Author: The Atomic Cafe PM
MS. 'Don't tell me you're counting on your fingers'Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Humor - Words: 698 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 1 - Published: 10-13-06 - Status: Complete - id: 3197508
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I do not own CSI: NY or affiliates.
Stella looked at the crooked handwriting over the glass wall. If she cocked her head, she could read it straight and ignore how bad Mac's handwriting was when he was in a hurry.
"What's that say?" she asked as she turned slightly to see the slant.
Mac looked up from the photographs in his hands. "Hmm?"
Stella pointed along the line and grinned. "Really, Mac. I can't read your handwriting."
"Hydrogen, Oxygen, Oxygen, Carbon, Carbon, Hydrogen double-bonded to Carbon, Hydrogen, Carbon, Oxygen, Oxygen, Hydrogen," Mac read, his voice monotonous as he spoke, frowning. "Chemical formula for green apples, I believe."
Stella smirked. "Great help. Trace of green apple juice around the vic's mouth."
"Worth knowing when they're dead outside a black-suit gala. Most people would wipe their mouths before going in."
"If we find his car or something, we'll probably find the apple core. Charity dinners are expensive. Otherwise they'd be normal dinners."
Mac smiled. "True."
Looking over the messy scrawls again, Stella frowned. "Mac?"
"Hmm?" He was already looking back at the photograph.
"Comes from the acid… maleic, right?"
"Where's the change in formula for it?"
She continued to stare at the formula, though she turned back when she didn't hear Mac's response. Her eyes landed on his hands, one of which held the photographs, the other quietly twitching. Stella laughed.
"What?" Mac looked up quickly, his hand dropping back onto the pictures.
"Don't tell me you're counting on your fingers." Stella's cheeks started to grow numb as her grin widened.
Mac's lips tightened. Stella's grin widened to a dangerous level. "Really, Mac. Bit juvenile for the head of the lab -"
With a sudden slapping sound, Mac laid his hand on his desk. Stella looked at it carefully, trying to see if there was a problem. His fingers were spread out again into a wide arc.
"When did you learn multiplication?" he asked suddenly.
Stella considered it. "I was probably eight or so. Maybe seven."
"I started learning them when I was seven. I didn't understand them until I was nearly twelve."
"That's because it's you, Mac." Stella laughed. "You probably wanted to know what it meant to the universe, whether it could lead to crime, the dangers of multiplication, and how it could be stopped if it did go bad."
"No," he answered slowly. "I just didn't get it."
Stella's grin started to fade, but a smile still remained on her face. "So what if you're bad at math? Not like most of this stuff needs it?"
"And that's what I always hoped." Mac reached into his pocket and put something small and white on the table. Stella looked to see that it was a calculator. "And, of course, something had to prove me wrong."
Stella watched him curiously.
He watched her back, then smiled. Stella blinked. "That's a whole different story, though." At her expression, his smile widened. "One of these days, you'll notice what I'm talking about. Find out you have one weakness in the lab, then try to fix it. Something will always come up where you'll need it." He picked the calculator back up and put it in his pocket. "Rule of the thumb."
"I'll keep that in mind then." Stella smirked and looked back at the board, rereading the messy scrawl.
"Make sure you learn to read correctly."
"I swear, Mac, it's your handwriting -"
"No, it's not." Mac pointed at the board. "The problem's that you're reading it backwards."