“Will and mini Will.” Beverly smiled as Jameson gaze her a hug. The academy was buzzing with bright, new recruits all itching to take a semester of Professor’s Graham lecture class. It was truly a popular class that he held four sessions every three days. Each one he broke down crime scenes and the design of each killer. Will preferred teaching to anything allowing him to give guidance to the budding agents.
Far from his usual routine of prepping for his next lecture which meant reviewing his slides and charging his computer, he was now participating in the annual event of ‘Take your kid to work day’. His dad had often brought him along to work to help out on the docks or tinker with boat engines. Sometimes he was put to work by lifting machinery or simply followed after his dad, being captivated with the water and smell of sea salt. When Jameson let go of Bev, she raced back to Will instantly grabbing his free hand designated (claimed) for her.
He nodded at Bev who laughed.
“You really are a cute pair.”
Jameson smiled at this. Of all the people she warmed up to, Bev happened to be her favorite. It was simply because the woman was probably as stubborn as a child and just as eager. Price and Zeller weren’t as amiable with children, but somehow they seemed to enjoy the quiet nature of Jameson who found them hilarious.
Will guided the girl to his lecture hall dismissing himself from further conversation and nearly doffed another agent with a kid who looked way to happy to be at work on a Friday morning. Finally in the confides of his teaching hall, Will began to loosen up a bit as Jameson skipped at his side. He rolled his eyes jealous of her energy. Sipping his coffee, he opened the doors allowing small footsteps to walk in front of his. Will headed towards his desk before setting up his computer and mentally trying to catch up with the buzz of excitement that was bound to engulf him once the new recruits came bustling in.
On cue, the floodgates opened as a wave of young bodies came in talking amongst themselves. Will rubbed his temple before turning at the first squeal.
“OMG!” Madeline rushes up to him with a smile. “This that your daughter?”
Will looks over at Jameson or rather down because while he was setting up, he hadn’t noticed she took hold of his hand. Had he actually used one hand this whole time? Will shook his head.
“Yes, Jameson this is my class. Madeline is one of my students. Class this is Jameson my..” he pauses, “daughter.”
The pause is either ignored or unnoticed as his class crowds him. Their nosy kids curios about his life such as his wedding band and who Jameson’s mom is or do they know her. Will finds himself trying to avoid such questions. No need for them to know Annabelle or jump to conclusions. Instead, he begins class where the seats fill out.
Halfway through his lecture, Will stands in front of his class and asks,
“Any questions or comments.”
He turns to face his students and sees a small hand shoot up. He frowns,
“Question Flower?” He quips surprised.
She signs bathroom and some of his students laugh while the other look confused.
“Looks like we get a potty break.” One of his students says snickers earning him a glare.
Will lets out a breath before nodding and suggesting that they take a five-minute break.
Once they leave the room, Will carries Jameson towards the bathroom before he pauses. He looks between the ladies' room and the men’s room. He looks down at Jameson who looks up at him.
“Are you ok to go alone?” He asks knowing the answer. She shakes her head ‘no’.
Will bites his lip.
He looks between both bathrooms with growing anxiety. Usually, Annabelle took Jameson to the bathroom when they were out in public. It was rather dawning on the nature of his parenthood that this is how fathers with daughters felt. Jameson squirmed in his grasp and he gulped. Taking a breath, he covered her eyes before walking into the men’s bathroom. Will figured he could have just asked Beverly or made Jameson go by herself- it wouldn’t have been such a weird experience if he had checked the bathrooms first only to find Jack washing his hands. He looks up at the professor with a stern face and his mouth set into a firm line.
Will feels a bit of his soul crack as he nods awkwardly before pushing Jameson into the first empty stall and standing outside the door.
“Should I even ask?” Jack speaks up after finishing drying his hands. Will shrugs mumbling,
This earns him another look, one with a raised eyebrow and a slow nod, as if Jack didn’t know he could resort to using such words.
“I assume you brought her to work because,” Jack fishes.
“Bring your kid to work day.” Will finishes glancing towards the door ready to scare off any men that come in.
“Hm, I didn’t think you were one to participate.”
His tone is icy. Whatever Jack is really thinking, he doesn’t say. Will can guess what’s on his mind. It’s not so much as participating, it’s the fact that he willingly brought her with him. It’s the idea that William Graham could ever hold an ounce of love for a child- he, being the resident recluse, the loose cannon, the fragile, lil teacup. How could Will ever take care of another human being when he, himself, could hardly take care of himself?
“Whatever it is that you’re insinuating Jack, we can discuss it later.” He states calmy.
Jack’s eyes turn to slits almost in the bright lighting before he nods. He stiffs a bit as the door creaks open. Jameson stares at him before closing her eyes quickly.
Will places a tentative hand on her back guiding her to the sink before hoisting her up to wash her hands. Jack watches them cautiously. Will finally hears the door close as he’s drying her hands. Together, they make their way back to his room before pausing just outside the door.
Jameson pulls at his sleeve and Will bends down thinking she wants to get picked up; small arms latch around his neck. For a moment, they stay like this before he feels small lips at his ear.
Will doesn’t stir thinking he’s imagined her speaking. It is more of a soft gush of air in his ear, but when he holds her in front of him, Jameson just smiles: a smile with too many meanings. Whether he imagined it or Jameson spoke, he is about to ask, but Jameson is already bounding towards the door before she disappears back into his classroom leaving Will standing alone.