Okay! Last chapter now!
Thanks to: suallenparker, Asprine, Svufan4ever, Hazmatt, CsiKane, gurlz, ewriter, JackSam, Mini Librarian and QueenEm for the reviews which made this fic running.
Thanks for everyting.


"Stella?" Mac watched as she flinched by his words and slowly turned around to face him.
She gasped at the sight of Mac, standing there in the doorway with a pair of sweats on and an old worn out tshirt.
He rubbed his eyes as help them to adjust to the strong light in the stairwell.
Clearly she'd wake him up.
A wash of guilt flooded over her, she knew how hard Mac found it to go to sleep without Claire beside him. Not that he had said it out loud, but she could imagine.
After spending several years sleeping beside one person, it must be hard to found that no one is beside you anymore when you wake up in the morning.
Now he'd managed to go to bed, and now she was ruining his whole idea of sleeping.

"I woke you up" she stated and shrugged, unsure if she would just step into the elevator and press the button and go home again.
Stella shivered at the thought by going home - to the crime scene, to the blood spatter, to the … to where all her memories that haunted mind her was.
"Never mind Stella" he replied and blinked his eyes as he didn't had adjusted them to the light yet. "It's okay"
"Are you sure?" she asked and let her hands play nervously with her scarf.
"Of course I am" he smiled. "I'm glad you came"
"You are?" she smiled shyly.
"Here, come in" he reached out his hand as a welcome for her to come in.
"Thank you" she whispered.
She took his hand, and Mac smiled as he felt her soft hand in his.
"Come here" he said, and led her to the couch in the living room. "Do you want anything to drink?"
"No Mac, it's fine" she smiled shyly at him.
"Okay" he sat down beside her on the couch.
Her hand sought his and Mac let her hold on to his hand while the silence surrounded them.
Mac shuddered as the soft skin of her hand met his.

"Mac…" Stella broke the silence, and he looked up.
He had been mesmerized by the thought of holding her hand, and apparently blind also.
When he raised his gaze, he found small tears escaping from Stella's eyes.
"I…I" she sobbed.
"It's okay Stella" his heart almost broke by only the sight of her being so hurt and vulnerable.
In a desperate try to comfort her, he scooped her up in his arms.
He felt her twist and shiver in his arms.
Mac's hand rubbed his lower back to sooth her.
He felt body relax, but continued to make soft strokes on her back.
"I should have-"
"You did the right thing Stella" Mac tried to convince her, she didn't need more feelings of guilt that she already had.
"How can murder be the right thing?!" she released herself from his arms, and Mac felt the cool air hit the warm spots on his arms where Stella had been.
"Murder is never the right thing" she hissed. "We work our asses off every day to convince people that murder is wrong, and that the criminal should end up in jail!"
"It was self defense!"
"But Mac, I-" she bit her lower lip.
"Stella you can't blame yourself for this…"
She'd turned away from him, but he could see that she cried, in the way her shoulders shook.
"Shh… Stella don't cry" he slowly approached her, and put his arms around her.
"If Frankie knew more about guns I would've been dead by now" she stated, tears were still running down her cheeks, and Mac reached out his thumb to catch them.
"I told myself not to cry…" she mumbled and removed his hand from her face, and started to wipe away her tears with the sleeve in a hasty movement.
"It's okay Stella" his grip on her shoulders tightened.
"It's time to face it Mac, I am breakable, I am weak, I can't be that-"
"Stella, don't ever say something like that!" Mac hissed, he hated to see her like this. "Everyone's breakable"
"I-"
"Let me finish first" Mac said to her when she tried to interrupt. "Even the best fall down sometimes and sure it hurts, but you are going to get through that."

"I'll be here when you wake up" Mac stroked her hair, and tucked her in.
"Good night Mac" Stella whispered.
"Sleep well" Mac rose from the bed in his guestroom.
"How long can I stay?" he heard her voice barely audible from inside the room.
"As long as you want to"

End.