In these past months since MacKenzie has been his EP, Will has slowly come to the realization that even though he’s hurt by what she did all those years ago, he can’t really live without her. It was shocking at first and something he wanted to reject, violently if necessary, but he couldn’t erase it. He couldn’t even start to erase the place that MacKenzie held in his heart.
So he bought a ring. Will is aware it’s stupid to buy an engagement ring for a woman you’re not even on regular speaking terms with but there’s nothing logical about his relationship with MacKenzie McHale. She’s like fire and even though he gets burned when he touches her, he can’t help but draw as close as possible, lured in by her warmth. He’s found that if he tries to hold on too tight, he gets hurt and she gets away, but now he thinks they have the beginning of something new.
She’s still asleep in bed when he wakes and he brushes a lock of hair off her cheek before kissing her softly and sliding out of bed. It’s just a few steps to his dresser and there, tucked in with his watches and tie pins and cufflinks is a little blue box from Tiffany. He opens it and turns a little when he hears MacKenzie sigh; she rolls over to her back and the sheet has slipped down just enough to reveal her bare breasts. There’s nobody more beautiful than MacKenzie and especially now when the sun’s streaming into his bedroom and she looks completely and utterly relaxed.
He opens the box and pulls out a ring that could buy a better-than-nice house in most parts of America, watching as the morning sunlight catches the diamond and scatters rainbows across the room. It’s a perfect diamond, beautiful setting - a ring any woman would die for. Still, Will worries that MacKenzie will say no. He doesn’t know how he’ll react if she does but he does think that he can’t hold it against her. There’s been a lot of hurt between them in the last eight years and it’s stupid to think it will all go away overnight.
Will doesn’t want another day without MacKenzie wearing his ring.
He slides back into bed and eases the ring on her finger, kissing her softly when she starts to stir. MacKenzie is a little slow in the mornings and it takes her a moment to get her bearings; she blinks owlishly before her face breaks into one of the most beautiful smiles he’s ever seen. Jesus, he loves this woman. It takes her a few more moments before she notices the ring and when she does, her mouth drops open and she looks at him in utter shock.
“What...what is this? What’s going on?”
Now it’s time to do or die. Will always thought that when he proposed to a woman, he’d have a speech prepared. They’d be in a fine restaurant with her favorite song playing and their favorite foods laid out on the table in front of them and he’d get down on one knee and give her a beautiful speech with the appropriate literary allusions. Instead, he’s doing this in bed on a lazy morning and MacKenzie seems more like a fish out of water than madly in love but there’s just no way he can spend another second without knowing whether or not she’ll marry him.
“I know you think this is sudden but I’ve...I went to buy that ring when you first came to work here. I don’t know why I bought it. I just walked into Tiffany and bought it and tore up the receipt. I wanted to give it to you months ago, after the Peabodys, but I didn’t know how to ask and I was stumbling over my words and I couldn’t tell you the things you deserved to hear. Then, later, I was an asshole.”
MacKenzie opens her mouth as if to protest and Will presses his fingers against her lips. He’s got to get all of this out in one fell swoop or he’s never going to and she needs to hear it. More than that, he needs her to hear it. He needs to know that MacKenzie has absolved him of his sins because she heard them all named and not just because she wants to forgive and forget like he tried, and failed, to do with her.
“I was, don’t soften it. I was so afraid I was losing you again, Mac, and I just...I love you. I want to marry you. I never stopped loving you and there’s not a day that will come that I won’t love you and if you want...if you want to give it a shot and forgive me, please…” He tries to catch his breath and keep from rambling so much and it’s only mildly successful.
“I will never, ever hurt you again. I will never blame you for what you did when you were younger. I think you did it innocently, that you didn’t know, and that there wasn’t any malice. I was so hurt for so long that it made me blind to that but somewhere along the way I realized that not having you hurt me more than anything you’d actually done to me. So uh, you have plenty of time to think it over but if you want to marry me, I’d love to mar---”
He doesn’t finish the sentence because MacKenzie has thrown herself into his lap, her arms around his neck, and her lips are pressed against his. It’s a desperate, messy kiss as if she’s trying to compress all the time they’ve spent apart into nothing, to erase it entirely. Will is more than all right with that. He pulls away just enough to breathe and MacKenzie whispers “yes,” against his skin over and over and over again.
It’s not picture perfect. It’s messy and fucked up and complicated and they still have a ton of things to work out but it’s them and there’s nothing else that fits better.
He’s a fool for her, and always will be, but now he suspects MacKenzie might just be a fool for him.