Once more a story started long ago but never finished up.
It is a combination of two ideas I had and a lot of talk with my wonderful twitter Kalinda (Terri), whom this is dedicated and written for, as she really wanted to see this.
I don't own The Good Wife, or the songs Music of the Night or Have I Told You Lately That I love You.
Music of the Night
Alicia woke up from her deep slumber and sat up in the bed. Confused by where she was, along with why she had woken up so suddenly. She had known the moment she woke up that she was not in her own bed, but somewhere else. As her senses started to kick in she remembered where she was: in a guestroom in her old house. A room she had stayed in for the last two nights, since the night before the wake of Jackie's.
She had agreed to stay in the house for a couple of nights for the kids' sake, and also a little for Peter's, if she was completely honest with herself. She had first thought of having the kids with her at the apartment these days but had realized that Peter was already hurting because of his mother's death so she had opted to stay.
The wake had taken hard on the kids. Grace had cried last night, and Alicia had ended up spending most of the night in her daughter's bed. However she had seemed better today, even after the real funeral. However Alicia had still stayed an extra night just to be on the safe side, plus she had not wanted to leave Peter alone with the responsibility, especially now then he was hurting himself.
Alicia looked around the room trying to figure out why she had woken up, but she had no idea, - until she heard the soft sound of a piano. She got up from the bed, and grasped her silk-rope pulling it around herself as she carefully opened the door, wanting to figure out what it was that she had heard. She walked out into the hallway. The guestroom she was in was on the ground floor compared to all the upstairs bedrooms where the kids and Peter slept. She walked down the hallway, and the notes of the music became louder. She already had an idea of what it was but she wanted to be sure. She entered the living room with the grand piano in, and saw Peter playing at it. Just as she had thought she might when she first heard the notes.
He was sitting in the almost completely dark room, the only light in there being from the full moon outside. His fingers were sliding over the keys letting the melody take form.
A part of her was a little surprised to find him here, playing. She had not known he had taken it up again since moving back. Another part of her knew he was only playing because it was something he could focus on when he was awake in the middle of the night. It was after all not the first time she found him sitting there.
Years ago before everything fell apart and they moved from the house, it used to be something he did a lot. Especially if he had a case or issue at work going on that kept him and troubled him. If she woke up in the middle of the night and he was not in bed with her, she had normally been able to find him here. He had also played many occasions for both the kids and her, to cheer them up or just because he knew how much they liked it. The melody was melancholy and a clear expression of his feelings at the moment.
She felt a little bit of regret wash over her. She had been so focused the last couple of days on how Zach and Grace were handling Jackie passing away that she had not really asked or tried to figure out how he was really dealing with it. She knew he was hurting, but she had really given much thought to how he really was taking everything. Something she now felt rather bad for not really thinking about; though they were separated, and only still married in name, they were friends in some way. And she was probably still the only one he had he would even think about sharing his thoughts and feelings with. She could not really see him telling Eli anything and while she had Owen and now Kalinda again as well, and in some way probably Will as well, Peter did not have anyone like that. His sister Hannah and he did not really get along and she was surely not someone he would share his thoughts and feelings with, the same went for Hannah's husband. And he did not really have any close friends either. No, she really was the only one he would ever tell something about his feelings to. And she had just focused all her attention on the children. Sure it was her instinct and her children would always come before anyone else, but she could maybe have shared a little of her attention and asked him more about how he was doing. After all she had only gotten through her own father's death because of Peter, who had been her pillar of strengths at that time.
Her father who she had always viewed as her number one idol and the strongest man she knew had died of cancer 8 years before. She had gone to visit him in L.A. with the kids in their spring break. She had noticed he seemed a bit different while they were there, but not really thought about it very much. Peter had joined her and the kids for the last weekend of the vacation. When they had returned from the vacation, Peter had sat her down one night and asked her if she realized that her father was very ill. She had been completely caught off ground and had denied it, and fought with him about it, until he had talked her down and convinced her that something really was wrong. She had called Owen (who at that point used to live in. L.A. as well). Owen had agreed to look into it and get their father to the doctor, who had send him at the hospital where they had decided that they needed to open him up to figure out what was wrong. It had been cancer in the pancreas, which had spread to other organs. There was nothing to be done.
Alicia had been in shock and Peter had held her the whole night after she had gotten the message, while she cried. Peter also look into every possible help or alternative treatment they could get him, that might give him more time or heal him, but there was nothing to do. In the end he made her go to L.A. and spend the little time her father had left with him. The doctors had said he would only live two more months. It ended up only being one.
It was a month where Peter came out to her as much as he could as well, sometimes with the kids, sometimes without, leaving them with Jackie. Peter had been there for her in every way she could imagine, he had even helped her get the funeral arranged, when he realized that Owen did not really know how to help with that.
She was honestly not sure what she would have done without him at that time. Sure she had helped him when his father died, but his mother and sister had taken care of most things back then, and she had just supported him in his loss. In her situation he had more or less made sure she ate and took care of herself, as well as made sure everything was in order to the funeral, because he knew how much that meant to her.
Now he was the one going through a loss. Yes, she had helped out getting things a little in order regarding the funeral, but Hannah had insisted on doing most of it her way. Something Alicia knew had annoyed and frustrated Peter a lot. However she had still not done something. She took a deep breath and prepared herself to say something as she heard him play the last couple of notes of the melody.
"I did not know you started to play again?" She let out. Her voice soft and gently, hoping not to stall him too much with her presence. Peter did not seem stalled at all, nor did he bother to look over at her.
"I haven't." He answered her. His voice seemed clear and confident, no hint about his feelings shown through it. Alicia was a little caught off ground by this.
"Oh... I just assumed..." She started to say.
"This is the first time." he interrupted her. Alicia nodded mostly to herself as he was still not turned so he could see her. She took a couple of steps further over to him.
"How long have you known I was listening?" She whispered, hoping he was not annoyed that she had been there for some time enjoying him playing.
"Since the moment you entered the room. I am sorry if I woke you up. That was not my intention." He told her, as he finally looked over at her.
She saw that he was still wearing the white shirt he had on the whole day and most likely the pants as well. Something that indicated he had not even tried to go to bed tonight.
"It is alright. I just woke up and heard you. And wanted to make sure what the sound was." She walked over so she was standing beside him. "Vivaldi, Autumn as far as I remember. Jackie always liked Vivaldi." Alicia told him softly.
"She did." He agreed. This time his voice seemed to weaver a little. He turned back to the piano letting his fingers slide over the keys, without pressing down on them.
"You should play something more," she encouraged him gently.
Peter waited a short moment but then decided to take her advice and started to play again.
As far as she recognized he it was still playing Vivaldi but Winter this time. She stood beside him for a moment listening to the soft tune, before she walked over to the other side of him and carefully sat down on the bench beside him. He moved a little to give her more space. It was a way they had been sitting 100, no, more, like 1000 of times before. It felt both a little weird, and a little sad, but it also felt nice. And she realized that this was actually something she had missed. She had missed the tender moments they used to share like this one. Her thoughts drifted to other times he had played for her in the middle of the night, while the kids were asleep upstairs. He had tried to teach her how to play, but she never became very good at it, and the fact was that she had only really agreed to let him teach her, because of how intimate it was- being pressed against his chest while his hands guided hers, helping her find the right keys. She was pulled from her memories as he finished Winter as well.
He stopped and looked at her for a moment. She gave him a soft smile in indication that she had liked it, and hoped he would continue to play. He took a moment before turning back around and letting his fingers drift over the keys once more before he started to play. This time it wasn't Vivaldi. Alicia felt her breath catch a little then she heard the first couple of notes. She knew it had most likely been a reflex in him to go with that song. The song he had played so many times for her, that she had lost count of them. It was the one he knew she preferred, those times she had asked him to play something for her. It was also their wedding song, which was the real reason behind her light shock and lack of breath. She turned her focus onto his fingers moving over the keys with ease, making the melody come to life. They had done this so many times. She felt a tightening in her chest as she listened to him play, unwillingly letting the memories of the past wash over her. Both good and bad ones. However she knew she needed to push them away for now. It was not the time or place to dwell on those. Peter wouldn't be able to handle that now. Instead she concentrated on remembering the words. Not that it made things much better. As she felt a few tears on her cheek, she quickly brushed away. Of course she knew it was a habit he went with that song. But still at this moment when she knew he was troubled, and hurting, whose words within the song was more than a little overwhelming and closer to heart. She took a quick look at his face and confirmed a suspicion that he might feel the same, when she saw a tear on his cheek for once. She was tempted to reach over and brush it away, but she stayed still. Just letting the song fill her.
Have I told you lately that I love you?
Have I told you there's no one else above you?
Fill my heart with gladness, take away all my sadness,
Ease my troubles, that's what you do.
For the morning sun in all it's glory,
Meets the day with hope and comfort too,
You fill my life with laughter, somehow you make it better,
Ease my troubles, that's what you do.
There's a love less defined,
And its yours and its mine,
Like the sun.
And at the end of the day,
We should give thanks and pray,
To The One, to The One.
AN. As said there will be another chapter. Hint why it is rated M (as that is one of the prompts for the story).
Another note is that some of the story I used for Alicia's father is a true story. My mother's story of her father. Not completly the same, but in many ways. My father was the one telling her if she realized her father was very ill after a dinner with him. And she had to call her sister and ask her to get him to the doctor as she was going back home (another part of the country the next day). Unfortunetly she could not get to do what I let Alicia do spending the last time with him. So it was kinda personal to write this. But I always loved that story of how my father was the one to tell her so much, that I decided to use it here.