"Carol!" C.J. yelled. Sticking her head into her office, Carol asked lightly, "Yes?"
"Can you go to my apartment and get my dress and things? They're laying out on my bed and everything so you don't have to look very far," C.J. told her, throwing her keys to her assistant.
"C.J.," she started.
"I know, I know, I told you I'd go home at lunch. But it got so hectic around here."
Cupping the keys in her palm, Carol rolled her eyes. "You're just stalling."
"And you're a doll."
"You owe me!"
"Nora, you ready yet?" Wilson called up the stairs.
"Yes," she called back. Coming to the edge of the stairs, she sighed. "So, how do I look?"
Grinning, he nodded his approval. "I'm gonna have to be by you every second of the night to make sure that no man makes any moves on you."
"I thought that's what the Secret Service are for?" Eleanora asked sweetly.
"Yeah, well, you're married now and I'm your husband, so it's my duty to protect you from the wandering eyes. And hands," Wilson added.
"We can always make exceptions, now can't we?"
Squealing, Mae Weiss threw her hands around her brothers neck once more. "Toby, have I told you already that you are the best brother? I mean, you are allowing me, me, to come with you to the First Ladies birthday party! Oh, I love you."
"Okay, okay," he smiled.
"And you bought me this outfit. Man, you're the best. Though, I don't understand why Mom said I would have a boring time visiting you?" Mae started jumping slightly in her seat.
"Probably because I'm not exactly the most interesting guy to be around," Toby told her.
"That's not true. Your apartment is full of books that even I haven't read. You let me on you 'puter, which I might add is something odd in its self, and you've played the perfect tour guide." Scrunching up her forehead, she laughed. "I think you've lived here to long."
"I think you're right," Toby agreed, paying the cabbie and helping Mae out of the car.
"She still in there?" he asked, pointing to the closed door.
"Uh-huh." Seeing that he was about to open it, she called, "Wouldn't do that if I were you!"
Pausing, Josh gave her a look. "Why?"
"Right now?" Widening his eyes in amusement, he knocked loudly and yelled, "Claudia Jean, you decent?"
"No," she yelled back.
"Okay." Opening the door anyway, Josh whistled. "Never thought I'd see you like this before."
"Josh!" C.J. brought her hand to her head. "Well, since you're in here, zip me up."
Shrugging, he walked to her and zipped up the back of her dress. "Just wanted to let you know that you're late."
"I know that."
"So why'd you wait so long to get dressed?"
"Because it got hectic around her earlier," Carol told him from the doorway. "Here's your earrings C.J. Oh, and your purse."
Taking them, she smiled. "Thanks."
"Listen, I gotta get back. I left Donna with Zoe and Jain."
"Go," C.J. told him with a smile and a wave. "I'll be there in a minute."
Sighing as the two left her alone in her office, she sat down on the couch and groaned loudly.
"You go in, I wanna go and see someone," Nora pushed Wilson into the room.
Walking through the halls of the West Wing, she whistled to herself softly.
And then bumped into C.J. "Claudia Jean!"
"Eleanora Renee!" she cried back, huggging the shorter woman. "Did you just get here?"
"Yeah. And I see my suspicions were right, you're not even at the party yet. Probably just got dressed too," Nora told her friend, looping arms with her.
"You know me too well."
"Well, I should hope so! We spent a summer in the same goddamned cabin and hitchhiked the hell out of it the next." Laughing loudly, she said, "Those were the best times."
Nodding, C.J. followed Eleanora and sighed. "That they were."
"Wow," Mae whispered as they entered.
"Do you like?"
"Toby!" Sam came over to them. "Oh, hello."
"Let me guess, you're Sam Seaborn."
Sticking out her hand, Mae told him, "Mae Weiss. I'm Toby's sister."
"Ah, yes, now I recognize the name."
"Since I'm not getting introduced by either one of these guys, I'm Mallory O'Brien."
"Nice to meet you."
Spotting her father, Mal grinned. "And the two people that just walked in are my parents, Leo and Jenny McGarry. Daddy, Mom, come here for a moment."
"Good evening everyone." Leo nodded to his staff as Jenny glared at Sam.
"Sir, I'd like you to meet my sister Mae," Toby told him gruffly.
"Thank you sir. Toby, I don't mind to sound rude, but I see Zoe over there and..."
"Yes! Thanks. It was nice meeting you all."
Watching her leave, Sam asked, "She knows Zoe?"
"And Nora, Libby and Jain."
"She met them during the primaries."
Smiling, Mallory told him, "I didn't even know you had a sister Toby."
"She's my half-sister. My mother remarried. If you all would excuse me." He left, leaving the group to stare at his retreating back.
"So this is the party huh?" Wilson asked his sister.
"I have a question for you Wil," Mallory said, changing the subject.
"Really? What's that?"
"What's up with you and Nora?" she asked.
Zoe nodded. "Yeah."
"I don't understand the question." Wilson tried to avert their eyes.
"Oh come on! You guys have been trying to get alone all night. Well, actually, ever since you got here."
"You two aren't dating, are you?" Zoe asked grinning.
"So what if we were?"
Putting a hand on her arm, Toby whispered to Mae, "Are you having a good time."
"You sure. 'Cause, ya know, if you wanna get out of here..."
"You're not thinking what I think you are, are you Toby?" A feminine voice asked teasingly.
"And what would that be Mrs. Bartlet?" he asked back, turning slightly.
Coughing on her drink, Mae looked at the woman in awe.
"This must be your sister. How are you dear?" Abbey asked, sticking out her hand.
Switching her drink to the other hand and wiping it off on her skirt, Mae took the outstretched hand. "Very...Very well ma'am. And you?"
"Since it is my party and birthday, I would have to say very well. I hear that you know my daughters and granddaughter. Is that true?"
"Yes ma'am. I met them in New York."
"Really? Is that where you are from?"
"C.J., what's up with you?" Nora asked, sitting next to her friend.
"I'll tell you a secret if you tell me one."
"Will you now?"
"We'll say it at the same time." Holding up a fist, Nora grinned. "One...Two...Three."
"I have a crush on Toby," C.J. said as Nora told her, "Wilson and I married in Reno!"
Both of their eyes widened and they cried in unison, "Holy shit!"
Looking at the two women who had just broken into giggles, Josh stared at Donna and asked, "Okay, what did I miss?"
"I dunno. But I think we all missed something."
"Go that right," Sam broke in.
"Wil, you okay?" Mal asked, seeing her brother blanche.
"Yeah, why?" Wilson asked weakly.
"You don't look so good dear," Jenny told him.
Setting down his drinks, he shrugged. "I'm gonna go see what's up with them."
"When are you going to tell Toby?" Eleanora asked.
"Never. When are you going to tell your parents?" C.J. asked back.
"Tonight. And whatta ya mean, never? Tonights the night of all wonders. It's a frick'n Full Moon."
"There's a storm coming."
"Even better. C'mon C.J., get your s--- together and just tell him," Nora exclaimed.
Shaking her head, C.J. took a sip of her martini. "Nope. Anyway, he came with a date."
Bursting into a fit of laughter, Nora grabbed her sides. "You really are in your own world tonight Claudia Jean! He brought Mae!"
"Yeah, they're right over there."
Eyes travelling where her friend was pointing, C.J. blushed. Seeing a shadow, she smiled and said, "Hey Wilson. Congratulations in order?"
"I'll leave you two alone." Getting up, C.J. gathered her things.
"Hey Claude, go get Toby and take him outside. Cuz, ya know, if you don't tell 'em, I will. And that's a promise." Nora held up her drink before downing the rest of the amber liquid.
"What was that about?" Wilson asked, watching her.
"I have to get my courage up before breaking the wonderful news to our parents."
"No, I mean what you said to C.J."
"Oh yeah, that!. C'mere baby and I'll tell ya the whole story."
Shuddering softly, she walked over to the group and smiled. "Hey Mae."
"Claudia! Oh, I was wondering when I was going to get to say hi to you!" The younger woman hugged her. "God, it's been too long."
"That it has." Fidgeting with her fingers, C.J. asked, "Listen, can I talk to your brother for a moment?"
"Yeah, sure. I'll be over there."
There a was a silence after she left and Toby kept trying to look her in the eye. "C.J., you wanted to talk to me?"
"Um, yeah. Can we go outside?"
"It's cooler in here."
"And a helluva lot stuffier," she told him, grabbing a glass from a tray.
"Can I have your attention please!" Nora asked, standing up on a chair.
The crowd died down a bit and turned to look at her. "Hey, okay. I wanna say some things to y'all. Well, first things first, Happy Birthday Ma. Don't worry, I haven't told anyone your real age. To everyone, your still 35."
A laugh went through the crowd.
"Okay, I know it's still early, but I wanted to get this out while I'm still have sober. God, didn't think this would be so hard. Okay, here goes. Mom, my present to you, because you have always wanted to see my tied down to a nice boy, last weekend, Wilson and I were married in Reno."
"What do you think is going on in there?" Toby asked, seeing that everyone was standing.
"Nora must be telling everyone that she and Wil are married. Listen, I really need to talk to you about something."
Stunned, he asked, "Married?"
"Yeah. Will you just listen please?"
"I am!" Toby cried.
"Sorry, I'm just not good at this kind of stuff."
"What kind of stuff?"
"Oh, you know, tellin' somebody that you're in love with them and all that jazz," C.J. told him, waving her hands around.
Toby stopped in his tracks and stared at her. He was quiet, just looking at her with slitted eyes and a questioning look on his face.
"Will you please say something!" she pleaded softly.
"Are you telling me what I think you are?"
"Depends on what you think I'm trying to tell you."
"Do you? I mean, do you love me."
She could only nod. Backing up, she shook her head, "Oh, I knew this..."
He cut her off by grabbing her arm and tugging her towards him. "I thought you'd never say that."
"Toby?" C.J. asked.
"Shut up." Grinning, he brought his lips to her's.