Disclaimer: The characters mentioned in this story are the creation of the brilliant Aaron Sorkin: don't I wish they were mine. I'm not making any money from this, and if people want to sue - you won't get much. I don't have any money - just creativity...
Pairing: Josh/Donna
Summary: It's Josh and Donna's "April Anniversary", and Donna's knowledge of useless factiods comes to light.
Notes: Thanks to Amy (aka qthelights) for her inspiration and to all those who have helped me get over my heinous case of writer's block. You all are the best!
Archive: Josh/Donna FanFic, any others just let me know where so I can visit now and then.
Rating: PG-13, possibly R...
****
I'm walking through Josh's bullpen this morning, and he practically jumps out in front of me, with a really dumb grin on his face. It's gonna be one of those days.
"Hey there, Donnatella."
"Yes, Josh?"
"How's it goin'?"
"The same as every other day working for you. Why?"
"Yes, but this isn't every other day. You know what day this is?"
He begins walking beside me, in sync, as we usually do at this time of the morning.
"Josh, I haven't even had my coffee yet, and you're already bothering me. Can't you be this chipper later in the day?"
"I never bother you."
I shoot him a look.
"Oh really?"
"Really. So, what day is it, Donna?"
He has this smile on his face, that I am trying really hard to ignore. It's his cute smile, and he seems too perky for his own good. I'll have to put a damper on that later.
"It's the day you choose to remember as our anniversary. If you'll recall, I started working for you in February, not April."
"Yes, but as I told you last year, I like to remember April, because that is the time you decided to stay with me. I mean, with us."
He's cute when he stumbles over his words.
"When I decided to stay with you, huh?" I take the coffee pot from the machine, and pour myself a cup.
"Well, um, you know what I meant, Donna."
He sounds like his old self now. Almost at the point of defeat, but not relenting his position one bit. I turn and look at him, and very sweetly speak to him.
"Well, Happy your choice of days Anniversary, Joshua."
He smiles; dimples and all.
"The same to you, Donna. There's something for you on your desk."
"Tickets to Hawaii?" I ask with a little too much excitement in my voice.
"I work at the White House, and I don't make that kind of money, Donna." I almost spit my coffee at that one. "What?"
"Joshua, you make enough money to buy me a mansion in Beverly Hills, and you'd consider that spending pocket change!"
"As if!" We're back to our normal banter. This is good. I like this part of my morning. He walks me back to my desk, and I see the flowers that have mysteriously appeared in front of my computer.
"They're lovely, Josh. Thank you." I give him a little kiss on the cheek. "You know what these flowers are said to represent, don't you?"
"Yeah, our anniversary."
"I don't mean that, I mean the actual flowers, not the gesture."
"What are you talking about, Donna?"
"I mean the arrangement of flowers. Each flower has a separate meaning, you knew that, didn't you?"
"I most certainly did not."
"And you went to Harvard. What did they teach you there, cut and paste?"
"And I'm damn good at it too." He smirks. "Seriously, what do these mean?"
"Well, considering who they came from I shouldn't be surprised." I shoot him a sly look. "However, they are beautiful."
"Are you gonna tell me or not?"
"Well, depending on the way that the flowers are placed, and the direction that they lean, they mean slightly different things. For example. A flower leaning to the right would symbolize the sender is the character of the flower. To the left, means the receiver is the character of the flower. These are, by some odd twist of fate, are all leaning to the left, so I can only assume that I am the character of all these flowers."
He prods me for more information, with a smile on his face.
"So you would be, what? A pain in the ass that doesn't tell me the information that I want to know?"
"Basically yes. Take these Michaelmas dasies. They mean that I am an afterthought. The hydrangea means that I boast; the lavender means that I am distrustful; the yellow lilies symbolize falsehood, the pink larkspur means I am fickle, and the beautiful white rosebuds mean that I have a heart ignorant of love. Thanks, Josh. You made my day."
I think I have rendered him speechless. He's standing there with a very remorseful look on his face.
"Donna, I didn't mean that at all. I just thought they were pretty."
I place a hand on his arm, and flash a re-assuring smile at him.
"I know, Joshua. They really are beautiful. I know what you meant."
He asks me with a hopeful voice. "Ok. We're cool?"
I smile and nod my head.
"Yes, Josh. We're cool."
He breathes a sigh of relief.
"Cool."
I move the flowers over to the side of my desk, so I can begin the days events. From the corner of my eye I see him standing beside my desk, watching me.
"Can I help you with something?"
"No; just thinking."
I bury my head in the drawer, placing my purse in, and removing my date book.
"I thought I smelled smoke."
He smiles.
"Funny girl. Say, where did you hear about what all these flowers meant?"
"I know some things, Josh. You usually get bored with my useless factoids, so I never tell them to you."
"You mean, all this time you knew what all these flowers meant, and you never told me? This is a matter of National Security, Donna. You really must tell me these things, you know. I mean, think about it. There are thousands upon thousands of men in America that are gonna bring home flowers for their wives, girlfriends, whatever, and they could be insanely insulting them at the same time! We could save the male population of the United States with your fountain of flower information."
"Do you like hearing anything more than the sound of your own voice?"
He smiles, his arms crossed in front of him.
"I can think of a few things, but I can't say them at work. You know..."
I cut him off.
"Yes, I know. Go to work."
"Yes, boss."
He heads back to his office, but turns to face me as he reaches the doorway.
"Donna?"
I look up at him.
"Yes, Josh?"
"Happy anniversary."
"Thanks. You too."
We flash each other our best and brightest smiles, not caring who sees how dorky we look at that moment, then he retreats into his office, ready to start his day.
*****
So. Donna knows the meanings of flowers. This could be my downfall. Maybe I should send her an olive branch, and try and patch things up. Who would know about dorky things like flowers and stuff? No one that I can think...
"Hey Josh!"
"SAMUEL!!!"
"That was a little too friendly for my liking. I'm not doing it."
"Come in, my friend. Close the door."
"You know, I've seen porno movies that start like that."
"Really? What ones?"
"Seriously. What do you want?"
"You know about girly stuff, don't you?"
"What are you talking about?"
"Well, I sent Donna some flowers for our anniversary this morning..."
"Your so called anniversary is in February."
"Must we get into technicalities?"
"Yes. Facts are the spice of life. They make the world go round."
"This is NOT stupid cliché day. I need some help. I did something bad, and I need help clearing it up."
"Why am I not surprised?" Sam sits on my couch, and lets out a sigh.
"So, what did you do this time?"
"Well, as I was saying. I sent Donna some flowers this morning, and I inadvertently told her she was fickle, boastful and a bunch of other stuff I really don't care to remember."
"You mean distrustful, false, an afterthought and ignorant of love?"
"How the hell did you know that?"
"It's in the flowers."
"But they were pretty."
"Yes, but you should really do a little research before you do these things, Josh."
"How do you know about all this stuff?"
"My mom likes to garden. She has books upon books about different flowers and their meanings."
"You're a geek, Sam."
He puts a hand on his chest.
"That hurts me right here."
"Jack ass. I need your help. Do you have any of those books? Donna knows what all the flowers mean, and I want to send her something nice. Something that means something good, not something bad."
Sam starts to laugh.
"Ya. Come by my office later. I'll dig one up for you. Pardon the pun."
"You're a funny man. Get out of my office."
"Later."
He leaves, laughing and shaking his head at me. I'll make this right. This is my vow.
****
It's 3:00, and he's not back from the hill yet. I wonder how it went. Oh well, time for me to plan my words. I love doing this. A game amidst all the madness of the White House. This makes my job fun.
I hear the commotion coming from the hall, and I know he's back. I walk to meet him at the entrance to the bullpen.
"Hey, Josh. How'd it go?" We walk side by side.
"I hate everyone, Donna. They can all rot in..."
I cut in.
"Hello, Donna. How has your afternoon been? Mine wasn't the best, but I'm anxious to hear how yours was."
"You're a funny girl."
"There was a package delivered for you while you were out. I put it on your desk."
"Unless it's a bottle with some type of liquor in it, I don't want to see it."
"Josh, you shouldn't drink. You have a sensitive system."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah. Been there, done that, got the scar to prove it."
I stop abruptly in my tracks, and he walks a few steps. He notices that I'm not beside him, then turns to look at me. He sees the look of sadness on my face.
"What?"
I look at him with a very distraught look.
"Don't ever joke about that, Josh."
He looks at me for a minute, mentally retracing his verbal steps. He closes his eyes and sighs deeply. He knows what he said. He holds out his hand for me, and I walk towards him and take his hand in mine for a moment as he talks to me.
"I'm sorry, Donna. I've just had the worst day."
"Promise not to joke about it ever again?"
He smiles the famous Joshua Lyman smile, and makes me melt when he does.
"I promise. Now, what was this package?"
He stops at the door to his office, and I keep walking towards my desk.
"Not sure. It's in a box, and I didn't want to open it. You know, just in case it was something lethal."
"So, you'd save that for me, huh?"
"You got it."
"Nice, Donna."
"I am, aren't I?" I sit down at my desk, and hear the bursts of laughter that come from the office. I'm so evil. He appears from his doorway, looking at me.
"Donna, do you want to explain this?"
With as straight a face as I can muster, I look up in his direction.
"Explain what?"
"This." He motions to the box in his hand; the box that says 'Handle with care - live plants' on it.
"I would assume that there are plants in it, but then again, I didn't go to Harvard." I return to the work on my desk, as he goes into his office. After a few moments, my email alert goes off. Gee. I wonder who this could be from. I click on to my account, and sure enough, there's an email from Josh. I mouth the words to myself as I read it.
"Donna, I don't believe this. Thanks for the card with the name of this plant, by the way. Ivy Geranium. It's pretty. You know (of course you know) what this plant means. 'I engage you for the next dance?' Donna, is this meant to be some sort of game here? You know you won't win. J."
Hmmm. A game with Josh. That could be evil, but I won't let it be. At least on my initiation. So, I decide to respond.
"Josh, saying 'I engage you for the next dance' is another way of saying 'The ball is in your court.' If you want to play the game, you must understand the rules. The woman will ALWAYS win. :p D. P.s. I could have sent you a Coltsfoot." Click send. Hehehe. I'm so bad. I return to the file on my desk, and read a paragraph, when I am interrupted by the familiar bell coming from my computer.
"Well that was quick." Let's see what he has to say to that one.
"Hey you. That would be leaning to the right, correct? Hmmm. Justice shall be done to (leaning to the right was the sender, right miss smart ass? ;) J." BRAT!!!
****
"Good night, Josh."
"Donna, where are you going?"
"Usually when one says good night to another, that usually means that they are going home."
"Smart ass."
"Yes, I am." With reluctance, I ask the all too familiar question. "Do you want me to stay?"
"Yeah. I mean, no. You don't have to. Have a good night."
"Are you sure? I can stay if you need me to."
"I don't need you to stay. Have a good sleep."
"Ok. 'Night." I slowly walk down the hall, very much aware that he is watching me leave the building. As I reach the parking lot and unlock my car door, I wonder what he plans on doing tonight. That's just odd. It wasn't locked. Oh well. Tight security - I work at the White House. There's Secret Service here all the time. I open the door to my car, and I am greeted with a most heavenly scent. Let me just add this right here and now. My car did not smell like this when I parked it here this morning. It actually smelled like stale coffee and McDonalds; not the most alluring scent combo in the world, but what can you do? Right now, I smell this wonderful scent; my whole crappy car smells beautiful. I look down at the driver's seat; nothing. The passenger seat; Bingo. I sit down in the drivers seat, and lift up the beautifully wrapped package that was on the passenger seat. I unwrap the paper, and see the beautiful flowers that are permeating this beautiful scent.
"What have we here?" I say to myself as I investigate the bouquet a little further.
"White Lilies, an Austrian Rose, and oh my god. Parsley!" I can't help but laugh hysterically. Modesty/Purity is the lily, all that's lovely; the rose, and useful knowledge is the parsley. Good ol' Josh. Someone's been studying.
****
It's late, and all I really want is to go to sleep. So what if my machine is flashing. I've had a shitty day, and I want to drink and forget about it all. Maybe if I just lay down for a few minutes, I'll feel better. I run my hands through my hair; something Donna tells me I do all the time when I'm stressed; and sigh. Yeah. Sleep. Sleep would be a good thing. I make my way to my bedroom and collapse on the bed, face first on the pillow. "Probably not a wise choice for sleeping positions, Lyman," I tell myself. So I roll over, and plan on spending the night staring at the ceiling, knowing that sleep is a precious thing that I don't experience all that often. I close my eyes for a moment, then open them at the sound of the phone ringing.
I reach for the phone, and answer with a groggy voice.
"Yeah."
"Josh, where are you?"
"I'm at home. You called me, remember?"
"It's almost seven. You need to be here; you have staff in eight minutes."
I sit bolt upright in bed, and look at the clock. It's flashing 12:00. Damn back-up batteries.
"My power must have gone off, Donna. I'll be in as soon as I can."
"Ok. I'll see you soon."
"Hey Donna."
"Yeah?"
"Thanks for caring enough to call."
"Josh, you need to wake up. You're being nice."
"I am awake, Donna. I'm walking around my place; gonna pour some juice."
"O.J.?"
"Nothing but."
"You know, it's a good thing that you take my advice now and then. That juice will wake you up."
"You take good care of me, Donna. Why?" I can't believe I just asked her that. It's out there now; I hope she answers.
"Josh, you really need a shower, then you need to come to the office."
"Donna, answer the question."
"Josh, I have things to do. I have to try and stall Staff for you, so Leo won't yell at you more than usual."
I smile, and let out a little laugh. She really is great.
"Ok. I'll be there in twenty."
"Hurry up. The country doesn't run itself you know." I know she's teasing me. It's what she does best, and I have to admit that I don't really mind. It keeps me going.
"Ok. Bye."
I step into the shower, and turn on the hot water. This has to be a quick one; I'm in enough trouble already. As soon as the water hits my shoulders, I sigh; I'm loving this hot shower. As I continue doing what it is that I do in the shower; you know, getting clean; I start thinking about - you guessed it. Donna. She really is great. I wonder why she didn't answer my question. Maybe it's because she was at the office, and she didn't want to get into that type of conversation on a White House line. I don't know. It's not like I don't know her; we see each other every day. We see each other more than I saw Mandy, and I dated her. Man. I gotta get that thought out of my head. Donna. Donna. Donna. Man. I have to get her out of my head, or, well, I'll have to deal with something else, and I'll be even more late getting to work. Try explaining that reason at Staff. I don't think so. Ok - step by step, Josh; get focused. Hair washed. Taps off. Dripping water all over the floor. Grab a towel. Get dressed. Grab keys. Grab backpack. Close front door. Stop by flower shop. See Donna smile.
****
So it's Friday, about 6:30, and I want to go home. Well, what I really want is to go to Josh's place. See; we do this thing on Friday nights. Seeing as we spend almost every waking, and sometimes un-waking, moment together we started doing this 'thing' on Friday nights. We don't have to be at work until later in the morning on Saturdays, so we hang out on Friday nights. Barring a State emergency, of course. That definitely takes precedence over any plans we may have. So, here I am standing in Josh's office doorway, and he has his head buried in files. How typical.
"Hey there, handsome." He looks up at me and smiles.
"To what do I owe that greeting?"
"What day is it, Josh?"
"It's something that ends in 'y."
"For your information, Mr. sarcastic pain in the ass; it's Friday."
"Love you too, Donnatella."
"You know what happens on Fridays, don't you?"
"You fill my brain with useless trivia, and we eat Chinese food at my place?"
"Exactly."
"Then when you go home, I sit and watch Nickelodeon all night."
"YOU DO NOT!"
"I DO TOO!"
I love it when we banter like this.
"So, is it a go for tonight then? The world will stop spinning for a few hours just so we can take a break for a bit?"
He nods his head, with a pensive look on his face.
"I think I can swing it; I think I can be outta here by around 8."
"Cool. I'll meet you at your place then?"
"Isn't that how we always do it, Donna?"
"Touché."
"I'll see you soon. Go home."
"You don't have to tell me twice."
I walk to the door, thinking how this night is, I know, going to be very special.
****
"Ya."
"Hey, it's me. I have an idea."
"Oh really? What's that?"
"Well, what time do we have to be at work tomorrow?"
"I don't know, maybe around nine, barring an urgent call from Leo or the President. Why?"
"You haven't ordered any food yet, have you?"
"Donna, I just got in the door. I just had enough time to throw my bag down and answer the phone."
"Ok. Don't order anything."
"But Donna, I'm hungry."
"I know. Just relax, and let me take care of everything, ok?"
"Some days I don't know what to do with you, you know."
I know he's smiling; you can hear it in his voice.
"I know. I'll be there in a few minutes. Oh! Do me a favor?"
"Ya. What?"
"Well, you know those things in your kitchen that are called dishes? Can you put two of them on that thing that's called a table in your dining room? Oh. Some cutlery would be nice too."
"You make me laugh, Donna."
"Was that a hint of sarcasm, Josh? Well! I never!"
"Ok. You win. When will you be here? Do I have time to have a shower?"
I knock on his door.
"I'll take that as a no." He hangs up the phone, then opens the door. When he does, he greets me with a shocked look on his face.
"What's all this?"
"Well, you could be a gentleman and help me out, you know."
"Sorry. Let me take these for you."
He grabs the grocery bags that are in my hands, and takes them into the kitchen. I take my backpack from my shoulder, and drop it on the floor by the front door, and close the door behind me. I hang my coat up as I talk to him.
"Well, there's a bunch of stuff in there. There's some steak, just because I know you're a manly man and must eat red meat."
"You know it, babe." Did he just call me babe? I walk to the kitchen, where I find him rummaging through the bags, emptying the contents on the counter.
"Donna."
It's actually annoying when he whines, but he's holding up some salad. I know what's coming next.
"You know I hate salad."
"Yes, I do. However, if you want to eat the meat, you'll eat the salad."
"Ok, ok. I give up." He looks at me with a weird look in his eye.
"So. Do you want me to help you with this?"
I can't help but burst into fits of laughter.
"What? What's so funny?"
"The thought of you. Joshua Lyman. Cooking. It's hysterical."
"It is not."
I give him a pat on the shoulder.
"Go have a shower. I'll cook dinner."
"Sounds like a good deal to me. Thanks, Donna." He looks at me with a very sincere look on his face, and I return it.
"You're welcome." We kind of stare at each other for a minute, before I wave my arm at him; non-verbally telling him to go away. He leaves the kitchen, and I begin to cook a wonderful dinner for him.
****
So here I am. In my shower. Donna is making me dinner. What did I ever do to be this lucky? I've been in here for about 20 minutes, and I can smell something wonderful coming from the kitchen. I shut off the water, and wrap my lower half in a towel and walk into the bedroom. I have to wear something nice. Casual, but nice. I decide on my khakis and that button down shirt that Donna tells me I look good in. As I put it on, I realize that it is actually a nice shirt. She says it brings out my eyes, but that's Donna for ya. Always noticing the things that I don't. I walk out into the dining room, and my eyes must be bugging out of my head. My apartment has never, and I mean NEVER looked this good. There's candles on the table, with my dishes laid out. My wine glasses, which I never use, are at the table too; someone's been busy.
"Donna, this looks wonderful. I'm shocked."
"It's no problem. I thought; a nice relaxing dinner would be perfect after a stressful day; don't you agree?"
"I most certainly do. It smells wonderful; you're making me hungry."
"Good. There's lots to eat, so I expect you to have a full stomach."
She walks into the dining room with bowls of mini potatoes, green beans (which I plan on eating to make her happy, by the way) and yes, the salad.
"Have a seat."
"I have to do something first."
She looks at me kinda funny.
"What would that be?"
I walk over to her, and take one of the bowls from her hand, and put it on the table.
"This."
I bring her chin up towards me, and give her a soft kiss. She makes this little squeaky sound when our lips meet, and I can't help but think that this was wrong. My bad.
"I'm sorry, Donna. I shouldn't have done that."
She smiles at me, and I can tell she's thinking something.
"It's ok, Josh. I just kinda wanted to eat first. I'm starving."
"Oh. Ok. This sure looks delicious."
****
"That was delicious, Donna. Even the salad."
Well, that's a shocker.
"Thanks."
"You're welcome. Let me take the dishes in. You relax; you've worked hard."
This is even more of a shock.
"Ok."
He has taken all the dishes into the kitchen, and during that time, I've curled up on the couch with the TV on.
"There's nothing on TV, Josh."
He comes into the living room, from the kitchen.
"That's ok. I have movies, you know."
"Josh, I don't want to watch your scrambled porn collection."
"DONNATELLA!"
"What? I don't."
"I have movies. You know what they are. Long segments of dialogue intertwined with various plots and sub-plots..."
"Enough. What movies do you have?" As if I didn't know.
"Well, on the way home I stopped by the rental place, and I picked one up."
Oh god. Debbie does something or other.
"What would that be?"
"The Princess Bride. I know you like it."
I sit up from the couch, and have a large smile on my face.
"Really? Oh Josh, you're the best. Put it in."
"Excuse me?"
"The tape. In the VCR." He does, then he walks over and turns off the lights. Now it's just me, Josh, some candles and 'The Princess Bride'.
"Come sit with me." I pat the side of the couch, and he sits beside me, after collecting our wine glasses.
"I almost forgot something."
He bolts back into the kitchen, leaving me to wonder what it is that he has forgotten.
"What did you forget?"
"This."
He walks back from the kitchen, hand behind his back. He holds out his hand to me, and I am quite choked up by what I see. He has one red tulip in his hand; the flower meaning a declaration of love. I accept it from him, not quite knowing what to say.
"Donna, are you ok?"
"Yes, Josh. I'm ok." I'm actually not; I just don't know what to say to this.
"You look as though something's wrong. You would tell me if there were something wrong, wouldn't you?"
I turn my head to look at him, then inhale the scent from the tulip.
"I would. Thank you."
"You're welcome."
He puts his arm around me, and gives me a kiss on the forehead. I sigh, and rest my head on his shoulder, as the movie begins.
"You know, I love this movie."
"Yeah, me too. It's funny, and Princess Buttercup isn't all that hard on the eyes."
"Joshua!"
He laughs.
"Well, she's not."
"Well, Andre the Giant does it for me, baby."
He laughs hysterically at my comment.
"I love how the beginning starts; how the grandfather is explaining how the story develops. I love the 'As You Wish' thing, too."
"Yeah. I think it's kinda cute how that's how he said 'I love you'."
"Yeah. It is kinda sweet. Ok. Movie starting now. Shut up."
"Kay."
****
Somehow over the course of this movie, Donna has managed to curl herself up on me. I don't mind, really I don't. It's kinda like a comfy feeling. I'm laying back on the couch, her curled up beside me; one leg draped over mine, and her arm across my chest. I can't help but run my fingers through her hair as we lay there; watching this movie. From the TV we hear 'Grandpa, maybe you could come over tomorrow and read it to me again.' 'As you wish.' The credits roll, and I hate to have to move her, but I can't put in another one unless I do.
"Donna, you're gonna have to move if you want to watch another movie."
"I don't want to, Josh. Let's just lay here for a while. This feels nice."
Oh yeah. Who da man?
"Oh. Ok. Sure." I turn off the TV with the remote, and turn on the stereo. It blares some 80's pop tune, and I instantly change the station. Ok. This is nice; something mellow - almost mood setting. As soon as I find this station, Donna inhales deeply, then as she breathes out she almost melts into me. This really is nice. I lean back and close my eyes, my hands still running through her hair, and occasionally across her back. I can feel her lift her head up towards mine, and she gives me a kiss; just below the chin.
"What was that for?"
"Just because. This was really nice, Josh. We don't get to do this as often as I'd like."
"You mean the movie thing?"
"There's that..."
"What else is there?"
"I mean, this laying with each other thing. Being still with each other. It's special."
I give her a kiss on the top of the head.
"Yeah. It is, isn't it."
"Yeah." Ok. A few moments have gone by, and we're not saying anything. I know she's thinking something, but I don't know what. I take my left hand and put it under her chin, bringing it towards me. I hope I haven't mis-judged this. I'll feel like crap if I have. She responds, bring her head up to meet mine. She leans further over me, so she's laying on me; but she's looking directly at me in, you know, that way. I guess I didn't read this wrong.
"Donna, we don't have to do..."
"Josh. You know what that flower meant. You know that I know what that flower meant. I only wish I had one to give you in return."
I smile. That's my girl. She brings her head close to mine, and we share a soft kiss that can only be described as magical. Donna's kiss is like air to me. She pulls her head away from mine, and rests her head on my chest, her hand directly over my heart. I sigh.
"What?"
That was quiet. She's running her fingers around on my chest; I don't really know what she plans on accomplishing while she does that; but I think that someone knows that effect quite well.
"Nothing, Donna."
"No, tell me."
"Really, it's nothing."
"Joshua."
There's the tone. I was waiting for that. The 'Don't think you're getting away with this one, because I'm not gonna give up until you tell me' tone.
"Well, I would tell you, but you might consider it, you know, not like me."
"So. What you're saying is that you're gonna stop being the sarcastic jack-ass that you are most days and actually be a decent human being for once?"
"Thanks, Donna. I feel much better."
"Anytime. Now what were you thinking?"
"I was just thinking about how right this is."
"How right what is?"
"You know. This. Us. Here. Now. All this." I wave my free arm around in our general direction for a little more emphasis. What was that? I felt something drop on my chest. Not anything heavy like the Constitution or Sam's ego, but something wet.
"Donna, what's wrong?"
She's sniffling. Oh god. I did bad.
"Nothing's wrong, Josh. That was just so sweet. I was thinking the same thing, but I didn't want to say anything, because I thought that you would think I was being childish or something."
Ok. She has my full attention. I reach over to the table beside the couch, and she kinda rolls off me in the process.
"Josh, what are you doing?"
"I'm attempting to turn the ringer off the phone."
"Oh."
She has this puzzled look on her face, which is very adorable. She's sitting on the end of the couch, and I, after successfully turning the ringer off the phone, inch my way over to her. She's looking at me out of the corner of her eye, even though I know she would deny that she is. Once I reach her side, she turns to me.
"Josh, is this gonna be weird?"
Well, that just wasn't what I expected her to say. Wait, this is Donna. That was what I expected her to say.
"Well, I hope not. We don't have to do anything, Donna. We can just sit here and talk, or watch another movie, or listen to music."
"Josh, I engage you for the next dance."
"So, the ball is in my court, huh?"
"No, I mean, I would like to dance with you."
"Oh. Ok. I can do that. I can dance."
"After I taught you how." I smile, and turn up the volume on the stereo. There's a nice song playing on the radio, and I take Donna's hand in mine; lifting her from the couch and placing my one hand on her waist, the other on her back. She gently slips her arms around my neck, and places her head on my chest as we move in time to the rhythm. I can't believe that I haven't done this before. I mean, Donna and I have danced at events like the Inauguration or at various functions of State, but never like this. Just us. This is nice. She looks up at me, her head still on my chest, and I look directly at her. We lock eyes, for just a moment, then it happens.
****
I don't know what made me do it, almost like some energetic force that made us come together, but all I know is I had to. And with urgency. I brought Josh's head lower, so I could kiss him. Yes, we kissed just a few moments ago, but this is different. This is the red tulip kiss. The 'I love you' kiss. It's soft, simple and gentle, but it's making me melt. I'm having a difficult time standing up here, and I'm afraid that Josh will think I don't want this. I put my hand on his chest and push myself, much to my own chagrin, away.
"Josh."
"Donna."
"As much as I really loved that, I can't stay here like this."
"I kinda figured."
Awww. He looks sad.
"I mean, my knees are kinda shaky, and we keep doing this, here, where we are right now, I don't think I'll be able to stand for much longer."
"Oh." Now he looks happy. That's my Josh. I can just hear him thinking 'I'm Da Man.'
"That good, huh?"
"You know, I wouldn't be fishing for compliments at a moment like this, Joshua. It kinda spoils the ambiance."
"Oh. Sorry. We could sit down, if you'd like. Or, we could do something else, whatever you'd like to do."
"I'd kinda like to go change; if that's ok with you."
"Sure. I guess. Just don't take too long."
"Ok. I'll be right back."
****
Ok. So she's gone to change. Hmmm. Maybe she's changing into some really sexy underwear. I'm so bad. I can't believe I'm thinking about Donna, my Donna, wearing sexy underwear. I'm bad. I'm really bad. I'm really, really...
"Josh?"
"Yeah."
I turn around and look at the vision that is standing about 20 feet away from me.
"I hope you don't mind, but I borrowed your shirt. I thought I brought a shirt with these sweats, but I think in all the commotion getting here that I forgot."
"Donna, you look beautiful."
"Josh, it's your old Harvard shirt and a pair of sweat pants."
"So. Are you telling me that against the law for you to look beautiful in casual stuff? If that's the case, you're gonna be arrested."
"Josh."
She's blushing. I'm da man.
"Come 'ere, Donna."
I hold out my hand and she walks towards me. The candles that she lit before are the perfect lighting for this. She's such a romantic. Don't ever tell her, but I think they look really nice. The candles, that is. She's in front of me, and I wrap my arms around her, holding her as close to me as I can, making sure that I don't hurt her. That's something I don't ever want to do. I give her a kiss on the top of the head, and she pulls her head away from me.
"Donna."
"Yes, Josh."
"We don't have to..."
"Dance with me."
She returns her head to my chest, and we sigh as we start to sway to the music. After about 20 minutes, any movements that we have made have been slight, at best. Let's face it. We're just happy to be here holding each other; with no interruptions, no distractions, just us. She kisses the side of my neck, then pulls her head back, trying to inch her way up towards me. I pull my head back a bit, then gently lift her lips to mine. This is what a real first kiss is supposed to be like. The ones that your parents always tell you that your true love kiss feels like. Somehow, we manage to slowly start walking in the direction of my room. All of a sudden, Donna loses her balance. I reach out to help her.
"Oh I'm sorry, Josh. I wrecked this."
I can't help but smile. I wonder how long she's thought about this. Maybe as long as I have.
"'S okay, Donna. I have an idea."
"Okay."
I bend down and pick her up in my arms.
"JOSHUA!"
"Yes."
"Put me down."
"No."
"Why not?"
"Because I'm making sure you don't hurt yourself, or use up too much energy. I think you're gonna need it."
"Oh." She rests her head on my shoulder, and I carry her into the bedroom.
****
****
The air is sweaty, muggy and it has a unique smell. Don't ask me what the actual scent is, because I really don't know. All I know is that for the past six hours or so, Josh has been curled up behind me; an arm around my waist, holding on to me as we slept. I look over at the clock. 6:32. We should get up soon. I turn over, so I am facing him. When I do, I discover that he's looking directly at me, which kinda startles me.
"Good morning."
"'Mornin'."
"Did you sleep well?"
"Never better. You?"
"The same. It's 6:32, Josh. We should get up soon."
"Ya. We should, shouldn't we?"
"Ya. How come we're not moving?"
"Because I don't want to."
"Okay. That sounds good to me."
He lays on his back, and I curl up beside him; an arm draping over his chest.
"Josh."
"Yeah."
"Fridays are definitely my favorite days."
He smiles at me.
"Mine too."
****
It's about 2:00, and Josh has been out of the office since around 11:00. He said he was going to buy lunch, but how long does that take? 30 minutes, tops. I hear the door shut and I know he's back.
"Where have you been?"
"I stopped somewhere before I got lunch."
"Really. Where?"
"Here."
He takes out a large bag from behind his back.
"It's a present for you."
"Josh, you don't have to buy me presents just because we, you know."
"I'm going to remind you of that when you harass me about tickets to Hawaii."
"Well, that is the exception to the rule. I deserve tickets to Hawaii."
We smile, and I open the bag, eager to look at the contents.
"Josh, this is so nice."
"I thought you'd like it."
It's a very large book on gardening, flowers and their meanings. I give him a hug and a quick kiss on the cheek.
"Thank you."
"There's something else in there for you. Look on page 364."
I turn to the page he mentioned, and there's highliter all over the page.
"Josh, why did you write in my book?"
"Read it, Donna."
"Ok."
I look at the highlited portion and read out loud.
"The Moss rosebud, one of the more rare varieties, is said to represent the confession of love. This flower is most often found in the south western united states, and when given, should be cherished as the rare gift that love is."
I look up from the book towards Josh.
"Oh, Josh."
"I have another gift for you, Donna."
"I don't need anything else."
"Ok, I'll take it back then."
"No, you already got it."
"That's my Donna."
He takes his other hand from behind his back, and he presents me with a beautiful Moss rosebud. I start to tear up as he walks closer to me and whispers.
"I love you, Donnatella Moss. Please don't ever forget that."
"I won't, Joshua. I love you too."
We share a hug beside my desk. Even though there are no other people in the office today, it's probably best that we don't have a huge make-out session in the White House. After we break off our hug, we get back to our old routine.
"Kay. I hate to do this, but I need you to get me the file on the thing."
I smile at him.
"You got it."
He walks back to his office, as I search for the file. I find it, and go to the door, handing him the file.
"Here you go. Do you need anything else?"
"Not at the moment."
"Kay."
"Hey, Donna."
I turn abruptly.
"Yeah."
"You could come over tonight and we could watch the movie again; if you wanted to."
I smile.
"As you wish."
***

 

 

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