Second AP 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.
I don't own the Good Wife, I only wish I did.
Conversations and Agreements Part 2
The end of last chapter:
"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.
Alicia did in many ways want them to be able to get back together, to where they once were. It would make many things so much easier if they could. Alicia just wasn't sure, they could ever find a way back. She still cared a lot for him, even loved him, but she was not in love with him, and hadn't been for some time. She also knew that he needed her as a part of his political life, even though her past would come back to hurt them both this time around. He would still stand a lot better with her by his side than without.
It would show the voters, that they were able to overcome things; that she thought his political abilities made up for his personal failings. They could probably even spin her past, with a little luck, to make it seem that he was forgiving and caring, towards her, though he once cheated. These things would be a part of getting him elected. A part of that would come from the fact that the voters saw them as a strong couple once again. In other words she knew they could not live apart.
That would be too risky, and it would show ambivalence in what they would be showing in front of the cameras, and the real facts. She knew, they would need to find a solution where they lived together once again. Though she worried how the children would handle that, if it was not a sure thing they were back together, as a real couple.
Alicia also knew that she would most likely never divorce him, because he would always need her support to get as far as he could politically. She had known that for some time. Just like she knew that Eli's interest in Peter and his politics had never been about him becoming State's Attorney once again, or even him becoming governor now. It had always been about a long time goal, one on national basis.
She would not be surprised if Eli was secretly grooming Peter to become senator first and then president later on, or maybe he was even planning on Peter to run for the presidential election in 2016. The democratic keynote speech was a good hint on that front. Alicia knew this and always expected it would come at one point or another.
She also knew that he would need her. Her support in him, but also her as a person to fulfill these things. Peter would never be able to reach those goals as a divorced man who cheated on his ex-wife 18 times with a prostitute. Alicia knew that better than anyone.
She also knew that he would be a good governor, senator or even president in spirit of his personal failings, because when he didn't let himself be ruled by jealousy or emotions he was an amazing politician. They always shared the same political view. Sometimes they disagreed or debated about things, but over all they shared the same vision on how things should be.
Before everything happened, she used to be his most trusted political advisor, though no one else knew this. If he had a dilemma, and/or he disagreed on what everyone else tried to make him think or advised him on, he always came to her. And she had always been able to help him out. She wrote more of his speeches than she could remember. Those he wrote himself, or had others write, she had gone over with him, most of the times.
She had even, while he was in office the first time, helped him out with some of his cases, discussed strategies with him, listened to him go through his closing arguments and gave him feedback, sometimes even giving the opposite arguments, and told him what the defense would most likely focus on. Because though she had been out of work for many years, at that point, she had never completely forgotten it.
She was pretty sure that he had won more cases, because of these sessions, than they could count. It was also a big part of what had helped her, when she first returned to work. That though it was never said and she never told anyone, she had been out of work herself, but she had never been completely gone from cases as many would think. In addition to that, she knew better than anyone what the State's Attorney's office tended to focus on.
Alicia wanted that back in many ways and she knew it was important to him as well. So maybe she could promise to give him that, though, she could not promise she would ever be able to invite him back into her bed again.
The problem was, would that be enough for them? She knew she could not start to date or see someone else again, it would risk hurting Peter's image. The same applied to Peter, he would not be able to date or see someone else, as the whole image they could maybe build up, would fall apart again if it was learned they had other people on the side line and were not really together.
Peter looked at her intensely. "So, what you are saying is, that you want us to officially act like we are together again, so that I can get elected. But you are not sure it can ever again be something more?" He asked her.
"Yes, something like that. Peter, I am not sure I can ever again share a bed with you. You hurt me deeply. But I do think we are in a better place at the moment, in a friendly place. We used to share things, other than a bed and the kids, and I think we can get those back. I used to help you politically, advice you, write speeches and discuss issues with you. I can do that again. I want to do that again. I mean, if you want it." She hesitated in saying the last part, because she was honestly not sure how he would feel about that.
Peter nodded slowly. "I can't say it will be easy for me to know that you might never want something more again, but I have missed having your support and advice. I have missed it a lot actually. We were a great team back then, weren't we? But I need to ask you, do you still care about me just a little?" He was not sure what he expected her to answer to that. It really could go both ways as far as he knew.
"I agree, we used to be a great team, and I would like to be that again. The other thing. Yes, Peter I still care. I still love you. I don't think I will ever stop loving you in some sense of the word. You are my husband and the father of my children, you will always be those things. But I am not in love with you anymore. Therefore I am not sure I can ever share a bed again, be your lover and not just your political wife again. Can you live with that?" Peter's eyes had started to widen the moment she actually admitted that she still loved him, and he had felt as his blood-pressure had started to go up, dropping again the moment she said she was not in love with him, and was unsure if she ever could share his bed again and be his lover. Alicia did not stop there but instead she continued speaking: "We both know that you will need me to reach higher up in the political hierarchy, but do you want to live like that to reach it? I am in, if you want it. What you are fighting for, and have always been fighting for, is too important, and something I always shared with you, so I am willing to help you reach a place where you can change things." Her speech was probably one she could have gotten him a lot of voters with, if she said it on TV, at least the last part of it.
Peter nodded once again finally understanding completely what she was offering him. He did want the power and the position, and he finally understood that, in many ways, she did as well.
However, would this be enough for him? He still loved her, deeply. He was in love with her. He longed for her, and wished she would share his longing and desire. He was not sure if he could really act like they were married to everybody else and never again share a bed with her. Never again make love to her, though she was still his wife and everybody else would presume they were. Could he really go on without those things, just so he could get the power with her support? Maybe he could as long as he knew she would not be sleeping with someone like Will Gardner on the sideline. If she did, it would be too much.
"Okay I do want those things, but one thing I need to ask. You are not planning on seeing Will on the side are you? I am not sure I could do it with you dating Will at the same time." He knew that in many ways it might seem unfair, after all he was the one who cheated.
"No, I am not. That would not be fair to anyone, him, you, or myself. He has some feelings for me that I don't return, I would not be here offering you this, if I did return them. I know you wouldn't accept it anyway. That I saw Will at the same time. In fact I won't be seeing anyone, and I don't think you should either. It would hurt the image too much if any of us was discovered having another affair. I know it is unfair, I won't give you sex but I don't think you should be going to others to get it." Alicia answered him.
Peter considered what she had just said. At least she did not plan on seeing anyone else. But could he really live maybe a whole life in celibacy? He had done it for some time now. Truth to be told, his sex-life had been very minor ever since his affair with Amber Madison came out. But could he really live with never having one again? He knew that she was right, that it would do a lot of harm to his image if any of them dated or slept with someone else on the side.
However, was it really worth sanctifying that part of his life to have Alicia as his wife in name and her support and help in his political life? Even more, did he really ever want someone else again other than her? He loved her now and had not really been tempted to seek out someone else after she kicked him out. There were many reasons for that, he had been busy, he knew it would be damaging to his political image, but mostly he wanted to show her that he really changed and would not go and sleep with the first woman that came along. That he was willing to wait for her, but here she was confirming that she might never get there again. Was he willing to take the chance that she would change her mind?
He once told her he did not want his parents marriage, and she did not either, but it was about more. His parents had not slept in the same bedroom for 20 years, and her mother had been passive aggressive on his father, though she never showed it officially. She had also not been his closest advisor like Alicia had been his, and his parents had never really had that kind of friendship or partnership Alicia was still offering him again. Plus, more importantly, his father kept on cheating on his mother. Something his mother did not know, that he knew anything about it.
There was a very small possibility of him and Alicia becoming like his parents, even if they didn't share a bedroom ever again. It was still something that he had a hard time imagining, but maybe he would be able to gain her trust and heart again so she would be willing to share her heart, body and bed with him once more. Until then, he would enjoy the partnership she was offering him.
"Okay, Alicia. But you need to know this: I won't give up on the chance that you might someday want more again. I still want more. I love you, I am in love with you. And I will do everything to make you feel like that again," he finally told her, while looking directly into her eyes. He saw how they widened slightly, as he told her those words. And how her pupils started to dilate. Something he took as a good sign. At least it meant that he could still affect her that way, at least a bit. That gave him some hope for their future, though she might not see them getting back to a point where they were sharing a bed again right now. However the fact that he could make her pupils dilate was a hint that she might be able to do it someday.
Alicia nodded in agreement.
"Okay, just as long as you are clear on the fact that I am not in love with you right now. That I don't know if I will ever fall back in love with you. That you won't resent me for that," she told him at last.
"I do. And I won't resent you, I don't think I could ever resent you Alicia. As you said, we were many things, other than just lovers and co-parents. You were my best friend, my closest confident, my most trusted advisor. And I miss those things as well. But I also will do everything to try and win your heart once again," he answered her.
Alicia gave him a slight hint of a smile.
"Okay. So we have a deal? We are going to do this?" She asked him, holding out a hand for him to shake, to seal the business deal they in many ways had just made.
"We are going to do this," he agreed and shook her hand in agreement.
"So we need to get information on Kresteva, so we have something for leverages," she told him afterward, as she took a sip of the wine that they had more or less forgotten all about.
"We do. Eli has already started to look into him, and I will try to find us a PI, who I can hire," Peter answered her.
"Why don't you leave the PI to me?" Alicia asked him after a moment of hesitation.
"Why? Are you planning on quitting your job and start playing private investigator?" Peter tried to joke with her. And it worked, as she let out a soft laughter at his joke.
"No, that is not what I meant. I will hire Kalinda to do it. She is most likely better than most of those you could find, if not all of them." Alicia explained to him.
"Kalinda? Are you really okay with that?" Peter was surprised, this was a shock to him, but if she really was open to hire Kalinda, he would not object in any way. He knew Alicia was correct. Kalinda would be better at getting them information than anyone he would be able to find, and in addition to that, the investigator was fierce loyal to Alicia. Something others they could find would not be. And they would risk someone playing double agent.
"I am okay with that. We have become close again. Plus I just had her look into some other stuff for me. And I know she will be our best option in this case." Alicia explained, making sure Peter knew that though she might not be aver forget what happened between him and her friend in the past. She was on better terms with the later and would be alright having her help them out. "She once offered to "talk" with Amber Madison for me. That time she started to call me at work. And we need someone who is willing to do stuff like that, to beat Kresteva at his own game."
Peter could hear how serious she was as she explained things to him. "Okay, as long as you are comfortable in asking her. But I don't want you to do it, if you are not completely sure." He could never ask her to do that, if she still held a lot of resentment to the investigator, and to him, for sleeping with her. This could end up being very complicated.
"I am. As I said, Kalinda and I are in a better place. We are working on being friends again. I have forgiven her, if that is what you are asking," Alicia told him.
"It was. So you have forgiven her, but not me?" He wanted to ask her about that for a long time but never had the courage. He really wanted to know if she had forgiven him or at least was working on it.
Alicia looked down for a moment and then back up once more, locking eyes with him. "I have forgiven you as well. At least I am almost there. You have done other things for me, since it happened. Things that showed you cared, and they helped. You do have my forgiveness Peter. I would not be here right now otherwise." She admitted softly. "It is also a part of why I did not get up and leave earlier when you said you would not give up hope on winning my heart back once again. I might not be in love with you at the moment, but I don't resent you. And I can't say that I will never fall in love with you again. There is a chance that I will, there is also a chance of the opposite. But I have forgiven you." She confirmed finally.
Peter was shocked to learn this. It was more than he had been able to hope for, and it meant a lot to him.
"Thank you Alicia, it means a lot to me. I really am sorry for what I have done to you," he whispered.
"I know you are," she replied.
"Okay, there is one thing you need to know regarding Kalinda." Seeing how she started to tense up a bit, he quickly continued. "She might not agree to do any work for me."
With those words out Alicia, visibly relaxed once more.
"Don't worry about it. I think she only felt like that because she was afraid of angering me more. I will ask her to do it, and explain it will also help me." Alicia smiled at him once more.
"You really are trying to have my back, aren't you?" Peter teased her once more.
"I am. I do have your back Peter, like in many ways I always knew that you had mine in the really important things." Alicia confessed to him.
"Okay, if you really mean that. There is something I need to show you and ask you." Peter was a bit uncomfortable telling her this.
"I do have your back if that is what you meant. Hey where are you going?" She asked as Peter got up from the chair and left once more. He came back a minute later and handed her a letter.
"What is this?" She asked as she started to fold out the letter and read it.
"The lawsuit you have been working on for the last 6 months, the one that starts in a couple of weeks. The one about the drug company dumping their trash close to a suburb neighborhood giving leading to health issues with the people living there, and contaminating the water. I am being deposed in that one." Peter explained to her as she read the letter.
"I don't understand... why would you be deposed?" Alicia asked him.
"Because it is close to the area which had something to do with those cases I DP'ed in my first run. Those areas with the allegedly corrupted real-estate practices." Peter explained to her. "They might think that I have led you on to it, given you insider information, about those areas and things that happened there, and were wrong with them."
Alicia looked shocked at him. "Peter this is serious. You didn't tell me anything about those areas, but if they think that, it means that they are going after a disbarment of you."
He nodded in agreement. "I know. But even more they are trying to prove that we shared confident information about cases, they are not just going after me Alicia. To be honest, I think it has very little to do with me, and everything to do with taking you and the firm down. Showing that the firm gets illegal help, that you are only winning cases because of it. That your firm is corrupted."
Alicia was shocked to say the least, she had not even thought about that at first. Only that Peter might get disbarred once again.
"You really believe that?" She finally asked.
"I do," he confirmed.
"But we are not, at least not that I know of. Not more than anyone else," she defended.
"I know. I really do, but I don't think it will help much this time. It is not about what is true or not, it is about what appears to be the truth," Peter told her.
Alicia nodded in agreement.
"Well, you still need to hire a lawyer for this. Who are you thinking of? Elsbeth Tascioni?" She asked.
"I think I just hired one." Peter smiled at her, as she came to realize what he was saying. She raised an eyebrow at him.
"You are asking me to be your lawyer?" She asked just to be sure.
Peter nodded at her. "I do, you said you would have my back. And to be honest, I trust no one else more at the moment, in the middle of a campaign, than you. Everybody else I would always fear would leak something to the press, but I know you wouldn't. So will you do it, be my lawyer?" He asked.
Alicia nodded. "I will. As long as you are sure," she answered.
"I am sure." He smiled back at her, before he looked at his watch, and sighed.
"Okay, I guess I better get back to the hospital and you should get home to the kids. Will you bring them over to see my mother at some point?" He asked her.
"Yeah, you should go over and check on her, I am sorry for keeping you so long. We can talk more about these things tomorrow, including the deposition. Yes, I will bring them over to the hospital tomorrow after work. If that is okay with you." Alicia got up from the chair, and walked out to the hallway.
Peter followed her and helped her into her jacket.
"It is fine. I am glad we got to talk about these things, Alicia. Yeah after work is fine. About the deposition, do you want me to come to your office to talk to you about it during work hours?" He inquired.
"No, I will come over to yours. I have a court meeting anyway, so I am over there and we can talk. Peter, I am glad we got to talk as well," she said as she suddenly hugged him without another word. Peter let his arms slid around her pulling her closer and holding her against his chest. He nuzzled her hair with his nose, smelling her in. As he enjoyed the feeling of having her in his arms once more. It lasted only a moment then she pulled back.
"Okay drive safe Alicia. And I will see you tomorrow," he told her.
"I will. Oh and tell Jackie I wish she gets well soon," Alicia said, though she hated saying it.
Peter raised an eyebrow at her, knowing fully well that Jackie and Alicia was not the best of friends and something had gone on with them ever since Alicia and he separated. Never less he nodded, as he opened the door for her.
"I will, good night Alicia." He smiled as he watched her leave, before locking the door and walking back into the apartment so he could get the stuff he would need before he went to see Jackie once more tonight.