Friday, June 15, 2012

"All right, wrap it up for me," Mac said, her heart firmly lodged in her throat. She hoped desperately that her voice was steadier than it felt, but the weight of Jim's gaze on her back suggested otherwise. He had been staring at her, curious and increasingly concerned for at least twenty minutes, but she kept her eyes resolutely trained on the monitors before her, pretending not to notice.

Shifting restlessly from one foot to the other while she waited for Will to finish, Mac gripped the back of her chair, which she had abandoned almost an hour ago, far too keyed up to even think about sitting still.

"That's our program for tonight," concluded Will. "Join us next week, when we'll be bringing you the latest from the G20 Summit in Mexico, and the results of the elections in France and Egypt. Terry Smith is coming up next with the Capitol Report from Washington. I'm Will McAvoy. Good night."

Mac closed her eyes for just a second, inhaling deeply as she schooled her features. Then she gathered up her things, abandoning the safety and shadows of her control room, venturing out into the open brightness of the newsroom.

"Good show, everyone," she called as she walked. "Have a great weekend, we'll see you all Monday."

A flood of nervous energy practically pouring out of her, Mac could hardly prevent herself from running all the way to her office, but she forced herself to take measured, ordinary steps, just swift enough to discourage conversation. It was only once the door was firmly shut behind her that Mac spurred into frenzied action, becoming a veritable tornado of activity.

She only had a few minutes before her husband finished getting changed and would come looking for her.

With clammy, trembling hands, Mac busied herself with tidying up her things – putting away her growing collection of markers and pens, logging off her computer, flipping her notepad to the next page and placing it in her desk. She had just finished shutting the drawer when she spied Will out of the corner of her eye, waylaid by Charlie on his way to her office.

Her heart beating wildly out of control, Mac crossed the room, opening her purse on top of her filing cabinet, and began shuffling through it, studiously examining the contents.

Will tapped lightly on the door.

"Come in," Mac croaked, her mouth suddenly dry. She could feel the blood rushing into her cheeks, so she kept her face turned away from him.

"Ready to go?" Will asked.

"Almost," Mac nodded with practiced nonchalance, as she continued to rummage around in her purse. "Could you just pass me my notepad? Top drawer."

The butterflies had been multiplying in her stomach since breakfast, and now it felt as though a small army of them had decided to stage a coup. She bit her lip to rein them back, determined not to give the game away now.

Will set his briefcase down on her desk, rounding it and bending down to open the first drawer. Easily finding what Mac wanted, Will picked up the familiar notepad, glancing at it only briefly before passing it to her.

He had already turned back to her desk, reaching out to pick up his briefcase, before his brain caught up with his eyes.

"Wait," Will said, his voice suddenly hoarse. "What did that say?"

Slowly, as if he were afraid that he had imagined that fleeting glimpse of her writing, Will pivoted back around to face Mac once more. Before his eyes even reached her face, they were arrested in their tracks by the sight of her notepad, now held up in front of her chest.

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY, WILL

For several long moments, Will hardly remembered to breathe, because nothing in the world seemed as important just then as reading those words over and over again, until they were branded onto his brain.

When he finally recovered the use of his tongue, Will was only able to manage one word. "Really?" he asked, his voice cracking, as a tear spilled down his cheek.

He looked up, raising his gaze to Mac's face just in time to see her nod, tears of her own welling up in her shining eyes.

The next moment, Will was across the room, sweeping Mac up in his arms, holding her tightly, both of them weeping into the other's neck.

Mac's doctor had warned them not to expect anything to happen right away, but patience had never been one of Mac's virtues, and with every fruitless month that passed, her heart sank a little further. She never said a word about it to Will, never letting on to him just how high she had allowed her hopes to climb, only to have them come plummeting back down to earth every time.

But every crestfallen moment had suddenly become worth it an instant, because as she had watched the awareness slowly dawn on Will's face, her breath catching in her throat, Mac knew that she had never seen anything so beautiful in her entire life.

Pulling back from him with a watery laugh, Mac reached into her purse and pulled out a small white object, which she handed to Will. He stared down at the two pink lines, his eyes swimming in and out of focus as more tears blurred his vision. When he could no longer even see the test in front of him, Will reached out for Mac once more, resting his forehead against hers.

"How long have you known?" Will asked. "Tell me everything."

"Wednesday," Mac replied, still choking back tears. "I wanted it to be perfect, Will, I planned on surprising you with breakfast in bed on Sunday, but when I woke up this morning, I just couldn't keep it a secret even one more day."

Will didn't say anything at first, merely reaching down to take the notepad from Mac's hand. He rifled through it until he found the two pages that she still kept clipped together, the ones that had set this whole thing in motion.

IT'S NOT

BUT IT CAN BE

After a moment, Will flipped back to the current page, tracing the words with one finger. He set the notepad down on the filing cabinet and turned back to Mac, sliding both of his hands into her hair.

"This is even better," he whispered in her ear, before leaning in and kissing her soundly.

ooo

Will and Mac barely made it through the door of their apartment that night before their hands were all over each other, Will trying to devour every inch of skin he could find, Mac impatiently dragging his mouth back to her lips every time they strayed.

They kept trying to make it to the bedroom, but neither could maintain the resolve to stop kissing for more than five seconds at a time, any longer than it took to draw breath and fill their lungs. Every few feet, one of them would reach out for the other, and they would dive back into a feverish embrace.

They began to shed clothing as they went, so that by the time they finally reached the hallway between the living room and the bedroom, and Will had Mac pinned firmly up against the wall, she was wearing only her skirt and a lacy camisole.

Holding her motionless between his hips and the hands on the back of her thighs, Will bent down, nibbling along the entire length of her collarbone. When he reached the point where her neck and shoulder met, he nipped her skin, sharply enough to make her gasp out loud.

Will grinned against her neck for a second, but then he froze, pulling away from her as if he had been burnt.

"Did I hurt you?" he asked, in a panic.

Without Will's body holding her up, Mac's legs nearly gave out beneath her, and he reached out to steady her before she could begin sliding down the wall. It took a moment longer for his words to penetrate Mac's lust-addled brain.

"What?" she panted, furrowing her eyebrows. "Will, what are you talking about? You do that all the time, you know I like that."

"No, not that," he said, still flustered. "Yesterday, when we – Did I hurt you?"

The rest of the fog receded, and a coy smirk came over Mac's lips. "Did you hear me complaining?" she teased.

"Mac, I'm serious," Will said, and her amusement evaporated at once, seeing the absolute terror in his eyes. "What we did, was that bad for you or the baby?"

Mac watched Will go positively cross-eyed as soon as the words were out of his mouth, instantly forgetting his own question. She half-wondered whether he was about to pass out right in front of her.

Ordinarily, Mac would have poked fun at Will for something like this, but she couldn't laugh at him this time. She knew exactly what was going on inside his head, because it was precisely the same thing that was happening in hers – this was the first time that either of them had actually used the word baby, and it had temporarily short-circuited both of their brains.

Mac recovered sooner, taking advantage of this renewed composure to lead Will the rest of the way down the hall and into their bedroom. She pulled him down to sit on the bed, his legs dangling over the edge, before settling down beside him.

She sat cross-legged, half-turning her body so she was facing him, and took one of his hands in hers. "The baby," Mac stressed deliberately, "is—". Her heart skipped a beat, and she had to swallow, hard, before she could begin again. "The baby and I are just fine. We have an appointment with the doctor on Tuesday. How about you come too, and we can get her to answer all of our questions, okay?"

Will nodded, his fears temporarily allayed, and Mac relaxed, leaning back against the pillows, her camisole riding up a bit as she moved. Will stared, transfixed, at the glimpse of exposed skin, her stomach still perfectly flat.

Leaning sideways across the bed, propped up by his left hand, Will unconsciously raised his right one above her belly. He let it hover there uncertainly, as soon as he realized what he was doing.

Her eyes prickling with fresh tears, Mac reached up to seize Will's hand just before he had the chance to retreat from her, and slowly brought it down to tease against the lower hem of her camisole. Nodding encouragingly up at him, Mac helped Will to lift the material, pulling up on it until her entire abdomen was bare for him. Taking his hand in hers once more, she guided it down to touch her, flinching a little as his fingertips grazed her ticklish skin.

Knowing he had Mac's permission, Will's hesitation was gone in an instant, and his hand pored eagerly over her stomach, every inch of which he knew as well as or better than his own. His head spun when he tried to imagine the changes that would come over her body in the next few months.

Pausing briefly so he could climb properly onto the bed, Will's right hand was soon joined by his left, and then by his mouth, softly nuzzling and rubbing and kissing Mac's belly like he would never be able to get enough, not if he could spend the rest of his life doing this.

"I know it's too early, Mac," Will rambled against her stomach. "I know there's nothing to feel yet, I just – Mac!"

It didn't even matter that Will's words, usually so reliable, had abandoned him, because every loving, joyful touch of his fingers and lips spoke volumes.

AUTHOR'S NOTE:

Thank you so much for reading! You guys, I can't even tell you how excited I am about this project! I'm usually not a fan of original characters in fanfic, but I am unbelievably in love with this one. I hope you will be too!

With this story, I'm trying something different, for me: I often feel the need to give pages and pages of exposition before I get to the story I actually want to tell, so I'm really trying here to just give snapshots, covering no more than a couple days at most for each chapter, without explaining absolutely every little detail. Let me know what you think!

And if you don't know where my title comes from, then you need to RUN to the nearest library or bookstore and look up Robert Munsch, because it is just not acceptable to have lived this long without knowing that book. Seriously.