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TWW FIC: Talisman

TITLE: Talisman
FANDOM: The West Wing
CHARACTERS: Sam; C.J. and Josh in absentia
SUMMARY: You’re probably the world’s worst liar. Angsty Sam drabble, set during “In the Shadow of Two Gunmen Part II.”
DISCLAIMER: Hail to the Chief. That would be Aaron Sorkin, not me.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: A bit different from my comic Josh/Sam dialogues. Feedback welcome.


I didn’t want you to feel beholden to me.

That’s what you think to say, and it is the truth, but certainly not the whole truth. And just as Josh has a pretty bad poker face, you’re probably the world’s worst liar, instantly sweaty and awkward, so that in two seconds flat you find yourself babbling inanely about I Dream of Jeannie and coconut oil and towels. And C.J. is unexpectedly gracious about it and doesn’t push for the real reason, but she asks for her necklace back, so you have to hand it to her without revealing your reluctance.

But the real reason is that you’ve been walking around all day, keeping it close to your skin like a talisman, a concrete reminder to God or Fate that you did your best, that you may have saved a life – that when those first unexpected shots rang out, you didn’t hesitate for a second before you tackled her angular body and took her to the ground, falling sideways, trying to protect her from the impact. You’ve hoped against hope that you would be judged worthy, that you would not be punished for being in the wrong place at the right time.

You were actually glad to be asked to do the morning shows; it kept your brain busy, fielding questions, conveying the right combination of outrage and reassurance. Once they were over, you had little to do other than try to talk Toby down from his ambitious plan to infringe on civil liberties, or stare at your desk, wondering whether the single person you loved most in the world was about to be taken from you. That’s when it became so reassuring to have its weight in your pocket, to be able to slip your hand in and worry it, fingers sliding along the links as if it were a rosary, weakly whispering silent prayers to you knew not whom.

But you couldn't say any of this to C.J. You especially couldn’t tell her that if you had one guilty wish, it would be that they had switched places last night – that he’d been the one safe in your arms, that she’d been the one just now taken off bypass with a repaired artery and a reinflated lung.

Although, what with the way you announced, “Josh, I’m here!” when you burst into the emergency room, as though the cavalry had come, and everything would finally be okay, you kind of wonder whether she might already know.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 9th, 2011 04:11 am (UTC)
Very nice. Love the idea of Sam keeping the necklace as a sort of talisman.
Feb. 9th, 2011 04:59 am (UTC)
Thanks! I watched TWW when it was on the air, but only started writing fic for it very recently after rediscovering my love for S1.

Great icon!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )



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