No Problem

By Nomad
July 2002

Spoilers: General season three, all the way up to "Posse Comitatus"
Disclaimer: Not mine. It's not worth trying to sue me, I write fanfic instead of finding gainful employment.

"You okay, Sam?"

It's a constant refrain, but he doesn't know why they ask him.

"You okay, Sam?" asks Leo, and he says he's fine. Because he isn't an alcoholic and he's never had to give up love for his job, only Lisa and that wasn't love, he's not really sure what that was, but he's probably better off without it, and the last date he actually had was with this man's daughter, and it wasn't really a real date, anyway.

He can't share his problems with Leo, because he doesn't really have any.

"You okay, Sam?" asks CJ. And he's fine, because nobody he was really close to was shot, except that two of them were, but they're better now and they're over it and he sure as hell should be if they are. And his father isn't losing his mind, just his scruples, but apparently he never had any anyway, and that was over a year ago and he should be over it by now, and isn't he old enough to be used to the fact that everybody lies?

Even the president asks. "Are you okay, Sam?" Because the president cares. The president cares too much, and he'd even care about Sam's problems, but Sam doesn't have any problems. He doesn't have a country to run or a family that he doesn't see enough of or a disease of the central nervous system. And he's never had to lie, and that's probably just as well, because it seems he still hasn't grown out of the childish idea that honesty's important.

Josh never asks if he's okay, just says "How you doin'?" But it's still a question, and he could still answer it, except that nobody shot him and he doesn't have PTSD, and his father isn't dead and he never had a sister to lose. And anyway, he can't talk to Josh when Josh is happy now, at least he's supposed to be happy, he's supposed to be in love - except it looks a lot more painful than he thought it was meant to be, but that's probably just something else he was naive about.

And anyway, Josh isn't his friend anymore, except Josh doesn't know that, and it's not exactly something he can bring up, because they're not in kindergarten and he ought to have more important things to think about than who sits next to who at the lunch table, and if that's his worst problem he ought to count himself lucky.

They ask if he's okay, because if he seems a little down, well, he must have a reason. And everybody else has got reasons coming out of their ears, and they're still going, because all of them are grown-ups, but maybe he's still ten years old because he still sees things in black and white, and he'd have to be an idiot to try and keep believing in words like right and wrong.

He'd have to be an idiot, but that's not a problem, that's just a fatal overdose of naiveté, and they could only tell him he needs to grow up, and he knows that already.

He doesn't have any problems, he just has stuff, and it must all be pretty minor stuff because nobody else can see it. Except Toby, Toby can probably see it, but Toby never asks him if he's okay, because Toby doesn't ask things like that.

And stuff isn't enough to stop him doing his job, because the job is the same as it always was, and there's no way he should feel any different about it when nothing's actually happened. He's still fine, and he doesn't have any reason not to be fine, so he just keeps going.

He just keeps going, and from time to time, people ask him if he's okay. And he tells them he's fine.

After all, you can't complain when you don't have any problems.