The State Of Play
by Abaddon

Donna comes flying out of the doors and into the cold Washington air. There are folders in her arms, piles of paper for her to go over, and her jacket is weighed down with notes and reminders and pens, bits and piece of things that might come in handy at some hypothetical time as yet unencountered in the future, but she has to be prepared for them right now. Because God knows if she isn't, Josh will make the shocked face like the world has just ended and it's all her fault. When he does that Donna either wants to cry or shoot him, possibly both, but it's just another thing between them that's not supposed to be said.

Donna comes flying out of the doors, and smacks right into someone walking into the West Wing, and her papers start flying too. Someone's already on the ground next to her; the way someone who smacked right into her, Donna thinks, but they're already helping her pick her papers up, through muttered, curt apologies, and besides, Donna isn't the type to swear at someone just for something like this.

"Hey," says the other person, and Donna recognizes the voice, her head snapping up. It's Amy, and they share a brief, surprised smile, before another stray piece of paper gets swept away by the wind and Donna has to trot off to catch it. Catch it she does, but her feet are killing, what with her high (enough) heels and the fake pebbled concrete surface of the footpaths outside.

"So," Donna says, when she clip clops back, paper caught between her fingers, absently brushing her hair back with the two fingers left free on that hand, and they nod again at each other. "Were you on your way to find Josh? He's still in his office. Burning the, ah, one a.m. oil."

Amy nods again and gestures with her mobile, conveniently located in her hand. She drops it into her clutch purse, and Donna is riven with a sudden envy: Amy is probably one of those women who can just dump stuff in a bag to go and it always turns out to be exactly what she needs, unlike Donna who always spends most of the lead up to any trip packing, worrying about packing, preparing for packing, and then spends the trip having to buy extra tampons and underwear. It's better than Toby or Josh or Sam, but not good enough for her. "Yeah," Amy says, offhand, and Donna's startled by how much uncertainty the other woman can put into that one word. Although even her uncertainty sounds like an attack, which is so typically Amy it's not funny. "We were talking…" She trails off then, and Donna looks at her, expecting her to continue. Amy only trails off when it's to make the other party look bad, and Donne knows that. Amy's a political strategist, and so's Josh, but Amy spends every minute of every day waging a war, and Josh spends every minute of every day not quite committing his troops. Josh questions: her, his friends, his colleagues, public opinion, and himself; Amy just does, come hell or high water.

"You were talking?" Donna prompts, because it's polite and supportive, and even though she's still not sure if she dislikes Josh's girlfriend, it's sensible to play it safe.

Amy flashes her a wry look. Donna attempted to do wry, she's stared in the mirror for hours on end, she's furrowed her brow and tossed her hair and asked C.J. for help at appearing more self-confident and vaguely ironic, the way she is, and C.J. blinked for several moments before saying that half the time she wished she could appear as innocent as Donna. If only to fool the press.

She tried it a few days later, her patented and practiced wry look. She tried it on Josh, and he patted her shoulder and told her to get more fibre in her diet.

"We were talking," Amy continues, winding her wrist slightly anti-clockwise to work out the tension, rolling her eyes and tossing her hair in just the way that Donna's always practiced it, because Amy could be a poster girl for the Washington meterosexual, what with her tendency to look as if she's just stepped out of a hair commercial or an episode of Gilmore Girls. "We were talking, and it was a typical conversation between Josh and me-" and she shows Donna an ironic, almost embarrassed smile, hands stuck deep into her slacks, clutch purse trapped between her elbow and her side, "-you know, one of those ones were you don't actually say anything, but everything you do say has at least fifty different meanings. Anyway," and she looks over Donna's shoulder now, looking towards the West Wing, and Josh, and those fifty different meanings Donna doesn't get, "I was wondering if there was any point. We'll only do it again tomorrow night."

Donna stands there, her hands suddenly clammy, and bites her lower lip because she doesn't know what to say.

"You wanna go for a drink?" Amy asks casually, and Donna nods, because it's a polite enough request, and it's either that or a night of cold beer, takeout, and paper filling for someone who expects it more than he asks, and Donna was always raised to see rudeness as a mortal sin.

That was before. This is now:

There was a definite bang, Donna thought and something sounded as if it had just fallen off the mantelpiece. The mantelpiece itself was digging into her back in a way that wasn't exactly pleasant, but then again, Amy was generally far too busy distracting her from the pain side of things with the simple fact that Amy was kissing her hard, and busily undoing her blouse.

Amy tasted of the vodka mixer she'd been drinking earlier, far too sweet and tangy on the tongue, but then Donna herself probably tasted like beer and as such, she felt she didn't have the right to complain. Amy's fingers moved to her back unclipping her bra, and Donna found herself kissing back beyond all expectation. It was hardly the sort of thing that a Good Girl such as herself was supposed to do, but Donna was sick of being the resident Good Girl, and besides, Amy always seemed to enjoy herself.

She seemed to be enjoying herself right now, fingers suddenly unzipping Donna's skirt at the back and pushed it down, along with her underwear. Donna staggered to the side, a bit drunken, a bit uncertain and winced when the heel of her shoe stepped on something that sounded like broken glass. She figured she must have knocked a family photo off the mantel, and that would be a lovely story to tell if any family dropped in unexpectedly (not that they would, of course, she was born in Wisconsin, which hardly makes unannounced stop-overs in D.C. likely, but if there was a place to brought up with a full awareness that girls with polite manners do not engage in lesbian flings, it was Wisconsin - or maybe Iowa.)

It wasn't exactly the right time to be thinking of such things, however, and Donna let out this little gasp, feeling sweat bead down her chest as Amy's fingers, coated with her own spit found their way to open up the petals of her womanhood and gently stroke her clit.

Amy treated her to a brief, almost feral grin, and Donna could see that some of Josh's opinion of her was in fact true. She growled in Donna' ear, biting along the curve of her jaw as she continued touching, letting a trail of hard, open mouthed kisses down her shoulder and her free hand yanked angrily at Donna's sleeve. Donna tried to glare at her, but that was also something Good Girls were notoriously bad at. Amy kept going, removing her fingers from Donna's clit so she could both arms out of her blouse, gently tugging Donna off the mantle so it fluttered to the floor and her bra went quickly with it, Amy kicking it away from their feet.

Amy's mouth was soon all over her breasts, and her fingers returned to their previous position, Donna sinking back with a sigh because God knew it had been so long since a man had really even bothered...

A short while more in which time clearly did not exist and she came with a series of cries, fingers digging harshly into the fabric of Amy's own blouse, because even if it had been a long time she'd had an orgasm, it had been even longer she'd had multiple.

That was now. This is later:

Things return to the semblance of normality. Blouses are done up, skirts and underwear on, and hair brushed back into place. Donna spends about five minutes washing her face in front of the mirror and running over the blonde strands with a nice, thick brush. Amy, of course, doesn't; she just wipes her face with her cuff and runs her fingers through her hair. By the time Donna was ready, Amy is splayed out over the couch, the television blare already filling up the small apartment.

Amy wants to watch the late night news, always needing to feel the pulse of the nation, always needing to do something lest by stopping she keels over and die (Josh and she had that in common, Donna noted.) Donna has already had far too much of the news, of politics, of reality, so she makes microwave popcorn, dumping it on the coffee table in front of the couch and sinking beside her. They don't touch, because Donna's not entirely sure what the etiquette is for post-lesbian affairs, and Amy isn't the type to follow any if there was. Donna doesn't know What To Do, and she can feel her therapy bill for the year increasing by the minute.

It seems her good manners are showing again, and so Donna bites her nails to compensate, watching as Amy's fingers dig into the popcorn bowl, watching her eat mindlessly. After a short while, Amy pushes the bowl back and asks if Donna has some paper and a pen. Donna has, of course, so she takes the half eaten bowl to the trash can, emptied it, and leaves it to soak in some hot, sudsy water while her fingers locate pen and paper amongst the piles of things she has to do on the kitchen bench.

Donna is rather organized, but she isn't very tidy. She can be clean, but clean doesn't equal tidy; it's the kind of distinction Josh would never get, for one thing. Besides, she works for the White House, and that pretty much puts the crimp in any kind of personal planning.

She throws the pad and pen onto the coffee table, and hauls her knees up to her chest as she watches Amy start to take notes based on the leading news stories. Amy's already dreaming of her next campaign, her next victory, her next war, and all Donna has a stack of filling in her car she hasn't done yet.


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