"Whatever Future Holds"
Category: Donna, General. A teeny, teeny bit of J/D.
Rating: G
Spoilers: "17 People," teeny "In The Shadow of Two Gunmen"
Disclaimers: Not mine. Aaron Sorkin and Janel Moloney own this remarkable woman. The song is "Hurt Before" by the Corrs, and it's probably the truest Donna-song I've ever heard. Making no money, don't sue.
Summary: "She'll take it in stride, she's just twenty-five, you know we've all been hurt before..."

The house is silent as she packs. Teenage memories and adult visions alike go into the suitcase. She has enough to sustain herself, and she will do so.

Her parents aren't happy with the decision, but Donnatella Moss has never let that stop her. Frankly, they think she's nuts. Throwing away Rick and everything that comes with him: being a doctor's wife, country club parties, wonderful little blond children. They never knew the other side of him. The side that stopped for a beer on the way to the hospital. The side that made her pay for two years of med school, and...

She shakes her head in disgust as a few sweaters fit neatly into the bottom of the case. How, how could she have been so dumb? Trying for all those years to fit into her parents' little world. Her sisters Antonia and Larisa buying out the shopping malls and acting like they belonged on the set of "Clueless." And her parents encouraged it!

She'd told her father that she wanted freedom and the chance to do something for herself, and that was true. She was twenty-four, she was a big girl and she was going to follow her dreams. Her sisters had completely washed their hands of her, and she was glad. Was that a bad thing?, she wonders as she fumbles for her toiletry bag. It was as if she'd been switched at birth. She was so completely unlike her sisters and her parents in every respect. Sure, she loved her parents – but when would they get it?

And Rick... he'd been wonderful at first. Kind, caring, thoughtful and introspective. He'd understood her, she tells herself as the skirts and stockings are jammed in. He'd understood the feeling of not belonging. She'd felt as out of step in Wisconsin as a punk musician in a marching band. It seemed like she alone wanted bigger and better things. But then Rick had admitted his own ambitions. She'd felt like she'd found a soulmate for a while, she remembers.

Then she remembers the bad things. The nights he hadn't come home. The times when he'd called her by another woman's name. And of course, the Great Swindle she still kicks herself for. Two years of her education, gone, to pay for his. Again she castigates herself: how, *how* could she have been so stupid?

She still does not want to admit how badly he hurt her. That innocence of "the one" is gone. And she is still so hesitant to trust again... Even now, she feels a sort of hopelessness. Is she good enough? She moves so fast as she tries to keep up with the dance of the world. In addition to the steely-eyed resolve and the willingness to do better things, fear is also a constant escort. *What if you fail?* it whispers in her ear. The possibilities are frighteningly real. Coming home to this, with nothing more to show for it, still in unacknowledged pain...She's always been a good girl. This is what she gets for it? A broken heart and a mind full of heartache?

She turns on the radio to pass the time. A strangely familiar song is on, with a light touch. She hums the words to herself.

^ ^ ^ ^
She's a girl in her world, she's moving as fast as she goes
Loves her mom and her dad, the only secure that she knows
But at night she's alone, she's dreaming of somebody new
Her someone for to hold, she's praying her dream will come true

Show me the way
Show me, show me how
Help me be brave for love
Show me, tell me how
What do you say?

There's a pain in her heart she's trying so hard to unwind
Makes her cry in the night when visions so real make her blind
Wants to break through the fear, erasing the scars from within
Start a new kind of faith; she's down and she's praying again

^ ^ ^ ^

Tears are a smokescreen of blindness. Idly she wishes for a primer for her quest: how to be brave and strong; how to handle things. She knows the wish will never be granted, but it's the child's part of her mind that still dares to hope.

Though she has wakeful nights, the dream gives her reason to hope. Sitting on the bed, she remembers the recurring vision in her sleep: a clear-eyed man, older than herself. Fine, flyaway curly hair. A passionate turn of phrase and a well-tailored suit. Without knowing this man she knows he is a fighter. Someone she'd like to be associated with.

It sounds mad, but this is the dream she'd like to follow most of all. Maybe this man, whoever he is, will help get her out of this morass. She believes in the power of dreams, and this one, she knows, has the potential to be very powerful indeed.

She is not going to hare off solely in search of him. But he's a welcome perk that she somehow knows will meet her on the road.

The case is packed and she looks around the room for a last look. She will return, she knows, but not until she's different. Whatever she has to do, in spite of the pain and the fear, she believes she is ready.

She remembers her father's words. "Donnatella, I don't approve of this. But if you really want it, I'm sure it will be yours."

With only a minimal look back she closes the door on the rest of the song.

^ ^ ^ ^
Show me the way
Show me, show me how
Help me be brave for love
Show me, tell me how
What do you say?

You see she's turning the key, locking the door
Embracing the roller coaster world
Stepping outside, with body & soul
Taking whatever future holds
Turning the key, locking the door
Embracing the roller coaster world
Take it in stride, you're just twenty-five
You know we've all been hurt before...

^ ^ ^ ^

 

 

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