I'm Not Going to Think About It 

by Grasshopper Girl 

rated PG -- innuendo, and one swear word at the end 

Spoilers: Post-"Galileo"... basically built around one scene 

Notes: This is intended to be the first of possibly three stories... the other two have to wait until "Noel" airs because, well, for the first time in my fanfic-writing life, I have a plan. <g>

This is, as always, for Cat, who freaks out over episodes with me [I think tonight we broke some kind of record for during-episode AND post-episode freakout] and then nags me to death until I write something. Where's YOUR story, missy? Hmmmmmm? ;) <ducking>


Donna's babbling on about something, as usual. Probably something about stamps, I don't know. I wonder where she gets this stuff. She really is quite brilliant in her own way, she has this tremendous capacity for remembering random trivia. And the annoying habit of sharing said trivia with you when you don't even care. Much like President Bartlet. She should go work for him, trade jobs with Charlie. She and the President could swap trivia and maybe I'd get a cup of coffee every now and then.

And we could date, because then she wouldn't be my subordinate.

But I'm not going to think about that.

"Are you even listening?"

I know that tone. It means I'm in trouble. She's going to give me that look of rebuke... it's this... THING she does with her forehead and her lower lip. Kind of like a pout, but a lot less likely to make me want to sweep everything off the desk and lay her down on top of it and...

I'm not going to think about that either.

"I'm not."

"Do you want to do this or not?"

Do this? Do what? Oh yeah. The stamp thing. Stamps. Little pieces of paper with glue on the back, that cost thirty-something cents, God knows what unholy price they've raised them to now, that have little pictures on them.

"I do not."

"I did index cards," she says, hoping that that will win me over.

"How many?"


Good God. I'd like to get out of here by midnight. I do have to, you know, help run a country here... not like I have a lot of time to sit around discussing stamps.

"Reduce it to three."

There's the look again. "Philately's fun, Josh."

WHAT is fun? Suddenly every nerve in my body stands at attention.

"I'm sorry, what's fun?"

"Philately. Stamp collecting."

They really need to find a better name for that. I am going to breathe. I am going to breathe. I am breathing. I am not going to think about what I thought she just said.

I try to keep my tone light so she doesn't see the amount of distress she just caused me. "Okay, be careful how you say that word, 'cause..."

She's not amused. "Can we work?"

Work. Yes. Work. Here in the office. In the White House. The home of the President of the United States. Where solemn work is done.

I sigh, resigning myself to the fact that I must actually sit here and listen to her chattering about stamps. "Tell me what you know."

She's yattering on again about the stamps... and now she's listing Marcus Aquino's many accomplishments. She's sitting here, in my office. Donnatella Moss, God's most perfect and beautiful creation, is my assistant, and she's sitting here talking to me about stamps. How did I ever get so lucky?

"Let's put him on a stamp," she concludes, looking up at me with those gorgeous blue eyes. She should be on a stamp. She goes way above and beyond the call of duty every single day. Sure it's just little things... little to anyone else. But they mean a lot to me. And then there was that whole post-shooting thing. She was so much more than just my assistant then. She was my nurse, my therapist, my confidant, my... my Donna. She's so many wonderful things. I don't always tell her that, but she is.

"We should put YOU on a stamp," I say, not bothering to make it sound like a joke.

She blushes and smiles a little. "Okay."

Something she said earlier pops into my mind. You have to be dead to be on a stamp. She shouldn't be on a stamp. I almost qualified to be put on a stamp... wouldn't that have been funny, a tribute to a Deputy Chief of Staff killed in the line of duty.

No, that wouldn't have been funny. Donna would've cried over it. Donna should never cry. She cried a lot while I was recovering. She didn't know I heard her, but I did. It broke my heart, which wasn't in such good condition to begin with. I wish I had said something to her, but I didn't. I should say something to her now, but I won't. I'm too chickenshit.

But I'm not going to think about that, either.





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