TITLE: Our Two Consciences II: Feelin' Good (1/1)
AUTHOR: Laurel A. (lalden99@yahoo.com)
SPOILERS/RATING: Everything up to, and including, The
Women of Qumar/PG
DISCLAIMER: Nothing you see here is mine; it all
belongs to others (i.e. Aaron Sorkin, NBC, WB, etc.).
ARCHIVE: Anyplace, just let me know.
SUMMARY: Post–Ep for The Women of Qumar. Having no
idea that Josh was almost getting hit on the head by
Amy, Donna is feelin' good, so good in fact, that she
is wearing her Donnatella Moss Suit.
STUFF: Huge thanks to Michell for sticking with me
during a hard week where I almost checked myself into
the looney bin. This is part of the Our Two
Consciences series by Michelle H. and myself. To see
our fic from last season (and some groovy
stand-alones), check out our website

I am feeling good. I am feeling peppy. And I've got
my red suit on.

But, just for fun, let's review what little curve
balls life has thrown at me recently, shall we....

President Bartlet is running for re-election but we
aren't going to be pushed around by political
consultants telling us we have to be afraid of running
a smart campaign. We are back on the road again.

I had some sort of plan that involved getting a
personal life, being flirty and forward, and dating a
nice, smart, funny guy like Cliff.

Well, that turned out to not be such a brilliant plan
after all because of who Cliff is and who I am, and
who we work for. Bit of a wrench in the works, you
might say.

I was angry at myself, and at the whole situation
really. Mad for having feelings for Cliff, mad for
seeing him a second time, mad that I couldn't continue
to see him, and madder still that Josh felt like he
had to tell me so. Can you tell I was mad?

I hated having to talk to Josh about Cliff. I could
feel Josh withdrawing from me. He'd never shut me out
like that before. Not being able to see Cliff hurt,
but feeling the cold void of disconnection from Josh
was heartbreaking.

These past few months have been really hard. I
learned some hard lessons. But I have begun to feel
the comforting weight of what it means to be
surrounded by loyalty.

The after effects of what happened with Cliff produced
a big change in my relationship with Josh. Something
shifted out of place. But we slowly got it back into
place, maybe a new place; but we got our banter back
and for that I am really thankful.

But enough about Cliff and Josh; I am concentrating on
me for a change.

And that's what the red suit is all about.

I call it my Donnatella Moss Suit. I wear it just for
me, when I am feeling powerful. I am woman; hear me

I am feeling more sure of myself than I have in
months. More sure of who I am and what I want. I
guess that's what perjuring yourself will do.

I have been thinking a lot lately about what I want,
professionally. And all joking aside, I really am a
woman with goals and plans.

I would like to get my degree. I would really like to
not be someone's assistant. In fact, I would like to
have my own assistant. I know I am smart enough, and
I think I have that kind of drive and ambition.

Not that there is anything wrong with being an
assistant. I just hate the whole "woman behind the
man (or woman, as the case may be)" stigma.

Actually, I think it's even harder to work for a
woman. Lots of women in powerful positions look down
on their female assistants. I've seen it here in the
White House and all over DC.

As much as they like to think that they are liberal
feminists, they automatically assume that because you
are working as an assistant, that you aren't
"actualized" as a person and that you are not as smart
as they are.

But we are. Some of us want to move higher up the
ladder; others don't, but that doesn't make less
worthy of respect. We are not "sell-outs."

I think people's perceptions of me are changing, at
least here in the White House. It's because of the
red suit; I'm sure of it.

Okay, maybe not. But I do know that as my perceptions
about myself have changed (I AM smart enough, and just
WATCH me have the ambition), and because of that, I've
been able to present my political and policy opinions
to a more receptive audience.

Well, I know it, and I think they do too.

I am aware, however, of what people outside this
administration think of me. I work in a very visible
place for a very visible man. And I was just dating
another very visible person.

The press didn't see me with Cliff, but they didn't
have to. Word gets around; DC is very small town.

I know they think I got my job because Josh either
felt sorry for me or thought I was cute, or both. Not
that I'm not cute, I am. But, it took me a long a
time to gain the respect of the people I work for, and
I worry about that perception sticking with me. Will
I be able to stand on my own merits?

So, that's what the red suit is all about. A reminder
that I can stand on my own. And I ought to do it more




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