"Terror made me cruel; and, finding it useless to attempt shaking the creature off, I pulled its wrist on to the broken pane, and rubbed it to and fro till the blood ran down and soaked the bedclothes: still it wailed, 'Let me in!' and maintained its tenacious gripe, almost maddening me with fear. 'How can I!' I said at length. 'Let me go, if you want me to let you in!' The fingers relaxed, I snatched mine through the hole, hurriedly piled the books up in a pyramid against it, and stopped my ears to exclude the lamentable prayer. I seemed to keep them closed above a quarter of an hour; yet, the instant I listened again, there was the doleful cry moaning on! 'Begone!' I shouted. 'I'll never let you in, not if you beg for twenty years.' ' - Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
This story is what I would describe as Erotic Angst. It is Will-centric, so if you don't like Dr Zimmerman, then this story probably isn't for you. Adult themes abound. Please give feedback!
The Broken Pane by PoorQueequeg
If anyone has noticed, nobody has mentioned anything but team meetings have had a tendency to become rather tense these last few weeks. This morning is no different and Kate fiddles with her bracelet while Henry shifts in the seat beside her, as their eyes slide across the bookshelves or the floor or anywhere as Will and Magnus glower at one another across the room.
Will is protesting vehemently against Magnus' most recent request, a pick job with Henry. Will makes no bones about voicing his displeasure. He's not a delivery boy he argues he's a trained professional with plenty of other more important and more interesting matters to attend to than sitting in the van all day. Magnus is none too happy with his attitude purses her lips and raising her jaw, fixes him with her unrelenting stare. She repeats in the most serious tone that he will comply and begins to rattle off a list of perfectly legitimate reason for why it has to be Will. It's hardly the most onerous thing that she has asked of him and the Big Guy gives him a look that portends a heavy slap around the head in his near future. Will is slouched back in his seat, his right leg bent over his left, and eventually concedes the point and falls silent. He spends the rest of the meeting wearing a petulant look as he bounces his knee up and down and clicks his pen excessively. When it finally draws to a close, Will stalks off towards his office, his door slamming loudly as the click clack of Magnus' heels resounds down the hall in the opposite direction.
Henry chatters away for most of the drive while Will only half listens, making plans with Abby via text for that evening. When they return to the Sanctuary it's already dark and having checked in with the others, Will grabs a quick shower and is out the door in fifteen minutes. Abby lets him in when he arrives because she's still got to put her shoes on when and they're supposed to be going out for drinks. Will gets carried way kissing her and they don't make it out at all that evening. He returns to the Sanctuary early the next morning looking rumpled and smelling of Abby's perfume.
He passes Helen in the hall on her way to the pool and her eyebrow quirks ever so slightly at his appearance. No one else would have caught it but Will is nothing of not observant. He smirks at her and lets his eyes flicker over her short robe and her never ending legs. If she notices she doesn't say anything, merely bids him a curt good morning and continues on her way. He pauses and turns to look at her behind as she walks down the corridor away from him. He considers that she must know he'll be watching and feels a surge of resentment towards her because of it.
The Sanctuary ticks over in it's usual way, lurching from one crisis to another. Magnus patches him up more than once and he enjoys her concerned smiles and her big wet eyes, her elegant fingers ever so gently applying salves and bandages. He also endures more than one dressing down and more heated discussion with Magnus at their morning meetings. Will admits to himself that he rather enjoys getting a rise out of her and considers it pay back for torturing him with, amongst other things, those short skirts she wears. There are still many things he won't admit. He continues to see Abby fairly frequently and even though he finds it increasingly difficult to relate to her, he makes the effort. She's sweet and kind and her puns aren't terrible and he really likes her a lot.
He accompanies Magnus to Istanbul for a meeting with several heads of house.
"It'll be good Will," Helen tells him with a smile as she hands him the agenda over her desk. "Gives us a chance to touch base, to reconnect after everything that's happened this past year". He nods in agreement and gives her a mild smile before he leaves to pack his case.
It's purely a business trip and comes out of the Sanctuary budget but naturally Magnus has booked them into what Will is sure is the most expensive hotel in the city. He's happy enough with the comfort but still manages to feel slightly annoyed at her and how easy it all is. Declan is there and Will is glad of the company while the other house heads monopolise Magnus and because frankly some of them frighten him. Declan is easy going and they have enough in common to have a laugh together drinking raki in the hotel bar. Will can relax because he's noticed Declan looking at Magnus's legs enough times that he knows he won't get called on it himself.
Every now and then he hears a familiar laugh and looks over to see Magnus engaged in conversation with a pretty, sandy haired woman. He and Declan get more than tipsy but no one says anything because it tends to happen on these trips and it's a while before he notices Helen's absence. Will pretends he's not bothered and ends up chatting to a pretty girl with long dark hair. In the car on the way to the airport Magnus is pleasant enough although she also has dark circles under her eyes and he can't help but wonder how much she slept and if she was alone.
He wants to be annoyed with her for ignoring him the whole weekend when the only reason she took him was so they could reconnect but when she speaks it's with a soft, low voice and he finds it hard to be mean when he's looking directly into her big blue eyes. They chat fairly comfortably but he swears there's something in the way she's looking at him and he can't quite tell what it is. On the flight home Magnus orders a whiskey and water and when she quirks her eyebrow at him, he smiles and orders the same. They talk for a while about nothing in particular and the next thing Will realises the seat belt sign is coming on and Helen is putting away the book she's been reading since he fell asleep on her.
It's snowing in Old City when they get back. They have to get a taxi to the Sanctuary because there's a minor crisis with Steve and the Steno and the Big Guy can't make it with the car. He helps the driver get the cases out of the trunk while Helen digs out some cash to pay him, and he thinks it's charming the way she hunches her shoulders up in the cold and the how the snow sticks to her hair. He valiantly carries her case to her room and Magnus looks him in the eye and thanks him gently before sloping off to make some tea. Will is wired so he goes up to the gym and runs for an hour solid on the treadmill before taking a hot shower and spending half the night staring at the coving above his bed. The sky is turning an inky blue when he finally drifts off and when he sleeps he doesn't dream about his girlfriend.
He's bumbling along the corridor towards Henry's lab one morning, half engrossed in a requisition that Magnus asked him to check over when he overhears Kate talking.
"..and I'm telling you Hank, if he doesn't get over himself soon I'm going to shoot him. I don't care if he's the number two around here. He doesn't have to be so full of himself, barking orders at me like that and swanning in at six in the morning..." Kate trails off when Henry's eyebrows head towards his hairline.
Her eyes close for a moment and she works her jaw back and forth before plastering on a fake smile and turning towards Will, now standing in the doorway. His expression is mild, amused even. He doesn't have it in him to be annoyed with Kate even when she is badmouthing him but it's still kind of awkward.
"I'm just going to give the Big Guy a hand with the midday feedings" she says nodding, her lips curved upwards uneasily. He gives her tight smile as she brushes past him and disappears down the hall. Henry is grimacing toothily and Will breathes out slowly, handing over the papers he's carrying. Henry frowns and begins to bemoan his denied requisition and Will pulls up a stool beside him, glad for the distraction.
Later in the kitchen, Kate is leaning against the counter when Will comes in. She starts to apologise but he waves his hand in dismissal as he opens the fridge to grab a can of Pepsi. "It's okay, forget about it. I know I can be a jerk sometimes" he says.
"No, no...you're not Will" Kate protests, her tone conciliatory. "It's just lately, you've been kind of uptight, angry, I dunno. You pick fights with everyone. I'm worried, it's not like you. You're usually so...so..."
So what? Will thinks to himself. Such a pushover?
"Look, I'm sorry Kate. I've had a lot on my mind and.." He pauses mid sentence, trying to think of something else to say but the truth is he doesn't have the energy to talk about this right now. He's meeting Abby later and he's going to need all his energy for touchy feely stuff when he's with her. Besides, none of this is Kate's fault and he doesn't want to take it out on her. There's a moment of silence and then he gives her a smile.
"I have to get going, I'm meeting Abby...but we're cool, okay? Don't worry." She relaxes a bit and smiles back, her eyes watching the empty doorway after he leaves.
He's just opening the car door when Henry comes rushing into the garage, the lights on the van flashing as he unlocks it. "We got a situation man..." Henry starts rambling and Will locks his car with a sigh and pockets the key. The Big Guy appears to open the garage door, and Helen and Kate come in dressed in flak jackets and armed with stunners. A kevlar vest is shoved into his arms and he climbs into the back of the van. Magnus' eyes sparkle as she apprises him of the situation and her enthusiasm is infectious. He sheds his own jacket and pulls the vest over his head as she tells him about the call from a contact in the Parks Service about a bear like creature in the suburbs north of New City, except it has too many eyes and too many legs and it scared the hell out of a girl scout brigade. She's so animated he remembers why he loves this part of the job. Kate hands him a gun and climbs into the front seat next to Henry as Magnus tells him it sounds like a rare species of abnormal bear thought to have been extinct for decades. "It's a marvellous opportunity so I want to take it alive" she says pointedly, looking straight at him with big, wet, doe eyes, not quite smiling but definitely excited.
They separate into pairs, Will with Henry, Magnus with Kate, and try to come at the creature from both sides. Whatever it is, it's making a huge racket and it must stink to high heaven because Henry keeps pushing his sleeve to his nose and and breathing loudly out of his mouth. He hears Kate shout and runs towards the sound, Henry close behind. They pass through some brambles and the prickles dig hard into the flesh on his legs but he doesn't stop to complain. They emerge between two trees to see Kate squatting down, narrowly avoiding a furious blow from the creature's barbed tail. Magnus is on the other side, half obscured by the beast's large hairy body but Will can see that she's halfway up the trunk of a tree trying to retrieve her pack which has somehow ended up in the branches. Henry and Will open fire with stunners which seem to make the creature flinch but don't really slow it down much.
"Will!" he hears Magnus cry from across the clearing. "We don't have any tranqs!"
Henry curses and looks at Will with a panicked expression on his face, and Will realises that means one of them is going to have to get back to the van to get them. He nods over his shoulder and Henry sets off at a dead run while he remains with the others to try to corral the creature until he gets back. Kate's on her feet now, dancing around in front of it, trying to avoid its claws. Magnus is down from the tree and she's pulled a rope from her bag and she's looping it. Will shakes his head, grabs his own pack and starts to do the same. He's not sure what kind of crazy idea she's got into her head but he's willing to go with it for the moment.
The creature rears suddenly, its huge jaws far too close to his head for comfort. He staggers back but manages to keep his footing. Kate, ever resourceful, has started hurling rocks and it turns rapidly towards her again. As it moves its tail rises into the air and starts to swing towards Magnus. Without thinking Will darts forward and shoves her to the ground. She goes down hard and she cries out "AH!" as the air is pushed out of her lungs. Will is pressed on top of her and he can feel her breath fast and warm on his face as she gasps. "Sorry" he mutters as she stares up at him, wild eyed, alive and so very beautiful with leaves in her hair. He rolls off her and sees the creature towering over Kate. It swipes at her with a huge paw and she's knocked to the ground, her jacket sliced open around her waist. It rears up again over her crumpled form, claws extended and bellowing in a rage and Will is caught in that split second moment where he knows he has to act now or things are going to get very, very bad. He pulls his pistol from his waist and empties the clip straight into the creatures head. It falls to the ground with a heavy thud.
Henry appears through the trees and seeing the creature dead on the ground, drops the tranquilliser gun and heads straight towards Kate. Magnus is there a second later and soon they've got Kate on her back and her jacket open. Will stands there breathing hard, watching, waiting for Kate to make a sound.
He exhales slowly when he hears her groan and she croaks out "I'm okay, I'm okay, it's not so bad" She tries to push herself up and hisses as pain shoots through her body.
"Easy now Kate" Magnus says soothingly. "Just let me take a look alright?"
"Dude!" Henry exclaims looking at Will with his panic face still on. "What the hell happened?" Before Will can answer him, Magnus turns and gives them both an angry look and Will knows exactly how the debrief is going to pan out.