Don't ask me where this came from, because I really have no idea. It's not much of anything really, and no doubt horribly OC, but, anyhoo, it gave mea giggle when I wrote it, so here you go! xx
Oh, and 'Operation Iraqi Children' was co-founded by Gary Sinise himself.
"Stella," Mac's stern voice broke through the break room noise. "Can I see you for a second?"
"Um…sure," she said, pouring her coffee down the sink and following Mac to his office, casting a shrug to an amused Danny.
Mac kept the door open for her, then sat opposite her, the same serious look on his face.
"What's going on?" she asked, getting more worried as the seconds ticked away.
"I have a question to ask…" She gestured for him to ask when his pause ran on. "Have you seen this?" He smoothed out a flyer onto the desk. The top corner had the Sullivan's neon sign, while the words, or rather letters, "NY's QT's" were emblazoned across the middle with a time and today's date.
"It's a play on words-"
"I know it's a play on words, I just didn't know you knew it was a play on words," she smirked. "I think I saw one in the bar, why?"
"It's a fundraiser that Sullivan's is holding. They're 'auctioning' off members of the New York law enforcement to raise money for Operation Iraqi Children. Danny and Flack have signed up, and, apparently, have done me a 'favour' by signing me up too."
Stella chortled, but covered her mouth quickly, sensing it wasn't the time. "You're…you're going to be auctioned off? To a bar full of randy women?" The giggles were too hard to hide. "You're Man Candy!"
He grimaced and heaved a sigh. "It's not funny! I talked to Joey and Claudia Sullivan and they said all names are final, I have to go."
"What was the question you wanted to ask me? Will I 'buy' you and save you from the women?" She chuckled. Mac didn't. "Wait, you're serious?"
"It's my only option."
"Or you could be a good sport and go through with it! It says here all you have to do is go on a date. Take the lucky girl to Massimo's or something…" The proverbial light-bulb lit. "It's not the date is it? It's the girl…"
"I've been trying to think about who would…bid?" He muttered that he couldn't believe he was having this conversation. "And I've narrowed it down to one person who would be stupid enough to bid on an over-the-hill widower with social issues. Jane Parsons-"
"-Jane Parsons-" they said simultaneously.
"And you're scared of Jane Parsons?"
"No, no, not 'scared', just…"
"Not of her, just of what she might construe from the 'date'."
"Mm-hmm," she nodded, trying as hard as she could to suppress another chuckle. She was failing miserably, but Mac was beginning to see the funny side.
"So, will you do me the honour of 'winning' me?" he smirked, passing her a money clip.
"$500? Somebody feels very highly of himself," she sassed, fanning out the dollars in front of her face.
"Worst case scenario," he assured.
Stella pulled her jacket closer around her chest, warding off the typical New York chill. Sullivan's was barely a block away, and in her eyeline, and the absurdity of the evening hit her again. She chuckled to herself, not for the first time.
She had to admit that even she was surprised by the turn-out. The bar was packed to the rafters with women, even some Bachelorette parties had found there way there, not to mention a couple of men propping up the bar. Regardless of what happened for the rest of the night, it had already been made with that sight alone.
Claudia Sullivan ambled through the crowd and took to the make-shift stage erected on the far wall. Her black sequined dress probably showed more cleavage than she should have, but it wouldn't have been Claudia otherwise. Stella tried to blend into the background, grabbing a chair near the door and draping her jacket across her knees. Her chocolate brown dress helping her to fade into the darkened room.
"Okay, okay, mothballs, mothballs!" Claudia announced over the microphone.
"What in the hell are you doing?" Joey called from behind the bar.
"Testing the mic!"
"It works!" he shouted back, rolling his eyes to the giggling crowd.
"Ladies, and I do believe some gentlemen? Welcome to Sullivan's first annual 'NY QT' auction of the finest men New York's Finest has to offer!" A giddy cheer sounded. "Are we ready to see some flesh, ladies? And gents?"
Stella was wrong. That made her night.
"Onto to Bachelor number Four!" Claudia shouted into the mic, the only way to be heard over the ruckus of adoring comments and Hot Chocolate's 'You Sexy Thing'. Stella gave a cheer of her own when Danny sauntered onto the stage. "This hunk is New York born and bred, and works out of the CSI building, so you know he knows a little something about chemistry!" Claudia shimmied at that last word, and Danny cast somewhat worried glance into the audience. "Come on, people, do I hear a hundred?"
She heard a hundred, and it was quickly raised to $150, $200, $300.
Danny continued to strut around the stage, loosening his tie, and throwing his jacket into the whooping crowd. When $400 was called, Stella watched as he motioned quietly to someone at the bar. The amount was upped fifty bucks, and the gesture became more pointed. Stella strained over the congregation to spot Aiden grinning like the Cheshire Cat and shrugging her shoulders. Had Danny had the same idea as Mac? If yes, Aiden wasn't living up to her side of the bargain…it looked like fun.
Another fifty was called and Danny looked ready to explode. Aiden, still grinning, relented and called "Six hundred and Fifty Dollars!"
There was a gasp from Claudia who began the finale, "$650 going once! $650 going twice! Final call for the Italian Stallion here…GONE to Aiden by the bar!"
Danny heaved a sigh of relief and picked up his tie from the floor. He was grinning as he made his way over to her, wrapping an arm around her and whispering something into her ear making her chuckle. Stella imagined it was no doubt something about scaring him and never to do it again.
"The Italian Stallion may be gone, ladies and gents," Claudia began again, after swallowing the majority of her wine, "but the night is not over! Why don't we bring on Bachelor number Five? Detective Mac Taylor!"
Mac slowly came from behind the curtain, fear etched across his features. He searched the crowd for his saviour while Claudia ran down his finer points. "This man has fought for his country, people, not to mention New York. He's head of CSI, so smarter than your average bear and I think you'll agree, hotter too?"
Mac raked an uncomfortable hand through his hair, much to Stella's delight. Someone near the stage handed Claudia another wine, causing Mac to grimace and search for Stella again, the first time proving unsuccessful. He'd seen Danny and Aiden though. He had cast bemused daggers in his direction. "Why don't we start at £100?"
Someone near the front called for that amount, and it was quickly upped by someone behind Stella. As Mac switched his gaze between bidders, he finally set his eyes onto Stella and looked to relax. Oh how wrong he could be.
The woman near the front called over the wolf whistles and cheering, "Two hundreds dollars!"
That was British, so Jane Parsons was in the building. The night was getting so much better.
Mac begrudgingly obliged as Claudia drunkenly pulled his blazer jacket off him. He laughed as she undid another button on his shirt. More cat calls from the crowd erupted, even more to Stella's delight. The bidding continued to climb, and Mac finally looked to her pointedly.
She rifled through her bag, gesturing as if she'd forgotten the money, but the shocked look he shot back was too funny for Stella to keep a straight face. "Five hundred dollars!" she shouted.
"We have Five hundred! Do I hear Five-"
"Five fifty!" Came the British retort.
Stella laughed as Mac stopped dead. He'd practically resigned himself when the $500 was called, thinking it was all over. Now it was a completely different ball game.
Six Hundred was called from behind Stella, and she shrugged to the man on stage, flashing the money clip saying she was out.
Jane called for Six fifty, but nothing came from whoever it was behind Stella. It was down to Jane. Stella had every intention of saving him, but the frightened little boy on stage was too much of a giggle to act quickly.
"$650 going once!"
Mac openly gestured for her to up her bid.
"$650 going twice!"
She shrugged to him again, motioning to the money clip.
"Eight Hundred Dollars!" Stella called, standing up. It was for charity after all.
"SOLD!" Claudia shouted, the wine obviously affecting her rememberance of the actual rules of an auction. "Is that Stella down there? Sold, to Stella Bonasera for Eight Hundred Dollars!"
There was a dejected cry from Jane's group and Mac quickly jumped off stage to applause.
"That was too close," he narrowed his eyes to her, just making her grin even more.
"It's all for charity, remember."
"Can we go now?"
She nodded with a chuckle and opened the door for him. She made a quick gesture to Joey behind the bar that she'd pay her price the next day.
Mac shrugged his jacket back over his shoulders and redid the button on his shirt. "Right, thanks for tonight. See you tomorrow?"
"What? Oh, no no no, I just won a date with the Marine Man Candy. I intend to collect my winnings."
"Your winnings? I paid!"
"You underestimated your appeal to a room full of Bachelorette parties… and Claudia. I had to add $300 of my own hard-earned money."
"Can I not just give you the $300?"
"Not unless you don't want to be bad-mouthed across this fair state."
He sighed, amused but trying not to show. "Massimo's?"
"I think that'll do nicely."