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 "Written in the Stars" is the property of Elton John, Leann Rimes, and their respective record companies. The song "Everytime You Go Away" is the property of Paul Young and his record company. The song "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" is the property of Whitney Houston and Arista Records. No copright infringemetn is intended with these songs either.

Rating: PG

Summary: Sequel to The Heart Won't Lie. CJ and Toby try to put the pieces of their relationship back together.

It has been six months since the lecture at Rutgers. It's been strange, but I would say Toby and I are starting to become friends again. Being friends with your ex-husband is a very surreal experience. Of course, maybe it helps that we didn't get divorced for the normal reasons. No one cheated, we didn't grow to hate each other. So maybe it's not as strange as it sounds We have spoken of many things, but so far we have left the major things unspoken. Neither of us have mentioned Natalie. Maybe that is what is keeping us from really reconnecting. I know there are so many things that he wants to ask me, and he won't ask. Maybe he will this weekend.

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

Toby came to pick me up for dinner on Friday night. He had decided to teach during the summer session, so he wasn't able to come to DC until Friday. Everytime he has come to visit me, he has insisted on staying at a hotel, although I have said that he could stay in the guest bedroom in my apartment. We went to a small Chinese restaurant. As we were eating, a song came over the speaker, and caught my attention.

I am here to tell you we can never meet again Simple really, isn't it, a word or two and then A lifetime of not knowing where or how or why or when You think of me or speak of me or wonder what befell The someone you once loved so long ago so well

Never wonder what I'll feel as living shuffles by You don't have to ask me and I need not reply Every moment of my life from now until I die I will think or dream of you and fail to understand How a perfect love can be confounded out of hand

Is it written in the stars Are we paying for some crime Is that all that we are good for Just a stretch of mortal time

Is this God's experiment In which we have no say In which we're given paradise But only for a day

Nothing can be altered, there is nothing to decide No escape, no change of heart, nor anyplace to hide You are all I'll ever want, but this I am denied Sometimes in my darkest thoughts, I wish I'd never learned What it is to be in love and have that love returned

Is it written in the stars Are we paying for some crime Is that all that we are good for Just a stretch of mortal time

Is this God's experiment In which we have no say In which we're given paradise But only for a day

"That song really reminds me of us." I remark to Toby.

"Why?"

"I don't really know sometimes." I say, trying to search my mind for the reasons. "I guess I just feel that we were fated not to be happy. At least not with each other."

"Are you happy now?" Toby asks.

"I honestly don't know. I'm not totally unhappy, but neither am I happy."

"I know what you mean."

"You do?"

"Yeah." Toby replies. "I know there have been times in my life when I have been happier."

"Me too."

"Is there anything you think we could do about that?"

"I don't know." I reply.

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

A few weeks later, I visited Toby in New Jersey. We have been taking turns, one time he'll come to DC, the next time I'll go to New Jersey. We really seem to be getting close again. I don't know what will come of it. I know what I would like to happen, but I don't know if that is also what he wants. On Saturday, we were talking in his apartment, and he asked me if I would like to dance.

It has always felt right to be in his arms, and it still does. After a few minutes, I relaxed and laid my head against his shoulder. I felt him lightly brush his lips against my hair. And then, the music changed, and he pulled me closer to him.

Hey! If we can solve any problem Then why do we lose so tears Oh, so you go again When the leading man appears Always the same thing Can't you see, we've got everything Goin on and on and on

Everytime you go away You take a piece of me with you Everytime you go away You take a piece of me with you

Go on and go free Maybe you're too close to see I can feel your body move It doesn't meant that much to me I can't go on sayin' the same thing Just can't you see we've got everything Do you even know we know

Everytime you go away You take a piece of me with you Everytime you go away You take a piece of me with you

I can't go on sayin' the same thing Cause baby, can't you see We've got everything goin on and on

"You said a few weeks ago, that a song reminded you of us." Toby said. "This is the one that reminds me of us."

"Why?"

"You've heard the lyrics. I'm certain that you can figure it out."

"We've never really talked about what happened."

"I know."

"Do you think we should?"

"Yeah, it probably would be a good idea." Toby said drawing away from me. "Do you want to talk about it now?"

"I guess so. Can we stop if I want to though?"

"You know that." He said and led me to the couch.

"What do you want to know?" I asked.

"Why did you shut me out then?"

I sighed and tried to collect my thoughts before answering. When I thought of that time I was always back there, feeling as I had then. Finally I was able to speak. "I blamed myself for the fall." I said softly.

"Why?"

"If I hadn't fallen, she would have been okay!" I cried.

"You don't know that for certain." Toby said.

"How can you say that? If I had not fallen she would have been born as early."

"There was some reason for that to happen."

"I know but I don't know what it was."

"Me either." He said.

"Why didn't you blame me?"

I watched as Toby struggled with that question. I wondered if I was wrong, and if he had blamed me for Natalie's death. I didn't really know how I would feel if he had. After a moment, he took both of hands in his and spoke.

"I loved you. I was the one who okayed the C-section. I did it to save *your* life. That was the only thing on my mind then. I couldn't lose you. But in the end I did."

"I lost myself. You know that."

"Yeah I know. That was the reason you wanted the divorce, you couldn't believe I didn't blame you?"

"Yeah."

Toby sat there and looked at me for a few moments, and then he very tentatively slipped his arms around me. For the first time since Natalie's death, I allowed myself to cry for her, and for what her father and I had lost.

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

That weekend really constituted a breakthrough for Toby and I. Before then we had been spending a few weekends together. Afterwards we were spending every weekend together, and during the week we talked on the phone for hours. It was Toby's weekend to come to DC, and we had just gotten back from dinner. He parked the car and helped me out. But instead of walking up to my apartment, he suggested that we go for a walk. We walked in silence for a few minutes, and then he stopped and turned until he was facing me.

"The last few months have been good, haven't they?" He said softly.

"Yeah they have been." I agreed.

"This is the happiest I've been since..."

"We divorced." I finished.

"Yeah." He agreed looking a little uncomfortable as he did.

"It's been the same for me." I said softly.

"It's has been?" He asked.

"Yeah."

"I'm thinking that this conversation is getting ready to become very serious, so maybe we should go back to your apartment?"

"Yeah we probably should." I agreed. We started to walk back, and as we were walking, Toby reached over and took my hand.

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

After we got back to my apartment I waited expectantly for what Toby would say. Would what I want to happen occur tonight?

"Do you remember when we were talking a few weeks ago?" He asked.

"Yeah."

"I said the reason I hadn't blamed you was because I loved you."

"I remember."

"I used the past tense when I said that."

"Yes." I said. By that time I was barely able to breathe I was so afraid that he was going to say that he didn't love me anymore.

"I shouldn't have said it that way. I should have been totally honest with you and said, I love you."

I was unable to contain myself and begun to cry. Toby reached over and wiped the tears from my eyes.

"I didn't tell you that to make you cry." He said.

"I know that." I said between tears.

"I do love you. I really want you to know that. Whether that feeling is returned or not doesn't matter, I will always love you."

"How could you even think I don't love you? Wait don't answer that, the fact that I divorced you probably made you think that. I love you. As much as I tried to forget that, I never stopped loving you."

Toby pulled me up from the couch and turned my stereo on. He pulled me into his arms and we begun to dance. As we danced he whispered in my ear how much he loved me.

I know it's been so time But there's something on my mind You see I haven't been the same Since that cold November day We said we needed space But all we found was an empty place And the only thing I learned Is that I need you desperately So here I am And can you please tell me

Where do broken hearts go Can they find their way home Back to the open arms of a love that's waiting there And if somebody loves you Won't they always love you I look in your eyes And I know that you still care for me

I've been around enough to know That dreams don't turn to gold And that there is no easy way No you just can't run away And what we have Is so much more Than we ever had before And no matter how I try You're always on my mind

Where do broken hearts go Can they find their way home Back to the open arms of a love that's waiting there And if somebody loves you Won't they always love you I look in your eyes And I know that you still care for me

And now that I am here with you I'll never let you go I look into your eyes And now I know, now I know

Where do broken hearts go Can they find their way home Back to the open arms of a love that's waiting there And if somebody loves you Won't they always love you I look in your eyes And I know that you still care for me

As the song ended, Toby pulled back and looked at me. From the look in his eye, I knew what he wanted to do, so I closed my eyes and waited. Then he kissed me. It was very gentle at first. Almost as if he were testing the waters for my reaction. When he saw that I was not going to reject the kiss, it became much more intense. Finally he pulled back and looked at me. I smiled at him.

"I love you." He whispered.

"So you say." I replied.

"What is that supposed to mean?"

"Nothing."

"I know you. It meant something."

"If you know me then you should be able to figure it out."

"I should be able to?"

"Yes."

"Maybe you should just show me. Since I'm not really thinking right now."

"I should show you?"

"Yes, you should and I'm waiting."

"Oh, you're very patient." I said and then kissed him just as passionately as he had been kissing me a few moments earlier.

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

The next morning as I woke up, I wondered if the previous night had just been a dream. Then I felt one of Toby's hands in my hair. His other hand was gently massaging my stomach. I turned until I was facing him, and smiled.

"Good morning." He said.

"So it wasn't a dream." I said.

"Last night?"

"Yeah."

"No, it definitely was not a dream." He laughed.

"So, what does this mean?"

"I know what I want it to be, and I hope that you want the same thing?"

"I want it to mean that we are together again." I said very softly. I was very afraid that was not what he wanted.

"You know that is what I want to don't you?"

"It is!"

"Yes, it is. There is nothing I want more than you in my life, sweetheart." Toby said and gently kissed me.

"That's what I want too." I said and caressed his face. Then I kissed him.

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

Later I stood with Toby at the airport as we waited for his flight.

"You are still coming next weekend?" Toby asked.

"Yes, I am. As long as you are certain you want me to. Since you will have all of those papers to grade."

"Oh, I'll have them finished before you come on Friday."

"You told me they were due on Friday."

"I'll work on them before you come on Friday."

"And if you don't finish them?"

"Then I'll find a way to blame you." Toby laughed.

"That's what I thought." I said as the first call for his flight came over the speakers.

"I have to go." He said and kissed me.

"I know."

"I'll call you."

"Okay, Toby?"

"Yeah."

"I love you."

"I love you too, Claudia Jean."

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

Toby and I were able to keep it a secret that we were back together for nearly three months. Then we had to go to New Hampshire for the opening of Josiah Bartlet's Presidential Library. We decided to tell our friends that we were back together then.

Everyone was very shocked when we walked into the building together. Later, at the reception, everyone crowded around us, asking many questions. Finally President Bartlet asked the question I was certain was on everyone's mind.

"So, Toby, when are you and CJ getting married again?" Jed asked.

"We haven't really discussed that yet." Toby replied,

"Oh, really." Jed said.

"No, sir we haven't." I replied.

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

Since we had gotten back together, Toby and I had been having a long distance relationship. He was still in New Jersey and I was in DC. We had decided that when the lease was up on my apartment that I would move to New Jersey. But that was still a couple of months away.

I smiled to myself when I felt Toby's hands begin rub my shoulders. I turned to him and kissed his cheek. "You know you are wonderful, don't you?" I said.

"I think you have told me that before, but you can tell me again."

"Oh, I can?"

"Yeah."

"I might just do that." I teased him.

"You know there is something I wanted to talk to you about."

"Which would be?" I asked.

"Well you remember what Jed asked us at the dedication?"

"Yeah, I do." I said quietly.

"What I'm trying to get at is, I love you. The time we were married was probably the time in my life that I was happiest. I really want that time back. So, will you marry me, again?"

Ever since we had gotten back together I had dreamed of this moment. I can say that the reality was much better than the dream. "Yes you know I will." I replied.

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

It has been two and a half years since Toby and I remarried in a small ceremony with only our closest friends in attendance. Toby is still teaching at Rutgers. He likes it so I expect we will stay here for awhile. I have still been doing the lecture circuit. I haven't really done many lectures in the last year. Of course there has been a good reason for that. A year ago I found out I was pregnant. Toby did not want to let me out of his sight during the pregnancy.

I stand back and watch Toby with Hannah, our baby daughter, who is now three months old. It's very obvious that he is a doting father, and I'm going to end up being the one to impose discipline. She has really made our lives complete. I walked over to where they are and sat down beside them.

"I can take her for awhile." I said

"No, that's okay. It's almost time for her nap anyway."

"Okay." I said and laid my head against his shoulder.

"Are you okay?"

"Yeah, I'm fine. In fact I'm quite content."

"You have been for awhile, haven't you?"

"Yeah, I have been."

"I love you sweetheart." He said.

"I love you too." I replied.

I sat there leaning against him for awhile thinking about how good it was to have my life intact again. I was back with the man I love and had been for over two years. I was happier than I had ever been, and I found that each day I loved him more.

The end.

 

 

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