Title: It's Not So Bad At All
Rated: G
Pairing: Josh/Sam
Summary: Josh has a bad day. Sam to the rescue.
Disclaimer: One of these days, I'm gonna invest in good stocks, and make so much money that I buy majority shares in NBC and WB. That way, I *will* own these characters, at least in part. Til then, I'm not making any money. Literally. Please don't sue.
Note: This is my first J/S. And it's rather chaste. Please be kind.

It's Not So Bad At All by Baked Goldfish

"No-" Joshua Lyman ran his hand through his wild hair frustratedly. "Congressman Martin, listen to me. It's down to the wire, hear me? You and the President. You've got to make a choice, what's it gonna be?" He listened intently to the voice on the other end. With a sigh, he dropped his head and clenched his eyes. "Okay. That's. . . that's great. You do that. I don't mind. Wanna know why I don't mind? 'Cause we're gonna pass this bill without ya. And after we pass this bill, I'm gonna call you up and say, 'We did it'. Hear me? Yeah, up yours Congressman." He slammed the phone down with such force that the cradle nearly cracked.

Slumping down into his seat, he failed to realize that there was someone standing in his doorway. Josh was so wrapped up in his own private hell that he did not hear that someone calling his name until it had been called three times. "What?" he asked irately.

"Sorry," Donna stated, her eyes wide and hands clutching a folder protectively to her chest. "I just have the Martin memo here. . ."

"Screw Martin," Josh mumbled, dropping his head directly to his desk with a thud. "Ow." He pushed himself into a leaning position and rubbed his forehead tenderly. "Gimme the memo, Donna."

"You're welcome," she muttered sarcastically, dropping the folder onto his desk before walking out the door.

Josh blinked uncomprehendingly at the folder on his desk for a moment.

"Donna!" he bellowed eventually. The blonde woman entered his office quietly. "Can I have some coffee?" he asked petulantly, pouting

slightly. Rolling her eyes, she stepped back outside wordlessly. Josh sighed and looked back down at the folder. Surging out of the chair with as much energy as he could muster, Josh made a beeline out the door and towards the kitchenette.

When he got there, he made two realizations: 1) He did not have his mug. 2) The kitchenette was out of coffee. With a groan, he turned to go back to his office, when he was stopped by a certain red-headed weirdo.

"Leo needs to see you in his office," Margaret stated before scurrying off.

Josh stared after her, dumbfounded. She was not headed towards Leo's office. In fact, Margaret seemed to be headed towards the exit.

This could not be good.

Walking as slowly as he dared walk, Josh eventually made his way to the office of the White House Chief of Staff. When he got there, Leo was standing by the window, one hand in his pocket, the other holding a mug of coffee.

"Needed to see me, Leo?" Josh asked cautiously, vaguely wondering where the phantom java had come from.

"I just got a call from Congressman Martin," Leo began, still staring out the window. "He was. . . how do I put this. Miffed? No. Ticked off? Mmm, no. Ballistic?" He turned to face his subordinate.

"Josh, you might want to close the door."

"Why's that?" he asked, his voice half an octave higher than normal. "I don't think the custodial staff will appreciate blood spatters in the hallway."

Minutes later, Josh emerged from the office, looking even more harried than usual. Leo sat at his desk, serene, sipping his coffee and reading a report. Rubbing his face wearily, Josh walked back to his office, in a daze. When he got there, Donna was bustling around, wearing a completely different outfit than earlier. She was more. . . dressy.

"Donna?" he squeaked. "Where're you going?"

"On a date. Remember, I told you about it. Last Thursday. With Steven. From Intergovernmental Communications."

"Okay, see, to work for the President, usually a person has to have some sort of grasp on correct sentence structure," Josh stated dryly. "Wait. You're leaving now?"

"It *is* seven-thirty, Josh," Donna pointed out as she took her coat.

"Bye bye, now," she added, walking out the door.

Josh surveyed the empty space around him, and sighed. Sitting down heavily in his chair, he grabbed the closest file and started reading. After a little while, the words started to blur together, and he set the file down and rubbed his eyes tiredly. It was time to go home. He got up, gathered his things, and headed to the garage.

The car door was jammed, but with a little not-so-friendly persuasion, he managed to get it open. He stuck the key into the ignition and turned. Nothing happened. He tried it again. Again, nothing. Josh rested his forehead wearily on the steering wheel. Suddenly, he sat up and started smacking the wheel savagely while making inarticulate grunts and yells. Turning the key in the ignition one more time, he hoped beyond hope that the car would start.

Needless to say, it didn't.

With a scream that did not leave the confines of his car, Josh banged his fists on the steering wheel once more. Roughly, he jerked the door open, got up, and slammed it shut behind him. With a growl, he opened it again and grabbed his briefcase. The car would have to stay. It was only a ten, fifteen minute walk to his Georgetown apartment.

As soon as he walked out of the underground garage, he felt a light moisture on his head. Looking up, he felt a few more drops of water fall onto his face. Laughing, he threw his arms up, his briefcase dropping to the ground. The rain started coming down in sheets, and his short yell of frustration intermingled with the howl of the wind. Picking up his briefcase, he looked around. There were no taxis anywhere around. Hanging his head dejectedly, he started walking home.

Fifteen minutes later, he was standing outside the sandstone building he called home. He was absolutely soaked. Three cars had spashed dirty street-water on him, ruining his suit thricely. His hair stuck to his forehead pathetically, and his clothes felt slimy and cold on his skin. He stood outside, stairing at his apartment window sadly for a moment. The light was on.

Josh made his way to his door slowly. All he wanted was for this day to end. Reaching into his wet pocket, he fumbled for a key.

Suddenly, the door opened up in front of him.

Sam was standing in the doorway, holding a towel and wearing a warm smile. "I was wondering when you were coming home," he said tenderly. Making way for Josh to enter, he handed Josh the towel.

Josh looked at the towel in his hands, completely speechless. "How long've you been here?"

"About an hour," Sam answered, walking towards the kitchen. "Listen, you're soaking wet. Go take a warm shower, dinner'll be ready when you are."

Still holding the towel, Josh followed Sam into the kitchen. The smells of lemon chicken and baked ziti tickled his nose and warmed him. Sam was dishing the ziti onto two plates, completely unaware that he had an audience. Josh walked up behind him, and wrapped his arms around him.

"Thank you," Josh murmured, kissing Sam's neck lightly. "You're too good, you know."

"I know," Sam replied flippantly. "Now go get cleaned up. You smell like wet dog."

Josh let go with a laugh and towel-whipped Sam on the butt, eliciting a surprised laugh from the other man. He walked towards the bathroom, towel slung over his shoulder, and a smile on his lips.


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