Title: The Kiss
Author: Angel
e-mail: Angel1313@att.net
archive: Please ask before you do anything ^_^
pair: Sam&Josh ^___^
rating: I'm not very good at rating my works, but... I saw someone give theirs an "A" for "angst"... Otherwise, maybe a PG (yeah right!)
spoilers: Some spoilers for "The Leadership Breakfast," but only the opening sequence. (God, I loved that epidsode... the slash practically writes itself!)
Summary: Josh and Sam are trying to kindle a fire at the same time one of them is trying to rekindle their relationship.+_+ (Oh, that was so cheesy I just had to laugh at myself. I swear the story isn't written like that!)
Disclaimer: I don't own "The West Wing" nor do I own any of its characters. I'm not making *any* money off of this little story, so please don't sue. You'd be pretty disappointed even if you did, because I have about twenty dollars to my name. Oops, I had to buy lunch, that's gone now, too >.<
Notes: This is the first West Wing story that I've finished, but I'm working on several (as in five or six >.<) others. It's a one-shot deal, but I'm thinking about (possibly) making a sequel. Well, if you all like it, that is. Feedback is *always* appreciated, so feel free to write to me any time! Thank you for reading this, I hope you're entertained. -Angel ^_^

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Kiss by Angel

"...Then he can kiss me," Sam finished, looking up at Donna.
Sighing, the blonde turned about and left the room.
"He can kiss you?" Josh, the only other person in the room,
questioned, turning towards his companion.
"Yeah," Sam replied, fiddling with the logs in the fireplace
absently.
"He can kiss you?" Josh repeated, his voice showing that he was
verging on becoming upset.
"Yeah," Sam said again, turning to meet Josh’s gaze. "He probably
won’t do it, but he can."
Josh raised one of his eyebrows ever so slightly. "Oh, really?" he
challenged Sam more with the tone of his voice then with his words.
"Yes. He can kiss me," Sam stated again.
"So just anyone can kiss you?" Josh continued, even as Sam turned
back to the fireplace.
Finally fed up, Sam whipped back around to his friend. "Josh?" He
snapped. "Is there some purpose to this, or are you just going to keep
bothering me about it?" When the other man didn’t respond, Sam went on. "I
mean, it’s not like I’m going to go hunt down the House Whip and plant a
big sloppy kiss on his face and say, ‘I’m sorry I suggested that your seat
be changed.’ I didn’t really mean it, I just had to say something."
By now Sam was pretty worked up. Trying to hide the small grin
that was tugging at the edges of his mouth, Josh said, "Oh, so now you
*didn’t* mean it."
"Josh!" Sam exclaimed in exasperation, standing up and nearly
knocking down the bottle of kerosene.
"Sam!" Josh mocked the Deputy of Communications, standing up as
well.
"I’m serious, Josh. I’m not in the mood."
"Oooh, so now not only will you not *kiss* anyone, you’re not in
the mood for-"
Sam cut him off, "Josh, you know what I meant." Sitting back down,
he mumbled, "Why do you always have to do that?"
Surprised by the change in mood on Sam’s part, Josh took a seat
next to the thirty-two year-old. "Sam?" He asked hesitantly, gently
placing his hand on the other man’s shoulder.
Pulling his knees up to his chest in a decidedly child-like
manner, Sam looked down as he began to speak. "You always know exactly
which buttons to press, Josh."
"Aw, Sam," the sounds escaped from Josh’s mouth automatically as
he moved to pull his colleague against him. As he slid his arm around
Sam’s waist, Josh whispered, "I didn’t know it bothered you. I just
thought-"
Josh stopped speaking when Sam turned to face him. There were
tears in the younger man’s shimmering blue eyes.
"Sam-" Josh started, but Sam shook his head.
"You know exactly what to say to set me off, Josh. You know
exactly what I’m thinking, you know exactly what I’m going to say- But you
know what? You know exactly what to say to make me feel better. And you
never do it."
"Sam," Josh tried again, but Sam stopped him once more.
"Why, Josh? Why will you never do that? You push me to the edge,
then you just leave me there! Why won’t you just-"
"Just what, Sam?" Josh finally edged into the conversation.
Sam turned away.
"Just what?" the thirty-eight year-old repeated. "What am I
supposed to do?"
"I think you know what you could do, Josh." Sam spoke the words so
softly, had it been anyone other then Josh, they would have missed them.
"Sam," Josh sighed. "I can’t. Not after-"
"Why not?" Sam interrupted. "Why can’t we go back to that? We were
happy, Josh. *I* was happy. I’ve never been that happy since. And I know
you haven’t been either."
"What makes you think-" Josh began, but the look in his
companion’s eyes stopped him. He knew it was useless.
"I know you just as well as you know me, Josh. You haven’t been as
happy since."
Sighing tiredly, Josh let his head drop away from Sam’s probing
gaze. "Yeah, so I miss you. So what? That doesn’t change anything."
Sam clenched his fists in frustration. "What do you mean it
doesn’t change anything?! Josh, I still love you. More importantly, I’m
still *in* love with you. And you’re telling me that doesn’t *mean*
anything?"
Slowly turning to meet the desperate gaze of his co-worker, Josh
replied, his voice flat, "Yes."
It took all of his strength not to flinch as he watched as Sam’s
face slowly crumbled. The wave of pain that so clearly crashed into the
young attorney seemed to him look even smaller then usual. Dropping his
gaze, Sam turned back to the fireplace as the tears finally came.
"Oh," he managed to whisper hoarsely.
Beginning to deeply regret his harsh answer, Josh began, "Sam,"
reaching out and placing a hand on the other man’s back.
"Don’t," Sam hissed, shrugging off his companion’s attempt at
comfort. "Not if you don’t mean it."
"Sam, it’s not that I don’t-"
His despair quickly turning to anger, Sam spun around and snapped,
"Then what is it? I just told you that I’m still in love with you, and you
said that you didn’t care. God, Josh, do you have *any* idea whatsoever as
to what that’s like?" Not waiting for an answer, the brunette continued,
"It’s like having someone thrust a dagger into your heart. And I’m not
about to let you *twist* it with you false offerings of *comfort,*" Sam
spat the last word contemptuously, looking as though it had left a bad
taste in his mouth.
"Sam, I’m-" Josh tried again, hoping to be able to apologize.
"Just save it," the younger man snarled, back again to the
fireplace.
"Sam, I love you." Josh didn’t know why he said it; he knew that
it was true, and, he admitted to himself, deep in his heart of hearts, he
knew that Sam would forgive him. Because Sam would also know that it was
true.
Sam turned icy blue orbs void of emotion back to the unsure
thirty-eight year-old who knelt before him. "You think that changes
anything?"
Utter silence fell upon the room. Seconds passed, moment, perhaps
hours, as the two sat staring at one another. Josh, his mouth hanging open
in shock, Sam, stone-faced and seemingly indifferent to the situation.
Finally, a log shifted in the fireplace, setting the two White House
staffers into action.
"We should set it up as a tripod," Josh suggested quietly.
"Yes," Sam agreed, turning once again to the neutral fireplace.
"Three sticks leaning in to a ...center."
"Isn’t that a tripod?" Josh asked, amusement coloring his wary
voice.
"Yes, but-"
"-You just wanted to say more words?" Josh finished for his
companion.
Knowing better then to argue, but still not comfortable enough to
smile, Sam replied, "Yeah."
Donna entered the room with some unimportant news, but Josh
brushed her off. His attention belonged to Sam.
For some reason, despite the fight, the two of them seemed to be
even more connected then usual.
Josh was wracking his brain to try to figure out why they were
getting along so well. A small smile began to tug at the corners of his
mouth. /How ironic,/ the brunette though to himself, the irony making the
situation somehow amusing to him. /we’re falling into old patterns. We’re
getting back to the level of silent communication that we had when we were
still.../ A quick shake of his head removed that idea from Josh’s mind.
Automatically, Josh stood and took a step back as the fire began
to get going. There was an unusually large amount of smoke being produced,
but Sam seemed to have some explanation, so Josh ignored it and the red
flag that it was waving.
Suddenly, the room began to fill with people, asking about the
smoke. As he saw Toby and CJ, reality began to come back to him, and Josh
snapped out of his daze. When Charlie came in with talk of waking the
President, Josh knew he had to think quickly. First, he denied that he-
and Sam- had anything to do with the fire. Everyone knew, but it didn’t
matter. Then he suggested getting a fire extinguisher.
"BEEEEP! BEEEEP! BEEEEP!"
/Too late,/ Josh thought with a sigh.
As firemen rushed in, and the staff was rushed out, Josh and Sam
became separated. Luckily, since it was going to take a while, Toby said
that most everyone could go home. They were finished anyway.
As he was on his way to his car, Josh realized that he didn’t have
his backpack. He quickly changed his direction and headed towards the West
Wing. Surprised though he knew he shouldn’t have been, Josh found Sam
arguing with one of the Secret Servicemen.
"I just need to get my briefcase. I know exactly where it is, I’ll
be in and out in two minutes. Two minutes!" Sam was saying as Josh walked
up to him.
"Sorry, sir. You’ll have to wait," the man informed the Deputy
Director of Communications.
"My car keys are in there!" Sam lamented. "I don’t have to wait
for Lord knows how long to-"
"So we can’t get in?" Josh asked. Sam turned to him in surprise;
clearly he hadn’t heard the other man come up to him.
Sighing, Sam shook his head.
"I have my car keys," Josh said meekly, holding them up for Sam to
see.
"Well, lucky you," Sam grumbled, clearly not catching what Josh
was trying to get at.
"I could drive you home," the Deputy Chief of Staff clarified.
Sam’s face brightened for a brief moment, then it fell once again.
"I don’t have my apartment key, either."
Josh’s heart began to beat faster, and he was starting to feel a
lot more nervous then he should around such a close friend. "You could...
stay at my place."
"Really?" Again, Sam’s face lit up with hope.
Josh nodded, smiling as well.
"Thank you so much, Josh. I mean, after-"
Holding up his hand to stop his colleague, Josh’s smile shrank a
little and he became almost shy as he said, "It’s nothing, really. I know
you’d do the same for me."
/Would I?/ Sam thought, angry with himself for the way he reacted
earlier.
"Yeah, I’d take you in off the streets, too, I guess," Sam agreed.
Sam and Josh then made their way over to Josh’s car.
Without thinking, the Deputy Chief of Staff put his arm around the younger
man’s shoulders. For a split second, both of their heart rates
accelerated, and they each nervously awaited the other’s reaction. Nothing
happened. Their walk to the car was never interrupted.
Suddenly, Sam smiled. /Maybe there’s hope after all./

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