Title: Fumble
Author: Jae Kayelle
Email: bcunningham@sk.sympatico.ca
Pairing: Sam/Toby, Sam/Josh - sort of
Rating: NC17 for sexual situations and language
Disclaimer: West Wing characters belong to Aaron Sorkin, NBC, and John Wells Productions. No copyright infringement intended. No profits made from this work of fiction.
Archive: yes to list archives.
Spoilers: The Two Bartlets
Summary: unspoken feelings simmer beneath the surface.
A big thank you to Abby for looking this over and pointing me in the right direction. :-)

Fumble by Jae Kayelle

Sam's fingers crimped the head of brown, wavy hair bobbing up and down between his thighs. His legs were trembling with the effort of remaining vertical while receiving a mind-numbing blowjob. The hardwood panelling of the office door cut into his shoulder blades, and the back of his head hurt where he'd thumped it just after Josh put his mouth on him.

"Oh, God! Josh! More..." Sam gritted his teeth, trying to be quiet. He knew that Donna was quite possibly at her desk just a few feet on the other side of the door, and would hear if he screamed in release. Hell, the entire West Wing would hear that. It was also possible his glasses were fogging up.

In fact, his glasses were the reason for this unexpected knee-knocking treat. All he had done was wander in to visit with Josh, and the next thing he knew his pants were open and he was pinned against the door getting sucked off to within an inch of his sanity. Josh had gotten a glazed look in his eyes, muttered something about sexy guys in glasses, and then he had pounced.

Tightening his grip, Sam gasped out, "Josh!" His tormentor batted his hands away, and then dragged Sam's essence from his core leaving him limp and sated.

Sagging against the door with only Josh holding him up, he looked down. Josh stood up, wincing, his hands going to his head.

"Geez, Sam. Leave some hair next time, willya?"

"Next time give a guy some warning when you're going to do that." Sam let his eyes close.

"You didn't like it?" There was a puzzled note in Josh's voice. Then he added, "Your phone is ringing."

Taking a moment to think about the non sequitur, Sam finally said, "This is your office."

"I know," Josh smiled. "But your phone is ringing."

No, his phone was buzzing. Sam reached over to the bedside table to shut off the alarm before his mind had time to sort out that he'd been dreaming. He flopped back onto the pillow and ran his hands over his face, feeling the stubble scratch his palms.

"Please, God." It wasn't a prayer, not exactly.

He threw the covers back and swung his legs over the side of the bed. As he did he felt dampness against his belly. "Oh, fuck," he swore hoarsely, looking down at himself. He was too old for wet dreams, wasn't he? He was having sex dreams about his best male friend. Not a good thing, but he should be used to it by now. It had been going on for more than a week.

Also, there had been something about this one that he felt he ought to remember. It skittered away from him, and he gave it up. If it were important enough it would come back to him. Now he had to shower, shave, dress, and get to work. With luck he wouldn't have a private conversation with Josh until after lunch. Facing him would be difficult with the flush of that dream still flitting through his mind.


"Here's that file you asked for, Sam." Bonnie placed a thick folder on the desk in front of him.

"Thanks. Say, Bonnie?"


"You ever find yourself with something right on the tip of your brain, but you just can't remember it?"

"The tip of my brain?" she regarded him dubiously.

"Well, not your brain. Mine."

"Uh huh. You trying to remember something, Sam?"

"Yeah, but never mind."

"Okay." Bonnie left his office wearing an expression that clearly revealed what she thought of her boss. It had something to do with a bird in a clock.

It didn't bother Sam. He knew he sometimes sounded like he lived in another dimension of time and space. At least he wasn't one of the funnel people, although there were days when he felt like he was spiralling down a funnel shaped drain. As long as he didn't become a hair clog in the narrowest part he still had a chance.


"...so the Congressman said, "I answer to no one." I had to leave then or I would have spewed coffee in his face." CJ nearly fell off her chair in gales of laughter. "Do you get it, Sam? I answer to no one. Sam?"

"Hmm? Sorry?"

"Sam, what's wrong? You've been spacey ever since we sat down to lunch."

Sam glanced around. The mess was half full since it was actually around noon. It wasn't often any of them got to eat at normal hours.

"I'm fine. Didn't sleep all that well, is all."

"Sex," CJ said.

Sam's eyebrows climbed. "Excuse me?"

"I'm saying that sex is a good sleep aide."

Fighting a smile, Sam replied, "I've heard that."

Looking at him, CJ said, "You're blushing!"

He rocked back in his chair and looked down at the tabletop. His face did feel hot.

"All I meant was that people with a healthy sex life sleep better than those who don't. Not that I'm implying that you don't have a healthy..." she broke off. "Never mind. You know what? I'm really sorry I brought it up, because if you blush any harder you're gonna fog up your glasses."

Sam shot her a piercing look. He sat up straighter. "That's it."

"What's it?" she was clearly confused.

He clamped his mouth shut. Yesterday she had teased him about how sexy guys in glasses needed to be on their guard in case they got pounced upon. That had made its way into his dream only then it had been Josh who had done the pouncing. That was what had been bothering him about the dream. He knew now he was projecting reality onto his subconscious. Pulling the offending spectacles from his face, he groaned and ran his hand over his eyes.

"I'm sorry if I said something wrong."

"No," he sighed, "it's not you."

"Does this have anything to do with your mystery woman?"

"Excuse me?"

"Well, I assume that you're interested romantically in someone. You show all of the signs."

"I do?" It showed?

"You're distracted, not sleeping well, and not eating," she looked pointedly at his untouched club sandwich.

He said, "You just described the same symptoms as stress, although I could go the other way and begin sleeping and eating too much. Do you think I'd look too heavy if I put on fifty pounds?"

"Sam, anyone would look too heavy if they put on fifty pounds. Tell me about her."


"Your mystery woman."

"There isn't anyone, CJ," he lied. No one except his best friend, who would run like a scared rabbit, or else never speak to him again, if he found out that Sam was sexually attracted to him.

His head began to spin.

CJ reached across the table to touch his arm. "You look a little green. Are you sick?"

"I could use about 24 hours of solid sleep," he admitted.

"Couldn't we all?"

"You know what? I'm gonna go lie down in Toby's office for a bit."

"Good idea. Call me if you feel like talking later."

"I will." He stood up. "I'm sorry about lunch, CJ."

"It's fine. Really. Just go have a nap. Feel better."


Toby's couch was occupied by Toby. The Communications Director was stretched out there when Sam entered his office. Sam let his eyes rove up and down Toby's reclining form, getting a hitch somewhere low down in his gut. He wondered what was wrong with him that he was attracted to his male friends. What he felt for Toby was more friendship than it was a sexual attraction, and had nowhere near the intensity of his feelings for Josh, but he had to admit there was something there just under the surface. Always had been.

"What do you want, Sam?" His boss looked up at him hovering in the doorway.

"I was gonna lie down here, but unless you want to share the space..." he said jokingly, and then wished he could retract the words.

"I do not."

Damn. Toby wasn't in a joking mood. "Right. I'll just go back to my own office."

And he did. He stared at his computer screen for a long time feeling even more unsettled than he had earlier.


When Toby came in a while later, Sam forced a smile. "Something I can do for you?"

"Are you all right, Sam?"

That was unexpected. It made Sam blink. "Yeah. Fine."

"Would you tell me if you weren't?"

"Of course."


"Probably not," Sam admitted.

"Yeah, look. CJ said she thinks you're suffering from unrequited love and that maybe you're...you know...lonely."

"I'm fine," Sam repeated, wondering if his state of being was written across his face, and hoping no one could read the attraction he had for Toby simmering under the surface. "But I am touched that you're both so concerned for my welfare."

"Sam," Toby sounded put out.

"No, I mean it. Thank you for caring."

Toby stood there in silence for such a long time that Sam finally had to look back at his computer screen before he gave away more than he should. Finally, Toby said, "I do care, Sam."

Looking up sharply, Sam was astonished to see something that looked like desire in Toby's eyes. He swallowed hard.


Suddenly uncomfortable, Toby shifted from one foot to the other. "I have work...in there." He pointed over his shoulder towards his office. "I better go."

Bewildered, Sam could only sit with his hands lying idle in his lap.


Sam wadded up a sheet of paper and tossed it over his shoulder. The floor was nearly covered with popcorn ball-sized discards. Toby watched from the doorway for a minute or two until Sam finally looked up with frustration apparent in his eyes. His expression softened when he saw who was his visitor.


"What are you doing?"

"I'm writing the President's speech for the Daughters of the American Revolution dinner. Or maybe I'm single-handedly destroying an entire forest." He looked at the paper surrounding him.

"Why aren't you using your laptop?"

"I needed a connection with pen and paper. I should have stuck with the computer."

Toby enjoyed watching Sam dealing with the writing process, even when it got messy. The physical act of writing on paper was something he understood very well. Writing united them. It was a connection he shared with no one else in his life. It had started off defining their connection through their jobs. Now it was an energy that fuelled them both, always there but by no means all there was to their relationship.

If Toby wasn't mistaken he had identified something more personal in Sam's gaze, upon occasion. Sam wasn't always an easy man to read. He kept things hidden when he wanted to, but Toby had learned to listen to his deputy's voice and watch his body language.

"It's late. You can finish that tomorrow. You've got time."


"Come have a drink with me."

Sam's eyebrows lifted. "Why?"

Toby uttered one of those laughs that did not come out sounding like he was honestly amused. "Because I'm going to have a drink and I'd like some company."

"You don't usually ask me to go with you for a drink."

"I hardly ever ask you to go with me," Toby corrected.


"Sam," Toby was getting exasperated.

"I'll get my coat."


"...and so it's quite possible that I'm going to be fired." Toby rubbed his head and stared glumly into his glass.

Sam stared at his boss as if Toby had lost his mind. "Well, you will be if you get in the President's face like that again. What were you thinking?"

"It was something, at that moment, that I thought needed to be said." Toby downed the rest of his drink, and then signalled the server for another, his second.

"Don't do it again."


"Seriously, Toby. I can't do my job without you around to rip my speeches apart. Don't get yourself fired."

"Uh huh."

Sam leaned across the table. "Aren't you the one who told me never to go into the Oval Office angry?"


"So, why did you do it?"

"I don't know."

"Sure you do."

"Yeah, I do know. I just don't want to talk about it. You want another drink?"

"You buying?"




Three bourbons for Toby and two Jack Daniels for Sam later their ties were undone, their jackets were off, and Toby was resting most of his weight on his forearms on top of the table. Sam slumped against the seat. His legs were stretched out under the table. One of them lay between Toby's, his knee brushing Toby's thigh.

"You have long legs," Toby commented.

"I'm sorry." It was unclear for what Sam was apologizing.

"No," Toby shook his head. "I just meant...that you have long legs."


This conversation was weird, Toby decided.

"Why me?" Sam asked.


"Why did you pick me to talk to about what you said to the President? Was CJ busy?"

Toby knew where this was going. "Sam, it's not like that."

"Sure it is, Toby. CJ is your friend. I'm just your deputy. You talk to CJ but when I walk into the room the two of you clam up. So, I have to conclude that CJ isn't available to talk to."

Toby looked into his glass. It was nearly empty.

"She went home to phone her father. She needed to talk to him about something."

Sam struggled into a more upright position. "Look. It's okay. Really. I just like to know where I stand. Not that that means anything these days," he finished in a mumble.

Toby drained his glass and set it down. "I'll make a deal with you. We'll put our problems aside and just have a good time. Just the two of us."

"So you get to talk about your troubles and I don't get to talk about mine? Typical." Sam swallowed the last of his drink and slammed the glass down on the tabletop with a hollow thunk. He slid out of the booth and stood up only to sit back down again when his legs wobbled. Grabbing the edge of the table and the seat he shoved himself up again. Toby stood as well, but not any steadier, and grabbed Sam's arm.

Sam fell against Toby who held him upright.

"Let me go." He sounded more sober than his actions warranted.

Holding him fast, Toby said, "If I let you go we'll both fall down. Let's call a cab and see if we can get out to the curb to wait for it."

Sam glanced down to where Toby's hand was wrapped around his bicep. He looked up through those long, dark lashes, blue eyes staring unblinkingly. Toby felt his cock stir and his breathing faltered for just a second. Sam continued to stare, carefully reading whatever he saw in Toby's eyes. Then he slung an arm around Toby's shoulders and leaned closer. His breath drifted across Toby's cheek, slightly sour from the whiskey.

"Let's go," he said.

The cab ride was completed in silence. They stayed in opposite corners of the back seat. Sam's apartment was closer so they went there. When Sam paid the driver and got out, Toby also stepped out onto the curb. Sam gave him an indecipherable look but said nothing. He led the way through the security doors and up two flights of stairs to his home.

After the door closed behind them, Sam took Toby's coat, sliding it off his shoulders to hang it up. He missed the hanger but caught the garment before it hit the floor.

"How come your reflexes are better when you're drunk?" Toby asked.

"I'm not drunk," Sam said.

"Sure you are. We both are. That's why we're here about to do whatever it is we're about to do."

"You're saying it wouldn't happen otherwise?" Sam did look entirely too sober for Toby's own good.

"I'm not saying anything."

Sam regarded the floor for a moment, and then removed his own overcoat. He looked at the hanger but instead of using it he took his coat into the living room and tossed it over the back of an armchair. Toby followed like a cord attached him to Sam. His deputy stopped and turned suddenly, bringing him right into Toby's space.

"What are we doing?" Sam asked. "I mean, I know what this is but should we?"

Toby was throbbing by now, all of his brains having shot straight to his pants. He didn't care about right or wrong. He just wanted to fuck Sam.

"You've pursued Leo's daughter, hit on his wife, slept with a high priced call girl, gone to see her a second time after being specifically ordered not to do that -- and those are just the things I know about -- and now you're being cautious?"

Toby went on, letting out everything he'd been hiding inside for the past three years. "I've been attracted to you almost since the day we met. You irritated the hell out of me with your bouncy good moods, and your cheerful politeness, but you looked so damn good in those tight jeans you used to wear. You know the ones that emphasize your ass? There are days when you walk into my office, park yourself on my couch, and stretch those long legs of yours out so that I can't help but look at them and wish they were flung over my shoulders while I pound into you. I want to go to bed with you, Sam. Either we go there now or I leave. It's up to you."

A flirty smile appeared on Sam's lovely face. "Gosh, Toby. No need to be coy."

"Come here!" Reaching out he grabbed for Sam's wrist, missed and accidentally brushed his hand against the front of his deputy's pants instead. His knuckles skimmed over the hard bulge between the solid thighs. He glanced down. Oh, yes. Sam was definitely in step with him.

Sam walked into Toby's embrace. Their lips met after their bodies did, and they both moaned softly at the contact. Toby ran his hands down Sam's back until he could grip a double handful of firmly rounded flesh, pulling Sam up against him. As Sam's fingers slid up into the hair on the back of Toby's head, the older man revelled in the hard length pressing into his thigh. He rocked against it, knowing it was all for him, and because of him. Sam wanted him.

When they came up for air, Sam licked his lips and asked, "What, no romantic dinner? Just get me drunk and get me into bed?"

"Yes, dammit!"

"Okay." Grinning, Sam took him by the hand and led him to the bedroom.

The room was dark but there was enough light coming through the window for Toby to see that the comforter was navy blue with white piping on the edges, and the sheets and pillowcases were white with navy borders. He had a sudden image of Sam sprawled against the bedcovers, naked and smiling temptingly at him. God, he looked good on dark blue.

When he looked at the real thing, he found that Sam was way ahead of him. He had pulled his pants off and now stood in tee shirt and boxers. While Toby watched, Sam crossed his arms and pulled the cotton shirt off over his head. He flexed his pecs and the last of Toby's sense went south.

"Come on, Toby. You're wearing too many clothes. Strip."

"You giving me orders now?"

"Could be my only chance." Sam walked over and began undressing his boss. His movements were swift and economical; he was far too sure fingered for the amount of alcohol he had consumed. Toby suspected his deputy held his booze better than he let on.

"You've done this before," Toby commented while Sam knelt and helped him step out of his pants.

"A few times. Long ago in a galaxy far, far away."

Toby rested his hand on Sam's shoulder for balance. "With Josh?"

"It's not what you think."

The hesitation was slight but Toby caught it. "So you and he..." he let his question fade away.

"Somebody needed to put him to bed when he got drunk, is all I'm saying."

"The man needs a keeper," Toby said, accepting what he thought was a half-truth.

Looking up from his position on the floor, Sam said, "Let's keep this about you and me. Okay?"

His fingers gently stroked Sam's scalp through the dark silky hair and Toby nodded. "Okay."

Sam brought his arms up and wrapped them around Toby's thighs. He leaned forward and rubbed his cheek against the rock hard arousal.

Groaning, Toby complained, "Keep it up and I won't be able to do the same for much longer, if you get what I mean."

Smiling, Sam replied, "Got it." He planted a careful kiss on the cotton covering Toby's erection, his mouth leaving a warm spot on the cloth that seeped through to the flesh behind it. It caused Toby to suck in a shaky breath. Then Sam stood up, gripped the hem of Toby's tee shirt, and began to lift it.

"No." His hands resting on Sam's holding them down, Toby looked him in the eye. "Don't."

"I want to see you, Toby."

"You don't...I mean, this body has been through the wars, literally and figuratively."

"I just want to see you."

Smoothing his hands over his slightly out of shape belly, Toby whispered, "Please, Sam."

"Okay," Sam answered equally as softly. Then he brushed his lips over Toby's, his tongue darting out to taste. They kissed for a while, exploring each other's tonsils. Then Sam backed away and urged Toby over to the bed on which they sat together. Scrambling backwards, Sam pulled the covers down and held them aside so that they could both climb under them. Resuming their kiss they got comfortable in each other's arms, taking it slow and easy.

"This isn't quite what I had in mind," Toby confessed when they paused again.

Blue eyes glanced up from their perusal of Toby's mouth. Sam nodded. "It's better."

"You're not really drunk, Sam."

"No, I'm not."

"Unfortunately, I am. I hope to hell I remember this tomorrow."

"If you forget, ask me. I'll fill you in on the details."

"This has an unreal quality," Toby said.

Sam grinned in response. "I was just thinking the same thing." He threw a leg across the other man's hips and straddled him, and then leaned down to kiss him.

Toby moaned under the assault as Sam ground against him and ravaged his mouth whispering insistently, "Fuck me, Toby. I need it. Please."

"Yeah," Toby agreed quietly. "Yeah."

Sam nodded and lay down beside him. He reached beneath the covers and wriggled around concentrating on what he was doing. Finally, he pulled his hands out holding his boxers. Twirling the shorts around on the end of a finger he flung them across the room.

"Always wanted to do that," he said.

"Do you have what we need?" Toby asked.

Instead of answering Sam reached under the pillow and came up with lube, holding it up for Toby to see.

"What about condoms?"

Sam shrugged.

"Don't be stupid, Sam. Let me get my wallet. I've got one." He started to get out of bed.

"It's okay. I've got some here." Sam pulled open the drawer of his nightstand and retrieved one. He held that up for Toby to see, too.

Taking it from him, the older man said, "You haven't been reckless have you, Sam?"

"No. Just thought if I could trust anyone I could trust you."

That stopped Toby cold. He swallowed against the lump in his throat. "You can, Sam. You can. But it's just smarter not to take chances. Not with anyone unless, you know," he trailed off.

"Unless what?"

"Unless you know them really well," Toby finished quietly.

Sam stared at him for a long moment. "Put it on, then. You want me as much as I want you. Right?"

"Yeah, I do."

"Well. Okay then."

Reaching under the blankets and into Toby's shorts, Sam caressed his balls, making Toby throw his head back as the long fingers cradled his heavy sac. Then Sam gently stroked the shaft, sliding his palm along the length. The heat from his hand started a slow burn inside all the way down to the root. His movements grew more insistent and Toby felt himself get harder.

He and Sam stared into each other's eyes as Sam changed what he was doing to wrap his fist around Toby's cock. Pumping him, Sam kept staring.


Sam stopped.

"This is..." God. It was difficult to think straight with the blood rushing away from his head, but he needed to say something. "This is wrong."

"You said..."

"I know what I said. It's wrong, Sam. It's just wrong. We have a good relationship at work."

"We're friends," Sam added. His subdued tone confirmed that he wasn't going to argue with him.

"Yeah. We are friends."

"We shouldn't do this." Sam let go, releasing Toby by spreading his fingers wide. He drew his hand out of the shorts for which Toby was grateful. Despite his convictions, if Sam touched him again he would jump his deputy's bones.

Sam lay down beside him and they both stared into the darkness over the bed.

"One night stands satisfy a need but you should find someone, Sam. Find someone who's going to treat you with respect and love you."

"I don't know what to say to that."

"I care, Sam, and may God help me because everything I said earlier about wanting to fuck you since the day we met is true. But I'm not the one. This can't happen again if we are to continue to work together."

"Your timing sucks, Toby."

"Actually, I think my timing is excellent."

Sam turned his head on the pillow to regard him with a steady gaze. "You're kidding."

"My timing sucks," Toby agreed. He flung back the covers and made a move to get up.

Sam stayed him with a touch. "Don't go. You don't have to go."

Toby looked back over his shoulder. Sam's wide-eyed gaze convinced him to stay. His friend looked needy and lonely and maybe even a bit scared. Drawing the blankets up over both of them, Toby settled in again wondering how the hell he was going to sleep with a raging erection and hot, naked, and oh so desirable Sam lying next to him.

"I don't cuddle so don't even try it," he warned.

"Okay." Disappointment laced the single word.

With an exaggerated sigh, Toby lifted his arm and Sam immediately slipped under it to rest his head on the proffered shoulder. He snuggled up close, his left hand slipping under the tee shirt at last to rest against Toby's chest, warm and comforting.

"Thank you for letting me talk to you, Sam, about, you know, what I said to the President tonight."

"You can always talk to me, Toby. I'm your friend." He completed that thought with a yawn, closing his eyes.

"I'd still like to fuck you."

A murmur of laughter rumbled against his chest. "Maybe after the next term is up."

"That's a long time to live with a hard-on."

His would be lover sat up. After regarding him for a moment, Sam lifted the blankets and peered underneath. Then he reached down and wrapped his hand around the shaft again. As he fisted it, he said, "If you can stay hard for five years you're a better man than I am."

"Dammit, Sam!" Arching into the grip, Toby groped around, sliding his palm down the flat belly and through a thicket of coarse hair, until he located Sam's erection and mirrored his deputy's actions. Groaning loudly he wheezed, "I thought we weren't going to do this."

"We could call it lending a comforting hand to a friend," Sam gritted out through his teeth.

"I like the way your mind works."

Working feverishly they jerked each other off in a matter of minutes. Toby relaxed into the pillows with a sigh, but lifted his hand and stared at it in disgust. He could barely see it in the semi-darkness but it felt sticky. Sam rolled over onto his side, presenting the long lines of his back to him, grabbed a handful of tissues and rolled back to offer them. As Toby took them and cleaned himself off, Sam did the same with fresh tissues. He then grabbed the garbage can off the floor and held it out so they could both deposit the soiled tissues in it. He put it back on the floor next to the bed.

"This won't change anything," Toby reassured him.

"Everything changed the minute we got out of the cab."


They lay in silence for a long time.

"God, what have we done?"

It could have come from either of them.

# end

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