Title: Physical, Meta or Otherwise
Author: DeepBlueQL
Pairing/characters: Mac/Stella with slight allusions to Horatio/Stella
Word count: 555
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Mac watches them.
Spoilers: "Manhattan Manhunt"
Disclaimer: I do not own CSI:NY or its amazing characters.
AN: This is oddly dark yet ends somewhat humorously. Don't ask me why. The characters may seem kinda OOC...I tried my best.

The hand reaching to open the door to his office stilled as he saw them approach one another. The mask Mac had been desperately trying to keep in place since returning to New York fell as he was once again forced to witness their seemingly innocent yet subtly intimate exchanges.

His fist clenched as he watched them bid farewell. His stomach retched at the feeling of perversion and sickness, the knowledge that he had been reduced to a voyeur spying on a tender moment. The thought of the two as lovers fanned the flames of his rage, his fist tightening painfully as an inaudible growl forced its way past the constriction in his throat.

A sudden crack registered in the back of his mind and he distractedly looked down at his hand, numb to the image of a pencil reduced to shards and the splinters that lay embedded in his rough palm and white knuckles.

Soon enough his eyes drifted back to the couple. Couple. The word scathingly pummeled his soul, threatening to shatter his sanity.

Then he noticed Stella standing alone. The words "good riddance" viciously rang out from the darkest recesses of his being while he adamantly ignored his rationale reminding him that he respected, admired, and even liked Lt. Caine. Mac had long been aware that reason had no place near his feelings for Stella Bonasera.

Unexpectedly, delicately tapered fingers closed around his wrist. The surprise of her sudden apparition next to him hindered the mask from smoothly slipping into place, and alarms rang in his head as he saw the omniscience in her eyes.

Panicked, Mac immediately regretted his unthinking reaction, his terrified attempt to jerk back his arm instantly transforming Stella's grip from one of silk to one of steel. Unwilling to meet the penetrating gaze of her hazel suns, he stared at their hands. Her fingers loosened their cuffs around him and trailed down to his tense digits. Slender appendages pried open his fist. The clatter of the pencil pieces hitting the floor fell on deaf ears, as Mac stared, entranced by the sight of her long nails plucking out the splinters and doubts from his flesh. Following this meticulous task, Stella softly brushed her palm over his; imbuing him with her much needed healing touch.

Hesitantly, he looked up to see her expression, refusing to hope at her small smile because of the somberness he recognized in her eyes. Suddenly, she spoke, her whispered tone only pulling him further under her spell, until he listened to the actual words.

"Mac, these metaphysical musings don't suit you," she said, her voice teasing and chiding at the same time.

Finally cracking under almost five years of pressure compounded into the last five days, he replied, "How 'bout simply physical ones then?" and to preempt the quick response sure to have escaped her notoriously smart mouth, he did the only thing he could think of, actually the only thing he had been thinking of. Mac Taylor kissed Stella Bonasera, and he kept on kissing her for quite a while.

The entire lab erupted into a riot.

Papers were dropped, mouths hung open, and not a few people started to clap. And behind closing elevator doors stood a smiling lieutenant from Miami, who had seen it all and knew it all along.