Title: Whisper'd in the Sound of Silence
Author: Clarity / Karasu karasumouri (at) earthlink (dot) net
Archive: http://enchantingmuse.com; Big Block of Cheese, the LJ communities I post this to; anyone else, please ask me first.
Episode: Let Bartlet Be Bartlet, late season one
Summary: Josh and Sam deal with the events of "Let Bartlet be Bartlet." While almost entirely a seduction and sex story, it is intricately woven with the plot.
Notes: One of the little notes I wrote to myself was about this episode. I wondered about the effects that the day really had on the staff since even though I love the note on which the episode ends, I don't believe that's all there was to it.
Disclaimers naturally apply. This is a little hobby of mine that I enjoy and I don't believe any harm goes to anyone, so don't sue me. The title is a line from the beautiful Simon and Garfunkal song "Sound of Silence." The quote at the end of the story is from Paul Russell's The Salt Point.
Whisper'd in the Sound of Silence by Clarity/Karasu
~ * ~ * ~ * ~
The echoes of “I serve at the pleasure of the President of the United States” had not yet faded from the minds of the senior staff, but the warm grins had begun to slip out of place. The night air seemed chillier than the nights previous and the moon seemed to have abandoned the starless sky which gave way to the harsh reality of a manmade city full of the best and the worst of humanity. They separated silently to head home. Josh trailed after Sam and got in the passenger seat of the car.
The ride was made in silence. Neither man could stand even the sound of the radio, perhaps fearful of what the news might say next. The morning would come all too soon with all of the hard trials to face. Their only hope of succeeding was determination—and how long can one really hold onto that? It was not a question anyone had wanted to ask.
“Why is everyone walking around looking like they already lost?” Donna had asked. Josh hardly felt the pain of that blow, he was still hunched over his aching stomach from the blow that had left him gasping for oxygen in a room that had none.
Fitzwallace had said, “You’re not going to get anywhere,” and he was on their side. “Is this meeting anything more than a waste of time?” Ken had asked with all the arrogance that befitted the sizeable jackass. Sam had not been able to unlock his jaw for a long time; it had taken Josh coming into the Roosevelt room looking just as lost and in need of an anchor for Sam to pull it together enough so that he could stand and leave as soon as possible.
From “it’s not going to the table” and “as we always have” to a 180 of “We’re gonna raise the level of public debate in this country and let that be our legacy.”
Yes, the pledge still floated in their minds and danced on their tongues, but the fever of passion could not so easily melt away the debris of disappointment that had buried them for over a year and had seemed to double over the course of a single day.
Josh and Sam got out of the car without looking at one another; they still did not speak. They were at Sam’s apartment tonight. Josh should have gone back to his place, Mandy’s memo would break and there would be watchers trying to see further into the vulnerable crack. The presidency could not take another blow. Josh and Sam would not allow themselves to be the downfall. But tonight needed to be something else. The promise would have to be fulfilled starting in the morning; “I serve at the pleasure of the President of the United States.”
Josh took off his coat and hung it up in the small entry closet. Sam came up behind him and wrapped his arms around Josh’s waist. He closed his eyes and began nuzzling the curly hair on the back of Josh’s neck. Josh lowered his arms and rested his hands over Sam’s. He bowed his head forward and let out a long breath; if the rush of air sounded shaky, it may not have been merely a figment of the imagination.
After a few minutes of the simple cuddling, Josh shifted slightly so that he could turn his head to the side and nip along the line of Sam’s jaw. He rocked backward gently and rubbed against his lover’s body. Sam responded with pressure of his own. His hands pressed Josh back against him in a triangle hold, his thumbs held straight out just above the swell of his lover’s cock head.
They fondled in the entryway until their bodies began to protest, reminding them of the exhausting day they would probably never quite leave behind. Josh stepped away from the hold and walked into the bedroom alone while Sam rid himself of his jacket and cast a brief glance towards his phone to check for messages.
“What do you imagine would be the consequence of your recommendation to the President?” Major Thompson had asked, a self-assured little smirk already in place. The question tumbled restlessly in Sam’s mind as he slipped out of his shoes and unbuttoned his shirt, walking towards the bedroom.
He paused outside the doorway. Sam didn’t look into the dimly lit room, he did not feel anxious to see Josh lying pale and spread on the bed. Open, vulnerable. “Your guys are out looking for jobs,” he had said. “Those weren’t our guys,” Thompson scoffed.
Sam stepped into the room but no longer felt the need to be rid of his armor of clothing, precious little that it did. Josh’s hands appeared seemingly out of thin air and carefully, gently caressed Sam’s bare skin. With his steady fingers Josh undid the remaining buttons for Sam and with two simple movements, undid Sam’s pants. Sensing that tonight the rest would not be appreciated, Josh withdrew, moving through the shades of dim light. Sam watched the shadows dance on the bare skin of his lover and for a moment was lost in a different world—
They were preparing for bed in separate bunks, just as other men around them were doing. Josh smiled at him and Sam smiled back, looking up at his friend since he was currently slipping off his pants. A barked order had him at attention immediately. Major Thompson glared at him and then backhanded him. Sam broke from attention, startled by the blow, but not nearly as much as the vehement accusation spewed like acid from the major’s lips: “Faggot.”
—Sam slipped out of the rest of his clothing. For a moment he hesitated to remove the last barrier between the world and the evidence of his sin. But Josh lay on the bed waiting, not open like he might usually have been. No, Josh lay almost completely on his side, his gaze downcast as if expecting rejection. His one hand lay palm-up, away from his body; the other hand lay on his thigh that he had brought up towards his stomach. The familiar form of his penis was hidden from view. Sam closed his eyes and swallowed the hint of saline.
He crawled onto the bed’s edge and lay on his side facing Josh. His hand rested significantly over Josh’s offered palm. The other man’s eyes lifted from his contemplation of the bedspread. At first it remained difficult to touch without seeing eyes full of flames and hearing cries of fire and brimstone. Sam flinched at Josh’s feathery caress of his shoulder; Josh stopped, staring for a moment. Sam caught his breath, stuck in a moment he didn’t know whether he wanted to go forward with or not. Josh made the decision for both of them and cupped Sam’s cheek with his free hand and then leaned in for a slow kiss that progressed into a deep mating ritual of tongues.
Obligations mercifully shifted aside with the sudden swell of longing that swept through their souls. Sam’s fingers rested on Josh’s hips. The ability to feel the smooth skin of the person he loved made his chest ache with boundless gratitude.
“Josh,” he murmured as their bodies drew closer together and limbs became entangled.
Josh kissed Sam’s neck. “I know. I love you.”
Sam ran his hands over Josh’s back, rubbing firmly when he felt the curve of his lover’s buttocks. Josh shifted upwards until Sam’s nose rubbed against his sternum. With the better access, Sam moved his hands to the dip where thigh met butt. His squeezed firmly for a moment. Sam left one hand on the pleasing skin while he twisted back slightly and stretched his other hand towards the bedside table in search of lubrication.
Josh curled inward so that he could cradle Sam’s head and shoulders. He made quiet, encouraging noises as Sam explored the territory of his backside. The push of a slick finger into Josh’s hole went easily, causing Josh to sigh happily. He slid his fingers through Sam’s hair, content in this moment. The promise hung in the air and embraced the lovers wrapped in coital bliss.
Sam tilted his head to lick Josh’s nipples when he had three fingers inside. Josh groaned softly. Momentarily they shifted positions again. Sam turned onto his back, and Josh moved to fully blanket him. For a long while they kissed, perhaps postponing the moment where completion would mean the return of the rest of the world.
Finally Josh eased himself into a comfortable position. Sam placed his hands on his lover’s hips. They worked together to align cock and anus. Josh moved downward smoothly, lifting up teasingly, and then sunk onto Sam again.
Sam breathed, “I love you.”
Josh and Sam continued dance to the natural rhythm of their bodies. Josh leaned forward and placed one hand over his lover’s heart. Their eyes met and Josh smiled gently, a simple upturn of his lips. Sam caressed Josh’s cheek in response.
I love you; in this instant of time where they stood on the razor-fine edge of expectancy and fulfillment there was nothing else but this.
Sam cried out Josh’s name as he came. Josh led Sam’s hand to the semen-sleek firmness of his cock. It did not take long for his climax. As the effects of completion faded into a warm memory, Josh lifted himself off from Sam and knelt with one knee on the bed’s edge. Sam caught his wrist, but Josh merely smiled and stood.
A few moments later Josh returned with a damp washcloth for his lover; he had washed in the bathroom. Sam invited his lover back to bed, determined to keep Josh close in this time that they had.
They kissed in between intervals of silence and quiet conversation. Their bodies were heavy with exhaustion and their minds felt a little fuzzy as it often does when sleep calls, but they were loathe to miss these moments.
When Sam started awake from a near doze for the third time Josh kissed his earlobe gently and said, “I think we should not be afraid.”
The strength of emotion behind those words made some of the pain inside Sam lessen.
“Tomorrow—“ Josh began softly.
Sam pressed his fingers against Josh’s lips. He tiredly turned his head so that he could face his lover nose-to-nose. He removed his fingers and kissed Josh on the corner of his mouth. “I love you,” he murmured.
The return of those same, simple words were all he needed to get him through.
~ * ~ Fin ~ * ~
“We have this now; tomorrow we may not have it, even the next minute we may not have it, something unexpected and terrible may impose itself between us—but right now we have it and it’s good, it’s what counts.” ~ The Salt Point by Paul Russell
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