A/N: So in the reviews of 'Under the Sheets' several asked me to keep writing Will/Mackenzie, and I got this idea and it wouldn't let me go. I'm calling it a future-fic because I refuse to believe anything but a Will/Mackenzie relationship will happen on the show at some point. There are also some Sloan/Don hints in here- mostly because I ship them almost as much as Will/Mack (and some tiny Jim/Maggie ones but nothing significant).
The angst in here really isn't terrible- it's only for a handful of scenes, and the resolution is pretty happy, if I do say so myself :)
I'm rating this T, but there is a tiny smut scene- it isn't, like, particularly important to the plot so you can skip it if you wish!
Also: this is officially my 100th posted story! :)
Disclaimer: I own nothing related to The Newsroom, sadly- just my tiny little OC!
"Pinch me is this real? This feeling of release; I'm floating in your heaven," -'Waking Dream', Natalie Walker
In the end, life is spent waiting.
Waiting for oppotunities, for love, for happiness, for one person or another. Life is a giant cycle; once you finish waiting for one thing, you begin to wait for something else.
Mackenzie McHale was currently waiting for two things: her boyfriend to come home, and her phone to go off and say fifteen minutes had passed.
"Will, get your ass in here," she called sharply when she heard his voice, continuing to pace the length of the bedroom, wringing her hands together. She heard footsteps in the hall and then Will entered, his face wary. "Don't look so terrified, it's only me."
"I don't think you know how terrifying 'you' can be," he muttered, tugging on his tie, loosening it from around his neck and tossing it on the bed. "Is there a specific reason you called me in here, dear?"
She ignored his sarcasm, pointing to the closed bathroom door.
"Because in a handful of minutes we're going to learn if we're going to be parents or not," she answered simply, dropping her hand and turning her back to him, the anxiety that had been gnawing on her stomach all day growing even more intense.
"Mack?" Will asked quietly, his voice so soft Mackenzie froze, unable to turn around. "Mack, please look at me."
She turned slowly, hands clenched tight at her sides, eyes tight with worry. But Will's face was soft, eyes searching her expression carefully.
"C'mere," he said, opening his eyes and motioning her to step into them. She stood, shocked for a moment, before falling against him, burying her face in his neck and wrapping her arms around his waist, inhaling deeply. "Whatever happens, it's gonna be okay, I promise. I got you."
They were interrupted by the alarm on Mack's phone going off, and she tensed in his arms again. Will rubbed her back lightly, pressing a kiss to her head, and then pulled away slightly, grabbing her hand. After an encouraging nod, she led him to the bathroom and opened the door, taking a deep breath before opening the door.
She dropped his hand to pick up the test, her own hands shaking as she brought the white stick up into her field of vision. She released a shaky breath, tilting it so he could see as well.
"What does two lines mean?" he asked, breaking the silence, and Mack gave him a watery smile.
"It means I'm pregnant," she whispered, eyes glimmering with tears- of happiness or sadness and fear, he didn't quite know. After the information processed he crushed her in a gentle hug, kissing the side of her head. Then she began to cry in earnest, and he couldn't understand what she was trying to say through her sobs.
"Mack- Mack, take a deep breath, calm down, it's okay," he said gentle, brushing away the tears with his thumb, though they just kept coming. She drew in a shaky breath, tilting her head backwards and catching her breath, taking the tissue he handed her and blowing her nose. "You okay now?"
She nodded, giving him a weak smile.
"I didn't know if you would be happy about this," she said quietly, the honesty of her words making him swallow. "It's only been six months, and we didn't talk about this. I didn't- I don't want you to feel like is the only reason you need to stay if you don't want to."
Will took a minute to chew over her words, then tenderly tucked back a few strands of loose hair from Mackenzie's face, tilting her head up to meet his eyes.
"Maybe I didn't know it until now, but I do want this; more than I could have imagined," he replied, brushing his thumb over her cheekbone gently. "And I've already told you- if you're here, I'm here. The past is the past, and we can't change it, but we can make the future whatever we want. And it looks like we just found our future."
Mackenzie smiled at him through her tears, eyes shining with happiness and love and a timid excitement that made him love her more.
"I love you," she said quietly, leaning forward and pressing her lips to his; they tasted salty with her tears. He responded easily, cupping the side of her head gently, fingers tangling with her hair. His free hand slid down to cup over her abdomen underneath her shirt, her stomach still flat and soft under his fingers.
Underneath his fingers rested their future.
Mackenzie was tired, and it showed. A new story had broken, and the entire newsroom had been going all-out all day. She'd barely taken a seat since ten am, and her feet were killing her.
"Mack, we've got confirmation from the source," Jim said, and she nodded, sighing again as she shifted her weight. The growing bump in her middle was just beginning to shift her center of gravity, and the shoes she'd picked this morning weren't exactly sensible- which is exactly what Will had told her when she'd put them on.
"Are you okay?" Maggie asked, eyebrows drawing together in concern, shooting a look at Jim as though he had the answer.
"I'm fine, Maggie," Mackenzie reassured her, sending her a small smile before turning and walking away, pressing a hand gently against her swelling abdomen; they hadn't told anyone aside from Charlie, who had told them 'it was about damn time'. It wasn't like people weren't guessing; there was a pool going around about when they'd finally announce. She was waiting until the day Neal had picked so he would win.
She was almost to Will's office when she bumped into Sloan; the other woman gave her a smile before frowning.
"You look like you're about to fall over," she said, tilting her head slightly. "You gonna be okay for tonight?"
"I'll be fine, Sloan, really," Mackenzie said, working hard to keep the annoyance out of her voice- she knew her friends were just concerned. "You have anything for me?"
"I need a few extra minutes tonight to talk about the Dowe," Sloan said, and Mackenzie nodded, mentally jotting it down.
"I'll see what I can do," she said, and Sloan smiled. "So how's Don?"
Sloan's eyes widened, and she fumbled for words for a minute.
"Um, he's- he's good, uh, I don't- what do you mean?" she finally settled on, hand shaking slightly. Mackenzie bit back her grin, smirking.
"So you are seeing him."
"No! Yes. Except- no! But, well- no," Sloan said, and Mackenzie rolled her eyes.
"Oh, just spit it out Sloan, we haven't got all day!" she exclaimed, but there was amusement in her eyes. The younger woman's eyes narrowed, contemplating.
"We've gone on a few dates," she said after a moment, and Mackenzie nodded encouragingly. "He's a good kisser."
Mackenzie let out a laugh, touching Sloan's arm gently.
"I'd work on your poker face- I'm not the only one guessing about your involvement with him," Mackenzie said, not unkindly. "Office relationships can be hard- but not impossible."
"You and Will make it look easy," Sloan replied quietly, sighing. Then she straightened up, pushing her glasses up her nose. "I've gotta go look up some figures- let me know if you can get me the time."
Mackenzie nodded, exchanging goodbyes with Sloan before completing her journey to Will's office without further interruption, sighing gratefully when she discovered he was alone.
"Hey," he said, giving her a smile as he set down his phone, standing up to give her a hug, wrapping her tightly into him as he pressed a kiss to her head. "How's the kid?"
She smiled against his neck, closing her eyes as she relaxed against him.
"She was moving around a little earlier," she replied, sighing softly. While she could feel some of the gentle movements, she wasn't far enough along for Will to feel anything yet. He didn't seem to mind; he loved hearing about the sensations when she described them. "I'm almost eighteen weeks; we should tell them soon. I'm almost showing."
As if reminded, Will's hands slid down her body to rest over the soft swell that only he saw; hidden by a few baggier sweaters and blouses (Mackenzie was incredibly thankful it was November and therefore she was allowed to dress in layers), only he saw the bump there when she wore her tighter shirts at home. He felt like he could barely keep his hands off of her; away from work, he barely did.
"Are you saying we should announce it now?" he murmured into her hair, kissing his way down her neck, tongue swiping along her collarbone. She let out a soft moan, biting her lip after it escaped to keep quiet. "Right there on the air?"
"We don't need the whole country to know," she said, tilting her head to allow him more access to her neck.
"What if I want the whole country to know?" he said, pressing lazy kisses to her cheeks and nose. "What if I want everyone to know that you're carrying my baby?"
Mackenzie pulled back, raising an eyebrow at him. He shrugged, hands squeezing her hips gently.
"Or we could just announce it in the newsroom sometime within the next week," she suggested mildly, fixing the collar of his shirt, fingers smoothing the lapel. "It's not like half of them haven't already guessed it."
"What do you mean?" he asked, eyebrows furrowing. She sighed, rolling her eyes.
"I don't know, the solid six weeks of spending ten to eleven am in my bathroom every morning, being exhausted all the time, the fact that I've gone up two bra sizes in the past four months- and don't even lie to me about not noticing that, William- and the fact that I don't drink coffee or alcohol anymore have been pretty big factors," she said, ticking the items off her fingers as she looked at him in amusement. "And, you know- I did used to have a figure."
"You're really sexy when you lecture me," he said, and she burst into laughter, shaking her head at him.
"Oh shut up and get ready for team prep; we've got our sources all lined up," she said, pressing a kiss to the corner of his mouth. "Starts in twenty."
She turned and began to walk away, making it to the door when he stopped her with four simple words.
"I love you Mackenzie," he said, and she turned, sending him a genuine, radiant smile.
"You should sit, Mackenzie."
"You should take a break."
"You should eat something."
"Damn it Will, I'm pregnant, not an invalid!" Mackenzie cried after he'd repeated each of the phrases at least three times within the span of one work day. Just because she was with child didn't mean he needed to treat her like one. "I know what my limits are, and I don't need you breathing down my neck every thirty seconds, trying to smother me!"
She turned and left the room as gracefully as she could at six months pregnant, leaving an awkward silence behind that no one knew how to fill.
"Well, I suggest we go back to working through the run-through," Don said, resuming Mackenzie's role and going around the table. Will sat in stony silence, arms crossed over his chest, not speaking a word. Once they'd finished, he got up and left without a sound, heading directly for Mackenzie's office.
"I almost wish their offices had soundproff glass," Neal said, and a few others murmured their agreement.
Will entered Mackenzie's office with the intent to give her a piece of his well-educated mind, but when he found it empty and the light in her bathroom on, he swallowed his pride and entered it quietly. She was leaning over the toilet, one hand gasping the porcelain edge as she retched, the other trying to hold her long brunette curls out of her face.
He knelt beside her, gently taking her hair into his own hand, the other rubbing her back gently as she threw up again. After a few minutes she saw back, wiping her mouth with the back of her hand and leaning against him, closing her eyes as she caught her breath.
They sat in silence for a few long minutes, his hand still rubbing her back, his lips pressed to her temple as she relaxed slowly. Together they stood, and while she brushed her teeth he watched her silently. Once she finished she turned, leaning back against the sink and looking at him, eyes tired.
"I hate fighting with you," she said, one hand resting gently on her bump, thumb rubbing lightly. "And I don't want to fight with you, Will. I know it's only because you care about me, and want to help- but breathing down my neck isn't helping."
"How can I help then?" he asked quietly, watching as she tugged her lower lip into her mouth and took a few steps closer to him.
"You could gently remind me every once in a while that sitting down is a good idea," she said, coming to stand in front of him, hands pressing lightly into his chest. "And maybe placing a salad on my desk instead of telling me I should be eating more."
"Okay," he said, nodding as he gripped her hips gently. "I can do that."
She sighed quietly, stepping closer, wrapping her arms around his waist. He slid his arms around her shoulders, hugging her tightly, relishing the feeling of her belly pressed up against him. She buried her face in his neck, pressing a kiss underneath his jaw and sighing quietly, her breath warm as it washed over his collarbone.
"I'm sorry; I didn't mean to stress you out so much," he said against her hair, hand traveling lightly up and down her back. She hugged him tighter still, shaking her hair.
"It isn't all your fault; you were right to bug me about it, because I haven't exactly been paying attention to how much I'm eating and drinking and resting," she replied, tilting her head back to meet his eyes. "We just both went the wrong way about dealing with it."
He kissed her nose, brushing back some of her hair from her eyes.
"I like your hair long," he said, twirling the lengthened ringlet around his fingers. It had grown a number of inches over the past six months, and he was hoping she'd keep it that way even after the baby was born; he liked running his hands through his, wrapping it around his fingers when they made love.
Mackenzie rolled her eyes, stepping away from him and adjusting herself, glancing quickly in the mirror.
"C'mon; let's go before they think we're having sex in here," she said, heading for the door. When he didn't move, she turned, raising an eyebrow. "Will?"
"Why don't we?" he asked, and her brow furrowed, confused.
"Why don't we what?"
"Have sex in here?" he asked, and she rolled her eyes, shaking her head.
"Maybe if I wasn't six months pregnant," she replied, and his shoulders slumped slightly. "Behave, and we can have all the sex you want in our bed, at home."
That certainly perked him up.
If he had known pregnancy sex was so good, he'd have knocked Mackenzie up a long time ago.
In recent weeks she'd gotten too big for it to be comfortable to be on the bottom, so Will was currently on his back, Mackenzie moving atop him. Her hands pressed against his chest as she rolled her hips, gasping his name.
"Will," she gasped again, pushing her hips down onto his again, her head falling backwards as his fingers rolled one of her nipples. "Oh."
The sheets rustled as Will suddenly sat up, changing the angle and hugging her against him, her breasts brushing his chest as her hands clutched his shoulders. Her cries hightened in pitch, his name leaving her lips and echoing around the room.
"Mack," he managed to grit out, groaning against her skin as she began to tighten around him, her words turning to nonsense as she lost coherency. He spilled inside her and fell back against the pillows, taking her with him and cradling her to his chest, catching his breath.
"Better- than bathroom- sex?" she asked in a pant, raising her head off of his chest to meet his eyes, amusement sparkling in her own. He let out a laugh, kissing her sweaty forehead, relaxing underneath her.
"Definitely better than bathroom sex," he replied, and she kissed his chest, closing her eyes.
He relished the utter simplicity of their lives at the moment.
It was ten thirty on a Tuesday night, and Will was standing in line at the convience store a few blocks from their apartment because Mackenzie had a sudden craving for Twinkies, and he'd learned long ago not to deny his pregnant girlfriend (and hopefully almost soon-to-be wife) anything.
How was he supposed to know the guy in front of him would have a gun? And would shoot the cashier?
All he knew was that there was a ten year old kid behind him, waiting to buy a Snickers bar, and he couldn't let him get hurt, so he struggled with the gunman for a moment, and there was a clear second of white noise before the pain invaded his brain and he fell to the ground.
"Is this the residence of William McAvoy?"
Mackenzie was confused by the female voice at the other end; who could be calling the apartment at after eleven? Then she realized Will still hadn't come back from the store and the sleep was gone from her brain.
"Yes. Why?" she asked, panic rising in her chest.
"There's been an accident," the woman said, and Mackenzie swallowed the gasp and gripped the sheets tightly.
"What kind of accident?" she asked, voice tight. A thousand horrific scenarios filled her head, and she bit her lip, hard enough to draw blood.
"He was just admitted with a gunshot wound, said we should call someone named Mackenzie?" the woman said, and Mackenzie bit back the sob.
"I'm Mackenzie," she replied, voice only shaking slightly. "Which hospital? I'll be right there. Does he need surgery?"
"University Hopsital, and no; it's just a deep graze," the woman answered, and Mack felt a little relief bloom in her chest. But only a little.
She hung up the phone and got out of bed, already dialing Charlie. She dressed as quickly as she could, hindered by her belly, and within the span of twenty minutes had called Charlie, Elliot, Don (and also Sloan, since she was with Don), and Jim, who told her he'd tell Maggie (she didn't ask).
Mercifully she caught a cab quickly, and once she entered the hospital, went straight to the nurses' desk.
"I'm looking for Will McAvoy, he was brought in with a gunshot wound?" she asked, working to keep her voice level and calm. The baby had woken up on the ride over, and her back ached. All she wanted was to see Will.
"Are you family?" the nurse asked, looking up.
"I'm carrying his child, what do you think?" Mackenzie asked, unable to keep the snap out of her voice. The nurse's eyes widened but she stood, leading Mackenzie through to one of the rooms, where she knocked. Opening the door, she motioned for Mackenzie to step through.
Will was asleep, his left bicep covered in a bandage, but he looked otherwise unharmed. Mackenzie pulled a chair over on his right side, lowering herself into it awkwardly, taking his hand in hers and kissing the palm.
He shifted and opened his eyes, focusing on her after a moment.
"You big stupid hero," she whispered under her breath, tears pricking her eyes. The police had called her on the way over, and told her how he'd saved the little boy standing behind him, giving him time to run from the store. "You are so stupid, you know that? You are so stupid!"
She leaned forward, pressing her lips to his forehead, crying and smiling and trying to keep it all together.
"You saved that little boy's life," she said, stroking his hair gently, thumbs brushing the soft skin under his eyes. "Nearly got yourself killed in the process, but we'll talk about that later. You nearly gave me a heart attack, you know that?"
"Didn't- mean to," he said, eyes blinking shut, a yawn escaping his lips. "So- tired."
"They had to put you under to stitch your arm," she said, seeing him struggle to stay awake. "Sleep it off; I'll be here when you wake up."
She watched him sleep for the next few hours, after calling everyone to tell them he was going to be fine. The ache in her back intensified, contractions coming and going; with less than a week to go, her doctor had told her to expect as much.
When Will woke up again, he seemed more like himself; he demanded the nurse get him out of here, and that he be able to put real clothes on.
"But the hospital gown is so flattering on you, Will," Mackenzie said, which only earned her a glare. She smirked at him, but it quickly turned into a frown as another contracted hit, and she grimaced, clutching the edge of her chair.
"Mackenzie? What's wrong?" Will asked, voice layered in concern.
"Just a contraction," she said, breathing through the end of it. "Dr. Morgan said to expect-"
She cut herself off, eyes widening, and Will's eyes widened as well, concerned.
"Will my water just broke," Mackenzie choked out, panic and fear etched in her face. Will's face paled, and he swallowed.
Just as Mackenzie was about to stand up to get a nurse one came in to check on Will, eyes widening when Will told her what had happened. She left to get a wheelchair after telling Will he could carefully get dressed, and when she came back, he was helping Mackenzie breathe through a contraction.
"Alright Mr. McAvoy, if you could help your wife into the wheelchair, we'll take her upstairs," the nurse said, and neither bothered to correct her.
Half an hour later Mackenzie was hooked up to the proper machines, trying to breathe through a contraction. Will held her hand, trying to soothe her, but not really succeeding.
"Jesus Christ my mother never prepared me for this," Mackenzie gasped as the contraction ended, allowing her a brief respite from the pain. Will tried not to grimace as he flexed his hand, knowing it would only set her off. "You called my mother, right?"
"Yes; she and your dad have a flight for eight thirty this morning, they'll be here tonight," Will answered, relieved to finally have an answer that wouldn't make her mad. She nodded, running her thumb gently along his knuckles, taking a breath.
"By the end of the day we'll be parents," she said suddenly, and Will swallowed. "How odd a thought is that? In less than twenty four hours we'll be responsible for a tiny little us."
"He'll be more like you," Will said, kissing her fingertips. She rolled her eyes, shaking her head.
"She'll be more like you," Mackenzie corrected, a fond smile on her lips.
"How about they'll be whoever they want to be?" Will suggested, and Mackenzie's grew misty as she nodded, pulling him up so she could kiss him.
Mackenzie had never been a patient person, so the last two hours of her labor had been the hardest. But now, she lay in her hospital bed, her daughter cradled in her arms, completely content.
She was exhausted, she knew she looked terrible, and the epidural still hadn't worn off completely, so she couldn't walk yet, but she had never been happier. She looked up when Will came back in, smiling tiredly at him.
"How is she?" he asked quietly as he came to sit on the edge of her bed, brushing his hand over the thick blonde hair on the top of his daughter's head, pressing a kiss to her soft forehead.
"She just fell asleep after she ate," Mackenzie replied in the same soft tone, her fingers gently brushing the baby's belly. "Did you tell everyone?"
Will nodded, rubbing at his arm gently; the gunshot graze was beginning to itch under the bandage.
"Sloan said to say she liked her name, and Charlie wants to see her as soon as possible," he told her, and she smiled, adjusting the baby so Will could hold her.
He cradled his daughter carefully, feeling her shift sleepily in his arms, her tiny little fists lifting up in the air, her tiny mouth puckering into a yawn as she pressed herself into his chest. His heart contracted as he watched her, running one of his large fingers over her teeny-tiny fist.
"You, Dianna Marie McAvoy, are the prettiest baby in this whole hospital," he said, watching her fall back to sleep in his arms, her tiny face relaxed and soft, lips moving in sleepy gurgles.
"You're biased," Mackenzie said, but her eyes were soft with love.
"And you're not?" he asked, raising an eyebrow at her. She shrugged, smiling at him, eyes blinking slowly. "Why don't you get some sleep? I've got her."
Mackenzie nodded, yawning, leaning forward to press a kiss to Dianna's head before kissing Will lightly on the lips.
"I love you," she said to both of them, and Will smiled, returning the sentiment before settling into the chair beside her bed, Dianna in his arms as Mackenzie drifted off to sleep. He felt completely at peace; his whole world was in this tiny little room, asleep and content.
Now, it was just a matter of waiting for the next thing to come.
"Love, love will take you; love, love will take you there," -'Love Will Take You', Angus and Julia Stone