RATING: PG
DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of these characters or *anything* related to the
West Wing. "I will come to you" is a Hanson song and is not mine.
NOTES: See Part 1
SUMMARY: The musical culture carries messages for its listeners, especially
those in the West Wing.

DATE: December 13th, 2000
TIME: 11:02am
LOCATION: The Oval Office, White House, Washington DC

"Now, I honestly don't know what you expect me to say, Leo. I know there
are some conflicts and controversies surrounding this thing, but what the
hell am I supposed to say? Bad, stop it?" President Josiah Bartlet asked of
his chief of staff and best friend.
"I don't know either, but this is a serious issue. I talked to Danny
about it about two weeks ago and I'd say that both he and CJ have a clear
idea of the repercussions of all this, but they still want to do it anyway."
Leo replied. "I don't want to fire CJ, but we have to have something to say
to the world."
"What is so wrong about them being together?" Jed asked. "I mean, truly,
I think it's great. What's wrong with it?"
"There's nothing wrong with it, but it *seems* like there *should* be
something wrong with it. That's the problem." Leo replied. "The reality is
that they are both two grown adults who are exploring a personal
relationship. The way it's going to be *perceived* is that she is a member of
the interior senior staff of the White House, the most powerful political
office in the country, to say the least, and she has an inside view on
important issues. Their closeness might jeopardize the security--" Jed waved
his hands.
"I know all this. What I don't know is what I'm supposed to do about it."
He said. Leo opened his mouth to respond when the door to the office flew
open to reveal the yet-again-spatting Toby and Sam.
"You're a juvenile little one, you know that?" Toby snapped as he left
Sam lingering by. Sam was confused by the man's anger this morning, an anger
that seemed so much more passionate than usual.
"I really don't see how my inability to use a stupid comma makes me
juvenile." He retorted as he followed his boss.
"Boys, respect the office. You don't have to respect me, but the office,
please." Jed ordered with a smirk.
"Whatever." Toby muttered as he collapsed into the couch and crossed his
legs. Sam looked at Leo and Jed helplessly, trying to communicate the hell
he'd been going through for the past hour.
"Toby, are you quite all right this morning? You're not your usual
laconic self." Jed asked carefully. Toby grunted something inaudible and
didn't look up. Jed frowned and moved towards his communications director. "I
was told that you had called in sick. Now you're here. You sure you should be
back at work already?" He asked.
"I've already missed more than I should have." Toby exclaimed.
"You're acting like an ass, Toby, and more so than you usually do. Is
everything okay?" Leo asked.
"As the people who run this country, I seriously think that you have
better, more important things to worry about. With all due respect, *do* so."
Toby said in an almost growl. Before anyone could respond, Josh walked in
with a nervous looking CJ right behind him.
"Could someone tell the paranoid feminista that we're not going to take
her out back and shoot her?" Josh asked as he moved to the couch opposite
Toby and plopped down on it.
"Of course we're not. We're shooting Josh." Toby muttered.
"What'd I do?" Josh cried.
"You were born." Toby murmured.
"Toby, shut up." Leo snapped. Toby grunted. CJ frowned.
"CJ, don't worry about it." Jed exclaimed. Everyone looked at him in
surprise. "I'm not about to legislate on who my staff members can or can't
date. I trust you, CJ, and I trust Danny."
"Thank you, sir." CJ said calmly.
"Keep in mind that the minute anything is revealed that chips away at
that trust, I'm going to be pissed as hell." He added. She smiled weakly.
"You won't be, sir."
"Good, let's move on, and Toby, if you say a damn word, I'm having your
ass thrown out."

DATE: Same
TIME: 4:24pm
LOCATION: Communications Bullpen, The West Wing

Toby muttered darkly as he stared at the wall. It had to be one of the
worst days of his life, and he could tell that he was taking it out on
everyone else. He'd hurt Sam seriously, he could tell, and the crack about
Josh's being born was a low blow, even for Toby. These were his friends, even
though he'd never admit as much to them, and he was blowing up at them left
and right. This morning seemed so far into the past. It was hard to
understand that it was only 10:15 am when he'd arrived back in his own
apartment. It felt like ages longer ago than that.
There was a knock at the door but he ignored it. There was no one he
wanted to talk to, no one he wanted to see. Of course, the way he'd been
acting today, whoever was standing there was a pretty brave person. He didn't
want to talk to anyone though. He couldn't deal with this pain and he didn't
want to. He wanted it to sit inside him and fester there until he died, which
he was starting to believe could happen any minute. Unfortunately, the person
on the other side of the door could not read his mind and came in anyway.

When you have no light to guide you
And no one to walk to walk beside you
I will come to you
Oh I will come to you
When the night is dark and stormy
You won't have to reach out for me
I will come to you
Oh I will come to you

"CJ, I really don't have anything to say to anyone." Toby said softly as
he stared at the paper in his lap, his eyes trying to read the black and
white, but failing somewhat miserably. The lights were down pretty low and he
thought there may be tears in his eyes.
"What's wrong, Toby?" She asked softly as she sat down in one of his
armchairs.
"What part of what I said--" He started.
"Get over it, Toby. I came in and I sat down. Live with it and answer my
question." CJ interrupted. He looked at her for a moment. "What's wrong?" She
asked again after a long silence.

Sometimes when all your dreams
May have seen better days
And you don't know how or why
But you've lost your way
Have no fear when your tears are fallin'
I will hear your spirit callin'
And I swear I'll be there come what may

"Andy's brother died." Toby said finally. "I went over there to comfort
her and things got complicated." CJ looked at her hands. "Needless to say, I
was asking for it. She did it again and I guess..." He trailed off and
looked at his hands. "I guess I'm just trying not to die."
"I'm so sorry." CJ whispered as it occurred to her that while she was
laughing with Danny, Toby was off somewhere getting his heart broken for the
second time by the same woman.
"It's my fault. I shouldn't have... Well, there are a lot of things I
shouldn't have done. In a way, I was asking for it." He replied. He never
knew why he talked to CJ. It never made him feel very comfortable around her
afterwards, but it occurred to him that he had to confess to someone, and he
could only get to Temple so often. CJ wanted to listen, and when he was with
her, if only her, he wanted to talk.
"Toby, nobody deserves pain." CJ said softly but strongly. "There are a
lot of things in this world that no one can understand, and I think you and I
are in a pretty good position to say that love is at the top of that list."
"I'm glad you have it, CJ." Toby said without looking at her. "I've never
really liked Danny, but I'm glad he makes you happy." He said, wondering how
it would feel to make someone happy again.

When you have no light to guide you
And no one to walk to walk beside you
I will come to you
Oh I will come to you
When the night is dark and stormy
You won't have to reach out for me
I will come to you
Oh I will come to you

"Toby, is this what's been eating at you all day? I mean, why did you
call in sick and then come in anyway?" CJ asked softly.
"I was originally going to spend the day with Andy while she dealt with
her brother's arrangements. But we talked and I found that I couldn't stay
there anymore." Toby admitted as he drummed his fingers nervously against his
papers. CJ glanced and saw that the wedding ring had disappeared. He looked
at her and their eyes met. He followed her former gaze to his hand and then
clenched his fingers together anxiously.
"Toby, it's okay to feel this way." CJ said softly.
"I'm perfectly aware of that. The fact is that I don't *want* to feel
this way." He retorted. "The world hands out certain gifts and blessings.
Some people get love and a person to share their lives with. That's their
gift and blessing. The gift I got is this." He said, holding up his pen. "I
get to work with words so that I can help the world see things more clearly.
That's my gift. I get to be the cynical intellectual, and everyone else gets
to be human. That's the way it's always been, that's the way it will always
be. I was foolish to think that there could ever be anything different from
that." He finished and looked back at the paper. CJ wanted so much to tell
him that he was wrong, to maybe hug him and tell him that he was human and
that it was okay for him to act like it.
But that wasn't her place.

'Cause even if we can't be together
We'll be friends now and forever
And I swear that I'll be there come what may
When the night is dark and stormy
You won't have to reach out for me
I will come to you
Oh I will come to you

"Toby, you don't have to be that way. I mean, we all love you the way you
are," CJ said with a weak smile. "but we also want you to be happy. I know
you're hurting now, but with time--"
"Time is something I've had an abundance of, CJ. It's been four years
since Andy and I divorced, and this still happened. Time isn't what I need.
What I need is to be left alone." Toby retorted sharply.
"Like hell it is." CJ snapped suddenly. He looked at her abruptly and
watched as she rubbed her eyes with her fingertips. "Sorry."
"CJ, you're not my mother." Toby said softly. "Get on out of here. Go
have dinner with Danny or something and leave me alone. That's what's best
for me and what's best for you."
"I can decide for myself what's best for me. Danny and I are gonna lie
low for a few weeks and then you can just *try* to keep us apart." CJ said
playfully. Toby didn't smile. He just shrugged and looked back at his papers.

We all need somebody we can turn to
Someone who'll always understand
So if you feel that your soul is dyin'
And you need the strength to keep tryin'
I'll reach out and take your hand

"Talk to me. Please? I mean, hell, I've got nothing better to do." CJ
said with a weak smile. Toby chuckled weakly and shook his head.
"I've got nothing to say." He whispered. "You've helped me, CJ, as much
as you can. As much as anyone can. You're the closest friend I've got, but
right now I'd still rather be left alone." Silence filled the room as CJ took
in the bulk of his admission to her. He had just told her something very
important and she couldn't force herself to believe the words he'd used.
"Toby, whenever you need me, you know I'll be there for you." She said
softly. "And I really don't know what I want to do right now. I'm perfectly
content to sit here and bug you." She said with a grin. Then a funny thing
happened. Toby laughed. He laughed. It was a weak, quiet laugh, but it was a
laugh, and she seriously felt like she'd accomplished something.
"Well, if that's what makes you happy." He retorted randomly.
"See? You can make people happy, Toby." She replied. He paused and then
looked at her. Silence filled the room again.
"Maybe I can." He whispered. She nodded.
"No maybe about it. I mean, you're one of my best friends. Sam hangs on
every word you say. Josh loves to banter with you. The President thinks of
you like a son or a brother, or some close male family member. I mean, think
of all the people who love you, Toby, despite how much you push us away or
how much of a hard time you give us." She finished with a smirk.
"Thank you, CJ." He said softly.
"Thank you too, Toby." She replied.

When you have no light to guide you
And no one to walk to walk beside you
I will come to you
Oh I will come to you
When the night is dark and stormy
You won't have to reach out for me
I will come to you
Oh I will come to you

THE END.

 

 

 

Home        What's New        Author Listings        Title Listings