Author: Anne Marsh
Title: Achilles' Heel
RAting: PG-ish I guess.
Pairing: Sam/Josh
Summary: Just a little fluffy h/c.
Notes: They say write what you know... so I gave Josh some knock-you-out class lower back pain, because it's been bothering me all day, and it's so much easier to deal with in terms of Sam/Josh goodness. Post-Bartlet administration, may fit into my (as yet unposted) Reuniverse.
Archive: Yes
Feedback: Please

Achilles' Heel by Anne Marsh

Josh hobbled in to breakfast, each step punctuated by a sharp 'ow'.

"Stub your toe?" Sam queried, looking up over the top of his paper.

"Nah, it's my back." Josh winced, lowering himself very carefully into his chair.

"What did you do to it?"

"I didn't do anything!" He said defensively. "It just hurts like a mother..."

"Come here... Wait, no, don't. Stay where you are." Sam stood, moving around behind his husband's chair. He rested his hands on Josh's shoulders. "Where does it hurt?"

"Lower back, lower back, lower back..."

"Okay, *now* get up. That chair doesn't offer any lumbar support."

Josh got up, swearing under his breath. "Sam, it really hurts..."

"Okay, okay... how bad?"

"I don't know..."

"Go sit somewhere you think will be comfortable, and I'll bring your breakfast to you."

"Can't eat." He shook his head. "Ow! Ow... no, it's too bad, it's making me naseous."

"Nauseated." Sam corrected absently. "Go lay down flat and stretch as long as you can so there aren't any kinks, and I'll get you an Ibuprofen. It's really making you nauseated?"

"Yeah. OW! Also, when I move-- also when I don't move, which is what really gets me-- it *hurts*!"

"That actually sounds more like one of my migraines than anything." Sam shook his head. "Back to bed-- you're not going to be able to work if the pain's making you sick."

Josh didn't argue. When Sam came back to their bedroom, he had the Ibuprofen in hand, and placed a glass of water to the other man's lips. Josh swallowed dutifully, and when he lay back down, there was a heating pad beneath his lower back.

"When'd you do that?"

"Magic." Sam rested a hand on Josh's stomach. "Shh... focus on me, not the pain."

"But it *hurts*!"

"Ah-ah-ah! Josh, focus on my hand now... feel that? Warm, and heavy, now just imagine me drawing all the tension away. Let it just melt. All you have to feel now is my hand."

"*This* is what your migraines are like?"

"Well, in my head. But they make me feel like vomiting. Sometimes the pain shoots down my spine, but it usually doesn't make it all that way."

"My head doesn't hurt, though. It didn't, anyway. Doesn't. 's my lower back. 's a back-migraine."

Sam chuckled softly. "Well, everyone's got his own Achilles' Heel."

"And his own Achilles' tendon." Josh quipped.

"See, you must be feeling better. You've got your sense of humour."

"Nah, 's a defense mechanism."

"How's it working?"

"Against physical pain? Not so good."

"You focusing on my hand?"

"Don't you have to work?"

Sam moved his hand in little circles. "Focus on my hand."


Josh relaxed, doing what he was told without being contrary. When Sam told him to reach up and grab the headboard, he did it, when Sam told him to extend his legs, he did it.

"Seriously... you gotta work, don't you?"

"Working right now." Sam whispered. "You want a cool washcloth?"

"What for? It's my back."

"Heat doing some good?"

"Relaxing me a little."

"Can you eat?"

"Don't wanna."

"Okay." He kissed Josh's forehead.

Josh moved a hand to his chest absently. Now there were two warm, heavy spots to focus on. He slid his hand down towards Sams, until their fingers intertwined.

He felt better.

He was still in debilitating lower-back pain, but he felt better.


"What is it, babe?"

"I could eat."



~~author's note: How I wish I could've gotten treatment like this for *my* back pain! I did, however, get a cat to sit in my lap and purr until I could fall asleep. Anyway, now you know how I deal with pain-- I write fluffy h/c fics. Use this knowledge for good, and not for evil (or voodoo).

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