Title: For the Sake of Alicia
Feedback address: email@example.com
Date in Calendar: 8 December 2010
Fandom: The Good Wife
Pairing: Alicia Florrick/Kalinda Sharma
Word Count: 1761
Spoilers: set between Season 1, Episode 22 “Hybristophilia” and Season 2, Episode 4 “VIP Treatment”
Warnings: F/F pre-slash
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Author's Disclaimer: Alicia Florrick, Kalinda Sharma and all characters from The Good Wife are property of Michelle King, Robert King and CBS Network.
Alicia Florrick looked at the blank sheet of paper before her. She had never been one to keep a daily journal, but today was the day that would change. She stared at the blank page of her notepad, tapping her pen against the paper. A heavy sigh escaped her. With plenty of journal fodder in her life, this should have been the easiest thing in the world but she couldn’t think of anything to write.
“Just write what you feel, Alicia,” she muttered to herself. She gripped the pen tightly, poised to write, and still nothing came to mind. She closed her eyes and summoned the emotions she’d been feeling the past year, all the pain, anger and resentment since the news of Peter’s scandal broke. Another heavy sigh escaped. With so much to write, why was this so hard? Why did she have to exert so much effort to come up with words to put down on paper?
Alicia opened her eyes, gazed down at the paper and let the words begin to flow from deep inside.
For the sake of Peter's career, I maintained the appearance of a decorous, devoted wife. For fifteen years I played his perfect wife. I stayed at home, letting my hard-earned law degree languish. I took care of our children. Each day, I drove them to school and picked them up and transported them to whatever extracurricular event was on the schedule. I was always at every important event, and made sure to tell Peter’s assistant to place his daughter’s soccer games on his schedule. I put delicious meals on the table, kept our house orderly and clean. I thought our sex life was good. What more did he expect of me? I never realized he needed more. He never told me.
While representing Carla Browning in her divorce case against Glenn Childs, I saw something in her relationship with Childs that worried me and it made me examine my relationship with Peter. “I see how easily people fall back into old habits,” that’s what I told him. He assured me that wouldn’t happen with us. I had to ask – “Why won’t we?” He told me, “Because we see the problem, and we’ll know how to avoid it.” I needed to walk away from him, so I left, not quite sure if I believed him or not.
Sometimes I wonder if we’ve fallen back into old habits now that he’s been released. I’m even more concerned about that now that he’s decided to make a bid for re-election. I don’t want to go back to being that commodity of a perfect wife, the woman who stands behind her man come what may.
Alicia paused. Her hand shook from the anger she’d kept bottled inside for too long. She stared at the paper and resumed writing.
For the sake of my children, I stood by their father, even after he found himself embroiled in a sex scandal that kept our family in the headlines for months. And I’m reminded of this every time another political sex scandal hits the news and they rehash recent scandals of a similar nature. But for the sake of Zach and Grace, I’m still here. I stayed, even after Peter was sent to prison for purportedly using his political power and sway to procure prostitutes for his sexual pleasure. Even after he broadcast to the world that I was not enough to keep him sexually satisfied, I stayed with this man.
For the sake of my job and the firm as a whole, I whored myself out in search of big clients. I resorted to the last-ditch effort of asking Eli Gold to help me, of asking him to refer Lockhart and Gardner to his clients, essentially bartering my consent to Peter's re-election bid for clients that would bring money to the firm. Clients that would hopefully help make the firm solvent. Perhaps I should have taken Kalinda's suggestion of having an affair with Will instead.
And what about Will? Should I have an affair with him? Should I not have an affair with him? I’m starting to think that even he sees me as nothing more than a commodity, a part of his past. I’m that relationship he always wished for but never really consummated. I’m the one that got away. To have me now would be fulfilling his desires and wishes. It would have nothing to do with me or my desires; it would be all about him. What will I have to give up for his sake?
I’ve seen him flirt and toy with other women. Sometimes I think he waited until he knew I was watching. Does this mean he’s toying with me? Does he think I will want to fall into bed with him, if I see that he can reel in some sexy young thing? Does he not realize this makes him no different from my husband?
Jonah warned me about him. When he left the firm, Jonah said that Will would stab me in the back if it benefitted him. Do I believe a man I’ve known for a short time? Or do I believe the man who’s been a friend from my law school days? Which one has my true interests at heart?
Alicia stopped, set her pen down. She re-read the words she’d just written. She blew out her breath. When had she grown so angry with Will? Will was a friend, an ally, wasn’t he? She shook her head, took a deep breath then began writing again.
For the sake of all these people, I have compromised myself, my desires, my wishes, my needs. When will it be my turn?
Thus far, the only person who has seemed to care for me as myself has been Kalinda. She likes me for Alicia the woman, and not because I’m Alicia Florrick, wife of former State's Attorney Peter Florrick. She has done it in simple ways, supporting me through the hell of returning to the work force and being a junior associate at my age. She made up a fake tradition at the firm of a shot of tequila to commemorate the first jury trial. She kept me informed of Cary's actions, encouraged me to take measures to ensure my selection over him. She pushed me to stand up for myself when the selection deadline drew close. She shocked me by suggesting I have an affair with Will to ensure my selection, but she seems to take my success seriously.
And even though I didn’t want her to, she offered to have a talk with Peter’s Prostitute. Peter took care of the matter, but he also got us into this mess. It’s the fact that she offered to do help me deal with something unpleasant in my life. Kalinda’s offer to clean up one of Peter’s messes helped. I needed and still need the friendship she offers.
I wonder when it will be for the sake of Alicia that I do something. What if I do not want to deal with Eli Gold as a client? I cannot brush him off without risking the firm’s solvency. What if I’d really prefer that Peter not run for re-election? What if I’d like to return to some sense of anonymity? I know neither will happen.
Even if Peter were to drop his bid for re-election, we would never return to the background of anonymity of everyday life.
And then there’s the firm. With the addition of the new partner, Derrick Bond, things are changing. Suddenly, I find myself either in the spotlight or being shoved to the background, all of it depending on what’s best for the firm politically. Sometimes this contradictory treatment makes my mind reel from it. When I was hired, it was Stern Lockhart and Gardner, then it was Lockhart and Gardner. Bond was brought in from DC, and now it’s Lockhart Gardner and Bond. If he thought it would be politically beneficial, I think Derrick would recommend adding me as a partner just to add the Florrick name to the firm.
It’s not the first time I’ve been encouraged to make use of political connections. Diane recommended I use my connections from Peter to help the firm, which is why we now have Eli Gold as a client. Does this make me a political commodity for the firm? Or am I just another lawyer on the roster? Or am I something in between? Jonah seemed to think I had something to offer as a lawyer. When he left the firm to start a new one, he asked me to join him. He said he wanted young and hungry lawyers to back him up, that he wanted me as a member of his team.
And if I’m not being used as a political commodity, then I have another task I regularly perform for the firm. I’m the one the firm uses to present a calm, composed façade to certain clients. Or as the lead divorce litigator David Lee told me, “You’re good at holding hands.” I told Kalinda I’m tired of hand-holding the clients. She told me I was good at it, that it’s not a conspiracy. Sometimes, she makes me see reason with her simple explanations, even if I do not like what I hear. Or maybe it’s that smoky voice of hers that makes it sound better. That voice could convince me to do almost anything.
Alicia stopped writing and noticed she was panting softly. The amount of anger and resentment built up inside her was not a good thing. She absently noted the legibility of her handwriting began to deteriorate midway through jotting down her emotions. But that was nothing compared to what she realized she’d just written. She looked up and saw Kalinda move through the office. “Oh my,” Alicia murmured. “This is an interesting turn of events.”
She ripped the handwritten pages from her notepad. Her heart pounded in her chest as she perused the last sentence she’d written. When she lifted her gaze, she saw Kalinda striding toward her office. She crumpled the paper up and gripped it in her fist. When Kalinda stepped into her office, Alicia dropped the paper ball to the floor and kicked it under her desk. “Good morning, Kalinda.”
“Good morning, Alicia.” Kalinda smiled and propped herself on the edge of Alicia’s desk. “What’s on the agenda for today?”
Alicia proffered a smile and glanced down at the empty page on her notepad. It’s going to be a long day.