All My Rowdy Cheeseheads Are Coming Over Tonight

by: Liza C.

Character(s): Josh, Donna
Pairing(s): Josh/Donna
Category(s): Challenge, Humor
Rating: YTEEN
Disclaimer: The way you know that I don't own them… is because if I did, they would talk more often than once every six months.
Summary: Josh and Donna watch a little football.
Author's Note: This is set some time during the first two years of the Administration. An answer to the Improv challenge at the JDFF list: 1000 words max

"Is that lip service?"

"Is what lip service?"

"You… that thing you're doing right now, is that lip service?" I turn on the couch to get a better look at him.

"I'm not doing anything right now."

"Yes, you are. You're cheering. You don't normally do that."

"I do that. I cheer."

"Not for the Packers." I raise an eyebrow at him.

"You're questioning the sincerity of my cheer?" As if offended, he brings one hand to his chest.

"I am."

"Why can't I cheer for the Packers?" He reaches over into my lap and grabs a handful of pretzels from the bag resting between my legs. My heart arrests until his hand is gone and he's calmly munching on the salty treats.

I don't know why that just affected me. It's just his hand… in my lap. Once my heart's beating again, I'm able to talk. "Because you don't like the Packers."

"I like the Packers."

"They're from Wisconsin."

"I like… things… from Wisconsin."

"Like what? What do you like from Wisconsin?"

"Um… well… uh… cheese. I like cheese from Wisconsin."

"That's all?"

"There may be other things." Did I just imagine that his eyes ran up and down me? I did, didn't I?

And now the look in his eye makes my stomach a little flippity. Why is my stomach flippity? Clearing my throat, I challenge, "You said their defense has more holes than Swiss cheese."

"Shhhhhh!" Josh quickly puts his finger up to his lips and glances from side to side. "I never said that."

"Yes… you said that on Friday when I told you my parents' one scheduling request while visiting is that they not miss the Packers' Monday Night game."

"I don't remember that."

"Really? Because I remember it specifically…" I lower my voice and kind of dumb it up to make it more masculine. "Really, Donna, the Broncos are going to run through the Packers defense like its Swiss cheese… just like they did in the Super Bowl."

"I said that?" Josh actually looks sheepish.

"You did."

"Well, can you stop talking about it? They'll hear." He hisses at me. Why is Josh hissing at me?

"Who'll hear?"

"Them!"

"Them who?"

"What do you mean 'them who'? 'Them,' the only other two people in my apartment!"

He's worried about my parents hearing that he's not a Packer's fan? I look at him curiously and finally just ask, "Josh, why are you cheering for the Packers?"

"Because."

"Because why?"

"Because I want your dad to like me." From the look on his face, I think he's as surprised at what just came out of his mouth as I am.

"It's important that my dad like my boss?"

"Yeah."

"Why?"

"Because… um… boss/paternal relations are… uh… the cornerstone of American society. They must be kept up."

"Boss/paternal relations?" It's very hard to keep the smirk off my face.

"It's a thing."

"If you say so." He just huffs at me and goes back to watching the game. I study him a minute before an idea strikes. It's a little evil. "You know… if you want my dad to like you…"

"Yeah?"

"First, you never bring up John Elway or Super Bowl XXXII."

"Even if this is the first time the Packers have played the Broncos since then?"

"Yes, it's only been a couple of years and… it still hurts."

"But with Elway gone it's like they're playing a whole different team anyway."

"Still."

"I'm just saying the announcers are bringing it up a lot."

"I know."

"It's hard to get away from."

"Yes, I think that's why my dad has been gone for a quarter of an hour."

Josh glances to the kitchen. "But he just went to get another round of beers."

"I know."

"In my fridge."

"Yes."

Josh crinkles his brow, realization dawning. "That probably shouldn't take fifteen minutes."

"That's what I'm saying."

"Oh… I thought he was helping your mom make the nachos… or hiding in there because he doesn't like me."

"Relax, I think he's on his way to liking you."

"Really, why?" He asks eagerly. A little too eagerly.

"Because when the cable in my apartment went out-"

"And at your neighborhood bar." Josh nods his head once making sure I tell the whole story, even if he is my only audience.

"And at my neighborhood bar, you let us come over and watch the game on your very new, very big TV. That was very nice of you, Josh." I reward him with a pat on the knee and a smile.

That perks him up. Seriously, I'm having trouble figuring him out tonight. Since my dad hasn't come back with the fresh round of beers yet, I lean over and grab his off the coffee table.

"Hey, that's mine."

"I know." I grin at him slyly before taking a sip. "But you're nice and nice people share."

He just sort of sneers at me, but I can tell he secretly likes when I swipe his beer.

"So… what's the second part?"

"Second part?"

"In getting your dad to like me, the first part was not mentioning the Super Bowl or Elway."

"Right." I was going to let him off the hook, but he brought it up, so... "You're serious about my dad liking you?"

"Yes."

"And serious about cheering for the Packers…"

"Uh huh."

I glance meaningfully to the coffee table. "You have to wear it."

Immediately he starts shaking his head back and forth.

"Oh… so wanting my dad to like you was just lip service too?"

"No, I want your dad to like me!" My boss's voice just got a little high there. Interesting.

I shrug. "Wearing it will cement your sincerity."

"Is this a sure fire thing?"

"What do you mean?"

"I mean if I do this, your dad will like me and you'll quit questioning my allegiance to the Pack?"

I can't help but smile. "I can pretty much guarantee it."

"Fine." He holds his hand out; gesturing for me to hand him the large, foam triangle hat. "Pass me the cheese."

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