Fandom: The West Wing
Length: Medium (4426 words)
Authors on LJ: Unknown
Website: Punk and Sab Fiction
Summary: You can never go home again, but sometimes you can go to Florida.
Review: Ten years ago, in Florida, Josh missed his chance with Sam, and he's always regretted it. Now Sam's fallen heir to a timeshare at a Florida resort, and he's somehow persuaded to take Josh along with him. When they arrive at their accommodation, however, it's to discover that there is only one bed, and Josh is going to have to sleep on the flimsy wicker couch. Naturally this doesn't improve Josh's temper, and nor does Sam's odd ambition of sleeping with a stupid girl - an aim, in fact, which he does very little to pursue.
Instead, it's Josh who ends up meeting somebody; he's on the verge of going home with a kid called Parker when Sam arrives and catches them together, and after that everything - quite unsurprisingly - starts to change.
This is a story that's been around a while - since 2001, in fact - and it's still one of my two or three all-time favourites in the Josh/Sam genre. It has a beautiful sense of place, and the characters of the boys ring very true; so do those of the non-speaking 'extras' who roll through the background - especially Donna, who has no direct speech but is very much a presence in the story.
There is nothing complicated or angsty here; this is a story about sweetness and second chances, making up for lost time and the power of friendship, and above everything else it's a story about the very great importance of never losing hope. That's probably why I keep going back and reading it; because doing so is always like opening up a fresh box of optimism. I can thoroughly recommend it for that reason alone.
Link: You and Me in a Rowboat to Rio (original version) and also on A03 at this page