Story [The West Wing] Election Day - Josh/Donna - OTP Holiday Challenge

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by mavjade , Feb 20, 2017.

  1. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Sep 10, 2005
    Title: Election Day
    Author: mavjade
    Fandom: The West Wing
    Timeline: 12-ish years post show. (Comes before my story He'll Know They Stood Up)
    Genre: Fluff
    Word Count: 1,158
    Series: Part of my The Life and Times of Leo Lyman ‘verse, which includes: He’ll Know They Stood Up (it’s Time to Consider Yourself), and The Life and Times of Leo Lyman. This comes before them so you don’t have to have read those first to understand, it’s just part of that head canon.
    Challenge: For the OTP Holiday Challenge
    Beta: Unbeta'd and only run through once, I was trying to make the deadline. (I didn't make it). If you see something, let me know.

    Notes: The only thing I think might be confusing if you haven’t watched The West Wing and not read the other stories in this ‘verse is that Josh and Donna’s son’s name is Leo, he is the namesake of Leo McGarry who is mentioned in this story by his whole name. Otherwise, I include anything else you would need to know.

    I was bored and made a cover. I have negative photoshop skills, but I thought this was okay.


    Josh rolled over and put his arm around his wife’s waist, pulling her to him and snuggled his face into her hair.

    “Good morning,” she whispered. “Happy Election Day.”

    Josh blew out a breath, “Yeah…”

    Donna rolled over, to look at her husband’s face. She could barely see it by the street light that was outside, but she could see his eyebrows furrowed with worry. She slid her hand onto his cheek and rubbed her thumb back and forth. “What is it? You love Election Day.”

    Josh nodded. She was right, it was usually his favorite day. It was an especially exciting day when he had a candidate in the race. This year, his best friend was running for President, and if all the polls were correct, they were going to win. Of course, Josh would never say that out loud; it was tempting fate to say you’d won something before it had actually happened. Most of the polls were within the margin of error, so he was tentative about believing them.

    “It’s just-” he paused trying to gather his thoughts. “My dad, Leo…”

    “Your worried something’s going to happen to someone?”

    “Yeah. I know it’s stupid-“

    “It’s not,” Donna interjected. It wasn’t stupid, Josh’s father had died the night the future President Bartlet won the Illinois primary, and Leo McGarry, a father figure to Josh died on the day he would have become Vice-President.

    “-But it sometimes feels like elections are cursed for me.”

    Donna smiled sadly, “I know, but I have a good feeling about today. Today is going to be an amazing day.”

    “Shh…” Josh put a finger on her lips. “You are close to tempting the wrath of the whatever from high atop the thing.”

    Donna laughed. Apparently, Toby had muttered that exact phrase years ago, and it became the go to for the entire Bartlet gang. “Well no matter what happens today,” she said soberly, “I’m here.”

    Josh smiled, “I know. Thank you.” He leaned in and kissed her deeply. They still had a little while before they had to be up and he wanted to take advantage of it. The last nine months of campaigning had been long, and he had missed mornings of being with just each other before the kids got up.

    Donna had brought the kids to see him as frequently has she could while he was out trying to make Sam President, but between her own job, Leo’s school, and taking care of twin five-year-olds, it didn't happen as much as he would have liked.

    Josh was running his hand down her arm and onto her hip when their bedroom door opened and the sound of little feet running interrupted. Soon, two small children were laying on top of him. Josh was quite glad their morning hadn’t gotten any further than some light kissing.

    “Daddy!” Abi squealed as she flopped onto Josh’s chest. “You stay home now?”

    Josh pulled her up to lay between him and Donna, with his arm protectively around his daughter. “Yes, baby, Daddy’s going to be home now.”

    “Yay!” Noah said as he snuggled under Josh’s other arm. “I missed you, daddy.”

    Josh smiled and kissed each of the twins on the head. “I missed you guys too.” He was glad the campaign was over, he’d missed too much. He loved his job, and he felt proud of the work he’d done, but as he looked at his children, he knew this would be the last campaign he’d run. Josh knew he was getting too old to run on energy drinks and sugar for days on end. His doctor wasn’t very happy with him at the moment, he’d warned that Josh couldn’t live that life for much longer unless he wanted it to cost him everything.

    “This is what’s important,” he said as he looked up from two of his children at his wife. “No matter what happens today. This is my life.”


    It was around ten at night at the Seaborn for President headquarters in Washington DC. Josh and Donna were sitting together on a couch in Josh’s office letting the noise of the room outside wash over them. Everyone was busy trying to find out if they had the final few electoral college votes they would need to take them past the 270 and win the election.

    In the past, Josh would have been right there with them, calling everyone he knew, reading every piece of paper that crossed in front of him. Checking the math over and over, calculating what they would need if they were to somehow lose Nevada or New Mexico. He would have been stressed out of his mind. He was stressed, but not in a pace around the room and make everyone nervous kind of way. He knew he’d done all he could do and he was content with that.

    “Do you think Leo will be mad for long?” Donna asked breaking into Josh’s musings. They had gotten a babysitter for this night months ago. They knew it would be a long night and they’d want to be with the Seaborn’s and the entire campaign staff. Their oldest son had wanted to come with them, but they didn’t know how late it would be and he would have school the next day.

    Josh shook his head, “I think he just wanted to do something without the twins. We can make it up to him this weekend, and he’ll be fine.”

    The room outside suddenly got very quiet. “And we’re now ready to call it,” Anderson Cooper could be heard on the TV in the background. Josh and Donna got up and walked out of his office to stand with everyone else. “Samuel Seaborn will be the next president of the United States.”

    Cheers erupted in the room, champagne corks popped and people began to drink. Donna threw her arms around her husband. “Congratulations!”

    Josh leaned back from the hug and kissed her. Their first kiss had been during an election, and he noted in his head that this one was so much better. So many years of knowing each other and being intimate, he knew he could put all of his love and excitement into that kiss.

    A few moments later Josh pulled back and turned to see if he could find Sam. He saw him walking his direction and went to meet him half way. “Congratulations Mister President,” Josh said as he hugged his best friend. He could see Donna hugging Ainsley out of the corner of his eye.

    “Thank you, Josh,” Sam said. “I couldn’t have… wouldn’t have done it without you.”

    Josh moved back and let all the other people congratulate the President-Elect, and he walked back over to Donna with two champagne flutes in his hand.

    Donna took one of them and raised it toward him. “Happy Election Day,” she said.

    Josh clinked his flute against her’s, “Happy Election Day my love.”

    Chyntuck, Findswoman , Anedon and 2 others like this.
  2. Anedon

    Anedon Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 11, 2016
    Oh another West Wing story. I will admit that I still haven´t managed to look into the series but I haven´t forgotten about it either.
    Nice to see Josh and Donna again, its good to see that despite their busy jobs they find time to to be good parents for their children. (Also a nice touch that they named their eldest child after Josh deceased mentor.)
    And a nice happy ending in that Josh and Donnas efforts paid out and their friend became president.
    A nice story. :)
    Ewok Poet and mavjade like this.
  3. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 25, 2010
    Did Josh’s dad die the night Bartlet got elected? I thought it was during the primaries? But, yeah, Josh has good reasons to be wary of elections.

    BAHAHAHAHA! I love how you got that in there!


    My literal reaction to this line (even though I knew it was coming):


    I JUST LOVE THE FLUFF SO MUCH. Can I please just live in this reality.

    Also, you need to tag me whenever you post anything TWW. I don’t want to miss anything.
    Ewok Poet and mavjade like this.
  4. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    If you want a "proper" cover for this, I can handle that. :) Just show me some TWW artwork, so I could figure out the look, feel and what fonts to use. I owe two covers from the previous awards and one e-book, so I'll be working in PS either way. :D But this looks okay, except for the dimensions.

    Love it how the story starts with two...annoyed anime-style text smileys in a symbiosis. They're...annoyed together?!

    And then the story actually starts with what turns out to be your OTP waking up. I wasn't quite sure if they were together or if it was, say, early morning and Josh had sneaked up on Donna under a street light like it happens in films, but when the full tenderness of this moment was revealed, I thought that the street light was a wonderful touch. Almost like a symbol. A light of hope in the darkness, which might be related to Josh's love for this, err, "holiday" or, why not - your own sentiment about the current situation, since I know your view of it and, though I couldn't get it in November and thought things could not take the turn they did, I am sliiightly confused about the state of the world right now myself.

    In fact, I wonder if...

    ...this whole universe is your way of dealing with it?

    Is this bit canon?

    ...because it's chilling. G.U.L.P. [face_freezing]

    The scene with the children is lovely and am I right to assume that [hl=black]Leo was named after Leo McGarry?[/hl]


    ...that would be real love. Real trust. Even in the hardest of the times. :)

    And then it turns out the way they wanted and the kiss that reminds them of their first turns out to be a kiss of victory. :)

    Dare I say that this is far better than the overused trope of celebratory sex? This is more human and more appropriate in the situation. Also, for the stage of their relationship.

    Hope Leo does not stay mad for too long, either way.

    Thanks for taking part in the OTP Challenge.
    Findswoman and mavjade like this.
  5. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    What a wonderful response to the challenge! Of course Election Day is there very own holiday; it's a perfect fit. [face_love]

    That's not stupid on Josh's part at all. :( Once again, I love how much emotion Josh has going on underneath his cocky confidence; I love that he can so freely express it here. [face_love]

    And forgive me while I squee over the abundance of family feels - dad!Josh is the best Josh there is, yes siree, and I enjoyed every word of their interaction. He's really centered with age - and marriage! - and it's a beautiful character development to see. [face_love]

    WHO IS THIS STRANGER AND WHAT HAS HE DONE WITH JOSH? :p But, once again, I am loving the more contented character Josh is with age. Gah, I am just so proud of him! And happy for the whole team. [face_love][face_love]

    Oh, our babies are all grown up and married-like! I too loved the contentment and depth of their relationship after the passing of time - in just a few words, you managed to say a lot about them both, and it was beautiful to read. [face_love]

    mavjade and Ewok Poet like this.
  6. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002
    My first West Wing fic.

    A pleasant read, and a very authentic feel for dramatized political campaigning.

    The interactions of the kids running in and jumping on the parents was good, and all in all, a well described and plotted segment in the couple's life.
    mavjade likes this.
  7. Findswoman

    Findswoman Kessel Run Champion star 5 VIP - Game Winner

    Feb 27, 2014
    Enjoyed this! Of course with all Josh's premonitions at the start about cursed elections and "tempting the wrath of things," I was afraid at first that something terrible would happen, too. But—and this is just my crazy interpretation—it looks like Josh himself kind of averted the possibility of that happening the moment he realized his real, true priorities during that cuddle with his kids: "This is what’s important. . . . No matter what happens today. This is my life." And as a result Election Night is a much less stressful experience than he anticipated, and he can enjoy it fully without subsisting on energy drinks and worrying himself sick about Nevada and New Mexico. Tonight it's first and foremost his and Donna's "own" holiday—though of course his best friend's victory is an added bonus!

    Thanks so much for sharing this—it's been fun getting to know this fandom through your stories. :)
    mavjade likes this.
  8. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Sep 10, 2005
    Thank you everyone for your comments! Especially those who don't really know The West Wing (you should check it out so we can have more TWW fic! :D :p ) I really appreciate it immensely!

    And now that you have, I'm going to apologise for any spoilers you've read. :)

    I think they would make great parents, even with busy lives and it's fun to show that. Not only is Leo named after Leo McGary, but their twins are also named after people in their lives, Noah after Josh's father and Abi Gayle after Abbey Bartlet
    Thank you! And thanks for reading and commenting!! Especially because I know you aren't very familiar with it, that's very kind of you!

    - - -

    Yeah, it was during the Illinois primary that Josh's dad died, so I know it was a bit of a stretch, but technically that is still an election day, and being upset about such things isn't always rational.

    I had too, I couldn't talk about an election and not get in in somehow. Especially since I use it all the time.

    :D The mental image of Josh with two little kids snuggled up on him was just too cute to not include once they decided they wanted a bigger part of this story!

    You never know I could be evil and... naw, he was always going to win. :D It was fun to write the moment, even if it was a very different Josh than we are used to seeing.

    It was fun to write so fluffy for TWW. And yes, we'll both live in the world of TWW where a man like Sam Seaborn is President!

    Will do!!
    Thank you!!

    - - - -

    Thank you so much for the offer, that's so nice of you! But I don't think this is one that really warrants any actual work on a cover. I was looking for something else and came across the voting booths and bunting image and was bored, so I just threw it together. Question though, by dimensions do you mean of the image in general, or of different parts?

    [face_laugh] That was not intentional, but it's totally there and that's quite funny.

    This is what happens when I write something last minute. I can see now how it wasn't very clear at all, though to be honest, it might not have mattered if I'd written it earlier. Often I know what's in my head and that doesn't always get translated onto the page and this probably would have been a case of that. It's something I need to work on. (This is an honest thank you for saying so, as I hope to pay more attention to this type of detail in the future!)

    Wow, thank you so much! And yeah, I knew this was a stretch as a holiday, but I think Josh would see it as one for sure, he takes it very seriously on the show.

    Yes, it very much it my way of dealing with it. The West Wing is very much an idealist view of US politics, where yes bad things happened, but most everyone was trying to do good. It's very much the opposite of the current state of US politics and TWW is a happy place to imagine.

    Yeah, that's canon. :( What makes it even worse is the reason that Leo McGarry dies is because the actor who played him died in real life. It was quite heartbreaking.

    Yes, that's exactly who he's named after. Josh looked up to Leo McGarry quite a bit, and Josh and Donna wouldn't have ever met if Leo hadn't brought Josh on to the campaign, so I thought it fitting they'd name their kid after him.

    Exactly! I completely agree that's real love. Josh and Donna have both had pretty rough lives, so the trust between them is quite great.

    Thanks! Sex can be fine in certain situations, but I think this works better for them at this point in time, as you said, at this stage in their relationship.

    No worries, I don't think he would!

    Thank you for reading and your thoughtful comments!!

    - - - -

    I was trying to think of a non-standard holiday and TWW crew and Election Day is what first came to mind. I think Josh would see it as one of the biggest holidays. :p

    Thank you! I've always felt like the cockiness was very much a front, and he's always shared more with Donna than anyone else. I want to show that he's so comfortable around her that he is free to be emotional. Though I do worry about sliding into OOC territory.

    I will say that the more I write dad!Josh, the more I love it. I think he'd make a great dad and never want to do to his life what Leo McGarry did to his. He watched it happen, and I'm hopeful he learned something.

    I know, right?? He's a pod person! :p But I could see, as you said, him becoming more relaxed and able to not sweat the things he can't control once he'd had Donna in his life 24/7 for years, and they'd have kids.

    Thank you so much! I really enjoy writing older, parent Josh/Donna. They are such great characters and Sorkin's sandbox is of course, amazing!

    - - -

    Welcome!! I hope it was okay to read without knowing the source material!

    Thanks! I'll say most of that comes from the show. According to many people in politics, while TWW is an idealized world, much of it is very accurate.

    Thank you! The kids are OCs and so much fun to write!
    Thank you for reading and commenting on a fandom you don't know!

    - - -

    Thank you! The West Wing crew were always quite superstitious, it was a common theme in the show, so I had to include it. I didn't even think about it seeming like something bad was going to happen, but I would have thought the same thing.

    This is very much what I was going for! For Josh, it was always (previously) about winning, about getting his candidate to the office. And of course, he wants to win, but he finally realizes that he's done all he can and that even if the outcome isn't the one he wants, he still has his family and that doesn't change no matter what. For Josh, this is a pretty big growth.

    Thank you so much for reading another story in a fandom that you aren't familiar with! That's quite nice of you!
    Findswoman likes this.
  9. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    Image in general, because it should be in portrait orientation. :)
    mavjade likes this.