Goodness! I've been gone forever, I'm so sorry. I of course have a million reasons, but the long and short of it is, study abroad experience is a lot to adjust to and I don't have the 7th season with me. Darn, so I'm doing a few more filler chapters and then I'll get my hands on the 7th over the holidays and beyond. Thanks for patience and please review if you have a minute.
Previously: Josh was angry with Donna for not passing on the news immediately that Amy was getting worse. Leo talks to Donna to try and help soften the hurt she's feeling so she can help Josh.
Summary: Donna and Josh sit in the same building both internally freaking out about very different things.
Getting a Grip
Okay I need to calm down, his response, "yeah I know," was fine. He didn't continue. HE was supposed to continue damn it! I don't know how I managed not to start crying. Actually I do, because my role now in his life, actually always has been, to stay strong. I am the backbone, Leo would probably confirm that. I stay strong while Josh's life is pulled in every direction. That was much easier when the professional relationship between us was clear. Now though, now I'm the support and I'm emotionally involved. I wouldn't have it any other way, but this is much harder than I thought. Basically he sees me much as he always has, while I'm free to dream about him in a way that I would have been embarrassed to in the very recent past.
Josh has always been my ideal. I know that's stupid, I do. I tell myself I am being stupid. But I can't help it! He was the one who teased me, who taught me so much, who looked out for me, who maybe even wanted me at times. From day one we were this team, he would go out and fight, I would provide back up. At first it was mostly my job to be on time, to schedule his appointments, answer his phone, run errands for him, keep his meetings running on time, follow up with visitors, research and write memos, organize his files and projects, every office task and then some. After a while I'd start showing up earlier and staying later, I wonder at times if the various men I dated hated the way I would almost always warn them I might have to go back to work. I think Josh would page me sometimes on purpose, but then I would show up and he'd have legitimate things for me to do. Well mostly. Other times I really think they could have waited.
Over time I became a silent emotional support, we didn't really have to talk to be personal in reality. It was just the companionship on late nights, or me being his sounding and venting board. Some of the things he has said, they are almost favorite quotes of mine. It makes me smile, but back to the pressing questions. Where do we go from here? How is Amy? When is she going to deliver? What role am I to play? Am I an emotional support, a figure in the child's life? I never ever imagined this would be how I would become a mother, ever.
I'm not really being fair to her. She's been so good to me for so long. Just because I'm overwhelmed doesn't mean she has to constantly be at the receiving end of all my crap. Leo would be shaking his head at me right now, and here he comes, speak of the devil.
"Josh," he's in my doorway, dressed down, for Leo anyways. He's got his hands in his pocket and that look.
"Hey Leo," I sit down in my chair wondering where my sanity went.
"She gone?" He doesn't need to say who.
"I hope not," hope that she's not really gone anyways.
"Josh you should be grateful that you probably wouldn't be able to get rid of her unless the sky came down," Leo's voice sounds gentle.
I glance up at him and he has this sympathetic look, for Leo, that's big.
"Leo," I know he
talked to her, "I didn't mean to."
"Yeah, I know," he doesn't make me say it, I would have though.
"I know she deserves
better," she does, much better than me.
"Naw," casual but sure, "she needs you more than any of them Josh, but she needs all of you."
That man is always right!
"Ok," I can do that, rubbing my face in my hands I stand up.
He is so lost and I can't seem to be helpful. If I try and protect him, it backfires, I guess I need to let him lead. He'll tell me what he needs. I'm so lost in thought I don't hear…
"Donna?" I spin around and he's standing in my door looking ill at ease. My heart leaps.
"Josh is everything okay?" Maybe he's heard bad news.
"Yeah, I mean I think
so, I haven't heard anything from the hospital," he pauses, "do
you want to come with me later?"
It's a small, but very significant step for him and I seize it with both hands.
"Of course," I have to stand up; I'm too edgy to sit.
He's not doing too well either and I know he has to want to be anywhere else, but he is here.
Being here in her office is hard. I don't do this well, but this is Donna. She knows how imperfect I am. I can admit that, I am far from perfect, but few people will ever hear me admit that. One of them is standing right here, but the thing is, she doesn't even need to hear it, we just both know it.
I have to do this though for her, for us. If we're going to have a future, she has to have my full attention right now. She was hurt earlier when I gave her nothing to go on, and while I'm under pressure here, that can't happen again. I don't hurt the woman I've loved for so long.
"Josh," she's giving me her gentle Donna look, her caring concerned look and I'm suddenly annoyed at myself. She's still worried about me, even though I've been such a jerk and hurt her. How could I possibly be such an idiot? Easy, I'm me. That may be something I do, but not to her, not anymore.
"Donna," I take a step closer because I have to do this well.
He took a step closer, voluntarily, that's unlike him. Josh's eyes are looking straight into mine, okay this is weird.
"Josh," I wonder if I should give him an out.
"Shush," he's looking at me carefully and it's freaking me out.
"Josh it can wait," and it can, I'm patient.
"You've waited long enough, too long, and it's not fair to you, to me, to us."
Then he talks, and not like Josh does normally, it's not humorous, demanding, edgy, and energetic, it's just Josh.
"Donna I've loved you for so long and I can't tell you in words really what you are to me. There are some things you have to feel, know and believe with every part of you. That's what you are to me. I know our relationship has been many things over the years, and I'm sorry I still haven't changed how I react to you. You deserve better, maybe better than me, but you see," and he breaks slightly looking down and drawing a breath, "I don't want you to be with anyone else, I want you to be with me and I'm not perfect, but I have you and I'm better with you Donna. You make me better. This baby is going to be the hardest thing I've ever had to do and I can't," he's crying now, a little bit, "I can't screw this up."
His eyes hold mine for a minute and I understand how deeply he feels responsible now. This is a baby's life, a human's life.
"This baby is going to call me dad," he smiles and my heart breaks, "and it's going to call you mom Donna, because that's what you are going to be, you're my angel, and I can't do this without you. You need to keep me from screwing this up," he is begging. Then he suddenly adjusts and takes both my hands, one in each of his and he looks up. "Mostly I love that you are there for me when I can't be there for myself, that you can always see the good in me even when I can't. Without your trust and faith I'd be nowhere, and that is something I know makes me able to do this with optimism that maybe I will be okay, maybe I can do this."
She's staring at me, tears running down her face and her smile is slowly spreading. I think I've said some of how I feel. Not everything, for one thing I can't voice it, for another it doesn't need to be said right now. It's just more of the same, how I can't live without her in my life and I wouldn't want to.
She's steadying herself and then she starts to talk and I think I would start to walk on air if I could.
"I love you damn it Josh, I do, I have for so long," she smiles and takes one of her hands out of mine to brush her tears off her cheeks, but I beat her to it. I gently wipe away the moisture and she continues on.
"Josh you're doing great with this and you're going to make an excellent father. I know why Amy chose you Josh, you may not yet, but I do, I always have. I thought that when I became a mother it would be because you and I were going to have a family together, but we are, we are still having a family. I love you so much Josh and I want you to want me in your life, in your lives," she hastily corrects and I nod understandingly, it is a weird concept to grasp. "I want to be the mother of this child, our child, and all of our other children," and I cut her off, I can't help it. She's telling me she's imagined our family for years; it makes my heart swell so big I wonder if it can still be in my chest. I can't resist her anymore, my lips grasp hers kissing her hard and long. I pull back, and whisper, "Sorry I just couldn't wait any longer, I'm so happy I'm walking on the clouds." She giggles and I grin, I love that giggle.
"Josh, I believe in you, I always have and I'm going to be here for you no matter what," and just like that things are going to be okay. If I have Donna next to me as a soul-mate through life, we're invincible.
"Looks like you two kissed and made up," Leo's faint smile makes Donna blush.
"Thanks," I grin.
He shakes his head moving on and I pull her into my arms.
He's holding me and suddenly I know what's going to happen in my life. He's here, we're together, I'm going to be a mother, he's going to be a father, and the rest is what we can make of it through thin and through thick.