Title: Fall From Grace
Date Completed: July 27, 2004
Website: Dimples and Distinctive Penmanship Style
Spoilers: sort of a post-ep for Noel
Rating: Teen (explicit language, sensitive psychological issues)
Disclaimer: I don't own these people or this universe. Aaron Sorkin does. (I'd love to work out a time-share arrangement on Josh, though.)
Author's Notes: This is song fic based on "Fall From Grace" by Stevie Nicks (lyrics at the end). Thanks to "Illmantrim" (on LJ) for giving it a preview!
Dedication/Summary: For "Musesfool" (on LJ), based on her Donna "I won't let you fall apart" icon.
Donna found the key to his apartment on her ring and slipped it into the lock.
She'd been the one to figure out what was wrong with his hand again. And again, she'd talked to Leo and he'd helped her manhandle Josh into her car.
She'd taken him to the ER and stood with him while the doctor examined it and while the nurse cleaned and bandaged it. And again, she'd wondered when the nightmare was going to end.
He was doing it again. He was in pain and he absolutely refused to ask anyone for help. Even her, when he knew she would take care of him and make it all better and no one would ever have to know. Why didn't he just let her do this for him? Hell, he let her do everything else for him.
She maneuvered him across the threshold with a gentle pressure on the small of his back--reminiscent of the same gentle way he moved her along the halls at work as they walked and talked. She settled him on the couch and made her way into the kitchen to fix them some tea. She figured they had a long night ahead of them.
When she stepped into the living room with their mugs, she found he'd changed into and old pair of shorts and his worn Mets t-shirt. He sat slumped on the couch, staring at the TV, which was tuned to CNN. She could tell he wasn't paying any attention to it though.
She sat his tea in front of him on the coffee table and placed hers on the end table next to the chair, which she dropped into with a moan. She was shrugging out of her blazer and rubbing the aching muscles in the back of her neck when she heard him mumble something.
"What was that?"
"I said, I don't know why you put up with me. I do nothing but cause you trouble."
"I heard what you said. I just can't believe that after all the shit we've been through that you're going to bring the 'poor, pitiful Josh routine' tonight. I mean really. Do you think it's necessary?"
"Look Donna, I'm just saying I'm sorry that you had to deal with my shit again. I mean, taking care of your damaged boss after he puts his hand though a window--not once, but twice--is definitely not in your job description."
"Don't I know it! I think a raise is definitely in order."
"Yeah. So, I just wanted to tell you that I was sorry. And I really don't expect you to do this. I don't know why you bother. I'm not worth it."
"Oh, no you don't. There you go again. You should know by now that I won't let you fall apart."
"Maybe you should..."
"I'm sorry. I thought I just heard you say, 'maybe I should.'"
"Yeah. Maybe you should. Just let me fall apart, I mean."
"Okay, I have had enough of your bullshit! I am sick and tired of you not getting that you deserve to have people care about you. I know you carry guilt. I know you carry pain. You need to realize that other people can help you if you'd just let them."
She stands up, put her hands on her hips and fixes him with her "don't fuck with me" glare. "No buts, pitiful boy! I'm the one doing the talking here so shudup and listen! I am sick and tired of you not getting why I do what I do for you. In fact, lets just review what all I do for you, shall we?"
"That's not really--"
"Oh yes. It's necessary. I'm your confidant; I keep you from the fire when you get yourself in trouble. Most of the time, so much is going on around us that everything I do to keep you going I have to do so damn quietly, no one knows I am even doing it, not even you.
"I've stood by and watched you turn to other women when you were in pain--to Mandy, to Joey, and to Amy. Do you know how much it hurts to come all that way for someone, just to watch them walk out the door again?"
"I know, Donna. I depend on you so much--"
"No! You're gonna listen to this. It's not enough that you depend on me. And it's not enough that you say you need me. It's not enough to just save face. It's all starting over again. You're battling your demons again. Something's got your PTSD up and you're too fucking proud to ask me to help you try and figure it out so that you can feel better again."
He shakes his head vigorously. "That's not it. I don't know what you're talking about."
"No, I'm not just going to drop it when you shake your head this time. I'm not going to accept what you're saying as the truth. Face it, Josh. Sometimes, you just fall from grace."
"You heard me."
"What the fuck is that supposed to mean?"
"It means that you're allowed to wig out from time to time. You were shot in the chest. It was traumatic. And every once in awhile you're gonna have a rough time psychologically because of it. You need to accept that, so that you can deal with those times when they come along--instead of trying to ignore them, until they fester out of your control and you do something, like, I don't know, putting your hand though a goddamn window!"
He stands up and she can hear his voice cracking with emotion as he screams, "I hate having you worry about me and having to take care of me. It just makes me feel so weak. I hate feeling this fucking weak. Sometimes I just think, we'd all be better off if that bullet had of just finished its job."
"Don't you ever let me hear you say that again!"
"It's true. I wouldn't have to deal with the nightmares. I wouldn't have to feel like I'm going crazy. You wouldn't have to take care of this half-of-a-man that I've become. And most of all, I wouldn't have to sit here and listen to you while I realize how much pain I've put you though." His breath hitches and the tears finally start to fall.
"Oh, Josh... " She says as she moves to sit on the couch next to him.
"I never wanted to hurt you, Donna. Never. I'm so sorry." He drops his head in his hands as the tears move down his face like giant winding rivers.
"Shh...it's okay, Josh. It's okay." She wraps her arms around him and pulls his head down to her chest.
"But all those things you said. I didn't know. I never realized how much all of this was affecting you too. I--"
"Josh. I'm calmer now. Everything is fine. Yeah, I've gotten hurt by all of this too, but that's not why I said all those things, not to make you think you'd hurt me. I just wanted you to finally realize why I do everything I do. I wanted you to realize that if something happened to you, I'd never get over it. I wanted you to realize that you should ask me to help you when it starts getting rough.
"Please, don't wait till it's unbearable and I have to figure out what you need. I told you I wouldn't let you fall apart, but what if one day I'm too late? I couldn't live with that, Josh. I couldn't live without you."
She tucks his head closer under her chin as she runs her hands through his hair and down his back to soothe him, and whispers, "Maybe the reason I said those things was to bring you back alive. Maybe I've fought this hard and this long just to make sure you survive."
"Fall From Grace"
From the album: Trouble in Shangri-La
Words and music by Stevie Nicks
I choose to be his confidant
And to keep him from the fire
I choose to be quietly discreet
If that is his desire
I touch with gossamer wings
To be quiet around you
There is so much going on
You could easily
Wake up with a stranger
It's not something you plan
One night in a world of pain
And you finally understand
Not all the king's horses, not all the king's men
Could put it back together
You say you wouldn't do this for very long
The applause from it all is so defining
Well it bounces off the wall at you
When the miracle is happening
High priestess...she's the keeper of the peace in this
Twice as much, intensified
What people will do
And now alone in my room
As it all begins again
Was I so wrong
Why am I always so intense
In this same place I sit
The same place as before
Well I came all the way here
Just to watch you walk out that door
I didn't ask when you shook your head
I always accepted what you said
As the truth and the truth only
Well it's not enough that you depend on me
And it's not enough that you say you love me
It's not enough to just save face
You just fall from grace
You just fall from grace
Maybe I am calmer now
Maybe things are fine
Maybe I made the whole thing up
Maybe it isn't a lie
Maybe the reason I say these things
Is to bring you back alive
Maybe I fought this long and this hard
Just to make sure you survive
Just to make sure you survive
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