"She's Always A Woman"

Rating: G

Spoilers: Well, this is the fourth in my series, so naturally there's spoilers for every story after this. Read in order, it's more fun! :)

Disclaimers: These people, alas, do not belong to me. They're Aaron Sorkin's, et al. (NBC). I'm just having fun with their minds. **evil laugh**

Author's Note: This is sort of a companion piece to "My Funny Valentine." This is from the other side of the equation - Sam. :) Enjoy!

She can kill with a smile, she can wound with her eyes
She can ruin your faith with her casual lies
And she only reveals what she wants you to see
She hides like a child but she's always a woman to me

Those words have been running through my head for the longest time. Ever since I developed my crush on C.J. Cregg, to be precise. Still, I didn't have to suffer long. The prize for the world's shortest unrequited love span goes to me, Sam Seaborn – two days.

We've been together for so long – nearly a year and a half– and yet I realise that there's still things I don't know about C.J. herself. That bugs me. She is easily the most amazing woman I've ever met. She is maddening, unpredictable, capricious and quixotic. But for some reason I'm still madly in love with her.

And for God-only-knows-why, she's still madly in love with me.

She can lead you to love, she can take you or leave you
She can ask for the truth but she'll never believe
And she'll take what you give her as long as it's free
Yeah, she steals like a thief but she's always a woman to me

Oh, sure, we've had our fights. I remember a few sparkling arguments where I ended up on Josh's couch for a couple nights – I'd sold my place and we were living together. And I remember a few times when she was rude to me in front of everyone. But I understand, better than most, that that's her defense mechanism. Being rude is her way of getting around problems that she has no idea how to fix. Which doesn't happen often. But I take it. Because that's the way I am, and because she always apologizes and makes it up to me in her own way.

And I haven't been entirely blameless, either. C.J. is a possessive woman, though not nearly as bad as Mallory. Still, flaunting Laurie in her face wasn't the smartest thing to do. Josh had to put up with me for an entire *week* after that. I deserved it. I can still see the crushed look on her face when she saw me kiss Laurie goodbye.

Still, we have endured.

Oh, she takes care of herself, she can wait if she wants, she's ahead of her time
Oh, and she never gives out, and she never gives in – she just changes her mind ...

It is this endurance that made my decision for me. The ability to put up with problems, to comfort when we're sad, to soothe when we're scared, and to laugh when we're happy is the most amazing gift that two people can have. I've never felt more sure of anything in my life when I say that C.J. understands me. Better than Josh, better than Laurie, better than Mallory, better than any of my other friends and/or lovers. When I come home in a snit with a snarky tone to my voice, she can tell the difference between a 'leave-me-alone' mood and a 'come-here-and-hold-me' mood. That's important.

And I, who have been called the dumbest male on the planet when it comes to female moods, have the same ability. I can instinctively tell when she needs time, or when she wants to talk, or when she's in a silly mood. It comes with the territory, I guess. An acquired skill. Like how to craft speeches. Why the hell didn't anyone ever tell me that longevity was the key? Like if I'd stayed with Mallory a little longer I'd have understood her too?

No, I don't think that's true. I just think it's the bond C.J. and I have. It started with the shooting, and got steadily stronger. If anything good had to come out of that day at Rosslyn, it's that C.J. and I got drawn closer and closer. If we hadn't gotten shot at I wouldn't be in the position to make this decision, I am sure of that.

She'll promise you more than the Garden of Eden
Then she'll carelessly cut you and laugh while you're bleeding
And she'll bring out the best and the worst you can be
Blame it all on yourself, 'cause she's always a woman to me

The only thing that's stopping me from running to her office right now is that I'm not sure how she'll take my decision. I mean, I know she loves me. But this is a giant step, and I'm just not sure. If living together was a baby step, this is a flying leap across a canyon.

The others would be shocked, I'm sure. They still see me as the baby around here, even though I'm not the youngest by that much. I guess it's because I've managed to retain a little idealism, even working here day in, day out. But that's really not difficult. I see people get jaded, and I tell myself that it's because of the angle they approach this job with. I look at it as making the world a better place – or trying. If a bill goes down, give it time and chances are another bill that's similar will pass in a few years. Maybe it's simplistic, but I have to look at it that way. It's my nature, and also I don't want to have a heart attack before I'm forty.

Yeah, they'd all have coronaries. Especially Josh. I can still recall his face when I told him I'd asked C.J. out and she'd accepted. He was so shocked, I think, because it had been my initiative. I mean, my track record isn't the best. But that doesn't mean anything, it didn't mean anything, and I told him that. Hey, even a blind dog finds a bone every so often.

Strike that. C.J. wouldn't really appreciate the simile.

She's frequently kind and she's suddenly cruel
She can do as she pleases, she's nobody's fool
But she can't be convicted, she's earned her degree
And the most she will do is throw shadows at you,
but she's always a woman to me...

Bottom line, she is *my* C.J. I am *her* Sam. This is my decision, and it really wouldn't work for anyone else. I know that I love her, and that's enough. If I'm going to risk the best relationship I've ever had in my life, it damn well better be enough.

Still, I hope she says yes.




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