Title: Two Characters in Search of Subtext
Author: Michelle K. (CageyGrl@yahoo.com)
Rating: PG-13 (language)
Site: http://glimmershine.tripod.com
Archive: If you want. Ask first.
Spoilers: General season two and three.
Genre: Humor/Parody with much mention of slash.
Summary: Josh and Sam go on a quest to find their lost slashiness.
Disclaimer: Not mine (except, I guess, for Uber). Don't sue, nothing shall be gained.
Notes: Kevin Smith and a few of his characters appear in here. (It's a long story). If you have no idea who Kevin is, here are a few things you should know. 1) He's a film writer/director. 2) His films are very slashy. And he admits to putting gay subtext in them. 3) He has said some things which lead me to believe he is *not* a fan of 'The West Wing.' 4) I love him. Well, you don't really need to know that. But I feel it should be mentioned.

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

Two Characters in Search of Subtext by Michelle K.


The sun shone brightly on the land of Sorkinville, which was a magical place filled with witty dialogue and complex characters. The Hollywood Gods even bestowed the highest awards on them, from the Guild of the Actors who have appeared on Screen, to the Globes made of Gold.

The fans were pleased, too. Sure, the second and third seasons weren't as incandescent as the first - but the show was still good.

And, for fans of slash, things were looking up as well. Josh was acting protective toward Leo; Jed was acting protective toward Leo; Sam seemed like he was flirting with Toby; and CJ, for her part, was creating UST with every woman she came in contact with. (In fact, CJ shared UST with every man she came into contact with as well. CJ's amazing on many levels.)

But for a certain pairing, things weren't looking as bright. And previously, they had been one of the slashiest couples on the show. It baffled everyone - not to mention the couple themselves.

"I mean, I never even talk to you anymore," Josh said with sadness to his...erm, 'very good friend.'

"I know," Sam replied. "And you have that...Amy girl." His eyes narrowed. "She won't even *talk* to you half the time." He shook his fist in the air. "Damn her! I should have more screen time with you."

"I know, man." He shook his head. "We're supposed to be best friends. Shouldn't best friends talk sometimes?"

"And have sweaty sex!" Sam added.

"Exactly."

"But never mention it on the show!"

"Yes!"

"But still behave like it may have happened!"

"Right on!" Josh yelled. "We can't just let them take away our subtext, can we?"

"No!" Sam agreed.

"So we'll go and get it back!"

"Yes!"

They sat motionless. Josh began to twiddle his thumbs.

"So..." Sam began. "Shouldn't we be going now or something?"

"But I don't know where to go," Josh pouted.

"We can figure it out!" Sam enthused. "It'll be a quest, like in 'Lord of the Rings.' Except, instead of a ring, we're be searching for UST. Except they weren't really searching for a ring, they were trying to get it somewhere safe. But, still, in terms of questiness, it could be similar. You know, the scale of the mission and whatnot."

Josh stared at him. "You are such a dork. A cute dork," he added with a sigh. "Let's get going," he said with a smile.

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

So, Josh and Sam set out on their quest. They had no map, no clue of where they were going. But they walked around. They figured that could get them somewhere.

However, at this point, they had only made it as far as Leo's office door.

"Hey," Sam said, "let's see what Leo's doing."

Josh shrugged. "What for?"

Sam shrugged as well. "I dunno."

"Good enough reason for me." Josh opened the door just enough for them to both peak in.

And what they saw shocked them both.

"POTUS is giving him another present!" Sam gasped.

"And Leo's crying tears of nostalgia. Again," Josh added.

"Damn them! I could cry nostalgically. Maybe even better than Leo can."

"That's debatable."

"I'm a very nostalgic crier," Sam defended himself. "I see something that reminds me of my past, I'm like a faucet."

"Whatever," Josh said dismissively. "That's not the point. The point is, they're getting more subtext. And we must not let that happen anymore!"

"So, we're continuing on with the quest, then?" Sam asked.

"Yes!"

"Okay."

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

Sam and Josh walked many a mile without getting anywhere. That, unfortunately, had much to do with the fact that they were walking in a circle.

"Dude!" Josh said with exasperation. "Why don't we just start walking in a straight line?"

"Good idea."

So, they did. And, after many more miles, they came to a crossroads. It didn't feature Britney Spears, thank God.

"Where should we go?" Josh asked.

Sam shrugged. "I've always be comfortable with the right myself."

"Really?" he asked skeptically.

"Yeah. Why?"

"I thought, considering our party affiliation, you'd choose the left."

Sam stared at him. "That's idiotic. I'm not going to choose a road down party lines."

"I'm just saying."

"I really wish I had the desire to kiss you right now," Sam sighed.

"So do I," Josh sighed back.

Suddenly, with a flourish of smoke and light, a man appeared. He was tall, with gray hair and a distinguished appearance. And, for the moment, he was completely silent.

"Um...hello," Sam ventured.

"Hi!" the man said brightly. "My name's Uber."

Josh and Sam stared at him. "Erm," Josh said, "if you're going to come out of nowhere with light and smoke around you, I need to hear more than just your name. You know, like how the hell you came out of nowhere. And, also, why."

"Oh," Uber replied. "Sorry. I came out of the smoke because I'm magical. And I did it because I heard your request. I can help you find your subtext."

"We started this quest hours ago! You're just helping us now?!?" Josh said angrily. Sam elbowed him in the side to make him shut up. It didn't work. He did, however, begin to yell at Sam instead. "What the hell did you do that for?"

"Be quiet," Sam said. "Smoke guy might disappear and then he'll never help us."

Josh rolled his eyes. "Oh, let's all bow down to magic smoke guy. I think I should make a website dedicated to him. Ooooh, I love him so."

Uber seemed to be oblivious to the conflict. But, one thing he wasn't oblivious to was their plight. "I shall help you, for I am the keeper of the flame of characters' possible latent attraction."

Josh perked up. "So, you can give us the UST back."

"No."

"You suck." Not so perky this time.

"But, I can give you directions."

And so, Uber gave our intrepid heroes directions to the place they'd been looking for.

What would happen when they got there was anyone's guess.

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

"So, this is the place?" Sam asked.

Josh shrugged. "I think so. If that guy gave us the right directions."

It looked like a house from the suburbs, with a freshly cut lawn to boot. They entered, and all that they heard was the sound of silence. Josh and Sam moved in slowly, looking apprehensively around them. It looked normal enough.

Until they came to the hallway of closets, that is.

"Who has a hallway of closets, anyway?" Josh asked.

"Um...whoever lives here is a safe bet."

"True."

All the closets were open, with light shining out of them. A strangely soft and sexy light.

"Should we go down here?" Sam asked.

"How would I know?" Josh sighed. "If only creepy magic guy was here." He thought that would prompt Uber's return, but nothing happened. "Damn. Okay, let's go down here."

As they peered at the closets, they noticed names etched on them. Shannon and Brodie. Banky and Holden. Jay and Silent Bob. Dante and Randal.

"Who the hell are these people?" Josh wondered aloud.

Sam shrugged. "I dunno."

"If only creepy--"

"Cut it out Josh."

At the end of the hallway, there was yet another door. This one was only a little bit open. It was Sam who pushed it open the whole way.

It was both of them who were shocked.

There were lots of men, all of whom were kissing other men. They were all too preoccupied with their own doings to notice Josh and Sam.

"It's like a hotbed of gay activity!" Sam said.

"Isn't it the greatest?" Josh sighed in appreciation.

At the sound of voices, a head finally did snap to attention. "Who the hell are you's guys?" a man with long blond hair asked.

"Well--" Josh began.

"You better not get on my case, yo. Because my muscle will kick you's guys asses." He nodded towards a pudgy man to his side - the man he had just been kissing. Pudgy man nodded in response.

"I have no intention of getting on your--"

"We've got some crazy fuckers here!" the young man began to yell. "Let's get them!"

The other people in the room snapped to attention. They, however, didn't try to get them.

"What's your problem, burn boy?" a man wearing a backwards baseball cap asked. "These guys don't look crazy. Corporate flackeys, perhaps. Which, I suppose, is a form of sickness - shilling for soulless corporations, that is."

"Actually, we work for the government," Sam said.

"Government, hey? I sued the government over some bad meat," the man responded.

"Could you stop saying that?" a man with a van dyke asked. (Note: van dyke is a form of facial hair, not some sort of gay slur.) "It's not even *true, for God's sakes."

"Truth. So very subjective." He looked back to Josh and Sam. "I'm Randal, by the way."

"Truth isn't subjective, especially not in this case. Because you didn't have any bad meat suit! It's not true." Now, he looked to Josh and Sam. "I'm Dante."

The man with the long hair, the one who had previously been yelling, had mellowed out considerably. It should be noted that the room was now quite smoky. "I'm Jay. And this is Silent Bob," he said with another nod to the pudgy man. "My not quite hetero lifemate," he added.

Silent Bob nodded.

They went throughout the room, man after man introducing himself. A few of them looked quite similar, which became quite confusing to Josh and Sam.

"And you are?" a man who's name was either Holden, Bartleby, or Shannon asked.

"I'm Josh."

"I'm Sam. We're here looking for subtext."

"We've got a lot of subtext, bitch," Jay said. "I could sell you some for twenty bucks." After a moment, he looked over to Silent Bob. "What's subtext?"

Silent Bob shrugged.

Randal rolled his eyes. "Look, we have a guy who creates our subtext. Maybe you should talk to him."

"Well played, clerks," Leonardo Leonardo declared. "Well played."

Randal looked over at the cartoon creation. "Would you shut up?"

Leonardo was silent for a moment. "Well played," he said again.

Randal rolled his eyes and looked back at Josh and Sam. "So, you want me to get him for you?"

Josh and Sam nodded.

Randal looked over to Dante. "So, you wanna go get subtext guy?"

Dante threw up his hands. "I'm not even supposed to be here today!" But still, he walked away. When he returned, he had another pudgy man with him. The man looked like Silent Bob, except with glasses and without a trenchcoat.

"This better be important," the man said. "I have enough to do without getting bothered by you guys. I did say I wasn't making any more movies with you."

"Yeah, right," Randal said skeptically. "You said that two movies ago. You love us too much to give us up. You love me especially. It's even obvious to the casual observer. I don't blame you, though."

The man rolled his eyes, then looked at Josh and Sam. "I'm Kevin Smith. And you are?"

"Josh Lyman."

"And Sam Seaborn."

"Oh," Kevin said curtly. "From that 'West Wing' show, huh?"

Josh smiled proudly. "Yeah."

"Good for you. What the hell do you want?"

"You see, Mr. Smith, we don't have much subtext left on our show--" Sam began.

"And magic smoke guy told us to come here--" Josh continued.

"So we did," Sam said finally.

"Is that so?" Kevin asked.

"It is. Can you give us some slashiness, guy I've never met before?" Josh asked hopefully.

"No."

Josh and Sam's faces dropped. "But," Josh said, "crazy magic smoke guy sent us here."

Kevin shrugged. "I can't just *give* you on-screen subtext. You're not my characters."

"Word, yo!" Jay said. He looked at Josh. "Hey, aren't you that yuppie asshole? You were the bomb in 'Billy Madison.'"

Josh shrugged and quickly looked toward Kevin. "But...crazy smoke guy..."

Kevin shook his head. "I don't care. I don't *know* crazy smoke guy and, frankly, I've wasted way too much time on this conversation. I need to go back to Red Bank and write a decent movie for Ben Affleck."

"'Phantoms' like a motherfucker!" Jay yelled out.

Kevin began to walk away. He turned back, and for a short moment in time, Josh and Sam had some hope. But, alas, it didn't last long. "Oh, and get the fuck out of my house."

"Okay," Josh and Sam said in unison, hanging their heads low.

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

Outside the Smith house, Josh was pissed once again. "Stupid smoke bastard," he muttered.

Then, Uber appeared. "You called?"

"Yeah, like twenty times. What the hell is wrong with you? Kevin Smith has nothing to do with us!"

Uber looked shocked. "You mean you're not from 'Mallrats'?"

"No!" Josh shrieked. "Do I look like a mallrat to you?"

"Your voice is getting high again," Sam interjected.

"I don't care," Josh said, voice still high. "Aaron Sorkin created us, you dumb smoke magic smoke dumb guy!" he sputtered, verging on incoherence.

"Oh. I guess I've been kinda screwing with you then. Sorry."

Uber gave them new directions, and Josh and Sam began anew.

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

They found themselves at a new house. Sam was about to enter when Josh stopped him.

"What if the moron gave us another set of bad directions?" Josh asked.

Sam shrugged. "I guess we leave again."

"It's a plan, I suppose."

When they went inside, they found themselves walking down another hallway of closets. Except this time, they had to be the right closets.

Because this time they recognized the names.

"Look, Toby and I have a door!" Sam noticed.

"I have a door with Toby, too," Josh said. "Leo has a door with Toby."

"And so does POTUS. And Bruno. And Doug."

Josh looked to his friend. "When did Toby become such a gay hussy?"

Sam shrugged. "I dunno. I wonder what he would say about that."

All the doors were open with some light shining from them, just as it had been in the Smith house. Some doors, however, shone more brightly than others. Like the CJ and Carol one. Because she totally propositioned her on the show. That's not even subtext anymore. That's like text.

Erm, digression is now necessary.

So, Josh and Sam continued down the hallway, intrigued by the names they passed.

"Look," Josh said, "Leo and I have a door. That's kinda wrong, isn't it? I mean, he mighta known me when I was a kid."

"Maybe," Sam said. "But, it's also kinda hot."

Josh looked at him. "I can't believe you're picturing me sleeping with Leo. That's just...wrong, man."

"Yeah, but also kinda hot."

"Hell yeah," Josh agreed. "Damn, I need our subtext back!"

Finally, after a long row of slashy doors, they came to the door they were looking for.

"Those are our names!" Josh pointed out.

"I can read," Sam said defensively. "Have you not noticed that I write for a living?"

The door was secured by chains and several padlocks, and looked like it might have been made of steel.

"So, you have a smelting device?" Sam ventured.

Josh stared at him for a few moments before asking, "What do you think?"

"Erm...no?"

"Stop right there!" a voice from behind them commanded.

"Oh, like we could walk through steel," Josh said sarcastically. "I'd forgotten I was Superman."

"Could he walk through steel?" Sam asked.

"Well, he could bend it."

Finally, the pair turned around to see Donna, Leo, and Toby staring at them.

"What do you want?" Josh asked.

"We want to stop you from opening that door!" Donna declared.

"Well, the steel and chains already stopped that," Josh said.

"Oh. Well, this trip was just a waste then," she said with a pout.

"Let me ask you this," Josh said. "Why do you care?"

"Well, if you don't have any screen time with Sam, I get more screen time for banter and such," Donna said.

"And," Leo began, "less subtext for you means more subtext for me and Jed. And I love tears of nostalgia."

Toby was silent, then he shrugged. "I just wanted to take a walk."

"But..." Sam began to stutter. "I need subtext! First season, Josh and me had subtext - but there was still room for banter and Leo and the President. We had it all! We can have it again."

Donna, Leo, and Toby didn't seem that interested in their part of the conversation.

Josh ran his hand through his hair. "Look, why don't we just talk to Aaron Sorkin?"

Donna snorted. "You think he hangs around here? If that were true, there wouldn't be so many strange errors. Like Leo being from Chicago and Boston at the same time."

"Or," Leo began, "me and Jed being best friends for forty years, then knowing each other for thirty years and being friends for ten."

"Or the two of us running around like we're still married," Toby said, wagging his finger between Leo and himself. "I mean, can't we take off the stupid rings already? It's not like his wife is coming back."

"Oh, and Andi's pining over you, is she?" Leo said accusingly.

"Shut up!" Josh yelled. "This is about us!" He looked over at Sam. "What are we supposed to do?"

Sam looked at him uncertainly. "Well, we could always use explosives."

"They don't work," Toby said. Off their intrigued looks, he said, "Maybe I wanted to open the door for some action with Hoynes."

Sam looked at Josh. "I think he likes being a gay hussy."

Toby glared. Sam was silent.

"So, what are we supposed to do?" Josh asked again.

"Well..." Sam began uncertainly. "I guess we'll just have to wait for Sorkin to give us more subtext."

"That was fairly anticlimactic."

"Wasn't it?"

And so, with their journey over and proven to be virtually pointless, Sam and Josh retreated to their subtext-less TV land. They would have to wait for Sorkin to throw them a slashy bone.

So, the ball o' subtext is in your court now, Mr. Aaron Sorkin. There is no more the rest of us can do.

Wow, this is pretty anticlimactic, isn't it?

Sorry.

THE END

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