Could've Been You
by Emily

Abbey doesn't want what C.J. has.

She tells herself this when they get married just weeks after he leaves office. (And it certainly doesn't hurt that he waited barely six months after the divorce was final to marry someone she loved like a sister.)

She tells herself this when her former friend and her former husband produce a daughter and twin boys in rapid succession. (Abbey, of course, wouldn't have more children even if she could, wouldn't want to do it all over again. She doesn't regret telling Jed that three kids were enough after Zoey was born. And it doesn't sting, not even a little bit, that she managed to give Jed the sons Abbey never could.)

She tells herself this when C.J. successfully runs for Congress supported enthusiastically by a Jed Bartlet who never seems to stop smiling. (Abbey isn't hurt that her daughters have basically stopped spending time with her, doesn't mind that they campaigned for their stepmother.)

She tells herself this when her first great-grandchild is named Claudia just days after C.J. is elected Governor of New Hampshire. (Abbey doesn't feel betrayed.)

She tells herself this when she sees the headline that asks: Another Bartlet in the White House? (Abbey isn't bitter that Jed moved on to someone who is a far better match for him than she ever was, someone that apparently actually enjoys the insanity of the West Wing instead of loathing it.)

She tells herself this when the picture of the 'perfect American blended family' appears in nearly every paper the day after the Democratic National Convention. (Abbey doesn't envy her ex-husband's wife; teaching med students is enough for her to feel that shes making a positive difference in the world.)

She tells herself this when C.J. becomes the first woman to be elected to the Oval Office. (Abbey doesn't watch the inaugural ball coverage to look for cracks in the 'deliriously happy marriage' and isn't disappointed when none are apparent.)

She tells herself this when the First Couple celebrate their silver anniversary two years into C.J.'s second term as President. (Abbey doesn't regret ending her marriage.)

She tells herself this when her former husband succumbs to a heart attack just days after his sons graduate from Yale Law. (Abbey pretends that she isn't aware that it's the first time she isn't lying to herself.)


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