title: two degrees
author: nostalgia
rated: r
summary: slash-by-proxy
disclaim: wb and aaron sorkin own 'the west wing'. it is not for glory, for honour, or for riches that i write, but for 'something to do', which no good man loses but with his life. ahem.
etc: for lindsay, who recruited me to the cause and gifted me with west wing/sg-1 porn for my 21st. the freak.
this is a dreadful mess of americanisms and uk spellings, i know. i'm trying to work that one out.

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Because Josh touched Donna and Donna touched Sam. The pats on the back, the playful tickling. Sometimes Sam could feel the contact rubbing off of Donna's skin onto his own, passing like an infection, a rash. Today she had the scent of Josh's office in her hair. Sam ran his fingers through blonde hair that felt too long, too carefully-styled, too straight, the wrong colour. But at least today it smelt right. And Donna, during her erstwhile infatuation, had picked up mannerisms and speech-rhythms that she'd never noticed and had never dropped. Every little helped.

Yesterday - her birthday - there had been gifts and cards and Josh had chastely kissed his assisstant on the cheek. Sam had felt his stomach tighten into a frustrated knot. His smile must have flickered because Josh had put on the cocky, slightly lop-sided grin, pulled Donna closer (so close, all those points of contact) and met Sam's gaze over her shoulder; "You jealous there, amigo?" It got a laugh from the others, and even Sam managed to force a grin. Later, alone, he had kissed her cheek in the same spot, because he was the optimist, and it was the closest he could get.

Up late into the night with an education bill and Chinese take-out, Sam had asked the question. He'd affected his usual confused innocence, somehow kept the tone casual;

"Are you sleeping with Donna?"

Josh had blinked, stared at his friend for a moment, then started an industrious investigation of his fried rice. "No." Pause. "She..." He tailed off.

"But you have had sex with her?"

And Josh had changed the subject. Within a week Sam was with Donna.

He studied her now across the table. Does she know that I know? She raised the wineglass to her lips. The little twinges of envy hit again as he stared at her mouth. She had kissed Josh. Where, when, how many times? What else had they done? What exactly? Had it been a one-off, one night stand, or had it been something else, something with structure? Details, details, details... He couldn't ask. She'd think that he was jealous.

Across the table, Donna smiled, moving her hand over the tablecloth toward him. He took it. It was close enough.