Disclaimers: They're not mine. Sometimes I ask them out to play, but they go home with Mr. Sorkin, et. al.
Summary: CJ takes a fall and Toby gets roped in to picking up the pieces.
Flamingo Falling (Part 15/?)
"Toby," Mrs. Cregg said as they were sitting in traffic on their way to the hospital. "Don't you get mail?"
"Mail. There's no mail for you at the apartment."
"I maintain a separate residence, Ma'am."
"Because your daughter and I are both senior staff members at the White House. We try to keep our relationship as low-key as possible to avoid a appearance of impropriety. As a matter of fact, only those we are friends with know. So don't be surprised if you run in to someone who doesn't." He was actually getting pretty good at thinking on his feet. He thought about taking up fiction writing after Bartlet's second term.
"All very cloak and dagger?"
Toby stifled a laugh. "Precisely." They parked and went up to the room.
CJ was sitting a little higher in bed and looking a much better shade of beigish-pink. "You look better," Toby said, leaning over and quickly planting a kiss on her forehead.
"I feel remarkably better. They may even let me out of bed tomorrow. How was your afternoon, Mother?"
Her hands fluttered in the air. "Oh, I unpacked and things. Toby has me set up in your guestroom."
"Okay," CJ said, glancing at Toby. He nodded slightly. "I thought you were bringing dinner." She patted the bed next to her, and Toby sat down on it, continuing to hold her hand, which was sweaty, he presumed, at the prospect of time with her mother. He knew that's what was making his palms sweat.
"Well, Sweetheart," he said slowly and-CJ thought-
"Italian," CJ said without thinking.
"I'll go in a minute."
"I brought some of your makeup, Claudia," her mother said, fishing items out of her purse. "I just rummaged around your bathroom. I hope you don't mind. I must say, the two of you keep things very organized. Anyway, there a just a few things to make you a little more presentable."
"I think she looks great!" Josh said from the doorway. "How's she doing, Toby?"
"She seems to be doing better." Toby was suspicious of Josh's cheerful nature. "She still needs her rest, though."
"Uh, guys. `She' is right here," CJ said. "Feel free to address me any time, Joshua."
Toby stepped aside to allow Josh to stand next to the bed. "Sorry, Claudia Jean."
"Finally, someone who uses your name," Mrs. Cregg said.
"He only does it to be annoying," CJ told her.
"Join us for dinner?" Toby asked. "I was just going out to get Italian."
"Sure, why not?"
"I'll be back in a few minutes, Hon" Toby said, giving CJ's hand a squeeze. "A moment, Josh?" He motioned for Josh to follow him.
"Hon?" Josh asked.
"Go ahead and give me a reason to kill you, Josh."
Josh immediately held up his hands and backed off. "Sorry, Toby."
"I can't kill you right now anyway. Because right now I need you to stay here while I go get something for dinner."
"You know the hospital does serve her food. They bring it right here to her room," Josh said.
"Josh, what possesses you to think that now is the good time to annoy me? As for hospital food, we both now it's generally not that good. And if I didn't bring dinner here, then I might have to eat alone with Mrs. Cregg. Unless you would like to take her out?"
"No, really, that's okay."
"I'm going to get food. You are on patrol. Do NOT let CJ's mother upset her. Understand?"
He saluted. "Will do."