Title: Crack The Whip
By: Nijijin
Rating: PG-13 (some language)
Genre: General
Disclaimer: Nope...uh,uh...they're not mine.
Notes: Well I didn't get struck by lightening when I wrote "Time Ticking Away" so here's a sequel. Takes place several days after "17 People." Crack The Whip does not refer to some kind of kinky sex. It's a game we used to play as kids. Feedback? Okay but still pretty fearful. Archive? Really? You'd wanna? 'Kay.
Spoilers: Here and there, especially "17 People."

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Part 1

Communications Bullpen around 3 AM

An eerie glow emanated from the few task lights that were still on here and there. It was deathly quiet except for the occasional sound of clicking computer keys in the Communication Director's Office.

This was the only time he could do this...when no one was here. After the President and Leo had dropped their bombshell, Toby had truly tried to deal with it. He had joined Sam and Josh to work on the jokes for the Correspondence Dinner speech. He hadn't been much help. How could he when his whole life had turned out to be a big joke? Did you hear the one about an entire Nation being kept in the dark?

Josh and Sam had been high-spirited goofballs that night. Under normal circumstances Toby would have been secretly amused by their antics. This time he only felt a pang of regret for them. They had been chattering and laughing in the background of his thoughts and then...silence. Toby looked up when it had suddenly gone quiet only to find Josh and Sam staring at him. Well, everyone was staring at him. He hadn't meant for them to catch his defeated look. Sam stepped closer to his boss.

"Toby?" There was a tremor in his voice.

"Hey guys, I'm kinda tired. So I'm gonna head back to the office for a bit. Why don't you come and get me when you've got some more material." Toby smiled weakly at them. He quickly got up trying to move out of the room before the younger men had a chance to corner him. His hands were white-knuckled as he grabbed the table for support.

Sam had started to reach for Toby, when Josh held him back. "Yeah, sure, we won't be long. Get some rest Toby. You look...beat." Josh replied glancing at Toby's death grip of the table. Josh knew full well Toby was much more than tired. The strong Toby they all had, at first, grudgingly and then later affectionately come to rely on, was no longer there.

Crack of the Whip - 2

 

 

 

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