Disclaimers: The West Wing and itís characters are the property of Aaron Sorkin, Warner Brothers and NBC. No copyright infringement is intended. No profit is being made from this

Rating: PG-13

Summary: CJ returns to Washington three years after she left.

Author's Note: First of all I would like to thank AJ, cherryice, and DaniBeth for beta reading this. I also would like to thank AJ for coming up with the title of this fic. Okay, I have written this fic in First Person POV.

~~~~~~~~~~~ Denotes CJ's POV

^^^^^^^^^^^^ Denotes Toby's POV

************* Denotes a flashback

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I sat looking out the window as the plane landed. After three and a half tumultuous years, I am back in this city. I never thought Iíd be back, but here I am, a freshman Senator from California. It really is unbelievable, but I allowed them to talk me into it. Well, I really wanted back in the game but it is a little strange to play it from the other side. But Iíll get used to it.

A couple of days later, I open the door to my townhouse and find Josh Lyman standing there.

"Josh," I cried hugging him. "Come in."

"Thanks CJ." He said. "Itís good to see you again."

"You too."

"You know what I really canít wait to do?" Josh said.

"What?"

"Visit you in your new office. I still canít believe you actually ran."

"Neither can I." I laughed.

"Yeah, I bet you canít." Josh says, and I notice his attention is elsewhere. I look up and see someone carefully coming down the stairs.

"Mommy." My two year old son Michael says.

"And this must be Michael." Josh says staring intently at him.

"Yeah, this is Michael." I say picking him up. I look up as Michaelís nanny, Beatrice, comes down.

"Do you want me to take him?" She asks.

"Please, for a little while." I say. "Thank you."

"Heís cute." Josh said.

"Thank you." I replied.

"Has it been hard?" Josh asks.

"What?"

" Raising him without his father?" Josh says.

I stood quietly for a moment before answering. "Yeah it has been at times. Anyway, I didnít have a choice. You know that. You were the one who came to me after the wreck."

"Yeah, I know CJ. Iím sorry I shouldnít have brought it up."

"Itís okay Josh." I said softly as my mind drifted back to the days just after the wreck.

************************************

Three Years Earlier

More than anything, I wanted to forget the last six months. My divorce from Toby, leaving DC and coming back to California, meeting up with Paul again, going back to DC and everything that happened then, and the wreck two days ago that had taken Paulís life. The trip to DC, six weeks ago. I canít help but think of that. My life would be so different if I had never taken that trip, or if the trip had ended differently. Iím shaken from my reverie when I hear someone come into my hospital room. I look up and see that it is Josh.

"Hey CJ." Josh said quietly as he came into the room.

"Josh." I said reaching my hand out to him.

"Boy am I glad to see you are okay."

"Yeah." I said quietly.

"Iím sorry CJ. You and Paul were close?"

"You could say that." I replied.

"I see."

"What?" I cried.

"Itís just Iím glad to see you had started to put the past behind you."

"Why do you say that?"

"I talked to Toby just before I came here."

"Yeah."

"Well, he hopes you are okay. He also said that it is definitely over between you."

"I see." I said. ĎI definitely know what I have to do now.í I thought.

***********************************************

Two days later I enter the West Wing, for the first time in three years, along with a few other freshman Democrats. After, speaking with Leo, Josh, and the President, I start to leave. As I am walking through the corridors I somehow end up in the communications bullpen. I say hello to Ginger, and wonder to myself if it would be wise to go in. Ginger seems to be reading my mind, and tells me to go on in. So, I knock tentatively on the door, and wonder if this is the stupidest thing I have ever done in my life.

"I was in the building and wanted to say hello." I say to Toby.

"Hello." He says.

"Hello." I reply.

"Congrats on the election."

"Thank you." I say looking around the office, which has not changed any in the last three years.

"I never thought you would do that."

"Neither did I. I should go."

"Okay." He says.

"Bye." I say and head for the door.

"Bye." He says to me as I leave.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Well, I guess that wasnít as awkward as I expected it to be. I thought after she left my office. Claudia Jean Cregg, my Achilles heel in many ways. God, I was so happy the day we were married, and so was she At least thatís the way I remember it. I thought as I begun to remember that day nearly five years ago.

************************************************

I look over to the beautiful woman sitting next to me, and I canít believe that she is now my wife. She notices that I am watching her and she leans over and kisses my cheek. She then leans against me, and whispers, I love you in my ear. I smile at her and gently run my hand along her back as we get up to dance. CJ looks me straight in the eyes as we are dancing. I canít help but think of how easy it is for me to get lost in her eyes.

A little while later, we walk into the hotel room in which we are going to spend our wedding night. As soon as the door closes behind us, and we are totally alone, I pull her to me and kiss her passionately. A few minutes later she breaks away whispering something about wanting to change into something else. As she disappears into the bathroom, I sit down on the bed to await her return. She returns later wearing a white silk gown. I smile as she walks towards me. I donít believe I have ever seen a more beautiful site in my life. She sits down beside me on the bed. I gently run my fingers through her hair.

"Do you know how beautiful you are?" I said.

CJ just laughs and places her hands on my shoulders.

"I have waited so long for this." I said as I gently laid her back against the pillows on the bed and start to kiss her again.

***************************************************

Coming back to the present, I rub my hands over my eyes and get up. I have been thinking of CJ a lot lately, especially the last time I saw her. Ever since she announced that she was running for the Senate she had frequently been crossing my mind. I knew that if she won I would be seeing a lot of her again. I often felt that letting her go was the biggest mistake of my life. But, I didnít want to risk the hurt again.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

to be continued....

 

Future In The Past - 2

 

 

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