slybrunette: (tgw. kalinda. metal heart)
[personal profile] slybrunette
Title: An Honest Living
Fandom: The Good Wife
Characters/Pairings: Cary/Kalinda
Rating: R
Word Count: 1,130
Author's Note: For [livejournal.com profile] waltzmatildah who wanted 5 defeats. I may have taken that metaphorically as well as literally. And yes, I'm just as stunned that I wrote this as you probably are. It's worth noting here that I'm a casual viewer and as such my canon might be a little screwy. Don't hit me. I tried. Finally, thank you [Bad username or site: @ livejournal.com] for the encouragement.
Summary: They are the kind of people who revel in each other's losses. Professionally speaking.




that girl you found
keeps that kind of window closed

(yeah yeah yeahs)










They are the kind of people who revel in each other’s losses.

Professionally speaking.

“That’s the cost of playing for the other team,” he says, arched eyebrow and his thumb running the length of the witness statement he holds, risking all manner of paper cuts with a smile on his face.

She’s never found him less charming than in that moment.











“I hear they’re always looking for used car salesmen,” she tells him, and her voice reminds him of honey, warm caramel, something viscous that sticks to his hands and the roof of his mouth.

“Come on, Kalinda,” his smile, she would say, is proving her point, but she isn’t there and her powers of observation are only so strong over the phone. “I’m far too pretty for that.”

Florrick won the election. He has money on that – has had money on that – for weeks now but CNN only called it mere minutes ago, national news organizations carrying the story not because Chicago’s influence is far reaching but because Peter Florrick is now the comeback kid and this country’s always had a perverse interest in their disgraced politicians.

They’re talking about a run for mayor; the public is waiting for a speech.

Cary stays in his office and Kalinda goes quiet on the line.

“Why aren’t you at the party?”

It’s an honest question that has no place among cynics in this business, so of course she doesn’t take it at all the way he means it, of course her tone takes a turn for the emotionless and she says, “Goodnight, Cary.”

He pours himself a fifth of the scotch he has stashed in his desk drawer and doesn’t stop feeling like he’s playing at someone else’s life even after the glass is empty.

Tomorrow, her world collapses in on itself.












There is no part of him that she finds mysterious.

He is the prototype of a young, white male who hails from privilege and wealth. He wears Armani and learned how to tie a Windsor knot at age seven, and there’s nothing there for her to dig into, no layers to peel back.

His tendency towards resting a hand on the small of her back might be the least surprising thing about him.

Her tendency to let him, on the other hand –

(She had hoped for better.

She had hoped for a reason to hate him.)













He gets a much needed win just after noon on a Friday.

(And the man he helped put behind bars? He might have been innocent. Then again, he might not have been. Cary isn’t the kind of person who cares so much about the gray area, not when it’s five years and his job perpetually on the line – he understands now that you always have to be on your game and the days of silver spoons and words like trust holding any meaning are long gone -- and maybe that’s why they chose someone like Alicia over him, for the sake of balance.)

She’s in his office within the hour, beats him back, and it’s the chair instead of the desk, knee high boots instead of pumps, her legs crossed regardless.

“You know people here are starting to wonder why I’m so popular with Lockhart & Gardner’s in-house.”

His jacket rests comfortably on the coat hook.

It’s the only thing that does.

“Is that a problem?”

“I’m just trying to figure out how I’m supposed to answer them.”

Somewhere between the doorway and his chair, hard wood under his fingertips and that smile of hers that seems far more brittle than it used to, he forgets to ask her why she came here.













She jacks him off in his office.

It’s hardly the first time she’s done this – and by that she means in an office with the door unlocked, not this office, and not him, and there’s always been this inescapable thing with her and men and women in power – it’s just usually she’s expecting to get something out of it. Usually there’s a trade, this for that, but the case is over and Cary might be in charge of someone, somewhere, but it isn’t on any sort of grand scale and it isn’t her.

He won’t stop looking at her.

At first, she thought he’d developed a stutter before he’d decided on open-mouthed and painfully silent, and she likes that she can reduce him to that, this man who stumbles over himself in his five hundred dollar suit and won’t stop looking at her like he can’t understand and won’t stop trying to, who lets out a low groan when he comes and forgets to be sorry about it afterwards.

(The walls here are walls, designed to obscure; at Lockhart Gardner, it’s nothing but glass and the illusion of privacy, and half the time that’s to her benefit and the other half she just feels raw.

She jacks him off in his office, solid walls and the unlocked door, and he isn’t married – he isn’t even seeing anyone – and at some point it’s become enough that one follows the other.)













The rain and the wind always seem to work together to try and overtake her, umbrella in hand and the ends of her coat fluttering; it’s an uphill battle. She’s made of the strong stuff, all eyeliner and leather and defiance.

“So do you have what I asked for?”

His lips stretch too thin, the vague outline of a smirk. “Is that how it’s going to be?”

“I’m running a little short on time,” and patience, apparently, because she steps into his personal space, her umbrella knocking against his as she does. He’s the one to tilt back. He’s the one to give.

(They don’t talk about how he kissed her in the lobby of her apartment building or how she backed him up against his desk and didn’t fumble at all with his zipper, precise and calm.

They don’t talk about that. Instead, it’s DNA matches and deciphering double talk, trading folders in hallways and information outside of courtrooms and now, here, a Tuesday afternoon walk that manages to be just as tense as it is amicable.)

“Look into the girlfriend,” he says, and hates himself for it.

“Lori Mayers?”

“You’ve got more work ahead of you then I thought.” Which is to say there is more than one. She gets it, nods after a beat, and he adds, “Credit card receipts from the weekend of the 15th.”

“Any particular reason you’re electing to be cryptic?”

“It’s more fun when you have to work for it.”

She leaves him in the rain and not three hours later she’s whispering across the aisle from him in court.













fin.



Date: 2011-06-11 08:52 pm (UTC)
ext_82418: (TGW --> Kalinda)
From: [identity profile] magisterequitum.livejournal.com
GIRL YOU KNEW I WAS GOING TO COME FIND THIS IMMEDIATELY.

But, first: you have nothing to fear in this. There is zero fail whatsoever. Not lying, being serious.

You've got everything about their push and pull and the fact that everything about them is quiet and gorgeous and subtle. They just are.

And I love that section where you talk about there's no part of him that is a mystery to her, but what is is the fact that she lets him be in this space of her life, lets him put his hand on her, meets with him, etc etc. And that is just gorgeous and hits everything about Kalinda.

This is just so them, together and separate. I love it.

Date: 2011-06-11 08:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] slybrunette.livejournal.com
Insert sighofrelief.gif here.

Seriously, I'm pretty sure I missed an episode or two or six over the course of the show and that does not leave me feeling any sort of confidence. My canon is shaky and my voices are shakier so I spent a lot of quality time with Youtube.

The second section you're referencing is what I wrote in class on Wednesday. Because I do that now, lol.

I'm so, so, so glad that you liked this! Thanks so much for reading and reviewing and calming my nerves ♥ ♥ ♥

Date: 2011-06-11 09:05 pm (UTC)
ext_82418: (TGW --> this is a secret section)
From: [identity profile] magisterequitum.livejournal.com
:)

Well, your quality time with Youtube worked. But then, I think you would've done fine. You have a grasp for characters.

Eee! Writing in class is always great. And that section was just so lovely and wonderful.

You are most welcome! But really I should be thanking you for this and being able to read it because it's just so good. ♥

Date: 2011-06-11 09:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] workswithwords.livejournal.com
THIS IS SO GOOD.

Since I've finished Season 2 I have been dying for Cary/Kalinda and there is none to be found (or hardly) and so THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for writing this. I feel like this could be pulled right out of the show, and its definitely part of my personal canon!

Wonderfully done, bb!

Date: 2011-06-11 09:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] slybrunette.livejournal.com
♥ ♥ ♥

You should not be the one thanking me, bb, but I'm so thrilled that you enjoyed it. Thanks so much!

Date: 2011-06-12 01:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waltzmatildah.livejournal.com
Since I've finished Season 2 I have been dying for Cary/Kalinda and there is none to be found (or hardly) I KNOW RIGHT?!! Which is a big (selfish) part of why I thought I'd throw this fandom/pairing at [livejournal.com profile] slybrunette in the first place...!! THERE MUST BE MORE!

Date: 2011-06-11 09:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lexiesloan.livejournal.com
So, a little secret about me - I love Cary/Kalinda :) And I love, love, love that you wrote them something. It shouldn't surprise me that you wrote both of them perfectly. Kalinda with her cold - almost unfeeling - distance and Cary is just oozing with that confidence even when you didn't have him say anything.

He wears Armani and learned how to tie a Windsor knot at age seven

Very random line but it was one of my favorites because you can characterize someone in just one sentence like that and it amazes me no matter how many stories of yours I read. THANK YOU for writing this pairing!

Date: 2011-06-11 09:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] slybrunette.livejournal.com
I feel like it's semi-unpopular to be into them but, dude, I ship this hardcore. And not just in a 'i want them together' way. I just LOVE their dynamic so much and both of them individually. So I'm happy that you're into them too.

Thank you so much for reading and reviewing hun! I really appreciate it!

♥ ♥ ♥

Date: 2011-06-12 01:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waltzmatildah.livejournal.com
but, dude, I ship this hardcore. I DID NOT KNOW THIS!! But, OMG ME TOOOOO!

Date: 2011-06-14 05:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] slybrunette.livejournal.com
Haha, yeah, I weirdly don't talk about this show on here? BUT OMG YES.

Date: 2011-06-14 05:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waltzmatildah.livejournal.com
Haha, me either! Only just in this last week I've discovered so much of my flist are also massive fans! (Though, I think you might be the only true Cary/Kalinda shipper I've found so far...)

It's been quite the revelation.

And you did a freaking amazing job with the prompt, btw. In case I didn't make that clear in the review.

Date: 2011-06-14 05:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] slybrunette.livejournal.com
Yeah, I take it C/K is unpopular here. Not so much on Tumblr, which is where I live at this point. It's strange.

Lol, thank you bb! I'm only just now answering comments (fail, I know) but I did a little dance of joy when I first saw your review a few days ago.

Date: 2011-06-14 10:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waltzmatildah.livejournal.com
I haven't been involved in the TGW fandom at all until this week when I joined in search of C/K fic and found basically none! But I had no idea it was a taboo subject... how odd and disappointing! Oh well, you'll just have to have more prompt parties at your journal so we can rectify it!

Yay for joyful dancing! It probably mirrored the jig I did when I first discovered that you'd completed the prompt!

Date: 2011-06-11 10:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] annapie.livejournal.com
Oh, this is amazing. I don't even ship them, at all, but their ~friendship or whatever we call it, it is so interesting, and I think you captured it really well. The way all their interactions are about extracting information or asking for favours, and yet they do feel some sort of affection for each other. Brilliant job! I hope you'll write more.

Date: 2011-06-14 05:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] slybrunette.livejournal.com
I just love their dynamic, shippy or not. I find it fascinating and it definitely does compel me to write more in the future.

I'm glad you enjoyed this! Thank you so much for reading and reviewing!

Date: 2011-06-12 12:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] library-of-sex.livejournal.com
and she likes that she can reduce him to that, this man who stumbles over himself in his five hundred dollar suit and won’t stop looking at her like he can’t understand and won’t stop trying to

I absolutely adored that part. Ever since S1, it seems like Cary's always been curious as to what really goes on through Kalinda's mind, and she refuses to let him see any vulnerability. It feels like it's always the other way around, with the guy being aloof and the woman being inquisitive, so I think that's why they intrigue me so much. You did a great job of capturing that dynamic in the snippet I quoted, and that's why I enjoyed it so much!

Date: 2011-06-14 05:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] slybrunette.livejournal.com
It does always seem to be the other way around and I think that's a part of what really draws me to this pairing. It's fresh.

I'm glad you enjoyed this! Thank you so much for reading and reviewing!

Date: 2011-06-12 01:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waltzmatildah.livejournal.com
Firstly, THANK YOU!

Secondly, HOLY FUCKING THANK YOU!

Lastly, this is seriously EVERYTHING I could have hoped for with this prompt. The intricacies of their push/pull relationship are definitely what's drawn me so completely into this show. And you've captured it all so, freaking "spot on" here. There is seriously nothing that couldn't fit with what we know about them.

Thank you so much for filling this prompt with such perfection! (And also for shipping C/K because, as my GA desires die a slow and painful death, I was really freaking out that we'd all drift - unintentionally - apart! Yay for Cary and Kalinda saving the day!)

Man, I seriously need more TGW icons.

Date: 2011-06-14 05:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] slybrunette.livejournal.com
LOL, girl, what in the world are you thanking me for. I've totally wanted to write them for eons (read: since the season started) but never really knew if I'd have the audience for it? Or, let's face it, if I could pull it off at all.

I totally didn't even know you were watching. How weird is that? But yeah, they're a huge part of what's drawn me into the show so much this year.

I'm right there with you on Grey's. I feel like I'm losing touch with some of my fandom friends so it's great when we move on to new fandoms together.

You and me both on the icons. I had to specially upload one so that I could post (cause I'm anal and have to have the right icon).

I'm so, so thrilled that you liked this! Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to try a new fandom with such a great prompt :)

Date: 2011-06-14 10:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waltzmatildah.livejournal.com
Or, let's face it, if I could pull it off at all. Pffft!

I had to specially upload one so that I could post (cause I'm anal and have to have the right icon). Heh! Me too! Only mine was so I could reply to a comment! Haha! It's an Alicia one though, so now I need some C+/K to add to my choices.

Thanks again for filling this prompt so perfectly!

Date: 2011-06-12 04:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] angeldylan628.livejournal.com
THANK YOU.

There is seriously a lack of love for Cary/Kalinda in the TGW fandom. And you have just made up for that with your phenomenal writing. You really nailed both characters perfectly. I love all the little quirks of their relationship that make them work so well together and you really highlighted those.

Seriously...thank you for writing them. I was beginning to think I was the only one who actually liked the idea of them together.

Date: 2011-06-16 11:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] slybrunette.livejournal.com
I know, what's up with the lack of them? They're awesome. More people need to recognize that.

Haha, you're not alone bb. So. Not. Alone.

I'm glad you liked this! Thanks for reading and reviewing!

Date: 2011-06-12 04:12 am (UTC)
ext_407583: (Cary)
From: [identity profile] ladyofspring.livejournal.com
Yesssssssss

This is so great and so them and why is there not tons more Cary/Kalinda fic?!?!

Date: 2011-06-12 09:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lady-with-cats.livejournal.com
EEE. This is awesomesauce, seriously. I love Kalinda's headvoice, and how she half wants this and half doesn't care, and the half-wanting part confuses her (but doesn't confuse Cary) but it doesn't change anything and-

Basically I want to roll in your characterizations forever.

(Also Cary has money on Peter winning the election. OF COURSE HE DOES. :D)

Date: 2011-06-12 11:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dulcedeusex.livejournal.com
You wrote Good Wife FIC!!!!! Does happy dance then remembers that is panicking about bigbang fic due today that is not going right! Will read this as soon as I'm done dealing with crises!!!

Date: 2011-06-14 10:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waltzmatildah.livejournal.com
Your reaction is my reaction! (minus the BB part). And that's even taking into consideration that I posted the prompt! Haha!!!

Date: 2011-06-14 11:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hyacinthian.livejournal.com
DYING. This is wonderful and so them.

Date: 2011-06-19 10:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dulcedeusex.livejournal.com
Am using my Blackberry to read this and it's a new addition to my tech repertoire so it may take me a while to comment or I might just save it for when I'm online at work. Please bear with me I'm not gonna read and run!

Date: 2011-09-13 02:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tidbit2008.livejournal.com
ag;djklsgj. Looking for your Tiva fic and find this too *g*

Love them, love this ♥

Date: 2011-09-13 02:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] slybrunette.livejournal.com
Haha, I am a girl of many fandoms. I'm so glad you enjoyed this! Thanks :D

Date: 2011-09-25 07:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] iluvtheukoffice.livejournal.com
Love this. Between work craziness and leaving for vacation, I must've somehow missed it when it was posted. I typed "cary kalinda fanfic" into Google and was ecstatic to discover something I had never read before! There isn't nearly enough fic out there for these two; it makes every new story a treasure.

I especially like Kalinda being puzzled by him (or rather, her reactions to him). She is always so in control and doesn't let anyone in as a matter of course, but it somehow seems to happen with Cary in spite of herself. I think it's those moments that make them so compelling.

Thank you for sharing this!

Date: 2011-10-12 02:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theagonyofblank.livejournal.com
So lovely, and so very them.

Date: 2011-10-12 11:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] slybrunette.livejournal.com
Thank you so much! I'm glad you thought so :)

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