Title: The Gentle Art of Head Wounds
Author: Bramble
Rating: PG-13
Category: J/D
Summary: "So," I start casually. "Josh is meeting Amy
Gardner for drinks."
Spoilers: BTSotU, TWaH, TWoQ.
Feedback: More fun than a slinky.
Disclaimers: Eh, AS owns them.
Notes: It's fluffy and light, really, I guess I just
had the urge to write something not very serious. And
thanks to Kim for the 'Special Ed'.
This post-ep stands alone and is not related to any
other post-eps.

* * *

"Sam?"

"Yeah?" He looks up and catches my eye.

"You're still here?" I ask rhetorically, walking in
and sitting in one of his guest chairs.

"Yep, I'm saving the sea otter from a dismal fate," he
says proudly.

"Excuse me?"

"Well, I'm being their spokesman here. Or trying to,"
he adds in a mutter.

"Ah, you like doing that. The spokesman part."

"I do."

"So," I start casually. "Josh is meeting Amy Gardner
for drinks."

"When?"

"Oh, now."

"Oh?" He replies, not bothering to look up at me.

"Yeah, she called him today. Invited him for drinks."

"Well, it is perfectly acceptable for a woman to ask a
man out now a days."

"Oh, yeah. It is. When she called, she asked to speak
to Special J."

"Who's that?" Sam asks, finally looking up again.

"That's what I said. Apparently, that's Josh."

"Special J?" he repeats, looking confused.

"Yeah, that's what she calls him, which is funny
because he hates nicknames, anyway...Special J, that
sounds...really stupid..." I trail off, before adding,
"the Special makes him sound
retarded."

"When I was in high school, there was a guy we called
Special Ed."

"Was he mentally retarded?"

"No," Sam answers. "Just really stupid."

"See?"

Sam nods and then looks back down.

"What are you working on?" I get up and try to read
what he's writing over his shoulder.

"Donna, I..." he guards his papers protectively with
his hands. "I can't work with someone looking over..."

"Oh, sorry." I go back over and sit down as he sighs
quietly.

"Why are you even still here? I would think you'd take
advantage of Josh leaving early."

"Well, I had some stuff to finish."

"Shouldn't you go finish it?"

"I did."

I finished it an hour ago. Since then, I've
re-organized my desk and Josh's table, cleared out
his inbox, and read through Margaret's secret stash
of Cosmopolitan magazines -- I even took all the
quizzes. Apparently, I'm an exotic, sultry, sex
goddess hiding under a slightly girlish and shy
disguise, who needs a career change and a new shower
massage.

Oh yeah, and I'd make a great spy and/or a pastry
chef.

Oh god, maybe I should go home.

"Why don't you go home then?" He asks, looking
slightly puzzled.

"Yeah," I shrug. "I could do that." But I don't,
instead, I look around his desk and see a slinky. I
grab it and start slinking it back and forth between
my hands.

"Where'd you get this?"

He smiles. "It's not mine. Larry left it in here
yesterday."

"Want to see how many steps we could make it go down
out by the..."

"Donna, I'm kind of busy now," he interrupts me, then
studies me for a minute. "You hungry?"

"Why?"

"We could go grab some dinner," he starts, giving me
an odd look. The kind of look you give when you're
trying to make someone feel better. Why is Sam trying
to make me feel better? Do I need to feel better?

I feel fine.

"I thought you were busy? What about the poor sea
otters? Don't they need your help?"

"Ah, they'll still be around when I get back --
they're a deceptively hearty little species despite
what the EPA says."

I feel my forehead crinkle. "Why do you want to go
eat?"

"I don't know...you look...hungry?" He states, but it
comes off sounding a lot more like a question.

"I do?"

"Maybe. I just thought, you know, I mean...are you
okay?"

"Why wouldn't I be okay?"

"I don't know. No reason, you're fine," he answers
quickly.

"I am," I get up. "Maybe I will just go home now."

"That's a good idea," he agrees, looking pretty
relieved.

"Right. Okay. Night, Sam."

"Bye, Donna," he calls after me. I turn around and
stick my head back inside his office.

"And thanks for the dinner offer," I add and he gives
me a smile, before looking back down again and getting
back to his hearty little otters.

* * *

"Hello?"

"Hi. How you doin'?" Greets me from the phone.

"Josh?"

"Yeah."

I look at the clock, 11:48. "Where are you?"

"I just got home."

"Oh."

That's late. When Cliff and I had drinks, I was home
by 11:00 -- you know, I'm just mentioning that for
comparative reasons.

"So. I have a question," he starts off and I brace
myself for whatever ridiculous query Josh felt the
need to phone me this late about.

"Yes?" I sit up a bit in bed.

"Amy asked me out tonight..."

"Yes."

"And then she paid. Does that mean something? I mean,
in a something-I-should-know-about-women way?"

"Did she buy you dinner too?"

"Well, appetizers. Yeah."

"Hmm, she might be trying to purchase your favors," I
throw out, trying really hard not to laugh.

Silence.

"Josh?"

"I know I've said this before, but I think it bears
repeating -- you're an hysterically funny person," and
his tone indicates, that he really doesn't think that
at all.

"Yeah," I agree. "I really am." Fortunately, I think I
am. A funny person, that is.

"Seriously, Donna, does this mean something?"

"Seriously, Josh, she wants you to owe her."

"Sex?" He squeaks.

"Perhaps. What else have you got that she might want?"

"Okay, you know what? I think I'll figure this out on
my own."

"No you won't."

"I won't?"

"No, tomorrow you'll go ask Sam and when he has no
clue, you'll try to ask CJ, but you'll chicken out
when she glares at you after you preface your question
in some completely inappropriate way."

"Are you going to start clucking at me now?"

"Nope, I'll wait until tomorrow to do that when you
spend the rest of the day hiding from CJ and her
glares."

There's a pause. "Do you think Sam will be more
helpful than you're being?"

"Maybe. He did date a prostitute for a while," I
deadpan.

"Okay, see, I'm not sure what the hell I was thinking
here, calling and asking for your assistance."

"I'm not sure either, since it's not in my job
description to assist you with your dating dilemmas."
Ouch, that came out a little harsh.

"That's never stopped you before," he responds quickly
and just as heatedly.

That's never stopped you either," I point out.

There's an uneasy silence and then, "So, did you
finish that thing?"

"Yeah, it's on your chair," I answer, not mentioning
all the other things I did at work tonight while he
was out being all -- Special J.

"What are you doing?"

"I'm in bed."

* * *

"Me too, " I respond, stretching out a bit, glad
that I was able to save the conversation from going
someplace stupid.

"You should ask Sam to tell you about his friend Ed
tomorrow," Donna suggests, making me think she's going
to be losing me soon.

"Who's Ed? Larry's Ed?"

"No, Sam's Ed. From high school. Ask him, it might
help with your dating issues," she says, as I try to
figure out if she sounds upset or not. Or what the
hell she's talking about some guy named Ed who went to
high school with Sam for.

I think she should be upset that I had a date. I was
gone for nearly five hours with Amy -- appetizers were
involved and everything.

And apparently, Amy is trying to barter for my very
in-demand, sexual favors.

"Amy's a very attractive woman," I throw out, for some
reason that escapes my better judgment.

There's a brief silence. "That's right. I met her last
year at that embassy party. She is, Josh."

I swear that came out in a weird voice. Huh. Okay,
let's try this.

"I'm gathering rosebuds, Donna. I'm wooing. Women
like to be wooed."

"Good, Josh. And actually, she's wooing. Or buying,
you know, with potato skins and nachos."

"Actually, we ordered brie en croute. That's when..."

"I know what that is," she says snippily, cutting me
off.

"Okay, I was just letting you know. There were also
crab cakes involved...and fancy imported beer."

"So you're an expensive call boy."

"I prefer high-priced male escort," I shoot back.

"She's going to woo you and then throw you away when
you've outgrown your tawdry use."

"That would work -- isn't that my usual dating modus
operandi anyway?"

I hear a distinct huff on the other end of the phone.
Yep, something's going on with her and I'm thinking
she might be bothered by my sudden social life. Which
is interesting, since, on occasion, I might have found
myself a bit bothered by her dating habits.

Not jealous...*bothered*.

I blindly reach up and feel around for the latest
issue of George that I left on the shelf of my
headboard, but instead of the light magazine, my
hand bumps into something else. The next thing I know
there's a large thumping noise, accompanied by a sharp
pain in my forehead.

"Josh?"

"Oh god," I manage to mutter, lifting the heavy book
off my head.

"Josh? Are you okay?"

"Yeah, I just, uh, knocked a book off my headboard
and it hit...me over the...head."

Right on the head. Oh crap, that's almost funny --
in a freakish sort of way, of course.

"You're okay?" She repeats, sounding more concerned.

"Ah, yeah. I gotta go."

"Need to get back to your street corner?" She teases.

"Yeah, see you tomorrow," I hang up before she can
say anything else, then I look at the book.

How apropos. It's my old social studies textbook -- no
wonder it hurt so much, that thing weighs a freakin'
ton.

* * *

"Donna!"

Nothing.

"Donna!"

Finally she pokes her head in my office.

"God, hold your horses, Josh. What?"

"My head hurts."

"Josh your head is fine."

"I think the bump is getting bigger."

"I doubt that."

"I could have been killed, by my massive head wound."

"Your head is very hard -- I think you would have
been fine no matter what."

I run my hand through my hair. Ow! God, it really does
hurt.

"Donna, seriously, it's growing. What happens when
you get a concussion? Does the wound get bigger?"

She makes a face, then walks over to me and for a
moment, I think she's going to hurt me, but when she
lays her hand up on my head it's just as gentle and
soft as the earlier two times I
made her feel it.

"Josh," she sighs. "Your bump feels the same."

"Are you sure it's not bigger? It feels bigger."

"It's not bigger," she answers, pulling her hand off
me, after running it through my hair quickly, and
then lets it drop down and rest on my shoulder.

"Okay, but what about a concussion?" I ask, looking
up at her, grinning just a bit.

"Have you fallen asleep since you hit your head last
night?"

"Yes."

"Did you wake up?"

I look around. "Am I really here or am I just dreaming
this?"

She rolls her eyes at me, but now she's smiling too.
"Josh, if you woke up this morning, you don't have a
concussion."

"Are you making that up?"

"No."

"Could I see some references, please?"

"Josh!"

"Donna! References! Unless you've completed medical
school in the last few days, get on the Web and just
give me some proof that you know what you're talking
about."

"And then you'll shut up about your head wound?"

"Massive head wound, mind you and yeah, I'll shut up
about it then."

"Fine," she turns and heads out, as I reach for the
Advil she brought me earlier and swallow two down
with my lukewarm coffee.

* * *

"So, Amy Gardner asked you out for drinks last night,"
Sam says out of nowhere and the slinky stops in my
hands, mid-slink. I hadn't even gotten to the point
of asking him anything yet -- I was still deciding
on how best to introduce the topic in a way that
wouldn't make me seem that clueless.

Because, really, if I'm going to Sam for advice on
women, well, I'm a bit clueless.

"What? How do you know about that?"

"Donna told me."

"When?"

"Last night."

"Huh," I answer absently, not quite sure what to make
of this information. I turn around to make sure his
door is shut.

"What'd she say?"

"Nothing much, just that Amy calls you Special J," and
here he stops to make an amused face. "And that she
asked you out for drinks last night."

"She does and she did."

"Have a good time?"

"Ah, yeah. So, what else did Donna say?"

He gives me a curious look. "She thinks Special J is
a stupid nickname."

I shrug my shoulders. "Well, yeah. What else?"

"She was...fidgety."

"Fidgety? What the hell does that mean?" C'mon Sam, I
think, repeatedly tapping my foot on the floor, give
me more than that.

Suddenly the door bursts open and Larry walks in.

"My slinky -- I've been looking all over for that!"
He comes up to me and holds his hand out expectantly.

"What?"

"Josh, you have my slinky."

"Oh! yeah, here, here," I stop playing with it and
give it to him. "Sorry, I forgot I was holding onto
it."

He starts to leave. "Oh, Donna says you have Leo in
ten minutes and that you shouldn't be late or you
might end up with more head wounds," he pauses. "What
does that mean?"

"Nothing," I answer quickly as he leaves, shutting
the door behind him.

"Head wounds?" Sam asks.

"Oh, I just dropped a book on my head last night and
Donna's pissed because I made her research concussions
this morning. Anyway, so she was fidgety, you say?"

"Yeah. Look, Josh?"

"What?"

He stares at me for a second. "Is something going
on?"

"What? What do you mean?"

"Nothing," he pauses. "Nothing, really. It's none of
my business."

"Okay."

"You know there are rumors about you and Donna,
right?" He asks a second later.

"Yeah."

"They are just rumors, right?"

"Of course they are," I answer back.

He smiles. "Yeah, I knew that."

"Yeah. Okay, I need to get in to see Leo and," I start
to get up. "So, I'm just going to go do that. Oh, I'm
supposed to ask you about an Ed?"

"Ed? Larry's Ed?"

"No. Your Ed, you knew him in high school?"

"Oh yeah," he grins. "Special Ed. What about him?"

I shake my head. Yep. Hysterical, she is. "Never
mind."

"'Kay."

On the way back to my office I stop and find myself
watching Donna fill out some reports. She doesn't see
me and I have a few seconds to just observe her.

She's got her head down while she writes something out
at her desk and she's biting her lip gently, the way
she does when she's really concentrating.

Amy's wrong -- she's not cute at all. She's really
very beautiful.

And my assistant.

When I get into my office there's a post-it on my
chair. Amy called while I was with Sam. I push that to
the side, over by the phone, and grab the folder with
the numbers Leo wants.

But before I leave, I take two more Advil -- I have a
feeling I'm going to need them.

* * *

The End.

 

 

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