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 3/?)
Exactly 40 minutes later Abbey Bartletand her Secret Service detailemerged on the fourth floor. The nurse saw them coming over Sam's shoulder. He was oblivious, thinking too much about the nurse's curly, red hair.
"Sam," Abbey said.
At the sound of the First Lady's voice, Sam jumped. "Mrs. Bartlet!"
"You may leave now. Leo needs you back in the West Wing. I'll stay with CJ."
"Yes, Ma'am. Thank you, Ma'am." Wisely, he didn't look back at the nurse before hurrying to the elevator.
One of the agents emerged from CJ's room and nodded at the First Lady.
She knocked lightly and went in. "CJ?"
CJ turned towards the door. "Mrs. Bartlet." She tried to raise her head off the pillow...unsuccessfully. "Aw, never mind." She dropped her head back down.
"Oooo, painkillers. They're grand, aren't they?" Abbey put her coat and purse in a chair.
"Oh yeah," CJ said. "They gave me a shot before they set my ankle. It's great."
"Let me check your chart and talk to the nurse and I'll be right back."
Abbey sat with her until they took her for surgery. She called the White House and told them not to bother coming to see CJ in the evening since she would likely sleep from the drugs. Actually, she figured by the time anyone got out of the office and got there, CJ would already be headed for surgery.
"Thanks for staying," CJ said during a period of consciousness just before she was taken to surgical prep. "You really don't need to stay through surgery, Abbey."
"Oh, Jed would like that report, wouldn't he?" Abbey laughed. "Stay with you all afternoon and then desert you when you go under the knife?" CJ moaned in response. "Oh, CJ, I'm sorry." Abbey took her hand.
"S'okay. I really wish you'd go home. It's going to be morning before I'm any good. Doctor Whatsisname said I'll come out of surgery in the middle of the night and be drugged `til morning."
"I mean it. Go. Tell anyone who's there that I made you."
"I want you to leave. Now."
"Do I need to call the President?"
"Fine, CJ. I'll leave." She picked up her coat and purse. "I'm going to have your doctor call when surgery's over and I'll be back in the morning."
"Thanks, Abbey. One favor?"
Abbey took CJ's hand. "Sure. What?"
"Keep Sam away from here. I want my nurses concentrating on me, not him."
Abbey was laughing as she left.
CJ heard moaning. She came to a little more and heard it again. Once she was much closer to fully awake, she realized she was the one moaning. The very bright, digital clock read 4:47 a.m. She stopped moaning when she realized there was someone in the room. "Who?" It still sounded like a moan.
Toby put his papers aside and came to stand by the bed, looking uncomfortable. "Me."
"Whatcha' doin' `ere?" she croaked.
"For a woman who speaks for a living..." He let the sentence trail off, pushed the call button and picked up a glass of water, positioning the straw so she could take a sip. "Better?"
"Yes." Her head was quickly clearing. "Thank you. So, what are you doing here?"
"That sounded much better."
He shrugged. "When Mrs. Bartlet returned, I was in with Leo and the President."
The nurse came in response to the call button. "So how are we feeling? Good, he gave you some water. You're probably hungry, but we'll start with some ginger ale first." They were quiet while she hurried around for a few minutes. "If you need anything, you just buzz."
"You were saying?" CJ urged.
"Mrs. Bartlet was not happy that you made her leave. The President wasn't, either."
"It's the middle of the night. I didn't want anyone else to lose sleep. Toby, it's almost 5:00 a.m. What are you doing here?"
He shrugged. "I was working late. Got in my car about 1:00 a.m. and just sort of wound up here. You were going in to recovery, so I hung around. I'm not tired."
CJ had barely been able to keep her eyes open. "I'm exhausted."
"Drugs," Toby explained. He touched her hand quickly. "Go to sleep."
To be continued...