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03 March 2008 @ 08:51 pm
Actually wrote most of this at work today........I really like this coupling.  Feedback is liked grilled ham and swiss on a pita with an apple-raspberry vitamin water to wash it all down.

Title: Intensive Care
Author: Montiese
Category: Angst/Drama/Tragedy
Characters: Sam, Josh, Toby, Donna, Leo
Pairing: Josh/Sam
Spoiler: What Kind of Day Has It Been, In The Shadow of Two Gunmen I & II
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Sam trying to hush Josh so he would not say ‘I love you’, even if it were the last
                  time he would ever hear it.
Author’s Note: The book Sam is reading is Women in Love by D.H. Lawrence.

The past 24 hours were a blur. He survived being shot at, pulled CJ out of harm’s way, and made it through the confusion and insanity that followed. He managed not to lose his heart or mind when he heard Toby screaming and found Josh. Not giving a damn about anything or anyone, Sam got down on his knees and took Josh’s face into his hands. Toby put his hand firmly on Sam’s shoulder. The younger man knew it was both comfort and a warning…do not lose it out here. Even at their most vulnerable moments, the world was still watching.
He got into the ambulance and they sped off to GW. Sam quieted Josh as he babbled about New Hampshire and Independence Day.
“I know J; words don’t have to be said.”
“Oh my love, my love, we have to get to New Hampshire.”
Sam went as far as the hospital staff would let him. Then he stood outside of the closed door for an amount of time never to be determined. Toby eventually came and pulled him away. They could not stay; had to return to the White House and assure the country. Sam was not sure but he thought the Communications Director dragged him from the spot. Donna would stay and look after things; that gave him some comfort.
Sam gave her the Star of David medallion that he kept in his breast pocket for luck. It belonged to Noah Lyman once; he kept it for the same reason. He gave it to his son when he left for Harvard. Josh gave it to the boy he believed he was falling in love with. This after a long conversation one night about luck versus faith over a joint and Southern Comfort when they were interns on the Hill. It was the first summer they met.
“Press it into his hand when he comes through recovery.” Sam whispered to the Senior Assistant. “Please.”
Donna nodded as Sam wiped her tears. She wanted to say so much, pour her heart out to someone, but Sam was gone as fast as he came. Abbey Bartlet came over to comfort her.
At the White House, Sam made it through meetings, questions, two interviews by the Secret Service and one by the FBI…all before sunrise. Leo asked him to do the morning shows. Via satellite from the East Room, Sam Seaborn talked to Charlie Gibson, Katie Couric, Wolf Blitzer, and at least three other people. He was on autopilot the entire time. Repeating details of the horrifying evening on every major channel. Flashes going through his mind of how scared Josh must have been. The first moment he saw him, sitting up against that wall. He clutched his stomach as if letting go would bring his insides out. The way he muttered ‘oh love, oh love’ repeatedly in the ambulance. He still muttered it under his oxygen mask. Sam trying to hush Josh so he would not say ‘I love you’, even if it were the last time he would ever hear it.
Late in the morning, he returned CJ’s necklace, managed to be witty and bring the banter. He did his best not to look into the Press Secretary’s eyes…did not know if he could handle seeing her anguish or showing his own. Finally, there was ten minutes alone in his office. Honestly, Sam had no idea how it was destroyed. He had no recollection and could swear to that. Ginger cried out for Toby as silence fell over the Communications bullpen.
Toby brought Sam into his office, closing the door. Curled in a ball on the couch, the Deputy sobbed until it hurt. Toby, uncomfortable in the role of consoler, sat on the edge of the couch and stroked Sam’s hair. He finally began to calm down; clearly embarrassed by his behavior in front of the man he both admired and worked for.
“I'm sorry.” Sam mumbled, taking the tissues Toby offered. “I just…I…Toby…oh God.” He started to cry again.
“Don’t apologize to me.” Toby replied in a tone that left no room for argument. “I understand your anguish, Sam. Look at me.” he did, their blue and brown eyes connecting on a deep level. “I really understand, OK.”
He nodded. The beeping of his phone interrupted the moment. The message was from Donna, short and to the point. ‘Josh off bypass—heart beating on its own’. This brought the tears back, but this time they were of joy. He hugged Toby tightly before bursting out of the office with the good news. Josh was not completely out of the woods but every victory was worth celebrating after the hell they had been through.
Now if he could just get to the hospital. Sam was sure that Josh needed him. It hurt like hell that work came before love but that was one of their rules. Sam would somehow get through the rest of the day. How, he was not entirely sure, but he would. Bonnie sent him down to the mess hall for something to eat. She and Ginger were making sense of his office. They would be finished by the time he had some food in his stomach. Sam just nodded, wandering off and rereading the good news.
Night fell on the nation’s capital. It was a beautiful night full of stars with a quarter moon. The air was warm with an easterly wind off the Potomac at about 14 MPH. People were out and in happy spring mode. The assassination attempt was still very big news but only those addicted to CNN tuned in to every bit of information that trickled in. The rest of the world went on as if nothing happened…it was not as if the President was actually dead.
People directly affected by the event were still falling through space. They were wondering how something like this could happen to them or to the people they loved. People were down on their knees, praying for strength and sanity. Vigils were held at bedsides and crying happened in the dark for those who never had the chance to be saved. Sam Seaborn was at a bedside tonight. His forehead rested against Josh’s thigh as he slept. 
In his palm was the Star of David, Sam’s palm on top of his and their fingers together. The Deputy Communications Director was not praying, not anymore. It was just silent tears and hard questions. How could he have saved CJ and not Josh? Never would he choose one over the other. Still, how had Josh been separated from them? 
Sam grinned a bit in his sorrow. Most likely Josh had been greeting the psycho girls that tended to follow him across America. Josh Lyman was his very own Grateful Dead. Thank God Toby found him in time…thank God for everything right now.
He looked up as Josh’s eyes slowly opened. They did not seem to focus but they were open.
“I'm here, J. Do you feel my hand; I'm squeezing yours.”
“I'm not dead.” Josh replied.
“No.” Sam shook his head. “You're still here. You made it.”
“Joanie sent me home to you.” He whispered. “She told me that I had to go back for Sam. I love you so much.”
“Me too.” Sam barely pushed the words out of his constricted throat. “I love you.”
He turned Josh’s hand in his, kissing it repeatedly. Its warmth was a comfort.
“The President…”
“He is going to be just fine. You should stop talking and rest; you need your rest.”
“Stop it J. Everyone is fine and you are going to be too. The doctors are guardedly optimistic but you have to shut up and rest. C’mon, listen to me.”
Josh nodded slowly, closing his eyes again. Sam reached out and stroked his hair.
“Go to sleep, love of mine. I will be here when you wake again. I promise.”
He did not even check to see if they were being watched when he leaned to kiss Josh’s lips. Even though he was asleep, Josh smiled. Leo came into the room.
“Hey Sam. I just wanted to check on him.”
“He’s sleeping. Of course he wanted to talk but I put a stop to that. He needs to rest.”
“Good idea. The doctors are optimistic.”
“Yeah.” Sam nodded. “I told them to do everything they could and they did.”
“You're his next of kin?” Leo asked.
“You know Josh…he takes care of things like that. He did not think it was fair to put the burden of his life and possible death on his mother.”
“I understand. Well, I don’t want to disturb your time. I know you’ve been trying to get here all day.”
“I just wanted to make sure he was alright.” Sam replied.
“Of course.” Leo patted his shoulder. “If he wakes again, tell him that I was here. Goodnight Sam.”
“Goodnight, Leo.”
The Chief of Staff gone, Sam once again sat at Josh’s bedside. He picked up the book from the nightstand and started to read.
Ursula and Gudrun Brangwen sat one morning in the windowbay of their father’s home in Beldover, working and talking. Ursula was stitching a piece of brightly-coloured embroidery, and Gudrun was drawing upon a board which she held on her knee…
I Feel....: relaxedrelaxed
I Hear....: "All This Love" DeBarge
temptthewrath on March 4th, 2008 03:27 am (UTC)
Love, love, love. Very tender. Very nice. Now where's the sex we were talking about today?
SSA McGeek: Josh/Sam.........slashmcgarrygirl78 on March 4th, 2008 03:33 am (UTC)
Not in this story, and not the next either because I am doing that for tww_mini's travel prompt....but soon. I was going to try to keep it canon but I think my boys would rather have some lazy Sunday morning sex. I know I would.

Edited at 2008-03-04 03:35 am (UTC)
vegawriters: Chris' Kissvegawriters on March 4th, 2008 04:52 am (UTC)
Very sweet and an interesting walk through Sam's mind. It felt a little reserved though - as if you weren't completely invested in his journey. But I still really enjoyed this. I love that you're exploring Josh and Sam now.
SSA McGeek: Pass the Dutchiemcgarrygirl78 on March 4th, 2008 01:55 pm (UTC)
I am still working on his journey.....this relationship is new to me and I have not figured out the inner workings. It's only my third story with this coupling. I am sure once I know them better it wont seem so reserved. Or maybe it will, who knows? I'm just having fun exploring my boundaries. Glad you liked it.
vegawriters: Needing Coffee (Sara)vegawriters on March 4th, 2008 03:03 pm (UTC)
I really do like it and I can't wait to see where you go with it. :)