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Chapter Text

They're merely seconds into commercial break before he's slapping loose papers onto the anchor desk and leaning forward, a huff off his lips before he turns his mouth closer to his mic. “Why are you pissed at me?”

“What?” she sharply asks in answer, echoing distracted by something and he can only imagine that it's an intern or one of the crew members speaking to her. Something in the control room has more of her attention than he does and it annoys him, actually. She's his only connection back to control and he can't stand it when she essentially puts him on stand-by. It's a power trip of epic proportions. “Billy, I'm not angry with you.”

Right, so she only ever calls him 'Billy' to piss him off.

Because she knows he thinks that it's patronizing as fuck.

And she knows that because he's flat out told her so, repeatedly since they met. “Bullshit, Mac.”

“I'm not.” At least she sounds sincere, her voice softening a bit. He hears her sigh a little into her response before she continues and he can see her features going gentler. “And this certainly isn't the time to be discussing - ”

“This is because I agreed with Michaels? Mac, you've gotta let the little shit like that go. Angie Michaels is a blow hard who can't even add - ”

“Oh, fuck me,” she mutters deep into his ear and her voice is blessedly husky and warm and a little awed by something he can't see. She's obviously distracted again.

And, really... if he's honest... the first mental image he's got is being able to bury his face in her hair and palm her hip and groan as he comes so (in hindsight, especially) it's no surprise to him that he just says “I didn't realize that was an option but I'm all for it, McHale.”

Wait... what in the twelve fucks of Jupiter did he just say??




Three things happen concurrently and she simply cannot fully comprehend any one of them, not just then:

Firstly, their fritzed feed from New York miraculously starts to fix itself. It adjusts from how squirrelly and fuzzed it had gone and everyone in the control room breathes out slowly, tensioned and cautious and scared that it'll happen again. She's got Lou on her right muttering a breathy and Long Island accented mantra of 'it's gonna be okay, it's gonna be fine, it's fixing itself, it's all right...'.

But she goes utterly silent in surprise otherwise, absolutely astounded by what he's said. She's wordless and watching him on camera and he's staring right back at her as though awaiting her response. Yes, sure, in reality he's looking directly into the shot camera and nobody else has heard him but the intense look on his face is melting her insides to a molten hot puddle, one that sits somewhere right in the bottom of her stomach. It had been so flippant, so carelessly thrown out that it had to have been anything but flippant or careless. It wouldn't have been like Will to say something like that without legitimately meaning it.

And, thirdly, she's suddenly so fucking hot for him that it's absolutely unconscionable. Who the fuck told him it was all right to be so goddamn forward and cheeky and she's a grown female professional and... Damn him.

Damn. Him.

“Twenty seconds back.” The very jarring realization that, apparently, Will McAvoy can make her wet without being in the room is only marginally less startling than hearing the director's voice jolt them both back to reality. She feels herself turn her head away before responding, knows she's baring her throat to him regardless of the fact that he can't see her do it and she pauses, holds her breath into limbo.

It's a punishment well made that he cannot see nor fathom her response. “Billy?”

His whole body seems shot back in the chair by an invisible force, shoulders slumping as he lets his lashes flutter closed and awaits his punishment. He seems near wincing and she lets her silence draw out intentionally. “Mac?”

There's something about the angle he makes against the chair that has her wanting to crawl into his lap and sling her arms around his neck. She could kiss him crazy and then some, can close her eyes and imagine his hands sliding down her back to curve on her ass and fuck... she wants him. She wants him more than she's wanted any other man since Brian.

Because he's inherently gentle, even though he's a large man (is he?).

Because he's aloof in regards to how handsome he really actually is (and she finds him more handsome the more she works with him, the more she sees his smile).

Because he makes her laugh by being witty or sweetly silly but it doesn't matter which (it matters that it happens all the time now, more and more).

“Don't you dare assume that little stunt did anything but piss me off,” she tells him playfully, intentionally adding a flush teasing to her inflection. She keeps her voice light and hazy and she watches as he lifts a hooded glance toward the camera, just one side of his mouth twitching upward toward a smirk. God, it's sexy, the way he looks at her (the camera) from beneath his lashes. “Now, I'm mad.”

She's not mad at all. She's intrigued, enticed.

He's got her attention now.

And she could climb him like a fucking tree.

(It's sexy that he's tall but still gentle, seemingly attentive and protective. A gentleman.)

“Mad like a loon.” The responding grin takes him over entirely, and she enjoys watching its evolution. His entire face goes younger, more attractive and mischievous and she can suddenly feel the bright warmth of his eyes. “You're a whackjob, Mac. Beautiful, but insane.”

“Ten seconds.” She exhales slowly in his ear after she catches the time, her fingers rubbing self consciously on the edge of the IFB casing. “I liked it a little.”

“You liked it a lot. Fucking admit it,” he accuses over the mic, humored mirth hijacking his voice just before he sucks in a breath.

“Five,” the director cuts in and he straightens his shoulders back, lifts his jaw and lets an adoring smile broaden over his lips as he stares into the camera.

She snorts a laugh at him but an affectionate one, not mocking. It's heat in her voice, all wanton and bemused at once and she doesn't make an inch of effort to hide it. Not when his smile is so genuinely blissful and attractive. “Get back to work.”

“Welcome back,” he smugly tells the camera before nodding, his glance dipping down once on a nearly self conscious smile before he looks back up and speaks to his audience instead of her. “I'm Will McAvoy...”




He's always been attracted to her, sure, who wouldn't be? Since they'd met, months ago, he'd been sorta smitten by her accidental theatrics and clumsy cuteness, by how brilliant she is even while distracted or busy. Her proximity gets him halfway to hard already. The sheer slim length of her legs and the slow way her throat flexes whenever she swallows her coffee down. Her eyes are ten times wiser than he is and she's shrewd, prudent. She knows exactly when he's trying to bullshit her and she doesn't let it fly by without a good and judicious smackdown in response. Nine-ish months and they've got a sort of simpatico going, it's a good working relationship and it's become comfortable, leisurely amiable. It's become smooth between them, affable, funny and fulfilling and God. Fuck. Ing. Damn. It.

He's got it bad for her. It's already happened.

He shoulda stopped it months before.

Shoulda just... stopped looking at her, speaking to her. Ever.

But now it's going to be absolutely impossible to pretend that he doesn't think she's stunning even when she's looking over-worked and exhausted and her hair is piled up in a messy knot and was she wearing those earrings this morning or did she add them at some point over the course of the day? He hadn't noticed them and they're pretty, subtle and silvery and they spark in the light as she turns her head to laugh at something one of the crew members is saying to her. Will just stands still in the open doorway, letting his shoulder press the frame as one of the sound techs squeezes by him.

“Hey, Chris?”

The older man turns, eyes brightening up in affection when Will remembers his name. “Yeah?”

McAvoy motions toward the open newsroom, fingers waggling in the direction of most of the rest of the staff and the dinner they're crowding over. “Mac seeing anybody?”

“Yeah, Brenner.”

“They split months ago,” he corrects, watching her as she starts to disengage from the crowd.

She's purposely moving away from the rest of them and toward the control room once again, intentionally ducking back and away slowly. His eyes follow the lift of her hand as she fidgets at one of her earrings and he squints as she turns. He unconsciously studies the long length of her, trim and lithe lines, welcoming curves. The flex in each calf stutters his heart rate and the way she lifts her head back traps his lungs near still. He likes that her hair is still messily knotted back, if only because it means he gets to see the pale and soft skin at the back of her neck.

Yeah, no, she definitely wasn't wearing the earrings earlier, when he'd watched her tie her hair back. She had to have added them later. And he wonders when, why, if it had anything to do with him?

“That's the last guy I know about,” the crew member murmurs with a shrug. He starts back-stepping toward the rest of the staff and nods toward them. “You goin' there?”

Will flicks him a lop-sided smile and shakes his head negatively, mutely implies it's a no-go before he shrugs. “With Mac? Naw, m'not worthy. She'd eat me alive.”

If he knows Mac at all... well, she wouldn't appreciate him publicly broadcasting the fact that he wants to kiss and lick and love every inch of her before he actually tells her, in person.

Chris gives him another shrug, one that's mostly teasing. “It'd be a death worth dyin', man.”

He's damn sure of it, actually.

And he's feeling sorta suicidal.

Chapter Text

Right, so she's just not allowed alone in a room with him, obviously. In the future she'll have to avoid any situation wherein she ends up alone with him. That's all, that's it, she decides in the blissfully shadowed stillness of her control room. Problem solved, done and done. She's never allowed, as of their last broadcast, to be by herself with one William Duncan McAvoy.

Yes, she knows his middle name.

Yes, it's because of work. Paperwork. That's the only -

“You're missing dinner,” he murmurs as he follows in after her, closing the door to the control room and leaning back against it to stall any interruptions. He may as well have locked it up shut and swallowed the goddamn key. The man's essentially a line-backer so, really, he's just put himself between her and any way out of being entirely alone with him. “Andy just showed up with a sheet pizza. Looks like we're gonna be here awhile.”

Her heart rate ramps up a little in speed and she lifts her jaw, catches the way he watches her with a soft but interested smile. He blinks and his glance silently drifts from her eyes to her lips and down her throat and she's suddenly very aware of his presence in the room, the heat and scent and size of him. Mac can feel herself flush up, cheeks going hot and probably pink, a warmth tingling her throat. Her spine aches from tightening up so still so she steps back and accidentally jams right into the corner of one of the work stations. She'll be bruised tomorrow and as she rubs her fingers against the tender spot he blinks, watches over her and makes a sympathetic sound between his teeth.

She'd accept waking the next day with a bruised thigh a whole lot better if it was him making the marks and getting them was a hell of a lot more fun.

“Listen, Will - ”

“He grabbed a bunch of salads too,” he gamely offers, his voice still gentle even as he leans forward into stepping toward her. He prowls on her, slowly and confidently and... she feels like he's moving this slowly to either allow her a way out or gauge her reactions. Either way... his eyes are bright and beautiful in the dimly lit control room and she's a little too mesmerized by how intense they are to realize that she's absolutely lost the upper hand – as if she'd ever actually had it. “You could probably stink eye one of the college interns into giving hers up if there aren't any left.”

What the hell is he – is he still talking about food? For fuck's sake, really?

She wants to grab him by the lapels and shake him.

Correction: She wants to grab him by the lapels and stick her tongue down his throat. “We should talk about - ”

Us,” he interrupts, completely unapologetic as he steps into her space. One of his hands leads his movement and he's curving his palm up her waist and stroking onto her lower back before she realizes entirely what he's done. It's a bare breath of a second before he's got her tucked up into the front of him, a wild grin on his mouth and his eyes butane bright. “We should talk about us.”

Theoretically, she should slap the shit out of him until he lets go because it's not as though he's got permission to just manhandle her whenever he likes.

Reality is... If he told her that he didn't plan to ever let go then she'd simply go about finding clothing that would fit the both of them at once.

But she can't necessarily let him think that it's quite that easy to get her to do whatever he wants. Not because she cares if he thinks she's easy (she thinks he actually does know her better than that) but, well... more that she enjoys the push and pull with Will. With him specifically. There's more fun to be had than just giving in to him and the sparkle in his eyes says that he's game for a little teasing, a little tete-a-tete and debate. He's prepared to fight for having her and she can see it in him and that's such a damn turn on. She's swooning and that surprises the hell out of her.

“There is no 'us',” she murmurs, arching her shoulders back even as he tucks her hips closer to his. He loops his arm along her waist and lower back, the other hand lifts to catch against her jaw and she lifts her head into the touch.

She's astounded by how confidently physical he suddenly is with her.

He's never, never, touched her like this before. She's not entirely sure where all this swagger has been hiding but, hell, it's delicious on him.

“I think there should be. I want there to be.” And he seems utterly distracted by his own personal study of her mouth, her lips, as he cups her jaw up. He's watching her tongue skip out against her bottom lip and she can see him swallow hard in response, hell, she nearly hears him gulp. “You seeing anyone?”

“Is that really any of your business?”

Cheeky son of a bitch – he just looks up at her and grins, as though he owns the world so long as he can pull her tighter into his hips. His smile inches closer, words hushing off his lips as the entire upper half of his body shrugs bemusedly at her, his thumb brushing her bottom lip. “It is if I plan to kiss you right now.”

“This is a really terrible idea, Billy. We work - ”

“Jesus, I can't fucking think straight when you call me that.” His lower hand shifts to find her side and she squeezes her eyes shut into the feeling of his fingertips counting upward on the stacks of her ribs. He pushes his forehead into hers like it's taking all the muscles in his body to keep him from kissing her, his shoulders and arms tensed up tight under her touch.

“I know,” Mac admits gently, half amused and half chagrined. She'd apologize if she felt at all sorry for it, her fingers fidgeting on his lapels.

“I know you know,” he chuckles over her, matching the laughter in her eyes. His fingers shift and she lets her lashes flutter closed, a shaky breath passing between her lips as he traces one of her cheekbones with his left and teases her ribs with the other. “You're one of the sexiest women I've ever known, MacKenzie. I mean that. The whole package.”

“I make a really terrible girlfriend, though.”

Will makes a wincing face, his features pinch sour as he blinks and shakes his head. She watches a flux of emotions chase themselves across his face and it's so endearing, really. Because he's obviously completely comprehended what she's said and he already seems defensive of her, he already seems as though he wants to argue the very idea that she could be bad at something. Which is especially sweet while especially naive all at once. It's a moment before the pained look on his face loosens, his brows lifting as he shrugs into a masking smile.

“Look,” he taunts at her quietly, purposely jerking her tighter into his half hard cock and making her bite back a moan in answer. “I just wanna share a salad.”

Mac just blinks rapidly as she comprehends what he's said. She lifts her hand just to thwack him in the chest in response, watching him grin and then wink at her. “You... you're such an ass.”

“I know.” His smile is doting, his movements small and gentle as he fingers the dangling slip of silver from her right ear. “I like the earrings, by the way. They suit you.”

She closes her eyes while an inevitable smile overtakes her. She knew he'd notice.

She knew they would draw his attention and brighten the blue of his eyes as he watched her.

“You can kiss me.” Her head tips closer to the touch of his hand and his palm finds her cheek and his hand is wonderfully warm, dry and just barely calloused. “If that's what you - ”

If what he wants is for her to dig her hands into his hair and tug because, hell, the way he crushes her up into his chest leaves her pretty much no recourse except to lever her elbows onto his shoulders, drive her fingers through blonde, and kiss the hell out of him. His hands are broad and controlling, one on her lower back and one at the back of her head. Controlling but in a suggestive way, not cruel or painful. And his mouth slants against hers, a slow starter of a kiss that just gets harder and hungrier as he clutches her up closer. She feels his tongue against hers and she whimpers onto it, lets him lead her. She lets him kiss her the way nobody has since when she first met Brian, teeth and tongue and his hands are everywhere and warm.

He tastes like nicotine and liquor and mint.

He smells like increasingly familiar (delicious) cologne and laundry soap and Will.

He feels like he's hard and full as he grinds her closer and groans, lightly nipping along her bottom lip.

Jesus, MacKenzie.” The whisper is brushed onto her bottom lip as he starts to pull away, followed by small kisses and count themselves up onto her cheek.

Oh. Oh, no...

The problem with kissing him, actually really lovingly kissing him, is that it makes it real.

It makes it emotional, makes it intense. It makes it sensual and sweet and romantic and... oh.

He's problematic in so many more ways than one.

The first being that she could easily fall for a man like Will McAvoy someday. “Will.”

“Billy's all right, I guess.”

She laughs quietly, leans her head forward so that they're pressing foreheads together as her eyes go shut on a whisper. “You hate it.”

“S'okay when you say it,” he admits, voice culled quiet, deep and graveled.

Another laugh goes through her nose and she blindly smiles into the feel of his lips brushing over her left eyebrow. “Okay.”

“Okay.” His answer is voiced like a humming and she likes the honeyed sound of it even as she hears another sound, a thump in the peripheral. “Wanna get outta here? Need to get you alone and - ”

“Sorry.” One of their aides interrupts with a shaky voice, a young kid that will always be a little afraid of Will. And considering the growl the older man lets off in response as he hovers over her, well, she can't necessarily blame the poor thing. “They're, uh... they're asking for you upstairs”

MacKenzie turns her head and gives the intern a weary smile, noting the fact he's got pizza sauce speckled down the front of his golf shirt. “Which?”

“Both of you.”




It's six and a half long hours before he can finish his sentence, leaning over her in the quieted upstairs hallway. “What I meant to say is that I need to get you alone and - ”

“Jesus.” She jumps, her whole body jolting as she sits up straighter from where she was cutely leaned up against the hall wall. Her butt had been planted to the floor, beautiful and lithe legs outstretched before her, head turned into her shoulder. “You scared me.”

Scratch that. Six and a half hours and fifty five seconds.

“And worship every inch of you,” he finally finishes, noting how drowsy she looks, how thickly accented and slurred her words were. “Were you seriously just sleeping out here?”

“Not intentionally.” She looks a little put out at being caught, embarrassed as she shrugs at him and fidgets the hem of her skirt back down her thighs from where it's crept higher. Her palms go about brushing out the wrinkling in her clothes and he just arches a brow at her fussing. “I'm waiting for... something.”

She says 'something' like it's an absolute after-thought.

Like it's an absolute lie.

Me? You were waiting for me?” He crouches down in front of her, intentionally straddling over her out-stretched legs.

He rests his forearms to his thighs and his knee screams at him but pride and the damn near salacious way she sleepily looks him over has him staying in position. His wrists go loose and he outstretches his right hand so that his fingertips are teasing the lower hem of her skirt, tracing down onto her bare knee. Will cocks his head as she hmmmphs a pleased sound, a near moan punctuating the air in a way that tells him he has permission to continue doing whatever it is that feels good enough to have her smirking at him.

MacKenzie blinks slowly, flutters him a questioning look before her lips pout up at him. “What exactly does this 'worship' entail?”

Right, so she's got a naughty streak to her, no doubt. With that curving smile?

Woman's probably goddamn wicked when she wants to be.

Exactly how long are these legs of yours?” he counters the question with one of his own, stretching his fingers out farther to curl under her half bent knee. He rubs the soft skin at the back of her knee, still crouched over her in a way that likely looks far more intimate than they should be at three in the morning, flirting on the still populated upper floors of CNN headquarters.

He rubs the silky soft back of her knee with calloused fingertips and she literally moans.

She just simply moans for him and he's instantly fucking hard.


Oh, just because he wants them wrapped naked around him while he buries his face in her breasts, no big deal. “Just estimating how far they'll wrap around me when I finally get a chance to - ”

It's the sound of heels that stalls him more than his name. “Will?”

“Jesus Christ,” he snaps at the intrusion, both palms pressing his knees so that he can push himself up and half turn toward the offender. This time it's an equally young looking intern but female, a cordless phone in her hand as she glances blasé between the both of them. “Really?”

“It's the JSOC rep, returning your call.” Her explanation is snappish and Mac quietly chuckles at the difference between her interruption and Jeffrey's earlier. Will throws her down a salty look, derisive but silent and after a moment he exhales. He offers his hand as she shifts to put her feet under her and she takes it, using him as ballast as she stands up into his pulling. It's apologetic, the way he blinks at her and shrugs, shaking his head back and forth.

Mac shakes her head slowly at him in return, “This isn't happening tonight. It's all right.”

“We can still make it happen.”

“I don't want it to be rushed because we're exhausted,” she counters quietly, keeping the words near mumbled so that the other employee doesn't overhear and draw her own conclusions. “I want to take my time and enjoy myself. I want to feel pretty, not sweaty and tired and - ”

“Give me five minutes at least? We'll plan something?” He blocks her from the other woman, puts his hand back to accept the phone even while she tries straightening up her clothes once again. “All right?”

“All right,” she sleepily agrees while he thanks the intern and dismisses her, the phone palmed in his large hand.

“You're beautiful when you're tired and all frazzled, by the way. It's adorable,” Will rattles off over her as he lifts the phone to his ear. “Cam?! What the hell is going on over there?”

Instead of moving away from him she just drops her face forward as the words sink in and make her blush, letting the crown of her head press into his collarbone as she goes still. He can hear her suck in a deep breath while his free hand catches the back of one arm and he rubs up and down it slowly. He keeps on the conversation, his voice a calmer and lower as he fingers the silken fabric of her shirt.

“Naw, that's a shit offer and you know it. I'm not screwing around tonight,” he argues blankly, emotionless, all while lifting her head back up to meet his glance. A smile wrecks itself over his mouth, claims his features entirely while he looks her over. She's sorta stunningly adorable when she's still not entirely awake. When she's glossy eyed and swoony. “You've already cost me a promising evening with the sexiest female I know. Now I'm just pissed and gunnin' for you bastards.”

Her breathy and self-conscious laughter heats up his cheek and he wonders, peripherally, if maybe it isn't better this way. This way he can more easily convince her that he doesn't just want to fuck her. Not that he doesn't. He certainly does. Desperately. He wants to makes her come over and over again until she's sated limp, make her scream his name and ask for more. He could find a few ways to make her say 'please' with that soothing accent.

But it's just that it's about way more than that now.

It'd honestly become more than that long before, probably 'round the day she'd proudly and succinctly told him that if he wanted to argue semantics with the former President of the Cambridge Union he'd have to learn to debate with 'more eloquence than a dimwitted Steinbeck character'.

Eloquence? He'll have her eloquently begging him to make her come all over his fingers soon enough. If not on his tongue. Or both. Concurrently, consecutively. Both separate and at once. He has no problem coming up with multiple ways to try and make MacKenzie McHale orgasm all over him. And often, if possible.

Still, he feels himself near flush hot and pink cheeked when she stretches up on the toes of her high heels, her lips pressing softly to his now stubbly cheek as his contact rambles in his ear.

“Hold up, Cameron,” Will mutters into the phone distractedly, drawing it away from his mouth as she settles back on her feet and leans to step away from him. He stops her with a tug against her skirt. “I can't convince you to come with me at all? Just to sleep?”

The look she gives him is both one of adoration and disbelief. “We'd never just sleep, Billy. And I'm dead tired.”

She's right.

He's not sure he could lay beside her tonight and not beg her to climb on top of him. “Lemme take you home, then.”

“Will - ”

“Just let me?” He doesn't mind that she makes him wanna beg, actually. Not for something like simply seeing her home. Not when it's innocent and gentle and, really, it lightens the sweet color of her eyes a little.

“Okay,” she nods at him, leaning back into the way his palm brushes her hip. “Long enough to wrap entirely around you, by the way. My legs.”

That's pretty much exactly what he'd figured. Fuckin' minx.

Chapter Text

He double parks outside her building because it's near four in the morning and, well, fuck everybody else. Let 'em go around. Because Mac McHale's cutely asleep in his passenger seat, half turned sideways and knees daintily drawn up. He hopes she remembered her purse because he doesn't necessarily see it and her fingers fidget in his lap and he knows she's awake or getting close to it. She's unconsciously had her palm curled up in his for most of the entire ride, her fist awkwardly wedged between his thigh and pelvis while she slept. And he'd managed the early morning traffic with one hand, mentally praising God for his opportune gift of abject laziness in switching to an automatic when he renewed his lease.

“You stopped.” She sounds sleepily confused again and he's starting really, really, enjoy the sound of her voice when it's muzzed up. There's something truly adorable about how disoriented and confused she allows herself to get while waking. He doesn't think he'd ever sleep well enough to get that deep into comfortable dreaming. There's a trusting and affectionate humming to her voice as she wakes. He sorta loves it.

“Because we're here,” he tells her, near entirely lifting her hand and squeezing it lightly as he blinks at the building with the address she'd given him. “I think.”

“Are you one of those men who will lose interest if I don't ask you upstairs right now?”

He hears the concern in her voice alongside sleepiness - and it is concern, not condemnation or accusation. Which makes him wonder if she'd let him upstairs if he pushed her on it. He figures he could probably get an invitation to her couch, at the very least. And that line of thinking then rapidly makes him feel like shit for even considering it.

But even just to see where she lives, how she lives?

To see her safe space and know what Mac-at-home looks and feels like?

“Mac, I'm not gonna lose interest in you even if they publish a twelve volume encyclopedia on every single one of your very worst life choices.” His assurance is gently made and purposefully a bit teasing. He squeezes on her fingers again as he turns her another full smile. The darkness does nothing much for him though because the only trustworthy response he gets is the one he can feel as she keeps their fingers trapped up tightly together. “Can I just mention that this is not the safest place you could live in DC?”

“I was born in New York.” She shrugs her thin shoulders as she answers and he can feel the movement, the shift. He's suddenly absolutely terrified for her safety, though.

Because the woman seems all smug confidence, assured that nothing could possibly happen to her. He hates that she doesn't seem to take her own safety more seriously but he has to imagine, knowing how smart she is, that she's just being purposely blasé. Even still, she's small and delicate, fine-boned, and he dislikes the very idea of her walking down these sidewalks alone at four in the morning. It's near unacceptable to him – except that she'd fight him balls to the wall over it and it's none of his business when she wants to be alone.

He considers demanding he walk her to her door despite the fact that she probably makes the lone walk near every night.

He thinks that she won't have much to say if he's out of the car before she can argue it with him.

“But raised by Tolkien elves,” he quips at her, letting his head bank back against the headrest while he intentionally digs his thumb between two of her fingers, massaging between the knuckles to keep her close.

He doesn't want to let her go.

He doesn't want to lose her presence – because he's just not sure they'll get this moment back.

She vices his thumb up to stall him and quickly overturns her hand, grabbing his fingers up in hers. “What?”

“You think I don't know who your father is?” He says it quietly and she instantly stiffens at both mention of her parentage and the realization that Will is well aware she came from an Ambassador's household. “It's not like you were raised in Harlem, Mac. Don't gimme that 'I was born in New York so I'm instantly badass' bullshit.”

She scoffs, the very sound of it making him grin despite the fact he can't see the way incredulity discolors her eyes. He's seen it happen before and it's always caught his attention. She gets sour and pouty and her eyes go slimmer, darker, her voice gets prickly with high-pitched accent. “Because the wilds of Nebraska, with its marauding livestock, was a more suitable preparation for fending off - ”

“Fuck, I wanna do dirty things to this mouth,” he interrupts with a rasped up tone, gripping her chin down with his free hand so that his mouth is hovering closer to hers. It was a gamble, stepping the flirtation up with that sorta commentary but he sees her lashes lower, her bottom lip getting nipped up between her teeth. And did he really just actually say that anyhow? Out loud?

(She makes him stupid, that's the problem. She blurs the boundaries and tips him off balance. He has absolutely no control, no filter. )

He can hear her breathing go stopped-still and non-existent in surprise. So, apparently, yes, he did. Idiot.

But he's concerned that if she holds her breath for too much longer she's gonna faint right into his lap and that's definitely not the way he wants her landing in his lap.

“I also only get paid half what you get paid,” she murmurs dazedly, drawling it almost and inching her lips closer to his in what he can only conclude is an equally well played tease. “What sorts of things exactly?”

Oh, excellent question. He doesn't think he'd make it through very many answers before they devolved into probably pretty awkward and possibly shitty car sex, though. “It'd take a library, Mac.”

This time he can see her eyes get brighter, a wedge of light from one of the nearest streetlamps slashing between them just enough to illuminate her already bright smile (which means she's angled closer). And that's just enough to make his pants seem two sizes tighter. “Tomorrow night?”

“Tonight night,” he corrects and chuckles as she blinks at him blankly. “I mean, technically - ”

“Technically, you're such an ass,” MacKenzie supplies smartly, a partial smile on her lips as she leans forward and kisses against the corner of his mouth in a move that surprises him utterly still. She's calling him an ass with that accent and still kissing him so sweetly. She's being sweet. And that's got his brain gone white blank, his heart rocketing faster.

Will gives her a sheepish shrug, leans into turning his mouth against hers. “You knew that already.”

“I did, actually.” He kisses against her words as she speaks, feels them hit his lips just before her tongue darts against his and very suddenly – he just doesn't give a damn where they are or what may come. He's gonna woo the hell out of this woman if he has to - he wants more than just one night.

“I think you could possibly be the biggest mistake I ever - ”

“I probably am so don't think too much about it. Get over here, MacKenzie.”

He doesn't question himself, doesn't second guess.

Just pulls her over the middle console and kisses her hard, unapologetic and with force and the whimper that comes up her throat blends slowly into a moan as he sucks against her tongue and when her fingers find an opening between buttons he answers with a similar sound. He leans his mouth down her throat and feels her fingers respond by pushing buttons open and, if he's to be entirely honest... shitty car sex would probably still feel pretty damn good.

“You've gotta get outta this car,” he's throttled up, throat closing against his own words even as he kisses the underside of her jaw. “Seriously, Mac.”


“Get out of the car or I'm pulling you over the console and possibly ruining the beginning of a really good thing.”

She laughs again but quietly, her fingertips rubbing up and down on his Adam's apple before she turns her hand up and lifts his head by pressing his jawbone. “You make me... It's surprising, Will. This side of you.”

“You like it?” Because in actuality he's pretty much terrified of her. When it comes to romantic possibilities, anyhow. The sexual stuff he's got, he's good, he's not concerned that she'll be disappointed. Mainly because he knows he could spent a hell of a lot of time working his way up and down the length of her body so she's gonna get as good, if not better, than she gives. It's her, as a woman he respects and appreciates and desires in more than just sexual terms... she scares the crap out of him.

“I do like you,” she tells him with confidence, her mouth close to his. “Quite a bit, actually.”

She likes him, he thinks. Quite.

That's enough to work with.

He can handle the rest.




The next morning he's got two producers on the phone at the ass-crack of dawn and it's Alec loudly asking “Will? You awake? Chad's in the middle of a civil war.”

He's been half awake already, really. He's been uncomfortably tossing around in his own bed, replaying the night before in his head – the leaning against the car and intently watching her get into the front door of her building. Had he been over-protective? Probably. Did he give a damn? Not really. Had he kissed her good night after pulling her from the passenger seat, hands stroking her hips and up her ribs while he'd groaned onto her tongue? Hell, yeah. “The fuck is Chad?”

“The country, Will!” Her voice is a terse and annoyed interruption and he laughs over the phone line, finding humor in his ability to razz her and rile her up over the littlest of things. “Are you coming into work sometime today?”

“Did you even sleep?” he near slurs as he leans his feet off the mattress and scrubs his empty hand into his hair, ruffling through it.

She makes a 'pffft' noise into the phone before answering. “Not really, no... You alone?”

He starts and then goes perfectly still. He's halted awkwardly along the edge of his mattress, bare feet both planted flat to the floor and a hand still tugged up in his hair, keeping it back from his forehead as he frowns. He doesn't necessarily realize he's making the soured face until she clears her throat while awaiting an answer. Will drops his hand and lets it curl fisted along the edge of the mattress, swallowing the bitterness that rises up the back of his throat.

Of course I'm alone, MacKenzie. The last person I spoke to last night was you.” There's an unintentionally defensive jerk to his voice, something that flares hurt by her questioning. “Take me off speaker. I fucking hate that thing.”

“I'm sorry,” she admits (to both his surprise and appreciation) and there's a brushing of noise, a rasping and echoing comes over the line before she's back clearer. “Just us. Good morning, Billy.”

“Mmm.” He wipes his hand down his face tiredly, tries to straighten his shoulders and mentally avoid the hard on he's got, especially after hearing her say that, especially so intimately. “Mornin', Beautiful. Rebels in Chad?”

“With Sudanese arms, I'm sure.” She takes up the discussion like she didn't just fish for information on his possible bed partners, as though she didn't imply she'd wanna know if he's possibly sleeping with someone else. Will hears her sigh after a moment of silence, her voice getting lower and quieter. “Let's go to Chad, just you and I. It could be romantic.”

“Or lethal. How about let's do dinner first, huh?”

“One does seem a safer bet than the other.” The agreement is swift and warm and he can't help from grinning as he pushes up from the bed and wedges the phone between shoulder and ear. He's already heading for the closet in search of clothing because there's absolutely no way she's gonna allow him time for breakfast, let alone reading the morning paper. She's already impatient.

And when the hell did she have time to sleep or shower or – she's already back there? She's already back to work? Freakish woman.

“There's a place I like in Chinatown that's got - ”

“Seriously, Will,” she cuts in dryly, “get in here. Sudan's funded the coup of another country. Where I work that's called 'news'.”

He kicks the closet door open wider and considers his shirts, tries to remember which one it was she wanted him to wear more often because it complimented his coloring on camera. “I work there too, Mac.”

“Do you? Because I don't see you in the newsroom at the moment.”

Oh, he was gonna kiss the sass right outta that mouth. “Y'know what, MacKenzie? By the end of this day - ”

“You'll have possibly done some work and earned your exorbitant paycheck?” Her teasing has decimated any impatience in her voice and he can hear how playful she is just in the sensuality of her tone. She's got a certain swaying to her voice and accent that just... well, she could probably use that tone of voice to get most anything out of him right now. He's pinched in between wanting her and wanting to please her and just wanting to be near her and it's actually, now, a legitimate distraction.

It must be addressed. And soon.

“Oh, I'll get to work today. Trust me.”

She laughs and it's throaty and ripples with heat, even over the phone line. “Go take a cold shower, William. I need your head on straight.”

“You seriously just call me William? I draw the line at that one, Mac.”

Any supposed annoyance dissipates and he laughs outright into the stillness of his bedroom as the line goes dead, humming in his ear.




“I thought today would never end.” She sounds exhausted as she says it. She sounds like it's any other day and they aren't essentially both aware that they're not getting out of this night without being absolutely naked, and likely in more ways than one.

She sounds at home with him, safe.

A long and conversational dinner at a nice restaurant in Chinatown had essentially dissolved into late-night-carry-out at his place but she seemed... at ease? Comfortable? Pleased with the change in plans, maybe?

“You sure you're all right with this? I wanted to - ”

“It's fine. I'm happy with this,” she assures him as she dumps her purse into one of the rarely used leather chairs. Her other hand goes forward to catch against the plastic handles of the take-out bag he's set to the coffee table.

“I wanted you to feel like I was... courting you. Drink?” She simply shakes her head in silence, lifting the two bottles of water she'd surreptitiously added to his order while they were waiting. “I had reservations. Flowers at the restaurant.”

Her face lights brighter as he speaks and her eyes widen out a little at the mention of flowers. But she's still quiet at first as she hands over one of the waters. He takes it and watches her consider both him and what he'd been saying, her hands tidily distracted by opening her own bottle.

“We work at the mercy of the whole world, Will.” MacKenzie just shakes her head into a shrug and takes a short swill of water. “We can still do the other things. Maybe on a slow news day.”

“Feels like I'm doing this all wrong.”

“No, I think it feels right. You had flowers?” She quirks him a smile that seems excited, perplexed and pleased all at once. When she nods it's perfunctory and direct, as though she's made a decision for both of them and she's happy with the result. “I feel like I'm being courted just fine.”

Will squints, unsure of what to do with his hands so he puts down the water, stuffing his hands into his pockets instead. “Do you?”

“Definitely,” she laughs the word out and his lungs relax to the sound of her unchecked pleasure. He's calmed by the way one of her hands reaches out to tug and tease at his shirt before she leans forward to start sorting their food.

His shoulders come down as he studies her, watching her sort through one of the bags in search of whatever it was she'd gotten so excited about ordering. Something on the menu that her usual place didn't have and suddenly she'd been tucked around his arm, fingertips insistently pressing the inside of his elbow through fabric as she'd leaned into his side, all her smiling attention focused on him. Now she's still just as excited and he's impressed by her enthusiasm over something so simple as food. She's happy, he's pleased her, and it just looks infinitely beautiful on her.

He realizes her attention is on him once again, a half smile on her mouth as she roots around in the bag for chopsticks and he can't help but blurt things out when she looks at him sometimes. “I'm just so... you have me completely perplexed.”

“Excuse me?” Mac lets the smile go wider as she drops the chopsticks and sauce packets and loose napkins all onto his coffee table.

Will arches a purposeful glance over her, one that goes from dry to lusty, his jaw tightening as he lets himself glance down the length of her and cocks his head into it. “Half of me wants to just... You know, Mac. I'm seriously attracted to you.”

“Same,” she chuckles at him, her eyes slimming sensually as she studies his face and his obviously pleased perusal of her, from top to bottom. She's all dark lashes and pale pretty skin. Even as tired as she probably is... she's wonderful. He could watch her all day long and then some. He probably wouldn't be able to walk straight for most of it but...

“And the other half...” He coughs out a half laugh, shoulders shrugging hard as he shakes his head at her in defeat. “I could make room, MacKenzie. For you. In my life. And I don't mean work. I mean - ”

“Tell me more about the first. First things first, I mean.” She softens the pretty obvious avoidance of where he was going conversationally, not entirely disregarding it but lightening the weight of it instead. “The other takes time.”

He smirks in agreement, purposely dropping back onto the couch to give her a little space. He's suddenly cautious, wary as he shrugs and goes for humor. “And a good dose of the first.”

“Oh, most definitely.” Her laugh is sweet and small and she bites lightly onto her bottom lip as she looks over the slacked back way he's slouched against the couch cushion.

Very suddenly he sees desire on her face and it's recognizable to him. He's not sure if he's ever seen it before and not realized or just... avoided seeing it from her? Maybe?

Regardless, it's a beautiful thing to behold.

She's fantastic. Especially when her lashes lower and she licks against the place where her teeth had pressed pink to white.

“C'mere.” He reaches for her hand and notes how easily she stretches her fingers into letting him take it. He pulls her fingers into his and tugs, drawing her closer while he relaxes back on the couch and hell, she's a blessedly brilliant woman. Because he doesn't really need to imply all that much and she's already leaning into his lap.

“I've pretty much been hard all day,” he admits quietly, using the flats of his palms to scuff up the sides of her skirt for her. She's tugging at fabric to make easier to press her knees to his sides but she half pauses once his words register in that beautiful brain and her head lifts sharply. She just blinks at him and he wants to laugh, does what he can to swallow the urge as she gives him a fluttery and near nervous glance. “Since you told me 'good morning'.”

“That was ages ago.” She sounds supposedly scandalized by the idea but not really. More surprised by it, maybe. And he's too busy grabbing onto the backs of her knees to tug her closer and tighter and he's right there, really. Right where he needs to be to pull her right onto his cock and just -

“God, you smell good,” she whispers, her head turning close enough to his that he can feel warm breath ripple along his temple.

He's delighted by her distraction, by the fact she seems to be commenting without censure or, actually, any realization as to what she's saying. And what she's saying makes him feel pretty damn good too. Will feels his smile go stupidly large as he turns kisses up under her jaw. “Yeah?”

“But so does dinner.” The way she says it is very seriously apologetic and he chuckles in response, noting how concerned her face is as she retreats slightly and nods at him. “I'm very hungry, Billy.”

“All right,” he murmurs through humor, holding her hips for balance as she leans back and grabs up the chopsticks.

He chuckles as she drops them between them blindly and leans back for more again, not even broaching the idea of actually getting up to get the food. He likes that she doesn't want to break this contact, that she's refusing to completely let go of him. In the interest of her multi-tasking he braces up against her lower back, leaning slowly forward so that he can ballast her stretching and keep her from tipping back too far as she retrieves a couple pints of whatever she can grab onto.

Will drops his face along her collarbone as she does it, his kisses and laughter landing on her clavicle. “You're fucking adorable, Mac.”

“I really am starving,” she answers with force and amusement. “But I really like this spot.”

She really does get grouchy when she hasn't had enough dinner and that, well, that he knows.

And he really likes her there, the presence of her in his lap, his life. Away from work, on his couch.

He really, really, likes it. “Agreed.”




He's in the middle of a silly story about the White House when it happens.

Right after she's set both their mostly emptied food containers to the side table and leaned forward into his chest in comfort. And he's still telling her about the time the Secret Service wouldn't give him access to the West Wing because someone had inadvertently pulled his clearance and... well, she can't help herself. Because his hair has gotten to the point wherein it's just a bit too long and it brushes over the tops of his ears, flicks into his eyes. And as he shrugs in the middle of telling the story a slip of it tips forward to cover those gorgeous eyes and she makes a minuscule noise of disagreement, fingers lifting to brush the offending strands backward.

“Sorry,” she murmurs into her own halted surprise, her fingers stalled with his hair pushed back.

The most charming smile she's seen on him in awhile lights over his lips and she finds it to be a sort of incentive to continue as he speaks. “Don't be.”

Mac threads her fingers through his hair and starts all over again, watches his eyes slide closed as he smiles wider and leans into the touch. “You can finish your story.”

“I'd rather touch you.”

He punctuates the statement with both hands, lifting them so that he can stroke down her sides and gently untuck her shirt from her skirt. She shifts to help him and he makes a sharp and brief noise of negation, instead just shoving his hands up under the fabric so that he can finger the underside of her bra. He groans and lifts his mouth to hers and she lazily enjoys just kissing him while his hands tour her ribs and back and he's got her bra undone in record time. The man's nipping at her bottom lip when he finally cups her breasts in his hands and suggestively thrusts his hips up into hers at once.

She slows the kiss so that she can watch him for a moment, enjoying the fact that he's so blatantly happy just teasing at her nipples under her shirt. “You are touching me.”

“You want me to get more specific, MacKenzie?” There's some grit in his voice, a tone that he takes whenever he's psyching himself up for the big hit, the closing argument. She fucking loves that tone of voice. It never fails to turn her on. “Sit up so I can put my hand between your thighs.”

“Will.” She breathes out harshly, nearly pants the laugh against his lips when he scrapes his fingernails down the inside of one thigh.

He simply kisses her while the other hand works buttons open between them, softly and with very little fanfare or warning.

“Shush.” It's just another soft press of his lips and warm with affection while he speaks, “I'm working now.”

It's surprise that has her moaning as he slips his fingers past her panties and into wetness. He's intently watching her face, utterly focused on her reactions as he turns his wrist for better access. She tries to match his glance but feels herself dip forward, her whole body leaning into the way he slowly inches two fingers closer to her clit. She reminds herself to loosen her jaw, her shoulders, her hips. To let her body lean into his touch and not away from it (and fuck, he's got good hands). She reminds herself that he's sweet and warm and funny, charismatic and charming and not Brian.

He's really, really, not.

She can enjoy this – she's allowed.

He's not going to use it as emotional leverage later.

She's not selfish just for accepting what he's giving her.

“You're this wet for me?” Delight and happy surprise flood his voice with shy warmth just before he lifts a smile in her direction, his fingers very slowly sliding into her instead of heading where she'd expected, one and then another pressing deep. “Are you?”

She manages a hushed and hemmed noise of affirmation, a sound that she mumbles against his cheek just before she drops her forehead to his shoulder. Her opposite hand strokes up the back of his head and she digs into his hair, tugging his head back so that she can kiss just under his ear while his fingers slowly thrust in and out of her. Her hips shiver into the movement and she can't help but whimper as he drives his middle finger deeply into her, his thumb finding her clit so that he can tease it slowly. And every time he withdraws his fingers she feels a sad moaning in her lungs.

It veers right into a near demand of his name. “Will.”

He clears his throat and she's surprised that he has to take in a sharp but deep breath before he speaks, his middle finger pressing deeply into her again. “Don't be impatient, MacKenzie.”

“But - ”

“What'd I just say?” he demands with such a low and lush tone that she feels herself pulse around the two fingers he's got buried inside her. She smiles at that thrummed strength in his voice, despite how tightly he's obviously holding himself. All his muscles are pent up beneath her and he's very careful about which movements get strength and which ones are gentle.

Mac nods her head with a whispered repetition. “Don't be impatient.”

“We have all night,” he reminds her with a grin, one that's wildly impish. “You're gonna come just like this, Mac. So I can see it. We'll get the first one out way.”

A man hasn't made her blush just by so conversationally talking about her coming in a long time and she enjoys how feminine that makes her feel. Although, frankly, it helps that his fingers feel amazing and he's got just the right amount of pressure going to keep her hovering on the line between thrilled and fucking annoyed. “Will, I just - ”

He hooks his fingers inside her, finds the spot that makes her shiver all over and she sees him smile while he patiently watches her. He's all bright, beautiful eyes and a smile that sways her forward again. She tangles her fingers up in the fabric of his shirt and just closes her eyes, riding the high heat of him as he groans and uses his thumb against her clit again. His other hand is stroking repetitively along her back, up under her shirt.

Jesus,” she exhales against his neck, inhales the smell of him and lets herself feel every fucking nerve ending she's got. She lets herself feel more than she has in months because Will may be one of the only men she trusts to bring her back to feeling anything at all.

He implicitly trusts her when she's just a sound in his ear, just a voice in the dark.

She can trust him with this. With feeling something again.

Will isn't the type to hurt her with happiness, it just doesn't seem like his bend.

Billy.” She whines it quietly against his jaw because she can't help herself, drawing him to turn his head into a kiss and if she didn't already trust him as a friend, a pal and partner, as a man she respects (probably more like adores), his sudden fervor would otherwise startle her up scared.

Because his left hand rises roughly to the back of her head and his fingers lace and grip into her a hair in a way that could almost be painful if she wasn't already touch blinded by pleasure. His mouth is harsh and unforgiving against hers, complete and utter invasion. She really doesn't mind, though. He's so strong and when he grips her head back and forces her closer toward coming with insistent fingers she just lets him take her. His mouth leaves hers so that she can moan as he kisses and licks and nips his way down her throat, over her clavicle. His tongue and teeth are headed down to her breasts and she can't help but encourage him, one palm smoothing at the back of his head while the other fists into the fabric of his shirt and tugs him tighter. Her knees press into uneven cushions as she unconsciously presses her hips into the rhythm he's started, thrusting fingers and his thumb is tapping a damning counterpoint against her clit.

“Easy, hon,” he kisses along the inside of one breast and she's gone. “You're so close.”

She's outside of her fucking mind and she grinds against his hand and he's watching her like he's about to unravel the damn mysteries of the universe. He's got so much force laced up in his arms and hands and he's still just so softly quiet, intense and graveled, but whispered soft.

It's inevitable. She's going to come in his lap before she's even gotten his shirt off of him.

How in the ever-loving fuck has he managed it?

It's the last thought she really consciously has before she finds his mouth with hers and moans loudly onto his tongue, her whole body shivering into coming while he ruthlessly just keeps fucking her with his fingers. Her hands grasp and push and pull at him (his hair, his shirt, his shoulder) because she simultaneously wants him closer (she fucking wants him coming inside her) and she wants him to stop rubbing more pressure against her already over-loaded clit. He lets up on the kiss to let her breathe and she calls out, drenching his fingers while he groans a sound near pleased laughter just below her ear. She's got no doubt she probably dug her nails into him somewhere while he was telling her to come.

Fucking Christ,” she whimpers, thighs tightening harder against him to stall his fingers because he's a obviously a goddamn sadist and he's timing the throbbing of her clit as she comes down and tapping against it with his thumb just to make her moan and shiver. Slowly his fingers slide out of her and she clutches closer to him to avoid feeling detached.

“I'm gonna need to put my mouth between your legs, sweetheart,” he whispers hotly into her ear and the words melt her even farther into his lap, if possible. “And I mean soon . And you're wearing way too many clothes. I need all of you.”

Except she doesn't even know how he managed to get the buttons of her shirt undone and she's completely disheveled and trying to sort her breathing while he's wiping his fingers on the inside of her skirt. Also? He has way too many clothes on. She can feel that he's hard and, fuck, it's a promising feeling. She wants the visual confirmation.

But she also wants to be able to breathe first.

To be able to compose a sentence or two.

And possibly be able to walk wherever it is he wants her.

“Hold on.” She tucks her shirt up, drawing the sides closed along her front as she leans forward into him and curls into the closing of his arms. He makes a questioning sound against the side of her head and then kisses against her sweated hair and wraps her up closer. “Just... gimme a minute like this.”

“You have no idea how gorgeous you are right now.”

He has no idea how gorgeous he is when he's just being... kind, selfless.

It's a stark contrast to her recent relationship, the end of it anyhow.

She's smitten by it, by him. By his Nebraskan-Farm-Boy-and-All-American genetics. By the ridiculously whip-smart brain that accompanies them.

“I really don't think - ”

Don't think. Look at me,” he nods as she lifts her glance to meet his. “You're the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.”

She can't help herself from looping her arms around his middle and squeezing in answer because, Good Lord... There's suddenly no doubt in her mind that Will McAvoy is currently the correct answer to what she's become after Brian. To how she feels about herself. Because she hates every inch of what she's become. And Will reminds her that she's still desirable, she's still worthy, human.

He wants her. And she can see it on him, feel it and taste it.

“And that was stunning, by the way,” he tells her with a groaning, his lips brushing hers again. “So fucking sexy.”

Will's the absolute correct answer, she thinks.

Because he's the one that can make her feel good again.

Chapter Text

She knows now, for an unequivocal fact, that Will McAvoy is a man who can use his mouth to his advantage in most any situation. The way her entire body is shaking and still humming electric as she wipes sweaty hair back off her face should be proof enough. She moans as he laughs happily against the inside of one thigh, his mouth laying a kiss there before he groans into stretching over her. MacKenzie just lets her body go loose against his mattress, his pillow, stretching out and opening her thighs farther as he leans up her. The smell of him surrounds her, he engulfs her, and it's just... nice. It's so nice. He's masculine and warm and he smells divine. His mouth is a wonder when he's not being such a pompous son of a bitch.

“Shhhh.” He kisses the soothing sound onto her stomach, up her ribs, and she's still unsure as to how he still has his pants on but she's missing everything but her shirt and unclasped bra. “Relax, Mac.”

She also knows that she adores how easy it is to just stroke her fingers into his hair and tug in, to make him smile with a touch so simple and innocent. She does it as he rises up over her and she's suddenly, at once, comforted and astounded by how big he is, by how large his frame is in comparison to hers as she loops her arms at his shoulders. The bulk of him stretches over her as he shifts, finding a way to leave soft and repetitive kisses against her mouth while he finds somewhere to balance his weight that isn't on top of her but on his arms instead.

Mac feels her hips shiver once again, reflexively and without any attempt to control it. “I'm relaxed.”

“You're shaking.” He whispers it in a way that makes her smile, has her utterly smitten. He says it as though he's hurt her in some way and he's deeply apologetic for it. There's nearly an edge of worry in his voice and she just laughs lightly as she kisses against his cheek in response.

“I can't help it,” she tells him, sure to keep the laughter in her tone as she keeps kissing up his cheekbone. “You'll certainly need to do that again soon.”

“I will very happily go down on you whenever you like.”

Thing is... she believes him instantaneously, her head dropping back onto his pillow so she can see his face. He seems awfully sincere and MacKenzie laughs again as he playfully winks at her, his eyes so bright that he could light the entire anchor desk himself, she thinks.


“Oh, yeah.” He flushes warmer as he agrees and she snugs deeper into the mattress below him, letting her whole body go more loosely relaxed. “Think we can get this shirt off you now?”

“I think it's time for us to lose all the clothing.”

His mouth slants right into a bright smile, repeating her question, “Yeah?”

“Yes, please,” she murmurs with an aggressive nod.

It's not even just a matter of seeing him now – she wants to feel him against her. She wants to press up against him and let every inch of heat he's got flood onto and over her. Over, under, beside her, inside her, it doesn't fucking matter. She just wants him touching her, everywhere. She wants his hands and mouth and cock. She tells him that too, tells him exactly what she's feeling, rambles it along as he sweetly pulls the shirt and bra from her and she could kiss the affectionate smile right off his lips if he would just stop moving for a moment. But no, he's kissing down her chest, licking along the curve of one breast and nearing her nipple with a tease. His fingers are back between her thighs and she's whimpering words rampantly as she catches his wrist and draws his hand back up and away from how sensitive she still is. She presses a kiss into his palm instead as she rambles and she feels his groan reverberate through his chest.

“One task at a time, all right?” he near shyly chuckles at her in response and she blinks up at him, wondering exactly how much she just said aloud. “You're the expert multi-tasker, not me.”

She knows it wasn't meant as a hint or anything but it reminds her that he's been doing most of the work so she turns into him and skims her hand down his side, slips her fingers into the back waistband of his pants. She likes his ass, always has. It's a damn cute one and she especially likes that she's the one that's got her hand on it, that she can claim it for at least one night of her life.

Her other hand slopes between the both of them and she tugs at the button on his slacks. She sort of wishes he'd worn jeans to work that morning and she's pretty sure that when she starts anxiously talking again it's about his clothing. Because she wishes she could have seem him a little more relaxed. She likes it when he's in denim and deeper colors. Or any particular combination of blues. Navy and denim or cerulean. Anything that makes his eyes shine up brighter when he taunts her, flirting with laughter and those gorgeous blue eyes. And it's while she's bitching about how useless his belt buckle that he grunts a half frustrated and half bemused sound, caught up somewhere in the middle while he jerks it open for her. He's barely gotten it undone before she's skimming his pants off his ass and enjoying how hard he already is, how full he feels in her palm and she can't help but wrap her fingers around him and squeeze lightly, watching the way his eyes flutter shut and his head tips back on his shoulders. She's not even thinking really, not much at all. She's just shifting her hips closer so that she can slowly stroke him closer too, teasing him.

MacKenzie,” he groans the interruption from deep in his lungs, face a pale warning as he studies her. He's suddenly very intense and his eyes are crystalline, glass-bottle-blue and near clear. It's the color they were when she came the very first time. “You finished?”

She blinks into sudden concern. Oh, hell... “How much of that did I say out loud?”

His responding smile is riotous, huge and unencumbered and she can damn near feel it knock her lungs empty.

“Well, Mac, I wanna fuck your brains out too.” It's slowly whispered between them and she's tempted to bury her face in his chest but the fact he ducks his head down to kiss her sharply stalls that urge, she figures purposely too.

“Yes, it's a pretty mutual goal and yes, I know we've gotta be naked to do it right,” he continues on, leaning his weight onto one elbow and hip so that he can tuck her comfortably beneath him after kicking his pants away. He catches her hand up and draws it back against his length, exhaling with an intentional slowness as she lightly strokes up and down him. “Also, yes, I did realize that's how long my cock is, MacKenzie. I've been acquainted with it a bit longer than you have.”

Right... so when she'd been mentally comparing him to Brian... that must have come out.

“I'm not saying it's huge, just that it's... Well, it's nothing to be ashamed of though, is it? I was afraid that overall you were just too good to be true and it'd be just a little... ” Embarrassment wrecks her forward into him and she buries her face against his throat, purposely drawing his length between her legs as she hooks a leg up on his hip. She can feel him chuckle quietly as he soothes against the back of her thigh and lets her mumble against the side of his neck. “That's not to say that you're just average or... I'm not even consciously aware of what I'm saying right now. God, it doesn't even matter, Will. You must think... fuck.”

He's outright laughing at her as he lifts a hand and pulls her face up from where she's hiding, forcing her to meet his glance as he nods. “So, you're saying I did a good job then?”

“Of making me incoherent?” She cringes and blushes at once and thankfully he just grins wider in response, leaning his head down to kiss her, slowly and softly and with more care than she had really expected. “Sure.”

Sure?” he asks with a measure of unease, seemingly self conscious.

“Billy,” Mac laughs into taking his face into both hands as she kisses him. His eyes are so innocently bright, star-shined. “I can't even master my first language right now. I won't be getting conversationally extemporaneous.”

“Honey, don't tell me you're incoherent and then use a phrase like 'conversationally extemporaneous'.”

“I like it when you do that,” she tells him as she leans onto her back and leads him into following, both her hands sluicing through the short trimmed hair at the back of his head. “It's should seem patronizing but you're too sincere for that. You're genuine.”

He stretches over her, finds space for his knees and then presses his arms under her back and shoulders. One of his hands has cupped up under the back of her head and she feels taken by him, just enclosed and supported and... cherished. He's not even inside her yet and she's not entirely sure where one of them ends and the other starts and she likes that, she likes tangling her legs around his waist as he stretches over her. She likes lining his length between her legs and rolling her hips up, slowly shifting so that he's rubbing into wetness and she can slide her clit against him. The way he growls into groaning as his head drops forward has her laughing into her own moan, eyes fluttering shut as he nips against her collarbone and then soothes the mark with his tongue.

“You mean the terms of endearment?” He's trying to distract himself from the fact that she's got her hand between them now and she can purposely just rub the tip of his cock against her clit to the rhythm she likes as she strokes him. It makes her whimper and especially when he starts sucking against her throat to keep himself controlled. She can feel him clamping himself up, she can feel the tension in his muscles and it has to ache, even as she centers him and teases the head of his length right where both of them want him to be.

Am I endearing?” Her question is supposedly serious but even she can't keep the smirk tamed and tamped down. It tugs at her lips and he just cocks her a derisive look in response.

“I find you both endearing and sexy as hell, little tease.” The assurance isn't necessarily required but, hell, she likes to hear it. It sounds delicious when he says it. “I'd love to have you on top but - ”

“Neh,” she argues, mumbling while wrapping him up closer and slowly stroking up and down the dampened length of him, “this way this time.”

“I agree,” he whispers, even while distracted. His fingertips are tracing down her throat, along her collarbone and just preceding his mouth as he whispers against already flushed up skin. “This way this time.”

She catches his hand by the wrist just to keep in contact, rubbing her thumb against thin skin as he brings it between them. “Because you make me feel safe.”

Something in his face both pales and lights up at once and his glance flicks to and then away from hers rapidly. His jaw turns and he's suddenly very intent on studying his way down the front of her, watching the way she touches him with such light and taunting fingers. The stilled silence of his response concerns her at first, has her making a little sound of questioning as she tugs at blonde with her other hand and tries to garner his attention.

“You mean it?” he asks, nodding his glance back up to hers.

“Of course I mean it.” Mac nods vigorously, as though she can make him undoubtedly believe her just by the mere motion. She's not sure why it feels like he suddenly needs reassurance but if that's the case then... she'll give it. “I don't generally say things I don't mean and certainly not when there's a seven foot television journalist wedged between my legs.”

“Mac, I'm not entirely wedged anywhere yet,” he whispers, a promising heat in his voice as he stretches up a little, his weight shifting. She watches with quiet curiosity as he finds the condoms, tucked away in one of the smaller drawers in the bedside table. The closest one, she thinks, because maybe she'll need the information later. Not that she's making assumptions or anything. But the man's made her come twice already and not once himself. And she's damn well aching to have him.

“Bedside drawer?” She blinks slowly as he draws it between them, searching out her hand with his. “So cliché.”

“Accessible, actually,” Will answers her taunting while he presses the packet into her palm, nodding sharply before he kisses her. And it's a longer, slower kiss than she'd expected, full of more than just lust. It's languid and awfully close to loving and if he's going to kiss her like that then... oh, she's in so much more trouble than previously expected. “Being logical isn't the same as being boring.”

“I don't find you a bit boring, Will McAvoy. I never have.”

The look on his face is slanted somewhere right smack between surprised and unabashedly pleased. “Is it wrong that I sorta hope you smell like me at work tomorrow, regardless of showering and all?”

“Is it wrong that I've been thinking about having you inside me for two days now?”

Mac,” his voice rashes down deep and low and she likes hearing it that way.

Honestly, Billy,” she whispers it up the angle of his jawline while she gets the foil packet undone and then focuses on getting the condom on him. “Don't make me beg you.”

He's a romantic, this one. The right true definition of it, really.

He's more physically loving than she's familiar with and she doesn't doubt that while their first round may not be wild - it's already intense, it's already passionate in a way that builds and she feels like her lungs could implode on her already.

Getting Will McAvoy to fuck her blind isn't going to be quite what she had expected.

In fact, it's going to be way more than she'd bargained for. Because he's not the 'love 'em and leave 'em' man that a lot of women take him for, nor is he as aloof as he likes to seem to the public. He plays a game of being dumber than he is, pocketing his intelligence until it's necessary or useful to him.

“Please, Will?”And she finds herself begging him anyhow, despite her request from moments before. She finds herself wanting it to be more than just fucking and appreciating the fact that he wouldn't be able to just do anything of the sort. This has to be more for Will, of that she has no doubt.

“Well,” he pushes up slowly, shifting so that he's sitting up more, “since you're gonna beg.”

“I'm not - ”

“Hush, Mac,” he demands, voice still hashed low as he shifts. “Just shut up, huh?”

She smiles patiently at him, eyes thinned as she watches him. There's surety in his movements, in his hands and forearms. He's got his eyes on hers as he truly smiles, pulling her down so that she's tugged into his lap and it's when he intentionally tucks her legs around his waist that she hums a happy noise between her lips and relaxes back into the mattress. One of his hands is massaging against her hip, her waist, her stomach, even while the other is already between them. And he's groaning himself while he uses the head of his erection to tease her, flicking against her clit over and again. She moves to sit up and the full spread of his palm braces just below her ribs, pressing on her abdomen to keep her still.

“Stay right there. I wanna watch you,” he tells her, his tone darker and more grating than it had been.

The only answer she gives him is to give him more of a show, palms stroking up so that she can rub her nipples, her stomach, let one hand get locked and tangled into her hair. Both his hands find her hips again and she's lost to him, just completely controlled as he uses full palms and a steady smile to soothe and please her. She moans from the base of her lungs as he so slowly (tortuously) pushes into her. His thrusts are intentionally shallow, though. He's purposely teasing her with only marginal movements and a deep pressing as he finds her clit. Her whole body shivers farther onto him and she can feel the groaned sound he makes as she clamps up around him, muscles tightening toward coming again. His fingers are relentless, his hips making just short and slow and shallow movements while he intently watches her.

“Just come for me.”

It's the endearing way he whispers, so tenderly rather than salacious. His voice is rough because he's doing everything he can to hold back, his thrusts still small and slow.

It's the constant and repeated pressure on her clit, the way he softly massages her hip while he asks her to come for him. It's actually the sweet smile on him that has her moaning and driving her head back, both hands digging up into her hair as she starts to shake uncontrollably. His pleased laugh and moan of agreement as she starts shuddering from the hips outward both spur her on.

“That's it, babe.” He clutches her hip with a broad palm and speeds his fingers again, leaning forward so that he can drive deeper into her as she comes with a long and strong moan, right from the bottom of her lungs.

“Christ... I can't...” She's absolutely limp and utterly wrecked on his mattress once again, adored by his hands, knowing exactly what it's like to have him inside her as it happens. She's breathless, useless, her muscles are all loose and her bones feel melted warm. “I can't.”

“Mac, y'just did,” he tells her, his laugh so happily warm and impressed that she chances looking up at him to find such a deep intensity in his eyes she blushes. Flushed, all up her throat and over her cheeks and she can't remember the last time Brian had made her blush, even during sex. He's pulling slowly from her and she doesn't want him going anywhere at all.

Stubborn and fucking beautiful man. How has she not known this side of him before now?

And then he's grinning like a smug ass (though, he really has every right to). All his pleasure lives in his eyes as he plies her lower on the bed with his hands tenderly soothing at her hips, dragging down her thighs to the backs of her knees. She's still shaking slightly and one hand lifts her right leg up against his side so he can massage her calf while she sleepily watches him. She opens her mouth to say something but Will just shrugs at her, his grin widening as he leans down over her.

“Come back here, Will,” she begins but then he's stalling her with a strong kiss.

There's sex all over him, the smell, the taste, the feel of him. He fits himself back down between her legs and she feels like her body betrays her entirely because it wants nothing more than him, just him, back inside her. Even as he shifts her to curl beneath him, she knows that it's just a matter of getting him back to where he was. It's all she wants, maybe needs? He doesn’t warn her before he grips his left hand into her hair and jerks her head back but it's timed to the way he uses his right to push her legs farther apart and slide slowly back into her. He draws her right leg up enough to angle deep into her while he keeps her head pulled back. Kisses go downing along her throat while he starts again. The depth of his thrusts alters drastically and she calls out louder than even she expects, lungs winded as he finds the exact angle to rub the head of his length right against her g-spot.

“'Any time, Mac.” He smiles the words just below her ear on an upstroke, driving into her hard and tight.

She stretches and smiles into the way he's finally amped up his speed and force, drawing himself toward an orgasm while still gripping in her hair. The other hand is laid flat to the curve of her hip, soothing on her while he shudders into her. Mac intentionally tightens down against him, arching her hips closer and clamping around his length as he starts to break down against her. She can feel the sudden jerk in the hand that's twined in her hair and his forehead presses down against the space between her neck and shoulder. His short fingernails dig on her hip hard and it's a flared surprise as he scratches at her, grappling her closer even as his body drives hers down into the mattress. She whimpers into the sudden jerk of him against her, trying to breathe through her nose as he comes hard. The groaning sound he lets warm against her skin makes her lungs cinch briefly before they open up at the way he whispers her name into her throat.

She moans in answer, shivering lightly. “Fuck, Will.”

“Y'just did.” He snorts embarrassment at his own crass joke and shrugs. “Hi.”

He'd held out so damn long for her, putting her first, trying to please her. Now his eyes are lidded and blonde lashes blink wearily over the butane blue of his eyes.

“Shy, beautiful boy,” she murmurs with affection.

“M'not shy, Mac.” She can feel him get grumpish but it probably has more to do with her teasing than anything else. Calling him 'boy' with her accent and he's years older than her and... when he looks up she's just watching him quixotically, waiting. He looks sheepish as he shrugs. “M'exhausted, sorry.”

“Don't fall asleep yet.” Her fingers lift from him and wave toward the attached bathroom, reminding him that he's got to disentangle the both of them from each other and let her out of bed and neither of those things seem to make him, in the least bit, happy. She's not thrilled about it either, though. “I need to get up first. So do you.”

“Thirsty. You?”

She makes a guttural and quick sound of negation as he starts to shift, nuzzling her face into his hair and hugging him closer in a way that has him chuckling. “Just one more minute.”




He likes the way she looks in his bed when she's layered in sweat and stretched flat against her stomach, wearing nothing but the scent of him and a thin sheet. He likes what she looks like in his bed as he stands beside it in his boxers, plain as that, really. He's also delighted to find that by the time he comes back from a parched search for water she’s fallen asleep, her spine curved slightly and her hips twisted under the sheet so that the fabric cuts just into the dip of her lower back. Because it means she's not leaving, she's staying all night with him. Will swallows hard against the glass in his hand, drinking down the water while he watches her spine shift minutely to the pattern of her breathing. Her face is near completely covered by the messy spread of her hair and he just exhales, leaning back to sit sleepily in the chair that's cornered near the bedroom door. He shifts his feet lax against the floor and studies the light and creamy tone of her skin.

He takes another swallow of chilled cold water, trying to calm the rapid rush of blood that's burning up in his veins, wiping at the sweat that's tickling dry on his forehead. Her sleep heavy groan catches his attention and he stills his body completely, unknowingly, as he watches her shift onto her side. Her body curls up tightly but her head lifts farther onto his pillow, up higher against it. One of her hands blindly shoves at her hair and he smiles wildly at her sleep shifting. She still has a few warring strands of dark hair across her face, contrasting the color of her skin and making a slash of light to dark.

She sleep mumbles again and he downs the last of the water, setting the glass to the floor before pushing himself up from the chair. He kneels down into the edge of the bed despite the loud protest his knee gives out, pressing weight into the bedroom carpet as he lets his chin set to his arm. He lifts a finger and moves it slowly, carefully tagging the hair off her face as unobtrusively as possible. Will lets out an intentionally slow breath, shaking his head slightly at the way his chest clinches and vices in affection when her eyebrows pinch reflexively.

Fuck.” He shakes his head as he tries to breathe through the clench of his lungs and throat. The word is heavy, weighted, but barely carries sound. Though, even that seems enough to make her twitch in her sleep.

“Hey.” Will matches the breathy word to the slowly gentle way he's leaned onto the mattress, one of his hands guarding against her neck so that she doesn't jerk too far back at the movement while waking.

Mac blinks at him in confusion, eyes dark and muzzy with sleep. “What?”

“C’mere.” He shifts upward slowly and angles his hips under the sheet so that he can slide up against the way she's turned, pulling her flush against his waist.

Mac blinks in unknowing annoyance and curls up into him, seeming small and rubbing her cheek against his bare shoulder to push her hair back. He pulls her thigh up against his hip and lets his fingers soothe a slow and repetitive stroke of comfort against bare skin. Her face turns into his shoulder and he lets his hand curl up from behind her head to pull her hair back. She finally sighs some sort of comfort into the touch of his hand and he watches her face go lax, her features loosening.

“I don't like the light out.” She murmurs as his other hand heads for the bedside light and he's stalled up suddenly, fingers hovering in the space between bed and table.

“What, babe?”

“The light,” she explains, eyes still closed, as though she's thoroughly embarrassed. “I need... nothing.”

“You want it on.” He says it like a statement rather than a question but softly, keeping the words hushed so that she doesn't get twitchy on him as he drops his hand back to her again.

“I just don't like it completely dark is all.” It's adorable that her voice gets so near defensive, almost petulant as she shrugs. “It's silly.”

“It's not.” He drops a couple kisses against the top of her head, feels her lift into them as he waves it off between them. “It's not a big deal, Mac. Relax. Get some sleep.”

It's a beat or two before she answers and he'd started to just wonder if maybe that was that, that was the end of the conversation. Maybe she'd just accepted it at face value but then after a deep inhalation her fingers fidget against his chest and then “I adore you, Will.”

She liked him earlier.

She adores him now.

So, yeah, 'fucking thrilled' are words he might use as he draws her bare leg up higher and finds his way pressed between her thighs again. If he's being honest, anyhow.

But, because he's still moderately concerned she's just going to get up and walk out of his life, he tells her, “I was hoping you would by the end of the night.”

Mac laughs sleepily, drowsy and half coherent as she cuddles closer, “You were impressive but I didn't need tonight to know it.”

He didn't need the night to know all that much more than he already did either.

Because he knows (he damn well knows, okay?) that he's very inappropriately falling into an early sorta love with his executive producer.

And he didn't need to be inside her to know it but, fuck him, it sure as hell made plain the fact that she's got him thoroughly hooked.

“Get some rest, Mac. M'not going anywhere.”

Ever, he's afraid.

He's possibly not ever getting out of this without her.

Chapter Text

He thinks it's about ten times adorable that she steals away in the early morning shadows just to smuggle toothpaste into the bedroom and, really?? She's worried about that sort of thing now, after some of the things he's just done with his mouth? Will just chuckles, the mint scent blooming between them as she leans over his lap, finger brushing her teeth. He nods agreement at her silent offer and lifts his hand, surprised when she energetically just tries stuffing the open tube between his lips instead. Apparently a few hours of sleep was just enough to flick her smartass switch. She's laughing past her finger as he sputters at her and it becomes a playful fight, a dangerous scrabble that damn near has toothpaste over the both of them and his sheets.

“Really?!” He schools himself, halves the humor out of his voice and tries to be more serious. He mostly fails, admittedly. But at least she grins at his attempt to be stern. “Put it down, MacKenzie.”

She's laughing outright, the tube lifted high above the both of them in threat. “Don't you dare tell me what to do, William McAvoy.”

Goddamn it, she's gorgeous. She's Lady Fucking Liberty in (his bed)clothes.

And he tells her so, quietly and as she silently studies his eyes.

She's got his dress shirt half crookedly buttoned (because she missed lining it up correctly in the dark and it's cute as fuck) and she's all thighs pressed around his hips. Her hair is an absolute tangled mess and she smells like him, like sex and spearmint and his fading laundry soap. There's a stroke of red down the side of her throat and toward the center of her breasts and without thought, without caring about the damn toothpaste he sits up into that mark, letting his tongue rise up the welted heat of it in unspoken apology.

He blindly takes the toothpaste from her as her arm comes down, tossing it off the side of the bed without caring where it ends up. Likely one of them will step on it in some Buster Keaton style early morning hilarity but it's really the very last thing he's worried about.

Because she curls her arms around his shoulders like it had been her intent all along (and, really, if she'd purposely gone to get the toothpaste then... Thank Christ for Ms. MacKenzie McHale).

Hell, he very much likes her on top of him. He realizes that quickly, his hands rising full palmed up her back to tangle in fabric as she kisses him sensually, slowly.

There's so much of her to touch and learn and love on.

And, ultimately, he's learned that likes to hold her, regardless of anything else.




If rundown meetings have ever been good for something, they've always been an excellent vehicle for starting a sparring match with a sputtering and passionately argumentative Will McAvoy. Which has often been the absolute highlight of her day, really. He's an excellent debate partner, always finding the rebuttal she's least prepared to counter. But now that she's gotten him red-faced in at least a couple other ways, it seems... well, now it seems even more like fun. It's incentive, it's foreplay, it's still fucking sexy.

“Are you serious?” She doesn't know how or when she ended up standing but she can feel her blood pressure rise higher as she waves in his direction. “You will not, I repeat, not say anything that implies this network supports, acknowledges or even stands in the same room as that man's abhorrent beliefs.”

“Mac, I'm not saying that I agree with him politically. I'm saying - ”

“Is this a party loyalty thing to you?” Her interruption is quick, near disgusted as she sours her features on purpose. “Because I think the majority of moderate Republicans, besides you, would want to set themselves as far apart from - ”

She still can't believe she's now slept with (rather, is sleeping with?) a registered Republican, by the by. It's damn near unforgivable.

“The First Amendment is the First Amendment,” he argues broadly, his voice and accent rising into that particular Midwestern flatness that always has her attention perked. “Free speech doesn't apply to only the things you, my darling Kenzie, want to hear.”

Like she doesn't already know that. He's absolutely no help to her some days.

“He's morally reprehensible.” Mac simply shrugs, her head minutely shaking back and forth as she allows herself to sit once again, shoulders thrown back into the office chair. “He disgusts me.”

“He disgusts me too, Mac. But you can't debate his right to say things that are reprehensible. You can change the channel, but his Constitutional right remains the same, regardless of your moralistic superiority or your choice of programming.”

She pauses as she stares him over, keeping her features purposely blank as his hands fall back to his sides from where they'd lifted in explanation. And she realizes that she doesn't know when he ended up standing either. But she does know one thing: he's smug. She equally loves and hates it when Will is smug and mainly it's because he's usually unequivocally right. And he knows it. She both hates that he's right and loves it at once. She loves his intelligence, his argumentative confidence, his grin when he knows he's won.

She wonders when she stopped just liking things about Will McAvoy and moved on to loving things about him instead.

“Who the hell let you into this meeting?”

He grins even wider in response, haughty as he flops into his own chair and levers it back, swiveling playfully while the other staff members start to get bored of their banter.“I was summoned, actually.”

She flinches a mischievous glare at him. “By whom?”

“By you.”

She sighs loudly, making sure to be heard over the chattering of some of the other employees while she gives Will a darkened glance. “I make so many mistakes as a mere mortal.”

“Tell us about it,” he mutters.

He's smart enough to duck but, to be fair, she grew up with four siblings and her aim is impeccable when necessary.

He's smart enough to duck but it doesn't mean he's fast enough to avoid the CNN notebook that she chucks directly at his head.




Their second official date and it's still just the second even though they've otherwise already spent three other nights together. Their second, if the first could even be classified as a first, is the newest blockbuster that neither of them really had any serious interest in seeing in the first place. But she's got the cutest and flounciest little summer dress he's ever seen on in the late summer heat and he's pretty sure he'd do anything to slip the little lacy shrug thing off her shoulders. It's the last death throes of humid warmth before fall descends on the District and he has no interest in anything about Nicholas Cage...

But he's got a serious interest in being allowed to hook an arm around her slim shoulders and just spend two hours vacillating between shamelessly making out with a beautiful woman and then letting her surreptitiously stroke his cock through his pants while some thunderous surround sound covers up the sound of his groaning.

She moans into his ear and nips on it as she palms his erection, whispering to him as her hand settles cupped there, “Next time we just do this on a couch.”

“I wanted to take you out,” he explains quietly, the opposite hand lifting so that he can cup her head with his left and still brush her hair out of her face with his right. He keeps his murmur low and thrumming, pressing the words against her cheek with kissing lips. “I don't ever want it to seem like this is just... Mac, it's not just comfortable fucking. It can't be.”

“And I appreciate the intent, Will. I do. I agree with it.” That's not the only thing she appreciates, especially considering how possessively she palms up his hard on and cups around it, keeping it warmly pressed in her hand. “But I also just want to just curl up beside you and possibly fall asleep with my head in your lap.”

He shifts his hand from her face and settles it against her thigh, resting his palm there and letting his fingers spread against the soft and silky fabric. “Come home with me then?”

“Yes, please.” She sounds more excited than he'd expected. And he's fucking thrilled. “Read to me?”

Will just shrugs, his head tipping closer to hers as he keeps the whisper shaded low and obviously distracted between her hand, her words, the movie, everything. “Of course, babe.”

The movie flashes enough ambient light into the half full theatre that he can just barely see her reflexive smile as he turns his head entirely and focuses on her, noting the bare bright pleasure and the way her face relaxes loving after he's answered. He hadn't expected a look like that, actually. Not from her, not in the dark, not when she's been pretty emotionally guarded.

But, likely, he's seen it when he shouldn't have and it probably only lives in the dark, where he's usually blind to it. Because she's been intentionally keeping them at a slight distance when he gets too serious and he's respected it because, well, he doesn't want to lose what he's gained and he's also getting the idea that (despite how morally and ethically strong she is) MacKenzie McHale took a beat down in her last break-up.

And that inkling had led to him reading every scrap of Brian Brenner's work that he could find. Hell, he had one of the younger interns stacking it up for him to take home at night. He'd sit at the dining room table, ashtray piling up loaded, smoke hazing the room acrid blue, and a slip of Bourbon always layering the bottom of a pony glass. It'd been secret routine for a week almost, habit as he'd learned the language of another man.

The other man's vocabulary is generally sharp and cool, broad and bracing almost, near abrasive.

And Will's got no doubt in the least that she's still got sore and rasped edges from the split, from Brenner's words.

He's got no doubt that Brenner's chosen vocabulary is (has always been) one of emotional wreckage.

So seeing doting and loving on her face is enough to swell him up happy and proud. “Fiction or non?”

“Shhh.” She snorts a laugh at him, her hand squeezing lightly as she kisses just in front of his ear and hums a sound that's almost like a homecoming. “Whatever you're reading right now.”

He kisses her chastely, the movement of it staccato but striking bright, "Palahniuk it is."




She'd made them both agree not to do anything sexual at work.

She'd forced him into agreement on it days before, when they'd gotten dangerously close to throwing down on her messy desk, the rest of the office be damned.

“We promised,” she reminds him with near a whine, just after three in the afternoon and just as his long and gloriously talented fingers near bruise a bare thigh with desperation. “Will, we agreed.”

He groans exasperation onto her tongue and pushes her legs farther apart anyhow, the other hand bracing against her stomach to keep her leaned up to the wall. “Tell me to stop, MacKenzie. Tell me and I'll stop right now.”

How is she supposed to do that? How in bloody hell is she supposed to look down at the man who's kneeling before her (amply prepared to put his mouth between her legs and tease her into coming on his tongue) and then tell him to stop? Hell with that, thank you very much. Especially when she knows that she locked the door behind them.

“Don't stop, Billy.” She pulls his head closer and lets her eyes dip shut, his triumphant smile swimming in her thoughts as he pulls one leg up against his shoulder and licks lightly against the other thigh. Her fingers dig brutally into blonde and tug him closer, burying his mouth right where she wants it. “Don't you fucking dare.”

She can't seem to stop him much at all now, not anymore. Not at work or her place, not at his, in the car.

She can't seem to take anything away from him when all she wants is to give and give and pour more of her into whatever this is becoming. Because it's hot and sensual and sexy and she feels like he can't get enough of her.

Because it's a balm, and it's healing, and it makes her feel... desirable.

Fuck, she feels full and happy and adored.

She feels anything but rejected. Wanted. She's needed and cherished.

And especially when his fingers are softly rubbing the back of one calf to calm the fact that he's already got her mere moments from coming.





“Yes, I know that. I'm not thick, Louis.” Her voice is cool and quick and she switches the feed to his ear piece on while she just waves her director off like an annoying child. “We're having trouble with the primary, Will. I need you to turn to Camera Two so the guys can frame you up proper.”

He shifts easily, turning most of his body while still half leaned over the desk and reading over his notes. “Good?”

“Try sitting up straight, maybe? So they can frame the shot?” She keeps her voice cheeky and warm in the mic and tries to make him smile just by using that lush tone of voice he likes as she teases right in front of everyone. “You tired? Something keep you up last night?”

He's astounded by her playfulness at first, the very fact she's being so saucy in public.

He's got a look that says he loves it, though. And she's learned to see that look from yards and yards away.

It's a beat before he purses his lips up and then shrugs, head lifting so he can stare directly into the camera and make her throb between the thighs. “I got righteously laid so, yeah, someone kept me up last night.”

Oh! Asshole... “You're utterly vile, you know?”

“And you're a prude, Mac.” He winks at her as he speaks and the entire control room laughs at the both of them for their supposedly harmless teasing. She swallows her own smile, knowing that she should be acting as though she wasn't the one to give him a thorough fucking the night before. “Live a little.”

“Oh, I'm plenty alive, Billy.” It's not often she damn near purrs at him but the laughter she wrangles out of the rest of the staff is larger than what he's managed to garner so she grins and catches the way he shoots a supposed glare into the camera. “Top to bottom now.”

She tries to imply, despite the surrounding whistles and without actually saying it, that (thankfully) it's because of him.

That she has him to thank for bringing her back to the world of what she loves and back to living. She tries to tell him without having to say it and there's a sweetness to the smile he gives the second camera. His hand lifts as though he's just waving off her silliness and teasing but she watches his jaw flex in that really beautiful way it has. It bunches and tampens and he's suddenly all strong boned and tall in the shot, shoulders up and back confidently even as his head stays down. His glances lifts back to the camera from underneath light lashes and she just barely sees the nod he gives, the sweet and simple smile that's the norm when she embarrasses him.

“All right, guys.” Mac addresses the control room, keeping his feed live as well as she fidgets at the IFB pack. “Will looks very pretty on the second feed so let's just cut Camera One and go with the flow for tonight.”

“You're welcome,” he hushedly murmurs in her ear right before Lou starts counting the last five seconds down and her heart near stops choked in response.

Because he barely has the time to say it before air, before all of his audience hears it.

Because she barely said anything at all and he already knew exactly what she had meant.