Title: Puddle of Grace (1/?)
Beta'd by: Caitrin
Rating: T/PG 13
Fandoms: The West Wing & Felicity
Pairings: Josh/Donna, slight Julie/Ben, Zoey/Charlie, Abby/Jed, CJ/Danny, Josh/Carol Anderson
Setting: During early season 2 for both The West Wing and Felicity in 2000.
Summary: Julie Emrick goes on a search to find her biological father, Josh Lyman.
Note: Takes place mostly in The West Wing universe after Josh recovers from the Rosslyn shooting. Also, changed some of Julie's back story and some season 1 Felicity events didn't happen. I got the idea for this fic after remembering that Bradley Whitford played Julie's (Amy Jo Johnson) biological father. Jane Kaczmarek, Brad's wife at the time, played Julie's biological mother Carol Anderson. After being so disappointed that the Felicity writers weren't able to finish this storyline, this idea sprung to my mind. It's my way of having it play out like I wanted it to, and getting to write my first Josh/Donna fic as well.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters or the songs used. This is just a fan writing for other fans.
This had to be the craziest idea she had ever come up with. Her guitar case leaned slightly against her leg as the Greyhound bus kept inching closer to Washington, DC. That's where she knew he was: her birth father.
If you'd asked Julie Emrick three months ago where she would be now, she'd say she would be playing guitar and singing at the local bar, hanging out with her best friends Felicity Porter and Elena Tyler, trying to catch Ben Covington's eye even though their relationship had ended badly, trying to get Sean Blumberg to not like her anymore, and all the while preparing for her sophomore year at NYU. She was majoring in music, but trying to track down her birth mother at the same time.
Not that she didn't love her adoptive parents – she did completely and wouldn't trade her childhood for anything. However, something always felt missing. Julie didn't look like her parents, at least not exactly. Peter Emrick had really dark hair and green eyes. Lisa Emrick was blonde and had blue eyes. Julie Emrick's hair was light golden brown and her eyes were a rich shade of brown. She remembered staring into the mirror trying to imagine her birth parents' facial features, something she never told Peter or Lisa. She was just trying to find her place in the world. Wasn't that normal for every 20-year-old?
Last month was when things finally changed. It was May 15th, 2000: a day she'd never forget. It was the day she met her birth mom, Carol Anderson.
Carol worked at a New York law firm and was now married with two other small children. That fact was what really started tearing down Julie's opinion of what she thought her mother would be. Carol seemed rigid, like she wanted to forget everything that had happened. Julie couldn't understand, nor did she think she ever would. How Carol had never told Julie's biological dad about the pregnancy or Julie's adoption was the biggest shock. Carol wanted this secret and didn't even want Julie to find her father.
Sure, the woman looked like Julie's mother. She saw her nose, hair color, and certain mannerisms that had been passed down to her. Carol even told her she sang a little in college and that's how she met Julie's father. But her eyes weren't Julie's nor was her personality.
Julie was so sickened by her. There was no way she was going to stop trying to find her dad.
"Just give me his name and where he lives. I deserve to know who he is!" Julie remembered yelling.
Carol took a deep breath, sensing she was going to have to tell the truth. "Just please don't find him. I can't have my career and family, or his for that matter, go through this."
Julie was downright disgusted. "Don't worry. I'm not going to ruin your perfect little life."
Carol laughed. She actually laughed. "You don't realize how much of your father is in you." She paused before going on. "Your father's name is Josh Lyman. He lives in Washington, DC."
After finding that out, there was no way she was going to give up. She used NYU's computer lab to look into Josh Lymans in the DC area who would have originally been from Connecticut. Carol did say she had met Josh at Harvard, so it gave Julie something to look for. What she didn't expect was to find out her father worked in the White House as Deputy Chief of Staff to President Bartlet.
She went to the White House's website and found a picture of Josh. That's when she knew she'd found her dad. Her own eyes were staring back at her. Julie did more research and what she found scared her. Josh had almost died when he and the President were shot at Rosslyn a few weeks back. The news was everywhere about it, but she felt tears come to her eyes realizing now that it was her dad who had been shot. The latest articles said Josh was recovering at the hospital and was going to be released soon.
That's when Julie realized she had to find Josh and tell him everything. They deserved to find each other. She printed off his picture and some of the articles to find which hospital he was in. The next few weeks were crazy. Felicity and Elena thought she was nuts, but supported her in her quest. They helped her pack her things and get ready for the trip to DC.
"I'm always here if you need me," Felicity said as they hugged goodbye. Julie hated leaving her best friends behind, but it was time.
Relaxing more comfortably in the bus seat, she pulled out Josh's picture from her purse and smiled. "In a few hours I'll finally get to find you."
"DONNA! Do you still have those files I was supposed to look over for Leo?" Josh Lyman practically screamed from the hospital bed. He hated hospitals, mostly because that's where Joanie and Dad had died. It brought back too many bad memories.
After getting shot at Rosslyn, he was scared to find out he had almost died. Toby had told him he was out for a few days after the surgery, and he remembered seeing weird images. They weren't dreams, but flashes of some sort. He saw his parents, Joanie, the President, Leo, Sam, CJ, and Toby. But for some reason two people appeared the most: Donna and a little girl.
Donna was easy to explain, but he didn't want to admit it. He had always cared for her as not only his assistant, but as one of his best friends. Now, however, after waking up and seeing her tear-streaked face and learning that she never left his side, he knew it was something a lot more than friendly.
The little girl was a mystery. She was happy, dancing and singing "You are my Sunshine," with brown hair pulled in a ponytail. The girl looked similar to Joanie, but her eyes were different. More like his own.
He did tell Donna about the little girl, he just left out that part about her. Donna too thought it was Joanie and nothing to worry about. But still Josh couldn't get the image out of his head.
"You know I was trying to help you fill out paperwork to go home, but if you're fine here maybe we can get you an office in here." Donna came into the room, putting the stack of files on the tray for the food.
"Ha, ha. Just what I need – to stay in this hell hole." He looked at her with that annoyed look on his face that made her want to laugh and say how cute he looked when he was mad. But that was something you wouldn't say to your boss.
"All you have to do is sign in the places I marked for you," she said as she sat down on the side of the bed. "I'll take these back to Leo in a few hours."
He smiled as he got a few of the files and started signing. "Easy work, but I want to be back in the mix of things."
She watched him as he went to work, concentrating on certain lines he had to go read over. Donna was so grateful that Josh was here and alive. She wouldn't have been able to handle what might have happened. When Toby had told her about the shooting, she was so in shock. It was then she realized she had been in love with Josh this whole time.
Don't get her wrong: she never meant to for this to happen. Not like with Dr. Freeride, who had used her. She had been so careful not to let her feelings show for any man, especially her boss. But it didn't take long to fall for Josh. She had felt something since they first met on the campaign trail and she had hired herself. Josh was charming, funny, lively, and cute. But most of all he was a caring friend. There was no way she ever wanted to lose him. Great, now the tears were coming.
Josh looked up and saw tears welling in her blue eyes. He sat the files down to go back to later. "Donna, are you all right?" He reached for her hand and they interlaced their fingers.
Donna tried to make the crying stop, but it wasn't working. "I - I was just thinking, what would have happened if we - if I - lost you."
Josh's eyes softened when he saw how sad she was. He brushed some stray blonde hair behind her ear to better see her face. "God, Donna. You didn't lose me." He rubbed his thumb against her cheek. He whispered "I'm right here." She nodded and let out a gasp to get some air because she was out of breath from the crying. "I'm not going anywhere."
At that she lost it and more tears came. Josh gently pulled her down and hugged her as best he could without hurting his wounds. Donna clung to him as she cried and Josh couldn't think of a time when he loved her more. He just wished he could tell her.