Author: Anne Marsh
Title: Astute Third ficlet in the series.
Rating: PG-ish. *shrug*
Pairing: Josh/Sam
Summary: Sometimes you put one and one together and you come up with things.
Archive: Yes.
Feedback: Please and thank you

Astute by Anne Marsh

I heard the door open, and my head snapped up. It was just Donna, even though I hadn't expected her just now.

"Didn't I tell you I was going to be busy and that I didn't need to be disturbed?" I sighed, rubbing my nosebridge.

"Yes. But you also told me you were working on the Denman thing, and you left the files with Sam."

"Oh." Well, that shut me up.

"Um... speaking of Sam?"

I didn't like that lilt to her voice. It meant she was going to say something I wouldn't like.

"Donna, is this an absolute necessity, that we talk about Sam right now?" Not that he's not one of my favourite subjects, but Donna really doesn't need to know *that*.

"Josh, I happen to be particularly astute."

I groaned, burying my face in the palm of one hand. "No no no no no, not this, not again..."

"What?"

"This is starting to sound suspiciously like a talk I've already had with Joey Lucas. And also with CJ before her. And Donna, if this is the same talk, I am not going to be happy. And no, you're not astute."

"Well, I'm sorry, Josh, but this is the talk I've got, and I really can't help it if you think it sounds like a talk you've had before." She informed me. "And I am astute. Are you sleeping with him?"

I looked up at her.

"You know, knocking boots, doing the horizontal mambo--"

"Donna, I know what you're talking about, that isn't the problem."

"Having the sex, making the love, doing the nasty--"

"Donna! Stop it, right now! And I really, *really* never want to hear you use the phrase 'doing the nasty' again, *especially* in reference to Sam and I, or in fact, Sam in general."

"Okay." She said, in a manner suggesting that I had somehow overreacted, which I had *not*.

I went back to work with the newly-recovered Denman files. Donna didn't leave.

"Ahem?" I looked at her.

"Well are you?"

"What?" I scowled.

"Sleeping with Sam. Doin' the wild thang, gettin' your groove on, bumping--"

"Donna! Never, *ever* finish that sentence."

"I'm sorry, but I have a lot of synonyms." She said calmly. "But you are, aren't you?"

"No." I lied, feeling very persecuted by the female gender.

"I'm sorry." She said, her face softening into-- actual sympathy? She patted my shoulder.

"What? What do you mean 'sorry'? Why would you be sorry?"

"Because you want to sleep with Sam." She explained. "I thought you already were, but maybe I'm not as astute as I thought I was."

"Donna... are you on crack or something? I'm not saying we couldn't deal with it calmly, but I should know if you're on crack..."

"What, you're like, all over him." She snorted.

"I'm not all over him."

"Yeah, you kind of are. A lot of the time. You know, even when the two of you aren't getting more handsy than your average pair of buddies, you give that impression. Of being all over each other. Even across the room. It's freakish."

"Sam and I are *not* freakish!" I shouted.

"Oh, no, not in a bad way!" She said quickly. "It's really kinda cute. You know, the way you speak in shorthand with each other, and how you guys read each other's minds, and how you do dumb stuff together, like setting the White House on fire--"

"We didn't set the White House on fire, Donna, we--"

"You know, and like, the way you look at him. It's totally cute. I just thought you guys were tripping the light fantastic already."

I stared at her. "Tripping the--? Nevermind. You know what, nevermind."

"Josh, it's okay, you know. He looks at you, too."

"I know." I sighed. "Yes, Donna. Yes. Sam and I are-- we're--"

"Engaging in 'indoor sports'."

"What? No, we-- We're lovers."

"See, that's my astuteness." She looked smug.

"No one's, um, supposed to know."

She laughed.

"What?"

"What do you mean, what?"

"You laughed. When I said no one was supposed to know. You laughed. I'm asking you what, why for?"

"Oh, well, you know. It's kind of an open secret. All the girls think--" She stopped.

"All the girls think...? All the girls think what, Donna?"

"All the girls think you're doing it."

"We're not 'doing it'!" I shouted, getting to my feet and raising my arms dramatically to the heavens. "For crying out loud, it's not about that!"

"People outside can hear you." She said, unperturbed. I sat back down.

"All the girls?"

"Yeah. CJ, Carol, Cathy, Bonnie, Ginger, Margaret--"

"Margaret knows?"

"Yeah. I used to be-- Well, *now* I think it's cute."

"Used to be... what?"

"Nothing." She said quickly. "So. I am astute." Still smiling smugly.

"Donna?"

"Yes?"

"Get out."

~FIN~

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