Rated PG
Sam POV/ Josh POV
Implied Josh/Donna  Toby/CJ Friendship


I don't know when I started to notice them. Probably the campaign. Sometimes when I notice how they are together, I end up angry. How can Josh be so stupid? Don't answer that. Then there are times like tonight that I just think they're sweet. How can one not? I mean, look at them. It's 2:37 in the morning and we're just about to take off on Air Force One. We're all exhausted and we're ready to go home. Home. That's funny. Most of us haven't seen the insides of our homes in the last four months. But we wouldn't have it any other way. At least this time we're campaigning in the luxury of Air Force One and not on that horrible campaign bus. I guess the campaign bus was the first time I really noticed them. He always saved her a seat next to him. And no matter what was going on they always seemed so totally engrossed in whatever strange conversation they were having to notice the rest of us. They're worse than CJ and Toby. Hell, they had known each other for years before the campaign and they were close. But not as close and Josh and Donna. Look at them. Donna is about four seconds from sleeping standing up. Josh isn't far behind. He drops his backpack to the floor and guides her to her seat. He reaches above her head and pulls out a blanket for her. It's her blanket, the white flannel one with all the purple flowers. I remember the first time I saw it. She used to bundle up in it on the bus when she'd fall asleep on Josh's shoulder. It was after our first trip with the President that I remember seeing it again. Josh had made sure to keep it on the plane for her. He sits down at the end of the long sofa and motions for her to lie down. Without question, she rests her head on his thigh and curls up in a tight ball. He spreads the blanket over her and pushes the hair away from her face. I don't know how many times I've seen them do this. But why is it that every time I do, I just feel lonely? I sigh as I prop my feet up on the end of the table in front of me. CJ and Toby are finally settling down for the flight. Toby collapses in one seat and CJ does the same across from him. She swings her feet up and rests them on his armrest. Toby drapes his arm casually over her ankles while resting his head in his other hand. I look around the cabin as I remove my glasses. Josh is absently rubbing Donna's shoulder as she sleeps. CJ is talking softly to Toby and I'm sitting here alone. Again. I guess I shouldn't feel this way, but I can't help it. I think I'm jealous. Toby and CJ take care of one another. Donna takes care of Josh. Josh is too stupid to realize why. And I'm sitting here wondering if anyone will ever take care of me. Josh looks over and gives me a tired smile while fishing something from his pocket.


He tosses something and I catch it before it bounces off my chest. I can't help but smile.


"Donna put it in my pocket before we left." I'm sure she did. I unwrap a piece of the Green Apple Bubble gum and smile. It's my favorite and I always hate it when my ears pop while I'm flying.

"It's nice to be taken care of."

"That's what we're here for buddy."

"Thanks Josh."

"No problem, get some sleep."



God I'm tired. I don't remember the last time I've been this tired. Donna looks like she's about to drop. Poor thing. I may have worked her too hard. Hell, I know I worked her too hard. We've all been pushed to the limit the past couple months and she's kept up with me every step of the way. I toss my backpack to the floor and pull her blanket from the overhead bin. There it is. Right where it should be. Donna can't sleep well on trips without this blanket. Don't ask me why. I have no idea. There's nothing that special about it. I found it in one of those little gift shops inů.hell, where were we? Charleston? Yeah. I think it was Charleston. She had just given herself the job as my assistant. That seems like a lifetime ago. She had sold her car to come along with us to South Carolina. Margaret and CJ had blankets they used on the bus, so I felt she should have one too. I mean, she was my assistant. I couldn't have her freeze to death on that old bus now could I? I guess she got used to the thing on trips.

"Come on, Donnatella, you need some sleep." I think she may already be asleep. I place my hands gently on her shoulders and sit her on the end of the sofa. I settle into the far corner and extend my arm so she'll lie down.

"Come 'ere." She's so beautiful when she sleeps. I know I shouldn't, but I love it when she sleeps on me. She's my assistant and I have to keep repeating that over and over again, but we're more than that. I know everyone thinks I'm stupid. I'm not. I know there's something between us. I also know we can't act on it. Not yet anyway. I brush the hair back from her face and smile as I spread the blanket over her. She snuggles into the sofa cushions and rests her hand on my lap. It takes everything I have not to reach down and hold her hand. I sigh as I lean my head back on the seat. Sam's looking at me with that same sad look. He's lonely. I can tell. I've seen that look. After Lisa left he had that look for about a month. But there's something else. He hasn't been himself lately. I just remembered what I bought him at the coffee shop. I dig around in my pocket, careful not to wake Donna. Found it.

"Here." I launch the fluorescent green pack at him. I don't want to embarrass him or me and have one of those 'moments' so I'll blame Donna. She won't mind.


"Donna put it in my pocket before we left." I don't think he believes me.

"It's nice to be taken care of."

"That's what we're here for buddy."

"Thanks Josh."

"No problem, get some sleep." That's what we need. Sleep and to win four more years.

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