Her Men
By Paris

Mostly CJ, but CJ/Tobyish

Subject: CJ reflects on her White House men her last night in the Bartlet White House

Disclaimer: The characters belong to Aaron Sorkin

Author's Note: I'd love to hear from you. Good, bad, ugly, whatever

Dedication: For Rach, cause she's puffy. And to my men --- Mike, Allen, Willis, L.P. and the gang

She rolled her pen haphazardly across her bare desk and sighed. She couldn't believe that after tomorrow it would be over. The life that she had made for eight years. The life that she had put all other things on hold for would be over. What did she have to show for it -- wrinkles, gray hair that she concealed with something she bought at the drug store, more sleepless nights than she thought possible, and perhaps in a few years from now they'd get a few paragraphs in some high school history books. As she continued to roll her pen, she shook her head at her mood. There was so much that she had to be thankful for.

She smiled and thought about the men in her life. She was more content with her six men in her life than most women are with one true love in their life. Each one she had grown to love and they had become a part of her. Each one had their own personality traits that she found amusing.

There was the President, Josiah Bartlet. His tough nature amazed her. He seemed like a remarkable husband, sure Abbey Bartlet would joke and criticize, but she knew Abbey Bartlet knew she was the luckiest woman alive. His wise eyes and fatherly compassion for not only his children and her, but for anyone in need made her admire the man that lead his nation for eight years, despite an illness that would eventually see to his demise.

Leo McGarry, her Leopold, was brave and strong and fought against opposition with charisma, grace and charm. He always seemed like that high school teacher you'd have a crush on or that charming older actor or singer, you know the one that you felt weird about having a crush on. He reminded her of Frank Sinatra. Old Blue Eyes made her weak in the knees as Leo did every once in awhile. She thought Jenny was a fool to let him go. Sure, she knew he wasn't perfect. He worked too much and had drunk too much, but he was loyal and she's always had a forbidden crush on him.

If there was anyone she became closer to than she thought she would, it was Josh Lyman. He would have been the class clown, had his youth not been so tragic. She would have liked to think that she played the role of older sister in his life. She hoped she helped fill the void. He helped, by making her feel that a brother was in Washington DC and not in California, where hers actually were. As he fought to save his life, and later his mental health, she held her breath. The thought of never seeing his dimple, or his cocky swagger was too much to bear. But, Josh like any fight he got into fought until he won. She saw him fall in love and she pushed him to act on it. He didn't want to get hurt, but he hasn't yet. She saw him stand at an altar and offer to share his life with the woman he fell in love with. Josh and Donna's infant daughter Claudia Joan, CJ for short is her goddaughter.

Sam "Spanky" Seaborn was the playboy in the office. She loved his blue eyes and when he looked through his glasses from writing something he was passionate about her heart throbbed. He was like one of those teens from the 80s pop movies and she always wondered if he would ever settle down. She wished that she had only an ounce of his unbounding energy. He got so fired up, so passionate, so energized about issues. At Josh and Donna's wedding, she set him up with Ellie Bartlet. Her boss wasn't thrilled with the idea, but Sam and Ellie were. Now, she catches him scribbling, as passionately as ever, but instead of speeches for the President they are letters to Ellie.

Although, Sam may someday become the President's son-in-law, it is his actual son-in-law that amazed her the most. Seven years ago the boy had no idea what he was getting into when he applied for a courier position in order to support his younger sister. He and the people that became his surrogate family were shot at because he loved a woman of a different skin tone. Older, wiser, and a college graduate, Charles Young saw his sister graduate from college and shortly after married the woman he loved in a true American dream style wedding. He plans on going to law school and if you listen to him carefully, like she does, you know that he idolizes Sam and Josh and Toby and wants to be just like them someday.

The one she knows the best, also knows her the best. Toby Ziegler has been her best friend for years. He was the one that got her on this gig nearly a decade ago. She loves his dimpled and beard-hidden smile much as she loves his writing. She couldn't imagine life without him. She knows he can be gruff like a grizzly, but there is an inner teddy bear inside Toby Ziegler that she loves. He's her other half. They'll part tomorrow and go their separate ways and not talk until one calls a few weeks later. They'll meet casual when passing through the other's hometown at the time. Maybe in a few years they'll work together on Josh Lyman's Presidential Campaign, or perhaps the campaign of Charles Young. As she rolled her pen across her bare desk, she realized that she was in love with him. That she needed him everyday and not just on the phone.

"Hey, CJ," voice came from her doorway and startled her.

She looked up from her pen and smiled at the bearded Toby Ziegler his hands planted at the top of her doorframe leaning into her office.

"We're all going up to the Residence, the President and Mrs. Bartlet want to say good bye to us personally before this place becomes a madhouse tomorrow," he told her.

She laughed, "Becomes a madhouse?"

"All right, wrong choice of words. Are you coming?" He asked her.

"Yeah, in a second," she said and he turned to go. "Toby, wait."

He pivoted towards her as she got up from her desk. "Toby," she said fixing his tie. There are a million words that she wants to say to him, but mostly that she has loved him for as long as she can remember, mostly that she doesn't want him to waltz in and out of her life again for a few stints here and there. "Toby," she tried again.

"We've established that already," he joked.

Finally she did it. She pressed her lips against his and the two kissed for the first time. Awkwardly she put her hands around his neck and he wrapped his arms around her waist.

When their lips parted, he smiled, "I suppose that was a long time coming."

"Yes," she said nervously feeling like a teenager again. "Look-"

"Look, CJ," he cut her off. "I'm not good at saying how I feel and Andie will tell you any day of the week, I was an awful husband, but if your willing to give this a shot, I mean, what I am trying to say is, Claudia Jean Cregg, I am in love with you, head over heals in love with you, and I have been since we met in what seems like hundreds of years ago."

She started to cry.

"Oh damn, I misread that completely, didn't I?" he asked. "That was a friendly good bye kiss, wasn't it?"

"No," she shook her head. "I love you too, Toby. I just never thought I'd hear those words.

"Well, we have to get upstairs, but would you mind if we talk afterwards?" He asked.

"Of course not," she said and he wrapped his arms around her as they walked up to the Residence.

She smiled and knew she had much more to show for her eight years than wrinkles, gray hair that she concealed with something she bought at the drug store, more sleepless nights than she thought possible, and a few paragraphs in a history book, she has eight amazing friends who are like brothers, she has a goddaughter, and she has Toby Ziegler, who she believes will be with her for the rest of her life.

 

 

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