Thanks for the encouragement. :) There actually is a point to this, other than meaningless conversation, even though it might not seem like it yet. Bear with me, and I think I might finish it fairly soon. :)
Disclaimer: Not mine. They belong to Aaron Sorkin, John Wells Productions, Warner Bros., et. al. I am borrowing them for non- profit, recreational purposes and will return them in pretty much the same condition as I found them. I think Sunset Beach belongs to Aaron Spelling and Port Charles belongs to Wendy Riche. A World Apart is fictional.
Rating: PG-13 (one instance of semi-bad language)
Summary: Continues from part 1. Josh and Donna are discussing soap operas.
Archive: Anywhere, just let me know.
Feedback: Much appreciated. :)
Soap Operas and Soap Suds (2/?)
Josh was positively giddy. Which was rather surprising since he had spent the first half of the day in an abysmally bad mood. The reason was simple: not only had Donna voluntarily decided to do the incredibly thoughtful task of cleaning his apartment (which probably meant that she wasn't angry), but she had also agreed to talk to him.
"Does this mean you'll be bringing me coffee from now on?"
"Ha. Don't bet on it."
He smiled, shifting in his bed so he could hold the phone more comfortably. "What are you doing right now?"
"Did we not just have an entire discussion on how I could use your nerdy headset and continue cleaning at the same time?"
"Yes, but what specifically are you doing."
"Why do you want to know?"
Once again with the questions. "Jeez, Donna, it's not like I asked what you were wearing."
"If you really wanted to know, I'm wearing old sweats."
Josh glanced down at his own attire. "Beats a hospital gown that doesn't close at the back. It's not enough that I'm confined to this hospital room; they have to humiliate me as well."
Donna said something unintelligible that sounded like it included "females" and "ass," but he couldn't be sure.
"So what are you doing," he pestered her again.
There was another belabored sigh. "I'm trying to organize the clutter on your bathroom counter before I start washing it. Honestly, Josh, I never knew men needed so many cosmetics."
"Hey, those are not cosmetics. And the, uh, lotion was a gift. I'm told that it keeps the skin smooth." He added defensively, "And for your information, many women find it attractive."
"Cosmetics, Josh. Substances applied to make one beautiful."
There was a slight sound on the other end of the line. Josh strained his ears. "What are you doing now?"
"Hmm?" Donna sounded distracted.
"Do you have anything else to talk about other than my every single move in cleaning your hideously disorganized apartment?"
"I was only asking." Josh stopped. Donna had seemed a little defensive with that last question. He wracked his brain for what she could be doing. What did he have on his counter? "Hey, did you just smell my cologne?"
A wide grin spread across his face. "Because, you know, it's okay with me if you did."
"Wouldn't you just like to know," she tartly replied. "What are you doing anyway? It sounds like there are people in your room."
"It's the television." He glanced morosely up at the screen, on which two women were screaming at each other. "They're making me watch soap operas."
The petulance in his voice made Donna smile as she recapped the bottle of his cologne and placed it on the floor so she could clean the counter. She filled the sink with soapy water and submerged the sponge.
"Did you know that there is a channel entirely devoted to soap operas, Donna?"
"I did know that, Josh."
"Soap operas twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week."
"I mean, they have a channel that was created for no other purpose than to show soap operas."
"I get the picture, Josh."
"Why do I-"
"Why is there a need for a soap opera channel?" he interrupted.
She considered before offering, "There's a channel devoted entirely to the weather."
"And one called the History Channel, which I'm pretty sure doesn't talk about anything other than history."
"I'm just saying."
"The Weather Channel is useful. The History Channel is educational."
"Many people happen to like soap operas."
"I'm making a point here, Donna."
"And I'm sure it's a very good point," she said soothingly.
"What possible redeeming quality can there be in showing old reruns of soap operas all day?"
"Oh, I don't know. They can be fairly entertaining sometimes."
There was a pause as Donna finished wiping down the mirror.
"Don't tell me. You watch soaps."
Donna replaced the bottles and containers on his counter, neatly arranged in a row. "I don't have time these days, Josh. But I did watch some in high school and college. Which one are you watching right now?"
Josh checked the screen. The two women were gone, and now there was a pair of teenagers making out underneath an extremely fake looking tree.
"Um, I think it was something like Sunset Port."
"Well there was a show called Sunset Beach, and there is one named Port Charles."
"Yeah, something like that." He said dismissively. "They're all the same, Donna. They blur together."
"Yes. I've watched five episodes today and there must have been about three storylines, tops, and they're all recycled. They even use the same names!"
A burst of static drowned out Donna's reply. Josh held the receiver away from his ear as whirring and more static emitted from the earpiece.
A male nurse, who looked like he could be a football player, peeked around the door to see what the yelling was about. Josh waved him off impatiently.
"What?" Thankfully the noise had subsided, and Donna's voice came through clearly.
"What's the racket?"
"Oh. Do you think you could leave that for later?"
"Need I remind you that I am doing you a favor by cleaning up your mess?"
"And I am exceedingly grateful. But I'd love it even more if you'd talk to me."
"Well, when you put it that way." It sounded like she was smiling.
"Maybe you could wash the floors. That doesn't make any noise."
A moment of silence greeted this remark. "You can be a real putz sometimes, you know that?" The smile was definitely gone.
"Kidding, Donna. I'm just kidding."
"Funny. For your information, I already washed the floors. I suppose I could straighten your room. If that's all right with your highness."
Josh thought it would be wise to hold his tongue.
Donna looked at the piece of paper in her hand. Did the man never throw anything away? Tucked in between the pages of the book on his nightstand, she recognized a memo that she had written him months ago about some trivial matter long ago resolved. As if any reasonable person would think she was writing about banana bars!
"Now that would never happen." Josh's incredulous outburst interrupted her contemplation of the idiosyncrasies with which some people were afflicted.
"What would never happen?" Donna replaced the paper in the book and returned it to the nightstand.
"This supermodel with the long hair and ridiculously large breasts would never be a cardiac surgeon."
She paused in what she was doing, an eyebrow raised. "Are you saying that attractive women can't be intelligent too?"
"Uh, no." Smart man. He obviously recognized that he had wandered into dangerous waters. "How could I possibly think that when I am surrounded at work by intelligent attractive women?" His voice was syrupy sweet.
Donna shook her head, the corners of her lips curving up despite herself. That was a quick save, Josh. "Then?"
"I'm just saying, if that woman leaned over her patients, they would, in all likelihood, suffer another heart attack. And from personal experience, I know that scrubs are not that low-cut."
"Have you been trying to ogle the female doctors, Josh?"
"Now there's a word I haven't heard in conversation recently."
"No. I am merely submitting this observation as another example of how grossly inaccurate these soap operas are."
"They're not meant to be accurate, Josh. That's the point. It's escapism. Entertainment."
"If I must be subjected to hours upon hours of this drivel, I want it to be somewhat believable."
"You're whining, Josh."
"Hey, what's with the insults? First I'm a nerd, then I'm a putz, and now I'm a whiner?"
"I call `em like I see `em, baby," she sang out gaily as she pulled the sheets off of the bed.
"And I'm a whiner. Whatever happened to the sweet, supportive, demure assistant I once had?"
"I don't know. Did you fire her and then hire me? Your capable, self-sacrificing, invaluable assistant?"
"As I was saying," he loudly returned to his subject, "there is no way in which these storylines or characterizations are remotely plausible."
"Okay, take this detective and lawyer on this one show."
"Lots of lawyers on lots of soaps, Joshua. For some odd reason soaps are under the mistaken impression that people with law degrees are intriguing."
"Funny, there, Donnatella."
"So which show is it?"
"The one with the detective and the lawyer."
She rolled her eyes. "Do you listen to me at all?"
"The one with the female detective and male lawyer."
"And that narrows it down, like, not at all."
"It had some absurd title."
"Again, Josh, we're looking for narrowing."
Donna took advantage of a lull in the conversation, as Josh tried to remember the name of the show, to finish tucking in the corners of the bedspread as she sprawled across the bed's surface.
"A World Apart!" he declared triumphantly.
"A World Apart." She rolled over onto her back, deciding to steal a moment of rest.
"A female detective and male lawyer on A World Apart. That would be Jordan and Blaine."
"Yes! You watched the show."
"It's one of the shows I watched in school, yes."
"Well, the characters are completely unrealistic. And by the way, I've gotta tell you, those unisex names don't increase their credibility."
"What exactly is so unbelievable about these particular characters?"
"For one thing, they banter way too much."