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21 January 2012 @ 12:45 pm

A comment ficathon dedicated to the women who shape the story.  A villainess is any woman who is simply not "good", whether she plays the traditional roles of protagonist or antagonist, whether she narrates her own story (Cersei Lannister, to use an example from the banner) or is seen through the lens of someone else's (Bellatrix Black).  She can be fictional, historical, contemporary; from the books, from the movies, from music: if she's a villainous woman, she's in!

Simple: leave a comment with fandom, character name, and prompt.  The prompt can be anything, from a line of poetry or a song lyric, to a quote directly from the woman herself, to a fic you've always wanted written about her.  Anything goes!

Reply to the prompt comment with your fic.  In the subject line, put the title of your fic, the characters in it, and rating; be sure to include any pertinent trigger warnings.  Then link to your fill in the "filled" thread!

Please feel more than free to promote the ficathon! You can use the banner above or make your own (and if you do, tell me so I can post it here).  If you're using the above banner, here's the code for LJ promotion:

smilingsoprano: musing!Iagosmilingsoprano on January 24th, 2012 08:02 am (UTC)
This Is Why | The Good Wife (Kalinda), PG
Spoilers up through late season 2.


Alicia tips her head back, laughs, drunk on tequila and a case that went their way (in spite of rather than because). Her hair is mussed and her blouse is wrinkled and she's radiant, happier than Kalinda knows how to be. She talks--about her children, about the apartment above them and its noisy occupants, about work, about Peter, about Will, and a hazy discomfort settles in the pit of Kalinda's stomach, a coiled knot of the things she leaves unsaid. Alicia is honest down to her core, and the warm, open smile she bestows on her friends is enough to make Kalinda want to run in the opposite direction, measure the distance between them in miles rather than inches.

She doesn't, though.


Cary runs an appreciative eye up and down the lines of her body the first time they meet--and many times after--and that too is a sort of honesty, but one she's familiar with. She sidles closer and matches him stare for stare, performance for performance. He'll do, this Harvard boy, used to being someone other than himself. She likes the exterior he's chosen, the smart suits and smug smile, the flirtation, and doesn't care to learn more.

But Cary is young, almost painfully so, and before a month is gone she can read him, knows him; the shades of affection that color a grin, the taut blankness in his face when he cares too much, the raw, open-hearted idealism hidden under careless smirks. And once more, she is afraid.


Will sits steeple-fingered across from her, silent and calm. He is a constant, a fellow mercenary in a world that requires them, and he understands. They don't talk, not about things that really matter. She murmurs a greeting and he raises an eyebrow, pours her a scotch, and doesn't ask why.

Something in Will shifts when Alicia arrives, though, the inevitable grind of tectonic plates, and he comes into focus, piece by piece. She sees the naked longing in him, love writ large across his face. She sees what--who--he wants, and worst of all, she sees why. No longer inscrutable, no longer unknown, more friend than ally, another frisson of unease in her chest.


Blake is a nightmare, a liar's tongue somehow telling truth. The first time "Leela" falls from his lips she wants to tear out his throat so he cannot speak, rip his eyes from his sockets so he cannot see, cannot know--instead she feigns ignorance, because pretending is the only thing she can do anymore. He is her fear made manifest, this casual brute who talks so easily about a past she long since burned to the ground. She engages--she must--baseball bat in hand and vengeance in her heart, but it's not enough.


Kalinda keeps her secrets, and this is why.

You don’t explain anything, you do not put a single thing in context.

She keeps them locked tight in her chest, because when someone else learns your secret, you become helpless.

You slept with my husband.

Knowable, like all people are knowable.

You do not say anything after that. You do not.

Vulnerable, like all people are vulnerable.

It is selfish to say anything after that.

She should have run.
waltzmatildah: tgw: alicia against the wallwaltzmatildah on January 24th, 2012 08:07 am (UTC)
Re: This Is Why | The Good Wife (Kalinda), PG
Um, wow! Thank you for filling this prompt so perfectly!

Kalinda is one of my favourite female characters and I find her a terrifying prospect to try and capture in fic, but this is sensational. I especially love the Cary part, He'll do, this Harvard boy, used to being someone other than himself. and how you contrast this with how young and easy to read he becomes.

But really, I just love the whole thing. Thank you!
smilingsoprano: musing!Iagosmilingsoprano on January 24th, 2012 08:15 am (UTC)
Re: This Is Why | The Good Wife (Kalinda), PG
You're welcome, and I'm so glad you liked it! Thank you for such a lovely response.

I adore Kalinda as well, and this is my first shot at writing her, so I'm thrilled that you found it satisfactory. I'm also sort of laughing at my own transparency because you enjoyed the Cary part--Cary, I've found, is the one that really speaks~ to me in fic. Apparently that comes across even when it's not his POV. :P

Anyways, thank you again! I loved having a chance to write this. The world always needs more Good Wife fic.
waltzmatildah: greys: april oh yeswaltzmatildah on January 24th, 2012 08:19 am (UTC)
Re: This Is Why | The Good Wife (Kalinda), PG
Oooh, does this mean you've written Cary fic in the past? If so, I must go find it! Good Cary fic is hard to come by.
smilingsoprano: musing!Iagosmilingsoprano on January 24th, 2012 08:24 am (UTC)
Re: This Is Why | The Good Wife (Kalinda), PG
Ugh, if only I had the time I would write ALL THE CARY FIC, but alas I'm a college student and thus bereft of time. The only Cary POV (only other Good Wife fic, actually) I've written is a short AU piece set in the world of Caprica.
waltzmatildah: tvd: elena says ohwaltzmatildah on January 24th, 2012 08:28 am (UTC)
Re: This Is Why | The Good Wife (Kalinda), PG
Heh, I hear you on the student thing... I'm pretty sure Professors should be made to schedule WRITE ALL THE CARY FIC into the lecture plans!

Is that fic at your journal? I might go seek it out :)
smilingsoprano: musing!Iagosmilingsoprano on January 24th, 2012 08:34 am (UTC)
Re: This Is Why | The Good Wife (Kalinda), PG
Writing fic definitely needs to be in my syllabus. I actually don't post fic on lj (outside things like this, that is), but you can find it here: http://villainesses.tumblr.com/post/15164601109/alicia-and-cary-on-caprica

If you haven't watched Caprica you might be a little lost, though.
Re: This Is Why | The Good Wife (Kalinda), PG - waltzmatildah on January 24th, 2012 08:44 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: This Is Why | The Good Wife (Kalinda), PG - smilingsoprano on January 24th, 2012 08:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
Runespoor: fight and grace || cass vs slade = DRAWrunespoor7 on January 24th, 2012 01:54 pm (UTC)
Re: This Is Why | The Good Wife (Kalinda), PG
This is amazing. I've very recently been convinced to watch The Good Wife and I find your exploration of Kalinda, and the other characters through her eyes, both incredibly true to the canon and made incredibly easy to understand.

This makes all the sense in the world, and the progression is both fraught and heartbreaking; going from one character to the next feels like Kalinda trying to run away from honesty/emotions, and that it both starts with Alicia and ends with... well, with Alicia and Kalinda's knowable secrets, is a perfect structure. It makes it unavoidable. Simply beautiful.
smilingsoprano: musing!Iagosmilingsoprano on January 24th, 2012 04:47 pm (UTC)
Re: This Is Why | The Good Wife (Kalinda), PG
Ack, thank you so much for such a lovely, thoughtful comment! I'm overwhelmed. :D
podklbpodklb on February 5th, 2012 12:15 pm (UTC)
Re: This Is Why | The Good Wife (Kalinda), PG
I love this! Would it be all right with you if I recorded a podfic version of it for the Awesome Ladies Podfic Anthology II, a podfic project we're putting together for halfamoon?
smilingsoprano: musing!Iagosmilingsoprano on February 6th, 2012 01:31 am (UTC)
Re: This Is Why | The Good Wife (Kalinda), PG
Absolutely! I would be honored, and thank you so much for the compliment. ^_^
podklbpodklb on February 17th, 2012 02:54 am (UTC)
Re: This Is Why | The Good Wife (Kalinda), PG

I know not everyone is interested in listening to podfic of their work, and please feel no obligation to listen, but the Anthology is posted here and the individual mp3 is here. :)
smilingsoprano: musing!Iagosmilingsoprano on February 17th, 2012 05:47 pm (UTC)
Re: This Is Why | The Good Wife (Kalinda), PG
Oh my god, that's beautiful! Thank you so much! I especially love the way you worked in the actual clips of Alicia speaking at the end. Bravo!
podklbpodklb on February 18th, 2012 03:24 pm (UTC)
Re: This Is Why | The Good Wife (Kalinda), PG
I'm really glad you liked it!

I briefly considered trying to say Alicia's lines instead of using the actual clips, but when I went to look up the scene, I was so blown away all over again by Julianna Margulies's performance that I knew I couldn't touch it.

Thank you again for writing the ficlet. If you write any more Good Wife fic, let me know, because I'd love to read it! ♥
smilingsoprano: musing!Iagosmilingsoprano on February 18th, 2012 08:07 pm (UTC)
Re: This Is Why | The Good Wife (Kalinda), PG
Yeah, I sincerely doubt anyone could top Julianna in that scene. I'll certainly let you know if I write more, and thanks again!