Title: And so, we slept
Author: Robin Grady
Spoilers: Post Ep for Election Day II
Disclaimer: I own nothing. I just borrow them every now and then.
Archiving: Sure. But please tell me where.
Feedback: The more the better.
A/N: This is my first try at 1st person Donna.
It was a few minutes before Josh noticed me standing in the doorway. I watched as he added the electoral votes from Nevada, and retabulated the count, which seemed like a very normal, Josh-like thing to do, but then he walked over to the corkboard of newspaper clippings. I knew Leo was well represented in photos there. Josh stood staring at the board for a while. I decided not to interrupt, but I couldn't bring myself to leave either. So I just stood watching him have this very private moment. Finally he said something softly to the large picture of Leo at the top. I couldn't hear what it was, but when Josh finally turned around and saw me standing there, he had tears welling up in his eyes. He caught my gaze briefly, then looked down, crossing over to the computer bank, and sitting in a chair.
That was my cue. He was done with his private time, and needed comfort. I walked over to him. He had laid his head on top of his hands on the desk. I began to knead his shoulders gently. As usual, they were one big knot. I searched for something to say, not wanting to bring up what I had just witnessed.
"Santos is just finishing up downstairs."
"I don't want to go down there."
He sat up. "They're all so happy. It's like they forgot already."
"No one's forgotten. But this is a monumental day--"
"--They'll just move on. A new VP will be nominated and everyone will view this as a said circumstance that THANKFULLY WASN'T BAD ENOUGH TO COST US THE RACE!" His voice jumped an octave as he said the last part, and he stood up and stalked away from me, back to the corkboard.
"Josh…" I began, not knowing quite what to say, as I walked over to him. He was leaning into the corkboard, holding the top so tightly his knuckles where turning white. This was turning into a small PTSD moment, and I sought to nip it in the bud before it escalated.
I lay my hand on the small of his back. "Deep breath." He did as he was told. "Again." I held my hand in position so that I could feel him comply. "One more…good."
He stayed hunched over, but he'd calmed and was breathing steadily against my hand.
"You finished the board." That was safe enough.
"We did it. It still doesn't seem real. We did it."
He shook his head. "We couldn't have gotten this far without Leo."
"Now we just have to be glad he taught us as much as he did. Josh, we've all learned so much on this campaign. You really stepped up to the plate, and Leo was proud of you. He was so proud of you."
Josh looked up at me, his eyes filling with tears. "I know," he choked, before looking away again. He fought his tears back. "I know." Josh brought his hand up to touch the picture of Leo. "I thanked him for it, just before you came in."
"I watched," I admitted. I couldn't lie about it. He'd seen me standing there just after.
"You did?" He seemed surprised, but not upset.
"Yeah. I walked by the doorway and saw you at the whiteboard. I didn't say anything, you looked like you needed that moment."
"Then, when you turned around, you saw me, so I…"
"Yeah." We were silent for a moment. He ran his fingers through his hair and yawned. "God, what time is it?"
"6:30am. We've been up for 27 hours now."
Josh nodded in disbelief. "It's been quite a day."
Indeed it had. I don't think I'd ever gone from such elation to such grief, with swings back to happy, in one day. "You should get some sleep."
He let me lead him out of the war room by the hand, to the elevator. We stood silently, listening to the horrible Muzak, then walked down the hall to his room. There was a pause while he fished around in his pocket for his room key. This was the moment I'd been dreading. Did I assume I was spending the night with him? I wanted to. I certainly wanted to, but this wasn't just an ordinary question of a second evening together after a first hook up. Not that it had been just a hook up… It was complicated. I didn't know if he needed to be alone, to process this evening's events himself.
I must have been telegraphing my confusion, because when I looked up, his eyes met mine quickly, and he gently pulled me into his room.
He crossed over to the bed and sat down. "We both need some sleep."
I nodded, and moved to the window to close the drapes against the sun that was already starting to peek in. Josh hadn't moved.
"Come on," I coaxed, pulling him to his feet and beginning to unbutton his blue shirt. He had a very uncertain look on his face, and pulled away slightly to remove his own pants. "I'll be right back," I announced.
I went into the bathroom to rinse what was left of my makeup off of my face. I took off my shirt and pants, and suddenly I knew what he was hesitant about. He wanted to sleep, and didn't know how to express that that was all that he wanted right now. His T-shirt from earlier was folded on the counter, undoubtedly put there by housekeeping after he had left it on floor. I put it on, and went back into the main part of the room.
He had crawled under the covers in his boxers, I assumed, because they were not on the floor in the heap of his shirt and trousers. He gave me a half smile of recognition as I appeared in his shirt. I turned off the light and climbed in, facing him. In an instant, his arms were around me, holding me close to him. I scooted even closer, wrapping my arms around him, and sliding me knee through his. We were as intertwined as we could get without actually being joined. This was actually far more intimate than either time we'd had sex earlier. The first time was all fire and fury. Hot and passionate, and really, really good, but I wouldn't describe it as intimate. The second was a stress relieving quickie, well needed by both of us at the time. But was certainly not intimate, but rather matter of fact, and efficient. God, did I just use the word 'efficient' to describe sex? With Josh? But that's what it was. I knew exactly what he needed when I offered him a little "or..something", and I accomplished it.
This embrace, this was intimate. It didn't matter that we still had clothes on. It was closer than we'd ever been. I could feel his heart beating against the side of my face, and he squeezed me tightly, inhaling as he breathed me in. And so, we slept.