The Impending Inevitable
SURPRISE! For me too. A snapshot of this scene popped into my head about an hour ago and for some reason I knew I had to write it there and then. Kind of random, but I hope y'all enjoy it! :)
He pulls her jacket off her shoulders as delicately as if he was handling fine china. As he folds it over the chair he looks back and sees that she's just standing as if she's lost; tucked into herself, edgy, senses clearly firing on all cylinders. He wishes he could do something about that.
He settles for a brief squeeze of her shoulder as he walks through to the kitchen.
"Can I get you anything to drink? Water, coffee, tea, whiskey, wine, beer...?"
"Um, tea sounds nice."
She reminds him of a mouse...or a hamster possibly. Something small and fluffy and nervous. She's twitching and cautious, yet insatiably curious.
This isn't the first time she's been here. She was here the night Bin Laden got shot. She and Charlie have been here for dinner on occasion...she was here the night he overdosed.
He doesn't really want to think about that.
The point is, she's been here enough that she has already had a good look around.
She's admired the art that has steadily been collecting since she came back into his life and he became a little more cultured and warm, and brave enough to display that to the world again. But she's looking around now like she's convinced she has missed something. Which maybe she has, but he knows that isn't why she's doing it.
She's seeing if anything is out of place. Or is abnormal or strange. She's keeping an eye on him, watching out for him, making sure he is okay. Because right now he knows she needs to be sure that he is okay. That Charlie is okay. That Jim is okay. That Maggie and Sloan and Neal and Don and everyone else in their little family - her family - is okay.
But out of all those people she has come to him.
Grateful that he has not fucked this up too badly. That she isn't letting him fuck this up for good. She is holding on like strong glue, clinging tooth and nail to make sure that he doesn't get away from her; and he is so, so grateful because he knows that he's not strong enough. He couldn't have done that. Or at least it wouldn't have been enough. He likes to think that he would have tried.
Shit. The kettle is whistling in his ear and he has been drifting off to some land inside his head and she is still standing there. He's been off thinking about himself and his own guilt when she came here because she needs him. Idiot.
She's still looking around, apparently just as distracted by her thoughts as he had been.
"Mac." He says softly, desperate not to startle her. She spins, looking for the source of the voice and his heart jumps at the small smile she gives when she finds him. How it widens in delight at the cup of boiling comfort he holds out to her. This cup of tea (he had never been able to cancel the order of tea that had always been delivered every two months from Britain...he should probably tell her that there's a cupboard in the pantry that is stuffed with boxes of Twinings and Tetley) is the closest thing she has to her parents right now. To her home.
The smell lightly sings of cosy evenings by the fireplace watching films or playing scrabble. Of snarky family debates and sly teasing that went on in heart of a chestnut paneled, fire-lit town house somewhere in the labyrinth of snowy London streets.
She moves around the kitchen to cradle the mug he offers in her delicate hands, leaning back against the counter, hunched over the mug as if trying to warm her upper body purely from the small circle of steam spiraling off its surface.
He's standing next to her, facing her, his own hand resting against the counter inches from where her waist is curved into the edge of the counter top. He can feel the emotions radiating off her, and he's examining every inch of her face and the slight tension in her shoulders and fingers, and the way he can tell that in her shoes her toes are scrunched up against each other. Because he knows she does that. Or she used to.
She seems to have no plans to stop his blatant staring. But there's no way she's not aware of it, even if she's off somewhere in her head again, floating through memories.
He thinks she looks tired. Well, more so than usual. Or maybe just differently. He gave up being worried about her being tired long, long ago. It's just part of who she is and he's pretty sure that one morning in another life time she actually told him that he specifically was not allowed to worry about her being a little tired. He smirks slightly at the memory.
Being tired is a part of who she is - it's just that she's usually tired because she's energetic...if that makes any sense. Which it does when it relates to Mackenzie. Only to Mackenzie. Now, though...now she just looks weary. Older. Exhausted. He wants to help. Help the way he used to.
He lightly - as in he can barely be grazing the hairs on her skin - runs the back of his finger down her arm to attract her attention. Her eyes find his again, albeit slightly unfocussed. Wherever she was she hasn't quite left yet. Heartbeats pass and her eyes widen a fraction. No one else would notice it, but he does.
He is not sure what it is she has found there. He hopes it's concern. Compassion. Friendship. Understanding. Support, definitely. If he's very, very lucky it's love. Because he cannot say it (yet), but that does not mean it's not there.
It is SO there. It's in every drop of blood that is currently pumping around his veins at a very determined pace for a guy who is past his physique's glory days. And jesus, he hopes it is in his eyes. He hopes she can just read him like she normally does.
She swallows, the mug slowly lowering from her mouth to rest lightly against her stomach. Her eyes flicker between his, greedily taking in the warmth and worry there, still so vulnerable, so beautifully insecure.
He is so busy looking at her that he doesn't see the hand that leaves the warmth of her tea to rest gently against his chest, but he feels it as her fingertips lightly press against him to find the buttons hidden under the soft cashmere of his sweater. Her touch is feather light but her hand feels so warm that it's almost as if she's branding him.
He is surprised. But he somehow knows this was inevitable.
She's on her toes (her heels were abandoned at the door) moving into him before her mouth gently presses to the corner of his lips.
He saw it coming, although surprised that they'd finally made it this far, he had seen it coming. Yet she still makes his breath catch. Her touch still makes his skin tingle. He cannot open his mouth to speak.
So he's glad that when her kiss ends, she only moves millimeters away. He doesn't want her to move away. That half-kiss was not enough. Her breath is warm across his chin as her eyes flutter shut, and he thinks he could watch her like this all day. God, he has missed this side of her.
"Billy..." She breathes. Her voice is soft, low, maybe a little dry. And it's not quite a question but neither is it a declaration. She raises her gaze again, hesitant and anxious, her lip worried gently between her teeth. She wasn't expecting this either.
She seems to sway away for a fraction of a second and he thinks she's going to pull away. His heart begins to sink, but then she's back and her thumb has moved to his lower lip and he doesn't need to nod to say that this is more than okay, because his heart is back in his throat. She ignores the hitch in his breath and kisses him where her thumb was a second before.
His vision tunnels before it goes black, and then all he can see, feel, hear, and think about is her. Nothing seems to exist except for the soft pressure of her mouth on his and the warmth that he can feel emanating off her body, only inches away. He's not sure how long they stand there for. A part of him is hoping it's eternity.
But she's timid. She's still unsure of this and he needs to do something about that.
His right hand comes to gently cup her cheek, thumb stroking softly over the bone, and this time her breath catches. His other hand gently takes her mug from her, before placing it on the counter, leaving him free to pull her closer. That's when she wakes up.
Her lips pull back for an instant, only to press against his once more, catching his upper in both of hers, and he squeezes her waist gently in encouragement. She hums approvingly against his mouth, leaning into him properly at last, aligning her body with his as her arms come up around his neck and he gently pries her mouth open.
He's actually giddy. Inside. The atmosphere in the room is as still as it was, but inside Will is doing summersaults; he's so happy to be in this moment again. Because they have been here before, sometime - many times - in a different life.
Her mouth is soft and pliant and giving, just as he remembers, except this time there is...more. He doesn't understand how, but he ignores the little voice in his head that shrugs it off as heightened senses and instead listens to his gut. He feels slightly guilty for thinking about it in this moment (this moment!), but he thinks that maybe she is more 'here' this time around, like she knows and she's sure.
Like she's all in.
He's steaming miles ahead and that's probably the giddiness, but he doesn't care. She's here, curled in his arms, tucked against him, warm and cosy and soft, and her tongue is gently pressing between his lips, asking for more - finally.
How could he possibly refuse her? And how is it possible to have everything he could ever want enclosed in the circle of his arms? There is nothing now but them.
He decides that it is not his place to question this. Three years ago he was handed a second shot at his life. Every day since he has been battling against his heart.
In this moment he's decided that he's going to give into the inevitable because no one has ever won a fight against love.
Not really sure about the ending, but as I said I didn't really know where I was going with this, I just had to get it down ASAP. I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments! Cheers, everyone :)