Disclaimer: Characters belong to Aaron Sorkin Note: Colin Powell is affiliated with the group America's Promice. Information about the group can be found at www.americaspromise.org

TOBYíS SUMMER VACATION/PART 4

He used to love the music of Miles Davis, but now it evoked such bittersweet memories. The last time Toby had heard from Allison was Valentineís Day. He received a large tropical flower arrangement with a card that just read,

"Soon. Love, Miles."

Spring was coming to Washington DC, and he had first met her at the end of summer. More than six months since he had decided to get on with his life, and yet he was no closer to having a future of his own.

Michael Sullivanís Washington career was over. He had managed to plea bargain his way out of a jail sentence. But, no matter how many anger management classes he took, the support of the women in Freedom Watch was lost. He found out very quickly who his friends were in Washington, and there werenít any. Toby wanted to see him locked up like the animals at The Washington Zoo, but that wish had not been granted.

After the assault by Michael on Allison and Tobyís affair with her, Toby and Allison had been the topic of many television shows from domestic abuse on Geraldo Rivera to the jokes on Jay Leno. She had asked Toby to stay away until she had her life in order again. But how much longer was he to wait for her?

Toby wasnít sure where Allison had gone to recover from her injuries. He had tried to get her phone number, but the one he did get had been disconnected. And Dannyís sources said she wasnít at her Fatherís.

He was beginning to think she had disappeared off the face of the earth, except for those flowers.

For three nights Toby had gone to sleep without that empty feeling inside. One of those nights she was in the next room, the other two she lay next to him.

~O~O~O~O~

"Toby, Sam, Iíve set up a meeting for you two, with Americaís Promise."

"What is this, Crackpot Day?" Sam said

"Theyíre a bunch of Republicans Leo. Why are we spending our time giving support to some Republicans?"

"Youíll like this group, Toby." Leo had a smile on his face.

~O~O~O~O~

"I donít know why Leo has to set us up with a group of people we dislike, when we could be with a group of Democrats we dislike less!"

"Lighten up Toby, theyíre childrenís advocates. We go in and listen to what they say. You say something nasty and sarcastic, and theyíll leave."

"Thanks for your support, Sam." Toby decided to test out his sarcasm on Sam.

In the Roosevelt room were four members of the Americaís Promise group. Toby gave them the once over with his eyes and took his chair opposite them at the table.

"Iím sorry, but Allieís not here yet."

"Well weíre very busy people, so letís get started and you can tell Allie what she missed out on after the meeting." Toby gave them his little sarcastic smile. He didnít want to waste any more time waiting around for their members to show up."

"Actually, sheÖ"

They heard the door open. "Iím sorry Iím late. Some problem about my clearance." She turned to a shocked Toby and Sam. "Allie DuPont, leader of this little committee."

It was Miles or Allison Lillienfield. Why had she changed her name again? "Ms. DuPont, welcome to the White House." He held her eyes as long as he could bear.

The meeting began cordially, but soon became heated when the discussion turned to government funded intercity programs.

"Mr. Ziegler, no amount of government money is going to make people care!"

"MilesÖa...Ms. LillÖaÖMs. DuPont," Tobyís adamant stand on the issue caused him to stutter over all of her names. "Thatís why the government has to take up the slack!"

The others in the room were beginning to wonder if the two would come to blows.

There was a knock at the door. CJ entered, surprised to see Toby and Allison in a face off. "AhhÖToby, Sam we have another meeting."

Sam stood and began to say his good-byes. The other members of the group began to shake Samís hand and file out of the room. "Allie?"

"Iíll meet you back at the office." She didnít take her eyes off Toby.

"Toby?"

"Iíll meet you in the Oval Office." He wouldnít break the stare.

When they were alone in the room, the corners of her mouth began to turn up. "Hi, TAZ."

His look softened, "Why the name change?"

"I was involved in a little scandal a couple of months ago, you may have heard. I decided to start over and thought people would give me a chance if they didnít know who I was."

"I thought you told me you didnít rock the boat, did what was expected?" He gave a soft laugh remembering the argument they just had. "What happened to your work with Nathan? Why this group?"

"I had a lot of time to think all of this over. Believe it or not, some of my father has rubbed off on me. Public Service has become important to me, and if you would look into the work my group does, you would know why I chose it."

"Youíve changed in these past couple of months?" It was like a hand was around his heart. The more she declared her independence, the tighter it squeezed his heart. Where would he fit in her new life?

"Have dinner with me Friday night, let me introduce you to the new me."

"Oh, no! That sounds scary." He finally gave her the smile she was waiting to see. "You wonít yell at me again?"

"There will be no discussion of politics! But I might yell at you if you donít help with the dishes."

She wrote her address on a piece of piece of paper. "Since youíre going to the Oval Office, may I walk along with you and say hello to a friend?"

They began to walk, Tobyís brow furrowed. "Who else do you know in the White House?"

As they walked into the reception area of the Oval Office he saw Mrs. Landingham smile and move from behind her desk.

"Hello, Allison." She gave the young woman a hug.

Toby remembered he had sent Mrs. Landingham to visit with Allison in the hospital. "You twoÖ" He look directly at Mrs. Landingham. "You knew where she was?"

"Toby, theyíre waiting for you, and I can walk my friend out."

The two smiled at him like co-conspirators.

~O~O~O~O~

It was a great address in Georgetown, but Toby was sure this was her Fatherís house. Since Congress was in session, he was probably in there right now. Hopefully she had plans to eat at a restaurant.

Toby wanted to shut off his mind and just enjoy the evening. Maybe he should have brought her flowers, a bottle of wine. He was really out of the practice of dating, but after what they had been through, was this a date? He took a deep breath as he climbed the porch steps and rang the bell.

On the other side of the door Toby heard the bark of a dog, and then the click of its nails on the tiles of the foyer.

"George, settle down, itís justÖ" She opened the door "TAZ."

She was dressed in some casual slacks and an oversized rugby shirt. "Itís just TAZ?" he teased her.

"I have pictured you standing in that doorway so often, it just seems so natural to me now." She told him a little embarrassed.

"Excuse me for asking, but is your Father here?" His eyes were darting around to the other rooms.

"He doesnít live here anymore. I told you Michael was going to take everyone down with him. My Father was one of the first to distance himself from Michael. So my Fatherís punishment was my trust fund. Michael told me all about it, he was going to use it against my father in the next elections. My Motherís family had a lot of money. She left it all to me in a trust fund that I was supposed to receive a couple of years ago on my birthday. My trust fund bought this house, and funded my Fatherís election campaigns. Since the house is in my name, I decided to live here. My fatherís in an apartment on the other side of town."

"That was my Fatherís punishment. I could have brought legal action against him, but I took what he treasured most, the prestige this address brought him." She leaned down to scratch the dogís ears. "The apartment complex doesnít allow dogs, so I have custody. I actually think the Congressman misses George more then me."

She looked at Toby and smiled, "I forgot" She reached for his tie and pulled him down to her lips. "You were supposed to walk in the door and give me a kiss."

Allison gave him a quick kiss on the lips and released him, but he caught her by the shoulders and kissed her long and slow. He was no longer in a hurry to get out of here.

"I have dinner in the oven. Are you hungry or would you like to see the house?" The hunger that was in her eyes would not be satisfied by the provisions in the kitchen.

"I think the tour."

"DownstairsÖ" she took his hand "Öupstairs" She began to lead him up the stairs to her room. At the door she turned to face him. "This is your last chance to turn back. You go in there and Iíll never let you go again."

"Welcome to my web said the spider to the fly?" Toby gently nudged her into the room, "Maybe itís me who wonít let you out again!"

Allison suddenly became shy. She had spent many hours redecorating this room with Toby in mind. Would he like the reds or the yellows? Flowers or paisley? Allison had pictured him standing in the room getting ready for work, or coming home. Now it was time for reality.

Toby had longed to be with her again. Reality and fantasy were quickly coming together for him. He took her face into his hands and slowly brushed her lips with his. He heard her make a little gasp and felt his heart begin to beat a little faster. His kisses became longer and deeper and she was responding to him wrapping her arms around his waist, under his jacket. Slowly, they moved over to the bed, never releasing the others lips.

"Iíve missed you." He told her with a hoarse voice.

"Donít ever let me go again." She told him as she pulled him down on the bed.

~O~O~O~O~

"Now Iím hungry!" Toby laughed from the bed.

Allison got up and opened a closet door. "I told you dinner was in the oven." On the inside hung her silk robe.

Toby observed the closet full of clothes. "I see your shopping skills are still intact."

She opened another closet door with a robe hanging on the on the back. She threw that one at him.

Toby put on the robe, it was a perfect fit. His mind flashed to who else had worn it.

"I knew that would fit you perfectly when I bought it for you."

Oh no, was he this transparent, could she read his thoughts? "I notice that closet is empty."

"I have plans for filling that one later." She smiled a coy little smile that he was beginning to recognize as the one sheíd use when she was keeping a secret.

The dining table had already been set for two. She placed a casserole, salad, and warm roles on it, as he opened the wine. "Tell me everything you have been up to since we last talked."

She had wanted to keep a low profile after their story had first broke, but after all the legal stuff was resolved Allison had to come up with a new plan for her life. "I really wanted to talk to you, but I also knew I had to do this by myself. Well not exactly by myself, I moved in with a friend and she helped me out."

"Mrs. Landingham, I should have known. On those tough days, sheíd tell me to hang in there, things would work out."

"Thank you for sending her to me, she is so wise. Actually sheís the one who suggested I check out Americaís Promise."

Toby tried to give her a stern look, "Iíll have to talk to her about that."

"Well, youíll really be glad to know, she taught me how to cook. I can even bake cookies!"

Their conversation flowed as easily as if they had never been apart.

"I have a gift for you. Consider it an early something from the Easter Bunny."

"I donít care if itís early or late, I donít think the Easter Bunny will be visiting me."

Allison realized what she had said and laughed until she cried. "We have so much to learn about each other, donít we?"

He held the wrapped gift in his hand and looked at her seriously. "Do you think we can? I mean do you think we can get around all the differences between usÖreligionÖpoliticsÖour parents?"

"How about all the things we have in common, letís work on those first. It wonít be easy TAZ, but I know I want to try." She moved to sit in his lap, put her arms around him, and slowly kiss his neck. "Iíll say stupid things sometimes, and Iím sure youíll point them out to me, but never forget I love you."

"You donít really know me, Allison. I can be pretty tough to live with." He had to be honest with her.

"And youíre pretty tough to live without. Letís not doom this before it even has a chance to start. Now open your present."

Still holding her, he slowly unwrapped the gift. "Well the box is the wrong shape for those Cuban cigars, and way to small for another Ďuglyí shirt." The lid came off the box easily. Inside was a key and what looked like a remote control."

"Thatís the key to the door. You can use it anytime." The smile she gave to him warmed the heart that many thought he didnít have. "The remote is for the garage door, you donít want to park on the street overnight."

The invitation was clear to him. "I better see if this thing works." He started up the stairs, carrying her with him, to get dressed and move his car. "How will I know which door is mine?"

"Take me for ice cream, and Iíll show you when we get back."

~O~O~O~O~

The garage door opener worked, and his car was put away for the night. He had already put the key on his key ring, and the code for the alarm was in his wallet. They lay in bed, Miles tucked safely in his arms. Tonight Toby was going to sleep a happy man.

"Toby?" She whispered his name in the dark. "The empty closet is for you."

"Youíre making me feel at right at home."

"When youíre ready, you are."

 

Toby's Summer Vacation - Epilogue

 

 

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