domenica 20 settembre 2009

Muffins, Bagels and Baby Names - Part 3

The day turned out to be one of the longest in history, or so it felt like to Josh. Since his morning conversation with Donna, which had in so many ways turned the entire planet upside down, the hours seemed to have dragged on interminably, like the day of the Stackhouse filibuster, multiplied. He'd been busy as usual, running around the corridors between CJ's office, the Communications wing and Leo's office working on various tactics to appease House Ways and Means and gathering information for the upcoming trade negotiations with China which hopefully Hoynes was going to help them out with. He'd hardly had a moment to sit with Donna since their chat in his office although he'd dropped by as often as possible in between one mad dash and another, almost unnerving her with his obsessive attention to her health as if from one morning to the next she'd become a fragile flower that was likely to snap any moment.

Donna meanwhile was trying her best to be "business as usual", and thankfully, given the rush of the day, few had noticed her being more quiet and reserved than usual. Concentrating on making notes for Josh on trade regulations had kept her mind off her situation and she made even more index cards than usual.

At eleven, Josh sailed past her, dropping a basket of muffins from the mess and a hot chocolate on her desk. He'd barely the time to squeeze her arm and whisper "Extra one for the baby" into her ear but when she looked into the muffin basket there was also a note.

"Take out and movie later? If you want to talk, Josh. X."

When she got back to her desk after lunch, there was a cushion on her seat. Josh whizzed by again later on and Donna mumbled over her yogurt "What's the cushion for Josh? Did you put it here?"

"Yeah. Y'know... In case... Don't you all get back pain and cranky when... you know...?"

Donna smiled softly... "Josh, she whispered, it's been three days... I'm not exactly carrying an extra fifty pounds with me."

"Ok. Well... you've always said I should think about the ergonomics of the office desks, so, at least now you can't complain that I don't listen." And with that, and a grin, he hurtled off down the hallway again.

By 9 p.m it was eerily quiet, as if everyone had crashed and burned form the high energy of the morning. Ginger and Bonnie had gone out with some of the girls from the OEOB to grab cocktails at Manson's bar, Donna politely refused pointing at her head and saying "headache girls, got to get my beauty sleep".
Just as she was gathering up her bags, Josh came strutting into the bullpen.

"Hey." he said, looking sheepish now that there was no noise and bustle to mask his concern.
"Hey. I was heading out..."
"Wanna come over and grab some Kung Po chicken?"
"Josh have you mastered the zen art of asian cooking or are you making me an offering of greasy meat in a carton?"
"Only the best greasy meat for my assistant, Donna. I am, after all, da man.
"ONly if I get to choose the movie. And don't you dare groan if the word romance appears on the back cover."

Josh suddenly looked grave. The banter swiftly turned to awkward silence.

"Donna, how are you feeling? Do you feel sick or anything?" He moved closer and took her by the arm, then leaned in and looked her right in the eye, she felt her stomach flutter - and it definitely wasn't morning sickness.
"If you wanna just go home and relax, I'll drive you home. I mean, if you don't feel like chicken, or whatever. Maybe you'd prefer to crash, I don't know. Is it ok? For you to come hang out? I just want to offer myself... ahem... as a friend. You know."

Donna smiled softly and patted his shirt gently.

"Josh, I'd really like to not be alone this evening, and watching a trashy movie and making fun of you always makes me feel better. Really though. I'd like that. That would be nice."

"Good. I'll get my coat."

He breezed off into his office with a spring in his step that almost gave away his infant ballerina fantasties. It had been a while since DOnna had come over for a movie. Since the shooting really. It was only at that moment that he realized just how much he'd missed having her bantering over stupid movies with him on the couch.
He wasn't sure there'd be much banter tonight though. He stepped back out putting his coat on and caught her staring wistfully down at the floor, cradling her tummy. THe strip light caught her hair in the otherwise dark office and his breath caught in his throat. She was beautiful, and suddenly, what with the whole pregnancy thing, she looked somehow even more womanly.

God I'm becoming a pussyboy, thought Josh and whipped his scarf round his neck.

"let's go" a grin, and off they went.

Within minutes of getting through Josh's front door the pair quickly settled into a routine, just as they had all those months ago, after Rosslyn. Josh went to his room to change, Donna set about getting plates and napkins for the take out food and rifling through old copies of the New York Review and whatever other out of date papers and magazines were lying around in the general area of the couch. While Josh washed his face and put on his sweat pants, Donna read out jokes from the funny pages and snacked on prawn crackers.

The only thing different this time around was that instead of listening to Donna's usual perky chatter from the next room, Josh was busy looking in the mirror and having a little heart to heart with himself. His hands felt sweaty and he couldn't seem to get comfortable in his t-shirt and jogging pants. Josh not exactly being the master at any conversation that begins with "let's talk" he was almost cursing himself for having suggested it. He wanted to talk. God- he had a million things he could say, things he could barely get his head around, things that had been in denial for a long time. But actually doing it? Yeah, right, like that was gonna happen. He knew it would end up in misdirection. What is she didn't even care? She wasn't having his baby. He couldn't even get it together enough to admit to himself why this bothered him so much!

He run his hands through his hair nervously, making it look even more erratic that usual, gave himself a final glance in the mirror, and blowing out air from his cheeks, then strolled into the next room.

*damn he looks good enough to eat* thought Donna as she looked up from over a withered copy of Time and took in his toned arms in his sleeveless grey Harvard Athletics t-shirt and black sweat pants, Josh's hair was all wild and he had a cocky smile on his face like he'd just beat the Lakers single-handedly. Or had really good sex. Donna immediately blushed at the thought and inched the magazine a little further up to hide her cheeks.

*Hormones, Donna, it's just the hormones talking* she thought.

"Soooo, what's for dinner?" Josh bounded over to the kitchen and started opening up cartons. "Kung Po for me, MooShu pork for you... Wontons to share... Salad? -he turned his nose up - rabbit food for you". He picked up all the opened cartons and brought them over to the table, ignoring Donna's laid out plates and diving straight into to the chicken with his chopsticks as he slouched down onto the couch.

"You know Josh, if you're going to invite me over for dinner, you could at least pretend we're eating in a civilized way. I know you can't find it in your heart to give me a raise or spare enough money to take out your invaluable assistant out for a real dinner, but if you think its seductive watching you drooling over a carton, then you need to rethink why all these women keep leaving you."

Josh spluttered into his carton and looked round at Donna, eyes wide, then broke into a grin. What was needed immediately was some misdirection before he got tongue tied.

"Didn't realise I was trying to seduce you there Donna. Thought I was just sharing a take out with a friend. Is this how your gomers try and seduce you? You really need to start dating people with a mental age over 18..."

Donna blushed at first, then thought about what he'd said and turned to start filling her plate with food. This was turning ugly.

"I'm just saying Deputy Downer, that it would be nice once in a while to eat like I'm not still in the office, where my slave-driving boss keeps me until all hours of the morning, forcing me to eat take out from a box at my desk. You know, sometimes a woman needs to feel special."

"Donna, are you giving me dating advice? - Josh was on a roll, arrogant smirk in full force and voice getting shrill like when he was arguing policy with Senate Republicans - COs I really don't think anyone in your position should be giving pep talks on how to conduct a relationship, given your propensity for loser gomers who seduce you with fancy dinners then dump you...

Josh trailed off, having for a moment completely forgotten why he'd asked Donna over in the first place. He looked over at DOnna who'd gone really quiet and was staring intently at the coffee table.

"And what exactly is 'my position' JOsh? - she asked bitterly - You mean the dumb blonde assistant who gets knocked up by her one-night-stand couldn't possibly have a clue about love and dating? Is that what you think Josh? Did you invite me over to make fun of me? Because frankly I don't see anyone in your life right now, in fact, I don't see any kind of healthy relationship in your sad little world other than your obsessive fixation with that baseball player guy and regular sleepover dates with Appropriations Bills."

*and me running after you every second of the day* she thought, quietly.

She practically spat out the last words. Josh had never seen her quite so vitriolic. He felt like the biggest idiot on earth and cursed his big mouth. He also felt a sudden pang of terror at the truth in her words. He really didn't have anyone in his life. HAdn't for a long, long time. He dumped his carton on the table and slid over on the couch to get nearer Donna, who had turned away and was stifling a sob. Josh's heart broke.

*I'm the fucking gomer* he thought and gently laid a hand on Donna's shoulder.

"Hey, I'm sorry. I'm really... Donna, I would never mean that in a million years, you know that. Donna... DOnna, I'm an asshole, I... I didn't mean it."

She turned to face him, her eyes red, but fighting back the tears. She didn't give in though, she just looked at him. Like he'd killed her puppy. That look was seriously going to finish him off.

"You really are the biggest asshole Josh." SHe declared, looking him straight in the eye.

At that Josh's eyebrows shot up even further than before and he couldn't help but let a small grin form.

AS soon as the sides of his mouth curled up, Donna's face turned funny, then all of a sudden she burst out laughing, leaving JOsh looking first confused, then stunned, then finally he dissolved into laughter as well.
Donna play hit him on the shoulder,

"Asshole!" She shouted through the laughter.

"I can't believe you just called me an asshole." JOsh grinned.

"Feels pretty good, said DOnna, might say it again. Ass- hole!"

"I'm pretty sure it says somewhere in the Federal Workers Employee Act that calling your boss an asshole to his face is fair grounds for immediate dismissal." challenged Josh, rising to the game now, a smirk as wide as a river on his face.

"Oh yeah. said DOnna, picking up a pillow and lugging it at his head, "Well I'll sue you for causing stress and discriminating against an employee for being pregnant... ASSHOLE!"

Another pillow flew and narrowly missed his face.

"Oh, pillow fighting Donna? Real mature..." Josh stood up this time and grabbed the pillow from Donna's hands before tossing it at her. Donna fought back with a larger cushion, the pair of them in hysterics by now and they pillow fought all round the couch and coffee table until Donna's foot caught on a fallen pillow and she tripped and fell.

"Ow, dammit" She immediately reached for her ankle as JOsh dropped the pillows and rushed over to where she was, sprawled at the foot of the couch.

"Donna, are you ok? Did you hurt yourself? Let me have a look.."

"It's ok Josh, I just twisted my ankle a bit. Don't worry, just... help me up, please?"

"Sure - he cradled Donna in his arms and pulled her up, half falling onto the couch with her.

"Is, are, is... are you alright? You didn't... bang the baby or anything did you?"

Donna looked at Josh, who's arm was still wrapped around one of her shoulders, warm and comforting, and more than a little distracting. SHe smiled softly, looking at him with her big, soft blue eyes. And patted him on the leg.

"Josh, the baby right now is a collection of cells so tiny you couldn't even see them on the head of a pin. I don't think it broke any major bones... I on the other hand, can see that my ankle is going to be the size of a watermelon if you don't get a compress on it soon...

"God, of course, hang on"

Josh leapt up, in full shining knight mode and ran to the fridge for some ice cubes, which he wrapped in a towel and brought over to Donna. He immediately sat down, took up her foot and rested it on his lap as he pressed the cold ice pack down on her swelling ankle.

"Oh, that's good. That feels better. Thank you."

They fell into a comfortable silence for a moment. Josh glanced at Donna from the corner of his eye as he padded her ankle with the cold compress. SHe was looking at the floor wistfully, with a small smile in her eyes. She was beautiful. He could barely tear his eyes away and she felt it. They both looked at each other and something passed between them, as it had done so many times before. But Donna didn't look away this time.

"Josh, thank you for this.

"Hey, sprained ankle.. ice is the best thing!

"NO, not that... I mean, well, thank you for that obviously... but really. Thank you, for take out. For having me around... I... I haven't felt worried since I got here and really, all I've wanted all day is a bit of distraction.

"DOnna... I invited you round and insulted you. I'm sorry. I... I know I don't say this enough DOnna, but you're invaluable to me... in so many ways... - he looked right at her and she felt heat rise to her cheeks - and the least I can do is repay the favour when you need someone. I want you to be able to talk to me... ok? And if it makes you feel better to call me an asshole, then... go for it. Just try not to do it in front of the President..."

He looked at her, looking suddenly like a schoolboy on his first date. Dona's heart squeeze a little at the sight of his brown eyes boring into hers.

"Okay. Apology accepted. But as a punishment, you'll now have to endure Love Actually. All one hour and forty minutes of it. Without complaint.


"NO buts, Josh, just sit up, and shut up."

"Okay." He grinned. He liked this commanding DOnna, It was very... sexy.

*God, don't think like that, not now, pleease not now!*

He put the DVD in and sat back down. DOnna placed a cushion on the coffee table and started to lift her ankle to rest it there when Josh took her leg and placed her ankle back in his lap. She looked at him and for a moment he blushed and looked down at her ankle again.

"Well, how are you going to keep the compress on your ankle otherwise?"

*excellent misdirection* they both thought. THe film started up and it was only twenty minutes from the end that Donna realised Josh had long since replaced the cold compress with his warm hand and had been softly stroking her ankle since halfway through the film. Apparently without either being aware of it. It just came naturally.

By the time the film was over Donna jumped up from the couch. Well, hopped, sort of. She feined yawning and started to fuss about early mornings. Hobbling over to get her coat, Josh accompanied her to the door as she picked up her bags. He'd realised he'd been holding her ankle for the duration of the film and the air in the apartment seemed to have gotten about ten degrees warmer. Neither seemed able, nor willing to even mention it so both slipped effortlessly back into denial and Donna started saying her goodbyes. Besides, it was 2 in the morning and they both had to be at work again in 5 hours.

"Night Donna. Call me when you get home."

"Yes Joshua. You have the meeting with O'Bryan tomorrow on the hill, wear your dark grey tie, it looks good with your jacket and that other one is all crumpled.

"Ok. He grinned, loving that she paid attention to these details and subconsciously realising how much he'd missed this domestic intimacy after he'd recovered from the Rosslyn shooting.

She looked up at Josh, more silent words crossed the divide between them.

Opening his arms, he took her in a warm embrace. Burying his head in her hair.

"I'm sorry for what I said Donna. I just... You and the baby deserve to be happy. You really deserve to be happy, and I know I don't tell you that often enough."

"Josh..." SHe didn't say anything more. Just revelled in his hug and squeezed him tight.

*I love you* they both thought, silently, *and one of these days, we'll figure it out*.

sabato 8 agosto 2009

Muffins, Bagels and Baby Names. Chapter 2 : A crackpot and this woman.

Disclaimer: not mine, Aaron Sorkin's. Would that I could write a fraction as well as he can!
Feedback should be put on a stamp.

Josh's POV

It's 7.05 a.m and Donna's not at her desk. Seriously. I checked three times already, plus a fourth time which I tried to mask by pretending to go to the mess for a bagel. See, I can be stealthy. Donna is never not at her desk after 7 a.m. In the three years we've worked together she has only been late once and, well, that's 'cause she was looking after me after the shooting and I spilt coffee all over myself since I was on ten kinds of drugs and she messed up her shirt trying to clean me up and so she got into work late. But since I wasn't in the office at the time, it doesn't count. And yes, that is the only time she ever brought me coffee. At least I think she did. I really was on ten different kinds of drugs.

Where the hell is she?

I check the communications bullpen. There is the distinct possibility she's been kidnapped by the gaggle of gossip queens that hang out outside Toby's office. They'll be yakkin about that dumb beefcake maintenance guy as usual. Good to know the White House attracts the finest female minds in the country to, y'know, help us guys run the damn place.

Anyway. I'm in the communications bullpen. Bonnie's rushing around, Ginger's in with Sam, Kathy's on the phone looking all worked up even before the sun comes up. No Donna.

I stomp back to my office, yelling at CJ on the way

"C.J? Ya seen Donna?"

"Josh mi amor, I've barely managed to open my second eye and already the press corps are tailing me like slobbering pit bulls about this House Appropriations fiasco. I know they say I'm sharp as a button, but this morning I wouldn't notice Donna if she ran me over with a Harley."


That's it. I'm callin' her. She could be in trouble. I mean she could be under a bus, or that creepy guy at the coffee shop down the road might have kidnapped her and is holding her hostage behind a stack of coffee bean bags or something.
I dial her number. She picks up on the 10th ring.

"Hi Josh..." She knows it's me and she sounds cranky. I hope she's not sick. She can't be sick. We have a House Appropriations fiasco. I need her to not be sick.
"Donna, why the hell aren't you in the office. Are you ok?"
"I'm fine, Josh... I, um... I was just going to call you. I'm coming in. I'm sorry. I must have forgotten to replace the batteries in my alarm clock or something. I'm really sorry."
"Ok... Are you sure you're alright? You sound weird. Do you have a cold?"
"I'm fine. I'm coming in now. If you don't get off the phone with me I'll be even more late and you have staff at 7.30."
"Kay. I'll see you later. Call me if there's a problem getting in... Or something."
"Bye Josh."

She sounded weird. Something's off. It's going to bug me all through staff.

I don't get out until 9.30, leaving Sam and CJ arguing with Leo about how to compose a press statement over this mess up over in the House. Given CJ's mood this morning that's one battle I really wouldn't want to get involved in. Plus, you know, she's a big girl. And she can probably beat my ass all over a basketball court, so its best to know when to retreat.

Since I've been wearing these new shoes my mom sent me and slipped over on the Hill I've been trying to walk more slowly. I know, not something I'm good at. But it means Donna doesn't hear me when I come through the doors of the bullpen. She's got her head down and is holding her nose with a tissue. Her hand is shaking and I can't see her face, but this looks ten kinds of bad. I sidle up to the frame of her office and poke her gently on the shoulder.

"JOSH!" She jumps out of her chair, "Jeese Josh, you scared the hell out of me." SHe quickly discards the tissue and turns in her chair to pretend to look for something, but I can see her wiping her face. My stomach twists and for some reason I start feeling angry.

"DOnna... what's wrong?"

She spins around, face dry but with shadows under her eyes. She's not fooling me.

"Donna you have suitcases under your eyes like you're packing for Vegas, you're sniffling into a tissue and you were late for work even though you don't look sick. You're not even waving your usual ten hundred index cards at me as a morning greeting."

She smiles, but it's a weak smile and her eyes aren't in it. I'm suddenly very scared. Someone, or something has upset Donna, and for the life of me I don't know how the hell anyone could EVER want to hurt Donna Moss of all people. She's from Wisconsin for crying out loud! I kneel down to face her at eye level and put a hand on her knee. This should feel inappropriate but it doesn't. Right now I want to beat the hell out of whoever made Donna look this unhappy. Or, you know, outshine them with my wit.

"Donna, what's wrong. C'mon, you can tell me."
"I really can't Josh. DOn't worry about it. It's nothing personal."
I'm not buying that. Anything to do with Donna is personal to me. It has been for a LONG time.
"Come with me. Come on."
I take her hand and pull her into my office, then close the door behind me. I spin around and look her in the eye. SHe looks like someone just killed her hamster. I love that look as much as I hate it.
"Donna, you're killing me here. I can't work with you if you're gonna look like I ran over your puppy on CHristmas morning. Did someone hurt you? I'll kill the guy who laid a finger on you."
Well, that made her eyes perk up. Did it get warm in here? I think I might have laid a bit heavy on the prince charming facade there... Smooth, Josh. Real smooth. Way to disguise those feelings...
"Johs, please it's nothing. Drop it. Please... For me, I can handle it on my own. I was just having a moment. I just want to get on with doing my job. You have a meeting on the Hill at 12.15 with Congresswoman O'Brien. I've got to go and type up that memo you asked for...."
She trails off and looks expectantly at the door. Her shoulders are hunched like she's trying to shiled herself from getting close to me. Ok, I am kinda standing right in her face. I start pacing about. It's not that I'm psycho, Donna could just be a bit under the weather, or had another bad date with one of her loser gomers she insists on parading in front of me. But I've never, EVER seen her look... well, fragile. It's not a Donna look. And its freaking the hell out of me.

"Sit down let me at least get you a glass of scotch or something, steady the nerves. You look like you could use a pep up." I reach into my cupboard and pull out an old bottle of scotch Leo gave me once. Donna likes a rusty nail when we go out to the Hawk and Dove. She can drink most men under the table. Must be a Wisconsin thing.

"Josh, it's ten in the morning."
"And you probably haven't slept since yesterday so it's all the same" I say, pouring out a finger of whisky.
"Josh, I can't."
"I won't tell, i've got gum. No one will know. You're shaking Donna. It'll calm you down."
"No, Josh, I really... I can't. I shouldn't. It's not about my job Josh."
She looks at me cryptically. And involuntarily her hand settles on her stomach. Veeeery slowly I come to an impossible conclusion. ONe I'm really hoping I'm wrong about. And I NEVER like to be wrong.
"Donna? Why can't you have a drink? Would you prefer just to have a strong coffee?"
"Josh, stop it. I'm fine, I really don't want anything."
"Doona, are you also avoiding caffeeine right now?"
"It's good to reduce your caffeine intake JOsh. You should try it, you might stop tripping over on the HIll."
Well, banter is good. But I still don't like where this is going.
"Donna..." I trail off, I'm not sure whether to voie my suspicions here. She's starting to look like she knows I know.
I put the glass down and walk over to where she's sitting. I squat to be at her level again and look her right in the eye.
"DOnna. Are you.... y'know.... are you having... Did someone... um..."
She sighs and closes her eyes.
"Yes Josh. I'm pregnant."

I feel like the earth swallowed me whole, Mohammed Ali socked me in the face and the Republicans took back the Senate all in one go. My eyebrows shoot up and I feel anger shooting right up through me. I poen my mouth because I HAVE to yell when she clamps her hand over my mouth.
"Don't Josh. Don't bother with the wisecrack. Don't give me the gomer speech. Don't even breath a word of what you're thinking." She looks so tough she could kill me right now. In two seconds her entire body language has changed. I'm about to explode but she keeps going.
"I'm tired Josh. I'm tired, I'm scared, I'm confused and guess what. I'm single, so before you insult me, or insult the father, or demean me and belittle me with a snide comment or funny joke, save it. I haven't slept for two nights, I've no idea what to do and I really, really need a friend right now. If you can't be that friend, then just be quiet."

Well, THAT made me speechless. I'm about to open my mouth and say something stupid anyway, as I always do when she suddenly breaks down. Sh sort of crumples in the chair and starts to sob silently. In that exact moment I see my whole future ahead of me. And for the first time, there's more than just the White House in it.

"Donna... I..."
"Please Josh.... don't"

"I won't... I'm here..."
I lean in and wrap my arms around her and she melts into me completely. The whole world just shifted on its axis and I've suddenly no idea where its going except I know where I want it to be going. And I don't want it to be going to anywhere where this woman is going to be crying. I bury my face in her hair and hold her. Just let her cry it out.

"It's ok Donna, we'll figure something out. I promise not to yell."
"I'm scared Josh... This isn't what I had planned. It's all gone wrong..."

"DOnna, if there is anything I'm certain about right now, aside from the fact that I still want to kill whoever made you cry, is that you have never, ever been wrong and you're not going to start being wrong now. In two minutes you're going to walk out that door,sit down at your desk, make me index cards that I won't be able to read, refuse to bring me coffee and be smart and funny and interrupt my phone calls every ten minutes to tell me some inane trivial fact about the Ugandan gorilla or a newly discovered constellation. Once you've done all that, we're going to figure something out ok."

She laughs softly into my shoulder.


I pull back from the hug and look at her, my hands still resting on her shoulders. We both breathe a big sigh and a few thousand words are exchanged silently across the space between our gazes. I'm not sure what the words are saying but she walks out and leaves me standing, shellshocked, terrified but somehow renewed all at the same time.

Donna is pregnant. A whole new door has been opened. And I am head over heels in love with this woman.

martedì 4 agosto 2009

Muffins, Bagels and Baby Names. Chapter 1: It's positive

Disclaimer: Not mine. They're Aaron Sorkin's and WB's. They rock. I just write fanfic. Blame feedback on the bossa nova.

I just finished watching Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and amongst other things I think I might speak for a few people when I say that the way we saw portrayed the relationship between Jordan and Danny Tripp was the way we all secretly wished we could've seen Josh and Donna develop. Just to satisfy our sad romantic sensibilities...
So this story is a Josh/Donna heavily borrowed and inspired by Jordan/Danny. It's not a crossover, just a borrowing. You'll recognize some elements form Studio 60. Bear with me... It's gonna be BIG romance.

Spoilers: Studio 60 and West Wing series 1-4 (minus Amy).

Chapter One: It's Positive.

Donna's POV:

I'm sitting on the edge of my bath tub. It's not a particularly great bath tub. Frankly, its a bit small for my tastes. I'm a tall woman, so I have to curl my knees up to fit in it, which kind of defies the point of taking a relaxing bath. Although I do use a deliciously scented bath creme with Dead Sea minerals which is really great for my alabaster skin. Which almost makes me feel like my bathtub is a luxurious place to be. Anyway. I'm getting distracted. The fact is, the last thing I'm thinking about right now is my bathtub, my bath creme, what kind of day it has been. My mind is pretty much focused on one thing. Only one thing. And it's scaring me so much.

The hand holding the small stick is trembling. I'm supposed to wait two minutes for the result, but I've been holding this stick in my hand for at least ten minutes. I'm too scared to look. I'm kinda nauseous. My roommate is out of town today and right now I'm not sure if I'm grateful of that, or if the idea of being alone here terrifies me even more than the potential result of this pregnancy test.

I never though I was that kind of girl, I'm not that kind of girl. I mean. I'm not a nun, I'm not the Catholic schoolgirl fantasy Josh seems to imagine I am. I've had a couple of flings. Sometimes you just want a nice night with a sweet guy and it doesn't necessarily go anywhere. But I'm careful. I'm not a cheap, easy date.

So here I am with a pregnancy test in my hand and I can't even remember what the hell the guy was wearing.

It was that kind of evening. It had been that kind of month. After weeks locked in the White House, working all hours, running after Josh, running after anyone else who needed to be run after. Late nights, stressful meetings. The President had gone off on one of his tangents and decided he wanted to change Constitutional law because of a documentary he'd seen on the History Channel and suddenly we were all on diets of caffeine and stale donuts and couldn't remember if it was 12 midday or 12 midnight. CJ had bags under her eyes that even a tube of Lancome touche éclat couldn't hide. Toby couldn't even smile at a Yankees win and Sam had stopped smiling altogether.

Adam Hamilton, a commercial lawyer from a downtown firm who I'd met several times my local coffee house, had asked me on a date and the idea of an evening of relative normality, a nice drink and decent meal outside of the four walls of the White House seemed as idyllic as three weeks on a caribbean island.

It had also... well... been a while. God, how embarassing. It's not something I'd normally talk about. But hey. That's the way it is. Plus Josh had been really Deputy Downer all week. All month it seemed. Not that, you know, I take it personally. But who am I kidding., Of course I do.

This is Josh. And I lost it for him bad ages ago. But that was a no go area. SO you move on. Or at least try. Try's a big word. Adam... was all about me trying...

And here I am. THe condom burst. It was accidental. I had protection, I had everything planned. We'd eaten at Carluccio's. I took the arugula and pinoli salad. Adam had salmon. We had a bottle of Syrah and coffee with liqueur. He was charming, witty, chatty. When he asked me up to his apartment for another coffee I said yes without a care in the world. determined to try to move on, to forget the month, to move beyond the closed, claustrophobic world I'd been stuck in the last weeks.

Coffee was sex. It was good. I'm not going to lie. BUt I spent most of it with my head somewhere else. You all know where. It was exactly what I needed. Until it was all over and Adam pointed out that the condom had ripped.

Was I on the pill?

Tired and nervous I lied. Me. Donna Moss. Who never lies. I looked him right in the eye, with ten million scenarios rushing through my head, none of them good and suddenly realised, however enjoyable a night it had been, I couldn't handle intimacy and confessions with this man. This charming, witty, polite and completely average stranger.

So I lied.

Yeah Adam, it's ok. I'm on the pill. Don't worry. No risks. - a small laugh- we're covered...

Here I am. Edge of the bath. Nausea fogging my thoughts. The damn stick is blinking pink.

Oh lord.

It's positive.

Key to Donna, part 3

Disclaimer: These characters don't belong to me, they belong to Aaron Sorkin and WB. I merely play with them when I succumb to whimsy. Feedback is a a peach from the White House mess.
J/D smut, romance.
Spoilers: series 7.

Somewhere in the distant, foggy background, the door to Donna's room bangs shut. I barely register as the heat of her kiss almost knocks me sideways. A hundred realisations slam into my chest, leaving me breathless. How much I crave this woman. How long I've needed her. How good she tastes. How stupid I am. How hard she makes me.
I reach up to cup her face, feel the slight dampness of her neck from the flush of heat between us. I think I moan softly into her mouth. Her thigh presses into me, a soft hand slides up under my shirt, the other clutches at the curls on the back of my head, pulling me into her. I don't know if I want my eyes closed to lose myself in this moment, or open to remind me that it's really happening.

She's unbuttoning my shirt, her fingertips occasionally brushing against my chest, one hand sliding tentatively down, tracing my scar, slender fingers hesitantly stroke against the zipper on my pants and as I press the weight of my body into hers, hissing at the pleasure. She cups me, squeezing my rock hard cock and for a second I forget everything on this earth.

I have to look at her. I break the kiss, literally panting. She has a sheen on her upper lip, her bottom lip is swollen and rich pink, her eyes are dark and drowsy and gaze at me with a lust I'd always hoped I'd see, but never dared imagine. "Donna..." I trail off, not even knowing what to say. The whisper of a smile appears at the corner of her mouth and she grazes a nail down my torso, then slides both arms around my waist, under my now loosely hanging shirt. "Josh." She puts on her serious tone. I think there might be a pout forming. Did my knees buckle? "I think you've kept me waiting long enough, Josh. I promise you, this is one situation where you don't need to do any lobbying, negotiating or political begging."

"I don't?" I grin, give her a flash of the dimples, then lean in for another kiss. I press the full weight of my hardness against her, between her slightly parted thighs. Her skin is so soft along her arms, her lips so tender, I wonder how I kept from ravaging her against every damn pillar in the White House for the last eight years.

She breaks off this time, touching a finger to my lips, looking up at me through her lashes. Yes, bambiesque. And exquisite.

"You don't Josh. You never had to. I'm all yours."

"Holy God, I want you!", I breathe as I move in to kiss her once again. This time she kisses me almost violently, pulling at my belt buckle, tugging the remains of my shirt off. I bend slightly to slide her skirt up over her knees, bunching it up at the waist as she fumbles with the zip. It eventually slides off and I keep her pinned against the wall, kissing her inner thigh, breathing in the scent of her arousal, trailing kisses up to her belly. Her shirt is off moments later and, still kissing, we fall onto the bed.

The sex is hot, fast, hungry and passionate. Eight years of absolute repression and denial and we practically combust on impact. Her nails dig into my back, her eyes watching me as I pump inside her. We hold each other so tight, a sudden fear of losing each other once we finally got to this moment. She wraps her long legs around me and strokes herself as I gaze at her. She whispers my name when she comes, softly, in my ear, just before feathering it with gentle licks. I come hard, and as I pull out of her she wraps her fingers round my shaft, still throbbing, and pulls it against her belly. I stroke her hair away from her eyes when she comes again, suckle her bottom lip as I tell her how beautiful she is to me, how incredible, how much I want her. I go down on her, teasing her with my tongue as she runs her fingers through my hair, feeling the muscles in her thighs tighten at her release. She pulls me up and cradles me, stroking my cock as we kiss, slowly, my hands tracing circles on her thighs. When I'm about to come, she slides down and takes me in her mouth, sucking my cock, shooting jolts of pleasure up through the core of me as I come in her mouth and she licks me off.

Later, we make love again, tasting each other on our lips, taking our time, sharing looks between us of two people who know each other inside out and yet until tonight didn't know each other at all. Around three in the morning we fall asleep, naked, limbs entagled, my arms around her waist and my face buried in her hair, the sheets a twisted mess across our bodies.

Josh Lyman. You da man. And da man is hopelessly in love.

Key to Donna, part 2

Disclaimer: These characters don't belong to me, they belong to Aaron Sorkin and WB. I merely play with them when I succumb to whimsy. Feedback is a a peach from the White House mess.
J/D smut, romance.
Spoilers: series 7.

Josh's POV:

Donna's room is on the third floor but I swear the elevator ride has never felt this long. My mouth has gone dry thinking about the moment that is about to be. My brains cells scramble trying to come up with something suitable to say when she opens the door to her room. I feel my skin itch and my ears hum in anticipation.
I close my eyes and run my fingers through my hair, shaking my head. If I wasn't so terrified and so goddamn on the edge of my seat I'd have my usual smirk on my face, but I feel like jolts of lightning are bouncing off my skin, like I'm radiating nuclear heat and my stomach is doing more somersaults than an olympic gymnast - Donna, sweet, beautiful, feisty, sexy, delicious Donna is about to invite me into her room, into her life in a way I've subconsciously hoped she would, wished she could for, god, I don't even know how long anymore. This isn't easy Amy, all wisecracks and fucking. This isn't Mandy, who just flung herself at me as fast as she dumped my ass with a withering look and a swift comeback. Donna is a rival I can't begin to comprehend. She and I have danced around this for years upon years and I can't quip back with a wisecrack - that's too easy. Donna is caring and nurturing. Donna sees my vulnerable side. Donna doesn't need to be loud and glaring to get my attention. Donna has reached into recesses of my soul that - not having been able to act upon them physically - have only made the ties between us stronger than with any woman I've ever met before. While I bantered loosely with Amy and joked about her women's lib, Donna would come to me in the late nights, worrying about my PTSD, making sure I had aspirin, listened to me talk about my father, grinned at me without mocking or superiority, shared that bond of trust that came after Rosslyn. Amy wouldn't even know how to get to me on that level, and I'd never have wanted her there.
Mandy? well, she was just psycho.

Donna is the apple Eve offered Adam: luscious, inviting, sweet, life-affirming and oh, so very, very forbidden.


The elevator comes to a stop. I step out, overcoat draped over my arm, tie loose, blue shirt hanging out and crumpled. I probably look like shit. I shake my head one more time, rub my eyes and rumple my hair and start to make my way down the hall with what I hope looks like my usual cocky swagger.

Room 314.

I stand for a moment, unsure what to do with my own body. My mouth feels like sandpaper. My guts have pooled somewhere around my feet and everything fits too tightly on me. This is it...


A few seconds go by and the earth revolves a few hundred times on its axis.

The door opens. Donna's standing there, still in her skirt, but her shoes are off and she's pulled the cashmere sweater out from her skirt and its sort of slightly hanging off one shoulder, leaving her pale skin exposed underneath. I can see the faintest outline of her bra underneath and my groin tightens at the thought of touching her. Finally. I lean one arm up against the door frame and swallow. I'm completely speechless so opt for my raised eyebrows, curious look, but I can't help a soft dimple-grin at the sight of her. She's breath-taking.

"Hey..." I say softly, smiling ever-so-slightly from the corner of my mouth. My eyes lose themselves in hers.

"You came..." She states matter-of-factly, looking up at me with a soft grin.

"Yeah..." I simply reply. "You...ah... you left your key" I pull the offending item out of my pocket and hold it up to her. "I wasn't sure if you wanted me to.. you know... give it back.. or ... whatever..."I trail off. She's simply smiling at me, biting her lip. I feel rooted to the spot like my legs are made of concrete.

"Thanks... I thought maybe...we could, you know..." She reaches out and closes her soft hand over mine, around the key, sending a thrashing jolt of electricity right throught the core of me and the concrete breaks loose and I lose all sense of anything.

"Donna..." I whisper breathlessly, pushing my way in through the door and dropping my overcoat on the floor as I reach my other arm to loop itself around her small waist.

"Josh... I..." She doesn't get to finish her sentence before I push her into the wall and press my lips to hers. Holy mother...My whole body explodes.

Donna's POV:

Is he going to follow? Am I going to sit here on the edge of my bed, petrified and excited and confused and fizzing with anticipation all evening? Have I just blown it? I get up and put off one light, opting for the soft bedside lamp. Then I decide its too soft and switch again. Should I get changed into something different? What's the protocol here? THe lights still don't look right. Is lighting a candle too obvious?
I'm fidgeting. I'm usually pretty practical as a person, but tonight I don't know where my head is at all. Well, that's a lie. My head has only been in one place for the last month or so, - ok the last eight years or so - and the last few days I've been orbiting Lyman-land in a state of near constant delirium.
How many nights have I dreamt of hearing his fingers knock on my door? How many nights have we stayed up til three, on the floor of his office in the soft glow of his computer, too comfortably half asleep in each other's presence, poring over statistics and reports, finishing each others sentences with our knees barely touching and too, too many unspoken aches and needs flying around in the atmosphere between our bodies?
And that look he gave me this evening. Blatant, urging lust. Like he was eating me up with his eyes. I thought I was going to burn a hole in the floor. I have to do this. We have to do this. The need between us has become to much to bear.

I slip off my shoes and pull my sweater out from my skirt. I'm still pacing about the room, brushing my hair when I hear the knock and freeze to the spot. A jungle's worth of butterflies takes up residence in the pit of my belly and my fingers begin to tremble. My whole body temperature hikes up twenty notches. I drop the brush on the bed and walk over to the door. He's here!!! My smile could block out the sun.

I peep through the spyhole and blush inwardly as I see his face. He's looking at his hands, his face so soft but his mouth taught, like he gets when he's nervous. He looks like he's about to knock again when I open the door.

I am completely in love with this man.

His blue shirt is all crumpled, he looks dishevelled and cocky and beautiful. I crave him. His arms, his hands, his mouth, his eyes, his skin.

He leans up against the door and I do my absolute best to look nonchalant. I'm not very convincing.

"Hey..." He says with a soft grin.

"You came..." I answer. Stating the obvious. Very cool... I say it mostly to remind myself its true.

"Yeah..." He simply replies. "You...ah... you left your key" He pulls the key and chain out of his pocket and holds it up to me. "I wasn't sure if you wanted me to.. you know... give it back.. or ... whatever..." He trails off. He's bumbling. I'd say this was adorable if I wasn't so consumed with how devastatingly sexy he looks right now. If I wasn't bowled over with the overt sexual energy pulsating in the space between us. His shirt is slightly open, he smells of whisky, coffee, cologne and sweat, his eyes are bright with desire.

"Thanks..." I answer, grinning shamelessly now, "I thought maybe...we could, you know..." DO I make the first move? What's... I reach up to take the key and wrap my fingers around his. A million volts discharge against my fingertips and nearly knock me over.

He leans in with a wild look in his eyes. Pushing me back and dropping his coat on the floor.

"Donna..." I love how much he needs me in his voice. His arm reaches around me and pulls me in. He's rock hard against my belly and I barely have a moment to exhale "Josh..." before he pushes me against the wall, his hot, taut body pressed against mine and his lips on my mouth as we both reach out to kick the door closed.

We're not in Texas anymore. We're not in the states. Hell, we're not on this earth. I'm a million, million miles above the sky. This must be what your first smack high feels like.

Key to Donna, part 1.

Disclaimer: These characters don't belong to me, they belong to Aaron Sorkin and WB. I merely play with them when I succumb to whimsy. Feedback is a a peach from the White House mess.

J/D smut, romance.
Spoilers: series 7.

She slid the key across the table, heart racing in her chest. Glanced at Josh. His eyes widened, lips parted, searching for something in her expression. No one could notice what either were thinking.

Half of her thought this was madness. They'd kissed, it was heat of the moment. Election fever, sleeplessness and adrenaline. They'd apologized. Moved on. Gotten past it. End of story. THIS... this key thing... what she was suggesting now... this was moving things into a whole other area, a whole walled-off, fenced off, DO NOT GO THERE area with barbed wire gates and guards with machine guns round it.

On the other hand... there were all those looks. Those maddening moments. She'd noticed them. How couldn't you? The air around them had been buzzing for months now. Silences had become uncomfortable. Proximity, which used to be a simple fact of life crashing around in that square metre outside his office and used to be easy, carefree, meaningless, had become intense, awkward, senses heightened. If he leaned too close, if they got stuck in the elevator together, she could feel her cheeks flush, stared too long at her shoes. She'd see him bite his lip and stare at ceilings out of the corner of her eye. Knew he felt strange too. The dynamic had gone from light flirty banter to this heavy, heady, exciting, scary, heart-thudding circling of each other's orbits filled with endless silent questions. The electricity generated every time their arms brushed reaching for a document could stone an ox.

And he's beautiful. Sleepy eyed, soft mouthed, erratic hair, goofy grin, hidden in his big winter coat. He'd played a round of basketball earlier and she'd watched him from a dark corner by the hotel garden with his boyish cocky grin, lean muscled arms, the sweat clinging to his back, the silver of his watch against the soft gold hairs of his forearm. Agile legs and strong arms. She'd remembered his eyes when he'd sat with her in Germany, fingers splayed on the covers above her thighs, breath warm against her neck as he'd gazed with awe at every word she uttered. Feeling the heaviness of his body against hers, not wanting to complain about the crippling pain because she couldn't bear to be without his arm against her leg, his chest pressed close to hers to hear her better.

So she'd offered her key. Key to her room. Key to her heart? Whichever it was, at the worst, they'd at least have the TALK. At best, christ... She could spontaneously combust just at the thought of his skin against hers. Finally. She ached for him. But if it had to be just a talk, so be it.

She stood up and finished her wine, proferring one last, inquisitive glance at Josh.


Tonight she has this glow that takes my breath away. We're laughing and joking and drinking beers and anyone looking at me right now would have no idea my brain was focused anywhere other than our little jokes-and-quips session, the campaign, whatever.
But I just want to stare at her. I want to reach over, touch her. I want everyone at the damn table to disappear, NOW. It's been weeks, months of agonising unspoken desire. Stretched out silences, glances filled with hesitant expectation. Crowded rooms in which I can feel her body move even without seeing her. Jolts of want and lust every time she knocks into me on her way in or out of a room, lip-biting, finger-brushing, midnight showers with my cock in my hand and my palm against the wall of a hotel bathroom on the other side of which she's sleeping.

Between the high-octane adrenaline rushes of the campaign my mind darts back to those intimate smiles in Rammstein, my arm across her waist as she lay on the hospital bed and told me of her fear before the operation, recounted her tales from Gaza, her sadness, her hopes. I remember the cookie crumb on the corner of her sweet mouth, the ladder in her tights, the day she'd forgotten to apply mascara to one of her eyes because she'd slept so little and was embarasssed. Her soft laugh when we got a White House visit from a bunch of over-excited boy scouts and the youngest took a shine to her and clutched her leg.

But all we've done is kissed. And felt awkward. And apologised. And moved on. It's inappropriate. It's just a passing thing. It's just the campaign stress. It's just harmless fun in a charged environment. Maybe we can keep kidding ourselves another eight years and put it down to temporary insanity. That kiss that killed me a hundred times. And we move on.

And then she does it. She slides her key over to me. No one sees. It's sitting there, accusing me. The key to Donna Moss. My personal goddess. My stomach plummets through the floor and I feel blood vessels leap into life that I never realised I had. My heart pumps, throbs, hell, I'm probably going red and starting to sweat. I lean further into my coat, look down at my whisky glass and suddenly take an active interest in whatever Lou's babbling about right now.

She wants me. She wants me like I want her. Holy crap! Really...? Does she? Is she drunk? Does she just want to talk? Is this just a sex thing? I don't know what's happening. I don't know what to think. I don't know what to do. Suddenly I'm fifteen again and my palms are sweaty and I feel a tug in my groin and my mouth goes dry.

She looks at me briefly and nearly kills me stone dead.

I want this woman. I want her so bad... And then she gets up, all knowing looks and confident posture and any man with three grey cells should be murdering their way across continents to get a piece of this incredible, amazing woman.

I watch her depart, those long, long legs in a soft, slinky black skirt. Her hips sway as she moves, her blonde hair catches the breeze from the aircon in the lobby and for a brief, brief second she turns her head and looks for me from the corner of her eye and I see it. The faint smile. The expectant glimmer in her eyes.

And they say humans can't fly.

Pens from a Gomer

A pen?

I gave her a fricking pen?

*Come ON Josh!*

I flew half way across the globe to sit by this woman's bedside. This beautiful, exceptional woman. I sat there, terrified I'd hear a hitch in her breathing. Terrified to leave her side in case she called out in pain. Terrified she'd never call out at all. Ever again.

And she comes back and I give her a gift of a pen.

Ok, I know, its kind of a special pen. But hey "You almost died. I realised your the most important thing in my life. I'm an undeserving shmuck for taking you for granted all these years. Here's a .... PEN?!?!"

Sometimes I wonder if I'm not the stupidest gomer in D.C.

I go home and collapse on the sofa and get a hard-on in the dark watching C-Span whenever any small thought of her filters through my exhausted brain.
I find myself staring at the small of her back, the tilt of her head as she types away, unaware, in the bullpen and I'm peering over the Washington Post that I'm not reading. Then she turns to smile and launch into one of her babbling tirades about something or other and I look away, look at the floor, start pacing down the corridor or bumble towards the coffee machine mumbling about Senators I despise so I don't look like I've been gawking at her like a dumbstruck teenager.
I wake up in cold sweats not remembering my dreams but knowing she was in them, touching me, allowing me to please her, wanting me.
I hate Sundays. Not so much because I'm an insufferable workaholic - ok, I am - but because it's the one day I really haven't got a reason to call on her - national emergencies aside - to see her, to wake her up at six a.m by phone and start yakking on about policy and speeches and absurd situations we're going to face together throughout the day. She's out shopping, or jogging, or sitting at home reading magazines, or catching a movie with friends, or I don't know. And that's the problem. I want to know. I want to take her shopping. I want to jog beside her. I want to be in that damn movie theatre with her being anything but her damn boss.

Did I say I wanted to take her shopping?

Yeah... I must be cooked.

So I'm sitting in my office, staring - again - at this gorgeous, funny, brilliant woman who I just spent a week sitting beside on an uncomfortable chair in a military hospital reeking of antispectic, bad food and - I'm pretty sure - that metallic smell of blood that makes me gag. I've held her hand, stroked her hair, whispered reassuring words into her ear, slept with my head resting against her thigh, watched her cry from pain or fear of the operation, stayed up 72 hours waiting for results of surgery and now I'm standing here like a duck with a broom up its ass unable to do or say anything much beyond

"thanks for not dying, here's a pen, I don't want to take you for granted... mumble, mumble..."

And I want to kick the office door shut, take her in my arms, kiss the oxygen out of her and surgically graft her against my body. I, Josh Lyman, am completely nuts about Donna Moss.