|Get over it, or fire me
Author: writingalone PM
Mackenzie McHale is tired of the way Will McAvoy has been treating her. Newsroom. Post-Blackout IRated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Angst - Chapters: 9 - Words: 12,434 - Reviews: 61 - Favs: 19 - Follows: 52 - Updated: 09-18-12 - Published: 08-16-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8436680
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
It had been a few months after the crew celebrated its first year and the simultaneous death of Bin Laden—which also meant it had been a year since Will saw Mac again after three long years. The first year had gone better than he had expected. After the ratings leveled out and the Rudy moment, they seemed to have found a solid rhythm of making the news.
Then Will had to go and fuck it all up again by choosing Mac's ex-boyfriend to write a story on Newsnight 2.0. The month Brian spent at the studio was pure torture for Mac and Will knew it. He could see it on her face every time Brian walked by or she saw him in Will's office. Brian was right when he told her that while he may be a d-bag, he would never have shoved an ex-boyfriend in her face as punishment. After Brian bid farewell to the crew, things hadn't gotten much better.
It was the final week leading into the show's summer hiatus vacation, and it had been a testy one. Mac and Will were arguing more than usual while on and off the air. Their screaming matches had become more personal and less about the news, with sarcastic comments becoming few and far between. Everyone knew it was because of Brian-they were journalists and had figured that one out pretty quickly.
That final week Mac was distant and barely wore her headset in the control room. Will wasn't listening to a word she said, anyway. He repeatedly ripped his earpiece out when she was giving instructions, muttering that he wasn't a fucking idiot and didn't need her yapping at him all the time. Mac didn't even enter the control room for the final show. She gave Jim her headset and sat her in office, watching the news.
Mac sat alone in her office, with a bottle of scotch and two tumbler glasses. She stared at the bottle, and poured herself a glass. She slammed it back, despite it not being her favorite. But, after being embedded for years, she had grown accustomed to some pretty toxic alcohol. She poured herself another and walked into Will's office. She took a piece of paper from his desk and wrote: "get over it, or fire me."
Mac was still in her office sipping on what was third round of scotch. She was staring at the wall when Will walked by her, tearing off is his tie and yelling her to get her non-British ass into his office. Mac didn't move from her position until she was sure he had read her note, which became obvious when he screamed her full name to come to his office and ordered the remaining crew to get the hell out of the building.
Mac got up tentatively, straightened herself out, and brought the bottle of scotch and two glasses with her. She sat down in his chair without saying a word and stared at him. He stared right back. It was a battle to see who would give in first. It wasn't going to be Mackenzie. She kept sipping her drink and as the contest continued, she leaned farther back into her chair—an act of defiance on her part.
"Damnit, Mac, can you at least pour me a drink before we continue this pissing match?"
Mackenzie slammed the bottle and glass onto his desk. "Have as much as you want. I took it from your office anyway."
"Thanks," he responded with sarcasm.
"Don't mention it", Mac replied snarkily.
Will lit a cigarette and caught up quickly to Mac in terms of drinks.
"Will, what the hell is the matter with you?"
"Me? You're the one…"
"Yes, Will, we've all heard it. 'I'm the one who cheated on you.' But you're the one who brought Brian here and tortured us both for a month. You are the one who continues to keep the two of us in purgatory. It has now been almost four years! So, as I said, get the fuck over it or fire me," she screamed.
He screamed right back. "I would LOVE to get the image of you and him out of my head. Trust me. I would love nothing more than to have never have known about it at all. Am I over you having embarrassed me with the entire country with an email about how you cheated on me? Or you cheating on me all the while I was preparing to propose? You want me to get over it? How, multiple Peabody winning EP, do you suggest I do that?"
Both were silent. She could see the pain in his face and he could see her starting to tear up. Mackenzie didn't have an immediate response. Instead, she got up from her chair, went to her office, and came back with a notepad.
She spoke quietly. "Do you remember that first night I came back, and you told me by the elevator that you thought you had seen me in the crowd at Northwestern?"
He didn't respond. She continued.
"I was there." She slowly opened her notepad and showed him "We aren't. But we can be."
"You were there?" he asks, in a toned down voice. "Why didn't you say anything?"
"I tried, but the elevator door closed too quickly. Then the moment had passed. Will, why do you keep doing this to us? I think we have even established some trust and a friendship now. What is the point of constantly hurting both of us? Because it isn't just me anymore, I can see it on your face. Every day when Brian was here. Every time I walk into your room and we have a normal conversation or make each other laugh, it's like you shut down after realizing we are happy then go back to brooding."
"Why do you think?" he asks, taking another sip of his scotch.
She sighed. "Well, I have a few ideas. One, is that you will forever hate me and are nice to me just so you can crush me later. Two, you like being the media elite and know damn well I am one of the few EPs who can and will let you do the type of show you want. Three, that you are doing everything in your power to fight the fact that you have forgiven me and that you are just being an ass because you don't know how to tell me."
Will laughed. "At least it wasn't three I's and an A." He stood up and began to pack his bag for the break. "Get up. We are on vacation. The last thing I want to do is get drunk with my ex-girlfriend slash executive producer in my office when I can spend an entire week away from this place."
Mackenzie stood up, walked towards him, and stopped him from leaving by pushing her hand against his chest. "You are not leaving without us resolving this. Either talk to me now or fire me. I don't care. Just do it. I am not coming back here in a week to continue working in this type of atmosphere," she stubbornly said as she stood her ground.
Will rolled his eyes. "Fine. Let's talk."
"Good." She was relieved.
"But not here. Grab your stuff. If you are going to force me to have this conversation, I would rather it be in the privacy of my apartment where I am sure TMI hasn't bugged the place."
She looked at him somewhat stunned.
"Get your stuff!" Will shouted.
"Calm down, Billy. If I had known you were in such a hurry to talk about this I would have brought it up sooner."
They both smirked at each other, and some of the tension from the week had been released. Mac got her stuff and Will placed his arm on her lower back, escorting her out of the building and into his driver's car. Mac was still nervous as hell about what they were about to talk about, and about being in his apartment, just the two of them, but some of the hostility had been left behind in the office. The ride to his apartment was silent.
Will was a complete gentlemen on the way up to his apartment, as if she was one of his dates. He opened the doors, escorted her into the elevator, and upon arriving in his apartment immediately poured her what he knew was her favorite wine and set out some leftover Chinese.
Mackenzie laughed. "Just like old times. Except, now that you make enough money to throw a million out the window for the pleasure of having the contractual right to fire me, don't you think you could have some fresh food every once and a while?"
Will responded without missing a beat. "I have to stockpile my money for when I get fired for actually reporting the news as a news anchor. Come on, let's go sit down."
Mackenzie curled up with her feet under herself while Will took to his chair. Mackenzie noticed his guitar in the corner. "I really liked when you played the guitar at the party. Very sweet to see you and Jim singing together. Looks like Billy and Jimmy can start a band."
"Ha ha. Very funny," Will replied, as he smiled and took a drink. Then the conversation turned serious. "You wanted to talk. Let's talk. I cannot fathom a better way to start a vacation," he said matter of factly.
"Would you rather take more vertigo meds and head to St. Lucia together?"
"Hey, that's not a bad idea. Let me get my cheerleader on the phone and fly out tomorrow." His resolve weakened when he saw how that comment hurt her.
"Fine. Mackenzie. You know damn well I don't hate you and I don't hate having you around. Enough?"
She stared at him for a few seconds. "Do you forgive me?"
Will diverted the question. "More wine? Food?"
"No. Answer the question."
"I am going to get some more wine." He headed to the kitchen and re-filled his glass. What he didn't realize is that she had followed. There they were, standing face to face, with a question hanging over him.
"Mac, I am trying, I am really, really trying. I forgive you and don't hate you, but I can't forget, and I can't forgive you for me not being able to forget."
She waited a moment, then shouted laughing "Well what the hell am I supposed to do with that?"