DISCLAIMER: The West Wing, the characters and situations depicted are the property of Warner Bros. Television, John Wells Productions, NBC, etc. They are borrowed without permission, but without the intent of infringement. This site is in no way affiliated with "The West Wing", NBC, or any representatives of the actors.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Because I cannot seem to finish any of the other fictions I have started, I decided to try something new to revive my dying muse: C.J.'s stream of consciousness from different episodes. I would like anyone interested to send me scenes you'd like to read about; I will even manipulate the storylines to fit my vision, just as I did with "Dead Irish Writers," unless you tell me not to.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To ceej4[at]yahoo.com

Writer's Block - "Dead Irish Writers"
By Cj


"A lie does not consist in the indirect position of words, but in the desire and intention, by false speaking, to deceive and injure your neighbour. – Jonathan Swift"

C.J. watches Abbey as Abbey talks to Josh. She is nervous, not for the first time when in Abbey's presence, but this time their upcoming discussion is personal. She is not delivering news of issues or politics or appearances even though she is, and Abbey knows it before she says one word. What makes it different now is that C.J. understands what Abbey is losing and why, and she recognizes that this news is not about issues or politics or appearances no matter the consequences to the President or his staff. This is solely about Abbey and Abbey's life, and as C.J. gives Abbey the bad news, she realizes she would do anything to take that look of despair from Abbey's face despite their positions, which Abbey seems to forget anyway.

So, when Abbey tells C.J. they should go get drunk, C.J. is surprised and delighted by the prospect of taking Abbey's mind off what could happen the next day. When Abbey's hand lingers on the small of C.J.'s bare back to guide her through the winding hallways, C.J. cannot suppress a sigh at her own good fortunate and then a smirk in the direction of Amy, who does not see because she is arguing with Josh. C.J. wants to take a minute to tell Amy not to bother. Josh uses the same methods of misdirection Donna uses, but C.J. knows she cannot tell Amy the truth because she would never tell Josh or Donna the truth. Although C.J. is fond of Amy, Josh and Donna are like family, so if she were to play fairy godmother for anyone, it would be them, which C.J. knows would not break Amy's heart at any case. Abbey's finger slips inside C.J.'s dress, just barely but enough to jerk C.J.'s attention from one triangle to another because C.J. is certain this, whatever it is, will most definitely be a triangle between her feelings for Abbey, her feelings for Abbey's husband, and all their morals.

She contents herself knowing Abbey will be in her own triangle. The thought almost – almost – makes C.J. stop, but then they are secluded in a rather small room in the Residence, far away from the party being held in the First Lady's honor. As Abbey shuts the door, C.J. collapses on a sofa, careful not to break the wine bottles she confiscated from a table in the ballroom, and suddenly there is only the shape of Abbey's body in a dress that hides too much but leaves little to the imagination.

Abbey settles on the sofa across from C.J., her gown draped just right and her eyes clear except for the anger. C.J. is accustomed to that emotion from this woman, is still stinging from the last time Abbey had directed her rage at the administration's press secretary, yet C.J. feels calm because Abbey's apologies are as intense as her tirades. Looking around her at their current surroundings, C.J. knows Abbey is allowing them both the opportunity to mend the good graces they have violated in the past few months. When Abbey reaches for the wine, their fingers brush, and there is a moment Abbey's smile is as charming as it was the first time C.J. met her. It reminds C.J. of how long they have known each other and how she began seeking Abbey out on the campaign – a mistake for C.J., a necessity for the press secretary.

Even then, C.J. knew there was more behind Abbey's smile than just courtesy. Power, intelligence, and control have always been C.J.'s weaknesses. Abbey tempers them all with kindness, a feat C.J. has yet to master.

Still, C.J. knew Abbey would change her. It was because of Abbey that C.J. slept with John Hoynes, substituting a married man for a married woman. It was an act C.J. never would have done before meeting Abbey. Her faith had always been stronger than her desire, a fact she feels is justified by the President's own abandonment of his religious vows, choosing instead to marry his wife rather than serving the church. They each had fallen for the same woman, the one sitting across from C.J. now, looking less angry than before but more exhausted than C.J. had ever seen her.

But there is something else in Abbey's eyes – something C.J. cannot name – and she does not know what to do. So, she does nothing until Abbey's gaze falls away to focus on her glass. C.J. suddenly feels she has misstepped, that she should have said the words still stuck in her throat, but it's too late. She wants to at least apologize but somehow she knows that would be wrong as well. Taking a long sip of the dark courage – the wine as deep and red as Abbey's lipstick – she joins Abbey on the other woman's sofa, relaxing against the cushions and reaching for Abbey's hand.

This comfort she can give and still look her president in the eye.

The End

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