Title: You Know What Thought Did
Summary: Josh and Donna discuss her plans; she thought one thing, he thought another and you know what thought did.
Spoilers/Episode: Set pre-administration, but general spoilers up to season 3.
Characters: Josh and Donna (friendship)
Disclaimer: They all belong to Aaron Sorkin, NBC, John Wells and many others who aren't me.
Donna surveyed the room and smiled sadly. She was really going to miss all this. She saw Josh and Sam laughing and fooling around, with Toby watching indulgently while pretending to disapprove. The Governor, now the President, and Abbey were standing with their daughters. Leo was sat with Jenny, smiling and watching the fun. Donna sighed, she was going to miss them all.
"Hey, cheer up. We won," CJ laughed.
"I know and I am cheerful, but it's sad as well," Donna replied.
"Because all this," Donna waved at the room full of happy people, "is going to end."
"Yeah, I suppose," CJ said. "But the whole point was to win. Now we won't have to travel around on crappy buses. We get Air Force One. We get nice offices, hopefully. Mind you we also get very long hours and crap pay, but still. We won." CJ grinned and headed off to talk to Margaret.
"Hey, what's wrong?" Donna hadn't seen Toby walking over to her.
"I'm going to miss everyone."
Toby looked confused. "You going somewhere?"
"Yeah, I suppose it's time to catch up with your family. You must have missed them," Toby said. "Oh God, he's seen me, I'll talk to you later," he said, and walked over to Jed.
Donna picked up her coat and walked outside. The air was biting after the heat of the party, but she couldn't pretend to be happy anymore. She was happy that they'd won. Jed Bartlet was a good man and he would make an excellent President. She just couldn't bear the thought that that was it. Josh, Sam, CJ, Toby, Leo, Margaret and Governor Bartlet are all going on to their new jobs. They'd just pulled off one of the biggest surprises in US political history. Tonight was their night. A party for the campaign staff, before the plans for the inauguration and government began. But for her there were no plans. She'd joined the campaign because she needed something different to do, a new direction in her life. Now it was over and she was directionless again. She had thought of re-enrolling at college once the election was over. Now though she couldn't muster any enthusiasm for college, or for living back with her parents.
"Hey, Donnatella," a familiar voice said from behind her.
That was something else she was going to miss. Everyone who ever used her full name made it sound patronizing. Coming from Josh though, it was an endearment. "Hey, Joshua," she smiled.
"Why you hiding out here?" he asked, sitting down next to her.
"Just needed some air," she frowned, "as do you. How much have you had to drink?"
"Only two or three beers. I'm fine."
"If you say so," she smiled indulgently.
"So have you decided where you're going to live then?" he asked.
'Great,' she thought, 'no beating round the bush eh, Joshua, straight to the point of why I'm miserable.' Donna sighed, "I'll probably stay with my parents for a while."
Josh looked confused. "Won't that be a long way to commute?"
"Not really, only about 30 minutes."
Now he was very confused. Maybe Donna was right and he shouldn't drink at all. "I'm sorry, where do your parents live?"
"Okay, that's what I thought," he looked at her like she was a little crazy. "And you can get in, in 30 minutes?"
He frowned, "Did you invent warp drive and you didn't tell me?"
"What have you been drinking?" Donna asked, grabbing his beer bottle for a look.
"Let's start again," he said, taking his bottle back. "It's a 30 minute drive from your parents house?" he asked.
"Yes," she said, "unless the traffic's bad."
"Madison, Wisconsin?" Bewilderment was now starting to set in.
"Yes, Josh," Donna sighed. "It takes about 30 minutes to drive from my parents house in Madison Wisconsin, to the University."
"The University Of Wisconsin."
"You're going back to college?" he asked, stunned.
"I thought I should finish my degree."
"Oh. Okay then." Now he sounded hurt and it was Donna's turn to be confused.
"What did you think I'd do now that this is all over?"
"I thought... I dunno..... I mean, if you want to finish one of your majors then I suppose you should. But I thought...... Never mind." He looked down at the beer bottle.
"I thought you'd still be my assistant," he said quietly.
"Really? You want me to carry on working for you?" Donna asked in surprise.
"Yeah," he said sadly. "I'm sorry I just assumed...... I thought you enjoyed it."
"I do. But I thought that you'd be getting an assistant from within the White House pool. Isn't that how it works?"
"I don't really know, which is worrying if I'm going to be Deputy Chief Of Staff. You know I should probably learn some of that stuff." He put his half drunk bottle on the ground. "I think I'm allowed to choose my own assistant, my own staff even."
"Don't assistants at that level tend to have some kind of government experience and possibly a degree?"
"Yes, normally. But I want you. I wouldn't have got through the campaign without you. You're the only person who's ever worked for me who can organize me and doesn't take any crap off me." He smiled sheepishly. "I know I'm hard to work with at times, most times in fact," he looked at her and smiled a little. "That's where you're suppose to say, 'No Josh, you're great to work for.'"
"Yeah right," Donna laughed.
"I like working with you." He turned to face her, "You were right you know."
"I do find you valuable."
"Really?" Donna smiled.
"I'll think about it then."
"You'll think about it?" he asked.
"I'll let you know."
"When?" he grinned.
"Now," she grinned back. "I'd love to be your assistant."
"Excellent," his smile lit up his face.
"What about Leo?"
"Leo's got Margaret," Josh said and Donna punched him. "Oww, there's no need for violence! Leo already thinks you're staying. When we discussed staff, you were on the list. I think Leo and The Gov, sorry President," he smiled happily as he said that, "were relieved that there'd be someone to organize me."
"Come on," Donna stood up and smiled. "Lets go back to the party then. Suddenly I've got a lot to celebrate."