Title: Coming Home
Auhtor: Sunny
Disclaimer: I don't own them. I'm just playing with them. All the original characters belong to AS and company. Sam's father belongs to AS but his name belongs to me.
Pairing: Toby/Sam
Rating: NC17
Summary: Sam has a family emergency; Toby tries to help and life changes.
Notes: I'm not a doctor but I have had some medical training. However, the medical information you will read here is based solely on my experiences and may or may not resemble the truth.

Coming Home by Sunny

"All I'm trying to say," Sam ranted. "Is that we shouldn't let these people dictate how we are going to live our lives."

"Sam," Toby interrupted quietly. "We're not doing that."

"Yes, we are."

"We're not," Toby replied.

"Excuse me," Bonnie cut in as she knocked on Toby's door. "Sam you have a call."

"If its Mary Marsh, hang up," Sam told her as he turned back to Toby.

"It's your father," she said softly.

Sam stiffened and spoke again without turning around. "Then don't just hang up, slam the phone a few times."

"Still not talking to him," Toby asked carefully.

"Never again," Sam bit out. "If I had it my way he wouldn't even be my father."

"Sam," Bonnie spoke again. "He says it's urgent."

This time Sam turned around and glared at Bonnie. "I said I don't want to talk to him!"

Bonnie's eyes grew wide and she started to back away.

"Put him through to me," Toby ordered softly. Sam spun around to face Toby as Bonnie nodded in relief. "I'll find out what he needs then I'll tell him off. Don't worry about it, I'll take care of him."

"I'll be in my office," Sam replied quietly.

Toby nodded as his phone rang and he picked it up. "Toby Ziegler. Hello Mr. Seaborn. No, Sam's not available. No, he'll never be available. What do you want? Excuse me? When? Where is she? What happened? I'll tell him. I understand. Yes, I know. He has your number I'll get him to call you. Yes. Yes. Good-bye."

Toby hung up the phone and wiped his hand across his face. He took a moment to compose himself before seeking out his deputy and passing on some bad news. After a few minutes, he got up and walked over to Sam's office door.

"Unless he's dead I really don't want to hear about it," Sam said perfunctorily.

"You need to hear this," Toby said softly. He shuffled closer not quite certain how his deputy was going to react. Sam looked up from his computer and saw the raw emotions on Toby's face.

"What is it," he whispered.

"Your Mom's in the hospital," Toby replied.

Sam's face paled and he swallowed hard. "What? What happened? Is she alright?"

"Apparently she had a stroke."

"Oh my God. Is she ok?"

Toby shook his head. "They don't know how much damage has been done yet. Your father wants you to come home."

"Yeah," Sam replied in a daze. "I need to go home."

"I'll have Bonnie make the arrangements," Toby said as he watched Sam go into shock. "You should call him."

Sam looked up and Toby could see the tears forming in the younger man's eyes. "What will I do if she dies?"

"The best you can," Toby replied simply. "Just do the best you can."

Sam nodded and looked at the phone. "Ok. I can do this."

"I'll be in my office if you need me," Toby said. He wasn't sure if Sam heard him or not as the younger sat at his desk and stared at the phone. Toby left him alone and went to tell Bonnie to make the necessary arrangements before heading into his own office.

He picked up one of his rubber balls and contemplated throwing it against the wall but decided he didn't want to disturb Sam. `I'll be in my office if you need me,' he said. Those words echoed in his head and he was reminded of another time when he had said those very same words. He and Sam had been standing in this very office when Leo had arrived to take Sam away, away to learn about the President and MS.

Sam had been angry for weeks. He had been mad at the President, mad at Leo and mad at Toby. But mostly he had been mad at himself for caring so much. Toby had done his best to alleviate that anger, to make Sam focus on other things and to try to get him to let go. It wouldn't have been so bad, Toby thought, if Sam hadn't already been disillusioned. His father, a man he had known, loved and trusted all of his life had betrayed him. Betrayed him by loving another woman and keeping it from everyone for many, many years. And Sam, idealistic Sam, had turned his trust from his father to a man he believed in only to have that trust shattered again.

A soft knock on the door interrupted his thoughts and he looked up to see Bonnie hovering in the doorway. "I have a flight scheduled from Dulles to Chicago at 3 pm. Then he has to transfer to another flight to San Francisco. He has an hour layover in Chicago. Is that good? Or should I try for a straight shot?"

"See if there's anything else that will get him there sooner," Toby replied. "If not that sounds good enough."

"Anything else I can do," she asked.

"Tell Josh I need to see him," Toby said. "And CJ. And Leo."

"Got it," she said as she walked away.

Toby sighed, squeezing the ball in his hand. His own mother had passed away years before and he remembered how painful it had been for him. Before he could get too deep into his thoughts Bonnie interrupted and said he was to meet everyone in Leo's office in five minutes. Toby nodded his thanks, put the ball down and headed for Leo's office.

"It'll be a minute," Margaret said quietly as Toby looked at Leo's closed office door.

He nodded mutely and leaned against the file cabinets to wait. Josh strode in a minute later and smiled cockily at Toby.

"What's up," he asked cheerily.

"Nothing worth smiling about," Toby grumbled.

"You need to smile more," Josh teased.

"Then he wouldn't be our Toby," CJ said as she stepped into the room. "What's going on?"

"We're waiting for Leo to get done," Toby announced. Just then the intercom on Margaret's desk buzzed. She got up and opened the door to Leo's office, peered inside then turned back to the staff.

"You can go in now," she said sounding somewhat subdued. Josh strode breezily into Leo's office and flopped onto the couch. CJ followed him and made herself comfortable on the other end of the couch while Toby hung back for a moment and watched Margaret.

"You ok," he asked her.

She looked up, surprise etched on her face. "Yeah. I'm fine," she answered unconvincingly. He continued to watch as she turned to her computer and started typing. Something about the set of her shoulders didn't seem right to him but at the moment he didn't have time to dwell on it.

"So Toby," Leo began as Toby closed the door. "What's the purpose of this meeting and where's Sam?"

"Sam is the purpose of this meeting," Toby said. "And he's talking to his Dad on the phone right now."

"What's going on," Josh asked in concern. He leaned forward and looked at Toby with complete seriousness. "It must be bad if he's talking to his Dad."

Toby nodded and settled himself on the chair in front of Leo's desk. "His Mom had a stroke. She's in the hospital."

"Oh my God," CJ swore softly. Josh stared at Toby silently.

"Send him home," Leo ordered.

"Bonnie has already booked him a flight," Toby told him. "He leaves this afternoon."

"Someone should go with him," Josh announced still watching Toby.

"You volunteering," Leo asked.

Josh's head swiveled sharply. "I...I...I can't," he whispered hoarsely. "I can't deal with that."

"I can go," Toby sighed.

Leo shook his head. "I need someone here to write speeches."

"I can do that from California," Toby replied softly. "There's email and fax machines and telephone lines. It's not like it will take two weeks for the pony express."

Leo pursed his lips, still not convinced. He looked at CJ.

"I can't deal with my own father's Alzheimer let alone try to help Sam," she said sadly. Leo frowned and looked at his desk for a moment then up at Toby.

"I guess you're it," he announced unnecessarily.

Toby nodded and stood up. "I better tell Bonnie to get me a ticket too."

"Let Ed and Larry know what's going on," Leo ordered. "Give them anything that isn't urgent or major."

"I will," Toby agreed. "By the way, is Margaret ok?"

"As far as I know," Leo replied. "Why?"

Toby shrugged. "She just seemed off kilter." Leo raised an eyebrow. "We are talking about the same Margaret aren't we? The one who is always a little off kilter?"

"Yeah," Toby said softly. "Something seems to be bothering her."

"Fine," Leo dismissed. "Go away now."

Toby waited a second then opened the door and walked out. Margaret was still looking at the computer but she wasn't typing anything and the screen was blank. He thought about asking her again if she was all right but thought better of it. `Let Leo handle it,' he thought.

Toby walked back into the bullpen and saw that the door to Sam's office was still closed. "Bonnie, Ginger," he said quietly. They both turned to look at him. "I'm going to California with Sam. Ed and Larry are going to take care of the everyday things while I do the major stuff from there. I'll need all my notes for next week's speech packed. Bonnie, get me on those flights with Sam. Then go to my place and Sam's and pack our bags. Sam is in no shape to pack and I don't have time. You don't have to pack a lot just a carry-on. We'll send for anything else we need. Ginger, you know what you have to do; cancel all the meetings we have scheduled for the rest of the week and start looking at next weeks schedule."

"Are you sure you don't want one of us to go with you," Ginger asked.

Toby shook his head. "I need you guys to stay here and keep and eye on Ed and Larry. And Josh. Don't let them touch my stuff."

"Particularly your balls," Bonnie said with a straight face.

Toby smirked at her. "Especially my balls. You guys, however are free to play with them at will."

They both smiled at him. "Just what we've always dreamed of," Ginger said.

"I'm sure you have," Toby replied as he walked to his office. He glanced through the window into Sam's office and saw that the younger man was not on the phone. He went over and softly knocked on the door and opened it. "Sam?"

"Yeah," Sam replied.

"Did you talk to him," Toby asked.

Sam nodded. "I need to get on a plane."

"We'll be leaving in a little while."

"You're taking me to the airport," Sam asked.

"I'm going with you."

Sam looked at him in shock. "Why?"

"Because you need someone with you," Toby told him.

"And you volunteered?"

"Yes."

"Why?"

"Because we're a team. Just like Batman and Robin."

"I'm Robin," Sam smiled sadly.

"And I'm Batman," Toby smiled back. "Bonnie's going to pack our stuff. We'll leave at about one o'clock."

"Ok," Sam replied. "Toby? Thanks."

"You're welcome."

With very little fanfare, Toby, Ginger and Bonnie managed to get things organized and get Toby and Sam to the airport on time. The flight to Chicago was uneventful, however, the leg to San Francisco was trying as people who were being extremely annoying surrounded the duo. By the time they reached San Francisco, Toby was ready to clear the whole plane out by throwing people through the windows. Sam restrained him by reminding Toby that they would need every vote they could get from San Francisco and the state of California and those voters may frown upon the Communications Director throwing people out of a plane. Toby reluctantly agreed and sat back in his seat and started to count to one million to calm down.

They stowed their gear at Sam's mothers' house before climbing back into the rental car and heading to the hospital. Toby made a mental note to give Bonnie a small token for remembering to call ahead and reserve a car.

Toby parked in front of the hospital and lead Sam inside to the information desk. They were told that Mrs. Seaborn was still in intensive care but they could go up and see her. Sam practically ran to the elevators with Toby following close behind. They exited the elevator and saw Sam's father standing in the hall.

"Where is she," Sam asked without preamble.

"Room five," he nodded. He watched as Sam brushed past him and continued down the hallway.

"Mr. Seaborn," Toby said.

The other man turned to look at Toby. "Yes."

"I'm Toby Ziegler," Toby announced as he held out his hand.

The older man shook hands with Toby. "Jeremy Seaborn."

"How is your wife doing," Toby asked.

"She's doing well the doctor says. Not as good as she could be. But she's doing well," he replied distractedly. Jeremy frowned. "Aren't you Samuels boss?"

"Yes I am," Toby agreed. He watched as the older mans eyes narrowed. "Is there a problem?"

The other man stepped back and looked Toby up and down carefully. "No. No problem. I'm just surprised to meet the man my son talks about with such vigor."

Toby shifted on his feet. "Yeah. Well your son gets a little over zealous when he likes something."

The older Mr. Seaborn smiled without humor. "Yes. He hinted that you are more than just co-workers."

Toby peered at the man contemplating just how he should take that remark. Before he could respond Sam returned and grabbed Toby's arm dragging him back towards the elevators.

"Where are we going," Toby asked as he regained his balance and looked at his friend.

"Back to my mother's" Sam replied angrily.

"What's the matter," Toby frowned.

Sam huffed as he stepped onto the elevator. "She doesn't have anything. No one has bothered to get her a robe or her slippers or anything. I have to take care of her."

"Ok," Toby said complacently.

"What were you and my father talking about?"

"Nothing important."

They went to the house and back to the hospital in silence. Sam's mother lived in a quiet neighborhood where the kids rode their bikes and played in the streets while their parents talked across the fence. To Toby this seemed like something out of a Hollywood movie. To Sam it was home.

When they returned to the hospital Sam's father was gone. Sam insisted that Toby come in the room with him. Reluctantly, Toby did however he ventured no further than the wall next to the door. He watched as Sam walked over to the bed bent over and kissed his Mom on the forehead. They stayed for another hour until the nurses insisted that they leave citing that Mrs. Seaborn really wasn't resting while they were there.

"She looks so pale," Sam whispered as they walked back out to the car.

"She's tired," Toby replied. "Her body is working in overtime."

"If only I had been here sooner," Sam bemoaned.

"Then what," Toby asked. "You couldn't have done anything. You heard the doctor even if she had been in a hospital it wouldn't have made a difference. You would not have been able to change anything."

"Still I would have been here," Sam said tiredly.

"I know," Toby nodded in agreement. "I wish that I could have been with my Mom too."

Toby was able to reason with Sam that not only did his mother need rest but they did as well. Sam followed Toby out of the hospital after kissing his mother again and telling her he would return shortly. They drove home in silence, Sam worrying about his mother and Toby worrying about Sam.

"I'm going to bed," Sam announced.

"Ok," Toby replied. "I'm going to get something to eat and make a few phone calls."

"Ok. Goodnight."

Toby went into the kitchen and made a sandwich before calling the White House.

"Josh Lyman."

"Hey, it's me."

"Toby? How's Sam," Josh asked.

"He's doing alright," Toby shrugged. "He's worried."

"Take care of him," Josh ordered.

"I am," Toby sighed.

"I mean it," Josh insisted. "He won't admit it but he really needs you."

"Josh, I get it."

"Do you," Josh asked.

Toby hesitated thinking about his earlier conversation with Jeremy Seaborn and the subtexted meaning both Jeremy and Josh were hinting at. He wasn't too sure he wanted to pursue that line of thinking. He abruptly ended his conversation with Josh and headed to his own room to settle in for the night. He took a quick shower then climbed into bed naked. It was just too warm to wear clothes to bed.

The first thing Toby became aware of as he slowly woke up was that someone was breathing in his ear. The second thing was the fact that that someone had his or her arm draped across Toby's waist. Toby slowly opened his eyes and carefully rolled over to see who he was sleeping with and came eye to nose with Sam. The younger man was fast asleep and Toby lay still so as not to wake him. He checked his watch and saw that it was past noon. He wondered how long Sam had been in his bed.

The younger man stirred slightly moving the arm on Toby waist that now rested across his groin. The movement caused a basic reaction in Toby's body and he felt himself begin to harden. Inwardly he groaned knowing the last thing he needed right now was a hard on. He tried thinking of other things and willed his body to relax. Just as he started to get a little relief, Sam moved again this time firmly rubbing his hand up and down Toby's erection. In desperation Toby rolled onto his side facing away from Sam. The other man responded by snuggling against Toby's back and wrapping his arm around Toby's waist.

"Toby?"

"Yes," Toby replied raggedly.

"Was I just fondling your dick," Sam asked.

"Yes," Toby replied.

"I thought so," Sam mumbled as he snuggled closer. "Felt good."

"What are you doing in my bed," Toby asked pointedly ignoring the questions on his mind. Like why was Sam fondling him and not giving a damn about it?

"I was lonely," Sam explained as he began rubbing Toby's hip.

"Stop rubbing me," Toby demanded as he rolled further onto his stomach. "I don't like it."

"Yes you do," Sam smiled against Toby's shoulder then squeezed the other mans ass. He reached under Toby's hip and firmly grasped the older man's erection. "You like it very much."

"I swear to God Sam..." Toby breathed harshly.

"Roll over," Sam ordered quietly.

"Sam," Toby warned. "This isn't the time..."

"Yes it is," Sam said cutting him off. "I need to feel something right now. Something more than pain and disappointment. I need to be loved. Love me Toby. Love me like you and I have always wanted to love each other."

"What the hell are you talking about," Toby asked as he rolled over.

Sam smirked at him. "I've seen the looks, heard the inflection in your voice, felt the softness of your touch. Believe me Toby I feel the same way. I know that as White House staffers we could never pursue a full-blown relationship. But right here, right now we are just two men who need each other. And you need me as much as I need you right now. You know what I'm talking about. I can see it in your eyes."

Toby stared at Sam as his head reeled with this new information. Yes, he wanted to know what it would be like to be Sam's lover but did he want it under these conditions. Did Sam truly know what he wanted right now?

"Toby, stop thinking," Sam admonished as he caressed Toby's erection once again. He leaned over and pressed his mouth to Toby's taking the older man's breath away. Sam's hand squeezed Toby's erection as he pushed him back into the mattress.

A moan escaped from deep in Toby's chest as he wrapped his arms around Sam and held him close while their tongues played tag in their mouths. Toby's hands caressed the firm muscles in Sam's back gently rubbing and squeezing as he memorized every silky inch. It was Sam's turn to moan when Toby grabbed his ass and pulled him fully on top of the older man trapping both of their erections between them.

Sam ripped his mouth away and gasped for air as he looked down at the tousled form of his boss and soon to be lover.

"I want you so much," Sam gasped.

"I know," Toby smirked as he reached up and caressed Sam's taut nipples. Sam closed his eyes and moaned again in a mixture of pain and pleasure. Toby sat up and gently flicked his tongue across a nipple enjoying the sound of Sam's sudden breath. He teased the younger man as he marveled at the smooth skin on his chest.

Sam groaned and ground his very hard flesh against Toby's hip in the hope of eliciting a response. All he got for his effort was a chuckle and rolled onto his back as Toby took over the seduction. Sam threaded his fingers into the hair on the back of Toby's head forcing the older mans mouth more firmly over his nipple. Toby got the hint and gently began to suckle causing ripples of pleasure to sweep through Sam's body.

"Toby," Sam moaned as he pulled at his would be lovers shoulders. "We need to get rid of the blanket. I want to feel you against me."

Without releasing the nipple in his mouth Toby began squirming and tugging at the blanket pulling down to Sam's knees where he promptly left it. Sam kicked at the offending covers and shoved them onto the floor then pulled Toby's body flush against his own. Toby released the very wet nipple and trailed kisses up Sam neck before capturing his mouth again. He kissed him deeply and hungrily. Both men were gasping for breath when Toby finally pulled away.

"Sam," Toby whispered hoarsely. "I need to make love to you."

"Oh God Toby," Sam groaned in response. "You don't know how long I have waited to hear you say that."

"I don't really care how long it has been," Toby growled. "I want you now!"

Sam's eyes widen as he realized just how aroused Toby was and for a split second he was afraid. He had never made love with a man before but he knew it could be painful if it wasn't done just right. He was tempted to slip out of the bed and make a run for it but then he realized that the pain would be a small sacrifice for the pleasure he was certain would follow. He wriggled around until he was lying on his stomach underneath Toby. He tried to relax and let the older man lead the way.

Toby saw the fear in Sam's eyes and was about to put an end to this just as Sam rolled over in submission. Closing his eyes, Toby gathered the strength to go slow and easy to not hurt the man who was willingly giving himself away. He sat back on his heels and pulled Sam to his knees slightly spreading the young man's legs.

"Relax," Toby whispered as he probed the others anus with his finger. "You need to relax as much as possible so it won't hurt."

"Maybe I can find some sort of lubricant," Sam suggested. "You want me to look?"

"That's probably a good idea," Toby sighed as he removed his finger.

Sam pounced from the bed and ran to the bathroom. He came back minutes later with a bottle of hand lotion. "This is all I could find," he announced as he handed Toby the bottle.

"That should help," Toby replied as he popped the cap open. Sam climbed back into position as Toby stroked a dollop of lotion over his erection. He squeezed some onto Sam's ass then began rubbing it into the hole. Sam moaned.

"Does that hurt," Toby asked stopping his motions.

"No," Sam moaned. "That feels great."

Toby continued his ministrations adding more and more lube as he went. Finally, he felt that Sam was loose enough to allow him inside and he moved closer to the younger man. Toby grasped Sam's hip with one hand and guided his erection with the other. He was surprised as the head and a few inches of the shaft easily slipped inside. With both hands firmly holding Sam's hips he began to slowly rock back and forth moving himself in and out pushing in a little further every time. Soon Sam began to rock back towards Toby impaling himself further on the hard shaft. They built up a good rhythm and had the bed steadily rocking.

Toby reached under Sam and grasped his erection firmly stroking the other man in time with their hips. Sam moaned again very loudly and began thrashing about on the bed. In a matter of minutes he was coming with a shout of joy and soft howl. His ass clenched tightly around Toby's shaft and sent Toby over the edge as well. Toby thrust hard one last time and came inside Sam's ass. He lay on Sam's back as he attempted to catch his breath.

"Toby? Can you get off of me so I can get up," Sam requested.

"Yeah," Toby replied. "Give me a year or two."

Sam chuckled. "Now would be a good year."

Toby sat up and pulled himself away from Sam then watched as Sam clamored out of the bed and again ran to the bathroom. Toby lay back on the bed and listened as the shower was turned on. He hoped he hadn't hurt Sam as he drifted off to sleep.

When Toby woke he was still lying awkwardly on the bed but now he was covered with a blanket. The same blanket that Sam had kicked to the floor. He sat up quickly and moaned as some rarely used muscles made themselves known. Throwing back the covers he slipped out of bed pulled on his pants and shirt and wandered off to find Sam.

He made his way through the house but was unable to find his young lover. He walked over to the front window and looked out at the driveway. The rental car was gone. Sam had left him and headed back to the hospital on his own. He sighed and rubbed the top of his head before turning and walking over to the couch to collapse.

A firm hand shaking his shoulder pulled Toby from the pleasant dream he had been having; a dream where the President was giving a speech and for once he wasn't mangling the words that Toby had written.

"Toby! Wake up," Sam demanded.

He opened his eyes and peered up at the other man. "I'm awake," he croaked through parched lips. Sam was standing over him, beaming in a way that Toby hadn't seen in days.

"What," he asked suddenly more awake. "What happened?"

"My Mom woke up," Sam grinned.

Toby stood up quickly and pulled Sam into a hard embrace then pushed back a foot. "That's good news," he said keeping his emotions in check.

"Good news," Sam repeated. "It's great news."

Sam pulled Toby back to him and held him in a bear hug. Toby stood stiffly for a moment then gave in and settled into the younger mans embrace, wrapping his own arms around Sam's waist. Sam burrowed his face in Toby's neck and relaxed his hold, once he was certain the older man wasn't going to bolt for the door.

"Toby?"

"Mm-hmm."

"I wanted to thank you."

"Don't."

"No really. Thank you for coming here and being with me. And you know... being with me."

"Sam," Toby said warningly as he tried to back out of the embrace. Sam once again tightened his hold.

"No Toby," Sam said forcefully. "Let me have this. I know that things can't be the same between us and none of this can be taken back to DC but let me have this now."

Toby groaned as he slid one hand up Sam's back and grabbed a handful of hair. He pulled Sam's head back and fitted their mouths together. Sam melted against his lover and opened his mouth to Toby's roving tongue. Sam's knees began to weaken from the impact of Toby's kiss. He wasn't certain if it was desire or lack of oxygen but he knew he didn't care as long as Toby didn't stop.

Sam tugged the shirt off of Toby's shoulders and let it fall to the floor. His mouth left Toby's and began a wet descent down his lover's neck, across the collarbone, nipping and sucking his way to Toby's chest. His tongue rolled across the sparsely haired flesh until it found a hardened nipple. Toby groaned as he slid his hands through Sam's hair and held him close.

"I love what you do to me," Toby whispered hoarsely.

Sam pulled back slightly and grinned wickedly. "I love what I do to you too."

Sam's hands dropped to Toby's waist and he deftly unbuttoned the older mans pants then pushed them to the floor with the shirt.

"You forgot something," Sam scolded gently as he caressed Toby's bare hip.

"What," Toby asked.

"Your underwear," Sam smiled as he slowly dropped to his knees.

"It's too hot to wear underwear," Toby said so quietly that Sam could barely hear him.

Sam was now gently rubbing Toby's balls. He watched closely as Toby's erection gently pulsed to the beat of his heart. A drop of liquid glistened on the tip and Sam leaned forward to lick it off. His tongue gently caressed just the edge sending a shiver down Toby's spine and causing his knees to actually go out. Sam wrapped his arms around his lover and gently lowered him to the floor.

"We should go to the bedroom," Toby suggested.

Sam shushed him. "Close your eyes and relax," he prodded. "I'm going to do something special for you."

"Sam," Toby protested and then moaned as the younger mans mouth slowly slid over his erection. It was all he could do not to come right then. He gasped as Sam sucked deeply while moving slowly up and down on his cock. The pleasure slowly rippled through building higher and higher until finally he reached his peak and came.

Sam rolled on his side and propped his head on his hand as he looked down at Toby lying next to him on the floor. Toby had his eyes closed and was gulping in deep breaths of air as Sam grinned foolishly.

"Did you like that," he asked.

Toby opened his eyes wide and stared at him. "No. Not at all," he deadpanned. Sam's grin widened even further.

"Where in the hell did you learn that," Toby gasped.

"Laurie taught me," Sam smirked.

"Laurie," Toby frowned. "The call girl? You used a call girl trick on me?"

Sam laughed and rubbed his free hand across Toby's chest soothingly. "At least I didn't charge you for it."

"Not yet anyways," Toby grumbled. "Whom else have you used that on?"

"No one," Sam said shaking his head. "Are you sure? Because you're pretty good at it."

Sam laughed. "There have been no other men in my life. Ever."

"Same here," Toby whispered. "And there will never be another man in my life."

"Same for me," Sam whispered back.

They were silent for a few moments before Toby spoke again. "You said your Mom was awake?"

"Yeah," Sam agreed softly. "She looked at me and smiled."

"That's very good."

Sam nodded. "The doctor is running some tests to see what kind and how much damage was done. He said a preliminary examination showed some paralysis in her right side. However, the fact that she seemed to recognize me was a good sign."

"I don't know much about strokes but I do know they can very in strength, duration and the amount of damage that is done," Toby said quietly. "Any idea how long she will be hospitalized?"

"No," Sam shrugged. "We'll have to wait and see. Meanwhile, I'm hungry. How about you?"

"Starving," Toby agreed. "Wanna cook or eat out?"

"Lets cook," Sam said. "I don't feel like getting dressed."

Toby smiled as Sam got up and padded towards the kitchen. As Sam disappeared around the corner, Toby got up and followed.

One week later

Sam hung up the phone and walked out to the living room where Toby was flipping channels on the television.

"What the hell happened to CNN," Toby grumbled.

"I locked it out," Sam said as he sat on the couch next to Toby and pried the remote from his hand.

"What? Why?"

"Because I got tired of vying for your attention with the damn television station," Sam explained sweetly.

"Unlock it," Toby demanded. "CJ's about to give the morning briefing."

Sam sighed and pushed a series of buttons on the remote then changed the channel to CNN. He smiled as Toby sat back and leaned against him even though the older mans eyes never left the screen.

"And in further news," CJ said. "The White House has confirmed that Iraq is once again attempting to build an arsenal of nuclear weapons. The President is in meetings with the National Security advisor and has been conferencing with several of our NATO allies. I will have more information for you this afternoon."

"Shit," Toby cursed as he reached for the phone and began dialing. "Shit, shit, shit."

Sam sat back and watched as his lover changed into boss mode. He knew that things were changing; their time together had been pleasant and at times overwhelming. But he knew that it had to come to an end sometime and maybe that time was nearer than he expected. He got up and went outside into the backyard soaking in the warm morning air.

"Sammy," Toby said from the doorway. Sam turned around. "I need to go."

"I know," Sam said as he smiled sadly. "I'm good here."

"When are you coming home," Toby asked.

"I am home," Sam answered.

Toby released a loud breath. "You know what I mean."

"I don't know," Sam replied honestly his eyes looking everywhere but at Toby. "There is so much I need to do here."

Toby watched him solemnly. "You're not coming back, are you?"

Sam looked up quickly and their eyes met. He slowly shook his head. "I've already faxed my resignation."

Toby lowered his head and stared at the grass. "I understand."

"It's not that I don't want to come back," Sam explained quickly. "But I'm needed here more."

Toby didn't reply as he continued to stare at the ground.

"Toby, this time we've spent together has meant more to me that you will ever know."

"You think so," Toby asked as he raised his head. Sam could that his eyes were shining. "I'm falling in love with you."

"I'm already in love with you," Sam announced. "It happened a long, long time ago."

"Why don't you just take a leave of absence," Toby asked.

"I really don't know how much time I'm going to need," Sam stated. "I need to be here for my Mom."

"I need you too," Toby admitted. He walked closer to Sam and they wrapped their arms around one another.

"Toby," Sam whispered. "We could never have a relationship in DC like the one we are having here."

"I know."

"But..."

"We could try," Toby pressed.

"You're kidding right? Mary Marsh..."

"Mary Marsh can shove it up her ass," Toby yelled. "She has no right to dictate to people who they can and cannot love. We're in a position of power. We can get laws changed and do things to make the world a better place. Why oh tell me why, can't we make this happen too?"

"Because close-minded people like Mary Marsh are going to fight us tooth and nail and you know it," Sam pointed it out. "Besides it could never work. You like the Yankees and well, I don't."

"You can change," Toby mumbled as his argument lost momentum.

Sam smiled and stepped closer cupping Toby's face in his hands. "This wasn't meant to be."

Toby sucked in a deep breath and let it out slowly. "I wish..."

"Me too," Sam agreed. He leaned over and gently kissed Toby on the lips. "When are you leaving?"

"I have a flight this evening."

Sam smiled. "Then we have time to go back to bed?"

Toby smiled as well and turned back into the house with Sam right behind him.

One month later

Josh strolled into Toby's office and plopped onto the couch. Toby looked up briefly then went back to work.

"I talked to Sam," Josh announced. "He said his Mom was being released from the hospital today."

"Yeah," Toby replied questioningly.

"Yeah," Josh mimicked. "It's weird not having him here. Don't you think?"

"It's very quiet," Toby stated. "I have no one to yell at except you."

"Have you talked to him?"

"Not recently," Toby admitted.

"He seems... different."

"Different?"

"Yeah. Sad," Josh mused. "Like he had his heart broken or something."

"Probably just tired," Toby said. "Kind of like me."

"You should go home early," Josh suggested. "Get some sleep."

"I will," Toby agreed. "If you leave so I can get some work done."

Josh stood up and headed towards the door. He paused and looked back at Toby. "I don't know what happened in California and I really don't want to know but I wish you guys would figure it out."

"Nothing happened," Toby said quietly. Josh pursed his lips and stared at him.

"If you say so," he acquiesced. He slapped his hand on the doorframe and strolled into the bullpen.

Josh walked down the hall and into CJ's office without knocking. She looked up from her desk and raised an eyebrow at him.

"He's still not talking," Josh admitted as he flopped onto her couch.

"And you really thought he would open up and pour his heart out to you," she asked.

He shrugged. "I know something happened. Both of them are avoiding each other."

"They'll figure it out," CJ said unconvincingly. "We just have to give them time."

Josh took a deep breath and let it out loudly. "Meanwhile we have to sit around and watch Toby be even more morose than usual?'

"If that's what it takes," she smiled sadly.

A moment later Toby appeared in the doorway. "I'm going home," he announced.

"See you in the morning," CJ half-questioned.

Toby nodded and started to turn away then turned back. "Thanks," he said quietly not looking at either CJ or Josh. "Thanks for caring about me. You know I don't like to talk about my personal life...it's, well it's personal. Something did happen in California. It wasn't a bad something but it was something that I would rather not talk about just yet. Maybe, ever. Just remember that I appreciate you guys. And I know that you're worried about me. Don't be. I'll get through this one way or another. Good night."

"Good night," CJ said.

"Night," Josh echoed. He frowned at the doorway for a few moments then looked back at CJ. "I think I'm even more confused."

"I don't think you're the only one," CJ stated. "I don't think so at all."

The End

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