Title: "The One With the Romulans"
Author: Dafna G.
E-mail: beruria@eskimo.com
Pairing: Jed/Leo (and K/S if you want to get technical)
Rating: CHILD
Spoilers: none
Archive: sure, just let me know
Summary: "All the same, I'm thinking no more Sci-Fi Channel before bedtime for you, Mr. President."
Notes: 1) This is *not* a post "17 People" fic -- it's set anytime before that, the morning after a bad day at the White House. 2) Un-beta'd again and I'm actually not a huge TOS fan, so please tell me if I made any errors. 3) I could really use a better title. Suggestions? 3) The Star Trek bunny that led to this story was indirectly the fault of Priya, so this is for her.

********************

The One With the Romulans by Dafna G.

A rustle next to him woke Leo up. He started to open his eyes, still sleepy and not entirely sure where he was. "Wha -- "

"Shhh!" he heard, and someone's hand clapped over his mouth briefly. "We don't know how many there are out there."

Leo opened his eyes wide. He was in a guestroom at the White House, and it was Jed Bartlet crouched next to him on the bed, telling him to be quiet.

"Mr. President, are we under attack?" His voice was quiet but the president turned around from where he'd been monitoring the door and shh'd him again.

"Quiet, Leo. They've got patrol units everywhere."

"Patrol units? What?" And with that Leo was fully awake and looking for signs of an armed invasion of the White House.

At that moment the radio clicked on. "Good morning, I'm Bob Edwards and this is National Public Radio's Morning Edition. Our top story this morning, the Senate today will try and S "

Leo breathed a sigh of relief. OK, they weren't at war. That still left him with the unpleasant possibility that the president had gone insane.

"Don't believe it," Jed said, gesturing to the radio. "It's all part of a Romulan ploy."

Leo looked up at him, warily. Jed dropped his mask of determination for a second and winked at him. OK, they weren't at war and the commander-in-chief wasn't insane.

"You lost consciousness when our ship crashed but I managed to carry you to this cave before early light."

*Crazy*, maybe.

"I was able to send a signal back to Scotty just before we lost control of the ship, so they should be able to mount a rescue effort, so all we have to do is just wait it out in this deserted, isolated cave." Jed looked both determined and amused at the same time.

"Just the two of us, alone in the cave, huh?" Leo said, his mouth twitching.

"Yep."

"You know, very few caves have 400-thread count sheets."

"Shhh, you're delirious Mr. Spock," Jed said. "I've never seen such cold, dank ground before. Why don't you rest your head in my lap."

Leo moved his head, telling himself he was only pacifying the invalid. Then something struck him.

"Wait a minute, 'Mr. Spock'? If anyone in this room is the intellectual geek given to freakish fact spouting, it's certainly not me."

"No, but it's always Spock who goes off and gets himself injured and then brave heroic Kirk -- "

Leo snorted.

Jed glared down at him. "Then brave heroic Kirk comes to his aid and they snuggle and wait for rescue."

"They snuggle? I'm not remembering this episode."

"They snuggled all the time. You were just too busy bitching about how unrealistic warp travel was to notice."

"OK. All the same, I'm thinking no more Sci-Fi Channel before bedtime for you, Mr. President."

"Hey, it's Jim, remember."

Leo looked up and smiled fondly at his friend of 40 years.

"Do you do this when Abbey's here?"

"When Abbey's here, I don't have to brave a hallway filled with Romulan patrol units to come find my shipmate."

Leo rolled his eyes. "Uh huh. Let me guess, she's -- "

"She's Dr. McCoy, of course." Jed looked down at Leo and smiled. "All that brave heroism aside, Kirk wouldn't be anywhere without Spock and Bones."

"You know, I always thought Spock and Bones should have *dumped* Kirk and run off together."

"Nah," Jed said. "If my wife's going to run off with anyone on my staff, it'd probably be Lt. Uhura."

"I don't even want to know who you think Uhura is."

The president chuckled.

"Sir, this is turning into a really bad game of West Wing Mad-Libs," Leo said. "Was there an actual reason you came down the hall?"

Jed rested his head on top of Leo's and sighed.

"I feel bad about --."

"I know."

"You shouldn't have to spend all your time defending me."

"Actually, that's pretty much my job description, sir."

"Still." Jed sighed again.

Leo waited, sure there was more.

"Remember that cartoon, from just after New Hampshire? When you made that ridiculously over-the-top appearance on "Meet the Press"?

Leo squirmed. "Well, Russert shouldn't have said what he -- "

"And the cartoonist pictured you as a knight defending all comers while I gave speeches about free trade from my castle?"

Leo's ears were turning pink and he was squirming again.

"Oh please," Jed said. "You weren't the one with the long flowing hair and the -- "

"Mr. President, is there a point somewhere in this walk down memory lane?"

"I just -- It's just that sometimes -- " Jed stopped again and raised his eyes to the ceiling. "It's just that sometimes I'd like to be the one to defend *you.*"

Leo started to sit up, but the president pulled him close, wrapping his arms around Leo's chest.

"I mean, where is it written that *I* can't come to *your* rescue?"

Leo sighed but didn't say anything. They sat together there, watching the ceiling.

"Well?" the president finally demanded.

Leo laughed softly and punched him in the arm. "You know, for a Nobel laureate, you are such a dumbass sometimes."

Jed pushed him away and glared at him. "Dumbass? I pour out my secret fears and I get 'dumbass'?"

"Oh, man," Leo said. "I'm trapped in a Joan Crawford movie with William Shatner."

Jed pushed him away again. "You can leave anytime, you know."

"It's my room!"

"It's my house!"

The two glared at each other for ten seconds.

Jed turned his head away and sighed. "Never mind. I think too much when Abbey's away."

"Oh, man," Leo said again. "You still don't get it, do you?"

"What?

"You do it every day, you big dumbass. Rescue me, I mean." Leo stared at a point just past Jed's head as he continued.

"Every morning I wake up and every morning I want a drink."

Jed reached out and touched Leo's shoulder.

"And every morning I remind myself why I shouldn't have that drink and it's a long list, Jed, don't get me wrong, but it always ends with you. You need me. And you need me sober. And then I get up and another day goes by and suddenly months have gone by and I'm not passed out in a bar or dead in a ditch somewhere."

Jed swallowed. "I do need you."

"I know," Leo turned his face to look at Jed in the eye. He touched his friend's face briefly. "And that's what saves me, every day." He paused. "Of course, if it makes you feel better, I'm sure we can get you a phaser somewhere."

"Honest to god, Leo, you can kill a moment better than -- "

"Well, it's time to get up, anyway, sir. I'm sure breakfast is ready."

Jed waited while Leo put on his bathrobe and the two old friends walked down the hall.

The president chuckled suddenly.

"What?"

"You called me 'Jed'!" The president's tone was gleeful.

"I'm sure I didn't, sir," Leo cast a wary eye back to the trailing Secret Service agent.

"You did so, you did so call me Jed!"

"Please, Mr. President, not in front of the Klingons."

<end>

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