Author's Note: I preface this with I have never written fanfiction before. Read it for years, loved it, been addicted to it, but never written it. Be gentle with me. Constructive criticism welcome, also feel free to inform me of any faux pas I commit either within a story itself or in terms of formatting, posting, rating, etc. I am a total computer illiterate. I thank God for giving me a computer programmer husband or I would be woefully disengaged from modern society. And of course I don't own The Newsroom, if I did it wouldn't consist of 10 episodes per season with a 9 month long hiatus.
Did you ever get the feeling you were forgetting something? That niggling doubt in the back of your mind asking you if you had turned off the coffee pot or locked the door? Well, right now Will McAvoy had that feeling. And he'd had it for about a week, on and off. He seemed to get it whenever he looked at Mackenzie McHale.
Sure, there were a lot of things he could be forgetting about where Mac was concerned. He'd forgotten to forgive her, forgotten to move on (with or without her, he wasn't sure yet), and most importantly he'd forgotten to stop loving her. But lately he had the feeling there was something more important even than that.
Maybe it was this damn cold. Everyone in the newsroom had gotten it somehow over the last two weeks. Given the hours they all worked, the close quarters, the vast amounts of caffeine and the horrible food it was amazing they weren't all sick all the time, but these last two weeks were awful. Just as one or two people got well, two or three more got sick.
He was just beginning to feel human again. But he still had a ways to go. So maybe the constant Nyquil and Robitussin usage had affected his brain. He was a pretty smart guy. He could usually figure shit out a lot quicker than this.
So here he was, facing her across the conference table for yet another NewsNight rundown wondering what he was supposed to be remembering about Mackenzie.
She looked like hell. Obviously she had finally gotten sick too. But hey, hadn't she been sick before Will? In fact, he was sure he had finally caught the dreaded office plague from her. Made the mistake of sharing a coffee cup with her a week and a half ago when she hadn't yet looked like the walking dead. But he was feeling better…why wasn't she? The bags under her eyes could no longer be covered with make-up. He wasn't even sure she was trying anymore. A light sheen of sweat had broken out along her forehead. She had been coughing incessantly for over a week now. But it was lessening. A good sign? Not really. Now that he looked at her he could see her taking short, wheezy little breaths. She wasn't getting enough air in to let out the deep, wrenching coughs she had been a few days ago.
She was trying to finish her current train of thought. Standing next to her infamous NewsNight 2.0 white board, she was assigning tasks to everyone and looking like she was about to fall over. Will jumped in hoping he could cut this short and get her to go home or at least back to her office to lie down for a bit.
"Ok Mac, they're all big boys and girls now. I think they can divide and conquer your list of tasks on their own." Will interjected into her increasingly rambling diatribe. Was she even aware she was jumbling words and repeating herself?
She suddenly looked up at him from the other end of the conference room seemingly confused. "Will…what…did you…" She didn't even form a complete sentence before her eyes rolled back in her head and she fell to the floor.
"Mac" he shouted and ran across the small, crowded room. When he reached her Jim was holding her head and neck as she seized. "Call 911" Will shouted unnecessarily as someone had already picked up the conference room phone.
"Mac…Mackenzie…look at me. It's Will…you're going to be fine Mackenzie. Just hold on…help is on the way." Will repeated this over and over as he sat next to her head across from Jim and held her right hand in his.
The pieces were starting to fall into place for him. She had always been total crap at taking care of herself. When they had been together he could at least monitor her food and sleep. Force her to take a break by taking her out to dinner or telling her he wanted an early night in. Of course, this hadn't hurt his health either. Let's face it, they were better at taking care of themselves and of each other when they were together.
He couldn't do that anymore. It was no longer his place to tell her how to take care of herself. He should have known she would run herself into the ground. Republican primaries, Libya and Syria coming to a head. No way would a little cold slow her down. A little cold? No, not anymore. And that's when it hit him. What he'd been forgetting.
After she came back to ACN, he'd been stunned. How did he not know this was in the works? Even though part of him hated her after she'd left, a bigger part of him still loved her. He'd kept tabs on her. Knew she'd been in the Middle East. Lost about ten pounds worrying about her and smoking too much after he heard about Islamabad. Called in a lot of favors to monitor her condition after the stabbing. She'd make a slow but steady recovery. She would always have to be careful about injuries or infections after the emergency splenectomy.
"Her spleen…damn it Mac." Will grumbled under his breath.
Jim looked up at him for a second confused and then he too seemed to remember. "Oh shit." Jim whispered.
"Yeah…my sentiments exactly" was all Will could manage in reply. Damn…he really wished he'd just been forgetting his keys.
To be continued…