Dedication: To all wonderful A/W shippers, and especially to all beautiful Georgetowners at The Good Wife FanForum. Love being on the A/W ship with you.

When the door opened, she drew in a quick breath as she took the sight of him in. She expected to see him wearing a suit, his usual attire, which was rather unfounded expectation since she was meeting him at home. Instead a dark linen v-neck sweater hung beautifully on his shoulders and form fitting dark blue jeans hugged his sculptured legs.

"Hi," she said when she moved her eyes from his body to his face, hoping he didn't noticed her examining him from head to toe in less than discreet manner.

"Hey," he said with a smile, "Come on in." He stood to the side to let her through.

"I'm sorry for today. I had this thing-" he started explaining as they moved through hallway to the living room area.

"No, it's alright," she interrupted him, not wanting to make him feel as if he had to apologize to her. Even though she wanted to hear about this thing of his, where he had spent his afternoon, she decided it was none of her business asking him about his whereabouts.

"Tough day at the office?" he asked, a type of question a husband would ask a wife, when she came home after a long day. She found his voice genuinely concerned, not just obligatorily polite in order to make common small talk.

"It was… interesting," she found the right word. She didn't want to complain, especially not to him. She got to do what he probably craved to do every single day of his suspension. She knew what it meant being a lawyer at successful firm like Lockhart & Gardner. He knew it, too. Busy, hectic days were part of their lives.

"I'm sorry for bothering you at home-" He could be doing anything else than helping her.

"You don't bot-" the sound of his Blackberry vibrating against the table drew the focus of his eyes and interrupted his intended thought.

"Excuse me," he said apologetically as he looked at phone's display. "It won't take long. Make yourself comfortable," he added as he slipped down the corridor.

She watched him as he disappeared into his bedroom, trying not to think of all the times she had disappeared with him in that room. She could hear him answering the call with very cheerful "Hi", too cheerful for her taste, before he closed the door behind him.

She took of her coat and put it on the couch that sat in the middle of the room. She surveyed the apartment. Almost every part of it held particle of their history, floating her mind with memories, memories she managed to bury in last months.

She had always wondered how his apartment looked like, long before she had actually winded up at his place. When she had seen it for the first time, she fell in love with it. It was spacious, bright, welcoming, masculine, and had him written all over it. Until now she didn't want to admit that the latter was the reason why she loved it so much.

Collection of baseballs on one shelf, law books on the other, guitar in the corner, the drinks cabinet and big flat screen TV, that usually played old recordings of baseball games, like it did now.

She sat down on the couch, her eyes drawn to the grand piano that stood by the window. When she had come to his place for the first time and he had given her a tour of the apartment, she had been surprised seeing big piano standing in the living room.

"Since when do you play a piano?" she had asked surprised. She hadn't remembered he had known how to play it at Georgetown, she had only remembered him being enthusiastic about playing a guitar.

"I don't. I always wanted to learn how to play it and when I was buying the apartment, former owner offered the piano at a reasonable price… so I bought it with this place," he had explained.

"It's magnificent," she had marveled at the black beauty in front of her as she ran her fingers over the shiny black wood. When she had looked back at him, he had been smiling.

"What?" she had asked amused.

"You should play something," he had said, leaning on the edge of the armchair.

"Really? You want me to play? Believe me. You don't want to hear that."

"I do. Just try." She had loved how he had encouraged her to try.

"Some other day maybe," she had said easily, "Now I would much rather do something else."

"And what is that?" he had grinned boyishly.

She had said nothing else as she neared him and kissed him without hesitation.

"This," she had purred into his ear, "Can piano wait?"

"Yeah, it can," he had smiled into her mouth before capturing his lips with hers.

She brought herself out her thoughts when she heard the door of his bedroom opening.

"Sorry for waiting," he said with a smile.

"No problem. Good call?" she couldn't help asking when his obvious good mood couldn't go unnoticed.

"Yes," he gave her a short but cheery reply.

His answers were as short as possible. She felt as if he was one of the witnesses she needed to prep, advising them to keep their answers short, so nothing was given away. He wasn't letting her in his space and she knew she had no right asking him for it.

"So what can I get you to drink?" he asked as he moved to the kitchen.

"Water, please."

"Are you sure?" he narrowed his eyebrows skeptically, probably surprised at her choice.

"I'm driving," she replied, delivering the most in handy explanation.

Whenever she had been at his place, she would have had a glass of wine. Even if she hadn't spent the night and she had needed to drive home, by the time she had needed to leave, one glass of wine would have disappeared from her blood and would have been replaced by hours of toe-curling pleasure.

She couldn't tell him that the reason she refused wine was because wine reminded her of all the nights she had spent with him in this very apartment.

"Okay. Water it is." He went to refrigerator, grabbed a bottled water for her and a bier for himself.

"Here you go," he handed her a bottle.

"Thank you."

"Alan Muhney's case, you said, right?" He sat in the armchair that was placed next to the couch. She couldn't fail to notice he kept distance between them. It bothered her.

"Yes," she confirmed.

She looked at him. He leaned back in the armchair and put his legs on the coffee table. He had several day old scruff on his face, messy hair and deep sultry eyes, how Owen described them, that were now going through the notes he had made. She found him extremely handsome, she always had. From the first time they had met and up until now, she never had a problem with his looks.

"So, our biggest problem is-" he said.

"Alan has no alibi, at least no-one can confirm it, and his fingerprints are on the murder weapon," she replied.

"You think he's guilty?" he asked, still looking at his notes.

"No, I don't. Everything speaks against him but- I don't know… I believe him. There's something about his friend Evan, though, that's just rubs me the wrong way."

"I agree. If I were a betting man, I'd say he was the one who killed Meg. Hasn't Kalinda found something?"

"Not yet."

Her phone rang, "Speaking of Kalinda-"

"Yes, Kalinda, what's up?" she answered.

"Check your e-mail, I got something for you," Kalinda said on the other side of the phone.


"You'll see," Kalinda replied in her mysterious way, "It's good."

"Okay, thanks Kalinda," she hung up and looked at him. "Kalinda found something but I need to check my e-mail."

"Sure," he said and went looking for his laptop. When he returned, he placed it in front of her and this time he lowered himself beside her on the couch. Immediately she could feel the heat radiating from his body. He sat close, so close that their knees touched. The slight physical connection shot familiar electric wave through her body. She knew she should back away but she didn't. And neither did he.

"It's an e-mail sent from Meg to Evan," she said, taking a deep breath, trying to regain her focus.

They started reading it and soon they realized it was a rejection e-mail in which Meg rejected Evan's advances.

"Ouch, these are some hurtful things written in here," he said, when they read Meg wasn't exactly picky with using certain words to make her point, "Not good for male's ego."

"I asked Alan if there was a possibility Evan was interested in Meg. He said that Evan would never go after his girlfriend."

"A weird life we lead. You think you know a person and then… you realize just how wrong you were about them."

She nodded. "Yeah- But to kill a person for being rejected-"

"When you're in love-" he paused. Her eyes locked with his and her heart gave and extra beat at the glitter in his gaze.

"Anyway, I think you should call Evan on the stand again. He's cocky. I think he wants to say he did it," he shifted his eyes from her to the laptop's screen.

"You think? Why would he admit to murder?"

"He's twisted, I think he wants everyone, espeacially Alan, to know what he did to Meg."


"You will need to pressure him, hit him hard, because, sadly, that's truly all you have."

"You think it will pan out?" she wasn't sure she could lure the confession out of Evan.

"It will. It's not gonna be easy but if you quote certain parts of this e-mail, if you remind him of every terrible word she had wrote to him, if you rile him up, I'm sure he will snap."

"What if he doesn't?"

"He will."

She shooked her head. She truly wasn't sure she was up for this.

"Hey," he said.

She looked up at his face. His eyes were reassuring and kind, as though he could sense her doubts. "You can do this."

She nodded, "Alright. Thank you, Will."

"Besides if nothing else works you can still use your sweet charm," he said as he leaned back on the sofa, "I heard once that might help."

"My sweet charm? What are you-"

He looked at her knowingly. A fond smile softened his masculine features that stirred tenderness within her.

"Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" she replied, catching her voice being flirtatious.

"Professor McKinley," they said at the same time.

"I thought we argued pretty well," she smiled.

"Me too."

Hearing the teasing tone in his voice, she leaned back against the sofa cushion, like he did moments ago, and relaxed next to him.

"What did he say to us?" she asked, not wanting for this moment, which was the longest moment of normality and stability between them in weeks, to end.

"If I remember correctly he said something like: Ms. Cavanaugh, Mr. Gardner", he tried to remember words they both had heard almost twenty years ago as he imitated Professor McKinley with a deep voice. "I'm speechless. Your arguments are completely invalid. If you think that your cute, sweet charm will be enough to win you cases at court, you are deeply mistaken. I pity the fools who will be crazy enough to hire you two to represent them."

She laughed out loud. She couldn't remember the last time she laughed whole-heartedly. "You have a good memory."

"It's not hard to remember true words of wisdom."

"You think now would be the right time to call him and tell him you own a firm?"

"Let's call him after my suspension is over, okay?" he laughed, taking another sip of beer.

"I'm still proud he thought we had cute, sweet charm going on."

"That's what you made out of his speech?"

"And you didn't?"

"Yeah, I did," he admitted smilingly. They faced each other and silence, that waited to be broken, filled the room.

"We were a good team," he said with a sigh after a while.

"We still are," she replied, realizing just how much she missed talking and being with him.

"Ye-" His voice died and his eyes moved from her face to TV screen as breaking news interrupted the game.

"… This year's campaign race for governor hasn't even started and the things are already heating up. Rumor has it that Peter Florrick, the current State's Attorney of Cook Countey, maybe best known for his involvement in a scandal involving a prostitution service a few years ago, will be running for governor of Illinois. As for what he plans to announce at a press conference next week. However, his lips are sealed. And his friends in the Democratic Party are staying silent in solidarity," reported Chicago News Channel. "If Peter Florrick indeed decides to run for governor, one thing is for certain, pre-election confrontations will be everything but dull…"

"So, it's a done deal. Peter is going to run for governor?" he broke the silence.

"He is."

"He is an ambitious fellow."

"He always has been," she sighed.

"Will you be there?" She flinched by his words. "At the press conference, I mean," he clarified.

She gulped. She was caught off guard. Only Peter, the kids and Eli knew about her being by Peter at the press conference. They agreed to keep it a secret, although she didn't know exactly why the secrecy was needed since the public still believed, or at least so she thought, Peter and herself still formed a solid married couple.

"It is just better this way. Just don't tell anyone," was Eli's response when she asked him about it. "It's for the surprise affect," Eli added, gesturing with his hands in a theatrical manner.

Not that she would want to scream from the top of the roof she will support Peter again, that was never her style, but still. It seemed her life was filled with secrets and now he was asking her point blank about one of those secrets.

She couldn't and didn't want to lie to him, no matter what Eli asked of her. Just seeing that carefully hopeful look in his eyes was already bad enough. The same look he had had when he had came to her office after their first kiss in fifteen years.

"But you came back," he had said then, no sign of sultry in his eyes, just hopelessness and regret for their bad timing.

"I know. It was wrong," she had replied. It had been wrong, she had been married, but it had also felt so right, if she had only been allowed to feel it.

"Yes," her response was hushed, almost ashamed. She couldn't bring herself to look at him, knowing that this simple Yes would probably crush the well-known look in his eyes.

"He's lucky to have your support," he replied gently, but his voice couldn't hide the disappointment. She took all of her might and finally brought her eyes to his. She was right. She crushed him.

"I guess I'm already talking with future Mrs. Governor."

"You're not. There are no guarantees he'll win," she replied, realizing how contradictory her words sounded to the words she had said to Peter when she had encouraged him to enter the campaign. She had told Peter to run because she believed he would be a good governor, better than Mike Kresteva at least, she had given him hope and her support to win the election.

Now, when talking to him, she was playing a different tune. Was she just trying to be modest or did she start doubting in Peter's win and in the arrangement to which she agreed? How could Peter even win with a wife, who was just as double-faced as he was, by his side?

"He will. With you on his arm… he's invincible," he said as he rose from the couch. Distance fell between them again and she regretted no longer feeling the touch of his knee against hers.

"You give me too much credit."

"I guess that's the time when you demanding a raise and wanting to buy your old house come in," his voice was a bit louder but still filled with disappointment. He ran his fingers through his hair, making it more tousled than before.

"It's not how you think," she tried to explain.

"And what do I think?" He had an expression of a poker player on his face. She couldn't read him even if her life depended on it.

"Will, I-I… I need you to know that the time we spent together-" What was she doing? Why was she saying that?

"No, Alicia. No," he interrupted her.

"You don't get to this. You don't get to mention our time together in the same breath as admitting you are with him… again." His poker face was lost and was replaced with frustration.

"Is that what you think I'm doing?" she shot back.

"Aren't you?" he asked disbelieved.

No, that's not what she was doing, she wanted to say. But how could she explain to him when she wasn't sure herself what she was getting herself into.

"It's complicated," she replied. She was ashamed and she couldn't help but to lower her eyes. She couldn't see just how disappointed he was in her. Not as a bitter ex-lover, who would hold a grudge, but as a true friend who always pictured and wished so much more for her than the choices she had made.

"It always is with you."

She watched him move to the window. He leaned against the wall and looked into the night as he spoke, "You know, actually, um- It's a good thing the news came up and that we're having this conversation because now… now I can finally see-" he stopped.

"See what?" she wanted to know, she stood up and neared him.

"It doesn't matter," he shrugged with his shoulders as he turned around to face her.


Did he think he was just a diversion for her? That it was just sex? That she felt nothing but lust whenever he touched her? That she was using him as a safety net until she decided it's time to step into the shoes of a good wife again? Were those the questions he wanted to ask but promised himself not to?

"I just- I don't understand. But then again, does it even matter if I understand or not."

"It does to me."

"Why?" his voice was challenging.

"Because you're… You're my friend." She struggled for words. She was angry with herself. A friend. That's the best she could do? Why she couldn't afford to say all the things she wanted to say to him, all the things he deserved to hear from her.

She knew why. Decisions were already made. That's why. It seemed as if lately every decision she had made no longer made sense to her. She was losing herself in the process and sometimes, when she looked in the mirror, she wondered, who was the person looking back at her.

"Heh," he scoffed, "A friend." The way he was looking at her, she knew he wondered the same thing.

"Me being at the press conference-" she started.

"Alicia, it's okay," his tone softened, like it did every time he uttered her name. She could never admit the chill that ran up her spine by his simple pronunciation of her name. "It's not like your friend," he emphasized the friend part, "haven't seen you at his press conferences before."

Perhaps it was better if he believed she had given Peter another chance, that she enjoyed being Mrs. State's Attorney, soon perhaps enjoying the status of Mrs. Governor, or if he thought she was simply power-hungry, cunning, manipulative, all the things she was sure he never thought of her before, than to admit her ego stood in the way and demanded a payback for Kresteva's lies. When did she become so petty and resentful? When did she put her ego above everything and everyone? She could defend herself by saying she was supporting Peter for greater and better cause, stopping Kresteva from winning, but did she truly believe that herself? She used to have a good moral compass, she thought, but lately she didn't know if it was set correctly.

"And if you worry, don't. There will be no calls, no voice messages left on your phone this time."

His words moved something in her. They were not spoken in a resentful manner, he never resented her anything, but as much as he was trying to hide brokenness in his voice, he couldn't conceal it. If there were times, and there were plenty of those, when she selfishly ignored his words, convinced herself that she was not hurting him, that everything was light and simple between them, she realized now just how wrong she was. It mattered to him.

Seconds later he moved pass her, grabbed notes from the coffee table and said, "Your notes." His voice was dismissive, not cold, just dismissive, wanting her to go.

"Good luck tomorrow at court," he said as he offered her the notes he was holding.

She looked at him, then the offered notes, not being able to take it from him. It dawned on her that these notes were not just notes anymore.

They represented memories of Georgetown, their friendship, light discussions on legal matters, finishing of each other sentences, mutual respect, stolen looks across the table, the night spent in presidential suite and so much more. They were the last remaining link between them. It sounded foolish but it seemed as if everything they meant to each other now depended on few sheets of paper. If she took them, everything between them would be lost. And she didn't want to lose him. Whether as a law school friend, which was great simplification of their relationship back then, whether as a boss, who always looked out for her more than was probably appropriate for employer-employee relationship, or a lover, who awoke in her the fire and passion she no longer thought existed, and especially not as a man who she...

Until this very moment she didn't want to see how selfish and callous she had been. She couldn't blame Diane when that classy blonde reproached her for wanting to accept Canning's offer, when Lockhart & Gardner were the ones that came to her rescue when she needed help and gave her an opportunity for a new start, a new life. She selfishly forgot Will voted for her, making sure she got the job, when in reality some other woman, who probably needed a job as much as she did, should have got it.

She spent weeks chasing the past. She demanded a raise so she could buy an old house, buy her old life back. Even though she didn't buy the house she still agreed to support Peter and in a way, whether she accepted it or not, she already decided to give an old life another chance.

She was on a path of a good wife again. That's who she was after all. She hated when people referred to her as Saint Alicia – State's Attorney's Good Wife, although she did really little to tarnish this image and she couldn't blame no-one else but herself people had this opinion of her. She wanted to be so much more than just a good wife and mother. He showed her that. He showed her everything. Will.

"No, I don't need them. You keep them," she declined the notes.

"I thought you wanted them," he sounded unnerved as he started walking to the door, obviously a cue for her to leave.

"Not anymore," she followed him, not opposing him.

"Fine," he opened a door for her.

"I'll be seeing you?" she asked hopefully as she stepped over threshold, looking back at him, although realizing how meaningless the question sounded after the intense conversation they just had.

He didn't answer her last futile attempt of making things right. "I hope it works out for you," he said earnestly, looking her directly in the eyes, "I really do."

She opened her mouth to speak but obviously for him the conversation was over as he said, "Goodnight, Alicia."

A moment later she no longer looked in his eyes, instead her eyes met apartment door slowly closing in front of her.

Thank you for taking the time to read this story and thank you for all the inspiring reviews. It means a lot,