Tangible Schizophrenia


Finish Epilogue: Reset

Author: Guede Mazaka
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Jack/James/Will/Elizabeth/Anamaria, Gillette/Scarlet, Groves/Tom Pullings, Horatio/Archie/Bush/Edrington.
Feedback: Fave lines, constructive crit.—anything you want, at any length.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Notes: Modern-day AU. Anamaria curses in French and English. I used the first names Theodore for Groves and Alexander for Edrington. Guest appearances from Master and Commander, Goldeneye and Horatio Hornblower.
Summary: The players have changed, but the game remains the same.


Will and Elizabeth were lying on top of the conference table as they’d used to do. Though in the past, they would’ve been goofing off from their work. Currently they were catching a few moments before the night shift ended and the day began, which would see Will home for a couple hours’ sleep and Elizabeth opening up the office. It’d only been a week, but it already felt as if they’d stepped into entirely different worlds.

“So you got James and I got Jack,” Will finally said. He ran his hand up and down Elizabeth’s arm, trying to keep his eyes open for a little longer. They weren’t going to have a night together for another three days; they really needed to start thinking about interviewing people to boost the team’s strength.

Interviewing. Christ. More deciding the fate of people.

A finger traced Will’s mouth. When he glanced down, Elizabeth had a worried expression on her face. “Are you thinking about the morning newspaper? Will, we had to. It was the only thing you could’ve done—and any way it went, Bruck still would’ve ended up dead.”

“You could’ve almost said the same for Jack and James.” As soon as he’d spoken, Will regretted it. He pulled Elizabeth closer and apologetically kissed her forehead. “Sorry. I…just…hate how it feels to know I helped along a killing, even though I know we had to, and I don’t regret doing it.”

“Yeah. Anamaria said he was an ass, but even she looked pretty angry when she read about it.” Elizabeth shifted on top of Will and wormed a hand beneath his shirt. She nuzzled at the underside of his chin. “Well, there’s always retirement to look forward to.”

Will snorted and kissed her again, this time hitting her nose. She wrinkled it and he playfully kissed those, then hissed when she pinched him. But Elizabeth started to massage the spot before he could protest. “Retirement. A forced one, with a few strings attached. We can’t even see them for another two months.”

“You and Theodore negotiated some damn good deals. Best in twenty years,” Elizabeth said firmly, propping herself up on her arms. She glowered down at Will until he acquiesced and nodded. “I should be the one who’s angry with herself. I couldn’t even find them.”

“Well, no.” An irritated flush started to rise in Elizabeth’s cheeks and Will hastily held up his hands. He did his best to look harmless. “Come on, if we’d been able to find them, then someone else might have been able to as well. It shows how good they are.”

She reluctantly subsided after thinking on that for a moment. Understandably, because it did seem to imply that somehow they still didn’t know everything about James and Jack. Which was in fact true, and which Will had grudgingly accepted a while ago with the caveat that he was going to spend the rest of his life working on it if he had to. Elizabeth, on the other hand, believed in instant and complete knowledge.

Voices were beginning to trickle into the office. Will looked through the half-open door, then back down at Elizabeth. “I think I’d better leave you to it. Be back at lunch.”

After a last kiss, she rolled over and let him sit up. “Will?”

“Hmm?” He paused while buttoning up the top half of his shirt.

“You remember how we got here? Gunfights and illegal drugs and just about everything else? Like a movie, wasn’t it?” Elizabeth hopped off the table and pulled down her skirt. In the dark, it was difficult to see her face so Will had to go by her tone, which was not exactly nostalgic. A little wistful, maybe, but also self-deprecating. “But it’s not a movie. We’ve really got to go out there and do the drudge-work and get our hands dirty, and there’s not much spectacle to go with it.”

That was true, but what was also true was that what’d saved Jack and James hadn’t been some exciting, deadly gunbattle, or some gigantic explosion. It’d been their years and years of building alliances and collecting information and laying groundwork for later. And, in the end, what made everything worth it wasn’t the spectacle.

Will waited until she’d rounded the table to answer her, his hands wrapped around hers and his eyes memorizing every feature of her face. “Yes, we have to. But I’ll love you even when there’s nothing exciting going on. Are you ready?”

“When you are,” she retorted, smiling.