Exhibit A by Bramble: Part III
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.
Something is making me bounce. I'm bouncing, I'm on a bed, I think. It's bouncing too. I hear myself moan as I open my eyes. Josh is sitting on the bed looking at me. Good god he's smirking. I pull the covers up over my face. Okay, this is better, I add the pillow on top for good measure. I am now surrounded by Josh-scent, I'm not sure if this helps or not.
"Josh?" I state the obvious trying to buy time and figure out why I'm in his bed.
"Yep, how ya doing there, Donnatella?"
"Don't feel so good". I pull the pillow and covers off my head and try to sit up. Well, maybe I won't do that just yet. He's dressed for work and looks tired but pretty normal. Okay, so it was just me drunk last night. That's good, I think.
"I brought you some water and some aspirin, they're on the table." He's being sweet. Why is he being sweet? What happened last night? But I can't think about that just yet because I really need water.
I squint towards the bedside table, ughh, 6:02. I sit up slowly, and gratefully reach for his offering. I have to hold it with both hands while I drink half of the glass.
"Here, don't forget the these".
He hands me the pills and I swallow them with the rest of the water. He's still staring at me. It's like he's setting me up to drop a bomb and waiting until all of the basic, 'see I'm a nice guy' things are covered. Let's see, I've gotten water and aspirin, yep, it should be any time now.
"Okay, so here's the fun part", he smirks, "how much do you remember about last night?"
Well, I think, as I haven't quite recovered my verbal skills yet; there was the bar and my roommate. Her leaving with that environmental lobbyist, the annoying guy hitting on me, needing to leave but having no cab fare home, and coming over to Josh's because it was only two blocks away. He sighs as he waits for my answer.
"After you got here." Josh adds impatiently.
Oh, let's see...my eyes bulge out as I remember last night after Josh got home and suddenly I can feel myself blushing. Oh. My. God.
"I take it you recall the great bosom interrogation of 2001? And might I add that you are looking very perky this morning", he grins at me, not even bothering to cover his glee at being able to torment me.
CJ is right, the man is a pig.
So, here's the thing. I've always been a little sensitive about my chest. My sisters are much more generously proportioned than I am. It's always bugged me a little. One night 'Dr. Freeride' made a comment about my lack of...endowment. Okay, he made many comments about that. I know, he's an ass but it still bothered me a little. Okay, at the time it bothered me a lot. I mean, it's hardly a thought that I give much merit to now, but after a few tequila shots the stupid ideas come back to haunt you.
I look back over at Josh; I think he's actually enjoying this. I want to get mad at him but I really can't. He doesn't know the background, he just thinks he's got something amusing he can hang over my head for coffee now. Besides, it's what we do, the chasing around the playground, the pig tail pulling, the... wait, I almost remembered something about last night, it was right there...oh well, it's gone now.
Unfortunately, Josh is not.
He's still staring at me and I can feel my blush deepen. I refuse to give him anymore satisfaction. I put my face down into my hands so he can't see me turn any redder. I don't think I said anything too revealing last night. I think I just made him look at my chest. Oh my god, Josh looked at my breasts. I start to feel a little flushed and I don't think it's just embarrassment.
"I flashed you last night." I muffle out through my fingers. I start to rub my temples with my fingertips, hoping to bore a hole into my brain and end it all quickly. Let him explain my dead body in his bed. That will show him to enjoy torturing me.
"Twice", he adds helpfully.
"Can we never talk about that? I mean never." C'mon Josh, work with me here. I have dirt on you too. Remember the vomit-covered suit and the red panties around your neck? I sure do.
"What part was that again, Donnatella? When you got sick in the bathroom?" He asks. He's totally screwing with me now; Mr. Smirky thinks this is just sooooo funny.
I admit, I do deserve it a little bit. I'll throw out a small bone and then he better start being nicer to me. "The whole...'boob thing', Josh". I look up to see him smiling at me.
"The whole boob thing?" he repeats after me, his voice quaky with unused laughter, "'kay, as long as we also never talk about the hand job you tried to give me through my pants."
What? The...hand...job? "On my god", I murmur, I do remember that. He put my hand on his... okay, now I am really blushing. "I'm sorry about that, ummm, see, there was this tequila, and.."
"It's okay, you just should probably try to keep your hands to yourself there, Donna. I mean, I know it's hard to control yourself around me but you really ought to try."
I swear, the man is one big smirk.
"Yeah, but didn't you actually start it and put my hand on your.." I trail off, suddenly too flustered to finish that sentence.
He really did start it. I remember that part distinctly now. He put my hand down and squeezed it; made me squeeze him, there was a lot to squeeze. Okay, I shouldn't think about that right now.
"I thought we weren't talking about this incident?" He clears his voice and starts to look uncomfortable. The conversation shifts from my body to his and the man starts to squirm a bit. Okay, now *I'm* amused.
"Do you mean, not talking about it like that time in the hospital, before you came home and you were wearing the open hospital gown in back and I saw your butt?" I ask sweetly.
Joey Lucas is right about one thing, the man has a mighty cute ass. And I've seen it...bare, so there. Hey, that rhymed. I start to giggle at my new little poem.
"Donna! Part of never talking about something, is you know, never talking about it. And I'll ask you kindly to stop thinking about it too."
"Sorry. Okay, yes, we will never talk about that, my, um, 'attributes', or", I smirk, "exhibit A."
"Or what you tried to do with... exhibit A", he smirks back.
"Agreed", I nod my head quickly.
"But here's something we can talk about", he pauses, his face changing to one of seriousness and concern, "why were you in a bar by yourself, being harassed by a weird guy?"
"Probably because of the dress, it isn't mine, it's my roommate's. She calls it her 'boy-beacon'. That's ironic because she hooked up with this granola lobbyist and left me there alone. It was her idea that I wear the dress last night, she said..."
"Donna, I don't care about the damn dress!" He interrupts me suddenly. When he continues speaking, his voice is softer and as I look at him, his face reveals everything. Everything he tries so very hard not to show me and I know suddenly it's not just me that feels 'it', this thing between us.
"How did this happen?" He reaches over and lightly touches my arm, right above the elbow. There by his fingers are three small bruises, which, surprise; are finger-shaped.
"Weird guy was grabbing my arm trying to get me to go home with him. I have alabaster skin, I bruise easily, Josh." He pales and I add, "It's okay. Nothing happened. He just, he grabbed my arm and tried to steer me towards his car once I left the bar. No big deal," I pause, his expression is hard to read; so I continue, "I reached in to my purse and took out my handy-dandy pepper spray and offered to paint his face with it. He backed off. End of story."
Of course I was clutching the pepper spray in my hand for the two block walk here but I'm not going to mention that part.
"Do you remember his name?"
"The weird guy."
"Paul, maybe? Hmmm, no that's not it, why?"
"I'm just curious."
"Josh, you can't use your government connections to hurt local gomers."
"The ones that grab you hard enough to leave bruises, yes, I can. At least I would if you'd work with me a bit here and tell me his name."
I smile at him. "I honestly don't remember and if I did I wouldn't tell you. But your offer is really kind of sweet, a little caveman-y, but still sweet".
"Donna, I'm serious. I swear to god, I'm going to get you a panic button just like Zoey."
"You can call me you know", he says softly.
If I wasn't sitting two feet away from him, I might not have even heard him.
"If you're out and a guy is getting weird or god forbid, doing anything that's going to leave you with bruises the next day, or your roommate leaves you somewhere without a ride home, you can call me. He stops and meets my eyes while he grabs a hold of my hand, "Donna, you call me."
Once again, I feel as though this morning is monumental in some way, that something is passing between us, something that I know deep down neither of us can ignore for much longer.
"I'll call you". I assure him, giving his hand a squeeze.
"Thank you. And by the way, I'm going to need you to be working late for the next, oh say five years, so I really don't see much socializing in your future anyway."
"Ha, ha, that's very funny." I smile as we move back quickly into familiar territory but continue to hold hands.
"Besides, I hear Ainsley has her very own nightclub down in the basement, you can just go down there, get all liquored up, then come back up and show me your..."
"Josh!" I let go of him and swat him on the shoulder.
"Sorry, couldn't resist that one."
He reaches over towards the end of the bed to grab some sweats, handing them to me he grins and says, "Put these on, I assume you don't want to wear the dress home this morning." He stands up, walks towards the bedroom door, "We need to get going so you can get in to work at a reasonable hour and your boss doesn't yell at you...and Donna?"
"Yeah?" I drag my sorry-ass out of bed and walk towards him on my way to the bathroom, stopping a few feet in front of him.
"You do know that you're perfect the way you are, right?" He pauses, "I mean, nothing has to do with the size of anything or the way you look," he sheepishly finishes, "You are smart and funny and beautiful; you're perfect. All of you is perfect and beautiful. You know that, right?"
I feel my eyes start to tear up. Yep, can't ignore this much longer at all. Today, though, shouldn't be the day.
But just knowing that it's coming makes my heart swell.
"Josh, I was drunk last night, I was being silly. I don't really think my breast size is a big deal." I give him a smile and an obvious opening to get us back on track.
He smiles back, I even get the dimples.
"Okay, I just don't want to walk into the office one day and find that you've...added anything."
I find his choice of comeback pleasantly surprising and knowing Josh like I do know him, this wasn't the first comment his evil little mind thought of...it was probably the third.
"Because then exhibit A would make another appearance?"
"Donna, exhibit A makes a lot of appearances around you as it is.."
Huh? This is really the most fascinating morning; it's been a very revealing experience for both of us I think.
"I mean, um, 'cuz..." He's backpedaling now -- I should really help him out.
"Because I'm perfect, Joshua?"
He sighs and looks at me, not a smirk in sight. "Yes, Donnatella, you are most definitely that."
"Okay then", I close up the distance between us and I kiss his cheek lightly, keeping my lips pressed against him for just a second longer than I should. He's so warm there, I just can't help it.
"So are you, you know", I whisper in his ear, as his arm circles me and rests on the small of my back.
"Yeah", he pauses, pulls back and looks at me with the self-satisfied grin he usually reserves for Republicans after he has gotten them to admit something incriminating, and adds, "I do know that."
"Jerk", I hit his arm playfully. "I think I like Tim better than you", I say slyly, as I walk past him and close the bathroom door behind me. I hear him mutter something about 'she better not mean that damn parakeet'.
What do you think, Josh?