Title: I'll Cook the Turkey
Author: mellyjane40
Rating: PG ­13 to R Some adult situations but nothing too graphic.
Spoilers: General spoilers for seasons 1-4
Pairing: Sam/Josh
Summary: AU ­ Post Bartlet Administration. Josh decides to cook the Christmas Turkey.
Author's Notes #1: Another pre-Lyman White House story. Set around after Jamie's Halloween Surprise.
Author's Notes #2: This is in response to Kathi's challenge ­ Happy Holidays and I hope it meets your EJF requirements!
Author's Notes #3: Thanks as ever to Vicki for beatering my suspect punctuation and any mistakes are mine and please forgive a dyslexic writer.
Disclaimer: The West Wing and its characters belong to Aaron Sorkin and NBC. Anyone else belongs to us.
Archive: Our website http://www.angelfire.com/ok5/samnjosh. You can find the previous stories there too.
Feedback: Please! We would love to know what you think, good or bad as long as it is constructive. Our addresses are v.aldridge@virgin.net and mellyjane40@hotmail.com

I'll Cook the Bird by mellyjane40

December 10th 2010

Seaborn-Lyman Town House 8AM

"Christmas," Sam sat up in bed glasses slipping off his nose as he consulted his list. All that came from his partner as they enjoyed a rare Saturday morning together was a grunt. "Joshua." Sam shook his partner and was rewarded with a Jack in the box like reaction as his partner sat up in bed blinking and wiping the sleep out of is eyes.

"Huh what? Where's the fire?"

"Darlin' it's two weeks to Christmas and we haven't even begun to think about it."

"So it's …" Josh glanced at the bedside alarm clock. "8am and we'll soon hear the thundering of feet down the corridor." He stuffed his head under the pillows, "Can I go back to sleep now and we'll talk about it later?"

"No." Sam replied digging his lover in the ribs and sitting upright against the headboard. "It's two weeks to Christmas, we've put up the decorations but that's about it. For the last few years we've dined off," Sam began to count on his fingers, "Your Mom and mine, CJ, Donna and I think it's about time we returned the favour."

"Ok. Ok. You know I've never really bothered about Christmas what with being Jewish and work. There was that time when you and I were first… " Josh stopped noticing his partner's stony features. "Yeah I know there are topics we've drawn a line under and I do like the lights and presents."

"You got some presents at Hanukah and Jamie enjoyed himself then so why don't you get involved in the holiday spirit." Sam climbed out of bed and put on his dressing gown and headed towards the door. "I'm gonna get Jamie up, then you're gonna have your first taste of Christmas shopping."

"Oh really!" Josh groaned as the comforter was pulled back from this body and the sound of Jamie's feet on the wooden floor boards in the corridor could be heard.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Same Day 4pm

"Jesus! Is everyone that pushy?" Josh groaned as he looked an assortment of Christmas presents in carrier bags either decorated with Christmas trees, Santa Claus and an assortment of other Christmas scenes in the back of the car. "I'd never known such venom simply because I picked up the last…Oh god it's your mother!" Josh stopped at the sight of the BMW parked in their driveway.

"Hey! You make me sound like the wife of this partnership with constant complaints about my Mom." Sam protested.

"Nana!" Jamie began to bounce up and down in his seat and went to open the car door.

"My Mom's in Florida." Josh replied pointedly as he opened the car door and began to retrieve the presents. "And we rarely get to see her during the year. I'll arrange it for the weekend before Christmas or perhaps we can have over for the holidays as well?"

"Ok." Sam replied in distracted tones as he undid the belt on Jamie's car seat unaware of what he'd let himself into. "Mom you didn't say you were coming over!"

Francesca Seaborn smiled as she came out of the house and held her arms out to her grandson who hurried across the driveway.

"How's my poppet!" She cooed and swept her grandson in her arms. "Hello darling." She accepted a kiss from Sam. "Joshua. How are you?"

"We're both well Mom. What are you doing here?"

"I've come to talk about Christmas and I see the house is nicely decorated." She put Jamie down. "Did you help daddy and JJ?"

"Yes and JJ nearly went to hospital as he tried to put the star at the top of the tree and it toppled over."

"Well," Francesca gave an amused glance at Sam, "that makes a change it's usually your father who's the klutz. Though after Josh's performance at the police station…"

"All forgotten now. Mom." Sam hastily broke in kissing his partner who'd gone slightly red with embarrassment. "Let's go inside and we'll discuss Christmas."

"No No! I'll carry all the bags!" Josh protested as he picked up all the bags.

Sam turned with a grin "I'm sure Donna would love to have a recording of you saying those words."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

4:15 Pm

"It's not that I doubt that you can cook darling." Francesca reassured her son as she sat balanced on a stool at the breakfast bar in the chrome and white tiled kitchen. "But knowing your, err, attempts at DIY and the fact that you've had workers in for any building works and stayed at various friends for Thanksgiving or Christmas, do you know what it's like to cook such a big meal."

"Well, Mom, that's the whole point we've sponged off our friends for far to long so it's about time we returned the favour." Sam replied handing his mother a mug of coffee.

"What do you think of our plans Francesca?" Josh asked as he entered the kitchen and replaced the phone on the wall stand. "I've just spoken to Donna and I couldn't get a word in edgeways for the laughter." He pouted leaning against the doorway.

"Well you have to admit that this has been an accident prone few years for both of you. Sam builds Jamie a wooden house and ends up in emergency; you were sick all over the floor of the police station and nearly fell off a chair trying to put a star on top of a Christmas tree."

"I can cook. I do a lovely stew, tender meat, peas, carrots and boiled potatoes. In fact we've got it tonight…" Josh walked over to the slow cooker and opened the lid. "There and I freeze what's left afterwards." He announced proudly.

"Ok. Ok." Francesca sipped her coffee, "So who's gonna to cook the turkey?"

"I am." Both men chorused standing side by side and beaming at each other.

"Well I wouldn't recommend both of you in the kitchen; believe me it leads to rows and arguments."

"I'll cook the bird!" Josh announced, "after all it can't be that hard can it? Why are you laughing, Francesca? Why is it everyone laughs?" He whined.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Two Days Later.

"Here it is!" Josh kicked the front door shut behind him holding the bag and smiling broadly. "I took your Mom's advice and got a Butterball it's a twenty ponder!" He announced carrying the bird in the kitchen and laying it with a thump on the table.

Sam and Jamie ambled into the kitchen.

"Well!"

"What do you want Josh a round of applause? It's just a turkey? Now Jamie and I have been on the internet looking up defrost and cooking times."

Josh took the printed out instructions and read them. "Ok it looks quite easy as long as you follow the instructions carefully. What could go wrong?"

"This from two men who nearly burnt down the White House," Francesca commented coming out of the living room.

"Francesca, hello again." Josh tried to keep his voice on an even keel. "I didn't know you were staying the night."

"Well both Jean and Mom wanted to help but your mum can't make it till Christmas Eve…" Sam kissed his partner on the cheek "and it would be churlish to refuse any offer of help wouldn't it darlin?"

"Ok. As long as I can cook the Turkey and everyone stays out of the kitchen!" Josh muttered.

"Of course Joshua. I wouldn't dream of interfering. Now…" Francesca took a list out of the pants pocket. "CJ's made sweet potato casserole. Ryan's bring some wine and beer. Toby said he has some cigars for the men. Donna's made a pumpkin pie. I'll show you how to roast onions and parsnips. Your mother gave me the recipe for her Indian pudding and we have Christmas pudding." Francesca put the list back in her pocket. "Now you two out of the kitchen let me wash this turkey and…" she brushed passed them and picked up a plastic bag in the hallway. "I've brought all the ingredients for my roast chestnut stuffing. Now shoo!"

"You see she's taking over already." Josh grumbled, nearly tripping over the suitcases in the hallway, "And it looks like she's here for the duration."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Christmas Eve. 9pm

"Wow!" Sam put his arms round Francesca and Josh's mum Jean, slightly smaller and rounder more with a matronly air that made her seem motherly than dowdy. He stared in awe at the dinning room table laden with the best china, glass, and silver candelabra as the centre piece. What was different in amongst the gold and sliver crackers were the miniature Santa Hats, Christmas puddings, pomegranates and snowmen. Next to the candelabra stood a large Waterford Crystal Bowl filled selection of party poppers and streamers.

"You ladies have done yourselves proud. Are those snowmen really made out of marzipan?" Sam went to take one from the table earning a slight slap on the wrist from Francesca.

"This is your first Christmas in this house so you might as well celebrate in style." Jean Lyman assured Sam. "I know Joshua wants to cook the turkey so we'll try and stay out of his way as much as possible…Jamie what are you doing up!"

Jamie stood at the foot of the stairs in his Eeyore pyjamas his eyes staring at the mince pie and a glass of wine on the hallway table.

"He hasn't been," Jamie said mournfully. "And it's too late to go back to see him at Wal-Mart."

"Well young man," Jean picked her honorary grandson trying hard not to laugh. "He won't come till later tonight when you're tucked up in bed. The sooner you go to sleep the sooner he'll be here. Let's get you back to bed."

"I left my list with Santa and I know it's a long one but I've been a good boy." Jamie wound his arms around Jean's neck. "Haven't I daddy!"

Sam smiled and kissed his son's forehead. "You have Tiger. Sleep tight and say goodnight to Nana."

As Jamie said his goodnights a frantic Josh appeared from the kitchen with Francesca's flowery apron tied round his jeans, hair slightly sticking up and knife in one hand.

"Mom! Francesca! I'm not entirely convinced the turkey's defrosted!"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

11PM

"Are you sure your Mom will mind sharing the spare bedroom? I know she's practically made it her own." Josh asked as he took off his shoes and threw himself on the bed. "I didn't think Christmas could be this tiring."

"That's because all you've ever done is worked over the Christmas holiday period." Sam sat down next is partner in just his pants rubbing his hair with a towel, "Or recently help me wrap Jamie's presents up."

"Yeah but Christmas hasn't been the happiest of times for both of us in the past sweetheart."

"True," Sam agreed kissing Josh firmly on the lips, "but lets make this the start of Christmas's to enjoy. I know you miss your father at times like this, but your Mom's with us and she seems to be getting on well with mine."

"Yeah it's a pity we made the fourth bed room a…S…a…m, sweetheart, there, please, more…Christ!" Josh sat up suddenly, leaving his partner in a sprawl on the bed. "I…the stuffing I forgot to stuff it in the bird."

"Can't it wait until tomorrow…?" Sam panted trying to regain his breath.

"No." Josh kissed his lover. "I just wanna shove the damn bird in the oven tomorrow and enjoy watching Jamie open his presents."

"Err darlin?"

Josh stopped in a mid dash across the room.

"Yes."

"Well much as I like to feast on that ass and those well toned shoulders I think the natural look will go down with my Mom. Yours will say she's seen it all before. Here." Sam threw his lover his bath robe, "put this on. I never thought I'd live to see the day. Joshua Lyman family man worried about cooking a turkey on Christmas Day."

Both men exchanged a significant look as Josh hurried back to the bed and almost threw himself on top of Sam, who was sure he heard words "sod and turkey" in amongst the usual declarations of satisfaction and love.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

1.AM Christmas Day.

"No! Josh sat up in bed sweat pouring down his body; Sam stirred at his partner's cry.

"Darlin?" He croaked taking a sip of water from his bedside flask.

"The turkey Sam!"

"Jesus!" Sam let his head sink back against the pillow, then felt partly ashamed for doing so as he'd often had to comfort his lover from memories of the past. "What is it?" He asked in softer tones.

"The turkey Sam it wasn't there. I opened the fridge door and it was gone it was so real."

"Com' here." Sam gathered Josh in his arms." It's like those dreams where you're briefing the press naked. I had it when I married Geena, Mark and I were standing at the altar naked." He kissed Josh on the forehead, "it's so sweet of you to worry about a damn bird like this but it's so you."

"Sam…" Josh said after a Moment in the darkness "you know you shouldn't say the words you and naked together. …I'm… feeling quite hard."

"No darlin'." Sam replied firmly removing his partner's hand from his lower regions. "We'll have hurricane Jamie who might try to beat last year's record of 6am wake up call."

"The dream… I'll…never get back to sleep…" Josh didn't finish the words as the warmth of his partner's body and the steady thump of his heart lulled him off to sleep.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Christmas Day 12 Noon.

Christmas Day was going to plan, Jamie had woken them at a respectable 7am and as Josh basted the turkey and took a sip of red wine, he felt pleased with himself that all had gone well. He'd got up at 5am to turn the oven on, back into bed for a cuddle with Sam then the bird went in the oven at 8am. He'd shared a private moment with his Mom a few tears for departed family and he was sure he saw Sam pick Jamie up and with Francesca share a private moment, beside the family photographs.

"How's it going darling?" His mother poked her head into the steam filled kitchen, "do you want any help with the vegetables."

"I'm fine at the moment Mom. Is that CJ I can hear arriving?"

"Well Joshua Lyman! I thought I'd never live to see the day!" CJ exclaimed as she strode down the hallway. "Let's have a look at the apron."

"Suits him, doesn't it?" Sam smirked as he came out of the formal living room in jeans and a faded sweatshirt.

"Daddy the game doesn't have the batteries!" Jamie's wail could be heard from the living room, "Sean and I want to play Operation."

"What's that?" CJ asked as Jamie put is arms up for a hug.

"It's cool you get to take bones out of people!" Jamie explained as CJ put him down and found herself dragged into the living room.

"I'll go upstairs. Get changed and find the batteries. Joshua! Are you gonna be wearing those jeans!" Sam called out to his partner.

"No. I'll get changed shortly." Josh called out as he basted the turkey one more time.

"He's frightened Jean or I will try and take over." Francesca said as she came out of the dinning room where she'd been laying the seating cards. "You go upstairs and get changed and Jamie! Come and pick some of the toys scattered on the floor or some will have an accident. Then…"

Francesca was interrupted with a shriek of delight as Jamie opened CJ's present.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yes every thing was going very well Josh turned his head towards the door and smiled at Jamie's shriek and in a single split moment chaos descended. A moment where hot oil splattered on to his arm and on the floor, a moment of sharp burning pain, and his yelp had both mothers charging in to the kitchen, Josh turned to reassure them and in his haste as he heard Sam thundering down the stair case at the mother's simultaneous "Josh!"

"Sam! It's ok! I've just burnt my arm that's all." Josh tired to reassure his partner realising his arm and body was beginning to shake.

Was it possible for there to be two accident's Josh wondered as was sure he heard a cry from his partner through his own pain? Jean Lyman was pushing her son towards the cold tap as Josh slipped on the puddle of oil on the floor and with a sickening thud his head hit the kitchen cupboard. His last image was of the panicked face of his mother as it faded in a white mist.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

December 25 - 6pm.

"Will you stop smirking?" Josh sat up against the pillows of the hospital bed and glared at his partner who sat in the hospital chair with an exceptionally pleased look on is face.

"I'm just saying after years of bearing the brunt of jokes about being a klutz for once you hold the record of being the clumsiest this year." Sam protested.

"I was coming to help you! I thought you were injured!" Josh winced and added in a softer voice, "doesn't that count for anything?"

Sam faced with a blazing look of a mixture of love and hurt softened and crossed over to give his partner a gentle kiss on the forehead.

"Yes it does." Sam pushed the chair closer towards the bed and squeezed his partner's hand. "But all I had was hurt pride nothing more. Jamie left one of those motorised cars in the hall way and I went over base over apex."

"That's all I heard your cry, Mom looking down at me then nothing."

"You…" Sam caught his breath, at a sudden rush of emotion, it was so easy to try and be disarming, try to pretend he wouldn't allow himself to be hurt as he had been before. He got up and abruptly walked over to the window and stared down at the traffic pulling out of the hospital car-park and into a threatening, snow storm. "You were slumped over and you looked…well…I love you and it scared me." He hastily brushed a tear away. "Sorry I'm rambling. You'll be pleased to hear our mothers are getting along well."

Sam turned to face his partner his eyes wet with tears.

"Are they?" Josh replied brightly, realising the true depth of his lover's feelings and trying to keep everything on an even keel.

"Yeah!" Sam perched himself on the edge of Josh's bed and pretended to study the progress chart, till he recovered his sense of composure "I left them crying together with a box of chocolates over An Affair to Remember."

"And Jamie is he behaving himself?"

Sam brightened.

"He's being spoilt to bits and loving every moment as I'm not there to monitor the depletion of the candy tin."

"Come here."

Sam walked up towards his partner, he felt Josh pull him down and a deep satisfying kiss said it all.

"Now get up on this bed and give me cuddle and oh yes if you can turn on the TV and pass me some water, I think Mom brought me some clean pyjamas, can you check in the overnight bag."

Sam rolled his eyes at his partner's instructions as he turned the TV on and together they watched the local news full of Senator's Lyman's Christmas accident with statistics to back up why everyone should be extra diligent at Christmas.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

December 31 8pm.

"Why are we getting dressed up for this?" Josh grumbled as his mother helped him with his bow tie, "I thought we were going to that fancy new restaurant in Georgetown. Surely all we need is a suit."

"Sam and I have a little surprise for you. He and Jamie have been planning it for the past two days. You know Sam was quite cut up about the accident."

"He was close to tears in the hospital." Josh admitted as he escorted his mother out of the bedroom.

"He loves you darling." Jean replied smoothing her black sequined dress. "He may not say it much, but I get the impression that still waters run deep with that man."

"They do." Josh said softly, "but you know the good thing that came out of this Christmas is that I have what I've always wanted and missed."

"A sense of being a family? I know son…oh look two handsome gentlemen to greet us!"

Sam and Jamie both in tux's stepped forward and Francesca in midnight blue taffeta rustled forward. Sam kissed his partner and Jamie was swept up in to a hug.

"Daddy thought as you missed Christmas we'd celebrate New Year and Christmas together."

Josh's mouth gaped open as CJ, Toby, Donna and Ryan emerged from the Dinning Room raising their glasses and chanting "Happy New Year."

He was led by his lover into the dining room lit with candles and Jean who had disappeared behind them; proudly emerged from the kitchen with a silver platter and opened it to reveal a turkey.

"No it's not the one you cooked Joshua and you made a gallant effort with your attempt." Francesca explained as she took Sam's arm, "We gave to the goodwill to distribute amongst the homeless, who said it was very tender and succulent so you see you did cook the turkey!"

"So how did you do this?" Josh stared at the bowls of vegetables and roast potatoes.

"A lot of your friends who will be coming round later tonight, cooked vegetables and Donna did us proud with the bird."

"Are the vegetables nice and tender with butter running down them?" Josh asked as he sat at one end of the table with Sam at the end.

"Yes." Sam replied, "Now before we eat shall have toast?"

Josh stood up and raised his glass.

"There's only one that's appropriate tonight. To Friends and family those that are near and afar!"

"To Friends and family!" The guests echoed around the dinning room that was soon filled with the sound of clatter of knives and forks, clinking of glasses, and lively conversation.

The End ­ Happy Holidays Every One!

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