Heard but not seen.
When Mac told Jim, "I deserved what I got", what if her microphone was still on, and Will heard their conversation?
If anyone were to look at him on the monitors they would see that he was concentrating hard, apparently on the notes placed on the desk in front of him. But that just wasn't true. For the past two minutes his energy had been divided between pretending to look like he was engrossed in his notes, and listening hard to the conversation which was buzzing down a wire from the control room and into his ear.
"You deserved a lot better."
He felt a lot of approval for the gritty, determined tone of the young producer's voice. He was in full agreement. When he'd first heard the news from Charlie about how that slimy bastard had used Mackenzie – his Mackenzie – to further his own career, he had been desperate to run from the office, find the asshole and lock the door of the room they were in. As it happened, Wade wasn't near him, but Mackenzie was; so to his disgust he'd found himself trying to excuse the guy so that she might feel better.
Rest assured, however, that he would be making quiet inquiries into Wade's campaign funds so that if any cent so much as looked out of place, the news would find its way to a well-circulated national publication ready for the morning print.
"I deserved what I got."
He stopped. Like actually, properly stopped. His heart, his breath, everything…maybe even his blood circulation judging by the pins and needles spreading through his toes.
She really thought that?
Luckily his hearing was still working, and he didn't dare move in case he missed what came next. But nothing did. There was a shuffle, and he thought it might have been Jim leaving the room to go and find the scumbag – by the way, well done Mac for making him wait on the terrace. Excellent idea!
That was the Mackenzie he knew and loved – not this…this – God, how did he phrase it? Maudlin? Yeah…that was a decent word to describe her…he didn't have a term for her right now, so an adjective would have to do.
Was this what he'd done to her? Made her believe that she didn't deserve to be happy?
Was that a sniff?
It was a sniff.
Mackenzie had actually sniffed. Was she crying? Shit. He'd made her cry before, but even now he was still fairly convinced that she'd deserved it then. Now on the other hand…now she was his brilliant, amazing, unstoppable EP who had brought him back from exile and made him the man that he once was. If it wasn't for his continuing bombardment of snideness upon her, they'd be back to Will and Mackenzie: power couple extraordinaire! Well, they needed the kissing and the bedroom for that to really be true, but one thing had always led to another, so why would it be different this time?
'This time'? Jesus, he hated it when she invaded his thoughts like this. He hated the term virus as a description, but he couldn't think of a closer analogy right now – well, drugs maybe – but she (just her name was enough to start it) invaded his mind and set his thoughts off at tangents, inevitably ending up in him thinking about something completely different to do with the ghost of them that no longer was, as opposed to – what was he supposed to be thinking about? Oh, of course – Egypt.
Yes, Mackenzie and Egypt…totally the same thing. Though she had been in the Middle East, so maybe that was what was – aaargh, no. Stop it Will, stop it. You're on air in like forty seconds! Stop this now. She's only standing twenty feet through a wall for God's sake! She's hardly been further than that from you all day; you therefore do not need to spend this much time thinking about her…your ex-girlfriend. Nearly ex-fiance…
It was impossible. He didn't think he'd ever be able to eradicate Mackenzie from his thoughts fully.
This was usually the point when another little voice crept into his head. Ah, there it was…
So if you know you're going to be thinking about her all the time anyway, would you not prefer to be thinking of nice, good things? Not about the shit she's put you through in the past and the shit you're watching her go through now? Because there's an easy way to solve all of that – you could kill a flock of birds with one stone if you wanted to. Man up, Billy.
Billy? Was this Mac's voice inside his head? Or was this his subconscious being extremely cunning and sounding like Mac's voice because it knew he listened more to her than to it?
The sad truth was that he wanted to give in. No matter how much he had urges to punish Mackenzie for what she had done to him, there were an equal number of urges to do all sorts of other things to her that could definitely not be classified as hurtful; more like loving, caring, adoring, passionate…and so on.
He firmly believed that Wade was none of those things – and hey, now he had the proof (not that it made him feel any better about it.)
"15 seconds Will." Her voice – her real voice (not his his conniving subconscious) – was back in his ear.
Egypt, Egypt, Egypt, Egypt, Egypt.
"Welcome back. I'm Will McAvoy and tonight we're bringing you live coverage from the uprising in Egypt. To give a brief re-cap of events so far…"
"Terry Smith is coming up after this with the Capitol Report from Washington. I'm Will McAvoy, have a good night."
This last line was almost robotically programmed in his head by now, allowing his thoughts to drift back to the woman speaking into his ear. His mind was made up as he said 'good night'.
As soon as the red light went off on top of the camera he vaulted out of his chair, taking the camera crew by surprise. Calling a hurried thank you to them, he sped out of the studio, undoing his tie as he went.
As he passed the corridor leading to the terrace, however, he froze as he spotted the lone figure of Mackenzie walking down towards the exit doors. He couldn't see her face, but her figure was hunched over, her arms tucking across herself and her head seemed to be tucked into her chin.
What a complete selfish jackass of a man. He didn't even merit the name.
He knew Mackenzie when she was angry though – and if he knew her like he thought he did, Wade would be the one to come out of their little rendezvous worst. That thought managed to make a small smile tug at his lips. He wished he knew what she was going to say…maybe one day he'd be able to ask her.
Well, he might not have been able to protect her from Wade, but there was something else he could do for her.
Pulling his tie over his head and slipping his blazer off, he dashed into his office, changed into his jeans and leather jacket and dashed back out of the bullpen again before she had come back.
Nina Howard was going to rue the day that she threatened Mackenzie McHale. His Mackenzie…even if he wasn't quite willing to say as much to her…yet. Wade had nothing on him, and deep down they both knew it. Everyone did.
Nina was going to keep her mouth shut because Mackenzie was wrong. She didn't deserve any of this. And maybe by putting a stop to Nina's schemes, he could start to make up for the part he'd played in making her believe that she did.
Provided I don't get depressed tomorrow and write a new fanfic to cope, this is my last story to you as a teenager. I'm in slight denial. Okay…great denial. But hey, I did in fact manage 20 by the time I'm 20. Miracles shall never cease.
I'll maybe have an update of something else tomorrow though…maybe. Don't hold me to it though, please :p