Unwelcomed Changes

By Mer

Part 10

Rosslyn Long Term Care-Josh's Room

"I guess I'll be going now." Sam snickered as he turned to leave the room.

Donna was torn between going after Sam and finding out what happened or staying with Josh. The look of told guilt on Josh's face told her that she needed to stay with him. He looked completely shattered. Sam took the opportunity to get away before Donna yelled at him.

"Josh what to you mean that you wish you had died either of those two nights?" Donna asked quietly.

"You wouldn't understand." Josh mumbled in a defeated voice, really not wanting to rehash it out with her.

Donna wasn't sure what to make of how he was acting. She noticed that he was trying to close himself off from the world again like he had after the shooting. She wondered if he could even remember that night, or if he was having flashbacks or something.

"Josh, what can you tell me about that night?" Donna asked trying to help him.

"Apparently not enough." Josh replied guiltily.

"Why do you say that? Was it something that Sam said to you?" Donna asked.

"It was something that I'm glad he told me. But no I don't remember a damn thing about that night." Josh replied but refused to elaborate any further.

"It's okay." Donna replied.

"It is far from okay Donna. I've been in a hospital for two months now and apparently because I screwed up. I don't remember ever going to the hotel or anything that happened after the underwear incident. And I'm sorry for that by the way." Josh replied in a mildly angry voice.

"Josh you could at least look me in the eye when you say that." Donna reprimanded in a hurt voice.

"I wish I could." Josh muttered crossly, though his anger wasn't directed at Donna.

"What do you mean by that?" Donna asked in a mildly angry voice.

"I can't look you in the eye Donna because I'm blind." Josh replied with a bitter sigh.

"Very funny Josh." Donna commented sarcastically.

"I wasn't joking Donnatella." Josh replied in a tone that Donna knew meant business.

"What? You're blind? Is it permanent?" Donna asked in a soft voice, barely choking the sentence out.

"They don't know yet, I have to go in for some tests tomorrow. I guess it's a small price to pay for what I did." Josh replied and he turned away from her.

"What did you do that was so horrible?" Donna asked.

"Which time?" Josh asked angrily.

"Whatever one you want to tell me about." Donna replied softly.

"First there was the fire when I was six and Joanie was babysitting. I burned the damn house down with my sister in it when the popcorn maker short-circuited. And more recently, I apparently froze in the stairwell when we were trying to go down. I was the reason that we were trapped and I was the reason that Joanie died. So I guess blindness is a small price to pay." Josh replied angrily.

"Josh there was..." Donna began but Josh stopped her.

"It was all my fault, trust me." Josh replied.

"Can you even remember either fire?" Donna questioned, unsure if she should be trying to force the issue out of him.

"Donna please I don't feel like talking about this anymore." Josh replied in a voice that he used at Christmas.

Donna looked at him and she could tell that he was putting up another wall around himself. She hated it when he did that, but there really wasn't anything that she could do to stop it. Josh would only get edgy and mean like Sam had gotten with her earlier, and she really didn't want to go through that again.

Josh could hear the hesitation in her breathing. He knew that she was debating whether or not to leave. He didn't want to talk about that anymore, but he didn't want to be alone either.

"So you're Casey's assistant now, huh?" Josh asked softly, trying to keep her in the room.

"Yes, but it's not the same." Donna replied.

"Donna, I hope that you at least gave the guy the benefit of the doubt." Josh stated with a small smile.

"I really tried too." Donna replied quietly.

"Just as long as you didn't bring him coffee then I guess we are okay." Josh joked and Donna had forgotten how wonderful that sound was.

"I..." Donna hesitated.

"I guess it's okay. Though you might just have to bring me coffee now." Josh stated quietly.

"We will get through this. I'm sure this is only a temporary set back." Donna assured him.

"I hope you're right." Josh replied softly as he reached out and allowed Donna to give him a hug.

"I didn't let a bullet or a window stop you, so what makes you think I'm going to let a fire?" Donna whispered into his hair.

Rosslyn Long-term Care-Sam's Room

Sam got back into his room thinking that he had fended off the wrath at least for a little bit. He failed to notice, however, that Toby was sitting in a chair beside his bed reading a newspaper. Toby peered his head over the paper when Sam got back in the room. Sam could only groan.

"So they tell me that you have a wee bit of an attitude problem." Toby stated casually.

"A wee bit of an attitude problem?" Sam shot back crossly.

"I guess they were right." Toby murmured.

"If you are trying to provoke me, it's working like a charm." Sam yelled angrily at him.

"My, my, it's only been thirty seconds and we've already moved to outright yelling. Pretty impressive." Toby commented dryly.

"What do you want anyway?" Sam asked as he threw his hands up in defeat.

"I promised you that I was going to be a better friend, so here I am. I'm ready to listen to anything that you have to say." Toby said as he shocked Sam by giving him a true smile.

"Oh please." Sam replied as he rolled his eyes.

"So you want to tell me why you drove Donna to tears, and the president rushing for the hills?" Toby asked causally.

"Donna is easily driven to tears." Sam shot back.

"No she's not." Toby said as he smacked Sam upside the head with his newspaper. "And furthermore that doesn't explain your actions. So tell me what's up with you today?"

"Toby, how very un-Toby like of you. I mean you are showing that you have a tender side." Sam mocked.

"Samuel, if you'd like to see how tender I can be then I suggest that you keep talking like that." Toby said as he managed a smile through gritted teeth.

"Well there was the fact that I have been replaced...by Mandy!!!" Sam exclaimed.

"Anything else?" Toby asked with an eye roll.

"She was only visiting me out of pity anyway and you know it." Sam shot back bitterly.

"You have no idea how untrue that is Sam. Donna used to think of herself as your friend. You both did favors for each other occasionally and she liked to think that you were a friend as well as a co-worker. Just because she visited Josh doesn't mean that she didn't want to visit you too. Sam she read to you, she talked to you, and..." Toby defended but was cut off.

"Why don't you send her name to the pope in for sainthood. I hear they are looking for a couple of more." Sam retorted.

"You think you can just brush me off can't you? I can play hardball too Sam." Toby replied.

"Should I be scared?" Sam said as he pretended to quiver in fear.

"I would be if I were you." Toby replied icily.

"Give me one good reason to be afraid of you. I know that you are gruff Toby and that you don't give a damn about anyone else. Already having knowing that why should I care what you think about me?" Sam asked.

"Oh you'll care eventually." Toby replied with venom in his voice.

"Really and why is that? Oh please tell me all powerful Toby." Sam mocked.

"If you want your job back from Mandy you have to get it back through me and trust me, right now I would rather have a member from West Virginia White Pride then you." Toby replied crossly.

"You wouldn't dare!" Sam shouted.

"Ignore the pun, but play with fire Sam and you're gonna get burned." Toby said as he smiled and walked out of the room whistling to him self.




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