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Story [The West Wing] The Backpack - DDC 2018 - OCs, Josh, Donna, others

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by mavjade , Jan 31, 2018.

  1. mavjade

    mavjade Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 10, 2005
    Title: The Backpack (working title)
    Author: mavjade
    Fandom: The West Wing
    Timeline: Various but mostly within The West Wing canon (I think!)
    Genre: Crack…? Yeah. Totally crack. It's pretty preposterous all around. Just go with it. ;)
    Characters: OC (technically), Josh Lyman, Donna Moss, other TWW characters will probably make an appearance.

    Notes: This is for the 2018 Dear Diary Challenge. It will certainly be the half marathon, not the full thing. I don’t know that you’d have to watch The West Wing to understand this story, though it probably just add a bit of dimension.

    There’s a joke within The West Wing fandom that the best love story that was never told was that of Josh and his backpack. Even at one of the highest positions in American government, Josh always carried his backpack instead of a more 'professional' briefcase. This is the story of that backpack.

    Someone even made a video about this love, and it doesn't nearly tell the whole tale.

    For those who may not know The West Wing:
    The West Wing takes place in the executive branch of the US government from 1999-2006, though much of what happens in the real world doesn't happen in TWW.

    Dramatis Personae
    Josh Lyman - Deputy Chief of Staff for President Josiah Bartlet
    Donna Moss- Senior Assistant to Josh Lyman (Deputy, Deputy Chief of Staff)
    Sam Seaborn - Deputy Communications Director for President Josiah Bartlet

    - - -
    And I'm going to @Briannakin since she told me to always let her know when I post something from TWW. If anyone else would like to be notified when I update, let me know.
    - - - -

    Entry 1 -

    I have no idea how this happened. One minute I was hanging with all my friends just minding our own business when this guy picks me up. He gives me a long look, turns me around and then takes me with him. I was a bit scared. I’d heard stories about other backpacks going with kids and getting destroyed within a few weeks. Thankfully I’m not a bright color or have a fun character on me like some of my friends. Those guys would sometimes say I was boring, but I think being boring will work out better for me in the end.

    So this guy takes me home with him and starts stuffing me with papers and folders, a few pens, and a candy bar. I really hope that he doesn’t leave that with me for a long period of time. I think it has chocolate in it and when that melts… yuck. It gets pretty gross.

    I overhear a conversation my guy has (and yes, I’m calling him my guy because I guess he’s mine now) with someone who doesn’t seem very happy with me…

    “I don’t think anyone is going to care if the new grad who is working for the junior Senator from Connecticut is carrying a backpack or a briefcase, dad.”

    There were a few moments, and then my guy started talking again, “But I can’t carry as much in a briefcase. Thank you for getting it for me, and I’ll probably use it later on but…”

    “Yes, dad, I’ll give it a shot,” He said after a few more moments. He picked me up and then put me back down. I don’t think he was telling the truth since all the things he’d added to me stayed right where I was keeping them safe.

    “Love you, too. Tell mom I love her.” He stopped for a moment and smiled, “Yeah, thank you.”

    Tomorrow is my first day on the job, and I think it might be his too. That’s great! We’ll get to go on an adventure together!

    He seems a little nervous. One minute he’s pacing around talking to himself, the next he’s reading a big binder and trying to memorize the whole thing. I don’t know if I’m going to hold that binder too, but if so, it’s no wonder he didn’t want a briefcase. I knew a few back in my previous home, and they didn’t hold things like that very well. They were great for keeping some documents really safe and not bend them, something I do on occasion — by accident! I swear! But binders aren’t their thing. I think my guy was right; he needs me.

    I hope I can live up to what he needs. I can’t wait to see where we’ll go together.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2018
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  2. mavjade

    mavjade Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 10, 2005
    Entry 2


    My human and I, (his name is Josh) have been together for a few years now. We’ve worked together as the Democratic Legislative Director for the House of Representatives, the floor director for the Senate, and let me tell you the bills I’ve carried around! There are the usual things about the budget and health care, but also some things like the Food Quality Protection Act that helps to control the use of pesticides when growing food! And the Telecommunications Act which was the first overhaul of telecommunications law since 1934! I think things have progressed a bit since then! I mean the internet wasn't even a dream then.

    I know what you are thinking, that all sounds really boring. And yeah, to some it probably is, but not to my Josh! He uses me to carry information about these things around. He works really long hours and even sometimes takes them home to work on so he can help get these things passed!

    He's worked hard working his way up and now he’s a senior staffer Senator John Hoynes who everyone says is probably going to be the next president! That’s something I hear all the time, that Hoynes the front-runner, at least for the Democrats. But Josh didn’t seem all happy about it. I don’t really know why. He works for the guy, so I'd think that would be what he'd want. I don't know?

    But then all of a sudden some guy Josh calls “Mr. Secretary” (and that guy says to call him Leo) comes and insists on him going to New Hampshire and says, “’s what son’s do for old friend’s of their father.” Josh doesn’t seem too happy to go, but I guess we’re gonna because he gave me a ton of things to hold for him --I felt like I was going to burst! And then we jumped on a train going north.


    We stopped in New York City and wandered around a bit, which was fun. It’s so big, and there are sooo many people. Some people bumped into me pretty hard, but I guess that’s what happens when it’s crowded, and people are in a hurry. Josh would just stand there and look at something -I guess trying to decide where to go- and then BAM! someone would bump into me. I managed to keep all of Josh’s things safe, so I didn’t mind too much. At least I never had to sit on the ground in the subway… I’ve heard horror stories about that floor. Yuck!

    We finally made to an office building where we talked to a guy he called Sam. Josh was excited to see Sam, and Sam was happy to see Josh. I could feel the hug Sam gave Josh, and it was tight and warm like, someone who feels like family. I could tell they were pretty good friends. I wonder why they don’t see each other very often? I guess it’s like my friends and me. Sometimes you move on to other job and other people, and you get caught up in your work. It’s sad, but it’s a part of life.

    Anyway, we talked to Sam for a while and Josh tried to convince him to come to New Hampshire with us, but Sam said he couldn’t. Josh seemed upset, especially when Sam said he was engaged, but he promised to come back if he found the “real thing.” I don't know what he means by that, but I guess I'll find out if he sees it. I hope he does because I really liked Sam.

    So now we’re on the train to New Hampshire to see this guy talk because Leo asked us too. I’ve met so many new people in Josh’s life recently, people who I feel are important. I don’t know why but I think we might have just started something new, something very exciting and I’m so proud to be by Josh’s side to help him.
    Tarsier likes this.
  3. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010

    YAAAAAAYYY! It's up! It is so awesome that you are doing a diary of an object. My logical brain would have fits trying to write (though I am going to have such a blast reading it!) this so right off the bat I feel like I need to give you a round of applause.=D==D==D=

    Ummm, it's not a joke, because its the greatest love story never told :p (but now your telling it!)

    [face_laugh] I can totally envision this moment with Josh! And, yeah, Backpack should be scared :p (that was really odd to write).

    That candy bar will probably be in there till the Seaborn administration... the second Seaborn administration :p

    He's his GUUUUUY!!!

    And I loved Josh talking to his dad. I've wanted to write the senior Noah so bad, but I have no idea what.

    And Josh's odd choice of professional bag always gave me such insight into Josh's character - he gets things done and he doesn't care what it looks like (and the backpack will come up in my own diary :p ).

    I was going to make a sub-text joke here (and I love the picture and gif!) but I think this is so very accurate for many friendships in WW (both canon and with our OCs).

    I can't wait to go along for this adventure and I can't wait to see where it takes us (please say it will take us to Backpack's eventual fate as a diaper bag!).
  4. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002
    The diary of a backpack.

    Tempted to utter the cliche of "Now I have seen everything".

    He/she/it seems to know a lot of things I would not expect him to, but you warn at the beginning about the fissure crack, so that's okay.

    Great idea, and very well orchestrated.
  5. mavjade

    mavjade Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 10, 2005
    My brain keeps trying to butt in and be like "But how is he writing? How does he think, he doesn't have a brain?" etc. But I just keep telling it, shut up and go with it! I stop writing so many things because there's one tiny thing that isn't true to real life or I can't rationalize, so I thought this would be a fun exercise in shutting that part up. We'll see if I go insane before the end. :p

    It really it! A love affair for the ages!

    Yeah, writing Backpack like he has a consciousness is a bit odd to overcome. But I guess not all that more odd than talking about fictional characters like they are real people. :p

    [face_laugh] Truer words have never been spoken!

    I really want to write senior Noah too, but we know so little about him it makes him hard. I feel like even though we never got Josh's mom's name, she kinda... existed a bit more.

    Me too! That was such a great choice on the part of props, I think. He uses it because it works the best, not because it looks right. It fits along with his ill fitting suits.
    And I love how the backpack is worming it's way through things! :D

    It really is, which is nice! But yeah, I wanted to add it in a way that the subtext is there, but could be read either way.

    [face_laugh] Maaaaybeee...... [face_batting]

    Haha... that is perfectly fair. It's a bit odd... to put it mildly.

    Yeah, it completely and totally preposterous. You just gotta go with it. :p
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018
  6. mavjade

    mavjade Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 10, 2005
    Entry 3

    I have no idea what’s going right now! The world is turning upside down, well not literally, but it certainly feels like it, and I say this as a backpack who has been upside down more than a time or two. (And I’d like to report I keep most of the stuff I’m trusted with in place, so long as Josh actually remembered to zip me up!)

    Josh isn’t the most organized of guys. I try to help, I have all sorts of pockets and straps, but it doesn’t really seem to help, and it’s only gotten worse in the last few months.

    We’ve suddenly been very busy, and instead of binders and a few files, it’s lots of files where the paper is loose and falls out, small scraps of paper, and a ton of half-eaten candy bars. Why does he do this to me??

    We’ve been crammed into so many cars I don’t even know where we are anymore, but it’s not Washington. Instead of the usual nice office, I’m used to being in (well, if Josh’s office can be called nice, he’s a bit disorganized, as I’ve mentioned before) and now we’re in this old building that looks like it used to be a store. Josh’s new office is full of shelves with boxes and boxes of papers. And his desk… don’t even get me started.

    But then out of the blue, an angel descended from on high. A woman named Donna showed up and just decided to hire herself, and Josh agreed to let her stay.

    Based on how quickly she got things organized, I don’t blame him. She even got all the old crap out of my compartments and all the old food! (You don’t want to know, you really, really don’t.) I’m now am back to folders and binders, and they are all color coded, and organized.

    I don’t know what kind of magic she has, but I’m so happy she’s here. I think Josh may be happy too. He kinda turns into this slightly different guy when she’s around. She asks a lot of questions and he never minds answering. She rearranges his stuff and he doesn’t gripe too much, and I think what griping he does do is only for show. It doesn’t have the same tone I’ve heard him take with other people.

    I remember one time, before Donna, one of the volunteers tried to organize his desk for him, and he flipped out saying he’d never find anything. And if you've ever met Josh, you know he can go on a rant with the best of them. If ranting were an Olympic sport, he'd win gold. I don’t know what Donna does that’s different, but I guess it must be.

    Every day she makes sure I have what I need so that Josh has what he needs. Which a lot of times does mean a snack or a bottle of water, but she makes sure they don’t stay with me forever.

    Thank goodness! As I said, she’s an angel.

    I’ve heard so many people say how great Donna is for Josh, and even a few people (Toby) have tried to steal her from us! Well not if I have anything to say about it.

    Which I probably don’t.

    But I’ll just do my best to help her out and maybe make her life a bit easier, which will make Josh’s life easier. And then we’ll all be happy!

    I found this picture someone took. I don't know who took it or why Josh has it, but this is from the day they met.
    Tarsier likes this.
  7. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    Hehehehehehe! This is just so adorable to see the meeting of Josh and Donna from the POV of an inanimate viewer!

    I love this so much, even though it's an... odd fic to try to review without sounding like a complete crazy person, if you know what I mean.

    Yeah, I can see that being a problem.
    Oh, yup. His desk looks like mine.
    Awww! this is just adorable.
    Oh dear. I'm having flashbacks to the smell of rotting fruit in high school (I feel sorry for that backpack).

    Aw! I love just the little things that Josh changes around Donna and it shows how smitten he is, even if he won't admit it.

    And then there's just Donna being Donna, taking care of Josh. [face_love]
    [face_laugh]Donna, even though she maybe wasn't the most politically knowledgeable, certainly was one of the more useful assistants (though maybe someone should have stolen her! Maybe that would have led to her and Josh getting together sooner!)
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018
  8. mavjade

    mavjade Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 10, 2005
    Thank you! I'm glad it's fun, because it's oddly freeing the write. I'm a bit worried I'm sounding like a crazy person writing it and not caring about how it works. I'm really shocked I've not gotten bogged down in how this is happening yet. I'm really trying to just do it and let what happens, happen.

    That was one of my first mental images of this story, Josh picking backpack up and everything falling out because it (he) wasn't zipped.

    Same here! It's a disaster zone! Josh's desk probably looks clean compared to mine. :p

    I wanted backpack to love Donna as much as Josh does. And if she kept the grossness out, he would, of course!

    Yeah, sadly this is still an occasional reality in my world. I'll throw something in there for work and then I don't get the chance to eat it and I don't work for a few days. [face_blush] I'm sorry my backpack!

    Yeah, I wanted it to be clear even to Backpack that there is something there, because I feel like it was that obvious to everyone but them. When your inanimate object sees it... :p

    Because Donna is the best!

    [face_laugh] Maybe that would have been for the best! But then again, Josh might not have made it through the years without her being his assistant! (Ahh... plot bunny!)
  9. mavjade

    mavjade Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 10, 2005
    AN: This didn't hit the part I had planned, but I couldn't quite work it to get there in this entry. But that's okay because now I have a bit of a buffer on planned entries. Which makes me feel a bit better because I was right on the 12 I'd need for the half-marathon diary.

    Entry 4

    All that traveling I mentioned before? We were running for President!

    No, Josh wasn’t running for President, but he was helping. Can you imagine him as president?!

    Well, yes, I could, sometime in the future… maybe. He’d be pretty good for the country and put it’s best interests at heart, but I don’t know that he’d be good about not saying what’s on his mind. That’s something you can always count on with Josh, he says what he means, but it can get him into trouble. A LOT of trouble. But anyway, I don’t think that’s really something he would want to do. He and I are alike in that we like the behind the scenes. Yeah, it doesn’t get you much glory, but it’s where the real action happens.

    So anyway, we’ve been in the White House for almost two years now, and things were going okay. Josh is busier than ever; he sleeps in his office a lot which means I don’t get to go home either. Yeah, yeah, I know what you are thinking, ‘Backpack, you only do work when he’s going back and forth’ which is true, but I go back and forth a LOT during the day. I’m responsible for things when he goes to the hill, when he goes to lunch meetings and yes, for the things he takes home.

    When he goes home.

    Donna is still here too! Josh seemed a little worried that they wouldn’t allow her to stay his assistant. Most of the assistants that were hired have a degree, some even have a Master's, but Donna doesn’t. But I don’t think anyone with a brain would hold that against her. She’s so smart and learns quickly, and she can keep Josh in line. That's probably the biggest reason no one would want her to leave. I once heard Leo McGarry (Josh’s boss) say that Donna was worth her weight in gold. I don’t think I’ve ever carried gold, or if I have it certainly wasn't Donna weight, but I’m guessing it means she’s worth a lot.

    And I agree! I love Josh and would do anything he asked me, but I think I do my job better because of her. We’ve all gotten into a rhythm, and it works well for us all.

    But right now, that rhythm has been disrupted.

    A few days ago Josh left for an evening meeting. He didn’t take me, that sometimes happens if it’s something where everyone is going like when the President is going to give a speech. He doesn’t need to take much, so he leaves me in his office until he’s ready to go home. But then this time he didn’t come back.

    Donna didn’t come back.

    The people who are here are very quiet. It’s always loud unless it's in the middle of the night. Between Josh yelling for Donna, other people yelling at Josh and just the activity of the West Wing things are pretty noisy. But now it’s so quiet, and not in a nice, peaceful way.

    Everyone seems upset… worried. No one is coming into our office. They stop and look at it, but they don’t come in.

    I’m getting pretty scared. Where are you, Josh?
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  10. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    BAHAAHAHA. Sorry, but no. His son, maybe :p But not Josh
    :*She really is and I love that everyone (Leo, Josh and Backpack) know this.
    No. This isn't the entry Ive been both looking forward to and dreading.
    =(( (but also [face_love] because I know she's with Josh).
    :_|=(( This is just so heartbreaking. I can just see poor backpack, alone, in the mess of Josh's office.

    This proves just so wonderful done, so emotional! AND IT'S A BACKPACK SO IT'S AMAZING!!

    Sorry my review is rather brief! I can't wait to read the next entry.
  11. Tarsier

    Tarsier Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jul 31, 2005
    I love this! I especially like how much pride Backpack takes in his work. :cool:

    Looking forward to more!!
  12. mavjade

    mavjade Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 10, 2005
    I've read a few stories where Josh becomes President and they've been enjoyable. But I agree that it would never happen, he made too many enemies and he just doesn't have the right personality.

    Josh totally lucked out when Donna hired herself! Though I guess it's also good on him that he took a chance on her. Or maybe it was just fate. :)
    That's probably next. Though I don't think it's too bad because while Backpack has awareness, it's not a full one... I think.

    Backpack just doesn't understand. :( But he knows something isn't right.
    It's kinda like writing a very small child with a bit more awareness in some regards and not as much in others.

    Thank you!! I'm glad it's been working because... yeah... it's a backpack.
    No worries about the short reviews, there's only so much you can say about a backpack!

    Thank you so much! He does take pride in his work, it's important work. I mean, he could have been a kids bag that got destroyed! :p
  13. mavjade

    mavjade Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 10, 2005
    AN: So I'm obviously out of the competition, but I just love little Backpack so much I want to keep going as the muse allows. She's been finicky recently, but hopefully she'll cooperate.

    Entry 5

    My worst fears had come true, something did happen to my Josh. It was quite awhile before anyone paid any attention to me; there were a few people who came in and out of Josh’s office and got things off his desk. I knew something was really wrong then because Donna would never let that happen. She’s very protective of Josh and his office. I’ve heard Josh say her system doesn’t make any sense, but it seems to work well because she always knows where things are.

    It’s funny because Josh will say, “Hey, where is that thing…” and before he can say any more Donna answers “It’s in the left pile under 426,” or something like that. So when different people started shuffling things around, I just knew.

    Then finally, Donna came, she seemed like she hadn’t slept in a long time, probably since I last saw her. Her hair was a mess, her clothes rumpled, she just wasn’t Donna. She took all the binders and files I was carrying and filled me with magazines and books I’ve never seen Josh read. I also carried some toiletries like Josh’s razor and his toothbrush.

    We ended up at the hospital, which is where Josh was. He’d been shot! Thankfully he was out of the woods by the time I got to him because I’m not sure I could have handled seeing him with all those lines and tubes I heard people talking about. Just hearing about it scared me.

    Donna wouldn’t let him watch or read the news, hence all the strange things she had me carry. They were Donna approved reading materials. She wouldn't let anyone talk about work, either. As soon as they'd start, she'd clear her throat, or if it was in person, she'd give them the look.

    You know, THE LOOK.

    It certainly would scare me.

    What Donna didn’t know was that Toby was slipping him work. He’d call to talk to Josh, like most of the staff would, and when Josh would ask a question (while Donna was out of the room), it sounded like Toby would answer him. I guess Donna didn’t find out because Toby was allowed to visit too. Donna would go home to take a shower or just to rest, and Josh and Toby would talk about work. I’m pretty sure Toby didn’t tell him everything because anytime Josh would start to get worked up, he’d change the topic.

    Don’t tell Donna but I think it helped Josh to know what was going on in some form. It would be hard to be in the center of almost everything and then suddenly, BAM! Nothing. I know she was doing her best and doing what the doctors said, but Josh lives for his job. He almost died for his job.

    We’ve been home for a few weeks now. Donna is finally going back home to sleep and leave Josh here alone. She’s been sleeping on the couch for weeks so that she’d be around in case Josh needed help. Well, I assume she’s been on the couch, I’ve been in my place in a chair by the bed the whole time. There were also a few nights when Donna fell asleep in the bed with Josh.

    Above the covers. Don't get any ideas.

    Nothing was going on, but Josh would have a nightmare and Donna would sit on the bed and talk to him. Then she’d fall asleep and stay there until the morning or Josh woke her up again, whichever came first.

    But soon we’ll go back to work, and I’m looking forward to it! It means Josh is better and we can get back to the business of helping to run the country.
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  14. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    I've read one (mostly because it was Josh/Sam), and while it was well written and very enjoyable, it just wasn't plausible in my mind. I agree. Josh wants to be the guy who helps his guy.

    Yaaaay! I totally understand finicky muses when it comes to diaries, but I'm soooo happy you are still going at this.

    [face_love] Awww! That is just so Josh/Donna! Though, yeah, I guess even semi-sentient objects know something is wrong when a routine like that gets disrupted.

    [face_love]=(( This just gives me so many conflicting emotions. I love that she is just Donna and taking care of Josh, but also JOOOOOSSSHHH!!! (Does that make anything sense? I cant word).

    Haha! I just love the idea of Donna controlling Josh and all his reading materials. It is just so Donna and of course Josh would try to get around her.
    You can just tell by these actions how much Donna cares for Josh, and by the fact that Josh is letting her sleep beside him, how much he cares and appreciates her.

    I just love this and backpack so much and I cant wait to see where this goes next!
    Last edited: May 8, 2018