DISCLAIMER: The West Wing and all its characters belong to NBC, no infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Written in 3rd person but from Abbey's perspective. Go figure. I hope it makes sense. I wrote a dark C.J., so I felt compelled to write a dark Abbey. I'm not as pleased with this piece as I was with C.J.s version (Days). This is not a sequel, but both parts can be tied together.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
She goes to bed at night, sometimes alone, sometimes with her husband, but the difference is minimal. She is too accustomed to being on her own, has spent too much time in hotel rooms and airplanes, does not remember what marriage was like before she got married.
She loves him, knows she will always love him, but until she met C.J. and felt the tinge of passion that comes from secrecy, she did not understand what love was capable of becoming.
And she knows it is love she feels for C.J., knows it can be nothing else when she allows the other woman to taste her heartbeat or slip her skirt above her knees during late night office visits.
She is aware of her loss of freedom in those moments when C.J.'s tongue is warring with her own, is conscious of the dark suits hovering in hallways listening for any movement not sanctioned by the U.S. government. Her life is a struggle, power verses appearance, and her days stretch and fade into each other, never blurring enough for her to forget who she was, never clearing enough for her to be who she wants to be. It's that line which keeps her returning to C.J.'s touch, the line between desire and indulgence, obligation and fidelity.
As a doctor, she's seen the violence and pain one person can bestow upon another, has lived through tears and blood and accidents made to look like accidents. She knows what humanity can do, takes comfort in the balance of good and bad.
Her want of C.J. is bad, but her lack of guilt is worse, keeps her awake as she worries over the person she is becoming, wondering if it is possible to be a fraud without being hypocritical, to be a decent person as she commits her indiscretion.
But then she is faced with the decision of continuing with their affair or putting an end to it, to save herself the concern or doom herself to boredom. She cannot impress C.J., cannot hide, cannot expect more than what either of them is willing to give. Control is C.J.'s strong suit, lords it over her, uses it to make her feel weak and revitalized, so she always chooses to persist, determines her liberation is more important than her soul.
She is only what she feels she is, and right now she feels like nothing. Later, when the world is on stand-down and she finds herself in bed with her husband after weeks of being in different states, she will remember happiness from the old days when she was young, a time before elections and C.J. and hesitancy. She will reach out to him, longing to touch softer skin, and she will realize whoever she will be tomorrow is the same person she is at that moment, the same person she was thirty years ago. Only now, she understands herself a little better.
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