Babies- The 'Happily Ever After' Ending
Summary: Sequel to Babies Parts 1 and 2
The disclaimer etc. are attached to the original Babies story, but this needs an additional note: I initially outlined this story after 'Debate Camp' and of course it ended with happily ever after for our hero and heroine (although I don't really see Toby as a hero...) but then I thought, these two have so much angst it gets rather irritating to think about, so who knows if they'll end up together? And so I wrote both. They don't really seem any different in the end. See what you think. Let me know which you like better- firstname.lastname@example.org.
The West Wing
June 19, 2003
"Toby?" Ginger called down the hall.
"Yeah?" he shouted back, turning to face her as he paused on his way to Josh's office.
"It's Andi's doctor." Toby froze. She'd seemed alright that morning, but there were only a few days left until her due date, and they were both on edge. At any rate, she'd seemed distant, irritated, since he'd taken the trip to Ohio for CJ's delivery, though he'd told her it was business, and it was possible she hadn't mentioned that she felt close.
"Toby?" Ginger's repeated shout jarred Toby out of his flash of thoughts, and he half-ran toward her, grabbing the phone.
"This is Toby Ziegler."
"Toby," the doctor said slowly, "there's been an accident. Can you come to the hospital?"
Of course, Toby heard himself say, I'll be right there. But all that registered in his mind was the frantic beating of his heart because something had happened to his sons while he'd been thinking about his daughter, and he might never see them.
Twenty minutes later, Toby rushed into the George Washington Hospital Emergency Room, Josh calling after him that he would park the car. The nurse at the desk took his name and asked him politely to wait in the chairs. Andi was in the ER. Toby was not in the mood to politely do anything, but sat.
After a while, Josh came and sat too.
As the hours went by, doctors and nurses came to tell Toby and Josh, then Toby and Sam, then Toby and Ginger, about how Andi was weak but alive, as were the boys, about she had lost a lot of blood, but the boys torso was alright, about how the Caesarian section would be done when Andi was strong enough if he'd just sign here, but he couldn't be there. That last doctor visit managed to rouse Toby somewhat, with the thought that babies were supposed to be born the way Abbey had. The rest of his mind was absorbed in the thoughts of how he should have taken care of Andi, his wife, not let her drive to work anymore, should have insisted on protecting her, but he'd been with CJ- how he should have been stronger, chosen and stuck to his choice-
"Mr. Ziegler, your wife is awake." The nurse was bending over him where he slouched in his chair, now outside surgery.
He followed the nurse quickly, almost overtaking her except that she had to lead him. They turned a corner, and she opened the door for him.
There lay Andi, pale, covered in blood and sweat, looking at him with terrified eyes. He went to her, took her hand, smiled as much as he could.
"Toby," she whispered.
"Andrea," he said softly.
"Toby...I'm sorry." He shook his head.
"Don't say that, you'll be just fine." But they both knew that wasn't what she'd meant. "You will be." Toby looked down at her body, then up at the wall. Counted his breaths as they came in, out, in, out. Toby couldn't quite make out Andi's body well in the dim light against the blankets but it looked wrong. He wasn't so sure anymore.
"Take good care of them," she was whispering, "take good care of our boys."
"We will," Toby said, firm in his denial, "we will."
Andi looked up at him sadly, squeezed his hand, closed her eyes.
The monitor beside the bed went high-pitched as the heart rate line went flat, and doctors and nurses pushed Toby back as they rushed to help Andi. The nurse who'd led him in pulled him out with sad eyes, telling him that they'd do their best, but that she had such low chances that the babies were the priority if he'd just sign here; they'd do the C-section now that she'd been too weak for before. Toby signed numbly, watching the commotion in Andi's room through the glazed window, unable to imagine how all this could end.
An hour later the nurse came to tell him that he had two lovely sons, but their mother didn't make it. Toby stared at her passively, solemn in his panic and anguish. The boys could go home soon if he could get ready. If he wanted, they could help find someone to nurse the babies. Toby's mind woke up. Someone to nurse the babies.
June 20, 2003 1:19 am EST
CJ looked down at Abbey, cradled against her shoulder, asleep. She smiled. At last, Abbey was sleeping. The two-week old baby was on an intermittent schedule, and her mother was slowly going insane.
The phone rang, and Abbey's eyes opened. Finding herself in her mother's arms, she didn't cry, but looked about alertly.
Damn it, CJ thought at whoever was calling. This was just what she needed. Carrying Abbey awkwardly, she rushed to get the phone.
"Hello?" All she could hear was heavy breathing, sobbing.
"Whoever this is, it isn't nice to call people who are trying to sl-"
"CJ." Toby's voice was a cry.
"What's wrong?" she asked in an instant. His was quiet as he found the words, and CJ grew more and more frantic.
"There was an accident. Andi- Andi's dead." Through CJ's demands Toby was quiet with what he had to ask.
"The boys are alright. Andrew and Benjamin. But, CJ...they need to be nursed." Abbey's hands at her breast reminded CJ of what Toby meant.
"CJ, I don't mean for this to sound...like I'm taking advantage of her death," he was whispering, "but if you came, and we said she had triplets, you could help me raise them if your father was better..."
7:19 am EST
CJ followed Josh quickly as he navigated her through the corridors of the hospital, glancing back every now and then in awe at the car seat she was carrying. Abbey had slept, mercifully, for most of the flight. They stopped in front of a hospital room in the maternity wing, and he gestured her inside.
In the room, Toby lay dozing on a bed while his sons lay in their tiny crib-carts. He'd forbidden the nurses from taking them away, and in sympathy they'd allowed him to keep the boys with him. Hearing the door creak open again, he sat up to tell them he could indeed monitor the babies if only they could stay, but it was CJ and Abbey. Josh discretely closed the door, leaving them alone with the children. CJ held Toby hard as he stood to meet her, in empathy, not romance.
"Are these them?"
He smiled for the first time in what felt like days. "Yes. My boys. Benny and Andy." The name made him wince, and he wondered if it was too soon for the nickname. CJ smiled down at them.
"I think you'll quickly find that babies are much cuter when they're sleeping." On cue, Benny opened his eyes and yawned, then began to whimper. Toby lifted him carefully from the bassinet and rocked gently.
"He needs to be fed," Toby said questioningly. She hadn't definitively answered him on the phone earlier, though the fact that she had come seemed a good sign. Now she confirmed it as she began to unbutton her shirt and sat on the bed. Looking up at him with a smile, she reached out her arms.
For a moment, Toby clung to the baby with concern, glancing at Abbey where she slept. "Just one thing, CJ." She raised her eyebrows in question. "Will you love her more?" She opened her mouth to answer quickly, then paused to weigh the question, glancing at her daughter.
"They're all your babies, Toby. And now mine too." They smiled at each other faintly in the happiness that could be seen at the end of the dark shadow Andi's death had thrown across their path. At least it was there.
Washington D. C.
One year later
"Do you take this man to be your lawful wedded husband, to have and to hold, for richer or poorer, for better or worse, as long as you both shall live?" Oh yes, CJ thought, this was what she had dreamt of jealously after Toby and Andi's wedding.
She gazed at him. A quiet cry distracted her and she glanced over his shoulder at where Abbey Bartlet was managing little Abbey, Andy and Benny during their parents' wedding. She looked frantic enough, and she'd only had them for a few minutes. Over the past year, Toby and CJ had been driven to distraction themselves trying to manage the babies, but at their first birthday party a week before, they'd all survived the adventure well enough to mash cake in their hair. CJ looked back at Toby. He'd noticed her momentary distraction and smiled affectionately at her motherly side. This was exactly the woman he wanted to marry.
"I do," she recalled herself to say, softly, firmly, forever.
"As do I," Toby cut off the priest. The man grinned at him.
"By the power vested in me, I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss your bride."
Toby did, to applause and a sudden wail. Their kiss broke with a laugh and CJ and Toby grinned at one another. All was right with the world.
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