Author's Note: This fic has been on my site for a while, and I finally decided to read through it, realise it was not as terrible as I previously believed, so copied it and others to here.

Doorstep Encounter.

Post Episode: The Ticket.

It was not unusual for her boss to wind up on her doorstep drunk. The Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Planning had a reputation at the White House and on the Hill for possessing a sensitive system when it came to imbibing alcohol. Many's a time Donna had found him outside her apartment, collapsed on her doorstep, yelling at her roommate's cats if they dared to attempt to cross the threshold while he was present.

After rolling her eyes at the sight, Donna would inevitably let him in, where he would spend the night on her sofa. Morning would arrive to find them awkwardly walking around each other as he grabbed himself a coffee before rushing out to change his clothes at his apartment before he went to work. As time went on it was customary to find a change of clothes at her place, or vice versa, although for her it dated post Rosslyn.

All this changed when she left the White House. Post Gaza he had stopped testing his sensitive system and when he did show up at hers, it was stone cold sober. But when she had left the White House, he had never darkened her door.

Until tonight.

Donna was in no mood to see him after her dreadful day which began with her interview in the Santos McGarry Campaign Offices. The one comment which stopped her wanting to forget the entire incident was 'and if you think I don't miss you everyday.' She had been flattered that he had kept a file on her work, until she heard words thrown back to her in a hateful tone she rarely heard Josh use for her. She had walked out of his office hating him, the one memorable comment repeating itself over and over in her head, complete with the choked tone of despair he used.

After spending the day moping in the mall, she returned to her apartment to find a familiar and unwelcome shape on her doorstep. For a moment she contemplated walking away and spending the night in a hotel, but she had a feeling she would find him still there come morning. So reluctantly she advanced forward. As she came closer, Donna noted a difference to the pose she once knew so well. His back was straight against the door, his legs crossed, his suit and shirt and tie still strangely smart. In his lap one of the cats lay, curled up contentedly purring instead of hissing fiercely at his yelling tone and combative, albeit drunken stance.

He looked up as her shadow came over him; a haunting glance full of quiet deadly meaning which spoke volumes.

Donna's courage failed her. She still felt loathed to see him, but at the same time the want was there, the desire to sort things out between them. She stopped before him. "Josh," she spoke, "what are you doing here?"

"I had to see you," he replied. "I couldn't leave things like that between us."

Donna bent down and picked up the cat, letting him regain his feet. She held the feline securely, while Josh opened the door.

The cat leapt from her as soon as Josh closed the door behind them. Landing gracefully, the animal made for it's companion by the food bowls. Donna watched it go, following it's journey, then cast a glance around the apartment, making sure that there was nothing Josh could not see, before turning round to meet his face.

He was still by the door, waiting for her to meet his eyes. "I can't hire you," he said softly.

Donna's stare hardened, and all her desire to throw him out returned.

"I can't have you work for me," Josh continued. "I can't see you everyday and night for another nine years feeling the way I do about you."

"Why?" The word was torn from her before she was aware she spoke.

He stepped closer to her. "Because of this," he said, kissing her.

Donna was completely caught by surprise. This was the last thing she expected; Josh's lips on hers, deep and passionate, full of hunger as if he had found his paradise after years of wandering through a desert. Swept away, she was barely aware of her response until she felt the weight of the door behind her and her hands on his chest, tracing his scar. How his jacket landed on the floor, how his shirt came open, neither of these things she knew. She felt his hand caress her skin, as she realised her blouse was gone too, along with her bra.

He broke for air, breathing heavily as he stared at her. "Donnatella, I love you," he said. "I want to spend the rest of my life with you."

"Josh," she breathed. He was completely serious, she could tell. He had not even bedded her and already he wanted to marry her.

Apparently there was something in her voice which expressed doubt to him, causing him to kiss her again before undertaking a tender journey down her body. His hands followed his lips in an arousing caress, reducing her to mush. With every kiss he uttered the two words which previously existed only in thoughts, emphasising his sincerity. By the time he began to peel away her skirt, she was summoning what little was left of her energy to answer him.

"Yes, yes, yes," she murmured, almost inaudible, but he heard it anyway, and he ceased his journey to look into her eyes once more. A smile lit his face from his eyes, displaying a happiness Donna rarely saw, yet now knew almost instinctively, one she was to see often in the years to come.

"Thank you," he breathed, before taking her into his arms and carrying her to the bedroom.

By the morning it had been negotiated between them that Donna could work for the Santos McGarry campaign as long as it was under Lou or for the future first lady. Donna chose the latter as she and Josh made their flawless team, effortlessly transferring the once dark horse candidate into the oval office. They held their wedding during the campaign, as everyone made sure they could all clear their schedules for the momentous occasion at the White House. Their honeymoon was delayed until a three week period during transition, and spent in Hawaii. How they managed to have kids during the two terms of the Santos Administration was another feat in itself, but the managed it, like everything else that occurred in their lives.


The End.