Title: The Wrong Expression
Author: Sarah G
Spoilers: Six meetings before lunch
Rating: R
Summary: Josh bites off more than he can chew rather than resort to cliché.
Feedback: yes, please
Archive: just let me know where it is.

The Wrong Expression by Sarah G

"Mandy!" Josh shouted, "It will never pass!"

"It will!" Mandy retorted heatedly, hands on hips leaning froward to emphasise the point she had being trying to make ever since she had entered Josh's office, that she was right and he was wrong.

"It won't!"

"It will!" Mandy insisted.

"It won't pass! There's no way they're going to vote for it!"

"Josh! I'm telling you it will pass!" Mandy was getting exasperated and they were both getting louder. Standing by the door where they'd been drawn by the prospect of a good fight, CJ and Donna looked on in amusement and awe.

It was late Monday evening and it'd been a gruelling day and all Josh had wanted to do was get out of his office, go home and put his feet up. But then Mandy had showed.

"Mandy, Toby says it'll pass, it's a done deal!"

"Well, Josh, Toby's been lying to you!" Mandy responded.

"Why would Toby lie to me, why would he do that?" Josh was throwing his hands in the air to emphasise his point in marked contrast to Mandy's stillness.

"I don't know why Toby would lie to you. What I do know is this bill will be passed tomorrow night by eight o'clock!"

Josh ran his fingers through his mussed up hair in agitation. "Mandy you're not listening to me! It won't pass!"

"I *am* listening to you and I'm saying it will!

"Mandy if this bill passes, I'll …I'll…"

"You'll what?" Josh didn't notice glint in Mandy's eye as she leant further forward. Later, when he'd had time to think about it, he would liken it to moving in for the kill.

"I don't know, I'll …I'll kiss Sam!"

There was a stunned silence. CJ and Donna stared at Josh in astonishment and a slow smile crept over Mandy's face.

"Done!" she said quietly, the tension in her body deflated instantly. "Oh, boy, this I've gotta see!"

"Huh?" Josh looked bemused. CJ and Donna turned and stared at each other in disbelief but a second later when then turned back to look at the pair, they were both grinning broadly.

"I'll have me some of that," said CJ.

"What?" Josh turned his head to her, perplexed. Why had Mandy stopped arguing so quickly? He also didn't seem aware of what he had just committed to.

"I'll have some too," piped up Donna.

"What's… what's going on?" Josh asked, looking at the three smiling women in front of him.

"You just said that if the bill passed, which it will, you would kiss Sam." Mandy was gloating now.

"That was just an expression!" Joh scowled. There was more silence.

"I think you'll find that 'I'll eat my hat' is an expression. 'I'll kiss Sam' isn't one in general use." Mandy replied.

Josh's face fell as he realised that he might have gone a bit too far in the face of Mandy's opposition.

"That point is moot. Toby says it'll never pass," he said, but doubt was beginning to creep into his voice.

Mandy smirked. "The bill will be passed by eight tomorrow night. At eight oh five, you boys had better be puckering up."

"It won't pass and even if it did, I was kidding! You can't hold me to that!" his eyes darting frantically from CJ to Donna then back to Mandy and then added lamely, "It won't pass."

"It will pass and you just said, in front of two credible witnesses, that you would kiss Sam Seaborn so I think that's binding. Excuse me, I just have to go see Toby about a thing," and she turned smartly on her heels and strutted out of Josh's office.

Josh watched her disappear. CJ and Donna watched him watch her.

"It won't pass," he muttered, staring blindly into the distance. CJ stepped forward.

"Well in case it does, which, I agree with Mandy, it will, you better go make sure Sam's free tomorrow night," CJ told him, her voice serious but her eyes glittering.

"What?" Josh was having difficulty processing the last ten minutes.

"Eight oh five, when the bill's passed, we're gonna expect some serious smooching."

"No, no, no " Josh spluttered.

"Oh, yes, yes, yes" CJ disagreed. "You just said, in front of witnesses, that you'd kiss Sam. In front of witnesses."

"Witness" Donna waved her hand.

"But I didn't …that was just…" Josh couldn't think how to get out of this. "I was KIDDING!"

"And so I think," CJ carried on as if he hadn't said anything, "you should make sure Sam's there," and she too turned on her heels and with a broad grin at Donna started to walk out. "This is gonna be so hot!"

Donna stood looking at Josh as he opened and closed his mouth.

"What?" he asked as he noticed her staring, his brow creased in confusion.

"What 'what'?" Donna asked back.

"What did CJ just say?" he'd heard, but comprehension hadn't sunk in yet.

"CJ said 'it would be hot'" Donna repeated.

"What will be hot?" Josh asked, confused.

"You kissing Sam," Donna elaborated.

"I'm not kissing Sam!"

"Au contraire. If the Bill passes, we think you will be," said Donna and then left the office leaving Josh to muse on that thought.

"Donna!" Josh chased Donna. "What do you mean?" he realised he was still shouting and although it was late there were still many people milling around the bull pen. Lowering his voice he repeated, "What do you mean me kissing Sam would be hot?"

"Don't you know?" Donna asked him innocently.

"No!" he yelled as quietly as he could.

"Two good looking guys smooching? That's hot!"

Josh looked aghast "You think me kissing Sam would be hot?" He was getting more and more bemused by the second.

"Woah, yeah Baby!" Donna enthused.

Josh regarded her, his brain frozen. Donna smiled and tilted her head.

Josh shook his head as if that would kick his brain into gear.

"It's not gonna happen. Toby says it will never pass," Josh was adamant.

"Mandy says it will." Josh was silent again.

As he turned to return to his office she heard him mutter again "It'll never pass" just before he slammed the door shut.

Less than five seconds later the door slammed open again and Josh stormed out. "I'm gonna see Toby."

When he reached Toby's office he barged in and stood in front of the desk, arms stiff by his side trying to control the emotions swirling around in him.

"Toby."

"Josh?" Toby looked up from the report in front of him, head resting on one hand.

"Mandy says the bill's gonna pass. You've been telling me all week that it won't, that you had it covered. I kept myself out of the loop on your say-so as I've been tied up with the Breckenridge confirmation since like, forever and you said you had it covered."

"I said it wouldn't pass?"

"Yes!"

"Oops."

Josh glared at Toby in silence. What the hell was happening?

"Oops?" he eventually said, a sinking feeling in his stomach.

"Yeah. Oops. Sorry 'bout that. The bill's gonna pass."

"But…"

Toby looked up at him and Josh ran his fingers through his hair, the pennies starting to fall in place.

"You and Mandy set me up!" he accused. "Why have you been lying to me?"

Toby said nothing.

"You've been lying to me! And now… and now…"

"Now what?" Toby asked innocently but Josh wasn't about to give Toby the satisfaction of knowing the mess he was in.

"Now, nothing," he spat out.

"Have you said something you might have reason to regret," Toby asked, "based on my assertions that the bill wouldn't pass perhaps?"

"Yes!"

"Oops" Toby repeated.

Josh glared at him

"So what did you say?" Toby asked.

Josh's shoulders slumped. "It doesn't matter what I said," he muttered then looked up angrily. "But you've been telling me for the last two weeks that it'd never pass."

"I lied."

"I know!"

"Mandy tells me you said that if the bill passed you'd kiss Sam. Is that true?" Josh refused to answer. "You couldn't have said you'd eat your hat?"

"I'm not kissing Sam!"

"But the bill's gonna pass and you said…"

"You lied to me!"

"And you need to think before you speak." For the first time Toby raised his voice.

"Is that was this is about?" Josh asked angrily.

"No." Toby was quieter.

"She goaded me!"

"Yes," Toby said. "So, have you told Sam yet?"

"I'm not kissing Sam!" Toby merely looked at him.

"I'm not," Josh was quieter.

"Were there witnesses?"

"No!" Josh said. "Just CJ and Donna."

"Sounds like witnesses to me. You'd better talk to Sam."

Josh stood, clenching and unclenching his fists, staring past Toby's head. Then abruptly he turned tail and stormed back to his office, slamming the door behind him.

Five minutes later, a knock at Josh's door was followed by Sam walking in, making Josh jump from his contemplation. He'd been sitting at this desk his mind replaying his argument with Mandy and subsequent conversation with Toby.

"What do you want?" he asked, half afraid.

"Toby said you wanted to speak to me," Sam replied, his demeanour making it obvious to Josh that Sam hadn't a clue as to what was in store.

"Toby said I wanted to speak to you?" he hedged. How was he going to tell Sam?

"Yes, something about the bill not passing tomorrow night."

"The bill?"

"Yes, you do know it's gonna pass don't you?"

Josh slumped back into his chair. "I do now," he muttered, pressing his hands to his forehead.

"So what was it you wanted to speak to me about?" Sam asked. Josh sighed, there was no way to avoid it.

"Sit down, Sam."

Sam sat down opposite Josh.

"Now don't freak out but…" How did he continue?

"Well that's got me worried. But what, Josh?" Sam asked. Josh took a deep breath.

"Toby's been lying to me for the last few weeks telling me the bill wasn't gonna pass, that he had it covered. As you know, I've been concentrating on the Breckenridge confirmation full time and so I left it to Toby."

"Toby's been lying to you?"

"Yes, damnit otherwise I'd never had said…"

"Why's Toby been lying to you?"

"I honestly haven't a clue." Josh had a glimmering of hope that Sam would continue on this tangent but Sam's next words confirmed he was still on track.

"Said what?"

Josh leant forward his hands spread in emphasis. "You have to understand, Mandy was goading me and I said…" Sam looked at him. A deep breath and it all came out at once. "Isaidiwouldkissyou." Sam's face got that rabbit caught in the headlights look.

"I'm sorry?" he asked.

Afraid to look up at Sam, Josh repeated slowly, "I said that if the bill passed I would kiss you."

"This is a joke right?"

"Oh how I wish it were"

"*You* said *you* would kiss me if the bill passed?"

"Yes?" Josh dared a look at Sam.

"What the hell were you thinking?" Sam exploded and jumped to his feet.

"Nothing! Isn't that obvious!" Josh yelled back defensively.

"Yes! What the hell? Why didn't you say…say you'd eat your hat like most people would!" Sam shouted.

"It…it seemed like such a cliché" Josh said lamely.

"A cliché?" Sam was furious. "Who heard you? Was anyone else there?"

"Yes, CJ and Donna."

"You said in front of witnesses that you would kiss me." Sam couldn't believe it.

"Yes. I'm really, *really* sorry Sam." Josh looked up at Sam.

"You're sorry?" Sam asked incredulously.

"Yes, unbelievably sorry"

"I'm gonna see Mandy." Sam marched to the door, then stopped. "Why would Toby lie to you?"

"I don't know!"

"And Mandy was goading you?" Sam frowned.

"Yes," Josh sighed.

"So they were in cahoots?"

"It would seem so."

"What did you do to piss them off?"

"I don't know!"

"I'm gonna find Mandy. This isn't gonna happen," and Sam stalked out of the office. Josh slowly stood up, picked up his bag grabbed his coat and left.

***

Josh closed the door to his apartment. Dropping his bag and coat on the floor he walked to the sofa and slumped down, leaning forward resting his head on his hands. His mouth had got him into trouble before but not like this. What the hell had he been thinking? Leaning back he picked up the remote and put the news on. Listening but not taking anything in. How could he have said he'd kiss Sam?

An hour later, still aimlessly channel hopping he was interrupted by his cell phone. Sam.

"Sam where have you been? Did you speak to Mandy?" Josh was hopefully expectant.

"I spoke to her Josh. In fact I've spent the last hour speaking to her. I told her in no uncertain terms that you are the Deputy Chief of Staff that I am the Deputy Communications Director and therefore senior staff in the White House, that it would be demeaning to the office of the White House, that it would be demeaning to the office of the President, that it would be demeaning and humiliating on all parts, that we weren't in college, that it could be construed as incitement to harassment though she did point out that she had no control over what came out of your mouth so I had to concede on that point." He paused for breath and Josh leapt in.

"So what did she say?"

"She said that you and I would be kissing tomorrow night."

"Oh."

"And that if we didn't do it she would take it to Judge Mendoza. Josh, I think I'd better come over so we can talk," Sam said.

"Judge Mendoza?" Josh was aghast.

"Yep, that's not something I'd like to happen so I left it. Can I come over?"

"God, Judge Mendoza. Okay, yes, come over. Two heads may be better than one, see if we can come up with a strategy. I mean, we got the President elected, this should be easy enough."

"I'll be right there," and the phone went dead. And immediately there was a knock on the door.

Josh let Sam in. "When you say 'I'll be right there' you really mean it, don't you?"

"Well, it saves time I've found," Sam replied walking in and tripping over the discarded bag and coat on the floor.

"Careful there Sam," Josh caught Sam's arm, steadying him and stopping him falling. He picked up his things and threw them on a chair where they were soon accompanied by Sam's briefcase and coat. "I'll get us some beers and we can try and work out what to do. Make yourself comfortable."

An hour and several beers later, they were no nearer a solution to their predicament. Josh had ventured the idea of making phone calls to change votes but Sam had vetoed that; he'd been more in the loop on this and knew it would be wasted effort. And that was the only viable idea either had had. The rest had been no brainers and the fear of Judge Mendoza finding out had put a damper on many suggestions. Josh was glad that Sam was working on this with him, that he hadn't simply told him it was his problem to solve. Neither dwelled on how Josh had been the reason the situation had arisen, that wouldn't get them anywhere, they focussed on how to control it, to fix it; after all, that was their job.

"We're getting nowhere, Sam," Josh sighed, rubbing his face and slumping back onto the sofa.

Sam echoed the sigh. "I agree," and mirrored Josh's position.

They sat in silence for a while, listening to the faint sound of the traffic outside.

"It's nearly midnight Sam, let's talk again tomorrow in the office."

"Hmm?" Sam hadn't been concentrating.

"I said we should pick this up in the morning."

"Maybe we should practice," Sam said, thoughtfully.

"*What?*"

"I'm just saying, maybe we should practice."

"Practice kissing?" Josh asked incredulously.

"Yes," Sam confirmed.

"Why? Isn't it bad enough that we seem doomed to have to do it tomorrow night in front of CJ, Donna and Mandy?"

"Role play, Josh" Sam was getting more positive, he thought it was a good idea.

"Role play?"

"Yes, role play is a recognised method used in training to help people become more comfortable with new situations and tasks."

"I know what it is Sam," Josh said.

"And it will let us concentrate on the mechanics of what we may have to do, which may distract from the total and utter abject humiliation of it all."

"What mechanics of kissing? Sam what are you talking about?" Josh didn't think there were mechanics involved, you just kissed.

"Well, like" Sam thought for a second. "Like, which way do you lean your head when you kiss someone, how far apart do we stand, where do we put our hands, that sort of thing." Sam was now standing and he reached his hand down to lift Josh from his seat.

"Oh, God, this is ridiculous," said Josh as he ignored Sam's hand but rose to his feet. "Okay, we'll practice but this is going to be so weird."

"That's why we should practice, Josh, to make sure weird is tonight and neither of us wig out tomorrow."

"No, I mean, I've kissed guys before as dares in frat parties and the like but this is you, Sam, that's what's weird."

"I know what you mean. You're my friend and my colleague, you're Josh Lyman, I'm not saying I've never …this is not something …" Sam's voice fell away. "Anyway, how far apart should we stand?"

Josh was curious as to what Sam had been about to say but it was getting late and if they were going to indulge in role play then they'd better just get on with it. He stepped forward so that he was about six inches away. He realised that he was looking at Sam's chest, avoiding looking him in the face. With an effort he raised his eyes and noticed that Sam seemed to be fixating on Josh's shirt.

To try and break the tension Josh said "So, Sam which way do you lean your head when you kiss?" He was amused by the serious thought Sam gave to the question and the slight movement of Sam's head as he worked it out.

"The left," Sam announced. "How about you?" It was not a question Josh had had to answer before and he duplicated Sam's earlier movement, shifting his head from side to side.

"The left."

"Well, that won't be a problem then. So, hands?"

"Can't we just not touch each other or put them in our pockets?" Josh asked.

"We can only hope but let's run though other options," Sam said. "So, there's a few choices: on each other's face, or on each other's waist, holding hands and variations on those themes."

"Or on shoulders," Josh suggested.

"There's that too," Sam agreed. They contemplated their options.

Josh swallowed. "Well, if we hold each other's faces, that'd restrict how much they could see, right?"

"Good point, let's try it"

But neither moved.

Josh let out a breath with a whoosh. "Okay, lets do it."

Again neither moved.

"On three?" Josh suggested.

"Good idea," Sam agreed. Silence.

"Count Sam," Josh ordered. They both swallowed hard and for the first time since standing up, looked at each other. In other circumstances, they might have burst out laughing, but they were both deadly serious.

Hesitantly, Sam moved his hands to frame Josh's face, feeling the stubble against his fingers. Slowly Josh, mirrored the movement.

"One…two…three," and they moved together slowly, eyes focussed. But when their lips touched, for just a fleeting moment, neither could resist the impulse to quickly draw back, hands dropping away.

"Okay," Josh breathed in relief.

"Josh, I doubt Mandy will be content with a peck like that."

"No?"

"No. Let's try again. Maybe it'll be easier if we closed our eyes."

"Okay. Okay, we'll do it again," Josh said.

Hands back framing faces, eyes closed, they moved in again. This time their lips seemed glued together, their heads still. After a few seconds, Josh broke the kiss.

"Think that'll do it?" he asked.

"I think Mandy's going to expect a bit more, Josh."

"You mean we should really go for it?"

"Well not…no, not really go… not…yes, I think we should really go for it," Sam said.

"Oh brother," Josh breathed. "Okay." And without waiting, Josh grabbed Sam round the waist pulled him against his body and dove in, his mouth moving against Sam's, his tongue probing against Sam's lips, trying to force it's way in.

After a second of shock, Sam started to respond. His hands hugged Josh to him, his mouth opened and his tongue clashed with Josh's. The intensity of the kiss rapidly increased. Josh could feel his heart beating hard and now Sam's hands were starting to rove, down his back, stroking his ass.

"Oh god, Sam!" Josh muttered against Sam's lips and he pushed Sam backwards falling on top of him on the sofa. As they made out, Josh could feel a growing hardness against his hip and knew that Sam couldn't not have noticed Josh's own erection. Sam was now pulling Josh's shirt from his pants and his hands were warm on Josh's skin. Josh reciprocated and now they were both moaning and groaning, grinding hips together.

Eventually Josh had to break the kiss to move back so he could work on Sam's belt and pants and Sam half sat so he could keep contact and his fingers fumbled as he worked on Josh's belt. And then Josh reached his hand in and oh the heat of Sam's cock as Josh wrapped his hand round it.

"Josh?" Sam gasped as he fell back on the sofa. "How far do you want to take this?"

Josh was now stroking Sam's twitching erection and it felt so good, please don't stop begged Sam silently.

"Do you want to stop?" Josh asked, oh god, please don't make me stop Josh begged silently.

To help demonstrate his wishes, with one hand Sam grabbed Josh's cock through his pants and with the other dragged Josh's mouth back down to cover his own. "I want you to fuck me, Josh," he breathed, heavily

"That works for me. C'mon," Josh ordered and pulling up off the sofa dragged a dishevelled Sam into the bedroom.

***

"Well, that was unexpected," Sam commented breathlessly as Josh carefully withdrew from Sam.

"Yeah, I don't know where that came from," Josh chuckled as he reached down and removed the condom. The sex had been hard and long and incredibly satisfying. Josh had nearly passed out with the intense feeling of Sam's orgasm contracting around his cock in Sam's ass, milking him of his own release.

"That was probably, in role play terms, too far the other way."

"You told me we should go for it," Josh called over his shoulder as he went to the bathroom.

"Well, yes, I did, but I'm just saying that tomorrow night we might want to be a bit more restrained. Thank you" Sam replied, accepting the wet cloth Josh was holding out to him and wiping the cum off his stomach and chest.

"That's a given Sam. And it's now tonight, not tomorrow night," Josh said as he watched Sam's hands.

"Huh?"

Josh nodded at the clock. "It's two in the morning, we're putting on a show tonight."

"Two? I'd better get going," and Sam swung his legs off the bed.

"You might as well stay now. It's an hour to your place. Sleep here, you can make me breakfast." Josh climbed back into bed, pulling the comforter over his body. "Turn the light off."

Sam was flabbergasted by Josh's arrogance. But it would make sense to stay and get more sleep. He rose to the light switch. "Are you like this with all your dates?"

"Like what? You okay?" Sam had stumbled over the discarded clothes in the dark and fallen heavily onto the bed.

"I'm fine. Are you this arrogant?" Sam crawled into bed and settled down.

"I'm not arrogant!"

"Josh, you just ordered me to turn your light off, and make you breakfast. It's your apartment you're the host!"

"Oh, that, sorry. It's just that you're Sam and this wasn't really a date and…" Josh faltered.

"What was it Josh?" Sam asked quietly. Josh thought a while.

"It was fucking amazing, Sam," and Josh turned over, put his arm across Sam's chest and next instant was fast asleep. Sam smiled and rested his hand over Josh's and, although he knew they'd have to have a conversation about it sometime soon, was content to yawn and fall asleep too.

***

It was Tuesday night and Josh and Sam were holed up in Josh's office. By 7:30, it was obvious that the bill was going to pass.

With a heavy sigh, Josh rose from his chair and took two beers from the refrigerator and handed one to Sam.

"Sorry, Sam," he said as he retook his seat.

"Don't worry, Josh," Sam waved the apology away. "It'll be over soon." He turned the television off and they sat in silence.

They'd woken late that morning and had to scurry to get ready. The drive into work had focussed on the meetings expected that day with no time to talk about what had happened the night before. Nor during the day but when the vote had started they'd cut themselves off from the rest of the staff turned the television on and silently watched the vote unfold on screen.

At eight o'clock a knock on the door was accompanied by Mandy's voice.

"Josh! It's time."

Sam and Josh looked at each other. "You ready?" Josh asked as he went to open the door, taking his jacket from the back of his chair.

"No, not really, but let's get it over with," Sam replied, standing up and shrugging into his jacket. "It'll be over in no time and it's just CJ, Donna and Mandy so…"

Josh was surprised to see Mandy on her own when he opened the door. He'd expected CJ and Donna to be there too, not just Mandy with a big smirk on her face.

"Follow me boys," Mandy said and she led them through the bull pen.

"Where are we going?" Sam asked.

"Just follow me." At the door of the press room she stopped and turned to face them.

"The press room?" Josh asked curiously.

"Yes, Josh the press room. Here are the rules," and she handed Josh an envelope.

"There'd better not be cameras," Josh said.

"Rules?" Sam asked at the same time.

"There are no cameras, Josh, and yes, Sam, rules. You're not getting away with a quick peck."

"Figures," muttered Josh.

"Come in when you've read the rules, we'll be waiting," and Mandy slipped into the press room.

Josh fingered the envelope, looking at the closed door. Then with a sigh, he took out the single sheet of paper and read it.

"She wants us to kiss for five minutes without break. If we stop kissing before the time is up we have to start again." He hesitated. "And she wants to see, as she so quaintly puts, it 'tongue action'"

"Five minutes?"

"Yes."

"With tongue action?"

"Yes."

"Oh boy." Sam looked at Josh. "It's a good job we practised."

"Let's just hope we don't get carried away again. C'mon," and Josh opened the door and walked in.

And stopped.

Sam was close behind Josh and therefore walked into Josh causing them both to stumble.

Oh god.

The room was full of women. Those not sitting were ranged against the wall. Every woman in the White House must be there. Josh quickly picked out Ginger, Bonnie, Kathy, Margaret, Lilly. What was Mrs Landingham doing here? And oh god, Nancy McNally was in the front row! The blood drained from Sam and Josh's faces as they looked at the sea of familiar faces in front of them. But trying to back out was prevented by CJ and Donna closing the door behind them and pulling them forward.

The stunned pair were guided onto the raised dais where CJ's podium had been removed and they looked on in horror as CJ turned to face the audience. As CJ launched into a description of what was to happen and why, Sam gripped Josh's elbow tightly and leaning forward whispered in Josh's ears. "You said it would be only Mandy, CJ and Donna!" he accused. "That's what I thought!" Josh whispered back angrily.

"And so, Ladies," CJ was wrapping up, "For tonight's entertainment I give you Joshua Lyman and Samuel Seaborn," and she left the dais to a round of tumultuous applause.

Josh was hypnotised by the sight of all the women before him but the spell was broken when he saw Nancy McNally wave a large stopwatch at him.

He swallowed and turned to an ashen faced Sam. "Let's do it," he said quietly. "Don't worry, it'll be okay." Sam seemed to take some reassurance from Josh's voice and with a deep breath turned to face him.

Tentatively, Josh took Sam's hands and placed them on his shoulders before putting his own hands on Sam's waist and drawing him a little closer. Ignoring the eager buzz of noise from the room he leant in and gently started to kiss Sam. It was a delicate kiss to begin with but it was Sam this time who took things further, using his tongue to open Josh's mouth. The audience whooped with joy and they had to battle hard not to get carried away.

And then, after three minutes forty five seconds the door opened. An awed silence fell on the room. Josh and Sam tried to look round without breaking the kiss.

"Have I missed anything?" Try as they might to continue the kiss, the sight of Abby Bartlet walking down the room caused Sam and Josh to spring apart.

"Mrs…Mrs…Bartlet," Josh stammered.

"Good evening Josh, Sam. Don't let me interrupt you. Oh thank you Donna," she said as Donna rose to give up her chair.

Sam and Josh gulped at the realisation that the First Lady had come to see them kissing.

"Okay, boys start again," said Mandy from her seat on the first row next to Nancy McNally.

"But that wasn't our fault!" Josh protested.

"Rules is rules Josh, start again." Nancy said.

Fuming, Josh turned back to Sam.

"Five minutes in the clock, go," and Nancy reset the stopwatch.

Resuming their positions Sam and Josh started to kiss again and this time there was no interruption other than the whoops and catcalls from the onlookers and the noise seemed to egg Sam and Josh on and from the delicate kissing they soon progressed to hard kisses with clashing tongues hands groping and straying from their original positions to hug each other closer, wrapped up in the kiss. The shouts got louder, cheers and calls of approval ringing loud.

The audience were so captivated by the spectacle of Josh Lyman and Sam Seaborn tonguing each other, that no-one was paying attention to the time, especially Nancy the time-keeper. But when Mandy noticed that Josh's hips were starting to gently gyrate she realised that things may be going a bit further than intended. Glancing at the watch in Nancy's lap next to her, she was horrified to see that twelve minutes had gone by.

"Nancy!" she hissed, grabbing Nancy's arm and jolting Nancy out of her enthralled gaze.

"Time's up," Nancy called loudly, guiltily hiding the watch.

There was a loud groan from the women which luckily masked the moan from Sam as Josh moved away. CJ leapt gracefully to the stand.

"Lets put our hands together for Sam Seaborn and Josh Lyman!" There was an explosion of applause and whistles as Josh and Sam made their way out of the room. They rested outside in the corridor trying to take in what had just happened and regain some composure.

"Thank God that's over!" Josh sighed, leaning against the wall watching Sam do the same on the opposite side of the corridor.

"Yeah," Sam agreed. "Why do you think every woman in the White House showed?"

"I have no idea." The sound of the press room door opening made them turn their heads and they watched as Mandy came out.

"Well, I hope you got your jollies," Josh said sarcastically. Mandy ignored what he had said but walked up to him.

"Maybe in the future Josh," she said calmly, "you won't speak before you think. Then you won't have to expose yourself, or your friends, to humiliation."

>From the look on Josh's face Sam could tell he was going to speak, or rather shout, without thinking in the very near future and stepped up to intervene. He gripped Josh's arm.

"Josh let's go," Sam said quietly. Josh looked at him. "Let's go," Sam repeated.

Josh pushed away from the wall and they slowly walked down the corridor, back towards Josh's office.

"Why were there so many women? Sam asked again.

"Donna said something about the idea of me kissing you would be hot," Josh admitted.

"Seriously?"

"Yes." And then the final penny dropped and Josh turned and looked back at Mandy with a smile on his face.

"Mandy?"

"Yes Josh?"

"Did you and Toby actually get a panda?" he asked.

"Yes, we got two actually. They'll be here next year," Mandy replied.

"We should go visit them, when they get here," Josh said.

"That'd be nice," Mandy said and went back into the press room.

"Well, that was cryptic," commented Sam.

"I'll explain later," said Josh and resumed the walk back to his office, with Sam by his side.

"Later?" asked Sam

"Yes. Sam, would you come over to my place tonight, I think I need to go over a few more role plays, see if I've got it right yet."

"Role plays?" Sam asked. "That would be your euphemism for…?"

"Yes, Sam, it would."

"Okay. Great." Sam nodded. They'd arrived at Josh's office.

"And Sam?"

"Yes?"

"Thanks," Josh said quietly.

"For?"

"For, you know."

Friendship didn't need words and Sam did indeed know.

"Anytime, Josh. I'll see you later,".

End.

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