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Will’s Son

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Formalities were long gone. Alicia and Will were old friends from college. Had the formalities ever really been there? With the creeping feeling of a past love that could’ve been they were falling into the comfortable friendship they once had. She sat on the couch in his office with her feet up on the coffee table and he sat at the chair opposite her tossing a baseball back and forth. Each of them had a beer in hand as they talked in the now empty law firm.

“So you have kids?” He started. He knew she did. He had seen them on tv and heard about them during the scandal’s peak. He was just making conversation.

Alicia’s head fell back to the couch cushion. She didn’t want to talk about her kids with Will. She didn’t really want to talk about anything at all but his charming grin reeled her in. God, he was still just as cute as Criminal Law 101. “Two.”

She was giving that smile that was all dimples and teeth and it killed him. “How old?”

“Zach is 16. Grace is 14.” She laughed. Why was she laughing? She didn’t know but something about the glimmer in his eye made her heart smile. “Did you have any kids?”

Will couldn’t help but laugh. He took a sip of his beer and appeared to be reading the label while he left her in the pit of curiosity. “I have a son.”

Alicia choked. She hadn’t pictured Will Gardner to be the parental type. He seemed to be Chicago’s most eligible bachelor. “You have a son?”

Will relished in her surprise and chuckled. He gave her a nod as they locked eyes again- this time for a longer moment. He seemed to get lost in her dark green orbs. “Yeah, I have a kid. Henry. He’s 13. He’ll be 14 in two months.”

“You have a son?” Alicia was still stuck on that fact.

“Yes. I have a son.” He playfully rolled his eyes. “His name is Henry.” He repeated.

“Wait, who is his mom?”

Will laughed again and pretended to inspect his baseball. “I’m surprised you haven’t heard. She works here.”

“She works here? Have I met her?”

Will found this hysterical. “Yes, you’ve met her. You’ve talked to her quite frequently.”

“Oh my god. Is it Kalinda?”

“No. Kalinda is not my baby mama.” He gave her a sideways look.

Then realization struck her. Alicia went through at least five different facial expressions. “You and- no!” She readjusted in her seat, planting her feet on the ground and leaning towards him. “No fucking way!”

He gave her a nod. He looked to his desk and nodded to what appeared to be a framed family photo from a preschool graduation.

Alicia walked over to the desk and picked up the photo. She sat on the end of his desk and grinned at the picture. Henry was so small. It must’ve been taken so long ago. He was holding a certificate with his name on it. Will stood behind him grinning down at his little carbon copy. Henry’s mom was kneeling down to his level and kissing his cheek. They were a stunning family. “Are you together?”

“Me and Diane? Oh no. It was a one time thing. We never would’ve worked out.”

Alicia squeaked when he said her name out loud. “You and Diane have a kid?!”

Will laughed at her reaction. “Yes. I got Diane pregnant and we have a son.”

“What a crazy world we live in. My bosses have a son. I never would’ve pictured you and Diane with a kid.”

“Me neither.”

Chapter Text

Flashback

There was no hiding it anymore. Not that she really cared who knew. She and Will had an agreement. They wouldn’t announce anything to the office until she became unable to keep it secret. Four months in and here they were.

Diane studied her features in the mirror. She looked so tired. She was drained from the changes going on in her body. Growing a baby was hard work. She hadn’t expected to be so exhausted. Especially with a severe lack of caffeine. The only things keeping her going were vitamins and the determination to keep David Lee from claiming her incompetent and stealing her name from the letterhead.

“You are wearing me out, little baby.” She said to her unborn child. She rubbed a hand over her swelling stomach. She knew she wouldn’t be fitting into this dress after another few weeks. That part saddened her. Most of her slacks were ill fitting and she hadn’t worn them in a month. “You’ll probably wear me out even more when you’re here.”

She was pulled from her thoughts when she heard her front door open. It was Will. He had come over every morning since she told him she was having his baby. He had been a huge help with morning sickness, fatigue, and getting her to work through the immense nausea she had gotten in the first trimester.

“Diane?” He called out. He set a bagel and a cup of apple juice on the countertop. He started pulling the peanut butter and the cream cheese out to spread both on the bagel for her. He found it gross but it was a craving of hers and it was the least he could do after knocking her up.

“I’ll be right out.” She looked over to her heels in disgust before slipping them on. By noon they would be forgotten at her desk. She gave Justice a pat on the head and headed out.

“Breakfast.” He offered as he ate his own bagel. His normal bagel without any weird food combination on it. “Woah.” He stopped her and placed his food down on the counter. He was used to seeing her in form fitting dresses but usually they didn’t display so much bump.

She laughed and sank her teeth into the mouth watering combination that was on her bagel. “We’re showing now. I think it’s time to tell the office.”

He nodded. “I didn’t expect you to- you know.” He struggled to find the words. He had never been any good at anything baby related. “We’re only four months in.”

“And in another five months we’ll have a baby.” She added. She took in his shock and couldn’t help but laugh. “I’m pregnant Will. I’m going to be huge this time next month.”

“I mean, pregnancy looks good on you. I guess it didn’t register that my kid was in there until now.”

“Pregnancy looks good on me?” She tilted her head to the side.

He laughed. “Yeah, I’d get you pregnant again.”

“I’ll hold you to that.” She teased. She was glad their friendship hadn’t suffered due to their current situation. Babies changed things but she didn’t want to lose her best friend because of it.

“Can I?” He wiped his hands on a napkin.

She knew what he was asking. “There’s not any movement yet but sure.” She watched him walk around the counter and smiled when he placed a hand on her small baby bump. It was refreshing to see Will this way. No one else got to see this side of him but she was glad she did.

“So, we’re telling the office today?”

“Yes. Are you good with that?”

He looked up to her as his thumb continued to trace a circle into her stomach. “Are we telling them everything?”

“Well, I’m not telling them we had sex on your couch but I would hope we’d tell them the baby is yours. You’re going to help raise him.”

“Him?”

“I think he’s a boy.”

“Will Jr.?”

“I’m not naming our child Will Jr.”

“We’ll discuss it.”

“I’m not naming him Will Jr.”

Chapter Text

“I can’t stay the night.” She said. “Not tonight.” She gave him an apologetic grin in hopes he wouldn’t think she was blowing him off. She shouldn’t have even gotten them this far but something about this cowboy made her feel like a giddy teenager again and not like a stressed out, single mom.

His lips were planted just below her ear. His facial hair tickled her soft skin and made her giggle. Her laughter signaled to him that even if she did leave he might have a shot at asking her out again.

He spoke in a low drawl that made her knees weak. “Do you want to go or can I convince you to stay?” He put an emphasis on ‘want’ to gauge exactly what his plan of action should be. He took a step back to look into her eyes. Her pupils were as blown as his were.

“I have to go but you can still convince me.”

A smile tugged at his lips and he gave her a courteous nod. With a hand at her hip he pulled her back to him until they were chest to chest. The sweet scent of her perfume filled his senses.

Her breath hitched when she found her lips to be so close to his. She brushed her lips over his before speaking. “I have to be gone in the morning.”

“Okay.” He pressed his lips to hers for a slow kiss. She pulled away and left him with only a small pout.

It was cute to see him this way. She didn’t know him that well but she knew she liked him. Now to see if he would still like her. “I have to be upfront with you before we take this any further. I like you a lot Kurt so choose your words wisely as not to taint the memory if you ask me to go.”

Maybe she wanted to go? He wasn’t sure but he wasn’t going to stop her if she did. Maybe she didn’t want to go all the way and he was okay with that. He had been around long enough to know that one night without taking it to the final step wouldn’t kill him.

“Sounds serious.” He allowed her to step back to meet his gaze.

“I have a son. He’s 13. I have to pick him up tomorrow morning to take him to an appointment.” She gave him a confident grin. She would never be ashamed of Henry. It was the fact that she had a child with her partner/best friend that usually scared men off. It made her seem untrustworthy but Kurt was much older than her and older than the guys she had previously dated. This time was different and she could feel it.

“So, do you still like me?”

“Yeah. I like kids. I never had one but I see why other people do.” He shrugged. Had that been all? She had no reason to be afraid.

“Okay. One more thing. His father is Will Gardner.”

“Your partner?”

“Yes.”

“Should I worry about that?”

“No.”

“Okay.” He gave her a dashing smile. “Is that all you needed to get out?”

“Yes.” Her brows knitted together. “You’re okay with that?”

“Diane, I’ve known you for a few days at most. You’ve given me no reason to deem you dishonest.”

“Most men think I’m-“

Kurt cut her off before she could finish it. He didn’t want to hear whatever degrading word or phrase she was going to say about herself.

“I’m not most men. I’m a cowboy remember?”

Diane threw her arms around him with a laugh and allowed him to take her to bed.

…….

Diane left Kurt’s hotel room before the sun rose and went home to freshen up and get some rest before she had to get Henry from Will’s. It was her turn to take him to the dentist. It was fair for them to each take the same number of days off to meet their son’s needs.

After a successful appointment Diane took Henry to the office. She figured Will might enjoy seeing him for a minute before she took him to school.

As soon as Diane and Henry walked past the conference room Will excused himself to dash to his office. “Hey, champ! How’d the dentist go? Any cavities?”

Henry gave his father a strange look and looked up to his mother. “He’s being weird. What’s got you all excited?” He said with bright eyes that mirrored Diane’s.

Will laughed. “The sun is shining, my son is shining. Cases are being won. Your mom didn’t yell at me this morning. Why wouldn’t I be excited?”

Diane rolled her eyes. She knew that grin. That was his ‘I made Alicia smile’ grin. He had it bad for her and she appeared to have it bad for him. As much as Diane hated he wanted to be with an associate the best friend in her wanted him to be happy. The baby mama in her really liked Alicia too. So, the name partner in her could shut up for a while.

“He’s been talking to Alicia.” She suggested.

Henry agreed. He knew all about Alicia from both his parents. He hadn’t met her but he had met Grace at school and Grace was the coolest person he had ever met. She fit in with the crowd he followed.

“Alicia?” His lips curled into a smile that matched Will’s. “You gonna ask her out?”

“Henry!” Diane reprimanded. An amused reprimand but still one she stuck by.

Will was clearly trying to keep this between them so he shut his office door. “No. She’s married. But she invited us over for dinner.”

“You and I? Or you and Mom?”

“All of us.”

“I’m not going on your date.” Diane protested.

“It’s not a date.”

“Oh it’s so a date. What are you going to wear? What are you doing with your hair?”

Will gave him a horrified look. “What’s wrong with my hair?” He shook his head. “And it’s not a date!”

“There’s so many things wrong with your hair, dad.” Henry laughed. He loved getting his dad all worked up for no reason.

Diane chuckled. “Even if it’s not a date I’m not going. I have plans.”

“Mom has a date.”

“Will you stop with the date stuff?” Diane asked. She suddenly felt exposed. Henry didn’t have to spill so much about both his parents in one encounter.

“Mom has a date?” Will quirked a brow, suddenly intrigued. He sat on the end of the desk.

“Henry we really have to get you to school at a decent time. You can catch up with your dad later.”

“No. Let the man speak, Diane.” Will gave her a mocking look. It was a wonder she had even let him sleep with her considering the way they teased each other.

“With a cowboy.”

“A cowboy?” His face scrunched up before he realized who he was talking about. “McVeigh? You’re dating our ballistics expert?”

“Will-“

“And you didn’t think to tell me? Or at least wait until the trial is over?”

“Will, it’s none of your-“ Her eyes flickered to Henry who seemed intrigued by the argument. She covered his ears and pressed a kiss to the top of his head before resuming in a softer tone. “It’s none of your damn business who I date. You’re screwing around with a junior associate.”

Will matched her soft tone. An argument barely above a whisper between them. “I’m not screwing around with Alicia. We’ve been friends since college. Sue me for wanting to catch up.”

“You and I both know that’s bullshit. You like her and eventually you’re going to be with her. Her husband is in prison and she’s probably going to divorce him and you’ll swoop in like you always do.”

“You paint me to be some whore.” Will scoffed.

“A high-priced one.” She gave him a nod. Their shared grin meant the argument was over.

Will placed his hands over hers on Henry’s ears. He continued to whisper. “Henry likes Grace. They’re friends.”

“Alicia’s daughter?” She couldn’t help but grin. Henry didn’t like very many people. Outside of sports and extracurriculars he kept his friend group small and he liked it that way.

Will smiled back. They were both so proud of their son. “Yeah, they go to school together. They’re getting really close like best friends.”

“Henry hates everyone.”

“I know.”

“He takes after you.”

“I know!” He whispered yelled. “But he likes Grace.”

“Alright!” She let out a laugh as she and Will did a little celebratory dance with their hands still covering Henry’s ears.

Chapter Text

Flashback

Will and Diane did a celebratory dance with their hands on Diane’s baby bump. They had just felt the baby’s first strong kicks. She had felt a few before but this time Will could feel them too.

Just about the whole office was watching them through the glass walls but Diane didn’t care. She was happy to be feeling her baby. Will was excited too.

“Our kid is in there.”

“He is.”

“You’re still sure we’re having a boy?”

“Yeah, I am. A mother knows.”

Will was proud of her for saying that. It was evident on her face just how glad he was to hear her talk so optimistically of motherhood. Just six months ago she was terrified of being a mom and panicked about wanting to raise a baby.

“What?” She noticed him giving her such a soft look.

“Nothing, it’s just- it’s good to hear you talk like this.”

She gave him a teary smile. Those hormones were getting to her. She wiped her eyes and looked down to where their hands were still placed. “We gave this little guy a chance. We’re going to make a good life for him starting with having faith in ourselves.”

“Deal.” Will nodded and turned his head to see everyone smiling at them. “You wanna yell at them to get back to work or you want me to?”

“Let me do it. Something about me being pregnant terrifies them.” She threw him a wink as she padded to the door and stood in the doorway with her hands on her hips.

Will watched in amusement as her command rang out most likely to the 30th floor. The moment of silence between her and the scrambling of people to get back to work was hilarious.

“Barefoot and pregnant and you’ve still got it.”

She turned back around and smiled at him. “Alright. You wanna make him kick again?” She suggested.

Will nodded. “Oh, yeah.”

Diane sat back on her couch with her feet up. Will sat on her coffee table and they placed their hands in the previous places.

Diane started singing and Will joined in.

“My loneliness is killing me. I must confess I still believe…”

Chapter Text

“Dad you can’t wear that.” Henry deep sighed. He pinched the bridge of his nose and shook his head. He reminded Will so much of Diane when he did that. Between the two of them he was always receiving that look from someone.

“Why not? It’s what I wore to work today.”

“Exactly.” Diane answered. She was sitting on Will’s bed with her legs crossed, leaning on her elbow as she watched him struggle with what to wear. “You don’t wear your work clothes on a date. I thought you were good at this.”

“I thought he was too. I’ve had so many potential stepmoms.”

“Trust me, bud none of those women would’ve been your stepmom.” He loosened his tie and started to unbutton his shirt. “So, what do I wear?”

“Anything but that.” Henry chimed in.

“What do you usually wear on dates?” Diane asked.

Will turned around and gave her a pointed look. “It’s not a date and most women find the lawyer thing sexy. I just wear work clothes.”

“Lawyers are sexy?” Henry quirked a brow. “Is that a real thing?”

Diane laughed. “Some people really like the way we carry ourselves. The dress clothes, the way we walk and talk. The overall power we hold.”

Henry made a face. “They think Dad is sexy?”

Diane bit her lip as she tried to hold back a laugh. “A lot of women think he is. I also think it’s the money.”

Henry nodded along. “Now I get it. They think his wallet is sexy.” He teased. He received a wink from his mom who loved when she got Henry in on her teasing.

Will emerged from his closet in a more casual outfit. Dark slacks and a white button up. “Better?”

“Much.” Diane nodded and Henry agreed.

“So you questioned my sexiness but not your mom’s? What’s up with that? She never goes on dates.”

“She’s always turning them down. All my friends really like mom.” He grimaced. He hated the way they spoke about her when they thought he wasn’t around.

Diane squinted. “In a disgusting way or a flattering way?”

“It depends on who is talking.”

“And you just stay calm?” Will was impressed. His son was a better man than he. Will would’ve knocked out the whole basketball team to defend his mom’s honor.

“You know I’m not much of a fighter.”

“Why is that?” He tilted his head to the side. He had a sneaking suspicion it had something to do with Diane. “Just curious.”

“Mom told me if I ever got into a fight I would have to fight her too.”

Diane’s cheeks reddened and she cleared her throat. “Those weren’t my exact words, dear.” She shook her head. “I may have implied Henry would have to fight me in court.”

“She can’t take you to court for that.”

“Mock trial.” Diane added. “With David Lee as the judge.”

“David Lee?”

“He likes Henry. I would give him that leverage.”

“I don’t like him. Dude looks like a caricature.” Henry grimaced.

……

With the kids out of the room it was just Will and Alicia standing in the kitchen sharing a bottle of wine. Will leaned against her countertop as he watched her prepare their meal.

“What happened to take out?” Will asked. “Henry and I wouldn’t have minded.”

Alicia laughed and Will could’ve sworn it sounded like a thousand angels singing. Her dimples disoriented him as usual. She was so beautiful and he didn’t know what to do with himself when she was around.

Alicia took note of the way he looked at her. She’d never seen him look at anyone else that way. That same look he used to give her back at Georgetown. She couldn’t help but wonder what life would’ve been like if she had gotten with him instead of Peter.

“I figured Henry deserved a home cooked meal for once in his life.” She teased without missing a beat. It was so easy to get comfortable around him.

Will tilted his head to the side with a soft laugh. “You don’t think Diane and I can cook?”

“All I’m saying is his last home cooked meal was breastmilk.”

Will laughed out loud at that one. “Seriously?”

“I’m just an associate and I barely have time to cook for my kids. I’m surprised Diane doesn’t have a nanny.” She joked.

“I always pictured her to be the nanny type. When she was pregnant she suggested it but as soon as she felt that first kick she didn’t want to leave him to be raised the same way she was. She likes being a hands on mom.”

“I can tell. I’ve seen how she looks at him. It’s cute.”

All jokes aside, Alicia could see that in her. It was admiring to see Diane and Will raising a child together without being a couple. Maybe she could go through with the divorce after all? There’s nothing in the rules that says she has to be with the person she has children with.

“Is it hard raising him without being with his mom?”

“No.” He shrugged. “Not at all. I can imagine how it would be if Diane weren’t my best friend but I can’t imagine having a kid with anyone else.” He answered honestly. Diane was a great mom and they brought out the best in each other when it came to parenting.

“That’s how I used to feel about Peter.” She somely sighed. She averted her gaze from his and let silence fall upon them again as she cooked.

Will found himself missing her green eyes. It was scary how quickly her sadness took over and he decided right then and there to make it his personal mission to make her happy again.

……

Diane fell back onto the mattress and turned her head to the side to give Kurt a breathless smile. He returned it with a nod.

“I’m sorry dinner didn’t work out. I could’ve sworn I made that reservation.” He said as he adjusted his pillow under his head. He couldn’t keep his eyes off her. Flushed cheeks, dewy skin, hair only slightly mussed from their previous activity. She was perfect.

“It was mostly likely a mistake on their end.” She laid on her side and danced her fingers along his chest. “This was way better than dinner anyhow.” She laughed as her lips fell onto his for the thousandth time that night.

“I think we should talk.”

“So talk.” She let her lips trail to the corner of his mouth and eventually along his jaw.

He chuckled and gently touched her cheek. “Seriously.”

“Oh.” She furrowed her brows and moved to sit up with the sheets wrapped around her. “Is everything alright?” Her mind swarmed with every possibility of something going wrong. Every reason he could have to ask her to leave.

“Di, don’t start worrying now.” As usual he kept the same expression.

Through her worry Diane did take note of his nickname. No one called her that. Not even Will. She liked the way it sounded coming from his lips.

Now that he had her thoroughly freaked out he decided it was time to tell her what was up. “I’ve been thinking about you a lot. A lot more than I should. A lot more than I ever thought I would. I want to be serious with you.”

“That’s all?” She visibly relaxed and laid back down, curling into his side. “Why didn’t you just say that?!” She laughed it off. “I thought you were going to end this.”

“Not at all. I just think we’re both adults here and I’m old and you have a son to think about so why complicate things?” Kurt felt her tense up against his side and looked down at her. His hand rested in her hair, fingers tangled in blonde strands. “If.. you want that too.”

Diane took a moment to process everything and she thought about every time she told a man she didn’t have time for a relationship and every time she longed to be in one and every time she wished she had someone in her life to care about her the way Kurt so obviously did.

“This is different.” She blurted out.

“I agree.”

“It’s different because I’ve never fallen for someone like this. Not this quick.”

“I’ve never thought to give someone more than three words.” He teased. She was the only person he knew who got so bothered by how little he talked. He hadn’t noticed it until he met her.

She laughed and fell back into her relaxed state, just happy to be pressed against him like this. It felt so intimate. She could hear his heartbeat and that soothing thought alone made her adoration come to a peak. “I think- and this is just a hunch- I think I’m in love with you.”

“With a cowboy like me?” His mustache curled into a smile.

She rolled her eyes. “Unfortunately so.”

“I think I’m in love with you too, Diane.”

“Let’s give this some more time and when I think I’m ready I’ll let you meet Henry.”

“Sounds good. I’ll bring him a lasso.”

She shook her head. “And boots.”

….

Alicia and Will had left it up to the kids to clean up after dinner. They finished off their bottle of wine in the living room. Alicia was laughing at a joke Will made about David Lee. Will was mesmerized by her features again.

“You have the best smile.” He blurted out like an awkward teen.

“Thank you.” Her grin only grew wider from his words.

He reached his hand up to cup her cheek. He pressed his thumb to one of her dimples. “Seriously, and your dimples are so damn adorable.” Maybe it was the alcohol in his system or maybe it was the Alicia in his system but he was suddenly emboldened enough to talk to her this way and the way she was reacting only encouraged him.

Her cheeks reddened and yet she was still drawn to him. She leaned into his touch and placed her hand on the side of his neck. They had a magnetic pull between them and before she knew it her lips hovered over his.

“You’re not so bad yourself.” Her lips brushed over his with every vowel.

He was so close to kissing her when they heard a clatter from the kitchen followed by laughter and Grace yelling to her mom that everything was alright.

The moment may have ended for the night but it wasn’t over in their minds and their hearts were in it for the long run.

Chapter Text

Flashback

“I hope he gets my eyes.”

“I do too. You have pretty eyes.”

“You think my eyes are pretty?”

“Yeah, they’re my favorite feature of yours they’re beautiful.” Will said easily. He was sitting on her couch going over some papers while she sat back at her desk doing the same. He looked up to see her wiping her eyes.

“Are you alright?” He hated to see her cry.

“I’m fine. I’m just hormonal and I’ve felt like a whale lately.” She was nearing the end of her second trimester and was steadily growing. She had to get all new outfits to fit over her bump and it was killing her confidence. She felt fat and ugly and that was that.

“Diane, you’re a beautiful woman and you wear pregnancy like it’s the most expensive outfit you own. I’ll never know how you feel right now but I know it’s temporary and it’s just a feeling because to me and to everyone else out there you’re glowing and you’re beautiful and you’re making a baby while working and dressing like a millionaire.” He ended his speech when he heard her sob. Was it a bad thing? What had he said to make her even more upset?

“I’m being so awful and moody with you and you’re trying to make me feel better.” Is what she tried to say but here’s what Will heard; “I’m being so awful- and mahanana with you and- you- you- make- behanshananah.”

Will furrowed his brows. “I don’t know what the fuck you just said but you’re sad and I’ll always try to cheer you up when you’re sad.”

“You’re going soft, William.” She smiled at him through her tears. Will had been extremely helpful in helping her reign in her emotions. It wasn’t often she cried but when she did he was always able to calm her down.

“I’m a dad now. It happens.” He walked over and handed her a tissue. As emotional as she got with him he couldn’t find it in him to be upset. They had feuds all the time. They had full on wars that lasted months and always resulted in them reuniting and having a united front. Will could never stay mad at Diane no matter what she did. Since they became friends he had a soft spot for her in his heart.

She wiped away her tears and finally started to calm down. “You think you can handle three and a half more months of this?”

“I’ve been handling this since you took that pregnancy test.”

“You know, I was scared but I’m glad I passed it.” She gave him a wide grin. It was their little inside joke to talk about it like an actual test.

“I’m glad I helped you study for it.”

“I can’t imagine anyone else being my study partner.”

“I hope our baby gets our sense of humor. Especially yours. You kill me with those one liners of yours.” Will beamed. Diane was one of the funniest people he had ever met. Her sense of humor reminded him of a girl he went to college with.

Diane laughed. “I hope he gets your athleticism. You could use someone to talk about sports with.”

“You’re right I could.” He hummed. “I hope he gets how artsy you are.”

“Musically?” She asked. Her expression was laced with excitement. Will had a great taste in music but the man could not sing at all.

He nodded. “If he can sing, play basketball, have your eyes, and my smile he’ll be the perfect combination of us.”

Diane sniffled, feeling overcome with emotion yet again and Will rolled his eyes this time. “Diane!”

“I’m sorry! You’re being really sweet. It’s so disgusting it’s making my eyes water.”

Chapter Text

Diane peered through her glass wall and into Will’s office. She could see him talking to Alicia. They were both laughing and seemed to be flirting. His hand touched her arm as they said their goodbyes and Alicia went back to her desk. Will caught sight of his partner and walked into her office. He could tell by her smirk she had something to say. Diane always had something to say.

“What?”

“What was that about?” She asked with a playful glimmer in her eye and Will knew he wasn’t going to hear the end of it.

“She needed some advice on her case.”

“You were laughing.”

“She’s funny.”

“So, your date went well?” Diane couldn’t hold back her grin anymore. She had been waiting since the night before to tease him about it.

Will wasn’t going to let her see him get all worked up over it. It’s exactly what she wanted. The best way to frustrate Diane Lockhart was to withhold the thing she wanted most. “Probably not as well as yours. That a hickey?” He smirked.

Diane gasped and immediately pulled a compact mirror from her desk drawer. When she saw that there were not marks to be found she slammed the compact shut and gave him a threatening glare. “At least I had sex on my date.”

Will gave her a mock look of shock. “Who says I didn’t have sex on mine?” He teased.

“With three kids there?”

“It was difficult.”

“I thought it wasn’t a date.”

“It wasn’t.” He redid the button his suit. “So it went well?”

Diane’s grin formed on her lips and was getting wider and wider as her heart jumped with excitement. “Will, I love him.” She spoke softly.

That took Will by surprise. He jumped up and shut her office door. He sat down in the chair across from her desk and pulled it closer. “You’re in love?”

He was so proud of her. Ever since they had Henry she had grown so much and was always surprising him with things like this. Diane had been in love before and he had seen her get her heart broken a dozen times. He could see how she looked at Kurt and by the way she talked about him she had it bad. He hoped McVeigh wouldn’t break her again. Diane deserved better than that.

“I am. He told me he wanted to be serious and that he loved me. He’s letting me set the pace but it’s all happening so quickly.” She hadn’t stopped grinning in the minute they started talking about Kurt.

“But he hasn’t met Henry?”

“No, not yet. He wants to but I don’t know how Henry feels and I need to be sure about Kurt. All I know is I love him but if something goes wrong I can’t let Henry get attached.”

That’s why Will couldn’t be with Alicia just yet. There wasn’t a doubt in his mind they loved each other. Everyone could see it. He felt it last night. However, Henry was already attached to her and to her kids and if Will dated her and Alicia suddenly wanted to go back to Peter he would have to end everything including his son’s friendships.

Diane noticed the silence coming from her partner. “Hey, what’s going on in there?”

“In where?” His head whipped around to scope out the office.

“No, in your head Will. What’s got you thinking? Are you plotting something?” She asked. She knew when he was up to something because he had one eyebrow raised and that in depth look of wonder. She had seen it often.

“Maybe you’re right about Alicia.”

“Which part of me is right? Managing Partner Diane or Baby Mama Diane?”

“Managing Partner.”

She frowned instantly. “You’re having second thoughts. Will you know our business is first in all things but this is different. This is your heart. I can’t control that.”

“But I can.” He stood up abruptly and straightened his suit out once again. He felt his stomach flip. He almost felt nauseous at the thought of ending things with Alicia. Maybe it was hasty but the three most important things in his life were on the line. How selfish could he be to fuck over Diane, the firm, and his son?

“Will-“

“I’ll be back.” And off he went and Diane filled with worry. She could tell by the shift in his tone of voice he just broke his own heart. She hoped he wasn’t off to break Alicia’s too.

….

Will made his way to Alicia’s office. He waited for David Lee to leave before he entered. It looked like they were having an important discussion. He hated when David threw her into hand holding his clients but it was effective so he couldn’t complain too much. He just knew Alicia didn’t care for it.

David Lee left and gave Will a nod as he entered. “We need to talk.” Will stated. His frown still in place from his talk with Diane.

“Am I being fired?”

“No.” He came around her desk and sat on the end of it just inches from her. He could smell her perfume and it momentarily caused him to lose his train of thought- completely derailed him to be honest.

Alicia looked up at him with furrowed brows. She knew that look. It meant something was wrong. She immediately put on her poker face. She had to protect herself. She was tired of the people who hurt her knowing how awful they made her feel.

Will was about to speak up when he noticed the papers on her desk. “What are those?”

“Divorce papers.” She admitted. She had been meaning to tell him anyway. He was going to be the first to know after her children. “I’m divorcing Peter.”

“You’re divorcing Peter?” His voice went up several octaves.

Alicia laughed. “Don’t get too excited about it. It’s like you’ve made your first kill.” Dimples and all she took him out.

Well that changed everything. In a way he had made his first kill. Getting rid of Peter meant he could be with Alicia. Maybe everything really was going to be okay.

“Are you sad about it?”

“I’m done with sadness. Peter humiliated me and now I’m bouncing back. Getting rid of him means I can get rid of Jackie too and that’ll be hard but my kids are older now. We’ll be fine.”

“I’ll drink to that.”

“You wanna get drinks later?” Her head tilted to the side and her smile was wide and bright and Will’s heart jumped out of his chest.

“Yeah. Diane’s picking Henry up tonight. Do you want to come over for dinner?”

“Will are you asking me on a date?”

“It’s not a date until you’re divorced.”

“So you’re asking me to have an affair?”

“If you want to call it that.”

….

“Hey darlin’” a deep voice drawled out over the phone. Diane felt a chill run up her spine. It took her a moment to respond because the sound of his voice was as warm as a home cooked meal.

“Hey.” She bit her lip to conceal her grin.

He could practically hear her smile through the phone. He found himself smiling just from that thought alone. “I know you’re not free tonight but I was hoping I could take you out to lunch.”

Her cheeks flushed red even though he couldn’t see it. She turned her chair around to face away from the rest of the firm. She remembered what happened the last time he took her to lunch. They didn’t do much eating- well, she didn’t.

She giggled. She actually giggled. She had been doing that a lot since she met him. “Actual lunch, or..?”

“Actual lunch. I can make real reservations this time.”

She laughed. “You mean, you didn’t actually make those dinner reservations?” She had a sneaking suspicion he hadn’t. “Well played, McVeigh.”

He chuckled. “I was going to but I forgot until the last minute so I improvised. We would’ve wasted it anyway.” They usually did waste their reservations by either being late or being too blissed out to show up at all.

“I want some real food, McVeigh. I don’t think we’ve eaten together since our first date.”

“I don’t even remember if we ate then either.” He teased.

“Is 12:30 good for you, Mr. McVeigh?” Her grin was ear to ear and she was glad to have her back turned from any onlookers. Anyone like Will who could tease her about it.

“Yeah, I’ll pick you up then.”

‘Such a gentleman’ she thought to herself. How had she gotten so lucky as to be dating the kindest, sweetest, sexiest cowboy ever? “Sounds good.”

“Oh, Ms. Lockhart?”

“Yes?”

He paused and both of them felt their chests pang with anticipation. “I love you.”

There was her giggle again. That giggle he loved hearing because it meant he caused it. “I love you too, Kurt.” She bit her lip to conceal that face splitting smile.

“Alright, I’ll see you at 12:30.”

“I’ll see you then.” And they hung up. Diane had a giggling fit before turning her chair around. When she landed in front of her desk she was met with Will standing there with a smirk.

“I love you too, Kurt.” He mocked in a high pitched voice. “God, you’re so in love. It’s adorable.” He laughed.

“I am.” She sighed as she relaxed back in her chair. “And I don’t sound like that!” She argued.

“You do when you talk to him.”

“Don’t you have some work to do?” Then realization struck her. “You haven’t talked to Alicia yet have you?” Her words were laced with worry.

“I have.”

Diane’s heart picked up speed. If he had ended things with her she might not ever forgive herself for butting into his love life. “And you told her you couldn’t see her again?”

“No.” His smile eased Diane’s worries and she found herself smiling too. “She’s divorcing Peter. We’re having dinner and drinks tonight.”

“Alright!” Diane cheered. “And this is a date?”

“It’s two friends who are interested in each other having dinner and drinks while one friend is married.”

“So it’s an affair.”

“Exactly, my friend.” He nodded.

“Don’t fuck this one up.”

“I never fuck anything up!” He gaped, suddenly offended by her accusation.

“Yeah, because I always fix it.”

Chapter Text

Flashback

 

“And finally it seems my lonely days are through… I’ve been waiting for you…”

Diane sang. She stopped and huffed as her hands rubbed over her swollen belly. “You didn’t like that one either? Come on, baby I know there’s got to be something you like other than Britney Spears.”

Still no kicking. It had been almost a full day since her little one had interacted with her. He liked music. He liked when Will talked to him. He liked when Diane sang to him, but Diane was tired of singing the same song just to get him to kick.

“I love Britney too, darling. I just think we need to branch out. I won’t make you listen to any classical music right now. That’s just for when Mommy is working.”

She went through a mental playlist and decided to try again. “ I remember when rock was young, me and Suzie had so much fun…” She went through the whole song and still nothing.

“Maybe your taste isn’t in rock.” She hummed. She toyed around with the idea of singing Broadway to him. She used to love it as a kid. Her dad took her to shows every time he had business in New York.

“Everything was beautiful at the ballet…” Before she even finished the song she felt her baby kick a few times. She gasped when she felt it and continued for the next few lines until he stopped.

“So you just kind of liked that one? Your father is like that too. He likes hearing me sing but he gets bored with showtunes quickly.”  

She thought back to her and Will’s shared interests. The ones no one expected from either of them.

“She wore a raspberry beret… the kind you find in a second hand store..”  

“You don’t like Prince either? You’re killing me, baby. There’s got to be something you like as much as Britney. When you’re older I’m teaching you about all kinds of music.”  

Then she remembered one of her favorite songs. One of her father’s favorite songs. It was Motown. Her first love when it came to music.

Baby, baby, baby don’t leave me.. please don’t leave me all by myself….”

That’s when she felt him kick rapidly. She placed both hands on her stomach and grinned down at her excited little one.

“Baby, baby, where did our love go? Don’t you want me..  don’t you want me no more…”

Diane squealed. She actually squealed. “My boy likes Diana Ross!”

Will was entering her apartment at the tail end of her conversation with their son. “What’s going on?”

“He likes Motown.” She laughed.

Will smiled. “Thank god. I didn’t know how much more Britney Spears I could take.”

Chapter Text

Diane caught sight of Kurt nearing her office and took one look at Will and dared him to try anything.

Will of course took offense to this and gave her a defensive look. “What did I do?”

“It’s not what you did it’s what you’re not going to do.” She explained. Will had a way of embarrassing her in front of Kurt or trying to.

“The fuck is that supposed to mean?”

“It means every time you see him you find some way to act completely ridiculous and Kurt knows you’re my best friend and I don’t need you ruining my reputation.”

“You make it sound like I’m your annoying little brother.”

“My annoying little brother I had a baby with.” She gave him a grin, winking and looking him up and down.

Will laughed and watched as Kurt stopped to talk to Cary- presumably about their case. That bought him some time to continue bothering Diane.

“Does he know I’m your baby daddy?”

Diane laughed and folded her arms as she sat back in her chair. “I didn’t word it that way but yes.”

“Is he gonna replace me?”

“As the baby daddy? Will you are irreplaceable. Trust me on that.”

“You’re not going to have kids with him? Little cowboy babies- Cowbabies!”

Diane couldn’t help but laugh harder at that one. “It’s like I need to give you an adderall. I’m not having his little cowboy babies. Henry’s enough for me.”

Will nodded and seemingly calmed down for a moment. He wasn’t sure what had gotten into him but ever since he had talked to Alicia he had this new surge of energy. Diane and Kalinda were the only other people he liked at the firm so he shared it with Diane. Kalinda would’ve easily stabbed him by now.

“What do you guys do on your dates? Do you go hunting? Horseback riding? I bet you listen to country music a lot.”

Diane shook her head. She wished Kurt would hurry up and walk in here to save her from Will. She focused her eyes on her laptop. The screen was blank but Will didn’t know that. She pretended to be busy with emails. “Kurt likes more than just country.”

“Bluegrass? Folk?”

“Classic rock, Mozart, Motown, he listens to a lot. We listen to a lot of music together.” She continued to pretend work. She did this a lot with Will. It was the only way to keep him from going on to a full ten on the scale of being annoying and weird.

Will could see he was irritating her but he didn’t want to stop. It was too much fun for him to stop. She was mildly annoyed and he knew there was a lot she could take before she would actually be upset with him. Before he could speak Diane cut him off.

“What’s gotten into you today?”

“I don’t know.” He gave her a grin. She knew what that meant. She saw him leave with Alicia just an hour before he came into her office again.

“You’ve been with Alicia.”

“Maybe.” He pretended to be interested in a painting on the wall next to her. She was right. He had gotten coffee with Alicia and they had a blast. It wasn’t a long outing but it had been enough to put a smile on his face and a little extra energy into his whole day.

A smile tugged at her lips and she laughed softly at her partner. “You’ve got it so bad for her. I can’t wait to tease you as much as you tease me.” She gasped. “I’ll get Henry in on it too.”

Before Will could retort there was a knock on the door. That was his cue to leave. He opened the door for Kurt and gave him a nod as they switched places.

Kurt was welcomed by Diane’s warm smile. It made his heart rate increase almost scarily. He’d have to get used to that but maybe it wasn’t so bad she made him feel that way. He walked over to her desk and greeted her with the softest kiss. His hands cupped her cheeks and as they parted he pecked her lips again. She smiled into the kiss, giggling as it ended.

“Hey.”

“Hey, cowboy. Ready for lunch?”

“Always.” He smiled down at her and couldn’t resist pressing his lips to her forehead.

Her heart fluttered whenever he did that. It was so intimate and sweet. “I’m sorry we can’t go out tonight. Will and I switched our schedule this week.” It was their usual night to be together so she was quite remorseful about it.

“It’s alright. I understand that you’ve got a son to take care of.” He paused as a picture of Diane, Will, and Henry caught his eye. It was the same picture Will had on his desk. “I’ve been doing some thinking. Do you think I could meet Henry?”

Diane took in a sharp breath. “You want to meet my son?” She wasn’t expecting that at all. She wasn’t ready for him to meet Henry, especially if something didn’t work out and she had to give him up. She wanted to keep her cowboy for a little longer.

“Yes. Is that alright?”

“Kurt, don’t take this the wrong way but I don’t think it’s a good idea. It’s too soon.” Her chest swelled with anxiety, she watched his expression change and hoped he wasn’t too upset with her.

“We’ve been together for quite some time now, Di. He’s met Alicia right?”

“Will and Alicia aren’t together and Henry’s friends with her kids. This is more serious. It’s not that you’re not ready, I’m not ready.”

“Take all the time you need.”

She could hear the hurt in his voice. The evidence was written all over him. “What happens if he likes you and then we break up? Then Henry will have to suffer from our mistake.”

“Diane, I’m serious about you. I want you. I’ve told you how much I want you.”

“I want you too, but look at our timing Kurt. Look at where we live and where we are in life. I’m not in any position to move and I don’t think you are either.” With each word exchanged between them fear welled up in her chest.

Pain struck a cord with Kurt as he listened to her reasoning. “Let me ask you this; do you want this relationship?”

“Yes.”

“Do you have faith in us as a couple?”

“Yes.”

“But you have doubts in us too.”

Her eyes shifted from his to look at the floor. She didn’t want him to see her tears. “Yes.” She whispered.

Kurt took several steps back as he tried to process everything that had happened. She was the one for him but maybe he wasn’t the one for her. “Take some time to think and we can talk later.” He kept his voice soft. He hadn’t meant to hurt her.

“Kurt.” Her tears fell softly down her cheeks. “I don’t- I don’t want this conversation to be the end of us.”

“Give it some thought and maybe it won’t be.” And with that he left.

Diane scrambled to get out of sight. The nearest secluded place was her office bathroom. That’s where she allowed herself to cry.

….

It was their first night alone together. No kids, no clients, no one stopping them from being together. They didn’t even have to worry about being seen together.

In the quiet of Will’s apartment, Alicia comfortably sat on his couch. After dinner and a few glasses of wine her legs were thrown over his lap while they enjoyed the easy silence.

“This reminds me of Georgetown.” She said.

“You know, we talk about college a lot.” He teased. His eyes followed her lips as she began to speak.

“Can we help it? You haven’t changed a bit. You’re still that adorably funny guy I couldn’t take my eyes off of.”

“And you still turned me down every time.”

They shared a laugh.

“You’ve changed a lot since then.” He mused. “What ever happened to all that curly hair you had?” He tilted his head to the side and it made her heart burst. She had forgotten how cute he could be when he wasn’t trying to seduce every woman in sight.

“I grew up.” She laughed, nudging his shoulder. “It was the 90s. Everyone had curls.”

“And what happened to them now?”

“I straighten them.” She gave him the short answer knowing he wouldn’t know what a blowout was and knowing he wouldn’t want to hear that Peter didn’t like them. That was the real reason and now she was just so used to it she didn’t know if she would ever wear it natural again.

“I like them.”

“I’ll keep that in mind.”

Another silence fell over them as they shared eye contact. Her hazel met with his brown and they shared sweet smiles filled with adoration and excitement for the romance blooming between them. She watched as his eyes flickered to her lips and then back to her sparkling eyes.

“You can kiss me.” She said softly. She leaned in and rested her head on his shoulder. She didn’t break eye contact at all.

He smiled down at her. He hadn’t been expecting her to say that but he was glad she did. He hadn’t stopped thinking about kissing her since they had almost kissed the other night. His hand came up to cup her jaw. His fingertips brushed over her skin as delicately as a paint brush on a fresh canvas.

“No interruptions.” He said softly.

“No interruptions.” She confirmed.

His lips connected with hers and she kissed him back. Their lips crashed together and they each saw fireworks around them. As cliche as it was everything felt like it was falling into place despite how very untraditional their relationship was.

Chapter Text

Will thought he was ready for their son to arrive but when he got the call from Diane saying she was having contractions he realized he was more shocked than he thought. In the hours to come he was going to be a father.

“I’ll be right there. Try to stay calm.” Will said as he started to hang up the phone. He quickly picked it back up. “Oh, and Diane? You’re going to do great. I love you and I’m glad I’m doing this with you.”

Diane was caught off guard by that. She nodded though he couldn’t see it. “I love you too, Will.”

They had been saying that a lot more lately. They wanted to set an example for their son early. Diane didn’t grow up in a household where affection was given so easily and Will was known to protect his own feelings by not getting attached to anyone. So, they decided that their son would be able to express affection easily rather than keeping it bottled up and wondering how people truly felt about each other.

Will made it to her apartment in a flash. Diane was in the middle of a contraction when he walked in. He heard her pained groan as he unlocked the door. He rushed to her side and offered a hand for her to squeeze.

Her breathing slowed down to a normal rate as she relaxed back into her couch. “I’m never having sex again.”

Will could see the pain written all over her face. He felt a pang of guilt for aiding in the cause of it. “We should get you to the hospital.”

Diane saw his concern and as endearing as it was she wasn’t ready to move just yet. “I need a minute. Grab my bag.” She instructed.

Much to Will’s anxiety they had practiced for this since she reached her third trimester. Will didn’t want anything to go wrong if they could prevent it. Diane found it to be ridiculous but Will was too determined for her to shoot down his idea. Now she was glad they planned for it.

Will returned with her bag and slung it over his shoulder. He helped her up and they made their way to the hospital.

……

Diane squeezed his hand as an exasperated cry fell from her lips. “Fucking hell, Will.” Another string of curses followed.

Will knew better than to complain about the pain of her crushing his hand. How could he when she was going through labor? Labor that was going on hour thirteen.

“Let it out, Di. I know you can swear like a fucking sailor. Call me a whore.”

Diane’s head fell back to her pillow. She felt sweaty and gross but the way Will spoke to her made her laugh. Her head rolled to the side to look at him.

“What?” He asked, smiling even though the sight of her made him feel sorry for her. He leaned forwards to press a kiss to her reddened cheek.

“You made it sound all kinky.”

He chuckled. “Bringing back memories?”

“Hardly.” She shook her head as another laugh passed her lips.

“Who knew that night would’ve brought us here?”

“I sure didn’t-“ she saw her doctor walk past and prayed he wasn’t coming to check on her. As bad as she wanted to have her baby she hated the check ups.

“What’s wrong?”

“I thought he was coming in again.”

“Is it really that bad?”

“Have you ever had someone put their fingers in your vagina to see how dilated you are?” She quirked a brow and Will visibly shrank.

His smirk appeared in the next moment. “Usually it’s the other way around.” He winked.

Diane shoved him and as soon as she did her hand was closing around his shirt to pull him back as another contraction hit. “I think I’m ready for the drugs.”

“I thought you wanted to do it naturally.”

“Get me the fucking epidural, William!”

Will started to get up to get the nurse but Diane pulled him back. “No, no, don’t leave me!” She could feel the tears pricking in her eyes again.

“Diane, I have to get the nurse.”

“No.”

“But you wanted the epidural.”

“Go ahead.” She sighed as her pain let up just a little. Then it increased again and she pulled him back. “No, I need you!”

Will was all kinds of confused. Luckily, Diane’s ObGyn entered the room. As quickly as the doctor’s gloves were on, they were told Diane was ready to give birth.

…..

Diane’s screams and cries filled the room. Will’s focus was encouraging her and showering her with words of praise and gratification. He didn’t know what she needed to hear right now but he was going to give her all he had. His hand was wrapped in one of hers. His other on her knee. Her other gripping the railing on the bed as her knuckles turned white from the force.

“Take a moment. You’re almost done.”

Diane gave a weak nod as her head fell back to the bed. Tears continued to roll down her inflamed cheeks. Her hair stuck to her forehead. She gave Will a defeated look.

He watched her lip quiver and knew she was ready for this to be over. “You’re doing great, Diane.” He brushed some hair from out of her face and pressed his lips to her forehead. “Just a little more and our son will be here.”

She shook her head. Will had braced himself for it but he was almost never ready to see Diane cry, not like this. “I can’t do this anymore.” She sobbed.

Will’s hand came up to swipe her tears away. “You’ve got to. You’ve got this. I’ve seen you command a courtroom on your worst day. This is your best day and you don’t even have to fight for the doctor to rule in your favor.”

Diane let out a mix of a laugh and cry and gave his hand a grateful squeeze. “I’m glad you’re here. I can’t do this alone.”

Even Will was trying not to cry now. His best friend was really having his baby right now. She was taking it like a champ. How could anyone ever replace her in his life? “There’s nothing you’ll have to face alone ever again, I promise you that.” He kissed her forehead once more and then her knuckles as the doctor came into view.

Diane deep sighed. “Not this shit, again. Come on, let’s get this the fuck over with.”

Will watched her demeanor completely change. He couldn’t help the grin as she threw him a wink.

……

“What happened to us? Look at us. We’re so emotional.”

“Who knew lawyers had feelings?” Will teased. Ever since Henry had been laid on Diane’s chest neither of them had stopped crying. He looked down at the little baby cradled in his arms.

Diane watched in awe at how natural it looked to see Will holding their son. “You’re already a great dad.” She said with an exhausted grin. “I’m proud of you. You were great today- yesterday- whenever the hell I went through labor.”

“The last fifteen hours have been insane, Diane. I had no choice but to step up. Do you know how hard it is to see someone you love go through so much pain and have no way to help?”

“You helped more than you realize. Every time I should’ve been sobbing with pain you found a way to make me laugh. Our baby boy made it here thanks to you.”

Will bit back any suggestive jokes threatening to spill out. He gave Diane a soft smile and shifted to kiss her cheek. “I’m proud of you.” He whispered.

He watched her expression shift, there was that lip quiver again. It was to be expected. After the night they had and her hormones running wildly he couldn’t complain about her tears. He never would, not when the product of those tears was sleeping in his arms.

“You want him back?”

“Is it selfish if I say yes?” She gave him a watery laugh.

“No.” He carefully laid their son on her chest. He watched her physically relax as soon as contact between them was made. That’s the moment he realized just how much this baby had changed their lives and he was only two hours old.

Chapter Text

“Mom?”

Diane hadn’t heard his earlier calls. Her head was still swarming with thoughts of Kurt and their earlier conversation. Her heart ached at the thought of just walking away from him. He had left when she said she was unsure. Was that a sign he really wanted her or a sign she could so easily be let go? Her head hurt from the painful thoughts. Her chest burned from crying. Her stomach churned at the mere anxiety of never getting to see him again. Never having him hold her close, never feeling his lips kiss her senselessly. She longed for him. Her heart desired his. Like it or not his heart held hers captive and she wasn’t ready to be free.

“Mom, are you alright?” Henry asked as he entered her bedroom. He hadn’t seen her like this before. He had seen her go through a break up but not like this. He sat next to her on the edge of her bed. He wrapped an arm around her back and leaned into her shoulder. She instinctively wrapped her arm around him.

“I’ll be alright, son.” She said softly. She cleared her throat and brushed her hair back behind her ear. She turned her head to press her lips to Henry’s temple.

“What’s going on?”

“I’m afraid if I tell you you’ll be upset with me.”

Henry furrowed his brows. “I thought we could tell eachother everything? Did you talk to Dad?”

“We can always talk to each other sweetheart, sometimes it just takes a little longer to form the words. And no I haven’t talked to your Dad. He’s having a good day and he’s seeing Alicia tonight. I didn’t want to ruin his fun.”

“Mom, you can’t keep it all bottled up. You need to talk about it.” He thought back to all the times he had been upset and both of his parents had different ways of comforting him. His dad talked it out with him as they played basketball, eating ice cream for dinner while they talked through whatever was going on. His mom liked to curl up together with the heaviest blankets and discuss it. They would eat pizza afterwards because unhealthy foods were so comforting to her.

“You’re so smart. I wish I had been as in touch with my feelings at your age. Even now.”

“You’re working on it. I’ll order a pizza. Change out of your work clothes.”

Normally she would be ashamed to admit it but together, she and Henry had eaten two large pizzas. They were finishing up milkshakes Henry had made and Diane was already starting to feel better.

Henry sat his empty glass down on the coffee table. Diane did the same and welcomed him as his head came to rest in her lap.

“Your hair’s getting really long, honey” She mused as she toyed with it.

“I’m trying to grow it out a little.” He said with a content sigh. He was waiting for her to open up. She had yet to mention what was upsetting her and though she had relaxed, the evidence of her heartache was still in her eyes.

She knew what he was waiting on. She took in a deep breath and decided to talk to him. “It’s Kurt. I think we’re going to break up but I’m not sure.”

Henry rolled onto his back so he could look up at her. “I thought you were happy.” He was giving her the same concerned look Will gave her when she was in need of comfort.

“I thought we were too.” She felt her eyes starting to water but she held back. “He asked to meet you. He knew from the beginning I wanted to see how this would play out before you met him. With both of your parents dating other people I was afraid if you got attached and we broke up it would hurt you too.”

“I’ve met Alicia.”

“As a friend. Not as your dad’s girlfriend.”

“Is there a difference? What happens if you and dad both have break ups? Then what? You’ll never date again because I’m so emotionally damaged?”

“No, honey- that doesn’t even make sense.”

“See?” He gave her another one of Will’s expressions.

“So, you’re saying I have nothing to worry about? That you want to meet him?”

“Do you trust him enough for me to meet him? Is he a bad guy?”

“He’s the most honest man I know.”

“Then I’ll meet him and if you break up I promise it won’t damage me. I’ll be fine. It’s you who has their heart in this. Mom, you clearly love him.”

“He’s upset with me. He thinks I’m not serious about him.”

“Call him. The expression you’ve had all day tells me you’re extremely serious about him.”

“When did you get so good at relationship advice?” She smiled fondly at her son.

Henry laughed. “Have you met Dad? You just take everything he does and you do the opposite.”

Diane shook her head as she laughed for the first time since Kurt left her office. “I wish your dad were here to hear that roast.”

……

Alicia’s eyes wandered around the room. She sipped her wine as she and Will enjoyed a moment of silence. That’s what she liked most about being with Will. He allowed her to just be.

Will’s eyes wandered over her beautiful face. Her features were so soft and careless. Her beauty was the epitome of effortless especially in this moment. It had been a long time since he had seen her as relaxed as this. Any other time he could see constant gears turning in her head.

She caught his gaze and turned her attention to him. “Didn’t anyone teach you not to stare?”

“I thought you were supposed to stare at works of art.” He gave her that special grin reserved just for her. He chuckled as her cheeks reddened.

She struggled for a comeback to his flirtation and resorted to kissing him instead. That seemed to be the theme for the night. After dinner and drinks it was kissing, talking, kisses in between words, listening to music but enjoying quiet moments between them, or simply focusing on how their lips melted together.

They spent so much of their time around a whirlwind of sound but soft music playing and their laughter seemed to be all they needed in that moment.

Will broke the kiss and rested his forehead against hers. His eyes stayed shut so he could burn this sweet memory into his mind. “You’re gorgeous.” He didn’t even have to look at her to know that.

“You make me feel wanted.” She admitted, out of the blue. Her heart beat a thousand times faster as the words fell from her lips. Her eyes were still tightly shut. She feared that if she opened them he would be gone and this would be one of those dreams she had to painstakingly wake up to.

He let their lips brush as he spoke. “That’s because you are wanted. I want you.” His hands came up to hold her face. Her held her like she was the most precious thing he had ever touched. To him, she was precious. So precious he was willing to risk it all and give his entire heart to her.

“I need you.”

“I like being needed.” He responded. His first kiss fell to her forehead. He let it linger and even felt his lips tingle from the action. The next kiss was planted on her chin. The following kisses landed on her nose, cheeks, dimples- of course, as she started to grin, and finally her lips.

She melted at his touch. In all the years she had been married she had never been cared for the way Will cared for her. Just his presence made her feel like she was floating. “I don’t like needing anyone. I don’t like being weak…” her breath hitched when his lips found her jaw. She felt him nip at her skin, soothing it with a kiss.

Will connected their lips once more. He too was afraid to let the moment end. He wasn’t ready to let her go and face the real world again not when he was getting a taste of the one person he never stopped wanting.

“But I like needing you…”

With his hands still on her cheeks he carefully tilted her head so they could make eye contact. “You don’t have to be weak to need me, Alicia.”

Alicia took that moment to soak in everything he was saying. His deep, brown eyes glimmered with passion. Passion for her.

“I don’t like it when you’re weak. Not when I’ve seen how strong you are.” He punctuated his sentence with a kiss.

Alicia’s face immediately lit up. Her joy was written in shining hazel eyes. His joy matched hers as their lips came together again.

The only goal in Will’s mind was to make her happy. Seeing her relaxed features, comfortable with his hands touching her skin, the dazed smile on her lips, not a care in the world, he hoped this was her happy place. It if was he was going to make sure she never left it.

Chapter Text

Diane hadn’t let Henry go so easily but she really just needed a break. Of course Will was with them almost 24/7 but she was the one doing the constant feedings that seemed to last for decades. Will had been amazing and in fact insisted she take a break to let him handle it. He was the father of course and needed to be able to care for his son with or without Diane. The only condition Diane had was that Will stayed in her apartment the whole time. Neither of them were ready for Henry to go to Will’s without her.

“Diane, you don’t have to worry. Just last night you were telling me how proud you were. I can take care of our son while you get some rest. It’s just for the weekend and you’ll be right down the hall.”

Diane took in a sharp breath as she looked down at their little one. Henry stared up at her with her finger clasped in his tiny fist. “I changed my mind. I don’t need a break. I can power through. It’s not like I have anything else to do.”

“Are you kidding? Your eye bags have eye bags. Let me take care of him while you sleep for the next 72 hours.” He noticed how her pout seemed to grow as his words dragged on. He should’ve known she wasn’t going to give him up.

She hadn’t let Henry out of her sight since they brought him home from the hospital. She was stuck in a vicious cycle of feeding Henry, admiring him, worrying about him getting to sleep, and trying to catch some Z’s of her own in between.

Will had been there every step of the way, taking over when she would let him and often times getting to the baby before she got the chance.

Will was doing just fine considering he was getting around the same amount of sleep she was. The difference was his body wasn’t recovering from childbirth. She physically needed to let him take over for a little bit but Diane Lockhart wasn’t a quitter.

“What if he gets hungry? How do you plan on feeding him?”

“With the bottles you pumped.”

“He likes to be breastfed. It’s better if you just let me do it.” She tried to reason with him. She still wasn’t keen on this whole relaxing thing. Taking a break from her child seemed so selfish despite how much her body longed for a hot bath and her warm bed.

“You’re really discriminating against me because I don’t have breasts? Diane, I don’t think he cares.”

“Men have discriminated against people with breasts for centuries, William.” She huffed and held Henry to her chest. “Maybe you’re not ready for this just yet, he’s only a month old. He’s still new.”

“And you’re still a new mom. I’m still a new dad. He’s our new baby who can handle being 60 feet away from you for the weekend. It’s not like you won’t see him. You can just step out of the room and spend time with us but I’ll be doing all of the work.”

“I don’t know about this, Will.”

“We’ll be fine. Go relax.” He carefully pulled Henry from her arms and cradled him to his chest. He pressed a kiss to his son’s head. “Just take a bath and see how you feel and if anything goes wrong in the next two hours I’ll give you full custody for the rest of his life.”

Diane didn’t appreciate his joke. She suddenly felt empty without her baby in her arms. He was right there in front of her not even a foot away and she was missing him like crazy. This wasn’t going to be easy.

“Fine. Just a bath.”

Diane rolled over onto her side after waking up from a refreshing sleep. It’s seemed that getting dressed after her long bath had exhausted her enough to sleep.

When she looked at the clock panic set in. How the fuck had she slept for ten hours with a baby in the house? She scrambled to get up, sore muscles prolonged the process but determination got her to the living room where she found Will cradling Henry in his arms with a bottle. The volume on the TV was set low as Will watched a basketball game. She wondered how he could be so calm while watching his favorite sport.

Will’s eyes were glued to the TV. The only thing disrupting his focus was Henry’s soft sigh as he settled further into his Dad. Will’s attention immediately snapped to his son. He tilted the bottle a bit higher to ensure Henry wasn’t taking in too much air. The last thing he needed was for him to get all gassy and fussy and for Diane to get all fussy with him for it.

Diane took in a relieved breath as she watched the scene. She moved to sit on the couch but didn’t offer to take the baby from him. He looked far too comfortable. She didn’t have the heart to interrupt their moment.

“Normally you kick back with a beer when the game is on.”

“I’ve got a baby now.” He lifted up a bottle of chocolate milk he had been drinking instead.

Diane cracked up at that. The thought of Will kicking back to watch a basketball game with a baby and some Nesquik was hilarious to her. Maybe it was the sleep deprivation or maybe it really was that funny. She didn’t know.

The game cut to a commercial and Will turned his head to look at her. She looked tired but she looked a lot better than she had eleven hours ago. “There’s one for you in the fridge.”

“A chocolate milk?” She furrowed her brows. She couldn’t remember the last time she had one of those. She was in no place to judge it's not like she could have a glass of wine.

Will nodded. “Henry and I went out while you were asleep. Dinner is in there too. Henry’s been so good. He had a little crying spell but it didn’t last long.”

Diane was still in shock. “So, I’ve been away for how many hours?”

“Eleven. Did you take an hour long bath?”

“Are you judging me for it?” She gave him a warning look. Quirked brow, hand on the hip, and all.

“Nope.” He quickly backtracked.

“So I’m just out for eleven hours and you’ve been taking care of the baby, grocery shopping, and cooking?”

“We took a nap too. Diane it was just around 10am when I told you to rest. You clearly needed it. I wasn’t going to waste the whole day just staring at Henry while he sleeps. There’s not much to do when you’re the only one awake.” Will’s brows inched closer together as he tried to register where her anger was stemming from. He didn’t think he had done anything wrong.

Diane saw his features stiffening and it made her realize just how tense her entire body had gotten. What was she even upset about? Was it because she didn’t get to do it? Or because he had? If anything she was grateful for the alone time she had and thankful Will had pushed her to spend her time treating herself.

“I’m sorry.”

“Woah- what?” Will was confused. Diane never apologized and especially not to him. At least not flat out like that. “Are you still the same Diane? What kind of bath water was that?”

Diane laughed. “I just realized I’m being a total bitch, and for what? Because you told me to take a break from being a mother? I needed that. I feel more alive than I have in two months.”

“You can thank me too if you want.”

“Don’t push it.”

Chapter Text

Over the next few weeks Alicia and Will had been spending more and more time together. Their kids would have sleepovers at Alicia’s and Will would stay. Alicia would stay at Will’s when Henry was with Diane. It had almost become routine. The kids didn’t seem to mind.

Henry loved the Florrick's and because the Florrick’s loved Henry they were open to Will’s relationship with their mom. Zach and Grace had watched their mom transform into a new woman, a happier woman. They saw a smile they hadn’t seen since they were little kids. There was no way they were going to stand in between their relationship.

Alicia woke up to the commotion of three kids eating cereal in her living room. The living room tv was on some old cartoon. The sound was wafting through under her closed bedroom door. Will was only half asleep beneath her. Her head rested on his chest with her arm thrown around his waist. She could definitely get used to this. She pressed a kiss to his throat and smiled as he started to stir. She knew exactly how this was going to go. He was going to pretend to be asleep until she kept kissing him and he wasn’t going to stop her until he couldn’t stand it anymore and just had to attack her with his lips.

She played along in his little game. The little game they only played on Saturday mornings at her place. She pressed multiple kisses to his jaw. Just to be a tease she nipped at his skin. She watched his brows furrow. He was definitely awake. It made her giggle to know just how much he enjoyed this. Her lips found his cheek. She peppered it with kisses that extended down to his chin. She just barely touched the corner of his mouth with her lips.

Will turned his head to the side but kept his eyes shut. She could see a hint of a smile on his lips. She took that as her cue to kiss his lips. She left a lingering kiss on his mouth, laughing when he kissed her back.

“Good morning.” She whispered.

“Good morning.” He replied, his voice thick with sleep. Alicia loved his morning voice. It was deep and he always sounded a little grumpy but she knew he wasn’t. Even if he was it wouldn’t last for long. Not when she could easily kiss his pout away. Part of her thought he liked to pout just so she would kiss it away.

“The kids are up. You think we should get up too?”

“They’ll be fine for a little while longer.” He gave her a sleepy grin.

She moved to get closer to him, straddling his waist with her hands in his. She watched as he lifted their conjoined hands to kiss her knuckles. “How do you feel about taking the kids out today? We could do something totally domestic.”

“Domestic? That’s not like us at all. What do you have in mind?”

“A picnic at the park.” She bit her lip, seemingly nervous for his answer. She knew it was a reach considering how abnormal their situation was but now she was free to be with whoever she wanted. Peter no longer held control in her life.

“That sounds adorable, baby.”

Her heart melted when she heard the newly acquired nickname. She loved when he called her that. “Do you think the kids will be up for it?”

“I’m sure they will be and if they’re not then it can be just us for a few hours.”

“Well now I don’t know if I want them to go or not. If they go I won’t get to kiss you while we feed the ducks.”

Will laughed. “Have you always been this cheesy?”

“Just don’t tell my clients. I’d like to keep my reputation.”

“I won’t tell them that you’re the cutest lawyer I’ve ever met.” He lifted his head up so he could kiss her. She met him halfway to connect their lips.

“I’ll kick your ass if you do.”

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that even the biggest, baddest, lawyers have soft spots. You should see Diane when she’s with Henry. She’s like a completely different person.”

Alicia nodded. She knew she was the same way. She was finding a whole new side to that with Will too. She leaned down to kiss him again but was of course cut off by a knock on her bedroom door.

“Mom, can we go out today? It’s really nice.”

Diane had taken Henry’s advice and called Kurt. Of course he had to be away for a trial but that didn’t stop him from promising to meet up with her as soon as he returned. She hadn’t expected it to take this long but it did give her a chance to prepare what she wanted to say. However, her plans went out the window as soon as she saw him because he embraced her and she fell to pieces in his arms.

Kurt gently rubbed his hands over her back, soothing whatever was going on inside of her. If only she knew it had hurt him as much as it had hurt her. “I’m sorry. I overreacted.”

Diane figured his apology had been easier for him than it would be for her. Which is why she had tried to memorize the words. Her pride was large and she often had a hard time forming the words. With Kurt it was different. What he lacked in conversation she more than made up for.

“I’m sorry, Kurt. I didn’t realize how much it meant to you. You mean the world to me.” Her tears stained his shirt. “I’ve never done this before.” She pulled back to look up at him.

His tender eyes saw right through her. Now she knew the name of the game. She meant everything to him.

“I told you, Di. I’m serious about you. I think we should put all we’ve got into this. Who cares how different we are? Isn’t that what drew us to each other anyway?”

She nodded along. She took in every ounce of what he was saying. She didn’t want to admit it but he was right. He was always right. She loved and hated that about him.

“I love you.”

He swiped a tear away from her puffy, red eyes. “I know.” He pressed his lips to her forehead and let them linger for a moment. “I love you too.”

“Will you be my cowboy again?” The way her lips pouted around the sentence made his heart skip a beat. At his age that was dangerous.

“Hawyee.” He pressed his lips to hers to kiss away that adorable pout and to kiss away all of her doubts and fears for their future.

She giggled against his lips. She loved when he spoke cowboy to her. She didn’t know there was so much terminology for it. As they deepened the kiss every worry fell from her mind so she could focus on him.

The fact was that they both wanted a future together and she was worried about all the details that went into that. He knew the sacrifices they’d have to make but the thought of having her in his arms for the rest of their lives made it all worth it. That was a big ‘Yee haw’ in his mind.

…..

Will had somehow found himself alone with Zach and Grace. Henry and Alicia were sitting just a few feet away admiring the ducks. It amazed him to see something so simple amusing both of them.

“Are you in love with my mom?” Zach blurted out. That earned him a shove from his little sister.

Will kept his expression indifferent. He had been expecting this. He turned to look at the younger guy in front of him. “Yeah, I am. I’ve loved her since we were in college.”

That sparked Grace’s attention. “Does she know that? Is that why she divorced Dad?”

Will could see the worry filling Grace’s eyes. She was so much like her mother. She was so easy to read if you looked into her eyes and otherwise hard to understand. “I think she knows and I think that’s a conversation for you to have with your mom.”

“So, you broke up our parents.” Zach accused. He had been coming around to the idea of his mom having a boyfriend but the things Jackie said to him made him feel sorry for his dad. His dad had been released from prison just to be kicked out of their family. At least that’s how Zach saw it.

Will didn’t like the sound of that. It didn’t anger him but it did make him regret making Zach feel this way. Grace hadn’t seemed to mind, only going along with whatever Zach said after much convincing. “I didn’t break them up. I didn’t pursue your mom until after she decided to get a divorce. If she was going to stay married I would’ve stayed out of it.”

“Do you really mean that?” Grace tilted her head to the side.

“I wouldn’t lie to you.” Will confirmed. “All I want is for her to be happy and if marriage had made her happy I would’ve easily stepped aside.”

“She’s happier with you.” Zach admitted. “I’ve never seen her smile this much. She hasn’t cried since you started seeing her.”

“She talks to us more. She talks about you a lot. She likes it when you try to relate to us. It makes her laugh.” Grace giggled.

It made Zach and Will laugh as well. “Well, I’m glad to hear that. You know, Henry hates a lot of people-“

“We know.” They said at the same time, laughing it off.

“But he likes you guys a lot. I guess because he doesn’t have siblings and you two aren’t crushing on his mom like everyone else.”

Zach and Grace hadn’t been expecting that. They knew most of Henry’s friends were madly in love with Diane but they still had a hard time fathoming it. The three of them fell into a fit of laughter.

Chapter Text

Flashback

It took him a while to get used to it and see the beauty in it but Will Gardner would always be taken by surprise when he saw Diane nursing their baby.

They had moved past the idea that it was too intimate for the world to see and were now in the stage of Will simply not knowing what to do with himself. He didn’t want to disturb his son and he didn’t know if Diane wanted to be distracted.

“We’ve been doing this for two months now. You know you can talk to me.” She sighed. She was in her office, it’s not like she could go unseen. “I get bored just sitting here. Henry can’t talk to me and there’s only so much I have to say to someone who spends every moment with me.”

“I just thought you might’ve wanted to be alone.”

“I’m not alone. I’m feeding Henry.”

“You’re bonding.”

“So bond with us. Quit being a pussy and sit next to me.”

Will pouted but sat next to her. “I’m not being a pussy.” He mumbled. He leaned over to watch Henry. He looked so relaxed as he ate.

“Are you trying to catch a glimpse of my breast, Gardner?” She teased. She knew he wasn’t. It was just so much fun to mess with him. It was too easy.

“I’m not-“ He stood up with flushed cheeks and moved to the opposite side of the room. He could tell by her laughter she was choosing to mess with him. “Diane don’t do that to me. I’m finally coming around to it.”

“I don’t see the problem.” She shrugged.

“There isn’t one. I don’t want to make one by being weird.”

“Then don’t make it weird.” She said simply. She patted the seat next to her. “Come on. You can watch. Do you really think we care? The whole firm can see us. Henry doesn’t mind the attention and I certainly couldn’t give one fuck.”

“Have you had any weird reactions?” Will asked as he sat next to her again. He found himself looking fondly at his son. He was a beautiful kid. “I never knew someone could be so beautiful while they ate.”

“See, now you’re getting it.” She grinned and nudged him with her elbow. “I’ve had some people stop and smile for a second. It’s cute the way they awe over him, over us. Then there’s Julius who gets so awkward. The man has what- five kids now? And one on the way and he’s awkward about it.” She laughed.

Will shrugged. “Maybe he didn’t expect to see you do it.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, no one expected us to be parents and here we are killing it. If I had asked you a year ago if you would ever nurse a child you would’ve said you didn’t have the time and here you are enjoying it. Maybe he’s not used to seeing you as a mom.”

“You know, that might be it.” She tossed the idea around in her head and nodded along.

“What about David Lee?”

“The weirdest part of all of this is that David Lee has asked to hold him several times and didn’t even flinch at the sight of me feeding him.”

“David Lee?”

“Yes. He told me I was doing a great job and that I looked beautiful feeding my child.”

Will fell silent for a moment. When Diane announced her pregnancy David had been the main one to have a problem with it as if the baby was going to come between him and his paycheck. Diane and Will had worked for months to figure out exactly how to take their leave without the partners turning against them.

“David’s the reason we took the Patti Nyholm approach at this.” Will laughed though it was true. Diane had taken a full maternity leave while still popping into the office with Henry in tow just to check up on things. Instead of going the traditional way with his leave, Will opted for taking a few days off every week to spend with Diane and Henry during her maternity leave.

“He’s like some ghoul always haunting us. We can never get a fucking break.”

“He looks like one too.” Will added. Diane laughed.

They locked eyes for a moment but were interrupted by Henry’s whine. “He’s done. Would you like to burp him?”

“Yeah.” He reached into the diaper bag and threw a cloth over his shoulder. He carefully held his son to his shoulder. “He’s so small. He’s a little Will. We should change his name.”

“Will we’re not changing his name. His name is Henry and that’s final.” She adjusted her clothing in its proper place and leaned back on the couch.

“Why is his name Henry anyway? There were so many we both liked. I know it was your father’s middle name but Henry could’ve been his middle and not his first.”

“And it would’ve been but you and I agreed on me picking his first name and you picking his middle name.”

“Because you didn’t trust me to give him a good name.” Will pointed out and he wasn’t wrong. Diane had vetoed all first names associated with athletes. “It’s not like I was gonna name him Lebron.” He pouted.

Diane giggled and shook her head. “I like his name.”

“I do too. Henry Joseph Lockhart-Gardner.” He threw her a wink.

“You don’t think it’s weird we gave him such a long name?”

“You don’t think it’s weird his last name matches our firm?” He countered.

She sighed and sat back in her seat. “I don’t think Stern minds.”

“As long as he doesn’t know where we made him he couldn’t care less.” He laughed when he heard a little burp in his ear. “That was a good one, bud!”

“Good job!” Diane cheered.

“I told you we were killing this whole parenting thing. Our kid seems to be doing just fine.”

“Yes, a world champion burper.”

Chapter Text

Diane had spent the majority of her day wrapped up in Kurt’s arms. They had reunited just hours before and she couldn’t bring herself to step away from his warmth. She felt safe in his arms. She felt welcome to be wrapped up in all his plaid covered glory. Little did she know, she was always welcome to take up residence in his personal space. If he could he would hold her forever and a day. Today seemed like a good day to do just that.

Her head rested on his chest as she listened to his steady heartbeat. She took in a relaxing breath and shifted impossibly closer. Her legs were already thrown across his. Her arm was circled around his waist. She hadn’t felt this relaxed in so long. It was him that brought that out in her.

Kurt hadn’t been paying much attention to her. Not in the last hour at least. She had dozed off multiple times- which he found to be utterly adorable but he wasn’t going to let her know that. He was reading with one arm around her torso to hold his book. The other rested on her knee. His thumb rubbed circles into her silky, smooth skin. His fingertip found a raised mark on her knee.

Her breath hitched and she shifted in his lap. “Don’t.” She quietly requested.

That peaked his interest. He slid his hand higher to rest just above her knee, safe from whatever had caused that negative reaction. “Did that hurt?”

“No. It felt weird. It’s a scar.”

“I noticed.” He hummed as he closed his book. He slid his glasses further up on his nose and leaned forwards to investigate her knee.

“Don’t stare at it! It’s not very pretty.” She frowned but made no move to shy away from his touch. Something about his interest in it made her curious.

“Diane it’s no bigger than a dime.”

“There’s another one.”

“You mean the one that’s barely longer than the tip of my pinky? It’s faded anyway. What’s the big deal? You clearly make no efforts to conceal it.”

“No ones usually paying attention to my legs.”

“Are you kidding? You have the best legs in Chicago.”

Her face flushed, even her chest reddened. “I wouldn’t say that.” She shook her head, nonetheless amused by him and his new fascination with her knee. “Maybe just best leg. Singular.”

“Why’s that?” He tilted his head to the side. He figured it had something to do with the scar.

“When I was younger I shattered my knee.”

Kurt visibly winced. He had suffered many injuries when he played sports in his younger years. “I’ve heard that’s one of the worst breaks to recover from.”

“It is. I never quite got the flexibility back.”

“You’d never be able to tell it. Not with the way I’ve seen you bend.” He threw her a suggestive wink. She rolled her eyes and continued to tell her story.

“I was in law school at the time. It was one of those awful days where the whole city is covered in ice. I was running late to class and during the rush I slipped and shattered my knee on the concrete steps leading up to the building.”

Kurt let his hand return to its previous position. He lightly stroked her skin. He avoided the faded pink marks on her otherwise flawless skin. “That sounds terrible.”

“It was. Do you know how hard it is to go through law school with a shattered knee? We had mock trials during my recovery. I did a damn good job at running that faux courtroom but my knee would swell up every time.”

The injury had long since passed but Kurt still had a soft spot for her. It didn’t seem to bother her much now but he found himself kissing it anyway.

“Kurt!” She giggled. Her hand landed in his hair. “It’s completely healed now. It hardly bothers me anymore. According to you I’m still very flexible.”

“Very flexible.” He agreed as he turned his attention back to her grinning face. That was his favorite part of her to kiss, her smile. It was warm and soft and she always tasted like coffee.

“I tried to convince my parents to let me have a duck.”

“I’m assuming that didn’t go over very well, huh?”

“Not at all. My mom barely let me get a fish.”

“I didn’t need pets, I had a little brother.”

That made Henry laugh, which made Alicia smile. She enjoyed talking with Henry. It had become more frequent and the more they conversed to the more she saw him as a perfect mixture of Diane and Will. All of the best parts of them without any of their sometimes evil tendencies.

“Do you ever wish you had siblings?” Alicia asked.

“No, not really. I wouldn’t have the time. I’ve got my parents to raise.” He gave her a sly smile. He was a funny kid, very sarcastic and clever and that was definitely Alicia’s sense of humor.

She laughed. “Sometimes I feel like Zach and Grace are raising me.”

“Mostly Grace. Grace is raising Zach too.”

Alicia nodded as another laugh passed her lips. Henry definitely had Diane and Will’s unique brand of humor.

“Do you really like my dad? You want to be with him?” Henry asked in such an innocent way that Alicia was reminded that he was really just a kid worried about his parents’ hearts. She wondered if her kids were wondering the same thing about her relationship with Will.

“I do. I like him more than I should.” She paused as she saw his brows knit together. She shook her head.

“Let me rephrase.” She clasped her hands together to keep her thumbs from twiddling around. “I’ve liked your dad for a long time. I fell in love with him while loving someone else. That’s how I knew I needed to be with him.”

“You can do that? You can love more than one person at a time?”

“You can, but it’s complicated. I wouldn’t suggest it. Someone always gets hurt.” She gave him a tight lipped smile. She hoped she was explaining this in a way he could understand.

“You’re not going to hurt my dad are you?”

“No. As of now I’m only in love with him.” That’s when Alicia realized she hadn’t ever told him that. “Maybe I need to tell him that.”

“You should. He loves you too.”

“Somehow that still surprises me.” She tilted her head to the side, a signature Alicia move for a multitude of feelings. This feeling was bewilderment.

“Are you kidding?” Henry scoffed. “Go ask him.” He nodded his head in the direction of his dad.

“Now doesn’t look like a good time.” She nodded her head in the same direction. Henry turned around to see Will making Grace and Zach laugh. Neither of them wanted to interrupt.

…..

“Would you have walked away if I hadn’t have called?” Diane asked.

Kurt inhaled deeply before answering. His eyes shifted between hers. He could see the layers of hurt bubbling up to the surface of green orbs. Her wide eyes and long lashes made her look so innocent. The way she bit her lip to keep it from quivering let him know to choose his words wisely.

He fiddled with his sleeves, pushing them higher up on his arms. The anticipation was killing her.

“Kurt, answer honestly.”

“Yes.”

She swallowed as hurt swelled in her chest. A lump caught in her throat. How could she have been so stupid? She didn’t even know she had been losing him and the signs were all there. She could’ve been forgotten in a heartbeat.

“Diane,” He started. He cleared his throat to stop his voice was catching. The sight of tears glossing over her eyes made him feel sick. “I don’t like the unknown.”

“I thought we would grow together.”

“We are. You have to grow in every relationship.”

“But you didn’t want to grow with me?” She licked her lips this time, anything to stop her from full on sobbing. The streams threatening to fall from her eyes were kept back by a few blinks.

“I was going to give it time but you made it seem like we weren’t heading anywhere.”

“Kurt, the thought of- of walking away from this- it makes- makes my chest ache.” She said.

Her stutter let him know how hard this was for her to open up about. His hands rubbed each of her arms, soothing her.

“If you want to leave I understand. You don’t have to do any of this, you know. You don’t owe me anything.” This was becoming too complicated for her. Her head felt clouded. It was like she couldn’t see anything in front of her. She felt like she was in a dark room and couldn’t find the lights.

“Di, walking away from you that day was hardest thing I had ever done. I love you. I want us to be together. I just need to know that you want this too.”

“Can’t you see I’m trying?” Her words cut through him like a knife. They pierced her soul as they came out. Finally, the dam broke and her tears cascaded down her cheeks. She closed her eyes tight to conceal them the best she could.

“Then why can’t you love me back?” He whispered it. If he had said it any louder he would’ve fallen apart like she did. It took a lot to break Kurt but something about Diane opened a whole section of him he didn’t know existed.

Diane’s cry rang louder in his ears. “I do love you!” She desperately grasped his cheeks. Her thumbs rubbed over his skin. “I love you. I love you so much.” She held his face impossibly closer to his.

He kissed her and she responded immediately to it. She was tired of this back and forth between them. She was tired of never knowing what to do.

“My life used to be so easy. I like to live simply and you came in here and fucked it up.” She half laughed as she kissed him again. She felt his warm chuckle against her lips.

“No one ever said this was going to be easy.” He said.

“They sure as hell didn’t say it would be this hard either.” She grinned.

They shared another passion filled kiss. Their lips moved in a rhythm so familiar to them it didn’t miss a single beat. Their hearts drummed along to the tune.

“Don’t let me go. Don’t leave me.” She softly requested.

“I won’t. I’ll stay as long as you’ll let me.”

Chapter Text

Diane sat at her desk with her baby boy in her lap. She typed away while Henry contently sucked on his pacifier. Soft music played from her radio and created a calming atmosphere for them both. She hoped Henry would be falling asleep soon. That would give her time to eat lunch and power through the last few hours of work before going home.

Will walked into one of his favorite sights. His two favorite people in the office. Will loved when Henry came to the firm. Anytime he got to see his son made for a splendid day.

At first they thought childcare was the one and only option for them but after one instance of Henry’s babysitter getting sick they resorted to letting him spend at least one day a week at the office and found that it wasn’t too difficult.

“Need anything?” Will couldn’t hold back his smile. Henry looked up to the familiar sound of his voice and cooed around his pacifier.

“Are you headed for lunch?” Diane asked, sliding her glasses off to place them on her desk. She saw Henry instantly reach for them and she barely got them away in time. Her son looked up at her in the most judgemental way.

“We’ve been over this, Mama’s glasses aren’t for Henry.”

Henry continued to stare, seemingly studying his mother’s face.

“I was thinking about it. Would you like to join?”

“Are you asking me or him?”

“Mostly you, but I guess Henry can be the third wheel.”

“That means he’ll miss his client lunch. It’s been planned for weeks.” Diane pouted at both Gardner’s.

Will laughed. “I’m sure they’ll understand. If you wanna stay here I’ll take him with me.”

“Something tells me you only came in here to take the baby.” She smiled. He was so predictable when it came to their son.

Will stepped over to her desk and scooped Henry up from her lap. As soon as his son was secure in his arms his kissed his head. “Where’s the car seat?”

Diane rolled her eyes. “Behind the couch. Give me 20 and I’ll go with.”

Diane continued to wrap up her work while Will worked on getting Henry properly covered for their outing. He took the time to talk Henry through the whole process. He strapped his little one in his car seat and sat on Diane’s couch to wait for her.

“You’re getting faster.” She noted.

“It’s getting easier.”

“I told you it would.” She looked up to him with a smile. She guessed she could finish up her work after lunch. What was one email left unread when she had Henry and Will right there waiting for her.

“You ready?”

“Yeah.” She left her desk, grabbing her bag as Will grabbed Henry. They walked into the hallway together and as their hands brushed he linked their fingers together.

It felt so natural that she didn’t want to pull it away. All she did was turn to him and beam. He returned it and off they went.

Chapter Text

As per usual when she came over he greeted her with a kiss. This time, however she rejected it. Her hand came up and met with his lips instead. Deflated, he put on a serious face, preparing for whatever she was going to say. Evidently it was so serious she needed to be in a different headspace.

“Do you love me?” She asked. Her features remained soft except those honey colored eyes whose specks of green reflected concern.

Even when determined the innocence of her question was adorable. Will had to laugh. It was soft and light and it made Alicia’s anxiety both spark and simmer down. His hand came up to caress her cheek. The soft skin felt like silk beneath his fingertips.

“Of course I love you.” He attempted to kiss her again only to be stopped as she took a step back.

“Then you have to fire me.” Her voice hardened into her attorney voice.

“I’m sorry, what?” His brows wore sewn together by a thread of confusion. “Why the hell would I do that?”

“Will, I’m an underling. I’m in competition with Cary. If you hire me instead of him what will that look like hmm?” She tilted her head to the side only slightly amused by his expression.

He tried to kiss her again despite the seriousness of the conversation. He wanted so badly to comfort her fears as they worked through them. She stopped him again by placing her hands on his chest.

“Focus.” Her voice sang.

He groaned and gave her a pout. “I can’t even kiss you?

“Would you kiss your boss?” A smirk played on her lips. The very lips Will couldn’t take his eyes off us.

“I had a baby with my boss.”

Alicia laughed and leaned into him. He thought he was going to catch her lips. He caught her cheek instead.

“Alicia!”

“William.”

He took several steps away from her, offended by the use of his full name. Only Diane called him that. Even then it was like a curse to him.

“Fine. You want me to keep Cary on? I will. I’ll keep him on because he’s a great lawyer. Diane wanted him anyway.”

“She didn’t want me?”

“She didn’t want your last name. After your interview she raved about you, I did too. She hesitated because of Peter.”

“Fuck Peter.”

“Yeah, fuck Peter.” Will agreed. His hands held her hips. He hoped maybe, just maybe she would let him kiss her.

She could see his eyes staring at her lips. She felt the way his thumbs made circles on her hips, the way his fingertips were dangerously low on her back.

“We’re not done here.” Her voice was low. As bad as she wanted to forget everything and just kiss him like she meant it, she decided against it. It would only bother her later and give her a sleepless night if she did.

“You wanna talk, baby? Let’s talk. I’ll listen.” He looked down at her with tender brown eyes that were windows straight into his heart. He held so much love for her in just a blink and she had a hard time fathoming it.

She swallowed, struggling for words. Her lips were parted almost contemplating their next move. Her amber eyes flickered over his ebony and they were lost for just a second. She nodded her head as a reply.

She cleared her throat as she attempted to speak again. Where was her focus again? Oh yes, her job. She wanted to speak to him as an employee and not as a lover but it seems he wanted to be a lover and not a boss tonight.

It was like she lost her mind for a moment. Everything she thought she wanted to say was no longer there and for the life of her she couldn’t get it back. Will really derailed her train of thought. Not even derailed, he crashed that shit. Flames bursting, silence for lost thoughts, smoke clouding her judgement.

She was brought back to reality when his hand cupped her cheek. Four fingers resting in her hair, his thumb tracing her bottom lip. It took everything in her not to submit.

Will knew exactly what he was doing. He wanted to kiss her so bad. Just the way she reacted to his touch made him fall deeper for her, crave her more than he already was. The way he held her gaze made his heart thump louder in his chest.

She swallowed again, trying to get her thoughts back in order.

“Will.”

“Yeah?” His voice stayed soft, barely above a whisper.

“Kiss me.”

He leaned in. Her mouth opened, ready to accept his kiss. She was eager to feel his lips on hers. She could feel the whisper of his breath on her mouth. She closed her eyes, ready to melt.

He pulled away and chuckled, leaving her with nothing but anger filling her petite body. “I thought you wanted to talk.”

Will was laughing but Alicia found no humor in it at all. She was trying to think of a reason not to fight him. She couldn’t. Will might just have to square up.

“Will, kiss me. I want to now.” She leaned forwards and he backed away. He now saw the power denying a kiss held. He liked it, although he was missing her lips, her taste, her feel.

“No. You said we couldn’t kiss until we talked.”

She let out a frustrated groan, grumbling about him being an ass. “Fine. Let’s talk.”

Will gave her a nod. “So, you want me to hire Cary? That means I can’t hire you.”

“But I need the job.”

“Yes, and your name is no longer poison.”

She raised a perfectly arched brow. “Poison?” She found herself smiling at that. The thought of people thinking Peter was poison proved she made the right decision in leaving him. He was damaged goods and would’ve ruined her name further had it not been for Eli Gold.

“Yes, assuming you’re still going by Florrick.” He gave her a look. He wasn’t sure if he was asking as her boyfriend or as her employer.

“Shouldn’t we be discussing this with Diane?”

“You think Diane will give you a kiss?”

“Now that’s a thought! I wonder if she would kiss me like you.”

“She’s not a bad kisser.” He shrugged. He had kissed Diane quite a few times even before they had Henry.

Will pondered on that. “She always tastes like coffee, but she’ll never take control. You want to kiss her? You make the first move.”

Alicia fell silent. Her mind toyed with thoughts of Will and Diane together. There wasn’t an ounce of jealousy in her body. She just wondered how that would’ve worked for them. She wondered why it didn’t work for them. There must’ve been an obvious power struggle or at least some reason for them to have slept together. Looking at them now you wouldn’t be able to tell they ever shared an attraction.

“You jealous?” He teased. He knew she wasn’t. She wasn’t the type and after what she had been through he was glad to be able to joke with her about it.

“Immensely. You shouldn’t ever see her again.” She said in faux sincerity.

They shared a laugh and Will almost leaned down to kiss her. She was ready for it again, closing her eyes as he dipped his head down. Instead he whispered in her ear. He loved being a tease. It was her game, he was just playing along with what she had started.

“We should get back on track.”

“Darling, we’ve derailed.” She whispered back. Her hands rested on the sides of his neck. They were in such close proximity she could almost taste him. Maybe it was her imagination filling in her craving.

Will laughed softly. “I’ll talk to Diane later then. Would that be okay with you?”

“As long as we can talk about us next.” She let out a sighing giggle as she rested her head against his chin. He instinctively pressed his lips to her forehead.

“Whatever you want, baby.”

“What I want is for you to kiss me.”

Will’s hands slid down to the small of her back. He held her close to his body as he leaned down to kiss her. It was a peck at first. It already lingered on their lips. It dissorriented her and dazed him.

As he pulled away she sought after him again, capturing his lips and holding them hostage to her own. She smiled against his mouth. She had never felt so comfortable with being vulnerable.

“Oh and by the way, I love you too.” She finally said.

As the words left her lips he lifted her up by the hips and allowed her legs to wrap around his waist. Her back was pressed against the nearest wall as he pinned her there. He kissed her with the fire that had been burning deep within as soon as she had walked through the door.

Will pulled back when Alicia mumbled against his lips. He looked down at her as he laid kisses along her jaw.

“And it’s Cavenaugh now.” She gave him that wide grin that always made him fall apart. The next thing he did was kiss one of those dimples he found to be so damn irresistible.

Diane’s hands shook as she paced the room. Her heels clicked against the kitchen floor and echoed throughout the room. Henry watched as she continued to stress. Today was the day he was meeting Kurt.

“Mama?” Henry asked as he entered the room. He could see the worry written all over her face. Much like his dad, he could read her like a book and knew her like the back of his hand.

“Hm?” Diane was pulled out of her thoughts as her eyes met with delicate green eyes that mirrored hers. She blinked slowly to clear the haze of worry in her mind.

“You’re worried.” He stated.

She took in a deep breath and nodded. She gave him a soft smile as he hugged her tightly from behind. He pressed a kiss to her cheek.

“It’ll be fine, Mom. Don’t worry so much.”

She gave him another nod as they heard a knock on the door. Diane felt a surge of electricity go through her heart as she walked to the door. She opened it to the warm smile of her cowboy. Just looking at him gave her a sense of peace.

“Hey.” Kurt greeted.

“Hey.” She stepped aside to let him in, leaning into him as he pecked her cheek.

“You must be Henry.” He shook the young boy’s hand. He was kind of tall for his age. Thin, just like Diane. His dark hair was a contrast to the green eyes he most definitely got from his Mom and smile that said ‘Will Gardner’ through and through. The pictures Diane showed him didn’t do Henry justice. Henry was a perfect mixture of his parents.

“And you must be the cowboy who lassoed my Mom’s heart.” Henry said with more comfort than Diane had expected.

Kurt laughed. He liked this kid a lot. His humor was similar to Will’s. “Sure am. You know, I hope it’s okay that my horse is out there. I tried to put him in a parking spot. Do you know how hard it is to parallel park a horse?”

Henry laughed which eased Diane’s tension even further. She knew Kurt was funny and she knew Henry was a jokester himself, of course they would get along by making each other laugh.

“Kurt, can I get you some water? Maybe a sasparilla?”
She said it in her flawlessly, unique, Diane kind of way. Her one liner landing the joke without much effort on her part.

Kurt smirked at her. Henry did too. They could feel the shift in her mood. Tonight was going to be a great one.

Diane had watched her child instantly take to her cowboy. It was interesting to say the least. She knew they had a lot in common but she expected them both to be quiet and shy and leave her to carry the conversation. In reality she could hardly get a word in but she wasn’t mad at all. Those of few words spoke up the whole night. Diane sat back and listened.

“No way! What did you do? I would’ve peed my pants.” Henry laughed.

“That’s exactly what I did. I couldn’t move until he left.” Kurt explained. “It was just me and one of my buddies and he was asleep. There wasn’t a thing I could do about it unless I wanted to be bear food.”

“So, how long did he stay there?” Henry asked.

“Probably a few minutes. There’s no telling how long he had been there before I woke up.”

“And you didn’t think about shooting it?” Henry tilted his head to the side, visibly intrigued by Kurt’s story.

Diane wasn’t paying attention to the words. She was focused on the bright eyed boys in front of her. Her baby boy and her cowboy were bonding. She couldn’t be happier. She had heard the story a million times anyway. There were only so many times she could listen to the time Kurt camped and woke up to a bear ransacking the place.

“It was a baby. I like bears, they’re beautiful creatures. I’ll hunt a lot of things but bears aren’t one of them.”

Henry nodded, relieved by that statement. Like Diane, he didn’t like the idea of hunting animals just for show. He found it to be grotesque. Just the thought of taxiderming an innocent creature made him feel sick.

“What do you hunt?”

Diane answered that for him. She had asked Kurt the same question months ago. “Deer, rabbits, squirrels, ducks, I think a moose once..”

“Just once. That was a challenge.”

“And what do you do with them?”

“I eat them.” He said it like it was the most obvious thing in the world.

Henry grimaced at the same time Diane did. “You don’t taxidermy them do you?”

“No. I have morals.” He laughed. “My friends do but I don’t see the need to. It’s messed up if you think about it.”

Henry agreed. “Mom, would you ever go hunting?”

“I’ve considered it. He’s asked me before.” She laughed at Henry’s shocked expression. “Would you?”

“I don’t think so.”

“What about fishing?” Kurt asked. He already knew the answer would be yes. Diane had told him all about Henry’s interest in it.

Henry immediately lit up. He loved fishing. He always gets to fish when he and his dad visit his grandparents in Maryland. “I love fishing! My grandad takes me.”

Kurt nodded with a warm smile. “Maybe we could go sometime.”

“He has a boat.” Diane added as she sipped her wine.

“He has a boat?” Henry gave Diane a look that said ‘if you don’t marry him I will’

Chapter Text

Will had the change the most awful diaper. He thought he would never get the smell out of his system. He went as far as to asking someone to keep an eye on Henry while he took it out to the dumpster. That was one of the perks of bringing his son to the firm, multiple baby sitters.

He came back in a flash and scooped his son up in his arms. “I don’t know what you’re eating but it makes your diapers disgusting, bud.”

Henry laughed which made Will laugh too, shaking his head. “You kill me with that laugh. Nothing’s even funny.

Henry continued to laugh and caused a cycle of both of them laughing.

Diane just happened to walk by and see most of their laughing fit. She popped her head in and fell into a fit of giggles herself at the sight.

“What are you guys laughing about?” She tilted her head at Henry, who brightened up at the sound of her voice. She couldn’t resist walking over to steal a kiss.

“I don’t even know.” Will had that large smile of his that broke just as many hearts as it warmed. He lifted Henry up to hand him over to Diane.

“He loves making people laugh.” Diane said as her lips fell to her son’s cheek.

“He’s a funny guy. I wonder where he gets that from.” He winked.

“From me.” A cheeky grin played on her lips. Henry sported a toothless grin as their faces were pressed together, both seemingly teasing Will.

Will’s heart ignited with an adoration for both Henry and Diane. He was so adorable and Diane was so adorable with him. It confused him to think of Diane in that way. It had been a long time since he had a thought like that about her. That was a line they weren’t supposed to cross. One that was unspoken and yet they both knew there were barriers there.

“Very cute.” He deadpanned, desperately attempting to hide his joy in seeing them like that. Mostly his joy in seeing her like that. No one got to see that side of her. He was lucky enough to be granted with such a sweet sight.

“We know.” Her cockiness was more charming than it was annoying. She bounced her baby on her hip. Being a mother seemed to come so natural to her.

“Isn’t that right?” Her voice became much lighter when she spoke to Henry. She had banned the use of baby talk, preferring to talk to Henry like a developing human and not like a mindless creature.

Henry looked up at her with those adorable chubby cheeks and cooed in response. His focus was halted when her necklace caught his eye. He grabbed onto it, grasping it in his tiny fingers.

Diane had grown used to this by now and was mostly unphased by it. She gave Henry another glance before looking up to Will who appeared to have been watching her the whole time.

“Are you okay?”

Her voice startled him out of his thoughts. He had felt a certain way for a while but wondered why he was feeling so drawn to Diane now. He assumed she had gotten over that. They agreed to let it go.

Will cleared his throat. Out of the need to do something with his hands he rebuttoned his blazer and adjusted his tie. “Fine.”

Diane didn’t believe him. He had been doing that more often in the last few weeks. The long gazes, the soft touches, the soft words. They knew what was happening. It was that unspoken attraction, one they neither confirmed nor denied with each other. The one that went without saying. It was only ever hinted at.

“Will. We can’t do this.” She didn’t even have to say the words for him to know.

“I know.” He looked away, finding it easier to make eye contact with a spot on the wall. He swallowed the lump in his throat. It pained them both. It wasn’t just about Henry. It was about the night they slept together, the few kisses they had shared before and even after the fact.

“But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to.”

“But we shouldn’t.”

She nodded. “It’s not us.”

Chapter Text

With the end of her first year at Lockhart/Gardner coming to an end Alicia had called it quits in her running to be a second year. This meant Cary got to stay on and there were no hard feelings because she left willingly.

Diane had gotten her a job at a big firm. She had no problem making the calls to help Alicia out. Her friends over there were in need of someone like her anyway.

What Diane didn’t know was that Alicia was already semi-welcome there. One of the partners’ wives, Liz Reddick went to law school with Alicia and despite being rivals the whole time Liz spoke highly of her as well.

So, Alicia entered the doors of Reddick, Boseman, and Kolstad with a large smile on her face. She had extra confidence in her walk. Her excitement radiated around her like a halo of sunshine. This was a great experience for her. She could feel it in her bones.

She was greeted by one of her new bosses, Adrian Boseman. Adrian was an old friend of Diane’s. Alicia could see why Diane spoke so highly of him. It wasn’t just the exquisite suits he wore or even the fact that he was one of the best lawyers in the game. It was that warm smile that lit up the room. That friendly, playful nature of his that both welcomed her and made her feel like she could conquer the world.

“Miss Cavenaugh.” Adrian greeted, his voice deep and rich with a hint of something sweet. He stuck his hand out, shaking hers and noticing that her grip was firm. He liked that. It meant she had a lot of fight in her. His wife had informed him of that and he could see the confidence surrounding her.

“Good morning, Mr. Boseman.” Any nervousness Alicia had been holding onto melted away when she saw him. This was so different compared to her first day at Stern, Lockhart, and Gardner. She felt like she was welcome and not just there on a favor.

“Glad to have you here.” He grinned. “This is fast but that’s how we do things around here, Alicia.” He gestured for her to follow him.

She followed closely behind, taking in the scene around her. She was at a majorly black firm and she could tell she was getting looks already. She brushed it off, quickly realizing her privilege in not getting those kinds of looks everywhere. She didn’t mind the staring. She was new, she was different, she clearly didn’t have to fight as hard as most of the people around her.

“It’s a police brutality case. I’m sure you’ve heard we do a lot of those here. This one isn’t as big but every case matters. Think you can handle it?”

“Definitely.”

“That’s what I like to hear.” He winked, giving her a light pat on the shoulder.

….

“How’d Alicia do today, Dad?” Henry asked.

Will was in the middle of making dinner while Henry sat at the counter doing homework. “She’s doing great. She called me at lunch. She’s already got her first new client.”

“Do you miss her?”

“I guess.” He sounded as nonchalant about it as he could. She had only been gone a few days and he was missing her like crazy.

“Come on, Dad. I know you miss her.” He prodded, trying to coax at least an admission from his father. He laughed as he tried to conceal it.

“Of course, I miss her.” He admitted. “It’s weird not popping into her office just because I want to talk to her and now I can’t even assign her to be my co-counsel just to be close to her.”

Henry laughed. “Does Mama know you did that?” He leaned forwards with his chin in his hand.

“No and she’s not going to know that.” Will pointed his spatula at him to punctuate his sentence.

“Ah, another one of those father and son secrets. Those are going to start costing you.”

“Excuse me, but when did you become a con man?” He laughed.

“When I needed my dad and he wasn’t there for me.” Henry was most definitely guilting him. There were many times where Will made one small mistake that would be a large mistake in Diane’s mind and it was between him and Henry to keep it under wraps.

“I forget to pick you up from basketball one time and this is what I get?”

“At least I didn’t tell Mom.”

“She would’ve killed me.” He shook his head just knowing Diane wouldn’t let him hear the end of it if she knew.

“I like having you around. Even if you do forget about me.”

“It was one time!” Will’s spatula fell into the pan with a clatter and a splash and Henry laughed as he watched him try and fish it out.

“What about that time you left me at the park when I was three?”

“That wasn’t me.” He scrunched his face up in confusion. “Did Diane tell you I did that? That was her.”

“Mom would never.”

“Wow.” He laughed with a nod of disbelief. “She’s really brainwashed you into thinking she’s perfect hasn’t she?”

“She is perfect.”

“What a Mama’s boy.” He scoffed.

“I’ll be sure to tell Grandma how much you hate her.”

Will gave him a look. How did his son always have the quickest comebacks? “I love my mom too but she’s not perfect. No one is.”

“My mom really is perfect. She’s the most flawless woman to ever exist.” Even Henry couldn’t get that out without a laugh. He said it in a style true to Diane. She would’ve been proud to know he could do that even if he was mocking her by doing it.

It only took one week for Alicia to change up her style. It didn’t take long for her to warm up the other associates. She was becoming a different person and if you didn’t know her you probably wouldn’t recognize her. Even Will and Diane didn’t recognize her right away.

She won a fairly large case at Reddick/Boseman. She was becoming well liked and surely she would be making her way to the partner track in the next year or so. She was making friends, she changed her look to something classic, something more natural. After talking with some fellow curly haired women at her new firm Alicia was no longer ashamed of having curls and decided that they could be professional and resigned if she made them.

Will was shook as hell when Alicia walked into his office. It was the first time he had seen her in a week and the first time he had seen her curls in over 18 years. His surprise was written in his wide smile. He really got to be in love with this woman. It wasn’t hard when she looked like that.

“Hey.” Alicia gave him a smile that was all dimples and teeth. Her hazel eyes glowing as she stepped over to his desk. She kissed him soundly on the lips. She had been having the best week of her life and he was part of that.

“You seem so..”

“Happy? Why wouldn’t I be? I’ve got a great job, I’m in love, I feel confident. I’m on top of the world, Will. Join me?”

“You look beautiful on cloud nine.” His eyes reflected the delight in his beaming grin. The radiant woman before him fulfilled his heart more than she would ever know.

“I feel like it too.”

“Henry asked about you the other night. He wanted to know about your first day.”

Alicia immediately lit up at that. Henry was asking about her? That had to mean he was starting to like her. That was the best thing she had heard all day.

“Did you tell him how it went?” She sat across from him on the other side of his desk. She was on the edge of her seat with this topic.

Will could see her excitement. “I did. He’s happy for you. Just about every night since then he’s been asking when I’m seeing you again. He thinks I’m moping around too much.”

Alicia laughed and Will fell to pieces. Her laugh, her smile, those curls, those damn dimples. She knocked him out of the park with that combination. “You miss having me around?”

“Are you kidding? Firing you was the best decision I ever made.” He teased.

“I know you’re joking but I think it is. I really like it over there Will. I feel like I’m defending real people. I feel like I’m on the right side of the law.”

“Should I tell Sweeney?”

Her smile fell into a more serious expression. “Don’t even joke about that. The last thing I need is for him to come back into my life.”

“Well could you get him out of mine? Every time he comes in that vein in Diane’s neck pops out.”

Alicia shivered. “ I don’t miss that vein.”

“You’re lucky.”

Will’s phone rang and he motioned to her telling her he had to take the call. She understood and moved from her seat to look around the room. She kind of missed his office. It had become her second home in a way. It was where she came for advice, legal and personal. It was where they fell in love. She wondered if she was wrong in coming back to see him. She could’ve met him somewhere else.

Who was she kidding? She liked his office because she liked how much it reflected him. She liked seeing him work. She liked hearing his voice harden when he was negotiating, the way his brow lifted when he was in deep thought. The way he rolled his sleeves up to reveal toned arms when he was in for a long night.

“Alicia?” He placed the phone back on the receiver and looked up at her expectantly. He had asked her what she wanted for lunch. When he didn’t get a response he found her staring off with her bottom lip between her teeth.

“Hm?”

“You okay?”

“Yeah, I just…” her smiled opened up. “...love you.”

Chapter Text

Diane had kissed him. Initially she knew it was a mistake. She knew it wouldn’t end well for them but the feeling of him kissing her back made her forget for just a moment.

They parted and his deep brown eyes locked in on her anxious green ones. She prepared herself for the worst. The ball was in his court. Hopefully it wouldn’t ruin anyone’s relationship with Henry. Henry always came first.

“We’ve got to stop doing that.” Will gave her a sideways smile. He wasn’t upset. Taken off guard? For sure. Did he enjoy it? Heck yeah. Was it right? Definitely not.

Diane let out the breath she had been holding. She held her hands together to keep them from visibly shaking. “I know. I don’t know what happened. Seeing you with him. I felt something.”

“You think I’m a sexy dad, Diane?” Humor seemed to be the only way he could talk to her about it.

Diane shook her head at his ridiculousness. Her arms came up to fold over her chest in a power stance. “I guess there’s something about seeing your soft side. It’s cute.”

“You think I’m cute?”

“In a father-of-my-child kind of way, yes. But this can’t happen again.” They had already crossed so many lines since they started the firm. They had to stop somewhere.

“Do you know what happened the last time you said that?” He took a step closer to her. His hand rested on her forearm. Her skin tingled from his touch and it drew her closer to him.

“We let it happen again and then we made a baby.” She answered. Her eyes held his, both glimmering and searching for any sort of sign that what they were doing had potential. All they could see was how much it was hurting them. How much it could hurt everything they had built together.

Diane licked her lips, a telltale sign she was in deep thought. Will wanted nothing more than to kiss her doubts away.

“We shouldn’t.” She said it softly. Maybe if she didn’t speak it loud enough for the universe to hear she could hold onto her feelings for a little longer.

“What’s stopping us? Henry certainly isn’t. There’s no one else here.” He wasn’t trying to convince her. If anything he wanted to make himself feel better about their situation. It was clearly hurting both of them but they weren’t in any position to be together not like this. Not now. Maybe if they had different timing.

“This is a mistake.”

“If it’s a mistake why do we keep ending up here?”

“I don’t know.” She held her face in her hands. She felt his arms wrap around her. A frustrated sigh fell from her lips as she let her head drop to his shoulder.

“Why do I want you?” She mumbled.

“I don’t know but I want you too.”

Will felt her tears fall to his shirt. He hated being in situations like this. Why was it he always fell for the women he couldn’t have? Especially the ones he cared for the most. He soothed her back and did his best to ignore the sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach. Their whole situation made his head hurt. It stopped him from thinking clearly.

“Will, I’m sorry.”

“Don’t apologize, it’s me too.”

“We have so much to consider.”

“I know.” His hand came up to rest in her hair, holding her securely in his arms.

“The firm, our baby, it’s a lot.”

“We’ve never been ones to plan.” Even their firm had been a spur of the moment decision. It started in a hotel conference room. Their son was the most unplanned of all. Henry was made on the couch in Will’s office.

“Are we being stupid?”

“I can’t even tell anymore.” The hurt was evident in his voice.

“If it's supposed to happen for us don’t you think it will? At some point we’ll..”

“Diane, I don’t have the answer to that right now but I know for a fact we’ll be in each other’s lives until the end of time. It’s not just our history. It’s not even about Henry. We have a special kind of friendship. Nothing's going to break that.”

She lifted her head to smile at him. Her eyes were still watery with tears. “Soulmates?”

“Yeah, you’re my soulmate.” He smiled back and kissed her head.

Chapter Text

The sparkling of champagne reflected the light from the glimmering chandelier in the middle of the room. The twinkle of ballgowns and cuff links illuminated the night. With hair set in place with heavy coats of hairspray, suit jackets and blazers pressed to perfection without a crease in sight. Red painted lips and white french tipped nails on lovely ladies letting loose for a good cause. Men in dull colors compared to the women they escorted.

It was all for a good cause.

That’s what she kept telling him. “Kurt, you didn’t have to do this.”

It’s not that he had a problem with going to events with her. He had a problem with all the fuss just for one night. One night to be uncomfortable in all the layers of a suit. A suit she insisted on picking for him. She didn’t trust him to do it on his own. It seemed like the only thing she had let him pick was his underwear. He was glad for that, too. If it had been up to her it would’ve been some over the top pair of french lace boxers. Kurt liked lace but he didn’t think it would be as pretty on him as it is on her.

“I know I didn’t. I didn’t want you to go alone. I don’t mind getting dressed up as long as I get to see you looking like that.” He answered honestly. The way the blue shimmers of her dress made her eyes pop made his heart do the same. Her perfect, blonde hair pulled back and curled to expose that gorgeous face he fell so hard for. Her delicate back was exposed enough for him to brush his fingertips against her cool skin should they choose to dance.

And it was for a good cause.

“I wouldn’t have been alone..” she trailed off. She most definitely would’ve been alone. It used to be just Will and herself going to these types of events. They were always each other’s dates. Now he had Alicia and lucky for her she had Kurt. Actually, that was pretty damn lucky. He looked so sexy in a suit. He would definitely be informed of that later.

“Why don’t you dress up more?” She asked. Her head tilted in a childlike manner. The question innocent enough though she practically knew the answer.

“Why don’t you dress down more?” He countered, a smile played on his lips as her gaping reaction.

“I’m a lawyer.”

“And I’m the Marlboro man.”

Diane couldn’t even try to bite back her laugh. He was glad she didn’t because her melodic sound filled his ears and elicited a few smiles from those around them as well. He loved her laugh. Her hearty, full of life, sunshiny laugh.

Her hand pushed his shoulder. Her grin still wide open with bright white teeth shining through. He grabbed her hand, intertwining their fingers and kissing her knuckles. She leaned in to steal his lips for a short second.

Just behind them, Will and Alicia were entering the room. Alicia looked stunning. Her long black gloves ran miles up her arms. Her shoulders were exposed in her exquisite red dress. Her hair was in a classic updo that must’ve had at least 1000 pins in it to keep its shape.

And Will? Well, he didn’t look so bad himself. His usual attire had been taken up to the next level. His bow tie gave him the finishing touch in his black, tailored suit, and stark white button down. Alicia thought he looked so handsome. She really thought he was so irresistible and all hers. She couldn’t wait to get him alone.

Their arms were linked as they were greeted by several people in the business. Most of them asking Alicia about her ex-husband and Will about Stern’s departure. Occasionally, they were asked about their close proximity to which they answered honestly in saying they were extremely happy to be in love with each other.

Diane nudged Kurt as Will and Alicia approached their table. Greetings were shared amongst the four of them. Diane and Will shared a wink. This time last year it would’ve been them alone for the night, dancing together, drinking together, sometimes pretending to be together since most people knew about their son but didn’t understand their dynamic.

They almost missed those times together. It was a few nights a year where they could just be friends for night and not coworkers or even coparents. However, seeing Kurt’s debonair grin and Alicia’s bright smile gave them new traditions to accept. They were sure their new partners wouldn’t mind if they shared a dance or two. They did have to show them how it’s done. Who else was going to teach all those other stiff business women and men how to dance across a ballroom?

Will sat near Diane with Alicia on the other side of him. His seating choice wasn’t his own. He had pulled the chair out for Alicia but she accepted the one next to it, knowing how badly he wanted to sit next to his best friend. She knew him well.

“Hey handsome.” Diane grinned. She was already having a good night. She hadn’t been there for more than twenty minutes but just having Kurt and now Will there lifted her spirits.

Will looked around the room as if he didn’t hear her. Suddenly, he turned back to her pointing to himself and mouthing ‘Me?’

“Surely, a woman as gorgeous as you isn’t calling me handsome.”

They shared a laugh, momentarily forgetting their flirty nature may not be as welcoming to those around them. Diane realized this first and half turned into Kurt’s side. She interlocked their fingers and brushed her thumb over his knuckles. She looked back to see his genuinely warm smile.

“How’s Mr. Boseman treating you, Alicia?”

Alicia immediately lit up at her question. She leaned into Will’s shoulder, her hand came to rest on his arm. He didn’t even try to move away. Rude of him to assume she could see through him to speak to Diane. He didn’t mind how close she had gotten. She knew he wanted her to have to touch him to join into the conversation.

“Adrian is great.” Her sparkling, beaming grin said it all. She loved working at Reddick, Boseman, and Kolstad. She had yet to meet Carl Reddick but she admired him greatly. Along with his many achievements with Dr. King, Carl Reddick raised Alicia’s law school nemesis and she still managed to get to work under his name. The other two name partners had been so welcoming to her, taking her under their wing until they saw her soar in the courtroom. “Diane, I can’t thank you enough for sending me to them.”

Diane’s grin matched hers. “Well, we miss you at Lockhart/Gardner but they needed someone like you over there.” She was right. Within the first few days of her arrival Adrian had called Diane and thanked her. Alicia was a wildfire in the courtroom. She meshed well with her peers and Adrian loved the fact that she could be such a demure woman until the time called for more. Alicia was the kind of associate they needed all along. Even Barbara liked her- yes, Barbara Kolstad.

The banquet was in full swing. Dinner and drinks were in everyone’s systems and the lively music created a sense of joy that filled the beautifully lit room. Diane had done her share of dancing with Will and with Kurt. She may have also stolen a dance with Adrian that made her wonder if merging their firms would be a good idea. There were rumors of Barbara leaving. She would have to discuss it with Will before mentioning anything to Adrian.

She sat with her back against Kurt’s front she was only partially in her own chair and mostly in his lap. His hand fell lazily in her lap, his arm was wrapped against her waist with her playing with his fingers. She must’ve been winding down. After more than a few glasses of champagne and most of her time occupied on the dance floor it was about time for her to take a rest.

Her fingertips brushed over his calloused hand. The rough patches only on his palm and just under his fingers. She ran her index finger over them. “I have a hand cream for this.”

“Do I look like a hand cream kind of guy?”

“You look like the kind of guy who needs it.”

“I’ve made it this far without it.”

“Okay, cactus hands. Suit yourself.” She scoffed but kept her attention on his hand. The innocent gesture made him fall in love with her all over again despite her jab at his skincare. Like a feathered pen writing a love note she wrote cursive letters into his palm with the tip of her finger.

His voice softened, amused by her endearing touch. “What are you writing?”

“I love you.” She answered. She wrote the same phrase into his hand over again. Her delightful grin turned into a more mischievous smirk as she continued to write with her imaginary ink.

“Diane, did you just write ‘Fuck’ on my hand?”

“Maybe.” She giggled. Maybe she had a little buzz and maybe it was making her a little extra giddy tonight. She looked over her shoulder with a childish laugh.

“I don’t want a curse word on my hand.” He pouted.

“Fine. I’ll erase it.” She took her finger and made lines on his palm mimicking an eraser on paper.

“Thank you.”

“I don’t see the big deal. It’s not like anyone would’ve seen it. It’s invisible ink.”

“I have morals.”

“Ah, you don’t wanna be labeled ‘Ye Olde Fuck Hands’”

They shared a look of disbelief that those words had fallen from her lips. Her face reddened and her blush ran all the way to the tips of her ears. She leaned into him as they laughed.

“Please, take my drink away.” She said between shaking laughs. He nodded, unable to speak from the hilarity of the situation.

Will looked over Alicia’s shoulder when he heard Diane’s laugh. He hadn’t ever seen her relax this much at an event. It was refreshing to see her that way. It wasn’t even her courteous laugh. It was that hard laugh she had when the joke was just too funny and she adorably couldn’t pull herself together. Her laugh seemed to perfectly mesh with the music they were dancing to.

He dipped his head to press a kiss to his beloved’s bare shoulder. The scent of her perfume filled his senses. Raspberry, roses, and something spicy. That seemed to fit Alicia very well. He raised his head back up to see her hazel eyes looking up at him with a cloud adoration. A small smile played on her lips. The lips she bit to stop that grin from spilling across her face.

His lips planted the whisper of a kiss on the tip of her nose. She closed her eyes as a large dimpling grin appeared. He found himself grinning as widely as she was at the sight of her joy. His heart burned for the woman before him. He loved her so much and he would never stop proving that to her in anyway that he could.

Her head came to rest against his chin. Her eyes were still shut and if it weren’t for their close proximity he would’ve felt he was missing out on seeing her beautiful hazel eyes.

“You look beautiful.” He had been telling her that all night and wouldn’t stop until the night was over or until the end of time. Whichever came first. He pressed his lips to her forehead and felt her face heat up from his gesture.

“Thank you.” Came from a soft voice. That one that killed him every time. That high pitched, breathy sound she made from time to time that was so raw and so innocently Alicia.

“When’s the last time I told you I loved you?” His lips brushed over her forehead as he spoke.

“About ten minutes ago when I asked you to dance with me.”

“Would you mind if I said it again?”

That made her laugh. She wouldn’t have minded if he said it before every sentence. She loved hearing it.

“Oh, I don’t know if now’s a good time, Will.” She teased.

“Alright. I guess I’ll try again later.”

The sound of her giggle overtook his senses and he could practically see the image of her beaming at him. It wasn’t just his imagination anymore as she tilted her head to look at him. She pressed their lips together as those special three words fell from her lips.

“I love you.”

“I love you too, baby.” He said as their lips came together again.

“I can feel eyes on us.” She whispered.

“It’s just Kurt and Diane.” He assured her until he felt her tense in his arms.

“Alicia?”

“It’s nothing.” She wanted so badly to bury herself into him but that would’ve taken away from the strong front suddenly coming over her. Any ounce of emotion she was feeling was now visibly gone. Her chest churned with a small hint of anxiety.

“It’s not nothing.”

“It’s nothing, honey.” She gave him a glance that melted the ice cold look in her eye only warming it for him.

Since Will was leading this dance he did what he had to do and danced them around until he was facing where she previously had been. “It’s Peter.”

“And his whore.”

“They might really be together. Don’t be so quick to judge.”

“Guess that means you’re my whore?” The laugh that passed her lips started to warm her back up.

He rolled his eyes. “You really need to start making your payments or I’ll have to cut you off.”

“You won’t leave me. I’m the best you’re gonna get.”

He took note of the way she relaxed without him even trying to ease her tension. Maybe he was better at this than he realized.

She hated these situations. She hated that she had ended up here, especially after having such a great night with her colleagues and with Will. Why did he have to go and ruin everything for her?

Will had only been away from her for a minute before he approached her. He was by no means her protector but was her biggest supporter and now she felt like she was going into battle without a shield.

Peter Florrick wasn’t ever going to leave her alone. Why was it so hard for him to accept that she was happier without him in her life? She wasn’t property to be owned and there was no way for him to buy her back. They were only bound together by their children who weren’t even present at this event. There was absolutely no reason for him to approach her and here he was getting into an argument with her.

“You’ll dance with Will but you won’t dance with me?”

She laughed. “I don’t know if you’ve noticed Peter, but we’re divorced. I can dance with whoever the fuck I want and I’m not obligated to comply to your wishes.”

“I thought we were being civil about this.”

“We are.” Her eyes followed a waiter passing by. She picked up a glass of wine from his tray and kindly thanked the young man.

“Don’t you think you’ve had enough to drink?”

Of course he would hit her with that. She didn’t expect anything more from him than some degrading comment that was so weak and yet so strongly executed to fill her to the brim with anger. She took a healthy sip of the liquid and winked at him.

“There’s never enough wine.”

“For you, I’ve noticed. Do Zach and Grace know about your little problem?”

She answered him by taking another large sip. “We come home and knock out a whole case of wine together, just the three of us.”

“And Will Gardner?”

“Does that concern you?”

“It does when my children are involved.”

She quickly saw this turning into some judgement on her love life. Her love life that no longer fostered a home for him.

Her silence spoke volumes to him so he provoked her again. He leaned in too closely and used that low, sinister voice that made her stomach flip. “I just need to know if this is real or if you being a slut with Will is going to hurt my kids.”

Before she knew it she was throwing the remainder of glass in his face. The white liquid dripped down his face and onto his ridiculously expensive suit.

A swell of gasps surrounded them until the room fell silent as they took in the scene.

She gave Peter the largest, sweetest smile she could manage and tilted her head to the side. “Go to hell, Peter.”

Peter made the move to step towards her in a fit of anger and low and behold he was stopped by Adrian Boseman.

“No.” Adrian put a hand out. “You’re going to get your ass out of here and leave her alone.” He didn’t know what he had said to her but the look of the scene spoke volumes to him. “And if I find out you approached her like that again I’ll see you in court.”

Alicia sent him a grateful look and sought out Will who wasn’t too far away from her. She slipped her hand into his as they headed for the door. She placed her empty glass on a table on their way out.

Chapter Text

She had taken a whole week off. It was much needed. Henry had been sick and then she had gotten sick and she was finally starting to get better. Her little one had found a new comfort place during their recovery and she loved it.

“Henry?” Her voice sang his name as it always did.

She laughed when she heard him giggling and making soft sounds and squeals of delight. His new favorite place was to be under her shirt and snuggled to her chest. She had a feeling it had something to do with hearing her heartbeat. She loved it. It made her feel on top of the world and like the best mom she could be.

Little Henry had discovered his new spot during an intense game of peek-a-boo. Instead of anticipating a reappearance he had relaxed into his mother’s figure. His tiny hands rested around her as far as his arms could reach and his head rested just above her heart.

There had been two separate occasions where he had fallen asleep in her shirt. She found it so endearingly sweet she welcomed it to be his new naptime spot. She had carried him for nine months and he still found comfort being so close to her. It made her heart burst at seams knowing her tiny human needed her and wanted her more than anything else in the world.

She began to learn his cues. A tug at the bottom of her shirt or at the neckline meant he wanted in and if he couldn’t get into that particular shirt she would cover him in her jacket or even a blanket. As long as he made contact he settled down.

“It’s time to come out for a while, baby.” She lifted the shirt over his head much to his babbling protest which was a series of sounds in a language only Henry could understand.

“I know, honey but it’s getting hot under there. Your little cheeks are red.” She cupped his face. Her thumbs stroked over his soft skin and she pressed a kiss to his forehead.

He did quiet down for a moment but began pulling on her cotton fabric again. She pulled it back and he looked extremely shocked. His brows furrowed in a very Will Gardner fashion.

His babbles of multiple vowels and consonants were those of great protest.

“Sweetheart, while I admire your energy we are both getting over fevers and Mama needs a break.”

Henry blankly stared and Diane didn’t expect anything less. Of course he didn’t understand most of what she was saying. He was a baby. He was also Will’s son.

“Let’s crawl.”

Henry seemed to like that idea. As soon as she put him on the floor he got into position and rocked as if revving up to take off. He was still getting the hang of it but every little movement was exciting to them both.

Chapter Text

It didn’t take much convincing for the double date to happen. After the night the four of them had spent together at the charity event it only made sense they would have a great time in a more relaxed setting. Of course with both of Henry’s parents being on the date and Alicia having her kids for the weekend it meant the children would be going with.

So, bowling it is.

What they didn’t know was that Will and Diane took bowling very seriously.

So seriously, that Will had shown up to Alicia’s place in a black and gold tracksuit with gold jewelry to match. His gold necklace had his name shaped into the jewelry and much to her disgust he had a pinky ring.

“Will. Look at me.”

Will looked at her, wondering what she possibly had to say.

“Look at my face.”

He complied and she tilted her head to the side with a large dimpling grin. That grin that held the best roasts in its creases on her cheeks. “You look dumb as fuck.”

Will scoffed. “We’re bowling. What else was I going to wear?”

“I don’t know, something normal?” She gestured to herself. She was dressed in dark jeans, a black t-shirt she probably stole from him, and a tan cardigan that wrapped comfortably around her frame.

“Alicia, this isn’t just a game. I’m playing to win.”

She rolled her eyes and pinched the bridge of her nose. She didn’t have the words in her to tell him exactly why he looked like a fool and to give him every detail of his ridiculousness.

“I don’t have time for this.” She muttered. “Zach, Grace, let’s go!” She called out. Her children seemed to be amused by Will’s attire.

Just when Alicia thought it couldn’t get any worse they arrived at the bowling alley and she saw Diane wearing the matching tracksuit to Will’s. The whole outfit matched. Her gold hooped earrings matched the nameplate necklaces they each had on. Will’s gold rolex matched the gold stripes on their black pants. All Alicia could do was shake her head. She saw her kids biting back a laugh to spare Henry’s dignity.

Henry of course had followed Kurt and Diane into the building but walked a few feet behind his mother and completely avoided his father. He had a feeling they were going to match and had just hoped they wouldn’t. He was absolutely mortified.

The Florrick kids picked up on this and decided not to say anything about it. They knew all about embarrassing parents. When their parents did something it made headlines. They were currently living down their mother throwing wine at their dad. They were proud of that one, especially after hearing the cause.

“Can I please trade parents with you?” Henry asked with pleading emerald eyes.

“It wouldn’t matter if you did. You’d end up with our mom and get your dad too.” Zach pointed out.

Grace pulled Henry into a hug. “It’s not that bad. It’s.. something but it’s not bad.” She rubbed her hand over his back trying her best to comfort him. “I can pray for you.”

Henry was just glad he hadn’t let his mom force him into a matching suit as well. There were plenty of pictures of him matching his parents as a baby. He was glad those days were over- for him.

Diane and Will had planned the outfits and still got excited over seeing each other in them. Alicia and Kurt shared a look of disbelief as they took in the sight of the two best friends fawning over each other.

“Should we be worried about that?” Alicia asked.

“Only in regards to how incredibly corny they both are.” Kurt exhaled. Diane looked good, he was used to her being over the top. However, the jewelry combined with the fact she was matching with Will- oof. She looked just a little more than extra to him.

Alicia laughed. The sight of Henry’s red face caught her eye. “We should probably worry about Henry too.”

“He begged her not to do it. I thought he was going to cry when we left the house. He wouldn’t tell me why but now I see the light. You know Diane has a custom bowling ball?”

Alicia’s jaw dropped. “No fucking way.”

“It’s red and gold. It’s engraved. Will doesn’t have one?”

“His is blue and green. I was trying to block it from my memory.” She shook her head as she took in Will and Diane again. “What do you say we save Henry’s rep for the night and do a game that’s just us and the kids.”

“What about the Goof Troop over there?”

“I don’t think they’ll notice. I’m sure they’d rather see Henry happy anyway.”

….

“Damn Will, did you sprain your wrist before this?” She laughed. She was currently winning the game. Her smack talk was finally revving up and she was ready for a challenge.

Will knew he was losing but the game wasn’t nearly over yet. Luckily, it was just the two of them. Which they didn’t mind at all. Initially they were both just a little hurt Henry didn’t want to play with them but after seeing how he interacted with the others they were glad. His smile made it all the more fun and they found themselves acting even more over the top just to pull laughs from the group- Henry included.

Kurt winked at Alicia and she returned it with a grin as they acknowledged how much more relaxed Henry had become. He was laughing, eating pizza, and roasting his parents to the point of no return. They had done good.

The laughter from the children died down as they started whispering amongst themselves. A few laughs bubbled to the surface and all the adults heard were;

“You ask.”

“No.”

“Please?”

“You do it.”

“Why?”

“You should do it instead.”

Finally it was Grace who spoke up. “Are you a real cowboy?”

Kurt smiled warmly. He should’ve known the question would come up. He couldn’t help but look over at Diane. Though, she didn’t hear the question it was her who started the rumor.

“By definition, no.”

He watched the pouts form on three young faces and surprisingly Alicia’s too. Were they disappointed in him? He could understand why. He used to watch the westerns and the cartoons as a kid. Cowboys were just as thrilling as superheroes in young minds.

“But, Diane likes to tell people I am.”

“Why?” Alicia asked. It was obvious from his appearance that he got that question a lot. The large belt, the flannel, the wrangler jeans, the guns.

“I dress like one but that’s because I’ve got southern roots and lived on a farm in Iowa towards the end of my childhood.”

Zach tried to piece it all together in his mind. “You lived on a farm? That makes you a cowboy right?”

“Cowboys tend cattle. I’ve never done that.”

“But you have a farm now. Just get a cow.” Henry suggested. “We could milk it.”

“I wanna milk a cow!” Grace blurted out louder than she intended to. Alicia found this to be so pure and innocent. When Grace was little she loved farm animals. They used to go to the petting zoo all the time.

“I don’t really want a cow. I don’t drink that much milk.”

“You really should. It’s a great source of calcium and if you had your own milk it would be even healthier and a lot cheaper.” Zach said.

Kurt wasn’t entirely sure how he had gotten into this situation but the three kids in front of him did amuse him. He liked the attention and usually he hated being the topic of conversation.

“What kind of animals do you have?” Grace childishly tilted her head to the side. Her large grin sported a gentle dimple in her cheek that mirrored her Mom’s.

“Two horses, a goat, a donkey, two pigs, three sheep, and six chickens.”

Alicia caught the glimmer in Grace’s eye. She could see the excitement swelling inside of her. She laughed when Grace pouted at her, so obviously wanting her to ask if they could meet Kurt’s animals.

“So, you have a large belt, two horses, a million guns, and you’re still not a cowboy?” Clearly, Zach was having a hard time grasping the concept.

“If I had a cow I would be a cowboy.”

“You really don’t want a cow?” Henry asked.

“No. I don’t need to give Diane another reason to tease me.”

Henry glanced over at his parents who were still enthusiastically bowling. “She has no right to tease you after tonight.”

They all looked over at Will and Diane and found themselves laughing.

“You guys really wanna date them still?” Henry asked.

“I love him.”

“I love her.”

They said this at the same time. Coincidentally the partners in question looked over just in time to smile at them both.

“You’ve got it bad, Alicia.” Kurt nudged her shoulder, chuckling at the smile Will had caused. Her red cheeks and twinkling eyes said it all. Alicia looked at Will the way Diane looked at him. That’s how he knew she was so into him.

Alicia rolled her eyes. “You’re one to talk. Is that drool?”

The kids found that more amusing than Kurt did.

Diane and Will hadn’t heard any of the conversation but seeing Henry happy with their partners and the Florrick kids made their night one of the best they’d ever had.

“Can I meet your animals?”

Kurt turned his attention to the young girl sitting across from him. Grace reminded him a lot of his niece. They were around the same age and he had always been close to her.

“Sure. Henry wants to ride horses someday we could make it a group thing like tonight.”

Grace lit up from that and gave him an excited smile. She was the mirror image of a toddler on Christmas.

Diane watched the interaction from afar and wondered if that’s what Kurt might look like with a daughter. She kind of scared herself with that thought. They hadn’t even discussed marriage and she was already thinking about having his babies.

Chapter Text

Will Gardner had never seemed like the fatherly type. In fact a lot of people would go as far to say that he would never have kids and suggested he hated them. It was the exact opposite in fact.

Will had always wanted kids, so when Diane told him she was having his baby he had been delighted. That delight was evident on him every time he was near his son. Especially, this week.

This week Diane was leaving. She had to conduct some business in the next state over. This meant Henry would be with his Daddy for much longer than usual and though Diane would be missing him she knew no one else would care for their son like Will. Will was a great father in her eyes and she had a special place in her heart for the man she made a father. The man who made her a mother to their beautiful son.

“Are you sure you’ll be alright?” She asked for the ten-thousandth time. She was worried. In hindsight she had no reason to be worried. Henry was with Will all the time. She had no doubts about this.

Will rolled his eyes. He had little Henry resting on his hip. The poor little guy was ready for a nap and his parents were keeping him up. He was ready to get grumpy. His head was rested on his dad’s shoulder as he looked at his mom with sleepy green eyes.

“I’ll be fine, Diane.”

“I wasn’t asking you.” She cupped Henry’s cheek and stroked her thumb over his soft skin. “He’s so tired.”

“I was hoping to get him down after you left but I don’t think that’s going to work.”

She sighed. “I don’t want to scare him if he wakes up and I’m not here.”

“I know.” He pouted slightly over the idea of upsetting their son but it was only temporary and Diane was just a phone call away.

“Don’t pout. You’ll make me sad.” She frowned. “But I do need to get going. I’ll see you both soon, alright?” She pressed a kiss to Henry’s forehead and another to Will’s cheek.

“Keep my son alive.”

“Keep my firm alive.”

She left with a laugh and then Will was alone with Henry. Something about knowing Diane wasn’t just a few miles away made him feel lonely.

“Alright, bud. Let’s get you down for a nap.”

After a successful few hours of sleep, Henry was wide awake and playing in his playpen in the living room. Will sat down to watch a basketball game. He heard silence from the playpen and hoped Henry wasn’t asleep because if he was it meant he wouldn’t be sleeping that night which meant Will wouldn’t be sleeping either. Will peered over at his son and smiled at the picturesque moment. Henry was engrossed in the tv watching the game much like his father had been.

Will was quick to grab a camera to capture the moment. Diane would love to see it when she got back.

“I didn’t know you liked basketball.”

Henry looked up as if Will had interrupted his program- to be fair he did. Will put his hands up in surrender.

“Sorry, man. Just making conversation.” He scooped his little son up in his arms and sat back on the couch with him. “The view is better from here, anyway.”

Henry leaned back into his Dad’s torso and relaxed as they watched the game together. Will had a feeling they had a lifetime of basketball games in their future.

Chapter Text

With strands of blonde and tanning legs Diane was quite the sight. Kurt was almost mesmerized by her beauty. Her effortlessness for the day was extremely attractive to him and new side he had been learning about as they fell deeper in love with each other.

She was stretched out on a beach towel warming her skin in the sun with large sunglasses protecting her closed eyes. Her humming was adorably soft and Kurt loved getting to hear the sweet symphonies she produced in her freest moments.

“You staring at me McVeigh?”

“If I say yes will you get upset with me, Lockhart?”

“Depends. Do you think I’m pretty? Is that why you’re staring?”

“I think your beautiful mind in its most relaxed state is gorgeous. Keep relaxing. I’ll still be here watching.” True to his word he sat back in the beach chair he had setup next to her. He was comfortable in the shade from the large umbrella he brought.

A smile came across her features as she listened to his words. “You’re becoming so domestic. I love that I’ve done that to you.”

He reached down for one of her hands and brought it to his lips. “Can’t say I hate it.”

“God, you’re cute.” She laughed.

“Just until the others join us.” Their supposed to be farm day had turned into a beach day. The beautiful weekend weather had sunshine and water written in the clouds. Will had suggested it and everyone jumped at the idea. Grace had only been slightly disappointed at not meeting Kurt’s animals but she had been assured they would all make it to the farm soon. Grace loved swimming more anyway.

Speaking of the others, Diane and Kurt heard the sounds of five excited people joining them. They shared a look of pleasure at the party coming at them.

Greetings from the kids never came as all three ran into the water. Towels and flip flops were lazily dropped onto the sand just a few feet from the sparkling blue.

Alicia and Will were left to carry the rest but the setup didn’t take them long at all. Alicia’s large sunhat seemed to provide shade over her whole body and that’s how she liked it. Her delicate skin often blistered under the scrutiny of the sun but she loved the beach more than she loved staying at home.

Will wasn’t nearly as worried about it but put sunscreen on before they had left. They all did. Alicia had insisted on it and sprayed all of them down one by one with the strong smelling spray. She enjoyed it. She got to really embarrass her children by lathering it on her hands and applying it to their cheeks. Their cute scrunched up faces had made her laugh. Surprisingly, Henry let her apply it to him as well. He didn’t scrunch nearly as much as Zach and Grace but Will and Alicia both found it to be endearing.

“Does Henry have sunscreen on?” Diane asked.

“He sure does.” Alicia replied.

“And Will too?” She teased.

Will scoffed. “Alicia used an entire bottle on us before we left.”

“You can’t mess around with UV rays, Will.”

“You sprayed it in my mouth.” He pouted.

“I told you I was sorry.”

“I started choking.”

“Is that my fault? You were talking too much.”

“I can still taste it.” He continued to pout at Alicia. Which Alicia thought was the cutest, most pure thing she had seen him do but she kept her face unbothered. There was no way she would let him know he was making her heart skip right now.

Diane found herself giggling at the image of Alicia spraying sunscreen directly into Will’s mouth. On purpose no doubt. Will was an easy target to taunt and Alicia loved picking on him. Diane did too. They liked it because Will taunted them right back.

“Is that funny Diane? I seem to remember that time when Henry was a baby-“

Diane sat up all too quickly and grabbed whatever she could reach of Will. Her hand grasped his calf, red nails just barely dug into his skin. “Don’t bring that up.”

Kurt, the man of few words wanted to be in the know. Anything that got Diane that upset had to be hilarious or embarrassing or both. He leaned forward in his chair, intrigued.

“Now we have to know.” Alicia’s curiosity was getting the better of her.

Will smirked down at Diane. “When Henry was a baby he threw up on her.”

“That’s it?” Kurt asked.

“Kurt!” The full story hadn’t even been told yet and Diane was turning red both with embarrassment and fury.

“In her mouth.” Will finished.

Kurt and Alicia shared looks of disgust at the very idea.

“Kurt, you kiss that mouth.” Alicia laughed. She had been thrown up on numerous times by her kids but never had it reached her mouth.

“Not anymore.” Kurt shivered. He shivered again from the stone cold glare Diane sent him. Not even the sun could warm him up from that.

“It wasn’t a lot. He was small. It was after a feeding. I didn’t know what was going to happen. I was a new mom.” Diane was clearly losing all of her kickass lawyer qualities.

“That’s never happened to you has it?” Will asked Alicia as he sat in a beach chair.

“Nope.” She giggled at Diane. She spread out the kids’ towels under an umbrella Will had previously setup. Once satisfied she removed her hat and sat in front of Will’s chair with her head resting in his lap.

“Good. I never looked at Diane the same again.”

…..

Everyone had their own little quirks. Even Alicia did though she tried not to show them. He could tell she was getting more and more relaxed as the day went on. She had part of her time in the water and now sat on a towel with dark curls tied back and dripping behind her. The rest of the group was unnoticed by him. They were all background noise, laughing and playing the water together.

Will sat in the gigantic hole in the sand he had dug with Henry and Grace. A collect of seashells sat near him. He was content. Alicia was content. He was contently watching Alicia.

“Wait- what are you doing?”

“What do you mean?” She asked innocently. She continued what she had been doing which was eating gummy lifesavers by putting them on her fingers like rings and eating them one by one.

“What you’re doing with the candy.”

“I’m eating it.” She shrugged.

“Like that?”

“You can’t judge me like this when you’re sitting in a fucking hole.”

“Shut up, you big dork. Just show me your hand.” He countered.

“Why?”

“I want some candy.”

She gave him a look. “No. It’s mine.” She pouted like a small child. “Get your own.”

“You won’t share with me? I’m your boy.”

She laughed at that. “You’re stupid. Give me your hand.”

He complied and stuck his hand out. She slipped a piece of candy on his ring finger. He pulled it back to examine it. He could see why she found it to be so enjoyable.

“Don’t eat it yet.” She said. She ate the candy from the rest of her fingers except her ring finger. She clasped their hands together. “We’re candy married now.”

Will gave her a sideways grin that she eagerly returned. “Mr. and Mrs. Lifesavers.”

She giggled as their lips came together for a sugary sweet kiss.

“I’ll be the judge.” Diane determined. She would much rather soak up some sun while they built sandcastles. There were enough of them to have teams if one person judged anyway.

“Foreshadowing something, Diane?” Alicia teased. She realized how much she had sounded like Will in that moment but she didn’t mind it. The look he gave her was a proud one.

Diane gave her a determined grin and nodded. “Hopefully.” She laughed. “Decide on your teams.”

Will spoke up. “We could do teams of two. Team Gardner, Team Florrick, and team..uh..”

“Team Stepparents.” Henry interjected. “I saw the candy rings and Mom and Mcveigh act like they’ve been married a hundred years.”

Diane smiled at that as cheesy as it was.

“McVeigh? I’m Kurt.”

Henry laughed. “Yeah, okay.”

Grace interrupted with a slight frown. “Why am I paired with Zach? He’ll end up doing all the work.”

“Then we’ll do teams of three and you can go against him.” Alicia suggested. The idea of two teams instead of three seemed to be agreeable to the rest.

“Okay so, me and Zach, and Dad.”

Will nodded and quickly came up with the team name based on their initials. “Our team name can be What’s Zachpenin’ you know like what’s happenin’?”

Not a single soul found that to be as hilarious as Will did.

“You know, just for that I don’t think I wanna work with you.” Henry let out a deep sigh and honestly Will understood. He didn’t want to work with himself either after that.”

“Oh, honey that was just terrible.” Alicia gave Will a pitied look. “Leave the jokes to me, okay?”

Will rolled his eyes. “Grace? You, me and Zach?”

Grace bit her lip she would’ve preferred to work with her mom and Kurt or even with Henry but being the peacemaker she complied. “As long as Zach doesn’t boss me around.”

“If he messes with you I’ll make him sit in the hole.” He pointed to the whole they had dug earlier.

Grace smiled at the idea and nodded. “Okay.”

Henry was a little excited to be on a team with Kurt and Alicia. He liked them both a lot. They were funny and they always wanted to get to know him. They were definitely like vacation parents for him.

“Do we get a team name?” Kurt asked.

“Team Gardner.”

Alicia rolled her eyes. “You’re no better than Will are you?” She playfully nudged him.

Henry laughed. “I’m a new and improved version of him. What about Lockhart?”

“The judge will like that.” Kurt laughed.

“But she’ll recognize it as an attempt to persuade her.”

“You’re right. How about Team McCavenhart?”

“You combined our last names and you didn’t even use Gardner.” Kurt gave Henry a grin. “Good job.”

“I couldn’t use Gardner. He’s on the opposing team.”

“Wise choice.”

Will, Grace, and Zach had some trouble brainstorming their team name as well. They needed something that represented them all and sounded cool while doing it.

“Team Incredible.”

“No. `The Incredibles’.” Grace corrected.

“Like the movie?” Will asked. “Why?”

“When we’re all together we’re like them. Mom’s Elastigirl. You’re Mr. Incredible. I’m Violet, Zach is Dash, and Henry’s Jack-Jack.”

“Henry’s Jack-Jack?” Will laughed.

“He’s got the range of powers. He’s got so many. We don’t even know what he’s capable of.”

“And he’s the youngest.” Zach added.

“Grace, you’re doing it all wrong.”

“Because you’re watching me. Stick to your side, Zach.” She huffed. Older brothers were so annoying. She was thinking about dumping her bucket of sand on his head instead of on the ground.

“I’m done with my side. Here, let me help.” He pulled the bucket from her hands and attempted to build up what he thought she was doing wrong.

“Zach!”

“I’m helping.”

“Will! He’s bossing me around!” Grace yelled.

Will’s head snapped up at her call. “I thought we talked about this. Let her do it, man.”

“She’s not doing it right.”

“Then let her learn from it.” He suggested.

“We’re gonna lose.” Zach protested. He loved his baby sister but she just didn’t do things the way he did and the way he wanted her to.

“That’s not true!” She pouted and Will could see just how much Zach had hurt her feelings by that statement.

“Alright, get in the hole.”

“What?”

Grace’s features softened from the suggestion. Will was defending her? Usually her mom had to come to her defensive against the boys.

“We said if you messed with her we’d make you sit in the hole.” He shrugged.

“That’s ridiculous!”

“You hurt her feelings. Look at her.” Will gestured to the youngest Florrick. Though her mood had started to lighten she was still hurt by Zach’s unkind words.

“Get in the hole Zach.” Grace added.

“Fine.” Zach sighed but sat in the hole anyway.

“You can look for some seashells while you’re in there.” Will said as he tossed him a shovel.

Alicia had watched the whole scene from afar and she was proud of the way Will had handled it. She was surprised at how easily Zach had given in. She knew her kids liked Will but apparently they had taken to him more than she thought.

“I think we’re about done.” Kurt said as he did some finishing touches with seashells.

“Already? I don’t think they’re even close to finished yet.” Alicia replied.

“We could add more but I don’t want it to be too much.” Henry suggested with a shrug. He was proud of their castle. McVeigh and Alicia were sand professionals. Must be Kurt’s craftsmanship and Alicia’s attention to detail.

Kurt threw around an idea he thought of from the beginning but only wanted to do if they were finished. “Let’s add a moat.”

Henry nodded with a soft smile. He tilted his head as he looked at Alicia. “What do you think?”

She returned the smile he gave her nodded. “Let’s do it. I’ll collect some water.”

Diane inspected each castle carefully. She was kind of stuck on the fact that the kids were taking to the new people in their lives so easily. Henry loved both Kurt and Alicia, and Zach and Grace were taking to Will. That was something Will often worried about. He worried about it more so than he worried about Henry liking Alicia.

“I have a ruling.” Diane proclaimed.

“Mom, this isn’t court.”

She rolled her eyes. “I’ve chosen a winner.”

Alicia whispered to Henry. “That’s pretty much how court works anyway.”

“The Incredibles win.”

Zach cheered as Grace excitedly squealed while she hugged Will. Will laughed and spun her around.

“I told you we would win.”

Henry wasn’t even as upset over losing as he thought he would be. “We did our best.”

“Tough kid.” Kurt nodded. “We did. There’s always next time.”

“But that doesn’t mean we can’t mess with them.” Alicia winked.

“You’re not planning on knocking their castle over are you?” Henry asked. He had thought about it himself but he didn’t want to ruin the mood.

“Of course not.” Alicia filled a bucket with water from the moat and swiftly walked up to the winning team. Before a word was exchanged she was dumping it on Will’s head.

“Congrats.”

A swell of laughs followed as Will threw her over his shoulder and headed for the water.

The beach was definitely going to be a regular hangout place for the seven of them.

Chapter Text

It wasn’t often she woke up at his place but when she did she hardly minded the sight. They had fallen asleep while trying to put Henry down and ended up going down along with him. They were both still dressed in the clothing they had worn to court that day.

Henry laid between them, sleeping peacefully after they had sung him to sleep. They liked doing that together. It brought back memories of them singing to Henry when Diane carried him.

Will was laying on his side, facing Henry and Diane. He looked so comfortable to be there. He was starting to wake up and Diane watched the moment he opened his eyes. She watched as he took in his surroundings and locked eyes on her. The soft smile that was delicately painted on his face was definitely caused by her presence and she knew it.

Waking up to her didn’t happen often but when it did he liked it a lot. His hand softly came to rest on Henry’s back to check and see if he was still asleep. He was glad he was. It couldn’t have been a long enough nap for him just yet.

“Hey, sleeping beauty. Good nap?” She asked him in a hushed tone as not to disturb their sleeping baby.

“A great one.” He whispered back. “I didn’t think you would still be here.”

“And miss this? It’s the only time you look that calm.” She said that with more passion than she had intended. She severely hoped it wouldn’t ignite any of those sparks they tried so hard to push down.

“And the only time you can be that quiet.” He teased. He knew they were entering dangerous territory so he had to stop her short.

She rolled her eyes. She was ready to push his shoulder and give it a gentle nudge but he caught her hand instead and he laced their fingers together almost automatically. She let their hands drop between them just below where Henry slept. They stayed laced together.

“Hey, we’re going to that ball right?”

“You think I would miss getting all dressed up?”

He laughed. “We’re going together right?”

“We always do. I don’t see why not. You don’t have a date do you?”

“Of course not.” He said as if it were the most obvious answer.

“Is this your way of asking me to go with you?” Since When was he this nervous around her? He sounded like a boy asking the new girl to prom.

“Maybe. Just making sure we’ll dance together when we’re there.”

“If you pick me up at 7pm I’ll dance with you the whole night.”

Chapter Text

Diane never pictured herself as the type to like country music. However, when Kurt played it, sang it to her, or danced her around the room with it on she found the beauty in it.

She smiled as she turned into him. A fire was blazing in the middle of their circle. Kurt had been playing his guitar and Will had joined in after. The two of them took turns playing their favorite tunes and playing a lot of songs together. Diane couldn’t have asked for a better end to their day at the beach.

“Alicia, I heard you play.” Kurt spoke over the soft strumming coming from his instrument.

Alicia shook her head. She knew Will had to have prompted him to say that. It was obvious judging by the large grin splitting his face.

“You’re kidding.” Zach spoke up. He found the idea to be hilarious.

Grace rolled her eyes. She hated when Zach became a know-it-all for no reason. She nudged his shoulder. “You don’t think Mom can play?”

“Mom is tone deaf. She can’t even sing.”

“Mom is right here.” Alicia pulled the guitar from Will’s grasp and held it with practiced ease. “You don’t have to sing to play the guitar.” She strummed a few chords and let the familiar feeling take over.

“But, she really is tone deaf.” Will added. “Poor baby, can’t even carry a tune.”

Alicia shot him a sharp glare as a contrasting melody escaped her fingertips. The gentle song silenced the whole group.

“They don’t appreciate you enough.” Henry told her. He sent her a smile that caused another to form on her lips.

“You’re right about that, kid.” She winked. She then directed her attention to Will who seemed to be racking his brain to figure out what she was playing. She let out a soft laugh. “You don’t remember.”

“I’m trying to.”

“The day our finals ended. Junior year.”

“When everyone else was out partying and you were sick.” The memory slowly started to fill his mind.

“And you spent that whole night with me instead of celebrating.” She leaned closer into him and without missing a single note she pecked his lips.

“And I sang you to sleep.” Will answered with that special grin reserved for Alicia.

“What a dork.” Henry interjected and pulled laughs from the rest including Alicia.

“Hey, I used to sing you to sleep.” Will countered.

“No. You sang her to sleep and you still didn’t date her?”

“It was complicated.” Alicia explained. “And if we had dated Zach and Grace wouldn’t exist.”

“That’s wild.” Henry said as he looked over at the two he already considered to be his siblings. “I like that they exist.”

“You wouldn’t exist either.” Grace chimed in. “Right?

Henry nodded. “That’s true. I like existing. I like existing with you and Zach.”

“I like it too.” Zach spoke up.

“You even like that I exist?” Grace asked, clearly wanting to tease her older brother after he had spent the entire day picking on her and taking heat for it via Will.

“Yeah, sure.”

Alicia smiled fondly at her kids. She loved their humor. That dry wit from Zach paired with Grace’s taunting made them seem like mini versions of herself- and she found it to be incredibly endearing when they were nice to each other.

“You guys are cute.” Diane said. She had her head leaned on Kurt’s shoulder now that his guitar was resting behind them in its case. “Sibling relationships like that aren’t easy to come by.”

“Did you have a bad one?” Kurt asked as his lips fell to her forehead. She looked so relaxed just to be sitting near him. They would have to start going to the beach more often if it was going to put her at peace this easily.

“Luckily, no. My mother did though. She and her brother despised each other. They had a huge falling out just before she met my father and they never spoke again. They only saw each other at a handful of gatherings and the room would always go cold.”

“Your mom wasn’t that warm all around was she?” Will asked. He had heard Diane talk about her family on multiple occasions so he somewhat knew.

“Not really. I was closer to my father and my sisters.”

“You have sisters?” Alicia asked. “I didn’t know that.”

Diane nodded. “I have two. I’m the middle. It makes me kind of sad knowing I have great siblings but didn’t give Henry any.”

Henry frowned at that but stayed silent for the moment. He turned his attention to his dad when he spoke up.

“I always kind of pictured Henry having siblings. Maybe having a little sister to protect like I did.” That was Will’s favorite part of being the middle child. He got to annoy his older sister and side with his baby sister most of the time.

“But not an annoying little brother.” Alicia rolled her eyes. “Little brothers can be the worst. I always wished Owen was a girl instead. He never let me dress him up but he always wanted to be in my business.”

“Do you have siblings?” Grace asked Kurt. After following the conversation she realized they hadn’t heard him speak in quite some time.

“A twin sister, a little brother, and two baby sisters.” He replied.

“McVeigh has a twin?!” Henry gasped.

“Yes, I have a twin. Her name is Kathy.”

“Can I meet her?” Henry asked.

“She comes up sometimes. Maybe you will.” He smiled at the young boy who seemed to be growing more and more eager to be part of his life. He was glad because he enjoyed being allowed into Henry’s life. He was special kid and not just anyone deserved to get to know him.

“A twin sister? When can I meet her?” Diane asked.

Kurt rolled his eyes. “You? Never. She used to steal my girls when we were younger.”

“She used to steal your girls?” Henry asked.

“Yes and even though she’s married now she’s the biggest flirt.”

“Jealousy? How cute.” Diane said it in that teasingly soft tone that melted in her mouth like soft candy.

“You’re already plotting on how to flirt with my sister and you haven’t even met her yet.” He laughed. Of course she wouldn’t turn down every opportunity to tease him.

“It’s not like it would go anywhere. She’s married.” She assured him but the idea of seeing him frustrated amused her. She wouldn’t hurt him but maybe just get him a little riled up.

“Diane, are you admitting something to us?” Alicia asked with the same teasing look Diane had given Kurt. She hinted at the fact that Diane’s only reason was because Kathy was married.

Kurt looked down with that same teasing smirk. He picked up on what Alicia was saying. It seemed like everyone else did too because a bunch of laughter ensued. “Think I can trust you when there’s more than one McVeigh in the room?”

“I don’t think Diane would let anyone come between you.” Will said although he could hardly get it out through a chuckle.

“They’d have to go through Henry first anyway.” Alicia added with a soft laugh.

Chapter Text

“I thought we agreed not to do that again.” Diane sighed out the words as her breath struggled to come back to her. She made the mistake of kissing him again. Why was it always her that started it? It’s not like Will hadn’t been giving her the signs that he wanted her too, but she usually gave in first. She hated that he had that effect on her.

“What can I say? I missed you.” He gave her that charming smile as he went back in for another kiss; this one landing low on her neck. He felt the vibration of her hum when he sucked at the sensitive spot.

She laid her hands on his shoulders. “We can’t go further. We shouldn’t.”

“I know.” He knew exactly why too. If they gave themselves to each other again their feelings would be rehashed. Just kissing her like this was starting to open the wound that had just started to heal. He tried so hard to suppress those feelings but every time she so much as smiled at him he fell for her again. He liked to believe the attraction started while she was pregnant. Their one night stand had only been a memory until they discovered her pregnancy. Now it was a night they wished to live out again.

“I mean it.” She said more firmly, though she only half meant it. It had been so long since she had been with another person and Will was the last person she had been with. She had just started to move on and now they were back in almost the same place they had started.

Their firm, his couch, late at night, completely alone, and nothing tying them to anything else. Nowhere else to go.

Coming down after a banquet. Only a little tipsy but feeling free to do whatever they wanted and looking too good to even consider the consequences.

“I know.” He mumbled against her skin as he pressed his lips to hers again. He could taste the sweet flavor of the champagne she had drank earlier that night.

They weren’t even supposed to be in the office. They weren’t even supposed to be together but Diane had left an important file in her desk and Will didn’t want her going to the offices alone. Somehow, they ended up in a compromising position.

Her back against the couch and his body hovering over hers. They really shouldn’t be doing this but she didn’t want to stop. Not when it felt so good and so familiar and so easy to just give into him.

Then his hands fumbled at her back. His warm fingertips brushed over the cool skin that was exposed in her backless dress and she was suddenly brought back to reality.

“Will.”

“Hm?” His mouth had traveled to her jaw and just as he started to nip at her smooth skin she pulled him out of his thoughts. “Everything alright?” He pulled back but continued to trace shapes into her skin.

“I don’t think we should be doing this.”

“Not even just for tonight?” His gaze held hers until her eyes shifted away. He could see the hurt wash over them and felt the pain wash into his.

“I want you.”

“You can have me.”

She paused for a moment to contemplate his words. Her mind was cloudy from the emotional toll their situation continued to take on her heart. Which is why she kissed him once more. She kissed him desperately and was filled with so much need. She found herself pulling at his dress shirt and holding onto him as if he would disappear before her eyes. Just as her hands came up to the top button of his shirt and started to undo it she stopped.

“I can’t have you.” It came out as a choked whisper.

The way her voice broke made his heart shatter like it had just a few months ago, the last time they kissed. He watched the way her head dropped as a single tear started to fall down her cheek. He took her face in his hands and gently lifted her chin.

“Don’t cry.”

“I’m sorry, Will.” She leaned into his touch, feeling comfort in his warmth. “We can’t keep doing this.”

“I know. It’s okay.” He brushed her tears away with his thumbs and pressed his lips to her forehead. “We just have to pull it together. For Henry.”

“For Henry.” She agreed.

He gave her a nod and felt lucky if he just got to hold her for the rest of the night and protect her from the sinking feeling they both had.

“I don’t know why we keep ending up here.”

“I wish I had all the answers, but I don’t. I know we care about each other and we’re meant to be together in some way.” He shifted to settle on the couch just as she did. They laid face to face in close proximity.

“I don’t think romance is it.”

“I agree. But Diane, we’ve got so much love in this. So much heart that it hurts and it hurts to hurt you like this.” He admitted. His voice gradually became softer as his sentences continued.

She felt the shift in his attitude. It was so raw and emotional and it made her feel as vulnerable as she imagined he was. “It hurts to hurt you too.”

“If I could stop it I would.”

“I think it takes time.” She said.

“I don’t have to completely let you go right?”

“No, not completely.”

“What about tonight?” He asked.

“What about it? We can do whatever you want tonight.”

“Do you want me tonight?”

“Only if you want me too.”

Chapter Text

Diane’s heart felt for the little girl in front of her. She was caught up in a custody battle when it was clear she wasn’t wanted. It was a strange situation to her. She had been in and out of foster care for most of her life until her birth parents tried to get her back. The little one ended up running away after taking a week's worth of abuse only to have found her way back to one of her many foster homes.

Diane kept an eye on the little one. She couldn’t believe the things she must have been through and she was only four years old. She made eye contact with those piercing brown eyes on the sweetest face that was washed with sadness she hadn’t ever seen on a child before. Her heart called out to her. She almost got choked up over it until an argument between lawyers pulled her out of her thoughts. She watched the little girl flinch and curl up into herself.

“That’s enough!” Diane commanded. “We are supposed to have Samantha’s best interest in mind and this certainly isn’t it. We can state our arguments but fighting is not solving anything. We are professionals for god's sake. This is scaring her.”

The room fell silent as all eyes fell upon Diane. Once satisfied with the silence Diane requested a recess that they all obliged to.

Multiple people left the room but Diane stayed and approached Samantha, the little blonde four-year-old with the biggest brown eyes she had ever seen. Diane kneeled in front of her and spoke softly.

“Are you alright, sweetheart?”

Samantha gazed at her with a saddened pout. Tears were filling her eyes and threatening to spill over. She took a moment before shaking her head as a response.

“My name’s Diane.” She spoke softly as not to startle her further. “Is it okay if I help you?”

Samantha nodded, less timid of Diane but overall frightened by the other adults.

“You don’t like being here do you?” Diane could almost feel her own tears threatening to spill over. “It’s okay. We can take a break. Would you like one?”

Samantha nodded. Diane quickly got an idea and offered a hand to Samantha. She didn’t expect her to want to take it but when she did it made Diane’s heart swell.

“We’ll just go right through there, okay?”

Another nod and the two of them walked into Diane’s office.

“This is where I do most of my work.” She explained.

Samantha let go of her hand when she saw the view of the city through the large window. She immediately walked over to look out.

“We’re high up.” A soft voice spoke.

Diane was surprised by this but grinned at her reaction. “We are.” She began to rifle through some drawers in her desk while Samantha gazed at the city.

“Wha- what are you doing?” Samantha asked in that same timid voice.

“I was looking for something but I found it. I want you to have it.” Diane had found just the perfect thing for her new pint sized friend. It was a little blue teddy bear that had been bought for Henry when he was little. Henry had never grown attached to it so she figured he wouldn’t mind her giving it away.

Samantha carefully pulled it from Diane’s hands and grasped it in her arms. Diane watched the relief wash over her. It wasn’t a large change but at least it stopped her from shaking so much.

“I want you to keep it. It’s all yours okay?”

“Okay.” Samantha managed a half smile but Diane could tell in her eyes it meant a lot to her.

“Would you like a juice?” Diane asked. She typically kept them in her fridge for Henry. The snacks his mom kept for him were the real reason he liked coming to the office.

Upon, Samantha’s nod she pulled one from her fridge and opened it for her. While she was doing so Samantha spoke again.

“Thank you.”

Diane’s smile grew. “You’re welcome.” She handed the juice off to her and kept an eye on her as she continued to stare out at Chicago.

A wave through the glass signaled Diane that their recess was over. “It’s time to go back into our meeting.”

“No.” Samantha furrowed her brows as a firm pout set in on her lips. This wasn’t just defiance. It was fear.

“We can’t stay here forever.”

“Why?”

“Because everyone in the meeting wants to make a decision and they can’t do that without us.”

“I don’t wanna go back. I wanna stay here.”

Just two simple sentences struck a chord with Diane. Just her small bit of kindness had given her even the slightest comfort and she could already tell this was something Samantha wasn’t used to but wanted more of.

“I’ll tell you what, you can sit by me this time and after our meeting is over I will make sure to visit you. Alright?”

A slow nod came her way and Samantha reached up her tiny hand to Diane. Diane took it and they walked back into the meeting.

By the end of the negotiation, Diane had Samantha in her lap. The small comfort she was able to bring spoke volumes to her. She had watched her grow more and more tired as things dragged on and eventually the little girl had slid from her chair only to stand in front of Diane until she silently asked to be close to her.

Diane found herself not wanting to let go. Her hands had rubbed over her back in gentle strokes as the adults all spoke much quieter for her sake and their own after Diane’s earlier outburst.

Samantha wasn’t quite ready to fall asleep but she found solace in the way she was being held. She couldn’t remember ever getting that kind of attention. She always wanted it but it was never there.

“I want her.”

“Are you sure?” Will asked. After being told the whole story he couldn’t understand why someone wouldn’t want her. While he understood why this would be a hard situation to process, he knew Diane was usually able to separate her maternal instincts from her work.

“Will, I need to take her in. I want her. I can give her what she needs.”

“You’re ready for another child? You don’t have a whole pregnancy to prepare for this Diane. This is different. There’s more involved. This little girl has been through a lot and you’re going to need to be there for her.”

“I’m a mother. I know how to take care of a child.”

“You’re the mother of a child who has always had loving family. Our kid is your typical boy. This little girl has seen things.” He wanted to support her. He wanted her to do what she felt she needed to but he also wanted her to think. This was a rash decision driven by emotion. Diane had never reacted that way before.

“Why are you fighting me on this? You don’t think I can handle it?”

“How do you expect to give her stability and comfort when you’re a lawyer? You have another child. You have a life. Are you willing to change that? You’re in a serious relationship that could change. You didn’t even want him to meet Henry for a while. Diane, think about this. Let your head take over first.”

She knew he was right. She hated that he was because she knew she had to adopt that little girl. The truth hurts but it was what she needed to hear.

“You’re right.”

Will watched the tears sting in her eyes. He hated upsetting her. He knew she felt more strongly about this than anything else. He wrapped his arms around her. “You wanna do this? Then do it. Don’t let me stop you but you’re going to have to make some changes.”

“Okay.” She whispered. “I’m doing it.”

“Alright, you’ll need a lawyer first.”

“Oh fuck.”

“What?”

“That means I’ll have to talk to David Lee.”

“Well, he is the head of family law and he knows the case.”

“We should really put him on a lower floor.”

“Why?”

“So we can call it Hell.”

Chapter Text

She woke up to sunlight in her eyes and Will’s sheets wrapped around her. He wasn’t in sight but he had to be near. She crawled out of bed dressed in one of his shirts. She had put it on after not having anything else to fall asleep in. After their time in his office they went to Will’s apartment to relieve Henry’s babysitter.

Diane woke up feeling refreshed. She felt like she could face this on her own now. She was starting to feel better about their whole situation. Especially after their night. They hadn’t done anything romantic but he had held her all night.

“Will?” She called out as she padded into the kitchen. When he turned around to face her she was greeted by her favorite smile.

Her son’s.

“Good morning, my love.” She chimed as she pulled her son out of Will’s arms and into her own. Henry giggled as she planted her lips on his cheeks a dozen times.

“When I got up he was already awake.” Will said with a grin. Diane was only half paying attention to him. He didn’t mind. She looked so beautiful standing there in his clothing, holding their baby, and smiling that gorgeous smile.

“Oh my goodness! What a pleasure it is to wake up to you.” She cooed. Henry was loving the shower of attention as she bounced him in her arms. “I missed you so much last night, darling.”

“Coffee?”

“Has he been fed?”

“I was just about to warm a bottle.”

“No need. I’ll do it.”

“It’s right here.”

“And so am I. We were so busy last night I didn’t get to pump. I’m gonna freaking explode.” She pulled a chair out from the table and sat with Henry lying comfortably in her arms.

“Say no more.” He had heard of her struggles enough times to know when to let her take care of her needs. By the time he turned back around she was already nursing Henry and both of them looked at peace.

“Is that coffee for me?”

“It wasn’t but it is now.” He placed it in front of her. “Hey, when do you think you’ll wean him off?”

“Of breast milk ?” She looked offended by the question. It wasn’t something she had ever considered. She knew she had to but she would miss their special bond during it.

“He’s almost ready for solid foods. Don’t you think it’s about time?”

Diane pouted at the very idea of Henry needing her less. She wanted to provide him with as much as she could for as long as possible. “We could wait a little longer. Maybe when he’s a year?”

“That’s your call to make, Diane. Why do you look so sad?”

“He’s not going to need me anymore once I wean him off.”

“Diane, he can’t even walk. Of course he’ll still need you.”

“Not for long. He’s already starting to crawl.”

“You can’t breastfeed him forever.”

“I know that. I just liked feeling special. You and I share everything and this is my one thing.”

“Diane, you had the whole pregnancy.”

“Oh? And labor? That was a day at the beach! Definitely something that made me feel special.”

“Do you still hate me for that?”

“I don’t hate you for giving me Henry. I hate you for the excruciating pain but he’s worth it.” She smiled down at the little one nestled in her arms. He gave her that same grin only to have milk run down his cheek.

Will tossed her one of Henry’s cloths. “He’s worth your wrath. Maybe you’ll find time to forgive me for that.”

“Maybe.”

A less than comfortable silence fell over them and Will spoke up first. “We can’t let last night happen again.”

“We didn’t do anything.”

“But we almost did. Diane, if you had said yes we would’ve ended up in the same place we were just before Henry was born.”

Diane’s tongue ran along her top lip as she contemplated her response. Will could see the gears turning in her head. “But we didn’t. I think we need boundaries.”

“Like?”

“What did we do before? There had to be a reason we didn’t have sex the first few years of our friendship.”

“Yeah, you hated my guts.”

“Still do.” She winked as a laugh passed her lips.

Chapter Text

“What are you doing here?”

“Nice to see you too, honey.” Will laughed as he stepped further into Alicia’s office.

They hadn’t planned on seeing each other until much later. Her day was filled to the brim with work and she had no idea if she was even going to last long enough to have dinner with him like they had planned. She hadn’t meant to sound as grouchy as she did but he understood why. He had days like that all the time.

“I’m sorry.” She let out a deep sighing breath and just from the tension in her shoulders he could tell she was stressed out. She hadn’t looked that stressed since she went through her divorce.

“It’s alright. Tough case?” He wanted to walk up behind her and rub her shoulders but workplace PDA was an area they didn’t cross, except for a few quick pecks here and there.

“More like three. I’ve got my own large case to work on, I’ve just been asked to advise another lawyer, and Adrian wants me in-“ she checked her wrist watch and shook her head.

“15 minutes.” She pouted up at Will. She wasn’t sure why he was paying her a visit but it was going to be cut short due to her meeting. “Are you here for me? I have to go soon.”

“You think every time I come here I’m here for you?” He gave her a sly grin as he sat on the edge of her desk. He leaned down to press a kiss to her nose. He laughed gently when she scrunched her face up but smiled nonetheless.

“Yes.” She said as if it were the most obvious answer. Why wouldn’t it be? He loved her. Right? Of course he did. He wouldn’t have kissed her nose so innocently if he didn’t. She really needed to stop doubting that.

“Usually, yes. Today I’m here to talk to Adrian and Liz.”

“The merge?”

“Maybe.” He laughed at her excitement. “There’s a huge case that Lockhart/Gardner can’t take on alone and you guys just lost Barbara so we’re testing it out to see if we can work well together.”

Alicia’s face splitting grin grew even wider as she thought about getting to see Will every morning again. She loved the idea of just being a walk down the hall from him. Reddick/Boseman already felt like her home but it would feel even better with Will and Diane there.

“That meeting you’ve got is going to be with Lockhart/Gardner.”

“You’ll be there too? That’s the best news I’ve heard all day.” She laughed. She then gasped. “Don’t sit next to me.”

“I can’t sit next to you? Why not?”

“Because you love me.”

“Why is it that every time you want me to stop doing something the reason is because I love you?”

“Because your love could get us into a lot of trouble.”

“As if it hasn’t already made headlines.” He scoffed. “Still proud of that by the way. I just wish you had thrown the red instead.”

“Red wine on my ex? He doesn’t appreciate red enough to have it thrown on him.”

Will laughed. “You’re right. I used to be oblivious to wine. Diane taught me a lot about wine.”

“Is that so? Does that mean you’re ready to run off and own a vineyard?”

“Let’s just say if you stick with me you’ll be introduced to finest wines from places only Diane can pronounce.”

She laughed and Will ended up leaning in to kiss that beautiful smile of hers. “How’s Diane doing, by the way? Is she still pursuing fostering?”

Will nodded. “She is. She’s doing great. Henry loves Samantha so Diane is still going for it. She should be able to foster Sammie in about eight months. In the meantime she’s visiting her frequently to check in on her and keep their relationship close. And Sammie’s social worker brings her to Diane throughout the week.”

“Do you think she’s going to get her?”

“I hope so. She looks at her with so much love and Sammie is such a sweet little girl. From what I can see she’s got good chances. I’m just worried about her work ruining that for her. With the merge, and everything it might be hard.”

“It’s hard being a working mom and it’ll be different now. She can leave Henry with us sometimes but he’s older and you’re his dad.”

It didn’t go unnoticed that Alicia had said ‘us’ and established them as a unit but Will wasn’t going to bring that up just yet but it did make him smile.

“She’s got McVeigh and she’ll probably end up keeping Sammie by her side until she starts school which will be next year. Which is almost what we did with Henry. He was at the office more than he was with his babysitter.”

“Unless it becomes too much and she ends up taking time off to focus on her. Would you be upset if she did?” Alicia looked up at him and watched him shift as he tried to answer the question. They were in the middle of a merge, he needed her now more than ever but Sammie needed her too and Will wouldn’t ever want to come between that.

“That is such a weighted question.” He stated. His face wasn’t exactly neutral but the question had stressed him enough for it to be visible.

“Well, I’m a lawyer.”

“And a damn good one. Can I plead the fifth?”

“No.” She placed a hand on his knee and squeezed. He placed his hand on hers and rubbed his thumb over her smooth skin.

“We’re a couple now. You’re supposed to be able to tell me these things. You had no problem telling me to shut up when I was talking in my sleep.”

“And you had no problem kicking me for it.” He let out a deep sigh as he still tried to answer. On one hand he had a right to be upset if Diane bailed on him. On the other hand it would be selfish for him to be mad considering why she would leave.

“Will.”

“Yes. I would be upset. If she left right now I would be in the middle of this merge without my partner. It’s always been us and this firm is our baby. I could manage it on my own but I wouldn’t want to without her. For the last 17 years we’ve done everything together.”

“But..”

“But if she left I would understand. 14 of those years were spent with Henry and as a father I know why she would put Sammie first. I couldn’t hate her for that. If she wants to leave I’ll make sure she’s taken care of and I’ll be there to support her all the way.”

Alicia grinned at him as she stood from her chair. She was proud of him for admitting that. She knew it wasn’t easy to pull those types of things out of him.

“You’re a good man.” She cupped his cheeks in her hands and kissed his forehead. She now understood why he always did that to her. Something about holding him close like that was so intimate and special and made her feel like he was all hers and he was.

“I try my best.”

“You are. You’re good to me. You’re good to the kids. You’re good to Diane. You’re a great man, Will Gardner.”

“Thank you.” He wrapped his arms around her waist and lifted his head to press their lips together for a moment. They had both forgotten about their meeting until they heard the chime of Will’s phone.

“Go ahead and check it. We have to be in the conference room in about three minutes anyway.” She said as she checked the clock on the wall.

He checked the message. “It’s Diane. She’s wanting to know where we are.”

She laughed. “Did I mention my clock was five minutes slow?”

“Alicia!”

“What?” She laughed as she all but ran out of her office to avoid his folder colliding with her backside.

As promised, Diane met with Samantha and her social worker at the firm. Diane wanted to take Samantha to lunch and then to the park and the firm was the meeting place in between.

She loved seeing Samantha so frequently. She visited her just about every day and had been since they met just two months ago. They were growing close and Diane couldn’t wait to be approved to foster her and adopt her after that.

“How was your day today?” Diane asked as she scooped the little blonde into her arms and carried over to the window so she could see the city. Sammie loved the view.

“It wasn’t good but now it’s good cause- cause I get to see you, Annie!” Samantha exclaimed. Annie was the nickname she had made up for Diane. Diane liked it a lot. It warmed her heart knowing Sammie was getting so close to her.

“And my day is even better because I get to see my Sammie.” Her wide smile spread across her face upon the content look Sammie had given her.

“What made your day not good before, baby girl?” Diane asked.

“I missed you and- and I couldn’t call you.” She bashfully admitted. She nuzzled into Diane and conveyed her message further by doing so.

“I see. I missed you too. I always miss you when you’re not around.” She said truthfully. She couldn’t wait for the day she could take Sammie home and see her full time.

“Was your day good, Annie?”

“It was very good. I had a meeting today with the people I told you about that want to work with me.”

“Your friends? Adrian and Liz?”

“Yes, and Alicia.”

“Yes, yes! You really like Alicia. Alicia loves Will.” She giggled. “Will’s her boyfriend.”

Diane laughed. “Yes. You’re so smart. You remembered all my friends. Good job!”

“Can I see your friends?”

She asked the question so innocently sweet that Diane of course wasn’t going to say no but she was going to be careful about it. She didn’t want to overwhelm Sammie by meeting them all at once. Of course she wanted to start with Kurt. She would definitely be meeting Alicia. Liz and Adrian would come eventually. Sammie had already seen Will a few times and she had played with Henry during several visits. This little girl was so social when in her comfort zone and Diane couldn’t wait to share her with so many loving people in her life.

“You wanna meet my friends?”

She nodded in such an exaggerated way only a child couldn’t do it. “They- they like you and I like you.”

“And they’ll like you too.” Diane pressed a kiss to her freckled nose.

Another visitor was in to see Diane but stopped in her doorway. He went unnoticed for just a moment. The only person quiet enough to do that was none other than Kurt McVeigh. He watched Diane interact with the little girl who looked so happy to be in her arms. He guessed that it was Sammie, the little girl Diane had been non stop talking about since she met her. Diane really was a natural at this. Mothering seemed to come so easy to her. Kurt loved that a lot about her. He smiled at the laughter coming from the two of them. It was sweet and he loved seeing that side of her.

“Annie.” A little whisper said as she buried her face in Diane’s neck. “There’s a man. He looks like Woody.”

Diane chuckled. “From Toy Story?” She ran a hand through Sammie’s hair to keep her soothed. She turned around to see her cowboy standing there.

“That’s Kurt.”

Sammie giggled into Diane’s shirt. “Your boyfriend?”

Diane laughed again. “Yes. Would you like to meet him? He’s really nice.”

Sammie nodded and revealed her face but kept her cheek pressed to Diane’s shoulder.

“Kurt, do you wanna meet Sammie?”

Kurt’s sideways smile appeared. He waved at Sammie who waved back at him. “It’s nice to meet you Sammie. I’m Kurt.”

“Annie’s boyfriend. The cowboy.”

Kurt laughed at that. “Yes, the cowboy.” He knew all about the nickname Sammie had given Diane and yet it still caused him to smile fondly at her. Hearing about their connection was one thing but seeing it in person was beautiful.

“I didn’t know you were coming by today. I guess I forgot to tell you that it was Sammie’s day.”

“It’s alright. I just wanted to surprise you.”

“Awww.” Sammie cooed which made Diane grin down at her. “Annie, he loves you.”

Diane gave her a nod. “He does love me. I love him too. And you know who else I love?”

“Who?”

“You.”

“I love you too.” Sammie said with ease. She looked up at Diane with such a strong adoration that neither Diane or Kurt knew what would happen if Diane didn’t get to adopt her.

Kurt watched the scene before him play out as the two of them had their moment. Diane was so cute with a kid in her arms like that, talking to her like that, giving her affection like that. It gave him this gut feeling that he needed to tell her how much he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her.

“Can Woody come with us to eat?” Sammie asked as she absentmindedly started to play with Diane’s necklace.

“His name is Kurt, darling. Why don’t you ask him?” Diane almost couldn’t bite back her laugh. Samantha was better at the cowboy jokes than she was.

“Kurt, can you come-come to lunch with us? Please?”

Before Kurt answered Diane gave him a threatening look that said he’d better say yes. Sammie didn’t warm up so easily to just anyone. It had taken Will several interactions before Sammie felt comfortable around him.

“I would love to.” He answered. Sammie smiled at him and it caused his own grin to come out. He could see something special in her. He saw was Diane had seen the first time she met her.

“And the park?” Diane asked, hoping he would say yes.

“Yes, and the park.”

Kurt and Diane sat on a park bench with Samantha in between them. After playing until her little legs gave out Sammie asked to feed the ducks. Diane knew she was going to ask so she had come prepared.

Diane rested against the bench with her legs crossed as Kurt and Sammie fed the ducks. She enjoyed the sweet moment between them. Kurt was making her laugh just as much as Sammie was making him laugh and the sound was music to Diane’s ears.

“Hey, Sammie. What is a duck’s favorite snack?” He asked.

“Uh.. I don’t know.”

“Quackers.”

Sammie descended into a fit of giggles which sent Kurt over too. They laughed harder at that joke than Kurt had expected them to but he didn’t question it.

Diane looked over with a large grin on her face. “You two are silly.”

“Silly?! Me?” Sammie exclaimed. “Kurt, are we silly?”

“We might be but Annie is silly too.” He said. Diane took notice of how he called her Annie. She quite liked it.

“Annie is so silly.”

“She is but she won’t say it.”

“Why?” Sammie glanced back at Diane for a quick second before facing Kurt again.

“Because she’s a lawyer and a lot people think lawyers can’t be silly.” He explained.

“But Annie is so silly! I like it when Annie is silly.”

“I like it too. I love when she gets to have fun and be silly when she wants to.” As Kurt said that he looked up to Diane to send a smile her way. She returned it with a wink.

“Do you love Annie?” Sammie asked as she naturally leaned into Kurt.

“I do.”

“Did you know her forever?”

“Not forever but it feels like it. I haven’t known her for very long.”

“And you love her?!” She asked all too loudly.

Kurt laughed at her reaction. “Well, you haven’t known Annie for that long and you love her right? And she loves you.”

“Yeah. It’s like that?”

“Yeah. Sometimes you love people really soon.” Samantha said as if it were nothing.

“I think I’m gonna love you real soon.” Sammie said.

“I think I’m gonna love you real soon too.” He answered honestly. He had only known her for a few hours and he was already wanting to take her in. There wasn’t a doubt in his mind that little Samantha was meant to be in their lives. He severely hoped Diane could adopt her.

Chapter Text

“Diane, here comes your girlfriend.” Will teased. He knew all about the lawyer from the south that never failed to distract Diane during every meeting.

They were in the middle of a case with her on the opposing side. Their next meeting wasn’t for another ten minutes and she was there early. Diane and Will sat together in Diane’s office for a coffee break.

“Will you stop that? I don’t have a girlfriend.” Her cheeks betrayed her by turning red at the thought of even having a girlfriend and especially at her being her girlfriend. She hadn’t ever thought about being with a woman before. So where the hell had Will gotten the idea from?

“Oh, come on. Diane you look at her the way Henry looks at french fries.”

“You’ve been giving him french fries?”

He quickly backtracked. “What? No, no. He just drools over them when I have them.”

“I feel like you’re lying to me but I’ll let it slide this time. And I’m not drooling over her. I just like talking to her and looking at her. She’s very pretty.”

“She is really pretty.” Will added. The woman in question was Kathy, a tall, brunette with deep brown eyes that was just a little bit older than Diane. She had this strong, yet relaxed presence about her that everyone liked even when they were on opposing sides. Diane seemed to really like that.

“She is.” Diane said with a sigh. Where did that come from? She had this weird feeling in her chest when she thought about Kathy. Her stomach did flips when she thought about seeing her again. She remembered specific parts of their encounters where she had touched her hand, or her arm, or the small of her back when needing to get by.

“Will? Do you get… excited to see her?” She licked her top lip in contemplation of her own words. These weren’t normal things to be saying about someone you just met unless you liked them a lot.

“Not really. Do you?” He quirked a brow. He had been truly messing with her until this point but now that she was serious he might have to redirect those jokes.

“I think so.” She took in a sharp breath. “This stays between us.”

“Doesn’t everything?”

“Swear to me.”

“I swear.”

Diane shifted uncomfortably in her seat. Her legs uncrossed and then recrossed. “I think I feel weird about her. I like her a lot. I think a little too much.”

“Diane, you know that’s perfectly normal right? She’s a human.”

“Yes, but she’s a woman.”

“And she does kind of flirt with you.” He said with just a touch of jealousy. Diane was not obligated to him in anyway but he did feel a certain way about other people talking to her at times. In a romantic sense of course.

“Is that bad?” She asked in a meek voice that sounded way too soft and innocent to be coming from Diane. She looked across at him with wide green eyes that reflected the shadow of a blue concern. Blue was a color of worry.

“No. Not at all. Do you think you like her?”

“She’s a woman.”

“Diane, get over yourself. Do you think you like her, human to human could you see yourself going to dinner with her regardless of her gender?”

“I thought I was into men.”

Will could tell by the sound of her voice she was about to spiral. He took in a deep breath to prepare himself for the pep talk he was about to give. He snapped his fingers to bring her back to earth.

“Hey, it’s okay.” He said in a soft tone. “It’s okay for you to develop feelings for a woman. It’s okay for you to develop feelings for a man too. You know you can like more than one type of person right?”

“I don’t understand.”

“It’s like blue eyes and green eyes, Diane. I prefer green, hazel even, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a chance I could fall for blue.”

“But my eyes look both green and blue.”

“I know this is completely about you but that was the exact wrong phrase to insert yourself into. Where is that funny, intelligent woman I partner with?”

Her eyes shifted from the floor to his again with a soft smile that came after another one of those lip bites she did out of anxiety. “So this is completely normal? What does this mean?”

“It means you like a woman and you still like men too so maybe you’re bisexual.”

“How do you know so much about this?”

“Kalinda. We get drinks sometimes.”

“Are you..?”

“No.” He laughed. “There’s just something about dudes that don’t do it for me.”

Diane laughed at that. Maybe women did do it for her sometimes and there was only one way to find out. A knock on the door pulled her out of her thoughts. It was Kathy. When she saw her, her mouth went dry. Those glimmering brown eyes made Diane smile.

“Ms. Lockhart.” Kathy greeted.

“Ms. McVeigh.” Diane grinned.

Chapter Text

Black lace slipped off her hips and fell to the floor. Will hadn’t been too keen on the idea until now. Seeing her like that gave him the idea that maybe they should do this more often.

“Get in.” She nudged his shoulder and urged him towards the tub. She wrapped her arms around her bare torso. “But strip first.” She grinned mischievously at instructing him to be bare just for her.

“Fine.” He obeyed and got into the tub. As soon as the warm water hit his skin he melted away. He must’ve looked blissed out because when he opened his eyes Alicia was giving him the widest grin.

“I like it.” He said.

“I told you it wasn’t bad.” She approached the tub and carefully got in with him. She felt the same relaxation as she settled into the bubbly, sweet smelling water.

“What scent is this?”

She let out a blissed out sigh. “Lavender with just a hint of vanilla.” She smiled at him as she looked across the bubbles. She cupped them in her hands she spread the white foam over her skin.

“Covering up?”

“You know me, modest Saint Alicia.”

“And here I thought you did this just to get me naked.”

“Saints have needs too.”

He laughed and motioned for her to come towards him. There was no way she could get comfortable with the faucet against her back like that. “Come here.”

She complied and shifted to rest against him. She’d be lying if she said the skin on skin contact didn’t make her feel even a little more relaxed. “Still against baths?”

“Only if they’re not with you. You make it worthwhile.”

“Because I’m naked?”

“Because you make everything worthwhile.” He pressed a kiss to her head as she leaned into him after hearing his kind words. She laid sideways with her head against his shoulder. His arms came up to wrap around her waist. He felt secure in holding her like that, pressed together in such an intimate way.

“I like it when you hold me like this.” She said with her eyes closed. She liked how he made her feel safe. She hadn’t had a problem protecting herself but Will put her at ease and allowed her to let her guard down.

“I like holding you like this.” His arms held her in place against his chest. The gentle, yet firm grasp a testament to how much he loved and cared for her.

“Have you ever done anything like this before?”

“No. Have you?”

“No. This was always my one little escape that no one could intrude on. It makes me happy.”

“And you wanted to share that with me?” He grinned down at her. He grew to love her more and more every day.

“You’re incredible, you know that?” He couldn’t imagine why anyone would ever want to hurt someone like her. Just seeing her happy and in her element made him overcome with love and just lightly seasoned with sadness at knowing she wasn’t enough for the man in her life before him. To Will, she was more than enough. She was perfect.

“I know.” She laughed in that soft, girlish way he adored. “You looked like you needed a break. I knew you wouldn’t take a bubble bath on your own.”

“What makes you think that?” He chuckled. Perfect in every way and she still cared for him like no one else. The purity in her reply had sent his heart on an endless journey to find whatever he could to make her happy and to make her feel as joyous as she made him feel without even trying.

“You would’ve been so bored and I would’ve sat in here with you anyway to keep you company.”

“But you figured if I was going to be naked you wanted to be naked too?”

She giggled again and tilted her head back to look at him with those loving, hazel eyes. “Anytime you’re naked, I’m there.”

She stretched and could just barely get to his lips. “This would be much easier if you could lean down.” When he did their lips came together like a magnetic force.

She always seemed to work on their days off. At first he found it strange and now he was used to it. The silent alone time was comforting to them both. They both valued the ease of just sitting in silence with their partner. The ability to work together and separately was something they loved about the other.

He sat on the couch with a book in his hand and gazed at the pages. Occasionally he would stop just to look at her and see what she was doing. See if she looked at him when he looked at her. She almost never did. Sometimes they would catch each other staring at just the right moment but most of the time it was a staring contest in which they took turns.

Her legs were thrown over his thighs while her laptop rested on her legs. No one got to see her this relaxed. She looked so peaceful in her silky, blush pink, pajamas with her glasses resting easily on her nose. Her blonde waves were loose and framed her face despite her halfhearted attempt to keep the strands out of her eyes.

She looked up just in time to lock in on his eyes. She smiled fondly. She was so distracted. She hadn’t been focused for long enough to say she had gotten any work done. To be honest, on days like this she never really worked. He assumed she was on task the whole time. She had never told him otherwise. She enjoyed having a reason to be quiet without him thinking something was bothering her. She just liked being with him and doing something he liked.

What Kurt liked was the quiet. The serenity was near and dear to his heart and Diane Lockhart enjoyed peace but her peace came with the soft sounds of classical music, maybe even a light conversation with someone around her, maybe even during a phone call or a meeting.

What Diane liked was the serene atmosphere that was Kurt. Not around him, it was him. She liked the peace the sound of his breathing gave her. She didn’t need music when the rhythm of his heart was enough. She didn’t need words when he was there. Mostly because he never really had words but even if he did she didn’t want them.

She just wanted him and she had him. So, yes she pretended to be flooded with emails when she actually only had a handful. She pretended to be swamped with clients when she was really just shopping online or catching up with the news. She just wanted something to do while she was laying there with him. With her legs over his plaid, pajama covered thighs. With his hands stroking over her knees. With his eyes occasionally meeting hers and going off like fireworks. She wanted to be with him.

“What are you smiling at?” He asked.

“You.”

“Like that? All for me?”

She let out a laugh and closed her laptop so she could inch closer to him and eventually end up in his lap. When she met her destination she was greeted with his arms wrapping around her torso. His lips pressed the gentlest kiss to her forehead just as he pulled her glasses off her face. He placed her eyewear next to his previously forgotten book.

“Done for the day?”

“Yes. It’s making me miss you. How can I focus on the law when you’re right here looking like that?”

“Looking like what?”

“Like a sexy cowboy I can’t resist.”

He chuckled and closed his book. He tucked it away and pulled the computer from her lap so he could let her fully relax into his figure.

“You can’t resist me?” He teased.

“You can’t resist me.” She pointed out. “If you could you wouldn’t be loving on me like this.” She rested her head on his shoulder with one hand pressed against his chest. She drew circles into the white cotton fabric of his shirt.

“I’ve been thinking a lot about yesterday.” Kurt said.

“You have?” That intrigued her. Yesterday they had spent time with Samantha and they had a blast. They always did when Sammi was with them. It was hard for him to believe they had only met just a few months ago.

“Yeah, Samantha’s a sweet little girl and I think you’re doing the right thing and I want to help.”

“What do you mean you wanna help?”

“You have a son, and a law firm, and you have me. Eventually you’ll have her and you’ll be doing it alone. I don’t want you to have to do it alone. You can but you don’t have to.”

“So, you’re saying you want to help raise her?” She asked.

“Yes.”

“And how does that work?”

“Well, David Lee told you you had good chances of getting her but they would be even better if you weren’t a single parent right?”

“Mr. McVeigh, just get on with it.” Her anxiety started to build up as she wondered what he was implying. She had an idea of what it maybe but she wasn’t entirely sure.

“Let’s move in together. Here, in the city. I have more business here than out there and we can keep the farm as a home away from home.” He said.

“You’ll really do that just for me and my potential child?”

“I’m not finished.”

“Oh, okay, continue.” She shrugged.

“While we’re at it let’s get married.”

“Are you serious?”

“I’m serious about you. I seriously want to be with you until we die. I’m seriously in love with you.”

“Then yes. Let’s get married.”

Chapter Text

“So, how did it go?” Will asked as he entered the room. He held Henry in his arms and had his diaper bag slung over his shoulder.

Diane looked up from her desk. She had just come back from lunch with Kathy and was attempting to get some work done even though she was distracted.

“I thought it was your day off.” Diane stated.

“It is. Henry wanted to see you.” Will said with a soft smile. Henry did love seeing his mom but it was Will who had wanted to see her. He wanted to get all the details about her lunch date with Kathy.

“Henry wanted to see me? It looks more like you wanted to see me.” She pushed her chair away from her desk anyway and held her hands out to Henry who smiled up at her as he was placed in her arms.

“Hi sweet boy.” She said to her son. She couldn’t help but pepper his chubby cheeks with kisses. “Did you miss me or did Daddy drag you here to be nosy?”

Henry’s only response was a series of babbles that made very little sense to her.

She nodded her head. “Just as I thought. I’m glad you agree with me.” She directed her gaze at Will and smirked. “Henry just said he thinks you’re nosy. He also said I’m not telling you about my date.”

Will gasped. “That’s not what he said!”

“Yes it is.” She said plainly. “Didn’t you hear him?”

Will rolled his eyes. “Henry, tell Mama how much you wanted to see her.”

Henry blankly stared at his dad for a few seconds before tilting his head back to look up at his mother.

“Mama.” He said in his tiny little voice. It was one of the three words he knew how to say.

Diane of course grinned and congratulated her son on saying her name but she glared at her partner. “That doesn’t count. He only said it because you did.”

“It does count. Where’s Kathy? How was lunch?”

“It was nice.” She distractedly said as she sat back with Henry on her lap. “Did you two eat yet? Can I feed him?”

“We ate. He finished a whole jar of baby food.” He replied with a proud smile. “But don’t change the subject. Tell me all about Kathy.”

“Why do you want to hear about her so badly? You used do hate it when I’d talk about my dates.”

“I didn’t hate it I just found it to be extremely boring. You have weird taste in men.”

Diane almost mentioned how she had liked Will at some point but it was too soon after their last emotional speed bump for her to tease him for it. “And Kathy’s different because…?”

“Because she’s a woman and you’ve never dated women before.”

“I’ve kissed a girl.”

Will rolled his eyes. “Everyone’s kissed a girl. Let me guess, it was college, you were drunk, and you were in the same sorority.”

“No. I kissed Kathy.”

“You kissed Kathy?” Will exclaimed. That admission changed everything. Now he needed details. “Tell me about it.”

“I’ve never seen you like this before.” She said with a bubbly laugh. She had a certain glimmer in her eye that was reflected in his as well. She could tell that he was genuinely elated for her.

“I’m excited.”

Diane chuckled which made Henry giggle in her lap. “When I met her for lunch she kissed my cheek. After lunch though, she kissed me.”

“On the mouth?”

“Yes.” She said with a wide grin as her cheeks turned rosy shade of pink. “And I liked it. I liked it a lot actually.”

“Are you seeing her again?”

“Maybe.”

“Diane.”

“Pretty soon actually. She wants to take me out again tonight.”

“As in you’re seeing her twice in one day?”

Before Diane could answer, Henry started to say her name but repeat the same sound over and over again to himself. He must be getting bored.

Diane looked down with a fond smile and repeated a few of those “ma” sounds to him. She and Will liked doing that with him. It made Henry smile and they felt it helped with his development and communication. It was also just an instinct at this point.

“Hello?” Will asked as he tried to get her attention again.

Diane directed her focus back at him. “When did you become so needy?” She laughed. “She asked me out again tonight so I’m going. I really like her, Will. She’s pretty, and funny, and talkative. I like that a lot. I don’t think I’d like her as much if she were less social. I think that’s my favorite thing about her.”

“Oof. You’ve got it bad.” He teased. “Go have fun with her and if you happen to make plans again just go ahead and I’ll keep Henry.”

“Either you really want to see our son or you really want me to get laid.”

“Both. You need this Diane. You haven’t been with anyone since before Henry and you definitely haven’t been with a woman before. This is big.”

“I’ve never been with a woman before.. what if she wants to sleep with me?”

“Well, if it’s mutual then you sleep with her.”

“But I don’t know.. how do you..” she trailed off as she started to bite her lip. She carefully contemplated her next sentence. “How do you pleasure a woman?”

Will laughed. “You’re asking me? I mean I’m good at it but you’re always going to be better equipped for that than me. You know what women like. You’re a woman.”

“Is it really that simple?”

“There’s only one way to find out. Just be open with her if you want to do that. No ones going to know how to pleasure her better than she does. Listen to that.”

“Is that why you asked me my favorite color when we had sex?”

“No. I asked you that because I’ve known you for three years and I didn’t know it.” Will squinted. How did she remember that? It was a little over a year ago since they had slept together.

“During sex?”

“I care about you. I don’t sleep with anyone I care about without knowing a lot about them. You can tell a lot about a person based on their favorite color. Ask Kathy her favorite.”

“I did. It’s yellow.” She said the last word with a bright smile because she found it to be incredibly adorable for such a confident, strong woman to like a sunshiny color like that.

“And you like red. So figure out how to make orange.”

Diane rolled her eyes but laughed anyway. “I’ll keep you updated on that.”