Josh, Then Sam

by: Abigale

Character(s): Josh, Sam
Pairing(s): Josh/Sam
Category(s): Romance
Rating: CHILD
Summary: Sam Seaborn Archive Challenge

Josh had the wind at his back, and Sam at his front. His chin fit perfectly on the wide shoulder, nestled near Sam's neck, like a puzzle piece slipping into place. He marveled at the solidity of an expansive chest, well defined even under the dress shirt, the years, and that ever-present....

Josh leaned back to finger the top of the undershirt; a slash of glaring white cotton staring out from above the blue fabric.

A wistful smile moved across Josh's lips, and with a sigh he pulled Sam closer again, and fitted himself back into the hollow under his ear.

It wasn't familiar, but it wasn't alien. It was dizzying yet stabilizing, and sudden and it came too late. It was after years of wondering and avoiding and planning and ignoring. It was Josh and Sam.

Josh had the impulse to step away, but the fortitude to fight it, and he hugged Sam to him harder, wordlessly trying to explain the years of dwindling messages left on machines he knew went neglected, and emails sent to addresses he recognized as official.

Strong arms pressed him closer, and Josh inhaled tears that were threatening to trickle from his eyes, and he squeezed back in defiance. He hadn't made it to the wedding, or the funeral, the swearing in, or the retirement party. But he made it here, to the curb outside the White House. Their White House.

Sam could feel the hot breath collect at his neck. It scorched and tickled, and he squirmed in the arms that held him fast. Josh felt slim and slight, reduced by half in the years since they'd seen each other. Under Josh's splayed hands, against Sam's broad back, a gentle pressure increased until it was an apology, and Sam answered it by bringing a hand to the back of his old friend's neck, glancing fingers across the wisps of brittle gray hair that rested against his collar.

Their embrace was embraced by the moist, cradling smell of popcorn and hotdogs, a circus smell that seemed out of place in front of the imposing presidential mansion, but not on a sidewalk in New York. Sam breathed it in along with the unfamiliar aroma of Josh, long purged from his sense memory banks.

His hand slipped down along the sharp shoulders, down to a hazardously pointed elbow, and Sam griped it firmly, used it to pry himself away from the stranger in his arms. His lips pressed together against a smile or a sob, he couldn't identify which, and he blinked into the brown eyes blinking back.

There he found tears pooling, shining magically, not threatening, but promising. He slid his fingers over his own cheekbone, to see if the tears he felt gathering were being held in check.

We're so old, Sam realized, amazed. We got so old, we grew so far. Apart.

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