Title: New Hampshire
Pairing: J/S
Author: Sonia (slashwoman63@hotmail.com)
Rating: PG-13
Archive: Yes
Disclaimer: Do I look Like Aaron? If I was we wouldn't have to worry about Ainsley!
Summary: Josh's thoughts during "ITSOTG"
Spoilers: A few for "WKODHIB" & "ITSOTG"
Dedicated to: Laura S for not laughing at me. Thank you. Also to my Poodle Boy J. I love you sweetheart.
Feedback: It's my first slash story ever and I'm terrified. I'd still like honest opinions though.Here it is:

New Hampshire by Sonia

Ok, this is not good. I heard the shots and ran forward to the gate. There really is very little pain. It was like being poked with a icicle. The hard part is breathing. I can't whisper or shout for Sam. God, I want to see him. I saw him just a minute ago before the shots and I remember thinking , he is so beautiful. I looked up when Toby gave me the signal about his brother. He was on the opposite balcony. He beamed at me and I must have beamed back. As we were leaving Toby pulled me aside.

"Are you back together?"

As my face burned up I said with a shit eating grin "Yeah. How'd you know?"

"Are you kidding? I could have read a book at night by his face just now when he looked at you. I won't tell him my password for my laptop because everything about him is printed in bold on his forehead."

Before I could agree the President called Toby away.

Sam. I have to keep breathing for him. I know that pressure is my own blood. It's filling in all the spaces in my chest and it's getting harder and harder to push air through.I feel like if I don't move I can stop it. Please please please let me live. I don't want to cry but I am so sad. Sam and I are....please he'll be in so much pain if I go. The stupid thing is I spent most of this morning trying not to love him. By the time we got on the bus to come here we were as committed to each other as two men can get in this society. What was my big problem this morning? Oh yeah I couldn't stop thinking about him...I had been so distracted lately. I was thinking...

I don't know what has gotten into to me. I can't stop thinking about the way things use to be. Or really the way I still want them to be. I still have feelings for him, that is clear. As a matter of fact, I'm still in love with him. I know he still loves me. I've tried to let go of him but I can't. He's beautiful, intelligent,funny, a little goofy and for a man who has helped elect a President, sweetly naive. Every woman and quite a few men melt at his blue eyes, the shy smile, the whole "gosh ma'am" thing he has going. I'm definitely one of those men.I know none of them mean as much to him as I do even though we arent together.The reasons we arent together are too many to state and too painful to comtemplate.

We agreed on what our lives should be and I've tried to follow our rules. It's very very simple. We can't. He said once I had a terrible poker face and he's right.When I look at him I think about touching him. When I think about touching him I think about kissing him and it gets really ugly from there.The last two weeks have been the longest of our "unrelationship". For the first time in years, neither of us is chasing a woman who doesnt really want us.

The thing between him and Mallory flamed out. It never really got started. She knows about me and Sam through her father.Deep down she knows she would be an understudy going on in place of the real star of the show.I don't mind saying it. Yeah, I'm the original leading man in this drama. Sam and I both know the curtain hasnt fallen on us yet. I know any relationship I would have is doomed because of my feelings for Sam.So what do I do? I run as fast as I can straight into a hopeless semi-real crush on a woman who very conveniently lived thousands of miles away.

Joey seems to enjoy arguing with me but not much else.I made it pretty clear I was interested.Even after the kicking I received in L.A. Al Keifer!!! God, woman what were you thinking? Sam of course jumped all over that. One night we risked being alone at his place.We rarely did that anymore.Very close to the front of my brain (and my groin) were thoughts of stripping him naked and fucking the life out him. It is getting so that I just think of him and I get...well you know. I feel like a horny 15 year old again. He can see it in my eyes he says. "Josh we CAN NOT do what you thinking." He usually says that as he strokes my cock thru my pants. I call him a cocktease and waddle away. Us being alone has become very dangerous. Being in a group is safe. So last week,we had a nice quiet dinner. Just the two of us. Talk about temptation.

"She slept with Al Keifer, Josh" he said in his adorably indignate way."If you sleep with her,that means I've slept with someone who has slept with someone who has slept with Al Keifer. That I won't stand for!". He turned away to keep me from seeing his laughter. My response shocked the hell out of him. It shocked the hell out of me too."Then take me back into your bed and keep that from happening." I smiled with the words but the plea was still there. He turned around and looked at me with a resounding yes in his beautiful periwinkle eyes. Behind the yes,I saw hurt. I had just caused the man I loved to hurt.

Fuck.

I forget sometimes I was the one who ended it between us. I wanted to stop him but he said it too quickly. "OK, stay with me and I'll slay the Joey dragon for you." He smiled in his sad "I know it wont happen" way. I left that night knowing we were both breaking our own rules. We needed those dragons to keep us away from each other. To keep our careers and lives "decent and respectable" and all the other shit I've hear under the umbrella of "Family Values." We conciously use these beautiful intelligent women to stop ourselves from falling even deeper in love then we already were.It worked for a long time. As they say fear is a greater motivator.

Fear doesnt stop you from reaching out in the middle of the night for your lover. Since that night I have woken up, feeling this huge emptiness inside of me. Our plan of diversion wasnt working anymore.

The missteps with Joey had left me entirely too much time to think about the one person who could make my life whole. The one person that could make me feel love and hope again. He could always make my life a good place to be.I wanted to get to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue so badly I gave up the one person I ever truly loved. Now that I'm here it's good but it could be so much better. I see him everyday. I catch him looking at me. No rather I feel him looking at me. I know it is only a matter of time before we end up in each other's arms again. What I feel has a life of it's own. I've strangled it, put in the closet, covered it's eyes and ears. Told it to be quiet. I've done everything I can to silence the shouting of the part of me that needs him.I can barely hear anyone else. Today was a prime example.

I fucked up this afternoon with Hoynes. I said some stupid thing about the piliot of the downed jet giving us a ten point bump.I was floored when Leo called me on the carpet for it. You know what I was really thinking instead of listening to my own self talk? When Hoynes asked me about his run for President, I immediately thought of the moment I left his campaign to join Bartlet.I knew if I worked for Bartlet I could have Sam too.

We had known each other for a few years. He was an aide to Rep. Highsmith and I was in the Minority Whip's office. We have loved each other from the first late night conversation over Cheetos and warm Diet Coke. I never touched him. I don't know why but I didnt feel like I had the right to touch something as perfect as he was. I think our sexual non sexual relationship was a test. We didnt want it to be about fucking. It's always been about love for us. Then he left for New York.He knew how much I wanted to be involved in a national campaign. He thought he would be a handicap to me. Truthfully he would have been.It would have been like trying to hide in the middle of a clear glass fishbowl. He offered to be with me that last night in D.C. And I said no. Why? Beats the shit out of me.

Three years later, Sam walked out on his straight corporate life after one look at my face. God, I hope the feeling of that moment will never ever leave me. Sam and I talked and laughed and touched (as much as we could on Amtrak) all the way to New Hampshire. He didnt call Lisa for three days. I dont think I will ever be as filled up with love as I was in those first few days. We made love for the first time in Nashua at the Holiday Inn. I get an erection every time I see their symbol.We've havent been out of each other's lives since then.

Well Ok the road has had it's bumps. Mandy was a brief and tragic mistake on my part. Sam bolted when Lisa burned his favorite suits for leaving her (don't ask). He ran back to New York and didnt come back for three weeks. I started a thing with Mandy out of the hurt and anger. I don't think anything except Joanie's death ever hurt me more. No I take it back. Joanie didn't mean to die. Sam left me a note on the bedside table. "Josh, I should have ended it with Lisa first. I'll be back."Ouch. Mandy was there and challenging enough to take away the ache. She got in very deep very quickly. The thing is she knew about us and she still pinned all her hopes on me.I never meant to hurt her but I did. I really did. She must of really loved me because she covered for me and Sam for months. I owe her a lot as she keeps reminding me.

Eventually most of our coworkers figured it out.That's why I ended it after the inauguration, we both knew it was for the best. It was becoming too much of an open secret. There are many of those in D.C. Everyone talks about them but since they all have their own secrets most of the talk stays beltway gossip.Until the secret is too juicy to keep. Two male senior staffers having an affair just is too good. It doesnt matter that its not against the law and we are both single and over (in my case way over) 21. It would end our political careers.

I've kept that in mind all day as I've watched him. He's worried about Toby and the thing with his brother. We're all worried but he just looks better doing it. We've been preparing for the town hall meeting in Rosslyn so I havent seen him much today. That's why I was surprised when he pulled me aside on the way to the buses.

"Josh, you got a minute?"

"Yeah what's up? Can this wait for the bus ride?

"Not unless you want everyone to hear how I want you back and will quit my job to be with you."

"In here." as I pull him through the door of my office.

He had that determination on his face. He would have done it. I know him well enough to know he would have said just that in front of everyone.

"This is stupid, Josh. We love each other."

"Yes we do but Sam..."

"Do you love me?"

"Sam..."

I back up from him. I don't want him to touch me. If he does, I'll quit MY job.

"Do you?"

"Yes." I croaked out of my extraordinarily dry throat.

"Have you ever loved anybody as much as you love me?"

Shit. Sam has the really disgusting habit of getting to the point very quickly.

"No." I was defeated. He was too close for me to think. I kissed him like I use to. When I had a right to kiss him like that.

We touched foreheads after our kiss. We always did that like somehow we could read each other's minds if our brains were close enough.

"After the speech, come to my place. We can talk about this." he pulled back to look me in the eye "Or we can make love." He smiled and my heart danced. "Your choice."

Told you he could read my mind. I don't know why I asked but I had to. "Do you still want...do you still love...me?" It came out like I was four and I broke my mother's favorite vase.

"No."he said seriously. I looked at him. There were tears in his eyes. His voice was thick. "There has to be another word for what I feel. I'm a speechwriter. I've memorized Roget's but there isnt one word in there that describes the way I feel when I hear your heartbeat after you've cum in my arms. The way I feel when you recite your favorite lines from Bugs Bunny. I want to show you my favorite hilltop in Santa Barbara. I want to watch you sleep for the rest of my life.Do you want me with you?" For once in my life I really didnt know what to say. So I said the first thing that I could think of. "That sounds like a marriage proposal." Sam looked at me and just glowed. "It is. I would marry you if I could." He touched my cheek. "I'm never gonna let you go again." I couldnt feel anything in my whole body except his hand on my face. "Sam." That was my yes. "I want a ring. Three carats with a blue fire. The band should be white gold..." He threw back his head and laughed. We hugged and kissed again but I saw the clock on my desk. "Sam we have get on the bus. I'll come to your place after the speech. 'Kay?."He smiles and said "'Kay." I couldn't wait for this town hall thing to be over.

Please someone anyone find me. Three people just walked by and didnt even see me. Please. I look up and I see...Toby. Thank you. Toby tell Sam I love him. Let him know I didnt want to leave him. Tell him his going to New Hampshire with me was the best thing that ever happened to me.He's the best thing that ever happened to me. I'm going to relax now because I'm so tired... So tired. I'll just think of New Hampshire.

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