So, the UK had 'Open and Shut' last night, and it spawned yet another Post-'All Access' fic. My...third now? What can I say? Melina was robbed for no Emmy nom's for that performance.

Semper has been anything but forgotten about, I promise. El Muso is just being a bit of a two-year old and not keeping up to her responsabilities. I'm away for the next week, so I promise to tie her to a chair and force ch37 out of her :)

Enjoy x


The halls of New York's CSI unit were quickly filling with people as the day and swing shifts merged together. It was busy at any time, but the relinquishing of control to the next lot of guys could get crazy.

Mac braced himself as he left his office and headed for the locker rooms. "Danny," he announced, seeing the young man changing his shirt, "You seen Stella?"

"She grabbed her stuff and shot outta here, Mac. 'Bout ten minutes ago. Is she alright? She's been kinda funny all day."

"I noticed, I was hoping she'd still be here." He gave a sigh but shrugged it away as his cell phone trilled to life. "Have a good night, Danny."

Xx

The phone call that afternoon had been Peyton reminding Mac of their dinner together that night. He had promised he would be there and hadn't disappointed. Finding a time where both Mac and Peyton had been free had proven difficult over the last few weeks, so she was making sure she used this time to its full potential.

She had managed to leave work early and lovingly prepared a romantic meal, and thankfully found a spare minute to clean her apartment up. Now it was suitable for guests and not just herself.

Mac smiled as he collected their plates, following Peyton into the kitchen. He set them down in the sink while she grabbed another bottle of wine from the cupboard, grinning as Mac turned the tap on and was preparing to wash the dishes. She came up behind him and wrapped her arms around his waist. "I think we can leave them for another time," she whispered, placing a kiss between his shoulder blades.

"Oh, really?" he smiled, turning into her embrace to wrap his arms around her. She moved hers up to his neck.

"Definitely," she smirked, standing up on her tip-toes to place a kiss on his lips. When he didn't respond, she sank back down to her heals. "What's wrong?"

His gaze was over her shoulder and onto the calendar that hung by the fridge. "What day is it?"

"What? Erm, Thursday," she told him, confusion knitting at her brow.

"What date?"

"April 26th. Mac, what is it?"

"I have to go," he said with a frustrated and annoyed sigh. Annoyed at himself for not remembering. He folding himself out of Peyton's grasp.

"What? Go? We were staying in tonight, remember?" she said, following him into the living room and rubbing her hand over his shoulder as he bent for his shoes.

"I know, I'm sorry, but…I have to go." He slipped his feet back into his shoes and grabbed his jacket from the back of the couch.

"Go where?" She stood back and crossed her arms, not appreciating his leaving after all the effort she'd put into the night and what she was hoping to get out of it.

He knew that she deserved the truth, but it wasn't really his truth to tell. He stopped to look at her, her jaw set in defiance and eyes glistening with anger. He rubbed a hand over his face with a sigh. "It's a year since…" he chose his words carefully, "since Stella's boyfriend died."

Peyton relaxed a little bit, unfolding her arms from her chest, but her eyes still shone with confusion. What did that have to do with Mac and ruining tonight? "Did Stella ask you to go over?"

"No," he said, making his way over to the door.

"Well, she probably just wants to time on her own, Mac."

Mac nodded. "I'll found out when I get there." He gave her a quick kiss and disappeared out the door with a "Thank you for dinner. I promise I'll make it up to you."

Xx

The knock at the door startled Stella. She sat upright on the couch and cursed for allowing herself to be scared by it. What did she think it was? Frankie coming back? He didn't knock on the door when he was alive, what made her think he'd do it when he was dead?

She padded over to the door, her breath coming out in frustrated shorts. She peered into the viewfinder and smiled.

"Hi," Mac said as she swung into view.

"Hey," she said, pushing the door open fully and walking back to the couch.

He smirked to himself as he shut it behind him and took his jacket off, laying it onto the dividing wall's shelf. He went down the few steps and sat next to her on the couch. "So, what are we watching?"

"'Officer and a Gentleman'," Stella smirked, tucking her legs under her and grabbing the bowl of popcorn from the table.

Mac nodded, "You couldn't find anything more chick-flick-y?"

"They were all out of 'Rambo'," she smirked, throwing a kernel of popcorn in his direction.

He laughed and took a handful of the snack, settling back into the cushions and planting his feet onto the table as she pressed play.

Stella took a deep breath, finally relaxing for the night. She squeezed Mac's knee in silent thanks for coming over. He extended his arm over the back of the couch, letting Stella fall against his side.