Based on a clip from the 2x08 preview. And I will be away when it airs, so I'm incredibly jealous of you all right now. Please know that the minute I get back form the airport, my sad, hopelessly devoted little mind will be forcing my legs to run into the house to get onto the internet asap. Yes, I know. Hopeless.

Now I know when I put 'T' on a fic it's usually just for the language. This one isn't. But I don't think it's too bad.


Bless the Broken Road


They were fighting. Again. What's new? In the middle of the conference room. Again, not exactly a rare occurrence.

"You said you trusted me!" Will looked up, perplexed, completely lost on what she was talking about and the broken voice, or why there was such a stricken look on her face before she froze and bolted from the room.

Usually they just let each other go and cool off. He had no idea what it was, but this time something was different; a bodiless voice was whispering go, go, go in his ear.

Ignoring the fixed stares of all his staffers, his legs finally kicked into action as he dived after Mac, missing Charlie's look of mild disbelief and strode giant steps to her office.

He caught the door just as it was closing behind her and grabbed at her wrist. There was a desperate wail that he couldn't quite believe had come from Mackenzie – but then this whole situation was so surreal and unlikely that nothing really surprised him anymore.

One strong tug and he had her spinning around to face him again. And that was when time seemed to stop.

He had seen this expression on her face once before.

You said you trusted me.

And then he understood. It clicked.

To say that tears were streaming down her face was an understatement. In the few seconds it had taken to for her to cross the bullpen, her red face had progressed to blotchy and her cheeks were soaking wet, her eyes small and watery. She looked the picture of a broken heart. And she thought….

It was an instinctive reaction: pulling her into him. A reaction he had been forcibly suppressing, forcing down dark and deep into his psyche for the better part of two and a half years with only one major slip up. But he did it now. And she fought him.

She was twisting and wrestling her arm out of his grip but he clung on, the way he knew he should have been doing all along

Her hand pressed against his chest trying to force herself away as she muttered his name repeatedly in a cracked voice. She wouldn't look at him. Her eyes were fixed on his shoes, and nice and shiny as they were, he wished he could see her eyes again. Because he was breaking too. This wasn't her fault.

What a realization.

They had all been duped. It had been the combination of pride, stubbornness and vindictiveness, none of which had been on the part of anyone in the Newsroom other than Jerry Dantana. Certainly not Mackenzie.

"Will –"

"Mac, shut up for a second would you?" He snapped gruffly, wrapping and arm tightly around her waist and wrenching her against his chest, locking her there and refusing to let go.

Her petite hand was scrabbling ineffectively against his shirt, but her actions were becoming weaker with each second that passed.

She soon surrendered, collapsing against him, sobbing onto his shoulder.

He held her tighter, only raising his other hand from her shoulder blades when he was sure she was not going to try and run again. His finger tips slipped into her hair, running through strands that already had well-worn tracks laid in them from where she had been venting her frustration. A small moan escaped from the back of her throat, but he couldn't be sure if she was just taking a break from sobbing or whether it was a reaction to him. He just wanted to soothe her.

"Stop fighting me." He said against her hair as she squirmed again. Oh the irony. Pot, kettle, black, McAvoy.

Her fingers curled into his collar and they swayed on the spot as she cuddled closer to him.

He wasn't sure how long they stood there for. Longer than she was crying for, certainly – though it took a hell of a long time for that to stop. But there were a few moments before he managed to prize her off him when he was half convinced that she had fallen asleep against him. Which wouldn't really be all that surprising, since he suspected that she hadn't slept properly in about six months.

She was still sniffling into his shoulder. That was the only sign she was still conscious. That and the infrequent twitch of the fingers clutching at his shoulder, though he could remember her doing that during nights when they had been lying together, huddled into each other against the cool night air. So that could have gone either way. He had no idea where that thought had come from.

When she felt so limp and subdued against him that he figured he could probably push her back to see her face, he tentatively grasped her shoulders, firmly so that he would still be able to catch her if she tried to escape again. The warmth of her skin coming through her silk shirt was a feeling he didn't think he would ever be tired of reacquainting himself with.


"Mackenzie."

God, his voice was impossibly soft next to her ear. He shouldn't be like this with her. Not when she had just taken the only thing that he still credited any value to.

She had taken his heart and burned it and now she had done the same with his reputation - he only thing he had protested that he gave any importance to over the last two years. To summarize, she had singlehandedly ruined his life.

I trust Charlie and Mac.

God, why the hell had he put this on her? She had been so damn thrilled to hear him publicly admit that he trusted her – with any part of his life – that she hadn't thought about the full implications of what that might mean for them somewhere down the line.

Well now they were down the line.

Now they were at the end of the damn line, and she knew that after this she would never see Will again unless they ran into each other coming out of a courtroom. They were over. And she had taken ACN with them.

Oh shit, how the fuck did this all happen?

She could feel his steady fingers gripping the edges of her upper arms, trying to push her away from him and she just couldn't let that happen. She needed to stay here as long as possible because this was the last time she would ever get to do this, and she was determined to make the most of it.

But he was having none of it. Apparently he couldn't give a loser just a few extra seconds snuggled against his chest. He's about to kick her out of his life forever – would it kill him then to let her rest there for just a little while longer?

Yet she knows Will. Knows just how strong his grudges and his good opinion are to break. This was inevitable, right?


The more he pushes her away from him, the more certain he becomes that she is just going to break into tiny pieces before him. She looks so fragile and delicate that he thinks he needs to treat her like the precious china doll his little sister was once given by his grandmother.

Her hair is completely covering her face and he can't see any of her, even though he badly needs to right now. He needs her to be okay because everything else has gone to hell.

"Mackenzie."

"Will –" he's kind of startled that she's actually speaking. Hearing her voice after minutes of tense silence is shocking. Her hand falls from his collar to his wrist as she wrestles with whatever demons are silencing her. "Will – you can't – you said – fuck! You said you trusted me, and that was why we green lighted it –"

Shit.

Major, mega-fuck up unfolding.

"And so – God – I'm so, so sorry."

The word no seems to be stuck somewhere near his heart, he's shaking his head at her frantically, but that is having absolutely zero effect because her eyes are darting all over the place like she's on some kind of drug, and when that's not going on they're closed tight in a look of total pain.

"First I ruin your li –"

She doesn't get any further. All speech in the room is silenced in one fell swoop as he dives and slants his mouth desperately over hers.

There is a brief voomp suctioning sound – like when you pass a vacuum cleaner over a loose piece of upholstery before dragging it away again – and then the only sounds in the room are two mouths moving against each other, and small grunts as the two attempt to keep their balance whilst wriggling impossibly closer to one another.

He begins to feel her feeble and infrequent attempts to push him away; her attempts at further speech the couple of times that he pops up for air before ferociously kissing her again before gets enough vowels out to form an actual word.

He is just relieved when she finally melts into him, succumbing to the fact that there is no way in hell he is letting her go any time in the immediate future. All the other emotions he always figured he would associate with this moment are just going to have to wait, because he can't think about anything other than the here and now, where she is warm, willing and pliant in his arms.

Her hands creep up his chest and curl at the base of his neck, pinching some of the hairs there, but he doesn't care. The brief pull against his skin is reminding him that they're here and this is real. He's fairly sure that if his heart were not tied to the rest of his body by veins and arteries and stuff, it would have skipped right through his chest by now, the speed at which it was pounding against his rib cage.

Impulse overtakes intent and his lips slide away from hers, trailing across her jaw and to her neck. It has been nearly six years but he still remembers the exact spot on her neck where his tongue could always feel her pulse beating against the skin concealing it.

"What are we doing?" It sounds more like a gasping pant than a sentence, though the words are just about audible. Damn. She still sounds shaky and unsure. He had intended to make his intentions perfectly clear when he kissed her – figured that his actions were evidence enough. But it occurs to him that maybe he has knocked her down so far that she can't even trust her own instincts around him anymore.

He pauses, his lips still firmly attached to her neck whilst his hands gently tighten their grip on her waist and her hips. She too has gone still, like she is half expecting him to push her away and yell or worse, laugh at her at any moment. He really needs to remedy that.

"Mac – Mackenzie –" God did he need to get this right. If there was ever a moment when he absolutely could not afford to fluff his words, it was now. This needed to be clear and perfect and from the heart. All this was so easily to complicate through words. That was why he had just decided to kiss her. Maybe that is how he should describe it to her. "I have been pretty damn awful at discussing my feelings for you. And I didn't want to mess this up, so I kissed you. Any questions, or can I continue?"

He hears and feels the hitch in her breath as she hears his words, pressing a long wet kiss to the side of her neck as her nails dig into the sides of his. He can hear her already quick breaths increase as she digests his words.

"You – y –"

He finally looks up to find her confused, uncertain eyes drawing his and holding them. He pushes some of the hair that his fingers have diligently mussed up away from her eyes. This is going to leave no doubt in her. It has to.

His thumb strokes the crest of her cheekbone as he makes his long overdue confession. "Mackenzie, I love you."

For one terrible moment he thinks he has seriously fucked up again and she was absolutely not wanting to hear that, but then he watches her eyes and jaw as they make the silent decision before her lips are one more pressing against his, clawing to get herself impossibly closer to him.

His hands clamp around the back of her neck and the soft curve of her hip before they each grasp the back of a thigh, gently lifting her legs around his waist as he walks them to the edge of his desk.

There is a deep, raspy moan of approval as she arches into him, stealing his move and pressing butterfly kisses along his neckline, lingering a little longer on the small patch of collarbone that is exposed where his shirt unbuttons into a v at the top of his chest.

"I love you too, Billy. God , I –" She murmurs in a teary voice against his throat.

"I know." He assures her, his nose to nudging her forehead back so that he can rejoin their lips, his hands unwilling to leave their current place at the warm, ridiculously long lengths of her endless legs.

As her hands slip inside his blazer and around his waist, tugging him closer, he distractedly wonders what is worse: that Mackenzie's legs are covered by her black slacks, or that if she was wearing one of those stupidly tight pencil skirts that she uses as pseudo-torture implements, there would be no way he would be able to have her wrapped around him right now – not without taking clothes off in the middle of ACN. Oh. He pushes that thought away, determined to examine it in greater detail later.

"Stop thinking McAvoy." She smiles against his lips.

"I was thinking about you." He protests, and he can feel her smile widen, though he's unsure whether that has something to do with his thoughts or whether it's the slow, nimble way in which his fingers are massaging her thighs.

"Well though that is great to hear, I'm right here, so cut it out."

"Apologies, ma'am." He takes her upper lip in his, nibbling until she is moaning into his mouth again, her fingers digging into his waistline, grasping at his ends of shirt, making him squirm.

He knows he should be slowing this down. He didn't mean to go too far here, in the office between an inside wall that is made of clear glass and the window; not to mention that isn't exactly soundproof, but he doesn't stop her. He can't even stop himself. He can't bear to not give them this moment. Not when it is absolutely what they both need so desperately.

Surely they have a few more minutes?

He hopes so, because her fingernails are making delicious trails under his shirt and up his chest. He manages to relinquish his grip on her left thigh as his own hand gets curious and wanders north.

Just for a few precious minutes, the hectic world of the newsroom melts away and the pressure and anxiety of Genoa and the deposition fades into nothingness as tongues duel and lips lock and hands reacquaint themselves with curves and angles and skin that have been nothing more than distant, if potent memories.

He stops when his thumb finds the sensitive crease between her hips and her inner thigh and her small gasp breaks their kiss. Too far. So good. But too far. For now.

He is thankful that she doesn't protest this time, because he thinks that if she got him to kiss her again, he simply would not be able to stop himself going further. Things would happen and the looming terminations they both faced would be finalized and then hastened by a count of inappropriate behavior on company premises.

Her hands slide down to find his and she weaves her fingers between them, still seeking his comfort and his strength. She rests her forehead gently against his, and he can't remember her ever looking more beautiful.

In spite of a few more stress lines, he thinks her time in the Middle East (and admittedly the last thirty months she has spent at ACN – which might have been equally, if not possibly more stressful) has done nothing to detract from her beauty. If anything, he think it has been enhanced.

She's flushed, red, her lips bruised and swollen in a way that tells him he has taken care of her the way he should. Her clothes look rumpled and pulled, and her hair flops in different directions than the smooth cut it had been held ten minutes ago. Her eyes are closed, but he knows from dusty memories in the back of his mind that when she opens them they'll be twinkling and inviting.

Her breath is coming in warm bursts against his neck and it makes him shiver.

He brings one of his hands to glide softly through her hair once more, finding the back of her skull and gently kneading the tension that must have been there for weeks now. She moans gratefully as her head falls into the crook of his neck in a silent plea for him to continue. He grins down at her, melting as it finally dawns on him that the woman he is in love with is once more in his arms, standing with him, and most importantly loving him back – she even said so.

The buzz of the bullpen outside slowly diffuses back through the bubble they have created for themselves as Will continues to work out the tension that has built up in Mac.

Genoa comes back to him. The story, the failure, the consequences. But somehow, this side of paradise, it doesn't seem quite as daunting.

They're back on the same page. And though some part of him knows that they could have been here a lot sooner if he'd just manned up and bottled his pride; and though he knows that if he could, he would trade every day from the day she came back to this day here, he can live with that – because this is just the beginning.

It's been unconventional. It's been dramatic. There have been tears and fights and sunsets and early mornings when they found themselves leaving the office at first light, giggling as the last of their adrenaline left them and they tumbled into bed for three short, wonderful hours of sleep.

He thinks that if he has that back, then Genoa might not destroy them. Their path is already crooked and broken; what's a few more bumps and cracks if they walk it together again?

A gentle press of lips to his jaw jolts him out of his giddy ponderings about the coming days and weeks. Right in front of him, in the hectic present, he has a smiling, happy, determined-looking Mackenzie McHale. Another realization hits him.

He was wrong.

If this had happened in April 2010, they would never have lasted.

He hates this truth, but accepts it nonetheless.

Two months in, or three or four, and he would have made some snide comment about trust and flightiness when they were working late or in an argument over a story, and that would have been it.

She grins at him, and he wonders if she can possibly know what he's thinking. She looks like she does. But she can't. Can she?

She winks mischievously, and frames his face with her hands, pressing one more kiss to his slightly open mouth, sliding off the desk and pressing their bodies together. Tease.

He watches her in awe as she tucks his shirt back in, straightening the collar and re-doing a button that had mysteriously managed to come undone. Yeah, right.

When she's satisfied with her efforts, her eyes rise up from his chest to meet his. She looks shy, with blushed cheeks and wide, hopeful eyes and he decides there and then that after the broadcast tonight, he's going to take her back with him, eat a lazy dinner on the sofa with her legs tucked over his lap, hold her and watch her as she falls asleep, and then kiss her awake before he makes love to her.

The road to get here has been fucked up and traumatic and oh so painful. But the look in her eyes and the feeling in his gut assure him that it's all been worth it; tomorrow is going to be a better day because of it.


I think about the years I spent just passing through

I'd like to have the time I lost and give it back to you

But you just smile and take my hand

You've been there you understand

It's all part of a grander plan that is coming true.

Now I'm just rolling home

Into my lover's arms

This much I know is true

That God blessed the broken road

That led me straight to you.


I'd say that to be safe this is borderline T/M. I'll put it up if anyone asks. But in the meantime, I think ep 8 looks like Mac is assuming Will is going to be pissed at her, when actually he isn't as much as she thinks. Fingers crossed.

Hope you enjoyed this. Thank you for reading! As always, reviews are love! I'll be thinking of you all in the 100 degree sunshine when I have no wifi and have thrown my phone into the sea to stop myself from checking spoilers! ;)

Ax