out of the car that I realized Sam's apartment was on the second floor. And not only that but his building has an archaic elevator that no one ever used. Charlie noticed my uneasiness.
"Think you can walk up it?" Charlie asked.
"I've overdone it already today." I said softly.
"I'll be right back." He assured me.
Damn, my day kept getting worse. Now I was this huge burden to my friends. You see I had pretty much taken my situation in stride except when it came to times like this. Now I was definitely more appreciative of all the disability regulations. I figured I could sue Sam's super but that wasn't my style.
"Okay Josh ready?" Charlie asked as he came back with Toby and Sam.
I laughed as the three of them picked up my wheelchair. They hoisted me up the stairs like I weighed as much as a feather. Though, they did drop the chair down pretty hard once we reached Sam's floor. I thanked them all and they all nodded.
We got into Sam's apartment and low and behold Donna was on the couch talking to Zoey. Damn, I knew that there had to be a reason for this impromptu get together. They were trying to force Donna and me to at least talk things over.
Donna looked at me for a moment and then she immediately looked back at Zoey. She tried to act like she was interested in whatever Zoey was saying. But it was clear that she wasn't. Toby tried to nudge me into the apartment but I wouldn't go in.
What was it you wanted
Could it be I'm haunted
"Who's idea was this?" I asked through clenched teeth.
"Actually..." Sam stammered as he shut the door so that they couldn't hear us.
"Guys, I know what you're trying to do." I replied curtly. "But I can handle things my own way."
"Like this afternoon in your office?" Toby asked.
"Toby!" I exclaimed.
"Come on Josh it's just a cozy dinner between friends." Sam pleaded.
"Charlie?" I asked searching for a little sympathy.
"We knew getting you here would be easy, I just didn't think that we could get Donna here." Charlie commented without looking me in the eye.
Damn, Damn, Damn, Damn. My friends were setting me up. Great now I was going to have a public rejection. Smooth move guys. I had kept it out of the office hoping to avoid this. But know all I needed was Leo and the president and my humiliation would be complete.
"No one else is coming right?" I asked.
"No why?" Sam questioned with a surprised look.
"Because I was just wondering how much worse this is gonna get?" I snapped.
"Chill out Josh. Leo's busy and the president is with the first lady at the theatre." Charlie assured me.
"But they gave us their blessing." Toby offered.
I threw them all a glance that was filled with daggers. But I could see that they were really trying. They knew I was hurting, and they knew Donna was hurting. They figured it would be best to throw us back together. I hoped that they were right. I then gestered to the door and we all went in.