TITLE: "These Are Days"
These Are Days
"Opening day," Leo said cheerfully.
Toby followed him into his office. "Yeah."
"Have you been watching?"
"I had Budget all afternoon," Toby reminded him. "We should discuss--"
Leo circled his desk and sat down. "Hundredth anniversary of the American
"I still don't understand why they're playing in Puerto Rico."
"Leo." Toby drummed his fingers on the back of a chair, exasperated. "I
The weary lines on Leo's brow deepened. "You'll know what you need to know
"If there's something seriously--"
Sam coughed politely in the doorway. "Am I interrupting something?"
"No," Leo said. "What do you need?"
"I just wanted to borrow Toby for some input on the Correspondents Dinner
Toby did not turn to look at him. "In a minute."
"I am interrupting something."
"We're just talking about baseball," Leo told him.
Sam groaned mildly. "Six months out of every year, I might as well be
Leo stared at him. "Get out of here."
"Okay," he said amiably, and vanished into the hall.
"What are you doing at work on a Sunday anyway?" Leo asked.
"Trying to figure out--"
"You have better things to do."
Leo fixed him with a steady look. "You know what I like about baseball?"
Toby shrugged. "Watching the Red Sox get whomped year in and year out?"
"The pitcher and the catcher. And shut up."
"The pitcher and the catcher?" Toby repeated.
"Yeah. The catcher has to know exactly what the pitcher's doing. Without a
"Much as I'm enjoying this extended metaphor--"
"What, you and the President are the only ones who get to tell stories around
He looked uncomfortable. "I don't want there to be a compromising position
"I'm aware of that. I'm just saying, there's not a lot the catcher doesn't
Toby started for the door. "It's gonna be a long season," he muttered.
Leo called after him. "Toby?"
He turned around. "Yeah?"
"I'm going to tell you something I've told you before. Bear in mind that I
He looked up from his desk again. "Don't screw up."
Toby held his gaze for a moment, nodded slowly, and left. Some hours later,
"What are you doing?" C.J. asked, as his arm passed over her shoulders.
"Do you know what today is?"
"April Fool's Day. Josh had me convinced I worked all morning with coffee
"That's not what I was talking about."
"Spring forward, fall back?"
"Opening day." Toby flipped the television on to Headline News. "I
C.J. looked up from his copy of 'The New Yorker'. "This is funny."
"Usually I'm the one watching CNN in bed."
He hid a slight smile under his beard. "Welcome to baseball season."
"I'm used to being asked to turn the damn thing off, in fact."
"Well, it's not as if I'm watching the three A.M. showing of SportsCenter."
"But you will be."
"One of these days," he conceded.
She yawned softly. "That's okay. I'll sleep through it. I sleep heavier
"You haven't slept much this week," she pointed out. "If I ask you
Toby ran his hands over his face. "I don't know enough to answer that."
"Okay." C.J. took a deep breath and released it slowly. "One of these
"You and me?"
She cracked a smile. "You see anyone else in here?"
"You've never expressed any kind of interest in baseball. Speaking of which,
"I do the best I can. Toronto beat Texas."
He turned his head and looked at her. "What?"
"Toronto beat Texas. I had it on in my office."
"I'm a woman of many splendors," she informed him, sitting up. "I knew
"Yeah." Toby dropped the remote and reached for her. "So what do you know?"
She let her arms slide around his neck. "I know there's a diamond."
"Three bases and home."
Her mouth was close to his. "I know what a home run is, and a pop fly."
"And a strike, and a ball, and an out."
"And a pitcher, and a catcher."
He drew back slightly. "That too."
"Toby?" She studied his face. "What's going on?"
"I'll tell you," he promised. "When I know."
"One of these days."