so I had written another epilogue that never felt right, but then nature supplied me with the perfect ending.
October 29th 2012
The staff had been told to come to work prepared to stay overnight, possibly for a few days. Private cars had been sent to pick them up at their apartments since the MTA had shut down the night before.
"Are you sure we can't just let them go home?" Will asked.
Charlie took a sip of his bourbon, "We lucked out with Irene, Will, this storm is going to bitchslap the city. We can't afford not to cover it, and we need to do better than correspondents. Especially this close to the election."
Will knew he was right and he was not looking forward to the next few days. "If we lose power?"
"Then you can leave." Charlie smiled as he answered. "Hey, as I remember it, the last hurricane treated you pretty well. Maybe you'll be lucky again." He winked at Will as he turned to leave his office.
After hours of reporting on the storm's progress, Will finally relinquished his post to Elliott so he could attempt to get a few hours sleep. Mac was actually wearing sneakers by the time they headed to his office.
Various staff members were strewn about the place, sleeping wherever they could or eating cold pizza. "Are you hungry?" Mac asked as he opened the door for her.
The sight that greeted her in Will's office was one for sore eyes. A queen sized air mattress had been inflated and made up to look quite comfortable. Mac immediately kicked her shoes off and laid down. "Have I mentioned that I love you?" She smiled back up at Will.
"Don't go to sleep too fast, I've got a surprise for you." He went around to his desk and retrieved a chilled bottle of champagne from the fridge. Mac sat up and watched curiously as he opened it and poured them both glasses.
"What are we toasting to?" She asked.
"Hurricanes." He smiled as he said it.
"Well I can see why you would want to toast Irene, but I'm not sure what's so special about Sandy, accept that we're stuck here instead of in your apartment this time." She giggled as Will tried to sit down on the bed without spilling his drink.
"This year has been amazing." He said as he tucked a piece of hair behind her ear.
"I know." She replied without hesitation.
"The best ever, for us." Mac looked at him and waited for him to continue. "Every day I wake up and I feel younger and happier, which I know sounds ridiculous, but it's true. You didn't just bring me back to life, you made me realize that there's still something left to live for. I mean we're trapped here with a bunch of 25 year olds so that we can make sure the news goes on no matter what Hurricane Sandy does to the eastern seaboard. I would have never done that before."
Mac had a feeling he was building to something and she didn't feel any of the anxiety she thought this moment might have given her previously. She gazed at him calmly and let him continue.
"So the reason I want to toast to Hurricanes is because Irene helped push us together, but I was hoping that tonight, which seems totally appropriate, you might agree to marry me." He smiled as he said it and then suddenly in his champagne free hand there appeared the ring.
Mac looked at her beloved and then at the ring and smiled as a tear escaped her eye. Will wiped it away immediately and as he did she grabbed his hand, which was still holding the ring with hers. She kissed his palm and blinked up at him.
She realized he was still waiting for a reply. "Of course I'll marry you you idiot!" She laughed and he did too. He held her in his arms and drank in the smell of her. After a long pause he broke apart so that he could slip the ring on her finger. They both gazed at its sparkling brilliance.
Though they were both usually verbose, words failed them at this moment. It was Mac who finally broke the silence.
"To Hurricanes." She said as she clanked her glass to his.
So there it was, on an air mattress, in his office, at 3am, to the sound of howling winds and fire engines, that Will and Mac bravely took the next step in their relationship. They couldn't be happier.