RATING: PG
DISCLAIMER: See part 1, "How Can I Not Love You" is sung by Joy Enriquez for
the soundtrack of "Anna and the King" and therefor is not mine. Pity. :)
NOTES: See part 1

Toby took a seat in the taxi and looked around. He felt numb. He'd never
expected to see her just then. Of all the shocks in all the moments, he'd
never wanted to experience one like that. He relaxed into the back of the
seat and tried to breathe. He gave the driver directions to the hotel and
played with his fingernails. The driver decided not to talk to the
miserable-looking man and just turned on the radio.

Cannot touch, cannot hold, cannot be together
Cannot love, cannot kiss, cannot have each other
Must be strong and we must let go
Cannot say what our hearts must know

KD listened to the song as she turned the radio up a little louder. She
drove for the hotel and tried not to think of what she'd just done. She told
herself that it was the right thing, that her friends needed her up there and
then she thought about how she couldn't even look at Toby. She felt his eyes
on her and she couldn't help but wonder what he was thinking when he watched
her. He didn't say a word after she came in, and she couldn't say a word to
him. How could Josh not believe her? After she'd done such horrible things to
Toby, why would he ever want to talk to her again?

How can I not love you?
What do I tell my heart?
When do I not want you
Here in my arms?
How does one waltz away
From all of the memories?
How can I not miss you
When you are gone?

Toby paid the taxi driver and hurried out of the car. He couldn't stand
to hear those words any more. He couldn't stand to think of how he couldn't
hold the woman he loved in his arms. He couldn't stand to imagine that he
never would again. He wondered what she said to Josh. He knew they'd talked;
he'd seen Josh run after her and saw them at her car. Hell, he even missed
her car. The way she'd throw everything in the back and forget about it. The
way she never noticed the layers of dust on the outside no matter how many
times he would use his finger to write 'wash me' across the hood. The way
they would sometimes just sit in the car and talk, not really doing anything
but talking about nothing and staring into each other's eyes. He missed that.
And a lot of other things.

Cannot dream, cannot share
Sweet and tender moments
Cannot feel, how we feel
Must pretend it's over
Must be brave and we must go on
Must not say what we've known all along

KD turned off the car and handed her key to the valet. He smiled and
nodded as he helped her out of the car, but she virtually ignored him. She
was in her own little world and she didn't know what to do about it. She went
to the elevator, aware of the eyes on her, eyes that must have also seen the
press conference and could now fully recognize who she was. What were they
thinking? 'There goes that crazy lady who left a good job and a good man for
no reason.' God, did she even have a reason? If so, was it the right one?
Should she have allowed Andrea Wyatt to bully her around so easily?
If that were true, then KD was a wimp. She felt like one and it hurt; it
hurt almost as much as having to see Toby today and then look away. Could he
be seeing Andy again? Could that rumor be true? If he was watching her today,
could that mean he wanted to see her again? KD sighed and walked out of the
elevator to her room. As she fished out the key, she thought again of those
times when she'd just watch Toby sleep or snuggle with him on the couch while
he read a draft of his latest work to her. She smiled slightly when she
thought of the times they'd just goof off for an afternoon and then she shook
the memories away as tears came to her eyes. She went into the room and
collapsed on to the bed, trying not to think of all the things she'd given
up.

How can I not love you?
What do I tell my heart?
How can I not want you
Here in my arms?
How does one waltz away
From all of the memories?
How do I not miss you
When you are gone?

Toby walked into the lobby of the hotel and headed straight for the
elevator. There were so many things on his mind, he couldn't even sort them
out. He just wanted to go back to his room, maybe raid the mini-bar and sleep
until three when he had to go with Josh to see the State Senate. He took the
elevator up to the eighth floor and headed straight for his room. Once
inside, he sat on the bed and looked around. With a sigh, he got up and
headed for the mini-bar, but a knock at the door interrupted his journey.
"CJ." He grunted as he opened the door and started again for the mini-bar.
"Isn't it a little early, Toby?" His colleague asked warily as she
stepped into the hotel room and closed the door. "Besides you might need to
be sober for the state senate."
"I don't think I will be whether I drink this or not, so what does it
matter?" Toby retorted as he fished out a bottle of beer and just stared at
it. There was a short, silent pause in the room. "She looked good, didn't
she?" He whispered suddenly. CJ paused
"Yeah, she did, Toby. For the most part." She said finally.
"For the most part?" Toby repeated. "She didn't look at me. Not once."
"I think that if she had, she probably would never have been able to walk
away." CJ mused.
"Would that have been so bad?" He asked her weakly, looking at her with
eyes she'd never seen before; eyes full of pain and hopelessness. Toby
Ziegler, sitting in his hotel room like a heartbroken puppy.
"No, I don't think so." She replied finally. "But then, I don't know why
she left in the first place." She added.
"Neither do I." Toby said softly. "And for the past three months, I've
been trying to do this thing, trying to get over it and pretend like it
doesn't matter, but it does matter. It matters because I love her and I want
to hold her again." He said softly, staring at his hands, which still held
the unopened bottle of beer. CJ sighed and watched her friend carefully.
"I know you do. I think she does too." She whispered.
"Then why did she leave?" Toby asked, his voice sharp.
"I don't know." CJ replied.
"It was her choice!" Toby exclaimed as he stormed to his feet and began
to pace. "She must have wanted it. She made the choice to walk away. It was
her decision and she made the choice to leave. How could I possibly believe
that she still had any feelings for me at all?"
"Because I saw the tears in her eyes, Toby." CJ replied softly. "And you
saw them too. When she left, she wasn't in her right mind. She was crying and
she could barely speak, remember? None of us knows what happened that day,
and we're not that much closer to finding out. Toby, I don't know for sure,
but I can pretty much guess that this is tearing her apart as much as you.
Maybe you should take the first step and go talk to her."
"No, I can't do that." Toby said as he paused. "I can't do that."
"Why not?" CJ asked softly.
"Because I take one look at her and all the words leave my head." He
admitted softly.
"Then go and hold her." CJ suggested kindly. Toby looked at his friend
and then realized that tears were coming to his eyes.
"She doesn't want me to." He said softly before opening the beer and
taking a sip. He stared at the bottle for a moment and then carried it to the
sink where he poured it out. CJ stood up and moved to put a friendly hand on
his shoulder.
"She does. I'd bet on it." She whispered.

TBC.....
Feedback?? Comments??

~D.C.
Batman

 

If You're Gone - 5

 

 

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