Disclaimers: The West Wing and it's characters are the
property of Aaron Sorkin, Warner Brothers and NBC. No
copyright infringement is intended. No profit is being
made from this. The song "You Don't Love Me Anymore"
is the property of Tim McGraw and his record label. No
copyright infringement is intended there either.

Rating: PG

Author's Notes part 1: This is part 4 of a continuing
series which includes. "Toast to the Future But That'd
Be a Lie.", "A Blessing and Curse that Love is
Blind.", and "The Reasons I Can't Stay."

Author's Notes part 2: I'm sorry it has taken me so
long to post this. Unfortunately I encountered a small
amount of writer's block. Thanks to Kat and Lin for
beta reading this.

A Place to Heal Our Hearts

 

Just as it had taken her some time to get used to
having someone to come home to, it was taking awhile
for her to get used to him no longer being there. The
apartment was strangely quiet now. She wondered if she
would ever get used to the silence again. CJ wondered
why she felt that way. In the few moments that she was
completely honest with herself, CJ knew it was the
guilt that was bothering her, guilt for what she had
done. She knew she never should have married Danny.
Instead of relying on Toby to stop her, she should
have found the courage to stop herself. She had not
found the courage, and now she was sitting in her dark
apartment waiting for a judge to decree that a
marriage she never should have entered was over.

Danny's kindness and solicitude had been starting to
get to her. She had wished he would get angry. His
anger would be so much easier for her to take. His
anger she deserved, his kindness she felt she was
immensely unworthy of. She wondered if, perhaps, he
was aware of this, and if he was denying her his anger
as punishment.

*****************************************************

She nervously sat at the lawyer's office. She and
Danny were meeting at his lawyer's office to finalize
the divorce. Her lawyer was talking with his lawyer at
the moment. She barely glanced up as Danny sat down in
the chair across from her.

"Hello." He said.

"Hi." She replied. "How are you?"

"Fine. What about you?"

"I'm okay."

He nodded, in the months since they had filled for
divorce it had become very awkward for them to be in
the same room.

She twisted the rings around in her hand. She had
removed her wedding and engagement rings the night
that they had decided to divorce. There was no way she
wanted to keep them. "Danny..."

"Yeah?"

"I...um...I have something I need to give back to
you."

"What?" He was more than a little confused.

"These." She opened her hand up and held it out to
him.

He closed his eyes for a moment. He could clearly
remember the moment he had placed each ring on her
finger. "I don't want them." He said without opening
his eyes.

"Danny, I can't keep them."

"Well I don't want them back."

"Danny..."

"No! I gave those to *you*. When I gave them to you I
never intended for them to leave your hand. Why would
I want them back?"

"What am I supposed to do with them?" She asked
quietly.

"I don't give a damn! Throw them in the ocean or sell
them. Either way I don't care what you do with them."
He got up and walked away from her, running his hands
through his hair as he did so.

*******************************************************************

Then there was the problem of Toby. She knew now that
he would never be out of her system, and if that meant
she would be alone for the rest of her life then she
would have to face that.

*******************************************************************

She was starring at the lights that were shining just
outside his window. She opened her mouth a couple of
times to speak, but somehow the words would not come.

"What did you want to talk to me about?" Toby asked.

She opened her mouth again. "This may take awhile."

"That's okay."

"Do you remember my wedding day?"

"CJ, that is a trip down memory lane that I really
don't want to take."

"It's rather essential to what's going on right now."

"Okay."

"Did you find a letter from me?" She asked quietly.

"Yes..."

"Okay."

"It doesn't matter now."

"Actually it matters more than you may think."

"I didn't read it until that night."

"Oh..."

"At that time....if I had read it before the
ceremony."

"Yeah..."

"What does this have to do with what is going on
now?"

"Danny has read it too."

Toby was shocked. He was certain there was no way
she would have told Danny. Maybe in the first few
days after the wedding he had hoped she would, but he
had always known her better than that.

"It was on my personal computer. He accidentally
opened the file."

"I don't know what to say."

"There's nothing you can say."

"That's true."

"We're going to divorce."

"I'm sorry."

"I really was committed to making my marriage work."

"I know you were."

"It was doomed from the beginning."

He didn't say anything for a moment. Although he knew
what she was saying was true, there was no way he was
going to agree with her. "Is there anything I can
do?"

"No, I have to get through this by myself."

"If you do need anything..."

"I know Toby, I know." She smiled slightly.

***********************************************************************

She had gotten through it on her own. She had not
leaned on Toby, as much as she really wanted to. She
had signed the final divorce papers that afternoon,
and now, courtesy of a suggestion from Josh, she was
looking forward to a week in Hawaii.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

How far we'll travel
For a place to heal our hearts
We watched it unravel
So why's tonight the hardest part?

She stepped onto the balcony of her hotel room. She
couldn't believe she had forgotten how beautiful the
ocean was. It looked so tranquil and peaceful. She was
hoping some of that would rub off on her. She turned
and went to change into her swimsuit.

She had been laying on the beach for a few minutes
when a shadow passed over her.

"Don't you know that laying in the sun can cause
cancer?" She heard Toby say.

She opened her eyes to look at him. She almost
laughed when she saw him. "That's as casual as you can
dress?"

He looked down at his khakis and button up shirt.
"Yes."

"I guess I should be glad you left the sports coat
off?" She laughed.

"Yes."

"Oh, for crying out loud, Toby! You're on a beach in
Hawaii, shorts would have been out of the question?"

"I don't own any." He said as he sat down beside her.

"Oh."

"You never answered my question."

She picked up her bottle of sunscreen. "Since this is
SPF 45, I think I'm rather safe." She handed it to
him.

"Why are you handing this to me?"

"Because I'm going to turn over and, I need sunscreen
on my back."

"And you think I'm going to do this?"

"Oh I know you are." She said as she turned over.

He watched as she closed her eyes. He poured some of
the sunscreen on his hand, and started to rub it onto
her back. He rubbed it all over her back. She moaned
very softly as he slipped the straps back to put the
sunscreen on her shoulders. He smiled a little bit. It
was good to know his touch still effected her. He
finished and then sat beside her.

"Why are you here?" She asked after a few minutes.

"Here as in on this beach with you, or here as in
Hawaii?"

"Both."

"I'm on a beach because for some reason you want to
be outside. As for Hawaii, it was suggested that I
work too much and I should take a vacation."

"By whom?"

He almost grinned. "That really is not important."

"Was it Josh?"

"No."

"Okay." She lay silently for a few minutes and then
she turned over. "Would you like to go inside?"

"I think you know the answer to that question."

"Yes I do." She said getting up.

"We're going inside?"

"Yes." She started to walk toward the hotel.

Toby quickly caught up with her. When he was by her
side, he reached for her hand and entwined their
fingers.

"Toby?"

"We'll talk once we are inside."

The end.

 

 

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