Title: Shaping the Day 1/1

Companion Episode: Tomorrow

Summary: "My mind has been buzzing with how this day is going to shape since I woke up"

Disclaimers: Not mine. Not at all.

Feedback: please oh please

I promised I wasn't getting out of bed until 6:15. Sleeping in I think was the term that was used. Like I've been sleeping… not since about 2 A.M. I feel Donna's warm hand on my back and shoulder, and here's the best part...I don't have to come up with some crazy-assed reason to phone her and wake her up just to hear her husky sleep- drenched voice first thing in the morning.

I roll over, and her eyes are the color of June sky.

She reaches out and brushes her fingers against my cheek.

"Did you get any sleep at all?" she asks.

"Yeah.. .a little… after.. .you know...You?"

"Some. …On and off…. I feel like the first day of school… all nervous and excited. And a little worried 'cause my best friend's in a different class." She smiles tremulously, and I pull her closer so I can kiss her gently.

"It's not the first day of school, Donna.. It's graduation day." I take a deep breath. "It'll be good. We can do this….We have Sam and Annabeth…and we have each other."

And score one for me, I've said the right thing because she wraps herself around me in a full contact hug and whispers, "I love you," into my ear. Unfortunately that's when she sees the clock, and the next thing I know she's standing by the bed in her dressing gown, running through the schedule for the day, and even though I'm wide awake and my mind is already in overdrive, there's a little part of me that just wants to curl up in bed with her and… well never mind. That was never really going to happen this morning anyway.

I'm just barely listening, because my mind has been buzzing with how this day is going to shape since I woke up, but I do hear her say, "You can have the first shower… I'll make coffee."

As I head towards the bathroom a thought strikes me.

"Donna?" I call "You're not making decaf are you?

She puts her head around the corner from the kitchen.

"Are you making this coffee?"

"Nn nno." I say slowly.

"Well when you are the one making the coffee, then you will have the right to determine exactly what kind of coffee it is." And then she smiles really sweetly and I shut up, because I really do know when to stop. Well mostly. Because I do sort of mutter "I'll just get a red bull later…" which was probably an error on my part.

"I don't think so… Sam and I have made an executive decision."

"You are not part of the executive branch!"

"Well Sam is, and it's been decided. Rule # 5."

"There is no rule number five!" I protest.

"I just added it."


"I'm serious Josh. You're already pumping enough adrenaline to run a marathon; you don't need to add caffeine to that energy rush. I want you back here tonight."

So I guess I don't know when to stop because the next words out of my mouth are, "How're you going to know?" and she just looks at me. It's her pity look… like I'm a moron. Well it was kind of a stupid question… she always knows. "I'll just have my shower now," I say, heading into the bathroom.

"Probably for the best" she says. Now what the hell is that supposed to mean?

I love showers. I always have. On a cold D.C. morning a hot shower feels like a little tiny tropical holiday. It used to drive my father crazy… using all that hot water. Hey, at fourteen I regularly ran the hot water tank out. We clashed over many things, my father and I, government, law, Hebrew school, Bernstein and Woodward and the role of the press but far and away the most contentious issue for us was the hot water bill. Got better when I went to college and no longer showered at his expense. I swear to God I will never argue with my kids over the hot water bill….. oh crap!.... Where the hell did that thought come from…..? This is what comes of sleepy voices, blue eyes and hair like silk. I need to focus, 'cause this really is going to be a full day. I turn down the hot water… partly so there's some left for Donna… partly because… well I really need to focus on the day.

We're starting with what's essentially a combined senior staff briefing session, and it'll all go like a freight train from there until the last of the Inaugural Balls…. And god, this evening I want nothing more than silence from Kazakhstan, a timely motorcade, and a chance to dance with Donna … at least a couple of times.

I'm nearly finished shaving when the wave of grief for Leo hits. It mostly takes the form of wondering what this day was like for him eight years ago. For Sam, Toby, CJ and I this day was all grand adventure and great things to be accomplished. We were all as high as kites with anticipation; Leo was the guy holding the string. Somehow I don't think I'll ever have that kind of gravitas. I want him here so much. I hope he's somewhere playing a little poker with my dad and enjoying a glass of some extremely expensive single malt.

I'm going to have one last pass at getting CJ to stay, but really that ship has already sailed. I know it, and she knows it, and I'm pretty sure Danny would hunt me down and kill me if I did manage to convince her.

"Josh? Are you nearly done?"

I open the door as I finish wiping my face with a towel.

"Did you come to some kind of terms with yourself?" she says. And I thought I was just having a shower. Apparently not…..Showering as therapy…. Who knew?... Obviously Donna…

I look straight into her eyes and say, "It's the most important day of our lives."

She just smiles that little half smile that she uses when she knows more than I do, hands me the mug of coffee she's holding, kisses me gently on the mouth, says, "So far," and slides past me into the bathroom.

And I'm left leaning against the wall in the hallway, with my brain on overload, and a whole slideshow of possibilities flashing through my mind.