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"Disillusioned" By Cindy

"Disillusioned"

By Cindy cindybre74@aol.com

Notes: This is a post episode fanfic for "17 People"

"Toby do you realize how many decent nights sleep I've gotten in the past six months?"Claudia Jean Cregg demanded wearily as she opened her apartment door at three a.m. "I can count them on one hand."

Toby blinked in surprise and looked at his watch. With everything that had happened tonight....the President's revelation and the bad jokes he hadn't realized what time it was.

"Sorry."Toby apologized and started to back away. "I didn't realize it was so late....go back to bed....forget I was here."

It was then that CJ saw his defeated expression and grabbed his elbow."Not likely."she replied with a smile as she pulled him into the apartment. "You don't usually show up at my apartment at 3 a.m. what's going on?"

Toby pulled away from her shaking his head. He shouldn't have come here. He couldn't talk about it anyway."Just a long day. I'll see you tomorrow."

CJ was worried now. She hadn't seen Toby this unsettled since Rosslyn. She reached over and gently pushed him toward the sofa. "Have a seat, Toby. I'll make us some tea and we'll talk. We haven't done that for awhile."

"CJ..."

"Sit."

"Okay."

********

Fifteen minutes later they sat quietly together on the sofa sipping cimmamon tea from blue mugs. CJ was hesitant to pry information....prying information usually didn't work....especially with Toby Ziegler.

"I think I'm out of a job."

CJ jerked her head back in his direction. Toby had said it so quietly she had almost missed it. "What?"

"I'm surprised Leo didn't fire me on the spot."Toby muttered darkly as he absently traced the rim of the mug with the index finger of his left hand.

CJ set her mug down on the coffee table and turned to face him. "What happened?"she asked quietly.

"I yelled."

"This is new?"

"In the Oval office."

CJ suppressed a groan. "Please tell me you didn't yell at the President."

Toby opened his mouth to reply but quickly closed it. He figured silence was best right now.

CJ placed a hand to her forehead. "You did actually yell at the President? In the Oval? You pulled a Josh?"

Toby avoided meeting her gaze. He knew if he met her gaze he'd crack and tell her everything that had happened tonight. He needed to tell somebody. He desperately needed to vent. But that wasn't an option.

Toby shook his head. "It wasn't a Josh....we were both yelling."

"This just gets better."CJ murmured knowing that staff meetings would be tense for awhile. "What started it?"

"Doesn't matter now."

"Toby...."

"Can we just drop it?"Toby asked as he set his mug down next to hers. He stood and walked over to the window.

CJ shook her head as she followed him. "Toby, something's making you miserable. Something made you come over here in the middle of the night."

"Some people would say that miserable is my natural state."

"Talk to me, Toby."CJ pleaded as she came to stand next to him. "What happened tonight?"

Toby met her concerned gaze. God he wished he could tell her. But he couldn't. That wasn't his call. If he did tell her he'd be breaking a confidence.....two confidences.

"I'm okay, CJ."Toby replied as he moved away from the window and grabbed his coat from a chair by the sofa. "I'll see you tomorrow."

"Toby."CJ called as she walked toward the front door.

"Get some sleep, CJ."Toby replied not looking back. "I'll see you tomorrow."

CJ watched him go hoping that whatever was gnawing at him would let him rest. He deserved a peaceful night's sleep if nothing else.

end