- Title : Will to Meaning

- Category CJ/Toby

- Rating G, for this first one anyway

- Short summary CJ. Toby. Angs, UST, Romance!  A personal tragedy brings our Beatrice and Benedict together....

- Author's name Cate



'Will to Meaning' 1/?

He said her name, and she folded it into her heart, to remember always. He said it with no particular tenderness or meaning- and certainly not desire, but for a moment, she could imagine...

2002, September.

'Yes?' she answered, looking and smiling up at him, forgetting the files and briefs that lay on her desk. And there he was, the man she'd loved, the man she'd seen get married, the man whose wife she'd hugged in congratulations. Toby and Andi's marriage was long since over, but for all intents and purposes, he remained a married man.

Toby looked nervous, as if he knew what he was about to say would earn her unique brand of wrath. Nevertheless, he proceeded;

'Did you get the thing?'

She made reply easily, sweetly almost- 'Sure. I saw it Toby, why do you ask?'

'Well, y'know. I figured you'd be pissed.'

'You *figured* I'd be *pissed*? You-'

A sentence away from their collective spontaneous combustion, CJ's phone rang.

'CJ Cregg. Hi mom- what are you-?

Toby's eyebrows shot up in silent surprise. He knew from his long friendship with CJ that the confident press secretary's relationship with her mother was troubled, at best. A call from her mother usually meant there was some reason her father couldn't call. His mind threw up an opera of potential tragedies...

'But I spoke to him on Tuesday. And he said it was.... yes mom, he told me... well he said it was routine.'

Toby shifted awkwardly, leaning against the wall. He was torn between his feeling that he was intruding, and his absolute need to know what had happened, and how she was.

'I'll take the next flight mom. I'll see you soon.'

CJ pressed the handset into the receiver, but kept her hand and her eyes on the phone as she told him, in a word- 'Cancer'. Toby was a great speechwriter, who knew the value of words, the value of pause, the value of silence. He knew instinctively that the only thing he could tell her was written with his eyes, and punctuated by a soft, near inaudible exhaling of air. He concluded the speech by gently lifting her hand from the phone, and holding it instead with his.

Her eyes were unreadable. Toby prided himself on knowing how to read her eyes, a skill that was more a matter of survival than choice when it came to CJ. And then she spoke again, and again it was only a word- 'Toby...'. He replied quickly, so she didn't have to ask- 'I'll tell Leo, and then we'll go pack our things. Bonnie can get us a flight.'CJ nodded, and shuffled papers on her desk until he'd left the room and closed the door behind himself. Immediately, but impossibly slowly, she collapsed into her chair.



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