The Sequel I Said I Woudn't Write
Character(s): Josh, Sam
Category(s): Romance, Humor, Slash
Summary: Sequel to What's This.
"Swear to god. He was here a minute ago."
"You lost Sam?"
"Swear. To. God. I turned away for a second, Toby! Just to get our bags off the cart."
"And that's when you lost him."
"CJ! You saw me lean him against the car, right? I told him to stay where he was. I leaned him up against the car.... Um. Where's the car?"
"Are we supposed to be doing something with him?" President Bartlet's voice was barely above a whisper as he gestured vaguely in the direction of Sam, who was crumpled on the seat facing them in the Presidential limo.
"What did you have in mind, sir?"
"Well. We could start by buckling his seat belt. Have we learned nothing, Leo?"
"Okay. Don't panic. What's the worst that could happen?"
Toby, CJ and Josh took a moment to actually consider the possible answers to that question.
"I'll notify the secret service."
"I'll alert Andrews base security."
"Are we taking him back to the White House with us?"
"You're suggesting we dump him by the side of the road, Mr. President?"
Jed's expression turned thoughtful.
"Josh - "
"Just a minute, CJ! 5' 11", dark hair, blue eyes. Really, very nice eyes...."
"He was wearing jeans and a - a - one of those things. Those jackets." Josh turned alarmed but hopeful eyes to Toby. "Do you have a picture of him?"
"Yeah, Josh, let me just take out the one I carry in my wallet. What the fu- ?"
"CJ, let me talk to this guy, would you? Time could be of the essence here!"
"I'm tryin' to tell you. If they want to find Sam, I suggest they start looking in the men's rooms."
"That right there? Leo, that's not a color found in nature."
"How's it going, Sam?"
"In fact, I'm not sure that color - "
"Mr. President," Leo warned in the age old tone he'd perfected when trying to reign in his old friend. "With all due respect. Leave it alone, whouldja?"
"I don't like the sound of that."
"I don't like the smell of it."
Josh had worn away another good half inch from his hairline, waiting for word from the security teams that had swarmed over the air force base when CJ strode up to where he and Toby paced outside the security office.
"Stop worrying," CJ announced. "Or, you know, maybe start really worrying."
"They found him?!" Josh practically pirouetted over to CJ, clutching her by the elbows. "Oh, thank GOD! Is he...? Where did they...?" Suddenly noticing that CJ was shaking her head slowly.
"Not now, Toby." CJ shot a piercing glare his way. Looking back at Josh with sympathy. "You might want to sit down for this...."
"I beg to differ, Sam."
"Mr. President, you can't seriously be having this discussion with him."
"And why the hell not? I happen to be fairly well versed on the Canadian milk bag phenomenon. Go ahead; ask me anything."
"I have no doubt about that, sir. I just don't think now's the time."
"I'm picturing women's breasts."
"I really don't want you doing that, Sam."
"Milk bags; makes me...."
"I know, son. Sit back, that's right." Leo pressed a gentle hand to Sam's chest, directing him back against the sumptuous leather seat. Turning to the President, he lowered his voice to a ragged growl. "Do you see what you've done?"
"Hey. I'm just happy to know he does still think of women's breasts."
Crammed into the back of the only remaining car, Josh sat between Toby and CJ, fumbling wildly through his bag, then Sam's, and finally his jacket. Withdrawing his cell phone jubilantly from his inside pocket, he flipped it open with such vigor, it flew from his fingers into CJ's lap.
"Give me the phone! Give me the phone!" Josh squealed. "Please don't let it be too late...."
"It was too late the minute he got in the limo, Josh," CJ observed, casually bumping her foot against Toby's, then delicately plucking the phone from between her knees. "But look at it this way. Leo and the President are both fathers. They must have taken care of sick kids all the time."
"They'll know what to do. He'll be fine."
"It's... you know, honestly, guys? It's not Sam I'm so worried about anymore." Josh grimaced as he punched in number two on his speed dial.
"Don't sweat it, Josh, Sam's fine."
"Tell him he's turned an unnatural shade of puce."
Leo cupped his hand over the phone. "Mr. President, for god's sake! Any shade of puce is unnatural!" Bringing the phone back up to his face, he caught Sam's queasy expression. "Quit worrying, Josh."
"I'll bet you didn't know, Sam; the color puce was named for the distinctive shade on the underbelly of the puce flea. Which would, in fact, make it a color found in nature."
"...Everything's under control. Sam's perfectly.... Uh, Sam's just.... PULL OVER! PULL OVER!"
And that was the last Josh heard from the presidential motorcade.
Seated in the back of their Town Car, Josh continued fidgeting to get a look out the front windshield long after CJ threatened to sit on him.
"Give it up, Josh, we're not going to catch them," she informed him.
"No, if they pulled over, maybe - "
"They had a half hour start, and sirens. Sit. Back." Toby secured Josh to his seat with a fierce look. "CJ? Did you steal that magazine from Air Force One?"
Stuffing the sleek periodical deeper into her tote bag, CJ turned her head to stare at the passing Maryland landscape. "It's two months old. Who's gonna care?"
"Journal of The Practical Woman? She stole the Journal of the Practical Woman." Josh slid the magazine out for Toby to see.
Adopting the superior air that she always found so annoying, Toby scoffed lightly. "I read that on the plane. And can I just say, I'm surprised that a woman of your age and experience needs a refresher course on how to perform Kegel exercises."
"That's not exactly accurate, Sam."
"You're doing it too fast. It's more of a 'woooOOO woooOOO'."
"Sir. A siren is a siren."
"Have you never been to the U.K., Leo? Have you never heard the labored wheeze of a London police siren? Compare that if you will to the melancholy wail of a good old American - "
"There you go, Sam. Put some soul into it!"
"Next time he throws up, Mr. President, you stand out there in the ditch with him."
"I keep getting Leo's voice mail. Why isn't he answering the phone? He's gotta know I'm trying to call," Josh whined.
Exchanging knowing looks, his two co-workers snickered quietly to themselves.
"Excuse me?" Josh leaned forward again to address the stoic man in the driver's seat. "Do you have a thing on your sleeve?"
"Can you talk to the other, you know...." Josh flapped both hands in the air to fill the void left by his failing vocabulary.
"Sir. I'm not Secret Service. I'm just a driver."
"Really?" Josh was somewhat surprised to hear this.
"Leave the man alone," Toby advised, while pulling a highlighter out of his pocket. "See, this part right here, CJ?" Leaning across Josh, dragging the pen over a section of the magazine she held. "That works for men to."
"Why would men need to control the flow of their - oh. Oh." Her face blazed red. "Oooooh."
The traffic grew denser as the Presidential motorcade careened closer to the District of Columbia, sirens bawling occasionally to clear a path.
"You're squirming like a four year old," Jed complained to Leo.
"My phone's on vibrate and it keeps going off."
"Sometimes I vibrate."
"Is that so? When is that, Sam? Leo? Have you ever noticed Sam vibrating?"
"No, Mr. President. But does that really sound like something I'd have anything to do with?"
"I get nervous. Josh says I.... Uh. Where's Josh?"
"It had to happen sometime."
Leo leaned forward to catch Sam's eye. "He's right behind us, in another car. Do you.... is there something you need him for?"
Sam's expression went from mild confusion to placid acceptance. "I have to pee."
"I hope that wasn't an answer to your question, Leo."
"Sir...." Turning back to Sam. "Can you wait, Sam?"
"Focus, Sam. I really need an answer to that."
The motorcade threaded through the city streets like a black ribbon. The limo glided to a stop in front of the stately white mansion, and Sam spilled out of it, coming unsteadily to his feet, next to President Bartlet.
"Good to have you back, sir."
"Thank you, Charlie. How did you do on your exam?"
Charlie frowned deeply at the sight of Sam, leaning against the side of the black vehicle, eyes unfocused and wandering. "Is something wrong with Sam, Mr. President?"
Throwing a distracted glance Sam's way, Jed nudged Leo with his elbow.
"What are we doing with him now?"
"I imagine we'll put him on Toby's sofa until Josh gets here. Please don't tell me you have another idea, Mr. President."
"Leo, I am a man brimming with ideas. But in this particular case, I bow to your superior wisdom. You are, after all, my top advisor."
"And that would make Sam...."
"Pretty damn near the bottom, at the moment. Wouldn't it Sam?"
"I'm supposed to wait Right. Here. For Josh."
"That boat has sailed, my friend. Come inside with us, and Uncle Leo will tuck you in."
Sam screwed his face up sourly. "I feel nauseous again...." he ventured.
"You and me both." Leo took Sam's elbow and began pulling him along. "Somebody find me somebody who can do something with him," he called out to the bevy of staff milling around.
"That was Margaret," Josh informed Toby and CJ, snapping his phone closed. "They've arrived at the White House, Sam's sleeping in Toby's office, The President is still alive and well, and we all get to keep our jobs. And... she said something about Sam thinking he has fleas...."
"AND HE'S ON MY SOFA?!"
Josh moved around to face Sam's sprawled form.
"Hey," he whispered, tenderly petting his shoulder. "Sam? Are you ready to go home?"
"Yeah. Man, you look wiped out. Come on." Josh brushed his hand over Sam's cheek. "Toby's going to help me get you out of here."
"Josh," Sam whispered back, taking Josh's hand in his own. "You lost me."
Grimacing visibly, Josh squeezed Sam's hand. "I know. I'm sorry about that."
"I was in a car with Leo, and... and the President." Sam's voice dropped low, and he shivered theatrically. "It was awful." Gratefully allowing Josh to pull him to his feet, he swayed momentarily, before resting his chin on Josh's shoulder, arms hanging limply at his side. He noticed Toby standing in the doorway. "Toby. I got lost."
"I heard," Toby told his deputy. "It's okay now. We're taking you home." Toby took one of Sam's arms to assist him out the door.
"Let me take your bag for you," Bonnie offered helpfully, pulling Toby's bulging satchel from his shoulder. "Sakes alive!" she yelped when it crashed to the floor, spilling its contents. "Exactly how many bottles of water do you need?" she wondered, counting eight.
"Uh. Just, just put them in my office will you. And call an exterminator about the fleas."
Watching Josh and Toby steer Sam through the Bullpen, Bonnie sighed and picked up the phone.
| back | send feedback | The National Library |