|Lessons in Recreational Drug Use
Author: shan14 PM
It's not planned. But then again she isn't sure what she expected when she agreed to eat those cookies. First on her list had been hearing the rest of his message, and when his request had been that she join him, possibly in the hope that neither of them would remember, she'd thought very little beyond what she wanted to know or what the consequences might reap.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Romance - Will McA. & MacKenzie McH. - Chapters: 10 - Words: 52,207 - Reviews: 152 - Favs: 23 - Follows: 48 - Updated: 04-23-13 - Published: 10-11-12 - id: 8602140
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: I don't know what to write here. But I felt like I needed one. Umm...I've had this in mind for a long time? And yes, there's much more to come? Please enjoy? Gosh, usually I have paragraphs that I want to gush at the beginning of a story, but this one has nothing. Enjoy!
She falls pregnant.
It's not planned. But then again she isn't sure what she expected when she agreed to eat those cookies. First on her list had been hearing the rest of his message, and when his request had been that she join him, possibly in the hope that neither of them would remember, she'd thought very little beyond what she wanted to know or what the consequences might reap.
Two pale pink lines, apparently. And isn't that a lesson in recreational drug use.
It's bordering on midnight and Will is on the couch, feet propped on the coffee table scattered with yesterdays newspaper whilst Rosalie plays on the screen before him.
Outside the night is cool and crisp, the wind echoes around the sides of high-rise buildings and whistles downs lonesome alleyways. It was raining earlier in the evening when Will was escorted home by Lonny, but the night has cleared and now the only trace is the sharp hint of moisture in the air and underfoot. Will would have the glass doors open, inviting the fresh smell into the apartment, if it weren't for the prevailing winds that threaten to blow his papers and books from pillar to post.
He has a glass of wine tangled in his finger and his arm hangs off the side of the couch. The movie is ridiculous, but he'd felt like an escape into fantasy, so his eyes flicker hazily between the characters on the screen as they fight the need to slip closed. He's reached the mellowed out point of the evening and he's enjoying the spacey feeling the wine has left at the back of his head and down his bones.
Work has been busy. Insanely busy. Ever since TMI's involvement in phone hacking had been uncovered he's been teetering on the brink of exhaustion.
It's not just that he has that knowledge – now he has the leverage to push what he and Mackenzie have been working towards for nearly two years – a news program that equips the nation to make informed, important decisions. The pair have spent the past three months battering his mission to civilize into the brains of everyone who walks through the newsroom, and for the past week he's been doing it whilst Mackenzie slowly succumbs to an evil bought of the flu.
It's one thing to work himself towards exhaustion with her by his side; another entirely to do it without her. It feels a bit like his right arm has been cut off. Like he's unbalanced, unable to walk. She'd called in sick earlier in the morning so he'd spent the day putting the program together himself, and even though it had been Don talking in his ear between eight and nine, it had felt wrong somehow – unnatural – leaving him cranky and tired and desperately in need of an evening at home with his alcohol and musicals.
He's entirely intent on falling asleep with his head tipped back on the couch, but there is a knock at the door just as the clock strikes midnight and the irony of that isn't lost on him. He spends a good second glaring at his watch, annoyed. It's like some messed up Cinderella story – the clock strikes midnight and just as he wants to be left alone someone comes to interrupt his peace and quiet.
He stands and ambles towards the door, wine still in hand and a scowl etched on his face. "You better not have a glass slipper –" he begins, but then Mackenzie is on the other side and she looks about half her normal size, engulfed in a large jumper and shivering on his doorstep.
"It's midnight, Mackenzie," he tells her softly, reaching out a hand to tug her inside when it looks like she won't be moving without him.
She nods without speaking and trails into the apartment. Her hair is swept up in a ponytail and slight wisps have fallen out in the strong winds. Will flexes his hand by his side to stop from reaching towards her, gripping the stem of his wine glass in the other.
"Are you feeling any better?" he asks, as they move towards his couch.
Mackenzie falls into a clump on the left side, legs curling up beneath her, and it's times like this that Will really wishes he'd bought another apartment sometime in the past five years.
There's an image so clear, so well refined and visited, in his memory of a million different Mackenzie's on different nights curled in the corner of his lounge. She'd claimed that spot long ago, and Will has always been loathe to sit there since – on cold nights she would tuck her feet underneath her body, and on warm ones she would starfish out.
"I'm sorry to barge in on you," she murmurs, and it's the first thing she's said since arriving. The arms of her jumper are too long and she's curled her fingers in the roll of fabric to keep them warm. It's such a small thing, but Will is smitten by it. He's endlessly fascinated by her presence – seven years of knowing her and she still manages to make him feel like a five year old mesmorised by the shining jewels in the shop.
She still hasn't answered his question, and Will is still standing awkwardly by her side, so he lowers himself onto the opposite end of the couch – the left side, always his side – and like muscle memory he turns slightly towards her; if it weren't for the wine he would swear her shoulders sway towards him too.
"Mackenzie?" he prods, as she's staring past him at the television screen. She gets an odd look on her face, a slight crinkle in her forehead, and it takes Will a second to realise why.
"Rosalie," he tells her, and she smiles softly in recognition.
"Do you watch anything besides musicals?" she asks and Will smiles. He likes her teasing him; he's missed it. There was once a time when she'd spend whole afternoons whispering teasing, little remarks in his ear.
"Sometimes I branch out and watch cartoons."
She laughs shortly and then pauses, sucking in a deep breath. Will leans towards her and puts a hand on her shoulder, steadying her swaying. "Are you sure you should be here?"
She turns to him sharply and then he realises what that sounded like, "Only you're sick, are you sure you should be out?"
"Too late now," she murmurs. "Anyway, it's not the flu."
Will pauses. "You've been to the doctor?" he asks.
But Mackenzie seems intent on watching the screen on the wall and not answering. He gets up slowly, walking towards the kitchen. "Would you like a drink?"
She makes a noncommittal sound so Will turns back, stopping dead as she looks up at him, all round eyes and flushed cheeks and the careful lilt of her voice whispering, "I'm pregnant," before he's even finished the question.
"Would you like water or –"
Will falls silent, swallowing around the half formed words he was about to finish, his mouth open and his eyes wide as Mackenzie sits awkwardly before him. He's leant against the doorframe and she's hidden in the corner of the couch; she slips her eyes shut as Will continues to gape at her, completely thrown and unable to form a sentence if his life depended on it.
"Is it -?"
"Yes" she cuts in, crisp and clear and as British as she'll ever be.
He sighs deeply. He really needs to stop with the drugs. They lead to bad things – women with guns and almost getting fired and knocking up his ex-girlfriend...
Will brings a hand to his forehead and pinches the bridge of his nose between his thumb and pointer, squeezing his eyes shut. He breathes out and when he opens them Mackenzie is staring back at him, her own brown eyes wide and innocent and clearly scared shitless.
For some reason he feels like an ass.
Is he supposed to feel guilty? After all it takes two to tango and create a child (and he's steadfastly ignoring the part of this conversation that leads to the fact that they've created a child).
Mackenzie is quiet at her end of the lounge and she does this little shuffle, curling herself into a tight ball - Will can't help but want to pull her towards him and into the tight circle of his arms. He abstains however; his arms feel like lead and it's taking all his will power to just remain upright. A baby, he thinks. A Baby.
What on earth is either one of them going to do with a baby?
What will they do about work? Will she stop being his EP? Because he's finally gotten used to the flutter of his heart every time she whispers something in his ear or turns towards him across the newsroom and he really doesn't want to have to break in a new executive producer.
Would it be tactless of him to beg her not to leave?
He should probably comment on this new development as well.
He wants to ask how long, because that's usually how these scenes go in the movies, but he knows exactly how long it's been since they last slept together. One month, 27 days and a few hours, give or take. Meaning she's almost two months pregnant. Meaning in seven months...
He needs to sit down.
Will lands heavily on the couch as Mackenzie curls closer into herself, pushing her fingers into the curl of her jumper and wrapping her arms around her knees. Will glances up at her, and there's a moment of silence – a quiet terror that passes between them – because they've done something irreversible now, they're etched in each others body and soul.
"Wow," Will finally settles on, and he thinks perhaps he hasn't completely messed up. His voice is low and breathy, uncertain, and Mackenzie's nose twitches when she sniffles. He watches the delicate curve of her neck expand as she breathes and the gentle flush that's spreading across the apple of her cheek.
Little things that show she's alive and present before him. He wonders if their child will share those?
"I'm sorry," she murmurs, and the apology shocks him.
She pauses, clenching her fist in her jumper. "I don't know. I just feel like I should be apologising," and now she smiles. It's barely there and flitters across her face for a brief second, but Will chases it, wanting the lost look in her eyes gone and replaced with some sense of reassurance.
"Well, then I'm sorry too. Split the blame half way?"
She snorts and then makes a face, nodding. Will can feel the adrenaline slowly seeping through his system, meaning he's sure to crash sometime around morning, but for now he wants her to know they'll figure this out – that he's not going to walk out on her; that they'll make it through this.
She tilts her head to the side, watching him closely, and now he's a little scared.
"Forty/sixty," she tells him, and he crinkles his brow. "You were the one who requested I join you in the cookies," she reminds. "So maybe it's forty/sixty."
Will chuckles, slightly taken back. It's like that afternoon in his office all over again, when she'd requested only 98% of the blame for their breakup. She's an enigma, is Mackenzie McHale. One moment she's delicate as a flower and likely to break and the next she's powering through life like a steam train, knocking the breath from his body and the sense from his brain.
And maybe he loves her a little more because of it.
"What do you want to do?" he asks after a beat, because whilst he may not be ready to think about actually having a child, he needs to know what her plans are for the next few months.
Are they going to talk about this? Are they going to tell others? Is Will apart of these decisions - because he thinks despite everything – despite his feelings about fathers and his steadfast denial of everything at the moment – that he'll eventually reach a stage where he wants to be apart of this child's life. And is that even an option?
Mackenzie draws a deep breath and then shrugs, her smile wavering. "I have an appointment with a doctor on Wednesday morning. I don't know much more than that. But I'm not telling anyone, not yet."
Will nods quickly. Apart from the fact that this whole situation is like some messed up soap plot line, there's also the fact that neither of them is particularly young. Things happen, he understands that; he's read the statistics on pregnancy for women over the age of 35.
"Okay," he tells her, and now he does reach out, because Mackenzie looks liable to collapse forward any moment and the dark smudges around her eyes are rimmed with tears.
"Come here," he murmurs, and pulls her to his chest.
It's quiet in the apartment, the television has been muted, and Will sits rocking Mackenzie as she curls further into his arms. She's warm to hold and he can feel the slide of tears down her cheeks, but he thinks that this moment is a good one.
She chose to come to him. She chose to tell him. She could have kept this a secret but instead she's trusted him and included him because this is just as much his mess as it is hers. She just has to live with nine months of quirks and consequences on top of it. And doesn't that explain what she'd told them all was the flu.
He chuckles and the vibrations shoot down her spine, tingling when he presses a kiss to her forehead.
"It's going to be all right," he whispers. "We'll be all right."
And she's always believed him blindly.