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The time between meeting and finally leaving
- is sometimes called falling in love.
Same Old Lonely Heart [The Good Wife]  
2nd-Apr-2013 06:54 pm
London Telefonzellen
Title: Same Old Lonely Heart

Author: [info]freiheitfuehlen

Pairing/Characters: Will/Alicia, Will/Laura, Peter/Alicia, Will, Alicia, Laura, Peter

Rating: T

Wort Count: 3667

Disclaimer: All television shows, movies, books, and other copyrighted material referred to in this work, and the characters, settings, and events thereof, are the properties of their respective owners. As this work is an interpretation of the original material and not for-profit, it constitutes fair use. Reference to real persons, places, or events are made in a fictional context, and are not intended to be libelous, defamatory, or in any way factual.

Author's Note: "Adulthood, he thought bitterly to himself. The years had forced conscience into passion and rationality into possibilities in a way that seemed to weigh him down more than it lifted the burdens from his ever tiring shoulders." This story gives every character I named time and opportunity to tell their version of events. Reviews aren't necessary but highly appreciated, just like con crit.

Same Old Lonely Heart

Well you see her when you fall asleep
But never to touch and never to keep
'Cause you loved her too much
And you dived too deep

Chicago, present day

Nothing was ever the same again after, Will thought. But after what exactly, he wondered and could not find an answer that fit. Instead of the easy banter and quiet laughs in between cases, the moments stretched on for hours, for days, for months now. Moments in which the silence was so deafening he was barely able to hear his angrily beating heart in his chest.

It was hard for people like them – or mostly just him, to continue to live and love after love. Nowadays he wondered whether or not he loved her still, whether or not the anger and disappointment in his own seemingly futile attempts to move on put nails in the coffin of their friendship. After all they had been friends first for the better part of adulthood.

Adulthood, he thought bitterly to himself. The years had forced conscience into passion and rationality into possibilities in a way that seemed to weigh him down more than it lifted the burdens from his ever tiring shoulders.

“You're thinking so loud I barely hear the music,” Diane smirked knowingly and handed him a glass of scotch, single malt and neat.

Will accepted the beverage with his right hand, lifted the tumbler and clinked his to hers.

“I'll drink to that.”

He took a sip and let the amber liquid run down his throat to settle easily in a welcome warmth in the pit of his stomach. Even if it had no abilities or strength to let his fears and guilt vanish he sincerely hoped that it would help him forget for as long as it needed to last to breath, to kiss red swollen lips and caress soft, pale skin. He needed to feel again. Will needed to exist again outside of their story and the complications it brought along.

Chicago, nearly a year ago

Vacuums meant danger. Whenever a vacuum existed it screamed for chaos, riots and deaths. An atmosphere filled with air which suddenly lacked oxygen would leave the people starving for breaths, creating an outrage of violent homicides simply in the futile attempt to save a life.

Two months after Will Gardner had resigned as partner at Lockhardt/Gardner and accepted the suspension of six months – away from the law and everything he had valued in his life until then, Diane had to give into the pressure of filling his office – or rather his position in the firm. The office was just a symbol of the partnership they had had in the eight years they had worked together and letting go of that was a painful, slowly progressing and terminal heartache for Diane Lockhardt but watching the firm – her firm, gradually losing clients and lawsuits, changes had to be made.

There was a soft knock on the door. Will looked up from the guitar in his hands and shrugged at his sister

Will stood up and walked to his door, his footsteps soft against the wooden floor and a smile on his face. Despite everything that had happened and every opinion Aubrey might have about his life, he loved his little sister and enjoyed the time they spent together whenever she came by.

He opened his door and was surprised to see Alicia on the other side of the threshold.

Alicia,” his voice was laced with curiosity and despite his best efforts, it was filled with joy.

Hi.” Alicia smiled at him with a hint of sadness and empathy in her gaze. “I heard. I just wanted to see how you were doing?”

I'm good. Finally time to go after my true calling...” He smiled and opened the door a little bit further to invite her in when Aubrey turned the corner and walked towards them.

Hi.” Aubrey stepped past Will and held out a hand to Alicia. “I'm Aubrey, Will's sister and who might you be?”

Aubrey was very different from this Will, Alicia noticed. She had an aura of change and optimism about her that she had first found attractive about her Will and that she assumed had been consumed by time and too many heartaches which she supposed she helped bring onto him, too.

Alicia. I work with your brother.” Alicia paused, looked from Aubrey to Will and back to Aubrey.

I just wanted to see how you were doing.”

Alicia looked at Will again, so many questions in her mind and so much guilt she felt that it seemed like it was going to break her if she stayed one more minute, one more moment in which their history was so overwhelmingly present in the space between them it might shatter her carefully built house of cards.

I need to go and pick up the kids from Peter's.”

Will nodded silently, thanked her for stopping by and promised to call with updates.

When the door closed to Alicia's retreating figure, Will sighed and turned around without looking at Aubrey.

Alicia, hu?” She asked curiosly.

Nothing's going on between us.” Will defended himself, walked over to the fridge and pulled out two bottles of beer.

But you wish it there was, don't you?”

That couldn't even begin to describe it, Will thought before taking a big gulp of his beer.

Staring at the bottom of your glass
Hoping one day you'll make a dream last
But dreams come slow and they go so fast

Chicago, present day

Alicia wanted to go back, wanted to undo all of the hurt and embarrassment. Alicia wanted to no longer be known for her husbands indiscretions or his philandering ways, for the pain and suffering he had caused her. Alicia wanted to buy the house they used to live in and maybe pretend that there was a chance things could turn out differently for her. Alicia wanted to believe that she really earned that promotion – her, her work and sacrifices, more than her connections, albeit strained, to the DA’s office and possibly the future governor. Alicia wanted to be able to tell her children that one day they might be a family again, with Peter. Alicia wanted for her relationship with Will to go back to the way it was when they hadn’t slept together. Alicia wanted to not think about his hands, his tongued, the feeling of his cock inside of her. Alicia wanted to honor her friendship with Laura by letting go of Will. Alicia wanted all of these things but mostly she really wanted to want them.

But, Alicia thought bitterly that just as her luck had run out a long time ago, she would not live to see the day when her longings failed to tear apart her own heart.

Chicago, nearly 5 years ago

I’m sorry.”

The voice startled her – out of her reverie. The constant sound of the news and the symmetrical tiling of white covering the bathroom floor do nothing to sooth the aching pain in her heart. The minutes ran away from her like sand in an hourglass and as the seconds fell out of whatever dream she had had for herself – for them really, the voices grew louder around her. Breathing got harder and harder until she had to sit down. She took a few steps back, let her back fall against the cold wall and slid to the ground ungracefully, almost as if all of her energy had been used up by this act of physical distance she was creating between herself and her dying marriage.

I’m sorry.

The words echoed in her ears, spinning in loops trying to make sense but failing miserably. Alicia knew people were sorry but the shame in the sentiment was that it did not make the slightest of differences. Pity would neither protect her from the impending public humiliation nor her marriage from imploding. All it really could do was show her how utterly helpless she was in this situation; merely a spectator in her own life she added bitterly to that train of thoughts, letting the pieces fall one by one.

You see her when you close your eyes
Maybe one day you'll understand why
Everything you touch surely dies

Chicago, present day

Our marriage didn’t end because of you. It ended because the people we were when we got married were versions of ourselves we wanted to be and we fooled ourselves in the belief that we could fake it for the rest of our lives.

Slowly and carefully, Peter Florrick traced the outlines of engravings that had been carved into the wooden tables of Margie’s Diner on Howard St. His fingers followed the faded lines of promise and faith. How had everything fallen apart with them standing by passively? Or maybe they had not simply stood by, but furthermore they had pushed and pulled with mighty force - drowned the idea of a forever in a gigantic sea of silence.

He brought the glass of Scotch he had ordered to his lips and let the amber liquid fill his mouth and throat with a comfortable warmness he had been longing for all of today. It was a gray December afternoon. It had been drizzling since dawn.

The bell above the door jingled and his head shot up quickly as though he was expecting someone. Her. But, there, he knew was no chance of her walking into this – their bar.

Unconsciously he had drawn circles on the wood with his left index finger. He stared at his hand so intensely it must have hurt his eyes. But if Peter Florrick focused hard he could still make out a faded tan line of where once was a wedding band.

Peter let his head fall against the wall behind him, took in a deep breath and closed his eyes in resignation.

Chicago, 7 years ago

Alicia,” He stretched out the syllables of her name in a way that let his annoyance bluntly show and it only made her more furious with him. “I said I was sorry, okay.”

Peter was exhausted and in need of a shower, food and a bed to rest his head after a long and strenuous day at the office. Arguing with his rage-filled wife was not on the list of things he wanted to do right now. And it showed.

You said that. But you’ve said it so many times. So are you, Peter, or is it just the most convenient thing for you to say.”

Her voice fierce, her posture stern with her arms up in the air gesturing wildly. She was on a mission to hurt him back in the way he had hurt her by standing her up one too many times.

Peter sighed, grabbed a beer from the fridge and headed for the shower, unbeknownst to himself or her with every step he took he put another nail in the coffin of their marriage, a silent eulogy for love.

In the end he thought there were too many obstacles, too few courage and not enough mercy.

Peter took a sip from his scotch; let it burn his lips in a need to feel something, anything apart from the helplessness that was beginning to drown him from top to bottom.

Or maybe they had lacked the discipline and the faith to look past the anger and disappointment and the constant strive for perfection, to realize the kind of love they shared was not to be taken for granted but furthermore a work in progress, a hard day's labor.

Peter sighed, emptied his glass of scotch and paid his bill. He no longer wanted to feel so utterly lonely in this crowd of strangers.

Staring at the ceiling in the dark
Same old empty feeling in your heart
'Cause love comes slow and it goes so fast

Chicago, present day

The clock was ticking, taking away seconds, minutes and hours and still she was sitting in exactly the same bar with exactly the same thoughts and not a solution to the questions of her restless mind.

I gave up a chance of happiness for you.

She traced circles on the wooden counter, breathing in and out quietly. In front of her sat a glass filled with scotch – neat, single malt that she was afraid to touch, to taste and yet she could not bear letting the bartender take it away.

So instead she sat lonely in a bar filled with eligible bachelors who had offered to buy her drinks on various occasions that night, just thinking about the taste of Scotch on her tongue and the feeling of liqueur burning her throat and the numbing comfort of carelessness it entitled.

“Can I buy you a drink?”

A handsome stranger stood beside her and grinned at her with a devious smile. Laura usually did not do this but her heart was broken and he seemed as good a chance at happiness as anyone she could meet in the future.

“Let's get out of here.” Laura suggested, swallowing the bitterness those words left in her mouth to take his hand in hers in order to get away from the broken dreams and empty promisses.

Chicago, nearly a week ago

Hello, stranger. You look handsome tonight.”

Will turned his head expecting to see Diane but instead he came face to face with Laura who looked stunningly beautiful in a deep red gown that dipped just low enough to let the imagination run crazy circles in his mind.

Fancy seeing you here,” Will said huskily, obviously affected by her beauty. “You clean up very nicely yourself.”

She bowed her head and when she looked up again, she smiled so shyly and genuinely his heart skipped a beat in his chest.

Always the charmer, aren't you?”

She said and laughed slyly. Will looked at her for one more moment in comfortable silence before he stretched out his right hand and asked smilingly,

Care to find out just how charming I can be?”

She winked at him and nodded in agreement. His hand slipped out of hers and settled on the small of her back as they made their way to the dance floor.

Will held her close as they swayed rhythmically to the music. Her perfume smelled sweet and fresh, like strawberries in the summertime. He liked it because it felt like change and change he needed desperately. Her hair felt soft against the side of his head and he closed his eyes to make a memory of this moment, to savor and treasure, for the sake of his mind.

Let's get out of here,” Will said, grabbed her hand and walked them off of the dance floor.

Only know you've been high when you're feeling low
Only hate the road when you're missin' home
Only know you love her when you let her go

And you let her go

Washington, 22 years ago

Hi, my friend James here.” He turned his head to point to his friend sitting at the bar counter just a couple of feet away. “He was just wondering whether or not you felt like having a drink with him? Don't let this get to you, he is indeed quite charming but look, you seem special to him and I've never seen him like that, so would you mind?”

Will said with a bright smile and raised his glass in suggestion.

The girl smiled shyly at him, in a way that made his heart tighten and jump in sheer joy, all at the same time.

On second thought,” Will said while leaning closer, inhaling her perfume and the scent of her shampoo, “Would you mind having a drink with me?”

The girl laughed and Will would later say that her laugh made him fall in love with her in the first place. She nodded her head lightly, leaning towards him until their shoulders bumped together.

I'm Will. What's your name?”

Will signaled the bartender to come over and take their orders. He turned his head to look at her and as corny as it might sound (He certainly would never admit to it, even under torture) his heart skipped a beat and when she spoke, he knew that he was screwed. Although, he wouldn't know until much later how utterly futile it would become to imagine someone else by his side, to actually have someone else in his bed and heart.


Chicago, present day

Her beauty drew people in, leaving them with either envy or adoration. Her perfect porcelain skin, her silky and long dark brown hair, those endless, perfectly toned legs and her radiant smile forced people to observe her every move and captivated the admiration of countless love-struck passersby.

Those were reasons Will had first noticed Alicia in the crowd of young, restless and determined law students many years ago.

Her intelligence impressed and aroused him. Her innocence and sexuality hypnotized him. But if someone were to ask Will why he stayed in love with Alicia for all of those years, he would tell them about her personality, her undying loyalty to people she loved and her kindness, her ability to forgive and accept imperfections in life.

“She is my wife!”

Peter was angry and Will should know better than to fight with a man, hurt deeply and clinging to the last thread of hope. But as selfish as it may be, Will was no longer willing to be a spectator in his own life, to watch the woman he loved struggling with what she wanted and what she wanted to want.

“Then punch me,” Will said daringly, standing up straighter and turning his body towards Peter.

There was silence in the space between them, many moments of what ifs and could ifs and missed chances to express their version of the truth. When Peter turned around to walk away, Will felt like for the first time in many years the silence felt more like victory than the broken pieces of a life not lived.

Well you see her when you fall asleep
But never to touch and never to keep
'Cause you loved her too much
And you dived too deep

Georgetown University, graduation day (many, many years ago)

Kurt Tocholsky once said that when someone gives a speech the audience must remain silent. So, I will use this opportunity or rather abuse it!

So bear with me while I am trying to share the wisdom I have gained in those last four years with you, my teachers, fellow students and friends.

It’s over.

The fact that I am allowed to stand up here and speak to you about the last four years we have spent together and the forty plus years that are yet come, proves without a doubt that a chapter in the book of our lives has been closed.

Firstly I want to take this chance to congratulate everyone who has successfully graduated from the Law School of the University of Georgetown and wish all those of you well who will be standing in our places in the years to come.

Every one of us has collected different memories throughout the years in the corridors of this historic school. And every one of you would share different stories, reminisce over different moments, contemplate different decisions and come to a different conclusion.

Unfortunately, there is not enough time to let every one of you share just one moment that made a special impression with us today, or so I was told.

So I’ll stand here by proxy reminiscing over the moments that I have treasured and praying that friendships we have formed will last for decades to come. Also I hope that once we leave that the anger, disappointment and frustration we left with our teachers and their insatiable desire for perfection will vanish. Furthermore I hope that we will have learned from them, that from now on we will strive for wisdom, knowledge, grace and discipline.

We will need to be wise enough to know when a battle we have fought with all we had is not for us to win.

We will need to know… so we can protect this society and the people in it.

We will need grace when it is on us to save the villain rather than the victim, for it is not our choice who lives or dies, who is free or incarcerated.

Mostly, though, we will need discipline to be wise, to gain knowledge and have grace.

I hope that you will take these words with you, wherever you might go and that you will learn to live by them.

I want you to be brave when your actions are needed.

I want you to speak up when your voice needs to be heard.

I want you to stand up for those who need help.

This is the end.

We have come together to celebrate so I will no longer hold your time captive in my futile attempt to hold onto the past. I always felt honored to walk these halls with you and therefore I am leaving with a sad smile on my face and the curiosity of an unknown future in my heart.

I am looking forward to the challenges that will be awaiting me once I leave this school.

There is nothing more to say now than my best wishes for every single one of you in the lives that you choose and for the obstacles that may arise.

Good luck! Farewell!”

William Paul Gardner stepped back from the speaker's desk, walked down the steps of the podium and into an unknown future with joy, hope and determination in his heart.

The end.

18th-Apr-2013 10:48 am (UTC)
What a beautiful and evocative story you've told here! I love the way you weave the past and present throughout, the emotional highs and lows of reality, and how you included Peter and Laura too. Simply lovely!

My favorite line: When Peter turned around to walk away, Will felt like for the first time in many years the silence felt more like victory than the broken pieces of a life not lived.
19th-Apr-2013 07:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Jen! It was a lot of fun writing it, too! It had been a long time since I'd written anything A/W then and I thoroughly enjoyed getting back into their minds.

One of my favorite lines, too. Thank you again!
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