Because... by Willow

Summary: Why did Toby do it? Because...
Spoilers/Episode: Post season 7, 'Here Today'
Characters: Josh, Leo and Toby
Rating: PG


Josh closed the hotel room door behind him and lay down on the bed, staring at the ceiling for a few moments. It had been one hell of an afternoon. They were still nine points down, he'd fired ten of the forty five staffers Lou had selected, including Ned and he was pretty sure that one was going to come back and bite him. He sighed, stood up and went to the bathroom for a shower. Ten minutes later a slightly more refreshed Josh emerged from the bathroom in a pair of boxers. He began hunting through his bag for a clean t-shirt when there was a knock at the door. He looked through the peep hole, before letting Leo into the room.

"'S'up?"

"You seen the news?" Leo asked.

"Not for an hour or so, no," Josh replied as he found a t-shirt and pulled it on.

Leo walked across the room, switched the TV on and turned to CNN. The breaking news story, 'Ziegler Shuttle Leak', was splashed across the bottom of the screen while two commentators discussed the president's statement.

Josh stared at the picture, his expression changing between stunned, confused and upset. "Toby?" he muttered as he sat down on the edge of the bed.

"Yeah," Leo agreed. "Toby."

"What the hell? I mean... God."

"Yeah," Leo repeated. "That about sums it up."

The two men sat in silence and watched the news item, watched as the commentators dissected Toby's career, discussed his family, his brother, his father.

Josh broke the silence. "He's going to be hating this." He reached into his jacket pocket for his cell phone.

"I would imagine," Leo said and then saw Josh open the phone. "What are you doing?"

"Calling him."

"No."

Josh looked at Leo. "No?"

"You know you can't. You can't talk him." Leo saw Josh about to argue, he stood up and took the phone from him. "Josh."

"Yeah." Josh slumped back down on the edge of the bed. "Have you spoken to the president?"

"He's angry. He'll calm down."

"Give me my phone, I need to call Sam."

"You gonna call Toby?" Leo asked.

"More than likely," Josh admitted.

"If antone finds out you spoke to him..."

"I know, but... he's going to be hating this, Leo. He's always been there for me."

Leo nodded and handed Josh his cell phone. "I'll be in my room if you need to talk."

---------------------------------

Toby answered the fourth time Josh tried calling. "You shouldn't be calling here."

"You okay," Josh asked.

"Oh yeah I'm fine. You?"

"Well I just found out that my friend is about to be arrested for disclosing classified government information, so I've been better."

"Sorry to inconvenience you."

"Why'd you do it?"

"I can't talk about this. I discuss the leak with you and you get subpoenaed."

"I didn't mean the leak. I meant why'd you own up to it."

"You don't think a man should own up to the things he does, be they right or wrong?" Toby asked.

"I do, if it was something you'd done."

"Of course I..."

"You wouldn't have waited two weeks, Toby," Josh interrupted. "You wouldn't have let Gregg Brock go to jail for you."

"Seems like I did."

"Nah," Josh argued. "I know you. You don't hide in corners. You don't hold back on saying what you think."

"Josh..."

"If it had been you, you'd have resigned before you did it and you'd have made damn sure the president knew why you were resigning. You'd have told him to screw the Pentagon and to demand the military shuttle be launched."

"If it exists," Toby interrupted.

"I think that cat is well and truly out of the bag, Toby," Josh shouted.

"Yeah."

"So why say it was you?"

"Because it was me, Josh. Because you don't know me as well as you think you do. Or maybe because in the last few months I've changed. Because I thought I could get away with it. Because there were seven astronauts who were going to die and we weren't helping when we could. Because somebody had to do something," Toby yelled. "And nobody else was going to. We were just going to sit there and let them die, Josh. We could have helped but we weren't doing anything." Toby paused and blinked back the tears that had been threatening to fall all evening, before continuing in a quieter voice. "I didn't help him. I could have, I could have done more, but I didn't. You of all people should understand that."

Suddenly Josh did understand. Who better than him to understand the pain of a sibling's death, knowing that just maybe there was something you could have done to help them. "David," he said quietly.

"David," Toby agreed.

Josh ran his hands through his hair and sat back down without even realizing he'd done it. "I wish I was in town."

"Why?"

"You shouldn't be alone."

Toby smiled sadly. "I should probably make the most of it. There won't be too much privacy in prison."

"Toby..."

"You can't fix this, Josh. I broke the law and I'm going to pay the price."

"If there's anything you need, anything..."

"I know."

"I'm sorry," Josh said. "For everything over the last few months, I'm sorry."

"Me too," Toby agreed.

"CJ okay?"

"I'm not allowed to talk her and you should go before you get into trouble."

"I guess. I'll speak to you soon." Josh closed his phone and considered what to do next. He knew he should call Sam and CJ and Donna, but instead he decided to take Leo up on his offer. He pulled on a pair of jeans and went to talk to his mentor, maybe he would have an idea what was going on, maybe he could explain how so much had changed in the last eight months.

END