DISCLAIMER: The West Wing and its characters are the property of NBC, Aaron Sorkin and John Wells.
CHALLENGE: Written as part of the 1001 Nights Challenge - altruism.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SEQUEL: To Can We Talk?

Tell Me What You Want
By Celievamp

"Can we talk?" Joey Lucas's distinctive voice made Donna start.

She had noticed that the woman's shadow, her interpreter wasn't in the vicinity which gave her a bad feeling. This was going to be the most private of conversations then. And therefore uncomfortable. She motioned the other woman to follow her into Josh's empty office. Joey nodded, followed her inside and closed the door behind her.

"Why?" Joey asked.

"Why… what?" Donna asked, looking directly at Joey and trying not to overexaggerate her enunciation.

"Why do you keep pushing me and Josh Lyman together?"

"You like him. He likes you." Donna said. She could feel herself begin to blush. This was the problem when you were as fair skinned as she was. Every emotion ended up writ large on your face for the world to see. Usually she could keep it together even under Josh's ragging. But not in front of this woman.

"I like Josh. Yes. He is a good friend," Joey said, her hands automatically signing along with her words. Donna had gone to a few sign language classes since Joey had become a more regular fixture around the West Wing. She would be the first to admit she was barely at the 'beer good fire bad' stage. The way Joey signed it was like watching her hands in a complicated dance. She would never be that good. Not in a million years. "But there is nothing more than that."

"Why not? You seem very… suited to one another," Donna said.

"We are too alike. Too much commonality. Personalities… way we work…" she pulled a face. "Yes for a short time it would be good. Probably very good. But long term." Her hands gave a very graphic description of an explosion. "And we need to work well together. This is bigger than the two of us." Her gesture encompassed the whole of the West Wing. "I don't want to jeopardize that. Do you understand?"

"Yes." Donna nodded. Personality wise she and Josh were nothing alike. It surprised other people how well they worked together.

"So… don't do that anymore. Don't hide behind him," Joey said. She stepped forward, her hands now resting on Donna's shoulders, their stillness speaking volumes. Donna gazed into her eyes, slowly tilted her head her eyes drifting closed as Joey's soft lips brushed hers. "He doesn't need your altruism."

It wasn't an everyday word and her diction mangled it a little so it took a second or so for Donna to decode. Her mental dictionary supplied the definition: unselfish concern for the welfare of another. It made her sound almost noble. Joey kissed her again, her hand curving around the back of Donna's neck under the fall of her hair.

"Tell me what you want," Joey said, her gaze intent on Donna. "Show me."

The End

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