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Another Life

by: Iniegtp (Send Feedback)

Chapters: 007 Word Count: 21295
Rating: TEEN
Character(s): Josh Lyman, Donna Moss
Category(ies): Family/Children, Post Administration, Romance
Pairing(s): Josh/Donna
Crossover Shows: - No Show -
Summary: "Should I quit my job?" he asked quietly.
Donna stared
at him in disbelief. "Your job?" she repeated. "Josh your job
is your life."
"I could have another life," he stated
staring deeply into her eyes.

Author Notes: This was something that just came out of nowhere. It might
completely suck. I'm not sure, but I hope someone out there
enjoys it.

Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

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Week 6

"Should I quit my job?" he asked quietly.

Donna stared at him in disbelief. "Your job?" she repeated.
"Josh your job is your life."

"I could have another life," he stated staring deeply into her
eyes.

****************** Week 6 ******************


The Santos administration had settled into The White House
rather comfortably. There had been the usual beginning of
the administration disorder. People finding their niche and
learning just what their jobs entailed. Three years in
everything was going rather nicely. They were gearing up for
their third State of the Union address, and the message was
well formed.

Between Josh and Sam, the West Wing ran smoothly. They
found themselves frequently asking what Leo would have
done in a situation. More often than not they followed what
they saw as their predecessors guidance. Josh called CJ in
California for advice regularly; the conversations usually
ended with updates on their personal lives, which he took
home to Donna.

"I talked to CJ again today," he said as they lay in bed late
one night.

Donna sighed and rolled over to face him. "I miss her... and
Danny," she stated. "And we haven't even met the baby."

"We will," he stated. "I'm sure there'll be reason to go to
California this year. Maybe we could take a couple days off
to visit them."

Donna smiled at him. "Days off?" she asked. "The Chief of
Staff?"

"I've done it before," he replied. "Well a day at least."

"Not counting weekends?" Donna replied.

"Christmas," Josh replied causing Donna to grin.

"Yeah," she said. "That was good." She kissed him gently.
Josh had surprised her at Christmas that year. He had told
her he couldn't get away to visit her family with her and then
on Christmas Eve he showed up on her parents' doorstep.
"It'd be nice to visit them," she said. "We should plan it."

"I think the President is going out there in a couple months,"
Josh muttered. "How about then?"

"I'll see if the First Lady is going to go too," Donna replied.

"We're breaking a rule," Josh stated with a laugh. "The one
about no shop talk in bed."

Donna laughed in turn. "When did you become a stickler for
the rules?" she asked with a smirk at him.

"When they got in the way of me doing this," Josh declared
matter-of-factly before pulling her toward him and kissing
her. Donna laughed as she kissed him back.

Josh woke up with a groan as the alarm blared. He felt
Donna lean across him and turn it off. "You know," she
murmured rolling onto her back next to him with her head
cradled on his shoulder. "Since you refuse to move at the
alarm, wouldn't it make more since to have it on my side of
the bed."

"Uh uh," Josh mumbled back. "Then," he said, "you wouldn't
lean across me like that anymore."

Donna laughed. She admitted to herself that staying in bed
sounded amazing; she was just exhausted. "Come on," she
said finally, rolling away from him. "Time to get up." When
Josh didn't move, she added, "I'm getting in the shower. If
you move more quickly, you can join me."

Josh's eyes shot open, and he grinned. He loved how she
still surprised him after more than two years of living
together. Quickly, he hopped out of bed and followed her
into the bathroom. After a shower and then some, they were
dressed and in the kitchen throwing together breakfast and
coffee.

"What is your day like today?" she asked.

"Senior Staff first thing," he stated. "Sam and I have a
meeting with some people from the D triple-C, meeting with
the President and the ambassador to Germany about some
EU issues, then hopefully lunch with my gorgeous
girlfriend." He ran his hand around her waist and across her
back as the walked passed her to open the fridge. "You
thought I forgot huh?"

"I was just checking," she said. "I would hate to bail early on
a meeting with the women's veterans group if you weren't
going to show."

"We can push lunch back an hour, I have a meeting with Lou
at one, but I could switch that to noon and eat with you
after," he rambled.

Donna laughed. "I was joking. My meeting should be done
by noon. I'll meet you in the Mess at 12:10 on the dot." She
smiled at him and added, "Come on, we need to go."

**************
Josh grabbed his jacket off the back of his chair and pulled
it on. "I'm going down for lunch," he muttered to Margaret
as he walked passed her desk. "I'll be back before my one
o'clock meeting." He started out into the hallway. "Oh," he
said turning around. "Do you want anything?" he asked.

Margaret smiled. She had to admit him being with Donna
was definitely making him more considerate. "No thanks
Josh," she said. "Ronna and I are going to grab something
later."

"Okay," he said as he hurried out of the office. He was
worried he might be late. Donna was waiting for him at the
bottom of the stairs when he got there. "Hey," he greeted.
"Sorry, am I late?"

"Nope," she said. "Right on time."

"Okay," he said. "Let's get food." Josh noticed Donna making
funny faces at the food. "What's wrong?" he asked.

"I don't know," she replied. "Nothing really sounds all that
appetizing." She sighed. "I'll just get a salad."

"Okay," Josh replied. "Are you going to eat my fries if I get
them with my sandwich?"

Donna laughed. "History indicates yes. Let's eat in your
office," she added. "There are too many people down here."

"Alright," Josh said. They went back upstairs and settled into
his office. Margaret wasn't at her desk, so Josh figured she
and Ronna must have been getting their lunches. "How's
your day been?" Josh asked as they sat down.

"Pretty good," she replied. "We've come pretty far on the
plan for the women veterans' group."

"Good," Josh replied. "That's important stuff. How about the
thing with the female scientists speaking in schools?" he
asked.

Donna smiled. These were things that didn't matter at all to
Josh professionally. They weren't big enough programs to
affect the perception of the administration, and they had
nothing to do with the President's agenda. He was asking
because he cared what she was doing. "It's going really well.
Particularly here in DC."

She went to take a bite of her salad, but something in the
dressing smelled off. She put the fork back down without
taking the bite. "Everything okay?" Josh asked.

"It smells kind of funny," she stated.

He leaned over and took the fork, smelling the salad.
"Hmm," he said. "I don't smell anything." He took a bite. "I
don't think it is bad, but do you want some of my sandwich
instead?" he asked.

She smiled and stood up crossing to his side of the desk.
"No," she replied sitting on his desk next to his chair. "But I
will eat some of your fries." She reached down and took a
few. After eating them, she said, "I guess maybe I'm just not
hungry."

"Are you sick?" Josh asked concerned. She had gotten a
stomach bug around this time the year before.

"I don't think so," she replied. "Whatever, tell me about your
day."

*********************

Josh got home late that night. "Donna," he called from the
entryway. He was surprised not to hear an answer. Even
when he was home late, she was waiting for him either with
dinner or a beer or just a kiss.

He dropped his bag by the door and hung up his coat on the
coat rack she had bought them. Smiling at a picture of
hanging near it of the old gang with President Bartlet from
the dedication of the Bartlet Presidential Library the year
before. Danny and CJ had their arms around each other, as
did he and Donna. Sam stood next to them and Charlie next
to him. Toby was standing next to President Bartlet. They all
looked happy. Josh had thought it amazing how far they had
all come, and mostly together.

He moved into the apartment turning off the lamp that
Donna had left burning for him. He expected to find her
reading in bed, perhaps so engrossed in her book that she
hadn't heard him call her name. He smiled when he saw her
on the bed. She was lying on top of the covers, in her
pajamas. Her head was on his pillow despite her body
mostly being on her side of the bed, and her book was open
next to her on the bed. Josh sat down on his side of the bed
and leaned over gently to kiss her on the temple. "Donna,"
he whispered.

"Mmm," she hummed.

"You fell asleep," he said.

She didn't open her eyes, but she placed her hand on his
upper arm and squeezed slightly. "What time is it?" she
asked quietly.

"About ten-thirty," he replied and kissed her again. "Here,"
he pulled back the covers so she could slide between them.
"I'll come to bed in just a minute."

"Good," she whispered, squeezing his arm again before
letting go.

Josh went into the bathroom and brushed his teeth. He
rubbed some water over his face and took off his suit. Going
back into the bedroom, he tossed his suit and shirt in a
laundry bag to go to the dry cleaners. He hung his tie up in
the closet and then went back to the bed.

Donna had rolled over partially onto his side of the bed
again, her head half on his pillow. He smiled. "Scoot over
and let me in," he said gently climbing in next to her.

"With pleasure," she replied throwing one arm across his
chest. "Why were you so late tonight?"

"Sit. room," he replied. "Sorry."

"Everything okay?" she asked.

"Okay enough," he replied. "Don't worry about it. Go back to
sleep." He kissed her hairline.

"I'm not so tired," she muttered into his chest.

"You could have fooled me," he replied. "How are you
feeling?" he asked. "Did you eat anything for dinner?"

"Yeah," she replied. "I had some soup and crackers."

"That's good," he said. "I hope you aren't sick."

"Mmm," she hummed again.

"You are tired," Josh insisted. "Go to sleep."

"M'kay." She nuzzled closer into his side, and he tightened
his grip on her.

************************

A few days later, Donna was sure she was sick. She had
thrown up three times in the past 24 hours. She was eating
soda crackers at her desk hoping she would at least be able
to keep those down when Mrs. Santos came out of her
office. She sat opposite Donna. "I was wondering if we could
reschedule that thing with the DAR next month," Helen
asked. "I was hoping to take the kids and visit my parents. I
wanted to do it while Matt was in Europe for the meeting
with the G8."

"Sure," Donna said. "I can easily reschedule it."

"Are you still not feeling well?" Helen asked nodding toward
the package of crackers on Donna's desk.

"No," she replied. "Josh was pissed I insisted on coming in
today. I just can't seem to keep anything down. So far I'm
doing okay with these though." Donna smiled up at Helen.
"I'm sure I'll be fine in a couple days Ma'am."

"Funny," Helen replied. "Those were the only thing I could
keep down when I was preg..." she trailed off. Donna looked
up and Helen with her eyes wide. "Donna?" Helen asked. "Do
you think you might be...?"

"I hadn't thought about it," Donna replied. She wondered
quickly why it hadn't crossed her mind. She knew enough
from talking to girlfriends and her cousin. She was
exhausted and nauseous. "But, I guess I might be." She ran
and hand over her hair. "Oh my god," she muttered. "Josh'll
freak out."

"Do you want to leave early today and go by the drug store?"
Helen asked. "It'd be okay if you did."

"No," Donna replied. "The meetings this afternoon are
important. This evening will be soon enough.

Helen nodded and smiled reassuringly. "It'll be fine Donna,"
she said. "Either way."

"Thank you Ma'am," Donna responded. "I'll let you know
when everyone is here for the meeting, and I'll take care of
the DAR event reschedule right now."

"Thanks Donna," Helen said. She rested her hand
reassuringly on Donna's shoulder before she went back to
her office.

After work, Donna stood in the aisle of the drug store down
the street from Josh and her apartment. She found it funny
that right next to the pregnancy tests on one side were
condoms and the other side were tampons. If you needed
the test, it was likely one of those was too late and the other
was unneeded. She laughed slightly and grabbed a box off
the shelf. She walked to the counter and checked out.

Back at their apartment, she paced nervously across the
bedroom in front of the bathroom door. Part of her hoped
Josh would come home before she had taken the test.
Another part of her hoped he wouldn't. If the test was
negative, she could just ignore it, and he would never need
to know.

Finally she took a deep breath and said to herself, "Here
goes nothing." She walked into the bathroom.

******************

Josh was thrilled to have escaped the office as early as he
did. It was only seven-thirty when he got home. "Honey, I'm
home," he called out with a laugh.

"Uh hey," Donna called from the kitchen. "I made dinner,"
she said.

"Smells good," Josh said. "You must be feeling better," he
observed entering the kitchen.

Donna smiled as he leaned in and kissed her. "A little," she
said. "I finally feel hungry."

"That's good," he replied. "Dinner ready?" he asked. "Or do I
have time for a shower?"

"About fifteen minutes," she answered. "You can get a
shower in."

"Okay," he said. "I'll be right back." He kissed her again
before disappearing into the bedroom. Donna turned back
to the dinner.

Josh shed his suit in the bedroom before grabbing a change
of clothes and moving into the bathroom for his shower. He
felt himself immediately relax under the steady stream of
hot water. After washing his hair, he got out of the shower
and dried himself off. Once he was dressed in a pair of jeans
and a t-shirt, he looked into the mirror and ran a towel
through his hair. He dropped the towel on the ground when
he was about to leave the bathroom. Stopping suddenly, he
stooped to pick it up, knowing Donna would yell at him if he
left it wet on the floor. As he stood up, he noticed
something in the trash bin.

Donna turned as she heard Josh coming out of the bedroom.
He was holding the empty First Response box in his hand.
"Donna...?" he asked looking at her wide-eyed. "Uh..."

She bit her lip. "Josh," she began. She crossed to him and
took his hand. Sitting down in a chair at the table, she
tugged on his hand so he sat in another chair. They were
facing each other, their knees bumping. She let go of his
hand.

"So you are," Josh stated. "You wouldn't go through all this if
the test was negative. You would have just said." He took a
deep breath.

"Yeah," she said with a nod. "I am."

Josh breathed out slowly. "Oohkay." He paused a moment.
"It's why you've been sick," he observed.

"Yeah," she agreed. "Josh?" she asked.

"What?" he questioned when she didn't continue speaking

"How do you feel about this?" she asked looking anywhere
but at him.

Josh reached out and took her hand again. This prompted
Donna to look up and into his eyes. "I think," he began. His
mind was racing. He closed his eyes. A baby. Then suddenly,
a calm settled over him. A baby, their baby. He opened his
eyes and said, "I think this is the best news I've ever heard."
He smiled. "Better than any election results."

"Really?" she asked smiling hopefully.

"Really," he stated. He leaned in and kissed her. "Wow," he
said quietly. "A baby. Our baby."

"Our baby," she repeated liking the sound of it.

Suddenly Josh's eyes got wide. "Should we get married?
Should we buy a bigger place, with a yard maybe?" he asked
quickly. He took a breath. "Donna?" he began again. "Should
I quit my job?" he asked quietly.

Donna stared at him in disbelief. "Your job?" she repeated.
"Josh your job is your life."

"I could have another life," he stated staring deeply into her
eyes. "We could have another life."

"Wouldn't you miss it?" she asked.

"Maybe," he stated. "But you're all I need, and with the baby,
it'd more than make up for missing it."

Donna smiled at him and leaned forward and kissed him
again. "That's sweet Josh, but I like the life we have now.
Don't you think this could just be a wonderful addition?"

"But the hours I work," Josh began. "I might not ever see him
or her."

"Maybe we can both cut back. Sam's got a good handle on
everything so does Annabeth. Maybe we could let them do a
little more." She squeezed his hand, and he nodded. "We'll
make it work. Now, let's eat; I made dinner." She stood up to
get the dinner.

"How domestic of you," Josh said with a grin. "Wait," he
suddenly exclaimed. "You should sit down," he added
leading her back to the table. "I'll get dinner."

Donna laughed, but she allowed him to seat her and get all
the food. They had a lovely dinner. Frequently, they would
look up and grin at each other. After dinner, they sat on the
couch. Josh had one arm wrapped around Donna's shoulder,
and his other hand was rubbing small circles on her belly. "I
can't believe there is a baby in there."

"You know Josh," she said. "It could be a false positive. I
need to go to the doctor to be sure."

"Do you think it is a mistake?" he asked.

"Well no," she answered. "I have enough symptoms. I'll call
tomorrow from the office to make an appointment."

"As soon as you make it, let me know," Josh said. "So I can
have Sam take any meetings."

"You want to go?" she asked turning on the couch to face
him.

"Well yeah," he replied quickly. "This is my kid." He smiled
so big at that statement that he almost laughed. Josh put his
arm back around her, pulling her to him.

************************

Friday afternoon found Josh and Donna leaving her ob-gyn's
office. "That was amazing," Josh said. "It feels so real."
Donna nodded. "So after listening to the doctor, do you
want to tell people now or wait?"

"I think I'd rather wait until closer to the end of the first
trimester," Donna stated. "Just in case anything goes wrong.
I'd rather not have anyone know." Josh nodded suddenly
concerned. Donna reached out and squeezed his hand. "Just
in case. Don't worry now."

"Okay," Josh sighed. "So just our secret," he said.

"Well, I'll probably need to tell the First Lady. She already
suspects since she was the one who put the idea in my
head. I'm sure she'll ask about the appointment when I get
back to the office too."

"Think she'll tell the president?" Josh asked wrapping his
arm around Donna's shoulder. She shrugged. "Would you
tell me?"

"I didn't tell you about CJ did I?" Donna asked.

"You knew before?" Josh asked, his voice jumping an octave.

"Just a couple days," she said with a smile. "I probably would
have told you if she hadn't been planning on announcing it
when they came out to visit."

"Really?" he asked.

Donna nodded. "Definitely," she replied.

"So we aren't even telling family yet?" Josh asked. " Because
you know both our mothers will freak out that they weren't
the first phone call."

"Yeah," Donna agreed. "I think we should tell family sooner,
at least your mom and my parents. Maybe this weekend?"

"Okay," Josh agreed.

When they got back to the White House, he walked her to
her office and kissed her goodbye before hurrying off to
check with Sam. Donna had been right about the First Lady.
Helen came into her office just as Donna was getting ready
to go home. "So how did it go?" she asked sitting across
from Donna.

Donna smiled. "It went well," she said. "I'm six weeks along."

"I just knew it," Helen said with a smile. "How do you feel?"

"Happy, scared, surprised, anxious, you name it," Donna
listed. Helen nodded knowingly. "Josh is doing a lot better
than I expected."

"Matt did too," Helen stated. "They can be surprising. So did
they give you a due date?" she asked.

"The tenth of September," Donna stated. She paused for a
moment. "Other than Josh," she said. "You are the only
person who knows. We are waiting until at least 12 weeks to
tell people."

"I'll keep it to myself," Helen replied. "Don't be surprised if
people catch on before you tell though," she said. "They did
with both of mine."

"Thanks," Donna replied.

"You're welcome," Helen said. "And Donna, don't come in
this weekend. You or Josh."

"I don't know if I can convince him to do that," Donna said
skeptically.

"I can make it happen," Helen replied with a grin. "Bye
Donna."

"Goodnight Ma'am. Have a good weekend," Donna
responded.

*********************
That night Josh got home quite a bit later than she did.
Donna was sitting on the couch drinking a cup of tea with
her computer on her lap. "How are you feeling?" he asked
immediately. He dropped his backpack by the door and
moved to sit next to her on the couch.

"I'm good," she said. "How was your afternoon?"

"Fine," Josh replied. "What are you looking at?" He nodded to
the computer.

"Pregnancy stuff," she answered. "Check it out." She turned
the computer to face him. "It says the baby is the size of a
lentil."

"That's so tiny," he said. "Hard to believe. What else?"

Donna smiled at his intense interest. "It's growing eyes,
ears, and a nose," she added.

"Did you look at the part that talks about your symptoms?"
Josh asked tapping part of the screen.

"Not yet," Donna said. "I was trying to start with the good
stuff." She clicked the link. "Let's see. So I can expect to be
moody."

"Looking forward to it," Josh replied with a smirk. He leaned
in to kiss her to let her know he was joking. "It says you
should start an exercise routine. Can you just keep yours?"

"For now," she replied. She closed the computer and set it
on the coffee table. Then, she leaned into Josh's side. "I'm
glad you're home."

"Me too," he replied wrapping his arms around her and
pulling her back against his chest. "I know it will drive you
crazy, but I can't help worrying about you." He paused for a
moment. "Do you think that is normal?"

Donna smiled. "Probably," she replied. "And worry all you
want, just don't try to stop me from doing things."

"Deal," Josh replied. He glanced at the clock. "It's getting
late. We should get you to bed." He stood up and offered
her a hand up. "The President said nobody could come to
work this weekend. That was directed at me wasn't it?" he
asked as they walked toward the bedroom together. He
never dropped her hand.

"Might have been. It was at the First Lady's insisting, not
mine," she added. She moved into the bathroom to brush
her teeth before changing into her pajamas.

While changing, Josh stated. "I'm happy to stay home this
weekend. We have people to call."

Donna laughed as she moved to the bed. Josh crawled in
next to her. She scooted over to him and he rested a hand
on her stomach.

"That feels really good," she said after a moment of silence.
Josh had started gently rubbing his hand in a circle on her
belly.

"I can't believe you have a baby in there," he said. "It is...
just... I don't know."

"So much for that 760 verbal," Donna joked.

"It does me no good when there are literally no words to
describe something," he retorted.

Donna laughed and rolled onto her side, cuddling closer to
Josh in the process. "Love you," she murmured.

"I love you too," he responded, "both of you." Donna grinned
in the dark and placed her hand on top of his on her
stomach.

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