Title: All I Need

Rating: PG-13

Summary: Josh's POV about President, Mrs. Landingham, comfort with Donna

All I Need

I felt like throwing things. I felt like just throwing things across my office, watching things break.

I had such a desire to throw things. I've had it for a while, actually.

I had left Leo's office only five minutes before, when he had told me, Toby, CJ and Sam to get something to eat and come back. Sam, Toby and CJ had all departed but I remained in my office. I was sitting on my desk, staring out in front of my mindlessly. My mind was cluttered with everything happening around me. I wanted to throw things, just to get all the anger out.

When I found out about the President I threw things, lots of things in fact. I still have to apologize to Leo for breaking that vase. I was pissed as hell, I couldn't believe it.

I'll admit I didn't handle it as well as I could have. I believe after Leo told me my exact words were:

You've got to be fucking kidding me.

That was the first of many profanities that escaped me that night, but Leo remained stone faced the whole time, calm as ever. That only pissed me off more. I couldn't believe how he was not pissed as hell. Then he told me he had been. But he got over it.

I had to get over it.

Lately, I have been coming to grips with it all. The preparations kept us all moving so fast we hardly had any time to think about it. Throw in Tobacco and my personal tumbles and I was booked emotionally and physically beyond capacity.

I was mad about Donna, I don't know why. It was such a stupid thing to get mad about. I wanted to tell her, I guess. I wanted to comfort her, be there for her like she had been there for me.

I wanted to tell her.

Toby beat me too it, and so I was mad at him. I wasn't furious, but I was a little...miffed.

God that's a horrible word.

Miffed? Sounds like a name for a poodle.

I smiled a little as I thought about it and leaned back on my desk. It was raining outside and I could hear the droplets of water crash against the glass with soft plinks. I looked over at the clock on the wall and knew that soon I would have to go join the rest of my friends for the re-election discussion.

That'll be interesting, to say the least.

He has to run, he can't not run.

Part of the reason I want Bartlett to run again is out of my own selfish wish. I never want this to end. I love what I do, where I work, the people I work with. It would all be over too soon if he didn't run again. I didn't want to leave this place, ever. I would lose so many of my friends, Sam, Toby, CJ, Leo...Donna. I could never loose Donna.

Please God let him run.

I glanced up form where I was staring in to space and saw a familiar figure huddled near my door. Donna had a serious look on her face that seemed abnormal. I wanted her to smile so badly, just to help everything get better again. She walked slowly in to my office, her blonde hair swaying softly. I looked at her carefully and noticed her eyes were red and brimmed with tears.

"Donna, what's wrong?" I asked.

"Josh...there was an a-accident," Donna choked. I looked at her and my heart fell to my feet. Please god no, we've been through enough, let us alone.

"What was it?" I asked softly.

"Mrs. Landingham," Donna said finally. 'Josh...she died."

At first the words didn't reach me. Died? Who died, no one's allowed to die. My friends live forever, they always will. I'll go before they do. We're invincible, immortal...perfect...

Dad died.

Joanie died.

No one else can die. No one, please, no.

"It was a car accident," Donna continued. '18th and Potomac, a drunk hit her."

I stared at the floor and my hands balled into fists. This couldn't happen, this can't happen. Not now, please not now. Why did this have to happen?

I was still staring at the floor when I felt Donna's arms wrap around arms and neck. Her head rested on my shoulder and I heard her crying softly into my shirt.

How stupid could I be? She was in pain too, I couldn't' be there for her with the President, but for this she just needed me. I pushed myself off the desk and pulled her to me, my arms going around her waist.

"Why did this happen?' Donna asked, muffled because she was pressed against my shirt. "Why, Josh? It's not fair."

Then I repeated back to her the lecture I heard so many times in my child hood.

"It's never fair, Donna," I murmured. 'People leave our lives everyday without reason. It's never fair."

God, the times I heard my mother tell me that. When I was seven or eight, my black tuxedo too baggy for me. First it was my grandparents, then Joanie, then my Dad. I couldn't loose anybody else.

"I know," she sighed. "I'm gonna miss her."

"Me too," I admitted and smiled a little. "You remember when I got subpoenaed, she offered me a cookie?"
"Yeah," Donna laughed. 'I do."

Good, keep smiling, don't cry. If you keep crying, I might cry and I can't cry. Not in front of you.

"Hey, you should go home," I suggested.

"I'm staying," she said firmly. "I'll wait till the meetings done."

"You sure?"

"I don't want to be alone tonight," she whispered.

"Me neither," I admitted. I looked at her and she smiled at me. It was some what forced but for a second I saw a glimmer of the Donna I knew. I knew I would never have to go through this alone. I have my friends, my President and this woman.

That's all I needed.

 

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