Title: Radiant, Chapter 20
Disclaimer: Alas, these characters are not mine.
Rating: This chapter is PG-13. Later parts will probably get to R.
Pairing: Josh/Donna
Category: Angst, romance, AU.
Feedback: Always appreciated.
Archiving: Please ask.
Timeline: February of reelection year.

The DJ helpfully played a few slow songs in a row, and Josh kept himself wrapped around Donna, just barely swaying in time to the music. He almost couldn't believe that he was doing this, in public, and that she seemed to be liking it. He leaned his head toward her a bit to whisper in her ear.

"You know, that shirt is really, really hot."

"Mmm, you like it?" she asked. "It's not too . . . revealing? It looked like your friend Amy had something to say about it."

Josh hadn't realized that Donna had been watching him with Amy and CJ. "Amy has something to say about everything," he hedged. "But CJ said if she had your body she'd flaunt it." He began to play with the bottom hem of her shirt where it rode up on her belly.

"So that's Amy and CJ. What do YOU think?"

"I think I'll take any excuse to see as much of you as possible," Josh said sincerely. "I think you look like some sort of extremely sexy fertility goddess. I'm trying not to think about everyone else getting to see so much of you too."

"Don't worry about everyone else," Donna murmured. "I wore this just for you."

Josh buried his face in her hair to suppress a moan. She took the opportunity to whisper right into his ear.

"I'm not even trying to hide my belly anymore. I was more concerned about the top of the shirt."

Josh drew back slightly. "The - top?" he squeaked.

Donna spoke so softly that Josh could barely hear her. "This shirt was actually reasonably modest before I was pregnant. But that was a few cup sizes ago. When I put it on tonight, I wasn't sure I'd be able to stay – contained."

She pulled away from him a little, which Josh hoped was an invitation to look at her chest. He tried to glance down subtly, but found he had to drag his eyes away.

"You're killing me here," he muttered as he forced himself to look back up at her face.

"If you like it now . . . Well, remind me to wear this for you in a few months. It'll be positively obscene then."

"Donna . . ." Josh groaned.

She just smiled seductively. It was all he could do not to kiss her in front of everyone right there, but he wanted to double check with her before any such obvious public displays.

"You're killing me," he repeated.

"I know."

Josh pulled her closer and absentmindedly played with the ties of her shirt as they danced.

"Don't get any ideas," Donna said.


"Don't untie my shirt in the middle of a crowd. There's nothing else holding it up."

"Oh. Oops." Josh dropped his hands down to the curves of her butt instead and it was Donna's turn to moan.

"Now, as far as untying my shirt in private," she murmured, "that might be up for discussion at some point."

Josh raised an eyebrow. "I'm really close to suggesting that we just get out of here."

"Me too," Donna confessed. "But . . . I don't want to rush this. I don't know . . ."

Josh nodded, hoping he didn't look disappointed. What didn't she know?

"And besides, we're supposed to go out with everyone afterward," Donna continued.

"Oh. Right."

"You know, at all those formal events, I always wanted to be able to do this while we danced," Donna said as she snaked a hand up his back and began to play with the curls at the back of his neck.

"And I always wanted to know that whatever sexy dress you were wearing, you were wearing just for me," Josh confessed.

"Joshua . . . I always was."

Just then, Josh felt someone tug on his arm. He glanced over and saw the First Daughter. "Not now, Zoey," he said.

"Sorry, guys, but really, it's important," Zoey insisted as she pulled them to the edge of the dance floor.

"What's wrong?" Josh asked as he realized that Zoey looked pretty upset.

"Some people took your picture. I'm sorry, I can try to get them to delete it, but I don't know - "

"Whoa, whoa, whoa. It's okay," Josh told her.

"No, I mean, pictures of the two of you, dancing. It looks like - "

"It's fine," Donna said.

Zoey looked back and forth between the two of them in confusion. "It is? The pictures make it look like you're together. I mean, really together. And they'll probably be online by the end of the evening."

Josh took a deep breath. "We are really together. And we're not trying to hide it."

Zoey grinned. "You are? Finally? That's awesome!"

Josh and Donna glanced at each other and then found themselves grinning as well. "Yeah. It is."

Toby suddenly materialized next to Zoey. "Are you two ready to head to an actual grown-up establishment that serves alcohol and real food?" He glanced at Donna. "Sorry."

Donna smiled. "No problem. As long as you find me somewhere with tiramisu. I think that's my new craving."

"Marco's?" Josh suggested.

"Sounds good," Toby agreed. "I'll round everyone up."

"I forgot something in the office," Donna said. "Josh, will you come with me to get it?"

"Uh, sure. Toby, we'll meet you guys over there, okay?"

"Fine." Toby walked off in search of Sam and CJ.

Josh followed Donna back to the office. She glanced around the deserted West Wing, then backed him up against the door and kissed him breathless.

"Ah, wow," Josh said when she finally came up for air. "Not that I'm complaining, but what prompted that?"

"That was for wanting to dance with me instead of Amy," Donna explained.

"I see." Josh grinned. "I'll keep that in mind."

"What I said . . . about wearing the shirt for you in a few months?"


"I didn't mean to imply, you know, that I was assuming anything about the future . . ."

Josh looked at her seriously. "Imply things about the future all you want. I'm in this for the long haul. You know that, right?"

Donna nodded. "I just can't quite believe it."

"Believe it," Josh said firmly. "You're not getting rid of me that easily."

Donna smiled and kissed him again.

"But there was one thing you said that I was wondering about . . ." Josh continued.


"First of all, I'm completely on board with taking this slowly. But after you said that, you said 'I don't know,' and I'm not sure what you were talking about. You don't know about me? Us?"

"Oh. That. No." Donna took a deep breath. "The last time I was with a guy . . . well. You know."

"Ah. Of course." Josh felt dumb for not realizing what she had meant sooner.

"I - I think I'm fine. Mostly. But I'm not sure. And I don't want to freak out on you. So . . ."

"Slow. Got it. Of course," Josh said. He gathered her into his arms. "I want you to feel safe."

"I always feel safe with you," Donna murmured. "But now I suppose we should be getting to the restaurant before they start worrying."

"I suppose," Josh agreed reluctantly. "Wait, did you actually forget something, or did you just bring me up here to kiss me? Again, not that I'm complaining . . ."

Donna giggled. "I actually forgot something. Well, sort of. Can I borrow your Yale sweatshirt? It's cold out, and this shirt doesn't exactly provide much warmth."

"Of course." Josh grabbed the oversized sweatshirt from where it was slung over a chair. "But don't you have a coat?"

"It doesn't quite button anymore," Donna admitted.

"Oh. We should get you a new one."

"Coats are expensive . . ."

"Don't worry about it," Josh said.

"I've been trying to save as much money as possible for the baby, so . . ."

"Don't worry about it," he repeated. "We'll talk about it tomorrow."

"Okay." Donna pulled the sweatshirt over her head. "Ugh. My back hurts."

"I'll give you a back rub when we get to Marco's," Josh promised as they left the office and headed for his car.

"That sounds good. Wow, these pants really are too tight," Donna said as she rubbed her belly. "It's worse at the end of the day. I wonder if anyone would notice if I just unbuttoned them once we're sitting down? This shirt is pretty big . . ."

"You really are just trying to make me lose my mind now, aren't you?" Josh asked.

Donna shot him a quick smile. "Maybe."