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.

Rating: G

Spoilers: Minor ones for The Lame Duck Congress

 

Most of the corridors of the West Wing were dark when Toby returned. It had been a good evening, he had almost had fun. Of course he had been playing chess with the President, which could be a torturous experience. Toby often wanted to ask him if he had studied torture with Torquemada, but thought better of it. Toby had lost every game, but that was what happened when you played chess with the President. It wasn't like beating Henry VIII at tennis, you did at least keep your head, but often you wished you hadn't kept it. As Toby walked past CJ's office he noticed that a light was still on in there. Everyone else had already left for the night, so naturally he wondered why she was still there.

"CJ." He said as he knocked on her open door.

"Yeah." She said. She was facing the window and she didn't turn around to look at him.

"Is there anything going on that I should know about?"

"No, why?"

"Because everyone else has left and you are still here." Toby said as he sat down on the couch.

"I could say the same for you."

"I was with the President."

"Really?"

"Yes, we were playing chess and having a cigar."

"That must have been fun." CJ said drily.

"Yeah, so what is it?"

"What makes you think there is an it?" CJ asked.

"The tone of your voice."

"The tone of my voice?"

"Yeah, you have this tone of voice when something is bothering you."

"I didn't think you noticed things like that."

"I've know you for a long time, and I've seen you go through a few mini-traumas."

"Yeah."

"So what is bothering you."

CJ finally turned her chair around, she stared pensively at Gail for a moment before answering. "I guess you have heard."

"CJ, I've heard a lot of things. You're going to have to be more specific." Toby said.

"Yeah," CJ said. "Danny had an offer to be an editor."

"And?"

"He didn't take it."

"And this is...Ah I see you were thinking that if..."

"Yeah."

"And now it is..."

"Not a possibility." CJ said.

"It wouldn't look good at all."

"I know that." CJ said defensively.

"Okay you're upset about this?" Toby asked.

"Yeah."

"Why?"

"Toby!"

"It might help you to talk about it."

"With you?"

"I'm the only one here. And I think we have had conversations like this in the past."

"Yeah." CJ said.

"Yeah."

"I would have liked to have know if he was the one." CJ said.

"You don't think he is?" Toby asked.

"I honestly don't know."

"Okay."

"Are there ever times that you would like a life outside of this place?" CJ asked.

"Yeah there are."

"Me too, and I don't know what to do about it? I would just once like to go home to an apartment that is not empty. Have someone there to ask me how my day was."

"Do you really think you could have truthfully answered that with Danny?"

"Yeah."

"And if we had to call you for some emergency that we didn't want the press to know about yet?

"You're repeating the same arguments that I've used."

"Okay."

"Toby, does it get any easier."

"Does what get any easier?"

"Realizing that you can't have what you really want?"

"You accept it and learn to live with it. If you are lucky you will find someone who will come to mean as much, or more to you than the other person did."

"And has that happened to you?"

"What?"

"The finding someone part."

"Yeah." Toby said softly.

"Really?"

"Yeah."

"Does she know?" CJ asked.

"No."

"Why not?"

"Because I'm not certain she feels the same."

"You should find out." CJ said.

"It's almost midnight. I don't know about you, but I don't want to sleep here tonight."

"Me either." CJ said.

"I'll walk you out."

"Okay."

CJ quickly gathered her things and walked towards the door. "Thank you." She said to Toby.

"For what?"

"Listening, I guess I did need someone to talk to."

Toby took her hand for a moment and squeezed it. "Anytime, CJ, anytime at all."

The end.

 

 

 

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