Mac and Stella.

I don't own them.

Hope they aren't too OOC.. Sorry about the mistakes, all mine.

Prelude of the new dawn

Allison Moorer: A soft place to fall

..You should know the reason why I called

She knew her pattern. It started in the evenings, ending up to the morning hours as the sun rose to warm the city. She was on her way to feel the warmth of the sun, but there were long hours up to the new day. It was almost a midnight. She didn't care about the time for she knew it had never been relevant in her life. Things happened as they were meant to happen. It was good to have something permanent in her life. If it only was the same desperate pattern, she would take it. If it only allowed her to have the cut moments with him, she would take it, too.

---

Stella had met her date in that evening. Again her date hadn't been the successful one. They had ended the evening two hours ago. She hadn't pretended to be anyone else. She was done all the bullshit to pretend to be something she wasn't. Stella knew who she was, what she felt, what she missed and her date hadn't been anything she wanted. She had really tried to give him the opportunity to charm her, but no. Her date had failed. He wasn't enough. No one could be. She had thanked for the dinner they had enjoyed in a lovely and romantic restaurant. Her date had dropped her home. Being a gentleman, her date had asked if they could meet again. She had agreed, but she knew they wouldn't meet again. She had appreciated his gesture, but on the other hand she had hated it. He hadn't even tried to kiss her. Stella had deleted his number from her cell phone and gone inside her apartment, standing there in the darkness. She had headed back almost immediately. Sometimes it was too unbearable to be alone and in that evening she hated the feeling.

---

Stella sat in the booth, waiting. She had called him, asking if he would like to have a drink with her. He had agreed, like always. After ending the call, she didn't remember the name of the bar anymore. Stella wondered should she remember it. Truthfully she didn't care, not a damn bit. The only thing she cared at that moment was her drinks. She had drunk few glasses of red wine with her date and she had ordered beers in the bar. She wasn't a drinker, but sometimes she needed to have something that could smooth the edges of her heartache. She had noticed it was a small bar when she had entered in, unaware the reasons why she had picked out the bar. It was almost forgotten place which inhaled sadness and exhaled fatigue. The place breathed for her.

---

It was a warm summer night but the curly haired woman felt how the coolness had reached her tanned skin when she had risen up from the cab. Her strapless black dress disclosed her shoulders and she hoped she would have something warmer on her than the sheer dress, though she sat inside the bar. She was annoyed how the hemline of her dress felt too short. It wasn't too short, it was perfect on her. She didn't like it either how her new high heels made her feet ache. She had dropped her high heels on the floor. She enjoyed the soothing touch of air after she had stretched her long legs across the booth beneath the table. The soft seat under her heels felt good. She leaned back a bit and rested her head against the back of the booth, settling better in her seat. Her curls fell a bit backwards, tickling her shoulders. The booth was located so she could only see the back wall of the bar. It was the last booth in order, the dimmest booth she had found to herself.

---

The black dressed woman enjoyed her second beer. She waited to hear his familiar steps she would always recognize. The way her friend moved, the way he stepped. He had a certain determination in his steps. She always knew it was him who arrived at the crime scene towards her when she was looking intently for the possible evidence. She knew. She didn't have to turn around to see who had arrived. She sensed it in every way when he was close to her. She smiled but her vision blurred. She tried to hold back the tears, failing. She turned her head towards the dark gray tiled wall of the bar, trying to hide her sudden weak moment. She felt the moist on her scarred fingertips. She was so on the edge of falling apart. She blinked few times, cutting the tears. The lightning was dusky and she was pleased with it. She liked it that way. It smoothed her. It almost took the ache away. She wanted to be hidden. Stella closed her eyes, hearing the soft music. Sad lyrics about love, it was always about the love.

---

Stella sipped her beer. It was what she needed, to get drunk. She sensed how the drink warmed her, how her cheeks were slightly blushed. She had tried to avoid her doubts. He would come, of course he would. He always did. Probably sometimes when he couldn't, he was always there for her. The bar wasn't crowded when she had opened the door and stepped in. She had seen only two other customers who sat in their own booths and drank into their sorrows. The lachrymose music which was played on the jukebox filled the air, otherwise it was quiet. They didn't need company. The music was enough for them and the bartender gave them their privacy. He was an older man and his gaze had been gentle. But his looks told Stella he had seen the world and it hadn't been kind to him. He had only nodded when Stella had bought two beers at the same time. He had an anchor tattooed in his left forearm. There might have been a name in the tattoo, too. She hadn't been sure about it as she had taken notice of his tattoo when he had set the cold beers on the bar. He hadn't asked reasons. He hadn't wanted to hear excuses. They all had their stories.

---

Stella's lids were half closed. She heard how the door to the bar whined. A new customer had walked in. The sudden whiff of the summer night, which carried his familiar scent, reached her. She smiled. She waited. He would find her. She knew he would view the room before taking any steps. He was a crime scene investigator even when he wasn't on call. She was that, too. Stella heard him walking closer and he stopped. She knew he stand next to the booth. He had taken off his dark colored leather jacket. He offered it for her, for she seemed to shiver because of the coolness. The reason, why the woman shivered, had nothing to do with the sudden coolness she had felt on her skin as he had walked in. She moved her feet to the right, giving him room to sit down across from her. He never sat next to her. Stella dressed his jacket on and the lining of his jacket was still warm from his body.

"Hi." Her lips curved into a smile.

"I'm sorry it took this long." Mac's voice was firm and friendly. Not annoyed by the fact that it was really late. She hadn't noticed how long she had waited. Time wasn't relevant for her. Stella wanted to see the dawn. He wore a black shirt and dark blue jeans. She must have awakened him though he hadn't sounded tired. He never did. He didn't wear those clothes at work. She didn't want to hear why it had taken so long. She knew, but she hoped she wouldn't care. But she wanted to. He was her friend. She would always care about him.

Stella nodded, sipping her beer again.

"So, how bad was it?" Mac asked, tilting his head a bit. Earlier in that day, when they had met in the break room at work, she had mentioned about her date. Apparently, it hadn't gone well. Mac stared at the empty beer bottle on the table and wondered who had drunk it. He chuckled inside when he paid attention to her bare feet.

"Badly, I think." The curly haired woman answered, meeting Mac's gaze. "Like always." Stella tapped her fingers slowly against the wooden surface of the table. It felt like she played the song. She held the beer in her other hand. "I'm still waiting for my prince charming."

Mac sighed and stood up, heading to order his beer. While Mac waited for his drink, he observed Stella. She kept staring intently at her drink, lost in her own world again. She seemed to be absent so often lately.

---

The bartender served the man who was the company of the curly haired woman. She had waited for the dark haired man, obviously. The bartender had seen the soft smile on her face, when she had noticed her company was there, from the moment the man had walked in. The older man saw how she had slipped on his jacket. It made her look even smaller and her body was slender already. It made her look so vulnerable, like she would fall into pieces. He sure had seen it. The way she had sat alone. The hurt he had seen in her eyes when she had entered in the abandon place of lost souls. The way she had wiped away her falling tears. He had definitely seen it. Those observations gave memories for the older man. He hoped he could relive some moments of his life. He couldn't. He had missed his chances when he was younger. Now it was too late. He was old, too old. He hoped the dark haired man who had bought his first beer could be wiser than he had been. The bartender had seen quite a lot in his life and he knew how sometimes it was just too late to make things better. Maybe life would be fair at times. The bartender smiled somehow sadly, setting new beer bottles in the small fridge underneath the bar. He had time to serve his customers.

---

The comforting silence hovered between them when Mac came back to his seat. They didn't need words to fill the air. They communicate on so many levels. Sometimes it was frightening how well they knew each other. It was good when they worked together, but it was even better as they were friends. How amazing it would be if they could be more than friends, Stella had wondered sometimes. They had carried each other through the downfalls of their private lives and they shared so close friendship. Stella felt that Mac was her soul mate, the other side of her being. It hurt too much to think if Mac's soul mate was asleep in his home. In his bed. While he was there with her.

"You called me." He said finally, interrupting Stella's thoughts clearly. She tried to stuck few curls behind her ear, but they kept escaping on her long eyelashes. She managed to control her need to run away for she had blushed. She hoped he couldn't see what she had thought. It would only make things so complicated.

Mac knew her. He could tell from the sparkles in her eyes whether she was happy or were the sparkles in her eyes the warning signs of an explosion. At that moment Mac couldn't tell what there was to come. The makeup of her eyes was too mesmerizing. His eyes were locked on Stella's. The dim lightning of the bar bothered him. Her eyes had darkened, a hint of something unknown had flashed through her gaze. He wanted to see the sparkles in her eyes. He wanted to see the color of her eyes.

Stella's eyes narrowed slightly. She had drunk her second beer. The empty bottle hit the table too hard, but it was her soft voice which he heard only: "You should know the reason why I called."

And he shivered.

TBC?


I guess it was a bit different, but I hope you enjoyed reading it. Whether you liked or not, please let me know! Thanks for reading it!