"Okay, it's time to get serious here. Round it up, round it up." Jed's voice called as he tapped his glass with a spoon. Everyone looked at him obediently, even Toby and KD who were engrossed in a quiet conversation of their own at the head of the table. "We all know what happens now, and we're going to take turns because it's fun."
"Isn't this my job?" Josh asked.
"Oh, hush." Jed retorted. "We're all going to do this so it doesn't matter who starts." He added. KD chuckled and leaned into Toby who held her close as he watched his friends.
"Toby, Katy, I know it's rare for me to speak for myself. I usually have you or Sam to write my speeches for me, Toby, but I'm going to try and wing it tonight. Please don't be too critical." Jed started. "You two are wonderful together. Never has Toby been so nice, so civil and polite as when you're around, Katy." People chuckled while Toby opened his mouth to protest, only to be stopped by a gentle touch of KD's fingers to his lips. He smiled at her and then looked back at the President who prepared to continue. "I know that I'm not the most patient of bosses, Toby, but you are a talented soul and I know you'll take good care of her. Besides, if you don't, you'll have to deal with me and Leo." Jed said with a sweet smile. "Katy, you've grown up so much over the years and I'm proud of you. You're home where you belong, kiddo. I know you two will be very happy together." He finished as he raised his glass. "Josh, take your turn."
"Well, um, Toby, I know you hate me for it, but you've been one of my best friends for nearly five years now, ever since we started on the campaign." Josh started as he got to his feet. Toby smiled very weakly. "I am ecstatic to see you so happy, Tobe, and I'm very happy for both of you. Kody, you've been like a little sister to me ever since I met you and I'm very happy that you managed to get Toby to calm down for more than ten minutes at the time. Here's to your long and happy life together." Josh said, gesturing the glass and sitting down as Sam got up to his feet. Only KD heard the apprehensive groan that Toby emitted from deep in his throat.
"Okay, well, I haven't been invited to talk, but I rarely am so here goes." He said playfully. "Toby, you are my boss and my friend. No matter how much you yell at me, I know you've got that big brother feeling and you can't make it go away. Well, you are like a big brother to me and I'm very pleased to say so. I think you two are wonderful together and I wish you all the best. KD, it's been an honor to know you and I think you're great for him. I don't know what you see in him though." Sam added playfully. KD laughed and kept her hand on Toby's shoulder. Sam smiled weakly.
"Play nice." KD told him.
"Sorry, Toby. Couldn't resist. I am kidding though. You're a smart, wonderful man who is very passionate about what you believe in. KD, you're those things too, except in a woman, so you two are perfect for each other.
Here's to a long-lasting union." Sam finished as he raised his glass. Slowly people began to stand up and give their good wishes. Donna, CJ, David, Ginger and many others stood to give small speeches and quick toasts. There were many laughs and a few moments of tenderness. KD almost cried a few times as she thought of the life she had and the life that she almost threw away. And then Danny stood up and silence filled the room.
"I always knew I could quiet a room." He said with a smile as he held his glass close to his body. Everyone watched him carefully. He paused, glanced at CJ and then looked at KD who was watching him just as carefully as everyone else, only she had a soft smirk on her face. He smiled and held out the glass. "Katy, you don't know how happy it makes me to see you smile again. I love that Toby makes you happy, even if he is a grouch. Toby, take good care of her and I know she'll make you happy. You two belong together and even if I am a lowly press reporter, I can see it in your eyes that you're going to be together forever. Luck and happiness." He said, raising the glass higher. People clapped softly and raised their glasses. As he sat down, he kissed CJ softly and then looked as Abbey got to her feet.
"Here we go again. I'll keep it short and sweet, I promise." She said with a smile. Everyone chuckled and watched the first lady fondly. "Toby, you're a good, sweet, wonderful man, even though you would rather the world not know it. I've been very proud of you and I've loved the work you've done for my husband over the past years, even if he does 'polish' or whatever he calls it." She said with a smile as everyone chuckled again and flashed looks between Toby and Jed. Jed smiled innocently and proceeded to listen to his wife. "Katy, it has been an honor to watch you grow up into the beautiful young woman that you are. I know that you're scared, but it's all going to be wonderfully okay. You're surrounded by people who love you, especially the man that's sitting next to you. I know you two will be very happy and we'll always be there for you. Here's to the long, loving life you have ahead of you." Abbey finished with a tear in her eye as she raised her glass. The others raised their glasses and murmured their 'hear hears' and then looked in one direction. Leo glanced around the room and then got to his feet, his turn finally having come.
"So many years have come and gone as I've waited for this day." He started softly. "I've watched my daughters grow up. I see Mallory teach her classes and I watch KD argue with many different senators and I realize how proud I am of both of them. As a father, real or surrogate, I could never have asked for more." He said slowly and looked at both his girls. Mallory smiled at him and nodded. KD just leaned into Toby and watched carefully. "Katy, I'm so very happy to see you here today. You're a beautiful soul and you deserve the happiness you get. Toby, you take care of her or you'll answer to me. In all honesty, you're a good guy and I'm happy for both of you. Cheers." Leo finished with a smile and raised his glass again. He sat down and got a hand squeeze from a smiling Jeri and a kiss on the cheek from Mallory. He smiled at his daughter and kissed her forehead before looking at KD who had brushed her fingers across Toby's face and gotten to her feet.
"Let me just say this: I've never been as happy in my life as I am today, here and now. I look around this place and I see the faces of the people that I love and cherish as a family. Some of you I don't know very well, some of you I argue with on a regular basis, but in the long run, I've never felt as complete and content with my life as I do when I'm with you guys." She said softly as she gazed around the place before looking at Toby. "And Toby, you're the light of my life. I'm honored to be here for this, honored to be your wife. I love you more than life itself and I pledge my heart to you forever, ya big lug." She said softly as she rested her hand against his cheek. He smiled and kissed her palm. "Running the risk of being a sentimental old cliché, you complete me, Toby. I love you and I always will."
She promised him softly before leaning over and pressing her lips to his. He kissed her back as the guests applauded, soft smiles on their faces. KD sat down and then watched as Toby got to his feet.
"I write speeches for a living and yet I find that standing up here in front of all of you, speaking on the eve of the day I married the most wonderful woman in the world, I'm kind of nervous." Toby admitted as he held the glass in his hand and stared down into it. "The things I'm going to say tonight are going to leave this room and if anyone ever reminds me of them, I will have no clue as to what you're talking about." He said with a soft smile. People chuckled and waited patiently. "You all are my friends and family, not just David over here who was an hour late." He said teasingly.
Everyone glanced at the blushing astro-scientist and chuckled. "The past few years working with most of you, I've come to respect most of you more than I'll ever let you know. I've always been a very private man, but I want you to know that I do respect you as my family, and I'm honored that you could all be here today. And I'm ecstatic that I can look at this woman by my side and shout to the world that she's mine." He added as he looked into KD's eyes. "You are mine, KD, and I'm never letting you go." He whispered before kissing her gently. "Here's to a long happy life for us, and for everyone else in this room." He exclaimed.
"Hear, hear." Jed exclaimed.
"Hear, hear." The crowd chorused.
"Can we eat now?" Josh asked before getting slapped upside the head by Donna. Toby chuckled.
"Yes, let's eat. " He agreed before sitting down and kissing KD again.