Disclaimers: The West Wing and it's characters are the property of
Sorkin, Warner Brothers and NBC. No copyright infringement is intended. No
profit is being made from this.
Author's Notes: Thanks to AJ for beta reading this. The title comes from
the U2 CD of the same name. It really has nothing to do with the story
except I've been listening to it constantly as of late. No copyright
infringement is intended with it either.
ALL THAT YOU CAN'T LEAVE BEHIND
CJ stepped swiftly out of her car, raising the umbrella so she would not
get wet in the driving rainstorm. She knew she should be used to summer
rain storms in D.C. but even after all of these years she wasn't. She had
been awakened in the early morning hours by the thunder. She hated
thunderstorms with a passion, had always hated them. Of course there had
been a time when the storms had been more bearable, but now when she reached
across the bed there was only an empty space. Perhaps the storm was the
reason for the nostalgic mood she found herself in that morning. The flash
of lightening that had woken her up that morning had made her realize
exactly how much she did miss Toby.
Early in their relationship, Toby had realized how much thunderstorms had
frightened her. After that, he had always held her during the storms. Some
of the most passionate times they had spent together had occurred during
those storms. She shook her head. She had to focus and get Toby out of her
Once the administration had ended, CJ had taken a teaching job at George
Washington University. She also worked as an analyst for CNN, it was in that
capacity that she was at the studio that morning. She waited for a few
minutes and then did her segment.
As she was leaving, she saw him standing there. She was quite shocked to
see Toby. She hesitated and then went to talk to him.
"Hi." CJ said quietly.
"Hi." Toby said.
"What are you doing here?"
"I have an interview."
"I figured that out."
"Yes, I did." CJ laughed. "Wait a minute, you're promoting your book."
"Yes I am." He rolled his eyes.
"You know if we had done a superlative for 'Most Likely to Write a Book at
the End of the Administration' I don't believe you would have won."
"That's the reason I did it."
"I thought so."
"Listen I'm only in town until later tonight." Toby said. "Would you like
to have lunch?"
"Yeah sure. When?"
"One at the usual place."
At ten till one, CJ parked her car. It had finally stopped raining, and the
sun was shining. She didn't know why she was here. She was certain Toby
would not show up. But when she went into the restaurant she immediately
"I was beginning to think you weren't going to show up." Toby said as she
"You're always ten to fifteen minutes early. It's five till one."
"So I'm not late."
"Have you ordered?"
"Yeah, I ordered for you too. I hope that is okay?"
"Yeah, my tastes haven't changed."
"You seemed to have dropped of the face off the earth, Toby."
"What do you mean?"
"You didn't talk to any of us after we lost reelection."
"I guess we know why now?"
"What do you mean?"
"You sequestered yourself to work on your masterpiece." CJ laughed.
"Oh come on CJ. We all had offers. I can't help it that I wrote faster than
the rest of you."
"I never planned to write a book."
"Okay." He said as their food came.
They ate in silence for awhile. CJ's gaze went to Toby's left ring finger,
which was now devoid of it's omnipresent gold ring. Toby immediately noticed
what she was looking at.
"I thought it was time." He said.
"You know since Andi remarried."
"Toby, it's okay. I knew exactly what was going on when we started sleeping
together. It didn't bother me."
"I'm glad you've decided to move on though."
"Did you get an invitation?" She asked, changing the subject.
"Josh and Donna's wedding."
"Are you coming."
"I don't know, okay."
Six weeks later, CJ sat at Josh and Donna's wedding. It had been a
beautiful wedding, and she was very happy for them. She felt someone place
a hand on her shoulder, looked up and saw it was Toby.
"Hi." She said.
"Hi, you were one of the bridesmaids." He said sitting down beside her.
"Whatever gave you that idea?"
"What about the dress?"
"You don't like that particular shade of green."
"That's true. You're late. You missed the ceremony."
"Yes, I know that."
"I'm certain the others would like to talk to you."
"They can wait." He said taking her hand in his.
She looked down at their now entwined hands, which were now resting in her
lap. At that time, and that moment it was enough that he was sitting beside
her, holding her hand.