Title: Wednesday Afternoon
Author: A.j.
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers: Up through season 6, but mostly just knowledge of the candidates and that Bob Russell is running for President.
Notes: Okay THIS is actually the story I'd meant to have done for Celli for Christmas, but it languished and sucked, and got rewritten and languished some more. And then I was supposed to write something else, and got caught up finishing this. More speculation future-fic, in which Bingo Bob wins.

Summary: It wasn't perfect, but it was working. It was them.


Josh was playing with her stress ball. Feet on her organized work space, staring at her ceiling, and doing destructive things to the bright blue plastic ball CJ had given her the last day of Josiah Bartlet's administration. It'd been surprising how useful the damn thing had become.

Six months in, and she had a huge new appreciation on how much the Senior Staff had managed to keep away from the assistants in terms of stress and stupidity. Who knew Josh had actually been shielding her when he went to beat up on congressmen.

And senators. God, she hated senators.

Eventually, she was just going to have to break down and send Sam that fruit basket she kept promising. Who knew being a deputy in the communications department was going to be so hard? Oh, right. Will. She still needed to kick his ass about that.

But first, she needed to find out why Josh was being a pest. And why he had her stress ball.

"Josh Lyman, as I live and breathe." She hadn't meant for that to sound as condescending as it came out.

"Donna Moss," he grinned up at her ceiling before dropping his gaze to her. He looked good. Relaxed. The semi-private sector was doing good things for him. It was nice seeing him without quashing some sort of urge to rush him home to bed for a long nap. "How goes the administration of Bingo Bob?"

"The people elected him, Josh. They don't think he's stupid. And I hired you, so get your feet off my damn desk." Three quick steps and she had his ear between her thumb and forefinger. Strange how natural that still felt.

"Ow, ow, ow!" The heels came off the desk as he tried to bat her hands away. "Could you not rip that off?"

Releasing him, she propped her hip on the edge of her desk and glared down. "Why are you in my office, Josh?"

Had she been in a better mood – three senators, four hours, a budget meeting on education reform, and too much coffee later – she might have laughed at his offended face. Instead, she just crossed her arms and glared back until he sighed and scooted her chair back a bit.

"Okay, if ritual abuse is going to be part of the whole 'freelance consultant' gig, can I quit now?"

"You have the data already? I just gave it to you on, like Monday!"

"And I have so much other work to occupy my time since my candidate lost and everything."

She softened a bit there. Lord knows he'd fought harder and longer for Matt Santos than anyone had expected. It had eventually come down to the details. Matt hadn't wanted it enough, hadn't been ready enough.

In the end, Matt Santos hadn't been Josiah Bartlet.

She ran a sympathetic hand down his shoulder and smiled as some of the flatness behind his eyes disappeared. Her next words were light at teasing. "Hey, at least the democrats kept the White House."

Josh stretched under her hand and cocked his head before waggled his eyebrows and leaning back hard in her desk chair. He honked her stress ball at her and tugged lightly on the hem of her skirt. "Yeah, well, considering their other option, Bingo Bob was better than nothing."

"Hey!"

Why was the Greenway file on her desk? She'd told Katie that had needed to be filed... and the post-it on top said she couldn't figure it out. Damn, she needed to have a long talk with Joe about his incomprehensible filing system. Who put Military Intelligence under 'I'? "Bob Russell will be a good president."

"That has yet to be proven. But, arguing politics with you is not why I'm here. Nor is dropping off your file."

That stopped her desk perusement cold. Turning slowly, she tried to gage how loud she'd have to yell to get the secret service in here and take this imposter down. "Who are you, and what have you done with Josh Lyman?"

"Haha, funny girl."

"Josh, the only time you don't feel like arguing politics is if you're sick, and violently so, or plotting something."

"Well, pick door number three, Donna my dear." Josh held up a different dark blue folder with a presidential seal on the front. "I come at the bidding of our illustrious leader. Turns out you need assistance with Gleeson."

If it wouldn't have completely undermined her professional work demeanor, she would have thrown herself at Josh and given him thank-you oral sex right there. She hated senators right now. Passionately. Not that the oral sex required the senatorial hate.

Something must have shown because the amusement stamping across Josh's face was positively devious. That needed to end.

"It really burns you that I'm going to be your boss, doesn't it?" she grinned.

Josh grinned – evilly - back and dropped the folder on her desk. "Of course not. I have great respect for women in power."

"So help me, if you mention my equipment, I'm having you banned from the building," she growled and stuck her tongue out at him. Okay, so she was five. Nothing wrong with that. Happily, she edged around her desk and dropped herself in his lap, twinning both arms around his neck and leaning her forehead briefly against his. When she pulled back, he was smiling a little brighter. One hand was resting comfortably on her knee while the hand holding the stress ball was rubbing up and down her back. She stretched into his hands and hummed happily.

"Now see, right there? I think I'm feeling the first swell of resentment."

Donna snickered and pinched his cheek. "I find it hugely endearing that you're more worried about getting kicked out of my office than being unable to mention my equipment."

His hand advanced higher on her thigh, feeling warm and solid and good through the fabric of her skirt. "Well, you know. I have this mean lady threatening to kick me out and then molesting me. Isn't that slightly unfair somehow...?"

"Aww, is Joshie having a bad day?" She pouted playfully and relaxed a little more into his lap. Gently, she started running her nails over the skin on the back of his neck. Another interesting fact she'd learned in the last six months; relaxing Josh relaxed her. Funny how she hadn't figured that out before. Well, no one ever accused her and Josh of being quick learners in regards to each other.

"Joshie is getting harassed by his boss."

"Say that again."

"Joshie is getting harassed by his boss," he parroted, slipping his fingers just under the back of her skirt. If she wanted any professional demeanor, she was going to have to make him stop visiting her in her office. Except that she was kinda his boss. Oh, the irony. Ah, well. The door was closed, and anyone who didn't know what a closed door to her office meant was stupid or had obviously just been hired.

"I love that I can do that to you," she whispered into his ear before nibbling on the lobe a little bit.

He made a lovely little growling noise before leaking back and kissing her on the nose. His eyes were twinkling. "You have staff in five minutes."

She groaned and stuck her tongue out at him. "So, the teacher becomes the student, huh?"

"Seeking to control you is the lifeblood of my new existence." Gently he dislodged her and eased her to her feet before standing himself.

"Well, make sure to shake your ass when you go get me coffee, baby!"

"You know I could always file-"

"Three words, Josh. East German barmaid."

Laughing, Josh scooped up the Presidential file folder of her desk and smacked her gently on the ass with it. "I'm not bringing you coffee."

"It'd look damn funny if you did, Mr. Consultant. Now, where's my brief again?"

He smiled and pointed back at the folder he'd left on her desk before throwing her door open and moving out into the bullpen, all the while snickering at her. Okay, she'd known that.

So what if this thing with her and Josh wasn't perfect? It was working. She was happier than she'd ever been. Yeah, he was still pretty depressed, and they had to juggle their psychological appointments, job-related travel, and the general craziness of DC just to get fifteen minutes alone together. But this was them. And this was them better. And really? That was all she could hope for.

Except...

"Get back here and drop the stress ball, Josh!"

fin-