Summary: Who does Alicia call after Will and Diane congratulate her for beating Cary? Who does she want to celebrate with more than anyone? Alicia is feeling a little guilty, Kalinda is there to remind her how deserving she was of every opportunity.
Alicia didn’t want to do this. She already felt guilty for going to see Eli. She felt almost nauseous that her new clients were also involved in Peter’s campaign. Actually, she didn’t even know if it was her client yet. She tapped her foot next to Cary’s as they waited, watching Will and Diane still silently talking through the glass. She had no hope left. She had no more time to convince them to let her stay. She didn’t have a moment to make up with Will or make Diane understand that she was the stronger choice. It was too late to call one of the dozens of firms that had tried poaching her over the last few months. Cary was nervously chattering in her ear, but she was too preoccupied trying to read Will’s body language to pay attention.
She was called in first; the one fired was always called in first. Her hands immediately began to sweat as she followed Diane further into the office. Both had serious expressions. The room felt heavy; the same feeling she got the day Will dumped her the first time. Alicia couldn’t help clenching on her bottom lip, fidgeting with her rings. She could feel her throat burning from the tears that hadn’t even appeared yet. Her jaw hurt from gritting her teeth.
Will was the first to turn around, a blank look on his face for only a moment before he visibly relaxed. Her eyes searched his, until he barely nodded. The corner of his mouth twitching before looking anywhere but her face. But he still didn’t say anything. Diane was the first to speak. ‘We don’t want to draw this out any longer than we have to,’ Diane said, as level as her excited boss could.
Alicia could see Diane successfully repressing a smile. ‘Good job, Alicia.’ Even when she heard the words repeated by her old college friend, it meant more coming from the older woman. Not two days before she was begging for her job at the woman’s feet, only to have Diane convince her Cary would always work harder. Cary would always be better. She didn’t know if it was Will that convinced her or if Diane choice Alicia because she proved she would do whatever it takes. All she cared about in that moment, was the look of pride on the older woman’s face compared to the look of annoyance the first few days they had to working together. ‘Thank you, for going all out this year. it’s been quite a ride,’ she continued, Alicia trying to listen over the cheering in her head.
Will pointed to a stack of files, but the couldn’t give them to her yet. Alicia knew they were top client files, including the one that just left her office. ‘We’re not out of the woods yet,’ Will said, softly. She could only nod, too shocked and overjoyed to say anything. ‘We have a lot of trimming to do, so we’re all going to have to work harder.’ He gave her a look that screamed a lot more lawyers wouldn’t be in the office on Monday. A lot more paralegals would be in the unemployment line, a few more secretaries searching for new work. “I’m ready.”
Diane nodded. ‘We know you are.’ Alicia could see the woman searching her tired, over worked brain for the right words. The woman of steel’s face softened, she saw her visibly take a deep breath. ‘Thanks, for listening the other way. You heard us.’ Alicia couldn’t say she was proud of what she’d done/ she couldn’t say she didn’t feel like a cheater. She wanted the job because she had twice the trail time Cary had. She had an almost spotless record. She had a command over the court room, that Cary didn’t. Instead, all that mattered was her name and that she used that name to benefit the firm. ‘That’s all we need to know.’
Alicia had waited for Cary, despite her gut telling her to go. She doesn’t even know what made her stay. Maybe she thought she deserved his hateful look as he left. Or maybe she wanted to hold her head high and show him all the ass kissing, scheming, and lying didn’t get him as far as he believed it would. She did feel sorry as she gathered her purse and brief case from the office. Grabbing her work lap top just in case Diane sent her the case files over the weekend. As she flipped her light off, Kalinda’s desk lamp came on in her office across the hall, lighting up the woman’s smirking face.
The attorney couldn’t help rolling her eyes, trying not to laugh as she locked her office. Glancing down the hall to make sure Will and Diane had already gone home before crossing the dim corridor. Biting her lip and shaking her head as she entered the investigator’s smaller officer, closing the door behind her.
Kalinda was wearing the exact same outfit she had seen not three hours ago when she claimed to be leaving. The thigh highs and boots were gone. Her long hair curled around her shoulders, the clip sitting by the computer monitor. Her makeup was slightly smudged under her eyes, but she was still flawlessly beautiful. Alicia saw the shot glasses and bottle of Tequila next to the keyboard. “I told you, I’d come over when I was done,” she said with a slight smile.
It was true. Kalinda had asked a few days ago, if she wanted her to wait Friday. If she wanted her to be there right after she found out the news, good or bad. They had planned for the attorney to come to the investigator’s apartment instead. They could celebrate or comfort in private. There would be no rush to leave. There would be no risk of anyone seeing them. Kalinda knew Alicia had no real reason to go hom. The children were at sleepovers and Peter wasn’t factored in her decisions recently. The investigator knew the attorney wanted to stay no matter what Will and Diane said. And the younger woman wanted nothing more, but she was also slightly terrified Alicia wouldn’t be working with her come Monday. She was worried the older woman would be too upset to come to her if she lost. They could go back to her apartment later. Kalinda wanted to see her the moment Alicia knew. And by the look on her face, she’d been right all along. “Forgot the Tequila,” she said with a playful smile. “Can’t celebrate without it.”
Alicia hadn’t said she’d kept her job. She was sure her face did. Kalinda had said nothing, but positive comments all week. “Didn’t say I won,” she said, leaning against the metal desk.
Kalinda couldn’t help the smirk that crossed her lips. Her eyes never leaving Alicia’s as her fingers barely grazed the attorney’s resting on her desk. The older woman didn’t pull away. She never pulled away anymore. Alicia actually opened her fingers, allowing Kalinda to slowly trace each one. “Guess Cary needs to work on his happy face, then,” she said, trying not to laugh, knowing if her friend had lost, she’d already know.
Alicia didn’t think about the bad, as Kalinda’s fingers touched hers. The guilt disappearing as her friend’s smile reached her eyes. “I got a client at the last minute,” she explained, all the explanation the investigator needed in one sentence.
Kalinda felt the anger like a hot blade in her side. She despised Will and Diane for the game they played, for the underhanded things they made her do. The last thing Alicia wanted to do was use the Florrick name. She wanted to distance herself from Peter. She wanted her talent and brain to win her the job, not the connections she had. But Kalinda’s face didn’t change. Alicia was one of the most brilliant lawyers she had ever worked with, and she had no problem reminding her everyday if she had to. “They would have come here eventually,” she said, holding up her glass with a sly smile, taking a sip, before sitting it back down. “Everyone does, we’re the best,” she nearly laughed as Alicia finally smiled.
Alicia wished they were in the younger woman’s apartment. They had shared a lot of things over the last year, had experienced a lot of firsts. Never once, had those secret interactions ever happened at Lockhart/Gardner. It was their only rule. “I cheated,” she said, more serious, as she squeezed the woman’s hand.
Kalinda sighed, taking the entire shot. Licking her dry lips as she searched her overly active brain for the right, comforting words. The investigator didn’t see what Alicia had done as cheating. She’d gotten clients before. Colin Sweeney only stayed because of her. Prosecutors now feared the firm because of her. The older woman had won all but one case since being at the firm and that was entirely Will’s doing. If they had allowed Alicia and herself to do their jobs, untethered, they would have won. Cary hadn’t won a single case on his own. Always sitting second chair, and almost always freezing when it was his turn to question. He had no ability to ask a question without it sounding leading or ignorant. He had no recall ability to recite case law in the middle of an argument. All he had was the charm to keep a jury’s attention long enough for a closing statement. Cary didn’t even want the job, he was planning to leave. She knew a higher offer had come his way because he could never keep his mouth shut. He just didn’t want Alicia to have the job. In his small, ego centric mind, he would never be able to admit she was better than him. That she deserved the job more, simply because she was smarter, faster on her feet. He would always believe it was because of who Peter was. “Cary cheated,” she said a little louder, a little more emphasis to the words. Squeezing Alicia’s fingers a little harder. “Cary sent you videos, news articles and facebook posts about your husband. About the scandal, over and over. For a full week, you sat in your office in tears, while he laughed in his,” she said with a little more spite.
Kalinda moved the bottle and glasses to the other side of the desk before motioning for Alicia to sit. She waited as the attorney paused, but gently smiled before climbing up on the wooden desk. It made it easier for the investigator to rest her hand on Alicia’s bare thigh. Kalinda watched the woman’s face as her fingers began making random patterns just below her hem line. The attorney’s eyes closed for a moment, a sigh passed her lips, before they fluttered open again. The guilt was dampening. The pain she felt for the relief she now had was nearly gone. “Cary went behind your back, telling nasty lies to the partners. He tried to us Peter’s affair against you. He pushed for them not to trust you. And all along, he’s the one accepting offers and having meetings with other firms,” she said, watching Alicia’s eyes go wide for a half second in disbelief, but almost laughing as Kalinda shrugged. She had access to everyone’s emails and phone records whenever Diane or Will needed them . She watched the associates and partners emails a few hours a week, monitored who they were receiving calls from or making them to. She had been watching Alicia and Cary’s almost daily. that’s how she knew to go to the woman when she did. She knew exactly when she was upset and hurting, based on how many times Cary had tortured her with inappropriate videos. She had gone to Will half a dozen times with nothing to show for it. They hadn’t stopped it back then. Firing him now, giving him raving credentials that he didn’t earn, wouldn’t make up for it. But she had Alicia. She would be sitting next to her at the morning meeting come Monday. She would be in the office working late next week. Kalinda didn’t care how she won. In her opinion, Alicia did the nicest thing she could do. The investigator would have torn him apart. “All YOU did was get a client,” she said a little softer, her other hand brushing the fallen strands of dark hair back behind her ear. She felt Alicia lightly lean into the touch, her eyes softening, the fight and frustration dissipating. The guilt, finally leaving as a few tears managed to fall, quickly swept away by Kalinda’s thumb. “You worked so much harder than him. You deserve it so much more.”
Alicia hadn’t held the emails against Cary; he hadn’t been the only one to send them to her. She received at least three new emails a fay from lawyers at other firms she had argued against, the prosecutor’s office, and several Lockhart/Gardner Associates. She didn’t have enough time or energy to be angry and plot against them. And it wasn’t in her nature to play dirty. Alicia knew Cary had been trying to stack the partner’s against her. She knew a few of named partner’s hated her. Most of the judges despised her. She had every reason to start talking. She had every reason to tell every secret about the judges Chicago elected to sit on the bench. The three that had escorts coming to going from their chambers every Tuesday and Thursday. The judge that did cocaine and participated in illegal gambling. The two judges that have children with their mistress’s their wives still didn’t know about. The judge that regularly beats his wife, but he plays golf with the police commissioner. The assistant district attorney’s that assaulted inmates in their lockup. The fact that women reported sexual assault and harassment on a weekly basis made her sick. She chose to take the high road and fight for what she wanted. To show everyone, she was still a force to be reckoned with. She wasn’t the meek little house wife anymore. She wasn’t Peter’s shadow. She had a voice again. “Thank you, for fighting for me,” she said, catching Kalinda’s hand before she could pull it away. Bring the hand to her lips, kissing each knuckle as she watched a spark appear in the younger woman’s eyes. The investigator relaxing against her thigh as Alicia showed her, she was fine.
It would take a while for a guilt to complete disappear, for Alicia to forget about the contest and Cary. But Kalinda was determined she would. “Always,” she whispered, taking a moment to admire the attorney’s beautiful face. She only looked away to nod to the drink still sitting by the monitor. “Want it before we go?” she asked, wanting to get Alicia back to her apartment as soon as possible. Not for sex. Their connection was far greater and more complicated than just sex. She just wanted to be alone and knot it would stay that way. But the older woman just shook her head, her eyes far more green and intense than when she first entered the small office. Alicia never looked at the drink. Kalinda smirked as she slowly stood from her chair, carefully stepping between the woman’s parted thighs. Still slightly surprised she never had to be asked or convinced, the attorney’s legs parted automatically for her. “How about me?” she asked, her hand resting against Alicia’s neck. She could feel her heart pounding hard against her palm.
Alicia caught a belt loop in the woman’s skirt, tugging her closer, as she squirmed to the end of the desk. She could feel her skirt moving further and further up her thighs. She felt an almost violent chill run up her spine, as the investigator’s hand took advantage of the newly exposed skin. Her fingers running up the outside of her thigh, before moving slowly back to her knee. Kalinda’s eyes were soft, she was biting her bottom lip harder than she should. She had a light flush to her cheeks. Alicia would never get tired of admiring how beautiful the young woman was in those overly joyful, semi-arousing moments. “I always want you,” she whispered, leaning in to the hand caressing her cheek. Remembering all the times, just like this, that Kalinda was either by her side celebrating or comforting. She reassured her over and over again during their second case working together. Repeatedly reminding her, their stripped client, didn’t sleep with Peter; she didn’t even know him at the time. She made her laugh when the son of a family friend needed their defense. The entire case made her remember happy times; family times, it made her want to cry every night. Kalinda stayed on the phone until she fell asleep the first few nights after the trial began. Kalinda was the only one to make sure she ate and slept during the 48 hour train case. No one was allowed to leave, so the younger woman convinced her to keep her company on her pull out couch for a few hours. Kalinda had been the one she cried to when she found out her daughter had been traumatized by an unauthorized prison visit. She screamed and swore, and said things she didn’t mean, but all Kalinda did was listen.
Kalinda’s first night in her bed was after the conjugal. She’d acted like everything was fine. But only hours after sending the kids with Jackie, she was begging the investigator to come over. She’d held her all night, while she cried off and on. The night after she was badgered to testify on Peter’s behalf, Kalinda served her drinks in the safety of her apartment, until she’d had enough and the younger woman helped her change into pajamas before climbing into the large bed next to her. She shushed her and whispered soft words in her ear as she tearfully asked why.
The night Grace made her burst into tears over the threesome rumors, Kalinda snuck in after the kids went to bed. She’d hated herself. She wasn’t goo enough for her husband, she couldn’t protect her children from the backlash, and she was still at risk of being unemployed. That was after, seeing all the physical evidence, all the circumstantial evidence, all the witness testimony; Peter was guilty of so much more than she ever believed. All the while, defending her dementia suffering boss that was charged with assault on a police office and a DUI. She physically, emotionally couldn’t handle the stress, and pain, and hate. It was the night Kalinda kissed her the first time. The first time, she didn’t sneak out while she was still sleeping. She ate breakfast with her and the kids, making the excuse they were working late and the young woman was too exhausted to drive.
The first night Peter was released on electronic monitoring was the most difficult. She was texting Kalinda throughout the movie the kids wanted to watch with them. She cried herself to sleep listening to the investigator’s voice on the other end of the phone. The night Will kissed her, she didn’t go home, she went to Kalinda’s apartment. She told her everything that had been going on at home, how trapped she felt. It was the first night they made love, Kalinda not allowing her to leave until the next morning.
Alicia filled out the divorce papers after the skateboard incident. After both her children blatantly lied to the police and parole officer. After her son ended up with bruises and her daughter cried herself to sleep in her arms. Kalinda was by her side as Diane and David Lee filled out the paperwork for her. Diane took her statement alone, refusing to let the investigator hear about years of emotional and verbal abuse. She stayed with Kalinda that night, Diane sending Peter an email apologizing for keeping her so late, but she really needed the help. That was only two weeks ago and she still wanted the papers to be filed the second his house arrest ended. She only had to wait a few more weeks before he would be out of her apartment permanently. Only seventeen days until they could come and go as they pleased again. Hiding only the intimate parts they shared. “I really like you,” she whispered, feeling the blush immediately filling her cheeks as Kalinda’s eyes sparkled. She couldn’t tell the younger woman that she loved her, even though she did. It wouldn’t be fair to put her own feelings onto someone when she had nothing to offer. The attorney couldn’t give her a public relationship until the divorce was finalized and she got joint custody. They couldn’t tell their bosses of friends, in fear their secret would make Alicia’s life harder. They couldn’t go on dates without keeping their distance. They couldn’t even spend the night at the other’s apartment without it being work related. And they both knew, there would be backlash when Will found out.
Kalinda loved seeing Alicia blush when she expressed how much she cared for her. And she knew the older woman more than just ‘liked’ her. It was more than clear in the way the attorney’s eyes turned bright green and the corner of her mouth turned up every time she walked in a room. Every time Alicia looked at her, there was a spark that shown brighter than the full moon. She could see it on the woman’s lips after every lovemaking session. She could feel it in the way the woman cuddled close to her at night. And for once, Kalinda wanted that kind of love. She wanted the dependability. The constant stability Alicia could offer.
She smiled softly, her lips barely grazing the older woman’s. Her fingers tracing the woman’s jaw until Alicia’s lips parted. She sucked the bottom lip between her own, sucking harder as the attorney moaned deep in her chest. She tasted the mint on the woman’s tongue. It had been days since the investigator had the older woman all to herself. Days since she last tasted her teasing lips. And she didn’t hold back, as she fought, and won dominance. Alicia’s tongue following hers as if it were a practiced dance.
Kalinda loved her. She loved Alicia more than she ever thought of loving anyone again. But they weren’t ready for the words to be said aloud. They weren’t ready for the world to know how they felt. They weren’t ready for the emotion that came with saying their true feelings out loud. “I really like you, too,” she whispered, nearly panting as she took a deep breath. Nuzzling Alicia’s nose as the attorney slowly smiled. “Let’s get out of here.”