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A Normal Day

by: Iniegtp (Send Feedback)

Chapters: 001 Word Count: 7498
Rating: TEEN
Character(s): Josh Lyman, Donna Moss, Joanie Lyman
Category(ies): Post-Episode, Romance
Pairing(s): Josh/Donna
Episode(s): 7-19 Transition
Crossover Shows: - No Show -
Summary: Post-Episode story for Transition. Josh and Donna's vacation.

Author Notes: I do not own any of the characters or any other aspect of
The West Wing. This is just for my, and hopefully your,
amusement.

Chapters: 1

An hour into their 10-hour flight, Josh was already digging
around in his bag for something to work on. Donna glanced
up from the book she was reading. She smiled at him.
"Josh," she said placing her hand on his forearm. "There isn't
any work for you to do. You left it all in Washington." He
sighed, and she added, "Sam's taking care of it."

He leaned back in his seat. "I should have thought about the
flight. That I'd need something to do."

Donna leaned forward and pulled something from her bag.
Handing it to him, she said, "Here." It was a book. One she
knew he wouldn't have had time to read because of the
campaign, but one she was sure he wanted to read.

Josh smiled at her. "Thanks," he said, and he leaned over
and kissed her briefly on the lips.

Donna leaned back to read her book, and Josh did the same.

Another two hours into the flight Donna was watching the
in-flight movie and trying to convince Josh to do the same.
"Why would I want to watch this though?" he asked.

"It is called vacation Joshua. Try to relax. Here, I'll share my
headphones with you." She stuck one of the ear buds into
his right ear and leaned her head on his shoulder. "Just
watch the movie," she said.

Josh stopped resisting as soon as Donna's head touched his
shoulder. It was all so normal. Going on vacation, her head
on his shoulder. He smiled, and cautiously he reached for
her hand where it rested between them, and threaded his
fingers through hers. She gave his hand a little squeeze and
adjusted her head so she could better see the movie.

A movie and a half later, both Donna and Josh were asleep.
Donna's head was still on his shoulder, and his head rested
atop hers. Their fingers were still intertwined, but now
rested on his lap, with her other hand gripping his forearm
gently.

They had barely moved when the pilot came over the loud
speaker and stated that they were beginning their descent
into Honolulu. Josh sat up and ran his hand across his eyes.
He blinked and looked down at Donna who was also
beginning to stir. "We're landing," he whispered to her.

She smiled up at him. "I heard. Did you sleep too?" she
asked straightening up.

He nodded. "Yeah." Adjusting his neck, he added, "For
longer than I have in a while I would guess. It's almost
midnight here," he said. "Are we supposed to sleep some
more?"

"Vacation," Donna reminded him. "Lets see if we can top
your average weekly sleep quota in a 24 hour period," she
added with a smirk. As the plane landed, and they began to
deplane, Josh realized he was still pretty tired and perhaps
more sleep wouldn't be the worst idea.

They reached their resort, on the North Shore, just after one
in the morning. Josh was at the check-in counter getting
things squared away. As the bellman was preparing to show
them to their room, he noticed that Donna had wandered
over and was looking out into the darkness at the ocean
through a window that ran the length of the lobby. "Just a
minute," he said to the bellman.

Walking over to Donna, he stood next to her and said, "Hey."

She smiled and leaned into his side slightly. "I'm glad we are
here."

Josh grinned. He wrapped an arm around her and replied,
"Me too." He turned slightly, just as she did, and kissed her
gently on the lips. "Are you ready to go up to the room?"

Her answer was only a nod. She smiled as he kept his arm
around her shoulders as they followed the bellman to their
room. It surprised her how sweet he was when he wanted to
be. Josh tipped the bellman, and as the door closed, he
turned back to the room.

Donna was standing on the lanai looking at the beach. She
couldn't believe how beautiful everything looked even in the
dark. Tiki torches lined the beach and were casting a glow
over the sand and creating shadows of large tropical plants.
"It's beautiful," she whispered as Josh came up behind her.

When she turned and looked at him, he said, "You're
beautiful." At her small laugh, he added, "Too cheesy?"

"Maybe a little," she said quietly, but leaned in to kiss him.

"Are you tired?" he asked in what Donna had come to
discover was his bedroom voice. It was a just louder than a
whisper and somewhat hoarse. She smiled instantly at the
sound and shook her head no. "Want to unpack or
something?" he asked. Again she shook her head. Without
speaking, she pressed her lips to his in a passionate kiss.
His hands instantly wrapped around her waist, pulling her as
close to him as possible. In turn, her hands found his face
before wrapping around the back of his neck, where her
fingers played with the hair at the base of his skull. In
moments, they had collapsed onto the bed and were
shedding each other's clothing.

When Josh awoke it was still dark, Donna was nestled
against him her head half buried under his pillow. He turned
and glanced at the clock on the nightstand. It read 4:12.
"Great," he muttered to himself quietly enough not to wake
Donna. His brain did some quick math to calculate that he
had been asleep for all of two hours and it was roughly ten
in the morning in DC.

Donna stirred and propping her arms on his chest looked
past him to the clock. She turned her face toward his and
kissed his jaw line. "Go back to sleep Joshua," she said
quietly before adjusting her head to use his chest as her
pillow and draping one arm across him. He thought about
arguing. This wasn't an unusual time for him to be awake
anyway, but then he remembered – vacation. As he
relaxed and tightened the grip of his arm around Donna's
shoulder, the smell of her hair and her steady breathing
practically lulled him back to sleep.

When Josh woke again, the sun was streaming in the
window, and Donna was standing on the lanai in a hotel
bathrobe. He slid from the bed, and after pulling on a t-
shirt and his boxers, went to join her. "Mornin'," he greeted.

She turned to face him. "Morning," she said with a smile.
"How did you sleep?"

"Wonderfully," he replied. "I can't remember the last time I
slept that long. College probably. What time is it anyway?"

"Just after ten. I guess we'll adjust to the time change okay. I
don't think I ever really got used to not being on the road
anyway."

"I guess not," Josh replied leaning against the rail and
enjoying the view. "What would you like to do today?"

"Mmm, beach," Donna said with decision.

Less than an hour later they were lying on lounge chairs on
the beach. Donna was thoroughly relaxed, but Josh was
another matter. "Joshua," Donna began without opening her
eyes. "Relax. Vacation, remember."

"So I just lie here?" he asked.

Donna laughed at his bewildered tone and rolled to face
him. "Yes," she said. "Lie there and listen to the waves and
feel the sun on your face. It's lovely." She returned to her
back.

"Can't we do something," he asked pleadingly.

"Tomorrow," she stated. "You can take a surfing lesson, or
we can go horseback riding or something."

"Do I seem like the surfing type?" Josh asked in genuine
disbelief.

"You're proving to be all sorts of things I never suspected
would be true of you."

"What might those be?" Josh asked. Donna just smiled at
him as she took a sip of her iced tea.


Two hours later Josh had finally adjusted to the concept of
relaxing. He was halfway through the book Donna got him
when she stood up and smiled down at him. "Want to swim?"
she asked.

He looked at her over the top of the book. "With you?" he
asked.

"Who else?" she asked as she turned toward the water. Josh
dropped the book onto the table between their lounges and
followed her to the water.

Donna waded to mid-thigh height water and did a small
dive. Josh was still wading in behind her when she
resurfaced and floating on her back looked at him with a
smile. "Come on in Josh," she said with a grin. "The water is
fine."

"More than I'd say," he replied and dove under and surfaced
next to her. Wiping his hand through his hair to remove the
excess water, he offered Donna a smile.

They spent the remainder of the afternoon that way,
swimming in the water and lounging on the beach. As
evening approached and they were walking back to their
room, Josh asked, "Would you like to have a casual or formal
dinner? There are quite a lot of options."

"Whatever you'd like is fine with me," Donna replied.

"Middle of the road?" Josh asked opening the door to their
room.

"Sounds great," Donna replied disappearing into the
bathroom.

"I'll just make us a reservation then," Josh hollered. He
picked up the phone and dialed the restaurant he had
decided on.

"Good plan. Mind if I shower first?" Donna asked. Then
sticking her head out of the bathroom doorway, she added,
"Unless you'd like to join me."

"Uh..." Josh was speechless for a moment until the host on
the other end of the phone disrupted his thoughts. "Yeah,
I'd like to make a dinner reservation for two." He tried to
keep his focus on the phone call and not the running
shower water. "Yeah, seven is fine. Thanks." He hung up the
phone.

"Dinner reservations are for seven," he said from the
doorway of the bathroom.

Donna stuck her head out from behind the shower curtain.
"Wonderful," she replied. "Were you going to join me?" she
asked. "We have plenty of time."

Without hesitation, Josh pulled his shirt over his head and
stepped out of his swim trunks. "Definitely," he replied,
stepping into the shower and eliciting a giggle from Donna.


At almost exactly seven that evening, Josh and Donna
walked into the restaurant. It was one of five at the resort,
more formal than the casual beachside restaurant and bar,
but more casual than the two higher end restaurants. It was
an open-air restaurant with wooden pillars and a ceiling.
The tables were also wood and Tiki torches were set around
the edges of the restaurant. There was a beautiful view of
the beach and ocean.

The hostess seated them and offered Josh a wine list with
the menu. "Would you like to get a bottle of wine?" he asked
Donna.

"That'd be nice," she replied. "I'd like to order fish, so
white... if that is okay with you," she added.

"White it is," Josh skimmed through the wine list while
Donna looked at the menu.
Soon the waiter came and took their wine and food order.

He left them alone, and they sat talking quietly. Donna still
found it amazing how much they had to talk about that had
nothing to do with work. That had been one of her fears
when this thing with Josh began. While they had always
talked about other things too, work had been the basis.

The waiter returned and poured their wine, and when he
left, Josh held up his glass to Donna. "To vacation," he
stated.

She clinked her glass to his and said, "vacation."

"And to us," Josh said quietly as he took a sip of the wine.
Donna smiled as he reached across the table and took her
hand in his.

"Josh," she said softly. "Thank you for bringing me here."

"Well, a girl's gotta eat," he replied with a smirk.

Donna laughed slightly. "No. I didn't mean here to dinner. I
meant here to Hawai'i." She smiled at him. "I really am happy
to be here."

"Well you bugged me about it long enough," Josh said. Then
he paused, and his tone changed. "Donna," he began again,
"I wanted to tell you..." he trailed off as the waiter came and
placed their plates in front of them. Josh realized he had
lost his nerve to say what he had been about to say. Instead,
he let casual conversation carry on throughout the meal.

After dinner, they were walking along the beach near the
surf. Josh had casually taken Donna's hand, and she had
threaded her fingers through his. "What were you going to
say at dinner?" Donna asked as they walked.

Josh bit his lip unconsciously. "Well," he began. "I was going
to say..." he trailed off.

"Joshua?" she questioned. "You don't need to be nervous; it
is just me."

He turned to face her. With a deep breath, he began, "You
know Donna, you are the reason I'm even taking a vacation."
At her puzzled look, he continued. "Lou said something
about not having lives because... well it doesn't matter why,
but she implied it was because I wanted it that way. It made
me think, and I don't think it is because I want it that way; I
think I just got on this path where I work and work and
never really took the time to find what it is I really wanted,
and..." Josh stopped when he realized Donna was looking at
him with an amused look. He had been rambling. He took a
deep breath. "I wish I had told you the other morning in my
apartment... I wish I had just said what I was thinking."

"Which was?" Donna asked unsure where Josh was going
with all this.

"That I didn't need four weeks. I've known what I wanted
since before the election."

"And what is that?" she asked half holding her breath.

"I just want you," he said. "Always."

Donna smiled at his admission, but then another thought
found its way into her head. "But in the hallway yesterday,
you said..."

"I let myself get overwhelmed and focus on the work stuff
again," he said. He knew it was a weak explanation, but it
was all he had. "I wish I hadn't said anything." He glanced
out at the water before turning back and looking into
Donna's eyes. "You know, I love you Donnatella."

At this she definitely couldn't help but smile. "I love you too
Joshua."

"Really?" he asked sounding genuinely surprised.

"Of course," she replied. "You didn't know?"

"No," he answered. "I hoped but..." She cut him off with a
kiss. When they broke off the kiss, they stood with their
foreheads resting together for a moment. Josh briefly kissed
Donna again before they began walking along the beach
further. Eventually he asked, "Why were you surprised I
didn't know?"

Donna was surprised at the question. "Just because..." she
trailed off unsure how to begin. Josh was watching her, so
she continued. "Well, because everyone else knew."

"What do you mean everyone else?" Josh asked wondering
just who had had conversations about his apparent
obliviousness.

"CJ, Sam, Will apparently,... Amy," she added as an
afterthought.

"Amy?" Josh asked furrowing his brow in puzzlement. "How
would Amy know... wait when...?"

"It's been a while Josh," Donna said. "Amy once asked me if I
was in love with you. I didn't answer her."

"You've been in love with me for a while?" he asked. He
registered what she'd said about Amy but determined it less
important than her other admission. Donna looked straight
ahead as they walked and simply nodded. "How long is a
while?" Josh asked. "Like before the campaign?" He read the
answer on her face before she even opened her mouth.
"Before you quite your job?" This time she nodded. "Wow,"
he muttered. "Really?" She nodded again as they continued
to walk.

Finally Josh stopped and turned, so he was standing in front
of her, forcing Donna to stop too. "Why didn't you say
anything?" he asked.

"You were my boss, Josh. What was I supposed to say?
Here's that report you asked for, and by the way I think I
might be in love with you?" She sighed. This was not a
conversation she particularly wanted to be having. They
finally seemed to be on a level playing field with something,
and she felt like she was being knocked off the ladder.

"I guess you're right," Josh agreed. "Want to turn back?" he
asked.

"Sure," Donna agreed. They walked most of the way back to
the hotel in silence.

Finally Donna turned to Josh and asked the question that
had been stirring in the back of her mind. "When did you...?"
she began.

"Gaza," Josh answered quickly. "At least that is when I
realized it. I think I probably should have known long before
that. Honestly, I've probably been in love with you since I
met you."

Donna's lips twitched into a slight smile. It made her feel a
lot better to know that she hadn't been alone in her feelings.
"In Germany, were you...?" She stopped, unsure what exactly
she was planning to ask.

"I got you flowers. I wanted to tell you, but then..." Josh
trailed off again.

"Colin," Donna finished.

"Yeah," Josh replied.

Donna leaned forward and kissed him. "It was you I wanted
there anyway," she said. Josh smiled, and they continued
back toward the hotel.


Lying in bed that night, Josh ran his fingers through Donna's
hair while she traced patterns on his chest. "Donna?" Josh
asked quietly.

"Mmhmm," she replied not lifting her head from his chest.

"Do you still need time to decide what you want from me,
from this?" he asked.

"What?" she asked.

"I told you that I didn't need the four weeks, but I just
thought... do you?"

Donna propped herself up on her elbows. She smiled at him
and kissed his lips. "No Josh, I don't."


The next day was spent much the same as they had spent
the first. They lay on the beach, swam, had lunch at the
beach side restaurant and bar, and then returned to the
beach with drinks. Dinner that night ended up being room
service, and they spent most of the evening in bed.

The following day, Donna convinced Josh to take a surfing
lesson with her in the morning. It turned out that he was
actually quite good. They had retired to their room for
showers before lunch, when Donna asked, "Josh can we go
snorkeling tomorrow? I want to see the sea turtles."

He stuck his head out of the bathroom to look at her where
she lounging on the bed reading the brochures for the
resort. She gave him "the look" and he knew there was no
point in arguing. "Yeah, we can go snorkeling," he said. "Do
you still want to go into that town this afternoon? What was
it called, Haliwalla or something?"

"Hale'iwa," Donna said not looking up from the brochures.
"And yes."

After Josh had finished his shower and dressed, they caught
a ride into town and walked around doing some shopping.
Donna had talked to a woman at the resort who
recommended a taco place, where they got fish tacos for
dinner. When they got back to the resort, Donna convinced
Josh they should check out the bar for some nightlife. "I
think I'm too old for this," Josh said as they walked into the
bar.

"Don't be ridiculous," Donna said. "You can out party any
20-something. I've watched you."

"That was a campaign ago," Josh stated. "I'm tired and old
now."

Donna laughed. "Come on Josh," she said with a smile.
"Dance with me."

Josh began to argue, but then he looked at Donna who had
a gleam in her eye. Josh knew that if he danced with her, it
would make her happy, and more than anything at that
moment, he wanted to make her happy. "Alright," he said
accepting her outstretched hand and following her onto the
dance floor.


The remaining days of Josh and Donna's vacation were spent
in traditional Hawaiian vacation manner. They snorkeled and
did a bike tour of some of the island. One morning was
spent at a nearby beach watching expert surfers. Mostly
they spent their time lounging on the beach. For their last
night, Josh had made reservations at the nicest restaurant at
the resort. They arrived at the restaurant just before eight.
Josh was wearing a button-up shirt for the first time since
they landed in Hawaii, and Donna had on a nice dress.

The host sat them and left them with a wine list. "Red or
white tonight?" Josh asked glancing over the menu.

"You choose," Donna replied. Just then, the waiter came
over, gave them menus, and explained the specials. "Wow,"
Donna muttered, looking at the menu after the waiter left.

"What?" Josh asked.

"This menu, it's... fancy," she said. She had wanted to say
expensive, but didn't want to make Josh think she didn't
appreciate the gesture. He had been very excited and
somewhat nervous about the dinner all evening.

"We need to celebrate," he explained.

"What exactly are we celebrating?" she asked.

"Us, this," he said gesturing between them. "Donna, I wanted
to ask you..." Once again the waiter came over and
interrupted Josh. He sighed, and they ordered.

"What did you want to ask me Josh?" Donna asked when the
waiter left.

"I was wondering if the woman from Treasury still wanted to
sublet your apartment," Josh said trying to sound casual.

"She asked about it," Donna said. "But, as I told her, I need a
place to live now. I can't stay with CJ indefinitely. Why?"

"I was hoping, maybe, you'd be interested in moving in with
me," Josh said looking down at the tablecloth.

When Donna didn't say anything for a moment, he looked
up. She was smiling at him. "Really?" she asked.

He nodded. "Really."

"Really?" she asked again.

"Yeah, really," he repeated.

"Well," She paused for a moment, trying to think through
everything. Looking at Josh, she decided it must be worth
the risk. "I'd like that," she finally said.

"Really?" he asked in stunned disbelief. He hadn't thought
she would accept this easily.

"Really Josh," she replied and leaned across the table and
gave him a quick kiss.


"Want to go for another walk on the beach?" Josh asked as
they stood up from the table following dinner. Donna
nodded, and he took her hand as they walked away from the
table.

As they walked along the beach, Josh carrying Donna's
shoes for her, she said, "I can't believe this is our last night."
She sighed. "It's perfect, so beautiful, the stars, the waves..."
she trailed off.

"Let's sit," Josh said motioning to a log that was lying on the
beach. He led Donna to it, and they sat down; she leaned
against him slightly. "Do you think we might be able to find
time to do this again?" Josh asked. "I mean, get away, maybe
come back here."

"Hold on a minute, I think I am hallucinating. Joshua Lyman
is actually proposing another vacation," Donna said with a
laugh.

"The next year will be insane, but maybe sometime before
the craziness of the midterms starts up, or if not then, just
after the midterms," Josh suggested.

"We'll make time," Donna said turning to kiss him. "Make
time for each other."

"This whole time, preparing to be Chief of Staff, I've been
thinking about what Leo would have done," Josh admitted.
"But then I thought, Leo got divorced because of this job."

"Josh..." Donna began taking his hand.

"I know we aren't married or anything, but..." he looked
down at their intertwined fingers. "But I want to do better by
you than that."

"Oh Josh," Donna said smiling at him.

"I want to be there for you, and I don't want to forget your
birthday or an anniversary or let you down in anyway. Ever."
He finished with decision.

"Joshua," Donna said. She used his full name hoping to wake
him up into finally listening to her. "We'll make time for each
other, and if things start to get bad, I promise to remind you
of this. I promise I will talk to you; I won't... just leave."

"I promise to let you talk to me," Josh said. "I already know
what it is like to live without you in my life," he said sadly.
"I'd rather not go through it again." Then looking deeply into
her eyes, he altered his comment. "I don't think I could bear
going through it again."

"I don't want to go without you either Josh," Donna replied.
A smile grew on his face, and he leaned in and kissed her.

"We should head back to the room," Josh said as they broke
the kiss. "We have an early flight." Donna nodded and stood
with Josh. They walked back to the hotel with their arms
wrapped around each other.


Sitting on the plane the next day, Josh set his book in his
lap. "I finished it," he said looking at Donna.

"Does that mean you need me to entertain you for the next
four hours?" she asked not looking up from her book.

"I guess not," he replied. "Did you bring me another book?"
he asked hopefully.

"You can check my bag," she replied.

He leaned forward and opened her carryon. "You bought me
newspapers?" he asked. "What about the no news rule to our
vacation?"

"I figured it couldn't hurt for you to fill yourself in before we
landed. Sadly, our vacation is coming to an end," she said.

"You're amazing," Josh said kissing her quickly and
unfolding The New York Times. He started to read but then
put the paper down on his lap.

Donna turned to look at him. "What?" she asked.

"Our vacation, it is ending," he said.

She nodded. "Yeah, it had to happen some time."

"So we are reentering the real world," Josh said. "As a
couple," he added.

"So it would seem," Donna agreed, setting down her book
and looking at him. "Are you nervous Josh?" she asked
amused.

"Are we telling people?" he asked.

Donna laughed. "You think they don't know. We both just
disappeared for a week. At the same time," she added for
emphasis.

"Good point," Josh replied. "But still, we just act like a
couple. Completely in the open and for everyone to see."

"Is there a reason to hide it?" Donna asked. "I'm not your
assistant anymore."

"No, you're right," Josh agreed. "I just hadn't thought about,
you know, what others might think."

"I think others will think you are a damn lucky man that I
waited around for you for this long," Donna said with a
smirk.

"Funny girl," Josh replied. "But in truth, I am lucky."

"Me too," Donna said picking up her book and resuming her
reading.

"Are you staying at my place tonight?" Josh asked
interrupting her again.

"I sure hope so," Donna replied. "I told the woman from
Treasury she could stay in mine." Josh smiled at her.
"Besides, I thought it was our place now," she added. "I
guess I could just stay with CJ though if you'd rather."

"No," he said quickly. She returned to reading while Josh
mulled the phrase "our place" over in his mind for a couple
minutes before picking up his newspaper again.


By the time they got home, it was nearing midnight. "Bed?"
Josh asked as he dropped their suitcases by the door.

Donna nodded. "Do I have any clothing here?" she asked.

"What?" Josh asked in a surprised tone.

"Well, my suitcase is full of sundresses, tank tops, and
shorts, hardly appropriate dress for the First Lady's Chief of
Staff, especially for a DC winter," she explained. "So I was
wondering if you knew if I had anything here."

"I think just some jeans and, umm, underwear," Josh said
suddenly blushing a little.

Donna laughed hysterically. "Oh Josh," she said. "You're
blushing about my underwear. Really?" She laughed more.
"After everything we've done."

"Point made," Josh said. "But no, I don't think you have any
appropriate work clothing here."

"I'll let CJ know I'll be swinging by in the morning on my way
to work," Donna said picking up her phone and typing a
quick message.

"I thought maybe we could go in together," Josh said
somewhat downtrodden.

"You can come by CJ's with me if you want?" Donna said
crossing to him, kissing him, and heading toward the
bedroom. "Coming Joshua?" she called. Josh quickly
followed her.


The next morning, Donna had scrounged up a pair of jeans
and a sweater. Josh was dressed in his suit for work and
watching her and she did her hair in the bathroom mirror.
"Did you need in here?" she asked.

"No," he replied. "I just like watching you get ready. It's
sexy," he added wrapping his arms around her waist and
kissing her neck.

"Don't you start that again," she cautioned. "I need to be at
CJ's in fifteen minutes to have enough time to change and
for us to get to work at a reasonable time." Josh groaned.
"Hey," Donna said, "you were the one who wanted to go into
the office together."

"Just to show you off," he said. "Don't think it was anything
sentimental."

"Come on," Donna said grabbing his wrist and leading him
to the door. "Let's get to CJ's."

CJ had buzzed them in as soon as they got to her
apartment. "Come on in," she said. "Donna, your stuff is still
in the guest room. Sorry, I am running a little late this
morning," she said apologetically.

"No problem," Donna said disappearing into the guest room.

"How was your vacation?" CJ asked Josh taking a sip of her
coffee.

"Wonderful," he replied. "I bet you never thought you'd have
this conversation with me."

"Hey Josh," Danny greeted entering the room.

"Hi'ya Danny," Josh said with a grin and a pointed look at CJ.

"I thought you were taking a shower," CJ said to Danny.

"Trying to hide me from your friends?" Danny asked moving
into the kitchen to pour himself a cup of coffee. "Josh would
you like some coffee?"

"Sure Danny. Thanks," Josh said clearly enjoying CJ's
discomfort.

"So are you ready for the transition to wrap up?" Danny
asked.

"On or off the record?" Josh asked.

"Off," Danny said. "Just asking as a friend."

"Ready and not, at the same time. Nervous about filling the
role, excited about what we can do," he replied.

"Sounds about right," Danny replied.

"Hi Danny," Donna greeted coming out of the guest room,
now dressed in a gray skirt suit, and light blue shirt.

"Good morning Donna. Can I interest you in a cup of
coffee?" Danny asked.

Donna offered Danny a hug. "No thank you. Josh and I need
to get going. We've been gone a week. Who knows what has
happened in the mean time." She said all this with a laugh,
but Josh got a slightly terrified look on his face. "Come on
Joshua," Donna said. "I was just kidding."

"Have a nice day," Danny said. "You too," he said to CJ
kissing her as they followed Donna and Josh out the door.

When Josh and Donna walked into the office building, they
both stopped in the entryway. "Back to work?" Josh asked.

"Back to work," Donna answered.

They began to walk their separate ways, but Josh reached
out and grabbed Donna's hand quickly pulling her back to
him and kissing her quickly. "Have a good day," he said.


Donna spent the morning meeting with Helen Santos and
Annabeth. They filled Donna in on some thoughts they had
worked through while she had been gone. After that, they
talked about their initial goals for Helen's agenda as the
First Lady. Just before lunch, Donna sat down to make some
calls to work on putting together her staff.

Josh spent the first hour of his morning meeting with Sam,
who filled him in on everything that had happened over the
past week. Then they both met with the President Elect.
Everything had gone smoothly for the transition while he
was gone.
After that, Josh met with what existed of the Senior Staff.

Donna hung up the phone from her fourth phone call.
"How's it going?" She looked up when she heard the
question. Josh was leaning in the doorway.

"What are you doing here?" she asked standing up and
crossing to him. She kissed him on lips.

"I missed you," Josh admitted running his hands down her
upper arms.

Donna smiled. "I missed you, too," she admitted.

"Do you want to get lunch?" Josh asked. "If you have time,
that is."

"You're cute when you do that," Donna said running her
fingers down his cheek. She moved back to the desk and
grabbed her purse. "I have time."

"When I do what?" Josh asked. He planned on making a
mental note to do whatever it was more often.

"When you sound like a high school freshman asking out a
girl he likes," she said with a smirk as she walked passed
him in the doorway.

"I am not a high school freshman," Josh replied indignantly,
but catching up to her, he added, "but you are a girl I like."

"The country is going to fall apart if the President's Chief of
Staff can't get through a workday because he misses his
girlfriend," Donna said as they walked down the street to
grab a sandwich.

"I just spent the past week with you 24 hours a day. You
can't expect me to go cold turkey. I'm sure I'll adjust in
time," Josh replied grabbing Donna's hand as they walked.
"Or I'll come up with good reasons I need to meet with the
First Lady's Chief of Staff." He leaned over and kissed her
cheek.

They sat on a bench and ate their sandwiches off the paper
wrapping. "It would be wonderful if we could do this
everyday," Donna said.

"What about twice a week minimum?" Josh asked. "As part of
our promise of making time for each other."

"Do you think we will be able to find two days every week
where we both have a free lunch?" Donna asked.

"If we schedule it in," Josh said. "And weekends won't count.
Even if we work, three meals a day together Saturday and
Sunday."

Donna smiled. "I never thought I'd see the day," she said,
taking another bite of her sandwich.

"That'd I'd be such a girl in a relationship?" Josh asked.
"Don't worry Sam already made fun of me for it."

"You'll make up for it tonight," Donna said with certainty.

Josh waggled his eyebrows at her. "I definitely will," he said.
"Walk you to class?" he said with a smirk and took her hand
to help her up. They walked back to the office building hand
in hand.

"I want to come say hi to Sam," Donna said as they entered
the building. Josh continued to hold her hand as they
walked toward the office he was currently sharing with Sam.
Not that there weren't more offices, but they were finding it
worked well for the time being.

"Donna," Sam greeted leaving Otto mid-sentence and
walking over to hug Donna. "I got here, and this guy
immediately whisks you away for a week," Sam said
motioning to Josh.

"It was your idea," Josh said matter-of-factly. He had taken
Donna's hand again as soon as Sam released her from the
hug.

"I suppose it was," Sam said. "You can thank me later. We
have a meeting on the hill in twenty minutes."

"I'll be back in five," Josh said. "Come on," he added turning
to Donna. "I'll walk you back to your office."

"What time do you think you'll be ready to go home
tonight?" Donna asked as they walked the hall back toward
the offices they had set up for the First Lady and her staff.

"I think I can get out of here early, maybe like seven-thirty,"
Josh said. "We could get dinner on the way home."

"Sounds good," Donna said with a laugh. "I love that seven-
thirty is early. White House hours huh?"

"Earlier than during the campaign," Josh replied.

"True, but during the campaign we worked, ate, and slept in
the same place," Donna replied.

"Damn," Josh muttered stopping in the doorway of the
office. "Too bad that isn't still true."

"I think I'd rather be in the situation we are now," Donna
said. "Keep work and home separate," she added with a look
that made Josh desperately wish it were seven-thirty. "See
you this evening.

Josh and Sam spent the next few hours on the hill. Then a
couple of hours were spent on the phone working out plans
for potential cabinet members and staffing positions. He
was ready to pull his hair out by the end of it. He felt a
strong desire to walk out of the office and yell at the first
staffer he saw, but then he remembered that Donna had
reminded him to relax and be nice to everyone. Instead, he
got up and got another cup of coffee.

As he turned to go back into the office, Otto approached
him somewhat hesitantly. "Uhh, Josh?" he asked.

"Yeah Otto?" Josh said, trying to smile at the kid. "What can I
do for you?"

"Well, I was just wondering if you'd given any more thought
to my role in the administration," Otto asked nervously.

"I think that is a conversation you should probably have with
Lou," Josh said.

"Oh, okay," Otto said. He dropped his eyes to the floor and
turned away from Josh.

"Otto," Josh said, "I wasn't trying to blow you off." Otto
turned back around to look at him. "I figured the
communications department is where you'd want to be. I
trust Lou to make the right decision of where you'd be most
helpful."

"Oh," Otto said with a smile. "Yeah, I'll talk to her."

"I'll let her know she'll be hearing from you," Josh said. He
patted Otto's shoulder as he walked past him and into the
office.

Josh sat down at his desk as Sam came back in. "The
President Elect needs us," he said. Josh stood back up and
followed Sam out of the office.

They were meeting with Santos for a good two hours, and
when they finally got back to their office, Josh stopped in his
tracks. Leaning back in his chair, her feet up on his desk,
was Donna. Her eyes were closed, and he thought for a
minute she might be asleep. "You're office in the West Wing
definitely needs to keep that couch," she said without
opening her eyes. "I am not going to spend all my time
waiting for you in your chair."

Josh walked over to her, and placing one hand on the desk
and the other on the back of the chair, he leaned over and
kissed her. Sam smiled where he stood in the doorway.
"Time to go home," he said interrupting Josh and Donna's
moment. "For you guys, too."

Josh and Donna broke their kiss. They looked at Sam.
"Goodnight Sam," they said in unison.

"See you tomorrow," Sam said.

Josh offered Donna his hand and helped her up. "What time
is it anyway?" he asked looking at his watch.

" ‘Bout eight," she said, linking her arm through his after
he'd pulled his backpack over one shoulder. "You aren't too
late."

"Maybe I can make it up to you somehow," Josh said with a
waggle of his eyebrows.

"Hmm," Donna replied. "I think you probably could. I'm
thinking dinner, wine... and my fuzzy pajamas. You could
give me a backrub too."

"I was thinking something a little different, but I'll take what
I can get," Josh said as they walked out of the building. He
opened the passenger side of the door for Donna, and
hurried to the other side to get in. "What do you want to get
for dinner?" he asked as he started the car.

"Italian," she answered. "Breadsticks."

"Can do," Josh tossed her his phone from his pocket. "You
order; I'll drive," he said.

Donna dialed; as she did, she turned to Josh. "What do you
want?" she asked.

"Lasagna," he said, "and breadsticks." Donna laughed. When
someone answered at the restaurant, she ordered lasagna,
salad, and breadsticks for both of them. She hung up and
set the phone in the cup holder in the console. "I didn't
order salad," Josh said making a funny face.

"Too bad," Donna said. "I still care about your health. They
said it would be ready in about fifteen minutes."

"It'll probably take that long to get there," Josh said.

They picked up the dinner and made it back to Josh's
apartment at about a quarter before nine o'clock. "I wish we
were still in Hawai'i," Josh said collapsing on the couch after
dropping the bag of food onto the coffee table.

"I'm going to change," Donna said disappearing into the
bedroom. She reemerged a few minutes later in a long
sleeve t-shirt and flannel pajama pants. Josh was still lying
on the couch when she came out of the bedroom. "I'll get
plates," she said.

When she entered the living room, Josh finally sat up and
opened their food bag. Donna sat down next to him and
handed him a plate. He put lasagna, salad, and two
breadsticks onto the plate. "Here," he said, handing her the
plate and taking the empty one. He piled food onto his own
plate. When he looked up, Donna was smiling at him.
"What?" he asked.

"You filled my plate for me," she said. "That was sweet."

"Actually, I just decided I wanted the larger piece of
lasagna," Josh said with a grin.

"Nice try," Donna said. "You were being sweet." She leaned
in and kissed him.

"Wine," Josh said as they broke the kiss. "You wanted wine,"
he got up and went to the kitchen. "I think I have a bottle
around here."

"Being sweet to increase your chances of getting lucky?"
Donna asked.

"Yes," Josh replied, returning with two glasses of red wine.
He sat down and leaned in to kiss her before handing her
one of the glasses. "How was your afternoon?" he asked as
they ate.

"Good," she replied. "I think I have the staff mainly set up."

"That's good. How is Annabeth doing?" he asked.

"She's good. She'll be great in the job, and Mrs. Santos loves
her, so that is a plus," Donna replied. "How was the rest of
your day?"

"Crazy, but good. I think we got three more cabinet
positions lined up," he replied. "Otto asked me about his
role in the administration."

"You didn't yell at him again did you?" Donna asked.

"No," Josh replied. "I was nice. You would have been proud
of me."

"I'm usually proud of you Joshua. What did you tell him
about a position?" she asked. She liked Otto. He was a good
worker, young and eager, but she figured Josh probably
started that way too.

"I told him he should talk to Lou since I know he wants to be
in communications," Josh replied.

They'd finished their dinners, and Donna got up to put their
plates in the dishwasher. She came out of the kitchen and
looked at Josh where he was leaning back against the couch.
"Come on, Josh," she said. "Bed time."

He grinned up at her. "You don't have to tell me twice." He
followed her into the bedroom and stripped down to his
boxers and undershirt.

Donna had slipped into the bathroom and Josh walked in
behind her. He grabbed his toothbrush and toothpaste from
the counter and began to brush while Donna washed her
face. She moved out of the way for him to spit and went into
the bedroom.

When Josh got into the bedroom, Donna was already in bed,
propped up, reading a book. Josh stood in the doorway
watching her for a moment; she looked up with a
bewildered expression. "What?"

"Nothing," he replied crossing to the bed and crawling in. At
her probing look, he said, "We survived our first real world
day as a couple."

"Hmm?" she asked setting her book down in her lap.

"Well the way I figure it, Hawai'i wasn't much of a test. How
hard is it to have things go smoothly at a four star resort?
And before we left, we weren't really a couple; we were
undefined."

"True," Donna agreed.

"But today," Josh continued. "Today we had a normal day. I
really liked it."

Donna smiled at him. "I did too."

Chapters: 1

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