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Abbey was never the conventional matriarch of a First Lady. She was always Dr Bartlet, respected physician and mother before Mrs Bartlet, wife to the leader of the free world. She was the only person who held the upper hand over President Bartlet... And she knew it just as well as he did. However, she never believed she would be the downfall of her husband's administration. The scandal of the era that the world would intrinsically link to the name Bartlet for years to come; the exposure of Abbey Bartlet's clandestine relationship with White House Chief of Staff, CJ Cregg. The media portrayed it as some sort of a lesbian fling: a typical Abbey Bartlet radical rebellion against the role she had been cast, but it was so much more than that... she was in love with the tall brunette; it was a more intense love than she had even felt before in her life. It wasn't that she didn't love Jed, she had a deep affection towards him and there was no denying it. However, she wasn't in love with him the way a wife should be; she didn't feel the intense, burning desire, passion and lust she had for Claudia. CJ consumed every cell in her body, her every thought... CJ was a part of her and she knew it was a betrayal of her vows towards Jed to continue living a lie. Jed knew when Abbey's heart became the property of another. He and Abbey had the kind of relationship where they could look into each other's eyes and see their past, present and future reflected in the dark ominous pools into their souls... they had grown up together; their responses and reactions were so innately habitual and it wasn't difficult for Jed to understand when Abbey began to close off from him. He saw the uncertainty in her, but also a newfound fulfillment that he knew he could never provide her.
Abbey would hold onto CJ's naked body until morning, sobbing helplessly into her breast and knowing she could not continue leading a life of unfaithful adultery. Abbey's nightmares tormented her with the memories of girlhood Sundays in Church; she would sip the blood of Christ to drown her hidden demons and unholy desires. She would have daydreams where she would gently caress the lips of the nuns whose words would be chanted over and over in her mind as she touched herself alone in her room at night. She swore she would be condemned to hell; God-fearing Catholic girls don't have crushes on other girls. She swore she'd never act on her desires; she'd marry a decent man and fulfill her wifely expectations. She would never pursue the path of impurity...
She loved Jed's mind; he was her Petruccio, the only one who could ever coerce her into the role of 'tamed shrew'. She was in love with an idea, a concept of an existence mirroring that of her parents. Sometimes she believed herself to be Electra fucking Agamemnon as Jed would thrust vigorously in and out of her. Screwing Jed was incestuous on some level; but it allowed her to develop a love for him that transcended that of the wife/husband dynamic. Their relationship was deeply complicated and intertwined, it was a desire for power play; and intellectual conquest; a culmination of two identities together to create the image of ultimate success and power. They fed off each other; their tension the basis of all sexual energy. Its grounding may have been an intense love, but love based on compassion, not intimacy.
But her love for CJ was inevitable; she rekindled the banked fires of saucy passion that brought her back to her days of her girlhood. Around her the facade was obliterated. CJ had no tolerance for nonsense; she had a knack of getting to the bottom of things with simplicity and precision. She disassembled Abbey's wall of self-preservation and found a missing piece of herself hidden in Abbey. It was organic. They became embedded in every atom of each others' being, they flowed through one anothers' vains. To not be together would like the amputation of a limb. She was more Abbey than herself; it wasn't a love that grew it with a realisation of something that was always meant to be.
CJ wanted to be able to love Abbey in the way Jed did. She knew Abbey was attracted to Jed's power; and she would often fantasise about being person he was. CJ would stand in front of her mirror during her lonely nights dressed in heavy cotton men's shirts and ornate silk ties carrying images of success, wealth and of course, power. CJ always felt a poorly made imitation of her older brothers. She resented the way gender had hindered her from living the existence she so desired. She ran fingers over her breasts; she loved being a woman, a feminine being and she loved women too. She had childhood dreams of saving beautiful princesses from dragons and demons. And her dreams never changed; Abbey was like Sleeping Beauty; CJ's kiss awoke her. She wanted to be Abbey's knight in shining armor; she wanted to put her up on a pedestal and carry her into the sunset, the way she imagined Jed would... How she loved and admired him; she wanted to be him, yet she maintained the role of his deputy both personally and professionall.
If CJ weren't a woman her love for Abbey wouldn't be so complicated; it wouldn't be so wrong...
To the world, Abbey appeared ruthless; the only thing ever truly feared was herself and her amazing capacity for self-destruction. When alone with her thoughts; with no one to perform to she tormented herself with the fears her existence was a soulless manipulation based on lies; she knew she deserved to be punished for the person she had become. She knew she was going to hell and somehow she now felt it more than ever as CJ's tongue crept further and further down Abbey's body before reaching its ultimate destination to indulge her red hot, molten core. Abbey would moan louder and louder to dull out the inner voices that triggered memories of a lifetime of regret and lies... She ponders if pleasure can only come from pain.
Abbey didn't want to hurt anymore...
She never said the words to Jed, she didn't have to. Jed had this ability to penetrate her core letting her innermost secrets linger in your countenance like the she had printed the words "I'm fucking your Chief of Staff" on her forehead. When she gave him that look all he could say is "I know, Abbey..." He kissed her on the cheek as tears poured down her face, then turned around and walked out of the room. He knew it would be less complicated if it were just sex, but it was so much more... The world would never be ready for a Whitehouse with a romantically involved First Lady and female Chief of Staff. It would be the conflict of interest to bring down the Bartlet administration.