Hello my sweet Anon! Here it is, I really hope it’s ‘Vanderwood x MC’-ey enough…again I had never thought about writing this ship before but I gave it my best shot! :)
Look at Me (Vanderwood x MC)
Warnings: Description of anxiety/panic attack.
To be honest, she had had enough. She literally couldn’t do it anymore. She was done.
He didn’t need to adore her, he didn’t need to shower her in compliments or kiss her goodnight. He didn’t need to be in love with her, all he needed to be was kind. To tell her gently that he didn’t feel that way about her or that it’s complicated and but they would work something out. He needed to have not let her fall in love with him in the first place.
MC had gone far past angry at this point, to an extent where she couldn’t feel anything at all.
Well, for a bit.
It hit her like a truck speeding round a corner. She was scrolling through the chatroom when her her palms started to sweat, then she couldn’t even read the messages since her hand was shaking too much. What the…? The final straw was drawn when she felt like she was drowning in her own fear but burning at the same time. Her lungs were burning and her eyes pricked with tears. Every laboured breath didn’t feel like enough. All she could hear was the pounding of her own heart ringing in her ears, getting louder and louder as though they were footsteps chasing after her, getting closer and closer. Every nerve in her body told her to run, every instinct screamed at her that she was in danger, that she was running out of time.
She needed to get out.
MC burst out of her room, ignoring Seven’s vexed expression as she marched to the front door.
“Where on earth are you going?”
“Out,” she managed to squeak as she slammed the door.
Falling back against the closed door she tried to regain her breath, but it wasn’t enough. She practically through herself down the stares in a desperate attempt to get outside. Once she was out of the building, she slid down the wall trying desperately to formulate some coherent thoughts, but it was hopeless.
The air felt thicker and heavier as the corners of her vision started to fade to black, until she heard a voice.
“Hey, look at me. I need you to do something for me, okay?”
For Christ’s sakes, it was the same every damn week.
What exactly was the point of having a phone if you never answer it? 707 was lucky he was so talented because Vanderwood was pulling his hair out when he would much rather pull the trigger on the kid.
He didn’t mean it, really. It just felt therapeutic to think it.
Vanderwood checked the streets before rounding the corner. Luckily, the street and building where he had tracked 707’s phone to seemed pretty much abandoned. For once he could probably make a normal entrance through the front-
He barely got to reach for the door handle when the whole door burst open. Vanderwood had already pulled out and aimed his gun by the time he could identify the culprit. Isn’t that the chick that 707 had been creepily watching for the past few days? Yeah, it was. He was sure of it, he’d seen plenty of her through the camera feed.
But boy, she did not seem happy.
Actually, that was a bit of an understatement. She was having a full-blown panic attack.
Surprisingly, he knew how to deal with these, since it was in the manual he was given from the agency for training new recruits. Panic attacks were more than common amongst the newbies, and usually, Vanderwood would just give them the tough treatment. They would have to learn, after all.
But despite his foul mood, Vanderwood was feeling pretty generous today. Probably because she was innocent. Probably because she would definitely pass out if he left her. Probably because she was beautiful.
Uh, no. Definitely not the last one. Not at all. Nope.
He slowly inched up to her and knelt by her side, taking off his glove and offering his hand to her, “Hey, look at me. I need you to do something for me, okay?” he said in the softest voice he could.
The woman’s wide eyes stared straight back into his, making his own heart rate quicken slightly. Focus, dumbass. “I need you take my hand, can you do that for me?”
After a few moments she managed to weakly raise her hand, but Vanderwood met her half way, gently enveloping her hand with his own, “Good, that’s really good. You can squeeze as hard as you need to. Now I need to watch my chest,” he suddenly felt a bit self-conscious, but swatted the thought away as quickly as it came, “I need you to try and match your breathing with the rise and fall of my chest. You’re alright, nothing will hurt you, I’m here okay? Just in…and out…in…and out…”
After a few minutes, the woman’s ragged breaths became slower, more controlled, indicating to Vanderwood that he could move on to the next step.
“That’s great, you’re doing really well. Could you do something else for me?” The woman hesitantly nodded. He continued, “Could you tell me your name?”
“MC,” the woman managed to say in between breaths.
“Okay, MC. My name’s Vanderwood. I’m here to help you, okay? Would you be able to name five things you can see right now?”
She stopped for a moment before shaking her head, her breaths starting to pickup speed again.
“I know it’s difficult, it’s okay. Just have a look around. Hey, it’s alright, you can open your eyes. See? Everything’s fine. I’m here, I’m not going to leave you.”
Her tears continued to run down her face but she managed to lift her head and look around. After a few gulps of air she croaked, “I can see a fence, a door…a sign, the road and…you.”
“Good job, you’re doing so well.” Usually, he would move on to sound, smell and then touch, but the area was so deserted that it would be too difficult for her to list sounds and smells and she was already making good progress, so he went straight to touch.
“One last thing, okay? What can you feel? Think about your whole body. In your hands, under your feet…what can you physically feel in this moment?”
“Um…I can feel the concrete under my feet, the wall against my back…umm the breeze on my face…and your hand.”
“Brilliant. See? Everything’s okay, you’re completely safe,” he said calmly as he gave her hand a gentle squeeze. She had done very well, he could tell that she was fighter, “Now, if you feel ready, do you want to tell me what happened?”
MC sniffed before wiping her tears with her sleeve, her other hand still firmly holding on to Vanderwood’s. Not that he minded.
“It’s pathetic, really. It’s my fault anyway, I’m just a fool.”
“I dunno, anyone who runs away from that punk is pretty damn smart if you ask me.” She chuckled, but he could tell held no weight. He sat down next to her, “What did he do? If he’s being a prick I’ll take care of it. I have a taser.”
She chuckled again, more genuinely this time. Which was ironic, because this time he wasn’t joking.
“He didn’t do anything. It’s nothing really…”
“Are you sure? Because what I just saw didn’t seem like ‘nothing’.”
MC tucked her hair behind her ear, exposing her neck, and Vanderwood could feel his cheeks heat up. Jesus Christ, pull yourself together man. How old are you? You would have thought you were fifteen years old considering you’re blushing at such a casual gesture. For goodness sake.
“It’s just a but of a wake up call when you spend your whole life thinking you’re alone, and it’s confirmed by the one person in the world who made you feel like you weren’t.”
Vanderwood had to fight the urge to dart up the stairs, kick down the door and punch the fucker in the face. 707 was an idiot at the best of times, but for some reason this pissed Vanderwood off to no end. Here was this beautiful, gentle, sweet woman who wanted him, and he practically tore her apart. He understood why he did it, but there were still better ways go going about it.
Or, you know, maybe he shouldn’t have opened his arms for her in the first place?
Vanderwood’s blood boiled.
“Listen,” he started, facing her now, “I know what he’s doing his harsh, but trust me when I say he’s doing it because he genuinely cares about you,” she scoffed but he continued, “I’m serious. You’re probably sick of him saying that it’s for your own good, right? But it’s true, and I’m sorry to say that. You can’t have loved ones in this field, because trust me, the consequences are much more painful than this…for both parties,” Vanderwood swallowed in an attempt to get rid of the lump forming in his throat. Now was not the time to get emotional. Now was not the time to remember. Then why could he not get the image of them out of his head?
She gave him a shy smile and squeezed his hand, “Thank you, Vanderwood. I really appreciate your kindness. And I’m sorry if me turning up slowed down Seven’s work and caused trouble for you…”
Vanderwood wanted to laugh. Was she really worrying about him in this situation? Wow, maybe 707 was right, maybe she really was an angel. “Nah, don’t worry about it. He wouldn’t have done the work anyway.”
They both laughed and sat in a comfortable silence for a few blissful moments, before MC’s phone rang, “Hello? I’m just outside…Because I can?…I’m a grown woman for crying out loud I can go outside if I want to…Fine! I’m coming back now, chill out!” she growled before she forcefully hung up.
An angel with an edge. Vanderwood fucking loved that.
“Well, it was great to finally meet you, MC, despite the circumstances,” he said as they stood up, “Listen, I wouldn’t normally do this but I know what that idiot’s like so here’s my number. Call me if he gets out of line. Only emergencies though, okay?” he handed her a business card.
“Oh, thank you. But where are you going? Did you not come to see Seven?”
“Meh, it seems you both have enough on your plate so I’ll come back another time. But please ask him to answer his damn phone, if you say the boss is asking after him he won’t question you.”
“Noted,” she said with a smile. Then she launched herself at him and wrapped her arms around his torso in a tight embrace, knocking the air out of Vanderwood’s lungs. “Thank you again, you’ve been a lifesaver.”
Ironic, but okay. After quickly recovering he wrapped his own arms around her waist, pulling her closer to him. He let his eyes flutter shut as he gave in to her warmth, and allowed himself to temporarily live in a world where he was allowed to do so. When was the last time he was hugged? When was the last time he felt cared for?
The fact that the feeling was so foreign hurt more than he cared to admit to himself, “No problem, now go before he turns the apartment upside looking for you.”
With an unrestrained laugh MC bounded towards the door, and Vanderwood had to force himself to turn and walk away from her. He didn’t get far, though, before he heard her again, “Oh, and Vanderwood?”
“Take care of yourself too…please.” And then she disappeared into the building, and in all that time he spent watching her through the camera feed, he wondered how he had never truly seen her until now.
Vanderwood smiled despite himself, and sighed as he walked away from something he could never have.
“Oh, you’re going to be trouble, aren’t you?”
“What do you think you’re doing, MC? You do realise that there’s a hacker on the loose, right? Or did you happen to forget that you were almost kidnapped and taken-“
“You know what, Luciel? I don’t wanna hear it. I’m going to bed,” MC said evenly, catching the redhead off guard.
MC didn’t even take the moment to watch his facial features drop in surprise. She just went straight into the bedroom and slammed the door. She threw herself onto the bed with a huff and stared at the ceiling, letting her mind wonder.
She was so lucky that Vanderwood found her when he did, and that he was so gentle and generous towards her. He didn’t even know her, nor did she know him. But there he was, saving her from her own damn mind and sitting with her in a companionable silence like it was the most natural thing in the world. She could still feel the ghost of his hand in hers, his shoulder against her own, his smooth voice as he grounded her.
MC closed her eyes, her heart thumping away again in her chest. Although, she noted, it felt completely different than before. Then she chuckled to herself, amused by the situation she had found herself in and the ridiculousness of it all.
“So, I have a thing for secret agents, do I? How fucking inconvenient.”
There it is! I wanted to get this to you asap so I’m sorry if it’s rough! Any feedback or constructive criticism is welcome and appreciated! :)
Thank you again Anon for the request! <3