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Title: Music When The Lights Go Out
Author Name: [ profile] in_joke_taken
Pairings/character: Josh/Sam, Cameo of CJ
Rating: PG/PG-13
Word Count: Total 3009, individual varies
Warnings: None
Disclaimer: I don't owe it.
Summary: Scenes from the life of Josh and Sam, Idiot Boys (In Love).
Authors Note: For [ profile] tww_minis challenge to write a story for each song on an album. Without even realizing it I picked Otis Redding's 'The Dock of the Bay'. As Otis Redding is quite possible my favorite singer of all time, I think every one should give him a try. The title though is the title of a song by The Libertines, which is a very beautiful song, even if it doesn't fit the feel of the drabble cycle.

The stories are in chronological order of the relationship and not the order the songs appear on the album.

(Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay

Whenever someone asked Sam who his favorite musician or band was, or even just what type of music was his favorite he would say that he wasn't really enough of a music fan to truly have a favorite beyond nostalgia. Josh had seen him do it a several times. The few that asked a fallow up question would get the name of some pop-rock band that was big when Sam was in high school, and as it wasn't a great choice nobody remember. Except that Josh remembered.

Josh remembered because as far as he could tell, Sam never told any other lies. Yes Sam could just be really good at lying, but considering how bad he stumbled when he was trying to stretch the truth he didn't think so. It was a particularly fascinating part of Sam's character that he would lie about something as innocuous as favorite musician. He decided to leave it alone and chalk it up to the fact that Sam was weird.

That was until he seen Sam music collection.

Sam had needed to get something out of his apartment and was to polite to not invite Josh up. Almost like he sensed it Josh found the pile of records and tapes the moment that he came through the door.

"So what, do you and your room mates share your music collection or something." Josh said, turning around to look at Sam who was contemplating the pile of papers in front of him.

"No that's all mine." Sam replied, not looking up from his pile and not really giving the conversation his full attention.

"My god Sam."

At Josh's explanation Sam briefly looked up with a questioning look on his face. "What, it's not that big of a collection."

"There's several hundred albums here."

Sam gave up the his quest momentarily to give his full attention to Josh. "Yeah but compared to what I would like to have..." Sam trailed off at the look on Josh's face.

"You consider this a small collection, and yet you constantly give barely good rock acts, that constantly change, as your favorite band."

"I figured that it would be easier then giving a real explanation, even if people have heard of my real answer they mostly question why."

"Who's your real answer."

Sam paused, not really wanting to answer but finding no way to get out of it. "Otis Redding."

"That makes sense." Josh didn't even hesitate in responding.

Sam looked at Josh for a moment, as if looking for any sign that he wasn't serious. Finding none he when back to his quest.

While Sam kept looking for the thing that he needed, Josh walked over to Sam's collection and started making comments about what he found there. He wouldn't know it but what Sam felt for him moved from a crush to something more that day. Because through his entire exploration Josh didn't question or mock a single album in Sam's collection. He was the only person who had ever done that.

I Love You More Than Words Can Say

While they hadn't been together very long, it was the longest relationship that he had ever been apart of. (There was that thing in college with the guy who... that didn't really matter here though.) And he wanted Sam to know how much this relationship meant to him. So he keep trying to show Sam.

First he planed a romantic dinner out. The restaurant wasn't the greatest or anything, and it did have to be out of the way. But none of that mattered once they had to cancel because of a couple of junior congressmen that changed their vote at the last minuet; meaning that they both (along with the rest of the office) had to stay late to clean up the mess.

Then there was the picnic in the park. Which apparently everyone had the idea to do. They were completely unable to fine a place to sit and ended up scraping the idea. Which was probably for the best, because apparently Sam was allergic to tuna (of all things), and with his luck if they had found a place in the park, Sam wouldn't have thought to look at his sandwich before bitting into it and would have died.

Finally he tried cooking a nice home cooked meal for Sam; and nearly burned down his apartment. Sam did laugh at him while calling for Chinese, so the endeavor wasn't a total loss, but not exactly what he planned.

He decided that all of his plans had failed because, while they were very nice in idea, they weren't him or Sam. What he needed to do was keep it simple.

"Sam, I Love You."

Don't Mess with Cupid

Ok, yes he was being a little insecure. But he had never seriously dated anyone before, had barely even been on more then a few dates. So he was a little worried about how well his and Josh's relationship would hold up now that he was back at Duke. And maybe he was being a little bit more of a nut then he usually was. But really that was no reason to lock him inside of a closet. The phone, a box of Twinkies, and Black's Law Dictionary were not exactly what he thought of as essential to his survival.

He sat in contemplation for a few moments before the phone rang. Figuring it was going to be his roommate calling him to gloat about locking Sam in a closet, he picked up. "You know this isn't funny, and I will be getting you back."

"Well see, that's were you are wrong. I thought it was hilarious when I found out and I think we both know that I'm a much better judge of what's funny and what's not."


"Yeah that's me. Heard you're driving your roommate up a wall. That's not supposed to happen for at least another two weeks right." The tone was teasing but Sam could hear the worry bleeding through.

"I generally hope for three more, but that is pushing it." Sam answered, the confidence in is voice lowering as he went on.

"So what's going on." Josh said after a brief pause.

"There's nothing going on." Was Sam's to quick reply.

"Sam, come on. I know you better then that. Your basically the smartest student there, and your room mate can tolerate you so unless you say otherwise, I'm just going to have to assume that it has something to do with us."

Sam remained silent, not knowing how to respond without sounding either horrible or pathetic.

"So I'm going to take that as me being right."

"Yeah." was Sam's response, so soft that it barely escaped his mouth.

"Oh Sam." Josh let out softly, pausing as if to say more and then not fallowing through.

"It's not like I think that you are suddenly going to start hating me or anything, but it's one of those things that everybody knows: long distance relationships are hard. And you're one of the few friends that I have. It probably sounds stupid or something, but your are one of the few friends that I have and I would rather lose our relationship then lose you as a friend, and..."

"Sam," Josh interrupted loudly, "why don't I make you a promise. I will always be your friend, even if we are no longer dating. That ok?"


"So anything else on your mind?"

"Yeah my professor for international is an ass."

They talked for about another hour before Josh had to go. Coincidentally, though he tried to claim otherwise, his roommate let him out about ten minuets after that.

Open the Door

Josh pounded on the door for what felt like the fiftieth time, but was probably closer to seventh. "Come on Sam open the door." No response at all. Josh rested his forehead against the door. "Come on Sam, you know that's not what I meant. I would never mean something like that." He heard the lock being turned and was just barely quick enough to keep it from falling in as the door opened slightly

"Not that I actually forgive you, but if I leave you out here to much longer the neighbors are going to start complaining about the noise.” Sam said before opening the door completely and walking away.

Josh didn't care why Sam did it, just that Sam had let him in.

Let Me Come on Home

They had been apart for a while. It was both of their faults, and neither at the same time. The universe shouldn't work like that, but it does. A long distance relationship that had turned more into an excuse to themselves for not dating anyone else then really being in a relationship. So maybe his going to see the guy Leo wanted him to see was less about it being what 'sons do for old friends of their fathers' and more hoping for an excuse to pull Sam away from the corporate world. That didn't make Bartlet any less of the real thing. He was just hoping that Sam could still be pulled back to him.

Ole Man Trouble

It wasn't like he really had anything to be worried about. They had always been careful; right from the beginning they had been careful. But still sometimes the worry crept in. They both cared so much for the administration, cared so much about what president Bartlet stood for. As much as they didn't believe there was anything wrong with what they were, but still that's what it would be viewed as. Wrong. If their relationship was to come to light.... Sometimes he wanted to quit, shout about his relationship from the rooftops, and then go work for one of the groups trying to make it so that he didn't have to hide. Mostly though, he worried.


People came to Sam all the time with questions about law or the legality of something. (Apparently it was to hard to go to the White House Council's office for answers to their questions.)

People never went to Josh with legal questions. It was rumored that someone did that once and was arrested by the CIA, never to be heard from again because they had followed Josh's advice.

This situation was of endless amusement to Sam and equally endless annoyance for Josh.

It was also a situation that led to a number of heated discussion between the two of them.

"Come on Josh, even if they had come to you with their questions would you have been able to answer it?" Sam questions as they entered the room, for the meeting on whatever it was.

"You know I went to law school too."

"Yeah but that doesn't mean that you remember anything from your time there and the avoidance of the question means that you know that and just don't want to admit defeat."

"I am not avoiding anything, I'm just saying..."

"You're just saying nothing."

"I can't believe that the two of you still have this argument." Sam and Josh both jumped a little, though they would deny it if asked, not having seen CJ walk into the room. "Josh, Sam is an actual lawyer who knows whatever the hell it is that lawyers do, and you made it through law school on your intelligence, not your understanding of what was being taught to you and then you went on to do a job that had nothing to do with being a lawyer. And you," she turned to point at Sam most likely to try and emphasize her point, but in reality just looked odd, "why do you keep this argument going. You never get anywhere."

Sam and Josh exchanged a look, sort of 'let's be nice to the crazy lady', before Sam answered "Yes but it's fun."

CJ looked exasperated at the both of them. "Fine, but the two of you both this argument away before the meeting or I'll put the two of you away." She then turned and walked as far away from the two of them as she could. Which of course wasn't very far.

The Hucklebuck

Josh was...well Sam wasn't quit sure what Josh was doing, but he did know that he wasn't going to let Josh forget it for a very long time. Sam continued to watch whatever it was that Josh was doing until the man turned around. He stopped almost instantly in shock.

"Hi Josh, having fun." Sam said, not allowing his amusement to creep into the statement.

"Uh, hi Sam. How long have you been standing there." Josh replied the unease in his voice palpable.

"Long enough to know that I have material on you for the rest of your life."

"I don't suppose that there is any way to keep you from using this against me?"

"No not really." Was Sam's cheeky reply.

Josh paused for a moment before getting the look on his face that Sam knew would lead to trouble for him. Then without any warning Josh dragged Sam into what he had been doing, and kept them going for nearly ten minuets. The two of them collapsed into each other, unable to continue.

After a moments pause Josh was able to catch his breath enough to say "At least now you wont be able to embarrass me in front of others without dragging yourself along for the ride."

Sam couldn't do anything in response but laugh.

I'm Coming Home to See About You

They both had to go away, all the time, for various reasons. Most of those reasons having to deal with the administration, of course. So it wasn't like he wasn't used to Sam being away. They had been away from each other many time throughout their relationship.

It's just that every time Sam left he got a little grouchier, a little grumpier.

No one had ever put together the change in his behavior to the absence of Sam. Most likely one part people expected him to be obnoxious and did it really matter how that manifested and one part the only person who knew him well enough to get the subtle nuances of his moods was away.

No matter how well he knew the pattern and why it happened he couldn't stop it. From the moment Sam went away he started to miss him, and that didn't go away until he was able to hold Sam in his arms again.

Nobody Know You (When You're Down and Out)

So being out was both completely different and not different at all. It was of course nice to be able to say that he was going home to Sam, to be able to go home to Sam without thinking about it or having others think about it. That was something he had never let himself think about much. But it's not like either his or Sam's behavior changed since coming out. At work they were still professional, at home they were Josh and Sam. The biggest change was when they went out with others. They had always been more affectionate with each other then they should have been, but now they were allowed to linger, to not check themselves automatically.

For him the best change was getting to claim Sam, not having to watch Sam's face as he once again claimed to be single, or to not be able to stop someone from flirting with him, to not have to hold back when someone flirted with Sam (a much more common occurrence.) Being able to feel like he was in a proper relationship was worth everything else that came with coming out.

The Glory of Love

When he was doing the dishes he like to have the music on softly in the background. So softly that he can barely hear it over the sound of the water running. That didn't matter though, he'd been listening to these songs long enough that he could sing them at any time.

"That's the story of, that's the glory of love." He could barely hear him self over the sound of the water.

He became so lost in his task that he didn't hear Josh come up behind him till he felt arms wrap around him and heard the whisper in his ear "Sigh a little, cry just a little, let that old wind just blow right on a little". They stood there quietly for a few seconds before Josh pulled back.

"You know that you we do have a washer so that neither of us has to deal with that right?" The light tease he loved so much tinted Josh's voice.

"Yes Josh, I was here when the the delivery person installed it, and I'm 99 times out of 100 the one to use it," he looked up from his task to give Josh a pointed look "I just felt that it would be a wast to run a load with this little or to leave them sitting long enough for a load."

"You know it's probably a good thing that I find you're anal retentiveness a turn on." Josh said, smile lighting up his face exactly like the first time Sam seen it.

"It's probably a good thing that I find you acting like a jackass endearing."

"You think it's charming"

"You think that I think that everything you do is charming."

"Well it is."

"I see that your dementia is strong today." Sam replied, placing the last dish in the drain before turning around. Josh took that as his cue, closing the distance between the two of the by wrapping his arms around Sam gently.

"As long as I can still remember you I don't care what else I can't remember."

"Well I'm sure you will be annoyed if you forget what ever inane piece of trivia that let's you win against Toby."

"Nah, You'll be there to tell me what I need to know."

on 2009-09-01 07:40 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
Aw. I really loved all of these!

on 2009-09-03 05:22 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
Thank You.

on 2009-09-02 11:13 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]

on 2009-09-03 05:22 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
Thank You.


on 2010-02-01 07:02 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
Would you please write more, and more fan fiction about sam and josh?
It's heartbreaking to me. They are really wonderful! You're very talented.
And Thanks for sharing such a wonderful story. 8D

Re: Wow

on 2010-02-04 04:30 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
Thank you so much for your comment. I hope that soon I will have time to write more, but currently real life is demanding all of my time.

on 2010-06-23 09:11 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
Having just joined the comm, I'm getting around late-ish to reading/feedbacking a couple things, but these were just so lovely.

First of all, oh... if ever someone didn't mock a single thing in my (eclectic and admittedly-sometimes-...odd) music collection, I might fall in love with them, too. Oh, Sam and Josh, you darling idiot boys.

Second of all, they're just so CUTE! *dies*

And thirdly, I love Josh's dementia being strong. And really, just, you know, the banter in general, which is adorably them.


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