Disclaimers: They're not mine. Sometimes I ask them out to play, but they go home with Mr. Sorkin, et. al.
Spoilers: Not really
Archive: Sure, let me know where and keep my name attached.
Note: This is my first story. Thanks to Stacy for reading and encouragement.

Summary: CJ takes a fall and Toby gets roped in to picking up the pieces.

Flamingo Falling (Part 23/23)

They might as well have injected caffeine directly into her veins for as wound up as Mrs. Cregg was after the visit.

"Two nights in a row with this," CJ whispered as Mrs. Cregg paced behind them, waving her hands wildly, re-telling one of the President's historical stories. "Mother, I'm glad you're enjoying your visit and are so impressed by a man for whom you did not even vote."

"I didn't vote, period."

"Even more appalling," Toby whispered.

"Anyway, Mother, I'm just exhausted." She yawned for good measure. "If you'll bring my crutches from wherever you've hidden them, I'm dying to go to bed."

"Toby can carry you. He did last night."

"Sure, Toby can carry you," Toby said, sarcastically. "Never mind that you're like two feet taller and I'm an old man."

"Get my crutches, Mother."

Toby quickly stood and picked her up. Not exactly gracefully, but without coming off as too much of a weakling.

CJ wrapped one arm around his shoulders. "You're not old. And have you been working out?"

"You could say I've been lifting weights." He adjusted her slightly.

"You'd better not mean me."

He smiled, but didn't respond. "Good night, Mrs. Cregg."

"Good night, Mother."

"Good night, children," her mother called after them. "Let's sleep in tomorrow."

Toby set CJ down just inside the bedroom door and retrieved her crutches. "We need to talk."

"Later," CJ said, heading for the bathroom.

But by the time Toby exited the bathroom, CJ was asleep—-or at least appeared to be. He climbed in to bed next to her and tried to sleep. Rather unsuccessfully.

Toby woke the next morning with an arm across CJ again. Definitely easy to get used to, he thought. He inhaled deeply and slowly began to lift his arm. Her hand went over his and held it where it was. He let out a sigh and tried again, but her fingers intertwined with his and she pulled his arm more tightly across her, forcing him to move closer.

"CJ," he whispered.

"Shhhh. Go back to sleep," she murmured.

He took another deep breath. "We need to talk."

"Not really."

"Yes, really." He tried to withdraw his hand.

"Don't," she said. "Can't we just..." she let the thought trail off.

Her inability to finish, combined with the warmth of her hand on his actually encouraged him. "Look, I really just need for you to be quiet for the next couple of minutes." He propped himself up on his free arm so he could look at her. Big mistake. "The thing is..." he began, but stopped. "CJ, it's become apparent to me..." One more try. "While you were in the hospital..."

CJ interrupted him. "Toby, I think I'm falling in love with you."

"Pardon?"

"That's your response?"

"Huh?"

"Mr. Communication," she said, disgusted.

"But what about Danny?" he asked.

"Are you telling me you'd prefer I go be with Danny?"

"No. No. Absolutely not," Toby said quickly. "It's just that..."

"Toby, when I was in trouble, you were the one I called. You were the one who came. You were the one who stayed. And months ago, when I started this ludicrous story for my mother--even then--it was your name that came out. Not Danny's. What does that sound like to you?"

"Oh."

"I was hoping for something more than that," CJ said, pushing his hand off and starting to slide away.

He quickly—-and wisely—-reached out and pulled her back. "I love you," he said quietly before kissing her.

"Knock, knock, "Mrs. Cregg said, opening the door and entering.

Toby quickly returned his head to his pillow, feeling like a teenager caught necking in the rec room.

"Breakfast is ready," she announced.

"Mother," CJ said indignantly. "One: Didn't we agree we were sleeping in today? And two: How dare you just burst in here? We could have been...in the middle of something!"

Mrs. Cregg just laughed. "Oh darling! You're both obviously awake. And I didn't think I'd be interrupting much as long as you still have that cast on. Come on out. I'm making waffles." And she exited.

"Lousy timing," CJ said. "I'm mortified."

"Nothing to be mortified about," Toby said, brushing the hair out of her face.

"But what she said..."

"Was right...on both counts."

"Toby..."

He interupted her with a kiss. "CJ, just when does that cast come off?"

-END-

*****

 

 

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