DISCLAIMER: Don't own anything associated with the show… I just like playing with the characters in it from time to time. Dance Monkeys! Dance!
RATING: T for Teen
PAIRINGS: J/D (Josh/Donna)
SUMMARY: Josh shares a quiet moment reflecting on a painful part of his past.

A/N: So, I was watching some episodes for another story I'm working on when someone puts out an idea for a prompt in another fandom, but the episode I was watching TOTALLY called for a J/D fic, so I had to obey. WAY in the future ficlet.

REVIEWS: Reviews are the way I know if people are enjoying the work or not. So, if you leave one, THANKS! And if not, I hope you found at least a little something to brighten your day, and thanks for taking the time to read.

She loved to play with his hands. Her fingers delicately dance over every wrinkle, tracing every line, back and forth for the last few minutes of every day. It was their little ritual at the close of every day. And it's Josh's favorite part of the day.

Her soft golden hair rests on his shoulder as they talk about the day and she plays with the lines in his palms. As Josh breathes in, the scents of cotton candy and roses fills him with a perfect feeling of bliss. She is his completely, and hangs on every word as he rambles on about the day. His life is spent living in the great wide world, but his heart lives in that perfect soul tracing along the dark purplish scar in the center of his palm.

She is always so gentle when she reaches that visible reminder of the day he almost went too far. When she stops at the worst part of the scar, he knows what comes next. "Does it still hurt?"

"Right now, it kind of tickles." Her gentle giggle in his ear fills him with a warmth that spreads out from his chest.

"Tell me?"

Josh sighs with her question. This is part of the ritual. She wants him to tell her about the scar, she always does.

"Please?" The pleading in her tone turns the corner of his mouth into a smile.

"Okay, but first…" He rolls away from her and out of the bed to cover her with the blanket and tickle her armpits as he kneels down on the floor next to her bed. He tucks the blanket around the giggling little girl and kisses her forehead. "Gotta get you snug as a bug."

Her bright beaming smile shines in the dim light of her bedroom as she begs, "Please, Daddy? Please tell me the story?"

"Okay, okay… Once upon a time there was a very handsome and brave prince, and he slayed dragons every single day up on the battleground called Capitol Hill. The dragons could never beat the prince, so he started getting really cocky." He pushes her curly locks away from her face as he speaks.

"And then one day, when he least expected it, the trolls came out from under the hills to attack him, leaving their mark on him and the prince lost all his confidence. He became very sad. He was so sad, he didn't even fight with the dragons and none of his friends recognized him anymore." He holds her hand between his, comparing the sizes of them with a sense of wonder.

"Then what happened, Daddy?" She always gets anxious before the ending.

"And then one day, the prince became so sad, he thought about giving up and just becoming one of those ugly old trolls all covered in purple marks and living under the hills. So, he put the mark on his own hand and it really hurt."

"And then?" The gentle voice over his shoulder asks and he turns to find his heart's other home standing in the doorway.

He continues the story, looking over his shoulder with a different kind of wonder in his eyes. "And then the beautiful princess, who always knew what was in the prince's heart, came in to rescue him from turning into a troll. She called the Great Wizard Leo to conjure up a magic spell, curing the prince from ever wanting to be with the trolls again."

Josh turns back to the little girl in bed. "But it took him a lot longer to finally see the princess for what she really was, because he was a dumb boy and they don't appreciate princesses the way they should. And it's a good thing for princes that the princesses are really super patient and can wait for them to grow out of being so dumb."

The girl's brow crinkles up into a very serious expression when she asks, "When does that happen, Daddy?"

Without hesitation, Donna responds, "Mommy is still waiting, sweetheart."