Josh's Problem / Sam's Problem by Willow

Summary: Josh is having problems with Toby, his mother, lack of sleep and lack of a love life, but those are nothing compared to Sam's problem.
Spoilers/Episode: Post The Mommy Problem
Characters: Josh, Leo, Sam
Rating: PG
Notes: I wrote the first part because I can't work out what's happened to Josh and Toby and the second part because, well why not, it could be...


Part I - Josh

Josh glanced at his watch, 11.20pm, he should probably go home soon, in fact he should probably go home now. He was just turning off the desk lamp when his phone rang. 'Who the hell?' he muttered as he picked up the receiver. "Santos/McGarry Josh Lyman."

"Hey, Kid."

"Hey," Josh smiled. "How'd you know I'd still still be here?"

Leo shook his head, "You weren't at home and it's not yet midnight, so..."

"Yeah. Been a weird couple of days."

"I'd heard," Leo grinned. "You hired Lou Thornton?"

"I did," Josh agreed. "Thought it'd be character building. How's it going your end?"

"You'd have to ask Annabeth that one. You know I now have a greater appreciation of why the president hated the campaigns so much."

"No fun being a candidate?" Josh asked.

"Not so much, no. And don't think I've forgotten who's fault it is."

Josh could hear the smile in Leo's voice though. "You're loving it," he teased. "Anyway, Mal's there tomorrow."

"So what's been going on?" Leo asked.

"You mean besides siestas and broken beds?"

"Reservist training went well," Leo replied.

"Yeah, that was a gift," Josh agreed. "And I'm told he looked good as well. We're actually doing well at the moment, we'd be doing better without the White House screwing us with our pants on."

"Closing their investigation was the right thing to do. It's what you would have recommended if you'd been there," Leo pointed out.

"Of course it was the right thing to do. I'd just like for Toby to pick the phone up and give us a heads up instead of having to find out these things from CNN."

Leo sighed. Toby and Josh had fought through most of the first Bartlet campaign and then sniped through most of their first year in office. After Rosslyn they'd formed a strange friendship that seemed to be mostly based on Toby becoming Josh's big brother and Josh letting him. Now, they were back to square one. "You two fight?"

"Not physically."

"Well that's a breakthrough."

"I just don't understand what's going on with him, Leo." Josh ran his hand through his hair in frustration. "I don't know what I did."

"Yeah you do."

"Yeah I do," Josh reluctantly agreed. "But how was I suppose to know. When I told him I was leaving he yelled at me, virtually called me a traitor, a rat jumping ship. So how was I suppose to know he wanted to come too?"

"I'm not sure he knew himself," Leo replied.

"Nah, that isn't it. I got out so he couldn't, because someone had to stay behind. That's how he sees it."

"I think it goes deeper than that, Josh. He hasn't come to terms with David dying."

"Yeah," Josh said quietly. "He won't discuss it, so how's anyone suppose to help?"

Leo almost smiled at the absurdity of Josh of all people making a statement like that. Two peas in a pod, that was Josh and Toby and that was why they fought so much. "I don't know. It's tough when you see someone you care beating themselves up and there's nothing you can do to stop them."

"Yeah."

"Go home, Josh."

"Yeah," Josh repeated. "Say hi to Mal and Ciaran for me."

"She's bringing Ciaran?" Leo asked.

"Yeah, I thought you knew. It was her idea. Anyway," Josh smiled, "turns out he's a very photogenic baby."

"Of course he is," Leo, the proud grandfather, smiled.

"You know my mom's giving me hell over that don't you."

"Over Ciaran? Why?"

"'Cos I'm forty four, she isn't a grandmother yet and time's ticking by," Josh smiled.

Leo's first instinct was to tell Josh to get of his backside and call Donna, but instead he just laughed and agreed that Clara had a point.

"Thanks for the support," Josh grinned. "Good night, Leo."


Part II - Sam

Once he'd hung up the phone, Josh sat in the darkness for a while. He contemplated calling Toby, but he knew how that conversation would go in their current moods. Instead he took out his cell phone and called another number. "Hey, you busy?" he asked.

"Please tell me you're not still at work?"

"I'm just on my way out."

"You're a workaholic."

"Could be worse," Josh replied. "How you doing?"

"Leo's in town," Sam replied.

"How is that an answer?"

"Mal's coming out tomorrow."

"I know that, I'm actually the campaign manager," Josh pointed out.

"We're having dinner."

"Ahh," Josh smiled. "You think Leo's going to kill you."

"No. But he has a rather large secret service attachment and one of them might."

"I don't know how many times to tell you this, Leo isn't angry at you. Why would he be?"

"Why would he be?"

"Yes."

"Seriously?"

"It's been a long day, Sam," Josh sighed.

Sam smiled at Josh's exasperated tone. "I know, I saw the bed photo."

"Yes, but worse than that, I hired Lou Thornton."

"Lou... wow, you're a brave man. And I thought I had problems."

"Back to your problem, your imagined problem."

"It's not imagined, Josh. You didn't see him at the hospital, although Jenny is actually scarier."

"Mal's a lot like her mom," Josh smiled. "They were bound to be on edge, their daughter was having a baby."

"My baby."

"Yes," Josh agreed. "You made him a grandfather, why would he be pissed at you?"

"I made him a grandfather."

"My mother would love you for doing that."

Sam smiled. "Well that's a whole other soap opera there, Josh. I'm saying..."

"He likes being a grandfather," Josh interrupted.

"He probably like it more though and if Mal and I were actually a couple, don't you think?"

"Probably. But your not."

"No," Sam agreed.

"To your lasting sorrow," Josh added.

"How is Donna?" Sam asked.

"Hey, this is about your pathetic lack of a love life not mine," Josh replied. "At least you've had a love life in the last... you know I can't remember how long it's been."

"We're sad," Sam said.

"And pathetic," Josh agreed. "And Leo isn't pissed at you."

"Really?"

"No, he is a little."

"Thanks for that."

"No problem," Josh grinned.

"So what's up?"

"With?"

"You. You're calling me at midnight EST, so what's up?"

"You are the only person I know who would add EST to the time," Josh teased and then frowned. "Toby."

"Yeah. He's angry," Sam agreed.

"At me?" Josh asked.

"At the world," Sam replied and then hesitated, because something had been troubling him since the White House announced they were closing their own investigation. Sam could only think of two reasons for that - either the leak had been found at the Pentagon or someone at the White House was under suspicion. "Josh, you think it was Toby? The leak I mean, you think it could have been Toby?"

"No."

"Okay."

"No. He wouldn't be that stupid, I mean I know he's upset over David, but... no, he wouldn't."

Sam frowned at the uncertainty in Josh's voice. "That's what I thought," he agreed while making a silent prayer that his misgivings were wrong, that the leak would turn out to be someone at the Pentagon, not Toby.

Josh steered the conversation onto safer ground. "You must be excited at seeing Ciaran again?"

"Don't laugh," Sam said, "but I don't think I'm going to sleep tonight. I haven't seen him for two weeks. I don't think I can go on like this, Josh. I want to see him all the time so I've made a decision. Mal isn't going to move out here so I'm going to start applying for jobs out there."

"Seriously?" Josh grinned. "That's excellent news. You know we need a good speech writer," he offered hopefully. Even though he'd known Joey was right and he needed to hire some senior staff, he hadn't seriously considered asking Sam because he knew his friend was happy in California.

"That's actually more tempting than you think," Sam replied. "Don't know about the White House, but working on the campaign might be fun."

"Fun? Well one man's meat..." Josh smiled. "Seriously though, Sam. You want to come join us and I can have your office ready in about five minutes."

"What about the congressman?"

"You'll like him."

"Will he like me?"

"Well if he doesn't, Leo needs some staff," Josh laughed.

END