Title: Initiative
Author: Cindy Brewer
email: cindybre74@a...
Disclaimer: I don't own them so please don't sue :)
Archive: Sure just let me know where so I can visit
Couple: J/D
Summary: Donna comes up with a plan to make Josh see the light :)
Spoilers: General second season
Notes: This is set between "The Drop In" and "Bartlet's 3rd State of the Union". I can't remember what month 'The Drop in' is set during but if it conflicts with the show's timeline just consider it a plot device.:) Many thanks to Amanda for betaing.

After staff and the morning press briefing CJ and Josh were in her office strategizing the Donna situation. Which wasn't helping CJ's headache.

"Please tell me you've at least sent her flowers."CJ said as she stood and walked over to the shelf where she kept Gail's fish food.

Josh sat slumped on the sofa. "I haven't exactly had a world of time, CJ."


"Besides I don't think flowers would make any difference right now."

CJ paused in her task of feeding Gail. "You really don't have a clue about women do you?"

"Obviously not." Josh retorted darkly arms folded across his chest. He couldn't believe how bad this situation had gotten. Since they returned to the White House after breakfast Donna hadn't spoken to him unless it was needed for job related activities. Worse she had started working for Sam.

"Joshua you need to concentrate and figure out a way out of this mess."CJ replied as she put the fish food back on the shelf. "The press already has wind of Donna staying with Sam."

Josh looked back at CJ. "What are they saying?"

CJ smiled at his protectiveness. "Nothing that needs you to ride to her rescue."

Josh's eyes narrowed. "But they are saying something."

CJ rolled her eyes. "Joshua, can we get back to the matter at hand?"

Josh moved into a sitting position and nodded. "Fine."

CJ sat on the corner of her desk. "Now you have a lot of making up to do and not a lot of time to do it in."

"I can't lose her, Claudia Jean."Josh replied quietly. "She's the best thing that ever happened to me."

"That's the brightest thing you've said all day."CJ commented. "Now you just need to tell her that."

Josh raised an eyebrow. "Could it be that simple?"

"No."CJ replied with a shake of her head. "But it's worth a shot. If you don't she might turn to Marbury for real."

Josh shuddered. "Don't even joke about that, CJ."

"Now get out."CJ ordered as she walked around her desk and sat down. "I have work to do."

Josh walked over to the adjoining door between his office and hers. He paused and turned back to his friend. "Claudia Jean?"

"Yeah?" CJ replied as she put on her glasses.


"Any time."


For Donna the rest of the day went by agonizingly slow. The building that had always made her job a happy one was now a miserable place to be. Donna jumped every time she thought she saw a glimpse of Josh in the hall.

This is ridiculous. Donna thought as she glanced at the clock, four thirty. She couldn't handle this atmosphere for the remainder of the day let alone the two more that she had promised Sam.

Donna pulled out a pad of paper and wrote Sam a note. She folded it and left it on his laptop where she knew he would see it. Returning to Kathy's desk Donna sat down at the computer and typed up her resignation. As the computer printed out two copies Donna called down to personnel to get a temp to help Sam until Kathy returned.

The printer finished its task and Donna shut down the computer trying to ignore the lump in her throat. She picked up her resignation and gathered her coat and purse. There was no sense in crying. This mess was her own fault. Donna had not only lost Josh but the best job she'd ever had.

With a sigh Donna folded one of the copies of her resignation in half and wrote Leo's name on it. She took one last look at the bullpen before moving down the hall toward Leo's office. Hopefully Margaret would be away from her desk. She didn't need a confrontation with her well meaning friend right now.


Josh returned from his last meeting of the day and was relieved to see that the temp from hell had gone home for the day. He walked into his darkened office and tossed the stack of folders on his desk. It had been a long miserable day. Josh had missed Donna and her trivia more than he thought possible. He had especially missed their hallway conversations. Every time he had come out of a meeting Josh had half expected to see Donna there waiting with some important info.

Donna had only been gone for two days but it felt like an eternity. With renewed determination Josh grabbed his coat and slung his backpack over his shoulder. He'd stop by Sam's office on the way out and see if he could talk Donna into a nice quiet dinner where they could hash this out.

* * *

Chapter 23



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