Title: Frustration
Author: Nomi (gnomi@world.std.com)
Posted: 10/14/01
Archive: Sure, just tell me where
Part: 1/1
Codes: J/S
Rating: PG-13
Warning: Spoilers for anything through "Manchester" Part 1.
Notes: Since I'm writing this between parts 1 and 2 of "Manchester," I may be having to later tweak some details. Please forgive me if I'm wrong on anything. Previous stories in this series can be found on my website at http://world.std.com/~gnomi/stories.html .

Frustration by Nomi

"Aargh! I'm so mad I could spit!"

The moment I walked into the hotel room, Sam started venting. It was obvious from the groove in the pavement that he'd been pacing for a while. I wondered how long ago he'd left the bar. But it didn't seem like the appropriate question at the moment.

"What's bothering you, love?"

"Bruno, and that idiot Doug. They just don't _get_ it. We're not getting the message across." I could tell from Sam's body language that he was gearing up for a long, rambling rant.

"I know, love; I know." When Sam gets like this, it's best to just let him g run with his subject until he wears out and then deal rationally with the topic at hand.

"No, J, really. Doug doesn't understand - we're not just crafting a speech. We're crafting the image that will be with the populace for months to come. Toby, at the pool table, with no paper in front of him, can write circles around these clowns. And I...all I can do is stand there and watch it all happen around me. I was the _last_! I was the fucking _last_ to know - even Donna knew before I did - and Leo expects me to be able to be on-message? What sort of fucking idiot logic is that?" Sam stopped, but only because he'd run out of breath.

"Shh, love. I know. It wasn't my decision. I tried to get them to tell you sooner. Hell, Toby's known the longest of all of us, and you're his deputy." I knew that Sam's frustration was much more because he was the last to know about the President's MS than it was about anything Doug and Bruno had written. After all, from the beginning Sam had been wondering whether the President should apologize for lying to the American people. But he was feeling marginalized, and he'd been feeling this way for a while - ever since the drop-in incident last spring.

"Don't do that, J. Don't agree with me just to get me to calm down. I'm really serious about this. It's not just that the decision was made to bring in those campaign strategists - none of whom, I may add, could craft a meaningful sentence without a diagram. It's that I'm being shut out." Sam must've noticed something on my face, because he quickly added, "Not by you, J, but by everyone else. CJ, Leo, Toby...all of them. It's like I'm the little brother they don't want to tell any of the harsh realities to. I'm not a naive child. I'm an adult. An adult with a damn important job when I'm allowed to do it. But now..."

I moved out of the doorway - where I'd stopped the minute I'd closed the door and Sam had started speaking - and walked toward Sam. "I know it's rough, love. I know what it's like being kept out of the loop for 'your own good.' Remember last summer and fall? All the meetings I was cut out of so that stress wouldn't slow my recovery?"

"Yeah," Sam said, "but you were actually ill. You'd been shot. You'd almost _died_! I've done nothing of the kind..." Sam paused. "At least, not recently," he said, almost as an afterthought, then picked up where he'd left off. "There's _no_ reason for them to be treating me like this."

"You're completely right," I said, standing behind Sam and wrapping my arms around his waist. "You're an adult. You deserve to be treated as an adult. I totally agree that waiting to tell you about the President's MS was the wrong thing to do." I stopped to nuzzle Sam's right ear. "But hiring the campaign strategists? Probably a good idea." I felt Sam struggling to turn and look at me, but I held him in place. "I'm not saying they're the bastions of writing excellence. You've got that role hands-down, in my book. But we're in way over our heads here. We're dealing with a post-Watergate President who concealed information and lied to the American public. None of us - not me, not you, not Leo, not Toby, and definitely not CJ - know how to handle this. And on top of all that, we're still mired in the Haiti situation. We have a responsibility to the American people to keep up with the business of the country."

"But..." From behind Sam, I couldn't see his facial expression, but from his tone, I could tell his resolve was weakening.

"Love, I know you're pissed at Leo for waiting so long to tell you about the President's MS. But don't take that out on the campaign. Don't let your anger override what you know is best." I spoke soothingly, all the time running my hands up and down Sam's chest.

"But what about the rest of it - the idiots who can't write; that jerk, Bruno, who can't even be bothered to learn the names of the junior staff; the re-written speeches; the strife between the President and the First Lady..." Sam paused again, leaning even more into my caress. I nibbled at his earlobe and then at his neck, since he'd made them so accessible to me. After a minute, he started speaking again, though his voice was slightly huskier. "It's craziness. We're still dealing with Mrs. L's death. _He_ is still dealing with Mrs. L's death. And the general tension is making everything worse! And..." Sam moaned slightly. "Do that again."

I did "that" again - tonguing the sensitive place right at the junction of Sam's neck and shoulder - and Sam moaned again.

"And that's another frustration," Sam said. "We haven't had more than five uninterrupted minutes together since the President announced his intentions to run again. Well," he said with a wry grin, "unless you count the closet incident..."

The less said about "the closet incident," the better, so I worked harder to distract Sam. "I understand your frustration, love," I said, swiveling my hips so that my hard cock was pressing right into the cleft of his ass. "I am...intimately...familiar with that frustration."

Sam turned in my arms so that we were facing each other. He kissed me lightly then said, "And now isn't really the time, either, is it?"

I looked at the clock - it was 2:30 AM. "Not really," I said reluctantly.

Sam pulled my shirt free of my pants and maneuvered it over my head. Then he stripped me of my pants as I started in on his clothing. When we were both down to our boxers, Sam stepped back a bit.

"You sure that sleep's the only thing in the cards for tonight?" he asked, wiggling his eyebrows lasciviously.

"I think we need it, love," I answered as we walked to the bed and pulled back the covers.

"Yeah...you're right. I hate it when you're right about things like this."

As we settled into the bed, spooning ourselves into our usual position, Sam sighed.

"What's that for, love?"

"Frustration. It's a fact of our lives. And the campaign's not gonna help."

"Yeah, love...but just think - we've got some downtime this weekend...and maid service."

As we drifted to sleep, I allowed my mind to wander just how adventurous we could get without rousing the cleaning staff's suspicion. And decided it was worth finding out.


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