The Accelerated Program II: Breaking the News

by: Willynilly

Character(s): Josh, Donna, Santos Campaign Staff
Pairing(s): Josh/Donna
Category(s): Post-Ep
Rating: TEEN
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: Post-ep for 2162 Votes. Sequel to The Accelerated Program.
Spoiler: 2162 Votes
Author's Note: This is becoming (against my better judgment) an AU post- ep to the finale series thing. I swore I would never write another series, but the muse has a mind of her own.

The first thing Donna noticed when she woke up the next morning was the single beam of sunlight streaming through the blinds and refracting off her new diamond ring. It was a bit bright, but the joy in the pit of her stomach was worth the squinting.

The next thing Donna noticed was she was naked, deliciously naked and draped across the equally naked body of her boyfriend, fiance, future father of her children and whatever other titles Josh bestowed upon himself at dinner the night before.

She propped her head up on her hand and watched him surface from sleep. He cracked an eye open and she grinned.

"Morning," he scratched out.

"Hi," she couldn't stop smiling.

"Time?" he was still in the one word only sentence phase.

"A little after 6:00," she finally stretched the few inches to kiss him.

He kissed her thoroughly and moved his lips to her neck.

"How little after 6:00?" he mumbled into her neck.

Donna strained to see the clock over his shoulder.

"6:08," she reported.

"We have a staff meeting at 7:30," he was now talking to her shoulder as his lips moved down her body.

"Plenty of time," Donna encouraged as she rolled him on top of her.

"Come on Joshua we're going to be late!" Donna yelled over the sound of her hair dryer.

"I'm coming," he mumbled as he tried to walk, button his shirt and put on his shoes at once.

"It's my first day, I don't want to make a bad impression," Donna smiled as she flipped her dry hair over and hit it with a little hair spray.

"Trust me, your boss is quite impressed with your skills," Josh waggled his eyebrows for added emphasis.

"I wasn't talking about you," she stuck her tongue out, but couldn't stop the chuckle that accompanied it.

"Everyone will love you, now put your shoes on, let's go!"

They caught an elevator quickly and were able to get to the conference room before anyone else. Donna was glad as she liked to get a feel for a room whenever possible, get her bearings before a stressful situation. And no matter how confident Josh was, Donna was concerned these people might not be so thrilled to have her on board.

Matt and Helen Santos arrived next, Matt stealing Josh away for a few notes he noticed on CNN that morning. Donna busied herself putting out note pads, mostly to quell the anxiety.

"You two seem awfully chipper this morning," Helen observed as she poured herself a cup of coffee from the sideboard.

"I've always been a morning person," Donna smiled across the room.

"More chipper than usual this morning?" Helen hinted.

"Are you asking me about my date last night Mrs. Santos?" Donna asked with mock surprise, bringing her hand to her chest and revealing her newest sparkly accessory.

"What is that?" Helen practically shrieked.

Just as Helen's eyes lit up and she pointed to Donna's hand several staffers, including Ned and Ronna, entered the room. Donna just shook her head to indicate they would finish their discussion later and Helen smiled into her coffee cup.

Josh began the meeting once everyone was seated with coffee.

"Good morning all, I trust you enjoyed your day off," he was greeted with smiles and sighs of relief.

"Good because we have a lot of work to do," Leo had slipped into the room as Josh began and took the empty seat next to Donna.

"I guess I should begin by introducing our two newest teammates. You have all met our running mate, Leo McGarry, I think Leo's record and the strengths he brings to this ticket are obvious, but if any of you want to chat with him when we are through he would be happy to spend some time with each of you."

"I'm honored to be here," Leo smiled to the crowd and everyone applauded.

"Next I would like you to meet Donna Moss," Donna smiled to the group as Leo put his hand on her shoulder.

"Donna and I have worked together for some time, going back to the first Bartlet campaign. Donna joins us from the recently defunct Russell campaign," Josh smirked at her and Donna glared, but just a little.

"Her skills are numerous, she has media experience, policy experience, diplomatic experience, a little bit of just about everything we need…"

"She can keep Josh in line too," Leo added with a smirk.

"We were wondering if anyone could," Ronna muttered loud enough for Josh to hear.

"I am perfectly capable of keeping myself in check thank you all very much, I am a grown man, not a small child," Josh said petulantly.

"For now I think Donna would be most suited to helping Ned set up some additional campaign offices, she has a great rapport with volunteers and knows the ins and outs of the office set up better than I do," Josh nodded to Ned who seemed grateful for the help.

"You two can coordinate after the meeting. Also," Josh looked at Donna and she nodded her approval.

"Guys, Donna and I have known one another for a long time, our relationship has evolved and I want to be up front about it here. I do not expect it to be an issue, either for the two of us or for any of you and that's all I will say on that for now," everyone just nodded and moved on to the next topic.

When the meeting ended everyone had more to do than was truly humanly possible, but the energy level was through the roof. Ned moved over to sit next to Donna and opened his binder to the map of current Santos campaign offices. They chatted for 20 minutes or so about key areas and market saturation, with a plan in place Ned headed out to make travel arrangements.

Donna was still scribbling notes when Mrs. Santos took over the chair Ned had vacated.

"This is all very exciting," Donna commented as she finished her notes.

"I know it's both overwhelming and invigorating at the same time. Now spill," Helen laughed.

Donna had to laugh in return, she couldn't get over how quickly she and Helen Santos had become friends, but she felt a genuine affection for and from this woman.

"It was a really good first date," Donna whispered conspiratorially.

"I can tell, I haven't seen Josh this relaxed since, well I've never seen Josh this relaxed and if this is the effect you have on him than let me be the first to say Hallelujah!"

Josh caught the two women whispering to one another across the room and drew it to the attention of Matt and Leo.

"I'm a little afraid of that," Josh commented.

"Why?" Matt chuckled.

"I think they're talking about me," Josh grimaced.

"I'm sure they are," Leo laughed and patted the young man on the back.

"OK folks before we go our separate ways Donna and I wanted to talk to you about something," Josh got everyone's attention.

"Whatchya got Josh?" Helen smirked as she tipped back in her chair.

"Well Donna and I went out to dinner last night…"

"On a date?" Helen mocked.

"Yes Ma'am, it was a date," Josh looked at Donna with a strangled expression.

"Congressman, Mrs. Santos you may find this a little shocking, but I asked Donna to marry me," Josh waited for a response.

"That seems a little quick, but hey why not?" Matt smiled.

"We're referring to it as the Accelerated Program," Donna grinned.

"Accelerated, really?" Leo scoffed.

Matt and Helen seemed intrigued by Leo's response.

"They've been, for all intents and purposes, together for eight years," Leo explained.

"Not really," Josh argued.

"In every way that counts," Leo dismissed him.

"Not every way," Donna mumbled.

"I think that's been resolved too," Helen patted Donna's hand.

"Am I to understand that everyone in the room is on board with the program, whether we consider it accelerated or not?" Josh tried to wrap up.

"One hundred percent," Helen answered without even consulting her husband.

"Absolutely," Matt concurred.

"On one condition," Leo brought an end to the jubilation.

"What now?" Josh whined.

"I get to tell Margaret," he smiled the smile Josh knew Leo reserved for genuine joy.

"You can tell Margaret right after the wedding announcement hits the Washington Post otherwise the whole world will know," Josh laughed as he opened the door and led everyone out into the hall.

| back | send feedback | The National Library |