TITLE: At the Exact Moment

PAIRING: CJ/Will-ish

AUTHOR: Kansas J. Miller


SUMMARY: Post-ep for Evidence of Things Not Seen

SPOILERS: Evidence of Things Not Seen, Privateers, Guns Not Butter, ISOTG

NOTE: I finally gave in to the annoying fact that I see subtle vibes between CJ and Will g Please enjoy, and if you do, send feedback! KansasMiller@aol.com


CJ heard the knock on her door and rolled her eyes. She had been expecting him since the moment she'd gotten home, and now as the clock neared one, CJ decided she would tease him for waiting so long to check on her.

Nearly tripping on her over-sized, baggy pajama pants, CJ left the couch and slid through the kitchen on her socks, depositing two empty beer bottles on the counter as she passed. When she reached the door, she didn't bother with the peephole before flinging the door wide open.

"Toby, I swear to God, if you were worried, you should have just call -" CJ abruptly stopped as she raised her eyes to look up her visitor, who was very much not Toby. "Will?"

Will Bailey, still dressed like an Officer in the Air Force, looked sheepishly up at CJ through his glasses. "Hey, how ya doin'?"

With slightly surprised wide eyes, CJ stepped back and gestured at the inside of her apartment. Will smiled and stepped inside, briefly appraising CJ's pajama-covered body. After CJ shut the door, she curiously turned to her guest. "Will? Aren't you supposed to be on your way to Cheyenne?"

"Missed the flight, if you can believe that," he shrugged.

"They didn't wait for you?" CJ raised her brow, leaning against the door. With a start, she jumped forward. "Jeez, I'm rude - let me take your coat. Come in and sit down."

Will handed over his coat and watched as CJ hooked it over a brass loop on the wall. She met his eyes and could read nothing in them. She was curious about his unannounced presence, but knew better than to ask right away. "You want a beer? I was working on my third one when you knocked."

"Sure," Will accepted, stuffing his hands into his pockets as he walked into CJ's homey living room. Throw rugs were draped enticingly over the plush cushioned sofas, and the television was silently running an old black and white movie. It was a tearjerker - Will noticed a box of tissues sitting beside the remote, and a few crumpled ones littering the floor.

CJ quickly returned to the room and held out a sweating bottle of beer. "Sit, mi compadre, and tell me what's on your mind."

Will shook his head, grinning as he made himself comfortable in the corner of the couch. He watched as CJ folded her long body into the easy chair. Only a small end table separated the two, and Will marveled that even after everything, CJ was still unfazed by one of his early morning visits. CJ's lips curled up into a bit of a smile as she set down two blue coasters and looked Will squarely in the eye. "Come on. Talk to me."

Will pulled on his tie and shook his head again. "Why did you think it was going to be Toby at your door?"

CJ dipped her head and briefly studied the label on her beer bottle. "Toby's protective of me sometimes. Especially," she looked up with wry humor dancing over her face, "when we've been shot at."

"I thought it was Sam who pulled you down last time," Will casually commented, taking a long swig of beer.

CJ cocked her head and felt the sweat from the beer bottle soaking into her pajama pants. She lifted the bottle from her knee and set it on the coaster. "How did you know that?"

Will grinned and leaned slightly forward, closer to CJ. His voice was quietly friendly. "You told me."

"In the past four months, I told you that?" CJ was skeptical. She looked at Will and saw the smirk on his face. She suddenly smiled and felt inappropriate laughter rising in her chest along with the memories. Her tone softened noticeably. "Oh, Will. I forget how long we've known each other."

Will unknotted his tie and sighed as he finally pulled it loose. He mockingly glared over at CJ as he set the tie on the coffee table. "Yeah, and yet you were so damn funny pretending not to know me when you had that goat in my office."

CJ cackled wickedly. "The goat, the olives - I didn't miss anything, did I?"

"Marion Choatesworth-Haye? I think she was part of your scheme, too," Will dryly replied as he met CJ's eyes. She was fighting a smile at the sound of the elderly woman's name, and Will knew that CJ wasn't aware of the old admiration in his eyes.

"What a night this was," CJ sighed suddenly, her gaze drifting past Will.

"You froze when the shots were fired," Will commented, instantly reliving the panic he'd experienced - CJ hadn't moved; she was stunned in place, and a terrifying fear had rocked Will as he watched Toby pull her to the ground. It was all he could do to cover her head.

CJ swallowed. "That tends to happen when bullets enter my personal space."

Will smirked. "That's my CJ, always cracking jokes. Do you ever really feel this stuff, or do you just brush it off and go back to work?"

CJ squared her eyes on Will. She was not insulted by his observation because she knew it was true. She was not insulted by his comment because Will had always been honest with her. She sighed. "I think that if I let myself really feel it, as you say, I'd have to let it get the best of me. And I won't allow that to happen. You can't give in to this shit."

"Can I ask why you tried to get up when we had you down on the floor?" Will asked, wanting to push the envelope with her tonight. So many times in their long history together, CJ had been able to ignore or avoid answering Will's questions - she could evade an answer better than anyone Will had ever known, and that why she was such an effective Press Secretary. It didn't lend well, however, to personal relationships, as they had learned many years ago under a California sun.

CJ's expression was softer when she spoke. "I tried to get up because - I don't know, really. I just kept thinking that this was the second time someone has had to push me out of the way of gunfire. It's not fair when people keep saving your life and you can't save theirs."

Will was silent as he watched old images of Lauren Bacall as they flashed across the silent gray television screen. He turned to look at CJ, met only by her profile. "So you do get upset about it."

CJ smiled bitterly. "Yeah. But I'll get over it. I have faith, remember?"

Will shook his head and reached over to put his hand on top of CJ's. "You've been through a lot in the past four years. If you're troubled or upset about any of it, you shouldn't hide behind the fact that an egg might stand up on it's end during the equinox. Which, I think we determined, it can't."

CJ turned her palm upside down until Will's rested flat against hers. Her eyes briefly filled up with stinging tears, and momentarily, she considered telling him about what she'd seen only hours earlier. She shook her head and swallowed the lump in her throat. "I'm not upset," CJ firmly declared, threading her pliable fingers through Will's. "Are you?"

Will pressed his lips together and shared CJ's smile. She was evading him again, and it was time to let it go. For now. "I'm only upset over the fact that Toby pulled you down before I could get there."

CJ snorted, still slightly embarrassed that she had lost her wits so dangerously. She was grateful to Toby, but wished that she hadn't needed anyone to protect her. She was supposed to be strong. Still, Will's words were touching, and she squeezed his hand. "Well, next time we get shot at, you've got first dibs on rescuing me, okay First Lieutenant Will?"

Will chuckled and rolled his eyes; she was cracking jokes again, something she'd probably never stop doing. It was endearing, if irritating. "You've got to work on your cat-like reflexes," he recommended, swiftly bringing her fingers to his lips for a quick kiss. He dropped her hand just as quickly and stood up, avoiding CJ's eyes. "I've got to get going. The Air Force is gonna be pissed at me in the morning and I have some things to take care of."

CJ nodded and pulled her knees closer to her body, watching dazedly as Will walked his empty beer bottle into the kitchen. Shadows played between the two rooms, and CJ wondered why she and Will had strayed, back a million years ago. She flicked off the set just as Will was reclaiming his jacket.

"Hey," she said quietly as Will shrugged into his coat. "Thanks for coming over."

Will nodded and let his eyes linger on CJ's face. "I was driving home from Andrews, thinking about how we used to do this all the time back in LA. I thought I'd drop by." He couldn't tell her that he was worried about her; he didn't want to admit that he missed her tremendously on nights like these. He couldn't be that guy.

"Anytime," she smiled gently as she opened the door to show him out. She wished she could tell him that she missed him, but she didn't want to look desperate - he'd already saved her once tonight. "You can come by anytime."

"G'night, CJ." Will walked out into the hallway.

"G'night, Will." She watched as he headed towards the elevator, and CJ was filled with an intense urge to tell him that at the exact moment of the equinox, the egg had balanced itself perfectly. "Will!"

He spun around and stopped, a grin covering his face. "Yeah?"

CJ twisted her mouth - he wouldn't believe her. "Nothing," she said quietly, dropping her gaze. "I'll see you on Monday." *