Summary: Stella has come to terms with the fact that all of her past relationships have ended badly. She's thinking of giving up on love, but someone reminds her that her true soul mate will show up when she least expects it.

The loud tapping of rain against the window shook Stella from her thoughts, causing her to turn and look out into the nights sky. Ten pm on a Friday evening found Stella confined to her office doing massive amounts of paper work from the unusual amount of sick, perverted freaks that scoured the city that week. She had worked at least three cases a day since Monday, barely finding time to shower let alone eat. And having a social life was out of the question. She cancelled more dates then she made this week, though didn't feel bad or lonely because of it. All of her time and effort had been focused on catching suspects, and finishing up her work. The last thing she needed was anyone from above coming down on her for neglecting to file evidence.

So there she sat on that rainy Friday night, typing up reports and stuffing envelopes. Every few minutes she'd glance at the clock, or peek out the window as the rain poured down, but Stella Bonasera was dedicated to getting the job done. As CSI's go, she was one of the most diligent workers that unit had. Aside from her partner, and best friend Mac Taylor, she was the best around.

She looked over at the clock again, blinked a few times as if she couldn't recognize the bright red numbers flashing in front of her, and then ran her hands over her face. 11:45 flashed across her mind and she yawned. She pushed her feet slightly out in front of her causing her chair to swivel backwards away from the confines of her desk. She then lifted her arms above her head in an attempt at stretching out the days knots but strangely felt a tinge of pain in her neck. A small moan, not one of pleasure, escaped her lips and she grasped the back of her neck in agony.

"Someone looks sore." Stella heard from the doorway. Not bothering to turn her attention to the person she already knew to be Mac Taylor. No other Detective would be stupid enough to give up a Friday night for paperwork, and she was surprised it took him that long to come find her.

"I've been hunching over this desk for the past 5 hours! You'd be sore too." She replied, sounding a little harsher then intended. She looked over at him. He didn't seem any better. Dark circles under his eyes told her he hadn't slept in a few days, and his clothes were rumpled, so she knew he hadn't even been home to change.

Mac slowly nodded and pushed himself off her door frame and made his way to her. He walked behind her desk to where she was sitting and placed his hands on her shoulders, slowing massaging the area behind her neck down her spine in between her shoulder blades. Stella rolled her head forward releasing another moan, this time one of pleasure, as Mac worked miracles on her.

"Oh my god that feels amazing Mac!" She slurred. Instantly feeling relief, and letting go of some much needed stress she closed her eyes. Another moan escaped her and this caused Mac to stop and pull back slightly.

"What's wrong?" Stella asked as she tilted her head in his direction.

"Nothing. You should go home. The paperwork can wait until Monday. You need sleep, and I know you had plans tonight. Maybe it's not too late…" Mac rattled out, and Stella stopped him.

"You know as well as I do that I can't let these case files sit here all weekend. And as for my plans…well lets just say canceling on someone five times in a row doesn't keep em coming back for more." She explained. "I'm almost finished and I'll probably crash here tonight anyway so sleep is on the horizon."

"Do you want some help? I'm done all of my work, we'll get through it faster if we work together." Mac stated simply, as if he really wanted to stay.

"I can't ask you to do that Mac. You need sleep as much as I do. Go home, have a nice weekend. Don't think about work and just enjoy your time off. I'll be done soon and doing the same thing." Stella argued, hoping he would pick up the subtle inflection in her voice begging him to stay.

"I'm not leaving until you are…I guess you're stuck with me!" He smiled. Though he was exhausted and completely drained of energy and emotion, he still had a soft spot when it came to Stella. He'd do just about anything for her.

Mac pulled up a chair to the front of Stella's desk and pulled out a few files that had yet to be checked. Putting on his serious work face he started, diligently reading every page, some multiple times. Then as he finished he signed his name on the bottom of the page and set it aside, only to be faced with another. Two hours passed as the clock read 2:32 am, and both Mac and Stella were beat. Finally the cases were closed, and filed and updated into the computer logs and evidence was bagged and tagged. Mac looked at the desk where Stella had been working quietly for the past hour and noticed she had fallen asleep. A smile appeared on his face and he stood there for a moment watching her. She was so beautiful, he thought. Her dark curly locks hung over her face, and he could her soft snoring as he approached her.

Gently shaking her shoulders Mac tried to wake her.

"Stella, we're finished. You should lie down on the cot." Mac whispered a few inches from her face as to not scare her.

"Mmmmm," Stella moaned. "I don't want to move."

"Come on Stel, I'll help you." He offered.

"Pick me up Mac. I can't walk, I need you to carry me." She replied sleepily.

It took Mac a few seconds to understand what she was asking. This was very unlike Stella to give up control and depend on someone else. In a way he was flattered, but at this ungodly hour he didn't spend much time analyzing the meaning of her phrase.

He slowly bent over placing a hand under her legs and another across her back. Unconsciously, she wrapped her arms around his neck and as he lifted her from the chair she placed her head in the crook of his neck, letting out a deep sigh. He took in a breath catching the smell of her hair which was a mixture of scents, something floral he guessed. Mac walked them out into the hallway and toward the locker rooms which housed 8 cots for overnights that had been more frequent lately. As they approached one of the cots Mac slowed his pace and began so set Stella's body carefully down, but as he tried to release her from his grasp she held on tighter, pulling him down onto the cot with her.

"Um Stella," Mac cleared his throat trying to get some attention, maybe wake her up. "You need to let go of me so we can get some sleep."

"Stay, I'm so tired. I want you here, please don't leave me alone." She pleaded, almost begged and it broke Mac's heart to hear her so vulnerable.

He looked at her face and saw that she was still asleep and didn't want to risk waking her again so he settled into her side. Still, with arms wrapped around one another, they both drifted off into a deep oblivion that was much needed. Though it was already morning, they found comfort in the sleep that would hopefully last throughout the day.