After the Victory
Disclaimer: The usual, not mine etc.
Summary: Post-ep to Election Night, Process Stories.
Feedback: Feedback is appreciated.
Wednesday November 6th-----3:30 AM
I think I can hear the party winding down from here in my office. I came in here after we all watched Sam take the phone call from Kay Wilde. I swear Toby had tears of pride in his eyes as we stood and listened. I know I did.
And so now I need to make a decision. Nothing earth shattering, I need to decide if it's worth going home or if I should just sleep here. And here would be the floor in front of my desk. When I got back into the office the thought of actually walking around the desk and sitting in the chair was beyond my capabilities so I ended up on the floor in front of the desk watching TV. Or trying to watch. My head is pounding, my throat is sore and my eyes are so tired I can't even focus on much of anything. I've been ignoring the fact that I'm sick for the better part of 3 days now, trying my best not to give into it. But I think everything is about to catch up to me. I should get up and at least grab the pillow and blanket out of the closet. But moving that much at the moment is beyond me so I'll just sit here until someone passes by and takes pity on me.
Oh, here comes someone likely to do just that.
"DONNA," I bellow as loud as I can, which actually isn't very loud at the moment, I seem to have lost what was left of my voice.
She peeks her head in the office and it takes her a minute to find me huddled on the floor.
"Missed the chair?" she asks with what looks like a combination of sympathy and teasing.
"Something like that. Can you get me the pillow and the blanket?"
"Josh, you are not going to sleep on your floor. Let's go home," she says firmly as she holds her hand out to me.
"Too tired," I whine as I let her pull me to my feet.
"Yeah, well, so am I. So stop complaining and let's go." she says as she holds out my coat for me. I slip it on and start to pick up my backpack. It's full and the energy it would take to actually hoist it over my shoulder is something I don't have at the moment. I let it slide back onto my chair and leave it. Donna's disappeared out to her cubicle. I sit in her chair and put my head on her desk as she puts her shoes on and pulls on her coat. "You finally ready to admit you're sick?" she asks as he reaches for her tote bag. I nod a little as I close my eyes for just a second; I feel her press her hand to my forehead.
"You're really warm."
"I ran out of Advil about the time the polls closed. I think, I don't remember." I mutter as I drag myself up.
"I have plenty at home, let's go."
"Yeah, I don't trust you to make it home and I'm not dropping you off so I can pick you back up in a few hours. My roommate's out of town, took the cats with her so you're safe," she teases as she takes my arm and steers me towards the door.
Fifteen minutes later I feel someone shaking me. "Josh, wake up. Come on just drag your sorry ass in the door and you can die on the couch." she teases as she starts to pull me out of the car. Donna helps me in the door and pushes me towards the couch while she goes into the bathroom for some Advil. She comes back with the pills, juice and the ear thermometer.
"The ear thermometer, what am I 2?" I whine as best I can.
"No, but this take 3 seconds the regular one takes 3 minutes, you gonna be awake that long?" she smirks as she sits down next to me. I shake my head, not sure I'll be awake 3 seconds from now.
"101.3, you just won yourself a trip downstairs to the medical unit when we get back to work." she declares as she hands me the pills and the juice. I can tell she's waiting for me to argue and when I don't she gets that concerned look on her face. "You need anything else?" I shake my head and kick off my shoes. "Come on, at least take your belt off and your wallet out of your pocket," she says as she goes to grab a blanket and pillow. I somehow manage to do as she suggested without opening my eyes or sitting up. She covers me up and kisses my forehead.
I wake with that feeling that I've overslept. That is until I realize it's still dark outside. Now, it was almost 4 when I fell asleep so even in my feverish state I can figure out I haven't been sleeping all that long. Quick glance at my watch, 4:45. OK, I've slept 45 minutes, which would explain why I'm not exactly well-rested. I finish the juice Donna left me and drag myself off the couch to heed the call of nature. As I come out of the bathroom I peek my head in Donna's room; she's curled up on her side facing away from the door.
"Josh, you ok?" she whispers, startling me just a bit.
"How did you know...."
"I sensed you were lurking," she says as she rolls over, a smirk firmly planted on her face.
"Funny," I say as I sort of hang in the doorway, unsure of what to do.
"What's wrong?" she asks softly as she pats the bed next to her. I sit down on the edge, almost afraid that if I get any closer I'll do something I may regret later, or even worse, really, really enjoy. And that would just open a whole other can of tuna...worms...whatever. "Josh, what's wrong?" she asks again, her voice soft and filled with worry.
I shrug my shoulders. "What could be wrong, the President just got re-elected by a landslide."
"That he did. Come on, lose the pants and get under the quilt," she says as she pats my hip so I stand up enough so she can pull back the covers.
"Donna, I don't know if this is a good idea," I mutter as I struggle to stand on my own two feet long enough to take off my dress shirt and drop my pants so I'll be more comfortable.
"Joshua, it's never been a good idea, but since when has that stopped us. Come on, you're running a fever of 101 and we've been up for 24 hours, exactly what do you think is going to happen?" she asks with a grin as she hold the covers up for me.
"Same as every other time," I smile as I curl up next to her, "Nothing much."
"That's right," she grins as she kisses my forehead.
I return the kiss and roll onto my stomach. She rubs my back for a minute and then runs her fingers through my hair. "Owww" I say, flinching when she rubs the tender spot on the back of my head.
"What happened?" she asks as she gently feels the lump.
"I fell," I mumbled, hoping that's enough of an explanation.
"OK, I ran into something and fell backwards." She says nothing, not a good sign that she's buying my story. "OK, I ran into someone and fell backwards." I admit, feeling like quite a fool.
"This have anything to do with that guy the size of a house that was with Charlie today?" she asks, her breath tickling my neck as she laughs.
"Possibly," I laugh.
"Joshua, Josh, Josh, what am I going to do with you?" she asks out of habit but is quickly silent when she realizes maybe that wasn't the best thing to ask, given our current state of close proximity and the fact that we are less than fully clothed.
"So what did you think of Sam tonight? That was really a shock." I say, eager to change the subject and end the slightly uncomfortable silence.
"Yeah....it was," she replies, hesitating just long enough to give herself away.
"You knew didn't you," I ask as I roll over to face her.
"He told me earlier. He met me outside while I was...you know, on my mission. We had muffins and coffee and he told me."
"Oh," I mutter, a little more hurt than I care to admit.
Knowing me as well as she does, Donna caresses my cheek, "It was Election Day, he didn't want you to get any more worked up than you already were. He needed to tell someone and I was there."
I nod my head a little. "You think he did the right thing?"
"Yeah, I do. I know it's not what he had planned on....but think of it....Congressman Seaborn."
"He's going to lose."
"You never know."
"What happens if he wins?" I mutter, more to myself than to Donna.
"He gets a nice office on the Hill and you don't get to see him everyday."
"Josh, it's not like he's moving to California permanently. He'll campaign there and win or lose he'll be back here."
"Things are changing," I mumble, not sure exactly where I'm going with this conversation.
"Josh, the President just got re-elected, we get to stay here for 4 more years, what's so different, besides Sam?"
"I don't know. It's the beginning of the end."
"Josh, the end is no where in sight. Four years from now you're not exactly going to be ready for the nursing home."
"Who knows, I could be."
"Joshua, you could also get hit by a bus tomorrow morning," she teases as I roll onto my back.
"Yeah, Donna, that's the way to cheer me up," I snort as I rub my eyes.
"Josh what's really wrong?" she asks as snuggles up with her head on my shoulder and her hand over my heart.
"I don't know," I whisper honestly.
"I think you're exhausted, sick and maybe even a little overwhelmed at the moment."
I shrug my shoulders, suddenly not in the mood to talk. Donna picks up on that pretty quickly and moves over to her side of the bed. I sigh a little and fidget, trying to get comfortable. My right side is stiff and the Advil didn't really do too much. I curl up on my left side again, facing away from Donna. She reaches around and presses her hand to my forehead. "OK, Advil didn't work, wait here," she says as she crawls out the other side of the bed. She comes back a minute later with 2 Tylenol and a cool cloth. I take the pills while she gets back in bed. She curls up with me, spooning me from behind. I scoot down the bed a little so I can tuck my head under her chin. She puts the cloth on my forehead and pulls me closer to her, her right arm around my chest, her left one tucked under her head.
"Promise me something?" I whisper, almost too quietly for her to hear.
"What Josh?" she asks softly as she reaches to grab my hand, tucking it in hers and placing both of them over my heart.
"That no matter what happens, you'll still be here," I whisper with my voice cracking from emotion and exhaustion.
"Always, Joshua, always." she whispers as she kisses the top of my head.
Something in me just breaks loose and the tears start to well up in my eyes. I don't get it. I'm a swaggering, slightly arrogant, political pitbull who just helped get the President of the United States re-elected and I'm curled up in bed crying. Donna notices but says nothing; instead she just pulls the quilt up around us and holds me tighter. I can see the sky starting to lighten with a new day as I finally close my eyes.
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