Author: Anne Marsh
Title: Perceptive The first of three short, connected fics
Rating: PG at the *most*
Pairing: Josh/Sam
Summary: CJ is perceptive.
Notes: Josh POV. I reference a couple of eps here-- first of all, I reference four-year-old Josh's dream profession, second of all, in the episode where Mexico's economy collapses, Josh had a moment that just made me deliriously happy, so I reference that, if you catch it. Also, I want to thank again everyone who gave me feedback for 'Ends on a Thursday', because just last night, my e- mail failed to deliver messages from me.
Archive: Yes.
Feedback: Please and thank you.

Perceptive by Anne Marsh

"I'm very perceptive." CJ informed me, keeping pace with me as I headed to my office.

"Good to know, Ceej."

"Perceptive," She continued. "Is my middle name."

"The 'J' is for 'perceptive'?"

"You're gay."

I stopped. Then, I realized that this wasn't a good place to stop, and pulled her into my office, tossing a 'don't disturb us' to Donna on the way in.

"Okay, missy, what's this all about?" I demanded.

"You're gay."

"I'm not gay!"

She fixed me with a look. "Don't give me that, you're gay. I perceived it."

"Well then change your middle name to 'wrong' because I'm so not gay." I told her. I was, of course, lying. I was, in practice at least, as gay as they come. No pun intended.

"You so are."

"CJ, this is childish and we're arguing in circles, so what can I do to convince you that I am not gay? Who knows, could be fun."

"I don't know, Josh. What can I do to convince you that you are?"

"Do you know what an accusation like this could to do ou-- to my career?"

Her eyebrows lifted.

"CJ, I'm not gay."

"I'm going to call you Cleo." She stated. "Because you are clearly the queen of denial."

"CJ!" I shouted, exasperated. "If this is because of that ballerina thing, I clearly explained to the President that it had nothing to do with actually wanting to *be* a ballerina, it--"

"It's not just the ballerina thing, Josh. Not that I didn't enjoy that particular little bit of trivia, but it's really not just about the ballerina thing."

"What, then?"

"Okay, I'm going to administer a little test here. He's a what, he's a what?"

"He's a music man! And he sells clarinets, to the kid in the band! Oh, CJ, this is ridiculous!"

"Showtunes."

"Ridiculous, I say! Everybody loves The Music Man! And I am insulted, not only by your insinuation, but by the-- the base stereotypes that--"

"You know what, Josh? You're right."

I let out a huge breath that I had, apparently, been holding.

"That was a gross use of stereotype, it was demeaning and beneath both of us, and everyone *does* love The Music Man. But you're still gay."

"What?" I yelled.

She smirked at me. "I saw you checking out Sam's butt before staff this morning, Josh. You were practically salivating."

"I wasn't--"

"You made a cute little noise in the back of your throat when he bent over."

I did remember that he'd knocked a pencil holder off of the edge of the desk before the meeting, and had spent a nice stretch of time cleaning up after himself-- sometimes, perhaps, Sam's klutziness is a gift. Well, a gift to me. Anyway, he spent a couple minutes picking up, offering me a really nice view, but I don't remember making any noises, and I definitely didn't drool.

"CJ, I definitely did *not*-- I--"

"Your mouth was actually *moving*. In fact, in that little moment just after he knocked the pens over and was looking at them, you mouthed 'bend over' several times in rapid succession-- at least, that's what I'm fairly certain you were mouthing. There was kind of a breathy, half-whisper, it sounded like 'bend over'. And at one point, while he was bent over, you snapped your teeth at him."

"I would remember *that*." I said flatly. She definitely made *that* part up.

"Were you or weren't you thinking about biting that tushie?"

"CJ, please don't use the word 'tushie'. Also, I wasn't, and even if I was, it wouldn't be any of your business, and I wouldn't have bitten him hard, so-- I mean..."

She was grinning at me now. "You've done it before, haven't you?"

I felt my face heat. "No! Of course not!"

"You should. I bet Sam has a really nice tushie."

"CJ!"

"He does. I'm sure if there's one person in this office whose behind you should be biting, it's Sam."

"CJ!"

"Two of you make a nice couple."

"CJ, Sam and I are *not*-- I mean, Sam and I--" I sighed, defeated. "Fine. I'm gay. But-- Sam's not. Okay? So please, leave him out of this. He-- he doesn't know."

Her expression shifted to what might've been pity, and she patted my shoulder before slipping out of the room.

---/-/---

"Josh, you remember how perceptive I am?" It was the next day, and I was beginning to think very seriously about asking a secret service agent to shoot me.

"Yes, CJ, I believe 'perceptive' was your middle name?"

"I talked to Sam the other day." This said conversationally as she followed me into my office again.

Very, very seriously. Where is the nearest secret service agent, anyway?

"He swears up and down that you're not gay."

"Well of course he does!" I shouted, half-panicky and half relieved that Sam had gone the 'deny everything' route. "He doesn't know, does he? I told you yesterday, CJ, I--"

"Curiouser and curiouser, dear Joshua, he begs me not to tell you that he, himself, is gay. You, apparently, don't know that he lusts after you, secretly, in his heart of hearts. You, apparently, are oblivious to the major sparkage that flies when the two of you are in the same room."

"CJ, I-- um..."

"I think it's very cute, the two of you trying to protect each other."

The woman *is* perceptive.

"The last thing I want is for people to just find out about this, Joshua, But remember-- I am your first call, if anything-- *anything*-- happens. You don't keep secrets from me. Okay?"

"Yes, ma'am." I saluted.

"And Josh?"

"You're very perceptive, CJ." I told her. And smiling, she left. I picked up the phone. "Hey... Cathy? Can you tell Sam to come see me as soon as he's free?"

~FIN~

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