TITLE: I Confess (1/1)
AUTHOR: Laurel A.
SPOILERS: Everything up to, and including, Ellie.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own any of this stuff; please
don't sue.
ARCHIVE: Archive anyplace, just let me know first.
SUMMARY: Donna muses about her feelings for Josh
while watching Dial M for Murder.
AUTHORS NOTE: "I Confess" is the name of another
Alfred Hitchcock film – incidentally, Karl Malden, who
played POTUS' priest in Take This Sabbath Day, is in
the movie. "I Confess," a box office flop, was
released just prior to "Dial M for Murder." Special
thanks this time to Marty. And, as always, thanks to
the Super Cool Michelle (and, yeah, we are cool).

This is the next installment in the newly named series
by Michelle Hoffmann and myself:

Roles by Laurel A.
Masks by Michelle H.
Donna Moss Talks About Sex and Joey Lucas by Laurel A.
Josh Lyman Talks About Strategy by Michelle H.
Late At Night In The Soft Warm Glow by Laurel A.
Perfect Clarity by Michelle H.
I Confess by Laurel A.
Static Electricity by Michelle H.

We are sitting in the White House screening room
watching Dial M For Murder. I hadn't been to a
screening here yet, but being here now makes me truly
sorry I didn't come sooner. It is really cool perk of
working at the White House. It isn't $8.00 a ticket,
the floors aren't sticky, the seats are comfortable,
and the drinks and snacks don't cost $18.50.

When I say "we" are sitting in the White House
screening room, I mean Josh and me. There are about
20 other people here as well, but I am not counting
them. Okay, I'll count the President and Ellie, but
that's it. Because right now, it I am finding it hard
to follow the movie. Josh is not only occupying the
seat next to me (a fact of which I am keenly aware)
but he is also taking up most of my thought process
right now.

Let's review the story so far, shall we:

1) I don't know if I am ready for Josh to tell me
that he knows I am Under-Appreciated, Misunderstood,
Always-There-for-Him-When-He-Needs-Me, and that he
loves me as Quirky-Assistant.

2) I am scared of Real-Josh finding out that
Real-Donna thinks so much of him. I am also scared of
Real-Josh meeting someone to be Real _with_. But, I
don't think that Post-Shooting-Josh is ready to give
his heart to anyone, and that makes me feel better.

3) And finally, I confess, that sitting there in my
heart, are definite feelings for Josh.

Feelings -- what does that mean? It sounds way too "I
am in touch with my inner transcendentalist self."
I'm just not sure what a better word for it is. Crush
-- too High School. Attraction -- too scientific.
Love – too soon (did I really just think that?).
Fondness -- too Miss Manners. Affection -- too
chaste. Devotion -- too Olivia Newton John in
"Grease." Oh, great, now I have "Hopelessly Devoted
To You" in my head.

Back in reality, here in the theatre, Josh shakes our
huge tub of popcorn at me. We are sitting next to
each other and it really does feel like we are alone;
we're the only ones in our row, and there is no one in
front or in back of us. Josh and I are sharing the
biggest tub of popcorn they have, he's got his usual
Diet Coke (fooling himself that it this is a _healthy_
part of his diet somehow balancing all those burnt
hamburgers), and I am drinking my usual root beer.

In spite of the fact that we have never been to the
movies together -- I mean without practically the
entire senior staff and the Secret Service filling up
every row while on the campaign trail -- we have
spontaneously developed a pattern. He tilts the
popcorn towards me, I take some, then he takes some.
We repeat this rhythmic pattern every couple of
minutes, both sipping our sodas in between.

This happens a lot when we do things together – things
just fall into place, into an easy rhythm; I love that
about being with Josh. I love it when we work quietly
together or when we eat together; at those times I
think we both feel the comfort of just being together
and doing whatever we are doing. It seems like a
complementary flip side to our banter; it's a natural
aspect of our dynamic that we can also be quiet

Now and then, however, we get a little off track of
our popcorn pattern and bump hands. We exchange the
usual movie-theatre-whispers of "sorry" and then get
back into the swing of things. Until it happens
again; and I begin to wonder if I am upsetting the
rhythm by reaching too soon. But every time our hands
touch, it strikes me how warm and smooth his skin
feels, and darn it, it's distracting.

Just as I am mulling all of this over in my mind and
thinking way too much about Josh and his smooth hands,
he turns to me and says, "This isn't good." For a
second there, I thought he meant the hand bumping.
Turns out though, that he is concerned about the
President, who is not giving his usual running
commentary during the movie.

And there it is again; just like when we bump hands, I
get that stab of emotion I used to call "school
stomach." It's that stomach-flip thing you get on the
first day of school, or when you feel that warm surge
of electricity when you brush up against your boss'
warm smooth hand in the popcorn tub, or when he
whispers to you in the movies about the President of
the United States. Yeah, that feeling.

I try to concentrate on the movie again, we continue
back on track with our popcorn sharing and in a couple
of minutes, the President comes back in and taps Josh
on the shoulder. We both look over at him at the same
time; the President whispers something to Josh about
the Surgeon General and Josh taps my leg as he gets up
(school stomach again).

Josh is now standing up facing the President and he's
got his back to me. I have just slipped from "This
Feels Like Junior High" to something a little more,
um, adult. In spite of his lack of exercise, or maybe
because of it, and I hate to have to admit that Joey
Lucas is right about his butt -- I am starting to see
Josh in a whole new role: Red-Hot-Sex-Machi....Okay, I
think I was channeling Josh's immense ego just then,
but still, I'm just saying. And don't give me that
look for using the word "immense" in relation to Josh.

Must concentrate on the movie. Must concentrate on
the movie. Must concentrate on the movie. This is my
new mantra.



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