In my Head, Under my Skin

DISCLAIMER: The Good Wife does not belong to me. It is the creation of Robert King and Michelle King. I'm writing this fiction to express my love for the series and maybe vent a little.

The next time Kalinda saw Cary, she and Alicia were on their way out of court on another case and he had waylaid them to apologize.

"Alicia, I'm sorry," he had started. At the older woman's steely gaze, he looked down, "I'm so sorry-"

The smack of Alicia's palm on Cary's face, coupled with his head flying back from the blow had Kalinda flinch in sympathy. That must have hurt infinitely more than Dana's slap to her.

She didn't account for feeling her heart break at seeing his eyes close, his jaw line tense, and his Adam's apple move slightly as he tried to reign himself in, the cords of his neck straining as he turned to face Alicia.

"I tried to stop her."

"I thought you'd changed, Cary. I was wrong. " Alicia bit off in disbelief, leaving him standing in the hall of the courthouse.

Seeing the devastated look on his face, Kalinda knew full well that Alicia was right about being wrong about Cary, but not in the way she said.

It wasn't that Cary changed. He was the same as he always was.

And that he had always been infinitely better than either she or Alicia gave him credit for.

After all, competition never brings out the best in people. And neither she nor Alicia had ever bothered to get to know him beyond their preconceptions while he worked at Lockhart and Gardner, fighting Alicia for his job.

It was only afterwards, due to Kalinda's multiple run-ins with him at the States Attorney's office, and all the times he helped her, that she understood him.

But Alicia still only had her bias. She thought his acts of kindness were the deviance, not the norm.

Seeing him gaze on the floor, looking defeated and strained, Kalinda found herself walking up to him.

"You okay?"

Cary gave her a small sad smile that she read easily to mean "What do you think?" before he walked away, not knowing that with every step he was taking her heart with him.

Author's note:

When Cary helps out Alicia in episode Alienation of affection (when he testifies that he doesn't think a document she signed was forged to the LA lawyer). They have a little moment at the elevator before he leaves. She thanks him, he tells her she's welcome, then she goes on to say "I don't get it" meaning, she doesn't understand why he helped her. Cary laughs and says "oh, wow." His reaction was like he was surprised by how negatively she perceives him; that she can't believed he did something good. This is supported by how when she asks him "What's so funny?" He says "nothing", but then tells her that things change. I think here Cary was just giving Alicia a graceful out, instead of calling her out on her bias towards him; and to be fair, any he had towards her.

That's just my interpretation, and it was convenient to make Kalinda gain further empathy for Cary