Title: Laugh, Not to Cry
Author: Michelle K. (CageyGrl@yahoo.com)
Site: http://glimmershine.tripod.com
Archive: List archives. Others ask.
Rating: PG
Category: Josh/Sam
Summary: Josh pretends. But not all the time.
Disclaimer: Not mine. Don't sue.
Notes: Strange, short, second person thing I wrote. I apologize.

*

Laugh, Not to Cry by Michelle K.

You're not who you say you are.

To the outside world, you're Josh Lyman. You flirt incessantly with any woman who will look at you. You're confident, you like to make jokes. You're not as funny as you think you are.

But you're not falling apart. You're normal, if imperfect. You're happy, if not skipping throughout the world.

Inside, you're something different. Inside, you feel hollow. You feel like there are things wrong with you, like your insides are scarred. Like you're perpetually broken, although you can't quite place the source of the initial injury. Inside, nothing feels right.

So, you mask it. You act like nothing's wrong.

Like everything's fine.

You laugh, not to cry. Joke, not to scream. Smile, not to let your face go dark.

You're not always an imitation, though. There are things about you that you can't fake.

Even if those things could make people think differently about you. Even if you should pretend that they don't exist.

Even if there are so many things that could go wrong...

You still can't pretend. Not fully.

Because...it's him.

When things get really dark, when there's nothing in your life that makes sense, when the façade is making your head spin...

When everything's too much, and you have to take off the mask...

It's him that you go to.

You love him, just to love him. You need him, just because he's Sam.

You can't pretend. You can't pretend that his tongue doesn't make your body shudder. You can't pretend that his mouth doesn't make yours open. You can't pretend that his skin isn't the most beautiful you've seen.

You can't pretend that he's not all you've ever wanted.

He's beyond artifice for you, beyond all of what you should be. Beyond agendas and images, beyond everything you shouldn't feel.

Beyond everything, it's him.

He's all that makes you genuine, makes you feel something more than this.

He's everything.

And, when you laugh with him, you're not hiding the tears. When you smile, you're not fighting darkness. When you joke, it's not to keep from yelling at the world.

He is all that makes you real.

And he...he is all you need.

THE END

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