A/N: My head-canon for the hospital scene with Mac, Charlie and Will in 1x10.

sweet sovereign of my captive heart, how could i fail thee?

Mac and Charlie are hovering over him. He hates hovering.

"Will." He bristles. "Will."

He looks up at Mac reproachfully. He's got a sickening suspicion and the levels of vitriol, self-pity and self-loathing he's experiencing simultaneously are enough to make him pursue it. "The voicemail message."

"What are you talking about?"

Come on. He said not to bring it up or anything, but he's acknowledging it first. "The voicemail message that I left you that night after I got home from the Bin Laden broadcast. Did you play it for anyone?"

"I never got a message."

This is all very admirable – she really took the whole not mentioning it thing seriously, which he's almost grateful for – or would be if, well, she hadn't torn out the shrunken and withered remaining half of his heart in doing so. Or whatever. "No, I left you that message that started, 'Hey, listen, it's me, I'm not just saying this because I'm high right now…', did anyone else hear that message?"

"I didn't hear that message."

"Mac, there is no way that you don't remember what that message said." He knows she does; there is genuinely no way she couldn't, but her dedication to denial is nonetheless impressive.

"It wouldn't be possible to remember what it said, because I never got it."

Will frowns. Seriously, it's time to cut the crap, Mac. There's no way – he catches himself. (But if there was a way – oh god. Oh god. No. Yes. Oh god. And he – oh god.)

"And it wouldn't have been possible for me to play it for someone else, because I never got it."

Jesus Christ, she's seriously not fucking around. Will looks away from Mac instinctively. Charlie's mouth drops open, and he's looking right at Will like the world has changed for both of them in an incomprehensible and profound way. Which it has. For Will.

"Nina's first source was you," Charlie says.

"Yeah," Will murmurs, only vaguely aware of what he's affirming. He can hear Mac and Charlie speaking, but he registers none of the words nor their implications.

It's hitting him, now; the waves of terror and apprehension and, somewhere in the mix, ecstatic joy, that were lapping at his fractured consciousness with each oh god have definitely fucking broken, thrust themselves all over him and washed all his goddamn bullshit clean.

He doesn't know why Charlie's so floored by the not having gotten it thing (voicemail fucks up all the time!), but he's just had the most singular revelation of his life, probably, and he's not sure his grasp of language is present enough for him to start formulating a description for the powerful shit that's coursing through his mind and soul and veins right now. Maybe it's just indescribable.

She never – and she's – well, fuck him dead. Will's vaguely aware that his own mouth is agape as he stares unfocussed somewhere in the region of Charlie's chest as he processes and synthesises. If she – then – his inferences are good for nothing, all these months – she probably – oh god! And he'd forgotten, or maybe he'd thrust it away; what he's supposed to be doing, what they were, what they are, and here she is – has been – sitting at his bed, telling him what he's meant for, rubbing his face in reminders of who he is until – this – she never! – Jesus, she's Dulcinea, and he's Don fucking Quixote.

And the epiphany leaves him reckless with hope; he could tear down giants in this moment, he swears he could. He reaches for the cuff on his arm, rips it off, grabs for more wiring.

"What are you doing?"

"I am reporting on Dorothy Cooper." Well, no revelation is going to make him less evasive about this shit. That would be too quixotic.

"But you're still sick!"

"What is illness to the body of our knight errant?" Two machines start beeping equally stridently as he pulls off the tubing. "What matter wounds? For each time he falls – ah!"

"What's he doing?"

"The end of Don Quixote–" Charlie starts– "Put the tubes back!"

"For each time he falls he will rise again! Woe to the wicked! Sancho!" He throws his arms up, rising from the hospital bed like the knight himself, his voice deep and full of its old power as he calls, "My armour, my sword!"

Charlie looks at Mac. "Which one of us is he talking to?"

"Get back in bed!" Mac shouts at him, trying to block his path and jabbing her finger at his chest like there's any way in the world that can fucking stop him now; to hell with scorn and scars, everything he'd deemed out of reach is possible again and he's goddamned if he's not going for it all.

"I'm fine!" Will says determinedly. He stumbles. "Okay. I'm a little dizzy."

"I got alarm bells going off at the nurses' station. Who pulled out the IV line?" demands Nurse Cooper, blustering in.

He points at Mac. "She did." She may as well have. "I need to get some information about your great aunt."