Unwelcomed Changes

By Mer

Part 17

Georgetown Hospital-Josh's Room

"Hey Josh, are you up for a visitor?" Leo called from the doorway.

"Yeah sure Leo come on in." Josh said trying to be cheery despite the turmoil he felt inside.

"Why didn't you tell me that you were blind?" Leo asked quietly.

"I thought that it would go away?" Josh replied with a shrug of his good shoulder.

"Josh..." Leo warned.

"I didn't want you to be disappointed in me." Josh said quietly.

"Disappointed in you? Josh why would I be disappointed in you for something that isn't your fault?" Leo asked softly.

"Because you were upset that Sam was different." Josh said as he turned away from Leo.

"Josh listen to me, being blind and acting like Sam are two totally different things okay?" Leo asked.

"I guess." Josh sighed.

"Josh what's wrong?" Leo asked slowly.

"Nothing." Josh replied with a smile on his face.

"Josh." Leo warned again.

"Nothing's wrong Leo honest." Josh replied, trying desperately to look like he was telling the truth.

"Okay." Leo replied, though not totally believing Josh's statement.

"So C.J. talked to ya huh?" Josh asked slowly.

"No, I actually came on my own. I wanted to see you." Leo answered truthfully.

"I know that you promised my father that you would look out for me, but this wasn't your fault." Josh stated gently.

"Do you remember why you went to the hotel?" Leo asked slowly.

"No, but Leo I don't even remember if Donna still hates me for the underwear thing." Josh replied with a small laugh.

"You were there because I forced you to go." Leo replied guiltily.

"Leo, you shouldn't blame yourself for what happened." Josh replied softly.

"I know, I just can't help but feel a little responsible." Leo replied wistfully.

"So how is Mandy working out?" Josh asked swiftly changing the subject.

"Better than I thought she would. Sure she gives Toby fits, but she is a real nice asset to us." Leo replied with a slight laugh.

"And Casey?" Josh asked slowly.

"Well, he's finished those three bills that you were working on before this happened. Two of them have already passed and the third is sure to." Leo replied a little warily.

"If he's that good, tell him that there is a manila folder in my bottom desk drawer with half-written bills that I never had time or lost interest in finishing." Josh joked.

"I'll be sure to tell him." Leo mumbled.

"How is everyone else?" Josh asked.

"They are managing." Leo replied elusively.

"I see." Josh answered slowly.

"It hasn't been the same without you and Sam." Leo admitted.

"I can imagine." Josh replied with a small smile.

"I'm not kidding Josh." Leo scolded.

"Sorry. Leo, we will both be back at work before you know it. C.J. already helped me decide that I'm going to get a seeing eye dog to annoy Toby with." Josh laughed.

"I'm sure that will go over really well with the Secret Service." Leo mumbled.

"Hey, it's the Disability Act." Josh defended.

"Which White House employees are exempt from." Leo pointed out.

"True, but there has to be some concession right?" Josh asked.

"I guess." Leo replied in a defeated voice.

"Victory will be mine Leo." Josh replied.

"What no bagels to go with that victory?" Leo asked with what Josh could only imagine was a grin.

"Oh yeah those too." Josh laughed.

Sam's Office

"So you're sure that you are alright?" Toby asked Donna.

"Yes, I'm fine. Now if you'll excuse me I have to get these back to Casey." Donna replied as she got up off of the floor and left the office.

"Just what the hell did you think you were trying to pull there?" Toby asked once Donna was out of earshot.

"I am perfectly innocent." Mandy replied again.

"Bullshit. Innocent is not a word that I would ever use to describe you." Toby replied.

"Well then you had better get used to it, because I'm not always the big bad wolf you think I am." Mandy replied.

"Donna may let you get away with stuff but you can bet that I won't." Toby threatened.

"Is that supposed to scare me Toby?" Mandy asked as she faked a yawn.

"If you knew what was good for you, yes." Toby replied.

"Why are you Donna's protector anyway? When we worked on the campaign you thought she was nothing but a trashy blonde." Mandy recalled, using his words to the letter.

"That was then." Toby defended.

"What made you change your mind?" Mandy asked.

"She's turned out to be more valuable to this administration than you could ever hope to be." Toby said angrily.
"Why do you always defend her? Can't she defend herself?" Mandy asked.

"She can defend herself." Toby defended.

"If that's true then why is everyone always rushing to her aid?" Mandy accused.

"Because she isn't used to the daily grind of politics yet." Toby replied.

"If she isn't used to the daily grind of politics then how can she be so valuable to you? No I think it's because of Josh. I think that you all defend her because you are afraid of what would happen if he were ever to find out that you didn't." Mandy accused icily.

"Maybe that is true. Surely you know how ruthless an angry Josh can be? I mean after all he was the one who broke up with you. Whose idea was it do you think for him to do an interview detailing the end of your affair?" Toby asked.

"That article never got published." Mandy defended.

"Maybe not publicly but it did get circulated to all of the right people. Why do you think it was so hard for you to get a job in Washington once you left the Bartlet campaign?" Toby asked.

"I wanted out of Washington." Mandy defended herself.

"Yeah after nobody would take you until Josh asked you to come back." Toby replied.

"That's not true, I had a job working for Senator..." Mandy was interrupted.

"A job offered to you as an after thought from the guy that you were banging." Toby replied to which Mandy smacked him across the face.

"That is so unfair." Mandy answered.

"See Mandy maybe it isn't so wise to pick a fight with the big dogs." Toby remarked.

"If you think that you scare me then you are sadly mistaken." Mandy retorted.

"Gee Mandy, even I can tell what an outright lie that is." Toby smiled.

:"You bastard." Mandy yelled.

"Keep it up Mandy and you won't even be able to find a job working at McDonalds in this town." Toby smirked as he left the room.





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