fandom: The West Wing
sequel to: none
spoilers: vague ones for In The Shadow of Two Gunmen
feedback: yes, please!
archive: if you want to :o)
summary: Toby's having a sleepless night
warnings: shmoop with possible sugar shock. *grin*
notes: unbeta'd, so all errors are mine. new to the fandom and the group, so all comments are gratefully appreciated!
Sleepless by Nancy
Toby listened to the steady ka-thump of Sam's heart under his ear and smiled. The bare skin was warm under his ear, and the rise and fall of his lover's chest, soothing. He couldn't see anything in the dark, but then, he didn't need to. He knew without looking exactly how Sam would appear…his head listing to one side, mouth parted, and his face absurdly young in sleep. It was a picture of beauty, even with the occasional dribble of drool when Sam had a cold and couldn't breathe through his nose.
That thought provoked a brief grin, as he remembered Sam's constant and adamant refusal to believe that he drooled, no matter how clogged up he got. Toby sighed deeply, more content than he'd ever been. His hand rested, splayed out, on a smooth patch of skin at Sam's hip, his arm stretched across his lover's body, covering him protectively.
The dips and curves of Sam's body were intimately known to the length of his arm, this being their favored sleeping position. Sam lay on his back, while Toby lay face down against his lover's side. Sam's arm curled over Toby's shoulder, while Toby's arm rested diagonal across Sam's torso. It was comfortable, and comforting, for them both. Sam claimed to feel more secure with Toby lying over him like that, and being as familiar as he was with his lover's inner demons, Toby knew how important that was.
For his part, Toby needed the reassurance that his partner was whole and hale. Hearing the familiar heartbeat and feeling the rise and fall of Sam's torso settled Toby. Even a year later, he had flashbacks and nightmares about Roslyn, with Sam substituted for Josh and death the outcome. Maybe it was that they were still so new to each other. Perhaps in another five or ten years, they'd find different ways of sleeping. They might, as inconceivable as it felt at the moment, even sleep on their own "sides," of the bed.
Toby snorted, the sound loud in the nearly silent room. *Fat chance. I lost Andi, but there's no way I'm losing Sam.*
It was scary, sometimes, how much he needed the younger man in his life. For a while, it was good to just have him as a friend. Sam had lightened him up, even more so than Josh, because he'd done it through a shared love of the written word. Sam had stood up to him, but also in a different way than any of the others. He was firm and quiet, rarely shouting the way Toby and Leo did, but everyone knew to beware his wrath, once it was finally risen. They had connected, even if it had taken some time, and now shared something so vital that Toby knew he wouldn't survive losing it.
Nuzzling into the soft skin of Sam's throat, Toby sighed again, this time feeling desire light thought him. He wouldn't wake Sam, the other had been surviving on three hours of sleep a night and cat-naps for the last week, but he wanted to.
It was enough to be able to hold him, to share the same bed again, after too long apart. Over the years, Toby had been forced to learn patience, and now he had it down to an art form. He could savor the quiet moments that didn't feel like moments at all, like this one. He could draw Sam from memory and see him without a single touch or the faintest glimmer of light.
Love like that was to be cherished, just as Sam himself was meant to be.
Sam shifted slightly, curling towards him, and the fingers on Toby's back scratched along his spine as the younger man almost came awake. Toby held still, not wanting to disturb the rest that was so badly needed. It was a few minutes before he heard the soft half-sigh that signaled Sam moving deeper into sleep.
It was going to be another sleepless night, Toby knew that for a fact. His mind was filled with too much clutter and there was no surcease in sight. Used to be that a sleepless night was a reason to growl and argue with people the following day. Used to be that a sleepless night was a reason to stare at the ceiling while his mind ran in circles about things he couldn't change and mistakes he should have prevented.
Toby knew, though, that despite not getting any sleep tonight, tomorrow would see him content and trying not to smile. He'd be grumpy to cover the fact that he was happy, but unless something drastic happened, his words would have no real bite to them.
And all because a sleepless night now gave him Sam.
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