Title: You Can Never Go Back
Author: The Artful Dodger
Pairing: J/S
Category: Drama, Angst
Rating: PG
Warnings: None
Spoilers: Josh is dating Amy Gardener. Everything else is irrelevant
Last Episodes Seen: The U.S. Poet Laureate & Stirred
Summary: Josh just missed Sam, was all. Hey boys, alcohol will do that too you.
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters. They belong to a bunch of people, and I am not one of them. I am in no way trying to compete with Aaron Sorkin, for that would be a mere mortal trying to compete with a GOD. This story, however, is all mine. I make no money off of this and probably should be working on something where I might actually make some money…but here ya' go.
Feedback: We all want to be told how great we are, but constructive criticism is welcome, too. TheArtofDodger@msn.com
Author's Note: The references to Josh never seeing his co-workers is really all about me hating reruns…and having just found out that the *brand new episode* set for next week is really one of those fake *brand new episodes* where they fill it with flashbacks clips from past episodes. Hello, need a fix here! (Ah, seen it now and okay, the clip episode was kind of cool and educational as well, but I need a bigger fix then that. And, alas, summer is on its way and a mass of reruns is just over the horizon!) Thanks a thousand times over to my beta-reader, Val, for being so helpful to a beginner. My sister is an assistant to a politician, and after viewing the "special clips" episode, I have a new found respect for her work. This story is now dedicated to her. Love you, sis.

You Can Never Go Back by The Artful Dodger

"Sam?"

No answer.

"Sam?"

"Just go to sleep, Josh. Or go home. Whichever."

This was not how it was suppose to be.

/What am I doing here? I have a girlfriend, for crying out loud! A girlfriend, who's probably been trying to page me all night long. Except my pager is somewhere on the floor of Sam's living room. Along with my pants./

Josh rolled over and put his back to Sam. He hadn't meant for it to be like this. He'd just missed Sam, was all. The White House had been dead lately. Okay, as dead as The White House ever could be. There had been more time to spend with Amy. Things had been good.

Then suddenly, it seemed as if time had just slowed to a standstill almost. He had felt lost. He had felt like he never saw any of them anymore, even though he worked with them everyday. He had felt like he never saw Sam, anymore.

It had been a good idea. See, they used to go out after work to unwind. But since no major crisis had occurred since the President's slip up on live TV, everyone had been leaving a little earlier and attempting to have their own lives. CJ said they shouldn't just be there for the hard stuff, although that was good as well. She said they should always be there. And they should.

So going out for a drink after work had seemed reasonable enough, at the time.

"Go ahead, Josh. Have fun. I have work to catch up on, anyway." Amy had told him.

That's the kind of girl she was; laid back, easy- going, flexible.

/Ah, yes. Flexible. Wait, brain. You are in bed with Sam. Stop that./

Anyway, he had gone. He'd had a few drinks, against Donna's advice that anything more than one was too many. He had stayed later than CJ. Later than Toby. Later than everyone…except Sam.

Sam, who couldn't hold his liquor a whole heck of lot better than Josh. Sam, who never meant to look so delicious all disheveled like that, but just couldn't help it. Sam, who had tried really hard to get fired- up about some issue, Josh forgot which one, but ended up with his head on Josh's shoulder, muttering about the comfort level of silk boxers, for some reason and to the amusement of everyone at the table.

/Ah, silk boxers. That was not so amusing as it was arousing. Yes, arousing. Which explains why I am here in Sam's bed. Oh god, I'm in Sam's bed!/

Donna had put them in a cab. He remembered giving the driver two addresses. But they had both stumbled out at Sam's place. Had they even paid the cab driver?

Stumbling inside.

Sam. Sam against him. Sam around him. Sam under him.

Wet, hot mouth. Smooth skin.

Clothes on the floor. Trail from the living room to the bedroom.

Sam's silk boxers. Royal blue. So yummy.

Sam's breath. Hot. On his ear. Tongue. In his ear.

Moaning. Slow, long, deep.

Sam gasping. Pleading. Begging.

"Please, Josh. Please."

It'd been so long. Josh had known in the back of his mind that they shouldn't.

But they had anyway.

Twice.

Sam's sheets smelled so good. They smelled like Sam.

Josh wanted to curl up behind Sam. Wanted to press himself against Sam and wrap his arms around him and never let go.

Josh wanted to tell Sam that he missed him. That he missed this. That he had been wrong to end it. That the American people would understand. That the President and all of their friends would understand. That it had always been him. That it always would be.

But he could hear it.

"Bullshit." Sam would say.

And Josh couldn't remember if it was.

Sam was asleep now.

Josh wanted to stay. Wanted to wake up in the morning with Sam. Wanted to make Sam coffee and take a shower with him and fight for the morning paper.

Josh wanted to make himself face Sam.

Needed to make himself face Sam.

He got out of bed.

Sam looked so peaceful when he was asleep. Josh could remember times when he would lay next to Sam and watch him sleep for hours.

He stumbled out into the living room. He gathered his clothes.

His head was pounding. He was tired, exhausted. He felt sick.

It was raining out.

/I should call a cab./

But he didn't. He deserved to get soaked. Maybe the rain would beat some sense into him. Maybe he would get struck by lightening.

"Go to sleep, Josh. Or go home. Whichever."

It was in his head now. Sam. Disgusted. Angry.

"Whichever."

Sam didn't care. But Sam always cared. He just acted like he didn't when Josh had hurt him the most.

/You're such a bastard, Lyman. You don't deserve Sam. You never did./

Josh pulled on his coat. He crept out into the night.

It was raining harder now.

He looked back at Sam's door.

Sam's apartment. Sam's bed. Sam's body.

Warmth.

Josh turned and headed down the street.

Home.

/Not home. You just left your home. And you can never go back./

*****

THE END

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