lowriseflare (lowriseflare) wrote,
lowriseflare
lowriseflare

Fic: Let Me Be the One You Rearrange (The Good Wife, Will/Alicia)

Title: Let Me Be the One You Rearrange
Fandom/ Pairing: The Good Wife, Will/Alicia
Rating: PG-13ish
Word Count: 2724
Summary: He’s not sure if she knows what she’s doing to him, but he kind of thinks maybe she does.
Author's Note: OH GOD, there are so many other things I should have been doing besides this. Will and Alicia at Georgetown. I blame poeelektra.




Jay has a hard-on for some girl in his civil procedure study group, so he bangs into the apartment and tells Will they’re going out.

“Now?” Will asks. He’s got three more cases to outline for tomorrow, and--as opposed to Jay, who’s only here to earn himself some street cred before he makes junior VP at his father’s software company in Palo Alto--Will actually needs to hustle if he has any hope of passing his first semester of law school.

“Now,” Jay proclaims. They’ve been roommates for more than a month and Will’s used to the way he’s got of making declarations, like he’s already prepping for court. Sometimes it’s easier not to fight. “We’re young men, William. It’s not good for us to spend so much time...here.“ Jay grins around at the mess they live in, all dirty sweatpants and day-old pizza boxes. “Anyway, she’s bringing her weird roommate, so I already told her you’d come.”

“Well, when you put it that way.” Will sighs noisily, grabs his worn leather jacket off the back of his desk chair. He’s got a girlfriend at home in Chicago. This is probably a terrible idea. “One beer.”

*

The roommate, whose name is Alicia, isn’t particularly weird--a little quiet, maybe, like she’s paying attention to everything, tallying it all up in her mind. Her eyes are dark and serious. Her hair falls in her face.

Jay’s teaching Sarah to play pool, some ridiculous romantic comedy maneuver. The bar smells like ketchup and Bud Light. When he glances over at Alicia she’s watching him, curious, like she’s making mental notes. “What?” he asks.

“Nothing,” she says, shaking her head a little, twisting the paper from her straw around long, tapered fingers. “Well.” She pauses for a minute, bites her lip like she’s deciding. “Honestly?”

“Honestly.”

“I was expecting you to be weirder.”

Will throws his head back and laughs, something coming loose deep behind his ribs. Maybe he did need to blow off some steam. “You hungry?” he asks, tilting his chair back on two legs, grinning. “Let’s get something to eat.”

*

Turns out Alicia’s in his Torts class, just sitting there in the second row when he sidles in on Friday, jeans and a sweatshirt and her hair up in a knot. He really, really doesn’t know how he’s never noticed her before. “Hey, Will,” she calls when she sees him--all casual, like they’re old friends--and already he can tell she’s one of those people who puts everyone at ease. When he sits down in the chair beside her she digs a pack of M&Ms out of her backpack and offers him some. “Breakfast of champions,” she says, smiling. She smells like apples and girl.

After that it’s a lot easier to get out of bed for an eight o’clock lecture three times a week, but Will guesses that could be a fluke.

Still, he’s started brushing his hair before he leaves the house, so.

*

Jay and Sarah become a thing pretty fast--a face-sucking, heavy-petting, ass-grabbing in public kind of thing--but the upshot of that particular train wreck is that he and Alicia start seeing a lot of each other. Technically Will’s already got a study group, but everybody in it is sort of useless and anyhow he and Alicia like to study the same way--that is, with a lot of snacks and frequent references to Woody Allen movies. He likes the way her brain works--how she does laps around a problem, looking at it from all different angles before she jumps in and flashes her teeth. Will can be impulsive. Alicia takes her time.

“Okay,” she says finally, reaching her arms up and stretching, a thin strip of belly where her shirt’s riding up. It’s Saturday night, late; they’re splitting a six pack on the futon at his place, waiting for the coast at her apartment to be clear. “I have to go. Do you think they’re done? They’ve got to be done by now, right?”

Will yawns; it’s contagious. “Jesus Christ, I would hope so.”

“Right?” Alicia laughs. “Okay. I’m going. Library tomorrow?”

He’s about to agree--a reflex, of course--but then he remembers. “Can’t tomorrow,” he says, taking her empty bottle and pulling her to her feet. Her hands are small and cold; her grip is strong. “Got a game.”

“Dungeons and Dragons?” she deadpans.

“Shut up,” he says, but he’s grinning. “Baseball.”

Alicia cocks her head to the side. “I didn’t know you play baseball.”

“Just intramural. In college, I...” Will shrugs. “But yeah, just intramural now. I pitch.”

“Where’s your game?” Alicia asks, and he tells her, and she nods. “Well, okay. See you tomorrow, then.”

Will closes the door behind her, turns off the TV. He lies on the couch in the quiet, watching the light flicker outside on the street.

*

Lauren, who’s his girlfriend, calls from home. “You miss me?” she asks, and he thinks she’s after something he doesn’t entirely know how to give her.

“You know I do,” he replies.

*

He’s almost forgotten about the baseball thing--okay, he hasn’t forgotten about it at all, but he’s really not thinking she’s actually going to show--which is why he’s so surprised when he looks up halfway through the bottom of the second and there she is in the bleachers, sunglasses and a hoodie, her Evidence textbook open in her lap. Alicia waves.

Will smiles, just for a second. When he throws the ball he feels the muscles sing all the way up his arm.

*

They’re watching Manhattan and waiting for the popcorn to be done, her feet burrowing under his legs on the futon. It’s almost Thanksgiving, and cold. The microwave beeps. “Can I grab extra socks?” she calls, as he heads into the kitchen. “I’m freezing.”

“Yeah,” he says. “Go in my room, top drawer on the left. I’ll mess with the heater in a minute.”

Will’s digging around for a clean bowl when he realizes that the top drawer on the left is also where he keeps a stash of condoms, which, shit. Well. That’s--yeah. And whatever, he’s twenty-three years old and it’s his sock drawer, he’s entitled, but--he just doesn’t know what--he’s pretty sure something is happening with them, and it wouldn’t be good if she thought---well. He wants to shout for her to wait, but he doesn’t know what to say so he just kind of stands there, feeling his face get warm, until she gets back.

Alicia doesn’t say anything--she wouldn’t, she’s not that kind of girl--but the sight of her with his huge gray ski socks pulled way over her jeans does a weird thing to his stomach, the heels halfway up the back of her calves, and oh, he is in big trouble. “I don’t have a bowl,” he says helplessly.

“So we’ll eat it from the bag.” She smiles a little, unreadable, and catches his hand. “Loosen up, Gardner. Relax over there.”

*

He breaks up with Lauren the Friday after Thanksgiving, sitting in the car in the driveway of her parents house in Englewood. On the radio the oldies station is playing Blue Christmas, Elvis crooning sadly away. “There’s somebody else, isn’t there,” she says, shaking her head like she can’t even believe him. “At law school. You’re in love with some brainy girl from law school, and I don’t--”

“Lauren,” he says softly, and he feels like such an jerkoff and he doesn’t even know for what. “Come on.”

*

They’re grabbing some lunch in the cafeteria with Jay and Sarah; finals are in two weeks and everywhere on campus that frenetic buzzing energy is starting to pick up, like going to school inside a hive. Will gets up for another pudding and when he comes back a dark-haired guy in an expensive-looking peacoat has taken his seat and is talking to Alicia about something, leaning in close across the faux-wood grain table. Will can’t really hear about what. He feels kind of like an asshole, standing there with a little cup of tapioca in this hand, but eventually the guy gets up and puts his hand on Alicia’s shoulder, tells her he’ll see her around. He nods at Will before he goes.

“Who was that?” Will asks, trying to keep his voice casual. On second thought, he doesn’t really want the pudding after all.

Alicia shrugs. “Some blowhard third-year, I don’t know. Peter something.”

“He wanted her numbah,” Sarah says gleefully.

Will raises his eyebrows, smiling a little; he wants to ask if she gave it to the guy but, yeah, he’s not about to say that out loud. He doesn’t know what his deal is, why he can’t just make a move. He’s scared, or something. “Well,” he says finally, “can you blame him?”

Alicia only laughs.

*

Jay and Sarah are “studying” on the ancient sofa in the girls’ apartment, so Alicia and Will are holed up in her bedroom, the crinkle of notebook paper and the low rumble of Pearl Jam masking whatever sounds might be coming from the other side of the door. He likes being quiet with her. Finals start tomorrow so they’re basically running on adrenaline and sugar at this point, exhausted and slaphappy, weird, stupid things suddenly hilarious. Earlier today his lame law school joke about attractive nuisances had her laughing hysterically for ten minutes straight.

He’s sitting on the floor with his ankles crossed, Alicia sprawled on the bed behind him--she fell asleep on her textbook for a while before, face smooth and breath deep, and it killed him a little to have to wake her up. “Alicia,” he said softly, one hand rubbing circles on her long, warm back, her heart beating under his palm. She opened her eyes and smiled.

Now Will sighs and rolls his achy shoulders, digs the heels of his hands into his eyes. He is so, so ready to be done.

“You fading?” she asks. She hasn’t showered today--none of them have, it’s one of those normal human functions that’s completely fallen by the wayside this week along with normal conversation and eating real food--and she smells like herself, like skin. “You want to sleep a little?”

“I can’t,” he says matter-of-factly, although the idea of getting her bed for awhile--well. “I’ll never wake up.” He shifts around a little bit trying to get comfortable, rubbing at a muscle in the back of his neck. “What I really want is like...to take my whole brain out and dunk it in cold water. You know that feeling?”

Alicia laughs. “I do,” she says. She pushes herself up into a sitting position behind him, scraping her short nails over his scalp, and presses her fingertips into the back of his skull--hard but not too hard, like someone with authority. Her palms are cool against the back of his neck. The feeling shoots straight down the middle of his body, a live wire stretching the length of his spine, and Will pushes back against her hands just the slightest bit. He concentrates really, really hard on not making a sound.

“There,” she says finally, squeezing his shoulders once. “That better?”

“Uh, yeah,” he says, and swallows. “That’s good.”

*

Of course she finishes before him, is hanging around outside in the hallway with a Snickers after he hands in his last test. “We going out?” she asks, taking one last bite and handing him what’s left. “I really, really want to go out.”

“Yeah,” Will says, though in reality all he wants to do is stumble into his bedroom and sleep until New Year’s. “Yeah, of course.”

*

The bar they usually go to is completely packed--it’s the last day of finals, the last night before Christmas break. It’s too loud to talk so mostly they just grin at each other, sort of baffled, like two bank robbers in a getaway car. It started snowing on the way over here, everything a little damp and steamy, Alicia’s face raw and ruddy with the cold. “Attractive nuisances,” she says, laughing, raising her voice so he can hear. “You are such a nerd.”

They’re crammed into a corner at the back of the bar and they keep getting muscled into each other, beer dripping down into the sleeve of his coat and her chest almost flush against his. Behind her is a half-drunk undergrad telling some very enthusiastic story to her girlfriends, all hand gestures and expletives, and Alicia keeps having to duck out of her way, scooting from side to side to avoid a pint glass to the back of the head. After awhile she’s got a rhythm down, her hips rocking ever-so-slightly forward into his, then back again, and oh God. Will tries to think about baseball. He’s not sure if she knows what she’s doing to him, but he kind of thinks maybe she does.

“What are we, dancing?” he asks finally, leaning down low so she can hear. It’s the weirdest thing how she just kind of fits against him, like even though he’s trying like hell to avoid embarrassing himself here, it’s also kind of strangely comfortable.

“Why?” Alicia replies. Her first two fingers hook into the front pocket of his jeans; she takes a step closer and yeah, there’s no way she can’t feel how hard he is. “You wanna dance?”’

Will takes a deep breath and still he feels kind of choked off, lightheaded. “No, Alicia,” he says. “I don’t wanna dance.”

“Well then,” she says, and he can feel her grinning at the side of his jaw. “What do you want?”

*

It’s possible they pretty much sprint back to his apartment, snow coming down harder now, fat flakes that stick in her hair. Will’s hands are shaking. He fumbles with his keys. They get halfway up to the second floor landing before she trips a little and pulls him down with her, both of them sprawled on the staircase and she wraps one leg around his ankle to keep him where he is.

“Alicia,” he mutters, palms flat on the carpet on either side of her chest. He can’t stop kissing her, doesn’t want to. He balances his weight on one hand and reaches up beneath her jacket, searching. “We have to go inside.”

“What, you don’t want to stay here?” She arches her back and grinds herself against him a little, and she’s got this look on her face like she’s known him his whole life. “Jay and Sarah would be so impressed.”

Will groans. “Oh God,” he says, squeezing his eyes shut. “Please don’t talk about Jay and Sarah right now.”

Alicia laughs.

Eventually they make it inside the apartment, to his bed with its questionable sheets and his textbooks still scattered on the floor. Will’s heart thrums. He’s been with plenty of girls (and okay, maybe plenty is an overstatement, but he has been with a reasonable number of girls) but he’s not prepared for the way she undoes him, the way she knows exactly what she wants. She traces the muscles in his stomach, reaches for the buckle on his belt; he slips two long fingers down into her jeans and Jesus Christ, she’s already so wet.

“Alicia,” he says again and he wants to tell her, he wants to say it, the love you at the back of his mouth. She falls against his pillows, legs canted open underneath him, hair a dark corona around her face. Will breathes in.

*

He wakes up and the whole room is gray and golden, and he needs to be at Dulles in an hour. “I have to go,” he whispers, teeth at her earlobe to wake her up. “I’ve got a flight home.”

“Mm,” she says, pushing herself back against him, threading her fingers through his. Her eyes are closed. “Skip it.”

Will seriously considers staying--and later, he’ll wonder what would have happened if he had--but he’s already thinking long-term at this point, next summer and graduation and we met back in law school. He’s pretty sure--well, yeah. He’s pretty sure.

So he kisses her goodbye and he leaves her in his t-shirt, still lying on one elbow in his bed. “See you next year,” he tells her, grinning. His boots leave deep prints in the snow.
Tags: fic: the good wife
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