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Aug. 19th, 2010

kkbb

FYI

This journal is mostly so I can post in/read others.

Mar. 30th, 2007

with old cam rdj

Fic: Our Father 13/13

Title: Our Father 13/13
Author: Kelsey
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Danny/Jordan
Spoilers: Up to and including Monday
Word Count: 1900
Summary/Disclaimer: see Chapter 1
Thanks: Many thanks to my beta, scoob2222, and Kevin for his ridiculous advice and obsession with character death. Don't worry. None in this one. ;)

----------

“You’re kidding me,” Jordan grumbled, as Danny reached behind her to strap another bandana around her eyes.

He had arrived for their date, and after an intense welcome kiss, Jordan was sitting on the counter, Danny in between her legs. “I’m starting to think you have a penchant for these…” she said suggestively, wiggling an eyebrow before he could secure it. “I’ll have to remember that…” Danny laughed, and then coughed when he felt Jordan grind her knee into him. She smiled, and Danny retaliated, poking her in her side, before he backed off.

She squealed as he hit her ticklish spot, and he laughed taking her hands to pull her off the counter. He had it all worked out.

Danny took her hand and again led her to the car, putting her in her side, before he checked the back seat to make sure everything was in order. Smiling, Danny turned back, turning the radio on ahead of time. He reached back and grabbed another bandana, before turning to Jordan.

“Give me your hands…”

Jordan turned to him, and he could tell he was eying him wearily beneath the shield. “Why…?”

Danny just took her hand gently, running his fingers gently along her palm. Jordan sighed, and he took her other hand, repeating the process, before he reached next to him and wrapped her hands together.

“Hey!”

Danny laughed. “Distraction, thy name is hand massage.”

Jordan snorted and then struggled against him, but he held tight, tying her hands so she couldn’t molest him again on the way.

“You’re lucky, I almost brought one for your mouth…”

Jordan stuck her tongue out at him, sitting back dejectedly. “You better hope we don’t get pulled over.”

Danny turned back, putting a seatbelt on her, and then himself, as he started backing out of the drive. “Why’s that?”

“Well I know you can fast talk, but I’d really love to see you explain this one away,” she said, motioning with her attached hands.

“If he’s a man, he’d understand,” Danny said coyly, as he made the turn. Jordan elbowed him in the side and he laughed, turning up the radio volume slightly.

“Why didn’t you?”

He turned to her, as he pulled up to the stoplight. “What?”

“Why didn’t you get one for my mouth? You want to hear me talk more about Ghost?” she asked, grinning.

“No...” he said slowly, regarding her with dark eyes. “Then I couldn’t do this…” he said, as he leaned over lightly brushing his lips against hers. Jordan leaned forward, craving more, but Danny pulled back, shifting and continuing as the light turned green.

“I hate you,” Jordan muttered, sitting back again.

Danny just smiled, enjoying their comfortable silence. At least for a while.

“Where are you taking me?”

Danny dropped his head to his chest, sighing dramatically. “Jordan…”

“I’m teasing, I’m teasing.” She said for a moment, smiling. “No, but really, where are we going?”

Danny laughed as he pulled into the lot, grabbing a flashlight so they could see through the dark. “It just so happens, we’re here.”

Jordan looked over and he untied her hands before climbing out to help her out of the car. “Just stand there a second, I have to grab something.”

Danny reached into the back seat and pulled out his gear, slinging some over his shoulder, and placing the other stuff in his right hand. Taking hers with his left, Danny led her to their destination.

----------

“Okay, now sit down here, and I’ll take it off.” Jordan sat obediently, eager to see what he had planned. She felt the soft cloth behind her and leaned back, while Danny knelt beside her and reached around her to untie her blindfold.

Danny took if off and Jordan blinked a few times to adjust to the light. “Oh, Danny…” she sighed, taking it all in.

They were sitting in some kind of public park, but it was dark and deserted, the two of them the only ones there. He had strung white lights around a few trees, making a barrier of light, keeping them inside. Jordan looked next to her and found that he had set up two candles on a chopping board, while next to them sat their dinner on paper plates lying on top of the blanket he’d laid down for them on the grass.

“You like it?” he asked, his gaze never leaving her face.

“I love it,” she said, looking around again. “Are we in a park?”

Danny nodded, and her face changed. “It’s after dusk!” she said, looking at him. “I’m pretty sure this is illegal, Danny…”

“Relax, I know somebody,” Danny said, grinning at her and handing her a glass of her favorite juice.

“You hungry?” He looked up at Jordan, who just shot him a glare. “Right. Stupid question…. Okay, well for you I have something special. A little sukiyaki, specially made from the restaurant from before, and for me, a burger from Vinny’s.” Jordan laughed, and took the fork he offered her, starting in on her meal. Danny laid out on his side beside her and started in on his.

When they had finished, Jordan laid back next to him, both of them looking up at the stars. “This is really great Danny… thank you.”

He smiled and sat up, reaching for his bag. “Not over yet…”

“Desert?” Jordan asked playfully. Danny shot her an amused look before she heard a click and then Nat King Cole come crooning from next to him.

Danny stood and offered his hand, pulling her to her feet. “I don’t think we ever really got that dance…” Danny said, sending her a questioning look.

She smiled and stepped into him, wrapping her arm around his neck, her fingers immediately drawn to the hair at his neck. Danny pulled her other hand into his, resting them over his heart, while his other arm wrapped around her waist, pulling her tight to him. Jordan laid her head against his shoulder, inhaling the scent of him, and for the first time in a long time, the only thoughts in her mind were focused solely on one thing – and his arms felt great around her.

Danny swayed them gently to the music, holding her tight to his body, his face pressed against her hair. He breathed deeply and was overcome with love. There they were finally together. The three of them. He never thought his life would turn out like this, but as he held Jordan to him he knew this was what was meant to be. He loved them.

She squeezed his hand, and was surprised when he flinched a little. “Danny?” she asked, pulling back from him.

“It’s nothing,” he said, switching hands so that he didn’t have to subject his hand to any more pain. After the wall and Roger’s ribs, he didn’t think it could take much more before he really would have to get it checked out. He’d only lasted so far against Matt’s nagging because he fled the scene as fast as possible every time Matt mentioned it.

“Let me see,” Jordan reached behind her and pulled his hand out in front of her face, into the light. “Oh my God, Danny, this looks broken!”

Danny pulled it away, wrapping it again around her waist, and pulling her back to his chest. “Really, Jordan. I’m fine.”

Jordan looked at him skeptically, but didn’t want to fight about it. “Is that just from Roger?” she asked tentatively, not eager to bring up his name again.

“That, and something from before.” Jordan looked at him a second, before it clicked.

“That was you,” she said softly, remembering how she had heard the crash before coming out into the hall. Kevin told her someone bumped into the wall with a mailcart, but it clicked now.

“Jordan…” Danny started, knowing she figured it out.

Jordan pressed her face harder against his chest, closing her eyes and pushing back memories of how she’d treated him. “I’m so sorry, Danny.” He looked down at her to see her eyes, full of regret and sadness. “Really… I can’t say enough how sorry I am.”

Danny looked at her solemnly and nodded. He had forgiven her, but he couldn’t help remembering her words from their fight.

You’re not the father. He is. You’re not. You never will be.

He looked down and then glanced back up into her eyes sadly. Jordan saw his look and pulled back from him, forcing him to talk to her about this. “Do you remember what you said in your office?” he asked quietly, his eyes fixated on a spot over her shoulder.

Jordan couldn’t look into his eyes anyway and studied her hands. “I was angry, I don’t… I don’t remember, really.”

She looked up to see him nod sadly, before he turned to her. “It doesn’t matter.”

“It does…” she said, wanting him to tell her. “What- what was it?”

He looked into her eyes. “About the baby. About me and the baby…” he started, and Jordan pulled him closer to her, her arms wrapping around his waist.

She didn’t know exactly what she had said, but she could gather from his reactions. He looked down at her, but her face was pressed against his chest, his arms loosely wrapped around her. She finally looked up into his eyes and was overcome with the sadness there. She couldn’t believe the things she’d thought and said. Here he was, doing all of this for her, being perfect and loving her…

Jordan felt an overpowering warmth in her chest, as his eyes bore into her. “Danny, listen to me.” Jordan paused, not exactly sure how to say this elegantly. “I’ve fallen.” Danny studied her, a smile spreading across his face. “I’ve been for a while, but now I’m pretty far gone,” she said, returning his grin. “And I need you. We need you,” she said, looking down and moving his hand to her stomach.

Danny looked at her, but her words still stung. “You said I would never be the father,” he said softly, running his hand over her tummy, his eyes now transfixed on her bump.

Jordan shut her eyes tightly, regretting her words. “I was angry, I wasn’t thinking.” She tilted her head down, trying to catch his eyes. “Now I am..,” she said, intertwining her fingers with his overtop the baby. “And all I can think about is this.” She looked up from their hands, meeting his eyes. “This and you, and… and us.”

Danny hugged her tighter to him, swaying them to the soft music. “So we’ve both fallen.” He said softly, a hint of smile in his voice. Jordan looked up at him, grinning.

“This was the first step…” she said, tightening her arms around him to indicate dancing and her earlier quote.

Danny smiled down at her. Oh, if she wanted to bring the poetry, he was ready.

“You know,” he said, swaying with her. “Sir Winston Churchill said a family starts with a man falling in love with a—“

“Shut up,” Jordan said, smiling, as she pulled him closer to her, bringing her lips to his once again.

----------

Then I did the simplest thing in the world.
I leaned down... and kissed him.
And the world cracked open.
-Agnes de Mille


----------

FIN

Mar. 29th, 2007

with old cam rdj

Fic: Our Father 12/13

Title: Our Father 12/13
Author: Kelsey
Rating: R for language
Pairing: Danny/Jordan
Spoilers: Up to and including Monday
Word Count: 3800
Summary/Disclaimer: see Chapter 1

----------
Previously:
“Danny Tripp…”

Startled, Danny turned.

----------

Roger walked calmly out onto the deck and stopped in front of Danny, looking down to straighten his tie.

“Nice night,” Roger said cheerfully, looking up at the stars.

Danny turned back around, gripping the railing tightly, his knuckles turning white. He refused to take the bait.

Roger walked up next to him and also leaned against the railing, looking out over the water. It took all of Danny’s willpower not to turn and let Roger have it.

“Doesn’t Jordan look lovely tonight?” Danny didn’t say anything, his jaw tightening. Roger smiled at Danny’s silence and continued taunting him. “That dress she has is amazing...” he said, leering. “Fits perfectly.”

Danny turned to him sharply. “What do you want? Why are you doing all this?”

“Doing all what?”

Danny stared at him hard, before brushing by him, heading back inside.

“I think you know why.” Roger said, desperate to get under Danny’s skin.

“I think I do too,” Danny said turning around.

Roger kicked at a pebble, looking up at Danny. “Well what did you think, Tripp? You thought I would just sit there, after my wife left me and you lost me my job? You think I’d just slink away, burned by the great Danny Tripp?”

Danny stepped towards him, fists clenched. “That’s me then. That’s fine – fuck with me. Why do you have to bring her into this?”

“What, like she didn’t have a role? Did you not hear me?” Roger said angrily, stepping forward so they were toe-to-toe. “My wife left me!”

But Danny wasn’t going to make a scene. He took a breath, loosening his hands. “What, and that’s all her fault? Yeah, I’m sure she just seduced you. You had no role in it. Except, that can’t be it because you fucked me over so you could fuck her over!” Danny stared at him intently before realizing he was a second away from tackling him. He walked away, heading back over to the railing.

“Well it wasn’t my fault my wife found out. That was all her. Calling about the baby. Fuck!” Roger yelled, kicking the railing hard and walking up to Danny. Danny took a step back, trying to keep a distance between the two of them. “If it wasn’t for the stupid, fucking baby!” Danny turned away harshly, but Roger continued on, getting closer. “And then 2 days later, what else do I find out? The fucking great producer cokehead is getting me fired!” Roger shoved Danny and Danny stumbled a few steps back, still not rising to the challenge.

“It’s not my fault you leaked the results to try and get in someone’s pants,” Danny said in return.

Roger ignored him, stepping up and shoving him back again. Danny’s back slammed into the side railing and Roger stepped up to him, his hands on Danny’s shirt. “So my wife kicks me out, I don’t have a job, all because of Jordan McDeere and Danny Tripp,” Roger sneered into Danny’s face. Danny pushed him back finally. “But then something fell into my lap. I found out you two were together. Perfect.” Danny turned away, leaning over the railing and ignoring the fiery anger in his chest.

“So I thought I’d fuck with you. How’d that feel, Danny?” Roger asked, stepping up to him and leaning near his ear. “How’d it feel to see her siding with me instead of you? To see her tonight with me? To see my hands on her?” Danny’s jaw tightened, now his whole body taut, but he stayed still. “Feel good? Because it felt good to me.”

“I bet this won’t feel good.” Roger and Danny started at the third voice, turning to see Jordan standing behind them, her face clearly showing her distress.

She had seen Roger head out after Danny while she was talking to Hallie. Curious, she excused herself and had been standing just outside, listening to their words. And she was angry.

“Jordan—“ Roger said, putting his hands up, in an attempt to placate her. Jordan put her hands on his arms and brought her knee up, nailing Roger. Coughing, Roger dropped to the wooden deck, moaning.

She stared at him, breathing heavily with tears running down her face. Finally she looked up to Danny, who was just staring at her sadly, an unreadable expression on his face. She realized that she had hurt him badly, and could see it in his eyes.

“I’m sorry,” she said, her voice cracking. He looked at her for a moment, and Jordan dropped her head, hating her tears. The next thing she knew, Danny’s arms were around her. She sobbed again, not sure whether she was crying because she was upset, or because she was so happy to again be in his arms.

Danny walked them backwards, away from Roger, not loosening his grip. “Listen,” he said, pulling back. “I think this belongs to you.” Danny reached into his pocket and pulled out the two pictures of the baby. Taking the one Jordan had given Roger, he handed his clean one to her. “Take this one, the other’s a little messy.”

“What?” Jordan looked to him curiously.

“There was a dumpster thing…” he started off, shaking his head. “Never mind.”

Jordan looked at him for a moment, remembering everything he had tried telling her. Everything she ignored. All the times she called him a liar. “I’m so sorry Danny. I’m so…” Danny pulled her back into his arms when her voice failed.

“Forget about it.” He felt Jordan shaking her head no against his chest. “I don’t blame you. I—“ his voice cracked, but he pushed on. “I really do wish that he had cared. I do. But Jordan, you don’t need him to.” Danny pulled back so he could look her in the eyes. “You have me, okay?”

Jordan smiled and was about to hug him again, when Danny was jerked backward by a hand on his arm. Roger was standing behind him, slightly bent over and obviously still in pain.

“You think this is over?!” Roger yelled angrily at Danny. Roger turned toward Jordan then, Danny stepping in his way. “You think this is over?” he started toward Jordan, but Danny pushed him back roughly.

“Fuck you, Jordan,” Roger snarled, wincing. “You think I’m bad for cheating on Stacy? Who’s the whore that fucks around for drug tests?”

Danny stepped closer to him. “Watch it.”

Jordan put her arm on Danny’s arm, stopping him. “Come on, Danny…”

“And isn’t that just priceless?!” Roger yelled to her. “The one you fucked me for, you’re now fucking?! How great is that?”

Danny pushed him back away from Jordan. “I swear to God, Roger,”

“You think I was bad, Jordan? I was married. He’s a cokehead.” Jordan’s hand tightened on Danny’s arm, anchoring him. “Who makes a better father, huh?” Roger paused, laughing and still bent, trying to reduce the pain from her hit. “Not that I want anything to do with that – nothing screwed up my life more than that fucking baby…” His anger and pain outweighed his judgment, and he tried pushing by Danny. He didn’t have anything left anyway. No family. No house. No job. What was the point?

Danny pushed him back one more time, sending Roger to the ground. “Stop. It’s over.” Danny stood over him, his jaw clenched. “It’s over.”

Danny glared at him one more second before turning back to Jordan, who had her hand over her mouth, watching the two of them. “Let’s go home,” Danny said, taking her hand and leading her away.

“I had no idea…” Jordan started, tightening her grip on his hand.

Danny paused, stopping her for a second. “This isn’t your fault, Jordan. Okay? This isn’t—“

Danny was cut off as Roger slammed into him, the two of them tumbling backward, crashing into the railing, as it snapped, sending them both into the sand.

“Danny!” Jordan ran over to the broken railing, watching as Roger and Danny struggled in the sand.

Roger had landed on top of Danny, momentarily knocking the wind out of him. Roger took the opportunity and blind with anger, pulled back and brought his fist forward, hitting Danny in the face. Danny grunted and moved his arms up to shield off any more hits. He tried fending off Roger’s fists until he managed to knee Roger in the side. The two scrambled about in the sand, both coming up to their feet. They circled each other, as Danny put his hands up, trying to pacify Roger. This was ridiculous and he wasn’t about to start a playground brawl.

“Danny!” Both Danny and Roger looked up to see Jordan at the edge of the deck, climbing down, struggling in her dress. Damn it if she was going to sit here while they fought. Danny quickly looked back to Roger, who met his eye before starting for Jordan.

Danny saw his intent and lunged for Roger, tackling him into the sand. Roger kicked out at Danny, his foot connecting with Danny’s jaw, before Danny was able to crawl up and over Roger, kneeling on either side of him. Roger’s fists were flying, but Danny got a hit into Roger’s side, before Roger rolled them over. Roger got to his feet quickly, and Danny was still getting up, when Roger reared back to nail Danny again in the face.

Suddenly Roger’s arm was restrained. He looked up to see Matt behind him, Tom and Simon also bursting out of the main ballroom. They jumped down into the sand, Tom helping Jordan back onto the deck, while Simon went to help Matt hold Roger.

Roger lay on his stomach, Matt and Simon holding him down. Danny stood there breathing heavily, when Matt looked up at him. “You okay?”

Danny nodded, smiling. “I’m great now. Thanks guys.”

Simon looked up, speaking over Roger’s disgruntled yells. “Security is on the way out,” he paused, taking in Danny’s battered face and dirty clothing. “You two might want to head out of here before you get questioned. They’ll probably just kick him out,” Simon said, looking over to Jordan.

Danny looked to Matt briefly who smiled and nodded. “Thanks,” Danny said one more time before walking over to the deck and hoisting himself up and into Jordan’s arms.

“Sorry, I couldn’t come down there,” Jordan said into his shoulder, tightening her arms around his waist. “This damn dress.”

Danny laughed, pulling back and taking her hand. “I’m sure you would have kicked his ass.”

Jordan wrapped one arm around his waist, pulling him toward her. “Are you kidding? I could have taken both of you.” Danny laughed and Tom nodded to him.

“You guys might want to go around the side,” he said, indicating Danny’s sand-covered clothing.

Danny walked over to his jacket and put it on, covering up some of the sand on the back, but not the bit of blood that had dropped down off of his split lip and onto his collar. Luckily Roger hadn’t hit his nose, but Danny was pretty sure he would have some bruises the next day.

Danny led Jordan around the side, through the halls rather than through the big ballroom. He couldn’t imagine the explaining he’d have to do if Jack saw them. Remembering that he had driven, Danny stopped abruptly. “Shit.”

Jordan stopped too, looking up to him. “What?”

“I drove Matt and Iz too. And they’re still here…” Danny paused thinking. Pulling out his cell phone, he dialed Izzy’s number.

“Where did you get to?” Iz asked, not giving him a chance to respond. “You know what, I haven’t seen Jordan for a while either. Not that I’ve been paying attention. Did you know Simon Stiles was going to be here? I was with him a bit, but—“

“Iz, shut up. I have to head out, do you think you and Matt can take a cab or something?”

“You’re leaving early.” She said, more of a statement than a question.

“Yes,” Danny replied, smiling and grasping Jordan’s hand tighter.

“And Jordan is with you?” Danny could hear the smile in her voice.

“Yes, she is.”

Back in the ballroom Iz grinned, glad that he sounded much better. “I’m sure we’ll find… something to do…” she said, mischievously.

“Take it easy on him Iz.” Danny said, smiling and leading Jordan to his car.

“Relax, Danny. He made up with Harriet.”

Danny snorted. “Give them ten minutes.”

“Ooh, Simon’s back. Danny I’m gonna…”

“Yeah, okay. Goodnight.”

“Have fun…” she said suggestively, before Danny hung up the phone.

Danny and Jordan stood outside of his car, Danny stepping closer to Jordan. “How did you meet her?” she asked, gasping as Danny leaned down towards her neck.

“Izzy?” he asked, kissing her neck lightly.

“Yeah,” Jordan breathed. Danny couldn’t tell whether she was answering him or responding to his caress, and Jordan could feel his smile against her skin.

He pulled back to look at her. “We had a mutual acquaintance.” He paused, leaning back down to her neck. “Met at a party,” Danny said, in between kisses. “Hit it off.”

“And you’re still close?” Danny sensed her question and pulled back.

He looked down, and Jordan instantly regretted making him think back to those days. She should have guessed. “She helped me out a few times…” he said, looking back into her face. “I was… I was bad one night. Really bad. And she… I don’t remember, but she helped me out.”

Jordan studied him closely and squeezed his hand. Slowly she reached up to run her finger over his lip, wiping some of the blood off of it. She studied his face solemnly and then looked down at her hands, while he stepped closer to her.

“Danny…” He took her hands in his and she looked back up at his face, as he stared at her intently. Much like he had when he first told her No. “I’m so sorry…” He pulled her against him. “I can’t believe how I acted. I never…” she trailed off, not knowing what to say for make up for the horrible way she treated him. “I’m just… I’m sor—“

Danny cut her off, shushing her. “Stop.” He said gently, moving in closer. She clutched at him, and he tilted his head down, closer to her. “Just… stop.” Leaning the last few inches, Danny’s lips met hers gently. Danny’s lip hurt, but he didn’t even notice it as he wrapped his arms around her.

What it was with them against cars he didn’t know, but no one was complaining on his end. Jordan grasped at him desperately, aching for him after their time apart. They couldn’t get close enough, and their emotions at finally being back together were overpowering both of them.

Danny walked them down further until they were leaning against the hood of the car. Lifting her up slightly, Danny settled Jordan on the hood and stepped between her legs, bringing them closer together. His lips were hot on hers and Jordan wrapped her arms around his neck, threading her fingers through his hair, while Danny’s hands rested on the hood of the car on either side of her as he leaned down, pushing her further back. Both were oblivious to everything, until they heard someone cough behind them. Breaking apart, they both looked over to see Jack standing nearby, trying unsuccessfully to hide a grin.

Jordan looked down at herself and realized she was almost fully reclined on the hood, Danny leaning over her, pushing her further into the metal. Embarrassed, Jordan buried her head in Danny’s armpit for a second, before Danny pushed up from the car, pulling her to her feet.

“Jack.” Danny and Jordan just stood there like two guilty teenagers. There really was no explaining this one away. Jordan stepped forward as if to try and provide some explanation, but Jack put his hand up, looking down.

“Ah…” he said, pausing, before looking back up at them. “Just… not on my car okay?” Danny and Jordan looked at him strangely before turning around to see that they were not in fact next to Danny’s car. Quickly jumping further away from it, the two of them stood there while Jack walked towards his car door.

“Jack,” Danny started, taking a step forward, a laugh in his voice.

“Mother of God, Danny, please stop talking.” Jack opened his door, slipping inside, and rolling down the window as he backed out of his spot. He stopped, shifting the car into drive, and looking over at them. He fully took in Danny’s appearance for the first time. “Jesus, Danny, what happened?”

In the heat of the moment, both Danny and Jordan had forgotten about his injuries. Looking up at him, Jordan grimaced, taking in his cut lip and bruised cheekbone, his tie hanging loosely from his collar.

Jack took in their nervous looks and changed his mind. “You know what? Never mind. You two just…ah…” Jack opened his mouth to say something, and Jordan and Danny both waited, but he thought better of it and closed it, awkwardly smiling before hitting the gas and driving on.

Danny started cracking up as soon as Jack drove away and Jordan buried her head in his neck embarrassed. “Oh my God…” she moaned, smiling.

“Well, that was fun,” Danny said, still laughing, as he wrapped his arm around Jordan’s waist, leading her away, searching for his car. Jordan tucked her hand into his back pocket and they walked on, spotting it one row over.

Danny opened Jordan’s door for her and then went around to his own side, sliding in. He stared at the driving wheel for a second before thinking back and laughing again. Danny turned to say something to Jordan about Jack, but before he knew what was happening, Jordan’s lips were on his, pushing him into the car door. Danny was immediately surprised, but then moaned hungrily, and Jordan pushed herself over further, bringing her legs up onto her seat and sliding closer to him, pushing him harder into the door.

Danny’s hands tried pushing on the headrest and dashboard so he could sit up further without breaking the kiss, but Jordan’s body weight pushed him back, while she continued her assault on his mouth. Giving up, he brought one hand to her hair, the other settling at her waist as he moaned.

Jordan couldn’t get enough of him. Once she figured out what was going on she thought back to all the things he had tried to tell her, and all the horrible things she said in response. She remembered how he took her dancing, and how he had been so sweet. She didn’t know how she could have listened to Roger instead. She was just so desperate not to have another man walk out on her, to find out that maybe she didn’t screw her life up with someone who didn’t care, that she tried too hard to make it true. And she ignored the one man who really did care. Jordan felt a surge in her chest, and she didn’t think she’d ever wanted someone so strongly.

Jordan’s hands pushed off Danny’s jacket, and he sat up slightly, bringing his chest flush against hers, so she could get it over his shoulders. Danny’s hands ran lightly over her back, driving her crazy. Pushing him back again, she brought her hands to his tie and pulled it off. When she had first caught sight of him tonight, her breath had stopped short in her lungs. He had been wearing dark grey fitted slacks, his typical black dress shirt, and a black tie. Now she couldn’t be more eager to get it off of him.

Danny groaned loudly as he felt her hands pull his shirt out of his pants, burrowing underneath to run her nails over his lower back. Danny was about to sit up and push her onto her back, when his foot collided with the center consol. It was like a bucket of ice water, and he realized where they were and what they were about to do. Breaking his lips from hers, Danny pulled back, breathing roughly.

Jordan sat back, surprised he pulled away and he stared at her, her hands on his chest now, her breathing as irregular as his, and her lips swollen from their kisses. Danny felt a jolt of arousal, but shut his eyes, trying to shake himself back into reality.

“What?” Jordan asked, huskily.

Danny looked away. If he stared at her mussed hair and swollen lips any longer he wouldn’t be responsible for his actions. “We’re in a car,” he pointed out stupidly, waiting for blood to return to his brain.

Jordan smiled and leaned into him, “We don’t have to be.”

Danny looked at her like she was insane. “What, the parking lot?”

Jordan smiled seductively and Danny’s mouth went dry. “There’s a beach…”

Danny grinned, liking her logic, but remembered that there was one more thing he had to do before this could happen. One more night. He chanted that in his head, trying to gain control. “Jordan…”

She sensed his change in tone and took her hands off his chest, leaning back into her seat. If nothing else, he could think clearer now. “I was kidding, it’s a public beach…” when Danny didn’t smile, she frowned. “What’s wrong?”

“Oh, believe me, nothing’s wrong,” Danny said, squeezing her hand. “I just…” he paused, trying to figure out how to tell her that he was taking her home now. And then continuing on to his home. “There’s some place I want to take you. Tomorrow.”

“Okay,” Jordan said, confused. “Well, that’s tomorrow, but tonight—“

Danny cut her off, “Before. I want to take you there before…” he trailed off, Jordan picking up on his intent.

“Oh.” She said, sitting back further on her side.

Danny stared at her, noticing how dejected she looked and he sighed. Leaning over, he placed a kiss on her neck, and then started the car, backing out of the spot.

She had been leaning up against the car door, watching him the whole way home. He couldn’t take it. “Jordan, stop staring. You’re driving me crazy.”

She just smiled at him erotically. “I’m just looking.”

Danny looked over at her heatedly, and she smiled back. If he was going to make her wait another night, she was going to get her payback. Danny shifted uncomfortably in his seat. He never thought that he would have these thoughts, but he couldn’t wait to get Jordan out of his car. Him still in it. Her out. Him in. Her not staring at him like a hungry lion. And him not so tense he was about to crash the car, in an attempt to jump her.

Finally he pulled up her driveway, and stopped the car, staring resolutely ahead. Jordan looked at him flexing his hands on the wheel and laughed, knowing what she was doing to him. “I had to get payback somehow…” she said, opening her door. She stepped out and leaned back in.

“Payback?” Danny asked confused.

Jordan looked at him bluntly. “I’m staying here tonight, Danny. Alone…” she paused, leaning further into the car. “Payback.”

Danny smiled, glad she was going as crazy as he was. “Come here…” he said, leaning across the seat to kiss her goodbye.

“Oh, I don’t think so,” she said smiling. “You made it quite clear that not until tomorrow…”

“Jordan.” Danny growled. She laughed and leaned down, kissing him sweetly, her hand running lightly over his jaw before she pulled back.

“Goodnight.” Danny smiled and started the car.

“Tomorrow?” Jordan asked, smiling.

“Tomorrow,” he said, returning the grin.

“Well then, Mr. Tripp… Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say good night till it be morrow.”

“Bringing the Shakespeare?” Danny asked, grinning like a schoolboy.

“I had to counter the Dobson sometime,” Jordan said in return, Danny’s eyebrows rising that she knew what he had quoted. Or had looked it up.

“Don’t be so surprised,” she said with a smirk, shutting the door and turning, letting Danny watch her walk up her steps and into her house.

He took full advantage and then went to start the car. The loud screech let him know it was already on, and cringing he shifted into reverse, backing out.

Could tomorrow ever come fast enough?

----------

TBC

Mar. 28th, 2007

with old cam rdj

Fic: Our Father 11/13

Title: Our Father 11/13
Author: Kelsey
Rating: PG-13 for now
Pairing: Danny/Jordan
Spoilers: Up to and including Monday
Word Count: 2300
Thanks: scoob2222, twwgoldfish12
Summary/Disclaimer: see Chapter 1

----------

“I’m on my way,” Danny paused to fasten the other cufflink, while trying to steer and talk on the phone. “You want to meet in your office?”

Danny was driving along the strip on his way to meeting Matt and Isabella at the studio. Danny had finally conceded and mentioned Matt’s interest to Izzy. Who was perfect for the job, as she knew Matt was just trying to make Harriet jealous, and was more than eager to lend a helping hand. Matt just hoped they didn’t play any salsa at the Ball.

“Yeah,” Danny heard Matt say. “You sure you want to come to this?”

Danny sighed and seriously considered what the night may turn out to be. “Honestly, Matt, I’d be surprised if she’s there.”

“It’s an NBS Ball.”

“…I know.” Danny paused, reconsidering his suspicions.

“Okay, well we’ll meet you out front in five.”

----------

Danny pulled up to the curb and Matt and Izzy loaded into the car, Isabella immediately jumping into the front seat, leaving Matt to the back. She flicked on the radio, turning it up, and leaned over to Danny, giving him a welcome kiss.

“Hey, babe.”

“Hey Iz,” he said, pulling the car away from the curb. “So why’d you decide to do this for him?” Danny asked smirking.

“What, my company isn’t good enough?” Matt asked from the back seat, but was ignored by both of them.

“Fun.” She said, grinning at him. “Why else?”

Danny smiled, although Iz noticed he was a lot different from the last time she had seen him. Matt was right – he was crushed. She almost hoped Jordan was there. She’d get Jordan working on some jealousy of her own once Jordan saw how she and Danny danced.

Isabella sat back in her seat, opening the window and nudging the volume up even more.

----------

Fuck.

Matt spotted Jordan standing to the side talking to Jack as soon as they entered the ballroom. He quickly glanced at Danny, who luckily hadn’t noticed yet, deep in conversation with Isabella. Matt steered the two away from Jordan, heading towards their table. He prayed hers was across the room.

Izzy marveled at the room as she followed Danny, Matt behind her. The color theme was black and crème, with touches of maroon and gold. There were small lights strung along all the doorways, and she noticed there were several exits to what she could only assume were decks, looking out on the beach and ocean. The doors were open, blowing the soft curtain into the room, while the sounds of Nat King Cole rang out over the dance floor.

“This is gorgeous,” Izzy breathed.

Matt heard her and tried walking a little faster to he could edge in next to her as she followed Danny, winding through the tables. “So are you,” he said, smoothly, and Danny turned his head slightly back to smirk at Matt.

Izzy smiled at him and took her seat next to Danny, Matt on her other side.

They made small talk, waiting for their food, while Danny tried not to scan the crowd for Jordan. He doubted she would be there. If she wasn’t going with him, why go when she didn’t want to in the first place? Nevertheless, he had to concentrate on Matt’s words, so as not to torture himself.

Matt wouldn’t stop talking. He noticed Danny looking down and fiddling with his napkin, and knew he was thinking about Jordan. He seemed to be trying to focus on Matt’s words, and so Matt wouldn’t shut up.

“Matt,” Izzy finally said, sick of his rambling. “Come dance with me.”

She shared a smile with Danny, knowing that he was thankful for Matt’s removal. As she led him off to the floor, she turned back to see Danny drop his head into his hands.

----------

Danny sat, resting his head in his hands while his companions left. He knew Matt was trying to distract his thoughts, and while he was thankful, it didn’t stop them from coming full force. The Ball was so elegant and beautiful. He would have loved to have been able to bring her to this. To laugh with her, to make her try the crab puffs, to dance with her…

He sighed and turned to face the floor, searching for Matt and Izzy.

And promptly froze.

She was here.

He didn’t think she would be, but she was. And she wasn’t alone. Danny felt his gut twist painfully as he saw Jordan standing in the corner talking to Jack, Roger by her side, his hand on the small of her back.

As if sensing his gaze, Jordan looked over, spotting him the same time he saw her. Danny held her gaze for a moment, before it became too much and he sharply turned away, wishing he was allowed to have more than just the water in front of him. Nevertheless he drained it, just as Matt and Izzy were coming back.

Izzy had seen Danny spot Jordan as they had been walking back, and saw his subsequent reaction. Sitting down next to him, she glanced at Matt, who was staring worriedly.

“Danny…” Matt started, wondering if anything he could say would make Danny leave instead of torturing himself.

“Don’t.” Danny said sharply, tearing at his napkin. His head was down, his jaw tight, and his head pounding with anger and something else…something deeper…something suffocating.

Danny felt a soft hand on his shoulder and looked up. Izzy had stood and was standing next to him, her hand out. “Forget about her,” she said softly, offering him a dance.

He looked down at the table, before glancing again at Jordan. She had turned away from him, but Roger was now facing them. Smiling at Danny, Roger tightened his arm around Jordan.

Danny felt a flash of something and stood abruptly. Izzy smiled and led him out to the floor, hoping to make him forget about Jordan. She doubted that had any chance of happening.

Danny settled his hands on her waist, hers wrapping around his neck, while they softly swayed to the music. Iz saw him looking towards Jordan and she pulled his face back to hers. “Danny.”

He looked down at her helplessly and sighed deeply, resting his head against her hair and closing his eyes. He tightened his grip on her, thankful for the friendly embrace. “Thanks, Iz,” he said softly, pulling back. “This is really…” he trailed off, a thousand words running through his mind… hard, painful, agonizing…

“I know,” she whispered, running her fingers through his hair. He didn’t need to say anything, she could see it all in his eyes. She smiled gently and he again rested his head against the top of hers, closing his eyes.

----------

When Jordan had first seen him sitting all alone, she felt her chest tighten painfully. He was alone. And he looked horrible. She almost removed Roger’s hands from her and went over to him, when she saw Isabella come up to him.

Of course.

The old flame.


Jordan felt something flare within her and pushed it down, turning away, and not minding when she felt Roger pull her closer. She didn’t feel anything towards Roger any more other than a connection because he was the father, but two could play this game.

A few minutes later, Roger led her towards the drink table, bringing her a glass of punch. She turned and caught sight of Danny dancing with Isabella. Quickly Jordan looked away, feeling tears prickling her eyes. She looked down into her drink, but was again drawn to them. Danny was speaking softly to her and she saw Isabella smile back at him, before he tightened his grip, closing his eyes and resting his head against her hair.

Roger had been talking to one of Jordan’s colleagues, but had kept his eye on her, knowing she noticed Tripp and his dance partner. He saw her look away and surreptiously wipe her hand across her eyes. Smiling, Roger extended his hand towards the man he had been speaking to, excusing himself.

“You okay?”

Jordan smiled shakily and nodded, not trusting her voice. She took a second and cleared her throat while Roger watched Tripp and his partner return to their seats. “I’m going to get some food,” she said, lightly touching his arm as she walked to the other side of the room to the food tables.

Matt saw Jordan head over to the food and excused himself, leaving Danny alone as Izzy had spotted Simon Stiles and headed over there.

----------

“You came,” Matt said by way of welcome, standing next to Jordan and forking some fruit onto his plate.

Jordan looked up at him quickly. “I don’t know why,” she said sadly, turning back to the food.

Matt took her in and didn’t know whether to be angry or sympathetic. He glanced over at Danny, again with his head in his hands, staring intensely at the flame of the candle.

Anger won.

“Looks like you didn’t have too much trouble finding a new date,” Matt remembered briefly that Jordan was his boss, but loyalty for Danny was driving his mouth at the moment.

Jordan looked up at him sharply and set her plate down on the table, turning fully towards him. “Do you really want to bring that up right now?”

“Yeah, that’s where everyone’s thoughts are right? You didn’t think you could have been a little more tasteful?”

Roger saw the confrontation from across the room and started to excuse himself from his discussion.

“Me?” Jordan asked, incredulously. “I only agreed to come when I found out that he’d be bringing his Iz instead.” Matt’s face changed abruptly when he realized what she thought. He noticed now how upset she really was and tried to quiet her down. “How do you think that makes me feel, Matt? I mean-“

“Jordan, wait.” Matt started gently, putting his hand on her arm. He saw Roger making a beeline for them and everything fell into place. “Isabella is my date, tonight,” he said, stopping her. “It’s a Harriet thing.”

Jordan stopped, staring at him incredulously. “What?”

“Danny’s here alone. He’d never…” Matt paused, looking hard at her. “You’re the only—“

“Hey, Matt.” Roger said, interrupting their conversation and stepping up, putting his arm securely around Jordan’s waist.

“Roger.”

“Jordan, dance with me.” Roger said, pulling her hand. “Excuse us, Matt.”

Jordan was dragged along in a daze as she looked back at Matt. He was still staring intently at her and the pieces started falling into place.

No.

She realized what must have happened and quickly turned to Danny as Roger pulled her along. She saw him sitting in his chair, all alone, his head down. Her heart ached for him, watching him tear up a napkin. He dropped his hand limply to the table and glanced up, catching her eye. Jordan could see the pain in his eyes and tried to convey her apology, but Roger pulled her around and took her hand, wrapping his arms around her, and swaying them to the music.

----------

Danny had glanced up just in time to see Roger dragging Jordan onto the dance floor to dance. To dance his dance. Danny watched Roger’s hands fall to her hips as he pulled Jordan closer to him, swaying gently. Danny stared for a few moments before he abruptly got up out his chair, bumping into the table. He needed some air.

----------

“Roger, what’s going on?” Jordan said, taking a step back. Roger tried pulling her back, but Jordan pushed him away. Roger looked over her shoulder to see Danny’s back as he stalked out to the doorway. Roger tried not to smile and then noticed the attention they were gathering. He took her arm and led her off the floor to the side.

“What do you mean?”

“Don’t, Roger. Danny isn’t here with a date, he’s alone. Why would you tell me that he was taking someone?”

Roger tried to look puzzled as he ran his hand along her arm. “What? I don’t know. I guess she bailed on him. How am I supposed to know?”

She looked at him a few moments about to ask him about the picture.

“Jordan!” Hallie walked up to them, greeting Jordan kindly. Or so it appeared.

Thankful for the interruption, Roger turned to Hallie, and held out his hand in introduction. “Roger Beam.”

Hallie smiled, shaking his hand kindly. While Roger was looking away, Jordan looked up to see Danny standing in the doorway of one of the deck entrances, leaning against the frame and staring bleakly into the dark night.

Roger finally noticed her gaze and turned back to her, demanding her attention. “Hey, I’m gonna go use the restroom. Nice to meet you Hallie, I’ll let you talk to Jordan alone.”

Jordan cursed Roger’s words, as Hallie turned to her, obviously intent on trying to convince her of some new worthless pitch. Jordan watched as Roger walked towards the bathrooms. Glancing one more time at Danny, she turned back to Hallie.

“Hey, Hallie.”

----------

Danny leaned against the doorjamb, his hands in his pockets. Still able to hear the music and wanting to forget about Jordan and Roger, Danny pushed himself off of the wall and walked further out onto the empty balcony. He walked to the edge of the deck and leaned against the railing, staring out over the water and listening to the crashing of the waves. A soft breeze blew his hair and jacket, and he took it off, leaving it on the railing. He thought about climbing down off the deck onto the beach, as it was only a foot drop to the sand. He could use a walk. Dropping his head into his hands and leaning over further, Danny took a deep breath.

“Danny Tripp…”

Startled, Danny turned…

----------

TBC

Mar. 26th, 2007

with old cam rdj

Fic: Our Father 10/13

Title: Our Father 10/13
Author: Kelsey
Rating: PG-13 for now
Pairing: Danny/Jordan
Spoilers: Up to and including Monday
Word Count: 1600
Summary/Disclaimer: see Chapter 1
A/N: Sorry this one isn’t as packed as the others – kind of a filler until the Ball in Chapter 11

----------

When Matt came down the stairs the next morning, he found Danny sitting on the couch with a mug of coffee, already dressed and ready to go for work.

Matt looked at him curiously as he shuffled by, still in his boxers and t-shirt, hair askew, and stubble evident.

“Morning,” Matt muttered on his way into the kitchen.

“I made some coffee,” he heard Danny say, before Matt walked over and poured himself some.

Matt walked back out into the living room and sat across from Danny on a chair. “Thanks.” Matt studied Danny, who was looking down into the depths of his mug. His eyes were red and Matt didn’t think he’d slept any more after they had gotten back. “You okay?”

Danny looked up at Matt’s question. “What? Yeah, I’m fine.” He said, forcing a smile onto his face.

Matt wasn’t buying it and his scrutiny made Danny uncomfortable. Standing, Danny started towards his room. “I’m going to get my work together. You’ll be ready to go in 20?”

Matt nodded, still watching Danny was he walked into the bedroom. Matt was lost. He was expecting a morning of trying to rouse Danny and then forcing him to get out of bed. There was no way he thought he would be dressed and ready to go, acting as if last night never happened.

Matt stood and went to the doorway of Danny’s room. “Danny, what’s going on?”

Danny had been making the bed, and stopped, sighing. He paused for a moment, not turning around, and then started making the bed again. “I can’t let myself think about it.” He finally admitted. “I have to work, we both have to work and if I keep thinking about it…” he trailed off, his voice catching. “She said it was over. It’s over. That’s that.”

“Danny…”

“Matt, please.” Danny pleaded with him, finishing the bed and turning to look Matt in the eye. “Let it go.”

Matt held the contact for a few more moments before looking down and nodding. “I’ll go get dressed.”

Danny turned back to the bed and Matt headed up the stairs.

----------

Danny went through that day of work as best he could. While he told Matt that he needed to stop thinking about her, the truth was that he couldn’t. Every question someone asked, every story they told, every sketch proposal he heard brought him back to thoughts of Jordan.

He couldn’t continue like this. He knew he needed to get past it. If she wouldn’t listen to him, she would find out soon enough what that meant, and then even though he shouldn’t, he would be there for her again. He still loved her, and no matter what she thought she believed, nothing would change that. If she believed Roger, than Roger was doing really well at convincing her.

“Danny.”

Danny looked up, having been lost in thought, to see that Tom and Matt had finished their debate and were waiting for his opinion. “Uh, yeah. Tom you had it, just go with what you were already doing.”

They both looked at him curiously and Tommy turned to Matt, a silent question on his face. Matt just glanced at him and nodded and Tom left the room. “Why don’t you go over there?” Matt asked, sitting down at his desk.

“And get thrown out again? I don’t think so.” Danny went to slam his hand on the couch again, but Matt knew it was coming.

“Don’t…”

Danny sighed and threw his head back. Matt had insisted on wrapping Danny’s hand after he had been trying to lift a jug of milk, yelled out in pain, and dropped it everywhere two days ago.

“Maybe I should go over there…”

Danny looked to Matt, glaring. “No.”

“Why? If she won’t listen to you, I can explain about the date and how he said those things.”

“She needs to realize it for herself. Not because my best friend is pleading on my behalf. She wouldn’t hear you either.”

Matt nodded and turned back to his work, not really seeing it. “Well, you have to do something by tomorrow.”

“Why?”

“The Ball is tomorrow night.” Matt looked at Danny, surprised this hadn’t been on his mind.

“Fuck the Ball. She won’t listen to me by then.”

“Not if you’re just sitting here doing nothing…”

“What do you want me to do, Matt!” Danny yelled, standing up. “I found the picture that Beam threw in the trash and she still doesn’t believe me!” Danny sighed, heading towards the door.

Matt sighed, not knowing what to say. “You do know we have that meeting later, right?”

Danny nodded forlornly, rubbing his eyes. “Yeah, I know.”

“I could say you had something else… You don’t have to go.”

Danny sighed, dragging his hand away from his face. “Yeah, I do.”

Matt studied him a moment before nodding.

“What I really need to do is show her that fucking Laser Beam over there—“

“Wait a minute,” Matt said, interrupting. “Laser Beam?”

“Shut up,” Danny said smiling.

“Seriously, Danny. Laser Beam?”

Danny smiled looking at Matt’s expression. “In my defense, I didn’t sleep much last night.”

Matt laughed, muttering “laser beam” again to himself, incredulously.

Danny turned towards the door. “I’ll come by later for lunch.”

Matt nodded, smiling as Danny started to leave. He stopped just before exiting and turned around. “Matt…” Matt looked back up. “Thanks. Seriously, last night… thanks.”

Matt smiled as Danny slowly walked out the door. This couldn’t go on.

----------

“No, I’m just asking, is this strictly flat design, or are our options open with dimension?”

Danny and Matt sat quietly in a meeting with Cal, Jordan, and some of the advertisers who were looking to capitalize on Cal’s new Sunset Blvd. stage design.

Cal sat up, referring back to his drawings. “No, we have some room for the 3-D, but it will probably be lower on the stage, so your area may be smaller. It’s a trade-up, you just have to consider what section you want…”

Danny was lost in thought, Cal’s voice disappearing among the flood of thoughts as he sat across from Jordan. He hadn’t looked at her since he walked in, but he noticed Matt hadn’t stopped studying the both of them, who were both studiously working on ignoring each other.

Danny didn’t think he could meet her eyes and see the ice there that he had heard earlier in her voice. She was angry, and under different circumstances he wouldn’t blame her. They had just started seeing each other, and if the father wanted to be involved, Danny had no right to demand that she not accept the father. But these weren’t normal circumstances.

Roger wasn’t in this because of concern over Jordan and the baby. He was in it to hurt Jordan and screw with Danny. He didn’t know why she couldn’t see it, but he had felt empty since their fight. He couldn’t sleep, he wasn’t hungry, and for the life of him, he couldn’t concentrate on anything except her words after their fight.

It was over.

He didn’t want to accept that. It physically made his chest ache to think that that was the case. But he had to let it go. Every time he tried to talk to her about it, to make his case, it got worse. He had to distance himself from everything.

Which explained why when the meeting was over, Danny grabbed his notebook and was out of the room before Matt even had the chance to stand up.

Matt watched him leave and then turned to Jordan, catching her staring as Danny’s back as well. Matt made a show of dropping his papers and waited until Jordan had showed the advertisers and Cal the door.

“Let’s not do this, Matt,” she strode back into the room, walking quickly over to her desk.

“Do what?” he asked. Best not to breach the subject too quickly. Matt watched her a second more, before blurting it out. “He’s telling the truth, you have to listen to him.” Or you know, ignore all rational strategy.

“I don’t have time for this. He’s not. And you’re his friend.”

“Yeah, I am, and it hurts me to see him like this.”

“What I meant was that you would chose his side.” Jordan sat down at her desk, trying to look busy so Matt would get the clue and leave. “And maybe if you could teach him how to get a handle on his anger and jealousy, then we’d have something to talk about.”

“Jordan…”

“Matt, I have a lot of work to do. When he’s ready to admit that he’s in the wrong saying those things, then we can talk about this.”

Matt studied her for a few moments, Jordan refusing to look up from her work. Without saying anything else, he walked out of the room, realizing Danny had been right.

Jordan was so intent on believing that finally Roger had come to his senses - finally he realized that he was in it too, she was blocking out anything to the contrary. Matt knew it had to have been hard for her those first few months with the father refusing to acknowledge anything, but Matt also knew that now, the only way the truth would come out would be when someone got hurt.

It was just a matter of time.

----------

TBC

Mar. 24th, 2007

with old cam rdj

Fic: Our Father 9/13

Title: Our Father 9/13
Author: Kelsey
Rating: PG-13 for now
Pairing: Danny/Jordan
Spoilers: Up to and including Monday
Word Count: 1900
Summary/Disclaimer: see Chapter 1

----------

“Get up!”

Matt felt a pillow hit his face. Groaning he rolled over, covering his head with his arms. He felt the pillow hit him twice more.

“The hell?!” He was moving. He was lying in bed, horizontal, but he was moving.

*Bam*

Matt hit the floor, startling him completely awake. He looked up and Danny was standing above him, pillow in hand. Matt laid on the floor, tangled in the sheets that Danny had pulled off the bed, Matt in them.

“Danny? What’s wrong? Are you okay?” He blinked against the light, groaning.

“I’m fine.”

“You’re fine?”

“I’m fine.” Danny repeated, breathing harshly.

“Oh good.” Matt said calmly, standing up. When he was standing he looked evenly at Danny a moment before reaching forward and grabbing Danny’s t-shirt. “Then why the hell am I awake right now?!!”

Danny pushed Matt off of him, Matt falling back onto the bed. “Come on!” Danny said, snapping into action. He grabbed Matt’s jeans off of the floor and threw them onto Matt’s chest, Matt having rolled over again. “No Matty, come on,” Danny sat him up.

Matt looked into Danny’s eyes blearily. “What is going on right now?”

“I figured something out and you have to drive me to the office.”

Matt blinked a few times. “What?”

“Put your pants on Matt.” Danny ran over to the dresser, pulling one of Matt’s sweatshirts on and throwing another at his friend, who was struggling into his pants.

Danny grabbed two flashlights and Matt’s keys, ushering Matt out the door. He put Matt in the passenger seat and ran around to the driver side, hopping in the car and starting the engine.

Matt settled himself in, still not fully comprehending what was going on. He glanced up at the stereo clock. “Danny, its three-thirty in the morning!”

Danny ignored him, speaking as if he were already in the middle of a conversation with himself. “I wasn’t really paying attention, but he dropped it in there…” he muttered.

“What?”

“The other day when Roger walked out of the office he threw something in the trash. I didn’t think anything of it.”

Danny looked over to Matt, not realizing that Matt hadn’t heard any of the previous reasoning that had gone on in his head.

Matt's mouth curved into a sleep-drunk smile, as he put his hand on Danny’s knee. “Danny, I love you, man. But what the hell are you talking about?”

“Roger threw something into the trash. I didn’t realize what it was until ten minutes ago.” He paused, Matt’s look urging him on. “Jordan had given him her picture of the baby from the doctor’s appointment. He threw it out, I’m sure of it.”

“Why does that translate into us being on the highway right now?”

“I’m going to find it. And then I’m going to prove it to her.”

“You’re going to find it.”

“Yes, I am.” Danny said, determinedly.

“Danny…”

“I know,” he said, frowning. “They took the trash out to the dumpsters today.”

“Yes, yes they did.”

Danny didn’t say anything more, but pressed his foot down harder on the accelerator. He was going to find it, no matter what he had to do. If he had to comb through the whole dumpster, he would. He had to show her who Roger really was. He had to.

----------

“Move it a little to the left.”

Matt sat in a dumpster, on top of a pile of trash, pieces of banana and sticky coffee coating his favorite sweatshirt. He was shining his flashlight down where Danny had crawled so that Danny could find his flashlight that had turned off when he dropped it.

Piles of garbage lay on the street next to the dumpster. They had gone through about half of it, and still hadn’t found the picture.

“Do we even know if it was put in this dumpster?”

“No.”

Matt groaned, flopping back onto a soft pile of who knows what, once Danny retrieved his light. Twice they had had to close the top and hide from people. Once from the light of a police cruiser, and once from a homeless man who had wanted to come in. Matt growled at him from under the lid and the man had moved on hurriedly.

“Wait!” He heard Danny yell from beneath a stack of paper.

Danny’s head popped up, a straw wrapper stuck in his hair. “I found a bottle of Fuze!”

“Fantastic!!!” Matt yelled, mock-happy.

“No, you don’t get it. That’s all Kevin drinks. It’s his flavor too.” Danny grinned, ducking back into the trash.

“Doesn’t Kevin recycle?” Matt asked disgustedly.

“Matt, focus,” he heard Danny continue muffled. “We’re getting close.”

“I don’t want to know why you know Kevin’s favorite flavor,” Matt grumbled, sitting there atop the trash.

“Early on, I had to get into her office somehow,” came drifting up from amongst the sounds of Danny’s rummaging.

“Appointment?”

“Are you looking?” Danny asked sharply.

Matt looked around, picking up a gum wrapper and looking under it dramatically. “Yes.”

After twenty more minutes and a clam chowder incident, Danny yelled out.

“What-what?” Matt asked, sitting up from where he had been lounging, starting to drift off.

A hand popped up from the hole Danny was in, the picture clutched tightly between his fingers.

“I got it.”

----------

“I’m just saying, you’re paying to have my car cleaned.”

Matt and Danny trudged up the steps, trailing trash everywhere and dripping from the rain that had just begun. “Wait, wait, wait,” Matt continued, putting a hand on Danny’s arm to stop his walk.

“What?”

“You think I’m letting you into my house with that on?” Matt paused, looking at Danny, who shrugged as if it was nothing. He was still holding the picture and was pretty much oblivious to everything else. “Take off the jeans, sweatshirt, and shoes.”

The two stood on Matt’s front porch, thankful for the surrounding bushes and fence, blocking them from the street. Once they were both down to their boxers and socks, Matt opened the door. “You take the downstairs shower.” Matt started up the steps, grabbing his towel quickly and heading into the bathroom.

----------

Danny watched Matt go up the stairs and pulled on an undershirt and jeans. He would call Jordan first. Then take a shower.

He called her house phone first because he knew even if she didn’t pick up she would still hear his message on her machine. As expected, she didn’t pick up. It didn’t occur to him she might be sleeping.

“Jordan, it’s Danny Tripp.” He started, pausing, not quite sure where to go. “Listen, I have to tell you something. I, uh… well I went searching for something tonight and I found it… That sounds spiritual… it’s not spiritual. It’s – Well, I have to tell you something and I really think—“

“It’s five a.m. Danny.”

“Jordan!” He paused, surprised she picked up and cringing that he hadn’t thought about the hour. “How… how are you?”

“Sleeping. What do you want?”

Danny frowned at her cold tone. “Listen, the other day, when Roger came out of your office…”

“It’s five a.m. Danny. I’m not listening to any more of this.”

“Wait!” Danny yelled, talking faster. “He had thrown something away, and I didn’t know what it was before, but then I realized it was the picture of the baby you gave him. And so I went looking for it and I found it. I have it here in my hand. He threw it away. See, he doesn’t—“

Jordan cut him off. She was sick of this. Why couldn’t he just admit he was being a jealous asshole? Roger’s repeated presence in her office and on her voicemail proved to her that he really did want to be involved. Danny was wrong and out of line. “Stop it, Danny! He does want to be involved, he’s still around. Where are you?" She paused, thinking about what Roger had told her in her office. "I heard about you and the Ball. Have fun,” she said bitterly. Pausing she tried to block out the feelings of regret and anguish that were overwhelming her as she prepared herself. “This is stopping,” she said sadly before hanging up.

----------

Matt stumbled down the stairs, drying his hair as he looked for Danny. “Danny?”

Matt walked down further, not hearing the water running. He saw Danny’s phone sitting on the coffee table, and walked towards the room Danny had been sleeping in, tossing his towel on the couch. “Danny?”

He poked his head into the bedroom, not seeing Danny anywhere. Matt’s stomach tightened and he jogged through the room towards the bathroom. He flicked the switch and saw that the shower was dry, not used since yesterday. Matt shut off the light and ran out to the living room, yelling Danny’s name as he went. He grabbed Danny’s phone off of the table and checked his last call.

“Shit.”

Matt dropped the phone onto the couch, grabbing his coat and heading out into the rain. He ran to his car, jumping in the driver seat, shutting the door, and heading out into the night.

“Damn it!” Matt slammed his hand against the steering wheel as he drove further down the block. Where the hell was he?

Squinting through the rain, he looked through the wipers, seeing something ahead. Pulling up to the curb, Matt jumped out of the car into the pouring rain.

“Get in the car!” Matt yelled over the rain. Danny was sitting on the sidewalk, leaning up against the column of someone’s garage-way entrance. He was only wearing jeans and a white undershirt, completely soaked through.

Matt looked at him, Danny’s head tilted down as he looked at the picture in his hand, becoming soggy with the rain. “For God’s sake, Danny, get in the car!”

Danny slowly raised his head, looking up to Matt, completely oblivious to the rain. “It’s over,” he said quietly, Matt barely able to hear him.

Matt sighed, looking up and down the street before moving his jacket aside and plopping next to Danny.

“I called her.” Matt thought he heard a catch in Danny’s voice, but couldn’t tell with the roar of the rain.

“I know.”

“She said I was wrong. Told me to have fun at the Ball. That it was done.” Danny looked for a few more minutes into Matt’s eyes before it became too painful and he dropped his head again. Matt continued looking at him, not sure what to say.

“Come on,” Matt said, pulling on Danny’s arm. Danny rose, letting Matt put him in the car and drive him home. Danny got out of the car and numbly walked up to the front door, waiting for Matt to unlock it. Matt held it open and Danny walked in, still holding the dripping photo. He went silently into the bathroom and Matt sat down on the couch, breathing heavily.

He thought he had lost him again. He needed to do something. This was getting ridiculous, and Jordan was being unreasonable. Matt looked up as Danny padded through the room, dressed in his sweats and a dry tee. Danny didn’t say anything, but continued into the dark bedroom. After a few minutes when Danny didn’t come back out, Matt went to the doorway and saw Danny curled up on the bed in the dark.

Matt shut the door quietly and headed back upstairs to grab a few more hours of sleep before they had to go into work and do it all over again.

----------

TBC

Mar. 21st, 2007

with old cam rdj

Fic: Our Father 8/13

Title: Our Father 8/?
Author: Kelsey
Rating: PG-13 for now
Pairing: Danny/Jordan
Spoilers: Up to and including Monday
Word Count: 1700
Summary/Disclaimer: see Chapter 1
Thanks: scoob2222, twwgoldfish12

----------

“You’re late.”

Danny stumbled into Matt’s office, plopping down hard on the couch.

“Danny?”

Matt stood up, walking over to Danny and sitting next to him. Danny lay back with his head on the back of the couch, his eyes clenched tightly.

“What happened?”

Danny opened up his eyes looking at Matt painfully. Matt looked over him, taking an assessment of his clothing. Everything seemed normal. Danny just sat there fidgeting with his…

“What happened to your hand?!” Matt jumped up to go get some ice, water, and a rag. Danny looked down at it like he hadn’t noticed before. He opened his fist, flexing it a few times and finally noticing the pain. The knuckles on three of his fingers were swollen and bruised and there was a cut over the knuckle of his pinky, bleeding freely across his forearm.

“Jesus, Danny.” Matt sat down next to him with the supplies. He took Danny’s hand and Danny gasped painfully. “Sorry.” Matt poured some water over the cut. “What the hell happened?!” he asked, angry that Danny still hadn’t said anything.

Danny dropped his head to the back of the couch again, letting Matt work on his bruised hand. “I blew it.”

“What are you talking about?”

“We had a fight.” Matt paused his cleaning, looking up at Danny worriedly. It must have been one hell of a fight.

“With Jordan?”

“An argument,” Danny corrected himself. “When I got there Roger walked out of her office. I got angry and we both said some things…”

“You and Roger?”

“Me and Jordan.” Danny muttered, his fist on his healthy hand clenching instinctively.

“What kind of things?” Matt cleaned the blood off of Danny’s battered hand and put some ice in a bag he had brought over.

“I tried to tell Jordan about what he had said the other night at dinner, but I was so angry. I didn’t make sense. She thought I was making it up because I was jealous. She-“ Danny’s voice cracked and he moved his head forward dropping it to his chest, taking a second before he turned to Matt, his eyes radiating distress. “She said that Roger was the father, not me. I never will be – and then she kicked me out.” Danny couldn’t take the look in Matt’s eyes, and threw his head back on the couch.

“She was really angry…” Matt heard him whisper, whether it was to Matt or himself, Matt didn’t know.

“Danny, listen. It was just a fight.” Matt was scared at the look in Danny’s face. He didn’t think he’d ever see that again, and he was afraid of what it meant. “You’ll talk about it later and you’ll be fine.” Matt paused when he saw Danny moving his head back and forth, his eyes still closed. “You love each other.”

“It was big, Matt.” Danny paused, standing up and feeling the anger coming back. “Too big.”

“Danny…”

“Fuck!” Danny yelled, kicking over an end table. Matt stood, but couldn’t do much more than watch. Danny’s voice was frighteningly calm when he spoke next. “He wants to hurt her, Matt. He wants to fuck with us, and she won’t listen to me,” he said desperately, pulling at his shirt.

Matt looked at Danny standing in front of the clock, breathing heavily. “Danny…” he tried again, quietly. “Danny, look at me.” Danny turned to face him, his eyes full of pain and sadness. “I want you to stay with me tonight.”

“What?”

“Please. Just, crash on my couch okay?” Matt knew he was crossing a line, but he had missed it four months ago and he would be damned if he missed it again.

“I’m fine, Matt. It’s not like that.” Danny said, brushing off Matt’s concern.

“Yeah? What happened to your hand?” Danny looked away, flexing it by his side.

“I punched the wall outside her office. I think I caught some of the frame with my pinky.” He took a deep breath, looking out into the studio. He knew it was bad. He couldn’t even remember the decision to punch something. Or that he actually had punched something until Matt mentioned it. Still, he couldn’t deal with Matt’s angst now. He had enough of his own to deal with. “It’s really okay, Matt,” he muttered, trying to sound convincing.

Matt walked up to Danny and put his hands on Danny’s shoulders, spinning him and forcing him to look into his eyes. “What the fuck, Matt?” Danny asked, trying to push Matt’s restraining arms off of him.

“Danny.”

Danny looked hard into Matt’s eyes for a moment and then dropped his gaze, nodding slightly. Matt wasn’t sure whether he was relieved that Danny said okay, or scared out of his mind that this meant Danny had been thinking about relapsing. Either way, he wasn’t going to let that happen. “Thanks.”

Matt dropped his arms from Danny. They stood there for a moment, before Matt stepped back and walked around to his desk. “Put that ice on your hand,” Matt reminded, turning back to the show. There were only a few hours left before it and he was thankful he was on the ball this week.

----------

Danny slowly wandered into his office Monday morning, plopping down on his chair and dropping his head to desk. He had stayed with Matt for the whole weekend. He was driving Danny crazy, hovering and trying to fabricate fun things for them to do. Danny just wanted to curl up and sleep for a year.

Jordan wouldn’t answer his calls. He phoned her over twenty times since their fight. The first time she picked up, probably not having looked at the ID, but as soon as he tried to explain himself she told him that she didn’t want to talk to him and had hung up.

He hadn’t felt this low in years and the rollercoaster of emotion in the past week was enough to wipe him out. If Matt would have asked Friday morning, Danny would have said the night before was the happiest of his life. If he would have asked Friday night, Danny probably would have said one of the worst. He couldn’t stop thinking about Jordan and Roger, and what scheme Beam was playing at. He wanted desperately to protect her from what was bound to come, but for the life of him, she wouldn’t listen.

He could do absolutely nothing and it was driving him into a hole that he was having more and more trouble getting out of. Although he’d never tell him, he was glad Matt has insisted on keeping him at his house this weekend. It would be a lie if Danny said he hadn’t thought about just taking a few days to forget about everything. About the only thing stopping him were Matt’s physical presence and his thoughts that if he tripped up again, Jordan would never want him to be a father. Although she already made it clear he never would be.

Danny slammed his hand down on the desk, immediately regretting it. Matt thought Danny might have broken a knuckle, but Danny refused to get it checked out. If nothing else, he could think about the pain in his hand rather than the pain in his chest.

“Danny…” Cal wandered in to his office hesitantly. Danny looked up and schooled his expression. He was at work – he had to get a handle on this for a few hours.

“Yeah Cal, what’s up?”

----------

“I’m not going.” Jordan sat behind her desk, Roger sitting in one of the chairs.

“Why not? I heard you were before, why not just go this time? Don’t let that stop you.”

Jordan sighed, looking up from her work. Roger had talked to her a few times over the weekend and said he wanted to see her Monday. She didn’t know what had brought about the change, but she was glad he was finally owning up to the pregnancy and asking to be involved.

She sadly thought about Danny and the things she had said to him. She missed him the past two days, but she also knew that he was going to have to apologize. He was jealous and angry and made implications that never could have been true. She knew Roger and what Danny was saying couldn’t be true.

But then again, she knew Danny, and she didn’t know him to be a liar. ‘But he was angry and jealous,’ she justified to herself. He wasn’t his usual self, and was trying to say anything that would make her turn Roger away. She just couldn’t do that. He was the father.

For a split second Jordan wished that it was Danny instead, but she pushed the thought out of her mind.

“I’ll think about it.”

Roger had noticed her wistful expression. He knew she was sad about Tripp, and judging by the news that Danny had stayed with Albie this weekend, he was pretty sure Tripp was a mess himself. Roger almost couldn’t help but smile.

He stood and walked over, sitting on the edge of Jordan’s desk, still trying to get her to go to the Ball. “Let me take you.”

Jordan looked up at him surprised. She turned back to her notes, not sure what to say. “Are you hesitating because of Tripp?”

Jordan looked up harshly. “I don’t want to talk about it,” she muttered, looking back down.

Roger knew what buttons to push. “He’s already got a date. Some old flame of his.”

Jordan closed her eyes at Roger’s news. He was moving on? Or doing it to piss her off? Either way, Jordan felt her chest constrict painfully, and took a shaky breath. It really was over.

“Come on, Jordan. We’ll have fun.”

She looked up at him sadly, taking in his expression. She finally nodded unenthusiastically.

It was all Roger needed and he beamed at her, leaning down quickly to kiss her cheek and squeeze her shoulder. “Great. I’ll call you later about the time and stuff.” He looked back to Jordan, who had rested her face in her hands.

Smiling, Roger left.

----------

TBC

Mar. 19th, 2007

with old cam rdj

Fic: Our Father 7/13

Title: Our Father 7/?
Author: Kelsey
Rating: R for language
Pairing: Danny/Jordan
Spoilers: Up to and including Monday
Word Count: 2150
Summary/Disclaimer: see Chapter 1
Thanks: scoob2222, twwgoldfish12

----------

Danny swaggered into Matt’s office, sitting down in front of him. Matt looked up silently while Danny put his feet up on the coffee table and lounged back with his hands behind his head, a smirk on his face.

“You did it,” Matt said, amazed. “How’d you get her to go in?”

Matt had known about Danny’s plans, but was skeptical as to Jordan’s acceptance of the lesson. “I brought the poetry, my friend.” Danny grinned, arrogantly.

“Shakespeare?”

“Dobson.”

“Nice.” Matt turned back to his laptop while Danny closed his eyes, tilting his head back and smiling to himself.

“She told me she was falling in love with me.” Even just remembering, Danny’s chest tightened pleasurably.

“She said it?” Matt asked, stopping his typing.

“Not directly, but definitely in a Jane Austen kind of way.”

Matt smirked. “So she denied you numerous times because of a misunderstanding, found out it was all about your sister, and then accepted only after you had to pay ridiculous sums of money to keep her family together?”

“I don’t have a sister.”

“I know, I was making fun of the—“

“She quoted her,” Danny cut him off, throwing a pillow at him. Danny stood, and faced the wall. “’To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love.’” He turned back to Matt grinning. “She said she was right.”

Matt smiled, loving this side of Danny. “You memorized that?”

Danny walked over to grab some water. “Are you kidding? Those are the best words I’ve ever heard.”

“Good for you,” Matt said, and then leaned forward, leering. “How’s Izzy?”

Danny laughed, sitting back on the arm of the couch. “She’s really great. She looks fantastic. Crazy as ever.”

Matt grinned. “She hit on you?”

Laughing, Danny slid down onto the cushion. “Of course.”

“I’ll never know how you two got along so well,” Matt said, sitting back and remembering their crazy relationship about fifteen years ago.

“We didn’t talk too much,” Danny said, grinning. “We partied, we danced…”

“I’m just going to stop you right there,” Matt smirked, knowing what else they did a lot of. “What’d Jordan think?”

“I think it was a little weird at first, but she loosened up.” He paused, thinking back and smiling to himself. “Jordan was really great…”

Matt turned back to his work, glancing at Danny. “You guys… ah…?”

Danny choked on his water and turned his head towards Matt, an incredulous grin on his face. “You are not asking me this.”

“What?!” Matt asked, innocently. “I have to live vicariously – until you give Iz my number…”

Danny laughed, standing to leave. “We’re taking it slow. Doing it right.”

“You do know I could read those words either way, right?”

Danny glared at Matt’s remark, making his retreat. “Not yet,” Danny answered. “We just have highly enjoyable…” Danny trailed off, thinking of how to best phrase what they currently did.

“Sex?”

“Kissing.”

“Uh-huh,” Matt said skeptically. “You know,” he added playfully, “you’re getting up there – they do have aids you could—“

“Shut up.” Danny said, grinning. “It’ll happen when it happens.”

“That’s new,” Matt said, knowing Danny’s familiarity with characters such as Lacey, Shayna, and Trinket.

“Now it matters,” he said over his shoulder, leaving the office.

----------

Danny was walking down the hallway around noon when he heard a catcall behind him. Turning, he saw Harriet striding towards him.

“Well if it isn’t the closet romantic…”

Danny groaned, walking on with Harry beside him. “She told you already?”

“Oh yeah,” Harriet said in a seductive voice, mimicking Jordan’s words from last night. Danny laughed, turning towards Matt’s office.

“She even showed me a few steps,” Harriet called out to him, causing Danny to stop and walk back to her.

“Really?” he asked, surprised.

Harriet smiled at him, squeezing his hand. “You did good.” With one last grin, she walked back towards her dressing room.

Danny stood there watching her walk away. Wow. He chuckled to himself. He was going to have to send Iz some flowers.

“Oh God,” he heard Matt moan beside him. Turning, he saw that Matt had walked up to him when he was zoning out, and was now staring at him disgustingly. “What did she say now?” Matt asked, knowing more Jordan news was coming.

“What?” Danny asked, turning to walk back into the office.

“You’re glowing. You know, the two of you make quite the pair. She’s pregnant and glowing, and you… you’re just, you know, sickeningly whatever and glowing.”

“She was showing Harriet some steps she learned.” Matt sat down at his desk, trying not to be jealous of his best friend’s happiness. “Hey, listen,” Danny started. “I’m going to be out for lunch and dinner tonight. That okay?”

“Danny, it’s Friday night!” Matt whined.

“I know, I know.” Danny sighed, running his hand through his hair. “Okay, look. I’ll be out for lunch, and then I’ll come right back after and I’ll be out for about fifteen around six.” Danny raised his eyebrows, silently asking him if that was good.

Matt sighed and glanced at the clock before slouching further down and turning to his screen. “Yeah. What are you doing?”

“Jordan’s got a doctor’s appointment over her lunch break-“

“Is everything okay?” Matt asked, pausing his typing.

“Yeah, just a check-up. Then I want to take some dinner over to her, but I’ll just drop it off.”

“Yeah, that’s good,” Matt replied, staring at the clock.

---------

Danny sat in one of Jordan’s waiting chairs around six, holding a turkey sandwich on his lap and looking at the picture of the baby from the sonogram this afternoon. It was already showing signs of wear, just from him handling it in the last few hours. The doctor’s appointment went well, and he was sure the doctor now knew he was more than just the “executive producer.” They had held hands during the whole thing, Danny staying in the room this time, and watched the monitor together. Afterwards the doctor had printed out two copies, one for each of them, and told them he’d see them in about a month.

Danny smiled, looking at the picture again. “Whatchya got there?” Danny looked up to see Jack standing over him.

Danny stood, looking over to Kevin. “About 5 more minutes,” Kevin told him, turning back to his work.

“Just some dinner and a picture from the appointment today.”

“Oh yeah?” Jack moved to stand beside him so he could see the picture that Danny wouldn’t relinquish. He looked at the picture of the baby and turned to Danny, whose eyes were still focused on the photo.

“Well,” Jack stared, not sure what to do with this new Danny. “I’m just gonna—“

“Look at the toes,” Danny said quietly over Jack.

“What?” Jack said, moving closer again.

“The toes,” Danny said quietly, pointing to them with his thumb. Jack smiled at Danny’s awe and slapped his back again, starting to move back towards his office.

“Hey, Jack…” Jack stopped, turning back to Danny, his eyebrows raised in question. “About all this…” he started, waving the picture around.

Jack started to tell him it was fine, but Danny cut him off. “I mean, I know its not completely professional, but is not like—“ Danny stopped when the door behind Jack opened. Jack turned to look, following Danny’s stony gaze.

For Danny, time slowed to a halt. Out of Jordan’s open door strode Roger, a sneer on his face. He winked at Danny as he approached him, dropping some paper into the trashcan. Danny’s jaw tightened and his grip on the picture tensed. Roger walked by him, bumping his shoulder as he passed.

Danny didn’t turn around, staying in place. Jack noticed the change in Danny and started to ask him what was going on, but Danny ignored him, walking right towards Jordan’s office.

----------

Jordan sat at her desk when she saw Danny walk in, his head down. “Hey,” she said sweetly, standing to come around to him. He had stopped, standing in the middle of her office and she walked up to him, putting her hands on his chest. Up close she noticed something was wrong. He was steaming.

Danny looked up and Jordan took her hands off of him, taking a step back. “What’s wrong?”

“What was he doing in here?”

“What?” Jordan asked, not sure how to deal with his tone.

Danny walked over and dropped her food on the table. He went to stuff the picture into his pocket when Jordan spotted it. “Oh, you have the picture!” she said, moving towards him. “Do you think I could copy it?”

“What?” he looked up to her confused. “Did you lose yours?”

“No, but Roger was here and I gave it to him.”

Danny just looked at her stonily a moment before walking past her and towards the door.

“Danny!” She started walking after him, stepping in front of him before he could open the door. “What is the matter with you?”

“The matter with me?!” Danny asked, incredulous. “You have fucking Roger Beam in your office two seconds ago and you want to know what’s wrong with me?!”

Jordan recoiled at his anger, stepping back. “What is your problem?” she asked angrily.

“My problem? I’ll tell you what my problem is! You and fucking Roger is my problem.”

Jordan stared at him hard, and she turned away from him angrily walking back to her desk. “You’re being ridiculous…”

“Me?!”

“Would you just shut up and listen!” She yelled, turning back to him. “He came in to talk about the baby. He finally admitted he was wrong and wants to be involved Danny!”

“Like hell he does!”

“What is your problem?! He’s the father Danny! I can’t just shut him out because you don’t get along!”

Danny took a deep breath. She needed to understand. Roger didn’t want to be involved; Roger just wanted to fuck with them. With him. “You don’t know the extent of what’s going on here, Jordan.” He said more calmly.

“No, I don’t think you do!”

“He doesn’t want to be involved Jordan! I promise you that! He came here because he wants to piss me off!”

Jordan scoffed at him, hitting her hand on her desk. “Not everything is about you Danny! He wants to be there for us, and I’m glad.”

“No, he doesn’t!”

“I can’t believe you! You should be happy! He’s finally owning up to it!”

“Happy?!” Danny yelled back, angrily striding back and forth across her office. “He insulted you, Jordan! He…” Danny started to stumble over his words, his anger and desperation to make her understand out of control. He knew Roger was in it to hurt them. Both of them. “He… we were at the dinner… and he was talking about the Pick Your Own Meal tank...”

“What the hell are you talking about?!”

“He… He’s just going to hurt you Jordan! He doesn’t care about the baby! He said… he said you fucked him over like the waitresses and the fish…” Danny realized he wasn’t making much sense, but his emotions were out of control. “He wants to piss me off, and this is the perfect way!”

Jordan stared at him hard for a moment, saying nothing. Sadly she turned away from him. “You couldn’t have come up with a better lie, Danny?” She asked referring to his garbled explanation of the night.

“You think I’m lying? Why would I lie?!”

“Because you’re jealous, Danny! You’re angry and you’re jealous and—“

“He called you a blowfish! Or, or... or a catfish! He—he said you were… that you fuck around and- and that you’re a blowfish, Jordan!”

“Get out.” Jordan looked into his eyes, wild with anger.

“No. I’m not going to let you listen to him.”

“Well too bad for you Danny, because you don’t control me! You’re not the father, Danny! He is. You’re not and you never will be! Get out of my office!”

Her words knocked the breath out of Danny. The anger drained out of him at her words, and he stood there, desperation taking over. “Jordan…” he tried pleading one more time, his heart breaking.

She turned away from him, facing her desk. “Get out.” He heard her whisper and he walked out of the office, shutting the door as he left. Standing in the hallway numbly looking at her door, he was overwhelmed with such anguish and anger he couldn’t breathe.

She didn’t believe him. She had said she loved him, but when put up against Roger, she didn’t believe him.

Roger.

Overcome with a sudden wave of anger and nausea, Danny reared his fist back, punching the wall blindly. With that he strode away, opting to sprint down the stairs, her words repeating over and over in his head.

You’re not the father. He is. You’re not. You never will be.

Get out.


----------

TBC

Mar. 17th, 2007

with old cam rdj

Fic: Our Father 6/?

Title: Our Father 6/?
Author: Kelsey
Rating: PG-13 for now
Pairing: Danny/Jordan
Spoilers: Up to and including Monday
Word Count: 3000
Summary/Disclaimer: see Chapter 1
Thanks: scoob2222, twwgoldfish12

Previously:
They walked a few more steps, stopping in front of a door. “Okay, take it off.”

Danny grabbed her hand, while she pulled off the bandana grinning.


----------

And her face promptly fell. They were standing in front of Isabella’s Dance Studio, posters on the door advertising lessons for couples. Danny felt her stiffen beside him and turned to look at her. “Jordan…”

“No.” She said sternly, pulling her hand out of his and starting back down the steps.

“Jordan!” Danny raced after her, chasing her down until he could weasel beside her to get in front of her. He put his hands up, stopping her. “Wait.”

Jordan tried pushing past him, but he put his arm on her bicep, pleading with her. “Listen to me…”

She pulled out of his grip and started by him. “I can’t believe you.”

“Jordan…”

“Damn it, Danny!” She slammed her hand into the front door, realizing she had nowhere to go.

“Jordan, listen-“

“Who told you?!” she yelled, embarrassment turning her face red with anger.

“Jordan…”

“Forget it. I should have known better after the letters—“ she started, Danny not liking the implication.

“Wait a minute, there,” Danny said, anger started to rise in him too. “This wasn’t some…some ploy to, to make you… I mean, this wasn’t supposed to be-“

“Supposed to be what, Danny?! Because I’ll tell you what it looks like from here!”

“Tell me then, Jordan! What does it look like?!”

“It looks like you deliberately-“

“Because I’ll tell you what it is! I want to take you to the Ball! And I thought—“

“You thought what? You have no idea what you’re playing at here, Danny! No idea what it was like…” she trailed off, turning away as her voice cracked.

Danny softened at her tone, taking a step toward her to stand in front of her. “Tell me then, Jordan.”

“No!” she said pushing him in the chest. “You don’t get to do that! You don’t get to act all charming, just so I’ll say yes, and you can tote me around, like you’ve won the game!”

“The game?”

She started to turn away from him. “You’ve been chasing me around and now you want to-“

“Wait a minute!” Danny yelled, grabbing her arm and spinning her back to him. “You’re in this too! You make it sound like all this was against your will! I wasn’t the one in the car with my hand on your—“

This was against my will, Danny! I don’t want to go to the Ball, okay?!”

“Why?! Why can’t you just be with me, without—“

“You know why, Danny!”

“I’m not him!!”

The two stopped yelling, breathing heavily and staring at each other.

Danny took a deep breath to calm himself and looked down at his feet. “I’m not him Jordan. I’m not going to go there and make you do something you don’t want to do. I’m not going to hurt you, and I can guarantee you I’m not going to leave you. Either of you.” He looked up at her, meeting her eyes. “I’m not him.”

Jordan deflated at his words and took a seat on the steps. “Why did you bring me here then? If you don’t want to make me do something I don’t want to do, why bring me here?”

Danny looked down at her and then sat next to her, taking her hand in his. “You don’t like dancing, and you think that’s what messed it up last time…”

“I don’t think that that’s what messed it up-“

“Okay, but that was the turning point.” He paused, looking down at their hands intertwined. “There were a lot of people there...” She looked away and he squeezed her hand, trying to turn her back.

“It’s stupid,” she muttered.

“It’s not stupid. I scheduled a private lesson—just you, me, and an instructor. No one will know. I just…” he paused, wondering how to get through to her. “Jordan.” She turned back to him. “If after this you still don’t want to go, we don’t go. This isn’t some trophy thing -- you should know that’s not me.” He searched her eyes when she didn’t say anything. “You do know that, right?”

She nodded and he wrapped an arm around her waist. “I want to hold you in my arms,” he said simply, and she looked up to him. “I want to feel you swaying against me, and I want to press my cheek to your forehead and lead you to the music.” He smiled down at her. “Frank Sinatra said music leads the way to romance…”

Jordan smiled back, leaning over to kiss him gently. She leaned back after a moment. “You do know you’re quoting, ‘I Won’t Dance,’ right?”

Danny laughed, pulling her closer and resting his cheek against the top of her head. “I hoped you didn’t know that.”

Jordan took a deep breath, thinking and enjoying Danny’s embrace. He wasn’t Scott or Roger, and she knew that. He wasn’t going to make her do anything she wasn’t comfortable with, and he was willing to go to all this trouble to help her get past her fear and her past. Jordan’s heart swelled thinking of him.

Danny felt her take a breath and helped her to her feet. “Come on, I’ll take you to a movie or something.” He started to walk towards the door, but Jordan pulled on his hand, bringing him back to her.

“Jane Austen said, ‘To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love.’”

He smiled, not knowing where this was leading, but loving the implication. “You memorized that?”

She scoffed at him, brushing her hair back. “Please. I’m a woman. Every woman knows Pride and Prejudice.”

“Excuse me, then,” he said with mock indignation. Their shared smile betrayed their fun.

Jordan’s grin faded and she squeezed his hand. “Just you and me?”

He nodded hesitantly. He wasn’t sure if she was ready now that they had discussed it, but he hoped she would take his words to heart. “Just you and me.”

She looked down, thinking it over, but mainly for his sake. She was still nervous, but even just the feeling of his hand in hers strengthened her resolve to get past this—for herself and for them.

Danny stepped closer so he was standing one step below her. He dropped her hand and tilted his head to catch her eye so she would look up. When she met his eyes he saw her hesitation, but also her resolve and emotion.

He had one more under his belt. He leaned up and kissed her forehead, before pulling back to whisper. “O, Love's but a dance, Where Time plays the fiddle. O, Love's but a dance, A whisper, a glance, ’Shall we twirl down the middle?’"

He held out his hand in silent question. Jordan looked at him closely and smiled, taking his hand and leading him up the stairs.

----------

“Danny!”

“Hey, Iz,” Danny led Jordan into the room by the hand, dropping it as the woman came over. Jordan eyed her cautiously. The two obviously knew each other, and she watched as, who she could only assume to be Isabella, strode up to him.

Danny moved his hand to the woman’s waist and quickly pecked her lips, before Isabella stepped back, looking towards Jordan. Danny reached behind him, grabbing Jordan’s hand and gently pulling her forward. “Isabella Moretti, this is Jordan McDeere. Jordan, Iz.”

Jordan held out her hand and the two shook, each eying each other. “Nice to meet you,” Jordan said, stepping back towards Danny.

“Likewise.” Isabella turned and walked over to the windowsill, turning on some spicy salsa music. “So you two want some lessons, huh?”

Jordan looked worriedly up at Danny when she heard the music Isabella had put on. Danny laughed at her expression. “Relax,” he whispered, squeezing her hand and smiling. “Nice, Iz.” He yelled, turning back to their instructor. “No, you know I wanted something a little more… elegant?”

Isabella turned to him smirking. “Salsa can be pretty smooth, Danny. I’m sure you remember.” She gave him a feisty look, and Jordan wondered exactly what kind of history the two of them had. From her looks, at one time they had obviously been together.

Danny looked down to Jordan. “Give me a sec?” he whispered. At her nod, he let go of Jordan’s hand, heading over to Isabella.

He leaned down close to her ear, while she changed her shoes into something more suitable for ballroom dancing. “Hey, give me a break, huh?”

She grinned up at him. “Just having some fun, Daniel.”

He laughed at her look, helping her up when she had secured her shoes. “Well, we’re kinda nervous here,” he said, nodding slightly back towards Jordan. “Lay off?”

“Sure.” She said, straightening her skirt.

He looked down at her, smiling. “I’ve missed you, Iz.”

She gazed up at him, smirking. “You too.” She glanced down before looking back into his face. “But its good you’re not over here too much anymore…” she drifted off, touching his arm to soften her comments. She knew her studio was a few blocks from his old hangouts. And she had seen him at his worst, drugged out of his mind, and was just happy to see how he had straightened out.

He smiled and went to turn back towards Jordan, when Isabella whispered his name, stopping him. “You look happy.”

He grinned, turning to look at Jordan before turning back. “I am.”

She smiled and shooed him back to his date. Danny walked back up to Jordan, who had been studying the pictures on the wall, while trying not to let Danny’s private conversation bother her. He walked behind her, snaking his arms around her waist and resting his head on her shoulder.

“Ready?”

She turned as he pulled back to see her expression. Nodding she let him lead her over to Isabella.

“Alright, Danny. Why don’t you get Jordan into the closed position while I fix the music.” Isabella walked over to the stereo and Danny took Jordan’s hand, positioning it on his upper arm, and placing the other in his hand. Jordan smiled, surprised at this side of him. She wouldn’t have thought it before, but apparently Danny had some dancing in his past.

He moved her feet into proper position and dropped his hand to her back, before pulling her closer so the right halves of their bodies were touching from thigh to torso. Danny grinned down at her, running his hand over her back while they stood, waiting for Isabella to return.

“You good?” He whispered, trying to tilt his head to better read her face.

She had been studying their footing, but looked up at his words. Smiling, she leaned further into his body suggestively. “Mmm hmmm.”

Danny’s smirk grew wider, and he was about to lean towards her lips when Isabella walked up to them.

“Nice. Okay, I’m going to play some music and we’ll just start with what is called the forward and back basics of the foxtrot. I’ll say the count, and Danny, you know what to do. It’s going to be slow, slow, quick, quick. Jordan, you’ll let Danny lead you, but you’ll take one step back with your right leg, one back with your left, one right with your right, and then join it with the left. Slow, slow, quick, quick. Ready? Okay.”

She pushed the button on her remote to key the music, and stood next to Jordan, walking with her while Danny led her through the steps. Isabella chanted the count while Danny and Jordan moved across the room.

“Okay, good. That’s good.” Isabella watched them for a few more steps. “Okay, stop there guys.”

She walked up to them, noticing the grin Jordan shot Danny. “I want to try what’s called The Promenade. Jordan, this starts off the same way…” she stepped up to Danny, taking his hand and stepping in, while Jordan stood back to watch.

“You do the back with right, back with left, right with right, join with left, and then you’re going to turn out. See how our bodies are now facing the right?” Jordan nodded and Isabella continued. “Okay, then you take a step forward with your right, and then one with your left. And notice how the left side of my body stays against the right of Danny’s.” They paused, while she pointed out their positions. “And then you finish, turning your bodies back so that you are again facing, and take a right step the same way, and join it with the left.” She stepped back from him and Jordan joined in.

“Same count, slow… slow… quick, quick, slow… slow… quick, quick. Try that guys.”

Jordan looked down at their feet while they moved flawlessly. This wasn’t as hard as she thought before. In fact, she was looking forward to showing it off. Danny moved his hand from her back to her chin, tilting her head up. “Look at me.”

She tried not turning back to their feet, and just stared into Danny’s eyes, letting his body lead her though the motions.

The sounds of Isabella’s count were lost on Danny, as he watched Jordan take this step in her life. It humbled him that she would do this for him. He had wanted to help her, but wasn’t naïve enough not to consider that she might be mad initially. He was glad that they got past it, and all he could think about was how her body felt pressed against his, moving to the music. His heart swelled, and he honestly thought that might have been the best moment of his life.

Jordan’s eyes radiated concentration and he noticed how her bangs held the slightest indication of perspiration. He felt her hand squeeze his shoulder and he was aware of the heat of her body through their proximity.

After about an hour of rehearsing various simple steps, Isabella announced a complete lesson, and Jordan thought she would be ready for the ball. “Let me run upstairs for the register, and I’ll be right back.” Isabella started up the stairs and Danny wandered over to the stereo, messing with the CDs until Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” came over the airwaves.

He walked up to Jordan, who had been leaning against the wall, and held his hand out, taking hers and leading her back to the middle of the floor. “She’s coming right back…” she whispered, even though she followed him onto the floor.

“Dance with me.” Danny took her arms, moving them up to his shoulders. He dropped his to her lower back and pulled her body closer to his, slipping one leg in between hers.

Time stopped for both of them and Jordan dropped her head to his chest, sliding one hand down to his upper arm, while her other hand played with the hair at the back of his neck. Danny took a deep breath and swayed them to the music, dropping his hands lower to her waist.

Their hips swayed back and forth, and Jordan tried to move closer so their bodies were pressed together from the thigh up. Danny kissed her forehead and inhaled the scent of her hair, dropping his forehead to her neck and resting it there, before placing gentle kisses along her shoulder. Jordan sighed and moved her head back, opening up her neck to him and closing her eyes, enjoying his caress. Danny ran kisses along the column of her neck, and exhaling sharply Jordan pulled her head back, meeting his eyes. They focused on each other before Danny leaned down and softly brought his lips to hers. Instinctively his hands tightened on her hips, and Jordan rose up onto her toes, tilting her head to deepen their kiss.

“Sorry about the wait.” The sound of Isabella’s voice at the top of the stairs broke them apart, and although she didn’t catch the kiss, their reactions after breaking apart put a grin on her face. Jordan casually walked over to gather her things and Danny waited for Isabella. “I guess you’re not,” Iz muttered to Danny as she passed him, grabbing a pen from the desk.

Danny took his card back from Isabella, signing the receipt. She was going to give them the lesson for free, but Danny insisted on paying her. Grinning he flicked the pen back at her. “Thanks, Iz. I really appreciate it.”

“No problem, babe.” She leaned in one more time and kissed his cheek. “If you ever need a partner…” she faded off smirking, and he laughed, remembering the crazy days of his past.

He glanced over at Jordan gathering their stuff, before he turned back to Isabella. “I think I’m set.”

They both smiled at each other and Danny walked back over to Jordan.

----------

The walked down the stairs, and Danny held the door open for Jordan as they passed back into the night silently. Danny led them to the car and unlocked her door, before moving to walk around to his side. Jordan grabbed his sleeve and pulled him back to her. She kissed him quickly on the lips, and pulled back. “Thank you.”

He grinned, leaning into her. “So, about the Ball…”

“Yes.”

“Yes?”

“Yes.”

He grinned, pulling her in for a hug and lifting her off of the ground. She laughed and he put her back down, but kept his arms around her. They stared at each other for a moment and Jordan looked down hesitantly before meeting his eyes again. “I think Jane Austen was right.”

Danny remembered her quote and smiled, leaning close to her lips, but not bringing them together. “Oh yeah?”

She closed the distance between them, pulling back for a second. “Oh yeah.” He grinned, pulling her to him.

They were going to the Ball.

----------

TBC

Feb. 13th, 2007

with old cam rdj

Fic: The Final Leap

Title: The Final Leap
Author: Kelsey
Rating: PG-13 (swear word)
Fandom: West Wing
Pairing: Josh/Donna
Spoilers: Up to and including Faith Based Initiative. Oh how I love the Bradley writing.
Disclaimer: All Aaron’s. Not mine.
Word Count: 3000
A/N: You guys mentioned you wanted a J/D fic and this is the only one I had completely finished (I’m finishing the others though now). I wrote it about three years ago, just a one shot, so be gentle. I used parts of it for an in-class assignment, so it may be more explanatory than you would think at the start, so that my teacher knew what I was talking about. He wasn’t a winger unfortunately. Although I did try my hardest to convert him. And be prepared for some angst/sappiness. Hope you like.

-----

A jogging shadow rapidly ascended the cool grey stone steps in the middle of the busy city as the woman ran up her stairs to the front door of her small apartment building. As she unlocked the door, ready to get in out of the chilly fall air, she was suddenly hit with a strong sense of sadness, such as she had been experiencing lately. Rationalizing as usual, she thought that the subject of the sadness was doing fine and she was as well. She certainly didn’t need him.

She closed the door, trying to get her mind onto another subject. As she cursed her small apartment, she thought of him again and how he would always nag her about the bad neighborhood she lived in. Then it would be her turn to bug him about a pay raise, he would call her impossible and try and fire her, she would say ‘impervious,’ and they’d go back to their usual comfortable silence, when neither would talk, but they’d both be wondering what if. What if their jobs didn’t run their lives; what if they could explore this interesting relationship they had.

With a sigh she plopped onto the couch, wondering why she had left him and the work she had loved so much.

Independence.

She knew that she needed it, but couldn’t help missing her old job and working with him. Even if he was impossible.

The woman was startled out of her reverie as her cell phone rang. She sighed, thinking it was probably Will, calling her back to go over some more numbers for the campaign.

“Hello?”

“Donna?” Josh expectantly asked, from the couch in his Georgetown apartment. He nursed the remnants of his second beer, the effects already getting to him. He thought of how she always teased him about his “sensitive system.”

“Josh?”

“Yeah. Listen, I need to know-“ Josh slurred.

Donna interrupted him, “Josh are you drunk?”

“What?”

“Are you drunk?” She demanded.

“No.” he muttered, trying to sound offended.

Donna looked down at her hands, sighing. “Josh, I don’t have time for this right now. You’re drunk and I have a lot to do.”

“A lot to…” he trailed off questioningly.

“Yes, believe it or not, I’m my own work to do and I have to go.”

“Donna—“ Josh whispered.

Immediately regretting her words, Donna sighed. She really didn’t want to hurt him, but found she couldn’t stop. She so didn’t want to deal with this right now. Did he really have to keep popping up, reminding her how good they had had it once?

“I’m sorry…. I’m just not ready for this yet.”

Thinking back to how he had tried to put her off last moth because he didn’t want to have a certain conversation, he answered, “How come that didn’t work for me?”

“What?”

“I tried to tell you I wasn’t ready--"

“That was different, Josh,” she rationalized. “I’m sure you have a lot of work to do too, so-“

“I quit,” he interrupted.

“What?” she asked, confused.

“I quit, I resigned.” Josh paused, “I’m working with Santos.” Josh still had doubts whether it was a good idea to have quit as Deputy Chief of Staff to work on a campaign that had no money and a long-shot candidate.

Donna took a moment to take that in. She didn’t want to ponder too long that he had left right after she left him. Almost as if there wasn’t anything holding him there anymore-- No. She wouldn’t let herself go there. He left because the date was approaching when Santos would have to declare. No other reason.

“Well good for you Josh, he seems like a promising choice.” She attempted misdirection, remembering what he asked.

“You didn’t answer my question.”

“Josh…” she started.

“Dammit, Donna! Answer the question. You quit!” Josh yelled into his handheld, temper building. He thought back to the week when he tried to blow her off at work. “I was busy Donna! Bartlet was having another MS attack, Vinick was making a strong showing, everyone else was on their way to talks in fucking China! Without me!” he added in a fury. “And NASA was on my back about a damn asteroid! Forgive me if I didn’t have ten minutes to talk to you!”

“That’s not it Josh and you know it!” she yelled back angrily. “You’d been blowing me off for weeks and I couldn’t stick around to be your secretary! Excuse me for putting my career before you! You’ve done it enough to me.”

“I’ve never done it to you, Donna. I flew to Germany to be with you!” he shouted as he thought back to the scariest moment of his life, when he heard Donna had been in a car that was bombed on the Gaza Strip. “And don’t say I didn’t give you responsibilities,” he continued.

Donna started to interrupt but Josh continued on. “You’re not a secretary Donna and I’ve never treated you like one. You didn’t graduate college and I gave you diplomatic duties. For God’s sake, I sent you to Gaza!”

“And I got blown up!!!” she exploded. Suddenly Donna realized what she said and took a harsh breath.

The other end was quiet for a few moments. “Yes. You did.” Josh whispered sadly.

Donna tried to take it back, “Josh, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean that you-- Josh, it wasn’t your fault.” Donna paused, waiting for a response. “Josh?”

“No, you’re right Donna. You’re right and I’m just…” he paused, his quiet voice full of guilt, “I’m happy that-“

Donna interrupted, “Josh, it wasn’t your fault. I didn’t mean-“

“I’m happy that you got your wish and are doing well,” he finished.

“Josh!” Donna shouted desperately. She had to make him understand.

“Goodbye, Donna.”

“Josh, it wasn’t your fau-“ Donna was cut off by the sound of a “click” on the other line.

Josh hung up the phone and dropped his beer bottle, spilling it on the wooden floor. He sat up on the couch and buried his head in his hands, taking a deep gulp of air and trying to keep it together. He had suppressed the guilt for Donna for so long and with all the other guilt he felt for everything else, he was overwhelmed. It was over. She really did blame him. He abruptly stood up, grabbed his coat and headed out into the cold night.

-----

After Josh hung up, Donna quickly changed into her sweats, grabbed her keys and ran down the stairs to her car. She sped over to his apartment and ran up the steps, using her key to get into his apartment.

Donna hesitantly entered and looked around, picking up the bottle and setting it on a coaster on the table. Going back outside, she saw his Audi still parked there and knew he was out walking.

-----

Josh had sobered up considerably after the conversation with Donna. He pulled his coat tightly around him, his face chilled and his eyes stinging. He hated that he called. He hated that he missed her so much and he felt so isolated from his friends. He really was alone, and now without Donna, he had never felt so lonely in his life.

Josh knew why she was upset. He knew he was pushing her away, but he wasn’t ready to tell her. He’d spent years concealing it and if he told her, she’d quit. So he didn’t. And when she wanted to talk to him, he knew she’d either quit and leave him, or she would want to talk about Gaza. And knowing that he sent her and she was blown up because of him, he couldn’t face it.

He knew she needed help dealing with it, but he was afraid he wouldn’t be able to help her. He was afraid the PTSD would come back from the shooting, and he might hurt her recovery. He almost lost her to a car bomb before, he couldn’t hurt her again. Joanie died in a fire that he escaped, his Dad died while he was away, Hoynes was hurt because of him, Bartlet was shot with him, and Donna almost died because he sent her.

“Josh?”

He spun around, startled, to find Donna standing wearily behind him, her car parked about twenty feet away.

“Josh,” she whispered quietly as she came toward him, her hand outstretched to wipe the wetness off his face. Josh quickly backed away, as if her hand were fire. Josh registered the sudden hurt in Donna's eyes and snapped. He couldn’t take it anymore.

“No!” he yelled, startling her. “Dammit Donna, look at yourself!” he yelled at her, his voice cracking. He gasped and tried to continue. “Look what I do to you! Why don’t you just-- You quit, so leave!”

Donna felt a tear run down her own cheek as she heard him yell at her. Hurt and angry she responded, “You’re trying to push me away Josh! I don’t want to leave so just stop it!!”

“If you don’t want to, why did you?!” He yelled. “No, you know what, nevermind. It’s good you left, you quit, you left, so just go!”

“Why are you doing this?!!!” she begged, taking a step closer to him.

“Because I almost killed you!!” Josh wailed before choking, no longer able to speak. He took a hard look at her tear stained face and turned away, trying to escape.

Donna recovered and called after him. “Josh!” She started to follow and reached out for his arm, spinning him to face her. “Don’t walk away from me!” she demanded. Defeated, Josh couldn’t meet her eye.

“It’s the only thing I can do.” He looked at her then and gently put his palm on her cheek, wiping the tears away with his thumb. “Look what I do to you. I sent you there and you were almost killed. All I do is hurt you. Look at you,” he murmured, taking in her face and red eyes. “Look what I do to you.”

“Josh…” she tried, wanting to tell him that he was wrong. He gave her a small wistful smile, ran his fingers over her face one last time, and turned and walked away.

“Josh!” She yelled desperately for him, to no avail. “Josh!” Sobbing, she climbed into her car and pulled out her cell phone.

-----

Josh stayed out another hour just walking and thinking. He knew he loved Donna, but he couldn’t tell her. She deserved better. She deserved someone who wouldn’t take advantage of her. Someone who would give her everything he couldn’t. Someone who didn’t hurt her. Walking away was the best thing he could do for her.

He climbed the steps to his apartment and slowly entered his dark kitchen. Shedding his coat, he let it fall to the floor and hit play on his message machine, before collapsing onto his couch. He rolled to his side and shut his eyes as he heard her voice on the machine.

“Josh. I don’t know what to say to you except that you're wrong. God Josh it was not your fault that any of that happened in Gaza. I asked you to go, I wanted to go. It is not your fault. It will never be your fault.” She paused and Josh could tell she was trying to keep it together.

“You said that all you do is hurt me. You have no idea what you do to me Josh, and I can tell you that the last thing you do is hurt me… You rescued me Josh. You gave me a place to start over and those seven years with you have been the best of my life.” Josh closed his eyes tightly, his chest constricting at her words.

“I learned what it means to depend on someone, and have them depend on me. I learned what it means to have a best friend, someone to stay up late talking to, someone who would save me.” Donna stifled a sob and Josh’s fists tightened.

“That’s what you did Josh. You saved me. Every day I looked forward to coming into the White House and I could say I did something. I worked for Jed Bartlet and I served our country. But you know what I was always thinking instead?” Donna paused, weighing her words. “I get to spend my day with Josh Lyman, bantering, fixing your damn computer, not bringing you coffee…” Josh smiled to himself. “Sitting on the floor eating pizza and going over your reports,” she continued. “spending weekends together. I lived my past seven years for you and I can tell you Josh, you haven’t hurt me. The shooter from West Virginia White Pride hurt me, the president’s MS lies hurt me, but you made it go away and were always there Josh.”

Donna paused and Josh heard her take a shaky breath. “You’re wrong and I can’t lose the one person in my life that means the most to me. For the first time you did tonight, but only after I hurt you. I’m so sorry Josh, and I need you. I understand if you are having a hard time with this, but nothing was your fault except making me feel indescribably happy for these past seven years. I need you Josh. But it’s up to you.”

Josh heard the beep of the machine and opened his eyes. He saw the beer bottle sitting on the coaster and abruptly got up off the couch.

-----

Donna was sitting on her couch, crawled up with her robe and sweats and a mug of hot chocolate. She heard her phone ring and hesitantly picked up the handheld.

“I’m sorry.” Josh whispered when she picked up.

Donna let out a relieved sigh. “You don't have to-”

“Donna..” he started and then stopped, taking a deep breath. “I need to say this because there is something to apologize for and I have to tell you this, so just bear with me…” he paused, shutting his eyes and steeling himself. “I need you. I needed you as an assistant, as someone to keep me in line, and even if you didn’t work with me, I would still need you. And I’m sorry because I was selfish and took too long to give you what you deserved, because I thought you’d leave me. Then when I finally decided to do it, I sent you away to almost--”

“Josh-“ she tried to interrupt.

“And I know somewhere in me that it's not my fault, but you know that’s just not the way my mind works, with everyone’s that left me and everything that’s happened. Then when you came home.. I was scared, Donna. It was my fault, and I couldn't help because I thought I’d hurt you more. But that hurt us both. And I knew you said I never did, but I did then and I’m sure I have before, so I’m sorry for that too. I never meant to push you away and then when I did, and you said you wanted to talk... I thought either you would quit and leave me, or you wanted to talk about Gaza. I didn’t know if I could face that and help you. But now I’m ready and when you are, I want you to talk to me about it."

“Josh…”

“Hold on, just a little more,” he paused, taking a breath. “I’m sorry Donna. I’m sorry I pushed you away when all I wanted--" Josh stopped abruptly and closed his eyes. "I need you too and I want to be the person that you talked about on the phone, but I’m scared. You know me, Donna. I work too much, I don’t take care of myself, I’m not good at this and I'm a mess, Donna... But I don’t think I could go knowing that I can never- hold you and wipe away your tears, and listen to your useless trivia.…” Josh paused, and took a deep breath, “And stand outside your door wishing to be near you.” Josh stopped, while inside the apartment Donna took a sharp breath.

Suddenly she heard a knock on the door and got up holding the phone to her ear still. She opened the door and saw Josh leaning against the door frame, his cell to his ear. He stared into her eyes and continued speaking into the phone.

“I love you Donna, but I don’t know what to do.”

Donna looked down only a fraction of a second and then made eye contact, thinking of the argument she had made seven years ago in a New Hampshire “Bartlet for President” campaign office.

“I think we could be good Josh. I think you might find us valuable.”

Josh let out the breath he hadn’t realized he was holding. He clicked his phone shut and slowly moved forward, doing what he had wanted to do for so long.

-----

FIN
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