DISCLAIMER: I don't own "The West Wing" or any related characters.
belong to Aaron Sorkin and his wondrous co-workers. Again, "Best I ever
is Vertical Horizon, not me.
NOTES: See Part 1
WARNING: This has Danny/CJ in it with tiny tiny traces of CJ/Toby that will
never ever go anywhere cause I really don't see it. I do however respect
other people's opinions and I thought I should warn those who despise the
SUMMARY: Two couples ponder the question of "Why can't we?" and come
DATE: June 12, 2000
TIME: 6:21 am
LOCATION: West Wing, White House, Washington D.C.
Toby sighed and stared at the wall of his office. It was early; the staff
wouldn't have to be crawling in for another forty minute to an hour. Even the
President was still asleep. But Toby could never sleep on this day. He hadn't
in four years. He looked down at his hands and saw how the morning light
sparkled off of his left finger. With a sigh he reached up to wipe the sleep
away and then looked at his desk again, searching for the speech he was
"Toby? What are you doing in so early?" CJ's voice rang as her tall
leaned in his doorway. He looked up at her and rested his eyes on her slim
figure. She was an attractive woman, he mused. Then he looked back at his
speech and shrugged.
"I couldn't sleep. I figured there was no better place to be." He said
softly and then looked at her again. "What are *you* doing here?"
"Basically the same reason." She admitted as she closed the door,
in and sat down in one of his chairs. He raised an eyebrow. He wanted to snap
at her, ask her why she thought it was okay to just invite herself on in, but
for some reason he didn't. He always felt compelled to be nicer to her than
the others. Probably because she fought back better than any of the others,
and he didn't like hurting her. He looked back at the speech and twirled his
pen in his hands. Suddenly, the morning sun crept through the blinds and a
single ray snaked out, lashing out against the ring and creating a dim golden
light in the room.
Toby stared at the ring, moving it out of the light and throwing his pen
on the desk. CJ watched him in concern, wary of the look on his face. He
looked hurt and angry; hurt and angry in a way that she'd never known before.
She leaned forward and watched him. Toby looked up at her and then looked
away. If she didn't know any better, she'd say he was embarrassed.
"Toby." She said softly.
"It's nothing. Just thinking." He said softly.
"Care to think out loud?" She asked. "Penny for your thoughts,
of thing?" He shook his head and picked up the pen again, determined not to
let his heart get the best of him.
"No. It's fine." He muttered and made another punctuation note. CJ
at him, not believing him for a second. He looked at her. "What?
snapped. "What do you care about it? What, that this is the day my wife
me? Four years gone by, and I still can't pull this damn thing off? What does
that matter to you?" He said angrily and then rested his hands against his
palms. CJ watched him carefully. She'd never heard him like this before.
"It matters a lot." She said softly. "I'm sorry. I didn't kn--"
"Listen, I appreciate whatever words of comfort you may have, but I'd
rather be alone." Toby interrupted and tried to sit up straight again.
sorry I exploded just now. I didn't get much sleep last night." CJ didn't
move. He looked at her. "CJ." He said pleadingly.
"Toby, don't you have to talk about it? If after four years, you can't
take off the ring, and you want to, doesn't that mean you should?" She
softly. He looked away from her.
"I can't. There's nothing to say." He said softly. "She left. I'm
here. That's all that there is." CJ had never seen this level of his
before. She'd never thought of all the pain he had inside of him. She knew of
his divorce, but only that he'd been divorced. In all this time working with
him, she'd not seen him be so... human. Granted, he was a nice man
sometimes. He was a sweet man sometimes. He was an attractive one, she
thought sometimes. But he'd never opened himself up to anyone, let alone CJ.
"No, that's not all there is." CJ assured him. "She hurt you,
Toby. I can
see that. You don't deserve that pain." She whispered.
"You know, somewhere, right now, she's probably sleeping next to someone.
She's probably happy. I know that she's moved on. I just wish I knew how."
Toby admitted. He didn't know why he was being so open. Perhaps it was
because it was early and he hadn't had his coffee yet.
"You will, Toby. When you need to." CJ said softly. He looked at her
"Thank you, CJ." He said softly.
"You trying to get rid of me again?" She teased. He smiled weakly and
looked at his desk.
"No. I don't know." He whispered. She smiled, got up and walked over
"Get up." She ordered. Toby frowned at her. She laughed and pulled him
his feet before hugging him tightly. Toby thanked God the door was closed and
then hugged her back. Suddenly, they each found the hug tightening as they
pulled even closer together. CJ rested her head against his and just held him
close. Toby, a little surprised by her and his actions, relaxed a little and
moved a hand into the space between her shoulder blades to hug her a little
tighter. Finally, they stepped back a space and looked each other in the eye.
"Maybe I'd better go now." She whispered. He nodded and let go of her.
"Yeah, maybe." He said softly. She paused and then looked at him
He looked at her and then felt her close in and kiss him gently. He kissed
her back and then watched as she walked out of the room. He sat down in his
chair, a little bewildered, and then looked at his desk again. He looked at
his ring, paused and then looked back at his desk. A little more confused, or
perhaps a little less, he wasn't sure, Toby leaned forward to grab his pen
again. He started marking up Sam's little speech again, feeling a little out
of it, and yet... a little better.
Down the hall, CJ turned a corner and walked for the coffee station. Many
thoughts ran through her head, mainly the question why. Why did she do that?
She wasn't sure, but she thought maybe it was just something that happened in
the moment, some feeling in the air. She got her cup of coffee and then
turned towards her own bullpen. Her head felt like it was in a daze, and then
she realized... It was nothing. It was a little, harmless kiss.
She smiled weakly to herself and moved into her office. Gail blurped at
her, having been alone for fifteen minutes and a little nervous about it. CJ
smiled at her fish and moved to get the food. When she turned back, Danny was
standing at the door with a smirk on his face and a long-stemmed red rose.
She smiled, didn't think to ask him why he was in so early and just fed the
fish while the redhead moved into the office and closed the door.
What was it you wanted
Could it be I'm haunted
But it's not so bad
You're only the best I ever had
I don't want you back
You're just the best I ever had
The best I ever had
The best I ever