A/N: I hope you all like this! Its my procrastination of my art assesment. Rather nifty waste of time, so please review it so I feel less guilty! A Donna and Josh Post Ep to Inauguartion Part 2 : Over There
Toodles, Jess xXx
Everyone remembers it as a good night.
The President remembers it as the beginning of his second term.
Sam remembers it as the first in a long list of nights that he wasn't there for.
Toby remembers it as the night that one of his best speeches was recieted, the night he made his own piece of history.
Leo remembers it as the beginning of a new era, and the result of the impossible.
Will remembers it as the most amazing, overwhelming night of his life.
Charlie remembers it as the night he watched the girl he loved dancing with a handsome French man.
I remember it as the night I almost slept with Josh Lyman.
I've always wondered what Josh remembers it as.
It's impossible to attend nine balls with open bars and not come home a little liquored up. This was a given- the toasts alone would have you a little dizzy.
I wasn't, however, that bad. Not so bad that I couldn't control myself, anyway. Not as bad as a few people. Ginger and Bonnie were much worse than I was, and Josh and I had fun watching them chat up a different suit at each party, giggling more and more brazenly with each new ballroom.
I retained all sense of dignity. As it happened, Josh and I were the last the leave the last ball- which was perfectly acceptable, seeing as I was the last to arrive at the first.
Cj, Toby, Sam and the others had disappeared as the evening wore on, and we found ourselves standing on the front step of a ballroom in Washington much later than we had anticipated. The snow was coming down faster and thicker now. I was freezing, even through my coat, and I raised my eyebrow quizzically at Josh. He knew what I was asking.
He had stayed at my place before- he usually just slept on my couch when he couldnt get home, or was too tired to get home, or two snowed in to get home. I'd do the same at his, esspecially when the place we were leaving and returning to was the White House.
Josh got that weird look on his face, like he thought I was only asking out of politeness, his eyes getting rounder and his forhead shortening. I rarely see that look on his face- hes usually so agrogant that he doesnt care. But he was still nervous, I think, about earlier. He'd been pretty mad at me, that day, because of my covering for Jack.
"Sure." I said, grinning, as though he had thought of the idea himself. "I doubt you could get home in this anyway."I said, nodding towards the sky and smiling. Josh hailed a cab, and wrapped his arm around me, bending his head against the snow and ushering me for its door, running though the flakes as we escaped the safety of the awning.
We got in the cab, and I sat on the opposite side to him, and laughed, not quite sure what I was laughing about. I was sober, but not so sober I knew what was funny.
Josh just laughed back. I'm not sure if he got the joke that I didn't- I wasn't sure how that was possible, seeing as I made up the joke myself, but as long as he was laughing I really didn't care.
"So." I said, smiling as I straighted out the creases in the skirt of my dress, before looking up at him. "Ready for another four years?" I asked, knowing the answer.
"Oh Yeah." Josh replied, closing his eyes and messing up his hair unconsiously.
I laughed again. This time I actually knew what I was laughing at. I flatened the front of his hair just a little.
"Here, you mucked it all up."I said, through chortles. Josh smiled, and I realised a little too late that my hand was reluctant to leave his face. Forcing myself, I withdrew it quickly.
"Are you ready for another four years?" he asked me, smiling. He already knew the answer.
"No. One term of your twisted sense of humour is definitely enough."
Well, he would have known the answer, had I given him a straight one.
I opened the door to my apartment, and didn't even think about the mess that lay on the other side. Usually my place was relatively neat, but seeing as I had left the house spontaneously in response to snowballs I hadn't had time to pack up everything that was laying about. And I had been in quite a mood. The Tv was still on, and The Way We Were sat paused right at the last scene. A book lay open on the couch and the stereo in the corner was still on, as were all the lights. There were a bunch of papers lying on the table as well. It looked horrible.
Not that I cared what Josh would think about it. Compared to his place the whole apartment was rather immaculet. Last time I had been there I had made him let me arrange his cds in alphabetical order, just to instill some sanity in the place, even if it was only in the corner of the living room.
Josh, however, beamed when he saw it.
"Well well well." he said, striking around the room with his irritatingly attrative swagger and giving me a smirk which I returned wittingly. "Well well well."
"I'm sorry I dont clean up before I stop people trying to break my window." I sneered, good naturedly. Josh had a proud look on his smiling visage. "What?" I asked. It didn't drop off.
"What?"I asked again, reluctantly.
"I'm sorry I dont clean up before I stop people trying to break my window Wild Thing." he replied, throwing himself down on my couch. I threw a cushion at him, rolling my eyes.
I walked into my room to get changed . The dress was starting to annoy me, having worn it all night.
Josh's voice echoed after me.
"How are you able to read a book write a letter listen to music and watch a movie at the same time? I mean I get that women can multi task, but-"
"I was easily distracted!"I called back, before walking back out, wearing the massive sweater that I always wore to bed and carrying a blanket and pillows for Josh to use on the couch.
"So you weren't multi tasking? Maybe you're not a woman-" I threw all the bed clothes on top of him, and a muffled 'sorry' was all that emitted from the pile.
Josh's head emerged.
"Thanks for letting me crash."he said, no longer being an idiot. I shrugged.
"No problem." I replied.
Our eyes locked into place the way they had done more times than was normal tonight- it happened once in a while. We'd look at each other, and it was like we both wanted to say something that we knew we shouldn't, but it didn't matter, because we both knew that we both wanted to say something we shouldn't. It was the fine line between being friends and being colleages and being whatever the hell it was Josh and I are. It happened all the time, but tonight they were astonishingly frequent, so much so that it was frightening.
Maybe it was because this was the first time in years that both of us had been totally unattatched at the same time. There was Cliff, and then Cliff became Amy, and Amy became Jack, and we've had no time to breathe let alone look at each other. But tonight. Tonight was strange.
In a good way.
After a few moments I made myself look away.
"Night."I said, before heading into my room. I let my eyes closed, still imagining the exact hue of Josh's eyes, which is a horrible thing to admit to imagining when the person your thinking about is your best friend, and they're probobly not thinking the same thing.
I didn't think I'd see him until morning.
I was wrong.
I dont know what time it was when I felt someone shake me lightly, and startle me awake. At first I thought that it was just a part of my dream, someone playing with my hair, and then rubbing my arm, and then, finally, shaking my arm gently. Finally, I felt the weight shift in my bed, and I opened one eye. Josh was sitting in front of me, a piece of paper rattling in his hand.
"Go sleep..." I murmured at him, in my groggy state.
"Donna, what is this?"he asked, sounding serious, though at the time I was too drowzy to sense the tone. I growled, and narrowed my eyes.
"At the moment, if I had to guess, I would think it was a sign that said go back to sleep." I rumbled, and closed my eyes again.
"Donna."he continued. By now I was a little awake. Awake enough to realise that Josh Lyman was in my bed, which was very very odd considering I had gone to sleep thinking about his eye colour, and that he was worried about something, which was also kind of concerning.
So I sat up slightly, and blinked at whatever it was he had in his hand. Then I groaned, and sunk back down into the pillows slightly.
"Oh nooooo." I moaned, wanting to go back to sleep, hoping that him finding my resignation letter was all a dream.
"Donna are you..."
"No!"I replied, suddenly. "No, Im not, it was just this afternoon, I knew that if that quote had come from me it would be wise if I..."
"You were going to resign for him?"
"No! I didnt expect it to be that...I though you would have worked it...I didnt expect to have to use the..."I deflated. There didnt really seem to be reason beneath my logic. Josh's summation was pretty much on track.
Josh moved closer, his knees folded beneath him, his hands either side of me as he spoke.
"Donna I wouldn't have let you. As long as I have a job you have a job. Im not going to fire you, Im not going to let you...Im never going to want you to...I cant imagine a reason why I would ask you to..." he was stammering, and while in a fully conscious state I would have found a speechless Josh a little endearing, I was tired, and so I felt sorry for him.
"I didn't want to leave." I urged, feeling stupid for not throwing them out the moment we got inside. For writing them at all, really.
"I didn't want to resign Josh, I wasn't going to...But any other assistant would have been fired had they done that. Any other would have."I said, speaking the truth now. I looked him defiantly in the eye. Perhaps my sleepy disposition was strengthening my resolve. Or just making me incredibly stupid.
Josh opened his mouth and then closed it again. His eyes seemed smaller, and he wasn't smiling, but I could tell he wasn't upset with me anymore. He was wearing the same steely look I knew my face beheld, and it scared me. He wasn't meant to be as unaturally confident as I felt! That was much too dangerous at this point.
"Come on Josh, haven't you ever wondered?" I asked, feeling as though if I was awake enough to register that this was a real conversation I would be crying by now. "Haven't you ever wondered what would happen if I didn't work for you?"
There was silence, and I froze. The street light outside my window was the only light in the room, and I could hardly see Josh, but for a moment, when I realised that I had actually said what I'd said out loud- it wasn't a dream and I had no excuse for being so bold, I was terrified. And I stammered silently- my mouth gapping open and shut, before I closed it, basically to stop me from making any more stupid comments.
I thought for sure this would change everything, and not for a moment did I think it would change things for the better. My stomach was bouncing around telling me to do something, to move or leave, or apoligise, or to blame the drinks or the sleep or the weather, but nothing came, and so I just sat there, my eyes boring into his.
That was when he kissed me.
I'd imagined kissing Josh a lot of times before- whenever I let myself, really. This wasn't too often. I got too frustrated if I thought of him too much- but the kisses I had imagined were amazing, and they had nothing- nothing- on this. I was well awake now.
I moved my hands up behind his neck and we fell backwards into the cushions, his hands on my waist, and making their way up my back and into my hair. I was melting into him and his lips were leaving my lips- running along my cheekbones, down my neck, beneath my ear, along my collarbone. The edges of my mouth were turning up, and my hands were exploring his back, tangling in his erratic matt of hair. I opened my eyes at one point and found his pouring right into mine, just as I remembered them. It was really happening. This was really happening.
I was pulling his shirt up over his head, and he was holding my face in his hand. I'd never felt so safe in my life, and yet...
"Josh..." I whispered, when I knew I'd let us go for as long as we could. Josh knew exactly what I meant. He nodded, and kissed me one last time, his lips lingering longer on mine now, and a sigh escaping his when he pulled away.
"Yeah..." He replied.
I didn't move away from him. My arm was wrapped under his waist and my head was rested on his chest.
"Will you stay?" I asked, quietly. I felt him relax, and nod.
This time I didn't have to think hard at all to go to sleep imagining his eyes. And this time I didn't feel so guilty about it.
I woke up first the next morning, which made sense, seeing as I was the first to sleep. I found myself pleasently tangled in Josh, and allowed myself to pretend to still be sleeping for at least half an hour before moving out slowly and making my way into the living room. I turned on the coffee machine and cleaned up a little. The resignation letters went descisively in the trash.
Josh woke up, and stood leaning against the doorframe groggily, a regretful look on his face. Regret, I think, that we weren't talking about anything that had happened the night before, and rather sipping coffee seasoned with our regular banter.
We got dressed, and stood in the door way half an hour later, looking at each other. Josh opened his mouth as though he were about to say something, but I stopped him. It was for the best that we didn't speak about it. It was what we were used to.
"- Dont Josh." I said, quietly. "Its ok, really."
Then I smiled, and nudged him out the door.
"I'm ready for another four years now." I replied, and we traveled the familiar path to the White House.
A/N: Hope you liked it. I wish it could have a cute or happy ending, but I wanted it to just fit in with the flow instead of AU ing! Let me know what you thought of it! Please?