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Archivist's Note: This is another mission lost with Kippur's geocities page, but rescued by Neshomeh. It takes place in 2005, probably between January 5, when Alec was re-partnered with Marc-C after Verra left on maternity leave, and March 31, when Alec's control over fire temporarily began to dwindle (since he displays control over fire in this mission).

The archivist has done editing for punctuation and italicization of major titles in this mission. The mission was written by Kippur. The PPC was created by Jay and Acacia. The original badfic, "Look Homeward, Angel Q" was written by Diana Q. Star Trek: The Next Generation belongs to Gene Roddenberry, while Touched by an Angel belongs to John Masius and Martha Williamson.

This mission is rated PG for minor swearing and for a religion being wielded like a cudgel.

"Q Is Saved by Mary Sue"
by Kippur

Response Center 3b was quiet, but this time it wasn’t because no one was inside. This time it was because the people inside the room weren’t speaking. One of them was a thuggish-looking woman with short-cropped hair who probably wouldn’t have been out of place in a science fiction movie. She sat with her arms crossed, staring at the screens. Next to her was a slight, elven-looking man with the feel of movement and activity around him. He was sitting perfectly still, but the feeling still persisted. Every once in a while the woman, Marc-C, would cast the man, Alec, an annoyed look. Alec seemed to be distracted and did not seem to notice.

“Will you stop?” Marc-C finally asked. Alec gave her a blank look.

“Stop what?”

A twitch flashed across her face. “Whatever it is you’re doing.”

“Sitting here thinking?” Alec asked cautiously. She gave him an annoyed look. He shrugged apologetically, though it was clear he didn’t know why he was being apologetic. Marc-C started to retort, but the computer went off.

[BEEEEEEEEEEPPPPPP!!!!!]

Sighing, Marc-C leaned over and pulled up the story. Her sigh grew louder and more annoyed. “Our first fic since I get back has to be this?”

“What is it?”

“A Star Trek story.”

A shudder wracked Alec’s body. “It’s not Marrissa is it?” he asked in a small, quiet voice. She shook her head and he relaxed some. “So it can’t be too bad then.”

“Q is converted to Christianity,” she said flatly.

Alec was silent for a long moment. “Never mind then.”

“Gear up and let's get out,” Marc-C ordered. She turned her back and Alec made a face at her. The face was gone as soon as she turned around again. Instead, he was industriously poking through his pack, dropping a few bottles of bleeprin into the bag. She looked at him, but he didn’t acknowledge it. He flung the bag over his shoulder and gave her a smile.

“Ready to go?”

“Yes.” She punched the portal open and strode through. Sighing, Alec followed her.


Diane Smith woke early, as she always did on the mornings she had to work. She raked her fingers through her shoulder-length red hair, preparing to get into the tub to start her day.

Marc-C smacked Alec, who had started to ogle the undressed woman.

A scream of outraged agony outside her apartment woke her the rest of the way up and brought out the nurse in her. She yanked on her pants and shirt, not bothering with her undergarments in her haste to follow the cry.

There was an odd blur as a figure that looked like a woman dressed as a nurse ran out, followed by the woman herself.

“That was interesting,” Alec said.

“Come on,” Marc-C snapped, charging after the woman. “Do you have the CAD?” Alec pulled it out and showed it to her as he followed. She snatched it from his hands. When they got downstairs, Diane had found the source of the screams: Q with a knife in his chest. The two agents were subjected to Q’s angsty thoughts broadcasted in capital letters.

“Abuse of the caps lock key,” Marc-C and Alec said together. They then both started and glared at each other.

Then, there was a girl bending over him, placing gentle, soothing hands on him. "I'll be right back," she told him, "I work at hospital. I'll get you some help." Diane called John deLancie while inside. The actor who played her favorite Star Trek charactor had been in Chicago for a convention. They'd met, conversed, had a few laughs at the expense of the one he played, and exchanged phone numbers. He'd called her back (much to his wife's chagrin) and they'd become friends.

“Wait a second…” Alec said slowly, “There’s a guy laying in the alley bleeding to death and she goes and calls up someone on the phone? Hello? Life and death emergency?”

Marc-C didn’t say anything, but shook her head. “Put down use of real people in a fan fic. Shame it’s not on the Pit, we could get it banned. And creation of a mini actor and abuse of spelling.”

IT'S REAL, HE'S...OH MY GOD. BUT HOW WAS SOMEONE ABLE TO HURT HIM? Q IS SUPPOSED TO BE OMNIPOTENT. WELL, NO TIME FOR QUESTIONS I'LL PROBABLY NEVER HAVE ANSWERS TO NOW.

Alec sighed, muttering, “Well yes, that’s because you left him BLEEDING on the street!”

“Troven, watch the caps!” Marc-C snapped. Alec looked slightly chagrined. The Sue, having called 'John deLancie' instead of 911, then took Q in her car to the hospital. The two agents portaled ahead to the hospital to avoid the scene shift.

She pulled up in front of the emergency entrance, spotting a familiar face as she entered.
"Doctor Benton!" The tall black man whirled upon hearing that familiar feminine voice.

"Hey, Diane, you're early."

"Please get a gurney out front. Male, mid-thirties, stab wound to the chest, knife still embedded."


“Please? Who says please? It sounds like she’s ordering coffee.”

“Troven...”

“Yeah, yeah,” Alec grumbled. They watched as Q was taken into the hospital and given morphine for the pain for a wound that should have caused him to pass out from pain or shock long before.

"What's happening to me?"

“You’re stuck in a bad fic.”

“They're taking you up to the O.R. to remove the knife and repair the damage it did.
I'll be right here with you the whole time."

"Why doesn't that make me feel anymore comfortable with the idea?"


“Because she’s a Mary Sue.”

"Because these doctors and myself are only human. Unlike a certain omnipotent I know."

“Omnipotent what?” Alec finished off.

Q smiled shakily despite himself."You figured that out pretty quick."

"It's my job. I'm the woman."


“Woman what?” Alec said, wishing his wife or someone else was here. It would make the fic a lot more bearable. Marc-C was never much for pointless banter, being the strong silent type.

He sighed, letting his eyes slide closed.

Alec and Marc-C got to watch Q throw a hissy fit at being put under and then the operation. Q, tragically, almost died but was resuscitated.

“You know what’s odd?” Alec said to Marc-C. “Usually Q is up and around us by now watching the story. The Sue really has her hands in him.” Marc-C grunted in response. Diane, meanwhile, had made a run for the exit and was getting yelled at by her boss, until she gave her sob story about knowing the patient, whereupon her boss gave her sympathy. She also had a smoke.

“Disgusting,” Marc-C grunted. Alec looked at her, surprised that she had actually commented on something, but didn’t say anything.

Diane went back inside and up to the recovery room Q had been taken to. "I'm back."

Q opened one eye, watching as she approached."I'm a bit upset with you," He was hoarse, but his voice was considerably stronger than it had been before the surgery,"you tricked me into letting that...barbarian gas me into unconsciousness."

Would you rather they opened up your chest and repaired your heart without any anesthetic? Considering your people's low pain threshold, I don't think so."


“Who ever said that the Q had a low threshold for pain? Is she referring to the fork incident? Because anyone would be screaming in pain if they had a fork jabbed into their hand-Mmmhhph!” Alec’s ramble was cut off as Marc-C slammed her hand over his mouth.

“Shush,” she growled.

"Well..."He broke off, realizing he didn't know her name,"Could you at least introduce yourself so we could argue properly? I'm not exactly comfortable arguing with someone when I can't even call them by their name."

"Diane Lynn Smith. I'm 30, and I work here at County General as a nurse. I have one child, a little girl named Lucia, who'll be two this Christmas. I was widowed shortly before she was born."


When the hand was removed, Alec muttered, “He wanted her name, not her life story.”

Something that looked almost like sympathy flashed across those handsome features. In truth, it was that the emotionless way in which she'd stated that fact reminded Q of all the losses he himself had endured. His face crumbled in on itself for a momment. Then, he smiled wryly, an expression that told Diane just how desperately he was trying to be brave.

“Making Q care about some random human for no reason whatsoever,” Marc-C muttered while writing down the charge. “And making him show emotions in front of a human.”

She set a hand on his shoulder, wanting to sweep him into her arms but knowing he probably wouldn't allow that much familiarity. Q's reserve toppled the rset of the way at that gentle touch. Hating himself for needing comfort that much but in too much anguish to care, he threw his arms around her neck, shoulders shaking as he sobbed.

“Turning Q into a crying, sobbing wreck,” Alec offered helpfully as they watched him cry. Bored, he started to poke around the room before finding some sedative and a needle. Smiling, he tucked them into his pocket.

Diane embarced him, caressing his hair absently with her left hand. She didn't speak a word, only held him and rocked him, letting him cry himself out. At the same time, she silently prayed for him. GOD, I KNOW HE'S NOT HUMAN, SO HE'S TECHNICALLY NOT YOUR RESPONSIBILTY, BUT PLEASE HELP HIM. BRING HIM PEACE. Q sagged into her arms. For the first time in a very long time, he was completely at peace. Whatever higher power this girl had called upon had banished all his pain, fear, anger, and doubt. The stilness washing over him was incredibly wonderful, and he yearned for it to never end. When he lifted his eyes, tears still streamed from them.

The response to this from the PPC agents was quite simply “…..” Finally, Alec became articulate again. “Q thinks he is a god, or on level with a god. Why would he be comforted by someone praying to a god that’s not him?” he said, using “a” because he grew up with multiple gods and never quite got the concept of a singular god.

Diane saw a joy light his face that was neraly celestial. She'd never senn him so happy, never in all the years she'd followed his adventures. She thought it was a beautiful change.

“And how would she know that? He showed up, what, seven times on the various shows?”

“Twelve.” Alec supplied, “Eight on the Next Generation, once on Deep Space Nine and three times on Voyager, and as of now, no appearances on Enterprise. And that’s not including his book appearances which aren’t considered canon.” Marc-C stared at him for a second.

He gave her a blank look.

She shook her head and sighed.

Diane continued to bond with Q. She bonded so well with him that she decided to take him home like a stray puppy. There was no mention of who was going to pay for Q’s hospital bills or how.


Diane entered the room on the morning he was to be discharged bright and early."Wake up,"the artless pile of curls she'd styled into her hair bounced as she tossed her Head, "you're outta here!"

Stonily, the two agents watched as the Sue’s head bounced around the room before rolling in a corner.

“That was interesting…” Alec muttered quietly.

She smiled, seemingly unfazed."My hair, guilty as charged."She pulled a three-piece suit from behind her."Went shopping for you. The clothes I found you in were hopeless, and if you can be hurt here, I assume you wouldn't be able to, uh, whip up another set of clothes."

He was stunned st her unsolicited kindness. No one had ever been kind to him without an ulterior motive before. He ran his fingers over the soft fabric, seeming almost to carress it. "This is real silk!"


Annoyed, Alec said, “What about Data?”

"Yep. You'd be surpriseed what you can afford when you know where to look. Go on, get into the bathroom and out of that drafty gown."

He emerged ten minutes later. Diane gasped. Q was even more spectacularly handsome than she'd thought. He held his head high, his bearing oozing confidance. "I think the temperature in the room just rose about ten degrees," she breathed,"You are drop-dead, unadulterated gorgeous."


“He’s not that good-looking,” Marc-C muttered quietly. Alec stared at her, surprised once again, but didn’t say anything. He wondered idly who her lust object was. Suddenly, the scene switched without warning.

Diane had planned a trip to Virgina to visit a few friends. So she purchased another plane ticket in order to drag her new friend along. Q looked around her apartment as Diane said her good-byes to the baby-sitter. Suddenly, he collided with aa 21-month-old energy being. She clung to his legs, catipulting herself between them in search of her
mother.

"Mommy,"Lucia squealed in delight as she spotted Diane.


“Lovely, enter the cute side kick,” Alec muttered.

"There's my little girl,"she swept the little red-haired moppet up into her arms."Mommy's got a friend with her. He'll be staying with us awhile."

The little girl looked up at him with sparkling emerald green eyes. Apparantly she approved, for she began sucking on his lapel. Diane disengaged the cloth from her child's mouth as a look that seemed to be a mix of horror and bewilderment settled onto Q's face.


Since the girl was in her mother’s arms, to suck on Q’s lapel was for her to stretch her neck out, much like Mr. Fantastic or Plastic Man. Which explained the look on Q’s face, as well as the agents’.

“O, Lord I'm sorry. She usually doesn't act this way around strangers. She must like you."

“Do I even want to know what she does to people she doesn’t like?”

“She widdles on them,” Alec said with confidence. “That’s what Braxious used to do.”

Lucia threw her arms around Q's neck. The horror receded to be replaced by a feeling he'd never had before. He nestled his chin against the top of Lucia's head. His eyes slid closed and he just let it come. "Daddy."Q, amazingly, didn't correct her. As a matter of fact, a small fraction of a wish formed that he really was her father. His heart overflowed with that simple familial love.

“Ignoring canon family,” Marc-C said, writing down the charge. Alec just watched as the girl continued to play Mr. Fantastic.

"What's wrong?"she set her hand on his. Homesickness overwhelmed him.

"I miss my home. I miss Jean-Luc, and my family. Hell, I even miss that annoying step-daughter of mine. Ariadne is seven now, the age where they start to speak intelligably and become somewhat less annoying."He handed her a photograph."My sister took this when Ari was four. Queria always did have a strange fascination with 20th century recording techniques.The woman holding her is Naomi Allen, my ex-girlfriend and her mother."


“A Q being called something other than Q. This is something that canon states explicitly in several places. And where’d he get the picture from?” Alec almost snarled. He then stopped and took a deep breath, reaching into his pocket to pull out a bottle of pills. Dumping out two of them, he popped them into his mouth and swallowed as Diane declared that Q was going to visit friends with her.

Diane awoke early on the morning they were to leave to pack a few last-minute items. She peeked into the spare room to find Q still asleep, Lucia curled into the protective curve of his arm, Her two cats, Callie Mae and Honey, curled up at his head and feet.
"Wake up, everyone.We've got two hours before we have to leave for the airport."


Alec pulled out his camera and snapped a picture of the scene. He figured it’d go good for the “Things That Never Would Be Seen In Canon” board in the cafeteria.

Q rubbed his eyes clear of sand and stumbled sleepily into the master bath to get showered and dressed. He held Lucia's hand tightly as the group waded through the crowd at O'Hare Airport. Diane found their gate and waved her arms frantically to lead her friend and daughter to her.

“Transitions? What happened to transitions?” Alec muttered as Q wandered around in the airport naked. He took a picture of that, just because.

Q looked out of the 757's window as the plane took off. I WONDER WHAT DEAR JEAN-LUC WOULD THINK IF HE COULD SEE ME RIGHT NOW? ON AN OLD-FASHIONED AIRPLANE, GOING WITH MY 20TH CENTURY GIRLFRIEND TO VISIT A GROUP OF HER CHRISTIAN FRIENDS. HE'D PROBABLY FALL OVER IN SHOCK. Q grinned at the image that formed in his head at the thought.

Trapped in seats right behind him, the two agents gave a sigh. There was nothing quite like sitting on an airplane, unable to get drink service or anything else like that because no one noticed you were there. Twinkies were the order of the day.

A few hours later, they landed at Dulles. John had already arranged for her car.ONE OF THE PERKS OF KNOWING A CELEBRITY, she told herself.

“I’m not going to dignify that with a response,” Marc-C surprisingly said. Alec agreed with it.

“Now, remember, these friends are good Christians. So behave yourself."

“As opposed to bad Christians?” Alec muttered.

"Are you implying..."Q protested.

"I didn't say that you didn't know how. You just usually choose not to." Diane grinned impishly.

Q returned the smile as soon as it dawned on him that he was being teased."Touche, point well taken."


“No.”

Dale Petit, her ex-roomate, answered the door when they arrived. His jaw dropped for a momment as he realized just who the man standing next to Diane was. "So,girl, we're consorting with omnipotent entities now, are we?"

“No,” Alec said again. “The logical assumption would be that the man with her is John, not the entity Q, because everyone knows that Q is a fictional character from a television show.” The logic didn’t carry over into the story. All of Diane’s friends were excited to meet Q the entity and not John the actor.

“You must be Bonnie Ballyntyne. Diane's been talking about you ever since we met."

"Bonnie Obata, actually. Tim and I have married since the last time Diane and I saw each other. Oh, do me a favor, Q. Try not to mingle too much. I don't wanna have to pull out the smelling salts tonight."

Q smiled."Already been duly warned. I won't pull any rabitts out of hats or make Bibles appear out of nowhere."Lucia ran up to him and held out her arms, wanting to be picked up. He lifted her easily, nuzzling her hair with a bit of fatherly affection before setting her down again. "Go find your mother, Brat Child."

"Okay,Daddy."

Bonnie sensed a peace about him she'd not expected as he followed the child with his eyes.


“No.”

A half-hour later, Diane came back in from the bacony after having her cigarette. She saw Bonnie with Lucia in her arms, but Q was nowhere to be seen.

"Where'd Q go?"


Alec decided that he’d like to know that, too. As in, this pod person was most definitely not Q.

Bonnie nodded to their friend Jim's bedroom. "Dave, Ron, and Tim are ministering to him in there."

Diane's eyes misted a little as the memory of how lost she'd felt before coming here the first time came back."I feel God's spirit moving tonight, Bonnie. Do you think..."Diane trailed off, almost as if it was too much to hope for.


“I think I’m going to be sick.”

"He just might, Miss Diane. He didn't freak or anything when he got here, and he's stuck it out instead of fleeing. I'd take that as a sign that he might be pretty receptive."

“Or it could be that you have him trapped into a bad, bad, bad fic and he can’t get out no matter how hard he tries.”

Dave's stocky figure approached them.

"Come on in, Sister."

Q was on his knees. Tim and Ron were laying hands on him, praying. Years, millions of them, ones of sin, of aimlessness and searching for meaning in it all, poured from him in a hot rushing outpour of tears. "Lord,"his voice shook for a momment, as if he still wasn't sure he could actually do this,"I have done an infinite number of absolutely idiotic things in my life, despite the inordinate amount of intelligence you've endowed my people with. I've hurt my friends, shamed my family, and driven away the very small number of mortal beings that have ever cared about me. But You know all that. I think it's about time I stopped trying to run my life,since the mess I've made of it should make it obvious that I haven't made a very good go of it thus far, and let the One who created my people and Diane's both give it a try. Jesus, come into my heart and mind,teach me how to be as you would want me to be. Because I can't do it myself anymore."


“Um… no, no, and No,” Alec said and looked over at Marc-C pleadingly. “Tell me we have enough to charge her with and get rid of her.”

“I’m afraid not, Troven.”

The scene changed rapidly within a sentence space.

Diane laid her hands on his shoulders, thanking God for all she was worth. A slender woman with chesnut brown hair watched as the couple entered the store. "Look at them, Tess,"she spoke to the tall, stout black woman next to her. Her voice held an Irish brouge."They look so happy."She pointed at the man, who smiled as he hefted the little girl up onto his hip.

"They're who we're here for, Miss Wings."


Alec stared at this. “Oh gods.”

Q barely felt the weight of the child against his hip. All he knew was that it was warm for December first, the sun was shining, and the little girl in his arms smile up at him in delight. For once in his long life, the simple joys of home and family truly made him happy.

I WILL NOT LOSE THIS JOY. EVEN IF I HAVE TO GIVE UP ALL THAT I EVER WAS. I WOULD RATHER GROW OLD AND DIE AT DIANE'S SIDE ON THIS
PRIMITIVE WORLD THAN LOSE THIS.


From this, they watched Diane talk with Monica about how wonderful Q was, and how wonderful life was with Q, and all sorts of wonderful things about Q. It was nauseating.

Meanwhile, Q was approached by Tess, and they had a delightful but meaningless conversation. Alec yawned, bored. There was another odd transition, and Diane’s niece and nephew showed up for no particular reason. Except for maybe to gawk at Q and say how wonderful it was that he was now a Christian and such a good daddy. There was also a sugar-coated scene where Q helped baby Sue get dressed with much remarking at how good he was at it. Alec wondered how many cavities he was getting from all of the sugary sweetness.

Then they got the explanation on why Q had a hunting knife stuck in his chest.

"I was mugged. By two men who were, in my humble opinion, the two biggest wastes of God's creative energies I've ever encountered."He ran his hands through his hair sheepishly."I didn't realize I was without my powers, so I naturally told them to insert their heads firmly between their knees and blow themselves."

"Naturally."

"It was when one of them pulled out that damned hunting knife and plunged it into me that I realized I was in trouble. You can imagine how surprised I was to see blood pulsing out around the dratted thing. They rifled my pockets, then ran. They didn't even reclaim the blade."

"That was when I came down, I think. I must have chased them off. It's a good thing they didn't remove the knife. You would most likely have bled to death."

"I can't think of anything more embarrassing than to have had my body destroyed by those hoodlums. The rest of the Continuum would never have let me live it down."


Then the two agents were treated to Q breaking down and crying like a baby. It was really a sad and pathetic thing. It also induced, instead of vomiting, head banging.

Q shivered as the memmories of that morning returned. He had been more than merely frightened. For the first time, he'd been close enough to death to taste the sour coldness of it, and it had terrified him. The sound of the traffic outside the apartment complex and the coppery taste of blood, his blood, on his tounge had burned themselves indelibly into his mind. But he knew he'd never fear death quite that much again.

Diane saw the shudder run through him and immediatly put her arms around
him in order to help him ride it out. That was all it took for the dam to break. He'd been holding everything inside for the two weeks since the mugging, and he'd been hovering very close to the edge ever since. One gentle touch was all it had taken to
convince him it was safe to go over. The shudder became tremors as he began to cry. Wrenching, soul-rending sobs tore their way out of him.


“Oh please.” This was said with complete and utter disgust by Marc-C.

"Shh,"Diane comforted him as those sobs of remembered terror seized him,"It's Okay, everything's going to be okay. I'm here. I'll never leave you."

“Shoot me.”

“Gladly, Troven.”

He quieted, his sobs subsiding enough for him to speak."I truly thought I was going to die that morning. If you hadn't come when you did..."he shuddered again.

Another knock sounded at the door.


Another knock sounded against the wall.

"Katy? It's open. Just hurry up please. I've got a bit of a crisis on my hands at the momment."

Then, much to the confusion of the agents and the plot line, Amanda was brought in. She had the darling declaration that Q was going home. But they couldn’t go home right away because they had to wait for the Enterprise to show up to take Q home. Never mind the fact Q could have teleported back home with a snap of his fingers.

And then there was Q’s sister. Who wasn’t named Q.

The form she typically wore around humaniods was slender, almost willowy. Especially considering that she was 5'10" tall. She had dark hair, the soft black of a raven's wings.It perfectly set off her turquoise eyes.

"Cassela was the one that talked the Continuum into stripping me of my powers instead of just executing me. She and my dear brother. But she intended it as a merciful act. It took me awhile to see it that way, however."


“Oh yes. Lovely. Can we skip ahead? Please?” Alec pleaded. Marc-C grunted, but pulled out the portal device. She turned it on and Alec joyfully leapt through. This allowed them to skip over the part where Q sang Christmas carols on the plane and was wonderfully happy and sappily joyful. They also skipped over the part where Monica and Tess were randomly invited over for Christmas dinner and Monica had bad premonitions.

Diane woke around seven the next morning. Q had already awakened, showered, and dressed, so she had him walk up to the local conveniance mart for some milk for breakfast. Amanda and Cassela had gone to the park. IT FEELS GOOD TO HAVE THE HOUSE TO MYSELF FOR A BIT. She plugged in her curling iron and ran a hot bath.
When Diane exited the bathroom about ten minutes later in search of her makeup, She smelled smoke. Her first thought was for the safety of her daughter. She ran for the
child's bedroom. Locked! Somehow the young girl had managed to lock herslf in her bedroom.


“Any idea how this fire started?” Marc-C asked Alec, who was a bit of a fire expert. He shrugged.

“Wouldn’t it be nice if the little girl burned?”

“We should be so lucky.”

Diane ran nextdoor to call the fire department, then dashed outside.

“Wait… wait…her daughter’s trapped inside a burning building and she leaves her?!” Alec protested in disbelief. “If that was my son or daughter I’d be right there trying to break down the door with all my strength…” A low growl escaped his throat.

“Come on. We can deal with it later,” Marc-C said, pulling Alec out of the burning building. As they were coming down, they ran into Q going up. Marc-C let out a curse and started to cough in all the smoke.

Noticing this, Alec created a clean air bubble around the two of them with a few murmured words. Taking a few deep breaths, Marc-C gave Alec a grateful look. Alec gave her a rueful grin and nodded towards the running omnipotent entity. “There’s our later now.”

He dashed inside, nearly busting in the door in his haste. "Lucia,"he called"it's Daddy. Please, listen to me."

"Daddy,"the girl sounded frightened,"Can't open door. Stuck."

"See the little metal thing in the middle of the knob? Turn it towards the window." He heard the click of the lock unlatching and opened the door to reveal a scared, dishevled toddler. "Here get inside my jacket. hunker down as small as you can and stay
still. Daddy's going to get you out of here." THANK GOD I WORE MY LEATHER TRENCH-COAT THIS MORNING. He plunged out of the room. Suddenly, a backdraft caught the firestorm, sending a line of flame between them and the front door.


“Crap!” Alec cried as the fire nearly burst his clean air bubble. He struggled for a moment trying to get the fire to go around them and leave the two agents safe from burning. The flame flashed around them, flickering, burning hotly.

“For once, your elemental abilities come in handy,” Marc-C grunted. Alec smiled at the compliment. They watched as Q and the little girl jumped through the flames. There was a tense, of course, moment where it didn’t look like they were going to make it, but of course, they did.

The two agents followed him, Alec clearing the flames away with his elemental magics until they were outside and clear and free.

"Here,"He opened his jacket, and the shivering child tumbled to the ground.

"Mother of God!"Diane exclaimed in a hoarse whisper when he looked up at her. His face, his chest where the jacket hadn't covered it, and the backs of his hands were all badly burned. The pain hit like a ton of bricks. Q gasped at the unexpectedness of
it. But then of course he hadn't expected to be alive to feel it. He collapsed at her feet, going into a semi-conscious state with the intensity of it.

Monica and Tess pulled up in their Rolls just as the building began visibly burning.


“Since when did angels drive Rolls?” Alec wondered, brushing his hair back. Marc-C shrugged, rubbing her hands together. The two angels were filled in on the situation as the Sue cried out in fury at her god. The ambulance came and took Q away.

Dr. Carter, second-year resident,waited at the emergancy entrance. "Diane!"he yelped in surprise when she stepped from the back of the ambulance."What in the world..."

"My apartment burned down."

For the first time since he'd known her, this fiercly loving, ferociously efficient nurse looked....lost. Diane paced in the waiting area as Q's wounds were treated.

"Diane,"Amanda saw the look of caged frustration in the human woman's eyes,"sit down." She seemed not to hear. Monica walked up to her, sweeping the girl into her arms. Diane melted, sobbing into her shoulder, repeating like a litany,"Please,
I love him, let him live."

That brought forth the tears Cassela had been holding back by sheer strength of will. "Why?"She wailed,"why my brother? Bad things aren't supposed to happen to him. Wasn't what he went through as a little kid enough? I always wanted to believe in you, God. Prove it to me! Let Q live!"


Alec snorted as Marc-C shook her head with a sigh. It was depressing to see smug immortals turned into whining children.

Amanda held her, trying to comfort the older Q though she herself was dying inside.
"H-he was b-better than any of u-us.w-why h-him? G-god knows our brother deserved this a helluva lot m-more than he did."



They were then treated to more touching moments as Q’s sibling and Amanda visited, as did Diane and her daughter. No one at all thought about snapping their fingers to heal him. After all, they were god-like entities; it was certainly within their power to do so. If Q could misplace an asteroid belt, then healing someone should be no problem. But that would have been the first logical thing that happened in the story.


Q's wounds became infected. for a week, he hovered between life and death with a fever of 105.3. "Amanda,"Diane sank into the young girl's arms after six days of being worn thin by worry,"I don't think he's going to pull out of this one. What am I going to tell Picard? What am I going to say to his brother? God only knows what an immortal, all-powerful being might accidentaly do to us all in a fit of enraged grief. Besides which, I don't know how I'll be able to speak the words without them choking me."

“Gee… I dunno… perhaps heal him?” Alec said, voice dripping with sarcasm. Marc-C sighed as Alec continued, “I mean, even Crusher could save him.”

"You won't have to. Q's stronger than you and me combined, in addition to being one of the most enfuriatingly stubborn people I know. He WILL make it."

Finally, much to the bored agents’ relief, someone from the Enterprise showed up. It was Doctor Crusher.

Beverly Crusher spotted the building. The red car was there, just as Q's brother had said it would be. She walked in, realizing immediatly what the place was. It was a hospital.

Beverly walked up to the desk."I need to find Diane Smith. Do you know where she might be?"

"She's visiting her fiance, who's a patient here. Are you friend or family?"


“When did Q ask her to marry him?”

“In her dreams.”

“Ah.”

"Friend,"Beverly answered, then smiled wryly. It wasn't everyday she called herself Q's friend.

"Room 214."


The two agents tiredly followed her.

She walked in to find Cassela and Amanda standing vigil at a bed. In the bed was someone she would never have recognized if it weren't for the company.

"Beverly?"

"It's me."

"Thought so. I'd recognize that walk anywhere. Always trying to do it quietly and never succeeding thanks to those Fleet-issue boots. Thank the Almighty Father you're here. I thought these primitive medicine men masquerading as doctors were going to succeed in their attempts to maim me."


“If your so-called family had a caring atom in their makeup they would have saved you from the pain and suffering,” Alec muttered bitterly. Q then explained to Dr. Crusher what happened to him in the past eight weeks. Diane also managed to convince (brain wash) the doctor into taking her and her daughter back with them.

“Almost done…” Marc-C muttered. Alec pretended he didn’t hear that. And then all hell broke loose.

Diane saw in her dream a face that belonged to one she knew could never have been there. "Monica, how...?"

A beautifully unearthly light shone down on her. "I am an angel, sent by God to tell you that He's seen the way you've suffeed. He has allowed some of it to strengthen you for what is to come. God has plans for you and Q, great plans. You said many years ago that you had a vision o God's praises ringing across the cosmos. You're to have the chance to make it come true."


“Oh hell no,” Alec snapped, stepping forward into the light. Monica looked startled to see him coming out from nowhere. Marc-C gave a slow groan, but stepped out to support her partner. Monica gaped at him as the hilt of his sword came falling down and knocked her out.

“You are going to be in so much trouble for that one, Troven.”

“I really don’t care.” He then turned to the stunned Diane, who looked for the life of her like she had seen some sort of demon. In some ways, she was probably correct. “You are in a lot of trouble, missy.”

“What? What did you do to Monica…”

“I conked her on the head. Now pay attention here, this is important,” Alec said, then waved his sword to get her attention. “You, Diane Smith. Are you listening to me? Yes? Good. You are hereby charged with being a Mary Sue.”

“A what?”

“A Mary Sue,” Marc-C said, putting one of her hands on the Sue’s shoulder. This is what she was good at. Being the intimidating presence. Diane sat quietly as Alec started to list off the charge list.

“As I was saying before I was interrupted, you are hereby charged with being a Mary Sue, with not having a decent beta, for bad transitions, cruelty to the common comma, for rupturing characters, for completely ignoring established canon. They’re all named Q. It’s been said several times. In several different episodes. It’s the entire point. They’ve transcended beyond needing names. For converting Q to Christianity for no viable reason, for making him your boyfriend and then fiancé without even having a date. Just 'cause you like a guy doesn’t mean that they’re automatically your boyfriend, and they have to ask you to marry them before they’re your fiancé. For having Q go through much pain and suffering when there was someone there, i.e. his supposed sister and Amanda, who had the power to fix him. I mean, really, where’s the logic in that? Undue angst caused by said injuries. Bringing in the angels for no apparent reason, making Amanda a Christian. You do realize that religion is obsolete by the time she was “born”, don’t you? No, of course not, that would have required research. For turning the Q into sappy crying weaklings. Gods… do I have to go on?”

“No, I think that’s enough,” Marc-C said. “Any last words?”

The Sue looked at her, frightened, and tried to form a coherent sentence. She didn’t get much out, but it sounded something like her god would protect her and she would be saved.

Marc-C snapped her neck.

It made a lovely snapping noise, a sort of “crickchrunch”. The Sue’s body went limp.

“That was satisfying,” she grunted. Alec kicked the body as Q and Amanda appeared. They looked at the body.

“Well, that explains that,” Q said.

“Geh… I hate it when that happens. It always leaves a bad taste in my mouth,” Amanda said. “What are you doing with the body?”

“Dunno yet. Maybe drop it off in Hell,” Alec said. “Demons like them.”

“I do like the irony.”

“We like it too,” Marc-C said as she stooped down and picked up the fallen Sue. “Continuity should be falling back into place soon.”

“Of course. And I suppose that’s our cue to take our leave?”

“Yes. It is.”

An uncomfortable moment passed before Q cleared his throat. “Well, must be going. Have Picard to bother and whatnot.” He then vanished in a flash of light. Amanda grinned at the two agents before following him.

“And now we get to go to Hell,” Alec said cheerfully, “just like this Sue wanted us to.”
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