Title: Mission:Sabotage

Author: Steph (ILUVNYYANK@a...)

Category: Humor/Romance

Pairings: Josh/Donna, Sam/Josh friendship.

Rating: PG

Archive: Sure, just let me know where.

Spoilers: Nope.

Summary: Donna has a date with a movie star and Josh is determined to
sabotage it, with the unwilling help of Sam.

Disclaimer: The West Wing and its characters do not belong to me. They
belong to Aaron Sorkin, NBC, et al. I do this out of a love for the show and
no infringement is intended.

Note #1: There is a part of this story that was inspired by the new movie,
'America's Sweethearts (which, BTW, I really enjoyed). It's just a small,
insignificant part of both the movie and the story, but I don't want to risk
ruining any part of either by revealing what it is.
Note #2: This story got long, so it was sent in two parts.


* * * Mission:Sabotage 1/2* * *

"Donna!" Josh yelled from the doorway of his office, causing his
assistant to twirl around and face him.

"Yes?"

He approached her, noticing that she was wearing her coat. "What are
you doing?"

"I'm preparing to leave."

"You're leaving early?"

"It's 9:00, Josh. Normal people were set free four hours ago."

"You ceased being normal the moment you walked into the White House,
Donna. Actually, I think it happened long before that, but that's a whole
other issue." He paused and then added, "If you'd like to be normal, I
suggest practicing the phrase: 'you want fries with that?'.

Donna rolled her eyes at him, "Why you can't you just let me leave
without giving me any grief for once?"

"Were you planning on telling me you were leaving or was I supposed to
figure it out after the 500th 'Donna!' met with no response?"

"I was going to tell you once I was ready and had my coat on, so you
couldn't force me to stay."

Josh smiled, "And how exactly does wearing that coat make you think I
can't force you to stay?"

"Josh," Donna said in annoyance.

"Is it a magic coat?"

"Josh!"

He ran a hand through his hair, "What's the hurry anyway?"

"Is it so impossible to believe that I might actually want a social
life?"

"You have me."

"A social life outside the White House."

"Why?"

"Because I might actually want children before I dry up!" Donna said a
bit too loudly.

Josh looked around uncomfortably, before leaning forward and
whispering, "Number one, way too loud. Number two, way too much information!"

Donna groaned, "I'm leaving."

"You can't leave."

"I've finished all my work."

"Wait, I have something," Josh said, before dashing into his office
and returning a few moments later.

He handed her two pieces of paper with words scrawled across them.

"What's this?"

"I need you to type it for me."

"What is it?"

"My top 100 all-time favorite movies."

Donna's eyes widened. "I'm not typing this."

"You have to. It's a matter of national importance."

"The fact that 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' is your fourth favorite movie
is not a matter of national importance."

"I think the people have a right to know."

"When did you even have time to write this?"

"Oh, I finished my work a half an hour ago. I've been doing this ever
since."

Donna's eyes narrowed at him, "You mean you have nothing more to do
tonight, yet you are trying to stop me from leaving?"

He shrugged, "I don't feel like going home yet."

"You are a selfish, selfish man, Joshua Lyman."

"That's selfish twice."

"Glad you noticed."

"So, what do you have planned?"

"I don't think that's any of your business."

"Ah, another night of eating ice cream and watching Lifetime movies.
Hurry before that Valerie Bertinelli one starts."

"For your information, I have actual plans."

"A date?" he asked, his brow raising.

"A late date, yes."

"With whom?"

Donna scoffed at that, "I am not telling you anything about him."

"Why not?"

"Because you have ridiculed every man I have ever dated, Josh."

"I have not."

"You ridicule their names, their professions."

"It's hard to resist ridiculing a man with the name Roy Rogers who
works at Roy Rogers."

"That was only one instance."

"I promise I'll be good. I won't say one bad word."

Donna thought for a moment before saying with a grin, "George Clooney."

"What about him?"

"That's who my date is...George Clooney."

Donna watched Josh's reaction closely. His eyes nearly fell out of
his head with shock.

"Clooney? What the hell? No way. How did you meet him in D.C.?"

Donna smiled and her voice took on a dreamy quality, "He's here filming
a movie. It was actually very funny the way we met. He was filming outside
my apartment building and I just walked out my front door the other day and
inadvertently walked right into a scene he was shooting. Of course, they had
to stop filming, but George came up to me and we started talking. We hit it
off immediately and he asked me to a late dinner tonight."

Josh shook his head in disbelief. "You're going out with George
Clooney."

"Why do you say his name likes he's a mass murderer?"

"I just never liked the guy much. He's always seemed dishonest."

"How can you possibly tell that from seeing him in TV and movie roles
and in interviews?"

"I'm very perceptive."

"You're insane."

"Historically, the name George has been associated with liars, Donna.
It's a fact."

"Josh, our first president was named George and he was known for never
telling lies."

"Yeah, but that's just a legend."

"Name one George who has been considered a liar."

"Can I name Jorges?"

"No."

"Jorge's the Spanish equivalent of George, Donna."

"I'm leaving," she said with a sigh and turned on her heel.

"George Jefferson," he said, as he followed behind her.

"TV character."

"George Jetson."

"Cartoon character."

"Boy George."

"Confused man."

"Curious George."

"Precocious monkey."

"And the one thing they all have in common is they are liars!"

"Give it up, Josh!" Donna yelled over her shoulder and then
disappeared into the elevator.

Josh groaned, as he leaned up against the wall.

* * * * *

A few moments later, Josh entered Sam's office. He plopped down in
the chair across from him, watching as Sam pecked away on his laptop.

"Donna's out on a date."

"Uh-huh," Sam said, paying him no attention.

"With George Clooney," Josh added.

That got Sam's attention. "The ER guy?"

"Yes."

'"Donna's going out with George Clooney? Why's he in D.C.?"

"He's filming some movie. That's how they met actually. Donna walked
into a scene by accident."

"That's romantic. Sounds like fate."

Josh narrowed his eyes at him, "Did I ask you?"

"I thought I'd give some commentary on the subject."

"How can she be out on a date with a movie star?"

"What do you care? You guys are just friends and colleagues, right?"
Sam asked, as he eyed Josh.

"I'm simply looking out for a friend. Clooney seems dishonest."

"I always thought he seemed like a fine fellow."

"You're a bad judge of character, Sam."

"I am not."

"Two words: Call girl."

"That doesn't count," he paused and then added childishly, "Well, you
dated Mandy."

"True." Josh stopped and then asked absentmindedly, "What's Clooney
got that I don't?"

"Great hair, dreamy eyes, a killer smile, nice physique, fame,
fortune-..."

"Geez, Sam, why don't you just marry the guy."

"Such a mature response. What are you, twelve?"

"You sound like the women of 'The View.'"

"There's nothing wrong with acknowledging the attributes of a fellow
male."

"Just quit it, will ya."

"I think he's a really good actor."

"Stop talking," Josh grumbled.

"I really enjoyed 'Three Kings' and 'The Perfect Storm'."

"What about that Batman movie? Did you happen to catch that one?"

"We all make mistakes."

"And mine was coming in here to talk to you," Josh mumbled, as he got
up and left the office.

* * * *

Three hours later, Sam was awakened by the phone ringing.

"Hello?" he said groggily.

"It's me," Josh replied.

"Me who?"

"It's me, Josh."

"I'm not Josh, I'm Sam."

"Sam!"

"Yes, that's right."

"Sam," Josh said as patiently as he could manage, "I need you to wake
up and become halfway lucid."

Sam sat up in bed, tiredly rubbing at his eyes. "What do you want,
Josh? I just fell asleep."

"Donna's not home yet."

"And how do you know that?"

"I called her place."

"You called her at 12:30 at night? Why?"

"To see if she was home."

"Well, she's not. Mission accomplished. Good-..."

"She still out with Clooney, Sam. It's 12:30 pm and she's still out
with Clooney."

Sam groaned, "Maybe she is home. Maybe she put the machine on and
they're making mad passionate love right now."

"Sam!" Josh said, as his face twisted in disgust.

"What do you want from me, Josh? I'll say just about anything to end
this conversation."

"We have to go over there."

"Excuse me?"

"We have to go over there and see if she really is home."

"No, we really don't."

"He could have done something to her, Sam. Maybe that's why she's not
answering the phone."

Sam groaned and shook his head, "You're not going to let me rest in
peace until I say I'll go with you, are you?"

"Nope."

"Fine. I'll be at your place in ten minutes," Sam said in defeat.

Ten minutes later, Josh heard a thud at his door. He walked over to
the door and pulled it open. He was forced to jump back, however, when Sam's
sleeping body came following forward. He landed on the floor with a thud
louder than the first.

Josh sighed and gently nudged Sam's body with his foot. "Come on, Sam.
Wake up."

"Five more minutes, Mom."

Josh rolled his eyes and bent down. He turned Sam over and then
pushed his body upward so that he was in a sitting position. He gave Sam's
cheeks a few soft slaps, but, unfortunately for Josh, he remained very much
asleep.

Josh groaned, as he stood up. Without Josh to support him, Sam's body
fell back to the floor.

Josh walked into the kitchen and returned a few minutes later with a
glass of water. He stood over Sam's body and poured the contents of the
glass onto his face.

Sam's head immediately jerked upward when the water hit his face. He
mumbled incoherently from the shock, before sitting up straight. He was now
fully awake. He stood up and faced Josh.

"What the hell did you do that for?"

"You were asleep."

"And you figured that was as good a time as any to drown me?!"

"We have a mission, Sam."

"No, you have a mission. I have to go to sleep."

Josh eyed him then, noticing his attire. He was wearing black
sweatpants, a black sweatshirt, and black knit cap.

Josh grinned, "Why are you dressed like that?"

"I wasn't sure what insane thing you might have us doing tonight, so I
figured I'd come prepared."

"Prepared for what? A mugging?"

Sam shrugged in annoyance, "I don't know, Josh. I've heard this is
what two men wear whenever they go over to one man's assistant's apartment in
the middle of the night while she's on a date with a movie star."

"Oh, well, in that case," Josh replied with a chuckle.

Sam reached into his pockets then and pulled out two toy walkie
talkies. "Here, I brought these for us to use."

"Why the hell do you have walkie talkies?"

"I have nephews who play with them when they visit," Sam said
unconvincingly.

"What are we supposed to do with them?"

"We can use them to communicate if we get separated."

"Separated? We're not escaping from prison, Sam."

"Use them, don't use them, I don't care, Josh. Let's just get this
over with."

Josh grabbed his coat and then gestured to Sam to follow him, "Okay,
let's go."

Sam moaned tiredly, as he followed after Josh. "I'm coming, but I want
a Dunkin' Donuts Coolatta as my reward on the way home."

"If you're good," Josh replied with a laugh.

* * * *

Sam and Josh arrived outside Donna's apartment building ten minutes
later. Josh craned his neck to look up at her window.

"The light's on, she must be home."

"Okay, let's go home then."

"We need to see if she's all right."

Sam sighed, "What the hell are you doing, Josh? Of course she's fine.
You're acting jealous."

"I'm simply playing the part of the concerned friend. Her light is
on, but yet there was no answer when I called. Something may be amiss."

"The only thing amiss is your sanity." Sam exhaled and then asked,
"So, what now? Are you going to go up there and knock on her door?"

Josh turned to Sam and gave him a look like he had two heads. "Of
course not. How would it look if I just showed up at her front door in the
middle of the night?"

"You've done it before."

"I was drunk then."

Sam rubbed at the back of his neck, "What are we going to do then?"

"Climb up her fire escape and look inside her window."

"You're insane!"

"Come on, Sam. You came dressed like a cat burglar, you had to expect
as much."

Sam shook his head and grumbled, "You owe me big for this one. I'm
talking two Coolattas with Oreo Cookie whirl-ins."

"You got it," Josh said with a satisfied smile.

"Okay, let's go."

Josh and Sam walked over to the fire escape and looked up at the
ladder that hung a few feet above their heads.

Josh turned to Sam, "Give me a boost."

"You give me a boost."

"Who's in charge of this operation?"

"A lunatic. Next question."

"Just give me a damn boost!"

Sam mumbled some expletives under his breath, as he bent his knees and
linked his fingers together. Josh placed his foot on Sam's hands and said,
"Okay, boost me."

Sam gave Josh an upward thrust, causing him to lose his balance and
fall backwards onto the pavement.

Sam laughed and Josh scowled at him.

Sam shook his head, "I think we better keep our day jobs."

Josh stood up, brushing at his clothes. "I can't say I'm surprised.
This is typical."

"What's typical?"

"A mission with a brainy, handsome leader and his bumbling, inept
sidekick."

"I'm not your sidekick."

"Bumbling and inept didn't bother you?"

"I'm not your bumbling, inept sidekick," Sam corrected.

"Let's try again," Josh said changing the subject.

But Sam shook his head, his jaw tightening and his arms folding across
his chest."

"I'm not doing anything until I get an apology."

"Sam!"

"No."

Josh ran a hand through his hair and said a begrudging, "I'm sorry."

Sam nodded, "Thank you."

He then got back into position and Josh placed his foot in Sam's hands.
"Okay, give me a boost."

Sam gave him another upward thrust, but this time Josh grabbed onto the
ladder and it came sliding down to the ground.

They both smiled and slapped hands.

"Who da men?" Sam said excitedly.

Josh wrinkled his nose and shook his head, "I don't think it's a 'who
da men' worthy moment, Sam."

Sam nodded, his smile fading in disappointment.

Josh stepped onto the ladder and began climbing it, Sam following
closely behind him. They went up four levels before finally stopping at
Donna's landing. They walked over to her window, noticing that it was open a
bit.

Josh and Sam crouched down and peered into the window. Their view was
partially obscured because of the curtain, but they could distinctly see male
shoes."

Josh turned to Sam, "Donna doesn't have shoes like that, does she?"

Sam rolled his eyes, "Not unless she's been hiding something from us
all these years."

Josh sighed, "Clooney's here."

"Those are nice shoes. I wonder where he got them," Sam commented.

"Sam!" Josh chided him.

"Well, they are."

"SHH!" Josh said, as he brought his ear to the gap between the window
and its sill. "They're talking."

"Oh, George!" Donna said with a laugh.

"Oh, George," Josh mimicked in a whiny voice.

"She seems fine, Josh. I think we can go now."

"No!"

Sam shook his head and they continued to listen.

"There was this one time on ER when I was supposed to jump on this
gurney. Well, I jumped up all right...and then landed on the floor on the
other side!" George said.

Donna burst out laughing and Josh shook his head in disgust.

"I fall down all the time and she mocks me. I don't get that flirty
laugh."

"I'm sorry, that must be very painful for you," Sam said, feigning
seriousness.

"Shh," Josh said. "I don't hear anything."

"Maybe they're playing a quiet game of Scrabble."

"Yeah, right," Josh said in an 'I wish' tone.

"Oh, George," Donna said again, but this time it was in a breathy
voice.

Josh's eyes widened and he said, "I'm going in."

"What?! You can't go in!"

"She's having trouble breathing. Didn't you hear that?"

"Yes, I did. But I don't think she's in need of any medical
attention, if you get my drift.

Of course, Josh knew that and that was exactly why he wanted to go in.

"I'm going in," Josh said again. Before Sam could say another word,
Josh was on his way down.

Sam shook his head and talked to himself quietly, "Okay, I'm dressed
all in black, sitting alone on a fire escape at 1 in the morning and I'm
looking into a woman's window. No good can come from this."

* * * *

Josh knocked on Donna's door a few minutes later. She answered it on
the second knock and her face registered surprise at seeing Josh.

"Josh, what are you doing here?"

"Donnatella, my bella," Josh said in a slurred voice.

Donna's eyes widened at him, "You're drunk."

"No, no," he said as he waved a wobbly finger at her, "I only had one
Long Island Iced Tea. Goooood...no alcohol."

Josh had to be sure to keep his mouth far away from Donna's...One
whiff of his breath and she would know that he had onions for lunch, but
would not believe for a second that he was drunk.

Donna sighed, "Josh, a Long Island Iced Tea is an alcoholic beverage."

"It's tea...With ice," Josh tried to take a step forward at that point,
but Donna placed a hand on his chest.

"This isn't a good time."

"I'm sleepy."

"I'll give you some money and call you a cab. You can't come in."

Donna left the doorway, only partially closing the door. Josh could
hear her whispering something to George.

She came back to the door and Josh took a few stumbling steps towards
her.

"I like peanut butter."

Donna again placed her hand on Josh's chest and pushed him backwards
over the threshold. "That's nice." She paused and said, "I called you a cab
and here's some money."

Josh took the money from her, examining it as if he'd never laid eyes
on such a thing. "I need to come in. Slippy...sssslopppy...sleepy."

Donna tried to block his path, but for a fake drunk man he was
surprisingly quick.

He maneuvered past her and went inside. Josh's eyes narrowed when he
spotted George sitting on the couch. George turned his head and studied him,
offering him half a smile.

Josh walked over to the couch and plopped down next to George. Donna
was still standing at the door, a look of horror written across her face.

Josh waved a hand in front of George and then poked him in the chest.
"I...I know wh...who you are."

George smiled politely, "Oh yeah? And who would that be?"

"Marlon Brando...That's who you are...You look f...fatter in real
life."

Donna brought a hand up to her face and sighed.

George laughed politely, "You're a little confused, pal. I'm George
Clooney."

"Never heard of him," Josh said.

George was about to respond, when Donna rushed to Josh's side and
grabbed him by the arm. "Come on, Josh. Let's splash some water on your
face."

Josh held his ground, as he pointed at George, "I'm talking to my new
friend, Marlon."

Donna managed to push him all the way to the bathroom, despite his
struggling. Once in, she shoved him onto the toilet seat. Then she wagged a
finger at him, "You are not ruining this for me, Josh. I am out on a date
with a great guy. A great guy who happens to be a huge movie star. I am not
going to allow you and you're drunken antics to ruin this for me!"

"I like camels."

Donna groaned and gripped the sides of the counter. She spoke through
clenched teeth, "Splash some water on your face and stay in here until I tell
you that your cab has come."

With that, Donna left the bathroom, slamming the door shut behind her.

Josh was still sitting on the toilet seat, planning his next move,
when he heard a whirring sound coming from the pocket of his jacket. He
felt inside the pocket and pulled out the walkie talkie.

He listened as Sam spoke. "Robin, this is Batman. Come in, Robin."

Josh raised his eyebrows and then pressed the button to speak, "What
the hell are you doing, Sam?"

"I was communicating with you."

"What's with the names?"

"I think it's cool."

"I think it's stupid."

"And this entire episode hasn't been?"

"Why the hell do you get to be Batman and I have to be Robin?"

"Because I chose the names and I am here against my will."

"I'd make a better Batman. Robin's a wuss."

"Nah, George Clooney made a good Batman. I don't see you being able
to pull it off."

"I can't pull it off and you can?"

"I have the jaw and, I don't mind admitting, look good in a pair of
tights."

"Robin wears tights."

"Yeah, but Robin was rumored to be gay. Women don't care what he
looks like in tights."

Josh walked over to the door and put his ear up against it. He could
hear the muffled sound of a conversation, but couldn't make anything out.

"What's going on?" Sam asked.

"Goldilocks is pissed and the Big Bad Wolf is an ass."

"Who are they?"

"Donna and Clooney, Sam! Keep up! You came up with the damn name
thing!"

"Don't do the name thing if you don't know how to do it right." Sam
paused and then added, "Those characters aren't even from the same story."

"Well, excuse me. I'll be sure to sign up for your codename workshop
when I get out of here!"

"You-..."

"Over and out," Josh said, tired of his conversation with Sam. Plus,
he still had work to do.

Josh opened the door and stumbled out of the bathroom. Donna's face
immediately fell when she saw him.

Josh walked over to the couch where they sat and then pointed at a
glass of red wine that sat on the coffee table in front of them.

He smiled and said, "Kool Aid!"

He reached for the glass and grasped it, before Donna had a chance to
swat his hand away. She talked as if he were a child, "Josh, that's not Kool
Aid, that's wine. I think you've had enough alcohol for one night, don't
you?"

Josh shook his head and then moved his arm from Donna's reach, as she
tried to remove it from his possession. Josh pretended to trip and then
spilled the glass all over George's white shirt. George immediately jumped
up off the couch and began to wipe at his stained shirt.

Donna's mouth initially hung open in horror, but her expression
quickly changed to anger and she glared at Josh.

She hurried over to George, "I am so sorry. Here, give me your shirt
and I'll throw it in the wash."

Josh watched as George stripped down to his bare chest. He noticed
Donna studying his physique and cursed himself for his plan backfiring.

Donna pointed to George's pants, "Oh, you got a little on your pants,
too. Come with me and I'll put a little something on that so it doesn't set."

George followed Donna and they disappeared down the hall. Josh
pounded his forehead with the palm of his head a few times while repeating,
"Stupid, stupid, stupid!"

He was on the tenth stupid, when he heard the whirring from his jacket
again. He pulled it out of his pocket.

"Boo Boo, this is Yogi. Come in, Boo Boo," Sam said.

Josh rolled his eyes, "What the hell did you change the names for?"

"I got bored out here. It was either that or learn how to scale the
side of building. Personally, I just think this is safer."

"Why do I have to be Boo Boo?"

"We took a vote out here and you lost."

"Well, at least it was decided in a Democratic fashion," Josh said
with a smile.

"So what's happening in there?" Sam asked. "I can't make out a thing."

"I just spilled red wine all over Mr. Movie Star."

"Good one."

"Thank you. Unfortunately, it backfired because now he is shirtless
and Donna's drooling all over him."

"Hey, Josh, don't you think it's time to admit that this is all
motivated by your jealousy and obvious feelings for Donna. I mean, I've
always known, but I think it's time you admit it."

Josh's brow creased, "I am not going to admit that, Sam, because it's
not true. I am simply trying to make Clooney leave because I don't think he
is right for Donna. I am acting as a concerned friend."

"Most concerned friends would simply voice their concerns, not spy on
her and pretend to be drunk."

"So, I'm a bit unconventional."

"Josh-..."

At that point, Josh heard the sound of voices getting closer, so he
whispered into the walkie talkie, "Over and out." He then placed it back in
his pocket.

Donna and Clooney moved back to the couch and began to talk quietly.
Josh got the message that they were ignoring him, like a bratty child who
throws tantrums to get attention.

He walked around a bit, his mind racing to find his next diversion.
He had to hand it to the guy. Most men would have walked out as soon as the
drunken boss had walked in.

Something caught Josh's eye as he was perusing Donna's endtables. It
was a bowl of peanuts. His eyes lit up, as he dug his hand into the bowl and
popped a few in his mouth. He noticed Donna watching him suspiciously out of
the corner of her eye, so he chose that moment to start 'choking'.

He started making gagging motions and brought his hands up to his
throat. Donna immediately jumped up from the couch and ran over to him. "Oh
my God! He's choking!"

At that, George jumped up and hurried to Josh's side.

It was at this point that Josh decided to fall to the floor as an
added dramatic element.

Donna was practically jumping up and down. "I think he stopped
breathing, we need to do something!"

George held a hand up to Donna and said in an authoritative voice,
"Don't worry, I'm not a doctor, but I played one on TV!" He paused and said,
"I'll give him mouth-to-mouth."

The first thing that went through Josh's mind at that statement was:
Idiot! How about trying to do the Heimlich Maneuver?

The second thing was: That man's not getting anywhere near my mouth!

Josh's eyes flew open and he saw George's descending mouth. His hand
flew up and he clamped it over George's mouth, pushing his head upward and
away from him.

Then he sat up, coughed a bit for effect and said in his now typical
slurred voice, "It's a miracle! I'm saved!"

He then stood up and turned to Donna, whose face was clearly showing
signs of relief. She smiled at him and gave him a quick hug, before turning
back to George and throwing her arms around him.

"You saved his life! Thank you!"

Josh groaned softly and muttered, "He didn't do a damn thing."

Josh shook his head, kicking himself that his plan had backfired
again. Now, Donna thought George was a hero.

Donna linked her arm in George's and they walked to the couch. Donna
settled in next to him, sitting as close to him as humanly possible. They
started talking, an occasional laugh following out of their mouths.

Josh had begun to pout. He was running out of ideas. This man would
just not go home!

In a last ditch effort, Josh walked over to couch, picked up the
television remote, flicked the set on and then forced himself in between
Donna and George.

He settled in comfortably next to them, as he tried to ignore the
burning look that Donna was giving him. He flipped through the channels at
lightening speed before stopping on one. He smiled and said excitedly, "The
Flintstones!"

Donna groaned and tried to grab the remote from him. "We are not
watching 'The Flintstones', Josh. In fact, *we* are not watching anything
and *you* are going home as soon as that damn cab arrives!"

Josh ignored her and proceeded to incorrectly sing the theme song in a
loud, obnoxious voice, "Flintstones...Beat the Flintstones...They're a modern
stain cage family...From the frown of Fragglerock...They're a sage right out
of misery...Let's hide with the family drown the stream...Through the curtsy
of Fred's two meat...When you're with the Flintstones...Have a babba, abba,
poo time...A babba poo time...We'll have a hay, gold time!"

Josh smiled at Donna as he finished and then pointed at the
Flintstones' pet. He yelled, "Dino!", then turned to Donna and said, "I want
a dinosaur for a pet."

Donna scoffed at that, "You can't even take care of yourself, Josh,
nevermind a pet."

"I want a dinosaur!" Josh yelled.

At that, Donna shook her head sharply. She stood up and then grabbed
his arm, "That's it! I've had it! You can wait outside for your cab!"

She pulled on his arm with so much strength that Josh was actually
lifted out of his place on the couch. He was always amazed at the strength
she had. He swayed for a few moments, but Donna placed her arm around his
waist to steady him.

He fought her all the way to the door, but Donna's anger must have
been making her even stronger than usual, because he didn't have a chance.

She finally got him to the door, pulled it open and with a hard shove
pushed him out into the hallway. She then slammed the door in his face.

* * *

 


Josh cursed under his breath, angry that his mission had failed and
that he was no longer in the apartment to prevent anything from happening.

He muttered angrily all the way to the fire escape, where he found Sam
singing softly to himself.

Josh stood quietly behind him, listening to Sam's deep, forlorn voice,
"One is the loneliest number that you'll ever do...Two can be as bad as
one...It's the loneliest number since the number one-..."

Apparently, Sam didn't know the rest of the words because he began to
hum and then started singing again from the beginning.

Josh cleared his throat, causing Sam to jump up. He brought a hand to
his chest and sighed in relief when he saw it was Josh.

"So, you finally outstayed your welcome, I see."

Josh shrugged, "Apparently, Donna doesn't enjoy The Flintstones."

"I love the Flintstones. That Fred's such a cutup," Sam replied.

"I know, who doesn't love The Flintstones? They're a piece of
Americana."

"So that's why you got thrown out?"

Josh nodded, "What else could it have been?"

"What happened after our last conversation?"

"I pretended to choke and Clooney tried to save me. I recovered before
he could do mouth-to-mouth, but Donna still hailed him as a hero. Then I
sang the Flintstone's theme song very loudly."

"That part I heard." Sam paused and then asked, "You pretended to
choke?"

Josh grinned, "I'm not one to brag, but I do think it was my best
performance of the night."

"Are these insane antics what you meant by doing 'everything within my
considerable capabilities to sabotage' Donna's relationships with other men?"

"Well, I'd say these 'insane antics', as you term them, are a bit
larger scale than typical, but I had to upgrade considering the date was a
movie star, not the local gas station attendant, per usual."

Sam nodded in understanding, "I see." He stopped and then said
loudly, "Have you completely lost your mind?! You pretended to choke?! Who
are you and where did my quirky, yet reasonably sensible, best friend go?!"

"Quirky? Did you just call me quirky?" Josh asked, his forehead
wrinkling disagreeably.

"Yes, but I think you missed the point. I'm-..."

"I'm not quirky...Never call me quirky."

"Josh-..."

"If anyone's quirky, it's you...Maybe Donna...But I am not, nor have I
ever been, quirky."

"Will you get over the word already! I'm trying to say that you've
lost your mind. You've let your feelings for Donna cloud your common sense."

"What 'feelings'?"

"You have romantic feelings for Donna, Josh! And you're jealous of
the men she dates!"

"I don't understand."

Sam sighed and began to speak slowly. He pointed a finger at Josh,
"You," he paused and gestured to Josh's heart, "love," he stopped again and
pointed at the window in the direction of Donna, "Donna." He stopped and
then spoke fluidly, "You love Donna."

Josh seemed to ponder this for a moment, but then shook his head.
"You're crazy, Sam! You have to stop watching those damn soap operas."

Sam threw his hands up in the air in defeat, "Fine! I give up! Stay
in denial for the rest of your life. Sabotage every relationship Donna has
till you go to your grave. Hey, maybe you can set fire to the groom on her
wedding day? That'd be a good one!"

Josh was about to respond, when he was interrupted by a gruff, "Hold
it right there!" coming from behind them.

Sam and Josh slowly turned around and their eyes widened as they came
face to face with a male police officer, his gun pointed directly at them.

"What are you two doing up here at this time of night?" the officer
asked.

Josh smiled weakly and then peered at his nametag, "Um, Officer Tyler,
is it? This is all a huge misunderstanding."

"Are you standing on a fire escape at 2:30 am?"

"Well, yes, but-..." Josh tried to reply.

"And is one of you dressed all in black?"

"A monochromatic look is not a crime the last time I checked," Sam said
defensively.

The officer ignored his response and continued, "And is it true that
you are not residents of this building?"

"Yes, that's true, but-..." Josh replied, but was once again
interrupted.

"And did I or did I not just hear one of you mention committing arson?"

Sam and Josh's eyes nearly fell out of their sockets at that one.
They shook their heads so hard it seemed they might fall off.

Sam began to ramble, his voice shaking, "No, sir, Officer, sir, I was
just making a point. See my friend here is in love with the woman who lives
in this apartment and he's been trying to sabotage her date all night. He
was drunk...and choking...the Flintstones...Yogi and Boo Boo...Batman-..."

Josh patted Sam's arm and said soothingly, "Sam, you ceased being
coherent long ago. Be quiet, before you get us charged with murder."

The police officer smiled and said, "So, it was all done in the name
of love."

Sam's face lit up and he nodded, "Yes, sir, that's right. You know
what they say, 'fools rush in' or something like that. I can assure you we
are both completely harmless and have done nothing wrong."

"Love can make you do crazy things."

"Ain't that the truth," Sam said with a laugh.

"Like stalking and conspiracy to commit arson?" the officer said with a
laugh that equaled Sam's.

Initially, Sam kept laughing and said, "Yeah." But once what the
officer had said registered, his laughter faded and he said, "I mean, no!"

The officer simply shook his head and said in an authoritative tone,
"You have the right to remain silent..."

He continued on, but Sam and Josh were too shocked to hear him.

Josh glared at Sam. "Good job, Sam, you talked us right into stalking
and conspiracy to commit arson charges. If you kept going, we'd probably get
life."

Sam threw him an equally icy glare, "Don't even try to blame this on
me. I should be home right now, asleep in my warm bed. But, instead, I've
been aiding you in your insane mission and I am now under arrest! So, you
can spin this one like a top, buddy, but it will always end up being your
fault!"

With that, their handcuffs clicked into place and they were lead away.

* * * *

"CAN I PLEASE HAVE MY ONE PHONE CALL?!" Josh yelled, as he stuck his
face between the bars and gripped them so tightly his knuckles turned white.

Sam was sitting on the cot behind him, his head in his hands. On the
cot adjacent to them, sat a large, tattooed, bald Caucasian man, who had
introduced himself as Pierre.

Sam sighed and looked over at Josh, "I really don't think yelling is
going to get us anywhere, Josh."

Josh spun around and glared at him. "What would you have me do, Sam?
Should I sit there like you and silently fume until my head explodes?!"

Sam groaned and shook his head.

A moment later, a guard walked in and stood in front of Josh.

"You rang," he said dryly.

Josh chuckled, "That's cute, that's really cute...GIVE ME MY PHONE
CALL!"

"I don't take orders from criminals."

"I am not a criminal! Do you have any idea who you are speaking to?
I happen to be the White House Deputy Chief of Staff." Josh paused and
gestured to Sam, "And my friend over there is the White House Deputy
Communications Director."

The guard smiled, "So you all work for the President."

"That's right," Josh said boastfully.

The guard started to laugh, "You two buffoons work for the President of
the United States. No wonder this country's going to hell in a handbasket!"

Josh's eyes widened, "Wait just a minute. We happen-..."

His words were cut off by the guard turning on his heel and leaving.

Josh turned to Sam, "Can you believe that guy? Who does he think he's
talking to?"

Sam began quietly, "Uh, Josh, do you really think it's a good idea to
be spreading the word that two of the President's closest aides are currently
in jail for stalking and conspiracy to commit arson?"

Josh shrugged, "I really don't think we have anything to worry about."
He pointed at Pierre, "Pepe Le Pew over there isn't going to say anything and
Barney Fife can't even string a complete sentence together."

Sam was about to reply when the guard returned with another man
following behind him.

"Hey, I brought you a visitor." The officer smiled and then added,
"This is Kyle Trent. He writes for the D.C. Daily Enquirer. He hangs out
here every so often in the hopes of catching prominent members of the
political scene in a little trouble. It's not often that he's disappointed,
but today's really his lucky day."

Josh and Sam's mouths hung open, as Kyle said, "Say cheese," and then
snapped their pictures.

After the shock had worn off, Josh sprang up from his seat and raced
to the bars. He stuck his arm through and tried to reach the photographer to
no avail. "Give me that film!" Josh stopped and then shook his head, saying
calmly. "That's fine. That's just great. I'm gonna have your ass audited so
fast it'll make your head spin."

Trent just smiled, offered him a wave and then exited.

Josh sighed loudly, as he sank down next to Sam.

"Nice going," Sam said softly.

"Don't start with me."

"No, I mean it's great how you're so adept at making a bad situation
worse."

"I mean it, Sam, don't start."

"And the way you handle the media is just brilliant. First the secret
plan to fight inflation and now this."

Josh couldn't take it anymore. He jumped up and ran to the bars. "GET
ME OUT OF HERE BEFORE SOMEONE GETS HURT! I'M NOT NAMING NAMES, BUT...SAMUEL
SEABORN!"

A moment later, the guard once again strolled in. He unlocked the
cell and allowed Josh to exit. Josh scowled at him as he walked by and then
followed him out to the office area. The guard pointed to a phone. Josh
picked it up and dialed Donna's number.

"Hello?"

"Donna."

"Josh? What are you calling for? It's 4 am."

"Why? Did I interrupt you and Mr. Big Shot?"

"What?"

"Nevermind. Listen, I..."

"Why don't you sound drunk anymore?"

Josh's brow wrinkled, "Um, I sobered up really quickly."

"You never sober up quickly. Generally, you're still passing out in
your dinner the next day."

"Things change, people change." Josh said quickly. "Just listen to me.
Sam and I are in jail and we need you to come bail us out."

"You're in jail?"

"I believe I just said that."

"Jail, as in behind bars."

"No, Donna, actually we were playing Monopoly, I got the 'Go to jail'
card and I figured I'd call you up and see if you could lend me $50 dollars
in fake money to get out!"

"I don't think that tone was necessary."

Josh sighed and ran his hand through his hair. "I'm sorry. It's just
been a long, rough night and I really don't want to spend the rest of it in
jail."

"Why did you get arrested?"

"Why?"

"Yes. Why?"

"Um, we jaywalked. I guess the police are really cracking down."

"Josh."

"It's a long story, Donna. I'll tell you when you get here."

"Okay, I'll be right there."

With that, Donna hung up. Josh placed the phone down and was then
lead back to his cell.

He paused as he entered, listening to Sam and Pierre's conversation.

"No, you have to allow the cream puffs to completely cool before
filling them," Pierre instructed.

Sam nodded, "And any filling is acceptable?"

"Well, Martha always uses French Vanilla, but it's really a judgment
call."

Sam smiled, "Okay, thanks. And don't forget to get that tooth checked
Pierre. Remember: Your teeth are your best friends. You take care of them
and they'll take care of you."

Pierre smiled, revealing a gold tooth, "Thanks, Sam. I'll be sure to
do that."

Josh shook his head, as he sat down next to Sam. "I see you're playing
nicely with others."

"Yes, Pierre and I were having a very pleasant conversation."

"What does he do for a living?"

"He works on Martha Stewart's show as a consultant."

"I'm thinking they must have to special order his blue oxford shirts
and khakis," Josh replied with a chuckle. He then added, "I don't think they
have a Husky Gap."

Sam shook his head in a disapproving manner. "Is everything a joke
with you?"

"Pretty much. I don't laugh at funerals though."

"You do have standards."

Josh lay back on the cot and turned his head towards the wall. There
were a number of words scrawled all over it, most of them obscene. Josh
smiled and pointed to a spot on the wall.

"Your phone number's on here."

"What?" Sam asked and whipped his head in Josh's direction.

"Right here. It says: For a good time call Deputy Sam. 555-6753."

Sam blushed, "Well, I have no idea who could have put that there. I
mean, that's just-..."

"Relax, Sam, I'm kidding. Although it would go a long way to explain
those calls you get in the middle of the night from strange men named 'Bubba'
and 'Tino'."

"I don't-..." Sam stopped, noticing Josh's smile.

"See, Sam, that's what we call a joke. They are commonly told in
order to elicit laughter as a response."

Sam smiled at him and was about to speak, when the door swung open and
in walked Donna.

Josh immediately jumped up and practically skipped over to the bars.

"Thank God you're here! Did you already pay the bail? What am I
saying? Of course, you did. Come on, let's go."

Josh pulled on the bars impatiently, but stopped when he saw the look
on Donna's face.

"You've been charged with stalking and conspiracy to commit arson,
Josh."

Josh laughed weakly, "This is what I am talking about with the justice
system! Two men jaywalk and their charges get all trumped up!"

"Joshua, the officer at the desk said that you two were lurking on the
fire escape outside my window and that you were conspiring to commit arson."

"Okay, number one, I take issue with the use of the word 'lurking'.
There was no lurking. We were simply standing on a fire escape. Number two,
I take issue with the use of the word 'conspiring'. There was no conspiring.
Sam simply mentioned, hypothetically, about me setting fire to your
husband-to-be on your wedding day. He was trying to make a point."

Donna's eyes widened, clearly taken aback by what she'd just been told.

"I have a husband-to-be?"

"No. But we're assuming you will someday."

"And when I do you will set him on fire."

"No, no, of course not. See, Sam, for a speech writer, doesn't
actually speak all that well. It was a poor choice of words, poor
phrasing...Frankly, it was just poor."

Sam glared at Josh from behind and then went back to pouting.

"What were you doing on my fire escape?"

"I took a wrong turn on my way to the cab?"

"Josh."

"Just bail us out and I'll tell you everything you want to know."

"You're not taking one step outside this cell until I find out what's
going on."

Josh sighed, running a hand through his hair. He took a deep breath
before beginning, "Okay, here it goes. I was concerned when you didn't
answer your phone at 12:30, so I called up Sam and we decided to go check on
you. We then spied on you and Clooney, I pretended to be drunk, to choke and
to, generally, cause as much trouble as possible so that Mr. Movie Star would
go home."

Donna's eyes grew wide with shock. All she could manage was a weak,
"What?"

"Don't make me repeat it."

Donna shook her head, as if trying to clear her mind. A few moments
passed before she could speak. "You were pretending? You weren't drunk! You
did all of that to ruin my date!"

"I was concerned. Clooney seemed very wrong for you."

"You were concerned! You were concerned! You had no right, Josh. I
can take care of myself and I don't want you interfering in my life!"

Josh's brow furrowed, "I'm sensing that you're angry."

"Angry? Oh no, I'm not angry. I'm beyond angry. I'm furious!"

"Okay, kind of means the same thing, but that's all right."

"Don't correct my word usage right now, Josh! You will be very sorry
if you do."

"Oh no, I would never think of doing that. You know what? Why don't
we go home and you can sleep on this? I'm sure you'll feel much better about
this after a good night's sleep."

"You're right," Donna said with a smile.

"I'm glad you feel that way."

"Come on, Sam, I'll take you home," Donna said.

Josh's mouth hung open, as Sam quickly stood up and walked to the cell
door.

Josh struggled for his words, "But you can't...I can't...I don't
like...You can't leave me here."

"I can and I am."

Donna gestured to the guard to open the door to allow Sam to exit.
Josh tried to squeeze out too, but the guard blocked his path.

Sam turned around and smiled at him, "I'll tell Bubba and Tino where
they can find you." He paused and then added, "See, Josh, that's what we call
a joke. They are commonly told in order to elicit laughter as a response."

Josh's reply was a scorching glare that Sam did not see, because he
and Donna had already turned their backs on him.

Josh plopped himself down on the cot, as he heard the door slam shut.
He dropped his head into his hands and groaned.

"You know," Pierre said, gesturing to a stain on Josh's tie, "A little
salt and some club soda will take that right out."

Josh glanced up at Pierre and regarded him with thinly veiled
contempt, before dropping his head back into his hands.

* * * *

"Wake up, sleeping beauty," a gruff voice said dryly.

Josh opened up one eye and then rubbed at them both. He turned his
head and saw Toby standing outside his cell. Josh sat up, stretched and then
walked over to where Toby stood.

"Are you here to bail me out?"

"No, I just thought I'd come for a little visit. Of course, I'm here
to bail you out!"

"Why did you come?"

"I drew the shortest straw."

"It's that bad over there?"

"Well, you're almost unanimously disliked at the moment. Sam hates
you, Donna hates you, Leo always hates you, CJ hates you-..."

"What did I do to CJ?"

"Does the D.C. Daily Enquirer ring a bell? You and your sidekick are
on the front page of this morning's edition. CJ's gonna have a great time at
the briefing today trying to explain away those charges."

"They are totally bogus, Toby."

"I should hope so."

"It was all a misunderstanding."

"What the hell were you thinking, Josh? Or, better yet, were you even
thinking?"

"It seemed like I was at the time."

"Come on, get your coat and let's get out of here."

Josh gathered his things and the guard opened the door.

"What about the charges?"

"We're sending Ainsley down here later. She'll talk so much they'll
drop the charges just to get rid of her."

Josh smiled, "I hope so."

An hour later, Josh arrived at work freshly watered and in a clean suit.
He approached Donna's desk hesitantly.

"So, about last night."

"You have Senior Staff in five minutes," she informed him coldly.

"Donna, give me a chance to explain."

"You're going to be late."

"Can I speak with you in my office, please?"

"I have work to do."

"Please," he said again softly.

Donna lifted her eyes to his and nodded. She then followed him into
his office and he shut the door behind her.

"Have a seat."

"I prefer to stand."

"Okey dokey," he said under his breath.

"Look, I'm sorry about last night. I had no right to interfere in
your life like that."

"No, you didn't."

"And even though I had the best of intentions, I am still very sorry
about what I did."

"You should be."

Josh nodded and offered a small smile, "So, we good?"

"No, we are not."

"We're not?"

"No, Josh, you can't just say you're sorry and expect all to be
forgiven and forgotten. I want to know why you did what you did."

"I told you. I was concerned."

"There's more to it and you know it."

Josh lowered his eyes before saying softly, "Okay, so I may have been
a little jealous."

"Of what? George's fame, good looks, wealth?"

"No, of course not. That's nothing to be envious of," Josh replied
seriously.

"Then what?"

"You," Josh replied in a low voice. "He had you."

"Josh, it was our first date. We are anything but serious."

"He's a movie star, Donna, and he's got all of those things that other
people do envy. The only thing missing is a beautiful girl on his arm."

"I don't understand."

"You wouldn't be able to resist him. You'd get married and move away
to LA."

"So that's what this is about? You're afraid you'll have to find a
new assistant?"

Josh laughed lightly, shaking his head. He then replied in a husky
voice, "I'm afraid I'll lose you."

"As your assistant."

"No."

"Josh."

He took a step closer to her, "I'm afraid I'll lose my chance of ever
being with you."

Donna's eyes grew big at his admission. It seemed to surprise even
him. He'd been denying these feelings for quite some time, but he'd had a
lot of time to think last night about what really motivated his actions after
what Sam had said. He'd come to a realization.

"Donna?" Josh asked, worried by the blank expression she now had.

"Water. I need water."

"Okay, okay." Josh paused and then asked, "Where do I find that?"

Donna pointed to a little refrigerator in the corner. "Fridge."

Josh looked at it with a puzzled expression, before bending down and
opening it. "That's what this is? A refrigerator? I always thought it was
one of those personal little locker things. In that case, putting my Mike
Piazza rookie card in here for safekeeping looks to be a big mistake."

Josh removed the soggy card and offered it a sorrowful look, before
throwing it in the garbage. He then removed a bottle of water and handed it
to Donna.

She uncapped it and then proceeded to down it contents in 60 seconds
flat. Josh's eyes widened at her.

"More," she said, as she chucked the bottle into the trash.

Josh looked at her with a strange combination of intrigue and fear,
before retrieving another bottle for her. She then drank that one in the
same amount of time.

Josh stared at her in disbelief, "What are you, a camel?"

Donna ignored him and said, "I have to go now." She then quickly
stood up and walked to the door.

Josh touched her arm, halting her movement. "You're not going to say
anything? I just bared my soul to you and you're not going to say anything?"

"You didn't bare your soul."

"That's as close as I'm gonna get to baring my soul."

"What do you want me to say?"

"You could tell me how you feel."

"How I feel? Josh, I have spent the past three and a half years
trying to force myself to look at you as my boss and friend, nothing more.
I've gotten pretty used to pushing those feelings to the back of my mind. I
knew there couldn't be more. It just wouldn't work and I never imagined
you'd ever feel this way."

"Well, I do."

"But it doesn't change anything."

"It changes everything."

"You're my boss."

"So I'll recommend you for transfer."

"I don't want to ruin what we already have."

Josh took a step towards her and brought his thumb up to caress her
cheek. He then said softly, "The only thing I know is that I can't pass up
the chance to find out what we could still have, Donna. I think it could be
amazing."

Josh whispered the last part into her lips, as his met hers in a
gentle, soul-stirring kiss.

He then took a step back and smiled at her. "From what I can tell so
far, I think I could be right."

Donna smiled, "It's always about being right with you, isn't it?"

"Pretty much."

"I'm still angry with you."

"Not furious?"

"It's been downgraded."

"Well, I'll take what I can get." He paused and then asked, "Would you
like to have dinner with me tonight?"

Donna's eyes lit up, "I thought you'd never ask."

They were just about engage in another kiss, when Sam walked in.

He eyed them suspiciously, "Were you two...Are you two-..."

Donna smiled brightly, "We're going to give it a try."

Sam grinned, "Well, great. At least some good came of last night."

Josh patted his arm, "Yeah, sorry about all the trouble I caused you.
But I have to thank you for helping me see 'the light'."

Sam shook his head with a grin, "Trouble? What trouble? I mean, do
you really think Horace from the mailroom calling me a prowling pyromaniac
this morning has anything at all to do with you?

Josh smiled, "Nah, probably not."

Sam chuckled and then asked, "So what are you going to do about the
boss/assistant problem?"

"I may recommend Donna for transfer."

Sam grinned, "If you do, can you recommend her for my assistant?
Cathy's growing more and more terrifying by the day."

"She's a small woman, Sam. How can she terrify you?"

"I think she's involved in voodoo. I've had this pain in my neck for
the past week and every time I walk by her she shoves something into her desk
drawer."

"What me to find out what's going on?" Josh asked.

"NO!" Donna and Sam replied in unison.

Donna shook her head, "I think you've minded other people's business
enough to last you a lifetime, don't you?"

Josh nodded, "You may have a point."

Sam excused himself at that point and Josh looked at Donna. "So what
happened with Clooney?"

"After you left, he went on and on about how you were a jerk and that
I should have nothing to do with you."

"You defended me, right?"

"No, based on your performance last night, he was right."

"I'm sensing a but."

"But he also said he had no idea what I see in you. I asked him to
leave after he said that. " Donna paused and continued softly, "I may be
biased, but I don't want to be near anyone who can't see your good qualities
a mile away."

Josh grinned cockily, "My good qualities? Care to expand on that?"

Donna laughed, as she shook her head.

"Shut up," she whispered, as she pulled him by the tie and their lips
met in another kiss.

 

THE END

 

 

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