Author: Anne Marsh
Title: Unwell
Rating. PG/R
Pairing: Sam/Josh. Isn't everything? *grin*
Summary: Josh isn't well...
Notes: This doesn't fit into any sort of continuity-- sometimes my fics do, sometimes they don't. This one is completely independent, and has third person narration.
Archive: Yes
Feedback: Please

Unwell by Anne Marsh

Josh stumbled slightly as he navigated the White House corridors, heading boldly and vaguely in the direction of his office.

On the way there, he ran into Leo.

"Josh! Where have *you* been?"

"Hill." He answered, blinking and widening his eyes, trying to force his brain to accept, translate, and respond to the information it was receiving.

"Why?" Leo asked, mystified. He was sure he remembered sending Josh home late last night, but maybe the call cancelling his meeting had come in after that...

"Hadda take a guy apart." Josh slurred, wavering.

"Jeez, you don't look so good... you sure you're all right?"

"You should see the other guy." He nodded.

"I really hope you don't mean that, Josh. Now are you sure you're not-- you got a fever or something? Woah--" His hand shot out to grab his deputy's arm. "You're wobbling there, Josh."

"*You're* wobbling, Leo." Josh retorted.

"Maybe you should sit down..."

Josh nodded once, then plummetted to the floor and sat there, leaning against the wall.

Toby came around the corner, stopping short.

"Hey, Leo." Josh's eyes started drifting shut, but snapped open again.

Toby stared. "Did he just call *me* Leo?"

"You know what, I think he did."

"Why wouldn't I?" Josh asked vociferously. Then he looked back and forth between the two men. "Okay... you can't *both* be Leo..."

"No, no I'm fairly certain we can't." Leo smirked.

"Here's the thing..." Josh turned to Toby, whispering confidentially. "You look a heck of a whole lot like Toby, but I know you're really Leo..."

"Then who's he?" Toby whispered back, amusement winning out over concern for the time being.

"Oh, he's got a good disguise all right... but he's an *impostor*." Josh hissed.

"He doesn't know I can hear him, does he?" Leo sighed. "Josh... Tell you what, Josh, I happen to have a friend who's a doctor, and coincidentally, she lives in this very building. Why don't we have her take a look at you, 'cause I'm pretty sure *this* can't be normal."

"*You* can't be normal." He stuck his tongue out.

"I'm going to pretend *that* didn't happen."

"I'm not." Toby smiled.

"This isn't funny, Zeigler."

He shrugged.

"Donna! DONNA!" Josh shouted, still sitting on the floor, legs stuck out in front of him at haphazard angles, blocking the corridor.

Donna arrived swiftly, and Josh glared at her.

"The *real* Donna, CJ. I swear, this is like Invasion of the Body Snatchers day or something..."

"Uh..."

"He's a little insane right now," Leo explained. "But I'll go get the First Lady, and we'll see what's wrong with him. Besides the usual, I mean."

Leo left, and Donna turned back to Josh.

"Josh, I *am* the real Donna. CJ is--"

"Where is CJ?" CJ asked, coming onto the scene.

Josh sniggered. "Toby, does CJ know you're wearing her clothes?"

CJ looked at Toby. "Nope, I don't own anything that ugly."

"Josh is crazy. We don't know if he has a fever, or if his mind has just finally snapped, but he thinks we've all stolen each other's bodies, possibly in an elaborate attempt to fool him. I'm Leo, Donna is you, and you, apparently, are me. Leo is some form of impostor, the basic idea is, nobody is themself."

"Ah. Ah-ha. Should I be worried?"

"Nah. Leo went for Dr. Bartlet, so this'll get sorted out. Enjoy the madness while it lasts, I say."

"Hey, are you also wearing her underwear?" Josh asked.

"Yes." CJ answered. "Yes I am."

"Josh--"

"CJ, can you get me the *real* Donna, please?" He demanded, cutting her off. "Oh, nevermind... Sam! SA-A-AM!!!"

Sam came jogging around the corner next, stopping first at the crowd, then seeing Josh half-sprawled on the floor.

"Josh! Are you all ri--" He rushed forward but CJ put a hand on his shoulder, holding him back. "CJ, what happened to Josh? He just-- I need--"

"I'm just going to warn you, Sam, he's not going to know who you are." She whispered-- unlike Josh, quietly enough that she wasn't picked up by the ears she was avoiding.

"What? But-- he just called my name!"

"He's delirious, Sam. Abby Bartlet's on her way and we'll find out why. But right now-- he thinks we've-- switched bodies, or something. Some paranoid delusion... he thinks maybe we're trying to trick him? But I'm Toby in my body, Toby is Leo in Toby's body, Donna is me in Donna's body... you get the picture."

Sam, face wrought with worry, moved past her to kneel next to his best friend-- his lover.

"Josh..."

"Sam." Josh sighed, relieved. He threw his arms clumsily about the other man's neck.

"What the hey?" Donna's forehead creased.

"My thoughts exactly." CJ said dryly.

"How the heck does he know you're really you?" Toby rolled his eyes-- his whole head, actually-- half-throwing his arms in the air.

"That's a stupid question, Leo." Josh laughed, shaking his head. "Sam'd never lie to me."

"You probably shouldn't be sitting here..." Sam propped him up and tried to get him to his feet. "We should find you a --"

Toby's cell phone rang, and everyone paused. "Toby Zei-- Yeah?... Okay, I'll tell Sam... Yeah, Sam. Sam's here... Oh, I'll fill you in on the rest later, Leo... okay." He hung up. "Okay, put Josh on the couch in Leo's office, Dr. Bartlet'll meet up with us in there. Donna, you'd better cancel anything else he has today.

She nodded and, after a long reluctant pause, scurried off. Sam managed to get Josh into Leo's office and onto the sofa.

"Great." CJ sighed, pulling up one of the chairs.

Toby stood in the corner, arms crossed. "You said it."

When Josh didn't release him, Sam sat on the sofa as well.

---/-/---

An hour later, they were still there. Dr. Bartlet had gone to GW to get some blood work done on Josh, and the results weren't in yet. He had a slight fever, but nothing that she felt would account for his recent behaviour, unless there were other contributing factors.

Now it was Leo, Toby, CJ, and Donna, as well as Sam, still all but attached to the somewhat-spacey Josh Lyman.

"Did Dr. Bartlet say we had to wait *here* for the results?" Sam asked anxiously, gaze darting around the office. "I mean, she could just as easily call us anywhere-- I've got my cell phone, Josh's cell phone, Leo, you've got your--"

"You have somewhere to be?"

"Ah, no!" Josh shouted, pulling Sam closer-- which resulted in his falling onto his side and dragging Sam down with him. "You don't have a meeting now? Sam, you gotta-- 'cause everyone's trying to confuse me with this thing, and--"

"No..." He shushed, stroking Josh's hair and forehead. "No, Josh, no... I don't have a meeting. I just wanted to get you home, that's all."

Josh grinned. "You sly dog. Now isn't the time, Sam... Not that I blame you for wanting my hot body."

Donna goggled at them. "What is he talking about?"

"Delirious." Sam said quickly. "He's delirious."

"I'll let you later." Josh continued, oblivious. He was still leeringly appraising Sam. "You wanna screw me to the mattress tonight?"

"He doesn't know what he's saying!" Sam yelped, panicking now.

"*You* don't know what you're saying!" Josh shot at him.

"It's beginning to worry me that people saw him on the Hill," Leo groaned.

Josh, seemingly having forgotten the past few moments-- not to mention his surroundings-- leaned over and planted a sloppy kiss on Sam's cheek.

"Josh... Josh, this really isn't what you want to do right now..." Sam tried to force a smile for his coworkers' benefit, but he was starting to sweat.

"No." Josh shook his head, becoming alarmingly complacent. "No, it's not, Sam. I'm sorry."

"Well, that's okay... I mean, everyone knows you're-- not yourself right now."

"Wanted ta do *this*." Josh kissed him full on the lips-- enthusiastically, if not with his usual skill.

---/-/---

Sam tried to force himself to calm down, only too aware that the other members of the senior staff were staring at him. Also, very aware of the fact that an exuberant Josh Lyman was still attatched to him.

Josh had slid from Sam's mouth to suck on his throat, leaving what was sure to be a very large hickey and paying no heed to the fact that Sam was trying to remove him.

"I wish we had popcorn." CJ remarked.

"We shouldn't be staring." Leo said, unable to look away from the train wreck that was Josh-and-Sam.

"No, not without buying a *ticket*." Toby said archly. "Sam, do you want to try to explain your little pal's abberant behaviour?"

"I thought the word 'delirious' summed it up very nicely." Sam struggled, his voice hitching as Josh found a particularly sensitive spot along the side of his neck.

"He seems to know what he's doing." CJ shrugged. "He may not be doing it *well*, but he knows who he's doing it *to*. Sam?"

His heartbeat was racing-- and while his heartbeat usually raced when Josh did this sort of thing, it generally had nothing to do with raw fear.

"CJ, once we find out what's wrong with Josh, and get it all straightened out--"

Toby snorted.

"Excuse me." Sam growled. "Then we can-- I'm sure we-- Well, we can certainly come up with some sort of explanation, but right now I'm kind of busy..."

"Not as busy as Josh."

"You're really not helping." He sighed, finally succeeding in pushing Josh back down on the couch.

Josh didn't seem to mind, until he realized Sam wasn't following him down.

"Sam, it's kind of a two-way street thing. Now you do it to me?" He prompted.

"Not in Leo's office. I mean-- Josh, go to sleep."

"Can't." He pouted.

"Josh, you're really not yourself right now. Please-- please try to go to sleep, and when Dr. Bartlet calls--"

"I am so myself, it's Toby and Leo and CJ who aren't themselves, and probably Donna's not herself, too. Maybe Donna is Leo, 'cause I can't figure that one out..."

"Uh, Josh..."

"And I *can't* sleep, and you said it would be okay, but you don't understand, Sam... see, that's not Dr. Bartlet in her body, and they stole my blood, Sam, and I don't know what they're going to do with it, but-- It's very bad, Sam. I think they sold it to Focus on the Family."

"I'm sure nobody sold your blood to Focus on the Family." Sam assured him, stroking his hair. "Now is that why you can't sleep?"

"No." Josh mumbled, wrapping his arms around Sam's waist.

"Why can't you sleep, Josh? I'll fix it, okay?"

"I can't sleep because you won't have sex with me."

Sam blanched. It didn't sound like a particularly logical reason, but logic had no purchase in Josh Land right now, and he had just promised to fix it. In front of Leo, and Toby, and CJ. Or whoever Josh thought they were at the moment.

"Well, I can't have sex with you right now, Josh. We're in Leo's office."

"I know. He's right over there." Josh pointed to Toby. "Next to Toby."

CJ laughed, covering her face.

"It's not funny, CJ." Sam admonished, before turning back to Josh. "And later, you're going to be very upset that you ever asked me to."

"Don't be silly, Sam." Josh's head came forward to rest against Sam's shoulder.

"It's not silly, Josh, you just-- propositioned me in front of the senior staff. I know you're-- off somewhere right now, but that's not something you normally do."

"So when can you have sex with him?" CJ smirked. Sam glared at her.

"I don't think that's any of your business, Toby." Josh retorted. "And if you and Leo and-- the other Leo that's maybe Donna or possibly the President-- would just leave, I think now is a good time. That's not your business."

Sam just rested his forehead against his open hand, and focused on breathing.

"Wait--" Leo shook his head. "Sam, is Josh's preoccupation with-- having sex with you-- Is that purely coincidental, or...?"

"Or." CJ said. "I definitely think it's 'or'."

"Can this conversation possibly wait? Because I would rather have it when Josh is in his right mind and can do some explaining. We're all very confused right now."

"I'm not confused." Josh snorted. "That's stupid."

The phone rang, and Leo dove for it, desperate for an excuse to not pay attention to Josh's renewed exploration of whatever parts of Sam he could get to.

He hung up and turned back to the group assembled.

"So that was something relevant?" Toby asked, leaning against the wall.

"That was Abby-- Dr. Bartlet. Josh is having a reaction to a psychotropic drug."

"WHAT?" Toby burst forward, nearly knocking a framed picture to the floor.

"As in someone slipped him psychotropic drugs, because if he voluntarily--" CJ began, pacing.

"Oh no..." Sam groaned. He was now holding Josh's hands-- not as a gesture of affection so much as to keep Josh from trying to remove his pants.

"You know about this?" Leo-- and the others-- rounded on him.

"Josh... he-- psychotropic, that's the category of drug his pills are under. His psychiatrist prescribed them, a while ago. And... Josh hasn't been taking them. We-- we've been having arguments about it. Not-- not fight arguments, but... discussions, with opposing viewpoints. I keep telling him he should take them, because they were prescribed by his doctor, and he keeps saying he doesn't want to be on drugs--"

"I think he was right." Toby remarked.

"But how did he get to-- *this*?" CJ broke in.

"He was telling me about his last appointment... his doctor's been upping the dosage, slowly, because he hasn't been, you know, seeing any change. Then I got mad and said he hasn't been seeing any change because he hasn't been taking the-- the pills. The, um, expletive deleted pills. So then Josh said 'You know what, fine, I'll take the-- the expletive deleted pills. Only, Josh's expletive was... more obscene than mine. Anyway, he took the full dose he would've been up to if he was easing into them, I guess. Instead of the twenty milligrams he was supposed to start on, he took--"

"He took what, Sam?"

"I don't know... maybe sixty. And-- they take about thirty-six hours to work into the bloodstream, and he's been working himself ragged and coming down with a fever, so... all that must've-- you know."

Leo picked up the phone, and within moments had relayed this new information to Dr. Bartlet.

"Anything else you'd like to tell us?" CJ sighed, sitting down.

"I want to know how you got to where you were." Toby shook his head. "Knowing about his psychiatrist appointments? His medications?"

"In case you haven't leapt to the conclusion, Toby, Josh and I are kind of lovers." Sam retorted sharply.

"Sam, if I've told you once, I've told you... more than once. That's not the real Toby, the real Toby is CJ and tha--"

Sam cut him off with a kiss-- not an overly passionate kiss, despite Josh's best efforts, but it was enough to silence the latest in Josh's body-snatcher explanations.

CJ clapped. Leo rolled his eyes, hanging up the phone.

"What is going on here?"

"Um, Josh and I are lovers."

"And if you would all *leave*, we could be using the real Leo's couch for the sex."

"No, we couldn't." Sam said quickly. "He, um... he's not normally like this. Well, not entirely like this, anyway..."

"Ah-huh, you don't need to tell us what he's normally like."

"Especially not with the sex." Toby added.

"Unless it would help you, as a person, to get this off your chest." CJ finished. Toby and Leo gaped at her. "What? Don't get all phobic on me, guys. I'm giving Sam and his drugged-up Josh my support."

"Sam, why don't you take Josh home." Leo let out a heavy sigh, massaging his temples. "I'll see you tomorrow. Josh, I'll see when he's lucid."

"Should he go to a hospital? I mean, is it dangerous?"

"No, he didn't swallow the whole bottle. Just-- have him rest for a while and drink a lot of water, and in another thirty-six, he'll be back to what passes for normal around here. And Abby's going to talk to his shrink about looking into a different class of antidepressants. Something that won't lead to hallucinatory episodes or the molesting of senior staffers on my couch."

"Yes, Sir." Sam nodded, standing. With a little help, he managed to get Josh out to his car.

---/-/---

Josh stumbled out of the bedroom, rubbing his eyes blearily.

"Sam... hey. What...? Just... what?" He groaned, plonking down onto the sofa beside his lover.

Sam closed down his laptop and set it aside. "Hey, babe... how you feeling?"

"Inexplicably hung over."

"Aw..." Sam rubbed circles on the other man's back. "You want me to go warm up some Chinese food? It's in the kitchen."

"You got Chinese food?" Josh perked up. "I could eat."

"Good. You sit tight, I'll give it thirty seconds in the microwave and get you some water."

Josh nodded. A minute later, he had a plate in front of him.

"Hey, this is homemade..."

Sam shrugged. "It's just stir-fry rice stuff. It's not anything hard, and the rice was the minute kind."

"You cooked for me." Josh smiled. "Thanks, babe."

Sam kissed his cheek. "Well, you've been sick."

"Yeah, I got the memo... what exactly happened?"

"The hard work, the fever you came down with, and the fact that you went from zero to sixty with your meds all added up to quite the... um, episode."

"Yeah... okay." He ate some more.

His plate cleared, he snuggled up to Sam's side, head on the younger man's shoulder.

"Feeling any better?" Sam asked, stroking his partner's forehead gently.

"Yeah, I feel terrific now." Josh answered, yawning slightly. "Still a little worn out-- don't know why, I mean, I've been doing nothing but sleeping all day."

"Yeah, well... your body was actually very busy fighting off--"

"Okay, Mr. Science." Josh cut him off. "Anyway... I had some really weird dreams."

Sam tensed. "Like... what, exactly?"

"Sam?"

"Josh, you've been in bed most of the past twenty-four hours. You've been... out of it... for the past thirty-six."

"Well that's a discrepancy."

There was a drawn-out pause, Sam looking nervously around the room.

"Sam... Sam, what aren't you telling me?"

"It's quite possible some of those dreams, um, weren't."

"Sam..."

"We're out."

"Sam, if you don't follow that up with something about toilet paper right now..."

"No, we're-- We're out, Josh. We're out of the closet. At work. Where, um..."

Josh moaned, dropping his head to his hands. "What happened?"

"Well... did any of your dreams involve body snatching and molesting me on Leo's couch?"

"Molesting you... sexually?"

"Yes, Josh. Sexually. Very overtly sexually. Both, um, verbally and physically. It would've been nice, you know, if you were sane and we were alone, not in Leo's office."

"This can't be real. This can't be the real me waking up better."

"I'm sorry... but you were pretty out of it, and-- well, when we found out it was the meds, I had to explain how you got the drugs into your system, and... Not that I needed to say the words, CJ had us pegged pretty early on, and if Toby had been perfectly honest with himself, there really wasn't another explanation, even with you... like you were."

"I didn't really say the part about selling my blood to Focus on the Family, did I? I mean, that part *had* to be a dream."

"I'm sorry, Josh." He stroked Josh's hair again, dropping another kiss to the brow. "At least you're feeling better,"

"I feel lousy."

---/-/---

The next morning, Josh walked into the office to cheers, catcalls, and applause.

"DONNA!"

"I'm right here, Josh." She sighed, hiding a noisemaker in her desk drawer.

"What's going on?"

"We're applauding your less-than-sane-and-sober decision to come out of the closet and molest Sam in Leo's office."

"How does everyone know about that?" He asked, directing his question as much to the heavens as to his assistant.

"Margaret saw everything. And I mean *everything*, Josh."

He groaned, heading into his office, and whatever respite it might offer. Before he could close the door, she spoke again.

"I saw Sam when he came in yesterday, by the way."

He stopped.

"You could totally still see the hickey. It was huge, Josh. I imagine it took you a lot of time and some moving around. It was like, five-in-one super hickey. It was--"

"Donna, I'd thank you not to imagine me... giving Sam hickeys."

"Well, okay, Josh, but I don't think that's going to stop most of the staff. Everyone saw it. And, everyone knows who gave it to him."

"I'm closing my door now, Donna!"

He slumped into his desk chair. He didn't have a clear recollection of giving Sam a hickey, but he did remember seeing it after the Chinese food.

---/-/---

That night, he went home with Sam. News of their relationship had yet to make it outside the White House, so they remained unhassled by the press.

"They'll stake us out when they hear about it." Josh sighed. It had been on both their minds.

"Yeah. But we should enjoy this while we can, huh?" Sam folded him into a warm embrace, and they kissed.

"You know what else I'd like to enjoy?"

"Tell me about it. Stud." Sam grinned, wriggling out of his boxer shorts.

A sweaty, sticky, and loud twenty minutes later, Josh couldn't find it in him to care about the fever, or the drugs, or the results of the combination, or much of anything other than Sam, who was draped across him, a warm, heavy weight, skin on skin.

Sam, for his part, skimmed his fingers over Josh's ribcage and nibbled at his neck until sleep took him, completely forgetting the overhanging threat of the AP, or the mardi gras of teasing co workers.

And, Josh under a more suitable medication regime, they lived happily ever after.

THE END

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