Title: Assistants' Day
Disclaimer: Alas, these characters are not mine.
Rating: G
Genre: Friendship, holiday, post-ep
Pairing: Josh/Donna friendship
Timeline: A few weeks after "17 People." Could be seen as a post-ep.
Feedback: Yes please!

For the second time in a month, Donna Moss arrived at her cubicle in the West Wing to find her desk commandeered by a flower arrangement. She sighed, dropped her tote bag down on her chair, and stalked into her boss's office.

"What the hell?"

Josh Lyman looking up from the memo he was reading and cocked an eyebrow. "Uh, good morning to you too."

"No, seriously, Josh. What's with the flowers? Torturing me once this month wasn't enough?"

He bent to take a sip of his coffee and looked up at her over the rim of the mug. "You know, with all the dating you claim to do, I have to say I find it interesting that when someone sends you flowers, you immediately assume it was me."

"It wasn't you?"

"No, it was. I'm just saying. Interesting mental processes you've got going there."

"You send me flowers for no discernible reason and I'm the one with the interesting mental processes? It's not even our not-anniversary anymore!"

"Watch it there, Donna. You're starting to sound like the Mad Hatter. Of course, it IS your unbirthday."


"It's Assistants' Day," he said quietly.


"Last year, Sam sent Cathy flowers and you gave me a hard time because I didn't give you anything. So I wrote it down on my calendar. This year you have flowers."

"Oh." Now she looked like she was about to cry, and Josh couldn't tell if that was good or bad. "Thank you."

"What's wrong?"

"Nothing's wrong, Josh. Thank you for the flowers. It was very thoughtful."

"Donna. Based on your reaction at the moment, I'm suddenly feeling like maybe it WASN'T so thoughtful, and I don't know why. Help me out here."

"It's just - " She took a deep breath. "Is this some sort of signal? Like you're going to start treating me the way Sam treats Cathy?"

He stared at her. "You mean like being nice to her?"


"And letting her go home at reasonable hours?"


"And – and staying out of her life," he said slowly, light beginning to dawn.

"Yes. Because we had something of a moment a few weeks ago, with the thing with the accident and the beer, and the – and it was more of a friend type moment. Not an assistant type moment. So I thought maybe you were trying to get some distance. To remind me that I'm just your assistant."

"You're not just my assistant, and I'm not trying to get some distance," he said quickly.

"But - "

"And I don't send you flowers to be mean," he stated, throwing her own words back at her. "I'm a simple man, Donna."

"You're really not."

"I'm a simple man," he repeated, "and I swear none of those things you just said had even occurred to me. Last year, some other assistants got flowers and you didn't, and you were sad. And I hate it when you're sad. So I sent you flowers this year to keep you from being sad. Although now I'm not sure why I bothered, because it clearly didn't work."

"I'm not sad." Donna walked behind his desk and gave him a quick hug. "I'm not. I promise."

"And for the record, do you know why I didn't send you flowers last year?"

"Because you're oblivious and didn't think of it?"

"Well, yes, but do you know why I didn't think of it?"


"Because you're NOT just my assistant."

"Oh," she said softly. "Thank you."

"For the flowers?"

"For – everything."