Author's Notes: I once loved a ship (well, I technically still do) called Skate, alias Kate and Sawyer from Lost. This was inspired by one of the best scenes they ever shared, the "I never" game. Enjoy!
With a faux shy smile and a thankful look, Kalinda elegantly made her way through the crowd and sat close to Alicia.
"Tequila?" Alicia asked, with a confident and reassuring smile on her face.
Kalinda just nodded with a smile, watching as Alicia gestured for the bartender to pour their favorite liquid.
"So," Kalinda started, hesitating a little as she gestured to their rapidly filling glasses, "what is… this? A sort of reset?"
Alicia smiled, slightly nodding as she lowered her eyes to the glass in front of her.
The little glass of transparent liquid held so much importance in their lives. All the confidence, nonsense, successes and failures, celebrations or simple idle chatter revolved around the burning taste of tequila.
Alicia shrugged. "Let's call it a reset. Or a new beginning…"
A new beginning… Kalinda loved the sound of it. After all, it was nothing new to her. She had reset her whole life only few years before, growing accustomed to months spent starting from scratch with total indifference. But with Alicia it was different. She missed her friend, more than she'd ever thought she could miss anyone. And regaining her trust was sure going to prove difficult.
Alicia made it very clear. If they wanted their friendship to work, if they wanted to rebuild the trust they once shared, they needed to be totally honest and blunt with each other. Both of them.
"I can't be the only one being forthcoming. I can't be the only one being honest… can you do that?"
Those words resounded in her mind for days as she pondered all aspects, implications and consequences deriving from that simple question. Could she do that? There were things she couldn't say, things that Alicia could probably not understand about her. Sometimes she had a hard time understanding them herself. So maybe not. But she was at least ready to try. After all, Alicia had always been crystal clear with her, opening up to her, confiding her doubts, fears, weaknesses, even desires.
She never blamed Alicia. No, to be honest she did, a couple of times. When she tried to explain that her one night stand with Peter was just a mistake and happened before she even knew her. Or when Alicia coldly asked her if her husband was good, then invited her – not so gently – to walk the other way every time they happened to cross paths. Kalinda never got a chance to explain, justify or apologize, for what it was worth.
Now sitting at a bar counter with her and contemplating the meaning of a glass of tequila, she realized that behind a thick layer of anger, Alicia must have suffered deeper than she thought. And not because of Peter's betrayal, she had learnt over the years that cheating is in men's genes, but from her own. She listened, advised, was a shoulder to cry on, but never gave Alicia the chance to do the same for her. It was her chance to adjust things and give their friendship the right balance.
"You asked me to be honest," she started, unsure of where she wanted the conversation to lead.
"Yes I did," Alicia confirmed, and her voice was friendly, forthcoming, to use her own words, like it hadn't been in a long time.
"There are things… Things I did…" Was she really ready to do this? "Things you might not understand…"
Kalinda looked up to see Alicia lost in thought, her gaze fixed on the still untouched glass of tequila, nodding, probably more to herself.
"Ok," she started. "Let's play."
Let's what? Kalinda gave her a confused look. What was she talking about? What did she had in mind?
"I never" Alicia said, meeting her look of total confusion.
"Am I supposed to understand what that means?" she asked. She honestly had no idea of what she was talking about.
"I never! You say something, if you did it you drink, if you didn't you don't drink." Alicia explained the rule. It seemed simple enough, but very tricky at the same time. "For example," she went on, " I've never been to college. And I drink 'cause I have been to college."
Kalinda sat there unsure of what to say, meeting Alicia's expectant look. "What?" Yes, she was expecting her to drink. Kalinda shook her head with a slight smile.
Mouth open, Alicia took a moment reply. "I always thought you were… kidding, when you said you used to vandalize colleges," she said between shocked and amused.
"No I wasn't. " Her answer was dry, but her tone bemused.
Alicia smiled. "Your turn."
"I've never been to Niagara Falls," Kalinda said, not taking her glass from the counter.
"Oh, come on, everybody around here goes to Niagara Falls at least once in life!" Alicia said, slightly shocked, before taking a sip from her glass.
Kalinda simply shrugged. "Your turn." Her voice sounded slightly singsong.
"I've never been in love." Alicia said, before taking a sip from her glass.
Kalinda watched her drink, before drinking too.
"Wow, so you're human." Alicia was so obviously making fun on her.
Kalinda looked scathingly at her friend. But it wasn't like she couldn't blame her. She spent most of her life building a wall around her, protecting herself from any kind of feeling. And last time she let herself feel something for someone… well, they ended up right here at this bar trying to piece it back together.
"I never had a dog," Kalinda said, not really coming up with anything smarter. Not to mention, she didn't want to give Alicia another chance to poke fun at her.
Neither of them drank. She always pictured the Florricks' family with one of those little punt dogs.
Probably noticing her surprised look, Alicia said "I let three goldfishes starve to death. I could never take the responsibility of feeding a dog," she explained looking down at the almost empty glass of tequila.
Kalinda waited for Alicia's turn.
"I've never been married," she said before drinking the last sip and gesturing the bartender for more.
Uh. Oh. She really didn't see this kind of question coming. She took a moment, considering the chance of not drinking. They were working on rebuilding their friendship, what if Alicia would find out about it in some way? Looking down, not meeting her gaze, Kalinda drank. She didn't look up.
There was a moment of silence. "Ok…" Alicia simply said. "This was a… surprise…"
Kalinda got a glimpse that the questions were about to become more personal. And it was her turn. "I never had kids," she said, looking at Alicia taking a sip and ignoring the glass. She caught a look of relief on Alicia's face, that there weren't three or four younger versions of Kalinda abandoned somewhere. But the image of her little copies made her smile.
"I never had a naked midnight bath," Alicia said, before drinking.
Kalinda gave her a look of pretended shock. "How transgressive of you!"
Alicia laughed. "Hey, I was shy! And you didn't drink, by the way," she said, pointing at Kalinda's glass.
Kalinda drank, at the same time thinking about the next question. She remembered Alicia once asked her if she was gay. Well, since they were in, this was the right occasion.
"I never kissed a woman," Kalinda said, drinking the last sip, gesturing for more. Out of the corner of her eyes, she saw Alicia slightly nodding.
"Does it mean that…" Alicia couldn't finish her sentence.
"No, I'm not gay," she finished for her. What was the best way to define it? "Let's say I'm… flexible." Yes, flexible would give Alicia an idea. She finally looked up to see her reaction. She was expecting surprise, shock, or disgust, like often happened. But she saw nothing of it on her face. It was as if she already knew it.
"I've never been arrested," Alicia went on, looking at Kalinda, not drinking.
Kalinda drank. Not that she could hide it anyway, since Alicia herself took her out of jail only few months before. Well, she was starting to think that may be this game wasn't that bad. It was her turn, to play and to try and embarrass Alicia.
"I never slept with my boss," Kalinda said in the most natural tone, taking a small sip from her glass and hoping that Alicia would get the joke. Curious and eager to see her reaction, she watched her friend.
A raised eyebrow and an are-you-fucking-kidding-me look made her freeze. For a moment she thought that maybe it wasn't the best idea. She watched as Alicia looked at the glass and back at her between worried and amused.
"You don't want me to drink one for each time, do you?" And with that Alicia drank all the tequila in her glass in one sip.
Kalinda smiled, trying to hold back a laughter. "Actually I don't even think one glass is enough," she said giving her a knowing look, as she gestured the bartender to pour more for her friend. "Bottoms up!"
Alicia chocked on her drink, before bursting in a good strong laughter, and Kalinda couldn't help but do the same. She missed these moments and she missed her friend. And she was pretty sure that Alicia felt the same.
"Guess we got more in common than what I thought, after all," Alicia said with a smile.
It was only the beginning, but it was a very positive one.