Title: Poker Night One-Glasses and Princeton
Author: Perpetual Motion
Series: First in the "Poker Night" series.
Summary: Sometimes It's the little things.
Archive Instructions: You have everything else. Help yourself.
Poker Night One Glasses and Princeton By Perpetual Motion
The table had been quiet for a full two minutes as everyone looked over their cards and tossed in their ante. Toby glanced at the President as he folded. "You've been very quiet tonight, Mr. President. Did you run out of inane trivia?"
The President smiled as he upped his ante against CJ. "No, Toby, I was just looking around this table and wondering something."
"Dare I ask, Sir?"
"I was wondering-I call CJ." The President laid down his cards and groaned as CJ took the pot. "I was wondering, Toby, how you knew Sam was right for you."
Toby almost dropped his cigar as he jerked in surprise. Sam nearly fell over in his tipped back chair, but Josh pushed from behind and set Sam on all four legs again.
"That's not your usual poker night trivia, Sir."
"Afraid to answer the question?"
"We went to Princeton."
Across the table, Sam smiled at him.
"Nice alma mater."
Toby leaned against the car and looked over the Princeton campus. "Very neat and orderly. It's good to see the nickname fits."
Sam looked up from the campus map he was attempting to read without his glasses. "Nickname?"
"I don't call you Princeton because you prefer it over Sam."
"Oh." Sam squinted at the map again. "Have you seen my glasses?"
Toby pulled them from the pocket of his suit jacket. "Here. You fell asleep and almost bent them out of shape."
"Thanks." The map came into focus. "We've got to circle around to the back side of campus and park across from the auditorium I'm going to speak at."
"Okay. Sam, explain something to me."
"How could you come to school here for years, never miss a reunion, and *not* know your way around?"
"I know my way around, Toby., but it's a new auditorium. They put it in last spring."
Toby nodded and got into the car to drive around campus.
"Mr. Seaborn, it's good to see you." A woman in a business suit and heels shook Sam's hand as he and Toby walked down the aisle of the auditorium. "I'm Professor Lynn, I teach Public Speaking and help coach the debate team."
Sam smiled. "It's good to meet you. This is Toby Ziegler; he's the Communications Director of the White House. We're in the middle of working on a speech so he came up with me."
"It's a pleasure, Mr. Ziegler. Will you be sitting up front?"
"I'm going to stand backstage."
"He's going to work while I speak."
Professor Lynn nodded. "That will be fine. Mr. Seaborn, if you'll go backstage also I'll open the doors and let people get seated."
Sam nodded, and he and Toby climbed the stage steps and walked behind the curtain. Toby leaned against the nearest wall and watched Sam check himself over in the mirror. "You look fine, Sam."
"I know." Sam straightened his tie, dusted the sleeves of his jacket and made sure his lapels were lying down.
Toby smiled indulgently and walked over to Sam. He ran his fingers through Sam's hair and cradled the back of his head. "You look fine. You'll do great, and Princeton will be begging for you to come back and speak again."
"I thought I was Princeton."
"You are, but this Princeton will want you back again."
"Okay." Sam took a deep breath. "Okay. I'm ready." He heard Professor Lynn announce him. "Here I go."
Toby let Sam go and watched him take one step, pause, and turn back around. "Sam?"
He pulled off his glasses, took the step over to Toby, and slipped them into Toby's suit jacket pocket. "Hold onto these." He kissed Toby quickly and walked onto the stage.
"I knew then." Toby smiled.
"You knew when he handed you his glasses?" Josh looked slightly skeptical. "I don't get it."
"Me, neither." CJ finished shuffling the cards and started dealing.
"Sam doesn't give his glasses to anyone. He always puts them in his shirt pocket." Toby looked at Sam and smiled. "He gave them to me."
"That's sweet." CJ dealt the cards. "Straight-draw. Play what you've got."
Everyone studied their cards for a moment. The President looked up and focused on Sam. "When did you know, Sam?"
The other man didn't miss a beat. "The first time he called me Princeton."
The campaign trail, Sam was discovering, was a bitch. He'd been up for eighteen hours, hadn't eaten in twelve, and was very tempted to use his laptop as a pillow. "How long are we attempting to make this?"
Toby glanced up from his notes. "At least forty-five minutes."
"What I've got here is only going to last thirty. Forty, maybe, if there's a lot of applause."
"I'm working on something."
"Okay." Sam concentrated on his laptop, his eyes drooping.
"Get a nap."
Toby crossed something out on his paper. "Get a nap. I'll wake you up in twenty minute to finish this thing."
"I'll make it."
Toby looked up from his writing, he eyes showing exasperation, but when he spoke, his voice was soft-edged. "Princeton, take a nap. I'll wake you up."
Sam raised his eyebrows but decided not to ask. "Okay." He saved his file, clicked off his laptop, and crawled onto the hotel bed. He was asleep almost immediately.
"You knew before the two of you even got together that he was right for you?" CJ smiled. "Someone had faith."
Sam shrugged and tossed his ante onto the middle of the table. "Yeah."
Toby smiled at him from across the table. "Yeah."
Josh rolled his eyes. "Okay, enough mush. Let's play poker! You in, Mr. President?"
The President nodded. "Of course. I have to get all your money."
"What? My taxes aren't good enough for you?"
As the table turned to its usual banter, Sam and Toby kept watching each other for an extra moment. One last shared smiled and they turned back to the game.
Back to the Big Block of Cheese Main Page