I've written this story after a very nice message from Nosferatu's-Cigarette-Binge, so this one's for her and of course everyone who liked An Unfortunate Encounter. I really hope you like it. And again, if there are any mistakes in it, don't be afraid to tell me.
"Will?" Diane was standing in front of her partner's not so tidy desk. Papers were lying everywhere and Will seemed to be deep in thought. Diane had not bothered to knock or even wait until he acknowledge her presence, because she knew all too well that her request was something he couldn't decline, after all, he owed her. Will finally looked up, surprised to see her standing there, but before he could even do as much as open his mouth to say anything, she continued, "Remember that time where you asked me to go to your reunion?" Will could recall this particular evening as though it had been only yesterday instead of four months ago. "I helped you out then, didn't I?" Will nodded. He had a distinct feeling he wasn't going to like this conversation, but he kept quiet. "Well, I have a gala fundraiser next Friday and I was wondering if you could..." She didn't finish her sentence and to Will's bafflement, she was no longer smiling, but looked rather miserable. Desperation was now clearly audible in her voice. "I already said I would come and I do want to come, it's for children in Africa. The only problem is that when I agreed, I didn't know Malcolm Overby was going to be there too." Will could barely hide his confusion. "I thought you said you were friends?" "We were. I even dated him for a while, but now he won't stop buggering me. You have no idea what a self centered arrogant bastard he is!" Various people including Alicia and Eli looked in their direction, which was why Will fervently mouthed; 'keep your voice down, will you'. This earned him a raised eyebrow, though she did lower the volume of her voice. "Please Will, I helped you too." The words were barely above a whisper, but Will understood she was deadly serious. It only seemed fair to agree, after all she was right, it was because of her that he'd found the courage to stand up against Thomas. "fine." he said with only the slightest hint of reluctance.
The simple truth was Will hated galas, fundraisers and every other event organized by lawyers. Of course being a lawyer himself he couldn't say he disliked the profession, he only didn't like most people who practiced law. All those gala fundraisers were for most only a way of entertainment and Will hated the hypocrisy of it. It did not hold true for everyone, he had to admit this, because Diane really cared for charity, which, ironically, also caused most of their arguments. Still out of all her annoying habits, Will admired her most for her compassion, even if it often irritated him to no end, especially now the economy was so bad. In short, he hadn't been looking forward to Friday and, in his opinion, it came much too soon. He'd agreed to pick her up, so after he quickly replaced his normal suit with a tuxedo, he grudgingly stepped into his car. He was a bit late, but he figured she wouldn't mind, for they would be able to slip inside unseen and avoid a certain unwelcome person. He couldn't help, but gasp when Diane appeared. They were only friends, but her figure hugging red dress was stunning and well, he was a man. Most of the journey they spend in silence, in fact they had almost reached their destination when Diane finally spoke. "Thanks Will, I really appreciate this." "It's what friends do. By the way is this a boyfriend kind of thing or am I just keeping you company as a friend tonight?" He silently hoped it was the latter, though he would not blame her if it was the former. After all he'd done the same. "You're here as my friend. The place will be filled with lawyers and it would be very awkward if we'd have to explain our situation afterwards, don't you think?" Will could imagine the questioning looks they would receive if he told them they'd just pretended to be a couple to mislead Malcolm. It wasn't a pleasant idea. Fortunately it wouldn't come that far, he thought, feeling relieved as they walked into the building.
Diane had dreaded Friday probably as much as Will. Malcolm's attention had been flattering in the begin, but was now getting extremely annoying. She looked around and to her delight she didn't spot Overby, unfortunately she'd cheered too early. "Diane, I already thought I heard you talking." The man shot her a wide smile, ignoring Will completely. He stepped closer and she fought the urge to back away. "You look great. Could I offer you something to drink?" His manners were what made her fall for him, but at the moment his charms seemed pretended and made her want to throw up. "No, but perhaps Will wants something." The sickly sweet tone she used went completely past Malcolm, who now turned his attention to Will. "And what brings you here? I thought you didn't like these events?" he asked rudely. Will, however, remained perfectly composed. "Well, if Diane wants me to come with her, I'll gladly comply." "But you're no longer needed, so you can go home." Malcolm grabbed Diane's arm rather harshly and pulled her with him. A flash of pain was visible on her face, only for a split second, but it was enough to set Will off. "Not so fast!" Malcolm finally let go of Diane's arm and Will put an arm around her shoulder while she resisted the urge to rub the sore spot on her arm. " I don't think you really understand what is going on. I'm here as her date." He put emphasis on the last word to make sure it was utterly clear to the other man. Diane hid her shock very well, but when Malcolm left after a disbelieving snort, she looked at her friend gratefully. "I can't believe I'm saying this, but you're my hero!" "It was nothing." He made an indignant movement with his hand. The rest of the evening they were actually having a good time, talking to each other and occasionally having conversations with other lawyers. That is to say, until she became painfully aware of a pair of eyes that followed her every move. "Oh for goodness sake!" "What's the matter?" Will asked, completely oblivious to the source of her discomfort. "Malcolm keeps staring at us. It's very annoying." "Then I believe there's only one option." Diane turned to look at him in confusion, wanting an explanation she started, "What are you talk..." Her words were cut of by Will's mouth on hers. Her first impulse was to push him away and slap him, but then it dawned on her; there's only one option, the only way to convince Malcolm he didn't stand a chance with her. As professional actors they faked a kiss. After a couple of minutes they broke away and shared a moment of understanding. "This was your brilliant plan?" She whispered. "Seems like it worked though." He shrugged his shoulders.
The relieve coursing through her body immediately vanished when she saw Peter Florrick and Eli standing next to Overby. They both looked startled and she knew they had some explaining to do next Monday, however when she saw Malcolm's expression she decided it was worth it. "Oh no, he's coming over." Her voice sounded just as tired as she felt. "I thought you had more taste than that." He said loud enough for the rest of the room to hear it, while pointing at Will in disgust. " You're making a big mistake Diane, He's a bastard, he doesn't love you." Suddenly a grin spread across his face. "Then again maybe I should be thanking him, after all you know what they say about you." He came closer, invading her personal space. The other guests had formed a circle around the three of them, keen to follow every word. "You're an ice queen. What makes you think I want such a bitch?" The words were dripping with venom. "Oh don't look so shocked, you must've noticed no one likes you." Diane was genuinely hurt and for one moment she didn't know what to say. Will stepped defensively in front of her, the crowd making noises, some encouraging them to fight. Yes, lawyers could be just as childish as everyone else and at the moment Will wanted nothing more than to punch that infuriating smile from his opponent's face. He would have, hadn't Diane recovered from her shock and pushed him aside. "Out of my way Will." He'd never seen her look so furious and did as she asked. As soon as she stood in front of Malcolm she straightened her back and looked about to say something, but instead she punched him square in the face. It was a painful blow, Will could see that very clearly from where he stood. Eli whistled admiringly. "That was a nice one. Remind me not to get on your bad side." Diane gave him a smile, before she grasped Will's hand to drag him with her as she made her way outside. "Wow Diane, I didn't know you could do that." He said when they were driving home. Only then he noticed she was looking rather sad and he was sure he saw a tears forming in her eyes, though after she blinked, they were gone. "It was not true, you know? What he said… Maybe the people who don't really know you, call you an ice queen, but we... I mean me and the other employees at Lockhart/Gardner don't. We admire you, because we know you really care. Look you're one of my best friends and he's just a bitter little man, who feels rejected. The fact that it is painful to hear such things, doesn't make them true. You must never think that." When she looked at him, the tears flowed freely over her cheeks. "Thanks Will, you're really a good friend." "And I think you made quite an impact on Malcolm." He hesitated for a moment, but eventually said, "Let's grab a drink, I'll pay." She smiled. "Why do all our evenings together end with one of us turning violent?" They both laughed, glad to have found such a good friend in each other.
"You know I've spend all my life protesting against violence, but now I've tried it, I must admit it feels quite good." "Well it depends on the person. I can still picture Thomas' face after I hit him. It was priceless, even better than alcohol." He raised his glass and she followed his example. "Better than alcohol indeed, but this was my first and last time. I still prefer the grown up way to solve problems." Some things never changed, even though Malcolm had clearly deserved it, Diane was still against fighting and he had to agree. After one drink they decided to call it a night and go home. "I had a great night!" Will said when he parked his car in front of her house. "You know what? Me too! She wanted to close the door, but waited a moment before saying, "Not a word about this at the office." she looked sternly at him, but her glare lost its effect, because of the twinkling in her eyes. "If I don't say anything, Eli will." "I get the feeling I probably won't see the end of this for a very long time." "No I don't think you will." Diane simply chuckled while she slammed the door of his car shut and made her way to her house. Oh, Will couldn't wait for it to be Monday.