Spontaneous Combustion
By: Jenna

Category: J&D, Rating: PG
Summary: Josh's type.
Disclaimer: One only wishes ABS would find wisdom in my thoughts...
Feedback: Is nice, of course.

"So..." Donna Moss asked her boss Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman as he entered his office and stood at the front of his desk, "how was your date with Amy the Feminist Wonder(bra)?" Donna dropped her voice so that Josh wasn't sure he really heard that last part. Donna was noticeably busying herself sorting through papers on his desk and was patently refusing to look up at him.

"I wasn't on a date with Amy," Josh replied trying to figure out Donna's motive in asking.

"You went in search of Amy. You honestly think I don't know you were hoping to stumble into her sideways so she'd ask you out?"

"Amy's an influential woman. We need her support--"

Judging from the increased rate of paper shuffling, Donna wasn't buying. Not that it mattered to her what he did with his private life... She just wished he'd be honest with her.

"Josh! You were trying to hit on her, but as usual you can't just come out and ask a girl out."

"Somehow I doubt Amy would appreciate being referred to as 'a girl'..."

Donna looked up at that and glared at him. "Don't get me started..." she warned.

"Anyway," he shrugged, "she's not my type."

Donna slammed the files down at that. "Josh, she's the epitome of your type. If she were any more your type she'd have it stamped on her forehead."

"What makes someone 'my type'? he asked.

"Mandy, Joey, Amy," she ticked off the names on her fingers. "Hmm, I wonder what they have in common..."

"I only like women whose names end in 'Y'?" Josh asked bemused.

"Josh, be serious. They're all smart, ambitious, successful, political players, and they're all short brunettes."

"Amy's not short," Josh countered.

"She looks short to me."

"Ah..." Josh decided to accept that answer. "And if I say it's just a coincidence?"

"I'd say 'Ha!'"

"'Cause I'm pretty sure they're not my type..."

"And just what do you think is 'your type'?" Donna asked scornfully.

"You."

"Ha!" Donna replied before realizing what he'd said. "Wait... what did you just--" she looked at Josh stunned.

Josh nodded sheepishly and began to fidget with the stapler and tape dispenser on his desk. At Donna's continued silence he looked up to see her shocked face. Damn! He'd misread her friendship as jealousy and now he'd made a botch not only of his personal life but his professional life as well. "I... I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said that. Don't worry, I understand. It'll be awkward for a while, but I won't mention it again. I'm sure we can continue to work together -- which is more than we could do if... Nevermind. It'll be all right. Just don't..." he trailed off unable to say 'look at me like that.'

Donna shook herself out of her state of shock. "Uh... excuse me..." as she made her way out of his office.

* * *

Donna immediately went see the President. One look at her face and Charlie quickly waved her into the Oval Office.

"Donna!" President Bartlet exclaimed looking up from his reading. "What can I do for you?"

"Mr. President. If that offer to take Mrs. Landingham's position is still open, I'd like to take it."

"Yes, of course, Donna. But what about Josh?"

"Him too."

"Josh wants you to take the job?"

"He doesn't know about the job."

"You want to take Josh too?" the President asked in a puzzled tone.

She nodded, "He's part of the deal."

"Well, it's fine by me, but we'd better run it by Leo. I'm pretty sure it's illegal to give away White House deputies with every job. We'd run out of them pretty quick for one thing..." the President's eyes twinkled. "Do you mean to tell me that Josh finally told you how he feels?"

"More or less," Donna nodded.

"And you told him how you feel?"

Donna looked startled, "Actually, sir, I forgot to."

"Donna! The poor guy finally gets the nerve to tell you he loves you and you forgot to tell him you love him too?"

"Well, he didn't say he loves me. He just said I was his type."

"For Josh that's a declaration of undying love. Go put the guy out of his misery."

"So it's okay?"

"Yes, I'll make sure Leo let's you have Josh as a condition of taking me on," the President said waving her out. As she got to the door he called out to her, "Donna!"

"Yes sir,"

"If I let you have him, you've got to promise to take care of him -- you know, feed him... take him for walks... 'cause I don't want to get stuck with that..." he mock-scolded.

Donna smiled, "Yes sir. I know it'll be a lot of work, but I promise: I'll take good care of him."

"Now go tell him before you two spontaneously combust -- which we've been expecting for some time now."

* * *

Josh had his head buried in his hands and appeared to be trying to read a briefing book when Donna returned to his office.

"Josh..." she softly said causing him to look up.

His eyes were sad before he caught himself and masked over the sadness with a professional lack of concern. "Yeah?"

"I quit."

His heart sank to his feet and his mouth fell open. "Donna. Please... you don't have to quit. I won't ever say anything or do anything. I shouldn't have--"

"Josh-- we can't work together."

"Sure we can. We just forget what I said--"

"I don't want to."

"You don't want to work together? I thought you loved your job?"

"I do. I did. I don't want to forget what you said-- This is so hard..."

Josh looked startled like he was on thin ice and didn't know which way to turn. He felt like the proverbial deer in the headlights. "You... you don't want... You want--"

"Yeah, I want... you know..."

"Okay..." he drawled, not sure what was okay or what came next, but he thought it was good, whatever it was. "So..."

"So, I'm taking Mrs. Landingham's position and the President says it's okay if... you know..." she waved her hand back and forth between them.

"The President said we could--" Josh waved his hand back and forth between them.

"Well, not in so many words. He said I could keep you if I feed you and took you for walks..."

"The President said that?" Josh frowned wondering if the President realized he wasn't talking about a puppy when he gave his okay.

"Yeah. And that he'd clear it with Leo. And that I should tell you before we spontaneously combust."

"The President thinks we could spontaneously combust?"

"Metaphorically speaking."

"Oh... okay. So what now?"

"Well... now you have to ask me out, Josh. You can't just stumble into a girl sideways and expect her to spontaneously combust, you know."

Josh grinned showing the infamous Lyman dimples. "Donna would you like to have dinner with me... then maybe we can talk some more about this spontaneous combustion thing..."

"Why, Josh!" she answered with mock-surprise. "I'd love to!"

The end

 

 

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