Summary: Sam ponders the afterlife. A bit of fluff inspired by a drunken conversation with friends.
Spoilers: Nothing specific, but anything up to season is fair game.
Characters: Sam, josh, CJ and Toby
Disclaimer: They all belong to Aaron Sorkin, NBC, John Wells and many others who aren't me.
"Do you believe in ghosts?" Sam asked Josh while they walked to CJ's office.
Josh looked at him. "What?".
"Ghosts. Do you think they exist?"
"Where did that come from?"
"We were talking about Estate Tax."
"It just kind of followed on in my train of thought."
Josh smiled, "'Cos the people who are taxed are dead?"
"You're strange, you know that right?" Josh grinned.
"Which is why you're strange," Josh laughed as they walked into CJ's office.
"Why's he strange?" CJ asked. "Apart from the obvious."
"Hey!" Sam protested.
"He wants to know if I believe in ghosts," Josh told her.
"Ghosts, Samuel?" CJ smiled. "You guys brought beer?"
"Toby's getting it," Josh replied and sat down next to her on the couch.
"You sent him to the store?" CJ asked.
"My office," Josh said.
"Why couldn't you......? "
"I was in Sam's office."
"Okay," CJ replied.
"So do you?" Sam persisted.
"Ghosts?" Josh asked. "No. You?"
"Yeah, I've seen some."
Josh and CJ both stared at him "Seriously?" CJ asked.
"Yeah. I use to rent an apartment in an old block in New York. You remember," he turned to Josh, "above the bakers? It was haunted."
"I never saw anything when I stayed," Josh said.
"Perhaps you're just not sensitive to these things," CJ suggested.
Josh glanced at her and grinned slightly. "What did you see?" he asked Sam.
"Well, there was a cat use to walk across the lounge...."
"It could have come in the fire escape," CJ pointed out.
"No, 'cos when I'd look again it'd be gone. Plus, I always saw it in the same place. Then there was a woman standing on the fire escape."
"Looking for her cat perhaps," Josh suggested with a grin.
Sam ignored him, "And a feeling of being watched."
Josh was grinning openly now. "I think psychiatrists have a name for that."
CJ hit him across the head. "Just 'cos you don't believe, don't mock others."
"That hurt," Josh protested as he rubbed the back of his head.
"What doesn't he believe?" Toby asked, handing out the beers.
"I don't believe in ghosts," Josh told him.
"And who does?" Toby asked with a slight smile.
Josh grinned. "Sam's seen some and CJ seems to agree with him."
Toby looked at CJ and Sam, "Well," he said, "much as this pains me, I'm going to have to agree with Josh on this. You're both insane"
"I might have known that you wouldn't believe," CJ scoffed.
"What scientific proof is there.....?" Toby began.
"Oh come on, don't use that argument," CJ told him. "What scientific proof is there that God exists?"
"You're comparing God and ghosts?" Toby asked.
Josh looked at Sam, "See what you've started."
"No," CJ replied. "I think there may be a greater chance of ghosts existing. At least there's a rational explanation for them."
"Rational?" Josh asked, "You're not serious."
"Yes," CJ continued. "My sister-in-law thinks that ghosts are actually people in another time dimension."
"That's what you call rational?" Josh smiled.
"Plus," CJ continued, "there have been experiments," she turned to looked at Toby, "scientific experiments, that prove the existence of some kind of energy in haunted buildings."
"There's usually an explanation if you investigate," Sam added.
"Oh God," Josh laughed, "you did didn't you?"
"No," Sam protested, "but the couple who lived there before me did. According to the guy across the hall anyway."
"Didn't he collect newspapers?" Josh remembered.
"He liked to read."
"He had thousands, all stacked up in his lounge."
"Yeah, he was a bit of a hoarder," Sam agreed.
"Let's hope he didn't smoke," CJ commented.
"That's what it was," Sam told her.
"What what was?"
"The haunting. It was in the 20's. There was a fire in the building, the lady who lived there got out onto the fire escape but her cat was trapped inside and it died," Sam informed them.
Toby smiled, "So now she's doomed to spend eternity looking for her lost cat?"
"You actually believe that don't you?"
"It sounds plausible," Sam agreed.
"Insane," Toby muttered. "Can we get some food?"
"I ordered pizza," CJ told him. "Did the lady die?" she asked.
"Then why would she be haunting the building? I mean I always thought that ghosts haunted the buildings they died in?" CJ asked.
Josh decided to enter into the spirit of things, so to speak. "Maybe she died there years later, she could have moved back in."
"Good point," CJ agreed.
"Don't you start," Toby warned him.
"Debbie, my sister-in-law, wouldn't believe that though," CJ continued.
Sam nodded, "She'd think I was seeing an image from another time period that was briefly crossing with ours. That's a good theory, I quite like that."
"Yeah, but what about all those unquiet spirits?" Josh asked, trying very hard to sound serious.
"Stop encouraging them," Toby told him.
"Well," CJ continued, "she believes in reincarnation. She says heaven'd be pretty crowded by now. So once we die we're reincarnated and we carry on. That's her explanation for deja vu."
"Please tell me she's never been hypnotized to find her past lives?" Toby asked.
"No, she says she doesn't want to know who she was in the past."
"She wasn't anybody in he past, she's only ever been herself," Josh replied.
CJ looked at him, "How do you know that?"
"Because it's a ridiculous idea."
"That's your argument?" CJ asked. "And we send you to high level meetings to argue our case. Reincarnation is a fundamental belief of many religions."
"Well. yeah, okay," Josh agreed. "But I still don't believe we can access any past lives we may have had. The average life span over the last millennium is say 60 years, if everyone is reincarnated, that's a hell of a lot of past life's. If it was possible to remember parts of those lives, well your brain would overload."
"Which is why she doesn't want to know," CJ added.
"In the last 1000 years we'd all have had an average of 16 lives," Sam added. "That's an interesting thought."
"No it isn't," Toby replied. "When you're dead, you're dead."
"So you don't believe in an afterlife?" CJ asked.
"I don't believe you get reincarnated."
"Do Jews believe in an afterlife?" Sam asked.
"You can if you want," was Josh's helpful answer.
Toby took over, "What you believe is left up to you. We don't believe that death is the end, you can believe in a kind of heaven or in reincarnation."
"So there's no teachings on an afterlife?" CJ asked.
"Yeah, it's called....," Toby sighed and looked at Josh. "This is second time I've done this recently," he muttered.
"I know and I think it's great," Josh smiled. "It's called Olam Ha-Ba, it means 'the world to come'. It can be an afterlife but it can also refer to the dead waiting for the messiah when they'll be resurrected."
"So there's nothing in Judaism to say you can't believe in ghosts?" Sam returned to his original argument.
"No," Toby told him. "We're not saying we don't believe in ghosts because it's against our religion. We just think you're insane."
"The White House is haunted you know," Sam continued.
"What started this?" Toby asked.
"Estate Tax," Josh replied.
"Pizza's here," CJ told them as she hung up her phone. "You're nearest the door," she told Sam.
"Money?" Sam asked.
"I would think they'll want some, yes," CJ agreed.
"I've only got $10."
"Here," Josh handed him some more money. "Try and not let the ghosts get the pepperoni."