Title: We Had EverythingAuthor: freiheitfuehlenPairing: Will/Alicia, Alicia/Peter, Will/Laura
Characters: Laura, Will, Kalinda, Alicia, PeterRating: TWort Count: 1838Disclaimer: 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: Four times Laura has important conversations and one time she has one with herself.
We Had Everything
It is still written in the scars of my heart.
I. The one where she finds reassurance.
Laura sat on a bar stool, staring at the drink in front of her and letting her right index finger wander around the rim of the glass. She was lost in her own thoughts when someone sat next to her and ordered two shots of tequila.
“Drink,” Kalinda said curtly and pointed towards the second glass before lifting her own up.
“You're the investigator, aren't you?” Laura raised one of her eyebrows and smiled crookedly.
“Drink up!” Kalinda said sternly and nodded her head in the direction of the still untouched glass in front of Laura.
“What was it again? Kirsten? No. Kara? Kalinda, right?”
Laura only got a brief nod and an intimidating look in response, so she took the glass of liquid oblivion and clinked it with Kalinda's.
“To life and all its perks!” Laura said, raised the glass to her mouth and let the alcohol run down her throat in hopes of finding some solace in its numbing effects.
They sat in silence for a good ten minutes and two more rounds of tequila before Laura turned her head to look at Kalinda. She opened her mouth and closed it again, trying to say something but either the words or the courage failed her.
They just sat there for another five minutes, breathing and contemplating in what felt like the most comfortable silence Laura had felt in a long time, months probably.
“You don't talk much, do you?” Laura whispered while tracing patterns on the wood with her fingers.
“No.” Kalinda said without further explaining herself.
“I thought.” Laura paused shortly to find the right words. “I really thought it could be something good, you know. I'm not in love or anything. But I thought that maybe, you know, that maybe I could be. With him, I thought I could be in love.”
Kalinda did not reply at first. She looked at Laura sympathetically, turned her head to order two more shots and sat up straighter while she faced Laura to say something.
“For what it's worth, if things were different he could have fallen in love with you, too.”
Laura sighed heavily.
“You mean, if he wasn't already in love with Alicia?”
“No.” Kalinda said, paid for the shots and zipped up her jacket. She stood up, turned to leave but halted in her tracks to speak the truth that had been secured so safely away in a box within a box within a box with no key to be found.
“If Alicia wasn't in love with him, too.”
II. The one where she envies the oblivious
She knocked on his door without really knowing whether or not she wanted him to be at work or not. She held the envelop close to her chest. She felt conflicted. On the one hand she felt so much gratitude for the chance she had been given and on the other hand she knew she needed to start fresh again, away from these complicated relationships and interwoven professional liaisons.
She knocked once more when she heard someone behind her rounding the corner.
“Miss Hellinger.” The State's Attorney said, stepping past her to open the door to his office. He held the door open for her and walked to his side of the desk.
“What can I do for you?” He said joyously with bright smile on his face.
“You are happy, Sir.” It was not supposed to sound like a question but nothing was supposed to and yet everything did feel uncertain and fragile these days.
“Well indeed I am.” Peter smiled and looked at the photo of his family on his desk.
It felt like a hundred burning arrows piercing through her heart when she realized that not only was he seemingly unaware of a truth which could turn his world upside down, but furthermore that she felt unable to break the silence between them and tell him what she assumed he had feared the most in those last few months she had gotten to know him.
She wanted to tell him that his wife was in love with the person Laura had tried to date, the one person that Laura supposed could end the marriage of Peter and Alicia Florrick; not because Alicia did not love her husband anymore but because she seemed unable to fall out of love with William Paul Gardner and had failed to do so in approximately twenty years.
Laura nodded sadly, handed him the envelop and told him that she could no longer work for him. She told him about the offer she got from Canning and the position she would fill in their branch in New York City in four weeks time. Also she told him she wished him luck for the governor's race and for his family.
Laura Hellinger wished him well from the whole of her heart and she wished him the courage and the strength to let go when the time came. And Laura was certain that the time would come.
III. The one where she bends the truth just a little
“Peter told me you were leaving.”
Alicia sounded genuinely upset and Laura felt the tiniest bit of insecurity at her decision to leave Chicago. To Alicia it must feel like betrayal, Laura guessed, but it could not be further from the truth.
Laura was quiet for a moment, holding the phone to her ear and listening to the sound of her beating heart. If only Alicia were in a place where the truth would not send her into her own world of should be and need to be and promised to be. If she were then maybe the truth would be something Laura would be willing to offer instead of platitudes and tangential statements of honesty.
She did not say anything after that, nothing of importance at least. They talked without saying much and they made promises Laura was not sure they could keep.
When she hung up the phone, staring at the ceiling in her bedroom she realized that losing a friend sometimes meant protecting a friend, no matter the own personal cost.
IV. The one where she is honest with herself
Laura Hellinger had seen misery and pain executed by the hands of bitter men, in search of justice or so they had believed. She had seen roads paved with broken dreams and houses built on grief. Laura had seen enough in her life to know not to engage in a battle she had no chance of winning. So Laura Hellinger had decided to walk away.
Also, her time in the military had taught her the importance of honor and faith among friends. Laura knew that whatever Will and Alicia had, it might not have stood a chance in the difficulties of everyday life but it was important enough to them to keep them from moving on in small parts of their lives. The things that pulled them together, Laura knew, weren't the grand gestures and romantic proclamations of love. It was in the details, she understood.
It was not about rings and promises of forever but instead it was about the first coffee in the morning that reminded them of their time at Georgetown when they had brought each other coffee to get through a stressful day of lectures and too much information to absorb.
It was not about love till death do them part but instead it was about loyalty and faith in the work they did together. It was about trust and friendship. It was about pizza at the end of a hectic work day and beers to reminisce over past adventures.
It was not about certificates and shared living space but instead it was about phantasies and shared moments of endless possibilities. Will and Alicia were never and would never be anything close to happily ever after in the cliched kind of way because their romance would always come at a high price of isolation and most likely public humiliation, Laura assumed.
Despite everything, Laura Hellinger knew and it made her chuckle out of sheer bitterness, Will and Alicia's relationship was based on and would always stand on twenty years of fleeting moments of love and longing.
Laura had learned in the hardest way possible that battles which could not be won should never be engaged in, in the first place.
V. The one where she realizes she was right
They run into each other at a conference in Washington three years after she had left Chicago. He looks good, a little worn from time and a terribly consuming job, but to her he looks happy and content. She wondered what he had been up to when she saw him at the hotel bar before she caught his attention. In those few moments she let her imagination wander, let herself think about a life she had almost lived if only, she remembered Kalinda's words, things had been different.
He waved at her, motioning for her to join him at the bar and just like she always had she could not and probably would never be able to resist the charms of Will Gardner.
“You look great.” Will said, taking in her beauty and feeling his heart skip a beat when she smiled radiantly back at him.
“It's called happiness.” Laura joked before ordering a drink for herself.
“Ginger ale?” Will asked curiously.
“I've been told that alcohol shouldn't be consumed during pregnancy. It's tough sometimes but I've managed to control my urges so far. At least some of them.”
Will smiled at her and when he spoke, he did so with happiness in his voice and heart.
Their banter was easy again and Laura felt relieved. The tension she had feared would be omnipresent in any future encounters turned out to be nothing more than a figment of her imagination. She smiled, too, and then she asked softly and with genuine care.
“Are you happy, Will?”
He chuckled, took a sip from his drink and then he said the words she had longed to hear him say, even if part of her had hoped it would be because of her rather than somebody else.
Will said with the distinctive look of happiness and love on his face and in his heart that only one person had ever been able to make him feel like.
Will had given away his heart to a smart, beautiful and kind woman when he had been 22 years old and it had taken him a quarter of a century, but he had finally made her his. Laura could not have been happier than she was in that moment to hear that two good friends of hers had finally found their way home.