“Admiral?” Josh called as he pushed his way through the corridor doors. “Do you have a minute?”
“Sure Josh. What can I do for you?” Admiral Fitzwallace smiled as Josh trotted toward him.
“I’d like to talk to you about something.” Josh motioned for the Admiral to follow him into the vacant Roosevelt Room. Josh leaned on his arms against the back of one of the chairs for a moment before speaking.
“I hear you’re going with the CODEL to Gaza.”
“I have a favor to ask.”
“Let’s hear it, son.” Josh took a deep breath and tried to gather his thoughts into coherent sentences.
“Donna’s going with the CODEL and….” Josh paused to swipe his hand through his hair. “She’s wanted more responsibility in her job and I want to give her that. I thought this would be good for her. It’s not that I doubt her abilities or anything. Don’t get me wrong, she’s not naïve. She’s just….trusting.”
A small smile pulled at the corner of Fitz’s mouth as he watched Josh ramble about Donna. While Josh took another swipe at his hair, Fitz spoke up.
“What do you need from me, Josh?” Josh stilled his hands and met the older man’s eyes.
“Look out for Donna.”
“She’s a grown woman Josh. She might not like the idea.”
“She doesn’t have to know. There’s no need to tell her. It’s just between us. It’s just that she…..she’s never done anything like this before. We both know how unstable Gaza is right now. I shouldn’t even let her go, but I know this is what she needs. But if anything happened…..” That’s when Fitz saw it. He’d heard the rumors like everyone else. He knew the truth. But he always wondered if there wasn’t a grain of truth behind some of the things he’d heard. There was his answer. The pleading in Josh’s face and the look in his eyes told the truth. Fitz placed his hand on Josh’s shoulder as reassurance while he spoke.
“Of course, son. I’ll do my best.” The fatherly tone in the Admiral’s voice was of much needed comfort. Josh exhaled loudly and for the first time today, felt a small sense of relief about Donna’s trip.
“Thank you, sir.”
“Not at all, I understand.” Josh looked into the older man’s eyes. A moment of recognition passed between them. He did understand. Josh was fully aware that at that moment, he was wearing his heart on his sleeve in regards to Donna. Josh extended his hand and smiled. Fitz shook his hand and without another word, the two parted through opposite doors. Josh was off the see Donna to tell her about the CODEL while Fitz was on his way home to explain to his wife why he wouldn’t be able to take her to visit her sister at the end of May.