Disclaimers: They're not mine. Sometimes I ask them out to play, but they go home with Mr. Sorkin, et. al. And while we're at it, "His Girl Friday" isn't mine by a long shot and several decades.
Summary: Just a little something to follow up Lame Duck (aka: "He's an idiot, CJ.")
His Girl... (1/1)
Toby had smoked a fine cigar and lost three games of chess to the President of the United States. The latter did nothing to improve his mood as he entered the West Wing. Since it was well past midnight, he expected everyone was gone.
That's why it surprised him to hear sounds coming from one of the offices. He quietly pushed the door open and looked over to the desk. No one. He looked to his right at the couch to find CJ huddled in a corner, her face buried in her hands--not a very CJ-like picture.
The hair stood up on the back of his neck.
"CJ?" he asked softly.
She stiffened and quickly wiped her face. "Yeah, Toby. What do you need?"
"Nothing." He started to leave but never made it out the door. He turned and let out a sigh. "Are you okay?"
"Liar." He sat down next to her. "I know why my day tanked; why did yours?"
"Doesn't matter." She wiped at her cheeks again and cleared her throat. "I heard about the count. Sorry it didn't work out."
He shrugged. "Everybody should be sorry it didn't work out. It could've made the world a safer place. What did Danny do?"
"What makes you think it was Danny?"
He hesitantly rested a hand on her shoulder.
She shrugged it off. "Toby..." she warned.
"Fine," he said, shortly and stood.
She reached out and grabbed his arm. "No. Toby." He stood still. "I'm sorry. Please, Toby. Don't leave. I can't take another person leaving right now."
He turned back to her. "Danny left?" he asked.
She nodded. She could feel the tears threatening again and hated herself for it.
"I know it never would have worked, Toby. Not while he was a press corps reporter. That's why when I heard, I thought, maybe. But..."
"He turned down the editor's job?"
She nodded again. "You knew?"
"It's my job to know things," Toby said, grimly and once again placed his hand on her shoulder. "He's an idiot, CJ."
She almost laughed. "I tend to agree."
"Don't sit here in the dark in the middle of the night crying over an idiot."
"I'm not crying over Danny," CJ insisted. "Really. I'm crying over... Nevermind."
Toby stared at her for a moment. "Well, I'm glad you're not crying over Danny. Come on." He stood and pulled her up.
"Yeah, I should go."
He looked at his feet. "Why don't you come home with me? We can pick up something to eat? Talk about what's coming down the pike next?"
"I can't talk about policy any more today, Toby."
"Fine. We'll eat. And we won't even turn on CNN. You can pick what we watch."
"Toby, you don't have to..."
"CJ," he cut her off. "My world crashed today, too. Maybe I just don't want to be alone right now either."
They sat on Toby's couch, with take out Chinese spread across the coffee table.
"I think I forgot to eat lunch," CJ said. "Are you going to finish that egg roll?"
"Yes. I'm hungry, too. I walked out on lunch today in a panic."
The mutual decision was that fortune cookies couldn't possibly hold good news for either of them--so they got tossed with the trash.
"What are we going to watch?" Toby asked. He flipped on the TV and started to surf.
CJ took the remote from him. "My pick." She continued to surf, but at a slower rate of speed. "Ooooo..."
"Cary Grant?" he asked.
"And Rosalind Russell. It's 'His Girl Friday'," she said, putting the remote aside. "It's one of my favorites." She kicked off her shoes and tucked her feet up under her.
"It's a romance. Won't that..."
"I told you, it's not that Danny walked out. It's that..." She waved her hands and started again. "Okay, it's not *just* that Danny walked out. No, let's address that for a moment. Am I so not worth it? It's not like I asked him to become unemployed. He was offered a *promotion*. Editor is the next step up--it's a logical progression. Am I so undesirable that I'm not worth taking a *promotion*?"
"And we could have been together. He's been dancing around me for months! But when push came to shove, he didn't even discuss it with me." She began to cry again. "And now I have let that man reduce me to tears. And that pisses me off more than anything else." She wiped her cheeks.
"What?" she snapped.
"Come here." He held out his arms. She moved over next to him and allowed herself to cry. "He's really not worth it, CJ."
"It's not that. It just set me off. I can't explain it."
"Could it be because you're lonely?" he asked, very quietly.
"And tired." She yawned. "You smell like my dad." She buried her nose in his lapel and inhaled deeply.
"Then your dad smoked Cuban cigars. I was up with the President before I found you," he explained.
"Poor Ralph Bellamy," CJ said, turning her attention back to the television. "He never stood a chance against Cary Grant. See, he and Rosalind Russell work together. And they're going to be just fine. Why is that?"
"Because they're on the same side," Toby suggested.
They watched the movie in silence. "I love this part," CJ said as the characters on screen scurried around and talked at a speed that put the West Wing staff to shame.
When Toby noticed the movie had changed, he realized he'd been asleep. He looked down at the woman still in his arms--now soundly asleep--and settled a little more comfortably on the couch, hoping it wouldn't wake her. He brushed the hair off her forehead and kissed her lightly. And then he whispered, "Trust me, CJ, you are anything but undesirable."