Title: Exhibit A
Author: Bramble

Summary: Donna ends up at Josh's place drunk, wearing an uncomfortable dress and old insecurities. Josh gets flustered and blushes a lot. The next morning it's Donna's turn.

Rating: R: Some nudity, a little inappropriate touching, much innuendo, racy talk, a couple of bad words; stuff of that nature -- no sex tho.

Category: Josh/Donna

Spoliers: Well, let's see, Celestial Navigation served as inspiration to this freakish epic. :) There are tiny, specific references to events in "Bartlet's Third State of the Union", "Mr. Willis from Ohio", "The War at Home", and "Take This Sabbath Day".

Disclaimes: Aaron Sorkin owns them...it's probably better that way; he only makes them drop their undies and dance around in bathrobes.

Notes: This is totally asinine and I apologize in advance. The whole thing started as a short piece for the benefit of writing one line that amused me. It wasn't working in the third person, so I switched it over to Josh's first person POV -- then it just sort of took on a twisted life of it's own. Oh yeah, and North Dakota is a perfectly nice state. Really, I have relatives that live there, I meant no offense. :)

****

Damn, I'm tired.

As I walk up the steps to my condo and let myself in the main door, I can't help but wonder -- where is she? I mean, it's 2:00 AM, on a Wednesday night, wait, okay, Thursday morning, whatever, that always confuses me.

Where was I? Oh yes, Donnatella Moss. So, she has at work tomorrow by 8:00 AM, I *told* her she had to be in by that time. Shouldn't she be home by now?

I absentmindedly unlock the front door. Hmmm, maybe I'll leave another message on her machine. Or I could just drive by her apartment and wait for her to get home? You know, just to make sure she's safe. Hmmm, that might be a plan, first I want to change clothes, put on some jeans or something. If I'm going to act like an idiot, I need to be comfortable. Wait, I'm not being an idiot, I'm just *concerned*. Yeah, I'm just concerned about her, that's allowed, isn't it?

I close the front door behind me and not two small steps inside, my right foot bumps against something. It's small but it's just enough to catch me off balance for a second and I swing my arms around trying to steady myself.

"What the hell was that?" I mumble under my breath.

I hear something over by the couch. Before investigating that though, I turn back and look at the item that caused me to trip. The light coming in from my window provides me with the opportunity to see a shoe.

A shiny, black, girly shoe. I swing my head towards the couch and see a lump stretched out under a blanket, with a blonde head sticking out the top. Well. I seem to have found my missing assistant.

"Donna"?

"Josh?" comes a soft, muffled reply.

"Why are you on my couch at 2:00 in the morning?" Relief fills my body as I turn to put my backpack down and turn on a light. Well, this should be interesting -- it's funny how fast irritation can turn to amusement. I'm tired, but I find the inspiration to play around with this little development a bit.

"It was closer than my place, weird guy at the bar, roommate left," comes her jumbled reply, "I've got a key, only two blocks from the place."

"So, this is why I give you the night off?" I tease, "so you can go out and get drunk and end up on my....Donna!"

Okay, I did the high voice thing there. I know it. But, it's justified, trust me. Because when I turned around, Donna was sitting up. The blanket had fallen down around her waist and, well, she appears to be naked. On my couch.

She looks at me with a sleepy face (yeah, that's it, keep looking at her face), and says, "Yeah?"

'Yeah?' She says, 'yeah?' She's exposing womanly parts to me and she says 'yeah', like I'm asking her if she likes apples or something.

Get a grip, I tell myself, you've seen breasts before, many, many breasts. I take a deep breath.

"Donna, why are you naked on my couch?" See, I can be nonchalant too.

She looks down and starts giggling. "Oops", suddenly the blanket is back up around her chest as she securely gathers it under her arms.

"I'm not actually naked, I have..nunderwear on", she pauses and begins to pull the blanket up her legs. Uh oh, I think she's going to show me. I'm over there in about two strides and my hand reaches out and manages to stop her mid-thigh.

"That's okay, I believe you. I don't need to see your, ahh, nunderwear." I need to remember that word for later; it might even get me coffee someday. I pat her leg and sit down next to her. I really need to sit down for a minute; just to gather my thoughts, not to think about half-naked Donna.

"I took my dress off", her voice gets very serious, breaking me out of my concentration. I turn towards her and she's looking at me with these big, unfocused eyes, "it wasn't very comfy. It's on the floor", she finishes and tries to motion to the area of the floor she means, between the couch and the coffee table, I assume.

Unfortunately, she has underestimated gravity's pull and almost topples over, I have to swoop in and steady her.

"Yeah, Donna, I get the idea." I prop her back up securely on the couch and get up, patting her shoulder in the process. "I'm going to go get you something to sleep in because...I think that would be a good idea right now. Keep the blanket on until I get back."

I think I'll turn up the heat too.

I hardly make it four steps before I hear an unhappy "uh-oh" from the couch.

"What?"

"I'm going to be sick again." She mumbles as she passes me, blanket clutched tightly around her.

"Again?"

***

I follow her into the bathroom in time to see her fling herself to the floor. Thank god I am a slob and left the toilet seat up.

And we're off to the races. Sighing, I sit down behind her and pull her hair gently out of her face. Well, this is something new -- at least in this combination.

While I was recovering from the shooting, Donna would come over during the day to bring me lunch; the reason being something about not trusting me to eat healthy. Anyway, one day she gets here and I am in the exact position she's in now. Of course, I didn't get to do happy hour first; no, just some new pain medication that wasn't really agreeing with my 'delicate system'. She came in to the bathroom regardless of my protests and sat down behind me and rubbed my back softly while I puked. She even whispered to me about how it was going to be okay; a little above and beyond the call of duty, if you ask me. But then, I guess we've always been a little more than boss and assistant. There, I said it. Sue me. Okay, maybe that's an unfortunate choice of words. Never mind.

So, tonight, I figure this is the least I can do for her. At some point I realize I am running my hand lightly up and down her blanket-covered spine, trying to comfort her, because she really does sound pretty miserable. She saves me from having to think of something encouraging to whisper in her ear by moaning and setting the side of her face down on the rim of the porcelain; the universal signal for 'I'm done now'.

"Do you think you're done?" I ask gently just to make sure. You always want to be sure in these cases.

"Yeah."

I get up and put the lid down, flushing with one hand as I help her up with the other, setting her down on the seat in the next second. Oh yeah, I can bring the multi-tasking. I try to clean her up with a washcloth. I think she feels a little better because she looks up to give me a weak smile as finish by brushing the cool, wet cloth across the back of her neck.

I return the smile. It's genuine because I really am glad she's here; I'm glad she's okay and that she's with me.

"Don't go anywhere, I'll be right back."

***

"Donna, put this on, okay?" Her eyes are closed when I return and I touch her arm gently, offering a well-worn, Harvard t-shirt and some flannel boxers.

"Hmmm", she replies sleepily as she opens her eyes and takes them from me. I have to prod her a few more times, but I finally get her woken up enough to change. I leave the room quickly before I see anything revealed behind the blanket she unceremoniously drops to the ground.

A few minutes later she stumbles out of the bathroom. She looks a little better but she's still kind of wobbly. She must have drank a lot because normally, Donna can hold her liquor -- I mean, for a girl, of course.

"Okay?"

"Yeah"

"Come on, let's get you to bed." I take her hand in mine and start leading her towards the unmade bed.

"I can take the couch, s'ok".

"No, come on, this is closer to the bathroom anyway in case you get sick again." I use my gentle, reasonable voice as I pull the covers back and sit her down on the bed. I've found this voice is good for angry press secretaries, I figure it might work on drunk assistants as well.

"I'm sorry about this...you want your key back?" She asks me in a sad, small voice.

"What? No, of course not." I give her another smile, showing the dimples so that she knows I'm being sincere, "This is kind of fun. You're drunk at my place for once." I feel the smirk start to pull at the corner of my mouth.

"Can I ask you a question?"

"If you lay down", I reply, using the reasonable voice again.

This is going kind of smoothly -- to think she complains about it when she has to do this for me. I maneuver her legs under the covers in one fluid motion. She obviously doesn't deal as effectively with people as I do. Piece of cake, this is. I've only been home about twenty minutes and she's already gotten sick, I've gotten her cleaned up, and now she's all ready for bed. In fact, she's all but asleep. I mean, there was that little detour through naked-womanly-parts land back there on the couch, but nothing serious, we're back on schedule. I am so good at this.

"No, seriously. I've always wondered if...cause once", she's looking up at me as she pulls her legs up underneath her, "and out on the couch...", she motions to the living room with her hand and finishes with, "do you think my breasts are too small?"

"What?" I think my gentle reasonable voice just disappeared. In fact, I think I just used my high voice again. "I mean, that's your question?" I say slowly, authoratively, as I try to regain control.

"Yes", she nods for emphasis, looking kind of stricken, "are they are too small?"

"Okay, I did actually hear you then, ah, I think it's time for you to go to sleep now." Okay, this is not a problem, the schedule will stay on track. She's drunk and I am a graduate of Harvard and Yale -- it's just no match.

"Josh, answer the question, you saw them, do men only like big...you know.."

"Donna!" Okay, maybe this is a little...problematic because she doesn't seem to be dropping the issue; but I'm not throwing in the towel yet. I just need to leave the room, very quickly. My face feels warm. Am I blushing? No, I couldn't be, I don't blush. I'll try reasonable again, a little firmer this time. I mean, just so she knows who's boss.

"Donnatella, this is kind of inappropriate, don't you think?" I pat her hand, "Plus, you're kind of drunk here. You should just go to sleep. If you still want to ask me about any of this tomorrow, I'll be more than happy not to answer you then, okay?" Just back up, Lyman, slow and steady out the door. Be stealthy. She won't even notice, hell, I'm surprised she hasn't passed out yet. Yeah, no match at all, just get out of the room.

"I could get them enlarged or something". I stop. "That's stupid." She's staring at me all sad faced and rumpled looking. Her make-up is a little smeared, she's swaying a bit and all I can think is that this image of her in my bed seems so right. I mean, aside from the drunk, sad, and swaying part. Okay, and the throwing up part. I mean, she's sitting here, looking like she's about to cry over some crazy,

drunk-ass idea that her body is somehow not amazing...and I find her so, completely endearing right now, sitting in my bed. I can't help but think she should be in my bed more often.

Whoa. Where did that come from? Well, I do actually have an idea about that but I can't think about that now, while I have my hands full with this. I mean...oh hell.

I accept that defeat might be a slim possibility and start back towards the bed.

"You don't really think you need to get your breasts enlarged, do you."

"I don't know. They seem kind of little." *Hiccup*

"Donna, you're..." I stop. I sigh. Ordered discipline might not have worked in CJ's loony press room, but it is sure as hell is going to work in my bedroom.

"Ok, it's late. I am not doing this with you. I'm tired and you're still drunk. Donnatella, I want you to lie down and go to sleep." There, reasonable yet firm. Just to make sure this will work, I try to run out to the couch. I almost make it too.

"Jooooooosh!"

I spin back around in time to see her pulling the Harvard t-shirt over her head.

To use a familiar expression, I guess that's pretty much when, you know, the wheels came off the wagon.

***

End Part I

Exhibit A - 2

 

 

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