Title: Bad Q Rising
Author: Bramble
Part II

***

She reaches for the jug, refilling both of their mugs. "So this is some weird, alternative universe fantasy, master-minded by Q. Kiefer and the whole thing ends tomorrow at 12:30?" She asks as he nods. "Oh yeah, and Toby is dressed like a pimp?"

"Yep, all he needs is a big caddy..." Josh laughs, taking another big gulp of his mead, before setting his cup down on the floor, next to his earlier-discarded feather cap. "Hey, you know, that crazy bastard is right, this is pretty good. What the hell is mead anyway?"

"Fermented honey and water," she answers, grinning back at him.

"Mmmmm.." Josh replies, leaning back on the floor and shutting his eyes.

When he opens them again, she's peeling the front of her dress down, exposing a thin, white cotton material.

"Donnatella, what's happening here?" he asks, turning over and propping up on his elbow to watch her.

"Don't get all excited, Josh. This dress is damn uncomfortable and I appear to have some sort of slip underneath so..." she struggles with the back of the dress, sighing loudly when she can't get it undone. "So if I could just get it off me, I might be a bit more comfortable."

"C'mere, let me help," he sits up and motions for her to move in front of her.

"Okay," she answers shyly before coming over to him and turning around on her knees.

"It's just got these weird little closures down here," he says into her neck as he starts to undo them.

"Hmmm..." she closes her eyes and leans into his hands a little.

"Donna?"

"Yeah?"

"Umm, okay, you're all undone."

"Thanks," she says as she moves away from him and pulls the pink shift off. "Much better," she sighs.

"Uh-huh," Josh answers trying to avert his eyes from the thin, slip-like covering, an item which, much to his delight, he can practically see through aided by the light coming from the candle on the table.

"So," he says, trying to fill up the silence, "tell me what you know about life eight-hundred years ago?"

"Eight-hundred years ago from now or right now, being eight-hundred years ago from when..."

"Right now, the 13th century," he confirms, rolling his eyes good-naturedly.

"Ahhh...well," she pauses to look around, "I imagine it's a lot like this."

He smiles. "Okay -- that was helpful. One thing that I've noticed is that the floor is very hard."

"Well, yes," she agrees, "it's not exactly wall-to-wall carpeting is it?"

He glances towards a bed looking structure over against the wall. "Is that functional?"

"I think, wanna give it a spin?" Realizing the connotation of her words she starts to blush a little. "I mean, just to sit on and get off the floor..."

"Yeah," he takes her hand and pulls her over to the bed.

"I think this is straw under some sort of a linen covering," she states, looking at the fabric beneath them intently.

"Donna?"

"Yeah?"

"I"m sorry I don't have a better plan to get us out of here."

"Josh, it's okay, we'll think of something."

"Yeah, but, I'm not very chivalrous, am I?"

She studies him for a moment. "You climbed up a castle wall to rescue me...that's very chivalrous."

"Yeah, it is, isn't it," he agrees happily. "And you know what else I just realized?"

"What?"

"Doesn't the rescuer usually get a kiss for, you know, doing the rescuing?"

"Yes, I think that's usually how it works," she answers. "But, I mean, and I hate to point out the obvious but, you haven't actually rescued me yet."

"Ahhh...details, I'm looking at the bigger picture, Donna," he smiles, as he leans in closer to her.

"The bigger picture, huh?"

"Yeah," he answers, before his lips hit hers. She makes a little moan against his mouth before deepening the kiss, as his arms circle around her, pulling her close.

As they pull apart, they stare at each other, both trying to get a feel for what just happened and what it means.

"What are you thinking?" he asks, stroking a piece of hair back behind her ear.

"I'm thinking I feel a little tawdry," she replies with a shy smile.

"Tawdry?" He grins back.

"Yeah, apparently, they aren't big on underwear in the Middle Ages."

"Really?" he asks, his eyes traveling down her body, and resting on the area right above her lower thighs, where her slip ends and her bare skin starts.

"Josh!"

"What? You said it..."

"I was just making post-kiss conversation."

"Okay, but that's pretty leading post-kiss conversation."

"I wasn't necessarily leading you there..."

"Okay," he responds, slightly disappointed.

"But I mean, nevermind...do you have underwear on?"

"I'm not sure, ahhh..you want me to check?"

"Yeah," she smiles.

"Okay," he lifts his tunic up and pulls the tights away from his body to peer down. "Nope, no underwear for me either."

"Interesting," she replies, a blush spreading across her cheeks. "You know, in a strictly historical, factual kind of way."

"Yeah, because those are the kinds of day-to-day details that are truly important."

"So what did Joey say the other night?" Donna asks, trying to change the subject and get them back into more appropriate territory.

"What?" He asks, a little shocked.

"About the polling numbers, what did she say?"

"Oh, ahh, that we should dial it up -- that we aren't getting the message out there loud enough, and that...um...you like me," he adds quickly at the end, trying to meet her eyes to gauge her reaction.

She looks at him for a second, before bringing her hand up to her mouth.

"She said that the reason that you wanted me to ask her out was because you liked me and you were afraid it was starting to show. So, I'm just sitting here, without underwear, in the 13th century, a little tipsy from the mead, and I'm wondering if it's true."

"Yes," she says quietly.

"Yes?"

"Yes, I like you," she pauses, then feels the need to clarify. "Like that. I like you like that."

"In a Maid Marian-Robin Hood sort of way?" He asks playfully.

"No, in a Donna Moss-Josh Lyman sort of way," she answers, before kissing him again.

"Josh?"

"Yeah?" He asks, pulling away from her lips.

"Don't you have something to say to me?"

"About what?"

"Josh, I just told you that I have feelings for..."

"Donna," he starts taking her hand in his and kissing it before he continues speaking. "And I'm only admitting this as part of the whole chivalry thing that I have going on but," he pauses to grin slightly at her smirk. "I...I love you."

"Oh, Josh, you're drunk, aren't you?"

"It's mead Donna, fermented honey -- I doubt that could actually get anyone drunk."

She smiles at him and runs her fingertips along his cheek. "You love me, huh?"

"Yes," he answers honestly, "I do."

"Okay then," she replies, sinking her mouth down on his, her hands tugging his leather vest off of his shoulders, as his fingers grasp her firmly around the waist.

"I must admit," she starts, after pulling away from his lips a few minutes later, pausing to glance down the length of his body. "I am liking this little ensemble you're sporting."

"Oh really?"

"Yes, it's sexy. You look all swashbuckling-like."

"Swashbuckling-like?" He grins at her, his dimples making an appearance.

"Yeah."

"Hey Donna? Wanna see what I can do with my sword?"

"Okay," she giggles, pulling him down on top of her.

***

Much later, she snuggles against him, as he makes a contented noise.

"You should go," Donna suddenly states, breaking the silence of the room.

"What?"

"Well, it's part of my new plan. I've been thinking, you said this ends tomorrow at 12:30 no matter what. So, I'll just tell Sir Guy that I'll marry him and half an hour later...we're back home."

"Yeah but what if," he looks at her, before shaking his head. "No way, I'm not leaving you."

"Josh, I appreciate the chivalry and all but it's the only way out of this mess," she states, looking over at the window, "you just need to climb back down the rope and..."

"I'm not leaving you here, Donna."

Just then the door flies open and in steps Q, dressed in a costume similar to what Lord John Marbury was wearing earlier.

"Oh, well, isn't this ironic," he says, looking a Josh before adding, "I see we'll be having two executions."

"Wait! Uhhh," Donna clutches the bed covering tighter around her chest. "There doesn't have to be any executions, because, I've decided that, ummm, I'll marry Sir Guy."

Josh sighs beside Donna before rubbing his forehead with his hand, as Q produces a boisterous laugh.

"Oh, I think it's a little late to accept Sir Guy's offer of marriage now, maid Marian," he responds, shaking his head in amusement. "This isn't DC in the 20th century anymore and I'm afraid due to your wanton display here, you're of no value to anyone now -- instead choosing to allow yourself to be defiled by a common...thief."

"Hey!" Josh protests as Donna answers simultaneously with, "No value? Excuse me?" she starts, before Q interrupts her..

"And you," he turns to Josh, snickering." The great Joshua Lyman, brought down...by a woman. The president's pitbull -- reduced by love, to a weak and powerless man."

"Love has not made him weak," Donna responds heatedly. "Love has brought out his best qualities, his nobility, his caring, -- love has made him more of a man than you'll ever be, Q. Kiefer"

"It's just Q, don't you people listen? And yes, I'm eternally grateful about that the fact that I am no longer a whining, mewling human. And when I say eternally grateful, I mean eternally. You two on the other hand...enjoy the precious hours you have left and don't bother trying to escape the way your came in, as your rope is gone," with that, he slams the door behind him.

"Okay, I definitely liked Sheriff Marbury better," Josh mutters.

"So, I have no value just because I'm not a virgin?" Donna snorts, rolling her eyes and giving Josh a disgruntled poke.

"What? I didn't say that! That was him!"

"Yeah, but you're a guy and my 'defiler.'"

"But I didn't defile you. That little bit of Medieval realism was left out of this fantasy..."

She pauses to look at him, her eyes getting wide. "Are you disappointed about that?"

"What? That Maid Marian wasn't...a maid?"

"Yeah, that I wasn't...I mean while being Maid Marian," she asks, examining his face closely.

"No, of course not. Donna," his voice softens. "How could you even think that?"

"I wouldn't but you sounded disappointed earlier when you mentioned it and besides just because she might have dated..."

"Some local gomers?" he interjects with a smile.

"Some local gomers," she adds, "it doesn't mean she slept with all of them," she stops to look at Josh before adding, "especially when she was in love with Robin."

"Marian is in love with Robin?" He asks, grinning.

"Yes, I'm in love with you, you idiot," says, pausing to kiss him. "Besides, I doubt Robin Hood was exactly saving himself for her."

"Yeah, trust me when I say that he was pretty popular with the ladies in his day."

"In his day, I'm not sure that's something he should be bragging about."

"Right. He enjoyed a great popularity with the ladies but showed excellent judgement and reserve in bestowing his affections upon only the most deserving."

She looks at him expectantly before he adds, "Except for Mandy, that was a mistake," he nods before continuing. "And then he found the most deserving woman of all -- a wonderful woman he clearly didn't deserve but who loved him anyway."

"Okay, just so we're clear on all of that," she replies, giving him a quick kiss.

She resumes her earlier position, snuggled against him as he absent-mindedly strokes her shoulder.

"Well, now what?"

"Okay -- CJ, Sam, and Toby are still here, maybe they already have something worked out?"

She considers this before stating, "Well, we're dead."

"So much for the dreamy afterglow," Josh answers, looking at the floor.

***

NOON, THE NEXT DAY:

All eyes follow the condemned as they're led out through the courtyard -- a make-shift stage erected and an executioner in wait.

"I can't believe you didn't have a plan," Donna mutters as she's pushed onto the stage, Josh right behind her whining. "Oh, so now, it's my fault? It seems to me your plan didn't work either."

"Believe me, if I could do it over again, my plan would have worked."

"Really?" He stops to look at her questioningly.

"No," she answers softly. "I'm glad my plan didn't work." She gives a weak smile before being pushed around, to face the mass of peasants and townsfolk.

From the audience, a group of three red-hooded monks oversee the progression of events.

One by one they slowly undrape their heads.

Sam, Toby, and CJ look at each other, exchanging nods.

"We need a diversion," Toby mutters, as Lord John Marbury stumbles into the clearing, mead mug raised high.

"Sheriff Marbury!" The crowd yells as he raises his mug higher.

"Now!" Toby swings into action, punching a guard in the face as Sam and CJ begin fighting their way to the stage.

Josh pushes Donna to the side, before hurling himself at the executioner, knocking him off the stage.

"Not so fast," an unfamiliar voice cries out, as Josh feels the steely tip poke against the back of his neck.

"Turn around, slowly," the voice commands.

He does, so that he's face to face with Sir Guy of Gisborne, who does indeed look strangely similar to Chief White House Counsel Oliver Babish.

"Robin Hood, it seems we have some unfinished business."

"I'm not Robin Hood, I'm Joshua Lyman and I'm sick of this," he shouts, looking around. "Do you hear me Q. Kiefer? Sick of this! It's over!"

"Well, I'm sorry to hear that Josh. Don't worry, you'll be dead soon," Q replies from the ground, before CJ breaks a jug over his head.

"Hey Guy Babish, over here!"

He turns his head without lowering his sword from Josh's heart, as Donna steps forward, her own sword in hand.

"Marian?" the rotund leader proclaims, clearly confused.

"The name's Donna, Donnatella Moss." She raises her sword, giving a little flick of her wrist for emphasis. "Drop the sword, Sir Guy."

"Oh, I don't think so. I think I'll kill Robin first so you can watch, then you'll join him, Maid Marian."

"Again, don't think so," she shouts, lunging forward, causing him to block her move, taking the weapon off of Josh.

They all watch with baited breath as Donna and Sir Guy battle, Donna clearly holding her own against her opponent.

"Donna!" Josh calls out, "I didn't know you could...I mean, how do you know how to do this?"

"Two semester's of fencing classes at Madison," she answers breathlessly, backing Sir Guy up a set of stairs.

"Wow," Sam says, coming up next to Josh. "She's really good."

"She really is," he agrees.

Finally, at the very top of the stairs, she twirls her wrist and manages to fling Sir Guy's sword out of his hands.

She makes her way down to Josh as he takes her in his arms in a big hug.

"So," she asks, pulling back from him. "Seeing that I just rescued you I think I'd like to collect my reward kiss."

He smiles by way of response before their lips meet and he tightens his arms around him, as she lowers a hand and gives Josh a little pat on the butt.

"Now, I want to go home!" She proclaims loudly, after pulling reluctantly away from Josh.

"And so you shall, Miss Moss," relies a crisp British accent.

All eyes turn to the middle of the audience where four new figures stand.

President Bartlet, Leo McGarry, Captain Jean-Luc Picard, and Will Riker.

"It's over Q!" Picard bellows.

"Hey," Josh mutters to Sam, "I said that first."

"Jean-Luc," Q answers walking closer to the Starfleet captain and regarding him with slitted eyes.

"Mr. President," CJ starts, "how do you..."

"Oh, Captain Picard and I have met before. Remember the Galileo satelite? Well, it seems that development was necessary for Earth to develop warp drive capabilities in the future, so he and Commander Riker came to assist us."

"Yeah," Leo agrees, "but now, I really think it's time we got back, Mr. President."

"Oh yes, I suppose, although I find Medieval history fascinating, it's too bad..."

Leo gives a nod to Captain Picard as he hits his communicator, "Chief O'Brian, please beam our friends back to the White House."

"Aye, Sir," comes a reply.

"Why, I remember a book I read about Saint Thomas Aquinas..." continues the president.

"Now, Chief O'Brian," the Captain requests more urgently, as Josh, Donna, Sam, CJ, Toby, Lord John Marbury, Oliver Babish, Leo, and the President disappear from Nottingham castle.

***

Josh blinks and opens his eyes, looking right at President Bartlet.

"Ahhh.." he starts, turning his head to see the other members of the senior staff.

"Josh, I agree, that sounds like a perfect plan."

"Sir?" Josh asks, clearly confused.

"Dialing it up, Josh," President Bartlet smiles before adding, "make it so."

***

"Whoa!"

I lift my head with a start and it takes me a minute to recognize my condo.

"Josh?"

I turn to see Donna, sprawled out on the floor next to me, her head resting against my shoulder, file folders and reports strewn around us haphazardly, an empty pizza box by my feet.

"Ahhh, wow." I say, still trying to discern if I'm really back at my place and not quite trusting that the head of Al Kiefer isn't going to pop out of my wall suddenly.

"I think we fell asleep."

"Yeah," I agree.

"Are you okay, you seem kind of freaked out." She sits up, examining me closely, before bringing a cool head to my cheek. "Do you feel okay?"

"I just I think I had a nightmare."

"About Rosslyn?" She asks, reaching for my hand.

"Ahh, no, it was just weird. Not really a nightmare..." I trail off, remembering Sherwood Forest, Donna in her pink dress, the mead, then helping Donna out of her pink dress -- how she moved on top of me. I clear my throat.

I need to stop thinking about those details right now.

"You don't know how to fence, do you?"

"Fence? You mean like sword fighting?"

"Yeah."

"Well, I took a few classes in college," she answers, turning her attention to the TV. "Oh look, it's still on."

"What's on?" I ask distractedly, trying to figure out if Donna really knowing how to fence proves anything.

"The Star Trek marathon," we both watch as Q walks across the screen, involved in a heated discussion with Captain Picard.

"Hey, you don't think he looks like Al Kiefer, do you?"

"Hmmm..." she considers, "maybe a little bit. He looks more like that guy who use to be on that soap opera though."

"Eugene from Days of our Lives?"

"Uh huh and you try to tell me you've never watched soap operas, Josh" she teases.

"What? I don't. I remember you mentioning that once," I say as she gets up from the floor.

"I'm gonna..." she points towards my bathroom. "We should try to finish this up because it's late, I need to get home." She accents this with a yawn and a stretch that causes her t-shirt to ride up a bit, displaying a small section of flat, alabaster midriff.

"Ummm, what time is it?"

She looks at her watch. "2:00 AM."

"Just stay here," I blurt out.

"That's okay, I'll be fine getting home."

"I know," I agree. "You would be fine but it's late and you're tired and you should just stay here," I repeat, trying to sound sensible.

She looks at me and I think I see a small flicker of something in her face before she gives me an amazing smile and agrees to sleep over.

Once she's out of the room I rest my head against a hand and try to make sense of that incredibly messed-up dream. What in the hell brought that on? I mean, I was wearing tights! Toby as Will Scarlett. Sam and CJ...Lord John as the Sheriff? I snort in amusement.

Next time I'll listen to Donna and we'll get a full veggie pizza instead of one with half sausage and pepperoni for me and half mushrooms and peppers for her.

It was just a crazy-ass dream brought on by an unhealthy dinner decision, I think, patting my stomach reassuringly.

I shift my weight a bit and become aware of something under my leg, a lump of some sort. I reach down to pull it out.

Huh...It feels kind of weird and there's something sticking out of it.

My mouth drops open as I stare down at the item in my hand.

It's my green feathered cap.

"Donna!"

***

The End.

 

 

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