My second Alicia and Peter story. It is set more or less right after episode 3.20 and I had not watched the final two episodes when I wrote this.
I am once again very grateful for Sabrina's amazing work on my story and her help in me becoming a better writer.
This story was original written as one very very long one shot, but Sabrina recommended that I split it into two so I followed her advice.
Even more as this was original a one shot however over one night I had gotten an idea for at least 3 more chapters. And I have written one of those, however I will post that (them) as stand alone follow up stories.
I don't own the Good Wife, I only wish I did.
Conversations and Agreements Part 1
The moment he finished speaking with another reporter, Eli pulled Peter aside, asking if he was okay and giving him the polling numbers about how Peter's announcement had been taken.
"Right now you are a hit, they like you more than Kresteva," Eli told Peter excited.
It was clear to everyone that Eli was far more excited over the numbers than Peter seemed to be. Peter, on the other hand, was looking everywhere but at Eli.
"Have you seen Alicia?" He finally asked Eli. He gave up on finding her, in the middle of all the press and people surrounding them.
"Yes, I got her to do an interview with a magazine a few minutes ago," Eli answered without looking up from his phone.
"An interview? She agreed to that?" Peter was confused. One thing was her showing up unannounced and telling him that she would be onstage with him and supporting him, but doing interviews, that was not something he had even imagined she would be doing.
"Yeah, she is over there, I think," Eli said, pointing to the right from there they were standing. He did not really seem that interested in anything besides what he was reading on his phone.
As Peter was about to go and find Alicia, Eli finally looked up.
"Shit, that did not take long." Eli sounded annoyed and irritated now.
"What did not take long?" Peter asked. He was getting impatient, in the need to find Alicia.
"Him responding." Eli was clearly annoyed by something or someone, but Peter did not really care. He wanted to find Alicia, talk to her about what was going on and he needed to tell her a few things as well.
"I don't know what you are talking about Eli, but could you please hurry up? I need to speak with Alicia," Peter told him, trying to hurry Eli along.
"Mike Kresteva has commented on your announcement and about Alicia being there," Eli told Peter.
"Oh..." Peter took the phone from Eli, so he could read what Kresteva said. It was about how he decided to run, even with what was discovered during Kresteva's investigation with the panel. More about how Alicia was a member there and tried to get Kresteva to change the report. How she went to see him again later on, asking him to change his findings and publicly saying that he made a mistake regarding Peter's involvement.
"I knew there would be an issue with her going to see him, but she did not listen to me." Eli complained. "I need to try and save this."
"Alicia went to see Kresteva?" Peter asked a bit confused.
"Yes, after his first accusations, I warned her but she still went," Eli told him.
This was a surprise to Peter, but at least it explained a few things. However he really needed to find her now. He needed to tell her what Mike warned him about and to figure out if she really was going to officially support him.
"Eli I need to go and find Alicia. I will tell her about this," Peter told the campaign manager. He then started to look for Alicia again, walking in the direction Eli pointed at.
And there she was. In the middle of an interview, she was smiling and clearly having the reporter eat out of her hand. That was something Peter always admired her for. That if she wanted, she could get everyone to eat out of her hand and rip into them the next second like a eagle catching its prey, if it was needed. Right now she was playing nice and easy going. As he stepped closer to them, the reported turned to ask him something, but he quickly interrupted.
"Excuse me if I break the interview off soon. I need to borrow my wife," he asked them. Alicia turned and smiled at him, clearly giving the photographer a chance to get a picture of the both of them as a couple.
"Yes, we are almost done. Just one more thing. Mike Kresteva has just said that you tried to get him to back down regarding the panel issues and his findings regarding your husband, and to say that he has been mistaken. Mrs. Florrick, is that correct?" Alicia looked shocked and taken back by what had just been fired at her.
Peter was surprised as well, since he really thought that she had the reporter playing right into her hand. Right now that was not the concept, so he quickly placed his hand on the small of her back, told the reporter that they had no comments and he needed to talk with Alicia.
After guiding her away before she managed to say something herself, he heard the cameras clicking away and other reporters calling out to both of them for a comment, but ignored it. He just concentrated on getting Alicia out of that room and in a more private place. As soon as he got her into the hallway, where they were alone, he turned to look at her.
"Are you okay?" He asked worried.
"How dare he! That bastard. How dare he say that!" She was clearly more angry than anything else.
Peter was glad he had gotten her away, before she could tell the reporter that and made a scene.
"Alicia..." He tried to calm her down.
"No, I won't calm down. How dare he do this again." Her voice was filled with hate for that man.
"Because he's playing dirty. Alicia, we need to talk about some stuff," Peter told her. He needed to inform her about what Kresteva told him, about how he would run. How he said that Peter might not regret it, but Alicia would. She looked at him and nodded like she already knew what it was about. "About something Kresteva told me," he continued.
"Okay, maybe we should go somewhere else? To talk I mean. Or do you have to go back to the hospital now?" She asked.
Peter nodded. "I should, but she's probably asleep, and I think it is important that we get to talk. I agree, we probably should go somewhere else. I think we need to do it where we don't have a risk of someone hearing us."
Alicia nodded once again. "Okay I'll meet you at your place in 15 minutes," she said, and Peter nodded agreeing to what she had come up with.
They both left the building through the back entrance, where only a few reporters tried to approach them, vainly. They just got into their cars and drove away.
He walked up to his apartment and had just gotten inside when he heard the knock indicating that Alicia had arrived. He opened the door and invited her in.
Peter took her coat and hung it up, before guiding her to a table where they could sit. It felt weird having her there. She had only been there to pick the kids up a few times since he moved in. Normally he picked them up and dropped them off, not the other way around.
"Do you want something to drink or eat?" He asked her, but she shook her head.
"No, it's okay." The tone of her voice left no doubt that she just wanted to get it over with.
"Okay. I met Mike Kresteva yesterday and I asked him to have a clean campaign. No going after family," Peter told her.
Alicia nodded in understanding. "He denied, didn't he?" She asked him.
"He did. He said that to keep an ambitious man from running, you'd go after his family with everything you had," Peter confirmed, not happy with having to tell her this at all, but he knew she needed to know what would be in front of them.
"I see. And what did you say to him?" She inquired.
"I told him I would find everything I could on him to get him down and beat him," Peter told her, leaving no doubt that he meant what he told Kresteva.
"Good. You should." Alicia's voice was hard and filled with anger and hate.
"It's not good all. He said that if I ran, I might not regret it, but you would." Peter finally told her the real problem.
"Oh." Alicia looked surprised for a short moment, then broke eye contact with him and looked down.
"Do you need me to drop out of the race? I will drop it if you want me to," Peter told her. His voice was sincere. It was clear that he meant what he said.
Alicia shook her head. "No, I... I knew that he most likely would be like that, after the meetings I had with him." She knew that it would most likely be like that. Still, hearing Peter telling her that Kresteva had confirmed it, was unsettling.
"Yeah, Eli said you met with Kresteva." Peter really wanted to know what went on during those meetings and how much they meant for her to agree on supporting him in running.
"I have. I had to recuse myself from the panel I was in with him. However he came to my office, telling me they decided to look more into things. He asked me to write a minority report. Something I denied and recused myself from once again." She had been both confused and annoyed when he showed up like that, even when she had already recused herself once. "He however went out and told the press that I invited him over for a talk. That I asked him to write up another report," she explained as she felt the anger from the other day because of the flash claims starting to blush up in her once more.
"I asked Eli to do something about it, but he wanted to let it die. I didn't, so I went to see him. He kept lying directly in my face, making it seem as I remembered things wrong," she told Peter, knowing that he would need the knowledge about this.
"Okay, and you came to me afterwards wanting me to run to beat him? Is it like this?" Peter inquired.
"Partly. I talked with Eli, he said that you were leaning towards not running. In short, I told him to come up with a plan and that I would think about supporting you. After that I went to talk to you." She explained. "Peter, I meant it when I said you'd be a good governor, and that I always admired your political abilities. You know I always shared most of your political views, that has not changed."
Peter could hear form the tone she was speaking in that she genuinely meant what she said.
"I might not have liked everything you did while in office, like letting your emotions get the best of you" Her last sentence was a clear hint of how she felt when he went after her firm and Will out of jealousy.
"However I always knew you wanted to do the right thing, and that you could go far and change things, in many ways for the better. And I really think you can do it better as governor than as State's Attorney." Her gaze held his and he could feel that she meant every word.
"Do you still feel like that? Since the campaign will most likely be hard. Things will come out," he asked. He needed to know that she would not hate him for it later. That she would not turn and suddenly stab him in the back in anger.
"I do. I want you to run, and I will support you in it, no matter what Kresteva brings up." She left him with no doubt that she really did feel like this.
"Okay, thank you. It means a lot to me. But it won't be pretty. He has stuff about me, stuff that is not out yet." Peter told her softly, knowing that this might be a deal breaker for her.
"I know. Peter I always knew that you did things in your work. Things that are... compromising..." she ended up saying, after taking a minute to find the right word. "I did things myself over the last few years. Those were never the problem," she told him, surprising him a bit with her honesty.
"Okay, just as long as you know that things will come out. It was always about me being unfaithful, wasn't it? That was the problem," he stated. He needed to know once and for all, what he had really feared their problems were over the last couple of years. And he hoped she would finally tell him. After all this was one of their most honest conversations in years.
"Yes, it was. You hurt me Peter. I never saw it coming. I thought we were happy." She tried to look away from him, as her voice started to grow heavy with emotion.
"I am sorry, Alicia. You have no idea how sorry I am. If only I could change things…" Peter told her softly. He wanted her to believe that, he was sincere.
She nodded slowly as she heard his apology. Suddenly she looked at him. "Will I learn more about that? Does he have something else?" She asked, her gaze suddenly piercing, as she tried to look right into his very soul.
Peter swallowed something, but held her gaze, knowing that they needed to be honest with each other.
"There might be something brought up," he told her. His voice was steady, but nervous at the same time.
"Okay, tell me." Her voice was hard, leaving no doubt that she meant it.
"Alicia, I can't do that. I can't hurt you like that. Torture you emotionally. I can't do that to you." Peter was honest. He could not bear to be the one telling her those things, straight to her face.
"I need to know those things Peter. I can't be surprised again. If there is more, you have to tell me now, so I know what to prepare myself for." She knew that it would be horrible, hearing more details about his affair(s).
"Alicia, are you sure? It might not be brought up." He knew that what she wanted to know would hurt her a lot.
"I am sure. I know it won't be easy to hear those things, but I need to know, as it will be brought up. I am pretty sure Kresteva hates me more than he hates you. If he knows something that will hurt me, it will come out." Her voice was steady and more confident than she really felt as she spoke, but it showed him that she meant every word.
"Okay, I will tell you, but after that I need you to tell me what he might have on you as well." Peter meant it. He knew that it would involve hearing about her affair with Will Gardner, but it was only fair with what he was about to tell her.
Alicia looked down. She really did not want to tell him some of the things that might come up about her. She also knew that he would need to know them anyway, for both of their sake, so that they could be prepared. She nodded in agreement.
Peter rose from the chair and walked into the kitchen. She was about to ask him what he was doing, when he returned with a bottle of red wine and two glasses. She almost laughed at him, but he was right, they would need alcohol with what they were going to talk about.
Peter poured them both a glass and sat down beside her once again. He then took a sip of wine after raising it at her in a toast like gesture.
"Okay. I had her over... Once... In the house. You were visiting your mother, with the kids," he told her, avoiding eye-contact.
Alicia closed her eyes, trying to make the pain of his confession go away. It was not as she was surprised. She had almost expected it ever since the appeal-trial. Back then Glenn Childs had done everything he could to get Peter fall into a trap. One where she and the judge learned that he lied about never having Amber over. She had been hurt back then, so she thought it would be easier to hear about it now, but she was wrong. It still hurt, a lot. She felt Peter covering her hand with his, trying to give her just a small sense of comfort. Weirdly enough it did help a little. She turned her hand without really thinking about it, so she could lace her fingers through his. She took a couple of deep breaths before finally opening her eyes, and looking at him.
His eyes were soft and she could read the apology in them. For the first time she was absolutely sure that he regretted what happened.
"I am so sorry, Alicia. I was such a fool," he told her, begging her to understand that he really did regret his actions.
Alicia nodded her head slowly.
"You were," she finally agreed. "Okay. Is there anything else?" Peter's eyes widened in surprise by her new question. He had not expected her to recover so quickly from what he had just told her.
"Alicia, you do realize what I have just told you?" Peter asked carefully. He needed to know that she was not just in denial, and would freak out and shout in a few moments or storm out of the apartment as fast as she could.
"I do, and I would be lying if I said that I was not hurt, but I... I'm not surprised. I had an inkling about it ever since your appeal." She held his gaze and he saw the hurt and sadness there.
"You knew? You never said anything about." He told her, surprised and a little confused.
"I know, maybe I should have but I was in denial back then. I didn't want to believe that you had really done that." She broke eye-contact with him as she looked away. " So tell me, is there more? Anyone else? Anything else?" She asked him.
"No, Alicia. If we are only talking about... about the unfaithfulness, that is all. Mike may make up stories, but they will be untrue, lies. Just like those he has already started to spread about you, and me." Peter told her.
"Good." She turned to him and caught his eyes again, and was comforted by the fact that he was still being sincere. "So you have not been cheating on me for 8 years?"
"No, of cause not. Why would you even think that? Alicia, I am not proud of what I did. I know I hurt you deeply. But I am not that horrible," he told her, shocked that she even asked about such a thing.
"Childs hinted it once. He said he had evidence going back 8 years." Alicia explained to him.
"What? When did he say that? Alicia, he was lying, just like he faked those photos Zach got hold of. He was just trying to hurt you." Peter was furious at Glenn Childs, for having lied to Alicia like that. Only intending to hurt her.
"Good, I thought it was something like that, but I needed to be sure." She agreed with him.
"You believe me?" Peter asked her, not sure if she really could be believing him, even when it came to Glenn Childs lies.
"I do. I finally learned to see when you are lying," she told him. It was true. She could tell from the look in his eyes that, for once, he was being honest about his affairs.
"Thank you," he whispered. Alicia nodded in agreement, and looked him in the eyes.
"I slept with Will," she finally admitted. This time it was Peter's turn to take a deep breath. He already knew it, but like she had said, it still hurt a lot getting it confirmed.
"It started last spring and I ended it back in December. However it is in the transcript from the Grand Jury. Wendy interrogated me about it. She also accused me of only getting promoted because of it, being advised that I was on a partner track because I was sleeping with the boss. And after that I left the stand without being excused." Alicia took a deep breath after saying the last part. She then looked at Peter trying to gauge his reaction. He looked a little sad, hurt and jealous, but he did not look surprised.
"Okay. And do you think Kresteva has proof of it?" He finally asked.
"I do. Plus he might be able to find bills for hotel rooms, to add to the transcript." She looked down. It was not as nice as it should have been, throwing her affair with Will in his face. She felt guilty, sad and a little bit ashamed. Something she knew she had no reason to feel, after all they were separated by the time she started things with Will. "I did not start seeing him until a month after we were separated." She let out.
"To be completely fair, I guess you don't really owe me any explanation." Peter tried to joke with her.
Alicia looked back up at him once again. "I know I don't, but it feels like I do." Her voice was close to a whisper as she said that.
Peter nodded slowly. They had both forgotten about the fact that they were holding hands until Peter carefully rubbed his thumb over the back of her hand. It felt nice, almost natural. Alicia thought about the fact that they had both just admitted things that had hurt the other one, but they were still sitting beside each other. They were still holding hands, something she could not remember when they last had. She looked at their joined hands and back up at Peter.
"He might know some other stuff about me as well," she finally told him. She was unsure if she really should be telling him this, but for some reason she felt safe. Safer than she had for a long time.
"Like what?" Peter asked her nervously.
"I don't know if I can tell you this." She was unsure if it was legal or unsafe for herself to give him these information.
"Well, we are still married Alicia, so I can decline to testify against you. If it is something you are scared of." He told her, knowing it was better they got the most of things out now rather than later.
"There was this document I was sure I signed a couple of years ago. We could not find it at first, and suddenly it showed up. I am pretty sure David Lee tricked me into signing a new one," she finally let out. It felt nice telling Peter this, she knew he would not try to make her believe it was her mind playing tricks on her, or that she was wrong. Like others had and would do.
"Okay, he might be able to use that, but we can deny it. It is not like he can prove it," Peter reassured her.
"What if he has gotten hold on the original?" She asked.
"If he has, we will take it from there. But thank you for telling me, for trusting me," he answered her.
"It is not all Peter. There is something else. Something that happened long ago, but that I never told you about." She looked down as she said it. It was clear to Peter that she was uncomfortable.
"Okay, what is it?" He inquired once again.
"It happened a long time ago. It was the first week of college. I went to this party. I knew no one there other than my roommate. She quickly left me alone and ran off with a couple of guys. I got a drink and tried to talk with a couple of other girls there. But I was bored quickly, so I left and walked home alone." She took a couple of deep breaths and Peter placed his other hand on her shoulder, slowly rubbing her back. Trying to give her more comfort. "I... I was attacked Peter," she finally whispered.
Peter stiffened at hearing Alicia revealing this. Why did she never tell him this before? Didn't she trust him? Did she try to forget it so much that she never told anyone? Did she tell Will about it? "Why didn't you ever tell me Alicia?" He whispered. It hurt and angered him, knowing that someone had done something like that to his Alicia. Because no matter what they said, or did, she was still his best girl, his wife and best friend. It also hurt that she never told him about it before. Did she ever really trust him?
"I never told anyone, Peter. I just wanted to forget about it," she answered him.
"If you never told anyone before, why do you suddenly believe that Kresteva might have gotten hold on something about it?" His question was legitimate.
"Because there is a report from the hospital, where I went afterward. I said that I did not want to talk with the police so it did not go any further, but there is a report about my state when I came in that night." She looked at him again. "He might have gotten hold of that one."
Peter nodded, yes she was right. Kresteva might have gotten hold on that report, and he would not be against using it. To hurt Alicia and him by proxy.
"Do you still want me to run, even knowing that might come out?" He finally asked her. He would drop out if she wanted him to. He would not be the one who forced her into the light about her affair with Will Gardner, or her past.
"I do still want you to run, but Peter it is not everything. The story is not over yet. I don't know how we avoided this getting out so far, with your other campaigns, but it hasn't. However if Kresteva learns about it, he will use it. I discovered I was pregnant about two months later. I couldn't have that child. I simply couldn't. When I thought about the child, I thought about what happened, plus I was 18 years old. I did not know what to do." Her voice was starting to weaver.
"You had an abortion." Peter finished for her.
Alicia was on the edge of tears. So she just nodded. As she did that, the tears started to spill from her eyes.
Peter moved his chair over to hers, so he could pull her into his arms without much trouble. He held her close, letting her cry against his shoulder. He rubbed her back slowly, hoping to give her a sense of comfort.
As her sobs turned into hiccups, she pulled back from him. She took the handkerchief he held out to her. She dried her eyes and looked back up at him. "Thank you. I know you are hurt that I have never told you before. But I just wanted to forget everything about it. I didn't tell anyone, besides those at the hospital, about what happened." Her voice was still heavy from her crying.
"It is okay. Yes, I wish you would have told me about it many years ago, but I understand that you tried to bury the memories. Alicia I can't run knowing these things about you might come out and hurt you. I can't hurt you like that. I have already hurt you so much." Peter told her, and he meant every word of it.
"Thank you Peter, for offering to drop out. But I don't want you to. I think you would be amazing as governor. I am just scared what the kids will say about it." Alicia meant what she was saying. She really did want him to run and thought he would do good as governor.
"Alicia. You can't be serious. You would be right back in the spotlight." He was worried now, and unsure if she even knew what she was saying.
"I am serious. You would do good in that office Peter. I know these things will hurt when they get out. And I know that they will also hurt your campaign. But I still believe you have a chance at winning." Her voice was once again steady, unwavering and confident.
"You honestly want me to run? Even knowing that Kresteva won't hesitate to unveil these things? If you mean that, we need to talk with the kids about these things so they are prepared." Peter told her.
"I want you to run, and I will talk to the kids," she answered. She tried to cover it up, but Peter heard her hesitate when she said she would talk to the kids.
"No, Alicia, I won't let you do that alone. We will both be there. We will both explain things to them." Peter was not going to let her go through that alone. He would be there for her. He would have her back. Just like she seemed to want to have his during the election.
"You will?" She asked, not sure if she really believed that he was willing to help her tell the kids these things.
"Yes, I will be there. So are we doing this? Running, I mean?" He asked her one more time, needing to be sure that she was in it.
"No, you are running. I am just supporting you," she answered.
"No, Alicia, you are what really inspires me. I mean it when I say we are running. Unless... unless you really are only doing this to get me elected." Peter was suddenly unsure. Was this what it was all about? Her wanting to see him elected rather than the alternative?
"I... I do want to see you elected, and I know it helps you a lot that I show, that I support you officially. I don't know if I can do anything else at the moment. I wish I could say I could, but I am not sure. I have fired David Lee as my attorney, so I don't plan on a divorce right now. I also know we will have to think about living arrangements for while you are running. I want to say that maybe we can make things work, between the two of us, but I don't know Peter." She voice showed how confused and unsure she really felt about their relationship now and in the future.