Title: Happy Birthday- Or Maybe Not!
Author: Coupdepam
Email: pmrdgwll@aol.com
Pairing: Josh/Sam
Rated: NC-17
Spoilers: none
Disclaimer: I don't own them, but having said that, I like to think that Sam belongs to us now ;-)
Summary: Sam isn't having the best of birthdays.
[Written for MellyJane]

Happy Birthday- Or Maybe Not! by Coupdepam

Josh strained the spaghetti and placed it in a bowl. He took a sip of wine, went back into the living room and looked at the table arrangement with pride. Walking over to the stereo, he paused outside the bedroom and smiled. He had made the bed up with Sam's favorite comforter and placed a single red rose on the pillow.

Josh had managed to sneak home early. He knew that Sam was having a bad day. He had known that when Sam had cancelled lunch and then told Donna he couldn't take any of Josh's calls. Josh had walked over to Sam's office three times. The first time he had been arguing with someone on the phone, the second time he had been arguing with Toby and on the third occasion Josh arrived just in time to witness Toby's and Sam's doors being slammed at exactly the same time. Josh gave up trying to see him, and sent Donna with a note instead. It read, `Happy Birthday- or maybe not! Never mind, I'll make sure it gets happier when you get home.' Josh continued to browse through the CDs and, eventually deciding on Nina Simone, he pressed play just as the door opened.

His welcoming smile faded as he watched Sam walk into the room, his face was pale and he didn't seem to be aware that Josh was standing there. Sam seemed oblivious to the smell of dinner and the also the music.

"Sam?" Josh walked over to him and took his briefcase out of his hand. Sam didn't let go immediately and Josh realized his hand was shaking.

"Sam, what's wrong?" Josh turned Sam towards him, and in doing so saw the cut on Sam's cheek. "God, Sam, what happened?"

The sound of Josh's panicked voice made Sam more focused. He nodded towards the sofa and let Josh take his coat before they both sat down.

"Don't freak, Josh…I'm okay but…well the thing is…we haven't got two cars anymore."

"Haven't got two…what are you talking about…oh God, did you have an accident?"

Sam shook his head, keen to placate Josh, "No, no, nothing like that… but the car's gone, it's been car-jacked…or I suppose I should say I've been car-jacked…well we've been car-jacked…I mean, we never really had our own cars, you used mine as much as-"

Sam stopped talking as Josh abruptly grabbed his shoulders and spun him round to face him. "Where? Did they hurt you? Look at your face for God's sake, of course they did, have you phoned the police? When did it happen?" Josh was babbling and it was Sam's turn to grab hold of him.

"Josh, I'm alright. I haven't phoned the police because it just happened. It happened outside. They didn't hurt me, I must have cut my face when I-"

The rest of Sam's words were lost in Josh's chest as he found himself being pulled into a fierce embrace. He could hear Josh's heart pounding and knew, uncomfortable as he was, he needed to wait for him to calm down before he tried to move. Sam listened to Josh silently cursing and when his heart had slowed to a more normal rate, he placed his hands on Josh's shoulders and gently eased himself out of his hold.

"I said not to freak…you freak." Josh smiled apologetically and settled for grabbing Sam's hand instead.

"We need to phone the police," Josh stated decisively.

"Yeah,"

"How do you feel?"

"Okay, I think…bit nauseous…my face hurts."

Josh tenderly examined Sam's cheek. "I'm going to phone the police, make you a drink and clean that cut up." He kept hold of Sam's face, "You sure you're alright?" When Sam nodded he let go, but not before pulling him closer and resting his forehead against Sam's, "If anyone hurt you I'd-"

Sam silenced him with a kiss. Josh broke away reluctantly and went to make the call. After that he headed for the kitchen to make Sam a cup of strong, sweet tea. While he was waiting for the water to boil he called out, "Do you still feel sick?"

"Not so much," Sam lied.

"Good, because I've made…dammit!" Sam rushed into the kitchen to find Josh staring despondently at a pan of something that had clearly been forgotten, on the hob.

"I left it simmering, I forgot about it. Shit!"

"It doesn't matter, Josh," Sam took a deep breath and tried to combat the effect the smell of the burnt sauce was having on his stomach.

"It does matter, I had everything planned: your favorite meal, wine, music. I wanted tonight to be something you'd remember."

"Well, I don't think I'm going to forget what happened earlier in a hurry," Sam replied sardonically.

Josh threw the remains of the sauce into the bin. Some of it missed, and Sam watched it slide down the side and onto the floor.

"We'll have to order in. What do you feel-" Josh didn't finish the question. The sight of the sauce dripping onto the floor had been too much for Sam. Josh heard his groan as he fled the room. He followed him into the bathroom and found him bent over the toilet.

"You said you felt better," Josh said as he rubbed Sam's back.

"I lied," he admitted, "Sorry, it was just the smell. It must be the shock."

"What, of me cooking?" Sam smiled as Josh helped him to his feet. "You're shaking now. Maybe we should go to the ER."

Sam shook his head, "What did the police say?"

Josh told him that they had to go to the precinct tomorrow. He helped him into the bedroom and watched as he took off his tie and jacket. He was going back into the kitchen to make Sam's drink when the sound of Sam yelling in pain took him racing back into the room. He arrived to see Sam pulling the crushed rose from underneath him.

Josh walked over to the bed and took the offending flower from Sam's hand. "It was meant to be a romantic gesture," he offered lamely as the stem snapped and flopped over.

"It was a romantic gesture…I probably would have appreciated the romanticism more if I'd seen it before I lay down though."

Josh got onto the bed and lay close to Sam, "They want you to look at some pictures tomorrow." He pulled Sam closer to him, "Did you get a good look at them?"

"Hmm?" Sam buried his head in Josh's chest, hoping he could avoid the questions.

"Did you see their faces?"

"I think there's still a thorn sticking in me," Sam changed the subject, knowing that while Josh was in over protective mode he would immediately start looking for the cause of Sam's discomfort. Josh rolled him over, swiped his hand over Sam's back and yelled as the thorn stuck into his thumb. He ignored Sam's laughter and pulled him back towards him. The laughter stopped abruptly and was replaced with a groan of pain. Josh lifted Sam's shirt and cursed as he saw the large bruise that was forming on his side.

"Sam, you're hurt. Why didn't you tell me? Did they hit you?"

Sam removed Josh's hand from his side and gingerly rolled over to face him. "I was telling you before you tried to bear-hug me to death. They didn't hit me. They pushed me down, and I didn't exactly have time to try to break the fall. It's alright, Josh. I didn't lose consciousness or anything like that…it was just a shock more than anything."

The two men lay facing each other. Josh reached out and held Sam's hand, "You're still shaking."

"I don't know what you want me to say. Two men came up behind me, stuck a gun in my back and told me to hand over my keys…of course I'm shaking, I was scared shitless."

Josh reached for Sam's other hand and held them both between his own, "I'm sorry you're having such a shitty birthday." He loosened and removed Sam's belt and pulled off his shoes. Sam watched him walk over to the cupboard and pull out a blanket. He walked back to Sam, covered him with it and then lay down beside him. Sam fell asleep as Josh lay watching him. He felt Josh's hand on his head, gently stroking. Josh's other hand reached under the blanket and found Sam's, still trembling. As Sam slept, Josh returned with an ice pack and held it in place, batting away Sam's unconscious efforts to remove the source of the cold. Then he gently rubbed some lotion onto the cut on Sam's face, kissed his forehead and left him to sleep.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Josh was flicking through take-out menus when Sam appeared in the doorway, the blanket wrapped around him.

"You'll be pleased to hear that I've stopped shaking."

Josh jumped at the sound of his voice and walked quickly over to him. He grabbed Sam's hands, searching for proof of his declaration. Satisfied that he was telling the truth, Josh released his hold and placed his hands on Sam's hips instead. Sam closed his eyes as Josh pulled him towards him. Hands still clutching the blanket, Sam wrapped his arms around Josh and enveloped them both in it. Hidden beneath their `cocoon', Sam gasped as Josh pressed his hips against him. He turned his head as Josh began to plant kisses along his neck, gentle at first, then growing in intensity. Sam felt himself pushed back against the wall, Josh's hands against his chest, his mouth hard against Sam's. A gust of wind from the open window scattered the take- out menus across the floor. Josh knelt before Sam and tenderly kissed the bruise on his hip. He told Sam he was shaking again and Sam laughed. The sound caught in his throat as he felt Josh's lips travel away from his hip and towards the place he had longed for them to be since he had first felt them on his neck. He placed his hands on Josh's shoulders, completely covering him with the blanket and then it fell to the floor as he cried out Josh's name and released his grip. Josh lowered Sam on to it and lay beside him, his hand rested on Sam's chest feeling his racing heartbeat. Only when it had slowed, did Josh lean over and grab one of the menus that littered the floor. Entwined, they discussed options based on the menus that Josh could reach. Josh pulled the phone from the wall by the cord and ordered their meals as Sam placed gentle kisses along his cheek and neck.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

After they had eaten, Josh produced the only surprise of the evening that hadn't been a failure. Sam laughed as he watched Josh carefully enter the room, determined not to let any candles on the cake go out. The cake was the shape of a laptop and on the screen in fine white icing where the first few words of the last State of the Union.

"Josh, this is…" It was a good job that the words on the screen were a testament to Sam's writing abilities because he was suddenly having great difficulty forming a sentence.

Josh handed him a knife, "Make a wish." Sam placed the knife on the cake and closed his eyes as it glided through the icing.

The two men ate in silence. Josh cleared away the plates and then returned with two glasses of brandy and some coffee. They sat with their feet on the coffee table on either side of the cake.

"You know, that's nothing like my laptop. That's silver and mine's black. Mine isn't that make either." Sam took a sip of coffee and placed the cup on the table, "Josh?"

"Yes?"

"Have you, by any chance, bought me a new laptop for my birthday?"

Sam watched Josh's expression change from annoyance to resignation and finally amusement. "Can at least one of my surprises be…well…a surprise?"

"Are there more surprises then?"

"No."

"Oh."

Josh smirked at Sam's feigned disappointment and went over to the cabinet. He took a few items off the top shelf and then reached to the back. He pulled out a beautifully wrapped, definitely laptop shaped, gift. Josh sat back down and nodded to indicate that Sam could open it. Sam read the message on the tag and smiled. He pulled it off and placed it carefully on the table. Then, painfully slowly, he began to peel off the tape, taking as little paper with it as he could manage.

"You're doing that on purpose," Josh complained.

"It's my birthday, I'm allowed to be obsessive about the wrapping paper if I want to." He continued to peel the last piece of tape off, going even more slowly than he had before. As he started to collect each piece of tape, and place them next to the tag on the table, Josh groaned. Sam wondered if there was anything else he could do to annoy Josh, decided there wasn't and in one sudden move ripped the paper off the gift. When the sound of Josh's surprised chuckle had faded there was silence. Sam ran his hand over the smooth leather and then his finger over the brass letters, S.N.S.

"Open it then," Josh whispered.

Sam opened the leather case and pulled out the silver laptop. It was exactly the same as the cake. Sam looked up at Josh and the two shared a grin before they excitedly set about switching it on and finding out what it could do, Josh reading from the instructions and Sam totally ignoring him and following the onscreen setup commands.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

The floor was covered with instruction Manuals and start up discs. The standard screen saver sent a pattern of lights swirling around the room. Josh lay stretched on the sofa, his arms encircling Sam. The instruction book he had been holding, and Sam reading, had long since fallen to the floor. Sam shifted restlessly and murmured. Josh woke instantly and tightened his hold. Kissing Sam's head, he whispered soothing words until he was still again. When Sam woke, an hour later, Josh had such a hold on him that he couldn't have got up if he'd wanted to. He looked around the room and his gaze settled on the cake and the knife lying by the side of it. He looked at the laptop, the light from the lamp was reflecting from its case onto the empty brandy glasses. He felt Josh holding him, the contours of his body comforting and familiar, the sound of his breathing as recognizable as his voice. Sam slowly twisted round in Josh's arms until he was facing him. He laid his head on Josh's chest and wrapped his arms around him.

"I love you Josh," he whispered.

"I love you too, birthday boy," thinking that Josh was asleep, Sam started. Josh laughed and reached for the throw on the back of the couch and wrapped it over them.

"Sam?"

"Hmm?"

"Happy birthday."

"You too."

"It's not my birthday."

"Hmm."

"Sam?"

"Hmm?"

"When you cut the cake, what did you wish for?"

"A laptop."

"Liar!"

Sam laughed, "No, I didn't really," he pulled the blanket higher around his shoulders, "I wished for a new car."

"Sam!"

"I did mention that I was car-jacked today, didn't I? I mean, you know they took the actual car, not just the keys."

"You're meant to say you didn't need to wish for anything because when you met me, all your wishes came true."

Sam sat up and looked down at Josh, "I wished…this is what I wished…`Dear birthday cake fairy, please bring me and my loving partner many more happy years together," Sam paused before adding, "In our new car."

Sam stopped Josh's response by collapsing on top of him and swallowing his words in a fierce kiss. The blanket became tangled between them and the sound of their laughter floated above them joining the patterns of light that the laptop was still sending swirling around the room.

The End

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