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 6/?)

CJ had decided to work half days. She'd called and arranged the driving service before calling the White House and informing the staff. Leo tried to talk her out of it, unsuccessfully. And then she informed them that she was throwing Donna out.

"Take her to a nice dinner tonight on me, Josh. I'll see you around 9:00 a.m. tomorrow."

Toby was standing outside the side door, clapping his gloved hands in an attempt to stay warm. The temperature had fallen overnight, along with about three inches of snow. He thought about calling to convince CJ to work from home again, but with the exception of that few hours Monday, she hadn't been to the office in over a week, so he knew it was pointless. By the time he decided he should call, she had already left.

"I tried to call you," Toby said. "I got your machine."

"I knew you wouldn't want me to come in." She sat down in her wheelchair and dismissed the driver. "I was screening."

"Claudia Jean," Josh said tossing himself onto the sofa in her office. "How are you today?"

"Josh, just because I can't win a foot race right now, doesn't mean I can't sneak up on you and soundly beat you with a crutch."

He held up his hands in surrender. "Okay. Gotta' say: Sharp cast. Very...colorful." He snorted.

"Josh, did you come in here just to torment me? Because if that's the case, you're succeeding."

"Of course not."

"Then are you drunk with power from having done a week's worth of briefings? I can fix that." She hoisted herself out of her chair, gave her head a moment to become accustomed to the change in altitude and started toward him.

"What? You're going to brief?"

"And what's so funny about that?"

"Four steps up to the podium, CJ. You're not exactly as graceful as..." He started laughing again. "...as a flamingo."

At that she lifted her right crutch and smacked him on the arm. Hard.


"Serves you right."

"Okay, okay, I'm sorry."

She hobbled back to her chair. "It's hard to take your apology seriously when you're laughing so hard you're crying. And I could do the four steps. Joshua! Shut up!"

He wiped his eyes. "Okay, I guess I've tormented you enough. So, what did your mom say?"

"I thought you said you'd tormented me enough."

"This is not torment. This is friendship. What did she say?"

"About?" He just looked at her. "This? Nothing. I haven't talked to her."

"She doesn't know? Hasn't she noticed my handsome face on CSPAN?"

"My mother doesn't even know what channel CSPAN is on, Josh. I may as well have run off and joined the circus."

"Your mother is very proud of you."

"She would have been much happier if I'd married a plastic surgeon and had two kids, an SUV and a house in the Hills."

"You should call your mother."

"And you should get ready for the 2:00 p.m. briefing."

On Friday, CJ decided she could at least attend the afternoon briefing. She culumped down the corridor on her crutches, then leaned on the wall next to Carol, until her assistant insisted on getting her a chair. Half way through she realized she was getting a terrible cramp in her casted leg. There was nothing to be done about it, because the chair was low and had no arms. She was trapped.

Josh bounced down the steps from the podium-—just to taunt her, she thought. "CJ?" He stopped in front of her. "You okay?"

"It's just a charlie horse." She shifted and grimaced again.

"Hey," Danny said joining them. "Nice cast, CJ. See what happens when I leave town for a couple of weeks. Are you okay?"

"Nope." She cringed again and tried to stand, failing.

"Here." Josh grabbed one arm and Danny the other, hauling her to a standing position. Donna handed CJ her crutches.

"I can carry you," Danny offered.

"Not on your life." CJ slowly started up the hallway with Josh and Danny following at her heels.

"CJ," they said in unison.

"Leave me alone." She closed her office door on them, congratulating herself for not slamming it, and dropped in to her desk chair.

She was swallowing a pain pill—her first in almost four days—when there was a knock on the door. "CJ?" Toby slowly opened the door. "You okay?"


"Maybe you should call it a day?"

"I'll be fine. It's just a muscle spasm or something. I've taken a pill."

"Go home."

She cringed again. "Yeah, okay."

"Again without an argument? It really must hurt."

"Thank you, Captain Obvious."

To be continued...

Flamingo Falling - 7




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