Happy, Never, After
by Katrina McDonnell

It will end the way it began.


"It's unbelievable. She can't be dead. What's the President going to do?"

Margaret, Bonnie and Ginger left ten minutes ago. Donna's still babbling on the couch and she doesn't know how to ask her to leave so she can break down in peace. Subtle hints fail to make any impression and her head is about to explode, but she doesn't have the energy, or the heart, to tell her to shut up.

So she kisses her instead.


In the midst of loss.


They're sitting on the couch. Donna's eyes are red like last time, but there's an added touch of anticipation.

She worries that it's incredibly disrespectful to Mrs Landingham's memory that she's imagining what Donna looks like naked. Over the last few days of funeral arrangements and press conferences, remembering the feel and taste of her lips has occupied too many spare moments. She's never considered herself religious, but she's probably going to hell.

"Wasn't the President amazing tonight? Will we be subpoenaed with our bosses?"

This time Donna shuts her up.


They'll pass by in the corridor and she'll reach out to touch Donna's hand.


The assistants always share hotel rooms. So no one thinks once, let alone twice, when she and Donna arrange to share in Manchester.

With CJ's self-imposed exile and flagellation, her role as gatekeeper has become that much harder. And for the first unimaginable time, she's wondering whether working for Josh would be preferable.

She suffers daily tension headaches, but Donna's mouth and hands between her thighs each night are better than any drug.


But it will barely qualify as a brush when Donna sidesteps her.


They never actually discussed it, but they'd both said no to any and all Thanksgiving invitations.

Donna buys a small turkey, but it's still too large and means turkey sandwiches for the next week.

After the requisite phone calls to families, and a special one to Josh's mom to check he arrived at the right place, they snuggle on the couch to watch old musicals.

Her fingers curl inside Donna as she pictures her in a white dress with a blue satin sash. And she adds Donna's soft mewl when she comes to her list of favourite things.


She'll dismiss it as an imagined slight.


Donna asks her into Josh's vacant office. "I probably shouldn't be telling you this yet, or at least I shouldn't be the one telling you--"

She double checks that the door is closed before grabbing Donna's flailing hands. The concern in her face curtails any thought of attempting to lighten the mood with a joke.

"CJ's had a death threat."

Donna's shaking, except she's not, and it's actually her own hands. "Because of the school fire?"

"It's probably just one email." And their roles switch and it's Donna being the reassuring one. "But they're checking it out."

"It's probably nothing." She nods, trying to convince herself. "She gets all sorts of weird correspondence." But her stomach is telling her otherwise.

Donna leans in and kisses her lightly on the lips. "Be careful anyway."


The result of too little sleep since Zoey's kidnapping


She doesn't have a chance to call Donna before they leave New York. All of her attention is focused on CJ.

But somehow she's there when she opens her apartment door, taking her bag and coat, and whispering, "I know," as she stammers his name. Guiding her to the bedroom, Donna sits her on the bed and slowly undresses her, replacing starched suit with soft flannel.

The tears continue trickling down her cheeks as they curl around each other under the covers, Donna stroking her cheek. And she feels vaguely guilty that she's crying more for the one left behind.


She'll bring her coffee and engage in small talk.


"We should arrange to get left behind next time. You're much more fun than Toby and Josh."

She squirms as Donna strokes her fingers down her side. Slowly. And then back up. "Do you need directions?"

"No." Donna pins her wrists, straddles her hips and, for a far too brief moment, rubs against her. "You in a hurry to get somewhere?"

"Flooding is imminent in the south," she gasps, arching her back as Donna's tongue travels cross-country.

"I like the wet." And she delays the trip further.


Will leave a message or two on her voicemail.


Her key won't fit in her apartment door. Donna tries and drops it. They laugh as they bump heads while bending to pick up the key ring. And again when she can't find the right key.

They shush each other, a little too loudly, and, working on the lock together, the door opens and they stumble in.

Donna commences a drunken rendition of "We are the Champions". To save her ears, and just because she's wanted to do it since they won, she pushes Donna against the entrance wall and kisses her hard. She forces her knee and thigh between Donna's legs.

Power's an aphrodisiac and they've had more than a keg full tonight. The bedroom's too far and the living room carpet is a lot closer. Fingers fumble with buttons and Donna whimpers. She gives up on the blouse and pulls down her pants.

And hums "House of the Rising Sun" against Donna's clit.


She'll wait on her couch for the knock at her door.


She's filing again.

The paperwork's breeding faster than she can house it. Plus there's the added benefit of watching Donna through the office window.

It's got absolutely nothing to do with the inordinate amount of time Amy has been spending in the bullpen.

Donna looks up from her computer and sees her. A little smirk followed by a mouthed, "lunch?"

She smiles and nods in reply. And jumps as someone coughs behind her.

"Danny." She hopes her press face covered the guilt before she turned. "She's not here."

"Is she going to be long?" He looks like he's about to drop.

"I'm not sure. You can wait on her couch."

"Thanks, Carol." He glances out at the bullpen and then back to her. "She'd better be good to you."

She almost splutters a denial, but his eyes reassure her before he disappears into CJ's office.


And she'll fall asleep alone--for the third night.


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