Disclaimer: I don't own them. I just like to have fun with them. Please don't sue me. I have no money.

Rating: PG-13

Summary: Josh realizes the attempt on the President's life has negatively affected Donna.

Aftershocks (4/4)

 

Josh woke up late the next morning to find Donna staring at him from a propped elbow.

"Donna!" he said immediately rolling away.

"What?"

"Don't do that," he said putting a hand over his face and rubbing his eyes.

"Do what?"

"Don't stare at me while I'm sleeping."

She smiled, "I'll keep that in mind."

Josh blushed and she smirked, "For future reference," she said.

Josh rolled back to face her, tangling their legs together again. "You slept okay?" he asked, pushing an errant strand of hair back behind her ear.

Donna closed her eyes and sighed at his touch. "A little, I think."

Josh cupped his hand to her cheek, running his thumb near her eye. She opened her eyes. His eyes had taken on a serious look. "I'm sorry Donna for not talking to you about the shooting."

She smiled gently. "S'okay."

"No. It's not. The night right after, you were trying to get me to talk about it and I walked away from you and I was wrong. So very wrong."

He pulled her hand up with his own. "Instead of calming your fears and talking about my own, I pulled back and pushed them deep inside, figuring that I couldn't do my work if I was constantly thinking of what had happened."

"I understand, Josh."

"I know you understand Donna, that's what made it so easy to do. But I had no idea how it would affect you. Do you have any idea how much it scared me to look in your eyes and see absolutely nothing? And when you wouldn't let me touch you, it made me realize…" he said, lifting her palm to his mouth and kissing it.

"Realize what Josh?" she asked, trying to calm her wildly beating heart.

"How much I need you in my life," he whispered, watching a slow flush creep up her neck and face. He stopped her before she could say anything. "And not just as my best friend. And not just as my assistant," he added.

"Josh," she whispered, her eyes filling with now familiar tears.

Josh slowly closed the distance between them, kissing her softly on lips. He pulled back to study her face. Her eyes fluttered open and in them he saw the love reflected back from his own. He smiled and kissed her again. Donna sighed and Josh used the opportunity to deepen the kiss, reveling in her sweetness, wondering how he had survived for so long without kissing her.

Several minutes later, Josh pulled back. He wiped the tears off her cheeks and the ones which had run from her face onto his. Donna sniffled and he smiled. "I love you Donna. I have for a very long time. It just took a bunch of bullet whizzing around my head to make me realize." Donna smiled, but her eyes widened when he mentioned the bullets flying.

Josh backpeddaled. "Maybe that wasn't such a good way to put it, huh?"

"No kidding," she said, pulling him closer. She had almost lost him. She had almost lost this incredible man before she'd even gotten a chance to tell him how she felt. She couldn't let another second pass by without telling him. "I love you too Josh. And I was so afraid I'd lost you that night."

"I knew that night. I knew I loved you and I could see the love for me in your eyes, but I was so stupid and now you're suffering because of it."

"Josh. Please don't blame yourself," Donna said, putting her palm against his cheek. "I probably would have had nightmares anyway."

"Maybe," he said, turning his head to press a kiss into her palm, "But maybe if your subconscious wasn't guessing at what happened, it would be easier to deal with. So, I want to tell you what I saw."

"Are you sure? You don't have to tell me, Josh."

"Yes, I have to tell you Donna. You're the only person who would understand. You're the only person I want to understand."

Donna kissed his lips. "I love you Josh," she breathed into him.

"I love you too," he whispered back, settling her against his chest as he rolled onto his back.

He then proceeded to tell her about that night. He tried to keep some things back, but she asked questions and eventually Josh told her every horrible detail. He told her how he felt to watch Leo's body spin away as the bullet tore into him and how he kept seeing Sam's blood on the ground everytime he closed his eyes. Donna held him tightly, crying with him as they began the slow process of healing.

***

Donna woke up in the late afternoon alone in her bed. She wondered if she'd dreamt it all, but she rolled over onto her other pillow and could smell Josh's scent lingering there. She smiled, hugging the pillow to herself.

Her stomach suddenly growled and she realized something smelled wonderful in her kitchen. She pushed the covers back, grabbed her robe and walked out of the room, wrapping her hair in a ponytail holder. She stopped in her tracks when she noticed her small dining room table was set for two. Josh was standing in her kitchen, barefoot in jeans and a t-shirt, cutting up fruit.

"Good morning," he said, silently laughing at her amazement. "Or should I say good afternoon?"

"Josh? What is all this?"

"Well, while you were lazing about, I snuck out for groceries."

"You what?"

"Here," he said, walking towards her. "Drink some juice and sit down. I don't make my fabulous french toast for just anyone and you're about to be the recipient of my generosity." He kissed her and pushed her towards her table.

"You made french toast?"

"You sound unimpressed Donnatella," he shouted from the kitchen.

"I'm impressed you even know how to turn on a stove Joshua," she retorted back, fingering the small bouquet of flowers on her table.

She was sipping her juice as he came up behind her. "I'm insulted. I do know how to read a manual and, after only a little practice, I was able to figure out what all the knobs did. Sit, please."

Donna did as she was told and Josh laid a plate with heaps of french toast in front of her. He disappeared into the kitchen again, bringing out a fruit salad, syrup and a pitcher of orange juice. Donna looked at him in amazement. He smirked, disappeared again and returned with a pot of tea for her and a cup of coffee for himself.

He seated himself next to her. "You really ought to keep a better stocked fridge," he said, helping himself to several pieces of french toast.

"How'd you even know where the grocery store was around here?" she asked, cutting off a bit of french toast. "Oh, Josh this is amazing."

His eyes lit up at her praise. "Thank you."

"I'm sorry I didn't have any food. I haven't really had much of an appetite."

"I noticed," he replied quietly. "But now you've got enough food to feed an army. I only had to wander around lost for about half an hour before a kind person directed me to the grocery store."

Donna smiled. "So, if someone hadn't pointed it out to you, you would still be wandering around aimlessly? Why didn't you just wake me up?"

"You were sleeping and, no, I would not still be wandering around aimlessly. I was never wandering aimlessly. I had a destination. I just didn't know how to get there."

"Story of your life, huh?" asked Donna sipping her juice, a teasing glint in her eyes.

"Well, I finally figured out how to get to this place with you, so I guess I'm slowly learning," he answered back.

Their eyes locked. Donna whispered, "I love you," but no sound came out of her mouth she was so overcome with love for this man. Josh echoed her sentiment, mouthing "I love you." It was only another second before their lips came together. Josh licked the syrup from the corners of her lips and felt himself drowning as Donna's lips parted and he delved inside. All thoughts of breakfast were lost as Josh pulled Donna up against him and began steering her into the bedroom.

She stopped him, tugging his arm as she started kneeling on the floor. "No Josh. Right here."

"Donna…" he pleaded, knowing that he couldn't wait another second for her and not really wanting their first time making love to be on her floor.

Donna's eyes sparkled up at him. "The floor's clean Josh. I may not buy groceries but I do know how to use a vaccuum," she whispered, pushing his t-shirt up and over his head.

He studied her face. "You know," he said, cradling her to him as he headed to the floor and settling down alongside her, burying his head into her neck. "I never figured out how to run my vaccuum. Maybe you could come over and show me sometime?"

"Shut up and kiss me Joshua," she hissed, biting his earlobe teasingly.

Josh did as he was told and there wasn't much talk after that.

***

They finally made it to the bedroom, where Josh woke at 2:30 a.m., nearly 24 hours since he'd arrived at Donna's. Thankful that it was the weekend and vaguely wondering if anyone had been trying to find him during the day, his attention was drawn back to Donna as she stirred in her sleep.

She was on her right side, wrapped in Josh's arms. Josh pulled her body closer to him, running his hand down her back and settling against her hip. "Shhh, Donna," he whispered. "No more nightmares. No more nightmares for either us." And he drifted off to sleep.

THE END

***

 

 

 

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