LEO: Hey! You staying in town?
JOSH: No, she's meeting Jack Reese at the Washington Inn. How does he get a room at the Washington? I can't get a room at the Washington Inn. (Leo looks at him incredulously, and the penny drops) Me? I don't know yet. What do you need?
JOSH: I'm sorry. It's not what it looks like.
DONNA: It's okay.
JOSH: It's the ...
JOSH: HHS budget. It seems very important to him, and there's a hard deadline.
DONNA: It's really okay.
JOSH: I'll have you on the road as soon as I possibly can.
DONNA: Where do we start?
JOSH: Call the policy councils. Tell them we need to package an initiative on infant mortality. I'll walk them through it.
JOSH: I said there's been an earthquake, a six-two seismic experience ...Thank you. I realise the hour and it's a holiday, but if you could get back to me ... Thank you. (hangs up)
DONNA: Look, they've got three PADs working on it and both deputies at DPC. So far, the policy councils are having a hard time taking action without identifying offsets.
JOSH: What are they talking about?
DONNA: Early childhood nutrition.
JOSH: They want to cut early childhood nutrition? The kids will just die later.
DONNA: They don't want to cut anything.
JOSH: What does OMB have?
DONNA: They want to explore a dedicated tax.
JOSH: A tax on poor people because they can't afford medical care.
DONNA: I wouldn't try to sell it that way.
(they both sigh)
JOSH: I'll get you there first thing in the morning.
DONNA: (beat; she fiddles with a pen) What did you mean when you said, "It's not what it looks like"?
JOSH: Jack's already down there?
JOSH: I'll call him and apologise.
DONNA: What did you mean?
JOSH: I meant that I wasn't keeping you here on purpose.
DONNA: Why would I think you were doing that?
JOSH: I wasn't.
DONNA: Why would I think you were?
JOSH: I don't know, it was just ... something I said. Listen, it doesn't have to be a disaster, you know. CJ's staff is going to make little snowmen and stick them on the seats in the Press Briefing Room and take a picture. We can do that, and then I'll get you drunk at the Hawk and Dove.
DONNA: That sounds nice.
JOSH: I have to go see the President.
LEO: Josh! I was just coming to see you. You're off the hook with both of us--we'll go for infant mortality after the first.
JOSH: I don't mind. People are working on it--I have Donna here with me, we've got a whole night planned around it.
LEO: Yeah, I'm calling it off. And I hooked Donna up with a news helicopter that's landing about two miles from the inn she's going to.
JOSH: Donna left? (clearly surprised by this news, he stares off into space as Leo continues to speak)
LEO: Yeah. Oh, forget the nativity. We'll get them next time.
JOSH: Yes, sir.
LEO: Josh! Was I insensitive before about telling you Donna was gone?
JOSH: (beat; an unreadable look crosses his face) No. Wh-what do you mean?
LEO: I don't know, I thought--
JOSH: It's fine--of course it's fine. It's great! I was feeling guilty, but now this ... is good. This--this--it's better than good, it's the way it should be.
LEO: Oh, get it together, would you please?
JOSH: I'm trying.
LEO: Okay. (beat) There's something we have to talk about.
JOSH: (softly) You'll tell me when you need to.
LEO: (walks away, then stops) It's four years later, and there are things that are worse, and things that are exactly the same ... where do you start?