“I’m sorry, Frankie. My sister is in town and I have to go and meet her. Convince her I’m not a bitter divorcee on the wrong side of forty.”
Frankie sighed into her phone as she looked at the apartment building across the street. “You’re a terrible liar, Susan. Why are you doing this to me?”
“Hey, it was your idea in the first place. You just want me for moral support. Which you do not need!” Susan tried to reassure her.
Frankie just grumbled in response.
“And who knows, it might be good for the two of you. Gives you a chance to talk.”
“What’s that supposed to mean? We’re fine. We don’t need to talk.”
“I’ve gotta go. Have fun!” The line went dead.
Frankie just rolled her eyes. Susan would so owe her. Big time.
She put her phone back into her coat pocket and took a deep breath. Then she regarded the building across from her again. There’s no crying in baseball. That’s what her Dad had used to say. It was from one of his favourite movies.
The funniest thing was, Susan had been right. This had been Frankie’s idea. Her sudden reluctance just stemmed from the fact that she didn’t normally do this. That didn’t mean she didn’t want to… it just took some getting used to.
With a last fortifying breath, she crossed the street and rung Will’s apartment.
When Frankie reached Will’s floor, he was already standing in his apartment’s door and curiously waited for her.
“Hey.” Frankie - somewhat desperately - held up the plastic bags in her left hand. “I brought Chinese.”
“O…kay.” Will frowned at her non-explanation but stepped aside to let her in. He took the food out of her hands and made his way to the kitchen while Frankie took off her coat and hung it over the back of the nearest chair.
She made her way over to Will and took a quick look around the apartment. The lights were low and he’d started a fire in the fire place. There was a record playing and although she didn’t recognise the tune, she decided she liked it.
“So. To what do I owe the pleasure of-“ Will glanced at the carton of Chinese takeout in front of him. “Madame Li’s finest beef broccoli?”
Frankie was uncharacteristically nervous and hoped it didn’t show. “Actually… Susan and I felt bad that we blew you off last week and went out without you.”
“Yeah. She just cancelled. Apparently one of her sisters is in town tonight.”
“Oh, did she say which one?” Will asked as he took the cartons out of their plastic bags.
Frankie just shrugged. “No.”
“I hope it’s not Angela. That is one tough cookie.”
Frankie chuckled, the tension slowly easing from her. “Please. Are you telling me that there’s a woman out there immune to your charm virus?”
Will smiled at her. “Oh, yes. Turns out you’re not the only one.” He joked.
He turned towards the cabinet behind him, missing the answering look on Frankie’s face.
“Huh.” She just said. “I guess there’s hope yet.”
Will set two wine glasses down on the counter while Frankie reached for the bottle of red they’d opened just a few nights ago.
“Why don’t you set the food down on the coffee table.” He suggested. “I’ll just pour us a glass.”
“You’re not trying to make me watch “You’ve Got Mail” again, are you?”
Will chuckled. “That depends.”
“How sorry are you for ditching me last week?”
“Suddenly, not that sorry.” Frankie said but he could see the mischievous glint in her eyes.
“It’s fine. We’ll find something else to watch.”
They were done with their dinner halfway through ‘When Harry Met Sally’ and just lounged back in the couch cushions.
“Why are we watching this again?” Frankie asked, her fingers playing with a lose thread on a pillow next to her.
“Because it’s a classic.” Will pointed out and took another sip of his wine.
“Die Hard is a classic. This is torture.” Frankie said dramatically.
“Wow, you are a true romantic at heart.” Will mockingly clutched his chest.
Frankie tried to hit him with a pillow in response, but he caught it and pulled on it. Frankie, not one to simply let go and be defeated, pulled in turn but simply got dragged across the couch’s smooth leather surface.
“Romance is overrated.” She said and let go of the pillow. Any closer and she’d be sitting in his lap soon.
Will looked intently at her, his eyes darting all over her face. “I’m sorry.” He said softly, all fight gone.
Her eyes narrowed at him. “For making me watch this? You should be.”
“No.” Will shook his head. “That no one ever took the time to get to know you well enough to romance you.” His tone was almost gentle.
Frankie leaned back from him and rolled her eyes. “Don’t be.” She cleared her throat, then reached for her glass and drained it.
Will watched as Frankie got up from the couch, collected their glasses and walked over towards the kitchen. All without sparing him another glance.
Dammit. He briefly let his head sink back against the couch.
Why did it always feel that for every step forward, they took two steps backwards?
He inhaled sharply and got to his feet.
“Why don’t you tell me why you’re really here?” He walked over towards her.
Frankie took the time to set the glasses down on the counter and then slowly turned to face him. By now he was standing right in front of her, his gaze expectant.
“What do you mean? I already told you that I like drinking wine with you.” She tried for a flippant reply.
“True.” He agreed. “But that’s not what’s going on here.”
Frankie had to give him credit for that. “Okay.” She cleared her throat, looked down at her shoes and then met his gaze again with new determination. “Close your eyes.”
“No.” Will shook his head.
Frankie rolled her eyes. “Come on, close your eyes.”
His gaze narrowed, but he shrugged. “Fine.” He said grudgingly and closed his eyes.
And then he waited.
Frankie took the opportunity to just look at him. Then she took a step in his direction, not that there was much space between them to begin with, wound her arms around his shoulders and hugged him.
His reaction was instantaneous as he reflexively lifted his arms and pulled her into his chest.
“I’m really glad you’re okay.” Frankie breathed against him. Will felt her arms tighten around him as she leant more of her weight against him.
She could never tell him but listening to him being tortured had been… unpleasant. And she knew she had stepped up and gotten the job done in leading the team to his rescue, but for a moment there she’d had her doubts. And she vowed to herself that she’d never fail him or any of their team again.
When she lifted her head and met his wide and knowing gaze, she thought maybe she didn’t have to tell him.
“Anyway.” She cleared her throat and took a step back from him. “I think I should go.”
“What? Why?” Will’s confusion was genuine.
Frankie’s eyes just widened, and she gestured around them as if he couldn’t see the obvious. “I can’t imagine Emma would love this. And since you share everything with her…”
Will ignored the familiar undercurrent of jealousy in her tone for the obvious truth. “Things with Emma have… cooled off.” He admitted.
“What? Since when?”
“Shortly after the incident in Spain with Jimmy and the plutonium.”
“Because of the wine and cheese?” Frankie asked incredulously.
“I think it was the fig jam.” Will tried to lighten the mood.
“Will. Be serious here.”
“I am. Turns out the British are not big fans of jam.”
Frankie’s hand shot out and she poked the left side of his rib cage in the exact spot she had shot him a few weeks prior.
“Ow.” Will turned away from her stabbing finger and rubbed over the spot.
Frankie just crossed her arms in front of her chest. “Nothing happened.”
“Nothing would have happened.” She clarified.
Will just looked at her with wide eyes and gently swayed his head from side to side. Verbally he neither confirmed nor denied her statement.
Franke took a determined step in his direction and tried to poke him again but this time, Will anticipated her move and caught her hand in his. “No more poking.”
“Nothing would have happened.” Frankie repeated, but it lacked the conviction she’d held a moment earlier.
“Maybe she thought one of us wanted something to happen.” He said softly.
“Doesn’t she trust you? I thought that was your thing.”
Will ignored her jab and used the hold on her hand to pull her closer. Frankie had to slightly tilt her head upwards to keep eye contact.
“Maybe it’s you she doesn’t trust.” He acknowledged gently.
Frankie’s eyes darted towards his lips and she instinctively wetted her own. A move that didn’t go unnoticed by Will.
“Smart woman.” She murmured.
Then his lips descended on hers.