Title: Scared
Author: Perpetual Motion
Fandom: West Wing
Category: Angst, Romance, Slash
Pairing: Josh/Sam
Rating: PG
Summary: Sam is scared. Josh tries to make it better.
Archive: Yes is the only answer I know. (Hm, could we make that Josh's mantra to Sam?)
Disclaimer: Aaron Sorkin is a genius, and I would never lay claim to what was his. However, if he could possibly make Josh Lyman an actual person and pass him along to me, I'd be grateful.
Author's Notes: This is my second foray into West Wing slash. The first one isn't done yet. This one is, so you get to read it first. :)

Scared by Perpetual Motion

I blame myself for Josh putting his hand through that window. I blame myself because I saved CJ instead of Josh. I blame myself because I should have saved Josh. He's my best friend, my closet confidante, and before he got shot, we were a couple. I blame myself for the Post Traumatic Stress because I distanced myself. I was still his best friend, but I stopped anything romantic. He didn't need some romantic melodrama to occupy his mind while he tried to recover. He needed a friend.

God, I am an idiot. Josh needed a friend, I was his friend, but he also needed someone to hold onto at night. He needed someone to listen when he woke up from a nightmare. That was supposed to be me, but I'm an idiot. I didn't lay next to him and help him through his nightmares because I'm an idiot. A full-blown idiot.

I was scared because he had almost died. Josh had almost died. Instead of feeling elated at the second chance, I got scared and ran from it. I couldn't have a romantic relationship with him because I was afraid to get to close to him. I was scared that if I started loving him again, he would get hurt again. We had only been a couple for a few months before we had to face the shootout. I couldn't let him get to close again, because I was afraid it would kill him.

Then, he put his hand through the window, and I got scared again. Josh was hurt again. I got scared, and I retreated further into my chicken-shit shell.

Josh looked up as Sam's office door opened, and Sam walked in. He froze in the doorway as he saw Josh at his desk. "What's up?"

"You've been acting weird, so I decided to invade your privacy by hacking into your journal."

"You don't know how to hack." Sam was still maintaining a 'deer in the headlights' look.

"I took three guesses at you password-well, actually, sixteen, but I got it."

"How'd you know my password?"

"I'm an egotist." Josh closed the computer and stood up. "You're scared?"

"Are you asking because you don't know or phrasing a fact you already know into the form of a question to try to make it seem like you haven't been invading my privacy?"

"Yes." Josh stepped around the desk. "The date on the entry is two days after Christmas. You were scared then, but I want to know if you're scared now."

Sam swallowed once and removed his glasses. He folded them and slid them into his jacket pocket before answering. "I don't know. There are times I think I could show up on your doorstep and everything would be okay, but then something happens, and I get scared again."

"What happens?"

"I saw your reaction when someone played music outside your office. You flinched, and I got scared because it seemed like I would never to dance with you again."

"Sam, we never danced in the first place."

"But now I don't think we ever will. I was going to ask you the night you go shot.

After we got back from the Newseum, I was going to ask you to dance, but then you got shot and now music scares you, and now I don't think we're ever going to dance."

Josh suddenly found it very hard to respond. He closed the space between Sam and himself and just stared at him for a moment. "It's not music that scares me, it's the sirens I hear when I'm supposed to be hearing music. Those ambulance sirens were the last things I remember hearing before I passed out, and something in my subconscious made it into music. The sirens were a sign that I was going to be saved, so it had a 'music to my ears' quality."

"You put that together by yourself?"

"Partly. My shrink does get some credit. She's the one who first made me realize why I heard sirens in music."

Sam brought up his hand and let his fingers grazed Josh's face. He smiled slightly when Josh closed his eyes and tried to nuzzle his hand. His fingernails left little white lines on the underside of Josh's jaw. Sam leaned in slightly, just enough to let Josh's cologne and shampoo smells get into his nose. He smiled. Josh smelled the same. Spicy cologne and supposedly odorless shampoo still smelled just the same as they had beck in May, the last time he had smelled Josh.

"Sam, come over for dinner tonight." Josh's murmur was halfway between a content whisper and a spoken demand. "We can order in Chinese and laze around on the couch. I'll give you my extra noodles."

"When?"

"Whenever you get out of here."

"Might not be until midnight."

"Beef and broccoli is good cold."

Sam smiled and moved his hand away. "Okay."

Josh smiled back, ghosted a hand over Sam's stomach and left the office. He was determined to get Sam over his fear.

*

Josh was debating between beer and wine when he heard a key in the lock, and he realized he had never gotten his key back from Sam. He walked into the living room and watched as Sam hung up his coat and threw his suit jacket over a chair.

He tried to undo his tie, but his hands were to cold.

Josh walked across the room and batted Sam's hands away. He made quick work on the tie and unbuttoned Sam's top button. He leaned in and allowed himself to breathe in Sam. He smelled like printer paper and ink and just a little like Toby's office. His aftershave was barely noticeable, and Josh had to restrain himself from kissing all the smells in front of him. "God, I've missed taking off your tie."

Sam tried to keep his knees from quivering as Josh's breath hit his collarbone. He remembered the tie ritual. Anytime he went to Josh's after work, the first order of business was to get him out of his tie. Josh never let him do it. He would run his hands up and down Sam's arms and then undo the tie and unbutton the top button. Sam tilted his head and smiled at Josh. "You're trying to seduce me, Mr. Lyman."

"Yes, I am." Josh leaned into Sam and wrapped his arms around the other man.

"Are you scared?"

"A little."

"Why?"

"Because you're still healing."

"Sam, I'll always be healing. Emotional trauma has that effect on a person."

"But you won't always put your hand through a window." Sam lifted the hand in question and looked it over. The gash on Josh's palm as healing cleanly. He intertwined their fingers and held Josh closer. "You'll always be mine."

"Yeah." Josh didn't ever bother to question it. He knew it as well as Sam did.

They stood together for awhile. Neither of them bothered with checking the time; they were reconnecting and let time screw itself for once. Sam turned his head and trailed his lips along Josh's hairline. He kissed an eyebrow and tried to hold Josh closer than they already were.

Josh snuggled closer to Sam and kissed the pulse point at Sam's neck before kissing behind his ear. He squeezed Sam's hand and ran his other hand up and down Sam's back. "Are you scared?"

"No."

Josh shifted and kissed Sam on the lips, just letting the pressure sustain him.

"Good." He walked backwards, leading Sam, and he sat on the sofa, bringing Sam down with him. "Are you scared?"

"No." Sam unbuttoned Josh's shirt and ran his hands over Josh's stomach before trailing one finger over the scar where the surgeons had opened Josh up. He pressed on it experimentally and heard the hitch in Josh's breathing. "Did I hurt you?" Sam moved his hand to rest on Josh's stomach.

"No. You surprised me. No one's ever touched it."

"Not even Donna?"

"Sam, I thought we already had this discussion to the death." Josh watched Sam look slightly abashed. "You think I would go from you to Donna? No way." Sam stayed silent and lowered his lashes. "No way." Josh placed his hands on Sam's face and made the other man look at him. "She's my assistant. She's my errand girl. She's my friend, but she's not you. Not even close. Ever. If I ever go from you it'll be to lonely nights watching the news and writing bad poetry."

"You don’t write poetry."

"And that's why it would be bad." Josh leaned in ad kissed Sam again. It was possessive. Josh was telling Sam that there was only Sam.

Sam kissed back, relaying the message and sliding his hand back up Josh's baody and resting it on the scar. He leaned into Josh, and his hands worked their way to

Josh's pants. He stopped when his hands hit the waistband, and he pulled back slightly. "I love you."

"I love you." Josh leaned back against the couch cushions, keeping one hand on

Sam's hip and rubbing slightly. "I've missed you."

"I was scared."

"I know."

"I was mad at myself."

"Why?"

"Because I saved CJ instead of you. I should have saved you."

"I'm fine."

'You almost died."

"I'm fine."

"You put your hand through a window."

"Okay, so I have to get a few bugs out of my system."

Sam sighed and leaned his head on Josh's shoulder. His breath tickled Josh's neck when he spoke. "You wouldn't have bugs if I'd saved you instead of CJ."

Josh pulled away and focused his eyes on Sam's. They were so blue, and there were droplets at the corners. Sam was about to cry. "Sam, I still have bugs because I was shot. You still have bugs because you were shot at. CJ has bugs because someone-you-pulled her down before the bullet that hit a window hit her.

The President still has bugs. Leo has bugs. Toby and Zoey and Charlie have bugs.

Everyone went through hell that night. I went down into a deeper circle than the rest of you, but we all spent some time in the Devil's kitchen eating pie."

Sam had to hold back a laugh at the image of a fiery kitchen with the staff eating pie. "Of all the metaphors you could have used, you chose one of pie."

Josh laughed a little. "Yes, pie. You came up with bugs."

"I spend most of my day on a computer. I think about bugs. You don't bake." Sam rested his forehead on Josh's. "We have bugs, don't we?"

"Yes."

"Big bugs?"

"Mine are bigger, but everyone's are pretty big." Josh kissed Sam on the nose.

"They'll die soon."

Sam smiled. "Good."

"Are you scared?"

"No."

"Were you lying before?"

"Yes."

"Are you scared?"

"Not anymore."

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