Warning: This is a season premiere fic, there are minor spoilers in this fic.

Disclaimers: The West Wing and it's characters are the property of Aaron Sorkin, Warner Brothers and NBC. No copyright infringement is intended. No profit is being made from this. The song "On Bended Knee" is the property of Boyz II Men and Mowtown Records. No copyright infringement is intended with that either.

Rating: PG

Author's Note: This was inspired by the famous or rather maybe the infamous pool scene from the season premiere. I'm not going to say that I think that CJ and Toby share a romantic past. I just think that the idea is a good premise for a story. To be honest I've watched the scene multiple times and I'm still uncertain of what I see. At this point I don't think I'll ever be certain.

Spoilers: In the Shadow of Two Gunmen Part II

 

There was a picture on the mantle that caught his eye. Toby was surprised that she had the photo, and that it was were she could see it everyday. He picked the picture up and looked at it. He couldn't help but be transported back in time to when it had been taken.

***************************************** Two years earlier

It was a beautiful spring night, Toby glanced over at the woman who was standing beside him watching the election returns.

"This is going to be close." CJ said.

"Yeah."

"Well it is."

"I know that." Toby said.

"You're a little irritable tonight."

"I would just like to get this over with, win or lose."

"Okay." CJ said and walked away.

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

Three hours later, CJ heard a knock on her hotel door. Looking through the peephole she saw that it was Toby.

"Yes." She said as she opened the door.

"May I come in?" Toby said.

"Yes, of course. That's a stupid question."

Toby laughed as he shut the door. "Well I was a little short with you. I didn't know if you were angry or not."

"I'm not angry."

"I'm glad of that." Toby said as he put his arms around her.

"You are?" CJ teased.

"Yes."

"How glad?"

"What does that mean?" Toby asked.

"I was just wondering if you are planning to stay with me?"

"I don't know, am I?" Toby asked.

"I would like you to."

"Then I will." Toby said.

"Good." CJ said and started to kiss him. Toby quickly took control of the kiss and started to move her towards the bed.

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

The sound of her shoes as she came down the stairs brought Toby back to the present. He quickly tried to put the photo back before she came into the room. He was not successful.

"I see you found the photo." CJ said quietly.

"Yeah, I was surprised to see it."

"Why?"

"I wouldn't have thought you would have kept it."

"I tend to keep photos of people who mean a lot to me."

"I see."

"Toby do you really think we can work together again?" CJ asked.

"I don't see any reason we can't" Toby said.

"Really?"

"I don't."

"Even though we were lovers at one time."

"CJ I don't think either of us will let that interfere with our job." Toby said.

"Okay, neither do I."

"So are you going to take the job?" Toby asked.

"Yeah, you can tell Leo McGarry I'll be in New Hampshire as soon as I settle things here."

"Good. I'm looking forward to working with you again." Toby said.

"We do work well together don't we?" CJ laughed.

"Yeah we do. I'm going to call Leo. Will you be all right here by yourself."

"Why wouldn't I be?"

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

CJ took the photo down from the mantle shortly after Toby had left. It was a good photo of them. She often wondered why she kept it out. She had never been able to come up with a concrete answer to that question. Their relationship had been very short but very intense. She often wondered how different her life would have been if they had stayed together.

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

It really was a bittersweet dinner for both of them. The next day he would be returning back east, and she would be staying in California. Neither of them spoke they just spent the evening enjoying each other's company.

"Would you like to dance?" Toby asked.

"Yeah, I would." CJ said with a small smile.

As the soft music filled the restaurant, Toby and CJ started to dance. They held each other as if they never wanted to let go.

Darlin' I can't explain
Where did we lose our way
Girl it's drivin' me insane
And I know I just need one more chance
To prove my love to you
If you come back to me I'll guarantee
That I'll never let you go

Can we go back to the days our love was strong
Can you tell me how a perfect love goes wrong
Can somebody tell me how you get things back
The way they use to be
Oh God give me a reason
I'm down on bended knee
I'll never walk again until you come back to me
I'm down on bended knee

So many nights I dream of you
Holding my pillow tight
I know I don't need to be alone
When I open up my eyes
To face reality
Every moment without you
It seems like eternity
I'm begging you, begging you come back to me

Can we go back to the days our love was strong
Can you tell me how a perfect love goes wrong
Can somebody tell me how you get things back
The way they use to be
Oh God give me a reason
I'm down on bended knee
I'll never walk again until you come back to me
I'm down on bended knee
Gonna swallow my pride
Say I'm sorry
Stop pointing fingers the blame is on me
I want a new life
And I want it with you
If you feel the same
Don't ever let it go
You gotta believe in the spirit of love

It can heal all things
We won't hurt any more
No I don't believe our love's terminal
I'm down on my knees begging you please
Come home

Can we go back to the days our love was strong
Can you tell me how a perfect love goes wrong
Can somebody tell me how you get things back
The way they use to be
Oh God give me a reason
I'm down on bended knee
I'll never walk again until you come back to me

By the time the song ended CJ had laid her head against Toby's shoulder. He stoked her hair, and whispered, "we should go."

"Okay."

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

"It's not good-bye." Toby said the next morning as he sat on the bed next to her.

"Really?" CJ asked. "It feels like it to me."

"We'll probably see each other again." Toby said.

"Yeah, just long enough to say hello and ask how are you."

"CJ..."

"I'm sorry. We both are doing what we have to do. I do understand you know that. It doesn't mean that I have to like it. But I'll get used to it."

"I know." Toby said as he glanced at the clock. "I should be going. My flight leaves in two hours." He looked deeply into her eyes, and both of them tried to hide the hurt they were feeling at that moment. Toby took her into his arms one last time, and they kissed for what they were certain would be the final time. 

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

Joining the Barlet campaign was the smartest thing CJ had ever done. She was standing at one of the Inaugural Balls. The next day she would be starting her job as the new President's Press Secretary. She was excited and scared at the same time.

"Did you ever think we would get here?" She heard Toby ask from behind her.

"I don't know. Did you?"

"I hoped we would. But I really didn't think it."

"Yeah me too." CJ laughed.

"Would you like to dance?" Toby asked.

"Yeah that would be nice." CJ said,

As they were dancing, CJ recognized the song they were dancing to. "Don't you think this is a little ironic?" She asked.

"What?"

"You don't recognize the song?"

Toby listened to the song for a moment. "Yeah I recognize it."

"Me too."

"It is ironic."

"Yeah."

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

It had been nearly seventy-two hours since the assassination attempt. CJ had finally been able to go home to get some sleep. When she turned on the light in her living room, a photo caught her eye. It was a photo of her and Toby taken while they were dancing at the Inaugural Ball. She picked it up and studied it. She wondered how she would have reacted if it had been Toby who had been shot. It was a question she couldn't even begin to fathom, and truthfully she didn't want to. The feelings she had for him had never really died, she had just buried them deep inside of her. She was still in love with him.

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

Across town, Toby too was looking at a photo and asking himself the same question. How would he have reacted if she had been the one shot? He didn't know if he could have stood that. Somehow, in the last year as she had started to become closer to Danny Concannon he had managed to hide his feelings. He didn't know if he could do that now. He had often heard that a traumatic experience made a person reevaluate his or her life. He knew that he was still in love with her, and he had no intention of letting her go again.

The end.

 

 

 

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