Title: Public Spectacle
Author: Perpetual Motion
Category: Slash, Romance, Angst (?)
Fandom: West Wing
Series: Not yet.
Spoilers: "And It's Surely to Their Credit" (How odd, I went to check the NBC ep guide to get the name, and this one's on next week. Nice timing for me. :)
Summary: Josh wishes to be a Public Spectacle.
Archive Instructions: Any slash site that wants it can have it. Anyone who doesn't, your loss.
Disclaimer: NBC and Aaron Sorkin receive kudos for a wonderful show and liberal thinking.
Author's Notes: This was my first West Wing story, but it took me a while to get it done, so now it is first story, fourth posted. For those who say I should be publicly chastised for my Josh/Donna fic (Jae, I'm looking at you), please accept this as a token of my loyalty to all things slash. Especially West Wing slash. Forgive me for my dabbles into Het.
Public Spectacle by Perpetual Motion
"Yes, Kathleen?" CJ readjusted her glasses.
"How is the president responding to the picture?"
The picture of Sam and Josh when they were-" Kathleen trailed off, attempting to get the proper wording.
"They were cuddling." Danny's voice sounded from the middle of the room.
CJ removed her glasses and looked around the room. "Firstly, yes, I've seen the picture, and they're not cuddling, they're hugging. Secondly, the president has also seen the picture, and he has decided that in midst of the hundred other issues going on around him, the picture is harmless."
She looked around the room. "Steven?"
"Is the White House worried about the repercussions that could result from the conservatives in the country?"
"The White House is always concerned with the conservatives in this country because they are a part of the country that helps elect the President. AT this time we've heard neither good, bad, or neutral responses." CJ waved off the next questions. "Come on, people, you're the White House press corps, surely you want to grill me on something other than a photograph. We have two new bills trying to be passed in the Housea nd in Senate, and I'm sure Danny would like to harass me about the White House silverware again. Let's move on."
Sam clicked the mute button on the television and leaned back in his desk chair. He cheered on CJ in his head, more than thrilled that she was capable of swinging focus where it belonged rather than on the private lives of the White House staff. Not that we get much privacy.
"Hey, Sam." Josh shut the office door behind himself as he stepped inside.
Sam kept staring at the television. "Who took the picture?"
"No idea. I don't care."
"How can you not care?"
"It's easy, actually." Josh leaned against the door. "We don't have to tell anyone anything, Sam. Last I checked, our jobs were not suffering because we fell in love. We can just keep touching to a minimum in public."
"I don't want to keep touching to a minimum. I want to be able to touch you. I want to be able to hold you. At the very least I should be allowed to give you a congratulatory hug when you win against your insurance company." Sam stepped closer to Josh and braced himself against the door with one hand on either side of the other man's head.
"I could barely touch you when you were shot because of the press, and the only reason I was able to spend the night wit you was under the pretense I was worried about a friend."
"So what's the problem? I don't want to hide, and you don't want to hide. WE can go out to the press room right now and make an announcement. Tell the country to get over sexual orientation and realize we're doing good work. This whole staff has done good work. Just because we're two men sleeping together shouldn't change anything."
"But it does. That's the problem."
Josh ran a hand over Sam's back and pulled him close enough to have their chests touching. "There's always a problem. Damn things came with the job. Come here."
Sam surrendered and wrapped his arms around Josh, tightening his grip until he could feel Josh's heartbeat. "Maybe we should quit."
"And do what?"
"Something other than this."
"Sam, you might want to rethink that plan."
"Okay, we won't quit."
Josh smiled slightly. 'Okay."
"If we quit, it'll look like we're running away from controversy, and we can't do that, we're Democrats." Sam leaned his head into Josh's shoulder. "I don't understand why the picture set them off."
"I don't know, either. Probably because it's easier to pay attention to something when it doesn't go by in a blur." Josh stroked the back of Sam's neck and tried to think. "Maybe because we decided not to hide it, and let people draw their own conclusions, no one saw it."
"Josh, you licked my tonsils in public. I can't see how they couldn't see it."
"I didn't lick your tonsils. I licked the hangy-thing in the back of your throat."
"What is that thing called?"
"I don't know."
"Ask Donna, she'll know." Sam smiled to himself.
"Yeah, she probably will." Josh tilted his head and kissed Sam's ear. "You in the mood to make a public spectacle of yourself?"
"Isn't that CJ's job?"
"Usually, but we could give her a break."
Sam raised his eyebrows. "How?"
"Well, first I've got to talk to Leo and make sure he'll back us up, then I'll come back and talk to you, okay?"
Josh kissed Sam quickly and let him go, allowing himself one slight caress of Sam's stomach through his shirt. "I'll see you in a bit."
CJ's eyes went wide behind her glasses as Josh finished explaining his plan. Her glasses went bouncing onto the desk as she yanked them off. "You want to what?"
"I want to make a public spectacle of myself. Actually, Sam and I want to make public spectacles of ourselves."
"Josh, you can't do that. You work in the White House. You work for the President."
"Who says I can do this."
CJ brushed her hair off her face with her hand. "You're sure about this?"
"It'll end all questions."
"And open new ones."
"But it will end the big discussion finally."
CJ closed her eyes for a moment, and then dropped her head into her hands. "Josh, have I ever told you that you are a public relations nightmare?"
"Is that a yes?"
"It's an 'I can't believe I'm enough of a romantic to say yes'."
"But it's a yes?"
"Yes, Josh. Make a public ass of yourself."
"Spectacle, CJ. Spectacle."
CJ looked up at him. "You can be a damned glasses case at a Wal-Mart, just be tactful. What am I saying? I know you won't do that."
"See you at the afternoon briefing, CJ."
CJ stepped to the lectern and opened a notebook, not looking up as she spoke. "Before anyone gets a chance to ask any new questions, Josh Lyman and Sam Seaborn are going to be kind enough to step up here and answer one from this morning's briefing. Josh, Sam." CJ moved from the lectern, but stayed on the side of the podium.
Josh and Sam stepped up, and Josh moved to the microphone. "Before I even start to say anything, I'm going to tell you we will not answer any questions after our explanation, and after that, no reporter in this room will get any comment on our personal life. It's none of your damn business. Cover how we run the country and leave it at that. That's your job.
Now, as for the picture, untrue to popular belief, we were not cuddling. That picture was taken twenty seconds after I had found out that my now ex-insurance company was willing to pay my medical bills from the shooting. My lawyer called me, and Sam was in the office, and what you saw in the picture was a congratulatory hug. If what you were looking for was some sort of romantic touchy-feely thing, that is not what one looks like."
Josh paused for a moment and glanced around the room, every reporter was waiting for the other shoe to drop. He grinned slightly. "This is what touchy-feely looks like." He reached for Sam, slid one hand to the back of his neck, the other to his waist and kissed him.
Sam mirrored the hand movements and kissed Josh back. They stood in place, tongues touching and lips slipping against one another's until their breathing started to shorten. Sam pulled away first, ran a hand down Josh's arm and then turned to the room of very quiet reporters. "Now that you understand exactly where this relationship stands, it's none of your damned business. It shouldn't have been in the first place. Go back to harassing CJ about policy."
The room stayed quiet for another twenty seconds, until Josh and Sam were gone, and then Danny's voice came from the middle of the room. "CJ, what's the policy on White House staffers dating?"