Title: The Theory of Everything
Author: Michelle K. (CageyGrl@yahoo.com)
Site: http://glimmershine.tripod.com
Pairing: Josh/Sam
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers: "The Midterms"
Summary: It's not like the times before.
Disclaimer: Not mine. Don't sue.
Notes: one of jacklemmon's westwing_santa presents.

*

The Theory of Everything by Michelle K.

Sam stays after everyone else has left. Another two beers are opened, and you hand one to him with a small smile. "At least we broke even."

"Not sure I'd call it that."

"I wouldn't either," you sigh.

You watch as he leans back on your couch.

"Still feel bad about--"

"Yeah," he answers quickly.

You frown at the bit of idealism he's had stripped away from him. But: "It's politics. Some things--"

"Don't look right, so we have to screw our friends over."

"Pretty much." Your attempt at humor doesn't sate him. You consider kissing him but that, without a doubt, has never made things smoother. For a moment, you don't care. That moment is brief. "I don't know what to tell you."

"You never do," he mutters. "But it's not that I want you to *tell* me anything. I... Forget about it."

He looks sad, almost tragic in his disappointment. Somehow, that eases out his flaws, making him more beautiful.

You still don't kiss him.

"I'm sorry," you say.

Now, it's guilt. "I didn't want you to apologize. I--"

"Forget about it." You decide that he can make it up to you by letting you talk; and talk you do, about physics, the nature of things. Somewhere during your diatribe, you begin to pace. He looks at you with worry on his face, like you're going to break if you move too fast.

You're not sure if you should be insulted or comforted.

You still want to kiss him.

You don't.

"You think it's possible you're obsessing?" he asks after you've run out of steam.

"A little. Maybe. Yes." You sit back down; next to him, though there are other places you could rest your weary frame. "Definitely."

He stares at the beer bottle in his hand for several moments, silence overtaking the room. "Josh?"

"Yeah."

"I...I don't know."

Your mind swims with all the things he might've said; all the things he's probably decided to never say.

Then, he kisses you.

It's not like any of the times before -- those kisses that ended before they begun, only to be ignored when the liquor's effects faded. This is...fuck, you don't know what it is. But you know it feels so much better than those-which-weren't, than the weeks of solitude you've had imposed upon you, the loneliness interrupted only by sharp pains and horrible memories.

You pull away. This is the moment where he should say that he has to leave to do some imaginary tasks that can only, apparently, be done at three in the morning. But he's kissing you again.

He asks, "Are you strong enough for this?"

You say, "Yes," and, in some ways, it's a lie.

But you still want to kiss him. This time, you do.

END

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