Sorry for the delay on this, but I ended up with computer problems right after I agreed to do a back-up fic!
michellek why do you keep getting me to write more Donna/Amy fic?
Title: A Winning Streak
Pairing: Donna/Amy, slight Donna/Josh
Spoilers: No Exit post ep, references to everything up to that to be safe.
You walk into your apartment and slam the door behind you, hard. It makes a satisfying thud as it closes, the pictures on your wall literally rattling, and it feels so good that you almost want to open the door and slam it all over again. You don’t though, because the kind of day you’re having, not only your pictures would fall and you’d have to spend a fortune replacing shattered glass (not to mention the clean-up job) but the door would also splinter and you’d lose your security deposit.
Kicking off your shoes, you tramp barefoot into your bedroom, taking down your hair as you go, running your fingers through it to shake off some of the hairspray holding it together, hoping that it will ease some of the tension thrumming through your body. One glance in the mirror tells you that it’s only made you look a sight, and you drag a brush through it, to no great effect.
Sighing impatiently, you take off the lovely blue dress that you spent so long searching for, because you really wanted to look good for the Correspondents’ Dinner. The dress is gorgeous, and it looks good on you, but the way you’re feeling right now, you don’t ever want to wear it again. That makes it easier to quash the guilty little voice that tells you that, for the amount of money you spent on it, no way should you be leaving it in a creased puddle on the floor, and you do just that, pulling on your oldest, faded sweatpants and sweatshirt, pulling your hair back into the messiest of ponytails.
You stare into the mirror, into your angry face, and suddenly, all you can see is CJ, and all you can hear are the words that she said earlier on tonight.
That you should have outgrown your job three years ago.
Implying that the only reason you were still working at the White House was because you were in love with Josh.
“I’m not in love with Josh,” you mutter, and there’s a part of you that believes that.
OK, you may, once upon a time, have had a crush on Josh. When you first arrived in Manchester, fresh from driving 937 miles across the country, when he let you talk yourself into a job that you were in no way qualified for, you had a crush on him, you can admit to that. Something about the way he moved, his complete and utter confidence in himself, in Governor Bartlet, and, yes, in you, was pretty damn irresistible. And you also have to admit that the fact that he was totally inept organisationally speaking didn’t hurt either – you’ve always had a thing about people in need of mothering.
When he was shot, when you sat in that waiting room with Mrs Landingham holding your hand, and you were so sure that he was going to die? That was, without question, the worst day of your life. You didn’t realise, right until you heard Toby say those words, “Josh was hit,” that he’d come to mean so much to you, and if anyone had asked you that day, you would have admitted that yes, you were in love with him. And that long summer, when you were his assistant and nurse all rolled into one, when you ruled over his life and visiting hours with an iron fist, when he depended on you totally and completely, you would have said that, sooner or later, something would happen between you.
That Christmas, when he had his breakdown, when you cancelled your plans to fly home with scant twenty-four hours’ notice, you would definitely have said that.
But then came the New Year, and as it progressed, and all the crap came down, you knew that even if you wanted to, nothing could happen with you and Josh, not when the whole administration was under such close scrutiny. So you told yourself that it was ok, that if it was meant to happen, it would happen. You put your trust in faith, in destiny, and you put your trust in Ainsley when she fixed you up with Cliff.
That, you know, was the beginning of the end for you and Josh.
Because he never looked at you the same way after that, and pretty soon after that, he began dating Amy.
And by the time Simon Donovan was shot and killed, and the Welfare to Work Bill passed, getting Amy fired from the WLC, you knew that your time with Josh had come and gone.
It surprised you to know that you were ok with that.
So when Amy asked you last May, when CJ as good as asked you tonight, if you were in love with Josh, you wanted to scream with frustration, because you know you’re not.
Just like you know that, yes, you could be doing a different job, a more prestigious job, a higher-paying job. Casey Reed offered you that job last year with capitalscoop.com, and it wasn’t the first job offer you’ve got, nor was it the last. You’re not worried about what will happen to you when the President leaves office; you know that if you left the White House tomorrow, you could write your own cheque at the offices of a dozen Congressmen or Senators.
But you don’t do that, because you love your job. You love the excitement and the pace of working in the White House. You still get a kick of driving through those gates every morning, your heart rate quickens every time you step inside the Oval Office. You have a job where the President of the United States, the Leader of the Free World, knows your name, even holds you in high esteem, and you can’t imagine walking away from that, can’t imagine wanting to.
Those other jobs, they’ll still be there in three years.
This job has a term limit, and you don’t want it to end a second before it has to.
So when people assume that you’re working as Josh’s assistant because you’re in love with him, or because you don’t know your own worth, it drives you crazy. Because you know the truth. You made a choice, and this is it, and it’s one you’re happy with.
You just thought CJ knew you better than that.
You slam your bedroom door on the way to the kitchen, another satisfying wallop, and you head straight to the freezer, finding a tub of ice cream and a large spoon, heading to the couch to indulge. You swallow three spoonfuls without even tasting them before you’re distracted by the sound of a key turning in the lock.
You know who it is, so you don’t look up at first, only doing so when she says, “I got your message… what’s wrong?”
Amy is looking down at you, dropping her purse and jacket on the chair beside her, then crossing her arms, head tilted, brow furrowed. You’re a little confused yourself, because all your message said was that there had been a lockdown in the West Wing and you were going straight home, that you’d see her tomorrow night instead. You didn’t ask her over, didn’t expect her over, just wanted to wallow in your own misery. “Who said something’s wrong?” you ask, and she lifts one eyebrow, looking you up and down.
“Your voice on the message for one thing,” she says. “Then there’s the fact that you had to know that I’d come over, and you took off your dress, when we both know that I was really looking forward to taking it off you… plus you’re sitting here, with a pint of mint choc chip ice cream, which you hate and I love, so I ask again… what’s wrong?”
You look down at the ice cream in your lap, surprised to realise that yes, it is indeed Amy’s favourite, and that’s the only reason you buy it. You shake your head, reaching up to rub the bridge of your nose, and she sits down beside you, leaving a good amount of space between you. When you speak, you’re surprised at the frustration in your own voice. “Does everyone in Washington think that I’m in love with Josh?”
Amy considers it for a moment, reaches out and takes the tub of ice cream and the spoon from your suddenly limp grasp. “Pretty much,” she says, taking a mouthful of ice cream, and if her complete easiness with this subject is an act, it’s a damn good one. You’re not sure if it’s her words or her reaction that renders you speechless, but either way, you just stare at her as she takes another mouthful of ice cream, blinks at you slowly. “You know that…” she says. “You must know that.”
“Did you know that CJ thinks I should have outgrown my job three years ago?” you demand, your mood not improving when she chuckles softly.
“Newsflash, Donna,” she says. “You did outgrow your job three years ago. You could get a job anywhere in this town, you know that as well as I do.” You do, in fact, know that, and you open and close your mouth, wondering what you can possibly say that won’t make you look big-headed, and she reaches across with the hand that’s not holding the spoon, lays it on your knee. “So I ask again,” she says, her tone gentle, “What’s wrong?”
“What’s wrong is everyone thinking that I got my job… that I keep my job… because I’m screwing Josh… that I don’t move on because I can’t, because I’m not qualified.”
Your voice grew more strident as you spoke, and near the end, you can’t sit down any more, so you stand up, beginning to pace the floor of your tiny living room. Still, agitated as you are, Amy is utterly calm. “Donna, anyone who’s spent five minutes with you know that that’s not why you keep your job.”
“And what about the other millions of people who don’t know me? Who see me with Josh and think what they think? I spent years with Doctor Freeride, with people seeing me as this poor pathetic bimbo… and I swore to myself that I’d never let anyone see me like that again.”
“Donna…” Amy clambers to her feet, but you’re in full flow, barely aware of her coming towards you.
“I like my job… I like working at the White House, I like the work that I do… I’ve made a choice to stay there… to do what I believe in, and I hate that people don’t recog-”
Anything else you might have been about to say is lost when Amy employs the one sure-fire way she knows to stop you when you’re in mid-babble. She grabs you by the shoulders, pulls you around and kisses you, hard, on the lips. You’re too stunned to respond for a moment, then you feel her tongue tracing your upper lip and muscle memory takes over, your hands finding her hips, your mouth opening to her. You can taste the cool mint of the ice cream, the slightly bitter taste of chocolate on her tongue, and when she pulls you towards her so that your hips come into contact, a shiver runs the length of your spine. She continues to kiss you, moving her hands up to your face, cupping your cheeks before moving back, and you’re dimly aware that she’s pulling your ponytail loose, tangling her fingers through your hair. You’ve always loved people playing with your hair, and it feels so good that you moan into her mouth, moaning for a different reason – disappointment – when she pulls back from you.
She lets you look into her eyes for just a moment, then presses a kiss to your cheek, just beside your ear. “You’re not in love with Josh,” she whispers, and, unlike a certain other night where she said words along those lines, it’s not a question.
“No,” you whisper, your eyes fluttering shut when she begins to kiss a path down the side of your neck. Your hands flex on her hips, tightening your grip because you’re not quite sure how you’re going to keep standing if she keeps this up for too much longer.
“And you’re happy in your job…”
“Yes…” The word comes out as a gasp, because while one of her hands has moved down to your hip, the other has moved up to your breast, is teasing out all kinds of pleasant sensations there.
“Well then…” Her hands stop moving and she pulls away, pausing in her speech to make it clear that she’s demanding your attention. “Without meaning to sound like a scene from a Meryl Streep film… what other people think of you… it only matters if you think it’s true.” You smile, remember watching that film with her, remember how you cried and she shook her head, rolling her eyes and smiling indulgently. “We know the truth,” she whispers, her fingers tracing a path along your cheek. “That’s all that matters.”
Closing your eyes, you feel the last of the tension draining from your shoulders, and you lean into her, brushing your lips across hers. It’s gratitude and relief and promise and so much more all rolled into one gesture and when you pull away, you mirror her touch, trailing a finger along her cheek, her lips. “I’m glad you came over tonight,” you whisper, and she smiles, a touch wickedly.
“The night’s still young,” she tells you, the hand that’s on your hip slipping lower, under the waistband of your sweatpants, sending little bits of lightning zapping along your spine. She kisses you again then, and this time there’s nothing chaste about it, nothing gentle, and when she pulls back, her husky voice whispers a word that’s music to your ears. “Bedroom?”
“Bedroom,” you agree, and, as she leads you past the couch, your eye falls on the ice cream she abandoned. Your free hand reaches for it as you say, “I’ll just put this in the fridge-”
“No.” Her fingers tighten on yours, and you turn curiously towards her, curiosity turning to something else when you see the smile on her face, how her eyes are dancing. “Bring it along.”
An answering smile slides across your face as you realise what she’s suggesting, and without another word, you pick up the ice cream and do exactly what she says.
After all, she hasn’t been wrong yet tonight, and there’s no point breaking a winning streak.
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