Just for tonight.

In a way I think this has kind of turned out to be me stealing moments from my own stories and recycling them to fill out a storyline. So if you read any of my other stuff I guess you may pick up on a few references ;p

I think this is okay with a T-rating...maybe high T. If you disagree please let me know.

They had been doing so well.

Of course, he still hadn't admitted what was in the voicemail message, and the image of her and Brian would still pop into his head from time to time, but in the last twelve or so weeks, he had made a point of finding substitutes for when that image would usually burst into his thoughts.

Substitutes of her laughing with Maggie and Jim, her joy-filled orbs finding his before turning back to the conversation; Charlie's face when the two of them had played a practical joke on him in the middle of the bullpen on halloween; countless pleasant evenings in Hang Chews with the team, where he was now a regular (thanks to a little convincing - nagging - from her). There were other rarer, more unique moments too.

The two of them huddled in his office deciding when to break a story; Mac coming to him when she had received a phone call from her aunt to say that her father had been in a car crash, but not to worry, it was nothing serious and he was going to make a full recovery. Finding Mackenzie drunk and crying outside his door one night after a particularly vivid segment on the violence in Syria - a segment which had affected Mackenzie and Jim terribly, leaving everyone else to offer as much silent support as they could to the two stubborn journalists.

He liked the happy ones, though, and the ones where he had found himself turning to her for comfort instead of the other way around. Like a charity gala hosted by the major news networks, where they had spent the night bitching about the network executives who were there, busy doing some competitive networking with the philanthropists and celebutantes who were gathered there instead of focussing on what the night was supposed to be about. There was also the night where they had both been so exhausted that they feel asleep on the couch on his office after he had pleaded with her to stay for a drink and relax with him...just because he needed it. And she had stayed, no qualms. They woke at three in the morning and silently made their separate ways home. But it wasn't awkward.

And so tonight...tonight felt like it was a natural progression; a next step. It was about time, he thought. Admittedly they were drunk, tired, probably hadn't eaten even twenty percent of the calories they had burned that day, and neither of them had left the office in twenty four hours; but in this moment, neither of them cared.

The remainder of the staffers had slowly drifted out by about five am, all looking as tired as he and Mac felt, but just like them, had that look of flushed success that only comes once every four years when exactly half the people will go home looking the opposite; but this year, that wasn't the Newsnight team. Obama was re-elected, and their coverage had gone off without a hitch - it had been exceptional, in fact. Leona had even sent down champagne when they got word that Romney was getting ready to concede.

They had done good. And as they watched their staffers leave with no small amount of pride in each of their eyes, both Will and Mackenzie were more than ready to finish the remainder of the alcohol before either of them were ready to attempt a dash home through the streets before the morning Manhattan traffic revved into life.

In a little over an hour the city would begin to rev itself up for another day, and in a little over four hours, they were supposed to be back here setting up the coverage for the next night's show. So, not without reason, they felt that a drink or two was well earned. They might even start on the secret bottle of Scotch that sat in Will's bottom drawer; a gift from Charlie after the RINO broadcast.

And they did. Oh, they did. Which, Will reasoned, was how it came to be that Mackenzie was currently straddling him, arms around his neck as he pulled her impossibly closer to him, his teeth nipping her neck as one hand struggled to undo the buttons of her blouse, the other being far too distracted at being reunited with her gorgeous, soft hair.

He had had a little more to drink than she had, but she had eaten about half the amount of food that he had today, and Mackenzie was a light-weight at the best of times. Yet somehow, it still felt natural. It felt right. A small, but increasingly powerful, strong voice in his head was screaming at him that it always would be - kissing Mackenzie would never be wrong - how could it be, she was his soulmate? But this voice had some opposition in his thoughts. Opposing thoughts which were pelting several serious arguments across his mind at regular intervals: one, it is never a good idea to do this with someone you care about when you're both drunk, two, it is not such a good idea to do this when you know you aren't quite ready to forgive her, three, she's not the only guilty party here...and before he could shut it out, a picture of the small tiffany's box in his drawer took over his thoughts.

He was trying to ignore this voice, however.

It had been so long - so, so, painfully long since he had held Mackenzie like this. So long since he had walked into the bullpen to find her standing there like a ghost, a ghost with a look in her eye that plainly told him she was not adverse to this happening again; a look that told him, she had come back for him. So yes, it may not be the best timing - but timing had never been their strong point. If they were both happy, and she kept kissing him like this, what would really be the worst that could happen?

Damn the voice. It had an answer for that too. He'd had a suspicion that it had planted that image for a reason. Urgh!

A sudden image of Mackenzie, backing away from him, hurt visible and tears springing from her eyes, as she looked at him holding up the engagement ring that he had bought to mess with her!

It flashed him another one: an image of him standing in the doorway to his bedroom watching Mackenzie undress and change into her nightclothes, but then he saw the flash in the fictional Will's eyes that he knew so well - the look that haunted him whenever the image of her and Brian crossed his thoughts. This version of Mackenzie was wearing that engagement ring. He wondered if the Will in this future had told her...

He was jerked back to the present when he realised that Mackenzie had stopped kissing him. He blinked up at her, confused; one hand settled under her open shirt on her bare hip and the other resting on her collarbone, the heel of his hand resting just above her heart so that he could feel the fast rhythm of her life force thumping underneath it. There was a knowing look in on her face, and the slight hurt in her eyes did not go unnoticed. His heart sank.

Maybe he didn't have a choice. Maybe the first voice just wasn't strong enough yet.

The gentle caress of her hand along his cheek and under his jaw left a trail of fireworks along his skin as the fingers of her remained hand raked gently through his hair, lulling him into a state of relaxation that he hadn't known in years. She still knew exactly how to get to him, make him come undone, and she'd barely touched him. He felt his eyes fluttered close as he let the feeling wash over him.

"Will, if you can't do this, you need to tell me now. Because...if you touch me again I'm not going to be able to stop, and one or both of us is going to end up pissed...and we've got a good thing going right now."

Her voice was quiet, soft - timid, even. She was shy, feeling vulnerable; exposed not just physically, but emotionally...because of him. He had kissed her first. He had started this.

He took her hand abruptly and gently rubbed circles into it with his thumb. And now she thought he wanted to stop. Did he? There were two different answers to that question coming from three different parts of his body. His head was giving him a migraine, but his heart and, well, certain other parts of his anatomy, were screaming that they both needed this, that they'd have to time to iron out the kinks later.

Will was a smart guy and his heart had already been broken one too many times before, but maybe it was the alcohol, or the euphoria of the day, dehydration, or hunger...or maybe he should be honest with himself and just say it was her; but he knew that right now was the time to put it on the line once more.

She was his best friend, his partner, his most trusted advisor, and here she was taking her time and going at this pace (for years now, not just months), and had she not earned enough of his respect for him to at least give as good as he gets? To at least be honest with her? His breath caught in his throat as he struggled to find what to say.

Still aware of the obvious pain displayed on her face, he reached behind his head and laced his fingers through the hand which was twisted into the hair at the nape of his neck.

"Mac - I -" Why was this so hard? this woman could usually read his mind; this woman - with the exception of Charlie - was the one person in the world that he could say whatever the fuck he wanted to, and she meet him there and challenge him. So why couldn't they have that now?

He knew the answer. Of course he knew. She'd been waiting two - hell, five years - to hear this from him.

"Mac - you know that I'm trying. Or at least I hope you do, because I am. So hard." He saw a flash of something like hope twinkle in her eyes and noticed how her breath seemed to have stopped as she clung to his every word. "But I'm not there yet. So right now I can't make you any promises - please don't ask me to make promises I can't keep; at least not now...I couldn't bear it if I let you down."

The watery eyes were back as he watched her see for the umpteenth time the visual evidence of the pain she had caused all those years ago. And he didn't mean to make her cry - he really didn't. Only minutes ago he had been experiencing pleasure he never thought he would again - pleasure that had, and only ever could, come from her. And he wanted that again. For both of them. Seeing her happy with him had always been one of his favourite parts of their relationship; though ironically one of the most painful parts of their separation, too.

"And - and I want what you want. But I just - I can't promise that to you yet." His hands migrated to frame her teary, and somehow stunningly beautiful face, his thumbs gently running over her cheeks as he allowed the feeling of her surrounding him to invade all of his senses and loose himself in the reality of her being there. He pressed a gentle kiss to her lips. "But let me have tonight, Mac. Please."

He knew he didn't deserve it. Knew that after everything he had just confessed (and more importantly, everything he hadn't), he had absolutely no right to ask for anything more than forgiveness from this amazing woman in front of him, for putting her in this situation.

But he also knew that he wasn't just going to let this be a one night stand. This wasn't the end, or a blip on the radar: this was a new beginning. It was just going to be a slow beginning - they would pick the pace up as they went along. Because they would. He resolved there and then that they would; because he didn't think that he could live in a reality where that future did not exist. It wouldn't be easy, but he would fight for this. Fight for her.

Despite everything, the heart wants what the heart wants. And his heart irrevocably wanted her.

"Let me take you home, Mac. Just let me have tonight."

She still hadn't said a word. She was just looking at him, her eyes boring into his. The only reason he knew that she hadn't frozen or gone into some sort of zombie coma was that her eyes had dried again. Instead, they seemed to filled with a deep determination that he couldn't quite place; it didn't necessarily stem from determination to be with him. But as the seconds passed, he saw the fire slowly light in her eyes; watched it grow from embers into a flame, before her lips were on his again, more impassioned and more heated than any she had ever given him.

He was quick to respond, his mouth opening under hers and matching her energy and intensity as his hands quickly attempted to refasten the buttons on her shirt - which some deep (but right now, distracted) part of his brain found amusing.

He buttoned it to just above her breasts (because for some strange, masochistic reason, his wanted to tease himself torturously until they got back to his apartment). She had slowed the kiss as she felt his hands complete their task and then slide sensuously around her waist bringing her closer to him again as he tore his lips away from hers so that he could trail a line of hot, open-mouthed kisses along her jawline to her left ear, and then slowly down her neck before coming to a halt not far from where the buttons he had just done up now lay fastened.

Breathless, his quickened breaths sounding in time with hers, he raised his eyes to hers once more, hoping that she had got this message. He was relieved to find that the light dancing brightly in her eyes told him that she understood. Understood that his attentiveness was not just lust, it was love. Admittedly, a love that he hadn't quite come to terms with yet, but a love that he was determined to embrace and live in...in time; time he sorely wished he didn't need.

She brushed her hand across his cheek once more, before leaning in and pressing a lingering kiss to his forehead and causing his arms to tighten around her, afraid to let her go.

Reluctantly, he opened his arms for her so that she could step off him, and slip her feet back into the shoes that had fallen by the couch.

He watched her the whole time, hardly able to believe that she was agreeing to this, that she was giving this to him - hell, half of him was still heartily convinced that now she had those shoes on she would shun him and walk out the door. But she didn't. She just held out her hand to him.

He had been transfixed, unable to move from the couch, but as soon as he saw the extended his hand it was the catalyst that he had been waiting for, for...oh so long now.

Entwining his fingers with hers, his heart soared as he noted the small smile that grew on her face at his actions. He pulled it to him as he leaned forward, and kissed it reverently before pushing himself off the couch. From there, it was like he was on automatic, as he gathered his jacket and bag before turning to slip his arm around her waist, the pair of them leaving his office in silence, not even needing to speak, but just to be.

He made no attempt to answer the knowing, though slightly surprised, look Lonny gave them as he opened the door of the SUV for Mac to climb in before Will. To his credit, the body guard made no attempt at conversation, and with the exception of perhaps two times, managed to keep his eyes from the rearview mirror whilst they drove across town.

Will was grateful. He didn't want anyone intruding on the feeling of Mackenzie curled into his side like she belonged there as he absent-mindedly traced patterns on her upper arm whilst he watched her look at the world passing by them as she rested her head gently back into his neck.

Initially he tried to count the number of sporadic kisses he was dropping onto her hair, but she was so mesmerising to him that he realised ten minutes afterwards that he had completely lost the thread of his thoughts.

But even as this occurred to him, he knew that there would be plenty of other nights to play this game. Whether he would somehow miraculously manage to have them next week, or maybe in a fortnight, or a month, or maybe three, he knew they were coming; drifting towards him just like the stars that he could see trying to shine through the great cluster of lights that was New York City. But he could see them...just.

It was a beginning. A teaser. A glint.

Just so that he would know that there was something out there in the distance, waiting for them. Something worth the wait; something worth seeing.

But just for tonight, he was grateful and at ease. Just for tonight he didn't have to think about how lonely every other drive home over the last five years had been for him. Just for tonight, everything fitted. The rest he - no, they - would worry about in the hopeful light of morning.

It's exam time (BOOOOO *sobs*) but I needed to write something that wasn't about foreign policy or economics before I went mad. Well, madder than usual. Hope you enjoyed, you lovely bunch! :) x