Mistakes for the Better

Chapter 1: Connections

"Mac, I just got the DNA results back from the scraping under the vic's fingernails. It's… well, you have to look," Hawkes hands over the report.

Mac reads through it. "A partial match to Stella?"

"Male DNA so a father or a brother. What do we do?"

"I'm going to have a talk with her while you continue processing."

"Are you going to ask her for her relatives' addresses so we can ask for DNA samples?"

Mac frowns, "She can't do that, Sheldon. Stella… grew up in foster care. She doesn't know her family."

"Things couldn't be easy for once."

"Keep working," Mac walks away in search of Stella. He finds her in her office and knocks gently on the door before entering.

"Hey, Mac. What do you need?" she looks up from her file and smiles.

He sits opposite her, not sure where to start. "A sample of DNA from our case came back with a partial match."

"What does you case have to do with me?" He looks down at the piece of paper in his hands without responding. "What's the matter, Mac?"

"Someone related to you is involved in our victim's murder," he hands over the report.

Stella reads it over several times in disbelief. "You know I don't have anything for you, Mac. Even if I wanted to help you, I don't know anything about my parents or if I have any siblings."

"You don't even know a name?"

She shakes her head. "I don't even know if my last name is from my mother or my father."

Mac sighs. "There has to be paperwork somewhere that has your parents' names on it. You have to have a birth certificate."

"I suppose there is somewhere unless they just left me in the middle of the night."

"Stel, you have to have a birth certificate."

"I don't. I think my foster parents had it or a copy, and they never gave it to me when I left."

"Do I have your permission to look through your file if I locate it?" he asks.

She shrugs, "If it'll help your case."

"I'll even let you look at it if you want," he offers, knowing she has always wondered about her past.

"I gave up on them a long time ago, Mac."

"I didn't mean you had to search for them. I just thought it might answer some questions."

"I'd rather not know at all."

"Okay," he nods. "Let me know if you change your mind."

Stella leans back in her chair and looks out the window while he leaves. She closes her eyes to think. She really did want answers but she had gone thirty-six years without knowing; she could last the rest of her life without the information.

Suddenly she stands, an idea coming to her. "Mac," she follows him down the hall.

He turns back to her, waiting for her to catch up. "Change your mind so quickly?"

"I know where there might be some records. I, um… didn't spend my whole life in foster care."

"You didn't?" he looks questioningly at her.

"I was in an orphanage until I was five and started school. St. Basil's."

"I guess I'll start there then. Thanks for your help."

As he turns to leave, she speaks again. "Can I go with you?"

"Stella, you can't be involved in the case," he begins.

"But I'm not. You're just going to get the file. As long as I don't touch it, what's wrong with me going?"

"I was going to see if anyone knew anything about your parents."

"Okay, it wasn't really important," Stella starts walking back to her office.

Mac sighs and concedes, "I guess you can come along, Stel."

A/N: Hope you guys like it so far. The story's only five chapters and I'll try to post every other day. My grandma is moving up closer to us from North Carolina so we'll probably be over there and helping her get stuff done so she can live over there when her furniture arrives. And I have band again this week. Only Monday and Thursday though. Hopefully we get more done. If we weren't always with the clarinets, I think we could get through more. No offense to clarinet players. But we spent fifteen minutes passing out music, then forty-five on the three pregame songs and I don't think we ever did the fight song in cut time like it's supposed to be, and only worked twenty-five minutes on football show. We only played like half of two different songs. Maybe they didn't want to overwhelm the freshmen. I really need to go practice on my flute instead of piccolo. I got first flute part for football show and I can't play that high on piccolo so it doesn't help me to practice on that. And I think Indiana Jones can be taken up an octive for first flutes since it says 8va on it. I'll probably only take some parts up because some of it is very low for marching band. We'll never be heard during that song. Well, I'll shut up now. Please tell me what you think so far.