"I found something," Margaret said suddenly. She had been going through the files on the laptop. Josh was dubious about letting her touch the computer, but Margaret insisted and Donna backed her up.

"What?" Both Josh and Donna crowded around.

"See this?" Margaret pointed to something on the screen. "That's a hidden directory. Now, we go here and it shows the files."

"Toby's personal notes." Josh looked at the display. "Can you open them?"

"Give me a few minutes to break through the encryption," Margaret said confidently. "Toby's got a really good encryption program on this."

"You're hacking into his computer files?" Josh asked, raising his brows.

"Well, unless you have his passwords, there's no other way to get into the files," Margaret replied, typing fast. "It isn't like he can yell at me for it."

Margaret stopped, appalled at what she said.

"Go ahead, Margaret," Donna said softly, putting her hand on the woman's shoulder. "We need to know."

"I don't know... Toby's privacy..." Margaret faltered.

"We can keep secrets, Margaret," Josh said gently. "Go ahead. We need to know. Leo needs to know."

"Okay."

-----------------

CJ closed the suitcase with a thump. Suit, shoes, hose, blouse, all in black. It had taken her a while to find the severe black suit; she hadn't worn black for so long. It looked bad on her on television. She wondered if she should bring a hat. She had one, bought for her grandfather's funeral. She smiled sadly.

Toby had gone with her to the funeral. He had made fun of that hat all the way to the church. All through the Mass, he had glanced at her and she had tried hard not to laugh, hearing the comments about the hat echoing through her head.

She tiptoed and pulled down the hatbox and took out the hat. Putting it on her head, she looked into the mirror. He was right, it did look silly on her. Especially combined with a sleeveless undershirt and boxers, her normal nightwear. God, how Toby would laugh to see her like this.

Or would he? She took off the hat and placed it carefully in the box. Toby's eyes were as eloquent as his writing, and his eyes said things that she wasn't sure she was ready to hear.

His eyes told her that she was beautiful. His eyes told her that he was proud of her, no matter what his voice said. His eyes told her he loved her.

CJ's eyes filled with tears. She knew he cared about her, that he loved her as a friend. But did his eyes say more than his words did? Did he love her?

They had been friends for a long, long time. She was the one who could make him laugh when he was wallowing in a deep funk. She was the one who could engage him in an argument to get him thinking instead of brooding.

If he did love her, why did he not tell her? Was he afraid she'd turn away? She wouldn't have turned away.

She paused, knowing it was true. She threw herself on the bed, in tears. God, she did love him. It had snuck up on her so silently that she hadn't noticed. It wasn't the grand passion she had thought love would be. It was simply a sense of rightness, of security. And now it was gone. He was gone.

"Why didn't you tell me, Toby?" she murmured. "I would have been there for you."

----------------

"Fucking son of a whore." The words out of Margaret's mouth startled both Josh and Donna.

"Who?" Donna asked, rushing to her side.

"Look." Margaret pointed to the screen. Toby's files were there, neat and organised.

"Hoynes?" Josh looked blankly at the screen. "What the hell does Hoynes have to do with this?" He pushed Margaret out of the way and read rapidly.

"Josh?" Donna ventured as Josh leaned back. She had not seen such a look on his face since Rosslyn.

"Fuck," Josh said finally, putting his elbows on the desk and his face in his hands.

"What?"

"Ladies, we are looking at what might be the biggest scandal in American political history," Josh said tiredly. "John Hoynes is running for the Democratic nomination."

Margaret looked at Donna. Donna looked at Margaret, then at Josh.

"I'm not sure I understand what you mean," she said carefully.

"Hoynes doesn't have a prayer against Bartlet. So he has to make sure that Bartlet doesn't run," Josh replied. "He can't hit the President directly."

"Josh, I'm still not following."

"Toby talked to Hoynes week before last, about the oil slapdown." Josh said flatly. "That's when he started digging. He worked out that Hoynes is running. And that means Hoynes thinks Bartlet won't."

"Well, the President hasn't said anything about re-election," Donna pointed out practically. "Maybe it's a just in case thing."

"Friday, Toby is in with the President for a long time. Security at airports is pushed up and the President's security detail is heightened," Josh continued. "Toby must have found something out about Hoynes, something that isn't here. He told the President and four days later, Toby's dead." Josh shot to his feet and started out the door.

"Where are you going?" Donna cried out.

"To see Leo," Josh shouted back. Donna took off after him.

"No, Josh," she yelled at him. "You can't go off like this."

"Just watch me." Josh was at his desk, punching in numbers. Donna put her hand down on the hang up button and faced him.

"Josh, before you accuse the Vice President of the United States of murder, you better be damned sure of your facts."

"Donna..."

"No, I mean it. Toby killed himself and you can't face that. So you're looking for some other reason. Don't let your need to find another explanation blind you to reality."

"Thank you so much, Dr. Donnatella Moss," Josh said sarcastically. "I need to talk to Leo."

"Yes, you do." Donna removed her hand. "But not to accuse anyone of anything. Call him and Sam. You can discuss this together and you'll see how incredibly stupid your scenario is."

---------------

Leo listened to Josh rant with as impassive a face as he could manage. It was nonsense, of course. Now would be the perfect opportunity to tell Sam and Josh what the President told Toby.

No. Neither he nor the President could deal with that conversation right now. And Babish had warned them to keep tight with that for the moment. The timing was incredibly bad right now.

"Josh, that's ridiculous," Sam said quietly. "I know it's hard to accept, but I think Toby really did commit suicide."

"So do I," Leo said, equally quietly. "Josh, I've been there, with the booze and the pills..."

"It wasn't that." Margaret spoke up. Leo looked at her as if he had forgotten she was in the room. "I didn't see any signs of that. None."

"How would you know what to look for?" Leo snapped at her. She didn't flinch.

"I watched you go through it," she said quietly. "Toby drank too much sometimes, but he was never an alcoholic. He didn't need to drink. He didn't pop pills to calm down, either. I may not be an expert, but I know the signs, Leo."

Leo nodded tiredly. Margaret was right; she did know the signs. But she didn't know Toby all that well.

"I think he may have been in pain," Sam said, after a moment or two. "You know how Toby is... was. He'd never say anything about it. He may have been sick and we didn't know about it."

"The autopsy would have shown that, Sam," Josh objected. I still think there was some kind of conspiracy involved."

"So what are these?" Sam pulled the pill case out of his pocket. "I found these in his desk."

Leo and Josh looked at them, but none of them knew what they were.

"Margaret, take these and find out what they are," Leo ordered, handing her the case.

"You mean I should just go to a pharmacist and ask?" Margaret asked blankly.

"Yes."

"Oh. Okay." She nodded briskly. "Anything else?"

"Is everything set for tomorrow?"

"Yes. The flight leaves at eleven twenty for JFK. We'll be picked up there to go to the funeral."

Part 6

 

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