"Fast As I Can"
Category: Really it's Josh/Donna, but there's a teeny bit of Josh/Amy in there.
Rating: PG
Post-Ep to "Dead Irish Writers."
Additional Spoilers: None, really.
Disclaimer: Pretty much nothing here is mine. Song is "Fast As I Can" by Great Big Sea.
Feedback: samwest5@hotmail.com
Summary: "I'm not ready to say I love you yet..."

Josh POV.

It's near the end of the party, and my mind's been sort of numb since the middle. I'm on the floor, dancing with Amy, but my feet are the only things concerned with the dance.

I'm still sort of ruminating over the events of the evening. Amy not only went over my head, she did it in a particularly rude and emasculating way. I really don't care that she already knows Abbey. I don't give a flying f – oh, hello, Mrs. Bartlet – that she's extremely good at her job. She had absolutely no right to go over my head about the whole thing. All that and – damn, have to stop humming. I've had the same tune in my head since early this morning. God knows why.

Ever since I met her, it's sort of been Amy who's led the whole relationship dance, just as she's leading the waltz now. I like her, and she's beautiful. But she has this very ugly side that occasionally shows up. When I think –

"Ow!" Amy exclaims suddenly. She lets go of me and reaches down to rub the foot I've just stepped on.

"Sorry," I say. "Just thinking."

Amy shrugs and begins to limp off the dance floor as the song ends. "Are you okay, J?" she asks, using the full power of those pouty eyes on me.

"I'm fine." Still a bit pissed off and still a little distracted, but otherwise okay.

"Stop lying." Amy's tone is a bit impatient, and I find myself looking at her with something alarmingly approaching dislike. "You wouldn't listen to me about the women. So I talked to someone who would."

I want to tell her how wrong she is, and how rude it was, but I have no right to start a fight in the midst of what must already be one hell of a day for Abbey Bartlet.

So instead I just say, "Look, let's change the subject."

"Fine." Amy's tone is pouty now. "But we're not done with this."

"Fine." My tone probably matches hers, and I can't resist the urge to be sarcastic. "Let me have Donna put it on my schedule."

As the words leave my mouth I happen to see her, standing by the punch talking to Sam. Donna looks remarkably relaxed for someone who just got let into the party an hour ago.

At this point, I want a sane, non-bitchy face. "Excuse me," I say, disengaging myself from Amy. She complies, assuming I want to network. I'd bet her face clouds over as she sees me go over to Donna, but at this point I don't bother to look.

She smiles as she sees me. I did bring her olives earlier, after all. "Hey."

"How're you doing?"

"Not bad." She shrugs. "I'm at the First Lady's birthday party."

Her hair is behaving itself, and her eyes are tinged just right from the alcohol she must have consumed with Amy, C.J. and Abbey. Her dress clings in all the right places. She looks so at home; much more relaxed than any of us here. "Glad you got in," I say with a smile, keeping it light.

"Yeah, me too."

For once, neither of us has anything to say. Donna's eyes drift off to the luminaries, and I sort of wait politely until she's back. She starts to hum a tune; something Irish and lilting. It almost drives my tune out of my head, but not quite.

I watch her, calm and collected, and then I ruin it. "Donna –"

"Yeah?" She stops humming.

"I heard what you said to Mrs. Bartlet."

Anyone would think I'd just run over her dog. "Really?" She bites her lip moodily, not looking at me. "She said she wasn't mad, but I think she really was."

"If she said she wasn't, then she wasn't." Jeez, I try to compliment her courage and wind up scaring her. "I just... that took guts, you know."

Donna's smile is soft and fragile, and it conveys a lot. I suspect, though, that this smile is usually reserved for me. And I sort of like it that way.

On an impulse, I say, "Do you want to dance?"

She raises an eyebrow. "What about your date?"

"I guess she can watch."

Donna shrugs with a tiny smile; she doesn't really care about Amy one way or the other. At least I hope she doesn't.

The dance starts; it's something sweet and calm, with a tin whistle in the background. We dance very decorously, about a foot apart.

Donna looks over my shoulder. "Amy's not happy," she observes.

I sigh. "At this point, I really don't care."


The question catches me off guard. So, with no other recourse, I tell her the truth.

Donna thinks for a moment when I'm done. "She wants a lot from you."

"Yeah, she does. We were even gonna to go to Tahiti together." I almost blush, recalling the memory.

Something leads me to unburden myself. "It's just going too fast," I say before my mouth connects to my brain. "I like to take my time."

I just hope Donna doesn't realize how really true that is. "I mean," I fudge, "I don't like to just rush into relationships."

"I know." If I was a malicious or insecure person, I'd say Donna was mocking me. "You like to be the pursuer, not the pursued."

"When –" I stop. "Yeah, that's pretty much it."

On an impulse, I pull her closer. Neither of us questions it, it just sort of happens. Neither of us is talking, and we like it that way. It's déjà vu for me, but this time I'm not pissed off. I'm just thinking.

Amy herself said I might just need to be hit over the head. And Donna *did* hit me with a door.

I can't help myself, I start to hum again. What the hell - ?

Then, like magic, it clicks. "That's it!" I say under my breath.

Donna hears me. "What?"

"Oh, nothing." I switch sides and let her lead. "I just remembered what the tune is that I've had in my head all day."


"Yeah." I don't say any more, but I just remember the lyrics as my hands rest on her waist. It's my turn for a fragile smile as the song plays in my head.

"I'm going fast as I can, please don't make me rush
This feeling's coming on way too fast
I'll tell you all of the things that you'll never forget
But I'm not ready to say 'I love you' yet..."