accidentally in love (part two)
“Maybe that was my mistake,” he replied quietly, and her heart sunk again.
“I’m beginning to feel a bit bad that you nicked this from Daniel,” Tatiana murmured, observing the way the diamonds twinkled in the evening light that filtered in from the window. Her covers were drawn up to her chest and her hair was tangled, but she’d punch Will in the face if he didn’t agreed that she still looked like quite a spectacular bride.
Speaking of the man, he was half-asleep a few inches to her side, and he lazily opened an eye and fixed it on her ring. “He deserved it,” Will grunted after a moment.
“Did he try to threaten you again?” Tatiana guessed, shooting the boy an amused look through her hazel eyes. “He does that every time he sees us within a foot of each other, doesn’t he?”
“He tends to,” Will replied, propping himself up with an elbow on the pillow to gaze over at her. “He also said you’d snap my neck if we got up to any ‘funny business’, but funnily enough, you haven’t done that, have you?”
“Down, boy,” the brunette quirked a lip in amusement at the man. “There’s still time to snap your neck. The mission’s still young.”
“What a lucky husband I am.”
Tatiana had extracted her phone from the table beside her and was currently flipping through the recent messages. “Fury’s sent us some instructions,” she added after a moment. “Apparently they received word that Pierce was meeting up with a Hydra operative today. They’re having dinner at that fancy place down the street.”
“Gray’s Grub?” Will guessed after a moment.
Tatiana rolled her eyes. “Not the burger joint, you idiot. There’s some banquet going on down at that nice hotel – Attaway’s. Fury wants us to sneak in and eavesdrop, see what they’re planning.”
“It’s an awfully public place to hold a conversation about the destruction of the wizarding society,” Will remarked as he picked up his phone from the side table. “Hey, I’ve got a message too. It’s from your brother.” He frowned at the screen. “Stop dicking around – what does he think we’re doing?”
“Trust me, he knows,” Tatiana snorted before tossing a pillow at him. “Get dressed, nicely. We’re going to dinner.” She stepped delicately from the sheets, tossing them aside as she headed to the bathroom. “I’m going to shower,” she announced as she stepped inside.
“Can I come?” Will asked hopefully.
The dark-haired boy ducked as she sent a hair brush spinning his way before she gestured the number fourty-eight at him and shut the door.
Chocolate curls spilled down her back, her sapphire-blue dress tight and long against her skin. At her left sat Will, sipping on some amber liquid, his dark eyes flitting quickly to his dark blue bowtie and then to her dress.
“Hey, we match,” he pointed out, vaguely amused.
“I picked out your bowtie, of course we do,” Tatiana replied dryly and he paused with a pout before taking another sip.
Her eyes were on Emrys Pierce; the redhead was sitting several tables away, deep in conversation with a blonde woman, her hair long and sleek and her gaze cold and calculating. Her lips were twisted up into what Tatiana decided was a smirk and not a smile; there was little mirth behind her expression.
“The HYDRA agent’s kind of hot, isn’t she?” Tatiana mused aloud, and Will shot her a look of alarm as he steadied his glass in his hand.
“I don’t see how you can make that statement when I’m sitting right next to you,” he huffed, somewhat irritated as he put down the glass.
“Getting jealous again, Will?” she questioned, her eyes flitting to him briefly before back at the subject they were meant to be monitoring. The woman rose and then started off toward the bathroom. Tatiana made to follow and then decided against it, sitting down. Better that they weren’t discovered; monitoring from afar had to be sufficient.
“Again?” Will questioned, his brow furrowing. “When was the first time I was jealous?”
“Five years ago.”
He scowled. “You went and snogged some other bloke. It’s hardly my fault for being a bit jealous back then.”
“I was undercover. My partner needed a distraction,” Tatiana argued.
“You were a new SHIELD agent back then! You shouldn’t even have been sent in on such high risk case!” he argued, drawing his eyebrows low.
She turned to him, pushing aside the empty plate in front of her and crossing her arms over her chest as she scowled at him. “What, you want to talk about this now? What happened back then? Do I need to remind you that you were the one who broke up with me?”
“SHIELD agents aren’t allowed to date within the agency!”
“That’s not why we broke up, and both you and I know it!” Tatiana hissed back at him, scowling with a venom that she rarely displayed.
Will threw his hands up. “What do you want me to say? The pressures of being a field agent for you were too much? You got to travel the globe on assignments while I stayed in New York behind a computer? That it wouldn’t have worked out because we rarely saw each other?”
“That’s exactly what I want to hear! Just give me a reasonable explanation for why you felt the need to break things off so abruptly when we joined!” Tatiana demanded.
Will scowled. “I wasn’t happy anymore.”
The brunette faltered, frowning. “And why’s that?”
He turned away abruptly, avoiding her glance and lifting the liquor to his lips again. “You put your career before me,” he said after a moment. “You were so happy to be working for SHIELD that you didn’t make any time for me. And I tried to be happy for you at first, I really did, but I couldn’t be happy for you without you there.”
She felt her heart drop, an unspoken truth that had lingered dormant for the past several years. Neither of them had talked about their relationship until this mission – to them, it had all been bygones, something that they neglected to bring up for fear of starting a fight, and Tatiana could see why. Still, she couldn’t help but grow angry now.
“Why do you think I asked to be stationed in New York a year after we joined?” she asked, her voice quiet and strangely calm.
He didn’t look back at her. “To be near your brother,” he added after a moment.
She laughed dryly. “That was only the half of it. I wanted to be near you, you prat.”
Will didn’t even glance back at her and she found herself getting angry again, her crossed arms getting even tighter against her in frustration.
“Why do you think we keep getting assigned cases together, even if they’re not undercover? Why do you think that whenever you need a specialist, they send me?” she demanded of him suddenly, her voice rising ever so slightly in anger.
When he didn’t respond, she snapped. “It’s because I asked them to assign us together! I wanted to be with you again! I still do! I could have very well turned this case down once I knew what we were getting into, but I didn’t!”
“I could have done the same,” Will returned, turning to her, his dark gaze settling on her lighter one. There was a fire in both their eyes that seemed to feed off the other’s gaze; a silent challenge to the other to look away first.
“But you didn’t turn it down either,” Tatiana observed quietly.
His gaze shifted to the glass in his hands. “Maybe that was my mistake,” he replied quietly, and her heart sunk again.
Trying to find a way to respond, she found that she couldn’t and so she instead turned back to Emrys’s table, observing the man poking at his food not far from them. Tears were pricking at her eyes, but she refused to let them fall; not on a mission, not here, not with Will beside her.
It was him who broke the silence. “What I don’t get is that if you still… you know, feel the way you do about us, why you’re still putting your work first.”
She tried her best to ignore him as she continued studying Emrys, but Will had always managed to gain a reaction from her, no matter how much she tried to resist it. “I’m not,” she murmured sullenly after a moment, “But we’ll just keep fighting if we keep talking about this.”
“Then let’s not talk,” he replied.
She stiffened as she felt him get closer. “If you kiss me now, I will punch you in the nose,” she replied, sniffing as she pushed him away.
“It’s not that. Fairchild’s coming back, and we can’t still be arguing or they’ll notice us,” he replied, and tentatively wrapped an arm around her shoulders. “We’ll talk about this later.”
“Look who’s putting their work first now,” she replied grumpily, letting his arm encircle her but making no move to lean into his embrace again.
He only shot her another look before taking another sip.
They arrived back at their apartment late, Tatiana kicking off her heels the second they returned to the entrance hall of the flat.
Will was already on his phone, trying to send a message back to headquarters. “They were talking the whole night, but didn’t seem to reach an agreement on a deal,” he read his message allowed, and Tatiana nodded in confirmation at him as she pulled the pins out of her hair, letting the dark locks spill down over her shoulders.
“Did they see us?” she questioned, and he shook his head in reply, still not looking at her. He’d been doing that the entire way back from the restaurant, not even bothering to glance at her when he spoke. Normally, it was her who was cold and detached with him, and she felt the icy treatment as acutely as one would feel a burn. She dropped the pins onto the tabletop sullenly.
Will was still busy sending off a message, and now he moved to the bugs on the wall, recalibrating them. Tatiana made no move to leave the room although she’d completed pulling off her shoes and taking her hair out of its twist, instead waiting for him and watching.
Without turning to glance at her, he said, “You can have the bed, Tatiana. I’ll sleep in a chair in here, just give me a pillow.”
“There’s no need. I don’t mind,” she replied, her voice tight.
“But I do now,” he replied, still not looking at her as he moved along and began to fiddle with the next device on the wall.
“Will…” she faltered again, not sure what to say. Sensitivity might have been her strong suit once, when she was in school, a bright-eyed young woman who found love so much easier than she did now, but SHIELD had hammered most of her sentimentality and romantic fancies out of her. “Let’s talk. Properly.”
He sighed and relented, turning away from the wall but leaning against it. She was on the other side of the room, curled up in a chair close to the kitchen, biting her lip as she studied the floor.
“What happened to us?” he demanded after a moment.
“SHIELD happened.” She shook her head. “Will, we basically signed over our lives to this agency. And I appreciate what we do, I really do. But I don’t want it to take up all my life anymore. That’s not fair.”
“You’re impossible,” he said suddenly, somewhat harshly, and she glanced up in surprise.
“You let us break up the first time because you wanted this work to become your life. You love what you do, and I can see it.”
“I threw myself into it to get over you,” she returned, just as harshly.
“Oh.” He paused, running a hand through his dark hair and glanced away. “They were going to send me to work in London after my first year there,” he said after a moment. “Apparently they could use a hacker like me there. You were stationed in London at the time.”
“I was going to go, you know. I was all packed, I had all my transfers signed by Fury, and everything, and then,” he shook his head, “You walked into my lab and told me that you were going to be in New York. You handed me a case report and told me to get working. I was five minutes from leaving my station and getting on the plane.”
“You didn’t go because I came back?” Tatiana asked delicately.
“What’s funny?” Will asked, straightening up on the wall, suddenly defensive and self-conscious.
“I left London to be with you, you nearly left New York to be with me.” Her lips curved up ever so slightly. “And we keep insisting that the other’s trying to put their work first. It’s funny, that’s all.”
Onyx eyes leveled on her. “You know, we could try to make this – us – work again,” he suggested quietly.
Tatiana raised an eyebrow, still not having completely let him off the hook again. “And what about what you said when we first broke up? SHIELD’s no-fraternization policy wouldn’t allow it or something?”
“Fuck protocol,” Will said suddenly, properly looking over at her for the first time all evening. “I’d be rich if I had a galleon for every time I saw Jones and Baudelaire snogging in a utility closet. And everyone knows that Taylor and Jameson are dating, even Fury, and no one’s done anything about it.”
For a moment, she simply stared at him and then one of the bugs on the wall emitted a small squeak and Will rushed over and picked at it.
“Pierce just got home,” he murmured, leaning against the wall beside the bug and doing his best to hear. “He’s calling his boss – the deal still needs some negotiation, whatever it is, but it’s a go. HYDRA is in.”
“I’ll send a message to Fury,” Tatiana said abruptly, retrieving Will’s phone and tapping at it before glancing at him. “Anything else?”
He shook his head, against the wall for a moment before drawing away. “I think he’s gone to bed now.”
“We should do the same,” Tatiana replied, turning toward the bedroom, but Will grabbed her wrist suddenly and turned her back.
“You didn’t give me an answer,” he added after a moment, frowning. A crease appeared between his eyebrows as he watched her.
Tatiana smiled suddenly. “It’s kind of cute when you do that –“ she gestured vaguely to the area between his eyebrows.
But then she was suddenly on her toes and leaning into him, pulling him close by his bowtie and wrapping her other arm around the back of his neck as she pressed her lips to his. Will froze but then followed instinctively, hands moving to rest on her waist. This was nothing like the heat of the afternoon, the passion released after years of sexual tension – this was something else entirely, and it was glorious and familiar all the same.
Tatiana pulled back after a moment, resting her forehead briefly against his. “We’ll try to make it work again,” she replied after a moment.
“And you won’t put your work before me?” he asked somewhat hopefully.
Her lips curved up. “Not this time.” She pulled away now, untangling her arms somewhat reluctantly from around him as she turned, moving back to the bedroom. “You coming?” she called over her shoulder, and once more, it wasn’t like the passion of the afternoon, but a plea to just hold her and not leave her, not again.
“Yeah,” he grinned in reply, following again.