Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters, songs, products, radio stations or name brands you'll recognize in this fic.
Warning: I think this will remain "T" throughout.
A/N: This is just a glimpse into my world of The West Wing's Josh Lyman and Sam Seaborn. If you haven't read these already please check out my one-shot (my only poem) called "Soft Kisses and Sweet Nothings", check them out chapter 10 in my multi-fic "Watching Him Sleep" and in their own fic "The Journey to Love: Love and Politics".
Chapter 4: Snow Day
The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found?
Snow in and of itself is an amazing thing; the science of how it forms flakes and how no two flakes are alike. People love the look of it as it blankets everything underneath it. They love the silence in the air as it falls. Peaceful. Falling snow is peaceful. Children love it most of all- no school, snowballs fights and snow forts. The cold air warrants a warm stick to your bones breakfast before going to play and a hot bowl of soup with grilled cheese for lunch after playing. Adults love it for a minute. Then the walkways and driveways have to be shoveled. There's slush in the streets when they drive, public transportation is slow. Despite the headaches, the magic is undeniable.
Being a California boy, Sam Seaborn absolutely loved the snow. He had never really experienced it until he was in his freshman year at Princeton. It was two weeks until final exams and Christmas break. The campus was a fury of students going here and there gathering information for last minute projects and papers. Sam remembered the conversation he and some friends had on the way to dinner in the cafeteria one night. He and the fellas were bundled up; the air was very cold and crisp.
"Smells like snow." Christopher said.
"Sure does. Looks like it too." Jake replied.
"How do you know?" Sam asked.
"Know what?" Jake asked.
"How do you know what snow smells like?"
"You just do. It's hard to explain."
"Hard to explain what?" Sydney asked as he joined in the trek to dinner.
"The smell of snow." Christopher replied. "We're trying to explain it to Sam."
"Oh, well…when you've been around it all your life, you just know."
"It doesn't snow in my part of California." Sam said.
"Man, I forget you're from the West Coast." Sydney said. "You know how the air smells when it's going to rain?" Sam thought a minute.
"I guess it kinda smells…wet. Like when you have the water hose going in the summer."
"It's kinda like that. You just know."
It had been hours after dinner and Sam had studied all he could without giving himself a headache. Just before getting into bed, he looked outside his dorm room window to see if his friends were right. The flakes were silently falling. It was pretty and gentle. Just like he expected it to be. By morning, there was about six inches of it on the ground. Sam smiled as he looked outside his window when his alarm had gone off. The dorm monitor was going through the halls letting the fells know that class had been cancelled for that day but to be prepared because it would probably be open the next day. They did mention that the cafeteria would be open all day. So Sam dressed as usual and headed out to breakfast. He could always comeback and take a nap.
He was glad his mom had sent money for him to buy snow boots. Sam had bought them just in time too. As he and his dorm mates trekked back to the dorm, several of the dorm directors were outside shoveling snow. They asked the fellas for help, so they did. Their assistance didn't last very long before a few snow forts had been built and the snowball piles started to grow. Sam's first snowball fight made a deep impression on him. And every single snowfall he experienced after that was its own separate awesomeness. But none as great as that first one.
It was a Saturday morning in Washington, D.C. and yep….it was a snow day. The first one of the winter season. It was a rare thing when the Senior White House Staff had a Saturday morning or Saturday off. But the impending weather reports prompted Leo to tell everyone to stay home unless there was an urgent call to come in. The streets would be clear enough by Monday for sure. Josh for one was happy with that; he was going to catch up on some much needed sleep. Not Sam. He could tell by the brightness peeking in from the curtains that there was snow on the ground and lots of it. And the smile on his face was huge.
He turned to look at Josh and his boyfriend was buried underneath the blankets, sleeping peacefully. Sam shook him a little. Josh didn't move. Sam shook him a little harder.
"Josh?" He said. "Josh, wake up." A grunt was all he heard. "Josh, wake up."
"Come on silly, wake up!"
"No, Leo isn't on the phone. You should wake up and see the snow. It's beautiful!" Josh tried to give Sam his most annoyed look ever with one eye open, knowing that it was going to be useless, but he did it anyway.
"Snow's not going anywhere Sam."
"I know but I want to go play in it. You know how much I love the first snowfall."
"Then go play." Josh said, turning over and turning his back to Sam. He pulled the covers over his head again, making it very clear that if it wasn't Leo calling he didn't want to be bothered.
"Come on Josh." And in those few seconds, Josh Lyman had gone back to sleep. "Party pooper." Sam said as he got up to prepare to go outside.
Josh slept and woke up a few hours later with a guilty feeling. He knew how much his Californian-bred boyfriend loved the first snowfall. He remembered what Sam had told him about his freshman year at Princeton. Snow wasn't a big deal to Josh since he had grown up in Westport, Connecticut. When it snowed on the campuses of Harvard and Yale, it was just like being at home. Josh thought about his sweet Sam outside trying to build a snowman by himself in the backyard, because nothing was going to stop him from building one; he always did. Josh reluctantly left the warm comforts of their bed to get dressed, eat something and join Sam outside.
When he stepped into the backyard of their townhouse, he was indeed greeted by a snowman. Josh was impressed because this wasn't a puny snow figure. He had to be almost five feet tall.
"Well, who do we have here?" Josh asked as he descended the stairs.
"Josh, meet Stephan; Stephan this is my boyfriend Josh." Sam said smiling and presenting the snowman with his arms.
"Yeah, he's Frosty's sassy gay cousin." Josh looked at Sam.
"Frosty has a gay cousin."
"Yeah, but they left him out of the song and everything. He's upset about it."
"What do you mean 'is he'? Of course he is. Like all of us fabulous gay and bisexual people, he just wants others to know he exists. He's just like Frosty, just…sassier."
"Um, yeah. Babe, I think the cold air has gotten to you."
"Nonsense! I've been having a good time bringing Stephan to life."
"I see." Josh walked around the snowman to see the details that Sam had carved in. "I never realized that you were such an artist."
"I know. It's amazing what you can do with a stick huh?" Josh looked around the yard to see if anything needed shoveling but Sam had already cleared the space in front of the garage. He walked to the side gate where he could see a part of the sidewalk to the left of the front door, and it appeared to have been cleared. Therefore, Josh assumed that Sam had cleared the front as well. Before he could turn around to ask Sam a question, he felt the cold, wet sting of a snowball to the side of his face. Josh hung his head as he remembered Sam's other favorite things about the first snowfall…snowballs and snowball fights.
He turned to look at his boyfriend, who pretended to still be sculpting the snowman.
"You just hit me with a snowball." Sam playing the innocent replied:
"Who me? No dear, I'm working on Stephan here. Must have been the Thomas kids." Josh had quietly gathered some snow in his gloved hand.
"Seeing as how they live four houses down, I don't think that's possible."
"Hmmm, now that you mention it you're probably right. As tall as Patrick is, he couldn't have made that from over there. Maybe it was the Isaacs' oldest son. You know he wants to play for the Mets some day."
"Please Sam, let's not make threats to my favorite team like that." Josh quietly walked closer to Sam. "You know, I don't think it was him either since they live in the other direction."
"They could be playing together."
"Yeah. School's out. Could be." Sam was concentrating so much on keeping a straight face that he didn't know Josh was right behind him until he felt the snowball being jammed down his back between his skin and his undershirt.
"Oh my God Josh! That is cold!" He exclaimed, dancing around trying to get rid of it.
"Yeah, probably the same temperature of the one I felt on the side of my face!" Josh replied laughing.
"Oh, I'm sooo gonna get you!" Sam said reaching down in front of him to make a snowball.
"Not before I get you first!" And before Sam could throw it, Josh hit him with another one.
"Oh it's on now."
"Bring it on snow boy, bring it ON." Josh said. And their snowball fight began.
Josh and Sam had a fun time playing in the snow. They threw snowballs at each other as fast as they could make them. Then they made Stephan an equally sassy partner named Francois. After that, the snowballs started again and eventually the two lovers ended up making snow angels.
"Ok, cutie I think it's time for us to go in. I can't feel my nose, fingers or toes." Josh said. Sam, being Sam pouted like a kid.
"Do we have to?" Sam whined. Josh laughed at him.
"I can't believe this. What are you five? Yes, we have to. We're gonna freeze babe! It's D.C. the snow will be here for a few days and then again in a few weeks." Josh leaned over to kiss Sam. "Great, I can't feel my lips either."
"Ok, we'll go in." Sam said surrendering. The couple headed back into the house, stopping in their small mudroom to take off their boots and wet coats. Josh hit the button on the coffee pot so they would have something warm to drink. Sam headed for their bedroom and found some dry clothes to put on then headed for the bathroom. A hot shower would warm frozen fingers and toes in no time. Sam stepped under the spray and soon felt fingers and arms surrounding him. Josh kissed the back of his neck as they stood under the water.
"Mmmm…" Sam hummed.
"It that for me or because you can feel your toes again?" They laughed.
"Both." Sam turned to face his lover and greeted him with a kiss. "Can you feel your lips now?"
After showering and changing into drier clothes, they headed back to the kitchen in the search of food. Playing in the snow always made Sam hungry. Josh poured them cups of coffee while Sam warmed up some beef stew and made grilled cheese sandwiches. They ate lunch in front of the fireplace, something they didn't get to do much. And Josh loved it. Once finished, they spent some cuddle time on the couch. Something else (depending on the week) they didn't get to do much.
Soft jazz music blended with the gentle crackle of the fire. Sam was sitting at the end of the couch with his legs draped over Josh's who was sitting in the middle. Josh was reading the paper. Sam was reading some novel he picked up the last time he was in the airport after realizing he forgot to bring reading material. Playing in the snow also tuckered Sam out. Sam had fallen asleep and Josh didn't realize it until the book had fallen out of his hands. Josh looked over to see his lover asleep, glasses slipping down his nose. Josh laughed to himself as he took Sam's glasses off and placed them on the coffee table with his newspaper. He then grabbed the blanket from the back of the couch and eased himself behind Sam. Sam moved in his sleep to allow Josh space and he covered them both with the blanket. Sam nestled back into Josh's arms. Josh kissed him and whispered:
"You like to spend your snow day playing in the snow. I just want to spend my snow day with you."