TITLE: Couldn't Possibly Fail
AUTHOR: Julian Lee
CATEGORY: Sam/Will, post-"Angel Maintenance"
SERIES: The New Guy
DISCLAIMER: Not Sorkin, Wells, or NBC. Don't own the characters. Though since they let Rob Lowe leave, *I* think Sam's up for grabs.
SUMMARY: All the things that couldn't possibly go wrong.
Couldn't Possibly Fail by Julian Lee
"Welcome home, Will."
"God, am I glad to see you, Sam."
"I'm just glad you're back on the ground. How long were you guys up there?"
"Twenty-five hours, seventeen minutes, and twenty-eight seconds. The twenty-eight seconds is an extrapolation on my part, but it feels right."
"That's a long time to be stuck up there. Were you okay?"
"I figured, twenty-five hours and seventeen minutes is thirty-seven minutes more than my mother was in labor with me. And if she can do *that* for twenty-five hours, surely I can sit in an airplane."
"Good for you. And, was she really? Twenty-five hours?"
"I believe she has always harbored a secret resentment towards me because of it."
"I don't know that I'd blame her."
"Thank you, Sam. So, today he asked me if I'm afraid of flying."
"This conversation feels very familiar to me. Who asked?"
"Asked you if you were afraid of flying."
"What did you say?"
"I said no."
"And you didn't tell him about the other thing?"
"I was a little busy trying to keep the press corps from noticing the F-16 hovering outside the window."
"Did it work?"
"Almost. I mean, really, almost. I was *this* close to getting them to believe me. They were almost all on the side of the plane we needed them on, two seconds from *buying* it when I told them they could see a bunch of lilacs from the window."
"Iridescent lilacs, to be exact."
"You're even better than I thought."
"But then Chris had to go and be sitting on the other side of the plane and yell, 'Oh, my God.' Let me tell you, Sam; nothing gets twenty reporters' attention like someone yelling, 'Oh, my God.'"
"They all rushed over and saw the other plane, and after that it was pretty much over. Until CJ turned off the phones in the press cabin."
"And she's not lying dead in a hundred pieces on the floor of Air Force One?"
"They even thanked her, in the end."
"For shutting off the phones?"
"For turning them back on."
"Will! You've changed the subject!"
"Nothing gets by you, Sam."
"You told Charlie you weren't afraid of flying."
"It's true. He didn't believe me, but it's true. You know that as well as anyone."
"Well, yeah. But the whole thing was very - were you having flashbacks?"
"I don't have flashbacks, Sam, because I wasn't there. I didn't see anything. This is not like having PTSD and reliving the crash. I just..."
"I know. I understand."
"Because of Josh."
"I didn't see him get shot; I don't see that like he does sometimes. But whenever I hear gunshots - or when we'd have to go out into a big crowd..."
"Then you know what I'm talking about. I wasn't even in the country when Ira's plane crashed. I barely made it to Massachusetts in time for the funeral. So I never saw the plane broken in half. All I knew was that his front wheel wouldn't lock, and he tried the hard landing, and he got it wrong. And he was dead."
"Hey. Come on, Will."
"I'm not afraid of flying, Sam."
"I know you're not."
"But Ira was dead, and I was too young to believe I'd ever recover from that."
"Come here. Listen to me: you are a good man, Will Bailey, and if there had been *anything* you could've done for Ira, you would have done it. You did what you could."
"I wish I had done more for him when he was alive."
"There are days I really hate the military, Sam."
"I know. But you're at the top now, right? You'll fix it."
"Yeah, right. How many rounds did *you* go with the Chiefs, Sam? How many rounds did the President go? Nobody's going to listen to it from the new guy."
"You'll *fix* it, Will. For Ira."
"No. For the eighteen-year-old Ira who joined up yesterday. So the eighteen-year-old Will who's about to fall for him ass over teakettle can actually *do* something about it."
"God, you are amazing, Will."
"I don't feel amazing."
"Then you'll just have to take my word for it."
"I could be persuaded to do that."
"Then slide over here and let me persuade you."
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