Sittin' In Committee - carleton97


Did you know the normal intelligible outdoor range of the human male voice is about 200 yards? Or that there is a recorded case of a human voice being detected from over 10 miles away?


I'm thinking Josh missed his calling.

So to speak.

He bellows again and I take a leisurely sip of coffee before following the echo. See, I know what he's yelling about - I just got off the phone with Margaret - and the urge to mock is strong.

According to Margaret, Leo promised Mallory he would talk to her class when they got to their chapter on the federal government, but today is the day and he can't miss his meetings. He offered up another staffer as an apology, but since Mallory refused to even consider Sam, C.J. can't miss her briefing, and Toby is, well, Toby, that means it's all about Josh.

What is Leo thinking?


Josh and a room full of children? Does he not remember what happened in Nebraska?

Josh was just lucky I cut him loose before Mandy found her camera.

Let's take a moment to praise whatever deity removed Mandy from our lives, shall we?

Where was I? Oh, yeah. The urge to mock.

The thing is, the more I mock now, the more miserable he'll make me later with the surly and cranky. I have too much to do to waste time coddling him when he gets back, so I resolve to be completely professional about this.


I'm a complete professional.

Josh is talking to Sam with his back to me when I round the corner, but he knows I'm there. I know he knows because we always know when the other is around; it's just a thing we do. We started getting some strange looks, though, so sometimes, like now, we pretend.

Since he's ignoring me for the moment, I slow down and just watch him. Watching Josh is my guiltiest pleasure. Well, okay, not my *guiltiest* pleasure - that title is reserved for something else entirely - but it's my most public of the Guilty Josh Pleasures.

I could watch him for hours. I did, after Rosslyn, but that was different. I watched him then because I *knew* he'd slip away from me if I didn't. Rosslyn changed him, but he's still my Josh and watching him now, I lose myself in thoughts of his hands and mouth. Imagining how he'll touch me when doing so isn't a federal issue.


I can wait for us, though. Testifying was hard enough even when I didn't have anything to hide. I did my best and Babish was, in his words, 'not disappointed' in my testimony. He doesn't need to know as soon as I got back to the West Wing I threw up in the women's bathroom and cried until Josh tracked me down.

Yeah, Josh was a bit hostile when it was his turn to testify.

I'm about five yards away before he decides to notice me. He turns and catches my eye as he gestures to Sam and I'm struck with the image of Josh sitting in one of those kid sized plastic chairs, his backpack propped on his knees. It's like Christmas in September and I watch my mock-free resolve crumble.

Oh, well. If I'm going down, I'm going down hard.


That didn't come out right.

I don't have time to edit my internal monologue before Josh dismisses Sam with a little push towards his office. "Did you know about this?"

Great. Paranoid!Josh has come out to play. I turn around to follow him back to his office. "Yes, Josh. I'm part of a vast, multi-national conspiracy working to send you back to grammar school."

"You're fired."

"You're funny."

"I know Leo said this wasn't punishment, but I feel distinctly chastened. Castigated even."

"Perhaps now you've learned not to go around throwing out historical references all willy-nilly."

Torquemada. He called the Special Prosecutor Torquemada. Do you know how long it took me to come up with a plausible apology for that?

"'Willy-nilly?' Donna, what have I told you about listening to Sam?"

I consider the question rhetorical, but he seems to be waiting for a response. "You told me his vocabulary resembles that of a nineteenth century maiden and, as someone who writes for a living, that is a sad, sad thing."

"Exactly. Though I'm pretty sure I didn't use the word 'maiden.'"

Whatever. Time to get the day back on track.

"So, do you want me to pack an apple in your lunch to give to the teacher?"

"No, but if you want to bring her one, knock yourself out."

He's smirking at me now. I should have seen that one coming. Damn smirky bastard. "No way, Josh."

"Yes way, Donna."

Nice comeback. "What are you? Twelve?"

He ignores me. "Anyway, Congressional innuendo notwithstanding, you're my assistant. If any situation calls for assistance, it's this one."

I think I snort at that. "Josh, you're explaining the legislative process to fourth graders. With what could I possibly assist?"

"Exactly that. Fourth graders. Children."

He can't mean what I think he means. "Again, I'm not seeing how this relates to me."

"You're a girl. You're, you know, predisposed to be good with kids. Ow!"

I'm saved the trouble of beating him to death with my shoe by C.J. She must have heard his comment because she hauled off and smacked him upside the head with a huge 3-ring binder without even breaking stride.

I think it's a draft of the 2002 Budget.

I love C.J.

I give the sisterhood a big grin and pull Josh's hand away from his head. I check quickly for damage, then smooth his hair back down. "What, Josh? Not man enough to face a horde of children by yourself?"

"Oh, I'm man enough."

Wow. That sounded really dirty. Even dirtier than he meant it to, if his expression is any indication. This is bad. This is so very bad I can't even articulate how bad it is. We have to wait until after re-election to deal with this thing between us. It'd be political suicide to do anything else.

Wouldn't it?

I push aside any doubts I have on that score and just ignore his last comment.

"Besides, I thought you were a people person. Children are people... just shorter."

He actually stops in the middle of the hallway to stare at me in horror. "Children are not people! Their heads are freakishly disproportionate to the rest of their bodies, they have strange, glowing eyes, and they frighten me."

"Josh, we're not talking about Midwich circa 1960."

"What - " He shakes his head. "I don't want to know."

He takes off towards his office and snags my coffee as he walks by my desk. "Hey!"

Using his body as a shield, he manages to take a big gulp of my perfectly brewed caffeinated beverage before I wrestle the cup away from him. He stomps over to his chair and flops down, pouting at me. "Donna, I'm thinking I'm going to need all the fortification I can get before facing down the enemy this afternoon. Sharing your coffee wouldn't, you know, mean the death of your precious ideals."

I take a drink, but can't resist the pitiful look in his eyes. Against my better judgment, I slide the mug across his desk and wait for his reaction.

Self-satisfied smile of the complete egotist?


Feet up on the desk?


Coffee held aloft like pillaged booty?


Yeah, he brought the smug.

"You can't resist me."

Oh, Lord. Just because it's true doesn't mean I have to act like it. "You're right, Josh. I am made powerless in the face of your allure. Please, take me now."

Wow. I think I just transcended sarcasm completely and moved to a whole new plane of post-modern irony. I don't know which was more effective, the 'please-take-me-now' or the utterly expressionless tone of voice I managed, but either way, Josh doesn't look quite so sure of himself now.


He puts his feet on the floor and sets our shared coffee in the middle of his desk. "So exactly what portion of my massive store of knowledge am I being asked to impart to the youth of America?"

"According to Margaret, it's just basic information on the branches of government and the legislative process."

He looks a little disappointed and I sit down in the visitor's chair, knowing I won't be getting any work done for awhile. "That's it? They don't want, like, an insiders view of how Congress works?"

"Josh, these kids are nine. You'll be lucky if they even pay attention."

He makes a disgruntled noise and starts to reach for the coffee. He stops suddenly and gets a certain look in his eye. The look that says I-just-had-an-idea-of-unparalleled-idiocy. Oh, I'm sure he thinks it's a look that promises brilliance, but that's not what it says to me.



"Yeah, props. We need them."


"To hold interest! We need some sort of visual component to our presentation."



"First of all, there is no 'we' in this presentation. Second of all, no."

"Donna - "


"But - "


"I - "


"Didn't I fire you?"


"Fine. No props." He slouches down in his chair, "But I reserve the right to blame you when something goes terribly wrong."

"Fine." What could go wrong?



He takes possession of my coffee cup and waves towards the door. "Don't you have something you need to be doing? We're running a country here."

"Yeah, let that thought keep you warm when the Stepford children have you running scared."

I close his door before he can respond. I can't wait for this afternoon.


So far, this little excursion has been remarkably humiliation free. I don't know if I'm disappointed or relieved. Oh, I'm sure C.J. would have a fit if Josh managed to embarrass the administration in an elementary school classroom, but it would almost be worth it for the *years* of torture it would provide.

It was a rough first few minutes, though. Josh was extraordinarily nervous. It was really strange to see a man who has dined with most of the leaders of the free and not-so free world get pale and sweaty facing a room of kids.

Then again, they are kind of creepy. Now that I've had some time to study them, their heads do seem a bit larger than normal and their eyes, while not glowing, are glassy and staring at Josh. It's about a 50/50 split between adoration and disdain.

I know the feeling.

He finishes up explaining how our system of checks and balances works, then opens the floor for questions.

Josh looks around the classroom and calls on a pink faced little girl. "You, with the hair."

She turns around and points at me. "Is that your girlfriend?"

"Donna?" Well, that's a new and entirely non-masculine octave. "No, Donna's my assistant."

That's it? That's all I get? I'm just his assistant?

He glances my way and quickly amends his statement. "And my friend."

"You're friends with a *girl*?" One of the boys frowns at the girl sitting next to him as if that alone will be enough to stave off the dreaded girl-cooties.

Josh smiles, dimples and all. "Yeah, it surprised me too."

I roll my eyes at Mallory while Josh looks around for his next question.

"Yeah, in the blue." He points like he's back in C.J.'s press room. He's such a dork.

"My dad says the President is a liar and should be um- un- inpeached."

I know Josh's instinctive reaction is to go on the defensive and that is not at all appropriate for the ears of impressionable children. Before I can do more than open my mouth to jump in, he's got a handle on himself.



"The President is not a liar - What's your name?"


"Michael, the President didn't lie. He decided it wasn't anybody's business that someday in the future he'd get sick."

Michael seems to accept this simple explanation and it makes me wish more ten year olds could vote.

"Does anyone have any questions related to Mr. Lyman's presentation?" I guess Mallory decided to put an end to the free-form Q&A. "Ashley, ask your question."

"If the President didn't want people to know he was sick, why didn't he just make a law or something?"

Apparently these kids take direction about as well as Josh does.

"Well, aside from that being pretty much completely illegal, the President can't just enact a law. No one can. It's a long and complicated process. As you all should know from Schoolhouse Rock."

There's dead silence in the room and he gives me a slightly confused look. "You know, Schoolhouse Rock? 'I'm just a Bill...'"

I take pity on him and rescue him once again. "Josh, most of these kids were born in 1992. Seven years after Schoolhouse Rock was cancelled."

Mallory sits up suddenly in her chair and seems way too gleeful for a public school teacher. "Josh, why don't you show the class what they missed? I'm sure you know all the words to 'I'm Just a Bill'."


Dear god in heaven.

Mallory is evil made flesh.

Josh just stands there, gaping at Mallory as she continues, "Well, I know you didn't have much time to prepare any sort of visual aids, but a song is even better."

Perhaps I shouldn't have shared that part about the visual aids with her.

Josh is in full retreat mode. "I really don't know the song, Mallory, and - "

"Josh, do not lie to me in my classroom." Ooh. I remember that voice from school.

"I'm not - "

"Joshua Hosea Lyman, I've known you a good portion of my life. You get all wrinkly when you're lying."

See? I'm not the only one who's noticed the forehead thing.

The kids are beginning to get restless, perhaps sensing the impending humiliation of an adult, and Josh turns to me with the most panicked expression I've ever seen. I could help him out - I mean, who doesn't know 'I'm Just a Bill'? - but I don't think I'm going to. It's his fault we're here, after all. I shrug at him and settle back in my seat to watch the show.

If I were an easily intimidated woman, I'd be scared by the look he's giving me. Since I am a confident pillar of womanly strength, I am only mildly apprehensive.

With a dash of curiously aroused.

Okay, so I'm a perverted pillar of womanly strength.

He takes a deep breath and I swear I don't know what possesses me, but before he can even start, I interrupt. "Don't forget the dialogue."

The look he gives me is oddly Toby-esque. "It's a two person thing, Donna!"

"What, you can't do two voices?" I am in so much trouble.

He looks pretty mutinous, like maybe getting out of doing this is more important than staying in Leo's good graces. Then his shoulders slump and he signs in defeat, turning his eyes to the ceiling, perhaps in prayer.

No one wants to fall out of favor with Leo.

'You sure gotta climb a lotta steps to get to this Capitol Building here in Washington! But I wonder who that sad little scrap of paper is?'

Oh, god. This has to be the funniest thing I've ever seen. Josh is so embarrassed he can't look away from the ceiling and I'm pretty sure some of those cracks in his little-kid voice aren't deliberate.

'I'm just a bill,
Yes, I'm only a bill,
And I'm sitting here on Capitol Hill
Well, it's a long, long journey
To the capital city,
It's a long, long wait
While I'm sitting in committee,
But I know I'll be a law someday...
At least I hope and pray that I will,
But today I'm still just a bill.'

I hear a strange sort of wheezing from Mallory and I realize she's barely hanging on to her self-control. A muscle in her jaw bulges from the effort of keeping her laughter contained. She catches my eye and that's it for me. The tiny snort escapes me before I can stop it and a sudden movement from Josh draws my attention back to him.

He's finally stopped staring at the ceiling and is glaring at the two of us with every ounce of his not-inconsiderable temper. The combination is obviously too much for Mallory. She's got her hands pressed against her mouth and her whole body is shaking.

I catch her eye again and I can practically read her thoughts:

My kingdom for a video camera.

Amen, sister.

'Gee, bill, you certainly have a lot of patience and courage!'

'Well I got *this* far. When I started, I wasn't even a *bill* - I was just an idea. Some folks back home decided they wanted a law passed, so they called their local congressman and he said, "You're right, there ought to be a law." Then he sat down and wrote me out and introduced me to Congress, and I became a bill. And I'll remain a bill until they decide to make me a law.'

I can't say Josh looks happy, but his embarrassment seems to be fading a little. Maybe he's seeing the humor inherent in the situation.

Or it could be the growing adoration on the faces of all the little girls in the class. Hell, he's old enough to have fathered these kids.

Josh and kids. That's a scary thought.

Well, not scary so much as adorable.

And somewhat arousing.

I need help, I'm aware of this.

'I'm just a bill,
Yes I'm only a bill,
And I got as far as Capitol Hill.
Well now I'm stuck in committee
And I sit here and wait
While a few key congressmen
Discuss and debate
Whether they should
Let me be a law...
Oh how I hope and pray that they will,
But today I am still just a bill.'

Josh doesn't have a terrible voice. I mean, he's no Pavarotti, but he's no Sam either. This isn't the first time I've heard him sing, though. Before the whole thing last Christmas, he used to sing along with the radio pretty often.

He liked Queen.

A lot.

'Listen to those congressmen arguing! Is all that discussion and debate about you?'

'Yes. I'm one of the lucky ones. Most bills never even get this far. I hope they decide to report on me favourably, otherwise I may die.'


'Yeah: die in committee. Oooh! But it looks like I'm gonna live. Now I go to the House of Representatives and they vote on me.'

'If they vote "yes", what happens?'

'Then I go to the Senate and the whole thing starts all over again.'

'Oh no!'

'Oh yes!'

You want to know the truth? Despite the glaring and the giggles and the kids, I'm so turned on right now I can hardly restrain myself.

Yeah, I don't get it either.

There's nothing innately sexy about this situation and I know Josh is pretty much completely pissed off at me, but that doesn't seem to matter to my girly bits.

This is very bad. I must distract myself.

Old white Republican men.

Who will never know if anything happens in a dark room in an elementary school.

The grudge-holding Special Prosecutor.

Who wouldn't dare try to initiate more fruitless questions about potential West Wing sex scandals.

Oliver Babish, C.J. Cregg, and Leo McGarry.


The lusty reptile part of my brain can't really fight that one.

I want Josh so much it makes my teeth hurt and I'm pretty sure I love him just as much, but there is nothing on this earth that could convince me to face the wrath of that righteous trio by acting on this tangle of love and lust.

I can still look though.

'I'm just a bill,
Yes I'm only a bill,
And if they vote for me on Capitol Hill,
Well then I'm off to the White House
Where I'll wait in a line
With a lot of other bills
For the President to sign.
And if he signs me then I'll be a law...
Oh, how I hope and pray that he will,
But today I am still just a bill.'

Or maybe not.

Just looking at Josh seems to quiet my voice of reason and reawaken all the brainless desire lurking in my nether regions.

Bad, bad, bad Donna.

Re-election is only a year away.

I can wait a year.


I can.

'You mean even if the whole Congress says you should be a law, the President can still say no?'

'Yes, that's called a "veto". If the President vetoes me, I have to go back to Congress, and they vote on me again, and by that time it's...'

'By that time, it's very unlikely that you'll *become* a law! It's not easy to become a law, is it?'

'No! But how I hope and I pray that I will,
But today I am still just a bill!'

'He signed you, bill! Now you're a law'

'Oh yes!'

And Elvis has left the building.

Josh has his backpack on and is out the door before I can even think about following. Mallory and the kids are applauding, but I doubt he even heard them before bolting. I scramble out of my chair and wave my thanks to Mallory as I try to catch up to him.

He's obviously trying to break the land-speed record, but I manage to fall into step with him about halfway down the hall.

"Josh -"

"Not one word, Donna."

"I -"

"I'm not kidding, Donna. You owe me. This is way bigger than the panty thing."

"Why do I owe you? This was all Leo!"

"You're telling me there was nothing you could have done to stop that humiliation in there?"

I can't help the smirk. "Nothing on earth could have convinced me to stop that."

"Donna!" He stops in front of a supply closet and gives me a look. He starts to pace a tight little circle around me, muttering to himself about the public face of the administration and 'the Deputy Chief of Staff's cabaret act.'

"It wasn't that bad, Josh. Personally, I would find drunkenly taunting Nell's cats with my opposable thumbs much more humiliating."

"Not that bad? Donna, I don't know which universe you inhabit most of the time, but in no way, shape, or form was today anything other than a disaster."

He steps closer as he finishes, his chest pressing against my shoulder, practically growling his displeasure into my ear.

Oh, wow.

Babish, C.J., Leo.

He doesn't say anything else, but he doesn't move away either. He just stays pressed against me, the heat of his body soaking through our clothes to my skin. I can feel his heart beating heavily against my arm and if I move my hand the tiniest bit, I bet I could feel a whole bunch of other stuff too.

Babish, C.J., Leo.

Babish, C.J., Leo.

His breath stirs through my hair and I can smell the soapy clean smell of his skin. I love the way he smells. His skin is - surprise, surprise - pretty sensitive so he doesn't wear any cologne and Ivory is about the only soap that doesn't give him hives, so he always smells...nice. Clean.

Well, except for that time after the bachelor party. Blech.

I should probably say something. Just standing here pressed against my boss could, perhaps, look a bit hinky to the outside observer. "Josh -"

I make the mistake of turning my head to look at him. He's still mad, but his eyes have dropped to my mouth and there's something in his eyes, something hot and a little reckless, that freezes every thought in my brain.

Babish, C.J., Leo.

Babish, C.J., Leo.

Babish, C.J., Leo.

"Why are you mumbling those names?"

Oh, crap.

"It's my mantra for the next 13 months."

He looks confused for a second, but he must make the connection because his heart speeds up against my arm and I can *see* his eyes darken. He whispers my name and starts to sway towards me.

Oh hell.

He's going to kiss me. We're standing in the middle of the hallway, he hasn't even glanced around to see if anyone is watching, and he's going to kiss me.

*Josh* is going to kiss me.

And I've got to stop him.

Any moment now, I'm going to stop him. Any moment now, I'm going to start ignoring the warm hand resting heavily on the small of my back. I'm going to pretend I can't feel his body heat wrapping around me or hear the tiny hitch in his breathing. I'm going to look away from the hope and panic in his eyes.

Any moment now.


Because now is neither the time nor the place to be -

Josh is kissing me.

Well, Josh is sort of kissing me. His eyes are closed and his mouth is *this* close to mine. So close I think I can hear the blood rushing through his veins, but our lips haven't exactly touched yet so I guess we're not actually kissing at all.

I'm practically a quivering heap of Donna on the floor and he hasn't even really kissed me yet. I can't imagine what it'll be like when he actually does.

But he won't.

Because I'll stop him.

Any moment -


I mean, oops.

I guess I should have jumped on the 'stopping this now' train a little sooner. Josh is now actually kissing me and there is no way I'm stopping him. He has one hand buried in my hair and the other wrapped around my hip, pulling me into his body. His mouth - dear god, his mouth - is plucking at mine, teasing me with the barest whisper of pressure before retreating.

It's like the physical equivalent of banter and it's so very Josh I have to smile. There were some rumors floating around the campaign right after Mandy left. Rumors about how sex-Josh is remarkably similar to cranky-Josh in that both are self-centered and thoughtless.

I hate Mandy.

Josh uses his grip on my body to turn me towards him. He shuffles us backwards until I feel the wall against my back. I wrap my arms around his neck and pull him closer to me, loving the way his body feels against mine. He's kissing me in earnest now and I can't stop the shudder that chases up and down my spine when I feel the firm glide of his tongue against mine.

Apparently the banter portion of the day has come to an end.

I've always been a bit leery of those women who talk about their knees going weak. I mean, I've had some good sex in my life - most notably in the clock tower of the Music Hall at Madison - but I've never experienced any weakening in my limbs.

Then Josh slides his hand over the curve of my hip to the back of my thigh and tugs my leg up just enough to fit his hips to mine. He rocks against me and the wall is pretty much the only thing keeping me upright.

Okay, Josh and I? I'm thinking we're not going to get out of this building without having sex. We just can't do it here.

In the hallway.

Where any number of impressionable children could walk by.

I really don't want to let go of Josh, but he doesn't seem to be doing much of anything besides starting in on the buttons of my jacket. I guess it's all me, then. I can do this. I can multi-task.

Josh has finished with my jacket buttons and is slowly pulling my shirt from the waistband of my skirt.

We need privacy.

The hand on my leg slides under the hem of my skirt and he pushes against me a little harder.

There was a supply closet.

His mouth leaves mine and he drops a trail of kisses over my chin and down my throat, licking and biting his way to my collarbone.

Please be unlocked.

The door is somewhere to my right and I remove my hand from what is truly the nicest ass in politics to grope for the doorknob. It takes, perhaps, more effort than it should, but I manage to get the door open.

Okay, the door is open. We need to move.

"Josh." He tilts his head a little to look up at me through his lashes and it's all I can do to gesture vaguely at the open door. "Inside."

His hand clenches on my thigh, then begins to push up my skirt, "Oh, yeah."

Ohhhhh, yeah.




I grab the lapels of his jacket and maneuver us into the supply closet. Josh seems a bit confused at the change of venue and pokes at my bicep a little. "Been eating your spinach again?"

"Josh, why do you persist in this belief that I am 'freakishly strong'? I've told you repeatedly I simply have an intuitive understanding of force and momentum vectors and how - "

I hope he realizes this method of shushing me will absolutely not be allowed in the office. I think about informing him of this, but doing so would require me to stop kissing him.

Which, to clarify, isn't going to happen anytime soon.

He pushes me back against the narrow strip of wall next to the door and pretty quickly arranges us into an approximation of our position before our relocation. He resumes pushing my skirt up my legs, but stops suddenly when he hits the lace band at the top of my stockings. "Jesus, Donna."

I try for saucy, but I think I end up somewhere between sheepish and shy. "I need to do laundry."

He flattens his palm against my leg and inches his hand up until he can slide his fingers just under the edge of my underwear. His eyes are closed, the hand at my shirt buttons is still, and it seems like he's entirely focused on the path he's tracing around my leg.

Okay, yeah. That's pretty erotic, right there.

I shudder a little as his fingers brush over the sensitive skin where my thigh meets my hip and I decide we're ready to move this along.

We're going to need some protection. Why the hell did I go off the Pill when I dumped Dr. Freeride? Oh, yeah. It made me bloated and cranky. Luckily, it's my job to make sure Josh is prepared for everything.

I slide my palm over his shoulder and down his back to his pocket. I pull his wallet out and start flipping through it, which is enough to break the little sex trance he'd been in.

"What? You're mugging me now?"

"Birth control, dumbass. I'm not on the Pill." I find what I'm looking for and shove the wallet back in his pocket. I pull my skirt up around my waist and push my panties down, stepping out of them with one foot. I want him so much. "Unless you want to explain to C.J. why your assistant needs maternity leave?"

"God, no." He gets a strange look on his face that I'm pretty sure isn't related to the hand unzipping his pants. "Hey! How did you know that was there?"

He can be so dense sometimes. I push his pants and boxers down to his knees. "Josh, I've organized your desk, your office, your car, and your apartment. Did you really think your wallet escaped?"

"Frankly, yeah."

"Please. Left to your own devices, you'd still have that ratty old circa 1985 condom in there." I take a moment to admire Josh's, uh, equipment before carefully unrolling the condom. For a penis, it's quite attractive.

He blinks stupidly at me for a second. "Hey!"

"I'm just saying, condoms expire, Josh. Actually, keeping it in your wallet probably isn't - "

Oh, god.

Josh presses into me a fraction of an inch and nothing on earth should feel this good. Of course, this is another completely inappropriate way of stopping a conversation, but, again, I'm not complaining right now. He pulls back, then pushes all the way inside. It hurts a little because it's been a while, but it's a good kind of hurt - the kind that I know is going to fade into pleasure pretty quickly.

He has his forehead resting on the wall next to my ear and his harsh breathing is all I can hear.

"Donna?" I feel the ghost of a kiss across my cheek. "Are you okay?"

I tighten my muscles around him and feel an answering jolt of pleasure when he jerks against me. "Oh, yeah."

He catches my lips with his and it should be illegal for him to kiss this well. His tongue is sliding against mine, his body is pulsing inside of me, and it all feels so good I never want to leave this musty closet. He trails his mouth over my jaw and down my throat. My head tips back to give him better access. I pull my leg higher on his waist and shift my hips against his thrusting, trying to get just a little closer.

This position isn't exactly the best for me.

He never actually finished unbuttoning my shirt, so he's circling my nipple gently through the fabric as he mumbles into my neck. It's my name and something I can't quite make out, so I lean down a little to -

Holy shit!

That's not the correct time, is it?

I surreptitiously check my watch again and feel a little burst of panic. We need to get back to the office.


Five minutes ago.

Josh has meetings on the Hill all afternoon and he's going to be so, terribly late if we, well, he doesn't finish soon.

I've kind of given up on me for the moment.

Somehow, though, I don't think he's going to be really open to the idea of just hurrying this along. He seems to be enjoying himself quite a bit.

I'm going to have to be sneaky.

I can do sneaky.

Josh's movements slow and he raises his head from the curve of my shoulder. "You with me?"

Count on Josh to pick out the most inopportune time to start being attentive to my needs.

I squeeze him again, thanking god my college roommate sold me on the beauty of the Kegel. "Don't worry about me, Joshua."

I feel him shudder when I talk to him and it gives me a wicked idea. I lean forward and start to whisper in his ear. I tell him every wicked thought, every indecent impulse, every naughty dream I've ever had about him. I'm only halfway through my list of everything I want to do to him when he thrusts spasmodically, then stiffens in my arms. His legs buckle a little when he starts to relax and I lock my knee to keep us both upright.

He's shaking a little from exertion and I run my hand up and down the soft fabric of his suit coat. He lifts his head from the wall and kisses me softly, running his fingers through my hair. I ache from the sweetness of it, but before I can get carried away and do something girly like start to cry, he pulls back suddenly.

Guess who just remembered what happened? Or, rather, what didn't happen.

"God, Donna. Believe me when I say this is not an accurate representation of - " he stops and shuts his mouth with a snap. Yeah, discretion is totally the better part of valor here.

"I'm sure it's not, Josh." I grab the bottom edge of the condom and ease him out of me before that 98% efficiency rate is compromised. My body's still kind of humming with arousal and the movement feels really good. We're going to have to have a repeat performance pretty damn soon.

I tie off the condom and toss it into the garbage can on the other side of the door. He still looks damn embarrassed at his sexual faux pas, but he kisses me again and trails his hand over my thigh, "Let me take care of you."

His voice is quiet next to my ear and the temptation to let him touch me, to have his gentle fingers smooth over me is almost too much, but we have got to get back. I push his hand away and finally drop my leg back on to the ground. "We don't have time, Josh - you have to be on the Hill at three. I'll take care of it later."

He looks hurt and pissed off. What's that about? "Donna - "

I pull out the handkerchief I know his dad taught him to carry in his pocket and hand it to him. "Get cleaned up a little and pull up your pants, we've got to go."

He just stands there for a second before propping his hands on his hips. Which, considering his pants are still dragging around his knees, is pretty comical. "No."


"No. I was doing fine until you got all chatty."

Damn right he was, but still - "Josh, the Hill."

He shakes his head at me. "If this is my one shot, I'm doing it right. The Hill can wait."

One shot? He thinks we're not trying this again? And again? "Josh - "

"I'm serious, Donna. Should Congress, God forbid, end up hearing about this, they're not hearing about *this*. This isn't just about avenging my manhood, Donna. It's about - "

"Joshua, you can avenge your manhood all you want later. Right now we have to get you back so you can meet with Senator O'Bannon on the thing." I pull my underwear up and skirt back down.

"Later?" Hello high-voiced Josh, how I've missed you.

"Well, seeing as how we've pretty much destroyed the whole plausible deniability thing, why not run with the sordidness?"

His face falls a little and I instinctively step closer to him. "This is sordid to you?"

I glance at our surroundings, then back at him and he rolls his eyes a little.

"Well, yeah, this kind of is, but," he gestures in the space between us, "this too?"

This serious-Josh is unexpected. I'm not quite sure what to make of him and I *need* to get us out of here. I decide to go for the comfort of the familiar. Banter.

"Come on, Josh. You're thirteen years older than I am, you're my boss, and I've already been asked, on C-SPAN, if I traded sexual favors for employment."

"Yeah, but - " He runs his fingers through his hair, still ignoring his de-pantsed state. He seems pretty taken aback by the idea that this might somehow be tawdry to me.

"But what, Josh?" I run my hands up my legs, straightening my stockings and checking for runs. Miracle of miracles, they seem to have escaped this little encounter unscathed.

"I always assumed - I thought you knew - We've got this *thing* and - "

"What thing, Josh?" I tuck my shirt back in and try to smooth the sex-wrinkles out of my skirt. I'm not really toying with him, but this is important. How he sees what's between us in important.

"This thing, Donna." He gestures around the room again. "Us."

I give my skirt a final brushing and run my fingers through my hair. That's the best I can do without fixing my makeup. "There's an 'us'?"

Josh looks stricken for a second, then strangely determined, like he's trying to sell some gun control legislation to Texas senators.

"You don't think we're an 'us', is that what you're telling me? I've got to say, Donna, I thought you were smarter than that." He smirks and puts his hands on his mostly naked hips.

I can't take it anymore. I take the handkerchief from him and clean him off the best I can before pulling up his boxers and pants.

"There's an 'us', Donna. You stayed with me for three months and no one batted an eye. The Chief of Staff for the President of the United States followed your Rules without question."

I tuck in his shirt and straighten his tie while he's working this out. See, I know all this already, I just need to make sure *he* knows before we go any further. I brush at the wrinkles covering his jacket, but to no avail. This poor suit is never going to be the same.

He grabs my hands to stop my fussing. "I always know when you're in the room, Donna. Even when I was in a coma, I knew. Leo's known me for most of my life, but you were the only one who realized something was really wrong with me last December. You were the only reason I didn't completely lose it. The only reason I made it into work everyday was because I knew you would be there. Just by being there, you made things better."

I feel the burn of tears behind my eyes. That was a little more than I expected.

He lets go of my hands and takes a step back. "There's an 'us', Donnatella. You can try to ignore it, but people see it. Hell, Joey Lucas saw it." He makes a broad gesture. "There's a *pool*, Donna!"

"I know. I think the First Lady won." I pick up his backpack and hold it out to him.

He stares at my hand for a second before reaching out to take his bag and smiling at me. He doesn't smirk or even grin, he full-out happy smiles at me. Dimples and all.

"So, you wanna come over tonight?"

I take his face in my hands and kiss him as hard as I can. He drops his bag and runs his hands up and down my back, then pulls his mouth from mine to bury his face in my neck as he hugs me tightly.

We're going to be okay. We have to be.

"You realize, of course, this means an entirely new set of Rules."

He laughs, then steps back half of a step to smooth my hair away from my face. "Is this going to be one of those things where you make up all the rules and the rest of us just get to follow them or do I get to make up some rules too?"

I pick up his backpack again and hand it to him. "You can make up some of the Rules. Subject to my approval."

He grins and pokes his head out the door to check for witnesses before settling his hand on the small of my back and leading me down the hall. "Good, because I have a really good rule about closets and assistants who schedule events too close together..."

He pushes open the front door of the school and we step into the warm autumn sun together.

"Shut up, Josh."


"I'm Just a Bill" - Music & Lyrics by Dave Frishberg
Original version sung by Jack Sheldon

Disclaimer: Aaron Sorkin and the people of NBC own the West Wing. I make no money from this. I just have fun.

Created and maintained by carleton97.

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