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.

It was ten after six by the time Josh finally knocked on Donna's door. It had started to snow pretty good so by the time Josh found a parking spot half way near her apartment building he was covered head to foot in snow.

Josh wasn't sure what he'd say to Donna when he saw her. Or if she'd even let him in. But he had to try.

"Donna."Josh called after his third knock. "I know you're home."


"Donnatella, please. You know I do stupid things when I care about people."

Donna flung the door open causing Josh to stumble in order to regain his footing.

"Care?"Donna snapped her blue eyes blazing. "Is that what you call your latest 'Donna is dumber than dirt' statement?"

Josh winced but quickly stepped threw the doorway before she had a chance to close the door."I don't think you're dumb...."

"Just that I have no taste in men?"Donna finished as she turned away from the door and moved into the living room.

Josh closed the door behind him before catching up to her. He'd regretted the 'no taste in men' statement ever since the words had poured out of his mouth. He had felt that she deserved better than Todd the insurance lobbyist. But that fact didn't make up for the hurt he had caused her.


Donna sank down onto the sofa."What do you want, Josh?"she asked wearily. Her plan had seemed perfect in the beginning but now it didn't seem to be worth the effort.

Josh sat down next to her. "I want to know that you're happy."


"Do you love him?"Josh asked still not being able to say Marbury and Donna together in the same sentence.

"He's a good man."Donna replied ducking the question suddenly scared. If she answered Josh's question negatively and she got the reaction she wanted her plan would have succeeded....so why was she suddenly nervous?

Josh swallowed hard looking down at his folded hands. Ever since Sam had told him that Donna was dating Marbury Josh had been determined to break them up. To get Donna away from the insane Brit for her own good. But now as he sat here Josh wondered if it was more for his good than hers. He told her that he wanted her to be happy. What if that happiness was with Marbury? What right did he have to stand in the way?

"Why didn't you tell me?"Josh asked quietly hoping his voice didn't quiver.

Donna stood and walked over to the window folding her arms across her chest. She now realized why she hadn't become an actress or undercover police officer. Keeping to a role was tougher than she had anticipated.

"I knew how you'd react."Donna replied her voice barely above a whisper.

"Did you?"Josh asked as he stood and closed the space between them.

"You hate John."

Josh ran a hand through his hair as he fought to come up with the right words. "Hate is a strong word...."


"If he loves you so much why don't you have a ring?"Josh demanded as he snatched up her left hand.

Donna broke the contact fearing she'd crumble and tell the truth. "John's taking me shopping this weekend."

"Is he?"

Donna glared at him. Once again Josh doubted her judgment. "John's not the playboy that he comes across as."

"Oh sure..."Josh replied before he could take the words back.

Donna's eyes narrowed sharply."I believe you know the way out, Josh."

Josh opened his mouth to reply but no words came.

Donna turned on her heel and stalked to her bedroom. Josh winced as the door slammed shut so hard it knocked a picture off the wall.

After a few minutes Josh walked over to her bedroom door and placed his right hand against it.

"Donnatella.......I'm sorry....."

When only silence answered him Josh pushed himself away from the door. Just before he left Josh bent down and picked up the beach painting that had fallen. Silently Josh rehung the painting before turning and letting himself out of Donna's apartment.

Part 9


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