A Toast to Pandora

Author: TheRealMcCoy/Kimmie (Smiles4303@aol.com)

Rating: R

Distribution: Sure. Just tell me where.

Timeline: Mainly Season 5 (I played with the reality. Josh and Amy are together again and Angela Blake miraculously disappeared. Also, Sam is a new member of Congress.)

Summary: After a fateful night, Josh and Donna are forced to face their past, present and future. At the same time, both are consigned down a path of serious self-reflection, all aiming to finally decide what it is they want and whether the time is right. Never assume too much.

Disclaimer: The characters herein are the property of Aaron Sorkin. They are being used for entertainment purposes only and not for the sake of profit. No copyright infringement is intended. (But if you do want to send me money, feel free. Contact me at my email address, and we'll finalize the arrangements). Also, any quotes that I steal from any cultural setting are not meant to be used for any gain, but merely my admiration.

A/N: First of all, let me say hi to everyone. *wave* I wanna thank anyone who even reads this far down. I have to warn that this is my first time writing a fanfiction solo, so please bear with me. I've always wanted to write an Authors Note.

As cheesy as it sounds, I have a few people to thank. My biggest one goes to Holly. She's been my best friend, my editor, my pimp and taxi service. (She is a really big Buffy writer, so if you look for her, she is Holly4 and listed on my favorite authors page. She's one of the best authors I have ever read, even though you think I'm biased. Check her out. Especially if you like Spike.)

Sorry. I tend to ramble. I apologize and feel free to skip all this.

I want to warn that this story is very Josh and Donna centric. I love the whole cast, but I chose to focus on the two of them. I admit, as the story goes on, Sam also becomes a very important part. This is a drama/romance, but let me assure you that this prologue is anything but. As you read, I warn that this is not extent of my writing potential. With all this rambling said, I do hope you enjoy.

Prologue

Donna released a strangled sigh as she turned the knob to her apartment and walked across the threshold. The day behind her had been excruciatingly difficult and another was in store tomorrow. She slammed the door shut in symbolism of all the anxieties-work especially-that were on the other side. Then, with her last thrust of energy, she tossed her keys toward the coffee table. They hit the floor about two feet off their intended mark.

"Why am I not surprised?" she muttered to herself as she walked over to the sofa. With a grunt, Donna plopped down on the couch and reached for her feet. She was exhausted and knew the reason. Josh had been having an increasing number of meetings since they were gearing up for another Capitol Hill showdown and this meant that her hours were becoming more and more abnormal.

Midnight is when young single females come home from the club. Why is it when I come home from work?

Her current thoughts sidetracked her from the objective. The war to save her swollen feet went half won as she tossed a heel to the floor. She decided that a rest was needed before she battled the other and laid her head down on the arm of the sofa. "This is nice," she murmured to herself.

Donna was thankful that her roommate had informed her that she would not be home tonight. It felt more comfortable taking a few minutes to gather her bearings before heading off to bed. She released a more relaxed sigh as she fumbled toward the realm of unconsciousness.

It took several minutes for her to realize that the noise she was hearing was that of knuckles on wood. It took another minute to deduct that there was only one possible piece of wood that could be knocked on in her apartment, and it took a final minute before she realized that she would have to answer the door for the knocking to stop. With that, she stumbled sleepily to the front door and opened it without hesitation.

"Hi."

"Josh?" She felt the last throes of dreamland being swept away as she focused her eyes on the man standing before her.

"I was in the neighborhood." The excuse was lame, but she hadn't a reason why she wouldn't believe it.

"Come in." As he walked past her, she finally looked him over. She could have sworn that the fundraiser was last week, but there he was in his tux once again. He had his jacket in hand and was now standing in her living room with a striking resemblance to Fred Astaire. How she loved a man in suspenders.

She was pulled back to the situation at hand when she noticed that he was staring at her. "I know that this probably looks a little strange." He gestured at himself as he spoke.

"Yeah, but I understand that Bartlet likes white tie." She paused and studied him once more. "I think I prefer it too."

He blinked once before he caught her thought. "No. I meant me standing in your front room."

"That too." She rubbed her head. She still felt tired. "Well…why are you here?"

"I have something that I've been meaning to tell you, Donna. I thought that I could put it off like I have been doing for years, but tonight I realized that I couldn't. I wouldn't any longer."

This was bizarre. She had to ask. "Have you been drinking? Because I don't know exactly where the cats are, but I can find them if you want to yell at something. I just want to get some sleep."

"I won't keep you. I just want to say that I l-"

A knock at the door stopped his thought mid-sentence. She shrugged in apology as she went to the entrance. She was taken aback when Amy stood before her. "Can I help you?"

"Is Josh here?"

Donna nodded as she let the other woman inside. For an awkward moment the three stood looking at one another before Amy declared, "I'm thirsty. Anyone want a drink?"

"Sure," Josh replied. Even though his girlfriend had shown up, he was ready to make his declaration. "Why don't you get us something in the kitchen?"

Donna didn't know what possessed her, but she stated, "Follow. But! Follow only if ye be men of valor, for the entrance to this kitchen is guarded by a creature so foul, so cruel that no man yet has fought with it and lived! Bones of full fifty men lie strewn about its lair. So, brave knights, if you do doubt your courage or your strength, come no further, for death awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth."

"Where?" Josh asked in confusion.

"There," Donna said pointing to the door where a little white bunny hopped to the entryway.

"What, behind the rabbit?" Amy asked.

"It is the rabbit!" A knock on the door interrupted her. She went to the door and opened it.

"You silly sod," J. Edgar Hoover said in her face as before he turned and walked away.

"What?" Donna called to the door in utter confusion. Wasn't he dead?

"You got us all worked up," Amy pouted.

Donna shook her head and shut the door as she turned back to the people standing in her front room. "Well," she calmly retorted, "That's no ordinary rabbit."

"Oh," Josh and Amy replied in unison.

"That's the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on."

Josh was stammering now. "You tit. I soiled my armor…tux, I was so scared."

Donna pointed at the fluffy creature. "Look, that rabbit's got a vicious streak a mile wide; it's a killer!"

"Get stuffed," Amy snapped.

"He'll do you up a treat, mate," Donna warned.

"Oh yeah?"

"You mangy scots git!" Josh barked.

It seemed so natural that he would say those words, so she continued. "I'm warning you!"

"What's he going to do, nibble your bum?" Josh was laughing now.

Donna didn't find it funny at all. "He's got huge, sharp…eh…he can leap about… look at the bones!"

Josh doubted this highly, but he wanted Amy to go. "Go on, Amy. Chop his head off." He paused and added. "And get me a beer if she has any."

"Right," Amy beamed. "Silly little bleeder. One rabbit stew comin' right up!"

The next few seconds, Josh and Donna stared on blankly as the rabbit leaped out and latched onto Amy's throat, savaging her to death.

"I've done it again!" Josh squeaked.

"I warned you, but did you listen to me?" Now she had a messy kitchen and her roommate was going to be back in the morning. "Oh no, you knew it all, didn't you? Oh, it's just a harmless little bunny, isn't it? Well, it's always the same. I tell them-"

"Oh shut up!" Josh snapped. He still had a declaration to make.

Donna pouted a second before muttering under her breath, "Do they listen to me?"

Josh sighed and ignored his dead girlfriend and the rabbit still nibbling on her carcass. "Donna, I wanna say my peace. Then, I'll be on my way."

"Fine." She was impatient now. She had a messy kitchen and she knew that the police might need to be called about the whole death thing. She folded her arms across her chest and began impatiently tapping her foot.

"Donna, I just need to tell you that I am in l--" There wasn't a door knock this time, but a ringing of her phone.

Josh reached over and picked it up. "Hello?" A pause. "It's for you," He shrugged.

Donna took the receiver and placed it to her ear, but the voice and conversation quickly became a blur. She couldn't believe her ears. "Thank you," She stated as she placed the phone back on the cradle after several minutes.

"What was it?" Whatever the news, Josh could tell that Donna was beyond shocked. He was quickly at her side.

"That…that was the police. It seems that…" She had to take a moment to compose herself.

"What is it my darling?" Josh said taking her by the arm in a melodramatic fashion.

"Screech Powers was just elected to Congress."

They stood there and looked into each other's eyes for a long moment before simultaneously doubling over in laughter. That went on for several minutes before they abruptly ceased as quickly as they began.

"What are you doing here?" Donna asked once again.

"I have a declaration," Josh proudly stated.

"Well hurry up," Donna softly whined. "I have a kitchen to clean and I wanna watch Whose Line."

"Ok." Josh blinked. "Donna." He looked around for any distractions. When he believed the coast was clear, he continued. "Donna, I l--"

She didn't know what inspired her to be so bold but in seconds she had cleared the distance between them and had pressed her lips to his. The kiss they shared was indescribable pleasure.

"Josh?" Donna shakily panted several minutes later as they pulled one another to arms length.

"Yeah?" He looked upon her to see her blushing into his shoulder as she absently played with one of his suspenders.

"Take me, Josh," she lustfully stated, looking up to meet his longing gaze. "Take me."

"Donna?" He couldn't believe his ears. This was a dream come true.

"I want you," She panted. "I need you. Oh baby, oh baby." She couldn't believe the words were coming out of her mouth as she spoke them. As Josh swooped her up in his arms, she decided to shrug it off and go with it.

He carried her to her room, where he gently laid her on the bed. From there, he crawled between her legs and began lavishing her neck with his tongue. It took a moment, but soon Donna pushed him away from her lightly to have their eyes meet. "Josh? Didn't you have a declaration?"

He didn't care anymore. "It can wait," He simply stated before returning to her collarbone.

"Are you sure?" Donna said resisting his advance once more. "I mean, weren't you about to tell me that you l--"

"Donna." He was whining now. "Can I please just have sex with you now?"

She nodded and felt his hand ever-so-gently slide up her skirt between her thighs. She let a moan escape her lips as his fingertips brushed over her underwear. But the moan was nothing compared the one that shook her body as he took his fingers and slid them……..

"Donna?" She heard the voice again. "Don-na." She opened her eyes to see her roommate standing over her.

"Huh?" Was all she could manage to say. This wasn't fair.

"You better get going. It's 6:30. Don't you usually have meeting starting at eight or something?"

She blinked a few times before turning her head toward the window. As sunlight poured through the pane, she realized that Hell was starting all over again. And she was expected to show up at the gates on time.