Title: Showers of Wedding Fun

Author: Christine

Rating/ Pairing: PG, J/D

Summary: Donna starts to unspool; Josh joins her.

 

FB is greatly appreciated at ck_hoch@yahoo.com

Disclaimers: Josh, Donna and everyone else belong to AS and a whole lot of other people. Sadly, they are not mine...

 

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Josh walked into his office after a meeting on the hill to find Donna crouched on the floor behind his desk. He peered down at her blond head and asked, "Donna, what are you doing down there?"

"Hiding," came her furtive answer

"Hiding? From what? From who?" His forehead crinkled as he tried to figure out what or who could possibly be making his confident, able assistant want to hide.

She peered up at him with a slightly crazed look in her eyes. "I think that may be whom. From whom am I hiding? It's a big list of whoms. Margaret, her mother, Ed, Larry, the caterer"

"What the hell?"

"Well, you know that Margaret and Larry got engaged, right? They're planning the wedding to be in 2 months."

Josh slowly nodded his head, trying to understand where the hiding part came in. "Yes, but that doesn't explain the hiding."

"I'm the Maid of Honor, Josh! That means I have to plan the bridal shower. The whole thing! And that means it has to be done right now, before the wedding. There's so much to do, and no time to do it in!" Her voice rose with every word and her hands started fluttering around in her

excitement.

Josh sat down on the floor next to her and grabbed her hands to still them. In the most soothing voice he could muster, considering that he was extremely close to laughing, he said, "Calm down, Donna. You're starting to unspool. Explain to me what the big deal is."

"What's the big deal? The BIG DEAL is that Margaret keeps asking about it, but tells me she wants it to stay a secret so that she can be surprised; her mother is calling me every hour and changing the plans; Larry wants to know the details, which I suspect he wants to give to Margaret, but I'm not sure; Ed keeps coming by the bullpen to get sympathy for his broken heart-"

"Wait! Ed has a broken heart? I didn't know he had a thing for Margaret."

"Not Margaret, Larry."

"Huh?"

"Ed has a thing for Larry."

"Larry's gay?" he squeaked in an unnaturally high voice.

"No! Ed's gay and has a crush on Larry. Larry's straight and is in love with Margaret. Keep up with the program, Josh!"

"OK. I'm starting to understand. All of these people are driving you nutty. But what's your problem with the caterer? That part should be easy - just use the same one as the White House."

"I am, but due to White House regulations, I can't use them here in the building unless it's connected to a state function. So I need to find an outside location."

"But, Donna, why is that so difficult? You're the most organized person I know. This should be a piece of cake for you!" Her face briefly softened at the unexpected compliment, but quickly returned to a look of panic.

"I thought so too, Josh. But the first place isn't available for 3 months, the second place can only accommodate 20 people, and the third place will only let us have it if we agree to vacate the premises by 11am. There's a conspiracy! A conspiracy to drive me crazy." She gripped Josh's hands, which were still entwined with hers, tighter. He winced in pain and started to pull away. She was reluctant to let go, but he managed to extract them from her grasp and get to his feet.

"Here's what we're gonna do - we're going to make a list. A list of everything that needs to get done. And then we're gonna make index cards outlining exactly how we're going to do those things. You like index cards," he reminded her. The only reply he got was a whimper, as Donna curled herself into a tighter ball beneath the desk. "C'mon Donna! Work with me here. How bad can it be?"

"Bad. Very bad."

Just then, Ed came knocking at the door to Josh's office. His face was red and splotchy, and Josh thought he looked as if he had been crying. "Hey, Josh. Have you seen Donna? She's not out at her desk and I really need to talk to her." Catching a glimpse of Donna's panic-stricken face, Josh shook his head.

"Umm, no, I haven't seen her. I think she may have taken advantage of my meeting on the hill to leave the building for a break. But I know she'll make it up to me by bringing me back a full lunch, including a burger, fries and coffee. Oww." He was rewarded for his lying by a hard punch on his leg.

"Josh? You OK?"

"Yeah. I just got a muscle cramp. I'll be fine," he said, as he glowered down at Donna.

"Oh, OK. Can you just tell Donna I was looking for her when she gets back?"

"Sure." As soon as he disappeared from view, Josh turned to Donna. He was about to yell at her for hitting him, when another face appeared at his door. "Hey Margaret. What can I do for you? Does Leo need me in his office?"

"Oh, no. I'm just taking a walk around the Wing. Thought I'd stop by and visit you," Margaret lied, looking around his office for any clues about her wedding or shower.

Josh decided to play along. "Uh-huh. And why would you want to visit me?"

"Why wouldn't I want to visit you? I thought that maybe we could hang out together or something. Why don't we ever do that?"

"Are you hitting on me?"

"What!? No! No, I was I was"

"I don't know anything about your wedding."

"OK," Margaret squeaked, looking down at the floor in embarrassment. "Do you know where Donna is, then?"

"Nope. I'm pretty sure she left the building for lunch. Try back sometime later."

Josh was saved from having to further discuss Margaret's wedding or Donna's whereabouts by the phone ringing. He watched a disappointed Margaret walk away and then looked at Donna. "Aren't you going to answer that?"

"Uh-uh," came the negative reply from the floor.

"Donna, that's part of your job."

"Don't care. It's one of those crazy people needing me for another shower thing. I won't answer it."

"Fine! Josh Lyman," he announced as he picked up the receiver. "No, Mrs. Donovan, Donna is not available right now No, we're busy trying to run an office Yes, I understand, but I really don't think she can Uh-huh.Uh-huh Weddings can be Ok I'll tell her Uh-huh GOODBYE, Mrs. Donovan." He ran a frustrated hand through his hair and exclaimed, "Is she ALWAYS like that? The woman didn't let me finish a single sentence."

"Always," Donna answered.

"I can see why you wouldn't want to talk to her. Now about those index cards," he started, only to be interrupted by the phone ringing again. Knowing that Donna would refuse to answer it, Josh picked it up. "Lyman. Hello, Mrs. Donovan No, she still isn't. I know. We're trying to run

a. I can't. Fine. I'll let her know." He hung up the phone and turned to look at Donna. "That was Margaret's mother again. She said to tell you that the time needs to be changed to later in the afternoon. Doesn't she realize that we're trying to run a country here?"

"She doesn't care. Her only daughter is getting married," Donna sighed.

Suddenly, Larry appeared at Josh's door. "Do you know where Donna is?"

"No. She left the building and won't be back until much later," Josh answered. This time, he was smart enough not to include the part about her bringing him lunch.

"Well, would you happen to know where she's keeping the information for Margaret's bridal shower? I have to add a few more names to the guest list."

Josh tried not to let his impatience show. "I wouldn't know. Why don't you leave her a note?"

"I would, but I'm afraid she might not see it. And Margaret would never forgive me if we forgot to invite Great Aunt Mary on my father's side to the shower."

"Of course she wouldn't," Josh replied sarcastically.

"Plus, Aunt Mary has a very strict vegan diet. The doctors say that any animal protein could be very upsetting to her frail digestive system. It might even kill her. I wanted to make absolutely sure that Donna was aware of it."

At that moment, Margaret appeared at Larry's side. She gave him a quick kiss on the cheek. "Hello, Sweetie. Hi, Josh. I was just stopping to leave a note on Donna's desk about bridesmaid dress shopping. Is there any night you might possibly let her leave early to go? I found the cutest pink plaid taffeta that I think she'll look gorgeous in. And the best part is that 10% of the proceeds go to stopping cruelty to animals. So, really the extra money you have to pay is worth it. I realize the most important thing is that the dress looks good, though. And I think the design will compliment Donna's shoulders nicely." Margaret continued to describe the dress in

detail, much to Josh's chagrin. She was finally starting to wind down, when Ed joined the group standing in his office.

"Larry! I've been looking all over for you. I wanted to tell you about oh, hi, Margaret. Umm, it really wasn't that important. I'll just, umm"

Josh couldn't take it anymore. "OUT! Everyone who does not work in this office - out!" He placed a hand on top of Donna's head to let her know that she should stay where she was. He followed the retreating trio to his door and closed it firmly behind them. He turned back to face his desk and addressed Donna in her hiding spot. "Exactly how long has all this been going on?"

"About a week now," she said in a small voice.

"I can suddenly see the need for hiding."

"I knew you'd understand. So does that mean I can stay?" She sounded so hopeful that he hated to disappoint her. He decided to compromise.

"In the office, yes. On the floor, no." He reached out a hand and helped her to her feet. "You can continue to hide out here in our office only if you help me with the briefing memos for the farm subsidies."

She grumbled a bit, but agreed to his terms.

"And one more thing - I need you to promise me something."

"What?"

"Promise that when we get married, we'll skip the wedding and elope."

"For you? Anything." And for the first time that afternoon, she smiled.

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~End~