It has been a long day. Will can feel the heaviness of it all on his limbs.
All he needs is to go home to change into his pajamas, eat something and just relax. Just like he had done a lot of times in the past, during all those years he had lived alone, by himself, apart from that period of time in which MacKenzie had been part of his life.
Today is not so different from the past, really. He gets to change, eat and relax just the same as in the past but something has changed.
He’s not alone anymore. MacKenzie is back in his life, has been for a while, she’s his wife now. Wife. A word that sounds still new and full of wonder to him, even after years.
His wife has changed his life in many ways both privately and professionally. He likes to think of her as his personal savior, the person who has made him a better human being. Will would do anything for her, he would jump from a building without even blinking if she asked.
They had to overcome a lot of obstacles before being able to live their “happy ever after” and even that at the beginning it was filled with difficult moments.
Like that time he went to prison because he wanted to show her he was a good journalist, the kind of newsman she could be proud of. As if she needed proof of that.
Charlie’s death had been another low blow to their life together. Charlie had been a support, a boss, a confident, a friend for the both of them and for Will he had also been the father figure he never really had.
The months that followed his death had been really difficult for the entire newsroom that had to go through a period of transition. Will had to get used to the fact that Mac wasn’t his EP anymore and Jim had to take responsibilities he had never had before in his life. Mac was the one who had to change her work routine completely, though. She was the new president of the news division of AWM. It was quite something. She also had to fight on an everyday basis with her boss. She still has to.
They’ve made it nonetheless. Together and with their friends.
He suddenly finds himself in front of his door, the door of his big two-stories house in the suburbs with a large backyard, a medium-sized pool and a garage.He opens the door, closes it and shrugs his coat off.
Mac is still at the office, she told him an hour ago to go home, that she would follow him a bit later.
The lights are on and clattering sounds and smell of food come from the kitchen.
“Donna, I’m home” he says rather loudly and he hears the clattering sound stop and after a few seconds a woman in her thirties appears from the kitchen door.
“Welcome back, Mr McAvoy I was preparing your dinner. There’s still time before it’s ready though, so why don't you go change?” She says.
“Good, well, I’m gonna head upstairs, MacKenzie will arrive soon” at that she nods and disappears into the room.
Will decides that it’s time to enjoy one of the best moments of his day, and heads upstairs with a smile on his lips that turns into a grin the moment he reaches the second floor.
He opens the second door on his right gently and enters the room and he is welcomed by a shrieking sound and a little body that crashes into his.
“Daddy, Daddy, you’re home!” an over-excited little boy says loudly with delight.
Little Charles William McAvoy is dressed in his pajamas and is clutching his favorite stuffed toy, a panda plushie he named Mr Pandaboom. Bright blue eyes shining and rosy cheeks framing a wide smile that reminds Will of MacKenzie every time.
Will immediately sinks to his knees, not even minding the pain for a second, to take the boy in his arms.
“Hey Champ, are you okay? How was your day?” He manages to say after kissing the child’s head.
Little Charlie is the most beautiful thing life could give Will. Even after five years of fatherhood, he can't still quite believe that this little ball of joy is his. His and MacKenzie’s. He was so scared the day he learned they were having a baby, so scared he would not be a good father after what his own did to him. He spent the months of the pregnancy listening to Mac telling him he was not John, that he would make a wonderful father and that their baby was so lucky to have him.
The moment he held Charlie in his arms for the first time he understood immediately that she was right, as usual. He wasn’t his father. He would never be. He vowed he would always protect, help, and support the tiny pink bundle he was holding in his arms. Forever.
“Yes Daddy, Miss Havisham made us talk about our favorite heroes today” the kid says smiling.
“Yeah? Who did you talk about? Captain America? Or was it Spiderman this week?" The boy laughs while Will caresses his light brown hair.
“No Dad, I talked about you” Will stops moving his hand and trains his eyes on the boy’s, an exact copy of his own.
"About me? But Sweetie, I’m not a superhero” he says softly, mechanically starting to caress his son hair again.
"You are Dad! Richie agreed too. You are on the telly, you’re kind, you always buy me ice-cream when we go out together, even when Mommy says not to” at that he giggles.
“You always play with me and help Mommy with the house. You are a hero for sure. I want to be like you when I grow up” Charlie concludes.
Will feels his heart warm up and swell with love. Until a few years ago he thought he would never get married or have a child and he could not imagine that if he had, his kid would love him as much as Charlie did. He never thought he would be someone’s hero. Not after his own childhood and issues. Still, he had been wrong all along. John had been wrong all along. He was not worthless or unlovable. He was capable of loving and being loved in return. He had a family and was able to take care of it.
“Well my boy, you sure deserve an ice-cream for all those things you said about me. Tomorrow?” He almost whispers, trying to contain the emotion the kid had given him without even knowing. Maybe one day he’ll be able to explain to Charlie what those words have meant to him.
“Yes! Tomorrow! When will Mommy be back? I miss her” Charlie says with a yawn
“Soon, she’ll be home soon. I think it’s bedtime for you, little mister. What about we put you into bed and later I’ll tell Mommy to come here to give you a kiss while you sleep?” “Okay Daddy” He agrees, suddenly visibly tired.
Will stands up with the boy in his arms. He carries him to the bed, tucks him and Mr Pandaboom in, gives his son a kiss on his forehead and turns the lights off.
“Goodnight, Monkey. Daddy loves you very much” Will whispers.
“’Night Daddy, you too” Charlie replies almost asleep.
Will turns toward the door and finds Mac leaning on the doorjamb with soft eyes and a smile on her face.
Will moves to kiss her on her forehead, takes her hand and leads her out of Charlie’s room, closing the door gently behind him.
“How long have you been here?” He asks.
“Enough to hear our son say you buy him ice-cream behind my back” She says with a smirk. Of course she would answer like this. She knows what Charlie’s simple and innocent words have meant to him. She knows how he must feel at the moment and wants to give him the time to recover by himself.
He smiles back at her and for a few moments neither of them move or do anything.
Will clears his throat.
“Dinner must be ready, why don’t you go give Charlie that kiss and then come downstairs?”
“Yeah, let me kiss my little prince goodnight” She says standing on her tiptoes and giving him a quick peck on the lips. With that, she moves toward Charlie’s room.
Will goes downstairs feeling full. Full of love. It’s something that has only happened to him during these last years and tonight is special. Tonight he is someone’s hero.