Rage, rage against the dying of the light! That's how I feel right now. I'm in a Newsroom funk! Anyway, wrote this this morning. From a prompt on LilacMermaid's LJ!
He has no idea why he does it. There is nothing unusual or untoward about that evening, or about the show that night. He doesn't know why he does it. But he kisses her.
She's been strange with him over the last few weeks. He isn't sure why, but he figures there is only one thing it could be. He has no idea how she found out.
There's a lot he isn't sure of. But he kisses her anyway.
The rundown is locked in and the cold December night is pressing at the windows of his office when she strolls in the door, no knock, no announcement, she just strolls in and out whenever she feels like it. In the days when she used to do that with a smile and adoration in her eyes he used to secretly find it hot. Now all he sees is detachment and forced indifference.
Yes. She knows. He has now idea how, but she knows. And he is losing her.
If she was ever his to lose.
She mentions some small change to the script – something legal has come up with so that they don't get themselves into another million-dollar lawsuit because they've used the wrong verb and a business exec decides to screw them with it.
He finds he can only meekly reply because, like most days recently, he is so struck by the look in her eyes that he can't bring himself to say much. It freezes him; the coolness that he finds staring back at him, and he just wants her to laugh again. But she doesn't do that with him anymore.
He's fairly sure she is planning on leaving. He has no proof, there is a just a tingling nag inside of him that says she is. He loves her all the more that the reason she's staying is their team. That's the kind of person that she is. He just refused to see it for too long.
He realizes she's waiting on him to say something more and he has to wrack his brain to think of what else she had been talking about. Oh right – Charlie. Yeah, Charlie had wanted something.
She rolls her eyes, clearly itching to leave as soon as is humanely possible, and he finds himself dragging out his sentence just to try and keep her there longer. It's not fair of him. He knows that. Not when Nina is probably sitting wearing an extremely thin layer of clothing on his bed, laptop across her knees.
A mental image of Mackenzie replacing her in that picture flashes across his mind's eye and finds a sharp stab of longing somewhere in his midriff as his eyes sting.
He can't think of anything more to say and she nods, satisfied with his reply before she spins on her heel and heads for the door without a backward glance. No banter, no smirk, no teasing smile. Nothing.
He is up before he has actually decided that he's going to do this. Or maybe his body is just thinking faster than his brain right now…which doesn't really even make sense. Whatever. He doesn't care, because one hand catches her forearm, the other tugs at her neck before time seems to stop for a moment after she has been turned back to him, a furious yet saddened look in her eyes as they meet before Will's eyes flicker to her lips. She doesn't stop him.
That gets him excited for a minute – that she doesn't stop him. He knows he is technically with someone else, but Giddiness jumps around in his stomach as his lips finally press home against hers after all this time.
To his surprise, she is still for only a moment before she is pressing into him, wrapping her hands around his neck and opening to him without any coaxing or encouragement whatsoever. He feels high again; she's like a drug.
He gets so wrapped up in the feel of her as his hands shift to her waist and hips, tugging her flush to him, that his blissfully blank mind misses the signs.
Her tongue dances gently with his as she curls her fingers in the hair at his nape, pressing closer to him still as her lips gently caress his. He thinks she's lost in it like he is. And she does lose herself, but not like him.
Because in too short a time she is slowing it down, pulling away from him by millimeters more with every kiss. His brain catches up to his mouth and he realizes what is going on here.
He kissed her because he needed to. Or because he wanted to – he just had to, that's all he knows.
She kissed him back because she's trying to say goodbye.
She's trying to let go.
When her eyes open again, her arms still around his neck, he doesn't think he has ever seen her this sad before. The finality and the pain in her eyes is almost too much for him.
He wants to scream and grab her and yell at her not to do this – not to give up. But he can't. Because she's earned this right. He basically handed it to her on a plate when she called Nina Howard, who he fucked her again five minutes later just because he could. Because he was mad at Mac for choosing that particular moment to call and trip the guilt switch that resides in the part of his heart that will always be hers.
She seems to understand his emotions because she softens a little, pressing one last gentle kiss to his lips before slowly disentangling herself from his embrace.
Her eyes burn him, cataloguing every flaw and perfection in him, as though he's never going to lay eyes on him again.
But she's in his ear during the broadcast that night. And the night after. And the next week and the next month, and twelve months after that.
Eighteen months later and she's gone.
But that night he finally knows something for sure.
He will never kiss Mackenzie McHale ever again.
He never does.
Okay, I pinky promise extra fluff for Long Shot to make up for these shenanigans. I'm sorry, I just can't put them together right now, I'm too mad at Will!
Please let me know what you thought! Thanks for reading :) Ax