Donna sat at her desk, marvelling over how normal her life had suddenly become. Willow had phoned her again from the hospital; apparently Buffy was fine. Physically, at least. The mental effects of returning to life would be less easy to deal with. Donna remembered with a shudder how badly Josh had taken his recovery from the shooting, and prayed that Buffy would have a less traumatic time of it.
It had been a scary and nerve-wracking time being the Slayer... but she wasn't sure she would have wanted to miss out on it. After all, it had its compensations... She caught herself staring at Josh's office door like a giddy schoolgirl, and stopped herself immediately.None of that, girl. It's all back to business now.
An incredibly depressing thought. Still, at least she had the memory of that all-too-brief kiss on the cheek to tide her over...
Much to her embarrassment, Josh's office door sprang open just as her gaze had drifted dreamily over to it again. "Josh, do you want those notes on the Markham thing?" she said quickly.Businesslike. Professional. Impassive.
Josh rather stepped on her professionalism groove by coming right over to invade her personal space. He gave her a slow, warm smile. The one with the dimples.Must. Control. Blush. Impulse.
"How're you doing?" he asked gently.
Her response should have been to make some witty, banter-sparking comment, but somehow she felt tongue-tied. "I'm okay."
"Does it feel weird? You know, not being the Slayer anymore?"
Donna shrugged. "I don't know. I don't really feel any different... but I guess I'm normal old non-vampire-slaying Donna." Supposedly her newly-gained Slayer powers had been transferred back into Buffy, but she didn't feel like she'd lost anything. Then again, she hadn't felt it when they'd first arrived.
Josh smiled even more warmly, and gently brushed a lock of hair from her cheek. "Then I guess we can look forward to many more years in the company of Donnatella Moss," he said tenderly.The bullpen is empty. Toby and Sam are over in communications. CJ is still on the phone to Giles. Leo and the President are meeting in the Oval Office.
Screw appearances. Screw office policy. Screw the wrath of CJ. I'm gonna kiss him.
Of course, Josh had to pick that very moment to straighten up and walk away.Joshua Lyman, I swear I am gonna
"Josh, where are you going?" she said out loud, struggling to bring her breathing and her flushed cheeks back to normal.
"I have to go get something," he said, smiling enigmatically. And then he just left.
"Damn!" Donna said loudly to the empty bullpen. Finally, finally
, one of those intimate moments had come and she had decided to seize it and say screw the consequences. And the big jerk had chosen that very instant to break the moment and walk off.Idiot man.
Well, if he thought she was ever going to give in to that kind of impulse again...
Suddenly she felt like she'd regressed back to the days of capital-D Denial and Gathering Rosebuds with Joey Lucas. Feeling grumpy, she stomped into Josh's office, dropped her work into a desk drawer where he'd never be able to get at it, and slammed it shut.
It flew home with an audible crunch, and the wood splintered.
Donna stared at it for a long moment. She had helped bring back Buffy, shared her power with the previous Slayer... but had she actually given it away?She's the Slayer now... but who's to say I have to be back to normal?
But she didn't have much time to consider further, because Josh had returned. He stood in the office doorway with his hands behind his back, grinning slyly.
He was expecting her to ask, no doubt, but she wouldn't give him the satisfaction. She was still too mad at him. Idiot man, can't even recognise a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity if you hit him over the head with it...
He let her curiosity grow for a few moments... then smilingly produced a steaming mug and held it out to her.