Title: Ensorcelled
Author: The Artful Dodger
Pairing: J/S
Category: Drama, Angst
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: None
Spoilers: H. Con-172, ITSOTG, The Pilot, Manchester, 17 People
Summary: Josh is ensorcelled by Amy Gardener and Sam is remembering a time long ago. A prequel to "You Can Never Go Back".
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters. They belong to a bunch of people, and I am not one of them. I am in no way trying to compete with Aaron Sorkin, for that would be a mere mortal trying to compete with a GOD. This story, however, is all mine. I make no money off of this and probably should be working on something where I might actually make some money…but here ya' go.
Feedback: We all want to be told how great we are, but constructive criticism is welcome, too. TheArtofDodger@msn.com
Author's Note: First I wrote "You Can Never Go Back." Then Laura asked about the possibility of a sequel or a prequel…and so I did. It is not necessary to read the one to understand the other. Numerous praises and rose petals thrown at Val's feet, for being such a great help and for boosting my ego. This fic is for Laura. Thanks for your encouragement and support.

Ensorcelled by The Artful Dodger

Toby was grinning. Well, at least it looked like Toby was grinning. Had Sam ever seen Toby grin? Maybe he grinned the night they had won the Illinois primary for the first time. At any rate, he was grinning now.

"What's going on, Toby?" Sam asked, a little bit unnerved by the out of character happiness his boss seemed to be showing.

"Nothing. Why do you ask?"

"You're grinning."

"Am I? Well, I'm amused."

"Any particular reason?"

"Yes," Toby nodded. "Josh is ensorcelled."

"Come again?"

"Ensorcelled, bewitched…it means…"

"I know what it means. By what is he ensorcelled?"

"Not what, whom. Amy Gardener," Toby told him.

"The Women's Leadership Council activist?" Sam asked, feeling a lump form in his throat.

"Yep. And get this…he came to *me* for advice."

"Why?"

"I have no idea. Something about coming in under the radar."

Ah.

That was Josh. Sam remembered.

*****

"It's important, Sam," Josh informed him. "These briefs have to be done by Monday. Why don't you come up to my room and we can pretend to work while we drink beer and watch the game?"

"You know my team is going to kick your team's butt, right?"

"Wanna put your money where your mouth is?"

"Should I bring something?"

"Your wallet."

Turns out, Josh's team won…and he didn't want money for a reward. He had something else in mind.

*****

"Your team cheats," Sam whined.

"I win. Pay up."

"We never set an amount."

Josh said nothing.

Sam looked over at the unusually quiet Joshua Lyman, who appeared to be thinking very hard.

"Josh?"

"Hmmm?"

"Why are you looking like that?"

'Like what?"

"Like you're contemplating the meaning of life."

"I guess I am…contemplating the meaning of life."

"Why?"

"Do you think maybe people are afraid to take risks unless they know how it's going to turn out?" Josh asked him.

"If they knew how it was going to turn out, it wouldn't be a risk."

Josh just smiled. It was a soft smile, the one that always sent shivers up Sam's spine.

Then Josh was there, his lips just inches away from Sam's, his eyes questioning. Josh leaned forward and brushed his lips against Sam's. Sam heard a soft gasp and realized it came from his own lips.

"Josh…what…?"

But that was as far as he got, because this time Josh crushed his lips onto Sam's and didn't pull back. Sam opened his mouth on an instinct and Josh slid his tongue inside the waiting entrance.

/Oh god, Josh tastes good. Josh. Oh no, this can't be…oh yes, do that again./

Sam moaned, as Josh pushed him back onto the couch.

Hands fumbling with his shirt buttons.

Warm mouth tasting his neck. His chest. His nipples.

/Oh, sweet heaven…yes!/

Josh's skin as he pulled his sweatshirt up over his head. His arms. His shoulders.

/God, I love those shoulders./

Hands at his belt buckle.

"Sam, is this okay?"

"Yes…Josh, please."

Belt. Button. Zipper.

Hand snaked inside his boxers. Grasping him.

Arching his back. Sweat.

Body on top of body. Crushing. Thrusting.

"Josh, please…more."

"Sam, I never thought…oh god, yes!"

Explosion. Lights. Body racked with tremors like little aftershocks.

Josh collapsed on top of him. Sweat soaked hair. Hot breath.

"Josh?"

"Hmmm?"

"Did those briefs really have to be done by Monday?"

"Yes."

"Are we going to finish them?"

"Later, Sam. Much later."

"Okay."

*****

And now Toby was grinning. Josh was ensorcelled. Josh was trying to fly in under the radar.

/Well, what did you expect, Sammy. He never stays. Move on./

But he couldn't. He still wanted Josh and he hated himself for it.

/It ended. Get over it. Josh obviously has./

Obviously.

*****

"Sam?"

Sam looked up to see Josh standing in his office doorway.

"You got a minute?" Josh asked him.

"I was just getting ready to go home, Josh. Can't it wait?"

"No."

Sam sighed. "Okay."

Josh came in and closed the door. This caught Sam's attention.

"What's going on, Josh?"

"I had drinks with Amy Gardener tonight."

Sam sat back down in his chair. "I know, flying in under the radar."

"Sam, I'm sorry." Josh stepped closer to the desk. "I should have said something to you first."

"Why?"

"Because you shouldn't have to hear stuff like that from Toby."

"Suddenly I'm special?"

Josh winced. "Please, don't be like that, Sam. You're my best friend and I should have told you. I just didn't want you to freak out." Josh sat in the chair across from the desk.

Sam wished he would leave. Conversations like these always got them into trouble.

"You didn't freak out when I was dating Mallory," he reminded Josh.

"Well, no. But you never actually had a date with her."

"Fair point."

"Look, Sam…"

"It's okay, Josh. Really."

"I like Amy a lot. I don't want to mess this up."

'Well, that's inevitable."

Josh winced. "Thanks."

He stood. "Okay, I'll see you tomorrow."

"Night, Josh."

When he reached the office door, Josh turned and faced Sam. "So, we're okay?"

Sam nodded. "We're always okay, Josh."

Josh left the room.

Sam put is head in his hands. "We're always okay," he whispered.

*****

His head on Josh's shoulder. Josh running his fingers through Sam's hair. It felt so right. But it couldn't be. Not now. They had a country to put first.

"Josh?"

"Hmmm?"

"I thought you said we couldn't do this anymore?"

"Yeah, I did."

"But?"

"You're so hot."

"Josh, I'm serious."

"So am I."

"It was just suppose to be that one time on the campaign trail, remember?"

"I remember."

"Then…."

"I can't stop myself, Sam. You have some strange hold on me. That's what the whole Mandy disaster was about. Me trying to stay away from you."

"And then we won the election."

"And then I managed to keep my job."

"And then you…you almost…"

"I got shot, Sam."

"And then we found out he was running again. All those times. And you said…"

"I know what I said."

"Then how did we end up here again?"

"Multiple Sclerosis."

"What? Every time you have a crisis, I'm just supposed to lay down for you?"

"I didn't hear you complaining a minute ago."

"We can't do this again, Josh. I can't take it."

"I know."

'This has to be the last time."

"It will be, Sam. It will be."

"Promise me."

"I promise."

"I couldn't bear to lose your friendship, Josh. Sometimes it's the only thing that keeps me sane."

"I know. You won't."

Lips on his. Skin on his. Hands.

"Josh…"

"Last time, Sam. Last time, I promise."

*****

/Maybe it was the last time. That's what I asked him for. That's what I want./

/Isn't it?/

*****

THE END

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