AN; finally got to see the season's finale. And this was something that slipped into my mind right when this scene came on. I'm still working on a real CSI:NY script, but this seemed to good to pass up. The end of the episode is great for the shippers amongst us, isn't it? I'm personally very much for Danny and Lindsay, but then Mac and Stella sounds good too. So for all those who like that, here's a little something. Lemme know whatcha think. Unedited I'm afraid, didn't want to wait until my beatreader could get back to me :)

Disclaimer; I do not own the rights to CSI:NY, and do not profit from this endeavor. This story includes excerpts from the TV show CSI:NY.

Simple and a little sweet

Pressing her palm flat against the door she pushed it open and walked into the corridor outside of Don's room. Mac was still sitting in his spot, pretty much in the same position as she left him. She could tell he was deep in thought, his eyes slightly glazed and looking off into the far distance. But who wouldn't be reflective after an ordeal such as this? Her only hope was the incident in Beirut wasn't harrowing his mind too badly.

Walking up to him she extended her right hand and give Mac his coffee, black and two sugars. Simple and a little sweet. She mentally snorted with a smile at the analogy she could make with Mac's personality. Stella sat down next to him, sighing as the chair brought some relief for her tired legs and feet. Placing her left leg over her right knee she gave her friend a short looking over, to see if he was doing all right. With no immediate signs of distress, she turned her head back to the front and lifted her coffee cup to her lips.

"I'm glad you stayed."

He hadn't really moved or looked up when she got here, so his words took her a little by surprise. Mac was looking down at his coffee, fidgeting slightly with the cup. It seemed like he wanted to say something with that line, but she couldn't see it. So instead of trying to psychoanalyze it she chose for the easy answer.

"Mac, it's what we do."

She turned her head to him again and watched his face closely for any reaction. When she figured he was waiting for more she added a short but effective statement.

"We take care of each other."

That brought a small smile to his lips, and he turned to look at her. His eyes locked on hers with their usual intensity. The man always had a way of staring people down, and it had taken her a while to get used to the undivided attention and often inquiry that lay in his gaze. But after so many years she knew he would never hurt her with it, or judge. He was looking out for her, just as she was right now for him. And Don of course.

She smiled back at him and made sure to show him that she was right here for him when he needed her. Not only because it was the least she could do for him after her case with Frankie, but also because she cared for him, and had now for a long time. In her mind it had always defied any conventional relation status. Boss-coworker, friend-friend, man-women, csi-csi, scarred individual-scarred individual. It always seemed a little of everything and all at the same time. And as perplexing as that might be at times, she couldn't help but smile back at him. Her Mac.

His eyes wondered away from her for a second, making her wonder what was going on in his head. But when his eyes reconnected with hers and he repeated his words, a whole new set of possibilities opened up.

"I'm glad you stayed."

The emphasis in his words had changed and gave her a completely new feeling about it. She searched his eyes if he had really meant it, if he had wanted to make the words sound like that. And all she could see was honesty. Careful, bashful, slightly scared, but brave honesty.

Her smile grew a little bigger and a little bashful as well. They continued to look at each other for a second or so more, before looking away. His eyes returned to their injured friend and colleague, while she looked down at her hands. No words would come to her to expand on this and maybe clear things up. But then maybe no words were required at the moment. And he confirmed just that by placing his left hand over her right and squeezing gently.

"I'm gonna…check on Flack."

She looked up and nodded briefly. Mac stood up and slowly walked into Don's room. She watched him go and stared at his back for a few moments when he was standing next to Don's bed. She couldn't tell if he was talking or just watching, but when he took Don's hand in his own she had to look away for just an instant and clear her eyes of the small tears that tried to make their way out. Her gaze found Mac's coffee, on top of a few magazines. She sniffed back the tears and smiled. Simple and a little sweet. Her Mac.