Title: Move Over Darlin'
Rating: Rating: PG –13 to R Some adult situations but nothing too graphic.
Spoilers: General spoilers for seasons 1-4
Summary: AU – Post Bartlet Administration.
Author's Notes: #1 Vicki as ever kindly allows me to take her characters out for a spin. This was written for her whilst she was in hospital in May so has specific Vicki ESF requirements. My thanks are to Coupdepam, Jen, and Abigale for cheering me all the way with this one. A big thank you goes to Jen for kindly beta-ing this for me (and wading through very suspect punctuation!).
Author's Notes: 2 Another pre-Lyman White House story. Set around 4 years before Sam In Black 1, Jamie is 5 now. Takes Place soon after Jamie's Halloween Party.
Disclaimer: The West Wing and its characters belong to Aaron Sorkin and NBC.
Archive: All our stories can be found at http://www.angelfire.com/ok5/samnjosh/
Feedback: Please! I would love to know what you think, good or bad as long as it is constructive. My address is email@example.com
Move Over Darlin' by mellyjane40
Seaborn & Associates Law Firm – 1pm
"I tell you you're going home now!" Suzi Sam's secretary instructed as she handed him his brief case and gave him a gentle push towards the door.
"It's only a headache;" Sam protested "I'll feel better after a couple of Advil and a lie down on my couch. God, I've waited long enough to have one of my own in the Office."
"Didn't you have a couch of your own in your office in California?" Suzi asked as she guided her boss into the corridor and towards the reception hall.
"No, I'd put all my savings to start the business up so there was no money for luxuries." Sam stopped in his tracks as he saw a taxi waiting out side and his secretary waved at the driver. "Suzi, why is there a taxi for me? I can easily walk the few blocks!"
"You look as if you're about to keel over any moment so the sooner you're home the sooner you can lie down and have a rest before Jamie comes home from school."
Sam gave her a heartfelt smile.
"Thanks. Look it's pretty quiet this afternoon so if Mark doesn't need you take the rest of the afternoon off.
His secretary, a petite woman with dainty features, handed Sam his briefcase and gave the driver the instructions to his and Josh's town house in Georgetown.
"Ok are you sure? I'd like to go to Sacks to look at the wedding dresses."
"Yea. I'll see you tomorrow."
As the driver went to pull away Suzi tapped urgently on the window and Sam wound down the window.
"I forgot," Suzi said "Do you want me to call Donna let her know you'll be home?"
Sam fought off a wave of nausea and the shaking of his head sent the inside of the car greying out and the returning glare of the sun hurt his eyes.
"No. It's ok" He replied softly, "I'll be up before Jamie gets back. I just need to lie down for couple of hours and sleep the worst of this off."
As the driver drove in to the relatively quiet Washington streets, Sam leaned back and closed his eyes and hoped there was enough Tylenol in the house to combat the throbbing behind the eyes which made him feel like he would explode. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The coolness from the hallway and silence from the townhouse he shared with Josh soothed Sam's taut nerves. He looked down at a notepad where he and his partner left scribbled instructions for each other during their hectic schedules. Today one word was left by Josh "Nanny." Sam grimaced and headed upstairs to their bedroom. He pulled the navy blind down and closed the cream embossed curtains.
"We do need to think about it, sweetheart." Josh had insisted as he'd hustled Jamie into the car to drive him to school that morning. "Our schedules are getting busier and it looks as if Francesca may be in Italy on a permanent basis."
Sam sighed as he tugged at his tie and gave a sigh of relief as he felt less constricted. Josh was right and he'd not let the topic drop since the Halloween Party. Sam mused as he climbed out of his pants; laid them neatly on the chair with his shirt. Sam prided himself on bringing up Jamie almost single handedly after Geena had died. Handing Jamie over to a nanny, well, that would be like admitting defeat, Sam pondered as he rummaged through the bathroom cabinet to find the Tylenol
Half an hour later in his boxer shorts and a faded Harvard tee-shirt borrowed from Josh's chest of drawers, Sam stretched himself out on the bed. Whilst looking for ice to go in his water and ice pack, now and again the kitchen went dim then an overwhelming sense of wobbly nausea that left him gripping the banisters as he made his way upstairs.
Sam glanced at their bedside clock. 1.50 Just enough time to have a sleep before Jamie thundered through the door was his last coherent thought as his body welcomed the chance to sleep.
"Jamie!" Donna tried to stop Jamie from scrambling with his seatbelt to race up the drive way. "We need to check if Daddy is in. If not, it's back to mine for supper with Sean."
Jamie pulled his key from his pants and opened the door and smiled as he saw his father's briefcase in the hallway.
"Daddy's in!" He shrieked waving the briefcase at Donna who smiled and then looked down at her mobile as it rang with a message from Josh. "Ok Jamie," Donna called out of the window "I'll just take this call then I'll be off."
"Ok Byeee!" Jamie replied cheerfully as he slammed the door behind him.
The slamming of the door broke into Sam's deep dreamless sleep. He sat up and closed his eyes as the room did its usual merry-go-round spin during a migraine. Jamie! Oh shit! He'd forgotten, much as he hated Jamie to see him in such a state of weakness, at least he could get Jamie to call Josh. Just for once he'd let his partner hover and fuss.
Sam heard his son slam the fridge door as he swung his legs over the bed and gave an "ouch" as pins and needles shot through his leg. "Christ," Sam muttered to him self, "leg cramps that's all I need." Sam gently massaged his leg as he heard Jamie's footsteps on the wooden floorboards of the hallway. Still nauseated and unwell from the migraine Sam got to his feet and hobbled over to the door wincing in pain and made it to the banister. "Jamie!" He called as loudly as his head would allow.
"Daddy, where are you?" Was it Sam's imagination or did Jamie's voice seem unusually distant?
"Jamie!" Sam swallowed, his own voice sounding as far-away as his son's had seemed. "Can you come up here?"
"Daddy, I am just gonna watch…" Jamie began as he crossed into the hallway and stared up at his father. His eyes opened wide as he saw Sam clinging to the banisters, his face chalk white. "Daddy are you ok?" Jamie sounded frightened and Sam managed to smile weakly at his son.
"It's nothing serious. I…" Sam gulped in some fresh air as he tried to concentrate on forming a cohesive sentence despite the fact the stairs seemed to come up to meet him then disappear.
"Jamie I…" Sam took a deep breath and tried again to move forward to reassure his son, but as another wave of nausea washed over him; he missed his footing and felt himself fall forward and tumble, there was a sharp influx of pain and Jamie's petrified face was swallowed up in darkness.
It was an understatement to say that Jamie adored his father; he loved his grandmother and JJ; but Sam was the centre of his universe. He watched in horror as his father tumbled down the first flight of stairs and landed with a thud and in a heap on the first run of the stairwell. The little boy's first instinct was to burst into tears but he'd been drilled often by his nana what do if ever daddy was taken ill. Jamie had seen Francesca Seaborn kneel down in the garden and pat Sam's cheek after he'd fallen in the garden the day he'd built his tree house and Jamie dutifully did the same. Tears started to fall as his father remained still, his eyes closed.
"Daddy! Daddy its Jamie," he called his voice trembling. "Wake up!"
His face screwed up in his misery then a thoughtful look crossed his face as he got to his feet and charged down the stairs and opened the front door. "Jamie, you know if ever Daddy or JJ is ill you can get Mrs Kirkwood from next door." Francesca's gentle but firm words before she left for Italy led him tearing down the driveway and up the gravel path towards the same elegant eighteenth façade of Sam & Josh's town house. Jamie wrapped on the lion's head door knocker and Mrs Kirkwood, a matronly woman of 61, opened the door.
"Jamie! What ever is the matter?" she exclaimed as the little boy hopped up and down from one foot to another in his misery.
"Daddy!" Jamie wailed. "My daddy he…." The tears started to flow as Mrs Kirkwood scooped Jamie up and sat down on the stair well of her hallway.
"Jamie?" Jamie raised his red tear stained face from her ample bosom. "Has your daddy had an accident?" she asked, swiping back a mop of hair from the hot, anxious face.
Jamie nodded as he politely blew in to the handkerchief Mrs Kirkwood produced from a pocket in her skirt.
"I came home and daddy appeared at the top of the stairs, went a funny colour and fell." Jamie said all in a rush. "We've got to go and see him!" He frantically added, scrambling off his neighbours lap.
"Ok," said Mrs Kirkwood "Do you remember when your daddy fell over in the garden because he cut his hand and it bled?" Jamie nodded. "Well, it seems the same thing has happened again."
"Yes but he didn't cut his hand," Jamie explained patiently.
Mrs Kirkwood smiled and hugged Jamie.
"Listen, I don't have time to explain now but sometimes you can fall down with out cutting your self. Can you do something for me? "
Jamie nodded as he started to hop on each foot in impatience to get back to Sam.
"Yes," he replied in a frightened voice.
"Well your daddy once told me there is a telephone notebook in the hallway with important numbers. Do you know who Daddy's doctor is?" she asked.
"Yes!" Jamie's sniffled stopped and his face brightened "Uncle Peter!"
"Right." Mrs Kirkwood puffed as she tried to catch up as Jamie charged down the pathway. "Can you ring Uncle Peter and explain what's happened and ring Senator Lyman's office."
"JJ!" Jamie replied as his face fell as he saw he'd left the front door open. "Oh no!" He wailed.
"It's ok Jamie you did what you should have done and come and got me. You've only been gone a moment," Mrs Kirkwood reassured the little boy as she hurried up the stairs. "I'll go up stairs to see how your father is and you ring Uncle Peter."
Mrs Kirkwood knelt over the inert Sam who lay on his back with one hand stretched out and his right foot at an odd angle. A bruise was forming on his right arm and leg and his right cheek. She hurried up upstairs and peered in to what was the master bedroom and took a pillow off the bed and rushed back to place it under Sam's head. Jamie's voice was growing higher in his agitation as he'd finished ringing Dr Jamieson, a family friend and doctor and now was on the phone to Josh. Mrs Kirkwood heard Jamie slam the phone down and a moment later appeared by her side.
"Good boy, Jamie!" She gave him an encouraging smile. "Did Uncle Peter say he'd be on his way?"
"Yea…I mean yes." Jamie bent right over his father's still features and the neighbour pulled him back gently.
"Jamie, we need to give your father some air," she gently instructed. "He's been unconscious a few minutes now and if he's not concussed may start to come round in a moment."
"But what if he doesn't?" Jamie replied in a tiny voice.
"Your daddy has a slow but steady pulse, Jamie, ahh there's your Uncle Peter. He was quick!"
Jamie scrambled to his feet and took the stairs two at a time. Dr Jamieson, a sandy haired man in his early forties stood at the door and as Jamie opened it was nearly knocked sideways as Jamie threw his arms around the doctor's waist.
"Uncle Peter! Daddy fell down the stairs and he's lying upstairs and I went and got Mrs Kirkwood Then I called you and JJ but daddy won't wake up!" Jamie finished, panting as he drew breath.
"It's ok, Tiger." Dr Jamieson soothed using Sam's nickname for his son," I am glad I could get here so quickly. I was in this neighbourhood and my receptionist paged me." He released Jamie's arms from around his waist. "Have you phoned JJ?"
Jamie nodded as he went to follow Dr Jamieson up the stairs. The doctor turned and gave Jamie a reassuring smile.
"Jamie, JJ will be very upset when he arrives; why don't you wait in the drive way and see if he's coming. When he arrives you can tell him how you took charge."
"I want to be with daddy," Jamie pouted, shuffling his feet.
Dr Jamieson sighed.
"Yes but we know how JJ loves your father and freaks when daddy is ill so you'll be helping your father out by reassuring JJ that I am here and taking care of things."
"Ok," Jamie replied not entirely convinced but he shuffled off towards the front door with a backwards reproachful glance as Dr Jamieson ran upstairs.
Josh sat in the line of traffic pulling out from the Capitol Building drumming his fingers impatiently and running his fingers through his hair. If it wasn't bad enough to have an image of his partner lying on the stairwell; the sound of Jamie's panic stricken voice sent him charging out in the corridor and running into Senator Wilkins from Ohio, a stout elderly man. "Whoa! Where's the fire?" "Sorry it's my…Sam…he's…" Josh couldn't get the words out. Senator Wilkins was one of the old brigade who was not entirely approving of the Josh & Sam's relationship. "What's up with Seaborn?" The senator enquired testily as Josh's eyes darkened. "It's Mr Seaborn; Senator and my partner has been in an accident!" Josh went to push the Senator to one side. "Wait up, you're in no fit state to drive let one of your staff drive you or I'll get one of my own." Josh stared incredulously at the softened tone and offer of help. "No it's ok thank you. I don't have time to wait. He…sorry gotta go."
Josh silently cursed the senator as he finally pulled into the traffic, his mind half on the busy streets of Washington, half on Sam. Sam! Josh beat the side of his SUV in frustration. Jamie witnessing the scenario that ran endlessly through his mind. Stop it Lyman!, you be any help to Sam in this state, Josh admonished himself. Josh pushed his foot down on the gas pedal in the rising tide of panic that rose inside his stomach as the sounds of a police siren broke into his troubled thoughts. A policeman pulled up along side him as Josh pulled over by the side up of the road and found to his horror that his hands were shaking.
The Police Station.
"Donna, thank god, Toby CJ!" Josh leapt to his feet and hurried towards his friends. Toby in brown pants and checked tee-shirt looked mildly annoyed; Donna in casual jeans and pale blue cashmere jumper wide eyed and was fishing around in her handbag for her mobile phone. Only CJ in her work suit looked in control as she took Josh's hand and guided him back to the bench.
"Sam! Nobody has told me about Sam CJ! I am going out of my mind with worry and all Sergeant Bilko over there is worried about seeing my driving licence and insurance documents."
"Josh, we'll deal with this," CJ reassured him, worried at Josh's pale features. "Just sit here quietly and don't say anything further to the police. Why you didn't take Senator Wilkins's advice and let someone drive you home," she admonished.
"I just wanted to get home to Sam." Josh replied miserably wishing he could shake off a sense of doom and a feeling of light- headedness. "And I can't get hold of Jamie at home, the line's engaged."
"We'll see to that." CJ patted his knee and stood up and crossed over to Toby and Donna who were conferring with the sergeant on duty behind the desk.
Josh tugged at his tie; the room was hot and stuffy and he wiped his clammy hands on his pants. His mouth tasted of copper and his stomach lurched uncomfortably as the recurring image of Sam prostrate on the stairwell played over and over in his mind. The heat beneath Josh's skin became more uncomfortable and a dull beating in his ears louder as the station became a quieter shadowy place. CJ and Toby and Donna turned round and the sergeant looked up in surprise to see Senator Lyman slide off the bench and crumple on the floor in a faint.
"Senator Lyman has fainted, can we have some water?" Toby's faint air of exasperation was the first voice Josh heard.
Wait up! Fainted, what the heck! Josh fought his way through a grey fog and blinked as Donna's and CJ's alarmed faces zoomed in and out at Josh as if he was hitched to the end of long camera lens. Donna anxiously fanned his face with a discarded newspaper as CJ propped his feet up on a chair. Josh struggled to sit up.
"Will you stop that? I am not some swooning Victorian girl." Josh protested weakly at Donna.
"Well, you went down like one," Toby remarked as he handed Donna a glass of water to administer to Josh. "God, what is with you and Sam? One falls down so the other has to?"
"It's not like that, Toby, and you know it." CJ gently rebuked her friend. "Josh is in shock. No one's told him what's happened with Sam and he's worried sick."
"Speaking of that…" Josh mumbled as Donna spilt water down his shirt as he tried to sit up again. "Oh…….." He threw up on the floor and apologetic brown eyes stared up at the duty sergeant who hovered on by the bench.
Toby rolled his eyes.
"God, how am I gonna spin this! Senator Lyman arrested for speeding passes out on the floor of the police station and then pukes all over it!"
"We'll speak to the sergeant." CJ said firmly as she helped Josh into a sitting position. "None of this has to get out to the press." She let Josh's head, his pale face a picture of misery, rest in her lap.
"I just want to see Sam," Josh pleaded as after a few minutes of rest he allowed himself to be gently helped to his feet supported by the duty sergeant and Toby.
"Please CJ get me the hell outta here."
Sam & Josh's Town House: – Saturday 1pm.
"Sam!" Josh stood up as the sound of a thud from the bedroom caused him and Jamie to let their knives and forks clatter on to the breakfast table in the kitchen.
"Stay there and be ready to call Uncle Peter," Josh instructed as he charged out of the hallway and took the stairs two at a time. At the top he stopped to catch his breath and his heart lurched at the site of his partner sprawled sideways on the floor his eyes closed and the crutches thrown across the room.
"Sam." Josh knelt down by his partner who mumbled and blinked as he was gathered in to Josh's arms. The unfocused blue eyes stared at Josh and his partner's face began to take shape Sam gave almost goofy smile. "Hiya, what happened?" Sam's voice sound young and distant.
"Just lie still a moment." Josh laid his partner's head down on the floor and swiped a pillow off the bed as he raised Sam's head and placed it gently on it. "What the hell were you doing getting out of bed?"
"Needed to pee," Sam slurred "Damn pain meds, they make me spaced out. Man I'm floating 6000 feet and rising."
"JJ…" Jamie's anxious voice and his face peered round the doorway. "Daddy!"
Josh got up and put a hand out to stop Jamie from charging at his father and hustled him out of the room. He placed a hand on Jamie's shoulders whose eyes were brimming with tears.
"Jamie, I promise you daddy is ok." Josh reassured him "His pain meds made him feel dizzy and he fell out of bed."
"He didn't hurt himself?" Jamie's voice wavered and he peered round the door. "Cos I can go and get Mrs Kirkwood," he added hopefully.
Josh went to open his mouth to reply and both he and Jamie turned round at the sound of a key in the door.
"Only you and Nana have a key." Josh said as he peered over the banister. "Nana!" Jamie spun round and charged down the stairs and Josh heard him babbling away to her in his excitement to relay all the events of the weekend.
"Joshua!" The no-nonsense tones of Francesca floated up the stairwell. "I'll see to my grandson and you see to Sam. Tell him I'll be up shortly."
"Oh Christ" Josh muttered "I am in for it."
He stopped and gazed lovingly at the heap that was his partner propped against the bed. Eyes glazed; a bruise on the left side of a pale cheek; his right foot in a plaster. Sam mumbled to himself and gave up, exhausted his attempt to wipe some beats of sweat from his forehead. Josh hurried on to the en-suite bathroom and came back with a towel and knelt down beside him and bathed his partner's forehead.
"Do you still need to pee?"
Sam stared at Josh confused and looked down at his boxer shorts and mumbled something. Josh realising what his partner was saying ruffled his head and crossed over to the chest of drawers and pulled out some clean boxer shorts.
Ten minutes later, after some exertion of getting his wavering partner to the bathroom to be cleaned up, Josh helped him back in to bed and winced as he straightened himself up.
"Gonna have to visit a chiropractor if I have a few more days of this."
Sam's head flopped against the pillows.
"Nothing." Josh replied as he tucked the sheets around his partner's body and showed him the brass bell Mrs Kirkwood had leant them so Sam could call for assistance. He kissed the pale sleepy features and went down to face the wrath of Francesca Seaborn.
"Your mom is on her way up." Josh whispered as he took his partner's supper tray and put it on the floor. "You've been zonked out most of the day and she's itching to give us a piece of her mind."
"I don't remember much of the accident," Sam confessed as he let Josh arrange to the pillows behind him. "My head was like, ready to explode, Jamie was, well, being Jamie, I missed my footing on the stairs, next thing a nurse and Peter are peering over me in hospital"
"Samuel, are you awake?" Francesca's voice could be heard down the corridor and Sam began to slide down the sheets.
"Oh God" he muttered turning pleading blue eyes at his partner. "Help!" he mouthed.
"Sweetheart I don't know why you are so…Francesca the invalid has woken up at last."
Josh stretched out next to Sam and squeezed his hand. Francesca Seaborn, dignified and stylish, glided into the room. As usual she was classically dressed in navy pants a pale blue silk shirt and navy cashmere cardigan. She crossed over to the bed and bent down to receive a kiss from her son.
"How are you feeling, darling?"
"Better mom. This thing…" Sam wiggled his plaster cast on his right foot "Is a pain. How did you?"
"Find out about your accident." Francesca finished briskly "Well, I had Jamie on the phone in tears after Josh did not turn up here."
"Francesca, you know what happened at the police station, as soon as I could I made it to the hospital," Josh explained.
"Yes, but no one thought to explain to Jamie what was going on, did they?" Francesca exasperatedly replied. "After you, Joshua…" Francesca turned a withering glare at Josh "managed to faint, no one explained to Jamie what happened he was told to go round to Mrs Kirkwood's whilst Sam went to hospital."
"Mom, I didn't want Jamie upset, he'd had a big enough shock and from what I can remember of what happened after I came round she was good at dealing with Jamie."
Francesca pulled started to tidy up Josh's clothes that lay scattered around the bedroom.
"I am not denying that Mrs Moore is good with Jamie, darling." Francesca said as she folded up Josh's shirt and placed in the wardrobe "but what I am saying is that if he could cope with you falling down a few steps and collapsing he could have coped with Joshua's little incident."
"Jamie is 5 years old mom not 15," Sam replied patiently. "I just wanna to protect him as much as I can and let him enjoy his childhood." Sam gave a sigh "Besides he's had a traumatic childhood.
"Samuel he was only 2 when Geena died, he can hardly remember her," Francesca argued as she crossed over to the ensuite bathroom and began folding the towels draped around the bathroom. "He's quite sensitive for his years but he's also quite stoic for his age."
"So what do you suggest, mom," Sam almost whined. "I am at the end of my tether here. Josh has suggested a nanny and I am loath to as I've managed for so long."
"Well…" Francesca shoved Josh off the bed and began tucking in the sheets around her son. "I'll be staying here for a few weeks whilst you're on the mend. I can see you rolling your eyes, Joshua, but you have a campaign to organise and can't be expected to be at Sam's beck and call."
"Francesca!" Josh protested
Sam's mother sat down in a leather chair in a corner of the room and from the pocket of her pants took out a small notebook.
"Very well, Josh," she said with an exaggerated sigh "If you can remember to see that Jamie gets to school on time, does his homework in the evening, make sure your partner is supervised as he stumbles about on crutches; keep the house clean and be in the senate; I'll leave for Florence tonight.
"Ok." Josh put his hands up in defeat. "You win."
Francesca gave a warm smile.
"Good." She replied briskly "a nice cab driver put my trunks in my usual room." Francesca stood up and to his surprise Josh found himself being hugged. "You're a good boy, Joshua and I know you love my son." Josh looked over Francesca's head at Sam who smirked back at him. "I think you'll find as on previous visits I can be good for you during the preparation for the campaign."
"How?" Josh asked.
"Wait and see. You can though start with going down to the police station tomorrow and apologise for being sick over their floor."
"CJ sent a letter of apology."
"Yes, but if you are gonna run for President it's the little things that matter, a handshake, the candidate remembers their name." Francesca crossed over to the door and glanced fondly at her son. "That's settled then. You'll want some time now to discuss this with Sam." She gave a stern glance at both men as Josh crept back on the bed and put an arm around his partner. "Joshua, I hope you two aren't planning to have sex because Samuel, you're looking pale and tired."
Before either Josh or Sam could answer Francesca swept out of the room and down stairs calling for Jamie to stop playing with his computer game and to finish his homework.
"Oh Christ why is with your mom I feel that I'm at that teenager stage of creeping down the hallway," Josh mumbled as he nuzzled his partner's neck.
"Don't worry darlin it's only for a few weeks, besides I am too spaced out from the pain meds to even think about sex," Sam tried to reassure him.
"Sweetheart, you should be making me feel a cad for hitting on you whilst you're sick but I just can't…well it's the site of that chest peeking out from under your pyjamas"
Sam gave a weak grin.
"Well, there are other ways." Sam let himself be scooped up in a tight embrace "I ache all over and there is nothing more I'd like at the moment than a nice warm blanket bath."
Josh's eyes lit up as he laid his partner back against the pillows and with a triumphant grin charged down stairs, appearing a few moments later with a bowl filled with hot steamy water. After a while bedroom was filled with the smell of masculine soap and the sounds of low moans of pleasure.
The Next Day 2pm
"So what did the duty sergeant say?" Sam shifted himself further up his partner's chest as Josh flicked between TV channels in their bedroom.
"He was ok about it," Josh admitted "Said that he'd seen worst but got the shock of his life to see Senator Lyman fall in a heap on the floor."
"Well, he's more used to see you on TV being, well, you."
Josh laughed and kissed his partner's forehead.
"Suppose he is sweetheart." Josh agreed "But I surprised myself that day."
"Well, when the officer pulled me over; my hands were shaking and I was drenched in sweat."
Sam raised an eyebrow.
"Well, not exactly drenched." Josh confessed "But I was kinda shaky and had this coppery taste in my mouth I couldn't shake off inside the police station."
"It didn't help I suppose that you'd left your recently renewed insurance documents on the kitchen table."
Josh leaned over to the bedside table and took a sip of his coffee.
"No it didn't," he agreed. "I asked if I could phone CJ but I didn't expect her to bring in the cavalry." Josh groaned at the memory. "Every one else was staring at me as CJ swept in with Donna and Toby in tow and you know how irritated Toby gets in these situations."
"I can see that look of disdain."
"So I am sitting there as CJ and Toby take charge thinking dire thoughts about you and all the time the room is getting hotter and hotter and shrinking before my eyes."
"I know that feeling," Sam agreed "it's tunnel vision, there's nothing you can do about it except lie down or fall down."
"Yep and you feel sick to your stomach but, it was like I was just in and out of deep sleep. Then slowly I realized that I was on the ground and Donna was waving a paper over me."
"Is that when you were sick, JJ!" Jamie added hopefully as he entered the bedroom and climbed on to the bed. "Uncle Toby me that you went down like a girl and puked all over the place."
"Jamie! I don't like you using such language! I'll speak to Uncle Toby." Sam rebuked his son who had taken the remote control from Josh and found the children's channel.
"You speak to Uncle Toby about JJ…" Jamie met his father's stern gaze "oops it's the other word."
Sam nodded but smiled and opened his arms as Jamie scrambled into them and smiled at JJ who had taken the remote control back and was searching for CNN.
"Why is it that everyone is mocking me?" Josh sulked. "Toby was right; I was acting out of sympathy for…"
"Well it's a good job Sam is not a woman as you'd be the one having sympathetic labour pains," Francesca broke into the conversation as she took a protesting Jamie off the bed. "You, young man, can go and finish your homework whilst I talk to daddy and JJ."
"Nana! I've finished it." Jamie protested "I wanna stay with daddy!" he wailed running back to Sam.
"Hey! What's all this!" Sam exclaimed as he bent down to hug his son.
"Nothing" Jamie sniffled "I…"
"He's still upset by the accident, thinks you might have another one." Francesca mouthed over her grandson's head as she bent down to pick him up.
"Well, you can go and get your homework and bring it back to show daddy and JJ but I do need to speak to daddy and JJ alone for a few minutes."
"How long are a few minutes?" Jamie asked as he dragged his feet towards the door.
"As long as it takes you to check that your spelling and grammar are correct, daddy showed me your last school report!" Francesca tutted.
Francesca turned to Sam & Josh with a smile and began to collect coffee mugs and plates on a tray.
"He hasn't finished his homework. He spent about 15 minutes on it then sneaked his books upstairs and hid them under his bed."
Sam laughed and once the tray was piled high; Francesca crossed over to a wicker chair in the corner of the room, pulled out a note book from her cream coloured pants and sat down.
"Now Joshua, did you go to the station and apologise in person to the nice duty sergeant?"
"Yes mom…err Francesca."
"Good," Francesca crossed one item off her list. "Now I've arranged for a cleaner to come in every day and clean this house," she announced.
"Mom, I am pretty neat and tidy and Josh and I know how to cook and use the washing machine," Sam protested.
"Yes but you forget to hoover behind the sofa, wash the windows, clean the kitchen cupboards, wash the curtains. It's little things that present the right image when you invite the cameras into your home as you will."
"S'pose you're right," Sam muttered.
"Joshua's campaign will be all about image as well as policies as you both know from working for President Bartlet. Now, let's turn to Jamie." Francesca looked up from her note book and gave Sam & Josh a sympathetic stare.
"You have done an excellent job, the pair of you." Francesca smiled as the two lover's chests almost puffed out simultaneously in shared pride. "He's precocious but sensitive at the same time and some times older than his years."
"I was very proud of the way he reacted, mom." Sam said proudly "He knew straight away what to do and where every body's telephone numbers were."
"Well, I've drilled him well when we've been to the park or shopping together and I think I've found a solution to your problem," Francesca replied briskly.
"Mom, I don't want a nanny for Jamie, Josh and I had this discussion at Halloween. As you said we manage fine enough," Sam protested as Josh slipped his hand in his partner's for reassurance.
"If you'd let me finish…" Francesca replied firmly "I would have told you that I have the answer to your problem. Mrs Kirkwood's daughter has come back to live with her mother after a messy divorce. Now Josh, when you were out earlier on I took Jamie round to meet Jessica. She's a registered childminder and Mrs Moore helps out by having her children at her house on the afternoon from 5- 6pm." Francesca consulted her leather notebook. "I've arranged if neither of you are at home for Jamie to go round there."
"What if…" Sam began.
"Jamie doesn't like her? Well they got on very well and you'd like her too she's down to earth but affectionate girl." Francesca got up and picked up the tray "She's coming today for an interview at 4pm."
With that passing comment Francesca swept out of the room leaving an open mouthed Sam & Josh.
"Sweetheart." Josh mused "I've often wondered your mom has a weird way of talking; I mean you're all American but your mom she…"
"When mom married dad, she came from a Spanish family who'd settled in Orange County. When I was growing up and dad was away she'd watch the PBS channel, the British dramas like Upstairs Downstairs, Miss Marple, she liked the way of life and tried to adopt some of what she saw as the airs of gracious living."
"I've heard you swear in Spanish. Your mom is always so cultured," Josh commented as he switched through the channels.
"Yeah you've heard me speak Spanish before darlin," Sam moved closer to his partner, "in fact I could teach you a few words you'd never use in public!"
Josh turned off the TV and carelessly threw the TV remote control on to the floor.
"Are those words connected with this…?" Josh whispered in Sam's ear as he pulled his lover on top of him.
The blue eyes grew darker with a lust.
"Move over darlin, this leg just needs to get a bit more comfortable.
Sam's voice grew more teasing as he positioned his leg so it was less at an awkward right angle. "I don't think mom would like me saying…" He whispered in his partner's ear."
"No I don't think so…" Josh panted as Sam had kissed him till he was breathless, "do you think you'll have time to teach me before 4!"
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