About Him
by MelWil

The bar tender was wearing a shirt with a ribbon threaded through where a button should have been. She plonked the drinks on the bar and took Toby's money without a word.

"I lost." Despite the talks they'd had, despite the polls that told them nothing good, despite the quiet resignation that had fallen over the campaign, Sam still looked like a four year old whose pet goldfish had died.

"Yeah." Toby slid one of the drinks down the bar. "We'll deal with it tomorrow."

"I made the speech, right? I got up there and made the speech?"

"Yeah." Sam's speech, his concession speech, had been brilliant; the kind of speech that made supporters cry and made those who didn't vote for him wonder if they'd chosen the wrong man. That would be important. Tomorrow.

Tonight was about Sam. Tonight it was important to keep him morale up, to stop him from drowning here and now. And if that meant finding a brass marching band, or a personal audience with the Laker Girls, than that's what Toby would do.

Sam tipped his glass up and gulped at its contents. The foam clung to the glass, sliding down slowly as Sam pushed the glass back on to the bar. "I thought I could win this."

For a moment, Toby wondered if he should be getting Sam drunk. Sam wasn't usually a maudlin drunk, but this was an unusual situation. Toby wished Josh could be in California. Josh always knew what Sam needed.

Sam held out some money and the bar tender (she was all dressed in black and it seemed all wrong for California) brought him another beer. Toby thought she might have smiled a little as she tucked the money into her pocket.

"I'm sorry," Sam gulped at his beer. "I should have listened to you and Josh and CJ and Will. I thought I could win."

Toby closed his eyes. "Have you got beer in your apartment, Sam?"


Toby stood up. "Let's go."


Sam was living in a rented apartment, temporary accommodation, sparsely furnished and absent of all tangible personality. It was simply somewhere to come at the end of the day, somewhere to sleep, and drink a bedtime beer, and leave take out containers stacked neatly beside the sink.

Toby sank into an armchair and took the beer Sam held out for him. Sam opened a beer of his own and sank into the opposite chair.

"I've never lost a campaign before," Sam blurted out, his beer sitting forgotten in his hand. "This is the first time."

Toby remained silent. He'd forgotten the number of losses; it was easier to remember the number of wins. Four. Two Presidential nominations; two Presidential campaigns. And in one of those races Bartlet had been the only contender.

"I want to say thank you, Toby." Sam put down his drink and stumbled across the room, leaning a little as he stood in front of Toby. "You know, for staying around. For helping me."

Toby shrugged. "We should have gotten in to it earlier. That would have been helping."

"No," Sam dropped down, his face level with Toby's. "You were there for me. I really appreciate that."

Suddenly Sam's lips her pressed against Toby's, his tongue pushing against Toby's lips, against his teeth, against his tongue. Toby didn't stop him, didn't even wonder what they were doing. All he knew was that Sam was kissing him, and it wasn't awkward (and it wasn't like the last time) and he rather enjoyed it.

Besides, this night was all about Sam.


He woke up naked. In Sam's room. Next to a naked Sam. Which did not disturb him as much as it once might have. He rolled out of the bed and left the room quietly, careful not to wake Sam.

Sam. Toby stood under the hot water of the shower and remembered what Sam had done. Remembered how he nibbled on Toby's ear, how he had wrapped his body around Toby's, how he had moaned loudly and clearly, with all the heartbreaking eloquence of his concession speech.

Yesterday was about making Sam feel better. Today was about the future. About standing by Sam while he tried to haul himself back to a respectable state. And tonight Toby would be back on a plane to Washington and it wouldn't be Sam he had to look out for anymore.


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