Title: Atlas Crumbles 

Author: Penelopody 

Feedback: Welcomed with open arms at penelopody@hotmail.com 

Category: CJ/Toby vignette 

Summary: A tiny beginning. 

Disclaimer: Not mine. Not at all. 

Thanks: To those delightful people who responded so generously to my first CJ/Toby fic. 

Author's notes: This is overwrought and schmaltzy. Just thought you should know. It came in the midst of a big ol' script style fic so I needed to release internal musing build up. I'm wrestling with how these stubborn, wordy, fortressed characters could let down their guard and let the other in. And I was listening to David Gray. And I know it's lazy to invent a dam.


Standing with her in this place all my words fail. They drop down in the breeze and cover my shoes. And I am left - a more than middle- aged man, out of breath, without confidence, and wordless.

I am terrified so I frown and tuck my hands in the pockets of my coat.

She and I are old friends - too old, perhaps, but that means I can bring her here: Silva Dam. I often stand atop this man-made structure (I, for one, never wondered why the Greens were concerned about me) and contemplate the dichotomous aspects of the river. On one side it is strangely, silently powerful, held in resenting stillness. On the other it is distant and rushing and inconsistent. The dam wall is mighty Atlas.

I come here because in its massive, disturbing ugliness it speaks words I need to hear. I have no idea why I brought her.

She leans on the railing and smiles at the pale sun. In repose she is almost a stranger to me. I know her in laughter, in anger, in quick tongued chatter, in debate, but this gentle pleasure is new and wonderful. The wind brightens her face and shifts her hair. She turns to me and I catch a slightly amused challenge in her eyes. It colors my thinking and I know my grin is a surprise to her. I frown again to make her comfortable. There is too much I want to say.

I am aware, of course, that I am in love with her. Measured orbits spin wildly out of control when she is nearby. And this is but one of many signs. I am not a man who is comfortable in love. This is not something I seek out - the still frame focus, the juvenile pleasure, the swelling agony - sometimes it would be easier to throw stones at her. But I am unable to let go. Unable, unwilling, it is all the same.

I fumble with words… blindness and breadth of sight, chosen, forsaken, constancy, possession… all are too little, or too much.

And I just want to touch her.

She meets my eyes and I step toward her. Too close, but she doesn't lean away. I breathe as she does and there is not enough air between us.

"I have nothing to say," I begin.

She considers me for a moment, and she doesn't tease, although the idea flits across her face. "That's fine."

"I want to…"


She stills my heart. And our lips and our skin and our souls meet in silence. Just for one lasting fragment before the sound of a car draws us swiftly apart. It is brief and imperfect but it is us and it is a beginning.


the end




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