Just the beginning of a multi chapter story:
"I can't, Will. It's too much… I can't."
Alicia collapsed into his arms, letting him hold her one last time. She savored it, the feeling of his arms wrapped strongly around her, in pure daylight, for all in the office to see. What did it matter now? It was over anyway.
"I'm so sorry. I'm going to miss you."
She had never spoken truer words. She knew that, if she was being honest with herself, she felt very strongly about Will. But there were just too many distractions and Grace was right, she needed to just get rid of them. After all, her daughter could have been kidnapped yesterday, and she wasn't around to do anything about it. She needed all her time away from work to be with Zach and Grace, and they needed her. So she shoved aside her feelings for Will and made one of the hardest decisions she had ever made in her life.
As she walked out of his office, tears streaming down her face, she wasn't thinking about who in the office could see her, who saw her hug her boss far too tenderly, or what anyone was thinking. She was thinking about Will and the way he looked when she first opened the door. His face had lit up when he saw her. He looked almost hopeful, like he needed to tell her something. She wondered what that something could have been, but soon pushed it aside, off into a deep recess of her mind where she hoped to suppress all her feelings towards him.
Will paced nervously around his office. He sat on his couch, rearranged his magazines on the coffee table. Finding that he could not sit still, he stood, rebuttoned his jacket, and continued pacing. Finally, he forced himself to sit in a chair and think. His talk with Kalinda had made him realize something. Not that he was ready for something more than just work. This, he already knew. He knew that for years. But he wanted that something to be Alicia, and he wanted it bad. He loved her, he really did. He thinks he probably did love her ever since Georgetown and that was the reason he never thought about other women the way he thought about her. He could actually see himself spending the rest of his life with her, growing old together. He had hidden his true feelings in fear of scaring her off. She was so reserved, refusing to talk about what they were doing and never acknowledging that it was anything more than just fun. He understood this. She was, after all, still technically married, and had only recently split from Peter. But, he couldn't wait forever. He didn't need Alicia to reciprocate his feelings, but just give him hope that she would stick around, until one day, she could.
He began thinking of ways to tell her. Should he come right out with it like in that second voicemail he thought she had ignored, "Alicia, I love you." Or should he work his way up to it, letting her slowly take it in. He couldn't wait for her to come into his office, as she did each day before she left work, and also, he hoped she might never come, for years and years, so he would not have to do this.
He heard a soft knock on the door, and she walked in. He took a sharp intake of air. Seeing her every time was like seeing her for the first time, sitting by the pool at that party in Georgetown. She was so beautiful, with her glossy black hair and dark eyes that could always see through him. He suddenly was not so sure what he was so afraid of. It now seemed like the most natural thing in the world that he should tell her how he felt.
But he soon saw something else in her face, something more than the stress at Grace's disappearance yesterday. Before he could even begin to tell her anything, she dropped her head, "I can't, Will. It's too much… I can't."
It felt like his world was crashing down around him. His plan fell apart in shambles. He couldn't find any words, so he pulled her into a hug, thinking this might just be the last time he gets to hold her.
"I'm so sorry. I'm going to miss you."
He still doesn't speak, afraid that if he opens his mouth, he will betray his calm façade. And he needs to be strong for her right now. So he remains silent and hugs her closer, for all the office to see. What did it matter now? It was over anyway. His life was over. His hopes for a future with her crushed to pieces. He couldn't have a life outside of work with anyone but Alicia. He realized it wasn't the type of life that he wanted, it was her. He just wanted her in any way, but that wasn't a reality anymore.
So, he let her go. Let her run from his office with tears streaming down his face when all he wanted was to grab her and kiss them away, telling her that everything will be alright, that he will make it alright.
But, he doesn't. Like so many times before, he let her get away. He sat back in his chair, dejected, where he had sat only minutes before as the most hopeful man in the world.
When Diane offered him scotch, he wasn't surprised that she had seen the interaction. He also wasn't surprised that she thought he had ended it. After all, Alicia had been the one who cried. So he allowed her to think that. If he couldn't have Alicia, he would at least try to remain on good terms with Diane. His partnership with her was the closest he would ever come to a functional relationship with a woman. So he took the much-needed scotch from her hands.
"She'll get over it."
"Yeah, she will."