"It really was unbelievable." Toby thought. Not even he had seen it coming. Not what had actually happened at least. Yes he had known there was probably no way their relationship would have lasted, but the way it had ended had really shocked him.

Everyone in the West Wing had been talking for months about how much CJ and Danny had been flirting. It was considered to be inevitable that the relationship would go beyond flirting, and it had. In the months following the attempt they had gotten closer. And finally, they had gotten together. Everyone had been happy for CJ. Even Toby had been at first. Then he saw things start to fall apart.

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

It had started to slowly unravel. Nothing had happened quickly. Of course nothing had happened quickly in the entire relationship. So why would the end have been any different than the beginning?

Toby had started to notice the change shortly after he and Andrea had ended their relationship. It had really been a subtle change, and someone else probably would not have noticed it. Toby had always been an observer, he noticed things others did not. But he seldomly said anything about his observations. When he watched Danny and CJ together he saw something the others did not. Danny was not good enough for CJ.

Why did Danny always try to tell CJ how to do her job? Yes he was a senior White House correspondent, but that did not give him the right to tell the White House Press Secretary how to do her job. Why didnít Danny realize CJ did not need his advice or his pointers?

"Toby."

He looked up and saw CJ standing in his door. "What do you need?"

"Do you have a minute?"

"Yeah. Come in."

CJ sat down on the couch. Toby closed the door to his office, and sat down beside her. "How are you doing?" CJ asked.

"Iím fine. And you?"

"Fine." CJ said softly.

"Really, you don't sound like you are."

"I donít."

ĎNo, so what is going on?"

"Danny is getting on my nerves a little bit. Actually you could say that Iím hiding from him right now."

"You are?"

"Yeah."

"Why?"

"Iím the White House Press Secretary, right?"

"Yeah you are."

"So I should know how to do the job?"

"You know how to do the job."

"Thank you. So why does Danny think he should tell me how to do my job? I donít tell him how to do his job. If I did, Mandyís memo never would have been printed."

"Just because he is a senior White House correspondent, does not mean he knows how to be Press Secretary. Donít listen to him. You do great without his advice. In fact I would say you donít need his advice."

"Thanks, I think I needed to hear that."

"Youíre welcome."

One night around midnight as he was leaving, Toby passed by CJís office and saw that there was a light on.

"Are you burning the midnight oil?" He joked coming into the office. She was sitting looking out of the window.

"One could say so." She replied quietly. She did not turn to face him.

"You okay?"

"Yeah, why do you ask?"

"Because you donít sound okay."

"I donít?"

"No, you donít."

"Really, well I guess that there is a reason for that." She said bitterly.

"Which would be?"

"What? Oh, the reason, my wonderful boyfriend Daniel Concannon." She said sarcastically.

"What happened?"

"Do you really want to know?"

"Yeah."

"Iím just sayiní that your respect for me is going to go out the window once I tell you."

"No, it wonít."

"Betcha it will."

"CJ."

"Okay, where do I start." CJ said turning her chair until she was facing Toby. He could now tell that she had been crying.

"Here." Toby said handing her a tissue.

"Thanks, you know I really hate that Iím crying over this."

"Itís a natural reaction to cry when someone hurts you."

"Yeah, okay where do I begin this story? You know the paperwork on the Pacific Summit?"

"Yeah."

"Danny found mine."

"What?"

"It was on my desk. He was in my office, which as you know is nothing unusual. I was called out of here for some reason, and he waited for me to come back. He found it while I was gone."

"What did you do?"

"I confronted him over it. He tried to deny it at first. But when I was able to prove that certain things, that are on my desk. were not in the places they were when I left, he admitted it. Said it would make a really good story, he wouldnít reveal his source in the article. It would be written up as an anonymous White House source."

"What did you tell him?"

"That I knew he wouldnít reveal his source, because there would be no article. He then asked how I was planning to stop it. I told him that if the article was written, then I would revoke his press credentials. I would revoke them so fast that it would make his head spin."

"What is he going to do?"

"Thatís just it I donít know. Needless to say, he and I broke up."

"Iím sorry."

"For what?"

"That it didnít work out."

"I really donít want to tell Leo about any of this."

"Maybe I could talk to Danny?"

"No, Iím the Press Secretary. Iíll handle the press."

"You know the same offer you made me awhile back is still open."

"If I need anyone to talk to, I can come to you."

"Yeah."

"Thanks."

"Just returning the favor."

A few days later, the staff left for the Pacific Summit. When they were midway over the Pacific, on their way to Japan, Toby turned to CJ.

"I guess we are the only ones awake."

"Yeah, it looks that way."

"It doesnít look like there will be an article."

"Not until after the announcement is made tomorrow."

"Looks like you won."

"Yeah, he took me seriously."

*:*********************************

"CJ definitely did take me up on the offer." Toby thought.

In the weeks since she and Danny had broken up, Toby and CJ had spent a lot of time together. They had begun to confide in one another, even more than they had been. After he had left the West Wing that night, he had been thinking over everything that had happened.

"I wonder what would happen if I told her...Iím falling in love with her?" He wondered out loud.

 

What If I Said - 3

 

 

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