DISCLAIMER: The Good Wife and its characters are the property of Robert and Michelle King and belongs to CBS Television. CSI: Crime Scene Investigators and its characters as mentioned in this story are the property of Jerry Bruckheimer Television, Alliance Atlantis, and CBS Productions. No infringement intended.
BETA: Thanks to my wonderful beta k59 and to Anne for supporting and believing in me.
SPOILERS: Episode 1 "Pilot," Episode 9 "Threesome".
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
One of these times I don't feel fine
Kalinda was laying in her bed staring at the ceiling wide awake. Visions of brown, rich, soulful eyes haunted her night after sleepless night. She rolled over and pulled the blanket further over her head to ban the images that had burned into her inner lens, still she saw the visage of her unattainable co-worker. 'She's 'straight', you idiot! And she's married! Haven't you done this to yourself enough times to know better?' Her rational side argued with the part of her that insisted on replaying the conversation from three weeks earlier.
She had just entered Alicia's office to talk to her about Stern's case when she had registered the utter look of loss on Alicia's face. 'She must have seen Amber Madison's interview' thought Kalinda briefly She has to have seen where Amber Madison had confessed that Alicia's husband Peter had wanted a threesome with her, something his 'prude' wife wouldn't do for him' To Kalinda's sheer surprise, Courtney, the firm's secretary had asked Alicia, if she wanted to talk to her 'her' being Amber Madison, who had promptly called Alica at work. Alicia had looked so vulnerable yet so sovereign in handling the situation when she had told Courtney to just take a message.
"Do you want me to talk to her?" Kalinda had asked Alicia.
Alicia, seemingly weighing the option, had shortly after replied, "I'm fine. Thanks."
Kalinda who knew that even the strongest person couldn't hold out the public humiliation and embarrassment Alicia was going through for too long said, "If that changes, contact me."
Kalinda had been fascinated by Alicia ever since she had met her, her strong desire for justice, her determination to get her clients the best possible settlement, and the strong, competent aura which surrounded her, had drawn Kalinda inevitably closer to her.
"She's a natural," Will had said once, and Kalinda couldn't agree more.
The first time she'd felt something more than she should for Alicia was during their first case when Alicia had made a winning point to the judge, jury, and spectators in the court room, showing them all that the key witness security guard had not actually made the checking round as he had claimed. When she had turned around with a satisfying smile gracing her lips facing the galley where Kalinda sat, their eyes had locked. This look had conveyed so many emotions; it told Kalinda how much Alicia loved her job, it told Kalinda how much she trusted their professional working relationship, and it also thanked Kalinda for supporting and trusting in her. Kalinda couldn't remember a glance having that many meanings before. Nor could she remember a glance that had ever left her so off balance!
Kalinda sighed again. She knew she wouldn't get much sleep this night because she'd lay here in her bed all night over-analyzing her feelings for a straight, married, a mother of two, and at least 13 years older woman. It was hopeless, and she knew it, yet she couldn't do anything about her growing feelings for Alicia. The way she had handled Stern's case still left Kalinda in awe about Alicia's accountability and sincerity. 'Just forget about her already!' Tossing her blanket carelessly to her side, Kalinda got out of bed realizing that she wouldn't be able to stop thinking. She would spend a bit of time watching mindless T.V. before trying to hit the dream land once again. It was shortly before two am when Kalinda settled comfortably onto her couch and zapped through the different channels. Finding some old re-run of CSI, she put the remote down and started watching the show. Fifteen minutes later, while Kalinda was totally absorbed in Gil Grissom starting to dissect some kind of bug on CSI, her cell phone rang. Without looking at the caller ID, she fished for her cell phone and brought it up to her ear.
"Sharma," she answered.
"Kalinda, is that you? Did I wake you?"
Kalinda's heart stopped for a second when she heard Alicia, but without wavering she found her voice: "Yes, it's me, and, no, you didn't wake me."
"Oh, that's good then," said Alicia.
She sounded like she had been crying, so Kalinda asked, "What's wrong?"
Kalinda heard a couple of suppressed sniffles, and then Alicia said: "This is one of these times I don't feel fine. I ... need ... you."
Kalinda's heart did a somersault, and she wondered briefly how much strength it had cost the other woman to confess this, but then her mind told her she needs you as a friend right now not a wanna-be lover.
"Do you want me to come over?" Kalinda asked.
"No, it's not really practical here - with Peter's mother here and the kids. Can I come over to your place?" Alicia replied.
"Sure! But you're in no condition to drive, I'll pick you up."
Alicia was starting to protest, but Kalinda insisted, "That's an order, and I'm already half way out of my door, so I'll be there in twenty."
Luckily, Kalinda always wore sweat pants and a T-shirt to bed, so it wasn't that much of a deal for her to be out in her sleep wear. The streets were empty at 2:20 am, and Kalinda made it to Alicia's in thirteen minutes. To her surprise, Alicia was already waiting for her at the curb and slipped into the passenger seat with a quiet "hey" as soon as the car got to a full stop.
"Hey," Kalinda replied as quietly and resumed driving as soon as Alicia was buckled in.
The drive back to Kalinda's was silent because Kalinda wanted to give Alicia time to sort through her thoughts and for her to start the conversation. Once back at Kalinda's apartment, Alicia noticed Kalinda's clothes and said: "Are you still wearing you P.J.s?"
Kalinda waved her off: "Don't worry about it; I wear sweats for a reason. I have a couple of friends who like calling me at night to drive them back home when they had too much to drink."
Kalinda gave Alicia a hand to take off her coat and then offered her a seat on her couch. Alicia was wearing comfortable looking jeans and a red sweater.
"Do you want anything to drink?" Kalinda asked and raised her eyebrows when Alicia answered with "Anything hard will do."
Kalinda disappeared into her kitchen to get some Scotch and found Alicia sitting on her couch when she returned.
Alicia looked horrible. Black bags adorned her blood-shot, red eyes, and her hair was thrown carelessly up into a ponytail, yet, for Kalinda, Alicia had never looked more beautiful. Kalinda put the Scotch down on the coffee table in front of Alicia and took a sip of her coke while sitting down to Alicia's right. Alicia took the Scotch and downed it with one draw. Then she returned the glass to the coffee table and turned around on the couch, so she could face Kalinda. Kalinda could see Alicia sorting through what to say and how to start but kept silent. Eventually, Alicia started to speak.
"Last evening, five more of Peter's mistresses called me and this time at home."
Utterly shocked, Kalinda wanted to say something, but Alicia's eyes urged her not to.
"The kids are so convinced that Peter will come out of prison, and everything will go back to normal. I'm just not that sure. You know, when Peter and I got married, I told him right from the start that if he ever cheated on me, I'd show him the door. And now? I can't even count how many times he transgressed, and still I hold on to the idea of him and me."
Kalinda's heart twinged with Alicia's confession, but she kept convincing herself that Alicia needed a friend the most right now. Kalinda fished for the Kleenex standing on her coffee table, as Alicia was crying softly. Alicia took the offered Kleenex with a quick, acknowledging smile, wiped her eyes, braced herself by hugging her arms tightly around her chest, and started to tell Kalinda the whole story.
"Peter and I met in university. I can still remember how he was too chicken to ask me out at first."
Alicia was smiling absentmindedly, reliving her memories.
"He proposed when we were in our last year, we got married shortly after graduation in a big fashion. You name it we had it. Really pompous just like his mother wanted it, not really like I wanted it, I'd have prefered a small and tranquil wedding."
Kalinda pictured Alicia in a pompous wedding gown with sequin after sequin and agreed silently that a plain and simple wedding dress would have emphasized Alicia's natural beauty advantageously.
"He was so excited when Zach was born, he wouldn't stop holding him, caressing over his soft little patch of hair, only really returning him to me when he needed to nurse. Everything changed when he became state attorney. When Grace was born, he was too busy with the office to be there."
Kalinda could see a short flash of pain fly over Alicia's face and wondered briefly how selfish that was, leaving his own wife in labour while concentrating on his career.
"When we moved to Highland Park, Peter's mother was so proud; she figured we had achieved everything we ever wanted. I never really felt at home there, and now I can understand why when I see that the friendships I made there were only conditional."
Kalinda remembered meeting one of Alicia's so-called friends when they were defending that friend's son in a murder case. She hadn't wanted anything to do with Alicia once she'd fallen out of their monetary and influential circle, even after Alicia convinced the court, judge, and jury of her son's innocence.
Lastly, Alicia briefly touched on how Peter's scandal had finally come to light, how she was more or less forced to stand next to Peter in the press conference to still convey the message that she was standing firmly by him, but she couldn't even comprehend the inner turmoil she was feeling at that moment, and how she was now that Peter was in prison desperately trying to uphold a strong front for her children, for her mother in-law, and for herself.
"It's getting so difficult to still hold on to everything. To make the kids happy, to tell them everything will be fine, when I myself don't know that any more. I know Peter is innocent of the corruption charges, but what he has done to me, the countless adulteries, I just don't know if I can forgive," Alicia said under heart-breaking sobbing. And then she broke down crying and shaking uncontrollably. Kalinda moved closer to her, gave her more Kleenex and embraced her in a supportive, strong hug.
"I've got you," Kalinda said, "and when you don't feel like being the strong one, I'll always be there for you."
"Thank you," Alicia said inbetween her sobs, and Kalinda began to absentmindedly caress over Alicia's back in an attempt to calm her down.
After a while, Alicia calmed down, her sobbing stopped, and she straightened out of Kalinda's embrace. Alicia smiled at Kalinda and took Kalinda's glass of coke from the coffee table taking a long sip out of it. Kalinda realized that it was already shortly before 5 am, but wasn't sure if she should alert Alicia to this fact or not. And then, out of the blue, Alicia asked her:
"Kalinda, do you find me attractive?"
Kalinda was sure she blushed slightly at the question, she contemplated lying and denying everything, but then Alicia was a lawyer, she'd know if she was lying. She was trained to figure out if people were lying. 'She's a natural', Will's words echoed in her ears, so Kalinda dismissed the thought almost as soon as it had entered her mind, and whispered quietly hoping against all odds that Alicia wouldn't hear her.
Kalinda didn't notice Alicia's reaction right away, but then she saw Alicia's face coming closer and closer to hers. Her mouth seemed to inch itself nearer with impossible speed. 'Don't let anything happen like this, you moron! Alicia is upset with Peter's transgressions; she is exhausted with upholding the strong front, she is hurt, she has been drinking! She is in a tangible state of distress, I don't want to exploit this situation.' Kalinda berated herself and averted her face. Alicia's lips landed on her cheek rather than her mouth, still Kalinda felt an uncontrollable shiver run up and down her spine.
"I don't think that's such a good idea," murmured Kalinda into Alicia's ear, "you wouldn't be able to forgive yourself after."
"You're probably right," agreed Alicia and put her forehead on top of Kalinda's collar bone, sneaking her arms around the other woman's waist.
Kalinda returned the hug and after a seemingly long time, she could feel Alicia's arms slowly falling off her waist and her breathing begin to even out. Alicia had fallen asleep. Kalinda wasn't sure what to do, but she did not under any circumstance want to wake her. She let herself slowly glide down until she was laying on the couch with Alicia planted firmly on top of her. Alicia seemingly had not woken, but nuzzled herself deeper into Kalinda, who reached for her T.V. blanket laying on the floor in front of the couch, the one she had earlier carelessly discarded in her hurry to get to Alicia, to cover the two of them. Soon after that, Kalinda fell asleep as well.
She woke from the sun rays tickling her face. First, Kalinda didn't know where she was until the realized she was laying on the couch in her living room. The events from last night hit her, and she sat up abruplty, yet there wasn't any sign from Alicia. There weren't even any glasses on the coffee table, which led Kalinda to believe that she had dreamt it all. After a short stop to her bathroom, Kalinda entered her kitchen. There, she realized that having Alicia over had not been a dream. In the drain, she saw one perfectly clean shot glass and another cleaned glass. On the kitchen table, Kalinda found a note Alicia had left her on her note pad:
thanks for being there for me last night.
I appreciate it so much. You are amazing.
Kalinda sat down on one of her dining table chairs, flashbacks running through her mind.
"Kalinda, do you find me attractive?"
Shaking herself out of the flashbacks, she absentmindedly ran her fingers over the spiral metal holding her note pad together. That's when she noticed that a lot more papers were missing of her note pad than there should be. Immediately, her investigator's instincts took over, and she looked around in her garbage bin for the missing pages. She didn't have to look far and found ten pages out of her note pad, most were crumpled up, others just carelessly discarded. Alicia must have reconsidered what to write to her numerous times. Kalinda started to uncrumble some of the pages, but then decided otherwise. 'What are you doing snooping after her? If she discarded them, it's not for your eyes to see. Trust in your friendship, in her.' Determined, she was just about to discard the pages back into the garbage bin when one of the papers caught her eye. This one had a P.S. She was not sure why, but she had to read it. She opened up the paper and skimmed the message; it was pretty much the same as she had found on her dining table, the P.S., however, caused her to catch her breath.
P.S. Sometimes I wish I felt the same about you as you feel about me.
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