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 "Champagne High" is the
property of Sister Hazel and Universal Records. No
copyright infringement is intended there either.
Author's Notes: The beginning of this may seem vaguely
familiar. It is taken directly from one of my previous
stories. "For the Million Hours that We Were." I have
greatly changed the ending though. I want to thank Lin
and Kat for beta reading this, and for helping to
convince me this story and the othes that will follow
are actually good. It is only because of them that you
are reading this, when I started writing this I had no
intention of posting it to the list.
Feedback: Would be very nice.
Toast to the Future but That'd Be a Lie
I wasn't looking for a lifetime with you
I never thought it would hurt just to hear
"I do" and "I do"
And I do a number on myself
And all that I thought to be
And you'll be the one
Who just left me undone
By my own hesitation
To say that news of their engagement had shocked him
would be a monumental understatement. He had been
completely blind sided by it. All the signs had been
there, but he had not seen them. Or if he had, he
refused to recognize them. He thought of refusing to
go. She would certainly understand if he did. But he
couldn't do that to her. It would open them up to
questions, ones he was certain neither of them wanted
to answer. So in a few hours he would watch the woman
he loved marry another man.
The woman he loved. It was easy to admit to himself
that he loved her. Maybe it was because he had loved
her for so long. It was difficult to imagine a time
when he had not loved her, at least on some level.
There was a time when he had been certain she loved
him as well. But that time was long past. It was too
hard for them to be together. They had nearly
destroyed each other when they tried. He guessed he
should be glad that she had the possibility to be
happy. Maybe somewhere inside of himself he was, but
he couldn't help but wish she could be happy with him.
The church was decorated beautifully. As he sat on
the pew, he couldn't help but think of when she had
been his. He still missed her. There were so many
things about her that he missed, but it was the little
things he missed the most. Waking up next to her in
the mornings, falling asleep with her in his arms at
night. He often wondered if they had just let go too
easily. Maybe if they had tried harder they would
still be together. It was a question he was going to
live with for the rest of his life. Perhaps if he had
spoken to her, if he had been open about how he really
felt. She wouldn't have left. He glanced around and
could see the groom standing at the altar. It would
not be long until the ceremony started. He couldn't
help but wonder if he had actually spoken with her if
things would be very different now. The music started,
and he turned and saw her standing in the doorway. The
sight took his breath away, she looked so beautiful.
He wished that he were the one standing at the altar
waiting for her.
And for the million hours that we were
Well I'll smile and remember it all
Then I'll turn and go
It had taken everything in Toby not to object when
the priest had asked if there were any objections, but
he hadn't. There was no way he would have done that to
CJ. She had made her choice and now he had to live
with it. He was almost certain that the President had
been looking at him during that point of the ceremony.
He didn't know why, unless the President knew about
his and CJ's past relationship. It wouldn't surprise
Toby if the President did know. CJ had been looking
straight at the priest at that moment, but he was
certain that she had tensed up. Maybe she was afraid
that he would ruin her wedding day by making a scene.
No matter how he felt, there was no way he would have
done that to her.
She was dancing with Josh at the moment. Toby could
hear her laughter from across the room. He knew that
she wouldn't be dancing with him today. It didn't
bother him. It would be too strange to dance with her
on the day she had married another man. The song ended
and Toby watched her sit down next to...her husband.
The very words were hard for him to think, but he knew
he had to get used to them. After a couple of minutes,
she got up and appeared to be walking toward him. He
couldn't believe this was happening, but as she
extended her hand toward him, he knew it was. He stood
up and took her in his arms one last time.
Your wagon's been hitched to a star
Well now he'll be your thing that's new
Yeah what little I have you can borrow
Cause I'm old, (I'm old) I'm blue
They danced in silence for a little while. Finally,
Toby broke the silence.
"I'm surprised you are doing this." Toby said.
"What? Dancing with you?"
"It would have looked strange if I hadn't."
"Yeah, I guess it would have."
"I half expected you to object." CJ whispered.
"You did, why?" Toby asked, shocked.
"I don't know. I just did."
"Did you really think I would ruin your wedding day?
"Nothing, never mind."
They continued to dance in silence for the rest of
the song. Then as it ended, CJ slipped from his arms
and walked away.
Toby walked immediately to his office. He had
suffered through the reception as long as he could. He
was going home, where he could brood and drink in
private. He picked up a few things from the desk and
noticed a letter from CJ laying on the desk. He put it
into the briefcase with the rest of the stuff and left
I'm on a champagne high
Where will I be when I stop wondering why?
On a champagne high
Toast to the future but that'd be a lie
On a champagne high-high
Toby looked at the glass of scotch in his hand. He
shouldn't do it, but maybe alcohol would help him make
it through this night. Maybe it would block out the
images in his mind. He was staring at the letter. He
wondered why she would have written a letter to him on
the day of her wedding. He reached for the envelope
and opened it.
My dearest Toby,
It's three o'clock in the morning on the day I am to
be married. As I sit here wide awake in my living
room, you are the only one in my thoughts. Twelve
hours before I am to marry another man, and my mind is
filled with thoughts of you. It's ironic, isn't it?
No, I really don't want an answer to that question.
I sit here and stare at the ring on my left hand, and
do you know what I wish? I wish that you were the one
that had placed it on my hand.
When I remember us, I remember the good times. I
remember the nights we stayed up making love, how you
used to be able to make me laugh, how I would be able
to make you laugh. I remember that I loved you with
all my heart and soul then. I don't like to recall the
bad times. I don't like to think of the fights that
would go on for days, how angry we would get at each
other. How much we could hurt each other....no if
those times cross my mind, I immediately think of when
we would make up. I miss those times, they almost made
the fights worthwhile.
You are probably wondering why I am writing this. So
am I. Maybe it's because I'm so unsure of what I'm
planning to do tomorrow. The sad thing is I love both
of you. I consider myself fortunate to have known two
men, who have loved me almost unconditionally, in my
I don't know how much sense this letter is making to
you, truthfully it is making little sense to me and
I'm the one writing it. What I'm really trying to say
is I don't know what to do. No matter what I do in a
few hours, one of you will be hurt. I don't want to
hurt either of you. If I'm true to myself, then I will
end up with the man I love the most. If not than I
will settle for a man I love, but not as much as I
love the other. The truth is I don't know how much of
me there is to give to him, you have it all.
P.S. If you were to decide you can't watch me go
through with it, and were to state your objections, I
wouldn't complain *too* much.
Sighing, Toby folded the letter. He picked up the
container of scotch and poured himself another drink.
He silently toasted his stupidity from earlier in the
day. If he had read the letter earlier, he knew he
could have prevented CJ from marrying Danny.