See part 1 for disclaimer

CJ came into her office around seven the next morning. She was looking over the wire reports, when Josh came into her office.

"Good morning." Josh said cheerfully.

"Whatís good about it?" CJ shot back.

"Okay, from that I guess you and Toby are still fighting?" Josh said.

"Yeah."

"Do you want to talk about it?"

"I donít know." CJ said softly.

"If you decide that you do, Iím next door." Josh said.

"Okay."

"Weíve got staff in ten minutes." Josh said.

"Yes, this should be a fun-filled festive meeting." CJ said sarcastically.

"Youíve been living with Toby too long." Josh laughed.

"What do you mean by that?" CJ asked.

"That sounded like something Toby would say." Josh replied.

"Yeah, it did." CJ laughed.

"Hey, I got you to laugh." Josh said.

"Yeah, you did." CJ looked wistful for a moment.

"Youíll work it out CJ." Josh reassured her.

"Itís easier said than done Josh." CJ replied.

"What do you mean by that?"

"Well, when I went home yesterday Toby took Meghan for awhile. Then later I think, as hard as this may be to believe, he may have been trying to apologize to me."

"Trying?" Josh asked raising an eyebrow.

"I didnít give him a chance. I told him I didnít want to talk about what happened yesterday. Then I left the room. This may be too much information for you Josh, but Toby slept in the guest room last night. I couldnít sleep last night, so about one oíclock I got up. I ended up looking in on him. Josh, he was sleeping."

"It was one oíclock in the morning what did you expect him to be doing?"

"Josh, I wasnít able to sleep, he shouldnít have been able to either!"

"Maybe he woke up later?"

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

"Okay," Leo said near the end of the staff meeting, "as much as I hate to bring this up, we need to talk about the situation that arose yesterday."

Toby looked uncomfortably at the floor as Leo was speaking. He glanced up and noticed CJ was doing the same. "What is that all about?" He wondered.

"I have a meeting with Mary Marsh and the rest of the usual suspects at four this afternoon. Sam, Josh the two of you will sit in on the meeting."

"Okay." Josh and Sam said at the same time.

"CJ, I donít want to see you anywhere near this meeting, nor do I want to see Toby anywhere near it."

"Hold on a minute, Leo." CJ said.

"Yeah?" Leo asked.

"Why am I excluded from this meeting."

"Theyíre not exactly going to be comfortable with Mrs. Toby Ziegler in the room CJ." Leo said.

"Wait a minute, Iím being kept out of the loop on this?"

"No, youíre not being kept out of the loop."

"It sure as hell feels like I am." CJ said.

"CJ..." Toby said.

ĎíDonít start Toby. Iím warning you donít start." CJ said looking straight at Toby.

"CJ," Leo said, "youíre not being kept out of the loop. It would be better if you were not at the meeting."

"Leo, my professional name is CJ Cregg, not Claudia Jean Ziegler."

"I know that, CJ. To them you are Tobyís wife."

"I am the Press Secretary."

"CJ give it up. Iím not going to change my mind."

"Fine." CJ said testily. "Are we finished here?"

"Yeah." Leo said.

CJ got up and quickly left. Toby followed behind her. After they had left, Leo turned to Josh and Sam in confusion.

"Whatís going on with them?" Leo asked.

"I donít know." Sam said.

"Leo," Josh said, "they got into a major fight yesterday after the briefing."

"What over?" Leo asked.

"What CJ said at the briefing."

"How bad was it?"

"I heard some of it. He was pretty mad. From what CJ has said, I donít think theyíre really speaking right now."

"I hate that for them." Leo said. "Theyíll work it out. Okay, we need to plan a strategy for this meeting. I donít plan on handing Tobyís head to them. So we need to figure out how to appease them."

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

CJ had barely gotten back into her office, when Toby came in. He shut the door behind him and sat down on the couch.

"Why did you come in here?" CJ asked.

"I wanted to talk to you." Toby said.

"I guess I should feel fortunate you didnít slam the door." CJ said sarcastically.

Although, he had intended to talk to her rationally, CJís anger and sarcasm was almost pushing Toby to the breaking point. "I could slam it, if thatís what youíd like."

"No," CJ said softly, "what did you want?"

"We need to talk."

"Yeah, we do. I canít handle a shouting match and thatís what it would be."

"Youíre probably right." Toby said softly. "Iím going to leave before Leoís meeting, so Iíll take Meghan home with me. Try to make up for the time I didnít spend with her yesterday."

"Yeah, thatís fine." CJ said and watched him leave.

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

CJ looked at her watch as she was walking back to her office. It was almost four and she wanted to be safe in her office when Mary Marsh and the others arrived. CJ really didnít know what she would say to the woman if she saw her. As she turned the corner towards the Mural Room, she saw them standing there. "Damn it!" CJ thought. "Okay, Iím going to my office as fast as I can, so I wonít say something I certainly will not regret." As she was walking past them, she could hear part of their discussion.

"It wasnít really surprising, all of these bleeding-heart, do-gooder liberals react that way. I wasnít at all surprised. I knew I would have that effect."

CJ stopped in the hallway after hearing that statement. She turned until she was facing Mary Marsh and her minions.

"Mrs. Ziegler." Mary Marsh said. "Itís nice to say you."

"I wish I could say the same. And I believe you know I use Cregg for professional purposes. My husband is the only person who calls me Mrs. Ziegler, so I would greatly appreciate it if *you* donít."

"Well, you are a little defensive." Mary Marsh remarked.

"About what?"

"Your surname. Of course I was always taught that a wife took her husbandís name, even professionally. Maybe the reason you kept Cregg is that you donít want to be know of the wife of such a man."

"I donít want to be know as the wife of such a man! You are so far off course that it isnít even funny. Would you like to know what the name on my driverís license is? Well, I can tell you that it reads Claudia Jean Ziegler. My doctors know me as Claudia Ziegler. As for me not wanting to be know as Mrs. Toby Ziegler, nothing could be farther from the truth."

Just then, Josh and Sam showed up to show Mary Marsh and the others into the mural room.

"CJ..." Josh said.

"Yeah, I know Josh, I know."

"Iíll walk you back to your office. Sam?"

"Iíll take care of everything here." Sam said.

As they were walking back to CJís office, Josh asked. "What made you do it?"

"I overheard her saying she had basically set Toby up. What really set me off though, was when she said I didnít want to be known as his wife."

"Why did she say that?" Josh asked.

"Because I still use Cregg professionally."

"Youíre kidding me?"

"No."

"CJ, why donít you go home. Weíll take care of this. It will be okay."

"Thanks Josh."

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

CJ found Toby playing with Meghan in the living room floor when she got home.

"She actually got you to sit on the floor?" CJ said.

"Yeah. Iím surprised to see you home so soon."

"Yeah, I tried to prevent it, but I had a little run-in with Mary Marsh."

"What over?"

"I overheard her basically admit that she had set you up on Sunday."

"And you found this surprising how?"

"I didnít."

"So you were defending me?"

"Yeah."

"What makes you think I need you to defend me?" Toby asked very calmly.

"Toby..." CJ said shocked.

"Really, although I must admit itís nice to see you finally take a stand on something."

CJ stood there glaring at Toby for a moment. Then with a cry she left the room and went into the bedroom. She slammed the bedroom door shut behind her.

Toby leaned his head back against the couch after CJ left and closed his eyes for a moment. He opened them when he felt Meghan climb into his lap. He smiled as she showed him the stuffed animal she had been playing with. "You know Meghan, Daddyís an idiot sometimes. Like now. Okay, how do I fix this, or more importantly how do I keep it from escalating?" He thought as she held her.

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

After they had fought, CJ had cried herself to sleep. She looked at the clock shortly after she woke up. It was ten, which meant Meghan was probably asleep. She got up and walked into bathroom to wash her face, she didnít want Toby to see she had been crying. She had been so ready to make up with him when she got home, but not now she was too angry and most of all too hurt. But she wouldnít let him see the hurt, not in a million years. She looked at herself in the mirror. Her hair looked somewhat disheveled, but she didnít really care. He had seen it looked worse, hell heís made it look worse she thought. She went into the living room, where she found Toby watching CNN.

"Is it anything important?" She asked.

"No, go back to sleep."

"How did you know I had been asleep?"

"I checked on you just after I put Meghan to bed." He said in an effort to reach out to her.

"You did?" She asked surprised.

"Yeah." He said softly

She knew what he was trying to do. If he had done it a few hours ago when she had came home she would have accepted it too. But not now, everything he had said then still hurt too much.

"I wonít make that mistake again." She said softly.

"What mistake?"

"Defending you." She said and turned to go back into the bedroom.

Toby closed his eyes for a moment after she left. Although she was trying to hide it, it was obvious to him that what he said earlier had hurt her tremendously. He really could kick himself for saying it. He had regretted it the moment it came from his mouth. He wanted nothing more than to be able to hold her. He missed her, talking to her. "Thereís no way this can go on much longer, thereís no way." He thought.

 

Please Forgive Me - 5

 

 

Home        What's New        Author Listings        Title Listings