The Good Wife: The Itch
A/N: Your reviews are all so gracious and kind and keep me motivated to keep going. I'm so glad so many of you are enjoying this story! Hopefully this chapter isn't a let-down… It's significantly shorter than the last one but I felt I said all that needed to be said here. Anyway, onward and enjoy…
"So where do we start?" Alicia asked; not knowing the answer herself but hoping that Peter might.
Peter lay on his back with his arms folded behind his head and staring up at the ceiling as he attempted to gather his thoughts. In the large bed there was easily enough distance between them to fit two or three more bodies and Peter sighed as he thought of the irony. How there had always been more people involved in their marriage than ever should have been. Though he had to accept some, if not most, of the blame in that as well.
"Well for starters, this-" he signaled between the two of them with a wave of his hand, "is a problem for me"
"What is?" Alicia asked slightly confused.
"The fact that I can be so close to you but feel so far apart at the same time" he told her as he turned on his side to face her.
"Peter I told you I-" she began to defend herself but Peter cut her off.
"I know, you're not ready yet, and I get that. I understand. But the line has just gotten so… blurred, recently and it's hard for me to keep my emotions separate from what we've got going on here, do you know what I mean?" he asked and she slowly nodded.
"I know. It's hard for me too. I think about you… all the time Peter" she admitted sincerely, almost sadly if he wasn't mistaken.
"You do?" Peter's voice seemed to brighten up at that and Alicia giggled softly.
"Yes" she confirmed, placing her hand down to rest on the mattress space between them, picking at an imaginary loose thread in the cotton sheets. Anything to keep her gaze concentrated anywhere but in his eyes as she didn't fully trust herself to be able to say everything she wanted to if he kept looking at her like that; like there was still twenty years worth of love in his eyes.
"I think about you all the time too" he told her genuinely as he shifted slightly closer to her and let his hand fall on top of hers.
She swallowed the dry lump in her throat. This might be harder than she thought.
She finally looked up to meet his gaze and saw the soft smile playing on his lips. It took all her control not to bring her hand up and run it through his hair like she had easily done hundreds of times before when they'd lay in bed together like this. She loved the smell of him after a shower. His own particular scent that was a mixture of citrus shampoo, masculine soap, a dusting of aftershave, and something uniquely Peter. Back before her world was taken out from under her they used to lay together like this. He would usually get home late from work and find her already in bed. He'd shower before coming to join her and as they lay there talking about their day she would always turn to him before they went to sleep and run a hand through his still dampened hair, then to the smooth skin of his freshly shaved cheek before bringing him in for a quick but sweet goodnight kiss. Her lips involuntarily twitched upwards into a small smile as she reflected back on the memory.
They lay there for a few more moments of silence, Peter drawing lazy patterns against the back of her hand with his finger and just staring into each others eyes. He wished he could hold onto this moment forever. Spend every night with her like this though he knew that was anything but feasible at the moment. Still, he could enjoy it while it lasted.
"Still, that doesn't un-complicate our situation" Alicia began again a moment later finding her voice again and Peter frowned slightly, though he knew she was right.
"I know" he sighed heavily.
"It's easy for us to feel great about everything 'in the moment'. I mean, being in the moment is kind of our thing" she said with a small smirk. "But this isn't just about us, or our moments. This is our lives, our family, our children, our careers. There's a lot to consider here"
"Yeah, I've actually been thinking a lot about that" Peter mentioned, his gaze now fixed on their hands that lay joined between them. "I wasn't implying that us getting back together is going to be easy and a quick fix to everything that's happened in our past or even what our future holds. I know that there is a lot of work to put in, but I want to make the effort with you. I'll do whatever it takes Alicia. I'll go to counseling, I'll sell the house, I'll keep the house if that's what you wanted" he amended with a light shrug. "If you're worried about what would happen to us or your career if I were elected governor I'll call Eli right now and drop out of the race" he mentioned with an air of indifference.
"Peter" she gasped in surprise.
"I mean it" he quickly assured her, inching closer still and closing more of the distance between them.
"If me winning the election and having to move to Springfield means losing you and the kids… I wouldn't even have to think twice about what I'd choose. My job is my job, but you and the kids… you're my life" He told her sincerely, his eyes never leaving hers.
Alicia remained silent and still as a single tear escaped her and slowly rolled down her cheek, the words consuming her every thought as she realized she had always felt the exact same way. True, as Peter mentioned, the lines may have gotten blurred now and then, but when it came down to it his words put everything into perfect perspective and she couldn't argue that.
Peter frowned slightly and scooted over a little closer to her until they were only inches apart, taking his hand away from hers to wipe away the tear with the pad of his thumb.
"Please don't cry sweetheart" he whispered quietly, his tone so sincere and loving that it nearly broke her. Alicia couldn't hold back the stream of tears that followed and Peter quickly gathered her in his arms and pulled her close against his chest as her arms wrapped around him and held on tightly to all the comfort he offered her.
Something in his voice the way he spoke to her now, Alicia couldn't deny it any longer. She knew now that he did in fact love her and it hit her like a ton of bricks when she realized she never stopped loving him either and suddenly all the walls around her that she had built up came crumbling down in a matter of moments. When he held her in his arms she wished they could stay like that forever; safe in their little cocoon, away from the press and the campaign and their jobs and just the world in general. These past few months whenever she was with him everything had felt right again and it scared her, but she was kidding herself if she really thought they could just go on like this forever. It wasn't just him who wanted more from her; she just wasn't ready to admit it to him or even to herself.
"Alicia I love you so much" he whispered against her hair before placing a kiss there. "I will never hurt you again, you have to believe me"
"I do…" he heard her mumble against his shirt.
"You… you do?" He asked to clarify, pulling her back slightly so he could see into her eyes that were now moist from tears.
"Yes Peter" she confirmed quietly. "I know you've changed. It doesn't fix everything but… I think it's a start. I'd like it to be the start" she told him with a small smile as she wiped away the last few remaining tears.
Peter stared at her for a brief moment. He knew they wouldn't walk out of this hotel room in the morning a perfectly happy reconciled couple, but if she was willing to admit that this was a start, that said to him that their ending wasn't finished yet and it was all he needed to hear in that moment.
Not being able to help himself any longer he leaned down to her and drew her in, his lips crashing against hers. Pouring every thought in his heart and every word he couldn't say into the searing kiss Peter realized he hadn't felt this connected to his wife in years and it wasn't something he ever wanted to forget again. Alicia's hands came up to rest on his cheeks as she held him as close as possible, returning the kiss with equal physical emotion.
When the need for oxygen overcame them both Peter ended the kiss and leaned his forehead against hers; their ragged breaths mixing between them in the aftermath of what was arguably the greatest kiss they had ever shared.
"You're amazing" he told her and she smiled.
"You can't give up the race" she told him calmly and he furrowed his brow, looking at her rather confused.
"Really?" he asked to clarify.
"I think it's… pre-mature of us to put this kind of pressure on ourselves when we don't even know what the outcome will be. Maybe you won't even win, but I would hate that you gave up your chance for what you've worked so long and so hard for for a hypothetical situation. Besides that you'd be giving up on your dream for me, and I know you say you want to, but I couldn't live with myself knowing what a huge sacrifice I caused you. And if, heaven forbid, Kresteva won? I think we'd both resent me" she said with a small smirk and it caused Peter to let out a soft chuckle before she continued again.
"What I'm saying is, whatever hurdles come our way we should just tackle them one at a time. Together" she finished with a genuine smile.
"So, what exactly does this mean for us?" Peter asked just to clarify he wasn't reading more into this than he should.
"It means… we're trying. Working things out" she mentioned with a small shrug. "I'm not ready for us to move back in together, but I do think we should spend more time together and… maybe even involve the kids"
"Are you sure?" Peter asked cautiously. This was a huge step for her, but he felt genuine relief because he knew it meant she was serious.
"We've been… pretending for a long time Peter. I think it's time we gave it a real shot and we can't do that if we're sneaking around behind our children's backs and lying to the people we care about"
"Alicia, you have no idea what this means to me" Peter told her sincerely before taking her hand in his and bringing it up his lips to place a kiss on her smooth skin.
"Actually, I do" she mentioned with a sly grin playing on her lips and Peter raised a questioning eyebrow at her. "Because it means everything to me too" she finished and the smile Peter gave her practically lit up the entire room.
Alicia brought her hand up to smooth through his hair before pulling him down towards her for a sweet and gentle kiss, savouring the moment between them. The kiss was quick, like a habit and Peter grinned against her lips. He could certainly get used to this again.
"Well, I know you're exhausted" he said after a few moments of silence had passed between them. "What do you say we get some sleep?"
"Let's" Alicia smiled up at him before snuggling herself into his side. Peter draped his arm around her and held her closely against him, a smile still playing on his lips as he stared up at the ceiling.
Finally, he had his wife in his arms again. Only this time, he'd never let her go.
A/N: Well folks, I hope this lived up to at least some of your expectations and didn't disappoint. This will be the final piece of this fic (hey, don't complain, you got an extra 4 chapters out of me :P) but not to worry, I'm sure I'll write more for this fandom, and these two in particular. Until next time…