Title: This Music
Author: Michelle K. (CageyGrl@yahoo.com)
Site: http://glimmershine.tripod.com
Archive: Sound challenge archive, list archives, myself. Anyone else, ask.
Rating: R
Fandom: The West Wing
Pairing: Margaret/Donna
Summary: They have their own melody.
Disclaimer: Not mine. Don't sue.
Notes: Written for the sound challenge (http://sound.gatefiction.com)

*

This Music by Michelle K.

They're in the mess, Donna's fingernails tapping on the table, Margaret pushing uneaten food around with her fork. Neither is talking - if they talked, they'd have to dance around the issues that live between them. Granted, this dance has been willful for a couple of years, but they're both too tired and it's way too late.

Margaret can hear their music screeching to a halt.

Then Josh comes over, mumbling about going out for a few drinks. Still tapping, pushing, scraping until Donna chirps out, "Okay."

Margaret's silent, for she's not invited. She never would be - Donna's the only assistant ever elevated to the level of drinking buddy just by virtue of being Josh's...whatever the hell she is. She chastises herself for being jealous when she's only a casual sex partner.

She can feel Donna's eyes on her, then "You can come, if you want," and Margaret hears a promise, the promise of sex, the promise that this dance isn't over.

The music's soft, but she says, "Okay," anyway, because she's never been the first to walk away. Years worth of former lovers laugh at her persistence.

Donna's fingers have stopped tapping.

*

In the bar there's talking, screaming, laughing, music fit for line dancing. And their music is slightly stronger, fueled by beer and the way Donna's leaning towards her.

Then, Donna starts stealing little looks at Josh, and the music's fading. Donna laughs at some comment he's made, and she can barely hear the melody over the din of activity.

Banter. "Joshua."

"Donnatella." More banter.

She's foolish for taking this so seriously, foolish for wanting her in the first place. This was just an experiment; gay woman plus straight girl equals one person in love.

Such a damn cliché, and then she's tapping her fingers and Sam's watching her. "You okay?" he says, and she hears empathy in his voice, sees knowledge in his eyes, and she's being told a story without words.

"I'm fine," she says, and the lie pounds against her skin.

*

Amy picks up Josh; Sam takes a cab. Donna semi-yells, "Just one more drink, okay? Then we can go."

Donna's hand is on her leg, and there's the music again, although maybe it's just the echo of self-delusion.

"It's fine." She's still lying.

*

The door to her apartment slams like it has a will of its own. Donna kisses her, pushes her against the wall. A picture falls but doesn't break.

Donna laughs again.

"Are you in love with him?" Margaret asks.

Donna blinks. "Who?"

Margaret can't tell if the ignorance is real or feigned. "Josh."

"No."

The answer is so quick, Margaret believes it whether it's truthful or not. The music gets louder, the kiss turns deeper. Then it's just clothes sliding off skin, clasps being undone, zippers getting pulled down.

Arching, grinding, licking, sucking. "Oh my God, don't stop doing that," and all the other things Donna utters when her fingers are gripping sheets. Crying out, and the music reaches a climax.

Silence until Donna kisses her, pushes skin against skin, and the music's unrelenting. Donna's mouth and fingers. Not hearing anything but her own gasps.

Another climax, more silence.

Then, Donna's next to her. Maybe there's music, maybe there's not, and maybe it doesn't matter right now.

*

When she wakes, Donna's putting on her clothes. A tiny smile and "Hey," and the music is jumbled, as it always is on the mornings after.

"Don't go," she says, pleading in every letter. She hates how it sounds.

"I have to. I need to change, because Josh needs me in--"

"It's Sunday. Even Leo is a little flexible on Sunday."

Donna's furrowed brow, the look of someone painted by their little white lie. "I...I just need to--"

"We should talk about this," Margaret says.

Donna smoothes out her shirt. "About what?"

The music comes to a halt; even it's confused by this. "About why we never talk about this," she ventures.

"It's just...it's just sex, Margaret. You said that yourself."

There's no emotion in her voice, and Margaret's not sure if her face is conveying bitterness, sadness, or complete indifference.

"Maybe I don't believe that anymore," she replies.

"Maybe you should," Donna counters.

No more words are spoken, but Margaret can hear the click of Donna's heels as she walks away. The music's still in the background, telling her that this isn't quite over.

But when she hears it, she wishes she could stop dancing.

THE END

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