Title: Heartstrings - part 1

Author: Janice

Rating: PG-13

Disclaimer: I do not own the characters. The West Wing and the  characters are the property of Aaron Sorkin, Warner Brothers  Television and NBC. No Copyright infringement is intended.

Summary: Two past lovers are reunited.

Note: The part of dialogs in < > are the characters' thoughts.

***** Cambridge, England - mid June, 1986 *****

The May Ball at Cambridge University was already in full  swing when he arrived.

"I really shouldn't have agreed to come with you, Alice." 

"You already said that twenty times since we left the house  half an hour ago. Come on, this is the famous May Ball of Cambridge  that we are talking about," said Alice, "and since we are already  here, why don't we just relax and enjoy the night."

"Enjoy?! You call me partying with a bunch of twenty-year- old babies an enjoyment," he exclaimed with mock annoyance.

"Last time I checked a twenty-year-old college student is not  a baby. Besides, you know you enjoy spending time with me, your  favorite cousin, so don't pretend to be annoyed," said Alice who  couldn't hide the excitement in her voice.

He could not blame her to be overjoyed. Being an undergrad  at Cambridge is not an easy task, and she certainly deserved to have  some fun after battling through Examinations. However, this  certainly was not what he had planned when he told his boss that he  needed to take some time off to unwind after helping him won the  senate seat. For the past fifteen minutes he stood next to Alice,  listened to she and her 3 girl friends debating whether the security  guard positioned at the main entrance of King's College Chapel looks  better or the one at St. John's College does, and his headache grew  stronger by the minute. He slowly walked toward the River Cam,  hoping he could find some peace there. 

"Don't they have more important things to do?" He murmured.

"You are not having fun?"

He jumped slightly. He was so engrossed in his own thought,  that he did not notice that he was not alone. Startled he turned  around sharply trying to find out whom the voice belong to, and then  he saw her. There she was, she sat on the lawn, leaned against the  big oak tree with her long legs fully stretched in front of her and  clad in an elegant pale yellow silk dress and a matching scarf that  made her look like a fairy-tale princess. She looked like she was  barely twenty years old if not younger.

"I am sorry. I did not mean to startle you." The girl  smiled at him apologetically.

"Oh, that's okay. I just did not expect anybody to be out  here." He made his way toward the girl. She had a beautiful face,  he thought when he was finally close enough to see clearly what she  looked like.

"Hi! My name is Andrew." He found himself smiling back,  smiling back at her warm, unassuming smile.

"Jeanie. Nice meeting you, and you haven't answered my  question."

"What?" Still trying to figure out why he gave her his  middle name instead of his real name, he did not quite comprehend  what she meant.

"MY question."

"Oh, that! Well, I am twenty-eight years old, and partying  with a group of college kids is really NOT my kind of fun. How about  you? Why are you sitting here all by yourself? Trying to see how  many people you can frighten away by the end of party?" He asked  teasingly.

"Ha! Very funny. My friends were playing stripe poker and  drinking scotch, and that is not MINE kind of fun."

"You don't sound British. Are you from the States?"

"California. I am here on a student exchange program for a  year. How about you?"

"New York. I came to visit my aunt, and for some reason I  still don't know, I agree to come here with my twenty-year-old cousin  as her chauffeur."

***** Washington DC - May, 2000 *****

A sudden police siren passing through the street pulled Toby  out of his slumber. For a while he sat there on his bed feeling  disoriented and couldn't figure out where he was, then he got out of  the bed deciding to get some wine to calm his racing heart beat.  Grabbing his robe, he made his way toward the kitchen barefooted. 

"Why the dream now?" He wondered out loud. 

He had not thought about the night for a while, why now. Was  this his subconscious telling him that he was actually bothered by  the rumor of her latest romance more than he cared to admit? Slowly,  he let his mind drifted back to the night.

***** Cambridge, England - mid June, 1986 *****

After days of rain, the weather tonight was surprisingly  pleasant for a change. He could felt light zephyr breeze by his  face, sometimes a mischievous wind would send her hair into flying,  and then he would actually smell the light floral fragrance on her  hair. They sat by the riverbank talking like old friends with topics  ranging from the latest foreign policy of United States to the latest  tabloid gossip of Princess Diana to college jokes. He was surprised  to learn that she was a smart talker, she knew what she thought, and  she was never afraid to express it. Even more so, he was surprised  at how much he enjoyed her company and how at ease he was with her.  For someone was always known as a loner like him that was really not  normal, his colleagues did not call him maverick for nothing.

Pointing to the red Porsche parked not far from where they  sat she said, "Brian, my boyfriend, has a white one; he got that  from his parents for his 21st birthday six month ago. For three  months before I left for here I kept trying to persuade him into let  me drive it, but he wouldn't give. Have you ever driven one?"

"I am a speech writer, and I really cannot afford a car like  that with the salary they pay me."

"A speech writer? Umm... sounds like an interesting job."

"Yah, telling people where to put a comma, where to add a  verb is REALLY interesting," he said sardonically.

Then, he saw her started to lean toward him, and before he  realized what was going on, he felt himself being pulled forward and  kissed. He hesitated for a second, shocked by the latest change of  event, but soon he was able to regain his composure and took control  to deepen the kiss. He felt her body stiffen for a second, but then  she wrapped her arms around his neck and leaned into the kiss more.  He really enjoyed the way her soft body molded into his, and not to  mention that she tasted like fine wine. However as sudden as the  kiss began, she pulled away from him abruptly. Looking down at her  hand, she murmured a barely audible apology, and made a quick dash  toward the main campus. Luckily, her long gown kept her from running  too fast, so he could catch her quickly.

"Waiiiiit." He tried to catch his breath.

"Alice and I planed to do some sightseeing of London  tomorrow, but she couldn't go now because she caught a bad flu. I  really hate to go alone, so do you think you can come with me?" He  kept his figures cross behind his back and hoped she wouldn't ask him  how come Alice could come to the May Ball tonight with a serious  flu. 

"Sorry, Alice. I did not mean to curse you; I need an excuse  to see her again. You will understand, right?" He apologized to his  cousin silently.

Still too embarrassed to look at him, she said softly, " I  really don't think it's a such good idea."

"Come on. It'll be fun. Besides, you really don't want to  see me spend the last three days of my vacation alone, do you," he  begged giving her his best puppy dog look.


After telling him her phone number, she tried to make another  attempt to run away from him, but this time he was able to take hold  of her arm before she took her first step.

"I just want to tell you that I don't mind more 'grabbing and  kissing' from you, but next time can you please give me some kind of  warning first before you do that. That way I can be better  prepared." He winked at her.

To his amusement her face turned into a deep crimson red that  he never thought was humanly possible. Watching her ran into the  college building he silently said a thank you to his cousin for  forcing him to come to the Ball tonight before slowly making his way  back to the crowd, knowing the next three day would probably be the  most memorable days of his life.

***** Washington DC - May, 2000 *****

Suddenly another police siren brought him back to reality  again. 

Cursing something inaudible under his breath, "Gosh, they  really have to do something with the siren."

"Well, at least now I know how to repay Josh for the panda  bear thing," he said with a devilish grin.

He started to picture Josh explaining to police chief why the  White House is pushing for a bill that requires police cars using Fur  Elise instead of normal high pitched siren after 11pm. Leo would  never agree on it, but it would be entertaining to watch Josh squirms  under the hateful eyes of a team of muscular police officers.

"Boy, I don't what to miss it." At least that'll teach Josh  something.

Knowing that he would not be able to get more sleep tonight,  he made his way to his home office; intended to spend some time  studying the new Education Bill that Sam and Josh recently came up  with. He got out of the files from his brief case, started to read  the first line, then something on his desk caught his eyes. It was a  five-inch miniature version of the Big Ben of London. 

***** Heathrow Airport, England - mid June, 1986 *****

He was going home today, and he was not in a good mood. He  and Jeanie walked slowly toward the security gate hand in hand; both  of them were too wrapped up in their own thought to make any  conversation. They just spent three beautiful days together, and he  knew he was helplessly in love with her. He wanted to tell her how  much he loved her, he wanted to tell her how much she meant to him,  but he did not have the strength to say it. 

"I will call you when I get home"

"I don't think that is a good idea."

"What do you mean?" He felt his heart dropped.

"I don't think this will work."

"What do you mean?" He asked, sounding like a broken record.

"I already have a boy friend, and you have a girl friend.  Brain has been so nice to me, and I don't want to hurt him."


She interrupted him, "please." Tears started to drop from  her gorgeous eyes.

"If that's what you want," he said, fighting to keep back the  tears.

He let his eyes wondered around the airport; he did not want  her to see the sorrow, the dejection and of course - the love in his  eyes. Then the small ceramic replica of Big Ben in the window of a  duty free shop caught his eyes. He dragged her into the shop and  bought two of them. Borrowing a marker from the clerk he signed on  the bottom of one of them and handed it to her.

"For the memory of the past three days," he tried to give her  a smile but failed miserably. 

She accepted it with tears swirl in her eyes and gave him a  light kiss on his cheek. Taking the marker and the other Big Ben  from his hand, she signed on the bottom of it like what he just did.

"I guess this is it," he said when they arrived at the gate,  a single tear dropped from his eye as well.

She reached up, wiped the tear from his face, and gave him a  light kiss on the lip.

"If we are meant to be together, we will meet again," she  told him softly.

***** Washington DC - May, 2000 *****

He held the small figure in his hands and wondered whether  things would be different if he had stayed at London longer. Slowly,  he turned the figure around in his hand, and on the bottom of the Big  Ben is the now all too familiar signature of her.

"Jeanie? Nice try, Claudia Jean!"

..... to be continued

*** ^_^ *** ^_^ *** ^_^ *** ^_^ *** ^_^ ***

Okay, that was my first attempt at any kind of fan fiction.  What do you think? Should I continue with it? Please send me  commments - good/bad.

Thank you Sasha for beta-reading it for me.

Also, thank you KArlena for coming up with the name Andrew.

When I wrote the part about the police siren, I did not mean  to be unrespectful to the police force. Please don't send me hate  mails... or tickets.

I know the idea of CJ/Toby romance is not too popular, and to  be honest with you I did not like the idea too much myself at  beginning. However I found myself thinking about it more and more  after I read Lauren's story - "Heart and Shoulder"  (http://homepages.go.com/~thewestwing/fanfiction.html#couple). I  think she is right; the idea grows on you. So please give it a  chance.




Heartstrings - 2




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