Part 1

Category: General
Rating: Nothing you wouldn't see on TV
Disclaimer: They aren't mine. This is just for my own amusement and hopefully the amusement of my list friends.
Thanks to Steve and Scott for giving me the deadline...again. Go away for a while now. :)


Sam dragged himself off the couch in Toby's office at 5 am. He'd managed about three hours of sleep there. By the time he finished the education speech last night he was nearly comatose, and it seemed a waste to spend the hour in transit to home and back when he could spend it sleeping instead.

He'd perfected the tactic of the office all-nighter. Leo caught him once and he'd been more careful after that to be sure he was awake before anyone else hit the Wing for the morning. The stash of fresh clothing in his office helped the illusion that he'd gone home. Sam smiled to himself as he wondered if he should get the locker room attendants bribes to keep the secret that he spent more time there than they did during most weeks.

He'd showered and changed by the time the first signs of life appeared in the Communications Bullpen. Ginger appeared and began sorting the mail. She'd learned long ago that in the early morning hours Sam was rarely talkative and their silent acknowledgments would progress to civil morning greetings and business once he'd consumed several cups of the coffee she made within minutes of each morning's arrival.

Sam used the quiet early morning lull to prepare for the upcoming day. The lull lasted exactly five minutes longer, until Toby swung around the corner into his office in full indignant mode.

"Sam, remind me again why we are rehashing the President's family ties to teaching in this speech you just wrote. His story of the one room, --excuse me-- two room school house-- that his grandmother or whoever taught in, is older than the jokes he uses. People don't want to hear it again."

"If we don't put it in there, he'll do it himself. Better that it's the short version."

"Can't we just talk him out of it?"

"And just how successful have we been at that the last fifty times we've tried? I'm trying to go with the flow here, cause I'm tired of getting hit by the waves."

Toby opened his mouth to say something, then closed it again. Sam did a double-take. A quiet Toby usually meant agreement. He hadn't expected an easy victory on the point.

"You're from California. You like waves." Toby couldn't resist a small smile.

"Didn't bring a surfboard with me, Toby, so, as you know, I get smacked around a lot."

Toby paused a moment. That was actually true, but Sam sounded more bitter about it than usual. Unfortunately, they needed his head together, so they were not going to have that discussion now. Toby dropped it.

"Yeah. Okay. The rest is fine. I'll drop it off for him now."

Sam looked at him closely. Toby was being uncharacteristically agreeable.

"Why are you going so easy with this? Are you expecting bigger waves over something else?"

Toby almost walked out without answering, but the look in Sam's eyes told him he knew something was wrong.

"I'm expecting a tsunami. That's all I can tell you for now."

Sam tried to ask him more, but Toby was gone.


Part 2




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