Title: Toby-Bear
Author: Perpetual Motion
Disclaimer: They're not mine. Except for Joanie and America the Bear. Everything else is Sorkin's.
Author's Notes: First and foremost, this is not a series. I refuse for it to be a series. Second, this is straight to e-mail after about five hours of sleep and a fire alarm at 5:30 this morning, so go with it. Otherwise, it shouldn't be too off. :)

Toby-Bear By Perpetual Motion

"Daddy, whatcha doing?"

Josh looked up from a dining room table full of files to focus on his daugther. He glanced at his watch, the numbers blurring slightly. 2:07. "Joanie, sweetie, what are you doing up?"

"I had to potty."

"Oh."

Joanie walked from the dining room doorway to crawl up on her father's lap. "It's late."

"Yes, it is, and you should be in bed."

"I don't wanna."

"Why not?"

"Cause you're not in bed."

Josh sighed softly and stroked Joanie's hair. "I thought Pop and I explained to you that grown ups have different bed times than big girls. You have to go to bed earlier because big girls need more rest than grown ups."

"How come you're up?"

~This is all Toby's fault. If he wasn't such an evasive bastard she wouldn't be able to change the subject like this at the age of four.~ "I can't sleep."

"Why not?"

~Because I'm pretty sure the country will collapse if I don't sort out these files.~ "Because sometimes grown ups can't sleep."

"When I can't sleep I grab America."

~You and the rest of the country, sweetheart.~ "I don't have a teddy bear."

"You want America?" Joanie held out the little gray bear with the red, white, and blue striped bowtie to her father. "She's good for getting to sleep."

"No, you keep her. She's your teddy bear, but thank you for sharing."

"Welcome." Joanie cocked her head and looked past her father. "How come you don't have a teddy bear?"

"Grown ups don't have teddy bears."

"Why not?"

~Because we think security blankets are for wusses when they're really a good idea.~ "Because-" Josh paused, trying to figure out how to explain to a four-year-old that her bear was a toy and she would grow out of it. ~Don't crush her innocence, dumbass.~ "Because pop is my teddy bear."

"How?"

"When I can't sleep I grab him."

"Are you his teddy bear?"

"Yes."

Joanie thought it over for a second. "So I can keep America?"

"Yes, sweetie."

"Okay."

Josh cheered himself in his head. ~Kept her innocence and halted her from twenty questions. I rule.~ "You ready to go back to bed?"

"O-kay." Joanie slid off Josh's lap and smiled up at him. "Will you read me another story?"

~Can it be about the mean old Republican who wants to hurt the nice budget surplus?~ "Yes, but you have to go to bed right now. I'll be in in a minute." Joanie ran towards her room, and Josh started getting his files stacked.

"I'm your teddy bear?"

"Hey."

Toby walked fully into the dining room and stared at Josh. "I'm your teddy bear?"

"What would you have preferred? 'I hate to crush all your hopes, kid, but grown ups don't have teddy bears, and pop and I share a bed because of something we'll explain to you when you're much older'? She's your kid Toby, that wouldn't pacify her."

"She's your kid too, Josh. That line will be around the office in five minutes."

Josh grinned. "Yeah."

Toby reached around the table and pulled the other man to him. "But you're going to find something else to get her attention, right?"

"Of course." Josh kissed Toby quickly. "I'll explain to her that grown ups don't share their teddy bears."

"And that I'm not a teddy bear."

"And that you're not a teddy bear." Josh turned away from Toby and walked from the dining room. "You're my Toby-bear. There's a difference."

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