NC-17! If you are under 18, turn back NOW!


Inspired by the song of the same title by Fuel.

She's giving me that look again. Maybe I should say something.

 Okay, that was a little scary. I hate it when she reads my mind like that. Let's hope she can't read it all the time. That would just be embarrassing for the both of us.
" None of this is my fault."
"Just shut up."
"There's no need to be mad at me. I'm not the one that......" Ow! That hurt. Okay, I've known Donna for quite some time now and I know that when she gets to the point of throwing things at me, I've stepped over the line. But, that's just what I do, now isn't it? Where'd she even get something to throw in a rental car, anyway?
"Let's just get to the hotel."
"We're almost there." I sigh.
"You're ill."
"You think!?"

She's glaring at me again. I think I liked it better when she was staring out the window. Maybe I'll just sit over here and drive. No need to talk. Nope. Talking just might get me killed.  Thank God we're not far from the hotel. Harvard Square, up ahead. 

Donna doesn't say another word for the rest of the drive. I hurry around the car to open the door for her. She at least gives me a small smile as I close the door behind her and guide her into the lobby.  I'll even check us in. See, I'm being the good guy here.
"Josh Lyman and Donna Moss. We have reservations for two rooms."

The clerk starts typing on his computer while Donna leans against the counter. She's tired. I can tell she's tired because of the little crease between her eyebrows. Yeah, I know. Roll your eyes. So I know these things about her. We're friends. Close friends that work closely together. Shut up. I must have missed something because Donna's face just turned red.
"What? Donna, what?"
"They gave away our rooms."

I can’t believe she said that with her teeth clenched like that.

"What?! But we had reservations."
"I'm sorry sir. We were unaware of your late arrival. The normal check in time is before six."
"The flight was delayed." I look over to Donna and smile a little. Bad idea.
I think she's about to lose it. Huh. That's a switch. But it has been a pretty rough day for her.

“I do have one room.”

“One?” Oh good Lord, I’m going to have to share a room with Donna. Again. I don’t know how much of this I can take. I mean, I am a man. It’s taken every ounce of willpower I have the last few times we’ve had to share a room not to jump her.

“That’s all there is?” Donna’s about two seconds away from reaching over the counter and ripping this guy’s head off.

“I’m sorry ma’am. It’s a very busy time of year. We have several events going on at the Harvard campus. Will you be taking the room?”

 I nod my head and sign us in. Without a word we walk back out to the car and grab my suitcase. Notice I said ‘my’ suitcase. That’s one of the reason’s Donna is about to commit a felony in the next ten minutes. The airline lost her bag. Oh yeah, it’s been a hell of a day.


Josh pushes the button for the elevator and looks over at me and smiles. I’m sorry Joshua, but smiling at you would take just a little too much effort at the moment. The doors open and we ride in silence to the fourth floor. Josh places his hand on my back as we walk down the hallway toward our room. Yep, I’m sharing a room with Josh. Lucky me. Another night of wishing he would make a move. Who am I kidding? That’s never going to happen. He doesn’t think of me like that. Besides, he’s with Amy. Bleck! What a manipulative little bi….no. I’m not going to go there. I’m pissed enough as it is. Josh manages by some miracle to open the door of the room and he waits so I can step inside.

“At least it’s nice.” He’s really getting on my nerves.

“Yeah. I guess.” That’s as good as it’s getting on the banter there buddy. Better luck next time. I’m just hoping this day will end soon. They don’t get much worse.

“Oh come on, Donna! It’s not that bad!”

“Not that bad?! Not that bad?! Josh, you have no idea how bad this day has been.”

“So tell me.”

“Okay, let’s start from the beginning. At 3:45 this morning my neighbor’s new car alarm decided to freak out. Once I finally got back to sleep, the alarm went off and I called you. You were your normal chipper self if I recall. Then after I got out of the shower, my hairdryer died. Do you know how uncomfortable it is to ride the Metro with wet hair? Oh, and let’s not forget that the copy machine decided to totally destroy pages 206 and 207 of the report on the thing you need for your meeting with Leo on Friday when we get back.  And see this?” I hold my coat open so he can get the full effect of the large brown stain on the front of my gray skirt. “I spilled coffee on myself while you were in staff.  So I get to go to the airport with you, looking like a pig. Once we get there, the flight is delayed two and a half hours. One hour of which we spent sitting on the plane! I don’t care if we were in first class, it was still miserable. The airline lost my luggage, so now I have no clothes, no make up. Nothing. To top it off, we get to bunk together once again. What am I supposed to wear to your speech tomorrow, Josh? A hotel towel? This day has been so bad I’m surprised an anvil hasn’t fallen from the sky and turned me into an accordion!” And there’s the smirk.

“That’s an unpleasant visual. Not the whole hotel towel thing. You and the anvil.”

This is going to be a hell of a night.


“What can I do?”

“What can you do?”

“Yes.” I hate it when she sighs like that. I feel so helpless when she sighs like that.

“Nothing. I’ll just…..I just want to go to bed.”

“What are you going to do about clothes?” Not that I mind that you might not have any clothes to wear.

“I don’t know.”

“What about your carry on? You’ve always got something in there.” I pick Donna’s huge bottomless tote bag up from the end of the bed and hand it to her. She opens it up and peers into its depths.

“Let’s see. I’ve got two magazines. A bottle of water from the plane. Bottle of Advil. Your schedule. Note cards of your speech. A brush. The notes on the Crawford meeting you had this morning. Chapstick. Extra shirt for you. How ironic is that?” 


“Why do you have a shirt for me?”

“Think about it.” Oh yeah. God, how did I ever deserve this woman in my life?

“No clothes for you?”

“Just a spare pair of pantyhose. You think anyone would notice if I just put a belt around your shirt and wore that tomorrow?” Now that’s a mental picture I’ll keep for weeks.

“If you show up in just my shirt, no one will know I’m even there.”  Is she blushing?

“What am I going to do? I’ll just have to stay here at the hotel while you give your speech.”

“No. I didn’t bring you along to sit in the hotel.”

“Why did you bring me?”

“You’re my assistant. I might need assistance.”

“Why didn’t you ask Amy to come with you?” Crap. I was hoping her name wouldn’t come up. Yeah, I’m diluted. Sue me.

“Uh….we uh…..she and I aren’t…..”

“The wheels fell off the wagon?” She’s giving me that big-eyed puppy look. I really wish she wouldn’t do that. She’s going to make me tell her everything. I hate it when she does that.

“Well, I wouldn’t say fell off. More like ripped off.”

“What happened?” Donna plops back down on the end of the bed and motions for me to sit down. She still has her coat on and so do I. I sit down beside her and we both lay back staring at the ceiling with our feet still on the floor. This is how we used to have heart to hearts during the campaign. I miss that.

“Mrs. Bartlet’s birthday party.”

“Oh.” I love that I don’t have to tell her anymore than that. She knows what happened. She let me yell about it to her for thirty minutes after the party. Amy actually tried to come home with me after what she pulled. Well, for once I stood my ground. I put her in a cab and then went back to my office to make sure Donna got home okay.

“You hungry?”


“You wanna go out or order in?”

“Josh, I’m not going anywhere looking like this. I just want to take a shower, eat a meal and crawl into bed.”

“Best offer I’ve had all day.” That got a laugh out of her. I lean up and stand offering my hand to help pull her off the bed. She groans at the movement and stands in the middle of the room.

“I’m going to take a shower. Just order me something.”

“Okay.” She grabs her tote bag and disappears into the bathroom. I reach for the phone and call the front desk.



I step out of the shower and wrap the towel around me. That feels so much better. I actually feel clean again. I brush out my hair and put some of the hotel lotion on my legs and arms. I look around and wonder what I should do now. I really don’t want to put my work clothes back on. What the hell, I really don’t have much choice. I pull the dry-cleaning plastic off of Josh’s folded dress shirt I shoved in my bag before we left the office. Let’s hope he doesn’t ruin the two I packed in his suitcase. I slip the shirt over my shoulders and button up the front.

“Josh?” I call through the door.


“Can I borrow a pair of your boxers?”

“Sure, hang on.”

“I packed the green ones.”

“Okay.” He calls back from the room. I hear him rummaging through his suitcase. He’s going to wrinkle everything. He taps lightly on the door. I open it and I can’t help but smile a little at his out stretched hand holding the well-worn green flannel boxers.

“Thanks.” I meet his eyes and I think I just heard him swallow. Is he pale?



Oh Holy God. She’s wearing my shirt. She’s only wearing my shirt. I think I’m having a heart attack. I swallow hard to dislodge my heart from my throat. She’s looking at me. I’m supposed to be doing something. Taking her right where she stands? No. Uh….boxers! She wants boxers.



“You okay?” I think I’m having a stroke. Donnatella Moss is standing in front of me in nothing but my blue dress shirt. Oh yeah, I’m okay.

“Uh, yeah. Yeah. Fine. Here’s the….uh….boxers.” Donna takes the shorts from my hand and stands there for a minute. She’s just looking at me with those big blue eyes. I think I’m still staring at her legs.


“I ordered you a grilled chicken salad.” Oh yeah, I’m smooth. The ever-suave Josh Lyman, ladies and gentlemen.


“You’re welcome.”



“Are you going to stand there all night?”


“I’d like to put these on. It’s a little drafty in here without them.” She’s smirking at me. Regroup. Say something witty.

“Well, don’t do anything on my account.” I smile at her.  Before she can say anything, there’s a knock at the door. I hear her giggle as I turn my back on her to answer the door. Room service places the tray on the small table near the door and I tip him before he leaves. Donna comes out of the bathroom in my shirt and boxers. Her hair’s still wet and I think I better sit down soon before she notices how beautiful I think she looks, if you know what I mean.

“I’m starving.” She says I she sits on the end of the bed and crosses her legs underneath her.

“Me too.” I hand her the plate of chicken salad as I check to see if my burger is properly cooked. As we settle in to eat, we click on the television to catch CNN.

“What are you going to do about clothes for tomorrow?” I ask as I shove a fry in my mouth.

“I have no idea. I guess I’ll have to buy something before the speech.”

“Want me to go with you?” Oh my God. Did I just offer to go shopping?

“Yeah, right! I’d never get anything done. You’ll just be dead weight. I’ll be on a mission. Besides, you need to go over your speech.”

“You sure?” She’s smiling at me again. Why is it that when Donna smiles at me I feel incredibly happy? Amy smiled at me and I felt like the canary staring into the mouth of the cat.

“Yeah.” She reaches over and helps herself to some of my fries. I playfully bat her hand away and she pouts a little. It’s what we do. I take the last bite of my burger and put my empty plate back on the table.  I walk over to my suitcase and pull out a pair of boxers.

“I’m gonna take a shower.”

“Okay.” She says as she starts flipping through the channels. I think it’s going to be a very cold shower.


While Josh was in the shower I cleaned up our dinner dishes and had the bellboy remove them. I’m actually enjoying the peace and quiet for a few moments. I’ve turned the overhead light off so the only light is the lamp by the bed. Maybe if I close my eyes for a few minutes, the tension from this horrible sucky day will go away. I take a deep breath and try to relax.



“I can’t find my toothbrush.” That last sentence was said right next to the bed. I open my eyes and see Josh standing over me. His hair is wet and he’s…..oh Jesus. He’s in a towel. Why is God punishing me like this? Wasn’t today bad enough? Now I have to look at Josh in a towel. Correction. Wet Josh in a towel. Okay. Settle down. Breath deep.

“It’s in your case.”

“No it’s not.”

“Did you look?”


“Bring me your case.”

“Donna, I told you I looked.”

“Bring it.”

“Bossy.” He hitches his towel up a little as he walks back into the bathroom. That’s a shame. I’m glad he’s not self-conscious around me anymore. I don’t even notice his scar. After about the first month of his recovery, he started to come to terms with me seeing it. I wonder if he let Amy see it? Probably. God I hate her.

“Here.” He tosses the case on the edge of the bed and stands there with his arms folded across his chest. I unzip the leather case that belonged to his father and shifts a few things around until I find the navy plastic tube that contains his toothbrush.



“Yeah, that’s what I thought.”

He huffs a little before he takes the case from me and stalks back to the bathroom. I love doing that to him.



I hate it when she does that to me. I looked. I really did. Oh well. At least it made her smile. She’s in such a bad mood. I can’t blame her though. I’d been impossible if I had the day she had. I finish brushing my teeth before slipping into a pair of navy plaid boxers. Donna always packs these. She must like them. That’s a good sign. It is, right? I didn’t bring a t-shirt in here with me. I always sleep in a t-shirt when we have to share a room. I don’t know why. Donna’s seen the scar more times than I can count. I don’t mind it when it’s her. I never let Amy see it. I always kept a t-shirt on or turned the lights out. I flip the bathroom light out and pad out into the room. Donna’s propped up against the headboard with the blankets pulled up over her lap. She’s flipping through the channels. Then it dawns on me. We’ve got to share a bed. We usually have a double room when we have to share. This one has a king size bed. Maybe I should offer to sleep on the floor.

“Do you want me to sleep on the floor?” Please say no. Good, she’s looking at me like I’m an idiot. Yeah, I know that look pretty well.

“Josh, it’s a king size bed. There’s room for me, you, and half the League of Nations in here.”

“I didn’t know you were into all that Donna.” Ha! I think she just snorted. I walk around the bed and pull the blankets back.  I didn’t realize how tired I was until I laid down. Man this feels good. I don’t think I’ve gotten to bed before ten o’clock since….since… June of 1997, maybe. I sigh and punch the pillow a little.

“What are you watching?”

“I’m just flipping.”

“Oh, okay.”

“Go to sleep, Josh.”

“Tired of me already?” She smiles over at me and shakes her head.

“You’ve got to give a speech in front of three hundred Poly-sci majors at two o’clock tomorrow. You might want to get a good night’s sleep. Besides, when you finally take yourself out of fifth gear, you usually crash pretty hard.”

“Yeah, well….” I hate it when she’s right. I’m so tired right now; I can’t even work up a good response. She smiles at me and I manage to smile back between yawns.

“Goodnight, Joshua.”

“Sweet dreams, Donnatella.”



He’s exhausted. Of course that’s a normal state of being for Josh.  I flip the lamp off and continue flipping through the channels. Oh, Steel Magnolias. I haven’t seen this movie in forever. Josh turns over and I know he’s asleep. I can tell by the way he’s breathing. After four years in close company, you just know these things after awhile. Besides, after the shooting, I would spend hours just watching him sleep. I was too afraid to leave him. What if something happened while I was asleep? What if he needed me and I couldn’t hear him? So after he left the hospital and I stayed at his apartment, I would sit up for hours just watching his chest rise and fall in his sleep. It took me nearly three weeks to actually sleep in my apartment again. I finally had to buy one of those sound machines and use it for a while. Otherwise I would just lie awake wondering if Josh was okay.

Oh, this part is so sad. It’s when Julia Roberts is getting her hair done at Truvy’s and has a diabetic episode. Sally Field is awesome.



I shift a little under the blankets and I hear the sound of someone crying. Donna? Donna’s crying? Maybe I’m still asleep.

“Donna?” More sniffling.

“Donna, what’s wrong?” I roll over and see her wiping the tears from her cheeks as she stares at the television.

“Nothing.”  Oh okay. I think I’m still half asleep. I turn over on my side and pull the blanket over my shoulder. I’m facing her so I can make sure she’s okay. I’m just about to drift off to sleep again when I hear that little squeaky sound from her throat she makes when she’s trying not to cry out loud.


“I’m….fine….Josh.” Yeah, right.



Oh God. <<sniff>> <<sniff>> I love this part. When Sally Field gives Shelby her kidney I lose it every time. <<sob>><<sniff>> Why don’t they ever keep any Kleenex by the beds?



I feel the bed shift. Where’s she going? I think she’s crying again.

“Donna? Are you okay?” I open my eyes and see her coming out of the bathroom with a wad of toilet paper.

“I’m...<<sob>>…..fine.”  What is she watching? Oh God. Not again. Does every woman on the planet have to watch this movie?

“Come’ere.” I scoot up in the bed and motion for her to sit down. I’m still a little groggy. She sniffs a couple more times and rubs the wad of toilet paper across her nose. “Why do you watch this movie?”

“It’s a great movie.”

“You always end up crying your eyes out for an hour after you watch it.”

“So?” So? Oh, that explains everything.

“Why don’t you turn it off? You know the hospital part makes you worse.” She looks at me and then back to the movie. She takes a deep shuddering breath and starts to cry harder. I grab the remote from the edge of the bed and shut the television off. The room is dark as I pull her down to the bed. She pulls the blanket back over her and snuggles into my side.

“I’ll never understand why you watch that movie. You made me watch it with you twice <<yawn>> on the campaign and you bawled like a baby both times.” She sniffs some more while she swats my arm.

“Shut up.”

“Okay, just calm down okay. Get some sleep.” I slip my arm around her and she rests her head on my shoulder. This is nice. Real nice. <<Yawn>> I could get used to this.



Josh just doesn’t understand what an amazing movie this is.

“You want to talk?” He’s so sweet sometimes. He’s barely got his eyes open and he wants to know if I want to talk about it.

“No, go back to sleep. I’ll be fine.”

“You sure?” He rubs his hand down my shoulder and I find myself sliding my arm across his stomach. What? It’s just more comfortable that way.

“It’s stupid. You’d just snark me.”

“Donna.” His breathing has slowed down so I know he’s just about to fall back to sleep. What the hell? He’ll never remember this anyway. He’s asleep.

“I just wonder sometimes if I’ll every get a chance at thirty minutes of wonderful. So far it’s been <<sniffle>> a lifetime of nothing special.”

“You work for me.” Josh’s voice is groggy and soft. I used to see if I could get him to talk in his sleep on the campaign bus. He would just spout Senate rules to me.

“I meant in love, Josh. Sometimes I think I’ll never get married.” My voice is barely above a whisper. I’ve never really told anyone how I’ve felt.  “I think I want kids. Do you want children Josh?”

“Mmm.” He nods his head a little while shifting further under the blankets.

“Do you ever think about getting married?”

“Yeah.” His voice is thick with sleep and I wonder if he even knows he’s talking to me.

“With Amy? Did you think Amy was the one?”

“No. Donna, go to sleep.”

“I thought you were already asleep.”

“I am.” He grins a little and I can tell he’s so tired.

“Why wasn’t Amy the one?”

“Was Cliff the one?”


“Why?” Because he wasn’t you; but I can’t say that. I squeeze my arms tighter around Josh’s waist as he rolls towards me a little.

“He just wasn’t.” We’re quiet for a long time and I think Josh has drifted off to sleep again.

“Go to sleep Donna. You’ll get married.”

“How do you know?” I whisper.


“Because why?”

“Shhh, go to sleep.” I roll over and put my back to Josh. His arm is still around my waist and I feel him pull me tighter to him. I sigh and close my eyes.



I roll over and open my eyes. I’m in a hotel room. A hotel room I shared with Donna. Where is Donna? I lean up a little and hear the shower running. Before I can get out of bed, Donna comes out of the bathroom wearing the clothes she wore to work yesterday.


“Hey. What’re you doing?”

“I’m going shopping. I’ll be back here by eleven and then we can go over your speech once more before going over to the college.” She’s got her hair pulled back in a clip and she looks so young with no makeup on.

“Okay. Do you want to go to breakfast first?”

“No time. I’ve got to hit the stores. I’ve got to buy a complete outfit. Probably shoes.”

“You sure you don’t want me to go?”

“No. I’m sure.” She’s laughing as she pulls her coat on. I push myself up and lean against the headboard.

“Okay. I’m gonna call Leo and see what’s going on.”

“I’ve got my cell.” Donna grabs her purse and gives me a quick wave before rushing out the door.



I’m on a mission. I’ve got to find something to wear and be back at the hotel by eleven o’clock. I pull the rental car into a space and hurry into the shop. Sale rack. I need a sale rack. I look around the small shop and see a nice long black skirt. At least I won’t have to buy shoes. I look down at my black heels and smile a little.

“May I help you?” A short dark haired woman smiles up at me.

“I’m looking for something to wear to a speech. Unfortunately, my luggage was lost on the plane and I’m left with just what I have on.” Maybe if I give her a pathetic smile, she’ll have mercy on me and show me the clearance rack.

“Oh, you poor thing. Let’s see what we can do. We’ve got some lovely blouses. We’re actually going to put this rack on sale tomorrow to make room for the spring apparel.” I frown and look around at the silk blouses. They’re very nice. But a little more than I had planned to spend.

“I’ll do this. If you find something you like on this rack, I’ll give you the sale price. I’m the manager. I can do that.” She winks at me and I offer her a gracious smile.

“Thank you.” I start sliding the hangers across the rack and spot a long gray skirt. Not bad.

“That’s very nice. It will be 60% off.”

“Really? That’s fantastic.”

“I’m Mary, By the way. If you need anything else, please let me know.”

“Thanks Mary.” I walk around the racks of blouses and find a dark gray blouse with a small silver stripe. It matches the skirt perfectly.

“Can I try these on please?”

“Of course.” Mary shows me to the fitting room and I slip out of my stained skirt and pull the new one on. It’s perfect. I tuck the blouse in and look at myself in the mirror. This will have to do. I step out of the changing room to look in the three-way mirror.

“That’s nice.” Mary smiles at my reflection.

“You said it was 60% off?”

“Yes. Would you like to wear it out? I can ring up the tags.” I nod my head and smile. She discreetly clips the tags from the garments and rings them up at the counter.

“Your total is $37.86. That’s pretty good.”

“That’s very good.” Thank God.

“Would you know where I could find a drug store? I’ve got to buy some make up as well.”

“I’ve got a better idea. Why don’t you go across the street to the Merle Norman and tell them you’re interested in changing your look. Margie will have you in her chair before you can blink.” I smile at this woman. She’s obviously been a woman on a budget before.


“Just to make her feel better. Buy a lipstick or a mascara or something.” Mary smiles at me and hands me my receipt. I gather my clothes from the dressing room and slip them into a bag. Now I just need to run a brush through my hair and I’ll be set.

“Thank you so much.”

“No problem dear. I’ve had the same problem. But I was in New York for a two-week theatre tour. I didn’t have so much as a toothbrush.” I smile again and wave as I head across the street.



“What happened with the thing?”

“Toby’s handling it.  Has Donna gone over your speech?” I sigh into the phone. Leo is in protective father mode with me again.

“She’s out buying clothes. The airline lost her bag. That reminds me. I’ve got to call them to see what the deal is.”

“Call if you need anything.”

“I will. Bye Leo.”

“Knock ‘em dead, son.”


“And Josh.”


“Don’t piss anybody off.”

“Yeah.” I hang up the phone and move my neck around. I look over at the clock and realize I’ve been on the phone for about two hours. I need to take a shower. I’ve been walking around in my boxer shorts all morning. I reach into my suitcase and pull out some fresh clothes. Donna hung my suit up last night and laid out what shirt and tie I should wear. I don’t know why I like that so much. But I do. I close the bathroom door behind me and turn the shower on. I haven’t felt this good in a long time. Maybe it’s the eight hours sleep I got last night. Maybe it’s the fact that I slept entangled with Donna all night. I must admit I was a little disappointed when I woke this morning and she was already in the shower. I would love to have joined her. I step into the shower and feel the warm spray on my back. Man that feels good. My neck is stiff from being on the phone with Leo.

“Josh?” Donna taps on the door and I jump a little at the sound.

“Yeah.” Before I get the words out of my mouth, Donna steps into the bathroom.


“Hey. Did you find some clothes?” I pull the curtain back a little and look at her standing in front of the sink with a brush in her hand.

“What do you think?” She holds her hands up and turns around in a circle.

“You look good. Hey, you’re make up’s different.”

“I know. The girl at Merle Norman did it. I wouldn’t normally wear this shade of lipstick but she assured me it was the new color and it accented my alabaster skin.”

“You look beautiful.” Well, that just slipped out.

“Thanks.” Is she blushing? I close the curtain again and start to shampoo my hair. Donna is still in here with me. I guess that should freak me out, but it doesn’t. It’s comfortable. Normal.
”Did you talk to Leo?”

“Yeah. Toby is working on the thing. I called the airline too. They found your bag. It went to New Jersey. They said they’d have it sent over this afternoon.” I rinse myself off and reach for a towel. Behind the curtain I towel myself off and wrap the towel around my waist. I step out of the shower to see Donna pulling her hair back into a sleek ponytail. She shifts out of the way and hands me my toothbrush. I brush my teeth hunched over the sink as she finishes her hair in the mirror. I take a deep breath and I can smell Donna’s perfume.

“Did you buy perfume too?”

“Sample bottle at the department store counter.”

“How resourceful.”

“Thanks. The outfit was even on sale.” I smile at her reflection in the mirror as she leaves the bathroom. I push the door closed and slip on my boxer shorts. Donna is brushing off my suit jacket as I walk into the room. I pull my pants from the hanger and slip into them.

“What time do we have to meet the Dean for lunch?”

“12:30. Speech starts at two. We should be done by four.”

“Sounds good. Dinner?” I button my shirt and tuck it in while Donna holds my jacket for me to put on.


“Maybe your luggage will be here by then and we can go someplace causal and get a drink.” She slips the jacket over my shoulders and turns me around. She loops the tie around my neck and begins tying it loosely.

“Let’s hope. At least we don’t have anything on the schedule for tomorrow.”

“Just the flight home.” She smiles up at me and I feel something tighten in my chest. I remember our conversation from last night. I was half asleep but I remember how sad Donna was at the thought that she’d never get married.


“Let’s go. We don’t want to keep the Dean waiting.” She pulls her coat on and slips her purse over her arm. Even with all that’s happened to her in the last two days, she’s managed to look as beautiful as always.



Josh is amazing. He might not be able to handle the press corps, but he has every coed in the place eating out of his hand. He’s been witty, charming and even poetic in the last hour and half. I’m glad Josh asked Sam to help him with his speech. Josh wraps up with a few words and is greeted by boisterous applause.  He disappears back stage and I move through the crowd to join him. He’s shaking hands with the Dean and several department heads when I make it to his side.

“Won’t you join us back at the house, Mr. Lyman?” Josh smiles politely at the Dean as he slips his hand to the small of my back.

“We’d be delighted.” The Dean escorts us from the Government building and across the Harvard campus. Josh is in his element here. I’m totally lost. I’m in awe of the magnificent buildings and all the students. It makes me realize how much I missed out on. Josh guides me up the steps of a large home and holds the door for me to enter. He offers me a small smile as he starts to mingle with some of the professors and invited guests.  I find a small couch and decide to sit down for a few minutes and enjoy a glass of water. I’m watching Josh as he talks and works the group of men he’s standing with. He looks over at me and smiles. I smile back before a kind-faced older woman blocks my view.

“You must be Donna Moss.”

“Yes ma’am.”

“I’m Mrs. Nye.” She’s the Dean’s wife. I stand and offer my hand.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you ma’am.” I make small talk and chat with just about everyone in the room. After about three hours, Josh and I finally say our goodbyes and head back to the hotel.

“I’m beat.”

“Me too. I hope my luggage is at the hotel.” Josh just nods as he pulls the rental car into the valet parking area.



“Oh thank God.” Donna pulls her suitcase up on the bed and starts going through everything. She pulls out a pair of jeans and a sweater. I do the same as she goes into the bathroom.

“You ready to go to dinner?”

“Yeah. Are you going to take me to some of your old haunts?”

“Maybe. You think you can handle it?”

“I think I can.” I laugh a little as I pull on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. I’m pulling one of my favorite flannel shirts on as she comes out of the bathroom.

“You’re not going to get drunk and start talking about the good ole days are you?”

“I might.” She rolls her eyes as she laughs. I pull my tennis shoes on as she does the same and we walk down the hall to the elevators. This is what I like the most. Me and Donna. Not the Deputy Chief of Staff of the United States and his faithful assistant Donna Moss. It’s just us going out and having a good time.



“This place is not a dump, Donna. It’s…it’s…homey.” I wave my arms dramatically around the dump of a bar I brought us to. We had a nice dinner and decided we both deserved a beer after her horrible couple of days and my successful speech.

“It’s a dive.” She says with a smile over the rim of her beer bottle.

“But they’ve got good beer and better music.”

“Oh God. Did you put the Doobie Brothers on the juke box again?” I chuckle a little. She’s knows me too well. She rolls her eyes as I start singing along to Black Water.

“Wanna dance with me?” She’s giving me that look like I’m crazy. I don’t care. I’ve had two beers on top of the gin I had at the Dean’s house this afternoon.

“Josh.” She’s getting a little drunk too. I can tell by the way she leans her head a little too far to the left when she talks to me.

“Come on. Dance.” I take her by the hand and pull her from the booth. We weave our way through the college kids and finally push our way to the center of the dance floor.

“You do realize this is a fast song.” She thinks I can’t dance.

“I’ve got moves.” Did she just snort at me?

“Moves? You?”

“Yeah.” I grab her by the hand and spin her around.  I can’t help but smile at the sound of her laughter. This is what I enjoy most. Spending time with Donna. I must be drunk. I admitted way too much to myself just then. I take hold of Donna’s hands and pull them around my neck as the song ends and a slow song starts to play.

“Dance with me.” She nods her head and threads her fingers behind my neck. The only time we really get to dance with each other is at official functions. Then we have to keep our distance and a sense of decorum. Here we can just be ourselves and enjoy the music…and each other.  I place my hands on Donna’s hips and sway to the melody. Donna steps a little closer to me and I wrap my arms around her waist. Soon her head is resting on my shoulder.  I don’t ever want this song to end.




Josh is being so……..un-Josh. He’s dancing. He’s buying me my own beers. He’s even being sweet. His hand is tracing a slow circle on the small of my back as we dance. This is nice. Too nice. We both must be drunk. I don’t feel that drunk. Josh must be really drunk. That’s it. He just doesn’t know what he’s doing. He’s just to the touchy-feely stage of being drunk. But he’s only had two beers. Normally he’s just obnoxious and sloppy after two beers. More obnoxious than usual anyway.  The song ends and Josh slides his hand down my arm until he takes my hand in his. He leads us off the dance floor and back to our table.

“That was fun.”

“Yeah. We showed these college kids a thing or two.” He smirks at me.

“I doubt it.”

“You want another beer?”

“No, I’m good.” He gives me that look. He wants another beer. “No.”

“Ah,  come on Donna. Why not?!” He’s leaning over the table with that pleading look in his eyes. Not gonna work, Joshua. I’m not sleeping beside a sloppy drunk.

“No. The last thing I want is you drunk in my bed.” Hell, that didn’t come out right. Great, he’s smirking again.

“You’re right. I wouldn’t want to be drunk in your bed.”

“I think you’re already drunk.”

“Nope. Just….relaxed.”

“Yeah, right.”

“What about you? You look like you’re feeling no pain.”

“I’m not.”

“That’s what I thought.”

“But I’m not drunk.”

“You’re not sober.”

“Neither are you.” We stare each other down for a few minutes until a chipper young coed walks by. Josh nearly breaks his neck watching her walk by. Typical.




Whoa. Look at the chest on that girl. How does she walk? Uh-oh. Wrong thing to do. Donna doesn’t look too happy.

“Get an eye full Josh?”

“Huh?” Play dumb. Play dumb.

“Men are such pigs.”

“No we’re not. I was looking at the…uh….the bar. I thought I’d see if I’d get us something to eat.” She’s not buying it.

“Yeah right. How dumb do you think I am?”

“I don’t think you’re dumb.” She sighs and takes the last drink of her beer.

“What time is it?”


“We’ve got a eight am flight. I’m tired. I’m going back to the room.” She starts to scoot out of the booth and I stand to offer her my hand. I’ve got to do something to show her I’m not a pig.

“Thanks.” I don’t let go of her hand as I lead the way through the crowd and out to the street. Donna shivers a little as we stand on the sidewalk trying to hail a cab. Donna wouldn’t let me bring the car. She knew I’d drink. She takes such good care of us.

“You cold?”

“A little.” Without thinking, I wrap my arms around her and pull her into my chest. I rub my hands up and down her back while we watch traffic go by. She tucks her head a little and I rest my chin on the top of her head.

“Still mad at me for being a pig?”

“A little.” I can tell she’s grinning. I can hear it in her voice.

“You can’t stay mad at me. You love me too much.” Shit. I didn’t mean to say that.  I look down at her to gauge her reaction. She looks up at me and gives me a smirk. She’s smirking at me!

“Not right now, but if you want to wait until we’re off the streets.”  Both of us start laughing and I pull her tighter into a hug. A cab pulls up and I open the door to help her in the back seat.  She stays right beside me and I just notice that I’m still holding her hand.



He’s still holding my hand. He’s being so sweet. I lean into him a little as the cab takes a turn. He lets go of my hand to put his arm around me. Maybe I should make a move. Not a big move, but a move. I reach up and tug on my necklace a little and then move my hand to his hand on my shoulder. He reaches out and laces his fingers in mine. Before I can turn to look at him, I feel him place a light kiss on my temple. What is going on with us? It can’t be the beer. We didn’t have that much to drink.  The cab pulls up in front of the hotel and Josh holds the door open for us. He places his hand on the small of my back and guides me through the lobby and onto the elevator. He doesn’t even attempt to open the door this time. He hates keycards. Once inside the room, neither of us really speaks. He flips on the television and I grab my pajamas from my suitcase.

“I’m gonna take a shower.”

“Okay.” He smiles as I disappear into the bathroom.



Oh God. What am I doing?! I’m putting the moves on my assistant! I’m putting the moves on my assistant and she doesn’t seem to mind. I kick off my shoes and socks and lean back on the bed. I hear the water turn on and start to imagine Donna taking a shower. Wait! Stop! Bad idea. Bad idea on about 20 different levels. I’ll just watch the news. News is good. News is informative. Nothing sexy about the news. Huh, the Dow is down again. That’s a shame. That anchor lady looks familiar. I wonder if she’s ever been to the White House.

“All yours.” I nearly launch off the bed. I didn’t hear her come back in the room.

“You need a bell.”

“That’s CJ.” I pull a pair of boxers and a t-shirt out of my suitcase and head for the bathroom.

“Wouldn’t hurt to get you one too.” She’s wearing a navy tank top and a pair of green plaid boxers. I think those are mine. I’m pretty sure of it.

“Take a shower.”

“Yes dear.” That’s it. Keep it light. Banter, joke. No big deal. Yeah right. I bet Leo would think it was a big deal that his Deputy Chief of Staff was having thoughts about how to seduce his assistant.  Okay. Enough. I’ve got to stop. I’ll just go take a shower. Cold, by the way. Then I’ll just crawl in bed….with Donna. Oh God. No. I’ll just crawl on my side very far away from Donna and go to sleep. We’ll wake up tomorrow. Go to the airport, fly home and everything will be just like it always is.



“Shower.” Oh yeah.

“Right.” Evidently the combination of beer and Donna has ceased my ability to think and move at the same time. Well, shit.




What is wrong with him?  He’s being…..I don’t know. Weird. He’s always been tactile, but tonight it’s different. It’s as if we were really holding hands and being….I don’t know. I’m not going to think about it. It will only make things worse. Besides, he must still be thinking about that thing with Amy. He’s just confused. Yeah, confused. He just wants a friend right now. That’s me. I’m Josh’s friend. Good old Donna. Buddy Donna. Shit. I hate that. I pick up the remote and pull the sheets back on the bed. I crawl between the cool sheets and snuggle under them to get warm. I start flipping through the channels trying to take my mind off Josh. Oh! I love this movie!





I finish drying off and pull my t-shirt over my head. I think I’m sobering up a little. I know Donna has nowhere near the buzz I had, but she still had a good deal to drink. More than me, anyways.  I step back into the room and see Donna propped up on two pillows watching TV. She’s beautiful. Wait.

“What are you watching?”

“A movie.” She’s not looking at me.

“What movie?”

“It’s a good movie, Josh.” I look away from the screen and study Donna’s expression for a second. Uh-huh. There it is. She’s got that weepy girly look.

“What movie, Donna?” She sighs and pulls the blanket up a little so she can snuggle it around her. She still won’t look at me.

“Beaches.” Oh hell.

“No way.”

“What?” She tightens her grip on the remote before I can take it away from her.

“There is no way in hell we’re watching ‘Beaches’. Last night was bad enough.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Don’t think I don’t see you put the remote under the blankets with you, Donnatella Moss.

“No. One girl movie was enough. You know I can’t stand it when you cry. My God Donna, this movie would send you into seizures you’ll cry so hard.”

“You’re overreacting. It’s a good movie.”

“You can’t even make it through the song on the radio. Besides, I can’t take it. Last night was bad enough.” I pull the blanket back on my side and crawl into bed next to Donna. Maybe if I distract her I can get the remote away from her without having to wrestle her for it. Although, wrestling with Donna might prove quiet rewarding. Wait, she’s distracting me.

“I was just a little upset. I’m over it now.”

“I’m not waiving on this. Turn it off. Besides, we’ve got to get up early.” Did she just snort at me? She’s been doing that a lot lately.

“It’s only 11:30. I’m normally still at work at this time. Besides, I like this movie. I want to see her have the baby.” Oh Jesus.

“No Donna. You’ll just get upset like you did last night. You went on and on about getting married and what our kids would be like. I don’t know how to handle you when you’re like that.” Why is she staring at me like that? What? What did I…say?  Oh. My. God.




Did he just say OUR kids? Our. He used the word ‘our’ in that sentence, I’m sure. I think I’m grinning. No, actually I’m pretty sure I’m smiling like an idiot. Before I can say anything, Josh takes the remote from my hand and turns the television off. He rolls over and turns off the lamp and plummets the room into darkness.


“It’s late Donna. We need to go to sleep.”

“I’m not tired.” I want to talk! Let’s talk about ‘our’. I want to know about the ‘our’.

“Sure you are. Just get comfortable and go to sleep.” Josh lightly pulls my arm until I scoot down into the bed. My eyes still haven’t adjusted to the dark but I can tell he’s still facing me. I roll over on my side and fold my arms under my chin.

“I’m still not tired.” I whisper. I’ve had a little to drink. That makes me annoying. Besides, I’m a little excited about the whole ‘our’ thing. What? I can’t just let that go.

“Donna.” He’s whining.

“Why does it bother you when I cry?” This should be interesting. Jack, aka Dr. Freeride always hated it when I cried too. He said it made me look very unattractive. I can’t help it that my alabaster skin gets all red and blotchy when I cry.


“Tell me.”




She’s not going to let this go. She’s going to annoy the shit out of me until I tell her something or until I strangle her.

“I just don’t like to see you upset.” There, that should keep her quiet.

“Why? What’s the big deal about me getting upset?”

“It just is, okay.” Oh that was brilliant.

“Tell me. I tell you stuff.”

“Like what?”

“I seem to recall several nights of long talks in your living room.” Yeah, me too. That was one of the worst and best summers of my life. Donna would sit and talk to me for hours. She told me things she swore she never told anyone.

“Yeah, I know. Do you still think you’re invisible if you close your eyes?” I laugh as she reaches out to try and hit me. I grab her hand in the air and hold on to it. She doesn’t seem to mind.

“I was five. I told you that. Now tell me what the big deal about me crying is? Is it just me or does the sight of any woman crying unsettle you?”  My eyes have adjusted to the light and I can see the soft contours of her face. She’s stretched out with the pillow underneath her head looking directly in my eyes.

“Just you, okay. Can we go to sleep now?” She’s grinning at me. I hate it when she grins like that. It’s like she’s got me wrapped around her finger or something. Hell, who am I kidding? I’m firmly entranced by one Donnatella Moss. I thought I was ensorcelled by Amy. I think I was just willing to accept the distraction.

“Okay. We can go to sleep. Good night, Joshua.”

“Sweet dreams, Donnatella.”  I roll over onto my back and try to relax. Not an easy task when you’re lying in bed with an incredibly beautiful woman. Donna sighs and rolls over on her other side. That’s the side she sleeps on. She scoots back a little until her back is resting against my side.




We’ve been lying here for a while now. I think she’s asleep. I’ve got my eyes closed and I’m doing my level best to go to sleep. I feel the bed shift a little and Donna rolls over toward me. I can feel her looking at me. What is she up to?

“Josh.” She’s about an inch from my face. I’ll just act like I’m asleep and see what she’s up to.

“Josh. Are you awake?” God I can feel her breath tickling my ear.  I hear her sigh and feel her hand brush across my cheek. Her voice is barely a whisper.

“You said ‘our kids’. Will we have kids one day? I mean, you and me together?” I don’t think she’s waiting for me to answer that question. I think she still thinks I’m asleep. Maybe I should let her know I’m not.

“I would like that. You just don’t see me that way. Not after what I did. Besides, you were with Amy. I’m just saying that I would…..I would want to have ‘our’ children.” I don’t think I’m breathing anymore. I feel her hand start to slide away from my cheek. Without a second thought I reach up and place my hand over hers. I pull her hand to my lips and place a soft lingering kiss in the center of her palm. When I open my eyes she’s staring at me with a look of uncertainty.

“Josh?” It’s now or never. We’ve gone too far this time. We’re about a mile past that line we’re not supposed to cross. I can’t take back what I said. I don’t want to. Amy may not have done much for me, but she did open my eyes to what I want. I want a life with Donna. 




I can’t move. I can’t think. Josh heard what I said. I thought he was asleep. I thought I could just get that off my chest, he’d never know and everything would be the same.

“I hope they look like you.”  He whispers as he pulls my hand across his chest drawing me closer to him.


“Our children.” He’s going to be upset. I’m crying. I can’t help it.

“Shhh. Please don’t cry. It…” He sighs as he pulls me into his arms. “It breaks my heart into a thousand pieces when you’re upset.”

“I’m not upset.” I try to convey my feelings by tracing light circles over his chest. His hand moves under my chin and lifts my face toward his. In the time it takes to take a breath, his lips are on mine and I think I’m dying. In a good way. Josh Lyman is kissing me. Soft, gentle, filled with love, kisses. He pulls away and looks at me for a few moments before lightly tracing my jaw with his fingertips.

“I’ve been such a fool, Donna.”

“I messed us up. I should have never….” Before I can say Cliff’s name, he places his finger on my lips.

“Don’t. That doesn’t matter now. This is us.” He pulls me down to him again and kisses me. This is where I’m supposed to be. Right here in Josh’s arms.



It was never like this with Amy. Sure I liked kissing Amy, but it didn’t feel like this. It feels so good it almost hurts. I pull Donna closer to me and lightly trace my tongue over her bottom lip. She moans a little and parts her lips. Our tongues meet and I think I just groaned. My God I want this woman. Her hands are sliding around my neck as I roll us over. I pull away from her and rest my weight on my arms so I can see her face. She’s so beautiful. But, I have to know if this is okay. She’s too important to me. I can’t mess this up. I can’t just stumble into her sideways.

“Donna?” I’m searching her eyes for something, anything that might tell me to stop. I know I’m grinning. All I see is passion and….and….I hope that’s love. I know she can see my feelings all over my face. She knows me too well.

“Josh, please.” I think my heart just stopped again. Her hand slides down my side and around to my ass. She pulls me closer to her and lifts her hips to meet mine. Oh my God!




We’ve done it. We’ve blown everything all to hell. There’s no turning back now. Well, there is, but if he dares to stop touching my breast like that I’d have no choice but to kill him.

“I thought you were asleep.” I tease.

“You were wrong.” He trails a few light kisses down my neck while I ease my hands under his t-shirt.

“I can see that.”

“You were wrong about a lot of things.”

“Like what?” His hands push the hem of my tanktop over my head and he’s staring down at my breasts.  The look on his face makes me want to throw him off the bed and molest him on the floor.

“I’ve always seen you. Always.” Josh Lyman, you are going to get so lucky tonight.

“Really?” I can’t watch his reaction to my question because it’s impossible to keep my eyes open when he’s sucking on my nipple.  I moan a little in frustration as he removes his mouth.

“I just didn’t know how….I’m not…..I suck at things like this Donna. You’re too important to me….I mean. Hell Donna, I can’t even begin to explain this.” He’s so adorable.

“You don’t have to.” I lean forward and yank his shirt over his head. Before he can speak again I cover his mouth with mine and hopefully give him an inclination as to what I want.



I’m going to have a heart attack if I don’t touch her. She’s got one leg wrapped around my thigh and the other tangled in the sheets beside me. The slow soft kisses of before have given way to a deep dormant passion. I don’t think I’m reading this wrong. I’m not that inept. The way Donna’s pulling me on top of her I’d say she wants me as badly as I want her.

“Donna, do we….”

“No.” The force at which she says that makes me smile. She’s so hot right now. I push the sheets away from us and lean back on my heels. Donna is looking at me with a look on her face I’ve never seen. I hope I can be the only one to see it for the rest of my life. He normally pale blue eyes are dark with desire. I rub my hands up her thighs and across her hips before grasping the elastic of the shorts she’s wearing. She lifts her hips and allows me to slide them down her legs. Dear God. Breathe. I have to remember to breathe. The sight of her is enough to make me want to come. But I’ve got other plans. I lean over her again and lightly trace my finger around her soft curls. I don’t know how much more I can stand if she makes that noise again. That’s the sexiest thing I’ve heard in my life.  I capture her lips again and move over to her side. I can feel her back arch and hear her intake of breath as I find her center with my finger. She’s amazing.

“Donna, I don’t think I can take this slow.”




“Slow can wait for next time, Joshua.” I tighten my grip on his arm as he slides his finger into me.
”Next time?” He’s smirking at me.

“Don’t you want a next time?”

“No.” What?! “I want forever.” I have never wanted a man more than I want Josh right now.

“Josh, I want you.”

“Now or forever?”  I pull on his arm so he’s on top of me again. I push my hips toward him and see his face contort in pleasure as his erection comes in contact with my moist heat.

“Forever.” I manage to breathe as he enters me. He’s still for a moment. I think I’m going to have a stroke if he doesn’t move. He leans down and whispers in my ear.

“What would you do if I told you I loved you?”  I know he can tell I’m about to cry. I wrap my legs tighter around his waist and push my head into the pillow so I can see his face again.

“I would finally know you felt the same way about me that I feel about you.” His smile is bright and the dimples are more prominent than ever. He moves slowly at first and I can’t help but call out his name.

“Josh!” He quickens his pace a little and before I can comprehend what is about to happen, he pushes my legs down and rolls me over. I’m straddling his hips and he’s rubbing his hands up my thighs.

“Tell me, Donna. Please.” I’m setting the pace now and my eyes refuse to leave his.

“I…” His fingers find my clit again and I lose the words.

“Tell me.” He demands a little harder this time. The tight circles he’s tracing across my folds match my thrusts.

“I love you.” Josh closes his eyes and I lean back and change the angle.

“Oh yeah, like that.” I trace my finger across his lips and he reaches up with his other hand and hold onto my hand. He sucks my index finger into his mouth and I can feel myself slipping over the edge.

“Tell me, Josh.”




She repeats my words to me and I’m not entirely sure I can form a whole sentence at the moment.

“Tell me.” She demands as she tightens her muscles around me. “Please Josh.”

“I love you Donna. I’ll always love you.” I hope she knows I mean it. I think it would kill me if she just thought this was a one-night stand, a stumble between two friends.

“Josh, I’m…..” Her hands tighten their grip on my shoulders and she throws her head back. I’ve never seen anything so beautiful. I flick my fingers across her folds once more and I hear her scream. I’ve never heard my name said like that by any other woman. It’s music. Donna’s breathing heavily as she collapses on my chest. I roll us over and she starts kissing my neck.  When she reaches that spot on my collarbone I pull her legs up a little higher.

“Come for me Josh.” Oh Holy God. She pulls my hand away from her hip and just as I had done to her, she sucks my index finger into her mouth.

“Oh yes Donna!”  I thrust one last time before spilling into her.




The only sound in the room is our breathing. Josh has pulled me into his chest and is rubbing his hand through my hair.


“Yeah?” He squeezes me a little tighter and I can’t help but smile.

“What happens now?”

“We do that again?” We both laugh before I lean up and face him.

“You know what I mean Joshua.”  He must see the fear in my face. He reaches up and gently caresses my cheek.

“We’ve been tiptoeing around each other for almost four years. I can’t do that again, Donnatella. I can’t lose you. I won’t.” I offer him a warm and loving smile.


“Besides, I had to do something so you wouldn’t keep worrying about getting married and having our kids.” I playfully slap him on the arm before snuggling into his side again.

“I knew you said ‘our’.”

“Yeah, I know.” He kisses me on the top of the head while I run my fingers across his chest.

“We’re going to have kids.” I say it more as a statement of fact than I meant to. I wait for Josh’s reaction. Imagine my surprise at his answer.

“Yes, we are and hopefully very soon.” I catch a glance at the clock on the bedside table. 12:04. It’s going to be a very good day.